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#GeneralConference summaries | Sunday Sessions | October 2021 | #LDSConf

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191st Semiannual General Conference * October 2 & 3, 2021

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

Listen/Watch

 

Music and Spoken Word

October 3, 2021

Hymn: Gently Raise the Sacred Strain – Hymn 146

Hymn: Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise – Hymn 41

Hymn: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision – Irish Melody

Hymn: Called to Serve – Hymn 249

Hymn: Love Is Spoken Here – Children’s Songbook pg. 190

Spoken Word: Lloyd D Newell

Called By His Name

To have a name is to have an identity. Our names give us a sense of both individuality and belonging. They distinguish us from others while at the same time connecting us with our family or culture, teaching us about our origin. A name can be a sign of a special emotional bond, endearing us to loved ones. Besides identifying who we are, a name can inspire us to become who we want to be.

Thousands of years ago, the prophet Jeremiah preached the word of God, and like many prophets, he was ignored, opposed, and rejected. Jeremiah’s name has since come to mean one who laments or predicts disaster. But Jeremiah’s relationship with God gave him a sense of identity more profound and exalting. “O Lord,” he said, “thou knowest: remember me, and visit me. . . . Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:15–16; emphasis added).

Many people today feel forgotten, unseen, and unheard. Sadly, they may lack a sense of belonging and identity. But no matter who we are or where we come from, we are each part of the family of God. He is our Father, and thereby, in a sense, we carry His name. He knows us inside and out—both who we really are and who we really can become. He will never forget or forsake us, and He watches over us with perfect love.

This is what the Apostle Paul tried to teach the Athenians: “God that made the world and all things therein. . . , hath made of one blood all nations. . . . For in him we live, and move, and have our being. . . , for we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:24, 26, 28).

Jeremiah’s name actually means “The Lord exalts,” and what can be more exalting than to know we are all the sons and daughters of God? This is our true identity. This is where we truly belong. We are called upon to help all members of God’s family know where they come from, who they are, and who they can become.

 

Hymn: For I Am Called by Thy Name 

Hymn: Arise, O God, and Shine – Hymn 265

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

Sunday Morning Session

Opening Hymn: Come, Rejoice – Hymn 9
Conducting: President Henry B. Eyring – Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Hymn: Sing Praise to Him – Hymn 70

Invocation: David F. Evans – Recently released 70

  • That the Spirit will help us find the answers in our hearts.

Hymn: Where Love Is – Children’s Songbook pg. 138

Talk: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf – Quorum of the Twelve

‘Daily Restoration’

 

Major Themes: Staying on the strait and narrow path; small and simple actions; trials; Spiritual Landmarks

Notable Stories: Experiment walking in circles

Scriptures:

    • We gather to speak of Christ. 
    • Jesus Christ lives, He is real and He is the son of the living God and directs us today.
    • Experiment:
      • Go to the Forest
      • Given direction to walk in a straight line. 
      • People do walk in circles when they are lost and do not have reliable clues to their direction. Some people walked in circles as tight as 20 meters.
      • Uncertainty about where straight ahead is. 
        • We did this experiment with our kids using blindfolds in a large field. They didn’t walk in circles but they did wander well off a straight line.
  • There is the reference to airplane and airport 😃 typical of Elder Uchtdorf.
  • Lots of little things can push us off our desired path. We require constant small course corrections. 
  • We may have confidence we are walking a straight line but without the help of landmarks to guide us we wander off course
  • We are all susceptible to wandering off course, no matter how strong our spiritual experiences in the past. 
  • We have reliable/visible landmarks that we can use to guide our lives. 
  • No matter how strong our spiritual experiences have been in the past, as human beings we tend to wander. 
    • That has been the pattern from the days of Adam until now.
  • Landmarks include:
    • Prayers
    • Study scriptures
    • Use resources and tools such as Come, Follow Me
  • Spiritual landmarks like daily prayer, scripture study and approaching God in humility and honesty can help keep one on the path. 
    • “This time of introspection is an opportunity for recalibration. 
      • Think of it as your personal, daily restoration.”
  • We all drift from time to time, but we can find our way back. 
    • If we have drifted, we plead with God to help us. We can seek and accept the spiritual landmarks he provides.
  • Each day we can approach the throne of God in humility and honor. 
    • We can review the actions of our day and our actions and desires in light of this. 
  • General Conference is a time of reflection
  • Prayer is a sacred time where we can remember our covenants with the Living Christ
  • Personal Daily Restoration – small and simple acts of realignment
  • When darkness creeps, it is our daily restoration that illuminates our souls, chasing away fears and doubts
  • As often as we ask, He will lead the way.
  • We need a steady flow and cannot rely on the testimony of others forever. We need an ongoing flow.
    • We can’t just rely on spiritual experiences of the past. 
  • The restoration is an ongoing process.. One day and one heart at a time.
  • When darkness creeps in, as it often does, daily restoration opens one’s heart to heavenly light, which illuminates the soul, chasing away shadows, fears and doubts. 
    • This takes steady effort. 
    • Minutes and hours well spent are the building blocks of a life well lived.
  • Do you want to change the shape of your life? Change the shape of your day.
    •  Do you want to change your day? Change this hour. 
    • Change what you think, feel and do at this very moment
  • God is a God of new beginnings.
    • We can be new creatures in Christ, for God’s promise is that He will remember our sins no more so long as we repent and do our wrongs no more,
  • Most of the changes in our spiritual lives — both positive and negative — happen gradually, a step at a time
  • We can navigate our way through the darkness and trials of this life and find our way back to our loving Heavenly Father if we seek and accept the spiritual landmarks He has provided, embrace personal revelation and strive for daily restoration
  •  

 

Talk: Camille N. Johnson – Primary General President

‘Invite Christ to Author Your Story’

 

Major Themes: manifestations of the Holy Ghost; Letting God Prevail; Let God write our spiritual stories

Notable Stories: Trial Lawyer; David & Goliath; Esther

Scriptures: Hebrews 11:2

  • Is there an exemplar in your story and is it Jesus Christ?
    • Exemplar: a person or thing serving as a typical example or excellent model.
  • Although it is generally unwise for a trial lawyer to ask a witness a question the lawyer doesn’t know the answer to, the opposite is true for God’s children. 
    • The witness who answers questions of God is the Holy Ghost, who testifies of truth. 
  • Why are we sometimes resistant to asking for divine answers?
    • Maybe we don’t have faith to accept the answer
    • The natural man/woman is resistant to trusting the Lord
    • Fear the answer won’t fit neatly into the narrative we’re writing for ourselves 
  • Trials are the element of the plot that makes stories compelling.
  • David was willing to let God prevail and write his story.   
    • He could have gone home and tended sheep, but he saved his people.. 
  • Jesus Christ stands ready to use us as divine instruments, sharpened pencils in His hand, to write a masterpiece. 
    • He is mercifully willing to use me, a scrawny pencil, as an instrument in His hands, if I have the faith to let him.
  • Esther was courageous and was willing to let the Savior write her story, even with a potential tragic ending. 
  • Through the manifestations of the Spirit we will feel the Master’s hands.
  • In April, President Russell M. Nelson asked all to consider what they would do with more faith in Jesus Christ.
    •  “Why do we want the Savior to be the author and finisher of our stories? 
      • Because He knows our potential perfectly. 
        • He will take us to places we never imagined ourselves.  
          • The things we will achieve as we act with more faith will increase our faith in Jesus Christ.
  • We should be willing to let the Savior be the author and finisher of our stories.
    • Because he knows our potential perfectly and He will take us to places we never imagined ourselves.
  • Commandment and covenant keeping will open the… (need to finish this one.. Anyone hear it? [I will see if the sentence is in The Church News highlight of the talk and finish it if pastable!])
  • Will you let God be the author and finisher of your story?
  • Let the adversity and affliction that’s part of every good story be a means by which you draw closer to, and become more like, Jesus Christ.
  • Perhaps the natural man or woman is resistant to ask a question of God and trust Him entirely, instead choosing to stick with the narrative they have written for themselves — “a comfortable version of our story unedited by the Master Author.”
  •  

Talk: Elder Dale G. Renlund – Quorum of the Twelve

‘The Peace of Christ Abolishes Enmity’

 

Major Themes: Stress tests; contention; unity

Notable Stories: Stress testing hearts; 2006 Helsinki temple dedication 

Scriptures: 2 Nephi 2:8

  • Health Stress tests can show potential health challenges. 
  • COVID has been a stress test.   
    • Mixed results.  
      • Some have responded well. 
    • It has also been a spiritual stress test. 
      • In some cases it has led to contention and divisiveness. 
    • This isn’t a new challenge but it is a critical one
  • When we contend with anger against each other, Satan laughs and God weeps. 
    • Contention weakens our collective witness to the world of God’s mercy and grace.
    • Contention is spiritually unhealthy for us as individuals. 
      • We are robbed of peace, joy, and rest, and our ability to feel the spirit is compromised.
  • If I am contentious or judgmental, I fail my stress test. 
    • I know I need to change.  
  • People can be unitified even when they are not all the same
  • Unity requires putting Christ above all else.
  • Unity requires effort.
    •  It develops when we cultivate the love of God in our hearts and focus on our eternal destiny.
  • Ask: 
    • What can I do to foster Unity? 
    • What can I do to lessen contention? 
    • How can I help draw this person closer to Christ?
  • We assume that people with whom we disagree have different life experiences.
  • When love of Christ envelopes our lives we approach disagreements with meekness, patience and kindness. 
    • We worry less about our own sensitivities and more about our neighbor’s.
  • Assume those we disagree with are doing the best they can with the life experience they’ve had
  • 2006 Finland temple dedication 
    • Temple district included Russia 
    • First day of operations was dedicated to Russian saints 
      • During planning the opening, the committee (composed entirely of Finnish saints) noticed that the Russian saints would be traveling several days to attend the dedication, so they should have priority for ordinances. 
      • Elder Renlund shared these experience with his father and his father wept and chose to no longer hold resentment towards Russians 
      • They chose to make their discipleship of Jesus Christ first.
  • We can bring our heritage & culture to the church. 
    • But we need to put our discipleship of the Savior above all other considerations.
  • If we are not one, we are not His. 
    • My invitation is to be valiant in putting our love of God and discipleship of the Savior above all other considerations. 
    • Let us uphold the covenant inherent in our discipleship—the covenant to be one
  • As we shun contention, and be like minded with the Lord, His peace will be ours. 
  • If we are unable to place our discipleship to Jesus Christ above personal interests and viewpoints, we should reexamine our priorities and change
  • My invitation is to be valiant in putting our love of God and discipleship of the Savior above all other considerations. 
    • Let us uphold the covenant inherent in our discipleship — the covenant to be one
  • I testify that as we shun contention and become ‘like-minded with the Lord in love and united with Him in faith,’ His peace will be ours.
  • Contention causes two concerns: 
    • “First, contention weakens our collective witness to the world of Jesus Christ and the redemption that comes through His ‘merits, … mercy, and grace.’
    • Second, contention is spiritually unhealthy for individuals. 
      • “We are robbed of peace, joy and rest, and our ability to feel the Spirit is compromised.”
  •  Being quick to take offense or respond to differences by becoming angry or judgmental is failing the spiritual stress test. 
    • It does not mean one is hopeless; rather it identifies a need to change.
  • Unity requires effort.
    • If we are unable to place our discipleship to Jesus Christ above personal interests and viewpoints, we should reexamine our priorities and change.

 

Hymn: I Am a Child of God – Hymn 301

Talk: Vaiangina Sikahema of the 70

A House of Sequential Order

Major Themes: The sequential nature of growth

Notable Stories: 

Scriptures: 2 Nephi 28:30; 4th Article of Faith 

  • God’s house is built in order. He expects us to live our lives in order, and in proper sequence.
    • He wants you to serve a mission before marriage. 
    • He wants you to marry before you have children. 
    • If you go out of order, or choose to live out of sequence, life becomes chaotic.
  • One observation I’ve made is that sequential order is a simple, natural and effective way for the Lord to teach us, as His children, important principles.
  • We learn line upon line. I.e. sequentially
  • Miracles operate according to sequential order.
    • First we exercise faith, which always precedes the miracle.
  • Sacrament is sequential. 
    • First bread
    • Then water. 
  • Repentance is sequential.
    • Faith in Christ even if a particle.
  • The principles of the gospel are sequential.
    • Faith
    • Repentance
    • Baptism 
    • Laying on of hands
  • Our physical and spiritual growth begins in stages and develops slowly as we gain experience sequentially
  • We will be blessed as we look for and follow the patterns and the sequence in which the Lord teaches what’s most important to Him
  • Many principles, ordinances and efforts are sequential, beginning with faith and learning “line upon line, precept upon precept.”
  • We’ve come to earth to learn and gain experience we would not otherwise have. 
    • Our growth is unique to each of us individually and a vital component of Heavenly Father’s plan.
    • Our physical and spiritual growth begins in stages and develops slowly as we gain experience sequentially
  • Other sequential patterns are found in the first four principles of the gospel, Aaronic Priesthood offices, the sacrament ordinance, the ordinances of salvation and exaltation, and the ordinances of the temple. 
  • We will be blessed as we look for and follow the patterns and the sequence in which the Lord teaches what’s most important to Him. 

Talk: Elder Quentin L. Cook – Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

‘Personal Peace in Challenging Times’

Major Themes:Agency; adversity and opposition; peace

Notable Stories: Extermination order; Abraham and Lot

Scriptures: D & C 121; John 14: 27; Galatians 5:22–23

  • Unrighteous exercise of agency can impact righteous people 
  • In Liberty Jail in Missouri, where the Prophet Joseph Smith and others were imprisoned when the Saints were being persecuted, Joseph asked: “O, God, where art thou?”
  • The answer from the Lord: “My son, peace be unto thy soul.”
  • Joseph’s time in Liberty Jail demonstrates that adversity is not evidence of the Lord’s disfavor, nor a withdrawal of His blessings.
  • It is clear that opposition can refine us for an eternal celestial destiny.
  • The Saviors’s cherished title: Prince of Peace
  • In my lifetime, I have never seen a greater lack of civility. 
    • We are bombarded with angry, contentious language and provocative, devastating actions that destroy peace and tranquility.
  • Universal peace was not part of the Savior’s initial mortal ministry. 
    • Universal peace does not exist today. 
    • However, personal peace can be achieved despite the anger, contention and division that blights and corrupts our world today.
  • ‘When there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ’
  • 5 ways to have universal peace
    • 1.) Love God, live His commandments and forgive everyone.
      • The spirit all latter days saints should seek to possess.
    • 2.) Seek the fruits of the spirit.
      • Fruit of the Spirit qualify us
      • Bear others’ burden.
        • Shun hatred,
        • Eliminate strife with respect to matters that do not involve righteousness.
        • If we want to have the peace which is the reward of the words of righteousness, we will not pitch our tents towards the world. 
          • We will pitch our tents towards the temple.
      • All of Christ’s teachings point toward peace
    • 3.) Exercise Agency to choose Righteousness
      • Agency was at issue in the premortal conflict in heaven
      • The atonement of a Christ can help us deal with our trials, sickness and pains.
    • 4l) Build Zion in our hearts and homes.
      • The Savior can provide direction to shelter from the world’s storms.  
    • 5.) Follow the current admonitions of the Lord’s prophet
      • President Russell M. Nelson has taught how to “feel enduring peace and joy even during turbulent times.”
  • Letting go of pride and control and choosing the Savior would allow us to have His light and His peace.”
  • It is clear that opposition can refine us for an eternal, celestial destiny”
  • Love and kindness are at the center of having Zion in our hearts and homes. 

 

Hymn: How Firm a Foundation – Hymn 85

Talk: President Russell M. Nelson – President of the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints

‘The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation’

 

Major Themes: Foundations, Temple and Covenants; 

Notable Stories:

Scriptures:

    • Renovation of the Salt Lake Temple – 
      • Jack and bore process to strengthen its foundation.
      • Includes major reinforcement of the original foundation, which stood for more than a century but the temple will stand for much longer 
        • (Love his sense of humor in relation to the hymn just presented by the tab choir)
    • We are sparing no effort to give this venerable temple, which has become increasingly vulnerable, a foundation that will withstand the forces of nature into the millennium.
    • Time to strengthen our personal spiritual foundations.
      • Love his comment about the “inevitable settling that occurs” in building foundations. 
      • Probably the same with our testimony unless we take actions.
    • It is now time that we each implement extraordinary measures — perhaps measures we have never taken before — to strengthen our personal spiritual foundations. 
      • Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures.
    • Take measures to strengthen spiritual foundations, maybe measures we’ve never taken before.
    • Imperative to have a firm foundation built upon the rock of our redeemer Jesus Christ.
    • We need to always ask how firm our foundation is
      • We also need to ask what reinforcement to our testimony and understanding of the gospel are needed
    • The Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple.
      • The temple lies at the center of strengthening our faith and spiritual fortitude because the Savior and His doctrine are the very heart of the temple.
      • Everything taught in the temple brings us closer to the Savior. 
    • If we are prepared we shall not fear, and oh how important this is today.
    • His covenants bind us to HIm.
    • It gives us His power
    • As we keep our covenants, He endows us with His healing, strengthening power. 
      • And oh, how we will need His power in the days ahead 
    • Everything we believe and every promise God has made to His covenant people come together in the temple
    • Temple ordinances and covenants are ancient.. Since Adam and Eve
    • Those who make covenants with God and keep them are children of the covenant. 
    • Temple ordinances continue to change.  
    • Methods change under inspired direction.
    • Procedures change but the covenants remain the same.
    • The Lord has declared that despite today’s unprecedented challenges, those who build their foundations upon Jesus Christ and have learned how to draw upon His power need not succumb to the unique anxieties of this era.
    • When an individual’s spiritual foundation is built solidly upon Jesus Christ, he or she will have no need to fear.
      • “As you are true to your covenants made in the temple, you will be strengthened by His power.  Then, when spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable.
    • 1. The restoration is a process not an event
      • Will continue until the Lord comes again.
    • 2. The ultimate objective of the gathering of Israel is to bring together the blessings of the temple to God’s children
    • 3. The Lord reveals more insights as we ponder how to achieve that objective more effectively
      • The ongoing restoration needs ongoing revelation
    • He wants you to have spiritual insights that you have never had before. 
    • When you bring your Temple recommend, a contrite heart, and a seeking mind to the House of the Lord, He will teach you.
    • Whenever any kind of upheaval occurs in your life, the safest place to be spiritually is living inside your temple covenants
    • If you do not yet love to go to the temple, go more often — not less.
  • I just wish I can attend the Temple. Time does not allow it due to distance. Also, I have no clothing for the Temple. (Never been inside one so have no white clothes.)
  • Time is harder to work around, but when you find the time, talk with your bishop or branch president and they will help with clothing
  • I wish it were easier to get an appointment. The next available appointment at my temple is December 30.
  • Oh wow… perhaps follow the advice from Pres. Nelson he just gave, rehearse in your mind.
  • Some temples allow for a handful of walk-ups (Raleigh NC has four per session for those that really just need to be in the temple, but couldn’t make a reservation for whatever reason). 
  • Thanks, I didn’t know that. 
  • Seek prayerfully and consistently time to review and understand your temple covenants. 
    • Doing so will reinforce our spiritual foundation.
  • When upheavals occur in our lives, the only place to be safe is inside our temple covenants.
  • Please believe me that when you build your spiritual foundation on the Lord Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear
  • Whenever any kind of upheaval occurs in your life, the safest place to be spiritually is living inside your temple covenants.
  • When spiritual earthquakes occur, you will be able to stand strong because your spiritual foundation is solid and immovable.
  • Please believe me when I say that when your spiritual foundation is built solidly upon Jesus Christ, you have no need to fear
  • God, our Heavenly Father, wants you to choose to come home to Him.
  •  

 

Hymn: Let the Mountains Shout for Joy

Benediction: Sister Jean Bingham, General Relief Society President 

 

Guidelines * Save own copy

191st Semiannual General Conference * October 2 & 3, 2021

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

Listen/Watch

 

THOUGHTS:

  • I thought Pres Nelson was building towards some big change to temple ordinances. 
    • 😀 someone tweeted that he is being a tease. I think we will see the changes when we attend the temple. Remember 3 years ago, some changes were made showing more affirmation towards women. So let us see what this is about.
  • This session was centered on the Savior and the need for us not just to come to Him, but hold on to Him, always.

 

 

Sunday Afternoon Session

Opening Hymn: How Great the Wisdom and the Love – Hymn 195
Conducting: President Dallin H. Oaks – First Counselor in the First Presidency

Hymn: Glory to God on High – Hymn 67

Invocation: Elder Matthew S. Holland of the Seventy

(He sounds a lot like his dad)

Hymn: Where Can I Turn for Peace? – Hymn 129

Talk: Elder Gerrit W. Gong  – Quorum of the Twelve

‘Trust Again’

Major Themes: Trust

Notable Stories: 

  • Planning to run away as a child…
  • Parable of the prodigal son..

Scriptures:

  • When trust is challenged we wonder how to trust again
  • Whether we are coming home, or going home, God is there to meet us.  
    • In Him, we can find faith and courage, wisdom and discernment, to trust again.
  • Trust is an act of faith.
    •  God keeps faith with us
  • Likewise, He asks us to keep the light on for each other, to be more forgiving and less judgmental of ourselves and each other, so His church can be a place where we feel at home, whether we are coming for the first time or returning.
  • Keep the light on for each other
  • We may feel trust violated when we learn something about church history or a church policy changes 
  • Broken covenants break hearts
  • “I’ve done stupid things” he says, “can you ever forgive me.”
  • We know joy on the Lord’s covenant path and callings to serve in His church are an invitation to feel God’s trust and love for us and each other
  • Callings to serve are invitations to feel God’s trust in us
    • Young couple called to nursery, wife called to RS president, patient trusts nurses, stake president embraces sinner who repents
  • Trust becomes real when a person does hard things with faith. 
    • Service and sacrifice increase capacity and refine hearts. 
    • Trust in God and others brings promised blessings.
  • We know joy on the Lord’s covenant path and callings to serve in His church are an invitation to feel God’s trust and love for us and each other
  • When trust is broken or betrayed, disappointment and disillusionment are real; so is the need for discernment to know when faith and courage are merited to trust again in human relations
  • “In the process of time” – Trust in the scriptures
  • Trust God and His miracles. 
    • We and our relationships can change. 
    • Through the Atonement of Christ the Lord, we can put off our selfish natural self and become a child of God, meek, humble, full of faith and appropriate trust.
  • Condemnation and forgiveness both begin by recognizing a wrong. 
  • Often condemnation focuses on the past. 
    • Forgiveness looks liberating to the future.
  • Only we can choose to hide ourselves from God
  • We are responsible for our choices and their consequences.
  • When we are ready to come, even when we are a great far off, God is waiting with compassion and all that he has for us.
  • Our agency and freedom have meaning because we are accountable before God.
  • He invites us to make our quorums, groups, and classes safe and open for all
  • Our life journeys are individual, but we can come again to God our Father and His Beloved Son through trust in God, each other and ourselves. 
    • Jesus beckons, ‘Be not afraid, only believe.’ 
      • Please look again for faith and trust  — a miracle He promises you today
  • We are both the prodigal son or daughter and the son or daughter who did not stray
  • As we reflect on trust, we know God is a God of truth and ‘canst not lie.’
  • With God’s blessing, process of time, and continuing faith and obedience, we can find resolution and peace.
  • Trust God’s inspiration to discern wisely.
  •  

 

Talk: Bishop L. Todd Budge – Second Counselor of the Presiding Bishopric

‘Giving Holiness to the Lord’

Major Themes: Humanitarian efforts

Notable Stories: Sister Canfield humanitarian missionary;

Scriptures:

  • Upon receiving his call, his wife asked, “what does a presiding bishopric do?”
    • Welfare and self-reliance committee 
    • Humanitarian efforts
  • Donations in 2020 were the highest ever and may be higher this year
  • Over 1500 Covid relief projects across 150 countries 
  • Life sustaining: Food, oxygen, medical supplies, and vaccinations 
  • Additional donations of time
  • Over 82m forcibly displaced people, even more refugees
  • Church operates refugee welcome centers across US and europe 
    • Also help with similar programs run by other organizations
  • May I extend my heartfelt gratitude to those Saints who have reached out to feed, clothe, befriend and help these refugees become established and self-sufficient. 
  • Direct connection between sacrifice and two great commandments 
  • Anciently, sacrifice was tied to sacred/holy and to make.
    • Sacrifice is the process of becoming holy and coming to know God
      • Not an event or ritualistic giving up of things for the Lord.
  • Sacrifice is less about giving up and more about giving to the Lord
  • When sacrifice is seen from the perspective of giving up, we might be discouraged as against seen from the perspective of giving to.
    • When seen from the perspective of “giving to” the Lord, our sacrifices on behalf of others become gifts, and the joy of generously giving becomes its own reward.
  • Something is made holy not by giving it up but by consecrating it to the Lord
  • Couple called to serve humanitarian mission after the woman spent a career in high-end interior design (Canfields)
  • Give said the little stream provides a beautiful metaphor we can follow in this endeavour. We may be small, but wherever we go, our service and love to God and others can make the path greener still.
  • Ultimately, the Lord wants our hearts; He wants us to become new creatures in Christ
  • When “viewed from the perspective of ‘giving to’ the Lord, our sacrifices on behalf of others become gifts, and the joy of generously giving becomes its own reward.
  • Yes, each of us is small, but together as we hasten to give to God and our fellowmen, wherever we go, lives are enriched and blessed.
  • Sacrifice means to make something or someone holy, and “is a process of becoming holy and coming to know God, not an event or ritualistic ‘giving up’ of things for the Lord.”
  • The Lord wants each person to become holy, be possessed of charity and come to know Him. 
    • Ultimately, the Lord wants our hearts; He wants us to become new creatures in Christ.
  • “Holiness to the Lord” is engraved on each temple.
    • “As we observe our covenants by sacrifice, we are made holy through the grace of Jesus Christ, and at the altars of the holy temple, with broken hearts and contrite spirits, we give our holiness to the Lord.
  • Viewing sacrifices on behalf of others as giving up things can cause discouragement.
    • However, when viewed from the perspective of ‘giving to’ the Lord, our sacrifices on behalf of others become gifts, and the joy of generously giving becomes its own reward.
  • Lives, possessions, time and talents are made holy by consecrating them to the Lord.m
    • The humanitarian work of the Church is such a gift.
  • Each person’s contribution is small, “but together as we hasten to give to God and our fellowmen, wherever we go, lives are enriched and blessed.”

 

Hymn: I’ll Follow Him in Faith

Talk: Elder Anthony D. Perkins of the Seventy

‘Remember Thy Suffering Saints, O Our God’

Major Themes: Disappointment, suffering; hope 

Notable Stories: Personal experience diagnosed with Cancer.

Scriptures: D&C 6: 36

  • Diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago, statistics means a likely earlier death than anticipated 
  • Suffering
    • Physical: accidents, pains, aging
    • Emotional: betrayal, depression, 
  • Physical or emotional suffering from trials or mortal weaknesses is part of everyone’s lives. Hope is found in Christ’s gospel. 
    • Regardless of where you live, physical or emotional suffering from a variety of trials and mortal weaknesses has been, is now or will someday be part of your life.
    • 1. Suffering does not mean God is displeased with your life.
      • “Whatever the cause of your sufferings, Heavenly Father can direct them to refine your soul. 
      • Refined souls canour principles of hope
      •  bear others’ burdens with true empathy.” 
      • Christ’s disciples wrongly believed a man was blind because of his faults or his parents 
      • Refined souls that have come through great tribulation will live with a glorified God again. 
    • 2. Heavenly Father is intimately aware of our suffering 
      • We can sometimes think God is far away when we are suffering.
      • Remember thy suffering Saints…peace be unto thy soul. (Similar to the points by Elder Cook, earlier today)
      • We can feel God’s love during our trials.   
      • Heavenly Father notes the fall of a single sparrow. 
        • You may not be immediately relieved of your suffering (as Elder Perkins was not), but you can feel the massive power of His love.
          • “I was given no reason for my illness, no indication of the ultimate outcome and no relief from the pain.
          • I just felt His pure love, and that was and is enough.”
    • 3. Jesus offers his enabling power to give us strength to endure our suffering well
      • “Just a little tougher”
        • I fear that too many church members think if they are just a little tougher they can get through any suffering on their own. 
        • This is a hard way to live. 
        • Your temporary moment of strength can never compare to the Savior’s infinite supply of power.
      • A temporary moment of strength can never compare to the infinite power of Christ’s Atonement 
      • Binding ourselves to the Savior by keeping covenants allow us to draw on his divine power.  
      • Some healing may take place in another world
    • 4. Choose to find joy each day
      • Those who suffer feel like the night goes on and on, and daylight will never come. 
      • If you find yourself in the dark night of suffering, by choosing faith, you can awake to bright mornings of rejoicing 
      • The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. – Pres Nelson
  • Choose to find joy each day. 
    • It is OK to weep. 
    • “Yet if you find yourself in dark nights of suffering, by choosing faith you can awake to bright mornings of rejoicing.”
  • God enables us all to have strength in our suffering 
  • Jesus Christ offers His enabling power, made possible through His Atonement, to help one have strength to endure suffering. 
    • “I fear that too many Church members think if they are just a little tougher they can get through any suffering on their own.
      • Your temporary moment of strength can never compare to the Savior’s infinite supply of power to fortify your soul.”
  • Whatever the cause of your sufferings, Heavenly Father can direct them to refine your soul. 
    • Refined souls can bear others’ burdens with true empathy.”
  • “Your temporary moment of strength can never compare to the Savior’s infinite supply of power to fortify your soul.”
  • “If you find yourself in dark nights of suffering, by choosing faith you can awake to bright mornings of rejoicing
  • It is okay to weep. 
    • Yet, if you find yourself in dark nights of suffering, by choosing faith you can awake to bright mornings of rejoicing
  •   

Talk: Elder Michael A. Dunn of the Seventy

‘One Percent Better’

Major Themes: Pursuit to be better Children of God; little by little 

Notable Stories: British Bikers/Cycling;

Scriptures:

  • The strategy that helped change the British cycling team from perpetually losing to consistently winning wasn’t a dramatic, overnight turnaround. 
    • The strategy coach Dave Brailsford referred to as “the aggregation of marginal gains” entailed implementing small improvements in everything. 
    • Said Brailsford, “The whole principle came from the idea that if you break down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improve it by just 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”
  • How could this 1% principle apply to a principle like repentance? 
  • Rather than being stymied by the churn and dramatic swings between sin and repentance, what if our approach was to narrow our focus — even as we broadened it? Instead of trying to perfect everything, what if we tackled just one thing?
  • For this approach to work, “there must be a consistent, day in and day out effort.” 
    • Look at what is stagnating or blocking the covenant pathway, and then look broader to “seek modest but makeable fixes.
  • Because every effort to change we make — no matter how tiny it seems to us — just might make the biggest difference in your life.
  • Aggregation of marginal gains 
    • Walking circumspectly 
    • Avoids trap of myopic fixation on obvious problem 
  • Narrow our focus even as we broaden it.
    • Focus on one thing at a time.
  • Habits are the compound interest of self improvements.
    • If you can get better 1% each day, you will be 37x better at the end of the year. (37.78 times better).
  • Could aggregating small but steady marginal gains in our lives finally be the way to victory over even the most pesky of our personal shortcomings?
  • There must be consistent day in day out effort for marginal gains to be aggregated.
  • We need to have a Mustard Seed mentality.
  • Even if changes needed in our lives are wholesale, begin at a small scale.
  • But remember, just as we would not attempt to go from being Atilla the Hun to Mother Theresa overnight, so too should we reorient our patterns of improvement incrementally
  • As we commit to making small but steady improvements, we are promised a “crown of glory that fadeth not away
  • Seek modest but makeable fixes in your life that might result in the sweet joy of being just a little better.
    • By small and simple things are great things come to pass.
  • Even if the changes needed in your life are wholesale, begin at a small scale.
  • Instead of trying to perfect everything, what if we tackled just one thing?
  • Because every effort to change we make — no matter how tiny it seems to us — just might make the biggest difference in your life.
  •   

Talk: Elder Sean Douglas of the Seventy

‘Facing Our Spiritual Hurricanes by Believing in Christ’

Major Themes: Joy; Believe in Christ; Keep commandments

Notable Stories: Hurricanes; Granddaughter born with some birth defects demonstrated great faith in Christ

Scriptures:

    • Hurricanes
      • A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and/or squalls.
  • He dealt with Harvey in 2017, and a little later, I had to deal with Irma. Incidentally, it was Irma that got me back to investigate the Church and led me to baptism a week after Conference in 2018
  • Awesome! Good can always come from devastation. 
  • Spiritual Hurricanes
  • When dark clouds hang over us and threaten our peace to destroy there is hope smiling before us.
  • Just as hurricanes weaken over land, doubt is replaced with faith as we build our foundation on Christ. We are then able to see spiritual hurricanes in their proper perspective, and our capacity to overcome them is enlarged.
  • Joy has little to do with circumstances (X2 quote today)
  • Joy or misery we feel as we brave the storms of life are dependent on obedience to commandments.
    •  Divine laws are as true as law of gravity, the law of lift, thermo dynamics, and law that governs the heartbeat, etc
  • If you want to be happy, keep the commandments.
  • Doubt is the breeding ground for spiritual hurricanes.
    • The breeding ground of doubt can appear inviting and in such water Satan tempts us to lack spiritual vigilance.
    • Can lead to apathy
  • We face our spiritual hurricanes best by believing in Christ and keeping His commandments.
  • The joy or misery we feel as we brave the storms of life is tied to the laws that God has set.
  • The enemy of faith and joy is doubt, and doubt is the breeding ground for spiritual hurricanes. 
    • Satan wants to lead people to this breeding ground of doubt and harden people’s hearts and tempt them to relax their spiritual vigilance. 
  • Doubt is replaced with faith as we build our foundations on Christ.
    • We can overcome spiritual hurricane
    • When the devil sends his whirlwinds, it shall have no power to drag us down because of the sure foundation we have.
  • The Lord does not require us to have perfect faith to have access to His perfect power
  • We are “Graven on the Palms of his hand.”
  • Perfect faith or knowledge isn’t required; however, people are asked to believe. 
  • We face our spiritual hurricanes best by believing in Christ and keeping His commandments.
  •   

 

Hymn: Rejoice, the Lord is King – Hymn 66

Talk: Carlos G Rivillo Jr – of the Seventy

‘Miracles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ’

Major Themes: First principles and ordinances of the gospel 

Notable Stories: Conversion story in the Philippines; Obidoso Family journey to the Manila temple; 

Scriptures: 2 Nephi 10:21; the strippling warriors; 

  • Mabuhay:
    • Long Live! (used as a greeting or to express good wishes)
  • The Gospel is truly the way to a happy and abundant life.
  • Principles of the gospel
    • Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
      • The lord takes care of those who demonstrate faith in Him.
    • Repentance
      • Repentance is turning away from sin and turning to God for forgiveness. 
        • It is a change of mind and heart.
      • When you mix oils with a base that creates soap! 
        • Repentance is like soap, it’s a cleaning agent that gets rid of impurities
      • Let go of traditions
      • Come unto Jesus Christ and choose to exercise your faith in Him. Repent and make and keep the covenants found in the ordinances of salvation and exaltation.
    • Baptism
      • Allow us to renew our covenants with the Lord.
  • As we live and obey the principles and ordinances of the gospel, we are blessed, changed and converted to becoming more like Jesus Christ
  •   

Talk: Alvin F. Meredith III of the Seventy

‘Look Down the Road’

 

Major Themes: Focus on Christ; Hope in Christ 

Notable Stories: Driving at 15; Story of Peter walking on water;

Scriptures:

  • “What are you looking at?”
    • I am watching your eyes, you are only looking at the front of the hood of the car. 
    • Look down the road and you will drive straight.
  • Focus on things that are most important, the things down the road, the eternal things is key to maneuvering through this life 
  • Jesus walking on water.
  • Lessons to learn from Christ walking on the water 
    • Focus on Jesus Christ. 
      • Understanding ultimate purpose helps us 
      • Purpose is to have joy and prepare to return to God’s presence 
      • Focus requires discipline, especially on the small habits
      • There is no discipleship without discipline
    • Beware of distractions 
      • There are many things immediately in front of us and things down the road that can lure us off the course 
      • The devil is the great distractor.
      • Not all distractions are obvious 
        • Doing nothing includes wasting time 
        • Things that are fine in moderation can become unhealthy in excess
        • Distractions do not have to be bad or immoral to be harmful.
    • We can be rescued 
      • Peter cried out, “Lord save me”
      • Christ didn’t come until 4th watch, after the disciples had been toiling in the storm for several hours 
      • Do not lose hope, rescue always comes to the faithful; whether in mortality or in the eternities.
  • Be intentional in looking down the road. 
    • May we keep Christ at the center of our focus.
  • The adversary seems determined to get good people to do nothing, or at least to waste their time on things that will distract them from their lofty purposes and goals.
  •  There is no discipleship without discipline.
  • Focusing on Christ can simplify our decisions and provide a guide for how we can best spend our time and resources.
  • We rely on the grace of Christ as we strive to become like Him
  • The scriptures are full of stories of people who were once fallen and flawed but who repented and became firm in the faith of Christ.
    • I think those stories are in the scriptures to remind us that the Savior’s love for us and His power to redeem us are infinite. 
    • Not only does the Savior have joy when we repent, but we receive great joy as well.
  • Increase focus on the things that really matter — and keep Christ at the center of that focus.
  •  

Talk: Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles 

(Title)

Major Themes: The name of the church 

Notable Stories: story of a 10 year old and her teacher in Hawaii.

Scriptures:

  • Restoring the name of the church
  • The name of the Church is not negotiable.
  • Why Now?
  • The restoration is a process not an event. 
  • All things must come to pass in their time.
  • The doctrine of Christ is unchanging and everlasting. Yet, specific, and important steps of the Savior’s work are revealed at their appropriate time.
  • The identity and destiny of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints requires that we be called by His name.
  • Live 55 languages; Will be translated in 97 languages
  • When the Savior returns in majesty and glory, faithful members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be among all nations, all people, all races and all cultures of the world.
  • Mormon didn’t die for my sins. Jesus Christ is my Savior, and it is by him I wish to be known.
  • Websites ‘churchofjesuschrist.org’ and ‘‘churchofjesuschrist.com’ were unavailable for years until right before Pres Nelson’s announcement 
  • Name change of the Tabernacle choir.
  • More than 1000 products with the name ‘mormon’ or ‘LDS’ have been renamed
  • Adoption of a new symbol using the Christus Statue.
  • We appreciate the many good and gracious people who have honored our desire to be called by our correct name.
  • We realize that adding six words to our name would not be ideal for the media, but as President Nelson foretold, ‘responsible media will be sympathetic in responding to our request.’
  • I am an eyewitness to the power of heaven that rests upon our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. 
    • His most sincere desire is to please the Lord and bless our Heavenly Father’s children.

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

‘Make Time for the Lord’

 

Major Themes:

Notable Stories:

Scriptures:

    • Temples announced
  • Show off 🙂
    • 1. Kaohsiung Taiwan
    • 2. Tacloban, Philippines 
    • 3. Monrovia Liberia
    • 4. Conga, Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • 5. Antananarivo, Madagascar 
    • 6.Culiacán, México
    • 7. Vitória, Brazil
    • 8. Appas, Bolivia
    • 9. Santiago West, Chile
    • 10. Fort Worth, Texas.
    • 11. Cody, Wyoming.
    • 12. Rexburg North, Idaho
    • 13. Heber Valley, Utah
    • 14. Reconstruction of Provo, Utah, after Orem, Utah, is finished
  • We have been taught by servants of the Lord
  • We have been given our charge for the next six months.
    • How will we be different because of what we have heard and felt?
  • We choose to whom we will turn to for truth and guidance.
  • If most of the information one gets comes from social or other media, the ability to hear the whisperings of the Spirit will be diminished.  
  • To avoid heartbreak:
    • Counter the lure of the world by making time with the lord in your life each and every day.
    • If you are not also seeking the Lord through daily prayer and gospel study, you leave yourself vulnerable to philosophies that may be intriguing but are not true.
    • Even saints who are faithful can be derailed by the steady beats of Babylon’s band.
  • Do what is necessary to allow the Holy Ghost to be with us always. 
  • Make time for the Lord in his holy house  
  • “My brothers and sisters, I plead with you to make time for the Lord! 
    • Make your own spiritual foundation firm and able to stand the test of time by doing those things that allow the Holy Ghost to be with you always.”
  • Nothing invites the Spirit more than fixing one’s focus on Jesus Christ.
  • Also, please make time for the Lord in His holy house. 
    • Nothing will strengthen your spiritual foundation like temple service and temple worship.
  • The Lord knows you and loves you. 
    • He is your Savior and your Redeemer. 
      • He leads and guides His Church. 
      • He will lead and guide you in your personal life if you will make time for Him in your life — each and every day.
  •  

 

Hymn: Sing We Now at Parting – Hymn (#156)

Benediction: Elder Kelly R. Johnson of the Sevent

 

 

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