“Where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them” (Doctrine and Covenants 6:32).
Three weeks ago we gathered. Whether in the Conference Center, our stake centers, or our homes, we Latter-day Saints gathered with a purpose “as touching one thing.” That “thing” was to hear what the Lord wants us to learn and do for the next six months and beyond. And such a gathering comes with a promise and blessing: “there will I be in the midst of you.” The fact that the Spirit of the Lord is in the midst of us during general conference is significant. His words are being spoken and the presence of His Spirit influences our feelings, our capacities, our choices and our growth.
When the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles — the servants of the Lord — speak in conference, they are speaking the words the Lord would have them speak. Christ tells us in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”
What did the Lord say to your heart and mind as the prophets, seers and revelators spoke?
Words tailored to our needs
With the influence of the Spirit, as we listen to the conference talks or study them after conference, we can learn revelation tailored to our personal needs, truths we may not have known, and greater hope and faith in Christ. What are we going to do with these truths, revelations and hopes?
The upcoming November 2014 Ensign and Liahona are our study guides for applying what was given in October conference; by April 2015 this magazine should show signs of wear and use from frequent readings, markings, notes, and highlights! But even more than diligent study of the revelators’ words, we must take action on them.
After all the inspiring talks have flowed through our souls, how will we “go and do” as Nephi said? Or perhaps in our case, how will we remember and act? When we act on something, it becomes significant in our life. When we act on the words of President Thomas S. Monson and the Twelve Apostles, our life will change for the better.
A change of heart and action
The children in our family, the marrieds and the singles, have a strong tradition of honoring the Sabbath each week. They make it a day of worship at church and at home, setting aside this day for quiet family time and Church service. How did this pattern come about in their lives?
It all started 43 years ago when, as newlyweds, my husband and I read a talk by then-President Joseph Fielding Smith. He wrote about keeping the Sabbath day holy and not shopping on Sunday. We realized we had some repenting to do!
Though we were actively serving in our ward and always attended our Sunday meetings, we were in the habit of stopping at a convenience store on our way home from Sunday School to buy ice cream. It seemed like such a small thing at the time — how could buying ice cream on Sunday be dangerous to the spiritual growth of our future family? However, a prophet of God had spoken clearly and specifically and that was enough of an answer for us. We chose to stop all Sunday shopping immediately.
Blessings for generations
Our pattern of Sabbath day worship began under the direction of a prophet and blessings began to flow. As simple as it was to stop shopping for ice cream on Sunday, we soon began to feel a clear and dear difference between Sunday and the rest of the week. We felt the influence of the Holy Ghost as we tried to separate from the world in every way possible on Sunday. Our children grew up knowing it was a day for worship, family bonding and gospel attention. How thankful we are for a prophet’s warning! Where would we and our children be today if we had continued our casual approach to the Sabbath day? I feel our decision to quickly obey a prophet’s words changed the course of our family’s spiritual growth.
Applying conference teachings
Here is a short list of ideas that may be helpful in order to apply conference teachings:
You could begin a study of the talks of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles by asking yourself, “What are they asking me to do?” You could then look very personally at what the Brethren said and make a list of specific counsel given. Prayerfully determine what specific things you will act on. Truly we have the Lord’s direction within our reach when the November Ensign and Liahona arrive.