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Talk Summaries

October 2017

General Women's Session | Saturday Morning Session | Saturday Afternoon Session
General Priesthood Session | Sunday Morning Session | Sunday Afternoon Session

 

Sunday Afternoon Session

Elder M. Russell Ballard

The Trek Continues!

Elder M. Russell Ballard
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Although it is appropriate and important to remember the historic 19th-century Mormon pioneer trek, we need to remember that “the trek through life continues!” for each of us as we prove our own “faith in every footstep.” …

A trek back to our Heavenly Father is the most important trek of our lives, and it continues each day, each week, each month, and each year as we increase our faith in Him and in His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

We must be careful where our footsteps in life take us. …

In some places, too many of our people are looking beyond the mark and seeking secret knowledge in expensive and questionable practices to provide healing and support. …

I testify that “the trek continues,” and I invite you to stay on the gospel path as you continue pressing forward by reaching out to all of God’s children in love and compassion that we may unitedly make our hearts pure and our hands clean to receive the “multiplicity of blessings” awaiting all who truly love our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.

Full Address

Tad R. Callister

God’s Compelling Witness: The Book of Mormon

Tad R. Callister
Sunday School General President

The Book of Mormon is not only the keystone of our religion, but it can also become the keystone of our testimonies so that when trials or unanswered questions confront us, it can hold our testimonies securely in place. This book is the one weight on the scales of truth that exceeds the combined weight of all the critics’ arguments. Why? Because if it is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet and this is the restored Church of Jesus Christ, regardless of any historical or other arguments to the contrary. For this reason, the critics are intent on disproving the Book of Mormon, but the obstacles they face are insurmountable, because this book is true. …

The Book of Mormon is one of God’s priceless gifts to us. … As Saints, we not only have the privilege to defend the Book of Mormon but the opportunity to take the offense—to preach with power its divine doctrine and bear witness of its crowning witness of Jesus Christ.

I bear my solemn testimony that the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God. It is God’s compelling witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ, the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith, and the absolute truth of this Church.

Full Address

Elder Joni L. Koch

Apart, but Still One

Elder Joni L. Koch
Of the Seventy

In the Church, in spite of our differences, the Lord expects us to be one! He said in the Doctrine and Covenants, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” [D&C 38:27].

As we enter a meetinghouse to worship as a group, we should leave behind our differences … and instead concentrate on our common spiritual objectives. Together we sing hymns, ponder about the same covenants during the sacrament, say simultaneously an audible “amen” after talks, lessons, and prayers. …

These things that we do collectively help create a strong sense of oneness within the congregation.

However, what really determines, solidifies, or destroys our unity is how we act when we are apart from our fellow Church members. …

… Our words about our fellow beings should reflect our belief in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and that in Him and through Him, we can always change for the better! …

It is also likely that we will all experience some correction from our ecclesiastic leaders, which will be a test on how united we are with them. …

… I testify that as we decide to be one with the members and leaders of the Church—both when we’re assembled together but especially when we are apart—we will also feel more perfectly united with our Heavenly Father and the Savior.

Full Address

Elder Stanley G. Ellis

Do We Trust Him? Hard Is Good

Elder Stanley G. Ellis
Emeritus Member of the Seventy

Hard makes us stronger, humbles us, and gives us a chance to prove ourselves. Our beloved handcart pioneers came to know God in their extremities. Why did it take two chapters for Nephi and his brothers to obtain the brass plates and only three verses to enlist Ishmael’s family to join them in the wilderness? It seems the Lord wanted to strengthen Nephi through the struggle of obtaining the plates.

The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise. One of the earliest covenants we make with the Lord is to live the law of sacrifice. Sacrifice by definition involves giving up something desirable. With experience we realize it is a small price to pay in relation to the blessings that follow. …

Each of us may have a different opinion about what is hard. Some may consider it hard to pay tithing when finances are tight. Some leaders find it difficult to expect the poor to pay tithing. It may be hard for some of us to go forward with faith to marry or to have a family. There are those who find it hard to “be content with [what] the Lord hath allotted unto [them]” (Alma 29:3). It may be hard to be content with our current calling. Church discipline may seem very hard, but for some it marks the beginning of the true repentance process.

Regardless of the issue, hard can be good for those who will move forward with faith and trust the Lord and His plan.

Full Address

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella

Essential Truths—Our Need to Act

Elder Adilson de Paula Parrella
Of the Seventy

Millions who have already joined the Church, as well as the many who are being converted and baptized each week, have gained a testimony of the First Vision. The Holy Ghost can repeat this witness often to each of us as we strive to live the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith brought forth additional knowledge and truth that are essential to our happiness in this life and our exaltation in the presence of God. …

An essential truth we learn from the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith is that God calls prophets, seers, and revelators to instruct, guide, warn, and lead us. …

Another truth we learn because of the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith is the true nature of God. Just imagine how blessed we are to know that God is a being with a body of flesh and bones as tangible as ours, that we can worship a God who is real, whom we can understand, and who has shown and revealed Himself and His Son to His prophets. …

From the First Vision and the Prophet Joseph Smith, we received knowledge of the reality and sacred mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the cornerstone of our religion.

Full Address

Elder Ian S. Ardern

Seek Ye Out of the Best Books

Elder Ian S. Ardern
Of the Seventy

We live in a day in which misinformation about our beliefs abounds. …

[The warnings] of our prophets and apostles remind us that we must do all we can to fortify ourselves spiritually against words of opposition and deception. …

… Our spiritual roots go deeper as sincere personal and family prayer become bastions of our faith, as we repent daily, seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and learn of our Savior and His attributes and strive to become like Him.

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the Light of the World, and He beckons us to follow Him. …

Questions about our Church history and beliefs do arise. … The best counsel was given by the Apostle James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5). …

With all our prayer, study, and pondering, there may still remain some yet-to-be-answered questions. … Such questions are an invitation to build our faith. … It is the very essence of religion not to have a sure answer to every question, for this is one of the purposes of faith. …

Let each of us live … so that we will remain “firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end” (Alma 27:27).

Full Address

Elder Jose L. Alonso

Love One Another as He Has Loved Us

Elder Jose L. Alonso
Of the Seventy

During the Last Supper, the Savior gave a new commandment to His disciples, saying:

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” [John 13:34–35].

The Savior’s disciples were given a new commandment to do something more, something greater, and something more divine. This new commandment and invitation is summarized in the key phrase “as I have loved you.” …

In today’s world of so much suffering for different circumstances, sending a text message with a funny emoji or posting a nice picture with the words “I love you” is good and valuable. But what many of us need to do is leave our mobile devices behind and, with our hands and feet, help others in great need. Love without service is like faith without works; it’s dead indeed.

The pure love of Christ, which is charity, not only inspires us to act and provide service but also to have the strength to forgive, regardless of the situation. …

I know that our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, love us and are willing to help us to act as we love one another as They have loved us. And I know that by serving and forgiving others with real love, we can be healed and receive the strength to overcome our own challenges.

Full Address

Elder Neil L. Andersen

The Voice of the Lord

Elder Neil L. Andersen
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

General conference is one of the very important times [Jesus Christ] gives direction to His Church and to us personally. …

In the commotion and confusion of our modern world, trusting and believing in the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is vital to our spiritual growth and endurance. …

As you listen, the messages you receive may be very literal or they may be customized just for you. …

I promise you that as you prepare your spirit and come with the anticipation that you will hear the voice of the Lord, thoughts and feelings will come into your mind that are customized especially for you. You have already felt them in this conference, or you will as you study the messages in the weeks ahead. …

The teachings of general conference are the considerations the Lord would have before us now and in the months ahead. …

Often, His voice directs us to change something in our lives. He invites us to repent. He invites us to follow Him. …

There is a treasure chest of heavenly direction awaiting your discovery in the messages of general conference. The test for each of us is how we respond to what we hear, what we read, and what we feel. …

I promise that as you hear the voice of the Lord to you in the teachings of this general conference and then act on those promptings, you will feel heaven’s hand upon you, and your life and the lives of those around you will be blessed.

Full Address