Church leaders spoke on a number of topics such as the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability and finding hope in Jesus Christ during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference Oct. 3.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said there are many blessings brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said although many are facing difficulties, “our best days are ahead of us, not behind us.”
Elder Uchtdorf mentioned there is more to be learned during the pandemic than might have been thought. “In the past, we might have been so tied to traditional approaches that it took a pandemic to open our eyes.”
“There are still a lot of unknowns about this virus. But if there is one thing I do know, this virus did not catch Heavenly Father by surprise,” Elder Uchtdorf said. He later added, “We will endure this, yes. But we will do more than simply grit our teeth, hold on, and wait for things to return to the old normal. We will move forward, and we will be better as a result.”
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was not present at the conference due to a COVID-19 exposure and recorded his remarks earlier in the week. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said he is feeling well.
Elder Gong delivered his message about taking the teachings of a worldwide church and applying them personally throughout individual communities. “Across the world, our members, friends, and Church help communities support refugees and provide water, sanitation, handicap mobility, vision care — one person, one village, one tree at a time,” he said.
Also touching on providing relief and caring for societies, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared his message on on creating a sustainable society.
“There is much we can do as neighbors and fellow citizens to contribute to the sustainability and success of the societies we live in, and surely our most fundamental and enduring service will be to teach and live by the truths inherent in God’s great plan of redemption,” he said.
Sustained earlier in the session as the first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, W. Christopher Waddell spoke on blessings brought from preparedness and self-reliance.
“As we embrace spiritual principles and seek inspiration from the Lord, we will be guided to know the Lord’s will for us, individually and as families, and how best to apply the important principles of temporal preparedness,” he said. “The most important step of all is to begin.”
Many talks directed focus on Jesus Christ. Elder William K. Jackson, a General Authority Seventy, spoke about the culture of Christ. “We can, indeed, all cherish the best of our individual earthly cultures and still be full participants in the oldest culture of them all — the original, the eternal culture that comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a marvelous heritage we all share.”
“The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that there is purpose in life. Our being here is not just some big cosmic accident or mistake! We are here for a reason,” Elder Jackson said.
Young Men general president Steven J. Lund spoke on how to find joy in Christ while partaking of the sacrament. He shared that when his son was facing challenges due to cancer, he still showed up to church on Sunday to pass the sacrament.
“His once indomitable deacon’s body was itself a little bruised, broken, and torn, willingly
suffering to serve by bearing the emblems of the Savior’s Atonement into our lives,” Brother Lund said, speaking of his son.
Elder Matthew Holland, a General Authority Seventy, shared his knowledge of Jesus Christ as a gift to all mankind. “Regardless of the causes of our worst hurts and heartaches, the ultimate source of relief is the same: Jesus Christ. He alone holds the full power and healing balm to correct every mistake, right every wrong, adjust every imperfection, mend every wound and deliver every delayed blessing.”