If you are reading this and are not Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I believe that the men who lead my Church are called of God. I believe that they are prophets, not necessarily that they can "predict" the future, but that they are "set apart" or "consecrated" to give guidance and be in essence, the voice of the Lord, to the members of the Church.
Every six months, for two two-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, with one evening meeting for the men, we gather in buildings all over the world, on the internet and televisions in our homes and eagerly await what they will tell us. Most times it's really nothing new, but I always receive inspiration and guidance for my own personal life each conference.
Here's a quote from one of my favorite talks from last conference: " Since then I have pondered this experience and the role of prophets. I was burdened and my head was down. As the prophet spoke, I looked to him. He redirected my focus to look up to God, where I could be healed and strengthened through Christ’s Atonement. That is what prophets do for us. They lead us to God." Elder Carol B. Cook, It Is Better to Look Up
I should have posted this earlier, but I have been trying to be better prepared spiritually this time to hear conference. I mean, I LOVE conference weekend! We don't have any other meetings. I can wear my jammies all day. We always get together as a family on Sunday morning and enjoy brunch, I love being able to soak in the spirit of the talks in my home, but I feel like I haven't really prepared to receive the inspiration that is being imparted.
That being said, I've been trying for the past couple of weeks to prepare to hear the word of the Lord. I've been praying for the speakers and leaders, and most especially, re-reading the past conference. What a rich outpouring of inspiration I have received by re-reading those talks!
In fact, the other morning I was feeling SO frustrated about the number of things I had on my to-do list. I really didn't know what to start first. I'm sure you know the feeling. I sort of glumly sat down to read one of the messages from the Saturday afternoon conference, which happened to be Elder Bednar's talk on family history. Wow, I couldn't believe the answers I received! And my answers had nothing to do with family history. Through his talk, I was able to calm down, realize what my priorities should be for that day and in fact, many of the following talks in that session spoke of priorities and using time wisely!
We heard an amazing talk last Sunday by a sister who shared the experience of her son as he prepared to hear conference almost ten years ago. He had just graduated from medical school and was preparing to enter a difficult residency. His wife had been diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer and shortly thereafter, his young daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He anxiously listened to conference, hoping to receive answers, but all he heard was basically "hang in there" through your trials. In frustration, he actually wrote a letter to the First Presidency, never intending for it to be mailed. He just wanted to get his thoughts on paper. His wife found the letter and mailed it. He received a tender personal reply from President Monson, then a counselor in the First Presidency. She read the letter to us, with her son's permission, and it was a beautiful reply and a promise to remember his family in the special temple session of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. His wife and daughter still suffer some of the effects of their illnesses, but they are both still alive and they have been able to "hang in there" through their trials.
This just further motivated me to be more prepared spiritually, and physically in my home to receive the Word of the Lord. I am so excited to receive the personal guidance and inspiration that will be available this weekend.
Hope you are too!