More quotes from General Conference:
As I was leaving a Young Women camp this summer, a sweet young woman handed me a note. In it, she asked, “How can I tell when God is trying to tell me something?” I love her question. Our souls long for a connection with our heavenly home. We want to feel needed and useful. But at times we struggle to distinguish between our own thoughts and the gentle impressions of the Spirit. Prophets, ancient and modern, have taught that if something “invites and entices to do good, it comes from Christ.”1
As you use your agency to carve out time every day to draw close to God’s voice, especially in the Book of Mormon, over time His voice will become clearer and more familiar to you.
The prayer Heavenly Father seems eager to answer is our plea to be led to someone who needs our help. President Henry B. Eyring has taught us to seek revelation by asking God who we can help for Him. “If you ask questions like that, the Holy Ghost will come and you’ll feel nudges about things you can do for other people. When you go and do those things, you’re on the Lord’s errand, and when you’re on the Lord’s errand, you qualify for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”5Michelle Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency
Being “converted unto the Lord” means leaving one course of action, directed by an old belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God. Personal desires that are contrary to being anchored to the Savior and to following the covenant path fade away and are replaced by a determination to submit to the will of Heavenly Father.
The Savior invited His disciples to be this dependable and steadfast. He said, “Wherefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.”15 A “settled” determination to keep our covenants allows for the full realization of God’s promise of enduring joy.16
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. You will become more like the Savior as you always remember Him, follow Him, and adore Him. I testify that He is the firm foundation. He is dependable, and His promises are sure.
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. You will become more like the Savior as you always remember Him, follow Him, and adore Him. I testify that He is the firm foundation. He is dependable, and His promises are sure.Dale G. Renlund, Apostle of Jesus Christ
Elder Christofferson taught: “It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.”5
We can all wonder privately about circumstances in the spirit world or even discuss these or other unanswered questions in family or other intimate settings. But let us not teach or use as official doctrine what does not meet the standards of official doctrine. To do so does not further the work of the Lord and may even discourage individuals from seeking their own comfort or edification through the personal revelation the Lord’s plan provides for each of us. Excessive reliance on personal teachings or speculations may even draw us aside from concentrating on learning and efforts that will further our understanding and help us go forward on the covenant path.
In conclusion, what we do know about the spirit world is that the Father’s and the Son’s work of salvation continues there. Our Savior initiated the work of declaring liberty to the captives (see 1 Peter 3:18–19; 4:6; Doctrine and Covenants 138:6–11, 18–21, 28–37), and that work continues as worthy and qualified messengers continue to preach the gospel, including repentance, to those who still need its cleansing effect (see Doctrine and Covenants 138:57). The object of all of that is described in the official doctrine of the Church, given in modern revelation.
“The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God,
“And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:58–59).
The duty of each of us is to teach the doctrine of the restored gospel, keep the commandments, love and help one another, and do the work of salvation in the holy temples.Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Constant vigilance is required to counteract complacency and casualness. To be vigilant is the state or action of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties. And keeping watch denotes the act of staying awake to guard and protect. Spiritually speaking, we need to stay awake and be alert to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the signals that come from the Lord’s watchmen on the towers.4
Yea, and I also exhort you … that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, … for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.5
Focusing our lives in and on the Savior and His gospel enables us to overcome the tendency of the natural man to be spiritually snoozy and lazy. As we are blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear,6 the Holy Ghost can increase our capacity to look and listen when we may not typically think we need to look or listen or when we may not think anything can be seen or heard.
Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready.7
As you respond in faith to this invitation, inspired thoughts will come to your mind, spiritual feelings will swell in your heart, and you will recognize actions that should be undertaken or continued so that you can “take upon you [the] whole armor [of God], that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.14
I promise that the blessings of effective preparation and spiritual protection will flow into your life as you are watchful unto prayer vigilantly and continually.David A. Bednar, Apostle of Jesus Christ