Enter General Conference. Boom! This is just what the doctor ordered to strengthen me in the challenges I face, the problems I encounter, and the responsibilities I have upon my shoulders. I always seem to desperately need my spiritual recharge just in time to partake of the living waters that flow from General Conference. (And I shamelessly admit that I get a little giddy when Conference is approaching—I can’t wait!!) What a blessing it is to listen to servants of God who speak under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost! In Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 the Lord declares that “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” It is priceless to know that God still speaks to His people, and one way He does this is through those who address us during General Conference. What a comfort that is, for who knows us better than Heavenly Father? He knows me and each of you intimately and loves us unconditionally. He knows the desires of our hearts, our struggles, and our insecurities. He sees the tears we cry. He sees the sacrifices we make that appear to go unnoticed. He watches us fall and waits to help us up. He. Speaks. To. Each. Of. Us.
President Howard W. Hunter said, “Conference time is a season of spiritual revival when knowledge and testimony are increased and solidified that God lives and blesses those who are faithful . . . a time when souls are stirred and resolutions are made to be better husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, more obedient sons and daughters, better friends and neighbors.” Many times during Conference I feel that the speaker is talking directly to me—giving me just the personal counsel and comfort I need at that moment. My soul is indeed stirred and I make commitments to be a better disciple of Christ. Here are a few of the gems from General Conference in October 2013 that touched my heart:
“In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been but much more where we are willing to go.” --Elder Edward Dube, “Look Ahead and Believe”
“Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward . . . My dear friends, there will be times when you think you cannot continue on. Trust the Savior and His love. With faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and the power and hope of the restored gospel, you will be able to walk tall and continue on . . . I give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength –President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “You Can Do It Now!”
“It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand.” – Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Put Your Trust in the Lord”
“I testify that many of those who need our help are there waiting for us. They are ready for their valiant brothers and sisters to reach out to them and rescue them through small and simple means.” –Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela
“Yes, there are signs of storms forming all around us. Let us look up and prepare ourselves. There is safety in a strong testimony. Let us cherish and strengthen our testimonies every day.” –Elder Adrian Ochoa, “Look Up”
“Living the gospel and standing in holy places is not always easy or comfortable, but I testify that it is worth it!” –Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Be Ye Converted”
“Believe in miracles . . . Hope is never lost. If those miracles do not come soon or fully or seemingly at all, remember the Savior’s own anguished example: if the bitter cup does not pass, drink it and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.” –Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Like a Broken Vessel”
What a spiritual feast I enjoy during General Conference! At its conclusion, I feel uplifted and renewed. My spirit has been buoyed up, and I have been reminded of Heavenly Father’s love for me and the potential I have as His daughter. The chinks in my armor are filled in, and I am ready to face my battles with greater trust in God and a willingness to do whatever He asks me to do.
In his book, When You Can’t Do It Alone, Brent L. Top talks about the power and blessings of General Conference. He says, “How grateful I am that the words of living prophets and apostles can fortify my faith, strengthen my spirituality, and lift me up when I am down . . . challenges remain . . . enemies still gather . . . I still had to face the fight, but I was infused with a renewed sense of protection and power.” (p. 83) This infusion of strength and power can be ours. Participate in General Conference. Listen or watch or attend in whatever capacity you can. Bring your worries, fears, burdens, questions, broken hearts, sorrows, and weaknesses.
God will speak to you through His prophets and apostles. Your questions will be answered, your burdens lifted, your ability to endure increased, your perspective broadened, your testimony strengthened. God wants to speak to you through General Conference. And He will. I promise.