Priesthood blessings focus of Sunday session

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    MARCI VON SAVOY

    The Sunday afternoon session of the 166th semi-annual General Conference stressed Christ as the figurehead of the church, the roles of men and women and the blessing of the priesthood. Two new faces of the Quorum of the Seventy were also introduced.

    President of the General Relief Society Presidency, Elaine L. Jack talked about the strength of the 39 Melchizedek Priesthood holders in the village of Mistolar in Paraguay. The village was flooded by the melting snows of the Andes mountains.

    “When all around them had washed away, the saints in Mistolar held firmly to the power of the priesthood and its spiritual blessings,” President Jack said. “They had practically nothing — not even a bucket, but they had their covenants, their church membership, their commitment to Christ.”

    She said that every member of the church can enjoy the blessings of the priesthood, which draw on the power and the grace of God as well as give direction, uplift, encourage and inspire. She said that it was significant “that the women were organized under the authority of the priesthood.”

    “We sustain the priesthood and are sustained by its power,” President Jack said.

    Elder Francisco Vinas, of the Quorum of the Seventy, from Uruguay, reflected on the importance of listening to the voice of the Lord. Listening also requires hearkening to the words, he said. Elder Vinas explained that the Lord’s voice may be received through his servants, studying of the scriptures and being receptive to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost.

    Elder William Rolfe Kerr talked about the power of the individual and the power of the Atonement.

    In Golgotha, Christ uttered, “My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?” Elder Kerr said that utterance teaches the necessity of the Atonement, which was “wrought by the power of one — one person standing alone — even the Only Begotten Son of God,” according to Kerr.

    Elder Kerr related his “power of one” theme to his ancestor, Sarah Ann Meeks who was chastised by her family when she joined the church.

    Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, of the Quorum of the Twelve, dispelled the erroneous belief that the church and its members are not Christian.

    “Two characteristics identify Christians: they profess belief in the Savior and they act in harmony with the Savior’s teachings. Faithful members of the church called Saints or Latter-day Saints, qualify clearly in both characteristics,” Elder Wirthlin said.

    The roles and the nature of women in the plan of salvation were elaborated upon and celebrated by Elder Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of the Twelve.

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve, brought tidings of peace. He acknowledged the trials and hardships of the members of the church and how through Christ and his plan they can truly find peace in their lives.

    President Gordon B. Hinckley ended conference by asking the church to seek for those who need help.

    “I would hope, I would pray, that each of us, having participated in this great conference, would resolve to seek those who need help, who are in desperate and difficult circumstances and lift them in the spirit of love into the embrace of the church…” President Hinckley said.

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