Applying Conference Changes Members’ Lives


Shortly after the October 2009 general conference, Jared and Kathleen Smith of Utah, USA, decided to take a drive around the neighborhood with their three children to enjoy the colorful autumn leaves. Before leaving, Brother Smith put a vial of consecrated oil in his pocket. The words of President Henry B. Eyring’s priesthood address to be ready for priesthood service at all times had been on his mind (see “Serve with the Spirit,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2010, 59).

On their way home, the Smiths happened upon a crowd gathering around a little girl lying on the ground, apparently suffering from some kind of head trauma. They heard a woman shout, “Please, does anyone have consecrated oil? Please!” Brother Smith quickly pulled over and handed his oil to the girl’s father. After a priesthood blessing, the girl regained consciousness and began talking to her parents. Moments later, paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital.

“We felt a warmth and a peace in our hearts for having been in the right place at the right time, for having brought oil, and as President Eyring spoke of, having been ready,” says Brother Smith. “Our children saw the blessing of priesthood power, and we left feeling Heavenly Father’s love for both us and this young girl and her family.”

Like the Smiths, many families have been blessed for following counsel received during general conference. As members prepare for another general conference, three families share here their stories of heeding the prophetic voice.

For more stories (in English) or to share your own experience (in any language), read the full version of this article on the Church News and Events section of LDS.org at lds.org/church/news/how-general-conference-changed-my-life.

Anne Te Kawa, Tararua, New Zealand

Early in 2010, I had been dealing with some serious personal challenges. My bishop suggested that I might benefit from meeting with a professional counselor. The idea shocked me. I work and am training in the field of drug and alcohol addiction treatment, so I thought, “I am practically a counselor myself! I don’t need outside help.”

I was still wrestling with some of my challenges—and my own pride—when April general conference came around. Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy gave a talk titled, “All Things Work Together for Good” (see Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 101) centered on dealing with affliction.

His message touched me, and I determined to pray for direction about what I should do. I left conference wanting to seek faith and to trust the Savior to guide me through the Holy Ghost.

For two weeks I pondered and prayed and contemplated and ultimately decided I would try counseling. It has been a helpful, successful experience. In addition, rereading Elder Martino’s talk, being buoyed by prayer to Heavenly Father, and relying on the Atonement of His Son Jesus Christ have given me enduring security. I testify that humbly seeking the Lord is always the way to overcome trials. He will guide us to know what specific things we need to do.

Andrea Roueche, Texas, USA

My husband, Collin, and I became parents in October 2009. By the time our daughter, Eliza, was five months old, we started talking about when we would start including her in family home evening and scripture study. Was it worthwhile to hold family home evening when she was awake? Could she really get anything out of our reading the Book of Mormon out loud?

During the April 2010 general conference, Elder David A. Bednar said, “Youth of all ages, even infants, can and do respond to the distinctive spirit of the Book of Mormon” (“Watching with All Perseverance,” Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 40).

The changes we have made have been simple and gradual. We play a CD of Primary songs for Eliza regularly. We read a few verses from the Book of Mormon with her at dinnertime. We have started having family prayer just before Eliza goes to bed. On walks, I point out the birds and tell her, “Jesus made those birds for us.” She may not understand right now, but she will.

I’ve found that these things have lifted much of my anxiety for the future. I feel that if I do my part by teaching Eliza what she needs to know and by following prophetic counsel, she will be blessed in the future.

Sela Fakatou, West Midlands, England

In our family, everyone is busy. Sometimes we don’t take time to listen carefully to each other or practice kindness or politeness. So in preparation for an upcoming general conference, we prayed to know how we could grow closer as a family.

Elder Robert D. Hales’s talk, “Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation” (see Liahona and Ensign, May 2010, 95), answered our prayers and our questions.

I was especially touched by the story about Elder Hales’s grandson asking, “Grandpa! Are you in there?” Elder Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained, “Being there means understanding the hearts of our youth and connecting with them. And connecting with them means not just conversing with them but doing things with them too.”

We’ve worked to improve our interaction with each other. At dinner, we talk about the day. We talk about challenges we’re facing and how the things we’re learning from the scriptures help us confront and overcome those challenges.

Making time for these exchanges has taken effort. But as these good habits have become part of family life, I have felt a special love for my family. As I have followed the prophetic counsel I received at conference, answers to other questions have filled my mind, and I see ways I can be more like the Savior Jesus Christ. More than ever before, I feel a sense of peace instead of worry.

A conference message by Elder James B. Martino provided Anne Te Kawa of New Zealand with the confidence to pray for the guidance she needed.

Collin and Andrea Roueche found the answers they were seeking in a conference message by Elder David A. Bednar.