Sunday, April 01, 2018

This Week at Church April 2018 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Saturday Morning Session
Elder M Russell Ballard, Precious Gifts from God
“...we have just participated in a solemn assembly, a practice that can be traced back to the Bible when ancient Israel gathered to feel the Lord’s presence and celebrate His blessings. (See Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992), “Solemn Assemblies,” 3:1390–91.)

In an orderly way we have now begun a new chapter in our Church history. This is a precious gift from God.”

As we each sustained President Nelson by our uplifted hands, we stood as witnesses before God and acknowledged that he is President Monson’s rightful successor. With our raised hands, we promised to hearken unto his voice as he receives direction from the Lord.”

I have known our new prophet-president for over 60 years. I have served with him in the Quorum of the Twelve for 33 years, and I am a witness that the hand of the Lord has been preparing him to become our presiding apostle and prophet to administer all the keys of the holy priesthood on the earth.”

Given the reality of our human weaknesses and shortcomings, how do we move forward in supporting and sustaining each other?”

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Brothers and sisters, life can be filled with faith, joy, happiness, hope, and love when we exercise the smallest amount of real faith in Christ—even a mustard seed of faith.”

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Too many allow themselves to almost live online with their smart devices—screens illuminating their faces day and night and earbuds in their ears blocking out the still, small voice of the Spirit. If we do not find time to unplug, we may miss opportunities to hear the voice of Him who said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”8 Now, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of the advances in the technologies inspired by the Lord, but we must be wise in their use. Remember the gift of the Sabbath day.”

Church members—both men and women—should not hesitate, if they desire, to run for public office at any level of government wherever they live. Our voices are essential today and important in our schools, our cities, and our countries. Where democracy exists, it is our duty as members to vote for honorable men and women who are willing to serve.”

May the Lord help and bless us to treasure our many precious gifts from God, including our membership in His restored Church. I pray we will be filled with love for our Heavenly Father’s children and be able to see their needs and be willing to answer their questions and concerns about the gospel in clear and kind ways that will increase understanding and appreciation for one another.”

5 Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.

Elder Brian K Taylor, Am I a Child of God
My thoughts
{
He spoke of a girl that needed to forgive herself for accidentally killing someone in a car accident.

The next speaker spoke of someone that needed to forgive someone who had a family member killed by a drunk driver.
}

12 And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.
13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“Each [human being] is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 145.)

Knowing I am a child of God is the most powerful knowledge I possess!”

“With blood appearing at every pore and an anguished cry upon His lips, Christ sought Him whom He had always sought—His Father. ‘Abba,’ He cried, ‘Papa.’” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Hands of the Fathers,” Ensign, May 1999, 16;Liahona, July 1999, 19.)

Elder Larry J Echo Hawk, Even as Christ Forgives You, So Also Do Ye
Through the miracle of the sacred Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can also receive the gift of forgiveness of our sins and misdeeds, if we accept the opportunity and responsibility of repentance.”

Only with the help of the Prince of Peace was my painful burden lifted.”

12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.
10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

Elder Gary E Stevenson, The Heart of a Prophet
“As one star sinks behind the horizon, another comes into the picture, and death spawns life.
“The work of the Lord is endless. Even when a powerful leader dies, not for a single instant is the Church without leadership, thanks to the kind Providence who gave his kingdom continuity and perpetuity. As it already has happened … before in this dispensation, a people reverently close a grave, dry their tears, and turn their faces to the future.” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1970, 118.)
13 For all things must be done in order, and by common consent in the church, by the prayer of faith.

“We are witnesses to and participants in a most sacred occasion—a solemn assembly to act upon heavenly things. As in olden times, there has been much fasting and prayer offered by the Saints throughout the world that they may receive an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, which is so much in evidence … on this occasion this morning.
“A solemn assembly, as the name implies, denotes a sacred, sober, and reverent occasion when the Saints assemble under the direction of the First Presidency.” (David B. Haight, “Solemn Assemblies,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 14)
This divinely ordained process leads to another divinely called prophet. Just as President Monson was one of the grandest inhabitants to grace this earth, so is President Nelson. He has been profoundly prepared and specifically tutored by the Lord to lead us at this time.”

Lynn G Robbins, Until Seventy Times Seven
“I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”(Thomas Edison, in Zorian Rotenberg, “To Succeed, You Must Fail, and Fail More,” Nov. 13, 2013, insightsquared.com.)

Nephi’s unwavering faith helped him go from failure to failure until he finally obtained the brass plates. It took Moses 10 attempts before he finally found success in fleeing Egypt with the Israelites.”

“We may wonder—if both Nephi and Moses were on the Lord’s errand, why didn’t the Lord intervene and help them achieve success on their first try? Why did He allow them—and why does He allow us—to flounder and fail in our attempts to succeed? Among many important answers to that question, here are a few:
  • First, the Lord knows that “these things shall give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good.”4
  • Second, to allow us to “taste the bitter, that [we] may know to prize the good.”5
  • Third, to prove that “the battle is the Lord’s,”6 and it is only by His grace that we can accomplish His work and become like Him.7
  • Fourth, to help us develop and hone scores of Christlike attributes that cannot be refined except through opposition8 and “in the furnace of affliction.”9

So, amid a life full of stumbling blocks and imperfection, we all are grateful for second chances.”

No one is more on our side than the Savior. He allows us to take and keep retaking His exams. To become like Him will require countless second chances in our day-to-day struggles with the natural man, such as controlling appetites, learning patience and forgiveness, overcoming slothfulness, and avoiding sins of omission, just to name a few.”

Repentance is God’s ever-accessible gift that allows and enables us to go from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.”

President Russell M. Nelson has observed, it will be ‘a lifetime curriculum.’12

Obviously, the Savior was not establishing an upper limit of 490. That would be analogous to saying that partaking of the sacrament has a limit of 490, and then on the 491st time, a heavenly auditor intercedes and says, ‘I’m so sorry, but your repentance card just expired—from this point forward, you’re on your own.’”

Real intent implies with real effort and real change. “Change” is the principal word the Guide to the Scriptures uses to define repentance:“A change of mind and heart that brings a fresh attitude toward God, oneself, and life in general.”18 That kind of change results in spiritual growth. Our success, then, isn’t going from failure to failure, but growing from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm.”

“And when we are through changing—we’re through.” (Boyd K. Packer, Kingsland Georgia Stake conference, Aug. 1997.)

Elder Neil L Anderson, The Prophet of God
The selection of a prophet is made by the Lord Himself. There is no campaigning, no debates, no posturing for position, no dissension, distrust, confusion, or commotion.”

5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

As you are humble in following the counsel of the Lord’s prophet, I promise you an added blessing of safety and peace.”

Don’t be surprised if at times your personal views are not initially in harmony with the teachings of the Lord’s prophet. These are moments of learning, of humility, when we go to our knees in prayer. We walk forward in faith, trusting in God, knowing that with time we will receive more spiritual clarity from our Heavenly Father. One prophet described the incomparable gift of the Savior as “the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.”15 The surrender of our will to God’s will is, in fact, not surrender at all but the beginning of a glorious victory.”

Some will try to overly dissect the prophet’s words, struggling to determine what is his prophetic voice and what is his personal opinion.”

In 1982, two years before being called as a General Authority, Brother Russell M. Nelson said: ‘I never ask myself, “When does the prophet speak as a prophet and when does he not?” My interest has been, “How can I be more like him?”’ And he added, ‘My [philosophy is to] stop putting question marks behind the prophet’s statements and put exclamation points instead.’”

Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder David A Bednar, Meek and Lowly of Heart
“I have tried to follow his counsel. Among other things, I’ve made lists of what the Book of Mormon is, what it affirms, what it refutes, what it fulfills, what it clarifies, and what it reveals. Looking at the Book of Mormon through these lenses has been an insightful and inspiring exercise! I recommend it to each of you.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life Be Like without It? Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 61.)

“I have read the Book of Mormon every day for more than 50 years. So perhaps I could have reasonably thought that President Monson’s words were for someone else. Yet, like many of you, I felt the prophet’s encouragement and his promise invite me to make a greater effort. …
“The happy result for me, and for many of you, has been what the prophet promised.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Fear Not to Do Good,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017, 100.)
The Christlike quality of meekness often is misunderstood in our contemporary world. Meekness is strong, not weak; active, not passive; courageous, not timid; restrained, not excessive; modest, not self-aggrandizing; and gracious, not brash. A meek person is not easily provoked, pretentious, or overbearing and readily acknowledges the accomplishments of others.”

42 Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
Elder Taylor G Godoy, One More Day
23 Behold, now it is called today until the coming of the Son of Man, and verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming.

“...any sacrifice we make is small compared to the sacrifice of the Son of God.”

“Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. … Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge. Forgive an enemy. Apologize. Try to understand. Examine your demands on others. Think first of someone else. Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more. Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child. … Speak your love and then speak it again” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter [2015], 32; adapted from “What We Think Christmas Is,” McCall’s, Dec. 1959, 82–83)

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson, Young Women in the Work
For many years now, our presidency has been asking the question ‘Which of these areas mentioned should our young women not be involved in?’ The answer is that they have something to contribute in all areas of this work.”

Do those who sit on ward councils, or hold any calling in the ward, see the young women as valuable resources to help fill the many needs within our wards? There is usually a long list of situations that require someone to serve, and we often think only of the adults in the ward to meet those needs. Just as our Aaronic Priesthood holders have been invited to labor with their fathers and other men of the Melchizedek Priesthood, our young women can be called upon to provide service and minister to the needs of ward members with their mothers or other exemplary sisters. They are capable, eager, and willing to do so much more than merely attend church on Sundays!”

Our Primary-age girls are now invited to attend Temple and Priesthood Preparation meetings, which will help them understand that they too are important participants in priesthood-directed work. They are learning that men, women, youth, and children are all recipients of priesthood blessings and all can take an active role in moving forward the Lord’s work.”

Bishops, we know your duties are often heavy, but just as one of your highest priorities is to preside over the Aaronic Priesthood quorums, Handbook 2 explains that ‘the bishop and his counselors provide priesthood leadership for the Young Women organization. They watch over and strengthen individual young women, working closely with parents and Young Women leaders in this effort.’ It also states that ‘the bishop and his counselors regularly participate in Young Women meetings, service, and activities.’4

Brothers and sisters, our young women are amazing. They have talents, unlimited enthusiasm, and energy, and they are compassionate and caring. They want to be of service. They need to know they are valued and essential in the work of salvation. “

Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, Saving Ordinances Will Bring Us Marvelous Light
“After the Savior received the ordinance of baptism to ‘fulfil all righteousness’ (see 2 Nephi 31:5–6), Satan tempted Him. Likewise, our temptations do not end after baptism or sealing, but receiving the sacred ordinances and honoring the associated covenants fill us with marvelous light and give us strength to resist and overcome temptations.”

“Warning

“Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days, “the earth also is defiled … because they have … changed the ordinance” (Isaiah 24:5; see also D&C 1:15).
“A related warning, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, was that some “draw near to [the Lord] with their lips, … [and] they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith—History 1:19).
“Paul also warned that many would have “a form of godliness, but [deny] the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Timothy 3:5). I repeat, from such turn away.
“The many distractions and temptations of life are like “ravening wolves” (Matthew 7:15). It is the true shepherd who will prepare, protect, and warn the sheep and the flock when these wolves are approaching (see John 10:11–12). As undershepherds who seek to emulate the perfect life of the Good Shepherd, aren’t we shepherds of our own soul as well as of others? With the counsel of prophets, seers, and revelators, whom we just sustained, and with the power and gift of the Holy Ghost, we can see the wolves coming if we are watchful and prepared. In contrast, when we are casual shepherds of our own soul and others’ souls, casualties are likely. Casualness leads to casualties. I invite each of us to be a faithful shepherd.”

He said, ‘I get it, I get it. But one more thing. Your church is not lively like ours.’
To that we responded, ‘What would you do if the Savior Jesus Christ walked through your door?’
He said, ‘Immediately, I would go down to my knees.’
We asked, ‘Isn’t that what you feel when you walk into Latter-day Saint chapels—reverence for the Savior?’
Devin G Durrant, Teaching in the Home—a Joyful and Sacred Responsibility
We offer loving counsel as our children become parents themselves. But—even then—we never stop being their parents. We never stop being their teachers. We are never released from these eternal callings.”

He said, ‘You all think my dad is such a good man at church, but …’ He paused, and I anxiously wondered what he might say next. He continued and said, ‘He’s a better man at home.’”

Elder Dale G Renlund, Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing
“But as we participate in family history and temple work today, we also lay claim to “healing” blessings promised by prophets and apostles.6 These blessings are also breathtakingly amazing because of their scope, specificity, and consequence in mortality. This long list includes these blessings:
  • Increased understanding of the Savior and His atoning sacrifice;
  • Increased influence of the Holy Ghost7 to feel strength and direction for our own lives;
  • Increased faith, so that conversion to the Savior becomes deep and abiding;
  • Increased ability and motivation to learn and repent8 because of an understanding of who we are, where we come from, and a clearer vision of where we are going;
  • Increased refining, sanctifying, and moderating influences in our hearts;
  • Increased joy through an increased ability to feel the love of the Lord;
  • Increased family blessings, no matter our current, past, or future family situation or how imperfect our family tree may be;
  • Increased love and appreciation for ancestors and living relatives, so we no longer feel alone;
  • Increased power to discern that which needs healing and thus, with the Lord’s help, serve others;
  • Increased protection from temptations and the intensifying influence of the adversary; and
  • Increased assistance to mend troubled, broken, or anxious hearts and make the wounded whole.9”

Priesthood Session
Douglas D Holmes, What Every Aaronic Priesthood Holder Needs to Understand
Sometimes, I fear, we figuratively give our young men of the Aaronic Priesthood children’s chairs to sit on rather than helping them see that God has given them a sacred trust and a vital work to do.”

“what it means … to be bearers of the priesthood of God. They need to be guided to a spiritual awareness of the sacredness of their ordained calling.” (Thomas S. Monson, general conference leadership meeting, Mar. 2011.)

So, what is the role of the Aaronic Priesthood in this? How does it help us gain access to Christ’s atoning power? I believe the answer lies in the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood—the keys of the ministering of angels and of the preparatory gospel.”

From the beginning of time, God has ‘sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest … the coming of Christ.’8 Angels are heavenly beings bearing God’s message.9 In both Hebrew and Greek, the root word of angel is ‘messenger.’10

Young men, you are authorized messengers. Through your words and actions, you can bring faith in Christ to the hearts of God’s children.”

“We are commanded to repent of our sins and to come to the Lord with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and partake of the sacrament. … When we renew our baptismal covenants in this way, the Lord renews the cleansing effect of our baptism.”

Young men, as you diligently engage in your priesthood duties, you participate with God in His work ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’26

Aaronic Priesthood holders, we have the privilege and duty to be fellow servants with John the Baptist. John was sent as an authorized messenger to bear witness of Christ and invite all to repent and be baptized—that is, he exercised the Aaronic Priesthood keys we have discussed. John then declared, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I … : he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”27

Young men, God has a work for you to do.30 Your Aaronic Priesthood ordination is central to helping His children receive Christ’s atoning power. I promise that as you put these sacred duties at the center of your life, you will feel the power of God as never before. You will understand your identity as a son of God, called with a holy calling to do His work. And, like John the Baptist, you will help prepare the way for the coming of His Son.”

President Russell M Nelson, Introductory Remarks
I am very grateful for each man who bears the holy priesthood. You are the hope of our Redeemer…”

20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
Regardless of your individual circumstances, each of you is a member of a priesthood quorum with a divine mandate to learn and to teach, to love and to serve others.”

Tonight we announce a significant restructuring of our Melchizedek Priesthood quorums to accomplish the work of the Lord more effectively. In each ward, the high priests and the elders will now be combined into one elders quorum.

“...we need to strengthen our priesthood quorums to give greater direction to the ministering of love and support that the Lord intends for His Saints.”

Elder D Todd Christofferson, The ELders Quorum
Significant refinements were revealed and implemented during the tenures of Presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Spencer W. Kimball, among others, with respect to the Quorum of the Twelve, the Seventy, high priests, and other offices and quorums in both the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods.2 Now, in a historic statement just moments ago, President Russell M. Nelson announced a further crucial adjustment.”

In wards, members of elders quorums and high priests groups will now be combined into one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum with one quorum presidency. This quorum, increased in numbers and unity, will be designated the “elders quorum.” High priests groups are discontinued. The elders quorum includes all elders and prospective elders in the ward as well as high priests who are not currently serving in the bishopric, in the stake presidency, on the high council, or as functioning patriarchs. The high priests quorum in the stake will be composed of those high priests who are serving in the stake presidency, in bishoprics, on the high council, and as functioning patriarchs.”

As you know, a man may be ordained to different priesthood offices over his lifetime, and he does not lose or forfeit any prior ordination when he receives a new one.”

“the priesthood is greater than any of its offices. … The priesthood is not divisible. An elder holds as much priesthood as an Apostle. (See D&C 20:38.) When a man [has the priesthood conferred upon him], he receives all of it. However, there are offices within the priesthood—divisions of authority and responsibility. … Sometimes one office is spoken of as being ‘higher than’ or ‘lower than’ another office. Rather than ‘higher’ or ‘lower,’ offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood represent different areas of service.” (Boyd K. Packer, “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well: A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government,” Ensign, Feb. 1993, 8, 9; Tambuli, Nov. 1994, 17, 19.)

Brethren, I devoutly hope that we will no longer speak in terms of being “advanced” to another office in the Melchizedek Priesthood.”

Therefore, the elders quorum president is directly responsible to the stake president, who provides training and guidance from the stake presidency and through the high council.”

What are the purposes of the adjustments to Melchizedek Priesthood quorums? Having one Melchizedek Priesthood quorum in a ward unifies priesthood holders to accomplish all aspects of the work of salvation, including the temple and family history work previously coordinated by the high priests groups. It allows quorum members of all ages and backgrounds to benefit from the perspective and experience of one another and of those in different stages of life. It also provides additional opportunities for experienced priesthood holders to mentor others, including prospective elders, new members, young adults, and those returning to Church activity.”

Elder Ronald A Rasband, Behold!  A Royal Army
Alma taught that men are called to be high priests because of their exceeding faith and good works to teach and to minister to others.5 That experience is needed now perhaps more than ever.”

Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, we invite you prayerfully, faithfully, and joyfully to accept new opportunities to lead or to be led and to serve unitedly as a body of priesthood brethren.”

wards and stakes will no longer hold priesthood executive committee meetings. If a special ward issue arises, such as a delicate family matter or an unusual welfare challenge, it could be addressed in an expanded bishopric meeting. Other less-sensitive matters can be addressed in the ward council.”

“the annual meeting of all ordained high priests in the stake will no longer be held. However, the stake presidency will continue to hold an annual meeting of the stake high priests quorum as has been announced today.”

“...when a ward has an unusually large number of active Melchizedek Priesthood bearers, leaders may organize more than one elders quorum.”

72 Behold, and lo, I will take care of your flocks, and will raise up elders and send unto them.
73 Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.
President Henry B Eyring, Inspired Ministry
“Being a good teacher doesn’t only mean being responsible when we are at church or at Church activities.”

President Dallin H Oaks, The Power of the Priesthood
“The Melchizedek Priesthood is the divine authority God has delegated to accomplish His work ‘to bring to pass the … eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39).”
The keys of the priesthood are the powers to direct the exercise of priesthood authority. Thus, when the Apostles conferred the Melchizedek Priesthood upon Joseph and Oliver, they also gave them the keys to direct its exercise (see D&C 27:12–13). But not all priesthood keys were conferred at that time. The entire keys and knowledge necessary for this “dispensation of the fulness of times” (D&C 128:18) are given “line upon line” (verse 21). Additional keys were given in the Kirtland Temple seven years later (see D&C 110:11–16). These keys were given to direct priesthood authority in the additional assignments being given at that time, such as baptism for the dead.”

“The Melchizedek Priesthood is not a status or a label. It is a divine power held in trust to use for the benefit of God’s work for His children. We should always remember that men who hold the priesthood are not ‘the priesthood.’”

“It has truly been said that the Church is perfectly organized. The only trouble is that these organizations are not fully alive to the obligations that rest upon them. When they become thoroughly awakened to the requirements made of them, they will fulfil their duties more faithfully, and the work of the Lord will be all the stronger and more powerful and influential in the world.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 343.)

“The God-given titles of honor … associated with the several offices in and orders of the Holy Priesthood, are not to be used nor considered as are the titles originated by man; they are not for adornment nor are they expressive of mastership, but rather of appointment to humble service in the work of the one Master whom we profess to serve. …
“… We are laboring for the salvation of souls, and we should feel that this is the greatest duty devolving upon us. Therefore, we should feel willing to sacrifice everything, if need be, for the love of God, the salvation of men, and the triumph of the kingdom of God upon the earth.” (Teachings: Joseph F. Smith, 340, 343.)
In the Lord’s Church, the offices in the Melchizedek Priesthood have different functions. The Doctrine and Covenants refers to high priests as “standing presidents or servants over different stakes scattered abroad” (D&C 124:134). It refers to elders as “standing ministers to [the Lord’s] church” (D&C 124:137).”

“Inasmuch as he has been ordained a high priest, [he] should feel that he is obliged … to set an example before the old and young worthy of emulation, and to place himself in a position to be a teacher of righteousness, not only by precept but more particularly by example—giving to the younger ones the benefit of the experience of age, and thus becoming individually a power in the midst of the community in which he dwells.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 182.)

“An elder is a minister of the Lord Jesus Christ. … He is commissioned to stand in the place and stead of his Master … in ministering to his fellowmen. He is the Lord’s agent.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Only an Elder,” Ensign, June 1975, 66; emphasis in original not preserved.)

“Every elder in the Church holds as much priesthood as the President of the Church … ,” he said. “What is an elder? He is a shepherd, a shepherd serving in the sheepfold of the Good Shepherd.” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Only an Elder,” 66)

10 High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest (of the Levitical order), teacher, deacon, and member.

19 And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.


20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
“When one becomes a holder of the priesthood, he becomes an agent of the Lord. He should think of his calling as though he were on the Lord’s errand. That is what it means to magnify the priesthood.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee (2000), 93.)

“...brethren, if the Lord Himself were to ask you to help one of His sons or daughters—which He has done through His servants—would you do it? And if you did, would you act as His agent, “on the Lord’s errand,” relying on His promised help?”

“When you hold a magnifying glass over something it makes that thing look bigger than you could see it with the naked eye; that’s a magnifying glass. Now, … if anybody magnifies their priesthood—that is, makes it bigger than they first thought it was and more important than anyone else thought it was—that is the way you magnify your priesthood.” (The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 499.)

The principle that priesthood authority can be exercised only under the direction of the one who holds the keys for that function is fundamental in the Church but does not apply to the exercise of priesthood authority in the family.8 A father who holds the priesthood presides in his family by the authority of the priesthood he holds. He has no need to have the direction or approval of priesthood keys in order to counsel the members of his family, hold family meetings, give priesthood blessings to his wife and children, or give healing blessings to family members or others.

“If fathers would magnify their priesthood in their own family, it would further the mission of the Church as much as anything else they might do. Fathers who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood should keep the commandments so they will have the power of the priesthood to give blessings to their family members. Fathers should also cultivate loving family relationships so that family members will want to ask their fathers for blessings. And parents should encourage more priesthood blessings in the family.”
Fathers, function as ‘equal partners’ of your wives, as the family proclamation teaches.”
fathers, when you are privileged to exercise the power and influence of your priesthood authority, do so ‘by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned’ (D&C 121:41).”

“Never is the power of the priesthood, which you hold, more wonderful than when there is a crisis in your home, a serious illness, or some great decision that has to be made. … Vested in the power of the priesthood, which is the power of Almighty God, is the power to perform miracles if the Lord wills it so, but in order for us to use that priesthood, we must be worthy to exercise it. A failure to understand this principle is a failure to receive the blessings of holding that great priesthood.” (Teachings: Harold B. Lee, 97.)

President Nelson, Ministering with th Power and Authority of God
Through a lifetime of service in this Church, I have learned that it really doesn’t matter where one serves. What the Lord cares about is how one serves.”

we see faithful men who live up to their privileges as bearers of the priesthood. They lead and serve by sacrifice in the Lord’s way with love, kindness, and patience. They bless, guide, protect, and strengthen others by the power of the priesthood they hold. They bring miracles to those they serve while they keep their own marriages and families safe. They shun evil and are mighty elders in Israel.”

Now, may I voice a concern? It is this: Too many of our brothers and sisters do not fully understand the concept of priesthood power and authority. They act as though they would rather satisfy their own selfish desires and appetites than use the power of God to bless His children.
I fear that too many of our brothers and sisters do not grasp the privileges that could be theirs.3 Some of our brethren, for example, act like they do not understand what the priesthood is and what it enables them to do.”
Sunday Morning Session
Larry Y Wilson, Take the Holy Spirit as Your Guide
Sometimes we can’t hear heaven’s signal because we are not worthy. Repentance and obedience are the way to achieve clear communication again.”

“Instead of just listing our problems in prayer and asking the Lord to solve them, we ought to be seeking more proactive ways of receiving the Lord’s help and committing to act according to the Spirit’s guidance.”

“The arrival of a typhoon is no time to dust off the gift of the Holy Ghost and figure out how to use it.”

“Being spiritually self-reliant is hearing the Lord’s voice through His Spirit for one’s own life.”

“Alma advised his son to ‘counsel with the Lord in all thy doings.’11 To live in this way—what we often call ‘living by the Spirit’—is a high privilege. It brings a sense of calm and certainty as well as fruits of the Spirit such as love, joy, and peace.”

Following the feet of the people ahead of you on the path is not enough. We cannot just do and think what others are doing and thinking; we must live a guided life. We must each have our own hand on the iron rod. Then we may go to the Lord with humble confidence, knowing that He ‘shall lead [us] by the hand, and give [us] answer to [our] prayers.’16

Sister Reyna I Aburto, With One Accord
Acts 1:13-14
13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphæus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of unity with His Father. They are one in purpose, in love, and in works, with ‘the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father.’10

Even though we may not have seen our Savior with our physical eyes, we can know that He lives. As we draw closer to Him, as we seek to receive a personal witness through the Holy Ghost of His divine mission, we will have a better understanding of our purpose; the love of God will dwell in our hearts;

Miracles happen when the children of God work together guided by the Spirit to reach out to others in need.”

Every one of our paths is different, yet we walk them together. Our path is not about what we have done or where we have been; it is about where we are going and what we are becoming, in unity.“

Massimo De Feo, Pure Love:  The True Sign of Every True Disciple of Jesus Christ
“The first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength—that’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity, and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life.”(Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 127.)
48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

True disciples know that the real blessings are not always what they want but rather what the Lord wants for them.”

“True disciples love to ‘stand in holy places’4 and love to make holy the places where they stand.”

Love indeed is the true sign of every true disciple of Jesus Christ.”

“May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers. As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”(Thomas S. Monson, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel,” Ensign or Liahona,May 2014, 94)

Claudio D Zivic, He That Shall Endure unto the End, the Same Shall Be Saved
To endure means ‘to remain firm in a commitment to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition, and adversity.’2

I have heard many justifications from those who have stopped participating actively in the Church and have lost the correct vision of the purpose of our journey on this earth. I exhort them to reflect and to return, because I believe that no one will be able to make excuses before our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Partaking of the sacrament is the most important thing we do on the Sabbath day.”

President Henry B Eyring, His Spirit to Be with You
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
More precious than a memory of events is the memory of the Holy Ghost touching our hearts and His continuing affirmation of truth. More precious than seeing with our eyes or remembering words spoken and read is recalling the feelings that accompanied the quiet voice of the Spirit. Rarely I have felt it exactly as the travelers on the road to Emmaus did—as a soft but unmistakable burning in the heart. More often it is a feeling of light and quiet assurance.”

We have the priceless promise of the Holy Ghost as a companion, and we also have true directions on how to claim that gift. These words are said by the Lord’s authorized servant with his hands on our head: ‘Receive the Holy Ghost.’ At that moment you and I have the assurance He will be sent. But our obligation is to choose to open our hearts to receive the ministration of the Spirit over a lifetime.”

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
I bear my personal witness that the Father is at this moment aware of you, your feelings, and the spiritual and temporal needs of everyone around you. I bear testimony that the Father and the Son are sending the Holy Ghost to all who have that gift, ask for that blessing, and seek to be worthy of it. Neither the Father, nor the Son, nor the Holy Ghost force Themselves into our lives. We are free to choose.”

20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
President Dallin H Oaks, Small and Simple Things
“Because we believe the accounts in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon about the literal Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we also believe the numerous scriptural teachings that a similar resurrection will come to all mortals who have ever lived upon this earth.”

That lively hope is our conviction that death is not the conclusion of our identity but merely a necessary step in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan for the salvation of His children.”

We are taught many small and simple things in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded that in total and over a significant period of time, these seemingly small things bring to pass great things.”

Another source of spiritual uplift and growth is an ongoing practice of repenting, even of seemingly small transgressions. Our own inspired self-evaluations can help us see how we have fallen short and how we can do better. Such repentance should precede our weekly partaking of the sacrament.”

“Alma confirms for his son that indeed the pattern the Lord follows when we exercise faith in Him and follow His counsel in small and simple things is that He blesses us with small daily miracles, and over time, with marvelous works.” (Steven C. Wheelwright, “The Power of Small and Simple Things” (Brigham Young University–Hawaii devotional, Aug. 31, 2007), 2, devotional.byuh.edu.)

Another seemingly small and simple thing is being civil and cheerful in our personal interactions.”

“None of these desirable small and simple things will lift us to great things unless they are practiced consistently and continuously.”

“Our lives are made up of little, simple circumstances that amount to a great deal when they are brought together, and sum up the whole life of the man or woman.”(Brigham Young, discourse in Ogden Tabernacle, July 19, 1877, as reported in “Discourse,” Deseret News, Oct. 17, 1877, 578.)

We are surrounded by media influences and cultural deteriorations that will carry us downstream in our values if we are not continually resisting.”

To extend that example even further, the cultural currents are so strong that if we ever stop paddling, we will be carried downstream toward a destination we do not seek but which becomes inevitable if we do not constantly try to move forward.”

One thing is certain, the terrible consequences of partaking of anything that can become addictive, like drugs that attack our bodies or pornographic material that degrades our thoughts, is totally avoidable if we never partake for the first time—even once.”

“It is in failing to do the small and simple things that faith wavers, miracles cease, and progress towards the Lord and His kingdom is first put on hold and then begins to unravel as seeking after the kingdom of God is replaced with more temporal pursuits and worldly ambitions.” (Steven C. Wheelwright, “The Power of Small and Simple Things,”)

33 Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.

My thoughts
{
Do we sometimes get weary of well doing?
}

President Russell M Nelson, Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives
“I also owe much to my forebears. All eight of my great-grandparents were converts to the Church in Europe. Each of these stalwart souls sacrificed everything to come to Zion.”

Imagine the miracle of it! Whatever our Church calling, we can pray to our Heavenly Father and receive guidance and direction, be warned about dangers and distractions, and be enabled to accomplish things we simply could not do on our own. If we will truly receive the Holy Ghost and learn to discern and understand His promptings, we will be guided in matters large and small.”


Brothers and sisters, how can we become the men and women—the Christlike servants—the Lord needs us to be? How can we find answers to questions that perplex us? If Joseph Smith’s transcendent experience in the Sacred Grove teaches us anything, it is that the heavens are open and that God speaks to His children.”

Find a quiet place where you can regularly go. Humble yourself before God. Pour out your heart to your Heavenly Father. Turn to Him for answers and for comfort.”

Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses—yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind. Record your feelings and follow through with actions that you are prompted to take. As you repeat this process day after day, month after month, year after year, you will ‘grow into the principle of revelation.’9

Does God really want to speak to you? Yes!”

I urge you to stretch beyond your current spiritual ability to receive personal revelation, for the Lord has promised that ‘if thou shalt [seek], thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.’”

There is so much more that your Father in Heaven wants you to know.”

“To those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, it is clear that the Father and the Son are giving away the secrets of the universe!” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Meek and Lowly” (Brigham Young University devotional, Oct. 21, 1986), 9, speeches.byu.edu)

I am optimistic about the future. It will be filled with opportunities for each of us to progress, contribute, and take the gospel to every corner of the earth. But I am also not naive about the days ahead. We live in a world that is complex and increasingly contentious. The constant availability of social media and a 24-hour news cycle bombard us with relentless messages. If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation.”

in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”

We are followers of Jesus Christ. The most important truth the Holy Ghost will ever witness to you is that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Sunday Afternoon Session
Elder Gerrit W Gong, Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
9 It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of—a power which records or binds on earth and binds in heaven. Nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence, whatsoever those men did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah. This is a faithful saying. Who can hear it?

Elder Ulisses Sores
“Isn’t it a blessing to have prophets, seers, and revelators on earth in these days in which we live, who seek to know the will of the Lord and follow it? It is comforting to know that we are not alone in the world, despite the challenges we face in life. Having prophets is a sign of God’s love for His children. They make known the promises and the true nature of God and of Jesus Christ to Their people. I have learned that through my personal experiences.”

President Russell M Nelson, Ministering
we constantly seek direction from the Lord on how we can help our members keep the commandments of God, especially those two great commandments to love God and our neighbors.”

We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them. Instead, we will implement a newer, holier approach to caring for and ministering to others. We will refer to these efforts simply as ‘ministering.’”

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Be With and Strengthen Them
With this newer, more gospel-based concept of ministering, I feel you starting to panic about what counts on the report. Well, relax, because there isn’t any report—at least not the 31st-of-the-month, ‘I made it through the door by the skin of my teeth’ report.”

Remember: ministering brethren represent the bishopric and elders quorum presidency; they don’t replace them. The keys of a bishop and a quorum president go far beyond this ministering concept.”

we don’t see him as one obligated to bring us a message at the end of each month; we think of him as a friend who lives just down the street and around the corner, who would do anything in this world to bless us. I am glad I could repay just a little bit of the debt I owe him.”

On this Easter Sunday, may we love one another as He has loved us,”

Sister Jean B Bingham, Ministering as the Savior Does
What a wonderful blessing to live in a time of continual revelation from God! As we look forward to and embrace the ‘restitution of all things,’1 which has and will come through the prophesied events of our time, we are being prepared for the Savior’s Second Coming.”

Sometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to “count” as serving our neighbors. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on others—as well as on ourselves. What did the Savior do? Through His supernal gifts of the Atonement and Resurrection—which we celebrate on this beautiful Easter Sunday—“none other has had so profound an influence [on] all who have lived and who will yet live upon the earth.”4 But He also smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed, and forgave. He served family and friends, neighbors and strangers alike, and He invited acquaintances and loved ones to enjoy the rich blessings of His gospel. Those “simple” acts of service and love provide a template for our ministering today.”

Combining such Relief Society efforts with the now-restructured elders quorum will bring a unity that can yield astonishing results. Ministering becomes one coordinated effort to fulfill the priesthood duty to ‘visit the house of each member’ and to ‘watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them,’5 as well as to achieve the Relief Society purpose to help one another prepare for the blessings of eternal life.6 Working together under the direction of the bishop, elders quorum and Relief Society presidencies can be inspired as they seek the best ways to watch over and care for each individual and family.”

After all is said and done, true ministering is accomplished one by one with love as the motivation. The value and merit and wonder of sincere ministering is that it truly changes lives! When our hearts are open and willing to love and include, encourage and comfort, the power of our ministering will be irresistible. With love as the motivation, miracles will happen, and we will find ways to bring our “missing” sisters and brothers into the all-inclusive embrace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf, Behold the Man
To find the most important day in history, we must go back to that evening almost 2,000 years ago in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus Christ knelt in intense prayer and offered Himself as a ransom for our sins. It was during this great and infinite sacrifice of unparalleled suffering in both body and spirit that Jesus Christ, even God, bled at every pore. Out of perfect love, He gave all that we might receive all. His supernal sacrifice, difficult to comprehend, to be felt only with all our heart and mind, reminds us of the universal debt of gratitude we owe Christ for His divine gift.”

What is it that makes the infinite sacrifice and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the most important event in history—more influential than world wars, cataclysmic disasters, and life-changing scientific discoveries?”
“The answer lies in two great, insurmountable challenges that every one of us faces.

“First, we all die.”
Nevertheless, because of Jesus Christ, your death will be temporary.”
“Second, we have all sinned.”
“On that most important day in history, Jesus the Christ opened the gates of death and cast aside the barriers that prevented us from passing into the holy and hallowed halls of everlasting life. Because of our Lord and Savior, you and I are granted a most precious and priceless gift—regardless of our past, we can repent and follow the path that leads to celestial light and glory, surrounded by the faithful children of Heavenly Father.”

He will heal you and give meaning to your journey. He will pour out His Spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy.”

Is it any wonder that ‘we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins’?19

Bishop Gerald Causse, It Is All about People
the Church is all about people. It is all about you, the Lord’s disciples—those who love and follow Him and who have taken His name upon them by covenant.”

I don’t think we need that many priesthood holders at church on Sunday. But we do need a priesthood holder in every home.”

Our homes in particular are ‘the primary sanctuaries of our faith.’5

Elder Quentin L Cook, Prepare to Meet God
“The ceremonies of that dedication may be rehearsed, but no mortal language can describe the heavenly manifestations of that memorable day. Angels appeared to some, while a sense of divine presence was realized by all present, and each heart was filled with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”(Eliza R. Snow, in Janiece Johnson and Jennifer Reeder, The Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies from the Restoration (2016), 124; see also Eliza R. Snow, in Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom (1877), 65.)

These keys provide the ‘power from on high’7 for divinely appointed responsibilities that constitute the primary purpose of the Church.”

“None is exempt from this great obligation. It is required of the apostle as well as the humblest elder [or sister]. Place, or distinction, or long service in the Church … will not entitle one to disregard the salvation of one’s dead.”(Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie (1955), 2:148–49.)

During my lifetime, worldly issues and concerns have moved from one extreme to another—from frivolous and trivial pursuits to serious immorality.”

individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring [or, for that matter, anyone else] … will one day stand accountable before God.”(The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2017, 145.)

President Russell M Nelson, Let Us All Press On
And your desire to obey will be enhanced as you remember and reflect upon what you have felt these past two days.”

So we are now pleased to announce plans to construct seven more temples. Those temples will be located in the following locations: Salta, Argentina; Bengaluru, India; Managua, Nicaragua; Cagayan de Oro, Philippines; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia.”