The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints convenes for a world-wide General Conference. Five two-hour meetings are held over the course of two days at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City and are broadcast to church buildings and even on local TV stations so that the vast majority of members can attend. Speakers are selected from the general leadership of the church and it is something I always enjoy.
You're not really supposed to have favorite speakers, but one that I always particularly like hearing from is Dieter F. Uchtdorf. He has a very endearing way of teaching the simple truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This October, he began his talk with a story.
Once there was a man who dreamed that he was in a great hall where all the religions of the world were gathered. He realized that each religion had much that seemed desirable and worthy.
He met a nice couple who represented The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and asked, “What do you require of your members?”
“We do not require anything,” they replied. “But the Lord asks that we consecrate all.”
The couple went on to explain about Church callings, home and visiting teaching, full-time missions, weekly family home evenings, temple work, welfare and humanitarian service, and assignments to teach.
“Do you pay your people for all the work they do?” the man asked.
“Oh, no,” the couple explained. “They offer their time freely.”
“Also,” the couple continued, “every six months our Church members spend a weekend attending or watching 10 hours of general conference.”
“Ten hours of people giving talks?” the man wondered.
“What about your weekly church services? How long are they?”
“Three hours, every Sunday!”
“Oh, my,” the man said. “Do members of your church actually do what you have said?”
“That and more. We haven’t even mentioned family history, youth camps, devotionals, scripture study, leadership training, youth activities, early-morning seminary, maintaining Church buildings, and of course there is the Lord’s law of health, the monthly fast to help the poor, and tithing.”
The man said, “Now I’m confused. Why would anyone want to join such a church?”
The couple smiled and said, “We thought you would never ask.”
Elder Uchtdorf then goes on to outline many of the reasons why you would want to become a member of a church that requires so much and extends an open invitation to come join with us.
It's a lot to live up to. I fall short of what I profess to believe. A lot. Elder Uchdorf assures that there is room for everyone, inviting all to come and add their talents and energies and not to let the any shortcomings stand in the way. He said, none of us is quite as Christlike as we know we should be. But we earnestly desire to overcome our faults and the tendency to sin. With our heart and soul we yearn to become better with the help of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.For more about what we believe, visit Mormon.org. If you'd like to attend our Sunday services, you can find a meetinghouse near you.