Viewpoint: Looking for guidance?


Saturday morning I’ll wake up at my parents’ house to the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins.

My mother-in-law made these for my husband every General Conference of his life, so we’ve adopted the tradition.

I’ll slowly drag myself upstairs, husband in tow, to try and secure the best spot on the couch. If I time myself well, I sit down right as conference begins.

I admit, this may not be the best way to prepare, but satellite television’s ability to allow me to listen in my pajamas tends to make me a little lazier.

I remember the days when I had to go to the stake center to listen.

I’d show up early — way before the meeting started — because there was nothing worse than sitting in the metal chairs for the entire two hours.

I showered, my hair was done and I dressed in the proper Sunday attire.

I brought a notebook to record the words of the speakers (not to mention extra credit in Seminary).

I was attentive, alert and ready to hear the inspiring words of my leaders.

Now let’s go back to the image of me now, in all my pajama and bedhead glory.

What’s changed?

Yes, technology allows me to listen not only in my pajamas, but a mere 10 steps from my parents’ refrigerator.

Technology has given me the opportunity to pause conference for bathroom breaks, Dairy Keen runs and anything else my heart desires.

Technology has given me freedom.

Or has it?

Technology hasn’t changed the message.

Technology hasn’t made the message any less important.

Technology hasn’t made me someone who needs the message less.

No, technology has simply made it easier for me to not pay attention.

So what do I do?

As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — and anyone else who happens to turn on BYUTV at the right time — we have the opportunity to be taught by prophets. Prophets! People like Moses, Elijah and Nephi.

We receive council from apostles. The apostles hold the same power today as they did in the days of Peter, James and John. Their messages are shared with the same spirit, the same emotion.

How is it we have become so used to this teaching from men of God we consider it just another event?

In this, I need to improve. I know I need to remember more, pay attention more and, frankly, care more.

The question is how.

I could take notes, but am I really learning?

The blankets get so warm, the couch so comfortable. I’m a student, so I’m obviously tired, and I drift away.

While caught up in a land of dreams, what important message did I miss out on, what important counsel did I miss?

Now, I am in no way advocating we all go to the nearest stake center to watch conference on Puritan benches in absolute silence.

I’m also not saying we sit on hard chairs in skirts and suits, alone in our apartments to block out every possible distraction.

I think, however, we should pay a little more attention to how important each conference is.

The brethren and sisters who participate in conference don’t have much free time. They choose to come and speak to you, to teach you and to inspire you.

I invite you to join me in paying a little more attention. I invite you to listen a little more.

I promise you’ll get something out of it — even if you’re not LDS. I promise you’ll be taught and, if you dare to truly listen, you will be inspired.

These men are men of God, what other reason do we need to listen?


Allie McCoy is the opinion editor for The Daily Universe. This viewpoint represents her opinion and not necessarily that of The Daily Universe, BYU, its administration or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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