Happy March… or, is it December? It’s snowing today in Northern Utah, and it’s predicted to snow tomorrow. This is an interesting change. We haven’t had legitimate snow here (as in, “needing to shovel the driveway”) since Christmas Day. It’s been unusually dry. I guess we thought it wasn’t going to snow again this year and we’ve gotten mighty comfortable. But, here we are – getting the shovel out. At least for a day or so. If the predicter people are correct, we will be back up to the high 50’s again by the weekend. It’s kind of fun to see a little white on the mountain tops.
It’s hard to believe it’s actually MARCH! How time flies. I love March because that means that Spring is right around the corner, Easter is on it’s way… and best of all we are on the final countdown to General Conference again! This is definitely one of my very favorite times of year.
The General Conference [simply called “Conference” for short] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is held twice a year – the first weekends of April and October. This year the General Women’s Meeting is officially being called The First Session of General Conference. The Women’s meeting always takes place the Saturday prior to the main sessions. So, be sure to mark your calendars now for Saturday, March 28th 6:00 PM (General Women’s Session) and Saturday April 4th (10:00 am, 2:00 PM, 6:00 PM sessions) and Sunday April 5th (10 am & 2 PM) [*All Mountain Times*]! Conference is free and open to the public and it is available to everyone of any faith. If you are in Salt Lake City then you can attend in person. Otherwise, you can attend in a local LDS Chapel in your area via satellite transmission, or from the comfort of your own home via BYU Cable Television or the Internet (get full listings here). There’s lots of ways to listen to and/or watch Conference! During these meetings inspiring messages will be shared from our leaders and our prophet as well as beautiful music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and a few special invited choirs (yes, I will be singing with the Tabernacle Choir during 3 sessions).
Conference is a chance to recharge our spiritual batteries, to be uplifted, encouraged, inspired and renewed. There are often some exciting announcements, such as new temples (for example the Rome temple), or changes in policies; for example:
- In October 2012 President Monson announced the lowering of eligibility age for missionaries – for the young men it was lowered from age 19 down to 18, and for young women from 21 down to 19. That was a MAJOR CHANGE and so very exciting which has impacted literally millions of members and there has been a dramatic increase in young missionaries choosing to serve.
- In October 2014 a historic change was made that allows all speakers the option to deliver their messages in their native languages over the pulpit, with translation provided inside the Conference Center as subtitles on the screen, and online and over television with spoken translation dubbed over.
All of the messages during General Conference are inspired by God. If we were ranking the talks then “most important messages” would be considered our beloved prophet and apostles. Their words are spoken not only to the church members but as revelations from God to the entire world. We believe that they are true and living prophets, seers and revelators called by God for this dispensation of time, just as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elijah or Paul were called as prophets for their dispensations, or as the 12 apostles who were called during Jesus’ ministry.
God is speaking to the earth through his servants to us now, today! There is not only ancient scripture to read and study, but also “living scripture” available to the world!
“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” – D&C 1:38
This is one of the greatest and most glorious blessings of our time. March might have come “in like a Lion” but we can be assured it will go “out with the Lamb” – celebrating the Passover of the Lamb, the Easter week commemorating the great fulfillment of the Passover with the Atonement, death and resurrection of the Lamb, and the opportunity to prepare to “feast upon the Word of the Lamb” with General Conference. As we prepare for these beautiful and holy experiences, I will be sharing some past Conference messages with you. – MoSop
Highlight of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland‘s address at the October 2014 General Conference.