In the account of Matthew in the Holy Bible (Matthew 26: 36-40), Jesus Christ made a request of Peter and the two sons of Zebedee.
“…tarry ye here, and watch with me.”
The Savior of the world was about to perform the great Atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane when He asked that His disciples stay with Him.
As we watch the rebroadcast of the 188th Annual General Conference this weekend, the Savior extends to us the same invitation. General Conference is longer than the usual Sunday services. There are 4 sessions in total: 2 sessions on Saturday and another 2 on Sunday. Each session lasts for 2 hours. Members and visitors alike may find it difficult, or even boring to listen for so long.
However, with proper preparation and the right attitude, we can heed the Savior’s invitation to stay focused on the messages and find General Conference a delight.
Come to General Conference with Your Concerns
Come to General Conference with hope, ready to listen to church leaders and the Spirit for solutions to problems you may be facing. By so doing, we can find answers for our concerns and troubles. Keep your issues and questions in mind as you view the broadcast. Write them down and while listening, look for specific promptings from the Spirit. Questions will be answered. Concerns will be addressed.
Tarry with an Open Heart
Making it through to the last speaker of General Conference requires a willingness to listen. It takes humility to be taught from on High. We may not be able to digest everything we hear but as we listen with an open heart and resolve to be taught by the Spirit, our knowledge and understanding will increase.
Watch with the Intent to Obey
General Conference will take on a whole new meaning if we listen in order to obey. Our intentions determine how the messages will affect our lives. Within every principle and doctrine taught, there is a challenge for us to obey. We need to resolve to truly follow the prophet and the Lord, in our deeds as well as our words. True understanding comes through action, and in obedience we become who we are meant to be.
Invite our Non-member Friends to do the Same
The messages of General Conference are for all of God’s children. As we look forward to attending, let us extend the invitation to our non-member friends as well. The conference messages can bless their lives and provide answers to their questions. Don’t worry if they will opt not to attend an entire session. When they attend with the purpose to learn, the Spirit will touch their hearts and they will want to listen more.
Share What is Learned
Radiate the joy that comes from General Conference by sharing the things we learn. Either by word-of-mouth, by text messages or by social media, we can tell the world that prophets speak in our time. Think of people who may need to hear specific messages. We can tell them of God’s love for them by sharing words from the speakers. The warm, comforting feeling of the Spirit is viral and must be available to all.
General Conference is a beautiful event. It is a venue for instruction and inspiration. Listening to living prophets and leaders of our time has never been more important. The two-day event will not be an issue of length but an affair of character. As we “tarry and watch”, may we feel the great love of our Father in Heaven and the tender mercies of His Son, Jesus Christ.