I used to look forward to General Conference two times a year. I don’t simply look forward to it anymore. Now, I find that I need it. I often envision myself crawling across the scorching desert sand calling out “water…water…” as I drag myself by my fingertips to the feet of the Prophet and the Apostles for Living Water. It’s a little dramatic but you understand.
When the Prophet says, “There is much more to come.… Eat your vitamin pills. Get your rest. It’s going to be exciting,”1 then we know we had best be prepared for what comes next. We have experienced changes happening rapidly as the Savior leads His church to keep ahead of the adversary’s attempts to thwart Heavenly Father’s plans.
When we hear something during these precious days of inspiration that takes us by surprise, how do we respond? We could compare our reactions to the parable of the sower with the seed falling on different types of soil. If we want to know that something said during conference is true, then we had better follow Alma’s counsel and treat the topic as a precious seed instead of letting the message fall onto dry, rocky ground. Let us nourish it by placing it in good soil, watering it and tending it. We would do that by first, keeping our hearts open. Sometimes we want to shut out anything that doesn’t feel familiar to us. Second, we need to ponder the words spoken. What does the message mean for you? How is it supportive of the Lord’s purposes? Third, we ought to spend time on our knees, pleading with the Lord for a witness that what was spoken is right. Fourth, we need to continue seeking for answers for as long as it takes. Nephi taught us about enduring to the end. Sometimes seeking answers can feel like we might reach the end before they come but keep going. The witness will come.
Not only can you seek for confirmation after a message has been given, you can also prepare yourself to receive before conference starts. I have personally made a list of questions that were weighing upon my mind and prayed about them for weeks ahead of time. You might consider fasting beforehand or during the conference to be able to recognize the answers you seek or to be able to feel that the messages are true. There is a special power during conference weekend. I imagine that the power of the Holy Ghost is glorious as it reaches across the entire world at the same time. I have felt the difference between participating in the conference with millions of faithful people and then going back to watch it alone. The difference is tangible. Prepare yourself to receive.
President Nelson encouraged us to seek answers for ourselves, teaching, “What will your seeking open for you? What wisdom do you lack? What do you feel an urgent need to know or understand? Follow the example of the Prophet Joseph. Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.
“Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will “grow into the principle of revelation.” 2
What a beautiful privilege to be able to “sit at the feet of the Prophet and Apostles” while the Holy Ghost testifies to our hearts of the power of what is spoken from on High! Keep seeking answers by petitioning and pondering until you have received your own witness of the truth.
1. Russell M. Nelson, in “Latter-day Saint Prophet, Wife and Apostle Share Insights of Global Ministry,” Newsroom, Oct. 30, 2018
2. “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” President Russell M. Nelson, April 2018, General Conference