With General Conference coming up this week, I wanted to take the opportunity to review my favorite speakers—my General Conference “Hall of Fame”. General Conference is a time for Latter-day Saints to recharge their batteries. A time to re-focus on what really matters. A time to learn from church leaders. I love listening to conference. I have a great respect and appreciation for all of our church leaders who sacrifice so much on our behalf. While all of the speakers are inspiring, most of us have our favorites—those who just seem to communicate to us more than others—those who have had an important impact on our lives. So, in honor of this session of conference, I give you my Hall of Fame:
Elder David B. Haight
As he liked to say, “In My mind’s eye”, I can still see Elder Haight giving a smiling and sincere testimony of the Lord. He was so gentle and kind. As I saw him later in life, he didn’t use the teleprompter, he just spoke from his heart. I miss his warm words of encouragement.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell
I wish I could speak as well as Elder Maxwell. He was eloquent, but did not mince words. He is my go-to when I want to find a great quote on any gospel topic.
President Gordon B. Hinckley
President Hinckley is the most memorable speaker from my youth. He signed my mission call. I recall in a talk when he spoke of watching the North Star while sleeping outside as a youth. He spoke of admiring the star’s qualities of consistency and steadfastness. President Hinckley was the North Star to me. He was always there, always consistent. You could always count on President Hinckley—for spiritual inspiration—and also for a good laugh.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
I’m not sure exactly what it is, but when Elder Holland speaks, I have to listen. I love every talk he gives. His words, his voice, he just draws me in. Whenever I am frustrated or discouraged, I turn to my favorite talk of all-time: “An High Priest of Good Things to Come”. Elder Holland delivered this address during the October 1999 Conference, while I was on my mission in Micronesia. It helps me when I am down. A couple of favorite quotes: “But even as the Lord avoids sugary rhetoric, He rebukes faithlessness and He deplores pessimism. He expects us to believe!” “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it…..You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”
I love the words of our church leaders. I am grateful for their kindness, guidance, and love. I want to be like them. I look forward to another inspiring session of Conference. We are blessed to have so many Hall of Famers to lead and guide us as we work to be the best we can be.