Friday, October 13, 2017

Elder Neil L. Andersen on claiming the blessings of general conference

Elder Neil L. Andersen (born August 9, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"We should not be alarmed when the words of the Lord’s servants run counter to the thinking of the world and, at times, our own thinking. It has always been this way. I am on my knees in the temple with my Brethren. I attest to the goodness of their souls. Their greatest desire is to please the Lord and help God’s children return to His presence.
"The Seventy; the Bishopric; the General Presidencies of the Relief Society, the Young Women, and the Primary; and other auxiliary leaders have added tremendous inspiration to this conference, as have the beautiful music and the thoughtful prayers.
"There is a treasure chest of heavenly direction awaiting your discovery in the messages of general conference. The test for each of us is how we respond to what we hear, what we read, and what we feel....
"I promise that as you hear the voice of the Lord to you in the teachings of this general conference, and then act on those promptings, you will feel heaven’s hand upon you, and your life and the lives of those around you will be blessed."
- Neil L. Andersen, "The Voice of the Lord," General Conference October 2017
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Andersen was the final speaker in the last session of conference, and he used that setting to discuss the sacred blessing of general conference, and to challenge listeners to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow from the messages.

It's interesting to consider ways in which the teachings of Church leaders might "run counter to the thinking of the world." When that happens, it's often a test of our faith and commitment, our testimony of the calling of leaders. Along those lines, I've always loved this counsel from President Harold B. Lee:
"You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political 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; yea, 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.)
"...Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside over his church. He knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake....
"Let's keep our eye on the President of the Church."
- Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Oct. 1970, 152-53; see Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, p. 126

So the real question for Church members is how well we listen and heed, how we act upon the counsel given during the conference:

We have a "treasure chest" awaiting us, if only we choose to access it! And continue to draw from it in the weeks and months to come.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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