April 2023 General Conference | Saturday Sessions

VIDEO: April 2023 General Conference | Saturday Sessions

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints welcomes all to join with millions of people worldwide to hear inspiring messages of hope and renewal from living prophets and apostles during the upcoming general conference on Saturday and Sunday, April 1–2, 2023.

 

Engaging with this religious broadcast helps individuals learn about Jesus Christ, strengthen their personal relationships with the Savior, and experience the peace, hope, and joy that come through following Him. All Latter-day Saints, friends of the Church, and others are encouraged and invited to participate on Palm Sunday weekend.

 

“General conference provides an opportunity to receive personal revelation as general Church leaders give counsel and direction,” the First Presidency of the Church wrote in a March 2 letter meant to be read in congregations. “We encourage members to listen to, study, ponder, and apply the counsel given.”

 

The global broadcast originates from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and consists of five unique, two-hour general sessions for all audiences over two days:

 

Saturday, April 1

 

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Saturday Morning Session

NOTE: President Oaks excused Elder Holland from the general conference due to COVID-19.

Opening Hymn: Come, Ye Children of the Lord – 

Conducting: President Dallin H. Oaks – 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency

Hymn: Redeemer of Israel – Hymn (#6) 

Invocation: Benjamin M. Z. Tai – General Authority 70

Talk: Elder Gary E. Stevenson – Quorum of the 12

The Greatest Easter Story Ever Told

Major Themes: Easter, testimony of Christ in the Book of Mormon 

Notable Stories:

Scripture References: 3 Nephi 11

  • All Wards and Branches will meet only for Sacrament Meeting on Easter Sunday
    • This leaves more time for home worship
  •  We shouldn’t rely on receiving the religious aspects of Easter to happen only at church. 
    • We need to incorporate religious worship of Easter into our home.
  • How do we model the teaching and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Easter story, with the same balance, fullness and rich religious tradition of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christmas story?
  • We can find meaningful easter traditions from our Christian cousins. 
    • We should make Easter our greatest festival. Celebrate good friday, palm sunday, …
  • Take Christmas away from the NT and you lose two chapters; take Easter away and you lose the entire NT.
  • In addition to verses about Easter in the New Testament, Latter-day Saints have “perhaps the most magnificent Easter scriptures in all of Christianity” — the Book of Mormon account of the resurrected Christ’s visit to the new world.
  • Luke 2 equivalent for Easter… 
    • Unique witness in the Book of Mormon. 
  • “Arise and come forth unto me … that you may know I am the God of the whole earth.” 
  • The Book of Mormon shares the greatest easter story ever told
    • Reality of the Living Christ 
  • Beginning with 3 Nephi 11, it tells the magnificent story of the resurrected Christ’s visit to the Nephites, the Savior’s Easter ministry. 
    • These Easter scriptures bear record of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The Book of Mormon provides us with the richness and depth of the doctrine of Christ
    • It is also a profound witness of the reality of the Risen Christ as well
  • People of all ages can find peace in the doctrine of resurrection and eternal life 
  • We cannot stand as witnesses of Christ until we bear witness of Him 
  • The Book of Mormon, more than any other book, bears witness of the life, ministry, and teachings of Christ. 
    • It will increase hope, charity, faith, and sure knowledge that God knows, loves, and wants you to find way Home
  • No book does more to show [that]
  • Because of Him, everything is better, life is manageable…
  • The Book of Mormon is ‘Another Witness of Jesus Christ’ because throughout its sacred pages, one prophet after another testifies not only that Christ would come, but that He did come. …
  • His visit as a resurrected Savior, introduced by God the Father, is a most glorious and triumphant Easter message. 
    • It will help our families gain a personal testimony of Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer, who broke the bands of death.
  • In reality, the Book of Mormon shares the greatest Easter story ever told. 
    • Let it not be the greatest Easter story never told
  • AMEN!  

Talk: Sister Bonnie H. Cordon – Young Women President

Arise, Come Forth Unto Christ

Major Themes: Testimony; witness of Christ;

Notable Stories: Father diagnosed w/ ALS while she served as mission leaders in Brazil. Two YW experiencing Christ.

Scripture References:3 Nephi 11

    • “Bonnie, never give up an opportunity to testify of Christ”
      • This advice impressed on her the importance of drawing close to the Savior in real, personal ways. 
    • What does it mean to never give up an opportunity to testify of Christ?
      • More than sharing testimony in testimony meetings, sharing comments in class. Her father’s plea felt personal
        • Don’t let the world overtake you
        • Stay true to the covenants Paul 
        • He made with you
        • Seek his blessings every day
    • We need to not let the world overcome us
    • We need to keep our eyes heavenward
    • What would it have been like to be a person in 3 Ne 11, “Arise, and come forth unto me” 
  • 2nd time scripture used in this session of conference!
  • I do not think I had ever heard scripture used in back to back talks!
  • Are we anxious to witness for themselves the miracles of Christ?
  • How do we gain a personal witness of Christ
    • Don’t enjoy the same physical proximity but through the HG we can experience … as much as we need.
  • Personal witness examples from YW…
    • Libby
      • Family watches all five sessions. 
      • Conference meant doodling or napping. 
      • Decided to become an active recipient . 
      • Felt specific things God wanted her to do.
    • Maddy
      • Family stopped attending church but she persisted alone
      • She wanted to be where the Savior was – and her soul felt at home.
      • Her mom started returning to church through her example, and eventually her father. 
  • Personal closeness to Christ grows through frequent temple worship, daily repentance, scripture study, attending church and seminary, pondering patriarchal blessings, receiving ordinances, honoring covenants and testifying of Him. 
    • Sometimes fasting is just going hungry; sometimes prayer is just mumbling words
    • Worshiping in the Temple changes us
    • These activities become less of a checklist and more of a witness
  • Act on his teachings to build a relationship with Christ. 
  • Adversary creates so much noise that it can be difficult to hear Christ 
  • Muscle memory of discipleship and testimony 
  • Never give up an opportunity to testify of Christ. 
    • Look for Christ everywhere ― I promise He is there!
  • True joy rests on our willingness to come closer to Christ and witness for ourselves.
  • Take every opportunity to joyfully testify that Christ lives.
  • Immortality is a reality for us all.
  • We will want to create muscle memory of discipleship and testimony that will bring into focus our reliance on our Savior each day.
  • When Christ visited the Nephites, His invitation wasn’t to stand at a distance, but to draw near Him.
    • While we may not enjoy the same physical proximity as those who walked with Christ during His early ministry, through the Holy Ghost we can experience His power every day!
  • The adversary can make it difficult to hear the Lord’s voice. 
    • “Our world, our challenges, our circumstances will not get quieter, but we can and must hunger and thirst after the things of Christ to ‘hear Him’ with clarity.

 

Hymn: The Day Dawn Is Breaking – Hymn (#52)

Talk: Elder Carl B. Cook –  Presidency of the 70

Just Keep Going — WIth Faith

 

Major Themes: Overcoming discouragement; keep going with faith; 

Notable Stories: Sister walking out of church. First time attending conference as Area Seventy 

Scripture References: 1 Nephi 5

  • “Never get discouraged, no matter what difficulties surround me. … But hang on, exercise faith., … and I would come out on top of the heap at last.”
  • Joseph Smith repeatedly experienced difficulties in his life but exercise faith and just kept going, overcoming seemingly impossible obstacles
  • Some discouragement and depression will require professional medical support to overcome; this is for those normal, everyday discouragements.
  • Zoram went with Lehi’s family . Huge obstacles eventually become triumphs through faith.
  • Sister felt inadequate and stood up and walked out of church, felt inspired to return and the message was exactly what she needed. 
  • God of heaven and earth will help us overcome discouragement if we look to him, follow him, and keep going in faith. 
  • First trip as an Area seventy. 
    • Planned the meeting, then President Packer called 10 days in advance and told him to scrap the plan and follow the spirit
    • “No talking”
    • “Reverence ??” – Talk by President Packer
    • Pres Packer spoke for 15 minutes and invited Elder Cook to speak for 15 minutes
    • Take 15 minutes and carry on as you feel inspired 
    • Elder Cook spoke, then Pres Packer spoke for 15 minutes and invited Elder Cook to speak again. After speaking, Pres Packer spoke again then invited Elder Cook to speak for a 3rd time. 
    • Adult session followed the same pattern, Elder Cook spoke 3 more times, then once more during the general session.
    • “Let’s do it again some time.” Gentle words of encouragement from President Packer. 
      • If he had escaped, he would have missed the outpouring of love, mercy, enabling power of Jesus Christ’s atonement, and powerful influence of Holy Ghost. 
    • Didn’t give up or resist
  • We will all feel like giving up
  • We have been given power to finish the work we are given. 
  • Exercising faith in Jesus Christ allows us to overcome discouragement. 
  • Stand fast ye saints of God, hold on a little while longer and the storms of life will be past and you will be rewarded by that God whose servants you are. 
  • We all have times when we feel like stopping, leaving, escaping or possibly giving up. But exercising faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, helps us overcome discouragement no matter what obstacles we encounter
  • The God of heaven and earth will help us overcome discouragement and whatever obstacles we encounter if we look to Him, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and just keep going with faith
  • The God of heaven and earth will help us overcome discouragement and whatever obstacles we encounter if we look to Him, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and just keep going—with faith.
  •  Regardless of the size, scope and serious challenges we face in life, we all have times when we feel like stopping, leaving, escaping or possibly giving up, but exercising faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ, helps us overcome discouragement no matter what obstacles we encounter.
  • Just as the Savior finished the work He was given to do, He has the power to help us finish the work we have been given.

Talk: Elder Gerrit W. Gong – Quorum of the 12

Ministering

Major Themes: Ministering

Notable Stories: John and Peggy; Salvador and siblings in Peru, lots of others from different countries 

Scripture References: 

  • We can be blessed to move forward along the covenant path, no matter how rocky it becomes.
  • Moving towards baptism because it feels like the most authentic and honest way to live
  • As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek to minister to others as He would because lives are waiting to change 
  • John was always a good person but became different in a beautiful way after he was baptized 
  • John and Peggy concerned in temple marriage could be saved but found strength in covenants 
  • Learn from those who love and minister and care as our Savior would.
  • An Elders Quorum group in Hong Kong consistently conducts 100% ministering interviews. 
    • Prayerfully assign companionships and ask each companionship about those for whom they minister. 
    • We need to minister to the ministers who care for our people without checking boxes.
  • DR Congo, Bro Mocollo(?)
  • Convert… 
    • Young man spent days lounging at the beach and saw an attractive girl in a modest swimsuit that confused him. He asked her why and she invited him to church
  • Build ministering assignments from those most likely to welcome visits
  • Pray for pure love and follow spirit
  • Give YM/YW to accompany experienced ministers
  • Ministering gap
    • More say they are ministering than say they are being ministered to
    • Need more than hello in hall or parking lot
    • Build relationships while regularly visiting in homes 
  • Inspired ministering blesses families and individuals
    • It also strengthens wards and branches. 
  • We need to think of our wards or branches as ecosystems where the Lord of the vineyard and His servants bring forth precious fruit by binding together the strengths and weaknesses of all the trees.
    •  Together, they bless hearts and homes, ward and branches, through inspired, consistent ministering. 
  • When we minister, we bless generations 
  • Not just about challenges or problems, but rejoice in tender mercies
  • Ask: What more can I do?
  • Ministering blesses generations. 
  • Our Savior is our perfect example. 
    • He blesses both the one and the 99. 
      • We become more like Jesus Christ when we do unto the least of these as we do unto Him and love our neighbor as ourselves.
  • Christ ministers, angels ministers, followers of Christ minister one to another 
  • Let Christ’s name be known through our ministry
  • Remember the poor and the needy, the sick and afflicted.
  • As we minister as He would, we witness His miracles and blessings. 
  • Wherever we are in this Easter season, let us reach out and care as our Savior would, especially to those whom we are privileged by love and assignment to minister. 
    • In so doing, may we draw closer to Jesus Christ and each other, becoming more like Him and the followers of Jesus Christ He would have us each be.
  • Inspired invitations change lives. 
    • When invitations help us make and keep sacred covenants, we draw closer to the Lord and each other
  • Higher and holier ministering comes when we pray for the ‘pure love of Christ’ and follow the Spirit.

 

Hymn: Now Let us Rejoice – Hymn (#3)

Talk: Elder Quentin L. Cook – Quorum of the 12

Safely Gathered Home

Major Themes: Gathering

Notable Stories:Missionary to the Isles on the sea;

Scripture References: D&C 1:1; Abraham 2:9–10; 3 Nephi 5:20; 1 Nephi 22 (Heading); Book of Mormon Title Page; 

  • Unique responsibility to gather scattered Israel and prepare the world for Christ’s second coming 
  • The Father of our spirits desires His children to be safely gathered home
    • Not based on worldly success
    • Based on righteousness, keeping commandments, and making covenants
  • Deep desire for others to experience better lives, come unto God, and receive gospel blessings
  • 1st verse of DC mentions gathering people of the islands of the sea
  • Early success of early missionaries to British Isles is legendary 
    • Half of early converts came from british isles
    • Over 800k members in Philippines 
  • Ongoing missionary effort in Polynesian islands
    • Started in 1844
    • Almost 25% of Polynesians are members; 7th generation members going back to 1845
  • Gathering is the greatest challenge, cause, and work today. 
  • Heavenly Father’s plan is based on righteousness, keeping His commandments, and receiving sacred ordinances and honoring the covenants we make.
  • People of Israel gradually divided and scattered
  • Lehi was part of the scattering of Israel 
  • Descendents of Lehi spread throughout Americas 
  • Second scattering of Judah between 70-135 AD.
    • The Jews dispersed throughout the then known world due to Roman oppression 
  • BOM was a sign that God started gathering Israel 
  • Concept of gathering has greatly expanded
    • Anyone who accepts gospel is part of Israel 
  • Saints have privilege of helping gather Israel 
  • Gathering to continue until saints are everywhere
  • Where is the church today…
    • 62k missionaries
    • 411 missions
    • 17m members
  • Covid impacted opportunities to share gospel but pushed missionary work to integrate technology 
  • Commitment to love share and invite can be expanded 
  • Become beacon examples wherever we live; don’t camouflage our light 
  • Review how we can personally help to gather Israel. 
  • The Lord expects those who have received His gospel to urgently strive to be a beacon light example that will help others come to God
  • An essential part of this missionary effort is for individual members to become beacon light examples wherever we live.
    • We cannot be in camouflage
  • An essential part of this missionary effort is for individual members to become beacon light examples wherever we live. We cannot be in camouflage.
  • Please understand that there are remarkable blessings in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • The Lord expects those who have received His gospel to urgently strive to be a beacon light example that will help others come to God.
  • Heavenly Father desires His children to be safely gathered home. His plan is based on righteousness, keeping His commandments, receiving ordinances and honoring covenants. 
  • President Russell M. Nelson has repeatedly emphasized the gathering of Israel — a concept that has been greatly expanded by the Restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon.
  • “Those who accept the gospel of Jesus Christ regardless of lineage become part of gathered Israel.
    • With that gathering and the numerous temples built and announced, we are in a unique position to gather Israel on both sides of the veil as never before under the Father’s plan.”
  • Members and missionaries across the world are expanding efforts to gather scattered Israel, and growth continues everywhere. 
    • Nevertheless, our commitment to love, share and invite can be greatly expanded.
  • My specific prayer today is for every child, young man, young woman, family, and quorum, Relief Society and class to review how we individually and collectively accept dramatic counsel to help gather Israel that has been issued by the Lord and our beloved Prophet. …
  • The Lord expects those who have received His gospel to urgently strive to be a beacon light example that will help others come to God.

Talk: Elder Allan D Haynie – General Authority 70

A Living Prophet for the Latter Days

Major Themes: Prophetic counsel 

Notable Stories: Gaining testimony of a prophet through saturday cartoons. Lunch with the first presidency

Scripture References: 

  • Saturday was an adventure. Cartoons First… 
    • Cartoon replaced by general conference (David O. McKay, prophet, with his older brother pointed out who he was, a living prophet on the earth.)
  • Knowing by revelation that there is a living prophet on the earth changes everything.
  • A prophet is someone God has personally prepared, called, corrected, inspired, rebuked, sanctified and sustained. 
    • That’s why we are never spiritually at risk when we heed prophetic counsel
  • The key is to follow the living prophet.
  • Trust the counsel of the living prophet, even if we don’t understand it. 
    • Our Father in Heaven has revealed the pattern of revealing truth through the prophet. 
  • Prophets don’t need our help to be aware of their own imperfections 
  • Two realities of latter-days
    • Re-establishment of church
    • Things will get challenging 
  • Prophecies of the last days were frightening as a child, but as an adult, I know as Christ returns to reign, there will be peace.
  • I now pray for the 2nd coming to come. 
    • We do not need to fear. 
  • It is no small thing to have a prophet in our midst. 
  • God’s long established pattern of teaching through prophets assures he us will bless each prophet as well as those who heed prophetic counsel. 
  • Key to follow living prophet. Prophetic teachings don’t become more valuable with age. 
    • Don’t use words of past prophets to dismiss teachings of living prophets
  • Pres Nelson flattened a water bottle
    • Elder Haynie asked why. 
    • Pres Oaks and Eyring then flattened their’s.
      • “Is flattening your bottle a new requirement in the cafeteria” 
      • “You need to follow the prophet :)”  
    • Pres Nelson wasn’t giving prophetic counsel about recycling, but Pres Oaks and Eyring gave example of promptly following the prophet
  • “Decide whether he or she will follow the first presidency. Let us leave a record so the choices are clear, let others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel.” – Neal A. Maxwell.
  • Rising generation growing up with more fig leaves and summer heat.
    • It’s harder to follow prophetic counsel. 
    • When parents ignore prophetic counsel, teaches children to do similarly
    • Parents feel like they can ease up on obedience. 
    • If parents go a little off course, children will deviate even further. 
  • Adversary influence will be at its peak in latter-days
  • Prophetic counsel will help us prepare for adversary 
  • Our seemingly small deviations in response to prophetic counsel mean us walking dangerously to the edge of the covenant path, but our actions may lead them to leave the path altogether. 
  • We cannot be a source of confusion for following prophetic counsel.
  • If we’ve fallen short of following counsel, repent and start over. 
  • “There is a prophet in Israel”
  • These are great days
  • Even if we are unsure, I witness we can withstand the heat of the latter days, even thrive in them.
  • World conditions can cause panic, but as God’s covenant children, we do not need to chase after this or that to know how to navigate through these troubled times. 
    • We do not need to fear. 
    • The key is to follow the living prophet.
  • With a sacred charge to prepare the rising generation amid the adversary’s influence, we cannot be a source of confusion about the importance of following prophetic counsel.
  • Our seemingly small deviations, quiet neglect or whispered criticisms in response to prophetic counsel may result in our only walking dangerously near the edge of the covenant path.
  • These deviations, magnified with the adversary’s influence, may cause one to leave the covenant path altogether.
  • But those who fall short in their efforts to follow the prophet can begin again to follow President Russell M. Nelson’s counsel.
  • We were anxious to come to the earth at this time, having confidence that we would not be left to stumble when confronted by the adversary’s increasingly darker and more confusing mists. We 

 

Hymn: Keep the Commandments – Hymn (#303)

Talk: President Henry B. Eyring – 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency

(Title)

 

Major Themes: Peace

Notable Stories: Meeting a woman while traveling whose daughter was wandering

Scripture References: John chapters 12-15

  • Those who love God keep His commandments
  • The Holy Ghost will bring all things to our rememberance
  • Five truths from John 12-15
    • 1) The gift of peace is given after we have the faith to keep His commandments.
    • 2). HG will come and abide with us. 
      • As we continue to be faithful, the Holy Ghost will abide in us
    • 3) Feel love of father and son for each other and for us as we keep commandments 
    • 4) Keeping the Lord’s commandments requires more than obedience. 
      • We are to love God.
      • Don’t love God, don’t keep commandments, don’t receive peace 
    • 5) The Lord loves us enough that He paid the ultimate price for our sins
      • His atonement makes it possible for us to receive eternal peace
  • We may feel heavens are silent in pleadings for peace
  • The enemy of our souls doesn’t want us to find peace, or even wanting to find peace God wants us to have. 
  • Satan’s effort to sow contention are increasing, between nations, in neighborhood, electronic media, throughout the world
  • Optimism because the light of Christ is placed in every new born child. Desire to love and be loved. In born sense of justice and truth
  • Optimism lays in caregivers ability to care
  • Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it
  • Children raised by righteous parents may still take the path of sorrow 
    • Still have optimism; Lord raises peacemakers among his disciples and the Lord will guide them to wandering sheep 
  • Being led to the rescue may seem accidental
  • Met a woman while traveling whose daughter was wandering. 
    • She wanted to know if God had a message for her.
  • God encourages us to help others experience peace 
  • Rising generation will become nurturers of generation to follow 
  • Regardless of circumstances we can face future with optimism and joy 
  • 1000 years of peace when Christ comes again

 

Hymn: High on the Mountain Top – Hymn (#5)

Benediction: President Mark L. Pace – Sunday School General President 

THOUGHTS:

  •  I found two themes in this session 
    • Ministering
    • Repentance
  • Elder Steveson’s message on Easter will be a benchmark talk 
  •  1000 years of Peace
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TO-DOs:

  • Celebrate Easter, Palm Sunday, Good Friday; create traditions 
  • Be a better minister
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Saturday Afternoon Session  

Music: Brigham Young University Choir

Hymn: (Hymn) – Hymn (#)

Conducting: President Henry B. Eyring – 2nd Counselor in the 1st Presidency

Hymn: How Firm a Foundation – Hymn #85 

Invocation: Elder Alan R. Walker – General Authority 70

Hymn: (Hymn) – Hymn (#)

The Sustaining of the Church Officers: President Dallin H. Oaks – 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency 

  • Released
    • General Authority 70’s (Will receive emeritus status effective Aug 1)
      • Benjamin De Hoyos
      • Juan A. Uceda
      • Kazuhito Yamashita
    • Young Men General Presidency
      • Ahmed Corbitt – 1st counselor
      • Bradley R. Wilcox – 2nd Counselor
    • Young Women General Presidency (Effective Aug 1)
      • Bonnie H. Cordon – President
      • Michelle D. Craig – 1st Counselor
      • Rebecca L. Craven – 2nd Counselor
    •  50 Area Seventies identified for release on or before Aug. 1
  • Called 

Church Auditing Department Report, (2022): Jared B. Larsen –  Managing Director

  • D&C 120 
  • Funds were administered appropriately.  

Statistical Report, (2022): 

2022 2021
Church Units
Stakes 3,521 3,498
Missions 411 407
Districts 517 520
Wards and Branches 31,330 31,315
Church Membership
Total Membership 17,002,461 16,805,400
New Children of record 89,059 89,069
Converts baptized 212,172 168,283
Missionaries
Full-time 62,544 54,539
Church-service 36,639
Senior Church-Service 27,070
Young Church-Service 2,736
Temples
Temples Dedicated 5

Belem Brazil Temple

Quito Ecuador Temple

Praia Cape Verde Temple

Yigo Guam Temple

Rio de Janeiro Brazil Temple

2

Winnipeg Manitoba Temple

Pocatello Idaho Temple

Temples Rededicated 2

Washington DC Temple

Hamilton New Zealand Temple

1

Mesa Arizona Temple

Temples in operation 171 170

 

Talk: Elder Dale G. Renlund – Quorum of the 12

Accessing God’s Power Through Covenants

Major Themes: Making and keeping covenants

Notable Stories: Amazon Tidal Bore (Pororoca https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pororoca

Scripture References: Mosiah 3:19 

  • Making a covenant with God is more than just making a casual promise
  • Covenant path refers to a series of covenants
  • Intentionally and incrementally take on covenants
  • We live with an eternal perspective when we make and keep covenants
  • Find you, even as you face life’s challenges.
  • We are dear children of God
  • As you walk the covenant path….I promise you power to go against the natural worldly flow
    • Power to learn
    • Power to repent and be sanctified
    • Power to find hope, comfort and even joy
    • As you face life’s challenges.
  • Unlike the Amazon, we can choose whether we yield to heavenly powers or ‘go with the flow. 
  • Going against the flow may be difficult.
    • But by yielding “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” and putting off the selfish tendencies of the natural man or woman, one receives the Savior’s transforming power — the power to do difficult things.
  • As you walk the covenant path, from baptism to the temple and throughout life, I promise you power to go against the natural worldly flow — power to learn, power to repent and be sanctified, and power to find hope, comfort and even joy as you face life’s challenges.
    • I promise you and your family protection against the influence of the adversary, especially when you make the temple a major focus in your life.
  • By coming to Christ and connecting to Him and Heavenly Father by covenant, something seemingly unnatural happens.
    • You are transformed and become perfected in Jesus Christ. 
    • You become a covenant child of God and an inheritor in His kingdom.
  •  We are commanded to not take the name of God in vain. While we may think this simply refers to not speaking the name of the Lord for casual or profane purposes, it so much more than that.
    • The ancient meaning behind the commandment from Moses is more than speaking. “To take” derives from a word meaning to carry, as if on a banner. Thus, we should not take the name of Christ upon ourselves in vain (where “vain” means empty)
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Talk: Elder Peter F. Meurs – General Authority 70

He Could Heal Me!

Major Themes: 

Notable Stories: story of him falling asleep while driving his family, injuries that resulted 

Scripture References: Moroni 10:3–5; 1 Peter 4:6; 3 Nephi 11

  •  Jesus was exalted and had all of his eternal power and capacity
  •  When our Savior Jesus Christ looks upon us, He sees and understands the pain and burden of our sins. 
    • He sees out addictions and challenges
    • He sees our struggles and afflictions of any kind and He is filled with compassion toward us.
  •  You have access to the healing power of our Savior
  •  The Savior’s healing power applies to accidental mistakes, poor decisions, challenges and trials of every kind – as well as to our sins.
  • Whether you are carrying the burden of unresolved sin, suffering because of an offense committed against you long ago, or struggling to forgive yourself for an accidental mistake, you have access to the healing, redeeming power of the Savior Jesus Christ.
  • While assisting others to repent and helping them to feel the compassion, mercy and love of the Savior, I realized that He could heal me.

Talk: Elder Randall K. Bennett – General Authority 70

Your Patriarchal Blessing — Inspired Direction From Heavenly Father

Major Themes: Patriarchal blessings 

Notable Stories: Parents divorce 

Scripture References:  

  •  Every worthy baptized member is eligible for a patriarchal blessing
  • The member should be young enough to understand that many things lie ahead
  • A patriarchal blessing gives us lineage back to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob
  • Patriarchal blessings are personal scripture for us
  • Heavenly Father knows us inside and out
  • Patriarchal blessing helped me understand my true identity-who I really was and who I could become.
  • We receive spiritual strength when we read and study our patriarchal blessing 
  • Patriarchal blessings are inspired direction from Heavenly Father
  • Patriarchal blessings can help us increase our faith and trust in our Heavenly Father and our Savior
  • A patriarchal blessing can help navigate challenges with life as it helps a person understand their divine identity and perspective.
  • Knowing who I really was helped me understand and desire to do what God expected of me.
  • This led to a study of covenants, including the promised blessings in God’s covenant with Abraham. It gave me an eternal perspective that inspired me to more fully keep my covenants.
  • There is also spiritual strength in studying one’s patriarchal blessing. 
  • I studied my blessing frequently, often daily, which helped me feel the comforting, guiding influence of the Holy Ghost, who helped reduce my anxiety as I followed His promptings.
  • This led to an increased desire to “actively invite light, truth and the Holy Ghost” by studying the scriptures and praying daily.
  • That focus helped me experience great joy, despite my personal circumstances.
  • Studying his patriarchal blessing also helped him to “desire to do better and be better,” withstand temptations and have the courage to repent.
  • Cherishing my patriarchal blessing while I was young blessed me with courage when I was discouraged, comfort when I was fearful, peace when I felt anxious, hope when I felt hopeless and joy when I needed it most

 

Hymn: The Lord Is My Light

Talk: Elder Craig C. Christensen – General Authority 70

There Can Be Nothing So Exquisite and Sweet As Was My Joy

Major Themes: Joy

Notable Stories: 

Scripture References: Hebrews 12:1–3

  • The nights may seem long but the morning does come. 
    • And, oh, how exquisite is the peace and resplendent joy we feel as the Savior’s Atonement frees us from sin and suffering
  • When we choose to repent, we choose to change.
  • If we really understood the value of true, godly joy, we would not hesitate to sacrifice any worldly possession or make any necessary life changes to receive it.
  • Christ experiences joy when we repent 
  • Joy is more profound, elevating, enduring, and life-changing than any pleasure or comfort this world can offer. 
    • We were created to have joy. 
    • It is our intended destiny as children of a loving Heavenly Father. 
    • He wants to share His joy with us
  • Daily repentance is a way to experience joy
  • Joy is more profound and elevating than any pleasure or comfort the world can offer. 
    • We were created to have joy, but it isn’t cheap or casually given — rather, joy was bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. 
  • “If we really understood the value of true, godly joy, we would not hesitate to sacrifice any worldly possession or make any necessary life changes to receive it.”
  • The idea of repentance as the pathway to joy may seem contradictory, as repentance can sometimes be an uncomfortable or painful process. 
    • It requires admitting that some of our thoughts and actions — even some of our beliefs — may be wrong.
  • But joy follows the repentance process. 
    • Repentance brings joy because it prepares our hearts to receive the influence of the Holy Ghost. 
    • To be filled with joy means to be filled with the Holy Ghost. 
    • Our joy increases as we work daily to bring the Spirit into our lives.”
  • There’s also great joy in helping others repent. 
    • Helping others repent is a natural expression of our gratitude toward the Savior; and it is a source of great joy.
    • The Savior feels joy any time a person repents.
  •  

 

Talk: Elder Evan A Schmutz – General Authority 70

Trusting the Doctrine of Christ

Major Themes: Trust the Doctrine of Christ

Notable Stories: Travis helping his wife Casey become active once more after he was baptized

Scripture References: 2 Corinthians 3:3

  • Nephi’s treatise on Christ
  • Help missionaries engrave the doctrine of Christ in their hearts
  • Atonement, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, enduring 
  • The Doctrine of Christ is not just for missionaries; it’s the plan for eternal life. 
  • What does overcoming the world mean? 
    • Trusting the Doctrine of Christ more than the philosophies of men 
      • Reliance and the truth and nobility of Christ and his doctrine 
  • Trust is an assured reliance, truth, ability or strength of someone or something.
  • If we trust the doctrine of Christ…
    • Lifelong study of Christ, ministry, teachings, promises, 
    • Filled w/ greater love for God 
    • Daily prayer, gratitude, 
    • Sustain leaders
    • Power of forgiveness and overcoming temptation 
    • Set aside shiny things of world, limit or eliminate social media
  • We can only find truth in the doctrine of Christ
  • Travis and Casey
    • Casey was inactive; Travis not a member. 
    • Married, Travis baptized and helped Casey re-convert. 
    • Travis has disease that results in tumors, 10 years to live
    • Casey has degenerative disease that will leave her blind 
    • “I have never been happier or more hopeful in my life; we hold to the promises we receive in the temple”
    • They trust the doctrine of Christ. 
    • Their foundation is built on the rock of Christ and will not fall in tempest. 
  • We build our house on the rock of the doctrine of Christ
  • Variable isn’t whether storms will come but if we will hear and do what he has taught. 
    • They call this a parable variable.
  • People who trust the doctrine of Christ endure to the end
  • If we are to accept President Nelson’s invitation to have the doctrine of Christ rooted in the marrow of our bones, we must deepen our conversion to the Lord by study, prayer, faithful living and continual repentance.
  • We must invite the Holy Ghost to engrave the doctrine of Christ ‘in fleshy tables of [our hearts]’ as permanently as it was engraved by Nephi upon the plates of gold.
  •  In God’s perfect plan, suffering with faith in Christ is linked to becoming perfect in Christ.
  • When we have built our houses on the foundation of a covenantal relationship with Christ, we are trusting the doctrine of Christ and, as we come unto Him, we have His promise of eternal life.

 

Talk: Elder Benjamin De Hoyos – General Authority 70 (Granted emeritus status effective Aug 1)

The Work of the Temple and Family History, One and the Same Work

Major Themes: 

Notable Stories: Traveling from Mexico to get sealed in the Arizona Temple 

Scripture References: D&C 110-113; Malachi 4:5–6

  • Sealing keys…
  • World didn’t notice restoration of sealing keys but it will affect everyone who ever lived 
  • Construction and use of temples has been a symbol of true church 
  • After the sealing keys were delivered to Joseph Smith, ordinances were not temporary but permanent
  • Family search centers have been designed so almost anyone can find ancestors with little help 
  • The construction and proper use of temples has been in any dispensation a sign of the true church of Jesus Christ.
  • As we follow the guidance of the prophets and learn how to do our family history and perform the temple ordinances for our ancestors, we will experience great joy to the point we will not want to stop doing it.
  • The work of the temple and family history are one and the same work in the Church.
  • Family history is more than just looking for names, dates and places. 
    • It is uniting families and feeling the joy that comes from extending to them the ordinances of the gospel
  • The early Latter-day Saints worked and sacrificed for three years to build the Kirtland Temple in Ohio.
    •  Since the temple’s dedication by the Prophet Joseph Smith, the spirit of Elijah has inspired people around the globe to search out their ancestors.  
  • The Lord encourages all Latter-day Saints to preserve their family history, learn from ancestors and make the necessary arrangements for them to receive the ordinances of the gospel in temples.
  • Performing this work is a central part of Heavenly Father’s plan to unite families for this life and for eternity.
  • Those who don’t feel capable of doing this work are not alone.
    • The Church has made all the necessary tools available in FamilySearch centers and designed them so they are easy to use.
  • Performing temple and family history work will cause the Spirit to “flood our hearts,” “awaken our faculties” and “guide us as we search for the names of our ancestors.”
  •  

 

Talk: Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf – Quorum of the 12

Jesus Christ Is the Strength of Parents

 

Major Themes: 

Notable Stories:
Scripture References: D&C 88:118

  • Might we get 2 plane references this conference, as he did not do one last conference?✈️(DELAYED)
  • Wow. no plane references.
    • Conversation between young child and her father
      • “Why do you have to go to a meeting?”
      • “I’m a counselor in a bishopric and tonight I need to help the bishop” 
      • “Doesn’t the bishop have a dad who can help him go to sleep?”
    • The fact is, all parents worry about being not good enough.
      •  Fortunately, there is a divine source of help for parents. 
        • It is Jesus Christ. 
        • He is the source of our mighty change of heart
    • Sacrifice of people who serve is great, but something equally great of a parent nurturing a child 
    • We learn as much from our children about faith hope and charity as they learn from us
    • Each child of God has limitless potential but come to earth completely helpless 
    • Message to parents
      • The Lord loves you. 
      • He is with you.
      • He stands beside you.
      • He is your strength in guiding your children to make righteous choices
    • Details of daily decisions; help prepare them for a lifetime of righteous choices. 
    • Every child has received the Light of Christ as a direct line from heaven 
    • No matter how inadequate we feel, your love for your children is unique, eternal 
    • If relationship w/ kids isn’t ideal, the atonement can heal, multiply love in the home 
    • Another strength, daily ongoing influences
      • Peers, teachers, media come and go. 
        • You should be a steady influence 
    • Parents will feel they aren’t accomplishing much. 
      • One conversation, example, may not change a child immediately but small and simple things will help them more than overwhelming them in short bursts
    • Nourish your children like a drop of water nourishes a plant…over time.
    • Daily bread is best prepared and served at home
      • Faith and testimony are best fostered in normal and natural ways, one bite at a time, in small and simple moments, in the constant flow of daily living. 
    • God will help you see your children as he sees them
      • Know them in a pure and heavenly way 
    • A mighty change of heart is a miracle everyone needs 
    • “Love at home” needs another verse about cleaning the bathroom 
    • Open heart and trust God and He will show you weaknesses and help them become strong 
    • With God’s help, you can learn to know your children in a pure and heavenly way. 
      • Accept God’s offer to guide your family by personal revelation
    • General conferences are great. 
      • Kids should go.
    • You cannot force a flower to grow faster by forcing open its buds
      • You need to provide rich soil and access to flowing heavenly water, remove weeds that block divine sunlight. 
      • Patiently allow the rising generation to make inspired choices and let God work His miracle. 
        • The result will be more beautiful and more stunning and more joyful than anything you could accomplish just by yourself.. 
    • Jesus Christ is the strength of families. 
      • Jesus Christ is the strength of youth.
      • Jesus Christ is the strength of parents.
    • All parents worry about not being good enough, but Jesus Christ is the divine source of help.
      • Does that mean you and your family will be picture-perfect? 
      • No. 
        • But you will get better.
    • A parent’s love for a child is one of the strongest forces in the universe. 
      • It’s one of the few things on this earth that can truly be eternal.
  •  

 

Hymn: Abide with me ‘Tis Eventide – Hymn (#)

Benediction: Tracey Browning – 2nd Counselor in the Primary Presidency

 

THOUGHTS:

  •  

 

TO-DOs:

  • Read and prayerfully study my patriarchal blessing
  • Eliminate social media 
  • Do more family history work
  • Study family history and why we do it

    Saturday Evening Session


    Music: Logan (Utah) Institute of Religion

    Hymn: (Hymn) – Hymn (#)

    Conducting: President Dallin H. Oaks – 1st Counselor in the 1st Presidency)

    Hymn: Hope of Israel

    Invocation: Jorge T. Becerra – General Authority 70

    Hymn: Jesus Once of Humble Birth

    Talk: Mark A. Bragg – General Authority 70

    Christlike Poise

    Major Themes: Overcoming pressure; pose 

    Notable Stories: Conversation with legendary coach John Wooden

    Scripture References:  1 Nephi 3; Matthew 26; Matthew 11:28–30; Alma 7; Moses 1:39; Mark 4:35–41

    • Advice from Coach Wooden: Poise. 
      • “Your father told me that you have joined the Church of Jesus Christ, so I know that you have faith in the Lord. 
        • With that faith be sure to have poise in every situation. 
          • Be a good man in a storm.”
    • The virtue of Poise is not spoken of much today
      • A player in sports with good poise is considered unflappable
      • Spiritual poise allows us to stay calm in the face of challenges
    •  President Nelson is a wonderful example of having poise
      • Example: performing a quadruple bypass surgery, a team member mistakenly removed a clamp that caused blood pressure to drop precipitously. 
        • He told them, I still love you. 
        • Jokingly: sometimes I love you more than others
    • The Savior is the ultimate example of poise. 
      • In the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew who He was and was true to His divine mission. 
      • He knew there was a great plan of happiness. 
      • And He knew that through His Atonement, all who make and keep sacred covenants will be saved.
    • The Savior exemplified poise during the storm on the Sea of Galilee and calmed the seas . “He is the great man in a storm.”
    • Peter lost his poise when he cut off the ear of the Roman soldier’s servant
    • Spiritual poise blesses us to stay calm and focused on what matters most, especially when we are under pressure. 
    • We are truly divine beings having a mortal experience
    • By framing challenging times within an eternal plan, pressure becomes a privilege to love, serve, teach and bless. 
      • An eternal view enables Christlike poise
    • Pressure becomes a privilege. 
      • Remember that diamonds are made with intense pressure. 
      • We are all becoming diamonds as we focus on Christ.  
    • It is through Christ and His Atonement that all good things come into our lives 
    • The Lord Jesus Christ is the solution to even our most difficult problems
    • As we remember who we are, knowing that there is a divine plan of mercy, and drawing courage in the strength of the Lord, we can do all things. 
      • We will find calm. 
      • We will be good women and men in any storm
    • In addition to redeeming us from sin, the Savior can strengthen us in our weaknesses, fears and challenges in this life.
    • We can be bound to the Savior in joy and calm, regardless of our circumstances
    • Don’t focus so intensely on your problems that you can’t see the solution.’
      • The Lord Jesus Christ is the solution to even our most difficult problems.
    •  The Lord knows us individually
      • His plans for each of us are bigger than we can imagine, as long as we are willing to do His will.
    • Come, Follow Me is a blessing for all individuals and families
      • As families study together during the week and share what they have learned in Sunday meetings, their testimonies grow stronger, deeper and lasting.”


    Talk: Brother Milton da Rocha Camargo – 1st Counselor in the Sunday School Presidency

    Focus on Jesus Christ

    Major Themes: 

    Notable Stories: 

    Scripture References: 

    • Don’t focus so much on your problems that you can’t see the solution.
    • 4 problems Christ overcomes  
      • Physical death
      • Spiritual death 
      • Imperfect natures 
    • We have access to spiritual power when we make and keep baptismal covenants at the baptismal font and in temples
    • Renewing our covenants means that we focus on Christ in all our lives
    • The lord’s day is when we get the most answers from the lord
    • 4 promises
      • Your sabbath day will be a delight.
        • Focusing on christ has to be more than a sunday activity
      • Your children will be excited to learn and live the Savior’s teachings 
        • Someday your children will feel the spiritual hunger that leads to conversion 
      • Influence of the adversary will decrease.
        • The more we focus on christ the more satan loses his appeal 
      • Changes in your family will be dramatic and sustaining.
        • Christ changes our very natures, gradually helping us become more like the savior 
    • How do we obtain these promises? 
      • Transform our homes into a sanctuary of faith and gospel learning 
      • Make scriptures a daily part of your life
        • There’s no perfect formula, 5-10 minutes, a chapter, a few verses. 
        • CFM, other resources can make scriptures more accessible 
    • Christ can be the solution to our problems but we must lift our eyes to see him. 
    • Covenant-keeping leads us to seek after whatever invites the influence of the Spirit and reject whatever drives it away
    • Too often, people concentrate so much on their own problems that they lose Savior Jesus Christ. 
      • Our covenants help us focus our attention, our thoughts, and our actions on Christ
    • The more we focus on Jesus Christ, the more sin loses its appeal
    • The Lord Jesus Christ lives today.
      • He can be an active, daily presence in our lives
      • He is the solution to our problems, but we must lift our eyes and raise our sights to see Him.
    • Cleaving unto covenants invites change. 
      • Covenant keeping leads us to seek after whatever invites the influence of the Spirit and reject whatever drives it away.
    • The sacrament prayer includes the words “always remember Him.” 
      • Thus, renewing covenants during the sacrament each Sunday prompts a refocus on Jesus Christ. 
      • “The word ‘always’ is so significant. 
      • It extends the Savior’s influence into every part of our lives.”
    • Focusing on Jesus Christ must also happen in the home, by making the words of Christ in the scriptures a daily part of life. 
      • The stories and principles will stay with children like trusted friends.
      • Over time, your consistency in feasting on the word of God will help your children grow closer and closer to the Savior.
    • Jesus Christ is the solution to even the most difficult problems.


    Hymn: He is Risen (The Easter Anthem)

    Talk: Elder K. Brett Nattress – General Authority 70

    Have I Truly Been Forgiven?

    Major Themes: Remembering Christ; repentance 

    Notable Stories: Lunch with daughters. Danny Did Drugs (Meth)

    Scripture References: Alma 36; john 14:6; 

    • “Dad, remember to love me”
    • Danny was outstanding in every way until graduating from high school.
      • Descended spiral of addiction to meth
      • Appearance changed
      • Light in eyes dimmed
      • Suffering a life that was not him; he was capable of so much more 
      • Felt love of God while attending a mission farewell 
      • Desire to change was difficult to enact. Wanted to come back but turning away from addictions was difficult. Also felt guilt and shame for falling so far. 
      • Alma 36. “I did remember all my sins and iniquities” 
        • Alma’s joy gave Danny added motivation to change. 
    • Our Heavenly Father always remembers us and that He loves us perfectly 
    • Danny had to trust in God and forgiving himself 
    • Over time his countenance changed and became temple worthy. 
    • Applied to serve a mission knowing he may be disqualified. Called to serve a full time mission. 
      • “Most incredible missionary I have ever seen,” a modern Alma the Younger
    • After a mission and devoted service he asked, “do you think I have truly been forgiven” 
      • You have been forgiven, look forward in your life and look forward to your next ordinance. 
      • Married in temple, earned master’s degree
    • Danny wasn’t lost to the Lord.
    • His promise is eternal: 
      • He will heal us.
    • To those who have strayed from the covenant path, please know there is always hope, there is always healing, and there is always a way back
    •  


    Talk: Elder Juan A. Uceda – Emeritus General Authority 70 (effective Aug 1)

    The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us To Minister

    Major Themes: Christ the Shepherd 

    Notable Stories: 

    Scripture References: John 10

      • Jesus is the Good (Greek Beautiful or Magnificent) Shepherd
      • A good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.
      • Hallmark of Christ’s church is individually ministering 
      • Always, always minister to them, care for them and love them one by one, individually
      • Minister with his power, authority, and loving kindness
      • 3 parables Christ shared with pharisees 
        • Luke introduced the three stories using the singular word “parable” not plural, “parables”
    • This is the second time we heard about the parable of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son!
    • A handful of mentions of caring for people who wander. 
    • Go after the lost sheep until, until, until we find it. Diligently seek the coin until, until, until we find it. 
    • If we have with us the pure love of Christ, we, as the man in the story of the lost sheep, will leave the ninety and nine … and go after that which is lost, until we find it.
    • Met a woman, Julia, whose father was a tireless servant in his stake.
      • He got divorced and felt out of place in his ward and stopped attending church
      • After many efforts to connect, the man finally answered his phone and they were able to set up a meeting. Talked about his experience ministering to people. Tone of the man’s voice changed and the spirit started coming back to him. Elder Uceda knew this was the moment but didn’t know what to say. Prayed for the spirit and heard himself say, “as a servant of the Lord, I am sorry please forgive us for not serving you”
      • The man died a few months later but he had returned to his faith.
    • With our Savior’s help, we can love His precious sheep and minister to them as He would
    • The Lord Jesus Christ said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” 
    • In August 1994, then-Elder Russell M. Nelson said: “We are His true undershepherds.
      •  Our privilege is to bear His love and to add our own love to friends and neighbors.”
    • The role of an undershepherd of Christ is to minister to the one, as He did.
    • For instance, Luke 15 introduces three stories: 
      • The parable of the lost sheep, 
      • The parable of the lost coin 
      • The parable of the prodigal son. 
    • But Luke refers to these parables in the singular, not the plural.
    • It appears that the Lord is teaching one unique lesson with three stories, stories that present different numbers: 
      • 100 sheep
      • 10 coins
      • 2 sons. 
    • The key number in each of these stories, however, is the number one
    • You always, always minister to them, care for them and love them one by one, individually..
    • Although one might be an undershepherd for many, you always, always minister to them, care for them and love them one by one, individually.
    • Can we feel the urgency in the heart of the man who lost only one sheep?
    • Latter-day Saints can minister to the one through the Good Shepherd’s assistance: 
      • With our Savior’s help, we can love His precious sheep and minister to them as He would.
    •  

    Hymn: More Holiness Give Me


    Benediction: Sister J. Annette Dennis – 1st Counselor in the Relief Society Presidency


    THOUGHTS:

    • I wonder if Elder Holland was supposed to talk in this session which is why it’s ending so early. I can’t remember the last session of conference that didn’t have an apostle speak.
    • I was wondering the same thing! I enjoy Elder Holland’s talks 
      • Didn’t Elder Gong give a pre-recorded talk when he got Covid a couple years back? Maybe Elder Holland tested positive too recently to record anything. I wonder if they’ll still share his talk in the Liahona with the other talks or if he’ll save it for October. 
    • Logan Institute FTW! Great singing!
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