Last June I posted some notes about the previous General Conference three months before, saying that I wanted to review them halfway between the last and the next General Conferences. That would mean that my October review should have been posted about a week ago. Better late than never, here are some thoughts about the most recent General Conference:
- This was an unusually spiritual conference. Yes, all conferences are spiritual, but this one was clearly meant to prepare us internally to be clean and sensitive to God.
- There were two powerful talks about the Book of Mormon: Elder Holland’s career-making landmark address (and this after his other career-making landmark address about the Atonement last Spring!), and Elder Gonzalez’s in the Priesthood Session. Together, they have helped me have a more bold attitude about this miraculous book.
- There were at least four talks that focused on being pure, worthy, and virtuous: H. David Burton’s, Quentin L. Cook’s (which also stands as a great motivator to charity), D. Todd Christofferson’s, and Thomas S. Monson’s closing remarks, all from the Sunday sessions. Bishop Burton and President Monson both introduce their talks with statements about society’s increasing wickedness.
- And, of course, there were all the talks about cultivating a closer relationship to the Holy Ghost. I’ve never seen a conference where so many talks were about one single thing. Shortly after conference, I received a forwarded email with the text of an article from Meridian Magazine about this, and after reviewing my notes, I agree with the author. Here’s the major theme of this last conference:
Of the 29 individuals who addressed us, 16 of them spoke about the Holy Ghost – how we can cultivate the gift of the Holy Ghost, how to improve our sensitivity to promptings, how to purify our lives so we can hear gentle spiritual communications, and related counsel – in other words, how we can gain personal instruction to guide us through coming events from the Source that knows everything. In speaking order:
Elder Scott: Consistently strive to recognize and follow the feelings prompted by the Spirit.
Sister Matsumori: Help others become more familiar with promptings of the Spirit.
Elder Clayton: Be humble so you can hear the word of the Lord.
President Uchtdorf: Listen for the Father’s voice for it leads to the ministration of the Holy Spirit.
Elder Oaks: Listen and feel of God’s love.
Elder Hales: Yield to the influence of the Holy Ghost.
Elder Watson: Be temperate in all things as guided by the Holy Ghost.
Elder Anderson: Turn away from pride, anger and impure thoughts.
President Packer: The Holy Ghost communicates to our spirit with promptings and impressions.
President Eyring: Learn to follow inspiration.
President Monson: Refrain from anger so you will have the Spirit with you.
Elder Perry: Listen to the Spirit for guidance.
Bishop Burton: Let virtue garnish your thoughts.
Sister Dibb: Use the safety equipment of scriptures, prophets, and the Holy Ghost.
Elder Nelson: Cultivate spiritual discernment.
Elder Ringwood: Be sensitive to the Holy Ghost.
Perhaps the ultimate homework for me now is from this scripture, quoted by Elder Bednar in his talk about improving family life: “That which the Spirit testifies unto you even so I would that ye should do” (D&C 46:7).