President Eyring conducted the Saturday afternoon session. Direct quotations of a speaker’s words (based on my notes) are given in quotes; other text represents my summary of the remarks given. Any text in italics represents my own editorial comment.
President Uchtdorf of the First Presidency opened the session by presenting LDS senior leadership for the annual sustaining vote (followed by short summaries of the Church audit and statistical reports). New Presiding Bishop: Gary E. Stevenson. New Relief Society President: Linda Burton.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Twelve, on compassion, kindness, and God’s mercy:
- Relates the parable of the workers in the vineyard as a model of compassion and kindness, and a warning against envy when others seem more fortunate or more blessed or just happier. As the householder told his early workers: “Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?”
- “So be kind, and be greatful that God is kind.” Wait for the grace of God that will be manifest at the end of the day: don’t dwell on grievances from early in the day, at 9 AM or noon (or twenty years ago!).
- The parable speaks to God’s goodness, patience, and forgiveness. It is about generosity and compassion. To those who feel they do not merit God’s mercy, know that “there is nothing you have done that can’t be undone,” even if you are “the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour.”
- Directs a special appeal to men, fathers, priesthood holders to repent and return to activity. “Brethren, step up.”
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Twelve, on repentance:
- Relates the parable of the prodigal son, reminding us we are sons and daughters of a kind and loving Heavenly Father.
- How do we help others to desire to repent? We first seek repentance ourselves, and use the sacrament to make righteous commitments and keep them, then enjoy the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
- Who shall stand in holy places? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart. Seek the spiritual worthiness represented by holding a temple recommend.
- Talk to the mirror: “Where do I stand in keeping the Lord’s commandments?”
David S. Baxter of the Seventy, to single mothers in the Church:
- I am the product of such a home, with a mother who struggled to provide.
- If this is your situation, it’s not what you planned for, but with resilience you can succeed and your children will call you blessed. You are not second-class citizens in the Church!
- Members and leaders: Is there more you can do to support single mothers and their families? Single fathers and their families?
Elder Suarez of the Seventy, on being righteous in the Spirit:
- Quoting President Monson: You can’t do wrong by doing right.
- Sow in the Spirit, not the flesh. Stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will enjoy his influence; cross the line, you’ll lose that influence.
- D&C 20:37 provides guidance for staying on the Lord’s side of the line and maintaining proper conduct.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve, praising faith and counseling against being judgmental:
- Discusses the challenges to faith in our modern secular society.
- Praises the service and sacrifice of all members, especially local leaders, but encourages us to refrain from criticizing others who do not serve with such dedication. Lehi’s vision covers all people, and we love them all.
- Within families, avoid being overly judgmental about foolish youthful behavior, which calls for instruction (as opposed to sinful behavior, which requires repentance).
- Counsels regular daily scripture study to stay in tune with the Spirit.
- Emphasize your faith, not your fears.
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Twelve, on the guidance we can receive from the Holy Ghost:
- For example, the direction given to President Kimball on the priesthood question.
- We can strengthen our relationships with those who have already passed to the next life.
- Guidance to get personal revelation: Fast; look for helpful scriptures; ponder them; get rid of emotions like anger and defensiveness.
- Sanctify yourselves (that is, keep the commandments) and you shall be endowed with power from on high. Humility is fruitful soil in which spirituality will grow. Obedience qualifies us for divine power to achieve a righteous objective.
- Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail! If you live righteously, you will be prompted to know what to do.
[I updated the summary of Elder Holland’s talk on April 1 using additional notes.]