Newly-formatted Saturday evening session focuses on living a Christ-centered life

Members of First Presidency wear masks at the conference center during the Saturday evening session of General Conference. Church leaders shared messages focused on living a Christ-centered life. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)

Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught members to place Christ at the center of their lives during the Saturday evening session of General Conference.

“I’m not saying that having a nice home or a nice car is wrong or that using social media is bad,” said President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “What I am saying is that in the end, those things matter very little compared to loving the Savior.”

President Ballard taught that to better keep Christ at the center of life, service to others is required. 

Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, echoed this thought and said service to others is divinely mandated for the Church on the earth. 

“Our individual efforts don’t necessarily require money or far-away locations,” Sister Eubank said. “But they do require the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a willing heart to say to the Lord as Elder Ballard just taught: Here am I, send me.” 

Elder Marcus B. Nash of the Quorum of the Seventy taught that becoming a light and sharing the gospel with others brings the power of God to the center of life. “Joy. Hope. Sustaining power from God. Protection from temptation. Healing. All of these — and more (including forgiveness of sins) — distill upon us from heaven as we share the Gospel,” he said.

These faith-led efforts place Christ at the center of life. 

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency encouraged members of the Church to seek direction from the Lord, teaching that faith in Christ is the key to understanding this guidance.

“As our faith in Jesus Christ will have led us to ask the Father for answers,” President Eyring said. “That faith will also have brought the Savior’s softening touch enough for us to hear His direction and be determined and excited to obey.” 

President Eyring taught that this obedience ultimately will allow Christ to take His place at the center of life.

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Presidency of the Seventy also talked about having faith in Christ, explaining that it leads to the spiritual healing necessary to find joy in this life. 

This healing power can cover any and all impurity, Elder Nielson said. “We can move forward with faith knowing that when difficult times come, and they surely will, or when sin encompasses our lives, the Savior stands with ‘healing in His wings’ inviting us to come unto Him,” he said.

To better strengthen this faith in Christ, General Authority Seventy Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela taught the importance of constantly studying the scriptures and other Church resources.

“Come, Follow Me is a great resource that we have for teaching and learning the gospel, deepening our conversion to Jesus Christ, and helping us to become like Him,” Elder Valenzuela said in his talk. “When we study the gospel, we are not simply seeking new information; rather, we are seeking to become a ‘new creature.’” 

Brother Brad Wilcox, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency and BYU professor, expanded on the idea of becoming a “new creature.”

“We are not just walking toward God and Christ. We are walking with Them,” Brother Wilcox said, further explaining that repentance is not a one time event and will constantly keep Christ at the center of life.

Brother Wilcox taught not to focus on flawlessness, but rather to learn and understand patience and persistence, leaning on Christ and the Atonement. Doing so will lead to a more Christlike life.

Elder Alfred Kyungu of the Seventy taught that this striving to become like Christ will surely lead to joy and happiness. 

“To be a follower of Christ is to strive to conform our actions, conduct, and lives to those of the Savior. It is to acquire virtues. It is to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ,” Elder Kyungu said.

He shared four qualities of Christ: humility, courage, forgiveness and sacrifice. He taught that understanding these qualities will lead to a Christlike life and becoming a light to others. 

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