General Conference: Sunday morning

President Henry B. Eyring conducting

Choir: On This Day of Joy and Gladness

[ prayer ]

Choir: Let Us All Press On

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
All of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated, and adrift
To make life sweeter and joyful and glorious, be grateful
Those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift the goblet of gratitude can find healing, peace, and understanding
We’re commanded to “thank the Lord our God in all things”
Let our heart be full of thanks to God
Why does God command us to be grateful?
Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings
What do I have to be grateful for when my world is falling apart?
Count our blessings, there are many; but the Lord doesn’t expect us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance
Overall spirit or attitude of gratitude
It’s easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way
See gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation
Instead of being thankful for things, we focus on being thankful in our circumstances, whatever they may be
Be like Nephi, whose grateful heart never faltered
We can choose to be like Job, who seemed to have everything but then lost it all
Pioneers maintained a spirit of gratitude on their long trek
Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power
We can be grateful no matter what
When we’re grateful in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation
In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise
How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?
Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we’re pleased with our circumstances
Through the eyes of faith, we look beyond our present-day challenges
Act of faith in God; requires that we trust Him and thank Him for things that we may not see
“Not my will, but thine be done”
We do not always understand the trials of life, but trust that one day we will
Nourished by the many and sacred truths we do know
Through the Atonement, we can live forever with our loved ones
Our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.” – apostles accepted with courage the trials they faced
You don’t need to see the Savior as the apostles did to experience the same transformation they did
Is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life they seem unacceptable to us?
We resist endings – because we’re made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings
In this plan, there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings
Have we not reason to be filled with gratitude regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves?
Gratitude broadens our perception and clears our vision, fosters empathy toward our fellow men
Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attitudes
A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues
Allow our souls to expand in thankfulness to our Heavenly Father

Elder M. Russell Ballard
No matter how good your message is, you may not get a chance to deliver it without consistent persistent followup
1. Name of the church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) is not only a formal title
We should not refer to the church by any other name, including Mormon or LDS Church
May fittingly refer to ourselves as Mormon, if coupled with full name of the church
We are Christians! Members of the Savior’s church
Develop the habit of always making it clear that we belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
2. Pray to be led to at least one person to extend an invitation to learn (before Christmas)
Preach My Gospel: extending an invitation without following it up is like buying a ticket without going
Commitment is hollow without completion
Missionary work: inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the gospel
“Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee in the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”
Replace our fear with real faith
Followup our invitations, take others by the hand, lift them up, walk with them in their spiritual journey
Obtain a copy of Preach My Gospel, a guidebook for missionary work (for all of us!)
Read it, study it, apply what you learn
Blessings will come to families when they know and understand better what the missionaries are teaching
If we follow up, the Lord will not let us down

Sister Jean A. Stevens
[ talking about a preemie baby…who lived. I tuned out ]
Our Father in Heaven reaches out for each of us with His infinite love
As we develop greater trust and faith, we can access His power to bless us
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a checklist; it lives in our hearts

Choir & congregation: Teach Me to Walk in the Light

Bishop Gary E. Stevenson
Your pathway to eternal life depends on our brief performance in this life
ex: Olympic athletes judged on very short competition
Your “four minutes” have already begun
Certain things are absolutely essential
Checkpoints which move us through our spiritual performance on earth
Baptism, Holy Ghost, priesthood ordination, temple ordinances, sacrament
In the ordinances, the power of godliness is manifest
Keeping the commandments will qualify you to perform these saving ordinances
In your performance, ponder: what do I need to do next to ensure my medal?
Don’t wait! Your 4 minutes will pass quickly, and you’ll have eternity to think about your actions
It’s not yet too late to repent, but it soon may be
The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance
“It is never too late, so long as the Master says there is still time”
Is there someone who needs your encouragement? How can you help them with their 4 minutes?
You’ve prepared for this! This is your moment to perform. The time is now

Elder David A. Bednar
ex: new truck, stuck in snow; loaded with wood
Each of us carries a load of demands, opportunities, obligations, constraints
1. Is the load I am carrying producing the spiritual traction to let me press forward?
2. Is the load I am carrying creating sufficient spiritual traction so I ultimately can return home?
Sometimes we mistakenly believe happiness means not carrying a load
Don’t haul around so many nice but unnecessary things that we’re distracted and diverted from what really matters
“Be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me”
Many of assume a burden will be suddenly and permanently taken away – but “the burdens . . . were made light, yea the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease.”
Increased capacity will make burdens lighter
The Atonement enables us to do good and become better
The Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient and conscientious and who are striving to be come better and serve more faithfully
The Lord desires to enliven us, not only to guide but also to strengthen and heal us
Savior has suffered not just for our sins and iniquities but also our physical pains and anguish, shortcomings, fears, frustrations, regrets, remorse, despair, desperation
There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness we encounter in mortality that the Savior did not experience first. He has perfect empathy
His yoke is easy, and His burden is light
Strive to learn more about the Atonement as we assess our individual loads
Many aspects of the Atonement we can and need to understand

Choir: A Child’s Prayer

President Thomas S. Monson
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this journey
We’re all spirit children of our Heavenly Father, and as such are brothers and sisters
Loving all of God’s children will become easier
Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our exemplar
Manifestations of love: patience, kindness, forgiveness, etc.
Usually our love will be shown in our day-to-day interactions with one another
Recognize someone’s need and then respond
“I’ve never yet felt a tinge of regret for being a little too kind.”
Every day of our lives, we are given opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us
“It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters.”
“Charity is the pure love of Christ, and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.”
Some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes
Too much impatience, arguing, fighting, tears in the family
The ones we love most become the targets of our harsh words
If we would keep the commandment to love one another, we must treat each other with kindness and respect
Don’t demean or belittle; be compassionate and encouraging
Forgiveness should go hand-in-hand with love
Blame keeps wounds open; only forgiveness heals
“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.”
Each person has within him- or herself the power to increase the sum total of the world’s happiness
“Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them for a lifetime”
Begin now, today, to express love to all of God’s children
Respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way
Because of God’s love for us, He sent His son, who loves us enough to give His life for us so that we might have eternal life
Our hearts will be filled with love for our Heavenly Father, for our Savior, and for all mankind

Choir: Guide Us, O Though Great Jehovah

[ prayer ]

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