Saturday, the 3rd of October 2009, marked the 179th Semi-Annual "General Conference" of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the "Mormons"). Fortunately, I was able to attend ALL sessions via BYU TV and loved every minute of it. I have even recorded each session so I can watch segments over the next 6 months and study the words of the modern day Prophets.
At the invitation of our Stake President, I approached General Conference with personal prayer on subjects of personal interest and need. I hoped for answers, but knew that those answers would only come after personal study and meditation. Studying it out in my own mind, then asking God for confirmation.
The first answer came in the form of a hymn sung by the Tabernacle Choir, Saturday morning session. "Choose the Right, and God will bless you evermore." I believe that hymn carried the message of the Conference: "Agency ... We are free to choose."
We choose how we "respond" to challenges. We choose to be more diligent and concerned at home; Agency, the power to choose, was part of our pre-existant birthright; We are free to choose Temperance, Restraint, Yet patient in affliction - hold the course under pressure;
I thought Boyd K. Packers talk on "Spiritual Communication" was timely.
During the Saturday evening Priesthood Session, M. Russell Ballard gave valuable advice to Fathers and Sons on "How to Talk Together."
President Uchtdorph related principles that sustained him through his very difficult youth and early adulthood. He counseled: Work ... Fill your life with work. Be steady and consistent and things will improve.
Learn ... Education is not just a good idea, it is a commandment.
I loved President Eyrings talk "Those who are prepared, shall answer the call." He recalled an experience when a neighbors child had been hit by a car and not expected to live. President Eyring was called by the parents to administer. He had no time to prepare, but had oil and faith, and had lived the gospel so that God would have no trouble "finding him." He blessed the child ... and she lived.
President Monson spoke of "Anger." A feeling that many of us have found invading our souls as times get tougher. Sometimes we place blame for our circumstances ... and that leads to anger.
There were others ... but President Monson's talk on "Service," just confirmed my own convictions that unless we loose ourselves in the service of others, we are left to reflect on our own miseries ... and become selfish with our time, talents, and means. "We loose ourselves in pursuit of the "thick of thin things," when we don't serve," said President Monson.
My testimony of God and His eternal plan of happiness was strengthened by listening to conference and then studying the notes I took, and recording my feelings in my journal. How blessed I feel to have access to a "fountain of living waters," even the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its Prophets and Apostles. To be taught what God would have us know about how to survive these troubled times, is truly the Pearl of Great Price spoken of in the scriptures.
I know God lives and that he loves us. I also know that there are laws on which blessings are predicated, and obedience to those laws are essential to receiving those blessings. I feel I am better equipped to live those laws, having sat at the feet of wise men and women during this Conference.