Cover image via Church Newsroom.
I stepped out onto the cobblestone street in Charleston, South Carolina with my hearing device snuggled in my ears. Although, the historic town of Charleston was not typically the place I would listen to General Conference, I anxiously waited to hear counsel from a living Prophet. Believing I would receive specific guidance for my life, I was eager to listen for that one penetrating message with the hope of knowing this is where the Lord needed me to focus.
This brought me to reflect upon a time when our living Prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, could not speak in General Conference. We as a people did not hear his voice in General Conference for the last few years of his life. Yet, I remember several of his legendary addresses, such as, Beware of Pride and The Book of Mormon-Keystone of Our Religion which greatly impacted my life. What a privilege it is to receive counsel from a living Prophet of God, “the privilege of hearing the voice of the Lord.”
Surprisingly, during President Nelson’s Welcome to Conference address, THE message came like a news flash – “Remove the old debris from your life”. Since spring is for cleaning out the winter cobwebs, the opening of windows, plantings seeds, and new beginnings, this idea of removing old debris rang true both spiritually and physically. I certainly received additional guidance over the course of the five sessions of General Conference, yet, this message seemed to be the guide post for all other counsel I heard.
“I invite you to pray to identify the debris you should remove from your life so you can become more worthy. . . I . . . testify that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son know and love you individually. They stand ready to assist you in every step forward you take.”
Next, I heard active verbs such as listen, identify & cultivate, be still, study, choose, act, partake & ask God to help you.
Then A Prophet’s Call
Start Today to Increase Your Faith
- Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life
- Your mountains will vary
- The answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith
- To do anything well takes work
- Becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ requires effort
- Increasing your faith and trust in Him takes effort
- The mountains in our lives do not always move how or when we would like
- Our faith will always propel us forward
- Faith always increases our access to godly power.
Later, as I listened to the Priesthood session, I heard these phrases and counsel.
The Hope of Serenity & Security
“Make your home truly a sanctuary of faith. There are few pursuits more important than this. Between now and the time the Lord comes again, we all need our homes to be places of serenity and security. As faith and holiness decrease in this fallen world, your need for holy places will increase. I urge you to continue to make your home a truly holy place “and be not moved” from that essential goal.”
Work Together – God wants us to work together and help each other.
Experience Joy! – Experience with joy the righteousness you will bring to pass
Be Still – In contrast to commotion, the voice of the Lord is not “a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but … it [is] a still voice of perfect mildness, [like] a whisper, and it [pierces] even to the very soul.” To hear this still voice, you too must be still!
Choose to Fill Your Time, Instill Peace and Create Time
We can use our time to hear the voice of the Lord whispering His guidance, comfort, and peace.
Quiet time is sacred time—time that will facilitate personal revelation and instill peace.
Discipline yourself to have time alone and with your loved ones. Open your heart to God in prayer.
Invitations for Action
The Lord wants us to learn from our experiences during this pandemic. I invite you to make your own list, consider it carefully, and share it with those you love.
The temple was the crowning event.
I pray that your desire to worship and serve in the temple burns more brightly now than ever.
We are building now for the future! To bring the house of the Lord closer to our members.
May all have the sacred privilege of attending the temple often.
Temples are a vital part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness.
Ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength available in no other way.
We thank God for those blessings.
I have received specific guidance for my life, several penetrating messages of hope and direction showing me what the Lord needs me to focus on to press forward. What a privilege it is to receive counsel from a living Prophet of God, “the privilege of hearing the voice of the Lord.”
All quotes were taken from conference talks by President Nelson from the April 2021 General Conference:
- President Russell M. Nelson, Welcome Message, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Apr. 2021 General Conference, Accessed 10 April 2021.
- President Russell M. Nelson, Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Apr. 2021 General Conference, Accessed 10 April 2021.
- President Russell M. Nelson, What We Are Learning and Will Never Forget, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Apr. 2021 General Conference, Accessed 10 April 2021.
- President Russell M. Nelson, Covid-19 and Temples, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, Apr. 2021 General Conference, Accessed 10 April 2021.