The 185th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints took place this weekend and was broadcast throughout the world. For the first time in a very long time, I sat and watched it in my home, surrounded by my family.
At first, I had intended to choose a single talk upon which I would base this week's post. As I listened, though, I realized that choice would be nearly impossible to make. So many things spoken by the apostles and prophets of our church resonated deeply with me. It would be like trying to choose a favorite sunrise. Each illuminated my life and opened my eyes to things the Lord expects of me.
So I choose to share those words that touched me the most - quoted from the church's official website, www.lds.org, in hopes that you will be touched by the holy spirit and find the answers you seek.
General Women's Session
*While part of General Conference, the General Women's Session is traditionally held the weekend prior to the main body of the conference.
"I believe that if we could daily remember and recognize the depth of the love that our Heavenly Father and our Savior have for us, we would be willing to do anything to be back in Their presence again, surrounded by Their love eternally." ~ Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
In addition to this quote, I found President Uchtdorf's talk from this session especially inspiring and beautiful, which is why I based last week's post on his words.
Saturday Morning Session
"God will take you as you are at this very moment and begin to work with you. All you need is really a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord." ~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
"God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life." ~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
"The world in which we live is similar to the potter’s spinning wheel, and the speed of that wheel is increasing. Like the clay on the potter’s wheel, we must be centered as well. Our core, the center of our lives, must be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Living a Christ-centered life means we learn about Jesus Christ and His gospel and then we follow His example and keep His commandments with exactness." ~ Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy
"If our lives are centered in Jesus Christ, He can successfully mold us into who we need to be in order to return to His and Heavenly Father’s presence in the celestial kingdom. The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ." ~ Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Presidency of the Seventy
Saturday Afternoon Session
"Remember, no one can reach upward for you. Only your faith and prayers will cause you to lift yourself and have a mighty change of heart. Only your resolve to be obedient can change your life." ~ Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." ~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"Brothers and sisters, we are engaged in a battle with the world. In the past, the world competed for our children’s energy and their time. Today it fights for their identity and their mind. Many loud and prominent voices are trying to define who our children are and what they should believe. We cannot let society give our family a makeover in the image of the world. We must win this battle. Everything depends on it." ~ Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy
"Sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to endure our infirmities." ~ Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"Faith does not fall upon us by chance nor stay with us by birthright. … The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice." ~ Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle
"Heavenly Father has prepared for His children a spiritual feast, offering every kind of exquisite food imaginable—and yet, instead of enjoying these spiritual gifts, the cynics content themselves with observing from a distance, sipping from their cups of skepticism, doubt, and disrespect." ~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
"Brethren, let me be clear: there is nothing noble or impressive about being cynical. Skepticism is easy—anyone can do it. It is the faithful life that requires moral strength, dedication, and courage." ~ President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
"We are surrounded by persuasive voices, beguiling voices, belittling voices, sophisticated voices, and confusing voices. I might add that these are voices. I admonish you to turn the volume down and to be influenced instead by that still, small voice which will guide you to safety. Remember that one with authority placed his hands on your head after you were baptized, confirming you a member of the Church and saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.” Open your hearts, even your very souls, to the sound of that special voice which testifies of truth. … May we ever be in tune, that we might hear this comforting, guiding voice which will keep us safe." ~ President Thomas S. Monson
Sunday Morning Session
Before I present quotes from this session, I must preface them with my own testimony of our blessed prophet and president of our church. Today, as I watched him speak, I was filled with a certainty beyond which doubt could ever reach, that he truly is a prophet of God. My soul sang with the words he spake and as he desperately struggled to bear his glorious testimony of Christ, I felt my spirit cry out to give him the strength to continue just a bit longer. For he truly is the mouthpiece of Christ and I yearn to hear what our Lord has to say through his trusted servant.
That said, as I listened to President Nelson speak, my soul once again felt the stirrings of the Comforter and I know the Lord's plan is sure. When the time comes for President Monson to join the righteous men who have gone before, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be in good hands.
"As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions." ~ President Thomas S. Monson
"Sisters, do you realize the breadth and scope of your influence when you speak those things that come to your heart and mind as directed by the Spirit?" ~ President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils. We need each married sister to speak as “a contributing and full partner” as you unite with your husband in governing your family. Married or single, you sisters possess distinctive capabilities and special intuition you have received as gifts from God. We brethren cannot duplicate your unique influence." ~ President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity." ~ President Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine when it doesn’t fit the world’s current concepts. … True disciples represent the Lord when it may not be convenient to do so. True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not just impress them." ~ Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy
Sunday Afternoon Session
"A major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another." ~ Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
"I invite you to 'ponderize' one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization." ~ Brother Devin G. Durrant, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency
"However, the purpose of our lives is not merely to endure trials. Heavenly Father sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Redeemer so we could overcome the trials we face on this earth; in other words, He makes our weak things become strong, He atones for our sins and our imperfections, and He makes it possible for us to obtain immortality and eternal life." ~ Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the Seventy
"These men [speaking of the presidency and apostles] have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord, whom they represent, serve, and love. They have learned to understand the divine language of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s patterns for receiving revelation. These ordinary men have undergone a most extraordinary developmental process that has sharpened their vision, informed their insight, engendered love for people from all nations and circumstances, and affirmed the reality of the Restoration." ~ Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
When the scriptures tell us to 'feast upon the words of Christ', it is through the words of our prophets at this spiritually filling conference we are blessed to have twice a year. My heart is full and my soul must take time to digest all that has been taught and shared. I am truly grateful to have such worthy men and women at the head of this amazing organization. They lead us through the storms of life and aid us in our times of need. And for this, I must raise my voice in praise and joy.
Thank you, dear Father! Thank you now and forevermore! Glory to God in the highest!
In the beloved name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, amen.