General Conference! Every six months, the prophet, apostles, and other leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gather to speak. Their words are broadcast by radio, internet, and satellite all around the world. In preparation for these talks, the assigned speakers prayerfully consider the message that God would have them present to the masses. And yet, somehow, in the midst of all of the grandeur, they reach out to the one.
I've noticed, especially over the last few years, that every time I listen to General Conference, something is said that is meant just for me. Sometimes I don't even realize that I am in need of whatever is said until it leaves their mouths and hits me like a ton of bricks. My questions are answered, and I have a renewed desire to follow the commandments of God and the counsel of His servants.
This last Saturday and Sunday were the General Conference broadcasts, and they couldn't have come at a better time for me. I received a call from my mission president Saturday morning, letting me know that my grandpa had lost his battle with cancer early that morning. It wasn't unexpected, he'd been suffering from it for a long time, but it still wasn't easy to hear. I called home right before the broadcasts began, and I was able to talk to my mom. She said that it definitely wasn't an easy thing for them either, but that they were doing alright. One of the joys of the gospel is knowing that this life is not the end, that there is more after we pass on. But I was still kinda having a hard time accepting the fact that my grandpa was gone, and I was in definite need of some peace and comfort in my life. I wasn't really sure how to move on, what would be the best course of action.
Enter General Conference. The very first broadcast, on Saturday morning, I think was specifically for me. Elder Jeffery R. Holland, one of the apostles, talked about the worth of individuals, how everyone was so important to God. That really helped me to realize again that even though I was struggling, I was not alone. Then President Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency, spoke. His talk was exactly what I needed to hear. He spoke about struggles in life, how they will come, but how we can weather the storm. As I listened to his message, I just felt this wonderful feeling of comfort come over me. I knew that things would be alright.
When hardships come up in life, my natural tendency is to forge full-speed ahead and see if I can just cruise over whatever roadblock is in front of me. That was my basic game plan for this situation as well. If I could keep myself busy enough that I wouldn't have to think about my grandpa's death, then I wouldn't have to deal with it, right? Well, not quite. I realized that I needed to take time and come to grips with the loss, and then I would be able to more effective go about life. I've seen since that had I not taken that time to fully comprehend the situation, that later on, it could have caused some pretty big problems.
It's so amazing to me that God knows exactly how to meet each one of our needs perfectly. I'm not saying that it surprises me, but it never ceases to amaze me. He knew that I would need to hear that message long before I did, and prepared a way for me to hear it. "[F]or your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him." (Matt. 6:8) Even though the broadcast was watched by several million viewers, it spoke directly to little old me. I was in dire need of those words of counsel and strength.
What lessons spoke directly to you?