April 2019 General Conference – ASL

April 2019 General Conference – ASL


THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ GENTLY RAISE
THE SACRED STRAIN, ♪ ♪ FOR THE SABBATH’S
COME AGAIN ♪ ♪ THAT MAN MAY REST,
THAT MAN MAY REST. ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM HISTORIC TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, WE WELCOME YOU TO MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD WITH THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. ♪♪ CONDUCTING TODAY’S PROGRAM IS MACK WILBERG, WITH ORGANIST ANDREW UNSWORTH, AND THE SPOKEN WORD BY LLOYD NEWELL. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ LET ZION
IN HER BEAUTY RISE; ♪ ♪ HER LIGHT
BEGINS TO SHINE. ♪ ♪ LET ZION
IN HER BEAUTY RISE; ♪ ♪ HER LIGHT
BEGINS TO SHINE. ♪ ♪ ERE LONG HER KING
WILL REND THE SKIES, ♪ ♪ MAJESTIC AND DIVINE. ♪ ♪ THE GOSPEL SPREADING
THROUGH THE LAND. ♪ ♪ A PEOPLE TO PREPARE ♪ ♪ TO MEET THE LORD
AND ENOCH’S BAND, ♪ ♪ TRIUMPHANT
IN THE AIR. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ YE HERALDS,
SOUND THE GOLDEN TRUMP ♪ ♪ TO EARTH’S
REMOTEST BOUND. ♪ ♪ GO SPREAD THE NEWS
FROM POLE TO POLE ♪ ♪ IN ALL THE NATIONS
ROUND; ♪ ♪ THAT JESUS
IN THE CLOUDS ABOVE, ♪ ♪ WITH HOSTS
OF ANGELS TOO, ♪ ♪ WILL SOON APPEAR,
HIS SAINTS TO SAVE, ♪ ♪ HIS ENEMIES SUBDUE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THAT GLORIOUS REST
WILL THEN COMMENCE ♪ ♪ WHICH PROPHETS
DID FORETELL, ♪ ♪ WHEN SAINTS WILL REIGN
WITH CHRIST ON EARTH, ♪ ♪ AND IN HIS PRESENCE
DWELL ♪ ♪ A THOUSAND YEARS,
OH, GLORIOUS DAY! ♪ ♪ DEAR LORD
PREPARE MY HEART ♪ ♪ TO STAND WITH THEE
ON ZION’S MOUNT ♪ ♪ AND NEV-ER-MORE
TO PART. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AND NEV-ER-MORE
TO PART. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ MY SHEPHERD
WILL SUPPLY MY NEED; ♪ ♪ JEHOVAH
IS HIS NAME; ♪ ♪ IN PASTURES FRESH
HE MAKES ME FEED, ♪ ♪ BESIDE
THE LIVING STREAM. ♪ ♪ HE BRINGS MY WAND’RING
SPIRIT BACK, ♪ ♪ WHEN I FORSAKE
HIS WAYS, ♪ ♪ AND LEADS ME
FOR HIS MERCY’S SAKE, ♪ ♪ IN PATHS
OF TRUTH AND GRACE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHEN I WALK THROUGH
THE SHADES OF DEATH, ♪ ♪ THY PRESENCE
IS MY STAY; ♪ ♪ ONE WORD OF THY
SUPPORTING BREATH ♪ ♪ DRIVES
ALL MY FEARS AWAY. ♪ ♪ THY HAND, IN SIGHT
OF ALL MY FOES, ♪ ♪ DOTH STILL
MY TABLE SPREAD; ♪ ♪ MY CUP WITH BLESSINGS
OVERFLOWS, ♪ ♪ THINE OIL
ANOINTS MY HEAD. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE SURE PROVISIONS
OF MY GOD ♪ ♪ ATTEND ME
ALL MY DAYS; ♪ ♪ O MAY THY HOUSE
BE MINE ABODE ♪ ♪ AND ALL MY WORK
BE PRAISE! ♪ ♪ THERE WOULD I FIND
A SETTLED REST ♪ ♪ WHILE OTHERS
GO AND COME, ♪ ♪ NO MORE A STRANGER,
NOR A GUEST; ♪ ♪ BUT LIKE A CHILD
AT HOME. ♪ ♪ NO MORE A STRANGER,
NOR A GUEST; ♪ ♪ BUT LIKE A CHILD
AT HOME, ♪ ♪ NO MORE A STRANGER,
NOR A GUEST; ♪ ♪ BUT LIKE A CHILD
AT HOME. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE HIM,
HEAV’NLY KING OF GLORY, ♪ ♪ CHOSEN E’ER
TO WITNESS FOR HIS NAME, ♪ ♪ FAR AND WIDE WE TELL
THE FATHER’S STORY, ♪ ♪ FAR AND WIDE
HIS LOVE PROCLAIM. ♪ ♪ ONWARD, EVER ONWARD,
AS WE GLORY IN HIS NAME; ♪ ♪ ONWARD, EVER ONWARD,
AS WE GLORY IN HIS NAME; ♪ ♪ FORWARD, PRESSING FORWARD,
AS A TRIUMPH SONG WE SING. ♪ ♪ GOD OUR STRENGTH WILL BE;
PRESS FORWARD EVER, ♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE
OUR KING. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ CALLED TO KNOW THE RICHNESS
OF HIS BLESSING; ♪ ♪ SONS AND DAUGHTERS,
CHILDREN OF A KING; ♪ ♪ GLAD OF HEART,
HIS HOLY NAME CONFESSING, ♪ ♪ PRAISES UNTO HIM
WE BRING. ♪ ♪ ONWARD, EVER ONWARD,
AS WE GLORY IN HIS NAME; ♪ ♪ ONWARD, EVER ONWARD,
AS WE GLORY IN HIS NAME; ♪ ♪ FORWARD, PRESSING FORWARD,
AS A TRIUMPH SONG WE SING. ♪ ♪ GOD OUR STRENGTH WILL BE;
PRESS FORWARD EVER, ♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE
OUR KING. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ FORWARD, PRESSING FORWARD,
AS A TRIUMPH SONG WE SING. ♪ ♪ GOD OUR STRENGTH WILL BE;
PRESS FORWARD EVER, ♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE
OUR KING. ♪ ♪ GOD OUR STRENGTH WILL BE;
PRESS FORWARD EVER, ♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE
OUR KING. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ CALLED TO SERVE
OUR KING. ♪ ♪ OUR KING! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I SEE MY MOTHER KNEELING
WITH OUR FAMILY EACH DAY ♪ ♪ I HEAR THE WORDS SHE WHISPERS
AS THE BOWS HER HEAD TO PRAY ♪ ♪ HER PLEA TO THE FATHER
QUIETS ALL MY FEARS, ♪ ♪ AND I AM THANKFUL
LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ MINE IS A HOME WHERE
EVERY HOUR ♪ ♪ IS BLESSED BY THE STRENGTH
OF THE PRIESTHOOD POW’R, ♪ ♪ WITH FATHER AND MOTHER
LEADING THE WAY, ♪ ♪ TEACHING ME HOW
TO TRUST AND OBEY, ♪ ♪ AND THE THINGS THEY
TEACH ARE CRYSTAL CLEAR, ♪ ♪ FOR LOVE IS
SPOKEN HERE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I SEE MY MOTHER KNEELING
WITH OUR FAMILY EACH DAY ♪ ♪ MINE IS A HOME WHERE
EVERY HOUR ♪ ♪ I HEAR THE WORDS SHE WHISPERS
AS THE BOWS HER HEAD TO PRAY ♪ ♪ IS BLESSED THE STRENGTH
OF THE PRIESTHOOD POW’R, ♪ ♪ HER PLEA TO THE FATHER
QUIETS ALL MY FEARS, ♪ ♪ WITH FATHER AND MOTHER
LEADING THE WAY, ♪ ♪ TEACHING ME HOW
TO TRUST AND OBEY, ♪ ♪ AND I AM THANKFUL
LOVE IS SPOKEN HERE. ♪ ♪ AND THE THINGS THEY
TEACH ARE CRYSTAL CLEAR, ♪ ♪ FOR LOVE IS
SPOKEN HERE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I CAN OFTEN FEEL
THE SAVIOR NEAR ♪ ♪ WHEN LOVE IS
SPOKEN HERE. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>EVERY PERSON DESERVES TO BE REMEMBERED, ACKNOWLEDGED, AND APPRECIATED. UNFORTUNATELY, NOT EVERY PERSON IS. WHO AMONG US HAS NOT FELT FORGOTTEN OR UNNOTICED AT TIMES? IN MANY WAYS, MODERN LIFE SEEMS SO IMPERSONAL, WITH MORE TOOLS FOR COMMUNICATION BUT FEWER TRUE CONNECTIONS OR DEEP RELATIONSHIPS. TOO MANY PEOPLE FEEL ALONE, EVEN WHEN SURROUNDED BY A CROWD. SOME 2,600 YEARS AGO, THE PROPHET JEREMIAH WAS CALLED TO PREACH REPENTANCE TO THE PEOPLE OF HIS DAY. ON A GOOD DAY, HE WAS IGNORED. MORE OFTEN, HE WAS REJECTED AND ACTIVELY OPPOSED. BUT HE KNEW HE WASN’T ALONE. “O LORD,” HE SAID, “THOU KNOWEST: REMEMBER ME, AND VISIT ME. … THY WORD WAS UNTO ME THE JOY AND REJOICING OF MINE HEART: FOR I AM CALLED BY THY NAME, O LORD GOD OF HOSTS” IN TRUTH, THERE IS ONE WHO WILL NEVER FORGET US OR FORSAKE US, ONE WHO WATCHES OVER ALL. NO MATTER OUR STATUS OR HISTORY, NO MATTER OUR PAST OR PRESENT, NO MATTER OUR SOCIAL STANDING OR NET WORTH, WE HAVE INFINITE WORTH TO GOD. EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE KNOWS WHAT WE’RE GOING THROUGH, HE KNOWS. EVEN WHEN NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO REMEMBER US, HE REMEMBERS. ONCE YOU’VE FELT THAT, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE YOURSELF– OR ANYONE ELSE– IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN. ALMOST INSTINCTIVELY, YOU WANT TO HELP OTHERS FEEL VALUED, UNDERSTOOD, AND REMEMBERED TOO. IN THAT SENSE, EACH OF US HAS BEEN CALLED AS JEREMIAH WAS: WE ARE CALLED UPON TO DO OUR PART TO MAKE THE WORLD A LITTLE BETTER-ONE PERSON AT A TIME. WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE, TO BLESS, AND TO CARE ABOUT OTHERS. IT’S THE SUREST CURE FOR FEELING LONELY OR UNAPPRECIATED. RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON OURSELVES, WE CAN NOTICE THE PEOPLE AROUND US: THE GOOD THEY DO, THE SERVICE THEY GIVE, THE CHALLENGES THEY FACE, THE BURDENS THEY CARRY. PERHAPS WE CAN’T SOLVE EVERY PROBLEM, BUT IF SOMEONE FEELS LONELY, UNKNOWN, UNNOTICED, OR UNLOVED–WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT! ALL IT TAKES IS ANSWERING THE CALL TO SHARE A BIT OF THE LOVE GOD SHARES WITH US. A FRIENDLY SMILE, A LISTENING EAR, A KIND WORD CAN BE TO THOSE IN NEED “THE JOY AND REJOICING OF [THEIR] HEART.” ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ THY WORDS WERE FOUND,
AND I DID EAT THEM; ♪ ♪ AND THY WORD
WAS UNTO ME THE JOY ♪ ♪ AND REJOICING
OF MINE HEART: ♪ ♪ FOR I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ O LORD GOD
OF HOSTS. ♪ ♪ FOR I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ I AM CALLED
BY THY NAME, ♪ ♪ O LORD GOD
OF HOSTS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ LORD GOD
OF HOSTS. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ ARISE, O GOD,
AND SHINE ♪ ♪ IN ALL
THY SAVING MIGHT, ♪ ♪ AND PROSPER
EACH DESIGN ♪ ♪ TO SPREAD
THY GLORIOUS LIGHT; ♪ ♪ LET HEALING STREAMS
OF MERCY FLOW, ♪ ♪ THAT ALL THE EARTH
THY TRUTH MAY KNOW. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ BRING DISTANT
NATIONS NEAR ♪ ♪ TO SING
THY GLORIOUS PRAISE; ♪ ♪ LET EV’RY PEOPLE HEAR
AND LEARN THY HOLY WAYS. ♪ ♪ REIGN, MIGHTY GOD,
ASSERT THY CAUSE, ♪ ♪ AND GOVERN BY
THY RIGHTEOUS LAWS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ PUT FORTH
THY GLORIOUS POW’R ♪ ♪ THAT GENTILES
ALL MAY SEE, ♪ ♪ AND EARTH PRESENT
HER STORE ♪ ♪ IN CONVERTS
BORN TO THEE. ♪ ♪ O LORD, OUR GOD,
THY CHURCH SO BLESS, ♪ ♪ AND FILL THE WORLD
WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ TO GOD,
THE ONLY WISE, ♪ ♪ THE ONE
IMMORTAL KING, ♪ ♪ LET HALLELUJAHS RISE
FROM EV’RY LIVING THING; ♪ ♪ LET ALL,
LET ALL THAT BREATHE, ♪ ♪ PRAISE FATHER,
SON AND HOLY GHOST. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ON EV’RY COAST, ♪ ♪ PRAISE FATHER,
SON AND HOLY GHOST. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>TODAY’S PERFORMANCE CONTINUES THE 90TH YEAR OF THIS HISTORIC PROGRAM. PLEASE JOIN US NEXT TIME FOR MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD . UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN, MAY PEACE BE WITH YOU THIS DAY AND ALWAYS. ♪ GOD BE WITH YOU
TILL WE MEET AGAIN; ♪ ♪ BY HIS COUNSELS GUIDE,
UPHOLD YOU; ♪ ♪ WITH HIS SHEEP
SECURELY FOLD YOU. ♪ ♪ GOD BE WITH YOU
TILL WE MEET AGAIN. ♪♪ CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:/
[email protected] ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SUNDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WITH SPEAKERS SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST IS FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED ♪ THAT MEN MAY HEAR
THE GRATEFUL SONG ♪ PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION.ORY! ♪♪ ♪ TO HIM ALL PRAISE
AND GLORY! ♪♪>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO THE SUNDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED ME TO CONDUCT THIS SESSION. WE EXTEND OUR GREETINGS AND BLESSINGS TO THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THESE PROCEEDINGS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BY RADIO, TELEVISION, THE INTERNET, OR SATELLITE TRANSMISSION. WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND THE GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH WHO ARE IN ATTENDANCE THIS MORNING. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MACK WILBERG AND ANDREW UNSWORTH AND BRIAN MATHIAS AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR OPENED THIS MEETING BY SINGING “SING PRAISE TO HIM,” AND WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER BRADLEY D. FOSTER OF THE SEVENTY, AFTER WHICH, THE CHOIR WILL SING “I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE.” ♪♪ ♪ HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION,
YE SAINTS OF THE LORD, ♪ ♪ IS LAID FOR YOUR FAITH
IN HIS EXCELLENT WORD! ♪ ♪ WHAT MORE CAN HE SAY
THAN TO YOU HE HATH SAID, ♪ ♪ WHO UNTO
THE SAVIOR, ♪ ♪ WHO UNTO
THE SAVIOR, ♪ ♪ WHO UNTO THE SAVIOR
FOR REFUGE HAVE FLED? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN EV’RY CONDITION
IN SICKNESS, IN HEALTH, ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN EV’RY CONDITION
IN SICKNESS, IN HEALTH, ♪ ♪ IN POVERTY’S VALE
OR ABOUNDING IN WEALTH, ♪ ♪ AT HOME OR ABROAD,
ON THE LAND OR THE SEA ♪ ♪ AS THY DAYS
MAY DEMAND, ♪ ♪ AS THY DAYS
MAY DEMAND, ♪ ♪ AS THY DAYS MAY DEMAND
SO THY SUCCOR SHALL BE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ FEAR NOT, I AM WITH THEE;
OH, BE NOT DISMAYED, ♪ ♪ FOR I AM THY GOD
AND WILL STILL GIVE THEE AID. ♪ ♪ I’LL STRENGTHEN THEE,
HELP THEE, ♪ ♪ AND CAUSE THEE
TO STAND, ♪ ♪ UPHELD BY
MY RIGHTEOUS, ♪ ♪ UPHELD BY
MY RIGHTEOUS, ♪ ♪ UPHELD BY MY RIGHTEOUS,
OMNIPOTENT HAND. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE SOUL THAT ON JESUS
HATH LEANED FOR REPOSE ♪ ♪ I WILL NOT, I CANNOT,
DESERT TO HIS FOES; ♪ ♪ THAT SOUL, THOUGH ALL HELL
SHOULD ENDEAVOR TO SHAKE, ♪ ♪ I’LL NEVER,
NO NEVER, ♪ ♪ I’LL NEVER,
NO NEVER, ♪ ♪ I’LL NEVER, NO NEVER,
NO NEVER FORSAKE! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I’LL NEVER, NO NEVER,
NO NEVER FORSAKE! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER BRADLEY D. FOSTER: OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, ON THIS SABBATH MORNING WE BOW OUR HEADS HUMBLY IN EXPRESSIONS OF GRATITUDE AND PRAYER. HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE, FATHER, FOR THY BEAUTIFUL PLAN OF HAPPINESS NO MATTER WHEN AND WHERE THEY LIVED UPON THE EARTH AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT EACH OF US HAVE TO GATHER TOGETHER OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS BACK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME. WE LOVE AND APPRECIATE LIVING APOSTLES AND PROPHETS AND HOW THEY HELP US TO SEE THY PLAN CLEARLY. FATHER, BLESS THOSE WHO HAVE PREPARED MESSAGES FOR US TODAY THROUGH SONG AND WORD AND HELP US TO FEEL BY THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT THOSE THINGS THAT WE EACH NEED TO RECEIVE TODAY THROUGH PERSONAL REVELATION. WE ASK THAT THY THE HOLY GHOST WILL WRITE THOSE THINGS UPON OUR HEARTS THAT WE WILL REMEMBER ALWAYS. FOR THESE THINGS WE PRAY IN THE SACRED NAME, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE
IN ALL THE WORLD AROUND ME. ♪ ♪ HIS SPIRIT WARMS MY SOUL
THROUGH EV’RYTHING I SEE. ♪ ♪ HE KNOWS I WILL FOLLOW HIM,
GIVE ALL MY LIFE TO HIM. ♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE,
THE LOVE HE FREELY GIVES ME. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE;
ITS GENTLENESS ENFOLDS ME, ♪ ♪ AND WHEN I KNEEL TO PRAY,
MY HEART IS FILLED WITH PEACE. ♪ ♪ HE KNOWS I WILL FOLLOW HIM,
GIVE ALL MY LIFE TO HIM. ♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE,
THE LOVE HE FREELY GIVES ME. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE AND
KNOW THAT HE WILL BLESS ME. ♪ ♪ I OFFER HIM MY HEART.
MY SHEPHERD HE WILL BE. ♪ ♪ HE KNOWS I WILL FOLLOW HIM,
GIVE ALL MY LIFE TO HIM. ♪ ♪ I FEEL MY SAVIOR’S LOVE,
THE LOVE HE FREELY GIVES ME. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ LOVE HE FREELY
GIVES ME. ♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: WE WILL NOW BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM ELDER DALE G. RENLUND OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY SISTER SHARON L. EUBANK, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE RELIEF SOCIETY GENERAL PRESIDENCY. ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, WILL THEN ADDRESS US.>>ELDER DALE G. RENLUND: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST DESIRE TO BLESS EACH OF US. THE QUESTION OF HOW TO ACCESS AND OBTAIN THOSE BLESSINGS HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF THEOLOGICAL DEBATE AND DISCUSSION FOR CENTURIES. SOME CONTEND THAT BLESSINGS ARE COMPLETELY EARNED; WE RECEIVE THEM ONLY THROUGH OUR WORKS. OTHERS ARGUE THAT GOD HAS ALREADY CHOSEN WHO HE WILL BLESS AND HOW–AND THAT THESE DETERMINATIONS ARE UNCHANGEABLE. BOTH POSITIONS ARE FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. BLESSINGS FROM HEAVEN ARE NEITHER EARNED BY FRENETICALLY ACCRUING “GOOD DEED COUPONS,” NOR BY HELPLESSLY WAITING TO SEE IF WE WIN THE BLESSING LOTTERY. NO, THE TRUTH IS MUCH MORE NUANCED, BUT MORE APPROPRIATE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS POTENTIAL HEIRS–US. RESTORED TRUTH REVEALS THAT BLESSINGS ARE NEVER EARNED, BUT FAITH-INSPIRED ACTIONS ON OUR PART, BOTH INITIAL AND ONGOING, ARE ESSENTIAL. AS WE CONSIDER HOW WE RECEIVE BLESSINGS FROM GOD, LET US LIKEN HEAVENLY BLESSINGS TO A MASSIVE PILE OF WOOD. IMAGINE AT THE CENTER, A SMALL MOUND OF KINDLING, TOPPED BY A LAYER OF WOOD CHIPS. STICKS COME NEXT, THEN SMALL LOGS, AND FINALLY HUGE LOGS. THIS WOODPILE CONTAINS AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF FUEL, CAPABLE OF PRODUCING LIGHT AND HEAT FOR DAYS. ENVISION NEXT TO THE WOODPILE A SINGLE MATCH, THE KIND WITH A PHOSPHORUS TIP. FOR THE ENERGY IN THE WOODPILE TO BE RELEASED, THE MATCH NEEDS TO BE STRUCK AND THE KINDLING LIT. THE KINDLING WILL QUICKLY CATCH FIRE AND CAUSE THE LARGER PIECES OF WOOD TO BURN. ONCE THIS COMBUSTION REACTION STARTS, IT CONTINUES UNTIL ALL THE WOOD IS BURNED OR THE FIRE IS DEPRIVED OF OXYGEN. STRIKING THE MATCH AND LIGHTING THE KINDLING ARE SMALL ACTIONS THAT ENABLE THE POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE WOOD TO BE RELEASED. UNTIL THE MATCH IS STRUCK, NOTHING HAPPENS, REGARDLESS OF THE SIZE OF THE WOOD PILE. IF THE MATCH IS STRUCK BUT NOT APPLIED TO THE KINDLING, THE AMOUNT OF LIGHT AND HEAT RELEASED FROM THE MATCH ALONE IS MINISCULE AND THE COMBUSTION ENERGY IN THE WOOD REMAINS UNRELEASED. IF OXYGEN IS NOT AVAILABLE AT ANY POINT, THE COMBUSTION REACTION STOPS. IN A SIMILAR WAY, MOST BLESSINGS THAT GOD DESIRES TO GIVE US REQUIRE ACTION ON OUR PART– ACTION BASED ON OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. FAITH IN THE SAVIOR IS A PRINCIPLE OF ACTION AND OF POWER. FIRST WE ACT IN FAITH, THEN THE POWER COMES–ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL AND TIMING. THE SEQUENCE IS CRUCIAL. THE REQUIRED ACTION, THOUGH, IS ALWAYS TINY WHEN COMPARED TO THE BLESSINGS WE ULTIMATELY RECEIVE. CONSIDER WHAT HAPPENED WHEN FIERY, FLYING SERPENTS CAME AMONG THE ANCIENT ISRAELITES ON THEIR WAY TO THE PROMISED LAND. THE BITE OF THE POISONOUS SERPENT WAS FATAL. BUT A BITTEN INDIVIDUAL COULD BE HEALED BY LOOKING AT A BRASS SERPENT FASHIONED BY MOSES AND PLACED ON A POLE. HOW MUCH ENERGY DOES IT TAKE TO LOOK AT SOMETHING? ALL WHO LOOKED ACCESSED THE POWERS OF HEAVEN AND WERE HEALED. OTHER ISRAELITES WHO WERE BITTEN, FAILED TO LOOK AT THE BRAZEN SERPENT, AND DIED. PERHAPS THEY LACKED THE FAITH TO LOOK. PERHAPS THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THAT SUCH A SIMPLE ACTION COULD TRIGGER THE PROMISED HEALING. OR, PERHAPS THEY WILLFULLY HARDENED THEIR HEARTS AND REJECTED THE COUNSEL OF GOD’S PROPHET. THE PRINCIPLE OF ACTIVATING BLESSINGS THAT FLOW FROM GOD IS ETERNAL. LIKE THOSE ANCIENT ISRAELITES, WE, TOO, MUST ACT ON OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST TO BE BLESSED. GOD HAS REVEALED THAT, “THERE IS A LAW, IRREVOCABLY DECREED IN HEAVEN BEFORE THE FOUNDATIONS OF THIS WORLD, UPON WHICH ALL BLESSINGS ARE PREDICATED– AND WHEN WE OBTAIN ANY BLESSING FROM GOD, IT IS BY OBEDIENCE TO THAT LAW UPON WHICH IT IS PREDICATED.” THAT BEING SAID, YOU DO NOT EARN A BLESSING; THAT NOTION IS FALSE, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO QUALIFY FOR IT. OUR SALVATION COMES ONLY THROUGH THE MERITS AND GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST. THE IMMENSITY OF HIS ATONING SACRIFICE MEANS THAT THE WOODPILE IS INFINITE; OUR PUNY ACTIONS APPROACH ZERO IN COMPARISON. BUT THEY ARE NOT ZERO AND THEY ARE NOT INSIGNIFICANT; IN THE DARK A MATCH THAT IS LIT CAN BE SEEN FOR MILES. IN FACT, IT CAN BE SEEN IN HEAVEN BECAUSE SMALL ACTS OF FAITH ARE REQUIRED TO IGNITE GOD’S PROMISES. TO RECEIVE A DESIRED BLESSING FROM GOD, ACT WITH FAITH, STRIKING THE METAPHORICAL MATCH ON WHICH THE HEAVENLY BLESSING IS CONTINGENT. FOR EXAMPLE, ONE OF THE OBJECTS OF PRAYER IS TO SECURE BLESSINGS THAT GOD IS WILLING TO GRANT BUT THAT ARE MADE CONDITIONAL ON OUR ASKING. ALMA CRIED OUT FOR MERCY AND HIS PAINS RESOLVED; HE WAS NO LONGER HARROWED UP BY THE MEMORY OF HIS SINS. HIS JOY OVERWHELMED HIS PAIN– ALL BECAUSE HE CRIED OUT WITH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST. THE ACTIVATION ENERGY NEEDED FOR US IS TO HAVE ENOUGH FAITH IN CHRIST TO SINCERELY ASK GOD IN PRAYER AND ACCEPT HIS WILL AND TIMING FOR THE ANSWER. OFTEN, THE ACTIVATION ENERGY NEEDED FOR BLESSINGS REQUIRES MORE THAN JUST LOOKING OR ASKING; ONGOING, REPEATED, FAITH-FILLED ACTIONS ARE REQUIRED. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY, BRIGHAM YOUNG DIRECTED A GROUP OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS TO EXPLORE AND SETTLE ARIZONA, AN ARID REGION IN NORTH AMERICA. AFTER REACHING ARIZONA, THE GROUP RAN OUT OF WATER AND FEARED THEY WOULD PERISH. THEY PLED WITH GOD FOR HELP. SOON, RAIN AND SNOW FELL, ALLOWING THEM TO FILL THEIR BARRELS WITH WATER AND PROVIDE FOR THEIR LIVESTOCK. GRATEFUL AND REFRESHED, THEY RETURNED TO SALT LAKE CITY REJOICING IN THE GOODNESS OF GOD. UPON THEIR RETURN, THEY REPORTED THE DETAILS OF THEIR EXPEDITION TO BRIGHAM YOUNG AND PRONOUNCED THEIR CONCLUSION THAT ARIZONA WAS UNINHABITABLE. AFTER LISTENING TO THE REPORT, BRIGHAM YOUNG ASKED A MAN IN THE ROOM WHAT HE THOUGHT ABOUT THE EXPEDITION AND THE MIRACLE. THAT MAN, DANIEL W. JONES, TERSELY REPLIED, “I WOULD HAVE FILLED UP, WENT ON, AND PRAYED AGAIN.” BROTHER BRIGHAM PUT HIS HAND ON BROTHER JONES AND SAID, “THIS IS THE MAN THAT SHALL TAKE CHARGE OF THE NEXT TRIP TO ARIZONA.” WE CAN ALL RECALL TIMES WHEN WE HAVE PUSHED ON AND PRAYED AGAIN–AND BLESSINGS RESULTED. THE EXPERIENCES OF MICHAEL AND MARIAN HOLMES ILLUSTRATE THESE PRINCIPLES. MICHAEL AND I SERVED TOGETHER AS AREA SEVENTIES. I WAS ALWAYS THRILLED WHENEVER HE WAS CALLED ON TO PRAY IN OUR MEETINGS BECAUSE HIS DEEP SPIRITUALITY WAS READILY APPARENT; HE KNEW HOW TO SPEAK WITH GOD. I LOVED TO HEAR HIM PRAY. EARLY IN THEIR MARRIAGE, THOUGH, MICHAEL AND MARIAN WERE NOT PRAYING OR ATTENDING CHURCH. THEY WERE BUSY WITH THREE LITTLE CHILDREN AND A SUCCESSFUL CONSTRUCTION COMPANY. MICHAEL DID NOT FEEL THAT HE WAS A RELIGIOUS MAN. ONE EVENING, THEIR BISHOP CAME TO THEIR HOME AND ENCOURAGED THEM TO BEGIN PRAYING. AFTER THE BISHOP LEFT, MICHAEL AND MARIAN DECIDED THAT THEY WOULD TRY TO PRAY. BEFORE GOING TO BED, THEY KNELT AT THEIR BEDSIDE, AND, UNCOMFORTABLY, MICHAEL BEGAN. AFTER A FEW AWKWARD WORDS OF PRAYER, MICHAEL ABRUPTLY STOPPED, SAYING, “MARIAN, I CAN’T DO THIS.” AS HE STOOD AND BEGAN WALKING AWAY, MARIAN, GRABBED HIM BY THE HAND, DRAGGED HIM BACK TO HIS KNEES, AND SAID, “MIKE, YOU CAN DO THIS. TRY AGAIN!” WITH THIS ENCOURAGEMENT, MICHAEL FINISHED A SHORT PRAYER. THE HOLMES BEGAN TO PRAY REGULARLY. THEY ACCEPTED A NEIGHBOR’S INVITATION TO ATTEND CHURCH. AS THEY WALKED INTO THE CHAPEL AND HEARD THE OPENING HYMN, THE SPIRIT WHISPERED TO THEM, “THIS IS TRUE.” LATER, UNSEEN AND UNASKED, MICHAEL HAULED SOME TRASH FROM THE MEETINGHOUSE. AS HE DID, HE FELT A DISTINCT IMPRESSION, “THIS IS MY HOUSE.” MICHAEL AND MARIAN ACCEPTED CHURCH CALLINGS AND SERVED IN THEIR WARD AND STAKE. THEY WERE SEALED TO EACH OTHER AND THEIR THREE CHILDREN. MORE CHILDREN FOLLOWED, BRINGING THE TOTAL TO TWELVE. THE HOLMES SERVED AS MISSION PRESIDENT AND COMPANION–TWICE. THE FIRST CLUNKY PRAYER WAS A SMALL BUT FAITH-FILLED ACTION THAT TRIGGERED THE BLESSINGS OF HEAVEN. THE HOLMES FED THE FLAMES OF FAITH BY ATTENDING CHURCH AND SERVING. THEIR DEDICATED DISCIPLESHIP OVER THE YEARS HAS LED TO A RAGING INFERNO THAT INSPIRES TO THIS DAY. A FIRE, HOWEVER, MUST RECEIVE A CONSTANT SUPPLY OF OXYGEN FOR THE WOOD TO ULTIMATELY RELEASE ITS FULL POTENTIAL. AS DEMONSTRATED BY MICHAEL AND MARIAN HOLMES, FAITH IN CHRIST REQUIRES ONGOING ACTION FOR THE BLAZE TO CONTINUE. SMALL ACTIONS FUEL OUR ABILITY TO WALK ALONG THE COVENANT PATH AND LEAD TO THE GREATEST BLESSINGS GOD CAN OFFER. BUT OXYGEN FLOWS ONLY IF WE FIGURATIVELY KEEP MOVING OUR FEET. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO MAKE A BOW AND ARROW BEFORE REVELATION COMES AS TO WHERE WE SHOULD SEARCH FOR FOOD. SOMETIMES WE NEED TO MAKE TOOLS BEFORE REVELATIONS COME AS TO HOW TO BUILD A SHIP. SOMETIMES, AT THE DIRECTION OF THE LORD’S PROPHET, WE NEED TO BAKE A SMALL CAKE FROM THE LITTLE OIL AND FLOUR WE HAVE TO RECEIVE AN UNFAILING CRUSE OF OIL AND BARREL OF FLOUR. AND SOMETIMES, WE NEED TO “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT [GOD IS] GOD,” AND TRUST IN HIS TIMING. WHEN YOU RECEIVE ANY BLESSING FROM GOD, YOU CAN CONCLUDE THAT YOU HAVE COMPLIED WITH AN ETERNAL LAW GOVERNING RECEPTION OF THAT BLESSING. BUT REMEMBER THAT THE “IRREVOCABLY DECREED” LAW IS TIME-INSENSITIVE, MEANING BLESSINGS COME ON GOD’S TIMETABLE. EVEN ANCIENT PROPHETS, IN SEARCH OF THEIR HEAVENLY HOME, “DIED IN FAITH, NOT HAVING RECEIVED THE PROMISES, BUT HAVING SEEN THEM AFAR OFF … [AND] WERE PERSUADED … AND EMBRACED THEM.” IF A DESIRED BLESSING FROM GOD HAS NOT BEEN RECEIVED–YET– YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO CRAZY, WONDERING WHAT MORE YOU NEED TO DO. INSTEAD, HEED JOSEPH SMITH’S COUNSEL TO “CHEERFULLY DO ALL THINGS THAT LIE IN [YOUR] POWER; AND THEN … STAND STILL, WITH THE UTMOST ASSURANCE, TO SEE THE … ARM [OF GOD] … REVEALED.” SOME BLESSINGS ARE RESERVED FOR LATER, EVEN FOR THE MOST VALIANT OF GOD’S CHILDREN. SIX MONTHS AGO, A HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED PLAN TO LEARN DOCTRINE, STRENGTHEN FAITH, AND FORTIFY INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WAS INTRODUCED. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON PROMISED THAT THE CHANGES CAN HELP US SURVIVE SPIRITUALLY, INCREASE OUR GOSPEL JOY, AND DEEPEN OUR CONVERSION TO HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST. BUT IT IS UP TO US TO CLAIM THESE BLESSINGS. WE ARE EACH RESPONSIBLE TO OPEN AND STUDY “COME, FOLLOW ME– FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES,” ALONG WITH THE SCRIPTURES AND OTHER “COME, FOLLOW ME” MATERIAL. WE NEED TO DISCUSS THEM WITH OUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND ORGANIZE OUR SABBATH DAY TO LIGHT A METAPHORICAL FIRE. OR, WE CAN LEAVE THE RESOURCES SITTING IN A PILE IN OUR HOMES WITH THE POTENTIAL ENERGY TRAPPED INSIDE. I INVITE YOU TO FAITHFULLY ACTIVATE HEAVENLY POWER TO RECEIVE SPECIFIC BLESSINGS FROM GOD. EXERCISE THE FAITH TO STRIKE THE MATCH AND LIGHT THE FIRE. SUPPLY THE NEEDED OXYGEN WHILE YOU PATIENTLY WAIT ON THE LORD. WITH THESE INVITATIONS, I PRAY THAT THE HOLY GHOST WILL GUIDE AND DIRECT YOU, SO THAT YOU, LIKE THE FAITHFUL PERSON DESCRIBED IN PROVERBS, WILL “ABOUND WITH BLESSINGS.” I TESTIFY THAT YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS BELOVED SON, JESUS CHRIST LIVE, ARE CONCERNED WITH YOUR WELFARE, AND DELIGHT TO BLESS YOU, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER SHARON L. EUBANK: MY OFFICE IN THE RELIEF SOCIETY BUILDING HAS A PERFECT VIEW OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE. AND EVERY NIGHT, AS REGULAR AS CLOCKWORK, THE OUTDOOR TEMPLE LIGHTS TURN ON AT DUSK. THE TEMPLE IS THE STEADY, REASSURING BEACON JUST OUTSIDE MY WINDOW. ONE NIGHT THIS PAST FEBRUARY, MY OFFICE REMAINED EXCEPTIONALLY DIM AS THE SUN WENT DOWN. AS I LOOKED OUT THE WINDOW, THE TEMPLE WAS DARK. THE LIGHTS HAD NOT TURNED ON. I FELT SUDDENLY SOMBER. I COULDN’T SEE THE TEMPLE SPIRES I HAD GLIMPSED EVERY EVENING FOR YEARS. SEEING DARKNESS WHERE I EXPECTED TO SEE LIGHT REMINDED ME THAT ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL NEEDS WE HAVE IN ORDER TO GROW IS TO STAY CONNECTED TO OUR SOURCE OF LIGHT–JESUS CHRIST. HE IS THE SOURCE OF OUR POWER, THE LIGHT AND LIFE OF THE WORLD. WITHOUT A STRONG CONNECTION TO HIM WE BEGIN TO SPIRITUALLY DIE. KNOWING THAT, SATAN TRIES TO EXPLOIT THE WORLDLY PRESSURES WE ALL FACE. HE WORKS TO DIM OUR LIGHT, SHORT-CIRCUIT THE CONNECTION, CUT OFF THE POWER SUPPLY–LEAVING US ALONE IN THE DARK. THESE PRESSURES ARE COMMON CONDITIONS IN MORTALITY, BUT SATAN WORKS VERY HARD TO ISOLATE US AND TELL US WE ARE THE ONLY ONE EXPERIENCING THEM. SOME OF US ARE PARALYZED WITH GRIEF. WHEN TRAGEDIES OVERTAKE US, WHEN LIFE HURTS SO MUCH THAT WE CAN’T BREATHE, WHEN WE’VE TAKEN A BEATING LIKE THE MAN ON THE ROAD TO JERICHO AND BEEN LEFT FOR DEAD, JESUS COMES ALONG, HE POURS OIL INTO OUR WOUNDS, LIFTS US TENDERLY UP, TAKES US TO AN INN, LOOKS AFTER US. TO THOSE OF US IN GRIEF HE SAYS, “I WILL … EASE THE BURDENS WHICH ARE PUT UPON YOUR SHOULDERS, THAT EVEN YOU CANNOT FEEL THEM UPON YOUR BACKS, … THAT YE MAY KNOW OF A SURETY THAT I, THE LORD GOD, DO VISIT MY PEOPLE IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS.” CHRIST HEALS WOUNDS. SOME OF US ARE JUST SO TIRED. ELDER HOLLAND SAID, “IT IS NOT INTENDED THAT WE RUN FASTER THAN WE HAVE STRENGTH. … BUT IN SPITE OF THAT, I KNOW MANY OF YOU RUN VERY, VERY FAST AND THAT THE ENERGY AND EMOTIONAL SUPPLY SOMETIMES REGISTERS CLOSE TO EMPTY.” WHEN EXPECTATIONS OVERWHELM US, WE CAN STEP BACK AND ASK HEAVENLY FATHER WHAT TO LET GO OF. PART OF OUR LIFE EXPERIENCE IS KNOWING WHAT NOT TO DO. BUT EVEN SO, SOMETIMES LIFE CAN BE EXHAUSTING. JESUS ASSURES US: “COME UNTO ME, ALL YE THAT LABOUR AND ARE HEAVY LADEN, AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST.” CHRIST IS WILLING TO JOIN WITH US IN THE YOKE AND PULL IN ORDER TO LIGHTEN OUR BURDENS. CHRIST IS REST. SOME OF US FEEL WE DON’T FIT THE TRADITIONAL MOLD. FOR VARIOUS REASONS, WE DON’T FEEL ACCEPTED OR ACCEPTABLE. THE NEW TESTAMENT SHOWS THE GREAT EFFORTS THAT JESUS WENT TO REACH OUT TO ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE: LEPERS, TAX COLLECTORS, CHILDREN, GALILEANS, HARLOTS, WOMEN, PHARISEES, SINNERS, SAMARITANS, WIDOWS, ROMAN SOLDIERS, ADULTERERS, THE RITUALLY UNCLEAN. IN ALMOST EVERY STORY HE IS REACHING TO SOMEONE WHO WASN’T TRADITIONALLY ACCEPTED IN SOCIETY. LUKE 19 TELLS THE STORY OF THE CHIEF TAX COLLECTOR IN JERICHO NAMED ZACCHAEUS. HE CLIMBED A TREE IN ORDER TO SEE JESUS WALK BY. ZACCHAEUS WAS EMPLOYED BY THE ROMAN GOVERNMENT AND VIEWED AS CORRUPT AND A SINNER. JESUS SAW HIM UP IN THE TREE AND CALLED TO HIM SAYING: “ZACCHAEUS, MAKE HASTE, AND COME DOWN; FOR TODAY I MUST ABIDE AT THY HOUSE.” AND WHEN JESUS SAW THE GOODNESS OF ZACCHAEUS’S HEART AND THE THINGS THAT HE DID FOR OTHERS, HE ACCEPTED HIS OFFERING, SAYING, “THIS DAY IS SALVATION COME TO THIS HOUSE. [FOR] HE ALSO IS A SON OF ABRAHAM.” CHRIST TENDERLY TOLD THE NEPHITES, “I HAVE COMMANDED THAT NONE OF YOU SHOULD GO AWAY.” PETER HAD THAT POWERFUL EPIPHANY IN ACTS 10 WHERE HE DECLARED, “GOD HATH SHEWED ME THAT I SHOULD NOT CALL ANY [PERSON] COMMON OR UNCLEAN.” IT IS AN UNWAVERING REQUIREMENT OF CHRISTIAN DISCIPLES AND LATTER-DAY SAINTS TO SHOW TRUE LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER. JESUS EXTENDS THE SAME KIND OF INVITATION TO US THAT HE DID TO ZACCHAEUS: “BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR, AND KNOCK: IF [YOU] HEAR MY VOICE, AND OPEN THE DOOR, I WILL COME IN TO [YOU], AND WILL SUP WITH [YOU], AND [YOU] WITH ME.” CHRIST SEES US IN OUR TREE. SOME OF US ARE SPLINTERING WITH QUESTIONS. NOT MANY YEARS AGO I WAS WEIGHED DOWN AND IRRITATED WITH QUESTIONS THAT I COULD NOT FIND ANSWERS TO. EARLY ONE SATURDAY MORNING I HAD A LITTLE DREAM. IN THE DREAM I COULD SEE A GAZEBO, AND I UNDERSTOOD THAT I SHOULD GO STAND IN IT. IT HAD FIVE ARCHES ENCIRCLING IT, BUT THE WINDOWS WERE MADE OF STONE. I COMPLAINED, IN THE DREAM, NOT WANTING TO GO INSIDE BECAUSE IT WAS SO CLAUSTROPHOBIC. THEN THE THOUGHT CAME INTO MY MIND THAT THE BROTHER OF JARED HAD PATIENTLY MELTED STONES INTO CLEAR GLASS. GLASS IS STONE THAT HAS UNDERGONE A STATE CHANGE. WHEN THE LORD TOUCHED THE BROTHER OF JARED’S STONES, THEY GLOWED WITH LIGHT. AND SUDDENLY I WAS FILLED WITH A DESIRE TO BE IN THAT GAZEBO MORE THAN ANY OTHER PLACE. IT WAS THE VERY PLACE–THE ONLY PLACE–FOR ME TO TRULY “SEE.” THE QUESTIONS THAT WERE BOTHERING ME DIDN’T GO AWAY, BUT MORE BRIGHTLY IN MY MIND WAS THE QUESTION AFTER I WOKE UP: HOW ARE YOU GOING TO INCREASE YOUR FAITH, LIKE THE BROTHER OF JARED, SO THAT YOUR STONES CAN BE TURNED INTO LIGHT? OUR MORTAL BRAINS ARE MADE TO SEEK UNDERSTANDING AND MEANING IN TIDY BUNDLES. I DON’T KNOW ALL THE REASONS WHY THE VEIL OVER MORTALITY IS SO THICK. THIS IS NOT THE STAGE IN OUR ETERNAL DEVELOPMENT WHERE WE HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS. BUT IT IS THE STAGE WHERE WE DEVELOP OUR ASSURANCE (OR SOMETIMES HOPE) IN THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN. ASSURANCE COMES IN WAYS THAT AREN’T ALWAYS EASY TO ANALYZE, BUT THERE IS LIGHT IN OUR DARKNESS. JESUS SAID, “I AM THE LIGHT, AND THE LIFE, AND THE TRUTH OF THE WORLD.” FOR THOSE SEEKING TRUTH, IT MAY SEEM AT FIRST TO BE THE FOOLISH CLAUSTROPHOBIA OF WINDOWS MADE OUT OF STONE, BUT WITH PATIENCE AND FAITHFUL QUESTIONS, JESUS CAN TRANSFORM OUR WINDOWS OF STONE TO GLASS AND LIGHT. CHRIST IS LIGHT TO SEE. SOME OF US FEEL WE CAN NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. THE SCARLET DYE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT WAS NOT ONLY COLORFUL BUT IT WAS COLORFAST, MEANING THAT ITS VIVID COLOR STUCK TO THE WOOL AND WOULD NOT FADE NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES IT WAS WASHED. SATAN WIELDS THIS REASONING LIKE A CLUB: WHITE WOOL STAINED SCARLET CAN NEVER GO BACK TO BEING WHITE. BUT JESUS CHRIST DECLARES, “MY WAYS [ARE] HIGHER THAN YOUR WAYS,” AND THE MIRACLE OF HIS GRACE IS THAT WHEN WE REPENT OF OUR SINS, HIS SCARLET BLOOD RETURNS US TO PURITY. IT ISN’T LOGICAL, BUT IT IS NEVERTHELESS TRUE. “THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW; THOUGH THEY BE RED LIKE CRIMSON, THEY SHALL BE AS WOOL.” THE LORD SAYS EMPHATICALLY, “HE [OR SHE] “WHO HAS REPENTED OF [SIN], THE SAME IS FORGIVEN, AND I, THE LORD, REMEMBER THEM NO MORE.” IN ESSENCE, “COME, LET US REASON TOGETHER. YOU MADE MISTAKES; ALL COME SHORT. COME UNTO ME AND REPENT. I WILL REMEMBER THE SIN NO MORE. YOU CAN BE WHOLE AGAIN. I HAVE A WORK FOR YOU TO DO.” CHRIST MAKES WOOL WHITE. BUT WHAT ARE THE PRACTICAL STEPS? WHAT IS THE KEY TO RECONNECTING TO THE POWER OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN WE ARE FLICKERING? PRESIDENT NELSON SAID IT VERY SIMPLY: “THE KEY IS TO MAKE AND KEEP SACRED COVENANTS. … IT IS NOT A COMPLICATED WAY.” MAKE CHRIST THE CENTER OF YOUR LIFE. IF YOU FEEL THAT THE BEACON OF YOUR TESTIMONY IS SPUTTERING AND DARKNESS IS CLOSING IN, TAKE COURAGE. KEEP YOUR PROMISES TO GOD. ASK YOUR QUESTIONS. PATIENTLY MELT STONE TO GLASS. TURN TO JESUS CHRIST, WHO LOVES YOU STILL. JESUS SAID, “I AM THE LIGHT [THAT] SHINETH IN DARKNESS, AND THE DARKNESS COMPREHENDETH IT NOT.” THAT MEANS NO MATTER HOW HARD IT TRIES, THE DARKNESS CANNOT PUT OUT THAT LIGHT. EVER. YOU CAN TRUST THAT HIS LIGHT WILL BE THERE FOR YOU. WE, OR PEOPLE WE LOVE, MAY TEMPORARILY GO DARK. IN THE CASE OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, THE FACILITY MANAGER, BROTHER VAL WHITE, GOT A CALL ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. PEOPLE HAD NOTICED. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE TEMPLE LIGHTS? FIRST, THE STAFF WENT IN PERSON TO EVERY ELECTRICAL PANEL IN THE TEMPLE AND MANUALLY TURNED THE LIGHTS BACK ON. THEN THEY REPLACED THE BATTERIES IN THE AUTOMATIC POWER SUPPLY AND TESTED THEM TO FIND OUT WHAT HAD FAILED. IT’S HARD TO GET THE LIGHTS BACK ON BY YOURSELF. WE NEED FRIENDS. WE NEED EACH OTHER. JUST LIKE THE TEMPLE FACILITY STAFF, WE CAN HELP EACH OTHER BY SHOWING UP IN PERSON, RECHARGING OUR SPIRITUAL BATTERIES, REPAIRING WHAT WENT WRONG. LIKE TEMPLE SQUARE AT CHRISTMASTIME, WE MAY ONLY BE ONE LIGHT BULB ON A TREE, BUT WE STILL SHINE OUR SMALL LIGHT, AND ALL TOGETHER WE ATTRACT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. BEST OF ALL, AS PRESIDENT NELSON HAS ENCOURAGED, WE CAN BRING THE SAVIOR’S LIGHT TO OURSELVES AND THE PEOPLE IMPORTANT TO US BY THE SIMPLE ACT OF KEEPING OUR COVENANTS. IN A VARIETY OF WAYS, THE LORD REWARDS THAT FAITHFUL ACT WITH POWER AND WITH JOY. I TESTIFY YOU ARE BELOVED. THE LORD KNOWS HOW HARD YOU ARE TRYING. YOU ARE MAKING PROGRESS. KEEP GOING. HE SEES ALL YOUR HIDDEN SACRIFICES AND COUNTS THEM TO YOUR GOOD AND THE GOOD OF THOSE YOU LOVE. YOUR WORK IS NOT IN VAIN. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. HIS VERY NAME, EMMANUEL, MEANS “GOD WITH US.” HE IS SURELY WITH YOU. TAKE A FEW MORE STEPS ON THE COVENANT PATH, EVEN IF IT’S TOO DARK TO SEE VERY FAR. THE LIGHTS WILL COME BACK ON. I TESTIFY OF THE TRUTH IN JESUS’S WORDS, AND THEY ARE FILLED WITH LIGHT: “DRAW NEAR UNTO ME AND I WILL DRAW NEAR UNTO YOU; SEEK ME DILIGENTLY AND YE SHALL FIND ME; ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE; KNOCK, AND IT SHALL BE OPENED UNTO YOU.” IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN>>ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THIS IS A UNIQUE AND PIVOTAL TIME IN HISTORY. WE ARE BLESSED TO LIVE IN THE LAST DISPENSATION BEFORE THE SECOND COMING OF THE SAVIOR. NEAR THE COMMENCEMENT OF THIS DISPENSATION IN 1829, THE YEAR BEFORE THE CHURCH WAS FORMALLY ORGANIZED, A BELOVED REVELATION WAS RECEIVED DECLARING THAT A “MARVELOUS WORK” WAS ABOUT TO COME FORTH. THIS REVELATION ESTABLISHED THAT THOSE WHO DESIRED TO SERVE GOD QUALIFY FOR SUCH SERVICE THROUGH “FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY AND LOVE, WITH AN EYE SINGLE TO THE GLORY OF GOD.” CHARITY, WHICH IS “THE PURE LOVE OF CHRIST,” INCLUDES GOD’S ETERNAL LOVE FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN. MY PURPOSE THIS MORNING IS TO EMPHASIZE THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF THAT KIND OF LOVE IN MISSIONARY WORK; TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK; AND HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED FAMILY RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE. LOVE OF THE SAVIOR AND LOVE OF OUR FELLOW MEN AND WOMEN IS THE PRIMARY ATTRIBUTE AND MOTIVE FOR MINISTERING AND THE SPIRITUAL PURPOSES WE WERE CHARGED TO UNDERTAKE BY OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, IN THE ADJUSTMENTS ANNOUNCED IN 2018. I WAS EXPOSED TO THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MISSIONARY WORK AND LOVE EARLY IN MY LIFE. WHEN I WAS 11 YEARS OLD, I RECEIVED A PATRIARCHAL BLESSING FROM A PATRIARCH WHO WAS ALSO MY GRANDFATHER. THAT BLESSING SAID IN PART, “I BLESS YOU WITH GREAT LOVE FOR YOUR FELLOWMEN, FOR THOU SHALT BE CALLED TO CARRY THE GOSPEL TO THE WORLD … TO WIN SOULS UNTO CHRIST.” I UNDERSTOOD EVEN AT THAT EARLY AGE THAT SHARING THE GOSPEL WAS BASED ON A GREAT LOVE FOR ALL OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S CHILDREN. AS GENERAL AUTHORITIES ASSIGNED TO WORK ON “PREACH MY GOSPEL” 15 YEARS AGO, WE CONCLUDED THAT THE ATTRIBUTE OF LOVE WAS ESSENTIAL TO MISSIONARY WORK IN OUR DAY, JUST AS IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN. CHAPTER 6 ON CHRISTLIKE ATTRIBUTES, INCLUDING CHARITY AND LOVE, HAS CONSISTENTLY BEEN THE MOST POPULAR CHAPTER AMONG THE MISSIONARIES. AS EMISSARIES OF THE SAVIOR, MOST MISSIONARIES FEEL THIS KIND OF LOVE, AND WHEN THEY DO, THEIR EFFORTS ARE BLESSED. WHEN MEMBERS GAIN A VISION OF THIS KIND OF LOVE, WHICH IS ESSENTIAL IN ASSISTING THE LORD IN HIS PURPOSE, THE LORD’S WORK WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED. I WAS PRIVILEGED TO HAVE A SMALL ROLE IN A MARVELOUS EXAMPLE OF THIS KIND OF LOVE. WHEN I WAS SERVING AS PRESIDENT OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS AREA, I RECEIVED A CALL FROM PRESIDENT R. WAYNE SHUTE. AS A YOUNG MAN, HE SERVED A MISSION IN SAMOA. LATER, HE RETURNED TO SAMOA AS A MISSION PRESIDENT. WHEN HE TELEPHONED ME, HE WAS THE APIA SAMOA TEMPLE PRESIDENT. ONE OF HIS YOUNG MISSIONARIES WHEN HE WAS MISSION PRESIDENT WAS ELDER O. VINCENT HALECK, WHO IS NOW THE AREA PRESIDENT IN THE PACIFIC. PRESIDENT SHUTE HAD GREAT LOVE AND RESPECT FOR VINCE AND THE ENTIRE HALECK FAMILY. MOST OF THE FAMILY WERE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, BUT VINCE’S FATHER, OTTO HALECK, THE PATRIARCH OF THE FAMILY (OF GERMAN AND SAMOAN DESCENT), WAS NOT A MEMBER. PRESIDENT SHUTE KNEW I WAS ATTENDING A STAKE CONFERENCE AND OTHER MEETINGS IN AMERICAN SAMOA, AND HE ASKED ME IF I WOULD CONSIDER STAYING IN OTTO HALECK’S RESIDENCE, WITH THE VIEW OF SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH HIM. MY WIFE, MARY, AND I STAYED WITH OTTO AND HIS WIFE, DOROTHY, IN THEIR BEAUTIFUL HOME. AT BREAKFAST I SHARED A GOSPEL MESSAGE AND INVITED OTTO TO MEET WITH THE MISSIONARIES. HE WAS KIND BUT FIRM IN REFUSING MY INVITATION. HE SAID HE WAS PLEASED THAT MANY MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY WERE LATTER-DAY SAINTS. BUT HE FORCEFULLY INDICATED THAT SOME OF HIS SAMOAN MOTHER’S ANCESTORS HAD BEEN EARLY CHRISTIAN MINISTERS IN SAMOA, AND HE FELT A GREAT ALLEGIANCE TO THEIR TRADITIONAL CHRISTIAN FAITH. NEVERTHELESS, WE LEFT AS GOOD FRIENDS. LATER, WHEN PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY WAS PREPARING TO DEDICATE THE SUVA FIJI TEMPLE, HE HAD HIS PERSONAL SECRETARY, BROTHER DON H. STAHELI, CALL ME IN NEW ZEALAND TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS. PRESIDENT HINCKLEY WANTED TO FLY FROM FIJI TO AMERICAN SAMOA TO MEET THE SAINTS. A CERTAIN HOTEL USED IN A PREVIOUS VISIT WAS SUGGESTED. I ASKED IF I COULD MAKE DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENTS. BROTHER STAHELI SAID, “YOU ARE THE AREA PRESIDENT; THAT WOULD BE FINE.” I IMMEDIATELY CALLED PRESIDENT SHUTE AND TOLD HIM THAT PERHAPS WE HAD A SECOND CHANCE AT SPIRITUALLY BLESSING OUR FRIEND OTTO HALECK. THIS TIME THE MISSIONARY WOULD BE PRESIDENT GORDON B. HINCKLEY. [LAUGHTER] I ASKED IF HE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR THE HALECK’S TO HOST ALL OF US IN PRESIDENT HINCKLEY’S TRAVEL GROUP. PRESIDENT AND SISTER HINCKLEY, THEIR DAUGHTER JANE, AND ELDER AND SISTER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND WERE ALSO PART OF THE TRAVEL GROUP. PRESIDENT SHUTE, WORKING WITH THE FAMILY, MADE ALL THE ARRANGEMENTS. WHEN WE ARRIVED FROM FIJI AFTER THE TEMPLE DEDICATION, WE WERE WARMLY GREETED. WE SPOKE THAT EVENING TO THOUSANDS OF SAMOAN MEMBERS AND THEN PROCEEDED TO THE HALECK FAMILY COMPOUND. WHEN WE GATHERED FOR BREAKFAST THE NEXT MORNING, PRESIDENT HINCKLEY AND OTTO HALECK HAD ALREADY BECOME GOOD FRIENDS. IT WAS INTERESTING TO ME THAT THEY WERE HAVING MUCH THE SAME CONVERSATION I HAD WITH OTTO MORE THAN A YEAR EARLIER. WHEN OTTO EXPRESSED HIS ADMIRATION FOR OUR CHURCH BUT REAFFIRMED HIS COMMITMENT TO HIS EXISTING CHURCH, PRESIDENT HINCKLEY PUT HIS HAND ON OTTO’S SHOULDER AND SAID, “OTTO, THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH; YOU OUGHT TO BE A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH. THIS IS THE LORD’S CHURCH.” YOU FIGURATIVELY COULD SEE THE RESISTIVE ARMOR FALL AWAY FROM OTTO WITH AN OPENNESS TO WHAT PRESIDENT HINCKLEY SAID. THIS WAS THE BEGINNING OF ADDITIONAL MISSIONARY TEACHING AND A SPIRITUAL HUMILITY THAT ALLOWED OTTO HALECK TO BE BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED A LITTLE OVER A YEAR LATER. ONE YEAR AFTER THAT, THE HALECK FAMILY WAS SEALED AS AN ETERNAL FAMILY IN THE TEMPLE. WHAT TOUCHED MY HEART THROUGHOUT THIS INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE WAS THE OVERWHELMING MINISTERING LOVE EXHIBITED BY PRESIDENT WAYNE SHUTE FOR HIS FORMER MISSIONARY ELDER VINCE HALECK AND HIS DESIRE TO SEE THE ENTIRE HALECK FAMILY UNITED AS AN ETERNAL FAMILY. WHEN IT COMES TO GATHERING ISRAEL, WE NEED TO ALIGN OUR HEARTS WITH THIS KIND OF LOVE AND MOVE AWAY FROM FEELINGS OF MERE RESPONSIBILITY OR GUILT TO FEELINGS OF LOVE AND PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVINE PARTNERSHIP OF SHARING THE SAVIOR’S MESSAGE, MINISTRY, AND MISSION WITH THE WORLD. AS MEMBERS WE CAN SHOW OUR LOVE FOR THE SAVIOR AND OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD BY MAKING SIMPLE INVITATIONS. THE NEW SUNDAY MEETING SCHEDULE REPRESENTS AN EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR MEMBERS TO SUCCESSFULLY AND LOVINGLY INVITE FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES TO COME AND SEE AND FEEL A CHURCH EXPERIENCE. A SPIRITUAL SACRAMENT MEETING, HOPEFULLY AS SACRED AS ELDER HOLLAND DESCRIBED YESTERDAY, WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A 50-MINUTE MEETING FOCUSED ON THE NEW TESTAMENT AND THE SAVIOR OR RELEVANT CONFERENCE ADDRESSES ALSO FOCUSED ON THE SAVIOR AND HIS DOCTRINE. SOME RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS HAVE WONDERED WHY THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A “GATHERING” ASSIGNMENT ALONG WITH PRIESTHOOD QUORUM MEMBERS. THERE ARE REASONS FOR THIS, AND PRESIDENT NELSON SET FORTH MANY OF THEM IN THE LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE. HE CONCLUDED, “WE SIMPLY CANNOT GATHER ISRAEL WITHOUT YOU.” IN OUR DAY WE ARE BLESSED THAT APPROXIMATELY 30 PERCENT OF OUR FULL-TIME MISSIONARIES ARE SISTERS. THIS PROVIDES ADDITIONAL NEED AND INCENTIVE FOR RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS TO LOVINGLY SHARE THE GOSPEL. WHAT IS NEEDED IS A LOVING, COMPASSIONATE, SPIRITUAL COMMITMENT BY EACH OF US, MEN, WOMEN, YOUTH, AND CHILDREN, TO SHARE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. IF WE SHOW LOVE, KINDNESS, AND HUMILITY, MANY WILL ACCEPT OUR INVITATION. THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO ACCEPT OUR INVITATION WILL STILL BE OUR FRIENDS. LOVE IS ALSO AT THE CENTER OF OUR TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY EFFORT TO GATHER ISRAEL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VEIL. WHEN WE LEARN OF THE TRIALS AND HARDSHIPS OUR ANCESTORS FACED, OUR LOVE AND APPRECIATION FOR THEM IS MAGNIFIED. OUR TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY EFFORT HAS BEEN STRENGTHENED TO A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE BY THE NEW ADJUSTMENTS IN BOTH THE SUNDAY MEETING SCHEDULE AND THE YOUTH ADVANCEMENT IN CLASSES AND QUORUMS. THESE CHANGES PROVIDE FOR EARLIER AND MORE POWERFUL ATTENTION TO LEARNING ABOUT OUR ANCESTORS AND GATHERING ISRAEL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VEIL. BOTH TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK ARE GREATLY ENHANCED. THE INTERNET IS A POWERFUL TOOL; THE HOME IS NOW OUR PRIMARY FAMILY HISTORY CENTER. OUR YOUNG MEMBERS ARE EXCEPTIONALLY SKILLED IN FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH AND ARE SPIRITUALLY MOTIVATED TO PERFORM BAPTISMS FOR THEIR ANCESTORS WHO THEY HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE AND APPRECIATE. SINCE THE CHANGE ALLOWING MANY 11-YEAR-OLDS TO PERFORM BAPTISMS FOR THE DEAD, TEMPLE PRESIDENTS ACROSS THE WORLD REPORT GREATLY INCREASED ATTENDANCE. ONE TEMPLE PRESIDENT INFORMS US THAT “THERE HAS BEEN A REMARKABLE INCREASE IN BAPTISMAL PATRONS … AND THE ADDITION OF 11-YEAR-OLDS BRINGS MORE FAMILIES… . EVEN AT THEIR [YOUNG] AGE, THEY APPEAR TO SENSE REVERENCE AND PURPOSE FOR THE ORDINANCE THEY ARE PERFORMING. IT IS BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH!” I KNOW OUR PRIMARY AND YOUTH LEADERS ARE AND WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE FAMILY HISTORY AND TEMPLE WORK A MAJOR EFFORT. RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS AND PRIESTHOOD BRETHREN CAN LOVINGLY HELP FULFILL THEIR TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY RESPONSIBILITY INDIVIDUALLY AND ALSO BY ASSISTING AND INSPIRING CHILDREN AND YOUTH TO GATHER ISRAEL ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE VEIL. THIS IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT IN THE HOME AND ON THE SABBATH. I PROMISE THAT LOVINGLY PERFORMING ORDINANCES FOR ANCESTORS WILL STRENGTHEN AND PROTECT OUR YOUTH AND FAMILIES IN A WORLD THAT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY EVIL. I ALSO PERSONALLY TESTIFY THAT PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS RECEIVED PROFOUNDLY IMPORTANT REVELATIONS RELATING TO TEMPLES AND TEMPLE WORK. THE NEW EMPHASIS ON HOME-CENTERED GOSPEL STUDY AND LIVING AND THE RESOURCES THAT ARE PROVIDED BY THE CHURCH ARE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR LOVINGLY PREPARING ETERNAL FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS TO MEET AND LIVE WITH GOD. WHEN A MAN AND WOMAN ARE SEALED IN THE TEMPLE, THEY ENTER THE HOLY ORDER OF MATRIMONY IN THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT, AN ORDER OF THE PRIESTHOOD. TOGETHER THEY OBTAIN AND RECEIVE PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS AND POWER TO DIRECT THE AFFAIRS OF THEIR FAMILY. WOMEN AND MEN HAVE UNIQUE ROLES AS OUTLINED IN “THE FAMILY: A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD,” BUT THEIR STEWARDSHIPS ARE EQUAL IN VALUE AND IMPORTANCE. THEY HAVE EQUAL POWER TO RECEIVE REVELATION FOR THEIR FAMILY. WHEN THEY WORK TOGETHER IN LOVE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS THEIR DECISIONS ARE HEAVEN BLESSED. THOSE WHO SEEK TO KNOW THE WILL OF THE LORD AS INDIVIDUALS AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES MUST STRIVE FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, MEEKNESS, KINDNESS, AND LOVE. HUMILITY AND LOVE ARE THE HALLMARK OF THOSE WHO SEEK THE LORD’S WILL, ESPECIALLY FOR THEIR FAMILIES. PERFECTING OURSELVES, QUALIFYING OURSELVES FOR THE BLESSINGS OF COVENANTS, AND PREPARING TO MEET GOD ARE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES. WE NEED TO BE SELF-RELIANT AND ANXIOUSLY ENGAGED IN MAKING OUR HOMES A REFUGE FROM THE STORMS THAT SURROUND US AND A SANCTUARY OF FAITH. PARENTS HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO LOVINGLY TEACH THEIR CHILDREN. HOMES FILLED WITH LOVE ARE A JOY, A DELIGHT, AND A LITERAL HEAVEN ON EARTH. MY MOTHER’S FAVORITE HYMN WAS “LOVE AT HOME.” WHENEVER SHE HEARD THE FIRST PHRASE, “THERE IS BEAUTY ALL AROUND WHEN THERE’S LOVE AT HOME,” SHE BECAME VISIBLY TOUCHED AND TEARY. AS CHILDREN WE WERE AWARE THAT WE LIVED IN THAT KIND OF HOME; IT WAS ONE OF HER HIGHEST PRIORITIES. IN ADDITION TO A LOVING ATMOSPHERE IN THE HOME, PRESIDENT NELSON HAS FOCUSED ON LIMITING MEDIA USE THAT DISRUPTS OUR PRIMARY PURPOSES. ONE ADJUSTMENT THAT WILL BENEFIT ALMOST ANY FAMILY IS TO MAKE THE INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND TELEVISION A SERVANT INSTEAD OF A DISTRACTION OR EVEN WORSE, A MASTER. THE WAR FOR THE SOULS OF ALL, BUT PARTICULARLY CHILDREN, IS OFTEN IN THE HOME. AS PARENTS WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT MEDIA CONTENT IS BOTH WHOLESOME, AGE APPROPRIATE, AND CONSISTENT WITH THE LOVING ATMOSPHERE WE ARE TRYING TO CREATE. TEACHING IN OUR HOMES NEEDS TO BE CLEAR AND COMPELLING, BUT ALSO SPIRITUAL, JOYFUL, AND FULL OF LOVE. I PROMISE THAT AS WE FOCUS ON OUR LOVE FOR THE SAVIOR AND HIS ATONEMENT, MAKE HIM THE CENTERPIECE OF OUR EFFORTS TO GATHER ISRAEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL, MINISTER TO OTHERS, AND INDIVIDUALLY PREPARE TO MEET GOD, THE INFLUENCE OF THE ADVERSARY WILL BE DIMINISHED AND THE JOY, DELIGHT, AND PEACE OF THE GOSPEL WILL MAGNIFY OUR HOMES WITH CHRIST-LIKE LOVE. I TESTIFY OF THESE DOCTRINAL PROMISES AND BEAR WITNESS OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONING SACRIFICE IN OUR BEHALF. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “COME, YE CHILDREN OF THE LORD.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM ELDER D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY BROTHER TAD R. CALLISTER, WHO WAS RELEASED YESTERDAY AFTERNOON FROM HIS SERVICE AS SUNDAY SCHOOL GENERAL PRESIDENT. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS IS THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ COME, YE CHILDREN
OF THE LORD, ♪ ♪ LET US SING
WITH ONE ACCORD. ♪ ♪ LET US RAISE
A JOYFUL STRAIN ♪ ♪ TO OUR LORD
WHO SOON WILL REIGN ♪ ♪ ON THIS EARTH
WHEN IT SHALL BE ♪ ♪ CLEANSED
FROM ALL INIQUITY, ♪ ♪ WHEN ALL MEN
FROM SIN WILL CEASE, ♪ ♪ AND WILL LIVE
IN LOVE AND PEACE. ♪ ♪ OH, HOW JOYFUL
IT WILL BE ♪ ♪ WHEN OUR SAVIOR
WE SHALL SEE! ♪ ♪ WHEN IN SPLENDOR
HE’LL DESCEND, ♪ ♪ THEN ALL WICKEDNESS
WILL END. ♪ ♪ OH, WHAT SONGS
WE THEN WILL SING ♪ ♪ TO OUR SAVIOR,
LORD, AND KING! ♪ ♪ OH, WHAT LOVE
WILL THEN BEAR SWAY ♪ ♪ WHEN OUR FEARS
SHALL FLEE AWAY! ♪ ♪ ALL ARRAYED
IN SPOTLESS WHITE, ♪ ♪ WE WILL DWELL
‘MID TRUTH AND LIGHT. ♪ ♪ WE WILL SING
THE SONGS OF PRAISE; ♪ ♪ WE WILL SHOUT
IN JOYOUS LAYS. ♪ ♪ EARTH SHALL THEN BE
CLEANSED FROM SIN. ♪ ♪ EV’RY LIVING
THING THEREIN ♪ ♪ SHALL IN LOVE
AND BEAUTY DWELL; ♪ ♪ THEN WITH JOY
EACH HEART WILL SWELL. ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON: IN TWO WEEKS, WE WILL CELEBRATE EASTER. THE RESURRECTION CONFIRMS THE DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE REALITY OF GOD, THE FATHER. OUR THOUGHTS TURN TO THE SAVIOR, AND WE PONDER “HIS MATCHLESS LIFE AND THE INFINITE VIRTUE OF HIS GREAT ATONING SACRIFICE.” I HOPE WE ALSO THINK ABOUT HIS PENDING RETURN WHEN “HE WILL RULE AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” SOME TIME AGO IN BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA, I PARTICIPATED IN A CONFERENCE WITH LEADERS FROM A WIDE VARIETY OF RELIGIOUS FAITHS. THEIR LOVE FOR FELLOWMAN WAS UNMISTAKABLE. THEY WERE INTENT ON RELIEVING SUFFERING AND HELPING PEOPLE RISE ABOVE OPPRESSION AND POVERTY. I REFLECTED ON THE NUMEROUS HUMANITARIAN UNDERTAKINGS OF THIS CHURCH, INCLUDING PROJECTS IN COLLABORATION WITH A NUMBER OF THE FAITH GROUPS REPRESENTED IN THE CONFERENCE. I FELT DEEP GRATITUDE FOR THE GENEROSITY OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS THAT MAKES SUCH CHRIST-LIKE SERVICE POSSIBLE. IN THAT MOMENT, THE HOLY SPIRIT AFFIRMED TWO THINGS TO ME: FIRST, THE WORK OF MINISTERING TO TEMPORAL NEEDS IS VITAL AND MUST CONTINUE. THE SECOND WAS UNEXPECTED, YET POWERFUL AND CLEAR. IT WAS THIS: BEYOND SELFLESS SERVICE, IT IS SUPREMELY IMPORTANT TO PREPARE THE WORLD FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. WHEN HE COMES, OPPRESSION AND INJUSTICE WILL NOT ONLY DIMINISH, THEY WILL CEASE: “THE WOLF ALSO SHALL DWELL WITH THE LAMB, AND THE LEOPARD SHALL LIE DOWN WITH THE KID, AND THE CALF AND THE YOUNG LION AND FATLING TOGETHER; AND A LITTLE CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM. … “THEY SHALL NOT HURT NOR DESTROY IN ALL MY HOLY MOUNTAIN, FOR THE EARTH SHALL BE FULL OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA.” POVERTY AND SUFFERING WILL NOT ONLY DECLINE, THEY WILL VANISH: “THEY SHALL HUNGER NO MORE, NEITHER THIRST ANY MORE; NEITHER SHALL THE SUN LIGHT ON THEM, NOR ANY HEAT. “FOR THE LAMB WHICH IS IN THE MIDST OF THE THRONE SHALL FEED THEM, AND SHALL LEAD THEM UNTO LIVING FOUNTAINS OF WATERS; AND GOD SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM THEIR EYES.” EVEN THE PAIN AND SORROW OF DEATH WILL BE DONE AWAY: “IN THAT DAY AN INFANT SHALL NOT DIE UNTIL HE IS OLD; AND HIS LIFE SHALL BE AS THE AGE OF A TREE; “AND WHEN HE DIES HE SHALL NOT SLEEP, THAT IS TO SAY IN THE EARTH, BUT SHALL BE CHANGED IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, AND SHALL BE CAUGHT UP, AND HIS REST SHALL BE GLORIOUS.” SO YES, LET US DO ALL WE CAN TO RELIEVE SUFFERING AND SORROW NOW, AND LET US DEVOTE OURSELVES MORE DILIGENTLY TO THE PREPARATIONS NEEDED FOR THE DAY WHEN PAIN AND EVIL ARE ENDED ALTOGETHER, WHEN “CHRIST [SHALL] REIGN PERSONALLY UPON THE EARTH; AND, … THE EARTH WILL BE RENEWED AND RECEIVE ITS PARADISIACAL GLORY.” IT WILL BE A DAY OF REDEMPTION AND JUDGMENT. THE ANGLICAN BISHOP OF DURHAM, DR. N. T. WRIGHT, HAS APTLY DESCRIBED THE SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRIST’S ATONEMENT, RESURRECTION, AND JUDGMENT IN OVERCOMING INJUSTICE AND PUTTING ALL THINGS RIGHT. HE SAID: “GOD HAS FIXED A DAY ON WHICH HE WILL HAVE THE WORLD JUDGED RIGHTLY BY A MAN WHOM HE HAS APPOINTED–AND OF THIS HE HAS GIVEN ASSURANCE TO ALL BY RAISING THIS MAN FROM THE DEAD. THE FACTS ABOUT JESUS OF NAZARETH, AND ESPECIALLY ABOUT HIS RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD, ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE ASSURANCE THAT THE WORLD IS NOT RANDOM. IT IS NOT ULTIMATELY A CHAOS; THAT WHEN WE DO JUSTICE IN THE PRESENT WE ARE NOT WHISTLING IN THE DARK, TRYING TO SHORE UP A BUILDING THAT WILL ULTIMATELY COLLAPSE, OR TO FIX A CAR WHICH IS ACTUALLY BOUND FOR THE SCRAP-HEAP. WHEN GOD RAISED JESUS FROM THE DEAD, THAT WAS THE MICROCOSMIC EVENT IN WHICH THE ULTIMATE MACROCOSMIC ACT OF JUDGMENT WAS CONTAINED IN A NUTSHELL, … THE SEED, OF THE ULTIMATE HOPE. GOD DECLARED, IN THE MOST POWERFUL WAY IMAGINABLE, THAT JESUS OF NAZARETH REALLY WAS THE MESSIAH. … IN THE GREATEST IRONY OF HISTORY, [JESUS] HIMSELF UNDERWENT CRUEL AND UNJUST JUDGMENT, COMING TO THE PLACE WHICH SYMBOLIZED AND DREW TOGETHER ALL THE MYRIAD CRUELTIES AND INJUSTICES OF HISTORY, TO BEAR THAT CHAOS, THAT DARKNESS, THAT CRUELTY, THAT INJUSTICE, IN HIMSELF, AND TO EXHAUST ITS POWER.” WHILE AT THE CONFERENCE IN BUENOS AIRES THAT I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE SPIRIT MADE CLEAR TO ME THAT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IS UNIQUELY EMPOWERED AND COMMISSIONED TO ACCOMPLISH THE NECESSARY PREPARATIONS FOR THE LORD’S SECOND COMING; INDEED, IT WAS RESTORED FOR THAT PURPOSE. CAN YOU FIND ANYWHERE ELSE A PEOPLE WHO EMBRACE THE PRESENT ERA AS THE PROPHESIED “DISPENSATION OF THE FULNESS OF TIMES” IN WHICH GOD HAS PURPOSED TO “GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST”? IF YOU DON’T FIND HERE A COMMUNITY INTENT ON ACCOMPLISHING WHAT NEEDS TO BE ACCOMPLISHED FOR BOTH THE LIVING AND THE DEAD TO PREPARE FOR THAT DAY; IF YOU DON’T FIND HERE AN ORGANIZATION WILLING TO COMMIT VAST AMOUNTS OF TIME AND FUNDS TO THE GATHERING AND PREPARATION OF A COVENANT PEOPLE READY TO RECEIVE THE LORD, YOU WON’T FIND IT ANYWHERE. SPEAKING TO THE CHURCH IN 1831, THE LORD DECLARED: “THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD ARE COMMITTED UNTO MAN ON THE EARTH, AND FROM THENCE SHALL THE GOSPEL ROLL FORTH UNTO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH. … “CALL UPON THE LORD, THAT HIS KINGDOM MAY GO FORTH UPON THE EARTH, THAT THE INHABITANTS THEREOF MAY RECEIVE IT, AND BE PREPARED FOR THE DAYS TO COME, IN THE WHICH THE SON OF MAN SHALL COME DOWN IN HEAVEN, CLOTHED IN THE BRIGHTNESS OF HIS GLORY, TO MEET THE KINGDOM OF GOD WHICH IS SET UP ON THE EARTH. WHAT CAN WE DO TO PREPARE NOW FOR THAT DAY? WE CAN PREPARE OURSELVES AS A PEOPLE, WE CAN GATHER THE LORD’S COVENANT PEOPLE, AND WE CAN HELP REDEEM THE PROMISE OF SALVATION “MADE TO THE FATHERS,” OUR ANCESTORS. ALL OF THIS MUST OCCUR IN SOME SUBSTANTIAL MEASURE BEFORE THE LORD COMES AGAIN. FIRST, AND CRUCIAL FOR THE LORD’S RETURN IS THE PRESENCE ON THE EARTH OF A PEOPLE PREPARED TO RECEIVE HIM AT HIS COMING. HE HAS STATED THAT THOSE WHO REMAIN UPON THE EARTH IN THAT DAY, “FROM THE LEAST [TO] THE GREATEST, … SHALL BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD, AND SHALL SEE EYE TO EYE, AND SHALL LIFT UP THEIR VOICE, AND WITH THE VOICE TOGETHER SING THIS NEW SONG, SAYING: “THE LORD HATH BROUGHT AGAIN ZION; … “THE LORD HATH GATHERED ALL THINGS IN ONE. “THE LORD HATH BROUGHT DOWN ZION FROM ABOVE. “THE LORD HATH BROUGHT UP ZION FROM BENEATH.” IN ANCIENT TIMES, GOD TOOK THE RIGHTEOUS CITY OF ZION TO HIMSELF. BY CONTRAST, IN THE LAST DAYS A NEW ZION WILL RECEIVE THE LORD AT HIS RETURN. ZION IS THE PURE IN HEART, A PEOPLE OF ONE HEART AND ONE MIND, DWELLING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS WITH NO POOR AMONG THEM. THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH STATED, “WE OUGHT TO HAVE THE BUILDING UP OF ZION AS OUR GREATEST OBJECT.” WE BUILD UP ZION IN OUR HOMES, WARDS, BRANCHES, AND STAKES THROUGH UNITY, GODLINESS, AND CHARITY. WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE BUILDING UP OF ZION OCCURS IN TUMULTUOUS TIMES — “A DAY OF WRATH, A DAY OF BURNING, A DAY OF DESOLATION, OF WEEPING, OF MOURNING, AND OF LAMENTATION; AND AS A WHIRLWIND IT SHALL COME UPON ALL THE FACE OF THE EARTH, SAITH THE LORD.” THUS, THE GATHERING INTO STAKES BECOMES “FOR A DEFENSE, AND FOR A REFUGE FROM THE STORM, AND FROM WRATH WHEN IT SHALL BE POURED OUT WITHOUT MIXTURE UPON THE WHOLE EARTH.” JUST AS IN FORMER TIMES, WE “MEET TOGETHER OFT, TO FAST AND TO PRAY, AND TO SPEAK ONE WITH ANOTHER CONCERNING THE WELFARE OF [OUR] SOULS. AND … TO PARTAKE OF THE BREAD AND [WATER], IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE LORD JESUS.” AS PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON EXPLAINED IN GENERAL CONFERENCE LAST OCTOBER, “THE LONG-STANDING OBJECTIVE OF THE CHURCH IS TO ASSIST ALL MEMBERS TO INCREASE THEIR FAITH IN OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND IN HIS ATONEMENT, TO ASSIST THEM IN MAKING AND KEEPING THEIR COVENANTS WITH GOD, AND TO STRENGTHEN AND SEAL THEIR FAMILIES.” ACCORDINGLY, HE EMPHASIZES THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TEMPLE COVENANTS, HALLOWING THE SABBATH, AND A DAILY FEASTING UPON THE GOSPEL, CENTERED AT HOME AND SUPPORTED BY AN INTEGRATED STUDY CURRICULUM AT CHURCH. WE WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE LORD, AND WE WANT TO KNOW THE LORD. AN UNDERLYING EFFORT IN BUILDING ZION IS THE GATHERING OF THE LORD’S LONG-DISPERSED COVENANT PEOPLE. “WE BELIEVE IN THE LITERAL GATHERING OF ISRAEL AND IN THE RESTORATION OF THE TEN TRIBES.” ALL WHO WILL REPENT, BELIEVE ON CHRIST, AND BE BAPTIZED ARE HIS COVENANT PEOPLE. THE LORD HIMSELF PROPHESIED THAT BEFORE HIS RETURN, THE GOSPEL WOULD BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD “TO RECOVER [HIS] PEOPLE, WHICH ARE OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL,” “AND THEN SHALL THE END COME.” JEREMIAH’S PROPHECY IS BEING FULFILLED: “THEREFORE, BEHOLD, THE DAYS COME, SAITH THE LORD, THAT [THEY] SHALL NO MORE [SAY], THE LORD LIVETH, THAT BROUGHT UP THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT; “BUT, THE LORD LIVETH, THAT BROUGHT UP THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL FROM THE LAND OF THE NORTH, AND FROM ALL THE LANDS WHITHER HE HAD DRIVEN THEM: AND I WILL BRING THEM AGAIN INTO THEIR LAND THAT I GAVE UNTO THEIR FATHERS.” PRESIDENT NELSON HAS REPEATEDLY EMPHASIZED THAT THE “GATHERING [OF ISRAEL] IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TAKING PLACE ON EARTH TODAY. NOTHING ELSE COMPARES IN MAGNITUDE, NOTHING ELSE COMPARES IN IMPORTANCE, NOTHING ELSE COMPARES IN MAJESTY. AND IF YOU CHOOSE TO, … YOU CAN BE A BIG PART OF IT.” THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A MISSIONARY PEOPLE. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS HAVE RESPONDED TO MISSION CALLS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE RESTORATION; TENS OF THOUSANDS CURRENTLY SERVE. AND, AS ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK HAS JUST TAUGHT, ALL OF US CAN PARTICIPATE IN SIMPLE AND NATURAL WAYS, IN LOVE, INVITING OTHERS TO JOIN US AT CHURCH, VISIT IN OUR HOMES, BECOME PART OF OUR CIRCLE. PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS THE SIGNAL THAT THE GATHERING HAD BEGUN. THE BOOK OF MORMON ITSELF IS THE INSTRUMENT OF GATHERING AND CONVERSION. ALSO VITAL TO THE PREPARATION FOR THE SECOND COMING IS THE GREAT REDEMPTIVE EFFORT ON BEHALF OF OUR ANCESTORS. THE LORD PROMISED TO SEND ELIJAH THE PROPHET BEFORE THE SECOND COMING, “THE GREAT AND DREADFUL DAY OF THE LORD,” TO “REVEAL … THE PRIESTHOOD” AND “PLANT IN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN THE PROMISES MADE TO THE FATHERS.” ELIJAH DID COME AS PROMISED. THE DATE WAS APRIL 3, 1836; THE PLACE WAS THE KIRTLAND, OHIO, TEMPLE. IN THAT PLACE AND IN THAT MOMENT, HE DID INDEED CONFER THE PROMISED PRIESTHOOD, THE KEYS FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE DEAD AND THE UNION OF HUSBANDS, WIVES, AND FAMILIES ACROSS ALL GENERATIONS OF TIME AND THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY. WITHOUT THIS, THE PURPOSE OF CREATION WOULD BE FRUSTRATED, AND IN THAT SENSE, THE EARTH WOULD BE “CURSED” OR “UTTERLY WASTED.” AT THE YOUTH DEVOTIONAL PRECEDING THE DEDICATION OF THE ROME ITALY TEMPLE, THE HUNDREDS OF YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN ATTENDANCE DISPLAYED TO PRESIDENT NELSON THE CARDS THEY HAD PREPARED WITH NAMES OF THEIR ANCESTORS. THEY WERE READY TO ENTER THE TEMPLE TO PERFORM VICARIOUS BAPTISMS FOR THOSE ANCESTORS AS SOON AS IT OPENED. IT WAS A SUPREMELY GRATIFYING MOMENT, YET BUT ONE EXAMPLE OF THE ACCELERATING EFFORT TO ESTABLISH ZION FOR THE GENERATIONS THAT HAVE GONE BEFORE. WHILE WE STRIVE TO BE DILIGENT IN BUILDING UP ZION, INCLUDING OUR PART IN THE GATHERING OF THE LORD’S ELECT AND THE REDEMPTION OF THE DEAD, WE SHOULD PAUSE TO REMEMBER THAT IT IS THE LORD’S WORK AND HE IS DOING IT. HE IS THE LORD OF THE VINEYARD, AND WE ARE HIS SERVANTS. HE BIDS US LABOR IN THE VINEYARD WITH OUR MIGHT THIS “LAST TIME,” AND HE LABORS WITH US. IT WOULD PROBABLY BE MORE ACCURATE TO SAY HE PERMITS US TO LABOR WITH HIM. AS PAUL SAID, “I HAVE PLANTED, APOLLOS WATERED; BUT GOD GAVE THE INCREASE.” IT IS HE WHO IS HASTENING HIS WORK IN ITS TIME. EMPLOYING OUR ADMITTEDLY IMPERFECT EFFORTS, OUR “SMALL MEANS,” THE LORD BRINGS ABOUT GREAT THINGS. THIS GREAT AND LAST DISPENSATION IS BUILDING STEADILY TO ITS CLIMAX–ZION ON EARTH, BEING JOINED WITH ZION FROM ABOVE AT THE SAVIOR’S GLORIOUS RETURN. THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST IS COMMISSIONED TO PREPARE, AND IS PREPARING THE WORLD FOR THAT DAY. AND SO, THIS EASTER, LET US TRULY CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST AND ALL THAT IT PORTENDS: HIS RETURN TO REIGN FOR A THOUSAND YEARS OF PEACE, A RIGHTEOUS JUDGEMENT AND PERFECT JUSTICE FOR ALL, THE IMMORTALITY OF ALL WHO HAVE EVER LIVED UPON THIS EARTH, AND THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE. CHRIST’S RESURRECTION IS THE ULTIMATE ASSURANCE THAT ALL WILL BE PUT RIGHT. LET US BE ABOUT BUILDING UP ZION TO HASTEN THAT DAY. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>BROTHER TAD R. CALLISTER: AT THIS SEASON OF THE YEAR WE PARTICULARLY REJOICE AND REFLECT UPON THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT. IT IS INDEED THE MOST SUPERNAL, MIND-EXPANDING, PASSIONATE DOCTRINE THIS WORLD OR UNIVERSE HAS EVER KNOWN. IT IS WHAT GIVES HOPE AND PURPOSE TO OUR LIVES. WHAT THEN IS THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST? IN ONE SENSE, IT IS A SERIES OF DIVINE EVENTS THAT COMMENCED IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE, CONTINUED ON THE CROSS AND CULMINATED WITH THE SAVIOR’S RESURRECTION FROM THE TOMB. IT WAS MOTIVATED BY AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE FOR EACH OF US. IT REQUIRED A BEING WHO WAS SINLESS, WHO HAD INFINITE POWER OVER THE ELEMENTS–EVEN DEATH, WHO POSSESSED A BOUNDLESS CAPACITY TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALL OUR SINS AND AILMENTS, AND WHO IN FACT, DESCENDED BENEATH IT ALL. THIS WAS THE MISSION OF JESUS CHRIST–THIS WAS HIS ATONEMENT. WHAT THEN IS ITS PURPOSE? IT WAS TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO RETURN TO GOD’S PRESENCE, BECOME MORE LIKE HIM, AND HAVE A FULNESS OF JOY. THIS WAS DONE BY OVERCOMING FOUR OBSTACLES: 1. PHYSICAL DEATH 2. SPIRITUAL DEATH CAUSED BY ADAM AND BY OUR SINS 3. OUR AFFLICTIONS AND INFIRMITIES AND 4. OUR WEAKNESSES AND IMPERFECTIONS. BUT HOW CAN THE SAVIOR ACCOMPLISH THIS WITHOUT VIOLATING THE LAWS OF JUSTICE? SUPPOSE FOR A MOMENT A MAN CONTEMPLATING AN EXHILARATING FREEFALL MAKES A RASH DECISION AND [SLIDE] SPONTANEOUSLY JUMPS FROM A SMALL PLANE. AFTER DOING SO, HE QUICKLY REALIZES THE FOOLISHNESS OF HIS ACTIONS. HE WANTS TO LAND SAFELY, BUT THERE IS AN OBSTACLE– THE LAW OF GRAVITY. HE MOVES HIS ARMS WITH ASTOUNDING SPEED, HOPING TO FLY, BUT TO NO AVAIL. HE POSITIONS HIS BODY TO FLOAT OR GLIDE TO SLOW THE DESCENT, BUT THE LAW OF GRAVITY IS UNRELENTING AND UNMERCIFUL. HE TRIES TO REASON WITH THIS BASIC LAW OF NATURE: “IT WAS A MISTAKE. I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN.” . [LAUGHTER]. BUT HIS PLEAS FALL ON DEAF EARS. THE LAW OF GRAVITY KNOWS NO COMPASSION; IT MAKES NO EXCEPTIONS. FORTUITOUSLY, THOUGH, THE MAN SUDDENLY FEELS SOMETHING ON HIS BACK. HIS FRIEND IN THE PLANE, SENSING THE MOMENT OF FOOLISHNESS, HAD PLACED A PARACHUTE THERE JUST BEFORE THE JUMP. HE FINDS THE RIP CORD AND PULLS IT. RELIEVED, HE FLOATS SAFELY TO THE GROUND. WE MIGHT ASK, “WAS THE LAW OF GRAVITY VIOLATED, OR DID THAT PARACHUTE WORK WITHIN THAT LAW TO PROVIDE A SAFE LANDING?” WHEN WE SIN, WE ARE LIKE THE FOOLISH MAN WHO JUMPED FROM THE PLANE. NO MATTER WHAT WE DO ON OUR OWN, ONLY A CRASH LANDING AWAITS US. WE ARE SUBJECT TO THE LAW OF JUSTICE, WHICH, LIKE THE LAW OF GRAVITY, IS EXACTING AND UNFORGIVING. WE CAN BE SAVED ONLY BECAUSE THE SAVIOR, THROUGH HIS ATONEMENT, MERCIFULLY PROVIDES US WITH A SPIRITUAL PARACHUTE OF SORTS. IF WE HAVE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND REPENT (MEANING WE DO OUR PART AND PULL THE RIP CORD), THEN THE PROTECTIVE POWERS OF THE SAVIOR ARE UNLEASHED ON OUR BEHALF, AND WE CAN LAND SPIRITUALLY UNHARMED. THIS IS ONLY POSSIBLE, HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE SAVIOR OVERCAME THE FOUR OBSTACLES THAT CAN PREVENT OUR SPIRITUAL PROGRESS. 1. DEATH HE OVERCAME DEATH THROUGH HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION. THE APOSTLE PAUL TAUGHT: “AS IN ADAM ALL DIE, EVEN SO IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE” 2. SIN THE SAVIOR OVERCAME SIN AND GUILT FOR ALL THOSE WHO REPENT. SO DEEP AND EXPANSIVE IS HIS CLEANSING POWER THAT ISAIAH PROMISED, “THOUGH YOUR SINS BE AS SCARLET, THEY SHALL BE AS WHITE AS SNOW.” ON OCCASION, I HAVE MET WITH GOOD SAINTS WHO HAVE TROUBLE FORGIVING THEMSELVES, WHO HAVE INNOCENTLY, BUT INCORRECTLY PLACED LIMITS ON THE SAVIOR’S REDEMPTIVE POWERS. UNWITTINGLY, THEY HAVE CONVERTED AN INFINITE ATONEMENT TO A FINITE ONE THAT SOMEHOW FALLS SHORT OF THEIR PARTICULAR SIN OR WEAKNESS. BUT IT IS AN INFINITE ATONEMENT BECAUSE IT ENCOMPASSES AND CIRCUMSCRIBES EVERY SIN AND WEAKNESS, AS WELL AS EVERY ABUSE OR PAIN CAUSED BY OTHERS. TRUMAN MADSEN MADE THIS COMFORTING OBSERVATION: “IF THERE ARE SOME OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN TRICKED INTO THE CONVICTION THAT YOU HAVE GONE TOO FAR … THAT YOU HAVE HAD THE POISON OF SIN WHICH MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE EVER AGAIN TO BE WHAT YOU COULD HAVE BEEN–THEN HEAR ME: I BEAR TESTIMONY THAT YOU CANNOT SINK FARTHER THAN THE LIGHT AND SWEEPING INTELLIGENCE OF JESUS CHRIST CAN REACH. I BEAR TESTIMONY THAT AS LONG AS THERE IS ONE SPARK OF THE WILL TO REPENT AND REACH, HE IS THERE. HE DID NOT JUST DESCEND TO YOUR CONDITION; HE DESCENDED BELOW IT, THAT HE MIGHT BE IN ALL AND THROUGH ALL THINGS, THE LIGHT OF TRUTH.” ONE REASON IT IS SO ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTAND THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT AND ITS INFINITE IMPLICATIONS IS THAT WITH INCREASED UNDERSTANDING COMES AN INCREASED DESIRE TO FORGIVE OURSELVES AND OTHERS. EVEN THOUGH WE MAY BELIEVE IN CHRIST’S CLEANSING POWERS, THE QUESTION OFTEN ARISES: “HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN OF MY SINS?” IF WE FEEL THE SPIRIT, THEN THAT IS OUR WITNESS THAT WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, OR THAT THE CLEANSING PROCESS IS TAKING PLACE. PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING TAUGHT: “IF YOU HAVE FELT THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST, YOU MAY TAKE IT AS EVIDENCE THAT THE ATONEMENT IS WORKING IN YOUR LIFE.” SOME HAVE ASKED, “BUT IF I AM FORGIVEN, WHY DO I STILL FEEL GUILT?” PERHAPS IN GOD’S MERCY THE MEMORY OF THAT GUILT IS A WARNING, A SPIRITUAL “STOP SIGN” OF SORTS, THAT AT LEAST FOR A TIME, CRIES OUT WHEN ADDITIONAL TEMPTATIONS CONFRONT US, “DON’T GO DOWN THAT ROAD. YOU KNOW THE PAIN IT CAN BRING.” IN THIS SENSE, IT SERVES AS A PROTECTION, NOT A PUNISHMENT. IS IT POSSIBLE THEN TO REMEMBER OUR SINS AND STILL BE FREE OF GUILT? ALMA REMEMBERED HIS SINS, EVEN YEARS AFTER HE REPENTED. BUT WHEN HE CRIED UNTO JESUS FOR MERCY, HE SAID, “I COULD REMEMBER MY PAINS NO MORE; YEA, I WAS HARROWED UP BY THE MEMORY OF MY SINS NO MORE.” HOW COULD HE REMEMBER HIS SINS BUT HAVE NO PAIN OR GUILT? BECAUSE WHEN WE REPENT, WE ARE “BORN OF GOD.” WE BECOME, AS THE SCRIPTURES SAY, “NEW CREATURES” IN CHRIST. WITH PERFECT HONESTY WE CAN NOW SAY “I AM NOT THE MAN OR WOMAN WHO COMMITTED THOSE PAST SINS. I AM A NEW AND TRANSFORMED BEING.” 3. AFFLICTIONS AND INFIRMITIES. ALMA PROPHESIED THAT CHRIST “SHALL GO FORTH, SUFFERING PAINS AND AFFLICTIONS AND TEMPTATIONS OF EVERY KIND.” WHY? “THAT HIS BOWELS MAY BE FILLED WITH MERCY THAT HE MAY KNOW ACCORDING TO THE FLESH HOW TO SUCCOR HIS PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THEIR INFIRMITIES.” HOW DOES HE ACCOMPLISH THIS? SOMETIMES HE REMOVES THE AFFLICTION, SOMETIMES HE STRENGTHENS US TO ENDURE, AND SOMETIMES HE GIVES US AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THEIR TEMPORARY NATURE. AFTER JOSEPH SMITH HAD LANGUISHED IN LIBERTY JAIL FOR ABOUT TWO MONTHS, HE FINALLY CRIED OUT, “O GOD WHERE ART THOU?” INSTEAD OF PROVIDING INSTANT RELIEF, GOD RESPONDED: “MY SON, PEACE BE UNTO THY SOUL; THINE ADVERSITY AND THINE AFFLICTIONS SHALL BE BUT A SMALL MOMENT; AND THEN, IF THOU ENDURE IT WELL, GOD SHALL EXALT THEE ON HIGH.” JOSEPH NOW UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS BITTER EXPERIENCE WAS BUT A DOT ON THE ETERNAL SPECTRUM. WITH THIS ENHANCED VISION, HE WROTE THE SAINTS FROM THAT SAME PRISON CELL, “DEARLY BELOVED BRETHREN, LET US CHEERFULLY DO ALL THINGS THAT LIE IN OUR POWER; AND THEN MAY WE STAND STILL, WITH THE UTMOST ASSURANCE, TO SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD.” BECAUSE OF THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT, WE CAN HAVE AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE THAT GIVES MEANING TO OUR TRIALS AND HOPE FOR OUR RELIEF. 4. WEAKNESSES AND IMPERFECTIONS. BECAUSE OF HIS ATONEMENT, THE SAVIOR HAS ENABLING POWERS, SOMETIMES REFERRED TO AS GRACE, THAT CAN HELP US OVERCOME OUR WEAKNESSES AND IMPERFECTIONS, AND THUS ASSIST US IN OUR PURSUIT TO BECOME MORE LIKE HIM. MORONI SO TAUGHT: “YEA, COME UNTO CHRIST, AND BE PERFECTED IN HIM…THAT BY HIS GRACE YE MAY BE PERFECT IN CHRIST.” THERE SEEMS AT LEAST TWO CHANNELS OR MEANS OF AVAILING OURSELVES OF THOSE ENABLING POWERS THAT CAN REFINE– EVEN PERFECT US. FIRST, THE SAVING ORDINANCES. THE SCRIPTURES TELL US, “IN THE ORDINANCES THEREOF THE POWER OF GODLINESS IS MANIFEST.” SOMETIMES, WE MAY THINK OF ORDINANCES AS A CHECKLIST– NECESSARY FOR EXALTATION, BUT IN TRUTH EACH UNLEASHES A GODLY POWER THAT HELPS US BECOME MORE LIKE CHRIST. FOR EXAMPLE: WHEN WE ARE BAPTIZED AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST, WE ARE MADE CLEAN–THUS BECOMING MORE HOLY LIKE GOD. IN ADDITION, THROUGH THE HOLY GHOST, OUR MINDS MAY BE ENLIGHTENED, AND OUR HEARTS SOFTENED SO WE CAN THINK AND FEEL MORE LIKE HIM. AND WHEN WE ARE SEALED AS SPOUSES, WE INHERIT THE RIGHT TO “THRONES, KINGDOMS, PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS,” AS GIFTS FROM GOD. A SECOND CHANNEL FOR THESE ENABLING POWERS IS THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT. BECAUSE OF CHRIST’S ATONEMENT, WE ARE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST AND ITS ACCOMPANYING SPIRITUAL GIFTS. THESE GIFTS ARE ATTRIBUTES OF GODLINESS; THEREFORE, EACH TIME WE ACQUIRE A GIFT OF THE SPIRIT, WE BECOME MORE LIKE GOD. NO DOUBT THAT IS WHY THE SCRIPTURES ENJOIN US ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS TO SEEK THESE GIFTS. PRESIDENT GEORGE Q. CANNON TAUGHT: “NO MAN OUGHT TO SAY, ‘OH I CANNOT HELP THIS; IT IS MY NATURE.’ HE IS NOT JUSTIFIED IN IT, FOR THE REASON THAT GOD HAS PROMISED TO GIVE GIFTS THAT WILL ERADICATE [OUR WEAKNESSES] … IF ANY OF US ARE IMPERFECT, IT IS OUR DUTY TO PRAY FOR THE GIFT THAT WILL MAKE US PERFECT.” IN SUMMARY, THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT GIVES US LIFE FOR DEATH, “BEAUTY FOR ASHES,” HEALING FOR HURT, AND PERFECTION FOR WEAKNESS. IT IS HEAVEN’S ANTIDOTE TO THE OBSTACLES AND STRUGGLES OF THIS WORLD. IN THE SAVIOR’S FINAL WEEK OF MORTALITY, HE SAID, “IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” BECAUSE THE SAVIOR PERFORMED HIS ATONEMENT, THERE IS NO EXTERNAL FORCE OR EVENT OR PERSON– NO SIN OR DEATH OR DIVORCE– THAT CAN PREVENT US FROM ACHIEVING EXALTATION, PROVIDED WE KEEP GOD’S COMMANDMENTS. WITH THAT KNOWLEDGE, WE CAN PRESS FORWARD WITH GOOD CHEER AND ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE THAT GOD IS WITH US IN THIS HEAVENLY QUEST. I BEAR MY WITNESS THAT THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT IS NOT ONLY INFINITE IN SCOPE, BUT INDIVIDUAL IN REACH–THAT IT CANNOT ONLY RETURN US TO GOD’S PRESENCE, BUT ENABLE US TO BECOME LIKE HIM–THE CROWNING GOAL OF CHRIST’S ATONEMENT. OF THAT I BEAR MY GRATEFUL AND CERTAIN WITNESS, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE BEAUTIFUL MESSAGES WE HAVE HEARD AND FOR THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE FOR THE UPLIFTING MUSIC THEY HAVE PROVIDED THIS MORNING. THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “O THOU ROCK OF OUR SALVATION.” THE CONCLUDING SPEAKER FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THE MEETING BY SINGING “COME, FOLLOW ME.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY SISTER JEAN B. BINGHAM, RELIEF SOCIETY GENERAL PRESIDENT. ♪♪ ♪ O THOU ROCK
OF OUR SALVATION, ♪ ♪ JESUS, SAVIOR
OF THE WORLD, ♪ ♪ IN OUR POOR
AND LOWLY STATION ♪ ♪ WE THY BANNER
HAVE UNFURLED. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WE A WAR ‘GAINST SIN
ARE WAGING; ♪ ♪ WE’RE CONTENDING
FOR THE RIGHT. ♪ ♪ EV’RY DAY
THE BATTLE’S RAGING; ♪ ♪ HELP US, LORD,
TO WIN THE FIGHT. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ GATHER ROUND
THE STANDARD BEARER; ♪ ♪ GATHER ROUND
IN STRENGTH OF YOUTH. ♪ ♪ EV’RY DAY
THE PROSPECT’S FAIRER ♪ ♪ WHILE WE’RE BATTLING
FOR THE TRUTH. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ONWARD, ONWARD,
WE’LL BE SINGING ♪ ♪ AS WE’RE MARCHING
FIRM AND TRUE, ♪ ♪ EACH SUCCEEDING
BATTLE RINGING, ♪ ♪ EARNEST OF WHAT
WE CAN DO. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ GATHER ROUND
THE STANDARD BEARER; ♪ ♪ GATHER ROUND
IN STRENGTH OF YOUTH. ♪ ♪ EV’RY DAY
THE PROSPECT’S FAIRER ♪ ♪ WHILE WE’RE BATTLING
FOR THE TRUTH. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHEN FOR ALL
THAT WE’VE CONTENDED, ♪ ♪ WHEN THE FIGHT
OF FAITH WE’VE WON, ♪ ♪ WHEN THE STRIFE
AND BATTLE’S ENDED, ♪ ♪ AND OUR LABOR
HERE IS DONE, ♪ ♪ THEN, O ROCK
OF OUR SALVATION, ♪ ♪ JESUS, SAVIOR
OF THE WORLD, ♪ ♪ TAKE US FROM
OUR LOWLY STATION; ♪ ♪ LET OUR FLAG
WITH THEE BE FURLED. ♪ ♪ THEN, O ROCK
OF OUR SALVATION, ♪ ♪ JESUS, SAVIOR
OF THE WORLD, ♪ ♪ TAKE US FROM
OUR LOWLY STATION; ♪ ♪ LET OUR FLAG
WITH THEE BE FURLED. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THEN, O ROCK
OF OUR SALVATION, ♪ ♪ JESUS, SAVIOR
OF THE WORLD, ♪ ♪ TAKE US FROM
OUR LOWLY STATION; ♪ ♪ LET OUR FLAG
WITH THEE BE FURLED. ♪ ♪ FLAG BE FURLED ♪♪>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: MY BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, MY WIFE, WENDY, AND I REJOICE IN BEING WITH YOU ON THIS SABBATH MORNING. MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE OUR LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE. NEW TEMPLES HAVE BEEN DEDICATED IN CONCEPCIÓN, CHILE; BARRANQUILLA, COLOMBIA; AND ROME, ITALY. WE EXPERIENCED A RICH OUTPOURING OF THE SPIRIT AT THESE SACRED EVENTS. I CONGRATULATE THE MANY WOMEN (AND MEN) WHO HAVE RECENTLY READ THE BOOK OF MORMON AND DISCOVERED JOY AND HIDDEN TREASURES. I AM INSPIRED BY REPORTS ABOUT MIRACLES RECEIVED. I MARVEL AT 11-YEAR-OLD YOUNG MEN WHO, NOW AS DEACONS, WORTHILY PASS THE SACRAMENT EACH SUNDAY. THEY GO TO THE TEMPLE ALONG WITH OUR 11-YEAR-OLD YOUNG WOMEN, WHO ARE NOW EAGERLY LEARNING AND SERVING AS BEEHIVES. BOTH YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN ARE PREACHING GOSPEL TRUTHS WITH CLARITY AND CONVICTION. I REJOICE WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH WHO ARE HELPING TO TEACH THE GOSPEL IN THEIR HOMES AS THEY WORK WITH THEIR PARENTS TO FOLLOW THE HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED CURRICULUM. WE RECEIVED THIS PHOTO OF FOUR-YEAR-OLD BLAKE, WHO EARLY ON A SATURDAY MORNING GRABBED A CHURCH BOOK AND EXCLAIMED, “I NEED TO FEED MY SPIRIT!” BLAKE, WE ARE THRILLED WITH YOU AND OTHERS WHO ARE CHOOSING TO FEED THEIR SPIRITS BY FEASTING ON THE TRUTHS OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. AND WE DELIGHT IN KNOWING THAT MANY ARE RECEIVING THE POWER OF GOD IN THEIR LIVES AS THEY WORSHIP AND SERVE IN THE TEMPLE. AS MANY OF YOU KNOW, OUR FAMILY EXPERIENCED A TENDER SEPARATION THREE MONTHS AGO WHEN OUR DAUGHTER WENDY DEPARTED FROM THIS MORTAL LIFE. IN THE FINAL DAYS OF HER BATTLE WITH CANCER, I WAS BLESSED WITH THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE OUR FAREWELL DADDY-DAUGHTER CONVERSATION. I HELD HER HANDS AND TOLD HER HOW MUCH I LOVED HER AND HOW GRATEFUL I WAS TO BE HER FATHER. I SAID: “YOU MARRIED IN THE TEMPLE AND FAITHFULLY HONORED YOUR COVENANTS. YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND WELCOMED SEVEN CHILDREN INTO YOUR HOME AND RAISED THEM TO BE DEVOUT DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST, VALIANT CHURCH MEMBERS, AND CONTRIBUTING CITIZENS. AND THEY HAVE CHOSEN SPOUSES OF THAT SAME CALIBER. YOUR DADDY IS VERY, VERY PROUD OF YOU. YOU HAVE BROUGHT ME MUCH JOY!” SHE QUIETLY RESPONDED, “THANK YOU, DADDY.” IT WAS A TENDER, TEARFUL MOMENT FOR US. DURING HER 67 YEARS, WE WORKED TOGETHER, SANG TOGETHER, AND OFTEN SKIED TOGETHER. BUT THAT EVENING, WE TALKED OF THINGS THAT MATTER MOST, SUCH AS COVENANTS, ORDINANCES, OBEDIENCE, FAITH, FAMILY, FIDELITY, LOVE, AND ETERNAL LIFE. WE MISS OUR DAUGHTER GREATLY. HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, WE DO NOT WORRY ABOUT HER. AS WE CONTINUE TO HONOR OUR COVENANTS WITH GOD, WE LIVE IN ANTICIPATION OF OUR BEING WITH HER AGAIN. MEANWHILE, WE’RE SERVING THE LORD HERE, AND SHE IS SERVING HIM THERE–IN PARADISE. ACTUALLY, MY WIFE AND I VISITED PARADISE EARLIER THIS YEAR– [LAUGHTER] PARADISE, CALIFORNIA, THAT IS. AS IT HAPPENED, OUR SCHEDULED VISIT THERE CAME LESS THAN 40 HOURS AFTER OUR DAUGHTER DEPARTED FROM THIS WORLD. WE, ALONG WITH ELDER KEVIN W. PEARSON AND HIS WIFE, JUNE, WERE BOLSTERED BY THE SAINTS OF THE CHICO CALIFORNIA STAKE. WE LEARNED OF THEIR GREAT FAITH, THEIR MINISTERING, AND THE MIRACLES THAT OCCURRED EVEN AMIDST THEIR DEVASTATING LOSSES FROM THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRE IN THE HISTORY OF CALIFORNIA. WHILE THERE, WE SPOKE AT LENGTH WITH A YOUNG POLICE OFFICER, JOHN, WHO WAS ONE OF MANY BRAVE FIRST RESPONDERS. HE RECALLED THE THICK DARKNESS THAT DESCENDED UPON PARADISE ON NOVEMBER 8, 2018, AS FLAMES AND EMBERS RACED THROUGH THE TOWN, DEVOURING PROPERTY AND POSSESSIONS LIKE A SCOURGE AND LEAVING NOTHING BUT PILES OF ASH AND STARK BRICK CHIMNEYS. FOR 15 HOURS, JOHN DROVE THROUGH AN IMPENETRABLE DARKNESS THAT WAS STREAKED WITH JAVELINS OF THREATENING EMBERS AS HE HELPED PERSON AFTER PERSON, FAMILY AFTER FAMILY, ESCAPE TO SAFETY– ALL AT THE PERIL OF HIS OWN LIFE. YET DURING THAT STRENUOUS ORDEAL, WHAT TERRIFIED JOHN MOST WAS HIS ALL-CONSUMING QUESTION: “WHERE IS MY FAMILY?” AFTER MANY LONG, TERRIFYING HOURS OF ANGUISH, HE FINALLY LEARNED OF THEIR SAFE EVACUATION. THE ACCOUNT OF JOHN’S CONCERN FOR HIS FAMILY HAS PROMPTED ME TO SPEAK TODAY WITH THOSE OF YOU WHO MAY ASK WHEN APPROACHING THE END OF YOUR MORTAL LIFE, “WHERE IS MY FAMILY?” IN THAT COMING DAY WHEN YOU WILL COMPLETE YOUR MORTAL PROBATION AND ENTER THE SPIRIT WORLD, YOU WILL BE BROUGHT FACE-TO-FACE WITH THAT HEART-WRENCHING QUESTION, “WHERE IS MY FAMILY?” JESUS CHRIST TEACHES THE WAY BACK TO OUR ETERNAL HOME. HE UNDERSTANDS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN OF ETERNAL PROGRESSION BETTER THAN ANY OF US. AFTER ALL, HE IS THE KEYSTONE OF IT ALL. HE IS OUR REDEEMER, OUR HEALER, AND OUR SAVIOR. EVER SINCE ADAM AND EVE WERE EXPELLED FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN, JESUS THE CHRIST HAS OFFERED HIS MIGHTY ARM TO HELP ALL WHO CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HIM. REPEATEDLY, SCRIPTURES RECORD THAT DESPITE ALL KINDS OF SINS FROM ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE, HIS ARMS ARE STRETCHED OUT STILL. THE SPIRIT IN EACH OF US NATURALLY YEARNS FOR FAMILY LOVE TO LAST FOREVER. LOVE SONGS PERPETUATE A FALSE HOPE THAT LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED IF YOU WANT TO BE TOGETHER FOREVER. AND SOME ERRONEOUSLY BELIEVE THAT THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST PROVIDES A PROMISE THAT ALL PEOPLE WILL BE WITH THEIR LOVED ONES AFTER DEATH. IN TRUTH, THE SAVIOR HIMSELF HAS MADE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR THAT WHILE HIS RESURRECTION ASSURES THAT EVERY PERSON WHO EVER LIVED WILL INDEED BE RESURRECTED AND LIVE FOREVER, MUCH MORE IS REQUIRED IF WE WANT TO HAVE THE HIGH PRIVILEGE OF EXALTATION. SALVATION IS AN INDIVIDUAL MATTER, BUT EXALTATION IS A FAMILY MATTER. LISTEN TO THESE WORDS SPOKEN BY THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TO HIS PROPHET: “ALL COVENANTS, CONTRACTS, BONDS, OBLIGATIONS, OATHS, VOWS, PERFORMANCES, CONNECTIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, OR EXPECTATIONS, THAT ARE NOT MADE AND ENTERED INTO AND SEALED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE … ARE OF NO EFFICACY, VIRTUE, OR FORCE IN AND AFTER THE RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD; FOR ALL CONTRACTS THAT ARE NOT MADE UNTO THIS END HAVE AN END WHEN MEN ARE DEAD.” SO, WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR A FAMILY TO BE EXALTED FOREVER? WE QUALIFY FOR THAT PRIVILEGE BY MAKING COVENANTS WITH GOD, KEEPING THOSE COVENANTS, AND RECEIVING ESSENTIAL ORDINANCES. THIS HAS BEEN TRUE SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. ADAM AND EVE, NOAH AND HIS WIFE, ABRAHAM AND SARAH, LEHI AND SARIAH, AND ALL OTHER DEVOTED DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST SINCE THE WORLD WAS CREATED HAVE MADE THE SAME COVENANTS WITH GOD. THEY HAVE RECEIVED THE SAME ORDINANCES THAT WE AS MEMBERS OF THE LORD’S RESTORED CHURCH TODAY HAVE MADE. MOST COVENENANTS RECEIVE AT BAPTISM AND IN THE TEMPLE. THE SAVIOR INVITES ALL TO FOLLOW HIM INTO THE WATERS OF BAPTISM AND, IN TIME, TO MAKE ADDITIONAL COVENANTS WITH GOD IN THE TEMPLE AND RECEIVE AND BE FAITHFUL TO THOSE FURTHER ESSENTIAL ORDINANCES. ALL THESE ARE REQUIRED IF WE WANT TO BE EXALTED WITH OUR FAMILIES AND WITH GOD FOREVER. THE ANGUISH OF MY HEART IS THAT MANY PEOPLE WHOM I LOVE, WHO I ADMIRE AND RESPECT DECLINE HIS INVITATION. THEY IGNORE THE PLEADINGS OF JESUS CHRIST WHEN HE BECKONS, “COME, FOLLOW ME.” I UNDERSTAND WHY GOD WEEPS. I ALSO WEEP FOR SUCH FRIENDS AND RELATIVES. THEY ARE WONDERFUL MEN AND WOMEN, DEVOTED TO THEIR FAMILY AND CIVIC RESPONSIBILITIES. THEY GIVE GENEROUSLY OF THEIR TIME, ENERGY, AND RESOURCES. AND THE WORLD IS BETTER FOR THEIR EFFORTS. BUT THEY HAVE CHOSEN NOT TO MAKE COVENANTS WITH GOD. THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE ORDINANCES THAT WILL EXALT THEM WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND BIND THEM TOGETHER FOREVER. HOW I WISH I COULD VISIT WITH THEM AND INVITE THEM TO CONSIDER SERIOUSLY THE ENABLING LAWS OF THE LORD. I’VE WONDERED WHAT I COULD POSSIBLY SAY SO THEY WOULD FEEL HOW MUCH THE SAVIOR LOVES THEM, KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE THEM, AND COME TO RECOGNIZE HOW COVENANT-KEEPING WOMEN AND MEN CAN RECEIVE A “FULNESS OF JOY.” THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHILE THERE IS A PLACE FOR THEM HEREAFTER–WITH WONDERFUL MEN AND WOMEN WHO ALSO CHOSE NOT TO MAKE COVENANTS WITH GOD–THAT IS NOT THE PLACE WHERE FAMILIES WILL BE REUNITED AND BE GIVEN THE PRIVILEGE TO LIVE AND PROGRESS FOREVER. THAT IS NOT THE KINGDOM WHERE THEY WILL EXPERIENCE THE FULNESS OF JOY–OF NEVER-ENDING PROGRESSION AND HAPPINESS. THOSE CONSUMMATE BLESSINGS CAN COME ONLY BY LIVING IN AN EXALTED CELESTIAL REALM WITH GOD, OUR ETERNAL FATHER; HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST; AND OUR WONDERFUL, WORTHY, AND QUALIFIED FAMILY MEMBERS. I FEEL TO SAY TO MY RETICENT FRIENDS: “IN THIS LIFE, YOU HAVE NEVER SETTLED FOR SECOND BEST IN ANYTHING. YET, AS YOU RESIST FULLY EMBRACING THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, YOU ARE CHOOSING TO SETTLE FOR SECOND BEST. “THE SAVIOR SAID, ‘IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS.’ HOWEVER, AS YOU CHOOSE NOT TO MAKE COVENANTS WITH GOD, YOU ARE SETTLING FOR A MOST MEAGER ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD THROUGHOUT ALL ETERNITY.” I WOULD FURTHER ENTREAT MY RETICENT FRIENDS BY SAYING: “POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO GOD. ASK HIM IF THESE THINGS ARE TRUE. MAKE TIME TO STUDY HIS WORDS. REALLY STUDY! IF YOU TRULY LOVE YOUR FAMILY, AND IF YOU DESIRE TO BE EXALTED WITH THEM THROUGHOUT ETERNITY, PAY THE PRICE NOW–THROUGH SERIOUS STUDY AND FERVENT PRAYER–TO KNOW THESE ETERNAL TRUTHS AND THEN TO ABIDE BY THEM. “IF YOU ARE NOT SURE YOU EVEN BELIEVE IN GOD, START THERE. UNDERSTAND THAT IN THE ABSENCE OF EXPERIENCES WITH GOD, ONE CAN DOUBT THE EXISTENCE OF GOD. SO PUT YOURSELF IN A POSITION TO BEGIN HAVING EXPERIENCES WITH HIM. HUMBLE YOURSELF. PRAY TO HAVE EYES TO SEE GOD’S HAND IN YOUR LIFE AND IN THE WORLD AROUND YOU. ASK HIM TO TELL YOU IF HE IS REALLY THERE–IF HE KNOWS YOU. ASK HIM HOW HE FEELS ABOUT YOU. AND THEN, LISTEN.” ONE SUCH DEAR FRIEND OF MINE HAD LIMITED EXPERIENCES WITH GOD. BUT HE LONGED TO BE WITH HIS DEPARTED WIFE. HE ASKED ME TO HELP HIM. I ENCOURAGED HIM TO MEET WITH OUR MISSIONARIES IN ORDER TO UNDERSTAND THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST AND LEARN OF GOSPEL COVENANTS, ORDINANCES, AND BLESSINGS. THAT HE DID. BUT HE FELT THE COURSE THEY ADVISED WOULD REQUIRE HIM TO MAKE TOO MANY CHANGES IN HIS LIFE. HE SAID, “THOSE COMMANDMENTS AND COVENANTS ARE JUST TOO DIFFICULT FOR ME. ALSO, I CAN’T POSSIBLY PAY TITHING, AND I DON’T HAVE TIME TO SERVE IN THE CHURCH.” THEN HE ASKED ME, “ONCE I DIE, PLEASE DO THE NECESSARY TEMPLE WORK FOR MY WIFE AND ME SO THAT WE CAN BE TOGETHER ONCE AGAIN?” [LAUGHTER] THANKFULLY, I AM NOT THIS MAN’S JUDGE. BUT I DO QUESTION THE EFFICACY OF PROXY TEMPLE WORK FOR A MAN WHO HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE BAPTIZED IN THIS LIFE–TO BE ORDAINED TO THE PRIESTHOOD AND RECEIVE TEMPLE BLESSINGS WHILE HERE IN MORTALITY–BUT WHO MADE THE CONSCIOUS DECISION TO REJECT THAT COURSE. MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, JESUS CHRIST INVITES US TO TAKE THE COVENANT PATH BACK HOME TO OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS AND BE WITH THOSE WE LOVE. HE INVITES US TO “COME, FOLLOW ME.” NOW, AS PRESIDENT OF HIS CHURCH, I PLEAD WITH YOU WHO HAVE DISTANCED YOURSELVES FROM THE CHURCH AND WITH YOU WHO HAVE NOT YET REALLY SOUGHT TO KNOW THAT THE SAVIOR’S CHURCH HAS BEEN RESTORED. DO THE SPIRITUAL WORK TO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELVES, AND PLEASE DO IT NOW. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. I TESTIFY THAT GOD LIVES! JESUS IS THE CHRIST. HIS CHURCH AND THE FULNESS OF HIS GOSPEL HAVE BEEN RESTORED TO BLESS OUR LIVES WITH JOY, HERE AND HEREAFTER. I SO TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ “COME, FOLLOW ME,”
THE SAVIOR SAID. ♪ ♪ THEN LET US
IN HIS FOOTSTEPS TREAD, ♪ ♪ FOR THUS ALONE
CAN WE BE ONE ♪ ♪ WITH GOD’S OWN LOVED,
BEGOTTEN SON. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IS IT ENOUGH
ALONE TO KNOW ♪ ♪ THAT WE
MUST FOLLOW HIM BELOW, ♪ ♪ WHILE TRAV’LING THRU
THIS VALE OF TEARS? ♪ ♪ NO, THIS EXTENDS
TO HOLIER SPHERES. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ NOT ONLY SHALL
WE EMULATE ♪ ♪ HIS COURSE WHILE
IN THIS EARTHLY STATE, ♪ ♪ BUT WHEN WE’RE FREED
FROM PRESENT CARES, ♪ ♪ IF WITH OUR LORD
WE WOULD BE HEIRS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IF WITH OUR LORD
WE WOULD BE HEIRS. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AMEN ♪♪>>SISTER JEAN B. BINGHAM: OUR DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE FIRM FOUNDATION OF T ARE GRATEFUL WEAR GRATEFUL TO SHARE OUR LOVE, THAT OTHERS AROUND US WOULD BE PREMIRED FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THY DEAR SON, OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. WE ASK THEE TO THESE BLESSINGS AND THANK THEE FOR EVERY BLESSING WE ENJOY AT THY HAND AND DO SO IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪9 ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SPEAKERS WERE SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC WAS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST HAS BEEN FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:/
[email protected]>>OTHER STUFF I NEED TO DO.>>WHAT DISTRACTS ME
FROM WHAT MATTERS MOST?>>WHAT DISTRACTS ME? UMM … EVERYTHING.>>MY PHONE, THE
INTERNET, MY PHONE.>>INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK.>>BAD MOVIES.>>BEING AFRAID.>>MAINLY FRIENDS.>>GIRLS, AND TRYING TO
FIND THE RIGHT ONE.>>WHAT DISTRACTS ME FROM
WHAT MATTERS MOST?>>THAT’S A TOUGH ONE.>>IT’S LITTLE THINGS
THAT PILE UP OVER TIME.>>MY SON’S HOMEWORK.>>WHEN MY BROTHER KEEPS
ON TALKING TO ME.>>MY DEVICES.>>WORK. IT’S ALWAYS ON MY MIND.>>JUST GETTING
CAUGHT UP IN LIFE.>>HONESTLY, IT’S JUST —
IT’S ME, YEAH. ♪♪ I’LL ALWAYS
LOVE MY MOTHER. BUT I REMEMBER ONE DAY
I GOT REALLY MAD AT HER. WHEN MY DAD GOT HOME,
I KNEW I WAS IN TROUBLE. BUT INSTEAD OF
GETTING MAD AT ME, HE TAUGHT ME A LESSON
I’LL NEVER FORGET. THE BALL I WAS THROWING
WAS DAMAGING THE FENCE. AND MY DAD TOLD ME THAT HARSH WORDS
CAN BE EVEN MORE DESTRUCTIVE. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. AHHH… LONG DAY? OHHH, YEAH. SO JUST RELAX TONIGHT. I CAN’T,
IT’S BOWLING NIGHT. I’LL TELL YOU WHAT, IF YOU CAN THINK OF SOMETHING
REALLY FUN TO DO, I’LL STAY HOME
TONIGHT. [DOOR BELL RINGS]
DING DONG! IT’S A BAD HAIR DAY, SO… I’M NOT GONNA
MAKE IT TONIGHT. GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING.
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. WE KNOW WHERE
THEY’VE TAKEN HER. SHHHH! WE’RE HERE
TO SAVE THE PRINCESS. BUT THE PRINCESS
IS SLEEPING. SORRY. IMAGINE WHAT A LITTLE TIME
CAN DO FOR YOUR FAMILY. WHEN I WAS
ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD, I REMEMBER TAKING
SOMETHING FROM A STORE. WHATEVER I TOOK
WASN’T WORTH MUCH… BUT THE LESSON I LEARNED
WAS WORTH EVERYTHING. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. [MUSIC PLAYING] WELCOME TO A COMMUNITY WHERE WE
THINK OF EACH OTHER AS FAMILY AND ACT LIKE WE ACTUALLY ARE. WHERE WE TRY EVERY DAY
TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, TO BEAR EACH OTHER’S BURDENS,
TO BE A LITTLE BIT BETTER, A LITTLE BIT KINDER–BECAUSE
THAT’S WHAT JESUS TAUGHT. HE CAN MAKE YOU A
BETTER PERSON, AND YOU CAN MAKE US A BETTER CHURCH. COME CELEBRATE EASTER WITH
US ON SUNDAY, APRIL 21. VISIT COMEUNTOCHRIST.ORG
TO FIND A CHURCH NEAR YOU. [MUSIC PLAYING] (CRICKETS CHIRPING) ♪♪ HARK, ALL YE NATIONS!
HEAR HEAVEN’S VOICE THRU EVERY LAND
THAT ALL MAY REJOICE! ANGELS OF GLORY
SHOUT THE REFRAIN: TRUTH IS
RESTORED AGAIN! OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE SHINES THE GOSPEL
LIGHT OF TRUTH AND LOVE! BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. ♪♪ SEARCHING IN DARKNESS,
NATIONS HAVE WEPT; WATCHING FOR DAWN,
THEIR VIGIL THEY’VE KEPT. ALL NOW REJOICE;
THE LONG NIGHT IS O’ER. TRUTH IS ON EARTH
ONCE MORE! OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE SHINES THE GOSPEL
LIGHT OF TRUTH AND LOVE! BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. ♪♪ CHOSEN BY GOD
TO SERVE HIM BELOW, TO EVERY LAND
AND PEOPLE WE’LL GO, STANDING FOR TRUTH
WITH FERVENT ACCORD, TEACHING HIS
HOLY WORD. OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. LIGHTS EVERY
LAND TODAY. ♪♪ TODAY ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT UCHTDORF: “WITH THE BLESSINGS OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY, WE CAN EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND JOY OF OUR GOD’S GREAT PLAN FOR HIS CHILDREN IN A WAY THAT CAN BE HEARD NOT ONLY AROUND OUR WORKPLACE, BUT AROUND THE WORLD. WE HAVE A GLAD MESSAGE TO SHARE, AND WE HAVE A MESSAGE OF JOY. USE YOUR HANDS TO BLOG AND TEXT MESSAGE THE GOSPEL TO ALL THE WORLD, ALL AT THE RIGHT TIME, AND AT THE RIGHT PLACE. PREACH THE GOSPEL AT ALL TIMES, AND IF NECESSARY, USE WORDS. ♪♪ ♪♪ (upbeat music) – [Narrator] This is the
World Report of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, April 2019. Straight ahead, the dedication
of the Rome Italy Temple brings many of the faithful to witness what has
become hallowed ground. – [Narrator] And for the
first time in an era, every member of the Twelve and the First Presidency
gather as one. – [Narrator] Now, the
long-anticipated day in Rome arrives-and
brings Latter-day Saints in Italy to a place
of worship and wonder. (peaceful, uplifting music) – [Narrator] Rome, Italy. The historic city at the
center of Christianity for many centuries now has
another worship center, a temple of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – Nice of you to come. – [Narrator] In three
dedicatory sessions, Church President Russell M.
Nelson dedicated the temple, Italy’s first. The first session
began with the symbolic public cornerstone ceremony, signifying the
temple’s completion. – Now we will proceed to
finish the work of the temple. (crowd chattering) – [Narrator] In offering
a dedicatory prayer, President Nelson reflected
on Rome as a great city standing since biblical times
and acknowledged the ministry of early Apostles
Peter and Paul, who witnessed here of Christ. He prayed that their
testimony of Jesus Christ may continue to bless this land. All members of the
First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles are participating in various dedicatory sessions. – For President Nelson
to invite us all to be here was such
a lifetime thrill. – I was astonished and
happy, as you can imagine, to be a part of this
historic and marvelous event. – We’re back with a living
prophet, with living apostles who have the same
call, as a tradition to proclaim the gospel
to all the world. We’re here with the
prophet to do just that in our modern times. – [Narrator] It was
a day of rejoicing for Latter-day Saints, many
who came from great distances to be part of the special day. – [Narrator] The
temple will serve more than 23,000
Latter-day Saints in Italy and nearby countries. With the temple dedicated,
those who worship will now enjoy the blessings of the faith’s most
sacred ceremonies. – [Narrator] The day before the
dedication, President Nelson along with President
M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles had the unique opportunity to meet with
Pope Francis at the Vatican. They talked about their concern
for human suffering, religious liberty, and the
importance of the family. – We had a most cordial,
unforgettable experience with His Holiness. He was most gracious
and warm and welcoming. – [Narrator] This was the first
president of the Church has met with a pope. – Good to be next
to you, my friend. – [Narrator] On the day
following the dedication of the Rome Italy Temple,
the entire First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints gathered to take historic photos. – We’re going to
seat by seniority and then the other
six in the back. – [Narrator] It is believed
to be the first time in Church history that
all fifteen leaders have assembled together
in one location outside the United States. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Coming up
next-the very personal ministry of President Russell M. Nelson
moves across Latin America. – [Narrator] And later
in our World Report, a walk through the
historic Rome Italy Temple. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Russell M.
Nelson, the 94-year-old prophet and President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
has been continuing his extensive travels
around the world, ministering to members
and friends of the faith. President Nelson, accompanied
by his wife, Wendy, and Elder Gary E.
Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
and his wife, Lesa, reached out to the
people of South America during a nine-day visit to five
countries this past October. President Nelson’s first
stop was in Lima, Peru. At a devotional, he spoke
to more than 6,000 people, where he surprised and
delighted the audience. (audience applauding) – [Narrator] While there,
President Nelson also met with the president of
Peru, Martín Vizcarra and visited a possible site
of a future temple in Lima. Continuing his journey,
President Nelson traveled south to El Alto, Bolivia,
the major city built at the highest
elevation in the world. – It is a spiritually elevating
experience to be with you. It is you, the Saints of
Bolivia, not the elevation, that take our breath away. – Do we have any Primary
children in the congregation? If so, I would
like you to stand. There’s the future of
the Church in Bolivia! – After visiting Bolivia,
the Nelsons and Stevensons traveled to Paraguay,
where they met with nearly 3,500
Latter-day Saints at the Conmebol Convention
Center in Asuncion. – We come to this earth
with a life to live, with so much to learn. But we need help, don’t we? – [Narrator] On the fourth stop
of his South American tour, President Nelson
visited and ministered to the Saints of Uruguay. While there, he had
the unique opportunity to spend time with the Rissos, a four-generation
Latter-day Saint family. In the evening, over
4,000 people gathered to hear President
Nelson’s inspired counsel. – Hundreds and hundreds of
faithful Latter-day Saints transformed this
tent into a chapel. – [Narrator] For his final
stop, President Nelson arrived in Chile for the
much-anticipated dedication of the Concepción Chile Temple,
the second temple in Chile, held on October 28th. The proceedings of
the first session, which included the
cornerstone ceremony, were broadcast to meetinghouses
throughout the country. – This represents the
importance of the cornerstone of the Church, and that
is the Lord Jesus Christ. – During his visit,
President Nelson and other Church leaders
attended a luncheon, where they met with
local government leaders and dignitaries, such as
Governor Jorge Ulloa Aguillon. The leaders also spoke to
the youth of the Church. – What an amazing experience
it is for the youth of the Church to be able to
go to the house of the Lord. – You’ll never be lost
if you can see the temple in your lives. – [Narrator] With the
temple dedication complete, President Nelson returned
to the United States, having left an
indelible impression on the people of South America. – [Narrator] President
Nelson’s ministry didn’t stop after South America. In November, along with
Elder David A. Bednar and his wife, Susan,
President Nelson traveled to San Antonio, Texas, for a special devotional
at the Alamodome. – Everyone lives
with challenges, and if we truly understand who
we are and why we are here, we can face the future
with faith in God and His eternal
plan of happiness. (choir singing) – [Narrator] In February,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to Glendale,
Arizona, with Dallin H. Oaks, the First Counselor in
the First Presidency, and his wife, Kristen. There they met with more
than 60,000 Latter-day Saints at State Farm Stadium. – Nice to meet you, Governor. – [Narrator] Before the
devotional, President Nelson met with Arizona
governor Doug Ducey and other prominent
leaders in the state. – It wasn’t what I expected;
it was much better. He is a compassionate,
learned, adventurous man. I highly respect his opinions. – Avrey.
– Hi. – Hi.
– Nice to meet you. – [Narrator] In what
has become a hallmark of President Nelson’s ministry,
he met with young adults to discuss their challenges
and give counsel. – Even though we’re in
these perilous times that as long as we stay
immersed in the scriptures and stay true to who we are,
that we can make it through. – Well, it’s amazing how
many people come out. – [Narrator] Straight
ahead-in a season of unprecedented
back-to-back wildfires, the people of
California band together to help in response to
those who are suffering. – Right down there
is two-cycle oil and bar-and-chain
oil right there. – [Narrator] From
hurricanes to wildfires, disasters often bring
out the best in people. In early October, Hurricane
Michael made landfall on the Florida
panhandle, bringing winds of over 155 miles per hour
and destruction to match. – We didn’t know what
we were going to do. We didn’t. – [Narrator] True to
their purpose, the
iconic yellow shirts of Helping Hands from The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came
from all over the region, determined to meet the
devastation head-on. (saw buzzing) Seventy-year-old Shirley
Daniels’s home and yard were badly damaged
in the hurricane. Then on Saturday morning,
people from a church she didn’t even know
showed up to help. – You’re just angels,
as far as I’m concerned. Gift from God. That’s all I can say, sorry. ♪ I Believe in Christ – It was so wonderful
to see that whole room full of yellow shirts. – President Dallin H. Oaks
of the First Presidency led a special delegation
of Church leaders to visit the area and meet
those who are now recovering. – The stability, faith,
and the rock-solid we-are-here-to-stay attitude– it’s a remarkable
testimony of their faith in and commitment to the
Lord Jesus Christ. – [Narrator] That commitment
was evident only one month later in California. The Camp Fire,
the deadliest fire in California history, brought
the picturesque mountain town of Paradise to this. – I think we thought
we were gonna die. I remember thinking,
I’m not sure I’m ready to die like this. – [Narrator] When the flames
overtook her hometown, Bryn Chatfield and her husband
fled down the mountain. As they drove, Bryn
could only pray. – It’s made me realize
how many people use prayer in their lives and how
important prayer is. – [Narrator] In the aftermath,
many have offered prayers and just as many have
jumped into action. Members of the Gridley
California Stake joined the community to put
these food boxes together. The supplies will be distributed
to victims of the fire. – Here, if you wanna put ’em in, I can just put them in. – Well, it’s amazing
how many people come out and are willing to
give and to serve. – [Narrator] In January,
President Russell M. Nelson arrived in Chico, California,
with a message of optimism. – I know the Lord has been
guiding you in your efforts to recover and move
forward in faith. – The fire came this direction. – [Narrator] Rob is the bishop of his local Latter-day
Saint congregation. Since the fire, he’s
had to help his family and his fellow members
get back on their feet. – Here he is with his
wife and his children, and there’s no home left. And yet they’re
serving other people. – [Narrator] Recovery
for this community will be a long road. But it’s one people here are
committed to travel together. ♪ It is well – With the Lord as our
Exemplar and Redeemer, whatever adversities or
tragedies may come our way, each of us will be able to say, It is well with my soul. ♪ It is well with my soul ♪ (gentle music) (laughing) – [Narrator] For the
third consecutive year, the Church’s
Christmas initiative, Light the World, came to life. In addition to releasing
a series of videos encouraging people
to serve, the Church raised $2.3 million dollars
through giving machines, large, red vending machines
placed in the United States, the United Kingdom,
and the Philippines. These machines made it possible
for people to buy items for those in need, such
as food, clean water, and medical supplies. In February, Sister
Joy D. Jones, Primary
General President, traveled to Manhattan
to deliver funds raised through these
giving machines to several of the Church’s global
humanitarian partners, including CARE, WaterAid
America, and UNICEF USA. – Thank you for the partnership. Thank you for the spirit
with which these machines were placed and for being with
us today to present a check that’s truly gonna
make the difference. – [Narrator] The donations
are being used to purchase nearly 843,000 meals,
more than 16,000 medical and health supplies, close
to 11,000 clothing items and household supplies,
nearly 20,000 chickens, and nearly 4,800 goats. Besides the donations
to the Church’s global humanitarian partners,
contributions were also made to local organizations
in Manila, Philippines; New York City, New York; London,
England; Gilbert, Arizona; and Salt Lake City, Utah. – 182 gas cards and bus passes. – [Narrator] Sister
Sharon Eubank, Counselor in the Relief Society General
Presidency and director of LDS Charities, delivered
checks to the Utah Food Bank, Eye Care 4 Kids, and the
Utah Refugee Connection. (applauding) ♪ Somewhere in my memory ♪ – [Narrator] In December,
the Tabernacle Choir’s annual Christmas concert
was a shimmering display of so many of the
traditions that audiences have grown to love. (dramatic classical music) This year’s guest artist,
Kristin Chenoweth, brought her award-winning talent
to the concert’s tradition of pageantry, dance numbers,
and timeless storytelling. – This is the gift
of the Christ Child. ♪ Fall on your knees – [Narrator] In all, some 600
performers took to the stage to thrill more
than 60,000 people during the live performances. ♪ Ah (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Coming up, the
Church announces new guidelines for families and
missionaries that will help them stay connected. – [Narrator] And still
to come, an inside look at the Rome Italy Temple. Stay with us. – As Latter-day Saints, we’ve
become accustomed to thinking of church as something that
happens in our meetinghouses. supported by what
happens at home. We need an adjustment
to this pattern. It is time for a
home-centered Church. – [Narrator] In October
general conference, President Russell M. Nelson, along with Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, announced a new two-hour
Sunday meeting schedule. These changes are intended
to bring a new balance and connection between gospel
instruction in the church and in the home. – We love our missionaries, and the missionaries
love their families, and they want to
communicate with them. – [Narrator] In February, the
First Presidency of the Church announced an update to
guidelines for communication between full-time missionaries
and their families. – Additional to
letters and emails, now the missionaries may
initiate a phone call back home or a chat. So it’s a marvelous
thing that we think will have wonderful positive
results for families and for the missionaries. – The Lord impressed upon
my mind the importance of the name He decreed
for His Church. – [Narrator] In its continued
effort to better reflect its name and its
commitment to Jesus Christ, the Church is consolidating
and renaming its websites and social media channels. LDS.org has been renamed
ChurchofJesusChrist.org, and Mormon Newsroom is now
Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org – On behalf of the First
Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, I am pleased to announce a
two-million-dollar contribution. (audience applauding) – [Narrator] A stirring
moment of support from The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints and FamilySearch
International, as witnessed by thousands attending
RootsTech 2019 at the Salt Lake City
Convention Center. Kicking off the first day with
a two-million-dollar donation from the Church, presented
by Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. (audience applauding) – Michael, we pray that
through this donation and the continuing
partnership between the Church and the International
African American Museum, millions and millions of
God’s children will be blessed with an increased
sense of connection, belonging, and purpose. – [Narrator] The funds
will support the creation of a Center for Family History within the International
African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. When completed, the museum
will house 40,000 square feet of artifact displays,
educational attractions, and an ever-expanding
genealogical database that visitors can access
within the museum’s Center for Family History. Special guests
attending attending the
RootsTech convention included the museum’s
president and CEO, Michael Boulware Moore,
and Martin Luther King III. – [Narrator] Relief
Society General President Jean B. Bingham and Young
Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon
traveled to West Africa with their husbands
in early March. During the 11-day trip,
the leaders visited Ghana, Nigeria, and Cote
d’Ivoire, or Ivory Coast. (laughing) – Yes, we’ll be just on route. – [Narrator] First
on the agenda, meeting the first lady of
Ghana to discuss the Church’s programs for women and youth
and its humanitarian efforts. – You could feel her genuine
caring for the people. She has done so much that
has blessed her citizens– the women, the children– and I felt such an
affinity with her. I felt like we were
just grandmothers that could just sit down
and talk about our children and grandchildren and about
the challenges of the world. – [Narrator] While in
Accra, they also ministered to several members
in their homes. – You’re wonderful. The purpose of our visit
is to meet the Saints, to do some instruction
for the sisters, to hear their challenges,
to feel their hearts, and to let them know
that we love them. – [Narrator] At the
meetinghouse, Sister Bingham participated in a pilot
gospel literacy program that teaches women how to
read while teaching them about the gospel
of Jesus Christ. – [Jean] We have an opportunity
to instruct, to love and be with the sisters, and
to see life through their eyes. We’re hoping that we can
understand more about life in Africa and some
of the great things that they get to celebrate
and some of their challenges and the things that
keep them up at night. – I love you. – Thank you! – Thank you. – And continue in all the
good ways that you are doing. (upbeat flute music) – [Narrator] In the
American Southwest, Sister Reyna I. Aburto
of the Relief Society General Presidency reached
out to Latter-day Saints in New Mexico and Arizona
in early November. – We will bless you
and your family. – [Narrator] Here, youth
and senior missionaries are gathering oral histories
from aging members of the tribe to preserve their
stories and language because many members of
the rising generation speak only English. – Would you ever go
back and visit them? – [Narrator] Sister
Aburto was able to see how the process works
during home visits. – My faith has been
strengthened because I’m here among these special people. And I know that they
will continue to blossom like a rose in the desert. – [Narrator] Elder D.
Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles and Bob Woodward, renowned Washington Post
investigative journalist, were part of a compelling
forum held in Washington D.C. In 1972, then 28-year-old
Todd Christofferson was a law clerk for
Judge John J. Sirica. Together they were
the first to listen to subpoenaed audiotapes
that demonstrated U.S. President Richard Nixon’s
complicity in a cover-up, a case infamously
known as Watergate. At the center of the effort
to discover the truth were Washington Post
journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The uncovering of
information ultimately led to Nixon’s resignation. – Over 400 people, including
journalists, politicians, academics, and students,
packed the auditorium. – If there had been a
strong lawyer in his midst who would go in and slam
down his fist, saying, You’re President of the United
States; you can’t do this. – Even in small things, I
think you have to be careful. When it seems, quote,
you won’t get caught or it doesn’t matter
or it’s just too small, I don’t think you can
make an exception. – [Narrator] Up next, a
breathtaking list of new temples announced around the world,
while other sites break ground. – [Narrator] And later,
a look at the design and historical influences
of the Rome Italy Temple. (cheerful music) – Today we are pleased
to announce plans to construct 12 more temples. – [Narrator] We begin with
President Nelson’s announcement about temples in the
Western Hemisphere and head south to Latin American to what will be the
Mendoza Argentina Temple. This temple will be the
fourth in Argentina, a country where
nearly half a million Latter-day Saints reside. – [Narrator] Next we
move north to Brazil to what will be the
Salvador Brazil Temple. There are six operating
temples in this country, with two more under construction and three others announced
but not yet begun. Moving to Mesoamerica,
we come to what will be Mexico’s 14th temple,
the Puebla Mexico Temple. There are nearly 1.5
million Latter-day Saints living in Mexico. – [Narrator] Our next stop
is Yuba City, California. The Yuba City California
Temple will be the 8th temple in California. – Crossing the United
States to the Caribbean, the San Juan Puerto Rico
Temple will be the first temple in Puerto Rico, where more than 23,000 Latter-day
Saints live. Ground will be broken
on Saturday, May 4th. – [Narrator] Traveling
across the Atlantic, we come to Cabo Verde, where nearly 15,000
Latter-day Saints reside. This set of islands, some 350
miles off the northwest coast of Africa, will have its
first temple in Praia. The groundbreaking for the
Praia Cabo Verde Temple will take place on May 4th. – [Narrator] Moving east
onto the African continent, we come to the future location of the Lagos Nigeria Temple,
Nigeria’s second temple and the ninth in Africa. Traveling across Africa
to Southeast Asia, the Phnom Penh Cambodia
Temple will be the first built in Cambodia and
the ninth in Asia. – [Narrator] And crossing
the South China Sea to the Philippines, the
Davao Philippines Temple will be the sixth temple
for this island nation of 107 million people. Moving across the Philippine
Sea into the Western Pacific, we come to the future location
of the Yigo Guam Temple. This will be the
first temple in Guam. Ground for this temple
will be broken on May 4th. – [Narrator] Moving south
across the Coral Sea, we come to what will be the
Auckland New Zealand Temple. This will be the second
temple in New Zealand, following the Hamilton
New Zealand Temple, which is closed for renovations. And back to North America,
we come to Southern Utah, the future location of the
Washington County Utah Temple. This will be Utah’s 20th temple. – [Narrator] This completes
our list of 12 new temples, but there are many more
important dedications and updates of temples
around the globe. In Latin America, the
Barranquilla Colombia Temple became the 161st operating
temple of the Church after its dedication
on December 9, 2018. It was formally dedicated
by President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in
the First Presidency. – Brothers and sisters, we
are pleased to welcome you to the site of the temple. – [Narrator] Before the
dedication, President Oaks and Elder Ulisses
Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met
with the assembled guests outside the temple for
the cornerstone ceremony. – The sealing of the cornerstone is an important symbolic
conclusion of the temple. – [Narrator] This is the
country’s second temple and the 19th temple in South
America, serving approximately 35,000 Latter-day Saints in
Colombia’s northern regions. – [Narrator] Across the
Pacific and back to the islands of the Philippines,
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of
the Twelve presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Urdaneta Philippines
Temple on January 16th. There are more
than three quarters of a million Latter-day Saints
living in the Philippines. Moving to southeast
Asia, ground was broken for the Bangkok Thailand
Temple on January 26th. Asia Area President,
Elder David F. Evans, presided over the ceremony. Across the Pacific and
to the Mountain West, ground was broken for the
Pocatello Idaho Temple on March 16th with Elder
Wilford W. Andersen presiding at the ceremony. (audience applauding) The temple in Pocatello
is the sixth in Idaho, a state with nearly half a
million Latter-day Saints. – With the passage of time,
temples are inevitably in need of refreshing
and renewal. – [Narrator] During last
October’s general conference, President Russell M.
Nelson spoke about temples that would be closed
for renovation. The St. George Utah Temple
will close on November 4th of this year and is
expected to reopen in 2022. The Salt Lake Temple will also
be closed for renovations. Dates for this and other
renovations will be announced. – [Narrator] Straight ahead a strong new partnership to
protect children and faith leader, and champion
of religious freedom is recognized by a member of
the Twelve. These stories and more
In the News. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve traveled to
Buenos Aires, Argentina in late September,
representing the Church and its humanitarian outreach
at the G20 Interfaith Forum. – Jesus taught that we must
care for the poor and the needy. We believe that this is one of our fundamental obligations, fundamental moral obligations
as a people and as a Church. – Last September, Church leaders
had the special opportunity of meeting with the prime
minister of New Zealand and presenting her with
a two-volume record of her family history. The Right Honorable
Jacinda Ardern greeted Elder O. Vincent Haleck, President of the Pacific
Area, and Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Area Presidency and also
the prime minister’s uncle. Having become prime
minister at age 37, Jacinda Ardern is the
world’s youngest female head of government. – As faith leaders, we hold a
trusted position in the lives of families and therefore
have a great responsibility for their safety and well-being. – [Narrator] In October,
Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary General President,
joined with other Utah community and faith leaders to
call on people to unite in protecting children
from child abuse. – As we combine our
efforts, I believe that we’ll see
great things happen. – [Narrator] In December,
the New York Latter-day Saint Professional Association
held its annual banquet at the historic Riverside
Church in Manhattan. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the keynote speaker,
addressing an audience representing numerous
denominations and paying tribute to Rabbi Joseph Potasnik,
a prominent Jewish leader in New York City. – So we come here
tonight-different backgrounds and beliefs–but may we
continue to bring light and love to one another. – [Narrator] For more than
30 years, Rabbi Potasnik has reached out to the
interfaith community while airing his radio
program Religion on the Line. – During the Silicon
Slopes Tech Summit held in late January,
the call went out on the Church-sponsored
JustServe.org website for summit participants and
people from the community to help provide meals
to hungry children in the United States. – We have a goal to
produce one million meals at the end of this project. – [Narrator] By partnering with
Feeding Children Everywhere and BrainStorm, Incorporated,
as well as JustServe, over 5,000 volunteers were
able to help provide meals for those in need. Up next, it’s much more
than a glimpse inside. When we come right back
you’ll get a sustained view into the purpose and promise
of the Rome Italy Temple. (dramatic music) – [Narrator] Just outside
of modern-day Rome, a new religious center has
emerged near the village of La Cinquina Bufalotta. In homage to the cultured
city for which it’s named, the 40,000-square-foot Rome
Italy Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints takes design cues
from ancient Rome, enduring influences that
have impacted the world in architecture and
art for 2,000 years. – It is beautiful. The craftsmanship is
expert and perfect. – This had to be one that when
you walked onto this site, every person should feel like
they were on an Italian site. They would recognize it
because of the materials, because of the design, and
because of the surrounding. – [Narrator] In 1997,
the Church purchased an available 15-acre farm. – And the Church
bought the land. Nobody, of course,
knew exactly what was going to happen here. But members started calling
this piece of property the future temple site. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] During the Church’s
October general conference in 2008, President Thomas
S. Monson announced plans for a temple in Rome. Two years later, he broke
ground on the project. – It was a great day
for me, for my family, and for all the Saints in Italy. – [Narrator] Now,
Italian members celebrate another historic day, the completion of their
much-anticipated temple. – I have strong feelings
because finally we have a temple very close to us here in Italy. – Now my children will
have more opportunities to go to the temple than
I had when I was younger. I’m from Sicily, so I
could go to the temple just once a year. – It’s a really great
opportunity and blessing for all the Saints here in Italy to go back to our
Heavenly Father’s house. – [Narrator] The sacred
structure’s curved Bianco Sardo granite-clad walls are
inspired by the oval design from the Baroque era that
incorporates an impressive array of stained-glass windows
inspired by the olive tree. – The Church of San
Carlino in Quattro Fontane, I immediately thought could
be inspiration for the temple. That started this very early
concept of a curved temple, both on the exterior as
well as on the interior. – [Narrator] The finest
materials can be seen throughout the Rome Italy
Temple, from the stone flooring, quarried in northern Tuscany
and marble from Spain, to the sapele burl and
cherry wood millwork and glass fixtures from Venice, all created and installed by
top artisans and craftsmen. – The temple is an expression
of our love and devotion to the Savior, the
Lord Jesus Christ. Nothing is too
good for the Lord. – [Narrator] Those
materials, highlighted in the temple’s remarkable
grand lobby staircase, a true engineering feat. – It’s connected just at
the top and the bottom, so, it’s essentially a
free-floating staircase, and, of course, an
elliptical shape. – [Narrator] The oval
design, reminiscent of Michelangelo’s masterpiece
Piazza del Campidoglio. – [Bret] It’s
something to behold. – [Narrator] The piazza’s
intricate elliptic pattern carries over into the flooring,
ceiling, and staircase that surrounds a one-of-a-kind
hand-blown glass chandelier, which incorporates the
Venetian leaf pattern. Paintings hang in all
areas of the temple, reminding temple guests of
Jesus Christ and His teachings to follow Him. This work of art
in the baptistry depicts the Savior’s baptism. The baptistry’s
purpose is in keeping with the Savior’s example
to enter the waters of baptism and His commandment
that all must be baptized. Here, temple patrons can act
on behalf of those who did not have the chance to be
baptized in this life. Inlaid stone wraps around
an oval font adorned with Roman-style
acanthus leaves, held up by 12 oxen representing
the 12 tribes of Israel. More superb artwork decorates
the instruction room, where devout members learn
about God’s love, Creation, and purpose of life. The mural reveals a
magnificent setting depicting Italy’s landscape,
from countryside to seascape. Crystalline sconces
and hand-painted chairs enhance the Baroque-era
feel of the bridal room. And in the sealing rooms, families are joined
together forever, demonstrated by the mirrors’
seemingly endless reflection that symbolizes eternity. The celestial room
epitomizes the progression of reaching heaven itself. An exquisite hand-made
crystal chandelier serves as the
centerpiece of the room, accented by elegant
handmade furnishings from Italian artisans, down
to the most intricate detail. – [Bednar] In our holy temples,
available are the most sacred and important sacraments or
ordinances that we receive as members of our Church. And those ordinances
bring peace. They bring purpose. They’re a source
of remarkable joy. – One of the most striking
elements of the temple campus, the visitors’ center, a
masterpiece in its own right. – [Bednar] When I saw the
statues of the Savior, the Christus, and
the Twelve Apostles, it was just a spiritually
stunning moment for me. – [Narrator] Facing the temple
through full-length windows, a life-size statue
of the Christus, accompanied by the
original Twelve Apostles, except for the Paul figure,
which replaces Judas Iscariot. They’re replicas of the
Bertel Thorvaldsen statues in the Church of
Our Lady in Denmark. The Lutheran Church
granted special permission for The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints to digitally scan the
statues which are carved out of Carrara marble taken
from the same quarry in Tuscany as
Michelangelo’s David. An original mural featuring
olive trees in an Italian countryside complements
the sacred ensemble. Visitors can also view a
model of the Rome Temple showing a cutaway of the
interior in exact replica. The visitors’ center,
temple patron housing, and meetinghouse
connect to the temple through an Italian-style
piazza of native travertine. The Church has gone to great
lengths in preservation, (rocks clicking) using salvaged 100-year-old
basalt cobblestones from the streets of Rome
for the temple roundabout. – If you look closely
at some of these stones, you can still see the grooves
worn in by the passage of old wagon wheels. (gentle, light music) – [Narrator] Additionally,
the Church saved existing Italian stone
pine trees on the property that now provide a tranquil
shady setting over stairs leading to the temple. Olive trees from the old
farm were also preserved, and ancient olive trees,
400 to 500 years old from northern Italy, are
planted in the piazza. – [Bednar] Whenever you cut
the roots of an olive tree, they’ll sprout. Some have suggested that
perhaps that’s symbolic of the hope of the Resurrection. – [Narrator] Rome,
with her storied past, now has a beautiful new
and historic addition. Once dedicated, the
Rome Italy Temple will be the 162nd operating
temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. – [Bednar] My genuine
hope is that all people to the temple, to
the visitors’ center, I just yearn for them to feel the joy that
will be evident there. – We offer our
testimony of the reality of Christ’s matchless life
and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. – His gospel was a message
of peace and goodwill. He entreated all to
follow His example. – He walked the roads of
Palestine, healing the sick, causing the blind to see,
and raising the dead. – He taught eternal truths, the reality of the
premortal existence, the purpose of life on
earth, and the potential that all of the sons and
daughters of God have in the life to come. – He gave His life to atone
for the sins of all mankind. His was a great
vicarious gift in behalf of all who would ever
live upon the earth. – He was the Firstborn
of the Father, the Only Begotten
Son in the flesh, the Redeemer of the world. – He rose from the grave
to become the first fruits of them that slept. – We declare in words of
solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been
restored upon the earth, – built upon the foundation
of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being
the chief cornerstone. – We testify that He
will return to earth, and the glory of the
Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall
see it together – He will rule as King of Kings
and reign as Lord of Lords, and every knee shall
bend and every tongue shall speak in
worship before Him. – Each of us will stand
to be judged of Him according to our works and
the desires of our hearts. – We bear testimony, as
His duly ordained Apostles, that Jesus is the Living
Christ, the immortal Son of God. – He is the great King
Immanuel, who stands today on the right hand of His Father. He is the light, the life,
and the hope of the world. – His way is the path
that leads to happiness in this life and eternal
life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless
gift of His divine Son. – [Narrator] This has been the
World Report for April 2019. – [Narrator] To watch
the World Report online, go to
Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org WE KNEW THAT THERE WAS MORE, AND
HE TOLD US ABOUT HIS PLAN–THAT HE DID HAVE MORE
PREPARED FOR US, BUT IT WOULD MEAN THAT WE HAD
TO CHOOSE TO COME TO THIS EARTH AND HAVE SOME HARD EXPERIENCES. JESUS CHRIST VOLUNTEERED TO
HELP MAKE THE PLAN OF SALVATION POSSIBLE, AND HE KNEW
THAT WE WOULD NEED SOMEONE TO HELP US GET BACK
TO HEAVENLY FATHER, THAT WE COULDN’T
DO IT ON OUR OWN. AND WE CHOSE THAT WE WOULD
ACCEPT IT AND COME DOWN TO EARTH AND BE PART OF
THIS EARTHLY EXISTENCE. WHY DOES LIFE HAVE
TO BE SO HARD? WELL, WE’RE HERE
TO LEARN, RIGHT? HOW WILL WE UNDERSTAND
THE DIFFERENCE IF WE DON’T EXPERIENCE THE
DIFFICULT AND THE HARDNESS? HOW WILL WE KNOW
HAPPINESS IF WE DON’T EXPERIENCE PAIN AND SADNESS? SO HEAVENLY FATHER HAS VERY
CAREFULLY PUT THOSE OPPOSITES TOGETHER TO GROW
US AND TO TEACH US AND TO EXPAND US AND EVOLVE
US AS SPIRITUAL BEINGS. I THINK FOR THOSE
THAT ARE STRUGGLING, THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE, AND
THERE ALWAYS WILL BE HOPE. THROUGH THOSE STRUGGLES
THAT WE HAVE IN LIFE, THROUGH THOSE CHALLENGES,
WE ARE ABLE TO DRAW NEARER TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
IF WE CHOOSE TO, IF WE WANT TO DO THAT. AND WE’RE ABLE TO FIND
PEACE WITH OUR SAVIOR IF WE WANT TO FIND PEACE. I WAS EIGHT YEARS
OLD WHEN MUM DIED, AND PROBABLY NOT
REALIZING IT AT THE TIME, BUT I THINK THAT STARTED FOR ME
A LIFELONG PURSUIT OF FINDING OUT ABOUT HER, WHERE
SHE IS, AND WHERE I NEED TO BE TO BE WITH HER. I FOUND OUT THAT
SHE’S STILL ALIVE. MUM, RIGHT NOW, LIVES
IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, AND I FOUND THAT OUT FOR MYSELF. BUT I FOUND OUT, TOO, THAT I
COULD QUALIFY TO SEE HER AGAIN. AND SO THAT’S BEEN A DRIVING
FORCE IN MY LIFE–MY ENTIRE LIFE. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY
LIFE AFTER DEATH. IT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN
SEE, BUT IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FEEL. AND THAT ALSO COMES WITH
KNOWLEDGE AND THROUGH STUDY OF THE SCRIPTURES. I LOST MY WIFE FOUR
YEARS AGO, AND SO THAT MOTIVATES ME TO KEEP ON
THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATH SO THAT I CAN BE WITH MY WIFE
AGAIN IN THIS LIFE HEREAFTER. AFTER DEATH I DO BELIEVE
THAT WE WILL BE PERFECTED. I TOLD MY HUSBAND MANY
YEARS AGO THAT HE’LL BE ABLE TO SING IN TUNE AFTER. AND FOR MYSELF, BECAUSE I
HAVE THE PANCREATIC CANCER, THE BREAST CANCER, I HAVE
DAMAGED DISCS IN MY LOWER SPINE–EACH DAY THAT I
LIVE HERE ON THE EARTH, WITH FAITH AND HOPE IN
HEAVENLY FATHER’S BLESSINGS, I AM ACTUALLY WORKING
TOWARD THE FACT THAT I KNOW, AFTER THIS LIFE, I’LL BE ABLE
TO THROW THIS CRUTCH AWAY AND I’LL BE RUNNING MARATHONS
AND I WILL BE PERFECTED, AS WE ALL WILL BE. BECAUSE I KNOW
THAT THERE IS MORE, AND THAT THERE IS A HEAVENLY
FATHER THAT HAS A PLAN, AND WHO KNEW THAT THESE
THINGS WOULD HAPPEN BUT LOVED US ENOUGH
TO SEND US HERE, I THINK IT MAKES ANYTHING
YOU GO THROUGH BEARABLE. AND I THINK HAVING
THAT KNOWLEDGE ALSO MAKES YOU MORE LOVING
OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU AND WANTING TO HELP THEM TO
GET THROUGH THEIR HARD TIMES, TOO, SO THAT THEY KNOW
THERE’S MORE THAN WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW,
BUT THAT THERE’S ETERNAL HAPPINESS AHEAD. ESSENTIAL TO THE
PLAN OF SALVATION IS OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. WITHOUT HIS ATONING
SACRIFICE, ALL WOULD BE LOST. IT IS NOT ENOUGH,
HOWEVER, MERELY TO BELIEVE IN HIM AND HIS MISSION. WE NEED TO WORK AND LEARN,
SEARCH AND PRAY, REPENT AND IMPROVE. WE NEED TO KNOW GOD’S
LAWS AND LIVE THEM. WE NEED TO RECEIVE
HIS SAVING ORDINANCES. ONLY BY DOING SO WILL WE
OBTAIN TRUE, ETERNAL HAPPINESS. GOD REVEALS TO HIS PROPHETS
THAT THERE ARE MORAL ABSOLUTES. SIN WILL ALWAYS BE SIN. DISOBEDIENCE TO THE
LORD’S COMMANDMENTS WILL ALWAYS DEPRIVE
US OF HIS BLESSINGS. THE WORLD CHANGES
CONSTANTLY AND DRAMATICALLY, BUT GOD, HIS COMMANDMENTS,
AND PROMISED BLESSINGS DO NOT CHANGE. THEY ARE IMMUTABLE, UNCHANGING. MEN AND WOMEN RECEIVE THEIR
AGENCY AS A GIFT FROM GOD, BUT THEIR LIBERTY–IN TURN,
THEIR ETERNAL HAPPINESS–COMES FROM OBEDIENCE TO HIS LAW. ONE WAY TO MEASURE OURSELVES
AND COMPARE US TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS IS BY THE OLDEST
STANDARD KNOWN TO MAN–THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. FOR MUCH OF THE CIVILIZED
WORLD, PARTICULARLY THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN WORLD,
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS HAVE BEEN THE MOST ACCEPTABLE
AND ENDURING DELINEATION BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. IN MY JUDGMENT, FOUR
OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS ARE TAKEN AS SERIOUSLY
TODAY AS EVER. AS A CULTURE, WE
DISDAIN AND CONDEMN MURDER, STEALING, AND
LYING, AND WE STILL BELIEVE IN THE RESPONSIBILITY
OF CHILDREN TO THEIR PARENTS. BUT AS A LARGER
SOCIETY, WE ROUTINELY DISMISS THE OTHER
SIX COMMANDMENTS: IF WORLDLY PRIORITIES
ARE ANY INDICATION, WE CERTAINLY HAVE “OTHER GODS”
WE PUT BEFORE THE TRUE GOD. WE MAKE IDOLS OF CELEBRITIES,
OF LIFESTYLE, OF WEALTH, AND YES, SOMETIMES EVEN
GRAVEN IMAGES OR OBJECTS. WE USE THE NAME OF GOD IN
ALL KINDS OF PROFANE WAYS, INCLUDING OUR EXCLAMATIONS
AND OUR SWEARING. WE USE THE SABBATH DAY FOR
OUR BIGGEST GAMES, OUR MOST SERIOUS RECREATION, OUR
HEAVIEST SHOPPING, AND VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING ELSE BUT WORSHIP. WE TREAT SEXUAL RELATIONS
OUTSIDE MARRIAGE AS A RECREATION,
AN ENTERTAINMENT. AND COVETING HAS BECOME A
FAR TOO COMMON WAY OF LIFE. A USEFUL WAY TO THINK
ABOUT THE COMMANDMENTS IS THEY ARE LOVING COUNSEL FROM
AN ALL-WISE HEAVENLY FATHER. HIS GOAL IS OUR
ETERNAL HAPPINESS, AND HIS COMMANDMENTS
ARE A ROADMAP HE HAS GIVEN US TO RETURN TO
HIM, WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY WE WILL BE ETERNALLY HAPPY. [MUSIC PLAYING] LAY ASIDE ALL THE DISTRACTIONS,
AND “RUN WITH PATIENCE THE RACE THAT IS SET BEFORE US.” THAT RACE IS COMING UNTO CHRIST. SO WHAT BLESSINGS
HAVE COME INTO MY LIFE AND MY HOME VIA THE PRIESTHOOD? EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE. EVERYTHING IN MY LIFE. ALL THE BLESSING THAT
I HAVE IN MY LIFE IS AS A RESULT OF THE GOSPEL. I SERVED MY MISSION
IN KENYA, YOU KNOW. SO I CAN ONLY IMAGINE NOT
BEING ABLE TO DO THAT AND SHARE THIS WONDERFUL GOSPEL WITH
THOSE WONDERFUL PEOPLE. THE PRIESTHOOD BRINGS US ALL
CLOSER TO GOD IF WE LET IT. IT’S A BLESSING TO
ME AND TO MY FAMILY EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE NOT
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH. IT GAVE ME A PARAMETER
TO HELP MY CHILDREN GROW. BEING WORTHY FOR IT. THEY COULD BLESS THEIR LIVES
AND THE LIVES OF THEIR FAMILIES AND THE LIVES OF
THOSE AROUND THEM. AND I HAVE HAD THE PRIVILEGE
OF BEING ABLE TO MINISTER TO OTHERS AND TO GET TO
SEE HOW THEIR LIVES CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. WHAT IMPRESSED ME
WERE THE PEOPLE AND HOW THEY
CONDUCTED THEMSELVES AND HOW THEY RAISED
THEIR CHILDREN. WHEN YOU LOOK AT MY HOUSEHOLD,
WITH THE LOVE THAT WE FEEL IN THERE, YOU KNOW, IN OUR
HOUSE–THAT’S THE PRIESTHOOD. IT BLESSES ME AND
BLESSES MY FAMILY. [MUSIC PLAYING] THE ULTIMATE END
FOR WHICH WE STRIVE IS THAT WE ARE HAPPY AS A
FAMILY, ENDOWED, SEALED, AND PREPARED FOR ETERNAL
LIFE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. [MUSIC PLAYING] [NO AUDIO] THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED
60 MILLION REFUGEES IN THE WORLD TODAY, AND
HALF OF THESE ARE CHILDREN. WE SEE MANY OF THEM COMING
WITH ONLY THE CLOTHES THEY’RE WEARING AND WHAT THEY
CAN CARRY IN ONE SMALL BAG. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] AS MEMBERS OF THE
CHURCH, WE DON’T HAVE TO LOOK BACK
FAR IN OUR HISTORY TO REFLECT ON TIMES WHEN
WE WERE REFUGEES, VIOLENTLY DRIVEN FROM HOMES AND
FARMS OVER AND OVER AGAIN. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] THE SAVIOR KNOWS HOW IT FEELS
TO BE A REFUGEE–HE WAS ONE. AS A CHILD, JESUS AND
HIS FAMILY FLED TO EGYPT TO ESCAPE THE MURDEROUS
SWORDS OF HEROD. AND AT VARIOUS POINTS
IN HIS MINISTRY, HE FOUND HIMSELF THREATENED
AND HIS LIFE IN DANGER, ULTIMATELY SUBMITTING TO
THE DESIGNS OF EVIL MEN WHO HAD PLOTTED HIS DEATH. IT IS ALL THE MORE
REMARKABLE TO US THAT HE REPEATEDLY TAUGHT
US TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, TO LOVE AS HE LOVES, TO LOVE
OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES. TRULY, “PURE RELIGION
AND UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD AND THE
FATHER IS THIS, TO VISIT THE FATHERLESS AND
WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION” AND TO “LOOK TO THE
POOR AND THE NEEDY, AND ADMINISTER TO THEIR RELIEF
THAT THEY SHALL NOT SUFFER.” [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] THE REALITY OF THESE SITUATIONS
MUST BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED. IT’S BEEN INSPIRING TO WITNESS
WHAT CHURCH MEMBERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD HAVE
GENEROUSLY DONATED TO HELP THESE INDIVIDUALS AND
FAMILIES WHO HAVE LOST SO MUCH. THE CHURCH HAS PROVIDED
SHELTER AND MEDICAL CARE. STAKES AND MISSIONS
HAVE ASSEMBLED MANY THOUSANDS OF HYGIENE KITS. OTHER STAKES HAVE PROVIDED
FOOD, WATER, CLOTHING, WATERPROOF COATS,
BICYCLES, BOOKS, BACKPACKS, READING GLASSES, AND MUCH MORE. THE POSSIBILITIES FOR US TO
LEND A HAND AND BE A FRIEND ARE ENDLESS. BEGIN ON YOUR KNEES IN PRAYER. THEN THINK IN TERMS OF DOING
SOMETHING CLOSE TO HOME, IN YOUR OWN COMMUNITY,
WHERE YOU WILL FIND PEOPLE WHO NEED
HELP IN ADAPTING TO THEIR NEW CIRCUMSTANCES. LIKE COUNTLESS
THOUSANDS BEFORE THEM, THIS WILL BE A PERIOD–WE HOPE
A SHORT PERIOD–IN THEIR LIVES. SOME OF THEM WILL GO ON
TO BE NOBEL LAUREATES, PUBLIC SERVANTS, PHYSICIANS,
SCIENTISTS, MUSICIANS, ARTISTS, RELIGIOUS LEADERS, AND
CONTRIBUTORS IN OTHER FIELDS. INDEED, MANY OF THEM
WERE THESE THINGS BEFORE THEY LOST EVERYTHING. THIS MOMENT DOES
NOT DEFINE THEM, BUT OUR RESPONSE
WILL HELP DEFINE US. MILLIONS OF REFUGEES
WORLDWIDE, WHOSE STORIES NO LONGER MAKE THE
NEWS, ARE STILL IN DESPERATE NEED OF HELP. YOU MIGHT HELP
RESETTLED REFUGEES LEARN THEIR HOST
COUNTRY LANGUAGE, UPDATE THEIR WORK SKILLS, OR
PRACTICE JOB INTERVIEWING. YOU COULD OFFER TO MENTOR
A FAMILY OR A SINGLE MOTHER AS THEY TRANSITION TO AN
UNFAMILIAR CULTURE, EVEN WITH SOMETHING AS SIMPLE
AS ACCOMPANYING THEM TO THE GROCERY
STORE OR TO SCHOOL. SOME WARDS AND STAKES HAVE
EXISTING TRUSTED ORGANIZATIONS TO PARTNER WITH. AND, ACCORDING TO
YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU CAN GIVE TO THE CHURCH’S
EXTRAORDINARY HUMANITARIAN EFFORT. “VERILY I SAY UNTO
YOU, INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE
LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.” [ HAWAIIAN MUSIC PLAYS ] I’M SO GLAD
WE DECIDED TO DO THIS. IT WASN’T THAT HARD. AND THE KIDS LOVE IT. HEY, DAD. [ DELIGHTED SCREAMS
AND LAUGHTER ] GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. I DID SOMETHING YOU MENTIONED
IN OUR LAST CLASS. I DREW PICTURES WITH MY
FIVE YEAR-OLD LAST NIGHT. WHO KNEW SHE HAD
SO MUCH TO SAY. I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND
THE ASSIGNMENT. I DID THE OTHER THING
YOU SAID, YOU KNOW,
GET DOWN ON THEIR LEVEL, MAKE EYE CONTACT. AND THEN WE JUST
WALKED AROUND THE PARK, PAST THE SCHOOLS, AND THEN WE HAD TO
GO BY BOBBY FELDON’S HOUSE. I HAD NO IDEA MY SON
WANTED TO PLAY THE PIANO. OKAY, SLOW DOWN, I’VE GOT PARK,
SCHOOL, TALK, PIANO, WHAT WAS THE OTHER THING? I’LL BE HONEST, AT FIRST,
I MEAN I WAS REALLY FRIGHTENED. CAN YOU IMAGINE A MAN MY SIZE
PLAYING HOPSCOTCH? BUT YOU KNOW WHAT,
IT REALLY GOT THINGS GOING. I MEAN, WE RELATED,
WE REALLY DID. VERY GOOD. NEXT WEEK’S ASSIGNMENT IS TO EAT DINNER TOGETHER
EVERY NIGHT AND TELL ME WHAT CHANGES
IN YOUR FAMILY. DO WE GET EXTRA CREDIT
FOR DESSERT? EXCELLENT!
CLASS DISMISSED. GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. PAOLA… SÍ, MAMA? VEN ACA, POR FAVOR. I DON’T KNOW
HOW MY MOM KNEW. BUT I GUESS MOMS
ALWAYS KNOW. I WASN’T BEING VERY NICE TO
ONE OF THE GIRLS AT SCHOOL. I KNEW IT WAS WRONG. I KNEW I WASN’T
SUPPOSED TO BE MEAN. I GUESS I DIDN’T THINK
IT WAS A BIG DEAL. BUT IN ONE SENTENCE
MY MOM HELPED ME UNDERSTAND. SHE SAID, “MI HIJA, YOU
NEED TO TREAT OTHERS “THE WAY YOU WANT
TO BE TREATED.” I THOUGHT ABOUT
THAT A LOT. I STILL DO. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. [INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC] IN PROVERBS 3:5-6,
WE READ THIS COUNSEL: “TRUST IN THE LORD
WITH ALL THINE HEART; AND LEAN NOT UNTO THINE
OWN UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL THY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM,
AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS.” TRUSTING IN THE LORD IS
LETTING THE LORD GUIDE YOU INSTEAD OF TRYING TO
FOLLOW YOUR OWN KNOWLEDGE AND YOUR OWN WISDOM. I TRUST THE LORD 110 PERCENT
BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IF I FALL, HE’LL PICK ME UP
AND THAT THERE WILL BE NO CUTS OR BRUISES THERE. EVERYTHING WILL BE HEALED. I DO TRUST THE LORD. AND I’VE HAD TOO MANY
EXPERIENCES NOT TO TRUST HIM. IF I TRY TO DO IT MYSELF,
IT’S WAY HARDER AND BUMPIER, AND IT’S A ROUGH PATH TO TAKE. TRUSTING IN THE LORD
MEANS TRUST THAT HE HAS A PURPOSE FOR WHATEVER IS
HAPPENING TO YOU IN YOUR LIFE. SO IF HE IS GIVING YOU A TRIAL,
THAT TRIAL IS FOR A REASON. WHEN WE SPIRITUALLY LEAN
TO OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, WE LEAN AWAY FROM OUR SAVIOR. IF WE LEAN, WE ARE NOT
CENTERED, WE ARE NOT BALANCED, AND WE ARE NOT
FOCUSED ON CHRIST. THERE ARE A LOT OF THINGS OUT
THERE THAT ARE DISTRACTING AND DEFINITELY TAKE AWAY
FOCUS FROM THE SAVIOR. I THINK I GREW UP IN, I WOULD
SAY, KIND OF A SLOW WORLD. AND AS I’VE GROWN, IT’S
GOTTEN FASTER AND FASTER. AND IT’S PRETTY MUCH A
WORLD OF DISTRACTIONS. I’VE HAD BAD EXPERIENCES
WITH FRIENDS. I HAD AN OPTION TO
CHOOSE RIGHT FROM WRONG. I CHOSE WRONG. AND IN THAT, I FELT
LIKE I HAD NO ONE, BUT I KNEW THAT HE WAS THERE. WE MUST EACH ASK, “HOW DO I
KEEP CENTERED AND LEAN NOT TO MY OWN UNDERSTANDING?” SPIRITUAL BALANCE
ISN’T EASY TO GET. IT’S SOMETHING THAT’S
GOING TO TAKE YEARS. TO HAVE GOOD BALANCE
IN THE GOSPEL, TO ME, IS MAKING TIME FOR PRAYER
AND SCRIPTURE STUDY, ALSO ATTENDING CHURCH AND HAVING
FAMILY TIME AT FAMILY HOME EVENING. GOING BACK TO THE
BASICS–PRAYER, SCRIPTURE, ATTENDING CHURCH–IS ALWAYS
A GOOD WAY OF KEEPING YOUR BALANCE. JESUS CHRIST HAS
OVERCOME THE WORLD. AND BECAUSE OF HIM, BECAUSE
OF HIS INFINITE ATONEMENT, WE ALL HAVE GREAT
CAUSE TO TRUST, KNOWING THAT ULTIMATELY
ALL WILL BE WELL. THE LORD HAS DIRECTED MY PATH. I KNOW THAT OUR SAVIOR
AND OUR REDEEMER LOVES US AND THAT HE SACRIFICED HIS
LIFE FOR US IN ORDER FOR US TO FIND JOY AND BE HAPPY. AND I KNOW THAT WE’RE
ONLY GOING TO FIND PEACE WHEN WE’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH. IF WE TRUST IN OUR HEAVENLY
FATHER AND IN OUR SAVIOR AND LEAN NOT TO OUR
OWN UNDERSTANDING, THEY WILL DIRECT OUR PATHS AND
WILL EXTEND THE ARM OF MERCY TOWARD US. [INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC] IF THERE ARE ANY WHO ARE
THINKING ABOUT GIVING UP ON THE CHALLENGE
OF LIFE, MY MESSAGE IS, EVERY HUMAN
SOUL IS PRECIOUS. MY NAME IS NATE OLSEN. MY DAD IS AN ARTIST, AND HE
DOES A LOT OF CHRISTIAN ARTWORK. AND SO HE HAD AN IDEA FOR A
PAINTING CALLED LOST AND FOUND. AND IN THAT PAINTING, THERE’S
JESUS SITTING ON A PARK BENCH WITH A TEENAGER. BUT MY DAD CHOSE MY
BEST FRIEND, DAN, TO BE THE MODEL
FOR THAT PAINTING. EVER SINCE NINTH
GRADE, I KNEW THAT HE HAD STRUGGLES WITH DEPRESSION. IT WAS ABOUT 10 YEARS
AFTER THE PAINTING WAS COMPLETED AND RELEASED THAT
DAN ENDED UP TAKING HIS LIFE. I THINK THAT I FELT THE
FULL SPECTRUM OF EMOTIONS. AT FIRST THERE WAS SORT OF THAT
SHOCK, NOT KNOWING IT’S REAL, AND THEN WHEN IT REALLY HITS
YOU THAT YOUR FRIEND IS GONE, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO
SEE HIM AND TALK TO HIM AGAIN. I WAS UPSET THAT NOW I HAD TO
LIVE WITH A LOT OF QUESTIONS AND WONDERING, WHAT
ROLE DID I PLAY IN THIS, AND WHAT COULD I
HAVE DONE BETTER? I WISH HE WOULD’VE
GIVEN ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO SIT ON THE BENCH
WITH HIM AND TALK TO HIM AND TO GIVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY
TO SHOW HIM WHY I LOVE HIM AND WHY I NEED HIM AND WHY
I WANT HIM TO BE AROUND FOR 50 YEARS. THE MOST COMMON SOURCES
OF PAIN FOR A PERSON WHO’S HAVING SUICIDAL
THOUGHTS INCLUDE FEELING DISCONNECTED FROM OTHERS,
FEELING ALIENATED FROM OTHERS, OR FEELING THAT RELATIONSHIPS
HAVE NEVER MATERIALIZED. THE OTHER COMMON SOURCE OF
PAIN IS FEELING LIKE A BURDEN TO OTHERS, THAT “PEOPLE WOULD
BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT ME.” WHEN THOSE ARE COMBINED WITH
HOPELESSNESS, THAT “THIS IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE,” THAT IS WHERE
SUICIDAL THOUGHTS BECOME RISKY. SO MY NAME IS SETH ADAM SMITH. I’M A WRITER AND A BLOGGER. I HAD STRUGGLED WITH DEPRESSION
ALL THROUGHOUT MY LIFE. I NEVER REALLY RECOGNIZED
IT FOR WHAT IT WAS, BUT AROUND THE TIME I
WAS 20, MY DEPRESSION SORT OF COLLAPSED ON ME AND
I FELT LIKE I WAS DROWNING. IT GOT SO SEVERE THAT I
DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO ESCAPE IT. I WOULD CLOSE IN ON MYSELF. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME ALONE AND
PUSHED PEOPLE OUT OF MY LIFE. I DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN
WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME. AND WHEN YOU’RE IN THAT, WHEN
YOU’RE IN THE THICK OF IT, IT REALLY JUST FEELS
LIKE YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE. EVERYTHING JUST CAME
TO A HEAD ONE DAY. I LOOKED AT MY
LIFE AND I REALIZED EVERYTHING WAS JUST BROKEN. I COULDN’T FIX ANYTHING. I COULDN’T CONTROL ANYTHING. I JUST FELT LIKE ALL OF MY
LIFE JUST SPUN OUT OF CONTROL. I WENT TO WORK. I CLOCKED IN FOR
ABOUT 40 MINUTES. MY BROTHER, SEAN, WAS
ONE OF MY SUPERVISORS. I LEFT MY CELL PHONE
THERE AND LEFT THE OFFICE. I WENT HOME. I DECIDED TO TAKE MY LIFE. I HAD THOUGHT ABOUT
IT QUITE A BIT. I WOULD HAVE DIED HAD MY
DAD NOT RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM MY BROTHER,
SEAN, AND FELT LIKE HE NEEDED TO COME AND FIND ME. WAKING UP IN THE
HOSPITAL WAS AGONY. AND THEN THEY TOOK
ME HOME, AND I REMEMBER MY BROTHER, SEAN,
PUT HIS ARM AROUND ME AND WALKED ME INTO MY ROOM
AND LAID ME DOWN ON MY BED. I REMEMBER WAKING UP
SEVERAL HOURS LATER, AND SEAN WAS STILL
SITTING THERE ON THE BED. AND I THOUGHT, “MAYBE
HE’S HERE BECAUSE HE THINKS I’M GOING TO TRY TO TAKE
MY LIFE AGAIN OR SOMETHING.” AND I SAID, “SEAN,
I’M ALL RIGHT. I JUST NEED TO BE
ALONE RIGHT NOW.” I SAID, “YOU CAN GO.” AND HE WAS REALLY QUIET. HE SAID, “YOU KNOW, SETH, I
ALMOST LOST MY LITTLE BROTHER, SO I DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO
GO ANYWHERE FOR A LITTLE WHILE. I’M JUST GOING TO SIT
HERE WITH YOU FOR A BIT.” I THINK THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME
THAT I RECOGNIZED THAT THERE WAS A WORLD OUTSIDE OF MYSELF. I STARTED TO SEE THAT
THERE WERE PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF MY OWN LIFE THAT
ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT ME AND THAT LOVED ME AND WANTED
TO SEE ME SUCCEED AND LIVE AND CONTRIBUTE TO
THEIR LIVES, AND I HADN’T BEEN SEEING THAT BEFORE. I REALIZED HE WAS
GOING TO GET ALL THAT TALKING WITH MY
PARENTS, WITH THERAPISTS, AND I REALIZED HE
PROBABLY JUST NEEDED SOMEONE JUST TO HANG OUT WITH. I TOOK WORK OFF FOR A WEEK, AND
WE JUST SAT AND WATCHED MOVIES AND PLAYED GAMES AND
TALKED ABOUT GIRLS. AND IF HE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT
IT, HE COULD TALK ABOUT IT. MY FAMILY, THEY’RE NOT DOCTORS;
THEY’RE NOT COUNSELORS. THEY’RE ACCOUNTANTS. AND I’M SURE THAT THEY FELT
OVERWHELMED, LIKE, “WE’RE NOT QUALIFIED TO TALK ABOUT THIS. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO
SAY AND WHAT TO DO.” BUT THE MERE FACT THAT THEY
REACHED OUT TO ME IN LOVE–THAT IS WHAT DID IT. SOMETIMES JUST SHARING THE LOAD,
BEING SOMEONE TO SIT WITH YOU. MY BROTHER, SEAN,
HARDLY SAID A WORD. HE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, BUT
WHAT HE DID–WHAT MY BROTHER DID IS WHAT CHANGED MY LIFE. THERE IS NOTHING MORE
POWERFUL THAN THE ARM OF LOVE THAT CAN BE PUT AROUND
THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING. THAT DOESN’T MEAN
THAT YOU’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO HEAL PEOPLE. BUT SAYING, “YOU KNOW, YOU NEED
A LITTLE HELP”–I THINK WE CAN HAVE AN IMPACT IN GUIDING PEOPLE
TO SOME OF THE RESOURCES THAT ARE AVAILABLE THAT THEY
MAY HAVE NO IDEA EXIST. I SAY WE KEEP OUR ANTENNAS UP,
WE WATCH OUT FOR EACH OTHER, WE LOVE ONE ANOTHER,
AND WE LEAVE THE JUDGMENTS, THE
ETERNAL JUDGMENTS, TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER
AND TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, WHO KNOW ALL THINGS. [MUSIC – “COME THOU FOUNT OF
EVERY BLESSING”] NO! YOUR RULES! IF DAD WAS HERE, THESE
RULES WOULDN’T EVEN BE HERE! GIVE ME THE PHONE. (SINGING) COME, THOU
FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING, TUNE MY HEART TO SING THY GRACE; STREAMS OF MERCY, NEVER CEASING, CALL FOR SONGS OF
LOUDEST PRAISE. TEACH ME SOME MELODIOUS SONNET, SUNG BY FLAMING TONGUES ABOVE. PRAISE THE MOUNT,
I’M FIXED UPON IT, MOUNT OF THY REDEEMING LOVE. HERE I RAISE MY EBENEZER; HITHER BY THY HELP I COME; AND I HOPE, BY
THY GOOD PLEASURE, SAFELY TO ARRIVE AT HOME. JESUS SOUGHT ME WHEN A STRANGER, WANDERING FROM THE FOLD OF GOD. HE, TO RESCUE ME FROM DANGER, INTERPOSED HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. O THAT DAY WHEN
FREED FROM SINNING, I SHALL SEE THY LOVELY FACE; CLOTHED IN THE
BLOOD WASHED LINEN HOW I’LL SING THY
WONDROUS GRACE. COME, MY LORD, NO LONGER TARRY, TAKE MY RANSOMED SOUL AWAY; SEND THINE ANGELS NOW TO CARRY ME TO REALMS OF ENDLESS DAY. GET IN. [INDISTINCT TALKING] HEY. [CAR DOOR SLAMS] [TIRES SQUEAL] O TO GRACE HOW GREAT A DEBTOR DAILY I’M CONSTRAINED TO BE! LET THY GOODNESS,
LIKE A FETTER– [THUNDER ROLLS] –BIND MY WANDERING
HEART TO THEE. PRONE TO WANDER,
LORD, I FEEL IT, PRONE TO LEAVE THE GOD I LOVE; HERE’S MY HEART, O
TAKE AND SEAL IT, SEAL IT FOR THEE. PRONE TO WANDER,
LORD, I FEEL IT, PRONE TO LEAVE THE GOD I LOVE. GABRIELLA! [CAR DOOR CLOSES] [FOOTSTEPS RUN CLOSER] HERE’S MY HEART, O
TAKE AND SEAL IT, SEAL IT FOR THY COURTS ABOVE. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. HOW YOU DOIN’, JACK? COULDN’T BE BETTER. WHAT? JUST THINKING ABOUT JACK
OVER THERE. DOESN’T HE EVER HAVE
ANYTHING IMPORTANT TO DO? WHAT? HEY, MAX.
HOW YOU DOIN’? COULDN’T BE BETTER. WHERE YOU GOIN’? OVER NEXT DOOR
TO PLAY. WELL, I CAN PLAY
WITH YOU. IT’S OKAY, DAD.
I KNOW YOU’RE BUSY. GIVE YOU FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. WORKED SUCH MIGHTY MIRACLESIS OF HEALING AND TAUGHT WITH
SUCH AUTHORITY AND POWER THAT THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, “HIS FAME
WENT THROUGHOUT ALL SYRIA … AND THERE FOLLOWED HIM
GREAT MULTITUDES OF PEOPLE.” SOME WHO SAW HIM HEAL AND
HEARD HIM TEACH REJECTED HIM. OTHERS FOLLOWED HIM
FOR A SEASON BUT THEN WALKED WITH HIM NO MORE. THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS
THERE IN FRONT OF THEM, BUT THEY DID NOT SEE
WHO HE REALLY WAS. THEY WERE BLIND, AND
THEY CHOSE TO TURN AWAY. OF THEM, JESUS SAID: “I CAME UNTO MY OWN, AND
MY OWN RECEIVED ME NOT.” “THEIR EARS ARE DULL OF
HEARING, AND THEIR EYES THEY HAVE CLOSED.” HOWEVER, THERE WERE
MANY MEN AND WOMEN, INCLUDING HIS
FAITHFUL APOSTLES, WHO CENTERED THEIR LIVES ON HIM. THOUGH THEY STRUGGLED
WITH WORLDLY DISTRACTIONS, WITH CONFUSION ABOUT WHAT HE
TAUGHT, AND EVEN WITH FEAR, THEY BELIEVED IN HIM, LOVED
HIM, AND FOLLOWED HIM. OF THEM, JESUS SAID, “BLESSED
ARE YOUR EYES, FOR THEY SEE: AND YOUR EARS, FOR THEY HEAR.” JUST BEFORE HIS
SUFFERING IN GETHSEMANE AND ON CALVARY, JESUS
MADE HIS DISCIPLES THIS REMARKABLE PROMISE: “HE
THAT BELIEVETH ON ME, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO;
AND GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; BECAUSE
I GO UNTO MY FATHER.” THE HOLY GHOST ENLIGHTENED
THEIR UNDERSTANDING, AND THEY HEARD THE VOICE
OF THE LORD MORE CLEARLY. WE TOO LIVE IN A TIME WHEN
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WORKS MIRACLES AMONG US–INCLUDING
HEALING THE SICK, CLEANSING US FROM SIN,
CHANGING OUR HEARTS, AND OPENING SALVATION TO
GOD’S CHILDREN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. OUR TIME IS A TIME OF
GREAT EVIL AND TEMPTATION, A TIME OF CONFUSION
AND COMMOTION. WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE
PERFECT, BUT WE NEED TO BE GOOD AND GETTING BETTER. WE NEED TO STRIVE TO LIVE
THE PLAIN AND SIMPLE TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL. SIMPLE OBEDIENCE BRINGS
THE SPIRIT INTO OUR HEARTS. IN OUR HOMES, WE PRAY IN
FAITH, SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES, AND KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY. IN OUR CHAPELS, WE
PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT AND MAKE SACRED PROMISES
TO OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. I KNOW THAT IF WE
WILL DO THESE THINGS, THE HOLY GHOST WILL COME. WE WILL HEAR THE SAVIOR’S
VOICE IN THE SCRIPTURES, IN THE WHISPERINGS
OF THE SPIRIT, AND IN THE WORDS OF
THE LIVING PROPHETS. WE WILL HAVE EYES TO
SEE AND EARS TO HEAR, AND WE WILL BUILD
THE KINGDOM OF GOD. [MUSIC PLAYING] I ALWAYS HAD THIS YEARNING
TO FIND MY GRANDFATHER. BUT WE HAD NO CLUE WHERE TO
GO, HOW TO START, WHAT TO DO. WHEN I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD, I
HAD THIS OVERWHELMING FEELING TO LEARN ABOUT MY
HERITAGE AND MY IDENTITY. THERE IS A HUNGER, MARROW-DEEP,
TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHERE YOU CAME FROM. THANK YOU, AND MARK. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING TO ME. I ALWAYS WANT TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT OUR ANCESTORS. I ALWAYS FELT CLOSE TO
MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER BECAUSE GROWING UP,
I WAS ALWAYS TOLD ABOUT HOW MUCH I LOOK LIKE HER. THEN ONE DAY I SAW HER PHOTO. AND THAT’S THE FIRST TIME I EVER
EXPERIENCED LOOKING AT A PHOTO AND THINKING, “IS THAT ME?” IT’S CRAZY THAT I GET A
LITTLE EMOTIONAL OVER IT. AND SHE HAD THE BROOCH ON. AND I WAS BESIDE MYSELF BECAUSE
IT WAS A PIECE OF SOMETHING THAT I HAD OF MY GERMAN
GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER. I WANT TO KNOW HOW THEY
LIVED, WHAT THEY DID. WERE THEY LIKE ME? WERE THEY NOT LIKE ME? I THINK THAT THE TIMES WHERE I
FEEL CONFIDENCE–I WANT TO KNOW WHERE THAT COMES FROM. I THINK THAT TIMES WHERE I
FEEL SCARED–I WANT TO KNOW, DID PEOPLE IN MY PAST EXPERIENCE
THE SAME TYPE OF THING? AND HOW DID THEY OVERCOME IT? IT’S HOW THEY FELT,
HOW THEY WORKED THROUGH THE SAME TYPES OF
PROBLEMS THAT I WORK THROUGH. THROUGH RECORDS I READ THE
STORY OF MY OWN GRANDMOTHER WHO LOST HER MOTHER AS A CHILD. AND THAT GAVE ME
STRENGTH BECAUSE I FELT LIKE I WASN’T THE FIRST
PERSON IN MY LINE GOING THROUGH SUCH A TRAGEDY. I THINK I WOULD LIKE TO ASK
THEM, “HOW DID YOU DO THAT? WHAT KIND OF TIPS CAN YOU TELL
ME SO I CAN HANDLE MY LIFE?” THERE WAS A BOOK BEING
PASSED DOWN FROM GENERATIONS, TELLING ADVICE GIVEN
TO THE FAMILY, HOW THEY SHOULD CONDUCT THEIR LIFE. IT HAS 21 GENERATIONS, AND
I CANNOT EVEN TELL YOU HOW I FELT, KNOWING THAT I HAVE SO
MANY ANCESTORS WATCHING OVER ME. I ACTUALLY FEEL
THE ENERGY OF THOSE THAT WENT BEFORE ME, PROVIDING
ME GUIDANCE ALONG THE WAY. OH, YEAH. SO WE WALKED INTO THIS HUGE
ROOM AND SAW ALL THESE BOOKS. AND I SAID TO HIM,
“HOW ON EARTH AM I GOING TO FIND MY
GRANDFATHER’S RECORDS HERE?” AND I KIND OF LOOKED
AT THE FIGURES. AND SUDDENLY I SAW
THIS THUMBPRINT ON THE IMMIGRATION PASS. AND AS I SAW THAT, I FELT
SOMETHING REALLY STRONG. AND I FELT LIKE THIS WAS MY
GRANDFATHER’S THUMBPRINT. AND EVEN THEN I THOUGHT,
“HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS HIM?” BUT I FEEL THAT VERY STRONGLY. AND HE IS GUIDING THIS WORK
THAT HE WANTS ME TO DO. I WENT TO SEVERAL CEMETERIES,
AND IN EVERY ONE OF THEM, I STOOD WITH THOSE ANCESTORS. AND I JUST–YOU THANK THEM. AND YOU TELL THEM, “HERE I AM. I’M PART OF YOU, AND
YOU’RE PART OF ME.” YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THEM IN YOUR
MIND’S EYE AS JUST AS REAL AS ALL THE PEOPLE THAT SURROUND
YOU IN THE LIVING WORLD TODAY–PEOPLE THAT IF YOU KNEW
THEM, YOU WOULD LOVE THEM. MY NAME IS ELVIS. JANE. SHARON. AMY. CHRIS. DENNIS. RANDALL. SUE. EVANGELINE. RACHEL. MADELINE. TERRY. SHANNON. WENDELL. WE DON’T JUST NEED THE
NAMES AND THE DATES. EVERY LIFE HAS A STORY. IT’S UP TO US TO FIND IT. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC – “DID YOU
THINK TO PRAY?”] [SINGING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE] (SINGING) WHEN SORE
TRIALS CAME UPON YOU, DID YOU THINK TO PRAY? WHEN YOUR SOUL WAS
FULL OF SORROW, BALM OF GILEAD DID YOU BORROW AT THE GATES OF DAY? OH, HOW PRAYING RESTS THE WEARY! PRAYER WILL CHANGE
THE NIGHT TO DAY. SO, WHEN LIFE GETS
DARK AND DREARY, DON’T FORGET TO PRAY. DON’T FORGET TO PRAY. [MUSIC PLAYING] [MUSIC PLAYING] DO YOU REMEMBER
THE BIBLICAL STORY OF THE WOMAN WHO
SUFFERED FOR 12 YEARS WITH A DEBILITATING PROBLEM? SHE EXERCISED GREAT
FAITH IN THE SAVIOR, EXCLAIMING, “IF I MAY TOUCH BUT
HIS CLOTHES, I SHALL BE WHOLE.” WHO TOUCHED MY CLOTHES? MANY OF US HAVE CRIED OUT
FROM THE DEPTHS OF OUR HEARTS A VARIATION OF
THIS WOMAN’S WORDS: “IF I COULD SPIRITUALLY STRETCH
ENOUGH TO DRAW THE SAVIOR’S POWER INTO MY LIFE,
I WOULD KNOW HOW TO HANDLE MY
HEART-WRENCHING SITUATION. I WOULD KNOW WHAT TO DO. AND I WOULD HAVE
THE POWER TO DO IT.” SOMETIMES YOU’VE
GOT TO REALLY REACH. AND WHEN YOU’RE
EXPERIENCING TRIALS, SOMETIMES THAT’S NOT SOMETHING
THAT YOU FEEL INCLINED TO DO. BUT YOU’VE GOT TO DO IT. YOU’RE ESSENTIALLY
THROWING AWAY A SAFETY NET IN YOUR OWN CHOICES. YOU’RE LETTING GO OF THE TRUST
THAT YOU HAVE IN YOURSELF AND WHAT MAYBE YOUR
MIND TELLS YOU TO DO, AND RATHER, YOU’RE PUTTING IT
ALL IN HEAVENLY FATHER’S HANDS. BUT HONESTLY, FOR ME,
THOSE ARE THE SAFEST HANDS THAT I COULD POSSIBLY
PUT MY FAITH INTO. THESE TURBULENT TIMES WERE
FORESEEN BY THE SAVIOR. YET OUR HEAVENLY
FATHER NEVER INTENDED THAT WE WOULD DEAL WITH THE
MAZE OF PERSONAL PROBLEMS AND SOCIAL ISSUES ON OUR OWN. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT
HE SENT HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON TO HELP US. AND HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST,
GAVE HIS LIFE FOR US. ALL SO THAT WE COULD HAVE
ACCESS TO GODLY POWER–POWER SUFFICIENT TO DEAL WITH
THE BURDENS, OBSTACLES, AND TEMPTATIONS OF OUR DAY. IT GIVES US THE IMPETUS TO
KEEP GOING FORWARD AND MOVING FORWARD, KNOWING THAT WE’RE NOT
IN THIS LIFE ALL BY OURSELVES, THAT WE HAVE THAT HELP
WITH US EVERY DAY. IF I WANT TO BE ABLE
TO GROW SPIRITUALLY, I’VE GOT TO DO THINGS THAT
ARE SPIRITUAL IN NATURE. I’VE GOT TO LEARN HOW TO
REACH OUT TO HEAVENLY FATHER AND CONNECT WITH HIM. WE BEGIN BY LEARNING ABOUT HIM. AS WE INVEST TIME IN
LEARNING ABOUT THE SAVIOR AND HIS ATONING SACRIFICE, WE
CHOOSE TO HAVE FAITH IN HIM. THE LORD DIRECTS MY LIFE THROUGH
A LOT OF PERSONAL REVELATION. AND I GET THAT OFTEN THROUGH
READING THE SCRIPTURES AND PRAYER, OFTEN. THOSE TWO ARE PRETTY
MUCH MY LIFELINE, ESPECIALLY BEING BY MYSELF. THEY HELP ME TO UNDERSTAND
WHAT I NEED TO DO NEXT. FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
PROPELS US TO DO THINGS WE OTHERWISE WOULD NOT DO. FAITH THAT MOTIVATES
US TO ACTION GIVES US MORE
ACCESS TO HIS POWER. I KNEW IF I COULD JUST TOUCH THY
CLOTHES, THAT I WOULD BE WHOLE. DAUGHTER, THY FAITH
HATH MADE THEE WHOLE. THIS FAITHFUL,
FOCUSED WOMAN NEEDED TO STRETCH AS FAR AS SHE
COULD TO ACCESS HIS POWER. WHEN YOU SPIRITUALLY STRETCH
BEYOND ANYTHING YOU HAVE EVER DONE BEFORE, YOU WILL
BE LED BY THE HOLY GHOST TO KNOW EXACTLY
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO. [MUSIC PLAYING] WELCOME TO A COMMUNITY WHERE WE
THINK OF EACH OTHER AS FAMILY AND ACT LIKE WE ACTUALLY ARE. WHERE WE TRY EVERY DAY
TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER, TO BEAR EACH OTHER’S BURDENS,
TO BE A LITTLE BIT BETTER, A LITTLE BIT KINDER–BECAUSE
THAT’S WHAT JESUS TAUGHT. HE CAN MAKE YOU A
BETTER PERSON, AND YOU CAN MAKE US A BETTER CHURCH. COME CELEBRATE EASTER WITH
US ON SUNDAY, APRIL 21. VISIT COMEUNTOCHRIST.ORG
TO FIND A CHURCH NEAR YOU. [MUSIC PLAYING] FORE. HIDE AND SEEK? UH, SORT OF. KIDS WILL
OFTEN WITHDRAW WHEN THEIR NEEDS
AREN’T BEING MET. I KNOW
IT WOULD BE EASIER IF THEY
JUST WALKED UP AND SAID, “HEY I’M FEELING LIKE I NEED
A LITTLE ONE-ON-ONE TIME.” BUT KIDS HAVE
THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. AND IT’S UP TO US
PARENTS TO LEARN IT. ONCE YOU FIGURE OUT HOW
TO SPEAK YOUR KID’S LANGUAGE, WELL, YOU DON’T REALLY
HAVE TO SAY MUCH AT ALL. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WITH SPEAKERS SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST IS FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING, SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH, WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION. ♪♪>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO THE SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED ME TO CONDUCT THIS SESSION. WE EXTEND OUR GREETINGS TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND FRIENDS EVERYWHERE WHO ARE PARTICIPATING IN THESE PROCEEDINGS BY RADIO, TELEVISION, THE INTERNET, OR SATELLITE TRANSMISSION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MACK WILBERG AND RYAN MURPHY WITH BONNIE GOODLIFFE AND LINDA MARGETTS AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR WILL OPEN THIS MEETING BY SINGING “SWEET IS THE WORK.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER TANIELA B. WAKOLO OF THE SEVENTY. ♪ SWEET IS THE DAY
OF SACRED REST. ♪ ♪ NO MORTAL CARE
SHALL SEIZE MY BREAST. ♪ ♪ OH, MAY MY HEART
IN TUNE BE FOUND, ♪ ♪ LIKE DAVID’S HARP
OF SOLEMN SOUND! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ MY HEART SHALL TRIUMPH
IN MY LORD ♪ ♪ AND BLESS HIS WORKS
AND BLESS HIS WORD. ♪ ♪ THY WORKS OF GRACE,
HOW BRIGHT THEY SHINE! ♪ ♪ HOW DEEP THY COUNSELS,
HOW DIVINE! ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ BUT, OH WHAT TRIUMPH
SHALL I RAISE ♪ ♪ TO THY DEAR NAME
THROUGH ENDLESS DAYS, ♪ ♪ WHEN IN THE REALMS
OF JOY I SEE ♪ ♪ THY FACE
IN FULL FELICITY! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHEN IN THE REALMS
OF JOY I SEE ♪ ♪ THY FACE
IN FULL FELICITY! ♪ ♪ AMEN ♪♪ ♪♪ GERRIT GONG, JUAN PABLO VILLAR, JUAN PABLO VILLAR, JUAN PABLO VILLAR. >> ELDER TANIELA B. WAKOLO: OUR ETERNAL FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE BOW>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “COME UNTO JESUS.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER JUAN PABLO VILLAR OF THE SEVENTY. ELDER GERRIT W. GONG OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES WILL THEN ADDRESS US. ♪♪ ♪ COME UNTO JESUS,
YE HEAVY LADEN, ♪ ♪ CAREWORN AND FAINTING,
BY SIN OPPRESSED. ♪ ♪ HE’LL SAFELY GUIDE YOU
UNTO THAT HAVEN ♪ ♪ WHERE ALL WHO TRUST HIM
MAY REST, MAY REST. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ COME UNTO JESUS;
HE’LL EVER HEED YOU, ♪ ♪ THOUGH IN THE DARKNESS
YOU’VE GONE ASTRAY. ♪ ♪ HIS LOVE WILL FIND YOU
AND GENTLY LEAD YOU ♪ ♪ FROM DARKEST NIGHT
INTO DAY, TO DAY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ COME UNTO JESUS;
HE’LL SURELY HEAR YOU, ♪ ♪ IF YOU IN MEEKNESS
PLEAD FOR HIS LOVE. ♪ ♪ OH, KNOW YOU NOT THAT
ANGELS ARE NEAR YOU ♪ ♪ FROM BRIGHTEST
MANSIONS ABOVE, ABOVE? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ COME UNTO JESUS
FROM EV’RY NATION, ♪ ♪ FROM EV’RY LAND
AND ISLE OF THE SEA. ♪ ♪ UNTO THE HIGH
AND LOWLY IN STATION, ♪ ♪ EVER HE CALLS,
“COME TO ME.” ♪ ♪ EVER HE CALLS,
“COME TO ME.” ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ COME. ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: IN MORTALITY WE ARE SUBJECT TO THE LAWS OF MAN AND THE LAWS OF GOD. I HAVE HAD THE UNUSUAL EXPERIENCE OF JUDGING SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOR UNDER BOTH OF THESE LAWS–EARLIER AS A JUSTICE OF THE UTAH SUPREME COURT AND NOW AS A MEMBER OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. THE CONTRAST I HAVE EXPERIENCED BETWEEN THE LAWS OF MAN AND THE LAWS OF GOD HAS INCREASED MY APPRECIATION FOR THE REALITY AND POWER OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. UNDER THE LAWS OF MAN, A PERSON GUILTY OF THE MOST SERIOUS CRIMES CAN BE SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT POSSIBILITY OF PAROLE. BUT IT IS DIFFERENT UNDER THE MERCIFUL PLAN OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. I HAVE WITNESSED THAT THESE SAME SERIOUS SINS CAN BE FORGIVEN IN MORTALITY BECAUSE OF OUR SAVIOR’S ATONING SACRIFICE FOR THE SINS OF “ALL THOSE WHO HAVE A BROKEN HEART AND A CONTRITE SPIRIT.” CHRIST REDEEMS AND HIS ATONEMENT IS REAL. THE LOVING COMPASSION OF OUR SAVIOR IS EXPRESSED IN THE GREAT HYMN JUST PERFORMED BY THE CHOIR: “COME UNTO JESUS;
HE’LL EVER HEED YOU, THOUGH IN THE DARKNESS
YOU’VE GONE ASTRAY. HIS LOVE WILL FIND YOU
AND GENTLY LEAD YOU FROM DARKEST
NIGHT INTO DAY.” THE ATONING SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST OPENS THE DOOR FOR “ALL MEN [TO] REPENT AND COME UNTO HIM.” THE BOOK OF ALMA REPORTS REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS EVEN OF THOSE WHO HAD BEEN A WICKED AND A BLOODTHIRSTY PEOPLE. MY MESSAGE TODAY IS ONE OF HOPE FOR ALL OF US, INCLUDING FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHURCH BY EXCOMMUNICATION OR NAME REMOVAL. WE ARE ALL SINNERS WHO CAN BE CLEANSED BY REPENTANCE. “TO REPENT FROM SIN IS NOT EASY,” ELDER RUSSELL M. NELSON TAUGHT IN A PRIOR GENERAL CONFERENCE, “BUT THE PRIZE IS WORTH THE PRICE.” REPENTANCE BEGINS WITH OUR SAVIOR, AND IT IS A JOY, NOT A BURDEN. IN LAST DECEMBER’S CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL, PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT: “TRUE REPENTANCE IS NOT AN EVENT. IT IS A NEVER-ENDING PRIVILEGE. IT IS FUNDAMENTAL TO PROGRESSION AND HAVING PEACE OF MIND, COMFORT, AND JOY.” SOME OF THE GREATEST TEACHINGS ON REPENTANCE ARE IN ALMA’S BOOK OF MORMON SERMON TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH WHOM HE LATER DESCRIBED AS HAVING BEEN IN A STATE OF “MUCH UNBELIEF,” “LIFTED UP IN … PRIDE,” AND WITH HEARTS SET “UPON RICHES AND THE VAIN THINGS OF THE WORLD.” EACH MEMBER OF THIS RESTORED CHURCH HAS MUCH TO LEARN FROM ALMA’S INSPIRED TEACHINGS. WE BEGIN WITH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, BECAUSE “IT IS HE THAT COMETH TO TAKE AWAY THE SINS OF THE WORLD.” WE MUST REPENT, BECAUSE, AS ALMA TAUGHT, “EXCEPT YE REPENT YE CAN IN NOWISE INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” REPENTANCE IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF GOD’S PLAN. BECAUSE ALL WOULD SIN IN OUR MORTAL EXPERIENCE AND BE CUT OFF FROM GOD’S PRESENCE, MAN COULD NOT BE SAVED WITHOUT REPENTANCE. THIS HAS BEEN TAUGHT FROM THE BEGINNING. THE LORD COMMANDED ADAM, “TEACH IT UNTO YOUR CHILDREN, THAT ALL MEN, EVERYWHERE, MUST REPENT, OR THEY CAN IN NOWISE INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD, FOR NO UNCLEAN THING CAN DWELL THERE, OR DWELL IN HIS PRESENCE.” WE MUST REPENT OF ALL OUR SINS–ALL OF OUR ACTIONS OR INACTIONS CONTRARY TO THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. NO ONE IS EXEMPT. JUST LAST EVENING PRESIDENT NELSON CHALLENGED US: “BRETHREN, WE ALL NEED TO REPENT.” TO BE CLEANSED BY REPENTANCE WE MUST FORSAKE OUR SINS AND CONFESS THEM TO THE LORD AND TO HIS MORTAL JUDGE WHERE REQUIRED. ALMA TAUGHT THAT WE MUST ALSO “BRING FORTH WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.” ALL OF THIS IS PART OF THE FREQUENT SCRIPTURAL INVITATION TO COME UNTO CHRIST. WE NEED TO PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT EACH SABBATH DAY. IN THAT ORDINANCE WE MAKE COVENANTS AND RECEIVE BLESSINGS THAT HELP US OVERCOME ALL ACTS AND DESIRES THAT BLOCK US FROM THE PERFECTION OUR SAVIOR INVITES US TO ACHIEVE. AS WE “DENY [OURSELVES] OF ALL UNGODLINESS, AND LOVE GOD WITH ALL [OUR] MIGHT, MIND AND STRENGTH,” THEN WE MAY BE “PERFECT IN CHRIST” AND BE “SANCTIFIED … THROUGH THE SHEDDING OF [HIS] BLOOD” TO “BECOME HOLY, WITHOUT SPOT.” WHAT A PROMISE! WHAT A MIRACLE! WHAT A BLESSING! ONE PURPOSE OF GOD’S PLAN FOR THIS MORTAL EXPERIENCE IS TO “PROVE” US “TO SEE IF [WE] WILL DO ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER THE LORD [OUR] GOD SHALL COMMAND [US].” AS PART OF THIS PLAN, WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO GOD AND TO HIS CHOSEN SERVANTS, AND THAT ACCOUNTABILITY INVOLVES BOTH MORTAL AND DIVINE JUDGMENTS. IN THE LORD’S CHURCH, MORTAL JUDGMENTS FOR MEMBERS OR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS ARE ADMINISTERED BY LEADERS WHO SEEK DIVINE DIRECTION. IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO JUDGE PERSONS WHO ARE SEEKING TO COME UNTO CHRIST TO RECEIVE THE POWER OF HIS ATONEMENT ON THE COVENANT PATH TO ETERNAL LIFE. MORTAL JUDGMENTS DETERMINE WHETHER A PERSON IS READY FOR BAPTISM. IS A PERSON WORTHY OF A RECOMMEND TO ATTEND THE TEMPLE? HAS A PERSON WHOSE NAME HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE RECORDS OF THE CHURCH REPENTED SUFFICIENTLY THROUGH THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST TO BE READMITTED BY BAPTISM? WHEN A MORTAL JUDGE CALLED OF GOD APPROVES A PERSON FOR FURTHER PROGRESS, SUCH AS TEMPLE PRIVILEGES, HE IS NOT SIGNIFYING THAT PERSON AS PERFECT, AND HE IS NOT FORGIVING ANY SINS. ELDER SPENCER W. KIMBALL TAUGHT THAT AFTER WHAT HE CALLED THE MORTAL “WAIVING [OF] PENALTIES,” A PERSON “MUST ALSO SEEK AND SECURE FROM THE GOD OF HEAVEN A FINAL REPENTANCE, AND ONLY HE CAN ABSOLVE.” AND IF SINFUL ACTS AND DESIRES REMAIN UNREPENTED UNTIL THE FINAL JUDGMENT, AN UNREPENTANT PERSON WILL REMAIN UNCLEAN. THE ULTIMATE ACCOUNTABILITY, INCLUDING THE FINAL CLEANSING EFFECT OF REPENTANCE, IS BETWEEN EACH OF US AND GOD. THE JUDGMENT MOST COMMONLY DESCRIBED IN THE SCRIPTURES IS THE FINAL JUDGMENT THAT FOLLOWS THE RESURRECTION. MANY SCRIPTURES STATE THAT “WE SHALL ALL STAND BEFORE THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST,” “TO BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THE DEEDS [THAT] HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE MORTAL BODY.” ALL WILL BE JUDGED “ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS” AND “ACCORDING TO THE DESIRE[S] OF THEIR HEARTS. THE PURPOSE OF THIS FINAL JUDGMENT IS TO DETERMINE WHETHER WE HAVE ACHIEVED WHAT ALMA DESCRIBED AS A “MIGHTY CHANGE [OF HEART],” WHERE WE HAVE BECOME NEW CREATURES, WITH “NO MORE DISPOSITION TO DO EVIL, BUT TO DO GOOD CONTINUALLY.” THE JUDGE OF THIS IS OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. AFTER HIS JUDGMENT, WE WILL ALL CONFESS “THAT HIS JUDGMENTS ARE JUST,” BECAUSE HIS OMNISCIENCE HAS GIVEN HIM A PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF ALL OUR ACTS AND DESIRES, BOTH THOSE RIGHTEOUS OR REPENTED AND THOSE UNREPENTED OR UNCHANGED. THE SCRIPTURES DESCRIBE THE PROCESS OF THIS FINAL JUDGMENT. ALMA TEACHES THAT THE JUSTICE OF OUR GOD REQUIRES THAT IN THE RESURRECTION “ALL THINGS SHOULD BE RESTORED TO THEIR PROPER ORDER.” THIS MEANS THAT “IF THEIR WORKS WERE GOOD IN THIS LIFE, AND THE DESIRES OF THEIR HEARTS WERE GOOD, … AT THE LAST DAY [THEY WILL] BE RESTORED UNTO THAT WHICH IS GOOD.” SIMILARLY, “IF THEIR WORKS [OR THEIR DESIRES] ARE EVIL THEY SHALL BE RESTORED [TO] THEM FOR EVIL.” SIMILARLY, THE PROPHET JACOB TAUGHT THAT IN THE FINAL JUDGMENT “THEY WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS SHALL BE RIGHTEOUS STILL, AND THEY WHO ARE FILTHY SHALL BE FILTHY STILL.” THAT IS THE PROCESS BEFORE WHAT MORONI CALLS “THE PLEASING BAR OF THE GREAT JEHOVAH, THE ETERNAL JUDGE OF BOTH QUICK AND DEAD.” TO ASSURE THAT WE WILL BE CLEAN BEFORE GOD, WE MUST REPENT BEFORE THE FINAL JUDGMENT. AS ALMA TOLD HIS SINFUL SON, WE CANNOT HIDE OUR SINS BEFORE GOD, “AND EXCEPT YE REPENT THEY WILL STAND AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST YOU AT THE LAST DAY.” THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST GIVES US THE ONLY WAY TO ACHIEVE THE NEEDED CLEANSING THROUGH REPENTANCE, AND THIS MORTAL LIFE IS THE TIME TO DO IT. ALTHOUGH WE ARE TAUGHT THAT SOME REPENTANCE CAN OCCUR IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, THAT IS NOT AS CERTAIN. ELDER MELVIN J. BALLARD TAUGHT: “IT IS MUCH EASIER TO OVERCOME AND SERVE THE LORD WHEN BOTH FLESH AND SPIRIT ARE COMBINED AS ONE. THIS IS THE TIME WHEN MEN ARE MORE PLIABLE AND SUSCEPTIBLE. … THIS LIFE IS THE TIME TO REPENT.” WHEN WE REPENT, WE HAVE THE LORD’S ASSURANCE THAT OUR SINS, INCLUDING OUR ACTS AND DESIRES, WILL BE CLEANSED, AND OUR MERCIFUL FINAL JUDGE WILL “REMEMBER THEM NO MORE.” CLEANSED BY REPENTANCE, WE CAN QUALIFY FOR ETERNAL LIFE, WHICH KING BENJAMIN DESCRIBED AS “DWELL[ING] WITH GOD IN A STATE OF NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS.” AS ANOTHER PART OF GOD’S “PLAN OF RESTORATION,” THE RESURRECTION WILL RESTORE “ALL THINGS … TO THEIR PROPER AND PERFECT FRAME.” THIS INCLUDES THE PERFECTION OF ALL OF OUR PHYSICAL DEFICIENCIES AND DEFORMITIES ACQUIRED IN MORTALITY, INCLUDING AT BIRTH OR BY TRAUMA OR DISEASE. DOES THIS RESTORATION PERFECT US OF ALL OUR UNHOLY OR UNCONQUERED DESIRES OR ADDICTIONS? THAT CANNOT BE. WE KNOW FROM MODERN REVELATION THAT WE WILL BE JUDGED FOR OUR DESIRES AS WELL AS OUR ACTIONS, AND THAT EVEN OUR THOUGHTS WILL CONDEMN US. WE MUST NOT “PROCRASTINATE THE DAY OF [OUR] REPENTANCE” UNTIL DEATH, AMULEK TAUGHT, BECAUSE THE SAME SPIRIT THAT HAS POSSESSED OUR BODY IN THIS LIFE–WHETHER THE LORD’S OR THE DEVIL’S–“WILL HAVE POWER TO POSSESS [OUR] BODY IN THAT ETERNAL WORLD.” OUR SAVIOR HAS THE POWER AND STANDS READY TO CLEANSE US FROM EVIL. NOW IS THE TIME TO SEEK HIS HELP TO REPENT OF OUR WICKED OR UNSEEMLY DESIRES AND THOUGHTS, TO BE CLEAN AND PREPARED TO STAND BEFORE GOD AT THE FINAL JUDGMENT. OVERARCHING GOD’S PLAN AND ALL OF HIS COMMANDMENTS IS HIS LOVE FOR EACH OF US, WHICH IS “MOST DESIRABLE ABOVE ALL THINGS … AND THE MOST JOYOUS TO THE SOUL.” THE PROPHET ISAIAH ASSURED EVEN THE WICKED THAT WHEN THEY “RETURN UNTO THE LORD … HE WILL HAVE MERCY … [AND] ABUNDANTLY PARDON.” ALMA TAUGHT, “BEHOLD, HE SENDETH AN INVITATION UNTO ALL MEN, FOR THE ARMS OF MERCY ARE EXTENDED TOWARDS THEM.” THE RISEN LORD TOLD THE NEPHITES: “BEHOLD, MINE ARM OF MERCY IS EXTENDED TOWARDS YOU, AND WHOSOEVER WILL COME, HIM WILL I RECEIVE.” FROM THESE AND MANY OTHER SCRIPTURAL TEACHINGS WE KNOW THAT OUR LOVING SAVIOR OPENS HIS ARMS TO RECEIVE ALL MEN AND WOMEN, ON THE LOVING CONDITIONS HE HAS PRESCRIBED, TO ENJOY THE GREATEST BLESSINGS GOD HAS FOR HIS CHILDREN. BECAUSE OF GOD’S PLAN AND THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST, I TESTIFY WITH A “PERFECT BRIGHTNESS OF HOPE” THAT GOD LOVES US AND WE CAN BE CLEANSED BY THE PROCESS OF REPENTANCE. WE ARE PROMISED THAT “IF [WE] PRESS FORWARD, FEASTING UPON THE WORD OF CHRIST, AND ENDURE TO THE END, BEHOLD, THUS SAITH THE FATHER: YE SHALL HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” MAY WE ALL DO SO, I PLEAD AND PRAY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER JUAN PABLO VILLAR: I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSING OF HAVING A PHYSICAL BODY, WHICH IS AN AMAZING GIFT FROM OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. OUR BODIES HAVE OVER 600 MUSCLES. MANY MUSCLES REQUIRE EXERCISE IN ORDER TO BE IN CONDITION TO PERFORM OUR DAILY ACTIVITIES. WE COULD EXPEND MUCH MENTAL EFFORT READING AND LEARNING ABOUT OUR MUSCLES, BUT IF WE THINK THIS WILL MAKE THEM STRONGER, WE WILL BE VERY DISAPPOINTED. OUR MUSCLES GROW ONLY WHEN WE USE THEM. I HAVE COME TO REALIZE THAT SPIRITUAL GIFTS BEHAVE IN THE SAME WAY. THEY ALSO NEED TO BE EXERCISED TO GROW. THE SPIRITUAL GIFT OF FAITH, FOR EXAMPLE, IS NOT JUST A FEELING OR A MOOD; IT IS A PRINCIPLE OF ACTION THAT FREQUENTLY APPEARS IN THE SCRIPTURES LINKED TO THE VERB “EXERCISE.” JUST AS READING AND LEARNING ABOUT MUSCLES IS NOT ENOUGH TO BUILD MUSCLE, READING AND LEARNING ABOUT FAITH WITHOUT ADDING ACTION IS INSUFFICIENT TO BUILD FAITH. WHEN I WAS 16 YEARS OLD, MY OLDEST BROTHER, IVAN, WHO WAS 22 AT THAT TIME, CAME HOME ONE DAY AND SHARED SOME NEWS WITH THE FAMILY. HE HAD DECIDED TO GET BAPTIZED IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. OUR PARENTS LOOKED AT HIM SOMEWHAT SKEPTICALLY, AND I REMEMBER NOT COMPLETELY UNDERSTANDING WHAT WAS GOING ON. A YEAR OR SO LATER, HE GAVE US MORE SURPRISING NEWS: HE HAD DECIDED TO SERVE AS A MISSIONARY OF THE CHURCH, WHICH MEANT THAT WE WERE NOT GOING TO SEE HIM FOR TWO YEARS. MY PARENTS WERE NOT THRILLED WITH THIS NEWS; HOWEVER, I SAW IN HIM A CLEAR DETERMINATION THAT INCREASED MY ADMIRATION FOR HIM AND THE DECISION HE HAD MADE. MONTHS LATER, WHILE IVAN WAS SERVING HIS MISSION, I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAN A VACATION WITH SOME SCHOOLMATES. WE WANTED TO CELEBRATE THE END OF OUR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS AND SPEND A FEW DAYS AT THE BEACH. I WROTE A LETTER TO MY MISSIONARY BROTHER MENTIONING MY SUMMER VACATION PLANS. HE WROTE BACK THAT THE TOWN HE WAS SERVING IN WAS ON THE WAY TO MY DESTINATION. I DECIDED IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO STOP BY AND VISIT HIM. IT WAS NOT UNTIL LATER THAT I LEARNED THAT MISSIONARIES ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE VISITED BY FAMILY. I MADE ALL THE ARRANGEMENTS. I REMEMBER SITTING ON THE BUS THINKING OF ALL THE FUN IVAN AND I WOULD HAVE TOGETHER ON THIS BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY. WE WOULD HAVE BREAKFAST, CHAT, PLAY IN THE SAND, SUNBATHE–WHAT A GREAT TIME WE WERE GOING TO HAVE! AS THE BUS ARRIVED AT THE TERMINAL, I SAW IVAN STANDING NEXT TO ANOTHER YOUNG MAN, BOTH IN WHITE SHIRTS AND TIES. I GOT OFF THE BUS, WE HUGGED EACH OTHER, AND HE INTRODUCED HIS COMPANION. WITHOUT WASTING ANOTHER MINUTE, I TOLD MY BROTHER MY PLANS FOR THE DAY, BUT LITTLE DID I KNOW WHAT IVAN HAD SCHEDULED. HE LOOKED AT ME, SMILED, AND SAID, “SURE! HOWEVER, WE NEED TO DO SOME ERRANDS FIRST. WOULD YOU COME WITH US?” I AGREED, THINKING THAT WE WOULD HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO ENJOY THE BEACH AFTERWARD. THAT DAY, FOR MORE THAN 10 HOURS, I WALKED THROUGH THE STREETS OF THAT TOWN WITH MY BROTHER AND HIS COMPANION. I SMILED AT PEOPLE ALL DAY; I GREETED PEOPLE I HAD NEVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. WE TALKED TO EVERYONE, KNOCKED ON THE DOORS OF STRANGERS, AND VISITED PEOPLE MY BROTHER AND HIS COMPANION WERE TEACHING. DURING ONE SUCH VISIT, MY BROTHER AND HIS COMPANION WERE TEACHING ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND THE PLAN OF SALVATION. SUDDENLY, IVAN PAUSED AND LOOKED AT ME. TO MY SURPRISE, HE POLITELY ASKED ME TO SHARE MY OPINION ABOUT WHAT WAS BEING TAUGHT. THE ROOM FELL SILENT AND ALL EYES WERE ON ME. WITH SOME DIFFICULTY, I FINALLY FOUND THE WORDS AND SHARED MY FEELINGS ABOUT THE SAVIOR. I DID NOT KNOW IF WHAT I SHARED WAS RIGHT OR WRONG. MY BROTHER NEVER CORRECTED ME; TO THE CONTRARY, HE THANKED ME FOR SHARING MY THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. DURING THOSE HOURS TOGETHER, MY BROTHER AND HIS COMPANION DID NOT SPEND A SINGLE MINUTE TEACHING A LESSON EXCLUSIVELY TO ME, YET I GAINED MORE KNOWLEDGE THAN IN ALL MY PREVIOUS CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM. I WITNESSED HOW COUNTENANCES WERE CHANGED AS PEOPLE RECEIVED SPIRITUAL LIGHT IN THEIR LIVES. I SAW HOW SOME OF THEM FOUND HOPE IN THE MESSAGES, AND I LEARNED HOW TO SERVE OTHERS AND FORGET ABOUT MYSELF AND MY OWN DESIRES. I WAS DOING WHAT THE SAVIOR TAUGHT: “IF ANY MAN WILL COME AFTER ME, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF.” LOOKING BACK, I REALIZE THAT MY FAITH GREW THAT DAY BECAUSE MY BROTHER GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO PUT IT IN ACTION. I EXERCISED IT AS WE READ FROM THE SCRIPTURES, LOOKED FOR PEOPLE TO TEACH, BORE TESTIMONY, SERVED OTHERS, AND SO ON. WE NEVER GOT AROUND TO SUNBATHING THAT DAY, BUT MY HEART WAS BATHED IN LIGHT FROM HEAVEN. I DID NOT SEE EVEN ONE SMALL GRAIN OF SAND AT THE BEACH, BUT I FELT MY FAITH GROW LIKE A SMALL GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED. I DID NOT SPEND THE SUNNY DAY AS A TOURIST, BUT I GAINED WONDERFUL EXPERIENCES AND, WITHOUT REALIZING IT, I WAS A MISSIONARY–WITHOUT EVEN BEING A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH! THANKS TO THE RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL, WE CAN COME TO UNDERSTAND HOW OUR HEAVENLY FATHER HELPS US DEVELOP SPIRITUAL GIFTS. IT IS MORE LIKELY THAT HE WILL GIVE US OPPORTUNITIES TO DEVELOP THOSE GIFTS RATHER THAN JUST GRANTING THEM TO US WITHOUT SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL EFFORT. IF WE ARE IN TUNE WITH HIS SPIRIT, WE WILL LEARN TO IDENTIFY THOSE OPPORTUNITIES AND THEN ACT UPON THEM. IF WE SEEK MORE PATIENCE, WE MAY FIND OURSELVES NEEDING TO PRACTICE IT WHILE WAITING FOR A RESPONSE. IF WE WANT TO HAVE MORE LOVE FOR OUR NEIGHBOR, WE CAN FOSTER IT BY SITTING NEXT TO A NEW FACE AT CHURCH. WITH FAITH IT IS SIMILAR: WHEN DOUBTS COME TO OUR MINDS, TRUSTING IN THE LORD’S PROMISES WILL BE REQUIRED TO MOVE FORWARD. IN THIS WAY WE ARE EXERCISING SPIRITUAL MUSCLES AND DEVELOPING THEM INTO SOURCES OF STRENGTH IN OUR LIVES. IT WILL PROBABLY NOT BE EASY AT THE BEGINNING, AND IT MIGHT EVEN BECOME A BIG CHALLENGE. THE WORDS OF THE LORD, THROUGH THE PROPHET MORONI, APPLY TO US TODAY: “AND IF MEN COME UNTO ME I WILL SHOW UNTO THEM THEIR WEAKNESS. I GIVE UNTO MEN WEAKNESS THAT THEY MAY BE HUMBLE; AND MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ALL MEN THAT HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE ME; FOR IF THEY HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE ME, AND HAVE [OR EXERCISE] FAITH IN ME, THEN WILL I MAKE WEAK THINGS BECOME STRONG UNTO THEM.” I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY BROTHER IVAN, WHO NOT ONLY SHARED THE GOSPEL WITH ME BUT ALSO INDIRECTLY INVITED ME TO LIVE IT AND RECOGNIZE MY WEAKNESSES. HE HELPED ME TO ACCEPT THE INVITATION OF THE MASTER: “COME, FOLLOW ME,” TO WALK AS THE SAVIOR WALKED, SEEK AS THE SAVIOR SOUGHT, AND LOVE AS THE SAVIOR LOVES US. MONTHS LATER, AFTER MY MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE, I DECIDED TO GET BAPTIZED AND TO SERVE MY OWN MISSION. LET’S ACCEPT THE INVITATION OF PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON AND INTENTLY COME UNTO THE SAVIOR BY IDENTIFYING THOSE MUSCLES THAT NEED MORE SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY AND STARTING TO EXERCISE THEM. THIS IS A LONG-DISTANCE, A MARATHON RACE RATHER THAN A SPRINT, SO DO NOT FORGET THOSE SMALL BUT CONSTANT SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES THAT WILL STRENGTHEN THOSE IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL MUSCLES. IF WE WANT TO INCREASE OUR FAITH, THEN LET’S DO THINGS THAT REQUIRE FAITH. I BEAR MY WITNESS THAT WE ARE CHILDREN OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER. HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST, LOVES US. HE CAME TO THIS WORLD TO SHOW US THE WAY AND THEN GAVE HIS LIFE VOLUNTARILY TO GIVE US HOPE. THE SAVIOR INVITES US TO FOLLOW HIS PERFECT EXAMPLE, TO EXERCISE OUR FAITH IN HIM AND HIS ATONEMENT, AND TO EXPAND ALL THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS THAT WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH. HE IS THE WAY. THIS IS MY TESTIMONY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER GERRIT W. GONG: DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, HAVE YOU EVER HAD TROUBLE FALLING ASLEEP AND TRIED COUNTING IMAGINARY SHEEP? AS FLUFFY SHEEP JUMP OVER A FENCE YOU COUNT: 1, 2, 3, … 245, 246, … 657, 658 … IN MY CASE, COUNTING SHEEP DOESN’T MAKE ME SLEEPY. I WORRY ABOUT MISSING OR LOSING ONE, AND THAT KEEPS ME AWAKE. [LAUGHTER] WITH THE SHEPHERD BOY WHO BECAME A KING, WE DECLARE: “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD;
I SHALL NOT WANT. “HE MAKETH ME TO LIE DOWN
IN GREEN PASTURES: HE LEADETH ME BESIDE
THE STILL WATERS. “HE RESTORETH MY SOUL.” AT THIS EASTER SEASON, WE CELEBRATE THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS ALSO THE LAMB OF GOD. OF ALL HIS DIVINE TITLES, NO OTHERS ARE MORE TENDER OR TELLING. WE LEARN MUCH FROM OUR SAVIOR’S REFERENCES TO HIMSELF AS THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND FROM PROPHETIC TESTIMONIES OF HIM AS THE LAMB OF GOD. THESE ROLES AND SYMBOLS ARE POWERFULLY COMPLEMENTARY–WHO BETTER TO SUCCOR EACH PRECIOUS LAMB THAN THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND WHO BETTER TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD THAN THE LAMB OF GOD? “FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON,” AND GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON LAID DOWN HIS LIFE IN WILLING OBEDIENCE TO HIS FATHER. JESUS TESTIFIES, “I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: THE GOOD SHEPHERD GIVETH HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP.” JESUS HAD POWER TO LAY DOWN HIS LIFE AND POWER TO TAKE IT UP AGAIN. UNITED WITH HIS FATHER, OUR SAVIOR UNIQUELY BLESSES US, BOTH AS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD AND AS THE LAMB OF GOD. AS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD, JESUS CHRIST CALLS HIS SHEEP IN HIS VOICE AND HIS NAME. HE SEEKS AND GATHERS US. HE TEACHES HOW TO MINISTER IN LOVE. LET US CONSIDER THESE THREE THEMES, BEGINNING WITH HIM CALLING US IN HIS VOICE AND NAME. FIRST, OUR GOOD SHEPHERD “CALLETH HIS OWN SHEEP BY NAME, … THEY KNOW HIS VOICE.” AND “IN HIS OWN NAME HE DOTH CALL YOU, WHICH IS THE NAME OF CHRIST.” AS WE SEEK WITH REAL INTENT TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST, INSPIRATION COMES TO DO GOOD, TO LOVE GOD, AND TO SERVE HIM. AS WE STUDY, PONDER, AND PRAY; AS WE REGULARLY RENEW SACRAMENTAL AND TEMPLE COVENANTS; AND AS WE INVITE ALL TO COME TO HIS GOSPEL AND ORDINANCES, WE ARE HEARKENING TO HIS VOICE. IN OUR DAY PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON COUNSELS US TO CALL THE RESTORED CHURCH BY THE NAME JESUS CHRIST REVEALED–THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THE LORD SAID, “WHATSOEVER YE SHALL DO, YE SHALL DO IT “IN MY NAME”; THEREFORE YE SHALL CALL THE CHURCH “IN MY NAME”; AND YE SHALL CALL UPON THE FATHER “IN MY NAME” THAT HE WILL BLESS THE CHURCH FOR MY SAKE.” ACROSS THE WORLD, IN OUR HEARTS AND HOMES, WE CALL UPON THE FATHER IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND ARE GRATEFUL FOR SUCH GENEROUS BLESSINGS OF OUR HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED WORSHIP, GOSPEL STUDY, AND WHOLESOME FAMILY ACTIVITIES. SECOND, OUR GOOD SHEPHERD SEEKS AND GATHERS US INTO HIS ONE FOLD. HE ASKS, “WHAT MAN OF YOU, HAVING AN HUNDRED SHEEP, IF HE LOSE ONE OF THEM, DOTH NOT LEAVE THE NINETY AND NINE IN THE WILDERNESS, AND GO AFTER THAT WHICH IS LOST, “UNTIL HE FIND IT”?” OUR SAVIOR REACHES TO THE ONE AND TO THE NINETY AND NINE, OFTEN AT THE SAME TIME. AS WE MINISTER, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE NINETY AND NINE WHO ARE STEADFAST AND IMMOVABLE, EVEN WHILE WE YEARN AFTER THE ONE WHO HAS STRAYED. OUR SAVIOR SEEKS AND DELIVERS US OUT OF ALL PLACES, FROM THE FOUR QUARTERS OF THE EARTH. HE GATHERS US BY HOLY COVENANT AND HIS ATONING BLOOD. OUR SAVIOR TOLD HIS NEW TESTAMENT DISCIPLES, “OTHER SHEEP I HAVE, WHICH ARE NOT OF THIS FOLD.” IN THE AMERICAS, THE RESURRECTED LORD TESTIFIED TO LEHI’S COVENANT CHILDREN, “YE ARE MY SHEEP.” AND JESUS SAID YET OTHER SHEEP WOULD HEAR HIS VOICE. WHAT A BLESSING THE BOOK OF MORMON IS AS ANOTHER TESTAMENT WITNESSING THE VOICE OF JESUS CHRIST! JESUS CHRIST INVITES THE CHURCH TO RECEIVE ALL WHO HEAR HIS VOICE AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST INCLUDES BAPTISM BY WATER AND BY FIRE AND THE HOLY GHOST. NEPHI ASKS, “IF THE LAMB OF GOD, HE BEING HOLY, SHOULD HAVE NEED TO BE BAPTIZED BY WATER, TO FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS, O THEN, HOW MUCH MORE NEED HAVE WE, BEING UNHOLY, TO BE BAPTIZED, YEA, EVEN BY WATER!” TODAY OUR SAVIOR DESIRES THAT WHAT WE DO AND WHO WE ARE BECOMING WILL INVITE OTHERS TO COME FOLLOW HIM. COME FIND LOVE, HEALING, CONNECTION, AND COVENANT BELONGING IN HIM, INCLUDING IN GOD’S HOLY TEMPLE, WHERE SACRED ORDINANCES OF SALVATION CAN BLESS ALL FAMILY MEMBERS, THUS GATHERING ISRAEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. THIRD, AS THE “SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL,” JESUS CHRIST EXEMPLIFIES HOW SHEPHERDS IN ISRAEL MINISTER IN LOVE. WHEN OUR LORD ASKS IF WE LOVE HIM, AS HE DID WITH SIMON PETER, OUR SAVIOR IMPLORES: “FEED MY LAMBS. … FEED MY SHEEP. … FEED MY SHEEP.” THE LORD PROMISES THAT WHEN HIS SHEPHERDS FEED HIS LAMBS AND SHEEP, THOSE IN HIS FOLD “SHALL FEAR NO MORE, NOR BE DISMAYED, NEITHER SHALL THEY BE LACKING.” OUR GOOD SHEPHERD CAUTIONS THAT SHEPHERDS IN ISRAEL MUST NOT SLUMBER, NOR SCATTER OR CAUSE THE SHEEP TO GO ASTRAY, NOR LOOK OUR OWN WAY FOR OUR OWN GAIN. GOD’S SHEPHERDS ARE TO STRENGTHEN, HEAL, BIND UP THAT WHICH IS BROKEN, BRING AGAIN THAT WHICH WAS DRIVEN AWAY, SEEK THAT WHICH WAS LOST. THE LORD ALSO WARNS OF HIRELINGS WHO “CARETH NOT FOR THE SHEEP” AND “FALSE PROPHETS, WHO COME TO YOU IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING, BUT INWARDLY THEY ARE RAVENING WOLVES.” OUR GOOD SHEPHERD REJOICES WHEN WE EXERCISE INDIVIDUAL MORAL AGENCY WITH INTENTION AND FAITH. THOSE IN HIS FOLD LOOK TO OUR SAVIOR IN GRATITUDE FOR HIS ATONING SACRIFICE. WE COVENANT TO FOLLOW HIM, NOT PASSIVELY, BLINDLY, OR “SHEEPISHLY,” BUT INSTEAD DESIRING WITH ALL OUR HEARTS AND MINDS TO LOVE GOD AND OUR NEIGHBOR, BEARING ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS AND REJOICING IN ONE ANOTHER’S JOYS. AS CHRIST FREELY DEDICATED HIS WILL TO THE WILL OF THE FATHER, SO WE REVERENTLY TAKE UPON US HIS NAME. WE GLADLY SEEK TO JOIN HIS WORK OF GATHERING AND MINISTERING TO ALL OF GOD’S CHILDREN. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, JESUS CHRIST IS OUR PERFECT GOOD SHEPHERD. BECAUSE HE HAS LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR US AND IS NOW GLORIOUSLY RESURRECTED, JESUS CHRIST IS ALSO THE PERFECT LAMB OF GOD. THE SACRIFICIAL LAMB OF GOD WAS AS WE HAVE HEARD, FORESHADOWED FROM THE BEGINNING. THE ANGEL TOLD ADAM HIS SACRIFICE “IS A SIMILITUDE OF THE SACRIFICE OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER,” WHICH INVITES US TO “REPENT AND CALL UPON GOD IN THE NAME OF THE SON FOREVERMORE.” FATHER ABRAHAM, WHO ESTABLISHED COVENANT BLESSINGS FOR ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH, EXPERIENCED WHAT IT MEANT TO OFFER HIS BEGOTTEN SON: “AND ISAAC SPAKE UNTO ABRAHAM HIS FATHER, AND SAID, MY FATHER: AND HE SAID, HERE AM I, MY SON. AND HE SAID, BEHOLD THE FIRE AND THE WOOD: BUT WHERE IS THE LAMB … ? “AND ABRAHAM SAID, MY SON, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB.” APOSTLES AND PROPHETS FORESAW AND REJOICED IN THE FOREORDAINED MISSION OF THE LAMB OF GOD. JOHN IN THE OLD WORLD AND NEPHI IN THE NEW WORLD TESTIFIED OF THE LAMB OF GOD, “YEA, EVEN THE SON OF THE ETERNAL FATHER, … THE REDEEMER OF THE WORLD.” ABINADI TESTIFIED OF JESUS CHRIST’S ATONING SACRIFICE: “ALL WE, LIKE SHEEP, HAVE GONE ASTRAY; WE HAVE TURNED EVERY ONE TO HIS OWN WAY; AND THE LORD HATH LAID ON HIM THE [INIQUITY] OF US ALL.” ALMA CALLED THE GREAT AND LAST SACRIFICE OF THE SON OF GOD THE “ONE THING WHICH IS OF MORE IMPORTANCE THAN THEY ALL.” ALMA ENCOURAGES, “HAVE FAITH ON THE LAMB OF GOD”; “COME AND FEAR NOT.” A DEAR FRIEND, HERE TODAY, SHARED HOW SHE GAINED HER PRECIOUS TESTIMONY OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. SHE GREW UP BELIEVING SIN ALWAYS BROUGHT GREAT PUNISHMENT, BORNE BY US ALONE. SHE PLEADED TO GOD TO UNDERSTAND THE POSSIBILITY OF DIVINE FORGIVENESS. SHE PRAYED TO UNDERSTAND AND TO KNOW HOW JESUS CHRIST CAN FORGIVE THOSE WHO REPENT, HOW MERCY CAN SATISFY JUSTICE. ONE DAY HER PRAYER WAS ANSWERED IN A SPIRITUALLY TRANSFORMING EXPERIENCE. A DESPERATE YOUNG MAN CAME RUNNING OUT OF A GROCERY STORE CARRYING TWO BAGS OF STOLEN FOOD. HE RAN INTO A BUSY STREET, CHASED BY THE STORE MANAGER, WHO CAUGHT HIM AND BEGAN YELLING AND FIGHTING. INSTEAD OF JUDGMENT FOR THE FRIGHTENED YOUNG MAN AS A THIEF, MY FRIEND WAS UNEXPECTEDLY FILLED WITH GREAT COMPASSION FOR HIM. WITHOUT FEAR OR CONCERN FOR HER OWN SAFETY, SHE WALKED STRAIGHT UP TO THE TWO QUARRELING MEN. SHE FOUND HERSELF SAYING, “I WILL PAY FOR THE FOOD. PLEASE LET HIM GO. PLEASE LET ME PAY FOR THE FOOD.” PROMPTED BY THE HOLY GHOST AND FILLED WITH A LOVE SHE HAD NEVER FELT BEFORE, MY FRIEND SAID, “ALL I WANTED TO DO WAS TO HELP AND SAVE THE YOUNG MAN.” MY FRIEND SAID SHE BEGAN TO UNDERSTAND JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT–HOW AND WHY WITH PURE AND PERFECT LOVE JESUS CHRIST WOULD WILLINGLY SACRIFICE TO BE HER SAVIOR AND REDEEMER AND WHY SHE WANTED HIM TO BE. NO WONDER WE SING, “SEE THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS
SEEKING, SEEKING THE LAMBS THAT ARE LOST, BRINGING THEM IN WITH REJOICING, SAVED AT SUCH INFINITE COST.” AS LAMB OF GOD, OUR SAVIOR KNOWS WHEN WE FEEL ALONE, DIMINISHED, UNCERTAIN, OR AFRAID. IN VISION NEPHI SAW THE POWER OF THE LAMB OF GOD DESCEND “UPON THE SAINTS OF THE CHURCH OF THE LAMB, AND UPON THE COVENANT PEOPLE OF THE LORD.” THOUGH “SCATTERED UPON ALL THE FACE OF THE EARTH; … THEY WERE ARMED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS AND WITH THE POWER OF GOD IN GREAT GLORY.” THIS PROMISE OF HOPE AND COMFORT INCLUDES OUR DAY. ARE YOU THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE CHURCH IN YOUR FAMILY, SCHOOL, WORKPLACE, OR COMMUNITY? DOES YOUR BRANCH SOMETIMES FEEL SMALL OR ISOLATED? HAVE YOU MOVED TO A NEW PLACE, PERHAPS WITH UNFAMILIAR LANGUAGE OR CUSTOMS? PERHAPS YOUR LIFE’S CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED, AND THINGS YOU NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE NOW CONFRONT YOU? OUR SAVIOR ASSURES US, WHOMEVER WE ARE, WHATEVER OUR CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE WORDS OF ISAIAH: “HE SHALL GATHER THE LAMBS WITH HIS ARM, AND CARRY THEM IN HIS BOSOM, AND SHALL GENTLY LEAD THOSE THAT ARE WITH YOUNG.” BROTHERS AND SISTERS, OUR GOOD SHEPHERD CALLS US IN HIS VOICE AND IN HIS NAME. HE SEEKS, GATHERS, AND COMES TO HIS PEOPLE. THROUGH HIS LIVING PROPHET IN EACH OF US, HE INVITES ALL TO FIND PEACE, PURPOSE, HEALING, AND JOY IN THE FULNESS OF HIS RESTORED GOSPEL AND ON HIS COVENANT PATH. BY EXAMPLE HE TEACHES THE SHEPHERDS OF ISRAEL TO MINISTER IN HIS LOVE. AS LAMB OF GOD, HIS DIVINE MISSION WAS FOREORDAINED AND REJOICED IN BY APOSTLES AND PROPHETS. HIS ATONEMENT, INFINITE AND ETERNAL, IS CENTRAL TO THE PLAN OF HAPPINESS AND THE PURPOSE OF CREATION. HE ASSURES US THAT HE CARRIES US NEXT TO HIS HEART. DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, MAY WE DESIRE TO BE “HUMBLE FOLLOWERS OF GOD AND THE LAMB,” PERHAPS SOMEDAY TO HAVE OUR NAMES WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE, TO SING THE SONG OF THE LAMB, TO BE INVITED TO THE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. AS SHEPHERD AND LAMB, HE CALLS: COME AGAIN TO “THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE … OF [YOUR] REDEEMER, … [YOUR] GREAT AND TRUE SHEPHERD.” I TESTIFY OF HIM, OUR PERFECT SHEPHERD, OUR PERFECT LAMB OF GOD. WHO CALLS US BY OUR NAME IN HIS NAME–EVEN THE SACRED AND HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “HARK, ALL YE NATIONS!” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER KYLE S. MCKAY OF THE SEVENTY. ELDER RONALD A. RASBAND OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, WILL THEN ADDRESS US. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS IS THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ HARK, ALL YE NATIONS!
HEAR HEAVEN’S VOICE ♪ ♪ THRU EV’RY LAND
THAT ALL MAY REJOICE! ♪ ♪ ANGELS OF GLORY
SHOUT THE REFRAIN: ♪ ♪ TRUTH IS RESTORED
AGAIN! ♪ ♪ OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE ♪ ♪ SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! ♪ ♪ BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY ♪ ♪ LIGHTS EV’RY LAND
TODAY. ♪ ♪ SEARCHING IN DARKNESS,
NATIONS HAVE WEPT; ♪ ♪ WATCHING FOR DAWN,
THEIR VIGIL THEY’VE KEPT. ♪ ♪ ALL NOW REJOICE;
THE LONG NIGHT IS O’ER. ♪ ♪ TRUTH IS ON EARTH
ONCE MORE! ♪ ♪ OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE ♪ ♪ SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! ♪ ♪ BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY ♪ ♪ LIGHTS EV’RY LAND
TODAY. ♪ ♪ CHOSEN BY GOD
TO SERVE HIM BELOW, ♪ ♪ TO EV’RY LAND
AND PEOPLE WE’LL GO, ♪ ♪ STANDING FOR TRUTH
WITH FERVENT ACCORD, ♪ ♪ TEACHING
HIS HOLY WORD. ♪ ♪ OH, HOW GLORIOUS
FROM THE THRONE ABOVE ♪ ♪ SHINES THE GOSPEL LIGHT
OF TRUTH AND LOVE! ♪ ♪ BRIGHT AS THE SUN,
THIS HEAVENLY RAY ♪ ♪ LIGHTS EV’RY LAND
TODAY. ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR: THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS ARE BECOMING EVER MORE HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED, AS EVIDENCED BY THE SERIES OF ADJUSTMENTS ANNOUNCED IN RECENT GENERAL CONFERENCES. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS COUNSELED US: “THERE IS MUCH MORE TO COME. … EAT YOUR VITAMIN PILLS. GET YOUR REST! IT’S GOING TO BE EXCITING.” I PRAY FOR AND INVITE THE HELP OF THE HOLY GHOST AS WE CONSIDER TOGETHER SEVERAL BASIC IMPLICATIONS OF THESE ONGOING ADJUSTMENTS IN THE LORD’S RESTORED CHURCH. ELDER CRAIG C. CHRISTENSEN AND I WERE COMPANIONS RECENTLY IN A PRIESTHOOD LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE, AND HE USED TWO SIMPLE QUESTIONS TO EMPHASIZE THE PRINCIPLE OF BECOMING HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED. HE SUGGESTED THAT INSTEAD OF RETURNING TO OUR HOMES AFTER CHURCH MEETINGS ON SUNDAY AND ASKING, “WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE SAVIOR AND HIS GOSPEL TODAY AT CHURCH?” WE SHOULD ASK IN OUR CHURCH MEETINGS, “WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE SAVIOR AND HIS GOSPEL THIS WEEK IN YOUR HOME?” PROPER SABBATH DAY OBSERVANCE, THE NEW CURRICULUM, AND THE ADJUSTED MEETING SCHEDULE ALL HELP US TO LEARN THE GOSPEL BOTH IN OUR HOMES AND AT CHURCH. EACH MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS HAS AN INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN AND LIVE THE LORD’S TEACHINGS AND TO RECEIVE BY PROPER AUTHORITY THE ORDINANCES OF SALVATION AND EXALTATION. WE SHOULD NOT EXPECT THE CHURCH AS AN ORGANIZATION TO TEACH OR TELL US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW AND DO TO BECOME DEVOTED DISCIPLES AND ENDURE VALIANTLY TO THE END. RATHER, OUR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS TO LEARN WHAT WE SHOULD LEARN, TO LIVE AS WE KNOW WE SHOULD LIVE, AND TO BECOME WHO THE MASTER WOULD HAVE US BECOME. AND OUR HOMES ARE THE ULTIMATE SETTING FOR LEARNING, LIVING, AND BECOMING. AS A CHILD, JOSEPH SMITH LEARNED OF GOD FROM HIS FAMILY. HIS EFFORTS TO DISCOVER GOD’S WILL FOR HIM CAUSED JOSEPH TO SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH AMONG MANY DIFFERENT CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS, PONDER DILIGENTLY THE SCRIPTURES, AND PRAY SINCERELY TO GOD. AS YOUNG JOSEPH RETURNED TO HIS HOME FROM THE SACRED GROVE IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE APPEARANCE OF THE FATHER AND THE SON, HE SPOKE FIRST WITH HIS MOTHER. AS HE “LEANED UP TO THE FIREPLACE, [HIS] MOTHER INQUIRED WHAT THE MATTER WAS. [JOSEPH] REPLIED, ‘NEVER MIND, ALL IS WELL–I AM WELL ENOUGH OFF.’ [HE] THEN SAID TO [HIS] MOTHER, ‘I HAVE LEARNED FOR MYSELF.'” JOSEPH’S EXPERIENCE PROVIDES A POWERFUL PATTERN OF LEARNING THAT EACH OF US SHOULD EMULATE. WE TOO NEED TO LEARN FOR OURSELVES. THE OVERARCHING PURPOSE OF HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN IS FOR HIS CHILDREN TO BECOME MORE LIKE HIM. ACCORDINGLY, HE PROVIDES US WITH ESSENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW AND PROGRESS. OUR COMMITMENT TO LEARN AND LIVE ACCORDING TO TRUTH IS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT IN A WORLD THAT IS “IN COMMOTION” AND IS EVER MORE CONFUSED AND WICKED. WE CANNOT EXPECT SIMPLY TO ATTEND CHURCH MEETINGS AND PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMS AND THEREBY RECEIVE ALL OF THE SPIRITUAL EDIFICATION AND PROTECTION THAT WILL ENABLE US “TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY.” “PARENTS HAVE A SACRED DUTY TO REAR THEIR CHILDREN IN LOVE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS.” INSPIRED LEADERS, TEACHERS, AND ACTIVITIES HELP INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY EFFORTS TO GROW SPIRITUALLY. AND THOUGH WE ALL NEED HELP PRESSING FORWARD ON THE COVENANT PATH, THE ULTIMATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR DEVELOPING SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND STAMINA RESTS UPON EACH ONE OF US. RECALL HOW NEPHI, SON OF THE PROPHET LEHI, DESIRED TO SEE, HEAR, AND KNOW FOR HIMSELF BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST THE THINGS HIS FATHER HAD LEARNED IN THE VISION OF THE TREE OF LIFE. NEPHI CLEARLY NEEDED AND WAS BLESSED IN HIS YOUTH BY THE EXAMPLE AND TEACHINGS OF HIS “GOODLY PARENTS.” YET, JUST LIKE JOSEPH SMITH, HE YEARNED TO LEARN AND KNOW FOR HIMSELF. IF ALL YOU OR I KNOW ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND HIS RESTORED GOSPEL IS WHAT OTHER PEOPLE TEACH OR TELL US, THEN THE FOUNDATION OF OUR TESTIMONY OF HIM AND HIS GLORIOUS LATTER-DAY WORK IS BUILT UPON SAND. WE CANNOT RELY EXCLUSIVELY UPON OR BORROW GOSPEL LIGHT AND KNOWLEDGE FROM OTHER PEOPLE–EVEN THOSE WHOM WE LOVE AND TRUST. SIGNIFICANTLY, THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT THAT EACH LATTER-DAY SAINT NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND FOR HIMSELF OR HERSELF “THE DESIGNS AND PURPOSES OF GOD IN OUR COMING INTO THE WORLD.” “COULD WE READ AND COMPREHEND ALL THAT HAS BEEN WRITTEN FROM THE DAYS OF ADAM, ON THE RELATION OF MAN TO GOD AND ANGELS IN A FUTURE STATE, WE SHOULD KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT IT. READING THE EXPERIENCE OF OTHERS, OR THE REVELATION GIVEN TO THEM, CAN NEVER GIVE US A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF OUR CONDITION AND TRUE RELATION TO GOD. KNOWLEDGE OF THESE THINGS CAN ONLY BE OBTAINED BY EXPERIENCE THROUGH THE ORDINANCES OF GOD SET FORTH FOR THAT PURPOSE.” ENABLING THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF THIS GRAND SPIRITUAL OBJECTIVE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES IS ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL REASONS THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS ARE BECOMING MORE HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED IN THIS SPECIFIC SEASON OF THE DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES. LET ME SUMMARIZE A FEW BASIC IMPLICATIONS OF GOSPEL LEARNING BECOMING INCREASINGLY HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED. THE ULTIMATE MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTER IS IN OUR HOMES; SECONDARY MISSIONARY TRAINING CENTERS ARE LOCATED IN PROVO, MANILLA, MEXICO CITY, AND IN OTHER LOCATIONS. OUR MOST INSTRUCTIVE SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES SHOULD BE OUR INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY STUDY IN OUR PLACES OF RESIDENCE; HELPFUL BUT SECONDARY SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES ARE HELD IN OUR MEETINGHOUSES. FAMILY HISTORY CENTERS NOW ARE IN OUR HOMES. SUPPLEMENTAL SUPPORT FOR OUR FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH WORK ALSO IS AVAILABLE IN OUR MEETINGHOUSES. VITAL TEMPLE PREPARATION CLASSES OCCUR IN OUR HOMES; IMPORTANT BUT SECONDARY TEMPLE PREPARATION CLASSES ALSO MAY BE CONDUCTED PERIODICALLY IN OUR MEETINGHOUSES. MAKING OUR HOMES SANCTUARIES WHEREIN WE CAN “STAND IN HOLY PLACES” IS ESSENTIAL IN THESE LATTER DAYS. AND AS IMPORTANT AS HOME-CENTERED AND CHURCH-SUPPORTED LEARNING IS FOR OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND PROTECTION TODAY, IT WILL BE EVEN MORE VITAL IN THE FUTURE. PLEASE CONSIDER HOW THE PRINCIPLE OF “HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED” APPLIES TO OUR INDIVIDUAL PREPARATION AND WORTHINESS TO RECEIVE SACRED ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. INDEED, TEMPLE PREPARATION IS MOST EFFECTIVE IN OUR HOMES. BUT MANY CHURCH MEMBERS ARE UNSURE ABOUT WHAT THEY APPROPRIATELY CAN AND CANNOT SAY REGARDING THE TEMPLE EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF THE TEMPLE. PRESIDENT EZRA TAFT BENSON DESCRIBED WHY THIS UNCERTAINTY EXISTS. “THE TEMPLE IS A SACRED PLACE, AND THE ORDINANCES IN THE TEMPLE ARE OF A SACRED CHARACTER. BECAUSE OF ITS SACREDNESS WE ARE SOMETIMES RELUCTANT TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE TEMPLE TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. “AS A CONSEQUENCE, MANY DO NOT DEVELOP A REAL DESIRE TO GO TO THE TEMPLE, OR WHEN THEY GO THERE, THEY DO SO WITHOUT MUCH BACKGROUND TO PREPARE THEM FOR THE OBLIGATIONS AND COVENANTS THEY ENTER INTO. PRESIDENT BENSON CONTINUES:”I BELIEVE A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OR BACKGROUND WILL IMMEASURABLY HELP PREPARE OUR YOUTH FOR THE TEMPLE … AND WILL FOSTER WITHIN THEM A DESIRE TO SEEK THEIR PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS JUST AS ABRAHAM SOUGHT HIS.” TWO BASIC GUIDELINES CAN HELP US ACHIEVE THE PROPER UNDERSTANDING EMPHASIZED BY PRESIDENT BENSON. GUIDELINE #1. BECAUSE WE LOVE THE LORD, WE ALWAYS SHOULD SPEAK ABOUT HIS HOLY HOUSE WITH REVERENCE. WE SHOULD NOT DISCLOSE OR DESCRIBE THE SPECIAL SYMBOLS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COVENANTS WE RECEIVE IN SACRED TEMPLE CEREMONIES. NEITHER SHOULD WE DISCUSS THE HOLY INFORMATION THAT WE SPECIFICALLY PROMISE IN THE TEMPLE NOT TO REVEAL. GUIDELINE #2 THE TEMPLE IS THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. EVERYTHING IN THE TEMPLE POINTS US TO OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. WE MAY DISCUSS THE BASIC PURPOSES FOR AND THE DOCTRINE OF AND PRINCIPLES ASSOCIATED WITH TEMPLE ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS. PRESIDENT HOWARD W. HUNTER COUNSELED: “LET US SHARE WITH OUR CHILDREN THE SPIRITUAL FEELINGS WE HAVE IN THE TEMPLE. AND LET US TEACH THEM MORE EARNESTLY AND MORE COMFORTABLY THE THINGS WE CAN APPROPRIATELY SAY ABOUT THE PURPOSES OF THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” NOW, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, ACROSS THE GENERATIONS FROM THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TO PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, THE DOCTRINAL PURPOSES OF TEMPLE ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT EXTENSIVELY BY CHURCH LEADERS. A RICH RESERVOIR OF RESOURCES EXISTS IN PRINT, AUDIO, VIDEO, AND OTHER FORMATS TO HELP US LEARN ABOUT INITIATORY ORDINANCES, ENDOWMENTS, MARRIAGES, AND OTHER SEALING ORDINANCES. INFORMATION ALSO IS AVAILABLE ABOUT FOLLOWING THE SAVIOR BY RECEIVING AND HONORING COVENANTS TO KEEP THE LAW OF OBEDIENCE, THE LAW OF SACRIFICE, THE LAW OF THE GOSPEL, THE LAW OF CHASTITY, AND THE LAW OF CONSECRATION. ALL CHURCH MEMBERS SHOULD BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE EXCELLENT MATERIALS AVAILABLE AT TEMPLES.CHURCHOFJESUSCHRIST.ORG. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON EMPHASIZED THE VITAL BALANCE BETWEEN THE SACRED NATURE OF TEMPLE CEREMONIES AND THE VALUABLE INFORMATION ABOUT TEMPLES PUBLISHED BY THE CHURCH THAT IS ACCURATE, APPROPRIATE, AND AVAILABLE PUBLICLY. HE EXPLAINED: “I RECOMMEND THAT MEMBERS…READ ENTRIES IN THE BIBLE DICTIONARY THAT ARE RELATED TO THE TEMPLE, SUCH AS ‘ANOINT,’ ‘COVENANT,’ ‘SACRIFICES,’ AND ‘TEMPLE.’ ONE MAY ALSO WISH TO READ EXODUS, CHAPTERS 26-29, AND LEVITICUS, CHAPTER 8. THE OLD TESTAMENT, AS WELL AS THE BOOKS OF MOSES AND ABRAHAM IN THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, UNDERSCORES THE ANTIQUITY OF TEMPLE WORK AND THE ENDURING NATURE OF ITS ORDINANCES.” SO IMAGINE THAT YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER ASKS, “SOMEONE AT SCHOOL TOLD ME THAT STRANGE CLOTHING IS WORN IN THE TEMPLE. IS THAT RIGHT?” A SHORT VIDEO IS AVAILABLE ON TEMPLES.CHURCHOFJESUSCHRIST.ORG ENTITLED “SACRED TEMPLE CLOTHING.” THIS EXCELLENT RESOURCE EXPLAINS HOW FROM ANCIENT TIMES MEN AND WOMEN HAVE EMBRACED SACRED MUSIC, DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAYER, SYMBOLIC RELIGIOUS CLOTHING, GESTURES, AND RITUALS TO EXPRESS THEIR INNERMOST FEELINGS OF DEVOTION TO GOD. THUS, THE CHURCH SUPPORTS HOME-CENTERED PREPARATION FOR THE GLORIOUS BLESSINGS OF THE TEMPLE THROUGH BASIC INSTRUCTION AND REMARKABLE RESOURCES SUCH AS THIS VIDEO. MUCH USEFUL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL OF US. AS WE STRIVE TO WALK IN THE MEEKNESS OF THE LORD’S SPIRIT, WE WILL BE BLESSED TO UNDERSTAND AND ACHIEVE IN OUR HOMES THE NECESSARY BALANCE BETWEEN WHAT IS AND WHAT IS NOT APPROPRIATE TO DISCUSS ABOUT SACRED TEMPLE ORDINANCES AND COVENANTS. I SUSPECT THAT SOME OF YOU MAY BE WONDERING IF YOUR GOSPEL LEARNING ACTUALLY CAN BECOME HOME CENTERED AND CHURCH SUPPORTED. PERHAPS YOU ARE THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE CHURCH IN YOUR HOME, OR HAVE AN UNSUPPORTIVE SPOUSE, OR ARE A SINGLE PARENT, OR LIVE ALONE AS A SINGLE OR DIVORCED LATTER-DAY SAINT, AND YOU MAY HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THESE PRINCIPLES APPLY TO YOU. YOU MAY BE A HUSBAND AND A WIFE LOOKING AT EACH OTHER AND QUESTIONING, “CAN WE DO THIS?” YES, YOU CAN DO THIS! I PROMISE THAT ENABLING BLESSINGS WILL FLOW INTO AND BE EVIDENT IN YOUR LIFE. DOORS WILL OPEN. THE LIGHT WILL SHINE. YOUR CAPACITY WILL BE INCREASED TO PERSEVERE DILIGENTLY AND PATIENTLY. I JOYFULLY WITNESS THAT COMPENSATING BLESSINGS WILL COME AS WE STRIVE TO FULFILL OUR INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY TO LEARN AND LOVE THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. WE TRULY CAN “BE PREPARED TO OBTAIN EVERY NEEDFUL THING.” I SO PROMISE AND TESTIFY IN THE SACRED NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER KYLE S. MCKAY: SEVERAL YEARS AGO, OUR FIVE-YEAR-OLD SON CAME TO ME AND ANNOUNCED, “DAD, I’VE FIGURED SOMETHING OUT. I’VE FIGURED OUT THAT ‘SOON,’ FOR YOU, IS A VERY LONG TIME FOR ME.” [LAUGHTER] WHEN THE LORD OR HIS SERVANTS SAY THINGS LIKE “NOT MANY DAYS HENCE” OR “THE TIME IS NOT FAR DISTANT,” IT CAN LITERALLY MEAN A LIFETIME OR LONGER. HIS TIME, AND FREQUENTLY HIS TIMING, IS DIFFERENT FROM OURS. PATIENCE IS KEY. WITHOUT IT, WE CAN NEITHER DEVELOP NOR DEMONSTRATE FAITH IN GOD UNTO LIFE AND SALVATION. BUT MY MESSAGE TODAY IS THAT, EVEN WHILE WE ARE PATIENTLY WAITING UPON THE LORD, THERE ARE CERTAIN BLESSINGS THAT COME TO US IMMEDIATELY. WHEN ALMA AND HIS PEOPLE WERE CAPTURED BY THE LAMANITES, THEY PRAYED FOR DELIVERANCE. THEY WERE NOT IMMEDIATELY DELIVERED, BUT WHILE THEY PATIENTLY WAITED FOR DELIVERANCE, THE LORD SHOWED FORTH HIS GOODNESS WITH CERTAIN IMMEDIATE BLESSINGS. HE IMMEDIATELY SOFTENED THE HEARTS OF THE LAMANITES SO THEY WOULDN’T SLAY THEM. HE ALSO STRENGTHENED ALMA’S PEOPLE AND EASED THEIR BURDENS. WHEN THEY FINALLY WERE DELIVERED, THEY TRAVELED TO ZARAHEMLA, WHERE THEY RECOUNTED THEIR EXPERIENCE TO AN AMAZED AUDIENCE. THE PEOPLE OF ZARAHEMLA MARVELED, “AND … WHEN THEY THOUGHT OF THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD, AND HIS POWER IN DELIVERING ALMA AND HIS BRETHREN OUT OF … BONDAGE, THEY DID RAISE THEIR VOICES AND GIVE THANKS TO GOD.” THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD COMES TO ALL WHO CALL UPON HIM WITH REAL INTENT AND FULL PURPOSE OF HEART. THIS INCLUDES THOSE WHO CRY OUT IN EARNEST DESPERATION, WHEN DELIVERANCE SEEMS SO DISTANT AND SUFFERING SEEMS PROLONGED, EVEN INTENSIFIED. SO IT WAS WITH A YOUNG PROPHET WHO SUFFERED TO THE BRINK IN THE DANK OF A DUNGEON BEFORE FINALLY CRYING OUT, “O GOD, WHERE ART THOU? … HOW LONG SHALL THY HAND BE STAYED? … YEA, O LORD, HOW LONG?” IN RESPONSE, THE LORD DID NOT IMMEDIATELY DELIVER JOSEPH, BUT HE DID IMMEDIATELY PRONOUNCE PEACE. GOD ALSO GIVES IMMEDIATE HOPE FOR EVENTUAL DELIVERANCE. NO MATTER WHAT, NO MATTER WHERE, IN CHRIST AND THROUGH CHRIST THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE SMILING BRIGHTLY BEFORE US. IMMEDIATELY BEFORE US. MOREOVER, HE HAS PROMISED, “MY KINDNESS SHALL NOT DEPART FROM THEE.” ABOVE ALL, GOD’S LOVE IS IMMEDIATE. WITH PAUL, I TESTIFY THAT NOTHING CAN “SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS.” EVEN OUR SINS, THOUGH THEY MAY SEPARATE US FROM HIS SPIRIT FOR A TIME, CANNOT SEPARATE US FROM THE CONSTANCY AND IMMEDIACY OF HIS DIVINE PATERNAL LOVE. THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE WAYS AND MEANS BY WHICH “HE DOTH IMMEDIATELY BLESS [US].” NOW, TO BRING THESE PRINCIPLES CURRENT AND CLOSE, I SHARE WITH YOU THE EXPERIENCES OF TWO PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES STAND AS TESTAMENTS OF THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD. FROM THE TIME SHE WAS A YOUNG TEEN, EMILIE STRUGGLED WITH SUBSTANCE ABUSE. EXPERIMENTATION LED TO HABIT, AND HABIT EVENTUALLY HARDENED INTO AN ADDICTION THAT HELD HER CAPTIVE FOR YEARS, NOTWITHSTANDING OCCASIONAL PERIODS OF WELLNESS. EMILIE CAREFULLY CONCEALED HER PROBLEM, ESPECIALLY AFTER SHE BECAME A WIFE AND MOTHER. THE BEGINNING OF HER DELIVERANCE DID NOT FEEL LIKE DELIVERANCE AT ALL. ONE MINUTE EMILIE WAS UNDERGOING A ROUTINE MEDICAL EXAM AND THE NEXT SHE WAS BEING DRIVEN BY AMBULANCE TO AN IN-PATIENT TREATMENT FACILITY. SHE BEGAN TO PANIC AS SHE THOUGHT OF BEING SEPARATED FROM HER CHILDREN, HER HUSBAND, HER HOME. THAT NIGHT, ALONE IN A COLD, DARK ROOM, EMILIE CURLED UP ON HER BED AND SOBBED. HER ABILITY TO REASON DIMINISHED UNTIL FINALLY, OVERCOME WITH ANXIETY, FEAR, AND THE OPPRESSIVE DARKNESS IN THAT ROOM AND IN HER SOUL, EMILIE ACTUALLY THOUGHT SHE WOULD DIE THAT NIGHT. ALONE. IN THAT DESPERATE CONDITION, EMILIE SOMEHOW SUMMONED THE STRENGTH TO ROLL OFF THE BED AND ONTO HER KNEES. WITHOUT ANY POSTURING THAT HAD SOMETIMES BEEN PART OF PREVIOUS PRAYERS, EMILIE COMPLETELY SURRENDERED HERSELF TO THE LORD AS SHE DESPERATELY PLEADED, “DEAR GOD, I NEED YOU. PLEASE HELP ME. I DON’T WANT TO BE ALONE. PLEASE, GET ME THROUGH THIS NIGHT.” AND IMMEDIATELY, AS HE HAD DONE WITH PETER OF OLD, JESUS STRETCHED FORTH HIS HAND AND CAUGHT HER SINKING SOUL. THERE CAME OVER EMILIE A WONDROUS CALM, COURAGE, ASSURANCE, AND LOVE. THE ROOM WAS NO LONGER COLD, SHE WAS NOT ALONE, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE SHE WAS 14 YEARS OLD, EMILIE KNEW EVERYTHING WOULD BE ALL RIGHT. AS SHE “AWOKE UNTO GOD,” EMILIE FELL ASLEEP IN PEACE. AND THUS WE SEE THAT “IF YE WILL REPENT AND HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS, IMMEDIATELY SHALL THE GREAT PLAN OF REDEMPTION BE BROUGHT ABOUT UNTO YOU.” EMILIE’S HEALING, HER RECOVERY AND ULTIMATE DELIVERANCE TOOK A LONG TIME–MONTHS OF TREATMENT, TRAINING, AND COUNSELING, DURING WHICH SHE WAS SUSTAINED AND SOMETIMES CARRIED BY HIS GOODNESS. AND THAT GOODNESS CONTINUED WITH HER AS SHE ENTERED THE TEMPLE WITH HER HUSBAND AND CHILDREN TO BE SEALED TOGETHER FOREVER. LIKE THE PEOPLE OF ZARAHEMLA, EMILIE NOW GIVES THANKS AS SHE REFLECTS ON THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD AND HIS POWER IN DELIVERING HER FROM BONDAGE. NOW, FROM THE LIFE OF ANOTHER BRAVE BELIEVER. ON DECEMBER 27, 2013, ALICIA SCHROEDER JOYFULLY WELCOMED HER DEAR FRIENDS, SEAN AND SHARLA CHILCOTE, WHO UNEXPECTEDLY SHOWED UP ON HER DOORSTEP. SEAN, WHO WAS ALSO ALICIA’S BISHOP, HANDED HER HIS CELL PHONE AND SOLEMNLY SAID, “ALICIA, WE LOVE YOU. YOU NEED TO TAKE THIS CALL.” ALICIA’S HUSBAND, MARIO, WAS ON THE PHONE. HE WAS IN A REMOTE AREA WITH SOME OF THEIR CHILDREN ON A LONG-ANTICIPATED SNOWMOBILE TRIP. THERE HAD BEEN A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT. MARIO WAS SERIOUSLY INJURED, AND THEIR 10-YEAR-OLD SON, KALEB, WAS GONE. WHEN MARIO TEARFULLY TOLD ALICIA OF KALEB’S DEATH, SHE WAS OVERCOME WITH A SHOCK AND HORROR FEW OF US WILL EVER KNOW. IT DROPPED HER. PARALYZED WITH UNSPEAKABLE ANGUISH, ALICIA COULD NEITHER MOVE NOR SPEAK. BISHOP AND SISTER CHILCOTE QUICKLY LIFTED HER UP AND HELD HER. THEY WEPT AND DEEPLY GRIEVED TOGETHER FOR SOME TIME. THEN BISHOP CHILCOTE OFFERED TO GIVE ALICIA A BLESSING. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT IS INCOMPREHENSIBLE WITHOUT SOME UNDERSTANDING OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST AND THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD. BISHOP CHILCOTE GENTLY PLACED HIS HANDS ON ALICIA’S HEAD AND, WITH QUIVERING VOICE, BEGAN TO SPEAK. ALICIA HEARD TWO THINGS AS THOUGH SPOKEN BY GOD HIMSELF. FIRST, SHE HEARD HER NAME, ALICIA SUSAN SCHROEDER. THEN SHE HEARD THE BISHOP INVOKE THE AUTHORITY OF ALMIGHTY GOD. IN THAT INSTANT–AT THE MERE UTTERANCE OF HER NAME AND GOD’S POWER–ALICIA WAS FILLED WITH AN INDESCRIBABLE PEACE, LOVE, COMFORT, AND SOMEHOW JOY. AND IT HAS CONTINUED WITH HER. NOW, OF COURSE, ALICIA, MARIO, AND THEIR FAMILY STILL MOURN FOR AND MISS KALEB. IT IS HARD! WHENEVER I SPEAK WITH THEM, ALICIA’S EYES WELL UP WITH TEARS AS SHE TELLS HOW MUCH SHE LOVES AND MISSES HER LITTLE BOY. AND HER EYES REMAIN MOIST AS SHE TELLS HOW THE GREAT DELIVERER HAS SUSTAINED HER THROUGH EVERY BIT OF HER ORDEAL, BEGINNING WITH HIS IMMEDIATE GOODNESS DURING HER DEEPEST DESPAIR, AND CONTINUING NOW WITH THE BRIGHT HOPE OF A SWEET REUNION THAT IS “NOT MANY DAYS HENCE.” I REALIZE THAT SOMETIMES LIFE’S EXPERIENCES CREATE CONFUSION AND TURBULENCE THAT CAN MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO RECEIVE, RECOGNIZE, OR RETAIN THE KIND OF RELIEF THAT CAME TO EMILIE AND ALICIA. I HAVE BEEN THROUGH SUCH TIMES. I TESTIFY THAT DURING SUCH TIMES, OUR MERE PRESERVATION IS A TENDER AND POWERFUL MANIFESTATION OF THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD. REMEMBER, ANCIENT ISRAEL WAS ULTIMATELY DELIVERED “BY THAT SAME GOD WHO HAD PRESERVED THEM” DAY TO DAY. I BEAR WITNESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE GREAT DELIVERER, AND IN HIS NAME I PROMISE THAT AS YOU TURN TO HIM WITH REAL INTENT AND FULL PURPOSE OF HEART, HE WILL DELIVER YOU FROM EVERYTHING THAT THREATENS TO DIMINISH OR DESTROY YOUR LIFE OR JOY. THAT DELIVERANCE MAY TAKE LONGER THAN YOU WOULD LIKE–PERHAPS A LIFETIME OR LONGER. SO, TO GIVE YOU COMFORT, COURAGE, AND HOPE; TO SUSTAIN AND STRENGTHEN YOU TO THAT DAY OF ULTIMATE DELIVERANCE, I COMMEND TO YOU AND TESTIFY OF THE IMMEDIATE GOODNESS OF GOD, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER RONALD A. RASBAND: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AS THIS CONFERENCE COMES TO A CLOSE, I GIVE THANKS TO OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN FOR THE COUNSEL, TRUTHS, AND REVELATION SHARED AT THIS PULPIT DURING THE PAST TWO DAYS. WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT BY SERVANTS OF GOD CALLED TO SPEAK HIS HOLY WORDS. THE LORD HAS REMINDED US IN LATTER-DAY REVELATION, “WHETHER BY MINE OWN VOICE OR THE VOICE OF MY SERVANTS, IT IS THE SAME.” LOOKING OVER THIS VAST CONGREGATION OF SAINTS, AND PICTURING MEMBERS WATCHING GENERAL CONFERENCE ALL OVER THE WORLD, I THINK OF THE GATHERING IN THE BOOK OF MORMON WHEN JESUS CHRIST APPEARED TO THE NEPHITES FOLLOWING HIS CRUCIFIXION. HE TAUGHT THEM THE GOSPEL AND THEN HE ENCOURAGED, “…GO YE UNTO YOUR HOMES, AND PONDER UPON THE THINGS WHICH I HAVE SAID, AND ASK OF THE FATHER, IN MY NAME, THAT YE MAY UNDERSTAND….” “GO YE UNTO YOUR HOMES, AND PONDER…” IS THE NEXT STEP IN TAKING TO HEART THE WORDS OF PROPHETS AND CHURCH LEADERS SPOKEN IN THIS SACRED SETTING. CHRIST-CENTERED HOMES ARE FORTRESSES FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD ON EARTH IN A DAY WHEN, AS PROPHESIED, THE DEVIL “RAGE[S] IN THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN OF MEN, AND STIR[S] THEM UP TO ANGER AGAINST THAT WHICH IS GOOD.” PEOPLE HAVE BUILT FORTRESSES THROUGHOUT HISTORY TO KEEP THE ENEMY OUTSIDE. OFTEN, THOSE FORTRESSES INCLUDED A GUARD TOWER WHERE WATCHMEN–LIKE PROPHETS–WARNED OF MENACING FORCES AND COMING ATTACKS. IN EARLY UTAH PIONEER TIMES, MY GREAT GRANDFATHER, THOMAS RASBAND AND HIS FAMILY WERE SOME OF THE FIRST SETTLERS, TO ENTER THE HEBER VALLEY IN THE BEAUTIFUL WASATCH MOUNTAINS OF UTAH. IN 1859, THOMAS HELPED CONSTRUCT THE HEBER FORT BUILT FOR THEIR PROTECTION. IT WAS A SIMPLE STRUCTURE OF COTTONWOOD LOGS, POSITIONED ONE NEXT TO THE OTHER, FORMING THE PERIMETER OF THE FORT. LOG CABINS WERE BUILT INSIDE THE FORTRESS USING THAT COMMON WALL. THE STRUCTURE PROVIDED BOTH SECURITY AND SAFETY FOR THOSE PIONEER FAMILIES AS THEY PUT DOWN ROOTS AND WORSHIPPED THE LORD. SO IT IS WITH US. OUR HOMES ARE FORTRESSES AGAINST THE EVILS OF THE WORLD. IN OUR HOMES WE COME UNTO CHRIST BY LEARNING TO FOLLOW HIS COMMANDMENTS, BY STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES AND PRAYING TOGETHER, AND BY HELPING ONE ANOTHER STAY ON THE COVENANT PATH. THE NEW EMPHASIS ON PERSONAL AND FAMILY STUDY IN THE HOME THROUGH THE CURRICULUM “COME, FOLLOW ME” IS DESIGNED TO “DEEPEN OUR CONVERSION AND HELP US BECOME MORE LIKE JESUS CHRIST.” IN SO DOING WE WILL BECOME WHAT PAUL CALLED “NEW CREATURES” WITH OUR HEARTS AND SOULS IN TUNE WITH GOD. WE NEED THAT STRENGTH TO FACE AND DEFLECT THE ASSAULTS OF THE ADVERSARY. AS WE LIVE WITH DEVOTION BORN OF FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, WE WILL FEEL THE PEACEFUL PRESENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHO GUIDES US TO TRUTH, INSPIRES US TO LIVE WORTHY OF THE LORD’S BLESSINGS, AND BEARS WITNESS THAT GOD LIVES AND LOVES US. ALL THIS WITHIN THE FORTRESS OF OUR OWN HOMES . BUT REMEMBER, OUR HOMES ARE ONLY AS POWERFUL AS THE SPIRITUAL STRENGTH OF EACH ONE OF US WITHIN THE WALLS. DEAR PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS TAUGHT: “IN COMING DAYS, IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE TO SURVIVE SPIRITUALLY WITHOUT THE GUIDING, DIRECTING, COMFORTING, AND CONSTANT INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST.” AS THE LORD’S LIVING PROPHET, SEER, AND REVELATOR IN THIS DAY, THE WATCHMAN ON THE TOWER OF OUR FORTRESS, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, HE SEES THE ADVANCES OF THE ENEMY. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE ARE AT WAR WITH SATAN FOR THE SOULS OF MEN. THE BATTLE LINES WERE DRAWN IN OUR PRE-EARTH LIFE. SATAN AND A THIRD OF OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN’S CHILDREN TURNED AWAY FROM HIS PROMISES OF EXALTATION. SINCE THAT TIME, THE ADVERSARY’S MINIONS HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THE FAITHFUL WHO CHOSE THE FATHER’S PLAN. SATAN KNOWS HIS DAYS ARE NUMBERED AND THAT TIME IS GROWING SHORTER. AS CRAFTY AND CUNNING AS HE IS, HE WILL NOT WIN. HOWEVER, HIS BATTLE FOR EACH ONE OF OUR SOULS RAGES ON. FOR OUR PROTECTION WE MUST BUILD A FORTRESS OF SPIRITUALITY AND PROTECTION FOR OUR VERY SOULS, A FORTRESS THAT WILL NOT BE PENETRATED BY THE EVIL ONE. SATAN IS A SUBTLE SNAKE, SNEAKING INTO OUR MINDS AND HEARTS WHEN WE HAVE LET OUR GUARD DOWN, FACED A DISAPPOINTMENT, OR LOST HOPE. HE ENTICES US WITH FLATTERY, A PROMISE OF EASE, COMFORT, OR A TEMPORARY HIGH WHEN WE ARE LOW. HE JUSTIFIES PRIDE, UNKINDNESS, DISHONESTY, DISCONTENT, AND IMMORALITY AND IN TIME WE CAN BE “PAST FEELING.” THE SPIRIT CAN LEAVE US. “…AND THUS THE DEVIL CHEATETH THEIR SOULS, AND LEADETH THEM AWAY CAREFULLY DOWN TO HELL.” IN CONTRAST, WE OFTEN FEEL THE SPIRIT, SO POWERFULLY, AS WE SING PRAISES TO GOD WITH WORDS LIKE THESE: “A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD, “A TOWER OF STRENGTH NE’ER FAILING. “A HELPER MIGHTY IS OUR GOD, “O’ER ILLS OF LIFE PREVAILING.” WHEN WE BUILD A FORTRESS OF SPIRITUAL STRENGTH, WE CAN SHUN THE ADVANCES OF THE ADVERSARY; TURN OUR BACKS ON HIM, AND FEEL THE PEACE OF THE SPIRIT. WE CAN FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, WHO, WHEN TEMPTED IN THE WILDERNESS, SAID, “GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN….” WE EACH HAVE TO LEARN BY THE EXPERIENCES OF LIFE HOW TO DO THAT. SUCH RIGHTEOUS PURPOSE IS WELL DESCRIBED IN THE BOOK OF MORMON WHEN CAPTAIN MORONI PREPARED THE NEPHITES TO FACE ATTACKS FROM A DECEITFUL, BLOOD-THIRSTY, POWER-HUNGRY AMALICKIAH. MORONI CONSTRUCTED FORTRESSES TO PROTECT THE NEPHITES “THAT THEY MIGHT LIVE UNTO THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND THAT THEY MIGHT MAINTAIN THAT WHICH WAS CALLED BY THEIR ENEMIES THE CAUSE OF CHRISTIANS.” MORONI WAS “FIRM IN THE FAITH OF CHRIST” AND THE PEOPLE WERE FAITHFUL “…IN KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD…AND RESISTING INIQUITY.” WHEN THE LAMANITES CAME TO BATTLE, THEY WERE ASTONISHED BY THE NEPHITES’ PREPARATION, AND THEY WERE DEFEATED. THE NEPHITES THANKED “THE LORD THEIR GOD, BECAUSE OF HIS MATCHLESS POWER IN DELIVERING THEM FROM THE HANDS OF THEIR ENEMIES.” THEY HAD BUILT FORTRESSES FOR PROTECTION ON THE OUTSIDE AND THEY HAD BUILT FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ON THE INSIDE–DEEP IN THEIR SOULS. WHAT ARE SOME WAYS WE CAN FORTIFY OURSELVES IN TROUBLED TIMES THAT WE MAY BE “INSTRUMENTS IN THE HANDS OF GOD TO BRING ABOUT THIS GREAT WORK?” LET’S LOOK TO THE SCRIPTURES. WE ARE OBEDIENT. THE LORD COMMANDED FATHER LEHI TO SEND HIS SONS BACK TO JERUSALEM TO “…SEEK THE RECORDS, AND BRING THEM DOWN HITHER INTO THE WILDERNESS.” LEHI DIDN’T QUESTION; HE DIDN’T WONDER WHY OR HOW. NOR DID NEPHI WHO RESPONDED, “…I WILL GO AND DO THE THINGS WHICH THE LORD HATH COMMANDED… .” DO WE ACT WITH THE WILLING OBEDIENCE OF NEPHI? OR ARE WE MORE INCLINED TO QUESTION GOD’S COMMANDS AS DID NEPHI’S BROTHERS WHOSE LACK OF FAITH EVENTUALLY TURNED THEM AWAY FROM THE LORD. OBEDIENCE, EXERCISED WITH “HOLINESS OF HEART,” IS WHAT THE LORD ASKS OF US. WE TRUST THE LORD WHO SAID TO JOSHUA, AS HE PREPARED TO LEAD THE ISRAELITES INTO THE PROMISED LAND, “BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE; BE NOT AFRAID, NEITHER BE THOU DISMAYED; FOR THE LORD THY GOD IS WITH THEE WHITHERSOEVER THOU GOEST.” JOSHUA TRUSTED THOSE WORDS AND COUNSELED THE PEOPLE: “SANCTIFY YOURSELVES: FOR TOMORROW THE LORD WILL DO WONDERS AMONG YOU.” THE LORD PARTED THE WATERS OF THE JORDAN AND THE ISRAELITES’ 40 YEARS OF WANDERING IN THE WILDERNESS ENDED. WE STAND FOR THE TRUTH AS DID THE PROPHET ABINADI IN THE BOOK OF MORMON. ARRESTED, BROUGHT BEFORE KING NOAH AND HIS WICKED PRIESTS, ABINADI TAUGHT THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND PREACHED POWERFULLY THAT CHRIST WOULD “COME DOWN AMONG THE CHILDREN OF MEN, AND…REDEEM HIS PEOPLE.” HE THEN, WITH FAITH DEEP WITHIN HIM, PROCLAIMED, “O GOD, RECEIVE MY SOUL,” AND ABINADI “SUFFERED DEATH BY FIRE.” WE MAKE AND RENEW OUR COVENANTS BY PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT AND BY WORSHIPPING IN THE TEMPLE. THE SACRAMENT IS THE CENTERPIECE OF OUR SUNDAY WORSHIP, WHERE WE ARE RECEIVING THE PROMISE TO “ALWAYS HAVE HIS SPIRIT TO BE WITH [US].” WITH THAT SACRED ORDINANCE WE COMMIT TO TAKE UPON US THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, TO FOLLOW HIM, AND TO SHOULDER OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN THIS DIVINE WORK AS HE DID. IN THE TEMPLE, WE CAN “LAY ASIDE THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD” AND FEEL THE LORD’S PRESENCE AND HIS TRANSCENDENT PEACE. WE CAN FOCUS ON OUR ANCESTORS, OUR FAMILIES AND ETERNAL LIFE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE FATHER. NO WONDER PRESIDENT NELSON STATED RECENTLY IN ROME: “THE GOOD THAT WILL EMANATE FROM THIS TEMPLE IS INCALCULABLY GREAT.” WE SHOULD HAVE INTEGRITY IN ALL THAT WE DO. WE SHOULD DEVELOP DISCERNMENT AND DISCIPLINE SO THAT WE DO NOT HAVE TO CONTINUALLY DETERMINE WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG. WE SHOULD TAKE TO HEART THE CAUTION OF PETER, THE EARLY CHURCH APOSTLE WHO CAUTIONED: “BE SOBER, BE VIGILANT; BECAUSE YOUR ADVERSARY THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION, WALKETH ABOUT, SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR.” AS WE DILIGENTLY STRENGTHEN OUR FORTIFICATIONS WE BECOME LIKE JESUS CHRIST, AS HIS TRUE DISCIPLES, WITH OUR VERY SOULS IN HIS PROTECTION. YOUR TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST IS YOUR PERSONAL FORTRESS, THE SECURITY FOR YOUR SOUL. WHEN MY GRANDFATHER AND HIS FELLOW PIONEERS BUILT THE HEBER FORT, THEY PUT UP ONE LOG AT A TIME UNTIL THE FORT WAS “FITLY FRAMED TOGETHER” AND THEY WERE PROTECTED. SO IT IS WITH TESTIMONY. ONE-BY-ONE WE GAIN A WITNESS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT AS HE SPEAKS TO OUR OWN SPIRIT TEACHING “TRUTH IN THE INWARD PARTS.” WHEN WE LIVE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, WHEN WE DRAW UPON THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT AND PRESS FORWARD WITH FAITH, NOT FEAR, WE ARE FORTIFIED AGAINST THE WILES OF THE ADVERSARY. OUR TESTIMONIES CONNECT US TO THE HEAVENS, AND WE ARE BLESSED WITH “THE TRUTH OF ALL THINGS.” AND, LIKE A FORTRESS, WE ARE SAFELY ENCIRCLED IN THE ARMS OF THE SAVIOR’S LOVE. THE PROPHET ETHER TAUGHT: “WHEREFORE, WHOSO BELIEVETH IN GOD MIGHT WITH SURETY HOPE FOR A BETTER WORLD, YEA, EVEN A PLACE AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, WHICH HOPE COMETH OF FAITH, MAKETH AN ANCHOR TO THE SOULS OF MEN, WHICH WOULD MAKE THEM SURE AND STEADFAST, ALWAYS ABOUNDING IN GOOD WORKS, BEING LED TO GLORIFY GOD.” MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I LEAVE YOU WITH MY BLESSING TO GO FORTH WITH CONFIDENCE IN THE LORD AND IN HIS GOSPEL. PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND THOSE WHO STUMBLE AND WITH THE STRENGTH OF THE SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, LEAD THEM LOVINGLY BACK TO THE FORTRESS OF SPIRITUALITY AND PROTECTION. SEEK “TO BE LIKE JESUS” IN ALL THAT YOU DO, SHUN EVIL AND TEMPTATIONS, REPENT AS WE WERE ADMONISHED YESTERDAY BY OUR DEAR PROPHET, BE HONEST IN HEART, BE UPRIGHT AND PURE, SHOW COMPASSION AND CHARITY, AND LOVE THE LORD, YOUR GOD, WITH THE DEVOTION OF A TRUE DISCIPLE. OUR TESTIMONIES OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, OUR HOMES, OUR FAMILIES, AND OUR MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS WILL BE OUR PERSONAL FORTRESS OF PROTECTION SURROUNDING US AND SHIELDING US FROM THE POWER OF THE EVIL ONE. OF THIS I BEAR MY SOLEMN WITNESS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, EVEN JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONFERENCE, WE EXPRESS SINCERE APPRECIATION TO ALL WHO HAVE WORKED SO DILIGENTLY TO PREPARE THESE SERVICES. WE THANK THOSE WHO HAVE SPOKEN AND THOSE WHO HAVE PROVIDED THE UPLIFTING MUSIC. THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “I KNOW THAT MY SAVIOR LOVES ME,” FOLLOWED BY OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL SING “I NEED THEE EVERY HOUR.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER CLAUDIO R. M. COSTA OF THE SEVENTY, AND THE CONFERENCE WILL BE ADJOURNED. ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: MY BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AS WE COME TO THE END OF THIS HISTORIC CONFERENCE, WE THANK THE LORD FOR HIS INSPIRATION AND PROTECTION. THE MESSAGES HAVE INSTRUCTED AND EDIFIED US. TOPICS WERE NOT ASSIGNED TO THE SPEAKERS. THEY EACH PRAYED FOR PERSONAL REVELATION IN PREPARING THEIR MESSAGES. TO ME, IT IS REMARKABLE HOW THESE THEMES SEEM TO FIT SO WELL WITH EACH OTHER. AS YOU STUDY THEM, SEEK TO LEARN WHAT THE LORD IS TRYING TO TEACH YOU THROUGH HIS SERVANTS. THE MUSIC HAS BEEN GLORIOUS. WE ARE DEEPLY GRATEFUL TO THE MANY MUSICIANS WHO HAVE BLENDED THEIR TALENTS TO BRING THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD INTO EACH SESSION. AND HE HAS BLESSED THE PRAYERS AND THE CONGREGATIONS IN EVERY SESSION. TRULY, CONFERENCE HAS AGAIN BEEN A SPIRITUAL FEAST FOR US ALL. WE HOPE AND PRAY THAT EACH MEMBER’S HOME WILL BECOME A TRUE SANCTUARY OF FAITH, WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD MAY DWELL. DESPITE CONTENTION ALL AROUND US, ONE’S HOME CAN BECOME A HEAVENLY PLACE, WHERE STUDY, PRAYER, AND FAITH CAN BE MERGED WITH LOVE. WE CAN TRULY BECOME DISCIPLES OF THE LORD, STANDING UP AND SPEAKING UP FOR HIM WHEREVER WE ARE. GOD’S OBJECTIVE SHOULD BE OUR OBJECTIVE. HE WANTS HIS CHILDREN TO CHOOSE TO RETURN TO HIM, PREPARED, QUALIFIED, ENDOWED, SEALED, AND FAITHFUL TO COVENANTS MADE IN HOLY TEMPLES. WE NOW HAVE 162 DEDICATED TEMPLES. THE EARLIEST ONES STAND AS MONUMENTS TO THE FAITH AND VISION OF OUR BELOVED PIONEERS. EACH TEMPLE CONSTRUCTED BY THEM RESULTED FROM THEIR GREAT PERSONAL SACRIFICE AND EFFORT. EACH ONE STANDS AS A STUNNING JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF PIONEER ACHIEVEMENT. OURS IS A SACRED RESPONSIBILITY TO CARE FOR THEM; THEREFORE, THESE PIONEER TEMPLES WILL SOON UNDERGO A PERIOD OF RENEWAL AND REFRESHING, AND, FOR SOME, A MAJOR RESTORATION. EFFORTS WILL BE MADE TO PRESERVE THE UNIQUE HISTORICITY OF EACH TEMPLE WHEREVER POSSIBLE, PRESERVING THE INSPIRING BEAUTY AND UNIQUE CRAFTSMANSHIP OF GENERATIONS LONG SINCE PASSED. DETAILS FOR THE ST. GEORGE UTAH TEMPLE HAVE ALREADY BEEN RELEASED. PLANS FOR THE RENOVATION OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, TEMPLE SQUARE, AND THE ADJOINING PLAZA NEAR THE CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019. THE MANTI AND LOGAN TEMPLES WILL ALSO BE RENOVATED IN COMING YEARS. WHEN THOSE PLANS ARE PREPARED, THEY TOO WILL BE ANNOUNCED. THIS WORK WILL REQUIRE THAT EACH TEMPLE BE CLOSED FOR A PERIOD OF TIME. CHURCH MEMBERS MAY CONTINUE TO ENJOY TEMPLE WORSHIP AND SERVICE IN OTHER TEMPLES NEARBY. WHEN EACH PROJECT IS COMPLETED, EACH HISTORIC TEMPLE WILL BE REDEDICATED. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE REGARD A TEMPLE AS THE MOST SACRED STRUCTURE IN THE CHURCH. AS WE ANNOUNCE PLANS TO CONSTRUCT A NEW TEMPLE, IT BECOMES PART OF OUR SACRED HISTORY. NOW, PLEASE LISTEN CAREFULLY AND REVERENTLY. IF I ANNOUNCE A TEMPLE IN A PLACE THAT IS SPECIAL TO YOU, MAY I SUGGEST THAT YOU SIMPLY BOW YOUR HEAD WITH A SILENT PRAYER OF GRATITUDE IN YOUR HEART. WE DO NOT WANT ANY VERBAL OUTBURST TO DETRACT FROM THE SACRED NATURE OF THIS CONFERENCE AND THE LORD’S HOLY TEMPLES. TODAY WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE PLANS TO CONSTRUCT MORE TEMPLES TO BE BUILT IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS: PARAPO OKAY I /TPHA WHAT CITY, OKAY I /TPHA WHAT. TONGA, TOOELE VALLEY, HONDURES, ONTOFUGASTA, CHILE BUDAPEST HUNGARY THANK YOU, MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. AS WE SPEAK OF OUR TEMPLES OLD AND NEW, MAY EACH OF US SIGNIFY BY OUR ACTIONS THAT WE ARE TRUE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. MAY WE RENOVATE OUR LIVES THROUGH OUR FAITH AND TRUST IN HIM. MAY WE ACCESS THE POWER OF HIS ATONEMENT BY OUR REPENTANCE EVERY DAY. AND MAY WE DEDICATE AND REDEDICATE OUR LIVES TO SERVING GOD AND HIS CHILDREN–ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. I LEAVE MY LOVE AND BLESSING WITH YOU, ASSURING YOU THAT REVELATION CONTINUES IN THIS THE LORD’S CHURCH. IT WILL CONTINUE UNTIL “THE PURPOSES OF GOD SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED, AND THE GREAT JEHOVAH SHALL SAY THE WORK IS DONE.” I SO BLESS YOU AND BEAR MY TESTIMONY THAT GOD LIVES! JESUS IS THE CHRIST! THIS IS HIS CHURCH. WE ARE HIS PEOPLE. IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ I NEED THEE EV’RY HOUR,
MOST GRACIOUS LORD. ♪ ♪ NO TENDER VOICE LIKE THINE
CAN PEACE AFFORD. ♪ ♪ I NEED THEE,
OH, I NEED THEE; ♪ ♪ EV’RY HOUR
I NEED THEE! ♪ ♪ OH, BLESS ME NOW,
MY SAVIOR; ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪ ♪ I NEED THEE EV’RY HOUR;
STAY THOU NEARBY. ♪ ♪ TEMPTATIONS LOSE THEIR POW’R
WHEN THOU ART NIGH. ♪ ♪ I NEED THEE,
OH, I NEED THEE; ♪ ♪ EV’RY HOUR
I NEED THEE! ♪ ♪ OH, BLESS ME NOW,
MY SAVIOR; ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I NEED THEE EV’RY HOUR,
IN JOY OR PAIN. ♪ ♪ COME QUICKLY AND ABIDE,
OR LIFE IS VAIN. ♪ ♪ I NEED THEE,
OH, I NEED THEE; ♪ ♪ EV’RY HOUR
I NEED THEE! ♪ ♪ OH, BLESS ME NOW,
MY SAVIOR; ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I NEED THEE EV’RY HOUR,
MOST HOLY ONE. ♪ ♪ OH, MAKE ME THINE INDEED,
THOU BLESSED SON! ♪ ♪ I NEED THEE,
OH, I NEED THEE; ♪ ♪ EV’RY HOUR
I NEED THEE! ♪ ♪ OH, BLESS ME NOW,
MY SAVIOR; ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ I NEED THEE,
OH, I NEED THEE; ♪ ♪ EV’RY HOUR
I NEED THEE! ♪ ♪ OH, BLESS ME NOW,
MY SAVIOR; ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪ ♪ I COME TO THEE! ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER CLAUDIO R. M. COSTA: OUR DEAR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THESE WONDERFUL 2 DAYS OF GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THY CHURCH, EVEN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. WEAR GRATEFUL FOR THE MASSES THAT CAME THROUGH THY PROPHETS, SEERS AND REVELATORS, AND OTHER CHURCH AND GENERAL OFFICERS. GIVE US, PLEASE, A STRENGTH TO FOLLOW THE COUNCILS AND TO MAKE OUR LIFE BETTER, AND TO MAKE US TO BE MORE CLOSE TO THEE, FATHER. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR EVERY BLESSING AND FOR THY TENDER MERCIES FOR US, AND WE SAY THESE THINGS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SPEAKERS WERE SELECTED FROM THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH. MUSIC WAS PROVIDED BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE. THIS BROADCAST HAS BEEN FURNISHED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE BY BONNEVILLE DISTRIBUTION. ANY REPRODUCTION, RECORDING, TRANSCRIPTION OR OTHER USE OF THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT IS PROHIBITED. ♪♪ CLOSED CAPTIONING BY THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO: [email protected] I THINK IT —
YOU KNOW, IT SHOULD BE.>>SOMETIMES I’M JUST ON THAT
ONE-MORE-HOUR-AND-WE’RE-DONE.>>IS THE SABBATH
ALWAYS A DELIGHT?>>I’D SAY MORE OFTEN
THAN NOT IT IS.>>IT’S ON THE
WHIM OF A TODDLER, OR A FOUR-MONTH-OLD BABY.>>MM M , NOT SO MUCH.>>PRESIDENT NELSON: I’M
INTRIGUED BY THE WORDS OF ISAIAH, WHO CALLED
THE SABBATH A DELIGHT. YET, I WONDER, IS THE
SABBATH REALLY A DELIGHT? FOR YOU AND FOR ME? ♪♪>>HONESTLY, IT’S SPENDING
TIME WITH MY FAMILY, AND CHURCH. SOMETIMES IT DOESN’T FEEL
LIKE IT DURING CHURCH, BUT I’LL NOTICE IT DURING THE
WEEK IF I’VE MISSED IT? AND — AND THAT’S WHAT I
LOVE ABOUT THE SABBATH. ♪♪>>SISTER WIXOM: I THINK OF
THOSE YOUNG MOTHERS WHO — G MOTHERS WHO – WHOSE LIVES ARE SO BUSY
NURTURING, THAT A QUIET MOMENT

4 Replies to “April 2019 General Conference – ASL”

  1. My profession sign language all cultures their demand was met in these April 2019General Conference. Thanks for your consideration in this 3rd language.

  2. La conferencia general a sido muy confortante al escuchar los himnos maravillosos himnos que se siente con el corazĂłn y los discursos que se escucharon todo fue hermoso

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