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As a follow up to the article I wrote on preparing for receiving revelation during General Conference, I thought it would be great to hear stories from peoples’ experience with the spiritual guidance they received during General Conference. I understand that some promptings are too personal to share, but I”ll highlight some of the guidance and insights I received without getting too personal. Feel free to share your experiences as well.
Uniting of our Family
Prior to General Conference, my wife and I had a special Family Home Evening (Family Night), teaching our young 3 year old daughter about General Conference, apostles, prophets, etc. The Church has a great website with games and activities to teach kids to prepare for Conference. We chose to make a set of paper rings that we made into a chain, which she tore off each day that had activities such as coloring a picture of Jesus, reading a story of Thomas S Monson, scripture activities, etc. This helped her (and us) get our minds focused on Conference throughout the week.
Next, during General Conference, my wife found a great activity where she arranged 5-6 bowls with goodies in them such as pretzels, M&Ms, carrot sticks, etc. On each bowl she taped a picture of something that would likely be discussed in Conference such as a picture of Jesus, scriptures, families, etc. Our little girl then sat and listened for the speaker to say “Jesus” or “family”, etc. and when the speaker said that, she could take a treat and eat it. The funny thing was that the carrot bowl was “Jesus” so at one point our girl had 7 half eaten carrot sticks and she said: “Mommy, my tummy hurts from eating so many carrots!”
Pretty soon, she decided to start sharing carrots with me. The good thing for me was that she started sharing everything with me so I got quite a few M&Ms too.
It was fun to be with our little family (our 1 year old boy was a bit young for the activities so he slept during conference) and see our daughter learning from the men and women who had prepared messages for us. Although I didn’t have any bid spiritual manifestation, I did see how we came closer as a family and united in the gospel, which is awesome!
Last April, I noticed that many speakers come up with awesome quotes. This Conference was no exception. I’ve written about all the quotes and also have a poll for people to vote on their favorite quote. Feel free to stop by and vote.
So far, the one that is winning is by David Bednar during the last session of conference:
Knowing the gospel is true is a testimony. Staying true to the gospel is conversion
Going into conference, I was somewhat unsettled. I had a lot of stress going on as far as business situations are concerned. I was praying for guidance on certain issues.
As I watched conference and listened actively, I gradually started feeling less anxious and more peaceful. I didn’t realize that I was calming down until after conference was finished. I noticed I hadn’t thought about the issues all day and when they came to mind, I felt everything would be fine, as it usually is when we re-focus our vision on God rather than the things of the world.
I’m sure you have some great stories to share as well. If you are comfortable, feel free to share any guidance you received during last week’s General Conference.
I graduated from BYU in the spring of 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree and registered for a Masters degree program that offered evening classes that fall. At the time, I was working part time as a business development consultant for a large company in Provo, Utah. I had student loans and planned on getting a full-time job by the fall so I could pay for my Master’s degree.
I had never had a problem getting a job, but that summer every job I applied for (including within the company I worked for) didn’t pan out. I interviewed at least 20 times for various jobs throughout the summer and got close to getting a few of them, but for some reason it just didn’t pan out.
With each job that I was turned down from, I continued to pray and try and stay optimistic. I was certain that I would recieve a job and had all the faith that the Good Lord would provide by giving me a full time job so I could move forward with my education.
A few weeks before classes started my faith was shattered when I received a bill from the University stating that I owed full tuition for the upcoming quarter. I looked at my bank account and although I had been trying to be frugal and save as much as possible, I still didn’t have enough to cover the costs.
Crushed, I dropped to my knees in my room and offered a prayer. I explained to God (as if He didn’t know already!) how hard I had been looking and working towards preparing for the future. I talked with Him about being confused as to why things weren’t working out. I shared my frustration and my fears about the future with Him.
After getting everything out, I sat and waited. I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but just followed what I felt I should be doing. I’m being a bit facicous, but I thought God would open the heavens and show me where the pot of gold would be so I could waltz on into school and drop my full tuition down and life would go on just as I had planned it. I would point to the heavens and thank God and then move on with my life.
What God had in mind was a much different (and better) plan. After a few seconds, I felt an impression come over me that my Grandmother needed help. That came as a surprise to me. I had been praying for something altogether different. I tried to re-focus on getting an answer about school, but my mind kept coming back to my Grandmother. As I thought about her, I received another impression that was frightening to me. It was that I needed to drop out of school and move in with her. That impression floored me. I was an independant 26 year old man (and single). How was that going to prepare me for securing a good career and possibly a wife and family? Furthermore, I had been estranged from my mother and grandmother after I had decided to join the Mormon Church and hadn’t really communicated with them for 15 years.
Although I had clearly received revelation, I wanted to not believe it was true. I got up and walked out of my room.
I tried to put the feelings and thoughts out of my mind about quitting school and moving in with my grandmother aside, but I couldn’t do it. Finally, I decided that I would fast and pray for revelation to know what I should do. That weekend was LDS General Conference (For those of you who are unfamiliar with Mormon General Conference, I’ve written about it here and here) and so I thought that it would be a good opportunity to see if God really wanted me to move up to live with my grandmother.
As I listened to Conference nothing in particular stood out to me. All of the talks during the Saturday session were good, but nothing earth shattering.
Things changed during the Sunday session though. Thomas Monson got up to share his talk entitled “Models to Follow“. While he spoke, another impression came over my heart and my mind that I needed to move in with my grandmother and drop out of school. This time, as the Holy Spirit washed over me, all doubts and fears were removed and I knew what I needed to do.
Three weeks later, I was living with my Grandmother. One week after that, I got my first job that launched my career (and paid for my Masters Degree a year later). Two weeks after that, I met a beautiful young lady who is now my wife. We have two beautiful young children.
God hears our prayers. He knows what is best for us. Many times we get in the way by trying to force things to happen, but if we let go, He will lead us to where we need to be. God answers prayers in a variety of ways. If we prepare our hearts and clear our minds, God will speak to us through prophets and directly to us as well.
I encourage you to watch this video in preparation for conference. Maybe God has something in store for you that He wants to share through his prophets.