This Saturday (March 31st) and Sunday (April 1st) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will hold its semi-annual general conference. The conference weekend includes five, two-hour sessions. Approximately 25–30 different officers of the Church will deliver a message. The live audience includes nearly 22,000 people and millions watching and listening in multiple locations and situations. Can you imagine the faith and spirit driven burden upon the shoulders of those asked to speak?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, one who has the privilege and heavy responsibility to address the conference said those who are called upon to speak are “mortal messengers with angelic messages.” Then adding: “Men and women who have all the physical and financial and family difficulties you and I have but who with faith have consecrated their lives to the callings that have come to them and the duty to preach God’s word, not their own.”
“If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit,” Elder Holland appraised, “some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you.”
I think most people can appreciate a specially tailored spiritual message to them–for them. This isn’t a “Mormon moment.” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints didn’t just spring up last year. Nor is it going to fade in tomorrow’s sunset like so many churches do. (See Michael Otterson’s article “Mormon than a Moment.”)
The conferences of the Church have been held twice a year for a long, long time. Elder Holland presented one of the central purposes for the conferences: “We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks, that for our time and in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, “the will of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” (See D&C 68:4).
To receive that “personal prophetic epistle just to you” requires personal effort and disciplined attention. There is lots do this weekend–every weekend–for all of us. Perhaps mortal life is busy and challenging for you right now. Maybe your current circumstances are bringing lots of fulfillment and joy. Perchance you are extremely comfortable and somewhat apathetic in your responsibility to God and fellowmen. Conceivably you are overwhelmed and warn out. Possibly you are in the cold, deep, dark waters of sorrow / and or / sin.
I invite you to tune in this weekend. Heavenly Father does know who you are. He does speak. “Whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). Men and women called of God can deliver a message just for you. More importantly, God can send his messenger, the Holy Ghost, when we seek the voice of the Lord.