By ASHLEY EYRIN
Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outlined ways to be better people and receive the fullness of the gospel in the afternoon session of Sunday’s general conference.
Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of the dangers of secularism. He spoke of the danger of permissiveness in the world today. The use of “softer language” makes sinful things sound less detrimental, he said.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, expressed his understanding of the prophet Joseph Smith from his extensive research.
The Prophet Joseph Smith experienced a great deal of physical hardships in his life, yet maintained a cheery temperance, Elder Oaks said.
Joseph Smith had no role models to show him how to fulfill his sacred calling.
“He learned from heavenly messengers and from the harvest of his unique spiritual gifts,” Elder Oaks said.
Joseph Smith’s life exemplifies faith and endurance and can itself act as a role model.
“Like other faithful Latter-day Saints, I have built my life on the testimony and mission of the prophet Joseph Smith,” Elder Oaks said.
While role models are important, W. Mack Lawrence, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, admonished listeners to act on the words heard by leaders at gatherings such as General Conference.
“In order to have God’s word impact our lives, to receive the promised blessings, we must follow it,” he said.
In following through and acting upon the counsel given, Latter-day Saints can become more committed and converted so that they will be faithful in keeping the commandments and in fulfilling their church callings, Lawrence said.
“In order to receive a fullness of promised blessings in our lives, and to be fully effective in our callings, we must become converted,” he said.
“We do not serve others or fulfill assignments for statistical or reporting purposes, but in the spirit of love and a commitment to Christ and our Father in heaven.
Living a Christ-like life on earth is not always easy due to prevalent temptations in world today.
Rulon G. Craven, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, expressed ways in which temptations can be overcome.
He likened temptation to a magnet force which holds a metal object in its power; the magnet loses power when it is turned away. Latter-day Saints are surrounded by many things from which temptations may stem.
“When evils arise, stop, think, control your mind,” Craven said.
To overcome temptations one must be obedient to guiding principles and doctrines of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, follow prophetic counsel, and live in such a way the Holy Ghost can constantly be an influence, Craven said.
The Holy Ghost confirms testimonies through spiritual feelings. Susan L. Warner, second counselor in the Primary General Presidency spoke of the importance of those spiritual feelings.
She expressed her testimony of the importance of remembering spiritual feelings and cultivating that memory in the minds of children.
Listening to counsel from the prophet and reading the scriptures as a family can help children learn correct teachings at an early age.
Elder M. Russell Ballard, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke of spiritual starvation in the world today.
“Those who yearn for true spiritual light and knowledge can only find it through the power of the Holy Ghost,” Elder Ballard said.
“We need to cultivate spiritual strength in ourselves before we can ever hope to engender it in others,” he said.
Everyone must share the Gospel, not just the missionaries, he said.
“Strong faithful families have the best opportunity to produce strong faithful members of the church,” Elder Ballard said