My brothers and sisters, my heart is full as we come to the close of this conference. We have felt the Spirit of the Lord in rich abundance. I express my appreciation and that of members of the Church everywhere to each one who has participated, including those who have offered prayers. May we long remember the messages we have heard. As we receive the issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines which will contain these messages in written form, may we read and study them.
Once again the music in all of the sessions has been wonderful. I express my personal gratitude for those willing to share with us their talents, touching and inspiring us in the process.
We have sustained, by uplifted hand, Brethren who have been called to new positions during this conference. We want them to know that we look forward to working with them in the cause of the Master.
I express my love and appreciation for 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. They serve most effectively, and they are completely dedicated to the work. I also express my love to the members of the Seventy and the Presiding Bishopric.
We face many challenges in the world today, but I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He loves each of us and will bless us as we seek Him through prayer and strive to keep His commandments.
We are a global church. Our membership is found throughout the world. May we be good citizens of the nations in which we live and good neighbors in our communities, reaching out to those of other faiths as well as to those of our own. May we be examples of honesty and integrity wherever we go and in whatever we do.
Thank you for your prayers in my behalf, brothers and sisters, and in behalf of all of the General Authorities of the Church. We are deeply grateful for you and for all that you do to further the work of the Lord.
As you return to your homes, may you do so safely. May the blessings of heaven be upon you.
Now, before we leave today, may I share with you my love for the Savior and for His great atoning sacrifice for us. In three weeks’ time the entire Christian world will be celebrating Easter. I believe that none of us can conceive the full import of what Christ did for us in Gethsemane, but I am grateful every day of my life for His atoning sacrifice in our behalf.
At the last moment, He could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things. In doing so, He gave us life beyond this mortal existence. He reclaimed us from the Fall of Adam.
To the depths of my very soul, I am grateful to Him. He taught us how to live. He taught us how to die. He secured our salvation.
As I close, may I share with you touching words written by Emily Harris which describe so well my feelings as Easter comes:
The linen which once held Him is empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean.
The door stands opened.
The stone is rolled away,
And I can almost hear the angels singing His praises.
Linen cannot hold Him.
Stone cannot hold Him.
The words echo through the empty limestone chamber,
“He is not here.”
The linen which once held Him is now empty.
It lies there,
Fresh and white and clean
And oh, hallelujah, it is empty.1
Blessings to you, my brothers and sisters. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen.