Viewpoint: God Has Not Left Us to Wander
Contributed By the Church News
- Prophets and apostles gain revelation specifically for our day.
- Media and technology have helped spread information faster than ever.
- Conference is a testimony that we have not been left alone.
“The love you feel is the love the Lord has for whomever is His spokesman.” —President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Today, more than ever, the world needs to know that God has called a prophet to tell people what He would have them do. And thanks to inspired inventions and modern technologies, along with members of the Church who willingly use them, those messages are going farther and helping more people than ever.
General conference has always provided an opportunity for the Lord, through His servants, to deliver messages tailored specifically to the needs of the world at that time. The 184th Semiannual General Conference was no exception.
President Thomas S. Monson delivered a clear call for all to choose to follow our Heavenly Father and to reject evil. Quoting Proverbs, President Monson admonished all to “ponder the path of thy feet” (Proverbs 4:26).
When choosing which way to go, President Monson said we are not left helpless. “Although we are left to find and follow that path which will lead us back to our Father in Heaven, He did not send us here without direction and guidance. Rather, He has given us the tools we need, and He will assist us as we seek His help and strive to do all in our power to endure to the end and gain eternal life.”
Those tools include prophets, apostles, and other inspired leaders; scriptures; hymns; Church curriculum; lesson manuals; and personal revelation. They also include the miracles of modern media.
As President Monson noted in his opening address on Saturday morning, 90 years have passed since the first time a general conference was broadcast on the radio, sending the voices of speakers far beyond the walls of the Tabernacle. Sixty-five years have passed since the first televised conference, which allowed people to both see and hear the speakers in remote areas.
“We acknowledge the blessings of modern media in allowing millions of members of the Church to watch or listen to general conference,” he said.
Sessions of the conference were broadcast on a variety of platforms, including radio, television, cable, satellite, and mobile devices. It was broadcast in 94 languages by satellite to 102 countries. Conference proceedings were made available on the Internet in every nation where the Church is present. The Internet makes possible on-demand viewing and sharing in coming days, months, and years.
Most significantly, social media now allows members themselves to share and, in effect, broadcast the words of Church leaders far and wide, along with their own testimonies of the truthfulness of the messages. Anyone who followed the Church’s recommended Twitter hashtag #ldsconf last weekend saw thousands of messages, many of them restating important truths taught at the pulpit, and many providing links to live streams of conference proceedings.
Each message was sent to the particular user’s “followers,” thus magnifying the sound of the restored gospel through the most effective medium possible—the trusted recommendation of a friend.
Each such tweet reinforced the message taught by Church leaders that members are responsible for their own conversion and for obtaining revelations pertaining to their own needs and how best to spread the truth to others. Other social media provide similar opportunities.
President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of obtaining such revelation, saying, “We all know that human judgment and logical thinking will not be enough to get answers to the questions that matter most in life. We need revelation from God. And we will need not just one revelation in a time of stress, but we need a constantly renewed stream.”
Further, he said that the Lord gives to those whom the Church President leads “a confirming witness that his commands come from God through the Holy Ghost to an imperfect human being.”
It is that witness of truth that will change hearts, behaviors, and, ultimately, the world. As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “The Everlasting and Almighty God, the Creator of this vast universe, will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.”
It is that amazing promise that must be communicated to a world wallowing in sorrows, despair, and the tragic consequences of poor choices and behaviors. And the Lord truly has provided His followers with the tools they need in order to spread that message far.
The Savior declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored to move throughout the world the knowledge of the life and teachings of the Savior,” President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, said in his Saturday morning conference address. He noted the array of media now available to help teach the gospel to people everywhere.
“We seek to strengthen the testimonies of the young and old, the married and single,” he said. “We need to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to men, women, and children, those of every race and nationality, the rich and the poor.”
President Eyring said that “the feeling you get of love for the prophet of God” is a gift that should not be taken lightly. “The love you feel is the love the Lord has for whomever is His spokesman.”
That love, so beautifully shared by General Authorities and Church members during conference, is the burning testimony that God has not left the world to wander on its own. He has called His spokesman. He has restored the truth, and He has revealed the path to everlasting joy.