As I was going back over all of the tweets and retweets I sent during this past General Conference last weekend, I opened up a spreadsheet and started organizing some of them into what I found to be distinctive themes that emerged during the Conference. If you pay attention, you will always find that there are some repeated themes during any General Conference, several topics or ideas that are mentioned again and again by different speakers. I do not think it is merely coincidence, nor do I think the Brethren plan it by assigning certain topics, but it is the Spirit of the Lord working on those who will speak to address topics of concern for the Church as a whole, making sure that the message gets shared in several different ways so that it may touch the hearts of those listening. One person speaking about a particular subject in one particular way may not necessarily hold much meaning for one person listening, but when someone else gets up and speaks to that same subject, but in a different way, with different scriptures or context or life stories, it may have greater meaning. That is the joy of General Conference and why it is not boring to hear them speak about the same things every year.
The Gospel really isn’t all that complicated, but it does require repetition to remember and keep us in remembrance of our duty toward God and our fellow men. We often forget or find ourselves caught up in our daily lives that we do not contemplate or ponder or think about the Gospel principles that we should as often as we should.
And, as I was going through my tweets I separated them into different themes that I found emerging. Those themes that I discovered in this most recent General Conference were:
- Reach out and help each other
- Man cannot change the laws of God
- Pray to know the truth
- Teach your children well
- Follow the prophet.
I’m sure there were others, but those are the ones that stood out to me as I was listening and taking my notes. And as I go through the Conference talks again, which are now all available online, with text and video, I will be looking for these specific themes and highlighting and tagging passages that speak to these themes.
From my tweets, though, here are a few samples of what I found.
1.Reach out and help each other
RT @LDSnet: Seek out those who have strayed and assist them to return to the fold! #LDSConf #PresPacker #Twitterstake
RT @cproffit: Some people cannot come back to Christ by themselves – but we can help them 🙂 #ldsconf
Love one another. There are no exceptions to that commandment. #Oaks #LDSConf
What can I do to emulate the Savior and serve the poor and downtrodden? #ElderHolland #ldsconf
Do you hear that in his voice? “Don’t you get it yet? Be nice, love one another, serve each other, bring them to Christ.” #ElderHolland
“Although I may not be my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother, and ‘because I have been given much, I too must give.’” #ldsconf
“May we be a little kinder and more thoughtful. May we reach out in helpfulness.” – #PresMonson #LDSconf
2. Man cannot change the Laws of God
RT @LDSquotable: “Lowering the Lord’s standards to the level of a society’s inappropriate behavior is apostasy.” – #ElderRobbins #ldsconf
The Lord has set a standard. It is hard to achieve, it is perfection, but He makes it possible to achieve. #ldsconf #twitterstake
Truth didn’t change, but our ability to know & observe it did. #ldsconf
“We need unequivocal commitment to the commandments and strict adherence to sacred covenants.” #ElderCook | #ldsconf
#ElderNelson is explaining very plainly that the Lord leads this Church through the Prophet. Any changes must and will come through him.
“When the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve speak with a united voice, it is the voice of the Lord for that time.” #ElderBallard
@nicknewman801 Reminding us who leads the Church and when and from where revelation come. #LDSconf #twitterstake
3. Pray to know the truth
God has given the promise that we can know truth. #LDSConf #Twitterstake #Uchtdorf
Do you want to know if #LDSConf is true? Follow Joseph Smith – read, ponder, pray and ask for truth from God.
I love Joseph Smith and first vision story. Not just the foundation of the Church, but the pattern for all seeking to know truth. #LDSConf
RT @ldsconference: Elder Andersen: Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers, from God. #lds #ldsconf #sharegoodness #mormon
Revelation from God can be continuous. It must be in our lives, we are expected to seek the Lord in all things. #PresEyring #ldsconf
Our Heavenly Father wants us to sell this knowledge now. We ate not only allowed to pray, we are expected to do so. #ElderHales #ldsconf
How awesome is that? We get to speak to Diety on a regular basis with the promise that he will listen and answer! #LDSConf #ElderScott
Kacher: “By asking sincere questions and by seeking divine answers … we increase in knowledge and wisdom.” #ldsconf
Where do I turn for truth when questions arise? Use the Joseph Smith story- Read, ponder, pray, ask God. #ldsconf #twitterstake
4. Teach your children well
RT @emhoehne: They did not have the church in their community, but they had the Gospel in their home. #ldsconf #ElderCallister
Callister: “One of the most meaningful things we do as parents is teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer.”
RT @LDSquotable: “Remember that the greatest of all the blessings of the Lord come through and are given to righteous families.”…
5. Follow the Prophet
God continues to speak to his children. Both to the Prophets for the whole church and to each of us individually. #ldsconf
What am I doing to sustain the prophet? Do my daily actions show that I support him in his holy office? #ldsconf #ElderNelson
RT @ljodoit: #twitterstake #ldsconf Following the Prophet may be unpopular… But following the Prophet will always be right.
RT @MikeJonesSez: Everyone else has urged us to follow the prophet, the prophet is now urging us to follow the Savior. #ldsconf
I look forward to going back through each of these talks from General Conference again and looking for these and other themes. I think it will be a great way to help focus my study, help me find what the Lord is trying to tell me at this time in my life, what things I need to be paying attention to. I would love to hear comments from you as well — What themes did you notice? What topics did you see coming up again and again? How are you going to use that in your study of the General Conference messages?