Welcome to our live discussion thread of the Sunday morning session of the 184th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Today, Brian Whitney will be reporting on the proceedings for Approaching Justice live from the Conference Center.
Please leave your thoughts, comments, or observations about the session in the comments below. Disagreement is welcome. Agreement is welcome. As is humor, joy, and the occasional snark…but in moderation. Also, feel free to respond to the other comments on the thread. If you disagree, explain why.
Welcome and thanks! If you are looking for an online feed of the session, it can be found here.
We will be updating highlights from the session speakers here in the main post.
President Henry B. Eyring conducting.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
“Grateful in any Circumstance”
“Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet with many people whose sorrows seem to reach the very depths of their soul. . . . Often their grief is caused by what seems to them as an ending.”
“Others may be facing the end of their faith, as confusing and conflicting voices in the world tempt them to question, even abandon, w2hat they once knew to be true.”
“Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated and adrift. It can happen to anyone. No one is immune.”
We can be grateful.
“Those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing, peace and understanding.”
Perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach.
It s easy to be grateful for things when life seems to be going our way. But what of those times when what we wish for seems out of reach?
I’m suggesting . . . we focus on being ‘thankful in our circumstances’ – whatever they may be.
We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is.
Being grateful in our circumstances is an act of faith in God.
There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. . . . Endings are not our destiny.
[Gratitude] inspires humility and fosters empathy toward our fellowmen and all of God’s creation. Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christie attributes!
Elder M. Russell Ballard
In October 2011 conference, I urged that we remember:
“For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Given His clear declaration, we should not refer to the Church by any other name, such as the “Mormon Church” or “LDS Church.”
The second message I feel I should follow up on was delivered just last General Conference when I encouraged members to pray to be led to at least one person to whom they could extend an invitation to learn about the restored gospel.
Inviting is certainly part of the process. But notice that there is much more to missionary work for members than simply extending invitations . . . it also includes follow up.
We can all be more consistently involved in missionary work by replacing our fear with real faith, inviting someone at least once a quarter – four times every year – to be taught by the full-time missionaries.
Obtain a copy of Preach my Gospel. . . . Read it, study it, then apply what you learn.
If we follow p, the Lord will not let us down.
Sister Jean A. Stevens
First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
“Fear Not I am With Thee”
Few feelings compare with the tender emotions of becoming a parent. . . . And so it is for all of God’s children. Our Father in Heaven reaches out for each us with love we don’t fully comprehend.
His answers aren’t always . . . immediate and clear.
But truly our Father knows us and hears the pleading of our hears. He accomplishes His miracles one prayer at a time, one person at a time.
We can trust that He will help us, not necessarily in the way we want but in the way that will best help us to grow.
C.S. Lewis: “I pray because I can’t help myself. . . . because I am helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time . . . It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”
The gospel of Jesus Christ is not a checklist of things to be done; rather, it can live in our hearts. The gospel is not a weight; it is wings.
Wherever we find ourselves on the path of discipleship, whatever our worries and challenges may be . . . we can choose to reach for God’s hand in our need.
Bishop Gray E. Stevenson
Of the Presiding Bishopric
“Your Four Minutes”
Directing my thought to young men, young women, and young single adults – you who are in your critical years. . . I feel a great sense of urgency in addressing you.
You are an eternal being. Before you were born you existed as a spirit. In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment, and , well, perform. This life is your four minutes.
Check points . . . move us through our spiritual performance on earth. These spiritual markers are the essential God-given ordinances of the gospel: baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, priesthood ordination, temple ordinances, and partaking of the sacrament each week.
Daily prayer, scripture study, and church attendance must be the foundation of your training.
Now, you my be thinking to yourself. “I already blew it. My four minutes are already a disaster. I may as well give up.”
Stop thinking that, an never think it again. The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance.
You’ve prepared for this for millennia. This is your moment to perform. This is your four minutes! The time is now!
Elder David A. Bednar
“Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease”
Each of us . . . carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints.
Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness.
Consider the Lord’s uniquely individual invitation to “take my yoke upon you.” Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ. In essence, the Savior is beckoning us to rely upon and pull together with Him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and cannot be compared with His.
Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in way that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities.
It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires . . . to enliven us – not only to guide but also strengthen and heal us.
There is no physical pain, no spiritual wound, no anguish of soul or heartache, no infirmity or weakness . . . that the Savior did not experience first. We may cry out, “No one knows what it is lie. No one understands.” But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands.
The unique burdens in each of our lives help us to rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah.
We . . . will pray for the strength to learn from, change, or accept our circumstances rather than praying relentlessly for God to change our circumstances according to our will.
We know from revelation that April 6 was the actual birthday of Christ.
President Thomas S. Monson
“Love – the Essence of the Gospel”
We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey. Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellow men if we do not love God, the Father of us all.
Love is the very essence of the gospel and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.
Attributes which are the manifestations of love: kindness, patience, selflessness, understanding, and forgiveness. In all our associations, these and other such attributes will help make evident the love in our hearts.
Said President Spencer W. Kimball: “It will do us little good to speak of the general brotherhood of mankind if we cannot regard those who are all around us as our brothers and sisters.”
Some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes. Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet ofttimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears.
Let us not demean or belittle. Rather, let us be compassionate and encouraging.
Blame keeps wounds open. Only forgiveness heals.
Dale Carnegie . . . believed that each person has within himself or herself the power to increase the sum total of the World’s happiness “by giving a few words of appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.”
May we begin now, this very day, to express love to all of God’s children, whether they be our family members, our friends, mere acquaintances, or total strangers.
End of Sunday Morning Session
Closing prayer offered by Sister Neill F. Marriott, Young Women’s General Presidency