Nov 17, 2013

Strengthening Faith and Testimony

I am so excited to welcome you to the first ever meeting of the General Conference Club here at It's Our Life.  Today we will be discussing the talk GENERAL CONFERENCE:  STRENGTHENING FAITH AND TESTIMONY given by Elder Robert D. Hales.  You can read it, watch it, listen to it, and print it here.   
First item of business:  Did you notice that in your November 2013 Ensign, at the end of every Apostle's or Prophet's talk(s), there is a QR code.  It looks like this.   
Scan the code with any QR code reader App on your smartphone or if you don't have a smartphone (like my husband) the link is provided for you to type into the browser of your choice.
Once the link is open.  This page (or a  page similar) will appear.
You can watch a short video that summarizes that talk
 or there is a quote graphic you can like and share on Facebook (a great missionary opportunity).
 There are also links to the talk on and a link to learn more about that person.
The Church has definitely made it easy for us to use technology for gospel purposes.
Now on to our Talk of the Day:
General Conference:  Strengthening Faith and Testimony
by Elder Robert D. Hales
I had heard the challenge and promise to think of a question you need an answer to, pray about it in the week leading up to Conference, and you will receive an answer during Conference.  This year I decided for the first time to take that challenge.  I had three things that were troubling me.  A week before General Conference, I wrote them down on a piece of paper.  And then I asked each of those three questions during every one of my personal prayers that week. 
 All three of my questions were answered.  And since we're club-mates and all, over the weeks I'll share with you my experience. 
In the very last paragraph of Elder Hales' talk he gives us the same challenge and promise:
"I promise you in [Jesus] name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father's voice in the messages of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence."
This is the Lord's Conference
"These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit."
Elder Hales then goes on to remind us that no one is assigned a topic to speak on during General Conference.  They "wait upon the Lord.  Through fasting, praying, studying, and pondering, [until they] learn the message that He wants [them] to give."
"Oh, how we need general conference!  Through conferences our faith is fortified and our testimonies deepened."
Listening and Heeding  to the Words of the Prophets = Safety
"The world is moving away from the Lord faster and father than ever before.  The adversary has been loosed upon the earth.  We watch, hear, read, and study, and share the words of the prophets to be forewarned and protected."
We Must Study, Share, and Apply What We Have Learned in Conference
Elder Hales quotes from 3 prophets to emphasize how important this is.
1.  President Harold B. Lee
     "The only safety we have as members of this church is to. . . .give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet. . . .If you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that 'the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; . . .and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory' (D&C 21:6)."
2.  President Spencer W. Kimball
" I have made up my mind that when I go home from this [general] conference. . . there are many, many areas in my life that I can perfect.  I have made a mental list of them, and I expect to go to work as soon as we get through.
3.  President Thomas S. Monson
"I encourage you to read the talks. . .and to ponder the messages contained therein.  I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when I study them in greater depth."
A Counsel With A Promise
Elder Hales then gives us his own counsel: 
"Heavenly Father wants us to regularly study and apply what we have learned on conference. 
And a promise that we and our families will be blessed:
I testify that those who put their trust in the Lord and heed this counsel will gain great strength to bless themselves and their families for generations to come.
There is NO EXCUSE!
We really have no excuse to not study the conference talks.
"We receive the printed Church magazines within three weeks of the general conference. . . On a computer, phone, or other electronic device, we can read, listen to, watch, and share the teachings of the prophets.  Anytime, anywhere, we can enlarge our knowledge, strengthen our faith and testimony, protect our families, and lead them safely home."
 General Conference is so important.
. How do you make the time to study the conference talks? 
.  Elder Hales touches on the need to involve your children in General Conference.  What does you family do to accomplish this?  You can read one of the things my family does here. 
.  Elder Hales also counsels us to find out what our kids are learning in their youth curriculum and use it for our personal study, family discussions, family home evenings, etc.  Are you doing this?  What are you doing?
I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, favorite quote, life experiences, anything that has to do with this talk or conference in general.  Feel free to leave a comment or email me.
Next Week's Assignment:
We Never Walk Alone
by President Thomas S. Monson
(from the General Relief Society Meeting)