Tuning In (& Tuning Out) for General Conference

By Lauren Madsen

I remember the little black clock radio that sat on my nightstand as a kid. Every night I would set the alarm so that I could wake up to my favorite oldies station. It was important to turn on the radio and check that the red tuner line was just where I wanted it to be. If it was too far to the left, I would hear a country station. Too far to the right and I would hear smooth jazz. Neither of those were going to work for me. I had to have my oldies. 

From time to time I would accidentally bump the clock radio and the tuning dial would get knocked from where I had it set. When I turned the radio on again I might hear that country or smooth jazz or sometimes a lot of loud static because the tuner was just slightly off. 

When it comes to preparing for General Conference, I see some parallels to my old clock radio. Tuning in to Conference isn’t just about getting to the right station and listening to the messages over Saturday and Sunday. It’s about being deliberate and careful about who I am listening to from April to October. And then October to April. I want to be on the right station all the time. 

Because the messages from our leaders in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not always popular, we as members have to be ever more aware that much of what we might hear about those messages is really just noisy static or the wrong station altogether. The opposition to our leaders’ teachings always seems to increase in April and October and I have seen too many people I care about be flattered away from the flock during that time. Last October President Nelson warned us: “If most of the information you get comes from social or other media, your ability to hear the whisperings of the Spirit will be diminished.” 

What I suggest: a fast from as many outside influences as possible in the week or two leading up to and the week or two after General Conference. Voices from without (and sometimes from within) criticize and fault find. They misconstrue and take out of context. They use worldly philosophies to measure inspired teachings against. Evil is being called good and good is being called evil.

Choose to tune in to the right sources, and by doing so you can tune out the rest. Read the scriptures, get on your knees, be worthy of the whisperings of the Spirit that will testify of the truths you will hear at General Conference. You will find, as I have, an increase of personal peace as you seek to find that sweet spot where the music of the gospel of Jesus Christ plays loud and clear.

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