It’s a special weekend for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every six months (the first weekend of April and October), Mormons gather virtually and in person to listen to our prophet and apostles and other general leaders of the Church in General Conference. General Conference consists of four two-hour general sessions (two on Saturday and two on Sunday) and an evening session on Saturday night (one for boys and men 12 and older in April and one for girls and women 8 and older in October).
For those who aren’t members of the Church, General Conference can give you an idea of basic beliefs and standards that matter to us as Mormons.
For those who are members of the Church, this is a time to reflect on our beliefs and renew our commitment to our standards. It’s also a time where we seek personal guidance for our individual lives.
How can a few talks over a couple of days have such a personal impact on millions of people? We believe in personal revelation, meaning that we can get personalized answers for our lives directly from God. It’s always interesting to me to see what kinds of things will stick out to people as they listen and consider the counsel and teachings shared in General Conference.
I love this quote from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one of the twelve apostles.
We who are General Authorities and general officers are called to teach His general rules. You and we then lead specific lives and must seek the Lord’s guidance regarding specific circumstances. But there would be mass confusion and loss of gospel promises if no general ideal and no doctrinal standard were established and, in our case today, repeated.
You can expect to hear a lot about general concepts and commandments and principles in General Conference. We at Mormon Women also encourage listeners to seek God’s help for specific circumstances, both during Conference sessions and also in weeks and months to come as you ponder the messages given. (How many times have I heard a talk and not necessarily connected with it in the moment but then found deep personal insight as I studied the talk later?)
Here’s another quote that celebrates this opportunity for us to get personal guidance about our lives. The quote is from Elder Richard G. Scott who was an apostle for many years before his death in 2015.
Throughout the ages, many have obtained guidance helpful to resolve challenges in their lives by following the example of respected individuals who resolved similar problems. Today, world conditions change so rapidly that such a course of action is often not available to us.
Personally, I rejoice in that reality because it creates a condition where we, of necessity, are more dependent upon the Spirit to guide us through the vicissitudes of life. Therefore, we are led to seek personal inspiration in life’s important decisions.
I am grateful to know that we worship a God who both cares about guiding us collectively and who also knows us individually and will guide us in very personal ways.
God bless us all this weekend and beyond as we ponder the words of the prophets. We welcome any who are not of our faith to join us to learn more about our faith.
This General Conference will also be special because we will have what is called a solemn assembly to sustain our new prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. Two new apostles will also be called to replace those who have passed away.
Find out the many ways to connect with LDS General Conference.