Like many of you, I enjoyed conference. You probably take notes while you are listening to the beautiful testimonies, counsel, and direction. I do, too. I do not have shorthand skills, so frequently I abbreviate and defer to the forthcoming printed copies and online videos. How grateful we can be for these.
I have a little tactic I use to note particular talks that impress me or words that just seem to sing. I place three little exclamation points in succession (eg !!!). That indicates to me that this talk or phrase in particular is one that I have to take special note of in my follow-up study. This time around I had so many exclamation points that I decided that I needed to complete a thorough study of the conference. It’s a great intention.
It was really wonderful to see and hear from President Monson. What a great leader and example for all of us. He has been a general authority for almost as long as I have been alive. I love him like a father. I admire him like a grandfather. I revere him as a prophet of God. It was so good to see him.
Though he spoke to us only briefly, his messages were some of my favorite, and because of the wonder of technology, I can see his face and listen to or read his words repeatedly. Though he is an old man and age is ravaging his body, he stands true and firm in his conviction and faith. Perhaps that is his greatest sermon of all.
So I am well into my intention to complete a thorough study of the conference. I listen to the conference talks every day while I am doing other things and nightly when I am drifting off to sleep. It is not so important that you do it when I do. These are just examples. The important thing is that you do it.
The words of Elder Robert D Hales seem so appropriate at this time:
“The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them.”
I want to share with you an experience that happened to me in this regard. Honestly, it took me by surprise, because I had heard this particular talk when it was delivered, but listening to the message again took my breath away. Sounds too incredible? You decide.
We have all experienced powerful memorable occasions that influence us acutely, like a song that touches your heart so forcefully that it leaves you in tears. That happened to me with the first talk in Saturday morning session of conference. To be honest with you, I did not mark President Henry B Erying’s talk with exclamation points at the time I heard it. But it became one of my favorite talks when I listened to it again. He discusses the Gathering of the Family of God.
Now, rather than trying to summarize his words, I have included the link above, so you can enjoy it from the lips of President Eyring and feel of the power of Elijah.
I want to address my thoughts to everyone and especially the family history consultants. Do you believe that temple and family history work is the most important work you will ever do?
If you are hesitating responding with an enthusiastic “YES,” don’t feel bad, because you’re probably among the majority of people who have ever considered this question. I was. But my attitude of family history has changed over the years. I believe it is among the greatest work we will ever do in this life or in the next. Here are a few of my reasons why:
- My most important contribution I ever hope to achieve is rearing my family in the gospel of Jesus Christ and helping them enjoy its blessings here on earth and in the world to come.
- Someone far wiser than me said “The greatest work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.” Do you know who said that? Do you know when? Do you know why? If you don’t, do you know how to find out? I believe he was referring to much more than first thought. Among that most important work within the walls of your home today is family history.
- What can you do every day that will be remembered by you and others for the rest of your life and into the eternities? Your job? The car you drive? The house you live in? The things we focus on are frequently not the most significant endeavors of our lives. We live in a temporal world and temporal concerns must of necessity be addressed. But I venture to guess that temporal matters will in fact be the root of that word…temporary. Families are forever.
- I love the concept of Joy. Satisfaction, pleasure, and carnal desires have a place and a purpose, but they are not enduring. The concept of joy, however, to me means something more. It means achieving our potential and thereby bringing to fruition the work and glory of God.
But that was just one of dozens of great talks from conference that were both moving and uplifting and inspiring. They help me do my most important job every day.
And this is not all. There are many messages that were delivered just for you as you pursue your most important responsibilities. They are waiting for all of us to enjoy, utilize, and apply.
Often, their words are those in our hearts that we have been unable to articulate. (!!!)
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.