Church leaders share messages of hope and inspiration

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Thousands gathered at Temple Square to hear messages from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Church leaders shared messages of love and hope throughout the first session of the 194th Annual General Conference.

President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor of the First Presidency conducted the first session, announcing 11 new General Authority Seventies and a new Sunday School Presidency.

Conference-goers sustained the new general authorities.

President Jeffrey R. Holland gave the first address, focusing on the importance of prayer. He says God hears all of our prayers, even if it might not seem like it.

“But I promise you they are heard, and they are answered, according to His unfailing love and cosmic timetable,” President Holland said.

General Authority Seventy Elder Alexander Dushku directed his message towards those who worry about their testimonies because they haven’t had the same overwhelming spiritual experiences that are found in the scriptures.

Elder Dushku said this is a “spiritual trap” Church members often fall into.

“That is the Lord’s typical pattern… rather than sending us a pillar of light, the Lord sends us a ray of light, and then another, and another,” Elder Dushku said.

Although one ray of light might not be enough to constitute a testimony, Elder Dushku said, together they become a light that “the darkness of doubt cannot overcome.”

Sister J. Anette Dennis, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, and Elder Ulisses Soares of the Quorum of the Twelve both emphasized the importance of covenants in their remarks.

“Through a covenant relationship with God, our own lives can become a living symbol of our commitment and deep love for our Father in Heaven,” Sister Dennis said.

Grant Andreasen and Jerry Temple drove from Las Vegas to attend the session together.

Temple, who was baptized in 2018 said that he enjoyed his first-ever conference experience.

“It was just wonderful to see President Holland there… His words were very touching and dear,” Andreasen said.

The 194th Annual General Conference will continue on Sunday with additional messages from church leaders.

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