Below is coverage of the October 3, 2014, Morning session of the LDS General Conference. Jump to hyperlinked list of participants
The Church is putting summaries and video links up very quickly – to see the short summaries and re-watch your favorite talks, go to the Conference at a Glance Summaries.
Presiding – President Thomas S. Monson
Conducting – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Riverton, Utah Primary Choir – Beautiful Savior
Opening Prayer – Elder Terence M. Vinson
Sustaining the general officers of the Church. The three new apostles are:
Choir: Medley of Search, Ponder & I Think When I Read that Sweet Story of Old
Much has been written about today’s generation. Most do not identify with organized religion. Most are in debt. They like the idea of marriage, but they are not married. Many plan to not have children.
Now is the day of choosing for all of us. When I was a boy about to make an ill-considered choice, my father would tell me to straighten up and fly right.
Oh, noble youth. You are living through a critical period in your life. Your decisions about family, career, and Church service will shape your life for eternity.
As an officer in the Air Force, I learned to never fly directly into a thunderstorm. Fly around it or wait until the weather is clear.
You are the pilots of your lives and are responsible for the decisions you make. Think, “What is the worse thing that could happen?”
The scriptures show us how righteous people respond to temptation. They avoid it as Joseph fled Potipher’s wife.
God will teach us whether to fight or flee. The Holy Ghost will guide us. We will have patriarchal blessings, counsel of wise parents, and most importantly the voice of the Holy Spirit. If you are there for the Lord, He will be there for you. Put your trust in that spirit which leadeth to do good.
Many of you are facing crushing debt. When young, my Stake President was an investment banker. He taught we were rich if we could live within our means. Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Many are going into debt to get an education only to find the debt is more than they can pay. Seek scholarships and other means to assist. It will take sacrifice, but will be worth it. Knowledge does away with darkness, ignorance, and doubt. Knowledge carries power. To be learned is good. Education will prepare you for what is ahead, including marriage.
Marriage lies past the terrain called dating. Get to know each other. Are your goals compatible? Do you share the same principles regarding children, Church service? Does the person you are dating tear others down or build them up? Is their conduct what you would like to live with every day?
But we don’t marry actual, but potential. Please don’t date all through your twenties just to have a good time. Dating and marriage aren’t final decisions, they are the gateway to where you ultimately want to go. Your responsibility now is to be worthy of the person you want to marry. When it comes to attributes, be the kind of person you want to marry.
If you have done all this and have not found a desired marriage partner, be patient.
One person said, “I didn’t raise my children on money. I raised them on faith.” Exercise your faith every day and you will wax stronger and stronger in faith.
Be worthy to partake of the sacrament and attend the temple. Follow the Savior, who went about doing good.
You may have questions. I had two mentors. They said, “If you seek my counsel, be prepared to take it.” Be careful of taking advice from your peers. Reach up, not across. Only your resolve to be obedient can change your life for good.
Recently a young film maker said he felt like part of a generation of prodigals, looking for love and hope, but looking in all the wrong places.
In the Church, we make important decisions in councils. Counsel with those in your family, with yourself alone. After prayer, spend some time alone and ask yourself what areas of your life you want to strengthen to strengthen others. Where do you want to be in a year, two years? You are the pilot of your life.
As you follow God, He will strengthen and uphold you.
Welcome to Elders and Sisters Rasband, Stevenson, and Renlund.
A favorite hymn counsels us to hear our great deliveror’s voice. Bear, Carry, Lift, Deliver – the words conveys safety. They also conveys the fatigue of those struggling, and the one who works so hard to deliver us.
Christ was lifted up that we might be lifted up.
The words also remind us of Christ’s words on the cross, when he said to John, “Behold thy mother.”
The resolute love of a mother suffers long. Believeth all things, endureth all things. Such fidelity never faileth.
It is not only that they bear us, but that they continue beariing with us. It is not just the pre-natal carrying, but that they continue to carry us through life.
The burden, especially on young maternal shoulders, can be daunting. One young mother wrote, “How can it be that you can love another so deeply that you voluntarily subject yourself to vulnerability and heartache and just keep coming back for more? Such love that you know you love will never be your own ever again. Such love,” she concluded, “must be divine. Such love will waver between unbearable and transcendant, until at the end we can say, with Jesus, ‘I have done what Thou didst send me to do.”
The first is a cautionary one. A beloved friend of more than fifty years was dying away from the Church that he knew to be true. I could not bring him peace. “However painful it is going to be to stand before God, I can’t bear the thought of standing before my mother. The Gospel and her children meant everything to her. I have broken her heart, and that is breaking mine.”
I am sure his mother will welcome him with open arms. That is what parents do. But our children can break our hearts, as the world broke Jesus’ heart. Let us spare Christ and our mothers the sorrow of our sinning.
Second, a young missionary was worthy, but returned home due to same sex attraction. He was at turns hurt, angry, and desolate. All his priesthood leaders spent countless hours weeping and blessing him. But much of his wound was so personal that he kept part of it beyond their reach. Day and night for weeks, months, and years, this young man and his mother sought healing together. She bore to her son her testimony of God’s power and love for her son. She testified of her own uncompromised love for her son as well. She wept and fasted, then listened and listened and listened as this son repeatedly told her of how his heart was breaking. She carried him, but this was not merely for nine months. As the years dragged on, she felt this bearing would last forever. Eventually, her son came home to the promised land. His orientation did not miraculously change. But little by little his heart did change. He began to take the sacrament, returned to the temple, became a greatly successful seminary teacher. And after five years, he requested a return to the mission field.
Lastly, from the rededication of the Mexico Temple, Lisa Tuttle Pieper was standing. But she was bent over supporting her severely handicapped daughter, Dora, helping this limited but eternally precious daughter of God wave the white handkerchief and cry out in groans only understandable to herself, “Hosanna, Hosaana, Hosanna! Glory to God and the Lamb.”
Thank you for demonstrating the pure love of Christ. To Mother in Heaven and her daughters, I say Thank you for fulfilling your eternal role. To all, including those who struggle, I say “Be peaceful. You are doing better than you think you are. Your love never faileth. I can pay no higher tribute to anyone.”
Congregation and Choir – Come Follow Me
The world is trying to define who are children are and what they should believe.
The children sing, “I am a Child of God… Lead me, guide me, walk beside me, help me understand His words before it grows too late.”
These are perilous times.
At the Sea of Galilee, the Savior taught a parable about planting seeds. In explaining this to his disciples, he explained that the wicked one will attempt to take away the seeds.
How can we teach the words of life and ensure they are heard. You might say, “You sound like a broken record,” And they will respond, “What is a record?”
You have received the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost will teach you want to do to teach your children.
I can think of no better story than that of Helen Keller. Annie Sullivan became her teacher, but Helen was blind and deaf. One day she was pumping the water into Helen’s hand, spelling w-a-t-e-r into her other hand. After so many months of not understanding, Helen made the connection By the end of the month Helen had learned 600 words and had begun to learn braille. She went on to graduate from college and did much good. Helen was a miracle and Annie was a miracle worker. So will you be.
Pablo was nine when his father took him aside and said, “I was once nine. There will be those who cheat and swear. When these things happen, come to me and I will tell you what comes next. At ten he warned me about pornography. At eleven, he warned him about addiction.” At each stage, his father taught what Pablo was ready and needing to hear.
I was proud of Pablo for being worthy to serve a mission. But I was more proud of his father.
I thought of my grown daughters and their children, who did not live nearby. God comforted me that it’s never too early and never too late. I urgently contacted my children and told them I had something to tell them. My urgently startled them. But I talked with my oldest daughter and told her and her husband about the things we had faced at 31. And we told them about Pablo and his father, so they could consider this as they raised their own children.
I know I can’t turn back time, but this I know. Families are forever, and it is never too late (or too early). Jesus also knows what we are going through.
Once we reach the age of accountability, trials will be our burden. But we need not bear these burdens alone. We have a responsibility to help those around us. I will talk about four ways our burdens can be lighter as we help others.
1) Jesus counseled that if we are asked to go a mile, we should go twain. Some of us live far from a temple. Going can be considered going the first mile. But as we understand the purpose of the temple and prepare the information for the work to be done for them, or work as temple workers, or help prepare for those who need help, that is the second mile.
At one temple patrons were unable to enter because the capacity of the building had been met. One brother told me of his day waiting, and how he had been blessed by allowing another man to enter in his place, so the man could be sealed to his wife.
2) Please smile. The Lord asked the apostles to kneel and pray. He blessed them and His countenance did shine upon them.
3) Express feelings of compassion to others. Use your power in behalf of the children of God. Express words of consolation and comfort to those who are suffering and feeling affliction.
4) Meditate on the great and wonderful love of the Father and the Son. Invite others to come to partake worthily of the sacrament. And if they are not yet worthy, help them to repent. Jesus descended below all things and suffered all things that he might atone for all those circumstances that cause suffering.
I know Jesus sustained with all his might and power God’s plan. President Thomas S. Monson holds all the keys to carry out God’s work in the earth.
We were biking in the Taft tunnel. We had prepared with lights. We were told of the darkness and ditches, but we pressed on.
Our lights proved inadequate. Though an experienced cyclist, I felt as though I was completely inexperienced, and even struggled to remain upright. But one of us had a strong light. So we gathered around him, relying on his light to make our way through the dark tunnel. Then a pinpoint of bright light appeared. Before long that tiny light had grown as we approached the end of the tunnel.
There are times in our lives when our preparations will be insufficient. There are times when we might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, thinking that we could never be so overwhelmed.
No matter how intense the darkness of doubt, we choose how long we suffer. God and Jesus will support us if we seek their help.
Peter on the Sea of Galilee found himself faltering. He did not hesitate, but cried out to Jesus to save him.
In our own day, why would we heed the nameless, faceless detractors while ignoring those who love us and have our best interests at heart? Because these mockers exploit social media and hide their agendas, they are given unwarranted credibility.
Just as I was embarrassed in the tunnel, we may be embarrassed to admit that we are faltering, preferring to pretend that we are confident in our faltering.
We must trust in the Lord to develop strength. While there may be a time when we must rely on others, as I did in the tunnel, there is a time when we see the light for ourselves and can proceed without relying on others.
Satan would teach us that we never did feel the spirit, that we never did see the light and that the light will never return. If we discount our past spiritual experiences, this denial will distance us from God.
There is no darkness so dense or penetrating that it can not be overcome by light. The Lord prepares the way for those who seek Him.
We have not been left alone. We have the power to choose belief over doubt. We can choose to act on spiritual promptings and be obedient. May we choose the light of the Savior.
When we were young, we were surprised when our parents told us they would be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My brothers investigated and were prompted to join the Church.
I prayed about the Book of Mormon and at the time received no such assurance. Later I understood that Moroni’s promise is to those who seek with sincere intent, not to those who are asking out of mere curiosity.
Mortal life is not easy for any of us. Consider the reactions of Laman and Lemuel. They murmured when things go hard. They did try to obtain the plates, but gave up when the task proved difficult. The refused to seek understanding, but complained and refused to pray.
I know of returned missionaries who have had undeniable spiritual experiences, but their current spiritual habits have caused them to doubt.
God’s answers and peace may not come easily or in the form you desire, but they will come if you don’t give up.
What was different in the experiences of the sons of Mosiah? When they began their missions, they were depressed. But the Lord comforted them and encouraged them to persevere.
We will all face trials and have questions. But as we hold to the rod and the words of Christ, the doors of revelation will be opened.
The sons of Mosiah gave themselves to prayer and fasting. Prayer and fasting allows us to undo the bands of wickedness. And God will answer our cries, saying “Here I am.”
Lack of good spiritual habits is why Laman and Lemuel were left open to the temptation to murmur and discard belief. Turn to Him. Recall when He did speak peace to your mind. Ask yourself if you are living as close to Christ as you once were.
Returning to my story, the missionaries worked with me. For me the answer to my questions about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith were not answered by an event but as part of a process. The Book of Mormon became delicious to me. I still have questions, but as I move forward, my faith grows.
We must have faith with works to receive answers. I bear solemn witness that Jesus is the Christ.
In mortality we have the uncertainty of sin and certainty of death.
Through the atonement, God can give us the strength to overcome our challenges.
Alma (Alma 7) taught these fundamentals in the Book of Mormon, including assurances that the Savior suffered the difficulties of all. “And He shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions of all kinds, that the words may be fulfilled that He shall take upon himself the pains and afflictions of every kind.”
Jesus had committed no wrong, but did suffer all the mental, emotional torments of man that His bowels might be filled with mercy. That He might know according to the flesh how He might succor His people in their infirmities.
Since the Savior has suffered anything and everything we have felt, he can help the weak to become strong.
Jesus knows our struggles, our heartaches, our suffering. Because He suffered all these as part of His atonement.
Throughout Holy Writ we see how Christ’s atonement was taken on so all might be healed, in all their infirmities and sicknesses, griefs and sorrows. God said He would strengthen us and help us.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.” Christ has the power to heal or help with all infirmities and pains. We suffer sickness. We suffer pain from injury. We suffer when our loved ones die. We suffer when we face disappointment in our responsibilities. When those we love wander away from righteousness, we suffer pain. Many are the afflictions of righteousness, but our Lord delivers us from them all. Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.
For teenagers, rejection is a particular pain. Racial and other rejection is poignant. Unemployment causes suffering, as does infirmity of disability or depression. For some, singleness is a great pain. Few disabilities are more damaging than addiction. Even when the sinful behavior has been repented of, the addiction may remain.
Christ can relieve pain even of those in prison. As one wrote, “I know that our Savior is walking these halls, and I have often felt Christ’s love within these prison walls.”
Emmalou Thayne wrote, “Who can understand? He, only one.”
Alma taught the Savior would take upon himself the pains and sicknesses of His people. Who are His people? Are they all mortals, or only those who embrace Christ’s teachings.
Ammon taught, God is mindful of every people, no matter what land they may be in. As the angel declared, great tidings be to all people!
Christ offers succor to all. But only those who seek His help receive it.
Jesus descended below all things (D&C 122:8) and is thus perfectly positioned to lift us. We have only to ask.
If you ask of me, you shall receive.
Paul wrote, “We trust in the living God.”
Our Savior’s atonement does more than assure us of resurrection and redemption from sin. His atonement offers us succor and healing from all our infirmaties. He will bind up our wounds and care for us.
Choir – I Feel My Savior’s Love
CLosing Prayer – Kazuhiko Yamashita
Presiding – President Thomas S. Monson
Conducting – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Choir – Beautiful Savior
Opening Prayer – Terence M. Vinson
Sustaining of General Officers –
Talk – Robert D. Hales –
Talk – Jeffrey R. Holland –
Rest Hymn – Come Follow Me
Talk – Bradley D. Foster –
Talk – Hugo Montoya –
Talk – Vern P. Stanfill –
Talk – James B. Martino –
Talk – Elder Dallin H. Oaks –
Choir – I Feel My Savior’s Love
Closing Prayer – Kazuhiko Yamashita