“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only!”


The massive pipe organ
at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City


Many years ago, while I was between two meetings in a building on the BYU campus some distance from my own office, a friend of mine (from another department and BYU college) offered me the use of hers for an hour while she was in class.


It was a few days after general conference, and, though I really didn’t intend to nose through what was on and around her desk, I couldn’t help noticing something that both impressed me deeply and reminded me of my own inattentiveness.


She had, plainly, listened to conference very carefully, and with a notebook in hand.


Posted in front of her, on the wall above her desk, was a list of specific resolutions — one or more per conference address, organized by speaker’s name — derived from the previous weekend’s meetings.  For each conference talk, she had listed at least one specific theme and assigned herself at least one very particular action to take in order to respond to the speaker’s remarks.


I was both dazzled and shamed.  My own listening to conference — I’ve long listened to every session; I do at least that much — seemed passive and perfunctory, not serious.  She was actively engaged, and eagerly desirous to improve her discipleship.


I’m quite certain that those who say that conference is uninteresting, that it offers nothing new, would greatly increase their enjoyment of it if they were actively listening, with a desire to find specific things to take into their daily lives.  We all have plenty of room for that.


Though I’ve seldom learned much new doctrine from general conference over the past decades, I’ve learned a very great deal about what I ought to be doing, and how I need to improve.  And those are far and away more important.



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  • http://plainandpreciousthing.blogspot.com/ Rozann

    Goodness, did you drop over dead mid-sentence? Or just push the button prematurely. I hope the latter. I’ve long taken notes during conference, but only recently have I tied that to choosing something to change in my life. Thanks for sharing this insight.

    • danpeterson

      Hmmm. I don’t know what happened there. And I don’t really remember how I originally ended it. So I wrote a new ending. Maybe the angels didn’t like the previous one.