Ah, the ever-elusive perfection. We know that none of us are perfect, or will be in this lifetime. Yet we strive. We try to inch a little closer and be more like the Savior whenever we can. However, there are a few (too few) areas where we can actually check all the boxes. Paying tithing comes to mind. Ministering to those we’re assigned. Not using profanity. Turns out we can actually get an A+ in some things.
And watching all the sessions of General Conference is one of those delightful things. We can choose, right now, to do this. No one session is most important—all of them are amazing, incredible opportunities to learn the will of the Lord. If you miss one, you might miss the very message that would have meant the most to you. President Henry B. Eyring says we “might pray and ponder, asking the question: Did God send a message that was just for me?”
Here’s how I think of it. I remember Gethsemane. I think of the Savior’s plaintive plea in Matthew 26, when He fell on His face and begged the Father to let this cup pass from Him. Then, of course, said, “nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” And then, in verse 40: “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?”
And I think of General Conference. Could you not watch just five sessions? We are so abundantly blessed to have a living Prophet, living apostles, and other leaders who have fasted and prayed and heeded inspiration in speaking to us. How could we not want to call everyone we know, and let them know these exciting messages are coming up this weekend? For free. It’s truly phenomenal.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, “The more we treasure the words of the prophets and apply them, the better we will recognize when we are drifting off course—even if only by a matter of a few degrees.”
I like taking notes. Yes, these speeches will be available later online and in church magazines, but I find I get more inspiration as I listen, then I can review and reflect on those notes later.
What if some of the talks repeat topics you feel you already know? Then that’s yet another message: This is a topic of such great importance, that it must circle around again until everyone hears it. Maybe we’re slacking in keeping a certain commandment and we need reminding.
Repetition is found throughout our scriptures and throughout Christ’s early ministry. Isaiah used to teach verbally in the town square, repeating and rhyming, doing whatever he could to help truths penetrate and stick. We often need to hear counsel several times to lock it in and own it. Thus, instead of mentally editing a talk, let’s ask ourselves, “Could this be one of those areas where I’m the one who needs a reminder?”
Conference is an exciting time. It’s a blessing available to all of humanity. So when the supermarket checker asks, “Any big plans for the weekend?” you can not only tell about this exciting event that only happens twice a year, but you can invite them to attend, themselves.
Hilton’s books, humor blog, and Youtube Mom videos can be found on her website. She currently serves as an Inter-Faith Specialist for Church Communications.