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Talk Summaries

April 2017

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


Sunday Afternoon Session

Elder D. Todd ChristoffersonThe Voice of Warning

Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Far from being anxious to condemn, our Heavenly Father and our Savior seek our happiness and plead with us to repent, knowing full well that “wickedness never was [and never will be] happiness” [Alma 41:10]. So Ezekiel and every prophet before and since, speaking the word of God out of a full heart, have warned all who will to turn away from Satan, the enemy of their souls, and “choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men” [2 Nephi 2:27].

While the duty to warn is felt especially keenly by prophets, it is a duty shared by many others as well. In fact, “it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor” [D&C 88:81]. We who have received a knowledge of the great plan of happiness—and its implementing commandments—should feel a desire to share that knowledge since it makes all the difference in life, here and in eternity. And if we ask, “Who is my neighbor that I should warn?” surely the answer will be found in a parable that begins, “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, [and so forth]” [Luke 10:30].

Considering the parable of the good Samaritan in this context reminds us that the question “who is my neighbor?” was tied to the two great commandments: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself” [Luke 10:27]. The motivation for raising the warning voice is love—love of God and love of fellowman. To warn is to care.

Full Address

Joaquin E. CostaTo the Friends and Investigators of the Church

Elder Joaquin E. Costa
Of the Seventy

My dear investigator, friend of the Church, if you are listening today, you are very close to reaching the greatest joy. You are close!

Let me invite you, with all the energy of my heart, and from the depths of my soul: go and be baptized! It is the best thing you will ever do. It will change not only your life but also the lives of your children and grandchildren.

The Lord has blessed me with a family. I married Renee, and we have four beautiful children. And because of my baptism, I can, like the prophet Lehi of old, invite them to partake of the fruit of the tree of life, which is the love of God (see 1 Nephi 8:15; 11:25). I can help them come unto Christ.

So please consider my experiences, and (1) take the missionaries very seriously, (2) go to church and remember spiritual feelings, (3) read the Book of Mormon and ask the Lord if it is true, and (4) experience repentance and be baptized.

I testify to you that if you pay the price of revelation, humble yourself, read, pray, and repent, the heavens will open and you will know, as I know, that Jesus is the Christ, that He is my Savior and yours.

Full Address

S. Mark PalmerThen Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him

Elder S. Mark Palmer
Of the Seventy

I have learned many life-changing lessons from this deeply personal experience with Mark chapter 10. Here are four of these lessons I believe will help each of us:

1. As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them rather than with our own eyes, our love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them. We will see potential within others they likely do not see in themselves. With Christlike love we will not be afraid to speak with boldness, for “perfect love casteth out fear” [1 John 4:18]. …

2. No teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present. Whether we act in our roles as parents, teachers, or leaders, true teaching will only happen in an atmosphere of trust rather than condemnation. …

3. Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend, or family member fails to live up to our expectations. We don’t know what happened to the rich young man after he went away sorrowful, but I am confident Jesus still loved him perfectly even if he chose the easier path. …

4. Because He loves us, the Lord expects much of us. If we are humble, we will welcome the Lord’s invitations to repent, to sacrifice, and to serve as evidence of His perfect love for us.

Full Address

Elder Gary E. StevensonHow Does the Holy Ghost Help You?

Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Let’s review some of what we have learned about the Holy Ghost. I will highlight just three that we have learned today.

First, the Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. We learn this truth in the first article of faith: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”

Second, the Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, as described in modern scripture: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us” [D&C 130:22]. …

Third, the gift of the Holy Ghost comes by the laying on of hands. This ordinance, following baptism, qualifies us for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. …

… The Holy Ghost warns, the Holy Ghost comforts, and the Holy Ghost testifies.

For those of you who are preparing to be baptized and confirmed, those who recently have been, or even those who were a long time ago, it is vital to our physical and spiritual safety that we keep the gift of the Holy Ghost. We begin to do so by striving to keep the commandments, having individual and family prayer, reading the scriptures, and seeking loving and forgiving relationships with family and loved ones. We should keep our actions, thoughts, and language virtuous. We should worship our Heavenly Father in our homes, at church, and, whenever possible, in the holy temple. Stay close to the Spirit, and the Spirit will stay close to you.

Full Address

C. Scott GrowAnd This Is Life Eternal

Elder C. Scott Grow
Of the Seventy

With all the wickedness, chaos, fear, and confusion in the world today, I speak to you with clarity about the majesty and blessing of coming to know God. …

When you pray with faith, you will feel God’s love as His Spirit speaks to your soul. No matter how alone or uncertain you may feel at times, you are not alone in this world. God knows you, personally. As you pray, you will come to know Him. …

In addition to individual study, it’s important to study the scriptures as a family. …

Scripture study becomes the channel for the Spirit to give each of us a customized tutorial. As you study the scriptures each day, alone and with your family, you will learn to recognize the voice of the Spirit and will come to know God.

In addition to our praying and studying the scriptures, we need to do God’s will. …

You and I do the will of the Father by honoring our covenants, keeping the commandments, and serving God and our fellowmen. …

God knows you and invites you to know Him. Pray to the Father, study the scriptures, seek to do God’s will, strive to become like the Savior, and follow righteous mentors. As you do, you will come to know God and Jesus Christ, and you will inherit eternal life.

Full Address

Benjamín De HoyosThat Our Light May Be a Standard for the Nations

Elder Benjamín De Hoyos
Of the Seventy

I often wonder how I would have felt hearing the Savior Himself when He said the following in the Sermon on the Mount:

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid” [Matthew 5:14]. …

In a scriptural context, an ensign, or a standard, is a flag around which people would gather in a unity of purpose. In ancient times, a standard served as a rallying point for soldiers in battle. Symbolically speaking, the Book of Mormon and the restored Church of Jesus Christ are standards to all nations. …

While there are many things we can do to be a light and an ensign for others, I would like to focus on the following three: observing the Sabbath day; hastening the work of salvation on both sides of the veil; and teaching in the Savior’s way. …

As we keep the Sabbath day holy and partake of the sacrament, we are not only cleansed, but our light also grows brighter.

Our light also grows as we dedicate and consecrate time to finding the names of our ancestors, taking their names to the temple, and teaching our family and others to do the same. …

Right now, thousands of our faithful teachers hold up a light as they learn how to teach in the Savior’s way. …

As we teach and learn in His way and become more like Him, our light shines brighter and cannot be hid and becomes a standard to those who are looking for the Savior’s light.

Full Address

Elder Quentin L. CookFoundations of Faith

Elder Quentin L. Cook
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

If there is one preeminent objective of general conference, it is to build faith in God the Father and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

My remarks address the foundations of that faith.

Personal foundations, like many worthwhile pursuits, are usually built slowly—one layer, one experience, one challenge, one setback, and one success at a time. …

Just as repetition and consistent effort are required to gain physical or mental capacity, the same is true in spiritual matters. … I believe weekly participation in sacred sacrament meetings has spiritual implications we do not fully understand. Pondering the scriptures regularly—rather than reading them occasionally—can substitute a superficial understanding with a sublime, life-changing enhancement of our faith. …

However, initial foundations of faith, even with spiritual confirmation, do not mean that we will not face challenges. Conversion to the gospel does not mean all our problems will be solved. …

Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of His blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the refiner’s fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny [see 2 Nephi 2:11]. …

In the end, our faith in Jesus Christ is the essential foundation for our eternal salvation and exaltation. …

… My plea is that we will make the sacrifices and have the humility necessary to strengthen the foundations of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Full Address