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Find Your Personal King Benjamin Talk at General Conference

Area Leadership Message

Elder Tom-Atle Herland
Elder Tom-Atle Herland, Norway Area Seventy

General Conference is a wonderful time for us all to receive spiritual renewal, become strengthened in our faith in Jesus Christ, and feel greater peace. When King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon invited his people to a kind of General Conference by the temple, he gave one of the most powerful sermons in the Scriptures. His clear focus on Jesus Christ and the Atonement is a great blessing for all of us, even today. In the Ensign from January 1992, we can read “King Benjamin’s Manual of Discipleship” by Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In his message, Elder Maxwell emphasizes how important it is that we be doers of the word.

General Conferences give us an opportunity to find our King Benjamin talks. These talks that speak so strongly to our hearts, our souls and our spirits, are like manna from Heaven. Because we are all different from each other, one talk will impact one person more than another, and vice versa. Our circumstances in life are different, we have different levels of understanding in the gospel, and we have different insights into what goes on around us, but at each General Conference, there is always at least one talk that speaks to our heart and soul. This provides us with the opportunity to not only be the hearers, but also the doers of the word (James 1:22, John 13:17, Matthew 7:21-25). We can, as Elder Maxwell says, become disciples of Jesus Christ. This is perhaps one of the most essential things to do after a General Conference, that we allow these talks, that give us so much, to be a spur to growth and change in our lives. Additionally, such talks will strengthen us and permit us to feel peace in our personal lives and in a turbulent world. We can feel that God and Jesus truly love us, despite our weaknesses and challenges.

President Eyring gave a very powerful talk at the last General Conference in April 2017. The talk entitled “My Peace I Leave with You,” to me, is a King Benjamin talk. Equally so is President Uchtdorf’s talk, “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear” and Elder Renlund’s talk “Our Good Shepherd,” also when President Nelson spoke so personally about Christ in “Drawing the Power of Jesus Christ into Our Lives,” the Conference was a great blessing to me. I felt as though I had been seated by the temple and had been listening to King Benjamin.

If you take the time to listen to or read more of the talks, you may be surprised to discover that some of the talks are like hidden gems that you didn’t discover until you took the time to read them again.

President Nelson mentions Mark 5: 22-43. It is one of the most beautiful accounts in the Scriptures that I know of. Jesus meets Jairus, a ruler of a synagogue who falls at Jesus’ feet and pleads for Jesus to heal his daughter who is dying. This account is wonderful in and of itself, but en route to Jairus’ daughter, Jesus exclaims as they are walking in the streets and bumping into many people, “Who touched my clothes?” The disciples are puzzled and say that here all bump into others, but Jesus felt that a power had gone out of him when the woman touched his clothes. The woman who had been sick for 12 years and had spent all her money to get well, was still sick. Christ now heals her. Their encounter is superbly depicted. At lds.org and the link Bible Videos, you will find a 1 minute and 40-second video that portrays this marvelous meeting between Christ and the woman.

This time, find your personal King Benjamin talk at General Conference. The General Conference is by the temple. Be both a hearer and a doer of the word, both parts, then you will feel, as did this woman, that power goes out of the word of Christ and it will heal and strengthen you. Comfort you. Guide you. Like a King Benjamin talk.