Sunday, October 1, 2017

Gen Conf Oct 2017 Sun aft

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"Each of us came to earth having been given the Light of Christ. As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived and as He taught, that light will burn within us and will light the way for others." —Pres Thomas S Monson

How are you sharing your light with others this week? #TempleSquare


Talk Summaries

The Trek Continues

Elder M. Russell Ballard  Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Although it is appropriate and important to remember the historic 19th-century Mormon pioneer trek, we need to remember that “the trek through life continues!” for each of us as we prove our own “faith in every footstep.” …

A trek back to our Heavenly Father is the most important trek of our lives, and it continues each day, each week, each month, and each year as we increase our faith in Him and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

We must be careful where our footsteps in life take us. …

  • Today I repeat earlier counsel from Church leaders. Brothers and sisters, keep the doctrine of Christ pure and never be deceived by those who tamper with the doctrine. …
  • Do not listen to those who have not been ordained or set apart to their Church calling and are acknowledged by common consent of the members of the Church.
  • Be aware of organizations, groups, or individuals claiming secret answers to doctrinal questions that they say today’s apostles and prophets do not have or understand.
  • Do not listen to those who entice you with get-rich schemes. …

In some places, too many of our people are looking beyond the mark and seeking secret knowledge in expensive and questionable practices to provide healing and support. …

I testify that “the trek continues,” and I invite you to stay on the gospel path as you continue pressing forward by reaching out to all of God’s children in love and compassion that we may unitedly make our hearts pure and our hands clean to receive the “multiplicity of blessings” awaiting all who truly love our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.

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God’s Compelling Witness:

The Book of Mormon

Tad R. Callister  Tad R. Callister
Sunday School General President

The Book of Mormon is not only the keystone of our religion, but it can also become the keystone of our testimonies so that when trials or unanswered questions confront us, it can hold our testimonies securely in place. This book is the one weight on the scales of truth that exceeds the combined weight of all the critics’ arguments. Why? Because if it is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet and this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ, regardless of any historical or other arguments to the contrary. For this reason, the critics are intent on disproving the Book of Mormon, but the obstacles they face are insurmountable, because this book is true. …

The Book of Mormon is one of God’s priceless gifts to us. … As Saints, we not only have the privilege to defend the Book of Mormon but the opportunity to take the offense—to preach with power its divine doctrine and bear witness of its crowning witness of Jesus Christ.

I bear my solemn testimony that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. It is God’s compelling witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and the absolute truth of this Church.

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Apart, but Still One

Elder Joni L. Koch  Elder Joni L. Koch
Of the Seventy

In the Church, in spite of our differences, the Lord expects us to be one! He said in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” [D&C 38:27].

As we enter a meetinghouse to worship as a group, we should leave behind our differences … and instead concentrate on our common spiritual objectives. Together we sing hymns, ponder about the same covenants during the sacrament, say simultaneously an audible “amen” after talks, lessons, and prayers. …

These things that we do collectively help create a strong sense of oneness within the congregation.

However, what really determines, solidifies, or destroys our unity is how we act when we are apart from our fellow Church members. …

… Our words about our fellow beings should reflect our belief in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and that in Him and through Him, we can always change for the better! …

It is also likely that we will all experience some correction from our ecclesiastic leaders, which will be a test on how united we are with them. …

… I testify that as we decide to be one with the members and leaders of the Church—both when we’re assembled together but especially when we are apart—we will also feel more perfectly united with our Heavenly Father and the Savior.


Do We Trust Him?  Hard is Good

Elder Stanley G. Ellis  Elder Stanley G. Ellis
Emeritus Member of the Seventy

Hard makes us stronger, humbles us, and gives us a chance to prove ourselves. Our beloved handcart pioneers came to know God in their extremities. Why did it take two chapters for Nephi and his brothers to obtain the brass plates and only three verses to enlist Ishmael’s family to join them in the wilderness? It seems the Lord wanted to strengthen Nephi through the struggle of obtaining the plates.

The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise. One of the earliest covenants we make with the Lord is to live the law of sacrifice. Sacrifice by definition involves giving up something desirable. With experience we realize it is a small price to pay in relation to the blessings that follow. …

Each of us may have a different opinion about what is hard. Some may consider it hard to pay tithing when finances are tight. Some leaders find it difficult to expect the poor to pay tithing. It may be hard for some of us to go forward with faith to marry or to have a family. There are those who find it hard to “be content with [what] the Lord hath allotted unto [them]” (Alma 29:3). It may be hard to be content with our current calling. Church discipline may seem very hard, but for some it marks the beginning of the true repentance process.

Regardless of the issue, hard can be good for those who will move forward with faith and trust the Lord and His plan.

Essential Truths - Our Need to Act

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella  Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella
Of the Seventy

Millions who have already joined the Church, as well as the many who are being converted and baptized each week, have gained a testimony of the First Vision. The Holy Ghost can repeat this witness often to each of us as we strive to live the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith brought forth additional knowledge and truth that are essential to our happiness in this life and our exaltation in the presence of God. …

An essential truth we learn from the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith is that God calls prophets, seers, and revelators to instruct, guide, warn, and lead us. …

Another truth we learn because of the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith is the true nature of God. Just imagine how blessed we are to know that God is a being with a body of flesh and bones as tangible as ours, that we can worship a God who is real, whom we can understand, and who has shown and revealed Himself and His Son to His prophets. …

From the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith, we received knowledge of the reality and sacred mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of our religion.

Seek Ye Out of the Best Books

Elder Ian S. Ardern  Elder Ian S. Ardern
Of the Seventy

We live in a day in which misinformation about our beliefs abounds. …

[The warnings] of our prophets and apostles remind us that we must do all we can to fortify ourselves spiritually against words of opposition and deception. …

… Our spiritual roots go deeper as sincere personal and family prayer become bastions of our faith, as we repent daily, seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and learn of our Savior and His attributes and strive to become like Him.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Light of the World, and He beckons us to follow Him. …

Questions about our Church history and beliefs do arise. … The best counsel was given by the Apostle James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). …

With all our prayer, study, and pondering, there may still remain some yet-to-be-answered questions. … Such questions are an invitation to build our faith. … It is the very essence of religion not to have a sure answer to every question, for this is one of the purposes of faith. …

Let each of us live … so that we will remain “firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end” (Alma 27:27).

Love One Another as He Has Loved Us

Elder Jose L. Alonso  Elder Jose L. Alonso
Of the Seventy

During the Last Supper, the Savior gave a new commandment to His disciples, saying:

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” [John 13:34–35].

The Savior’s disciples were given a new commandment to do something more, something greater, and something more divine. This new commandment and invitation is summarized in the key phrase “as I have loved you.” …

In today’s world of so much suffering for different circumstances, sending a text message with a funny emoji or posting a nice picture with the words “I love you” is good and valuable. But what many of us need to do is leave our mobile devices behind and, with our hands and feet, help others in great need. Love without service is like faith without works; it’s dead indeed.

The pure love of Christ, which is charity, not only inspires us to act and provide service but also to have the strength to forgive, regardless of the situation. …

I know that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love us and are willing to help us to act as we love one another as They have loved us. And I know that by serving and forgiving others with real love, we can be healed and receive the strength to overcome our own challenges.

The Voice of the Lord

Elder Neil L. Andersen  Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

General conference is one of the very important times [Jesus Christ] gives direction to His Church and to us personally. …

In the commotion and confusion of our modern world, trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is vital to our spiritual growth and endurance. …

As you listen, the messages you receive may be very literal or they may be customized just for you. …

I promise you that as you prepare your spirit and come with the anticipation that you will hear the voice of the Lord, thoughts and feelings will come into your mind that are customized especially for you. You have already felt them in this conference, or you will as you study the messages in the weeks ahead. …

The teachings of general conference are the considerations the Lord would have before us now and in the months ahead. …

Often, His voice directs us to change something in our lives. He invites us to repent. He invites us to follow Him. …

There is a treasure chest of heavenly direction awaiting your discovery in the messages of general conference. The test for each of us is how we respond to what we hear, what we read, and what we feel. …

I promise that as you hear the voice of the Lord to you in the teachings of this general conference and then act on those promptings, you will feel heaven’s hand upon you, and your life and the lives of those around you will be blessed.


See also 187th Semiannual General Conference talk summaries and photo galleries





Gen Conf Oct 2017 Sun am

Talk Summaries


That Your Joy Might Be Full

Jean B. Bingham  Jean B. Bingham
Relief Society General President

Lasting joy is found in focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ, and living the gospel as demonstrated and taught by Him. The more we learn about, have faith in, and emulate Jesus Christ, the more we come to understand that He is the source of all healing, peace, and eternal progress. …

No matter what we have suffered, He is the source of healing. Those who have experienced any manner of abuse, devastating loss, chronic illness or disabling affliction, untrue accusations, vicious persecution, or spiritual damage from sin or misunderstandings can all be made whole by the Redeemer of the world. However, He will not enter without invitation. We must come unto Him and allow Him to work His miracles. …

Are our testimonies built on the bedrock foundation of Jesus Christ and His gospel? When the storms of life press upon us, do we frantically look for a how-to book or an internet post for help? Taking the time to build and strengthen our knowledge and testimony of Jesus Christ will yield rich dividends in times of trial and adversity. Daily reading of scriptures and pondering the words of living prophets, engaging in meaningful personal prayer, mindfully partaking of the sacrament each week, giving service as the Savior would—each of these simple activities becomes a building block for a joyful life.

Has the Day of Miracles Ceased?

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom  Elder Donald L. Hallstrom
Of the Seventy

My limited knowledge cannot explain why sometimes there is divine intervention and other times there is not. But perhaps we lack an understanding of what constitutes a miracle.

Often we describe a miracle as being healed without a full explanation by medical science or as avoiding catastrophic danger by heeding a clear prompting. However, defining a miracle as “a beneficial event brought about through divine power that mortals do not understand” gives an expanded perspective into matters more eternal in nature. …

A critical question to ponder is “Where do we place our faith?” Is our faith focused on simply wanting to be relieved of pain and suffering, or is it firmly centered on God the Father and His holy plan and in Jesus the Christ and His Atonement? …

Today I testify of miracles. Being a child of God is a miracle. Receiving a body in His image and likeness is a miracle. The gift of a Savior is a miracle. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is a miracle. The potential for eternal life is a miracle.

… Our supreme focus should be on the spiritual miracles that are available to all of God’s children. No matter our ethnicity, no matter our nationality, no matter what we have done if we repent, no matter what may have been done to us—all of us have equal access to these miracles.

Exceeding Great and Precious Promises

Elder David A. Bednar  Elder David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

One of the great challenges each of us faces every day is to not allow the concerns of this world to so dominate our time and energy that we neglect the eternal things that matter most. …

The Apostle Peter reminds us, … “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world” [2 Peter 1:4; emphasis added]. …

God promises His children that if they follow the precepts of His plan and the example of His Beloved Son, … then by virtue of the Savior’s redemption, they “shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” [D&C 14:7]. Eternal life is the ultimate exceeding great and precious promise. …

Priesthood ordinances and sacred covenants … are the means God has appointed whereby we receive His exceeding great and precious promises. Ordinances that are received worthily and remembered continually open the heavenly channels through which the power of godliness can flow into our lives. Covenants that are honored steadfastly and remembered always provide purpose and the assurance of blessings in both mortality and for eternity. …

The Sabbath day and the temple, respectively, are a sacred time and a sacred space specifically set apart for worshipping God and for receiving and remembering His exceeding great and precious promises to His children. …

… Leaving our homes to spend time in Sunday meetings and to enter the sacred space of a temple is vital but insufficient. Only as we bring the spirit and strength derived from those holy activities back with us into our homes can we sustain our focus upon the great purposes of mortal life and overcome the corruption that is in the world.

Turn to the Lord

Bishop W. Christopher Waddell  Bishop W. Christopher Waddell
Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

There will be times in our lives when we find ourselves on an unexpected path. … How do we respond when events, often out of our control, alter the life we had planned or hoped for? …

… Although each “change” may be unique to our individual circumstances, there is a common element in the resulting trial or challenge—hope and peace are always available through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ provides the ultimate corrective and healing measures to every wounded body, damaged spirit, and broken heart. …

… We cannot control all that happens to us, but we have absolute control over how we respond to the changes in our lives. This does not imply that the challenges and trials we face are of no consequence and easily handled or dealt with. It does not imply that we will be free from pain or heartache. But it does mean that there is cause for hope and that due to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can move forward and find better days—even days full of joy, light, and happiness. …

Whatever change in life’s circumstance may come our way, and whatever unexpected path we may have to travel, how we respond is a choice. Turning to the Savior and grasping His outstretched arm is always our best option.

Lord, Wilt Thou Cause That My Eyes May Be Opened

Elder W. Craig Zwick  Elder W. Craig Zwick
Emeritus Member of the Seventy

The gospel mentors us to look beyond what we see. To look beyond what we see, we must look at others through the eyes of our Savior. The gospel net is filled with people in all their variety. … We must look past the easy assumptions and stereotypes and widen the tiny lens of our own experience. …

We live in a world that feeds on comparisons, labeling, and criticism. Instead of seeing through the lens of social media, we need to look inward for the godly attributes to which we each lay claim. …

… Truly loving others requires the ongoing practice of accepting the best efforts of people whose life experiences and limitations we may never fully know. …

As members of the Church, we have been gifted personal spiritual alarms that warn us when we are looking with only mortal eyes away from salvation. The sacrament is our weekly reminder to continually focus on Jesus Christ that we might always remember Him and that we might always have His Spirit to be with us. Yet we sometimes ignore these feelings of reminder and alarm. When we have Jesus Christ at the center of our lives, He will cause that our eyes may be opened to larger possibilities than we alone can comprehend.

Fear Not to Do Good

President Henry B. Eyring  President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency

Last April, President Thomas S. Monson gave a message that stirred hearts across the world, including mine. He spoke of the power of the Book of Mormon. He urged us to study, ponder, and apply its teachings. He promised that if we dedicated time each day to studying and pondering and kept the commandments the Book of Mormon contains, we would have a vital testimony of its truth, and the resultant testimony of the living Christ would see us through to safety in times of trouble. …

In a season of increasing tumult in the world, those increases in testimony have driven out doubt and fear and have brought us feelings of peace. …

The Lord told His leaders of the Restoration, and He tells us, that when we stand with faith upon His rock, doubt and fear are diminished; the desire to do good increases. As we accept President Monson’s invitation to plant in our hearts a testimony of Jesus Christ, we gain the power, the desire, and the courage to go to the rescue of others without concern for our own needs. …

We cannot foresee the details, but we know the larger picture. We know that in the last days, the world will be in commotion. … And we know that the Lord’s true disciples will be worthy and prepared to receive Him when He comes again. We need not fear.

See also 187th Semiannual General Conference talk summaries and photo galleries



Saturday, September 30, 2017

Gen Priesthood Session Sat pm

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Talk Summaries

The Priesthood and the Savior’s Atoning Power
Elder Dale G. Renlund  Elder Dale G. Renlund
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Because of His atoning sacrifice, Jesus Christ has the power and authority to redeem all mankind. To make His atoning power accessible, He has delegated a portion of His power and authority to men on earth. This delegated power and authority is called priesthood. It permits priesthood holders to help Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Their work—to bring about the salvation and exaltation of God’s children. It does so because it provides His children the opportunity to receive the blessings of the Savior’s atoning power. …
… Priesthood is essential because necessary ordinances and covenants on earth are administered only by its authority. …
… Priesthood conferral is safeguarded by priesthood keys. … Priesthood use is likewise safeguarded by priesthood keys but also by covenants that the priesthood holder makes. …
Both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods are received by covenant. God determines the terms and man accepts. Broadly speaking, priesthood holders covenant to help God in His work. …
To each man who receives the Melchizedek Priesthood, God affirms His covenant promises with an oath. … It is God who swears the oath, not the priesthood holder. …
… I invite you to make and keep priesthood covenants. … Use the priesthood to help deliver the opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power to someone else!
The Truth of All Things
Elder David F. Evans  Elder David F. Evans
Of the Seventy
Through study, prayer, and keeping the commandments, I found that there are answers to all of my important questions. I also found that for some questions, continuing faith, patience, and revelation are needed. …
… Willingness to be patient is part of our search for truth and part of the Lord’s pattern of revealing truth. …
I came to know that constant nourishment and continuing effort to repent and keep the commandments is needed. …
To know the truth, we need to live the gospel and “experiment” on the word. We are cautioned to not resist the Spirit of the Lord. Repentance, coupled with a determination to keep the commandments, is an important part of each individual’s search for truth. In fact, we may need to be willing to “give away all” our sins in order to know the truth.
We are commanded to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” and to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom” [D&C 88:118]. Our search for truth should focus on “the best books” and the best sources. Among the very best are the scriptures and the words of living prophets.
… What is necessary for your testimony to deepen and strengthen? Each of us has a personal responsibility to do what is necessary to obtain and keep a strong testimony.
Earning the Trust of the Lord and Your Family
Elder Richard J. Maynes  Elder Richard J. Maynes
Of the Seventy
Brethren, perhaps there is no greater compliment we could receive from the Lord than to know He trusts us to be worthy priesthood holders and great husbands and fathers.
One thing is for certain: earning the Lord’s trust is a blessing that comes through great effort on our part. Trust is a blessing based on obedience to God’s laws. Earning the Lord’s trust comes as a result of being true to the covenants we have made. …
I love both ancient and modern-day scriptures that use the phrase “integrity of heart” when describing a righteous person’s character. Integrity or the lack of integrity is a fundamental element of one’s character. Men who have “integrity of heart” are men to be trusted—because trust is built on integrity. …
Brethren, it is my prayer this evening that we might all first place our trust in the Lord, as Nephi exemplified, and then through the integrity of our hearts earn the trust of the Lord, as well as the trust of our wives and children. As we understand and apply this sacred principle of trust built on integrity, we will be true to our sacred covenants. We will also succeed in presiding in our families with love and righteousness, providing the necessities of life, and protecting our families from the evils of the world.
Bearers of Heavenly Light
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency
We can heal spiritually. …
Whatever causes our spiritual ailments, they all have one thing in common: the absence of divine light.
Darkness reduces our ability to see clearly. …
Light, on the other hand, allows us to see things as they really are. …
Darkness is not an indication that there is no light. Most often, it simply means we are not in the right place to receive the light. …
It is up to us to be in the right place to see and feel the divine light and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Even when night has fallen and the world seems dark, we can choose to walk in Christ’s light, keep His commandments, and courageously testify of His reality and His greatness.
As a bearer of God’s priesthood and as a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are a bearer of light. Keep doing the things that will nurture His divine light. …
My dear brothers, you are instruments in the hands of the Lord with the purpose of bringing light and healing to the souls of Heavenly Father’s children. …
Christ’s light brings hope, happiness, and healing of any spiritual wound or ailment. …
It is my prayer and blessing that you will succeed in fulfilling your destiny as priesthood holders of Almighty God and always be joyful bearers of His heavenly light.
The Lord Leads His Church
President Henry B. Eyring  President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency
The Lord’s leadership of His Church requires great and steady faith from all who serve Him on earth. …
You have the capacity to receive revelation and to act on it fearlessly.
It takes faith to do so. It takes even greater faith to believe that the Lord has called imperfect human servants to lead you. …
Your leader in the Lord’s Church may seem to you weak and human or may appear to you strong and inspired. The fact is that every leader is a mixture of those traits and more. What helps servants of the Lord who are called to lead us is when we try to see them as the Lord did when He called them.
The Lord sees His servants perfectly. He sees their potential and their future. He knows how their very nature can be changed. He also knows how they can be changed by their experiences with the people they will lead. …
There is a thread that binds us to the Lord in our service. It runs from wherever we are called to serve in the kingdom, up through those called to preside over us in the priesthood, and to the prophet, who is bound to the Lord. It takes faith and humility to serve in the place to which we are called, to trust that the Lord called us and those who preside over us, and to sustain them with full faith.
Jesus Christ's appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to accept the Kirtland temple in 1836
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Our Son and Grandsons ready to attend the General Priesthood Session at the Conference Center

Gen Conf Oct 2017 Sat aft

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Talk Summaries

Spiritual Eclipse

Elder Gary E. Stevenson  Joy D. Jones
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

A spiritual eclipse can occur when we allow minor and troublesome obstructions to get so close they block out the magnitude, brightness, and warmth of the light of Jesus Christ and His gospel. …

… Let us … teach and demonstrate the righteous use of technology to the rising generation and warn against the associated hazards and destructive use of it. Viewing social media through the lens of the gospel can prevent it from becoming a spiritual eclipse in our lives.

… Pride is the opposite of humility, which is a “willingness to submit to the will of the Lord.” When prideful, we tend to take honor to ourselves rather than giving it to others, including the Lord. Pride is often competitive; it is a tendency to seek to obtain more and presume we are better than others. Pride often results in feelings of anger and hatred; it causes one to hold grudges or to withhold forgiveness. Pride is swallowed in the Christlike attribute of humility. …

… Gospel glasses comprised of a knowledge and testimony of gospel principles and ordinances provide spiritual protection and clarity for someone exposed to the hazards of a spiritual eclipse.

Repentance is Always Positive

Stephen W. Owen  Stephen W. Owen
Young Men General President

I would like to speak to those who may worry that they are not winning in life. … While there may be undefeated seasons in sports, there aren’t any in life. But I testify that the Savior Jesus Christ worked out a perfect Atonement and gave us the gift of repentance—our path back to a perfect brightness of hope and a winning life.

Too often we think of repentance as something miserable and depressing. But God’s plan is the plan of happiness, not the plan of misery! Repentance is uplifting and ennobling. It’s sin that brings unhappiness. Repentance is our escape route! …

Brothers and sisters, we are all prodigals. We all have to “come to ourselves”—usually more than once—and choose the path that leads back home. It’s a choice we make daily, throughout our lives. …

To all who seek forgiveness—the youth, young single adults, parents, grandparents, and yes, even great-grandparents—I invite you to come home. …

Sometimes the journey will seem long—after all, it is the journey toward eternal life. But it can be a joyous journey if we pursue it with faith in Jesus Christ and hope in His Atonement. I testify that the moment we set foot on the path of repentance, we invite the Savior’s redeeming power into our lives.

The Eternal Everyday

Elder Quentin L. Cook  Elder Quentin L. Cook
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

We are all equal before God. His doctrine is clear. In the Book of Mormon, we read, “All are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” [see 2 Nephi 26:33]. …

Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex, nationality, language, or economic circumstances, is morally wrong. …

Unfortunately, in our day in almost every segment of society, we see self-importance and arrogance flaunted while humility and accountability to God are denigrated. …

… When we really contemplate God the Father and Christ the Son, who They are, and what They have accomplished on our behalf, it fills us with reverence, awe, gratitude, and humility. …

Having sufficient humility in our lives to help establish the Church is particularly valuable. …

Sometimes humility is accepting callings when we do not feel adequate. … Sometimes humility is overcoming hurt feelings when we feel leaders or others have mistreated us. …

… Church service requires humility. We humbly serve as called with all our might, mind, and strength. At every level of the Church, it is important to understand the Christlike attribute of humility. …

… Humility isn’t some grand identifiable achievement or even overcoming some major challenge. It is a sign of spiritual strength. It is having the quiet confidence that day by day and hour by hour we can rely on the Lord, serve Him, and achieve His purposes.

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By Divine Design

Elder Ronald A. Rasband  Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Significant events unfold in the gospel and in the Church that further the kingdom of God on earth. They are not by accident but by God’s plan. …

Likewise, events and associations unfold in each of our lives that further God’s work on earth. …

… What may appear to be a random chance is, in fact, overseen by a loving Father in Heaven. … The Lord is in the small details of our lives, and those incidents and opportunities are to prepare us to lift our families and others as we build the kingdom of God on earth. …

What should you be looking for in your own life? What are God’s miracles that remind you that He is close, saying, “I am right here”? Think of those times, some daily, when the Lord has acted in your life—and then acted again. Treasure them as moments the Lord has shown confidence in you and in your choices. But allow Him to make more of you than you can make of yourself on your own. …

When we are righteous, willing, and able, when we are striving to be worthy and qualified, we progress to places we never imagined and become part of Heavenly Father’s “divine design.” Each of us has divinity within us. When we see God working through us and with us, may we be encouraged, even grateful for that guidance.

The Heart of the Widow

Elder O. Vincent Haleck  Elder O. Vincent Haleck
Of the Seventy

I have had the great blessing of serving among the Saints of the Pacific for most of my adult life. …

It has occurred to me that these Saints have much in common with the widow who the Savior observed while He “sat … and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

“And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites” [Mark 12:41–42]. …

Even though her two mites were a meager contribution, to the Savior her gift was of supreme value, because she gave everything. …

The heart of the widow who gave her two mites is a heart that will give all by making sacrifices; by enduring hardship, persecution, and rejection; and by bearing burdens of many kinds. The heart of the widow is a heart that senses, feels, and knows the light of truth and will give anything to embrace that truth. It also helps others to see that same light and come to the same measure of eternal happiness and joy. Finally, the heart of the widow is defined by a willingness to give all for building up the kingdom of God on the earth.

Let us join as worldwide Saints in doing that which is necessary to have the widow’s heart, truly rejoicing in the blessings that will fill the “want” that results.

The Book of Mormon: What Would Your Life be Like Without It?

President Russell M. Nelson President Russell M. Nelson
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Something powerful happens when a child of God seeks to know more about Him and His Beloved Son. Nowhere are those truths taught more clearly and powerfully than in the Book of Mormon. …

The Book of Mormon provides the fullest and most authoritative understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ to be found anywhere. It teaches what it really means to be born again. From the Book of Mormon we learn about the gathering of scattered Israel. We know why we are here on earth. These and other truths are more powerfully and persuasively taught in the Book of Mormon than in any other book. The full power of the gospel of Jesus Christ is contained in the Book of Mormon. Period. …

When I think of the Book of Mormon, I think of the word power. The truths of the Book of Mormon have the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls.

My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life.


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Talk Summaries

A Yearning for Home

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

I believe that every man, woman, and child has felt the call of heaven at some point in his or her life. Deep within us is a longing to somehow reach past the veil and embrace Heavenly Parents we once knew and cherished.

Some might suppress this yearning and deaden their souls to its call. But those who do not quench this light within themselves can embark on an incredible journey—a wondrous migration toward heavenly climes. …  The “sublime message” of the Church is that God is a loving Father who prepared a way for His children to return to Him. No matter your history — if you have faltered, failed, feel broken, bitter, betrayed, or beaten — know that you are not alone. God still calls to you.  The Savior extends His hand to you.

… Let me offer two reasons why we should turn to the Lord.

First, your life will be better.

Second, God will use you to make the lives of others better. …

Even though individuals’ lives will be better, “this does not mean that our lives will be free from sorrow,” President Uchtdorf explained. “However, it will remove the barriers between you and the help your Heavenly Father wants to give you. God will be with you. He will direct your steps. He will walk beside you and even carry you when your need is greatest.”

Even in the midst of life’s storms, those who incline their hearts to God will be encircled by His peace, he continued. “Their joy will not be diminished. They will not be abandoned or forgotten. … Those who heed the inner call and seek God, those who pray, believe, and walk the path of discipleship — even if they stumble along that path at times — receive the consoling assurance that ‘all things shall work together for [their] good’” (Doctrine and Covenants 90:24).

President Uchtdorf asked listeners, “Do you yearn to feel within your heart the peace that passes understanding? Then turn your soul toward the light. Begin your own wonderful journey home. As you do so, your life will be better, happier, and more purposeful.”

The journey back to God inevitably leads individuals to bless the lives of others, President Uchtdorf explained, even if they don’t feel useful. “We might think we have to be ‘more’ of something for God to use us — more intelligent, more wealthy, more charismatic, more talented, more spiritual. Blessings will come not so much because of our abilities but because of our choices,” he taught. “And the God of the Universe will work within and through you, magnifying your humble efforts for His purposes.”

The history of God’s work is filled with people who considered themselves inadequate, President Uchtdorf said. “How encouraging it is to know, though we are imperfect, if our hearts are turned to God, He will be generous and kind and use us for His purposes.”

Those who love and serve God and their fellowmen will see wondrous things happen in their lives, President Uchtdorf promised. “Doors that seemed shut will open. Angels will go before them and prepare the way. No matter your position in your community or in the Church, God will use you if you are willing. He will magnify your righteous desires and turn the compassionate actions you sow into a bountiful harvest of goodness.”

All are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world and far from home. “But that doesn’t mean we need to feel lost or alone,” President Uchtdorf said.

Heavenly Father has given all the Light of Christ. “Deep within each one of us, a heavenly stirring urges us to turn our eyes and hearts to Him as we make the pilgrimage back to our celestial home.

“But this requires effort. You cannot get there without striving to learn of Him, understanding His instructions, earnestly applying them, and putting one foot in front of the other,” he said.

Life is not a self-driving car or airplane on autopilot, President Uchtdorf said. “You cannot just float in the waters of life and trust that the current will take you wherever you hope to be one day. Discipleship requires our willingness to swim upstream when needed. No one else is responsible for your personal journey.”

President Uchtdorf told listeners they must make the commitment to keep God's commandments. “That is your sole burden, your sole privilege. This is your great adventure,” he said.

The Church’s purpose “is to encourage, teach, lift, and inspire. This wonderful Church provides opportunities for you to exercise compassion, reach out to others, and renew and keep sacred covenants,” President Uchtdorf explained. “It is designed to bless your life and improve your home, community, and nation.”

Come, join with us and trust the Lord. Lend your talents to His wonderful work. Reach out, encourage, heal, and support all who desire to feel and heed the yearning for our supernal home. Let us join together in this glorious pilgrimage to heavenly climes.

The gospel is a transcendent message of hope, happiness, and joy. It is the pathway that leads us home.

As we embrace the gospel in faith and deed, each day and every hour, we will draw a little closer to our God. Our lives will be better, and the Lord will use us in remarkable ways to bless those around us and bring about His eternal purposes.

The Needs Before Us

Bonnie L. Oscarson  Bonnie L. Oscarson
Young Women General President

I believe that most members consider service to be at the heart of their covenants and discipleship. But I also think that sometimes it’s easy to miss some of the greatest opportunities to serve others because we are distracted or because we are looking for ambitious ways to change the world and we don’t see that some of the most significant needs we can meet are within our own families, among our friends, in our wards, and in our communities. We are touched when we see the suffering and great needs of those halfway around the world, but we may fail to see there is a person who needs our friendship sitting right next to us in class. …

… How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice? Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to meet their needs. …

… Begin your service in your own homes and within your own families. These are the relationships that can be eternal. Even if—maybe especially if—your family situation is less than perfect, you can find ways to serve, lift, and strengthen.

The Plan and the Procalmation

Elder Dallin H. Oaks  Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Latter-day Saints who understand God’s plan of salvation have a unique worldview that helps them see the reason for God’s commandments, the unchangeable nature of His required ordinances, and the fundamental role of our Savior, Jesus Christ. … With that worldview, Latter-day Saints have distinctive priorities and practices. …

Inevitably, the actions of those who try to follow God’s plan of salvation can cause misunderstanding or even conflict with family members or friends who do not believe its principles. … Whatever the cause of conflict with those who do not understand or believe God’s plan, those who do understand are always commanded to choose the Lord’s way instead of the world’s way.

The gospel plan each family should follow to prepare for eternal life and exaltation is outlined in the Church’s 1995 proclamation, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” Its declarations are, of course, visibly different from some current laws, practices, and advocacy of the world in which we live. …

I testify that the proclamation on the family is a statement of eternal truth, the will of the Lord for His children who seek eternal life. It has been the basis of Church teaching and practice for the last 22 years and will continue so for the future. Consider it as such, live by it, and you will be blessed.

I Have a Work for Thee

Elder John C. Pingree Jr.  Elder John C. Pingree Jr.
Of the Seventy

Have you ever wondered if Heavenly Father has a work for you? Are there important things He has prepared you—and specifically you—to accomplish? I testify the answer is yes! …

So how do we come to understand and perform the work God intends for us? Let me share four principles that will help.

First, focus on others. …

We can approach decision points in our lives—like what to study, what to do for work, or where to live—in the context of helping others. …

Second, discover and develop spiritual gifts. Heavenly Father gave us these gifts to help us identify, perform, and enjoy the work He has for us. …

Third, make use of adversity. Our trials help us discover and prepare for the work Heavenly Father has for us. …

And fourth, rely on God. When we ask Him in faith with real intent, He will reveal our divine assignments to us. Once discovered, He will help us fulfill those assignments. …

At the same time God helps us fulfill divine assignments, the adversary works to distract and dissuade us from a life of meaning. …

As we follow Christ’s example and yield ourselves to God, I testify that He will also use us to further His work and to bless others.

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The Living Bread Which Came Down from Heaven 

Elder D. Todd Christofferson  Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Jesus declared:

“I am that bread of life. …

“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him” [John 6:48, 56]. …

To eat His flesh and drink His blood is a striking way of expressing how completely we must bring the Savior into our life—into our very being—that we may be one. How does this happen?

First, we understand that in sacrificing His flesh and blood, Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and overcame death, both physical and spiritual. Clearly then, we partake of His flesh and drink His blood when we receive from Him the power and blessings of His Atonement. …

… But figuratively eating His flesh and drinking His blood has a further meaning, and that is to internalize the qualities and character of Christ. …

If we yearn to dwell in Christ and have Him dwell in us, then holiness is what we seek, both body and spirit. We seek it in the temple, whereon is inscribed “Holiness to the Lord.” We seek it in our marriages, families, and homes. We seek it each week as we delight in the Lord’s holy day. We seek it even in the details of daily living: our speech, our dress, our thoughts. …

Partaking of the Savior’s flesh and drinking His blood means to put out of our lives anything inconsistent with a Christlike character and to make His attributes our own.

Be Ye Therefore Perfect Eventually

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father … in heaven is perfect” [Matthew 5:48]. … Such celestial goals seem beyond our reach. Yet surely the Lord would never give us a commandment He knew we could not keep. …

Around the Church I hear many struggle with this issue: “I am just not good enough.” “I fall so far short.” …

… I believe that Jesus did not intend His sermon on this subject to be a verbal hammer for battering us about our shortcomings. No, I believe He intended it to be a tribute to who and what God the Eternal Father is and what we can achieve with Him in eternity. …

“What I now say in no way denies or diminishes any commandment God has ever given us. I believe in His perfection, and I know we are His spiritual sons and daughters with divine potential to become as He is.

“I also know that as children of God we should not demean or vilify ourselves, as if beating up on ourselves is somehow going to make us the person God wants us to become.”

Elder Holland added it’s his hope that “we could pursue personal improvement” in a way that doesn’t include getting ulcers, depression or diminished self-esteem.

In a fallen world, all far short of Christ’s divine mark and example. But hope can be found in simply knowing He is indeed perfect.

“How grateful I am that at least God can bless those who despitefully use Him because, without wanting or intending to do so, we all despitefully use Him sometimes,” he said. “I am grateful that God is merciful and a peacemaker because I need mercy and the world needs peace.”

Elder Holland emphasized that focusing on the Father and the Son’s achievements rather than one’s failures “does not give us one ounce of justification for undisciplined lives or dumbing down our standards.”

One purpose of a scripture or commandment, he added, “can be to remind us just how magnificent the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ really is, inspiring in us greater love and admiration for Him and a greater desire to be like Him.”

It is by His grace that all may be perfect in Christ. All fall short and transgress. Everyone is a debtor who faces imprisonment if not for the grace of the Lord who offers freedom through His atoning love.

Elder Holland called the Atonement “an unfathomable gift given at an incomprehensible cost.”

“That, it seems to me, is at least part of the meaning behind Jesus’s charge to be perfect.”

Except for Jesus Christ, there have been no “flawless performances” during mortality. “So while in mortality, let’s strive for steady improvement without obsessing over what behavioral scientists call ‘toxic perfectionism’.”

Elder Holland added such unrealistic expectations of perfection should not be attached to any who are called to serve in the Church.

“Brother and sisters, every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living,” he taught. “If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for our future or the possibility of true Godliness.

“If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete — which is the New Testament meaning of perfection.”

Elder Holland concluded by testifying “of that grand destiny” made available to all by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, who Himself continued “from grace to grace” and received a perfect fullness of celestial glory.

“I testify that in this and every hour He is, with nail-scarred hands, extending to us that same grace, holding on to us and encouraging us, refusing to let us go, until we are safely home in the embrace of Heavenly Parents.

“For such a perfect moment, I continue to strive, however clumsily. For such a perfect gift, I continue to give thanks, however inadequately.”

… Every one of us aspires to a more Christlike life than we often succeed in living. If we admit that honestly and are trying to improve, we are not hypocrites; we are human. May we refuse to let our own mortal follies, and the inevitable shortcomings of even the best men and women around us, make us cynical about the truths of the gospel, the truthfulness of the Church, our hope for the future, or the possibility of godliness. If we persevere, then somewhere in eternity our refinement will be finished and complete. …

I testify of that grand destiny, made available to us by the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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see also 187th Semiannual General Conference talk summaries and photo galleries