General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is coming up this weekend. Becky and I had family council last night and said one of our goals for the week is to make that weekend special.
So, I’ve been thinking about how I can make it the most special. One thing that came to mind was having questions for conference.
I’m just going to “think out loud” and write down a few questions:
- How can I best share the Gospel online with friends?
- If Heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today and forever, why did the Dark Ages happen where people didn’t have the truth for quite some time?
- How can I be a better, more patient father?
- Am I doing everything I need to do in order to support my family?
- What can I do to form better, more consistent habits with personal prayer?
- Is there a best way to study the scriptures topically?
These are a few initial questions I had.
I’m reviewing the First Presidency message from this month and the topic comes to mind:
Why Does God Call Prophets?
Here are some of the highlights:
Much of what the Lord reveals to His prophets is intended to prevent sorrow for us as individuals and as societies. When God speaks, He does so to teach, inspire, refine, and warn His children.
God’s priceless instructions to humankind are found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In addition, the Lord speaks to us through His servants, as He will again at the upcoming general conference.
Read the word of God as found in the scriptures. Listen to general conference with an ear willing to hear the voice of God given through His latter-day prophets. Come, hear, and see with your heart!
From that talked I decided to go back to the October 2011 Conference and look for articles that may have some answers. I found Elder Hales talked titled, “Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done“. Here are some statements that stood out to me:
…the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.”12 Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”13
I’m grateful for the trials I’ve had in my life and for the trials I go through now. These trials have helped me and are helping me become the person I want to be. Without the trial of addiction, I wouldn’t be as aware of how to use the Atonement in my life. I probably wouldn’t be studying right now; I may not have the desire to search and ponder on the words of the prophets.
What is “Waiting Upon the Lord”?
In the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, to anticipate, and to trust. To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19
I feel I’ve had this experience lately as I’ve waited to answer Luke’s questions, as I’ve thought about how to best respond, and ultimately, as I’ve decided to just not respond at all and let things go. As I “waited upon the Lord” and searched for answers in the scriptures and words of the prophets, clear direction came.
We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come.
I’ve felt this answer come as well: my temple experience when I wasn’t sure what to do about my former job. I had to wait, be patient, pray, search, and then the answer came quite clearly.
Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them…Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us.
As we endure physical suffering, we are increasingly aware of how many wait upon each of us. To all the Marys and Marthas, to all of the good Samaritans who minister to the sick, succor the weak, and care for the mentally and physically infirm, I feel the gratitude of a loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father’s will. His assurance to you is clear: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”35 He knows your sacrifices and your sorrows. He hears your prayers. His peace and rest will be yours as you continue to wait upon Him in faith. (this reminded me of Mom and Dad in their time with Grandma Coffman)
I’m grateful for this study today.
I’m excited for the upcoming conference. I look forward to listening, taking notes, and then reviewing the information after the fact. I feel reviewing the words of the prophets has helped me a lot lately to stay on the straight and narrow path.