This weekend, a handful of local Saints (name for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) and a couple of visitors watched the 183rd Annual General Conference at the local branch building here in Pratt. With the advent of technology, many local members now watch the proceedings via the Internet or satellite television.
The conference is broadcast from Salt Lake City twice a year and provides instruction and encouragement for members of the church, not to mention adding light into the lives of listeners, in an ever darkening world.
For me, conference provides a reminder of the direction in which my life should be headed and especially brings to mind areas in which I need to make a course correction. It also brings a sense of peace to those who listen. That’s something we can use more of in the world today.
The unique thing about general conference is that its message is for everyone, not just member of the church. Leadership of the church, including prophets, apostles and seers, are not assigned talks, but rely upon inspiration from the Holy Spirit, often combined with fasting and prayer, to determine their topics.
Speakers at conference come from countries throughout the world. Whether someone is listening in Mhangura, Zimbabwe (population 6,500) or Pratt, Kansas, the message is the same. As the world lowers its standards on what is acceptable, the message of the church remains constant in teaching simple truths for those who have ears to hear. At the root of all these talks is the love of the Savior, Jesus Christ, and teachings about how we can become more like him.
It’s up to us how we apply this instruction in our lives.
To learn more, visit www.lds.org, where you can hear the most recent General Conference broadcast at any time.