Perhaps members of your Relief Society or quorum could share an experience in which a general conference message felt particularly meaningful to them. Why were these messages meaningful? What does Elder Andersen teach about the significance of general conference messages and the effort and process involved in preparing them? How should this knowledge affect the urgency with which we study and heed these words? Consider making a list of invitations from the most recent conference. What have we done to act on these invitations?
In the commotion and confusion of our modern world, trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is vital to our spiritual growth and endurance.
Why is it so important in today’s world that hear and believe the word of the Lord as it is given to us at General Conference?
“It is no small thing, my brothers and sisters, to have a prophet of God in our midst. … When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt. History shows that there is safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness in responding to prophetic counsel as did Nephi of old: ‘I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded’ (1 Nephi 3:7).’ (Elder M Russell Ballard, General Conference, April 2001)
“The choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.
“Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety” (Henry B Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 25).
How can we best prepare for General Conference?
I promise that as you hear the voice of the Lord to you in the teachings of this general conference, and then act on those promptings, you will feel heaven’s hand upon you, and your life and the lives of those around you will be blessed.
What experiences do you have where your life has been blessed because of a message you heard at General Conference?
How can we turn just ‘hearing’ into ‘acting’?
“The test will come in the application of the teachings given. If, hereafter, we are a little more kind, if we are a little more neighborly, if we have drawn nearer to the Savior, with a more firm resolution to follow His teachings and His example, then this conference will have been a wonderful success. If, on the other hand, there is no improvement in our lives, then those who have spoken will have in large measure failed.
“Those changes may not be measurable in a day or a week or a month. Resolutions are quickly made and quickly forgotten. But, in a year from now, if we are doing better than we have done in the past, then the efforts of these days will not have been in vain” (Gordon B Hinckley, “An Humble and a Contrite Heart,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 88).
Which particular invitations given at General Conference have stuck in your mind?