General Conference: Saturday morning

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducting

Choir: Glory to God on High

[ prayer ]

President Henry B. Eyring
Our Heavenly Father wishes to bless His children, spiritually and temporally
He understands each of our needs, pains, hopes
When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him
“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
How can we deserve this warm welcome from the Savior?
There are more in need of help than we can possibly reach
Something we can each do: follow the law of the fast
“the Lord shall guide thee continuously and satisfy thy soul in drought”
Simple commandment with marvelous promise
We are offered opportunity to fast once and month and give a generous fast offering
Some of your offering will be used for those around you
Leaders pray and fast to know who to help and what to give
Pres. Kimball: “a sin of omission with a heavy cost” “Rich promises are made by the lord to those who fast to assist the needy. . . . To omit to do this righteous act of fasting would deprive us of these blessings.”
Civil war in Sierra Leon – chaos, killing, and sorrow; more than 2 million refugees
Even during this time, LDS Church grew, first branch opened
“This shirt is the first clothing I received. I used to wear it to go to work. . . . I didn’t have other clothes. During the war this blanket kept us warm. . . . When the rebels came to attack us, this was the only thing I could lay my hands on as we fled to the bush.”
Funds from fast offering donations – of someone like you – allowed members to buy food
“When I think of the people who did this, I think they were sent by God, because ordinary human beings made this kind of gesture for us.”
In a country where a dollar was worth its weight in gold, she paid her tithing as $1, $1 to missionary fund, and $1 fast offering to help “those who were truly poor.”
“Better to teach them the principle and let them observe it until they are old enough to choose intelligently.”
Spiritual blessing of power to receive inspiration, greater power to resist temptation
Christ went into wilderness to fast and pray – and resisted Satan’s temptations
“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning and thy health shall break forth speedily”
Claim those blessings for ourselves and our families
Help the Savior as He cares for the poor

Choir: Have I Done Any Good?

President Boyd K. Packer
The end of all activity in the church is to see that a man and a woman, with their children, are happy at home – sealed together for all time and eternity
“Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth”
Commandment to multiply and replenish the earth is central to the plan and is the source of human happiness
Righteous exercise of this power draws us closer to Heavenly Father
The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it IS the plan of happiness – it is the key to happiness
Very personal feelings occur in a natural way
[ am I the only one having a TON of trouble understanding him? ]
We can’t escape the consequence when we transgress
Our spiritual bodies cannot heal themselves when damaged – we must repent
When the repentance process is complete, no scars remain
God is our Father . . . His mercy is without limit
Sacred temple ordinance is much more than a wedding

Sister Linda K. Burton
Husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, and uncles who know who they are and are doing their best to fulfill their obligations
A husband is never more attractive to his wife than when he is serving as a worthy priesthood holder, especially in the home
“You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home.”
“Your most important calling in all eternity . . . you must help create a home where the Spirit of the Lord can reside.”
World sends false messages about what it means to be a real man
Don’t listen to Satan’s lies!
Satan has forfeited the sacred privilege of ever being a husband or a father
We need each other as covenant-keeping women and men
Work together to lift the rising generation and help them reach their divine potential
“It is not good that man should be alone.”
Male and female spirits complete each other, not compete with each other
“There’s so much more of happiness to be had when we can rejoice in another’s successes and not just our own.”
Stop more often to enjoy sacred family time
1. When was the last time I sincerely praised my companion, either alone or in front of children?
2. When was the last time I thanked, expressed love for, or earnestly pled in prayer for my companion?
3. When was the last time I stopped myself from saying something I knew could be hurtful?
4. When was the last time I apologized and humbly asked for forgiveness?
5. When was the last time I chose to be happy rather than demanding to be right?
Put our trust in the Lord to help each other live happily

Choir and congregation: High on the Mountaintop

Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Reform our personal lives to prepare us to return to our Heavenly home
Parable of the sower reported in all 3 synoptic gospels, also one Christ explained to disciples
Seed that was sown: word of the kingdom, teachings of the Master and his servants
Different soils: different ways mortals receive and interpret these teachings
Those of us who have committed to be followers of Christ – what do we do with the Savior’s teachings?
Parable warns of attitudes that can prevent the seed from a goodly harvest
Stony ground describes those who receive the word with gladness, but have no root in themselves
What causes hearers to have “no root in themselves”?
New members who are merely converted to missionaries or attractive characteristics of church
Even those raised in the church can slip into a condition where they have no root in themselves
Members without firm and lasting conversion to the gospel
If we are not rooted in the teachings of the gospel and regular in its practices, any one of us can develop a stony heart
We must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel
If the emblems of the sacrament are being passed and you are texting or whispering or doing anything else to deny yourself essential spiritual food, you are severing your spiritual roots and moving yourself to stony ground
Potential destroyer of spiritual roots: keyhole view of the gospel
Limited view focuses on a particular doctrine or practice or perceived deficiency in a leader and ignores the grand panorama of the gospel plan and the personal and communal fruits of its harvest
To be securely rooted in the gospel, we must seek for the broader view of the majestic work of God
Some grew among thorns – choked, yielded no fruit – cares of the world and deceitfulness of riches choked the word
1. Deceitfulness of riches
We are all tempted by this. When attitudes or priorities are fixed on the acquisition, use, or __ of property, that is materialism
Theology of prosperity
Possession of wealth or significant income is NOT a mark of heavenly favor; absence is not an indication of heavenly disfavor
An abundance of material things = danger of being spiritually sedated
2. Most subtle thorns to choke out effect of gospel word are worldly forces “Cares and riches and pleasures of this life”
When we are beguiled by trivial distractions, and when we have an entitlement mentality
We are all overcome by cares of this life when we’re paralyzed by fears of the future
Dangers of surrendering to cares of this world: “You have to be willing to offend here. . . . That’s exactly where the faith comes in.”
“importance of really living what we claim to believe. That needs to be a priority not just in our personal and family lives but in our church, our business dealings, our treatment of the poor – in other words, in everything we do.”
Don’t be digested by society
Parable of the soils – suitability of soil depends on the heart of each one of us who is exposed to the gospel seeds
seed “fell into good ground and brought forth good fruit” – how do we prepare ourselves to be this good soil?
“They which, in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it and bring forth good fruit”
Seek to be firmly rooted and converted to the gospel
Prayer, scripture reading, serving, regularly partaking of the sacrament
Mighty change of heart will replace selfish desires and concerns with a desire to love Him and serve His children

Elder L. Whitney Clayton
All of us will have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged rescue journeys
There will always be a spiritual light that beckons to it
Perceiving spiritual light begins with our willingness to believe
God requires that we at least initially desire to believe
“Let this desire work in you”
Give place in our hearts for the Savior’s words
Belief and faith require our personal choice and action
We seek before we find – promise is “Every one that asketh, receiveth”
“If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not; but if I do, though ye believe not me, believe my works”
Test of our lifetimes: will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of the gospel to grow within us . . . or insist on traveling in the dark?
There may be times when we have been hurt, when we are tired, when our lives seem dark and cold . . . if we are willing to believe, if we desire to believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior’s example will show us the way forward
We must choose to open our hearts to the divine reality of the Savior
God does not force us to believe. Instead, he invites us to believe
We are the ones who must choose to embrace those spiritual invitations
“The Father commandeth all men everywhere to repent and believe in me”
Belief, testimony, and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us.
We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior – we actively choose to believe
Give place for the hope that we will find spiritual light by choosing to believe rather than choosing to doubt
When we pray, read scriptures, fast, keep Sabbath day holy, worship in temple, get baptized, take sacrament, repent, we are choosing to belief
Spiritual progress may seem slow and intermittent. If you feel this way, please do not give up, ever. Go right on believing Him and in His gospel and church.
Decision to believe in Him will bless you immeasurably, and forever

Choir: Come Unto Jesus

Elder L. Tom Perry
“We now live in a culture of temporary. More and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment.”
Have courage to seek truth and lasting love, going against the common pattern
Sanctity of the institution of marriage, importance of families as basic unit of society
Various faiths are united on marriage, family, values, loyalty, commitment
Marriage- and family-centered priorities cut across political, economic, and religious boundaries
How do the LDS Church distinguish and differentiate itself from the rest of the world?
While it is wonderful to see and feel that we have so much in common with the rest of the world, only we have the eternal perspective of the restored gospel
We take the commitment and sanctity of families to a greater level because of our understanding that families go back before this world was, and will continue on through eternity
Entire theology of the restored gospel centers on families
In the LDS Church, we believe in pre-mortal life, where we all lived as spirits, children of God
Marriage ceremonies eliminate words “until death do us part,” instead “For time and all eternity”
Strong, traditional families are basis of strong society, stable economy, stable culture of families – also basic unit of eternity
Organization and government of heaven will be built around families and extended families
We as a church want to be leaders and participate in worldwide movements to strengthen families
Commitment to marriage and a family lifestyle is most sensible, economical, happiest way to live
Too much of tv, music, internet present classic case of minority masquerading as majority
It has never been harder to raise responsible children and keep marriage and families together
The solid majority of mankind still believes that marriage should be between one man and one woman
Fidelity within marriage, marriage vows “in sickness and in health, til death do us part”
Reassurance and comfort in knowing that marriage and family are still the aspiration and ideals of most people
As a church, we want to assist to create and support strong marriages and families
We want our voice to be heard sustaining the fulfillment that traditional families bring

Choir: I Believe in Christ

[ prayer ]


General Conference: Sunday afternoon

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducting

Choir: Sweet is the Work

[ prayer ]

Choir: I Stand All Amazed
[ watching closely to see our friend Christian! Superb job singing! ]

President Boyd K. Packer
Times of uncertainty focus our attention on things that matter
At last, I knew for myself. I knew for a certainty.
If such a thing came to me, it could come to anyone
Like most things of great worth, knowledge which is of eternal value comes only through personal prayer and pondering
God lives, He is our father, we are His children
Of all other titles God could have used, He chose to be called Father
Parenthood is a sacred privilege, and, depending on faithfulness, can be an eternal blessing
A family can be happy at home
The promise is eternal increase, and it will not be denied.
All things essential to our salvation will eventually be given
The Holy Ghost is real
Each son or daughter of our Heavenly Father can come to know the reality of Moroni’s promise by the power of the Holy Ghost
Underpinning all that we do is the Lord’s name, which is the authority by which we act in the church
Every prayer ends in His name, every ordinance, every ordination, every blessing done in the name of Jesus Christ
[ still waking up from a nap with a bad headache ]
Jesus Christ is the Son of God; He is our advocate with the Father
Share our testimony with our family and others
Remember, there is an adversary who personally seeks to disrupt the work of the Lord
We must choose who to follow
Decide individually to follow the Savior, so we faithfully remain on His side
The Savior lives. I know the Lord; I am His witness.

Elder William R. Walker
Live true to the faith. Commit now!
Learn the conversion stories of your forefathers
The Mormon pioneer heritage of faith and sacrifice is your heritage
ex: Wilford Woodruff, the United Brethren
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Early saints stayed true to the faith even after Joseph Smith’s martyrdom
ex: Mormon Battalion – “My faith is so strong as ever, and when I think of the things Brigham Young told us, I believe it about the same as if the Lord God told me.”
They knew they were led by a prophet of God
[ headache caused by lack of food. Time to eat ]

Elder L. Tom Perry
Eternal nature of the family unit
The driver knows best; horses must be obedient
Follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost
Out of respect for our agency, it is never a strong, forceful tug
If you veer off course, allow the Spirit to guide you back
Even with the slightest tug from the Master, we must be willing to completely alter our course
Today’s complexity demands greater simplicity
At its best, obedience is an emblem of our faith in the wisdom and power of the highest authority, even Almighty God
Our faithfulness, through obedience, will ultimately rescue us
Obedience is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power, and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence
It is a choice to sense the spiritual bit in our mouths and follow the driver’s lead

Choir & congregation: Hark All Ye Nations

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally”
Must ask God or ever remain in darkness and conversion
Joseph Smith, in his haste to know, is not hasty. This is a special prayer. He prepares
The church has spread throughout the world; opposition, criticism, and antagonism are companions to the truth
There will always be a force to oppose good
The Son of God, the Savior of all mankind – why did they not leave Him alone? Because He is the truth, and the truth will always be opposed
1. God is a personal, exalted being, an eternal father
2. God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate beings
3. You may become like God if you have faith, repent, receive ordinances, endure to the end
4. The Church of Jesus Christ today is fundamentally the same church he organized during his mortal ministry
5. Revelation has not ceased, the heavens have not closed, God speaks to prophets and He will speak to you
6. Those who live and die without the gospel are not lost. All mankind may be saved
7. You lived before earthly birth in the presence of God
8. Marriage and family are not conventions of men; they are intended to be eternal
9. The family is the pattern of heaven
These revelations are not the inventions of Joseph Smith
There is no dispute about what Joseph Smith accomplished, only how he did what he did and why
He was either pretender or prophet. He did it alone, or he had help from heaven
Do ask young Joseph and ask God – the pattern to know the truth of all things

Elder Michael John U. Teh
ex: natural disasters in Philippines
“We’re ok!” Their faith in Christ gave them hope that everything would work out eventually
Material things don’t matter in times of disaster and calamity
How much can we live without?
Most of us are involved in earning money and acquiring some of the world’s goods; it requires much of our time and attention
It is critical that we learn to recognize when we have enough
There is a strong inclination to obtain more and more
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth . . . but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven”
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
Pres. Uchtdorf: “Our Heavenly Father sees our real potential . . . why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so trivial?”
I will focus on things that will constitute our treasures in heaven
1. Acquire the Christlike attributes of faith, hope, humility, and charity
Put off the natural man and become as a child
Strive to be perfect like Him
2. Put more quality time and effort in strengthening family relationships
It is the most important unit in time and eternity
3. Serving others is a hallmark of a true follower of Christ
4. Understanding the doctrine of Christ and building our testimony
Consistently study the words of Christ and of living prophets
“I treasure my temple recommend and keep it under my pillow. I pay a full tithe on my meager income. No matter what happens, I will always pay tithing.”
Our priorities will have a direct bearing on our next estate

Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis
How can we recognize truth in a world that is increasingly blunt in its attack on the things of God?
1. Know the truth by recognizing its fruits
Improvement in the lives of those who follow the teachings of Christ
2. Experiment on the word ourselves
We are invited to test the word, given parameters, and told the outcome if we follow the instructions
Giving place for the word in our hearts and cultivating it like a seed
3. Personal revelation
Revelation is knowledge of whatsoever things we ask in faith
“I will tell it in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost”
Can be obtained by asking in faith with an honest heart
“Without faith you can do nothing; therefore, ask in faith”
Requires work studying it out, then asking in prayer if it is right
“He that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word””
Believe that we will receive revelation and have hope in God’s promises
It requires more effort than just searching the internet, but it is worth it

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
The declaration that Christ had risen from the dead was at first incomprehensible
The tomb was empty – John writes that he saw and believed
Angels tenderly asked Mary, “Why weepest thou?”
“Whom seekest thou?” Mary assumes he is the gardener
The voice, the tone, the tender accent she had heard and loved in the earlier days lifted her from the despairing depths to which she had sunk
“Ye shall be witnesses unto me”
Christ’s resurrection shows that His existence is independent and everlasting
Both as Jehovah and Messiah, He is the great I Am. He simply is, and ever will be.
We can have ultimate confidence and trust in His power to overcome all else and grant us everlasting life
“Even so in Christ shall all be made alive”
“Christ’s victory in death ended the human predicament. Now there are only personal predicaments.”
He is a perfect merciful God, thus He makes all things right. No injustice in life is permanent, not even death
Having redeemed us from the Fall, our lives are, in reality, His
Resurrection resolves the true identity of Jesus of Nazareth
If He was in fact literally resurrected, it follows that He is a divine being
Because He was resurrected, He cannot have been only a carpenter, a teacher, a rabbi, or a prophet. He had to have been a God
Therefore, what he taught is true – God does not lie
He will come again and reign personally upon the earth
There is a final judgment and a resurrection for all
Doubts about the meaning and purpose of life are unfounded
The grace of Christ is real, affording both forgiveness and cleansing to the repentant sinner
Repentance of any violation of the commandments is both possible and urgent
Given the reality of the resurrection of Christ, death is not our end
The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the apostles and prophets of Jesus Christ

President Thomas S. Monson
We’ve been fed spiritually, the music has been superb, the messages have been prepared and delivered under the promptings of the Holy Spirit
Take time to read the conference messages
Be kind and loving to those who do not share our beliefs and standards
We face many serious challenges, but our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He will guide and bless us as we put our faith and trust in Him
Constantly nourish our testimonies of the gospel
May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord
Realize how much our Father in Heaven loves us

Choir: Come, Let Us Anew

[ prayer ]


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 ]


General Conference: Saturday afternoon

President Henry B. Eyring conducting

Choir: Glory to God On High

[ prayer ]

[ for the past month I’ve been taking a half dose of Zoloft every day because I was going to run out of refills while our insurance was being processed/cancelled – and a half dose isn’t quite enough, so I had a MAJOR ANXIETY MELTDOWN for a bit ]

Elder Richard G. Scott
The children of Father in Heaven can do amazing things when they feel trusted.
No doctrine more fundamental to our work than the Atonement
At every appropriate opportunity, testify of the Savior and the power of His atoning sacrifice
He is the perfect pattern for everyone in life
Don’t become absorbed by trivial things
We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others
His gospel is the path to peace and happiness in this life
Share our love, trust, and knowledge of truth with others

Choir & congregation: We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet

Elder Robert D. Hales
Of all the lessons we learn from the life of the Savior, none is more clear and powerful than the lesson of obedience
In the premortal life, those who followed Lucifer ended their eternal progression
Jesus expressed His commitment to obey: “Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thing forever”
He learned obedience by the things which He suffered
He prepared the way for us to return to our Heavenly Father, who knew we would make mistakes as we learned obedience in mortality
When we obey, we accept His sacrifice, for we believe that through Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws, ordinances, and commandments of the gospel
At baptism we take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ
Covenant with God that we will be obedient until the end of our lives
As we repent by turning away from disobedience and by beginning to obey again we show our love for Christ
We progress in our understanding of obedience as we live the gospel
Natural man’s obedience: we reject God’s law in favor of our wisdom or desires or popularity
[ internet stopped working ]
We will recognize the central role of agency
In the Garden of Gethsemane: “Let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.”
Savior obediently endured to the end even though it meant great suffering and death
Obedience is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father
[ crockpot made a noise and Ender thought it was someone knocking at the door ]
Using our agency to obey means choosing to do what is right and letting the consequence follow
It requires mastery and brings confident eternal happiness
It is impossible for others to modify God’s commandments, which were given for our good
To rationalize disobedience does not change spiritual law or its consequences
We have a sacred obligation to uphold the laws and commandments of the Savior
ex: Joseph Smith, Martin Harris – manuscript
“Learn in thy youth to keep
Obedience makes us progressively stronger, capable of enduring tests and trials in the future
“Be humble, be submissive, be gentle”

Elder Claudio D. Zivic
ex: child told to practice piano; gradually love music and practice without prompting
It would be wonderful to have a desire deep in our hearts to keep the commandments without anyone constantly reminding us
How often do we make a mistake about the right way, letting ourselves be led along by the trends of the world?
Are we being doers of the words of Jesus Christ?
Through repentance, we can humble ourselves, change our actions, and draw closer to our Heavenly Father
[ had to look up where Elder Zivic is from…born in Buenos Aires ]
Do not lose sight of the way
Currents of the world will not sweep us away
Jesus Christ lives. He exhorts us, “Hearken all ye nations of the earth, and hear the words of that God who created you.”

Elder W. Craig Zwick
ex: big rig cab filled with smoke, wife jumped out
“I was just trying to save our son.”
“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but only that which is good and edifying that it may administer grace unto the hearers.”
Anger is an emotional electrical short
We have all had the opportunity to learn how destructive words can take a situation from hazardous to fatal
Treat all people with civility, even when we disagree
“Grievous words stirreth up anger”
Doesn’t mean we never speak directly or that we compromise doctrinal truth
The entire human race seems to be surprisingly proficient in the language of doubt, blame, and fear
Cultivate respect across wide distances of belief and behavior and across deep canyons of conflicting opinions
It doesn’t matter who is “more right,” what matters is listening to each other and understanding the other’s perception
Ministering grace can change us
Through compassionate language, we can have empathy for the feelings and context of others

Elder Quentin L. Cook
In this life we laugh, we cry, we work, we play…and then we die
Yes, we will live again because of the atoning sacrifice of the Savior
[ kids are CRAZY ]
[ I am CRAZY ]
We act as agents for those who have died without baptism and give them the privilege of coming forth in the first resurrection
[ snack ]
[ various distractions ]

Choir: High On the Mountain Top

[ prayer ]


General Conference: Saturday morning

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducting

Choir: Press Forward Saints

[ prayer ]

Choir: Lead Kindly Light

President Thomas S. Monson
United in our desire to listen to these messages
Work of church has moved forward unhindered
When all previously announced temples complete, 170 operating
Continue determining needs and finding locations
No new temples announced until others are complete

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
If you haven’t already, you will one day be called on to defend your faith
Will require courage and courtesy on your part
“Viewed Christ’s death and suffered his cross and borne the shame of the world”
Long history of rejection and painfully high price paid by prophets, apostles, missionaries, and members
All those who honor God’s call to lift humanity to a more excellent way
Angels of heaven weep as they record the cost of discipleship
Savior shed tears over those who were rejected and slain in His service
You may wonder if it’s worth it to take a courageous moral stand, or serve as a missionary – YES, because the alternative is to have our houses “left unto us desolate”
From time to time, messengers are called upon to worry, warn, weep
That’s the full price of discipleship
“These children will not hear the law of the Lord. They say to the seers, see not; and to the prophets, prophesy not unto us right things. Speak unto us smooth things.”
If people want any gods at all, they want them to be gods who do not demand much
Those who not only don’t rock the boat but don’t even row
Man creating God in his own image
Jesus is not a comfortable, easy-on-the-ear, popular God
What would Jesus do? – won’t always bring a popular response
“Love one another as I have loved you.”
Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet
Righteousness is ALWAYS supposed to accompany Christlike love
If love is our watchword, then we must forsake transgression and any hint of advocacy for it in others
Pure Christlike love can change the world.
Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and compassion, but defend them.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband
Massive tornado in Oklahama altered landscape, lives of people in its path
Pres. Monson: “First, tell them I love them. Second, tell them I am praying for them. And third, please thank all those who are helping.”
[ Evan sobbing about something ]
[ explaining again to kids that now is a good time to listen quietly ]
Reaching out to rescue one another under any condition is an eternal measure of love
“When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of you God.”
Service prepares us to value and love what the Lord loves, witnesses that we are His disciples

Elder Carlos H. Amado
Christ’s preaching was simple, His ministry consisted of blessing people one by one
Though His disciples were charged with performing miracles, only Christ could forgive sins
“He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall have life.”
“If thou wouldst believe, thou would see the glory of God.”
[ between his accent & the kids being noisy I missed most of this talk ]

Choir & congregation: Choose the Right

Sister Linda S. Reeves
Satan attacking with unprecedented fury
Part of our earthly experience is to learn to control our desires
In marriage, “the spouse becomes preeminent . . . and no other interest or person or thing shall ever take precedence over the companion’s spouse.”
Many children, youth, and adults are innocently exposed to pornography
Often those addicted can’t overcome on their own
Don’t react with shock, anger, or rejection when someone admits and asks for help
Pornography overtakes lives, causes loss of the Spirit, loss of self-control, deceit, total consumption of time, thought, and energy
Counsel with children and create a family plan
Filters on electronic devices – mobile devices are the biggest culprit
Remember our Savior is merciful. He can remove the pain and sorrow you feel and make you clean again
Addiction support is available
How do we protect our children and youth?
The greatest filter in the world is the personal eternal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior’s sacrifice for every one of us
“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ . . . that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins”
Parents may be desperate for help, plead to know what to do
It’s ok if the house is a mess and the kids are still in their pjs and many things are left undone
The only things that really need to be accomplished are daily family scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening
Change your focus, don’t worry about less important things
Talk, rejoice, preach and testify of Christ in your home
Blessings of daily scripture study and prayer!
These are the very practices that will take away stress
Start with ourselves, and influence of Spirit will begin to fill our homes and lives
Search out ancestors, be protected now and throughout lives
Keep ourselves worthy of a temple recommend

Elder Neal A. Anderson
Youth: yours is a chosen generation of destiny
The world will not glide calmly toward the Second Coming
“All things shall be in commotion”
Sin always has been and always will be a part of this world, but it has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable.
You are God’s sons and daughters; made your spirit strong and capable
The whirlwinds in your youth can increase your spiritual strength
How do you prepare?
Helaman 5:12 – this is your safety.
“Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it is growing ever wider.”
Remain true to that which God has commanded
The Lord has not redefined marriage – the purposes of marriage go far beyond the personal satisfaction and fulfillment of adults
Ideal setting for children to be born, reared, and nurtured
Families are the treasures of heaven
Our responsibility is to teach Heavenly Father’s plan for His children and warn the dangers of not obeying His commandments
Sometimes you have to stand alone
Everyone, independent of decisions and beliefs, deserves our kindness and consideration
Beware of self-righteousness
In the gospel of Jesus Christ, there is no place for ridicule, bullying, or bigotry.
“The only safety we have . . . is to learn to give heed to the words and commandments the Lord shall give through His prophet.”
85% church members live within 200 miles of a temple
Lord has given us greater access to temples than any other generation in the history of the world
There is a tangible feeling of holiness in the temple
As you learn about your ancestors, you will see patterns of righteousness (and occasionally patterns you will want to avoid)
Don’t let the whirlwinds drag you down
These are your days to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ
Follow more diligently His example and His commandments
As you do, you will see the whirlwinds as tests, temptations, distractions, or challenges to help you grow
As you live righteously, your experiences will confirm to you that Jesus is the Christ
The spiritual rock under your feet will be solid and secure

Choir: A New Commandment I Give Unto You

President Henry B. Eyring
Every day and every hour, you can choose to make or keep a covenant with God
You have the opportunity to show many people the way to greater happiness
Choose to leave an inheritance of hope to those who follow your example
In sacrament meetings, we renew our promise to follow the Savior
Honor the example of faith and hope in the hearts of those who went before us
You may be the first in your family to lead the way to the celestial kingdom
It takes faith to keep sacred covenants for a lifetime
We have temptation, trials, and death as our universal inheritance
However, our loving Heavenly Father gave us the gift of His beloved son Jesus Christ as our Savior
The promise of the resurrection and the possibility of eternal life is also our universal inheritance
[ kids trying to lure the dog for presumably nefarious purposes ]

Choir: Come O Thou King of Kings


Blessing

Recently I’ve started to panic about life after graduation. Who knows where we’ll be? Who knows if Jarom will be able to find a job at all? I play out unlikely but worrisome scenarios in my head, growing more and more desperate as I go on.

Last night I went to bed at 8. Well, at 8 I laid down in bed and cried because I was worried about being broke and hopeless later this year. Then I prayed and pleaded for things to somehow work out. Then I went to sleep.

Today we got Jarom’s W-2 in the mail and I sat down to file our taxes. And it turns out we should be getting a hefty refund, enough to see us through at least 5 months with no other income. It’s a perfect safety net. Perfect timing. And really, an answer to a prayer.


General Conference: Sunday morning

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducting

Choir: Lead Us Into Life Eternal

Choir: Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah

[ prayer ]

Choir: Consider the Lilies

President Henry B. Eyring
baptismal covenants Mosiah 18:9
1. become charitable (mourn with those that mourn)
recent Day of Service throughout Church
Mosiah 2:18 service of fellow beings
Moroni 7:47 charity is the pure love of Christ
as you serve others for God, He lets you feel His love
feelings of charity become part of your very nature
2. be witnesses of God
Book of Mormon will lift, guide, embolden you
parents bring spirit of Book of Mormon into home
teach with increased conviction, bear witness with power
3. endure to keep the commandments
be fully converted
press on after a life of dedicated service
“fixed and controlling determination to keep His commandments”
Moroni 10:32
first step to full conversion is faith
prophets ancient and modern will draw you closer to God
drink deeply and often from pages of Book of Mormon
contains fullness of gospel of Jesus Christ; true and sure witness of Him

Elder Robert D. Hales
why do we have trials even when we try to do God’s will?
examples: Christ, Joseph Smith, pioneers
purpose of life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through experience
Isaiah 40:31 wait upon the Lord
mortal challenges allow us to see whether we’ll exercise agency to follow Christ
we may not understand why a trial comes
Psalms 30:5 joy cometh in the morning
[ June freaking out about not getting fresh peaches MORE MORE NOW ]
ponder and receive the Holy Ghost to know what we should do
tribulation worketh patience; continue in patience until we are perfected
stand fast, trust the Lord in faith – perfect brightness of hope
understanding is given line upon line
too often we pray for patience but want it right now
“sincere prayer is answered – some time somehow”
[ Evan freaking out about not getting fresh peaches MORE MORE NOW ]
we are more beloved to the Lord than we can possibly imagine
be kind to others, and even kinder to ourselves

Elder Tad R. Collister
Book of Mormon is either of God or the devil (claims to be word of God)
[ June playing peekaboo with a clear yellow Ikea plate ]
either Christ was son of God or not; can’t be just “good moral teacher”
2 Nephi 32:3, Helaman 5:12 – could these come from the devil?
why have Book of Mormon if we already have Bible?
many interpretations lead to many Christian churches
Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism
divine law of witnesses – why is second witness needed?
Book of Mormon is confirming, clarifying witness of Bible truths
[ diaper change ]

Choir & congregation: We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet

Sister Elaine S. Dalton
how do fathers raise daughters in today’s world?
most important thing: love her mother
will learn from you what to expect from young men
teach her to never settle for less
make a celestial marriage; worthy of greatest efforts and highest priority
manner of happiness = covenant keeping
YW helps understand identity as daughter of God
commit now to live worthy of temple blessings
father’s example is louder than YW teaching
help daughter prepare for and remain worthy for temple
take with you to do baptisms at 12
popular culture tries to demean role as patriarch, father
roles given by divine design
preside over families in love and righteousness
be guardians of virtue – pure thoughts, clean actions, holiness
personal virtue will model moral courage, strength for children
personal purity will give you power
be present in daughter’s life
help her understand value of education
if she is late for a date, go get her
you are not ordinary men – priesthood sets you apart
you are your daughter’s hero
testimony is powerful influence on daughters

M. Russell Ballard
weekly renew baptismal covenant to take Christ’s name upon us
Savior’s name is only name by which we can be saved
full name of Church is important; uphold and teach full name
how can any description be more clear than name of Church?
same church that Jesus established during His mortal ministry
restoration of true and complete church in modern times
Saints are those who seek to make their lives holy by following Christ
name tells us exactly who we are and what we believe
Mosiah 5:12 retain His name written always in your heart
follow Christ by being latter-day disciples
impact of using Church’s full name
only one church in all the world that bears Christ’s name by divine command

Choir: I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

President Thomas S. Monson
changing world in past 84 years
abandonment of traditional ethics in 1960s
world says morality is passe, conscience is for wimps
overriding commandment seems to be “Thou shalt not be found out”
we are responsible for our actions
laws of God remain constant, have not changed, will not change
our code of conduct is definitive – not negotiable
constancy of God is something on which we can rely
joy to lives, peace to souls from following Savior and keeping commandments
[ sibling trouble ]

Choir: I Believe in Christ

[ prayer ]

Choir:

[ prayer ]