Come Listen

My days at university were electric.

I was an unmotivated high school student. I didn’t hate concept of school or loath the burden of homework, I was just uninterested in learning.

After high school, I started working to save money for my mission. In fact, my mission was the only thing motivating me. Luckily, that sacred experience opened my eyes to the joys of learning. Hours spent studying the Gospel, learning a language, and immersing myself in an exciting culture, lit the embers of my previously idle mind.

Fueled by my zest to learn, after my mission I applied and got accepted to BYU.

My days at university were electric.

I soaked up lectures given by knowledgeable professors, buried myself in mountains of books, and looked forward to endless homework assignments, projects, and papers. The more I invested in my academic pursuits, the more my mind opened.

I was learning to think critically.  Rather than merely accepting what I was taught or read, I began to question. I was no longer simply satisfied with the status quo.

Now I was questioning everything.

This was a major challenge for me. I grew up in the comfort of absolutes. It was not that I was afraid to question the beliefs of my parents, teachers, and Priesthood leaders. I just never saw the need.

Now I was questioning everything.

I started to struggle. Things of which I was once sure we’re no longer a source of joy. While I was excelling academically, I was struggling spiritually. For a time, the gospel was not working for me. I was at an important crossroad unsure of which path to take.

Then came General Conference.

I had endured than enjoyed conference for many years. Except for a few talks by Paul H. Dunn and some memorable stories from President Kimball and Elder Monson, conference never really grabbed my full attention.

As I walked towards the Marriott Center to watch General Conference, I was not too hopeful anything would happen to change the trajectory of my troubled mind.

I was wrong.

As the speakers delivered their messages, a calming sweet spirit enveloped my soul. In place of academic abstractions came eternal truths. Instead of listening to lectures looking for ways to poke holes in those opinions came the more sure word of the Gospel.

In a matter of a few hours my troubled mind was refreshed, relaxed, and replenished.

For the first time in my life, I finally understood the joy that came from listening to a prophet’s voice.

Mortality is purposely filled with divinely appointed distractions. There is a place for critically thinking. There are times when questioning the status quo is essential, indeed required.

Likewise, there are times when we need the surety of those who are securely moored to the anchor of eternal truths. As we prepare for General Conference, I invite each of us to renew our gratitude for living at a time when we have a prophet on the earth.

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