General conference is a special time for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a time when we get to listen and be taught by the prophet of God, President Russell M. Nelson, and by other leaders of the Church. General conference is held in April and October every year.
For many members of the Church, general conference is an incredible spiritual experience. For me, general conference leaves me in a state that I describe as being on a “spiritual high.”
I’ve been very fortunate to be in attendance in the Conference Center a few times during general conference. I’ve sat in the presence of the prophet of God and have truly felt his Spirit. I’ve also participated in general conference via satellite from a remote location. I’ve felt the Spirit then, too. Regardless of whether I listen to the prophet in person or through the marvels of modern technology, I’ve always felt the love that he has for all of us and an assurance that my Heavenly Father knows and loves me.
Our family had another opportunity to attend general conference at the Conference Center a while back. I remember standing and singing “We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet” along with the Tabernacle Choir towards the end of the session. I’m sure everyone was focused on President Hinckley, who was the prophet at that time, as he stood there in his usual place on the stand. The Spirit testified strongly to me that President Hinckley was a prophet of God. I could see how moved my family was, especially our boys. I remember thinking that if only we can hold on to that Spirit for the rest of our lives, our family would be just fine. I sat and offered a silent prayer that our boys will remember that feeling when they are faced with trials and tribulations.
We all know that it is practically impossible to hang on to such feelings when we are faced with the realities of life. It is hard to be on a spiritual high when the world we live in is anything but spiritual. But does this mean that we shouldn’t strive for it in our lives? No! If anything, this should make us try even harder to maintain or to get back that feeling of being on a spiritual high.
One of the things that really helps me to maintain or rediscover my spiritual high is by reading and rereading the powerful talks and articles that are available on the Church’s website. We also have the monthly Church magazines and I do urge you to get those if you don’t have them in your homes yet. (You can also get them via the Gospel Library, the Church’s main mobile app.) As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught to “seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom…” The scriptures, Church magazines, and other Church-sponsored publications are prime examples of the “best books.” This extends to Church-approved online publications and databases as well.
The online database of articles and talks gives us access to the most recent talks by the prophet and other Church leaders. It also gives us access to the many talks and inspirational messages by previous Church leaders. At the very top of the homepage of the Church’s official web site, you’ll see a menu bar with tabs including “Scriptures and Study,” “Families and Individuals,” etc. Click on “Scriptures and Study” and then, under prophetic teachings, click on “General Conference.” From there, you can find talks from the past several decades. By using the Church’s search bar, you can also find a variety of articles from Church magazines, online publications, etc. You can search for an article by title, by subject, or by author/speaker. You can filter your search in a number of different ways, too.
I’ve found the practice of reading one article a day on a chosen subject to be spiritually uplifting. It helps me to deal with whatever I’m faced with that day. You may not have time to read an article every day and that’s okay; don’t feel as if you have to. I just happen to have the time to do that at this point in my life. I read when I’m waiting in the car to pick up our boys after school. I read when I’m sitting in front of my computer waiting for the right words to come before I write a post. I read when I can’t sleep.
You may only have time to read an article every other day or once a week. Whether it is once a day or once a week, I hope that you do take advantage of this wonderful resource. There have been many times when I’ve found the exact thing I needed at the time by reading these articles. There have been many times when my resolve is strengthened after reading these inspired messages for our times.
I know that each of us will experience times of trials and tribulations. Some will be minor nuisances while others will be almost unbearable. It is my hope that when we do experience those times, we will reach for those moments in our lives when we’ve had the Spirit testify to us about our Heavenly Father’s love for each of us. I hope that we will try to remember those times when we’ve known in our hearts that there is a purpose to life, that our trials and tribulations are only for a moment. When those times come — and they will — remember to reach for your spiritual high.
This article was originally published in November 2007. Several minor changes were made for timeliness and consistency.