Leaders in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emphasized love, belonging and faith during the Sunday afternoon session of the 192nd Annual General Conference on Oct. 2.
Toward the end of the session, President Russell M. Nelson announced 18 new temples to be built around the world. He also showed a clip from a video depicting the Savior’s appearance to the people of Nephi. The video is part of the new season of the Book of Mormon videos, and the first one is now available.
A legacy of encouragement
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, taught about the influence people have on others’ lives and about how family and friends can encourage each other to grow spiritually.
He spoke about the influence his mother had on him and how her encouragement helped him strengthen his testimony and faith in Christ.
“All of us need such encouraging examples and loving friends,” President Eyring said.
He also talked about his wife and how she embodies Christlike attributes such as “faith, hope and meekness.”
“The commandments and covenants He offers you are not tests to control you. They are a gift to lift you toward receiving all the gifts of God and to returning home to your Heavenly Father and the Lord, who love you,” President Eyring said.
Jesus is the answer
Elder Ryan K. Olsen of the Quorum of the Seventy addressed the youth by reminding them they belong and they can always rely in Jesus in moments of doubt.
Elder Olsen talked about his experience being called as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy. He said the experience was overwhelming and humbling, but having other quorum members tell him he belonged helped him get rid of his feelings of inadequacy.
He also explained that in moments of feeling lost and a lack of belonging, one can always turn to Jesus for answers.
“The answer to the simplest questions, and to the most complex problems, is always the same. The answer is Jesus Christ. Every solution is found in Him,” Elder Olsen said.
Elder Olsen also talked about his experience as a missionary, the importance of serving missions and the blessings that come as a result of doing so.
“When we have questions or doubts, we may feel that the solutions are too complex or that finding answers is too confusing,” Elder Olsen said. “May we remember that the adversary, even the father of all lies, is the architect of confusion. The Savior is the Master of simplicity.”
Elder Olsen encouraged the youth to rely on Jesus Christ during all times of their life, including the moments of challenges and difficulties.
Knowing the names of the Lord
General Authority Seventy Elder Jonathan S. Schmitt talked about the different names Jesus Christ has and explained how by learning Jesus’ many names, members of the Church are able to understand His attributes and apply them in their lives.
Elder Schmitt said Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the High Priest of good things to come, the same yesterday today and forever, faithful and true and the Holy One of Israel.
“Jesus wants for us to know Him because His in the only name under heaven whereby we can be saved,” Elder Schmitt said. “Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, no one can return to the Father except by Him.”
Focusing on the word of God
Elder Mark D. Eddy of the Quorum of the Seventy talked about the blessings one can receive when choosing to follow and live by the word of God.
He talked about individuals from the scriptures who decided to listen to the Lord’s commandments and revelations and as a result, were blessed, such as the conversion of the Lamanites.
“Indeed, throughout scripture we read of miraculous blessings poured out upon those who have chosen to try the virtue of the word of God in their lives,” Elder Eddy said. “I invite you to ponder three examples with me as we turn our focus to the Book of Mormon — a book that President Russell M. Nelson described as ‘our latter-day survival guide.'”
Elder Eddy said the virtue of the word of God is the Lord Jesus Christ and he explained when members of the Church draw closer to Him and abide in His love, they will discern that no other books or teachings will help them come closer to Him than the scriptures.
“I testify that our Heavenly Father has given us the word because He loves us perfectly and wants each of us to return home to live with Him forever,” Elder Eddy said.
Nourishing and bearing a testimony
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about what a testimony is, how to bear one and how to keep it.
“Your testimony is a most precious possession, often associated with deep spiritual feelings,” Elder Stevenson said. “It is your belief or knowledge of truth, given as a spiritual witness through the influence of the Holy Ghost.”
Elder Stevenson said a testimony is innate within each person, but that in order to keep it and more fully develop it, one must nourish it.
“I promise that as you more fully understand what a testimony is, and as you share it, you will overcome obstacles of uncertainty and fear enabling you to nurture and keep this most precious possession, your testimony,” he said.
Elder Stevenson said members of the Church need to make their testimony their highest priority, as well as listen and learn from the testimony of ancient and modern-day prophets.
Doing hard things though the Lord
Elder Isaac K. Morrison of the Quorum of the Seventy shared a personal experience about the time when he lost his youngest son after he had not listened to his wife’s counsel.
“Difficulties I encountered as a youth, while learning about the Church through seminary, as a recent convert, and as a full-time missionary and challenges I faced in my education, in striving to magnify my callings, and in raising a family have prepared me for the future,” Elder Morrison said. “The more I cheerfully respond to difficult circumstances with faith in the Lord, the more I grow in discipleship.”
He spoke about exercising faith and discipleship always, especially when in difficult times.
“I testify that we grow in our discipleship when we exercise faith in the Lord during difficult times. As we do so, He will mercifully strengthen us and help us carry our burdens,” Elder Morrison said.
Bridling anger and lust
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles talked about the importance of a personal testimony of the work of God and the seminal role of Jesus Christ.
He also said there are obstacles to growing and keeping a testimony: anger and lust.
In regards to anger, Elder Cook emphasized the dangers of gender and domestic violence, as well as physical, emotional and verbal abuse to one’s spouse or children.
“Please make up your mind that regardless of whether your parents did or did not abuse you, you will not physically or verbally or emotionally abuse your spouse or children,” Elder Cook said.
Elder Cook said that in addition to controlling anger and bridling other passions, members of the Church need to lead “pure mortal lives by controlling [their] thoughts, language, and actions.”
“We need to avoid pornography, evaluate the appropriateness of what we are streaming in our homes, and avoid every form of sinful conduct,” Elder Cook said.
However, Elder Cook explained that if one has sinned, repentance is the way to get back to the Lord.
“Because of the Savior’s Atonement, healing is available to all,” he said.