President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducting.
President Henry B. Eyring: To My Grandchildren
- I have seen those same tears of happiness in the eyes of someone who recounted the words of an apostle of God: He had said to her, after a searching and tender interview: “I forgive you in the name of the Lord. He will forgive you in His own time and in His own way.” And He did.
- While serving others, we are most likely to plead for the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Success in His service always produces miracles beyond our own powers. The parent facing a child in serious rebellion knows that is true as does the visiting teacher approached by a woman seeking comfort when her husband told her he was leaving her. Both servants are grateful they prayed that morning for the Lord to send the Holy Ghost as a companion.
- The way for loving parents and grandparents and all of God’s servants will not be easy in a decaying world. We cannot force God’s children to choose the way to happiness. God cannot do that because of the agency He has given us.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: No Other Gods
- What “other priorities” are being “bowed down to” or “served” ahead of God by persons—even religious persons—in our day?
- This plan, sometimes called the “great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8), explains our origin and destiny as children of God—where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. It explains the purpose of creation and the conditions of mortality, including God’s commandments, the need for a Savior, and the vital role of mortal and eternal families. If we Latter-day Saints, who have been given this knowledge, do not establish our priorities in accord with this plan, we are in danger of serving other gods.
- Because of what we understand about the potentially eternal role of the family, we grieve at the sharply declining numbers of births and marriages in many western societies whose historic cultures are Christian and Jewish.
- We are also respectful of the religious beliefs of all people, even of those increasing numbers who profess no belief in God. We know that through the God-given power of choice, many will hold beliefs contrary to ours, but we are hopeful that others will be equally respectful of our religious beliefs and understand that our beliefs compel us to some different choices and behaviors than theirs.
- Our understanding of God’s plan and His doctrine gives us an eternal perspective that does not allow us to condone such behaviors or to find justification in the laws that permit them. And, unlike other organizations that can change their policies and even their doctrines, our policies are determined by the truths God has declared to be unchangeable.
- I pray that we will not let the temporary challenges of mortality cause us to forget the great commandments and priorities we have been given by our Creator and our Savior. We must not set our hearts so much on the things of the world and aspire to the honors of men that we lose sight of our eternal destiny.
Sister Bonnie Oscarson: Be Ye Converted
- We live in perilous times and the decisions which you are called upon to make on a daily, or even hourly, basis have eternal consequences. The decisions you make in your daily life will determine what happens to you later. If you do not yet have a firmly-rooted testimony and conviction that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on the earth, now is the time to do what it takes to gain that conviction. To delay making the effort required to earn that kind of conviction can be dangerous to your soul.
- True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles, and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles. It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create “a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.”
- “Conversion is a process, not an event. You become converted as a result of righteous efforts to follow the Savior.” It takes time, effort, and work.
- No one can be converted for you, and no one can force you to be converted.” Conversion takes place as we are diligent about saying our prayers, studying our scriptures, attending church, and being worthy to participate in temple ordinances. Conversion comes as we act upon the righteous principles we learn in our homes and in the classroom. Conversion comes as we live pure and virtuous lives and enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Conversion comes as we understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ, acknowledge Him as our Savior and Redeemer, and allow the Atonement to take effect in our lives.
Elder Richard J. Maynes: The Strength to Endure
- Many of the challenges we face in life can be solved and overcome; however, others may be difficult to understand and impossible to overcome and will be with us until we pass on to the next life. As we temporarily endure the challenges we can solve and as we continue to endure the challenges we cannot solve, it is important to remember that the spiritual strength we develop will help us successfully endure all the challenges we face in life.
- A testimony, like your body, needs to be in shape if you want it to endure. So how do we keep our testimonies in shape? We cannot get our bodies into good basketball shape by simply watching basketball on television. Similarly, we won’t be able to get our testimonies in shape by simply watching general conference on television. We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we must do our very best to live them. That is how we become disciples of Jesus Christ, and that is how we build an enduring testimony.
Elder Richard J. Scott: “Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ”
- It is a fundamental truth that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed. We can become virtuous and pure. However, sometimes our poor choices leave us with long-term consequences. One of the vital steps to complete repentance is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of our past sins. Their past choices had exposed these Ammonite fathers to a carnal appetite that could again become a point of vulnerability that Satan would attempt to exploit. Satan will try to use our memory of any previous guilt to lure us back into his influence. We must be ever vigilant to avoid his enticements. Such was the case with the faithful Ammonite fathers. Even after years of faithful living, it was imperative for them to protect themselves spiritually from any attraction to the memory of past sins.
- The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy.
- Each of us has had times in our lives when we have made poor choices. We are all in desperate need of the redemptive power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Each of us must repent of any rebellion. “For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” He cannot because He knows what it takes to become like Him.
President Thomas S. Monson: “I Will Not Fail Thee Nor Forsake Thee”
- The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish? Some do falter as they find themselves unable to rise above their challenges. To finish involves enduring to the very end of life itself.
- Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.
- We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
- This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and shadow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life.