How to use conference to help resolve problems

Personal and family problems can be resolved by giving serious attention to the counsel given by those sustained as prophets, seers and revelators to the world. Following are some suggestions for making better use of general conference and the messages given:

Prepare to receive answers. Anyone who is seeking an answer to a problem must consider the modern-day prophets an excellent source. Those seeking should pray that those speaking at conference will be inspired by the Lord. Likewise, those seeking should pray for the Spirit to give them "ears to hear," "eyes to see," and "hearts to feel."- Make general conference a personal/family experience. Each individual or family seeking answers to problems should approach general conference with the attitude that all of the messages are directed at them. This makes the experience more personal and, thus, more meaningful.

Give good attention to all words in all sessions. All of the words spoken at general conference are offered under the direction of the Spirit of the Lord. As such, all of those words must be considered the mind and will of the Lord. No one session can be considered more important than another, and all messages must be considered as a possible answer to the problem being faced. At the very least, giving this good attention to each message will add to our spiritual reservoirs and cause our problems to be seen in better perspective.

Give special attention to any remarks related to the problem. When subjects related to the problem are addressed, perk up. Listen more intently for the words of counsel and encouragement which will help you to deal with and overcome the problem.

Take notes. A wise mission president told me that a hand without a pen in it is a mind not open. When needing to receive answers on serious matters, be prepared to write down significant points that may offer help.

Thoroughly review the talks given at conference when published. The words of the prophets are uncanonized scripture and should be studied as such. The good notes taken at conference will be an excellent source to lead you to the remarks in the addresses that were the most relevant to your problem.

Heed the counsel. Surely a person would be unwise to seek for an answer, receive it and then not follow it. - Dennis L. McDanial, Hartsville, S.C.

What we did:

Pray for Spirit

If we are struggling with a problem in our family or if I am dealing with one personally, the first thing I do is to pray about it and ponder it and search the scriptures for solutions and insight. As conference approaches, our family prays specifically that those who will be speaking will be blessed with inspiration and the Spirit. We pray that they might speak the Lord's words and counsel to us, and we pray that we might have the Spirit as we listen, that we might be strengthened and learn the things the Lord would have us do. If we are struggling with a specific concern or problem, we pray that we will recognize the counsel that would help us solve our problem.

As I ponder challenges in my life, there are answers and inspiration in the words of these great servants of our Lord. - Julie Ann Morain, Fort Collins, Colo.

Have faith

In the days prior to general conference, focus on the problems that you're concerned about and pray about them. Ask the Lord to help you find the answers in the conference messages. Have faith that your prayers will be heard and answered.

Anticipate the approaching conference and prepare yourself spiritually to listen carefully to each talk. Although I enjoy all the wonderful talks, there is always one talk in particular that stands out from the rest. It helps me find the answers I am seeking and strengthens and sustains my faith that I will resolve the challenges that are mine.

I always look forward to reading the talks in the Church News and the Ensign. Occasionally, I have even clipped a talk and posted it above my computer where I see it each time I sit down to write. - Cleo Price Mollinet, Midvale, Utah

`Guide in our lives'

General conference is a huge part of our lives. We have taken very seriously the counsel to use the conference talks as a guide in our lives during the six months between conferences. Our family has prayer each morning before breakfast, then, while we eat, we listen to a conference talk. We are able to listen to the entire conference several times in six months. This helps us know what the prophets have said. Many opportunities present themselves to share the gospel, to help others solve problems or to strengthen our family.

Just like reading the Book of Mormon changes lives and brings a special spirit to home, listening to general conference on a daily basis has helped our family be strong. - Jodi Ford, Lakeview, Ore.

Regain peace

Often I have been upset over something and the beautiful music on an audio-tape of conference will calm my spirit and help me regain the peace I need. Other times I have sought for an answer, and the talk that I happened to be listening to that day now becomes the talk I need at that moment. The words that I listened to that morning often come back to me in daily conversations with others around me, expressing just the right idea or enlarging our understanding. The best part of listening to these tapes has been feeling the love of the Lord for me as I listen to His prophets testify of my Father's love and of my Savior. - Marilyn Thomsen, Orem, Utah

Conference a priority

First, during the weeks before conference, I try to make an effort to pray each day about the upcoming event. I pray that the Spirit will touch and inspire the general leaders in their preparations for the conference and I pray that my spirit might be prepared and willing to hear and follow their messages. Prayer makes me more attentive during the conference and gives me the desire to read the messages in the Ensign. Prayers have also given me the desire to view or listen to all of the conference sessions, not just one or two of them on Sunday.

Second, when I have made general conference a top priority in my schedule, I find that I am more prepared to receive help in solving my problems. Calendaring conference also reminds me that I need to rearrange my normal weekend schedule in advance (like planning my grocery shopping on Friday instead of Saturday and planning to go to bed at an earlier hour than normal so I am not sleepy during the conference). - Anthon McLaws, Gilbert, Ariz.

`Message for me'

I always pray for our beloved prophet and the apostles, but when it's time for general conference, I start praying several weeks before that all the speakers will have the Spirit with them as they speak, and I pray to have the Spirit with me so I can get the message that is meant for me.

I pray I will get answers to my prayers and messages to help me solve problems in the Lord's way. I look forward to listen to what the Lord wants me to do in the following six months. - Hazel Pike, Asheville, N.C.

How to check list:

1 Make conference a priority;

give attention to every

session; take notes.

2 Pray for speakers; pray for

spirit to receive the message.

3 Focus on problems you're

concerned with; ask the Lord

to help you find answers.

4 Listen for relevant points;

heed the counsel received.

Write to us:

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Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to supplement your regular income," "How to rear children in light and truth," "How to avoid greed," "How to be more resilient in day-to-day life."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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