Tuesday, October 5, 2021

President Spencer W. Kimball on the importance of continued study after general conference

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Sunday night... the great Tabernacle was closed, the lights turned out, the record[ing] machines stopped, the doors locked, and another historic conference became history. It will have been lost motion—a waste of time, energy, and money—if its messages are not heeded. In the [several] two-hour sessions… , truths were taught, doctrines expounded, exhortations given, enough to save the whole world from all its ills—and I mean from ALL its ills. A rather complete education in eternal verities was given to millions with a great hope that there were ‘ears a’hearing and eyes a’seeing and hearts a’throbing,’ convinced of truth. …
“I hope you young people all heard the messages of the ages delivered. There will be other conferences every six months. I hope you will get your copy of the [Ensign] and underline the pertinent thoughts and keep it with you for continual reference. No text or volume outside the standard works of the Church should have such a prominent place on your personal library shelves—not for their rhetorical excellence or eloquence of delivery, but for the concepts which point the way to eternal life.”
- Spencer W. Kimball, "In the World but Not of It," BYU Devotional, May 14, 1968, pp. 2–3

President Kimball spoke in general conference meetings for over four decades, and must have pondered the impact of his efforts through the years. These observations at a BYU devotional are thought-provoking. Of what benefit is all of the cost and effort to present a conference, if we don't heed the messages? Great truths are taught, doctrines are expounded, and guidance provided "enough to save the whole world from all its ills—and I mean from ALL its ills" if the counsel is only heeded. That is a powerful claim!

I loved President Kimball's longing that there would be "ears a'hearing and eyes a'seeing and hearts a'throbing" in response to conference.

We are remarkably blessed now, that with modern technology, we can almost instantly access conference talks right after the conference occurs. We can view the transcripts online, listen to the audio or watch video, download to personal devices, etc. It's easier than ever to have access to the talks; but will we truly study, ponder, and heed? Will we choose to accept the guidance that points the way to eternal life?

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
October 3, 2016

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