Leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints encouraged members around the world to remember Christ in their lives during the Saturday morning session of General Conference.
President Russell M. Nelson delivered opening remarks by speaking about the difficulties of COVID-19 and thanking members for doing their part in following advice from local experts. He also spoke about how General Conference has been a result of spiritual preparation and prayer.
President Nelson emphasized the importance of the doctrine of Christ in staying on the covenant path.
“The doctrine of Christ helps us find and stay on the covenant path,” President Nelson said. “Staying on that narrow but well-defined path will ultimately qualify us to receive all that God has.”
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency spoke directly to members who have fallen away from regular church attendance and participation. He encouraged all members to remember the need and benefits of attending church to connect with the doctrine of Christ.
President Oaks called on previous remarks from President Spencer W. Kimball about the importance of church attendance to encourage members to remember the purpose of church is not to be entertained but rather to worship the Lord.
“Members who forego Church attendance and rely only on individual spirituality separate themselves from these gospel essentials,” President Oaks said. “The power and blessings of the priesthood, the fullness of restored doctrine, and the motivations and opportunities to apply that doctrine. They forfeit their opportunity to qualify for an eternal perpetuation of their family.”
The benefits of service and participation in the Church was also a focus in President Oaks’ talk. He discussed the benefits of getting along without contention and developing leadership skills. He also praised the Church’s humanitarian services and mentioned the benefits in members’ lives when they participate in these programs.
President Oaks closed his remarks by emphasizing the importance of following the commandment to worship in church each Sabbath Day. He reminded members of how doing this will “draw [them] closer to God and magnify and enhance [their] capacity to love.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed the importance of dedication to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“When difficult things are asked of us, even things contrary to the longings of our heart, remember that the loyalty we pledge to the cause of Christ is to be the supreme devotion of our lives,” Elder Holland said.
Elder Holland also reminded members to avoid contention in a world where social issues cause hostility among God’s children. He spoke of how the love of God will help heal society and promote peace. Elder Holland also encouraged members to love God and to remember the way He loves His children.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of the universal and personal love Jesus Christ has for all. Elder Christofferson told members they should learn to come to God and Jesus Christ anytime they need encouragement, even if they feel unworthy of His love.
He also reminded members God’s unconditional love does not mean He will ignore and excuse sin. However, God also has the grace and mercy to allow His children to repent when they have sinned.
“Ours is not a religion of rationalization nor a religion of perfectionism, but a religion of redemption — redemption through Jesus Christ. If we are among the penitent, by His Atonement, our sins are nailed to His cross and we are forgiven and healed,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles reminded members to follow Jesus Christ’s earthly example of compassion. “He extended His merciful hand to those who needed relief from their burdens, both physically and spiritually,” Elder Soares said.
Remembering God’s love for each person was also a reoccurring topic in the session. Young Women General President Bonnie H. Cordon shared how God knows and needs each one of His children. Sister Cordon emphasized the love God and Jesus Christ have for each individual and how He knows each of them personally. Sister Cordon wanted members to know of the importance of inviting others to follow God’s plan.
“My dear friends, I see in you a great desire to do good, and you are making a difference,” she said. “Remember, the best way for you to improve the world is to prepare the world for Christ by inviting all to follow Him.”
General Authority Seventy Elder Clark G. Gilbert testified of the ability all of God’s children have to become something more in Christ. Elder Gilbert spoke of how Jesus Christ sees divine potential in all, regardless of what circumstances someone is born into. He testified that the Savior knows of each person’s difficulties.
General Authority Seventy Elder Patricio M. Giuffra reminisced on his own conversion to the Church as a teenager and testified of the role Jesus Christ played in the belief he developed when learning from the missionaries who taught his family. He continued to emphasize that the most important factor in life is faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel.
“It was the faith of all these dear friends that planted a mustard seed of faith in us that has since grown into a mighty tree of eternal blessings,” Elder Giuffra said.