Wednesday Conference Talk: Joseph B. Wirthlin, Concern for the One

One of the last talks that Elder Wirthlin gave, Concern For the One is one of my favorites in recent memory. Elder Wirthlin focuses on reaching out to individuals. The talk includes this remarkable passage on individuality:

Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don’t belong. Perhaps because they are different, they find themselves slipping away from the flock. They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don’t fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.

Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father’s children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.

This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He “inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God.”

The talk also discusses weariness and imperfection, and ends on a message of hope. It’s a wonderful and uplifting message, which is why it is today’s Wednesday Conference Talk.

8 comments for “Wednesday Conference Talk: Joseph B. Wirthlin, Concern for the One

  1. July 15, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    I love this talk. It’s one of the finest conference talks in recent memory. I especially appreciate how Elder Wirthlin tries to dispel the prominent notion among church members that the only reason a person would feel alienated from the saints is because of a personal sin/failing of the alienated person.

  2. July 15, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Elder Wirthlin was such a humble servant of the Lord. Thank you for sharing that portion of his talk.

  3. July 15, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Is this going to be a regular feature? If so, I protest. I think we have WAY too many recycled Conference talks already, in SM talks, RS and PH lessons, etc. I DEPLORE this trend in the Church. Now if you are going to post something substantial on concern for the one, and use E. Wirthlin’s talk to support or add to your remarks, OK. Just please don’t start posting sloppy seconds.

    Someone had to say it.

  4. July 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    Bored in Vernal: I am only able to visit this site (one of my favorite) occasionally. I appreciate the above article. Good stuff is good, no matter how many times we hear it.

    You must be different, so you better get out of here!

    Now, I’m just kidding. I really like how he compares God’s creation to a symphany. I think we all need to work on trying to realize the importance of all Souls in the eyes of God.

  5. T. Joseph
    July 17, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Bored in Vernal: I agree with Glen. I truly enjoyed re-reading this section, and I fail to see how posting it is any more deplorable than recycling anything from the standard works.

    Besides, sloppy leftover lasagne actually tastes better to me the second day, especially if I am starving and there is nothing better to eat…

  6. ji
    July 17, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    But Bored in Vernal has a good point — too many sacrament meeting talks thse days seem to be people reading aloud someone else’s Conference address.

    I like the original posting — I tend to feel that some of the brethren have been trying to teach all of us to be kinder and more accepting of others within our Latter-day society. We don’t all have to fit a particular mold in order to be classed as a good member.

  7. July 18, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Hey there, BiV.

    I hate to disagree with you, but at least for me personally, I find some value in highlighting some of the conference talks that I’ve thought were particularly good. I have several more lined up to go over the next several weeks. It probably won’t last forever, but I think it will be a nice feature to have for a while.

  8. CS Eric
    July 19, 2009 at 7:56 am


    The boggest difference I see between what Kaimi apparently plans to do and the recycling of conference talks in meetings is that we will have the opportunity to actually discuss the talk itself, rather than sit passively and listen to someone with little or no imagination read in a monotone voice.


    This is one of my favorite conference talks of the last four or five conferences. The points he made should be guidelines for how we all treat each other in church. It should be required reading for everyone in a leadership position, and they should read it at least once a year.

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