We have a new book of scripture! General Conference brings the word of God to each of us with ears to hear!
When we lived in Pennsylvania, I accompanied the missionaries to the home of a lady who had not attended church with us in some time. The elders, surely hoping to stir the seemingly dying embers of her testimony, showed her a 20 minute clip of President Monson’s then recent Conference talk. I thought he taught some great points with the stories he told and found myself wishing for some paper to take a few notes.
After the talk ended, one of the elders turned to our friend and said, “How did it feel, hearing a prophet of God speak to you?” She regarded us for a moment then responded,
“I thought that was one of the most boring things I’ve ever sat through. What was he even talking about? Did he have a point?”
Dumbstruck, the elders were rendered speechless. The moment was slightly comical, if not for how sad it was…
Of this type of heart, Jesus said
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear….
For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
Because we know that the Apostles who spoke to us this last weekend truly are Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ, we know that their words will have breathtaking relevance in our lives. (Have you ever had a specific prayer that was answered perfectly in Conference? I have!)
But if we are listening to the talks waiting to be entertained, looking for something to criticize, or just because we know we are supposed to be listening, chances are, you’ll think it was a rather boring talk.
We have 15 Apostles of Jesus on the Earth today. Some of them speak with such power that you feel their words booming in your chest. Some tell stories. Some quote long passages of scripture. Some tell anecdotes that are witty and easy to remember. Some have a hard time finishing sentences without weeping. Some are feeble and one can see that it is taking every ounce of their energy to deliver their words.
One of the most famous conference talks of the Book of Mormon is from King Benjamin. How did he deliver his talk, from which many quote? We will never know, but we do have this verse:
For even at this time, my whole frame doth tremble exceedingly while attempting to speak unto you
Did we see any of our beloved apostles trembling as they mustered every bit of physical strength to teach the word of God?
The world loves to cheer on the strong, the beautiful, the talented and the perfectly delivered address. But we are short-sighted if we use this same superficial judgment on Conference talks.
Of Jesus, Isaiah wrote
…he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
What are we looking for in men and women of God? What do we need to see or hear in order to believe they are truly sent from God? Those who walked the dusty roads of Nazareth were faced with the same question. By what measure did they justify to esteem Him as naught?
If we can see with our spiritual eyes, we can see Apostles of Jesus teaching us His word. In their words, we can hear the voice of the Lord to our hearts and our minds.
For today’s study, see the challenge below!
The Challenge: Think of one of the talks you heard that seemed at first to be boring, not directed toward you, or without the things in a talk you usually like. Go watch the talk again! Read the transcript when it comes out. Study it thoroughly to remind yourself that the word of God comes through His chosen servants if we can but hear it!