Thursday, October 4, 2018

President George Q. Cannon on preparation for conference meetings

President George Q. Cannon (1827-1901) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1860. He served as counselor in the First Presidency to Brigham Young beginning in 1873, and then to the next three presidents, until his death in 1901.
"I should enter that assembly with my mind entirely free from all influence that would prevent the operation of the Spirit of God upon me. I should go in a prayerful spirit, asking God to write upon my heart His will; not with my own will already prepared, and determined to carry out my will... regardless of everyone else's views.
"If I were to go, and all the rest were to go, with this spirit, then the Spirit of God would be felt in our midst, and that which we would decide upon would be the mind and will of God, because God would reveal it to us. We would see light in the direction where we should go, and we would behold darkness in the direction we should not go."
- George Q. Cannon, "Seeking the Pure Love of Christ," Deseret Semi-Weekly News, 30 Sept. 1890, p. 2; see Stuy, Collected Discourses, 2:90-91

President Cannon reminds us of the difference that can occur when we come to meetings with the right mental and spiritual preparation. One of the great challenges is to have our "mind entirely free" from the external and distracting influences. The second reminder is to come with a humble and prayerful spirit, demonstrating an eagerness to learn.

One of the interesting insights of the quote is President Cannon's belief about the blessings that could come to us, individually and collectively, as we approach out meetings in this spirit—feeling greater influence of the Lord's spirit and receiving the guidance and inspiration that would bless our lives.

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

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