Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged members to have hope in Jesus Christ and show love to all of His children during the Saturday morning session of General Conference.
In his welcome address, President Russell M. Nelson encouraged members to look for the debris they can remove from their lives. He said he has seen the Lord hasten His work during a global pandemic and thanked members for studying the gospel in their homes.
“My dear brothers and sisters, the strength of the Church lies in the efforts and ever-growing testimonies of its members,” he said.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles compared the Church to the inn in the parable of the Good Samaritan, where all can seek refuge from life’s bruises and storms.
“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are all equal, with no second-class groups,” he said. “All are welcome to attend sacrament meetings, other Sunday meetings, and social events.
He invited members to be good Samaritans, less judgmental and more forgiving, and said miracles occur when people care for one another.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also shared messages of love and inclusion.
“We have a primary responsibility to set a tone and be role models of kindness, inclusion and civility — to teach Christlike behavior to the rising generation in what we say and how we act,” he said. “It is especially important as we observe a marked societal shift towards division in politics, social class, and nearly every other man-made distinction.”
He told members that when they are hurt by the bad decisions of others, they should love their enemies, do all they can to overcome adversity and choose hope in Christ.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged members to imagine what it would be like if Jesus were to come to their homes or branches today. He said He would see into people’s hearts and teach messages of love and charity.
“God is among us — and is personally involved in our lives and actively guiding His children,” he said.
He reminded members they can feel hopeful because of Jesus Christ and refine themselves through repentance.
“Becoming like our Savior will not happen randomly,” Primary General President Sister Joy D. Jones said in her talk. She addressed parents and others with influences over young children and encouraged them to be intentional in loving children and teaching and testifying of the Savior.
“To our Heavenly Father, children have never been secondary,” she said. “They have always been primary.”
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the holiness of temples and said he hoped to increase member’s desires to be worthy and ready for the opportunities within them.
“The temple is a holy place where revelation comes to us easily if our hearts are open to it and we are worthy of it,” he said. He told members to be worthy to go the House of the Lord as often as circumstances allow.
Brother Jan E. Newman, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency, said the Savior’s ministry in the Americas was so impactful that all were converted. He told members to take it upon themselves to learn all they can about the Master Teacher, but said conversion must come from within.
“Until a person feels the sacred word of God distilled upon his or her soul like the dews from heaven through the power of the Spirit, it will be like looking at a postcard of someone else’s vacation photos,” he said. “You have to go there yourself. Conversion is a personal journey.”