Herbst-Generalkonferenz 2019 – Sunday Sessions


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THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ GENTLY RAISE
THE SACRED STRAIN, ♪ ♪ FOR THE SABBATH’S
COME AGAIN ♪ ♪ THAT MAN MAY REST,
THAT MAN MAY REST. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM HISTORIC TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, WE WELCOME YOU TO MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. CONDUCTING TODAY’S PROGRAM IS MACK WILBERG, WITH ORGANISTS BRIAN MATHIAS AND RICHARD ELLIOTT, AND THE SPOKEN WORD BY LLOYD NEWELL. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I THINK THE WORLD IS GLORIOUS
AND LOVELY AS CAN BE. ♪ ♪THE BIRDS AND BEES AND BLOSSOMS
BRING SWEET MESSAGES TO ME. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ A SONG OF JOY
AND LOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ A SONG OF JOY
AND LOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I THINK THE WORLD IS GLORIOUS
AND LOVELY AS CAN BE, ♪ ♪ FOR I HAVE TEACHERS KIND AND
TRUE, AND PARENTS WHO LOVE ME. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ A SONG OF JOY
AND LOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪ ♪ I SING, AND SING,
AND SING, AND SING ♪ ♪ MY THANKS
TO GOD ♪ ♪ MY THANKS
TO GOD ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪ ♪ MY THANKS TO
GOD ABOVE. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ IF THE SAVIOR
STOOD BESIDE ME, ♪ ♪ WOULD I DO
THE THINGS I DO? ♪ ♪ WOULD I THINK
OF HIS COMMANDMENTS ♪ ♪ AND TRY HARDER
TO BE TRUE? ♪ ♪ WOULD I FOLLOW
HIS EXAMPLE? ♪ ♪ WOULD I LIVE
MORE RIGHTEOUSLY ♪ ♪ IF I COULD SEE
THE SAVIOR STANDING NIGH, ♪ ♪ WATCHING OVER ME? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IF THE SAVIOR
STOOD BESIDE ME, ♪ ♪ WOULD I SAY
THE THINGS I SAY? ♪ ♪ WOULD MY WORDS
BE TRUE AND KIND ♪ ♪ IF HE WERE NEVER
FAR AWAY? ♪ ♪ WOULD I TRY
TO SHARE THE GOSPEL? ♪ ♪ WOULD I SPEAK
MORE REVERENTLY ♪ ♪ IF I COULD SEE
THE SAVIOR STANDING NIGH, ♪ ♪ WATCHING OVER ME? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ HE IS ALWAYS
NEAR ME, ♪ ♪ THOUGH I DO NOT
SEE HIM THERE, ♪ ♪ AND BECAUSE
HE LOVES ME DEARLY ♪ ♪ I AM IN
HIS WATCHFUL CARE ♪ ♪ SO I’LL BE THE
KIND OF PERSON ♪ ♪ THAT I KNOW
I’D LIKE TO BE. ♪ ♪ IF I COULD SEE
THE SAVIOR STANDING NIGH ♪ ♪ WATCHING OVER ME. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
THERE GOD IS ALSO. ♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
WE WANT TO BE. ♪ ♪ GUIDE US,
HIS TRUTHS TO FOLLOW; ♪ ♪ HELP US OBEY
HIM FAITHFULLY. ♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
THERE GOD IS ALSO. ♪ ♪ WE THINK
OF HIM REVERENTLY. ♪ ♪ TEACH US TO PRAY,
TO TALK WITH HIM ABOVE ♪ ♪ AND KNOW THAT HE WILL
GUIDE US WITH HIS LOVE. ♪ ♪ THE COMFORT OF LOVING
ARMS AROUND US, ♪ ♪ A SONG THAT MAKES
US WANT TO SING, ♪ ♪ THE HAPPINESS WE FEEL
WHEN LOVE HAS FOUND US, ♪ ♪ ‘TIS LOVE WE GET
WHEN LOVE WE BRING. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
THERE GOD IS ALSO. ♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
WE WANT TO BE. ♪ ♪ GUIDE US,
HIS TRUTHS TO FOLLOW; ♪ ♪ HELP US OBEY
HIM FAITHFULLY. ♪ ♪ WHERE LOVE IS,
THERE GOD IS ALSO. ♪ ♪ AND WITH HIM
WE WANT TO BE. ♪ ♪ SHOW US THE WAY
AND GUIDE US TENDERLY ♪ ♪ THAT WE MAY DWELL
WITH HIM ETERNALLY. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>WHEN WE LOOK AT AN ACORN, WE SEE MORE THAN AN ACORN. WE KNOW ITS POTENTIAL TO BECOME A MIGHTY OAK TREE AND START PRODUCING ACORNS ITSELF. IT DOESN’T BOTHER US THAT THIS PROCESS CAN TAKE DECADES OR THAT GROWTH IS SLOW, ALMOST IMPERCEPTIBLE. WE KNOW THAT AN ACORN IS NOT MEANT TO REMAIN AN ACORN. WHEN WE LOOK AT A HUMAN LIFE– INCLUDING OUR OWN– WHAT DO WE SEE? LIFE IS NOT JUST ABOUT GETTING OLDER. NONE OF US IS MEANT TO REMAIN FOREVER THE WAY WE ARE NOW. LIKE THE ACORN, WE WERE MEANT TO BECOME SOMETHING GREATER. WE WERE CREATED FOR GROWTH, IMPROVEMENT, AND PROGRESSION. AND FOR THAT REASON, WE HAVE AN INNATE LONGING TO REACH FOR SOMETHING HIGHER. OF COURSE, IT CAN TAKE US TIME TO DEVELOP INTO OUR BEST SELF, THE PERSON WHO WE TRULY WANT TO BE. WE MAKE MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY; WE CONFRONT UNCERTAINTIES AND AMBIGUITIES. WE EXPERIENCE BOTH FEAR AND FAITH, JOY AND HEARTACHE, BELIEF AND UNBELIEF. WE’RE A LOT LIKE THE TEARFUL FATHER WHO SAID TO JESUS, “I BELIEVE; HELP THOU MINE UNBELIEF”. BUT THAT SHOULDN’T DISCOURAGE US TOO MUCH, BECAUSE AUTHENTIC GROWTH COMES BEST WHEN WE, LIKE THAT FATHER, ADMIT WHAT WE LACK AND SEEK HEAVEN’S HELP. YES, LIFE IS A LONG WALK ON A LONG ROAD, BUT IT HELPS TO HAVE A VISION OF WHERE THAT ROAD LEADS. PONDERING THE PURPOSE OF LIFE, READING HOLY WORDS, AND OBEYING DIVINE LAW CAN PROVIDE THAT VISION AND GUIDE OUR COURSE. LEARNING FROM THE LIVES OF EXEMPLARY MEN AND WOMEN CAN HELP US ALONG THE PATH. ULTIMATELY, THERE IS ONE TO WHOM WE CAN LOOK, ONE WHOM WE CAN TRUST WITH OUR WHOLE HEARTS. HE IS “THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE”. HE SHOWS US THE WAY OF KINDNESS, FORGIVENESS, COURAGE, AND COMPASSION. HE OFFERS US THE TRUTH ABOUT WHO WE ARE AND WHY WE ARE HERE. HE PROMISES US AN ABUNDANT LIFE–NOT JUST LIFE HERE ON EARTH BUT LIFE EVERLASTING WITH HIM. THIS IS WHAT WE WERE CREATED FOR–TO BECOME, IN PROCESS OF TIME, MORE LIKE HIM. THAT’S THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. AND SO, REMEMBERING WHAT A MIRACLE IT IS FOR SOMETHING SMALL LIKE AN ACORN TO GROW INTO SOMETHING GREAT LIKE AN OAK TREE, WE OFFER THE LORD THIS HEARTFELT PLEA: “MAY WE BE MORE LIKE THEE.” ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ WITH HUMBLE HEARTS,
WE JOIN IN SONG ♪ ♪ TO WORSHIP
AND TO PRAY. ♪ ♪ OUR LORD, REDEEMER,
SON OF GOD ♪ ♪ WHO TO OUR
RESCUE CAME. ♪ ♪ WE PRAISE THY LIFE
AND SACRIFICE; ♪ ♪ WE STRIVE
MORE EARNESTLY ♪ ♪ IN THOUGHT,
IN WORD, IN DEED, ♪ ♪ O LORD, MAY WE BE MORE
LIKE THEE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AS PILGRIMS ON
A SEA OF STRIFE, ♪ ♪ OFT WOUNDED,
LOST AND WEAK, ♪ ♪ WE FAST AND PRAY
FOR HEAVEN’S STRENGTH, ♪ ♪ THY HELP, THY GRACE,
WE SEEK. ♪ ♪ WE PLACE OUR BURDENS
AT THY FEET; ♪ ♪ WE YOKE OURSELVES
TO THEE, ♪ ♪ AND WITH THIS
HEARTFELT PLEA, ♪ ♪ O LORD, MAY WE BE MORE
LIKE THEE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WITH BROKEN HEARTS
WE SUPPLICATE, ♪ ♪ WE CAST AWAY
OUR SIN, ♪ ♪ OUR SORROW,
AND OUR SUFFERING, ♪ ♪ TO FIND THE JOY
WITHIN. ♪ ♪ REPENTANCE BRINGS US
LASTING PEACE; ♪ ♪ NEW EYES
THAT WE MAY SEE, ♪ ♪ FORGIVENESS TEACHES US
TO LOVE ♪ ♪ DEAR SAVIOR,
MORE LIKE THEE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHEN IN THY ARMS
FOREVER CLASPED ♪ SAFE IN
THY TENDER CARE. ♪ ♪ THEN CHANGED BY
THY REDEEMING GRACE, ♪ ♪ AT LAST TO BE
JOINT HEIRS. ♪ ♪ WE’LL JOIN IN SONG
WITH HEAV’NLY THRONGS ♪ ♪ AND DWELL
WITH THEE ABOVE ♪ ♪ IN FAITH AND HOPE
AND CHARITY, ♪ ♪ WE’LL FEEL
THY ENDLESS LOVE. ♪ ♪ WE’LL JOIN IN SONG
WITH HEAV’NLY THRONGS ♪ ♪ AND DWELL
WITH THEE ABOVE. ♪ ♪ IN FAITH AND HOPE
AND CHARITY, ♪ ♪ WE’LL FEEL
THY ENDLESS LOVE. ♪ ♪ THY ENDLESS LOVE. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ GUIDE US, O THOU
GREAT JEHOVAH, ♪ ♪ GUIDE US
TO THE PROMISED LAND. ♪ ♪ WE ARE WEAK,
BUT THOU ART ABLE; ♪ ♪ HOLD US WITH
THY POW’RFUL HAND. ♪ ♪ HOLY SPIRIT, ♪ ♪ HOLY SPIRIT, ♪ ♪ FEED US
‘TILL THE SAVIOR COMES, ♪ ♪ FEED US
‘TILL THE SAVIOR COMES. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ OPEN, JESUS,
ZION’S FOUNTAINS; ♪ ♪ LET HER RICHEST
BLESSINGS COME. ♪ ♪ LET THE FIERY,
CLOUDY PILLAR ♪ ♪ GUARD US
TO THIS HOLY HOME. ♪ ♪ GREAT REDEEMER, ♪ ♪ GREAT REDEEMER, ♪ ♪ BRING, OH, BRING
THE WELCOME DAY! ♪ ♪ BRING, OH, BRING
THE WELCOME DAY! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHEN THE EARTH
BEGINS TO TREMBLE, ♪ ♪ BID OUR FEARFUL
THOUGHTS BE STILL; ♪ ♪ WHEN THY JUDGMENTS
SPREAD DESTRUCTION, ♪ ♪ KEEP US SAFE
ON ZION’S HILL, ♪ ♪ SINGING PRAISES, ♪ ♪ SINGING PRAISES, ♪ ♪ SONGS OF GLORY
UNTO THEE. ♪ ♪ SONGS OF GLORY
UNTO THEE. ♪ ♪ SINGING PRAISES, ♪ ♪ SINGING PRAISES, ♪ ♪ SONGS OF GLORY
UNTO THEE. ♪ ♪ SONGS OF GLORY
UNTO THEE. ♪ ♪ UNTO THEE! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>WITH EACH PERFORMANCE THIS YEAR WE CELEBRATE 90 YEARS OF CONTINUOUS BROADCASTING OF THIS HISTORIC PROGRAM. PLEASE JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD. UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU THIS DAY AND ALWAYS. ♪ GOD BE WITH YOU
TILL WE MEET AGAIN; ♪ ♪ BY HIS COUNSELS GUIDE,
UPHOLD YOU; ♪ ♪ WITH HIS SHEEP
SECURELY FOLD YOU. ♪ ♪ GOD BE WITH YOU
TILL WE MEET AGAIN. ♪♪ CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:
[email protected] ♪ HOW WONDROUS
AND GREAT ♪ ♪ THY WORKS,
GOD OF PRAISE! ♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SUNDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WITH SPEAKERS SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST IS FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING, SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION.>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO THE SUNDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED ME TO CONDUCT THIS SESSION. WE EXTEND OUR GREETINGS AND LOVE TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THESE PROCEEDINGS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BY RADIO, TELEVISION, THE INTERNET, OR SATELLITE TRANSMISSION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MACK WILBERG WITH BRIAN MATHIAS AND RICHARD ELLIOTT AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR OPENED THIS MEETING WITH “HOW WONDROUS AND GREAT,” AND WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER O. VINCENT HALECK, WHO WAS RELEASED YESTERDAY AS A MEMBER OF THE SEVENTY. THE CHOIR WILL THEN SING “A CHILD’S PRAYER.” ♪♪ ♪ HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP
A BANNER IS UNFURLED. ♪ ♪ YE NATIONS, NOW LOOK UP;
IT WAVES TO ALL THE WORLD. ♪ ♪ IN DESERET’S
SWEET, PEACEFUL LAND, ♪ ♪ ON ZION’S MOUNT
BEHOLD IT STAND! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ FOR GOD REMEMBERS STILL
HIS PROMISE MADE OF OLD ♪ ♪ THAT HE ON ZION’S HILL
TRUTH’S STANDARD WOULD UNFOLD! ♪ ♪ HER LIGHT SHOULD THERE
ATTRACT THE GAZE ♪ ♪ OF ALL THE WORLD
IN LATTER DAYS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ HIS HOUSE SHALL
THERE BE REARED, ♪ ♪ HIS GLORY TO DISPLAY, ♪ ♪ AND PEOPLE SHALL BE HEARD
IN DISTANT LANDS TO SAY: ♪ ♪ WE’LL NOW GO UP
AND SERVE THE LORD, ♪ ♪ OBEY HIS TRUTH
AND LEARN HIS WORD. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ FOR THERE WE SHALL BE TAUGHT
THE LAW THAT SHALL GO FORTH, ♪ ♪ WITH TRUTH AND WISDOM FRAUGHT,
TO GOVERN ALL THE EARTH. ♪ ♪ FOREVER THERE
HIS WAYS WILL TREAD, ♪ ♪ AND SAVE OURSELVES
WITH ALL OUR DEAD. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ HIGH ON THE MOUNTAIN TOP
A BANNER IS UNFURLED. ♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪>>ELDER O. VINCENT HALECK: OUR DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER, WITH GRATITUDE IN OUR HEARTS WE GATHER THIS MORNING TO GIVE THEE THANKS FOR BRINGING US TOGETHER IN GENERAL CONFERENCE, TO HEAR THE MESSAGES THAT HAVE BEEN GIVEN THIS FAR AND TO HEAR FROM THE OUR LEADERS THIS MORONIIC. WE’RE GRATEFUL TO BE GATHERED UNDER THY PROPHET, RUSSELL M. NELSON. HEAVENLY FATHER, WE PRAY THY SPIRIT PIB WITH US TODAY SO WE WILL UNDERSTAND AND KNOW THE MESS MGS GIVEN TO BE GOOD AND TO REACH OUT TO BLESS OTHERS AROUND US. BLESS US THAT THY SPIRIT WILL ABIDE WITH US. THESE THINGS WE SAY, INTHY BELOVED SON, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ NIGHTTIME,
QUIET TIME, ♪ ♪ LOVED ONES GATHER
AT DAY’S END. ♪ ♪ I HOLD THEM CLOSE,
I HELP THEM KNOW ♪ ♪ THAT GOD WILL ALWAYS
BE THEIR FRIEND. ♪ ♪ THEN JUST BEFORE
I SAY GOODNIGHT, ♪ ♪ MY LITTLE ONE
KNEELS BY MY CHAIR. ♪ ♪ I CLOSE MY EYES,
I DIM THE LIGHTS, ♪ ♪ AND LISTEN TO THIS
SIMPLE PRAYER: ♪ ♪ HEAVENLY FATHER,
ARE YOU REALLY THERE? ♪ ♪ AND DO YOU HEAR AND ANSWER
EV’RY CHILD’S PRAYER? ♪ ♪ SOME SAY THAT HEAVEN
IS FAR AWAY, ♪ ♪ BUT I FEEL IT CLOSE
AROUND ME AS I PRAY. ♪ ♪ HEAVENLY FATHER,
I REMEMBER NOW ♪ ♪ SOMETHING THAT JESUS
TOLD DISCIPLES LONG AGO: ♪ ♪ “SUFFER THE CHILDREN
TO COME TO ME.” ♪ ♪ FATHER, IN PRAYER
I’M COMING NOW TO THEE. ♪ ♪ PRAY,
HE IS THERE. ♪ ♪ SPEAK,
HE IS LIST’NING. ♪ ♪ YOU ARE
HIS CHILD, ♪ ♪ HIS LOVE NOW
SURROUNDS YOU. ♪ ♪ HE HEARS
YOUR PRAYER, ♪ ♪ HE LOVES
THE CHILDREN. ♪ ♪ OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM,
THE KINGDOM OF HEAV’N. ♪ ♪ HEAVENLY FATHER,
ARE YOU REALLY THERE? ♪ ♪ AND DO YOU HEAR AND ANSWER
EV’RY CHILD’S PRAYER? ♪ ♪ SOME SAY THAT HEAVEN
IS FAR AWAY, ♪ ♪ BUT I FEEL IT CLOSE
AROUND ME AS I PRAY. ♪ ♪ HEAVENLY FATHER,
I REMEMBER NOW ♪ ♪ SOMETHING THAT JESUS
TOLD DISCIPLES LONG AGO: ♪ ♪ “SUFFER THE CHILDREN
TO COME TO ME.” ♪ ♪ FATHER, IN PRAYER
I’M COMING NOW TO THEE. ♪ ♪ HEAVENLY FATHER,
ARE YOU REALLY THERE? ♪ ♪ PLEASE HEAR
MY PRAYER. ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT EYRING: WE WILL NOW BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM ELDER GERRIT W. GONG OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY SISTER CRISTINA B. FRANCO, WHO SERVES AS SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE PRIMARY GENERAL PRESIDENCY. ELDER DIETER F. UCHTDORF OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES WILL THEN ADDRESS US.>>ELDER GERRIT W. GONG: DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, A PRIMARY CHILD IS LEARNING TO PRAY. “THANK YOU FOR THE LETTER A, THE LETTER B … THE LETTER G.” THE CHILD’S PRAYER CONTINUES, “THANK YOU FOR THE LETTERS X, Y, Z. DEAR HEAVENLY FATHER, THANK YOU FOR THE NUMBER 1, THE NUMBER 2.” THE PRIMARY TEACHER WORRIES, BUT WAITS. THE CHILD SAYS, “THANK YOU FOR THE NUMBER 5, THE NUMBER 6– AND THANK YOU FOR MY PRIMARY TEACHER. SHE’S THE ONLY PERSON WHO’S EVER LET ME FINISH MY PRAYER.” [LAUGHTER] HEAVENLY FATHER DOES HEAR EVERY CHILD’S PRAYER. WITH INFINITE LOVE, HE BECKONS US TO COME BELIEVE AND BELONG BY COVENANT. THIS WORLD IS FULL OF MIRAGE, ILLUSION, SLEIGHT OF HAND. SO MUCH SEEMS TRANSITORY AND SUPERFICIAL. WHEN WE PUT ASIDE THE MASKS, PRETENSE, CROWD-SOURCED LIKES AND DISLIKES, WE YEARN FOR MORE THAN FLEETING VENEER, EPHEMERAL CONNECTION, OR THE PURSUIT OF WORLDLY SELF-INTEREST. GRATEFULLY, THERE IS A WAY THROUGH TO ANSWERS THAT MATTER. WHEN WE COME TO GOD’S GREAT COMMANDMENTS TO LOVE HIM AND THOSE AROUND US BY COVENANT, WE DO SO NOT AS STRANGER OR GUEST, BUT AS HIS CHILD AT HOME. THE AGE-OLD PARADOX IS STILL TRUE. IN LOSING OUR WORLDLY SELF THROUGH COVENANT BELONGING, WE FIND AND BECOME OUR BEST ETERNAL SELF–FREE, ALIVE, REAL–AND DEFINE OUR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIPS. COVENANT BELONGING IS TO MAKE AND KEEP SOLEMN PROMISES TO GOD AND EACH OTHER, THROUGH SACRED ORDINANCES, THAT INVITE THE POWER OF GODLINESS TO BE MANIFEST IN OUR LIVES. WHEN WE COVENANT ALL WE ARE, WE CAN BECOME MORE THAN WE ARE. COVENANT BELONGING GIVES US PLACE, NARRATIVE, CAPACITY TO BECOME. IT PRODUCES FAITH UNTO LIFE AND SALVATION. DIVINE COVENANTS BECOME A SOURCE OF LOVE FOR AND FROM GOD, AND THEREBY FOR AND WITH EACH OTHER. GOD OUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES US MORE AND KNOWS US BETTER THAN WE LOVE OR KNOW OURSELVES. FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND PERSONAL CHANGE (REPENTANCE) BRING MERCY, GRACE, FORGIVENESS. THESE COMFORT THE HURT, LONELINESS, INJUSTICE WE EXPERIENCE IN MORTALITY. BEING GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER WANTS US TO RECEIVE GOD’S GREATEST GIFT–HIS JOY, HIS ETERNAL LIFE. OUR GOD IS A GOD OF COVENANT. BY HIS NATURE, HE “KEEPEST COVENANT AND SHOWETH MERCY.” HIS COVENANTS ENDURE “SO LONG AS TIME SHOULD LAST, OR THE EARTH SHALL STAND, OR THERE SHOULD BE ONE MAN UPON THE FACE THEREOF TO BE SAVED.” WE ARE NOT MEANT TO WANDER IN EXISTENTIAL UNCERTAINTY AND DOUBT, BUT TO REJOICE IN CHERISHED COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS “STRONGER THAN THE CORDS OF DEATH.” GOD’S ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS ARE UNIVERSAL IN THEIR REQUIREMENT AND INDIVIDUAL IN THEIR OPPORTUNITY. IN GOD’S FAIRNESS, EACH INDIVIDUAL IN EVERY PLACE AND AGE CAN RECEIVE SAVING ORDINANCES. AGENCY APPLIES–INDIVIDUALS CHOOSE WHETHER TO ACCEPT OFFERED ORDINANCES. GOD’S ORDINANCES PROVIDE GUIDEPOSTS ON HIS PATH OF COVENANTS. WE CALL GOD’S PLAN TO BRING HIS CHILDREN HOME THE PLAN OF REDEMPTION, PLAN OF SALVATION, PLAN OF HAPPINESS. REDEMPTION, SALVATION, CELESTIAL HAPPINESS ARE POSSIBLE BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST “WROUGHT OUT THIS PERFECT ATONEMENT.” TO BELONG WITH GOD AND TO WALK WITH EACH OTHER ON HIS COVENANT PATH IS TO BE BLESSED BY COVENANT BELONGING. FIRST, COVENANT BELONGING CENTERS IN JESUS CHRIST AS “MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT.” “ALL THINGS CAN WORK TOGETHER FOR [OUR] GOOD” WHEN WE ARE “SANCTIFIED IN CHRIST … IN THE COVENANT OF THE FATHER.” EVERY GOOD AND PROMISED BLESSING COMES TO THOSE WHO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO THE END. THE “HAPPY STATE OF THOSE THAT KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD” IS TO BE “BLESSED IN ALL THINGS, TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL,” AND TO “DWELL WITH GOD … IN NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS.” AS WE HONOR OUR COVENANTS, WE MAY SOMETIMES FEEL WE ARE IN THE COMPANY OF ANGELS. AND WE WILL BE–THOSE WE LOVE AND WHO BLESS US ON THIS SIDE OF THE VEIL, AND THOSE WHO LOVE AND BLESS US FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VEIL. RECENTLY SISTER GONG AND I SAW COVENANT BELONGING AT ITS TENDER BEST IN A HOSPITAL ROOM. A YOUNG FATHER DESPERATELY NEEDED A KIDNEY TRANSPLANT. HIS FAMILY HAD WEPT, FASTED, AND PRAYED FOR HIM TO RECEIVE A KIDNEY. WHEN NEWS CAME A LIFE-SAVING KIDNEY HAD JUST BECOME AVAILABLE, HIS WIFE QUIETLY SAID, “I HOPE THE OTHER FAMILY IS OK.” TO BELONG BY COVENANT IS, IN THE WORDS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, “THAT I MAY BE COMFORTED TOGETHER WITH YOU BY THE MUTUAL FAITH BOTH OF YOU AND ME.” ALONG LIFE’S PATH, WE MAY LOSE FAITH IN GOD, BUT HE NEVER LOSES FAITH IN US. AS IT WERE, HIS PORCH LIGHT IS ALWAYS ON. HE INVITES US TO COME OR RETURN TO THE COVENANTS THAT MARK HIS PATH. HE WAITS READY TO EMBRACE US, EVEN WHEN WE ARE “YET A GREAT WAY OFF.” WHEN WE LOOK WITH AN EYE OF FAITH FOR THE PATTERNS, ARC, OR CONNECTED DOTS OF OUR EXPERIENCE, WE CAN SEE HIS TENDER MERCIES AND ENCOURAGEMENT, ESPECIALLY IN OUR TRIALS, SORROWS, AND CHALLENGES, AS WELL AS IN OUR JOYS. HOWEVER OFTEN WE STUMBLE OR FALL, IF WE KEEP MOVING TOWARD HIM, HE WILL HELP US, A STEP AT A TIME. SECOND, THE BOOK OF MORMON IS EVIDENCE WE CAN HOLD IN OUR HAND OF COVENANT BELONGING. THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE PROMISED INSTRUMENT FOR THE GATHERING OF GOD’S CHILDREN PROPHESIED AS A NEW COVENANT. AS WE READ THE BOOK OF MORMON, BY OURSELVES AND WITH OTHERS, WHETHER SILENTLY OR ALOUD, WE CAN ASK GOD “WITH A SINCERE HEART, WITH REAL INTENT, HAVING FAITH IN CHRIST,” AND RECEIVE BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST GOD’S ASSURANCE THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE. THIS INCLUDES ASSURANCE JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, JOSEPH SMITH IS THE PROPHET OF THE RESTORATION, AND THE LORD’S CHURCH IS CALLED BY HIS NAME– THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THE BOOK OF MORMON SPEAKS BY ANCIENT AND MODERN COVENANT TO YOU WHO ARE THE CHILDREN OF LEHI, CHILDREN OF THE PROPHETS. YOUR FOREFATHERS RECEIVED COVENANT PROMISE THAT YOU, THEIR DESCENDANTS, WOULD RECOGNIZE A VOICE AS IF FROM THE DUST IN THE BOOK OF MORMON. THAT VOICE YOU FEEL AS YOU READ TESTIFIES YOU ARE “CHILDREN OF THE COVENANT” AND JESUS IS YOUR GOOD SHEPHERD. THE BOOK OF MORMON INVITES EACH OF US, IN ALMA’S WORDS, TO “ENTER INTO A COVENANT WITH [THE LORD], THAT [WE] WILL SERVE HIM, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDS, THAT HE MAY POUR OUT HIS SPIRIT MORE ABUNDANTLY UPON [US].” WHEN WE WANT TO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER–AS ONE PERSON PUT IT, “TO STOP BEING MISERABLE AND TO BE HAPPY BEING HAPPY”–WE BECOME OPEN TO DIRECTION, HELP, AND STRENGTH. WE CAN COME BY COVENANT TO BELONG WITH GOD AND A COMMUNITY OF FAITHFUL BELIEVERS, AND RECEIVE THE BLESSINGS PROMISED IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST–NOW. RESTORED PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY TO AND POWER TO BLESS ALL HIS CHILDREN IS A THIRD DIMENSION OF COVENANT BELONGING. IN THIS DISPENSATION, JOHN THE BAPTIST AND THE APOSTLES PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN HAVE COME AS GLORIFIED MESSENGERS FROM GOD TO RESTORE HIS PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY. GOD’S PRIESTHOOD AND HIS ORDINANCES SWEETEN RELATIONSHIPS ON EARTH AND CAN SEAL COVENANT RELATIONSHIPS IN HEAVEN. PRIESTHOOD CAN BLESS LITERALLY FROM CRADLE TO GRAVE–FROM AN INFANT’S NAME AND BLESSING TO A GRAVE DEDICATION. PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS HEAL, COMFORT, COUNSEL. A FATHER WAS ANGRY WITH HIS SON, UNTIL FORGIVING LOVE CAME AS THE FATHER GAVE HIS SON A TENDER PRIESTHOOD BLESSING. THE ONLY MEMBER IN HER FAMILY, A DEAR YOUNG WOMAN WAS UNCERTAIN ABOUT GOD’S LOVE FOR HER UNTIL SHE RECEIVED AN INSPIRED PRIESTHOOD BLESSING. ACROSS THE WORLD, NOBLE PATRIARCHS PREPARE SPIRITUALLY TO GIVE PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS. AS THE PATRIARCH LAYS HIS HANDS ON YOUR HEAD, HE FEELS AND EXPRESSES GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU. HE PRONOUNCES YOUR LINEAGE IN THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL. HE INDICATES BLESSINGS FROM THE LORD. TYPICALLY THOUGHTFUL, ONE PATRIARCH’S WIFE TOLD ME HOW SHE AND HER FAMILY INVITE THE SPIRIT ESPECIALLY ON DAYS THEIR PAPA IS GIVING PATRIARCHAL BLESSINGS. FINALLY, THE BLESSINGS OF COVENANT BELONGING COME WHEN WE FOLLOW THE LORD’S PROPHET, AND REJOICE IN COVENANT LIVING, INCLUDING IN MARRIAGE. COVENANT MARRIAGE BECOMES SUPERNAL AND ETERNAL AS WE DAILY CHOOSE THE HAPPINESS OF OUR SPOUSE AND FAMILY BEFORE OUR OWN. AS “ME” BECOMES “WE,” WE GROW TOGETHER. WE GROW OLD TOGETHER, WE GROW YOUNG TOGETHER. AS WE BLESS EACH OTHER ACROSS A LIFETIME OF FORGETTING OURSELVES, WE FIND OUR HOPES AND JOYS SANCTIFIED IN TIME AND ETERNITY. WHILE SITUATIONS DIFFER, WHEN WE DO ALL WE CAN, THE BEST WE CAN, AND SINCERELY ASK AND SEEK HIS HELP ALONG THE WAY, THE LORD WILL GUIDE US, IN HIS TIME AND MANNER, BY THE HOLY GHOST. MARRIAGE COVENANTS ARE BINDING BY MUTUAL CHOICE OF THOSE MAKING THEM–A REMINDER OF GOD’S AND OUR RESPECT FOR AGENCY AND THE BLESSING OF HIS HELP WHEN WE UNITEDLY SEEK IT. THE FRUITS OF COVENANT BELONGING ACROSS FAMILY GENERATIONS ARE FELT IN OUR HOMES AND HEARTS. PLEASE ALLOW ME TO ILLUSTRATE WITH PERSONAL EXAMPLES. WHEN SISTER GONG AND I WERE FALLING IN LOVE TOWARD MARRIAGE, I LEARNED ABOUT AGENCY AND DECISIONS. FOR A PERIOD OF TIME, WE WERE STUDYING IN TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES ON TWO DIFFERENT CONTINENTS. IT IS WHY I CAN HONESTLY SAY I EARNED A PH.D. IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. [LAUGHTER] WHEN I ASKED, “HEAVENLY FATHER, SHOULD I MARRY SUSAN?” I FELT PEACE. BUT IT WAS WHEN I LEARNED TO PRAY WITH REAL INTENT, “HEAVENLY FATHER, I LOVE SUSAN AND WANT TO MARRY HER. I PROMISE I WILL BE THE BEST HUSBAND AND FATHER I CAN BE”– WHEN I ACTED AND MADE MY BEST DECISIONS, IT WAS THEN THE STRONGEST SPIRITUAL CONFIRMATIONS CAME. NOW, OUR GONG AND LINDSAY FAMILYSEARCH FAMILY TREES, STORIES, AND PHOTOS HELP US DISCOVER AND CONNECT THROUGH THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF GENERATIONAL COVENANT BELONGING. FOR US, RESPECTED PROGENITORS INCLUDE: GREAT GRANDMA ALICE BLAUER BANGERTER, WHO HAD THREE MARRIAGE PROPOSALS IN ONE DAY, LATER ASKED HER HUSBAND TO RIG A FOOT PEDAL TO HER BUTTER CHURN SO SHE COULD CHURN BUTTER, KNIT, AND READ AT THE SAME TIME. GREAT GRANDPA LOY KUEI CHAR CARRIED HIS CHILDREN ON HIS BACK AND HIS FAMILY’S FEW BELONGINGS ON A DONKEY AS THEY CROSSED THE LAVA FIELDS ON HAWAII’S BIG ISLAND. GENERATIONS OF CHAR FAMILY COMMITMENT AND SACRIFICE BLESS OUR FAMILY TODAY. GRAM MARY ALICE POWELL LINDSAY WAS LEFT WITH FIVE YOUNG CHILDREN WHEN HER HUSBAND AND OLDEST SON BOTH DIED SUDDENLY JUST DAYS APART. A WIDOW FOR 47 YEARS, GRAM RAISED HER FAMILY WITH SUSTAINING LOVE FROM LOCAL LEADERS AND MEMBERS. DURING THOSE MANY YEARS, GRAM PROMISED THE LORD IF HE WOULD HELP HER, SHE WOULD NEVER COMPLAIN. THE LORD HELPED HER. SHE NEVER COMPLAINED. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WITNESSED BY THE HOLY GHOST, EVERYTHING GOOD AND ETERNAL IS CENTERED IN THE LIVING REALITY OF GOD OUR ETERNAL FATHER AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS THE MEDIATOR OF THE NEW COVENANT. TESTIFYING OF JESUS CHRIST IS A COVENANT PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON. BY OATH AND COVENANT, GOD’S RESTORED PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY IS INTENDED TO BLESS ALL GOD’S CHILDREN, INCLUDING THROUGH COVENANT MARRIAGE, GENERATIONAL FAMILY, AND INDIVIDUAL BLESSINGS. OUR SAVIOR DECLARES, “I AM ALPHA AND OMEGA, CHRIST THE LORD; YEA, EVEN I AM HE, THE BEGINNING AND THE END, THE REDEEMER OF THE WORLD.” WITH US AT THE BEGINNING, HE IS WITH US, IN ALL OUR COVENANT BELONGING, TO THE END. I SO TESTIFY, IN THE SACRED AND HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER CRISTINA B. FRANCO: ONE OF MY FAVORITE PRIMARY SONGS BEGINS WITH THESE WORDS: “I BELONG TO
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. “I KNOW WHO I AM. “I KNOW GOD’S PLAN. “I’LL FOLLOW HIM
IN FAITH. “I BELIEVE IN THE SAVIOR,
JESUS CHRIST.” WHAT A SIMPLE AND BEAUTIFUL STATEMENT OF THE TRUTHS WE BELIEVE! AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WE KNOW WHO WE ARE. WE KNOW THAT “GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS. WE ARE … HIS CHILDREN, AND HE LOVES US.” WE LIVED WITH HIM IN HEAVEN BEFORE WE CAME TO EARTH. WE KNOW GOD’S PLAN. WE WERE THERE WITH HIM AS HE PRESENTED IT. OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN’S “WHOLE PURPOSE–HIS WORK AND HIS GLORY–IS TO ENABLE EACH OF US TO ENJOY ALL HIS BLESSINGS. HE … PROVIDED A PERFECT PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH HIS PURPOSE. WE UNDERSTOOD AND ACCEPTED THIS PLAN [OF HAPPINESS, REDEMPTION, AND SALVATION] BEFORE WE CAME TO … EARTH. … “JESUS CHRIST IS CENTRAL TO GOD’S PLAN. THROUGH HIS ATONEMENT, JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED HIS FATHER’S PURPOSE AND MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR EACH OF US TO ENJOY IMMORTALITY AND EXALTATION. SATAN, OR THE DEVIL, IS AN ENEMY TO GOD’S PLAN” AND HAS BEEN FROM THE BEGINNING. “AGENCY, OR THE ABILITY TO CHOOSE, IS ONE OF GOD’S GREATEST GIFTS TO HIS CHILDREN. … WE MUST CHOOSE WHETHER TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST OR FOLLOW SATAN.” THESE ARE SIMPLE TRUTHS WE CAN SHARE WITH OTHERS. LET ME TELL OF A TIME MY MOTHER SHARED SUCH A SIMPLE TRUTH BY SIMPLY BEING OPEN TO HAVING A CONVERSATION AND RECOGNIZING AN OPPORTUNITY. MANY YEARS AGO MY MOTHER WAS RETURNING TO ARGENTINA FOR A VISIT WITH MY BROTHER. MY MOM NEVER REALLY LIKED FLYING, SO SHE ASKED NE OF MY SONS TO GIVE HER A BLESSING OF COMFORT AND PROTECTION. HE FELT PROMPTED TO ALSO BLESS HIS GRANDMA WITH SPECIAL GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION FROM THE HOLY GHOST TO STRENGTHEN AND TOUCH THE HEARTS OF MANY WHO WERE DESIROUS TO LEARN OF THE GOSPEL. AT THE SALT LAKE AIRPORT, MY MOTHER AND BROTHER MET A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WAS RETURNING HOME FROM A SKIING TRIP WITH HER FAMILY. HER PARENTS NOTICED HOW LONG SHE HAD BEEN TALKING TO MY MOM AND BROTHER AND DECIDED TO JOIN THEM. THEY INTRODUCED THEMSELVES AND THEIR DAUGHTER AS EDUARDO AND MARIA SUSANA AND GIADA POL. THERE WAS A NATURAL AND WARM CONNECTION TO THIS SWEET FAMILY. BOTH FAMILIES WERE EXCITED TO BE TRAVELING TOGETHER ON THE SAME FLIGHT TO BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA. AS THEIR CONVERSATION CONTINUED, MY MOTHER NOTED THAT UNTIL THAT MOMENT THEY’D NEVER HEARD ABOUT THE RESTORED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS SUSANA ASKED WAS, “WOULD YOU TELL ME ABOUT THAT BEAUTIFUL MUSEUM WITH THAT GOLDEN STATUE ON TOP?” MY MOM EXPLAINED THAT THE BEAUTIFUL EDIFICE WAS NOT A MUSEUM BUT A TEMPLE OF THE LORD WHERE WE MAKE COVENANTS WITH GOD SO WE CAN RETURN TO LIVE WITH HIM ONE DAY. SUSANA CONFESSED TO MY MOM THAT BEFORE THEIR TRIP TO SALT LAKE SHE HAD PRAYED FOR SOMETHING TO STRENGTHEN HER SPIRIT. DURING THE FLIGHT MY MOM BORE HER SIMPLE BUT STRONG TESTIMONY OF THE GOSPEL AND INVITED SUSANA TO FIND THE MISSIONARIES IN HER HOMETOWN. SUSANA ASKED MY MOM, “HOW WILL I FIND THEM?” MY MOM REPLIED, “YOU CAN’T MISS THEM; THEY ARE EITHER TWO YOUNG MEN DRESSED IN WHITE SHIRTS AND TIES OR TWO NICELY DRESSED YOUNG WOMEN, AND THEY ALWAYS WEAR A TAG SHOWING THEIR NAME AND ALSO ‘THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS.'” THE FAMILIES EXCHANGED PHONE NUMBERS AND SAID GOODBYE AT THE BUENOS AIRES AIRPORT. SUSANA, WHO SINCE HAS BECOME MY GOOD FRIEND, HAS TOLD ME MANY TIMES THAT SHE FELT SO SAD TO LEAVE MY MOM AT THE AIRPORT. SHE SAID, “YOUR MOM GLOWED. I CAN’T EXPLAIN IT, BUT SHE HAD A BRIGHTNESS ABOUT HER THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE BEHIND.” AS SOON AS SUSANA GOT BACK TO HER HOMETOWN, SHE AND HER DAUGHTER, GIADA, WENT TO SHARE THIS EXPERIENCE WITH SUSANA’S MOM, WHO LIVED JUST A FEW BLOCKS AWAY FROM THEIR HOME. AS THEY WERE DRIVING, SUSANA HAPPENED TO SEE TWO YOUNG MEN WALKING DOWN THE STREET, DRESSED AS MY MOM DESCRIBED. SHE STOPPED HER CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, GOT OUT, AND ASKED THESE TWO YOUNG MEN, “ARE YOU BY CHANCE FROM THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST?” THEY SAID, “YES.” “MISSIONARIES?” SHE ASKED. THEY BOTH REPLIED, “YES, WE ARE!” SHE THEN SAID, “GET INTO MY CAR; YOU’RE COMING HOME TO TEACH ME.” [LAUGHTER] YOU GOT TO LOVE HER. TWO MONTHS LATER MARIA SUSANA WAS BAPTIZED. HER DAUGHTER, GIADA, WAS ALSO BAPTIZED WHEN SHE TURNED NINE. WE ARE STILL WORKING ON EDUARDO, WHOM WE LOVE NO MATTER WHAT. SINCE THEN SUSANA HAS BECOME ONE OF THE GREATEST MISSIONARIES I HAVE EVER MET. SHE IS LIKE THE SONS OF MOSIAH, BRINGING MANY SOULS TO CHRIST. IN ONE OF OUR CONVERSATIONS, I ASKED HER, “WHAT IS YOUR SECRET? HOW DO YOU SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS?” SHE TOLD ME, “IT IS VERY SIMPLE. EVERY DAY BEFORE I LEAVE MY HOUSE, I PRAY, ASKING HEAVENLY FATHER TO DIRECT ME TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS THE GOSPEL IN THEIR LIFE. I SOMETIMES TAKE A BOOK OF MORMON TO SHARE WITH THEM OR PASS-ALONG CARDS FROM THE MISSIONARIES, AND WHEN I START TALKING TO SOMEONE I SIMPLY ASK THEM IF THEY HAVE HEARD ABOUT THE CHURCH.” SUSANA ALSO SAID: “OTHER TIMES I JUST SMILE WHILE I AM WAITING FOR THE TRAIN. ONE DAY A MAN LOOKED AT ME AND SAID, ‘WHAT ARE YOU SMILING ABOUT?’ HE KIND OF CAUGHT ME OFF GUARD. “I REPLIED, ‘I’M SMILING BECAUSE I’M HAPPY!’ “HE THEN SAID, ‘AND WHAT ARE YOU SO HAPPY ABOUT?’ “I ANSWERED, ‘I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, AND THAT MAKES ME HAPPY. HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT IT?’ “WHEN HE SAID NO, SHE GAVE HIM A PASS-ALONG CARD AND INVITED HIM TO ATTEND THE UPCOMING SUNDAY SERVICES. THE FOLLOWING SUNDAY SHE GREETED HIM AT THE DOOR. PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS TAUGHT: “THERE ARE THREE THINGS ALL MEMBERS CAN DO TO HELP SHARE THE GOSPEL. “FIRST, WE CAN ALL PRAY FOR DESIRE TO HELP WITH THIS VITAL PART OF THE WORK OF SALVATION. “SECOND, WE CAN KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS. … FAITHFUL MEMBERS WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE SAVIOR’S SPIRIT … WITH THEM TO GUIDE THEM AS THEY SEEK TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GREAT WORK OF SHARING THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. “THIRD, WE CAN PRAY FOR INSPIRATION ON WHAT WE CAN DO … TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS … AND PRAY WITH A COMMITMENT TO ACT UPON THE INSPIRATION YOU RECEIVE.” BROTHERS, SISTERS, CHILDREN, AND YOUTH, CAN WE BE LIKE MY FRIEND SUSANA AND SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH OTHERS? CAN WE INVITE A FRIEND WHO IS NOT OF OUR FAITH TO COME TO CHURCH WITH US ON SUNDAY? OR CAN WE PERHAPS SHARE A COPY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON WITH A RELATIVE OR A FRIEND? CAN WE HELP OTHERS FIND THEIR ANCESTORS ON FAMILYSEARCH OR SHARE WITH OTHERS WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED DURING THE WEEK AS WE HAVE BEEN STUDYING “COME, FOLLOW ME”? CAN WE BE MORE LIKE OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AND SHARE WITH OTHERS WHAT BRINGS US JOY TO OUR LIVES? THE ANSWER TO ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS IS YES! WE CAN DO IT! IN THE SCRIPTURES WE READ THAT “MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST ARE SENT FORTH ‘TO LABOR IN HIS VINEYARD FOR THE SALVATION OF THE SOULS OF MEN.’ THIS WORK OF SALVATION INCLUDES MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK, CONVERT RETENTION, ACTIVATION OF LESS-ACTIVE MEMBERS, TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK, AND TEACHING THE GOSPEL.” MY DEAR FRIENDS, THE LORD NEEDS US TO GATHER ISRAEL. IN THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS HE HAS SAID, “NEITHER TAKE YE THOUGHT BEFOREHAND WHAT YE SHALL SAY; BUT TREASURE UP IN YOUR MINDS CONTINUALLY THE WORDS OF LIFE, AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU IN THE VERY HOUR THAT PORTION THAT SHALL BE METED UNTO EVERY MAN.” IN ADDITION HE HAS PROMISED US: “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! “AND NOW, IF YOUR JOY WILL BE GREAT WITH ONE SOUL THAT YOU HAVE BROUGHT UNTO ME INTO THE KINGDOM OF MY FATHER, HOW GREAT WILL BE YOUR JOY IF YOU SHOULD BRING MANY SOULS UNTO ME!” THE PRIMARY SONG I BEGAN WITH CONCLUDES WITH THIS PROFOUND STATEMENT: “I BELIEVE IN THE SAVIOR,
JESUS CHRIST. “I’LL HONOR
HIS NAME. “I’LL DO WHAT
IS RIGHT; “I’LL FOLLOW
HIS LIGHT. “HIS TRUTH
I WILL PROCLAIM.” I BEAR WITNESS THAT THESE WORDS ARE TRUE AND THAT WE HAVE A LOVING FATHER IN HEAVEN WHO IS WAITING FOR US TO TURN TO HIM TO BLESS OUR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND US. MAY WE HAVE THE DESIRE TO BRING OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO CHRIST IS MY PRAYER, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER DIETER F. UCHTDORF: THANK YOU, /SEUFPTER FRANCO, ELDER GONG, TO YOU, FIRST PRESIDENCY, FOR AN ALREADY WONDERFUL CONFERENCE WEEKEND. A BELOVED CHILDREN’S FANTASY NOVEL WRITTEN MANY YEARS AGO BEGINS WITH THE SENTENCE “IN A HOLE IN THE GROUND THERE LIVED A HOBBIT.” THE STORY OF BILBO BAGGINS IS ABOUT A MOST NORMAL AND UNREMARKABLE HOBBIT WHO IS PRESENTED WITH A MOST REMARKABLE OPPORTUNITY: THE WONDERFUL CHANCE AT ADVENTURE AND THE PROMISE OF A GREAT REWARD. THE PROBLEM IS THAT MOST SELF-RESPECTING HOBBITS WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH ADVENTURES. THEIR LIVES ARE ALL ABOUT COMFORT. THEY ENJOY EATING SIX MEALS A DAY WHEN THEY CAN GET THEM AND SPEND THEIR DAYS IN THEIR GARDENS, SWAPPING TALES WITH VISITORS, SINGING, PLAYING MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS, AND BASKING IN THE SIMPLE JOYS OF LIFE. HOWEVER, WHEN BILBO IS PRESENTED WITH THE PROSPECT OF A GRAND ADVENTURE, SOMETHING SURGES DEEP WITHIN HIS HEART. HE UNDERSTANDS FROM THE OUTSET THAT THE JOURNEY WILL BE CHALLENGING. EVEN DANGEROUS. THERE IS EVEN A POSSIBILITY HE MIGHT NOT RETURN. AND YET, THE CALL TO ADVENTURE HAS REACHED DEEP INTO HIS HEART. AND SO, THIS UNREMARKABLE HOBBIT LEAVES COMFORT BEHIND AND ENTERS THE PATH TO A GREAT ADVENTURE THAT WILL TAKE HIM ALL THE WAY TO “THERE AND BACK AGAIN.” PERHAPS ONE OF THE REASONS THIS STORY RESONATES WITH SO MANY IS BECAUSE IT IS OUR STORY TOO. LONG, LONG AGO, EVEN BEFORE WE WERE BORN, IN AN AGE DIMMED BY TIME AND CLOUDED FROM MEMORY, WE TOO WERE INVITED TO EMBARK ON AN ADVENTURE. IT WAS PROPOSED BY GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. ACCEPTING THIS ADVENTURE WOULD MEAN LEAVING THE COMFORT AND SECURITY OF HIS IMMEDIATE PRESENCE. IT WOULD MEAN COMING TO EARTH FOR A JOURNEY FILLED WITH UNKNOWN DANGER AND TRIAL. WE KNEW IT WOULD NOT BE EASY. BUT WE ALSO KNEW THAT WE WOULD GAIN PRECIOUS TREASURES, INCLUDING A PHYSICAL BODY AND EXPERIENCING THE INTENSE JOYS AND SORROWS OF MORTALITY. WE WOULD LEARN TO STRIVE, TO SEEK, AND TO STRUGGLE. WE WOULD DISCOVER TRUTHS ABOUT GOD AND OURSELVES. OF COURSE, WE KNEW WE WOULD MAKE MANY MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY. BUT WE ALSO HAD A PROMISE: THAT BECAUSE OF THE GREAT SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST, WE COULD BE CLEANSED OF OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, REFINED AND PURIFIED IN OUR SPIRITS, AND ONE DAY RESURRECTED AND REUNITED WITH THOSE WE LOVE. WE LEARNED HOW MUCH GOD LOVES US. HE GAVE US LIFE, AND HE WANTS US TO SUCCEED. THEREFORE, HE PREPARED A SAVIOR FOR US. “NEVERTHELESS,” OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN SAID, “THOU MAYEST CHOOSE FOR THYSELF, FOR IT IS GIVEN UNTO THEE.” THERE MUST HAVE BEEN PARTS OF THE MORTAL ADVENTURE THAT WORRIED AND EVEN TERRIFIED GOD’S CHILDREN, SINCE A LARGE NUMBER OF OUR SPIRITUAL BROTHERS AND SISTERS DECIDED AGAINST IT. BY THE GIFT AND POWER OF MORAL AGENCY, WE DETERMINED THAT THE POTENTIAL OF WHAT WE COULD LEARN AND ETERNALLY BECOME WAS WELL WORTH THE RISK. AND SO, TRUSTING THE PROMISES AND POWER OF GOD AND HIS BELOVED SON, WE ACCEPTED THE CHALLENGE. I DID. AND SO DID YOU. WE AGREED TO LEAVE THE SECURITY OF OUR FIRST ESTATE AND EMBARK ON OUR OWN GREAT ADVENTURE OF “THERE AND BACK AGAIN.” AND YET, MORTAL LIFE HAS A WAY OF DISTRACTING US, DOESN’T IT? WE TEND TO LOSE SIGHT OF OUR GREAT QUEST, PREFERRING COMFORT AND EASE OVER GROWTH AND PROGRESS. STILL, THERE REMAINS SOMETHING UNDENIABLE DEEP WITHIN OUR HEARTS THAT HUNGERS FOR A HIGHER AND NOBLER PURPOSE. THIS HUNGER IS ONE REASON WHY PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO THE GOSPEL AND CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. THE RESTORED GOSPEL IS, IN A SENSE, A RENEWAL OF THE CALL TO ADVENTURE WE ACCEPTED SO LONG AGO. THE SAVIOR INVITES US, EACH DAY, TO SET ASIDE OUR COMFORTS AND SECURITIES AND JOIN HIM ON THE JOURNEY OF DISCIPLESHIP. THERE ARE MANY BENDS IN THIS ROAD. THERE ARE HILLS, VALLEYS, AND DETOURS. THERE MAY EVEN BE METAPHORICAL SPIDERS, TROLLS, AND EVEN A DRAGON OR TWO. BUT IF YOU STAY ON THE PATH AND TRUST IN GOD, YOU WILL EVENTUALLY FIND THE WAY TO YOUR GLORIOUS DESTINY AND BACK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME. SO HOW DO YOU BEGIN? IT’S QUITE SIMPLE. FIRST, YOU NEED TO CHOOSE TO INCLINE YOUR HEART TO GOD. STRIVE EACH DAY TO FIND HIM. LEARN TO LOVE HIM. AND THEN LET THAT LOVE INSPIRE YOU TO LEARN, UNDERSTAND, AND FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS, AND KEEP GOD’S COMMANDMENTS. THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS GIVEN TO US IN A PLAIN AND SIMPLE WAY THAT A CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND. YET THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST HAS THE ANSWERS TO THE MOST COMPLEX QUESTIONS IN LIFE AND HAS SUCH PROFOUND DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY THAT EVEN WITH A LIFETIME OF STUDY AND PONDERING, WE CAN SCARCELY COMPREHEND EVEN THE SMALLEST PART. IF YOU HESITATE IN THIS ADVENTURE BECAUSE YOU DOUBT YOUR ABILITY, REMEMBER THAT DISCIPLESHIP IS NOT ABOUT DOING THINGS PERFECTLY; IT IS ABOUT DOING THINGS INTENTIONALLY. IT IS YOUR CHOICES THAT SHOW WHAT YOU TRULY ARE, FAR MORE THAN YOUR ABILITIES. EVEN WHEN YOU FAIL, YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO GIVE UP BUT RATHER DISCOVER YOUR COURAGE, PRESS FORWARD, AND RISE UP. THAT IS THE GREAT TEST OF THE JOURNEY. GOD KNOWS THAT YOU ARE NOT PERFECT, THAT YOU WILL FAIL AT TIMES. GOD LOVES YOU NO LESS WHEN YOU STRUGGLE THAN WHEN YOU TRIUMPH. LIKE A LOVING PARENT, HE MERELY WANTS YOU TO KEEP INTENTIONALLY TRYING. DISCIPLESHIP IS LIKE LEARNING TO PLAY THE PIANO. PERHAPS ALL YOU CAN DO AT FIRST IS PLAY A BARELY RECOGNIZABLE RENDITION OF “CHOPSTICKS.” BUT IF YOU CONTINUE PRACTICING, THE SIMPLE TUNES WILL ONE DAY GIVE WAY TO WONDROUS SONATAS, RHAPSODIES, AND CONCERTOS. NOW, THAT DAY MAY NOT COME DURING THIS LIFE, BUT IT WILL COME. [LAUGHTER] ALL GOD ASKS IS THAT YOU CONSCIOUSLY KEEP STRIVING. THERE IS SOMETHING INTERESTING, ALMOST PARADOXICAL, ABOUT THIS PATH YOU HAVE CHOSEN: THE ONLY WAY FOR YOU TO PROGRESS IN YOUR GOSPEL ADVENTURE IS TO HELP OTHERS PROGRESS AS WELL. TO HELP OTHERS IS THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP. FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, COMPASSION, AND SERVICE REFINE US AS DISCIPLES. THROUGH YOUR EFFORTS TO HELP THE POOR AND THE NEEDY, TO REACH OUT TO THOSE IN DISTRESS, YOUR OWN CHARACTER IS PURIFIED AND FORGED, YOUR SPIRIT IS ENLARGED, AND YOU WALK A LITTLE TALLER. BUT THIS LOVE CANNOT COME WITH EXPECTATIONS OF REPAYMENT. IT CANNOT BE THE KIND OF SERVICE THAT EXPECTS RECOGNITION, ADULATION, OR FAVOR. TRUE DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST LOVE GOD AND HIS CHILDREN WITHOUT EXPECTATION OF SOMETHING IN RETURN. WE LOVE THOSE WHO DISAPPOINT US. WHO DON’T LIKE US. EVEN THOSE WHO RIDICULE, ABUSE, AND SEEK TO HURT US. WHEN YOU FILL YOUR HEARTS WITH THE PURE LOVE OF CHRIST, YOU LEAVE NO ROOM FOR RANCOR, JUDGMENT, AND SHAMING. YOU KEEP GOD’S COMMANDMENTS BECAUSE YOU LOVE HIM. IN THE PROCESS, YOU SLOWLY BECOME MORE CHRIST-LIKE IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND DEEDS. AND WHAT ADVENTURE COULD BE GREATER THAN THIS? THE THIRD THING WE STRIVE TO MASTER IN THIS JOURNEY IS TO TAKE UPON OURSELVES THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND NOT BE ASHAMED OF BEING A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. WE DO NOT HIDE OUR FAITH. WE DO NOT BURY IT. TO THE CONTRARY, WE TALK ABOUT OUR JOURNEY WITH OTHERS IN NORMAL AND NATURAL WAYS. THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS DO–THEY TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO THEM. THINGS THAT ARE CLOSE TO THEIR HEART AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO THEM. THAT’S WHAT YOU DO. YOU TELL YOUR STORIES AND EXPERIENCES AS A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SOMETIMES YOUR STORIES MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH. SOMETIMES THEY BRING THEM TO TEARS. SOMETIMES THEY WILL HELP PEOPLE TO CONTINUE IN PATIENCE, RESILIENCE, AND COURAGE TO FACE ANOTHER HOUR, ANOTHER DAY, AND COME A LITTLE CLOSER TO GOD. SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES IN PERSON, ON SOCIAL MEDIA, IN GROUPS, EVERYWHERE. ONE OF THE LAST THINGS JESUS TOLD HIS DISCIPLES WAS THAT THEY WERE TO GO THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND SHARE THE STORY OF THE RISEN CHRIST. TODAY WE, TOO, JOYFULLY ACCEPT THAT GREAT COMMISSION. WHAT A GLORIOUS MESSAGE WE HAVE TO SHARE: BECAUSE OF JESUS CHRIST, EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD CAN RETURN HOME SAFELY TO THEIR HEAVENLY HOME AND THERE DWELL IN GLORY AND RIGHTEOUSNESS! THERE IS EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS TO SHARE. GOD HAS APPEARED TO MAN IN OUR DAY! MAY I REMIND YOU THAT GOD DOES NOT NEED YOU TO “SELL” THE RESTORED GOSPEL OR THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. HE SIMPLY EXPECTS THAT YOU DO NOT HIDE IT UNDER A BUSHEL. AND IF PEOPLE DECIDE THE CHURCH IS NOT FOR THEM, THAT IS THEIR DECISION. IT DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE FAILED. YOU CONTINUE TO TREAT THEM KINDLY. NOR DOES IT EXCLUDE THAT YOU INVITE THEM AGAIN. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CASUAL SOCIAL CONTACTS AND COMPASSIONATE COURAGEOUS DISCIPLESHIP IS INVITATION! WE LOVE AND RESPECT ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN, REGARDLESS OF THEIR POSITION IN LIFE, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE OR RELIGION, REGARDLESS OF THEIR LIFE’S DECISIONS. FOR OUR PART, WE WILL SAY, “COME AND SEE! FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF HOW WALKING THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP WILL BE REWARDING AND ENNOBLING.” WE INVITE PEOPLE TO “COME AND HELP, AS WE TRY TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.” AND WE SAY, “COME AND STAY! WE ARE YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WE ARE NOT PERFECT. WE TRUST GOD AND SEEK TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. JOIN WITH US, AND YOU WILL MAKE US BETTER. AND IN THE PROCESS, YOU WILL BECOME BETTER AS WELL. LET’S TAKE THIS ADVENTURE TOGETHER.” WHEN OUR FRIEND BILBO BAGGINS FELT THE CALL TO ADVENTURE STIR WITHIN HIM, HE DECIDED TO GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST, ENJOY A HEARTY BREAKFAST, AND START OUT FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. WHEN BILBO AWOKE, HE NOTICED HIS HOUSE WAS A MESS, AND HE WAS ALMOST DISTRACTED FROM HIS NOBLE PLAN. BUT THEN HIS FRIEND GANDALF CAME AND ASKED, “WHENEVER ARE YOU GOING TO COME?” TO CATCH UP WITH HIS FRIENDS, BILBO HAD TO DECIDE FOR HIMSELF WHAT TO DO. AND SO, THE VERY NORMAL AND UNREMARKABLE HOBBIT FOUND HIMSELF DARTING OUT HIS FRONT DOOR TO THE PATH OF ADVENTURE SO QUICKLY THAT HE FORGOT HIS HAT, WALKING STICK, AND POCKET HANDKERCHIEF. HE EVEN LEFT HIS SECOND BREAKFAST UNFINISHED. PERHAPS THERE IS A LESSON HERE FOR US AS WELL. IF YOU AND I HAVE FELT THE STIRRINGS TO JOIN THE GREAT ADVENTURE OF LIVING AND SHARING WHAT OUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER HAS PREPARED FOR US A LONG TIME AGO, I ASSURE YOU, TODAY IS THE DAY TO FOLLOW GOD’S SON AND OUR SAVIOR ON HIS PATH OF SERVICE AND DISCIPLESHIP. WE COULD SPEND A LIFETIME WAITING FOR THAT MOMENT WHEN EVERYTHING LINES UP PERFECTLY. BUT NOW IS THE TIME TO COMMIT FULLY TO SEEKING GOD, MINISTERING TO OTHERS, AND SHARING OUR EXPERIENCE WITH OTHERS. LEAVE BEHIND YOUR HAT, WALKING STICK, HANDKERCHIEF, AND MESSY HOUSE. TO THOSE OF US ALREADY WALKING THAT PATH, TAKE COURAGE, COMPASSION, HAVE CONFIDENCE, AND CONTINUE! TO THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT THE PATH. PLEASE COME BACK, JOIN AGAIN WITH US, MAKE US STRONGER. AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET BEGUN, WHY DELAY? IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE THE WONDERS OF THIS GREAT SPIRITUAL JOURNEY, SET FOOT UPON YOUR OWN GRAND ADVENTURE! SPEAK WITH THE MISSIONARIES. SPEAK WITH YOUR LATTER-DAY SAINT FRIENDS. SPEAK WITH THEM ABOUT THIS MARVELOUS WORK AND A WONDER. IT’S TIME TO BEGIN! IF YOU SENSE THAT YOUR LIFE COULD HAVE MORE MEANING, A HIGHER PURPOSE, STRONGER FAMILY BONDS, AND A CLOSER CONNECTION WITH GOD, PLEASE, COME JOIN WITH US. IF YOU SEEK A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING TO BECOME THE BEST VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES, HELP THOSE IN NEED, AND MAKE THIS WORLD A BETTER PLACE, COME, JOIN WITH US! COME AND SEE WHAT THIS MARVELOUS, WONDEROUS, AND ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY IS ALL ABOUT. ALONG THE WAY YOU WILL DISCOVER YOURSELF. YOU WILL DISCOVER MEANING. YOU WILL DISCOVER GOD. YOU WILL DISCOVER THE MOST ADVENTUROUS AND GLORIOUS JOURNEY OF YOUR LIFE. OF THIS I TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF OUR REDEEMER AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT EYRING: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “TEACH ME TO WALK IN THE LIGHT.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM ELDER WALTER F. GONZÁLEZ OF THE SEVENTY. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER GARY E. STEVENSON OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS IS THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪ TEACH ME TO WALK
IN THE LIGHT OF HIS LOVE; ♪ ♪ TEACH ME TO PRAY
TO MY FATHER ABOVE; ♪ ♪ TEACH ME TO KNOW
OF THE THINGS THAT ARE RIGHT; ♪ ♪ TEACH ME, TEACH ME
TO WALK IN THE LIGHT. ♪ ♪ COME, LITTLE CHILD,
AND TOGETHER WE’LL LEARN ♪ ♪ OF HIS COMMANDMENTS,
THAT WE MAY RETURN ♪ ♪ HOME TO HIS PRESENCE,
TO LIVE IN HIS SIGHT ♪ ♪ ALWAYS, ALWAYS
TO WALK IN THE LIGHT. ♪ ♪ FATHER IN HEAVEN,
WE THANK THEE THIS DAY ♪ ♪ FOR LOVING GUIDANCE
TO SHOW US THE WAY. ♪ ♪ GRATEFUL, WE PRAISE THEE
WITH SONGS OF DELIGHT! ♪ ♪ GLADLY, GLADLY
WE’LL WALK IN THE LIGHT. ♪♪>>ELDER WALTER F. GONZÁLEZ: ROUGHLY 2,000 YEARS AGO, THE SAVIOR CAME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN AFTER TEACHING THE BEATITUDES AND OTHER GOSPEL PRINCIPLES. AS HE WALKED, HE WAS APPROACHED BY A MAN SICK WITH LEPROSY. THE MAN SHOWED REVERENCE AND RESPECT AS HE KNELT BEFORE CHRIST, SEEKING RELIEF FROM HIS AFFLICTION. HIS REQUEST WAS SIMPLE: “LORD, IF THOU WILT, THOU CANST MAKE ME CLEAN.” THE SAVIOR THEN EXTENDED HIS HAND AND, TOUCHING HIM, SAID, “I WILL; BE THOU CLEAN.” HENCE, WE LEARN THAT OUR SAVIOR ALWAYS WANTS TO BLESS US. SOME BLESSINGS MAY COME IMMEDIATELY, OTHERS MAY TAKE LONGER, AND SOME MAY EVEN COME AFTER THIS LIFE, BUT BLESSINGS WILL COME IN DUE TIME. MUCH LIKE THE LEPER, WE CAN FIND STRENGTH AND COMFORT IN THIS LIFE BY ACCEPTING HIS WILL AND KNOWING THAT HE WANTS TO BLESS US. WE CAN FIND THE STRENGTH TO FACE ANY CHALLENGE, INCLUDING TEMPTATIONS OF ANY KIND, AND TO UNDERSTAND AND ENDURE OUR DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES. SURELY, IN ONE OF THE MOST CRUSHING MOMENTS OF HIS LIFE, THE SAVIOR’S STRENGTH TO ENDURE WAS DEEPENED AS HE SAID TO HIS FATHER, “THY WILL BE DONE.” THE LEPER DID NOT MAKE HIS REQUEST IN A PRETENTIOUS OR DEMANDING MANNER. HIS WORDS REVEAL A HUMBLE ATTITUDE WITH HIGH EXPECTATIONS BUT ALSO WITH A SINCERE DESIRE THAT THE WILL OF THE SAVIOR BE DONE. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE ATTITUDE WITH WHICH WE MUST COME UNTO CHRIST. WE MUST COME UNTO HIM WITH THE CERTAINTY THAT THE SAVIOR’S DESIRE CURRENTLY IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE BEST FOR OUR MORTAL AND ETERNAL LIVES. HE HAS AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE THAT WE DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE. WE MUST COME UNTO CHRIST WITH A SINCERE DESIRE THAT OUR WILL BE SWALLOWED UP IN HIS, WHICH WILL PREPARE US FOR ETERNAL LIFE. IT IS VERY HARD TO IMAGINE THE PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL SUFFERING THAT WEIGHED ON THE LEPER WHO CAME UNTO THE SAVIOR. LEPROSY AFFECTS THE NERVES AND SKIN, CAUSING DISFIGUREMENT AND DISABILITY. ADDITIONALLY, IT LED TO GREAT SOCIAL STIGMA. SOMEONE STRICKEN WITH LEPROSY HAD TO LEAVE THEIR LOVED ONES AND LIVE ISOLATED FROM SOCIETY. LEPERS WERE CONSIDERED UNCLEAN BOTH PHYSICALLY AND SPIRITUALLY. FOR THIS REASON, THE LAW OF MOSES REQUIRED THAT LEPERS WEAR TORN CLOTHING AND CALL OUT, “UNCLEAN!” AS THEY WALKED. SICK AND DESPISED, LEPERS ENDED UP LIVING IN ABANDONED HOUSES OR TOMBS. IT IS NOT HARD TO IMAGINE THAT THE LEPER WHO APPROACHED THE SAVIOR WAS BROKEN. IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER– WE TOO CAN FEEL BROKEN, WHETHER DUE TO OUR OWN ACTIONS OR THOSE OF OTHERS, DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES WE CAN OR CANNOT CONTROL. IN SUCH MOMENTS, WE CAN PLACE OUR WILL IN HIS HANDS. SOME YEARS AGO, ZULMA, MY BETTER HALF, MY BEST PART, RECEIVED SOME DIFFICULT NEWS. SHE HAD A CYST IN HER PAROTID GLAND, AND IT WAS GROWING RAPIDLY. HER FACE BEGAN SWELLING, AND SHE WAS TO IMMEDIATELY UNDERGO A DELICATE OPERATION. MANY THOUGHTS RAN THROUGH HER MIND AND WEIGHED ON HER HEART. WAS THE TUMOR MALIGNANT? HOW WOULD HER BODY RECOVER? WOULD HER FACE BECOME PARALYZED? HOW INTENSE WOULD THE PAIN BE? WOULD HER FACE BE PERMANENTLY SCARRED? WOULD THE TUMOR RETURN ONCE REMOVED? EVEN, COULD SHE ATTEND THE WEDDING OF ONE OF OUR SONS THAT WOULD TAKE PLACE 2 WEEKS LATER. AS SHE LAY IN THE OPERATING ROOM, SHE FELT BROKEN. IN THAT VERY IMPORTANT MOMENT, THE SPIRIT WHISPERED TO HER THAT SHE HAD TO ACCEPT THE WILL OF THE LORD. SHE THEN DECIDED TO PLACE HER TRUST IN GOD. SHE FELT STRONGLY THAT WHATEVER THE RESULT, HIS WILL WOULD BE THE BEST FOR HER. SOON SHE DRIFTED INTO SURGICAL SLEEP. LATER, SHE WROTE POETICALLY IN HER DIARY: “ON THE SURGEON’S TABLE
I BOWED BEFORE THEE, AND, SURRENDERING TO
THY WILL, I FELL ASLEEP. I KNEW I COULD
TURN TO THEE, KNOWING THAT NOTHING BAD
CAN COME FROM THEE.” SHE FOUND STRENGTH AND COMFORT FROM SURRENDERING HER WILL TO THAT OF THE FATHER. THAT DAY GOD BLESSED HER GREATLY. WHATEVER OUR CIRCUMSTANCES MIGHT BE, WE CAN EXERCISE OUR FAITH TO COME UNTO CHRIST AND FIND A GOD WE CAN TRUST. AS MY SON ONCE WROTE: “ACCORDING TO THE PROPHET, GOD’S
FACE IS BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN “AND HIS LONG HAIR IS
WHITER THAN SNOW “AND HIS VOICE ROARS
LIKE THE RUSHING OF A RIVER, “AND NEXT TO HIM
MAN IS NOTHING. … “I AM CRUSHED AS I REALIZE
THAT EVEN I AM NOTHING. “AND ONLY THEN DO I FUMBLE MY
WAY TO A GOD I CAN TRUST. “AND ONLY THEN DO I
DISCOVER THE GOD I CAN TRUST.” WE CAN TRUST HIM BECAUSE HE LOVES US AND WANTS WHAT IS BEST FOR US IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE. THE LEPER CAME FORWARD BECAUSE OF THE POWER OF HOPE. THE WORLD GAVE HIM NO SOLUTIONS, NOT EVEN COMFORT. THUS, THE SAVIOR’S SIMPLE TOUCH MUST HAVE FELT LIKE A CARESS UNTO HIS ENTIRE SOUL. WE CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE DEEP FEELINGS OF GRATITUDE THE LEPER MUST HAVE HAD AT THE SAVIOR’S TOUCH, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE HEARD THE WORDS “I WILL; BE THOU CLEAN.” THE STORY STATES THAT “IMMEDIATELY HIS LEPROSY WAS CLEANSED.” WE TOO CAN FEEL THE TOUCH OF THE SAVIOR’S LOVING, HEALING HAND. WHAT JOY, HOPE, AND GRATEFULNESS COMES TO OUR SOULS IN KNOWING THAT HE WANTS TO HELP US TO BE CLEAN! AS WE COME UNTO HIM, GOD WILL COME TO OUR RESCUE, WHETHER TO HEAL US OR TO GIVE US THE STRENGTH TO FACE ANY SITUATION. AT ANY RATE, ACCEPTING HIS WILL–NOT OUR OWN–WILL HELP US UNDERSTAND OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. NOTHING BAD CAN COME FROM GOD. HE KNOWS WHAT IS BEST FOR US. PERHAPS HE WILL NOT REMOVE OUR BURDENS RIGHT AWAY. SOMETIMES HE CAN MAKE THOSE BURDENS FEEL LIGHTER, AS HE DID WITH ALMA AND HIS PEOPLE. ULTIMATELY, BECAUSE OF COVENANTS, THE BURDENS WILL BE LIFTED, EITHER IN THIS LIFE OR AT THE HOLY RESURRECTION. A SINCERE DESIRE THAT HIS WILL BE DONE, ALONG WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF OUR REDEEMER’S DIVINE NATURE, HELPS US DEVELOP THE KIND OF FAITH THAT THE LEPER SHOWED IN ORDER TO BE CLEANSED. JESUS CHRIST IS A GOD OF LOVE, A GOD OF HOPE, A GOD OF HEALING, A GOD WHO WANTS TO BLESS US AND HELP US BE CLEAN. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED BEFORE COMING TO THIS EARTH, WHEN HE VOLUNTEERED TO RESCUE US WHEN WE FALL INTO TRANSGRESSION. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTED IN GETHSEMANE, WHEN HE FACED HUMANLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE PAIN DURING THE AGONY OF PAYING THE PRICE OF SIN. THAT IS WHAT HE WANTS NOW, WHEN HE PLEADS ON OUR BEHALF BEFORE THE FATHER. THAT IS WHY HIS VOICE ECHOES STILL: “COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” HE CAN HEAL US AND LIFT US UP BECAUSE HE HAS THE ABILITY TO DO IT. HE TOOK UPON HIMSELF ALL THE PAINS OF BODY AND SPIRIT SO THAT HIS BOWELS WOULD BE FILLED WITH MERCY IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO HELP US IN ALL THINGS AND TO HEAL US AND LIFT US UP. THE WORDS OF ISAIAH, AS CITED BY ABINADI, PUT IT BEAUTIFULLY AND MOVINGLY: “SURELY HE HAS BORNE OUR GRIEFS, AND CARRIED OUR SORROWS. … “… HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR INIQUITIES; THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM; AND WITH HIS STRIPES WE ARE HEALED.” THIS SAME CONCEPT IS TAUGHT IN THIS POEM: “O CARPENTER OF NAZARETH, “THIS HEART, THAT’S
BROKEN PAST REPAIR, “THIS LIFE, THAT’S SHATTERED
NIGH TO DEATH, “OH, CAN YOU MEND THEM,
CARPENTER? “AND BY HIS KIND
AND READY HAND, “HIS OWN SWEET LIFE
IS WOVEN THROUGH “OUR BROKEN LIVES,
UNTIL THEY STAND “A NEW CREATION–
‘ALL THINGS NEW.’ “THE SHATTERED
[SUBSTANCE] OF [THE] HEART, “DESIRE, AMBITION,
HOPE, AND FAITH, “MOULD THOU INTO
THE PERFECT PART, “O, CARPENTER OF
NAZARETH!” IF YOU FEEL THAT IN ANY WAY YOU ARE NOT CLEAN, IF YOU FEEL BROKEN, PLEASE KNOW YOU CAN BE MADE CLEAN, YOU CAN BE MENDED, BECAUSE HE LOVES YOU. TRUST THAT NOTHING BAD CAN COME FROM HIM. BECAUSE HE “DESCENDED BELOW ALL THINGS,” HE MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR ALL THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN BROKEN IN OUR LIVES TO BE MENDED, AND THUS WE CAN BE RECONCILED WITH GOD. THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS ARE RECONCILED, BOTH THINGS THAT ARE ON THE EARTH AND THINGS THAT ARE IN HEAVEN, MAKING “PEACE THROUGH THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS.” LET US COME UNTO CHRIST, TAKING ALL NECESSARY STEPS. AS WE DO, MAY OUR ATTITUDE BE ONE OF SAYING, “LORD, IF THOU WILT, THOU CANST MAKE ME CLEAN.” IF WE DO SO, WE CAN RECEIVE THE MASTER’S HEALING TOUCH ALONGSIDE THE SWEET ECHO OF HIS VOICE: “I WILL; BE THOU CLEAN.” THE SAVIOR IS A GOD WE CAN TRUST. HE IS THE CHRIST, THE ANOINTED ONE, THE MESSIAH OF WHOM I TESTIFY IN HIS HOLY NAME, EVEN JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER GARY E. STEVENSON: TODAY I OFFER WORDS OF COUNSEL FOR EVERYONE, BUT ESPECIALLY FOR YOU OF THE RISING GENERATION–PRIMARY CHILDREN, YOUNG MEN, AND YOUNG WOMEN. YOU ARE DEEPLY LOVED BY THE LORD’S PROPHET FOR OUR DAY, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON–SO MUCH SO THAT HE SPOKE TO MANY OF YOU LAST YEAR IN A SPECIAL WORLDWIDE YOUTH DEVOTIONAL BROADCAST TITLED, “HOPE OF ISRAEL.” WE OFTEN HEAR, AS WE DID YESTERDAY, PRESIDENT NELSON CALLING YOU EXACTLY THAT–THE “HOPE OF ISRAEL,” THE RISING GENERATION AND THE FUTURE OF THE RESTORED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. MY YOUNG FRIENDS, I WOULD LIKE TO BEGIN BY SHARING TWO FAMILY STORIES. YEARS AGO I ARRIVED HOME FROM WORK AND WAS STARTLED TO SEE WHITE PAINT SPLATTERED EVERYWHERE–ON THE GROUND, THE GARAGE DOOR, AND OUR RED-BRICK HOUSE. I INSPECTED THE SCENE MORE CLOSELY AND DISCOVERED THE PAINT WAS STILL WET. A TRAIL OF PAINT LED TOWARD THE BACKYARD, AND SO I FOLLOWED IT. THERE I FOUND MY FIVE-YEAR-OLD SON WITH A PAINTBRUSH IN HIS HAND, CHASING OUR DOG. OUR BEAUTIFUL BLACK LABRADOR WAS SPLATTERED ALMOST HALF WHITE! “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” I ASKED IN AN ANIMATED VOICE. MY SON STOPPED, LOOKED AT ME, LOOKED AT THE DOG, LOOKED AT THE PAINTBRUSH DRIPPING WITH WHITE PAINT, AND SAID, “I JUST WANT HIM TO LOOK LIKE THE BLACK-SPOTTED DOGS IN THE MOVIE–YOU KNOW, THE ONE WITH 101 DALMATIANS.” I LOVED OUR DOG. I THOUGHT HE WAS PERFECT, [LAUGHTER] BUT THAT DAY MY SON HAD A DIFFERENT IDEA. MY SECOND STORY CENTERS AROUND GREAT-UNCLE GROVER, WHO LIVED IN A HOUSE OUT IN THE COUNTRY, FAR FROM THE CITY. UNCLE GROVER WAS GETTING VERY OLD. WE THOUGHT OUR SONS SHOULD MEET HIM BEFORE HE DIED. SO ONE AFTERNOON WE TOOK A LONG DRIVE TO HIS HUMBLE HOUSE. WE SAT TOGETHER TO VISIT AND INTRODUCE HIM TO OUR SONS. NOT LONG INTO THE CONVERSATION, OUR TWO YOUNG BOYS, MAYBE FIVE AND SIX YEARS OLD, WANTED TO GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY. UNCLE GROVER, HEARING THEIR REQUEST, BENT OVER WITH HIS FACE IN THEIRS. HIS FACE WAS SO WEATHERED AND UNFAMILIAR THAT THE BOYS WERE A LITTLE SCARED OF HIM. HE SAID TO THEM IN HIS GRAVELLY VOICE, “BE CAREFUL, THERE ARE A LOT OF SKUNKS OUT THERE.” HEARING THIS, LESA AND I WERE MORE THAN STARTLED; WE WERE WORRIED THAT THEY MIGHT GET SPRAYED BY A SKUNK! THE BOYS SOON WENT OUTSIDE TO PLAY AS WE CONTINUED TO VISIT. LATER, WHEN WE GOT IN THE CAR TO GO HOME, I INQUIRED OF THE BOYS, “DID YOU SEE A SKUNK?” ONE OF THEM REPLIED, “NO, WE DIDN’T SEE ANY SKUNKS, BUT WE DID SEE A BLACK KITTY CAT WITH A WHITE STRIPE ON ITS BACK!” [LAUGHTER] THESE STORIES ABOUT INNOCENT CHILDREN DISCOVERING SOMETHING ABOUT LIFE AND REALITY MAY MAKE EACH OF US SMILE, BUT THEY ALSO ILLUSTRATE A MORE PROFOUND CONCEPT. IN THE FIRST STORY, OUR YOUNG SON HAD A BEAUTIFUL DOG AS A PET; NOTWITHSTANDING, HE GRABBED A GALLON OF PAINT AND, WITH PAINTBRUSH IN HAND, DETERMINED TO CREATE HIS OWN IMAGINED REALITY. IN THE SECOND ACCOUNT, THE BOYS WERE BLISSFULLY UNAWARE OF THE UNSAVORY THREAT THEY FACED FROM A SKUNK. UNABLE TO PROPERLY IDENTIFY WHAT THEY HAD ACTUALLY ENCOUNTERED, THEY RAN THE RISK OF SUFFERING SOME UNFORTUNATE CONSEQUENCES. STORIES OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY–PRESUMING THE REAL THING TO BE SOMETHING ELSE. IN EACH CASE THE CONSEQUENCES WERE MINOR. HOWEVER, TODAY, MANY GRAPPLE WITH THESE SAME ISSUES ON A MUCH LARGER SCALE. THEY ARE EITHER UNABLE TO SEE THINGS AS THEY TRULY ARE OR ARE UNSATISFIED WITH TRUTH. MOREOVER, THERE ARE FORCES AT PLAY TODAY DESIGNED TO DELIBERATELY LEAD US AWAY FROM ABSOLUTE TRUTH. THESE DECEPTIONS AND LIES GO FAR BEYOND INNOCENT MISTAKEN IDENTITY AND OFTEN HAVE DIRE, NOT MINOR, CONSEQUENCES. SATAN, THE FATHER OF LIES AND THE GREAT DECEIVER, WOULD HAVE US QUESTION THINGS AS THEY REALLY ARE AND EITHER IGNORE ETERNAL TRUTHS OR REPLACE THEM WITH SOMETHING THAT APPEARS MORE PLEASING. “HE MAKETH WAR WITH THE SAINTS OF GOD” AND HAS SPENT MILLENNIA CALCULATING AND PRACTICING THE ABILITY TO PERSUADE GOD’S CHILDREN TO BELIEVE THAT GOOD IS EVIL AND EVIL IS GOOD. HE HAS MADE A REPUTATION FOR HIMSELF, CONVINCING MORTALS THAT SKUNKS ARE JUST KITTENS OR THAT, WITH AN APPLICATION OF PAINT YOU CAN TURN A LABRADOR INTO A DALMATIAN! LET’S NOW TURN TO AN EXAMPLE OF THIS VERY PRINCIPLE FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES WHEN THE LORD’S PROPHET MOSES CAME FACE TO FACE WITH THIS SAME ISSUE. “MOSES WAS CAUGHT UP INTO AN EXCEEDINGLY HIGH MOUNTAIN. … HE SAW GOD FACE TO FACE, AND HE TALKED WITH HIM.” GOD TAUGHT MOSES ABOUT HIS ETERNAL IDENTITY. THOUGH MOSES WAS MORTAL AND IMPERFECT, GOD TAUGHT THAT MOSES WAS “IN THE SIMILITUDE OF MINE ONLY BEGOTTEN; AND MINE ONLY BEGOTTEN … SHALL BE THE SAVIOR.” TO SUMMARIZE, IN THIS MARVELOUS VISION, MOSES BEHELD GOD, AND HE ALSO LEARNED SOMETHING IMPORTANT ABOUT HIMSELF: THOUGH MORTAL, HE WAS A SON OF GOD. LISTEN CAREFULLY TO WHAT HAPPENED AS THIS WONDROUS VISION CLOSED. “AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT … SATAN CAME TEMPTING HIM” SAYING, “MOSES, SON OF MAN, WORSHIP ME!” MOSES COURAGEOUSLY REPLIED: “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?” IN OTHER WORDS, MOSES SAID, “YOU CANNOT DECEIVE ME, FOR I KNOW WHO I AM. I WAS CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. YOU DON’T HAVE HIS LIGHT AND GLORY. SO WHY SHOULD I WORSHIP YOU OR FALL PREY TO YOUR DECEPTION?” NOW PAY ATTENTION TO HOW MOSES FURTHER RESPONDS. HE DECLARES, “GET THEE HENCE, SATAN; DECEIVE ME NOT.” THERE IS MUCH WE CAN LEARN FROM MOSES’S MIGHTY RESPONSE TO TEMPTATION FROM THE ADVERSARY. I INVITE YOU TO RESPOND THE SAME WAY WHEN YOU FEEL INFLUENCED BY TEMPTATION. COMMAND THE ENEMY OF YOUR SOUL BY SAYING, “GO AWAY! YOU HAVE NO GLORY. DO NOT TEMPT ME OR LIE TO ME, FOR I KNOW WHO I AM– A CHILD OF GOD, AND I WILL ALWAYS CALL UPON MY GOD FOR HIS HELP.” SATAN, HOWEVER, DOES NOT EASILY ABANDON HIS DESTRUCTIVE MOTIVES TO DECEIVE US AND DEMEAN US. HE CERTAINLY DID NOT DO SO WITH MOSES, INSTEAD DESIRING TO CAUSE MOSES TO FORGET WHO HE WAS ETERNALLY. AS IF HE WERE THROWING A CHILDISH TANTRUM, “SATAN CRIED WITH A LOUD VOICE, AND RANTED UPON THE EARTH, AND COMMANDED, SAYING: “I AM THE ONLY BEGOTTEN, WORSHIP ME.” LET’S REVIEW. DID YOU HEAR WHAT HE JUST SAID? “I AM THE ONLY BEGOTTEN. WORSHIP ME!” THE GREAT DECEIVER SAID, IN EFFECT, DON’T WORRY, I WON’T HARM YOU. I’M NOT A SKUNK; I AM JUST AN INNOCENT BLACK-AND-WHITE-STRIPED KITTY CAT.” MOSES THEN CALLED UPON GOD AND RECEIVED OF HIS DIVINE STRENGTH. EVEN THOUGH THE ADVERSARY TREMBLED AND THE EARTH SHOOK, MOSES DID NOT YIELD. HIS VOICE WAS CERTAIN AND CLEAR. “DEPART FROM ME, SATAN,” HE DECLARED, “FOR THIS ONE GOD ONLY WILL I WORSHIP, WHICH IS THE GOD OF GLORY.” FINALLY, HE “DEPARTED … FROM THE PRESENCE OF MOSES.” FOLLOWING THIS, THE LORD APPEARED AND BLESSED MOSES FOR HIS OBEDIENCE, THE LORD SAYING: “BLESSED ART THOU, MOSES, FOR … THOU SHALT BE MADE STRONGER THAN MANY WATERS. … “AND LO, I AM WITH THEE, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THY DAYS.” MOSES’S RESISTANCE OF THE ADVERSARY IS A VIVID AND ENLIGHTENING EXAMPLE FOR EACH OF US, NO MATTER OUR STAGE IN LIFE. IT IS A POWERFUL MESSAGE FOR YOU PERSONALLY–TO KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN SATAN TRIES TO DECEIVE YOU. FOR YOU, LIKE MOSES, HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH THE GIFT OF HEAVENLY HELP. HOW MIGHT YOU FIND THIS HEAVENLY HELP, EVEN AS MOSES DID, AND NOT BE DECEIVED OR GIVE IN TO TEMPTATION? A CLEAR CHANNEL FOR DIVINE ASSISTANCE WAS REAFFIRMED IN THIS DISPENSATION BY THE LORD HIMSELF WHEN HE DECLARED: “WHEREFORE, I THE LORD, KNOWING THE CALAMITY WHICH SHOULD COME UPON THE INHABITANTS OF THE EARTH, CALLED UPON MY SERVANT JOSEPH SMITH, JUN., AND SPAKE UNTO HIM FROM HEAVEN, AND GAVE HIM COMMANDMENTS.” USING SIMPLER WORDS, WE MIGHT SAY THAT THE LORD, WHO KNOWS “THE END FROM THE BEGINNING,” KNOWS THE UNIQUE DIFFICULTIES OF OUR DAY. THEREFORE, HE HAS PROVIDED A WAY FOR US TO RESIST CHALLENGES AND TEMPTATIONS, MANY OF WHICH COME AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE DECEITFUL INFLUENCES OF THE ADVERSARY AND HIS ATTACKS. THE WAY IS SIMPLE. THROUGH HIS SERVANTS GOD SPEAKS TO US, HIS CHILDREN, AND GIVES US COMMANDMENTS. WE COULD RESTATE THE VERSE I JUST QUOTED TO SAY, “I, THE LORD, … CALLED UPON MY SERVANT [PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON], AND SPAKE UNTO HIM FROM HEAVEN, AND GAVE HIM COMMANDMENTS.” ISN’T THAT A GLORIOUS TRUTH? I BEAR MY SOLEMN WITNESS THAT THE LORD DID IN ALL REALITY SPEAK TO JOSEPH SMITH FROM HEAVEN, BEGINNING WITH THE GRAND VISION. HE ALSO SPEAKS TO PRESIDENT NELSON IN OUR TIME. I TESTIFY THAT GOD COMMUNED WITH PROPHETS IN PAST AGES AND GAVE THEM COMMANDMENTS DESIGNED TO LEAD HIS CHILDREN TO HAPPINESS IN THIS LIFE AND GLORY IN THE NEXT. GOD CONTINUES TO GIVE COMMANDMENTS TO OUR LIVING PROPHET TODAY. EXAMPLES ABOUND: A MORE HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED BALANCE IN GOSPEL INSTRUCTION; THE REPLACEMENT OF HOME TEACHING AND VISITING TEACHING WITH MINISTERING; ADJUSTMENTS TO TEMPLE PROCEDURES AND ORDINANCES; AND THE NEW CHILDREN AND YOUTH PROGRAM. I MARVEL AT THE GOODNESS AND COMPASSION OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, WHO RESTORED THE SAVIOR’S CHURCH TO EARTH ONCE AGAIN AND HAVE CALLED A PROPHET IN OUR DAY. THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST OFFSETS PERILOUS TIMES WITH THE FULNESS OF TIMES. OBEDIENCE TO COMMANDMENTS GIVEN TO OUR PROPHET IS A KEY NOT ONLY IN AVOIDING THE INFLUENCE AND OF THE ADVERSARY, BUT ALSO IN EXPERIENCING LASTING JOY AND HAPPINESS. THIS DIVINE FORMULA IS RATHER SIMPLE: RIGHTEOUSNESS, OR OBEDIENCE TO COMMANDMENTS, BRINGS BLESSINGS, AND BLESSINGS BRING HAPPINESS, OR JOY, INTO OUR LIVES. HOWEVER, IN THE SAME WAY THAT SATAN TRIED TO DECEIVE MOSES, HE SEEKS TO TRICK YOU. HE HAS ALWAYS PRETENDED TO BE SOMETHING THAT HE IS NOT. HE ALWAYS ATTEMPTS TO HIDE WHO HE TRULY IS. HE CLAIMS THAT OBEDIENCE WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MISERABLE AND THAT IT WILL ROB YOU OF HAPPINESS. CAN YOU THINK OF SOME OF HIS PLOYS TO DECEIVE? FOR INSTANCE, HE DISGUISES THE DESTRUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES OF ILLICIT DRUGS OR DRINKING AND INSTEAD SUGGESTS THAT IT WILL BRING PLEASURE. HE IMMERSES US IN THE VARIOUS NEGATIVE ELEMENTS THAT CAN EXIST IN SOCIAL MEDIA, INCLUDING DEBILITATING COMPARISONS AND IDEALIZED REALITY. IN ADDITION, HE CAMOUFLAGES OTHER DARK, HARMFUL CONTENT FOUND ONLINE SUCH AS PORNOGRAPHY, BLATANT ATTACKS ON OTHERS THROUGH CYBERBULLYING, AND SOWING MISINFORMATION TO CAUSE DOUBT AND FEAR IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS. CUNNINGLY, HE WHISPERS, “JUST FOLLOW ME, AND YOU WILL SURELY BE HAPPY.” THE WORDS WRITTEN SO MANY CENTURIES AGO BY A BOOK OF MORMON PROPHET ARE ESPECIALLY RELEVANT FOR OUR DAY: “WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS.” MAY WE RECOGNIZE SATAN’S DECEPTIONS FOR WHAT THEY ARE. MAY WE WITHSTAND AND SEE THROUGH THE LIES AND INFLUENCES OF THE ONE WHO SEEKS TO DESTROY OUR SOULS AND STEAL FROM US OUR PRESENT JOY AND FUTURE GLORY. MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE MUST CONTINUE TO BE FAITHFUL AND VIGILANT, FOR SO IS THE ONLY WAY TO DISCERN TRUTH AND TO HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD THROUGH HIS SERVANTS. “FOR THE SPIRIT SPEAKETH THE TRUTH AND LIETH NOT. … THESE THINGS ARE MANIFESTED UNTO US PLAINLY, FOR THE SALVATION OF OUR SOULS. … FOR GOD ALSO SPAKE THEM UNTO PROPHETS OF OLD.” WE ARE THE SAINTS OF ALMIGHTY GOD, THE HOPE OF ISRAEL! WILL WE FALTER? “SHALL WE SHRINK
OR SHUN THE FIGHT? NO! … TO GOD’S COMMAND,
SOUL, HEART, AND HAND, FAITHFUL AND TRUE
WE WILL EVER STAND.” I BEAR MY SPECIAL WITNESS OF THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, EVEN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. I TESTIFY OF HIS ABIDING LOVE, TRUTH, AND JOY THAT ARE MADE POSSIBLE BY HIS INFINITE AND ETERNAL SACRIFICE. AS WE OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS, WE WILL ALWAYS BE LED IN THE RIGHT WAY AND WILL BE NOT DECEIVED. IN THE SACRED NAME OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT EYRING: WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC THEY HAVE PROVIDED THIS MORNING. THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “TRUE TO THE FAITH.” THE CONCLUDING SPEAKER FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THE MEETING BY SINGING “LOVE DIVINE, ALL LOVES EXCELLING.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY SISTER BECKY CRAVEN, WHO SERVES AS SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE YOUNG WOMEN GENERAL PRESIDENCY. ♪♪ ♪ SHALL THE YOUTH
OF ZION FALTER ♪ ♪ IN DEFENDING
TRUTH AND RIGHT? ♪ ♪ WHILE THE ENEMY
ASSAILETH, ♪ ♪ SHALL WE SHRINK OR
SHUN THE FIGHT? NO! ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE FAITH THAT
OUR PARENTS HAVE CHERISHED, ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE TRUTH FOR WHICH
MARTYRS HAVE PERISHED, ♪ ♪ TO GOD’S COMMAND,
SOUL, HEART, AND HAND, ♪ ♪ FAITHFUL AND TRUE
WE WILL EVER STAND. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHILE WE KNOW
THE POW’RS OF DARKNESS ♪ ♪ SEEK TO THWART
THE WORK OF GOD, ♪ ♪ SHALL THE CHILDREN
OF THE PROMISE ♪ ♪ CEASE TO GRASP
THE IRON ROD? NO! ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE FAITH THAT
OUR PARENTS HAVE CHERISHED, ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE TRUTH FOR WHICH
MARTYRS HAVE PERISHED, ♪ ♪ TO GOD’S COMMAND,
SOUL, HEART, AND HAND, ♪ ♪ FAITHFUL AND TRUE
WE WILL EVER STAND. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ WE WILL WORK OUT
OUR SALVATION ♪ ♪ WE WILL CLEAVE
UNTO THE TRUTH; ♪ ♪ WE WILL WATCH
AND PRAY AND LABOR ♪ ♪ WITH THE FERVENT
ZEAL OF YOUTH ♪ ♪ WE WILL STRIVE TO BE
FOUND WORTHY ♪ ♪ OF THE KINGDOM
OR OUR LORD, ♪ ♪ WITH THE FAITHFUL
ONES REDEEMED, ♪ ♪ WHO HAVE LOVED AND
KEPT HIS WORD. ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE FAITH THAT
OUR PARENTS HAVE CHERISHED, ♪ ♪ TRUE TO THE TRUTH FOR WHICH
MARTYRS HAVE PERISHED, ♪ ♪ TO GOD’S COMMAND,
SOUL, HEART, AND HAND, ♪ ♪ FAITHFUL AND TRUE
WE WILL EVER STAND. ♪♪ ♪ WE WILL EVER STAND ♪ ♪ WE WILL EVER, EVER STAND ♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU ARE DOING TO HELP GATHER ISRAEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL, TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FAMILIES, AND TO BLESS THE LIVES OF THOSE IN NEED. THANK YOU FOR LIVING AS TRUE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST. YOU KNOW AND LOVE TO OBEY HIS TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS, TO LOVE GOD, AND TO LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS. DURING THE LAST SIX MONTHS, SISTER NELSON AND I HAVE MET THOUSANDS OF SAINTS AS WE HAVE TRAVELED TO CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA, THE ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC, AND VARIOUS CITIES IN THE UNITED STATES. AS WE TRAVEL, OUR HOPE IS TO BUILD YOUR FAITH. YET WE ALWAYS RETURN HAVING HAD OUR FAITH STRENGTHENED BY THE MEMBERS AND FRIENDS WE MEET. MAY I SHARE THREE MEANINGFUL MOMENTS FROM OUR RECENT EXPERIENCES? IN MAY, SISTER NELSON AND I TRAVELED WITH ELDER GERRIT W. AND SISTER SUSAN GONG TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC. WHILE IN AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND, WE HAD THE HONOR OF MEETING WITH IMAMS FROM TWO MOSQUES IN CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND, WHERE JUST TWO MONTHS EARLIER, INNOCENT WORSHIPPERS HAD BEEN GUNNED DOWN IN AN ACT OF HORRIBLE VIOLENCE. WE EXTENDED OUR SYMPATHY TO THESE BROTHERS OF ANOTHER FAITH AND REAFFIRMED OUR MUTUAL COMMITMENT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM. WE ALSO OFFERED VOLUNTEER LABOR AND MODEST FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO REBUILD THEIR MOSQUES. OUR MEETING WITH THESE MUSLIM LEADERS WAS FILLED WITH TENDER EXPRESSIONS OF BROTHERHOOD. IN AUGUST, ALONG WITH ELDER QUENTIN L. AND SISTER MARY COOK, SISTER NELSON AND I MET INDIVIDUALS IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA– MOST OF THEM NOT OF OUR FAITH– WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN CHANGED BY WHEELCHAIRS PROVIDED TO THEM THROUGH OUR LATTER-DAY SAINT CHARITIES. WE WERE INSPIRED AS THEY EXPRESSED JOY-FILLED GRATITUDE FOR THEIR NEW-FOUND MOBILITY. A THIRD PRECIOUS MOMENT OCCURRED JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO HERE IN SALT LAKE CITY. IT CAME FROM A UNIQUE LETTER I RECEIVED ON MY BIRTHDAY FROM A YOUNG WOMAN I WILL CALL MARY– AGE 14. MARY WROTE ABOUT THINGS SHE AND I HAD IN COMMON: “YOU HAVE 10 KIDS. WE HAVE 10 KIDS. YOU SPEAK MANDARIN. SEVEN OF THE KIDS IN MY FAMILY, INCLUDING ME, WERE ADOPTED FROM CHINA, SO MANDARIN IS OUR FIRST LANGUAGE. YOU ARE A HEART SURGEON. MY SISTER HAS HAD TWO OPEN HEART [OPERATIONS]. YOU LIKE TWO-HOUR CHURCH. [LAUGHTER] WE LIKE TWO-HOUR CHURCH. YOU HAVE PERFECT PITCH. MY BROTHER HAS PERFECT PITCH TOO. HE IS BLIND LIKE ME.” MARY’S WORDS TOUCHED ME DEEPLY, REVEALING NOT ONLY HER GREAT SPIRIT, BUT ALSO THE CONSECRATION OF HER MOTHER AND FATHER. LATTER-DAY SAINTS, AS WITH OTHER FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST, ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO HELP, TO LIFT, AND TO LOVE OTHERS. THEY WHO ARE WILLING TO BE CALLED THE LORD’S PEOPLE, ARE WILLING TO “BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS:” TO “MOURN WITH THOSE THAT MOURN,” AND TO “COMFORT THOSE THAT STAND IN NEED OF COMFORT.” THEY TRULY SEEK TO LIVE THE FIRST AND SECOND GREAT COMMANDMENTS. WHEN WE LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEARTS, HE TURNS OUR HEARTS TO THE WELL-BEING OF OTHERS IN A BEAUTIFUL VIRTUOUS CYCLE. IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO CALCULATE THE AMOUNT OF SERVICE THAT LATTER-DAY SAINTS RENDER AROUND THE GLOBE EVERY DAY OF EVERY YEAR; BUT IT IS POSSIBLE TO CALCULATE THE GOOD THE CHURCH AS AN ORGANIZATION DOES TO BLESS MEN AND WOMEN–BOYS AND GIRLS– WHO ARE IN NEED OF A HELPING HAND. THE CHURCH’S HUMANITARIAN OUTREACH WAS LAUNCHED IN 1984. THEN A CHURCH-WIDE FAST WAS HELD TO RAISE FUNDS TO ASSIST THOSE AFFLICTED BY A DEVASTATING DROUGHT IN EASTERN AFRICA. CHURCH MEMBERS DONATED $6.4 MILLION ON THAT SINGLE FAST DAY. THEN-ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD AND BROTHER GLENN L. PACE WERE DISPATCHED TO ETHIOPIA TO ASSESS HOW THOSE CONSECRATED FUNDS COULD BEST BE USED. THIS EFFORT PROVED TO BE THE BEGINNING OF WHAT WOULD LATER BE KNOWN AS LATTER-DAY SAINT CHARITIES. SINCE THAT TIME, LATTER-DAY SAINT CHARITIES HAS PROVIDED MORE THAN TWO BILLION DOLLARS IN AID TO ASSIST THOSE IN NEED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THIS ASSISTANCE IS OFFERED TO RECIPIENTS REGARDLESS OF THEIR CHURCH AFFILIATION, NATIONALITY, RACE, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER, OR POLITICAL PERSUASION. THAT IS NOT ALL. TO ASSIST MEMBERS OF THE LORD’S CHURCH WHO ARE IN DISTRESS, WE LOVE AND LIVE THE ANCIENT LAW OF THE FAST. WE GO HUNGRY TO HELP OTHERS WHO ARE HUNGRY. ONE DAY EACH MONTH, WE GO WITHOUT FOOD AND DONATE THE COST OF THAT FOOD (AND MORE) TO HELP THOSE IN NEED. I WILL NEVER FORGET MY FIRST VISIT TO WEST AFRICA IN 1986. THE SAINTS CAME TO OUR MEETINGS IN GREAT NUMBERS. THOUGH THEY HAD LITTLE IN TERMS OF MATERIAL POSSESSIONS, MOST CAME DRESSED IN SPOTLESS WHITE CLOTHING. I ASKED THE STAKE PRESIDENT HOW HE CARED FOR MEMBERS WHO HAD SO LITTLE. HE REPLIED THAT THEIR BISHOPS KNEW THEIR PEOPLE WELL. IF MEMBERS COULD AFFORD TWO MEALS A DAY, NO HELP WAS NEEDED. BUT IF THEY COULD AFFORD ONLY ONE MEAL OR LESS–EVEN WITH FAMILY HELP–BISHOPS PROVIDED FOOD, FINANCED FROM FAST OFFERINGS. THEN HE ADDED THIS REMARKABLE FACT: THEIR FAST-OFFERING CONTRIBUTIONS USUALLY EXCEEDED THEIR EXPENSES. SURPLUS FAST OFFERINGS WERE THEN SENT TO PEOPLE ELSEWHERE WHOSE NEEDS EXCEEDED THEIRS. THOSE STALWART AFRICAN SAINTS TAUGHT ME A GREAT LESSON ABOUT THE POWER OF THE LAW AND THE SPIRIT OF THE FAST. AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, WE FEEL A KINSHIP TO THOSE WHO SUFFER IN ANY WAY. AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD, WE ARE ALL BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WE HEED AN OLD TESTAMENT ADMONITION: “THOU SHALT OPEN THINE HAND WIDE UNTO THY BROTHER, TO THY POOR, AND TO THY NEEDY.” WE ALSO STRIVE TO LIVE THE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AS RECORDED IN MATTHEW 25: “FOR I WAS AN HUNGRED, AND YE GAVE ME MEAT: I WAS THIRSTY, AND YE GAVE ME DRINK: I WAS A STRANGER, AND YE TOOK ME IN: “NAKED, AND YE CLOTHED ME: I WAS SICK, AND YE VISITED ME:…. “INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.” LET ME CITE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES OF HOW THE CHURCH FOLLOWS THESE TEACHINGS OF THE SAVIOR. TO HELP RELIEVE HUNGER, THE CHURCH OPERATES 124 BISHOPS’ STOREHOUSES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THROUGH THEM, APPROXIMATELY 400,000 FOOD ORDERS ARE GIVEN EACH YEAR TO INDIVIDUALS IN NEED. IN LOCATIONS WHERE NO STOREHOUSE EXISTS, BISHOPS AND BRANCH PRESIDENTS DRAW FROM FAST-OFFERING FUNDS OF THE CHURCH TO PROVIDE FOOD AND SUPPLIES FOR THEIR NEEDY MEMBERS. HOWEVER, THE CHALLENGE OF HUNGER GOES FAR BEYOND THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CHURCH AND IS INCREASING THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. A RECENT UNITED NATIONS REPORT INDICATED THAT THE NUMBER OF UNDERNOURISHED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD NOW EXCEEDS 820 MILLION– OR ALMOST ONE IN NINE OF THE EARTH’S INHABITANTS. WHAT A SOBERING STATISTIC! HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS. THANKS TO YOUR HEARTFELT GENEROSITY, MILLIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD WILL RECEIVE MUCH NEEDED FOOD, CLOTHING, TEMPORARY SHELTER, WHEELCHAIRS, MEDICINES, CLEAN WATER AND MORE. MUCH SICKNESS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IS CAUSED BECAUSE OF UNCLEAN WATER. TO DATE, THE CHURCH’S HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVE HAS HELPED PROVIDE CLEAN WATER IN HUNDREDS OF COMMUNITIES IN 76 COUNTRIES. A PROJECT IN LUPUTA, IN THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, IS A GREAT EXAMPLE. WITH A POPULATION EXCEEDING 100,000, THE TOWN HAD NO RUNNING WATER. CITIZENS HAD TO WALK LONG DISTANCES FOR SOURCES OF SAFE WATER. A MOUNTAIN SPRING WAS DISCOVERED 18 MILES AWAY, BUT TOWNSPEOPLE COULD NOT ACCESS THAT WATER ON A REGULAR BASIS. WHEN OUR HUMANITARIAN MISSIONARIES LEARNED ABOUT THIS CHALLENGE, THEY WORKED WITH THE LEADERS OF LUPUTA BY SUPPLYING MATERIALS AND TRAINING TO PIPE THE WATER TO THE CITY. THE PEOPLE OF LUPUTA SPENT THREE YEARS DIGGING A ONE-METER-DEEP TRENCH THROUGH ROCK AND JUNGLE. BY WORKING TOGETHER, THE JOYFUL DAY FINALLY ARRIVED WHEN FRESH CLEAN WATER WAS AVAILABLE TO ALL IN THAT VILLAGE. THE CHURCH ALSO HELPS REFUGEES, WHETHER FROM CIVIL STRIFE, THE RAVAGES OF NATURE, OR RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION. MORE THAN 70 MILLION PEOPLE ARE NOW DISPLACED FROM THEIR HOMES. IN THE YEAR 2018 ALONE, THE CHURCH PROVIDED EMERGENCY SUPPLIES TO REFUGEES IN 56 COUNTRIES. IN ADDITION, MANY CHURCH MEMBERS VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME TO HELP REFUGEES INTEGRATE INTO NEW COMMUNITIES. WE THANK EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO REACH OUT TO HELP THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO ESTABLISH NEW HOMES. THROUGH GENEROUS DONATIONS TO DESERET INDUSTRIES’ OUTLETS IN THE UNITED STATES, MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF CLOTHING ARE COLLECTED AND SORTED EACH YEAR. WHILE LOCAL BISHOPS USE THIS VAST INVENTORY TO HELP MEMBERS IN NEED, THE GREATEST PORTION IS DONATED TO OTHER CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS WHO DISTRIBUTE THE ITEMS WORLDWIDE. AND JUST LAST YEAR, THE CHURCH PROVIDED VISION CARE FOR MORE THAN 300,000 PEOPLE IN 35 COUNTRIES, NEWBORN CARE FOR THOUSANDS OF MOTHERS AND INFANTS IN 39 COUNTRIES, AND WHEELCHAIRS FOR MORE THAN 50,000 PEOPLE LIVING IN DOZENS OF COUNTRIES. THE CHURCH IS WELL KNOWN FOR BEING AMONG THE FIRST RESPONDERS WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES. EVEN BEFORE A HURRICANE HITS, CHURCH LEADERS AND STAFF IN THE AFFECTED LOCATIONS ARE MAPPING OUT PLANS FOR HOW THEY WILL DELIVER RELIEF SUPPLIES AND VOLUNTEER ASSISTANCE TO THOSE WHO WILL BE IMPACTED. LAST YEAR ALONE, THE CHURCH CARRIED OUT MORE THAN 100 DISASTER-RELIEF PROJECTS AROUND THE WORLD, HELPING VICTIMS OF HURRICANES, FIRES, FLOODS, EARTHQUAKES, AND OTHER CALAMITIES. WHENEVER POSSIBLE, OUR CHURCH MEMBERS IN YELLOW HELPING HANDS VESTS MOBILIZE IN GREAT NUMBERS TO HELP THOSE AFFLICTED BY THE DISASTER. THIS KIND OF SERVICE, RENDERED BY SO MANY OF YOU, IS THE VERY ESSENCE OF MINISTERING. MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THE ACTIVITIES I HAVE DESCRIBED ARE MERELY A SMALL PART OF THE GROWING WELFARE AND HUMANITARIAN OUTREACH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. AND YOU ARE THE ONES WHO MAKE ALL THIS POSSIBLE. BECAUSE OF YOUR EXEMPLARY LIVES, YOUR GENEROUS HEARTS, AND YOUR HELPING HANDS, IT IS NO WONDER THAT MANY COMMUNITIES AND GOVERNMENT LEADERS ARE PRAISING YOUR EFFORTS. SINCE BECOMING PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH, I HAVE BEEN AMAZED AT HOW MANY PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS, AND AMBASSADORS HAVE SINCERELY THANKED ME FOR OUR HUMANITARIAN AID TO THEIR PEOPLE. AND THEY HAVE EXPRESSED GRATITUDE FOR THE STRENGTH THAT OUR FAITHFUL MEMBERS BRING TO THEIR COUNTRY AS LOYAL, CONTRIBUTING CITIZENS. I HAVE ALSO MARVELED AS WORLD LEADERS HAVE VISITED THE FIRST PRESIDENCY EXPRESSING THEIR HOPE FOR THE CHURCH TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THEIR LANDS. WHY? BECAUSE THEY KNOW LATTER-DAY SAINTS WILL HELP TO BUILD STRONG FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES, MAKING LIFE BETTER FOR OTHERS WHEREVER THEY LIVE. REGARDLESS OF WHERE WE CALL HOME, MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH FEEL PASSIONATELY ABOUT THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN. THUS, OUR GREATEST JOY COMES AS WE HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, NO MATTER WHERE WE LIVE IN THIS WONDERFUL WORLD. GIVING HELP TO OTHERS–MAKING A CONSCIENTIOUS EFFORT TO CARE ABOUT OTHERS AS MUCH OR MORE THAN WE CARE ABOUT OURSELVES– IS OUR JOY. ESPECIALLY I MIGHT ADD, WHEN IT IS NOT CONVENIENT AND WHEN IT TAKES US OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE. LIVING THAT SECOND GREAT COMMANDMENT IS THE KEY TO BECOMING A TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST. MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, YOU ARE LIVING EXEMPLARS OF THE FRUITS THAT COME FROM FOLLOWING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST. I THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU! I KNOW THAT GOD LIVES. JESUS IS THE CHRIST. HIS CHURCH HAS BEEN RESTORED IN THESE LATTER DAYS TO FULFILL ITS DIVINE PURPOSES. I SO TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪ LOVE DIVINE,
ALL LOVES EXCELLING, ♪ ♪ JOY OF HEAV’N
TO EARTH COME DOWN. ♪ ♪ FIX IN US
THY HUMBLE DWELLING, ♪ ♪ ALL THY FAITHFUL
MERCIES CROWN! ♪ ♪ JESUS THOU ART
ALL COMPASSION, ♪ ♪ PURE, UNBOUNDED LOVE
THOU ART; ♪ ♪ VISIT US
WITH THY SALVATION, ♪ ♪ ENTER EVERY
TREMBLING HEART. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ BREATHE, O BREATHE
THY LOVING SPIRIT ♪ ♪ INTO EVERY
TROUBLED BREAST! ♪ ♪ LET US ALL
IN THEE INHERIT, ♪ ♪ LET US FIND
THE PROMISED REST; ♪ ♪ TAKE AWAY THE LOVE
OF SINNING; ♪ ♪ ALPHA AND OMEGA BE; ♪ ♪ END OF FAITH,
AS ITS BEGINNING; ♪ ♪ SET OUR HEARTS
AT LIBERTY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ COME, ALMIGHTY
TO DELIVER, ♪ ♪ LET US ALL
THY LIFE RECEIVE; ♪ ♪ SUDDENLY RETURN
AND NEVER, ♪ ♪ NEVERMORE
THY TEMPLES LEAVE. ♪ ♪ THEE WE WOULD BE
ALWAYS BLESSING, ♪ ♪ SERVE THEE
AS THY HOSTS ABOVE; ♪ ♪ PRAY AND PRAISE THEE
WITHOUT CEASING, ♪ ♪ GLORY
IN THY PERFECT LOVE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ FINISH, THEN,
THY NEW CREATION; ♪ ♪ PURE AND SPOTLESS
LET US BE; ♪ ♪ LET US SEE
THY GREAT SALVATION ♪ ♪ PERFECTLY RESTORED
IN THEE; ♪ ♪ CHANGED FROM GLORY
INTO GLORY, ♪ ♪ TILL IN HEAV’N
WE TAKE OUR PLACE; ♪ ♪ TILL WE CAST OUR CROWNS
BEFORE THEE, ♪ ♪ LOST IN WONDER,
LOVE, AND PRAISE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ TILL WE CAST OUR CROWNS
BEFORE THEE, ♪ ♪ LOST IN WONDER,
LOVE, ♪ ♪ AND ♪ ♪ PRAISE. ♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪♪>>SISTER BECKY CRAVEN: OUR DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE LOVE THEE AND THY SON, JESUS CHRIST, AND WE ARE SO GRATEFUL TO THE OUT POURING OF THY SPIRIT AND THY LOVE WHICH WE FELT DURING THIS SESSION OF CONFERENCE. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR LIVING PROPHETS AND FOR THEIR GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION THAT THEY GIVE TO US IN THIS, THY SON’S CHURCH. WE ASK THEE THAT THEY WILL HELP US IN OUR EFFORTS TO SEEK AND ACT BEEN PERSONAL REVELATION AS WE MINISTER AND TO SERVE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS AROUND THE WORLD. WE ASK THEE THAT THOU WILT HELP US AS WE CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO BECOME MORE LIKE THY SON AND OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AND THIS IS OUR SINCERE AND EARNEST PRAYER, IN THE NAME OF THY SON, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SPEAKERS WERE SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC WAS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST HAS BEEN FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. ♪♪ CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:
[email protected] I’LL ALWAYS
LOVE MY MOTHER. BUT I REMEMBER ONE DAY
I GOT REALLY MAD AT HER. WHEN MY DAD GOT HOME,
I KNEW I WAS IN TROUBLE. BUT INSTEAD OF
GETTING MAD AT ME, HE TAUGHT ME A LESSON
I’LL NEVER FORGET. THE BALL I WAS THROWING
WAS DAMAGING THE FENCE. AND MY DAD TOLD ME THAT HARSH WORDS
CAN BE EVEN MORE DESTRUCTIVE. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. WHAT? JUST THINKING ABOUT JACK
OVER THERE. DOESN’T HE EVER HAVE
ANYTHING IMPORTANT TO DO? WHAT? HEY, MAX.
HOW YOU DOIN’? COULDN’T BE BETTER. WHERE YOU GOIN’? OVER NEXT DOOR
TO PLAY. WELL, I CAN PLAY
WITH YOU. IT’S OKAY, DAD.
I KNOW YOU’RE BUSY. GIVE YOU FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. [EXPLOSIONS] [CROWD YELLING] [EXPLOSION] [INAUDIBLE] THE VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE
TODAY ARE PASSING OUT FOLDERS FULL OF THE COMMUNITY
INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED. AND SPEAKING OF THE
VOLUNTEERS, THE IRC WILL BE HERE TO
HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH YOUR
NEW LIVING CONDITIONS. [MUSIC PLAYING] [LAUGHTER] [CLAPPING] [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] HOW’S THE JOB TRAINING GOING? GOOD! MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY. YOU CAN JUST SET IT UP HERE. YOU CAN EAT IT, AND
IT’S NICE AND HOT. IT’S HOT. THE [INAUDIBLE] COMMITTEE
WILL BE THE ONE HELPING YOU NAVIGATE THE U.S. SYSTEMS. THIS INCLUDES BANKING,
WORKING WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SERVICES
CASEWORKER … THIS IS WHERE WE COLLECT
A LOT OF OUR DONATIONS FOR OUR REFUGEE
FAMILIES THAT WE SERVE. WHERE DID YOU SAY
YOU HEARD ABOUT US? LDS CHARITIES. OH, THAT’S GREAT. SO AS WE– [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] –FIND A PLACE
WHERE THESE PEOPLE CAN LIVE WITHOUT FEAR
OF PERSECUTION OR ABUSE. THESE REFUGEES HAVE
LEFT EVERYTHING BEHIND, INCLUDING FRIENDS, FAMILY,
LOVED ONES, AND THE COUNTRY THEY ONCE CALLED HOME. IF THE COAST GUARD HADN’T
LOCATED THIS GROUP, THERE’S NO TELLING HOW
LONG THEY WOULD HAVE DRIFTED BEFORE FINDING SAFETY. IN THE FACE OF
TERRIBLE ODDS, THEY ARE WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES
AND THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN ON THESE
LESS-THAN-SEAWORTHY RAFTS BECAUSE THERE REALLY
IS NO OTHER CHOICE. [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] [LAUGHTER] YOU CAN RIDE THE BUS, LEARN
TO TAKE THE TRANSPORTATION. [MUSIC PLAYING] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT UCHTDORF: “WITH THE BLESSINGS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY, WE CAN EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND JOY OF OUR GOD’S GREAT PLAN FOR HIS CHILDREN IN A WAY THAT CAN BE HEARD NOT ONLY AROUND OUR WORKPLACE, BUT AROUND THE WORLD. WE HAVE A GLAD MESSAGE TO SHARE, AND WE HAVE A MESSAGE OF JOY. USE YOUR HANDS TO BLOG AND TEXT MESSAGE THE GOSPEL TO ALL THE WORLD, ALL AT THE RIGHT TIME, AND AT THE RIGHT PLACE. PREACH THE GOSPEL AT ALL TIMES, AND IF NECESSARY, USE WORDS. ♪♪ ♪♪ (peaceful music) – [Male Narrator] This is the
World Report for October 2019. Coming up, the
Church’s partnership with the NAACP reaches
new milestones. – [Female Narrator] After
years of renovation, the Oakland California
Temple is rededicated. And the Church is
formally recognized in the Middle Eastern
country of Kuwait. But first: President
Nelson’s continuing ministry takes him throughout
the Pacific, Latin America, and
the United States. – And here’s my friend.
– Nice to see you already. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – [Narrator] In
representing Jesus Christ as His modern-day prophet,
President Russell M. Nelson, 17th President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
ministered as the Savior did, one by one, on a
nine-day ministry trip throughout Latin America
this past August. Accompanied by his wife, Wendy,
and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles and his wife, Mary, President Nelson’s first
stop was in Guatemala, where 400 buses brought
members from all parts of the country to the
Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City. With more than 21,000
people in attendance, President Nelson still found
time to minister to the one. – One door closes and another
door will open for you. – [Narrator] And talk with
government and faith leaders about common concerns. – The family is under attack. (man speaking in
foreign language) Marriage is under attack. So we have to lock
arms and walk together. – [Narrator] The second
visit of President Nelson’s Latin American ministry
was to Colombia, where he met with the
president of Colombia and other government leaders. – When I saw all people
there, I thought, Wow! That had a very strong charge. I hope we can stay
strong together. – [Narrator] Following
their visit to Colombia, the Nelsons and Cooks
traveled to Ecuador, where they met with
more than 11,000 people in the capital city of Quito and more than
12,000 by broadcast. While such a visit reaches
thousands of Latter-day Saints, the impact can still
be very personal. – Nice to meet you. (speaking in foreign language) – [Translator] It was very
emotional, to feel the Spirit, when President Nelson
entered the room. – [Narrator] Following Ecuador,
President Nelson traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina,
where he spent time with individuals who had just received new
custom-fit wheelchairs, made possible by a donation from Latter-day Saint
Charities and SILSA. For 12-year-old Rosario,
the new wheelchair means new opportunities
for her and her family. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] President Nelson
again expressed gratitude for missionaries when he
arrived in Brasilia, Brazil, and met, in person
and by broadcast, with more than
5,000 missionaries from 35 missions
across the country. (speaking in foreign language) Moving from the nation’s
capital to Sao Paulo, the Nelsons and the Cooks met
with more than 37,000 people who were gathered to hear
their inspired counsel. – We can also be one
with our families by making our homes
sanctuaries of faith. – We can bring to the
Lord all of our questions, and we will be given answers. – Every time we visit the temple and perform ordinances there, we are walking on holy ground. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] This
visit to Brazil completed President Nelson’s
Latin American ministry, five countries in nine days. He met with Church
members, heads of state, and other government,
community, and faith leaders. – [Narrator] In May,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to the island
nations of the Pacific Ocean. Accompanied by his wife,
Wendy, and Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Susan,
President Nelson first stopped in Hawaii, home to more than
74,000 Latter-day Saints. There, they visited
with community leaders, who also attended the
evening devotional at the Kona Hawaii Stake Center. – He does want us to have
immortality and eternal life, but He wants us to
choose this course. – [Narrator] Continuing
south, the Nelsons and Gongs traveled to Samoa, where
they were greeted warmly by Latter-day Saints,
journalists, and
government leaders. – So the Lord has asked
me to let you know tonight that we have a solemn
duty to prepare our people for the difficult
days that lie ahead. – I’m a Catholic, but I
know this is God’s prophet, that he brings peace to us. It really fills my heart. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] On the
third stop of the tour, President Nelson spoke to more
than 8,000 Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church at the International Convention
Center in Sydney, Australia. – I’m wondering if you
need oxygen up there on that back row. (audience laughs) I bless you to love
the Lord Jesus Christ and to feast upon His
words, particularly as they’re divinely given to
you in the Book of Mormon. – [Narrator] Traveling east,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to New Zealand,
where he first stopped in Wellington and met with
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. – We discussed how people can
have differing points of view and yet learn to live and
love with one another. – President Nelson is
a natural diplomat. He’s a prophet for the Church, but he’s also prophet
for the world. – [Narrator] A day after his
visit with the prime minister, President Nelson
traveled to Auckland, where he met with local and
national Muslim leaders. There he offered his
deepest condolences and support following the
March terrorist attacks in two mosques in the
city of Christchurch. – God continue to bless the
families and individuals impacted by the
events of March 15th. May He bring us
even closer together as neighbors and friends. – [Narrator] More than 12,000
people were in attendance at an evening devotional in
Auckland, with thousands more participating via a broadcast
to meetinghouses nationwide. – I bless you that you’ll
have safety and success in your lives, that your
homes will be sanctuaries of reverence and love. – [Narrator] On the fifth
stop of the prophet’s tour, more than 5,000 Latter-day
Saints and friends of the Church gathered in the
Fijian city of Suva. Members traveled
up to five hours in anticipation of the arrival
of their beloved prophet. – [Man] It’s not every
day or every year that we get this opportunity,
so this is a big thing. – Thank you for my decoration. I feel like I’ve
been wrapped in love. – [Narrator] As a parting
gift, the congregation surprised President Nelson with the Fijian
farewell song “Isa Lei.” (singing in foreign language) At the next stop on
the Pacific tour, President Nelson met with
the king and queen of Tonga. (singing in foreign language) Despite the inclement weather, thousands of Latter-day
Saints attended a devotional to hear a prophet’s voice. – As you and I firmly
hold on to the Lord, we can safely navigate our
way through rough waters. – [Narrator] President Nelson
concluded his Pacific ministry on the tropical
island of Tahiti. There he and his wife, Wendy, met with President Edouard
Fritch and the First Lady of French Polynesia and other
government and faith leaders. – Please protect yourself
from Satan’s traps. – [Narrator] After traveling
nearly 18,000 miles and ministering to nearly
100,000 people in person and hundreds of thousands
more through broadcasts, President Nelson’s
Pacific ministry concluded as another historic event in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – [Narrator] In
June, just two weeks after his Pacific ministry
tour, President Nelson and Elder Dieter F.
Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
visited Orlando, Florida. The visit coincided with
the three-year anniversary of a mass shooting at the
Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Before an evening devotional,
President Nelson met with Barbara Poma,
the owner of the club that is now being turned
into a sanctuary of hope. – We come together on June
12th to really stand together in solidarity, to
comfort one another, to help us move through
a healing process. – [Narrator] That
evening, President Nelson offered a gospel message
to the people of Orlando. – The happiest place on earth? It is wherever the
Spirit of the Lord dwells in the hearts of the people. – [Narrator] At the northwestern
shore of the Arabian Gulf is the State of Kuwait,
bustling with modernism, as displayed by
its robust commerce and piercing skyscrapers. (singing in foreign language) Kuwait is known for
its rich tradition as peacemakers in the region,
including religious tolerance. Such increase of religious
rights has been granted to The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – The mosque is
considered house of God. – [Narrator] Through a
ceremonial visit to Kuwait on behalf of the Church’s
First Presidency, Elder Quentin L. Cook,
an Apostle of the Church, and his wife, Mary,
expressed gratitude for the Church’s
recent recognition. It’s the first time a
religious organization has been formally
recognized in Kuwait in more than 40 years. The meeting was
held in Kuwait City with Fareed Asad Abdulla
Emadi, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Awqaf
and Islamic Affairs. Kuwait is predominantly
Muslim, with some 20% of its residents
practicing Christianity, and Latter-day Saints
have a growing presence. Elder Cook spoke to a crowd
of nearly 200 people packed in several floors at the
Kuwait Ward meetinghouse. – You will influence
lives while you’re here. (children singing) – [Narrator] While the
formal recognition strictly prohibits the proselyting
to and baptism of Muslims, the Church’s increased standing strengthens the opportunities to operate, serve, and worship. ♪ Son of Man – It is extremely significant
when you have the authority as a Church to open a
bank account and to rent or own property and to
seek visas for people who might serve as volunteers
in doing humanitarian or community service, all of the things
that the Church does. So this is no small thing. – I’ve been a pioneer of
the Church, the Kuwait Ward, and I feel very, very happy
because of the recognition. (speaking in foreign language) – We did a lot of
fasting and praying hard to our Heavenly Father. I’m very much grateful
for the Kuwait government for this recognition. – [Narrator] While in
Kuwait, Elder and Sister Cook visited with a senior member
of the Kuwaiti royal family, Her Excellency Sheikha
Intisar Salem Al Ali AlSabah. – And you come from
a really good family. – I come from a long
line of peacemakers. – At a traditional gathering
for men known as a diwaniya, local community, government,
and interfaith leaders visited with Elder Cook,
giving them an opportunity to be better acquainted
with the Church. – And there are incredible
desserts back here. Come on back, come on back here. And they’re not big. They’re not big, come on. (Singing) – [Narrator] Led by Sister
Cook, Latter-day Saint women also gathered for fellowship. – When we had this recognition,
I was just so grateful because it was spread all over, not just here in Kuwait; it
was, like, all over the world. – There is strength
in the group. You feel it, don’t you? – [Narrator] Kuwait was
dedicated for the blessings of the restored
gospel of Jesus Christ by Apostle Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland in 2011 at this spot
overlooking Kuwait City. – I’m the only one
that’s got on a hat, but it is 120 degrees. – It does feel warm. – [Narrator] It was a
moment symbolic of the good members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints had been progressively
providing for several decades to each other and the community,
a moment now leading up to another beginning:
official recognition. – It gives us a chance
to reach out and to be outgoing and to reach
out to the outside communities, whether they be Christian
or whether they be Islamic. We don’t have to hide our light behind a bushel or such anymore. – We’re just so thrilled
that the recognition came that could confirm the
faith of so many members. – I see incredible things are
going to happen in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see other countries in the Gulf give recognition
that we don’t now have. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see more of it come as a result of the
leadership and the effort. (motorcycle engines revving) – [Narrator] The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to rapidly
grow throughout parts of Western Africa, (singing in foreign language) with official recognition
granted in the country of Mali. Religious and community leaders
joined government officials at a ceremony in the
capital city of Bamako. – We’re not closed; we are open. Mali is an open country
for all religions. – [Narrator] There are about
50 Latter-day Saint families in Mali, a country
of 15 million people. This change in status allows
the Church to better minister to its members and
for missionaries to be called there to serve. (singing in foreign language) – It all begins with the
love they have for God and then the love we
have for each other. I was blessed to
start coming to Mali before the Church
was organized here. And I have some people that
I’ve grown to love very deeply. – [Narrator] Years in the
making, progress accelerated after Apostle David A. Bednar
blessed the land in 2017. – It was a historic
and memorable day for
the people of Mali and for the Latter-day
Saints in general, but for the Saints in Mali. – [Narrator] Mali joins
Senegal and Guinea as the countries most
recently welcoming the Church on the continent of Africa. – [Narrator] Straight
ahead, the humanity and divine connection
that links us all. President Nelson
speaks to the NAACP. – [Narrator] And, honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the Church celebrates the
95th birthday of the prophet. (Singing) – [Narrator] Detroit, Michigan,
known as the Motor City, Motown, and recently the home of the 110th Annual
Convention of the NAACP. – A brother of another mother. – [Narrator] Among
the many guests? – A brother of another
faith tradition. – [Narrator] Was President
Russell M. Nelson, President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (audience applauding) – We truly believe that we
are brothers and sisters, all part of the
same divine family. – [Narrator] His convention
speech on July 21st was the latest step
in a relationship between the Church and the NAACP that has grown
quickly and warmly. – Hello, Amos. – Good to see you again.
– How are you, dear friend? – [Narrator] The
relationship has especially blossomed since last
year, when the leaders of the two organizations
stood arm in arm at a news conference
in Salt Lake City. Since then, the Church and
the NAACP have partnered to provide education
and employment efforts in several cities, including a personal
finance course in Chicago. – We have the evidence.
We have the data that we’ve made a difference. If we could do that with
10 people in Chicago, imagine the impact
and the influence we can have together
around this country. – [Narrator] Earlier this
year, in Washington, D.C., at a gala sponsored by the
BYU Management Society, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles honored the NAACP
for its commitment to advancing equality
and justice in society. – The organizations coming
together was historic, but I think there is more
history to be made than just us being partners. And so I look forward to
the journey as it unfolds. – I wanted President Nelson
to come to our convention and see our folks, meet our
folks, see how we operate. It’s all about getting
to know each other. – We are all connected. – [Narrator] This
is the first time that a President of the Church has addressed the
NAACP convention. ♪ Happy birthday to you – [Narrator] On September
6th, Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church
gathered in Salt Lake City to celebrate the 95th birthday of President Russell M. Nelson. (audience applauding) – [Rosalie] The word
“father” to my dad, I think, is his highest calling. – [Narrator] Honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the gala shared insights
into the life, ministry, and service of President Nelson. – [Rosalie] Just by the
way they lived their lives, the way they taught
the gospel in our home, we learned love,
we learned respect. – [Narrator] Videos focused
on how that ministry and his career and family
have shaped who he is as a special witness
of Jesus Christ. ♪ We sing hallelujah – [Narrator] Along with
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the
evening saw performances from Jenny Oaks Baker
& Family Four, GENTRI, the Bonner family, Nathan
Pacheco, and Donny Osmond. ♪ We ask that life be kind – [Narrator] And an
unexpected piano performance by President Nelson himself. (piano music) – If I’ve learned anything
certain in my 95 years of life, it is that Jesus the
Christ is the Son of God, my Redeemer, my
Exemplar and Friend. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Still
to come, the Church’s Gospel Literacy program
brings faith and opportunity. – [Bingham] Women that
I’ve observed here have become leaders. – [Narrator] Plus, the
highly anticipated production of The Book of Mormon,
when we come back. – [Narrator] A pilot program
designed to improve literacy while teaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ has been launched
in Sierra Leone. Relief Society General
President Jean B. Bingham and her husband, Bruce, traveled
to the West African country in early June to help implement the Church’s Gospel
Literacy program. – For some years I taught
English as a second language, and some of the students
that I worked with were not particularly literate. They really struggled
with reading and writing, and it was such a joy to
help them open that door to the possibilities. – [Narrator] Learners meet
with Gospel Literacy teachers on Sundays and are
given manuals to study. – So if you put these two
words together, like this. – [Narrator] Women
participating in the program are encouraged to
teach their families what they are learning. – How do you share what
you learn with your family? – [Narrator] In a local
congregation in Kenema, Sister Bingham met
with Juliet Numa, a Relief Society president
and single mother who was participating in
the Gospel Literacy program. – [Bingham] She did not
know how to read or write. Juliet was invited to join
a Gospel Literacy class. Wonderful to see her progress. The Gospel Literacy program
can be life-changing. I’ve seen how women
that I’ve observed here have become leaders,
and you know, leaders influence
an entire community. – [Narrator] Elder Gerrit
W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along
with Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society
General Presidency and other global
faith representatives, attended this year’s
G20 Interfaith Forum
in Tokyo, Japan. – What’s been so impressive
to me is the level of support among Japanese
society and the faiths that are here in Japan. – [Narrator] It’s really
quite wonderful to see those from diverse religious
beliefs gather in common cause for children, for
concerns on refugees, for sustainable development. – Make sure you look at them. – [Narrator] For Adam Anderegg,
directing the Book of Mormon video series’ third
season is more than the typical
behind-the-camera experience. – By the unrighteousness of
your lawyers and your judges. – [Narrator] It means
a special opportunity to bring the scriptures from Another Testament
of Jesus Christ to life. – Two cameras, A-mark. – B-mark. – I sit and watch
my director’s screen as I’m directing the scene,
and I’m thinking to myself, I am so thankful
I’m seeing this. I’ve read the book many times, but just to see it come
to life is awesome. – The Holy One of Israel. – [Narrator] Just like
the previous seasons, this latest season is based
on the Book of Mormon’s events and core message, Jesus Christ. It follows prophets Alma
and Amulek, King Benjamin, and many others as they share the Savior’s teachings
in the Americas. – I’m hoping that we can
convey enough of the story to get people interested,
to actually want to read, to find out, What is this about? – [Narrator] Season three
required 44 days of filming and a massive production
team in various locations, including Kauai, Hawaii, and
the arid Goshen, Utah, desert. – It has just felt
super special. Like, I feel like there has
been a lot of inspiration for us, as actors, to
come here and work, and it doesn’t feel like work. – [Narrator] The videos
from seasons one and two are scheduled to premiere
as visual resources in 15 languages on the Book of
Mormon Videos YouTube channel or BookofMormonVideos.org, one video each Friday,
starting September 20th, 2019, through the end of the year. Seasons three and four will
make their eventual debut in 2020 and 2021. – It’s exciting to see all
the different resources that have come together to
make this project a reality and to bring the message of
the gospel of Jesus Christ to all corners of the
world, thanks to technology. I’m very excited
that it’s coming. – [Narrator] Coming up
next: For the first time in over 60 years,
the United Nations Civil Society Conference
is held outside of New York and finds support
in Salt Lake City. – [Narrator] And later,
we’ll take a guided tour of the newly renovated
Oakland California Temple. – Never forget Salt Lake City. It’s going to
remain in the books of the United Nations history. – [Narrator] Thousands of
United Nations delegates, as well as other attendees
from around the globe, are taking home a wealth
of shared experiences after the United Nations
Civil Society Conference completed its final
session, after three days at the Salt Palace
Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Held in New York
since the early 1950s, the conference moved
to the Mountain West and enjoyed a unique
blend of civic, community, and faith-based support in Utah, including the
support of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. – I’m humbled to
address such a diverse and distinguished audience. – Gerald Causse, the Presiding
Bishop of the Church, spoke to the General
Assembly in the final day, praising the good work
they do for a safer and more compassionate world. – You can see that 70%
of all these articles were produced within the system. – [Narrator] U.S. congressional
leaders took a tour of Welfare Square,
while U.N. leaders visited the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center to see up close how the Church
prepares to assist people from every walk of life. – I’m very impressed with
the comprehensive nature of the services provided here. And I really would like to
see more in my own district. (choir singing) – [Narrator] During the
Civil Society Conference, many delegates were
treated to a performance by The Tabernacle Choir and
Orchestra at Temple Square. (singing drowned
out by orchestra) – One word: magical! – It’s all about uniting people. It’s all about
connecting people. What I took out of
there is much more than just the ordinary music. I feel the message that
is going to the world and something that deeply
connects us together. (audience applauding) – [Narrator] Bishop
Gerald Causse delivered a keynote address
at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland,
in mid-September. The event, sponsored by
Latter-day Saint Charities, addressed the role of education
in displaced populations. – As a member of the
Presiding Bishopric, I take a lot of
pleasure in being involved in humanitarian work. And I must say it’s a way
to testify of our faith in Jesus Christ, to be
involved in that kind of work. There are about 70 million
refugees around the world, and unfortunately
this is a number that is increasing every year. And only 60% of their
children are in school. And so there is a big effort that will be crucial
for their future. – [Narrator] Sharon
Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities,
joined Bishop Causse and led a panel discussion
with leaders from UNICEF and the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights. – Religions and
religious-based organizations are human rights defenders
in their own ways. – [Narrator] The global
humanitarian leaders discussed the importance of
having faith-based organizations partner with government
and other organizations to care for people in need. – I’m happy to be
representing the seven million Relief Society sisters in
this kind of a setting. This is the first
time we’ve ever sponsored a side event here at
the United Nations in Geneva. We’re really excited to begin, but there’s much more
work to do in the future. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Dedications,
rededications, and renovations. We’ll take you to new
and restored temples
around the globe, from the Democratic Republic
of the Congo to Haiti and the United States. Coming up next. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] In addition
to eight new temples announced in general
conference, temple renovations, open houses, and dedications have continued around the globe. We begin in Oakland, California, where members have
been anticipating their temple’s rededication
for more than a year. As it has for more than
50 years, the warm glow of temple light returns to shine over the San Francisco Bay Area. Its new renovation
and updates completed, the temple was rededicated
by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency
on June 16th. – What is here is a
remarkable house of the Lord. – [Narrator] Also
at the dedication was Elder David A. Bednar,
who grew up in the area. – I was a 12-year-old boy
and attended the dedication in 1964, when President
David O. McKay presided. To be this close and think
back more than 50 years to that experience in my
youth, it’s kind of surreal. – [Narrator] Prior
to the dedication,
members of the press, as well as local religious
and community leaders, were invited to tour the temple during its public open house. – I think it’s a great
gift to say to the world, “Look at this place,
look at God’s house, look at God’s dwelling place. This is how and where we unite
and keep families together.” – [Narrator] An in-depth
look at the newly renovated Oakland California
Temple will be featured later in this broadcast. – [Narrator] Crossing
the United States to the Caribbean, we arrive
at the island nation of Haiti. The Port-au-Prince Haiti
Temple was dedicated in three sessions on
Sunday, September 1st, by Elder David A.
Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. A youth devotional and
open house were held prior to the dedication, both
of which were broadcast to meetinghouses throughout
the temple district, which serves more than
23,000 Latter-day Saints. Continuing south, we arrive at
the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. First announced by
President Thomas S. Monson, ground was broken for the
Fortaleza Brazil Temple in 2011. Following a three-week public
open house earlier this year, the temple was dedicated June
2nd by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. This is the seventh
temple in Brazil, with four more announced
or under construction. – [Narrator] Crossing
the South Atlantic Ocean and into Central
Africa, we arrive at the Kinshasa Democratic
Republic of the Congo Temple, which was dedicated
on Sunday, April 14th, by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. (speaking in foreign language) – [Narrator] Speaking
in French, Elder Renlund also conducted the cornerstone
ceremony, where children were invited to take part in this traditional
dedication event. – I think many of them have
prayed for this blessing for years, for decades,
and the Lord has seen fit to direct His prophet
to build a temple here. – [Narrator] Crossing North
Africa, we travel to Portugal, where on Sunday, September
15th, the Lisbon Portugal Temple was dedicated by
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. First announced in 2010 and
with ground broken in 2015, the Lisbon Portugal Temple
is the first to be built in Portugal and the
14th temple in Europe. The temple will serve some
45,000 Latter-day Saints residing in Portugal and
neighboring countries. – [Narrator] In April,
President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to renovate
the historic Salt Lake Temple. Located in the heart of the
city, this iconic edifice, built by pioneer hands
in the 19th century, originally took 40
years to complete. Starting after the temple
closes December 29th of this year, the
current improvements and structural upgrades will take an estimated
four years to complete. The extensive work will
include the creation of more access points around
the Temple Square wall, subterranean excavation
at the base of the temple for new mechanical
and plumbing systems, and foundation and
support improvements to withstand
earthquakes and further protect the temple’s interior. During construction, other
significant Church buildings, museums, libraries,
and visitors’ areas
will remain open. In May, it was announced that
the St. George Utah Temple will also undergo
significant renovation. That temple, which will
close November 4th, will undergo extensive
structural, mechanical, and finishing work, as well
as significant improvements to the grounds. The renovation of the
St. George Utah Temple is expected to be
completed in 2022. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Coming up,
thousands of volunteers create hygiene kits for
girls around the world, boxes of love for those
recovering from tragedy, and provide shelter for
those who need it most. These stories and
more, In the News. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints and the larger faith community
in Northern California made a big difference in the
lives of thousands of women around the world
through an initiative called Days for Girls. About 1,000 volunteers
from five churches and other community
organizations in
Rocklin, California, worked to create
2,000 hygiene kits made especially to assist
women during menstruation. – All over this world, there
are women who lose days of their life to something
as simple as menstruation. This, it helps them to
stay in the classroom, to be able to go to work,
to have their days back. – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints
and Muslims in New Zealand joined hands to
create Boxes of Love, a new initiative focused on
providing food to families impacted by the tragedy
of the mosque shootings in Christchurch in March. The founder of the
initiative, Hafsa Ahmed, reached out to local
Latter-day Saint Church leaders to help with the effort. The
result has been a demonstration of humanity and faith, all to
help a community as it heals. – This has been a very
intense experience, to share the challenges that
are placed upon these people. We love them and the
community loves them. – [Narrator] In addition
to Church members donating their time and
vehicles, Latter-day
Saint Charities has donated $25,000 for the
construction of housing units for the homeless in
Oakland, California. – We’ll be able to house
about 76 people here in total. It’s a great way for the
community to get involved. It helps us stretch
our budget further to serve more people. – [Narrator] In addition to
housing, this project aims to provide access
to clothing, food, hygiene supplies, mental health and addiction recovery
resources, and health care. During the National Governors
Association Summer Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah,
spouses of governors from around the United States toured the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center. Led by Latter-day Saint
Charities president, Sister Sharon Eubank,
the governors’ spouses assembled hygiene kits for the ongoing hurricane
and fire season. – Tell us about the
introductory guides. – [Narrator] In September,
President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, along with other Church
leaders, outlined details for the Church’s new
Children and Youth program. – Helping children and
youth to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ will
bless them and all of us all of our lives. – [Narrator] This new program
will replace Scouting, Personal Progress, Duty
to God, and Faith in God beginning in January 2020. As a part of the
Church’s new initiative for children and youth,
the For the Strength of Youth program
will be expanded. Based on the Especially
for Youth program, run by Brigham Young University, FSY will include a five-day
conference of activities, devotionals, and classes
providing opportunities to grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually. President M. Russell
Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, ministered to the
people of India in May, marking his first
visit to the country. Accompanied by
Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric,
President Ballard encouraged Church members to
prepare for the coming temple in Bengaluru, the first
temple to be built in India. – [Narrator] Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and
Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse traveled to West Africa in
late May, where they spoke and met with government
leaders in that region. Elder Christofferson
spoke with Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana,
about strengthening families and about humanitarian
work being done by Church members there. Straight ahead, we return
to the city by the bay and see the history, design,
and breathtaking restoration of the Oakland California
Temple, when we come right back. (peaceful music) It’s a gleaming landmark
in daylight or darkness, from any vantage point of
the San Francisco Bay Area. The 13th temple constructed by The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, perched in the Oakland Hills,
serves as a beacon to all. The iconic 95,000-square-foot
structure underwent phases of temporary closures
for renovation over the past few years, most recently for nearly
a year and a half. This year, for the first time
since its original open house in 1964, the public had a chance to experience the unique beauty of the Oakland California
Temple, prior to
being rededicated for its sacred purpose. Land was purchased by
the Church in 1943, a large multifunction
meetinghouse was
built in the 1950s, and construction started
on the temple in 1962. With each reinforced
concrete layer, the vision of architect Harold W.
Burton began to take shape. – He wanted to celebrate
things like air conditioning and artificial lighting and these technological
breakthroughs that had been happening in the first
half of the 20th century. So he incorporated a
windowless building. – [Narrator] Burton also
added towers, the center reaching 170 feet,
uncharacteristic
of modern design but appropriate for
the look of a temple. Frieze-style reliefs,
reminiscent of more
classical motifs, depicting the Savior
in different scenes were added to the front
and back of the temple. – People at first glance think, “Oh, this must be Christ
and His Twelve Apostles.” But a closer look shows that there are women
and children there. These are His disciples;
these are His followers. And all of us, as we approach
the front door of the temple, can look up and
consider ourselves among the group assembled
there as His disciples. – [Narrator] What may be
considered even more unique is the subtle Asian influence
found in the temple’s exterior spires, upturned
roof caps, and railing. – It’s completely in
tune with its location, with the San Francisco Bay Area. – [Narrator] Adding more
distinction, a one-of-a-kind water feature that cascaded
down from the second-level garden terrace into a
courtyard reflection pool, but removed in 1969 because
of irreparable leaks. With modern-day
materials and technology, the leaking problem
was rectified and the aesthetically pleasing
waterfall feature restored. – [Emily] So now to enter
the building, you walk under the waterfall to
get to the front door. – [Narrator] Other
technological improvements include seismic updates and
converting steam boilers to more energy-efficient
natural gas. The main floor includes
a new waiting area and one of the only
areas with windows, added in the latest remodeling,
to pick up the natural light and view of the courtyard’s
reflection pool. – In the morning the sun will
rise through the windows, and it’s like, it never had
that in this building before. – [Narrator] The bridal
room, also on the main floor, features elegant
full-length mirrors, opulent crystal sconces, and refined
oriental-design seating. The second floor of the temple
contains instruction rooms, where temple patrons learn
about God’s Creation, His love, the purpose of life,
and where they receive the most sacred
sacraments of their faith. This was one of the first
temples to employ film instead of a live presentation
that enables more patrons to participate in one session. Burton believed a windowless
design and theateresque setting would enhance the
viewing experience. Sealing rooms are located
on the third level, adorned with dark
cherrywood paneling and backlit marble altars. This is where families can
be joined together forever. The mirrors remind
patrons of that blessing with seemingly endless
reflections that
symbolize eternity. The celestial room represents the progression
to heaven itself. Wood, marble, and
elegant furnishings reflect modernism’s
vintage color palette, while the continuing
oriental theme is present, down to painstaking detail in
the sculpted carpet design, mirrored on the
ceiling in gold leaf. – [Emily] We hope that when
you walk into this temple now, it will still feel very much
like a 1960s modern building. – We want people who
are not of our faith to have an understanding
of what we believe and who we are and what’s
the purpose of the temple. It isn’t just building
something magnificent. It has a purpose to bring
us closer to heaven, bring us closer to Jesus
Christ, who we worship. – [Narrator] This has been the World Report
for October 2019. – [Narrator] To watch
the World Report online, go to
Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org WE K
HE RE, AND
THAT HE DID HAVE MORE
PREPARED FOR US, BUT IT WOULD MEAN THAT WE HAD
TO CHOOSE TO COME TO THIS EARTH AND HAVE SOME HARD EXPERIENCES. JESUS CHRIST VOLUNTEERED TO
HELP MAKE THE PLAN OF SALVATION POSSIBLE, AND HE KNEW
THAT WE WOULD NEED SOMEONE TO HELP US GET BACK
TO HEAVENLY FATHER, THAT WE COULDN’T
DO IT ON OUR OWN. AND WE CHOSE THAT WE WOULD
ACCEPT IT AND COME DOWN TO EARTH AND BE PART OF
THIS EARTHLY EXISTENCE. WHY DOES LIFE HAVE
TO BE SO HARD? WELL, WE’RE HERE
TO LEARN, RIGHT? HOW WILL WE UNDERSTAND
THE DIFFERENCE IF WE DON’T EXPERIENCE THE
DIFFICULT AND THE HARDNESS? HOW WILL WE KNOW
HAPPINESS IF WE DON’T EXPERIENCE PAIN AND SADNESS? SO HEAVENLY FATHER HAS VERY
CAREFULLY PUT THOSE OPPOSITES TOGETHER TO GROW
US AND TO TEACH US AND TO EXPAND US AND EVOLVE
US AS SPIRITUAL BEINGS. I THINK FOR THOSE
THAT ARE STRUGGLING, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE, AND
THERE ALWAYS WILL BE HOPE. THROUGH THOSE STRUGGLES
THAT WE HAVE IN LIFE, THROUGH THOSE CHALLENGES,
WE ARE ABLE TO DRAW NEARER TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
IF WE CHOOSE TO, IF WE WANT TO DO THAT. AND WE’RE ABLE TO FIND
PEACE WITH OUR SAVIOR IF WE WANT TO FIND PEACE. I WAS EIGHT YEARS
OLD WHEN MUM DIED, AND PROBABLY NOT
REALIZING IT AT THE TIME, BUT I THINK THAT STARTED FOR ME
A LIFELONG PURSUIT OF FINDING OUT ABOUT HER, WHERE
SHE IS, AND WHERE I NEED TO BE TO BE WITH HER. I FOUND OUT THAT
SHE’S STILL ALIVE. MUM, RIGHT NOW, LIVES
IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, AND I FOUND THAT OUT FOR MYSELF. BUT I FOUND OUT, TOO, THAT I
COULD QUALIFY TO SEE HER AGAIN. AND SO THAT’S BEEN A DRIVING
FORCE IN MY LIFE–MY ENTIRE LIFE. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY
LIFE AFTER DEATH. IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN
SEE, BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FEEL. AND THAT ALSO COMES WITH
KNOWLEDGE AND THROUGH STUDY OF THE SCRIPTURES. I LOST MY WIFE FOUR
YEARS AGO, AND SO THAT MOTIVATES ME TO KEEP ON
THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH SO THAT I CAN BE WITH MY WIFE
AGAIN IN THIS LIFE HEREAFTER. AFTER DEATH I DO BELIEVE
THAT WE WILL BE PERFECTED. I TOLD MY HUSBAND MANY
YEARS AGO THAT HE’LL BE ABLE TO SING IN TUNE AFTER. AND FOR MYSELF, BECAUSE I
HAVE THE PANCREATIC CANCER, THE BREAST CANCER, I HAVE
DAMAGED DISCS IN MY LOWER SPINE–EACH DAY THAT I
LIVE HERE ON THE EARTH, WITH FAITH AND HOPE IN
HEAVENLY FATHER’S BLESSINGS, I AM ACTUALLY WORKING
TOWARD THE FACT THAT I KNOW, AFTER THIS LIFE, I’LL BE ABLE
TO THROW THIS CRUTCH AWAY AND I’LL BE RUNNING MARATHONS
AND I WILL BE PERFECTED, AS WE ALL WILL BE. BECAUSE I KNOW
THAT THERE IS MORE, AND THAT THERE IS A HEAVENLY
FATHER THAT HAS A PLAN, AND WHO KNEW THAT THESE
THINGS WOULD HAPPEN BUT LOVED US ENOUGH
TO SEND US HERE, I THINK IT MAKES ANYTHING
YOU GO THROUGH BEARABLE. AND I THINK HAVING
THAT KNOWLEDGE ALSO MAKES YOU MORE LOVING
OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU AND WANTING TO HELP THEM TO
GET THROUGH THEIR HARD TIMES, TOO, SO THAT THEY KNOW
THERE’S MORE THAN WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW,
BUT THAT THERE’S ETERNAL HAPPINESS AHEAD. ESSENTIAL TO THE
PLAN OF SALVATION IS OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. WITHOUT HIS ATONING
SACRIFICE, ALL WOULD BE LOST. IT IS NOT ENOUGH,
HOWEVER, MERELY TO BELIEVE IN HIM AND HIS MISSION. WE NEED TO WORK AND LEARN,
SEARCH AND PRAY, REPENT AND IMPROVE. WE NEED TO KNOW GOD’S
LAWS AND LIVE THEM. WE NEED TO RECEIVE
HIS SAVING ORDINANCES. ONLY BY DOING SO WILL WE
OBTAIN TRUE, ETERNAL HAPPINESS. GOD REVEALS TO HIS PROPHETS
THAT THERE ARE MORAL ABSOLUTES. SIN WILL ALWAYS BE SIN. DISOBEDIENCE TO THE
LORD’S COMMANDMENTS WILL ALWAYS DEPRIVE
US OF HIS BLESSINGS. THE WORLD CHANGES
CONSTANTLY AND DRAMATICALLY, BUT GOD, HIS COMMANDMENTS,
AND PROMISED BLESSINGS DO NOT CHANGE. THEY ARE IMMUTABLE, UNCHANGING. MEN AND WOMEN RECEIVE THEIR
AGENCY AS A GIFT FROM GOD, BUT THEIR LIBERTY–IN TURN,
THEIR ETERNAL HAPPINESS–COMES FROM OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW. ONE WAY TO MEASURE OURSELVES
AND COMPARE US TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS IS BY THE OLDEST
STANDARD KNOWN TO MAN–THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. FOR MUCH OF THE CIVILIZED
WORLD, PARTICULARLY THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN WORLD,
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HAVE BEEN THE MOST ACCEPTABLE
AND ENDURING DELINEATION BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. IN MY JUDGMENT, FOUR
OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE TAKEN AS SERIOUSLY
TODAY AS EVER. AS A CULTURE, WE
DISDAIN AND CONDEMN MURDER, STEALING, AND
LYING, AND WE STILL BELIEVE IN THE RESPONSIBILITY
OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS. BUT AS A LARGER
SOCIETY, WE ROUTINELY DISMISS THE OTHER
SIX COMMANDMENTS: IF WORLDLY PRIORITIES
ARE ANY INDICATION, WE CERTAINLY HAVE “OTHER GODS”
WE PUT BEFORE THE TRUE GOD. WE MAKE IDOLS OF CELEBRITIES,
OF LIFESTYLE, OF WEALTH, AND YES, SOMETIMES EVEN
GRAVEN IMAGES OR OBJECTS. WE USE THE NAME OF GOD IN
ALL KINDS OF PROFANE WAYS, INCLUDING OUR EXCLAMATIONS
AND OUR SWEARING. WE USE THE SABBATH DAY FOR
OUR BIGGEST GAMES, OUR MOST SERIOUS RECREATION, OUR
HEAVIEST SHOPPING, AND VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING ELSE BUT WORSHIP. WE TREAT SEXUAL RELATIONS
OUTSIDE MARRIAGE AS A RECREATION,
AN ENTERTAINMENT. AND COVETING HAS BECOME A
FAR TOO COMMON WAY OF LIFE. A USEFUL WAY TO THINK
ABOUT THE COMMANDMENTS IS THEY ARE LOVING COUNSEL FROM
AN ALL-WISE HEAVENLY FATHER. HIS GOAL IS OUR
ETERNAL HAPPINESS, AND HIS COMMANDMENTS
ARE A ROADMAP HE HAS GIVEN US TO RETURN TO
HIM, WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL BE ETERNALLY HAPPY. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE
TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN YOUR LIFE ARE
THE DAY YOU ARE BORN AND THE DAY THAT YOU FIND
OUT WHY YOU WERE BORN. BECAUSE WE HAVE THE
GOSPEL, WE DON’T HAVE TO SPEND OUR ENTIRE LIFE
TRYING TO DISCOVER ITS PURPOSE. INSTEAD, WE CAN FOCUS ON
FULFILLING THAT PURPOSE. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THREE
SMALL AND SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK TO GOD THAT WILL
HELP US MAINTAIN OUR FOCUS ON OUR ETERNAL PURPOSE. FIRST, AS WE PARTAKE OF
THE SACRAMENT, TOO OFTEN WE JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. NOTICE THE FOCUS THAT IS
PLACED ON REMEMBERING, AND CONSIDER WHY
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT. THERE ARE COUNTLESS WAYS
WE CAN KEEP OUR PROMISE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE SAVIOR
IN THE COURSE OF A DAY. HOW WILL YOU ALWAYS
REMEMBER HIM? MOST WOULD SAY PRAY AND
STUDY THE SCRIPTURES. AND YOU’D BE RIGHT, IF–AND
THAT’S A BIG IF–THEY ARE DONE WITH REAL INTENT. PRAYING AND STUDYING
THE SCRIPTURES ARE THE NEXT TWO SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO STRESS. PROPHETS PAST AND PRESENT
HAVE PLEADED WITH US TO DO THE SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS, LIKE PRAYING AND
STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES. SO WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE DO THEM? PERHAPS ONE REASON IS
THAT WE DON’T NECESSARILY SEE DRAMATIC,
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IF WE MISS A DAY OR TWO. YEARS AGO, I PLANTED TWO
TREES OF THE SAME SPECIES AND THE SAME HEIGHT
IN MY BACKYARD. I PLANTED ONE WHERE IT
GOT A LITTLE SUN DAILY, AND I PLANTED THE OTHER WHERE
IT ENJOYED FULL SUNLIGHT. OVER THE NEXT YEAR, I DIDN’T
NOTICE MUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE GROWTH OF THE TWO TREES. BUT THEN MY WIFE AND I LEFT
ON A THREE-YEAR MISSION. WHEN WE RETURNED, I WAS
SHOCKED AT THE BIG DIFFERENCE. THE COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF
A LITTLE MORE SUN EACH DAY MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE OVER
TIME IN THE GROWTH OF THE TREES. THE SAME THING
HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES, AS WE EXPOSE OURSELVES EACH
DAY TO THE SOURCE OF ALL LIGHT. THIS SIMPLE IDEA, THE
COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF DAILY DISCIPLINES WITH
PURPOSE AND REAL INTENT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
IN ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE. IT CAN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN STRUGGLING THROUGH AN ORDINARY LIFE OR
BEING IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL AND FILLING THE MEASURE
OF YOUR CREATION. [ HAWAIIAN MUSIC PLAYS ] I’M SO GLAD
WE DECIDED TO DO THIS. IT WASN’T THAT HARD. AND THE KIDS LOVE IT. HEY, DAD. [ DELIGHTED SCREAMS
AND LAUGHTER ] GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. WHEN I WAS
ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD, I REMEMBER TAKING SOMETHING
THAT DIDN’T BELONG TO ME. LOOKING BACK ON THAT DAY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY
FOR MY DAD TO LECTURE ME AND HOPE I NEVER
DID IT AGAIN. WHATEVER I TOOK
WASN’T WORTH MUCH… BUT THE LESSON I LEARNED
WAS WORTH EVERYTHING. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. [SHOUTING] [SWORDS CLANK]
WATCH OUT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! …BUT WHEN IT
MATTERED MOST… GIVE ME
ALL YOUR TREASURE! IMAGINE WHAT A LITTLE TIME
CAN DO FOR YOUR FAMILY. AH, HA!
TAKE THAT! MISSED ME! UHH! [INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC] IN PROVERBS 3:5-6,
WE READ THIS COUNSEL: “TRUST IN THE LORD
WITH ALL THINE HEART; AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE
OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM,
AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.” TRUSTING IN THE LORD IS
LETTING THE LORD GUIDE YOU INSTEAD OF TRYING TO
FOLLOW YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR OWN WISDOM. I TRUST THE LORD 110 PERCENT
BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IF I FALL, HE’LL PICK ME UP
AND THAT THERE WILL BE NO CUTS OR BRUISES THERE. EVERYTHING WILL BE HEALED. I DO TRUST THE LORD. AND I’VE HAD TOO MANY
EXPERIENCES NOT TO TRUST HIM. IF I TRY TO DO IT MYSELF,
IT’S WAY HARDER AND BUMPIER, AND IT’S A ROUGH PATH TO TAKE. TRUSTING IN THE LORD
MEANS TRUST THAT HE HAS A PURPOSE FOR WHATEVER IS
HAPPENING TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE. SO IF HE IS GIVING YOU A TRIAL,
THAT TRIAL IS FOR A REASON. WHEN WE SPIRITUALLY LEAN
TO OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, WE LEAN AWAY FROM OUR SAVIOR. IF WE LEAN, WE ARE NOT
CENTERED, WE ARE NOT BALANCED, AND WE ARE NOT
FOCUSED ON CHRIST. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS OUT
THERE THAT ARE DISTRACTING AND DEFINITELY TAKE AWAY
FOCUS FROM THE SAVIOR. I THINK I GREW UP IN, I WOULD
SAY, KIND OF A SLOW WORLD. AND AS I’VE GROWN, IT’S
GOTTEN FASTER AND FASTER. AND IT’S PRETTY MUCH A
WORLD OF DISTRACTIONS. I’VE HAD BAD EXPERIENCES
WITH FRIENDS. I HAD AN OPTION TO
CHOOSE RIGHT FROM WRONG. I CHOSE WRONG. AND IN THAT, I FELT
LIKE I HAD NO ONE, BUT I KNEW THAT HE WAS THERE. WE MUST EACH ASK, “HOW DO I
KEEP CENTERED AND LEAN NOT TO MY OWN UNDERSTANDING?” SPIRITUAL BALANCE
ISN’T EASY TO GET. IT’S SOMETHING THAT’S
GOING TO TAKE YEARS. TO HAVE GOOD BALANCE
IN THE GOSPEL, TO ME, IS MAKING TIME FOR PRAYER
AND SCRIPTURE STUDY, ALSO ATTENDING CHURCH AND HAVING
FAMILY TIME AT FAMILY HOME EVENING. GOING BACK TO THE
BASICS–PRAYER, SCRIPTURE, ATTENDING CHURCH–IS ALWAYS
A GOOD WAY OF KEEPING YOUR BALANCE. JESUS CHRIST HAS
OVERCOME THE WORLD. AND BECAUSE OF HIM, BECAUSE
OF HIS INFINITE ATONEMENT, WE ALL HAVE GREAT
CAUSE TO TRUST, KNOWING THAT ULTIMATELY
ALL WILL BE WELL. THE LORD HAS DIRECTED MY PATH. I KNOW THAT OUR SAVIOR
AND OUR REDEEMER LOVES US AND THAT HE SACRIFICED HIS
LIFE FOR UIN ORDER FOR US TO FIND JOY AND BE HAPPY. AND I KNOW THAT WE’RE
ONLY GOING TO FIND PEACE WHEN WE’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH. IF WE TRUST IN OUR HEAVENLY
FATHER AND IN OUR SAVIOR AND LEAN NOT TO OUR
OWN UNDERSTANDING, THEY WILL DIRECT OUR PATHS AND
WILL EXTEND THE ARM OF MERCY TOWARD US. [INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC] [MUSIC PLAYING] DURING THE KOREAN WAR,
ENSIGN FRANK BLAIR SERVED ON A TROOP TRANSPORT
SHIP STATIONED IN JAPAN. THE SHIP WASN’T LARGE ENOUGH
TO HAVE A FORMAL CHAPLAIN, SO THE CAPTAIN ASKED BROTHER
BLAIR TO BE THE SHIP’S INFORMAL CHAPLAIN, HAVING
OBSERVED THAT THE YOUNG MAN WAS A PERSON OF FAITH AND
PRINCIPLE, HIGHLY RESPECTED BY THE WHOLE CREW. I’D BEEN SERVING
WITH THE CAPTAIN FOR ABOUT A YEAR ON THIS LST. AND HE WAS AWARE THAT I HAD
PRAYED AND FOLLOWED THE SPIRIT, MAKING SOME SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCES IN TERMS OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
SHIP AND TO THE CREW. THESE KINDS OF SCENES HAD
HELPED HIM TO GAIN TRUST IN ME. AND SO THIS PARTICULAR TIME,
WE WERE CAUGHT IN THIS TYPHOON. THE WAVES WERE
OVER 40 FEET HIGH. I WAS ON WATCH, DURING WHICH
TIME ONE OF THE THREE ENGINES STOPPED WORKING AND A CRACK
IN THE CENTERLINE OF THE SHIP WAS REPORTED. WE HAD TWO REMAINING
ENGINES, ONE OF WHICH WAS ONLY FUNCTIONING
AT HALF POWER. WE WERE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. I FINISHED MY WATCH AND
WAS GETTING INTO BED WHEN THE CAPTAIN KNOCKED AT MY DOOR. AS YOU WERE. ENSIGN BLAIR, WOULD YOU
PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS SHIP? YES, SIR. [BOAT CREAKING] FATHER IN HEAVEN,
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? [WIND HOWLING] [WAVES CRASHING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN. ENSIGN. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW IN
ORDER TO BEST HELP THE SHIP? FIRST OF ALL, HOW FAST WE CAN
RUN THE REMAINING ENGINES. SECOND, AT WHAT ANGLE
TO HIT THE WAVES. AND THIRD, HOW MUCH WATER TO
KEEP IN THE BALLAST TANKS. YES, SIR. FATHER IN HEAVEN, WHAT CAN I DO
TO HELP ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? THE THOUGHT CAME TO ME, “YOU
NEED TO MOVE AROUND THE SHIP AND GO TO THE AREAS
THAT ARE OF CONCERN AND GET A FEEL FROM
ACTUALLY BEING RIGHT THERE.” [MUSIC PLAYING] ONE OF THE THINGS I
DECIDED I NEEDED TO DO WAS GO OUT ON THE
FANTAIL AND SEE WHAT WAS CREATING THE VIBRATIONS
THAT WERE DAMAGING THE ENGINES. PERMISSION TO GO ON DECK, SIR. [THUNDER ROLLING] BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, ENSIGN. I CONNECTED UND MY WAIST AND WENT OUT INTO THE STORM. [WIND HOWLING] WHEN I GOT OUT ON THE
STERN OF THE SHIP, I NOTICED WHEN THE SHIP WENT
OVER A WAVE AND THE FRONT OF IT FELL DOWN, THE STERN
CAME OUT OF THE WATER AND THE PROPELLERS WERE
SPEEDING UP VERY FAST. SO WHEN THEY HIT THE WATER,
THAT PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE PROPELLERS. IT CREATED SEVERE VIBRATIONS
ON THE DRIVE SHAFT THAT RAN BACK TO THE ENGINES. [MUSIC PLAYING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN, WE NEED TO
SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. THE ENGINEER JUST
RECOMMENDED THE OPPOSITE. ENSIGN, WE NEED TO
OUTRUN THIS STORM. YES, SIR. BUT THE ENGINES ARE
UNDER TOO MUCH STRAIN. SIR, I FEEL VERY STRONGLY
WE HAVE TO SLOW THEM DOWN. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. AYE, SIR. [BELL RINGING] ONLY TWO HOURS LATER,
THE GOOD ENGINE STOPPED WORKING ALTOGETHER. WITH HALF POWER IN
THE REMAINING ENGINE, THE SHIP WAS ABLE
TO LIMP INTO PORT. [MUSIC PLAYING] IF WE HAD NOT SLOWED
THAT ENGINE WHEN WE DID, WE WOULD’VE LOST IT IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM. WITH NO WAY TO
STEER THE SHIP, WE’D BE SITTING AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE SEA RIGHT NOW. ENSIGN, THANK YOU
FOR YOUR PRAYERS. YOUR SPIRITUAL
IMPRESSIONS, I BELIEVE, SAVED BOTH THE
SHIP AND THIS CREW. I LEARNED FROM MY
EXPERIENCES IN THE NAVY THAT MY NAVY COMMANDER
HAD SOME IDEAS THAT WERE IMPORTANT FOR ME. BUT I ALSO LEARNED THAT
MY COMMANDING OFFICER WAS THE HOLY GHOST. YOU NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT ALL THE TIME AND BEING
USED TO UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SPIRIT WORKS
THROUGH YOUR MIND AND THROUGH YOUR HEART. AND YOU NEED TO BE USED TO
THAT SO THAT WHEN YOU GET CAUGHT IN A SITUATION,
THAT YOU CAN BE BLESSED, AND YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THE
SPIRIT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. BEING SPIRITUALLY
SELF-RELIANT IS TO BE ABLE TO HEAR THE LORD’S
VOICE THROUGH HIS SPIRIT FOR ONE’S OWN LIFE. ENSIGN BLAIR’S ABILITY
TO RECEIVE REVELATION SAVED HIM AND HIS SHIPMATES
FROM A RAGING STORM. OTHER KINDS OF STORMS
ARE RAGING TODAY. 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.” [MUSIC PLAYING] WE TRUSTED THE LORD, AND WE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING! WE WILL FIND ANOTHER WAY. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE NOW? RETURN TO THE HOUSE OF THAT
THIEF? THEY WILL KILL US BEFORE
WE GET TO THE DOOR! WE MUST GO BACK. WE CANNOT DISAPPOINT
FATHER OR THE LORD. YOU ARE A FOOL! – YOU ARE A FOOL!
-LAMAN! FATHER IS A FOOL! WHY DO YE SMITE YOUR
YOUNGER BROTHER WITH A ROD? KNOW YE NOT THAT THE LORD
HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A RULER OVER YOU, AND THIS BECAUSE OF YOUR
INIQUITIES? BEHOLD, YE SHALL GO UP TO JERUSALEM
AGAIN, AND THE LORD WILL DELIVER
LABAN INTO YOUR HANDS. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE LORD
WILL DELIVER LABAN INTO OUR
HANDS? -HE IS A MIGHTY MAN.
-HE CAN COMMAND FIFTY, YEA, EVEN HE CAN SLAY FIFTY; THEN WHY NOT US? LET US GO UP AGAIN UNTO
JERUSALEM. LET US BE FAITHFUL IN KEEPING
THE
COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. HE IS MIGHTIER THAN ALL THE
EARTH, THEN WHY NOT MIGHTIER THAN
LABAN AND HIS FIFTY, OR EVEN THAN HIS TENS OF
THOUSANDS? LET US GO UP; LET US BE STRONG LIKE UNTO
MOSES; FOR HE TRULY SPAKE UNTO THE
WATERS OF THE RED SEA AND THEY DIVIDED,
AND OUR FATHERS CAME THROUGH, OUT OF CAPTIVITY, ON DRY GROUND. NEPHI, THIS IS NOT THE SAME! AN ANGEL HAS SPOKEN UNTO YOU; WHEREFORE CAN YE DOUBT? LET US GO UP; THE LORD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US, EVEN AS OUR FATHERS. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. I REMEMBER A TIME WHEN
I WASN’T BEING VERY NICE TO ONE OF THE
GIRLS AT SCHOOL. I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS
A BIG DEAL, BUT IN ONE SENTENCE
MY MOM HELPED ME UNDERSTAND. SHE SAID, “MI HIJA, YOU
NEED TO TREAT OTHERS “THE WAY YOU WANT
TO BE TREATED.” I THOUGHT ABOUT
THAT A LOT. I STILL DO. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. BUSY– STUDIES SHOW
THAT BY THE TIME I’M 12 I CAN BE INFLUENCED BY FRIENDS
MORE THAN PARENTS. GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. LOOK AT THIS PLACE! ISN’T IT AMAZING? THIS IS KIRTLAND VILLAGE ON THE
BACK LOT OF THE MOTION PICTURE STUDIO IN PROVO, UTAH. THIS IS WHERE A LOT OF
THE CHURCH HISTORY FILMS ARE PRODUCED. AND I THINK THAT IT’S
THE PERFECT PLACE TO TALK ABOUT SAINTS. THIS IS SAINTS VOLUME 1. MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT. OVER 400,000 PRINT
COPIES HAVE BEEN SOLD, AND OVER A MILLION PEOPLE
HAVE READ IT ELECTRONICALLY. IT’S AVAILABLE IN 14 LANGUAGES. SO WHAT ARE READERS
SAYING ABOUT SAINTS? I REALLY APPRECIATED,
WITH SAINTS VOLUME 1, HOW THE SOURCES
WERE ALL IN THE BOOK, BUT IF I WANTED MORE
INFORMATION, I COULD GO ONLINE AND I COULD DIG A LITTLE
DEEPER ON THE THINGS I HAD MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT. SAINTS VOLUME 1–YES,
IT IS A HISTORY BOOK, BUT IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE ONE. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S
JUST A JOURNAL, ALMOST. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S A
BOOK THAT YOU PICKED UP AT SCHOOL, TYPE THING. I LOVE THE TRANSPARENCY,
BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WANT TO TRY AND
DRAG DOWN OUR FAITH BY SAYING, “THERE’S SECRETS YOU
DON’T KNOW, AND THE CHURCH KEEPS THESE THINGS FROM YOU.” BUT IT’S NOT THE CASE. THEY’RE JUST THINGS
YOU HAVEN’T READ YET. AND WHEN YOU SEE THE
STORY–THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY–YOU REALIZE THAT
THEY’RE JUST ORDINARY PEOPLE TRYING TO DO
EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. IT WAS NOT A “STORY” THAT WAS
TOLD; IT WAS REAL HISTORY. AND WE GET TO BE PART OF IT. I FEEL LIKE ONE
OF THE CHARACTERS I GOT TO KNOW REALLY THE
BEST WAS JOSEPH, AND JUST HIS STORY OF PROGRESSION AND
WATCHING HIM BECOME THE PROPHET THAT HE WAS, YOU KNOW,
THROUGH THE MISTAKES HE MADE AND HIS
LEARNING EXPERIENCES, HOW HE WAS ABLE TO
GROW INTO WHO HE NEEDED TO BE TO LEAD THE CHURCH. ONE THING I LOVED ABOUT VOLUME
1 WAS THE STORIES OF THE WOMEN. THEY WENT THROUGH SO MUCH THAT
WE DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT. AS A WOMAN, I COULD
FEEL FOR THEM, HAVING TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES
WHEN THEIR HUSBAND WAS OFF ACROSS THE WORLD. IT REALLY WAS AN
EXAMPLE TO ME OF HOW WOMEN WERE SO STRONG
IN THE CHURCH, AND WE DIDN’T ALWAYS
HEAR ABOUT THAT UNTIL THIS BOOK, THE SAINTS. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME 2 BEGAN
APPEARING IN CHURCH MAGAZINES IN JULY. THE CHAPTERS ARE ALSO
AVAILABLE IN THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION OF THE GOSPEL LIBRARY. VIDEOS DEPICTING SOME OF
THE STORIES FROM VOLUME 2 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE IN
THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP. SO YOU CAN WATCH WHILE YOU WAIT! LET’S TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT SOME
OF THESE INCREDIBLE STORIES FROM SAINTS VOLUME 2. IN 1843, WHEN JOSEPH SMITH
CALLS ADDISON PRATT AND KNOWLTON HANKS AND NOAH ROGERS
AND BENJAMIN GROUARD ON THIS MISSION TO
THE PACIFIC, IT’S REALLY A LANDMARK IN THE HISTORY
OF LATTER-DAY SAINT MISSIONS. IT’S BY FAR THE LONGEST
MISSIONARY JOURNEY THAT HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED IN
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH UP TO THIS POINT. [SPEAKING FRENCH] I WAS AREA PRESIDENT
IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FROM 1998 TO 2001, AND I
WENT TO ONE OF THOSE ISLANDS THAT ADDISON PRATT HAD BEEN ON. AND THIS 17, 18–TEENAGE
GIRL GETS UP AND TALKS. AND SHE’S THE SEVENTH-GENERATION
MEMBER OF HER FAMILY. I’M A DESCENDANT OF PIONEERS;
I’M THE FIFTH GENERATION. SHE WAS THE SEVENTH GENERATION. THEY MAY FEEL LIKE
THEY’RE FAR OFF, BUT THEY’RE PART OF
CHURCH HISTORY TOO. SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS
THE STORY OF THE FIRST TEMPLE TO BE BUILT AFTER NAUVOO. THE ST. GEORGE SAINTS LIVED
TOO FAR TO COME TO SALT LAKE. AND SO BRIGHAM YOUNG SAID, “WE
WILL BRING THE TEMPLE TO YOU. WE WILL BUILD A
TEMPLE THAT IS SMALLER IN SCALE THAN SALT LAKE. AND WE WILL BRING THE ORDINANCES
TO YOU, WHERE YOU LIVE.” SO THEY TOOK BLACK VOLCANIC ROCK
FROM A BLUFF NEAR THE TEMPLE SITE AND POUNDED IT INTO
THE GROUND WITH A CANNON THAT THEY HAD TURNED
INTO A PILE DRIVER. AND WHEN THAT PILE DRIVER
BOUNCED THREE TIMES, THEY KNEW THE GROUND
WAS STABLE ENOUGH TO BUILD THE FOUNDATION
ON TOP OF IT. IF YOU LIVED IN ST. GEORGE,
NO MATTER HOW POOR YOU WERE, YOU GAVE SOMETHING. WE HAVE STORIES OF
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH THAT DONATE ONE DOLLAR
BECAUSE THAT IS ALL THEY HAD. OTHER PEOPLE SEWED TOGETHER
CARPETS, FED THE WORKERS, MADE CLOTHES FOR THE WORKERS,
OR JUST WERE THERE IN SUPPORT. THESE PEOPLE WERE SO
EXCITED FOR THIS TEMPLE. THEY WERE SO EXCITED
THAT THE PROPHET WAS HERE TO DEDICATE THIS TEMPLE. EVER WONDER HOW VARIOUS CHURCH
ORGANIZATIONS CAME TO BE? SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS THE
STORY OF MARY ISABELLA HORNE AND THE FOUNDING OF THE
YOUNG WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION. AS THE RAILROAD IS
APPROACHING COMPLETION, THE SAINTS HAVE A GREAT DEAL
OF AMBIVALENCE ABOUT IT. IT WAS KIND OF, IN SOME WAYS,
LIKE WE FEEL ABOUT THE INTERNET TODAY, WHERE WE ARE EXCITED
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AND ALL OF THE OPPORTUNITY THAT
IT OPENS UP FOR LEARNING AND FOR CONNECTION
WITH THE WORLD. BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, WE RECOGNIZE THE POTENTIAL OF THIS
SO-CALLED INFORMATION HIGHWAY TO BRING IN ALL KINDS OF
INFLUENCES INTO OUR HOMES AND INTO OUR LIVES. THIS WAS REALLY WORRISOME
TO BRIGHAM YOUNG. SO HE CALLED ON
MARY ISABELLA HORNE TO LEAD WHAT HE CALLED
THE RETRENCHMENT MOVEMENT, THIS MOVEMENT
TO GROUND WOMEN IN WHAT REALLY MATTERED. AND THEY NEEDED THE YOUNG WOMEN
TO BE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT. IF YOU WANT A CULTURE TO CHANGE,
YOU NEED TO INVITE THE YOUTH. AND THE YOUNG WOMEN
HAVE A VITAL ROLE IN THAT PART OF
CHANGING CULTURE. SAINTS TELLS FAMILIAR STORIES
LIKE MISSIONS TO EUROPE, AND STORIES THAT YOU MAY
HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE, LIKE THE WOMEN OF
THE UTAH TERRITORY BEING THE FIRST WOMEN
IN THE NATION TO VOTE. IT TELLS INSPIRING STORIES
LIKE THE HANDCART RESCUE, AND TRAGIC STORIES LIKE THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
WE’LL LEARN WHY THE CHURCH HAS WRITTEN
SAINTS NOW AND IN SUCH A UNIQUE AND TRANSPARENT WAY. ELDER LEGRAND CURTIS JR. IS THE
CHURCH HISTORIAN AND RECORDER FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. WE ASKED ELDER CURTIS, ALONG
WITH A FEW OTHER EXPERTS, WHY THE CHURCH IS WRITING
THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. IN THE VERY MEETING WHERE
THE CHURCH WAS ORGANIZED IN APRIL OF 1830,
THE LORD SAID, “THERE SHALL BE A RECORD
KEPT AMONG YOU.” SAINTS IS A STORY OF NORMAL
PEOPLE TOUCHED BY THE HEAVENS. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT,
THAT’S ALL OF OUR ENDEAVOR. THAT’S ALL OF OUR JOURNEY
HERE, IS THAT WE ARE MORTAL, WE’RE NORMAL, BUT WE’RE TRYING
TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO. AND BY SEEING JOSEPH SMITH,
BY SEEING EMMA SMITH, BY SEEING THE NORMAL
PEOPLE, MALE AND FEMALE, WE CAN SEE BETTER HOW
WE CAN SERVE GOD NOW. SO IN THE PAST, OUR EFFORTS TO
WRITE THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH HAVE RELIED PRIMARILY ON PEOPLE
IN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS. THEIR VOICES HAVE BEEN
FEATURED AND HIGHLIGHTED. THIS EFFORT AT WRITING
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH RELIES MORE ON
COMMON PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO ARE UNSUNG HEROES,
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT OF TRADITIONAL EFFORTS TO WRITE
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. BRIGHAM YOUNG COUNSELED THE
CHURCH HISTORIANS IN THE 1860S, “WRITE IN THE NARRATIVE
STYLE,” HE SAID. HE KNEW, AS WE ALL
KNOW, SOMEWHERE IN US, THAT WE NEED STORIES. WE NEED THE STORIES OF OUR PAST
TO GIVE MEANING TO OUR PRESENT AND TO ORIENT US IN THE FUTURE. SO IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME, BASED
ON THE WONDERFUL RECEPTION OF SAINTS, THAT THAT
IDEA TO WRITE A NARRATIVE WAS THE RIGHT ONE. I AM THE LITERARY
EDITOR AND LEAD WRITER ON THE VOLUMES, WHICH MEANS
THAT I’M THE ONE WHO MAKES SURE THAT THE STORIES ARE
STRUCTURED IN A PLEASING WAY, IN AN ENGAGING WAY, IN A
WAY THAT PULLS READERS IN. AND IF YOU WANT TO
ENGAGE A READER, IF YOU WANT TO ENGAGE
SOMEONE–ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T NECESSARILY LIKE HISTORY
OR IS PUT OFF BY ACADEMIC WRITING–THEN NARRATIVE
IS THE WAY TO GO, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
LOVES A GOOD STORY. I HOPE THAT READERS OF
SAINTS WILL FIND THEMSELVES IN THE STORY. I HOPE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO
CONNECT WITH THE PIONEERS, WITH THE EARLY SAINTS, WITH
THE PEOPLE WHO CAME BEFORE US. WELL, I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN
WE THINK ABOUT OUR HISTORY, IT’S REALLY EASY TO FOCUS
ON TOUCHSTONES LIKE JOSEPH AND BRIGHAM AND TO THINK
ABOUT THOSE REALLY SINGULAR, ICONIC FIGURES WHO HAVE BECOME
CHARACTERS IN OUR KIND OF–THE TAPESTRY OF OUR HISTORY. AND THERE’S REALLY SO MUCH MORE
GOING ON, EVEN EARLY, EARLY, EARLY IN THE CHURCH’S HISTORY. SOME OF MY FAVORITE
STORIES IN VOLUME 2, SPECIFICALLY, CAME NEAR
THE END OF THE VOLUME. ONE WOMAN WHO I FOUND
PARTICULARLY COMPELLING WAS NAMED LORENA LARSEN. SHE IS JUST AN AVERAGE,
EVERYDAY WOMAN, BUT SHE DEALT WITH
THE CHALLENGES THAT CAME WHEN SHE HAD TO LIVE ON THE
UNDERGROUND WITH A GREAT DEAL OF FAITH. BUT SHE ALSO–SHE WROTE IN
A WAY THAT WAS VERY HONEST AND COMPELLING, WHICH MADE HER A
FANTASTIC SUBJECT BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO USE HER WORDS AND HER
EMOTIONS TO TELL HER STORY. AND I THINK READERS ARE GOING
TO REALLY IDENTIFY WITH LORENA. ONE OF THE WAYS THAT SAINTS IS
DIFFERENT THAN PAST HISTORIES PRODUCED BY THE CHURCH IS
THAT IT IS MULTILAYERED. SO THE TOP LAYER, AND THE MAIN
LAYER, IS THE NARRATIVE TEXT. THAT’S WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO GET THEIR INFORMATION. BUT OTHER PEOPLE, WE
KNOW, WILL WANT TO DIVE DEEPER ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC. SO ON OVER 115
TOPICS IN VOLUME 1, WE’VE WRITTEN SHORT
ESSAYS THAT ARE LINKED TO FROM THE
FOOTNOTES, THAT HELP EXPLORE A PARTICULAR PERSON,
PLACE, THEME IN GREATER DEPTH. FROM THE BEGINNING,
WE KNEW THAT SAINTS NEEDED TO BE TRANSLATED BROADLY,
AND SO IT’S IN 14 LANGUAGES. IT’S ALSO GLOBAL IN THE
STORIES THAT IT TELLS. IT TAKES A TEAM TO CREATE ALL
OF THE AMAZING TOOLS, TOPICS, AND RESOURCES THAT MAKE
UP THE SAINTS PROJECT. MANY PEOPLE HAVE PUT IN
COUNTLESS HOURS OF RESEARCHING, EDITING, AND WRITING. REVIEWERS FROM HARVARD TO HONG
KONG, BRAZIL TO BRIGHAM CITY, HAVE ALSO CONTRIBUTED
VALUABLE INSIGHTS TO HELP SAINTS REACH
MEMBERS OF A GLOBAL FAITH. I’VE LOVED BEING A
REVIEWER ON SAINTS. IT’S BEEN IMPORTANT TO ME
FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. ONE OF THE THINGS
SAINTS, THE BOOK SAINTS, DOES SO MAGNIFICENTLY,
I THINK, IS TAKE A VERY, VERY COMPLEX
AND DEEPLY GROUNDED STORY THAT’S BEEN DEVELOPED
THROUGH A LOT OF VERY SERIOUS SCHOLARSHIP. IT TRANSLATES VERY
SOPHISTICATED SCHOLARSHIP INTO AN ENGAGING AND
ACCESSIBLE NARRATIVE. I RECEIVED THE ASSIGNMENT
THROUGH THE GENERAL PRIMARY PRESIDENCY. AND THEY ASKED ME
TO REPRESENT THEM IN READING THROUGH
THE MANUSCRIPT. AS I READ VOLUME 1 AND
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, I FELT THIS
CONNECTION TO HISTORY. IT ENCOURAGED ME TO FEEL
LIKE I WAS PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN JUST MYSELF. AS A PRODUCT MANAGER FOR SAINTS,
ONE OF MY RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO TAKE THE WORDS THAT
HAVE BEEN CREATED AND WRITTEN BY THE HISTORIANS, THE
EDITORS, AND WRITERS AND TO THEN WORK AND
COORDINATE THE EFFORT TO HAVE THOSE WORDS TYPESET,
ILLUSTRATED, BOUND AND PRINTED, RECORDED IN AUDIOBOOK
FORMAT, AND MADE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS
AND OTHERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN OUR HISTORY. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
HOST THE SAINTS PODCAST. ON THE PODCAST I’M
ABLE TO INTERVIEW HISTORIANS AND WRITERS,
GENERAL AUTHORITIES, TO LEARN MORE
ABOUT THESE TOPICS. AND IT REALLY HAS BEEN
JUST A BLAST FOR ME TO EXPLORE THOSE THINGS
IN A LITTLE MORE DETAIL AND BRING IT TO THE AUDIENCE IN
KIND OF A FUN AND ENGAGING WAY. SO MY ROLE IN THE
SAINTS PROJECT IS, I’M PART OF THE EDITORIAL TEAM. AND IF YOU LOOK AT HOW
THE PROJECT UNFOLDS, YOU START WITH HISTORIANS. AND THEY KNOW THE STORIES;
THEY KNOW THE HISTORY. AND THEN THE EDITORIAL TEAM HAS
TWO PRINCIPAL ROLES, REALLY. FIRST, WE POLISH IT AND MAKE
IT AS READABLE AS POSSIBLE. AND THEN THE OTHER ROLE
IS THE SOURCE CHECKING. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE
HISTORIANS AND THOSE WRITERS HAVE GOT EVERYTHING RIGHT. SO MY JOB IS TO
CHECK THE SOURCE, SEE IF IT’S THE BEST SOURCE OR
IF THERE’S A BETTER VERSION. AND USUALLY THERE
IS; USUALLY THERE IS A MORE ORIGINAL VERSION,
FROM A TRANSCRIPTION TO A MANUSCRIPT OF A DIARY. AND SO I GET THE
PAGES, AND I LOOK TO MAKE SURE WHAT IS
WRITTEN ON THE PAGE IN SAINTS IS ACTUALLY ON
THE PAGE IN THE REAL SOURCE. LET’S TAKE A LOOK
AT HOW IT WORKS. SO WE’RE GOING TO START
IN THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP, AND I’M GOING TO CLICK ON
THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION. THEN WE’LL GO TO
SAINTS VOLUME 1. AND LET’S SAY THAT I’M READING
IN CHAPTER 2 ABOUT THE FIRST VISION. WE KNOW THAT SAINTS USES ALL
KNOWN ACCOUNTS OF THE FIRST VISION, SO I MIGHT BE
READING AND FIND A NEW DETAIL THAT I HADN’T KNOWN BEFORE. SO WE CAN CLICK
ON A FOOTNOTE–15, FOR EXAMPLE–TO FIND THE
SOURCES BEHIND WHAT IS WRITTEN. IF I TAP ON “NEIBAUR,
JOURNAL, MAY 24TH, 1844,” IT TAKES ME TO AN ACTUAL
DOCUMENT ON THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPERS WEBSITE. THEN I CAN JUST GO
BACK RIGHT HERE. AND I CAN CLICK ON
“CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN JOSEPH SMITH’S DAY.” AND THAT PROVIDES
ADDITIONAL CONTEXT. SAINTS IS ALSO AVAILABLE
AS AN AUDIOBOOK. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD
CAN LISTEN TO SAINTS WHILE THEY COMMUTE,
EXERCISE, OR JUST RELAX. LET’S GO MEET THE NARRATORS. MY ROLE WAS, I GOT TO RECORD THE
AUDIO FOR THE AUDIOBOOK, MYSELF AND MY FRIEND HILLARY. WE BOTH GOT TO RECORD IT. AND SO WE GOT TO SEE
IT AND READ THROUGH IT BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED. EVERY DAY THAT I GOT TO GO
INTO THE BOOTH WAS A PRIVILEGE. AND I STARTED OUT THE DAY AND
THE SESSION WITH THE PRAYER THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO
BRING TO LIFE THE INDIVIDUALS AND REPRESENT THEM
IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY, THAT I COULD REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHO THEY WERE. AND IN DOING SO, I THINK
I REALLY CAME TO LOVE THEM AND TO APPRECIATE
THEIR CONTRIBUTION. OK. NOW YOU KNOW THE WRITERS
AND HAVE MET THE NARRATORS. LET’S MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND
THE BEAUTIFUL COVER ART AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS
WITHIN THE BOOK. MY ROLE WAS TO BE THE
ILLUSTRATOR FOR THE PROJECT. I GOT TO DO ALL OF THE
COVER ARTWORK AND THE MAPS AND ALL OF THE CHAPTER HEADING
ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE VOLUMES. THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTWORK
WAS TO SHOW THE GLOBAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH, WITH THE
TEMPLES BEING THE ANCHOR POINTS ALONG THIS TIME LINE. AND I THOUGHT, “WOULDN’T
IT BE REALLY COOL IF I COULD SOMEHOW CREATE
A PANORAMA OF THE CHURCH’S HISTORY WITH ALL OF THE
TEMPLES DOTTING THE ARTWORK?” I THINK THERE’S A CERTAIN
NOSTALGIA ASPECT TO IT. IT HAS A CERTAIN
TIMELESS CHARM, MAYBE, THAT PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO. AND IT WAS REALLY
FUN TO BOIL DOWN, TO THE ESSENCE, A
MOMENT IN CHURCH HISTORY WITH A SINGLE IMAGE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK OF THE QUORUM OF
THE TWELVE APOSTLES WILL TELL US WHY THE CHURCH
HAS WRITTEN THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. STAY WITH US. DID YOU KNOW THAT UTAH
WOMEN WERE THE FIRST WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES TO VOTE? DID YOU KNOW THAT THE
SHOSHONE INDIANS HELPED TO BUILD THE LOGAN UTAH TEMPLE? EVER WONDER ABOUT THE CHALLENGES
OF POLYGAMY, BOTH TO THE CHURCH AND TO THE FAMILIES LIVING IT? ALL OF THESE STORIES AND
MORE ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED
SAINTS VOLUME 2. ONE ASPECT OF CHURCH
HISTORY THAT I HOPE ALL OF OUR MEMBERS
AROUND THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT IS THE FACT THAT UTAH WOMEN
WERE THE FIRST IN THE NATION TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? SUFFRAGE IS AN EXAMPLE OF WOMEN
BEING TREATED AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN THINKING OF THEMSELVES
AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN TAKING SERIOUSLY
THE POTENTIAL THEY HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY
AND MAKE SOCIETY BETTER. OUR SHOSHONE CHIEF
SAGWITCH WAS TOLD BY THREE MEN THAT APPEARED
TO HIM IN HIS DREAM THAT THERE WAS A GOD
AMONG THE MORMON PEOPLE AND THAT HE NEEDED TO
SEND SOMEONE TO SALT LAKE, AND THEY’D TELL HIM WHAT TO DO. LONG STORY SHORT, A
MISSIONARY FROM OGDEN WAS SENT TO OUR TRIBE–SPECIFICALLY,
NORTH OF CORINNE, UTAH–AND, AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS OF
TEACHING THEM THE GOSPEL, CONVERTED AND BAPTIZED 102 OF
OUR PEOPLE IN THE BEAR RIVER. ONCE WE JOINED THE CHURCH, THEY
ESTABLISHED WASHAKIE FOR US. I WAS TOLD BY MY GRANDMOTHER
THAT ONCE CONVERTED, OUR PEOPLE EXERCISED
A CHILDLIKE FAITH. I KNOW WE WERE
FULL-TITHE PAYERS. WE DEDICATED MORE
THAN A THOUSAND HOURS TO THE BUILDING OF
THE LOGAN TEMPLE. OUR PEOPLE WENT TO
THE TEMPLE OFTEN AND DID WORK FOR THOSE
WHO PASSED AT BEAR RIVER. WHEN THEY FIRST ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY WERE PRACTICING PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE HERE
IN UTAH, RELATIVELY ISOLATED. AND SO IT TOOK A WHILE FOR
THE CONTROVERSY TO BUILD. BUT OVER THE FOLLOWING DECADES,
THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT PASSED A SERIES OF INCREASINGLY
STRIDENT OR PUNITIVE LAWS AGAINST PLURAL
MARRIAGE AND BEGAN ENFORCING THEM AGGRESSIVELY. BY 1890, WHEN PRESIDENT WOODRUFF
ANNOUNCED THE MANIFESTO THAT LED TO THE END OF
PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE FACED WITH
A VERY SIMPLE CHOICE: THEY COULD CONTINUE TO
PRACTICE PLURAL MARRIAGE, BUT IF THEY DID, THEY
WOULD LOSE THE TEMPLES BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT
WAS GOING TO CONFISCATE ALL OF THE CHURCH’S PROPERTY,
INCLUDING THE TEMPLES. AND THAT WOULD STOP THE WORK
OF SALVATION FOR THE DEAD. TRUTH IS NOT JUST GOOD
THINGS; TRUTH IS GOOD AND BAD. TRUTH IS THE “KNOWLEDGE
OF THINGS AS THEY ARE, AND AS THEY WERE, AND
AS THEY ARE TO COME,” THE DOCTRINE AND
COVENANTS TELLS US. THERE ARE THINGS
THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SUCH AWFUL EVENTS AS THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
LEARNED IN STUDYING THAT SUBJECT WAS THAT WHEN PEOPLE
GOT TOGETHER IN COUNCILS AND RELIED UPON THE COLLECTIVE
WISDOM OF THE GROUP, THEY OFTEN MADE RIGHT DECISIONS. WHEN THEY DISREGARDED
THE COUNCIL’S DECISIONS AND WENT OFF TO MAKE
INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS, THEY OFTEN MADE
THE WRONG CHOICES. JOSEPH SMITH AND
SUBSEQUENT CHURCH LEADERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT “ZEAL
WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE” AS NOT BEING A VIRTUE. AND I THINK THAT IN THE CASE OF
THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE, WE HAD ZEALOUS PEOPLE
WHO TRIED TO OPERATE UNDER THAT EMOTIONAL
SENSE OF ZEAL WITHOUT STEPPING
BACK AND REFLECTING DEEPLY ON WHETHER WHAT THEY
WERE DOING WAS RIGHT OR WRONG. THE CHURCH HAS TAKEN A FRESH
LOOK AT ITS OWN HISTORY–THE SWEET AND THE BITTER, THE
TRAGEDIES AND THE TRIUMPHS. AND YET THIS NEW AND
ENGAGING PERSPECTIVE HAS FOUND ITS WAY INTO
THE HEARTS OF READERS AROUND THE WORLD, BOTH
YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE. WELL, VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS
WILL END WITH THE DEDICATION OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE. AND I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL IT FOR
ANYBODY, BUT IT IS MAGNIFICENT. YOU THINK OF ALL OF
THE CHALLENGES THAT HAPPENED IN THAT VOLUME,
STARTING WITH THE SAINTS BEING EXPELLED FROM NAUVOO
AND COMING ACROSS THE PLAINS. AND IT ENDS ON A
WONDERFUL HIGH NOTE WITH SPIRITUAL
MANIFESTATIONS AND REJOICING AS THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, AFTER
40 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION, IS COMPLETED. I WOULD HOPE THAT THE
ULTIMATE RESULT OF IT WOULD BE A DEEP APPRECIATION
OF OUR ANCESTORS AND THE SACRIFICES AND THE
HARDSHIPS THEY WENT THROUGH, AND THAT THAT WOULD EMPOWER
US AS A PEOPLE TODAY TO FACE OUR DIFFERENT
HARDSHIPS PERHAPS, BUT NEVERTHELESS WOULD
BE A BLESSING TO US AND GIVE US STRENGTH AND POWER
TO OVERCOME THE ISSUES THAT FACE US TODAY. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY HAS SAID,
“REMEMBERING OUR SHARED LEGACY OF FAITH, DEVOTION, AND
PERSEVERANCE GIVES US PERSPECTIVE AND
STRENGTH AS WE FACE THE CHALLENGES OF OUR DAY.” SAINTS IS HELPING US REMEMBER. VOLUME 1 WAS RELEASED
JUST A YEAR AGO, AND IT’S ALREADY A BEST
SELLER BY ANY MEASURE. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME
2 ARE AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE AND IN THE ENSIGN
AND LIAHONA MAGAZINES. IF YOU’VE HAD QUESTIONS
ABOUT OUR CHURCH’S HISTORY, OR IF YOU’RE JUST LOOKING FOR
AN INCREDIBLY ENGAGING YET TRUE STORY, WATCH FOR
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, AVAILABLE IN EARLY 2020. HAPPY READING! THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. 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THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WITH SPEAKERS SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST IS FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH, WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION.>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED ME TO CONDUCT THIS SESSION. WE EXTEND OUR GREETINGS TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND FRIENDS EVERYWHERE WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THESE PROCEEDINGS BY RADIO, TELEVISION, THE INTERNET, OR SATELLITE TRANSMISSION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MACK WILBERG AND RYAN MURPHY WITH RICHARD ELLIOTT AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR WILL OPEN THIS MEETING BY SINGING “COME, YE CHILDREN OF THE LORD.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER JACK N. GERARD OF THE SEVENTY. ♪♪ ♪ COME, YE CHILDREN
OF THE LORD, ♪ ♪ LET US SING
WITH ONE ACCORD. ♪ ♪ LET US RAISE
A JOYFUL STRAIN ♪ ♪ TO OUR LORD
WHO SOON WILL REIGN ♪ ♪ ON THIS EARTH
WHEN IT SHALL BE ♪ ♪ CLEANSED FROM
ALL INIQUITY, ♪ ♪ WHEN ALL MEN
FROM SIN WILL CEASE, ♪ ♪ AND WILL LIVE
IN LOVE AND PEACE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ OH, HOW JOYFUL
IT WILL BE ♪ ♪ WHEN OUR SAVIOR
WE SHALL SEE! ♪ ♪ WHEN IN SPLENDOR
HE’LL DESCEND, ♪ ♪ THEN ALL WICKEDNESS
WILL END. ♪ ♪ OH, WHAT SONGS
WE THEN WILL SING ♪ ♪ TO OUR SAVIOR,
LORD, AND KING! ♪ ♪ OH, WHAT LOVE
WILL THEN BEAR SWAY ♪ ♪ WHEN OUR FEARS
SHALL FLEE AWAY! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ALL ARRAYED
IN SPOTLESS WHITE, ♪ ♪ WE WILL DWELL
‘MID TRUTH AND LIGHT. ♪ ♪ WE WILL SING
THE SONGS OF PRAISE; ♪ ♪ WE WILL SHOUT
IN JOYOUS LAYS. ♪ ♪ EARTH SHALL THEN
BE CLEANSED FROM SIN. ♪ ♪ EV’RY LIVING THING
THEREIN ♪ ♪ SHALL IN LOVE
AND BEAUTY DWELL; ♪ ♪ THEN WITH JOY
EACH HEART WILL SWELL. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ SHALL IN LOVE
AND BEAUTY DWELL; ♪ ♪ THEN WITH JOY
EACH HEART WILL SWELL! ♪ ♪ AMEN ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER JACK N. GERARD: OUR DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN, AS WE ASSEMBLE AROUND THE WORLD AT THIS TIME FOR THE FINAL SESSION OF THIS GENERAL CONFERENCE, WE EXPRESS UNTO THEE OUR DEEPEST LOVE AND GRATITUDE FOR THE RICHNESS OF THE TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS, SEERS, OF YOUR DAY. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE WITNESS OF THE HOLY GHOST THAT QUICKENS OUR MINDS AND UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT. AS WE LISTEN AND ACT, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME CLOSER TO THEE, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME MORE LIKE THY SON, OUR OLDER BROTHER, EVEN JESUS CHRIST. WE THANK THEE, FATHER, FOR THY SON, FOR HIS ATONING SACRIFICE, FOR WHAT IT MEANS FOR EACH OF US. HAS MADE POSSIBLE OUR RETURN TO LIVE WITH THEY ONCE AGAIN. WE PRAY NOW FOR THROUGHOUT THIS SESSION, AND IN THE COMING DAYS, MONTHS, AND YEARS, THAT WE MIGHT SINK DEEP INTO OUR HEARTS AND MINDS THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE FELT, THE THINGS WHICH WE HAVE LEARNED, AND WE MIGHT CHANGE, THAT WE MIGHT REPENT, THAT WE MIGHT INDEED BECOME. WE EXPRESS OUR LOVE AND GRATITUDE AND DO SO IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “I STAND ALL AMAZED.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING, SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER HANS T. BOOM OF THE SEVENTY. WE WILL THEN HEAR FROM PRESIDENT M. RUSSELL BALLARD, WHO IS THE ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. ELDER PETER M. JOHNSON OF THE SEVENTY WILL THEN ADDRESS US. ♪ I STAND ALL AMAZED
AT THE LOVE JESUS OFFERS ME, ♪ ♪ CONFUSED AT THE GRACE
THAT SO FULLY HE PROFFERS ME. ♪ ♪ I TREMBLE TO KNOW
THAT FOR ME HE WAS CRUCIFIED, ♪ ♪ THAT FOR ME, A SINNER,
HE SUFFER’D, HE BLED AND DIED. ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL
THAT HE SHOULD CARE FOR ME ♪ ♪ ENOUGH TO
DIE FOR ME! ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL,
WONDERFUL TO ME! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I MARVEL THAT HE WOULD DESCEND
FROM HIS THRONE DIVINE ♪ ♪ TO RESCUE A SOUL SO REBELLIOUS
AND PROUD AS MINE, ♪ ♪ THAT HE SHOULD EXTEND
HIS GREAT LOVE UNTO SUCH AS I, ♪ ♪ SUFFICIENT TO OWN, TO REDEEM,
AND TO JUSTIFY. ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL
THAT HE SHOULD CARE FOR ME ♪ ♪ ENOUGH TO
DIE FOR ME! ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL,
WONDERFUL TO ME! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I THINK OF HIS HANDS PIERCED
AND BLEEDING TO PAY THE DEBT! ♪ ♪ SUCH MERCY, SUCH LOVE
AND DEVOTION CAN I FORGET? ♪ ♪ NO, NO, I WILL PRAISE
AND ADORE AT THE MERCY SEAT, ♪ ♪ UNTIL AT THE GLORIFIED THRONE
I KNEEL AT HIS FEET. ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL
THAT HE SHOULD CARE FOR ME ♪ ♪ ENOUGH TO
DIE FOR ME! ♪ ♪ OH, IT IS WONDERFUL,
WONDERFUL ♪ ♪ WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL
TO ME! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ HEAVENLY FATHER. HE TAUGHT HIS SON THAT INCREASING IN HOLINESS WAS THE ONLY PATH TO HAPPINESS. HE MADE IT PLAIN THAT GREATER HOLINESS IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST CLEANSING AND PERFECTING US. ONLY BY FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, CONTINUING REPENTANCE, AND KEEPING COVENANTS ARE WE ABLE TO CLAIM THE LASTING HAPPINESS WE ALL YEARN TO EXPERIENCE AND RETAIN. MY PRAYER FOR TODAY IS THAT I MAY HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THAT GREATER HAPPINESS COMES FROM GREATER PERSONAL HOLINESS SO THAT YOU WILL ACT UPON THAT BELIEF. I WILL THEN SHARE WHAT I KNOW FOR MYSELF ABOUT WHAT WE CAN DO TO QUALIFY FOR THAT GIFT OF BECOMING EVER MORE HOLY. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US THAT AMONG OTHER THINGS, WE CAN BE SANCTIFIED OR BECOME MORE HOLY WHEN WE EXERCISE FAITH IN CHRIST, DEMONSTRATE OUR OBEDIENCE, REPENT, SACRIFICE FOR HIM, RECEIVE SACRED ORDINANCES, AND KEEP OUR COVENANTS WITH HIM. QUALIFYING FOR THE GIFT OF HOLINESS REQUIRES HUMILITY, MEEKNESS, AND PATIENCE. ONE EXPERIENCE OF WANTING MORE HOLINESS CAME FOR ME IN THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE. I ENTERED THE TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME HAVING BEEN TOLD LITTLE OF WHAT TO EXPECT. IN A TEMPLE. I HAD SEEN THE WORDS ON THE BUILDING: “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” AND “THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” I FELT A GREAT SENSE OF ANTICIPATION. YET I WONDERED IF I WAS PREPARED TO ENTER. MY MOTHER AND FATHER WALKED AHEAD OF ME AS WE ENTERED THE TEMPLE. WE WERE ASKED TO SHOW OUR RECOMMENDS, CERTIFYING OUR WORTHINESS. MY PARENTS KNEW THE MAN AT THE RECOMMEND DESK, SO THEY LINGERED A MOMENT TO SPEAK WITH HIM. I WENT AHEAD ALONE INTO A LARGE SPACE WHERE EVERYTHING WAS SPARKLING WHITE. I LOOKED UP AT A CEILING SO HIGH ABOVE ME THAT IT SEEMED AN OPEN SKY. IN THAT MOMENT, A CLEAR IMPRESSION CAME TO ME THAT I HAD BEEN THERE BEFORE. BUT THEN, I HEARD A VERY SOFT VOICE. IT WAS NOT MY OWN. THE SOFTLY SPOKEN WORDS WERE THESE: “YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE BEFORE. YOU ARE REMEMBERING A MOMENT BEFORE YOU WERE BORN. YOU WERE IN A SACRED PLACE LIKE THIS. YOU FELT THE SAVIOR WAS ABOUT TO COME INTO THE PLACE WHERE YOU STOOD. AND YOU FELT HAPPINESS BECAUSE YOU WERE EAGER TO SEE HIM.” THAT EXPERIENCE IN THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE LASTED ONLY A MOMENT. YET THE MEMORY OF IT STILL BRINGS PEACE, JOY, AND QUIET HAPPINESS. I LEARNED MANY LESSONS THAT DAY. ONE WAS THAT THE HOLY GHOST SPEAKS IN A STILL, SMALL VOICE. I CAN HEAR HIM WHEN THERE IS SPIRITUAL PEACE IN MY HEART. HE BRINGS A FEELING OF HAPPINESS AND ASSURANCE THAT I AM BECOMING MORE HOLY. AND THAT ALWAYS BRINGS THE HAPPINESS I FELT IN THOSE FIRST MOMENTS IN A TEMPLE OF GOD. YOU HAVE OBSERVED IN YOUR OWN LIFE AND IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS THE MIRACLE OF HAPPINESS COMING FROM GROWING HOLINESS. BECOMING MORE LIKE THE SAVIOR. IN RECENT WEEKS, I HAVE BEEN AT THE BEDSIDE OF PEOPLE WHO COULD FACE DEATH WITH FULL FAITH IN THE SAVIOR AND WITH HAPPY COUNTENANCES. ONE WAS A MAN SURROUNDED BY HIS FAMILY. HE AND HIS WIFE WERE CHATTING QUIETLY AS MY SON AND I ENTERED. THE BEDROOM. I HAD KNOWN THEM FOR MANY YEARS. I HAD SEEN THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST WORK IN THEIR LIVES AND IN THE LIVES OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS. THEY HAD TOGETHER CHOSEN TO END MEDICAL EFFORTS TO PROLONG HIS LIFE. THERE WAS A QUIET FEELING AS HE SPOKE TO US. HE SMILED AS HE EXPRESSED GRATITUDE FOR THE GOSPEL AND ITS PURIFYING EFFECTS ON HIM AND THE FAMILY HE LOVED. HE SPOKE OF HIS HAPPY YEARS OF SERVICE IN THE TEMPLE. AT THIS MAN’S REQUEST, MY SON ANOINTED HIS HEAD WITH CONSECRATED OIL. I SEALED THE ANOINTING. AS I DID, I HAD A CLEAR IMPRESSION THAT HE WOULD SOON SEE HIS SAVIOR FACE-TO-FACE. I PROMISED HIM THAT HE WOULD FEEL HAPPINESS, LOVE, AND THE SAVIOR’S APPROVAL. HE SMILED WARMLY AS WE LEFT. HIS LAST WORDS TO ME WERE “TELL KATHY I LOVE HER.” MY WIFE, KATHLEEN, OVER MANY YEARS HAD ENCOURAGED GENERATIONS OF HIS FAMILY TO ACCEPT THE SAVIOR’S INVITATION TO COME UNTO HIM, MAKE AND KEEP SACRED COVENANTS, AND SO QUALIFY FOR THE HAPPINESS THAT COMES AS A RESULT OF THAT GREATER HOLINESS. HE DIED HOURS LATER. WITHIN WEEKS OF HIS PASSING, HIS WIDOW BROUGHT A GIFT TO MY WIFE AND ME. SHE SMILED AS WE TALKED. SHE SAID PLEASANTLY, “I EXPECTED THAT I WOULD FEEL SAD AND LONELY. I FEEL SO HAPPY. DO YOU THINK THAT’S ALL RIGHT?” [LAUGHTER] KNOWING HOW MUCH SHE LOVED HER HUSBAND AND HOW BOTH OF THEM HAD COME TO KNOW, LOVE, AND SERVE THE LORD, I TOLD HER THAT HER FEELINGS OF HAPPINESS WERE A PROMISED GIFT BECAUSE SHE HAD, BY HER FAITHFUL SERVICE, BEEN MADE MORE HOLY. HER HOLINESS HAD QUALIFIED HER FOR THAT HAPPINESS. NOW, SOME LISTENING TODAY MAY BE WONDERING: “WHY DO I NOT FEEL THE PEACE AND HAPPINESS PROMISED TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL? I HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL THROUGH TERRIBLE ADVERSITY, BUT I DON’T FEEL HAPPINESS.” EVEN THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH FACED THIS TEST. HE PRAYED FOR RELIEF WHEN HE WAS CONFINED IN A JAIL IN LIBERTY, MISSOURI. HE HAD BEEN FAITHFUL TO THE LORD. HE HAD GROWN IN HOLINESS. YET HE FELT HAPPINESS HAD BEEN DENIED. THE LORD TAUGHT HIM THE LESSON OF PATIENCE WE ALL WILL NEED AT SOME TIME, AND PERHAPS FOR LONG PERIODS, IN OUR MORTAL TESTING. HERE IS THE LORD’S MESSAGE TO HIS FAITHFUL AND SUFFERING PROPHET: “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. “THE SON OF MAN HATH DESCENDED BELOW THEM ALL. ART THOU GREATER THAN HE? “THEREFORE, HOLD ON THY WAY, AND THE PRIESTHOOD SHALL REMAIN WITH THEE; FOR THEIR BOUNDS ARE SET, THEY CANNOT PASS. THY DAYS ARE KNOWN, AND THY YEARS SHALL NOT BE NUMBERED LESS; THEREFORE, FEAR NOT WHAT MAN CAN DO, FOR GOD SHALL BE WITH YOU FOREVER AND EVER.” THAT WAS THE SAME INSTRUCTIVE LESSON THE LORD GAVE JOB, WHO PAID A HEAVY PRICE TO ALLOW THE ATONEMENT TO MAKE HIM MORE HOLY. WE KNOW THAT JOB WAS HOLY FROM THE INTRODUCTION WE HAVE OF HIM: “THERE WAS A MAN IN THE LAND OF UZ, WHOSE NAME WAS JOB; AND THAT MAN WAS PERFECT–WAS PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, AND ONE THAT FEARED GOD, AND ESCHEWED EVIL.” THEN JOB LOST HIS WEALTH, HIS FAMILY, AND EVEN HIS HEALTH. YOU MIGHT REMEMBER THAT JOB DOUBTED THAT HIS GREATER HOLINESS, GAINED THROUGH GREATER ADVERSITY, HAD QUALIFIED HIM FOR GREATER HAPPINESS. IT SEEMED TO JOB THAT HOLINESS HAD ONLY BROUGHT MISERY. YET THE LORD GAVE JOB THE SAME CORRECTING LESSON HE GAVE JOSEPH SMITH. HE LET JOB SEE HIS HEARTBREAKING SITUATION WITH SPIRITUAL EYES. HE SAID: “GIRD UP NOW THY LOINS LIKE A MAN; FOR I WILL DEMAND OF THEE, AND ANSWER THOU ME. “WHERE WAST THOU WHEN I LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE EARTH? DECLARE, IF THOU HAST UNDERSTANDING. “WHO HATH LAID THE MEASURES THEREOF, IF THOU KNOWEST? OR WHO HATH STRETCHED THE LINE UPON IT? “WHEREUPON ARE THE FOUNDATIONS THEREOF FASTENED? OR WHO LAID THE CORNERSTONE THEREOF; “WHEN THE MORNING STARS SANG TOGETHER, AND ALL THE SONS OF GOD SHOUTED FOR JOY?” THEN, AFTER JOB REPENTED OF CALLING GOD UNFAIR, JOB WAS PERMITTED TO SEE HIS TRIALS IN A HIGHER AND HOLIER WAY. HE HAD REPENTED. “THEN JOB ANSWERED THE LORD AND SAID, “I KNOW THAT THOU CANST DO EVERY THING, AND THAT NO THOUGHT CAN BE WITHHOLDEN FROM THEE. “WHO IS HE THAT HIDETH COUNSEL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE? THEREFORE HAVE I UTTERED THAT I UNDERSTOOD NOT; THINGS TOO WONDERFUL FOR ME, WHICH I KNEW NOT. “HEAR, I BESEECH THEE, AND I WILL SPEAK: I WILL DEMAND OF THEE, AND DECLARE THOU UNTO ME. “I HAVE HEARD OF THEE BY THE HEARING OF THE EAR: BUT NOW MINE EYE SEETH THEE. “WHEREFORE I ABHOR MYSELF, AND REPENT IN DUST AND ASHES.” AFTER JOB REPENTED AND SO BECAME MORE HOLY, THE LORD BLESSED HIM BEYOND ALL HE HAD LOST. BUT PERHAPS THE GREATEST BLESSING FOR JOB WAS TO HAVE INCREASED IN HOLINESS THROUGH ADVERSITY AND REPENTANCE. HE WAS QUALIFIED TO HAVE GREATER HAPPINESS IN THE DAYS HE HAD YET TO LIVE. GREATER HOLINESS WILL NOT COME SIMPLY BY ASKING FOR IT. IT WILL COME BY DOING WHAT IS NEEDED FOR GOD TO CHANGE US. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS GIVEN WHAT SEEMS TO ME THE BEST COUNSEL OF HOW TO MOVE ALONG THE COVENANT PATH TO GREATER HOLINESS. HE POINTED THE WAY WHEN HE URGED: “EXPERIENCE THE STRENGTHENING POWER OF DAILY REPENTANCE–OF DOING AND BEING A LITTLE BETTER EACH DAY. “WHEN WE CHOOSE TO REPENT, WE CHOOSE TO CHANGE! WE ALLOW THE SAVIOR TO TRANSFORM US INTO THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES. WE CHOOSE TO GROW SPIRITUALLY AND RECEIVE JOY–THE JOY OF REDEMPTION IN HIM. WHEN WE CHOOSE TO REPENT, WE CHOOSE TO BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST!” PRESIDENT NELSON WENT ON TO GIVE US THIS ENCOURAGEMENT IN OUR EFFORTS TO BECOME HOLIER: “THE LORD DOES NOT EXPECT PERFECTION FROM US AT THIS POINT. … BUT HE DOES EXPECT US TO BECOME INCREASINGLY PURE. DAILY REPENTANCE IS THE PATHWAY TO PURITY.” PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS, IN AN EARLIER CONFERENCE ADDRESS, ALSO HELPED ME SEE MORE CLEARLY HOW WE GROW IN HOLINESS AND HOW WE CAN KNOW WE ARE MOVING TOWARD IT. HE SAID: “HOW DO WE ACHIEVE SPIRITUALITY? HOW DO WE ATTAIN THAT DEGREE OF HOLINESS WHERE WE CAN HAVE THE CONSTANT COMPANIONSHIP OF THE HOLY GHOST? HOW DO WE COME TO VIEW AND EVALUATE THINGS OF THIS WORLD WITH THE PERSPECTIVE OF ETERNITY?” PRESIDENT OAKS’S ANSWER BEGINS WITH GREATER FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AS OUR LOVING SAVIOR. THAT LEADS US TO SEEK FORGIVENESS EVERY DAY AND TO REMEMBER HIM EVERY DAY BY KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS. THAT GREATER FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST COMES AS WE FEAST DAILY ON HIS WORD. THE HYMN “MORE HOLINESS GIVE ME” SUGGESTS A WAY TO PRAY FOR HELP IN BECOMING MORE HOLY. THE AUTHOR OF THAT MUSIC WISELY SUGGESTS THAT THE HOLINESS WE SEEK IS A GIFT FROM A LOVING GOD, GRANTED OVER TIME, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO. YOU REMEMBER THE LAST VERSE: MORE PURITY GIVE ME, MORE
STRENGTH TO O’ERCOME, MORE FREEDOM FROM EARTH-STAINS,
MORE LONGING FOR HOME. MORE FIT FOR THE KINGDOM,
MORE USED WOULD I BE, MORE BLESSED AND HOLY,
MORE, SAVIOR, LIKE THEE. WHATEVER OUR PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCE, WHEREVER WE MAY BE ON THE COVENANT PATH HOME, MAY OUR PRAYERS FOR GREATER HOLINESS BE ANSWERED. I KNOW THAT AS OUR PETITION IS GRANTED, OUR HAPPINESS WILL INCREASE. IT MAY COME SLOWLY, BUT IT WILL COME. I HAVE THAT ASSURANCE FROM A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS BELOVED SON, JESUS CHRIST. I TESTIFY THAT JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET OF GOD, THAT PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON IS OUR LIVING PROPHET TODAY. GOD THE FATHER LIVES AND LOVES US. AND WANTS US TO COME HOME TO HIM IN FAMILIES. OUR LOVING SAVIOR INVITES US TO FOLLOW HIM ON OUR JOURNEY THERE. THEY HAVE PREPARED THE WAY. IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER HANS THEODORUS BOOM: IN 2016 THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE CAME TO VISIT THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM. AND SINCE I WAS INVOLVED IN THAT EXCITING EVENT, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF ENJOYING THEIR PERFORMANCE TWICE. DURING THEIR PERFORMANCE I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHAT A TREMENDOUS UNDERTAKING IT WAS TO MOVE A CHOIR OF THAT SIZE. MY MIND WAS DRAWN TO THE BIG GONG, WHICH WAS DIFFICULT AND PROBABLY COSTLY TO SHIP OVER IN COMPARISON WITH THE VIOLIN, THE TRUMPET, OR OTHER INSTRUMENTS YOU COULD EASILY CARRY UNDER YOUR ARM. BUT LOOKING AT THE ACTUAL INVOLVEMENT OF THIS GONG, IT WAS ONLY HIT A FEW TIMES, WHEREAS THE OTHER, SMALLER INSTRUMENTS WERE INVOLVED FOR MOST OF THE CONCERT. I REFLECTED THAT WITHOUT THE SOUND OF THE GONG, THE PERFORMANCE WOULD NOT BE THE SAME, AND SO THE EFFORT HAD TO BE MADE TO MOVE THIS BIG GONG ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE OCEAN. SOMETIMES WE MIGHT FEEL THAT WE ARE, LIKE THAT GONG, ONLY GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY A MINOR PART IN THE PERFORMANCE. BUT LET ME TELL YOU THAT YOUR SOUND IS MAKING ALL THE DIFFERENCE. WE NEED ALL INSTRUMENTS. SOME OF US LEARN EASILY AND DO VERY WELL IN SCHOOL, WHILE OTHERS HAVE ARTISTIC TALENTS. SOME DESIGN AND BUILD THINGS OR NURSE, PROTECT, OR TEACH OTHERS. ALL ARE NEEDED TO BRING COLOR AND MEANING TO THIS WORLD. TO THOSE WHO FEEL THEY DO NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO CONTRIBUTE OR BELIEVE THAT THEY ARE OF NO IMPORTANCE OR CONSEQUENCE TO ANYBODY, TO OTHERS THAT MIGHT FEEL THEY ARE ON TOP OF THE WORLD, AND ANYBODY IN BETWEEN, I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS THIS MESSAGE. WHEREVER YOU ARE ON THE PATH OF LIFE, SOME OF YOU MIGHT FEEL SO OVERBURDENED THAT YOU DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER YOURSELF ON THAT PATH. I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO STEP OUT OF THE DARKNESS INTO THE LIGHT. THE GOSPEL LIGHT WILL PROVIDE WARMTH AND HEALING AND WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND WHO YOU REALLY ARE AND WHAT YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE IS. SOME OF US HAVE BEEN WANDERING ON FORBIDDEN PATHS, TRYING TO FIND HAPPINESS THERE. WE ARE INVITED BY A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER TO WALK THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP AND TO RETURN TO HIM. HE LOVES US WITH A PERFECT LOVE. WHAT IS THE WAY? THE WAY IS TO HELP EACH OTHER UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE BY MINISTERING TO EACH OTHER. TO ME, MINISTERING IS EXERCISING DIVINE LOVE. IN THAT WAY, WE CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE BOTH THE GIVER AND RECEIVER OBTAIN A DESIRE TO REPENT. IN OTHER WORDS, WE CHANGE DIRECTION AND COME CLOSER TO AND BECOME MORE LIKE OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. FOR INSTANCE, THERE IS NO NEED TO CONSTANTLY TELL OUR SPOUSE OR CHILDREN HOW THEY CAN IMPROVE; THEY KNOW THAT ALREADY. IT IS IN CREATING THIS ENVIRONMENT OF LOVE THAT THEY WILL BE EMPOWERED TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CHANGES IN THEIR LIVES AND BECOME BETTER PEOPLE. IN THIS WAY REPENTANCE BECOMES A DAILY PROCESS OF REFINING THAT MIGHT INCLUDE APOLOGIZING FOR POOR BEHAVIOR. I REMEMBER AND STILL EXPERIENCE SITUATIONS WHERE I HAVE BEEN TOO QUICK TO JUDGE OR TOO SLOW TO LISTEN. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, DURING MY PERSONAL PRAYER I FELT THE LOVING COUNSEL FROM HEAVEN TO REPENT AND TO BECOME BETTER. THE LOVING ENVIRONMENT FIRST CREATED BY MY PARENTS, BROTHER, AND SISTERS, AND LATER BY MY WIFE, CHILDREN, AND FRIENDS, HAS HELPED ME TO BECOME A BETTER PERSON. WE ALL KNOW WHERE WE CAN DO BETTER. THERE IS NO NEED TO REPEATEDLY REMIND EACH OTHER, BUT THERE IS A NEED TO LOVE AND MINISTER TO EACH OTHER AND IN DOING SO PROVIDE A CLIMATE OF WILLINGNESS TO CHANGE. IN THIS SAME ENVIRONMENT, WE ARE LEARNING WHO WE REALLY ARE AND WHAT OUR ROLE WILL BE IN THIS LAST CHAPTER OF THE WORLD’S HISTORY PRIOR TO THE SECOND COMING OF THE SAVIOR. IF YOU ARE WONDERING ABOUT YOUR PART, I WOULD LIKE TO INVITE YOU TO FIND A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN BE ALONE AND ASK HEAVENLY FATHER TO MAKE KNOWN TO YOU WHICH PART TO PLAY. THE ANSWER WILL PROBABLY COME GRADUALLY AND THEN MORE CLEARLY WHEN WE HAVE SET OUR FEET MORE FIRMLY ON THE COVENANT AND MINISTERING PATH. WE ARE EXPERIENCING SOME OF THE SAME DIFFICULTIES THAT JOSEPH SMITH CONFRONTED WHILE HE WAS IN THE MIDST OF A WAR OF WORDS AND TUMULT OF OPINIONS. AS WE READ IN HIS OWN ACCOUNT, HE OFTEN SAID TO HIMSELF: “WHAT IS TO BE DONE? WHO OF ALL THESE PARTIES ARE RIGHT; OR, ARE THEY ALL WRONG TOGETHER? IF ANY ONE OF THEM BE RIGHT, WHICH [ONE] IS IT, AND HOW SHALL I KNOW IT?” WITH THE KNOWLEDGE HE FOUND IN THE EPISTLE OF JAMES, WHICH STATES, “IF ANY OF YOU LACK WISDOM, LET HIM ASK OF GOD, THAT GIVETH TO ALL MEN LIBERALLY, AND UPBRAIDETH NOT; AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN HIM,” JOSEPH AT LENGTH CAME TO THE DETERMINATION TO “ASK OF GOD.” WE FURTHER READ THAT IT WAS THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE THAT HE HAD MADE SUCH AN ATTEMPT, FOR, AMIDST ALL HIS ANXIETIES, HE HAD NEVER, AS YET, MADE THE ATTEMPT TO PRAY VOCALLY. AND SO IT CAN BE FOR US THE VERY FIRST TIME WE ADDRESS OUR MAKER IN A WAY WE HAVE NEVER DONE BEFORE. BECAUSE OF JOSEPH’S ATTEMPT, HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, APPEARED TO HIM, CALLING HIM BY NAME; AND AS A RESULT, WE HAVE A MUCH CLEARER UNDERSTANDING OF WHO WE ARE AND THAT WE REALLY DO MATTER. WE FURTHER READ THAT IN HIS TENDER TEENAGE YEARS, JOSEPH WAS PERSECUTED BY THOSE WHO OUGHT TO HAVE BEEN HIS FRIENDS AND WHO WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE TREATED HIM KINDLY. AND SO WE MIGHT EXPECT SOME OPPOSITION AS WE ARE LIVING A LIFE OF DISCIPLESHIP. IF YOU CURRENTLY FEEL YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO BE PART OF THE ORCHESTRA AND THE PATH OF REPENTANCE APPEARS DIFFICULT TO YOU, PLEASE KNOW THAT IF WE KEEP AT IT, THE BURDEN WILL BE TAKEN FROM OUR SHOULDERS AND THERE WILL BE LIGHT AGAIN. HEAVENLY FATHER WILL NEVER LEAVE US WHEN WE REACH FOR HIM. WE CAN FALL AND GET UP, AND HE WILL HELP US BRUSH OFF THE DIRT FROM OUR KNEES. SOME OF US ARE WOUNDED, BUT THE FIRST AID KIT OF THE LORD HAS BANDAGES BIG ENOUGH TO COVER ALL OF OUR WOUNDS. SO IT IS THAT LOVE, THAT PERFECT LOVE THAT WE ALSO CALL CHARITY, OR “THE PURE LOVE OF CHRIST,” WHICH IS NEEDED IN OUR HOMES, WHERE PARENTS MINISTER TO THEIR CHILDREN AND CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS. THROUGH THAT LOVE, HEARTS WILL BE CHANGED AND DESIRES BORN TO DO HIS WILL. IT IS THAT LOVE, WHICH IS NEEDED IN OUR DEALINGS WITH EACH OTHER AS CHILDREN OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND AS MEMBERS OF HIS CHURCH, THAT WILL ENABLE US TO INCLUDE ALL THE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN OUR ORCHESTRAS SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO PERFORM GLORIOUSLY WITH THE ANGELIC CHOIRS OF HEAVEN WHEN THE SAVIOR COMES AGAIN. IT IS THAT LOVE, THAT LIGHT THAT NEEDS TO SHINE AND BRIGHTEN OUR SURROUNDINGS AS WE GO ABOUT OUR DAILY LIVES. PEOPLE WILL NOTICE THE LIGHT AND WILL BE DRAWN TO IT. THAT IS THE KIND OF MISSIONARY WORK THAT WILL DRAW OTHERS TO “COME AND SEE,” “COME AND HELP,” AND “COME AND STAY.” PLEASE, WHEN YOU HAVE RECEIVED OUR WITNESS ABOUT THIS GREAT WORK AND OUR PART IN IT, LET US REJOICE TOGETHER WITH OUR BELOVED PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH, WHO DECLARED, “FOR I HAD SEEN A VISION; I KNEW IT, AND I KNEW THAT GOD KNEW IT, AND I COULD NOT DENY IT.” I TESTIFY TO YOU THAT I KNOW WHO I AM, AND I DO KNOW WHO YOU ARE. WE ARE ALL CHILDREN OF A HEAVENLY FATHER WHO LOVES US. AND HE DID NOT SEND US HERE TO FAIL, BUT TO RETURN GLORIOUSLY TO HIM. THAT WE MAY ALL COME TO UNDERSTAND OUR PART IN THIS GREAT MINISTERING WORK SO THAT WE WILL BECOME MORE LIKE HIM WHEN HE COMES AGAIN IS MY PRAYER IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER M. RUSSELL BALLARD: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AS OCTOBER GENERAL CONFERENCE APPROACHED LAST YEAR, I PREPARED MY CONFERENCE TALK TO HIGHLIGHT THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VISION OF THE SPIRIT WORLD GIVEN TO PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH ON OCTOBER 3, 1918. A FEW DAYS AFTER I SUBMITTED MY TALK FOR TRANSLATION, MY BELOVED ETERNAL COMPANION, BARBARA, COMPLETED HER MORTAL PROBATION AND PASSED INTO THE WORLD OF THE WORLD. AS THE DAYS HAVE TURNED INTO WEEKS, THEN MONTHS, AND NOW A YEAR SINCE BARBARA’S PASSING, I FIND MYSELF MORE FULLY APPRECIATIVE OF THE SCRIPTURE: “THOU SHALT LIVE TOGETHER IN LOVE, INSOMUCH THAT THOU SHALT WEEP FOR THE LOSS OF THEM THAT DIE.” BARBARA AND I WERE BLESSED TO LIVE TOGETHER FOR 67 YEARS. BUT I HAVE LEARNED IN A VERY REAL WAY FOR THE LOSS OF THOSE WE LOVE. OH, HOW I LOVE AND MISS HER! I SUPPOSE MOST OF US FAIL TO FULLY APPRECIATE WHAT OTHERS DO FOR US UNTIL THEY ARE GONE. I KNEW BARBARA WAS ALWAYS BUSY, BUT I DID NOT FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONSTANT FAMILY, CHURCH, AND COMMUNITY DEMANDS UPON HER TIME. THERE WERE DAILY CONSECRATED EFFORTS REPEATED THOUSANDS OF TIMES THROUGH THE YEARS THAT KEPT OUR FAMILY FUNCTIONING. AND THROUGH IT ALL, NO ONE IN OUR FAMILY EVER HEARD HER RAISE HER VOICE OR SAY AN UNKIND WORD. FLOODS OF MEMORIES HAVE WASHED OVER ME THIS PAST YEAR. I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THE PHYSICALLY DEMANDING CHOICE SHE MADE TO BE THE MOTHER TO SEVEN CHILDREN. BEING A HOMEMAKER WAS THE ONLY CAREER SHE EVER WANTED, AND SHE WAS IN EVERY ASPECT THE CONSUMMATE PROFESSIONAL. OFTEN I HAVE WONDERED HOW SHE KEPT TRACK OF OUR CHILDREN AND ME. MEAL PREPARATION ALONE WAS A TRULY DAUNTING TASK, NOT TO MENTION ACTIVITIES SUCH AS DOING THE MOUNTAINS OF LAUNDRY OUR FAMILY GENERATED EVERY WEEK, KEEPING SHOES AND APPROPRIATELY- SIZED CLOTHING ON THE CHILDREN. WE ALL TURNED TO HER ON A MYRIAD OF OTHER ISSUES THAT WERE IMPORTANT TO US. AND BECAUSE THEY WERE IMPORTANT TO US, THEY WERE ALSO IMPORTANT TO HER. SHE WAS, IN A WORD, MAGNIFICENT–AS A WIFE, AS A MOTHER, AS A FRIEND, AS A NEIGHBOR, AND AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD. NOW THAT SHE HAS MOVED ON, I AM HAPPY THAT I CHOSE TO SIT NEXT TO HER WHEN I CAME HOME FROM THE OFFICE DURING THE LAST MONTHS OF HER LIFE. AS WE WATCHED THE ENDING OF HER FAVORITE MUSICALS–OVER AND OVER AGAIN, BECAUSE ALZHEIMER’S WOULD NOT ALLOW HER TO REMEMBER THAT SHE HAD SEEN THEM JUST THE AFTERNOON BEFORE. MEMORIES OF THOSE SPECIAL HAND-HOLDING SESSIONS ARE NOW VERY PRECIOUS TO ME. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, PLEASE DO NOT MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK INTO THE EYES OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS WITH LOVE. CHILDREN AND PARENTS, REACH OUT TO EACH OTHER AND EXPRESS YOUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION. LIKE ME, SOME OF YOU MAY WAKE UP ONE DAY AND DISCOVER THAT THE TIME FOR SUCH IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION HAS PASSED. LIVE EACH DAY TOGETHER WITH HEARTS FILLED WITH THE GRATITUDE, GOOD MEMORIES, SERVICE, AND MUCH LOVE. DURING THIS PAST YEAR I HAVE PONDERED MORE INTENTLY THAN EVER BEFORE ABOUT OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN. IN TEACHING HIS SON CORIANTON, ALMA REFERRED TO IT AS “THE GREAT PLAN OF HAPPINESS.” THE WORD THAT KEEPS COMING TO MY MIND NOW WHEN I CONSIDER THE PLAN IS “REUNION.” IT IS A PLAN DESIGNED BY OUR LOVING FATHER IN HEAVEN THAT HAS AT ITS CENTER THE GRAND AND GLORIOUS POSSIBILITIES OF FAMILY REUNION–OF ETERNALLY REUNITING HUSBANDS AND WIVES, PARENTS AND CHILDREN, GENERATION UPON GENERATION IN THE HOUSEHOLD OF GOD. THAT THOUGHT BRINGS ME COMFORT THE ASSURANCE THAT I WILL BE WITH BARBARA AGAIN. ALTHOUGH SHE PHYSICALLY SUFFERED TOWARD THE END OF HER LIFE, HER SPIRIT WAS STRONG, NOBLE, AND PURE. SHE HAD PREPARED HERSELF IN ALL THINGS SO THAT WHEN THE DAY COMES SHE CAN STAND BEFORE “THE PLEASING BAR OF GOD,” FULL OF CONFIDENCE AND PEACEFUL ASSURANCE. BUT HERE I AM, IN TWO DAYS 91 YEARS OLD, AND I’M STILL WONDERING, “AM I READY? AM I DOING EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO TO BE ABLE TO HOLD HER HAND AGAIN?” THE MOST SIMPLE, BASIC CERTAINTY OF LIFE IS THIS: WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE. WHETHER WE DIE OLD OR YOUNG, EASY OR HARD, WEALTHY OR INDIGENT, BELOVED OR LONELY, NOBODY ESCAPES DEATH. A FEW YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY SAID SOMETHING THAT IS PARTICULARLY MEANINGFUL ABOUT THIS: “HOW SWEET IS THE ASSURANCE, HOW COMFORTING IS THE PEACE THAT COME[S] FROM THE KNOWLEDGE THAT IF WE MARRY RIGHT AND LIVE RIGHT, OUR RELATIONSHIP WILL CONTINUE, NOTWITHSTANDING THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH AND THE PASSAGE OF TIME.” I CERTAINLY MARRIED RIGHT. OF THAT THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT. BUT THAT ISN’T ENOUGH, ACCORDING TO PRESIDENT HINCKLEY. I ALSO HAVE TO LIVE RIGHT. TODAY, “LIVING RIGHT” CAN BE A PRETTY CONFUSING CONCEPT, ESPECIALLY IF YOU SPEND MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA, WHERE ANY VOICE CAN DECLARE REAL TRUTHS OR FALSE CONCEPTS ABOUT GOD AND HIS PLAN FOR HIS CHILDREN. THANKFULLY, MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH HAVE ETERNALLY TRUE GOSPEL PRINCIPLES TO KNOW HOW TO LIVE SO THAT WE MIGHT BE BETTER PREPARED WHEN WE DIE. JUST A FEW MONTHS BEFORE I WAS BORN, MY APOSTLE GRANDFATHER, ELDER MELVIN J. BALLARD, GAVE A TALK THAT, FOR MANY PEOPLE, CAPTURED THE ESSENCE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE RIGHT. THE TALK WAS TITLED “THE STRUGGLE FOR THE SOUL.” HIS TALK FOCUSED ON THE ONGOING BATTLE BETWEEN OUR PHYSICAL BODY AND OUR ETERNAL SPIRITS. HE SAID, “THE GREATEST CONFLICT THAT ANY MAN OR WOMAN WILL EVER HAVE … WILL BE THE BATTLE THAT IS HAD WITH SELF,” EXPLAINING THAT SATAN, “THE ENEMY OF OUR SOULS,” ATTACKS US THROUGH “THE LUSTS, THE APPETITES, THE AMBITIONS OF THE FLESH. SO THE PRIMARY BATTLE IS BETWEEN OUR DIVINE AND SPIRITUAL NATURE AND THE CARNAL NATURAL MAN.” BROTHERS AND SISTERS, REMEMBER, WE CAN RECEIVE SPIRITUAL HELP THROUGH THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST THAT CAN “TEACH YOU ALL THINGS.” HELP CAN ALSO COME THROUGH THE POWER AND BLESSINGS OF THE PRIESTHOOD. NOW I ASK ALL OF US FOR A MOMENT, “HOW IS THIS BATTLE GOING WITH YOU?” PRESIDENT DAVID O. MCKAY SAID, “MAN’S EARTHLY EXISTENCE IS BUT A TEST AS TO WHETHER HE WILL CONCENTRATE HIS EFFORTS, HIS MIND, HIS SOUL UPON THE THINGS WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMFORT AND GRATIFICATION OF HIS PHYSICAL NATURE OR WHETHER HE WILL MAKE AS HIS LIFE’S PURPOSE THE ACQUISITION OF SPIRITUAL QUALITIES.” THIS BATTLE BETWEEN OUR CARNAL AND OUR SPIRITUAL NATURES ISN’T A NEW THING. IN HIS FINAL SERMON TO HIS PEOPLE, KING BENJAMIN TAUGHT THAT, “THE NATURAL MAN IS AN ENEMY TO GOD, AND HAS BEEN FROM THE FALL OF ADAM, AND WILL BE FOREVER AND EVER, UNLESS HE YIELDS TO THE ENTICINGS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND PUTTETH OFF THE NATURAL MAN AND BECOMETH A SAINT THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF CHRIST THE LORD.” THE APOSTLE PAUL TAUGHT THAT “THEY THAT ARE AFTER THE FLESH DO MIND THE THINGS OF THE FLESH; BUT THEY THAT ARE AFTER THE SPIRIT THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT. “FOR TO BE CARNALLY MINDED IS DEATH; BUT TO BE SPIRITUALLY MINDED IS LIFE AND PEACE.” IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME THAT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE CAN LEARN IN THIS LIFE IS HOW TO EMPHASIZE OUR ETERNAL SPIRITUAL NATURE AND CONTROL OUR EVIL DESIRES. THIS SHOULD NOT BE THAT DIFFICULT, AFTER ALL, DIFFICULT, AFTER ALL, OUR SPIRIT HAS BEEN AROUND A LOT LONGER THAN OUR PHYSICAL BODY, HAS ALREADY BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN CHOOSING RIGHTEOUSNESS OVER EVIL IN THE PREMORTAL REALM. BEFORE THIS EARTH WAS FORMED, WE LIVED IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS, WHO LOVED US AND CONTINUE TO LOVE US NOW. AND YES, WE DID HAVE TO MAKE LIFE-CHANGING DECISIONS AND CHOICES IN THAT PREMORTAL REALM. EVERY PERSON WHO HAS EVER LIVED OR EVER WILL LIVE ON THIS PLANET MADE AN ESSENTIAL DECISION TO CHOOSE TO ACCEPT HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN FOR OUR SALVATION. SO WE ALL CAME TO EARTH WITH A PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF A SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL NATURE AND ETERNAL DESTINY. THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MOMENT. THIS IS WHO YOU AND I REALLY ARE AND WHO YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN: A SON OR A DAUGHTER OF GOD, WITH SPIRITUAL ROOTS IN ETERNITY AND A FUTURE OVERFLOWING WITH INFINITE POSSIBILITIES. YOU ARE–FIRST AND FOREMOST AND ALWAYS–A SPIRITUAL BEING. AND SO WHEN ONE CHOOSES TO PUT OUR CARNAL NATURE AHEAD OF OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE, WE ARE CHOOSING SOMETHING THAT IS CONTRARY TO OUR REAL, TRUE, AUTHENTIC, SPIRITUAL SELVES. STILL, THERE’S NO QUESTION THAT FLESH AND EARTHLY IMPULSES COMPLICATE THE DECISION-MAKING. WITH A VEIL OF FORGETFULNESS DRAWN BETWEEN THE PREMORTAL SPIRIT WORLD AND THIS MORTAL WORLD, ONE CAN LOSE SIGHT OF OUR RELATIONSHIP TO GOD AND OUR SPIRITUAL NATURE, AND OUR CARNAL NATURE CAN GIVE PRIORITY TO WHAT WE WANT RIGHT NOW. LEARNING TO CHOOSE THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT OVER THE THINGS OF THE FLESH IS ONE OF THE PRIMARY REASONS WHY THIS EARTHLY EXPERIENCE IS PART OF HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN. IT’S ALSO WHY THE PLAN IS BUILT UPON THE SOLID, SURE FOUNDATION OF THE ATONEMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST SO THAT OUR SINS, INCLUDING THE ERRORS WE MAKE WHEN WE YIELD TO THE FLESH, CAN BE OVERCOME THROUGH CONSTANT REPENTANCE AND WE CAN LIVE SPIRITUALLY FOCUSED. NOW IS THE TIME TO CONTROL OUR BODILY APPETITES TO COMPLY WITH THE SPIRITUAL DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. THAT IS WHY WE MUST NOT PROCRASTINATE THE DAY OF OUR REPENTANCE. REPENTANCE, THEREFORE, BECOMES AN INDISPENSABLE WEAPON IN OUR BATTLE OVER SELF. JUST LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON REFERRED TO THIS BATTLE AND REMINDED US THAT “WHEN WE CHOOSE TO REPENT, WE CHOOSE TO CHANGE! WE ALLOW THE SAVIOR TO TRANSFORM US INTO THE BEST VERSION OF OURSELVES. WE CHOOSE TO GROW SPIRITUALLY AND RECEIVE JOY–THE JOY OF REDEMPTION IN HIM! WHEN WE CHOOSE TO REPENT, WE CHOOSE TO BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST!” EVERY NIGHT AS I REVIEW MY DAY IN PRAYER WITH MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, I ASK TO BE FORGIVEN IF I DID ANYTHING WRONG AND PROMISE TO TRY TO BE BETTER TOMORROW. I BELIEVE THIS REGULAR DAILY REPENTANCE HELPS MY SPIRIT REMIND MY BODY WHO IS IN CHARGE OF ME. ANOTHER RESOURCE IS THE WEEKLY OPPORTUNITY WE ALL HAVE TO REFRESH OURSELVES SPIRITUALLY BY PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE ATONEMENT AND THE PERFECT LOVE THAT OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST HAS FOR US. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO SLOW DOWN A BIT AND THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU ARE NOW IN SUBJUGATING YOUR CARNAL NATURE AND EMPOWERING YOUR DIVINE, SPIRITUAL NATURE SO WHEN THE TIME COMES, YOU MAY PASS INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD TO A JOYFUL REUNION WITH YOUR LOVED ONES. FOR WHICH I TESTIFY AND HUMBLY PRAY. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER PETER M. JOHNSON: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THANK YOU! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO BECOME AND TO HELP OTHERS BECOME TRUE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST AND ENJOY THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOODNESS. YOU ARE WONDERFUL; YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. IT IS MY PRAYER THAT WE WILL RECOGNIZE THE CONFIRMING INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST AS WE COME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF GOD. “THE FAMILY: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD” STATES: “ALL HUMAN BEINGS–MALE AND FEMALE–ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. EACH IS A BELOVED SPIRIT SON OR DAUGHTER OF HEAVENLY PARENTS, AND, AS SUCH, EACH HAS A DIVINE NATURE AND DESTINY.” WE ARE “CHOICE SPIRITS WHO WERE RESERVED TO COME FORTH IN THE FULNESS OF TIMES TO TAKE PART IN LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE GREAT LATTER-DAY WORK.” PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON DECLARED: “YOU WERE TAUGHT IN THE SPIRIT WORLD TO PREPARE YOU FOR ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING YOU WOULD ENCOUNTER DURING THIS LATTER PART OF THESE LATTER DAYS. THAT TEACHING ENDURES WITHIN YOU.” YOU ARE ELECT SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO OVERCOME THE ADVERSARY. THE ADVERSARY, HOWEVER, IS AWARE OF WHO YOU ARE. HE KNOWS OF YOUR DIVINE HERITAGE AND SEEKS TO LIMIT YOUR EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY POTENTIAL BY USING THE THREE DS: DECEPTION DISTRACTION DISCOURAGEMENT THE ADVERSARY USED THE TOOL OF DECEPTION IN THE DAYS OF MOSES . THE LORD DECLARED TO MOSES: “BEHOLD, THOU ART MY SON. … I HAVE A WORK FOR THEE, … AND THOU ART IN THE SIMILITUDE OF MINE ONLY BEGOTTEN.” SHORTLY AFTER THIS GLORIOUS VISION, SATAN ATTEMPTED TO DECEIVE MOSES. THE WORDS HE USED ARE INTERESTING: “MOSES, SON OF MAN, WORSHIP ME.” THE DECEPTION WAS NOT ONLY IN THE INVITATION TO WORSHIP SATAN, BUT THE DECEPTION WAS ALSO IN THE WAY HE DESCRIBED MOSES AS A SON OF MAN. REMEMBER, THE LORD HAD JUST TOLD MOSES HE WAS A SON OF GOD, CREATED IN THE SIMILITUDE OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN. THE ADVERSARY WAS RELENTLESS IN HIS ATTEMPT TO DECEIVE MOSES, BUT MOSES RESISTED, SAYING: “DEPART FROM ME, SATAN, FOR THIS ONE GOD ONLY WILL I WORSHIP, WHICH IS THE GOD OF GLORY.” MOSES REMEMBERED WHO HE WAS, A SON OF GOD. THE LORD’S WORDS TO MOSES APPLY TO YOU AND TO ME. WE ARE CREATED IN GOD’S OWN IMAGE, AND HE HAS A WORK FOR US TO DO. THE ADVERSARY ATTEMPTS TO DECEIVE BY HAVING US FORGET WHO WE TRULY ARE. IF WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE, THEN IT IS DIFFICULT TO RECOGNIZE WHO WE CAN BECOME. THE ADVERSARY ALSO ATTEMPTS TO DISTRACT US AWAY FROM CHRIST AND HIS COVENANT PATH. ELDER RONALD A. RASBAND SHARED THE FOLLOWING: “THE ADVERSARY’S DESIGN IS TO DISTRACT US FROM SPIRITUAL WITNESSES, WHILE THE LORD’S DESIRE IS TO ENLIGHTEN AND TO ENGAGE US IN HIS WORK.” IN OUR DAY, THERE ARE MANY DISTRACTIONS, INCLUDING TWITTER, FACEBOOK, VIRTUAL REALITY GAMES, AND MUCH MORE. THESE TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES ARE AMAZING, BUT IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL, THEY CAN DISTRACT US FROM FULFILLING OUR DIVINE POTENTIAL. USING THEM APPROPRIATELY CAN BRING FORTH THE POWER OF HEAVEN AND ALLOW US TO WITNESS MIRACLES AS WE SEEK TO GATHER SCATTERED ISRAEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. LET US BE CAREFUL AND NOT CASUAL IN OUR USE OF TECHNOLOGY. CONTINUALLY SEEK FOR WAYS THAT TECHNOLOGY CAN DRAW US CLOSER TO THE SAVIOR AND ALLOW US TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WORK AS WE PREPARE FOR HIS SECOND COMING. LASTLY, THE ADVERSARY DESIRES FOR US TO BECOME DISCOURAGED. WE MAY GET DISCOURAGED WHEN WE COMPARE OURSELVES TO OTHERS OR FEEL WE ARE NOT LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS, INCLUDING OUR OWN. WHEN I STARTED MY DOCTORAL PROGRAM, I FELT DISCOURAGED. THE PROGRAM ACCEPTED ONLY FOUR STUDENTS THAT YEAR, AND THE OTHER STUDENTS WERE BRILLIANT. THEY HAD HIGHER TEST SCORES AND MORE WORK EXPERIENCE AT SENIOR MANAGEMENT POSITIONS, AND THEY EXUDED CONFIDENCE IN THEIR ABILITIES. AFTER MY FIRST TWO WEEKS IN THE PROGRAM, FEELINGS OF DISCOURAGEMENT AND DOUBT BEGAN TO TAKE HOLD–ALMOST OVERWHELMING ME. I DECIDED THAT IF I WERE GOING TO COMPLETE THIS FOUR-YEAR PROGRAM, I WOULD FINISH READING THE BOOK OF MORMON EACH SEMESTER. EACH DAY AS I READ, I RECOGNIZED THE SAVIOR’S DECLARATION THAT THE HOLY GHOST WOULD TEACH ME ALL THINGS AND WOULD BRING ALL THINGS TO MY REMEMBRANCE. IT REAFFIRMED WHO I AM AS A SON OF GOD, REMINDED ME NOT TO COMPARE MYSELF WITH THE OTHERS, AND GAVE ME THE CONFIDENCE IN MY DIVINE ROLE TO SUCCEED. MY DEAR FRIENDS, PLEASE DO NOT LET ANYONE STEAL YOUR HAPPINESS. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS, AND PLEASE REMEMBER THE LOVING WORDS OF THE SAVIOR: “PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU, MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU: NOT AS THE WORLD GIVETH, GIVE I UNTO YOU. LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED, NEITHER LET IT BE AFRAID.” SO HOW DO WE DO IT? HOW DO WE FIND THIS PEACE, REMEMBER WHO WE ARE, AND OVERCOME THE THREE DS OF THE ADVERSARY? FIRST, REMEMBER THAT THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT IS TO LOVE GOD WITH OUR HEART, MIGHT, MIND, AND STRENGTH. ALL THAT WE DO SHOULD BE MOTIVATED BY OUR LOVE FOR HIM AND FOR HIS SON. AS WE DEVELOP OUR LOVE FOR THEM, BY KEEPING THEIR COMMANDMENTS, OUR CAPACITY TO LOVE OURSELVES AND TO LOVE OTHERS WILL INCREASE. WE WILL BEGIN TO SERVE FAMILY, AND FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS BECAUSE WE WILL SEE THEM AS THE SAVIOR SEES THEM–AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD. SECOND, PRAY UNTO THE FATHER IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY. IT IS THROUGH PRAYER THAT WE CAN FEEL THE LOVE OF GOD AND SHOW OUR LOVE FOR HIM. THROUGH PRAYER WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND ASK FOR THE STRENGTH AND THE COURAGE TO SUBMIT OUR WILL TO GOD’S AND BE GUIDED AND DIRECTED IN ALL THINGS. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO “PRAY UNTO THE FATHER WITH ALL THE ENERGY OF HEART, THAT YE MAY BE FILLED WITH THIS LOVE, … THAT YE MAY BECOME THE SONS [AND DAUGHTERS] OF GOD; THAT WHEN HE SHALL APPEAR WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM.” THIRD, READ AND STUDY THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY. MY BOOK OF MORMON STUDIES TEND TO GO BETTER WHEN I READ WITH A QUESTION IN MIND. AS WE STUDY WITH A QUESTION, WE CAN RECEIVE REVELATION AND RECOGNIZE THAT THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH SPOKE TRUTH WHEN HE DECLARED, “THE BOOK OF MORMON [IS] THE MOST CORRECT OF ANY BOOK ON EARTH, … AND A MAN [OR A WOMAN WILL] GET NEARER TO GOD BY ABIDING BY ITS PRECEPTS, THAN BY ANY OTHER BOOK.” THE BOOK OF MORMON CONTAINS THE WORDS OF CHRIST AND HELPS US REMEMBER WHO WE ARE. LASTLY, PRAYERFULLY PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT EVERY WEEK, EVERY WEEK, EVERY WEEK. IT IS THROUGH COVENANTS AND PRIESTHOOD ORDINANCES, INCLUDING THE SACRAMENT, THAT THE POWER OF GODLINESS IS MANIFEST IN OUR LIVES. ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR TAUGHT: “THE ORDINANCE OF THE SACRAMENT IS A HOLY AND REPEATED INVITATION TO REPENT SINCERELY AND TO BE RENEWED SPIRITUALLY. THE ACT OF PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT, IN AND OF ITSELF, DOES NOT REMIT SINS. BUT AS WE PREPARE CONSCIENTIOUSLY AND PARTICIPATE IN THIS HOLY ORDINANCE WITH A BROKEN HEART AND A CONTRITE SPIRIT, THEN THE PROMISE IS THAT WE MAY ALWAYS HAVE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD TO BE WITH US.” AS WE HUMBLY PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT, WE REMEMBER JESUS’S SUFFERING IN THAT SACRED GARDEN CALLED GETHSEMANE AND HIS SACRIFICE ON THE CROSS. WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO THE FATHER FOR SENDING HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, OUR REDEEMER, AND SHOW OUR WILLINGNESS TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS AND TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM. THERE IS A SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT ASSOCIATED WITH THE SACRAMENT–IT IS PERSONAL, IT IS POWERFUL, AND IT IS NEEDED. MY FRIENDS, I PROMISE THAT AS WE STRIVE TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, STUDY THE BOOK OF MORMON, AND PRAYERFULLY PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT, WE WILL HAVE THE ABILITY, WITH THE STRENGTH OF THE LORD, TO OVERCOME THE DECEPTIVE PRACTICES OF THE ADVERSARY, TO MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS THAT LIMIT OUR DIVINE POTENTIAL, AND TO RESIST THE DISCOURAGEMENT THAT DIMINISHES OUR CAPACITY TO FEEL THE LOVE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS SON. WE WILL COME TO FULLY UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I SHARE WITH YOU MY LOVE AND I DECLARE UNTO YOU MY WITNESS THAT I KNOW HEAVENLY FATHER LIVES AND JESUS IS THE CHRIST. I LOVE THEM. THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IS GOD’S KINGDOM UPON THE EARTH. AND WE HAVE A DIVINE APPOINTMENT TO GATHER ISRAEL AND PREPARE THE WORLD FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “LET US ALL PRESS ON.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM ELDERS ULISSES SOARES AND NEIL L. ANDERSEN OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. ♪♪ THIS IS THE ONE EIGHT 9TH SEMIANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪ LET US ALL PRESS ON
IN THE WORK OF THE LORD, ♪ ♪ THAT WHEN LIFE IS O’ER
WE MAY GAIN A REWARD; ♪ ♪ IN THE FIGHT FOR RIGHT
LET US WIELD A SWORD, ♪ ♪ THE MIGHTY
SWORD OF TRUTH. ♪ ♪ FEAR NOT,
THOUGH THE ENEMY DERIDE; ♪ ♪ COURAGE, FOR THE LORD
IS ON OUR SIDE. ♪ ♪ WE WILL HEED NOT
WHAT THE WICKED MAY SAY, ♪ ♪ BUT THE LORD ALONE
WE WILL OBEY. ♪ ♪ WE WILL NOT RETREAT, THOUGH
OUR NUMBERS MAY BE FEW ♪ ♪ WHEN COMPARED WITH THE
OPPOSITE HOST IN VIEW; ♪ ♪ BUT AN UNSEEN POW’R
WILL AID ME AND YOU ♪ ♪ IN THE GLORIOUS CAUSE
OF TRUTH. ♪ ♪ FEAR NOT,
THOUGH THE ENEMY DERIDE; ♪ ♪ COURAGE, FOR THE LORD
IS ON OUR SIDE. ♪ ♪ WE WILL HEED NOT
WHAT THE WICKED MAY SAY, ♪ ♪ BUT THE LORD ALONE
WE WILL OBEY. ♪ ♪ IF WE DO WHAT’S RIGHT
WE HAVE NO NEED TO FEAR, ♪ ♪ FOR THE LORD, OUR HELPER,
WILL EVER BE NEAR; ♪ ♪ IN THE DAYS OF TRIAL
HIS SAINTS HE WILL CHEER, ♪ ♪ AND PROSPER THE CAUSE
OF TRUTH. ♪ ♪ FEAR NOT,
THOUGH THE ENEMY DERIDE; ♪ ♪ COURAGE, FOR THE LORD
IS ON OUR SIDE. ♪ ♪ WE WILL HEED NOT
WHAT THE WICKED MAY SAY, ♪ ♪ BUT THE LORD ALONE
WE WILL OBEY. ♪>>ELDER ULISSES SOARES: DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE HAVE RECEIVED WONDERFUL TEACHINGS FROM OUR LEADERS DURING THESE LAST TWO DAYS. I TESTIFY TO YOU THAT IF WE STRIVE TO APPLY THESE INSPIRED AND TIMELY TEACHINGS IN OUR LIVES, THE LORD, THROUGH HIS GRACE, WILL HELP EACH OF US CARRY OUR CROSS AND MAKE OUR BURDENS LIGHT. WHILE IN THE VICINITY OF CAESAREA PHILIPPI, THE SAVIOR REVEALED TO HIS DISCIPLES WHAT HE WOULD SUFFER AT THE HANDS OF THE ELDERS, CHIEF PRIESTS, AND SCRIBES IN JERUSALEM. HE SPECIFICALLY TAUGHT THEM ABOUT HIS DEATH AND GLORIOUS RESURRECTION. AT THAT POINT IN TIME, HIS DISCIPLES DID NOT COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND HIS DIVINE MISSION ON EARTH. PETER HIMSELF, WHEN HE HEARD WHAT THE SAVIOR HAD SAID, TOOK HIM ASIDE AND REBUKED HIM, SAYING, “BE IT FAR FROM THEE, LORD: THIS SHALL NOT BE UNTO THEE.” TO HELP HIS DISCIPLES TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEVOTION TO HIS WORK INCLUDES SUBMISSION AND SUFFERING, THE SAVIOR EMPHATICALLY DECLARED: “IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, AND TAKE UP HIS CROSS, AND FOLLOW ME. “FOR WHOSOEVER WILL SAVE HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT: AND WHOSOEVER WILL LOSE HIS LIFE FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT. “FOR WHAT IS A MAN PROFITED, IF HE SHALL GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD, AND LOSE HIS OWN SOUL OR WHAT SHALL A MAN GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR HIS SOUL?” THROUGH THIS DECLARATION, THE SAVIOR EMPHASIZED THAT ALL THOSE WHO ARE WILLING TO FOLLOW HIM NEED TO DENY THEMSELVES AND CONTROL THEIR DESIRES, APPETITES, AND PASSIONS, SACRIFICING EVERYTHING, EVEN LIFE ITSELF IF NECESSARY, BEING ENTIRELY SUBMISSIVE TO THE WILL OF THE FATHER–JUST AS HE DID. THIS IS, IN FACT, THE PRICE TO BE PAID FOR THE SALVATION OF A SOUL. JESUS PURPOSELY AND METAPHORICALLY USED THE SYMBOL OF THE CROSS TO HELP HIS DISCIPLES BETTER UNDERSTAND WHAT SACRIFICE AND DEVOTION TO THE LORD’S CAUSE WOULD TRULY MEAN. THE IMAGE OF A CROSS WAS WELL KNOWN AMONG HIS DISCIPLES AND THE INHABITANTS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE BECAUSE THE ROMANS FORCED VICTIMS OF CRUCIFIXION TO PUBLICLY CARRY THEIR OWN CROSS OR CROSS BEAM TO THE PLACE WHERE THEIR EXECUTION WOULD OCCUR. IT WAS ONLY AFTER THE SAVIOR’S RESURRECTION THAT THE DISCIPLES’ MINDS WERE OPENED TO UNDERSTAND ALL THAT HAD BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT HIM AND WHAT WOULD BE REQUIRED OF THEM FROM THAT TIME ON. IN THE SAME FASHION, ALL OF US BROTHERS AND SISTERS, NEED TO OPEN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS IN ORDER TO MORE FULLY UNDERSTAND THE RELEVANCE OF TAKING UPON OURSELVES OUR CROSSES AND FOLLOWING HIM. WE LEARN THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES THAT THOSE WHO WISH TO TAKE THEIR CROSS UPON THEMSELVES LOVE JESUS CHRIST IN SUCH A WAY THAT THEY DENY THEMSELVES OF ALL UNGODLINESS AND OF EVERY WORLDLY LUST AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. OUR DETERMINATION TO CAST OFF ALL THAT IS CONTRARY TO GOD’S WILL AND TO SACRIFICE ALL WE ARE ASKED TO GIVE AND TO STRIVE TO FOLLOW HIS TEACHINGS WILL HELP US TO ENDURE IN THE PATH OF JESUS CHRIST’S GOSPEL–EVEN IN THE FACE OF TRIBULATION, WEAKNESS OF OUR SOULS, OR THE SOCIAL PRESSURE AND WORLDLY PHILOSOPHIES THAT OPPOSE HIS TEACHINGS. FOR EXAMPLE, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT YET FOUND AN ETERNAL COMPANION AND MAY BE FEELING LONELY AND HOPELESS, OR FOR THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DIVORCED AND FEEL ABANDONED AND FORGOTTEN, I ASSURE YOU THAT ACCEPTING THE SAVIOR’S INVITATION OF TAKING UPON YOURSELVES YOUR CROSSES AND FOLLOWING HIM MEANS CONTINUING WITH FAITH ON THE LORD’S PATH, MAINTAINING A PATTERN OF DIGNITY, AND NOT INDULGING IN WORLDLY HABITS THAT WILL EVENTUALLY TAKE AWAY OUR HOPE IN GOD’S LOVE AND MERCY. THE SAME PRINCIPLES APPLY TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE EXPERIENCING SAME-GENDER ATTRACTION AND FEEL DISCOURAGED AND HELPLESS. AND MAYBE FOR THIS REASON, SOME OF YOU ARE FEELING THAT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOT FOR YOU ANYMORE. IF THAT IS THE CASE, I WANT TO ASSURE YOU THAT THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE IN GOD THE FATHER AND IN HIS PLAN OF HAPPINESS, IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONING SACRIFICE, AND IN LIVING THEIR LOVING COMMANDMENTS. IN HIS PERFECT WISDOM, POWER, JUSTICE, AND MERCY, THE LORD MAY SEAL US HIS, THAT WE MAY BE BROUGHT TO HIS PRESENCE AND HAVE EVERLASTING SALVATION IF WE ARE STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE IN KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS AND ARE ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN GOOD WORKS. TO THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED SERIOUS SINS, ACCEPTING THIS SAME INVITATION MEANS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TO HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD, TO COUNSEL WITH APPROPRIATE CHURCH LEADERS, AND TO REPENT AND FORSAKE YOUR SINS. THIS PROCESS WILL ALSO BLESS ALL WHO ARE FIGHTING AGAINST DEBILITATING ADDICTIONS, INCLUDING OPIOIDS, DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND PORNOGRAPHY. TAKING THESE STEPS BRINGS YOU CLOSER TO THE SAVIOR, WHO CAN ULTIMATELY FREE YOU FROM GUILT, SORROW, AND SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL SLAVERY. ADDITIONALLY, YOU MAY ALSO DESIRE TO SEEK THE SUPPORT OF YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND COMPETENT MEDICAL AND COUNSELING PROFESSIONALS. PLEASE NEVER GIVE UP AFTER SUBSEQUENT FAILURES AND CONSIDER YOURSELF INCAPABLE OF ABANDONING SINS AND OVERCOMING ADDICTION. YOU CANNOT AFFORD TO STOP TRYING AND THEREAFTER CONTINUE IN WEAKNESS AND SIN! ALWAYS STRIVE TO DO YOUR BEST, MANIFESTING THROUGH YOUR WORKS THE DESIRE TO CLEANSE THE INNER VESSEL, AS TAUGHT BY THE SAVIOR. SOMETIMES SOLUTIONS TO CERTAIN CHALLENGES COME AFTER MONTHS AND MONTHS OF CONTINUOUS EFFORT. THE PROMISE FOUND IN THE BOOK OF MORMON THAT “IT IS BY GRACE THAT WE ARE SAVED, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO” IS APPLICABLE IN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE SAVIOR’S GIFT OF GRACE IS NOT NECESSARILY LIMITED IN TIME TO “AFTER” ALL WE CAN DO. WE MAY RECEIVE HIS GRACE BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER THE TIME WHEN WE EXPEND OUR OWN EFFORTS. I TESTIFY THAT AS WE CONTINUALLY STRIVE TO OVERCOME OUR CHALLENGES, GOD WILL BLESS US WITH THE GIFTS OF FAITH TO BE HEALED AND OF THE WORKING OF MIRACLES. HE WILL DO FOR US WHAT WE ARE NOT CAPABLE OF DOING FOR OURSELVES. ADDITIONALLY, FOR THOSE WHO FEEL BITTER, ANGRY, OFFENDED, OR CHAINED TO SORROWS FOR SOMETHING YOU FEEL IS UNDESERVED, TO TAKE UP ONE’S CROSS AND FOLLOW THE SAVIOR MEANS TO STRIVE TO LAY ASIDE THESE FEELINGS AND TURN TO THE LORD SO HE CAN FREE US FROM THIS STATE OF MIND AND HELP US TO FIND PEACE. UNFORTUNATELY, IF WE HOLD ON TO THESE NEGATIVE FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS, WE MAY FIND OURSELVES LIVING WITHOUT THE INFLUENCE OF THE LORD’S SPIRIT IN OUR LIVES. WE CANNOT REPENT FOR OTHER PEOPLE, BUT WE CAN FORGIVE THEM–BY REFUSING TO BE HELD HOSTAGES BY THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED US. THE SCRIPTURES TEACH THAT THERE IS A WAY OUT OF THESE SITUATIONS–BY INVITING OUR SAVIOR TO HELP US TO REPLACE OUR STONY HEARTS WITH NEW HEARTS. FOR THIS TO HAPPEN, WE NEED TO COME BEFORE THE LORD WITH OUR WEAKNESSES, AND IMPLORE HIS HELP AND FORGIVENESS, ESPECIALLY DURING THE SACRED MOMENT WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT EACH SUNDAY. MAY WE CHOOSE TO SEEK HIS FORGIVENESS AND HIS HELP AND TAKE AN IMPORTANT AND DIFFICULT STEP BY FORGIVING THOSE WHO HAVE HURT US SO THAT OUR WOUNDS MAY BEGIN TO HEAL. I PROMISE YOU THAT IN YOUR DOING SO, YOUR NIGHTS WILL BE FULL OF THE RELIEF THAT COMES FROM A MIND AT PEACE WITH THE LORD. WHILE IN THE LIBERTY JAIL IN 1839, THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH WROTE AN EPISTLE TO CHURCH MEMBERS CONTAINING PROPHECIES THAT ARE SO VERY APPLICABLE IN ALL THESE SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES. HE WROTE, “ALL THRONES AND DOMINIONS, PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS, SHALL BE REVEALED AND SET FORTH UPON ALL WHO HAVE ENDURED VALIANTLY FOR THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.” THEREFORE, MY DEAR BROTHER AND SISTERS, THOSE WHO TAKE UPON THEMSELVES THE NAME OF THE SAVIOR, TRUSTING IN HIS PROMISES AND PERSEVERING TO THE END, WILL BE SAVED AND MAY DWELL WITH GOD IN A STATE OF NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS. WE ALL FACE ADVERSE CIRCUMSTANCES IN OUR LIVES THAT MAKE US FEEL SAD, HELPLESS, HOPELESS, AND SOMETIMES EVEN WEAKENED. SOME OF THESE FEELINGS MAY LEAD US TO QUESTION THE LORD, “WHY AM I EXPERIENCING THESE SITUATIONS?” OR “WHY ARE MY EXPECTATIONS NOT MET? AFTER ALL, I AM DOING EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO CARRY MY CROSS AND FOLLOW THE SAVIOR!” MY DEAR FRIENDS, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT TAKING OUR CROSS UPON OURSELVES INCLUDES BEING HUMBLE AND TRUSTING IN GOD AND IN HIS INFINITE WISDOM. WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HE IS AWARE OF EACH OF US AND OF OUR NEEDS. IT IS ALSO NECESSARY TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT THE LORD’S TIMING IS DIFFERENT THAN OURS. SOMETIMES WE SEEK FOR A BLESSING AND SET A TIME LIMIT FOR THE LORD TO FULFILL IT. WE CANNOT CONDITION OUR FAITHFULNESS TO HIM BY IMPOSING UPON HIM A DEADLINE FOR THE ANSWERS TO OUR DESIRES. WHEN WE DO THIS, WE RESEMBLE THE SKEPTICAL NEPHITES FROM ANCIENT TIMES, WHO MOCKED THEIR BRETHREN BY SAYING THAT THE TIME WAS PAST FOR THE FULFILLMENT OF THE WORDS SPOKEN BY SAMUEL THE LAMANITE, CREATING CONFUSION AMONG THOSE WHO BELIEVED. WE NEED TO TRUST THE LORD ENOUGH TO BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD, THAT HE KNOWS ALL THINGS, AND THAT HE IS AWARE OF EACH OF US. I RECENTLY HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MINISTER TO A WIDOWED SISTER NAMED FRANCA CALAMASSI, WHO IS SUFFERING FROM A DEBILITATING ILLNESS. SISTER CALAMASSI WAS THE FIRST MEMBER OF HER FAMILY TO JOIN THE RESTORED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. ALTHOUGH HER HUSBAND WAS NEVER BAPTIZED, HE CONSENTED TO MEET WITH THE MISSIONARIES AND OFTEN ATTENDED CHURCH MEETINGS. DESPITE THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, SISTER CALAMASSI REMAINED FAITHFUL AND RAISED HER FOUR CHILDREN IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. A YEAR FOLLOWING HER HUSBAND’S PASSING, SISTER CALAMASSI TOOK HER CHILDREN TO THE TEMPLE, AND THEY PARTICIPATED IN SACRED ORDINANCES AND WERE SEALED TOGETHER AS A FAMILY. THE PROMISES ASSOCIATED WITH THESE ORDINANCES BROUGHT HER MUCH HOPE, JOY, AND HAPPINESS THAT HELPED HER CARRY ON IN LIFE. WHEN THE FIRST SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE BEGAN TO APPEAR, HER BISHOP GAVE HER A BLESSING. AT THAT TIME SHE TOLD HER BISHOP THAT SHE WAS READY TO ACCEPT THE LORD’S WILL, EXPRESSING HER FAITH TO BE HEALED AS WELL AS HER FAITH TO ENDURE HER ILLNESS TO THE END. DURING MY VISIT, WHILE HOLDING SISTER CALAMASSI’S HAND AND LOOKING INTO HER EYES, I SAW AN ANGELIC GLOW EMANATING FROM HER COUNTENANCE–REFLECTING HER CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S PLAN AND HER PERFECT BRIGHTNESS OF HOPE IN THE FATHER’S LOVE AND PLAN FOR HER. I FELT HER FIRM DETERMINATION TO ENDURE IN HER FAITH UNTIL THE END BY TAKING UP HER CROSS, DESPITE THE CHALLENGES SHE WAS FACING. THIS SISTER’S LIFE IS A TESTIMONY OF CHRIST, A STATEMENT OF HER FAITH AND DEVOTION TO HIM. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I WANT TO TESTIFY TO YOU THAT TAKING UPON US OUR CROSS AND FOLLOWING THE SAVIOR REQUIRES US TO FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE TO STRIVE TO BECOME LIKE HIM, PATIENTLY FACING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF LIFE, DENYING AND DESPISING THE APPETITES OF THE NATURAL MAN, AND WAITING ON THE LORD. THE PSALMIST WROTE, “WAIT ON THE LORD: BE OF GOOD COURAGE, AND HE SHALL STRENGTHEN THINE HEART: WAIT, I SAY, ON THE LORD.” “HE IS OUR HELP AND OUR SHIELD “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.” THIS PRECIOUS FRUIT SYMBOLIZES THE WONDROUS BLESSINGS OF THE SAVIOR’S INCOMPARABLE ATONEMENT. NOT ONLY WILL WE LIVE AGAIN FOLLOWING OUR MORTALITY, BUT THROUGH OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, OUR REPENTANCE AND KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS, WE CAN BE FORGIVEN OF OUR SINS, AND ONE DAY STAND CLEAN AND PURE BEFORE OUR FATHER AND HIS SON. PARTAKING OF THE FRUIT OF THE TREE ALSO SYMBOLIZES THAT WE EMBRACE THE ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL–BEING BAPTIZED, RECEIVING THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST, AND ENTERING THE HOUSE OF THE LORD TO BE ENDOWED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH. THROUGH THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST AND BY HONORING OUR COVENANTS, WE RECEIVE THE IMMEASURABLE PROMISE OF LIVING WITH OUR RIGHTEOUS FAMILY THROUGHOUT ETERNITY. NO WONDER THE ANGEL DESCRIBED THE FRUIT AS “THE MOST JOYOUS TO THE SOUL.” IT TRULY IS! AS WE HAVE ALL LEARNED, EVEN AFTER SAVORING THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL, STAYING TRUE AND FAITHFUL TO THE LORD, JESUS CHRIST, IS STILL NOT EASILY DONE. AS HAS BEEN SAID MANY TIMES IN THIS CONFERENCE, WE CONTINUE TO FACE DISTRACTIONS AND DECEPTIONS, DECEPTIONS, CONFUSION AND COMMOTION, ENTICEMENTS AND TEMPTATIONS THAT ATTEMPT TO PULL OUR HEARTS AWAY FROM THE SAVIOR AND THE JOYS AND BEAUTIES WE HAVE EXPERIENCED IN FOLLOWING HIM. BECAUSE OF THIS ADVERSITY, LEHI’S DREAM ALSO INCLUDES A WARNING! ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER IS A SPACIOUS BUILDING WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES POINTING THEIR FINGERS, MOCKING AND SCOFFING AT THE RIGHTEOUS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST. THE PEOPLE IN THE BUILDING ARE RIDICULING AND LAUGHING AT THOSE KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS, HOPING TO DISCREDIT AND DERIDE THEIR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND IN HIS GOSPEL. AND BECAUSE OF THE VERBAL ATTACKS OF DOUBT AND DISDAIN LAUNCHED AT THE BELIEVERS, SOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE TASTED OF THE FRUIT BEGIN TO FEEL ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL THEY ONCE EMBRACED. THE FALSE ALLURES OF THE WORLD SEDUCE THEM; THEY TURN AWAY FROM THE TREE AND FROM THE FRUIT; AND, IN THE LORD’S WORDS, “[FALL] AWAY INTO FORBIDDEN PATHS AND [ARE] LOST.” IN OUR WORLD TODAY, THE ADVERSARY’S CONSTRUCTION CREWS ARE WORKING OVERTIME, HASTILY INFLATING THE LARGE AND SPACIOUS BUILDING. THE EXPANSION HAS SPREAD ACROSS THE RIVER, HOPING TO ENVELOPE OUR HOMES, WHILE THE POINTERS AND SCOFFERS WAIL DAY AND NIGHT ON THEIR INTERNET MEGAPHONES. PRESIDENT NELSON EXPLAINED, “THE ADVERSARY IS QUADRUPLING HIS EFFORTS TO DISRUPT TESTIMONIES AND IMPEDE THE WORK OF THE LORD.” LET US REMEMBER LEHI’S WORDS, “WE HEEDED THEM NOT!” ALTHOUGH WE NEED NOT FEAR, WE ARE TO BE ON GUARD. AT TIMES LITTLE THINGS CAN UPEND OUR SPIRITUAL BALANCE. PLEASE DON’T ALLOW YOUR QUESTIONS, THE INSULTS OF OTHERS, FAITHLESS FRIENDS, OR UNFORTUNATE MISTAKES AND DISAPPOINTMENTS, TO TURN YOU AWAY FROM THE SWEET, PURE, AND SOUL-SATISFYING BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE TREE. KEEP YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEARTS CENTERED ON THE SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST AND THE ETERNAL JOY THAT COMES ONLY THROUGH HIM. IN JUNE, MY WIFE, KATHY, AND I ATTENDED THE FUNERAL OF JASON HALL. AT THE TIME OF HIS PASSING, HE WAS 48 YEARS OLD AND SERVING AS AN ELDER’S QUORUM PRESIDENT. HERE ARE JASON’S WORDS ABOUT AN EVENT THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE: “[AT AGE 15] I [WAS] IN A DIVING ACCIDENT. … I [BROKE] MY NECK AND WAS PARALYZED FROM THE CHEST DOWN. I LOST COMPLETE CONTROL OF MY LEGS AND PARTIAL CONTROL OF MY ARMS. I COULD NO LONGER WALK, STAND … OR FEED MYSELF. I COULD BARELY BREATHE OR SPEAK. “‘DEAR FATHER [IN HEAVEN],’ I BEGGED, ‘IF I COULD ONLY HAVE MY HANDS, I KNOW I COULD MAKE IT. PLEASE, FATHER, PLEASE… “‘KEEP MY LEGS, FATHER; I JUST [PRAY FOR] THE USE OF MY HANDS.'” JASON NEVER RECEIVED THE USE OF HIS HANDS. CAN YOU HEAR THE VOICES FROM THE SPACIOUS BUILDING? “JASON HALL, GOD DOES NOT HEAR YOUR PRAYERS! IF GOD IS A LOVING GOD, HOW COULD HE LEAVE YOU LIKE THIS? WHY HAVE FAITH IN CHRIST?” JASON HALL HEARD THEIR VOICES BUT HE DID NOT HEED THEM. INSTEAD, HE FEASTED UPON THE FRUIT OF THE TREE. HIS FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST BECAME IMMOVABLE. HE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY AND MARRIED KOLETTE COLEMAN IN THE TEMPLE, DESCRIBING HER AS THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE. AFTER 16 YEARS OF MARRIAGE, ANOTHER MIRACLE, THEIR PRECIOUS SON, COLEMAN WAS BORN. HOW DID THEY GROW THEIR FAITH? KOLETTE EXPLAINED: “WE TRUSTED IN GOD’S PLAN, AND IT GAVE US HOPE. WE KNEW THAT JASON WOULD [IN A FUTURE DAY] BE WHOLE…. WE KNEW THAT GOD PROVIDED US A SAVIOR, WHO’S ATONING SACRIFICE ENABLES US TO KEEP LOOKING FORWARD WHEN WE WANT TO GIVE UP.” SPEAKING AT JASON’S FUNERAL, 10-YEAR-OLD COLEMAN SAID HIS DAD TAUGHT HIM “HEAVENLY FATHER [HAS] A PLAN FOR US, EARTH LIFE WOULD BE AWESOME AND WE COULD LIVE IN FAMILIES. … BUT … WE WOULD HAVE TO GO THROUGH HARD THINGS AND WE WOULD MAKE MISTAKES.” COLEMAN CONTINUED: “HEAVENLY FATHER SENT HIS SON, JESUS TO EARTH. HIS JOB WAS TO BE PERFECT. TO HEAL PEOPLE. TO LOVE THEM. AND THEN, TO SUFFER FOR ALL OF OUR PAIN, SORROWS, AND SINS. THEN HE DIED FOR US.” THEN COLEMAN ADDED, “BECAUSE HE DID THIS, JESUS KNOWS HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW.” HE CONTINUED, “THREE DAYS AFTER JESUS DIED, HE … CAME ALIVE AGAIN, WITH HIS BODY PERFECT. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE I KNOW THAT … MY [DAD’S] BODY WILL BE PERFECT AND WE WILL BE TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.” COLEMAN CONCLUDED: “EVERY NIGHT SINCE I WAS A BABY, MY DAD SAID TO ME, ‘DAD LOVES YOU, HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU AND YOU’RE A GOOD BOY.'” PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON DESCRIBED WHY THE HALL FAMILY FEELS JOY AND HOPE. HE SAID, “THE JOY WE FEEL HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR LIVES AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE FOCUS OF OUR LIVES. “WHEN THE FOCUS OF OUR LIVES IS ON GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION… AND JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL, WE CAN FEEL JOY REGARDLESS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING–OR NOT HAPPENING–IN OUR LIVES. JOY COMES FROM AND BECAUSE OF HIM. HE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL JOY.” “IF WE LOOK TO THE WORLD … WE WILL NEVER KNOW JOY. … [JOY] IS THE GIFT THAT COMES FROM INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO LIVE A RIGHTEOUS LIFE, AS TAUGHT BY JESUS CHRIST.” IF YOU HAVE BEEN WITHOUT THE FRUIT OF THE TREE FOR SOME TIME, PLEASE KNOW THAT THE SAVIOR’S ARMS ARE ALWAYS OUTSTRETCHED TO YOU. HE LOVINGLY BECKONS, “REPENT AND COME UNTO ME.” HIS FRUIT IS PLENTIFUL AND ALWAYS IN SEASON. IT CANNOT BE PURCHASED WITH MONEY AND NO ONE WHO HONESTLY DESIRES IT IS DENIED. IF YOU DESIRE TO RETURN TO THE TREE AND TASTE THE FRUIT ONCE AGAIN, BEGIN BY PRAYING TO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER. BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST AND THE POWER OF HIS ATONING SACRIFICE. I PROMISE YOU THAT AS YOU LOOK TO THE SAVIOR “IN EVERY THOUGHT,” THE FRUIT OF THE TREE WILL BE YOURS ONCE AGAIN, DELICIOUS TO YOUR TASTE, JOYOUS TO YOUR SOUL, “THE GREATEST OF ALL THE GIFTS OF GOD.” THREE WEEKS AGO TODAY I SAW THE JOY OF THE SAVIOR’S FRUIT ON FULL DISPLAY, AS KATHY AND I ATTENDED THE LISBON PORTUGAL TEMPLE DEDICATION. THE TRUTHS OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL OPENED TO PORTUGAL IN 1975 AS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BECAME AVAILABLE. MANY NOBLE SAINTS WHO FIRST TASTED OF THE FRUIT WHEN THERE WERE NO CONGREGATIONS, NO CHAPELS, AND NO TEMPLE CLOSER THAN 1,000 MILES, REJOICED WITH US THAT THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE TREE IS NOW IN A HOUSE OF THE LORD IN LISBON, PORTUGAL. HOW I HONOR AND REVERE THESE LATTER-DAY SAINTS WHO HAVE KEPT THEIR HEARTS RIVETED ON THE SAVIOR. THE SAVIOR SAID, “HE THAT ABIDETH IN ME, AND I IN HIM, THE SAME BRINGETH FORTH MUCH FRUIT: FOR WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING.” SPEAKING THIS MORNING TO THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH ACROSS THE WORLD, PRESIDENT NELSON SAID, “MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, YOU ARE LIVING EXEMPLARS OF THE FRUITS THAT COME FROM FOLLOWING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS CHRIST.” THEN HE ADDED, “I THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU!” WE LOVE YOU, PRESIDENT NELSON. I AM AN EYEWITNESS TO THE POWER OF REVELATION THAT RESTS UPON OUR DEAR PRESIDENT. HE IS THE PROPHET OF GOD. LIKE LEHI OF OLD, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON BECKONS TO US AND ALL OF GOD’S FAMILY, TO COME AND PARTAKE OF THE FRUIT OF THE TREE. MAY WE HAVE THE HUMILITY AND STRENGTH TO FOLLOW HIS COUNSEL. I HUMBLY WITNESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SON OF GOD. HIS LOVE, HIS POWER, AND HIS GRACE BRING ALL THINGS OF LASTING WORTH. I SO TESTIFY, I N THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: WE EXPRESS SINCERE APPRECIATION TO ALL WHO HAVE WORKED SO DILIGENTLY TO PREPARE FOR THESE SERVICES. OUR CONCLUDING SPEAKER WILL BE OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THIS CONFERENCE BY SINGING “MORE HOLINESS GIVE ME.” THEN THE BENEDICTION WILL BE BE OFFERED BY BROTHER DOUGLAS D. HOLMES, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE YOUNG MEN GENERAL PRESIDENCY, AND THE CONFERENCE WILL BE ADJOURNED. PRESIDENT NELSON.>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: MY BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AS WE COME TO THE END OF THIS HISTORIC CONFERENCE, WE THANK THE LORD FOR INSPIRING THE MESSAGES AND THE MUSIC THAT HAVE EDIFIED US. WE HAVE TRULY ENJOYED A SPIRITUAL FEAST. WE KNOW THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WILL BRING HOPE AND JOY TO PEOPLE WHO WILL HEAR AND HEED HIS DOCTRINE. WE ALSO KNOW THAT EACH HOME CAN BECOME A TRUE SANCTUARY OF FAITH, WHERE PEACE, LOVE, AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD MAY DWELL. OF COURSE, THE CROWNING JEWEL OF THE RESTORATION IS THE HOLY TEMPLE. ITS SACRED ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS ARE PIVOTAL TO PREPARING A PEOPLE WHO ARE READY TO WELCOME THE SAVIOR AT HIS SECOND COMING. PRESENTLY, WE HAVE 166 DEDICATED TEMPLES, AND MORE ARE COMING. AN OPEN HOUSE WILL BE HELD PRIOR TO THE DEDICATION OF EACH NEW AND RENOVATED TEMPLE. MANY FRIENDS NOT OF OUR FAITH WILL PARTICIPATE IN TOURS OF THOSE TEMPLES. THEY WILL LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT TEMPLE BLESSINGS. AND SOME OF THOSE VISITORS WILL BE MOVED UPON TO KNOW MORE. SOME WILL SINCERELY ASK HOW THEY MIGHT QUALIFY FOR THE BLESSINGS OF THE TEMPLE. AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, WE NEED TO BE PREPARED TO ANSWER THEIR QUESTIONS. WE CAN EXPLAIN THAT THE BLESSINGS OF THE TEMPLE ARE AVAILABLE TO ANY AND ALL PEOPLE WHO WILL PREPARE THEMSELVES. BUT BEFORE THEY CAN ENTER A DEDICATED TEMPLE, THEY NEED TO QUALIFY. THE LORD WANTS ALL HIS CHILDREN TO PARTAKE OF THE ETERNAL BLESSINGS AVAILABLE IN HIS TEMPLE. HE HAS DIRECTED WHAT EACH PERSON MUST DO TO QUALIFY TO ENTER HIS HOLY HOUSE. A GOOD PLACE FOR US TO BEGIN SUCH A TEACHING OPPORTUNITY IS TO CALL ATTENTION TO THE WORDS ETCHED ON THE TEMPLE’S EXTERIOR: “HOLINESS TO THE LORD: THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” PRESIDENT EYRING’S MESSAGE TODAY AND MANY OTHERS HAVE INSPIRED US TO BECOME MORE HOLY. EACH TEMPLE IS A HOLY PLACE; EACH TEMPLE PATRON STRIVES TO BECOME MORE HOLY. ALL REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE TEMPLE RELATE TO PERSONAL HOLINESS. TO ASSESS THAT READINESS, EACH PERSON WHO WANTS TO ENJOY THE BLESSINGS OF THE TEMPLE WILL HAVE TWO INTERVIEWS: FIRST WITH A BISHOP, BISHOPRIC COUNSELOR, OR BRANCH PRESIDENT; SECOND WITH A STAKE OR MISSION PRESIDENT OR ONE OF HIS COUNSELORS. IN THOSE INTERVIEWS, SEVERAL QUESTIONS WILL BE ASKED. SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS HAVE RECENTLY BEEN EDITED FOR CLARITY. I WOULD LIKE TO REVIEW THEM FOR YOU NOW: 1. DO YOU HAVE FAITH IN AND A TESTIMONY OF GOD, THE ETERNAL FATHER; HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST; AND THE HOLY GHOST? 2. DO YOU HAVE A TESTIMONY OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST AND OF HIS ROLE AS YOUR SAVIOR AND REDEEMER? 3. DO YOU HAVE A TESTIMONY OF THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST? 4. DO YOU SUSTAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AS THE PROPHET, SEER, AND REVELATOR AND AS THE ONLY PERSON ON THE EARTH AUTHORIZED TO EXERCISE ALL PRIESTHOOD KEYS? DO YOU SUSTAIN THE MEMBERS OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES AS PROPHETS, SEERS, AND REVELATORS? DO YOU SUSTAIN THE OTHER GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND LOCAL LEADERS OF THE CHURCH? 5. THE LORD HAS SAID THAT ALL THINGS ARE TO BE “DONE IN CLEANLINESS” BEFORE HIM. DO YOU STRIVE FOR MORAL CLEANLINESS IN YOUR THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOR? DO YOU OBEY GOD’S LAW OF CHASTITY? 6. DO YOU FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IN YOUR PRIVATE AND PUBLIC BEHAVIOR WITH MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY AND OTHERS? 7. DO YOU SUPPORT OR PROMOTE ANY TEACHINGS, PRACTICES, OR DOCTRINE CONTRARY TO THOSE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS? 8. DO YOU STRIVE TO KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY, BOTH AT HOME AND AT CHURCH; ATTEND YOUR MEETINGS; PREPARE FOR AND WORTHILY PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT; AND LIVE YOUR LIFE IN HARMONY WITH THE LAWS AND COMMANDMENTS OF THE GOSPEL? 9. DO YOU STRIVE TO BE HONEST IN ALL THAT YOU DO? 10. ARE YOU A FULL-TITHE PAYER? 11. DO YOU UNDERSTAND AND OBEY THE WORD OF WISDOM? 12. DO YOU HAVE ANY FINANCIAL OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO A FORMER SPOUSE OR TO CHILDREN? IF YES, ARE YOU CURRENT IN MEETING THOSE OBLIGATIONS? 13. DO YOU KEEP THE COVENANTS THAT YOU MADE IN THE TEMPLE, INCLUDING WEARING THE TEMPLE GARMENT AS INSTRUCTED IN THE ENDOWMENT? 14. ARE THERE SERIOUS SINS IN YOUR LIFE THAT NEED TO BE RESOLVED WITH PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITIES AS PART OF YOUR REPENTANCE? 15. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF WORTHY TO ENTER THE LORD’S HOUSE AND PARTICIPATE IN TEMPLE ORDINANCES? TOMORROW, THESE REVISED TEMPLE RECOMMEND QUESTIONS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED TO CHURCH LEADERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. IN ADDITION TO ANSWERING THOSE QUESTIONS HONESTLY, IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT EACH ADULT TEMPLE PATRON WILL WEAR THE SACRED GARMENT OF THE PRIESTHOOD UNDER THEIR REGULAR CLOTHING. THIS IS SYMBOLIC OF AN INNER COMMITMENT TO STRIVE EACH DAY TO BECOME MORE LIKE THE LORD. IT ALSO REMINDS US TO REMAIN FAITHFUL TO COVENANTS MADE EACH DAY AND TO WALK ON THE COVENANT PATH EACH DAY IN A HIGHER AND HOLIER WAY. NOW FOR JUST A MOMENT, I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO OUR YOUTH. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO QUALIFY FOR LIMITED-USE TEMPLE RECOMMENDS. YOU WILL ONLY BE ASKED THOSE QUESTIONS APPLICABLE TO YOU IN YOUR PREPARATION FOR THE ORDINANCES OF PROXY BAPTISM AND CONFIRMATION. WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL FOR YOUR WORTHINESS AND WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE IN THAT SACRED TEMPLE WORK. WE THANK YOU! INDIVIDUAL WORTHINESS TO ENTER THE LORD’S HOUSE REQUIRES MUCH INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUAL PREPARATION. BUT WITH THE LORD’S HELP, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. IN SOME RESPECTS, IT IS EASIER TO BUILD A TEMPLE THAN IT IS TO BUILD A PEOPLE PREPARED FOR A TEMPLE. INDIVIDUAL WORTHINESS REQUIRES A TOTAL CONVERSION OF MIND AND HEART TO BE MORE LIKE THE LORD, TO BE AN HONEST CITIZEN, TO BE A BETTER EXAMPLE, AND TO BE A HOLIER PERSON. I TESTIFY THAT SUCH PREPARATORY WORK BRINGS INNUMERABLE BLESSINGS IN THIS LIFE AND INCONCEIVABLE BLESSINGS FOR THE LIFE TO COME, INCLUDING THE PERPETUATION OF YOUR FAMILY UNIT THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY IN A STATE OF “NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS.” NOW I WOULD LIKE TO TURN TO ANOTHER TOPIC-PLANS FOR THE COMING YEAR. IN THE SPRINGTIME OF THE YEAR 2020, IT WILL BE EXACTLY 200 YEARS SINCE JOSEPH SMITH EXPERIENCED THE THEOPHANY THAT WE KNOW AS THE FIRST VISION. GOD THE FATHER AND HIS BELOVED SON, JESUS CHRIST, APPEARED TO JOSEPH, A 14-YEAR-OLD YOUTH. THAT EVENT MARKED THE ONSET OF THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN ITS FULNESS, PRECISELY AS FORETOLD IN THE HOLY BIBLE. THEN CAME A SUCCESSION OF VISITS FROM HEAVENLY MESSENGERS, INCLUDING MORONI, JOHN THE BAPTIST, AND THE EARLY APOSTLES PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN. OTHERS FOLLOWED, INCLUDING MOSES, ELIAS, AND ELIJAH. EACH BROUGHT DIVINE AUTHORITY TO BLESS GOD’S CHILDREN ON EARTH ONCE AGAIN. MIRACULOUSLY, WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED THE BOOK OF MORMON: ANOTHER TESTAMENT OF JESUS CHRIST, A COMPANION SCRIPTURE TO THE HOLY BIBLE. THE REVELATIONS PUBLISHED IN THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS AND THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE HAVE ALSO GREATLY ENRICHED OUR UNDERSTANDING OF GOD’S COMMANDMENTS AND ETERNAL TRUTH. THE KEYS AND OFFICES OF THE PRIESTHOOD HAVE BEEN RESTORED, INCLUDING THE OFFICES OF APOSTLE, SEVENTY, PATRIARCH, HIGH PRIEST, ELDER, BISHOP, PRIEST, TEACHER, AND DEACON. AND WOMEN WHO LOVE THE LORD SERVE VALIANTLY IN THE RELIEF SOCIETY, PRIMARY, YOUNG WOMEN, SUNDAY SCHOOL, AND OTHER CHURCH CALLINGS-ALL VITAL PARTS OF THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN ITS FULNESS. THUS, THE YEAR 2020 WILL BE DESIGNATED AS A BICENTENNIAL YEAR. GENERAL CONFERENCE NEXT APRIL WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM ANY PREVIOUS CONFERENCE. IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS, I HOPE THAT EVERY MEMBER AND EVERY FAMILY WILL PREPARE FOR A UNIQUE CONFERENCE THAT WILL COMMEMORATE THE VERY FOUNDATIONS OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL. YOU MAY WISH TO BEGIN YOUR PREPARATION BY READING AFRESH JOSEPH SMITH’S ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST VISION AS RECORDED IN THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE. OUR COURSE OF STUDY FOR THE NEXT YEAR IN “COME, FOLLOW ME” IS THE BOOK OF MORMON. YOU MAY WISH TO PONDER IMPORTANT QUESTIONS SUCH AS, “HOW WOULD MY LIFE BE DIFFERENT IF MY KNOWLEDGE GAINED FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON WERE SUDDENLY TAKEN AWAY?” OR “HOW HAVE THE EVENTS THAT FOLLOWED THE FIRST VISION MADE A DIFFERENCE FOR ME AND MY LOVED ONES?” ALSO, WITH THE BOOK OF MORMON VIDEOS NOW BECOMING AVAILABLE, YOU MAY WISH TO INCORPORATE THEM IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDY. SELECT YOUR OWN QUESTIONS. DESIGN YOUR OWN PLAN. IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE GLORIOUS LIGHT OF THE RESTORATION. AS YOU DO, GENERAL CONFERENCE NEXT APRIL WILL NOT ONLY BE MEMORABLE, IT WILL BE UNFORGETTABLE. NOW, IN CLOSING, I LEAVE WITH YOU MY LOVE AND MY BLESSING THAT EACH OF YOU MAY BECOME HAPPIER AND HOLIER WITH EACH PASSING DAY. MEANWHILE, PLEASE BE ASSURED THAT REVELATION CONTINUES IN THE CHURCH AND WILL CONTINUE UNDER THE LORD’S DIRECTION UNTIL “THE PURPOSES OF GOD SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED, AND THE GREAT JEHOVAH SHALL SAY THE WORK IS DONE.” I SO BLESS YOU, REAFFIRMING MY LOVE FOR YOU, WITH MY TESTIMONY THAT GOD LIVES! JESUS IS THE CHRIST! THIS IS HIS CHURCH, AND WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ MORE HOLINESS
GIVE ME, ♪ ♪ MORE STRIVINGS
WITHIN. ♪ ♪ MORE PATIENCE
IN SUFF’RING, ♪ ♪ MORE SORROW
FOR SIN, ♪ ♪ MORE FAITH
IN MY SAVIOR, ♪ ♪ MORE SENSE
OF HIS CARE. ♪ ♪ MORE JOY
IN HIS SERVICE, ♪ ♪ MORE PURPOSE
IN PRAYER. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ MORE GRATITUDE
GIVE ME, ♪ ♪ MORE TRUST
IN THE LORD, ♪ ♪ MORE PRIDE
IN HIS GLORY, ♪ ♪ MORE HOPE
IN HIS WORD, ♪ ♪ MORE TEARS
FOR HIS SORROWS, ♪ ♪ MORE PAIN
AT HIS GRIEF, ♪ ♪ MORE MEEKNESS
IN TRIAL, ♪ ♪ MORE PRAISE
FOR RELIEF. ♪ ♪ MORE PURITY
GIVE ME, ♪ ♪ MORE STRENGTH
TO O’ERCOME, ♪ ♪ MORE FREEDOM
FROM EARTH STAINS, ♪ ♪ MORE LONGING
FOR HOME. ♪ ♪ MORE FIT
FOR THE KINGDOM, ♪ ♪ MORE USED
WOULD I BE, ♪ ♪ MORE BLESSED
AND HOLY, ♪ ♪ HOLY, ♪ ♪ MORE, ♪ ♪ MORE, SAVIOR, ♪ ♪ DEAR SAVIOR, ♪ ♪ LIKE THEE. ♪♪ ♪♪>>BROTHER DOUGLAS D. HOLMES: OUR BELOVED FATHER IN HEAVEN, AT THE CLOSE OF THIS GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THY CHURCH, WE, THY SAINTS, GATHERED ACROSS THE WORLD, EXPRESS OUR DEEP AND PROFOUND LOVE FOR THEE AND FOR THY SON, FOR THE GLORIOUS RESTORATION OF THY GOSPEL IN THESE LATTER DAYS, FOR THE PROPHET JOSEPH AND HIS MISSION, FOR THE SEC SESSION OF PROPHETS THAT HAVE CONTINUED DOWN TO PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. WE REJOICE IN THE REVELATIONS THAT CONTINUE TO FLOW TO ESTABLISH THY CHURCH AND KINGDOM, AND TO TRANSFORM OUR INDIVIDUAL LIVES. WE REJOICE IN THE WELLS OF LIVING WATER THAT WE HAVE PARTAKEN OF DURING THIS CONFERENCE. WE REJOICE IN THE LOVE THAT WE’VE FELT, IN THE RESOLVES THAT WE HAVE MADE TO REPENT AND IMPROVE EACH DAY. AS THE SPIRIT HAS SPOKEN TO US AND COMMITTED US TO ACT, WE PRAY THAT THAT SAME SPIRIT WOULD GO WITH US TO STRENGTHEN AND REMIND US, TO ENABLE US, TO DO THOSE THINGS THAT WILL HELP US TO BE BETTER AND DO BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE, THAT WE MIGHT BECOME HOLY, THAT WE MIGHT PREPARE THE WORLD FOR THE RETURN OF THY SON. WE PRAY FOR THE GATHERING OF ISREAL ACROSS THE WORLD AND DO SO IN THE NAME OF THY BELOVED SON, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SPEAKERS WERE SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC WAS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST HAS BEEN FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:
[email protected]>>I WOULD SAY MOSTLY.>>I DON’T KNOW. I THINK IT —
YOU KNOW, IT SHOULD BE.>>SOMETIMES I’M JUST ON THAT
ONE-MORE-HOUR-AND-WE’RE-DONE.>>IS THE SABBATH
ALWAYS A DELIGHT?>>I’D SAY MORE OFTEN
THAN NOT IT IS.>>IT’S ON THE
WHIM OF A TODDLER, OR A FOUR-MONTH-OLD BABY.>>MM M , NOT SO MUCH.>>PRESIDENT NELSON: I’M
INTRIGUED BY THE WORDS OF ISAIAH, WHO CALLED
THE SABBATH A DELIGHT.

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