What do living prophets teach us at general conferences and other meetings? They teach Truth. And the Truths they teach are the ones that they know we are particularly in need of. How do they know? Because that is their prophetic gift. We open our hearts and minds in meekness and humility, and the Holy Ghost teaches and ratifies the Truth. He carries this spiritual sensory data into our hearts and minds to create ever stronger spiritual muscles.
If we want to feed the Truths and starve the lies, certainly we will take advantage of every opportunity to sit at the feet of prophets. We will treasure the general conference issue of the Ensign, study it, pray about it, absorb it. We will take advantage of podcasts, BYUtv, CDs, and DVDs that fill our minds with the counsel of prophets, seers, and revelators.
Sheri Dew recently told the following story:
Before each general conference I try to prepare myself spiritually so that I’ll hear whatever the Lord wants me to hear and apply it to my life in the way the Lord wants me to apply it. Several conferences ago, during the first session, I had a very clear impression: “Sheri, you have the TV on too much.” I almost said right out loud, “You’ve got to be kidding me. That can’t be my problem!” To tell the truth, it kind of bothered me. Now, the impression wasn’t about watching the wrong things, but about frequency. So I started thinking about it. “You have the TV on too much.” Because I live alone and am something of a news junkie, I began to think that maybe I did have the TV on more than I realized. So, by the end of conference, I had made a promise to the Lord that I would cut my TV time back dramatically, and I even promised Him a percentage.
Two nights later I was teaching an institute class. We were having a general conference review, and one of the young women raised her hand and said she had had a remarkable experience with conference and she attributed it to the fact that she had prepared differently. From the time of the conference six months previous she had read a conference talk every day. She had read every talk from the last conference and then had gone further back. She said it had made a huge difference in the way she had experienced this conference.
“Wow,” I told my class, “I’ve never done that.” I wondered how I could fit that into my life. Then I thought about the time in the morning when I had been listening to the TV news while I got ready for my day. I began going onto LDS.org on my computer and dialing into the conference talks. I found that I could listen to two or three talks in the time it took me to get ready in the morning. In six months’ time I listened to all the talks from the previous conference, then went back to others. Well, the combination of turning off the TV and tuning into talks from general conference was another way of saying, “I’m tuning out the world some and starting out my day listening to prophets, seers, and revelators.” I cannot even begin to tell you what the combination of those things has done for my life, for the presence of the Spirit in my home, and for the frame of mind with which I begin my work. It truly makes a difference, tuning out the world and tuning into the prophets (unpublished typescript in author’s possession).