General Conference: Saturday Afternoon Session

159

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve

He spoke of the parable of hired laborers who all received the same wage although some worked far less hours than others. Elder Holland said this parable teaches that we are not competing against one another, but against sin — especially envy.

“Coveting, pouting, or tearing others down does not elevate your standing, nor does demeaning someone else improve your self-image,” Holland said.

He encouraged listeners to rid themselves of envy, and instead to accept the grace, mercy and love of God.

“So don’t hyperventilate about something that happened at 9:00 in the morning when the grace of God is trying to reward you at 6:00 in the evening… ,” he said.

He said God loves being compassionate and merciful.

“Even if one of those grievances did not originate with you, it can end with you,” Holland said.

“…I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of which Christ’s Atonement shines.”

He made a special appeal to husbands and fathers to be men and willingly join the ranks of God.

He told listeners that all are loved by God no  matter their circumstance or actions.

“His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not for the hour of the day in which you got there,” he said.

He finished by pleading with all to repent quickly.

 Elder Robert D. Hales, Quorum of the Twelve

Elder Hales told the parable of the prodigal son who wasted his inheritance and realized his mistake and remembered his identity.

“He came to himself,” said Elder Hales.

“We become converted and spiritually converted and spiritually self-reliant as we prayerfully live our covenants through worthily partaking of the sacrament, being worthy of a temple recommend, and sacrificing to serve others,” Elder Hales said.

He encouraged listeners to ponder, reflect and prayerfully seek forgiveness as they partake of the ordinance of the sacrament. He said they should make personal commitments to follow Christ during each coming week.

Elder Hales encouraged young men, their parents and leaders to maintain young men’s worthiness and preparation for blessing and passing the sacrament.

“I testify that the sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and experience ‘a mighty change of hear’ — to remember who we are and what we most desire,” Elder Hales said.

“Have a talk with yourself in the mirror and ask: Where do I stand on living my covenants?” he said. “We are on the right path when we can say: I worthily partake of the sacrament each week, I am worthy to hold a temple recommend, and I sacrifice to serve and bless others.”

Elder David S. Baxter, Quorum of Seventy

Elder Baxter gave encouragement for the single parents of the church.

“It is through the hardships of life that we grow towars godhood as our character is shaped in the crucible of affliction…” he said.

He assured the single parents that they are never truly alone.

“As you move forward in patience and faith, Providence will move with you; Heaven will bestow its needful blessings,” Elder Baxter said.

He told listeners that burdens are lifted and attitudes are changed through service.

He promised righteous living will bring blessings of complete, eternal families.

He also encouraged all other members to support single parent families without passing judgement.

“In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens,” he said.

Elder Ulisses Soares, Quorum of Seventy

Elder Soares based his talk on the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 which teaches us to continually sow in the Spirit and stand in the Lord’s territory. He said we can determine this by listening to the Holy Ghost and light of Christ within us.

“…Our daily question must be: ‘Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?” he said.

Elder Soares emphasized six points, “humble ourselves before God, witness we have come forth with broken hearts and contrite spirits, testify to the church that we have truly repented of all our sins, take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, have a determination to serve Him to the end, manifest by our works that we have been received by baptism into His church.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of the Twelve

The church is in the public eye more recently, Elder Quentin L. Cook said. We need to judge not.

Religious observance in the home is a blessing.

“Mothers and fathers praying with children may be more important than any other example,” Elder Cook said.

The example of parents is the greatest teaching tool.

“The essential doctrine of agency requires that a testimony of the restored gospel must be based on faith rather than external or scientific proof.”

He said it is needful for listeners to actively study the scriptures to decrease the distance with divinity.

Persistence is needed in order to have family scripture study. It is not always going to be perfect, Elder Cook said. However, he said be positive and don’t become discouraged.

“Please understand that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments is and always will be the defining test of mortality,” Elder Cook said.

Elder Richard G. Scott,  Quorum of the Twelve

Elder Richard G. Scott defined revelation as “… crisp and clear and essential …” and inspiration as “… a series of promptings we often have to guide us step by step to a worthy objective …”

He said that he when he struggles with a difficult matter he follows a cyclical pattern of fasting, prayer, pondering and scripture study.

Enemies to the Spirit include anger, exaggeration and loud laughter. He said proper sleep and eating habits will help us maintain the Spirit.

Revelation can be received through dreams. Try to capture it as soon as you can, he said.

Inspiration carefully recorded shows God His communications are important to us and helps us remember it more easily. To gain the trust of Heavenly Father we must keep ourselves mentally and physically clean and pure and humble.

“Humility is a fertile soil where spirituality grows and produces the fruit of inspiration to know what to do,” Elder Scott said.

The Lord qualifies us for our trials as we humbly trust in Him, rather than our own capacities and experience. When we do so, we can receive enlightenment from the Spirit and answers to our personal questions.

“… Remember the disposition to do right brings peace of mind and happiness,” Elder Scott said.

He promised listeners that they would know what to do in any situation if they trust in God’s plan, obey the commandments and avoid all opposing such righteousness.

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