Sunday, October 2, 2011

Drinking from the Fire Hose of Spiritual Knowledge

It's finally General Conference weekend.

I've been needing this week for a long time. It's a week when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spend 10 hours over the course of two days to drink from the firehose that is continuing revelation on Earth.

Imagine you live in ancient biblical times. Now imagine that Moses was coming into town. Moses, like all prophets of the Lord anciently, spoke with God face to face to receive guidance, instruction and authority to relay to the rest of God's children of the era.

Now image that you have the chance to meet Moses. It may be direct interaction. Or it may just be a handshake. Perhaps a wave. He might even nod at your, or tip his staff to you. But there will assuredly be some small morsel of special direction just to you, a sign that you are not forgotten by a loving Heavenly Father. Would you not drop all your appointments so you could go meet him?

That's what General Conference is.

What was good for God's children in ancient Israel is still good for his children now. We have prophets, seers and revelators on the Earth today. Should we not rush out and proclaim the words these prophets speak to us? General Conference gives us the incentive to do just that.

What better time do we have to share what makes Mormons so special than now? We are fast approaching an election year, with two GOP hopefuls from within our own faith. There's a Broadway musical based (sort of ... OK, not really) on a holy volume of scripture from which our nickname is derived. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are everywhere — in politics, television, movies, media, pop culture, sports and anywhere in between.

But most important, they are all around you. They might live next door. They certainly live on the same block. They definitely live in your hometown. So get to know them. I promise, we're not as weird as you think.

Elder L. Tom Perry said, "The growing visibility and reputation of the church presents a remarkable opportunity to as its members ... More importantly, we can share who we are."

Elder Perry, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, also shared several tips to help Mormons in their gospel and belief sharing habits. If you're a Mormon, review this list and make sure you know it, for it is inspired by God. If you're not a member, know these tips so that you can remind us if we stray from it.

1. We must be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ. We believe in Christ as our Lord, our Redeemer, our Savior. There is no other name under heaven whereby men can be saved.
2. Be righteous examples to others. Mormons are taught higher standards than many professed by the world. It's not because we are better; it's because we are striving to be like God.
3. Speak up about the church. Others invite us to share more than we know. Accept those invitations.
If you're not a member but want to know more about what we believe, just ask. It's not hard. And we'll appreciate it, I promise. If you are a member, don't run in shame and fear if somebody asks you about your beliefs (even if the questions range from obscure to uncomfortable). We cannot hide our light forever. Testify of what you know; it can always make a difference.

I'll be back with more tomorrow from the final two sessions of Conference. In the mean time, follow me on the Twitter widget in the column of this blog. Or check in with me on any other social networking site you used to navigate here (Who uses search engines anymore, right?)

Here's an example of something one of the Apostles taught us at this most recent session. Elder David A. Bednar spoke on a subject that is incredibly special to me, because it was once a university major of mine: Family History and Genealogy. I hope you learn from it as much as I did.