I am a HUGE lover of Conference. In fact, I am very particular about making sure not to miss any part of this twice-a-year event.
Each General Conference consists of five two-hour sessions: Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and a special Saturday evening session for the Priesthood holders of the Church. (There is also a special session for the women of the Church the week prior.)
Ten hours of church in one weekend? Yep, and I truly relish every minute of it.
Twice a year, I get the opportunity to listen to the prophets of the Lord present amazing, powerful, important, loving messages to the Church. This is a chance to hear from Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ; to hear what is needed for the church membership to know for the next six months. And there is always such beautiful, uplifting music provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
Since I joined the church I have always held these Conferences sacred, and so appreciate the opportunity to be able to watch and listen to them. And I have even been so blessed as to have been able to attend General Conference in person a couple of times over the years.
The month following General Conference, the Church magazine, Ensign, collates all the talks from Conference into one convenient resource. This is great, since it is always edifying to read and re-read the Conference talks, refresh one's memory, or fill in blanks where you may have been distracted or sleepy. It's also a great resource for developing lessons and talks that you give in church during the following few months (or any time thereafter). Of course, all these resources are also available online these days, which is another great blessing.
I love hearing from the living Prophet. I love knowing what the Lord wants me to know in a contemporary setting. Not only can I look to the ancient scriptures for guidance, but I know that the Lord loves me and wants what is best for me here and now, and will not leave me alone without ongoing guidance. General Conference provides that ongoing guidance, and if we listen to the wonderful lessons taught, we can become better people, learning to serve others, make good choices, and prepare ourselves for what is ahead.
As was quoted twice so far in talks this weekend, President Ezra Taft Benson stated in a 1980 talk the following two points (from a list of 14 points) that I think are highly relevant to the importance of paying close attention to General Conference:
1) The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
2) The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
That is an unequivocal, powerful admonition to "Come Listen to a Prophet's Voice" - if ever there was one.
General Conference has truly been a blessing in my life, and I encourage all to spend time reading, listening to, or watching the excellent talks - now, and over the next six months.