If You Thought Last General Conference Was Exhilarating, Buckle Up!

General Conference LDS

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland referred to it as the “rush of revelation.”

It’s that feeling you get when you witness prophetic direction first hand, and when it comes in a flurry.

From sustaining a new prophet to retiring the home and visiting teaching programs, to being unified under the new Elders Quorum, there was a lot to take in during April’s General Conference. Not to mention the 7 new temples that were announced, including locations in Russia and India!

things you didn't know about jeffrey r holland

Elder Holland also said, “to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson, the most memorable moments in life are those in which we feel the rush of revelation.1 President Nelson, I don’t know how many more “rushes” we can handle this weekend. Some of us have weak hearts.”

If April’s General Conference had you on the edge of your seat, brace yourself because October’s General Conference will be even more action-packed.

General Conference LDS

The Coming Snowstorm

Five times in the past few months I’ve heard accounts of interactions people have had with the brethren, and they all point to big changes on the horizon.

The first was a co-worker who shared details of a visit his family member had with President Nelson after the last conference, in which there was mentioned how exciting all of the changes were during April 2018’s General Conference.

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In speaking of those changes, President Nelson replied that it was as a snowflake in a snowstorm, compared to the changes that are to come.

As a Snowflake in a Snowstorm

My co-worker expressed hesitancy in establishing this as fact, and so we both took it for what it was worth – an interesting little anecdote.

Then that changed.

Snowflake Part 2

About a month later, my wife and I went on a date with another couple to the Draper, Utah temple and afterward, we stopped for some dessert.

We enjoyed a nice conversation and as we were heading to our cars my friend mentioned he had just attended his mission reunion.

He said his old mission president, who will soon be serving as temple president in Europe, attended a meeting where Elder Bednar was speaking.


He recounted that Elder Bednar said the most interesting thing – that while the changes during last April’s General Conference were monumental, they were but a snowflake in a snowstorm, speaking of that which is to come.

As a snowflake in a snowstorm

My jaw dropped. There was that phrase again.

I was shocked, and a little giddy, and then shared with my friend what my co-worker had told me a month prior, finding it pretty incredible that another source had shared the exact same message that President Nelson had relayed.

I texted my co-worker and he was intrigued, to say the least. “Crazy!” was his response.

More Witnesses

Two days later I was scrolling through Twitter and I stumbled upon this:

Is this getting interesting for anyone else?

Hearing this from source number 3 and 4, I started to be pretty confident that what I initially thought was 100% rumor and gossip, might actually have some truth to it.

One More Time

If four instances of hearing the same buzz phrase weren’t enough, then number five made me chuckle and realize that there was most likely something to all of this.

Just last week I was visiting my sister in Boston for the weekend with some of my brothers, and guess what one brother mentioned?

His good friend knows Elder Holland. (See where this is headed?)

In speaking with Elder Holland, he was told the changes from the last conference were like a snowflake in a blizzard when compared to that which is to come.

(I think I need a breather.)

Are you at least a little more intrigued to find out what will happen in October’s General Conference?

general conference rumors historic

Help is on the Way

A snippet from an article from the Church News might be helpful in understanding why future changes may be coming, and what problems the brethren are hoping to address.

President Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, addressed young married couples from 11 stakes in the Los Angeles area.

President Oaks said leaders understand that many callings take young couples away from their home and family.

“We have spent many hours talking about how we can simplify our Church programs to perform their essential function for a wide variety of family circumstances,” said President Oaks. “Now, I am pleased to tell you that some help is on the way and more is under discussion.”

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Excitement is Building

Personally, I’m very excited and worried at the same time. Excited because that “rush of revelation” is an awesome feeling, and worried because change is hard for people, especially change in church policy.

Greg Trimble wrote an incredible article this week about that subject. One little snippet refers to why people leave the Church. It’s not usually over doctrine, it’s usually over policy:

“…inspiration often causes change within the church. That change, though not always labeled as such, usually manifests itself as a policy. And change often causes people to lose their mind.”

With the policy change/reminder to refer to ourselves as Latter-day Saints, (a small policy change in my opinion) many are in an uproar. It makes me wonder what reactions will be if church meetings are reduced to two hours, or if the primary program is done away with, or if singles wards are dissolved.

general conference

I’m a little worried it will throw people for a loop, but at the same time, I’m optimistic that the Saints will heed the voice of the prophet and see the Lord’s hand in these changes.

Policy changes, while not affecting the doctrine, are deeply rooted in tradition, and traditions are hard to break. People get very emotionally tied to them. (Case in point, the policy change that missionary calls will now be sent via email versus mail – LOTS of emotion there)

What Really Matters

Whatever ends up happening in October, whether there are large changes, small changes, or none at all, one thing is comforting to me – we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jesus Christ is the Eternal President of His Church.

don't doubt president nelson

We are blessed to have a living prophet to whom the Lord reveals His will. If you haven’t read what happened to President Nelson shortly after his call as the prophet, you need to read it. Let’s just say the Lord took His time, and in a very detailed manner, revealed His will to President Nelson.

…some help is on the way and more is under discussion.

What a wonderful blessing to have a prophet who receives guidance for the Church as a whole. What a wonderful privilege to be entitled to that same revelation for our lives.

However things turn out during General Conference, I hope we’ll all happily move forward with a commitment to follow the direction provided us through the Lord’s mouthpiece, for “whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”


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LDS General Conference

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  • I am very much looking forward to what to come at next month’s General Conference.
    Oliva Mulipola.
    Stake President & Remote Interpretor for the Church.

  • I feel like Pres. Nelson is going to be leaving me in the dust if I don’t keep up! Anybody else feel this way?

  • We’ll see what the church wants to do at conference, because during the broadcast on the bottom right corner they’ll have the hashtag that they want people using.

  • “With the policy change/reminder to refer to ourselves as Latter-day Saints, (a small policy change in my opinion) many are in an uproar. It makes me wonder what reactions will be if church meetings are reduced to two hours…”

    Yes, expect mass apostasy if the Church ever shifts to a two hour block.

  • It is an exciting time. There have been changes in the last few years such as the young men’s program and scouting. That obviously was something that had been discussed for some time not just as soon as president Nelson became the prophet. Same goes for other changes regarding the priesthood. New hymn book coming. Ministering brethren instead of home teaching. New curriculum. It is exciting. I’m always reminded that one of the things Latter-Day Saints are good at is speculating. I have my seatbelt on.

  • It is an exciting time indeed bring it on President benefits of a living Church . I am thinking of 1 hour added .

  • The 12 and first presidency see the signs that most ignore. We are indeed Latter day. They know about the grand solar minimum and they know how to read the prophetic language. They are trying to warn you. Will you harden your heart or will you allow the spirit to teach you? Pay close attention to joseph smith matthew.

  • I have only been a member for 2 years and I do truely believe in book of Mormon,however I have been inactive for a couple months now due to questions I cannot seemed to get answered.
    Does anyone know of a site where I can try and talk to someone about my issues with the church
    I appericate any help anyone has. Thank you

  • Warren, may I recommend reading Sheri Dew’s Worth the Wrestle book?

    As to the just wait to October conference – We heard it from friends, and then from the missionaries. Who heard it from stake president who heard from Elder Holland.

  • “As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.” –(Ezra Taft Benson, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet,” 3–4, 6.)

  • With the topic of callings – with the change to high priests, home/visiting teaching, and upcoming for Scouts, it should open up the opportunity to have many people to serve in other places. I look at the library which is one of my callings. With the change in lessons, it probably will reduce the need and time we need to be open. But just like ministering – what are we actually doing with those resources? Are former VT supervisors willing to teach primary? Do we actually minister now?

    What will change is less important than how we react. Following blindly I think can be as dangerous as rebelling. We should all pray for our own edification of changes in the church. We still may not love it (I wish we still had activities committees), but we can put it in perspective and understand.

  • I know this all seems to lead up to more revelation/changes to be given because of the last conference, but I’m going into conference as simply needing to be spiritually fed. If more changes come, great. If not, that’s okay, because I’m being spiritually fed and making my own changes to be closer to Heavenly Father. Not trying to put down this post, but I’ve never liked the idea of going into Conference that more and big revelations may happen. Why? Because all I will want to do then is listen for the changes and not really pay attention to the messages given.

  • Ben, what the heck is Trimble talking about? He is absolutely incorrect as to why people leave Mormonism. In a poll that was done several years ago, the Number ONE reason why people left was over doctrine, not policy. Seems like people are willing to believe anything other than accept the fact that people leave over the doctrine.

  • As Elder Bednar has said, the restoration of the gospel did not stop when Joseph Smith was martred. It is an on going restoration. I expect there will always be “changes” happening and more abundantly as these latter day’s continue to roll forth….

  • Ben, I like how you handle comments, always looking for the good. I enjoyed your article and perspective. I did hear those words “ both sides of the veil” and didn’t fully process it. I appreciate taking the time to think and ponder those words. Words are important and from a prophet we can be assured they have deep meaning. God loves ALL of his children. I think that is going to be emphasized a great deal.

  • @ Chelsea “If the church is true and we love the gospel, why is 2 hours better than 3? :/”
    Here are just a few reasons:
    1. The most important reason for going to church is to take the Sacrament. Everything else is gravy.
    2. Quantity of time does not equal quality. “Less is more” is a wonderful principle that can apply to most everything in life, including amount of time spent at church.
    3. More time for Ministering.
    4. More family time. In my calling, I am away anywhere from 6-8 hours on a given Sunday. I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with family time on Sundays – especially when you factor in other Church meetings such as Mission Prep or Self-Reliance. An extra hour at home would be such a blessing for me and my family.
    5. One’s testimony and love for the gospel does not automatically make one enjoy 3 hours of church. You posing this question makes me think you are not overwhelmed by the 3-hour block; however, there are clearly many who are not able to be fully engaged in church for 3 hours. Some people have legitimate reasons for not enjoying the 3-hour block: health concerns, difficult time sitting for so long, not able to stay focused, social anxieties, etc. Many of these people end up leaving right after Sacrament meeting or stop coming altogether. I think it is safe to assume that a percentage of these people would return to church and/or stay the entire time if the block were reduced to 2 hours.
    6. You can stack more Wards into a building saving on building construction. Buildings would also be used for less hours on a Sunday which means less electricity, heating/cooling etc. Over 1000’s of buildings worldwide, this would be a significant savings. While not as important as the other reasons, it is still a valid consideration for church administration.
    7. Spiritual growth is personal. Imagine if we spent even 15 (or even all 60) more minutes on a Sunday in personal study, pondering, prayer. What a difference that would make in our lives.
    8. Missionary work: some investigators who gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon are turned off by 3 hours of church. They do not yet have the perspective and context that longer-term members have about the Sunday block. Many investigators only have their own church-going experiences to compare, which, for most, is less than an hour a week. It sad, but the 3-hour block likely does turn away some investigators who would otherwise be great members of the church.
    There are other reasons, but you probably get the point. The Church is becoming less of a checklist and more of personal responsibility. If this light, reducing the block to 2 hours could certainty help us in our personal spiritual growth, family togetherness, and in our ministering efforts.

  • I always look forward to general conference and what the brethen will talk about, mostly too about locations with temples, I love the temples! also a little curious too of what these changes will be? I will say I’m one of those people that don’t like changes to things but I know it’s part of life. So excited though for this general conference.

  • I don’t understand why people are giddy for less church. God only asks for 3 hours of our time each week. Why would we want to give him less? We’re barely present anyway with most of us (including me) on our phones during sacrament meeting or wasting time in the hallway. Hopefully our attitude towards church changes.

  • Chris I love your comments about the reasons 2 hour blocks being a positive thing. It isn’t about doing less for or being less dedicated to the Lord by only going to 2 hrs of church. It is about doing so much more, but doing the things that we have been asked to do that we may still struggle to do. Among those things is personal study and meditation, ministering (but real ministering), Family time centered around Him and the gospel. Zion will NOT be built by a “checklist” people. It will be built by a loving, self-governing, single hearted people. I love that we are making the changes that will help us to better become a Zion people!! Many people will see shorter meeting blocks as a bad thing …“less dedication or less willingness to give of our time”. I hope we can all see it as not less time or less dedication, but a very positive shift of where we focus that time.

  • I really appreciated your article and the comments. For me, the number 1 reason for these changes is to see what we will do with more personal responsibility. Will we turn to the Spirit and Jesus for a more personal tutoring of the doctrines? I know I need to step it up to keep up with President Nelson. So far the changes are not difficult to accept, but if you look again, deeper, how has your ministering improved? How has your study of Christ increased? Are you receiving revelation for your own life?

  • I guess we can always speculate…. but , as they say – we shall see ! And I for one , will always sustain and support the first presidency and of course the Prophet with modern day revelation ! Sooooo happy we don’t have to wonder whether our Heavenly Father loves us in these modern days!
    I’m excited to see what is coming and hear all of the messages this conference ! Btw, loved your article 🙂

  • No Ben, per this poll, policy isn’t a big one. But I’m surprised you didn’t just Google it yourself if you were truly curious.


    “In the sample as a whole, the top answer was “I could no longer reconcile my personal values and priorities with those of the Church,” closely followed by “I stopped believing there was one true church.”

    This is a bit different from a 2001 “Mr. Poll” poll conducted online. In that one the top answers were, in order:

    General disbelief of Joseph Smith as a chosen prophet
    General disbelief of the Book of Mormon
    Emphasis on blind faith & obedience to church leaders
    Found more peace outside the religion
    General mindset of the fanaticism of the LDS religion
    LDS/religious logical fallacies/manipulations
    Cult-like temple ceremonies
    Book of Abraham
    Character of Joseph Smith

    None of that sounds like policy to me. The information is out there, so instead of assuming from “the inside”… why not just ask those who leave?

  • I am not impressed with the 2nd and 3rd party tales. As usual many live to pass on “rumors and hearsay”.
    Also policy changes and revelations are two very different things. Nothing from last conference was revelation it was policy changes. There was nothing of eternal value announced.

  • Jim, perhaps the tares in your spirituality need some tending……instead of drawing lines in the sand about what defines other people as tares. If we aren’t one, we aren’t His, let’s stop creating divisions. Let’s stop building ourselves up by taring (pun intended) other people down.

  • Janeen, revelation is “is communication from God to His children.” I would invite you to read the talks from April Conference. It was repeated over and over that the changes implemented were the will of the Lord. The will of the Lord manifest to man is revelation.

  • In The Book of Mormon (Hel 9) the Prophet revealed the Chief Judge had been murdered. Then he revealed who it was and how everyone would know it… Now that is revealing power. Sustaining “policies” against LGBT and reiterating the name of the Church seems more like dandruff than a predictive snow flake.

    If the Prophet would care to chime in on Bret Kavanuagh’s participation in the sexual abuse of Kristine Ford, I think all would be interested and it would be more relevant than the internal management of the LDS Church.

  • @ Jenny –

    (Ahem). Where’s the actual evidence that Brett Kavanaugh abused Dr. Ford? It’s “he said, she said” and it happened 35 years ago. NOTHING can be proven either way. You, apparently, have already decided what did or did not happen.

    Why would we need anyone else to weigh in when you already have the answers?

  • @Jenny –

    Sorry, should have added, however, that I agree with you that the name of the church is “dandruff” as you call it. That’s hardly “revelation”.

  • “…why people leave the Church. It’s not usually over doctrine, it’s usually over policy”

    I really don’t think policy drives folks out. I think doctrine and doctrine denial is a bigger issue. D&C 132, for instance, is doctrine about polygamy, yet President Hinkley stated that he did not believe polygamy was doctrinal, on 60 Minutes. So doctrine and doctrine denial are real issues that drive droves out of the church. Imho.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland referred to it as the “rush of revelation.” It’s that feeling you get when you witness prophetic direction first hand, and...
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