Viewers worldwide were reminded of Christ’s everlasting love and forgiveness during the concluding address of the Sunday morning session of the 186th Annual General Conference.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the second counselor in the First Presidency, shared a story from his war-torn childhood.
He was hiding in a bomb shelter one dark night. The nearby city of Dresden had been ravaged by the war. “During my childhood, I could not imagine how the destruction of war, one our own people had started, could ever be overcome.”
Recently, 70 years later, President Uchtdorf was able to return to Dresden, finding the city beautiful and reconstructed once more. One building, the Lutheran church, Frauenkirche, the Church of Our Lady, was particularly destroyed. Through the efforts of the city, it was eventually restored in its entirety.
President Uchtdorf talked about Christ’s everlasting love and capability to forgive even the most lost and wandering members and shared the parable of the lost sheep.
“The sheep is worthy of divine rescue simply because it is loved by the Good Shepherd,” President Uchtdorf said.
He also reiterated the love Christ has for each of his children, regardless of the poor choices some may have made. “It matters not how you became lost … All that matters is that you are his child,” he said.
President Uchtdorf warned that Christ will not save those who do not wish to be saved. He then said members must first have faith in Christ.
“If you cannot muster faith right now, begin with hope,” President Uchtdorf said.
Through obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, members will increase their faith. Obedience is the key to growing and exercising one’s faith. According to President Uchtdorf, obedience is not a punishment but a “liberating path to our divine destiny.”
“If our faith does not change the way we live — if our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions — our religion is vain, and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of eventually flatlining,” President Uchtdorf said.
He concluded his talk by reminding individuals they are worthy of rescue.
“You may have sinned. You may be afraid, angry, grieving or tortured by doubt. But just as the Good Shepherd finds his lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world, he will find you,” President Uchtdorf said.