Wednesday, April 3, 2019

President Lorenzo Snow on preparing for general conference

Lorenzo Snow (1814-1901) was an early convert to the Church along with his sister Eliza R. Snow. He was called as an apostle by Brigham Young in 1849. He served as the 5th president of the Church from 1898 until his death in 1901.
"I suppose that many of the audience now before me have come from a long distance to meet with us in this general conference; and that all have been moved to gather here by pure motives—by a desire to improve and perfect themselves in matters that pertain to their usefulness in the kingdom of God. In order that we may not be disappointed in this, it becomes necessary that we prepare our hearts to receive and profit by the suggestions that may be made by the speakers during the progress of the Conference, which may be prompted by the Spirit of the Lord. I have thought, and still think, that our being edified does not so much depend upon the speaker as upon ourselves."
- Lorenzo Snow, 6 October 1898, Conference Report p. 1

President Lorenzo Snow had been president of the Church for less than a month when he offered this counsel. He was 84 years old, and would lead the Church for the next 3 years.

We are blessed in our day to have general conference available to us, in most cases, with very little effort and sacrifice. The need to "come from a long distance" to participate and receive instruction has long passed. With Internet streaming available, anyone with a device and a reliable connection can participate live in scores of languages.

But one thing has not changed, and can't be fixed by technology. The benefit from general conference requires "a desire to improve and perfect" ourselves as we listen in humility and and eagerness to be taught.

And so the burden is on each of us, to "prepare our hearts" in anticipation of an upcoming conference in order that we may be blessed by inspired messages that will speak to our minds and hearts.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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