A tweet prior to General Conference caused me to reflect:
The first time I remember General Conference being cool and not a cramp on my weekend was when I was 14 years old. I had started high school and seminary and we were attending a ward where I had friends and felt comfortable. The Elders Quorum President was recently released and made our Sunday School teacher, and he dove into the calling. He invited our whole class over to his house for breakfast and to watch the Saturday morning session with his family. I remember feeling loved. I remember the camaraderie with my classmates.
All of that was nice and is an important aspect of Christ’s church. He formed the church that we may be perfected, to be strengthened in the faith. Relationships with fellow believers can help us to have the courage of conviction in times of trial. I recall liking my classmates and my teacher. I don’t remember any interactions with them that day. I do remember feeling the spirit when I heard President Gordon B. Hinckley speak. I remember the confirmation given to me that he was the Lord’s prophet. I knew it. I didn’t receive a witness that day because I was around friends, rather my teacher had the wisdom to give us an opportunity to have a spiritual experience when honestly most of us might have taken a pass. I went home and watched the remaining eight hours of General Conference that weekend.
I remember the last Conference I watched prior to turning in my mission papers and subsequently leaving for the MTC and Mexico. I was struck by the Spirit listening to Henry B. Eyring’s talk, so much so I remember it nearly two decades later. I remember how I felt when I listened to Richard G. Scott while in the MTC. Those experiences helped to shape my spiritual conversion, a conversion I am still trying to build. General Conference is a wonderful opportunity for each of us to listen to God’s mouthpieces and invite the Spirit to work within us. This year, I helped to take new members and investigators around to various members’ homes where they could watch – not just to feel camaraderie, but an opportunity to feel the Spirit.
I’ve grown to love listening to General Conference – ten hours is no longer a chore, but a blessing that goes by too quickly. Many people express remorse when Conference ends, lamenting the six-month wait. Teancum’s Javelin was created after the last session to bring the feeling of General Conference all year long. Every post has supplemental messages from the Brethren. It is a joy for me to edit every post and read Conference talks to add to the “Supplemental Reading” and it has strengthened my resolve and testimony.
Anyone is invited to share their testimony on our ever-growing platform. We are here to strengthen the Saints, to perfect them. It is my way of paying it forward for my Sunday School teacher. The brotherhood is what brings us together, but it’s the Spirit that bids us stay. Read, Write, Comment, Share. Welcome to our new readers. Feel free to reach out with your testimony and we can work together to publish it and make the Spirit of General Conference a year-long event.
- “The Gospel in Our Lives” – Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 2002
- “The True, Pure, and Simple Gospel of Jesus Christ” – Elder M. Russell Ballard, April 2019
- “Build a Fortress of Spirituality and Protection” – Elder Ronald A. Rasband, April 2019
You can follow Dustin on Twitter at @TheDMT1232.