Church answers fundamental questions on life

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    By Michael Koberlein

    It is important for those seeking the Savior to remember that they must seek him through His church, said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the first talk of the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.

    ?We boldly declare The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides answers to the question, ?What seek ye???

    He said although some may not express interest, there are many who have a great desire to know the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Elder Perry said in his current position he has faced the challenges of sharing the gospel, but we must share the gospel despite the challenges.

    Just as a building is constructed one brick at a time, he said, so is the Savior?s church built one conversion at a time.

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve followed Elder Perry?s talk by addressing the problem of pornography. He said it is sweeping over our society like an avalanche of evil.

    ?I know that many of you are exposed to this and many of you are being stained by it,? Elder Oaks said.

    He said pornography, once recorded in one?s mind, will always remain subject to recall.

    ?The immediate spiritual consequences of such spiritual hypocrisy are devastating,? he said. ?To be carnally minded is death, spiritual death.?

    He said pornography impairs one?s ability to enjoy a normal relationship with a person of the opposite sex.

    ?As conscience is desensitized, patrons of pornography are led to act out what they have witnessed,? he said.

    He said there is hope for those who have been caught in the web of pornography, and he gave three ways to overcome it.

    First, acknowledge the evil and do not try and justify it. Second, seek the help of the Lord and His servants and third, avoid the presence of pornography.

    Elder Robert J. Whetten of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke about loving God and fellow men. He said as we love God and our fellow man we will become more like Christ.

    ?Every unselfish act of kindness and service increases your spirituality,? he said. ?Your spiritual progress is very much wrapped up in how you treat others.?

    He said everyone who has a testimony is a work in progress in the hands of our maker, and that members should visit the sick and take care of the poor.

    ?Conversion means consecrating your life,? he said.

    He said members who have been lost to inactivity still have a testimony ? they just need someone to show them how to come back to church.

    ?As you reach out in love to bless the lives of another, both will be blessed with the spirit,? he said.

    Elder Adhemar Damiani of the Quorum of the Seventy told members that as part of our mortal probation we can only find peace in Jesus Christ. He said Jesus Christ can help us be of good cheer.

    ?What does it mean to be of good cheer?? he asked. ?It means to have hope; ? it means to face life with confidence.?

    He said the world is becoming increasingly wicked and as iniquity increases true love disappears and despair increases.

    Elder Damiani said we must pass through trials in this life because the Lord wants to prove us.

    ?Each day we must take up our cross and press forward and not just linger on the sidelines of our eternal journey,? he said.

    Elder Stephen B. Oveson of the Quorum of the Seventy said we ought to be grateful for prophets and apostles who move the kingdom forward in our day in his conference address.

    ?These prophets wrote for our day knowing we would need their knowledge and wisdom to aid us in these perilous times,? he said.

    He said our prophet today, President Hinckley, continues to lead us with his powerful convictions and that we should take advantage of the sacred works found in the scriptures and study them.

    ?What a wealth of conviction and knowledge these collective scriptures give us,? he said.

    The last speaker before President Hinckley?s closing conference remarks was one of the recently called members of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder David A. Bednar.

    Elder Bednar spoke about how the tender mercies of the Lord are available to all.

    ?I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and they do not appear randomly or by coincidence,? he said.

    Elder Bednar said it is often the Lord?s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these blessings.

    He said we may falsely think that such blessings and gifts are reserved for others who appear to be more righteous.

    ?I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are for all of us,? he said.

    Finally, President Hinckley closed the conference with words of encouragement. President Hinckley said the church has done a wonderful job in assisting others without worrying who gets the credit. He admonished members of the church to continue serving faithfully.

    ?Regardless of the color of our skin or the shape of our eyes or the language we speak, we are all sons and daughters of God,? he said. ?Let us reach out to each other with love and concern.?

    President Hinckley said if the Church is faithful to the commandments of the Lord, He will open the windows of heaven and shower down blessings.

    ?God bless you my beloved brothers and sisters,? he said. ?Peace be with you now and always.?

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