#LDSconf 186th Semiannual Conference, Sunday Morning Session

President Uchtdorf conducts

President Monson presides.

Music by the MoTab choir.

Choir sings “In Hymns of Praise.”

Invocation by Elder Christoffel Golden of the Seventy

President Monson

1964 — he had an assignment in NYC during the world’s fair.  He visited the Mormon pavilion at the fair  Watched a church movie.  He sat next to a young man who was not a member.  The crowd was silent, many touched by the message of the film.  The young man did not arise.  His response was:  “this is the truth.”

Not all embrace our message.  But many people recognize its truth, and they plant their feet on the path that will lead them safely home.  Essential to our message is the Savior Jesus Christ.  It is not enough just to believe in him.  We must work and repent and improve.  We need to know God’s laws and live them.

The Father does nothing save it be for our benefit.  The work and glory.  Pres. Monson testifies of the great gift and plan for us.  He leaves his love and blessing.

Elder Russell M. Nelson 

Prophets prophecied:  Tragedies will increase.  These are the latter days.  The whole world in commotion.  Men lovers of their own selves.  Lovers of pleasures.

We wrestle against darkness.  As cowardly terrorists prey on the innocent.  As corruption becomes commonplace, what can help us?

Think of Lehi.  Lehi knew opposition.  Yet he declared boldly:  men are that they might have joy.  We are here to have joy?  Yes.

What must we do to claim the joy that Heavenly Father has in store for us? Joy is not a result of the circumstances of our lives but the focuses of our lives.  Our missionaries teach and baptize not to increase numbers, but to bring joy to the people of the world.

It does not seem possible to feel joy when you suffer.  But we can have joy in the Savior.

Look to Jesus in every thought.  Keep covenants we have made with him and our Heavenly Father.  Joy is powerful.  Jesus Christ in our ultimate exemplar.  He suffered but he brought us joy.  If we focus on the joy that will come to us or the ones we love, what can we endure that seems scary or impossible?  Focus on the joy of finally being clean and right with the Lord.  The joy of being free of guilt.  One man confessed of his problem with pornography, striving with his heart to regain the trust of his dear wife.

One colleague said:  I have learned to suffer with joy.  My suffering is swallowed up in the joy of Christ.

Focus on the Savior and his pattern of joy.  Anything that opposes Christ and his doctrine will prevent joy.  This includes the on-line world and blogosphere.  The unrighteous may experience many sensations, but they will never experience joy.

Every time we forgive someone or ask for forgiveness, we will feel joy.  Every day can be a day of gladness and joy.

Choir:  “On this Day of Joy and Gladness.”

Peter F. Meurs of the Seventy

Five ways to increase spiritual participation in the Sacrament.

1)Prepare in advance.  Pray.  Put off the natural man.  Participation in the sacrament offers a way to more fully yield or hearts to God.  Remember the Savior’s sacrifice.

2)Arrive early.  Arrive well before the meeting and ponder. Not a time for conversation, but a period for meditation.

3)Sing and learn from the words of the Sacrament hymn.  Music elevates our thoughts and feelings.  Listen to the words.

4)Spiritually participate in the Sacrament prayers.  Consider the commitments in the prayers.  Bread and water are blessed and sanctified for our souls.  We partake in remembrance of the Savior, the body and blood.  Phrase “that they are willing”  Are we willing to participate, change, trust the Savior?

5)Ponder and remember Him as the sacrament is passed.  As the bread is passed, we may contemplate and remember the Savior.  As the water is passed, we may remember the blood of the Savior.

Linda S. Reeves, second counselor of the Relief Society presidency

When we have sinned, Satan tries to convince us that we should not confess.  But the bishop can bless our lives.  The unselfish and Christ-like thing to do is to confess and repent.  A man confessed a sexual sin, and his wife was upset, but his wife embraced him and dedicated herself to helping him.  Years later, this couple and three children are strong and faithful.

One missionary seemed sad.  He had to leave his mission because he had not be honest before his mission.  He went home, and a year later he was able to return.  The feelings of joy that we felt when we picked up the young man from the airport.

I wanted to know what my grandchildren feel about repentance.  They seem to understand it.  When you hit someone, you can say you’re sorry.  Teenager said:  “in order to progress and become like Jesus and HF, you need to repent.”  Four-year-old said:  “I don’t know Daddy, you teach me.”

Each child of HF needs repentance.

Congregation sings “I am a Child of God.”

Elder Ballard

He went to Jerusalem.  Prayer to “be one.”

Our relationships with our families should be cherished and nurtured.

In the Bible:  some disciples left.  But Peter said:  “to whom shall we go?”  The apostles focused on what they did believe and know.  They remained with Christ.  The Twelve then received the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Today is no different:  for some the decision to believe and stay becomes difficult.  Some people cannot understand our teachings.  Some concentrate on history.  Others find it difficult to live a religion that requires so much.

If you are faltering in your faith, to whom shall you go?

Where will you go if you leave?  Where will you go, and what will you do?  This will have a long-term impact that cannot be seen right now.

There may be some doctrine or detail of history that makes you question your faith.  But things have a way of resolving themselves.  Remember the restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold.  Never abandon the truths revealed by Joseph Smith.  Never stop pondering the BoM.

Before you make that spiritually perilous choice to leave, think carefully about what brought you to your testimony.  Stop and think about what you have felt here.  Think about the HG.  Where will you go to find others who share your beliefs in heavenly parents?  Where will you go to be taught about a Savior who is your best friend?  Where will you go to ponder HF’s plan?  The plan of salvation gives mortal life a meaning and purpose and direction?

Where will you go to find the standards that you share and want to pass along to your children and grandchildren?

Life can be like hikers ascending a trail.  We can stop to catch our bearings.  There is nothing wrong with pausing on the path.  It can be a positive thing if you refresh yourselves with the living water of Christ.  The danger comes when you wander away from the path.  Sometimes you must believe, trust and hope.

Love those who are struggling with their faith.  We are all at different places on the path.  We need to minister accordingly.  I pray that anybody thinking about leaving the old ship Zion will pause and ponder before you do.  The Savior is on board and is able to rebuke the storm.  Until then, we must not fear.

The Lord invites us all to come unto him.

Dean M. Davies of the Presiding Bishopric

On assignment, visiting a stake in the Western U.S.  Normal meeting.  But then before the meeting began, words inspired by the Spirit.  The people had come to worship.  The people had an attitude of reverence and peace.  They were worshipping, they were experiencing heaven.  I rejoiced and worshipped with them.  On that day, I learned something about myself and about God.  Worship is essential and central to our spiritual lives.

We acknowledge and accept God, our heavenly king.  We lift our hearts in prayer and commit to follow him with loyalty.  Worshipping God.  Must accept Him in our hearts.  We can learn much about true worship when we learn about others.

Joseph Smith.  Worship:  a sense of awe and wonder of heaven.

On the day of Pentecost, the spirit entered in to the hearts of the disciples.  Knowledge and the spirit led to faith.

When we worship in spirit, we invite light into our souls, and this strengthens our faith.   When ponders the normal meeting, he is moved by the sense of worship in that meeting.  If we fail to worship the Savior, we are missing much of the joy and peace of the gospel.  When we worship God, we approach him with feelings of awe.  Our souls are refined.

Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy

Judge righteous judgement.  Nephite judges.  What manner of men ought you to be:  even as I am.  This is in the context of how to judge righteously.

An example of poor judgement:  the Pharisees who judged the Savior and the woman caught in adultery.  Neither do I condemn thee — go and sin no more.

We have a tendency to condemn and judge self righteously.

The bishop should help people.  He judges righteously.

Compassion does not erase the need for discipline.  To discipline the Lord’s way is to lovingly teach. Chasten comes from Latin:  chaste and purify.

The world condemns a man and locks him in prison.  But the BoM says when we sin we lock ourselves in prison.

Righteous judge:  not condemning.

(Editor’s note:  this talk is really interesting, but the speaker speaks very quickly, and I can’t keep up.  I encourage readers to listen to it or read the transcript).

The principles of righteous judgement apply to all of us.

There is only one way to judge righteously, it is to be as Jesus is.

Choir sings:  “My Heavenly Father Loves Me.”


Summary from lds.org:   “

In His mortal life, Jesus Christ was a loving judge and uncommonly wise and patient. He is known in the scriptures as the “righteous judge” (2 Timothy 4:8Moses 6:57), and His counsel to us is to also “judge righteous judgment” (see Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 7:1–2 [in Matthew 7:1, footnote a]) and to “put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good … [and] to judge righteously” (D&C 11:12). …

Today’s “common judge[s]” [or bishops] (D&C 107:74) should avoid any … impulse to condemn. … A righteous judge would respond to confessions with compassion and understanding. … Otherwise, the bishop may unwittingly drive the lost sheep further into the wilderness (see Luke 15:4). …

While few of us will be called to be common judges, the principles of righteous judgment apply to all of us, especially to parents who have a daily opportunity to use these principles with their children. To effectively teach a child is the very essence of good parenting, and to lovingly discipline is the very essence of being a righteous judge. …

There is only one way to judge righteous judgment, as Jesus Christ does, and that is to be as He is. Therefore, “what manner of men [and women] ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am” (3 Nephi 27:27).

President Eyring

The importance of gratitude.

The Sabbath is a day of gratitude of love.

What matters most is the love we feel for the givers of the gifts.

Count your many blessings, name them one by one.

I receive letters from Saints who are burdened with a load of care.  I am hopeful that what I say will help people be grateful.

The greatest blessing is the feeling of forgiveness that comes when we partake of the Sacrament.  He suffered for us, we should feel gratitude to Him and our love to Him.

You may feel gratitude to the HG.  We can count all those blessings every Sunday and feel grateful.  Remember the covenants we made at the waters of baptism.

We may not be able to see the cumulative effects of the servants of the Lord.  The Lord is building his Kingdom quietly through the faithful efforts of His servants.  It takes the Spirit to see this happening.

Used to have just one branch in Princeton, NJ.  Now there are two wards, and there is a temple in Philadelphia, PA.

He talked about all of the Church growth in places he has lived.  What I could not see clearly then, was that the Lord was pouring out his Spirit in people in those sacrament meetings.  The Lord intended to build and glorify his kingdom.

He that receives all things with thankfulness shall be glorious.  Ease the burdens put on your shoulders.

Whenever we have kept our covenants with God, especially when it is hard, he has heard our prayers, and he has made us cheerful as well as strong.

What can you do to demonstration your gratitude.  Private and family prayer.  What does the Lord want you to do on the Sabbath to serve him and others?  I can promise you that your prayers will be answered, and if you act you will find joy in the Sabbath and your heart will overflow with thankfulness.

Choir:  “Come Ye Thankful People, Come.”














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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

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