Tuesday, October 9, 2018

President Ezra Taft Benson on the importance of General Conference talks

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"My dear brethren and sisters, this has been a wonderful general conference of the Church. We have felt a marvelous spirit in all of our meetings.
"I commend my Brethren of the General Authorities for the excellent addresses they have given. My humble prayer is that all of us will follow the counsel and instruction we have received.
"As we have felt the Spirit and made new and sacred resolves, may we now have the courage and fortitude to carry out those resolves.
"For the next six months, your conference edition of the Ensign should stand next to your standard works and be referred to frequently. As my dear friend and brother Harold B. Lee said, we should let these conference addresses 'be the guide to [our] walk and talk during the next six months. These are the important matters the Lord sees fit to reveal to this people in this day' (in Conference Report, Apr. 1946, p. 68)."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Come unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him," General Conference April 1988
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This is a classic reminder from President Benson, echoing remarks from President Lee much earlier—and a challenge that has been repeated a number of times since. The general conference messages should have significant and lasting impact with us, as we have a chance to review and study them in the coming months:

President Benson spoke in a day before the Internet, when we would eagerly wait a month for the printed talks to be available in the Church magazines. In our day, the audio tracks of the talks are available almost immediately following the conference for listening on our personal devices; and then within days, we can read the transcripts of the talks online. We are very blessed by that technology to be able to review the material while the spirit of conference weekend is still fresh and strong in our minds and hearts!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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