“If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during his April 2011 general conference address.
Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have repeatedly encouraged participation in general conference, a meeting where prophets and apostles truly do speak today. That counsel to participate is helpful as we prepare for general conference once again.
Elder Holland said that those who speak at general conference serve as “mortal messengers with angelic messages” who have all “sounded ‘the trump of God.’ Every sermon given is always, by definition, both a testimony of love and a warning,” he said.
Speakers are not given assigned topics; instead, they seek inspiration and direction from heaven to know what to say that will, through the Spirit, resonate with the individual members of the Church.
Elder Holland said, “We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks, that for our time and in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, ‘the will of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation’” (D&C 68:4).
Each session of general conference is a continuation of the declaration to “set up an ensign for the nations” (Isaiah 11:12). Elder Holland said the ancient prophecy given by Isaiah is fast at work in these last days, when the “Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains” (Isaiah 2:2).
“Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ,” Elder Holland said.