Church leaders encouraged members to keep their minds and hearts centered around Jesus Christ amid trials during the Sunday morning session of General Conference.
In his talk, President Russell M. Nelson said he wanted to make it very clear that “God does not love one race more than another.” He called on members of the Church to respect all of God’s children and to abandon any prejudices.
“I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice,” he said.
President Nelson said in studying the gathering of Israel, he recently learned that one of the Hebraic meanings of the word Israel is “let God prevail.”
“The Lord is gathering those who are willing to let God prevail in their lives. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives,” he said.
President Nelson said while everyone has the agency to choose to follow God and “let God prevail,” anyone is welcome to follow the gospel and inherit the blessings that God promised Israel in the Bible.
President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about the current problems in the world surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. He invited everyone around the world, regardless of faith, to pray for their country and their national leaders.
President Ballard encouraged Church members to “pray always” and to “not limit who we pray for” but to pray for their enemies and everyone around the world. He also said that prayer alone is not enough and told members to combine prayer with action.
“After we kneel in prayer, we need to get up from our knees and do what we can to help— to help both ourselves and others,” he said.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told Church members to focus all of their thoughts on Jesus Christ and resist inappropriate thoughts. He said a person’s thoughts determine their actions and ultimately shape the person they will become.
Elder Soares encouraged Church members to follow the example of Jesus Christ and resist “everything that may divert us from our eternal mission.” He said while some sins may seem small, “avoiding minor transgressions makes us better equipped to avoid serious transgressions.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the declining number of religious people, specifically Christians, in the world. He encouraged Church members to be bold in sharing their faith of Jesus Christ with others.
“If the world is going to speak less of (Jesus Christ), who is going to speak more of Him? We are! Along with other devoted Christians,” Elder Andersen said.
Sister Lisa L. Harkness, first counselor in the Primary General Presidency, spoke about trials and challenging circumstances in the world. She promised members that Jesus Christ knows of their struggles and if members turn to him during their struggles, they will be comforted with peace. Sister Harkness said to view difficult times as opportunities to increase and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ.
Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke about “living angels” and how they helped him be converted to the gospel, even when it was difficult. Elder Godoy said God is always looking for people to be “living angels” or volunteer to help others in their struggles.
In speaking of his own conversion experience, Elder Godoy told Church members to remember that joining the Church is not an easy thing, as it can be lonely and requires a lot of change. He asked all who already enjoy gospel blessings to help those who are on the journey of conversion and faith.