My beloved brothers and sisters, my heart is full and my feelings tender as we conclude this great general conference.
We have been richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us. I believe we are all more determined to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I express my sincere thanks to each one who participated in the conference, including those Brethren who offered prayers.
The music has been magnificent. How grateful I am for those blessed with musical talents who are willing to share their talents with others. I am reminded of the scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants: “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”1
May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month’s Ensign and Liahona magazines. I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life.
I want you to know how much I love and appreciate my devoted counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. They are men of wisdom and understanding. Their service is invaluable. I love and support my Brethren of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. During this conference we sustained a new member of that Quorum. He is completely dedicated to the work of the Lord, and I testify that he is the man our Heavenly Father wants to fill this position at this time.
I express my love to the members of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric. They serve selflessly and so effectively. Similarly, I pay tribute to the general auxiliary officers. In accordance with our policy of rotation, we have sustained new general presidencies of the Young Men and of the Sunday School. We look forward to working with them. We thank those who were released from these positions at this conference and who served so faithfully in these capacities.
My brothers and sisters, may we strive to live closer to the Lord. May we remember to “pray always lest [we] enter into temptation.”2
To you parents, express your love to your children. Pray for them that they may be able to withstand the evils of the world. Pray that they may grow in faith and testimony. Pray that they may pursue lives of goodness and of service to others.
Children, let your parents know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.
Now, a word of caution to all—both young and old, both male and female. We live at a time when the adversary is using every means possible to ensnare us in his web of deceit, trying desperately to take us down with him. There are many pathways along which he entices us to go—pathways that can lead to our destruction. Advances in many areas that can be used for good can also be used to speed us along those heinous pathways.
I feel to mention one in particular, and that is the Internet. On one hand, it provides nearly limitless opportunities for acquiring useful and important information. Through it we can communicate with others around the world. The Church itself has a wonderful Web site, filled with valuable and uplifting information and priceless resources.
On the other hand, however—and extremely alarming—are the reports of the number of individuals who are utilizing the Internet for evil and degrading purposes, the viewing of pornography being the most prevalent of these purposes. My brothers and sisters, involvement in such will literally destroy the spirit. Be strong. Be clean. Avoid such degrading and destructive types of content at all costs—wherever they may be! I sound this warning to everyone, everywhere. I add—particularly to the young people—that this includes pornographic images transmitted via cell phones.
My beloved friends, under no circumstances allow yourselves to become trapped in the viewing of pornography, one of the most effective of Satan’s enticements. And if you have allowed yourself to become involved in this behavior, cease now. Seek the help you need to overcome and to change the direction of your life. Take the steps necessary to get back on the strait and narrow, and then stay there.
May we say, with Joshua of old, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”3
Now, my brothers and sisters, we have built temples throughout the world and will continue to do so. To you who are worthy and able to attend the temple, I would admonish you to go often. The temple is a place where we can find peace. There we receive a renewed dedication to the gospel and a strengthened resolve to keep the commandments.
What a privilege it is to be able to go to the temple, where we may experience the sanctifying influence of the Spirit of the Lord. Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth.
I am deeply grateful that as a church we continue to extend humanitarian aid where there is great need. We have done much in this regard and have blessed the lives of thousands upon thousands of our Father’s children who are not of our faith as well as those who are. We intend to continue to help wherever such is needed. We express gratitude to you for your contributions in this regard.
How grateful I am, my brothers and sisters, for the Restoration of the gospel in this dispensation and for all the blessings that have come into my life and into your lives as a result. We are a blessed people, for we have the sure knowledge that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ.
May heaven’s blessings be with you. May your homes be filled with harmony and love. May you constantly nourish your testimonies that they might be a protection to you against the adversary.
As your humble servant, I desire with all my heart to do God’s will and to serve Him and to serve you.
Now, my brothers and sisters, conference is over. As we return to our homes, may we do so safely.
I love you. I pray for you. I would ask that you would remember me and all the General Authorities in your prayers. Until we meet again in six months’ time, I ask the Lord’s blessings to be upon all of us, and I do it in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, our Savior, amen.