I served in the United States Navy during World War II. I started in the lowest ranks. After the war ended, I decided that if I ever had to serve in the military again, I wanted to be an officer instead. So I went to drill meetings. I studied. I took exams. Finally I got a letter that said I was accepted! I showed my wife and said, “I made it!” She gave me a hug and told me I had worked hard.
But then something happened. I was called to be a counselor in my ward bishopric. The bishop’s council meeting was on the same night as my navy drill meetings. I knew that I couldn’t do both. I prayed about it. Then I went to see the man who was my stake president when I was a boy, Elder Harold B. Lee, who later became the prophet. I told him how much I wanted to become an officer. I even showed him the copy of the letter I had received.
After thinking about things for a moment, he said to me, “Here’s what you should do, Brother Monson. You write a letter to the navy and tell them you can’t accept the commission as an officer.”
My heart sank. Another war was starting, and if I was called to go back into the military, I wanted to be an officer. Elder Lee put his hand on my shoulder and in a fatherly way said, “Brother Monson, have more faith. The military is not for you.”
I went home and did what he said. Six weeks later, I was called to be a bishop. I would not hold the position in the Church I hold today if I had not followed the counsel of a prophet and prayed about that decision. I learned an important truth: the wisdom of God sometimes looks foolish to men (see 1 Corinthians 2:14). But when God speaks and His children obey, they will always be right. When you follow the prophets, you will be in safe territory.
We can hear advice from the prophet and apostles when we listen to general conference. As you listen, draw lines from the picture of the speaker to what they are speaking about. If a topic isn’t already on the page, write it in!