Viewpoint: Study Conference Messages “Again and Again”

Contributed By the Church News

  • 17 April 2016

A family reads a general conference talk.

Article Highlights

  • Our challenge is to study what was said during this conference again and again for the next six months, making it a part of our lives and sharing it with others.

“As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that choice—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.” —President Thomas S. Monson

With the world awash in turmoil, confusion, and competing, uninspired voices, general conference is a powerful reminder that God lives, that Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and was resurrected, and that His Church is restored and led by divinely inspired leaders. It is a sure and guiding light in the storm.

The recently completed 186th Annual General Conference provided the world what it needs, right now, to confront the unique challenges of the age. Contrary to what the world may offer, those solutions involve an increase in faith, a strengthening of families, a desire to choose wisely, and a renewed commitment to obey God’s commandments and to serve Him through service to our fellow beings.

“May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary—a real faith, the kind of faith which will sustain us and will bolster our desire to choose the right,” said President Thomas S. Monson. “Without such faith we go nowhere. With it we can accomplish our goals.”

Acknowledging that people sometimes make “foolish choices,” President Monson said the “gift of repentance” can help people stay on course.

“May we maintain the courage to defy the consensus,” he said. “May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong. As we contemplate the decisions we make in our lives each day—whether to make this choice or that choice—if we choose Christ, we will have made the correct choice.”

The entire conference was evidence the Lord loves His children and has not abandoned them.

President Monson announced plans for four new temples, in Quito, Ecuador; Harare, Zimbabwe; Belém, Brazil; and Lima, Peru. The Lima Temple will be the second in that city, putting it in an exclusive, but growing, club that already includes South Jordan, Utah, and Provo, Utah. These temples also are evidence of God’s love, providing opportunities for more Church members to perform essential ordinances for themselves and their ancestors.

Currently, 150 temples are in operation worldwide, with another 27 announced or under construction. Temples are beginning to dot the earth, providing most Church members with relatively easy access.

As President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said in his Sunday talk: “What a blessing for the Church. What a blessing for the membership. What a blessing for these nations, which receive those wonderful temples.”

Much of this conference was directed toward those who struggle with faith and against trials. President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of two such people who wrote to him, lamenting that their feelings of love toward the Lord and His Church were waning.

“All of us have had our faith tested by precious blessings delayed, vicious attacks of those who wanted to destroy our faith, temptations to sin, and selfish interests that reduced our efforts to cultivate and soften the spiritual depth of our hearts,” he said.

The conference itself, he said, is an answer to the desire to regain that love. “The music, the talks, and the testimonies have been prepared by servants of God who have sought diligently for the Holy Ghost to guide them in the preparation. They have prayed longer and more humbly as the days of the conference have approached.

“They have prayed to have the power to encourage you to make the choices that will create in your heart a more fertile ground for the good word of God to grow and be fruitful. If you listen to the Spirit, you will find your heart softened, your faith strengthened, and your capacity to love the Lord increased.”

In his Sunday morning address, President Uchtdorf echoed a similar theme, testifying of how the Lord can rescue our lives.

“My dear brothers and sisters, my dear friends, I testify that God sees us as we truly are—and He sees us as worthy of rescue,” he said. “You may feel that your life is in ruins. You may have sinned. You may be afraid, angry, grieving, or tortured by doubt. But just as the Good Shepherd finds His lost sheep, if you will only lift up your heart to the Savior of the world, He will find you.”

Now, the challenge is to study what was said during this conference again and again for the next six months, making it a part of our lives and sharing it with others. These messages were for the entire world, not just Latter-day Saints.

For a world reeling from political and economic turmoil, with refugees wandering homeless and alone, and with a growing moral decay that confuses tolerance with acceptance, this conference was a detailed road map toward peace and happiness.

Imagine what the world would be like if people everywhere chose to follow Christ, to seek what is right, to lift their fellow man with love and encouragement, showing them the hope that comes through the Atonement.

Imagine if everyone could see each other the way God sees us, could put aside pride and willingly forgive past wrongs, and could adopt charity, the pure love of Christ, as the attitude of their hearts.

It is easy to see how the messages of the 186th Annual General Conference are a vital source of guidance to the world. What a blessing to hear the Lord’s clear instruction and to feel His love.