In a worldwide, Young Adult Devotional held in May, President Russell M. Nelson addressed young adults by discussing how our choices have eternal consequences. In his address, he brought up the ever-popular term, FOMO, or fear of missing out.
“The ultimate FOMO would be missing out on the celestial kingdom, settling for a lesser kingdom because here on earth you chose only to live the laws of a lesser kingdom,” President Nelson said.
In the spirit of FOMO, there are circumstances where it is not only acceptable but almost necessary. General conference is one of those circumstances.
In full disclosure, the dreaded “conference nap” has been a temptation that has tripped me up from time to time. While I have had all the best intentions to listen attentively, it’s felt like quicksand.
The nap may feel great, but there are precious truths and insights we are missing out on while we count sheep.
If you fell victim to that temptation, don’t sweat it. It happens to almost all of us at one time or another.
Here is what you may have missed during the Saturday Afternoon session:
President M. Russell Ballard, acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, discussed stories of pioneers and how we can learn from their lives and examples.
“We are not pushing handcarts or driving covered wagons over steep mountains and through deep snow drifts; we are trying as they did to spiritually overcome the temptations and challenges of our day,” President Ballard said.
President Ballard closed his remarks by challenging us to follow Jesus Christ with faith in every footstep.
Sister Kristin M. Yee, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, talked about how we can both be forgiven and forgive those who have hurt us. Sister Yee shared how she was able to forgive her father who emotionally and verbally abused her as a child.
“The Lord requires us to forgive for our own good,” Sister Yee said. “But He does not ask us to do it without His help, His love, His understanding.”
Elder Paul V. Johnson, of the Presidency of the Seventy, gave us a glimpse inside his personal life by sharing a story about his grandson who needed a bone-marrow transplant. Elder Johnson explained that the surgery was a success, and his grandson was saved by his brother’s blood.
Elder Johnson compared that to Jesus Christ and how He has saved each of us through His blood.
“There is only one way and name whereby perfection comes,” Elder Johnson said. “Our perfection is only possible through God’s grace.”
Elder Ulisses Soares, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, discussed the importance of marriage. More specifically, a marriage that is founded upon gospel principles.
“I testify to you that as we — women and men — work together in a true and equal partnership, we will enjoy the unity taught by the Savior as we fulfill the divine responsibilities in our marriage relationships.” Elder Soares said.
Elder James W. McConkie III, of the Seventy, talked about how we come closer to the Savior as we spend time with Him. Elder McConkie emphasized that the best way we can spend time with Him is in the scriptures.
While serving in the Czech Slovak Mission, the McConkie family spent time with the missionaries in the scriptures.
“We gained a deeper appreciation for who He was and what was important to Him,” Elder McConkie said.
Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, of the Seventy, followed with his address about how we can build a life that is resistant to the temptations of the adversary. Elder Zeballos compared the building of “anti-seismic” structures to our lives and shared ways to help us build “anti-temptation” lives.
“What is truly relevant is that for having followed the divinely designed plans, and specifications, that is, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we are still standing,” Elder Zeballos said. “The structure of our lives has not been demolished because of the adversary’s efforts or for difficult situations that we have had to face; rather, we are ready to move forward.”
To close the session, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talked about what he refers to as, “the doctrine of belonging.”
Elder Christofferson talked about the three parts of the doctrine of belonging:
— The role of belonging in gathering the Lord’s covenant people.
— The importance of service and sacrifice in belonging.
— The centrality of Jesus Christ in belonging.
Elder Christofferson talked about how, as mortals, we sometimes might not feel like we belong.
“We may communicate in subtle ways that the worth of a soul is based on certain achievements or callings, but these are not the measure of our understanding in the Lord’s eyes,” Elder Christofferson said.
So, whether it is a nap, project or homework assignment, distractions are all around. We’re all busy. It’s understandable. But being present for general conference is one of the greatest blessings we have.
Our attitude towards general conference should be that of a sports fanatic who will do anything to not miss a game.
There are six hours left of conference. Do what you can to be physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually present to listen to the Lord through His inspired leaders.
You are part of the Restoration. You are part of history.