With fervent desire

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey. This week covers the Sunday Morning Session of the April 1977 Conference.
You've probably seen this video of President Packer's parable, The Mediator. I've always liked it, but I haven't ever read the whole talk before. Here was my favorite part, which was not even part of the story, but a personal note about why he told it:
I have carried with me a great desire to bear testimony of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I have yearned to tell you in as simple terms as I can, what He did, and who He is.
Although I know how poor mere words can be, I know also that such feelings are often carried by the spirit, even without words.
At times I struggle under the burden of imperfections. Nevertheless, because I know that He lives, there is a supreme recurring happiness and joy. 
There is one place where I am particularly vulnerable—when I know that I have abused someone, or caused them hurt, or offended them. It is then I know what agony is. 
How sweet it is, on those occasions, to be reassured that He lives, and to have my witness reaffirmed. I want, with fervent desire, to show you how our burdens of disappointment, sin, and guilt can be laid before Him, and on His generous terms have each item on the account marked, “Paid in Full.”
I love this glimpse into the personal feelings of a man I have so looked up to. He felt inadequate and imperfect. He hated to hurt people—but he knew he DID sometimes hurt people, and this caused him great anguish. His testimony of Jesus Christ's atonement brought him actual comfort for his actual struggles. And he wanted, "with fervent desire," to share that comfort with everyone else! It gave me a different perspective on this talk, thinking about President Packer writing it with that personal goal in mind.

It also makes me wonder what things the general authorities who are preparing their talks for Conference right now want to tell us. What insights do they have a "fervent desire" for us to gain? I read an Ensign article today about another apostle who asked President Eyring for input on the 22nd draft of his talk for Conference. President Eyring says:
In general conference twice a year, we are blessed with the opportunity to hear the word of the Lord for us from His servants. That is a privilege beyond price. But the value of that opportunity depends on whether we receive the words under the influence of the same Spirit by which they were given to those servants… Just as they receive guidance from heaven, so must we. And that requires of us the same spiritual effort… 
The servants of God fast and pray to receive the message He has for them to give to those who need revelation and inspiration….To gain the great benefits available from hearing living prophets and apostles, we must pay the price ourselves of receiving revelation.
I know the General Authorities have the fervent desire to bring us closer to Christ. Do we have an equal desire to receive their wisdom?

Other posts in this series:


  1. Wow! This makes me want to try so so much harder to receive conference blessings!

    1. Me too, but even as I was resolving to do better preparation, I was also saying to myself, "But I'm just going to be nursing and trying to get the kids to be quiet the whole time, so what's even the point?" Ha! But I'm sure I could still have an improved experience. And better follow-up after conference.

  2. Get excited! I love conference. And it gets better the older the kids get - they can understand and have their own insights on what's being said!

    1. Yes! That's true. It's fun to see them start to look forward to actually listening to the talks! And I get to take my daughter to women's session for the first time this year, so that will be fun! :)


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