Sunday Afternoon Session

Sunday Afternoon Session

From the Conference Center
at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, this is the Sunday morning
session of the 188th Semiannual 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. [MUSIC PLAYING – “REJOICE, THE
LORD IS KING!”] Brothers and sisters,
we welcome you to the Sunday morning session
of the 188th Semiannual 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 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, with Richard Elliott and
Andrew Unsworth at the organ. The choir opened this
meeting with “Rejoice, the Lord Is King!” and will now favor us
with “Redeemer of Israel.” The invocation will then be
offered by Elder Allan F. Packer, who received emeritus
status yesterday afternoon. The choir will then
sing “Choose the Right.” [MUSIC PLAYING – “REDEEMER OF
ISRAEL”] Our Heavenly Father, we
are grateful to be gathered together this morning
in this Sunday morning session of general conference. We acknowledge Thy
blessings and the guidance that we have received. We come to worship
Thee, Thy Son; to learn, to be uplifted,
motivated, and inspired; and most of all to learn how
we might move Thy work forward. We’re grateful for
all who are involved in preparing for
speaking to and blessing the lives of the members of the
Church through this conference. We pray that Thy Spirit
might be here in abundance, that each of the speakers may
be able to express that which has been prepared,
and that we as members of the Church
throughout the world will be able to hear,
remember, understand, and apply those principles in our lives. We ask Thy blessings
upon President Nelson, his counselors, the
Quorum of the Twelve, and all the leaders
throughout the world. We ask Thy blessings
to be with those who suffer from the natural
disasters which have occurred. We ask Thee to
bless and strengthen those who are pained
through physical, emotional, or other events that have
occurred in their lives. We express our love
and gratitude to Thee, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen. [MUSIC PLAYING – “CHOOSE THE
RIGHT”] We will now be pleased to
hear from President M. Russell Ballard, who serves as Acting
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He will be followed
by Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, who serves as Young
Women General President. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will then address us. My brothers and sisters, my
talk was prepared some time before the passing of
my dear wife, Barbara. My family and I thank you for
your love and your outreach and kindness. I pray the Lord will bless me
as I speak to you this morning. In October 1918, 100 years
ago, President Joseph F. Smith received a glorious vision. After almost 65 years of
dedicated service to the Lord in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, and just a few weeks before
his death on November 19, 1918, he sat in his room pondering
Christ’s atoning sacrifice and reading the Apostle
Peter’s description of the Savior’s ministry
in the spirit world after His Crucifixion. He recorded: “As I read
I was greatly impressed. … As I pondered over
these things … the eyes of my
understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the
Lord rested upon me, and I saw the
hosts of the dead.” The full text of the vision
is recorded in Doctrine and Covenants section 138. Let me provide some background
so that we may more fully appreciate Joseph F.’s
lifetime of preparation to receive this
remarkable revelation. When he was President
of the Church, he visited Nauvoo in
1906 and reflected on a memory he had when he
was just five years old. He said: “This is
the exact spot where I stood when [Joseph, my
uncle, and my father, Hyrum] came riding up on
their way to Carthage. Without getting off his horse
father leaned over [from] his saddle and picked
me up off the ground. He kissed me goodbye
and put me down again and I saw him ride away.” The next time
Joseph F. saw them, his mother, Mary
Fielding, lifted him up to see the martyrs
lying side by side after being brutally murdered in
Carthage Jail on June 27, 1844. Two years later, Joseph
F., along with his family and faithful mother,
Mary Fielding Smith, left his home in Nauvoo
for Winter Quarters. Although not yet 8
years old, Joseph F. was required to drive
one of the ox teams from Montrose, Iowa,
to Winter Quarters and then later on to
the Salt Lake Valley, arriving when he was almost 10. I hope you boys and
young men are listening and will realize the
responsibility and expectation placed on Joseph F.
during his boyhood. Just four years later,
in 1852, when he was 13, his beloved mother died–leaving
Joseph and his siblings orphans. Joseph F. was called
to serve a mission in the Hawaiian Islands in
1854 when he was 15 years old. This mission, which lasted
more than three years, was the beginning of a life
of service in the Church. Upon his return to Utah,
Joseph F. married in 1859. For the next few
years, his life was filled with work, family
duties, two additional missions. And on July 1, 1866,
at the age of 27, Joseph F.’s life
was forever changed when he was ordained an Apostle
by President Brigham Young. In October the following
year, he filled a vacancy in the Council of the Twelve. He served as a counselor to
Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff,
and Lorenzo Snow before becoming President
himself in 1901. Joseph F. and his wife Julina
welcomed their first child, Mercy Josephine,
into the family. She was only two and a half
years old when she passed away. Shortly after,
Joseph F. recorded: “It is one month yesterday since
my … darling Josephine died. O! that I could have saved her
to grow up to womanhood. I miss her every day
and I am lonely. … God forgive my weakness
if it is wrong to love my little ones as I love them.” During his lifetime,
President Smith lost his father, his mother,
one brother, two sisters, two wives, and 13 children. He was well acquainted with
sorrow and losing loved ones. When his son Albert
Jesse died, Joseph F. wrote to his sister Martha Ann
that he had pled with the Lord to save him and
asked, “Why is it so? O. God why had it to be?” Despite his prayers at the time,
Joseph F. received no answer on this matter. He told Martha Ann that
“the heavens [seemed like] brass over our heads” on the
subject of death and the spirit world. Nevertheless, his faith in
the Lord’s eternal promises was firm and steadfast. In the Lord’s due time, the
additional answers, comfort, and understanding
about the spirit world he sought came to
President Smith through a marvelous vision
he received in October 1918. That year was particularly
painful for him. He grieved over the death
toll of the Great World War that continued to climb up
over 20 million people that were killed. Additionally, a flu pandemic
was spreading around the world, taking the lives of as
many as 100 million people. During this year,
President Smith also lost three more
precious family members. Elder Hyrum Mack Smith of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, his firstborn son
and my grandfather, died suddenly of a
ruptured appendix. President Smith wrote: “I am
speechless–[numb] with grief! … My heart is broken;
and flutters for life! … O! I loved him! I will love him forever more. And so it is and ever will be
with all my sons and daughters, but he is my first born son,
the first to bring me the joy and hope of an endless,
honorable name among men. … From the depths of my
soul I thank God for him! But … O! I needed him! We all needed him! He was most useful
to the Church. … And now … O! what can I do! O! God help me!” The next month, President
Smith’s son-in-law, Alonzo Kesler, died
in a tragic accident. President Smith
noted in his journal, “This most terrible and
heart-rending fatal accident, has again cast a pall of gloom
over all [of] my family.” Seven months later,
in September 1918, President Smith’s
daughter-in-law and my grandmother,
Ida Bowman Smith, died after giving birth to her
fifth child, my Uncle Hyrum. And so it was on
October 3, 1918, having experienced intense
sorrow over the millions who had died in the world
through war and disease as well as the deaths of
his own family members, President Smith received
the heavenly revelation known as “the vision of the
redemption of the dead.” He alluded to the
revelation the following day in the opening session
of general conference. President Smith’s health was
failing, yet he spoke briefly. He said: “I will
not, I dare not, attempt to enter upon
[the] many things that are resting upon
my mind this morning, and I shall postpone
until some future time, the Lord be willing, my attempt
to tell you some of the things that are in my mind, and
that dwell in my heart. I have not lived alone
these [last] five months. I have dwelt in the spirit
of prayer, of supplication, of faith and of
determination; and I have had my communication
with the Spirit of the Lord continuously.” The revelation he received on
October 3 comforted his heart and provided answers to
many of his questions. We too can be comforted and
learn more about our own future when we and our loved ones
die and go to the spirit world by studying this
revelation and pondering its significance in the way
we live our lives each day. Among the many things
President Smith saw was the Savior’s visit
to the faithful in the spirit world after His own
death on the cross. From the vision I quote: “But behold, from
among the righteous, he organized his forces
and appointed messengers, clothed with power
and authority, and commissioned them to go
forth and carry the light of the gospel to them
that were in darkness, even to all the spirits
of men [and women]; and thus was the gospel
preached to the dead. … “These were taught
faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious [baptisms
and] remission [for] sins, the gift of the Holy
Ghost by the laying on of hands, “And all other
principles of the gospel that were necessary for
them to know in order to qualify themselves that
they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live
according to God in the spirit. … “For the dead had looked
upon the long absence of their spirits from
their bodies as a bondage. “These the Lord taught,
and gave them power to come forth, after his
resurrection from the dead, to enter into his
Father’s kingdom, there to be crowned with
immortality and eternal life, “And continue
thenceforth their labor as had been promised
by the Lord, and be partakers of
all blessings which were held in reserve
for them that love him.” In the vision, President
Smith saw his father, Hyrum, and the Prophet Joseph Smith. It had been 74 years since
he had last seen them as a small boy in Nauvoo. We can only imagine his joy
at seeing his beloved father and uncle. He must have been
inspired and comforted to know that all spirits
retain the likeness of their mortal body and
that they are anxiously awaiting the day of their
promised resurrection. The vision revealed more
fully the depth and breadth of Heavenly Father’s
plan for His children and Christ’s redeeming
love and matchless power of His Atonement. On this special
100th anniversary, I invite you to thoroughly
read and thoughtfully read the revelation. As you do so, may the Lord
bless you to more fully understand and appreciate God’s
love, His plan of salvation and happiness for His children. I testify that the vision
President Joseph F. Smith received is true. I bear witness that every
person can read it and come to know it is true. Those who do not receive
this knowledge in this life will surely come to
know of its truthfulness when everyone will arrive
in the spirit world. There, all will love and praise
God and the Lord Jesus Christ for the great plan of salvation,
the blessing of the promised resurrection, when
body and spirit will once again be united
never to be separated again. How grateful I am today,
my brothers and sisters, to know where my
precious Barbara is and that we will
be together again with our family
for all eternity. May the peace of the
Lord sustain all of us now and forever is
my humble prayer, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen. President Ballard, we
love you, and we are praying for your dear family. A year ago, a Primary
child I met in Chile brought a smile to my face. “Hello,” he said, “I am David. Will you talk about me
in general conference?” In quiet moments,
however, I have pondered David’s unexpected greeting. We all want to be recognized. We want to matter, to be
remembered, and to feel loved. Sisters and brothers,
each of you matter. Even if you are not spoken
of in general conference, the Savior knows
you and loves you. If you wonder if
that is true, you need only contemplate
that He has “graven [you] upon the palms of [His] hands.” Knowing that the
Savior loves us, we might then wonder, how can
we best show our love for Him? The Savior asks Peter,
“Lovest thou me …?” Peter answered, “Yea,
Lord; thou knowest … I love thee. He saith unto him,
Feed my lambs.” When asked this question
both a second and third time, “Lovest thou me?” Peter was grieved yet confirmed
his love: “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest
that I love thee. Jesus saith unto
him, Feed my sheep.” Hadn’t Peter already
proven himself a loving follower of Christ? From their first
encounter on the seashore, he “straightway”
left his fishing nets to follow the Savior. Peter became a
true fisher of men; he accompanied the Savior
during His personal ministry and helped teach to others
the gospel of Jesus Christ. But now the
resurrected Lord knew He would no longer
be by Peter’s side, showing him how and
when he should serve. In the Savior’s
absence, Peter would need to seek guidance
from the Spirit, receive revelation on
his own, and then have the courage and faith to act. Focused on His sheep,
the Savior desired Peter to do what He
would do if He was there. He asked Peter to
become a shepherd. Last April, President
Russell M. Nelson extended a similar
invitation to us to feed our Father’s
sheep in a holier way and to do so
through ministering. To effectively accept
this invitation, we must develop a
shepherd’s heart and understand the needs
of the Lord’s sheep. So how do we become
the shepherds the Lord needs us to become? As with all questions, we
can look to our Savior, Jesus Christ–the Good Shepherd. The Savior’s sheep were
known and numbered, they were watched
over, and they were gathered into the fold of God. As we strive to follow
the Savior’s example, we must first know
and number His sheep. We have been assigned specific
individuals and families to tend so we are certain
that all the Lord’s flocks are accounted for and no
one–no one is forgotten. Numbering, however, is
not really about numbers; it is about making
certain each person feels the love of the Savior through
someone who serves for Him. In that way, all can
recognize they are known by a loving Father in Heaven. I recently met a
young woman who has been assigned to minister to
a sister almost five times her age. Together, they have discovered
a common love for music. When this young woman visits,
they sing songs together and they share their favorites. They are forging
a friendship that blesses both of their lives. I hope those to whom you
minister will see you as a friend and
realize that in you, they have a champion and a
confidant–someone who is aware of their circumstances and
supports them in their hopes and aspirations. Recently I received an
assignment to minister to a sister neither my
companion nor I knew well. As I counseled with Jess,
my 16-year-old ministering companion, she wisely suggested,
“We need to get to know her.” Well, we immediately
decided that a selfie and an introductory
text were in order. I held the phone, and
Jess pushed the button to take the photo. Our first ministering
opportunity was a companionship effort. On our first visit,
we asked our sister if there was anything we
could include in our prayers on her behalf. She shared a tender
personal challenge and said she would welcome,
so welcome our prayers. Her honesty and confidence
brought an instant bond of love. What a sweet privilege
to remember her in my daily prayers. As you pray, you will feel
the love of Jesus Christ for those to whom you minister. Share that love with them. What better way is there to
feed His sheep than to help them feel His love–through you? A second way to develop
the heart of a shepherd is to watch over His sheep. As members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we can move,
fix, repair, and rebuild just about anything. We are quick to meet
a need with a helping hand or a plate of cookies. But is there more? Do our sheep know we are
watching over them with love and we will take action to help? In Matthew we read: “Come, ye blessed of my Father,
inherit the kingdom prepared for you …: “For I was an hungred, and ye
gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink:
I was a stranger, and ye took me in. … “Then shall the righteous answer
him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and
fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? “When saw we thee a
stranger, and took thee in?” Brothers and sisters,
the key word is saw. The righteous saw those
in need because they were watching and noticing. We too can be a watchful
eye to aid and comfort, to celebrate and even dream. As we act, we can be assured
of the promise in Matthew: “Inasmuch as ye have done it
unto one of the least of these …, ye have done it unto me.” A friend–we will call him
John–shared what can happen when we see another’s
less-visible need: “A sister in my ward
attempted suicide. After two months, I
discovered no one in my quorum had approached her
husband to address this traumatic experience. Sadly, I had not acted either. Finally, I asked the
husband to lunch. He was a shy man,
often reserved. And yet when I said, ‘Your
wife attempted suicide. That must be
overwhelming for you. Do you want to talk about it?’ he openly wept. We had a tender and
intimate conversation and developed a remarkable
closeness and trust within minutes.” John added, “I think
our tendency is just to bring brownies
rather than figure out how to walk into [the] moment
with honesty and love.” Our sheep may be hurting,
lost, or even willfully astray; as their shepherd, we
can be among the first to see their need. We can listen and love without
judgment and offer hope and help with the discerning
guidance of the Holy Ghost. Sisters and brothers, the world
is more hope-filled and joyful because of the inspired acts
of kindness you perform. As you seek the Lord’s direction
on how to convey His love and see the needs of those
to whom you minister, your eyes will be opened. Your sacred
ministering assignment gives you a divine
right to inspiration. You can seek that
inspiration with confidence. Third, we want our sheep to be
gathered into the fold of God. To do so, we must consider where
they are on the covenant path and be willing to walk with
them on their journey of faith. Ours is a sacred privilege
to come to know their hearts and point them to their Savior. Sister Josivini in Fiji had
difficulty seeing her way forward on the covenant
path–literally. Her friend saw that
Josivini struggled to see the scriptures
well enough to read. She provided Josivini
with new reading glasses and a bright yellow
pencil to highlight every mention of Jesus
Christ in the Book of Mormon. What started as a simple desire
to minister and to help with scripture study has resulted in
Josivini attending the temple for the first time–28 years
after she was baptized. Whether our sheep
are strong or weak, rejoicing or in anguish,
we can make certain that no one walks alone. We can love them wherever
they are spiritually and offer support and
encouragement for the next step forward. As we pray and seek to
understand their hearts, I testify that Heavenly
Father will direct us and His Spirit will go with us. We have the opportunity to be
the “angels round about” them as He goes before their face. The Lord invites us
to feed His sheep. To tend His flocks
as He would, He invites us to be shepherds to
every nation, every country; and yes, Elder Uchtdorf, we
love and need German shepherds. And He desires His young
people to join in the cause. Our youth can be some of
the strongest shepherds. They are, as President Russell
M. Nelson said, “among the best the Lord has ever
sent to this world.” They are “noble spirits,”
our “finest players” who follow the Savior. Can you imagine the power
such shepherds will bring as they care for His sheep? Ministering side by side with
these youth, we see wonders. Young women and young
men, we need you. If you don’t have a
ministering assignment, talk with your Relief Society
or elders quorum president. They will rejoice
in your willingness to make certain His sheep are
known and numbered, watched over, and gathered
into the fold of God. When the day comes
that we will kneel at the feet of our
beloved Savior, having nourished
His flock, I pray we can answer as did Peter:
“Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” These, Thy sheep, are
loved, they are safe, and they are home. In the name of
Jesus Christ, amen. We all remember last April
when President Russell M. Nelson introduced this
concept of ministering. He stressed that it
was a way to keep the great commandments to
love God and love each other. We as officers of the Church
openly applaud and congratulate you on the tremendous
response you have made and begun
in that regard. We thank you for following
our beloved prophet in this wonderful
endeavor and suggest that you don’t wait for
many more instructions. Just jump into
the pool and swim. Head toward those in need. Don’t be immobilized
wondering whether you should do the backstroke
or the dog paddle. If we follow the basic
principles that have been taught, stay aligned
with priesthood keys, and seek the Holy Spirit to
guide us, we cannot fail. Thank you, Sister Cordon,
for that great message. This morning I wish to speak
of an even more personal aspect of ministering that isn’t
by assignment, that does not involve a calendared
interview, and has no reporting line except to heaven. Let me share just
one homespun example of that kind of ministering. Grant Morrell Bowen was a
hardworking, devoted husband and father who, like many,
made their living on the land and had an economic downturn
when the local potato crop was poor. He and his wife, Norma,
took other employment, eventually moved
to another city, and started their climb
back to economic stability. However, in a terribly
unfortunate incident, Brother Bowen was
deeply hurt when in a temple recommend
interview, the bishop was a little skeptical
regarding Morrell’s declaration that he was a full-tithe payer. I do not know which
of these two men had the more accurate
facts that day, but I do know Sister
Bowen walked out of that interview with her
temple recommend renewed, while Brother Bowen walked
out with an anger that would take him away from
the Church for 15 years. Regardless of who was
right about the tithing, evidently both
Morrell and the bishop forgot the Savior’s injunction
to “agree with thine adversary quickly” and Paul’s
counsel to “let not the sun go down
upon your wrath.” The fact is they didn’t
agree, and the sun did go down on Brother
Bowen’s wrath for days and then for weeks
and then for years, proving the point made by one
of the wisest of the old Romans who said, “Anger,
if not restrained, is frequently more [destructive]
than the injury that provoked it.” But the miracle
of reconciliation is always available to us,
and out of love for his family and the Church he
knew to be true, Morrell Bowen came back
into full Church activity. Let me tell you briefly
how that happened. Brother Bowen’s son Brad
is a good friend of ours and a devoted Area Seventy
serving in southern Idaho. Brad was 11 years old at
the time of this incident, and for 15 years he watched
his father’s religious devotion decline, a witness to
the terrible harvest being reaped where anger and
misunderstanding had been sown. Something needed to be done. So as the Thanksgiving holiday
approached in 1977, Brad, a 26-year-old student at
Brigham Young University; his wife, Valerie;
and new baby son, Mic, loaded into
their student version of an automobile and, bad
weather notwithstanding, drove to Billings, Montana. Not even a crash into a
snowbank near West Yellowstone could keep this threesome
from making their ministering contact with Brother Bowen Sr. Upon arrival, Brad
and his sister Pam asked for a private
moment with their father. “You have been a wonderful dad,”
Brad began with some emotion, “and we have always known
how much you loved us. But something is wrong, and
it has been for a long time. Because you were hurt
once, this whole family has been hurting for years. We are broken, and you are
the only one who can fix us. Please, please,
after all this time, can you find it in your heart
to lay aside that unfortunate incident with that
bishop and again lead this family in the
gospel as you once did?” There was dead silence. Then Brother Bowen looked up
at these two–his children, bone of his bone and flesh
of his flesh–and said very quietly, “Yes. Yes, I will.” Thrilled but stunned by
the unexpected answer, Brad Bowen and
his family watched their husband and father
go to his current bishop in a spirit of reconciliation
to set things right in his life. In a perfect response to
this courageous but totally unexpected visit, the bishop,
who had extended repeated invitations to Brother
Bowen to come back, threw his arms around Morrell
and just held him–held him in a long, long, long embrace. In a matter of only a few
weeks–it doesn’t take long–Brother Bowen was fully
engaged in Church activity and had made himself worthy
to return to the temple. Soon enough he accepted
the call to preside over a struggling little
branch of 25 and grew it into a thriving congregation
of well over 100. All of this took place
nearly half a century ago, but the consequence of
a son and a daughter’s ministering plea
to their own father and that father’s willingness
to forgive and move forward in spite of the
imperfections of others has brought blessings
that are still coming and will come forever
to the Bowen family. Brothers and sisters,
Jesus has asked that we “live together in
love” with “no disputations among you.” “He that hath the spirit of
contention is not of me,” He warned the Nephites. Indeed, to a great degree, our
relationship to Christ will be determined–or at least
affected–by our relationship to each other. “If ye … desire to
come unto me,” He said, “and rememberest that thy
brother hath aught against thee– “Go thy way unto thy
brother, and first be reconciled to [him],
and then come unto me with full purpose of heart,
and I will receive you.” Surely each of us could
cite an endless array of old scars and sorrows
and painful memories that this very
moment still corrode the peace in someone’s heart
or family or neighborhood. Whether we have caused that pain
or been the recipient of it, those wounds need to be healed
so life can be as rewarding as God intended it to be. Like the food in
your refrigerator that your grandchildren
carefully check in your behalf, those old grievances
have long since exceeded their expiration date. Please don’t give precious
space in your soul to them any longer. As Prospero said to
the regretful Alonso in The Tempest, “Let us
not burden our remembrance with a heaviness that is gone.” “Forgive, and ye
shall be forgiven,” Christ taught in the
Sermon on the Mount. And in our day:
“I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will
forgive, but of you it is required to
forgive all men.” It is, however,
important for some of you living in real anguish to
note what He did not say. He did not say,
“You are not allowed to feel true pain or real sorrow
from the shattering experiences you have had at the
hand of another.” Nor did He say, “In
order to forgive fully, you have to reenter
a toxic relationship or return to an abusive,
destructive circumstance.” But notwithstanding even
the most terrible offenses that might come to us, we
can rise above our pain only when we put our feet
onto the path of true healing. That path is the
forgiving one walked by Jesus of Nazareth, who
calls out to each of us, “Come, follow me.” In such an invitation to be His
disciple and try to do as He did, Jesus is asking us to be
instruments of His grace–to be, and I quote,
“ambassadors for Christ” in “the ministry
of reconciliation.” That’s how Paul described
it to the Corinthians. The Healer of every wound,
He who rights every wrong, asks us to labor with
Him in the daunting task of peacemaking in a world that
will not find it any other way. So, as Phillips Brooks wrote:
“You who are letting miserable [little] misunderstandings run
on from year to year [to year], meaning to clear
them up some day; you who are keeping wretched
quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your
mind that now is the day to sacrifice your pride
and [settle] them; you who are passing men
sullenly upon the street, not speaking to them out
of some silly spite …; you who are letting …
[someone’s] heart ache for a word of
appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to
give … some day, … [you] go instantly and do the
thing which you might never have another chance to do.” My beloved brothers
and sisters, I testify that forgiving and
forsaking offenses, old or new, is central to the grandeur of
the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I testify that ultimately
such spiritual repair can only come from our divine Redeemer,
He who rushes to our aid “with healing in his wings.” We thank Him and our Heavenly
Father, who sent Him, that renewal and rebirth–a
future free from old sorrows and past mistakes–are
not only possible, but they’ve already
been purchased, paid for at an excruciating
cost symbolized by the blood of the Lamb who shed it. With the apostolic
authority granted me by the Savior of
the world, I testify of the tranquility to the
soul that reconciliation with God and each
other will bring if we are meek and courageous
enough to pursue it. “Cease to contend one with
another,” the Savior pled. So if you know of an
old injury, repair it. Care for one another in love. My beloved friends,
in our shared ministry of reconciliation, I ask us to
be peacemakers, to love peace, to seek peace, to cherish
peace, to create peace. I make that appeal in the
name of the Prince of Peace, who knows everything about being
“wounded in the house of [His] friends” but who still found
the strength to forgive and forget–and to
heal and be happy. For that I pray
for you and for me in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ, amen. The congregation will
now join the choir in singing “We Thank Thee,
O God, for a Prophet.” After the singing, we will
hear from Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy. He will be followed by Elder
Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is the 188th Semiannual
General Conference of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. [MUSIC PLAYING – “WE THANK THEE,
O GOD, FOR A PROPHET”] Brothers and sisters,
my uncle Morrell comes from a family
of 11 children, and he was always
one of my favorites and always set a
wonderful example for me. And I love him very
much and look forward to the day when
I’ll see him again. Many people today wonder
about the reality of God and our relationship to Him. Many know little or nothing
at all about His great plan of happiness. More than 30 years ago,
President Ezra Taft Benson observed that “much of the
… world today rejects the divinity of the Savior. They question His miraculous
birth, His perfect life, and the reality of His
glorious resurrection.” In our day, questions are
focused not only on our Savior but also on His Church–The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–which He
restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. These questions often focus
on the history, teachings, or practices of the
Savior’s Church. From Preach My Gospel
we read: “Remember that our understanding [of
Heavenly Father and His plan of happiness] comes from modern
prophets–Joseph Smith and his successors–who receive
direct revelation from God. Therefore, the first
question someone should answer is whether
Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he or she can answer this
question by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.” The testimony of the divine
calling of the Prophet Joseph Smith has been
strengthened by prayerfully studying the Book of Mormon:
Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I have acted on
Moroni’s invitation to “ask God, the Eternal
Father, in the name of Christ,” to know of the truthfulness
of the Book of Mormon. I bear witness that
I know it is true. That knowledge has
come to me, as it can come to you, “by the
power of the Holy Ghost.” The introduction to
the Book of Mormon states: “Those who gain
this divine witness [of the Book of Mormon]
from the Holy Spirit will also come to
know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior
of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and
prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once
again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second
Coming of the Messiah.” As a young missionary
going to Chile, I learned a life-changing lesson
about the conversion power of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Gonzalez served in
a respected position in his church for many years. He had extensive
religious training, including a degree in theology. He was quite proud of
his biblical expertise. It was obvious to us that
he was a religious scholar. He was well aware
of the missionaries of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints as they went about their work
in his home city of Lima, Peru. He always wanted to meet
with them so that he could school them in the Bible. One day, almost as a gift
from heaven, so he thought, two missionaries stopped
him in the street and asked if they
could come to his home and share the
scriptures with him. This was his dream come true! His prayers had been answered. Finally, he could set these
misguided young boys straight. He told them that he
would be delighted to have them come to his house and
discuss the scriptures. He could hardly wait
for his appointment. He was ready to use the Bible
to disprove their beliefs. He was confident that the Bible
would clearly and articulately point out the error
of their ways. The appointed night came,
and the missionaries knocked on the door. He was giddy. The moment had finally arrived. He opened the door and invited
the missionaries into his home. One of the missionaries
handed him a blue book and bore a sincere testimony
that he knew the book contained the word of God. The second missionary added his
powerful testimony of the book, testifying that it
had been translated by a modern prophet of
God, named Joseph Smith, and that it taught of Christ. The missionaries excused
themselves and left his home. Mr. Gonzalez was
so disappointed. [LAUGHTER] But he opened the
book and he started to leaf though its pages. He read the first page. He read page after
page after page and didn’t stop until late into
the afternoon of the next day. He read the whole book
and knew that it was true. He knew what he had to do. He called the missionaries,
received the lessons, and gave up the life
that he had known to become a member of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That good man was my MTC
teacher in Provo, Utah. Brother Gonzalez’s
conversion story and the power of
the Book of Mormon made a great impression on me. When I arrived in Chile,
my mission president, President Royden J.
Glade, invited us to read the testimony of the Prophet
Joseph Smith recorded in Joseph Smith–History every week. He taught us that a
testimony of the First Vision would have a direct correlation
to our own testimony of the gospel and our testimony
of the Book of Mormon. I took his invitation seriously. I have read the accounts
of the First Vision; I have read the Book of Mormon. I have prayed as
directed by Moroni and asked “God, the Eternal
Father, in the name of Christ” if the Book of Mormon is true. I bear witness today that
I know the Book of Mormon, as the Prophet Joseph Smith
said, is “the most correct of any book on earth, and
the keystone of our religion, and a man [will] get nearer to
God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” The Prophet Joseph also
declared: “Take away the Book of Mormon
and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none.” As we better
understand who we are and the purposes of
the Book of Mormon, our conversion deepens
and becomes more certain. We are strengthened
in our commitment to keep the covenants
we have made with God. A principal purpose
of the Book of Mormon is to gather scattered Israel. This gathering gives
all of God’s children the opportunity to enter
into the covenant path and, by honoring
those covenants, return back to the
presence of the Father. As we teach repentance
and baptize converts, we gather scattered Israel. The Book of Mormon
has 108 references to the house of Israel. At the beginning of
the Book of Mormon, Nephi taught, “For
the fulness of mine intent is that I
may persuade men to come unto the God of
Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob, and be saved.” The God of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob is Jesus Christ, the God
of the Old Testament. We are saved as we
come unto Christ through living His gospel. Later, Nephi wrote: “Yea, even my father spake
much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning
the house of Israel, that they should be compared
like unto an olive tree, whose branches should be broken
off and should be scattered upon all the face
of the earth. … “And after the house of
Israel should be scattered they should be gathered
together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received
the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches
of the olive tree, or the remnants of the house of
Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of
the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer.” Likewise, at the end
of the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni reminds
us of our covenants, saying, “That thou mayest
no more be confounded, that the covenants of the
Eternal Father which he hath made unto thee, O house of
Israel, may be fulfilled.” What are the “covenants
of the Eternal Father” referred to by Moroni? We read in the book of Abraham: “My name is Jehovah, and I know
the end from the beginning; therefore my hand
shall be over thee. “And I will make of
thee a great nation, and I will bless
thee above measure, and make thy name great
among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing
unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they
shall bear this ministry and Priesthood
unto all nations.” President Russell
M. Nelson taught in a recent worldwide
broadcast that “these surely are the latter
days, and the Lord is hastening His work
to gather Israel. That gathering 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, if you want to, you can be a big part of it. You can be a big part of
something big, something grand, something majestic! “When we speak of the
gathering, we are simply saying this fundamental truth:
every one of our Heavenly Father’s children, on
both sides of the veil, deserves to hear the
message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. They decide for themselves
if they want to know more.” That is what we are
doing as members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints: we are seeking to
bring the world to an understanding
and a conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are the “latter-day
gatherers.” Our mission is clear. Brothers and sisters,
let us be known as those who have taken
Moroni’s promise to heart, prayed and received an answer
to know that the Book of Mormon is true, and then shared that
knowledge with others in word and, most importantly, in deed. The Book of Mormon contains the
fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; it leads us to the
covenants of the Father, which if kept will assure us
of His greatest gift–eternal life. The Book of Mormon
is the keystone to conversion of all of Heavenly
Father’s sons and daughters. Quoting again from President
Nelson: “As you … read daily … the
Book of Mormon, you will learn the
doctrine of the gathering, truths about Jesus
Christ, His Atonement, and the fulness of His gospel
not found in the Bible. The Book of Mormon is central
to the gathering of Israel. In fact, if there were
no Book of Mormon, the promised gathering of
Israel would not occur.” Let me conclude with
the words of the Savior as He taught the Nephites
of the promised blessings: “Ye are the children
of the prophets; and ye are of the
house of Israel; and ye are of the covenant
which the Father made with your fathers,
saying unto Abraham: And in thy seed shall all
the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” I testify that we are
sons and daughters of God, the seed of Abraham,
the house of Israel. We are gathering Israel for the
last time and are doing so with the Book of Mormon–a book
that, combined with the Spirit of the Lord, is the most
powerful tool of conversion. We are led by the prophet
of God, President Russell M. Nelson, who is directing the
gathering of Israel in our day. The Book of Mormon is true. It has changed my life. I promise you, as have
Moroni and many prophets through the ages, that
it can change yours. In the name of
Jesus Christ, amen. On March 22, 2016, just
before 8:00 in the morning, two terrorist bombs exploded
in the Brussels Airport. Elder Richard Norby, Elder Mason
Wells, and Elder Joseph Empey had taken Sister Fanny
Clain to the airport for a flight for her
mission in Cleveland, Ohio. Thirty-two people
lost their lives, and all of the
missionaries were wounded. The most seriously wounded was
Elder Richard Norby, age 66, serving with his wife,
Sister Pam Norby. Elder Norby reflected
on that moment: “Instantly, I knew
what had happened. “I tried to run for safety,
but I immediately fell down. … I could see that my left
leg was badly injured. I [noticed] black, almost
spiderweb-type, soot drooping from both hands. I gently pulled
at it but realized it was not soot but my
skin that had been burned. My white shirt was turning
red from an injury on my back. “As the consciousness of
what had just happened filled my mind, I [had] this
very strong thought, … the Savior knew where I was,
what had just transpired, and [what] I was
experiencing at that moment.” There were difficult days
ahead for Richard Norby and for his wife, Pam. He was placed in
an induced coma, followed with
surgeries, infections, and great uncertainty. Richard Norby lived, but his
life would never be the same. Two and a half years later,
his wounds are still healing; a brace replaces the
missing part of his leg; each step is different
than before that moment at the Brussels Airport. Why would this happen to
Richard and Pam Norby? They had been true
to their covenants, served a previous mission
in the Ivory Coast, and raised a wonderful family. Someone could understandably
say, “It isn’t fair! It just isn’t right! They were giving their lives for
the gospel of Jesus Christ; how could this happen?” Although the details will
differ, the tragedies, the unanticipated tests
and trials–both physical and spiritual–come to each of
us because this is mortality. As I thought of the speakers
in just this session of conference, it
occurred to me that two have had children and three have
had grandchildren unexpectedly return to their heavenly home. None has been spared
sickness and sadness, and as has been spoken
in this very week, an angel on earth whom we all
love, Sister Barbara Ballard, stepped gently through the veil. President Ballard, we will
never forget your testimony this morning. We search for happiness. We long for peace. We hope for love. And the Lord showers us with an
amazing abundance of blessings. But intermingled with
the joy and happiness, one thing is certain: there
will be moments, hours, days, sometimes years when your
soul will be wounded. The scriptures
teach that we will taste the bitter and the
sweet and that there will be “opposition in all things.” Jesus said, “[Your Father]
maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,
and sendeth rain on the just and … the unjust.” Wounds of the soul are not
unique to the rich or the poor, to one culture, one
nation, or one generation. They come to all and
are part of the learning we receive from this
mortal experience. My message today is
especially to those who are keeping the
commandments of God, keeping their promises to
God, and, like the Norbys and many other men,
women, and children in this worldwide
audience, are confronted with trials and challenges that
are unexpected and painful. Our wounds may come
from a natural disaster or an unfortunate accident. They may come from an
unfaithful husband or wife, turning life upside down for a
righteous spouse and children. The wounds may come from
the darkness and gloom of depression, from an
unanticipated illness, from the suffering or premature
death of someone we love, the sadness from a family member
dismissing his or her faith, the loneliness when
circumstances do not bring an eternal companion, or a
hundred other heart-wrenching, painful “[sorrows] that
the eye can’t see.” We each understand that
difficulties are part of life, but when they come
to us personally, they can take our breath away. Without being alarmed,
we need to be ready. The Apostle Peter said,
“Think it not strange concerning the fiery
trial which is to try you, as though some strange
thing happened [to] you.” Along with the bright
colors of happiness and joy, the darker colored threads
of trial and tragedy are woven deeply into the
fabric of our Father’s plan. These struggles,
although difficult, often become our
greatest teachers. When telling the miraculous
story of Helaman’s 2,060 young soldiers, we
love this scripture: “According to the
goodness of God, and to our great
astonishment, and also the joy of our whole army,
there was not one soul of them who did perish.” But the sentence
continues: “And neither was there one soul
among them who had not received many wounds.” Each of the 2,060 received
many wounds, and each one of us will be wounded in the battle
of life, whether physically, spiritually, or both. Never give up. However deep the
wounds of your soul, whatever their source, wherever
or whenever they happen, and for how short or
long they persist, you are not meant to
perish spiritually. You are meant to survive
spiritually, and blossom in your faith and trust in God. God did not create our spirits
to be independent of Him. Our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ, through the incalculable
gift of His Atonement, not only saves us from
death and offers us, through repentance,
forgiveness for our sins, but He also stands ready
to save us from the sorrows and pains of our wounded souls. The Savior is our
Good Samaritan, sent “to heal the brokenhearted.” He comes to us when
others pass us by. With compassion He places His
healing balm on our wounds and binds them up. He carries us. He cares for us. He bids us, “Come unto me
… and I shall heal [you].” “And [Jesus] shall …
[suffer] pains and afflictions and temptations
of every kind; … that … he [might] take
upon him the pains and … sicknesses of his people … [taking upon Himself
our] infirmities, [being] filled with mercy.” Come, ye disconsolate,
where’er ye languish; Come to the mercy
seat, fervently kneel. Here bring your wounded
hearts; here tell your anguish. Earth has no sorrow
that heav’n cannot heal. At a time of enormous suffering,
the Lord told the Prophet Joseph, “All these things
shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” How can painful wounds
be for our good? In the crucible of earthly
trials, patiently move forward, and the Savior’s healing
power will bring you light, understanding, peace, and hope. Pray with all your heart. Strengthen your faith in
Jesus Christ, in His reality, in His grace. Hold on to these words: “My
grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made
perfect in weakness.” Remember, repentance is
powerful spiritual medicine. Keep the commandments and
be worthy of the Comforter, remembering the Savior
promised, “I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you.” The peace of the temple
is a soothing balm to the wounded soul. Return to the Lord’s house
with your wounded heart and with your family names
as frequently as possible. The temple projects our
brief moment in mortality onto the wide
screen of eternity. Look backward, remembering
that you proved your worthiness in your premortal state. You are a valiant child
of God, and with His help you can triumph in the
battles of this fallen world. You have done it before,
and you can do it again. Look forward. Your troubles and
sorrows are very real, but they will not last forever. Your dark night will pass
because the Son did rise “with healing in his wings.” The Norbys told
me: “Disappointment comes to visit on occasion
but is never allowed to stay.” The Apostle Paul said,
“We are troubled … yet not distressed; we are
perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken;
cast down, but not destroyed.” You may be exhausted,
but don’t ever give up. Even with your own
painful wounds, you will instinctively reach
out to others, trusting in the Savior’s promise:
“Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” The wounded who nurse
the wounds of others are God’s angels on earth. In just a few moments we will
listen to our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, a
man of undaunted faith in Jesus Christ, a man of hope
and peace, loved by God but not spared from
the wounds of the soul. In 1995 his daughter Emily,
while expecting a child, was diagnosed with cancer. There were days of
hope and happiness as her healthy
baby was delivered. But the cancer returned,
and their beloved Emily would pass from this
life just two weeks after her 37th birthday, leaving
her loving husband and five young children. In general conference,
shortly after her passing, Elder Nelson confided: “My tears
of sorrow have flowed along with wishes that I could have
done more for our daughter. … If I had the power
of resurrection, I would have been tempted
to bring [her] back. … [But] Jesus Christ holds
those keys and will use them for Emily … and for all
people in the Lord’s own time.” Last month, while visiting
the Saints in Puerto Rico, and remembering last year’s
devastating hurricane, President Nelson spoke
with love and compassion: “[This] is part of life. It’s why we’re here. We are here to have a body
and to be tried and tested. Some of those tests are
physical; some are spiritual, and your trials here have been
both physical and spiritual.” “You have not given up. We are [so] proud of you. You faithful Saints have lost
much, but through it all, you have fostered your faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ.” “By keeping God’s
commandments, we can find joy even in the midst
of our worst circumstances.” My brothers and sisters,
it is my promise to you that increasing your faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you added
strength and greater hope. For you, the righteous,
the Healer of our souls, in His time and His way,
will heal all your wounds. No injustice, no persecution,
no trial, no sadness, no heartache, no suffering,
no wound–however deep, however wide, however
painful–will be excluded from the comfort, peace, and lasting
hope of Him whose open arms and whose wounded hands will
welcome us back into His presence. At that day, the
Apostle John testifies, the righteous “which [come]
out of great tribulation” will stand “arrayed
in white robes … before the throne of God.” The Lamb will “dwell
among [us] … and God shall wipe away all
tears from [your] eyes.” This day will come. I so witness in the name
of Jesus Christ, amen. We are grateful to those who
have spoken to us thus far, and to the Tabernacle Choir
for the beautiful music they have provided this morning. The choir will now favor us
with “His Voice as the Sound.” After the singing, we
will be pleased to hear from our beloved prophet,
President Russell M. Nelson. Following President
Nelson’s remarks, the choir will
close this meeting by singing “It Is
Well with My Soul.” The benediction will then be
offered by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Seventy. [MUSIC PLAYING – “HIS VOICE AS
THE SOUND”] Thank you, choir. My beloved brothers and sisters,
on this beautiful Sabbath day we rejoice together in our
many blessings from the Lord. We are very grateful for your
testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ,
for the sacrifices you’ve made to stay on or return
to His covenant path, and for your consecrated
service in His Church. Today I feel compelled
to discuss with you a matter of great importance. Some weeks ago, I
released a statement regarding a course correction
for the name of the Church. I did this because the
Lord impressed upon my mind the importance of the name
He decreed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. As you would expect,
responses to this statement and to the revised style
guide have been mixed. Many members
immediately corrected the name of the Church on their
blogs and social media pages. Others wondered why, with all
that’s going on in the world, it was necessary to emphasize
something so “inconsequential.” And some said it couldn’t
be done, so why even try? Let me explain why we care
so deeply about this issue. But first let me state
what this effort is not: It is not a name change. It is not rebranding. It is not cosmetic. It is not a whim. And it is not inconsequential. Instead, it is a correction. It is the command of the Lord. Joseph Smith did not name the
Church restored through him; neither did Mormon. It was the Savior Himself
who said, “For thus shall my church be called
in the last days, even The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints.” Even earlier, in AD 34,
our resurrected Lord gave similar instruction
to members of His Church when He visited them
in the Americas. At that time He said: “Ye shall call the
church in my name. … “And how be it my church
save it be called in my name? For if a church be
called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’
church; or if it be called in the name of a man
then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my
name then it is my church.” Thus, the name of the
Church is not negotiable. When the Savior clearly states
what the name of His Church should be and even
precedes His declaration with “Thus shall my church
be called,” He is serious. And if we allow nicknames
to be used or adopt or even sponsor those nicknames
ourselves, He is offended. What’s in a name or, in
this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames
of the Church, such as “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,”
or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most
glaring omission is the absence of
the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name
from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard
the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding
all that Jesus Christ did for us–even His Atonement. Consider this from
His perspective: Premortally He was Jehovah,
God of the Old Testament. Under the direction
of His Father, He was the Creator of
this and other worlds. He chose to submit to
the will of His Father and do something for
all of God’s children that no one else could do! Condescending to come to
earth as the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh,
He was brutally reviled, mocked, spit upon, and scourged. In the Garden of
Gethsemane, our Savior took upon Himself every
pain, every sin, and all of the anguish and suffering
ever experienced by you and me and by everyone that has
ever or will ever live. Under the weight of that
excruciating burden, He bled from every pore. All of this suffering was
intensified as He was cruelly crucified on Calvary’s cross. Through these excruciating
experiences and His subsequent Resurrection–His infinite
Atonement–He granted immortality to all and ransomed
each one of us from the effects of sin, on condition
of our repentance. Following the
Savior’s Resurrection and the death of His
Apostles, the world plunged into
centuries of darkness. Then in the year 1820, God
the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to
the Prophet Joseph Smith to initiate the Restoration
of the Lord’s Church. After all He had endured–and
after all He had done for humankind–I realize with
profound regret that we have unwittingly acquiesced in the
Lord’s restored Church being called by other names, each of
which expunges the sacred name of Jesus Christ! Every Sunday as we partake
worthily of the sacrament, we make anew our sacred
promise to our Heavenly Father that we are willing to take upon
us the name of His Son, Jesus Christ. We promise to follow Him,
repent, keep His commandments, and always remember Him. When we omit His
name from His Church, we are inadvertently
removing Him as the central
focus of our lives. Taking the Savior’s name
upon us includes declaring and witnessing to
others–through our actions and our words–that
Jesus is the Christ. Have we been so afraid to offend
someone who called us “Mormons” that we have failed to
defend the Savior Himself, to stand up for Him even in
the name by which His Church is called? If we as a people and as
individuals are to have access to the power of the Atonement
of Jesus Christ–to cleanse and heal us, to
strengthen and magnify us, and ultimately to exalt us–we
must clearly acknowledge Him as the source of that power. We can begin by calling His
Church by the name He decreed. For much of the world,
the Lord’s Church is presently disguised
as the “Mormon Church.” But we as members
of the Lord’s Church know who stands at its
head: Jesus Christ Himself. Unfortunately, many who
hear the term Mormon think that we worship Mormon. Not so! We honor and respect that
great ancient American prophet. But we are not
Mormon’s disciples. We are the Lord’s disciples. In the early days of
the restored Church, terms such as Mormon Church
and Mormons were often used as epithets–as cruel terms,
abusive terms–designed to obliterate God’s hand in
restoring the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter days. Brothers and sisters, there
are many worldly arguments against restoring the
correct name of the Church. Because of the digital world in
which we live and with search engine optimization that helps
all of us find information we need almost instantly–including
information about the Lord’s Church–critics say
that a correction at this point is unwise. Others feel that because
we are known so widely as “Mormons” and as
the “Mormon Church,” we should make the best of it. If this were a
discussion about branding a man-made organization,
those arguments might prevail. But in this crucial
matter, we look to Him whose Church
this is and acknowledge that the Lord’s ways are not,
and never will be, man’s ways. If we will be patient and
if we will do our part well, the Lord will lead us
through this important task. After all, we know
that the Lord helps those who seek to
do His will, just as He helped Nephi accomplish
the task of building a ship to cross the sea. We will want to be courteous
and patient in our efforts to correct these errors. Responsible media will be
sympathetic in responding to our request. In a previous
general conference, Elder Benjamin De Hoyos
spoke of such an event. Benjamin said: “Some years ago while serving
in the office of public affairs of the Church in Mexico, [a
companion and I] were invited to participate in a
radio talk show. … [One of the program
directors] asked [us], ‘Why does the Church have
such a long name?’ … “My companion and I smiled at
such a magnificent question and then proceeded to explain
that the name of the Church was not chosen by man. It was given by the Savior. … The program director immediately
and respectfully responded, ‘We will thus repeat it
with great pleasure.'” Well, that report
provides a pattern. One by one, our best
efforts as individuals will be required to
correct errors that have crept in through the years. The rest of the
world may or may not follow our lead in calling
us by the correct name. But it is disingenuous
for us to be frustrated if most of the world calls
the Church and its members by the wrong names
if we do the same. Our revised style
guide is helpful. It states: “In the
first reference, the full name of the
Church is preferred: ‘The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.’ When a shortened [second]
reference is needed, the terms ‘the Church’ or
the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ are encouraged. The ‘restored Church
of Jesus Christ’ is also accurate
and encouraged.” Now, if someone should
ask, “Are you a Mormon?” you could reply,
“If you are asking if I am a member of The Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yes, I am!” If someone asks, “Are
you a Latter-day Saint?” you might respond, “Yes, I am. I believe in Jesus Christ and
am a member of His restored Church.” My dear brothers and
sisters, I promise that if we will do
our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s
Church, He whose Church this is will pour down His
power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day
Saints, the likes of which we have never seen. We will have the
knowledge and power of God to help us take the blessings
of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to every nation,
kindred, tongue, and people and to prepare the world for
the Second Coming of the Lord. So what’s in a name? When it comes to the name
of the Lord’s Church, the answer is “Everything!” Jesus Christ directed us to
call the Church by His name because it is His Church,
filled with His power. I know that God lives. Jesus is the Christ. He leads His Church today. I so testify in the sacred
name of Jesus Christ, amen. [MUSIC PLAYING – “IT IS WELL
WITH MY SOUL”] Our Father in Heaven, we have
gathered this Sabbath morning as members and friends
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are indeed–thank Thee,
thank God for a prophet, who guides us in
these latter days. We are grateful for this
season of abundant revelation. We understand with
great blessing comes great responsibility. And we pray that each
of us, individually and within our families,
may have the capacity to rise and stand
tall and to seek to understand not
simply what we should do but why we should do it, to
understand that the principles and doctrine that have been
taught in this conference session this day and throughout
this weekend are of Thee and of Thy Son, and as
each of us follow it, we may be blessed
and come unto Thy Son and through Him
gain eternal life. We thank Thee for all who
bear the apostolic authority and for the privilege
and blessing it is within this Church to
have the priesthood of Thy Son and of Thee. We now dismiss
ourselves for a time so that we might contemplate and
understand and do those things that we have
understood this day. We love Thee, Father. We love Thy Son, and
we pray in His name, in the name of
Jesus Christ, amen. This has been a broadcast of
the 188th Semiannual 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.

25 Replies to “Sunday Afternoon Session”

  1. thank you for posting these videos It really brings the spirit to my life I thank thee and hope that your lives are blessed

  2. I mean….how can you dislike GC ? Wise men and woman giving and sharing inspirational messages, how else could I start my morning

  3. thank you for posting these uplifting videos, I would be lost without the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints. God and Jesus Christ, and so many people are lost, because they don't really care, I think that is sad,

  4. It seems the wrong caption/subtitles file was uploaded to this video. Could you please replace it with the correct one?

  5. The only commandment God has given to the world after jesus fulfilled the law of moses. Is to believe Jesus is the son of God, and that he died for you sins.

  6. Speaking for God ?
    1O. And Moses said unto the lord, o my lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since you has spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and slow of tongue.
    11 and the lord said unto him, who hath made mans mouth ? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing or the blind? Have not I the lord?
    12.Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
    2 Peter chapter1 verses
    20 and 21
    Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scriptures is of any private interpretation
    21 for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    1 thesssalonians 2 :13
    13: For this cause also thank we God with out ceasing, because,when ye recieved the word of God which ye heard of us, ye recieved it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually workers also in you that believe.
    1 Peter chapter 4 verse
    As every man hath recieved the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
    If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through jesus christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever, Amen.
    2 Timothy 3:16
    All scripture is breathed out of the mouth of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.
    1 John 1:8
    If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

  7. Mark chapter 9 verse 42.
    "Who ever causes one of these little ones to stumble it would be for them if a millstone were hung around their and they were tossed into the sea.
    In other words bareing false witness and declaring false teachings. Is a very horrible offence against the lord. Those who do will receive horrible punishment.
    If you do believe and love the lord. You need to take this seriously.

  8. Sure, take responsibility for your own understanding of God and his word. However that does not give you a pass to not your job / assignment the lord has given you .

  9. Love to Gospel, and healthy new ways with new generations, clean and gentle, but with vitality, and lovely paths, original coloring for everyone.

  10. this church is a very precious gift of god, this church only can teach me and remind me to remember our beloved father in heaven and jesus christ, i am very proud and happy because i am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints..

  11. Thank you for God and Jesus is our love and I love Lord thy God with all my heart and soul.. that's my favorite ,

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