October Conference Notebook

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As you review the October 2012 general conference, you can use these pages (and Conference Notebooks in future issues) to help you study and apply the recent teachings of the living prophets and apostles and other Church leaders.

“What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken; … whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38).

To read, watch, or listen to general conference addresses, visit conference.lds.org.

Stories from Conference

Was It Chance That Our Paths Crossed?

President Thomas S. Monson, “Consider the Blessings,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 88.

President Thomas S. Monson

On one extremely cold Saturday night during the winter of 1983–84, Sister Monson and I drove several miles to the mountain valley of Midway, Utah, where we have a home. The temperature that night was minus 24 degrees Fahrenheit (–31°C), and we wanted to make certain all was well at our home there. We checked and found that it was fine, so we left to return to Salt Lake City. We barely made it [a] few miles … before our car stopped. … We were completely stranded. …

Reluctantly we began walking toward the nearest town, the cars whizzing past us. Finally one car stopped, and a young man offered to help. … This kind young man drove us back to our Midway home. I attempted to reimburse him … , but he … indicated that he was a Boy Scout and wanted to do a good turn. I identified myself to him, and he expressed his appreciation for the privilege to be of help. Assuming that he was about missionary age, I asked him if he had plans to serve a mission. He indicated he was not certain just what he wanted to do.

On the following Monday morning, I wrote a letter to this young man and thanked him for his kindness. In the letter I encouraged him to serve a full-time mission. …

About a week later the young man’s mother telephoned and advised that her son was an outstanding young man but that because of certain influences in his life, his long-held desire to serve a mission had diminished. She indicated she and his father had fasted and prayed that his heart would be changed. … [She] wanted me to know that she looked upon the events of that cold evening as an answer to their prayers in his behalf. I said, “I agree with you.”

After several months and more communication with this young man, Sister Monson and I were overjoyed to attend his missionary farewell prior to his departure for the Canada Vancouver Mission.

Was it chance that our paths crossed on that cold December night? I do not for one moment believe so. Rather, I believe our meeting was an answer to a mother’s and father’s heartfelt prayers for the son they cherished.

Questions to Ponder

  • How can serving a mission strengthen you and those you teach?

  • What can you do to prepare yourself to serve a mission?

Consider writing your thoughts in your journal or discussing them with others.

Additional resources on this topic: Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service (2004); Russell M. Nelson, “Ask the Missionaries! They Can Help You!” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 18–21.

Change in Missionary Age Guidelines

In the October 2012 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson announced: “All worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent … will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. … Able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21” (“Welcome to Conference,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 4, 5).

Prophetic Promise

“Our Heavenly Father is aware of our needs and will help us as we call upon Him for assistance. I believe that no concern of ours is too small or insignificant. The Lord is in the details of our lives.”

President Thomas S. Monson, “Consider the Blessings,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 88.

Study Corner

Drawing Parallels: True Conversion

Some of the most important topics are addressed by more than one general conference speaker. Here is what four speakers said about true conversion. Try looking for other parallels as you study conference talks.

  • “True conversion … includes a conscious commitment to become a disciple of Christ.”1 —Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  • “At baptism we promise to take upon us ‘the name of [Jesus] Christ, having [the] determination to serve him to the end.’ [Moroni 6:3; emphasis added.] Such a covenant requires courageous effort, commitment, and integrity.”2 —Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  • “We are followers of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Such conversion and confidence is the result of diligent and deliberate effort. It is individual. It is the process of a lifetime.”3 —Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency

  • “Only when our testimony transcends what is in our mind and burrows deep into our heart will our motivation to love and to serve become like unto the Savior’s.”4 —Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles


  •   1.

    David A. Bednar, “Converted unto the Lord,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 107.

  •   2.

    Quentin L. Cook, “Can Ye Feel So Now?” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 9.

  •   3.

    Ann M. Dibb, “I Know It. I Live It. I Love It,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 10.

  •   4.

    M. Russell Ballard, “Be Anxiously Engaged,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2012, 30.