#LDSConf Sun PM Session, Apr 1, 2018

OK – home teaching and visiting teaching have been replaced by ministering, which will include young men and young women. Ministering.lds.org.

And seven new temples. We were screaming again and again in excitement as each one was announced.

President Dallin H. Oaks will be conducting this meeting. President Russell M. Nelson presides. Music is provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

President Oaks: We extend our greetings to members of the Church and friends everywhere who are participating in this session.

Choir: Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy

Opening Prayer: Elder Weatherford T. Clayton

Choir: Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd

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Elder Gerrit D. Gong:

I joyfully sing “Hallelujah” to celebrate Our Savior’s Atonement and His covenant with us.

In every kindred, tongue, and nation, thank you for your gospel service and experience.

I humbly pledge the faculties of my soul to My Savior. Everything worthy is centered in our Heavenly Father, Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and witnessed by the Holy Ghost.

The Savior is Alpha and Omega, with us to the end.

As the Primary children sing, “Follow the prophet, he knows the way.” Amen.

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Elder Ulisses Soares:

The Lord will teach us what we should say. I love my wife with every ounce of my heart and am grateful for the positive influence she has had on my life.

I have never seen anyone more kind and loving that President Russell M. Nelson. He has made me feel embraced by God’s love.

It is comforting to know we are not alone in the world, despite the challenges we face.

Eighteen years ago my wife and I received a call from President Faust, calling us to preside over a Mission in Portugal. We had only six weeks, but were concerned as Visa’s could take many months. We had faith and began to prepare immediately. A lady helping with the paperwork asked, “Are you really going to go to help the people in my country?” We explained our mission. Our paperwork was approved within four weeks, allowing us to report as requested to our mission.

On this Easter Day, I solemnly testify of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Our Savior and Redeemer. Through Him we will be saved and exalted in the kingdom of Our Father. Amen.

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President Russell M. Nelson:

For months we have been seeking how to minister to our members.

We have made a decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching as we have known them. We will refer to the new efforts as ministering.

 

 

[OK, it’s just me and my daughter here, but we are freaking out. Now I know why they were retiring the Visiting Teaching message….]

Elder Jeffrey Holland:

Thinking of how revelation can come as a rush, not sure we can stand more rushes. Some of us how weak hearts. But you can fix that to, dear President.

As priesthood quorums and auxiliaries mature, so ought we as individuals to mature. There are not forms to fill out in triplicate, but one commandment. Love one another.

In an effort to move us towards this ideal, the new ministery will include the following elements:

We will no longer be using the old terminology. The primary purpose of the ministering will be to watch over the people and nourish them. We will continue to visit homes as possible, but conditions may preclude a visit to every home every month. Do the best you can. Texts, video chats, and calls are acceptable. But I don’t want to hear of something I saw on a bumper sticker, “If I honk, you’ve been home taught.” I’m speaking to the priesthood brethren as the Relief Society would never do such a thing.

Ministering brethren represent the Bishop and Quorum Presidents, they do not replace them. We at Church headquarters don’t need to know how or where or when you contact your people, we just need to know you did contact them.

All of us, everyone, needs to feel the warm hand of fellowship and the firm declaration of faith. This is an invitation to care for one another in a new, bold, holier way.

We pay tribute to the generations who have served in this way before us. Last January 14th, my friends the Hamblins were chatting after a busy day. Then Sister Hamblin fell, unresponsive. Brother Hamblin called 911, then his mother and his home teacher, Edwin. Brett Hamblin told his home teacher, “I NEED YOU NOW.” Less than forty minutes after Sister Hamblin’s eyes closed, she was pronounced dead. Brett’s home tacher held him in his arms as they sobbed together. Edwin’s wife followed along and cared for the now-motherless children. The amazing part of the story is not that Edwin helped, but that the relationship between Brett and Edwin was such that Brett instictively felt to call Edwin in his moment of need.

May we labor side by side in the vineyard to assist the Lord in His staggering task of caring for His people. May we love one another as He has loved us. Amen.

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President Jean B. Bingham:

We are being prepared for the Second Coming.

Sometimes we think we have to do something great and grand to care for one another.

The Savior served family and friends, neighbors alike. His ministery serves as the template for our service today.

Ask yourself, how can I share the spirit of the Lord with those around us? Prayerfully council about individuals and families, rather than handing out forms and assignments.

It looks like taking a walk, visiting in person, sharing a scripture or quote, it looks like discussing a gospel question, it looks like becoming part of someone’s life and caring for him or her. It looks like the ward council determining how to respond to a larger need.

A young woman was new to the area and didn’t know anyone. Another sister showed up and helped the young woman find her way around.

In Africa, another woman reached out to someone who had not attended for a while, only to find she had been beaten. The woman was helped and is now active in the ward, where she knows she is loved.

One mother was diagnosed with cancer. The Relief Society went to work figuring out how to help. The Elder’s quorum also sprang into action, helping modify the home so the sister could receive the care she needed. Each gave of him or herself to bless not only the suffering sister but her family. When the sister died, the ward continued to minister to the family.

This is ministering. This is loving as the Savior does.

Young women will serve alongside adults just as young men have served alongside priesthood brethren for years. I am excited for the enthusiams the youth will bring to our mature women, and the mentoring the mature women can offer to the young women. Our young women want to be of service. And our young women have already been ministering, even without assignment.

Coordination between Elder’s Quorum and Relief Society Presidents will allow for the power of our ministry to result in miracles. The Svior is our example in everything. His life on earth was an invitation to us. As we minister, we will become more spiritually refined. May we love each other as Our Savior loves us. Let us have no envying or strifes. As we embrace these things we will be closer to becoming a Zion people, this is my prayer. Amen.

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Choir – Redeemer of Israel

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

I am grateful to be with you on this wonderful Conference weekend. Although I miss my dear friend, Thomas S. Monson, I love, sustain, and support President Nelson and his counselors. I am honored to work with my brethren in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Most of all, I am honored to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

What a blessed day we have this Easter.

Recently I asked the internet what day most changed history. I receivd many diverse answers. If the same question was asked of you, what would you say? I would say we would have to go back 2000 years ago to the day when Jesus Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Out of perfectlove, He gave all that we might receive all. His supernal sacrifice reminds us of the universal debt of gratitude we owe Our Savior.

Combine all the other major events, and they cannot begin to compare with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Why?

  1. We all die. Friends and family will mourn you, but they can’t bring you back. But through the sacrifice of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected. He did this even for those who mock, revile, and curse His name.
  2. We all sin. And this would prevent us from returning to God. Because Jesus Christ was perfect, He could pay the price for our sins.

Jesus the Christ open the gates of death and hell. Because of our Lord and Savior we are granted this most precious gift. No matter our past, we can put off that past and follow the path of glory that leads to life and light. Because of Jesus Christ, we will exist ans eternal beings, worlds without end. Because of Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgotten. Because of our Beloved Savior, we can dwell forever in the mansions of Our Eternal King.

Many in our world do not recognize Our Lord for who He really is. I am reminded of Pontius Pilate, who saw Jesus only through the eyes of the world. Pilate found Jesus blameless, but the mob demanded the death of Jesus. Perhaps to satisfy the mob’s lust for blood, Pilate had Jesus scourged. The people could see Jesus but they could not truly behold Him.

We too are invited to behold the Man. Opinions vary in the world. Apostles testified of the Son of God. I do too. When you ponder the Lord Jesus, what do you see? When you are encompassed by sorrows and grief, when you are lost or forgotton or damaged or defeated, behold the Man. He will pour out His spirit and fill your heart with exceeding joy. As we draw near to Him, we will feel that love. His refining light will fill our souls and our peace will deepen as we truly behold the Man.

In eternity, all the pain of this life will be gone, forgotten. Is it any wonder we preach of Christ, prophesy of Christ, and rejoice in Christ? I testify that the most important day in the history of the world is the day the Son of God won the victory over death and sin. And the most important day in our lives is the day we learn to truly behold the Man, partake of His atonement, and find meaning, joy, and peace. Amen.

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Bishop Gérald Caussé:

As we were invited to present a presentation regarding the Paris temple to the mayor, we were eager to present the best. But then the mayor said they would be performing their own investigation.

They went to a sacrament meeting and observed. We interviewed the neighbors of Mormons. I asked them of their conclusions, feeling a bit of anxiety.

She replied, “We found the Church is the closest to the Church of Jesus Christ of an we have observed.” Based on their findings, the mayor had no objection to construction of a temple in their community.

The Church is best understood not by the edifices and teachings, but the lives of the millions of disciples who have taken the Savior’s name upon them.

Like a car,no matter how fancy, which moves the people in the car, the Church is merely support for those who wish to follow the covenant path.

This is the Church of Jesus Christ. The first part of the name of the Church represents Our Lord. The second part of the name of the Church speaks of us, who believe.

When I was called as a Stake President, I established objectives. Six months laters, when I was released, I had not achieved those objectives. But in those years my objectives had changed. I looked out on the faces of the thousands I had served, I rejoiced in their lives and their increased love for the Savior. Statistics are not what is important, but whether individual people have been lifted and encouraged and ultimately changed.

Are we active in the gospel or are we merely busy in the Church. If we are active, we will naturally focus on saving individuals, rather than performing tasks. If the Savior visited, would He focus on setting up the chairs perfectly, or would He bless the people? Who would He visit. I imagine He would visit first the Primary. As youare on the Lord’s agenda, you will focus on fostering spiritual experiences and ministering. It will not be about you, but about them.

Our very influence can be enough to make any place we visit a holy place. A friend was perplexed to learn that each worthy man could hold the priesthood. He asked why we needed dozens of priests in Church on Sunday. I agreed, adding that what we needed was a priest in every home. And when there couldnt’ be a priest in a home, the other priests were charged to reach out and care for that home.

Christ lives and directs this Church. President Nelson is a prophet. Amen.

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Elder Quentin L. Cook:

Eliza R. Snow spoke of the dedication of the Kirtland temple, and the joy and glory that was felt by all.

As we prepare to meet God, we can know what our divinely-appointed responsibilities are by reflecting on the ordinances restored at the Kirtland temple.

Almost exactly 182 years ago Easter and Passover overlapped. On April 3, 1836, Moses, Elias, and Elijah restored keys that were essential to the restoration, the keys of gathering Israel, sealing families, and preparing for the Second Coming of the Savior.

The Kirtland temple was eternity-shaping. On that wonderful day in the Kirtland temple.

Moses committed the keys of the gathering if Israel, which is missionary work.

Elias committed the keys of the priesthood, to covenant with God.

Third, Elijah commited the keys of the sealing power, allowing for the salvation of the living and the dead.

Today roughly 70,000 missionaries serve around the earth. Nephi saw our time, when the faithful would be over the face of all the earth, even if small in numbers. We are seeing the fulfillment of Nephi’s vision.

Elias appeared and committed the restoration of the covenant of Abraham, preparing us for the Kingdom of God. Ministering, as taught so eloquently in this session, will prepare us to meet God.

Elijah committed the keys of sealing. We have seen an accelerated rate of building temples. Family history work, assisted by technology, has accelerated in recent years. We would be unwise to presume someone else will “take care of it.” None is exempt from this solemn obligation. We now have temples across the world and the patron assistance fund to assist those who are far from a temple.

This life is the time for all of us to prepare to meet God. It is commendable that non-consensual immorality has been exposed and renounced. Consensual immorality should also be renounced. We see the devastation of wickedness and addiction all around. Many do not feel accountable to God. If we as society would consider the consequences of sin, we would rise up as a society against pornography and the objectification of women. In the Lord’s Church, the only culture we adhere to is the unity of God. Missionaries are not called based on anything other than worthiness and willingness to serve. They serve where they are assigned, serving with whichever companions selected for them, not by them.

When I serve in the temple, I see all alike. The covenants are the same for all, no matter what their worldly lack or riches. Seeing others as equals prepares us to meet God. If you have not yet gone to the temple, see your Bishop and prepare to go to the temple. The faithful, core membership of the Church has never been stronger. Amen.

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Choir – Love One Another

President Russell M. Nelson:

I join with you in thanking the Lord for His inspiration and influence. Now a favorite hymn captures our privilege and challenge. Let us all press on in the work of the Lord. The Lord is on our side. We will not heed what the wicked may say, but the Lord alone we will obey.

Conscienciously find ways to incorporate the messages you have heard this conference in your discussions with family, friends, and those not of our faith.

Our message to the world is simple. We invite all on both sides of the veil to accept the blessings of the temple and qualify for eternal life.

At this time we have 159 functional temples. We want to bring temples closer to the people. We announce seven new temples. Argentina; India; Nicaragua; Phillipines; Layton, Utah; Richmond, Virginia; and a major city yet to be determined in Russia. [Much screaming at this household.] These temples may not change your life, but attending the temple surely will.

I bless you with greater love and harmony in your homes. This is Christ’s Church, I so testify, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

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Choir: We will All Press On

Closing Prayer:

Participants
Presiding – President Russell M. Nelson
Conducting – President Dallin H. Oaks
Choir – Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
Opening Prayer – Elder Weatherford T. Clayton
Choir – Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd
Talk – Elder Gerrit D. Gong – Hallelujah
Talk – Elder Ulisses Soares – Are you really going to help?
Announcement – President Russell M. Nelson – Ministerying
Talk – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – What it Means to Minister
Talk – President Jean B. Bingham – Loving as the Savior Loves
Rest Hymn – Redeemer of Israel
Talk – Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf – The Most Important Day
Talk – Bishop Gérald Caussé – A Priest in Every Home
Talk – Elder Quentin L. Cook – Restoration of the Keys
Talk – President Russell M. Nelson – Closing Remarks, Seven New Temples
Choir – We Will All Press On
Closing Prayer –

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

1 thought on “#LDSConf Sun PM Session, Apr 1, 2018

  1. Wonderful Conference! Another proof of the truth of the Gospel and revelation! Amazing, but very needed changes were announced.

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