VIDEO: 190th Semiannual #GeneralConference talk summaries, quotes, and commentary

191ST SEMI-ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE * APRIL 4, 2020 | SUNDAY MORNING SESSION NOTES

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NOTE: Original notes found here. They are editable and can be used by anyone and everyone.

Music and Spoken Word

**This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.

Hymn: Gently Raise, the Sacred Strain – Hymn 146

Hymn: “Hallelujah Chorus” from Christ on the Mount of Olives – Ludwig van Beethoven

Hymn: Jesus Has Risen – Children’s Songbook pg. 70 – Thelma Johnson Ryser; arr. Ryan Murphy

Hymn: Morning Mood, from Peer Gynt Suite (Organ Solo) – Edvard Grieg; transcribed by Clay Christiansen

Hymn: Since by Man Came Death, from Messiah – George Frideric Handel

Hymn: Consider the Lilies of the Field – Roger Hoffman; arr. A. Laurence Lyon

 

Spoken Word: Lloyd D Newell

The Hope and Promise of Easter

 

If hope had a season of its own, a day on the calendar, it might very well be Easter. No matter what yesterday may have been like, Easter cheerfully says, “Tomorrow will be better.” Even the worst storms eventually pass. Even the coldest winters eventually thaw. Even the longest nights give way to the light of dawn. That is the promise of Easter.

 

Why is Easter such a hopeful time? Is it because, in much of the world, Easter is associated with springtime? Surely it isn’t a coincidence that Easter comes as signs of new life are just starting to bud and blossom all around us. Easter, like spring, gives us something hopeful to look forward to. 

 

But Easter is about more than just new flowers and warmer temperatures. Easter’s promise is much bolder than that. It answers the question posed long ago by Job, a God-fearing man in the Old Testament who knew about personal darkness, coldness, and storms. “If a man die,” he asked, “shall he live again?”  Easter responds with eagerness, “Yes!” because the central figure of Easter is the One who declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Death is the one foe that no one escapes, but He conquered it. And because He did, there is no challenge of life that cannot be overcome. 

 

When we imagine that first Easter morning, we rightfully picture sunshine and beautiful, clear skies. But it’s worth remembering that “it was yet dark” when Mary first went to the garden tomb. Soon the sun would rise, as it always does. And soon the Lord, the Light of the World, would appear to illuminate her soul, as He always does. But first, Mary had to take a few steps in the darkness. 

 

What she found was a miracle, an empty tomb, and the sweetest words ever spoken: “He is not here: for he is risen.” Mary came looking for her Lord and found hope. Where she thought she would find death, she found Life. This is why Easter means hope—because of Him, because of His promise of life everlasting. 

 

When life seems empty and confusing, when the world seems dark and uncertain, remember the hope of Easter. When you worry and wonder how to carry on, remember the promise of Easter. Always, there is hope.

 

Hymn:  Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise – Robert Williams; arr. Mack Wilberg; lyrics by Charles Wesley

Hymn: God Be with You Till We Meet Again – Hymn 152

Sunday Morning Session

Hymn: On This Day of Joy and Gladness – Hymn 64

  • No date specified

Conducting: President Dallin H. Oaks

Hymn: Redeemer of Israel – Hymn 6

    • Choir of members of the Church in Mexico
  • This must be the first time the Tabernacle Choir has not provided the music for Sunday AM session

Invocation: Elder Terence M. Vinson –  Presidency of the Seventy

  • May our testimony be as strong as Mary at Jesus’ Resurrection 
  • Native of Australia

Hymn: I Love to See the Temple – Children’s Songbook pg. 95

  • Children’s choir from Korea

 

“On this beautiful Easter morning, President Nelson expressed a great desire to have speakers from throughout the world preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” – President Oaks

Talk: Elder Ulisses Soares – Quorum of the Twelve

The Caregiver of Our Soul

Major Themes: Easter! 

Stories: N/A
Scriptures: Isaiah 53:3–6; D&C 19:16–19; Psalm 55:22

  • Native of Brazil
  • On this radiant Easter morning, our heart rejoices upon remembering the most marvelous, the most majestic, the most immeasurable act that has occurred in all of human history — the atoning sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
  • Christ graciously fulfilled the will of Father.
  • Salvation could not come into the world without the mediation of Jesus Christ
  • The Atonement makes it possible, but we are still personally responsible for repenting
  • He overcame the sting of physical and spiritual death, introduced to the world the Fall,  offering us the glorious possibility of eternal salvation
  • We can experience a mighty change of heart.
  • Jesus was the only Being capable of realizing this eternal and perfect sacrifice for all of us. 
    • He was chosen and foreordained in the Grand Council in heaven, even before the world was formed
  • Christ graciously fulfilled the will of the Father through His infinite and merciful sacrifice
  • Through Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice, we can experience a mighty change of mind and heart, bringing a fresh attitude both toward God and toward life in general
  • The gift of repentance is an expression of God’s kindness toward his children and is a demonstration of his incomparable power to help us overcome the sins we commit
  • In addition to the majestic gift of salvation, the Savior offers us the gift of relief and comfort as we face our afflictions
  • We receive the strength we need to…
  • It is only in and through Jesus Christ that we are saved. 
    • He is the only person whose actions merit a place in the Kingdom of Heaven, but he graciously offers to bring us along with him as his friends.
    • Now we show our gratitude by obeying him and loving him.
  • Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain thee.
  • We will become free from the bondage of sin, find joy in our earthly journey, and become eligible to receive eternal salvation, which was prepared from the foundation of the world for all who believe in Jesus Christ and come unto Him
  • As we draw nearer to Him, surrendering ourselves spiritually to His care, we will be able to take upon ourselves His yoke, which is easy, and His burden, which is light, thus finding that promised comfort and rest
  • Enduring in our Faith until the End…
  • Christ is ever aware of the adversities we experience in mortality. 
  • He understands all of the bitterness, agony, and physical pain as well as the emotional and spiritual challenges we face
  • Jesus Christ is the caregiver of all souls.
  • Repentance allows Christ’s followers to overcome sin and turn hearts to God.
  • Even during periods of grief, the Savior’s arms are extended to all who seek Him
  •  Heavenly Father is aware of every hardship we face as individuals, and so gave us a certain way to overcome them: repentance

Talk: Sister Reyna Isabel Aburto – Second Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency

The Grave Has No Victory

Major Themes: Easter; Resurrection

Stories: Mary Magdalene; loss of her brother when she was 9 years old 

Scriptures: John 11:25–26

  • Native of Nicaragua
  • Mourning to one the deepest expressions of pure love.
  • Through the current global pandemic, many of us have lost loved ones — either family members or friends. 
    • We pray for those who are grieving such loss
  • We are grateful for our knowledge of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. 
    • And yet, at some point in our lives, we will have felt heartbroken after losing someone whom we love dearly
  • He has made it possible for all us to be reunited as families
  • The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.
  • On the day of the Crucifixion, not knowing what would happen on Sunday, (Jesus’ friends) must have been overwhelmed by distress, wondering how they would go on without their Lord. 
    • Nevertheless, they continued ministering to Him even in death
  • Connecting the Savior’s Resurrection to her brother’s ability to be resurrected.
  • Death is a necessary component of our eternal existence
  • The grave hath no victory, the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.
  •  Death is not the end. 
    • The Resurrection makes it possible to have eternal joy in families, if we keep covenants with him. 
    • “The sting of death is soothed by faith in Jesus Christ . . .”
  • (Jesus Christ) has made it possible for all of us to be reunited as families and have eternal joy in the presence of God if we will choose to make and keep sacred covenants with him
  • Through the redeeming Atonement and glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, broken hearts can be healed, anguish can become peace, and distress can become hope. 
    • He can embrace us in His arms of mercy, comforting, empowering, and healing each of us.

Talk: Elder S. Mark Palmer – General Authority Seventy

Our Sorrow Shall Be Turned Into Joy

Major Themes: Easter; Life after death

Stories: Running into Pres Nelson at Church HQ; Concern about his mother; death of sister

Scriptures: John 20:28

  • Pre-recorded message
  • Native of New Zealand
  • Matter of fact that Pres Nelson would see Elder Palmer’s mother in the next life 
  • Easter Message:
    • Jesus Christ has risen from the dead
    • Because of this we too shall live again.
    • Because of this knowledge, we can be forever changed.
  • “Except I shall see, I will not believe” — Thomas
  • Faith gives us hope to turn sorrow into joy.
  • Loss of his sister led his family to ask deep questions. 
    • Some time later, the family met the missionaries who answered their questions and gave them hope. 
    • Joining the church for his father was difficult. ‘I will be baptized today or never’. 
    • He committed to be true for the rest of his life. 
    • “Come what may, he would be true all his life to the promises he was making”
    • Without the tragic death, the father would have never been humbled enough to accept the gospel.
  • The glorious message of Easter morning is central to all Christianity. 
    • Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of this, we too will live again after we die
  • Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of this, we too will live again after we die. 
    • This knowledge gives meaning and purpose to our lives.
  • Place your Faith in Christ
    •  Act in Faith 
    • Follow the whisperings of the Spirit
  • “I invite all who feel sorrow, all who wrestle with doubt, all who wonder what happens after we die, to place your faith in Christ.”

Talk: Elder Edward Dube – First Quorum of the Seventy

Pressing Toward the Mark

Major Themes: Endurance

Stories: Meeting with Elder Holland

Scriptures: Hebrews 11:2

  • Pre-recorded message
  • Native of Zimbabwe
  • Paul was driven by love and gratitude despite his great sufferings. 
  • Pressing toward the mark is walking on the straight and narrow path. 
  • Doubts and uncertainty come to everyone
  • President Nelson: Are you willing to let God prevail in your life?
  • While we look at Paul’s service, we are inspired and uplifted by our own Pauls in our day who also serve, teach and testify with love and gratitude amidst the challenges they face in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones
  • Paul is exhorting us to press forward, while calling us to forget that which is behind — our past fears, our past focus, our past failures and our past sadness
  • Focus on the goal of pressing toward the mark
  • Never give up..Run with patience..Looking unto Jesus.
  •  Serving the Lord with love and gratitude in spite of great sufferings is “pressing toward the mark.”
  • Pressing toward the mark includes focusing energy and efforts on the sacred and joyful work of bringing souls to Christ.
  • As God’s voice takes precedence over any other ambition, Jesus Christ will offer help and comfort.
  • Pressing toward the mark also means forgetting past fears, past focus, past failures and past sadness.
  • Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Golgotha to “do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.” 

 

Hymn: I am a Child of God – Hymn 301

  • World choir of women and children

Talk: Elder José A. Teixeira – Presidency of the Seventy

Remember Your Way Back Home

Major Themes: Journey back to God 

Stories: Salmon migrating back to spawn; Civil war in 1975

Scriptures: Helaman 5:12

  • Native of Portugal
  • One of the most important things we can do in this life is to recognize and remember the pathway back to our Heavenly Father and faithfully and joyfully persevere throughout the journey
  • We need to remember and recognize the path back to our Heavenly Father. 
    • 1) We can remember that we are a child of God.
      • Remind yourself of this heritage. 
      • Make time regularly to boost your spiritual immune system by remembering the blessings you have received from the Lord. 
      • Trust the guides you have been given from Him, rather than turning solely to the world to measure your personal worth and find your way. 
      • Knowing who you are changes how you feel.
      • We have a divine heritage. Knowing that we are children of God and that He wants us to return to His presence is one of the first steps on the journey back to our heavenly home
    • 2) We can remember the foundation that protects us.  
      • Strength comes to us when we remain righteous, true and faithful to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, even when others overwhelmingly disregard the commandments and the principles of salvation.
      • Build on the foundation of Christ
    • 3) Be prayerful
      • When we remember to pray, we find His sustaining love, and the more we pray to our Father in Heaven in Christ’s name, the more we bring the Savior into our life and the better we will recognize the path He has marked to our heavenly home
    • 4) Serve others 
      • Do not underestimate the potential you have to influence others for good, both by the service of your actions and by the service of your example. Loving service to others guides us along the path to our heavenly home.
      • Loving service to others guides us on our path to our heavenly home. 
  • Take time to regularly boost your Spiritual Immune System.
  • Knowing who you are changes what you think and do
  • Understanding who you are helps you on your path to return to the Father
  • As we choose to hear his voice, we will help.
  • We have a divine heritage. 
    • Knowing that we are children of God and that He wants us to return to His presence is one of the first steps on the journey back to our heavenly home
  • God is fully aware of each one of us. The more we pray the more we bring the Savior in our lives.
  • Loving service adds meaning to both the giver and the receiver.
  • Do not underestimate the potential you have to influence others for good, both by the service of your actions and by the service of your example
  • We have Jesus Christ as the perfect example to follow.
  • We experience joy when we remember our relationship with God 
  • When we lose our earthly home, we need to find our heavenly home
  • Loving service to others guides us along the path to our heavenly home – the path of becoming like our Savior
  • Knowing we are children of God who wants us in His presence is a first step to returning to our heavenly home.
  • The Redeemer offers protection from Satan’s mighty winds and storms.
  • Christ ushers His followers “to the table of joyful life.”
  • Strength comes to us when we remain righteous, true and faithful to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, even when others overwhelmingly disregard the commandments and principles of salvation.

Talk: Elder Taniela B. Wokolo – General Authority Seventy

God Loves His Children

Major Themes: How God shows love

Stories: Sister passing away

Scriptures: John 3:16

  • Pre-recorded message
  • Native of Fiji, serving as the Philippines Area President
  • The Savior’s universal love is the motivating force behind all that He does
  • All encompassing invitation from Christ, if you love me, keep my commandments 
  • Three ways God shows his love
    • 1) Relationships with God and family manifest His love
      • Our most valuable relationships are with the Father and the Son and with our own families, because our ties to them are eternal. 
      • The great plan of happiness is a wonderful manifestation of God’s love for us.
    • 2. He manifests His love to His children by calling prophets.
      • During 2020, the Philippines was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and a myriad of natural disasters.
      • “But like a pillar of light shining through dark clouds of fear, loneliness and despair came the words of the Prophet. … The Philippines, along with the entire world, are so blessed to feel God’s love through the words of His chosen Prophet.”
    • 3. Chastening can be a manifestation of God’s love for His children.
      • Sometimes God manifests His love by chastening us. It is a way of remind ing us that He loves us and that He knows who we are. His promised blessing of peace is open to all those who courageously walk the covenant path and are willing to receive correction.”
      • Recognizing and willingly receiving chastisement bring refining and purifying changes.
  • Distractions can keep us from feeling God’s love during family activities.
  • Put down the phone and have IRL “facetime”
  • The Philippines have had a rough year. 
  • President Nelson has travelled to many nations of the earth. 
    • In my mind, he is not just ministering to thousands, but he is ministering to thousands of ‘ones.’
    • In doing so, he shares the love God has for all His children
  • Sometimes God expresses his love by chastening us. He knows who we are and loves us.
  • When we recognize the chastening and are willing recipients, it becomes a spiritual surgery. 
    • Who likes surgery by the way? 
    • But to those who need it and are willing to receive it, it can be lifesaving
  • You should not fear man more than God.
  • His family didn’t tell him his sister passed away and had to find out from a missionary 
  • Happy is the man that God corrects. 
    • We shouldn’t despise not the Chastening of the Lord
  • Chastening from the Holy Spirit is great because we’re the only one who hears it. 
  • The great plan of happiness is a wonderful manifestation of God’s love for us.
  • God’s promised blessing of peace is open to all those who courageously walk the covenant path and are willing to receive correction.
  • “Like a pillar of light shining through dark clouds of fear, loneliness and despair came the words of the Prophet.”

Talk: Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong – General Authority Seventy

They Cannot Prevail, We Cannot Fall

Major Themes: Letting God prevail; building strong foundations 

Stories: Wise man/foolish man

Scriptures: Matthew 7:24–27; Helaman 5:12; D&C 21:5–6

  • Native of Hong Kong
    • Satan is no longer trying to hide his attacks on God’s plan
    • Establish our lives on the rock. 
    • The wise man and the foolish man
      • Verses 1/2 and very similar to verses 3/4 
      • Both have people who wanted to build a family
  • I love that he did the actions 
  • Find and stay on the sure foundation
  • Just going to church once per week is not enough to build on the rock
  • Mortal life is only part of the plan of salvation and exaltation.
  • Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives!
  • Be ready to receive Him
  • “I will be able to go up and meet with my maker and say thank you.”
  • Heavenly Father knows the potential of each individual better than they know their potential.
  • He knows not only the details of our lives. God knows the details of the details of the details of our lives.
  • Just going to Church once a week is not enough to build upon the rock. 
    • Our entire lives should be filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ. 
    • The gospel is not part of our life, but our life is actually part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Where individuals build on their foundation “has a decisive effect on the outcome ultimately and eternally.” 
    • Each person should find and stay on the sure foundation as they establish their lives.
    • That foundation’s placement matters because, “We may not be able to change all of what is coming, but we can choose how we prepare for what is coming.”

 

Talk: Elder Michael John U. Teh – General Authority Seventy

Our Personal Savior

Major Themes: Knowing the Savior; His Atonement

Stories: Failing to read the BoM at the invitation of his leader

Scriptures: N/A

  • Native of Philippines 
  • How well we know the Savior affects how well we can hear the Spirit
  • Do we only know about the Savior or do we know Him? 
    • Do we know about more than we know Him personally? 
  • 1) Recognize that knowing Christ is the most important thing in our lives and should take priority over everything else. 
  • 2) Scriptures and prophetic words become intimately meaningful and personal, becoming our own words. But it’s more than repeating the words… but applying them to our lives.
  • 3) Understand the Atonement applies to us personally and individually. Infinite in breadth and depth but personal in effects. 
  • Where individuals build on their foundation “has a decisive effect on the outcome ultimately and eternally.” 
    • Each person should find and stay on the sure foundation as they establish their lives.
  • Experience of reading the Book of Mormon to write a summary.
    • Experience wasn’t as enlightening as he expected because he approached it the wrong way
  • We need to recognize that knowing the Savior is the most important pursuit of our lives.
    •  It should take priority over anything else.
  • Knowing the Savior is different than knowing about the Savior. 
  • While the Atonement is infinite and eternal, it needs to be applied personally and individually. 
    • The Savior has the power to cleanse, heal and strengthen one by one.  
  • In coming to know the Savior, we should know that it’s a work in progress as our understanding matures.  
  • In coming to know the Savior, “I am realizing that how intimately I know the Savior significantly influences my ability to hear Him, as well as how I respond.”

Talk: President Russell M. Nelson – President of the Church

Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains

Major Themes: Moving mountains 

Stories:

Scriptures: Matthew 7:7–8

  • If you have responded to trials over the last year with desire for greater discipleship, your trials will not be in vain. 
  • Marvel at faith during loss, illness and isolation.
  • Message of the gospel is for every race, language, and people
  • Ordinances unlock the power of God for your life
  • The Gospel is exactly what is needed in this confused, contentious, and weary world. 
    • No other message is more vital to our happiness now or forever. 
    • No other message is more filled with hope. 
    • No other message can eliminate contention in our society. 
  • The atoning sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ changed each of our lives forever
  • Without faith, it is impossible to please God. 
  • Every blessing of eternal significance begins with faith. 
  • True repentance begins with faith that Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse, heal, and strengthen us
  • It is our faith that unlocks the power of God in our lives. 
  • Can we muster the faith to receive the blessing we need?
  • God understands our mortal weakness and our great potential 
  • God doesn’t expect perfect faith, but He does expect us to believe. 
  • Start today to increase your faith. 
  • Through your faith, Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your lives. 
    • Your mountains may be loneliness, doubt, illness, or other personal problems .
    • Your mountains will vary, but the answer to each of your challenges will be to increase your faith. 
      • That takes work.
    • The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing or climbing a mountain with faith
  • Five suggestions
    • 1. Study. 
      • Become an engaged learner. 
      • Immerse yourself in the scriptures to understand Christ’s mission and ministry. 
    • 2. Choose to believe and stay faithful.
      • Take questions to the Lord and other faithful sources.
      • Study to believe and not to find flaws or discrepancies. 
      • Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters. 
    • 3. Act in faith
      • Think and write about what you would do if you had more faith. 
    • 4. Partake of sacred ordinances worthily
      • Ordinances unlock the power of God in your life
    • 5. Ask your Heavenly Father for help
      • Faith takes work. Receiving revelation takes work.
      • He knows what will help your faith grow
      • Ask, and then ask again 
  • The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe
  • My call to you this Easter morning is to start today to increase your faith. 
    • Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest
  • Non-believers may say faith is for the weak but this ignores the power of faith. 
    • Would Christ’s apostles have continued to preach if they doubted? 
    • Would Joseph and Hyrum have been martyred if they didn’t have faith? 
  • Faith is the power for the unlikely to accomplish the impossible
  • Do not minimize the Faith that you already have.
  • It takes faith to follow prophets rather than pundits of popular opinion. 
  • It takes even more faith to accept a disappointing answer. 
    • Rains stopped in Fiji but not Tonga. 
    • Faith to stop the rain, and faith to persevere when the rain doesn’t stop. 
  • What would you do if you had more faith? 
    • Think about it. 
    • Write about it. 
    • Then receive more faith by doing something that requires more faith
  • The mountains in our lives do not always move how or when we would like, but our faith will always propel us forward. s increases our access to Godly power.
  • He will not forsake His promises, His covenants, or His love for His people
  • Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available to us in this life
  • Truly, faith is the power that enables the unlikely to accomplish the impossible
  • Growing faith will move mountains of misery in our lives. 
  • Flourishing faith will turn challenges into growth and opportunity
  • Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available in this life. 
  • Faith is the power that enables the unlikely to accomplish the impossible.
  • With faith in Jesus Christ, God’s children can move the mountains in their lives.
  •  

 

Hymn: He is Risen! – Hymn 199

  • April 2018

 

Benediction: Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela – General Authority Seventy

  • Native of Mexico

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* Guidelines *

191st Annual General Conference * April 3 – 4, 2021

Saturday AM * Saturday PM * Saturday Evening * Sunday AM * Sunday PM

Listen/Watch/Read

THOUGHTS:

  • I like the introduction to General Conference from the Missionary to open this session! 
  • They are really emphasizing international participation this session.
  • The website in the bottom corner is comeuntochrist.org instead of churchofjesuschrist.org from yesterday
  • Found this in a tweet: Elder Dube’s face says “Come to Jesus, or I will send you to him.”
  • I didn’t see that in his face at all. 
  •  

 

TO-DOs:

    •  

 

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