192ND SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE NOTES AND SUMMARIES | SUNDAY MORNING SESSION

192ND SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE NOTES AND SUMMARIES | SUNDAY MORNING SESSION

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Music and Spoken Word

October 2, 2022

Hymn: Gently Raise the Sacred Strain – Hymn 146

Hymn: Come, Ye Children of the Lord – Hymn 58

Hymn: If the Savior Stood Beside MeMusic and Lyrics: Sally DeFord

Hymn: Shine On (organ solo) – Children’s Songbook pg. 144

Hymn: The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Hymn: His Voice as the Sound

Spoken Word: Lloyd D Newell

Daily Devotion

A university student recently had a life-changing insight. But unlike most things he was learning as a student, this insight didn’t come from a lecture or a textbook. In fact, it was sparked when he forgot something from his textbook.

 

While enrolled in a science class, he was fascinated as he read about how stars are formed. He noticed that if someone asked him about stars when he was studying the book, he could accurately describe the exact conditions necessary for star formation. But if someone asked him the same question a month or two later, he might have some hazy memory that hydrogen gas was involved in the process, but he would be unsure about the details. In time, he might even start second-guessing himself—was he remembering correctly? Was hydrogen gas really essential to star formation? Time spent away from his studies caused him to doubt things he had once known with confidence and certainty.

 

And what was so life-changing about this simple observation? The young man realized that this basic principle of academic success also applies to his spiritual growth.

 

Truth is independent; it does not change. But our confidence in the truth varies according to our connection to God, the source of truth. That’s why daily spiritual habits are so important. If we take time each day to connect with heaven through prayer and pondering God’s word in purposeful study, we can more readily respond to life’s difficulties with faith and clarity. We can even respond more confidently to questions that might challenge our faith. When those challenges come, we don’t have to try to pull from a hazy memory of what we once read, felt, or knew. It’s much better to draw upon recent experiences with the divine. Life’s questions, confusions, and problems become less overwhelming and not so dark as we bask in divine light each day.

 

We are here on earth to learn and grow. And like every other living, growing thing on earth, we grow gradually, consistently, day by day—not in occasional growth spurts. Devotion to God, at its best, happens regularly, even daily. Spiritual experiences or feelings of the past may not be enough to carry us through tomorrow’s hard trials and hard questions. But taking time for holiness each day will keep our spiritual memories bright and powerful.

Hymn: More Holiness Give Me – Hymn 131

Hymn: O Come Ye Nations of the Earth – tune Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

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

Sunday Morning Session 

Hymn: How Wondrous and Great

Conducting: President Henry B. Eyring – Second Counselor (First Presidency)

Hymn: With Songs of Praise

Invocation: Weatherford T. Clayton – Seventy Emeritus (Released as Seventy yesterday)

 

Talk: Jeffrey R. Holland – Quorum of the Twelve

‘Lifted Up Upon the Cross’

Themes:

Stories:

Scripture References: Luke 9:23; Matthew 16:24

  • Why do you not use the cross?
  • All things pertaining to our religion are only appendages to the atonement. 
  • Deep respect for those that honor the cross. 
  • Crucifixion was one of the most agonizing forms of execution. 
  • While the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is central and essential to God’s plan of salvation for His children, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn’t use the cross as a symbol.
    • One reason is due to the Church’s biblical roots. 
    • The early followers of Jesus chose to not highlight the crucifixion and could “convey their gospel identity through other means.”
  • The price that was paid (Gethsemane and Calvary) and the victory that was won (Victory over death and sin).
  • The cross was later introduced as a symbol of generalized Christianity, but ours is not a ‘generalized Christianity.’
    • We are, rather, a restored church, the restored New Testament Church. 
    • Thus, our origins and authority go back before the time of councils, creeds and iconography.
  • It is one of the most powerful paradoxes of the Crucifixion that the arms of the Savior were stretched wide open and then nailed there, unwittingly but accurately portraying that every man, woman and child in the entire human family is not only welcome but invited into His redeeming, exalting embrace.
  • The lives of our people should be the symbol of our faith. 
  • We should be more concerned with the crosses we bear rather than the ones we wear. 
  • The lives of our people must be the symbol of our faith
  • To be a follower of Jesus Christ, one must sometimes carry a burden–your own or someone else’s–and go where sacrifice is required and suffering is inevitable
  • The absence of a symbol that was late coming into common use is yet another evidence that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a restoration of true Christian beginnings.
  • Our admiration of, but not use of the cross. 
    • We are the Restored New Testament Church that calls Christians to deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Christ. 
    • Thus the cross is not something we wear, it is something we bear
  • We follow Him everywhere, including, if necessary, into arenas filled with tears and trouble, where sometimes we may stand very much alone.
  • As we take up our crosses and follow him.   
    • It would be tragic if that weight didn’t make us aware of the burdens of others. 
  • How can I better take the cross of Jesus on me?
  • Sometimes those blessings come soon and sometimes they come later, but the marvelous conclusion to our personal via dolorosa is the promise from the Master Himself that they can and will come 
  • A true Christian cannot follow the Master only in those matters with which he or she agrees

Talk: Sister J. Anette Dennis – First Counselor (Relief Society Presidency)

His Yoke Is Easy and His Burden Is Light

Themes:

Stories: Jack and Cassie (dog) who was wounded 

Scripture References:1 Corinthians 13:1; John 13:35

  •  When we judge others, are we lifting their burdens or simply adding to their burdens?
  • I have come to more fully appreciate the example of our dear Savior as He spent so much of his time ministering to others with love.
  • I believe the Savior is inviting us to live a higher, holier way — His way of love where all can feel they truly belong and are needed.
  • We are commanded to love others, not to judge them. 
    • Let’s lay down that heavy burden; it isn’t ours to carry. 
    • Instead, we can pick up the Savior’s yoke of love and compassion
  • The savior does not condone sin, but does not condemn and offers a way to repent. 
  • How often do we judge others based on their outward appearance and actions, or lack of action, when, if we fully understood, we would instead react with compassion and a desire to help instead of adding to their burdens with our judgment?
  • The Lord nourishes those who struggle with love and kindness. 
    • Followers of Jesus Christ should do likewise.
  • “Who Am I to Judge Another?” song  
  • Satan’s desire is to divide, but there is such power in unity.
  • When God’s children empathize with those who also experience challenges and imperfections, it can help them feel that they are not alone in their struggles.  
    • Everyone needs to feel that they really do belong and are needed in the body of Christ 
  • It is not for you to judge another’s choice any more than it is fair to be criticized for being faithful. 
  • Many individuals have unseen pain or sorrows and are often judged on their outward appearance, adding to their burdens. 
  • The Savior has invited all to live “His way of love.” 
  • By obeying Jesus Christ out of love for Him and Heavenly Father, “His love will flow through us and make all that He asks not only possible but eventually much easier and lighter and more joyful than we could ever imagine
  • Remember that each person is a child of God who He loves.
  • Are there people in your path who you have felt inclined to judge? 
    • If so, remember that these are valuable opportunities for us to practice loving as the Savior loves

 

Hymn: You Can Make the Pathway Bright

Talk: Gerrit W. Gong – Quorum of the Twelve

Happy and Forever

Themes:

Stories:

Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 15:22; D&C 138:17

  • Jesus Christ’s atonement can bring peace to our past and hope to our future.
  • How we come into the world is much less important than how we leave it.  
  • Atonement comes as we exercise faith and bring forth fruit meet for repentance.
  • God knows us perfectly. 
    • God is not mocked, nor can He be deceived. 
    • With perfect mercy and justice, He encircles in His arms of safety the humble and penitent.
  • Drawing closer to the Savior, including through making temple ordinances and covenants, “we have a profound opportunity and gift to discover new spiritual understanding, love, repentance and forgiveness with each other and our families, in time and eternity
  • Happy and forever are not the imaginary stuff of fairy tales. 
    • True, enduring joy and eternity with those we love are the very essence of God’s plan of happiness.
  • The temple is a place of learning, healing, and acknowledging the Atonement of Jesus Christ 
  • We (being imperfect) are required to forgive all
  • The scriptures and experiences of healing and peace underscore five doctrinal principles.
    • 1) Central to God’s plan, Jesus Christ promises to unite our spirit and body that we might receive a fulness of joy
    • 2) Atonement — at-one-ment in Christ — comes as we exercise faith and bring forth fruits unto repentance. Joy becomes full when feeling His grace and forgiveness.
    • 3) God knows and loves us perfectly.  
      • The Lord will judge us according to our works according to the desires of our hearts.  
      • Those who deliberately choose wickedness or delay repentance will be judged by God. 
      • We can not sin on Saturday and then expect to be forgiven on Sunday by simply partaking of the sacrament. 
    • 4) The Lord gives us the divine opportunity to become like him through sacred ordinances in the temple.  
      • Happy and forever are not the imaginary stuff of fairy tales.
      • True enduring joy and eternity with those we love are the very essence of God’s plan of happiness.
    • 5) The Golden Rule  teaches “a sanctifying symmetry in repentance and forgiveness invites us to offer others that which we ourselves need and desire
  • We are less along when we understand that we are not alone.  
  • The Savior is always there. 
  • The Lord who sees and understands perfectly will forgive whom he will.  
    • But we need to forgive everyone. 
  • Repairing our relationships and healing our hearts is hard, perhaps impossible for us on our own.
    • But Heaven can give us strength and wisdom beyond our own to know when to hold on and how to let go
  • God’s work and glory include bringing to pass happy and forever. 
    • Eternal life and exaltation are to know God and Jesus Christ so, through godly power, where They are we shall be.

Talk: Joseph W. Sitati – Seventy Emeritus (Was released as Seventy yesterday)

Patterns of Discipleship

Themes:

Stories:

Scripture References:2 Timothy 3:1–5D&C 121

  • God Lives
  • He manifests Himself to us all the time in many ways. 
  • Whenever we care to notice, we see that Heavenly Father has given us sufficient witnesses of truth to govern our lives so we’ll know Him and have the blessings of peace and joy.
  • We do not need to be deceived. 
    • The miracle of intelligent life constantly plays before us.
  • Humility inclines the heart of the individual towards repentance and obedience.
  • The Savior’s yoke is easy.  
    • Discipleship is a joy. 
  • The invitation of the Savior to learn of Him is an invitation to turn away from the enticings of worldliness and to become as He is − meek and lowly of heart; humble.
  • We become one with God and others through love and service. 
  • What we do at home is the true crucible of enduring and joyful discipleship
  • Patterns of discipleship are “realities that govern our lives that we cannot change. 
    • When we respect and align what we do with these eternal realities, we experience internal peace and harmony. When we don’t, we are unsettled, and things do not work as we expect.”
  • Four patterns of Discipleship
    • 1) Pattern of faith
      • Whenever we care to notice, we see that Heavenly Father has given us sufficient witnesses of truth to govern our lives so we will know Him and have the blessings of peace and joy.
    • 2) Pattern of humility
      • Humility inclines the heart of the disciple towards repentance and obedience. 
      • The Spirit of God is then able to bring truth to that heart, and it will find entry.
    • 3) Pattern of love
      • When we focus our best efforts on loving God and others, we are enabled to discover our own true divine worth, as sons and daughters of God, with the complete peace and joy that this experience brings.
    • 4) Pattern of service
      • Love for God and service to others grow into the attribute of charity. 
      • This resonates with the pattern of consecrated service in the kingdom of God that is set before us by the Lord’s living prophets and apostles. 
        • We become one with them.
  • When God’s children respect and align what they do with patterns of discipleship, we experience internal peace and harmony. 
    • When we don’t, we are unsettled, and things do not work as we expect.
  • Humility inclines the heart of the disciple towards repentance and obedience. 
    • The Spirit of God is then able to bring truth to that heart, and it will find entry.
  • What we do at home is the true crucible of enduring and joyful discipleship.

 

Hymn: We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Talk: Steven J. Lund – President (Young Men’s General Presidency)

Lasting Discipleship

Themes:

Stories:  FSY Conferences

Scripture References:

  • Following a summer when more than 200,000 teenagers filled hundreds of sessions of For the Strength of Youth conferences in the United States and Canada for the first time, those youth and others can maintain the fire of their convictions. 
  • As youth navigate “through arcs of growth and spiritual discovery to places of relative peace,” what should they do to maintain that peace? “We must continue to do those things that brought us there in the first place like praying often, drenching ourselves in scripture and serving sincerely.”
  • In spite of the challenges they face on a regular basis, today’s youth should be commended for the way they lean on the Savior to successfully overcome sin and avoid temptation. 
  •  Like brightly hulled steel ships at sea, we live in a spiritually corrosive environment where the most gleaming convictions must be mindfully maintained or they can etch, then corrode and then crumble away.
  •  We need to figure out how to hear Him even in this confusing world. 
  • What do I do to remain strong?
  • How can loving God turn into lasting discipleship? 
  • You don’t have to wear the badge to bear His name. 
  • The stalwart youth of Zion are voyaging through stunning times. 
    • Finding joy in this world of prophesied disruption without becoming part of that world, with its blind spot toward holiness, is their particular charge.
  •  As youth leave FSY, temple trips, anywhere where the Spirit is felt strongly, they just need to try and be the same person. 
    • Carry the spiritual momentum through the rest of their day, week, year and lives.
  • Let there be no doubt, it is the very stuff of heroes displayed by our youth when they set their hearts and minds to standing upright against the shifting moral tectonics of our time.
  • Through trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, and His covenant path, we can find spiritual confidence and peace, as we nurture holy habits and righteous routines that can sustain and fuel the fires of our faith.
  • I have seen the Spirit of God relentlessly responding to the righteous desires of the individual hearts of these young multitudes who each found the courage to trust Him.
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Talk: David A. Bednar – Quorum of the Twelve

Put On Thy Strength, O Zion

Themes:

Stories: Parable of the Royal Marriage Feast

Scripture References: Matthew 22:1–14; D&C 121: 35; 2 Nephi 25:23; Haggai 1:5–7

  • An individual must exercise moral agency and actively ask, seek and knock to discover the truths embedded in a parable
  • Example of a parable of a man not willing to wear a wedding garment at a king’s feast. 
    • The man demanded to enter, but refused to wear the appropriate clothing. 
    • The king had the man’s hands and feet bound and instructed his servants to cast him into outer darkness.
  • Many are called, but few are chosen
    • Not all have on the wedding garment
  • The invitation is extended to all. 
  • Converting faith is the wedding garment. 
  • Consider your ways. 
  • Identify the things in our lives that will impede the blessings that Heavenly Father is ready to bestow upon us. 
  • We must be Called to and Chosen for the Marriage Feast. 
  • May we be blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear. 
  • God does not have a list of favorites to which we must hope our names will someday be added
  • Our short-term preoccupation with the things of the world and the honors of men may lead us to forfeit our spiritual birthright for far less than a mess of pottage
  • Each of us should evaluate our temporal and spiritual priorities sincerely and prayerfully
  • Jesus’ parable of the royal marriage feast depicts rebellion to the king’s invitation — refusing to attend or being inappropriately attired. Symbolizing God’s call and individual responses, it concludes: “For many are called, but few are chosen” 
  • Being chosen is not an exclusive status.
    • Rather, you and I ultimately can choose to be chosen through the righteous exercise of our moral agency.
  • God does not have a list of favorites nor a limit to the chosen.
    • Instead, our hearts, our desires, our honoring of sacred gospel covenants and ordinances, our obedience to the commandments, and, most importantly, the Savior’s redeeming grace and mercy determine whether we are counted as one of God’s chosen.
  • Each should evaluate temporal and spiritual priorities sincerely and prayerfully to identify what impedes blessings from Heavenly Father and the Savior. 
    • The Holy Ghost will help us to see ourselves as we really are.
  • As we appropriately seek for the spiritual gift of eyes to see and ears to hear, I promise that we will be blessed with the capacity and judgment to strengthen our individual covenant connection with the living Lord. 
    • We also will receive the power of Godliness in our lives — and ultimately be both called to and chosen for the Lord’s feast.
  • You and I ultimately can choose to be chosen through the righteous exercise of our moral agency.
  • The Holy Ghost will help us to see ourselves as we really are.
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Hymn: How Great the Wisdom and the Love

Talk: President Russell M. Nelson – Prophet

(Title)

Themes:

Stories: Washington DC Open House. 

Scripture References: John 16:33; Matthew 11:28–29

  •  Alter is a place to rest. 
  • Take my yoke upon you and you shall find rest to your souls. 
  • Reward for keeping covenants with God is heavenly power. 
    • This power eases our way.
  • Covenant keepers are entitled to a special kind of rest. 
  • The Savior lifts us from the pull of this fallen world by blessing us abundantly
  • In the coming days, we will see the greatest manifestations of the Savior’s power that the world has ever seen.
    • He will bestow countless privileges, blessings and miracles upon the faithful.
  •  
    • 1) What does it mean to overcome the world
      • Refraining from anything that drives the Spirit away. 
      • Being willing to give away even our favorite sins. 
      • Growing to love God and His divine son more than anything else
    • 2) How do we do it
      • Yield to the enticings of the Holy Ghost and become a saint through the atonement. 
      • Not an event that happens over a day or two.   
      • It occurs over a lifetime. 
      • Produces Spiritual Momentum in our lives. 
      • We are blessed with the attributes of the Savior… and rest.
    • 3) How does overcoming the world bless our lives
      • It binds us to Him.  
        • This makes everything in life easier.   
      • Not easy… Expect opposition. 
      • God can make a lot more out of our lives than we can. 
  • Dear brothers and sisters, my message to you today is that because Jesus Christ overcame this fallen world and because He atoned for each of us, you too can overcome this sin-saturated, self-centered, and often exhausting world.
  • Overcoming the world happens over a lifetime as we embrace the doctrines of Christ
  • Overcoming the world means giving up even our favorite sins.
  • While the world insists that power, possessions, popularity and pleasures of the flesh bring happiness, they do not! 
    • They cannot! 
    • What they do produce is nothing but a hollow substitute for the ‘blessed and happy state’ of those who keep the commandments of God. 
    • The truth is that it is much more exhausting to seek happiness where you can never find it!
  • Each of us has been redeemed from weakness and sin. 
    • We can rise above the cares of the world by turning to the Lord. 
    • True rest can be found even in the midst of trials and tribulations. 
  • It is much more exhausting looking for happiness where you can not find it. 
  • Charge: Take charge of your own testimony of Jesus Christ
    • Work for it
    • Feed it truth
    • Don’t pollute it with false philosophies. 
    • As you make this a top priority, watch for miracles. 
  • Spend more time in the temple 
    • Seek to understand how the temple helps you rise above this fallen world. 
  • Expect opposition, because the adversary does not want you to discover the power of following Jesus Christ
  • Please do not misunderstand me: I did not say that making covenants makes life easy. 
    • In fact, expect opposition, because the adversary does not want you to discover the power of Jesus Christ.
  • My plea to you this morning is to find rest from the intensity, uncertainty, and anguish of this world by overcoming the world through your covenants with God. 
  •  Cherish and honor your covenants above all other commitments. 
    • As you let God prevail in your life, I promise you greater peace, confidence, joy and, yes, rest.
  • I bless you
    • -in your quest to overcome this world  
    • -to increase your faith in Jesus Christ  
    • -to be able to discern truth from error  
    • -to care more about the things of God 
    • -to see the needs of those around you  
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Hymn: Let Us All Press On

Benediction: Bonnie H. Cordon – President (Young Women’s General Presidency)

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