" I invite you to listen, listen if you will by the power of the Spirit, to the speakers who will address you today and tomorrow as well as this evening. If you will do so, I do not hesitate to promise that you will be uplifted, your resolution to do what is right will be stronger, you will find solutions to your problems and your needs, and you will be led to thank the Lord for what you have heard."
"I say again, FOLLOW THE BRETHREN. In a few days there opens another general conference of the Church. The servants of the Lord will counsel us. You may listen with anxious ears and hearts, or you may turn that counsel aside.... What you shall gain will depend not so much upon their preparation of the messages as upon your preparation
(Boyd K. Packer, "Follow the Brethren", BYU Devotional, 23 Mar 1965)
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.333:
"For the next six months your conference edition of the Ensign should stand next to your standard works and be referred to frequently. As my dear friend and brother Harold B. Lee said, we should let these conference addresses 'be the guide to [our] walk and talk during the next six months. These are the important matters the Lord sees fit to reveal tothis people in this day.'"
(CR April 1946, p. 68.) (CR April 1988, Ensign 18 [May 1988]: 84.)
Harold B. Lee:
"Now, you Latter-day Saints, I think you have never attended a conference where in these three days you have heard more inspired declarations on most every subject and problem about which you have been worrying. If you want to know what the Lord would have the Saints know and to have his guidance and direction for the next six months, get a copy of the proceedings of this conference, and you will have the latest word of the Lord as far as the Saints are concerned."
(CR Oct. 1973)
Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 523 (this was before the Ensign):
"I hope you will get your copy of the 'Improvement Era' and underline the pertinent thoughts and keep it with you for continual reference. No text nor volume outside of the standard works of the Church should have such a prominent place on your personal library shelves, not because of their rhetorical excellence, nor the eloquence of delivery, but for the content which points the way to eternal life."
"Our being edified at conference depends on us. It becomes necessary that we prepare our hearts to receive and profit by the suggestions that may be made by the speakers during the progress of the conference, which may be prompted by the Spirit of the Lord. I have thought, and still think, that our being edified does not so much depend upon the speaker as upon ourselves."
(October 1898, CR, p. 1)
"We have heard enough truth and direction in this conference to bring us into the presence of God if we would follow it."
Marion G. Romney, CR April 1954, p. 132-133
"It is our high privilege to hear, through these men, what the Lord would say if he were here. If we do not agree with what they say, it is because we are out of harmony with the spirit of the Lord."
--Marion G. Romney--
"As the Latter-day Saints go home from this conference, it would be well if they consider seriously the importance of taking with them the report of this conference and let it be the guide to their walk and talk during the next six months. These are the important matters the Lord sees fit to reveal to this people in this day in this year."
--President Harold B. Lee--
"Sunday night...the great Tabernacle was closed, the lights turned out, and the record machines stopped, the doors locked and another historical conference became history. It will have been lost motion--a waste of time, energy, and money---if its messages ARE NOT HEEDED. In the seven two-hour sessions and in the several satellite meetings, truths were taught, doctrines expounded, exhortations given, enough to save the whole world from all its ills--AND I MEAN FROM ALL ITS ILLS..."
President Spencer W. Kimball
"I hope you young people all heard the messages...There will be other conferences every six months. I hope you will get your copy... and underline the pertinent thoughts and keep it with you for continual reference. No text or volume outside the standards works of the Church should have such a prominent place on your personal library shelves...."
-President Spencer W. Kimball, "In the World But Not of It", BYU, 14 May 1968
"Viewing the general conference sessions with our family is not sufficient to bring a love for the prophets. On one occasion some years before my call as a General Authority, I conducted a meeting presided over by one of the Apostles. After the meeting, I asked him about his stake conference talks. "Do you prepare something specific for each stake conference?" I asked. He replied that he generally did not, but relied upon the promptings received just prior to and during the conference. But then he added, "But my general conference talk is very different. I will normally go through twelve to fifteen drafts to be certain that it is what the Lord would have me say." Many times since then I have asked myself, "If an Apostle will go through twelve to fifteen drafts, is it pleasing to the Lord if I listen to or read his message one or two times? I don't think so."
Neil L Anderson (April 1996, Ensign, p. 47)
"Pray for the Brethren at conference time. When the Brethren arise to speak you should ask the Lord to let them say something that you want to know, that they may suggest something to you that will be of some advantage. If you have any desire to know certain matters that you do not understand, pray that these brethren in their talks may say something that shall enlighten your mind in reference to that which troubles you, and we will have a grand and glorious conference, a better one than we have ever had before. Strange as it may appear, our last conference always seems the best, and may this be the case; and you brethren and sisters, let your hearts rise up to the Lord and exercise faith while our brethren are talking to you. We will not be disappointed, and you will not go home, you will not retire from this conference, without feeling you have been greatly and abundantly blessed."
Lorenzo Snow, 5 October 1900, CR, p. 5
Ezra Taft Benson:
"Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the Prophet contained each week in the Church Section of the Deseret News and any words of the Prophet contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses which are printed in the Ensign magazine."
Ezra Taft Benson, "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophets", BYU, 26 Feb. 1980
"Now, we may take the Bible, the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants, and we may read them through, and every other revelation that has been given to us, and they would scarcely be sufficient to guide us twenty-four hours. We have only an outline of our duties written; we are to be guided by the living oracles."
Wilford Woodruff, JD 9:324
Henry B. Eyring:
"Another fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain its benefits or to stay where we are. But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.
"Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm's way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before."
"Finding Safety in Counsel," General Conference, April 1997; Ensign May 1997, p. 25
"A general conference of this Church is a remarkable occasion indeed -- it is an institutional declaration that the heavens are open, that divine guidance is as real today as it was for the ancient house of Israel, that God our Heavenly Father loves us and speaks His will through a living prophet."
Jeffrey R. Holland
"The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom" General Conference, October 1996
"In order for the messages of general conference to change our lives, we need to be willing to follow the counsel we hear."
Paul V. Johnson, "the Blessings of General Conference," Ensign, Nov. 2005, p. 50
"From the Prophet Joseph Smith to President Howard W. Hunter [and certainly to President Hinckley now], we are receiving updated sacred guidance according to our needs and readiness. The general conference messages by our prophets, seers, and revelators are given to us by the Lord in his own time, in his own way, and for a very special purpose."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"The Only True And Valid Basis"
General Conference, October 1994
"As I have pondered the messages of the conference, I have asked myself this question: How can I help others partake of the goodness and blessings of our Heavenly Father? The answer lies in following the direction received from those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators, and others of the General Authorities. Let us study their words, spoken under the Spirit of inspiration, and refer to them often. The Lord has revealed his will to the Saints in this conference."
"Decide now to make general conference a priority in your life. Decide to listen carefully and follow the teachings that are given. Listen to or read the talks more than once to better understand and follow the counsel. By doing these things, the gates of hell will not prevail against you, the powers of darkness will be dispersed from before you, and the heavens will shake for your good."
Paul V. Johnson, "The Blessings of General Conference," Ensign, Nov. 2005, 52