Next month, we will have the privilege of participating in another general conference. These conference sessions can be an unmatched time of growth and learning if we are prepared. Listening to and following the words of the living prophet and Church leaders should be something that we all look forward to with anticipation and joy. There are many simple ways that we can prepare and, most importantly, help our youth to prepare to receive instruction with joy and gladness.
Taylor and Jacqueline Candland gathered their children together for family home evening and asked the following question: “How can we prepare to receive personal revelation from the upcoming general conference?”
Their 13-year-old daughter, Aubrie, suggested, “We can listen to hymns.”
Their 11-year-old son, Kaleb, responded, “I can prepare by going to the temple and feel God’s Spirit there.”
Their 16-year-old son, Levi, said, “We can be open minded, make a list of questions and … listen.”
Their youngest daughter, Brynlee, 9, said, “I could listen to talks from past general conferences.”
Their 18-year-old son, Caden answered, “I can go to bed early the night before. I can also study the scriptures, pray and fast for guidance.”
The excitement and anticipation of this dear family to understand what it is that God wants them to know and do was tangible. It is clear from the children’s responses that they are beginning to develop a thirst for the word of God. What an incredible feeling!
This same excitement existed many years ago in Zarahemla as families, just like the Candland’s — and yours and ours — heeded the same invitation to gather and listen to the inspired words of a living prophet. The people of Zarahemla came in great numbers, bringing their entire families, each man pitching his tent with the door facing the temple so his family could hear what King Benjamin would say. “Hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand” (Mosiah 2:9).
Anchoring our souls to the Lord, Jesus Christ requires listening to those He sends.
King Benjamin invited his people to repent, to serve, and to love one another. He shared revelation that he had received from our Heavenly Father and testified of the divine Sonship of Jesus Christ.
This same invitation to gather and receive has been given in our day. We have a mighty prophet among us, President Russell M. Nelson, who communes with Jehovah daily, and who testifies that Christ is at the helm of His Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We can find comfort today, just like Jeremiah of old, that the Lord continues to “put my words in thy mouth” (Jeremiah 1:9). We can, and should, take comfort in knowing that we can hear the word of the Lord, and we would be remiss to not take advantage of the incredible opportunity to feast on His words.
The messages from general conference can make a profound impact in our lives. What a tremendous blessing it is to know that as we prayerfully ask our Heavenly Father for guidance and direction to help us prepare to receive, He will direct our paths that we may know what will work best for each individual and every family.
“Anchoring our souls to the Lord, Jesus Christ requires listening to those He sends,” said Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“As you prepare for general conference, I invite you to ponder questions you need to have answered. … There are messages in each general conference given as a gift and a blessing from heaven specifically for our personal life situations,” said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“Listening to and hearkening to living prophets will have profound, even life-changing effects in our lives. We are strengthened. We are more assured and confident in the Lord. We hear the word of the Lord. We feel God’s love. We will know how to conduct our lives with purpose,” said Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
As we know, recording our own personal insights and inspiration is a tremendous tool for growth. Accordingly, a wonderful resource to help inspire our youth to be engaged in receiving and acting upon personal revelation is the General Conference Notebook. It has been inserted in each of the March 2019 New Era magazines.
You can also download and print off your very own General Conference Notebook for free. This notebook is designed specifically for the youth. It is full of facts related to general conference, inspirational quotes, and plenty of space to be creative while taking notes. There is also an opportunity for the youth to share their notes by using the hashtag #generalconference, direct messaging @ChurchofJesusChrist_youth on Instagram, or by emailing their notes to [email protected].
We pray that you will listen to the inspired words of our prophet this general conference and invite the beloved youth to do the same. We send you our love and add our testimonies to that of our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, when he declared, “I promise you that if you will sincerely and persistently do the spiritual work needed to develop the crucial, spiritual skill of learning how to hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, you will have all the direction you will ever need in your life.”