Thursday, March 15, 2007

General Conference

Just as I have posted my thoughts and feelings about the living prophets, I listen to a wonderful talk about the importance of heeding those living oracles. After writing the Mosiah 2 post, I decided to do something about my lack of studying the conference talks.

Today's technology has blessed us with so many ways of accessing the living prophets. The General Conference pages on have each talk in varous formats ... text, audio and visual. The audio component of each talk is downloadable. So I downloaded all the talks (except the Priesthood session because they don't have .mp3s for those) and I burned them onto a CD. My car stero plays .mp3s and so now I instead of listening to talk radio or music, I listen to the prophets. And what a blessing it has been these last couple of weeks. The Spirit has been in my life a lot more now because of me listening to those talks.

This morning I finished listening to all the talks. Elder Holland's talk was a perfect bookend to the October General Conference. He spoke of how General Conference is not only for members of the Church but for the entire world. He said of the General Conferences,

they declare eagerly and unequivocally that there is again a living prophet on the earth speaking in the name of the Lord. And how we need such guidance! Our times are turbulent and difficult. We see wars internationally and distress domestically. Neighbors all around us face personal heartaches and family sorrows. Legions know fear and troubles of a hundred kinds. This reminds us that when those mists of darkness enveloped the travelers in Lehi's vision of the tree of life, it enveloped all of the participants—the righteous as well as the unrighteous, the young along with the elderly, the new convert and seasoned member alike. In that allegory all face opposition and travail, and only the rod of iron—the declared word of God—can bring them safely through. We all need that rod. We all need that word. No one is safe without it, for in its absence any can "[fall] away into forbidden paths and [be] lost," as the record says.4 How grateful we are to have heard God's voice and felt the strength of that iron rod in this conference these past two days.

I am looking forward to listening to General Conference again in a couple of weeks. The Spirit indeed fills our lives when we listen to General Conference.

As I listented to Elder Holland and then President Hinckley conclude the October 2006 conference, my heart strings were pulled a little bit ... much like they are pulled when you have to go home from a family reunion ... you are sad to leave your loved ones, but you know you'll see them again. But again, technology saved the day and my mp3 player looped my CD as I listened again to President Hinckley's opening remarks!

As a side note, there are many, many talks on the Internet in mp3 format. BYU Speeches has many devotionals in mp3 format ... if I just take the time to rip and burn these files to CD, I doubt I'll ever listen to the radio in the car again!