I attended general conference in person for the first time in October 2008 on a beautiful Sabbath morning in Salt Lake City. I went to the Conference Center, knowing that I would hear enlightening, uplifting, and inspired speeches. But I found that I was also touched by what I did not hear.
Before the session started, I saw the Apostles taking their respective seats, but I could not see the First Presidency. A few minutes passed, and when the several thousand people around me began to stand, I followed suit. It was then that I saw the First Presidency walk in. A hush fell over the room. I did not know that it was possible for so many people to be so silent; the quietness and reverence I witnessed was unforgettable!
I imagine that daily we are trying to feel the same reverence that I felt in that room on that lovely Sunday morning. But I’ve found that in a busy world it can be hard to find peace and reverence in our lives.
I went to a Young Women activity at a beach, where we all took 20 minutes to silently ponder and meditate. I sat on a rock, listened to the crashing waves, and saw the serene sunset. But I was disappointed to find that even after 20 minutes, I still had not been able to find reverence. My distracted mind was too busy turning its wheels. I was consumed with my college application process. I was having trouble getting into my school of choice, and I felt like I had forgotten to breathe every once in a while.
When I realized I was having trouble feeling calm, I began praying for peace and relying on the Lord more. Instead of reciting a wish list in my prayers, I tried to remember that the Lord’s will was more important than my own. I prayed for what the Lord wanted to happen, not what I wanted to happen.
I felt more at peace over the course of the next few months and saw miracles in my life. I realized the Lord was trying to show me that He loved me. The peace I felt helped me to know of His love. I know that it is possible to find reverence despite our everyday distractions. If we seek peace and reverence, then we can more fully usher in the feelings of love that come from our Heavenly Father.
Reverence and Revelation
“Reverence invites revelation. …
“The reverence we speak of does not equate with absolute silence. …
“No one of us can survive in the world of today, much less in what it soon will become, without personal inspiration. The spirit of reverence can and should be evident … in the lives of every member.”
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Reverence Invites Revelation,” Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22–23.
Photo illustration by Jerry Garns