One of my very favorite Alex Boyé songs is titled, “Word of God, Speak.” At Girls Camp a few years back, the leaders got the an album of songs about Jesus Christ, and “Word of God, Speak” immediately caught my attention and became my favorite song on the album. It’s my favorite not only for the song lyrics, but simply for the title.
(Let it also be noted that I love Alex Boyé’s music, with all it’s African influences. I love African music more than I probably should.)
This song has especially been on my mind as the world wide Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepares for General Conference. You talk to a student on SVU’s campus, and they’re just as excited as I am. There are breakfast plans, fort-building, and tie bingo all planned for the weekend.
In my Living Prophets institute class, we’ve practically been gearing up for this General Conference from January. The Living Prophets class focuses on the most recent conference addresses given by the leaders in the Church, but especially those talks given by the prophet, First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve. We’ve averaged a talk per class period, with great discussions and a strong spirit. The brothers and sisters in my class, as well as our teacher, are so very dear to me. They bring a lot of insight to the table, which I appreciate. If I could do nothing else, it would be to sit in that classroom and talk about General Conference.
These past few weeks you could feel the excitement in the classroom as we geared up for Conference. Wednesday, as our final class period before Conference, we talked about Ezra Taft Benson’s Fundamentals to Following the Prophet. I was taking notes on the fourteen points, half of me listening to the conversation going on, the other half jotting down notes on what I was thinking about General Conference.
Sometimes I think as members of the Church, we forget that General Conference is a source of living scripture.
I love the scriptures with all my heart. If my house were burning to the ground, the four things I would make sure to grab on my way out the door would be my scriptures, my journal, family photos, and my second set of scriptures. Since I was a little girl, the Bible was my favorite book. As I’ve grown older and become familiar with the Book of Mormon, that sacred work has become just as dear to me as the Old and New Testaments.
I’ve also come to love the apostles, leaders in the Church, and our current Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. We talked Wednesday about how the Lord calls men to be prophets because He love us – so much so that He gives us continual guidance and instruction so that we can return home to Him.
As a child, I never understood why there weren’t any Moseses or Abrahams walking around the earth. I was a pretty bummed child, because Moses and Abraham were my favorites, I loved them so. When I joined the Church, I realized that wasn’t true. They exist! Prophets still exist! They speak! At General Conference!
General Conference is all about receiving instruction from our Heavenly Father, and oh, how it is needed! The instruction is relevant and very real, and precedes things that we never could imagine, but helps us prepare. And I think it’s important to point out that this instruction isn’t simply for baptized-and-confirmed members of the Church – it’s for everyone on the face of the earth. Never has the counsel of the prophets been only for a certain few. Jonah preached to all that would listen (and some that would not), Christ’s words echoed across Israel for all of those who had ears. He that hath ears, let him hear.
I love what I learn from General Conference. It rejuvenates and inspires me, teachings me things that I had never learned before, and perhaps, most importantly, gives me a reality check. The speakers words reminds me that I am loved by my Father in Heaven, and that I am a part of something bigger than myself. That there is more hope than despair in this world, and that the forces for good can always triumph.
God is speaking, and I will be listening and writing it all on my heart. Some addresses may effect me more than others, but each message is for someone in particular. God speaks not only in the talks, but also in the prayers and in the music by the various choirs. He speaks in the silence. And I love it. Every second, I love it. And by Sunday evening, I wish I could rewind and do it all again. I am saddened by the fact that General Conference only occurs twice a year, but am heartened by the fact that I have six months to study the words and principles taught, and to study my scriptures in preparation for the next conference.
Most of all, I am thankful that God speaks.
I thought, in preparation for this spring’s conference sessions, I might share with you some of my favorite talks from October’s session:
Of Regrets and Resolutions – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency
Protect the Children – Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve
First Observe, Then Serve – Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President
Learning With Our Hearts – Elder Walter F. González, Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy
Come Unto Me, O Ye House of Israel – Elder Larry Echo Hawk, of the Quorum of the Seventy
Where is the Pavilion? – President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor in the First Presidency
See Others as They May Become – President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church