What Should I Do After I Hear the Words of Prophets?

General conference is over, and I had a great experience learning from church leaders. I listened to the talks and tried to understand the speakers’ messages. I also had a number of thoughts about improvements I can make in my personal life and in our family as a result of the things I’ve learned. What should I do next?

When the Savior visited the American continent, He taught the people about many topics, including baptism, avoiding contention, the higher laws of the gospel, and the gathering of Israel. Then, He instructed them what they should do after His departure:

Go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again (3 Nephi 17:3).

He was teaching them an important principle. They may have heard His words, but they needed time to fully assimilate them, to recognize all of their implications, and to learn to apply them to their own lives. Pondering was the key. To ponder something is to think deeply and carefully about it, with a goal of understanding it better.

I can do this by reviewing my notes on the talks I’ve heard, making connections between the talks, and identifying the principles I have learned.

I can also follow up on homework assignments:

  1. President Nelson invited the sisters in the Church to study Doctrine & Covenants sections 84 and 107. I can do that too.
  2. Elder Bednar invited us to discuss his cheetah experience with our families and see what additional lessons we can learn.
  3. President Nelson invited us to study Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision.

Finally, I will convert the knowledge I have gained into a concise set of resolutions: actions I can take or adjustments I can make in order to align my will more fully with the will of my Heavenly Father.

I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in general conference this weekend. I will take the time and make the effort to “ponder upon” the things which I have heard.

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