What people will learn about Mormons when they watch or listen to General Conference:
One of the very first things that people will learn, is that we follow living prophets and apostles. Just as in the days of Moses, we believe that God still speaks to man through holy prophets. We love our prophets and honor their sacred calling to serve, lead and counsel the membership of the Church.
The fundamental responsibility of prophets, seers, and revelators, all of whom bear apostolic authority, is to bear certain testimony of the name of Jesus Christ in all the world. This basic call to be a special witness of His name has remained constant whenever Apostles have been on the earth. This testimony, borne of the Holy Ghost through revelation, was the heart of the New Testament Church and is the heart of the Church today. On the day of Pentecost, Peter bore pure testimony that Jesus of Nazareth was “taken, … crucified and slain” and that He was “raised up, having loosed the pains of death,” of which they, the Apostles, were all witnesses. So powerful was this testimony of Jesus Christ, spoken by a living Apostle, that hearts were changed and about 3,000 people were baptized for the remission of their sins. We read that these new converts “continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” This account in the book of Acts gives deep spiritual meaning to the words Paul later wrote to the Ephesians, that those who embrace the gospel become the household of God “and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.” LDS.org
Sacred music invites the Spirit of God. In every session of General Conference, music is presented by a choir, and hymns are sung by the entire congregation. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir usually presents the music during the Sunday morning session of the conference.
“Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord.
“Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end”. The First Presidency
Prayer is an essential part of our lives. We pray to God, in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ.
"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, “Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.”" Richard G. Scott
We are a mindful people who care about the welfare of all of God's children -- whom we consider our brothers and sisters. Service is at the very heart of our discipleship.
It is only when we love God and Christ with all of our hearts, souls, and minds that we are able to share this love with our neighbors through acts of kindness and service—the way that the Savior would love and serve all of us if He were among us today.
When this pure love of Christ—or charity—envelops us, we think, feel, and act more like Heavenly Father and Jesus would think, feel, and act. Our motivation and heartfelt desire are like unto that of the Savior. M. Russel Ballard
We are a happy people that love being together. We gather to strengthen our faith, and be encouraged to better live the teachings of Jesus Christ. As members of Christ's Church in the last days, we consider ourselves Latter-day Saints -- thus the formal name of the Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The roadmap to our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ is outlined in the restored gospel and taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It starts with being baptized into Christ’s fold and participating in His sacred ordinances and the fellowship of His Church. The journey continues with a loving congregation whose purpose is to lift and be lifted—and ultimately be saved in the Kingdom of God. Learn More at Mormon.org
Jesus Christ is at the very center of our lives and religious beliefs. He is our Savior and Redeemer. The power of the atonement is what saves us, and will heal and make right the afflictions of mortality. We have a deep desire to follow Him, and emulate His work in these latter-days.
An Apostle of the Lord, Robert D. Hales, shares his testimony of Jesus Christ:
I testify that our Savior lives. He is the Only Begotten of the Father, and He will come again on this earth to reign. He is Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, “full of grace, and mercy, and truth. … It is he that cometh to take away the sins of the world, yea, the sins of every man who steadfastly believeth on his name.” He is the literal Son of God, who rose from the dead on the third day, bringing the reality of resurrection to all who will come to earth. I also testify that God our Eternal Father lives and loves each of us, for we are His children. So great is His love that He sent His Only Begotten Son into the world “that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Mormons believe that the family is ordained of God, and its purpose is eternal. Through family relationships, we are better able to learn how to love as God loves us. Learning how to better love and minister to our families, brings us closer to Jesus Christ.
"Individual progression is fostered in the family, which is “central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.” The home is to be God’s laboratory of love and service. There a husband is to love his wife, a wife is to love her husband, and parents and children are to love one another.
Throughout the world, the family is increasingly under attack. If families fail, many of our political, economic, and social systems will also fail. And if families fail, their glorious eternal potential cannot be realized.
Our Heavenly Father wants husbands and wives to be faithful to each other and to esteem and treat their children as an heritage from the Lord. In such a family we study the scriptures and pray together. And we fix our focus on the temple. There we receive the highest blessings that God has in store for His faithful children." Russell M. Nelson
Learn more about the importance of the family, in this official statement, The Family: A Proclamation to the World
Now, this next one might comes as a huge surprise, but Mormons love to share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and what we believe! Okay, it's not a surprise. In fact, the missionary efforts of the Mormon Church are active around the globe, with over 50,000 fulltime missionaries currently serving. You've also, no doubt, noticed the social media efforts of the LDS Church, to better help the public understand the Mormon faith, and its members.
"Imagine you found a cure for cancer. How urgently would you spread the news of your discovery? Who would you tell? The gospel of Jesus Christ is the cure for so many of life's ills that Mormons want to share the good news of eternal life with the same urgency.
The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Jesus Christ's life was the perfect example of missionary work. During His ministry on earth, he taught the gospel at all times, in all places, and to all kinds of people. Jesus taught the educated men in the temple, the sinners, the faithful and the unbelieving. He also called apostles and other disciples to preach the gospel so more people could hear about the blessings of His gospel. Most of their preaching during Christ's life was to their own people, the Jews. After Jesus was resurrected, He visited His apostles and sent them to preach to the gentiles. He commanded them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15)." Mormon.org
These are just a few of the things that people will learn about Mormons, when they tune in to a General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you're thinking that you'd like to invite someone you know to check things out this weekend, here are a few great links that you could share...
How to watch or listen to General Conference
On Faith Blog -- Why Do Mormons Hold General Conference
Ways you and your family can better prepare to watch and experience General Conference:
General Conference -- No Ordinary Blessing
Thomas S. Monson -- Why Conference Matters
General Conference Has Something For You