186th Annual General Conference:
Choir: Logan Utah Institute choir
President Uchtdorf conducts
Pres. Monson presides
Hymn: “In Hymns of Praise.”
Choir: “I stand All Amazed.”
Divine role as men of God. Talks about a family with three children with congenital heart disease. One son died. He also tried to save the other two, who were sisters. (Elder Nelson was a heart surgeon). Both girls died following operations. The parents were spiritually shattered. They had lingering resentment toward Elder Nelson and the Church. Has been haunted by the situation for almost six decades. He tried to contact them, no success. Last May he was awakened by the two little girls. Felt their presence. Their message was brief and clear: “Brother Nelson, we are not sealed to anyone, can you help us?” Their mother had passed away, father and a younger brother still alive.
Tried to contact the father, living with the son Shawn. Willing to meet. In June, I knelt in front of Jimmy, now 88 years old. I spoke of his daughters’ pleadings, and would help with the sealings. The father and son were not endowed, each accepted the offer to become ready to go to the temple. Elder Nelson was overjoyed. The Spirit of the Lord was palpable throughout that meeting. They worked diligently with local leaders. In Payson, Utah temple, had the profound privilege to seal the husband and wife and four children. Many hearts were healed that day. Father and son had become heroes to him. They had courage, strength and humility, let go of old hurts and habits, willing to submit to guidance from priesthood leaders.
Bear the priesthood. Very same power and authority through which God created the heavens and the Earth.
Some people have the priesthood but not the priesthood power. Need to access the powers of heaven. Sin and misdeeds can decrease the power of the priesthood. Too many have surrendered their agency to the adversary. Some people wanted power over others, power at work, rather than the power of God.
Why settle for Esau’s pottage when can have all of the blessings of Abraham? Live up to privileges as bearers of the priesthood. Only those who stake the priesthood seriously will be able to bring miracles to those he loves, and keep his marriage and family safe.
Qualities we should seek: faith, etc. Don’t forget humility. How would our family members, co-workers say you and I are doing in developing our gifts of the priesthood?
We need to pray for priesthood power. We need to commune with God. Pray to know how to get more priesthood power. If you want to see your wife’s heart melt, let her find you studying the doctrine of Christ. Are you willing to go to the temple regularly? Ask Him to teach you about priesthood keys and authority and power.
Pres. Monson has used the priesthood power to help others. If you truly want priesthood power, you will cherish your wife, embracing both her and her counsel.
Please consider how different our relationships would be if we had priesthood power top of mind. Lord will show us how to increase access to His power. Priesthood power can heal the fractures in the hearts of those we love. Are we willing to study and pray so we can have that priesthood power.
Think of the father and brother who were willing to get ready to go to the temple to be sealed to their family.
Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President
12 years old, went hunting. Dad carrying a flashlight in darkness, if he followed his dad, everything would be OK. Windy Ridge, best place to go hunting. Went with dad 20 years later. The view at the top of the ride was exhilarating. Have led many other YM to mountaintops.
Leadership. Greatest leader was Christ. He has all of the leadership quality. Also the greatest follower. Greatest leader because he is the greatest follower.
World teaches leaders must be mighty, wealthy, powerful, Christ teaches gentleness, meekness. In God’s eyes, the greatest leaders have always been the greatest followers.
Young men’s deacons quorum. Showed great signs of leadership. Adults also helped the deacons. Saw the deacons not as they are, but what they can become. Emphasize the leadership qualities. The Lord sees you for your qualities, not your shortcomings. You are always a leader and are always a follower.
Leadership abilities come for your commitment to follow Christ. Become a greater follower of righteousness.
18-year-old in NZ gave a blessing to his mother. He wept like a baby. He felt the Spirit so much that he never wanted to sin again. A seemingly ordinary young man can accomplish great things because he is following Christ.
Invite all to come unto Christ. We must lead the people we love to those same blessings. We must love everyone.
Congregation and choir: “Come, O Thou King of Kings.”
At Frankfurt, Germany temple, saw an older couple holding hands. The sweetness of the love these two people shared for one another. So many societies around the world, everything appears to be disposable. Throw it out and replace with an upgrade. We even do this with relationships.
When it comes to things of eternal importance, our marriages, our families, replacing things is a mistake. The Church values marriage. People in the Church are known throughout the world for these great marriages. They are meant to be eternal. Families are the order of heaven, an echo of celestial pattern, God’s family.
Strong relationships need constant, intentional work. Must inspire us to dedicate best efforts to save and enrich our families. I want to praise those who save.
Divorce sometimes happens. People stop thinking of the other’s happiness and start noticing the little faults. Some are enticed by the conclusion that there is something wrong with their spouse. Start looking elsewhere. If you are like this, you are on a road that leads the wrong way. Turn around and come back to the safe path to integrity and loyalty to covenants. Same principles apply to dear sisters.
Single brethren: don’t try to find the perfect woman. If there were a perfect woman, do you really think she would be that interested in you? (big laugh from the audience).
Pursuit takes time, patience and the blessings of Jesus. It requires charity to find the right person. Great marriages are built brick by brick over a lifetime. Keep adding pebbles of kindness. Happy marriages are meant to last forever.
Divorce rarely happens when the husband and wife are happy, so be happy. Brethren, astonish your wife by doing things that make her happy. Lincoln: “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” “Seek and ye shall find.” If you look for imperfections, you will find them, but if you look for the good you will find it. Pull out the weeds and water the flowers.
Also, try to save relationships with families. Every family needs saving. There are no perfect families. Every family has moments of awkwardness, like when your parents ask you to take a selfie of them. Or when somebody discusses politics.
Counsel with spouse and family. Listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. There is one thing that is right in every case. The secret to happiness from the BoM: happiest people. How did they do it? Because of the love of God that dwelt in the hearts of the people.
The beginning and end is charity, the pure love of Christ. Charity never faileth, and the enemy of charity is pride. Pride is the defining characteristic of Satan. Pride is not part of our spiritual heritage and has no place among holders of the priesthood of God.
The way you treat your family may influence generations to come. Do you want harshness, fear or isolation, or one of love, humility, spiritual growth or unity? Set aside pride, be merciful. Is being right more important than healing and love? Build bridges, don’t destroy them. Let love conquer pride.
182 years ago, all of the priesthood were called to meet in small school house. Joseph Smith said: “you don’t comprehend the destiny of this Church. This church will fill north and south America, it will fill the world.”
Describe that future. Here is what we must do to be part of that plan of happiness.
Before born, plan. Purpose to live with HF. Life of mortality in which we would be tested. Through atonement, we would have eternal life. Be changed to become members of perfected family units.
Everything we do should have celestial marriage as its focus. Be sealed, bind to your family. Our priesthood obligation is to put our family at the center of our concern.
Deacon: the deacon can rush to take part in family prayer, scripture reading, ask his father for a blessing. The desires of his heart will bring the powers of heaven.
Teachers: In HT, can help the Lord change the lives of a family.
Priest: Preach, teach, expound, exhort, baptize, visit the house of each member, ask them to pray vocally and in secret.
The only exhortation that changes hearts is from the holy ghost. That happens when we bear testimony.
Young Elder: Pray that can find families on a mission. One of his sons on his mission to Chile found a widow and her eight children. The family was baptized and then this affected grandchildren and rest of family.
Then: marriage. Make it a priority early. When considering marriage, he will choose the parent of his children. Share ideals, conviction. As parents, be clean and pure.
Husbands and fathers: make changes to live in celestial kingdom some day. Look forward to that day. Sacrament meetings, HG, pray with wife and family. Prepare to take family to temple. Love thy wife with all thy heart, don’t commit adultery. Youth: obey your parents in all things, honor they father and mother.
HPGL: temple. Rescuing those who came before. Don’t forget family waiting in the spirit world. The most important work will be the work you do in the walls of your own home. In your home and in priesthood service, small acts are important.
“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Help others to qualify for an endless posterity.
(Editor: President Monson is looking very thin, but stronger than in last conference).
Much is expected of us.
The rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven. Must guard and protect the priesthood. Remember who you are, and what God expects you to become. You are a child of promise, a man of might, a son of God.
Soldiers on Life rafts: several days, the Holy Spirit spoke to my friend: “you have the priesthood, command the rescuers to pick you up.” The man did it. The vessel then came. A faithful bearer of the priesthood had saved the man and blessed him and others.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood. Be worthy of these accolades.
Choir: “Redeemer of Israel.”