General Conference: Sunday Afternoon Session


Elder L. Tom Perry, Quorum of the Twelve

Elder L. Tom Perry spoke about the Book of Mormon and its power of deliverance.

“This year in our Sunday School class, we are studying the Book of Mormon,” Elder Perry said. “As we prepare and participate, may we be motivated to… share our love of this special scripture with others not of our faith.”

He said the Book of Mormon is a tender mercy of the Lord saved for this day and age, and he shared two stories from the text that show the Lord’s deliverance of His people.

In these stories Elder Perry described the people of Limhi and the people of Alma, both of whom found themselves under the bondage of the Lamanites. He said the people of Limhi were not immediately delivered while the people of Alma were.

“What is the difference between the people of Alma and the people of King Limhi? Obviously, there were several differences,” Elder Perry said. “The people of Alma were peaceful and more righteous; they had already been baptized and entered into a covenant with the Lord; they humbled themselves before the Lord even before their tribulations started.”

These differences, according to Elder Perry, made it appropriate for the Lord to deliver them quickly and show us today that the Lord will always help us if we are living righteously.

He then spoke of Christ and the Atonement, which is a central theme of the Book of Mormon. In closing, Elder Perry bore testimony of this book as well as the Bible.

“I declare that Jesus is the Christ, and we can draw close to Him by reading the Book of Mormon,” he said. “The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. The first testaments of Jesus Christ are the Old and New Testaments — or the Bible.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve

Elder M. Russell Ballard spoke of the use of the Holy Ghost, particularly when guiding our families.

“Being lost can apply to whole societies as well as to individuals,” Elder Ballard said. “Today we live in a time when much of this world has lost its way, particularly with regard to the values and priorities within our homes.”

He then listed statistics which suggest that prosperity and education are connected to a better chance of having traditional families and values.

“The real question, of course, is about cause and effect,” Elder Ballard said. “Do some sectors of our society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous, or are they more educated and prosperous because of their values and strong families? In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter.”

He then outlined four things that can be done to keep families on track.

“So what can we do to not become lost?” he asked. “First, may I suggest we prioritize. Put everything you do outside of the home in subjection to what happens inside your home. …Second, we need to do things in the right order. Marriage first, then family. …Third, husbands and wives, you should be equal partners in your marriage. …And finally, use the family resources of the Church.”

He gave counsel to LDS families to change their priorities to be more in harmony with what Christ taught during his mortal ministry and to follow promptings of the Holy Ghost.

“As you seek to live the gospel and doctrine of Christ, the Holy Ghost will guide you and your family,” Elder Ballard said.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck

Elder O. Vincent Haleck spoke about acting on personal revelation, sharing a personal story concerning his parents’ vision for their children’s welfare. His parents’ courage to act on their revelation changed his life, he said.

“Brothers and sisters, we are a people with a history of vision and the faith and courage to do,” he said. “Look at where we have come and the blessings we have received. Believe that He can bless you with vision in your life and the courage to act.”

Elder Larry Y. Wilson, Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Larry Y. Wilson spoke about exercising righteous dominion as parents and asked that parents follow the counsel given in the scriptures.

“If we are going to help those in our stewardships make the all-important link with heaven, we must be the kind of parent and leader described in Doctrine and Covenants section 121,” Wilson said. “We must act ‘only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.’ ”

Elder David F. Evans, Quorum of the Seventy

Elder David F. Evans spoke about showing love and friendship when helping our loved ones who have lost their way. He mentioned the role of the Holy Ghost in this task as it prompts members to talk to loved ones.

“My invitation is to act, without delay, on that prompting. Talk to your friend or family member. Do it in a natural and normal way. Let them know of your love for them and for the Lord. …As you act on the prompting and do it with love, watch as our Heavenly Father uses your willingness to act to bring about a miracle  in your life and in the life of the person you care about.”

Elder Paul B. Pieper, Quorum of the Seventy

Elder Paul B. Pieper talked about remaining faithful despite trials and tribulations that happen during life.

He gave examples of faithful prophets and disciples who experienced hardships.

“Our experiences with the divine may not be as direct or dramatic, nor our challenges as daunting,” Peiper said. “However, as with the prophets, our strength to endure faithfully depends upon recognizing, remembering and holding sacred that which we receive through our encounters from above.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen, Quorum of the Twelve

Elder Neil L. Andersen spoke about nurturing a relationship with Jesus Christ as His disciple.

He began by inviting those in the worldwide congregation to consider their relationship with Christ.

“Even with his love for all mankind, Jesus reprovingly referred to some around Him as hypocrites, fools and workers of iniquity,” he said. “He approvingly called others children of the kingdom and the light of the world. …And so we each ask, ‘What thinks Christ of me?’ ”

Elder Andersen gave counsel on how to become closer to Christ.

“The messages we have heard during this conference are guideposts from the Lord on our journey of discipleship,” he said. “As we have listened during the past two days, praying for spiritual guidance — and as we study and pray about these messages in the days ahead, the Lord blesses us with customized direction through the gift of the Holy Ghost. These feelings turn us even more toward God, repenting, obeying, believing and trusting.”

Elder Andersen assured the congregation that even if they are falling short, the Lord recognizes they are striving to be their best.

“Wherever you now find yourself on the road of discipleship, you are on the right road, the road toward eternal life,” he said.

He gave examples of modern-day miracles that show the power of God when all hope seems lost, then told the congregation they can also have answers to their prayers.

“Miracles are not always so immediate,” Elder Andersen said. “At times we thoughtfully wonder why the miracle we have so earnestly prayed for does not happen here and now. But as we trust in the Savior, promised miracles will occur. Whether in this life or the next, all will be made right.”

He then closed with his testimony of Jesus Christ, which he addressed not only to the congregation, but also to “disciples of Jesus Christ who are not members of this church.”

President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson expressed gratitude for all of those involved in this session of General Conference and gave guidance to members of the LDS church before closing the conference.

“We have been so richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us,” he said. “I think you will agree with me that we have felt the spirit of the Lord as our hearts have been touched and our testimonies strengthened.”

President Monson gave thanks to those who were released from callings as general authorities during the conference.

“I know you join with me in expressing profound gratitude to those brethren and sisters who have been released during this conference,” he said. “We will miss them. Their contributions to the work of the Lord have been enormous and will be felt throughout generations to come.”

He welcomed those who were called to replace those who were released and gave counsel to the congregation.

“We live in troubled times,” he said. “I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves each of us and desires to bless us and to help us.”

President Monson reminded the congregation to pray always and gave specific counsel to families in the Church.

“My dear brothers and sisters, may your homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the spirit of the Lord,” he said. “Love your families. If there are disagreements or contentions among you, I urge you to settle them. Settle them now.”

He closed the conference with blessings on the members of the Church.

“Now, as we leave this conference, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you,” he said. “…May you who are away from your homes return to them safely. May you ponder the truths you’ve heard, and may they help you to become even better than you were when conference began two days ago.”

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