Priesthood Session

President Uchtdorf conducted the priesthood session, which included a number of strong and inspiring talks.

Choir — Arise, Oh God, and Shine

Invocation — Elder Ronald W. Rasband

Choir — Nearer My God to Me

Elder Robert D. Hales — “Stand Strong in Holy Places”

  • Brethren, if we are faithful in the priesthood, this armor will be given to us as a gift from God. We need this armor!
  • If you judge your actions and the standards of the Church on the basis of where the world is and where it’s going, you will find that you are not where you should be.
  • As we press forward along the path, we build progressive spiritual strength —strength in using our agency to act for ourselves.
  • In the strength of the Lord we are able to stand against any philosophy or creed that denies the Savior and contradicts the great, eternal plan of happiness for all of God’s children. We are not authorized to negotiate the conditions of that eternal plan.

Elder Ted R. Callister — “The Power of the Priesthood in the Boy”

  • The Priesthood in the boy is just as powerful as the Priesthood in the man when exercised in righteousness.
  • Why is vision so critical? Because with increased vision comes increased motivation.
  • [Quoting Harold B. Lee] “If you want to get revelation, do your homework.”

Elder David L. Beck — “Your Sacred Duty to Minister”

  • There are thousands of Chy Johnsons throughout the world—people who need to feel Heavenly Father’s love. They are in your schools, in your quorums, and even in your family. Some come to mind quickly. Others have needs that are less obvious. Virtually everyone you know could be blessed in some way by your ministering. The Lord is counting on you to reach out to them.
  • Mocking and teasing have no place in a quorum meeting—especially when feelings are openly shared.
  • The work of ministering is not confined to ordinances or home teaching visits or occasional service projects. We are always priesthood men—not just on Sunday and not only when we’re wearing white shirts and ties. We have a duty to minister wherever we stand.
  • Ministering is not just something we do—it defines who we are.

Choir and Congregation — Hope of Israel

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf — Four Titles

  • This is the place for you to be. I hope you can feel the brotherhood that unites us, and I pray that here, among your brothers, you will find belonging, support, and friendship.
  • No matter what else we are or do in life, we must never forget that we are God’s literal spirit children. We were His children before we came to this world, and we will be His children forevermore. This basic truth changes the way we look at ourselves, our brothers and sisters, and life itself.
  • Unfortunately, none of us quite lives up to everything that this title implies, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” … The adversary likes to take advantage of these feelings. Satan would rather that you define yourself by your sins instead of your divine potential. Don’t listen to him.
  • But while the Atonement is meant to help us all become more like Christ, it is not meant to make us all the same. … This line of thinking leads some to believe that the Church wants to create every member from a single mold—that each one should look, feel, think, and behave like every other. This would contradict the genius of God…
  • As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples.
  • We who have been ordained to the priesthood of God are called to practice “the healer’s art.” … As home teachers, we are healers. As priesthood leaders, we are healers. As fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands we should be committed and dedicated healers. We carry in one hand a vial of consecrated oil for blessing the sick; in the other we carry a loaf of bread to feed the hungry; and in our hearts we carry the peaceable word of God, “which healeth the wounded soul.”
  • Your ability to contribute is not dependent upon your calling in the Church. … Don’t wait for a particular calling before you become fully engaged in building the kingdom of God. As a priesthood holder, you are already called to the work.
  • My dear brethren, you are important. You are loved. You are needed.

President Henry B. Eyring — We Are One

  • Whatever our age, capacity, Church calling, or location, we are as one called to the work to help Him in His harvest of souls until He comes again.
  • That story does not seem remarkable unless you recognize in it the pattern of God’s hand in building His kingdom.
  • There is one way in which we are one in our charge in the priesthood. We sanctify ourselves and fulfill our individual duties to the commandment to take the gospel to all of our Heavenly Father’s children.
  • It was the love of God and the love of their friends and neighbors that unified them to serve the people.

President Thomas S. Monson — “Come, All Ye Sons of God”

  • The holy scriptures contain no proclamation more relevant, no responsibility more binding, no instruction more direct than the injunction given by the resurrected Lord as He appeared in Galilee to the eleven disciples. Said He: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
  • Missionary work is an identifying feature of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Always has it been; ever shall it be.
  • Within two short years, all of the full-time missionaries currently serving in this royal army of God will have concluded their labors and will have returned to their homes and loved ones. For the elders, their replacements are found tonight in the ranks of the Aaronic Priesthood of the Church. Young men, are you ready to respond? Are you willing to work? Are you prepared to serve?
  • At best, missionary work necessitates drastic adjustment to one’s pattern of living. It requires long hours and great devotion, selfless sacrifice and fervent prayer. dedicated missionary service returns a dividend of eternal joy which extends throughout mortality and into eternity.
  • Young men, I hope you appreciate the sacrifices which your parents so willingly make in order for you to serve. Their labors will sustain you, their faith encourage you, their prayers uphold you. A mission is a family affair.
  • Lift up your voices and testify to the true nature of the Godhead. Declare your witness concerning the Book of Mormon. Convey the glorious and beautiful truths contained in the plan of salvation.
  • Serve the Lord with love. There is no substitute for love.

Choir — Ye Elders of Israel

Benediction — Elder Larry M. Gibson

11 comments for “Priesthood Session

  1. Sonny
    April 7, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Thanks for this, Kent.

  2. Cameron N
    April 7, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Elder Hales’ saying ‘take the heat’ was pretty moving.

  3. April 7, 2013 at 8:21 am

    The talk by Elder Hales was almost strident, with a political edge to it as well. It seems to reflect something of a siege mentality — a natural response for LDS leaders to take, I suppose, but not the only option. This is one to read carefully when the talks are published.

    I liked Pres. Uchtdorf’s talk. He addressed the same general topic that Elder Bednar did in the afternoon session, but with a much different tone.

  4. April 7, 2013 at 9:33 am

    I agree, Dave. I’m usually turned off by talks that go on and on about how evil “the world” is. All I can think is that there are a lot of members who identify with that mentality and it helps them become better somehow. It doesn’t reach me, though.

  5. April 7, 2013 at 10:15 am

    Or maybe he’s right rather than just pandering to the crowd?

  6. Jason
    April 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    President Monson gave almost the exact same talk that he delivered in the October 1969 General Conference, including the opening line about the Conference Center (then tabernacle) calling out “Come, all ye sons of God…” I’ve seen repeated phrasing in talks, or repetition of talks given in different venues, or certainly passages from (or whole) speeches appearing in their books. But I don’t think I’ve run across such a near identical Conference talk being delivered twice, even if it was more than 40 years apart.

    Is this common from Pres. Monson? Others?

    Here’s the link to the old talk from BYU’s archives: http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1730

  7. April 7, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    “Or maybe he’s right rather than just pandering to the crowd?”

    I’m not suggesting that he’s not right. I’m talking about whether or not the way the remarks were directed will influence my behavior.

    I will, of course, try to find what I can in the talk and change my behavior. But I’m not convinced that “the world” needs to be feared, and I’m not sure how to interpret the regular characterizations we get that it is. What exactly am I supposed to do because of this? I’m already trying to avoid evil!

  8. April 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Jason, I think I’ve heard of President Monson doing this before.

    While I hope it isn’t done too much, I don’t think its much of a problem. 40 years is a long time. And Pres. Monson has certainly earned the right to repeat a talk in my opinion.

  9. Cameron N
    April 7, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    The only problem with references to ‘the world’ is members interpreting it incorrectly (EG lets shut ourselves in and avoid non-members). That doesn’t mean leaders should avoid talking about it. It also references Jesus’ own words in a more neutral way than talking about ‘the devil’ all the time.

    I loved Elder Hales’ talk. Rather than telling people to hide, he said we should openly share and stand up for beliefs, even when it means ‘taking the heat’ in the form of persecution or disrespect.

  10. April 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    “The only problem with references to ‘the world’ is members interpreting it incorrectly”

    So, Cameron, what exactly am I supposed to do with all this information that the world is evil? Was being told this yet again supposed to help me in some way? Or was it addressed to others?

  11. Cameron N
    April 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Kent,

    I guess if you’ve internalized and remembered the principle already Kent, it’s a sign that the majority of members still need to hear it, and it is your burden to humor them and be patient while you work on what you personally need to work on. I don’t at all mean that in a sarcastic or facetious way.

    The Savior routinely drew a mental and emotional separation between his disciples and the rest of his less-informed spirit brothers and sisters to help them understand their duty and mission. Now that I’m 30, I see more repetition in talks (although that doesn’t stop the Spirit from making them feel new). But, in a global church with many converts and young leadership, I’m not surprised such things are taught regularly every 6 months. I see the general church officers currently laying a strong global foundation during these decades that will help regional and individual spiritual maturity for generations to come. If that means I have to put up with the same stuff I’ve been hearing for the last 20 years (and presumably my parents heard before me), then I’m okay with that. And of course, I’m prove to forget and repeat the same sins, so reminders never hurt.

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