Every April and October, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints broadcasts its General Conference via radio, television, and internet. At the semi-annual conference, the general leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ—including a living prophet and twelve modern-day apostles—teach us, as prophets of old once did, the truths that God wants His children to know. In addition to teaching, the speakers’ mission is to uplift us and to point us towards our Savior, Jesus Christ. Indeed, every conference I’ve watched has left me feeling a little more confident in my faith and a bit more prepared to face the challenges of life. I trust that October’s conference will be no different: it will be a strength and a blessing to all who listen.
Because God is our Father, He is concerned for each one of us individually, and, though the conference will broadcast generally, it can convey personalized messages to each one who listens. The Holy Ghost can and will highlight words and underscore feelings in order to help us to know and feel that God is our Father, that He hears our prayers, and that He wants to help us to achieve the good that we desire.
In April of this year, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church, taught about our relationship to God and His role as our Father. I remember listening to his remarks and feeling the truth of his words. At a time when frustrations abounded in nearly every one of my pursuits, I heard in President Uchtdorf’s words a reminder that God would be my ally and helper, a reminder that illuminated the future with hope. Declaring that we are all children of God, he explained:
We have all seen a toddler learn to walk. He takes a small step and totters. He falls. Do we scold such an attempt? Of course not. What father would punish a toddler for stumbling? We encourage, we applaud, and we praise because with every small step, the child is becoming more like his parents….
[C]ompared to the perfection of God, we mortals are scarcely more than awkward, faltering toddlers. But our loving Heavenly Father…urges us not to be discouraged—never to give up or flee our allotted field of service—but to take courage, find our faith, and keep trying.
I know that God is our Father and that He does want to help us. I know that, somewhere in the messages of General Conference this weekend, there will be words meant just for me, and I know that all who watch—even just one of the sessions—will come away with a brighter hope and a firmer faith that God is their Father and friend.
I invite you, then, to watch the live stream of General Conference (with sessions at 10:00 a.m. MDT and at 2:00 p.m. MDT on both Saturday, October 5th, and Sunday, the 6th) and to hear the voice of the Lord.