Thursday, October 10, 2013

Elder Hale's Talk: Strengthening Faith and Testimony



What an exciting time we live!  A day with living prophets and apostles on the earth.
 
And they speak to us twice a year, giving us inspired messages from our Father in Heaven.  We truly are blessed to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today with Jesus Christ Himself as the  head. 



This past weekend we had General Conference where members of the LDS faith and anyone else who was interested listened to our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as well as 14 other men we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators; and other leaders of the Church.
View the entire Conference {HERE}



For me it is inspiring, spiritual, and becomes incredibly strengthening and rejuvenating.   It is current revelation and becomes scripture for the times we live in today. 

I usually never just sit and listen to conference.  I am one of those who is always taking notes.  I take notes on what I hear, what I want to remember, or what I am feeling...a revelation for my own life.  Although we will receive the entire conference through our Ensign magazine in a month, I internalize everything more if I am also writing down my own notes, and personal impressions I receive as I am listening.  This time I also wanted to pay particular attention to the individual testimonies of each speaker.



For the next few months on this blog I am going to be studying the words of our prophets and apostles and striving to apply these teachings to my life as a mother, wife, friend, and daughter of God. 

 

Elder Robert D. Hales:
 
So many things I loved about Elder Hales talk!  The whole talk just really strengthened my testimony of the power and faith that I feel each time I listen to General Conference.  General Conference has become a favorite holiday in our house. We prep for it, eat a lot of food, and are a crazy note taking family. See my other posts on our General Conference Traditions.

One of my favorite statements from Elder Hales talk was this:

"I testify that we are gathered in His conference. I also testify that we will hear His word, for He has said, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”

 
 
I love the history lesson he gave of past General Conferences dating all the way back to Adam. It is a reminder of the continuing revelation of the Lords true Church that has never changed.
 
 
"Conferences have always been part of the true Church of Jesus Christ. Adam gathered his posterity and prophesied of things to come. Moses gathered the children of Israel and taught them the commandments he had received. The Savior taught multitudes gathered both in the Holy Land and on the American continent. Peter gathered believers in Jerusalem. The first general conference in these latter days was convened just two months after the Church was organized, and conferences have continued to this very day.

 
This window into the background of our apostles and prophets preparing for conference was touching to me, and also very "regular".  They prepare the same as we do! 
 
"These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit. We are not assigned specific topics. Over weeks and months, often through sleepless nights, we wait upon the Lord. Through fasting, praying, studying, and pondering, we learn the message that He wants us to give.
Some might ask, “Why doesn’t the inspiration come more easily and quickly?” The Lord taught Oliver Cowdery, “You must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right.” Conference messages come to us after prayerful preparation, through the Holy Ghost."
 
Follow the prophet!!
 
"We may not know all the reasons why the prophets and conference speakers address us with certain topics in conference, but the Lord does. President Harold B. Lee taught: “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. There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your [personal] views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But 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).”
 
The application
 
"The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them."

"Studying the conference messages will help us gain great strength -which will bless families for generations to come."
 
 "How am I going to live different from what I hear at conference?"
 
Elder Hale's Testimony: " I bear my special witness that the Lord Jesus Christ lives and stands at the head of this Church. This is His general conference. I promise you in His 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"