This is a General Conference Odyssey post.
When was the last time you read the story of Daniel in the Lion’s Den or Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus? These are classic scriptures that hold a message of truth that we often forget.
Maybe you haven’t read all of the accounts of The First Vision recently. You know, that’s a controversial subject. Some people don’t understand why the different versions add to, or neglect, certain parts of the whole story. So, what do you think?
Have you ever wondered about a doctrine or principle and, using the Topical Guide, searched out scriptures to understand it’s truth better? And then, did you pray to have a personal witness of what you learned?
The scriptures are where truth is found and we desperately need to find truth in our day and age. With so much chaos blowing all around us, it is truth that will stand erect and point the way to Jesus Christ.
Bishop Vandenberg talked (in the April 1978 Sunday morning session of conference) about truth. He said, “Truth defined is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.” We learn about Jesus Christ in the scriptures. We learn who He was, what He did, and how His life affected others. Our study of the scriptures will draw us closer to Him.
In his talk, he mentioned James 1:5-7. I’ve often wondered what it was in those verses that caused Joseph to ponder for a long time how to get an answer to his question. The other day, in Relief Society, the teacher had us close our eyes and ponder for five minutes on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It was a good exercise.
The world, as we know it, doesn’t allow for much pondering. We must purposefully remove ourselves from the world in order to quietly ponder the scriptures where answers of truth will flood our thoughts.
For the past several years, we have discussed General Conference talks in Priesthood/Relief Society. This General Conference Odyssey is all about what has been said in our conferences. Next year, we’ll be studying even more talks given during conference. I love reading these talks and thinking about their messages. But I heard a story recently that made me think twice.
A member of our church was visiting with a friend, who happened to be a rabbi. During the discussion, the scriptures came up. When asked what the rabbi thought of the scriptures, he said, “Oh, I don’t study the old scriptures, I study what others have said about them.”
We might view General Conference talks in the same way. We tend to study them instead of the scriptures. Even though we view these talks as modern-day scripture, we might take another look and note the references used in each talk. We can see that many talks have a strong reference to the scriptures. As we read the talks we might refer to the scriptures to gain a full understanding of the truths that are being preached.
It is the scriptures that hold truth, not what people think about them, or try to remember from the old Primary stories of their youth. Next year, as we study the conference messages, I challenge all of us to read through each of the references of the talks given. Most of them lead us to the scriptures where we can see truth as it was originally given. The scriptures aren’t old-fashioned. They are classic and will forever hold the message of truth.
What is truth? Marilyn Nielson