Sunday, October 2, 2011

General Conference

This weekend I listened / watched all 10 hours of General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (At least I was in the room for 10 hours.) I always enjoy conference. While I was on my mission, we had no coverage of conference. We usually didn't even get the magazine with the conference report in it. I remember one time we were trying to find conference on the radio. We picked up a faint signal coming from Brazil in Portuguese. We were so excited to hear conference. We would only hear the first few words of the talk in English before the Portuguese translation took over. Then we would listen in Portuguese to see if we could pick out just a few words.
Conference is an amazing process. It goes for ten hours and there are 25 -30 assigned speakers. No one is given an assigned topic. They are given direction to seek the Spirit of the Lord and determine what they should talk about. So the Lord through his inspiration to his servants weaves together a series of messages of what he would say to the world every six months. As people listen to conference, different people will hear messages that seem tailored just for them. There is something for everyone, young and old, new member and experienced leaders, mothers and missionaries, youth, children and the elderly. There is something for everyone. It reminds me of the scriptures. We are not given a neatly ordered instruction manual. We are given prophetic accounts from different continents and different centuries and millenium. By searching, praying, and pondering we learn the things the Lord would have us learn at a given point in time.
There were a few themes that rang out to me. Next year the course of study in Sunday School is the Book of Mormon. Several speakers got me excited to read the Book of Mormon again. Elder Scott convinced me that I should start memorizing some scriptures. I've thought about taking a 3x5 card with me with a scripture to memorize on it while I drive. There was a recurring theme that the world is opperating under the philosophy of relatism. (Do what ever feels good or right) That does not replace the commandments that the Lord has given. President Monson restated the ten commandments and said they are not the ten suggestions. I also got a feeling that we (I) can do a little more, and be a little more dilligent. ( Maybe a lot more.)
The Lord does not send our updates or memos, but he does communicate to the world through General Conference.