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
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.’”