21905_000_036These conferences are held … to strengthen our testimonies of this work, to fortify us against temptation and sin, to lift our sights, to receive instruction.
Brethren and sisters, we’ve had a wonderful conference. The talks have been inspirational. The prayers of the speakers who prepared them and of those of us who heard them have been answered. We’ve all been edified.
Now, before I give my concluding words I would like to make a little explanation. People are talking about why in the world I’m walking with a cane. That’s become the topic of conversation these days. Well, I saw that Brigham Young used a cane. John Taylor had a cane, and Wilford Woodruff had a cane, and President Grant had a cane in his old age. And I’ve seen President McKay with a cane and Spencer Kimball with a cane, and I’m just trying to get in style.
The fact of the matter is, I have a little vertigo. I’m a little unsteady on my feet, and the doctors don’t know why it is. But they’re still working on me, and I hope it’ll be over in a day or two.
Now, we’ve all been edified in this great conference. We should all be standing a little taller as we adjourn today than we were when we came together yesterday morning.
I constantly marvel at these great semiannual gatherings. We have heard 26 speakers during these two days. That’s a very large number. Each is told how much time he or she will have. But none is told what to speak about. And yet all of the talks seem to harmonize, one with another, each a thread in the tapestry of a grand and beautiful pattern. I think nearly everyone in this vast worldwide audience can now say of one or more of the talks, “That was intended just for me. That is just what I needed to hear.”
This is the reason, I may say, why these conferences are held—to strengthen our testimonies of this work, to fortify us against temptation and sin, to lift our sights, to receive instruction concerning the programs of the Church and the pattern of our lives.
Many churches, of course, have large gatherings, but I know of none to compare with these conferences held every six months, year after year. They are truly world conferences.
This work is alive and vital as it moves across the world in communities both large and small. The genius of this work lies with the missionaries who teach in faraway places with strange-sounding names, and the converts who come of these teachings. As I have occasion to travel, these are the places I like to visit, the small and largely unknown and scattered branches where a great pioneer work is going forward.
Now, brothers and sisters, let us go forth from this conference with a stronger resolve to live the gospel, to be more faithful, to be better fathers and mothers and sons and daughters, to be absolutely loyal to one another as families, and absolutely loyal to the Church as members.
This is God’s holy work. It is divine in its origin and in its doctrine. Jesus Christ stands as its head. He is our immortal Savior and Redeemer. His revelation is the source of our doctrine, our faith, our teaching, in fact the underlying pattern of our lives. Joseph Smith was an instrument in the hands of the Almighty in bringing to pass this Restoration. And that basic element of revelation is with the Church today as it was in Joseph’s day.
Our individual testimonies of these truths are the basis of our faith. We must nurture them. We must cultivate them. We can never forsake them. We can never lay them aside. Without them we have nothing. With them we have everything.
As we return to our homes, may we experience a strengthening of our faith in these eternal and unchanging truths. May there be peace and love in our homes and an abundance of the good things of heaven and earth, I humbly pray as I bid you good-bye for another season, in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.