October 2019 General Conference – ASL Saturday Sessions

October 2019 General Conference – ASL Saturday Sessions


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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 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. ♪♪ OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THIS IS THE ENGLISH CLOSED CAPTION CHANNEL OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE MORNING BREAKS,
THE SHADOWS FLEE; ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE MORNING BREAKS,
THE SHADOWS FLEE; ♪ ♪ LO, ZION’S STANDARD
IS UNFURLED! ♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SATURDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH 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. MEMBERS AND OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH GATHER FROM ALL AREAS OF THE WORLD TO RECEIVE COUNSEL AND INSTRUCTION FROM THEIR CHURCH LEADERS. 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. ♪ TO BRING HER RANSOMED
CHILDREN HOME. ♪♪ 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 SATURDAY MORNING SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND EXTEND A WARM WELCOME TO MEMBERS AND FRIENDS PARTICIPATING IN THE CONFERENCE THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED THAT I CONDUCT THIS SESSION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE BY THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MACK WILBERG AND RYAN MURPHY WITH ANDREW UNSWORTH AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR OPENED THIS MEETING WITH “THE MORNING BREAKS,” AND WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “FROM ALL THAT DWELL BELOW THE SKIES.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER LARRY Y. WILSON OF THE SEVENTY, AFTER WHICH, THE CHOIR WILL SING “AS I SEARCH THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.” ♪♪ ♪ FROM ALL THAT DWELL
BELOW THE SKIES, ♪ ♪ LET THE CREATOR’S
PRAISE ARISE; ♪ ♪ LET THE REDEEMER’S
NAME BE SUNG ♪ ♪ THROUGH EV’RY LAND,
BY EV’RY TONGUE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN EV’RY LAND
BEGIN THE SONG; ♪ ♪ TO EV’RY LAND
THE STRAINS BELONG. ♪ ♪ IN CHEERFUL SOUNDS
ALL VOICES RAISE ♪ ♪ AND FILL THE WORLD
WITH LOUDEST PRAISE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ YOUR LOFTY THEMES,
YE MORTALS, BRING; ♪ ♪ IN SONGS OF PRAISE
DIVINELY SING. ♪ ♪ THE GREAT SALVATION
LOUD PROCLAIM, ♪ ♪ AND SHOUT FOR JOY
THE SAVIOR’S NAME. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ ETERNAL ARE THY
MERCIES, LORD; ♪ ♪ ETERNAL TRUTHS
ATTEND THY WORD. ♪ ♪ THY PRAISE SHALL SOUND
FROM SHORE TO SHORE, ♪ ♪ TILL SUNS SHALL RISE
AND SET NO MORE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THY PRAISE SHALL SOUND
FROM SHORE TO SHORE, ♪ ♪ TILL SUNS SHALL RISE
AND SET NO MORE. ♪ ♪ A-MEN! ♪♪>>ELDER LARRY Y. EVERY VALIANT MISSIONARY AND FOR WONDERFUL LEADERS, ESPECIALLY LEAD PROPHETS. WE’RE GRATEFUL TO BE PART OF THE BOD OF THE CHRIST AND TO BE ABLE TO SERVE THEE. PLEASE HELP US TO RECEIVE THE LIGHT AND LOVE FROM THEE THAT WOULD BE CONVEYED THROUGH THE MESSAGES OF THIS CONFERENCE. HELP US TO CARRY THAT LIGHT AND LOVE INTO ALL THE WORLD WHEREVER WE MAY BE THAT THERE MAY BE GREATER FATHER AND GOODNESS AND HOLINESS IN OUR HOMES AND COMMUNITIES. WE PRAFOR THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING, POUR OUT THY COMFORT, HOPE, HEALING AND BLESSING UPON THEM. WE EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR THY PLAN FOR WHICH WE CAN RETURN TO THEE. HELP US AS WE STRIVE TO WALK THE PATH THAT WE MAY BE ABLE TO DO SO, WE PRAY, IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪ AS I SEARCH
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, ♪ ♪ LOVING FATHER
OF MANKIND, ♪ ♪ MAY MY HEART
BE BLESSED WITH WISDOM, ♪ ♪ AND MAY KNOWLEDGE
FILL MY MIND. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AS I SEARCH
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, ♪ ♪ TOUCH MY SPIRIT,
LORD, I PRAY. ♪ ♪ MAY LIFE’S MYST’RIES
BE UNFOLDED ♪ ♪ AS I STUDY
DAY BY DAY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AS I SEARCH
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, ♪ ♪ MAY THY MERCY
BE REVEALED. ♪ ♪ SOOTHE MY TROUBLED HEART
AND SPIRIT; ♪ ♪ MAY MY UNSEEN WOUNDS
BE HEALED. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AS I SEARCH
THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, ♪ ♪ HELP ME PONDER
AND OBEY. ♪ ♪ IN THY WORD
IS LIFE ETERNAL; ♪ ♪ MAY THY LIGHT
SHOW ME THE WAY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ MAY THY LIGHT
SHOW ME THE WAY. ♪ ♪ SHOW ME THE WAY. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ SHOW ME THE WAY. ♪♪>>PRESIDENT EYRING: WE WILL NOW BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER TERENCE M. VINSON OF THE PRESIDENCY OF THE SEVENTY. BROTHER STEPHEN W. OWEN, YOUNG MEN GENERAL PRESIDENT, WILL THEN ADDRESS US.>>ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THIS IS SAMMY HO CHING, SEVEN MONTHS OLD, WATCHING GENERAL CONFERENCE ON TELEVISION IN HIS HOME LAST APRIL. AS TIME APPROACHED TO SUSTAIN PRESIDENT NELSON AND THE OTHER GENERAL AUTHORITIES, SAMMY’S ARMS WERE BUSY HOLDING HIS BOTTLE. SO HE DID THE NEXT BEST THING. [LAUGHTER] SAMMY GIVES ENTIRELY NEW MEANING TO THE CONCEPT OF VOTING WITH YOUR FEET. WELCOME TO THIS SEMIANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. TO SET THE STAGE FOR A DISCUSSION OF THE MEANING OF THESE TWICE-A-YEAR GATHERINGS, I INVOKE THIS SCENE FROM LUKE’S NEW TESTAMENT ACCOUNT: “IT CAME TO PASS, THAT AS [JESUS] WAS COME NIGH UNTO JERICHO, A CERTAIN BLIND MAN SAT BY THE WAYSIDE BEGGING: “HEARING [A] MULTITUDE PASS BY, HE ASKED WHAT IT MEANT. “THEY TOLD HIM, THAT JESUS OF NAZARETH PASSETH BY. “AND HE CRIED, SAYING, JESUS, THOU SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME.” STARTLED AT HIS BOLDNESS, THE CROWD TRIED TO SILENCE THE MAN, BUT “HE CRIED SO MUCH THE MORE.” AS A RESULT OF HIS PERSISTENCE, HE WAS BROUGHT TO JESUS, WHO HEARD HIS FAITH-FILLED PLEA FOR THE RESTORATION OF HIS SIGHT AND HEALED HIM. I AM MOVED BY THIS VIVID LITTLE VIGNETTE EVERY TIME I READ IT. WE CAN SENSE THE MAN’S DISTRESS. WE CAN ALMOST HEAR HIM SHOUTING FOR THE SAVIOR’S ATTENTION. WE SMILE AT HIS REFUSAL TO BE SILENT–INDEED, HIS DETERMINATION TO TURN THE VOLUME UP WHEN EVERYONE ELSE WAS TELLING HIM TO TURN IT DOWN. IT IS, IN AND OF ITSELF, A SWEET STORY OF VERY DETERMINED FAITH. BUT AS WITH ALL SCRIPTURE, THE MORE WE READ IT, THE MORE WE FIND IN IT. ONE THOUGHT THAT STRUCK ME ONLY RECENTLY IS THE GOOD SENSE THIS MAN HAD IN HAVING SPIRITUALLY SENSITIVE PEOPLE AROUND HIM. THE ENTIRE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS STORY HINGES ON A HANDFUL OF ANONYMOUS WOMEN AND MEN WHO, WHEN ASKED BY THEIR COLLEAGUE, “WHAT DOES THIS COMMOTION MEAN?” HAD THE VISION, IF YOU WILL, TO IDENTIFY CHRIST AS THE REASON FOR THE CLAMOR; HE WAS THE “MEANING PERSONIFIED.” THERE IS A LESSON IN THIS LITTLE EXCHANGE FOR ALL OF US. IN MATTERS OF FAITH AND CONVICTION, IT HELPS TO DIRECT YOUR INQUIRY TOWARD THOSE WHO ACTUALLY HAVE SOME! “CAN THE BLIND LEAD THE BLIND?” JESUS ONCE ASKED. “[IF SO] SHALL THEY NOT BOTH FALL INTO THE DITCH?” SUCH A QUEST FOR FAITH AND CONVICTION IS OUR PURPOSE IN THESE CONFERENCES, AND BY JOINING WITH US TODAY YOU WILL REALIZE THAT THIS SEARCH IS A BROADLY SHARED ENDEAVOR. LOOK AROUND YOU. HERE ON THESE GROUNDS YOU WILL SEE FAMILIES OF ALL SIZES COMING FROM EVERY DIRECTION. OLD FRIENDS EMBRACE IN JOYFUL REUNION, A MARVELOUS CHOIR IS WARMING UP, AND PROTESTORS SHOUT FROM THEIR FAVORITE SOAPBOX. MISSIONARIES OF AN EARLIER DAY LOOK FOR FORMER COMPANIONS, WHILE RECENTLY RETURNED MISSIONARIES LOOK FOR ENTIRELY NEW COMPANIONS. (IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! ) AND MORE POWER TO YOU. AND PHOTOS? HEAVEN HELP US! WITH CELL PHONES IN EVERY HAND, WE HAVE MORPHED FROM “EVERY MEMBER A MISSIONARY” TO “EVERY MEMBER A PHOTOGRAPHER.” IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS DELIGHTFUL COMMOTION, ONE COULD JUSTIFIABLY ASK, “WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?” AS IN OUR NEW TESTAMENT STORY, THOSE BLESSED WITH SIGHT WILL RECOGNIZE THAT, IN SPITE OF EVERYTHING ELSE THIS CONFERENCE TRADITION MAY OFFER US, IT WILL MEAN LITTLE OR NOTHING UNLESS WE FIND JESUS AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL. TO GRASP THE VISION WE ARE SEEKING, THE HEALING THAT HE PROMISES, THE SIGNIFICANCE WE SOMEHOW KNOW IS HERE, WE MUST CUT THROUGH THE COMMOTION– JOYFUL AS IT IS– AND FIX OUR ATTENTION ON HIM. THE PRAYER OF EVERY SPEAKER, THE HOPE OF ALL WHO SING, THE REVERENCE OF EVERY GUEST– WE ARE ALL DEDICATED TO INVITING THE SPIRIT OF HIM WHOSE CHURCH THIS IS, THE LIVING CHRIST, THE LAMB OF GOD, THE PRINCE OF PEACE. BUT WE DON’T HAVE TO BE IN A CONFERENCE CENTER TO FIND HIM. WHEN A CHILD READS THE BOOK OF MORMON FOR THE FIRST TIME AND IS ENAMORED WITH ABINADI’S COURAGE OR THE MARCH OF 2,000 STRIPLING WARRIORS, WE CAN GENTLY ADD THAT JESUS IS THE OMNIPRESENT CENTRAL FIGURE IN THIS MARVELOUS CHRONICLE, STANDING LIKE A COLOSSUS OVER VIRTUALLY EVERY PAGE OF IT AND PROVIDING THE LINK TO ALL OF THE OTHER FAITH-PROMOTING FIGURES IN IT. LIKEWISE, WHEN A FRIEND IS LEARNING ABOUT OUR FAITH, SHE OR HE CAN BE A BIT OVERWHELMED BY SOME OF THE UNIQUE ELEMENTS AND UNFAMILIAR VOCABULARY OF OUR RELIGIOUS PRACTICE– DIETARY RESTRICTIONS, SELF-RELIANCE SUPPLIES, PIONEER TREKS, AND DIGITIZED FAMILY TREES, WITH AN UNTOLD NUMBER OF STAKE CENTERS, WHERE SOME HAVE UNDOUBTEDLY EXPECTED TO BE SERVED A FINE CHARBROILED SIRLOIN, MEDIUM-RARE. SO AS OUR NEW FRIENDS EXPERIENCE A MULTITUDE OF NEW SIGHTS AND SOUNDS, WE MUST POINT PAST THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE AND CONCENTRATE THEM ON THE MEANING OF IT ALL, ON THE BEATING HEART OF THE ETERNAL GOSPEL: THE LOVE OF HEAVENLY PARENTS, THE ATONING GIFT OF A DIVINE SON, THE COMFORTING GUIDANCE OF THE HOLY GHOST, THE LATTER-DAY RESTORATION OF ALL THESE TRUTHS, AND SO MUCH MORE. WHEN ONE GOES TO THE HOLY TEMPLE FOR THE FIRST TIME, HE OR SHE MAY BE SOMEWHAT AWESTRUCK BY THAT EXPERIENCE. OUR JOB IS TO ENSURE THAT THE SACRED SYMBOLS AND REVEALED RITUALS, THE CEREMONIAL CLOTHING, AND THE VISUAL PRESENTATIONS NEVER DISTRACT FROM BUT RATHER POINT TOWARD THE SAVIOR, WHOM WE ARE THERE TO WORSHIP. THE TEMPLE IS HIS HOUSE, AND HE SHOULD BE UPPERMOST IN OUR MINDS AND HEARTS–THE MAJESTIC DOCTRINE OF CHRIST PERVADING OUR VERY BEING AS IT PERVADES THE TEMPLE ORDINANCES–FROM THE TIME WE READ THE INSCRIPTION OVER THE FRONT DOOR TO THE VERY LAST MOMENT WE SPEND IN THE BUILDING. AMID ALL THE WONDER WE ENCOUNTER, WE ARE TO SEE, ABOVE ALL ELSE, THE MEANING OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE. CONSIDER THE SWIRL OF BOLD INITIATIVES AND NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS IN THE CHURCH IN THESE RECENT MONTHS. AS WE MINISTER TO ONE ANOTHER OR REFINE OUR SABBATH EXPERIENCE OR EMBRACE A NEW PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH, WE WILL MISS THE REAL REASON FOR THESE REVELATORY ADJUSTMENTS IF WE SEE THEM AS DISPARATE, UNRELATED ELEMENTS RATHER THAN AS AN INTERRELATED EFFORT TO HELP US BUILD MORE FIRMLY ON THE ROCK OF OUR SALVATION. SURELY, SURELY THIS IS WHAT PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON INTENDS IN HAVING US USE THE REVEALED NAME OF THE CHURCH. IF JESUS–HIS NAME, HIS DOCTRINE, HIS EXAMPLE, HIS DIVINITY–IF HE CAN BE AT THE CENTER OF OUR WORSHIP, WE WILL BE REINFORCING THE GREAT TRUTH ALMA ONCE TAUGHT: “THERE BE MANY THINGS TO COME; [BUT] BEHOLD, THERE IS ONE THING WHICH IS OF MORE IMPORTANCE THAN THEY ALL … THE REDEEMER [WHO] LIVETH AND COMETH AMONG HIS PEOPLE.” ONE CONCLUDING THOUGHT: JOSEPH SMITH’S 19TH-CENTURY FRONTIER ENVIRONMENT WAS AFLAME WITH COMPETING CROWDS OF CHRISTIAN WITNESSES. BUT IN THE TUMULT THEY CREATED, THESE EXUBERANT REVIVALISTS WERE, IRONICALLY, OBSCURING THE VERY SAVIOR YOUNG JOSEPH SO EARNESTLY SOUGHT. BATTLING WHAT HE CALLED “DARKNESS AND CONFUSION,” HE RETREATED TO THE SOLITUDE OF A GROVE OF TREES, WHERE HE SAW AND HEARD A MORE GLORIOUS WITNESS OF THE SAVIOR’S CENTRALITY TO THE GOSPEL THAN ANYTHING WE’VE AVE MENTIONED HERE THIS MORNING. WITH A GIFT OF SIGHT UNIMAGINED AND UNANTICIPATED, JOSEPH BEHELD IN VISION HIS HEAVENLY FATHER, THE GREAT GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, AND JESUS CHRIST, HIS PERFECT ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. THEN THE FATHER SET THE EXAMPLE WE HAVE BEEN APPLAUDING THIS MORNING: HE POINTED TO JESUS, SAYING, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON. HEAR HIM!” NO GREATER EXPRESSION OF JESUS’S DIVINE IDENTITY, HIS PRIMACY IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION, AND HIS STANDING IN THE EYES OF GOD COULD EVER EXCEED THAT SHORT, SEVEN-WORD DECLARATION. COMMOTION AND CONFUSION? AND CROWDS, EVEN CONTENTION? THERE IS PLENTY OF ALL THAT IN OUR WORLD. INDEED, SKEPTICS AND THE FAITHFUL STILL CONTEND OVER THIS VISION AND VIRTUALLY ALL ELSE I HAVE REFERRED TO TODAY. IN CASE YOU MAY BE STRIVING TO SEE MORE CLEARLY AND TO FIND MEANING IN THE MIDST OF A MULTITUDE OF OPINIONS, I POINT YOU TOWARD THAT SAME JESUS AND BEAR APOSTOLIC WITNESS OF JOSEPH SMITH’S EXPERIENCE, COMING AS IT DID SOME 1,800 YEARS AFTER OUR BLIND FRIEND RECEIVED HIS SIGHT ON THE ANCIENT JERICHO ROAD. I TESTIFY WITH THESE TWO AND A HOST OF OTHERS DOWN THROUGH TIME THAT SURELY THE MOST THRILLING SIGHT AND SOUND IN LIFE IS THAT OF JESUS NOT ONLY PASSING BY BUT HIS COMING TO US, STOPPING BESIDE US, AND MAKING HIS ABODE WITH US. SISTERS AND BROTHERS, THROUGH THE INCESSANT DIN AND DRUMBEAT OF OUR DAY, MAY WE STRIVE TO SEE CHRIST AT THE CENTER OF OUR LIVES, OF OUR FAITH, AND OF OUR SERVICE. THAT IS WHERE TRUE MEANING LIES. AND IF SOME DAYS OUR VISION IS LIMITED OR OUR CONFIDENCE HAS WANED OR OUR BELIEF IS BEING TESTED AND REFINED–AS SURELY IT WILL BE–MAY WE CRY OUT THE LOUDER, “JESUS, THOU SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME.” I PROMISE WITH APOSTOLIC FERVOR AND PROPHETIC CONVICTION THAT HE WILL HEAR YOU AND WILL SAY, SOON OR LATE, “RECEIVE THY SIGHT: THY FAITH HATH SAVED THEE.” WELCOME TO GENERAL CONFERENCE, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER TERENCE M. VINSON: SOMEWHAT HIDDEN IN THE OLD TESTAMENT BOOK OF HAGGAI IS A DESCRIPTION OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO COULD HAVE USED ELDER HOLLAND’S COUNSEL. THEY GOT IT WRONG BY NOT PLACING CHRIST AT THE CENTER OF THEIR LIVES AND THEIR SERVICE. HAGGAI PAINTS SOME THOUGHT-PROVOKING WORD PICTURES AS HE REPRIMANDS THESE PEOPLE FOR STAYING IN THEIR COMFORTABLE HOUSES INSTEAD OF BUILDING THE LORD’S TEMPLE: “IS IT TIME FOR YOU, O YE, TO DWELL IN YOUR CEILED HOUSES, AND THIS HOUSE LIE WASTE? “NOW THEREFORE THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS; CONSIDER YOUR WAYS. “YE HAVE SOWN MUCH, AND BRING IN LITTLE; YE EAT, BUT YE HAVE NOT ENOUGH; YE DRINK, BUT YE ARE NOT FILLED WITH DRINK; YE CLOTHE YOU, BUT THERE IS NONE WARM; AND HE THAT EARNETH WAGES EARNETH WAGES TO PUT IT INTO A BAG WITH HOLES. “THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS; CONSIDER YOUR WAYS.” DON’T YOU LOVE THOSE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE FUTILITY OF PRIORITIZING THINGS OF NO ETERNAL CONSEQUENCE ABOVE THE THINGS OF GOD? IN A RECENT SACRAMENT MEETING I ATTENDED, A RETURNED MISSIONARY QUOTED A FATHER WHO SUMMED UP THIS IDEA PERFECTLY WHEN HE SAID TO HIS CHILDREN, “WHAT WE NEED HERE IS LESS WI-FI AND MORE NEPHI!” [LAUGHTER] HAVING LIVED IN WEST AFRICA FOR FIVE YEARS, I SAW PLENTY OF EXAMPLES OF PEOPLE PRIORITIZING THE GOSPEL NATURALLY AND UNASHAMEDLY. ONE SUCH EXAMPLE IS THE NAME OF A TIRE REPAIR AND WHEEL BALANCING BUSINESS IN GHANA. THE OWNER HAS NAMED IT “THY WILL ALIGNMENT.” WE CAN FEEL ENDURING JOY WHEN OUR SAVIOR AND HIS GOSPEL BECOME THE FRAMEWORK AROUND WHICH WE BUILD OUR LIVES. HOWEVER, IT’S SO EASY FOR THAT FRAMEWORK TO BECOME, INSTEAD, THE THINGS OF THE WORLD, WHERE THE GOSPEL SITS AS AN OPTIONAL EXTRA, OR AS SIMPLY ATTENDING CHURCH FOR TWO HOURS ON SUNDAYS. WHEN THIS IS THE CASE, IT IS TANTAMOUNT TO PUTTING OUR WAGES INTO “A BAG WITH HOLES.” HAGGAI IS TELLING US TO BE COMMITTED–TO BE, AS WE SAY IN AUSTRALIA, “FAIR DINKUM” ABOUT LIVING THE GOSPEL. PEOPLE ARE FAIR DINKUM WHEN THEY ARE WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE. I LEARNED A LITTLE ABOUT BEING FAIR DINKUM AND BEING COMMITTED BY PLAYING RUGBY. I LEARNED THAT WHEN I PLAYED MY HARDEST, WHEN I GAVE MY ALL, MY ENJOYMENT OF THE GAME WAS GREATEST. MY FAVORITE YEAR OF RUGBY WAS THE YEAR AFTER HIGH SCHOOL. THE TEAM OF WHICH I WAS A MEMBER WAS BOTH TALENTED AND COMMITTED. WE WERE THE CHAMPION TEAM THAT YEAR. HOWEVER, ONE DAY WE WERE TO PLAY A LOWLY RANKED TEAM, AND AFTER THE GAME WE ALL HAD DATES TO TAKE TO THE BIG, ANNUAL COLLEGE DANCE. I THOUGHT THAT BECAUSE THIS WOULD BE AN EASY GAME, I SHOULD TRY TO PROTECT MYSELF FROM INJURY SO I WOULD BE ABLE TO ENJOY THE DANCE FULLY. IN THAT GAME, WE WERE NOT AS COMMITTED IN THE HARD CONTACTS AS WE MIGHT HAVE BEEN, AND WE LOST. TO MAKE THINGS WORSE, I ENDED THE MATCH WITH A VERY SWOLLEN, FAT LIP THAT DID NOT ENHANCE MY APPEARANCE FOR MY BIG DATE. PERHAPS I NEEDED TO LEARN SOMETHING. A VERY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE OCCURRED IN A LATER GAME IN WHICH I WAS TOTALLY COMMITTED. AT ONE POINT I RAN WITH REAL INTENT INTO A CONTACT; IMMEDIATELY I FELT SOME PAIN IN MY FACE. HAVING BEEN TAUGHT BY MY FATHER THAT I SHOULD NEVER LET THE OPPOSITION KNOW IF I WAS HURT, I CONTINUED TO PLAY OUT THE GAME. THAT NIGHT, WHILE TRYING TO EAT, I FOUND THAT I COULDN’T BITE. THE NEXT MORNING, I WENT TO THE HOSPITAL, WHERE AN X-RAY CONFIRMED THAT MY JAW WAS BROKEN. MY MOUTH WAS WIRED SHUT FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS. LESSONS WERE LEARNED FROM THIS PARABLE OF THE FAT LIP AND THE BROKEN JAW. DESPITE MY MEMORIES OF UNSATISFIED CRAVINGS FOR SOLID FOOD DURING THE SIX WEEKS WHEN I COULD INGEST ONLY LIQUIDS, I FEEL NO REGRETS ABOUT MY BROKEN JAW BECAUSE IT RESULTED FROM MY GIVING MY ALL. BUT I DO HAVE REGRETS ABOUT THE FAT LIP BECAUSE IT SYMBOLIZED MY HOLDING BACK. GIVING OUR ALL DOESN’T MEAN THAT WE WILL BE CONTINUALLY ENVELOPED IN BLESSINGS OR ALWAYS HAVE SUCCESS. BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT WE WILL HAVE JOY. JOY IS NOT FLEETING PLEASURE OR EVEN TEMPORARY HAPPINESS. JOY IS ENDURING AND IS FOUNDED ON OUR EFFORTS BEING ACCEPTED BY THE LORD. AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH ACCEPTANCE IS THE STORY OF OLIVER GRANGER. AS PRESIDENT BOYD K. PACKER STATED: “WHEN THE SAINTS WERE DRIVEN FROM KIRTLAND, … OLIVER WAS LEFT BEHIND TO SELL THEIR PROPERTIES FOR WHAT LITTLE HE COULD. THERE WAS NOT MUCH CHANCE THAT HE COULD SUCCEED. AND, REALLY, HE DID NOT SUCCEED!” HE HAD BEEN COMMISSIONED BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY TO DO A TASK THAT WAS DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE. BUT THE LORD COMMENDED HIM FOR HIS APPARENTLY UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS IN THESE WORDS: “I REMEMBER MY SERVANT OLIVER GRANGER; BEHOLD, VERILY I SAY UNTO HIM THAT HIS NAME SHALL BE HAD IN SACRED REMEMBRANCE FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION, FOREVER AND EVER, SAITH THE LORD. “THEREFORE, LET HIM CONTEND EARNESTLY FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF MY CHURCH, … AND WHEN HE FALLS HE SHALL RISE AGAIN, FOR HIS SACRIFICE SHALL BE MORE SACRED UNTO ME THAN HIS INCREASE, SAITH THE LORD.” THAT MAY BE TRUE OF ALL OF US– IT’S NOT OUR SUCCESSES BUT RATHER OUR SACRIFICE AND EFFORTS, THAT MATTER TO THE LORD. ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A TRUE DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST IS A DEAR FRIEND OF OURS IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE IN WEST AFRICA. THIS WONDERFUL, FAITHFUL SISTER SUFFERED TERRIBLE EMOTIONAL– AND EVEN SOME PHYSICAL–ABUSE FROM HER HUSBAND OVER A SUSTAINED PERIOD OF TIME, AND EVENTUALLY THEY DIVORCED. SHE NEVER WAVERED IN HER FAITH AND GOODNESS, BUT BECAUSE OF HIS CRUELTY TO HER, SHE WAS DEEPLY HURT FOR A LONG TIME. IN HER OWN WORDS, SHE DESCRIBES WHAT HAPPENED: “THOUGH I SAID I FORGAVE HIM, I ALWAYS SLEPT WITH A WOUND; I SPENT MY DAYS WITH THAT WOUND. IT WAS LIKE A BURN IN MY HEART. MANY TIMES I PRAYED TO THE LORD TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM ME, BUT IT HURT SO BAD THAT I STRONGLY BELIEVED I WAS GOING TO SPEND THE REST OF MY LIFE WITH IT. IT HURT MORE THAN WHEN I LOST MY MOM AT A YOUNG AGE; IT HURT MORE THAN WHEN I LOST MY DAD AND EVEN MY SON. IT SEEMED TO EXPAND AND COVER MY HEART, GIVING ME THE IMPRESSION I WAS GOING TO EVEN DIE AT ANY TIME. “SOME OTHER TIMES I ASKED MYSELF WHAT THE SAVIOR WOULD HAVE DONE IN MY SITUATION, AND I WOULD RATHER SAY, ‘THIS IS TOO MUCH, LORD.’ “THEN ONE MORNING I LOOKED FOR THE PAIN THAT COMES FROM ALL THIS IN MY HEART AND WENT DEEPER, LOOKING FOR IT IN MY SOUL. IT WAS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. MY MIND QUICKLY PASSED TO REVIEW ALL THE REASONS I [HAD] TO FEEL HURT, BUT I DID NOT FEEL THE PAIN. I WAITED THE WHOLE DAY TO SEE IF I WAS GOING TO FEEL THE PAIN IN MY HEART; I DID NOT FEEL IT. THEN I KNELT DOWN AND THANKED GOD FOR MAKING THE ATONING SACRIFICE OF THE LORD WORK FOR ME.” THIS SISTER IS NOW HAPPILY SEALED TO A WONDERFUL, FAITHFUL MAN, WHO LOVES HER DEEPLY. SO WHAT SHOULD OUR ATTITUDE BE IF WE ARE TRUE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST? AND WHAT IS THE GOSPEL WORTH TO US WHEN WE DO “CONSIDER [OUR] WAYS,” AS HAGGAI SUGGESTED? I LOVE THE EXAMPLE SHOWN BY KING LAMONI’S FATHER. YOU’LL REMEMBER HIS INITIAL ANGER AT FINDING HIS SON BEING ACCOMPANIED BY AMMON, A NEPHITE–A PEOPLE WHOM THE LAMANITES HATED. HE DREW HIS SWORD TO CONTEND WITH AMMON AND SOON FOUND AMMON’S SWORD AT HIS OWN THROAT. “NOW THE KING, FEARING HE SHOULD LOSE HIS LIFE, SAID: IF THOU WILT SPARE ME I WILL GRANT UNTO THEE WHATSOEVER THOU WILT ASK, EVEN TO HALF OF THE KINGDOM.” NOTE HIS OFFER–HALF HIS KINGDOM FOR HIS LIFE. BUT LATER, AFTER UNDERSTANDING THE GOSPEL, HE MADE ANOTHER OFFER. “THE KING SAID: WHAT SHALL I DO THAT I MAY HAVE THIS ETERNAL LIFE OF WHICH THOU HAST SPOKEN? YEA, WHAT SHALL I DO THAT I MAY BE BORN OF GOD, HAVING THIS WICKED SPIRIT ROOTED OUT OF MY BREAST, AND RECEIVE HIS SPIRIT, THAT I MAY BE FILLED WITH JOY, THAT I MAY NOT BE CAST OFF AT THE LAST DAY? BEHOLD, SAID HE, I WILL GIVE UP ALL THAT I POSSESS, YEA, I WILL FORSAKE MY KINGDOM, THAT I MAY RECEIVE THIS GREAT JOY.” THIS TIME, HE WAS PREPARED TO GIVE UP ALL HIS KINGDOM BECAUSE THE GOSPEL WAS WORTH MORE THAN ALL HE HAD! HE WAS FAIR DINKUM ABOUT THE GOSPEL. SO, THE QUESTION FOR EACH OF US IS: ARE WE ALSO FAIR DINKUM ABOUT THE GOSPEL? BECAUSE BEING HALF-HEARTED IS NOT BEING FAIR DINKUM! AND GOD IS NOT KNOWN FOR SHOWERING PRAISE ON THE LUKEWARM. THERE IS NO TREASURE, NOR ANY HOBBY, NOR ANY STATUS, NOR ANY SOCIAL MEDIA, NOR ANY VIDEO GAMES, NOR ANY SPORT, NOR ANY ASSOCIATION WITH A CELEBRITY, NOR ANYTHING ON EARTH THAT IS MORE PRECIOUS THAN ETERNAL LIFE. SO THE LORD’S COUNSEL TO EVERY PERSON IS “CONSIDER YOUR WAYS.” MY FEELINGS ARE BEST EXPRESSED IN THE WORDS OF NEPHI: “I GLORY IN PLAINNESS; I GLORY IN TRUTH; I GLORY IN MY JESUS, FOR HE HATH REDEEMED MY SOUL FROM HELL.” ARE WE TRUE FOLLOWERS OF HIM WHO GAVE HIS ALL FOR US; HE WHO IS OUR REDEEMER AND OUR ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER; HE WHO WAS, HIMSELF, ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED IN HIS ATONING SACRIFICE AND IS SO NOW IN HIS LOVE, HIS MERCY, AND HIS DESIRE FOR US TO HAVE ETERNAL JOY? I PLEAD WITH ALL WHO HEAR AND READ THESE WORDS: PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T PUT YOUR TOTAL COMMITMENT OFF UNTIL YOU GET AROUND TO IT AT SOME NONEXISTENT FUTURE TIME. GET FAIR DINKUM NOW AND FEEL THE JOY! IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>BROTHER STEPHEN W. OWEN NOT LONG AGO I WOKE UP AND PREPARED TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES. I PICKED UP MY SMARTPHONE AND SAT IN A CHAIR NEXT TO MY BED WITH THE INTENTION OF OPENING THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP. I UNLOCKED MY PHONE AND WAS JUST ABOUT TO BEGIN STUDYING WHEN I SAW A HALF DOZEN NOTIFICATIONS FOR TEXT MESSAGES AND EMAILS THAT HAD COME DURING THE NIGHT. I THOUGHT, “I’LL QUICKLY CHECK THOSE MESSAGES, AND THEN I’LL GET RIGHT TO THE SCRIPTURES.” WELL, TWO HOURS LATER I WAS SITTING READING TEXT MESSAGES, EMAILS, NEWS BRIEFS, AND SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS. WHEN I REALIZED WHAT TIME IT WAS, I FRANTICALLY RUSHED TO GET READY FOR THE DAY. THAT MORNING I MISSED MY SCRIPTURE STUDY, AND CONSEQUENTLY, I DIDN’T GET THE SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT I WAS HOPING FOR. I’M SURE MANY OF YOU CAN RELATE. MODERN TECHNOLOGIES BLESS US IN MANY WAYS. THEY CAN CONNECT US WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY, WITH INFORMATION, AND WITH NEWS ABOUT CURRENT EVENTS AROUND THE WORLD. HOWEVER, THEY CAN ALSO DISTRACT US FROM THE MOST IMPORTANT CONNECTION: OUR CONNECTION WITH HEAVEN. I REPEAT WHAT OUR PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, HAS SAID: “WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT IS COMPLEX AND INCREASINGLY CONTENTIOUS. THE CONSTANT AVAILABILITY OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND A 24-HOUR NEWS CYCLE BOMBARD US WITH RELENTLESS MESSAGES. IF WE ARE TO HAVE ANY HOPE OF SIFTING THROUGH THE MYRIAD OF VOICES AND THE PHILOSOPHIES OF MEN THAT ATTACK TRUTH, WE MUST LEARN TO RECEIVE REVELATION.” PRESIDENT NELSON WENT ON TO WARN THAT “IN COMING DAYS, IT WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE TO SURVIVE SPIRITUALLY WITHOUT THE GUIDING, DIRECTING, COMFORTING, AND CONSTANT INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST.” YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT BOYD K. PACKER TOLD OF A HERD OF DEER THAT, BECAUSE OF HEAVY SNOWFALL, WAS TRAPPED OUTSIDE ITS NATURAL HABITAT AND FACED POSSIBLE STARVATION. SOME WELL-MEANING PEOPLE, IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE THE DEER, DUMPED TRUCKLOADS OF HAY AROUND THE AREA. IT WASN’T WHAT DEER WOULD NORMALLY EAT, BUT THEY HOPED IT WOULD AT LEAST GET THE DEER THROUGH THE WINTER. SADLY, MOST OF THE DEER WERE LATER FOUND DEAD. THEY HAD EATEN THE HAY, BUT IT DID NOT NOURISH THEM, AND THEY STARVED TO DEATH WITH THEIR STOMACHS FULL. MANY OF THE MESSAGES THAT BOMBARD US IN THE INFORMATION AGE ARE THE SPIRITUAL EQUIVALENT OF FEEDING HAY TO DEER– WE CAN EAT IT ALL DAY LONG, BUT IT WILL NOT NOURISH US. WHERE DO WE FIND TRUE SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT? MOST OFTEN, IT IS NOT TRENDING ON SOCIAL MEDIA. WE FIND IT WHEN WE “PRESS [OUR] WAY FORWARD” ON THE COVENANT PATH, “CONTINUALLY HOLDING FAST TO THE ROD OF IRON,” AND PARTAKE OF THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF LIFE. THIS MEANS THAT WE MUST DELIBERATELY TAKE TIME EACH DAY TO DISCONNECT FROM THE WORLD AND CONNECT WITH HEAVEN. IN HIS DREAM, LEHI SAW PEOPLE WHO PARTOOK OF THE FRUIT BUT THEN ABANDONED IT BECAUSE OF THE INFLUENCE OF THE GREAT AND SPACIOUS BUILDING, THE PRIDE OF THE WORLD. IT IS POSSIBLE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE RAISED IN A LATTER-DAY SAINT HOME, ATTEND ALL THE RIGHT CHURCH MEETINGS AND CLASSES, EVEN PARTICIPATE IN ORDINANCES IN THE TEMPLE, AND THEN WALK AWAY “INTO FORBIDDEN PATHS AND [BECOME] LOST.” WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN? IN MANY CASES IT IS BECAUSE, WHILE THEY MAY HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS OF SPIRITUALITY, THEY WERE NOT TRULY CONVERTED. THEY WERE FED BUT NOT NOURISHED. BY CONTRAST, I HAVE MET MANY OF YOU YOUNG LATTER-DAY SAINTS WHO ARE STRONG, BRIGHT, AND FAITHFUL. YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD AND THAT HE HAS A WORK FOR YOU TO DO. YOU LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR “HEART, MIGHT, MIND AND STRENGTH.” YOU KEEP YOUR COVENANTS AND SERVE OTHERS, BEGINNING AT HOME. YOU EXERCISE FAITH, REPENT, AND IMPROVE EACH DAY, AND THIS BRINGS YOU ENDURING JOY. YOU ARE PREPARING FOR TEMPLE BLESSINGS AND OTHER OPPORTUNITIES YOU WILL HAVE AS TRUE FOLLOWERS OF THE SAVIOR. AND YOU ARE HELPING PREPARE THE WORLD FOR THE SECOND COMING, INVITING ALL TO COME UNTO CHRIST AND RECEIVE THE BLESSINGS OF HIS ATONEMENT. YOU ARE CONNECTED WITH HEAVEN. YES, YOU FACE CHALLENGES. BUT SO DOES EVERY GENERATION. THESE ARE OUR DAYS, AND WE NEED TO BE FAITHFUL, NOT FAITHLESS. I TESTIFY THAT THE LORD KNOWS ABOUT OUR CHALLENGES AND, THROUGH THE LEADERSHIP OF PRESIDENT NELSON, HE IS PREPARING US TO MEET THEM. I BELIEVE THAT THE PROPHET’S RECENT CALL FOR A HOME-CENTERED CHURCH, SUPPORTED BY WHAT WE DO IN OUR BUILDINGS, IS DESIGNED TO HELP US SURVIVE– EVEN THRIVE–IN THIS DAY OF SPIRITUAL MALNUTRITION. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A HOME-CENTERED CHURCH? HOMES CAN LOOK VERY DIFFERENT ACROSS THE WORLD. YOU MAY BELONG TO A FAMILY WHO HAS BEEN IN THE CHURCH FOR MANY GENERATIONS. OR YOU MAY BE THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE CHURCH IN YOUR FAMILY. YOU MAY BE MARRIED OR SINGLE, WITH OR WITHOUT CHILDREN AT HOME. REGARDLESS OF YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU CAN MAKE YOUR HOME THE CENTER OF GOSPEL LEARNING AND LIVING. IT SIMPLY MEANS TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CONVERSION AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH. IT MEANS FOLLOWING PRESIDENT NELSON’S COUNSEL “TO REMODEL YOUR HOME INTO A SANCTUARY OF FAITH.” THE ADVERSARY WILL TRY TO PERSUADE YOU THAT SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT ISN’T NECESSARY OR, MORE CUNNINGLY, THAT IT CAN WAIT. HE IS THE MASTER OF DISTRACTION AND AUTHOR OF PROCRASTINATION. HE WILL BRING THINGS TO YOUR ATTENTION THAT SEEM URGENT BUT, IN REALITY, AREN’T THAT IMPORTANT. HE WOULD HAVE YOU BECOME SO “TROUBLED ABOUT MANY THINGS” THAT YOU NEGLECT THE “ONE THING [THAT] IS NEEDFUL.” HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR MY “GOODLY PARENTS,” WHO RAISED THEIR FAMILY IN A HOME OF CONSTANT SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT, LOVING RELATIONSHIPS, AND WHOLESOME RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES. THE TEACHINGS THEY PROVIDED IN MY YOUTH HAVE HELD ME IN GOOD STEAD. PARENTS, PLEASE BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR CHILDREN. THEY NEED MORE OF YOUR TIME, NOT LESS. AS YOU DO, THE CHURCH IS THERE TO SUPPORT YOU. OUR EXPERIENCES AT CHURCH CAN REINFORCE THE SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT THAT HAPPENS AT HOME. SO FAR THIS YEAR, WE HAVE SEEN THIS KIND OF CHURCH SUPPORT IN SUNDAY SCHOOL AND PRIMARY. WE WILL SEE MORE OF IT IN AARONIC PRIESTHOOD AND YOUNG WOMEN MEETINGS TOO. STARTING THIS JANUARY, THE CURRICULUM FOR THESE MEETINGS WILL BE ADJUSTED SLIGHTLY. IT WILL STILL FOCUS ON GOSPEL TOPICS, BUT THOSE TOPICS WILL BE ALIGNED WITH “COME, FOLLOW ME– FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES.” THIS IS A SMALL CHANGE, BUT IT CAN MAKE A BIG IMPACT ON THE SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT OF THE YOUTH. WHAT OTHER KINDS OF SUPPORT DOES THE CHURCH PROVIDE? AT CHURCH WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT, WHICH HELPS US REESTABLISH OUR COMMITMENT TO THE SAVIOR EACH WEEK. AND AT CHURCH WE GATHER WITH OTHER BELIEVERS WHO HAVE MADE THAT SAME COMMITMENT. THE LOVING RELATIONSHIPS WE DEVELOP WITH FELLOW DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST CAN BE A POWERFUL SUPPORT TO OUR HOME-CENTERED DISCIPLESHIP. WHEN I WAS 14, MY FAMILY MOVED TO A NEW NEIGHBORHOOD. THIS MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A TERRIBLE TRAGEDY TO YOU, BUT IN MY MIND, AT THAT TIME, IT WAS DEVASTATING. IT MEANT BEING SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE I DIDN’T KNOW. IT MEANT THAT ALL THE OTHER YOUNG MEN IN MY WARD WOULD BE ATTENDING A DIFFERENT SCHOOL THAN I WAS. IN MY 14-YEAR-OLD MIND, I THOUGHT, “HOW COULD MY PARENTS DO THIS TO ME?” I FELT AS IF MY LIFE HAD BEEN RUINED. HOWEVER, THROUGH OUR YOUNG MEN ACTIVITIES, I WAS ABLE TO BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE OTHER MEMBERS OF MY QUORUM, AND THEY BECAME MY FRIENDS. IN ADDITION, MEMBERS OF THE BISHOPRIC AND AARONIC PRIESTHOOD ADVISERS BEGAN TO TAKE A SPECIAL INTEREST IN MY LIFE. THEY ATTENDED MY ATHLETIC EVENTS. THEY WROTE ME ENCOURAGING NOTES THAT I HAVE KEPT TO THIS DAY. THEY CONTINUED TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME AFTER I WENT TO COLLEGE AND WHEN I LEFT FOR A MISSION. ONE OF THEM WAS EVEN AT THE AIRPORT WHEN I CAME HOME. I WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THESE GOOD BROTHERS AND THEIR COMBINATION OF HIGH LOVE AND HIGH EXPECTATIONS. THEY POINTED ME HEAVENWARD, AND LIFE BECAME BRIGHT, HAPPY, AND JOYFUL. HOW DO WE, AS PARENTS AND LEADERS, HELP THE YOUTH KNOW THEY ARE NOT ALONE AS THEY WALK THE COVENANT PATH? IN ADDITION TO BUILDING PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS, WE INVITE THEM TO GATHERINGS LARGE AND SMALL– FROM FSY CONFERENCES AND YOUTH CAMPS TO WEEKLY QUORUM OR CLASS ACTIVITIES. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE STRENGTH THAT COMES FROM GATHERING WITH OTHERS WHO ARE ALSO TRYING TO BE STRONG. BISHOPS AND OTHER LEADERS, PLEASE FOCUS ON NOURISHING THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN YOUR WARD. THEY NEED MORE OF YOUR TIME, NOT LESS. WHETHER YOU ARE A LEADER, A NEIGHBOR, A QUORUM MEMBER, OR SIMPLY A FELLOW SAINT, IF YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TOUCH THE LIFE OF A YOUNG PERSON, HELP HIM OR HER CONNECT WITH HEAVEN. YOUR INFLUENCE MIGHT BE EXACTLY THE “CHURCH SUPPORT” THAT YOUNG PERSON NEEDS. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I TESTIFY THAT JESUS CHRIST IS AT THE HEAD OF THIS CHURCH. HE IS INSPIRING OUR LEADERS AND GUIDING US TO THE SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT WE NEED TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE IN THE LATTER DAYS. THAT SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT WILL HELP US BE FAITHFUL AND NOT FAITHLESS. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT EYRING: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM ELDER D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY SISTER MICHELLE CRAIG, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE YOUNG WOMEN GENERAL PRESIDENCY. ELDER DALE G. RENLUND OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, WILL THEN ADDRESS US.>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS IS THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ 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 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 ♪♪>>ELDER D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON: THE BOOK OF MORMON PROPHET ENOS, LEHI’S GRANDSON, WROTE OF A SINGULAR EXPERIENCE THAT HAPPENED EARLIER IN HIS LIFE. WHILE HUNTING ALONE IN THE FOREST, ENOS BEGAN PONDERING ON THE TEACHINGS OF HIS FATHER, JACOB. HE RELATED, “THE WORDS WHICH I HAD OFTEN HEARD MY FATHER SPEAK CONCERNING ETERNAL LIFE, AND THE JOY OF THE SAINTS, SUNK DEEP INTO MY HEART.” IN THE SPIRITUAL HUNGER OF HIS SOUL, ENOS KNELT IN PRAYER, A REMARKABLE PRAYER THAT LASTED THROUGH THE DAY AND INTO THE NIGHT, A PRAYER THAT BROUGHT HIM CRUCIAL REVELATIONS, ASSURANCES, AND PROMISES. THERE IS MUCH TO BE LEARNED FROM ENOS’ EXPERIENCE, BUT TODAY WHAT STANDS OUT IN MY MIND IS ENOS’ MEMORY OF HIS FATHER SPEAKING OFTEN OF “THE JOY OF THE SAINTS.” IN THIS CONFERENCE THREE YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON SPOKE OF JOY. AMONG OTHER THINGS HE SAID, “THE JOY WE FEEL HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF OUR LIVES AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE FOCUS OF OUR LIVES. “WHEN THE FOCUS OF OUR LIVES IS ON GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION,…AND JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL, WE CAN FEEL JOY REGARDLESS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING–OR NOT HAPPENING–IN OUR LIVES. JOY COMES FROM AND BECAUSE OF HIM…FOR LATTER-DAY SAINTS, JESUS CHRIST IS JOY!” SAINTS ARE THOSE WHO HAVE ENTERED INTO THE GOSPEL COVENANT THROUGH BAPTISM AND ARE STRIVING TO FOLLOW CHRIST AS HIS DISCIPLES. THUS, THE “JOY OF THE SAINTS” DENOTES THE JOY OF BECOMING CHRIST-LIKE. I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK OF THE JOY THAT COMES FROM KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS, THE JOY THAT ARISES FROM OVERCOMING SORROW AND WEAKNESS THROUGH HIM, AND THE JOY INHERENT IN SERVING AS HE SERVED. THE JOY OF KEEPING CHRIST’S COMMANDMENTS. WE LIVE IN A HEDONISTIC AGE WHEN MANY QUESTION THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LORD’S COMMANDMENTS OR SIMPLY IGNORE THEM. NOT INFREQUENTLY, PEOPLE WHO FLOUT DIVINE DIRECTIVES SUCH AS THE LAW OF CHASTITY, THE STANDARD OF HONESTY, AND THE HOLINESS OF THE SABBATH SEEM TO PROSPER AND ENJOY THE GOOD THINGS OF LIFE, AT TIMES EVEN MORE SO THAN THOSE WHO ARE STRIVING TO BE OBEDIENT. SOME BEGIN TO WONDER IF THE EFFORT AND SACRIFICES ARE WORTH IT. THE ANCIENT PEOPLE OF ISRAEL ONCE COMPLAINED: “IT IS VAIN TO SERVE GOD: AND WHAT PROFIT IS IT THAT WE HAVE KEPT HIS ORDINANCE, AND THAT WE HAVE WALKED MOURNFULLY BEFORE THE LORD OF HOSTS? “AND NOW WE CALL THE PROUD HAPPY; YEA THEY THAT WORK WICKEDNESS ARE SET UP; YEA, THEY THAT TEMPT GOD ARE EVEN DELIVERED.” JUST WAIT, SAID THE LORD, UNTIL “THAT DAY WHEN I MAKE UP MY JEWELS.” “THEN SHALL YE … DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED, BETWEEN HIM THAT SERVETH GOD AND HIM THAT SERVETH HIM NOT.” THE WICKED MAY “HAVE JOY IN THEIR WORKS FOR A SEASON,” BUT IT IS ALWAYS TEMPORARY. THE JOY OF THE SAINTS IS ENDURING. GOD SEES THINGS IN THEIR TRUE PERSPECTIVE, AND HE SHARES THAT PERSPECTIVE WITH US THROUGH HIS COMMANDMENTS, EFFECTIVELY GUIDING US AROUND THE PITFALLS AND POTHOLES OF MORTALITY TOWARD ETERNAL JOY. THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH EXPLAINED, “WHEN HIS COMMANDMENTS TEACH US IT IS IN VIEW OF ETERNITY; FOR WE ARE LOOKED UPON BY GOD AS THOUGH WE WERE IN ETERNITY. GOD DWELLS IN ETERNITY AND DOES NOT VIEW THINGS AS WE DO.” I HAVEN’T MET ANYONE WHO FOUND THE GOSPEL LATER IN LIFE THAT DIDN’T WISH IT COULD HAVE BEEN EARLIER. “OH, THE POOR CHOICES AND MISTAKES I COULD HAVE AVOIDED,” THEY WILL SAY. THE LORD’S COMMANDMENTS ARE OUR GUIDE TO BETTER CHOICES AND HAPPIER OUTCOMES. HOW WE OUGHT TO REJOICE AND THANK HIM FOR SHOWING US THIS MORE EXCELLENT WAY. AS A TEENAGER, SISTER KALOMBO ROSETTE KAMWANYA FROM THE D.R. CONGO, NOW SERVING IN THE COTE D’IVOIRE ABIDJAN WEST MISSION, FASTED AND PRAYED FOR THREE DAYS TO FIND THE DIRECTION GOD WANTED HER TO TAKE. IN A REMARKABLE NIGHT VISION, SHE WAS SHOWN TWO BUILDINGS, A CHAPEL AND WHAT SHE NOW REALIZES WAS A TEMPLE. SHE BEGAN TO SEARCH AND SOON FOUND THE CHAPEL SHE HAD SEEN IN HER DREAM. THE SIGN SAID, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. SISTER KAMWANYA WAS BAPTIZED, AND THEN HER MOTHER AND HER SIX BROTHERS. SISTER KAMWANYA SAID, “WHEN I RECEIVED THE GOSPEL, I FELT LIKE A CAPTURED BIRD THAT HAD BEEN LIBERATED. MY HEART WAS FILLED WITH JOY… I HAD THE ASSURANCE THAT GOD LOVES ME.” KEEPING THE LORD’S COMMANDMENTS ENABLES US MORE EASILY AND MORE FULLY TO FEEL HIS LOVE. THE STRAIT AND NARROW PATH OF THE COMMANDMENTS LEADS DIRECTLY TO THE TREE OF LIFE. AND THE TREE AND ITS FRUIT, THE SWEETEST “AND MOST DESIRABLE ABOVE ALL THINGS,” ARE A REPRESENTATION OF THE LOVE OF GOD AND FILL THE SOUL WITH EXCEEDINGLY GREAT JOY. SAID THE SAVIOR: “IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; EVEN AS I HAVE KEPT MY FATHER’S COMMANDMENTS, AND ABIDE IN HIS LOVE. “THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN UNTO YOU, THAT MY JOY MIGHT REMAIN IN YOU, AND THAT YOUR JOY MIGHT BE FULL.” 2ND, THE JOY OF OVERCOMING THROUGH CHRIST. EVEN WHEN WE ARE FOUND FAITHFULLY KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS, THERE ARE TRIALS AND TRAGEDIES THAT COULD INTERRUPT OUR JOY. BUT AS WE STRIVE TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES WITH THE SAVIOR’S HELP, IT PRESERVES BOTH THE JOY WE FEEL NOW AND THE JOY WE ANTICIPATE. CHRIST REASSURED HIS DISCIPLES, “IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” IT IS IN TURNING TO HIM, OBEYING HIM, BINDING OURSELVES TO HIM, THAT TRIAL AND SORROW ARE TURNED TO JOY. I MENTION ONE EXAMPLE: IN 1989, JACK RUSHTON WAS SERVING AS PRESIDENT OF THE IRVINE CALIFORNIA STAKE (USA). DURING A FAMILY VACATION ON THE CALIFORNIA COAST, JACK WAS BODY SURFING WHEN A WAVE SWEPT HIM INTO A SUBMERGED ROCK, BREAKING HIS NECK AND SEVERELY INJURING HIS SPINAL CORD. JACK SAID LATER, “THE INSTANT I HIT, I KNEW I WAS PARALYZED.” HE COULD NO LONGER TALK OR EVEN BREATHE ON HIS OWN. FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND STAKE MEMBERS RALLIED AROUND BROTHER RUSHTON AND HIS WIFE JO ANNE AND, AMONG OTHER THINGS, REMODELED A SECTION OF THEIR HOME TO ACCOMMODATE JACK’S WHEELCHAIR. JO ANNE BECAME JACK’S PRINCIPAL CAREGIVER FOR THE NEXT 23 YEARS. REFERRING TO BOOK OF MORMON ACCOUNTS OF HOW THE LORD VISITED HIS PEOPLE IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS AND MADE THEIR BURDENS LIGHT, JO ANNE SAID, “I AM OFTEN AMAZED AT THE LIGHTNESS OF HEART I FEEL IN CARING FOR MY HUSBAND.” AN ALTERATION TO HIS RESPIRATION SYSTEM RESTORED JACK’S ABILITY TO SPEAK, AND WITHIN THE YEAR JACK WAS CALLED AS GOSPEL DOCTRINE TEACHER AND STAKE PATRIARCH. WHEN HE WOULD GIVE A PATRIARCHAL BLESSING, ANOTHER PRIESTHOOD HOLDER PLACED BROTHER RUSHTON’S HAND ON THE HEAD OF THE PERSON RECEIVING THE BLESSING AND SUPPORTED HIS HAND AND ARM DURING THE BLESSING. JACK PASSED AWAY ON CHRISTMAS DAY 2012, AFTER 22 YEARS OF DEVOTED SERVICE. ONCE IN AN INTERVIEW, JACK OBSERVED, “PROBLEMS WILL COME INTO ALL OF OUR LIVES; IT’S JUST PART OF BEING HERE UPON THIS EARTH. AND SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT RELIGION OR HAVING FAITH IN GOD WILL PROTECT YOU FROM BAD THINGS. I DON’T THINK THAT’S THE POINT. I THINK THE POINT IS THAT IF OUR FAITH IS STRONG, THAT WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN, WHICH THEY WILL, WE’LL BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH THEM … . MY FAITH NEVER WAVERED, BUT THAT DIDN’T MEAN THAT I DIDN’T HAVE DEPRESSIONS. I THINK FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I WAS PUSHED TO THE LIMIT, AND LITERALLY THERE WAS NOWHERE TO TURN, AND SO I TURNED TO THE LORD, AND TO THIS DAY, I FEEL A SPONTANEITY OF JOY.” THIS IS A DAY OF SOMETIMES MERCILESS ATTACKS IN SOCIAL MEDIA AND IN PERSON AGAINST THOSE WHO SEEK TO UPHOLD THE LORD’S STANDARD IN DRESS, ENTERTAINMENT, AND SEXUAL PURITY. IT IS OFTEN THE YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS AMONG THE SAINTS, AS WELL AS WOMEN AND MOTHERS, WHO BEAR THIS CROSS OF MOCKING AND PERSECUTION. IT IS NOT EASY TO RISE ABOVE SUCH ABUSE, BUT REMEMBER THE WORDS OF PETER: “IF YE BE REPROACHED FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, HAPPY ARE YE; FOR THE SPIRIT OF GLORY AND OF GOD RESTETH UPON YOU: ON THEIR PART HE IS EVIL SPOKEN OF, BUT ON YOUR PART HE IS GLORIFIED.” IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ADAM AND EVE WERE IN A STATE OF INNOCENCE, “HAVING NO JOY, FOR THEY KNEW NO MISERY.” NOW, AS ACCOUNTABLE BEINGS, WE FIND JOY IN OVERCOMING MISERY IN WHATEVER FORM, WHETHER IT BE SIN, TRIAL, WEAKNESS, OR ANY OTHER OBSTACLE TO HAPPINESS. THIS IS THE JOY OF SENSING PROGRESS IN THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP; THE JOY OF “HAVING RECEIVED A REMISSION OF SINS AND HAVING PEACE OF CONSCIENCE”; THE JOY OF FEELING ONE’S SOUL EXPAND AND GROW THROUGH THE GRACE OF CHRIST. FINALLY, THE JOY OF SERVING AS CHRIST. THE SAVIOR FINDS JOY IN BRINGING TO PASS OUR IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE. IN SPEAKING OF THE SAVIOR’S ATONEMENT, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON SAID: “AS IN ALL THINGS, JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ULTIMATE EXEMPLAR, ‘WHO FOR THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM ENDURED THE CROSS’. THINK OF THAT! IN ORDER FOR HIM TO ENDURE THE MOST EXCRUCIATING EXPERIENCE EVER ENDURED ON EARTH, OUR SAVIOR FOCUSED ON JOY! “AND WHAT WAS THE JOY THAT WAS SET BEFORE HIM? SURELY IT INCLUDED THE JOY OF CLEANSING, HEALING, AND STRENGTHENING US; THE JOY OF PAYING FOR THE SINS OF ALL WHO WOULD REPENT; THE JOY OF MAKING IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU AND ME TO RETURN HOME–CLEAN AND WORTHY–TO LIVE WITH OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS AND FAMILIES.” SIMILARLY, THE JOY SET BEFORE US IS THE JOY OF ASSISTING THE SAVIOR IN HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION. AS THE SEED AND CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM, WE PARTICIPATE IN BLESSING ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH “WITH THE BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL, WHICH ARE THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION, EVEN OF LIFE ETERNAL.” THE WORDS OF ALMA COME TO MIND: “THIS IS MY GLORY, THAT PERHAPS I MAY BE AN INSTRUMENT IN THE HANDS OF GOD TO BRING SOME SOUL TO REPENTANCE; AND THIS IS MY JOY. “AND BEHOLD, WHEN I SEE MANY OF MY BRETHREN TRULY PENITENT, AND COMING TO THE LORD THEIR GOD, THEN IS MY SOUL FILLED WITH JOY;… “BUT I DO NOT JOY IN MY OWN SUCCESS ALONE, BUT MY JOY IS MORE FULL BECAUSE OF THE SUCCESS OF MY BRETHREN, WHO HAVE BEEN UP TO THE LAND OF NEPHI… “NOW WHEN I THINK OF THE SUCCESS OF THESE MY BRETHREN MY SOUL IS CARRIED AWAY, EVEN TO THE SEPARATION OF IT FROM THE BODY, AS IT WERE, SO GREAT IS MY JOY.” THE FRUITS OF OUR SERVICE TO ONE ANOTHER IN THE CHURCH ARE PART OF THE JOY “SET BEFORE US.” EVEN IN TIMES OF DISCOURAGEMENT OR STRESS, WE CAN MINISTER PATIENTLY IF WE ARE FOCUSED ON THE JOY OF PLEASING GOD AND BRINGING LIGHT, RELIEF, AND HAPPINESS TO HIS CHILDREN, OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. WHEN IN HAITI LAST MONTH FOR THE DEDICATION OF THE PORT-AU-PRINCE TEMPLE, ELDER DAVID AND SISTER SUSAN BEDNAR MET WITH A YOUNG SISTER WHOSE HUSBAND HAD BEEN KILLED A FEW DAYS EARLIER IN A TRAGIC ACCIDENT. THEY WEPT TOGETHER WITH HER. YET ON SUNDAY THIS DEAR WOMAN WAS IN HER PLACE AS AN USHER AT THE DEDICATION SERVICES WITH A SOFT, WELCOMING SMILE FOR ALL WHO ENTERED THE TEMPLE. I BELIEVE THAT THE ULTIMATE “JOY OF THE SAINTS” COMES IN KNOWING THAT THE SAVIOR PLEADS THEIR CAUSE, “AND NO ONE CAN CONCEIVE OF THE JOY WHICH [WILL FILL] OUR SOULS AS WE [HEAR JESUS] PRAY FOR US UNTO THE FATHER.” WITH PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, I TESTIFY THAT JOY IS A GIFT FOR FAITHFUL SAINTS “WHO HAVE ENDURED THE CROSSES OF THE WORLD” AND WHO ARE “INTENTIONALLY TRYING TO LIVE A RIGHTEOUS LIFE, AS TAUGHT BY JESUS CHRIST.” MAY YOUR JOY BE FULL I PRAY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. WITH OUR HEAVENLY HOME. AT TIMES, WE STRUGGLE TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN OUR THOUGHTS AND THE SPIRIT. PROPHETS HAVE TAUGHT THAT INSOMETHING INVITES AND THE TISE US TO DO GOOD, IT COMES FROM CHRIST. PRESIDENT NELSON HAS EXTPDED A POWERFUL INVITATION. MY BELOVED BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I PLEAD YOU TO INCREASE YOUR SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO RECEIVE REVELATION. CHOOSE TO DO THE SPIRITUAL WORK AND HEAR THE VOICE OF THE THE SPIRIT MORE FREQUENTLY AND CLEARLY. MY DESIRE IS TO SPEAK FROM MY HEART ABOUT FOUR WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO RECEIVE REVELATION. ONE, BE INTENTIONAL. AS YOU USE YOUR AGENCY TO CARVE OUT TIME TO HEAR GOD’S VOICE, OVER TIME HIS VOICE WILL BE MORE CLEARER TO YOU. IN CONTRAST, THE NOISES THAT FILL OUR MINDS CAN SO OCCUPY OUR MINDS AND HEART THAT WE LEAVE NO ROOM FOR PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST. THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT THAT MOST OFTEN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IN PRIVATE AND WILDERNESS AND FIELD AND WITHOUT NOISE OR TUM LT. SATAN WANTS US OUT OF THOSE QUIET PLACES. IF GOD SPEAKS IN THAT SMALL VOICE, WE NEED TO GET CLOSER TO HIM. IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE TO BE CONNECTED TO HIM AS WE DO WIEIFY. PICK A TIME AND PLACE TO LISTEN FOR GOD’S VOICE EVERY DAY. AND KEEP THIS SACRED APPOINTMENT WITH EXACTNESS, FOR SO VERY MUCH DEPENDS ON IT! 2. ACT WITHOUT DELAY. WHEN YOU RECEIVE PROMPTINGS AND THEN ACT WITH INTENTION, THE LORD CAN USE YOU. THE MORE YOU ACT, THE MORE FAMILIAR THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT BECOMES. YOU WILL INCREASINGLY RECOGNIZE GOD’S GUIDANCE AND THAT HE IS ” WILLING … TO REVEAL HIS MIND AND WILL.” IF YOU DELAY, YOU MIGHT FORGET THE PROMPTING OR MISS THE CHANCE TO HELP SOMEONE FOR GOD. 3. GET YOUR ERRAND FROM THE LORD. THE PRAYER HEAVENLY FATHER SEEMS EAGER TO ANSWER IS OUR PLEA TO BE LED TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS OUR HELP. PRESIDENT EYRING HAS TAUGHT US TO SEEK REVELATION BY ASKING GOD WHO WE CAN HELP FOR HIM. “IF YOU ASK QUESTIONS LIKE THAT, THE HOLY GHOST WILL COME AND YOU’LL FEEL NUDGES ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR OTHER PEOPLE. WHEN YOU GO AND DO THOSE THINGS, YOU’RE ON THE LORD’S ERRAND, AND WHEN YOU’RE ON THE LORD’S ERRAND, YOU QUALIFY FOR THE GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST.” YOU CAN PRAY AND ASK THE LORD FOR AN ERRAND. AS YOU DO, HE CAN USE YOUR ORDINARY SKILLS TO ACCOMPLISH HIS EXTRAORDINARY WORK. MY MATERNAL GRANDFATHER, FRITZ HJALMAR LUNDGREN, IMMIGRATED FROM SWEDEN WHEN HE WAS 19 YEARS OLD. HE ARRIVED IN AMERICA, ALONE, WITH A SUITCASE AND ONLY SIX YEARS OF FORMAL SCHOOLING. UNABLE TO SPEAK ANY ENGLISH, HE MADE HIS WAY TO OREGON AND WORKED THERE AS A LUMBERJACK AND, WITH MY GRANDMOTHER AND MY MOTHER, JOINED THE CHURCH. HE NEVER PRESIDED OVER A WARD, BUT AS A FAITHFUL HOME TEACHER, HE BROUGHT MORE THAN 50 DIFFERENT FAMILIES INTO CHURCH ACTIVITY. HOW DID HE DO THAT? AFTER GRANDPA’S DEATH, I WAS GOING THROUGH A BOX OF HIS PAPERS AND CAME ACROSS A LETTER WRITTEN BY A MAN WHO HAD COME BACK TO CHURCH BECAUSE OF GRANDPA’S LOVE. THE LETTER READ, “BROTHER FRITZ’S SECRET, I BELIEVE, IS THAT HE IS ALWAYS ON AN ERRAND FOR HEAVENLY FATHER.” THAT LETTER WAS FROM BROTHER WAYNE SIMONIS. GRANDPA VISITED HIM AND GOT TO KNOW EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. IN TIME, GRANDPA TOLD THEM THAT THEY WERE NEEDED, AND HE INVITED THEM TO ATTEND CHURCH. BUT THAT SUNDAY, BROTHER SIMONIS AWOKE WITH A DILEMMA-HE HAD NOT FINISHED REROOFING HIS HOUSE AND RAIN WAS EXPECTED THAT WEEK. HE DECIDED THAT HE’D GO TO CHURCH, SHAKE HANDS WITH GRANDPA, BUT THEN LEAVE AND GO HOME TO FINISH THE ROOF. HIS FAMILY COULD ATTEND SACRAMENT MEETING WITHOUT HIM. HIS PLAN WAS WORKING JUST FINE UNTIL, ON THE ROOF, HE HEARD SOMEONE CLIMBING THE LADDER. IN HIS WORDS: “WHEN I LOOKED UP … STANDING AT THE TOP OF THE LADDER WAS BROTHER FRITZ. HE JUST GAVE ME THAT BIG SMILE. AT FIRST, I WAS EMBARRASSED AND FELT LIKE A LITTLE KID GETTING CAUGHT FOR SKIPPING SCHOOL. THEN … I FELT ANGER. [BUT BROTHER FRITZ JUST] TOOK OFF HIS SUIT COAT AND HUNG IT ON THE LADDER. AS HE ROLLED UP THE SLEEVES OF HIS WHITE SHIRT, HE TURNED TO ME AND SAID, ‘BROTHER SIMONIS, DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER HAMMER? THIS WORK MUST BE VERY IMPORTANT OR YOU WOULDN’T HAVE LEFT YOUR FAMILY, AND IF IT’S THAT IMPORTANT I WANT TO HELP YOU.’ AS I LOOKED INTO HIS EYES, I SAW ONLY KINDNESS AND CHRIST-LIKE LOVE. MY ANGER LEFT. I LAID MY TOOLS DOWN THAT SUNDAY AND FOLLOWED MY GOOD FRIEND DOWN THE LADDER AND BACK TO THE CHAPEL.” GRANDPA HAD OBTAINED HIS ERRAND FROM THE LORD, AND HE KNEW HE WAS TO SEEK OUT LOST SHEEP. JUST AS THE FOUR MEN WHO CARRIED THEIR FRIEND WITH PALSY ONTO A ROOF AND THEN LET HIM DOWN TO BE HEALED BY JESUS CHRIST, SO TOO DID GRANDPA’S ERRAND TAKE HIM TO A ROOFTOP. THE LORD SENDS REVELATION TO THOSE SEEKING TO HELP OTHERS. AND 4. BELIEVE AND TRUST. RECENTLY, I READ IN THE SCRIPTURES ABOUT ANOTHER GREAT MISSIONARY WHO OBTAINED HIS ERRAND FROM THE LORD. AARON WAS TEACHING THE KING OF THE LAMANITES, WHO WONDERED WHY AARON’S BROTHER AMMON HAD NOT ALSO COME TO TEACH HIM. “AND AARON SAID UNTO THE KING: BEHOLD, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD HAS CALLED HIM ANOTHER WAY.” THE SPIRIT SPOKE TO MY HEART: EACH OF US HAS A DIFFERENT MISSION TO PERFORM, AND AT TIMES THE SPIRIT MAY CALL US IN “ANOTHER WAY.” THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO BUILD THE KINGDOM OF GOD AS COVENANT-MAKING, COVENANT-KEEPING DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST. AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLE, YOU CAN RECEIVE PERSONAL INSPIRATION AND REVELATION CONSISTENT WITH HIS COMMANDMENTS THAT IS TAILORED TO YOU. YOU HAVE UNIQUE MISSIONS AND ROLES TO PERFORM IN LIFE AND WILL BE GIVEN UNIQUE GUIDANCE TO FULFILL THEM. NEPHI, THE BROTHER OF JARED, AND EVEN MOSES ALL HAD A LARGE BODY OF WATER TO CROSS-AND EACH DID IT DIFFERENTLY. NEPHI WORKED “TIMBERS OF CURIOUS WORKMANSHIP,” THE BROTHER OF JARED BUILT BARGES THAT WERE “TIGHT LIKE UNTO A DISH,” AND MOSES “WALKED UPON DRY LAND IN THE MIDST OF THE SEA.” THEY EACH RECEIVED PERSONALIZED DIRECTION, TAILORED TO THEM, AND EACH TRUSTED AND ACTED. THE LORD IS MINDFUL OF THOSE WHO OBEY AND, IN THE WORDS OF NEPHI, “WILL PREPARE A WAY FOR … [US TO] ACCOMPLISH THE THING WHICH HE COMMANDETH.” NOTE THAT NEPHI SAYS, “A WAY”-NOT “THE WAY.” DO WE MISS OR DISMISS PERSONAL ERRANDS FROM THE LORD BECAUSE HE HAS PREPARED “A WAY” DIFFERENT THAN THE ONE WE EXPECT? MY GRANDPA WAS LED TO AN UNUSUAL PLACE-IN A SUIT, ON A ROOFTOP, ON A SUNDAY. TRUST GOD TO LEAD YOU, EVEN IF THAT WAY LOOKS DIFFERENT THAN YOU EXPECTED OR IS DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS. LATTER-DAY SAINTS COME IN MANY SHAPES AND SIZES, BUT “ALL ARE ALIKE UNTO GOD”-“BLACK AND WHITE, BOND AND FREE, MALE AND FEMALE,” SINGLE AND MARRIED, RICH AND POOR, YOUNG AND OLD, LIFELONG MEMBER AND RECENT CONVERT. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOU’RE DEALING WITH, YOU ARE INVITED TO THE LORD’S TABLE. AS SEEKING AND DOING THE WILL OF THE FATHER BECOMES THE CADENCE OF YOUR DAILY LIFE, YOU WILL, OF COURSE, BE LED TO CHANGE AND REPENT. WELL THE CHURCH’S NEW PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH IS BUILT ON THE FOUNDATION OF LEARNING TO SEEK REVELATION, DISCOVERING WHAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE US DO, AND THEN ACTING ON THAT DIRECTION. EACH ONE OF US, REGARDLESS OF AGE OR CIRCUMSTANCE, CAN STRIVE TO SEEK, RECEIVE, AND ACT. AS YOU FOLLOW THIS ETERNAL PATTERN ORDAINED FOR OUR DAY, YOU WILL DRAW NEARER TO JESUS CHRIST–HIS LOVE, HIS LIGHT, HIS DIRECTION, HIS PEACE, AND HIS HEALING AND ENABLING POWER. AND YOU WILL INCREASE YOUR SPIRITUAL CAPACITY TO BECOME AN EVERY-DAY INSTRUMENT OF HIS HANDS IN ACCOMPLISHING HIS GREAT WORK. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER DALE G. RENLUND: LAST APRIL I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF DEDICATING THE KINSHASA DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO TEMPLE. WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS THE JOY THE FAITHFUL CONGOLESE AND I FELT TO SEE A TEMPLE DEDICATED IN THEIR LAND. INDIVIDUALS WHO ENTER THE KINSHASA TEMPLE SEE AN ORIGINAL PAINTING ENTITLED “CONGO FALLS.” IT UNIQUELY REMINDS TEMPLE GOERS OF THE UNWAVERING COMMITMENT REQUIRED TO ANCHOR THEMSELVES TO JESUS CHRIST AND TO FOLLOW THE COVENANT PATH OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN. THE WATERFALLS DEPICTED IN THE PAINTING CALL TO MIND A PRACTICE THAT WAS COMMON MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO AMONG EARLY CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY IN CONGO. BEFORE THEIR CONVERSION, THEY WORSHIPPED INANIMATE OBJECTS, BELIEVING THAT THE ITEMS POSSESSED SUPERNATURAL POWERS. AFTER CONVERSION, MANY MADE A PILGRIMAGE TO ONE OF THE COUNTLESS WATERFALLS ALONG THE CONGO RIVER, SUCH AS THE NZONGO FALLS. THESE CONVERTS THREW THEIR PREVIOUSLY IDOLIZED OBJECTS INTO THE WATERFALLS AS A SYMBOL TO GOD AND OTHERS THAT THEY HAD DISCARDED THEIR OLD TRADITIONS AND ACCEPTED JESUS CHRIST. THEY INTENTIONALLY DID NOT THROW THEIR OBJECTS INTO CALM, SHALLOW WATERS; THEY THREW THEM INTO THE CHURNING WATERS OF A MASSIVE WATERFALL, WHERE THE ITEMS WOULD BECOME UNRECOVERABLE. THESE ACTIONS WERE A TOKEN OF A NEW BUT UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST. PEOPLE IN OTHER PLACES AND AGES DEMONSTRATED THEIR COMMITMENT TO JESUS CHRIST IN SIMILAR WAYS. THE BOOK OF MORMON PEOPLE KNOWN AS THE ANTI-NEPHI-LEHIES “LAID DOWN THE WEAPONS OF THEIR REBELLION,” BURYING THEM “DEEP IN THE EARTH” AS “A TESTIMONY TO GOD … THAT THEY NEVER WOULD USE [THEIR] WEAPONS AGAIN.” IN DOING SO, THEY PROMISED TO FOLLOW GOD’S TEACHINGS AND NEVER GO BACK ON THEIR COMMITMENT. THIS ACTION WAS THE BEGINNING OF BEING “CONVERTED UNTO THE LORD” AND NEVER FALLING AWAY. BEING “CONVERTED UNTO THE LORD” MEANS LEAVING ONE COURSE OF ACTION DIRECTED BY AN OLD BELIEF SYSTEM AND ADOPTING A NEW ONE BASED ON FAITH IN HEAVENLY FATHER’S PLAN AND IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONEMENT. THIS CHANGE IS MORE THAN AN INTELLECTUAL ACCEPTANCE OF GOSPEL TEACHINGS. IT SHAPES OUR IDENTITY, TRANSFORMS OUR UNDERSTANDING OF LIFE’S MEANING, AND LEADS TO UNCHANGING FIDELITY TO GOD. PERSONAL DESIRES THAT ARE CONTRARY TO BEING ANCHORED TO THE SAVIOR AND TO FOLLOWING THE COVENANT PATH FADE AWAY AND ARE REPLACED BY A DETERMINATION TO SUBMIT TO THE WILL OF HEAVENLY FATHER. BEING CONVERTED UNTO THE LORD STARTS WITH AN UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO GOD, FOLLOWED BY MAKING THAT COMMITMENT PART OF WHO WE ARE. INTERNALIZING SUCH A COMMITMENT IS A LIFELONG PROCESS THAT REQUIRES PATIENCE AND ONGOING REPENTANCE. EVENTUALLY, THIS COMMITMENT BECOMES PART OF WHO WE ARE, EMBEDDED IN OUR SENSE OF SELF AND EVER PRESENT IN OUR LIVES. JUST AS WE NEVER FORGET OUR OWN NAME NO MATTER WHAT ELSE WE ARE THINKING ABOUT, WE NEVER FORGET A COMMITMENT THAT IS ETCHED IN OUR HEARTS. GOD INVITES US TO CAST OUR OLD WAYS COMPLETELY OUT OF REACH AND BEGIN A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST. THIS HAPPENS AS WE DEVELOP FAITH IN THE SAVIOR, WHICH BEGINS BY HEARING THE TESTIMONY OF THOSE WHO HAVE FAITH. THEREAFTER, FAITH DEEPENS AS WE ACT IN WAYS THAT ANCHOR US MORE FIRMLY TO HIM. IT WOULD BE NICE IF INCREASED FAITH WERE TRANSMITTED LIKE THE FLU OR THE COMMON COLD. THEN, A SIMPLE “SPIRITUAL” SNEEZE WOULD BUILD FAITH IN OTHERS. BUT IT DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. THE ONLY WAY FAITH GROWS IS FOR AN INDIVIDUAL TO ACT IN FAITH. THESE ACTIONS ARE OFTEN PROMPTED BY INVITATIONS EXTENDED BY OTHERS, BUT WE CANNOT “GROW” SOMEONE ELSE’S FAITH OR RELY SOLELY ON OTHERS TO BOLSTER OUR OWN. FOR OUR FAITH TO GROW, WE MUST CHOOSE FAITH-BUILDING ACTIONS, SUCH AS PRAYING, SCRIPTURE STUDY, PARTAKING OF THE SACRAMENT, KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS, AND SERVING OTHERS. AS OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST GROWS, GOD INVITES US TO MAKE PROMISES WITH HIM. THESE COVENANTS, AS SUCH PROMISES ARE KNOWN, ARE MANIFESTATIONS OF OUR CONVERSION. COVENANTS ALSO CREATE A SURE FOUNDATION FOR SPIRITUAL PROGRESSION. AS WE CHOOSE TO BE BAPTIZED, WE BEGIN TO TAKE UPON OURSELVES THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST AND CHOOSE TO IDENTIFY OURSELVES WITH HIM. WE PLEDGE TO BECOME LIKE HIM AND TO DEVELOP HIS ATTRIBUTES. COVENANTS ANCHOR US TO THE SAVIOR AND PROPEL US ALONG THE PATH THAT LEADS TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME. THE POWER OF COVENANTS HELPS US MAINTAIN THE MIGHTY CHANGE OF HEART, DEEPEN OUR CONVERSION TO THE LORD, AND RECEIVE CHRIST’S IMAGE MORE FULLY IN OUR COUNTENANCE. BUT A HALF-HEARTED COMMITMENT TO OUR COVENANTS WILL NOT GUARANTEE US ANYTHING. WE MAY BE TEMPTED TO EQUIVOCATE, THROW OUR OLD WAYS IN CALM WATER, OR BURY OUR WEAPONS OF REBELLION WITH THE HANDLES STICKING OUT. BUT AN AMBIVALENT COMMITMENT TO OUR COVENANTS WILL NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO THE SANCTIFYING POWER OF HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST. OUR COMMITMENT TO KEEP OUR COVENANTS SHOULD NOT BE CONDITIONAL OR VARY WITH CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES IN OUR LIVES. OUR CONSTANCY TO GOD SHOULD BE LIKE THE DEPENDABLE CONGO RIVER THAT FLOWS NEAR THE KINSHASA TEMPLE. THIS RIVER, UNLIKE MOST RIVERS IN THE WORLD, HAS CONSTANT FLOW ALL YEAR AND POURS NEARLY 11 MILLION GALLONS OF WATER PER SECOND INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN. THE SAVIOR INVITED HIS DISCIPLES TO BE THIS DEPENDABLE AND STEADFAST. HE SAID, “WHEREFORE, SETTLE THIS IN YOUR HEARTS, THAT YE WILL DO THE THINGS WHICH I SHALL TEACH, AND COMMAND YOU.” A “SETTLED” DETERMINATION TO KEEP OUR COVENANTS ALLOWS FOR THE FULL REALIZATION OF GOD’S PROMISE OF ENDURING JOY. MANY FAITHFUL LATTER-DAY SAINTS HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY ARE “SETTLED” IN KEEPING THEIR COVENANTS WITH GOD AND ARE FOREVER CHANGED. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THREE SUCH INDIVIDUALS, BROTHER BANZA MUCIOKO, SISTER BANZA RÉGINE, AND BROTHER MBUYI NKITABUNGI. IN 1977, THE BANZAS LIVED IN KINSHASA IN THE COUNTRY OF ZAIRE, NOW KNOWN AS THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO. THEY WERE HIGHLY RESPECTED IN THEIR PROTESTANT CHURCH COMMUNITY. BECAUSE OF THEIR TALENTS, THEIR CHURCH ARRANGED FOR THEIR YOUNG FAMILY TO GO TO SWITZERLAND TO STUDY AND PROVIDED A UNIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIP. WHILE IN GENEVA ON THE BUS ROUTE TO SCHOOL, BROTHER BANZA FREQUENTLY SAW A SMALL MEETINGHOUSE WITH THE NAME THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. HE WONDERED, “DOES JESUS CHRIST HAVE SAINTS NOW IN THE LATTER-DAYS?” HE EVENTUALLY DECIDED TO GO AND SEE. BROTHER AND SISTER BANZA WERE GREETED WARMLY AT THE BRANCH. THEY ASKED SOME OF THE PERSISTENT QUESTIONS THEY HAD ABOUT THE NATURE OF GOD, SUCH AS, “IF GOD IS A SPIRIT, LIKE THE WIND, HOW COULD WE BE CREATED IN HIS LIKENESS? HOW COULD HE SIT ON A THRONE?” THEY HAD NEVER RECEIVED A SATISFACTORY ANSWER UNTIL THE MISSIONARIES EXPLAINED RESTORED DOCTRINE IN A BRIEF LESSON. WHEN THE MISSIONARIES LEFT, THE BANZAS LOOKED AT EACH OTHER AND SAID, “ISN’T THIS THE TRUTH THAT WE HAVE HEARD?” THEY CONTINUED COMING TO CHURCH AND MEETING WITH THE MISSIONARIES. THEY KNEW THAT BAPTISM IN THE RESTORED CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST WOULD HAVE CONSEQUENCES. THEY WOULD BE STRIPPED OF THEIR SCHOLARSHIPS, THEIR VISAS WOULD BE REVOKED, AND THEY AND THEIR TWO YOUNG CHILDREN WOULD BE REQUIRED TO LEAVE SWITZERLAND. THEY CHOSE TO BE BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED IN OCTOBER 1979. TWO WEEKS AFTER THEIR BAPTISM, BROTHER AND SISTER BANZA RETURNED TO KINSHASA AS THE FIRST AND SECOND MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH IN THEIR COUNTRY. THE MEMBERS OF THE GENEVA BRANCH STAYED IN CONTACT WITH THEM AND HELPED THEM CONNECT WITH CHURCH LEADERS. THE BANZAS WERE ENCOURAGED TO FAITHFULLY AWAIT THE PROMISED TIME WHEN GOD WOULD ESTABLISH HIS CHURCH IN ZAIRE. MEANWHILE, ANOTHER EXCHANGE STUDENT FROM ZAIRE, BROTHER MBUYI, WAS STUDYING IN BELGIUM. HE WAS BAPTIZED IN 1980 IN THE BRUSSELS WARD. SOON THEREAFTER, HE SERVED A FULL-TIME MISSION TO ENGLAND. AND GOD WORKED HIS MIRACLES. BROTHER MBUYI RETURNED TO ZAIRE AS THE THIRD MEMBER OF THE CHURCH IN HIS COUNTRY. WITH PARENTAL PERMISSION, CHURCH MEETINGS WERE HELD IN HIS FAMILY HOME. IN FEBRUARY 1986, A PETITION WAS MADE FOR OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION OF THE CHURCH. THE SIGNATURES OF THREE CITIZENS OF ZAIRE WERE REQUIRED. THE THREE HAPPY SIGNATORIES OF THE PETITION WERE BROTHER BANZA, SISTER BANZA, AND BROTHER MBUYI. THESE STALWART MEMBERS KNEW THE TRUTH WHEN THEY HEARD IT; THEY MADE A COVENANT AT BAPTISM THAT ANCHORED THEM TO THE SAVIOR. THEY METAPHORICALLY THREW THEIR OLD WAYS INTO A CHURNING WATERFALL WITH NO INTENTION OF RETRIEVING THEM. THE COVENANT PATH WAS NEVER EASY. POLITICAL TURMOIL, INFREQUENT CONTACT WITH CHURCH LEADERS, AND CHALLENGES INHERENT IN BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF SAINTS MIGHT HAVE DETERRED LESS-COMMITTED INDIVIDUALS. BUT BROTHER AND SISTER BANZA AND BROTHER MBUYI PERSEVERED IN THEIR FAITH. THEY WERE PRESENT AT THE DEDICATION OF THE KINSHASA TEMPLE 33 YEARS AFTER THEY SIGNED THE PETITION THAT LED TO THE OFFICIAL RECOGNITION OF THE CHURCH IN ZAIRE. THE BANZAS ARE HERE IN THE CONFERENCE CENTER TODAY. THEY ARE ACCOMPANIED BY THEIR TWO SONS, JUNIOR AND PHIL, AND DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW, ANNIE AND YOUYOU. IN 1986, JUNIOR AND PHIL WERE THE FIRST TWO INDIVIDUALS BAPTIZED INTO THE CHURCH IN ZAIRE. BROTHER MBUYI IS WATCHING THESE PROCEEDINGS FROM KINSHASA WITH HIS WIFE, MAGUY, AND THEIR FIVE CHILDREN. THESE PIONEERS UNDERSTAND THE MEANING AND CONSEQUENCES OF COVENANTS, THROUGH WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN BROUGHT “TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD THEIR GOD, AND TO REJOICE IN JESUS CHRIST THEIR REDEEMER.” HOW DO WE ANCHOR OURSELVES TO THE SAVIOR AND REMAIN FAITHFUL LIKE THESE AND MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CONGOLESE SAINTS WHO FOLLOWED THEM AND MILLIONS OF OTHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD? THE SAVIOR TAUGHT US HOW. EACH WEEK WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT AND MAKE A COVENANT WITH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. WE PROMISE TO LINK OUR IDENTITY WITH THE SAVIOR’S BY PLEDGING OUR WILLINGNESS TO TAKE UPON US HIS NAME, TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. CONSCIENTIOUSLY PREPARING FOR AND WORTHILY MAKING THESE COVENANTS EACH WEEK ANCHORS US TO THE SAVIOR, HELPS US INTERNALIZE OUR COMMITMENT, AND POWERFULLY PROPELS US ALONG THE COVENANT PATH. I INVITE YOU TO COMMIT TO A LIFELONG PROCESS OF DISCIPLESHIP. MAKE AND KEEP COVENANTS. THROW YOUR OLD WAYS INTO DEEP, CHURNING WATERFALLS. COMPLETELY BURY YOUR WEAPONS OF REBELLION WITH NO HANDLES STICKING OUT. BECAUSE OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST, MAKING COVENANTS WITH A REAL INTENT TO RELIABLY HONOR THEM WILL BLESS YOUR LIFE FOREVER. YOU WILL BECOME MORE LIKE THE SAVIOR AS YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM, FOLLOW HIM, AND ADORE HIM. I TESTIFY THAT HE IS THE FIRM FOUNDATION. HE IS DEPENDABLE, AND HIS PROMISES ARE SURE, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT EYRING: WE THANK ALL WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED, AND EXPRESS GRATITUDE TO THE TABERNACLE CHOIR AT TEMPLE SQUARE FOR THE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC THEY HAVE PROVIDED THIS MORNING. THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH THE PRIMARY SONG ENTITLED “FAITH.” OUR CONCLUDING SPEAKER FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THE MEETING BY SINGING “NOW LET US REJOICE.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER STEVEN R. BANGERTER OF THE SEVENTY. ♪♪ ♪ FAITH IS KNOWING
THE SUN WILL RISE, ♪ ♪ LIGHTING EACH NEW DAY. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS KNOWING
THE LORD WILL HEAR ♪ ♪ MY PRAYERS EACH
TIME I PRAY. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS LIKE
A LITTLE SEED: ♪ ♪ IF PLANTED,
IT WILL GROW, ♪ ♪ FAITH IS A SWELLING
WITHIN MY HEART. ♪ ♪ WHEN I DO RIGHT, I KNOW. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ FAITH IS KNOWING
I LIVED WITH GOD ♪ ♪ BEFORE MY MORTAL BIRTH. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS KNOWING
I CAN RETURN ♪ ♪ WHEN MY LIFE
ENDS ON EARTH. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS TRUST
IN GOD ABOVE, ♪ ♪ IN CHRIST WHO
SHOWED THE WAY. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS STRENGTHENED;
I FEEL IT GROW ♪ ♪ WHENEVER I OBEY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ FAITH IS TRUST
IN GOD ABOVE, ♪ ♪ IN CHRIST WHO
SHOWED THE WAY. ♪ ♪ FAITH IS KNOWING
THE SUN WILL RISE, ♪ ♪ LIGHTING EACH NEW DAY. ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, A LETTER I RECEIVED SOME TIME AGO INTRODUCES THE SUBJECT OF MY TALK. THE WRITER WAS CONTEMPLATING A TEMPLE MARRIAGE TO A MAN WHOSE ETERNAL COMPANION HAD DIED. SHE WOULD BE A SECOND WIFE. SHE ASKED THIS QUESTION: WOULD SHE BE ABLE TO HAVE HER IS OWN HOUSE IN THE NEXT LIFE, OR WOULD SHE HAVE TO LIVE WITH HER HUSBAND AND HIS FIRST WIFE? I JUST TOLD HER TO TRUST THE LORD. I CONTINUE WITH AN EXPERIENCE I HEARD FROM A VALUED ASSOCIATE, WHICH I SHARE WITH HIS PERMISSION. AFTER THE DEATH OF A BELOVED WIFE AND MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN, A FATHER REMARRIED. SOME GROWN CHILDREN STRONGLY OBJECTED TO THE REMARRIAGE AND SOUGHT THE COUNSEL OF A CLOSE RELATIVE WHO WAS A RESPECTED CHURCH LEADER. AFTER HEARING THE REASONS FOR THEIR OBJECTIONS, WHICH FOCUSED ON CONDITIONS AND RELATIONSHIPS IN THE SPIRIT WORLD OR IN THE KINGDOMS OF GLORY THAT FOLLOW THE FINAL JUDGMENT, THIS LEADER SAID: “YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS. YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER YOU WILL GET TO THOSE PLACES. [LAUGHTER] CONCENTRATE ON THAT. IF YOU GET THERE, ALL OF IT WILL BE MORE WONDERFUL THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.” WHAT A COMFORTING TEACHING! TRUST THE LORD! FROM LETTERS I HAVE RECEIVED, I KNOW THAT OTHERS ARE TROUBLED BY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD WE WILL INHABIT AFTER WE DIE AND BEFORE WE ARE RESURRECTED. SOME ASSUME THAT THE SPIRIT WORLD WILL CONTINUE MANY OF THE TEMPORAL CIRCUMSTANCES AND ISSUES WE EXPERIENCE IN THIS MORTAL LIFE. WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT CONDITIONS IN THE SPIRIT WORLD? I BELIEVE A BYU RELIGION PROFESSOR’S ARTICLE ON THIS SUBJECT HAD IT RIGHT: “WHEN WE ASK OURSELVES WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD FROM THE STANDARD WORKS, THE ANSWER IS ‘NOT AS MUCH AS WE OFTEN THINK.'” OF COURSE WE KNOW FROM THE SCRIPTURES THAT AFTER OUR BODIES DIE WE CONTINUE TO LIVE AS SPIRITS IN THE SPIRIT WORLD. THE SCRIPTURES ALSO TEACH THAT THIS SPIRIT WORLD IS DIVIDED BETWEEN THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN “RIGHTEOUS” OR “JUST” DURING LIFE AND THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WICKED. THEY ALSO DESCRIBE HOW SOME FAITHFUL SPIRITS TEACH THE GOSPEL TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WICKED OR REBELLIOUS. MOST IMPORTANT, MODERN REVELATION REVEALS THAT THE WORK OF SALVATION GOES FORWARD IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, AND ALTHOUGH WE ARE URGED NOT TO PROCRASTINATE OUR REPENTANCE DURING MORTALITY, WE ARE TAUGHT THAT SOME REPENTANCE IS POSSIBLE THERE. THE WORK OF SALVATION IN THE SPIRIT WORLD CONSISTS OF FREEING SPIRITS FROM WHAT THE SCRIPTURES FREQUENTLY DESCRIBED AS “BONDAGE.” ALL IN THE SPIRIT WORLD ARE UNDER SOME FORM OF BONDAGE. PRESIDENT JOSEPH F. SMITH’S GREAT REVELATION, CANONIZED IN SECTION 138 OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, STATES THAT THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD, WHO WERE IN A STATE OF “PEACE” AS THEY ANTICIPATED THE RESURRECTION, “HAD LOOKED UPON THE LONG ABSENCE OF THEIR SPIRITS FROM THEIR BODIES AS A BONDAGE.” THE WICKED ALSO SUFFER AN ADDITIONAL BONDAGE. BECAUSE OF UNREPENTED SINS, THEY ARE IN WHAT THE APOSTLE PETER REFERRED TO AS SPIRIT “PRISON.” THESE SPIRITS ARE DESCRIBED AS “BOUND” OR AS “CAPTIVES” OR AS “CAST OUT INTO OUTER DARKNESS” WITH “WEEPING, AND WAILING, AND GNASHING OF TEETH” AS THEY AWAIT RESURRECTION AND JUDGMENT. RESURRECTION FOR ALL IN THE SPIRIT WORLD IS ASSURED BY THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST, THOUGH IT OCCURS AT DIFFERENT TIMES FOR DIFFERENT GROUPS. UNTIL THAT APPOINTED TIME, WHAT THE SCRIPTURES TELL US ABOUT ACTIVITY IN THE SPIRIT WORLD PRINCIPALLY CONCERNS THE WORK OF SALVATION. LITTLE ELSE IS REVEALED. THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED TO THE IGNORANT, THE UNREPENTANT, AND THE REBELLIOUS SO THEY CAN BE FREED FROM THEIR BONDAGE AND GO FORWARD TO THE BLESSINGS A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER HAS IN STORE FOR THEM. THE SPIRIT WORLD BONDAGE THAT APPLIES TO RIGHTEOUS CONVERTED SOULS IS THEIR NEED TO AWAIT– AND PERHAPS TO EVEN BE ALLOWED TO PROMPT–THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR PROXY ORDINANCES ON EARTH SO THEY CAN BE BAPTIZED AND ENJOY THE BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST. THESE MORTAL PROXY ORDINANCES ALSO EMPOWER THEM TO GO FORWARD UNDER PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY TO ENLARGE THE HOSTS OF THE RIGHTEOUS WHO CAN PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE SPIRITS IN PRISON. BEYOND THESE BASICS, OUR CANON OF SCRIPTURE CONTAINS VERY LITTLE ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD THAT FOLLOWS DEATH AND PRECEDES THE FINAL JUDGMENT. SO WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD? MANY MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH HAVE HAD VISIONS OR OTHER INSPIRATIONS TO INFORM THEM ABOUT HOW THINGS OPERATE OR ARE ORGANIZED IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, BUT THESE PERSONAL SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES ARE NOT TO BE UNDERSTOOD OR TAUGHT AS THE OFFICIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH. AND, OF COURSE, THERE IS ABUNDANT SPECULATION BY MEMBERS AND OTHERS IN PUBLISHED SOURCES LIKE BOOKS ON NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES. AS TO ALL OF THESE, THE WISE CAUTIONS OF ELDERS D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON AND NEIL L. ANDERSEN IN EARLIER GENERAL CONFERENCE MESSAGES ARE IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER. ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON TAUGHT: “IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT NOT EVERY STATEMENT MADE BY A CHURCH LEADER, PAST OR PRESENT, NECESSARILY CONSTITUTES DOCTRINE. IT IS COMMONLY UNDERSTOOD IN THE CHURCH THAT A STATEMENT MADE BY ONE LEADER ON A SINGLE OCCASION OFTEN REPRESENTS A PERSONAL, THOUGH WELL-CONSIDERED OPINION, NOT MEANT TO BE OFFICIAL OR BINDING FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH.” IN THE FOLLOWING CONFERENCE, ELDER ANDERSEN TAUGHT THIS PRINCIPLE: “THE DOCTRINE IS TAUGHT BY ALL 15 MEMBERS OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND QUORUM OF THE TWELVE. IT IS NOT HIDDEN IN AN OBSCURE PARAGRAPH OF ONE TALK.” THE FAMILY PROCLAMATION, SIGNED BY ALL 15 PROPHETS, SEERS, AND REVELATORS, IS A WONDERFUL ILLUSTRATION OF THAT PRINCIPLE. BEYOND SOMETHING AS FORMAL AS THE FAMILY PROCLAMATION, THE PROPHETIC TEACHINGS OF THE PRESIDENTS OF THE CHURCH, AFFIRMED BY OTHER PROPHETS AND APOSTLES, ARE ALSO AN EXAMPLE OF THIS. AS TO CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH GAVE TWO TEACHINGS NEAR THE CLOSE OF HIS MINISTRY THAT HAVE BEEN FREQUENTLY TAUGHT BY HIS SUCCESSORS. ONE OF THESE IS HIS TEACHING IN THE KING FOLLETT SERMON THAT FAMILY MEMBERS WHO WERE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE TOGETHER IN THE WORLD OF SPIRITS. ANOTHER IS THIS STATEMENT AT A FUNERAL IN THE LAST YEAR OF HIS LIFE: “THE SPIRITS OF THE JUST ARE EXALTED TO A GREATER AND MORE GLORIOUS WORK … [IN] THE WORLD OF SPIRITS. … THEY ARE NOT FAR FROM US, AND KNOW AND UNDERSTAND OUR THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, AND MOTIONS, AND ARE OFTEN PAINED THEREWITH.” SO, WHAT ABOUT A QUESTION LIKE I MENTIONED EARLIER ABOUT WHERE SPIRITS LIVE? IF THAT QUESTION SEEMS STRANGE OR TRIVIAL TO YOU, CONSIDER MANY OF YOUR OWN QUESTIONS, OR EVEN THOSE YOU HAVE BEEN TEMPTED TO ANSWER ON THE BASIS OF SOMETHING YOU HEARD FROM ANOTHER PERSON SOMETIME IN THE PAST. FOR ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD, I SUGGEST TWO ANSWERS. FIRST, REMEMBER THAT GOD LOVES HIS CHILDREN AND WILL SURELY DO WHAT IS BEST FOR EACH OF US. SECOND, REMEMBER THIS FAMILIAR BIBLE TEACHING, WHICH HAS BEEN MOST HELPFUL TO ME ON A MULTITUDE OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: “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.” SIMILARLY, NEPHI CONCLUDED HIS GREAT PSALM WITH THESE WORDS: “O LORD, I HAVE TRUSTED IN THEE, AND I WILL TRUST IN THEE FOREVER. I WILL NOT PUT MY TRUST IN THE ARM OF FLESH.” WE CAN ALL WONDER PRIVATELY ABOUT CIRCUMSTANCES IN THE SPIRIT WORLD OR EVEN DISCUSS THESE OR OTHER UNANSWERED QUESTIONS IN FAMILY OR OTHER INTIMATE SETTINGS. BUT LET US NOT TEACH OR USE AS OFFICIAL DOCTRINE WHAT DOES NOT MEET THE STANDARDS OF OFFICIAL DOCTRINE. TO DO SO DOES NOT FURTHER THE WORK OF THE LORD AND MAY EVEN DISCOURAGE INDIVIDUALS FROM SEEKING THEIR OWN COMFORT OR EDIFICATION THROUGH THE PERSONAL REVELATION THE LORD’S PLAN PROVIDES FOR EACH OF US. EXCESSIVE RELIANCE ON PERSONAL TEACHINGS OR SPECULATIONS MAY EVEN DRAW US ASIDE FROM CONCENTRATING ON LEARNING AND EFFORTS THAT WILL FURTHER OUR UNDERSTANDING AND HELP US GO FORWARD ON THE COVENANT PATH. TRUST IN THE LORD IS A FAMILIAR AND TRUE TEACHING IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. THAT WAS JOSEPH SMITH’S TEACHING WHEN THE EARLY SAINTS EXPERIENCED SEVERE PERSECUTIONS AND SEEMINGLY INSURMOUNTABLE OBSTACLES. THAT IS STILL THE BEST PRINCIPLE WE CAN USE WHEN OUR EFFORTS TO LEARN OR OUR ATTEMPTS TO FIND COMFORT ENCOUNTER OBSTACLES IN MATTERS NOT YET REVEALED OR NOT ADOPTED AS THE OFFICIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH. THAT SAME PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT SEALINGS IN THE NEXT LIFE OR DESIRED READJUSTMENTS BECAUSE OF EVENTS OR TRANSGRESSIONS IN MORTALITY. THERE IS SO MUCH WE DO NOT KNOW THAT OUR ONLY SURE RELIANCE IS TO TRUST IN THE LORD AND HIS LOVE FOR HIS CHILDREN. IN CONCLUSION, WHAT WE DO KNOW ABOUT THE SPIRIT WORLD IS THAT THE FATHER’S AND THE SON’S WORK OF SALVATION CONTINUES THERE. OUR SAVIOR INITIATED THE WORK OF DECLARING LIBERTY TO THE CAPTIVES, AND THAT WORK CONTINUES AS WORTHY AND QUALIFIED MESSENGERS CONTINUE TO PREACH THE GOSPEL, INCLUDING REPENTANCE, TO THOSE WHO STILL NEED ITS CLEANSING EFFECT. THE OBJECT OF ALL OF THAT IS DESCRIBED IN THE OFFICIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, GIVEN IN MODERN REVELATION: “THE DEAD WHO REPENT WILL BE REDEEMED, THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE ORDINANCES OF THE HOUSE OF GOD, “AND AFTER THEY HAVE PAID THE PENALTY OF THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS, AND ARE WASHED CLEAN, SHALL RECEIVE A REWARD ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS, FOR THEY ARE HEIRS OF SALVATION.” THE DUTY OF EACH OF US IS TO TEACH THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESTORED GOSPEL, KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, LOVE AND HELP ONE ANOTHER, AND DO THE WORK OF SALVATION IN THE HOLY TEMPLES. I TESTIFY OF THE TRUTH OF WHAT I HAVE SAID HERE AND OF THE TRUTHS TAUGHT AND TO BE TAUGHT IN THIS CONFERENCE. THIS IS ALL MADE POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST. AS WE KNOW FROM MODERN REVELATION, HE “GLORIFIES THE FATHER, AND SAVES ALL THE WORKS OF HIS HANDS.” IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ NOW LET US REJOICE
IN THE DAY OF SALVATION. ♪ ♪ NO LONGER AS STRANGERS
ON EARTH NEED WE ROAM. ♪ ♪ GOOD TIDINGS ARE SOUNDING
TO US AND EACH NATION, ♪ ♪ AND SHORTLY THE HOUR
OF REDEMPTION WILL COME, ♪ ♪ WHEN ALL THAT WAS PROMISED
THE SAINTS WILL BE GIVEN, ♪ ♪ AND NONE WILL MOLEST THEM
FROM MORN UNTIL EV’N, ♪ ♪ AND EARTH WILL APPEAR
AS THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ♪ ♪ AND JESUS WILL SAY
TO ALL ISRAEL, “COME HOME.” ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WE’LL LOVE ONE ANOTHER
AND NEVER DISSEMBLE, ♪ ♪ BUT CEASE TO DO EVIL
AND EVER BE ONE. ♪ ♪ AND WHEN THE UNGODLY
ARE FEARING AND TREMBLE, ♪ ♪ WE’LL WATCH FOR THE DAY
WHEN THE SAVIOR WILL COME, ♪ ♪ WHEN ALL THAT WAS PROMISED
THE SAINTS WILL BE GIVEN, ♪ ♪ AND NONE WILL MOLEST THEM
FROM MORN UNTIL EV’N, ♪ ♪ AND EARTH WILL APPEAR
AS THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ♪ ♪ AND JESUS WILL SAY
TO ALL ISRAEL, “COME HOME.” ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN FAITH WE’LL RELY
ON THE ARM OF JEHOVAH ♪ ♪ TO GUIDE THRU THESE LAST DAYS
OF TROUBLE AND GLOOM, ♪ ♪ AND AFTER THE SCOURGES
AND HARVEST ARE OVER, ♪ ♪ WE’LL RISE WITH THE JUST
WHEN THE SAVIOR DOTH COME. ♪ ♪ THEN ALL THAT WAS PROMISED
THE SAINTS WILL BE GIVEN, ♪ ♪ AND THEY WILL BE CROWN’D
WITH THE ANGELS OF HEAV’N, ♪ ♪ AND EARTH WILL APPEAR
AS THE GARDEN OF EDEN, ♪ ♪ AND CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE
WILL EVER BE ONE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AND CHRIST AND HIS PEOPLE
WILL EVER BE ONE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ EVER ONE. ♪♪ OUR BELOVED FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE BOW OUR HEADS BEFORE THEE AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS GREAT GENERAL CONFERENCE, AND GIVE THEE THANKS WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS FOR THIS HOLY SPIRIT THAT HAS BEEN HELD. AND WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR THE WORDS OF INSPIRATION THAT HAVE HEALED OUR SOULS THIS DAY. WE ARE SO VERY GRATEFUL TO HAVE RECEIVED GUIDANCE AND COUNSEL FROM THY CHOSEN SERVANTS. DEAR FATHER, WE UNITE TOGETHER AS THY CHILDREN ACROSS THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH, IN OUR SUPPLICATION UNTO THEE THAT THY HOLY SPIRIT MAY BE FELT WITHIN THE HEARTS AND THE MINDS OF THY CHILDREN UPON THIS EARTH, THAT OUR YOUTH AND OUR CHILDREN MAY FEEL WITHIN THEM THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST AS TAUGHT BY THY SON, OUR BELOVED SAVIOR AND REDEEMER. WE GIVE THEE THANKS, DEAR FATHER, FOR OUR SAVIOR, FOR HIS SACRED BIRTH, FOR HIS PERFECT LIFE. WE ARE SO DEEPLY GRATEFUL FOR HIS ATONING SACRIFICE, AND WE JOY IN HIS RESURRECTION AND CONTINUING GUIDANCE OF THIS, HIS CHURCH UPON THE EARTH. WE ARE THANKFUL FOR HIS CONTINUING PARTICIPATION FOR THE CALL OF PROPHETS AND APOSTLES, AND WE ARE THANKFUL FOR OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. WILT THOU SUSTAIN HIM AND STRENGTHEN HIM. DEAR FATHER, WE THANK THEE FOR ALL OF THESE BLESSINGS, AND DO SO IN THE NAME OF THY SON, OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH 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. CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:
[email protected] 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. 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. [EXPLOSIONS] [CROWD YELLING] [EXPLOSION] [INAUDIBLE] THE VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE
TODAY ARE PASSING OUT FOLDERS FULL OF THE COMMUNITY
INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED. AND SPEAKING OF THE
VOLUNTEERS, THE IRC WILL BE HERE TO
HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH YOUR
NEW LIVING CONDITIONS. [MUSIC PLAYING] [LAUGHTER] [CLAPPING] [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] HOW’S THE JOB TRAINING GOING? GOOD! MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY. YOU CAN JUST SET IT UP HERE. YOU CAN EAT IT, AND
IT’S NICE AND HOT. IT’S HOT. THE [INAUDIBLE] COMMITTEE
WILL BE THE ONE HELPING YOU NAVIGATE THE U.S. SYSTEMS. THIS INCLUDES BANKING,
WORKING WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SERVICES
CASEWORKER … THIS IS WHERE WE COLLECT
A LOT OF OUR DONATIONS FOR OUR REFUGEE
FAMILIES THAT WE SERVE. WHERE DID YOU SAY
YOU HEARD ABOUT US? LDS CHARITIES. OH, THAT’S GREAT. SO AS WE– [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] –FIND A PLACE
WHERE THESE PEOPLE CAN LIVE WITHOUT FEAR
OF PERSECUTION OR ABUSE. THESE REFUGEES HAVE
LEFT EVERYTHING BEHIND, INCLUDING FRIENDS, FAMILY,
LOVED ONES, AND THE COUNTRY THEY ONCE CALLED HOME. IF THE COAST GUARD HADN’T
LOCATED THIS GROUP, THERE’S NO TELLING HOW
LONG THEY WOULD HAVE DRIFTED BEFORE FINDING SAFETY. IN THE FACE OF
TERRIBLE ODDS, THEY ARE WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES
AND THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN ON THESE
LESS-THAN-SEAWORTHY RAFTS BECAUSE THERE REALLY
IS NO OTHER CHOICE. [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] [LAUGHTER] YOU CAN RIDE THE BUS, LEARN
TO TAKE THE TRANSPORTATION. [MUSIC PLAYING] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>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. ♪♪ ♪♪ (peaceful music) – [Male Narrator] This is the
World Report for October 2019. Coming up, the
Church’s partnership with the NAACP reaches
new milestones. – [Female Narrator] After
years of renovation, the Oakland California
Temple is rededicated. And the Church is
formally recognized in the Middle Eastern
country of Kuwait. But first: President
Nelson’s continuing ministry takes him throughout
the Pacific, Latin America, and
the United States. – And here’s my friend.
– Nice to see you already. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – [Narrator] In
representing Jesus Christ as His modern-day prophet,
President Russell M. Nelson, 17th President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
ministered as the Savior did, one by one, on a
nine-day ministry trip throughout Latin America
this past August. Accompanied by his wife, Wendy,
and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles and his wife, Mary, President Nelson’s first
stop was in Guatemala, where 400 buses brought
members from all parts of the country to the
Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City. With more than 21,000
people in attendance, President Nelson still found
time to minister to the one. – One door closes and another
door will open for you. – [Narrator] And talk with
government and faith leaders about common concerns. – The family is under attack. (man speaking in
foreign language) Marriage is under attack. So we have to lock
arms and walk together. – [Narrator] The second
visit of President Nelson’s Latin American ministry
was to Colombia, where he met with the
president of Colombia and other government leaders. – When I saw all people
there, I thought, Wow! That had a very strong charge. I hope we can stay
strong together. – [Narrator] Following
their visit to Colombia, the Nelsons and Cooks
traveled to Ecuador, where they met with
more than 11,000 people in the capital city of Quito and more than
12,000 by broadcast. While such a visit reaches
thousands of Latter-day Saints, the impact can still
be very personal. – Nice to meet you. (speaking in foreign language) – [Translator] It was very
emotional, to feel the Spirit, when President Nelson
entered the room. – [Narrator] Following Ecuador,
President Nelson traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina,
where he spent time with individuals who had just received new
custom-fit wheelchairs, made possible by a donation from Latter-day Saint
Charities and SILSA. For 12-year-old Rosario,
the new wheelchair means new opportunities
for her and her family. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] President Nelson
again expressed gratitude for missionaries when he
arrived in Brasilia, Brazil, and met, in person
and by broadcast, with more than
5,000 missionaries from 35 missions
across the country. (speaking in foreign language) Moving from the nation’s
capital to Sao Paulo, the Nelsons and the Cooks met
with more than 37,000 people who were gathered to hear
their inspired counsel. – We can also be one
with our families by making our homes
sanctuaries of faith. – We can bring to the
Lord all of our questions, and we will be given answers. – Every time we visit the temple and perform ordinances there, we are walking on holy ground. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] This
visit to Brazil completed President Nelson’s
Latin American ministry, five countries in nine days. He met with Church
members, heads of state, and other government,
community, and faith leaders. – [Narrator] In May,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to the island
nations of the Pacific Ocean. Accompanied by his wife,
Wendy, and Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Susan,
President Nelson first stopped in Hawaii, home to more than
74,000 Latter-day Saints. There, they visited
with community leaders, who also attended the
evening devotional at the Kona Hawaii Stake Center. – He does want us to have
immortality and eternal life, but He wants us to
choose this course. – [Narrator] Continuing
south, the Nelsons and Gongs traveled to Samoa, where
they were greeted warmly by Latter-day Saints,
journalists, and
government leaders. – So the Lord has asked
me to let you know tonight that we have a solemn
duty to prepare our people for the difficult
days that lie ahead. – I’m a Catholic, but I
know this is God’s prophet, that he brings peace to us. It really fills my heart. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] On the
third stop of the tour, President Nelson spoke to more
than 8,000 Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church at the International Convention
Center in Sydney, Australia. – I’m wondering if you
need oxygen up there on that back row. (audience laughs) I bless you to love
the Lord Jesus Christ and to feast upon His
words, particularly as they’re divinely given to
you in the Book of Mormon. – [Narrator] Traveling east,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to New Zealand,
where he first stopped in Wellington and met with
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. – We discussed how people can
have differing points of view and yet learn to live and
love with one another. – President Nelson is
a natural diplomat. He’s a prophet for the Church, but he’s also prophet
for the world. – [Narrator] A day after his
visit with the prime minister, President Nelson
traveled to Auckland, where he met with local and
national Muslim leaders. There he offered his
deepest condolences and support following the
March terrorist attacks in two mosques in the
city of Christchurch. – God continue to bless the
families and individuals impacted by the
events of March 15th. May He bring us
even closer together as neighbors and friends. – [Narrator] More than 12,000
people were in attendance at an evening devotional in
Auckland, with thousands more participating via a broadcast
to meetinghouses nationwide. – I bless you that you’ll
have safety and success in your lives, that your
homes will be sanctuaries of reverence and love. – [Narrator] On the fifth
stop of the prophet’s tour, more than 5,000 Latter-day
Saints and friends of the Church gathered in the
Fijian city of Suva. Members traveled
up to five hours in anticipation of the arrival
of their beloved prophet. – [Man] It’s not every
day or every year that we get this opportunity,
so this is a big thing. – Thank you for my decoration. I feel like I’ve
been wrapped in love. – [Narrator] As a parting
gift, the congregation surprised President Nelson with the Fijian
farewell song “Isa Lei.” (singing in foreign language) At the next stop on
the Pacific tour, President Nelson met with
the king and queen of Tonga. (singing in foreign language) Despite the inclement weather, thousands of Latter-day
Saints attended a devotional to hear a prophet’s voice. – As you and I firmly
hold on to the Lord, we can safely navigate our
way through rough waters. – [Narrator] President Nelson
concluded his Pacific ministry on the tropical
island of Tahiti. There he and his wife, Wendy, met with President Edouard
Fritch and the First Lady of French Polynesia and other
government and faith leaders. – Please protect yourself
from Satan’s traps. – [Narrator] After traveling
nearly 18,000 miles and ministering to nearly
100,000 people in person and hundreds of thousands
more through broadcasts, President Nelson’s
Pacific ministry concluded as another historic event in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – [Narrator] In
June, just two weeks after his Pacific ministry
tour, President Nelson and Elder Dieter F.
Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
visited Orlando, Florida. The visit coincided with
the three-year anniversary of a mass shooting at the
Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Before an evening devotional,
President Nelson met with Barbara Poma,
the owner of the club that is now being turned
into a sanctuary of hope. – We come together on June
12th to really stand together in solidarity, to
comfort one another, to help us move through
a healing process. – [Narrator] That
evening, President Nelson offered a gospel message
to the people of Orlando. – The happiest place on earth? It is wherever the
Spirit of the Lord dwells in the hearts of the people. – [Narrator] At the northwestern
shore of the Arabian Gulf is the State of Kuwait,
bustling with modernism, as displayed by
its robust commerce and piercing skyscrapers. (singing in foreign language) Kuwait is known for
its rich tradition as peacemakers in the region,
including religious tolerance. Such increase of religious
rights has been granted to The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – The mosque is
considered house of God. – [Narrator] Through a
ceremonial visit to Kuwait on behalf of the Church’s
First Presidency, Elder Quentin L. Cook,
an Apostle of the Church, and his wife, Mary,
expressed gratitude for the Church’s
recent recognition. It’s the first time a
religious organization has been formally
recognized in Kuwait in more than 40 years. The meeting was
held in Kuwait City with Fareed Asad Abdulla
Emadi, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Awqaf
and Islamic Affairs. Kuwait is predominantly
Muslim, with some 20% of its residents
practicing Christianity, and Latter-day Saints
have a growing presence. Elder Cook spoke to a crowd
of nearly 200 people packed in several floors at the
Kuwait Ward meetinghouse. – You will influence
lives while you’re here. (children singing) – [Narrator] While the
formal recognition strictly prohibits the proselyting
to and baptism of Muslims, the Church’s increased standing strengthens the opportunities to operate, serve, and worship. ♪ Son of Man – It is extremely significant
when you have the authority as a Church to open a
bank account and to rent or own property and to
seek visas for people who might serve as volunteers
in doing humanitarian or community service, all of the things
that the Church does. So this is no small thing. – I’ve been a pioneer of
the Church, the Kuwait Ward, and I feel very, very happy
because of the recognition. (speaking in foreign language) – We did a lot of
fasting and praying hard to our Heavenly Father. I’m very much grateful
for the Kuwait government for this recognition. – [Narrator] While in
Kuwait, Elder and Sister Cook visited with a senior member
of the Kuwaiti royal family, Her Excellency Sheikha
Intisar Salem Al Ali AlSabah. – And you come from
a really good family. – I come from a long
line of peacemakers. – At a traditional gathering
for men known as a diwaniya, local community, government,
and interfaith leaders visited with Elder Cook,
giving them an opportunity to be better acquainted
with the Church. – And there are incredible
desserts back here. Come on back, come on back here. And they’re not big. They’re not big, come on. (Singing) – [Narrator] Led by Sister
Cook, Latter-day Saint women also gathered for fellowship. – When we had this recognition,
I was just so grateful because it was spread all over, not just here in Kuwait; it
was, like, all over the world. – There is strength
in the group. You feel it, don’t you? – [Narrator] Kuwait was
dedicated for the blessings of the restored
gospel of Jesus Christ by Apostle Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland in 2011 at this spot
overlooking Kuwait City. – I’m the only one
that’s got on a hat, but it is 120 degrees. – It does feel warm. – [Narrator] It was a
moment symbolic of the good members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints had been progressively
providing for several decades to each other and the community,
a moment now leading up to another beginning:
official recognition. – It gives us a chance
to reach out and to be outgoing and to reach
out to the outside communities, whether they be Christian
or whether they be Islamic. We don’t have to hide our light behind a bushel or such anymore. – We’re just so thrilled
that the recognition came that could confirm the
faith of so many members. – I see incredible things are
going to happen in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see other countries in the Gulf give recognition
that we don’t now have. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see more of it come as a result of the
leadership and the effort. (motorcycle engines revving) – [Narrator] The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to rapidly
grow throughout parts of Western Africa, (singing in foreign language) with official recognition
granted in the country of Mali. Religious and community leaders
joined government officials at a ceremony in the
capital city of Bamako. – We’re not closed; we are open. Mali is an open country
for all religions. – [Narrator] There are about
50 Latter-day Saint families in Mali, a country
of 15 million people. This change in status allows
the Church to better minister to its members and
for missionaries to be called there to serve. (singing in foreign language) – It all begins with the
love they have for God and then the love we
have for each other. I was blessed to
start coming to Mali before the Church
was organized here. And I have some people that
I’ve grown to love very deeply. – [Narrator] Years in the
making, progress accelerated after Apostle David A. Bednar
blessed the land in 2017. – It was a historic
and memorable day for
the people of Mali and for the Latter-day
Saints in general, but for the Saints in Mali. – [Narrator] Mali joins
Senegal and Guinea as the countries most
recently welcoming the Church on the continent of Africa. – [Narrator] Straight
ahead, the humanity and divine connection
that links us all. President Nelson
speaks to the NAACP. – [Narrator] And, honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the Church celebrates the
95th birthday of the prophet. (Singing) – [Narrator] Detroit, Michigan,
known as the Motor City, Motown, and recently the home of the 110th Annual
Convention of the NAACP. – A brother of another mother. – [Narrator] Among
the many guests? – A brother of another
faith tradition. – [Narrator] Was President
Russell M. Nelson, President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (audience applauding) – We truly believe that we
are brothers and sisters, all part of the
same divine family. – [Narrator] His convention
speech on July 21st was the latest step
in a relationship between the Church and the NAACP that has grown
quickly and warmly. – Hello, Amos. – Good to see you again.
– How are you, dear friend? – [Narrator] The
relationship has especially blossomed since last
year, when the leaders of the two organizations
stood arm in arm at a news conference
in Salt Lake City. Since then, the Church and
the NAACP have partnered to provide education
and employment efforts in several cities, including a personal
finance course in Chicago. – We have the evidence.
We have the data that we’ve made a difference. If we could do that with
10 people in Chicago, imagine the impact
and the influence we can have together
around this country. – [Narrator] Earlier this
year, in Washington, D.C., at a gala sponsored by the
BYU Management Society, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles honored the NAACP
for its commitment to advancing equality
and justice in society. – The organizations coming
together was historic, but I think there is more
history to be made than just us being partners. And so I look forward to
the journey as it unfolds. – I wanted President Nelson
to come to our convention and see our folks, meet our
folks, see how we operate. It’s all about getting
to know each other. – We are all connected. – [Narrator] This
is the first time that a President of the Church has addressed the
NAACP convention. ♪ Happy birthday to you – [Narrator] On September
6th, Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church
gathered in Salt Lake City to celebrate the 95th birthday of President Russell M. Nelson. (audience applauding) – [Rosalie] The word
“father” to my dad, I think, is his highest calling. – [Narrator] Honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the gala shared insights
into the life, ministry, and service of President Nelson. – [Rosalie] Just by the
way they lived their lives, the way they taught
the gospel in our home, we learned love,
we learned respect. – [Narrator] Videos focused
on how that ministry and his career and family
have shaped who he is as a special witness
of Jesus Christ. ♪ We sing hallelujah – [Narrator] Along with
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the
evening saw performances from Jenny Oaks Baker
& Family Four, GENTRI, the Bonner family, Nathan
Pacheco, and Donny Osmond. ♪ We ask that life be kind – [Narrator] And an
unexpected piano performance by President Nelson himself. (piano music) – If I’ve learned anything
certain in my 95 years of life, it is that Jesus the
Christ is the Son of God, my Redeemer, my
Exemplar and Friend. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Still
to come, the Church’s Gospel Literacy program
brings faith and opportunity. – [Bingham] Women that
I’ve observed here have become leaders. – [Narrator] Plus, the
highly anticipated production of The Book of Mormon,
when we come back. – [Narrator] A pilot program
designed to improve literacy while teaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ has been launched
in Sierra Leone. Relief Society General
President Jean B. Bingham and her husband, Bruce, traveled
to the West African country in early June to help implement the Church’s Gospel
Literacy program. – For some years I taught
English as a second language, and some of the students
that I worked with were not particularly literate. They really struggled
with reading and writing, and it was such a joy to
help them open that door to the possibilities. – [Narrator] Learners meet
with Gospel Literacy teachers on Sundays and are
given manuals to study. – So if you put these two
words together, like this. – [Narrator] Women
participating in the program are encouraged to
teach their families what they are learning. – How do you share what
you learn with your family? – [Narrator] In a local
congregation in Kenema, Sister Bingham met
with Juliet Numa, a Relief Society president
and single mother who was participating in
the Gospel Literacy program. – [Bingham] She did not
know how to read or write. Juliet was invited to join
a Gospel Literacy class. Wonderful to see her progress. The Gospel Literacy program
can be life-changing. I’ve seen how women
that I’ve observed here have become leaders,
and you know, leaders influence
an entire community. – [Narrator] Elder Gerrit
W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along
with Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society
General Presidency and other global
faith representatives, attended this year’s
G20 Interfaith Forum
in Tokyo, Japan. – What’s been so impressive
to me is the level of support among Japanese
society and the faiths that are here in Japan. – [Narrator] It’s really
quite wonderful to see those from diverse religious
beliefs gather in common cause for children, for
concerns on refugees, for sustainable development. – Make sure you look at them. – [Narrator] For Adam Anderegg,
directing the Book of Mormon video series’ third
season is more than the typical
behind-the-camera experience. – By the unrighteousness of
your lawyers and your judges. – [Narrator] It means
a special opportunity to bring the scriptures from Another Testament
of Jesus Christ to life. – Two cameras, A-mark. – B-mark. – I sit and watch
my director’s screen as I’m directing the scene,
and I’m thinking to myself, I am so thankful
I’m seeing this. I’ve read the book many times, but just to see it come
to life is awesome. – The Holy One of Israel. – [Narrator] Just like
the previous seasons, this latest season is based
on the Book of Mormon’s events and core message, Jesus Christ. It follows prophets Alma
and Amulek, King Benjamin, and many others as they share the Savior’s teachings
in the Americas. – I’m hoping that we can
convey enough of the story to get people interested,
to actually want to read, to find out, What is this about? – [Narrator] Season three
required 44 days of filming and a massive production
team in various locations, including Kauai, Hawaii, and
the arid Goshen, Utah, desert. – It has just felt
super special. Like, I feel like there has
been a lot of inspiration for us, as actors, to
come here and work, and it doesn’t feel like work. – [Narrator] The videos
from seasons one and two are scheduled to premiere
as visual resources in 15 languages on the Book of
Mormon Videos YouTube channel or BookofMormonVideos.org, one video each Friday,
starting September 20th, 2019, through the end of the year. Seasons three and four will
make their eventual debut in 2020 and 2021. – It’s exciting to see all
the different resources that have come together to
make this project a reality and to bring the message of
the gospel of Jesus Christ to all corners of the
world, thanks to technology. I’m very excited
that it’s coming. – [Narrator] Coming up
next: For the first time in over 60 years,
the United Nations Civil Society Conference
is held outside of New York and finds support
in Salt Lake City. – [Narrator] And later,
we’ll take a guided tour of the newly renovated
Oakland California Temple. – Never forget Salt Lake City. It’s going to
remain in the books of the United Nations history. – [Narrator] Thousands of
United Nations delegates, as well as other attendees
from around the globe, are taking home a wealth
of shared experiences after the United Nations
Civil Society Conference completed its final
session, after three days at the Salt Palace
Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Held in New York
since the early 1950s, the conference moved
to the Mountain West and enjoyed a unique
blend of civic, community, and faith-based support in Utah, including the
support of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. – I’m humbled to
address such a diverse and distinguished audience. – Gerald Causse, the Presiding
Bishop of the Church, spoke to the General
Assembly in the final day, praising the good work
they do for a safer and more compassionate world. – You can see that 70%
of all these articles were produced within the system. – [Narrator] U.S. congressional
leaders took a tour of Welfare Square,
while U.N. leaders visited the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center to see up close how the Church
prepares to assist people from every walk of life. – I’m very impressed with
the comprehensive nature of the services provided here. And I really would like to
see more in my own district. (choir singing) – [Narrator] During the
Civil Society Conference, many delegates were
treated to a performance by The Tabernacle Choir and
Orchestra at Temple Square. (singing drowned
out by orchestra) – One word: magical! – It’s all about uniting people. It’s all about
connecting people. What I took out of
there is much more than just the ordinary music. I feel the message that
is going to the world and something that deeply
connects us together. (audience applauding) – [Narrator] Bishop
Gerald Causse delivered a keynote address
at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland,
in mid-September. The event, sponsored by
Latter-day Saint Charities, addressed the role of education
in displaced populations. – As a member of the
Presiding Bishopric, I take a lot of
pleasure in being involved in humanitarian work. And I must say it’s a way
to testify of our faith in Jesus Christ, to be
involved in that kind of work. There are about 70 million
refugees around the world, and unfortunately
this is a number that is increasing every year. And only 60% of their
children are in school. And so there is a big effort that will be crucial
for their future. – [Narrator] Sharon
Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities,
joined Bishop Causse and led a panel discussion
with leaders from UNICEF and the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights. – Religions and
religious-based organizations are human rights defenders
in their own ways. – [Narrator] The global
humanitarian leaders discussed the importance of
having faith-based organizations partner with government
and other organizations to care for people in need. – I’m happy to be
representing the seven million Relief Society sisters in
this kind of a setting. This is the first
time we’ve ever sponsored a side event here at
the United Nations in Geneva. We’re really excited to begin, but there’s much more
work to do in the future. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Dedications,
rededications, and renovations. We’ll take you to new
and restored temples
around the globe, from the Democratic Republic
of the Congo to Haiti and the United States. Coming up next. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] In addition
to eight new temples announced in general
conference, temple renovations, open houses, and dedications have continued around the globe. We begin in Oakland, California, where members have
been anticipating their temple’s rededication
for more than a year. As it has for more than
50 years, the warm glow of temple light returns to shine over the San Francisco Bay Area. Its new renovation
and updates completed, the temple was rededicated
by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency
on June 16th. – What is here is a
remarkable house of the Lord. – [Narrator] Also
at the dedication was Elder David A. Bednar,
who grew up in the area. – I was a 12-year-old boy
and attended the dedication in 1964, when President
David O. McKay presided. To be this close and think
back more than 50 years to that experience in my
youth, it’s kind of surreal. – [Narrator] Prior
to the dedication,
members of the press, as well as local religious
and community leaders, were invited to tour the temple during its public open house. – I think it’s a great
gift to say to the world, “Look at this place,
look at God’s house, look at God’s dwelling place. This is how and where we unite
and keep families together.” – [Narrator] An in-depth
look at the newly renovated Oakland California
Temple will be featured later in this broadcast. – [Narrator] Crossing
the United States to the Caribbean, we arrive
at the island nation of Haiti. The Port-au-Prince Haiti
Temple was dedicated in three sessions on
Sunday, September 1st, by Elder David A.
Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. A youth devotional and
open house were held prior to the dedication, both
of which were broadcast to meetinghouses throughout
the temple district, which serves more than
23,000 Latter-day Saints. Continuing south, we arrive at
the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. First announced by
President Thomas S. Monson, ground was broken for the
Fortaleza Brazil Temple in 2011. Following a three-week public
open house earlier this year, the temple was dedicated June
2nd by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. This is the seventh
temple in Brazil, with four more announced
or under construction. – [Narrator] Crossing
the South Atlantic Ocean and into Central
Africa, we arrive at the Kinshasa Democratic
Republic of the Congo Temple, which was dedicated
on Sunday, April 14th, by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. (speaking in foreign language) – [Narrator] Speaking
in French, Elder Renlund also conducted the cornerstone
ceremony, where children were invited to take part in this traditional
dedication event. – I think many of them have
prayed for this blessing for years, for decades,
and the Lord has seen fit to direct His prophet
to build a temple here. – [Narrator] Crossing North
Africa, we travel to Portugal, where on Sunday, September
15th, the Lisbon Portugal Temple was dedicated by
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. First announced in 2010 and
with ground broken in 2015, the Lisbon Portugal Temple
is the first to be built in Portugal and the
14th temple in Europe. The temple will serve some
45,000 Latter-day Saints residing in Portugal and
neighboring countries. – [Narrator] In April,
President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to renovate
the historic Salt Lake Temple. Located in the heart of the
city, this iconic edifice, built by pioneer hands
in the 19th century, originally took 40
years to complete. Starting after the temple
closes December 29th of this year, the
current improvements and structural upgrades will take an estimated
four years to complete. The extensive work will
include the creation of more access points around
the Temple Square wall, subterranean excavation
at the base of the temple for new mechanical
and plumbing systems, and foundation and
support improvements to withstand
earthquakes and further protect the temple’s interior. During construction, other
significant Church buildings, museums, libraries,
and visitors’ areas
will remain open. In May, it was announced that
the St. George Utah Temple will also undergo
significant renovation. That temple, which will
close November 4th, will undergo extensive
structural, mechanical, and finishing work, as well
as significant improvements to the grounds. The renovation of the
St. George Utah Temple is expected to be
completed in 2022. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Coming up,
thousands of volunteers create hygiene kits for
girls around the world, boxes of love for those
recovering from tragedy, and provide shelter for
those who need it most. These stories and
more, In the News. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints and the larger faith community
in Northern California made a big difference in the
lives of thousands of women around the world
through an initiative called Days for Girls. About 1,000 volunteers
from five churches and other community
organizations in
Rocklin, California, worked to create
2,000 hygiene kits made especially to assist
women during menstruation. – All over this world, there
are women who lose days of their life to something
as simple as menstruation. This, it helps them to
stay in the classroom, to be able to go to work,
to have their days back. – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints
and Muslims in New Zealand joined hands to
create Boxes of Love, a new initiative focused on
providing food to families impacted by the tragedy
of the mosque shootings in Christchurch in March. The founder of the
initiative, Hafsa Ahmed, reached out to local
Latter-day Saint Church leaders to help with the effort. The
result has been a demonstration of humanity and faith, all to
help a community as it heals. – This has been a very
intense experience, to share the challenges that
are placed upon these people. We love them and the
community loves them. – [Narrator] In addition
to Church members donating their time and
vehicles, Latter-day
Saint Charities has donated $25,000 for the
construction of housing units for the homeless in
Oakland, California. – We’ll be able to house
about 76 people here in total. It’s a great way for the
community to get involved. It helps us stretch
our budget further to serve more people. – [Narrator] In addition to
housing, this project aims to provide access
to clothing, food, hygiene supplies, mental health and addiction recovery
resources, and health care. During the National Governors
Association Summer Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah,
spouses of governors from around the United States toured the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center. Led by Latter-day Saint
Charities president, Sister Sharon Eubank,
the governors’ spouses assembled hygiene kits for the ongoing hurricane
and fire season. – Tell us about the
introductory guides. – [Narrator] In September,
President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, along with other Church
leaders, outlined details for the Church’s new
Children and Youth program. – Helping children and
youth to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ will
bless them and all of us all of our lives. – [Narrator] This new program
will replace Scouting, Personal Progress, Duty
to God, and Faith in God beginning in January 2020. As a part of the
Church’s new initiative for children and youth,
the For the Strength of Youth program
will be expanded. Based on the Especially
for Youth program, run by Brigham Young University, FSY will include a five-day
conference of activities, devotionals, and classes
providing opportunities to grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually. President M. Russell
Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, ministered to the
people of India in May, marking his first
visit to the country. Accompanied by
Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric,
President Ballard encouraged Church members to
prepare for the coming temple in Bengaluru, the first
temple to be built in India. – [Narrator] Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and
Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse traveled to West Africa in
late May, where they spoke and met with government
leaders in that region. Elder Christofferson
spoke with Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana,
about strengthening families and about humanitarian
work being done by Church members there. Straight ahead, we return
to the city by the bay and see the history, design,
and breathtaking restoration of the Oakland California
Temple, when we come right back. (peaceful music) It’s a gleaming landmark
in daylight or darkness, from any vantage point of
the San Francisco Bay Area. The 13th temple constructed by The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, perched in the Oakland Hills,
serves as a beacon to all. The iconic 95,000-square-foot
structure underwent phases of temporary closures
for renovation over the past few years, most recently for nearly
a year and a half. This year, for the first time
since its original open house in 1964, the public had a chance to experience the unique beauty of the Oakland California
Temple, prior to
being rededicated for its sacred purpose. Land was purchased by
the Church in 1943, a large multifunction
meetinghouse was
built in the 1950s, and construction started
on the temple in 1962. With each reinforced
concrete layer, the vision of architect Harold W.
Burton began to take shape. – He wanted to celebrate
things like air conditioning and artificial lighting and these technological
breakthroughs that had been happening in the first
half of the 20th century. So he incorporated a
windowless building. – [Narrator] Burton also
added towers, the center reaching 170 feet,
uncharacteristic
of modern design but appropriate for
the look of a temple. Frieze-style reliefs,
reminiscent of more
classical motifs, depicting the Savior
in different scenes were added to the front
and back of the temple. – People at first glance think, “Oh, this must be Christ
and His Twelve Apostles.” But a closer look shows that there are women
and children there. These are His disciples;
these are His followers. And all of us, as we approach
the front door of the temple, can look up and
consider ourselves among the group assembled
there as His disciples. – [Narrator] What may be
considered even more unique is the subtle Asian influence
found in the temple’s exterior spires, upturned
roof caps, and railing. – It’s completely in
tune with its location, with the San Francisco Bay Area. – [Narrator] Adding more
distinction, a one-of-a-kind water feature that cascaded
down from the second-level garden terrace into a
courtyard reflection pool, but removed in 1969 because
of irreparable leaks. With modern-day
materials and technology, the leaking problem
was rectified and the aesthetically pleasing
waterfall feature restored. – [Emily] So now to enter
the building, you walk under the waterfall to
get to the front door. – [Narrator] Other
technological improvements include seismic updates and
converting steam boilers to more energy-efficient
natural gas. The main floor includes
a new waiting area and one of the only
areas with windows, added in the latest remodeling,
to pick up the natural light and view of the courtyard’s
reflection pool. – In the morning the sun will
rise through the windows, and it’s like, it never had
that in this building before. – [Narrator] The bridal
room, also on the main floor, features elegant
full-length mirrors, opulent crystal sconces, and refined
oriental-design seating. The second floor of the temple
contains instruction rooms, where temple patrons learn
about God’s Creation, His love, the purpose of life,
and where they receive the most sacred
sacraments of their faith. This was one of the first
temples to employ film instead of a live presentation
that enables more patrons to participate in one session. Burton believed a windowless
design and theateresque setting would enhance the
viewing experience. Sealing rooms are located
on the third level, adorned with dark
cherrywood paneling and backlit marble altars. This is where families can
be joined together forever. The mirrors remind
patrons of that blessing with seemingly endless
reflections that
symbolize eternity. The celestial room represents the progression
to heaven itself. Wood, marble, and
elegant furnishings reflect modernism’s
vintage color palette, while the continuing
oriental theme is present, down to painstaking detail in
the sculpted carpet design, mirrored on the
ceiling in gold leaf. – [Emily] We hope that when
you walk into this temple now, it will still feel very much
like a 1960s modern building. – We want people who
are not of our faith to have an understanding
of what we believe and who we are and what’s
the purpose of the temple. It isn’t just building
something magnificent. It has a purpose to bring
us closer to heaven, bring us closer to Jesus
Christ, who we worship. – [Narrator] This has been the World Report
for October 2019. – [Narrator] To watch
the World Report online, go to
Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org WE K
HE RE, AND
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. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE
TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN YOUR LIFE ARE
THE DAY YOU ARE BORN AND THE DAY THAT YOU FIND
OUT WHY YOU WERE BORN. BECAUSE WE HAVE THE
GOSPEL, WE DON’T HAVE TO SPEND OUR ENTIRE LIFE
TRYING TO DISCOVER ITS PURPOSE. INSTEAD, WE CAN FOCUS ON
FULFILLING THAT PURPOSE. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THREE
SMALL AND SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK TO GOD THAT WILL
HELP US MAINTAIN OUR FOCUS ON OUR ETERNAL PURPOSE. FIRST, AS WE PARTAKE OF
THE SACRAMENT, TOO OFTEN WE JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. NOTICE THE FOCUS THAT IS
PLACED ON REMEMBERING, AND CONSIDER WHY
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT. THERE ARE COUNTLESS WAYS
WE CAN KEEP OUR PROMISE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE SAVIOR
IN THE COURSE OF A DAY. HOW WILL YOU ALWAYS
REMEMBER HIM? MOST WOULD SAY PRAY AND
STUDY THE SCRIPTURES. AND YOU’D BE RIGHT, IF–AND
THAT’S A BIG IF–THEY ARE DONE WITH REAL INTENT. PRAYING AND STUDYING
THE SCRIPTURES ARE THE NEXT TWO SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO STRESS. PROPHETS PAST AND PRESENT
HAVE PLEADED WITH US TO DO THE SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS, LIKE PRAYING AND
STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES. SO WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE DO THEM? PERHAPS ONE REASON IS
THAT WE DON’T NECESSARILY SEE DRAMATIC,
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IF WE MISS A DAY OR TWO. YEARS AGO, I PLANTED TWO
TREES OF THE SAME SPECIES AND THE SAME HEIGHT
IN MY BACKYARD. I PLANTED ONE WHERE IT
GOT A LITTLE SUN DAILY, AND I PLANTED THE OTHER WHERE
IT ENJOYED FULL SUNLIGHT. OVER THE NEXT YEAR, I DIDN’T
NOTICE MUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE GROWTH OF THE TWO TREES. BUT THEN MY WIFE AND I LEFT
ON A THREE-YEAR MISSION. WHEN WE RETURNED, I WAS
SHOCKED AT THE BIG DIFFERENCE. THE COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF
A LITTLE MORE SUN EACH DAY MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE OVER
TIME IN THE GROWTH OF THE TREES. THE SAME THING
HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES, AS WE EXPOSE OURSELVES EACH
DAY TO THE SOURCE OF ALL LIGHT. THIS SIMPLE IDEA, THE
COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF DAILY DISCIPLINES WITH
PURPOSE AND REAL INTENT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
IN ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE. IT CAN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN STRUGGLING THROUGH AN ORDINARY LIFE OR
BEING IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL AND FILLING THE MEASURE
OF YOUR CREATION. [ 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. WHEN I WAS
ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD, I REMEMBER TAKING SOMETHING
THAT DIDN’T BELONG TO ME. LOOKING BACK ON THAT DAY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY
FOR MY DAD TO LECTURE ME AND HOPE I NEVER
DID IT AGAIN. 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. [SHOUTING] [SWORDS CLANK]
WATCH OUT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! …BUT WHEN IT
MATTERED MOST… GIVE ME
ALL YOUR TREASURE! IMAGINE WHAT A LITTLE TIME
CAN DO FOR YOUR FAMILY. AH, HA!
TAKE THAT! MISSED ME! UHH! [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] [MUSIC PLAYING] DURING THE KOREAN WAR,
ENSIGN FRANK BLAIR SERVED ON A TROOP TRANSPORT
SHIP STATIONED IN JAPAN. THE SHIP WASN’T LARGE ENOUGH
TO HAVE A FORMAL CHAPLAIN, SO THE CAPTAIN ASKED BROTHER
BLAIR TO BE THE SHIP’S INFORMAL CHAPLAIN, HAVING
OBSERVED THAT THE YOUNG MAN WAS A PERSON OF FAITH AND
PRINCIPLE, HIGHLY RESPECTED BY THE WHOLE CREW. I’D BEEN SERVING
WITH THE CAPTAIN FOR ABOUT A YEAR ON THIS LST. AND HE WAS AWARE THAT I HAD
PRAYED AND FOLLOWED THE SPIRIT, MAKING SOME SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCES IN TERMS OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
SHIP AND TO THE CREW. THESE KINDS OF SCENES HAD
HELPED HIM TO GAIN TRUST IN ME. AND SO THIS PARTICULAR TIME,
WE WERE CAUGHT IN THIS TYPHOON. THE WAVES WERE
OVER 40 FEET HIGH. I WAS ON WATCH, DURING WHICH
TIME ONE OF THE THREE ENGINES STOPPED WORKING AND A CRACK
IN THE CENTERLINE OF THE SHIP WAS REPORTED. WE HAD TWO REMAINING
ENGINES, ONE OF WHICH WAS ONLY FUNCTIONING
AT HALF POWER. WE WERE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. I FINISHED MY WATCH AND
WAS GETTING INTO BED WHEN THE CAPTAIN KNOCKED AT MY DOOR. AS YOU WERE. ENSIGN BLAIR, WOULD YOU
PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS SHIP? YES, SIR. [BOAT CREAKING] FATHER IN HEAVEN,
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? [WIND HOWLING] [WAVES CRASHING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN. ENSIGN. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW IN
ORDER TO BEST HELP THE SHIP? FIRST OF ALL, HOW FAST WE CAN
RUN THE REMAINING ENGINES. SECOND, AT WHAT ANGLE
TO HIT THE WAVES. AND THIRD, HOW MUCH WATER TO
KEEP IN THE BALLAST TANKS. YES, SIR. FATHER IN HEAVEN, WHAT CAN I DO
TO HELP ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? THE THOUGHT CAME TO ME, “YOU
NEED TO MOVE AROUND THE SHIP AND GO TO THE AREAS
THAT ARE OF CONCERN AND GET A FEEL FROM
ACTUALLY BEING RIGHT THERE.” [MUSIC PLAYING] ONE OF THE THINGS I
DECIDED I NEEDED TO DO WAS GO OUT ON THE
FANTAIL AND SEE WHAT WAS CREATING THE VIBRATIONS
THAT WERE DAMAGING THE ENGINES. PERMISSION TO GO ON DECK, SIR. [THUNDER ROLLING] BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, ENSIGN. I CONNECTED UND MY WAIST AND WENT OUT INTO THE STORM. [WIND HOWLING] WHEN I GOT OUT ON THE
STERN OF THE SHIP, I NOTICED WHEN THE SHIP WENT
OVER A WAVE AND THE FRONT OF IT FELL DOWN, THE STERN
CAME OUT OF THE WATER AND THE PROPELLERS WERE
SPEEDING UP VERY FAST. SO WHEN THEY HIT THE WATER,
THAT PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE PROPELLERS. IT CREATED SEVERE VIBRATIONS
ON THE DRIVE SHAFT THAT RAN BACK TO THE ENGINES. [MUSIC PLAYING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN, WE NEED TO
SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. THE ENGINEER JUST
RECOMMENDED THE OPPOSITE. ENSIGN, WE NEED TO
OUTRUN THIS STORM. YES, SIR. BUT THE ENGINES ARE
UNDER TOO MUCH STRAIN. SIR, I FEEL VERY STRONGLY
WE HAVE TO SLOW THEM DOWN. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. AYE, SIR. [BELL RINGING] ONLY TWO HOURS LATER,
THE GOOD ENGINE STOPPED WORKING ALTOGETHER. WITH HALF POWER IN
THE REMAINING ENGINE, THE SHIP WAS ABLE
TO LIMP INTO PORT. [MUSIC PLAYING] IF WE HAD NOT SLOWED
THAT ENGINE WHEN WE DID, WE WOULD’VE LOST IT IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM. WITH NO WAY TO
STEER THE SHIP, WE’D BE SITTING AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE SEA RIGHT NOW. ENSIGN, THANK YOU
FOR YOUR PRAYERS. YOUR SPIRITUAL
IMPRESSIONS, I BELIEVE, SAVED BOTH THE
SHIP AND THIS CREW. I LEARNED FROM MY
EXPERIENCES IN THE NAVY THAT MY NAVY COMMANDER
HAD SOME IDEAS THAT WERE IMPORTANT FOR ME. BUT I ALSO LEARNED THAT
MY COMMANDING OFFICER WAS THE HOLY GHOST. YOU NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT ALL THE TIME AND BEING
USED TO UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SPIRIT WORKS
THROUGH YOUR MIND AND THROUGH YOUR HEART. AND YOU NEED TO BE USED TO
THAT SO THAT WHEN YOU GET CAUGHT IN A SITUATION,
THAT YOU CAN BE BLESSED, AND YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THE
SPIRIT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. BEING SPIRITUALLY
SELF-RELIANT IS TO BE ABLE TO HEAR THE LORD’S
VOICE THROUGH HIS SPIRIT FOR ONE’S OWN LIFE. ENSIGN BLAIR’S ABILITY
TO RECEIVE REVELATION SAVED HIM AND HIS SHIPMATES
FROM A RAGING STORM. OTHER KINDS OF STORMS
ARE RAGING TODAY. WE CANNOT JUST DO AND THINK WHAT
OTHERS ARE DOING AND THINKING. WE MUST LIVE A GUIDED LIFE. WE MUST EACH HAVE OUR
OWN HAND ON THE IRON ROD. THEN WE MAY GO TO
THE LORD WITH HUMBLE CONFIDENCE, KNOWING THAT HE
“SHALL LEAD [US] BY THE HAND, AND GIVE [US] ANSWER
TO [OUR] PRAYERS.” [MUSIC PLAYING] WE TRUSTED THE LORD, AND WE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING! WE WILL FIND ANOTHER WAY. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE NOW? RETURN TO THE HOUSE OF THAT
THIEF? THEY WILL KILL US BEFORE
WE GET TO THE DOOR! WE MUST GO BACK. WE CANNOT DISAPPOINT
FATHER OR THE LORD. YOU ARE A FOOL! – YOU ARE A FOOL!
-LAMAN! FATHER IS A FOOL! WHY DO YE SMITE YOUR
YOUNGER BROTHER WITH A ROD? KNOW YE NOT THAT THE LORD
HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A RULER OVER YOU, AND THIS BECAUSE OF YOUR
INIQUITIES? BEHOLD, YE SHALL GO UP TO JERUSALEM
AGAIN, AND THE LORD WILL DELIVER
LABAN INTO YOUR HANDS. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE LORD
WILL DELIVER LABAN INTO OUR
HANDS? -HE IS A MIGHTY MAN.
-HE CAN COMMAND FIFTY, YEA, EVEN HE CAN SLAY FIFTY; THEN WHY NOT US? LET US GO UP AGAIN UNTO
JERUSALEM. LET US BE FAITHFUL IN KEEPING
THE
COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. HE IS MIGHTIER THAN ALL THE
EARTH, THEN WHY NOT MIGHTIER THAN
LABAN AND HIS FIFTY, OR EVEN THAN HIS TENS OF
THOUSANDS? LET US GO UP; LET US BE STRONG LIKE UNTO
MOSES; FOR HE TRULY SPAKE UNTO THE
WATERS OF THE RED SEA AND THEY DIVIDED,
AND OUR FATHERS CAME THROUGH, OUT OF CAPTIVITY, ON DRY GROUND. NEPHI, THIS IS NOT THE SAME! AN ANGEL HAS SPOKEN UNTO YOU; WHEREFORE CAN YE DOUBT? LET US GO UP; THE LORD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US, EVEN AS OUR FATHERS. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. I REMEMBER A TIME WHEN
I WASN’T BEING VERY NICE TO ONE OF THE
GIRLS AT SCHOOL. 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. BUSY– STUDIES SHOW
THAT BY THE TIME I’M 12 I CAN BE INFLUENCED BY FRIENDS
MORE THAN PARENTS. GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. LOOK AT THIS PLACE! ISN’T IT AMAZING? THIS IS KIRTLAND VILLAGE ON THE
BACK LOT OF THE MOTION PICTURE STUDIO IN PROVO, UTAH. THIS IS WHERE A LOT OF
THE CHURCH HISTORY FILMS ARE PRODUCED. AND I THINK THAT IT’S
THE PERFECT PLACE TO TALK ABOUT SAINTS. THIS IS SAINTS VOLUME 1. MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT. OVER 400,000 PRINT
COPIES HAVE BEEN SOLD, AND OVER A MILLION PEOPLE
HAVE READ IT ELECTRONICALLY. IT’S AVAILABLE IN 14 LANGUAGES. SO WHAT ARE READERS
SAYING ABOUT SAINTS? I REALLY APPRECIATED,
WITH SAINTS VOLUME 1, HOW THE SOURCES
WERE ALL IN THE BOOK, BUT IF I WANTED MORE
INFORMATION, I COULD GO ONLINE AND I COULD DIG A LITTLE
DEEPER ON THE THINGS I HAD MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT. SAINTS VOLUME 1–YES,
IT IS A HISTORY BOOK, BUT IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE ONE. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S
JUST A JOURNAL, ALMOST. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S A
BOOK THAT YOU PICKED UP AT SCHOOL, TYPE THING. I LOVE THE TRANSPARENCY,
BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WANT TO TRY AND
DRAG DOWN OUR FAITH BY SAYING, “THERE’S SECRETS YOU
DON’T KNOW, AND THE CHURCH KEEPS THESE THINGS FROM YOU.” BUT IT’S NOT THE CASE. THEY’RE JUST THINGS
YOU HAVEN’T READ YET. AND WHEN YOU SEE THE
STORY–THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY–YOU REALIZE THAT
THEY’RE JUST ORDINARY PEOPLE TRYING TO DO
EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. IT WAS NOT A “STORY” THAT WAS
TOLD; IT WAS REAL HISTORY. AND WE GET TO BE PART OF IT. I FEEL LIKE ONE
OF THE CHARACTERS I GOT TO KNOW REALLY THE
BEST WAS JOSEPH, AND JUST HIS STORY OF PROGRESSION AND
WATCHING HIM BECOME THE PROPHET THAT HE WAS, YOU KNOW,
THROUGH THE MISTAKES HE MADE AND HIS
LEARNING EXPERIENCES, HOW HE WAS ABLE TO
GROW INTO WHO HE NEEDED TO BE TO LEAD THE CHURCH. ONE THING I LOVED ABOUT VOLUME
1 WAS THE STORIES OF THE WOMEN. THEY WENT THROUGH SO MUCH THAT
WE DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT. AS A WOMAN, I COULD
FEEL FOR THEM, HAVING TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES
WHEN THEIR HUSBAND WAS OFF ACROSS THE WORLD. IT REALLY WAS AN
EXAMPLE TO ME OF HOW WOMEN WERE SO STRONG
IN THE CHURCH, AND WE DIDN’T ALWAYS
HEAR ABOUT THAT UNTIL THIS BOOK, THE SAINTS. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME 2 BEGAN
APPEARING IN CHURCH MAGAZINES IN JULY. THE CHAPTERS ARE ALSO
AVAILABLE IN THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION OF THE GOSPEL LIBRARY. VIDEOS DEPICTING SOME OF
THE STORIES FROM VOLUME 2 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE IN
THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP. SO YOU CAN WATCH WHILE YOU WAIT! LET’S TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT SOME
OF THESE INCREDIBLE STORIES FROM SAINTS VOLUME 2. IN 1843, WHEN JOSEPH SMITH
CALLS ADDISON PRATT AND KNOWLTON HANKS AND NOAH ROGERS
AND BENJAMIN GROUARD ON THIS MISSION TO
THE PACIFIC, IT’S REALLY A LANDMARK IN THE HISTORY
OF LATTER-DAY SAINT MISSIONS. IT’S BY FAR THE LONGEST
MISSIONARY JOURNEY THAT HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED IN
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH UP TO THIS POINT. [SPEAKING FRENCH] I WAS AREA PRESIDENT
IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FROM 1998 TO 2001, AND I
WENT TO ONE OF THOSE ISLANDS THAT ADDISON PRATT HAD BEEN ON. AND THIS 17, 18–TEENAGE
GIRL GETS UP AND TALKS. AND SHE’S THE SEVENTH-GENERATION
MEMBER OF HER FAMILY. I’M A DESCENDANT OF PIONEERS;
I’M THE FIFTH GENERATION. SHE WAS THE SEVENTH GENERATION. THEY MAY FEEL LIKE
THEY’RE FAR OFF, BUT THEY’RE PART OF
CHURCH HISTORY TOO. SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS
THE STORY OF THE FIRST TEMPLE TO BE BUILT AFTER NAUVOO. THE ST. GEORGE SAINTS LIVED
TOO FAR TO COME TO SALT LAKE. AND SO BRIGHAM YOUNG SAID, “WE
WILL BRING THE TEMPLE TO YOU. WE WILL BUILD A
TEMPLE THAT IS SMALLER IN SCALE THAN SALT LAKE. AND WE WILL BRING THE ORDINANCES
TO YOU, WHERE YOU LIVE.” SO THEY TOOK BLACK VOLCANIC ROCK
FROM A BLUFF NEAR THE TEMPLE SITE AND POUNDED IT INTO
THE GROUND WITH A CANNON THAT THEY HAD TURNED
INTO A PILE DRIVER. AND WHEN THAT PILE DVER
BOUNCED THREE TIMES, THEY KNEW THE GROUND
WAS STABLE ENOUGH TO BUILD THE FOUNDATION
ON TOP OF IT. IF YOU LIVED IN ST. GEORGE,
NO MATTER HOW POOR YOU WERE, YOU GAVE SOMETHING. WE HAVE STORIES OF
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH THAT DONATE ONE DOLLAR
BECAUSE THAT IS ALL THEY HAD. OTHER PEOPLE SEWED TOGETHER
CARPETS, FED THE WORKERS, MADE CLOTHES FOR THE WORKERS,
OR JUST WERE THERE IN SUPPORT. THESE PEOPLE WERE SO
EXCITED FOR THIS TEMPLE. THEY WERE SO EXCITED
THAT THE PROPHET WAS HERE TO DEDICATE THIS TEMPLE. EVER WONDER HOW VARIOUS CHURCH
ORGANIZATIONS CAME TO BE? SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS THE
STORY OF MARY ISABELLA HORNE AND THE FOUNDING OF THE
YOUNG WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION. AS THE RAILROAD IS
APPROACHING COMPLETION, THE SAINTS HAVE A GREAT DEAL
OF AMBIVALENCE ABOUT IT. IT WAS KIND OF, IN SOME WAYS,
LIKE WE FEEL ABOUT THE INTERNET TODAY, WHERE WE ARE EXCITED
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AND ALL OF THE OPPORTUNITY THAT
IT OPENS UP FOR LEARNING AND FOR CONNECTION
WITH THE WORLD. BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, WE RECOGNIZE THE POTENTIAL OF THIS
SO-CALLED INFORMATION HIGHWAY TO BRING IN ALL KINDS OF
INFLUENCES INTO OUR HOMES AND INTO OUR LIVES. THIS WAS REALLY WORRISOME
TO BRIGHAM YOUNG. SO HE CALLED ON
MARY ISABELLA HORNE TO LEAD WHAT HE CALLED
THE RETRENCHMENT MOVEMENT, THIS MOVEMENT
TO GROUND WOMEN IN WHAT REALLY MATTERED. AND THEY NEEDED THE YOUNG WOMEN
TO BE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT. IF YOU WANT A CULTURE TO CHANGE,
YOU NEED TO INVITE THE YOUTH. AND THE YOUNG WOMEN
HAVE A VITAL ROLE IN THAT PART OF
CHANGING CULTURE. SAINTS TELLS FAMILIAR STORIES
LIKE MISSIONS TO EUROPE, AND STORIES THAT YOU MAY
HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE, LIKE THE WOMEN OF
THE UTAH TERRITORY BEING THE FIRST WOMEN
IN THE NATION TO VOTE. IT TELLS INSPIRING STORIES
LIKE THE HANDCART RESCUE, AND TRAGIC STORIES LIKE THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
WE’LL LEARN WHY THE CHURCH HAS WRITTEN
SAINTS NOW AND IN SUCH A UNIQUE AND TRANSPARENT WAY. ELDER LEGRAND CURTIS JR. IS THE
CHURCH HISTORIAN AND RECORDER FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. WE ASKED ELDER CURTIS, ALONG
WITH A FEW OTHER EXPERTS, WHY THE CHURCH IS WRITING
THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. IN THE VERY MEETING WHERE
THE CHURCH WAS ORGANIZED IN APRIL OF 1830,
THE LORD SAID, “THERE SHALL BE A RECORD
KEPT AMONG YOU.” SAINTS IS A STORY OF NORMAL
PEOPLE TOUCHED BY THE HEAVENS. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT,
THAT’S ALL OF OUR ENDEAVOR. THAT’S ALL OF OUR JOURNEY
HERE, IS THAT WE ARE MORTAL, WE’RE NORMAL, BUT WE’RE TRYING
TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO. AND BY SEEING JOSEPH SMITH,
BY SEEING EMMA SMITH, BY SEEING THE NORMAL
PEOPLE, MALE AND FEMALE, WE CAN SEE BETTER HOW
WE CAN SERVE GOD NOW. SO IN THE PAST, OUR EFFORTS TO
WRITE THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH HAVE RELIED PRIMARILY ON PEOPLE
IN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS. THEIR VOICES HAVE BEEN
FEATURED AND HIGHLIGHTED. THIS EFFORT AT WRITING
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH RELIES MORE ON
COMMON PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO ARE UNSUNG HEROES,
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT OF TRADITIONAL EFFORTS TO WRITE
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. BRIGHAM YOUNG COUNSELED THE
CHURCH HISTORIANS IN THE 1860S, “WRITE IN THE NARRATIVE
STYLE,” HE SAID. HE KNEW, AS WE ALL
KNOW, SOMEWHERE IN US, THAT WE NEED STORIES. WE NEED THE STORIES OF OUR PAST
TO GIVE MEANING TO OUR PRESENT AND TO ORIENT US IN THE FUTURE. SO IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME, BASED
ON THE WONDERFUL RECEPTION OF SAINTS, THAT THAT
IDEA TO WRITE A NARRATIVE WAS THE RIGHT ONE. I AM THE LITERARY
EDITOR AND LEAD WRITER ON THE VOLUMES, WHICH MEANS
THAT I’M THE ONE WHO MAKES SURE THAT THE STORIES ARE
STRUCTURED IN A PLEASING WAY, IN AN ENGAGING WAY, IN A
WAY THAT PULLS READERS IN. AND IF YOU WANT TO
ENGAGE A READER, IF YOU WANT TO ENGAGE
SOMEONE–ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T NECESSARILY LIKE HISTORY
OR IS PUT OFF BY ACADEMIC WRITING–THEN NARRATIVE
IS THE WAY TO GO, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
LOVES A GOOD STORY. I HOPE THAT READERS OF
SAINTS WILL FIND THEMSELVES IN THE STORY. I HOPE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO
CONNECT WITH THE PIONEERS, WITH THE EARLY SAINTS, WITH
THE PEOPLE WHO CAME BEFORE US. WELL, I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN
WE THINK ABOUT OUR HISTORY, IT’S REALLY EASY TO FOCUS
ON TOUCHSTONES LIKE JOSEPH AND BRIGHAM AND TO THINK
ABOUT THOSE REALLY SINGULAR, ICONIC FIGURES WHO HAVE BECOME
CHARACTERS IN OUR KIND OF–THE TAPESTRY OF OUR HISTORY. AND THERE’S REALLY SO MUCH MORE
GOING ON, EVEN EARLY, EARLY, EARLY IN THE CHURCH’S HISTORY. SOME OF MY FAVORITE
STORIES IN VOLUME 2, SPECIFICALLY, CAME NEAR
THE END OF THE VOLUME. ONE WOMAN WHO I FOUND
PARTICULARLY COMPELLING WAS NAMED LORENA LARSEN. SHE IS JUST AN AVERAGE,
EVERYDAY WOMAN, BUT SHE DEALT WITH
THE CHALLENGES THAT CAME WHEN SHE HAD TO LIVE ON THE
UNDERGROUND WITH A GREAT DEAL OF FAITH. BUT SHE ALSO–SHE WROTE IN
A WAY THAT WAS VERY HONEST AND COMPELLING, WHICH MADE HER A
FANTASTIC SUBJECT BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO USE HER WORDS AND HER
EMOTIONS TO TELL HER STORY. AND I THINK READERS ARE GOING
TO REALLY IDENTIFY WITH LORENA. ONE OF THE WAYS THAT SAINTS IS
DIFFERENT THAN PAST HISTORIES PRODUCED BY THE CHURCH IS
THAT IT IS MULTILAYERED. SO THE TOP LAYER, AND THE MAIN
LAYER, IS THE NARRATIVE TEXT. THAT’S WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO GET THEIR INFORMATION. BUT OTHER PEOPLE, WE
KNOW, WILL WANT TO DIVE DEEPER ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC. SO ON OVER 115
TOPICS IN VOLUME 1, WE’VE WRITTEN SHORT
ESSAYS THAT ARE LINKED TO FROM THE
FOOTNOTES, THAT HELP EXPLORE A PARTICULAR PERSON,
PLACE, THEME IN GREATER DEPTH. FROM THE BEGINNING,
WE KNEW THAT SAINTS NEEDED TO BE TRANSLATED BROADLY,
AND SO IT’S IN 14 LANGUAGES. IT’S ALSO GLOBAL IN THE
STORIES THAT IT TELLS. IT TAKES A TEAM TO CREATE ALL
OF THE AMAZING TOOLS, TOPICS, AND RESOURCES THAT MAKE
UP THE SAINTS PROJECT. MANY PEOPLE HAVE PUT IN
COUNTLESS HOURS OF RESEARCHING, EDITING, AND WRITING. REVIEWERS FROM HARVARD TO HONG
KONG, BRAZIL TO BRIGHAM CITY, HAVE ALSO CONTRIBUTED
VALUABLE INSIGHTS TO HELP SAINTS REACH
MEMBERS OF A GLOBAL FAITH. I’VE LOVED BEING A
REVIEWER ON SAINTS. IT’S BEEN IMPORTANT TO ME
FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. ONE OF THE THINGS
SAINTS, THE BOOK SAINTS, DOES SO MAGNIFICENTLY,
I THINK, IS TAKE A VERY, VERY COMPLEX
AND DEEPLY GROUNDED STORY THAT’S BEEN DEVELOPED
THROUGH A LOT OF VERY SERIOUS SCHOLARSHIP. IT TRANSLATES VERY
SOPHISTICATED SCHOLARSHIP INTO AN ENGAGING AND
ACCESSIBLE NARRATIVE. I RECEIVED THE ASSIGNMENT
THROUGH THE GENERAL PRIMARY PRESIDENCY. AND THEY ASKED ME
TO REPRESENT THEM IN READING THROUGH
THE MANUSCRIPT. AS I READ VOLUME 1 AND
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, I FELT THIS
CONNECTION TO HISTORY. IT ENCOURAGED ME TO FEEL
LIKE I WAS PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN JUST MYSELF. AS A PRODUCT MANAGER FOR SAINTS,
ONE OF MY RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO TAKE THE WORDS THAT
HAVE BEEN CREATED AND WRITTEN BY THE HISTORIANS, THE
EDITORS, AND WRITERS AND TO THEN WORK AND
COORDINATE THE EFFORT TO HAVE THOSE WORDS TYPESET,
ILLUSTRATED, BOUND AND PRINTED, RECORDED IN AUDIOBOOK
FORMAT, AND MADE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS
AND OTHERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN OUR HISTORY. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
HOST THE SAINTS PODCAST. ON THE PODCAST I’M
ABLE TO INTERVIEW HISTORIANS AND WRITERS,
GENERAL AUTHORITIES, TO LEARN MORE
ABOUT THESE TOPICS. AND IT REALLY HAS BEEN
JUST A BLAST FOR ME TO EXPLORE THOSE THINGS
IN A LITTLE MORE DETAIL AND BRING IT TO THE AUDIENCE IN
KIND OF A FUN AND ENGAGING WAY. SO MY ROLE IN THE
SAINTS PROJECT IS, I’M PART OF THE EDITORIAL TEAM. AND IF YOU LOOK AT HOW
THE PROJECT UNFOLDS, YOU START WITH HISTORIANS. AND THEY KNOW THE STORIES;
THEY KNOW THE HISTORY. AND THEN THE EDITORIAL TEAM HAS
TWO PRINCIPAL ROLES, REALLY. FIRST, WE POLISH IT AND MAKE
IT AS READABLE AS POSSIBLE. AND THEN THE OTHER ROLE
IS THE SOURCE CHECKING. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE
HISTORIANS AND THOSE WRITERS HAVE GOT EVERYTHING RIGHT. SO MY JOB IS TO
CHECK THE SOURCE, SEE IF IT’S THE BEST SOURCE OR
IF THERE’S A BETTER VERSION. AND USUALLY THERE
IS; USUALLY THERE IS A MORE ORIGINAL VERSION,
FROM A TRANSCRIPTION TO A MANUSCRIPT OF A DIARY. AND SO I GET THE
PAGES, AND I LOOK TO MAKE SURE WHAT IS
WRITTEN ON THE PAGE IN SAINTS IS ACTUALLY ON
THE PAGE IN THE REAL SOURCE. LET’S TAKE A LOOK
AT HOW IT WORKS. SO WE’RE GOING TO START
IN THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP, AND I’M GOING TO CLICK ON
THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION. THEN WE’LL GO TO
SAINTS VOLUME 1. AND LET’S SAY THAT I’M READING
IN CHAPTER 2 ABOUT THE FIRST VISION. WE KNOW THAT SAINTS USES ALL
KNOWN ACCOUNTS OF THE FIRST VISION, SO I MIGHT BE
READING AND FIND A NEW DETAIL THAT I HADN’T KNOWN BEFORE. SO WE CAN CLICK
ON A FOOTNOTE–15, FOR EXAMPLE–TO FIND THE
SOURCES BEHIND WHAT IS WRITTEN. IF I TAP ON “NEIBAUR,
JOURNAL, MAY 24TH, 1844,” IT TAKES ME TO AN ACTUAL
DOCUMENT ON THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPERS WEBSITE. THEN I CAN JUST GO
BACK RIGHT HERE. AND I CAN CLICK ON
“CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN JOSEPH SMITH’S DAY.” AND THAT PROVIDES
ADDITIONAL CONTEXT. SAINTS IS ALSO AVAILABLE
AS AN AUDIOBOOK. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD
CAN LISTEN TO SAINTS WHILE THEY COMMUTE,
EXERCISE, OR JUST RELAX. LET’S GO MEET THE NARRATORS. MY ROLE WAS, I GOT TO RECORD THE
AUDIO FOR THE AUDIOBOOK, MYSELF AND MY FRIEND HILLARY. WE BOTH GOT TO RECORD IT. AND SO WE GOT TO SEE
IT AND READ THROUGH IT BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED. EVERY DAY THAT I GOT TO GO
INTO THE BOOTH WAS A PRIVILEGE. AND I STARTED OUT THE DAY AND
THE SESSION WITH THE PRAYER THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO
BRING TO LIFE THE INDIVIDUALS AND REPRESENT THEM
IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY, THAT I COULD REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHO THEY WERE. AND IN DOING SO, I THINK
I REALLY CAME TO LOVE THEM AND TO APPRECIATE
THEIR CONTRIBUTION. OK. NOW YOU KNOW THE WRITERS
AND HAVE MET THE NARRATORS. LET’S MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND
THE BEAUTIFUL COVER ART AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS
WITHIN THE BOOK. MY ROLE WAS TO BE THE
ILLUSTRATOR FOR THE PROJECT. I GOT TO DO ALL OF THE
COVER ARTWORK AND THE MAPS AND ALL OF THE CHAPTER HEADING
ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE VOLUMES. THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTWORK
WAS TO SHOW THE GLOBAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH, WITH THE
TEMPLES BEING THE ANCHOR POINTS ALONG THIS TIME LINE. AND I THOUGHT, “WOULDN’T
IT BE REALLY COOL IF I COULD SOMEHOW CREATE
A PANORAMA OF THE CHURCH’S HISTORY WITH ALL OF THE
TEMPLES DOTTING THE ARTWORK?” I THINK THERE’S A CERTAIN
NOSTALGIA ASPECT TO IT. IT HAS A CERTAIN
TIMELESS CHARM, MAYBE, THAT PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO. AND IT WAS REALLY
FUN TO BOIL DOWN, TO THE ESSENCE, A
MOMENT IN CHURCH HISTORY WITH A SINGLE IMAGE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK OF THE QUORUM OF
THE TWELVE APOSTLES WILL TELL US WHY THE CHURCH
HAS WRITTEN THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. STAY WITH US. DID YOU KNOW THAT UTAH
WOMEN WERE THE FIRST WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES TO VOTE? DID YOU KNOW THAT THE
SHOSHONE INDIANS HELPED TO BUILD THE LOGAN UTAH TEMPLE? EVER WONDER ABOUT THE CHALLENGES
OF POLYGAMY, BOTH TO THE CHURCH AND TO THE FAMILIES LIVING IT? ALL OF THESE STORIES AND
MORE ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED
SAINTS VOLUME 2. ONE ASPECT OF CHURCH
HISTORY THAT I HOPE ALL OF OUR MEMBERS
AROUND THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT IS THE FACT THAT UTAH WOMEN
WERE THE FIRST IN THE NATION TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? SUFFRAGE IS AN EXAMPLE OF WOMEN
BEING TREATED AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN THINKING OF THEMSELVES
AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN TAKING SERIOUSLY
THE POTENTIAL THEY HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY
AND MAKE SOCIETY BETTER. OUR SHOSHONE CHIEF
SAGWITCH WAS TOLD BY THREE MEN THAT APPEARED
TO HIM IN HIS DREAM THAT THERE WAS A GOD
AMONG THE MORMON PEOPLE AND THAT HE NEEDED TO
SEND SOMEONE TO SALT LAKE, AND THEY’D TELL HIM WHAT TO DO. LONG STORY SHORT, A
MISSIONARY FROM OGDEN WAS SENT TO OUR TRIBE–SPECIFICALLY,
NORTH OF CORINNE, UTAH–AND, AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS OF
TEACHING THEM THE GOSPEL, CONVERTED AND BAPTIZED 102 OF
OUR PEOPLE IN THE BEAR RIVER. ONCE WE JOINED THE CHURCH, THEY
ESTABLISHED WASHAKIE FOR US. I WAS TOLD BY MY GRANDMOTHER
THAT ONCE CONVERTED, OUR PEOPLE EXERCISED
A CHILDLIKE FAITH. I KNOW WE WERE
FULL-TITHE PAYERS. WE DEDICATED MORE
THAN A THOUSAND HOURS TO THE BUILDING OF
THE LOGAN TEMPLE. OUR PEOPLE WENT TO
THE TEMPLE OFTEN AND DID WORK FOR THOSE
WHO PASSED AT BEAR RIVER. WHEN THEY FIRST ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY WERE PRACTICING PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE HERE
IN UTAH, RELATIVELY ISOLATED. AND SO IT TOOK A WHILE FOR
THE CONTROVERSY TO BUILD. BUT OVER THE FOLLOWING DECADES,
THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT PASSED A SERIES OF INCREASINGLY
STRIDENT OR PUNITIVE LAWS AGAINST PLURAL
MARRIAGE AND BEGAN ENFORCING THEM AGGRESSIVELY. BY 1890, WHEN PRESIDENT WOODRUFF
ANNOUNCED THE MANIFESTO THAT LED TO THE END OF
PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE FACED WITH
A VERY SIMPLE CHOICE: THEY COULD CONTINUE TO
PRACTICE PLURAL MARRIAGE, BUT IF THEY DID, THEY
WOULD LOSE THE TEMPLES BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT
WAS GOING TO CONFISCATE ALL OF THE CHURCH’S PROPERTY,
INCLUDING THE TEMPLES. AND THAT WOULD STOP THE WORK
OF SALVATION FOR THE DEAD. TRUTH IS NOT JUST GOOD
THINGS; TRUTH IS GOOD AND BAD. TRUTH IS THE “KNOWLEDGE
OF THINGS AS THEY ARE, AND AS THEY WERE, AND
AS THEY ARE TO COME,” THE DOCTRINE AND
COVENANTS TELLS US. THERE ARE THINGS
THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SUCH AWFUL EVENTS AS THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
LEARNED IN STUDYING THAT SUBJECT WAS THAT WHEN PEOPLE
GOT TOGETHER IN COUNCILS AND RELIED UPON THE COLLECTIVE
WISDOM OF THE GROUP, THEY OFTEN MADE RIGHT DECISIONS. WHEN THEY DISREGARDED
THE COUNCIL’S DECISIONS AND WENT OFF TO MAKE
INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS, THEY OFTEN MADE
THE WRONG CHOICES. JOSEPH SMITH AND
SUBSEQUENT CHURCH LEADERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT “ZEAL
WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE” AS NOT BEING A VIRTUE. AND I THINK THAT IN THE CASE OF
THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE, WE HAD ZEALOUS PEOPLE
WHO TRIED TO OPERATE UNDER THAT EMOTIONAL
SENSE OF ZEAL WITHOUT STEPPING
BACK AND REFLECTING DEEPLY ON WHETHER WHAT THEY
WERE DOING WAS RIGHT OR WRONG. THE CHURCH HAS TAKEN A FRESH
LOOK AT ITS OWN HISTORY–THE SWEET AND THE BITTER, THE
TRAGEDIES AND THE TRIUMPHS. AND YET THIS NEW AND
ENGAGING PERSPECTIVE HAS FOUND ITS WAY INTO
THE HEARTS OF READERS AROUND THE WORLD, BOTH
YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE. WELL, VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS
WILL END WITH THE DEDICATION OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE. AND I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL IT FOR
ANYBODY, BUT IT IS MAGNIFICENT. YOU THINK OF ALL OF
THE CHALLENGES THAT HAPPENED IN THAT VOLUME,
STARTING WITH THE SAINTS BEING EXPELLED FROM NAUVOO
AND COMING ACROSS THE PLAINS. AND IT ENDS ON A
WONDERFUL HIGH NOTE WITH SPIRITUAL
MANIFESTATIONS AND REJOICING AS THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, AFTER
40 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION, IS COMPLETED. I WOULD HOPE THAT THE
ULTIMATE RESULT OF IT WOULD BE A DEEP APPRECIATION
OF OUR ANCESTORS AND THE SACRIFICES AND THE
HARDSHIPS THEY WENT THROUGH, AND THAT THAT WOULD EMPOWER
US AS A PEOPLE TODAY TO FACE OUR DIFFERENT
HARDSHIPS PERHAPS, BUT NEVERTHELESS WOULD
BE A BLESSING TO US AND GIVE US STRENGTH AND POWER
TO OVERCOME THE ISSUES THAT FACE US TODAY. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY HAS SAID,
“REMEMBERING OUR SHARED LEGACY OF FAITH, DEVOTION, AND
PERSEVERANCE GIVES US PERSPECTIVE AND
STRENGTH AS WE FACE THE CHALLENGES OF OUR DAY.” SAINTS IS HELPING US REMEMBER. VOLUME 1 WAS RELEASED
JUST A YEAR AGO, AND IT’S ALREADY A BEST
SELLER BY ANY MEASURE. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME
2 ARE AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE AND IN THE ENSIGN
AND LIAHONA MAGAZINES. IF YOU’VE HAD QUESTIONS
ABOUT OUR CHURCH’S HISTORY, OR IF YOU’RE JUST LOOKING FOR
AN INCREDIBLY ENGAGING YET TRUE STORY, WATCH FOR
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, AVAILABLE IN EARLY 2020. HAPPY READING! ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, THIS IS THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH 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. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY A COMBINED CHOIR OF INDIVIDUALS RESIDING IN STAKES IN THE PROVO, UTAH, AREA. 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 DALLIN H. OAKS, FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH, WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION.>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE WELCOME YOU TO THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO PRESIDES AT THE CONFERENCE, HAS ASKED THAT I CONDUCT THIS SESSION. WE EXTEND OUR GREETINGS TO ALL WHO ARE IN ATTENDANCE OR WHO ARE PARTICIPATING BY MEANS OF TELEVISION, RADIO, OR THE INTERNET. WE LIKEWISE WELCOME THOSE WHO ARE VIEWING THE PROCEEDINGS IN STAKE CENTERS IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD WHERE THE CONFERENCE IS BEING CARRIED BY SATELLITE TRANSMISSION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE PROVIDED BY A COMBINED CHOIR OF INDIVIDUALS RESIDING IN STAKES IN THE PROVO, UTAH, AREA UNDER THE DIRECTION OF JIM KASEN WITH JOSEPH PEEPLES AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR WILL OPEN THIS MEETING BY SINGING “THE LORD IS MY LIGHT.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER MATTHEW L. CARPENTER OF THE SEVENTY. ♪♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT; ♪ ♪ THEN WHY
SHOULD I FEAR? ♪ ♪ BY DAY
AND BY NIGHT ♪ ♪ HIS PRESENCE
IS NEAR. ♪ ♪ HE IS MY SALVATION
FROM SORROW AND SIN; ♪ ♪ THIS BLESSED ASSURANCE
THE SPIRIT DOTH BRING. ♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT. ♪ ♪ HE IS MY JOY
AND MY SONG. ♪ ♪ BY DAY
AND BY NIGHT, ♪ ♪ HE LEADS,
HE LEADS ME ALONG. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT; ♪ ♪ THOUGH CLOUDS
MAY ARISE, ♪ ♪ FAITH,
STRONGER THAN SIGHT, ♪ ♪ LOOKS UP
THROUGH THE SKIES ♪ ♪ WHERE JESUS FOREVER
IN GLORY DOTH REIGN. ♪ ♪ THEN HOW CAN I EVER
IN DARKNESS REMAIN? ♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT; ♪ ♪ HE IS MY JOY
AND MY SONG. ♪ ♪ BY DAY
AND BY NIGHT, ♪ ♪ HE LEADS,
HE LEADS ME ALONG. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT. ♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY STRENGTH. ♪ ♪ I KNOW IN HIS MIGHT
I’LL CONQUER AT LENGTH. ♪ ♪ MY WEAKNESS IN MERCY
HE COVERS WITH POW’R, ♪ ♪ AND WALKING IN FAITH
I AM BLESSED EV’RY HOUR. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE LORD IS MY LIGHT,
MY ALL AND IN ALL. ♪ ♪ THERE IS IN HIS SIGHT
NO DARKNESS AT ALL. ♪ ♪ HE IS MY REDEEMER,
MY SAVIOR, AND KING. ♪ ♪ WITH SAINTS AND WITH ANGELS
HIS PRAISES I’LL SING. ♪ ♪ THE LORD
IS MY LIGHT ♪ ♪ HE IS MY JOY
AND MY SONG. ♪ ♪ BY DAY
AND BY NIGHT ♪ ♪ HE LEADS,
HE LEADS ME ALONG ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THE LORD IS MY LIGHT;
WITH ANGELS I’LL SING. ♪ ♪ HE IS MY REDEEMER,
MY SAVIOR AND KING. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ MY KING! ♪♪ . >>ELDER MATTHEW CARPENTER: OUR BE ABOVE ED HEAVENLY FATHER, WE LOVE THEE AND WE LOVE THY SON, OUR REDEEMER. WE THANK THEE FOR THAT MAGNIFICENT MUSIC, FOR THE ANGELS THAT WE FEEL ARE HERE. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO BE GATHERED FOR THIS SESSION OF CONFERENCE. HEAVENLY FATHER, WE ASK THAT THE HOLY GHOST WILL BE HERE IN ABUNDANCE, THAT THOSE WHO WILL SPEAK TO US AND ALL OF US WHO WILL LISTEN MAY HAVE MESSAGES OF ETERNAL TRUTH SINK DEEP INTO OUR HEARTS, THAT WE MAY BE BETTER FOLLOWERS OF THEE AND THY SON. THIS IS THE DESIRE OF OUR HEARTS, WE ASK FOR IT IN THE NAME OF THY SON, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING WILL NOW PRESENT THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES, AREA SEVENTIES, AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH FOR SUSTAINING VOTE.>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I WILL NOW PRESENT TO YOU THE GENERAL AUTHORITIES, AREA SEVENTIES, AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH FOR YOUR SUSTAINING VOTE. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN RUSSELL MARION NELSON AS PROPHET, SEER, AND REVELATOR AND PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS; DALLIN HARRIS OAKS AS FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY; AND HENRY BENNION EYRING AS SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. THOSE IN FAVOR MAY MANIFEST IT. THOSE OPPOSED, IF ANY, MAY MANIFEST IT. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN DALLIN H. OAKS AS PRESIDENT OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, AND M. RUSSELL BALLARD AS ACTING PRESIDENT OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. THOSE IN FAVOR, PLEASE SIGNIFY. ANY OPPOSED MAY MANIFEST IT. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN THE FOLLOWING AS MEMBERS OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES: M. RUSSELL BALLARD JEFFREY R. HOLLAND DIETER F. UCHTDORF DAVID A. BEDNAR QUENTIN L. COOK D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON NEIL L. ANDERSEN RONALD A. RASBAND GARY E. STEVENSON DALE G. RENLUND GERRIT W. GONG, AND ULISSES SOARES THOSE IN FAVOR, PLEASE MANIFEST IT. ANY OPPOSED, MAY SO INDICATE. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN THE COUNSELORS IN THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES AS PROPHETS, SEERS, AND REVELATORS. ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE MANIFEST IT. CONTRARY, IF THERE BE ANY, BY THE SAME SIGN. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE RELEASE WITH APPRECIATION FOR THEIR DEVOTED SERVICE, ELDERS WILFORD W. ANDERSEN, KIM B. CLARK, LAWRENCE E. CORBRIDGE, CLAUDIO R.M. COSTA, BRADLEY D. FOSTER, O. VINCENT HALECK, DONALD L. HALLSTROM, STEVEN E. SNOW, AND LARRY Y. WILSON AS GENERAL AUTHORITY SEVENTIES, AND GRANT THEM EMERITUS STATUS. THOSE WHO WISH TO JOIN WITH US IN EXPRESSING GRATITUDE TO THESE BRETHREN AND THEIR FAMILIES FOR THEIR REMARKABLE SERVICE, PLEASE SO MANIFEST. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE RELEASE THE FOLLOWING AS AREA SEVENTIES: JULIO C. ACOSTA BLAKE R. ALDER ALAIN L. ALLARD OMAR A. ALVAREZ TAIICHI AOBA CARLOS F. ARREDONDO ALEY K. AUNA JR. GRANT C. BENNETT MICHAEL H. BOURNE RÓMULO V. CABRERA WILSON B. CALDERÓN HERNANDO CAMARGO JOSÉ C. F. CAMPOS NICOLÁS CASTAÑEDA WALTER CHATORA ZENO CHOW ROBERT J. DUDFIELD J. KEVIN ENCE MELIULA M. FATA K. MARK FROST CLAUDE R. GAMIETTE MAURÍCIO G. GONZAGA LEONARD D. GREER JOSE L. ISAGUIRRE TAE GUL JUNG SERGIO L. KRASNOSELSKY MILAN F. KUNZ BRYAN R. LARSEN G. KENNETH LEE GERALDO LIMA W. JEAN-PIERRE LONO KHUMBULANI MDLETSHE DALE H. MUNK NORMAN R. NEMROW YUTAKA ONDA WOLFGANG PILZ RAIMUNDO PACHECO DE PINHO GENNADY N. PODVODOV ABRAHAM E. QUERO MARCO A. RAIS STEVEN K. RANDALL FRANCISCO J. RUIZ DE MENDOZA EDWIN A. SEXTON RAÚL H. SPITALE C. WALTER TREVIÑO ‘AISAKE K. TUKUAFU JUAN A. URRA RAUL S. VILLANUEVA LEONARD WOO THOSE WHO WISH TO JOIN US IN EXPRESSING APPRECIATION FOR THEIR EXCELLENT SERVICE, PLEASE MANIFEST IT. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN THE FOLLOWING AS NEW AREA SEVENTIES: MICHEL J. CARTER ALFRED KYUNGU R. PEPPER MURRAY RYAN K. OLSEN IOTUA TUNE THOSE IN FAVOR MAY MANIFEST IT. THOSE OPPOSED, IF ANY, MAY MANIFEST IT. IT IS PROPOSED THAT WE SUSTAIN THE OTHER GENERAL AUTHORITIES, AREA SEVENTIES, AND GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE CHURCH AS PRESENTLY CONSTITUTED. ALL IN FAVOR, PLEASE MANIFEST IT. CONTRARY, IF THERE BE ANY, BY THE SAME SIGN. THOSE WHO OPPOSED ANY OF THE PROPOSALS SHOULD CONTACT THEIR STAKE PRESIDENT. BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE ARE EVER GRATEFUL FOR YOUR CONTINUED FAITH AND PRAYERS IN BEHALF OF THE LEADERS OF THE CHURCH.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “SWEET IS THE WORK.” FOLLOWING THE SINGING, WE WILL HEAR FROM ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER RUBÉN V. ALLIAUD OF THE SEVENTY. WE WILL THEN HEAR FROM OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, WHO WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. ♪♪ ♪ SWEET IS THE WORK,
MY GOD, MY KING, ♪ ♪ TO PRAISE THY NAME,
GIVE THANKS AND SING, ♪ ♪ TO SHOW THY LOVE
BY MORNING LIGHT, ♪ ♪ AND TALK OF ALL
THY TRUTHS AT NIGHT. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ 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! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ THEN SHALL I SEE
AND HEAR AND KNOW ♪ ♪ ALL I DESIDRED AND
WISHED BELOW ♪ ♪ AND EVERY POW’R
FIND SWEET EMPLOY ♪ ♪ AND EVERY POW’R
FIND SWEET EMPLOY ♪ ♪ IN THAT ETERNAL
WORLD OF JOY ♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN THAT ETERNAL
WORLD OF JOY ♪ ♪ AMEN ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR: I EARNESTLY PRAY FOR THE ASSISTANCE OF THE HOLY GHOST FOR YOU AND FOR ME AS WE REJOICE AND WORSHIP TOGETHER. IN APRIL OF 1976, ELDER BOYD K. PACKER SPOKE SPECIFICALLY TO THE YOUTH OF THE CHURCH IN GENERAL CONFERENCE. IN HIS CLASSIC MESSAGE ENTITLED “”SPIRITUAL CROCODILES,”” HE DESCRIBED HOW DURING AN ASSIGNMENT IN AFRICA HE OBSERVED WELL-CAMOUFLAGED CROCODILES PREYING ON UNSUSPECTING VICTIMS. HE THEN LIKENED THE CROCODILES TO SATAN, WHO PREYS ON UNWARY YOUTH BY CAMOUFLAGING THE DEADLY NATURE OF SIN. I WAS 23 YEARS OLD WHEN ELDER PACKER GAVE THAT TALK, AND SUSAN AND I WERE ANTICIPATING THE BIRTH OF OUR FIRST CHILD IN JUST A FEW DAYS. WE WERE IMPRESSED WITH THE CONTENT OF HIS MESSAGE ABOUT AVOIDING SIN AND THE MASTERFUL WAY HE USED THE ORDINARY BEHAVIOR OF ANIMALS TO TEACH AN IMPORTANT LESSON. SUSAN AND I ALSO HAVE TRAVELED TO AFRICA ON MANY ASSIGNMENTS. AND WE HAVE HAD OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE THE MAGNIFICENT ANIMALS THAT LIVE ON THAT CONTINENT. REMEMBERING THE IMPACT OF ELDER PACKER”S TALK IN OUR LIVES, WE HAVE TRIED TO OBSERVE AND LEARN IMPORTANT LESSONS FROM THE BEHAVIOR OF AFRICAN WILDLIFE. I WANT TO DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERISTICS AND TACTICS OF TWO CHEETAHS SUSAN AND I WATCHED HUNTING THEIR PREY AND RELATE SOME OF THE THINGS WE OBSERVED TO THE DAILY LIVING OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. CHEETAHS ARE THE FASTEST LAND ANIMALS ON EARTH AND REACH RUNNING SPEEDS AS HIGH AS 75 MPH. THESE BEAUTIFUL ANIMALS CAN ACCELERATE FROM A STANDSTILL POSITION TO RUNNING AS FAST AS 68 MPH IN LESS THAN THREE SECONDS. CHEETAHS ARE PREDATORS THAT SNEAK UP ON THEIR PREY AND SPRINT A SHORT DISTANCE TO CHASE AND ATTACK. SUSAN AND I SPENT ALMOST TWO HOURS WATCHING TWO CHEETAHS STALKING A LARGE GROUP OF TOPIS, AFRICA’S MOST COMMON AND WIDESPREAD ANTELOPES. THE TALL, DRY GRASS OF THE AFRICAN SAVANNA WAS GOLDEN BROWN AND ALMOST TOTALLY OBSCURED THE PREDATORS AS THEY PURSUED A GROUP OF TOPIS. THE CHEETAHS WERE SEPARATED FROM EACH OTHER BY APPROXIMATELY 100 YARDS BUT WORKED IN TANDEM. WHILE ONE CHEETAH SAT UPRIGHT IN THE GRASS AND DID NOT MOVE, THE OTHER CHEETAH CROUCHED LOW TO THE GROUND AND SLOWLY CREPT CLOSER TO THE UNSUSPECTING TOPIS. THEN THE CHEETAH THAT HAD BEEN SITTING UPRIGHT DISAPPEARED IN THE GRASS AT EXACTLY THE SAME MOMENT THAT THE OTHER CHEETAH SAT UPRIGHT. THIS ALTERNATING PATTERN OF ONE CHEETAH CROUCHING LOW AND CREEPING FORWARD WHILE THE OTHER CHEETAH SAT UPRIGHT IN THE GRASS CONTINUED FOR A LONG TIME. THE STEALTHY SUBTLETY OF THE STRATEGY WAS INTENDED TO DISTRACT AND DECEIVE THE TOPIS AND THEREBY DIVERT THEIR ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE APPROACHING DANGER. PATIENTLY AND STEADILY, THE TWO CHEETAHS WORKED AS A TEAM TO SECURE THEIR NEXT MEAL. POSITIONED BETWEEN THE LARGE GROUP OF TOPIS AND THE APPROACHING CHEETAHS WERE SEVERAL OLDER AND STRONGER TOPIS STANDING AS SENTINELS ON TERMITE MOUNDS. THE ENHANCED VIEW OF THE GRASSLANDS FROM THE SMALL HILLS ENABLED THESE GUARDIAN TOPIS TO WATCH FOR SIGNS OF DANGER. THEN SUDDENLY, AS THE CHEETAHS APPEARED TO BE WITHIN STRIKING DISTANCE, THE ENTIRE GROUP OF TOPIS TURNED AND RAN AWAY. I DO NOT KNOW IF OR HOW THE SENTINEL TOPIS COMMUNICATED WITH THE LARGER GROUP, BUT SOMEHOW A WARNING WAS GIVEN, AND ALL THE TOPIS MOVED TO A PLACE OF SAFETY. AND WHAT DID THE CHEETAHS DO NEXT? WITHOUT ANY DELAY, THE TWO CHEETAHS RESUMED THEIR ALTERNATING PATTERN OF ONE CHEETAH CROUCHING LOW AND CREEPING FORWARD WHILE THE OTHER CHEETAH SAT UPRIGHT IN THE GRASS. THE PATTERN OF PURSUIT CONTINUED. THEY DID NOT STOP. THEY DID NOT REST OR TAKE A BREAK. THEY WERE RELENTLESS IN FOLLOWING THEIR STRATEGY OF DISTRACTION AND DIVERSION. SUSAN AND I WATCHED THE CHEETAHS DISAPPEAR IN THE DISTANCE, ALWAYS MOVING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THE GROUP OF TOPIS. THAT NIGHT SUSAN AND I HAD A MEMORABLE CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT WE HAD OBSERVED AND LEARNED. WE ALSO DISCUSSED THIS EXPERIENCE WITH OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND IDENTIFIED MANY VALUABLE LESSONS. I NOW WILL DESCRIBE THREE OF THOSE LESSONS. LESSON #1–BEWARE OF EVIL’S BEGUILING DISGUISES. TO ME, CHEETAHS ARE SLEEK, ALLURING, AND CAPTIVATING CREATURES. A CHEETAH’S YELLOWISH-TAN TO GREYISH-WHITE COAT WITH BLACK SPOTS ACTS AS A BEAUTIFUL DISGUISE THAT MAKES THESE ANIMALS ALMOST INVISIBLE AS THEY STALK THEIR PREY IN THE AFRICAN GRASSLANDS. IN A SIMILAR WAY, SPIRITUALLY DANGEROUS IDEAS AND ACTIONS FREQUENTLY CAN APPEAR TO BE ATTRACTIVE, DESIRABLE, OR PLEASURABLE. THUS, IN OUR CONTEMPORARY WORLD, EACH OF US NEEDS TO BEWARE OF BEGUILING BAD THAT PRETENDS TO BE GOOD. AS ISAIAH WARNED, “WOE UNTO THEM THAT CALL EVIL GOOD, AND GOOD EVIL; THAT PUT DARKNESS FOR LIGHT, AND LIGHT FOR DARKNESS; THAT PUT BITTER FOR SWEET, AND SWEET FOR BITTER!” IN A PARADOXICAL PERIOD WHEN VIOLATING THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE IS HERALDED AS A RIGHT AND CHAOS IS DESCRIBED AS LIBERTY, HOW BLESSED WE ARE TO LIVE IN THIS LATTER-DAY DISPENSATION WHEN RESTORED GOSPEL LIGHT CAN SHINE BRIGHTLY IN OUR LIVES AND HELP US TO DISCERN THE ADVERSARY’S DARK DECEPTIONS AND DISTRACTIONS. “FOR THEY THAT ARE WISE AND HAVE RECEIVED THE TRUTH, AND HAVE TAKEN THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR THEIR GUIDE, AND HAVE NOT BEEN DECEIVED–VERILY I SAY UNTO YOU, THEY SHALL NOT BE HEWN DOWN AND CAST INTO THE FIRE, BUT SHALL ABIDE THE DAY.” LESSON #2–STAY AWAKE AND BE ALERT. FOR A TOPI, A BRIEF MOMENT OF CARELESSNESS OR INATTENTIVENESS COULD INVITE A SWIFT ATTACK FROM A CHEETAH. LIKEWISE, SPIRITUAL COMPLACENCY AND CASUALNESS MAKE US VULNERABLE TO THE ADVANCES OF THE ADVERSARY. SPIRITUAL THOUGHTLESSNESS INVITES GREAT DANGER INTO OUR LIVES. NEPHI DESCRIBED HOW IN THE LATTER DAYS SATAN WOULD ATTEMPT TO PACIFY AND LULL THE CHILDREN OF GOD INTO A FALSE SENSE OF CARNAL SECURITY, “THAT THEY WILL SAY: ALL IS WELL IN ZION; YEA, ZION PROSPERETH, ALL IS WELL–AND THUS THE DEVIL CHEATETH THEIR SOULS, AND LEADETH THEM AWAY CAREFULLY DOWN TO HELL.” CONSTANT VIGILANCE IS REQUIRED TO COUNTERACT COMPLACENCY AND CASUALNESS. TO BE VIGILANT IS THE STATE OR ACTION OF KEEPING CAREFUL WATCH FOR POSSIBLE DANGER OR DIFFICULTIES. AND KEEPING WATCH DENOTES THE ACT OF STAYING AWAKE TO GUARD AND PROTECT. SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING, WE NEED TO STAY AWAKE AND BE ALERT TO THE PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST AND THE SIGNALS THAT COME FROM THE LORD’S WATCHMEN ON THE TOWERS. “YEA, AND I ALSO EXHORT YOU … THAT YE BE WATCHFUL UNTO PRAYER CONTINUALLY, THAT YE MAY NOT BE LED AWAY BY THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE DEVIL, … FOR BEHOLD, HE REWARDETH YOU NO GOOD THING.” FOCUSING OUR LIVES IN AND ON THE SAVIOR AND HIS GOSPEL ENABLES US TO OVERCOME THE TENDENCY OF THE NATURAL MAN TO BE SPIRITUALLY SNOOZY AND LAZY. AS WE ARE BLESSED WITH EYES TO SEE AND EARS TO HEAR, THE HOLY GHOST CAN INCREASE OUR CAPACITY TO LOOK AND LISTEN WHEN WE MAY NOT TYPICALLY THINK WE NEED TO LOOK OR LISTEN OR WHEN WE MAY NOT THINK ANYTHING CAN BE SEEN OR HEARD. “WATCH, THEREFORE, THAT YE MAY BE READY.” LESSON #3–UNDERSTAND THE INTENT OF THE ENEMY. A CHEETAH IS A PREDATOR THAT NATURALLY PREYS ON OTHER ANIMALS. ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, A CHEETAH IS A PREDATOR. SATAN “IS THE ENEMY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND OF THOSE WHO SEEK TO DO THE WILL OF GOD.” ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, HIS ONLY INTENT AND SOLE PURPOSE ARE TO MAKE THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD MISERABLE LIKE UNTO HIMSELF. THE FATHER’S PLAN OF HAPPINESS IS DESIGNED TO PROVIDE DIRECTION FOR HIS CHILDREN, TO HELP THEM EXPERIENCE ENDURING JOY, AND TO BRING THEM SAFELY HOME TO HIM WITH RESURRECTED, EXALTED BODIES. THE DEVIL LABORS TO MAKE THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD CONFUSED AND UNHAPPY AND TO HINDER THEIR ETERNAL PROGRESSION. THE ADVERSARY WORKS RELENTLESSLY TO ATTACK THE ELEMENTS OF THE FATHER’S PLAN HE HATES THE MOST. SATAN DOES NOT HAVE A BODY, AND HIS ETERNAL PROGRESS HAS BEEN HALTED. JUST AS WATER FLOWING IN A RIVERBED IS STOPPED BY A DAM, SO THE ADVERSARY’S ETERNAL PROGRESS IS THWARTED BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE A PHYSICAL BODY. BECAUSE OF HIS REBELLION, LUCIFER HAS DENIED HIMSELF ALL OF THE MORTAL BLESSINGS AND EXPERIENCES MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH A TABERNACLE OF FLESH AND BONES. ONE OF THE POTENT SCRIPTURAL MEANINGS OF THE WORD “DAMNED” IS ILLUSTRATED IN HIS INABILITY TO CONTINUE PROGRESSING AND BECOMING LIKE OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. BECAUSE A PHYSICAL BODY IS SO CENTRAL TO THE FATHER’S PLAN OF HAPPINESS AND OUR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT, LUCIFER SEEKS TO FRUSTRATE OUR PROGRESSION BY TEMPTING US TO USE OUR BODIES IMPROPERLY. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS TAUGHT THAT SPIRITUAL SAFETY ULTIMATELY LIES IN “‘NEVER TAKING THE FIRST ENTICING STEP TOWARD GOING WHERE YOU SHOULD NOT GO AND DOING WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO.’ … AS HUMAN BEINGS WE ALL HAVE [PHYSICAL] APPETITES NECESSARY FOR OUR SURVIVAL. ‘THESE APPETITES ARE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL FOR THE PERPETUATION OF LIFE. SO, WHAT DOES THE ADVERSARY DO? HE ATTACKS US THROUGH OUR APPETITES. HE TEMPTS US TO EAT THINGS WE SHOULD NOT EAT, TO DRINK THINGS WE SHOULD NOT DRINK, AND TO LOVE AS WE SHOULD NOT LOVE!'” ONE OF THE ULTIMATE IRONIES OF ETERNITY IS THAT THE ADVERSARY, WHO IS MISERABLE PRECISELY BECAUSE HE HAS NO PHYSICAL BODY, INVITES AND ENTICES US TO SHARE IN HIS MISERY THROUGH THE IMPROPER USE OF OUR BODIES. THE VERY TOOL HE DOES NOT HAVE AND CANNOT USE IS THUS THE PRIMARY TARGET OF HIS ATTEMPTS TO LURE US TO PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL DESTRUCTION. UNDERSTANDING THE INTENT OF AN ENEMY IS VITAL TO EFFECTIVE PREPARATION FOR POSSIBLE ATTACKS. PRECISELY BECAUSE CAPTAIN MORONI KNEW THE INTENTION OF THE LAMANITES, HE WAS PREPARED TO MEET THEM AT THE TIME OF THEIR COMING AND WAS VICTORIOUS. AND THAT SAME PRINCIPLE AND PROMISE APPLIES TO EACH OF US. “IF YE ARE PREPARED YE SHALL NOT FEAR. “AND THAT YE MIGHT ESCAPE THE POWER OF THE ENEMY.” JUST AS IMPORTANT LESSONS CAN BE LEARNED BY OBSERVING THE BEHAVIOR OF CHEETAHS AND TOPIS, SO EACH OF US SHOULD LOOK FOR THE LESSONS AND WARNINGS FOUND IN THE SIMPLE EVENTS OF EVERYDAY LIFE. AS WE SEEK FOR A MIND AND HEART OPEN TO RECEIVE HEAVENLY DIRECTION BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST, THEN SOME OF GREATEST INSTRUCTIONS THAT WE CAN RECEIVE AND MANY OF THE MOST POWERFUL WARNINGS THAT CAN SAFEGUARD US WILL ORIGINATE IN OUR OWN ORDINARY EXPERIENCES. POWERFUL PARABLES ARE CONTAINED IN BOTH THE SCRIPTURES AND IN OUR DAILY LIVES. I HAVE HIGHLIGHTED ONLY THREE OF THE MANY LESSONS THAT CAN BE IDENTIFIED IN THE ADVENTURE SUSAN AND I HAD IN AFRICA. I INVITE AND ENCOURAGE YOU TO REFLECT ON THIS EPISODE WITH THE CHEETAHS AND THE TOPIS AND IDENTIFY ADDITIONAL LESSONS FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. PLEASE REMEMBER ALWAYS THAT YOUR HOME IS THE TRUE CENTER OF GOSPEL LEARNING AND LIVING. AS YOU RESPOND IN FAITH TO THIS INVITATION, INSPIRED THOUGHTS WILL COME TO YOUR MIND, SPIRITUAL FEELINGS WILL SWELL IN YOUR HEART, AND YOU WILL RECOGNIZE ACTIONS THAT SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN OR CONTINUED SO THAT YOU CAN “TAKE UPON YOU [THE] WHOLE ARMOR [OF GOD], THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND THE EVIL DAY, HAVING DONE ALL, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND.” I PROMISE THAT THE BLESSINGS OF EFFECTIVE PREPARATION AND SPIRITUAL PROTECTION WILL FLOW INTO YOUR LIFE AS YOU ARE WATCHFUL UNTO PRAYER VIGILANTLY AND CONTINUALLY. I TESTIFY THAT PRESSING FORWARD ON THE COVENANT PATH PROVIDES SPIRITUAL SAFETY AND INVITES ENDURING JOY INTO OUR LIVES. AND I WITNESS THAT THE RISEN AND LIVING SAVIOR WILL SUSTAIN AND STRENGTHEN US IN TIMES BOTH GOOD AND BAD. OF THESE TRUTHS I TESTIFY IN THE SACRED NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER RUBÉN V. ALLIAUD: WHILE VISITING THEIR HOMES, ONE OF THE QUESTIONS I FREQUENTLY LIKE TO ASK CONVERTS IS HOW THEY AND THEIR FAMILIES LEARNED ABOUT THE CHURCH AND HOW THEY CAME TO BE BAPTIZED. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THE PERSON IS IN THAT MOMENT AN ACTIVE MEMBER OR HASN’T ATTENDED CHURCH FOR MANY YEARS, THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS THE SAME: WITH A SMILE AND THEIR COUNTENANCE GLOWING, THEY BEGIN TO TELL THE STORY OF HOW THEY WERE FOUND. IN FACT, IT SEEMS THAT THE STORY OF CONVERSION IS ALWAYS THE STORY OF HOW WE ARE FOUND. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF IS THE LORD OF LOST THINGS. HE CARES FOR LOST THINGS. THAT IS SURELY WHY HE TAUGHT THE THREE PARABLES THAT WE FIND IN THE FIFTEENTH CHAPTER OF LUKE: THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP, THE LOST COIN, AND FINALLY, THE PRODIGAL SON. ALL OF THESE STORIES HAVE A COMMON DENOMINATOR: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY THEY WERE LOST, IT DOESN’T EVEN MATTER IF THEY WERE AWARE THAT THEY WERE LOST, IN EACH CASE THERE REIGNS SUPREME A FEELING OF JOY THAT EXCLAIMS: “REJOICE WITH ME; FOR I HAVE FOUND [THAT] WHICH WAS LOST.” IN THE END, NOTHING IS TRULY LOST TO HIM. ALLOW ME TO SHARE THIS AFTERNOON WITH YOU ONE OF THE MOST PRECIOUS THINGS TO ME–THE STORY OF HOW I MYSELF WAS FOUND. JUST BEFORE I TURNED 15, I WAS INVITED BY MY UNCLE, MANUEL BUSTOS, TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH HIM AND HIS FAMILY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. THAT WOULD BE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR ME TO LEARN SOME ENGLISH. MY UNCLE HAD CONVERTED TO THE CHURCH MANY YEARS BEFORE, AND HE HAD A GREAT MISSIONARY SPIRIT. THAT IS PROBABLY WHY MY MOTHER, WITHOUT ME KNOWING, SPOKE WITH HIM AND SAID SHE WOULD AGREE TO THE INVITATION ON ONE CONDITION: THAT HE DID NOT TRY TO CONVINCE ME TO BECOME A MEMBER OF HIS CHURCH. WE WERE CATHOLIC, WE HAD BEEN FOR GENERATIONS, AND THERE WAS NO REASON TO CHANGE. MY UNCLE WAS IN COMPLETE AGREEMENT AND KEPT HIS WORD TO THE POINT THAT HE DIDN’T WANT TO ANSWER EVEN SIMPLE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CHURCH. OF COURSE, WHAT MY UNCLE AND HIS SWEET WIFE MARJORIE COULD NOT AVOID WAS BEING WHO THEY WERE. I WAS ASSIGNED A ROOM THAT CONTAINED A LARGE LIBRARY OF BOOKS. I COULD SEE THAT IN THIS LIBRARY THERE WERE ROUGHLY 200 COPIES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES, WITH 20 OF THEM IN SPANISH. ONE DAY, OUT OF CURIOSITY, I TOOK DOWN A COPY OF THE BOOK OF MORMON IN SPANISH. IT WAS ONE OF THOSE COPIES WITH A SKY-BLUE SOFT COVER, WITH THE FIGURE OF THE ANGEL MORONI ON THE FRONT. UPON OPENING IT, THERE ON THE FIRST PAGE WAS WRITTEN THE FOLLOWING PROMISE: “AND WHEN YE SHALL RECEIVE THESE THINGS, I WOULD EXHORT YOU THAT YE WOULD ASK GOD, THE ETERNAL FATHER, IN THE NAME OF CHRIST, IF THESE THINGS ARE NOT TRUE; AND IF YE SHALL ASK WITH A SINCERE HEART, WITH REAL INTENT, HAVING FAITH IN CHRIST, HE WILL MANIFEST THE TRUTH OF IT UNTO YOU, BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST.” AND THEN IT ADDED: “AND BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST YE MAY KNOW THE TRUTH OF ALL THINGS.” IT IS DIFFICULT TO EXPLAIN THE IMPACT THAT THESE SCRIPTURES HAD ON MY MIND AND HEART. TO BE HONEST, I WAS NOT LOOKING FOR “THE TRUTH”. I WAS JUST A TEENAGER, HAPPY WITH HIS LIFE, ENJOYING THIS NEW CULTURE. NEVERTHELESS, WITH THAT PROMISE IN MIND, I SECRETLY BEGAN READING THE BOOK. AS I READ MORE, I UNDERSTOOD THAT IF I REALLY WANTED TO GET ANYTHING FROM THIS, I HAD BETTER START TO PRAY; AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DECIDE TO NOT ONLY READ BUT ALSO PRAY ABOUT THE BOOK OF MORMON. WELL, THAT IS JUST WHAT HAPPENED TO ME. IT WAS SOMETHING SO SPECIAL AND SO UNIQUE, YES, JUST THE SAME AS WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO MILLIONS OF OTHERS AROUND THE WORLD. I CAME TO KNOW BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS TRUE. I THEN WENT TO MY UNCLE TO EXPLAIN TO HIM WHAT HAD HAPPENED, AND THAT I WAS READY TO BE BAPTIZED. MY UNCLE COULD NOT CONTAIN HIS ASTONISHMENT. HE GOT IN HIS CAR, DROVE TO THE AIRPORT, AND THEN RETURNED WITH MY PLANE TICKET TO FLY BACK HOME, WITH A NOTE ADDRESSED TO MY MOTHER THAT SIMPLY STATED: “I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS!” [LAUGHTER] IN A WAY HE WAS RIGHT. I HAD BEEN FOUND DIRECTLY BY THE POWER OF THE BOOK OF MORMON. THERE MAY BE MANY WHO HAVE BEEN FOUND THROUGH OUR WONDERFUL MISSIONARIES AROUND THE WORLD, IN EVERY CASE THROUGH MIRACULOUS WAYS; OR MAYBE THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND THROUGH FRIENDS THAT GOD HAS DELIBERATELY PLACED IN THEIR PATH. IT MIGHT EVEN BE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND BY SOMEONE FROM THIS GENERATION OR THROUGH ONE OF THEIR ANCESTORS. WHATEVER THE CASE, IN ORDER TO PROGRESS TOWARDS A TRUE PERSONAL CONVERSION, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER, THEY ALL MUST EXPERIENCE AND BE FOUND BY THE POWER OF THE TRUTHS CONTAINED IN THE BOOK OF MORMON. AT THE SAME TIME, THEY MUST PERSONALLY DECIDE TO MAKE A SERIOUS COMMITMENT TO GOD THAT THEY WILL STRIVE TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. UPON RETURNING TO BUENOS AIRES, MY MOTHER REALIZED THAT I TRULY WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED. SINCE I HAD A SOMEWHAT REBELLIOUS SPIRIT, INSTEAD OF OPPOSING ME, SHE VERY WISELY TOOK MY SIDE, AND WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT, SHE DID MY BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW HERSELF. INDEED, I BELIEVE THAT HER INTERVIEW WAS EVEN MORE IN-DEPTH THAN THOSE OUR MISSIONARIES CONDUCT. SHE TOLD ME: “IF YOU WANT TO BE BAPTIZED, I WILL SUPPORT YOU. BUT FIRST I’M GOING TO ASK YOU SOME QUESTIONS AND I WANT YOU TO THINK VERY HARD AND ANSWER ME HONESTLY: “DO YOU COMMIT TO ATTEND CHURCH ABSOLUTELY EVERY SUNDAY?” I TOLD HER, “YES, OF COURSE, I’M GOING TO DO THAT.” “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG CHURCH IS?” “YES I DO,” I SAID. SHE REPLIED: “WELL, IF YOU GET BAPTIZED, I AM GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ATTEND.” THEN SHE ASKED ME IF I WAS TRULY WILLING TO NEVER DRINK ALCOHOL OR SMOKE. I ANSWERED HER: “YES, OF COURSE, I AM GOING TO COMPLY WITH THAT AS WELL.” TO WHICH SHE ADDED: “IF YOU GET BAPTIZED, I AM GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT THAT IS THE CASE.” AND SHE PROCEEDED ON IN THAT WAY WITH ALMOST EVERY COMMANDMENT. MY UNCLE HAD CALLED MY MOTHER TO TELL HER NOT TO WORRY, THAT I WOULD SOON GET OVER ALL THIS. FOUR YEARS LATER, WHEN I RECEIVED MY CALL TO SERVE IN THE URUGUAY MONTEVIDEO MISSION, MY MOTHER CALLED MY UNCLE TO ASK HIM WHEN EXACTLY I WAS GOING TO GET OVER ALL THIS. [LAUGHTER] THE TRUTH IS THAT, FROM THE TIME I WAS BAPTIZED, SHE WAS A HAPPIER MOTHER. I CAME TO KNOW THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON WAS CRUCIAL IN THE CONVERSION PROCESS BY EXPERIENCING FIRSTHAND THE PROMISE THAT “A MAN WOULD GET NEARER TO GOD BY ABIDING BY ITS PRECEPTS.” NEPHI EXPLAINED THE CENTRAL PURPOSE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON IN THIS WAY: “FOR WE LABOR DILIGENTLY TO WRITE, TO PERSUADE OUR CHILDREN, AND ALSO OUR BRETHREN, TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST, AND TO BE RECONCILED TO GOD …[AND SO] WE TALK OF CHRIST, WE REJOICE IN CHRIST, WE PREACH OF CHRIST, [AND] WE PROPHESY OF CHRIST…THAT OUR CHILDREN MAY KNOW TO WHAT SOURCE THEY MAY LOOK FOR A REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.” THE ENTIRE BOOK OF MORMON IS IMBUED WITH THAT SAME SACRED PURPOSE. FOR THIS REASON, ANY READER WHO COMMITS TO A SINCERE STUDY OF IT, WITH THE SPIRIT OF PRAYER, WILL NOT ONLY LEARN ABOUT CHRIST, BUT THEY WILL BEGIN TO LEARN FROM CHRIST. ESPECIALLY IF THEY MAKE THE DECISION TO TRY “THE VIRTUE OF THE WORD” AND NOT REJECT IT PREMATURELY DUE TO PREJUDICED UNBELIEF BY WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT THINGS THEY HAVE NEVER READ. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON REFLECTED: “WHEN I THINK OF THE BOOK OF MORMON, I THINK OF THE WORD POWER. THE TRUTHS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON HAVE THE POWER TO HEAL, COMFORT, RESTORE, SUCCOR, STRENGTHEN, CONSOLE, AND CHEER OUR SOULS.” MY INVITATION THIS AFTERNOON TO EACH OF US, REGARDLESS HOW LONG WE’VE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH, TO ALLOW THE POWER OF THE TRUTHS OF THE BOOK OF MORMON TO FIND US AND EMBRACE US ONCE AGAIN, AND DAY AFTER DAY AS WE DILIGENTLY SEEK FOR PERSONAL REVELATION. IT WILL DO SO IF WE ALLOW IT. I SOLEMNLY TESTIFY THAT THE BOOK OF MORMON CONTAINS THE FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, AND THAT THE HOLY GHOST WILL CONFIRM THE TRUTH OF IT TIME AFTER TIME TO ANYONE WHO, WITH A SINCERE HEART, SEEKS KNOWLEDGE UNTO THE SALVATION OF THEIR SOUL. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: THANK YOU, ELDER BEDNAR AND ELDER ALLIAUD, FOR YOUR MESSAGES. DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE WITH YOU AGAIN IN GENERAL CONFERENCE. EARLIER THIS WEEK, ANNOUNCEMENTS WERE MADE TO MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH ABOUT CHANGES IN POLICY REGARDING WHO MAY SERVE AS WITNESSES TO BAPTISM AND SEALING ORDINANCES. I WOULD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT THOSE THREE POINTS: 1) A PROXY BAPTISM FOR A DECEASED PERSON MAY BE WITNESSED BY ANYONE HOLDING A CURRENT TEMPLE RECOMMEND, INCLUDING A LIMITED-USE RECOMMEND. 2) ANY ENDOWED MEMBER WITH A CURRENT TEMPLE RECOMMEND MAY SERVE AS A WITNESS TO SEALING ORDINANCES, LIVING AND PROXY. 3) ANY BAPTIZED MEMBER OF THE CHURCH MAY SERVE AS A WITNESS OF THE BAPTISM OF A LIVING PERSON. THIS CHANGE PERTAINS TO ALL BAPTISMS OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE. THESE POLICY ADJUSTMENTS ARE PROCEDURAL. THE UNDERLYING DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS ARE UNCHANGED AND ARE EQUALLY EFFICACIOUS IN ALL ORDINANCES. THESE CHANGES SHOULD GREATLY ENHANCE FAMILY PARTICIPATION IN THESE ORDINANCES. I ALSO WANTED TO SPEAK WITH YOU AT THIS TIME TO INTRODUCE ADJUSTMENTS THAT PERTAIN TO OUR YOUTH AND THEIR LEADERS. YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT I HAVE INVITED THE YOUTH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS TO ENLIST IN THE LORD’S YOUTH BATTALION TO PARTICIPATE IN THE GREATEST CAUSE ON EARTH TODAY–THE GATHERING OF ISRAEL. I ISSUED THIS INVITATION TO OUR YOUTH BECAUSE THEY ARE UNUSUALLY GIFTED IN REACHING OUT TO OTHERS AND SHARING WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN A CONVINCING FASHION. THE CAUSE OF THE GATHERING IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF HELPING TO PREPARE THE WORLD AND ITS PEOPLE FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD. IN EACH WARD, THE LORD’S YOUTH BATTALION IS LED BY A BISHOP, A DEDICATED SERVANT OF GOD. HIS FIRST AND FOREMOST RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CARE FOR THE YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN OF HIS WARD. THE BISHOP AND HIS COUNSELORS DIRECT THE WORK OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS AND THE YOUNG WOMEN CLASSES IN THE WARD. THE ADJUSTMENTS WE NOW ANNOUNCE ARE INTENDED TO HELP YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN DEVELOP THEIR SACRED PERSONAL POTENTIAL. WE WANT ALSO TO STRENGTHEN AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS AND YOUNG WOMEN CLASSES AND PROVIDE SUPPORT TO BISHOPS AND OTHER ADULT LEADERS AS THEY SERVE THIS RISING GENERATION. ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK WILL NOW DISCUSS THE ADJUSTMENTS THAT RELATE TO THE YOUNG MEN. AND TONIGHT, AT THE GENERAL WOMEN’S SESSION, SISTER BONNIE H. CORDON, YOUNG WOMEN GENERAL PRESIDENT, WILL DISCUSS THE ADJUSTMENTS THAT RELATE TO THE YOUNG WOMEN. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE TWELVE ARE UNITED IN ENDORSING THESE EFFORTS TO STRENGTHEN OUR YOUTH. OH, HOW WE LOVE THEM AND PRAY FOR THEM! THEY ARE THE “HOPE OF ISRAEL, ZION’S ARMY, CHILDREN OF THE PROMISED DAY.” WE EXPRESS OUR COMPLETE CONFIDENCE IN OUR YOUTH AND OUR GRATITUDE FOR THEM, IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK: THANK YOU, PRESIDENT NELSON, FOR THAT JOYFUL REVELATORY GUIDANCE WITH RESPECT TO WITNESSES AT BAPTISMS AND THE DIRECTION YOU HAVE ASKED US TO SHARE TO HELP STRENGTHEN YOUTH AND DEVELOP THEIR SACRED POTENTIAL. BEFORE I SHARE THOSE ADJUSTMENTS, WE EXPRESS OUR SINCERE APPRECIATION FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL WAY MEMBERS HAVE RESPONDED TO DEVELOPMENTS IN THE ONGOING RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL. AS PRESIDENT NELSON SUGGESTED LAST YEAR, YOU HAVE TAKEN YOUR VITAMINS! YOU JOYFULLY STUDY “COME, FOLLOW ME” AT HOME. YOU HAVE ALSO RESPONDED TO ADJUSTMENTS AT CHURCH. MEMBERS OF THE ELDERS QUORUM AND RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS UNITEDLY DO THE WORK OF SALVATION. OUR GRATITUDE IS OVERFLOWING. WE ARE PARTICULARLY GRATEFUL THAT OUR YOUTH CONTINUE TO REMAIN STRONG AND FAITHFUL. OUR YOUTH LIVE IN AN EXCITING BUT ALSO CHALLENGING TIME. THE CHOICES AVAILABLE HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE DRAMATIC. ONE EXAMPLE: THE MODERN SMARTPHONE PROVIDES ACCESS TO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND UPLIFTING INFORMATION, INCLUDING FAMILY HISTORY AND THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. ON THE OTHER HAND, IT CONTAINS FOOLISHNESS, IMMORALITY, AND EVIL NOT READILY AVAILABLE IN THE PAST. TO HELP OUR YOUTH NAVIGATE THIS MAZE OF CHOICES, THE CHURCH HAS PREPARED THREE PROFOUND AND COMPREHENSIVE INITIATIVES. FIRST, CURRICULUM HAS BEEN STRENGTHENED AND EXPANDED TO THE HOME. SECOND, A CHILDREN AND YOUTH PROGRAM THAT INCLUDES EXCITING ACTIVITIES AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT WAS PRESENTED JUST LAST SUNDAY BY PRESIDENT NELSON, PRESIDENT BALLARD, AND THE GENERAL OFFICERS. A THIRD INITIATIVE IS ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES TO MAKE YOUTH A MORE SIGNIFICANT FOCUS OF OUR BISHOPS AND OTHER LEADERS. THIS FOCUS MUST BE SPIRITUALLY POWERFUL AND HELP OUR YOUTH BECOME THE YOUTH BATTALION PRESIDENT NELSON HAS ASKED THEM TO BECOME. THESE EFFORTS, TOGETHER WITH THOSE ANNOUNCED DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS, ARE NOT ISOLATED CHANGES. EACH OF THE ADJUSTMENTS IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF AN INTERLOCKING PATTERN TO BLESS THE SAINTS AND PREPARE THEM TO MEET GOD. ONE PART OF THE PATTERN RELATES TO THE RISING GENERATION. OUR YOUTH ARE BEING ASKED TO TAKE MORE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY AT YOUNGER AGES– WITHOUT PARENTS AND LEADERS TAKING OVER WHAT YOUTH CAN DO FOR THEMSELVES. TODAY WE ANNOUNCE ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES FOR YOUTH AT WARD AND STAKE LEVELS. AS PRESIDENT NELSON EXPLAINED, SISTER BONNIE H. CORDON WILL DISCUSS CHANGES FOR YOUNG WOMEN THIS EVENING. ONE PURPOSE FOR THE CHANGES I WILL NOW DISCUSS IS TO STRENGTHEN AARONIC PRIESTHOOD HOLDERS, QUORUMS, AND QUORUM PRESIDENCIES. THESE CHANGES ALIGN OUR PRACTICE WITH DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS 107:15, WHICH READS, “THE BISHOPRIC IS THE PRESIDENCY OF THIS [AARONIC] PRIESTHOOD, AND HOLDS THE KEYS OR AUTHORITY OF THE SAME.” ONE OF THE SCRIPTURAL DUTIES OF THE BISHOP IS TO PRESIDE OVER THE PRIESTS AND TO SIT IN COUNCIL WITH THEM, TEACHING THEM THE DUTIES OF THEIR OFFICE. IN ADDITION, THE FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE BISHOPRIC WILL HAVE SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITY FOR TEACHERS AND THE SECOND COUNSELOR FOR DEACONS. ACCORDINGLY, TO ALIGN WITH THIS REVELATION IN THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS, YOUNG MEN PRESIDENCIES AT THE WARD LEVEL WILL BE DISCONTINUED. THESE FAITHFUL BRETHREN HAVE DONE MUCH GOOD, AND WE EXPRESS APPRECIATION TO THEM. IT IS OUR HOPE THAT BISHOPRICS WILL GIVE GREAT EMPHASIS AND FOCUS TO THE PRIESTHOOD RESPONSIBILITIES OF YOUNG MEN AND HELP THEM IN THEIR QUORUM DUTIES. CAPABLE ADULT YOUNG MEN ADVISERS WILL BE CALLED TO ASSIST THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUM PRESIDENCIES AND THE BISHOPRIC IN THEIR DUTIES. WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT MORE YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN WILL RISE TO THE CHALLENGE AND STAY ON THE COVENANT PATH WITH THIS LASER-LIKE FOCUS ON OUR YOUTH. IN THE LORD’S INSPIRED PATTERN, THE BISHOP HAS RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVERYONE IN THE WARD. HE BLESSES THE PARENTS OF YOUTH AS WELL AS THE YOUTH. ONE BISHOP FOUND THAT AS HE COUNSELED WITH A YOUNG MAN STRUGGLING WITH PORNOGRAPHY, HE COULD HELP THE YOUNG MAN IN HIS REPENTANCE ONLY AS HE HELPED THE PARENTS REACT WITH LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING. THE YOUNG MAN’S HEALING WAS A HEALING FOR HIS FAMILY AND WAS POSSIBLE THROUGH THE BISHOP WORKING IN BEHALF OF THE ENTIRE FAMILY. THE YOUNG MAN HAS NOW BECOME A WORTHY MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD HOLDER AND FULL-TIME MISSIONARY. AS THIS ACCOUNT SUGGESTS, THESE ADJUSTMENTS WILL: HELP BISHOPS AND THEIR COUNSELORS FOCUS ON THEIR CORE RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE YOUTH AND PRIMARY CHILDREN. PLACE THE POWER AND DUTIES OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD AT THE CENTER OF EVERY YOUNG MAN’S PERSONAL LIFE AND GOALS. THESE ADJUSTMENTS ALSO: EMPHASIZE THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUM PRESIDENCIES AND THEIR DIRECT REPORTING LINE TO THE BISHOPRIC. MOTIVATE ADULT LEADERS TO ASSIST AND MENTOR AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUM PRESIDENCIES IN MAGNIFYING THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THEIR OFFICE. AS NOTED, THESE ADJUSTMENTS DO NOT LESSEN THE BISHOPRICS’ RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUNG WOMEN. AS PRESIDENT NELSON JUST TAUGHT, “[THE BISHOP’S] FIRST AND FOREMOST RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CARE FOR THE YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN OF HIS WARD. HOW WILL OUR BELOVED AND HARDWORKING BISHOPS FULFILL THIS RESPONSIBILITY? AS YOU REMEMBER, IN 2018, MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS WERE ADJUSTED TO WORK EVEN MORE CLOSELY WITH RELIEF SOCIETIES SO THAT ELDERS QUORUMS AND RELIEF SOCIETIES CAN, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE BISHOP, HELP SHOULDER IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES THAT PREVIOUSLY CONSUMED MUCH OF HIS TIME. THESE RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE MISSIONARY WORK AND TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK IN THE WARD–AS WELL AS MUCH OF THE MINISTERING TO WARD MEMBERS. THE BISHOP CANNOT DELEGATE SOME RESPONSIBILITIES, SUCH AS THE YOUTH, BEING A COMMON JUDGE, CARING FOR THOSE IN NEED, AND OVERSEEING FINANCES AND TEMPORAL AFFAIRS. THESE ARE, HOWEVER, FEWER THAN WE MAY HAVE UNDERSTOOD IN THE PAST. AS ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND EXPLAINED LAST YEAR WHEN THE ADJUSTMENTS TO THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS WERE ANNOUNCED: “THE BISHOP REMAINS, OF COURSE, THE PRESIDING HIGH PRIEST OF THE WARD. THIS NEW ALIGNMENT [OF ELDERS QUORUMS AND RELIEF SOCIETIES] SHOULD LET HIM PRESIDE OVER THE WORK OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD AND THE RELIEF SOCIETY WITHOUT REQUIRING HIM TO DO THE WORK OF EITHER OF THOSE BODIES.” FOR INSTANCE, A RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENT AND AN ELDERS QUORUM PRESIDENT, AS ASSIGNED, CAN TAKE A GREATER ROLE IN COUNSELING WITH ADULTS–AS CAN A YOUNG WOMEN PRESIDENT IN COUNSELING WITH YOUNG WOMEN. WHILE ONLY THE BISHOP CAN SERVE AS A COMMON JUDGE, THESE OTHER LEADERS ARE ALSO ENTITLED TO REVELATION FROM HEAVEN TO HELP WITH CHALLENGES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A COMMON JUDGE OR INVOLVE ABUSE OF ANY KIND. THAT DOESN’T MEAN A YOUNG WOMAN CANNOT OR SHOULD NOT TALK TO THE BISHOP OR TO HER PARENTS. THEIR FOCUS IS THE YOUTH! BUT IT DOES MEAN THAT A YOUNG WOMEN LEADER MAY BEST MEET THE NEEDS OF AN INDIVIDUAL YOUNG WOMAN. THE BISHOPRIC IS AS CONCERNED FOR YOUNG WOMEN AS FOR YOUNG MEN, BUT WE RECOGNIZE THE STRENGTH THAT COMES FROM HAVING STRONG, ENGAGED, AND FOCUSED YOUNG WOMEN LEADERS WHO LOVE AND MENTOR, NOT TAKING OVER THE ROLES OF CLASS PRESIDENCIES BUT HELPING YOUTH SUCCEED IN THOSE ROLES. SISTER CORDON WILL SHARE ADDITIONAL EXCITING CHANGES FOR YOUNG WOMEN TONIGHT. I, HOWEVER, ANNOUNCE THAT WARD YOUNG WOMEN PRESIDENTS WILL NOW REPORT TO AND COUNSEL DIRECTLY WITH THE BISHOP OF THE WARD. IN THE PAST, THIS ASSIGNMENT COULD BE DELEGATED TO A COUNSELOR, BUT GOING FORWARD, YOUNG WOMEN WILL BE A DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY OF THE ONE WHO HOLDS PRESIDING KEYS FOR THE WARD. THE RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENT WILL CONTINUE TO REPORT DIRECTLY TO THE BISHOP. AT THE GENERAL AND STAKE LEVELS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE YOUNG MEN PRESIDENCIES. AT THE STAKE LEVEL, A HIGH COUNCILOR WILL BE THE YOUNG MEN PRESIDENT AND WILL, WITH THE HIGH COUNCILORS ASSIGNED TO YOUNG WOMEN AND PRIMARY, BE PART OF THE STAKE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD–YOUNG WOMEN COMMITTEE. THESE BRETHREN WILL WORK WITH THE STAKE YOUNG WOMEN PRESIDENCY ON THIS COMMITTEE. WITH A COUNSELOR TO THE STAKE PRESIDENT AS CHAIR, THIS COMMITTEE WILL HAVE INCREASED IMPORTANCE BECAUSE MANY OF THE PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES IN THE NEW CHILDREN AND YOUTH INITIATIVE WILL BE AT THE STAKE LEVEL. THESE HIGH COUNCILORS, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE STAKE PRESIDENCY, CAN SERVE AS A RESOURCE TO THE BISHOP AND AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUMS IN A MANNER SIMILAR TO THE SERVICE PROVIDED BY HIGH COUNCILORS TO WARD ELDERS QUORUMS. AS A RELATED MATTER, ANOTHER HIGH COUNCILOR WILL SERVE AS THE STAKE SUNDAY SCHOOL PRESIDENT AND, AS NEEDED, COULD SERVE ON THE STAKE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD– YOUNG WOMEN COMMITTEE. ADDITIONAL ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES WILL BE FURTHER EXPLAINED IN INFORMATION SENT TO LEADERS. THESE CHANGES INCLUDE: THE BISHOPRIC YOUTH COMMITTEE MEETING WILL BE REPLACED BY A WARD YOUTH COUNCIL. THE WORD “MUTUAL” WILL BE RETIRED AND BECOME “YOUNG WOMEN ACTIVITIES,” “AARONIC PRIESTHOOD QUORUM ACTIVITIES,” OR “YOUTH ACTIVITIES” AND WILL BE HELD WEEKLY WHERE POSSIBLE. THE WARD BUDGET FOR YOUTH ACTIVITIES WILL BE DIVIDED EQUITABLY BETWEEN THE YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF YOUTH IN EACH ORGANIZATION. A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT WILL BE PROVIDED FOR PRIMARY ACTIVITIES. AT ALL LEVELS–WARD, STAKE, AND GENERAL–WE WILL USE THE TERM “ORGANIZATION” RATHER THAN THE TERM “AUXILIARY.” THOSE WHO LEAD THE GENERAL RELIEF SOCIETY, YOUNG WOMEN, YOUNG MEN, PRIMARY, AND SUNDAY SCHOOL ORGANIZATIONS WILL BE KNOWN AS “GENERAL OFFICERS.” THOSE WHO LEAD ORGANIZATIONS AT THE WARD AND STAKE LEVELS WILL BE KNOWN AS “WARD OFFICERS” AND “STAKE OFFICERS.” THE ADJUSTMENTS ANNOUNCED TODAY MAY BEGIN AS SOON AS BRANCHES, WARDS, DISTRICTS, AND STAKES ARE READY BUT SHOULD BE IN PLACE BY JANUARY 1, 2020. THESE ADJUSTMENTS, WHEN COMBINED AND INTEGRATED WITH PREVIOUS ADJUSTMENTS, REPRESENT A SPIRITUAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORT CONSISTENT WITH DOCTRINE TO BLESS AND STRENGTHEN EVERY MAN, WOMAN, YOUTH, AND CHILD, HELPING EACH TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AS WE PROGRESS ON THE COVENANT PATH. DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I PROMISE AND TESTIFY THAT THESE COMPREHENSIVE ADJUSTMENTS, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF AN INSPIRED PRESIDENT AND PROPHET, RUSSELL M. NELSON, WILL EMPOWER AND STRENGTHEN EVERY MEMBER OF THE CHURCH. OUR YOUTH WILL DEVELOP GREATER FAITH IN THE SAVIOR, BE PROTECTED FROM THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE ADVERSARY, AND STAND PREPARED TO MEET LIFE’S CHALLENGES. IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “REDEEMER OF ISRAEL.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM BROTHER MARK L. PACE, WHO WAS SUSTAINED LAST APRIL AS SUNDAY SCHOOL GENERAL PRESIDENT. HE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY ELDERS L. TODD BUDGE AND JORGE M. ALVARADO OF THE SEVENTY. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS IS THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. ♪♪ ♪ REDEEMER OF ISRAEL,
OUR ONLY DELIGHT, ♪ ♪ ON WHOM FOR A BLESSING
WE CALL, ♪ ♪ OUR SHADOW BY DAY
AND OUR PILLAR BY NIGHT, ♪ ♪ OUR KING, OUR DELIV’RER,
OUR ALL! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WE KNOW HE IS COMING
TO GATHER HIS SHEEP ♪ ♪ AND LEAD THEM
TO ZION IN LOVE, ♪ ♪ FOR WHY IN THE VALLEY
OF DEATH SHOULD THEY WEEP ♪ ♪ OR IN THE LONE
WILDERNESS ROVE? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ HOW LONG WE HAVE WANDERED
AS STRANGERS IN SIN, ♪ ♪ AND CRIED IN THE DESERT
FOR THEE! ♪ ♪ OUR FOES HAVE REJOICED
WHEN OUR SORROWS THEY’VE SEEN, ♪ ♪ BUT ISRAEL WILL SHORTLY
BE FREE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ AS CHILDREN OF ZION,
GOOD TIDINGS FOR US. ♪ ♪ THE TOKENS ALREADY
APPEAR. ♪ ♪ FEAR NOT, AND BE JUST,
FOR THE KINGDOM IS OURS. ♪ ♪ THE HOUR OF REDEMPTION
IS NEAR. ♪ ♪♪>>BROTHER MARK L. PACE: WE REJOICE IN MEETING TOGETHER IN THIS GREAT GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. IT IS A BLESSING TO RECEIVE THE MIND AND WILL OF THE LORD THROUGH THE TEACHINGS OF HIS PROPHETS AND APOSTLES. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON IS THE LORD’S LIVING PROPHET. AND HOW GRATEFUL WE ARE FOR HIS INSPIRED COUNSEL AND DIRECTION RECEIVED TODAY. I ADD MY WITNESS TO THOSE SHARED PREVIOUSLY. I BEAR TESTIMONY OF GOD, OUR ETERNAL FATHER. HE LIVES AND LOVES US AND WATCHES OVER US. HIS PLAN OF HAPPINESS PROVIDES FOR THE BLESSING OF THIS MORTAL LIFE AND OUR EVENTUAL RETURN TO HIS PRESENCE. I ALSO BEAR TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST. HE IS GOD’S ONLY BEGOTTEN SON. HE SAVED US FROM DEATH, AND HE REDEEMS US FROM SIN AS WE EXERCISE FAITH IN HIM AND REPENT.” HIS INFINITE ATONING SACRIFICE IN OUR BEHALF BRINGS THE BLESSING OF IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE. INDEED, “GOD BE THANKED FOR THE MATCHLESS GIFT OF HIS DIVINE SON.” LATTER-DAY SAINTS AROUND THE WORLD ARE BLESSED TO WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST IN HIS TEMPLES. ONE OF THOSE TEMPLES IS CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN WINNIPEG, CANADA. MY WIFE, ANNE MARIE, AND I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT THE CONSTRUCTION SITE IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR. THE TEMPLE IS BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED AND WILL CERTAINLY BE MAGNIFICENT WHEN COMPLETED. HOWEVER, YOU CAN’T HAVE A MAGNIFICENT TEMPLE IN WINNIPEG, OR ANYWHERE ELSE, WITHOUT A SOLID AND FIRM FOUNDATION. THE FREEZE-THAW CYCLE AND EXPANSIVE SOIL CONDITIONS IN WINNIPEG MADE IT CHALLENGING TO PREPARE THE TEMPLE FOUNDATION. THEREFORE, IT WAS DETERMINED THAT THE FOUNDATION FOR THIS TEMPLE WOULD CONSIST OF 70 STEEL PILES ENCASED IN CONCRETE. THESE PILES ARE 60 FEET IN LENGTH AND 12 TO 20 INCHES IN DIAMETER. THEY ARE DRIVEN INTO THE GROUND UNTIL THEY HIT BEDROCK, APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET BELOW THE SURFACE. IN THIS WAY, THE 70 PILES PROVIDE A SOLID, FIRM FOUNDATION FOR WHAT WILL BE THE BEAUTIFUL WINNIPEG TEMPLE. AS LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WE SEEK A SIMILAR FIRM AND SURE FOUNDATION IN OUR LIVES–A SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION NEEDED FOR OUR JOURNEY THROUGH MORTALITY AND BACK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME. THAT FOUNDATION IS ESTABLISHED ON THE BEDROCK OF OUR CONVERSION TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. WE RECALL THE TEACHINGS OF HELAMAN FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON: “AND NOW, MY SONS, REMEMBER, REMEMBER THAT IT IS UPON THE ROCK OF OUR REDEEMER, WHO IS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, THAT YE MUST BUILD YOUR FOUNDATION; THAT WHEN THE DEVIL SHALL SEND FORTH HIS MIGHTY WINDS, YEA, HIS SHAFTS IN THE WHIRLWIND, … IT SHALL HAVE NO POWER OVER YOU TO DRAG YOU DOWN TO THE GULF OF MISERY AND ENDLESS WO, BECAUSE OF THE ROCK UPON WHICH YE ARE BUILT, WHICH IS A SURE FOUNDATION, A FOUNDATION WHEREON IF MEN BUILD THEY CANNOT FALL.” GRATEFULLY, WE LIVE IN A TIME WHEN PROPHETS AND APOSTLES TEACH US OF THE SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST. FOLLOWING THEIR COUNSEL HELPS US ESTABLISH A FIRM FOUNDATION IN CHRIST. A YEAR AGO, IN HIS OPENING REMARKS OF THE OCTOBER 2018 GENERAL CONFERENCE, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON PROVIDED THIS DECLARATION AND WARNING: “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. IN THIS COMPLEX WORLD TODAY, THIS IS NOT EASY. THE ADVERSARY IS INCREASING HIS ATTACKS ON FAITH AND UPON US AND OUR FAMILIES AT AN EXPONENTIAL RATE. TO SURVIVE SPIRITUALLY, WE NEED COUNTERSTRATEGIES AND PROACTIVE PLANS.” FOLLOWING PRESIDENT NELSON’S MESSAGE, ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK, OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES, INTRODUCED THE “COME, FOLLOW ME” RESOURCE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES. HIS REMARKS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENTS: “THE NEW HOME-STUDY ‘COME, FOLLOW ME’ RESOURCE … IS DESIGNED TO HELP MEMBERS LEARN THE GOSPEL IN THE HOME.” “THIS RESOURCE IS FOR EVERY INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY IN THE CHURCH.” “OUR PURPOSE IS TO BALANCE THE CHURCH AND THE HOME EXPERIENCES IN A WAY THAT WILL GREATLY INCREASE FAITH AND SPIRITUALITY AND DEEPEN CONVERSION TO HEAVENLY FATHER AND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.” STARTING IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR, LATTER-DAY SAINTS WORLDWIDE BEGAN STUDYING THE NEW TESTAMENT, WITH THE “COME, FOLLOW ME” RESOURCE AS OUR GUIDE. WITH A WEEKLY SCHEDULE, “COME, FOLLOW ME” HELPS US STUDY THE SCRIPTURES, THE DOCTRINE OF THE GOSPEL, AND THE TEACHINGS OF THE PROPHETS AND APOSTLES. IT IS A MARVELOUS RESOURCE FOR US ALL. AFTER NINE MONTHS OF THIS WORLDWIDE SCRIPTURE STUDY EFFORT, WHAT DO WE SEE? WE SEE LATTER-DAY SAINTS EVERYWHERE GROWING IN FAITH AND DEVOTION TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. WE SEE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES SETTING ASIDE TIME THROUGHOUT THE WEEK TO STUDY THE WORDS OF OUR SAVIOR. WE SEE IMPROVING GOSPEL INSTRUCTION IN OUR SUNDAY CLASSES AS WE STUDY THE SCRIPTURES AT HOME AND SHARE OUR INSIGHTS AT CHURCH. AND WE SEE GREATER FAMILY JOY AND UNITY AS WE HAVE MOVED FROM SIMPLY READING THE SCRIPTURES TO STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES IN A PROFOUND WAY. IT HAS BEEN MY PRIVILEGE TO VISIT WITH MANY LATTER-DAY SAINTS AND HEAR FIRST-HAND OF THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH “COME, FOLLOW ME.” THEIR EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH FILL MY HEART WITH JOY. HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE COMMENTS I HAVE HEARD FROM VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH: IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD. A FATHER SHARED, “I ENJOY ‘COME, FOLLOW ME’ AS IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY OF THE SAVIOR TO MY CHILDREN.” IN ANOTHER HOME, A CHILD SAID, “THIS IS A CHANCE TO HEAR MY PARENTS BEAR THEIR TESTIMONIES.” A MOTHER SHARED: “WE HAVE BEEN INSPIRED AS TO HOW TO PUT GOD FIRST. THE TIME WE [THOUGHT WE] ‘DIDN’T HAVE’ HAS BEEN [FILLED] WITH HOPE, JOY, PEACE, AND SUCCESS IN WAYS WE DIDN’T KNOW WERE POSSIBLE.” A COUPLE OBSERVED: “WE ARE READING THE SCRIPTURES ENTIRELY DIFFERENTLY THAN WE HAVE EVER READ THEM BEFORE. WE ARE LEARNING SO MUCH MORE THAN WE HAVE EVER LEARNED BEFORE. THE LORD IS WANTING US TO SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY. THE LORD IS PREPARING US.” A MOTHER REMARKED: “I LOVE THAT WE ARE LEARNING THE SAME THINGS TOGETHER. BEFORE, WE WERE READING IT. TODAY, WE ARE LEARNING IT.” A SISTER SHARED THIS INSIGHTFUL PERSPECTIVE: “BEFORE, YOU HAD THE LESSON, AND THE SCRIPTURES SUPPLEMENTED IT. NOW, YOU HAVE THE SCRIPTURES, AND THE LESSON SUPPLEMENTS IT.” ANOTHER SISTER COMMENTED: “I FEEL A DIFFERENCE WHEN I DO IT [COMPARED TO] WHEN I DON’T. I FIND IT EASIER TO TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND OUR BELIEFS.” A GRANDMOTHER REMARKED, “I CALL MY CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN ON SUNDAYS, AND WE SHARE INSIGHTS FROM ‘COME, FOLLOW ME’ TOGETHER.” A SISTER OBSERVED: ” ‘COME, FOLLOW ME’ FEELS LIKE THE SAVIOR IS PERSONALLY MINISTERING TO ME. IT IS HEAVEN INSPIRED.” A FATHER COMMENTED, “AS WE USE ‘COME, FOLLOW ME,’ WE ARE LIKE THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, MARKING THE SIDE POSTS OF OUR DOORS, PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE DESTROYER.” BROTHERS AND SISTERS, IT IS A JOY TO VISIT WITH YOU AND HEAR HOW YOUR EFFORTS WITH “COME, FOLLOW ME” ARE BLESSING YOUR LIVES. THANK YOU FOR YOUR DEVOTION. STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES WITH “COME, FOLLOW ME” AS A GUIDE IS STRENGTHENING OUR CONVERSION TO JESUS CHRIST AND HIS GOSPEL. WE ARE NOT SIMPLY TRADING ONE HOUR LESS IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY FOR ONE HOUR MORE OF SCRIPTURE STUDY AT HOME. LEARNING THE GOSPEL IS A CONSISTENT EFFORT THROUGHOUT THE WEEK. AS ONE SISTER SHARED WITH ME, “THE GOAL IS NOT TO MAKE CHURCH ONE HOUR SHORTER; IT IS TO MAKE CHURCH SIX DAYS LONGER!” NOW, CONSIDER AGAIN THE WARNING OUR PROPHET, PRESIDENT NELSON, GAVE AS HE OPENED THE OCTOBER 2018 GENERAL CONFERENCE: “THE ADVERSARY IS INCREASING HIS ATTACKS ON FAITH AND UPON US AND OUR FAMILIES AT AN EXPONENTIAL RATE. TO SURVIVE SPIRITUALLY, WE NEED COUNTERSTRATEGIES AND PROACTIVE PLANS.” THEN (APPROXIMATELY 29 HOURS LATER) ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON, HE CLOSED THE CONFERENCE WITH THIS PROMISE: “AS YOU DILIGENTLY WORK TO REMODEL YOUR HOME INTO A CENTER OF GOSPEL LEARNING, … THE INFLUENCE OF THE ADVERSARY IN YOUR LIFE AND IN YOUR HOME WILL DECREASE.” HOW CAN THE ATTACKS OF THE ADVERSARY BE INCREASING EXPONENTIALLY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME THE INFLUENCE OF THE ADVERSARY IS ACTUALLY DECREASING? IT CAN HAPPEN, AND IT IS HAPPENING THROUGHOUT THE CHURCH, BECAUSE THE LORD PREPARES HIS PEOPLE AGAINST THE ATTACKS OF THE ADVERSARY. “COME, FOLLOW ME” IS THE LORD’S COUNTERSTRATEGY AND PROACTIVE PLAN. AS PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT, “THE NEW HOME-CENTERED, CHURCH-SUPPORTED INTEGRATED CURRICULUM HAS THE POTENTIAL TO UNLEASH THE POWER OF FAMILIES.” HOWEVER, IT DOES AND WILL REQUIRE OUR BEST EFFORTS; WE NEED TO “[FOLLOW] THROUGH CONSCIENTIOUSLY AND CAREFULLY TO TRANSFORM [OUR] HOME INTO A SANCTUARY OF FAITH.” AFTER ALL, AS PRESIDENT NELSON ALSO SAID, “WE ARE EACH RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUAL GROWTH.” WITH THE “COME, FOLLOW ME” RESOURCE, THE LORD IS PREPARING US “FOR THE PERILOUS TIMES THAT WE NOW FACE.” HE IS HELPING US ESTABLISH THAT “SURE FOUNDATION, A FOUNDATION WHEREON IF MEN BUILD THEY CANNOT FALL”–THE FOUNDATION OF A TESTIMONY ANCHORED FIRMLY IN THE BEDROCK OF OUR CONVERSION TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. MAY OUR DAILY EFFORTS IN STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES FORTIFY US AND PROVE US WORTHY OF THESE PROMISED BLESSINGS. I SO PRAY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER L. TODD BUDGE: OUR SON DANIEL GOT VERY SICK ON HIS MISSION IN AFRICA AND WAS TAKEN TO A MEDICAL FACILITY WITH LIMITED RESOURCES. AS WE READ HIS FIRST LETTER TO US AFTER HIS ILLNESS, WE EXPECTED THAT HE WOULD BE DISCOURAGED, BUT INSTEAD HE WROTE, “EVEN AS I LAY IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM, I FELT PEACE. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO CONSISTENTLY AND RESILIENTLY HAPPY IN MY LIFE.” AS MY WIFE AND I READ THESE WORDS, WE WERE OVERCOME WITH EMOTION. “CONSISTENTLY AND RESILIENTLY HAPPY.” WE HAD NEVER HEARD HAPPINESS DESCRIBED THAT WAY, BUT HIS WORDS RANG TRUE. WE KNEW THAT THE HAPPINESS HE DESCRIBED WAS NOT SIMPLY PLEASURE OR AN ELEVATED MOOD BUT A PEACE AND JOY THAT COMES WHEN WE SURRENDER OURSELVES TO GOD AND PUT OUR TRUST IN HIM IN ALL THINGS. WE TOO HAD HAD THOSE TIMES IN OUR LIVES WHEN GOD SPOKE PEACE TO OUR SOULS AND CAUSED US TO HAVE HOPE IN CHRIST EVEN WHEN LIFE WAS HARD AND UNCERTAIN. LEHI TEACHES THAT IF ADAM AND EVE HAD NOT FALLEN “THEY WOULD HAVE REMAINED IN A STATE OF INNOCENCE, HAVING NO JOY, FOR THEY KNEW NO MISERY. … “BUT BEHOLD, ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN DONE IN THE WISDOM OF HIM WHO KNOWETH ALL THINGS. “ADAM FELL THAT MEN MIGHT BE; AND MEN ARE, THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY.” IN A PARADOXICAL WAY, AFFLICTIONS AND SORROW PREPARE US TO EXPERIENCE JOY IF WE WILL TRUST IN THE LORD AND HIS PLAN FOR US. THIS TRUTH IS BEAUTIFULLY EXPRESSED BY A 13TH-CENTURY POET: “SORROW PREPARES YOU FOR JOY. IT VIOLENTLY SWEEPS EVERYTHING OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, SO THAT NEW JOY CAN FIND SPACE TO ENTER. IT SHAKES THE YELLOW LEAVES FROM THE BOUGH OF YOUR HEART, SO THAT FRESH, GREEN LEAVES CAN GROW IN THEIR PLACE. IT PULLS UP THE ROTTEN ROOTS, SO THAT NEW ROOTS HIDDEN BENEATH HAVE ROOM TO GROW. WHATEVER SORROW SHAKES FROM YOUR HEART, FAR BETTER THINGS WILL TAKE THEIR PLACE.” PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON TAUGHT, THE JOY THE SAVIOR OFFERS US “IS CONSTANT, ASSURING US THAT OUR AFFLICTIONS SHALL BE BUT A SMALL MOMENT AND BE CONSECRATED TO YOUR GAIN.” OUR TRIALS AND AFFLICTIONS COULD MAKE SPACE FOR GREATER JOY. THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL IS NOT THE PROMISE OF A LIFE FREE OF SORROW AND TRIBULATION BUT A LIFE FULL OF PURPOSE AND MEANING–A LIFE WHERE OUR SORROWS AND AFFLICTIONS CAN BE “SWALLOWED UP IN THE JOY OF CHRIST.” THE SAVIOR DECLARED, “IN THE WORLD YE SHALL HAVE TRIBULATION: BUT BE OF GOOD CHEER; I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.” HIS GOSPEL IS A MESSAGE OF HOPE. SORROW COUPLED WITH HOPE IN JESUS CHRIST HOLDS THE PROMISE OF ENDURING JOY. THE ACCOUNT OF THE JAREDITES’ JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND CAN BE USED AS A METAPHOR FOR OUR JOURNEY THROUGH MORTALITY. THE LORD PROMISED THE BROTHER OF JARED AND HIS PEOPLE THAT HE WOULD “GO BEFORE [THEM] INTO A LAND WHICH IS CHOICE ABOVE ALL THE LANDS OF THE EARTH.” HE COMMANDED THEM TO BUILD BARGES, AND THEY OBEDIENTLY WENT TO WORK BUILDING THEM ACCORDING TO THE LORD’S INSTRUCTIONS. HOWEVER, AS THE WORK PROGRESSED, THE BROTHER OF JARED DEVELOPED CONCERNS THAT THE LORD’S DESIGN FOR THE BARGES WAS NOT SUFFICIENT. HE CRIED OUT: “O LORD, I HAVE PERFORMED THE WORK WHICH THOU HAST COMMANDED ME, AND I HAVE MADE THE BARGES ACCORDING AS THOU HAST DIRECTED ME. “AND BEHOLD, O LORD, IN THEM THERE IS NO LIGHT. … “… O LORD, WILT THOU SUFFER THAT WE SHALL CROSS THIS GREAT WATER IN DARKNESS?” HAVE YOU EVER POURED OUT YOUR SOUL TO GOD IN SUCH A WAY? WHEN STRIVING TO LIVE AS THE LORD COMMANDS AND RIGHTEOUS EXPECTATIONS ARE NOT MET, HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED IF YOU MUST GO THROUGH THIS LIFE IN DARKNESS? THE BROTHER OF JARED THEN EXPRESSED AN EVEN GREATER CONCERN ABOUT THEIR ABILITY TO SURVIVE IN THE BARGES. HE CRIED, “AND ALSO WE SHALL PERISH, FOR IN THEM WE CANNOT BREATHE, SAVE IT IS THE AIR WHICH IS IN THEM.” HAVE THE DIFFICULTIES OF LIFE EVER MADE IT HARD FOR YOU TO BREATHE AND CAUSED YOU TO WONDER HOW YOU CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THE DAY, LET ALONE MAKE IT BACK TO YOUR HEAVENLY HOME? AFTER THE LORD WORKED WITH THE BROTHER OF JARED TO RESOLVE EACH OF HIS CONCERNS HE THEN EXPLAINED, “YE CANNOT CROSS THIS GREAT DEEP SAVE I PREPARE [A WAY FOR] YOU AGAINST THE WAVES OF THE SEA, AND THE WINDS WHICH HAVE GONE FORTH, AND THE FLOODS WHICH SHALL COME.” THE LORD MADE IT CLEAR THAT ULTIMATELY THE JAREDITES COULD NOT MAKE IT TO THE PROMISED LAND WITHOUT HIM. THEY WERE NOT IN CONTROL, AND THE ONLY WAY THEY COULD MAKE IT ACROSS THE GREAT DEEP WAS TO PUT THEIR TRUST IN HIM. THESE EXPERIENCES AND TUTORING FROM THE LORD SEEMED TO DEEPEN THE BROTHER OF JARED’S FAITH AND STRENGTHEN HIS TRUST IN THE LORD. NOTICE HOW HIS PRAYERS CHANGED FROM QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS TO EXPRESSIONS OF FAITH AND TRUST: “I KNOW, O LORD, THAT THOU HAST ALL POWER, AND CAN DO WHATSOEVER THOU WILT FOR THE BENEFIT OF MAN. … “BEHOLD, O LORD, THOU CANST DO THIS. WE KNOW THAT THOU ART ABLE TO SHOW FORTH GREAT POWER, WHICH LOOKS SMALL UNTO THE UNDERSTANDING OF MEN.” IT IS RECORDED THAT THE JAREDITES THEN “GOT ABOARD OF THEIR … BARGES, AND SET FORTH INTO THE SEA, COMMENDING THEMSELVES UNTO THE LORD THEIR GOD.” TO “COMMEND” MEANS TO ENTRUST OR TO SURRENDER. THE JAREDITES DID NOT GET INTO THE BARGES BECAUSE THEY KNEW EXACTLY HOW THINGS WOULD WORK ON THEIR JOURNEY. THEY GOT ABOARD BECAUSE THEY HAD LEARNED TO TRUST IN THE LORD’S POWER, GOODNESS, AND MERCY, AND THEY WERE THEREFORE WILLING TO SURRENDER THEMSELVES AND ANY DOUBTS OR FEARS THEY MAY HAVE HAD TO THE LORD. RECENTLY, OUR GRANDSON ABE WAS AFRAID TO RIDE ONE OF THE CAROUSEL ANIMALS THAT MOVE UP AND DOWN. HE PREFERRED ONE THAT DIDN’T MOVE. HIS GRANDMOTHER FINALLY PERSUADED HIM THAT IT WOULD BE SAFE, SO TRUSTING HER HE GOT ABOARD. HE THEN SAID, WITH A BIG SMILE, “I DON’T FEEL SAFE, BUT I AM “PERHAPS THAT IS HOW THE JAREDITES FELT.” TRUSTING GOD MAY NOT ALWAYS FEEL SAFE AT FIRST, BUT JOY FOLLOWS. THE JOURNEY WAS NOT EASY. “THEY WERE MANY TIMES BURIED IN THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA, BECAUSE OF THE MOUNTAIN WAVES WHICH BROKE UPON THEM.” YET IT IS RECORDED THAT “THE WIND DID NEVER CEASE TO BLOW [THEM] TOWARDS THE PROMISED LAND.” AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS TO UNDERSTAND, ESPECIALLY AT THE TIMES IN OUR LIVES WHEN THE HEADWINDS ARE STRONG AND THE SEAS ARE TURBULENT, WE CAN TAKE COMFORT IN KNOWING THAT GOD IN HIS INFINITE GOODNESS IS ALWAYS BLOWING US TOWARDS HOME. THE RECORD CONTINUES, “THEY WERE DRIVEN FORTH; AND NO MONSTER OF THE SEA COULD BREAK THEM, NEITHER WHALE THAT COULD MAR THEM; AND THEY DID HAVE LIGHT CONTINUAY, WHETHER IT WAS ABOVE THE WATER OR UNDER THE WATER.” WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE THE MONSTER WAVES OF DEATH, PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ILLNESS, AND TRIALS AND AFFLICTIONS OF EVERY KIND BREAK UPON US. YET, THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST AND CHOOSING TO TRUST IN HIM, WE TOO CAN HAVE LIGHT CONTINUALLY WHETHER ABOVE THE WATER OR UNDER THE WATER. WE CAN HAVE THE ASSURANCE THAT GOD NEVER DOES CEASE TO BLOW US TOWARDS OUR HEAVENLY HOME. WHILE BEING TOSSED ABOUT IN THE BARGES THE JAREDITES “DID SING PRAISES UNTO THE LORD; … AND [THEY] DID THANK AND PRAISE THE LORD ALL THE DAY LONG; AND WHEN THE NIGHT CAME, THEY DID NOT CEASE TO PRAISE THE LORD.” THEY FELT JOY AND THANKSGIVING EVEN IN THE MIDST OF THEIR AFFLICTIONS. THEY HAD NOT YET ARRIVED IN THE PROMISED LAND, YET THEY WERE REJOICING IN THE PROMISED BLESSING BECAUSE OF THEIR CONSISTENT AND RESILIENT TRUST IN HIM. THE JAREDITES WERE DRIVEN FORTH UPON THE WATER 344 DAYS. CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? TRUSTING IN THE LORD INCLUDES TRUSTING IN HIS TIMING AND REQUIRES PATIENCE AND ENDURANCE THAT OUTLASTS THE STORMS OF LIFE. ULTIMATELY, THE JAREDITES “DID LAND UPON THE SHORE OF THE PROMISED LAND. AND WHEN THEY HAD SET THEIR FEET UPON THE SHORES OF THE PROMISED LAND THEY BOWED THEMSELVES DOWN UPON THE FACE OF THE LAND, AND DID HUMBLE THEMSELVES BEFORE THE LORD, AND DID SHED TEARS OF JOY BEFORE THE LORD, BECAUSE OF THE MULTITUDE OF HIS TENDER MERCIES OVER THEM.” IF WE ARE FAITHFUL IN KEEPING OUR COVENANTS, WE TOO WILL ONE DAY ARRIVE SAFELY HOME AND WILL BOW BEFORE THE LORD AND SHED TEARS OF JOY FOR THE MULTITUDE OF HIS TENDER MERCIES IN OUR LIVES, INCLUDING THE SORROWS THAT MADE SPACE FOR MORE JOY. I TESTIFY THAT AS WE COMMEND OURSELVES UNTO THE LORD AND CONSISTENTLY AND RESILIENTLY TRUST IN JESUS CHRIST AND HIS DIVINE PURPOSES IN OUR LIVES, HE WILL VISIT US WITH ASSURANCES, SPEAK PEACE TO OUR SOULS, AND CAUSE US TO “HOPE FOR OUR DELIVERANCE IN HIM.” I WITNESS THAT JESUS IS THE CHRIST. HE IS THE SOURCE OF ALL JOY. HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. HE IS THE LIGHT, THE LIFE, AND THE HOPE OF THE WORLD. HE WILL NOT LET US PERISH. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>ELDER JORGE M. ALVARADO: WHEN I WAS A CHILD, A KIND MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OFFERED TO HELP MY FAMILY FLY FROM PUERTO RICO TO SALT LAKE CITY SO WE COULD BE SEALED IN THE TEMPLE, BUT SOON OBSTACLES BEGAN TO APPEAR. ONE OF MY SISTERS, MARIVID, BECAME ILL. UNSETTLED, MY PARENTS PRAYED ABOUT WHAT TO DO AND STILL FELT PROMPTED TO MAKE THE JOURNEY. THEY TRUSTED THAT AS THEY FOLLOWED THE LORD’S PROMPTING, OUR FAMILY WOULD BE WATCHED OVER AND BLESSED—AND WE WERE. NO MATTER THE OBSTACLES WE FACE IN LIFE, WE CAN TRUST THAT JESUS CHRIST WILL PREPARE A WAY FORWARD AS WE WALK WITH FAITH. GOD HAS PROMISED THAT ALL WHO LIVE ACCORDING TO THE COVENANTS THEY HAVE MADE WITH HIM WILL, IN HIS TIME, RECEIVE ALL HIS PROMISED BLESSINGS. ELDER JEFFREY R. HOLLAND HAS TAUGHT, “SOME BLESSINGS COME SOON, SOME COME LATE, AND SOME DON’T COME UNTIL HEAVEN; BUT FOR THOSE WHO EMBRACE THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, THEY COME.” MORONI TAUGHT THAT “FAITH IS THINGS WHICH ARE HOPED FOR AND NOT SEEN; WHEREFORE, DISPUTE NOT BECAUSE YE SEE NOT, FOR YE RECEIVE NO WITNESS UNTIL AFTER THE TRIAL OF YOUR FAITH.” OUR QUESTION SHOULD BE: “WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO BEST MEET THE TRIALS THAT COME OUR WAY?” IN HIS FIRST PUBLIC REMARKS AS PRESIDENT OF THE CHURCH, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON TAUGHT: “AS A NEW PRESIDENCY, WE WANT TO BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. FOR THIS REASON, WE’RE SPEAKING TO YOU TODAY FROM A TEMPLE. THE END FOR WHICH EACH OF US STRIVES IS TO BE ENDOWED WITH POWER IN A HOUSE OF THE LORD, SEALED AS FAMILIES, FAITHFUL TO COVENANTS MADE IN A TEMPLE THAT QUALIFY US FOR THE GREATEST GIFT OF GOD–THAT OF ETERNAL LIFE. THE ORDINANCES OF THE TEMPLE AND THE COVENANTS YOU MAKE THERE ARE KEY TO STRENGTHENING YOUR LIFE, YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY, AND YOUR ABILITY TO RESIST THE ATTACKS OF THE ADVERSARY. YOUR WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE AND YOUR SERVICE THERE FOR YOU AND YOUR ANCESTORS WILL BLESS YOU WITH INCREASED PERSONAL REVELATION AND PEACE AND WILL FORTIFY YOUR COMMITMENT TO STAY ON THE COVENANT PATH.” AS WE FOLLOW GOD’S VOICE AND HIS COVENANT PATH, HE WILL STRENGTHEN US IN OUR TRIALS. MY FAMILY’S TRIP TO THE TEMPLE YEARS AGO WAS DIFFICULT, BUT AS WE APPROACHED THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, MY MOTHER, FULL OF JOY AND FAITH, SAID, “WE ARE GOING TO BE OK; THE LORD WILL PROTECT US.” WE WERE SEALED, AND MY SISTER RECOVERED. THIS HAPPENED ONLY AFTER THE TRIAL OF MY PARENTS’ FAITH AND IN FOLLOWING THE LORD’S PROMPTINGS. THIS EXAMPLE OF MY PARENTS’ STILL INFLUENCES US AND OUR LIVES TODAY. THEIR EXAMPLE TAUGHT US THE “WHY” OF GOSPEL DOCTRINE AND HELPED US UNDERSTAND THE MEANING, PURPOSE, AND BLESSINGS THAT THE GOSPEL BRINGS. UNDERSTANDING THE “WHY” OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST CAN ALSO HELP US FACE OUR TRIALS WITH FAITH. ULTIMATELY, EVERYTHING GOD INVITES AND COMMANDS US TO DO IS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS LOVE FOR US AND HIS DESIRE TO GIVE US THE BLESSINGS RESERVED FOR THE FAITHFUL. WE CANNOT ASSUME THAT OUR CHILDREN WILL LEARN TO LOVE THE GOSPEL ON THEIR OWN; IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO TEACH THEM. AS WE HELP OUR CHILDREN LEARN HOW TO USE THEIR AGENCY WISELY, OUR EXAMPLE CAN INSPIRE THEM TO MAKE THEIR OWN RIGHTEOUS CHOICES. THEIR FAITHFUL LIVING WILL IN TURN HELP THEIR CHILDREN TO KNOW THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL FOR THEMSELVES. YOUNG MEN AND YOUNG WOMEN, HEAR THE PROPHET TODAY, SEEK TO LEARN DIVINE TRUTHS, AND SEEK TO UNDERSTAND THE GOSPEL FOR YOURSELVES. PRESIDENT NELSON RECENTLY COUNSELED: “WHAT WISDOM DO YOU LACK? … FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH. FIND A QUIET PLACE. … HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE GOD. POUR OUT YOUR HEART TO YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER. TURN TO HIM FOR ANSWERS.” AS YOU SEEK GUIDANCE FROM YOUR LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER, LISTENING TO THE COUNSEL OF LIVING PROPHETS AND WATCHING THE EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUS PARENTS, YOU TOO CAN BECOME A STRONG LINK OF FAITH IN YOUR FAMILY. TO PARENTS WITH CHILDREN WHO HAVE LEFT THE COVENANT PATH, GENTLY, GO BACK, HELP THEM COMPREHEND THE GOSPEL’S TRUTHS. START NOW; IT IS NEVER TOO LATE. OUR EXAMPLE OF RIGHTEOUS LIVING CAN MAKE A GREAT DIFFERENCE. PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT, “AS LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WE HAVE 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, SUPPORTED BY WHAT TAKES PLACE INSIDE OUR BRANCH, WARD, AND STAKE BUILDINGS.” A STORY IS TOLD OF A WOMAN WHO WAS UPSET THAT HER SON WAS EATING TOO MUCH CANDY. NO MATTER HOW MUCH SHE TOLD HIM TO STOP, HE CONTINUED TO SATISFY HIS SWEET TOOTH. TOTALLY FRUSTRATED, SHE DECIDED TO TAKE HER SON TO SEE A WISE MAN WHO HE RESPECTED. SHE APPROACHED HIM AND SAID, “SIR, MY SON EATS TOO MUCH CANDY. WOULD YOU PLEASE TELL HIM TO STOP EATING IT?” HE LISTENED CAREFULLY, THEN SAID TO HER SON, “GO HOME AND COME BACK IN TWO WEEKS.” SHE TOOK HER SON AND WENT HOME, PERPLEXED WHY HE HAD NOT ASKED THE BOY TO STOP EATING SO MUCH CANDY. TWO WEEKS LATER THEY RETURNED. THE WISE MAN LOOKED DIRECTLY AT THE BOY AND SAID, “BOY, YOU SHOULD STOP EATING SO MUCH CANDY. IT IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH.” THE BOY NODDED AND PROMISED HE WOULD. THE BOY’S MOTHER ASKED, “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL HIM THAT TWO WEEKS AGO?” THE WISE MAN SMILED. “TWO WEEKS AGO I WAS STILL EATING TOO MUCH CANDY MYSELF.” [LAUGHTER] THIS MAN LIVED WITH SUCH INTEGRITY THAT HE KNEW HIS ADVICE WOULD CARRY POWER ONLY IF HE WAS FOLLOWING HIS OWN COUNSEL. THE INFLUENCE WE HAVE ON OUR CHILDREN IS MORE POWERFUL AS THEY SEE US WALKING FAITHFULLY ON THE COVENANT PATH. THE BOOK OF MORMON PROPHET JACOB IS AN EXAMPLE OF SUCH RIGHTEOUSNESS. HIS SON ENOS WROTE OF THE IMPACT OF HIS FATHER’S TEACHINGS: “I, ENOS, KNOWING MY FATHER THAT HE WAS A JUST MAN–FOR HE TAUGHT ME IN HIS LANGUAGE, AND ALSO IN THE NURTURE AND ADMONITION OF THE LORD–AND BLESSED BE THE NAME OF MY GOD FOR IT– “… AND THE WORDS WHICH I HAD OFTEN HEARD MY FATHER SPEAK CONCERNING ETERNAL LIFE, AND THE JOY OF THE SAINTS, SUNK DEEP INTO MY HEART.” THE MOTHERS OF THE STRIPLING WARRIORS LIVED THE GOSPEL, AND THEIR CHILDREN WERE FILLED WITH CONVICTION. THEIR LEADER REPORTED: “THEY HAD BEEN TAUGHT BY THEIR MOTHERS, THAT IF THEY DID NOT DOUBT, GOD WOULD DELIVER THEM. “AND THEY REHEARSED UNTO ME THE WORDS OF THEIR MOTHERS, SAYING: WE DO NOT DOUBT OUR MOTHERS KNEW IT.” ENOS AND THE STRIPLING WARRIORS WERE STRENGTHENED BY THE FAITH OF THEIR PARENTS, WHICH HELPED THEM MEET THEIR OWN TRIALS OF FAITH. WE ARE BLESSED WITH THE RESTORED GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IN OUR DAYS, WHICH LIFTS US WHEN WE FEEL DISCOURAGED OR TROUBLED. WE ARE REASSURED THAT OUR EFFORTS WILL BEAR FRUIT IN THE LORD’S OWN DUE TIME IF WE PRESS FORWARD THROUGH THE TRIALS OF OUR FAITH. MY WIFE AND I RECENTLY ACCOMPANIED ELDER DAVID A. BEDNAR TO THE DEDICATION OF THE HAITI PORT-AU-PRINCE TEMPLE. OUR SON JORGE, WHO CAME WITH US, SAID ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE: “AMAZING, PAPA! AS SOON AS ELDER BEDNAR STARTED WITH THE DEDICATORY PRAYER, I COULD FEEL THE ROOM FILL WITH WARMTH AND LIGHT. THE PRAYER ADDED SO MUCH TO MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE PURPOSE OF A TEMPLE. IT REALLY IS THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” IN THE BOOK OF MORMON, NEPHI TEACHES THAT AS WE DESIRE TO KNOW THE WILL OF GOD, HE WILL STRENGTHEN US. HE WROTE, “I, NEPHI, BEING EXCEEDINGLY YOUNG, … AND ALSO HAVING GREAT DESIRES TO KNOW OF THE MYSTERIES OF GOD, WHEREFORE, I DID CRY UNTO THE LORD; AND BEHOLD HE DID VISIT ME, AND DID SOFTEN MY HEART THAT I DID BELIEVE ALL THE WORDS WHICH HAD BEEN SPOKEN BY MY FATHER; WHEREFORE, I DID NOT REBEL AGAINST HIM LIKE UNTO MY BROTHERS.” BROTHERS AND SISTERS, LET US HELP OUR CHILDREN AND ALL AROUND US TO FOLLOW GOD’S COVENANT PATH SO THAT THE SPIRIT MIGHT TEACH THEM AND SOFTEN THEIR HEARTS TO DESIRE TO FOLLOW HIM THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFE. AS I CONSIDER THE EXAMPLE OF MY PARENTS, I REALIZE THAT OUR FAITH WILL SHOW US THE WAY BACK TO OUR HEAVENLY HOME. I KNOW MIRACLES COME AFTER THE TRIAL OF OUR FAITH. I BEAR TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS ATONING SACRIFICE. I KNOW HE IS OUR SAVIOR AND DELIVERER. HE AND OUR HEAVENLY FATHER CAME THAT MORNING IN THE SPRING OF 1820 TO YOUNG JOSEPH SMITH, THE PROPHET OF THE RESTORATION. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON IS THE PROPHET OF OUR DAY. IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>PRESIDENT OAKS: WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR ALL WHO HAVE SPOKEN TO US THIS AFTERNOON, AND FOR THE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC THAT HAS BEEN PROVIDED. WE REMIND THE PRIMARY GIRLS, YOUNG WOMEN AND RELIEF SOCIETY SISTERS OF THE WOMEN’S SESSION WHICH WILL COMMENCE IN THE CONFERENCE CENTER THIS EVENING AT 6:00 P.M., MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME. THE NATIONWIDE BROADCAST OF MUSIC AND THE SPOKEN WORD MAY BE VIEWED TOMORROW MORNING FROM 9:30 TO 10:00 A.M., MOUNTAIN DAYLIGHT TIME. THE SUNDAY MORNING SESSION OF CONFERENCE WILL IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW. THE CONCLUDING SPEAKER FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE ELDER RONALD A. RASBAND OF THE QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THIS MEETING BY SINGING “THY SPIRIT, LORD, HAS STIRRED OUR SOULS.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY ELDER CRAIG C. CHRISTENSEN OF THE SEVENTY.>>ELDER RONALD A. RASBAND: DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AS WE CLOSE THIS SESSION, MAY WE EACH HOLD IN OUR HEARTS THE WITNESS BORN TODAY OF THE TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST. WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE THIS SACRED TIME TOGETHER TO REINFORCE OUR PROMISE TO THE LORD JESUS CHRIST THAT WE ARE HIS SERVANTS AND HE IS OUR SAVIOR. THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING AND KEEPING PROMISES AND COVENANTS WEIGHS HEAVY ON MY MIND. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU TO KEEP YOUR WORD? TO BE TRUSTED? TO DO WHAT YOU SAY YOU WILL DO? TO STRIVE TO HONOR YOUR SACRED COVENANTS? TO HAVE INTEGRITY? BY LIVING TRUE TO OUR PROMISES TO THE LORD AND TO OTHERS, WE WALK THE COVENANT PATH BACK TO OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN AND WE FEEL HIS LOVE IN OUR LIVES. OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST IS OUR GREAT EXEMPLAR WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING AND KEEPING PROMISES AND COVENANTS. HE CAME TO EARTH PROMISING TO DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER. HE TAUGHT GOSPEL PRINCIPLES IN WORD AND IN DEED. HE ATONED FOR OUR SINS THAT WE MIGHT LIVE AGAIN. HE HAS HONORED EVERY ONE OF HIS PROMISES. CAN THE SAME BE SAID OF EACH OF US? WHAT ARE THE DANGERS IF WE CHEAT A LITTLE, SLIP A LITTLE, OR DO NOT QUITE FOLLOW THROUGH WITH OUR COMMITMENTS? WHAT IF WE WALK AWAY FROM OUR COVENANTS? WILL OTHERS “COME UNTO CHRIST” IN LIGHT OF OUR EXAMPLE? IS YOUR WORD YOUR BOND? KEEPING PROMISES IS NOT A HABIT, IT IS A CHARACTERISTIC OF BEING A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST. EVER MINDFUL OF OUR FRAILTIES IN MORTAL LIFE THE LORD PROMISED, “… BE OF GOOD CHEER, AND DO NOT FEAR, FOR I THE LORD AM WITH YOU, AND WILL STAND BY YOU;…” I HAVE FELT HIS PRESENCE WHEN NEEDING REASSURANCE, COMFORT, GREATER SPIRITUAL INSIGHT OR STRENGTH, AND I HAVE BEEN DEEPLY HUMBLED AND AM GRATEFUL FOR HIS DIVINE COMPANIONSHIP. THE LORD HAS SAID, “…EVERY SOUL WHO FORSAKETH HIS SINS AND COMETH UNTO ME, AND CALLETH ON MY NAME, AND OBEYETH MY VOICE, AND KEEPETH MY COMMANDMENTS, SHALL SEE MY FACE AND KNOW THAT I AM;” THAT IS PERHAPS HIS ULTIMATE PROMISE. I LEARNED THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING MY WORD IN MY YOUTH. ONE SUCH EXAMPLE IS WHEN I STOOD AT ATTENTION TO RECITE THE SCOUT OATH. OUR ASSOCIATION WITH THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, AS IT NOW CONCLUDES, WILL ALWAYS BE AN IMPORTANT LEGACY TO ME AND THE CHURCH. TO THE SCOUTING ORGANIZATION, TO THE SCORES OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE SERVED DILIGENTLY AS SCOUT LEADERS, TO THE MOMS–REAL CREDIT GOES THERE, YOU KNOW; AND TO THE YOUNG MEN WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN SCOUTING, WE SAY, “THANK YOU.” IN THIS VERY SESSION, OUR DEAR PROPHET, PRESIDENT NELSON, AND ELDER COOK HAVE ANNOUNCED ADJUSTMENTS THAT WILL REFOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON YOUTH AND ALIGN OUR ORGANIZATIONS WITH REVEALED TRUTH. IN ADDITION, JUST LAST SUNDAY, PRESIDENT NELSON AND PRESIDENT BALLARD EXPLAINED THE NEW CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS PROGRAM FOR THE ENTIRE CHURCH. IT IS A WORLDWIDE INITIATIVE FOCUSED ON OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES ARE UNIFIED IN THIS NEW DIRECTION AND I PERSONALLY BEAR MY WITNESS THAT THE LORD HAS GUIDED US EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. I AM EXCITED FOR THE CHILDREN AND YOUTH OF THE CHURCH TO EXPERIENCE THIS INTEGRATED FOCUS ON THEM BOTH AT HOME AND AT CHURCH–THROUGH GOSPEL LEARNING, SERVICE AND ACTIVITIES, AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. THE YOUTH THEME FOR THIS COMING YEAR, 2020, SPEAKS OF NEPHI’S CLASSIC PROMISE TO “GO AND DO.” HE WROTE: “AND IT CAME TO PASS THAT I, NEPHI, SAID UNTO MY FATHER: I WILL GO AND DO THE THINGS WHICH THE LORD HATH COMMANDED, FOR I KNOW THAT THE LORD GIVETH NO COMMANDMENTS UNTO THE CHILDREN OF MEN, SAVE HE SHALL PREPARE A WAY FOR THEM THAT THEY MAY ACCOMPLISH THE THING WHICH HE COMMANDETH THEM.” ALTHOUGH UTTERED LONG AGO, WE IN THE CHURCH STAND ON THAT PROMISE TODAY. TO “GO AND DO” MEANS RISING ABOVE THE WAYS OF THE WORLD, RECEIVING AND ACTING ON PERSONAL REVELATION, LIVING RIGHTEOUSLY WITH HOPE AND FAITH IN THE FUTURE, MAKING AND KEEPING COVENANTS TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST AND THEREBY INCREASING OUR LOVE FOR HIM, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD. A COVENANT IS A TWO-WAY PROMISE MADE BETWEEN US AND THE LORD. AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH WE COVENANT AT BAPTISM TO TAKE UPON US THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, TO LIVE AS HE LIVED. LIKE THOSE BAPTIZED AT THE WATERS OF MORMON, WE COVENANT TO BECOME HIS PEOPLE, “… TO BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS, THAT THEY MAY BE LIGHT;… “…TO MOURN WITH THOSE THAT MOURN;… COMFORT THOSE THAT STAND IN NEED OF COMFORT, AND TO STAND AS WITNESSES OF GOD AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL THINGS, AND IN ALL PLACES. …” OUR MINISTERING ONE TO ANOTHER IN THE CHURCH REFLECTS OUR COMMITMENT TO HONOR THOSE VERY PROMISES. WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT, WE RENEW THAT COVENANT TO TAKE UPON US HIS NAME AND MAKE ADDITIONAL PROMISES TO IMPROVE. OUR DAILY THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS, BOTH LARGE AND SMALL, REFLECT OUR COMMITMENT TO HIM. HIS SACRED PROMISE IN RETURN IS, “… IF YE DO ALWAYS REMEMBER ME YE SHALL HAVE MY SPIRIT TO BE WITH YOU.” MY QUESTION TODAY IS DO WE STAND BY OUR PROMISES AND COVENANTS OR ARE THEY SOMETIMES HALF-HEARTED COMMITMENTS, CASUALLY MADE AND HENCE, EASILY BROKEN? WHEN WE SAY TO SOMEONE, “I WILL PRAY FOR YOU,” DO WE? WHEN WE COMMIT, “I WILL BE THERE TO HELP,” WILL WE? WHEN WE OBLIGATE OURSELVES TO PAY A DEBT, DO WE? WHEN WE RAISE OUR HANDS TO SUSTAIN A FELLOW MEMBER IN A NEW CALLING, WHICH MEANS GIVE SUPPORT, DO WE? ONE EVENING IN MY YOUTH MY MOTHER SAT WITH ME AT THE FOOT OF HER BED AND SPOKE FERVENTLY OF THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING THE WORD OF WISDOM. “I KNOW FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS, FROM YEARS AGO,” SHE SAID, “THE LOSS OF SPIRITUALITY AND SENSITIVITY THAT COMES FROM NOT FOLLOWING THE WORD OF WISDOM.” SHE LOOKED RIGHT INTO MY EYES AND I FELT HER WORDS PENETRATE MY HEART: “PROMISE ME RONNIE, TODAY, (SHE CALLED ME RONNIE), THAT YOU WILL ALWAYS LIVE THE WORD OF WISDOM.” I SOLEMNLY MADE THAT PROMISE TO HER AND I HAVE HELD TO IT ALL THESE YEARS. THAT COMMITMENT SERVED ME WELL WHEN I WAS IN MY YOUTH AND IN LATER YEARS WHEN I WAS IN BUSINESS CIRCLES WHERE SUBSTANCES FLOWED FREELY. I MADE AN IMPORTANT DECISION IN ADVANCE TO FOLLOW GOD’S LAWS, AND, I NEVER HAD TO REVISIT IT. THE LORD HAS SAID, “I, THE LORD, AM BOUND WHEN YE DO WHAT I SAY; BUT WHEN YE DO NOT WHAT I SAY, YE HAVE NO PROMISE.” WHAT IS HE SAYING TO THOSE WHO ABIDE BY THE WORD OF WISDOM? THAT WE WILL HAVE THE PROMISE OF HEALTH, STRENGTH, WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND ANGELS TO PROTECT US. SOME YEARS AGO, SISTER RASBAND AND I WERE AT THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE FOR THE SEALING OF ONE OF OUR DAUGHTERS. AS WE STOOD OUTSIDE THE TEMPLE WITH A YOUNGER DAUGHTER, NOT YET OLD ENOUGH TO ATTEND THE CEREMONY, WE SPOKE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING SEALED IN THE HOLY TEMPLE OF GOD. AS MY MOTHER HAD TAUGHT ME YEARS BEFORE, WE SAID TO OUR DAUGHTER, “WE WANT YOU SAFELY SEALED IN THE TEMPLE, AND WE WANT YOU TO PROMISE US THAT WHEN YOU FIND YOUR ETERNAL COMPANION, YOU WILL MAKE A DATE WITH HIM TO BE SEALED IN THE TEMPLE.” SHE GAVE US HER WORD. SHE HAS SINCE STATED THAT OUR TALK AND HER PROMISE PROTECTED HER AND REMINDED HER “WHAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT.” SHE LATER MADE SACRED COVENANTS AS SHE WAS SEALED TO HER HUSBAND IN THE TEMPLE. PRESIDENT NELSON HAS TAUGHT, “WE … INCREASE THE SAVIOR’S POWER IN OUR LIVES WHEN WE MAKE SACRED COVENANTS AND KEEP THOSE COVENANTS WITH PRECISION. OUR COVENANTS BIND US TO HIM AND GIVE US GODLY POWER.” WHEN WE KEEP PROMISES TO ONE ANOTHER WE ARE MORE LIKELY TO KEEP PROMISES TO THE LORD. REMEMBER THE LORD’S WORDS: “… INASMUCH AS YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ONE OF THE LEAST OF THESE MY BRETHREN, YE HAVE DONE IT UNTO ME.” REFLECT WITH ME ON EXAMPLES OF PROMISES IN THE SCRIPTURES. AMMON AND THE SONS OF MOSIAH IN THE BOOK OF MORMON COMMITTED “… TO PREACH THE WORD OF GOD. …” WHEN AMMON WAS CAPTURED BY LAMANITE FORCES HE WAS TAKEN BEFORE THE LAMANITE KING LAMONI. HE COMMITTED TO THE KING, “I WILL BE THY SERVANT.” WHEN RAIDERS CAME TO STEAL THE KING’S SHEEP, AMMON CUT OFF THEIR ARMS. SO ASTONISHED WAS THE KING, HE LISTENED TO AMMON’S MESSAGE OF THE GOSPEL AND WAS CONVERTED. RUTH, IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, PROMISED HER MOTHER-IN-LAW, “… WHITHER THOU GOEST, I WILL GO.” SHE LIVED TRUE TO HER WORD. THE GOOD SAMARITAN, IN A PARABLE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, PROMISED THE INNKEEPER IF HE WOULD CARE FOR THE INJURED TRAVELER, “… WHATSOEVER THOU SPENDEST MORE, WHEN I COME AGAIN, I WILL REPAY THEE.” ZORAM, IN THE BOOK OF MORMON, PROMISED TO GO INTO THE WILDERNESS WITH NEPHI AND HIS BROTHERS. NEPHI RECOUNTED, “… WHEN ZORAM HAD MADE AN OATH UNTO US, OUR FEARS DID CEASE CONCERNING HIM.” WHAT OF THE ANCIENT PROMISE “MADE TO THE FATHERS” AS DESCRIBED IN THE SCRIPTURES THAT “THE HEARTS OF THE CHILDREN SHALL TURN TO THEIR FATHERS?” IN THE PRE-EARTH LIFE WHEN WE CHOSE GOD’S PLAN, WE MADE A PROMISE TO HELP GATHER ISRAEL ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. “WE WENT INTO A PARTNERSHIP WITH THE LORD,” ELDER JOHN A. WIDTSOE EXPLAINED YEARS AGO. “THE WORKING OUT OF THE PLAN BECAME THEN NOT MERELY THE FATHER’S WORK, AND THE SAVIOR’S WORK, BUT ALSO OUR WORK.” “[THE] GATHERING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TAKING PLACE ON EARTH TODAY,” PRESIDENT NELSON HAS SAID, AS HE HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD. “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.” AS AN APOSTLE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, I CONCLUDE WITH AN INVITATION AND PROMISE. FIRST THE INVITATION. I INVITE YOU TO CONSIDER THE PROMISES AND COVENANTS YOU MAKE WITH THE LORD, AND OTHERS, WITH GREAT INTEGRITY, KNOWING THAT YOUR WORD IS YOUR BOND. SECOND, I PROMISE YOU, AS YOU DO THIS, THE LORD WILL ESTABLISH YOUR WORDS AND SANCTION YOUR DEEDS AS YOU STRIVE WITH UNWEARIED DILIGENCE TO BUILD UP YOUR LIVES, YOUR FAMILIES, AND THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. HE WILL BE WITH YOU MY DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, AND YOU CAN WITH CONFIDENCE, LOOK FORWARD TO BEING “RECEIVED INTO HEAVEN, THAT THEREBY [YOU] MAY DWELL WITH GOD IN A STATE OF NEVER-ENDING HAPPINESS … FOR THE LORD GOD HATH SPOKEN IT.” OF THIS I TESTIFY AND PROMISE, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ THY SPIRIT, LORD,
HAS STIRRED OUR SOULS, ♪ ♪ AND BY ITS INWARD
SHINING GLOW ♪ ♪ WE SEE ANEW
OUR SACRED GOALS ♪ ♪ AND FEEL THY NEARNESS
HERE BELOW. ♪ ♪ NO BURNING BUSH
NEAR SINAI ♪ ♪ COULD SHOW THY PRESENCE,
LORD, MORE NIGH. ♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ “DID NOT OUR HEARTS
WITHIN US BURN?” ♪ ♪ WE KNOW THE SPIRIT’S
FIRE IS HERE. ♪ ♪ IT MAKES OUR SOULS
FOR SERVICE YEARN; ♪ ♪ IT MAKES THE PATH
OF DUTY CLEAR. ♪ ♪ LORD, MAY IT PROMPT US,
DAY BY DAY, ♪ ♪ IN ALL WE DO,
IN ALL WE SAY. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪ IN ALL WE DO,
IN ALL WE SAY. ♪ ♪ AMEN ♪♪ ♪♪>>ELDER CRAIG C. CHRISTENSEN: OUR ETERNAL FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE LOVE THEE FATHER AND WE’RE GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO , WE RECOGNIZE THEIR VALIANT, THEIR DEDICATION AND DESIRES. WE RECOGNIZE THEIR PARENTS AND PRAY BLESSINGS UPON THEM, THEIR LEADERS WHO HAVE BEEN HILIGHTED TODAY AND THEIR BISHOPS WILL NURTURE THEIR POTENTIAL OF THE BATTALION. WE’RE GRATEFUL FOR THY SON AND FOR THE PROMISED BLESSING OF THE SECOND COMING. MAY WE EVER BE FOCUSED ON OUR PREPARATION AND SPIRTALTY. WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR ELDER NELSON AND HIS LEADERSHIP. THESE BLESSINGS WE EXPRESS OUR THANKS FOR RECOGNIZING THY HAND IN OUR LIFE AND DO SO IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪>>LLOYD NEWELL: THIS HAS BEEN A BROADCAST OF THE 189TH 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. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WAS PROVIDED BY A COMBINED CHOIR OF INDIVIDUALS RESIDING IN STAKES IN THE PROVO, UTAH, AREA. 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] 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. 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. [EXPLOSIONS] [CROWD YELLING] [EXPLOSION] [INAUDIBLE] THE VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE
TODAY ARE PASSING OUT FOLDERS FULL OF THE COMMUNITY
INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED. AND SPEAKING OF THE
VOLUNTEERS, THE IRC WILL BE HERE TO
HELP YOU NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH YOUR
NEW LIVING CONDITIONS. [MUSIC PLAYING] [LAUGHTER] [CLAPPING] [INDISTINCT CONVERSATION] HOW’S THE JOB TRAINING GOING? GOOD! MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY. YOU CAN JUST SET IT UP HERE. YOU CAN EAT IT, AND
IT’S NICE AND HOT. IT’S HOT. THE [INAUDIBLE] COMMITTEE
WILL BE THE ONE HELPING YOU NAVIGATE THE U.S. SYSTEMS. THIS INCLUDES BANKING,
WORKING WITH YOUR DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SERVICES
CASEWORKER … THIS IS WHERE WE COLLECT
A LOT OF OUR DONATIONS FOR OUR REFUGEE
FAMILIES THAT WE SERVE. WHERE DID YOU SAY
YOU HEARD ABOUT US? LDS CHARITIES. OH, THAT’S GREAT. SO AS WE– [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] –FIND A PLACE
WHERE THESE PEOPLE CAN LIVE WITHOUT FEAR
OF PERSECUTION OR ABUSE. THESE REFUGEES HAVE
LEFT EVERYTHING BEHIND, INCLUDING FRIENDS, FAMILY,
LOVED ONES, AND THE COUNTRY THEY ONCE CALLED HOME. IF THE COAST GUARD HADN’T
LOCATED THIS GROUP, THERE’S NO TELLING HOW
LONG THEY WOULD HAVE DRIFTED BEFORE FINDING SAFETY. IN THE FACE OF
TERRIBLE ODDS, THEY ARE WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES
AND THE LIVES OF THEIR CHILDREN ON THESE
LESS-THAN-SEAWORTHY RAFTS BECAUSE THERE REALLY
IS NO OTHER CHOICE. [MUSIC PLAYING] [KEYBOARD CLICKS] [LAUGHTER] YOU CAN RIDE THE BUS, LEARN
TO TAKE THE TRANSPORTATION. [MUSIC PLAYING] ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪>>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. ♪♪ ♪♪ (peaceful music) – [Male Narrator] This is the
World Report for October 2019. Coming up, the
Church’s partnership with the NAACP reaches
new milestones. – [Female Narrator] After
years of renovation, the Oakland California
Temple is rededicated. And the Church is
formally recognized in the Middle Eastern
country of Kuwait. But first: President
Nelson’s continuing ministry takes him throughout
the Pacific, Latin America, and
the United States. – And here’s my friend.
– Nice to see you already. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – [Narrator] In
representing Jesus Christ as His modern-day prophet,
President Russell M. Nelson, 17th President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
ministered as the Savior did, one by one, on a
nine-day ministry trip throughout Latin America
this past August. Accompanied by his wife, Wendy,
and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles and his wife, Mary, President Nelson’s first
stop was in Guatemala, where 400 buses brought
members from all parts of the country to the
Estadio Cementos Progreso in Guatemala City. With more than 21,000
people in attendance, President Nelson still found
time to minister to the one. – One door closes and another
door will open for you. – [Narrator] And talk with
government and faith leaders about common concerns. – The family is under attack. (man speaking in
foreign language) Marriage is under attack. So we have to lock
arms and walk together. – [Narrator] The second
visit of President Nelson’s Latin American ministry
was to Colombia, where he met with the
president of Colombia and other government leaders. – When I saw all people
there, I thought, Wow! That had a very strong charge. I hope we can stay
strong together. – [Narrator] Following
their visit to Colombia, the Nelsons and Cooks
traveled to Ecuador, where they met with
more than 11,000 people in the capital city of Quito and more than
12,000 by broadcast. While such a visit reaches
thousands of Latter-day Saints, the impact can still
be very personal. – Nice to meet you. (speaking in foreign language) – [Translator] It was very
emotional, to feel the Spirit, when President Nelson
entered the room. – [Narrator] Following Ecuador,
President Nelson traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina,
where he spent time with individuals who had just received new
custom-fit wheelchairs, made possible by a donation from Latter-day Saint
Charities and SILSA. For 12-year-old Rosario,
the new wheelchair means new opportunities
for her and her family. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] President Nelson
again expressed gratitude for missionaries when he
arrived in Brasilia, Brazil, and met, in person
and by broadcast, with more than
5,000 missionaries from 35 missions
across the country. (speaking in foreign language) Moving from the nation’s
capital to Sao Paulo, the Nelsons and the Cooks met
with more than 37,000 people who were gathered to hear
their inspired counsel. – We can also be one
with our families by making our homes
sanctuaries of faith. – We can bring to the
Lord all of our questions, and we will be given answers. – Every time we visit the temple and perform ordinances there, we are walking on holy ground. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] This
visit to Brazil completed President Nelson’s
Latin American ministry, five countries in nine days. He met with Church
members, heads of state, and other government,
community, and faith leaders. – [Narrator] In May,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to the island
nations of the Pacific Ocean. Accompanied by his wife,
Wendy, and Elder Gerrit W. Gong and his wife, Susan,
President Nelson first stopped in Hawaii, home to more than
74,000 Latter-day Saints. There, they visited
with community leaders, who also attended the
evening devotional at the Kona Hawaii Stake Center. – He does want us to have
immortality and eternal life, but He wants us to
choose this course. – [Narrator] Continuing
south, the Nelsons and Gongs traveled to Samoa, where
they were greeted warmly by Latter-day Saints,
journalists, and
government leaders. – So the Lord has asked
me to let you know tonight that we have a solemn
duty to prepare our people for the difficult
days that lie ahead. – I’m a Catholic, but I
know this is God’s prophet, that he brings peace to us. It really fills my heart. (singing in foreign language) – [Narrator] On the
third stop of the tour, President Nelson spoke to more
than 8,000 Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church at the International Convention
Center in Sydney, Australia. – I’m wondering if you
need oxygen up there on that back row. (audience laughs) I bless you to love
the Lord Jesus Christ and to feast upon His
words, particularly as they’re divinely given to
you in the Book of Mormon. – [Narrator] Traveling east,
President Nelson’s ministry took him to New Zealand,
where he first stopped in Wellington and met with
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. – We discussed how people can
have differing points of view and yet learn to live and
love with one another. – President Nelson is
a natural diplomat. He’s a prophet for the Church, but he’s also prophet
for the world. – [Narrator] A day after his
visit with the prime minister, President Nelson
traveled to Auckland, where he met with local and
national Muslim leaders. There he offered his
deepest condolences and support following the
March terrorist attacks in two mosques in the
city of Christchurch. – God continue to bless the
families and individuals impacted by the
events of March 15th. May He bring us
even closer together as neighbors and friends. – [Narrator] More than 12,000
people were in attendance at an evening devotional in
Auckland, with thousands more participating via a broadcast
to meetinghouses nationwide. – I bless you that you’ll
have safety and success in your lives, that your
homes will be sanctuaries of reverence and love. – [Narrator] On the fifth
stop of the prophet’s tour, more than 5,000 Latter-day
Saints and friends of the Church gathered in the
Fijian city of Suva. Members traveled
up to five hours in anticipation of the arrival
of their beloved prophet. – [Man] It’s not every
day or every year that we get this opportunity,
so this is a big thing. – Thank you for my decoration. I feel like I’ve
been wrapped in love. – [Narrator] As a parting
gift, the congregation surprised President Nelson with the Fijian
farewell song “Isa Lei.” (singing in foreign language) At the next stop on
the Pacific tour, President Nelson met with
the king and queen of Tonga. (singing in foreign language) Despite the inclement weather, thousands of Latter-day
Saints attended a devotional to hear a prophet’s voice. – As you and I firmly
hold on to the Lord, we can safely navigate our
way through rough waters. – [Narrator] President Nelson
concluded his Pacific ministry on the tropical
island of Tahiti. There he and his wife, Wendy, met with President Edouard
Fritch and the First Lady of French Polynesia and other
government and faith leaders. – Please protect yourself
from Satan’s traps. – [Narrator] After traveling
nearly 18,000 miles and ministering to nearly
100,000 people in person and hundreds of thousands
more through broadcasts, President Nelson’s
Pacific ministry concluded as another historic event in The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – [Narrator] In
June, just two weeks after his Pacific ministry
tour, President Nelson and Elder Dieter F.
Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
visited Orlando, Florida. The visit coincided with
the three-year anniversary of a mass shooting at the
Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Before an evening devotional,
President Nelson met with Barbara Poma,
the owner of the club that is now being turned
into a sanctuary of hope. – We come together on June
12th to really stand together in solidarity, to
comfort one another, to help us move through
a healing process. – [Narrator] That
evening, President Nelson offered a gospel message
to the people of Orlando. – The happiest place on earth? It is wherever the
Spirit of the Lord dwells in the hearts of the people. – [Narrator] At the northwestern
shore of the Arabian Gulf is the State of Kuwait,
bustling with modernism, as displayed by
its robust commerce and piercing skyscrapers. (singing in foreign language) Kuwait is known for
its rich tradition as peacemakers in the region,
including religious tolerance. Such increase of religious
rights has been granted to The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints. – The mosque is
considered house of God. – [Narrator] Through a
ceremonial visit to Kuwait on behalf of the Church’s
First Presidency, Elder Quentin L. Cook,
an Apostle of the Church, and his wife, Mary,
expressed gratitude for the Church’s
recent recognition. It’s the first time a
religious organization has been formally
recognized in Kuwait in more than 40 years. The meeting was
held in Kuwait City with Fareed Asad Abdulla
Emadi, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Awqaf
and Islamic Affairs. Kuwait is predominantly
Muslim, with some 20% of its residents
practicing Christianity, and Latter-day Saints
have a growing presence. Elder Cook spoke to a crowd
of nearly 200 people packed in several floors at the
Kuwait Ward meetinghouse. – You will influence
lives while you’re here. (children singing) – [Narrator] While the
formal recognition strictly prohibits the proselyting
to and baptism of Muslims, the Church’s increased standing strengthens the opportunities to operate, serve, and worship. ♪ Son of Man – It is extremely significant
when you have the authority as a Church to open a
bank account and to rent or own property and to
seek visas for people who might serve as volunteers
in doing humanitarian or community service, all of the things
that the Church does. So this is no small thing. – I’ve been a pioneer of
the Church, the Kuwait Ward, and I feel very, very happy
because of the recognition. (speaking in foreign language) – We did a lot of
fasting and praying hard to our Heavenly Father. I’m very much grateful
for the Kuwait government for this recognition. – [Narrator] While in
Kuwait, Elder and Sister Cook visited with a senior member
of the Kuwaiti royal family, Her Excellency Sheikha
Intisar Salem Al Ali AlSabah. – And you come from
a really good family. – I come from a long
line of peacemakers. – At a traditional gathering
for men known as a diwaniya, local community, government,
and interfaith leaders visited with Elder Cook,
giving them an opportunity to be better acquainted
with the Church. – And there are incredible
desserts back here. Come on back, come on back here. And they’re not big. They’re not big, come on. (Singing) – [Narrator] Led by Sister
Cook, Latter-day Saint women also gathered for fellowship. – When we had this recognition,
I was just so grateful because it was spread all over, not just here in Kuwait; it
was, like, all over the world. – There is strength
in the group. You feel it, don’t you? – [Narrator] Kuwait was
dedicated for the blessings of the restored
gospel of Jesus Christ by Apostle Elder Jeffrey
R. Holland in 2011 at this spot
overlooking Kuwait City. – I’m the only one
that’s got on a hat, but it is 120 degrees. – It does feel warm. – [Narrator] It was a
moment symbolic of the good members of The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints had been progressively
providing for several decades to each other and the community,
a moment now leading up to another beginning:
official recognition. – It gives us a chance
to reach out and to be outgoing and to reach
out to the outside communities, whether they be Christian
or whether they be Islamic. We don’t have to hide our light behind a bushel or such anymore. – We’re just so thrilled
that the recognition came that could confirm the
faith of so many members. – I see incredible things are
going to happen in the future. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see other countries in the Gulf give recognition
that we don’t now have. I wouldn’t be surprised
to see more of it come as a result of the
leadership and the effort. (motorcycle engines revving) – [Narrator] The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to rapidly
grow throughout parts of Western Africa, (singing in foreign language) with official recognition
granted in the country of Mali. Religious and community leaders
joined government officials at a ceremony in the
capital city of Bamako. – We’re not closed; we are open. Mali is an open country
for all religions. – [Narrator] There are about
50 Latter-day Saint families in Mali, a country
of 15 million people. This change in status allows
the Church to better minister to its members and
for missionaries to be called there to serve. (singing in foreign language) – It all begins with the
love they have for God and then the love we
have for each other. I was blessed to
start coming to Mali before the Church
was organized here. And I have some people that
I’ve grown to love very deeply. – [Narrator] Years in the
making, progress accelerated after Apostle David A. Bednar
blessed the land in 2017. – It was a historic
and memorable day for
the people of Mali and for the Latter-day
Saints in general, but for the Saints in Mali. – [Narrator] Mali joins
Senegal and Guinea as the countries most
recently welcoming the Church on the continent of Africa. – [Narrator] Straight
ahead, the humanity and divine connection
that links us all. President Nelson
speaks to the NAACP. – [Narrator] And, honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the Church celebrates the
95th birthday of the prophet. (Singing) – [Narrator] Detroit, Michigan,
known as the Motor City, Motown, and recently the home of the 110th Annual
Convention of the NAACP. – A brother of another mother. – [Narrator] Among
the many guests? – A brother of another
faith tradition. – [Narrator] Was President
Russell M. Nelson, President of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (audience applauding) – We truly believe that we
are brothers and sisters, all part of the
same divine family. – [Narrator] His convention
speech on July 21st was the latest step
in a relationship between the Church and the NAACP that has grown
quickly and warmly. – Hello, Amos. – Good to see you again.
– How are you, dear friend? – [Narrator] The
relationship has especially blossomed since last
year, when the leaders of the two organizations
stood arm in arm at a news conference
in Salt Lake City. Since then, the Church and
the NAACP have partnered to provide education
and employment efforts in several cities, including a personal
finance course in Chicago. – We have the evidence.
We have the data that we’ve made a difference. If we could do that with
10 people in Chicago, imagine the impact
and the influence we can have together
around this country. – [Narrator] Earlier this
year, in Washington, D.C., at a gala sponsored by the
BYU Management Society, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles honored the NAACP
for its commitment to advancing equality
and justice in society. – The organizations coming
together was historic, but I think there is more
history to be made than just us being partners. And so I look forward to
the journey as it unfolds. – I wanted President Nelson
to come to our convention and see our folks, meet our
folks, see how we operate. It’s all about getting
to know each other. – We are all connected. – [Narrator] This
is the first time that a President of the Church has addressed the
NAACP convention. ♪ Happy birthday to you – [Narrator] On September
6th, Latter-day Saints and friends of the Church
gathered in Salt Lake City to celebrate the 95th birthday of President Russell M. Nelson. (audience applauding) – [Rosalie] The word
“father” to my dad, I think, is his highest calling. – [Narrator] Honoring a
lifetime of Christlike service, the gala shared insights
into the life, ministry, and service of President Nelson. – [Rosalie] Just by the
way they lived their lives, the way they taught
the gospel in our home, we learned love,
we learned respect. – [Narrator] Videos focused
on how that ministry and his career and family
have shaped who he is as a special witness
of Jesus Christ. ♪ We sing hallelujah – [Narrator] Along with
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, the
evening saw performances from Jenny Oaks Baker
& Family Four, GENTRI, the Bonner family, Nathan
Pacheco, and Donny Osmond. ♪ We ask that life be kind – [Narrator] And an
unexpected piano performance by President Nelson himself. (piano music) – If I’ve learned anything
certain in my 95 years of life, it is that Jesus the
Christ is the Son of God, my Redeemer, my
Exemplar and Friend. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Still
to come, the Chuh’s Gospel Literacy program
brings faith and opportunity. – [Bingham] Women that
I’ve observed here have become leaders. – [Narrator] Plus, the
highly anticipated production of The Book of Mormon,
when we come back. – [Narrator] A pilot program
designed to improve literacy while teaching the
gospel of Jesus Christ has been launched
in Sierra Leone. Relief Society General
President Jean B. Bingham and her husband, Bruce, traveled
to the West African country in early June to help implement the Church’s Gospel
Literacy program. – For some years I taught
English as a second language, and some of the students
that I worked with were not particularly literate. They really struggled
with reading and writing, and it was such a joy to
help them open that door to the possibilities. – [Narrator] Learners meet
with Gospel Literacy teachers on Sundays and are
given manuals to study. – So if you put these two
words together, like this. – [Narrator] Women
participating in the program are encouraged to
teach their families what they are learning. – How do you share what
you learn with your family? – [Narrator] In a local
congregation in Kenema, Sister Bingham met
with Juliet Numa, a Relief Society president
and single mother who was participating in
the Gospel Literacy program. – [Bingham] She did not
know how to read or write. Juliet was invited to join
a Gospel Literacy class. Wonderful to see her progress. The Gospel Literacy program
can be life-changing. I’ve seen how women
that I’ve observed here have become leaders,
and you know, leaders influence
an entire community. – [Narrator] Elder Gerrit
W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, along
with Sister Sharon Eubank of the Relief Society
General Presidency and other global
faith representatives, attended this year’s
G20 Interfaith Forum
in Tokyo, Japan. – What’s been so impressive
to me is the level of support among Japanese
society and the faiths that are here in Japan. – [Narrator] It’s really
quite wonderful to see those from diverse religious
beliefs gather in common cause for children, for
concerns on refugees, for sustainable development. – Make sure you look at them. – [Narrator] For Adam Anderegg,
directing the Book of Mormon video series’ third
season is more than the typical
behind-the-camera experience. – By the unrighteousness of
your lawyers and your judges. – [Narrator] It means
a special opportunity to bring the scriptures from Another Testament
of Jesus Christ to life. – Two cameras, A-mark. – B-mark. – I sit and watch
my director’s screen as I’m directing the scene,
and I’m thinking to myself, I am so thankful
I’m seeing this. I’ve read the book many times, but just to see it come
to life is awesome. – The Holy One of Israel. – [Narrator] Just like
the previous seasons, this latest season is based
on the Book of Mormon’s events and core message, Jesus Christ. It follows prophets Alma
and Amulek, King Benjamin, and many others as they share the Savior’s teachings
in the Americas. – I’m hoping that we can
convey enough of the story to get people interested,
to actually want to read, to find out, What is this about? – [Narrator] Season three
required 44 days of filming and a massive production
team in various locations, including Kauai, Hawaii, and
the arid Goshen, Utah, desert. – It has just felt
super special. Like, I feel like there has
been a lot of inspiration for us, as actors, to
come here and work, and it doesn’t feel like work. – [Narrator] The videos
from seasons one and two are scheduled to premiere
as visual resources in 15 languages on the Book of
Mormon Videos YouTube channel or BookofMormonVideos.org, one video each Friday,
starting September 20th, 2019, through the end of the year. Seasons three and four will
make their eventual debut in 2020 and 2021. – It’s exciting to see all
the different resources that have come together to
make this project a reality and to bring the message of
the gospel of Jesus Christ to all corners of the
world, thanks to technology. I’m very excited
that it’s coming. – [Narrator] Coming up
next: For the first time in over 60 years,
the United Nations Civil Society Conference
is held outside of New York and finds support
in Salt Lake City. – [Narrator] And later,
we’ll take a guided tour of the newly renovated
Oakland California Temple. – Never forget Salt Lake City. It’s going to
remain in the books of the United Nations history. – [Narrator] Thousands of
United Nations delegates, as well as other attendees
from around the globe, are taking home a wealth
of shared experiences after the United Nations
Civil Society Conference completed its final
session, after three days at the Salt Palace
Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Held in New York
since the early 1950s, the conference moved
to the Mountain West and enjoyed a unique
blend of civic, community, and faith-based support in Utah, including the
support of The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints. – I’m humbled to
address such a diverse and distinguished audience. – Gerald Causse, the Presiding
Bishop of the Church, spoke to the General
Assembly in the final day, praising the good work
they do for a safer and more compassionate world. – You can see that 70%
of all these articles were produced within the system. – [Narrator] U.S. congressional
leaders took a tour of Welfare Square,
while U.N. leaders visited the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center to see up close how the Church
prepares to assist people from every walk of life. – I’m very impressed with
the comprehensive nature of the services provided here. And I really would like to
see more in my own district. (choir singing) – [Narrator] During the
Civil Society Conference, many delegates were
treated to a performance by The Tabernacle Choir and
Orchestra at Temple Square. (singing drowned
out by orchestra) – One word: magical! – It’s all about uniting people. It’s all about
connecting people. What I took out of
there is much more than just the ordinary music. I feel the message that
is going to the world and something that deeply
connects us together. (audience applauding) – [Narrator] Bishop
Gerald Causse delivered a keynote address
at a United Nations conference in Geneva, Switzerland,
in mid-September. The event, sponsored by
Latter-day Saint Charities, addressed the role of education
in displaced populations. – As a member of the
Presiding Bishopric, I take a lot of
pleasure in being involved in humanitarian work. And I must say it’s a way
to testify of our faith in Jesus Christ, to be
involved in that kind of work. There are about 70 million
refugees around the world, and unfortunately
this is a number that is increasing every year. And only 60% of their
children are in school. And so there is a big effort that will be crucial
for their future. – [Narrator] Sharon
Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities,
joined Bishop Causse and led a panel discussion
with leaders from UNICEF and the United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights. – Religions and
religious-based organizations are human rights defenders
in their own ways. – [Narrator] The global
humanitarian leaders discussed the importance of
having faith-based organizations partner with government
and other organizations to care for people in need. – I’m happy to be
representing the seven million Relief Society sisters in
this kind of a setting. This is the first
time we’ve ever sponsored a side event here at
the United Nations in Geneva. We’re really excited to begin, but there’s much more
work to do in the future. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Dedications,
rededications, and renovations. We’ll take you to new
and restored temples
around the globe, from the Democratic Republic
of the Congo to Haiti and the United States. Coming up next. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] In addition
to eight new temples announced in general
conference, temple renovations, open houses, and dedications have continued around the globe. We begin in Oakland, California, where members have
been anticipating their temple’s rededication
for more than a year. As it has for more than
50 years, the warm glow of temple light returns to shine over the San Francisco Bay Area. Its new renovation
and updates completed, the temple was rededicated
by President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency
on June 16th. – What is here is a
remarkable house of the Lord. – [Narrator] Also
at the dedication was Elder David A. Bednar,
who grew up in the area. – I was a 12-year-old boy
and attended the dedication in 1964, when President
David O. McKay presided. To be this close and think
back more than 50 years to that experience in my
youth, it’s kind of surreal. – [Narrator] Prior
to the dedication,
members of the press, as well as local religious
and community leaders, were invited to tour the temple during its public open house. – I think it’s a great
gift to say to the world, “Look at this place,
look at God’s house, look at God’s dwelling place. This is how and where we unite
and keep families together.” – [Narrator] An in-depth
look at the newly renovated Oakland California
Temple will be featured later in this broadcast. – [Narrator] Crossing
the United States to the Caribbean, we arrive
at the island nation of Haiti. The Port-au-Prince Haiti
Temple was dedicated in three sessions on
Sunday, September 1st, by Elder David A.
Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. A youth devotional and
open house were held prior to the dedication, both
of which were broadcast to meetinghouses throughout
the temple district, which serves more than
23,000 Latter-day Saints. Continuing south, we arrive at
the Fortaleza Brazil Temple. First announced by
President Thomas S. Monson, ground was broken for the
Fortaleza Brazil Temple in 2011. Following a three-week public
open house earlier this year, the temple was dedicated June
2nd by Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. This is the seventh
temple in Brazil, with four more announced
or under construction. – [Narrator] Crossing
the South Atlantic Ocean and into Central
Africa, we arrive at the Kinshasa Democratic
Republic of the Congo Temple, which was dedicated
on Sunday, April 14th, by Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. (speaking in foreign language) – [Narrator] Speaking
in French, Elder Renlund also conducted the cornerstone
ceremony, where children were invited to take part in this traditional
dedication event. – I think many of them have
prayed for this blessing for years, for decades,
and the Lord has seen fit to direct His prophet
to build a temple here. – [Narrator] Crossing North
Africa, we travel to Portugal, where on Sunday, September
15th, the Lisbon Portugal Temple was dedicated by
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles. First announced in 2010 and
with ground broken in 2015, the Lisbon Portugal Temple
is the first to be built in Portugal and the
14th temple in Europe. The temple will serve some
45,000 Latter-day Saints residing in Portugal and
neighboring countries. – [Narrator] In April,
President Russell M. Nelson announced plans to renovate
the historic Salt Lake Temple. Located in the heart of the
city, this iconic edifice, built by pioneer hands
in the 19th century, originally took 40
years to complete. Starting after the temple
closes December 29th of this year, the
current improvements and structural upgrades will take an estimated
four years to complete. The extensive work will
include the creation of more access points around
the Temple Square wall, subterranean excavation
at the base of the temple for new mechanical
and plumbing systems, and foundation and
support improvements to withstand
earthquakes and further protect the temple’s interior. During construction, other
significant Church buildings, museums, libraries,
and visitors’ areas
will remain open. In May, it was announced that
the St. George Utah Temple will also undergo
significant renovation. That temple, which will
close November 4th, will undergo extensive
structural, mechanical, and finishing work, as well
as significant improvements to the grounds. The renovation of the
St. George Utah Temple is expected to be
completed in 2022. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Coming up,
thousands of volunteers create hygiene kits for
girls around the world, boxes of love for those
recovering from tragedy, and provide shelter for
those who need it most. These stories and
more, In the News. (peaceful music) – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints and the larger faith community
in Northern California made a big difference in the
lives of thousands of women around the world
through an initiative called Days for Girls. About 1,000 volunteers
from five churches and other community
organizations in
Rocklin, California, worked to create
2,000 hygiene kits made especially to assist
women during menstruation. – All over this world, there
are women who lose days of their life to something
as simple as menstruation. This, it helps them to
stay in the classroom, to be able to go to work,
to have their days back. – [Narrator] Latter-day Saints
and Muslims in New Zealand joined hands to
create Boxes of Love, a new initiative focused on
providing food to families impacted by the tragedy
of the mosque shootings in Christchurch in March. The founder of the
initiative, Hafsa Ahmed, reached out to local
Latter-day Saint Church leaders to help with the effort. The
result has been a demonstration of humanity and faith, all to
help a community as it heals. – This has been a very
intense experience, to share the challenges that
are placed upon these people. We love them and the
community loves them. – [Narrator] In addition
to Church members donating their time and
vehicles, Latter-day
Saint Charities has donated $25,000 for the
construction of housing units for the homeless in
Oakland, California. – We’ll be able to house
about 76 people here in total. It’s a great way for the
community to get involved. It helps us stretch
our budget further to serve more people. – [Narrator] In addition to
housing, this project aims to provide access
to clothing, food, hygiene supplies, mental health and addiction recovery
resources, and health care. During the National Governors
Association Summer Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah,
spouses of governors from around the United States toured the Latter-day
Saint Humanitarian Center. Led by Latter-day Saint
Charities president, Sister Sharon Eubank,
the governors’ spouses assembled hygiene kits for the ongoing hurricane
and fire season. – Tell us about the
introductory guides. – [Narrator] In September,
President M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, along with other Church
leaders, outlined details for the Church’s new
Children and Youth program. – Helping children and
youth to gain a testimony of Jesus Christ will
bless them and all of us all of our lives. – [Narrator] This new program
will replace Scouting, Personal Progress, Duty
to God, and Faith in God beginning in January 2020. As a part of the
Church’s new initiative for children and youth,
the For the Strength of Youth program
will be expanded. Based on the Especially
for Youth program, run by Brigham Young University, FSY will include a five-day
conference of activities, devotionals, and classes
providing opportunities to grow spiritually, socially, physically, and intellectually. President M. Russell
Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of
the Twelve Apostles, ministered to the
people of India in May, marking his first
visit to the country. Accompanied by
Bishop Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric,
President Ballard encouraged Church members to
prepare for the coming temple in Bengaluru, the first
temple to be built in India. – [Narrator] Elder D. Todd
Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and
Presiding Bishop Gerald Causse traveled to West Africa in
late May, where they spoke and met with government
leaders in that region. Elder Christofferson
spoke with Akufo-Addo, the president of Ghana,
about strengthening families and about humanitarian
work being done by Church members there. Straight ahead, we return
to the city by the bay and see the history, design,
and breathtaking restoration of the Oakland California
Temple, when we come right back. (peaceful music) It’s a gleaming landmark
in daylight or darkness, from any vantage point of
the San Francisco Bay Area. The 13th temple constructed by The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, perched in the Oakland Hills,
serves as a beacon to all. The iconic 95,000-square-foot
structure underwent phases of temporary closures
for renovation over the past few years, most recently for nearly
a year and a half. This year, for the first time
since its original open house in 1964, the public had a chance to experience the unique beauty of the Oakland California
Temple, prior to
being rededicated for its sacred purpose. Land was purchased by
the Church in 1943, a large multifunction
meetinghouse was
built in the 1950s, and construction started
on the temple in 1962. With each reinforced
concrete layer, the vision of architect Harold W.
Burton began to take shape. – He wanted to celebrate
things like air conditioning and artificial lighting and these technological
breakthroughs that had been happening in the first
half of the 20th century. So he incorporated a
windowless building. – [Narrator] Burton also
added towers, the center reaching 170 feet,
uncharacteristic
of modern design but appropriate for
the look of a temple. Frieze-style reliefs,
reminiscent of more
classical motifs, depicting the Savior
in different scenes were added to the front
and back of the temple. – People at first glance think, “Oh, this must be Christ
and His Twelve Apostles.” But a closer look shows that there are women
and children there. These are His disciples;
these are His followers. And all of us, as we approach
the front door of the temple, can look up and
consider ourselves among the group assembled
there as His disciples. – [Narrator] What may be
considered even more unique is the subtle Asian influence
found in the temple’s exterior spires, upturned
roof caps, and railing. – It’s completely in
tune with its location, with the San Francisco Bay Area. – [Narrator] Adding more
distinction, a one-of-a-kind water feature that cascaded
down from the second-level garden terrace into a
courtyard reflection pool, but removed in 1969 because
of irreparable leaks. With modern-day
materials and technology, the leaking problem
was rectified and the aesthetically pleasing
waterfall feature restored. – [Emily] So now to enter
the building, you walk under the waterfall to
get to the front door. – [Narrator] Other
technological improvements include seismic updates and
converting steam boilers to more energy-efficient
natural gas. The main floor includes
a new waiting area and one of the only
areas with windows, added in the latest remodeling,
to pick up the natural light and view of the courtyard’s
reflection pool. – In the morning the sun will
rise through the windows, and it’s like, it never had
that in this building before. – [Narrator] The bridal
room, also on the main floor, features elegant
full-length mirrors, opulent crystal sconces, and refined
oriental-design seating. The second floor of the temple
contains instruction rooms, where temple patrons learn
about God’s Creation, His love, the purpose of life,
and where they receive the most sacred
sacraments of their faith. This was one of the first
temples to employ film instead of a live presentation
that enables more patrons to participate in one session. Burton believed a windowless
design and theateresque setting would enhance the
viewing experience. Sealing rooms are located
on the third level, adorned with dark
cherrywood paneling and backlit marble altars. This is where families can
be joined together forever. The mirrors remind
patrons of that blessing with seemingly endless
reflections that
symbolize eternity. The celestial room represents the progression
to heaven itself. Wood, marble, and
elegant furnishings reflect modernism’s
vintage color palette, while the continuing
oriental theme is present, down to painstaking detail in
the sculpted carpet design, mirrored on the
ceiling in gold leaf. – [Emily] We hope that when
you walk into this temple now, it will still feel very much
like a 1960s modern building. – We want people who
are not of our faith to have an understanding
of what we believe and who we are and what’s
the purpose of the temple. It isn’t just building
something magnificent. It has a purpose to bring
us closer to heaven, bring us closer to Jesus
Christ, who we worship. – [Narrator] This has been the World Report
for October 2019. – [Narrator] To watch
the World Report online, go to
Newsroom.ChurchofJesusChrist.org WE K
HE RE, AND
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. IT HAS BEEN SAID THAT THE
TWO MOST IMPORTANT DAYS IN YOUR LIFE ARE
THE DAY YOU ARE BORN AND THE DAY THAT YOU FIND
OUT WHY YOU WERE BORN. BECAUSE WE HAVE THE
GOSPEL, WE DON’T HAVE TO SPEND OUR ENTIRE LIFE
TRYING TO DISCOVER ITS PURPOSE. INSTEAD, WE CAN FOCUS ON
FULFILLING THAT PURPOSE. I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THREE
SMALL AND SIMPLE WAYS TO LOOK TO GOD THAT WILL
HELP US MAINTAIN OUR FOCUS ON OUR ETERNAL PURPOSE. FIRST, AS WE PARTAKE OF
THE SACRAMENT, TOO OFTEN WE JUST GO THROUGH THE MOTIONS. NOTICE THE FOCUS THAT IS
PLACED ON REMEMBERING, AND CONSIDER WHY
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT. THERE ARE COUNTLESS WAYS
WE CAN KEEP OUR PROMISE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE SAVIOR
IN THE COURSE OF A DAY. HOW WILL YOU ALWAYS
REMEMBER HIM? MOST WOULD SAY PRAY AND
STUDY THE SCRIPTURES. AND YOU’D BE RIGHT, IF–AND
THAT’S A BIG IF–THEY ARE DONE WITH REAL INTENT. PRAYING AND STUDYING
THE SCRIPTURES ARE THE NEXT TWO SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO STRESS. PROPHETS PAST AND PRESENT
HAVE PLEADED WITH US TO DO THE SMALL
AND SIMPLE THINGS, LIKE PRAYING AND
STUDYING THE SCRIPTURES. SO WHY DOESN’T EVERYONE DO THEM? PERHAPS ONE REASON IS
THAT WE DON’T NECESSARILY SEE DRAMATIC,
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES IF WE MISS A DAY OR TWO. YEARS AGO, I PLANTED TWO
TREES OF THE SAME SPECIES AND THE SAME HEIGHT
IN MY BACKYARD. I PLANTED ONE WHERE IT
GOT A LITTLE SUN DAILY, AND I PLANTED THE OTHER WHERE
IT ENJOYED FULL SUNLIGHT. OVER THE NEXT YEAR, I DIDN’T
NOTICE MUCH DIFFERENCE IN THE GROWTH OF THE TWO TREES. BUT THEN MY WIFE AND I LEFT
ON A THREE-YEAR MISSION. WHEN WE RETURNED, I WAS
SHOCKED AT THE BIG DIFFERENCE. THE COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF
A LITTLE MORE SUN EACH DAY MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE OVER
TIME IN THE GROWTH OF THE TREES. THE SAME THING
HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES, AS WE EXPOSE OURSELVES EACH
DAY TO THE SOURCE OF ALL LIGHT. THIS SIMPLE IDEA, THE
COMPOUNDING EFFECT OF DAILY DISCIPLINES WITH
PURPOSE AND REAL INTENT CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
IN ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE. IT CAN MEAN THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN STRUGGLING THROUGH AN ORDINARY LIFE OR
BEING IMMENSELY SUCCESSFUL AND FILLING THE MEASURE
OF YOUR CREATION. [ 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. WHEN I WAS
ABOUT SIX YEARS OLD, I REMEMBER TAKING SOMETHING
THAT DIDN’T BELONG TO ME. LOOKING BACK ON THAT DAY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY
FOR MY DAD TO LECTURE ME AND HOPE I NEVER
DID IT AGAIN. 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. [SHOUTING] [SWORDS CLANK]
WATCH OUT! ALL HANDS ON DECK! …BUT WHEN IT
MATTERED MOST… GIVE ME
ALL YOUR TREASURE! IMAGINE WHAT A LITTLE TIME
CAN DO FOR YOUR FAMILY. AH, HA!
TAKE THAT! MISSED ME! UHH! [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] [MUSIC PLAYING] DURING THE KOREAN WAR,
ENSIGN FRANK BLAIR SERVED ON A TROOP TRANSPORT
SHIP STATIONED IN JAPAN. THE SHIP WASN’T LARGE ENOUGH
TO HAVE A FORMAL CHAPLAIN, SO THE CAPTAIN ASKED BROTHER
BLAIR TO BE THE SHIP’S INFORMAL CHAPLAIN, HAVING
OBSERVED THAT THE YOUNG MAN WAS A PERSON OF FAITH AND
PRINCIPLE, HIGHLY RESPECTED BY THE WHOLE CREW. I’D BEEN SERVING
WITH THE CAPTAIN FOR ABOUT A YEAR ON THIS LST. AND HE WAS AWARE THAT I HAD
PRAYED AND FOLLOWED THE SPIRIT, MAKING SOME SIGNIFICANT
DIFFERENCES IN TERMS OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THE
SHIP AND TO THE CREW. THESE KINDS OF SCENES HAD
HELPED HIM TO GAIN TRUST IN ME. AND SO THIS PARTICULAR TIME,
WE WERE CAUGHT IN THIS TYPHOON. THE WAVES WERE
OVER 40 FEET HIGH. I WAS ON WATCH, DURING WHICH
TIME ONE OF THE THREE ENGINES STOPPED WORKING AND A CRACK
IN THE CENTERLINE OF THE SHIP WAS REPORTED. WE HAD TWO REMAINING
ENGINES, ONE OF WHICH WAS ONLY FUNCTIONING
AT HALF POWER. WE WERE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. I FINISHED MY WATCH AND
WAS GETTING INTO BED WHEN THE CAPTAIN KNOCKED AT MY DOOR. AS YOU WERE. ENSIGN BLAIR, WOULD YOU
PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS SHIP? YES, SIR. [BOAT CREAKING] FATHER IN HEAVEN,
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? [WIND HOWLING] [WAVES CRASHING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN. ENSIGN. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW IN
ORDER TO BEST HELP THE SHIP? FIRST OF ALL, HOW FAST WE CAN
RUN THE REMAINING ENGINES. SECOND, AT WHAT ANGLE
TO HIT THE WAVES. AND THIRD, HOW MUCH WATER TO
KEEP IN THE BALLAST TANKS. YES, SIR. FATHER IN HEAVEN, WHAT CAN I DO
TO HELP ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? THE THOUGHT CAME TO ME, “YOU
NEED TO MOVE AROUND THE SHIP AND GO TO THE AREAS
THAT ARE OF CONCERN AND GET A FEEL FROM
ACTUALLY BEING RIGHT THERE.” [MUSIC PLAYING] ONE OF THE THINGS I
DECIDED I NEEDED TO DO WAS GO OUT ON THE
FANTAIL AND SEE WHAT WAS CREATING THE VIBRATIONS
THAT WERE DAMAGING THE ENGINES. PERMISSION TO GO ON DECK, SIR. [THUNDER ROLLING] BE CAREFUL OUT THERE, ENSIGN. I CONNECTED UND MY WAIST AND WENT OUT INTO THE STORM. [WIND HOWLING] WHEN I GOT OUT ON THE
STERN OF THE SHIP, I NOTICED WHEN THE SHIP WENT
OVER A WAVE AND THE FRONT OF IT FELL DOWN, THE STERN
CAME OUT OF THE WATER AND THE PROPELLERS WERE
SPEEDING UP VERY FAST. SO WHEN THEY HIT THE WATER,
THAT PUT A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE PROPELLERS. IT CREATED SEVERE VIBRATIONS
ON THE DRIVE SHAFT THAT RAN BACK TO THE ENGINES. [MUSIC PLAYING] [THUNDER ROLLING] CAPTAIN, WE NEED TO
SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. THE ENGINEER JUST
RECOMMENDED THE OPPOSITE. ENSIGN, WE NEED TO
OUTRUN THIS STORM. YES, SIR. BUT THE ENGINES ARE
UNDER TOO MUCH STRAIN. SIR, I FEEL VERY STRONGLY
WE HAVE TO SLOW THEM DOWN. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. SLOW DOWN THE ENGINES. AYE, SIR. [BELL RINGING] ONLY TWO HOURS LATER,
THE GOOD ENGINE STOPPED WORKING ALTOGETHER. WITH HALF POWER IN
THE REMAINING ENGINE, THE SHIP WAS ABLE
TO LIMP INTO PORT. [MUSIC PLAYING] IF WE HAD NOT SLOWED
THAT ENGINE WHEN WE DID, WE WOULD’VE LOST IT IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM. WITH NO WAY TO
STEER THE SHIP, WE’D BE SITTING AT THE BOTTOM
OF THE SEA RIGHT NOW. ENSIGN, THANK YOU
FOR YOUR PRAYERS. YOUR SPIRITUAL
IMPRESSIONS, I BELIEVE, SAVED BOTH THE
SHIP AND THIS CREW. I LEARNED FROM MY
EXPERIENCES IN THE NAVY THAT MY NAVY COMMANDER
HAD SOME IDEAS THAT WERE IMPORTANT FOR ME. BUT I ALSO LEARNED THAT
MY COMMANDING OFFICER WAS THE HOLY GHOST. YOU NEED TO BE INVOLVED IN
FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT ALL THE TIME AND BEING
USED TO UNDERSTANDING THAT THE SPIRIT WORKS
THROUGH YOUR MIND AND THROUGH YOUR HEART. AND YOU NEED TO BE USED TO
THAT SO THAT WHEN YOU GET CAUGHT IN A SITUATION,
THAT YOU CAN BE BLESSED, AND YOU WILL RECOGNIZE THE
SPIRIT WHEN THAT HAPPENS. BEING SPIRITUALLY
SELF-RELIANT IS TO BE ABLE TO HEAR THE LORD’S
VOICE THROUGH HIS SPIRIT FOR ONE’S OWN LIFE. ENSIGN BLAIR’S ABILITY
TO RECEIVE REVELATION SAVED HIM AND HIS SHIPMATES
FROM A RAGING STORM. OTHER KINDS OF STORMS
ARE RAGING TODAY. WE CANNOT JUST DO AND THINK WHAT
OTHERS ARE DOING AND THINKING. WE MUST LIVE A GUIDED LIFE. WE MUST EACH HAVE OUR
OWN HAND ON THE IRON ROD. THEN WE MAY GO TO
THE LORD WITH HUMBLE CONFIDENCE, KNOWING THAT HE
“SHALL LEAD [US] BY THE HAND, AND GIVE [US] ANSWER
TO [OUR] PRAYERS.” [MUSIC PLAYING] WE TRUSTED THE LORD, AND WE HAVE LOST EVERYTHING! WE WILL FIND ANOTHER WAY. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY! WHAT DO YOU PROPOSE NOW? RETURN TO THE HOUSE OF THAT
THIEF? THEY WILL KILL US BEFORE
WE GET TO THE DOOR! WE MUST GO BACK. WE CANNOT DISAPPOINT
FATHER OR THE LORD. YOU ARE A FOOL! – YOU ARE A FOOL!
-LAMAN! FATHER IS A FOOL! WHY DO YE SMITE YOUR
YOUNGER BROTHER WITH A ROD? KNOW YE NOT THAT THE LORD
HATH CHOSEN HIM TO BE A RULER OVER YOU, AND THIS BECAUSE OF YOUR
INIQUITIES? BEHOLD, YE SHALL GO UP TO JERUSALEM
AGAIN, AND THE LORD WILL DELIVER
LABAN INTO YOUR HANDS. HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE LORD
WILL DELIVER LABAN INTO OUR
HANDS? -HE IS A MIGHTY MAN.
-HE CAN COMMAND FIFTY, YEA, EVEN HE CAN SLAY FIFTY; THEN WHY NOT US? LET US GO UP AGAIN UNTO
JERUSALEM. LET US BE FAITHFUL IN KEEPING
THE
COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD. HE IS MIGHTIER THAN ALL THE
EARTH, THEN WHY NOT MIGHTIER THAN
LABAN AND HIS FIFTY, OR EVEN THAN HIS TENS OF
THOUSANDS? LET US GO UP; LET US BE STRONG LIKE UNTO
MOSES; FOR HE TRULY SPAKE UNTO THE
WATERS OF THE RED SEA AND THEY DIVIDED,
AND OUR FATHERS CAME THROUGH, OUT OF CAPTIVITY, ON DRY GROUND. NEPHI, THIS IS NOT THE SAME! AN ANGEL HAS SPOKEN UNTO YOU; WHEREFORE CAN YE DOUBT? LET US GO UP; THE LORD IS ABLE TO DELIVER US, EVEN AS OUR FATHERS. LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS
ARE BEST LEARNED IN THE HOME. I REMEMBER A TIME WHEN
I WASN’T BEING VERY NICE TO ONE OF THE
GIRLS AT SCHOOL. 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. BUSY– STUDIES SHOW
THAT BY THE TIME I’M 12 I CAN BE INFLUENCED BY FRIENDS
MORE THAN PARENTS. GIVE YOUR FAMILY EVERYTHING,
GIVE THEM YOUR TIME. LOOK AT THIS PLACE! ISN’T IT AMAZING? THIS IS KIRTLAND VILLAGE ON THE
BACK LOT OF THE MOTION PICTURE STUDIO IN PROVO, UTAH. THIS IS WHERE A LOT OF
THE CHURCH HISTORY FILMS ARE PRODUCED. AND I THINK THAT IT’S
THE PERFECT PLACE TO TALK ABOUT SAINTS. THIS IS SAINTS VOLUME 1. MAYBE YOU’VE HEARD OF IT. OVER 400,000 PRINT
COPIES HAVE BEEN SOLD, AND OVER A MILLION PEOPLE
HAVE READ IT ELECTRONICALLY. IT’S AVAILABLE IN 14 LANGUAGES. SO WHAT ARE READERS
SAYING ABOUT SAINTS? I REALLY APPRECIATED,
WITH SAINTS VOLUME 1, HOW THE SOURCES
WERE ALL IN THE BOOK, BUT IF I WANTED MORE
INFORMATION, I COULD GO ONLINE AND I COULD DIG A LITTLE
DEEPER ON THE THINGS I HAD MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT. SAINTS VOLUME 1–YES,
IT IS A HISTORY BOOK, BUT IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE ONE. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S
JUST A JOURNAL, ALMOST. IT FEELS LIKE IT’S A
BOOK THAT YOU PICKED UP AT SCHOOL, TYPE THING. I LOVE THE TRANSPARENCY,
BECAUSE THERE’S SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WANT TO TRY AND
DRAG DOWN OUR FAITH BY SAYING, “THERE’S SECRETS YOU
DON’T KNOW, AND THE CHURCH KEEPS THESE THINGS FROM YOU.” BUT IT’S NOT THE CASE. THEY’RE JUST THINGS
YOU HAVEN’T READ YET. AND WHEN YOU SEE THE
STORY–THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY–YOU REALIZE THAT
THEY’RE JUST ORDINARY PEOPLE TRYING TO DO
EXTRAORDINARY THINGS. IT WAS NOT A “STORY” THAT WAS
TOLD; IT WAS REAL HISTORY. AND WE GET TO BE PART OF IT. I FEEL LIKE ONE
OF THE CHARACTERS I GOT TO KNOW REALLY THE
BEST WAS JOSEPH, AND JUST HIS STORY OF PROGRESSION AND
WATCHING HIM BECOME THE PROPHET THAT HE WAS, YOU KNOW,
THROUGH THE MISTAKES HE MADE AND HIS
LEARNING EXPERIENCES, HOW HE WAS ABLE TO
GROW INTO WHO HE NEEDED TO BE TO LEAD THE CHURCH. ONE THING I LOVED ABOUT VOLUME
1 WAS THE STORIES OF THE WOMEN. THEY WENT THROUGH SO MUCH THAT
WE DON’T REALLY THINK ABOUT. AS A WOMAN, I COULD
FEEL FOR THEM, HAVING TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES
WHEN THEIR HUSBAND WAS OFF ACROSS THE WORLD. IT REALLY WAS AN
EXAMPLE TO ME OF HOW WOMEN WERE SO STRONG
IN THE CHURCH, AND WE DIDN’T ALWAYS
HEAR ABOUT THAT UNTIL THIS BOOK, THE SAINTS. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME 2 BEGAN
APPEARING IN CHURCH MAGAZINES IN JULY. THE CHAPTERS ARE ALSO
AVAILABLE IN THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION OF THE GOSPEL LIBRARY. VIDEOS DEPICTING SOME OF
THE STORIES FROM VOLUME 2 ARE ALSO AVAILABLE IN
THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP. SO YOU CAN WATCH WHILE YOU WAIT! LET’S TAKE A SNEAK PEEK AT SOME
OF THESE INCREDIBLE STORIES FROM SAINTS VOLUME 2. IN 1843, WHEN JOSEPH SMITH
CALLS ADDISON PRATT AND KNOWLTON HANKS AND NOAH ROGERS
AND BENJAMIN GROUARD ON THIS MISSION TO
THE PACIFIC, IT’S REALLY A LANDMARK IN THE HISTORY
OF LATTER-DAY SAINT MISSIONS. IT’S BY FAR THE LONGEST
MISSIONARY JOURNEY THAT HAS BEEN ATTEMPTED IN
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH UP TO THIS POINT. [SPEAKING FRENCH] I WAS AREA PRESIDENT
IN THE PACIFIC ISLANDS FROM 1998 TO 2001, AND I
WENT TO ONE OF THOSE ISLANDS THAT ADDISON PRATT HAD BEEN ON. AND THIS 17, 18–TEENAGE
GIRL GETS UP AND TALKS. AND SHE’S THE SEVENTH-GENERATION
MEMBER OF HER FAMILY. I’M A DESCENDANT OF PIONEERS;
I’M THE FIFTH GENERATION. SHE WAS THE SEVENTH GENERATION. THEY MAY FEEL LIKE
THEY’RE FAR OFF, BUT THEY’RE PART OF
CHURCH HISTORY TOO. SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS
THE STORY OF THE FIRST TEMPLE TO BE BUILT AFTER NAUVOO. THE ST. GEORGE SAINTS LIVED
TOO FAR TO COME TO SALT LAKE. AND SO BRIGHAM YOUNG SAID, “WE
WILL BRING THE TEMPLE TO YOU. WE WILL BUILD A
TEMPLE THAT IS SMALLER IN SCALE THAN SALT LAKE. AND WE WILL BRING THE ORDINANCES
TO YOU, WHERE YOU LIVE.” SO THEY TOOK BLACK VOLCANIC ROCK
FROM A BLUFF NEAR THE TEMPLE SITE AND POUNDED IT INTO
THE GROUND WITH A CANNON THAT THEY HAD TURNED
INTO A PILE DRIVER. AND WHEN THAT PILE DRIVER
BOUNCED THREE TIMES, THEY KNEW THE GROUND
WAS STABLE ENOUGH TO BUILD THE FOUNDATION
ON TOP OF IT. IF YOU LIVED IN ST. GEORGE,
NO MATTER HOW POOR YOU WERE, YOU GAVE SOMETHING. WE HAVE STORIES OF
MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH THAT DONATE ONE DOLLAR
BECAUSE THAT IS ALL THEY HAD. OTHER PEOPLE SEWED TOGETHER
CARPETS, FED THE WORKERS, MADE CLOTHES FOR THE WORKERS,
OR JUST WERE THERE IN SUPPORT. THESE PEOPLE WERE SO
EXCITED FOR THIS TEMPLE. THEY WERE SO EXCITED
THAT THE PROPHET WAS HERE TO DEDICATE THIS TEMPLE. EVER WONDER HOW VARIOUS CHURCH
ORGANIZATIONS CAME TO BE? SAINTS VOLUME 2 ALSO TELLS THE
STORY OF MARY ISABELLA HORNE AND THE FOUNDING OF THE
YOUNG WOMEN’S ORGANIZATION. AS THE RAILROAD IS
APPROACHING COMPLETION, THE SAINTS HAVE A GREAT DEAL
OF AMBIVALENCE ABOUT IT. IT WAS KIND OF, IN SOME WAYS,
LIKE WE FEEL ABOUT THE INTERNET TODAY, WHERE WE ARE EXCITED
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY AND ALL OF THE OPPORTUNITY THAT
IT OPENS UP FOR LEARNING AND FOR CONNECTION
WITH THE WORLD. BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, WE RECOGNIZE THE POTENTIAL OF THIS
SO-CALLED INFORMATION HIGHWAY TO BRING IN ALL KINDS OF
INFLUENCES INTO OUR HOMES AND INTO OUR LIVES. THIS WAS REALLY WORRISOME
TO BRIGHAM YOUNG. SO HE CALLED ON
MARY ISABELLA HORNE TO LEAD WHAT HE CALLED
THE RETRENCHMENT MOVEMENT, THIS MOVEMENT
TO GROUND WOMEN IN WHAT REALLY MATTERED. AND THEY NEEDED THE YOUNG WOMEN
TO BE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT. IF YOU WANT A CULTURE TO CHANGE,
YOU NEED TO INVITE THE YOUTH. AND THE YOUNG WOMEN
HAVE A VITAL ROLE IN THAT PART OF
CHANGING CULTURE. SAINTS TELLS FAMILIAR STORIES
LIKE MISSIONS TO EUROPE, AND STORIES THAT YOU MAY
HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE, LIKE THE WOMEN OF
THE UTAH TERRITORY BEING THE FIRST WOMEN
IN THE NATION TO VOTE. IT TELLS INSPIRING STORIES
LIKE THE HANDCART RESCUE, AND TRAGIC STORIES LIKE THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
WE’LL LEARN WHY THE CHURCH HAS WRITTEN
SAINTS NOW AND IN SUCH A UNIQUE AND TRANSPARENT WAY. ELDER LEGRAND CURTIS JR. IS THE
CHURCH HISTORIAN AND RECORDER FOR THE CHURCH OF JESUS
CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. WE ASKED ELDER CURTIS, ALONG
WITH A FEW OTHER EXPERTS, WHY THE CHURCH IS WRITING
THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. IN THE VERY MEETING WHERE
THE CHURCH WAS ORGANIZED IN APRIL OF 1830,
THE LORD SAID, “THERE SHALL BE A RECORD
KEPT AMONG YOU.” SAINTS IS A STORY OF NORMAL
PEOPLE TOUCHED BY THE HEAVENS. AND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT,
THAT’S ALL OF OUR ENDEAVOR. THAT’S ALL OF OUR JOURNEY
HERE, IS THAT WE ARE MORTAL, WE’RE NORMAL, BUT WE’RE TRYING
TO DO WHAT GOD WANTS US TO DO. AND BY SEEING JOSEPH SMITH,
BY SEEING EMMA SMITH, BY SEEING THE NORMAL
PEOPLE, MALE AND FEMALE, WE CAN SEE BETTER HOW
WE CAN SERVE GOD NOW. SO IN THE PAST, OUR EFFORTS TO
WRITE THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH HAVE RELIED PRIMARILY ON PEOPLE
IN ADMINISTRATIVE POSITIONS. THEIR VOICES HAVE BEEN
FEATURED AND HIGHLIGHTED. THIS EFFORT AT WRITING
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH RELIES MORE ON
COMMON PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO ARE UNSUNG HEROES,
PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT OF TRADITIONAL EFFORTS TO WRITE
THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH. BRIGHAM YOUNG COUNSELED THE
CHURCH HISTORIANS IN THE 1860S, “WRITE IN THE NARRATIVE
STYLE,” HE SAID. HE KNEW, AS WE ALL
KNOW, SOMEWHERE IN US, THAT WE NEED STORIES. WE NEED THE STORIES OF OUR PAST
TO GIVE MEANING TO OUR PRESENT AND TO ORIENT US IN THE FUTURE. SO IT SEEMS CLEAR TO ME, BASED
ON THE WONDERFUL RECEPTION OF SAINTS, THAT THAT
IDEA TO WRITE A NARRATIVE WAS THE RIGHT ONE. I AM THE LITERARY
EDITOR AND LEAD WRITER ON THE VOLUMES, WHICH MEANS
THAT I’M THE ONE WHO MAKES SURE THAT THE STORIES ARE
STRUCTURED IN A PLEASING WAY, IN AN ENGAGING WAY, IN A
WAY THAT PULLS READERS IN. AND IF YOU WANT TO
ENGAGE A READER, IF YOU WANT TO ENGAGE
SOMEONE–ESPECIALLY SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T NECESSARILY LIKE HISTORY
OR IS PUT OFF BY ACADEMIC WRITING–THEN NARRATIVE
IS THE WAY TO GO, BECAUSE EVERYBODY
LOVES A GOOD STORY. I HOPE THAT READERS OF
SAINTS WILL FIND THEMSELVES IN THE STORY. I HOPE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO
CONNECT WITH THE PIONEERS, WITH THE EARLY SAINTS, WITH
THE PEOPLE WHO CAME BEFORE US. WELL, I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN
WE THINK ABOUT OUR HISTORY, IT’S REALLY EASY TO FOCUS
ON TOUCHSTONES LIKE JOSEPH AND BRIGHAM AND TO THINK
ABOUT THOSE REALLY SINGULAR, ICONIC FIGURES WHO HAVE BECOME
CHARACTERS IN OUR KIND OF–THE TAPESTRY OF OUR HISTORY. AND THERE’S REALLY SO MUCH MORE
GOING ON, EVEN EARLY, EARLY, EARLY IN THE CHURCH’S HISTORY. SOME OF MY FAVORITE
STORIES IN VOLUME 2, SPECIFICALLY, CAME NEAR
THE END OF THE VOLUME. ONE WOMAN WHO I FOUND
PARTICULARLY COMPELLING WAS NAMED LORENA LARSEN. SHE IS JUST AN AVERAGE,
EVERYDAY WOMAN, BUT SHE DEALT WITH
THE CHALLENGES THAT CAME WHEN SHE HAD TO LIVE ON THE
UNDERGROUND WITH A GREAT DEAL OF FAITH. BUT SHE ALSO–SHE WROTE IN
A WAY THAT WAS VERY HONEST AND COMPELLING, WHICH MADE HER A
FANTASTIC SUBJECT BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO USE HER WORDS AND HER
EMOTIONS TO TELL HER STORY. AND I THINK READERS ARE GOING
TO REALLY IDENTIFY WITH LORENA. ONE OF THE WAYS THAT SAINTS IS
DIFFERENT THAN PAST HISTORIES PRODUCED BY THE CHURCH IS
THAT IT IS MULTILAYERED. SO THE TOP LAYER, AND THE MAIN
LAYER, IS THE NARRATIVE TEXT. THAT’S WHERE MOST PEOPLE ARE
GOING TO GET THEIR INFORMATION. BUT OTHER PEOPLE, WE
KNOW, WILL WANT TO DIVE DEEPER ON A PARTICULAR TOPIC. SO ON OVER 115
TOPICS IN VOLUME 1, WE’VE WRITTEN SHORT
ESSAYS THAT ARE LINKED TO FROM THE
FOOTNOTES, THAT HELP EXPLORE A PARTICULAR PERSON,
PLACE, THEME IN GREATER DEPTH. FROM THE BEGINNING,
WE KNEW THAT SAINTS NEEDED TO BE TRANSLATED BROADLY,
AND SO IT’S IN 14 LANGUAGES. IT’S ALSO GLOBAL IN THE
STORIES THAT IT TELLS. IT TAKES A TEAM TO CREATE ALL
OF THE AMAZING TOOLS, TOPICS, AND RESOURCES THAT MAKE
UP THE SAINTS PROJECT. MANY PEOPLE HAVE PUT IN
COUNTLESS HOURS OF RESEARCHING, EDITING, AND WRITING. REVIEWERS FROM HARVARD TO HONG
KONG, BRAZIL TO BRIGHAM CITY, HAVE ALSO CONTRIBUTED
VALUABLE INSIGHTS TO HELP SAINTS REACH
MEMBERS OF A GLOBAL FAITH. I’VE LOVED BEING A
REVIEWER ON SAINTS. IT’S BEEN IMPORTANT TO ME
FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS. ONE OF THE THINGS
SAINTS, THE BOOK SAINTS, DOES SO MAGNIFICENTLY,
I THINK, IS TAKE A VERY, VERY COMPLEX
AND DEEPLY GROUNDED STORY THAT’S BEEN DEVELOPED
THROUGH A LOT OF VERY SERIOUS SCHOLARSHIP. IT TRANSLATES VERY
SOPHISTICATED SCHOLARSHIP INTO AN ENGAGING AND
ACCESSIBLE NARRATIVE. I RECEIVED THE ASSIGNMENT
THROUGH THE GENERAL PRIMARY PRESIDENCY. AND THEY ASKED ME
TO REPRESENT THEM IN READING THROUGH
THE MANUSCRIPT. AS I READ VOLUME 1 AND
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, I FELT THIS
CONNECTION TO HISTORY. IT ENCOURAGED ME TO FEEL
LIKE I WAS PART OF SOMETHING GREATER THAN JUST MYSELF. AS A PRODUCT MANAGER FOR SAINTS,
ONE OF MY RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO TAKE THE WORDS THAT
HAVE BEEN CREATED AND WRITTEN BY THE HISTORIANS, THE
EDITORS, AND WRITERS AND TO THEN WORK AND
COORDINATE THE EFFORT TO HAVE THOSE WORDS TYPESET,
ILLUSTRATED, BOUND AND PRINTED, RECORDED IN AUDIOBOOK
FORMAT, AND MADE AVAILABLE TO MEMBERS
AND OTHERS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN OUR HISTORY. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO
HOST THE SAINTS PODCAST. ON THE PODCAST I’M
ABLE TO INTERVIEW HISTORIANS AND WRITERS,
GENERAL AUTHORITIES, TO LEARN MORE
ABOUT THESE TOPICS. AND IT REALLY HAS BEEN
JUST A BLAST FOR ME TO EXPLORE THOSE THINGS
IN A LITTLE MORE DETAIL AND BRING IT TO THE AUDIENCE IN
KIND OF A FUN AND ENGAGING WAY. SO MY ROLE IN THE
SAINTS PROJECT IS, I’M PART OF THE EDITORIAL TEAM. AND IF YOU LOOK AT HOW
THE PROJECT UNFOLDS, YOU START WITH HISTORIANS. AND THEY KNOW THE STORIES;
THEY KNOW THE HISTORY. AND THEN THE EDITORIAL TEAM HAS
TWO PRINCIPAL ROLES, REALLY. FIRST, WE POLISH IT AND MAKE
IT AS READABLE AS POSSIBLE. AND THEN THE OTHER ROLE
IS THE SOURCE CHECKING. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE
HISTORIANS AND THOSE WRITERS HAVE GOT EVERYTHING RIGHT. SO MY JOB IS TO
CHECK THE SOURCE, SEE IF IT’S THE BEST SOURCE OR
IF THERE’S A BETTER VERSION. AND USUALLY THERE
IS; USUALLY THERE IS A MORE ORIGINAL VERSION,
FROM A TRANSCRIPTION TO A MANUSCRIPT OF A DIARY. AND SO I GET THE
PAGES, AND I LOOK TO MAKE SURE WHAT IS
WRITTEN ON THE PAGE IN SAINTS IS ACTUALLY ON
THE PAGE IN THE REAL SOURCE. LET’S TAKE A LOOK
AT HOW IT WORKS. SO WE’RE GOING TO START
IN THE GOSPEL LIBRARY APP, AND I’M GOING TO CLICK ON
THE CHURCH HISTORY SECTION. THEN WE’LL GO TO
SAINTS VOLUME 1. AND LET’S SAY THAT I’M READING
IN CHAPTER 2 ABOUT THE FIRST VISION. WE KNOW THAT SAINTS USES ALL
KNOWN ACCOUNTS OF THE FIRST VISION, SO I MIGHT BE
READING AND FIND A NEW DETAIL THAT I HADN’T KNOWN BEFORE. SO WE CAN CLICK
ON A FOOTNOTE–15, FOR EXAMPLE–TO FIND THE
SOURCES BEHIND WHAT IS WRITTEN. IF I TAP ON “NEIBAUR,
JOURNAL, MAY 24TH, 1844,” IT TAKES ME TO AN ACTUAL
DOCUMENT ON THE JOSEPH SMITH PAPERS WEBSITE. THEN I CAN JUST GO
BACK RIGHT HERE. AND I CAN CLICK ON
“CHRISTIAN CHURCHES IN JOSEPH SMITH’S DAY.” AND THAT PROVIDES
ADDITIONAL CONTEXT. SAINTS IS ALSO AVAILABLE
AS AN AUDIOBOOK. PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD
CAN LISTEN TO SAINTS WHILE THEY COMMUTE,
EXERCISE, OR JUST RELAX. LET’S GO MEET THE NARRATORS. MY ROLE WAS, I GOT TO RECORD THE
AUDIO FOR THE AUDIOBOOK, MYSELF AND MY FRIEND HILLARY. WE BOTH GOT TO RECORD IT. AND SO WE GOT TO SEE
IT AND READ THROUGH IT BEFORE IT WAS RELEASED. EVERY DAY THAT I GOT TO GO
INTO THE BOOTH WAS A PRIVILEGE. AND I STARTED OUT THE DAY AND
THE SESSION WITH THE PRAYER THAT I WOULD BE ABLE TO
BRING TO LIFE THE INDIVIDUALS AND REPRESENT THEM
IN AN AUTHENTIC WAY, THAT I COULD REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHO THEY WERE. AND IN DOING SO, I THINK
I REALLY CAME TO LOVE THEM AND TO APPRECIATE
THEIR CONTRIBUTION. OK. NOW YOU KNOW THE WRITERS
AND HAVE MET THE NARRATORS. LET’S MEET THE ARTIST BEHIND
THE BEAUTIFUL COVER ART AND THE ILLUSTRATIONS
WITHIN THE BOOK. MY ROLE WAS TO BE THE
ILLUSTRATOR FOR THE PROJECT. I GOT TO DO ALL OF THE
COVER ARTWORK AND THE MAPS AND ALL OF THE CHAPTER HEADING
ILLUSTRATIONS IN THE VOLUMES. THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTWORK
WAS TO SHOW THE GLOBAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH, WITH THE
TEMPLES BEING THE ANCHOR POINTS ALONG THIS TIME LINE. AND I THOUGHT, “WOULDN’T
IT BE REALLY COOL IF I COULD SOMEHOW CREATE
A PANORAMA OF THE CHURCH’S HISTORY WITH ALL OF THE
TEMPLES DOTTING THE ARTWORK?” I THINK THERE’S A CERTAIN
NOSTALGIA ASPECT TO IT. IT HAS A CERTAIN
TIMELESS CHARM, MAYBE, THAT PEOPLE CAN RELATE TO. AND IT WAS REALLY
FUN TO BOIL DOWN, TO THE ESSENCE, A
MOMENT IN CHURCH HISTORY WITH A SINGLE IMAGE. WHEN WE COME BACK,
ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK OF THE QUORUM OF
THE TWELVE APOSTLES WILL TELL US WHY THE CHURCH
HAS WRITTEN THIS NEW NARRATIVE HISTORY. STAY WITH US. DID YOU KNOW THAT UTAH
WOMEN WERE THE FIRST WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES TO VOTE? DID YOU KNOW THAT THE
SHOSHONE INDIANS HELPED TO BUILD THE LOGAN UTAH TEMPLE? EVER WONDER ABOUT THE CHALLENGES
OF POLYGAMY, BOTH TO THE CHURCH AND TO THE FAMILIES LIVING IT? ALL OF THESE STORIES AND
MORE ARE ALSO INCLUDED IN THE SOON-TO-BE-RELEASED
SAINTS VOLUME 2. ONE ASPECT OF CHURCH
HISTORY THAT I HOPE ALL OF OUR MEMBERS
AROUND THE WORLD KNOW ABOUT IS THE FACT THAT UTAH WOMEN
WERE THE FIRST IN THE NATION TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT TO VOTE. WHY DOES THIS MATTER? SUFFRAGE IS AN EXAMPLE OF WOMEN
BEING TREATED AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN THINKING OF THEMSELVES
AS FULL CITIZENS AND WOMEN TAKING SERIOUSLY
THE POTENTIAL THEY HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN SOCIETY
AND MAKE SOCIETY BETTER. OUR SHOSHONE CHIEF
SAGWITCH WAS TOLD BY THREE MEN THAT APPEARED
TO HIM IN HIS DREAM THAT THERE WAS A GOD
AMONG THE MORMON PEOPLE AND THAT HE NEEDED TO
SEND SOMEONE TO SALT LAKE, AND THEY’D TELL HIM WHAT TO DO. LONG STORY SHORT, A
MISSIONARY FROM OGDEN WAS SENT TO OUR TRIBE–SPECIFICALLY,
NORTH OF CORINNE, UTAH–AND, AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS OF
TEACHING THEM THE GOSPEL, CONVERTED AND BAPTIZED 102 OF
OUR PEOPLE IN THE BEAR RIVER. ONCE WE JOINED THE CHURCH, THEY
ESTABLISHED WASHAKIE FOR US. I WAS TOLD BY MY GRANDMOTHER
THAT ONCE CONVERTED, OUR PEOPLE EXERCISED
A CHILDLIKE FAITH. I KNOW WE WERE
FULL-TITHE PAYERS. WE DEDICATED MORE
THAN A THOUSAND HOURS TO THE BUILDING OF
THE LOGAN TEMPLE. OUR PEOPLE WENT TO
THE TEMPLE OFTEN AND DID WORK FOR THOSE
WHO PASSED AT BEAR RIVER. WHEN THEY FIRST ANNOUNCED
THAT THEY WERE PRACTICING PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE HERE
IN UTAH, RELATIVELY ISOLATED. AND SO IT TOOK A WHILE FOR
THE CONTROVERSY TO BUILD. BUT OVER THE FOLLOWING DECADES,
THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT PASSED A SERIES OF INCREASINGLY
STRIDENT OR PUNITIVE LAWS AGAINST PLURAL
MARRIAGE AND BEGAN ENFORCING THEM AGGRESSIVELY. BY 1890, WHEN PRESIDENT WOODRUFF
ANNOUNCED THE MANIFESTO THAT LED TO THE END OF
PLURAL MARRIAGE, THEY WERE FACED WITH
A VERY SIMPLE CHOICE: THEY COULD CONTINUE TO
PRACTICE PLURAL MARRIAGE, BUT IF THEY DID, THEY
WOULD LOSE THE TEMPLES BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT
WAS GOING TO CONFISCATE ALL OF THE CHURCH’S PROPERTY,
INCLUDING THE TEMPLES. AND THAT WOULD STOP THE WORK
OF SALVATION FOR THE DEAD. TRUTH IS NOT JUST GOOD
THINGS; TRUTH IS GOOD AND BAD. TRUTH IS THE “KNOWLEDGE
OF THINGS AS THEY ARE, AND AS THEY WERE, AND
AS THEY ARE TO COME,” THE DOCTRINE AND
COVENANTS TELLS US. THERE ARE THINGS
THAT WE CAN LEARN FROM SUCH AWFUL EVENTS AS THE
MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I
LEARNED IN STUDYING THAT SUBJECT WAS THAT WHEN PEOPLE
GOT TOGETHER IN COUNCILS AND RELIED UPON THE COLLECTIVE
WISDOM OF THE GROUP, THEY OFTEN MADE RIGHT DECISIONS. WHEN THEY DISREGARDED
THE COUNCIL’S DECISIONS AND WENT OFF TO MAKE
INDIVIDUAL DECISIONS, THEY OFTEN MADE
THE WRONG CHOICES. JOSEPH SMITH AND
SUBSEQUENT CHURCH LEADERS HAVE TALKED ABOUT “ZEAL
WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE” AS NOT BEING A VIRTUE. AND I THINK THAT IN THE CASE OF
THE MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE, WE HAD ZEALOUS PEOPLE
WHO TRIED TO OPERATE UNDER THAT EMOTIONAL
SENSE OF ZEAL WITHOUT STEPPING
BACK AND REFLECTING DEEPLY ON WHETHER WHAT THEY
WERE DOING WAS RIGHT OR WRONG. THE CHURCH HAS TAKEN A FRESH
LOOK AT ITS OWN HISTORY–THE SWEET AND THE BITTER, THE
TRAGEDIES AND THE TRIUMPHS. AND YET THIS NEW AND
ENGAGING PERSPECTIVE HAS FOUND ITS WAY INTO
THE HEARTS OF READERS AROUND THE WORLD, BOTH
YOUNG AND OLD ALIKE. WELL, VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS
WILL END WITH THE DEDICATION OF THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE. AND I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL IT FOR
ANYBODY, BUT IT IS MAGNIFICENT. YOU THINK OF ALL OF
THE CHALLENGES THAT HAPPENED IN THAT VOLUME,
STARTING WITH THE SAINTS BEING EXPELLED FROM NAUVOO
AND COMING ACROSS THE PLAINS. AND IT ENDS ON A
WONDERFUL HIGH NOTE WITH SPIRITUAL
MANIFESTATIONS AND REJOICING AS THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, AFTER
40 YEARS OF CONSTRUCTION, IS COMPLETED. I WOULD HOPE THAT THE
ULTIMATE RESULT OF IT WOULD BE A DEEP APPRECIATION
OF OUR ANCESTORS AND THE SACRIFICES AND THE
HARDSHIPS THEY WENT THROUGH, AND THAT THAT WOULD EMPOWER
US AS A PEOPLE TODAY TO FACE OUR DIFFERENT
HARDSHIPS PERHAPS, BUT NEVERTHELESS WOULD
BE A BLESSING TO US AND GIVE US STRENGTH AND POWER
TO OVERCOME THE ISSUES THAT FACE US TODAY. THE FIRST PRESIDENCY HAS SAID,
“REMEMBERING OUR SHARED LEGACY OF FAITH, DEVOTION, AND
PERSEVERANCE GIVES US PERSPECTIVE AND
STRENGTH AS WE FACE THE CHALLENGES OF OUR DAY.” SAINTS IS HELPING US REMEMBER. VOLUME 1 WAS RELEASED
JUST A YEAR AGO, AND IT’S ALREADY A BEST
SELLER BY ANY MEASURE. CHAPTERS FROM VOLUME
2 ARE AVAILABLE NOW ONLINE AND IN THE ENSIGN
AND LIAHONA MAGAZINES. IF YOU’VE HAD QUESTIONS
ABOUT OUR CHURCH’S HISTORY, OR IF YOU’RE JUST LOOKING FOR
AN INCREDIBLY ENGAGING YET TRUE STORY, WATCH FOR
VOLUME 2 OF SAINTS, AVAILABLE IN EARLY 2020. HAPPY READING! ♪♪ ♪♪>>FROM THE CONFERENCE CENTER AT TEMPLE SQUARE IN SALT LAKE CITY, WE BRING YOU THE WOMEN’S SESSION OF THE 189TH SEMIANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCEOF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION IS PROVIDED BY A CHOIR OF PRIMARY GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN FROM STAKES IN THE WEST JORDAN, UTAH, AREA. WOMEN, YOUNG WOMEN, AND GIRLS EIGHT YEARS OF AGE AND ABOVE ARE GATHERED TOGETHER THROUGHOUT THE WORLD TO RECEIVE COUNSEL AND INSTRUCTION FROM CHURCH LEADERS. JOY D. JONES, PRIMARY GENERAL PRESIDENT, WILL CONDUCT THIS SESSION. ♪♪>>SISTER JOY D. JONES: WE WELCOME YOU TO THE WOMEN’S SESSION OF THE 189TH 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. MY NAME IS JOY D. JONES, AND I CURRENTLY SERVE AS PRIMARY GENERAL PRESIDENT. WE ARE GRATEFUL TO BE GATHERED IN THE CONFERENCE CENTER IN SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, AND REJOICE IN KNOWING THAT THERE ARE SIMILAR GATHERINGS IN MANY MEETING PLACES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WE LIKEWISE WELCOME FRIENDS FROM OTHER FAITHS WHO MAY BE JOINING US, AND HOPE YOU ENJOY OUR TIME TOGETHER. WE RECOGNIZE IN ATTENDANCE THIS EVENING MEMBERS OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND MEMBERS OF THE PRIESTHOOD AND FAMILY EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. ALSO SEATED ON THE STAND ARE THOSE SERVING IN THE PRIMARY, YOUNG WOMEN, AND RELIEF SOCIETY GENERAL PRESIDENCIES, ALONG WITH THE GENERAL BOARD MEMBERS FOR EACH ORGANIZATION. THE MUSIC FOR THIS SESSION WILL BE BY A CHOIR OF PRIMARY GIRLS AND YOUNG WOMEN FROM STAKES IN THE WEST JORDAN, UTAH AREA UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KASEY BRADBURY, WITH LINDA MARGETTS AT THE ORGAN. THE CHOIR WILL OPEN THIS MEETING BY SINGING “PRAISE TO THE LORD, THE ALMIGHTY.” THE INVOCATION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY SISTER SALOTE TUKUAFU, A MEMBER OF THE PRIMARY GENERAL BOARD. ♪♪ ♪ PRAISE TO THE LORD,
THE ALMIGHTY, ♪ THE KING
OF CREATION! ♪ ♪ O MY SOUL,
PRAISE HIM, ♪ ♪ FOR HE IS THY HEALTH
AND SALVATION! ♪ ♪ JOIN
THE GREAT THRONG, ♪ ♪ PSALTERY,
ORGAN AND SONG, ♪ ♪ SOUNDING
IN GLAD ADORATION! ♪ ♪♪ ♪ PRAISE TO THE LORD! ♪ ♪ OVER ALL THINGS
HE GLORIOUSLY REIGNETH. ♪ ♪ BORNE
AS ON EAGLE WINGS, ♪ ♪ SAFELY HIS SAINTS
HE SUSTAINETH. ♪ ♪ HAST THOU NOT SEEN ♪ ♪ HOW ALL THOU
NEEDEST HATH BEEN ♪ ♪ GRANTED IN WHAT
HE ORDAINETH? ♪ ♪♪ ♪ PRAISE TO THE LORD, ♪ ♪ WHO DOTH PROSPER THY WAY
AND DEFEND THEE. ♪ ♪ SURELY HIS GOODNESS AND MERCY
SHALL EVER ATTEND THEE. ♪ ♪ PONDER ANEW
WHAT THE ALMIGHTY CAN DO, ♪ ♪ WHO WITH HIS LOVE
DOTH BEFRIEND THEE. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ PRAISE TO THE LORD! ♪ ♪ OH, LET ALL THAT IS
IN ME ADORE HIM! ♪ ♪ ALL THAT HATH BREATH, ♪ ♪ JOIN WITH ABRAHAM’S
SEED TO ADORE HIM! ♪ ♪ LET THE “AMEN”
SUM ALL OUR PRAISES AGAIN, ♪ ♪ NOW AS WE WORSHIP
BEFORE HIM. ♪ ♪♪>>SISTER SALOTE TUKUAFU: /OURB FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN, WE COME BEFORE THEE TEACH US TRUTHW PRAY FOR THE BEAUTIFUL CHOIR AS THEY SING SONGS OF WORSHIP UNTO THEE. FATHER, MAY THY SPIRIT STIR OUR SOULS AS WE LISTEN TO THE TRUTH THAT WILL BE TAUGHT THIS EVENING, THAT WE WILL GO HOME AND BE BETTER SISTERS AND WOMEN OF THE CHURCH. WE DEDICATE THIS MEETING UNTO THEE, FATHER, AND PRAY THAT WE WILL ALWAYS KEEP THY COMMANDMENTS ALL THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES, AND WE HUMBLY SAY THIS IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. >>SISTER JONES: WE WILL NOW BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM SISTER REYNA ISABEL ABURTO, WHO SERVES AS SECOND COUNSELOR IN THE RELIEF SOCIETY GENERAL PRESIDENCY. SHE WILL BE FOLLOWED BY SISTER LISA HARKNESS, WHO SERVES AS FIRST COUNSELOR IN THE PRIMARY GENERAL PRESIDENCY. SISTER BONNIE H. CORDON, YOUNG WOMEN GENERAL PRESIDENT, WILL THEN ADDRESS US.>>SISTER REYNA I. ABURTO: ONE OF OUR BELOVED HYMNS EXPRESSES THE PLEA: “THRU CLOUD AND SUNSHINE, LORD, ABIDE WITH ME!” I WAS ONCE ON A PLANE AS IT APPROACHED A LARGE STORM. LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW, I COULD SEE A DENSE BLANKET OF CLOUDS BELOW US. THE RAYS OF THE SETTING SUN REFLECTED OFF THE CLOUDS, CAUSING THEM TO SHINE WITH INTENSE BRIGHTNESS. SOON THE PLANE DESCENDED THROUGH THE HEAVY CLOUDS, AND WE WERE SUDDENLY ENVELOPED IN A THICK DARKNESS THAT COMPLETELY BLINDED US TO THE INTENSE LIGHT WE HAD WITNESSED JUST MOMENTS EARLIER. BLACK CLOUDS MAY ALSO FORM IN OUR LIVES, WHICH CAN BLIND US TO GOD’S LIGHT AND EVEN CAUSE US TO QUESTION IF THAT LIGHT EXISTS FOR US ANYMORE. SOME OF THOSE CLOUDS ARE OF DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, AND OTHER FORMS OF MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL AFFLICTION. THEY CAN DISTORT THE WAY WE PERCEIVE OURSELVES, OTHERS, AND EVEN GOD. THEY AFFECT WOMEN AND MEN OF ALL AGES IN ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD. LIKEWISE DAMAGING IS THE DESENSITIZING CLOUD OF SKEPTICISM THAT CAN AFFECT OTHERS WHO HAVE NOT EXPERIENCED THESE CHALLENGES. LIKE ANY PART OF THE BODY, THE BRAIN IS SUBJECT TO ILLNESSES, TRAUMA, AND CHEMICAL IMBALANCES. WHEN OUR MINDS ARE SUFFERING, IT IS APPROPRIATE TO SEEK HELP FROM GOD, FROM THOSE AROUND US, AND FROM MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. “ALL HUMAN BEINGS–MALE AND FEMALE–ARE CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. EACH IS A BELOVED SPIRIT SON OR DAUGHTER OF HEAVENLY PARENTS, AND … EACH HAS A DIVINE NATURE AND DESTINY.” LIKE OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS AND OUR SAVIOR, WE HAVE A PHYSICAL BODY AND EXPERIENCE EMOTIONS. MY DEAR SISTERS, IT IS NORMAL TO FEEL SAD OR WORRIED ONCE IN A WHILE. SADNESS AND ANXIETY ARE NATURAL HUMAN EMOTIONS. HOWEVER, IF WE ARE CONSTANTLY SAD, AND IF OUR PAIN BLOCKS OUR ABILITY TO FEEL THE LOVE OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND HIS SON AND THE INFLUENCE OF THE HOLY GHOST, THEN WE MAY BE SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, OR ANOTHER EMOTIONAL CONDITION. MY DAUGHTER ONCE WROTE: “THERE WAS A TIME … [WHEN] I WAS EXTREMELY SAD ALL OF THE TIME. I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT SADNESS WAS SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED OF, AND THAT IT WAS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. SO I KEPT MY SADNESS TO MYSELF. … I FELT COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.” A FRIEND DESCRIBED IT THIS WAY: “SINCE MY EARLY CHILDHOOD, I HAVE FACED A CONSTANT BATTLE WITH FEELINGS OF HOPELESSNESS, DARKNESS, LONELINESS, AND FEAR, AND THE SENSE THAT I AM BROKEN OR DEFECTIVE. I DID EVERYTHING TO HIDE MY PAIN AND TO NEVER GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT I WAS ANYTHING BUT THRIVING AND STRONG.” MY DEAR FRIENDS, IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANY OF US–ESPECIALLY WHEN, AS BELIEVERS IN THE PLAN OF HAPPINESS, WE PLACE UNNECESSARY BURDENS ON OURSELVES BY THINKING WE NEED TO BE PERFECT NOW. SUCH THOUGHTS CAN BE OVERWHELMING. ACHIEVING PERFECTION IS A PROCESS THAT WILL TAKE PLACE THROUGHOUT OUR MORTAL LIFE AND BEYOND–AND ONLY THROUGH THE GRACE OF JESUS CHRIST. IN CONTRAST, WHEN WE OPEN UP ABOUT OUR EMOTIONAL CHALLENGES, ADMITTING WE ARE NOT PERFECT, WE GIVE OTHERS PERMISSION TO SHARE THEIR STRUGGLES. TOGETHER WE REALIZE THERE IS HOPE AND WE DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER ALONE. AS DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST, WE HAVE MADE A COVENANT WITH GOD THAT WE “ARE WILLING TO BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS” AND “TO MOURN WITH THOSE THAT MOURN.” THIS MAY INCLUDE BECOMING INFORMED ABOUT EMOTIONAL ILLNESSES, FINDING RESOURCES THAT CAN HELP ADDRESS THESE STRUGGLES, AND ULTIMATELY BRINGING OURSELVES AND OTHERS TO CHRIST, WHO IS THE MASTER HEALER. EVEN IF WE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO RELATE TO WHAT OTHERS ARE GOING THROUGH, VALIDATING THAT THEIR PAIN IS REAL CAN BE AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP IN FINDING UNDERSTANDING AND HEALING. IN SOME CASES, THE CAUSE OF DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY CAN BE IDENTIFIED, WHILE OTHER TIMES IT MAY BE HARDER TO DISCERN. OUR BRAINS MAY SUFFER BECAUSE OF STRESS OR STAGGERING FATIGUE, WHICH CAN SOMETIMES BE IMPROVED THROUGH ADJUSTMENTS IN DIET, SLEEP, AND EXERCISE. OTHER TIMES THERAPY OR MEDICATION UNDER THE DIRECTION OF TRAINED PROFESSIONALS MAY ALSO BE NEEDED. UNTREATED MENTAL OR EMOTIONAL ILLNESS CAN LEAD TO INCREASED ISOLATION, MISUNDERSTANDINGS, BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS, SELF-HARM, AND EVEN SUICIDE. I KNOW THIS FIRSTHAND, AS MY OWN FATHER DIED BY SUICIDE MANY YEARS AGO. HIS DEATH WAS SHOCKING AND HEARTBREAKING FOR MY FAMILY AND ME. IT HAS TAKEN ME YEARS TO WORK THROUGH MY GRIEF, AND IT WAS ONLY RECENTLY THAT I LEARNED TALKING ABOUT SUICIDE IN APPROPRIATE WAYS ACTUALLY HELPS TO PREVENT IT RATHER THAN ENCOURAGE IT. I HAVE NOW OPENLY DISCUSSED MY FATHER’S DEATH WITH MY CHILDREN AND WITNESSED THE HEALING THAT THE SAVIOR CAN GIVE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE VEIL. SADLY, MANY WHO SUFFER FROM SEVERE DEPRESSION DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM THEIR FELLOW SAINTS BECAUSE THEY FEEL THEY DO NOT FIT SOME IMAGINARY MOLD. WE CAN HELP THEM KNOW AND FEEL THAT THEY DO INDEED BELONG WITH US. IT IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE THAT DEPRESSION IS NOT THE RESULT OF WEAKNESS, NOR IS IT USUALLY THE RESULT OF SIN. IT “THRIVES IN SECRECY BUT SHRINKS IN EMPATHY.” TOGETHER, WE CAN BREAK THROUGH THE CLOUDS OF ISOLATION AND STIGMA SO THE BURDEN OF SHAME IS LIFTED AND MIRACLES OF HEALING CAN OCCUR. DURING HIS MORTAL MINISTRY, JESUS CHRIST HEALED THE SICK AND THE AFFLICTED, BUT EACH PERSON HAD TO EXERCISE FAITH IN HIM AND ACT IN ORDER TO RECEIVE HIS HEALING. SOME WALKED FOR LONG DISTANCES, OTHERS EXTENDED THEIR HAND TO TOUCH HIS GARMENT, AND OTHERS HAD TO BE CARRIED TO HIM IN ORDER TO BE HEALED. WHEN IT COMES TO HEALING, DON’T WE ALL NEED HIM DESPERATELY? “ARE WE NOT ALL BEGGARS?” LET US FOLLOW THE SAVIOR’S PATH AND INCREASE OUR COMPASSION, DIMINISH OUR TENDENCY TO JUDGE, AND STOP BEING THE INSPECTORS OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF OTHERS. LISTENING WITH LOVE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS WE CAN OFFER, AND WE MAY BE ABLE TO HELP CARRY OR LIFT THE HEAVY CLOUDS THAT SUFFOCATE OUR LOVED ONES AND FRIENDS SO THAT, THROUGH OUR LOVE, THEY CAN ONCE AGAIN FEEL THE HOLY GHOST AND PERCEIVE THE LIGHT THAT EMANATES FROM JESUS CHRIST. IF YOU ARE CONSTANTLY SURROUNDED BY A “MIST OF DARKNESS,” TURN TO HEAVENLY FATHER. NOTHING THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED CAN CHANGE THE ETERNAL TRUTH THAT YOU ARE HIS CHILD AND THAT HE LOVES YOU. REMEMBER THAT CHRIST IS YOUR SAVIOR AND REDEEMER, AND GOD IS YOUR FATHER. THEY UNDERSTAND. PICTURE THEM CLOSE BY YOU, LISTENING AND OFFERING SUPPORT. “[THEY] WILL CONSOLE YOU IN YOUR AFFLICTIONS.” DO ALL YOU CAN AND TRUST IN THE LORD’S ATONING GRACE. YOUR STRUGGLES DO NOT DEFINE YOU, BUT THEY CAN REFINE YOU. BECAUSE OF A “THORN IN THE FLESH,” YOU MAY HAVE THE ABILITY TO FEEL MORE COMPASSION TOWARD OTHERS. AS GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, SHARE YOUR STORY IN ORDER TO “SUCCOR THE WEAK, LIFT UP THE HANDS WHICH HANG DOWN, AND STRENGTHEN THE FEEBLE KNEES.” FOR THOSE OF US CURRENTLY STRUGGLING OR SUPPORTING SOMEONE WHO IS STRUGGLING, LET US BE WILLING TO FOLLOW GOD’S COMMANDMENTS SO WE MAY ALWAYS HAVE HIS SPIRIT WITH US. LET US DO THE “SMALL AND SIMPLE THINGS” THAT WILL GIVE US SPIRITUAL STRENGTH. AS PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON SAID: “NOTHING OPENS THE HEAVENS QUITE LIKE THE COMBINATION OF INCREASED PURITY, EXACT OBEDIENCE, EARNEST SEEKING, DAILY FEASTING ON THE WORDS OF CHRIST IN THE BOOK OF MORMON, AND REGULAR TIME COMMITTED TO TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK.” LET US ALL REMEMBER THAT OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, “[HAS TAKEN] UPON HIM [OUR] INFIRMITIES, THAT HIS BOWELS MAY BE FILLED WITH MERCY, ACCORDING TO THE FLESH, THAT HE MAY KNOW … HOW TO SUCCOR [US] ACCORDING TO [OUR] INFIRMITIES.” HE CAME “TO BIND UP THE BROKENHEARTED, … TO COMFORT ALL THAT MOURN; … TO GIVE UNTO THEM BEAUTY FOR ASHES, THE OIL OF JOY FOR MOURNING, THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS.” I TESTIFY TO YOU THAT “THRU CLOUD AND SUNSHINE” THE LORD WILL ABIDE WITH US, OUR “AFFLICTIONS … [CAN BE] SWALLOWED UP IN THE JOY OF CHRIST,” AND “IT IS BY GRACE THAT WE ARE SAVED, AFTER ALL WE CAN DO.” I TESTIFY THAT JESUS CHRIST WILL RETURN TO THE EARTH “WITH HEALING IN HIS WINGS.” ULTIMATELY, HE “SHALL WIPE AWAY ALL TEARS FROM [OUR] EYES; AND THERE SHALL BE NO MORE … SORROW.” FOR ALL WHO WILL “COME UNTO CHRIST, AND BE PERFECTED IN HIM,” THE “SUN SHALL NO MORE GO DOWN; … FOR THE LORD SHALL BE [OUR] EVERLASTING LIGHT, AND THE DAYS OF [OUR] MOURNING SHALL BE ENDED.” IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER LISA L. HARKNESS: AS PARENTS EXCITEDLY AWAIT THE BIRTH OF A CHILD, THEY HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF CHOOSING A NAME FOR THEIR NEW BABY. PERHAPS WHEN YOU WERE BORN YOU RECEIVED A NAME THAT WAS PASSED DOWN IN YOUR FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS. OR MAYBE THE NAME YOU WERE GIVEN WAS POPULAR IN THE YEAR OR AREA IN WHICH YOU WERE BORN. THE PROPHET HELAMAN AND HIS WIFE GAVE MEANINGFUL FAMILY NAMES TO THEIR INFANT SONS NEPHI AND LEHI. HELAMAN TOLD HIS SONS: “I HAVE GIVEN UNTO YOU THE NAMES OF OUR FIRST PARENTS … THAT WHEN YOU REMEMBER YOUR NAMES YE MAY REMEMBER THEM; AND WHEN YE REMEMBER THEM YE MAY REMEMBER THEIR WORKS; THAT IT IS SAID, AND ALSO WRITTEN, THAT THEY WERE GOOD. “THEREFORE, MY SONS, I WOULD THAT YE SHOULD DO THAT WHICH IS GOOD.” NEPHI’S AND LEHI’S NAMES HELPED THEM REMEMBER THE GOOD WORKS OF THEIR ANCESTORS AND ENCOURAGED THEM TO DO GOOD AS WELL. SISTERS, NO MATTER WHERE WE LIVE, WHAT LANGUAGE WE SPEAK, OR WHETHER WE ARE 8 YEARS OLD OR 108, WE SHARE A SPECIAL NAME THAT HAS THESE SAME PURPOSES. “FOR AS MANY OF [US] AS HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST HAVE PUT ON CHRIST. … FOR [WE] ARE ALL ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.” AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, “WE FIRST PLEDGE[D] OUR WILLINGNESS TO TAKE UPON US THE NAME OF CHRIST … BY THE ORDINANCE OF BAPTISM.” THROUGH THIS COVENANT, WE PROMISED TO ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM, KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, AND SERVE OTHERS. OUR WILLINGNESS TO KEEP THIS COVENANT IS RENEWED EACH SABBATH DAY WHEN WE PARTAKE OF THE SACRAMENT AND REJOICE ONCE AGAIN IN THE BLESSING OF “WALK[ING] IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.” THE NAME WE WERE GIVEN AT BIRTH REFLECTS OUR INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY AND GIVES US BELONGING WITHIN OUR EARTHLY FAMILIES. HOWEVER, WHEN WE WERE “BORN AGAIN” AT BAPTISM, OUR UNDERSTANDING OF WHO WE ARE WAS ENLARGED. “BECAUSE OF THE COVENANT WHICH YE HAVE MADE YE SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF CHRIST … ; FOR BEHOLD, … HE HATH SPIRITUALLY BEGOTTEN YOU; FOR YE SAY THAT YOUR HEARTS ARE CHANGED THROUGH FAITH ON HIS NAME; THEREFORE, YE ARE BORN OF HIM.” THUS, WITH COVENANT IDENTITY AND BELONGING, WE ARE CALLED BY THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. AND “THERE [IS] NO OTHER NAME GIVEN NOR ANY OTHER WAY NOR MEANS WHEREBY SALVATION CAN COME UNTO THE CHILDREN OF MEN, ONLY IN AND THROUGH THE NAME OF CHRIST, THE LORD OMNIPOTENT.” THE NAME OF JESUS WAS KNOWN LONG BEFORE HIS BIRTH. TO KING BENJAMIN, AN ANGEL PROPHESIED, “AND HE SHALL BE CALLED JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD … ; AND HIS MOTHER SHALL BE CALLED MARY.” HIS WORK OF “REDEEMING LOVE” WAS ALSO MADE KNOWN TO GOD’S CHILDREN WHENEVER THE GOSPEL HAS BEEN ON THE EARTH, FROM THE DAYS OF ADAM AND EVE UNTIL OUR PRESENT DAY, SO THEY COULD “KNOW TO WHAT SOURCE THEY MAY LOOK FOR A REMISSION OF THEIR SINS.” LAST YEAR, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON EXTENDED A PROPHETIC PLEA TO THE SISTERS TO “SHAPE THE FUTURE BY HELPING TO GATHER SCATTERED ISRAEL.” HE INVITED US TO READ THE BOOK OF MORMON AND “MARK EACH VERSE THAT SPEAKS OF OR REFERS TO THE SAVIOR.” HE ASKED THAT WE “BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT TALKING OF CHRIST, REJOICING IN CHRIST, AND PREACHING OF CHRIST WITH [OUR] FAMILY AND FRIENDS.” PERHAPS YOU HAVE BEGUN TO RECOGNIZE THE FRUITS OF HIS PROMISE THAT “YOU AND THEY WILL BE DRAWN CLOSER TO THE SAVIOR. … AND CHANGES, EVEN MIRACLES, WILL BEGIN TO HAPPEN.” OUR PROMISE TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE SAVIOR GIVES US STRENGTH TO STAND FOR TRUTH AND RIGHTEOUSNESS–WHETHER WE ARE IN A LARGE CROWD OR IN OUR SOLITARY PLACES, WHERE NO ONE KNOWS OUR ACTIONS EXCEPT FOR GOD. WHEN WE REMEMBER HIM AND HIS NAME WE BEAR, WE HAVE NO PLACE FOR SELF-DEGRADING COMPARISONS OR OVERBEARING JUDGMENTS. WITH OUR EYES ON THE SAVIOR, WE SEE OURSELVES FOR WHO WE REALLY ARE–A CHERISHED CHILD OF GOD. OUR COVENANT REMEMBERING QUIETS WORLDLY WORRIES, TURNS SELF-DOUBT INTO COURAGE, AND GIVES HOPE IN TIMES OF TRIAL. AND WHEN WE STUMBLE AND FALL IN OUR PROGRESSION ALONG THE COVENANT PATH, WE HAVE ONLY TO REMEMBER HIS NAME AND HIS LOVING-KINDNESS TOWARD US. “FOR HE HAS ALL POWER, ALL WISDOM, AND ALL UNDERSTANDING; HE COMPREHENDETH ALL THINGS, AND HE IS A MERCIFUL BEING … TO THOSE WHO WILL REPENT AND BELIEVE ON HIS NAME.” SURELY THERE IS NO SWEETER SOUND THAN THE NAME OF JESUS TO ALL THOSE WHO, WITH A BROKEN HEART AND A CONTRITE SPIRIT, SEEK TO “DO BETTER AND BE BETTER.” PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT, “THE DAY IS GONE WHEN YOU CAN BE A QUIET AND COMFORTABLE CHRISTIAN. YOUR RELIGION IS NOT JUST ABOUT SHOWING UP FOR CHURCH ON SUNDAY. IT IS ABOUT SHOWING UP AS A TRUE DISCIPLE FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT. … THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PART-TIME DISCIPLE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.” OUR WILLINGNESS TO TAKE UPON US THE NAME OF CHRIST IS MORE THAN A FORMAL EXCHANGE OF WORDS. IT IS NOT A PASSIVE PROMISE OR A CULTURAL CONTRIVANCE. IT IS NOT A RITE OF PASSAGE OR A NAME TAG THAT WE WEAR. IT IS NOT A SAYING THAT WE SIMPLY PLACE ON A SHELF OR HANG ON A WALL. HIS IS A NAME THAT IS “PUT ON,” WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS, AND “ENGRAVEN UPON [OUR] COUNTENANCES.” THE SAVIOR’S ATONING SACRIFICE SHOULD BE REMEMBERED ALWAYS THROUGH OUR THOUGHTS, ACTIONS, AND INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS. NOT ONLY DOES HE REMEMBER OUR NAMES, BUT HE REMEMBERS US ALWAYS. THE SAVIOR DECLARED: “FOR CAN A WOMAN FORGET HER SUCKING CHILD, THAT SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE COMPASSION ON THE SON OF HER WOMB? YEA, THEY MAY FORGET, YET WILL I NOT FORGET THEE, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL. BEHOLD, I HAVE GRAVEN THEE UPON THE PALMS OF MY HANDS.” PRESIDENT GEORGE ALBERT SMITH TAUGHT, “HONOR THE NAMES THAT YOU BEAR, BECAUSE SOME DAY YOU WILL HAVE THE PRIVILEGE AND THE OBLIGATION OF REPORTING … TO YOUR FATHER IN HEAVEN … WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WITH [THOSE] NAMES.” LIKE THE CAREFULLY CHOSEN NAMES OF NEPHI AND LEHI, CAN IT BE SAID AND WRITTEN OF US THAT WE ARE TRUE DISCIPLES OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST? DO WE HONOR THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST THAT WE HAVE WILLINGLY TAKEN UPON OURSELVES? ARE WE BOTH “A MINISTER AND A WITNESS” OF HIS LOVING-KINDNESS AND HIS REDEEMING POWER? NOT LONG AGO, I WAS LISTENING TO THE BOOK OF MORMON. IN THE LAST CHAPTER OF 2 NEPHI, I HEARD NEPHI SAY SOMETHING THAT I HAD NEVER READ THE SAME WAY BEFORE. ALL THROUGHOUT HIS RECORD, HE TEACHES AND TESTIFIES OF THE “REDEEMER,” THE “HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL,” THE “LAMB OF GOD,” AND THE “MESSIAH.” BUT AS HE CLOSED HIS ACCOUNT, I HEARD HIM SAY THESE WORDS: “I GLORY IN PLAINNESS; I GLORY IN TRUTH; I GLORY IN MY JESUS, FOR HE HATH REDEEMED MY SOUL.” WHEN I HEARD THESE WORDS, MY HEART REJOICED, AND I HAD TO LISTEN OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I RECOGNIZED AND RESPONDED TO THAT VERSE JUST LIKE I RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND TO MY OWN NAME. THE LORD HAS SAID, “YEA, BLESSED IS THIS PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO BEAR MY NAME; FOR IN MY NAME SHALL THEY BE CALLED; AND THEY ARE MINE.” AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, MAY WE “GLADLY [TAKE UPON US] THE NAME OF CHRIST” BY HONORING HIS NAME WITH LOVE, DEVOTION, AND GOOD WORKS. I TESTIFY THAT HE IS “THE LAMB OF GOD, YEA, EVEN THE SON OF THE ETERNAL FATHER.” IN THE NAME OF HIS HOLY CHILD, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER BONNIE H. CORDON: MY DEAR SISTERS, IT IS A JOY TO BE WITH YOU! WE ARE WITNESSING AN OUTPOURING OF REVELATION THAT IS BOTH SOUL-STRETCHING AND EXHILARATING. AS WE BEGIN, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME FRIENDS; THEY ARE YOUNG WOMEN UNIQUE IN TALENT, CUSTOM, AND INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY CIRCUMSTANCE. EACH OF THEM, LIKE ALL OF YOU, HAVE CAPTURED MY HEART. FIRST, MEET BELLA. SHE STANDS STRONG AS THE ONLY YOUNG WOMAN IN HER BRANCH IN ICELAND. MEET DEVOTED JOSEPHINE FROM AFRICA, WHO HAS RECOMMITTED TO STUDYING THE BOOK OF MORMON EVERY DAY. SHE IS DISCOVERING THE POWER AND THE BLESSINGS THAT COME FROM THIS SIMPLE, FAITHFUL ACT. AND FINALLY, MEET MY DEAR FRIEND ASHTYN, AN EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG WOMAN WHO PASSED AWAY AFTER A SIX-YEAR BATTLE WITH CANCER. HER TESTIMONY, HER STRONG TESTIMONY OF THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST STILL ECHOES IN MY HEART. YOU ARE ALL REMARKABLE YOUNG WOMEN. YOU ARE UNIQUE, EACH WITH YOUR OWN GIFTS AND EXPERIENCES, YET ALIKE IN A VERY IMPORTANT AND ETERNAL WAY. YOU ARE LITERALLY THE SPIRIT DAUGHTERS OF HEAVENLY PARENTS, AND NOTHING CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM THEIR LOVE AND THE LOVE OF YOUR SAVIOR. AS YOU DRAW CLOSER TO HIM, EVEN TAKING THE SMALLEST BABY STEPS FORWARD, YOU WILL DISCOVER THE LASTING PEACE THAT SETTLES INTO YOUR SOUL AS A FAITHFUL DISCIPLE OF OUR SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, OUR DEARLY BELOVED PROPHET, HAS ASKED THAT I SHARE SOME INSPIRED CHANGES THAT WILL HELP YOU “DEVELOP [YOUR] SACRED PERSONAL POTENTIAL” AND INCREASE YOUR RIGHTEOUS INFLUENCE. I WILL ADDRESS FOUR AREAS OF ADJUSTMENTS TONIGHT. FIRST, AT THE HEART OF ALL WE DO IN YOUNG WOMEN IS OUR DESIRE TO HELP YOU GAIN UNSHAKABLE FAITH IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND A SURE KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR DIVINE IDENTITY AS A DAUGHTER OF GOD. TONIGHT, I WOULD LIKE TO ANNOUNCE A REVISION TO THE YOUNG WOMEN THEME. I PRAY YOU WILL FEEL THE HOLY GHOST TESTIFY THE TRUTH OF THESE WORDS AS I SAY THE NEW THEME: I AM A BELOVED DAUGHTER OF HEAVENLY PARENTS, WITH A DIVINE NATURE AND ETERNAL DESTINY. AS A DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST, I STRIVE TO BECOME LIKE HIM. I SEEK AND ACT UPON PERSONAL REVELATION AND MINISTER TO OTHERS IN HIS HOLY NAME. I WILL STAND AS A WITNESS OF GOD AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL THINGS AND IN ALL PLACES. AS I STRIVE TO QUALIFY FOR EXALTATION, I CHERISH THE GIFT OF REPENTANCE AND SEEK TO IMPROVE EACH DAY. WITH FAITH, I WILL STRENGTHEN MY HOME AND FAMILY, MAKE AND KEEP SACRED COVENANTS, AND RECEIVE THE ORDINANCES AND BLESSINGS OF THE HOLY TEMPLE. NOTICE THE SHIFT FROM “WE” TO “I.” THESE TRUTHS APPLY TO YOU INDIVIDUALLY. YOU ARE A BELOVED DAUGHTER OF HEAVENLY PARENTS. YOU ARE A COVENANT DISCIPLE OF JESUS CHRIST. I INVITE YOU TO EXERCISE YOUR FAITH AND STUDY AND PONDER THESE WORDS. I KNOW AS YOU DO, YOU WILL GAIN A TESTIMONY OF THEIR TRUTHFULNESS. UNDERSTANDING THESE TRUTHS WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU FACE CHALLENGES. KNOWING YOUR IDENTITY AND PURPOSE WILL HELP YOU ALIGN YOUR WILL WITH THE SAVIOR’S. PEACE AND GUIDANCE WILL BE YOURS AS YOU FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST. THE SECOND AREA OF CHANGE AFFECTS YOUNG WOMEN CLASSES. ELDER NEAL A. MAXWELL SAID, “SO OFTEN WHAT PEOPLE NEED SO MUCH IS TO BE SHELTERED FROM THE STORMS OF LIFE IN THE SANCTUARY OF BELONGING.” OUR CLASSES MUST BE SANCTUARIES FROM THE STORMS-SECURE PLACES OF LOVE AND BELONGING. IN AN EFFORT TO BUILD GREATER UNITY, STRENGTHEN FRIENDSHIPS, AND INCREASE THAT FEELING OF BELONGING WITHIN YOUNG WOMEN, WE ARE MAKING SOME ADJUSTMENTS TO CLASS STRUCTURE. DID YOU KNOW FOR OVER 100 YEARS, YOUNG WOMEN HAVE BEEN DIVIDED INTO THREE CLASSES? BEGINNING IMMEDIATELY, WE INVITE YOUNG WOMEN LEADERS AND BISHOPS TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER THE NEEDS OF EACH YOUNG WOMAN AND ORGANIZE THEM ACCORDING TO THE WARD’S SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES. NOW HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW THIS MIGHT LOOK: IF YOU HAVE FEW YOUNG WOMEN, YOU COULD HAVE ONE YOUNG WOMEN CLASS WITH EVERYONE MEETING TOGETHER. PERHAPS YOU HAVE A LARGE GROUP OF YOUNG WOMEN AGE 12 AND THEN A SMALL GROUP OF YOUNG WOMEN WHO ARE OLDER. YOU MAY DECIDE TO HAVE TWO CLASSES: YOUNG WOMEN 12 AND YOUNG WOMEN 13-18. OR IF YOU HAVE A LARGE WARD WITH 60 YOUNG WOMEN ATTENDING, YOU MAY HAVE SIX CLASSES, ONE WITH EACH AGE, ORGANIZED BY YEAR. HOWEVER YOUR CLASSES ARE ORGANIZED, YOU YOUNG WOMEN ARE VITAL IN BUILDING UNITY. BE A LIGHT TO THOSE AROUND YOU. BE THE SOURCE OF LOVE AND CARE YOU ARE HOPING TO RECEIVE FROM OTHERS. WITH A PRAYER IN YOUR HEART, CONTINUE TO REACH OUT AND BE THAT FORCE FOR GOOD. AS YOU DO SO, YOUR LIFE WILL BE FILLED WITH KINDNESS. YOU WILL HAVE A BETTER FEELING TOWARD OTHERS AND WILL BEGIN TO SEE THEIR GOODNESS IN RETURN. THIRD, WITH THIS NEW CLASS ORGANIZATION, ALL CLASSES WILL BE REFERRED TO BY THE UNIFYING NAME OF YOUNG WOMEN. WE WILL RETIRE THE NAMES OF WE HAVE SO LOVED, BEEHIVE, MIA MAID, AND LAUREL. THE FINAL AREA I WISH TO ADDRESS IS THE IMPORTANCE OF CLASS PRESIDENCIES. NO MATTER HOW YOUNG WOMEN CLASSES ARE ORGANIZED, EVERY CLASS SHOULD HAVE A CLASS PRESIDENCY! IT IS BY DIVINE DESIGN THAT YOUNG WOMEN ARE CALLED TO LEAD IN THEIR YOUTH. THE ROLE AND PURPOSE OF CLASS PRESIDENCIES HAS BEEN STRENGTHENED AND MORE CLEARLY DEFINED. THE WORK OF SALVATION IS ONE OF THESE SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREAS OF MINISTERING, MISSIONARY WORK, ACTIVATION, AND TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK. YES, THIS IS HOW WE GATHER ISRAEL–A GLORIOUS WORK FOR ALL YOUNG WOMEN AS MEMBERS OF THE LORD’S YOUTH BATTALION. AS YOU KNOW, AT EVERY LEVEL OF THE CHURCH, THE LORD CALLS PRESIDENCIES TO LEAD HIS PEOPLE. YOUNG WOMEN, BEING A MEMBER OF A CLASS PRESIDENCY MAY BE YOUR FIRST OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS INSPIRED PATTERN OF LEADERSHIP. ADULT LEADERS–THIS IS FOR YOU–MAKE THE CALLING OF CLASS PRESIDENCIES A PRIORITY, AND THEN LEAD SIDE BY SIDE WITH THEM, MENTORING AND GUIDING THEM SO THEY CAN SUCCEED. WHATEVER LEVEL OF LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE A CLASS PRESIDENCY HAS, START WHERE THEY ARE AND HELP THEM DEVELOP THE SKILLS AND CONFIDENCE THAT WILL BLESS THEM AS LEADERS. STAY CLOSE TO THEM, BUT DON’T TAKE OVER. THE SPIRIT WILL GUIDE YOU AS YOU GUIDE THEM. TO ILLUSTRATE THE VITAL ROLE OF PARENTS AND LEADERS AS MENTORS, LET ME TELL YOU A STORY. CHLOE WAS CALLED TO SERVE AS A CLASS PRESIDENT. HER WISE PRIESTHOOD LEADER ENCOURAGED HER TO SEEK THE LORD’S HELP IN RECOMMENDING NAMES FOR HER PRESIDENCY. CHLOE PRAYED AND RECEIVED INSPIRATION FOR WHOM TO RECOMMEND AS HER COUNSELORS RATHER QUICKLY. AS SHE CONTINUED TO PONDER AND PRAY ABOUT A SECRETARY, THE SPIRIT REPEATEDLY DREW HER FOCUS TO A YOUNG WOMAN THAT SURPRISED HER-SOMEONE WHO RARELY CAME TO CHURCH OR ACTIVITIES. FEELING A LITTLE INSECURE WITH THE PROMPTING, CHLOE TALKED WITH HER MOTHER, WHO EXPLAINED THAT ONE OF THE WAYS WE CAN RECEIVE REVELATION IS THROUGH RECURRING THOUGHTS. WITH RENEWED CONFIDENCE, CHLOE FELT SHE SHOULD RECOMMEND THIS YOUNG WOMAN. THE BISHOP EXTENDED THE CALL, AND THE YOUNG WOMAN ACCEPTED. AFTER BEING SET APART, THIS SWEET SECRETARY SAID, “YOU KNOW, I’VE NEVER FELT AS THOUGH I HAD A PLACE OR WAS NEEDED ANYWHERE. I DIDN’T FEEL THAT I FIT IN. BUT WITH THIS CALLING, I FEEL AS THOUGH HEAVENLY FATHER HAS A PURPOSE AND A PLACE FOR ME.” AS CHLOE AND HER MOTHER LEFT THE MEETING, CHLOE TURNED TO HER MOTHER AND SAID WITH TEARS IN HER EYES, “REVELATION IS REAL! REVELATION REALLY WORKS!” CLASS PRESIDENCIES, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OF GOD AND TRUSTED TO LEAD A GROUP OF HIS DAUGHTERS. “THE LORD KNOWS YOU. … HE CHOSE YOU.” YOU HAVE BEEN SET APART BY ONE WHO HAS PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY; THIS MEANS AS YOU PERFORM THE DUTIES OF YOUR CALLING YOU EXERCISE PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY. YOU HAVE AN IMPORTANT WORK TO DO. BE SENSITIVE TO AND ACT ON THE PROMPTINGS OF THE HOLY GHOST. AS YOU DO SO, YOU CAN SERVE WITH CONFIDENCE, FOR YOU DO NOT SERVE ALONE! CLASS PRESIDENTS, WE NEED YOUR WISDOM, VOICE, AND ENERGY IN THE NEW WARD YOUTH COUNCIL THAT ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK ANNOUNCED TODAY. YOU ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE SOLUTION TO MEETING THE NEEDS OF YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS. THESE CHANGES IN CLASS ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP MAY BEGIN AS SOON AS WARDS AND BRANCHES ARE READY, BUT SHOULD BE IN PLACE BY JANUARY 1, 2020. MY DEAR SISTERS, I BEAR WITNESS THAT THESE ADJUSTMENTS I HAVE SPOKEN OF TODAY ARE INSPIRED DIRECTION FROM THE LORD. AS WE DILIGENTLY IMPLEMENT THESE ADJUSTMENTS, MAY WE NEVER LOSE SIGHT OF OUR PURPOSE: TO STRENGTHEN OUR RESOLVE TO FOLLOW JESUS CHRIST AND HELP OTHERS COME UNTO HIM. I TESTIFY THAT THIS IS HIS CHURCH. HOW GRATEFUL I AM THAT HE ALLOWS US TO BE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THIS SACRED WORK. I PRAY THAT THE SAME SPIRIT THAT HAS GUIDED THESE ADJUSTMENTS WILL GUIDE YOU AS YOU PRESS FORWARD ON THE COVENANT PATH. I SO TESTIFY IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER JONES: THE CONGREGATION WILL NOW JOIN THE CHOIR IN SINGING “WE THANK THEE, O GOD, FOR A PROPHET.” AFTER THE SINGING, WE WILL BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING AND PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS. ♪♪ ♪ WE THANK THEE, O GOD,
FOR A PROPHET ♪ ♪ TO GUIDE US
IN THESE LATTER DAYS. ♪ ♪ WE THANK THEE
FOR SENDING THE GOSPEL ♪ ♪ TO LIGHTEN OUR MINDS
WITH ITS RAYS. ♪ ♪ WE THANK THEE
FOR EVERY BLESSING ♪ ♪ BESTOWED BY
THY BOUNTEOUS HAND. ♪ ♪ WE FEEL IT A PLEASURE
TO SERVE THEE ♪ ♪ AND LOVE TO OBEY
THY COMMAND. ♪ ♪ WHEN DARK CLOUDS OF TROUBLE
HANG O’ER US ♪ ♪ AND THREATEN OUR PEACE
TO DESTROY, ♪ ♪ THERE IS HOPE SMILING
BRIGHTLY BEFORE US, ♪ ♪ AND WE KNOW THAT DELIV’RANCE
IS NIGH. ♪ ♪ WE DOUBT NOT THE LORD
NOR HIS GOODNESS. ♪ ♪ WE’VE PROVED HIM
IN DAYS THAT ARE PAST. ♪ ♪ THE WICKED
WHO FIGHT AGAINST ZION ♪ ♪ WILL SURELY BE SMITTEN
AT LAST. ♪ ♪ WE’LL SING OF HIS GOODNESS
AND MERCY. ♪ ♪ WE’LL PRAISE HIM
BY DAY AND BY NIGHT, ♪ ♪ REJOICE IN HIS
GLORIOUS GOSPEL, ♪ ♪ AND BASK IN ITS
LIFE-GIVING LIGHT. ♪ ♪ THUS ON TO
ETERNAL PERFECTION ♪ ♪ THE HONEST AND FAITHFUL
WILL GO, ♪ ♪ WHILE THEY WHO REJECT
THIS GLAD MESSAGE ♪ ♪ SHALL NEVER
SUCH HAPPINESS KNOW. ♪♪>>PRESIDENT HENRY B. EYRING: I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSING OF ADDRESSING YOU, THE COVENANT DAUGHTERS OF GOD. TONIGHT, MY PURPOSE IS TO ENCOURAGE YOU IN THE GREAT SERVICE TO WHICH YOU ARE CALLED. YES, EVERY DAUGHTER OF GOD LISTENING TO MY VOICE HAS RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE LORD, JESUS CHRIST. YOUR CALL BEGAN WHEN YOU WERE PLACED INTO MORTALITY, IN A PLACE AND TIME CHOSEN FOR YOU BY A GOD WHO KNOWS YOU PERFECTLY AND LOVES YOU AS HIS DAUGHTER. IN THE SPIRIT WORLD, HE KNEW YOU AND TAUGHT YOU AND PLACED YOU WHERE YOU WOULD HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY, RARE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, TO BE INVITED INTO A BAPTISMAL FONT. THERE YOU WOULD HEAR THESE WORDS SPOKEN BY A CALLED SERVANT OF JESUS CHRIST: “HAVING BEEN COMMISSIONED OF JESUS CHRIST, I BAPTIZE YOU IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, AND OF THE SON, AND OF THE HOLY GHOST. AMEN.” WHEN YOU CAME OUT OF THE WATER, YOU HAD ACCEPTED ANOTHER CALL TO SERVE. AS A NEW COVENANT DAUGHTER OF GOD, YOU MADE A PROMISE AND RECEIVED AN ASSIGNMENT IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, OF WHICH YOU WERE CONFIRMED A MEMBER. YOU COVENANTED WITH GOD TO TAKE UPON YOURSELF THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, AND TO SERVE HIM. FOR EACH ONE WHO MAKES THESE COVENANTS, THE SERVICE THAT THE LORD CALLS HIM OR HER TO DO WILL BE SUITED PERFECTLY TO THAT PERSON. THE COVENANT DAUGHTERS AND SONS OF GOD, HOWEVER, ALL SHARE ONE IMPORTANT AND JOYFUL CALL. IT IS TO SERVE OTHERS FOR HIM. SPEAKING TO SISTERS, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON GAVE A WONDERFUL SUMMARY OF THE LORD’S CALL TO YOU TO JOIN HIM IN HIS WORK. PRESIDENT NELSON DESCRIBED YOUR CALL IN THIS WAY: “THE LORD SAID, ‘MY WORK AND MY GLORY [IS] TO BRING TO PASS THE IMMORTALITY AND ETERNAL LIFE OF MAN.’ SO HIS DEVOTED DAUGHTER-DISCIPLE MAY TRULY SAY, ‘MY WORK AND MY GLORY IS TO HELP MY LOVED ONES REACH THAT HEAVENLY GOAL.’ HE WENT ON, “TO HELP ANOTHER HUMAN BEING REACH ONE’S CELESTIAL POTENTIAL IS PART OF THE DIVINE MISSION OF WOMAN. AS MOTHER, TEACHER, OR NURTURING SAINT, SHE MOLDS LIVING CLAY TO THE SHAPE OF HER HOPES. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD, HER DIVINE MISSION IS TO HELP SPIRITS LIVE AND SOULS BE LIFTED. THIS IS THE MEASURE OF HER CREATION. IT IS ENNOBLING, EDIFYING, AND EXALTING.” YOU CANNOT KNOW WHEN, OR FOR WHAT LENGTH OF TIME, YOUR PERSONAL MISSION WILL BE FOCUSED ON SERVICE IN CALLS SUCH AS MOTHER, LEADER, OR MINISTERING SISTER. THE LORD, OUT OF LOVE, DOES NOT LEAVE US THE CHOICE OF THE TIMING, DURATION, OR SEQUENCE OF OUR ASSIGNMENTS. YET YOU KNOW FROM SCRIPTURE AND LIVING PROPHETS THAT ALL OF THESE ASSIGNMENTS WILL COME, EITHER IN THIS LIFE OR IN THE NEXT, TO EVERY DAUGHTER OF GOD. AND ALL OF THEM ARE PREPARATION FOR ETERNAL LIFE IN LOVING FAMILIES–THE GREATEST OF ALL THE GIFTS OF GOD. YOU WILL BE WISE TO BEND EVERY EFFORT TO PREPARE NOW WITH THE END IN MIND. THAT TASK IS MADE SIMPLER BECAUSE EACH OF THESE ASSIGNMENTS REQUIRE MUCH OF THE SAME PREPARATION. LET’S START WITH THE ASSIGNMENT TO BE A MINISTERING SISTER. WHETHER YOU HAVE THAT ASSIGNMENT AS A 10-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER IN A FAMILY WHERE THE FATHER HAS DIED, OR AS A RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENT WHOSE TOWN WAS RECENTLY AFFECTED BY FIRE, OR WHEN YOU ARE IN A HOSPITAL RECOVERING FROM SURGERY–YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO FULFILL YOUR CALL FROM THE LORD TO BE HIS MINISTERING DAUGHTER. THOSE APPEAR TO BE VERY DIFFERENT MINISTERING ASSIGNMENTS. YET THEY ALL REQUIRE THE PREPARATION OF A POWERFUL, LOVING HEART, A FEARLESS FAITH THAT THE LORD GIVES NO COMMAND SAVE HE PREPARES A WAY, AND A DESIRE TO GO AND DO FOR HIM. BECAUSE SHE IS PREPARED, THE 10-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER PUT HER ARMS AROUND HER WIDOWED MOTHER AND PRAYED TO KNOW HOW TO HELP HER FAMILY. AND SHE KEEPS AT IT. THE RELIEF SOCIETY PRESIDENT HAD PREPARED TO MINISTER BEFORE THE UNEXPECTED FIRE IN HER AREA. SHE HAD COME TO KNOW AND LOVE THE PEOPLE. HER FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST HAD GROWN OVER THE YEARS FROM HAVING RECEIVED ANSWERS TO HER PRAYERS FOR THE LORD TO HELP HER IN SMALL SERVICES FOR HIM. BECAUSE OF HER LONG PREPARATION, SHE WAS READY AND EAGER TO ORGANIZE HER SISTERS TO MINISTER TO PEOPLE AND FAMILIES IN DISTRESS. A SISTER RECOVERING IN A HOSPITAL FROM SURGERY WAS PREPARED TO MINISTER TO HER FELLOW PATIENTS. SHE HAD SPENT A LIFETIME MINISTERING FOR THE LORD TO EVERY STRANGER AS IF HE OR SHE WAS A NEIGHBOR AND A FRIEND. WHEN SHE FELT IN HER HEART THE CALL TO MINISTER IN THE HOSPITAL, SHE SERVED OTHERS SO BRAVELY AND WITH SUCH LOVE THAT THE OTHER PATIENTS BEGAN TO HOPE SHE WOULD NEVER RECOVER, OR AT LEAST NOT SOON. IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU PREPARE TO MINISTER, YOU CAN AND MUST PREPARE FOR YOUR CALL TO BE A LEADER FOR THE LORD WHEN IT COMES. IT WILL REQUIRE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ROOTED IN YOUR DEEP LOVE OF THE SCRIPTURES TO LEAD PEOPLE AND TO TEACH HIS WORD WITHOUT FEAR. THEN YOU WILL BE PREPARED TO HAVE THE HOLY GHOST AS YOUR CONSTANT COMPANION. YOU WILL BE EAGER TO SAY “I WILL” WHEN YOUR COUNSELOR IN THE YOUNG WOMEN PRESIDENCY SAYS, WITH PANIC IN HER VOICE, “SISTER ALVAREZ IS SICK TODAY. WHO WILL TEACH HER CLASS?” IT TAKES MUCH THE SAME PREPARATION FOR THE WONDERFUL DAY WHEN THE LORD CALLS YOU TO AN ASSIGNMENT AS A MOTHER. BUT IT WILL ALSO TAKE AN EVEN MORE LOVING HEART THAN YOU NEEDED EARLIER. IT WILL TAKE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST BEYOND WHAT HAS EVER BEEN IN YOUR HEART. AND IT WILL TAKE A CAPACITY TO PRAY FOR THE INFLUENCE, DIRECTION, AND COMFORT OF THE HOLY GHOST BEYOND WHAT YOU MAY HAVE FELT WAS EVEN POSSIBLE. NOW YOU MIGHT REASONABLY ASK– I CAN JUST HEAR YOU THINKING–HOW A MAN OF ANY AGE CAN KNOW WHAT MOTHERS NEED. [LAUGHTER] IT’S A VALID QUESTION. [LAUGHTER] MEN CAN’T KNOW EVERYTHING, BUT WE CAN LEARN SOME LESSONS BY REVELATION FROM GOD. AND WE CAN ALSO LEARN MUCH BY OBSERVATION, WHEN WE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK THE SPIRIT TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHAT WE OBSERVE. I HAVE BEEN OBSERVING KATHLEEN JOHNSON EYRING FOR THE 57 YEARS THAT WE HAVE BEEN MARRIED. SHE IS THE MOTHER OF FOUR BOYS AND TWO GIRLS. TO DATE, SHE HAS ACCEPTED THE CALL TO BE A MOTHERING INFLUENCE ON MORE THAN A HUNDRED DIRECT FAMILY MEMBERS AND HUNDREDS MORE WHOM SHE HAS ADOPTED INTO HER MOTHER HEART. YOU REMEMBER PRESIDENT NELSON’S PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF A WOMAN’S DIVINE MISSION–INCLUDING HER MISSION OF MOTHERING: “AS MOTHER, TEACHER, OR NURTURING SAINT, SHE MOLDS LIVING CLAY TO THE SHAPE OF HER HOPES. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD, HER DIVINE MISSION IS TO HELP SPIRITS LIVE AND SOULS BE LIFTED. THIS IS THE MEASURE OF HER CREATION.” AS NEARLY AS I CAN DISCERN, MY WIFE, KATHLEEN, HAS FOLLOWED THAT CHARGE, GIVEN TO OUR FATHER’S DAUGHTERS. THE KEY APPEARS TO BE THE WORDS “SHE MOLDS LIVING CLAY TO THE SHAPE OF HER HOPES … IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.” KATHLEEN DID NOT FORCE, SHE MOLDED. AND SHE HAD A TEMPLATE FOR HER HOPES TO WHICH SHE TRIED TO MOLD THOSE SHE LOVED AND MOTHERED. HER TEMPLATE WAS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST–AS I COULD SEE THROUGH PRAYERFUL OBSERVATION OVER THE YEARS. BECOMING A COVENANT WOMAN IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD IS HOW GREAT AND GOOD DAUGHTERS OF GOD HAVE ALWAYS MOTHERED, LED, MINISTERED, SERVED IN WHATEVER WAY AND PLACE HE HAS PREPARED FOR THEM. I PROMISE THAT YOU WILL FIND JOY IN YOUR JOURNEY TO YOUR HEAVENLY HOME AS YOU RETURN TO HIM AS A COVENANT-KEEPING DAUGHTER OF GOD. I TESTIFY THAT GOD THE FATHER LIVES AND HE LOVES YOU. HIS BELOVED SON LEADS, IN EVERY DETAIL, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON IS HIS LIVING PROPHET, AND JOSEPH SMITH SAW AND SPOKE WITH GOD THE FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST IN A GROVE OF TREES IN PALMYRA, NEW YORK. I KNOW THAT IS TRUE. I ALSO TESTIFY THAT HE WILL ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS. YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU.>>PRESIDENT DALLIN H. OAKS: MY DEAR SISTERS IN THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST, I GREET YOU AS DIVINELY ASSIGNED GUARDIANS OF THE ETERNAL FAMILY. PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON HAS TAUGHT US, “THIS CHURCH WAS RESTORED SO THAT FAMILIES COULD BE FORMED, SEALED, AND EXALTED ETERNALLY.” THAT TEACHING HAS IMPORTANT IMPLICATIONS FOR PERSONS WHO IDENTIFY AS LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL OR TRANSGENDER, COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS LGBT. PRESIDENT NELSON HAS ALSO REMINDED US THAT WE DON’T “HAVE TO ALWAYS AGREE WITH EACH OTHER TO LOVE EACH OTHER.” THESE PROPHETIC TEACHINGS ARE IMPORTANT FOR FAMILY DISCUSSIONS TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH. I HAVE PRAYERFULLY SOUGHT INSPIRATION TO SPEAK TO THIS AUDIENCE BECAUSE YOU ARE UNIQUELY AFFECTED BY THESE QUESTIONS, WHICH DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY AFFECT EVERY FAMILY IN THE CHURCH. I BEGIN WITH WHAT JESUS TAUGHT WERE THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS. “THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD WITH ALL THY HEART, AND WITH ALL THY SOUL, AND WITH ALL THY MIND, “THIS IS THE FIRST AND GREAT COMMANDMENT. “AND THE SECOND IS LIKE UNTO IT, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR AS THYSELF.” THIS MEANS WE ARE COMMANDED TO LOVE EVERYONE, SINCE JESUS’ PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN TEACHES THAT EVERYONE IS OUR NEIGHBOR. BUT OUR ZEAL TO KEEP THIS SECOND COMMANDMENT MUST NOT CAUSE US TO FORGET THE FIRST, TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART, SOUL, AND MIND. WE SHOW THAT LOVE BY “KEEP[ING] [HIS] COMMANDMENTS.” GOD REQUIRES US TO OBEY HIS COMMANDMENTS BECAUSE ONLY THROUGH THAT OBEDIENCE, INCLUDING REPENTANCE, CAN WE RETURN TO LIVE IN HIS PRESENCE AND BECOME PERFECT AS HE IS. IN HIS RECENT TALK TO THE YOUNG ADULTS OF THE CHURCH, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON SPOKE OF WHAT HE CALLED THE “STRONG CONNECTION BETWEEN GOD’S LOVE AND HIS LAWS.” THE LAW THAT APPLIES MOST SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE ISSUES RELATING TO THOSE IDENTIFYING AS LGBT IS GOD’S LAW OF MARRIAGE AND ITS COMPANION LAW OF CHASTITY. BOTH ARE ESSENTIAL IN OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN’S PLAN OF SALVATION FOR HIS CHILDREN. AS PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT, “GOD’S LAWS ARE MOTIVATED ENTIRELY BY HIS INFINITE LOVE FOR US AND HIS DESIRE FOR US TO BECOME ALL WE CAN BECOME.” PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT: “[M]ANY COUNTRIES … HAVE LEGALIZED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. AS MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH, WE RESPECT THE LAWS OF THE LAND …, INCLUDING CIVIL MARRIAGE. THE TRUTH IS, HOWEVER, THAT IN THE BEGINNING, MARRIAGE WAS ORDAINED BY GOD! AND TO THIS DAY IT IS DEFINED BY HIM AS BEING BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. GOD HAS NOT CHANGED HIS DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE. PRESIDENT NELSON CONTINUED, “GOD HAS ALSO NOT CHANGED THE LAW OF CHASTITY. REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE TEMPLE HAVE NOT CHANGED.” PRESIDENT NELSON REMINDED ALL OF US THAT “OUR COMMISSION AS APOSTLES IS TO TEACH NOTHING BUT TRUTH. THAT COMMISSION DOES NOT GIVE US THE AUTHORITY TO MODIFY DIVINE LAW.” THUS, THE LEADERS OF THE CHCH MUST ALWAYS TEACH THE UNIQUE IMPORTANCE OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN AND THE RELATED LAW OF CHASTITY. THE WORK OF THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS IS ULTIMATELY CONCERNED WITH PREPARING THE CHILDREN OF GOD FOR THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM, AND MOST PARTICULARLY FOR ITS HIGHEST GLORY, EXALTATION OR ETERNAL LIFE. THAT HIGHEST DESTINY IS ONLY POSSIBLE THROUGH MARRIAGE FOR ETERNITY. ETERNAL LIFE INCLUDES THE CREATIVE POWERS INHERENT IN THE COMBINATION OF MALE AND FEMALE–WHAT MODERN REVELATION DESCRIBES AS “THE CONTINUATION OF THE SEEDS FOREVER AND EVER.” IN HIS BYU TALK PRESIDENT NELSON TAUGHT, “ABIDING BY GOD’S LAWS WILL KEEP YOU SAFE AS YOU PROGRESS TOWARD EVENTUAL EXALTATION.” THAT IS TO BECOME LIKE GOD, WITH THE EXALTED LIFE AND DIVINE POTENTIAL OF OUR HEAVENLY PARENTS. THAT IS THE DESTINY WE DESIRE FOR ALL WE LOVE. BECAUSE OF THAT LOVE, WE CANNOT LET OUR LOVE SUPERSEDE THE COMMANDMENTS AND THE PLAN AND WORK OF GOD, WHICH WE KNOW WILL BRING THOSE WE LOVE THEIR GREATEST HAPPINESS. BUT THERE ARE MANY WE LOVE, INCLUDING SOME WHO HAVE THE RESTORED GOSPEL, WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN OR CHOOSE NOT TO FOLLOW GOD’S COMMANDMENTS ABOUT MARRIAGE AND THE LAW OF CHASTITY. WHAT ABOUT THEM? GOD’S DOCTRINE SHOWS THAT ALL OF US ARE HIS CHILDREN AND THAT HE HAS CREATED US TO HAVE JOY. MODERN REVELATION TEACHES THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED A PLAN FOR A MORTAL EXPERIENCE IN WHICH ALL CAN CHOOSE OBEDIENCE TO SEEK HIS HIGHEST BLESSINGS OR MAKE CHOICES THAT LEAD TO ONE OF THE LESS GLORIOUS KINGDOMS. BECAUSE OF GOD’S GREAT LOVE FOR ALL OF HIS CHILDREN, THOSE LESSER KINGDOMS ARE STILL MORE WONDERFUL THAN MORTALS CAN COMPREHEND. THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST MAKES ALL OF THIS POSSIBLE, AS HE “GLORIFIES THE FATHER, AND SAVES ALL THE WORKS OF HIS HANDS.” I HAVE SPOKEN OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT, BUT WHAT OF THE SECOND? HOW DO WE KEEP THE COMMANDMENT TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS? WE SEEK TO PERSUADE OUR MEMBERS THAT THOSE WHO FOLLOW LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, OR TRANSGENDER TEACHINGS AND ACTIONS SHOULD BE TREATED WITH THE LOVE OUR SAVIOR COMMANDS US TO SHOW TOWARD ALL OUR NEIGHBORS. THUS, WHEN SAME-SEX MARRIAGE WAS DECLARED LEGAL, THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND QUORUM OF THE TWELVE DECLARED: “THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST TEACHES US TO LOVE AND TREAT ALL PEOPLE WITH KINDNESS AND CIVILITY–EVEN WHEN WE DISAGREE. WE AFFIRM THAT THOSE WHO AVAIL THEMSELVES OF LAWS OR COURT RULINGS AUTHORIZING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SHOULD NOT BE TREATED DISRESPECTFULLY.” FURTHER, WE MUST NEVER PERSECUTE THOSE WHO DO NOT SHARE OUR BELIEFS AND COMMITMENTS. REGRETFULLY, SOME PERSONS FACING THESE ISSUES CONTINUE TO FEEL MARGINALIZED AND REJECTED BY SOME MEMBERS AND LEADERS IN OUR FAMILIES, WARDS, AND STAKES. WE MUST ALL STRIVE TO BE KINDER AND MORE CIVIL. FOR REASONS WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WE HAVE DIFFERENT CHALLENGES IN OUR MORTAL EXPERIENCES. BUT WE DO KNOW THAT GOD WILL HELP EACH OF US OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES IF WE SINCERELY SEEK HIS HELP. AFTER SUFFERING AND REPENTING FOR VIOLATIONS OF LAWS WE HAVE BEEN TAUGHT, WE ARE ALL DESTINED FOR A KINGDOM OF GLORY. THE ULTIMATE AND FINAL JUDGMENT WILL BE BY THE LORD, WHO ALONE HAS THE REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM, AND GRACE TO JUDGE EACH OF US. MEANWHILE, WE MUST TRY TO KEEP BOTH OF THE GREAT COMMANDMENTS. TO DO SO WE WALK A FINE LINE BETWEEN LAW AND LOVE–KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS AND WALKING THE COVENANT PATH, WHILE LOVING OUR NEIGHBORS ALONG THE WAY. THIS WALK REQUIRES US TO SEEK DIVINE INSPIRATION ON WHAT TO SUPPORT AND WHAT TO OPPOSE AND HOW TO LOVE AND LISTEN RESPECTFULLY AND TEACH IN THE PROCESS. OUR WALK DEMANDS THAT WE NOT COMPROMISE ON COMMANDMENTS BUT SHOW FORTH A FULL MEASURE OF UNDERSTANDING AND LOVE. OUR WALK MUST BE CONSIDERATE OF CHILDREN WHO ARE UNCERTAIN ABOUT THEIR SEXUAL ORIENTATION, BUT IT DISCOURAGES PREMATURE LABELING BECAUSE IN MOST CHILDREN SUCH UNCERTAINTY DECREASES SIGNIFICANTLY OVER TIME. OUR WALK OPPOSES RECRUITMENT AWAY FROM THE COVENANT PATH AND IT DENIES SUPPORT TO ANY WHO LEAD PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE LORD. IN ALL OF THIS WE REMEMBER THAT GOD PROMISES HOPE AND ULTIMATE JOY AND BLESSINGS FOR ALL WHO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND ALL OF US ARE RESPONSIBLE TO TEACH BOTH OF THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS. FOR THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH PRESIDENT SPENCER W. KIMBALL DESCRIBED THAT DUTY IN THIS GREAT PROPHECY: “MUCH OF THE MAJOR GROWTH THAT IS COMING TO THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS WILL COME BECAUSE MANY OF THE GOOD WOMEN OF THE WORLD … WILL BE DRAWN TO THE CHURCH IN LARGE NUMBERS. THIS WILL HAPPEN TO THE DEGREE THAT THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH REFLECT RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ARTICULATENESS IN THEIR LIVES AND TO THE DEGREE THAT THE WOMEN OF THE CHURCH ARE SEEN AS DISTINCT AND DIFFERENT … FROM THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD…THUS IT WILL BE THAT FEMALE EXEMPLARS OF THE CHURCH WILL BE A SIGNIFICANT FORCE IN BOTH THE NUMERICAL AND THE SPIRITUAL GROWTH OF THE CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS.” SPEAKING OF THAT PROPHECY, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON DECLARED THAT “THE DAY THAT PRESIDENT KIMBALL FORESAW IS TODAY. YOU ARE THE WOMEN HE FORESAW.” LITTLE DID WE WHO HEARD THAT PROPHECY 40 YEARS AGO REALIZE THAT AMONG THOSE THE WOMEN OF THIS CHURCH MAY SAVE WILL BE THEIR OWN DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE CURRENTLY INFLUENCED BY WORLDLY PRIORITIES AND DEVILISH DISTORTIONS. MY PRAYER AND BLESSING IS THAT YOU WILL TEACH AND ACT TO FULFILL THAT PROPHECY, IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN.>>SISTER JONES: DEAR SISTERS, WE EXPRESS SINCERE APPRECIATION TO EACH ONE OF YOU FOR SHARING THIS EVENING WITH US. WE THANK THE CHOIR AND ALL OTHERS FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION, AND GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGE THOSE WHO HAVE ASSISTED IN PREPARING FOR THIS MEETING IN ANY WAY. THE CHOIR WILL NOW FAVOR US WITH “I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE.” OUR CONCLUDING SPEAKER WILL THEN BE OUR BELOVED PROPHET, PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON. FOLLOWING HIS REMARKS, THE CHOIR WILL CLOSE THIS MEETING BY SINGING “HE SENT HIS SON.” THE BENEDICTION WILL THEN BE OFFERED BY SISTER CAROL COSTLEY, A MEMBER OF THE YOUNG WOMEN GENERAL BOARD. ♪♪ ♪ I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE.
I’M GOING THERE SOMEDAY ♪ ♪ TO FEEL THE HOLY SPIRIT,
TO LISTEN AND TO PRAY. ♪ ♪ FOR THE TEMPLE IS
A HOUSE OF GOD, ♪ ♪ A PLACE OF LOVE
AND BEAUTY. ♪ ♪ I’LL PREPARE MYSELF
WHILE I AM YOUNG; ♪ ♪ THIS IS MY
SACRED DUTY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ I LOVE TO SEE THE TEMPLE.
I’LL GO INSIDE SOMEDAY. ♪ ♪ I’LL COV’NANT WITH MY FATHER;
I’LL PROMISE TO OBEY. ♪ ♪ FOR THE TEMPLE IS A HOLY PLACE
WHERE WE ARE SEALED TOGETHER. ♪ ♪ AS A CHILD OF GOD,
I’VE LEARNED THIS TRUTH: ♪ ♪ A FAM’LY IS
FOREVER. ♪ ♪ A FAM’LY IS
FOREVER. ♪ ♪ A FAM’LY IS
FOREVER. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ GOD’S FAM’LY IS
FOREVER. ♪♪ ♪♪>>PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON: THANK YOU FOR THAT BEAUTIFUL MUSIC. AS WE ALL STOOD TO AND RESTORED THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD. IT WAS THERE THAT THE APOSTLES PETER, JAMES, AND JOHN APPEARED TO RESTORE THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD. IT WAS IN HARMONY THAT EMMA HALE SMITH SERVED AS HER HUSBAND’S FIRST SCRIBE WHILE THE PROPHET JOSEPH TRANSLATED THE BOOK OF MORMON. IT WAS ALSO IN HARMONY THAT JOSEPH RECEIVED A REVELATION MANIFESTING THE LORD’S WILL TO EMMA. THE LORD INSTRUCTED EMMA TO EXPOUND THE SCRIPTURES, TO EXHORT THE CHURCH, TO RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST, AND TO SPEND HER TIME “LEARNING MUCH.” EMMA WAS ALSO COUNSELED TO LAY ASIDE THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD AND SEEK FOR THE THINGS OF A BETTER, AND TO HOLD FAST TO HER COVENANTS WITH GOD. THE LORD CONCLUDED HIS INSTRUCTION WITH THESE COMPELLING WORDS: “THIS IS MY VOICE UNTO ALL.” EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED IN HARMONY HAS PROFOUND IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUR LIVES. THE RESTORATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD, ALONG WITH THE LORD’S COUNSEL TO EMMA, CAN GUIDE AND BLESS EACH OF YOU. HOW I YEARN FOR YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE RESTORATION OF THE PRIESTHOOD IS JUST AS RELEVANT TO YOU AS A WOMAN AS IT IS TO ANY MAN. BECAUSE THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD HAS BEEN RESTORED, BOTH COVENANT-KEEPING WOMEN AND MEN HAVE ACCESS TO “ALL THE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS OF THE CHURCH,” OR, WE MIGHT SAY, TO ALL THE SPIRITUAL TREASURES THE LORD HAS FOR HIS CHILDREN. EVERY WOMAN AND EVERY MAN WHO MAKES COVENANTS WITH GOD AND KEEPS THOSE COVENANTS, AND WHO PARTICIPATES WORTHILY IN PRIESTHOOD ORDINANCES, HAS DIRECT ACCESS TO THE POWER OF GOD. THOSE WHO ARE ENDOWED IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD RECEIVE A GIFT OF GOD’S PRIESTHOOD POWER BY VIRTUE OF THEIR COVENANT, ALONG WITH A GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE TO KNOW HOW TO DRAW UPON THAT POWER. THE HEAVENS ARE JUST AS OPEN TO WOMEN WHO ARE ENDOWED WITH GOD’S POWER, THAT POWER FLOWING FROM THEIR PRIESTHOOD COVENANTS AS THEY ARE TO MEN WHO BEAR THE PRIESTHOOD. I PRAY THAT TRUTH WILL REGISTER UPON EACH OF YOUR HEARTS BECAUSE I BELIEVE IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. SISTERS, DEAR SISTERS, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO DRAW LIBERALLY UPON THE SAVIOR’S POWER TO HELP YOUR FAMILY AND OTHERS YOU LOVE. YOU MAY BE SAYING TO YOURSELF, “THIS SOUNDS WONDERFUL, BUT HOW DO I DO IT? HOW DO I DRAW THE SAVIOR’S POWER INTO MY LIFE?” YOU WON’T FIND THIS PROCESS SPELLED OUT IN ANY MANUAL. THE HOLY GHOST WILL BE YOUR PERSONAL TUTOR AS YOU SEEK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE LORD WOULD HAVE YOU KNOW AND DO. THIS PROCESS IS NEITHER QUICK NOR EASY, BUT IT IS SPIRITUALLY INVIGORATING. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE MORE EXCITING THAN TO LABOR WITH THE SPIRIT TO UNDERSTAND PRIESTHOOD POWER–GOD’S POWER? WHAT I CAN TELL YOU IS THAT ACCESSING THE POWER OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE REQUIRES THE SAME THINGS THAT THE LORD INSTRUCTED EMMA AND EACH OF YOU TO DO. SO, I INVITE YOU TO STUDY PRAYERFULLY SECTION 25 OF THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS AND DISCOVER WHAT THE HOLY GHOST WILL TEACH YOU. YOUR PERSONAL, SPIRITUAL ENDEAVOR WILL BRING YOU JOY AS YOU GAIN, UNDERSTAND, AND USE THE POWER WITH WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN ENDOWED. PART OF THIS ENDEAVOR WILL REQUIRE YOU TO PUT ASIDE MANY THINGS OF THIS WORLD. SOMETIMES WE SPEAK ALMOST CASUALLY ABOUT WALKING AWAY FROM THE WORLD WITH ITS CONTENTION, PERVASIVE TEMPTATIONS, AND FALSE PHILOSOPHIES. BUT TRULY DOING SO REQUIRES YOU TO EXAMINE YOUR LIFE METICULOUSLY AND REGULARLY. AS YOU DO SO, THE HOLY GHOST WILL PROMPT YOU ABOUT WHAT IS NO LONGER NEEDFUL, WHAT IS NO LONGER WORTHY OF YOUR TIME AND ENERGY. AS YOU SHIFT YOUR FOCUS AWAY FROM WORLDLY DISTRACTIONS, SOME THINGS THAT SEEM IMPORTANT TO YOU NOW WILL RECEDE IN PRIORITY. YOU WILL NEED TO SAY “NO” TO SOME THINGS, EVEN THOUGH THEY MAY SEEM HARMLESS. AS YOU EMBARK UPON AND CONTINUE THIS LIFE-LONG PROCESS OF CONSECRATING YOUR LIFE TO THE LORD, THE CHANGES IN YOUR PERSPECTIVE, FEELINGS, AND SPIRITUAL STRENGTH WILL AMAZE YOU! NOW, A LITTLE WORD OF WARNING. THERE ARE THOSE WHO WOULD UNDERMINE YOUR ABILITY TO CALL UPON THE POWER OF GOD. THERE ARE SOME WHO WOULD HAVE YOU DOUBT YOURSELF AND MINIMIZE YOUR STELLAR SPIRITUAL CAPACITY AS A RIGHTEOUS WOMAN. MOST CERTAINLY, THE ADVERSARY DOES NOT WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THE COVENANT YOU MADE AT BAPTISM, OR THE PROFOUND ENDOWMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND POWER YOU HAVE RECEIVED OR WILL RECEIVE IN THE TEMPLE–THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. AND SATAN CERTAINLY DOES NOT WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THAT EVERY TIME YOU WORTHILY SERVE AND WORSHIP IN THE TEMPLE, YOU LEAVE ARMED WITH GOD’S POWER AND WITH HIS ANGELS HAVING “CHARGE OVER” YOU. SATAN AND HIS MINIONS WILL CONSTANTLY CONTRIVE ROADBLOCKS TO PREVENT YOU FROM UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS WITH WHICH YOU HAVE BEEN AND CAN BE BLESSED. UNFORTUNATELY, SOME ROADBLOCKS MAY BE THE RESULT OF ANOTHER’S MISBEHAVIOR. IT GRIEVES ME TO THINK THAT ANY OF YOU HAVE FELT MARGINALIZED OR HAVE NOT BEEN BELIEVED BY A PRIESTHOOD LEADER, OR HAVE BEEN ABUSED OR BETRAYED BY A HUSBAND, FATHER, OR A SUPPOSED FRIEND. I FEEL DEEP SORROW THAT ANY OF YOU HAVE FELT SIDE-LINED, DISRESPECTED, OR MISJUDGED. SUCH OFFENSES HAVE NO PLACE IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD. CONVERSELY, IT THRILLS ME WHEN I LEARN OF PRIESTHOOD LEADERS THAT EAGERLY SEEK THE PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN WARD AND STAKE COUNCILS. I AM INSPIRED BY EACH HUSBAND WHO DEMONSTRATES THAT HIS MOST IMPORTANT PRIESTHOOD RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CARE FOR HIS WIFE. I PRAISE THAT MAN WHO DEEPLY RESPECTS HIS WIFE’S ABILITY TO RECEIVE REVELATION AND HE TREASURES HER AS AN EQUAL PARTNER IN THEIR MARRIAGE. WHEN A MAN UNDERSTANDS THE MAJESTY AND POWER OF A RIGHTEOUS-SEEKING, ENDOWED LATTER-DAY SAINT WOMAN, IS IT ANY WONDER THAT HE FEELS LIKE STANDING WHEN SHE ENTERS THE ROOM? FROM THE DAWNING OF TIME, WOMEN HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH A UNIQUE MORAL COMPASS–THE ABILITY TO DISTINGUISH RIGHT FROM WRONG. THIS GIFT IS ENHANCED IN THOSE WHO MAKE AND KEEP COVENANTS. AND IT DIMINISHES IN THOSE WHO WILLFULLY IGNORE THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD. I HASTEN TO ADD THAT I DO NOT ABSOLVE MEN IN ANY WAY FROM GOD’S REQUIREMENT FOR THEM ALSO TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG. BUT MY DEAR SISTERS, YOUR ABILITY TO DISCERN TRUTH FROM ERROR, TO BE SOCIETY’S GUARDIANS OF MORALITY, IS CRUCIAL IN THESE LATTER DAYS. AS WE DEPEND UPON YOU TO TEACH OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE, LET ME BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THIS: IF THIS WORLD LOSES THE MORAL RECTITUDE OF ITS WOMEN, THE WORLD WILL NEVER RECOVER. WE LATTER-DAY SAINTS ARE NOT OF THE WORLD; WE ARE OF COVENANT ISRAEL. WE ARE CALLED TO PREPARE A PEOPLE FOR THE SECOND COMING OF THE LORD. NOW MAY I CLARIFY SEVERAL ADDITIONAL POINTS WITH RESPECT TO WOMEN AND PRIESTHOOD. WHEN YOU ARE SET APART TO SERVE IN A CALLING UNDER THE DIRECTION OF ONE WHO HOLDS PRIESTHOOD KEYS–SUCH AS YOUR BISHOP OR STAKE PRESIDENT–YOU ARE GIVEN PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY TO FUNCTION IN THAT CALLING. SIMILARLY, IN THE HOLY TEMPLE, YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO PERFORM AND OFFICIATE IN PRIESTHOOD ORDINANCES EVERY TIME YOU ATTEND. YOUR TEMPLE ENDOWMENT PREPARES YOU TO DO SO. IF YOU ARE ENDOWED BUT NOT CURRENTLY MARRIED TO A MAN WHO BEARS THE PRIESTHOOD AND SOMEONE SAYS TO YOU, “I’M SORRY THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THE PRIESTHOOD IN YOUR HOME,” PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT STATEMENT IS INCORRECT. YOU MAY NOT HAVE A PRIESTHOOD-BEARER IN YOUR HOME, BUT YOU HAVE RECEIVED AND MADE SACRED COVENANTS WITH GOD IN HIS TEMPLE. FROM THOSE COVENANTS FLOWS AN ENDOWMENT OF HIS PRIESTHOOD POWER UPON YOU. AND REMEMBER, IF YOUR HUSBAND SHOULD DIE, YOU WOULD PRESIDE IN YOUR HOME. AS A RIGHTEOUS, ENDOWED LATTER-DAY SAINT WOMAN, YOU SPEAK AND TEACH WITH POWER AND AUTHORITY FROM GOD. WHETHER BY EXHORTATION OR CONVERSATION, WE NEED YOUR VOICE TEACHING THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. WE NEED YOUR INPUT IN FAMILY, WARD, AND STAKE COUNCILS. YOUR PARTICIPATION IS ESSENTIAL AND NEVER ORNAMENTAL! MY DEAR SISTERS, YOUR POWER WILL INCREASE AS YOU SERVE OTHERS. YOUR PRAYERS, FASTING, TIME IN THE SCRIPTURES, AND SERVICE IN TEMPLE AND FAMILY HISTORY WORK WILL OPEN THE HEAVENS TO YOU. I ENTREAT YOU TO STUDY PRAYERFULLY ALL THE TRUTHS YOU CAN FIND ABOUT PRIESTHOOD POWER. YOU MIGHT BEGIN WITH DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS SECTIONS 84 AND 107. THOSE SECTIONS WILL LEAD YOU TO OTHER PASSAGES. THE SCRIPTURES AND TEACHINGS BY MODERN PROPHETS, SEERS, AND REVELATORS ARE FILLED WITH THESE TRUTHS. AS YOUR UNDERSTANDING INCREASES AND AS YOU EXERCISE FAITH IN THE LORD’S PRIESTHOOD POWER AND THE LORD HIMSELF, YOUR ABILITY TO DRAW UPON THIS SPIRITUAL TREASURE THAT THE LORD HAS MADE AVAILABLE TO YOU WILL INCREASE. AS YOU DO SO, YOU WILL FIND YOURSELVES BETTER ABLE TO HELP CREATE ETERNAL FAMILIES THAT ARE UNITED, SEALED IN THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD, AND FULL OF LOVE FOR OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST. ALL OUR EFFORTS TO MINISTER TO EACH OTHER, PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL, PERFECT THE SAINTS, AND REDEEM THE DEAD, THEY ALL CONVERGE IN THE HOLY TEMPLE. WE NOW HAVE 166 TEMPLES THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AND MORE ARE COMING. AS YOU KNOW, THE SALT LAKE TEMPLE, TEMPLE SQUARE, AND THE ADJOINING PLAZA NEAR THE CHURCH OFFICE BUILDING WILL BE RENEWED IN A PROJECT THAT WILL BEGIN AT THE CLOSE OF THIS YEAR. THIS SACRED TEMPLE MUST BE PRESERVED AND PREPARED TO INSPIRE FUTURE GENERATIONS, JUST AS IT HAS INFLUENCED US IN THIS GENERATION. AS THE CHURCH GROWS, MORE TEMPLES WILL BE BUILT SO THAT MORE FAMILIES CAN HAVE ACCESS TO THAT GREATEST OF ALL BLESSINGS, THAT OF ETERNAL LIFE. WE REGARD A TEMPLE AS THE MOST SACRED STRUCTURE IN THE CHURCH. WHENEVER PLANS ARE ANNOUNCED TO CONSTRUCT A NEW TEMPLE, IT BECOMES AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR HISTORY. AS WE HAVE DISCUSSED HERE TONIGHT, YOU SISTERS ARE VITAL TO THE WORK OF THE TEMPLE, AND THE TEMPLE IS WHERE YOU WILL RECEIVE YOUR HIGHEST SPIRITUAL TREASURES. PLEASE, LISTEN CAREFULLY AND REVERENTLY AS I WILL NOW ANNOUNCE PLANS TO BUILD EIGHT NEW TEMPLES. IF ONE MY LOVE FOR YOU. I HUMBLY DECLARE THAT GOD LIVES! JESUS IS THE CHRIST. THIS IS HIS CHURCH. I SO TESTIFY IN THE SACRED NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪ HOW COULD THE FATHER
TELL THE WORLD ♪ ♪♪ ♪ HOW COULD THE FATHER
TELL THE WORLD ♪ ♪ OF LOVE AND
TENDERNESS? ♪ ♪ HE SENT HIS SON,
A NEWBORN BABE, ♪ ♪ WITH PEACE
AND HOLINESS, ♪ ♪ HOW COULD THE FATHER
SHOW THE WORLD ♪ ♪ THE PATHWAY
WE SHOULD GO? ♪ ♪ HE SENT HIS SON
TO WALK WITH MEN ♪ ♪ ON EARTH,
THAT WE MAY KNOW. ♪ ♪ HOW COULD THE FATHER
TELL THE WORLD ♪ ♪ OF SACRIFICE,
OF DEATH? ♪ ♪ HE SENT HIS SON
TO DIE FOR US ♪ ♪ AND RISE
WITH LIVING BREATH, ♪ ♪ WITH LIVING BREATH. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHAT DOES THE FATHER
ASK OF US? ♪ ♪ WHAT DO
THE SCRIPTURES SAY? ♪ ♪ HAVE FAITH, HAVE HOPE,
LIVE LIKE HIS SON, ♪ ♪ HELP OTHERS
ON THEIR WAY. ♪ ♪♪ ♪ WHAT DOES HE ASK? ♪ ♪ LIVE LIKE HIS SON, ♪ ♪ LIVE LIKE HIS SON, ♪ ♪ LIVE LIKE HIS SON. ♪♪ ♪♪>>SISTER CAROL COSTLEY: OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE HUMBLY BOW OUR HEADS THIS DAY TO EXPRESS OUR GRATITUDE FOR THE SPIRIT THAT HAS BEEN WITH US. FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE ARE SO VERY GRATEFUL FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR DIVINE NATURE, AND FOR THE ABILITY THAT WE HAVE TO TAP INTO THY POWER. WE PRAY, FATHER, THAT AS WE LEAVE THIS DAY, THAT THESE TRUTHS MIGHT BE IMBEDDED UPON OUR HEARTS, AND THAT WE MIGHT LIVE WITH DETERMINATION TO UNDERSTAND THY WILL FOR US AS WE COME TO UNDERSTAND THESE TRUTHS AND TO HAVE FAITH IN THEM FOR OUR INDIVIDUAL SELFS. WE ARE SO VERY GRATEFUL FOR OUR PROPHET, THE APOSTLES AND THOSE WHO HAVE SPOKEN TO US TODAY. WE HAVE BEEN SO GRATEFUL FOR THE WORDS THAT HAVE BEEN SHARED WITH US AND WE PRAY THAT WE MIGHT MOVE FORWARD WITH A DEEPER COMMITMENT TO LIVE LIKE OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AND WE SAY THESE THINGS IN THE NAME OF THY BELOVED NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST, AMEN. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ CLOSED CAPTIONING BY
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS COMMENTS TO:
[email protected] NEST ♪ ♪ WE’LL COMFORT THE WEARY
AND STRENGTHEN THE WEAK. ♪>>PRESIDENT THOMAS S. MONSON: WE ASSURE THE YOUNG SISTERS OF THE CHURCH THAT THEY MAKE A VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION AS MISSIONARIES. AND WE WELCOME THEIR SERVICE.

3 Replies to “October 2019 General Conference – ASL Saturday Sessions”

  1. MormonMessagesINTL, THANK YOU!!! OH THANK YOU!!! SO WONDERFUL TO SEE AND HEAR FINALLY CONFERENCE!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!!

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