General Conference – Sunday Afternoon Session

President Henry B Eyring will be conducting this meeting. President Monson presides from home.

FYI, Elder Hales died at 12:15pm Mountain time, just after the Sunday morning session.

President Eyring: Elder Hales passed away peacefully this afternoon. We will miss him and give condolences to his family.

Choir: Mormon Tabrernacle Choir: Come O Thou King of Kings

Opening Prayer: Elder Joseph W. Sitate

Choir:Have I Done Any Good?

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Elder M Russell Ballard: 170 years ago, Brigham Young said, this is the right place. Thousands would move to the valley with the desire to build Zion. Among the first arrivals was sister Jane Manning James, a black convert to the church. She helped build Zion as best she could, while holding on in faith to Jesus Christ. The early saints were not perfect, but they built a good foundation for us. If we forget about our pioneers, we will lose a great treasure. Today we need the same faith our pioneers had. Their journals are filled with hardships, but also joy and faith. My grandmother helped at the side of my grandfather, who was bishop in Logan for 40 years. For each of us, the trek through life continues. New converts gather in their local units as pioneers. Some, however, are on a trek to sorrow and despair. Ask, what is your final destination? The trek back to God is the most important one of our lives. Keep the doctrine of Christ pure, and never be deceived by those who would tamper with it. Do not listen to those not ordained by common consent to their divine callings. Do not listen to get rich schemes. Don’t look beyond the mark in issues of miraculous healings, or doctrines. Such practices may be emotionally appealing, but may prove to be harmful. Do not misuse the Savior’s sacred name, and keep his commandments. Welcome all those who are beginning their own trek back to God and to Zion. Eliminate prejudices, including racism, sexism and nationalism. Stay on the gospel path.

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Elder Tad R Callister: The Book of Mormon is not only the keystone of our religion, but also the keystone of our testimonies. If it is true, the Joseph Smith was a true prophet and the Church is of God.  Critics have an insurmountable task to disprove it. Some claim Joseph studied many ancient documents and scholarly texts to create the Book of Mormon. But there is no evidence of it. No one saw him read any of these things. So, how did he write a 500 page book, requiring a photographic memory for including passages, etc. Many key doctrines, not addressed in the Bible, are also found in the BoM. Sermons from Alma 32 and King Benjamin and the Allegory of the Olive Tree show just how intricate the teachings are. God’s fingerprints are all over the Book of Mormon. If Joseph was such a theological genius, why weren’t others also able to do the same in his day? How was he able to place cities, rivers and war events consistently. Elder Nelson, an experienced author, had 40 rewrites of a recent Conference talk. Joseph did not do any rewrites. The claim written on gold plates, was supported years later by archaeology. Cement structures later discovered in ancient America. Joseph, according to the critics, was a very lucky guesser. The critics follow an emotional and spiritual deadend, as they reject the 11 witnesses, the teachings in the book, and deny the witness from the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon is a priceless gift from God.

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Elder Joni L. Koch: I saw a man in a wheelchair with a Brazilian flag, knowing he was heading home to watch the soccer game. I felt a connection with that man, though I didn’t know him, as we won the world cup that year. As we enter Church, we should leave behind our differences, including race, politics, economic, etc. Instead, we should seek unity with one another and do collectively. How unified we are is much dependent upon how we act when we are apart.We should not put labels on people or portray them as failures. Instead, our belief in Christ’s atonement should allow all of us to be viewed better. Simon Ryder, an early convert, caused him to fall away from the Church, because Joseph misspelled his last name. Such is a test to see how united we are with our leaders and the members. Many fall away, including primary kids, because adults always find fault.

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Elder Stanley G Ellis: Thanks for all those who’ve helped with the hurricane and earthquake disasters.  God trust us with sealing power, priesthood, and His children. With this trust God has for us, do we trust Him? Prov 3:4-6. Even in trials, do we still trust God? It seems clear that Hard is Good. We often learn God through our extremities. We live the law of sacrifice, which suggests we will have to do hard things. God sacrificed his only Begotten Son, while Jesus learned through the things he suffered. Chicks struggle to leave the egg, which strengthens it to live. How did BoM people deal with suffering? They fasted and humbled themselves, which brought peace and joy. We each choose our reaction to hard. Many wealthy businessmen want to give their kids easy lives, denying them the same effort that made the businessmen self reliant. Do we trust God will visit us in our afflictions and consecrate them to our gain? We can have the faith to trust Him. We should not act out of fear, whether we stand and fight or choose to flee. Fear is a tool of the adversary. Hard can be good to those who move forward with faith.

Choir: Now Let Us Rejoice

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Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella: My family’s conversion story by the missionaries. Joseph Smith did see the Father and Son. They explained the plan of happiness, and families can be together forever. My family was baptized. Giving up old habits, was bumpy at times. We gained many truths, I will mention three. First, God calls prophets, seers and revelators to lead, guide and warn us. As a returned missionary at BYU, I heard Pres Benson call us to take marriage seriously. I returned to Brazil to find a wife. MIy mother came up a list of ten potential women. I dated them and chose to marry one of them within a couple months. I married Elaine. She is the love of my life and a choice blessing. I’m not suggesting everyone make a similar list. I am suggesting we listen when the prophet speaks. Second, we learn of the true nature of God. We can worship a God who is real, and that we can understand, and reveals himself even today to us. Third, We learn of the important mission of Jesus Christ from the First Vision.

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Elder Ian S. Ardern: I once saw a caterpillar gnawing ravenously at a plant. I thought it reminded me of many in the world, who seek to destroy the lives of others. There are snares in the world today. Without caution, we can find ourselves bound by Satan’s chains. We need to seek strong spiritual roots, through prayer, repentance, and good works. Elder Hales stated that unless we are fully living the gospel, we do not have enough spiritual strength to push away the darkness. The greater the light in our lives, the fewer shadows. When our faith is tried, it works patience. Questions about Church history and beliefs will arise, but it does nothing to listen to the less informed or disenchanted. We are commanded to seek out of the best books, by study and faith. We learn truth via the Holy Ghost. Pres Monson encouraged us to prayerfully study the Book of Mormon. It has a converting power. Do not allow questions and doubts extinguish our faith, but instead to fuel our faith in overcoming. Hold fast to that which you already know, and be patient until more knowledge is given.

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Elder Jose L. Alonso: Christ taught us to love one another. The disciples were given an invitation to do something more and greater, to love even as Christ has loved. John 3:16. Love is a characteristic of disciples of Christ. How do you know you love me, asked a boy to his grandmother. She answered by her actions and feelings. Mosiah 2:19. Sending a text message with an emoji or saying I Love You, is good. However, going to the person and personally telling them and showing them through service is better. Story of young boy, Cooper, who was hit by a car. Father tried to comfort him. The high priest group leader arrived and gave a blessing. The father was aware of spirits present, and knew Cooper was going to pass away. They said their goodbyes and held him. The driver lived a block away, but they did not know him. Father asked God to take away his grief and anger towards the young driver. When the young driver and his parents arrived, Cooper’s parents embraced him, forgave and loved him. Over the past 9 years, they spent much time together, including being with the young man in the temple as he prepared to serve his mission.  We likewise can have joy and peace as we forgive and serve others. We can be healed, as we forgive and love.

Choir: If The Savior Stood Beside Me

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Elder Neal L. Anderson: Final note to the children, Yes this is the final session, and yes, I am the final speaker.  I am a witness of Christ, and he guides this work. General Conference is an important time when he guides us. The Lord said of Joseph Smith, we should receive his word as if from God’s own mouth. All prophets and apostles are now sustained and ordained as prophets, seers, and revelators. We seek the mind, will and voice of the Lord through His servants. We come to be taught from on High. Pres Packer said he did not prepare new talks for each stake conference, but for General Conference, he spent hours preparing for each talk. One brother felt he had the topic for his talk just a couple weeks after last Conference, while another was still struggling three weeks ago. The Lord wants no pretense diminishing His voice to the saints. Sometimes phrases and thoughts come as pure revelation. I once mentioned in Conference about a prayer I gave before my mission on whether I was prepared. The spirit told me that you don’t know everything, but you know enough. A woman praying on whether she should marry, had her prayer answered in hearing that. The sheep follow Jesus and know His voice. He calls us to repent and to follow Him. Pres Eyring this morning bore witness that God the Father lives and wants us to return back to him. Pres Uchtdorff: I testify that as we continue the journey to God, our lives will be better. Pres Nelson: I promise as you immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you will be immunized against the addictions of the day. Elder Oaks: i testify the Proclamation on the Family is the truth. Elder Ballard: we need to embrace God’s children compassionately, and eliminate racism, sexism, etc. Elder Hales was invited to speak in the Sunday morning session, if his health permitted. He shared it with me, and I share a few lines with you. “When we choose faith, we choose to stand in God’s presence. Those who rejected Christ could not stand in his presence, nor look on his face.” I testify in this Conference, we have heard the voice of the Lord. Do not be alarmed when the voice counters the world’s voice. I am on my knees in the temple with my brethren, and our greatest desires is to help all return to God. There is a treasure chest of information awaiting you in the Conference teachings. In 1979, years before Pres Nelson’s ordination to apostle, Pres Kimball told us to spread the gospel to the nations. At age 54, Pres Nelson chose to study the Mandarin language.  Not long after, he was in a convention with a Chinese surgeon. He spoke to him in Mandarin. It led to Dr Woo to visit SLC, and Pres Nelson going to China to perform surgeries. After his call to the apostleship, he was asked to go to China to operate on a dying opera singer there. This was his last surgery. Yesterday, he plead with us to study the Book of Mormon. This morning, Pres Eyring also spoke about the Book of Mormon and obeying Pres Monson’s challenge to read it. Listen and act on the promptings given during General Conference. We love you, Pres Monson. Pres Monson said, “As I leave this conference, I invoke a blessing upon you. May the messages of this conference be with you.,..I love you. I bless you.”

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Choir: Israel, Israel, God is Calling

Closing Prayer:Elder Evan A Shmootz

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About rameumptom

Gerald (Rameumptom) Smith is a student of the gospel. Joining the Church of Jesus Christ when he was 16, he served a mission in Santa Cruz Bolivia (1978=1980). He is married to Ramona, has 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Retired Air Force (Aim High!). He has been on the Internet since 1986 when only colleges and military were online. Gerald has defended the gospel since the 1980s, and was on the first Latter-Day Saint email lists, including the late Bill Hamblin's Morm-Ant. Gerald has worked with FairMormon, More Good Foundation, LDS.Net and other pro-LDS online groups. He has blogged on the scriptures for over a decade at his site: Joel's Monastery ( He has the following degrees: AAS Computer Management, BS Resource Mgmt, MA Teaching/History. Gerald was the leader for the Tuskegee Alabama group, prior to it becoming a branch. He opened the door for missionary work to African Americans in Montgomery Alabama in the 1980s. He's served in two bishoprics, stake clerk, high council, HP group leader and several other callings over the years. While on his mission, he served as a counselor in a branch Relief Society presidency.

6 thoughts on “General Conference – Sunday Afternoon Session

  1. Elder Anderson was definitely preparing our hearts for Pres Monson’s death and the Lord choosing Pres Nelson as the next prophet.

  2. Book, Statistical reports are given in April, following the end of a calendar year, not in October.

  3. I thought those were only read during April conference, since they sum up the previous calendar years.

  4. Re statistical reports, – I had the same thought. Just used to them happening, and hadn’t really noticed that they don’t happen in the fall…

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