"We are not measured by the trials we meet -- only by those we overcome."
- - Spencer W. Kimball
October 17, 2012
A Six-Month Spiritual Supply
by Kathryn Grant

I love the message of the following experience, shared by Sister Janette Hales Beckham:

One day as a neighbor and I were talking about our beliefs, she became curious about what was different about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I told her briefly about the Restoration, and I explained that the restored Church of Jesus Christ has a living prophet today. This really seemed to pique her interest, and she wanted to know what the prophet had said. As I started to tell her about the Doctrine and Covenants and modern revelation, she said, “But what has he said lately?” I told her about general conference and that the Church had a monthly publication with a message from the prophet.

Then she got really interested. I was so embarrassed to admit that I hadn’t read the current message. She concluded our conversation by saying, “You mean you have a living prophet and you don’t know what he said?” (Janette Hales Beckham, Sustaining the Living Prophets, Ensign, May 1996.)

I can imagine Sister Beckham’s chagrin in that experience, which could just as easily have happened to me. In a day when the words of living prophets are readily available, it can be too easy to take them for granted.

We just heard a marvelous general conference with powerful messages to bless our lives. Who could ever forget them? Well, we could! Already, the memories are growing dimmer for me. I mostly remember the feelings I felt, but even those are fading and I don’t remember a lot of specific teachings.

We remember best when we read or hear things more than once. Repetition allows inspired teachings to be written in our hearts (see Jeremiah 31:33). President Ezra Taft Benson gave this timeless counsel:

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 [President] 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.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Come Unto Christ, and Be Perfected in Him, Ensign, May 1988.)

Think of it! We have guidance specifically tailored to our day, guidance we can refer to and ponder and feast upon over the next six months and into the future. In a way, general conference is part of our spiritual emergency preparedness. As the world darkens, we urgently need the spiritual uplift and guidance given to us by living prophets — not only on the first weekend in April or October, but regularly.

So here’s the challenge for this column: make a simple plan that works for you to study the talks from this past conference over the next six months, then act on that plan. Here are some ideas:

  • If you commute to work, listen to a conference talk once a week during your commute.
  • Read or listen to a conference talk once a week while working out.
  • Study conference talks regularly in family home evening.
  • Once or twice a week for daily scripture study, study a conference talk.
  • Choose a conference talk and hold a discussion group with friends and neighbors.
  • If you are going on long drive, play conference talks during part of your drive.

As you put this plan into practice, write in and share your experiences. How does studying conference talks regularly make a difference in your life and the lives of your loved ones?

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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