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Orson Scott Card, Column: The Gifts of Conference

March 23, 2015

The prophets do not use General Conference to teach us what to think; they teach us what to do. The Lord is less interested in our having correct opinions than in our living correct lives.

It is an article of faith that the Lord will yet reveal many great and wonderful things, but look at how these ideas have come to us in the past. We were not taught an elaborate construct about the afterlife; we were told that we should perform baptisms for the dead.

Thus we were reassured that those who died without having heard the gospel of Christ were not damned or abandoned by their Father in heaven, and a large amount of error was swept away. But this knowledge came to us as an action we were expected to perform.

Temples are not built for us to admire; they are built for us to attend, and within their walls we receive ordinances for ourselves and perform them for others. The temple is a place of action — even if the action sometimes takes the form of symbolic teaching. When we stand in the presence of God, we do not contemplate or ponder, we have a conversation and perform actions.

Likewise, when the General Authorities speak to us in Conference, they do not stand before us for our admiration. They are not celebrities. They are human beings who have reached a certain level of obedience and spirituality, and while we might do well to emulate them, their purpose is to tell us how to live in order to be happy and to share happiness with others.

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