Ah, General Conference. For those of you not of my faith, General Conference is a special set of church meetings that only occur twice a year. This began with Joseph Smith back in 1830, the same year the church was organized in this dispensation. It is held every April and October in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a time when we hear messages directly from our current prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, as well as his counselors, the current quorum of the 12 Apostles, and other general authority and auxiliary leaders.
This is important as we believe that any true Christian church must be led and directed by revelation from the Lord Jesus Christ through those having Priesthood authority. This has been true as far back as there have been men and women on the earth, and it is true today. We believe that God is unchangeable, that He always works by the same principles, adapted to the circumstances that we live in. We believe that the most important prophet is the current one, for he will have messages of special importance for us today. For example, no amount of knowledge or revelation given in the time of Adam and Eve would have helped Noah build the Ark, just as none in Noah’s time would have helped Moses lead the exodus from Egypt, deliver the 10 Commandments or set forth the Mosaic Law.
Consequently those messages given at General Conference are those deemed most important by the Lord for us to hear at this time. Conference takes place in five 2-hour sessions over the first weekend in April in October including a special 2-hour session for male priesthood holders, and an additional 2-hour session for women the previous weekend. As I watched this weekend I started thinking about which of the talks given might be most appropriate to share on my blog. I’ve selected nine which affected me in one way or another. I hope you will enjoy them too, and if you’re not of my faith that you might learn a little more about us and what we believe. I tried to see if I could directly embed the video into this post so you could see a picture of the video before clicking on it, but I wasn’t able to do so. Oh well! You can just click on the links below and see the talks just as easily, though. Please feel free to check out whichever ones happen to interest you, and discuss what you thought or felt while watching them!
Elder Holland’s talk: This is a talk from Jeffrey R. Holland in which he talks about the First Great Commandment.
Elder Nelson’s talk: This talk is from Russell M. Nelson, and talks about missionaries and missionary work. It is particularly well-suited to those not of my faith.
Elder Ballard’s talk: This talk is from M. Russel Ballard, and discusses the important of service in the Christian life.
Elder Hawk’s talk: This talk is from Larry Echo Hawk; he talks about the Book of Mormon and how it relates to the American Indians, of which he is one.
President Eyring’s talk: This is Henry B. Eyring’s talk, which is about life’s troubles and those times when we feel that God is far from us.
President Monson’s talk: This talk is from Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church. He talks about several things, none of which are easy for me to summarize.
Elder Scott’s talk: This talk discusses the importance of genealogy work and the vicarious work for the dead done in our temples.
The following talks don’t have direct links yet, unfortunately. I delayed this page for a day hoping it would happen, but didn’t want to wait longer. As they become available I will link them here:
Elder Nash’s talk: Marcus B. Nash discusses faith and it’s role in a disciple of Christ.
Elder Johnson’s talk: Daniel L. Johnson talks about true discipleship of Christ.
Elder Bednar’s talk: David A. Bednar, in the final talk of conference, talks about the different between having a testimony of Christ and true conversion.
It is interesting to note that none of the speakers in General Conference are assigned to speak on any specific topic. Each are free to pick a talk on any subject they like, but in each conference there is little overlap, and many of the talks seem to complement the others. If you have any questions or want to know any more, please feel free to contact me directly, ask one of your friends who is LDS or visit the website mormon.org for a place to start.