What a beautiful reminder that we won't always be in the same place spiritually for every general conference, and when we run into difficulties, we should be patient with ourselves and find ways to receive inspiration without becoming overwhelmed. As Koby Dudley reminds us,"It is important to recognize that the purpose of conference is to guide and edify us. This can be done in a myriad of ways. Heavenly Father loves us and knows us individually. So we aren’t expected to all learn and love in the same way."
When I am struggling with work, school, or personal matters I tend to turn inward. I get kind of “hermit-y.” I lose motivation, inspiration, and stimulation. Quite frankly, the idea of listening to 10 hours of prayers and hymns and inspirational stories just makes me want to do about anything else.
Let me clarify; despite an occasional apathetic attitude, I do know that general conference is a blessing. I know deep in my heart that God the Father and Christ the Son live and they have restored the true church to this earth. I know that they love us without condition and want nothing more than to see us happy here on earth and in the eternities. For this reason, they have called prophets, apostles, and teachers and have set them apart to receive revelation and direction for our times and challenges. I know that the men and women who speak at conference are inspired to share the messages that they share and that each individual can receive personal revelation as they listen and learn. I am grateful for this practice and I have seen it bless my life and it surely will again. My testimony is sure. I do not doubt the goodness or the purpose of general conference. I love it, actually, and when I feel that my spirit is strong, sure, and confident it is rejuvenating and invigorating.
But when I am struggling, it can be exhausting and frustrating. Sometimes I just don’t want to participate. I just need time and distance, maybe. I need to receive some revelation and some blessings in a different way or at a different time, I suppose.
However, to completely neglect conference and ignore all opportunity to learn and possibly heal would be unproductive and ungrateful.