Members from around the world strengthened their unity by gathering for the Saturday evening session of the 193rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter-day Saints.
Under the direction of President Dallin H. Oaks, the session began with the hymn “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise,” sung by a choir composed of young single adults from Utah County.
From joy to humility, the messages relayed by the speakers helped conferencegoers like Genevieve Fox from Gainesville, Virginia feel “peace and warmth.”
“One topic that really stuck out to me was the joy that can be found in humility,” Fox said. “When Elder Koch said that once we’ve done everything we can do, all that’s left to do is put it in God’s hands, I felt the Spirit testify to the relief and grace Heavenly Father so desperately wants to give us.”
Elder Gary B. Sabin began the session speaking about five “essential principles for true happiness.” The five principles he emphasized were (1) building our lives upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, (2) valuing our identity as children of God, (3) remembering the worth of a soul, (4) maintaining an eternal perspective and (5) living in gratitude for our eternal blessings.
“As the knowledge of our divine lineage and eternal potential sinks deep into our souls, we will be able to view life as a purposeful, unfolding adventure to learn and grow from,” Elder Sabin said.
Elder Sabin concluded his message promising members as they seek to apply these “hallmarks of happiness,” they will be able to find true happiness, purpose and peace, despite life’s challenges.
Following his remarks, Elder Joni L. Koch delivered an inspiring message on humility and vulnerably, sharing a few of his own experiences.
He said, “(I) learned this valuable lesson: That when we choose not to be humble we end up being humiliated.” He then invited members to consider their humility in following the prophet’s counsel, including his invitation to “lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice.”
Sister Tamara W. Runia followed Elder Koch’s remarks inviting members to “zoom out and look through a different lens — an eternal lens.”
Sister Runia said as humans, we have a limited point of view but as we look through the “eye of faith” we can see ourselves and our loved ones in a new light and be more loving and compassionate towards them.
“In these last days, perhaps our greatest work will be with our loved ones — good people living in a wicked world,” Sister Runia said.
However, knowing family circumstances often make this work complicated, Sister Runia encouraged members to look for miracles through the lens of hope.
“It is my witness that the Savior has the ability, because of His atonement, to turn any nightmare you are going through into a blessing,” Runia said.
Sister Runia concluded her talk by bearing testimony of Christ and promising members as they look forward with an eye of faith, they “will be all right in the end, and feel that it will be all right now.”
Concluding the session, Elder Ulisses Soares spoke on the importance of “knitting our hearts together in unity and love,” and like Elder Koch, repeated President Nelson’s plea for all to abandon attitudes and actions of prejudice.
“We are all begotten spirit sons and daughters of heavenly parents who truly love us … therefore we are equal before Him,” Elder Soares said.
Elder Soares further taught there is a “sacred bond” that unifies us. Thus, we must build “bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of prejudice and segregation.”
Comparing God’s family on earth to the waterfall system in Iguazu Falls — a system where “a colossal volume of water flows into a single river and then separates forming hundreds of unparalleled waterfalls” — Elder Soares taught we are similarly connected through our “divine heritage and kinship,” but we flow “in different cultures, ethnicities and nationalities.”
He then invited members to “move forward, as God’s children and as brothers and sisters in Christ,” fostering the divine connection that makes us “unique people and a beloved community.”