This is the second session of the Church’s Semiannual General Conference originating from the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, headquarters for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For information about the first session held this morning, see this post here.
1:00 p.m. Conducting President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor First Presidency
Choir From The Provo Missionary Training Center
1:02 p.m. Choir sings: Faith in Every Footstep The Brethren are all in dark colors;but, the Sisters are arrayed in a plume of various bright colors–very beautiful.
President Hinckley presiding, and present.
1:07 p.m. Invocation by Dale E. Miller Second Quorum of the Seventy
1:08 p.m. Choir Sings: Jesus Once of Humble Birth
1:14 p.m. President Monson, presents the General and Authorities for sustaining–The sustaining was unanimous.
1:18 p.m. Robert D. Hales Quorum of the Tweleve Apostles
Scriptures are the word of God given to us for our salvation. They are essential for a testimony of Jesus Christ. The scriptures include the Old and New Testaments, The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine of Covenenats, Peal of great Price.
Title page of the Book of Mormon, why the Book of Mormon written. Most important to convince us that Jesus is the Christ. The introduction notes the BoM is holy scripture comparable to the Bible. All who come to Christ and obey his commandments will be saved.
1st Nephi we learn Lehi directed by God to take his family and flee to the wilderness. They didn’t get too far before Lehi sent his sons back to get the scriptures. They lost all their worldly possessions to do this. Lehi searched the scriptures and found them desireable. The Brass Plates were a record of Lehi’s fathers. It contained their language and the commandments.
We learn who we are from the scriptures and who we can become. The scriptural truths are essential. Both Lehi and Nephi learned that by adhering to the Word of God, which is the Rod of Iron is the only way.
The Book of Mormon records how many civilazations did or didn’t keep the commandments. It recounts the Nephite and Lamanite peoples. In 400 a.d. the Nephites rejected the word of God and were destroyed.
The Jaredites are also discussed in the BOM. The Lord took them across the seas to the promised land. When they kept the commandments they prospered. But, they too were destroyed by not keeping the commandments.
Muelek and his people also chronoliced in BOM. Muelekite’s didn’t have scriptures or didn’t bring them, and became a lost people, until enlightented by the plates of brass.
We should feast on the scriptures, not nibble on them. If Christ were present today, He would teach from the Scriptures as he did when he lived on the earth. Christ’s words, search the scriptures ring out to us–for they testify of Christ.
The scriptures have been preserved for us by the Lord for a wise purpose. The plates of Brass were never to perish or dim with time.
The Book of Mormon plates were hidden up to the Lord, to come forth in our day. When we speak to God we pray. When God speaks to us, we searach the scriptures. If we have not heard the voice of God recently, return to search the scriptures. Behind the iron curtain the saints searched the scriptures.
This world needs the scriptures today. Many still live by eye for an eye. The answer to terror today is found in the scriptures. The fulness of the Gospel is now on the earth. The prophets all testified of Christ, he has come, and will come again. Love they Neighbor as thyself. Pray for them that despitefully use you.
Moroni looks over the last remenant of his people at the end of the Book of Mormon. He pleads for us today to ask God of the truthfulness of the scriptures and the Book of Mormon. We live in the latter-days. We have control over who we are, regardless of how difficult the world becomes. Those who are true and faithful will meet Christ when He ocmes to His Temple.
1:33 p.m. Joseph B. Wirthlin Quorum of the Tweleve Apostles
He was born of goodly parents. He learned the value of hard work and compassion from his father. He cared for and blessed the lives who suffered. His father was an ideal bishop. In 1938 he operated a successful business. Heber J. Grant called him to the presiding bishopbric. He served 23 years, until he died at 69 years of age. He often thinks of his father and still misses him (as I do mine).
He also spoke of his mother. She expected the best from her children. Don’t be a scrub (one who is lazy). You must do better. She died at 87, and she also misses her and thinks of her often.
His wife Alisa, he fell in love with at first sight. She loved to plan tennis; but, he couldn’t hit what he couldn’t see. He is a better man, husband and father because of her. He owes more to her than he can express. Her passing was his greatest sorrow.
Now he thinks much of Eternal things. He thinks of the resurrection. We will meet again those from whom we have parted. The resurrection is the core of our Christian belief. If Christ not be risen, then our faith is vain. When Christ rose from the tomb He did something no one else could do. He broke the bands of death.
We will all have our dark Fridays. But Sunday will always come, whethehr in this life or the next. The resurrection is not a fable. Thousands in the new world witnessed the risen Christ, and felt his wounds. Because of the sealing ordinances in the Temple, we will again have our families. Death is not forever. Because of Christ we can proclaim in our darkest Friday’s O Death Where is Thy Sting?
1:47 p.m. Elaine Dalton Second Counselor YM Presidency
It is important that we remain clean and pure. It is our personal worthiness to fulfill our individual earthly missions. Prior to mortality we were called to live in this tumultous time. We chose this life and defended it. We knew we would be blessed by the Gospel and living Prophets.
To be worthy–what does it mean? We must make choices to return to God’s presence. This is why we are here on the earth, to see if we will do what we have been commanded. We must live the standards that will allow us the constant companioship of the Holy Ghost. We receive strength through keeping our covenenats. Satan wants us to think repentance is not possible. This is a lie.
Weekly we repent through partaking of the Sacrament. We should remember our prayers night and morning. We should pay our tithing, and remain worthy. We should always live so that when we need God’s blessings we can ask for them. We need to live in such a way that we can ask for and receive blessings when we need them.
Personal worthiness is neccessary to enter the Temple. The Temple can then enter us as well. Worthiness is possible because of Christ’s Atonement. They shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
1:55 p.m. Choir and Congression sing High on the Mountain Top
He likes to walk along the River near Freeman Park with his wife. They are built on a santiary landfill. Grabage is buried between layers of earth. A place where garbage is burried and the land reclaimed is another definition of a landfill. To dig up the garbage now would be to destroy something that had been made beautiful. Why would one want to destroy something of beauty to dig up garbage?
What about the one who has fallen time and time again back into sin, but can’t break the cycle? What about the one who repents but who cannot forget? Christ has taken upon Himself our infirmities. He will blot our transgressions. Alma 7:11-13.
Jacob taught 2 Nephi 9:7. It must needs be an infinite Atonement–otherwise there would be no resurrection. His Atonement applies to everyone, even you. It cleans and reclaims. There is no habit, or addiction or rebellion or transgression or apostancy exempt from the Atonement (Elder Boyd K. Packer).
Our lives need layer after layer of repentance. When we chose to remain in sin God and Christ sorrow, since repentance is avaiable to clean and reclaim our lives. When we use this gift we enjoy our lives. Christ is the Son of God. Through forgiveness He can make us clean, even you.
Full Payment of Tithing
There are many reasons people give for not paying a full tithe. Not living this principle can impede better life. Tithing is requried of us all. It is a weighty matter. One tenth of their interest annually is the tithe. It is the wage of one employed. The profit from the operation of a business. The increase of one who grows of produces. (Pres. Hunter).
Tithing is used to fund growth and development of Church in the world. Temples are constructed. The worldwide missionary effort is funded. I the Lord am bound when you do what I say. When you do not what I say, ye have no promise.
Abraham was blessed for living the law of tithing. Prove me now herewith if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you will not have room to receive it.
The Lord has prepared the way for us to keep all commandments. Paying tithing does take faith. To those who are not full tithe payers, I invite you to become so. Prove the Lord herewith. As you place tithing obligations first you will experience the blessings God will provide. You will gain a sacred testimony of tithing.
To those who are tithe payers you have a witness already. You personal commitment increases each time you pay tithing. Blessings do come from paying tithing.
Nephi was quick to obey God’s commandment to build a ship. Laman and Lemuel, however, thought him a fool. Though Nephi had no such experience he had a testimony and faith that God would prepare a way. Through this faith he did build a ship to cross the oceans.
His family lived in occupied Soviet East Germany. He left East Germany overnight because of his father’s political orientation. He had to learn Russian while in East Germany. In West Germany he had to learn English, which was even harder. He then began reading about avaition. He wanted to become a pilot; however, to become a pilot he had to learn English. It was as though overnight his mouth changed and he leearned English. He had a powerful motivator.
Christ emphasized proper thoughts and motives. We are then to act accordingly. Our testimony motivates us to live righteously. This causes our testimony to grow. A testiomny is tender, sweet, and sacred. It is a witness from the Holy Ghost that certain concepts are true. It is the abiding and living conviction of the truths revelaed in Christ’s Gospel.
Many today perceive Truth as relative. Absolute truth is not popular or politically correct. Firm conviction of Gospel principles is an anchor in our lives. A testimony of hte restored Gpospel includes:
1. God lives–he lives in heaven
2. Christ is the Son of God
3. Joseph Smith prophet who retored gosepl
4. Book of Mormon word of God
5. FP and 12 are prophets seers revelators in our day.
Through the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things.
It is easier to talk about a testimony than to get one. The law of the harvest–reap what you sow applies to testimonies. If we share a testimony it will grow. It is the most precious thing we can obtain. We cannot rely on others’ testimonies. Each Latter-day Saint is obligated to know Christ is the Son of God.
Promptings of the spirit rather than human logic alone will the the true foundation uponw which our testimony will be built. The scriptures outline how to obtain:
1. Desire to believe. Must be a true sincere desire. BOM Alma 30?
2. Search the Scriptures. The good seed will begin to swell in your breast.
3. Do the will of God. Keep the commandments. It is not enough to enter into a scholarly debate. Casual study is not enough. We need to learn and do God’s will. If we do his will we will know if is of God
4. Ponder, fast and pray. We must ask God for this knowledge and testimony. We must learn to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Alma knew of these things, because he fasted and prayed that he might know them himself.
A testimony is good to provide proper perspective, motivation and a life of personal growth. It is a companion during good times and bad. It brings a spirit of optimism and happiness. It motivates us to choose the right at all times. It motivates us to draw near to God and Him to us. It is a protective shield. It will guide us through darkness and confusion.
Nephi did not doubt, because he knew the Lord would prepare the way for him to accomplish what was required. This is our time.s These are our days. We are where the action is.
2:30 p.m. President Monson–reminds the brethenr of the Priesthood Session of conference tongiht–as well as the other conference sessions to follow tomorroew.
God and Christ want us to enjoy peace and happiness in life. Even in this world of intense conflict and increasing temptations.
Rock Climbing analogy.
One way is to go alone, iwthout companions or equipment. They do it for the thrill of the moment. They face the temptatoins of life wihtout the Holy Spirit. Do not solo in life. You will almost certainly fall into transgressoin.
Safer way to rock climb is with a companion. Anchors are placed in the rock. The anchors will prevent a fall. The goal is a safe an exhilarating experience. You need the fundamental equipement, anchors, ropes, shoes, and the like. They have been instructed and have experience.
In real life the anchors of God’s laws provide protection. The rope represents obedience to the commandments. When we obey the commandments we will develope character to fortify us against transgression. If we make a wrong move, repentance will be there for us.
Christ’s laws are secure anchors of protection, in this dangerous world. This life will provide us peace and happiness. The challenges are only temporary in this life, iincluding sadness and heartache. Trials can extend over a long period of time; but, they should not be the confining focus of everything we do. Our lives should be wonderously rewarding. Challenges are stepping stones to further growth and atainment. Our progress accelerates when we allow Christ into our lives to be led by the Spirit and led by His will.
Peace and happiness are the fruits of a righteous life. They are possible through Christ’s Atonement. Our mistakes result in broken laws. Justice guarantees we recedive the blessings for obedience; however, it also requires justice when the laws are broken. (Choices have consequences). Broken laws prevent us from returnign to God. Only the Atonement can save us from this predicament.
Christ can settle our accout with justice through our repentance. Through the Atonement we will retain what we earn through Christ’s mercy. The Atonement was a selfless act of Christ. He broke the bonds of death. The Atonement opens the gates to exaltation. We can’t fully comprehend the Atonement in this life or how it was accomplished. We can only begin to understand what the Atonement cost Christ in pain and suffereing. We should constantly study the Atonement to understand it as much as possible.
Lehi taught JAcob no flesh can dwell in God’s presence but for the Holy Messiah. Christ’s perfection allowed him to be free from the demands of justice. Because of Christ’s grace we will be saved after all we can do.
Christ paid an incalcualbe price to be our Reedemer. He lives and loves each of us. We should make Him our lead in life. We will not fall into serious transgression if we do so.
2:47 p.m. Choir Sings Hark All Ye Nations.
2:51 p.m. Benediction by Gene R. Cook First Quorum of the Seventy