2019
General Conference, Promises, and Migraines
November 2019


General Conference, Promises, and Migraines

Conference couldn’t have the solution to my migraines… right?

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Young adult woman looking at phone on the train

In the past, I’ve had at least one burning question I wanted answered during general conference. But this time was different. This conference was the first I can remember where I didn’t have a burning question. I hadn’t been faced with doctrine I was confused about, I felt like I could handle my calling, and life was generally good—except for one thing.

Migraines.

I had recently started a new job that required me to leave my apartment early in the morning and return late in the evening. It was dark when I left and dark when I returned. I often came home feeling so exhausted that I would eat and then go straight to bed—ready to wake up early the next morning and start again. I loved my job, but every day I had woken up with a migraine. It made work hard. And it only added to the exhaustion I was feeling.

As general conference weekend approached, I was coming up on the end of my first month at my new job. In my prayers that week, I had told the Lord how exhausted I was and how hard it was to go to work every day with my head throbbing. But, I thought, there’s probably nothing the leaders of the Church could say to help me with that.

Finding an Unexpected Answer

The first four sessions of conference came and went and confirmed my suspicion: there were no mentions of migraines. However, I was at the Conference Center for the last session. And in my efforts to pay better attention to the speakers, I decided to follow Elder David A. Bednar’s counsel from a previous address to write down only the impressions I felt from the Spirit.1 That approach changed everything.

As President Henry B. Eyring spoke about the need for greater personal holiness2, I pondered my daily scripture study. Admittedly, it was in quite a pitiful state. With my strict sleep schedule, long days, and migraines, scripture study had fallen by the wayside. But how could I focus on my scriptures when my head was constantly pounding?

I suddenly had a clear impression: Read your scriptures every day, and your migraines will be manageable.

I wanted to retort “Well, if my migraines were manageable, maybe I could read my scriptures.” But I realized that just as Noah built the arc before the rain and Nephi returned to Laban’s house without knowing beforehand what to do, I needed to act in faith to see the promise.

As conference progressed, I continued to record my impressions and I realized I had a clear portrayal of how the Spirit had helped me develop a plan of action. My impression to “read the scriptures every night” changed to “read the Book of Mormon every night” after hearing countless talks promise the blessings the Book or Mormon can bring. And “every night” became “every morning.” Besides, the Spirit reminded me, you are so tired when you get home.

Because of conference, I had a clear plan for how I would bring daily scripture study back into my life. Not only that, I had the answer to my problem with my migraines.

Putting My Plan into Action

The next morning, I was so eager to get on the train and start my new scripture study plan. I woke up with a migraine—again—but I was determined to follow through with my plan. I labored through the first chapters of Nephi and as I finished, I felt the sweet presence of the Spirit. I felt energy and purpose. By the time I arrived at work, my migraine had lessened to, as promised, something manageable. I was happy and productive at work. And the next day yielded the same results: my migraines didn’t go away all at once, but God gave me the strength to be happy and productive despite them.

This experience helped me realize that questions we might have may not be answered directly every time. Often, when we go to the scriptures with a question, the Spirit will provide us with an answer that may not be found directly in the pages. The same can be true of conference.

I never expected to learn how to handle my migraines because of conference. But as we are open to the impressions we receive, the Spirit can work with us and provide us with the answers we seek—even if they come in ways we may not expect.

Notes

  1. See David A. Bednar, “No Ordinary Cause” (address given at Brigham Young University–Idaho Mothers’ Weekend, Mar. 21, 2003).

  2. See Henry B. Eyring, “Holiness and the Plan of Happiness,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2019, 100–103.