The scriptures tell us that the first thing God did after creating man and woman was speak to them.1 He had vital information and precious instructions to give them. His purpose was not to burden or worry them but to guide them to happiness and eternal glory.
And that was just the beginning. From that day to this, God has continued to communicate with His children. His words have been preserved, treasured, and studied by disciples of every generation. They are revered by those who seek to know the will of God, and they bear witness to the truth that “the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”2
This has been the pattern since the beginning of time, and the pattern continues today. It is not just a nice Bible story; it is God’s established way of communicating essential messages to His children. He raises up individuals from our midst, calls them to be prophets, and gives them words to say, which we are invited to “receive, as if from [His] own mouth.”3 He has declared, “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”4
This is one of the most glorious, encouraging, and hopeful messages of the Restoration—God is not silent! He loves His children. He has not left us to wander in darkness.
Twice each year, in April and October, we have the opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord through His servants in our wonderful general conferences.
I give you my personal witness that long before a speaker in general conference makes that long walk to the podium, he or she has invested immense effort, prayer, and study in response to the assignment to speak. Every conference message represents countless hours of preparation and heartfelt pleading to understand what the Lord wishes His Saints to hear.
What might happen if we as listeners matched the speakers’ preparation with our own? How might our approach to general conference be different if we saw conference as an opportunity to receive messages from the Lord Himself? Through the words and music of general conference, we can expect to receive personalized answers to whatever questions or problems we might be facing.
If you ever wonder whether Heavenly Father will truly speak to you, I would remind you of the simple yet profound words that our Primary children sing: “[You are] a child of God, and he has sent [you] here.” His purpose is to help you return “to live with him someday.”
If you approach Heavenly Father as His child, you can ask Him with a sincere heart, “Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do.” He will speak to you through His Holy Spirit, and it is then up to you “to do his will.” I promise that if you do, “rich blessings are in store.”5
The Lord’s guidance is needed today as much as it ever has been in the world’s history. As we prepare to hear the word of the Lord, may we diligently seek the Spirit of truth so that when the Lord speaks through His servants, we can understand, become edified, and rejoice together.6
I testify that “by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against [us]; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before [us], and cause the heavens to shake for [our] good, and his name’s glory.”7