I’m so HAPPY that we have it twice a year, not just once! And we need to get used to having one session a week early, don’t we – the first General Session: The General Women’s Session. It’s important that we not neglect this one! Wasn’t it incredible!! Here are a few quotes about Conference. I won’t be sharing anything with you that you don’t already know, but maybe there will be a reminder or two which will help you prepare. ENJOY these next two days!!!
PRESIDENT DAVID O. MCKAY (1873–1970) on the purposes of general conferences: “(1) To inform the membership of general conditions—whether the Church is progressing or retrogressing, economically, ecclesiastically, or spiritually. (2) To commend true merit. (3) To express gratitude for divine guidance. (4) To give instruction ‘in principles, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel.’ (5) To proclaim the restoration … and to declare, quoting the Apostle Peter, that ‘there is none other name under heaven given among men’ than Jesus Christ ‘whereby we must be saved.’ (6) To admonish and inspire to continue in greater activity.” (Acts 4:12) (Conference Report, Oct. 1954, 7).
PRESIDENT HOWARD W. HUNTER (1907–95) “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 . . . that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God…. [It] is the time when our leaders give us inspired direction in the conduct of our lives— 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.” (Ensign, Nov. 1981, 12).
PRESIDENT UCHTDORF (Liahona – September 2011) MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH ARE ENTITLED TO PERSONAL REVELATION AS THEY LISTEN TO AND STUDY THE INSPIRED WORDS SPOKEN AT GENERAL CONFERENCE. As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. For example, you might yearn for direction and guidance by the Lord regarding challenges you are facing. Answers to your specific prayers may come directly from a particular talk or from a specific phrase. At other times answers may come in a seemingly unrelated word, phrase, or song. A heart filled with gratitude for the blessings of life and an earnest desire to hear and follow the words of counsel will prepare the way for personal revelation. DON’T DISCOUNT A MESSAGE MERELY BECAUSE IT SOUNDS FAMILIAR. Prophets have always taught by repetition; it is a law of learning. You will hear repetition in themes and doctrines in general conference. Let me reassure you: this is not due to a lack of creativity or imagination. We continue to hear messages on similar issues because the Lord is teaching and impressing upon our minds and hearts certain foundational principles of great eternal importance that must be understood and acted upon before we can move on to other things.
THE WORDS SPOKEN AT GENERAL CONFERENCE SHOULD BE A COMPASS THAT POINTS THE WAY FOR US DURING THE COMING MONTHS. THE WORDS OF THE PROPHETS DELIVERED THROUGH THE SPIRIT DURING GENERAL CONFERENCE ARE LATTER-DAY SCRIPTURE Scripture is the mind and will of God revealed through His servants.
(Doctrine and Covenants 68:4) ELDER JAMES E. TALMAGE: “We rely … on the teachings of the living oracles of God as of equal validity with the doctrines of the written word.” (Articles of Faith , p. 7)
PRESIDENT JOSEPH FIELDING SMITH (1876–1972) “When one of the brethren stands before a congregation of the people today, and the inspiration of the Lord is upon him, he speaks that which the Lord would have him speak. It is just as much scripture as anything you will find written in any of … the standard works….”
PRESIDENT J. REUBEN CLARK JR. (1871–1961) The question is, how shall we know when the things they have spoken were said as they were ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’? [Doctrine and Covenants 68:3]. “I have given some thought to this question, and the answer thereto so far as I can determine, is: We can tell when the speakers are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost’ only when we, ourselves, are ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’
PRESIDENT HOWARD W. HUNTER “Our modern-day prophets have encouraged us to make the reading of the conference editions of our Church magazines an important and regular part of our personal study. Thus, general conference becomes, in a sense, a supplement to or an extension of the Doctrine and Covenants. In addition to the conference issues of the Church magazines, the First Presidency writes monthly articles that contain inspired counsel for our welfare.” (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, ed. Clyde J. Williams , 212).
PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON “We remind you that the messages we have heard during this conference will be printed in the … Ensign and Liahona magazines. As we read and study them, we will be additionally taught and inspired. May we incorporate into our daily lives the truths found therein.” (Ensign, Nov. 2009, 109).
WE COMMIT TO HEED AND SUPPORT THOSE WE SUSTAIN IN GENERAL CONFERENCE – PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY “The procedure of sustaining is much more than a ritualistic raising of the hand. It is a commitment to uphold, to support, to assist those who have been selected. (Ensign, May 1995, 51).
ELDER DAVID B. HAIGHT (1906–2004) “When we sustain the President of the Church by our uplifted hand, it not only signifies that we acknowledge before God that he is the rightful possessor of all the priesthood keys; it also means that we covenant with God that we will abide by the direction and the counsel that come through His prophet. It is a solemn covenant.” (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 14–15).
PRESIDENT BOYD K. PACKER “In a few days there opens another general conference of the Church… What you shall gain will depend not so much upon their preparation of the messages as upon your preparation for them” (Follow the Brethren, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Mar. 23, 1965], 10;).
PRESIDENT SPENCER W. KIMBALL (1895–1985) “We hope you have made copious notes of the thoughts that have come to your mind …While sitting here, I have made up my mind that when I go home from this conference this night there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect. I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through with conference;” (Ensign, Nov. 1975, 111)
PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY (Ensign, Nov. 1996, 4–5). “I do not hesitate to promise that you will be uplifted, your resolution to do what is right will be stronger, you will find solutions to your problems and your needs, and you will be led to thank the Lord for what you have heard.”
ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND “Each of these conferences marks a call to action not only in our own lives but also on behalf of others around us, those who are of our own family and faith and those who are not. … (Ensign, Nov. 2006, 106).
PRESIDENT SPENCER W. KIMBALL “Let no arrogant, self-assured, self-styled intellectual discard the truths there taught and the testimonies there borne, nor argue with the messages and instructions there given. … I hope you will get your copy of the [Ensign or Liahona] and underline the pertinent thoughts and keep it with you for continual reference. No text or volume outside the standard works of the Church should have such a prominent place on your personal library shelves—not for their rhetorical excellence or eloquence of delivery, but for the concepts which point the way to eternal life.” (In the World but Not of It, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [May 14, 1968], 2–3).