Voice Lessons

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“Voice Lessons,” New Era, Sept. 2004, 42

Voice Lessons

Brother Carroll walked into seminary with a giant grin on his face. We knew he had something interesting planned for our lesson today. After the hymn and prayer, he pulled out a cassette tape and explained what we were to do.

He wanted us to identify all the songs or singers we heard on the tape. I was really excited to do this since I knew every song on the radio. He started playing the tape, and as I predicted, I knew all the songs. The rest of the class did well too.

But Brother Carroll had planned a second half to this activity. He was impressed with our knowledge of popular singers, but he wanted to know what other voices we recognized. He then played a recording of short clips of general conference talks given by the Twelve Apostles and members of the First Presidency. He wanted us to identify who they were by their voices.

My excitement about getting the previous questions right quickly disappeared.

President Gordon B. Hinckley’s voice was easy to recognize. So was the voice of President Thomas S. Monson. But on the others I could only guess. My score was miserable.

Brother Carroll did not need to say anything to us except, “Whose voices are you listening to?”

I glanced over at the wall across from me to see the pictures of the 15 prophets and apostles at that time. I could not even put names with all the faces. I knew I needed to make a change.

I made up my mind to start listening to what Church leaders said. I also decided to memorize all the Apostles’ names and what they looked and sounded like. I started watching every general conference session and taking notes on the talks. Before, I would only watch one or two sessions of conference, and I had a short attention span even for those.

As I listened and obeyed the counsel I received at conference, watching it was no longer a chore. I really enjoyed it. Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 says, “Though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” Now I recognize the voices of the prophets. But even more important than that, when I am obedient to their words, I also recognize the voice of the Lord.

Illustrated by Dilleen Marsh