Saturday, March 31, 2012
General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Saturday and Sunday October 31 March 2012 and 1 April 2012
Saturday Morning Session
President Thomas S Monson, As We Gather Once Again
“No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 444)
“Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us and our needs.” (this talk)
President Boyd K Packer, And a Little Child Shall Lead Them
He told a story of a minister that scolded the parents of a little boy that had died for not having had him baptized. He told them that he had gone to Hell and they were responsible. There were LDS missionaries there and after the funeral they approached the parents and told the parents that they were ministers from the Lord and shared with them the plan of salvation.
“No pain will last forever. It is not easy, but life was never meant to be either easy or fair. “ (this talk)
“The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children.” (this talk)
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2–4)
“Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
“And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.”(Matthew 19:14–15)
“I hope to be judged as good a man as my father. Before I hear those words “well done” from my Heavenly Father, I hope to first hear them from my mortal father.” (this talk)
Sister Cheryl A Esplin, Teaching Our Children to Understand
“children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3)
25 And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents.
28 And they shall also teach their children to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord. (D&C 68:25, 28)
“Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart” (Psalm 119:34)
“If we are ready and will let the Spirit guide in these situations, our children will be taught with greater effect and understanding.” (this talk)
President Donald L Hallstrom, Converted to His Gospel through His Church
“Sometimes we use the terms gospel and Church interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are, however, exquisitely interconnected, and we need both.
“The gospel is the glorious plan of God in which we, as His children, are given the opportunity to receive all that the Father has (see D&C 84:38).” (this talk)
“The Church was established by Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry, ‘built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets’ (Ephesians 2:20). In this, ‘the dispensation of the fulness of times’ (D&C 128:18), the Lord restored what once was, specifically telling the Prophet Joseph Smith, ‘I will establish a church by your hand’ (D&C 31:7). Jesus Christ was and is the head of His Church, represented on earth by prophets holding apostolic authority.” (this talk)
“There is nothing like this church in all the world.” (this talk)
“Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants? (this talk)
“...the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel.” - (this talk)
Elder HallStrom gave three ways to strengthen our commitment to the gospel
1. Deepen our understanding of Deity
2. Focus on the ordinances and covenants
3. Unite the gospel with the Church.
“As we concentrate on the gospel, the Church will become more, not less, of a blessing in our lives. As we come to each meeting prepared to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118), the Holy Spirit will be our teacher. If we come to be entertained, we often will be disappointed.” (this talk)
“And it came to pass that thus they [meaning His disciples] did go forth among all the people of Nephi, and did preach the gospel of Christ unto all people upon the face of the land; and they were converted unto the Lord, and were united unto the church of Christ, and thus the people of that generation were blessed” (3 Nephi 28:23)
Elder Paul E Koeliker,He Truly Loves Us
“How can we help each individual develop a desire to know more about Heavenly Father? How do we help them feel His Spirit? How can we help them know that we love them?” (this talk)
“And thus Laman and Lemuel, being the eldest, did murmur against their father. And they did murmur because they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” (1 Nephi 2:12).
“I, Nephi, … having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father; wherefore, I did not rebel against him like unto my brothers” (1 Nephi 2:16).
“...a pattern in all things, that [we] may not be deceived” (D&C 52:14)
“And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb” (1 Nephi 13:37)
“To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment. … Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right” (“Words of the Living Prophet,” Liahona, Dec. 1996, 8; “Excerpts from Recent Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Apr. 1996, 73)
“The Father’s plan designated the pattern of the family to help us learn, apply, and understand the power of love. On the day my own family was organized, my sweet Ann and I went to the temple and entered into the covenant of marriage. How much I thought I loved her on that day, but I had only begun to see the vision of love. As each of our children and grandchildren entered into our lives, our love has been expanded to love each of them equally and fully. There is seemingly no end to the expansive capacity to love.” (this talk)
Elder Dallin H Oaks, Sacrifice
“The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ has been called the “most transcendent of all events from creation’s dawn to the endless ages of eternity.”1 That sacrifice is the central message of all the prophets. It was prefigured by the animal sacrifices prescribed by the law of Moses. A prophet declared that their whole meaning “point[ed] to that great and last sacrifice [of] … the Son of God, yea, infinite and eternal” (Alma 34:14). Jesus Christ endured incomprehensible suffering to make Himself a sacrifice for the sins of all. That sacrifice offered the ultimate good—the pure Lamb without blemish—for the ultimate measure of evil—the sins of the entire world.”(this talk)
“For most followers of Christ, our sacrifices involve what we can do on a day-to-day basis in our ordinary personal lives.” (this talk)
“Today the most visible strength of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the unselfish service and sacrifice of its members. Prior to the rededication of one of our temples, a Christian minister asked President Gordon B. Hinckley why it did not contain any representation of the cross, the most common symbol of the Christian faith. President Hinckley replied that the symbols of our Christian faith are “the lives of our people.”5 Truly, our lives of service and sacrifice are the most appropriate expressions of our commitment to serve the Master and our fellow men.” (this talk)
“a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation. … It [is] through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life.” (Lectures on Faith (1985), 69)
President Henry B Eyring, Mountains to Climb
Doctrine and Covenants 122:7
7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
19 Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
“It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.”(this talk)
“And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
“For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
“But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen.
“Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith.”(Ether 12:6–9)
“I cannot promise an end to your adversity in this life. I cannot assure you that your trials will seem to you to be only for a moment. One of the characteristics of trials in life is that they seem to make clocks slow down and then appear almost to stop.
There are reasons for that. Knowing those reasons may not give much comfort, but it can give you a feeling of patience. Those reasons come from this one fact: in Their perfect love for you, Heavenly Father and the Savior want you fitted to be with Them to live in families forever. Only those washed perfectly clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ can be there.” (this talk)
“My mother fought cancer for nearly 10 years.”
“One of the speakers at her funeral was President Spencer W. Kimball. Among the tributes he paid, I remember one that went something like this: ‘Some of you may have thought that Mildred suffered so long and so much because of something she had done wrong that required the trials.’ He then said, ‘No, it was that God just wanted her to be polished a little more.’ I remember at the time thinking, ‘If a woman that good needed that much polishing, what is ahead for me?’”
Saturday Afternoon Session
General Relief Society presidency and Presiding Bishopric were released and new presidency and bishopric were sustained.
December 31, 2011 - Church membership 14,441,346. 136 temples in operation.
Elder Jeffrey R Holland, The Laborers in the Vineyard
The Parable of the Laborers - Matthew 20:1–15
My Thought - Is it possible that some quit after a couple of hours and didn’t get paid at all? Thus, perhaps the work for the rest of the day was already done by another worker that didn’t get paid.
“Then this piercing question to anyone then or now who needs to hear it: ‘Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?’” (this talk)
“Furthermore, envy is a mistake that just keeps on giving. Obviously we suffer a little when some misfortune befalls us, but envy requires us to suffer all good fortune that befalls everyone we know! What a bright prospect that is—downing another quart of pickle juice every time anyone around you has a happy moment! To say nothing of the chagrin in the end, when we find that God really is both just and merciful, giving to all who stand with Him “all that he hath,”2 as the scripture says. So lesson number one from the Lord’s vineyard: coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind. It is a happy way to live.” (this talk)
“...coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image. So be kind, and be grateful that God is kind.” (this talk)
“..don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening—whatever your labor arrangements have been through the day.” (this talk)
“Which leads me to my third and last point. This parable—like all parables—is not really about laborers or wages any more than the others are about sheep and goats. This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it.” (this talk)
My thought - The laborers at the end of the day partook of grace, but they still worked. They did not get paid just for showing up at the payment table.
“So if you have made covenants, keep them. If you haven’t made them, make them. If you have made them and broken them, repent and repair them. It is never too late so long as the Master of the vineyard says there is time. Please listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit telling you right now, this very moment, that you should accept the atoning gift of the Lord Jesus Christ and enjoy the fellowship of His labor. Don’t delay. It’s getting late.” (this talk)
Elder Robert D Hales, Coming to Ourselves: The Sacrament, the Temple, and Sacrifice in Service
Elder Hales sat to give his talk. I am not sure if I have seen him do that before. President Packer has been giving his talks seated for a while. I wonder what they are going through.
“To worthily partake of the sacrament, we remember that we are renewing the covenant we made at baptism. For the sacrament to be a spiritually cleansing experience each week, we need to prepare ourselves before coming to sacrament meeting. We do this by deliberately leaving behind our daily work and recreation and letting go of worldly thoughts and concerns. As we do, we make room in our minds and hearts for the Holy Ghost.” (this talk)
“...we establish patterns of Christlike living. These include obedience, making sacrifices to keep the commandments, loving one another, being chaste in thought and action, and giving of ourselves to build the kingdom of God. Through the Savior’s Atonement and by following these basic patterns of faithfulness, we receive ‘power from on high’9 to face the challenges of life. We need this divine power today more than ever.” (this talk)
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
“In addition to the spiritual self-reliance we have been discussing, there is temporal self-reliance, which includes getting a postsecondary education or vocational training, learning to work, and living within our means. By avoiding debt and saving money now, we are prepared for full-time Church service in the years to come. The purpose of both temporal and spiritual self-reliance is to get ourselves on higher ground so that we can lift others in need.” (this talk)
Elder David S Baxter, Faith, Fortitude, Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents
‘Although you may at times have asked, why me? it is through the hardships of life that we grow toward godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction, as the events of life take place while God respects the agency of man. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell commented, we cannot do all the sums or make it all add up because “we do not have all the numbers.’1” (this talk)
“Meanwhile, you are striving to raise your children in righteousness and truth, knowing that while you cannot change the past, you can shape the future.” (this talk)
Elder Ulisses Soares, Abide in the Lord’s Territory!
‘You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t be wrong by doing right’” (President Thomas S Monson, “Pathways to Perfection,” Liahona, July 2002, 112; Ensign,May 2002, 100)
“It works the same way as the Liahona given to Lehi did. If we exercise faith and are diligent in obeying the Lord’s commandments, we will easily find the correct direction to follow,” (this talk)
Elder Quentin L Cook, In Tune with the Music of Faith
2 Nephi 25:26
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.
“One of the underlying premises of Lehi’s vision is that faithful members must hold fast to the rod of iron to keep them on the strait and narrow path leading to the tree of life. It is essential for members to read, ponder, and study the scriptures.” (this talk)
“I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns.”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 67)
“Please understand that having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments are and always will be the defining test of mortality. Above all else, each of us must realize that when one is tone-deaf to the music of faith, he or she is out of tune with the Spirit. As the prophet Nephi taught, “Ye have heard his voice … ; and he hath spoken unto you in a still small voice, but ye were past feeling, that ye could not feel his words.”25” (this talk)
Elder Richard G Scott, How to Obtain Revelation and Inspiration for Your Personal Life
“I believe we move and have our being in the presence of heavenly messengers and of heavenly beings. We are not separate from them. … We are closely related to our kindred, to our ancestors … who have preceded us into the spirit world. We can not forget them; we do not cease to love them; we always hold them in our hearts, in memory, and thus we are associated and united to them by ties that we can not break. … If this is the case with us in our finite condition, surrounded by our mortal weaknesses, … how much more certain it is … to believe that those who have been faithful, who have gone beyond … can see us better than we can see them; that they know us better than we know them. … We live in their presence, they see us, they are solicitous for our welfare, they love us now more than ever. For now they see the dangers that beset us; … their love for us and their desire for our well being must be greater than that which we feel for ourselves.” (Joseph F. Smith, in Conference Report, Apr. 1916, 2–3; see also Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 430–31)
“When I am faced with a very difficult matter, this is how I try to understand what to do. I fast. I pray to find and understand scriptures that will be helpful. That process is cyclical.” (this talk)
“There are some practical principles that enhance revelation. First, yielding to emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost. Those emotions must be eliminated, or our chance for receiving revelation is slight.
Another principle is to be cautious with humor. Loud, inappropriate laughter will offend the Spirit. A good sense of humor helps revelation; loud laughter does not. A sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life.
Another enemy to revelation comes from exaggeration or loudness in what is stated. Careful, quiet speech will favor the receipt of revelation.” (this talk)
“...spiritual communication can be enhanced by good health practices.” (this talk)
“It is important that our daily activities do not distract us from listening to the Spirit.” (this talk)
“Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail but to succeed gloriously. It may seem paradoxical, but that is why recognizing answers to prayer can sometimes be very difficult.” (this talk)
“If you feel that God has not answered your prayers, ...carefully look for evidence in your own life that He may have already answered you.” (this talk)
Elder David A Bednar, The Powers of Heaven
“If at this moment each one of you were asked to state in one sentence or phrase the most distinguishing feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what would be your answer?” President David O. McKay, (“The Mission of the Church and Its Members,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1956, 781)
“The priesthood is the authority of God delegated to men on the earth to act in all things for the salvation of mankind.” (this talk)
Article of Faith 5
5 We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.
"Thus, a boy or a man receives the authority of the priesthood and is ordained to a specific office by one who already holds the priesthood and has been authorized by a leader with the necessary priesthood keys." (this talk)
“It is not enough to receive the priesthood and then sit back passively and wait until someone prods us into activity. When we receive the priesthood, we have the obligation of becoming actively and anxiously engaged in promoting the cause of righteousness in the earth, because the Lord says:
“‘… He that doeth not anything until he is commanded, and receiveth a commandment with doubtful heart, and keepeth it with slothfulness, the same is damned’ [D&C 58:29]”
(President Ezra Taft Benson, So Shall Ye Reap , 21)
“One breaks the priesthood covenant by transgressing commandments—but also by leaving undone his duties. Accordingly, to break this covenant one needs only to do nothing” (The Miracle of Forgiveness , 96)
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.
“Priesthood holders young and old need both authority and power—the necessary permission and the spiritual capacity to represent God in the work of salvation.” (this talk)
“I believe my father was wrong to judge the validity of our Church’s claim to divine authority by the shortcomings of the men with whom he associated in our ward. But embedded in his question to me was a correct assumption that men who bear God’s holy priesthood should be different from other men.” (this talk)
“Receiving the authority of the priesthood by the laying on of hands is an important beginning, but it is not enough.” (this talk)
Bishop Richard C Edgley, The Rescue for Real Growth
"I learned that many less-active members will hold callings if asked." (this talk)
34 O Lord, wilt thou grant unto us that we may have success in bringing them again unto thee in Christ.
35 Behold, O Lord, their souls are precious, and many of them are our brethren; therefore, give unto us, O Lord, power and wisdom that we may bring these, our brethren, again unto thee.
D&C 18:10–11, 15
10 Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;
11 For, behold, the Lord your Redeemer suffered death in the flesh; wherefore he suffered the pain of all men, that all men might repent and come unto him.
12 And he hath risen again from the dead, that he might bring all men unto him, on conditions of repentance.
13 And how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth!
14 Wherefore, you are called to cry repentance unto this people.
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
Adrián Ochoa, Aaronic Priesthood: Arise and Use the Power of God
“Young men, you know that you are at your best when you are in the service of God. You know that you are happiest when you are anxiously engaged in a good work. Magnify the power of your priesthood by being clean and being worthy.” (this talk)
“Yes, Aaronic Priesthood holders, we are at war. And in this war, the best way to defend against evil is to actively promote righteousness. You cannot listen to foul words and pretend you don’t hear. You cannot watch, alone or with others, images you know are filthy and pretend you don’t see. You cannot touch any unclean thing and pretend it’s no big deal. You cannot be passive when Satan seeks to destroy that which is wholesome and pure.” (this talk)
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, The Why of Priesthood Service
“...when we teach the foundational principles in our homes or in church, let the flame of enthusiasm for the gospel and the fire of testimony bring light, warmth, and joy to the hearts of those we teach.” (this talk)
“We learned an important lesson: the fact that something is good is not always reason enough to require our time and resources. Our activities, initiatives, and plans should be inspired by and grounded upon the why of our priesthood service and not by any flashy trend or interest of the moment. Otherwise, they can distract our efforts, dilute our energy, and get us caught up in our own hobbies, spiritual or temporal, that are not at the center of discipleship.” (this talk)
“Thomas Edison, the man who bathed the world in glowing electric light, said that ‘the value of an idea lies in the using of it.’ 4 In a similar way, gospel doctrine becomes more precious when it is put to use.” (this talk)
Doctrine and Covenants 128:22
22 Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
President Henry B Eyring, Families under Covenant
Doctrine and Covenants 130:2
2 And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.
“The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.” (Teaching of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 11)
“The second imperative is to love your wife. It will take faith and humility to put her interests above your own in the struggles of life. You have the responsibility to provide for and to nurture the family with her while serving others. That can at times consume all the energy and strength you have. Age and illness may increase your wife’s needs. If you choose even then to put her happiness above your own, I promise you that your love for her will increase.” (this talk)
President Thomas S Monson, Willing and Worthy to Serve
“Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 104)
“The priesthood … is … the power of God delegated to man by which man can act in the earth for the salvation of the human family, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and act legitimately; not assuming that authority, nor borrowing it from generations that are dead and gone, but authority that has been given in this day in which we live by ministering angels and spirits from above, direct from the presence of Almighty God.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. (1939), 139–40; emphasis added)
“What is priesthood? … It is the government of God, whether on the earth or in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things are governed on the earth and in the heavens, and by that power that all things are upheld and sustained. It governs all things—it directs all things—it sustains all things—and has to do with all things that God and truth are associated with.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor (2001), 119)
“The priesthood is not so much a gift as it is a commission to serve, a privilege to lift, and an opportunity to bless the lives of others.” (this talk)
“Time certainly marches on. Duty keeps cadence with that march. Duty does not dim nor diminish.” (this talk)
Doctrine and Covenants 107:99
99 Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
1 Nephi 3:7
7 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
“It is your duty first of all to learn what the Lord wants and then by the power and strength of His holy Priesthood to [so] magnify your calling in the presence of your fellows … that the people will be glad to follow you.” (TGeorge Albert Smith, in Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 14)
“If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty” (Teachings: John Taylor, 164)
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Sunday Morning Session
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, The Merciful Obtain Mercy
Doctrine and Covenants 64:9
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.
“Of course, these words [D & C 64:9] seem perfectly reasonable—when applied to someone else. We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. And we certainly don’t like it when people judge us.”
“But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate.” (this talk)
“When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves.” (this talk)
“This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:
“It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.” (this talk)
“I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, ‘Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.’” (this talk)
“Jesus said it is easy to love those who love us; even the wicked can do that. But Jesus Christ taught a higher law. His words echo through the centuries and are meant for us today. They are meant for all who desire to be His disciples. They are meant for you and me: ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’10” (this talk)
38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Elder Russell M Nelson, Thanks Be to God
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“Yet some people erroneously think that these marvelous physical attributes happened by chance or resulted from a big bang somewhere. Ask yourself, “Could an explosion in a printing shop produce a dictionary?” The likelihood is most remote. But if so, it could never heal its own torn pages or reproduce its own newer editions!” (this talk)
Elder Ronald A Rasband, Special Lessons
“For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. …
“A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. …” (Russell M. Nelson, “We Are Children of God,” Liahona, Jan. 1999, 103; Ensign, Nov. 1998, 85, 86.)
“Some might ask when faced with such suffering, how could Almighty God let this happen? And then that seemingly inevitable question, why did this happen to me? Why must we experience disease and events that disable or call precious family members home early or extend their years in pain? Why the heartaches?
“At these moments we can turn to the great plan of happiness authored by our Heavenly Father. That plan, when presented in the pre-earth life, prompted us all to shout for joy.2 Put simply, this life is training for eternal exaltation, and that process means tests and trials. It has always been so, and no one is spared.” (this talk)
“If you come upon a person who is drowning, would you ask if they need help—or would it be better to just jump in and save them from the deepening waters? The offer, while well meaning and often given, ‘Let me know if I can help’ is really no help at all.” (this talk)
“If you came across a person that was drowning would you ask him if he needed help or would you jump in and save him?”
Sister Julie B Beck, The Vision of Prophets regarding Relief Society: Faith, Family, Relief
“President Joseph F. Smith cautioned Relief Society sisters and their leaders, saying that he did not want “to see the time when our Relief Societies will follow, or commingle and lose their own identity by mixing up with … woman-made organizations.” He expected the sisters “to lead the world and … especially the women of the world, in everything that is praise-worthy, everything that is God-like, everything that is uplifting and that is purifying to the children of men.”23 His counsel emphasizes the charge to eliminate traditions, themes, fads, and trends, and incorporate practices that are consistent with Relief Society purposes.” (this talk)
“As sisters become more aligned with the purposes of Relief Society, the vision of the prophets will be fulfilled. President Kimball said, ‘There is a power in this organization [of Relief Society] that has not yet been fully exercised to strengthen the homes of Zion and build the Kingdom of God—nor will it until both the sisters and the priesthood catch the vision of Relief Society.’25 He prophesied that ‘much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world (in whom there is often … an inner sense of spirituality) will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church … are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.’26”
Elder D Todd Christofferson, The Doctrine of Christ
“By this experience and revelation [the vision of clean and unclean] to Peter, the Lord modified the practice of the Church and revealed a more complete doctrinal understanding to His disciples. And so the preaching of the gospel expanded to encompass all mankind.” (this talk)
“Later in the book of Acts, we find another somewhat related illustration, this time showing how revelation on matters of doctrine may come in a council setting. A controversy arose about whether circumcision required under the law of Moses should carry over as a commandment in the gospel and Church of Christ (see Acts 15:1, 5). “And the apostles and elders came together for to consider … this matter” (Acts 15:6). Our record of this council is certainly incomplete, but we are told that after “much disputing” (Acts 15:7), Peter, the senior Apostle, rose up and declared what the Holy Spirit had confirmed to him. He reminded the council that when the gospel began to be preached to the uncircumcised Gentiles in the house of Cornelius, they received the Holy Ghost just as had the circumcised Jewish converts. God, he said, “put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” (this talk)
“At the same time it should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.” (this talk)
President Thomas S Monson, The Race of Life
“In this fast-paced life, do we ever pause for moments of meditation—even thoughts of timeless truths?” (this talk)
“I recently visited with a woman who has been battling a life-threatening disease for over two years. She indicated that prior to her illness, her days were filled with activities such as cleaning her house to perfection and filling it with beautiful furnishings. She visited her hairdresser twice a week and spent money and time each month adding to her wardrobe. Her grandchildren were invited to visit infrequently, for she was always concerned that what she considered her precious possessions might be broken or otherwise ruined by tiny and careless hands.
“And then she received the shocking news that her mortal life was in jeopardy and that she might have very limited time left here. She said that at the moment she heard the doctor’s diagnosis, she knew immediately that she would spend whatever time she had remaining with her family and friends and with the gospel at the center of her life, for these represented what was most precious to her.” (this talk)
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
“Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return.” (this talk)
“Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding.” (this talk)
“In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life?
“Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks or by checking the Internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.” (this talk)
Sunday Afternoon Session
Elder L Tom Perry, The Power of Deliverance
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
“And the angel spake unto me, saying: These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles [the Book of Mormon], shall establish the truth of the first [the Bible], which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved” (1 Nephi 13:40)
“When used together, the Bible and the Book of Mormon confound false doctrines” (President Ezra Taft Benson, “A New Witness for Christ,” Ensign, Nov. 1984, 8)
Lot positioned the door of his tent to Sodom. Abraham built an altar to the Lord and likely faced hit tent door toward the alter. King Benjamin instructed his people to position the doors of their tents toward the temple.
Elder M Russell Ballard, That the Lost May Be Found
“Being lost can apply to whole societies as well as to individuals. Today we live in a time when much of this world has lost its way, particularly with regard to values and priorities within our homes.” (this talk)
“There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith , 382, 384)
“Equally worrisome is the ever-growing gap between the rich and poor and between those who strive to preserve family values and commitments and those who have given up on doing so. Statistically, those who have less education and consequently lower incomes are less likely to marry and to go to church and much more likely to be involved in crime and to have children outside of marriage. And these trends are also troubling in much of the rest of the world.” (this talk)
“Opposite of what many had thought, prosperity and education seem to be connected to a higher likelihood of having traditional families and values.” (this talk)
“The real question, of course, is about cause and effect. Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous, or are they more educated and prosperous because they have values and strong families? In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter. When people make family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as well.” (this talk)
“...when families work and play together, neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve, and less government and fewer costly safety nets are required.
“So the bad news is that family breakdown is causing a host of societal and economic ills. But the good news is that, like any cause and effect, those ills can be reversed if what is causing them is changed. Inequities are resolved by living correct principles and values. Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families. If we will devote ourselves to this cause, we will improve every other aspect of our lives... ” (this talk)
20 ¶Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
“The Church is a mooring in this tempestuous sea, an anchor in the churning waters of change and division, and a beacon to those who value and seek righteousness. The Lord uses this Church as a tool in pulling His children throughout the world toward the protection of His gospel.” ( this talk)
“Among Church members who are married in the temple and who regularly attend Sunday meetings, the divorce rate is significantly less than that of the world, and families remain closer and are in more frequent communication. The health in our families is better, and we live several years longer than the population average. ...we are more likely to seek higher education.” (this talk)
“Brothers and sisters, the most important cause of our lifetime is our families.” (this talk)
“No other success in life can compensate for failure in the home” (David O. McKay, in Conference Report, Apr. 1964, 5)
“And to you young women, I would add that you must also not lose sight of this responsibility. No career can bring you as much fulfillment as rearing a family. And when you are my age, you will realize this even more.”
Elder O Vincent Haleck, Having the Vision to Do
18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
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.
“If we are to prosper rather than perish, we must gain a vision of ourselves as the Savior sees us.” (this talk)
“What did He see in Peter, James, and John and the other Apostles that prompted Him to act to invite them to follow Him? Like His vision of them, the Savior has a great vision of who we can become. It will take the same faith and courage the first Apostles had in order for us to refocus on the things that matter most in bringing lasting happiness and great joy.
“When we study the life of our Savior and His teachings, we see Him amongst the people teaching, praying, lifting, and healing. When we emulate Him and do the things we see Him do, we begin to see a vision of who we can become. You will be blessed with insight through the help of the Holy Ghost to do more good. Changes will begin to come, and you will bring a different order to your life that will bless you and your family. “ (this talk)
“Look at where we have come and the blessings we have received! Believe that He can bless you with vision in your life and the courage to act.” (this talk)
Larry Y Wilson, Only upon the Principles of Righteousness
Doctrine and Covenants 121:36
36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.
“This scripture says we must lead by “principles of righteousness.” Such principles apply to all leaders in the Church as well as to all fathers and mothers in their homes. 3 We lose our right to the Lord’s Spirit and to whatever authority we have from God when we exercise control over another person in an unrighteous manner. 4 We may think such methods are for the good of the one being “controlled.” But anytime we try to compel someone to righteousness who can and should be exercising his or her own moral agency, we are acting unrighteously. When setting firm limits for another person is in order, those limits should always be administered with loving patience and in a way that teaches eternal principles.
“We simply cannot force others to do the right thing. “ (this talk)
“Our children are in our homes for a limited time. If we wait until they walk out the door to turn over to them the reins of their moral agency, we have waited too long. They will not suddenly develop the ability to make wise decisions if they have never been free to make any important decisions while in our homes. Such children often either rebel against this compulsion or are crippled by an inability to make any decisions on their own.
Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them. They provide opportunities for growth as children acquire the spiritual maturity to exercise their agency properly. And yes, this means children will sometimes make mistakes and learn from them.” (this talk)
Elder David F Evans, Was It Worth It?
“In this and every other important endeavor, our most important work is always within our own home and family.2 It is within families that the Church is established and real growth occurs.3 “ (this talk)
“We must be faithful ourselves so that they can see our example of love for the Lord and His Church.” (this talk)
“We help our children rely on the Savior’s Atonement and know the forgiveness of a loving Heavenly Father by showing love and forgiveness in our own parenting. Our love and forgiveness not only draw our children closer to us but also build their faith in knowing that Heavenly Father loves them and that He will forgive them as they strive to repent and do better and be better. They trust this truth because they have experienced the same from their earthly parents.” (this talk)
Again Moses 1:39 was quoted.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
“Our missionary experiences have to be current. It is not enough to sit back and ponder former experiences. To be fulfilled, you have to continue to naturally and normally share the gospel.” (Elder Thomas S Monson, “Status Report on Missionary Work: A Conversation with Elder Thomas S. Monson, Chairman of the Missionary Committee of the Council of the Twelve,” Ensign, Oct. 1977, 14)
“The work of naturally and normally sharing the gospel with those we care about and love will be the work and joy of our lives” (this talk)
Elder Paul B Pieper, To Hold Sacred
“Daily reflecting upon and recording the impressions that come from the Spirit serve the dual purposes of helping us (1) to recognize our personal encounters with the divine and (2) to preserve them for ourselves and our posterity. Recording them is also a formal recognition and acknowledgment of our gratitude to God,”
Doctrine and Covenants 59:21
21 And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.
“Sacred means worthy of veneration and respect. By designating something as sacred, the Lord signals that it is of higher value and priority than other things. Sacred things are to be treated with more care, given greater deference, and regarded with deeper reverence. Sacred ranks high in the hierarchy of heavenly values.” (this talk)
“The opposite of sacred is profane or secular—that which is temporal or worldly. The worldly constantly competes with the sacred for our attention and priorities.” (this talk)
2 Nephi 9:29
29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.
Doctrine and Covenants 10:9
9 Therefore, you have delivered them up, yea, that which was sacred, unto wickedness.
Doctrine and Covenants 6:23
23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?
Doctrine and Covenants 50:24
24 That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
Elder Neil L Anderson, What Thinks Christ of Me?
“Does my life reflect the love and devotion I feel for the savior?” (this talk)
“Jesus asked the Pharisees, ‘What think ye of Christ?’2 In the final assessment, our personal discipleship will not be judged by friends or foes. Rather, as Paul said, ‘We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.’3 At that day the important question for each of us will be, ‘What thinks Christ of me?’” (this talk)
3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
President Thomas S Monson, As We Close This Conference
“We live in troubled times. I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves each of us and desires to bless us and to help us. May we call upon Him in prayer, as He admonished” (this talk)
Doctrine and Covenants 19:38
38 Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth and corruptibleness to the extent thereof.
“If there are disagreements or contentions among you, I urge you to settle them now.“ (this talk)
3 Nephi 11:28–30
28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been.
29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.