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The whole church is abuzz. It’s hard to remember a General Conference so packed with brand new policies and procedures. It seems like one headline after another: Solemn Assembly! A New Prophet! Two new apostles! One gigantic Melchizedek Priesthood Quorum! Seven new temples (Russia! India!), New Young Women’s Presidency! New Seventies! And Ministering replaces Home and Visiting Teaching!
After the General Priesthood Session when the High Priests’ Quorum and Elders’ Quorums were combined, our eldest son quipped, “Once again, the Relief Society is already ahead of the game.”
It’s certainly an exciting time for the LDS Church. Those who missed Conference were quickly brought up to speed as these groundbreaking announcements were passed along.
And then I heard someone say, “I didn’t hear it, but I got the gist.” No, my friend, you did not “get the gist.” You got the headlines. You got the news that would pique the interest of the mainstream media.
You kind of missed everything. Yes, I gasped along with the rest of the membership as these new changes were announced. We were all happily surprised, I think. But that didn’t begin to compare to the goosebumps, the tears, and the heart-pounding moments in our leaders’ talks, as their inspired words went straight to our souls and brought us closer to Christ.
Without a doubt, these were some of the most wonderful talks I’ve ever heard. This is what everyone should be shouting about. And yes, I know many are still basking in the glow of what they learned and how they felt from the messages. But it needs to be all of us. We all need to set aside time for all the Conference sessions, and then humbly submit to improvement as we listen to inspired counsel.
Have you ever heard such a clear blueprint for how to get personal revelation, as was delivered by our new prophet, Russell M. Nelson? Without naming names and thus overlooking some, there were awesome talks about pure love, the power of simple things, the way meekness actually looks, how to forgive others and how to be forgiven, how to parent, how to cope with adversity (okay, sometimes that feels like the same thing), how to really hear and follow the Holy Ghost, and above all, how to draw close to our Lord and Savior. I felt bathed in beautiful Easter messages, each one giving us a new facet to that sparkling diamond. I came away filled to overflowing with ideas about how I can do better, try again, and be happy.
Yes, all the news announcements were dramatic and thrilling. But the lessons within the talks had the most power to change our lives and exalt us. I mentioned that one of the talks focused upon the power of simple things. And the entire General Conference illustrated it: A simple message, a single moment in a talk when an idea resonates. That’s what we miss if we miss even part of General Conference. It was super exciting, but for many more reasons than the headline stuff.
Hilton’s new LDS novel, Golden, is available in paperback and on Kindle. All her books and YouTubeMom videos can be found on her website. She currently serves as an Interfaith Specialist for Public Affairs.