Today, my stake joined with 108 other stakes in the Southeastern United State to enjoy a stake conference broadcasted from Salt Lake. Apparently, the South is in serious spiritual trouble, because they marshaled the General Authority A-Team. We enjoyed powerhouse talks by Elder Ulises S Soares, Sister Neill F. Marriott, Bishop Dean M. Davies, and Elder David A Bednar. It was a deluge of great teachings. Especially Elder Bednar’s talk. It’s always a blessing to hear counsel from a prophet, seer, and revelator. There was just so much there.
I like to think that I follow the prophet and apostles. I’m not part of an apostate group. I don’t shout during sustainings. I firmly believe they are the Lord’s mouthpieces on the earth and the only ones authorized to receive revelation for the Church and for the earth in general.
So, what am I going to do with the prophetic counsel I received today? Maybe I’ll smile and nod through the meeting, then go home and promptly forget about it (it is lunchtime after all). Or maybe I’ll even look over my notes this evening as part of my study and laugh again at some of the stories. Or maybe I’ll even mention it in our Elders Quorum lesson next week, to show I was really paying attention.
I don’t think that cuts it. In the Nephite General Conference of 124 BC, King Benjamin told his people:
I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.
Do we “trifle” with the words our leaders teach us? Um, apparently all the time. The Brethren have a saying that they quote whenever there is a new initiative or teaching to emphasize: “How many tellings will it take?” How many tellings will it take before we start honoring the sanctity of the Sabbath? How many tellings will it take before a sad percentage of missionaries have to return home due to resolve problems that should have been already resolved with priesthood authority? How many tellings will it take before pornography stops being such a rampant plague within the body of the priesthood?
Do I trifle with the words which I’ve received? I grimace to think that maybe I have been guilty of some trifling. I feel a little sting of guilt when I read this account of how the Nephites righteously responded to their prophetic counsel:
And so great and marvelous were the words and prophecies of Lachoneus that [the people] did exert themselves in their might to do according to the words of Lachoneus.
Let’s live up to our privileges. Let’s not “trifle with the words” of our prophets and apostles. Let’s only have to be told once. Let’s “exert ourselves in our might” and seriously apply their words.
I’m determined to read over those notes I took studiously (this is a spiritual endeavor in and of itself because I’ll need to gift of translation in order to understand the chicken scratch I was scrawling today). I’m going to pray about the messages that were presented. I’m going to learn what specific changes Heavenly Father wants me to make in my life from those messages. And I’m going to exert myself in my might to do according to the words of the prophets.
This post first appeared on Power in the Book