In 1971 my mother would have found the Tuesday afternoon session of General Conference on the radio, if she could, and if she didn’t have classes or work. Otherwise she would have waited until she had the text. My father would have had to read the text for sure on his foreign mission.

Both would have read it. They were always serious as long as I can remember about reading the conference talks. They didn’t know each other then. I see them, my mother in her Mormon town, my father in the Andes, both reading the conference talks, not knowing who they would marry yet, not knowing the particulars of how their life would go.

But still, because they were reading the conference talks, knowing a great deal in general about their life would go. They found, as I find,

a pattern of life to live by through his gospel that will bring us joy and happiness in this life and exaltation through the worlds to come

Elder LeGrand Richards.

They heard about a pattern of life that directed them towards the Lord’s house, towards marriage, and family life. Ours has not been a textbook happy family. But it has been happy. We may not be Family of the Year. But we hope to be co-champs for Family of the Eternities. The one God does not care about. The other He has decreed as destiny.
It is likely that the choices that matter most aren’t the big ones, but the small choices about the patterns we expose ourselves to and the influences we accept. Those are upstream of decisions. They are the ones where God decrees our destiny. More and more, I think that one of the most important small choices is the pattern of repeated engagement with general conference, with the words of the prophets and apostles.  Elder Richards:

I wonder where in all this world men could go today and listen to such sermons as we have heard here, which will exalt men and women in bringing them happiness in this life and eternal exaltation in the world to come, with their loved ones and with the sanctified and redeemed of our Father’s children. . . .
With all my heart and soul, I bear you my witness of the divinity of this work, that God the Eternal Father has decreed its destiny. It is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, with Christ our Lord as the chief cornerstone. And he is guiding his church today, and will continue to do so until he comes in the clouds of heaven as the holy prophets have declared, and I leave you that witness in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . .

I believe that the words of the prophets are the most sure guide we have in this world today. I believe what Jesus said: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

When I think about my life with my father and mother, growing up, I think about two ordinary, humdrum people, like I am ordinary and humdrum. But at odd moments of testimony or when sacrifices were demanded, the secret fire that was burning inside them revealed itself. They had and have an inner flame. I do too. It is kindled and stoked by the words of the Lord through his servants.

Elder Richards:

And that is why our people will respond to every call that comes to them, because the God of heaven created the feelings of the human breast, and like Nephi of old said, the Lord “hath filled me with his love, even to the consuming of my flesh.”

Liminality and Shaded Areas by SilverRain
Unborrowed Light by SilverRain
Eyes to See and Ears to Hear by Chastity Wilson
The Shaded Areas of Our Testimony by Daniel O.
He Lives, and there were gold plates!! by Michael W.
A People Blessed by Revelation by Ralph Hancock
The Path Out of Shadows by Nathaniel Givens
Eyes to See by Michelle L.
You Have Entered the Twilight Zone by Walker Wright
•A Pattern to Live by G.

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