Sunday, October 2, 2016

Gen Conf-Sun Aft-2 Oct 2016 Session

First Pres Oct 2016

Elder David A. Bednar

If Ye Had Known Me
Do we only know about the Savior, or are we increasingly coming to know Him?…
And then, how do we come to know the Lord?
It was Jesus who taught that as people come to know the Father they also come to know Him.
A grand objective of mortality is not merely learning about the Only Begotten of the Father but also striving to know Him….
Four essential steps that can help us know the Lord:
1. Exercising faith in Him; 2. Following Him; 3. Serving Him; 4. Believing Him
Exercising faith in Him
The exercise of faith in Jesus Christ is relying upon His merits, mercy, and grace….We begin to come to know the Savior as we arouse our spiritual faculties and experiment upon His teachings, even until we can give place in our souls for a portion of His words. As our faith in the Lord increases, we trust in Him and have confidence in His power to redeem, heal, and strengthen us…
Following Him
True faith is focused in and on the Lord and always leads to righteous action…..Exercising faith in the Lord is a necessary preparation for following Him. Christ has admonished all to become as He is. …
“In His mortal ministry, Jesus marked the path, led the way, and set the perfect example. A correct idea of His character, perfections, and attributes provides enduring purpose and clear direction as we follow Him on the road of devoted discipleship.”
Serving Him
We continue to come to know the Lord as we seek through the power of His Atonement to become like Him…We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us to go… become what He wants us to become….
As we do so, He generously blesses us with heavenly help, spiritual gifts, and increased capacity. We are never left alone as we work in His vineyard… Gradually our desires align more completely with His desires, and His purposes become our purposes…. He enlarges our capacities….
Serving Him requires all of our heart, might, mind and strength….Selflessly serving others counteracts the self-centered and selfish tendencies of the natural man…
We grow to love those whom we serve. And because serving others is serving God, we grow to love Him and our brothers and sisters more deeply. Such love is a manifestation of the spiritual gift of charity, even the pure love of Christ….
Believing in Him
We come to know the Lord as we are filled with His Love!…We come to know the Lord as we not only believe in Him but also believe Him and His assurances…
We often testify of what we know to be true, but perhaps the more relevant question for each of us is whether we believe what we know….Sacred ordinances performed by proper priesthood authority are essential to believing the Savior…coming to know Him, and, ultimately, “believing what we know. …
We believe and come to know the Savior as we follow Him by receiving and faithfully honoring holy ordinances and increasingly have His image in our countenances. We believe and come to know Christ as we experience personally the transforming, healing, strengthening, and sanctifying power of His Atonement…
Believing Him is trusting that His bounteous blessings are available and applicable in our individual lives and families…
Believing Him with our whole soul comes as we press forward along the covenant pathway, surrender our will to His, and submit to His priorities and timing for us. Believing Him — accepting as true His power and promises — invites perspective, peace and joy into our lives…
On that blessed day we will know that He knows each of us by name. And I witness and promise we can not only know about the Lord but also come to know Him as we exercise faith in, follow, serve, and believe Him
Deseret News Faith Summary

Brian K. Ashton

The Doctrine of Christ
The Atonement of Christ creates the conditions upon which we may rely upon ‘merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, be perfected in Christ, obtain every good thing, and gain eternal life.
It is the doctrine of Christ that allows us to access the spiritual power that will lift us from our current spiritual state to a state where we can become perfected like the Savior…..
Faith begins by hearing the word of Christ
The words of Christ testify of His atoning sacrifice and tell us how we may obtain forgiveness, blessings, and exaltation… Upon hearing the words of Christ, we exercise faith by choosing to follow his teachings and example of the Savior…..
We exercise faith by choosing to follow the teachings and example of the Savior…Because Jesus was a God in the pre-mortal existence, lived a sinless life and during His Atonement satisfied all the demands of justice for you and me, He has the power and keys to bring about the resurrection of all men, and He made it possible for mercy to overpower justice upon conditions of repentance….
Once we understand that we can obtain mercy through Christ’s merits, we are able to ‘have faith unto repentance’….To rely wholly upon Christ’s merits then is to trust that He did what was necessary to save us and then act upon our belief…
Faith also causes us to stop worrying so much about what others think of us and begin to care far more about what God thinks of us….
Repentance is a precious gift from our Heavenly Father that is made possible through the sacrifice of His Only Begotten Son….
Repentance causes us to become ‘true followers’ of Christ, which fills us with love and casts out our fears….Repentance is not a backup plan just in case our plan to live perfectly fails…Continual repentance is the only path that can bring us lasting joy and enable us to return to live with our Heavenly Father…
Grace ‘is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ to do good works that [we] otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to [our] own means.
As our constant companion, the Holy Ghost gives us additional power or strength to keep our covenants…He also sanctifies us, which … not only cleanses us, but it also endows us with needed spiritual gifts or divine attributes of the Savior…
Receiving the Holy Ghost builds faith, which in turn leads to additional repentance.
Deseret News Faith Summary

Elder Carl B. Cook

The opportunity to serve is one of the great blessings of membership in the Church. The Lord has said, “If thou lovest me thou shalt serve me” [D&C 42:29], and we serve Him by serving others.
As we serve, we draw closer to God. We come to know Him in ways that we otherwise might not. Our faith in Him increases. Our problems are put into perspective. Life becomes more satisfying. Our love for others increases, as well as our desire to serve. Through this blessed process, we become more like God, and we are better prepared to return to Him. …
The natural man or woman in all of us is inclined to excuse ourselves from serving [in callings] for reasons such as “I am not ready to serve; I have more to learn,” “I’m tired and need a break,” “I’m too old—it’s someone else’s turn,” or “I am simply too busy.”
… Accepting and fulfilling a calling is an act of faith. …
Jesus Christ, our great Exemplar, gave His life to His Father’s work. … He literally became the servant of us all. Through Jesus Christ and the power we receive through His Atonement, we can also serve. He will help us. …
Whatever our age or circumstance, let service be our “watchcry” [Hymns, no. 36]. Serve in your calling. Serve a mission. Serve your mother. Serve a stranger. Serve your neighbor. Just serve.
Deseret News Faith Summary

Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Lest Thou Forget

I begin by reminding you that you are a son or daughter of a loving Father in Heaven and that His love remains constant…
I know that such reassuring feelings of love are difficult to recall when you are in the midst of personal struggles…
No mistake, sin, or choice will change God’s love for us….“Remember, remember,” [Helaman 5:12] …Recall, especially in times of crisis, when you felt the Spirit and your testimony was strong…. remember the spiritual foundations you have built. I promise that if you will do this, avoiding things that do not build and strengthen your testimony, or that mock your beliefs, those precious times when your testimony prospered will return again to your memory through humble prayer and fasting. I assure you that you will once again feel the safety and warmth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
No matter what mistakes we have made, or how imperfect we feel we are, we can always bless and lift others….Reaching out to them in Christ-like service can help us feel the love of God deep within our hearts…..
Generations are affected by the choices we make…Never forget, question, or ignore personal, sacred experiences….The adversary’s design is to distract us from spiritual witnesses while the Lord’s desire is to enlighten and engage us in His work….
As you faithfully live the gospel of Jesus Christ and abide by its teachings, your testimony will be protected and it will grow….
Keep the covenants you have made, regardless of the actions of those around you….Remain faithful and steadfast, even if storms of doubt invade your lives through the actions of others….Seek that which will edify and fortify you spiritually. Avoid counterfeit offerings of so-called ‘truths’ which are so pervasive…
Remember to record your feelings of ‘love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance
In the midst of life’s greatest storms, do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God…
To all who feel the need to have their faith fortified: I plead with you: Do not forget!
As you faithfully live the gospel of Jesus Christ and abide by its teachings, your testimony will be protected, and it will grow. Keep the covenants you have made, regardless of the actions of those around you. … Remain faithful and steadfast, even if storms of doubt invade your lives through the actions of others. Seek that which will edify and fortify you spiritually.
Deseret News Faith Summary

Elder Evan A. Schmutz

God Shall Wipe Away All Tears
Why do bad things happen to good people?
When we view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of faith in Christ, we…see that there can be godly purpose in our suffering….
He hears our prayers, has a reason for allowing our afflictions to continue, and will help us bear them….
As we acquire this eternal perspective in our lives, our capacity to endure grows, we learn how to succor those in need of succor…
We come to appreciate and even express thanksgiving for the experiences God allows us to have as tutors in the path to eternal life…
Your personal struggles, your individual sorrows, pains, tribulations and infirmities of every kind, are all known to our Father…and His Son….Take courage. Have faith. And believe in the promises of God!…
The purpose and mission of Jesus Christ included that He would “take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people,” “take upon him their infirmities,” and “succor his people according to their infirmities” [see Alma 7:11–12].
Exercising strong and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and His promises provides the sure hope of better things to come…This sure hope steadies us, bringing the strength and power we need in order to endure….We can take strength in knowing that all the hard experiences in this life are temporary; even the darkest nights turn into dawn…
When all is finished and we have endured all things with faith…we have the promise that God shall wipe away all the tears from our eyes.
Deseret News Faith Summary

Elder K. Brett Nattress

No Greater Joy Than to Know That They Know
If all that your children knew of the gospel came from you — as their only source — how much would they know
Notwithstanding my imperfections, I was worth saving!…I learned that no matter what the circumstance, I was worth it. This was a perfect moment for an imperfect little boy…I am eternally grateful for my angel mother and for all angels who love children perfectly…
The Savior provided the perfect example of how to live in an imperfect and unfair world….We love Him because He loved us first. His love for us is immeasurable….
He is our truest friend….
He forgave the seemingly unforgivable. He loved the unlovable….
I don’t know if anything in this world could bring more happiness and joy than to know that our children know the Savior…to know that they know 'to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.' That is why, as members of the Church, we preach of Christ, and we testify of Christ" (2 Nephi 25:26).
  • That is why we pray with our children every day…
  • That is why we read the scriptures with them every day…
  • That is why we teach them to serve others, so that they can hold claim upon the blessings of finding themselves as they lose themselves in the service of others… (see Mark 8:35; Mosiah 2:17).
As we devote ourselves to these simple patterns of discipleship, we empower our children with the love of the Savior and with divine direction and protection as they face the fierce winds of the adversary…..
It's about each one of us—as imperfect as we may be—becoming one with the Savior as He is one with His Father…
It is my prayer that we will devote our hearts and our hands to helping all Heavenly Father’s children to know Him.
Deseret News Faith Summary

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Repentance: A Joyful Choice
“Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I the Lord, remember them no more.” D&C 58:42
Changing our behavior and returning to the ‘right road’ are part of repentance, but only part…
Such joy is one of the inherent results of repentance….
Real repentance includes changing one's behavior, returning to the “right road,” turning one's heart and will to God and a renunciation of sin….
Yet even this is an incomplete description….It does not properly identify the power that makes repentance possible, the Atoning sacrifice of our Savior. Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes. This kind of faith makes His Atonement effective in our lives….
Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope and joy evaporate and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification…
“The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed.” [Pres Boyd K Packer]
The reach of the Savior’s Atonement is infinite in breadth and depth, for you and for me…..Repentance is a choice…..
God does love us. However, what we do matters to Him and to us. He has given clear directives about how we should behave…and keep His commandments…His approbation and our eternal life depend on our behavior, including our willingness to humbly seek real repentance….Instead of making excuses, let us choose repentance…
Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we have another chance….Even as we feel godly sorrow for our actions, when we choose to repent, we immediately invite the Savior into our lives
The fact that we can repent is the good news of the gospel. Guilt can be swept away. We can be filled with joy….I knew I had been forgiven. My feelings of guilt vanished, my gloomy mood lifted, and my heart felt light…
As we conclude this conference, I invite you to feel more joy in your life: joy in the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real….
May we choose to repent, forsake our sins, and turn our hearts and wills around to follow our Savior.
Joy in the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real; joy in the Savior’s ability, willingness, and desire to forgive; and joy in choosing to repent.
Deseret News Faith Summary

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