8:30 a.m. Music and the Spoken Word, pre-conference warm up. This program is always uplifting and brings in a Spirit of calm and peace in anticipation of the General Conference addresses. You can watch a live Internet feed of General Conference here. For Bloggernacle denizens, Danithew, over at Mormon Mentality has their Sunday morning conference thread up here. And, over at By Common Consent, the one, only, and true Steve Evans has a Sunday morning thread running. Our Thoughts, also has an open thread here.
9:00 a.m. Now Let Us Rejoice
9:01 a.m. Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator
Welcome to all.
9:02 Choir I Know That My Redeemer Lives
9:06 a.m. Invocation by Earl C. Tingey, Previously Quorum of the Seventy
9:09 a.m. Choir O What Songs of the Heart
9:14 a.m. Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor, First Presidency.
We come from all nations and backgrounds to the Kingdom of God. We see increased conflict in the world around us. Hope that a great day of unity is coming, when Christ comes again to the earth, to unite all with God.
A plea from unity was last message he recalls from President David O. Mckay. We will be prepared. We are doing better. We are pleading for unity in the home. Families are praying together night and day together.
We are moving toward coming one. Our hearts will be knit together in unity, regardless of differences in background. Christ prayed for us when He prayed to the Father that we might be one.
Joy comes when we are blessed with unity. We yearn for that joy that preceeded this life. He cannot grant us unity as individuals. It is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. He wants us to gather as families, branches, wards, and stakes.
Christ promised the Three Nephites, joy and unity after their missions on earth.
Lord has given us guidelines on unity. Alma and his people serve as a guide to us as well. They sought to have their hearts and minds changed toward Christ. He commanded them there should be non contention one with another. Commanded them to preach, and to become the Children of God. Alma taught faith and repentance.
In addition to ordinances there are principles leading to greater unity. Revelation is one. The only way to know how to follow the will of God together. The Holy Ghost will testify to our hearts what Christ would have us do.
Another principle is to be humble. Pride is the great enemy of unity. We have seen and felt this. Be careful when discussing what is true and having it digress into who is right. We all know people who have left the fellowship of the saints because of pride. We can be one of those peacemakers.
Search for anything on which we might agree. The true peacemakers are those who find the truths people share, which is greater than their differences. Ask for God’s help, and then act.
God’s children have more in common than they have differences. God can help us see value what another person brings. This has been the Lord’s way.
Another principle is to speak well of each other. When was the last time we spoke well of someone else. There are times we must judge others. But more often we can make a choice. What if someone asks what you think of the new Bishop? Remember the scripture that we do not judge wrongfully. Be generous in what you say. If you can’t say anything good about a person, don’t say anything at all.
The Savior will do that as he judges our respective performances. We we speak generously of others we will feel the spirit of peace and of Christ.
We must follow these principles as the Lord gathers more and more persons who are not like us. We still live in different countries, but we come to a Church which through a process changes us.
The Saints can accomplish anything when they are united. He has heard many compliments from world and state leaders about the Saints in their service to others.
The unity we experience will increase. God lives, hears and answers our prayers. Christ is resurrected and lives. He reaches out to us in mercy.
9:31 a.m. Robert D. Hale Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
We have gathered together as one. We have taken upon us Christ’s names. We are Christians. Why then do others attack us? One of life’s greatest tests is when we are challenged in our beliefs. But, this is a great example to step back. Remember Christ was mocked for his belief. The world hates Christ and his disciples.
When we respond to the world as Christ did, we invite others to do the same. Christ responded differently in every situation. To Herod he remained silent. To Pilate, He bore a simple testimony. To the money changers he exercised His divine responsibility. On the cross he asked that His Father forgive them as they did not know what they did.
To love our enemies takes faith and strength and most of all Christian courage. The prophet Joseph demonstrated this throughout his life. He did not retaliate.
When we turn the other cheek and resist anger, we too stand with the Savior. That is not weakness, it is Christian courage.
Challenges to our faith are not new. They are not likely to disappear soon. Abnidadi bore his testimony. Alma, as a result helped convert Alma. Both showed Christian courage.
Negative publicity to the Church can be used by God for his purposes. It provides us with an opportunity to present the truth. We can take advantage in many ways. A kind letter to the editor. A comment on a blog. We can answer with love those who have misinformation.
All responses will differ based on circumstance. Seek guidance from the spirit. This is not weakness, but Christian courage. We must never become contentious when discussing our Church and religious beliefs.
More regrettable than being called unchristian is to actually respond that way. Meekness is patience and long suffering. Meekness is now weakness. It is the badge of Christian courage.
This does not mean we dilute our doctrine or beliefs. We must pray to be filled with the Holy Ghost. True disciples speak with quiet confidence, not boastful pride.
Our aim is to help others to understand truth–not defend our egos. We should be without guile. Look for our own fault. We should ask, is it I, and if necessary make changes.
President Monson taught let us learn respect for others. None of us lives alone. Sometimes we must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all.
Sometimes it is better just to keep our distance and walk away. Some bait us with arguments and accusations. But, take the high ground. Don’t come down off the high ground to argue theology or doctrine in the mud. Continue with tolerance and love.
We have a great work to do. It cannot be accomplished if we stop, argue and become distracted. Evil will always be with us. We need to be in the world without becoming like the world. This is our greatest test.
Christ has promised us his peace. Let our hearts not be troubled of afraid. The opposition we face can be a blessing. We love them should be our response to our accusers. We don’t feel we are better than they are. We love them. Christ’s way begins with baptism, then to the temple.
Only through Christ do we inherit Eternal Life and happiness, the greatest of all gifts.
Mormon’s testimony is his own. Has been called by Christ to declare His word to the world.
9:48 a.m. Keith B. McMullin, Quorum of the Seventy
Men and women are wondrous creations endowed with Divine attributes. We are all made in his image. Sickness, injury and death inescapable. We need God’s help. Important source is service to fellowman. Love your neighbor as yourself. A man filled with the love of God not content to bless only his family, but the whole human race.
Church welfare plan is based on this. China official visited and learned about the Church welfare program. He said if the world lived like this it would be a better place. Gave his own fast offering to the Church welfare program. A small gesture, but sincere.
Welfare principles are revealed truths. They are unchanging.
Prayer another way to seek God’s help. We are commanded to pray. God answers all sincere prayers. At times we seek a special form of prayer, the blessing and anointing of the sick. Call for the Elders when you are deeply troubled. The prayer of the faithful will lift you up.
The ultimate help from God comes through His Son. We must be careful in the use of Christ’s name. He is the First Born of God’s spirit children. He told the ancient prophets what to write. He atoned for the sins of the world. He is the living Christ. When He comes again, the government shall be on His shoulders.
9:58 a.m. Choir and Congregation Rejoice the Lord is King
10:00 a.m. Sis. Elaine S. Dalton Young Women General President
Pledged would serve with all her might, mind and strength. In the strength of the Lord we can do all things. The vision for their new presidency will be the Temple, to help prepare each young woman to be worthy of the temple. It is the reason our ancestors left their homes. Some lost everything, but in reality gained everything when arriving in Salt Lake valley–blessings of the Temple.
Virtue is a prerequisite to entering the Temple. It is based on high moral standards, including purity. It is nurtured at home. Virtue is not something we hear much about in today’s society. President Monson counsels us to stand for right, even if we stand alone. No friendship better than moral cleanliness.
We have been desensitized thinking moral standards are no longer important. We are being poisoned by degrees. We are forgetting our Divine identity. Youth busy every texting, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. What can be more deceptive?
What is more deceptive to entice men to use pornography, focusing on the flesh, rather than faith. Book of Mormon 2000 heroes had strength and virtue to defend their parents covenants.
We must return to virtue. We must engage in strict training. Now is the time to prepare. Exercise discipline. Become more fit for the Kingdom. Return to virtue must begin individually. It starts in our hearts and homes.
Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. Always remember Him and keep His commandments. Seek after the virtuous, praiseworthy and good report. Touch not the evil gift or the unclean thing.
Never underestimate power of good example and virtue. Now is the time for each of us to unfurl a banner to the world to return to virtue.
10:11 a.m. Choir I Feel My Savior’s Love
10:14 a.m. Elder Russell M. Ballard Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Eyes Westward statute on Temple Square. The prophet Joseph Smith was well aware the Church would relocate to the West, in the Rocky Mountains. He foresaw this, and prophesied of this. Joseph knew no enemy would have sufficient power to frustrate of stop God’s work. The Standard of Truth has been erected, and the Truth of God will go forward.
Nearly 18 decades have passed since the Church was restored by Christ through Joseph Smith. The Church began its first decade with only a few members. There was great persecution, yet the gospel continued to cover the earth.
Church membership grew. After Joseph’s martyrdom, the Saint’s moved Westward. In the 1850’s more missionaries called throughout the world.
1875 first missionaries called to Mexico. Just recently four years ago, we reached 1,000,000 members in Mexico. Despite continued persecution, the work continued.
From 1890 to 1930, much persecution continued, including the Smoot hearings. In 1925 Church began missionary work in South America. Missionary work continued throughout the world as they tried to take the gospel to every country, with continuing persecution.
President Kimball asked us to lengthen our stride in sharing the gospel. Two decades since President Kimball’s ministry. We have experienced unprecedented success and also attacks. Church membership has doubled. One millionth missionary has been called to serve in this dispensation.
The work cannot be frustrated. God cannot walk in crooked paths. His course is one eternal round. The work of God is not frustrated. The standard of Truth has been erected. Nothing can stop the work from progressing. We have seen it for ourselves.
The little Church starting in 1830 with a handful of members is now 13,000,000 strong, and well on our way to penetrating every country in the world. Yet, much remains to be done. We cannot remain comfortable or complacent.
(Computer crashed here–missed recording the rest of this great talk–sorry. Will have to read it again).
10:32 a.m. President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator
Change. Some good, some not. This is our one and only chance at mortal life, here and now. Opportunities come and then they are gone. Don’t let the most important things pass you by. Find joy in your journey now!
There is no tomorrow if we don’t do something today. There is no going back, but forward. Make the most of today, the here and now. That will allow for pleasant memories for the future. You will miss those tiny finger prints that messed up your clean surfaces. You will miss them terribly.
You will never regret the kind words spoken. We will regret this if we omit this from our relationships. Give your child a hug. Say I love you more. Never let a problem to be solved be more important than a person to be loved.
What would we say to our families gone for two years, limited to 25 words, as the example of a POW in Vietnam. Let us relish life as we live it. Find joy in the journey. One day we will run out of tomorrows. As I have loved you, Love one another.
What is most important in life goes hand in hand with gratitude for our blessings. It is always our choice which secret garden we will tend. Be grateful for the abundance that is present, not what is missing from our lives.
D&C 88:33. What benefit if we are given a gift, but don’t receive it. Take whatever God has blessed us with, with grateful hands. Let us say we have lived happily.
In everything give thanks. This is the will of God. Were there not 10 cleansed? Where are the 9? May we be found among those who give our thanks to Heavenly Father. Cherish those we hold dear. Express love in word and deed.
Behold I stand at the door and knock. Who was this man of sorrows, acquainted with grief? He is the Son of God, our Master and Savior. He beckons to follow up. He pleads keep my commandments. Let us emulate His example, obey His word. May we adapt to the changes in our lives and realize what is most important.
10:54 Choir The Morning Breaks
10:58 a.m. Benediction