Conference at a Glance

October 2015

Sunday Afternoon Session

Why the Church

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

There are those who consider themselves religious or spiritual and yet reject participation in a church or even the need for such an institution. Religious practice is for them purely personal. Yet the Church is the creation of Him in whom our spirituality is centered—Jesus Christ. It's worth pausing to consider why He chooses to use a church, His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to carry out His and His Father’s work … .

… A major reason the Lord has a church is to create a community of Saints that will sustain one another …

… As the body of Christ, the members of the Church minister to one another in the reality of day-to-day life. …

There's a second major reason the Savior works through a church, His Church, and that is to achieve needful things that cannot be accomplished by individuals or smaller groups. …

… We speak not just of immortality but also of eternal life, and for that the gospel path and gospel covenants are essential. And the Savior needs a church to make them available … .

The final reason I'll mention for the Lord to have established His Church is the most unique—the Church is, after all, the kingdom of God on the earth. …

Its destiny is to establish Zion in preparation for the return and millennial rule of Jesus Christ.

Full Address  |  News Summary

My Heart Pondereth Them Continually

Brother Devin G. Durrant
First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency

I invite you to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week. The word ponderize is not found in the dictionary, but it has found a place in my heart. So what does it mean to ponderize? I like to say it’s a combination of 80 percent extended pondering and 20 percent memorization. …

… Read or think of the verse several times each day and ponder the meaning of its words and key phrases throughout the week.

Imagine the uplifting results of doing this weekly for 6 months, a year, 10 years, or more.

As you make this effort, you will feel an increase in spirituality. You will also be able to teach and lift those you love in more meaningful ways.

Full Address  |  News Summary

Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God

Elder Von G. Keetch
of the Seventy

As you and I walk the paths of life and pursue our dreams, God’s commands and standards … can sometimes be difficult to understand. They may appear rigid and unyielding, blocking a path that looks fun and exciting and that is being followed by so many others. …

But He who “comprehend[s] all things” [D&C 88:6] knows exactly where [the] dangers lie. He gives us divine direction, through His commands and loving guidance, so that we may avoid the dangers. …

We show our love for God—and our faith in Him—by doing our best every day to follow the course that He has laid out for us and by keeping the commandments that He has given to us. We especially manifest that faith and love in situations where we don’t fully understand the reason for God’s command or the particular path He is telling us to take. …

As we submit ourselves to His will, we increase in peace and happiness. … God wants us to have joy. He wants us to have peace. He wants us to succeed. He wants us to be safe and to be protected from the worldly influences all around us.

Full Address  |  News Summary

"If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments"

Carole M. Stephens
First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency

We can choose to see commandments as limitations. We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom, take from us our agency, and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us, we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him.

If you find yourself figuratively parked on the side of the road, can I suggest a few principles that, if followed, will help you get safely back on the path of faith and obedience?

First, trust God. Trust in His eternal plan for you. …

Second, trust Jesus. The ultimate expression of obedience and love is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. …

Third, trust the whisperings of the Spirit. …

Fourth, trust the counsel of living prophets. …

There is safety in following the word of the Lord through His prophets.

Full Address  |  News Summary

Remembering in Whom We Have Trusted

Elder Allen D. Haynie
of the Seventy

Although avoidance of sin is the preferred pattern in life, as far as the efficacy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is concerned, it matters not what sins we have committed or how deep we have sunk into that proverbial pit. …

What does matter is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” so “that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people” [Alma 7:11, 12]. … That is what really matters and what should give all of us renewed hope and a determination to try one more time, because He has not forgotten us. …

Repentance is real and it works. It is not a fictional experience or the product “of a frenzied mind” [Alma 30:16]. It has the power to lift burdens and replace them with hope. … Repentance, of necessity, is not easy. Things of eternal significance rarely are. But the result is worth it.

Full Address  |  News Summary

Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

Elder Kim B. Clark
of the Seventy

Our time is a dangerous time—a time of great evil and temptation, a time of confusion and commotion. … Whatever level of spirituality or faith or obedience we now have, it will not be sufficient for the work that lies ahead. We need greater spiritual light and power. We need eyes to see more clearly the Savior working in our lives and ears to hear His voice more deeply in our hearts.

This marvelous blessing comes when we open our hearts and receive, truly receive, the Lord Jesus Christ, His doctrine, and His Church into our lives. We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good and getting better. We need to strive to live the plain and simple truths of the gospel. If we take upon us the name of Christ, act with faith in Him to repent of our sins, keep His commandments, and always remember Him, we will receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost through the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. …

Life may get hard, confusing, painful, and discouraging. I bear you my witness that through the companionship of the Holy Ghost, the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ will cut through the confusion, the pain, and the darkness.

Full Address  |  News Summary

Hold on Thy Way

Elder Koichi Aoyagi
of the Seventy

The Lord said the following to Joseph Smith:

“Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. …

“Therefore, hold on thy way …, for God shall be with you forever and ever” [D&C 122:7, 9; emphasis added].

The trials of this earth—including illness and death—are a part of the plan of salvation and are inevitable experiences. It is necessary for us to “hold on thy way” and accept our trials with faith.

However, the purpose of our lives is not merely to endure trials. Heavenly Father sent His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior and Redeemer so we could overcome the trials we face on this earth; in other words, He makes our weak things become strong, He atones for our sins and our imperfections, and He makes it possible for us to obtain immortality and eternal life. …

“Hold on thy way” is a key choice during times of trial. Turn one’s heart to God, especially when we face trials. Humbly obey the commandments of God. Show faith to reconcile one’s wishes with the will of God. …

Put God first, regardless of the trials you face. Love God. Have faith in Christ, and entrust yourself to Him in all things.

Full Address  |  News Summary

“Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name”

Elder David A. Bednar
of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

My purpose is to explain why indeed it is wonderful to have older men of great spiritual maturity and judgment serving in the senior leadership positions of the restored Church of Jesus Christ—and why we should “hear” and “hearken” (Mosiah 2:9) to the teachings of these men whom the Lord has “chosen to bear testimony of [His] name … among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people” (D&C 112:1). …

… These men have had a sustained season of tutoring by the Lord, whom they represent, serve, and love. They have learned to understand the divine language of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s patterns for receiving revelation. These ordinary men have undergone a most extraordinary developmental process that has sharpened their vision, informed their insight, engendered love for people from all nations and circumstances, and affirmed the reality of the Restoration. …

“Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same” (D&C 1:38). May we hear and heed the eternal truths taught by the Lord’s authorized representatives. As we do so, I promise our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be fortified, and we will receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs.

Full Address  |  News Summary