Recently, we studied 3 Nephi 11 as part of the Come Follow Me curriculum. I am always touched by Christ’s visit to the Nephites. However, this year I thought about the upcoming General Conference and how we can follow their example, so that we are prepared to hear the word of God.
“And now it came to pass that there were a great multitude gathered together, of the people of Nephi, round about the temple which was in the land Bountiful;” (v. 1): The Nephites made their way through the darkness to the temple. They were in the right place. In other words, they were present. Likewise, we might need to find our way through the darkness of life to General Conference whether over the radio, TV, or the Internet. We need to change our schedule so that we are in the right place to hear the messages like the Nephites. We need to be present.
“And they were also conversing about this Jesus Christ, of whom the sign had been given concerning his death.” (v. 2): Not only were the Nephites at the temple, they also had the right attitude. They weren’t talking about the destruction they had just experienced, rather they were talking about Christ. Likewise, this weekend is special. For this weekend, we shouldn’t be focusing on the usual weekend subjects like college football and baseball, but rather we need to focus on Christ and his messages to the Saints and to the world.
“they heard a voice as if it came out of heaven; and they cast their eyes round about, for they understood not the voice which they heard; and it was not a harsh voice, neither was it a loud voice; nevertheless, and notwithstanding it being a small voice it did pierce them that did hear to the center, insomuch that there was no part of their frame that it did not cause to quake; yea, it did pierce them to the very soul, and did cause their hearts to burn.” (v. 3): While it took three times to hear the voice, they did. Each time, they were getting intune with the Holy Ghost. Each time, they were getting reception, but it wasn’t clear. Likewise, Heavenly Father has a message for each of us. A message that is personal and timely. Like the Nephites, it might take time to tune into hearing and feeling the Holy Ghost witnessing to us the messages we need to hear. However, we will not hear it clearly, if we aren’t listening and feeling.
“The third time they did hear the voice and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them:” (V.5-6): Just like the Nephites, who had to “open their ears” and “look steadfastly towards heaven” to truly understand the message. We need to do the same this weekend. We need to open our ears. We need to actively listen to General Conference. Each session, even the Sunday afternoon session, because maybe your message is found with the last speaker or it might take that much time to become intune. We also need to turn towards the heavens. We need to lift our mind and heart to a higher plane. We need to rejoice in the word of God. They didn’t just casually look towards heaven, they steadfastly did so. We need to do the same, we cannot afford to causally participate in the conference this weekend and for the next six months. We need to interact with the talks with purpose. We need to be steadfast and not let other pressures affect the time we commune with heaven.
I am sure you can think of other lessons, we can learn from our Nephite brothers and sisters.
I know this weekend will be a spiritual feast for those prepared and following their example.