This past weekend was LDS General Conference. Every first weekend in October and April, we have the opportunity to hear from the beloved leaders of our church. Twice a year, every year, we have the opportunity to hear the words that God wants us to hear, through his faithful servants and our latter-day prophet. Every year, as I get older, I am more and more grateful for this opportunity. I am more amazed and humbled each year as I realize the full implications of the fact that we have a living prophet of God, on earth, to lead us and teach us.
There are four sessions, a morning and afternoon session on both Saturday and Sunday. Full transcripts and audio are available here. Each sessions is comprised of several speeches, or as we call them, "talks." My favorite talk was Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's, titled Safety for the Soul. At the end of it, he bore a powerful testimony that gave me chills. I encourage you to click the link and read the whole thing...but this was my favorite part:
"I ask that my testimony of the Book of Mormon and all that it implies, given today under my own oath and office, be recorded by men on earth and angels in heaven. I hope I have a few years left in my “last days,” but whether I do or do not, I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgment bar of God that I declared to the world, in the most straightforward language I could summon, that the Book of Mormon is true, that it came forth the way Joseph said it came forth and was given to bring happiness and hope to the faithful in the travail of the latter days."
It made me want to do the same. It reminded me of my absolute favorite quote of all time, by Henry B. Eyring:
"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast! I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity. I now live by faith, lean on His
presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear! I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up, until I have stayed up stored up, and paid up of the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear."
I have this printed out and framed in my home. I read it often, and it inspires me. But, how often do I say it? Not enough.
I also want it to be perfectly clear, that I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I know the last days are going to be rough, with few companions, and dark. But, my way is narrow and my guide, Christ, is more than reliable. I testify to the world that I will not stray, that the Book of Mormon is a true word of God, and it did come about just as Joseph Smith and so many others have testified. I know with every fiber of my being that the LDS church is the only church with the whole truth, the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the only way to happiness. And I hope my banner is clear.