Words of the Prophet
Welcome to Conference
“Those who will address us have sought heaven’s help and direction as they have prepared their messages. They have been impressed concerning that which they will share with us.”
“To be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan. No one can make us angry. It is our choice. If we desire to have a proper spirit with us at all times, we must choose to refrain from becoming angry. I testify that such is possible.”
“We’ve all felt anger. It can come when things don’t turn out the way we want. It might be a reaction to something which is said to us. We may experience it when people don’t behave the way we want them to behave. Perhaps it comes when we have to wait for something longer than we expected. We might feel angry when others can’t see things from our perspective. There seem to be countless possible reasons for anger. …
“The Apostle Paul asks, in Ephesians, chapter four, verse twenty-six of the Joseph Smith Translation, ‘Can ye be angry and not sin? Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.’ I ask, Is it possible to feel the Spirit of our Heavenly Father when we are angry? I know of no instance where such would be the case.”
“A few years ago I read an article written by Jack McConnell. … He recounted that during his childhood, every day as the family sat around the dinner table his father would ask each one in turn, ‘And what did you do for someone today?’ The children were determined to do a good turn every day so they could report to their father that they had helped someone. Dr. McConnell calls this exercise his father’s most valuable legacy, for that expectation and those words inspired him and his siblings to help others throughout their lives. As they grew and matured, their motivation for providing service changed to an inner desire to help others.”
“Just over a year ago I was interviewed by the Church News prior to my birthday. At the conclusion of the interview, the reporter asked what I would consider the ideal gift that members worldwide could give to me. I replied, ‘Find someone who is having a hard time, or is ill, or lonely, and do something for him or her.’
“I was overwhelmed when this year for my birthday I received hundreds of cards and letters from members of the Church around the world telling me how they had fulfilled that birthday wish. The acts of service ranged from assembling humanitarian kits to doing yard work. …
“My birthday cards and notes came also from teenagers in Young Men and Young Women classes who made blankets for hospitals, served in food pantries, were baptized for the dead, and performed numerous other acts of service.”
Guidance in Today’s World
“We remind you that the messages we have heard during this conference will be printed in the November issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines. As you read and study them, you will be additionally taught and inspired.”
“I am reminded of the words of the Lord found in the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon. Said He: ‘Ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come’ (Ether 2:25). My brothers and sisters, He has prepared us. If we heed His words and if we live by the commandments, we will survive this time of permissiveness and wickedness which can be compared with the waves and the winds and the floods which can destroy. He is ever mindful of us. He loves us and will bless us as we do what is right.”
“How grateful we are that the heavens are indeed open, that the restored Church of Jesus Christ is upon the earth today, and that the Church is founded upon the rock of revelation. We are a blessed people, with apostles and prophets upon the earth today. We will never be led astray.”
President Monson promised, “As you read and study [the conference messages], you will be additionally taught and inspired.”
This section is intended to help and encourage you to read and learn from general conference.
You can read the general conference messages in this month’s Ensign magazine. And you can view video, download MP3s, or read the text of the October 2009 general conference online at conference.lds.org.
The words “prophet” and “President Hinckley” have always been inseparably linked for me. I was struggling with my testimony regarding President Monson, though I really wanted to believe. Then I saw him giving the final words of this conference. I looked right into his face, and I just knew it. He was the one who was supposed to be there.
Camila T., 17, Colombia
This conference was the one of the more spiritual conferences of my life. I cried, I smiled, I learned. Now my testimony is more firm and more true. I am so grateful for this opportunity to listen to the prophet and others called of God.
Brenda S., 16, Brazil
For complete text of President Monson’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.
Preparation and Love
“Wherever I am in the day or night, there is nearby a small container of olive oil. …
“The one I hold now has a date on it. It is the day when someone exercised the power of the priesthood to consecrate the pure oil for the healing of the sick. …
“… The call during the day or the knock at the door at night always comes as a surprise. Someone will say, ‘Please, could you come quickly?’ Once, years ago, it was a father calling from a hospital. His three-year-old daughter had been thrown 50 feet (15m) by a speeding car as she ran across the street to join her mother. When I arrived at the hospital, the father pled that the power of the priesthood would preserve her life. The doctors and the nurses only reluctantly let us reach through a plastic barrier to place a drop of oil on the one opening in the heavy bandages which covered her head. A doctor said to me, with irritation in his voice, ‘Hurry with whatever you are going to do. She is dying.’
“He was wrong. She lived, and contrary to what the doctor had said, she not only lived, but she learned to walk again.
“When the call came I was ready. The preparation was far more than having consecrated oil close at hand. It must begin long before the crisis which requires priesthood power. Those who are prepared will be ready to answer.
“The preparation begins in families, in Aaronic Priesthood quorums, and mostly in the private lives of young men. The quorums and the families must help, but the preparation that counts will be made by the young men making choices to rise to their great destiny as priesthood servants for God.
“The destiny of the rising generation of priesthood holders is far more than to be ready to bring God’s power down to heal the sick. The preparation is to be ready to go and do whatever the Lord wants done as the world is preparing for His coming. None of us knows exactly what those errands will be. But we know what it will take to be ready, so each of us can prepare.”
“I wish to encourage you. You have had evidences that you are moving along the road to becoming more like Jesus. It will help to remember how you have felt, at times, like a little child, even in the midst of cares and trials. … You have felt the peace of a pure little child at times when you have tried to be like Jesus. … These moments will come more often as you try to do the things you know Jesus would do. Because of His Atonement for you, your childlike obedience will bring a feeling of love of the Savior for you and your love for Him. That is one of the gifts that is promised to His faithful disciples.”
“I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did and to love as He loves. I can promise you the peace that you felt as a child will come to you often and it will linger with you.”
There was one message that was very touching to me. It was President Eyring’s message about how children and teens should honor their father and mother. He said that even if your parents aren’t alive or don’t get to see you, you should still think of them with respect and love.
Stacey H., 12, Arizona
For complete text of President Eyring’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.
Work, Learn, and Love
“I have seen enough ups and downs throughout my life to know that winter will surely give way to the warmth and hope of a new spring. … I am optimistic about the future. For our part, we must remain steadfast in hope, work with all our strength, and trust in God.
“The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be.”
“Whether you are the youngest deacon or the oldest high priest, there is work to do!”
“In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and of personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life.”
“When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound.”
“Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ.”
“Think of the purest, most all-consuming love you can imagine. Now multiply that love by an infinite amount—that is the measure of God’s love for you.”
“He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. …
“… What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.”
“We increase our love for our Heavenly Father and demonstrate that love by aligning our thoughts and actions with God’s word. His pure love ever directs and encourages us to become more pure and holy. It inspires us to walk in righteousness—not out of fear or obligation but out of an earnest desire to become even more like Him because we love Him.”
I loved how President Uchtdorf said that God desires for us to draw near unto Him so He can draw near unto us. It made me realize that I need to strive to do better every day to be a better person, to be a disciple of our Savior.
Kaitlin C., 16, California
For complete text of President Uchtdorf’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.
Being Guided by the Spirit
I am convinced that there is no simple formula or technique that would immediately allow you to master the ability to be guided by the voice of the Spirit. Our Father expects you to learn how to obtain that divine help by exercising faith in Him and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Were you to receive inspired guidance just for the asking, you would become weak and ever more dependent on Them. They know that essential personal growth will come as you struggle to learn how to be led by the Spirit.
Prayer and Promptings
When I was first called as a General Authority nearly 50 years ago, we lived on a very small plot of ground in Utah Valley that we called our farm. We had a cow and a horse and chickens and lots of children.
One Saturday, I was to drive to the airport for a flight to a stake conference in California. But the cow was expecting a calf and in trouble. The calf was born, but the cow could not get up. We called the veterinarian, who soon came. He said the cow had swallowed a wire and would not live through the day.
I copied the telephone number of the animal by-products company so my wife could call them to come and get the cow as soon as she died.
Before I left, we had our family prayer. Our little boy said our prayer. After he had asked Heavenly Father to “bless Daddy in his travels and bless us all,” he then started an earnest plea. He said, “Heavenly Father, please bless Bossy cow so that she will get to be all right.”
In California, I told of the incident and said, “He must learn that we do not get everything we pray for just that easily.”
There was a lesson to be learned, but it was I who learned it, not my son. When I returned Sunday night, Bossy had “got to be all right.”
This process is not reserved for the prophets alone. The gift of the Holy Ghost operates equally with men, women, and even little children. It is within this wondrous gift and power that the spiritual remedy to any problem can be found.
Some of the topics that I noticed were very common in this general conference were love and listening to the Spirit. As I thought about this, I realized it is probably because the world has become so hard-hearted and selfish that we must need to love a little more and listen a little better.
Jannalee R., 17, Utah
Helping Others Recognize the Whisperings of the Spirit
I was the first member of my family to join the Church. As an eight-year-old, I waited to feel somehow different because of my baptism. To be honest, the only thing I felt when I was brought out of the water was … well, dripping wet. I thought something more profound would happen when I was confirmed. However, after receiving the Holy Ghost, again I felt happy but certainly no different than I had just a few minutes before.
It wasn’t until the following day at fast and testimony meeting that I experienced what I now recognize as the influence of the Holy Ghost. A brother stood to bear his testimony and tell about the blessings of his membership in the Church. I felt a flood of warmth sweep over me. Even as an eight-year-old, I recognized that this was something different. I felt a peace descend on me, and I had the distinct feeling that Heavenly Father was pleased with me. …
Because the Spirit is often described as a still, small voice, it is also important to have a time of quiet in our lives as well. The Lord has counseled us to “be still and know that I am God” (see Psalm 46:10). If we provide a still and quiet time each day when we are not bombarded by television, computer, video games or personal electronic devices, we allow that still, small voice an opportunity to provide personal revelation and to whisper sweet guidance, reassurance, and comfort to us.
Vicki F. Matsumori, second counselor in the Primary general presidency
I love listening to conference and to the leaders of the Church. It makes me realize how grateful I am for the gospel in my life and how it always makes me feel so happy.
Kaitlin C., 16, California
Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And I have learned to conclude all my prayers with “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10; see also Luke 11:2; 3 Nephi 13:10).
Fulfilling Our Duty
The effect of God’s commandments and laws is not changed to accommodate popular behavior or desires. If anyone thinks that godly or parental love for an individual grants the loved one license to disobey the law, he or she does not understand either love or law.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Spirituality yields two fruits. The first is inspiration to know what to do. The second is power, or the capacity to do. … That’s why Nephi could say, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” [1 Nephi 3:7].
Our testimony of gospel truth should be reflected both in our words and in our deeds. And our testimonies are proclaimed and lived most powerfully in our own homes. Spouses, parents, and children should strive to overcome any hesitancy, reluctance, or embarrassment about bearing testimony. We should both create and look for opportunities to bear testimony of gospel truths—and live them.
We follow Jesus Christ. We try to emulate what He has asked us to do, both by His teachings and His example.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
More Diligent and Concerned at Home
In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting.
Each family prayer, each episode of family scripture study, and each family home evening is a brush stroke on the canvas of our souls. No one event may appear to be very impressive or memorable. But just as the yellow and gold and brown strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to significant spiritual results. “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33). Consistency is a key principle as we lay the foundation of a great work in our individual lives and as we become more diligent and concerned in our own homes.
I really enjoyed Elder Bednar’s talk about consistency. I have often found this difficult in my life, and he really made me feel motivated. I absolutely loved being able to hear so many Apostles and the prophet speak, and I honestly learned a lot.
Heather B., 13, Tennessee
From Lehi’s vision we learn that we must take hold of this safety railing—this iron rod, found alongside our individual straight and narrow path—and hold tight until we reach our ultimate goal of eternal life with our Heavenly Father. …
I invite you to read again the full accounts of this inspired vision. Study them, ponder them, and apply them to your daily life. In modern terms we might say we are invited to “get a grip.” We must hold on tight to the iron rod and never let go.
Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency
One of my favorite talks was Sister Ann M. Dibb’s on how to face challenges in our day. I liked the examples of how prayer and scriptures can be our safety equipment and that the rod of iron is the safety railing we can grab hold of.
Rachel A., 13, Arizona
An incredulous female friend asked a young adult woman, committed to living the law of chastity, how it was possible that she had never “slept with anybody.” “Don’t you want to?” the friend asked. The young woman thought: “The question intrigued me, because it was so utterly beside the point. … Mere wanting is hardly a proper guide for moral conduct.” …
… Perhaps our moral discipline, if we will cultivate it, will have an influence for good and inspire others to pursue the same course. We may thereby have an impact on future trends and events. At a minimum, moral discipline will be of immense help to us as we deal with whatever stresses and challenges may come in a disintegrating society.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Changing Our Lives
If you cannot remember believing in God or if you have ceased to believe or if you believe but without real conviction, I invite you to seek a testimony of God now. Do not be afraid of ridicule. The strength and peace that come from knowing God and having the comforting companionship of His Spirit will make your efforts eternally worthwhile.
Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Sometimes in our repentance, in our daily efforts to become more Christlike, we find ourselves repeatedly struggling with the same difficulties. As if we were climbing a tree-covered mountain, at times we don’t see our progress until we get closer to the top and look back from the high ridges. Don’t be discouraged. If you are striving and working to repent, you are in the process of repenting.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change
In 1980 we moved as a family across the street from the hospital where I trained and worked. I worked every day, including Sundays. If I finished my Sunday work by 2:00 p.m., I could join my wife and daughter and drive to church for meetings that began at 2:30.
One Sunday late in my first year of training, I knew that I would likely finish by 2:00. I realized, however, that if I stayed in the hospital just a little longer, my wife and daughter would depart without me. I could then walk home and take a needed nap. I regret to say that I did just that. I waited until 2:15, walked home slowly, and lay down on the couch, hoping to nap. But I could not fall asleep. I was disturbed and concerned. I had always loved going to church. I wondered why on this day the fire of testimony and the zeal that I had previously felt were missing.
I did not have to think long. Because of my schedule, I had become casual with my prayers and scripture study. I would get up one morning, say my prayers, and go to work. Often day blended into night and into day again before I would return home late the following evening. I would then be so tired that I would fall asleep before saying a prayer or reading the scriptures. The next morning the process began again. …
I got off the couch, got on my knees, and pleaded with God for forgiveness. I promised my Heavenly Father that I would change. The next day I brought a Book of Mormon to the hospital. On my to-do list that day, and every day since, were two items: praying at least morning and evening and reading in the scriptures. Sometimes midnight would come, and I would have to quickly find a private place to pray. Some days my scripture study was brief. I also promised Heavenly Father that I would always try to get to church, even if I missed part of the meeting. Over the course of a few weeks, the zeal returned and the fire of testimony burned fiercely again. I promised to never again fall into the spiritual death trap of being casual about these seemingly small actions and thereby jeopardizing things of an eternal nature, regardless of circumstances.
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Seventy
Conference really made me think about habits—like prayer and reading the scriptures—that I need to work on more. It was a great reminder of what is important.
Liesl K., California
Stewardship—A Sacred Trust
When I was a small boy, I would visit my grandparents at their ranch during the summer. There was no electrical power, running water, or plumbing in the house. There was, however, a spring of water next to their small ranch house. The spring created a little pond of clear, pure water, where several times a day I would help my grandmother carry water to the house for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing clothes. My grandparents loved this life-giving spring and took special precautions to protect it.
Many years later my grandfather was in his early 90s and did not live on the property; he was unable to maintain or oversee it. I drove him to see the ranch which he loved. His high expectations at seeing the ranch turned to disappointment when he realized the fences that protected the spring had fallen into disrepair and cows had damaged the spring and the precious, pure springwater had been significantly polluted. … He felt somehow he had not protected that life-sustaining spring which had meant so much to him.
Just as the pure spring was polluted when not protected, we live in a time when virtue and chastity are not safeguarded. The eternal significance of personal morality is not respected. A loving Father in Heaven has provided us with the means to bring His spirit children into this world to fulfill the full measure of their creation. He has instructed us that the wellsprings of life are to be kept pure, just as the beautiful spring on the ranch required protection in order to sustain life. This is one of the reasons why virtue and chastity are so important in our Father in Heaven’s plan.
Because of my grandfather’s reaction to the polluted spring, improvements and protections were undertaken which returned the spring to its original beauty and purity. …
… We are aware that there are those who have already engaged in conduct inconsistent with this sacred standard of morality. Please understand that through the Savior’s Atonement, all can repent and return, like the spring of water, to a clean and pure state.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Elder Quentin L. Cook said that we don’t do service because we were told to; we do it because it’s what we want to do. I think that I should use this motto in my life more often than I actually do.
Kelsey R., 14, Wyoming
One of the adversary’s sharpest tools is to convince us that we are no longer worthy to pray. No matter who you are or what you may have done, you can always pray.
Love. Healing. Help. Hope. The power of Christ to counter all troubles in all times—including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in personal or public days of despair. That is the message with which the Book of Mormon begins, and that is the message with which it ends, calling all to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him” [Moroni 10:32].
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Repentance always means that there is greater happiness ahead.
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
For additional inspiring messages and photos from conference, go to newera.lds.org.
How can I recognize the promptings of the Spirit?
That sweet, quiet voice of inspiration comes more as a feeling than it does as a sound. … The Holy Ghost communicates with our spirits through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings through promptings and impressions. We may feel the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes.
Impressions of the Spirit can come in response to urgent prayer or unsolicited when needed. Sometimes the Lord reveals truth to you when you are not actively seeking it, such as when you are in danger and do not know it. However, the Lord will not force you to learn. You must exercise your agency to authorize the Spirit to teach you. As you make this a practice in your life, you will be more perceptive to the feelings that come with spiritual guidance. …
The inspiring influence of the Holy Spirit can be overcome or masked by strong emotions, such as anger, hate, passion, fear, or pride. When such influences are present, it is like trying to savor the delicate flavor of a grape while eating a jalapeño pepper. Both flavors are present, but one completely overpowers the other. In like manner, strong emotions overcome the delicate promptings of the Holy Spirit.
How can I help improve the feeling in my home?
We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love. … Parents, when was the last time you sincerely expressed love to your children? Children, when was the last time you told your parents that you love them? …
We should remember that saying “I love you” is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love.
Why should I serve a full-time mission?
The Savior, through His prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson, has renewed the call as he declared:
“Our keynote was sounded by our Lord and our Savior, who stands at the head of the great army of missionaries worldwide. After His Resurrection, He appeared to His 11 disciples. He could have given them any counsel, any expression, any warning that He chose to give. But what did He say? It’s recorded in Matthew 28:18–20. He said as follows: …
“‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
“‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’”
President Monson continued:
“What a promise! If we respond affirmatively to that sacred call, that binding authority, ‘I will be with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’ I can’t think of a greater promise” (“The Five M’s of Missionary Work,” New Era, Mar. 2007, 42).
Elder Brent H. Nielsen of the Seventy
How can I keep from being discouraged?
How can I believe God loves me? I don’t feel worthy of His love.
Some have said such things as: … “If God loved me, He would help me find a worthy husband I could be married and sealed to in the holy temple.” … “I have sinned and so God couldn’t possibly love me anymore.”
… You need to know that there is nothing that can “separate [you] from the love of Christ.” The scriptures clearly tell us that no tribulation, distress, persecution, power, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God [see Romans 8:35–39].
Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency
How should I react to the bad economic times we are in?
In most of the world we have been experiencing an extended and devastating economic recession. … Reactions have focused on enacting more and stronger regulation. …
In the end, it is only an internal moral compass in each individual that can effectively deal with the root causes as well as the symptoms of societal decay. …
Moral discipline is learned at home. While we cannot control what others may or may not do, the Latter-day Saints can certainly stand with those who demonstrate virtue in their own lives and inculcate virtue in the rising generation.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Where can I get help in coping with peer pressure?
When [we face] challenges in coping with peer pressure, we can read the [Book of Mormon] looking specifically for teachings that will help [us] with this kind of challenge. One of those teachings could be taken from Lemuel’s experience. Lemuel made some wrong choices because he yielded to Laman’s pressure [see 1 Nephi 3:28]. He did not do the right thing because he “knew not the dealings of that God who had created them” [1 Nephi 2:12]. A principle that we can draw from this incident is that learning doctrine about how God deals with us will help us to cope with peer pressure.
Elder Walter F. Gonzalez of the Seventy
Why is education so important?
You have a duty to learn as much as you can. … If a formal education is not available, do not allow that to prevent you from acquiring all the knowledge you can. Under such circumstances, the best books, in a sense, can become your “university”—a classroom that is always open and admits all who apply. Strive to increase your knowledge of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy” [Articles of Faith 1:13]. Seek knowledge “by study and also by faith” (D&C 109:7). Seek with a humble spirit and contrite heart. As you apply the spiritual dimension of faith to your study—even of temporal things—you can amplify your intellectual capacity.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
How can I get answers to my prayers?
As you reach out to your Heavenly Father and pray to Him in the name of Christ, He will answer you. He speaks to us everywhere. As you read God’s word as recorded in the scriptures, listen for His voice. During this general conference and later as you study the words spoken here, listen for His voice. As you visit the temple and attend Church meetings, listen for His voice. Listen for the voice of the Father in the bounties and beauties of nature, in the gentle whisperings of the Spirit. In your daily interactions with others, in the words of a hymn, in the laughter of a child—listen—for His voice may be there.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
How can I receive personal revelation?
To access information from heaven, one must first have a firm faith and a deep desire. One needs to “ask with a sincere heart [and] real intent, having faith in [Jesus] Christ” (Moroni 10:4). “Real intent” means that one really intends to follow the divine direction given.
The next requirement is to study the matter diligently. This concept was taught to leaders of this restored Church when they were first learning how to gain personal revelation. The Lord instructed them, “I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right” [D&C 9:8].
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Sometimes I doubt my testimony. How can I stay strong?
There will always be some seemingly intellectual crisis looming on the horizon as long as faith is required and our minds are finite, but likewise there will always be the sure and solid doctrines of the Restoration to cling to, which will provide the rock foundation upon which our testimonies may be built.
Elder Tad R. Callister of the Seventy
How can I know I’m making the right decisions?
Father in Heaven knew that you would face challenges and be required to make some decisions that would be beyond your own ability to decide correctly. In His plan of happiness, He included a provision for you to receive help with such challenges and decisions during your mortal life. That assistance will come to you through the Holy Ghost as spiritual guidance. It is a power, beyond your own capability, that a loving Heavenly Father wants you to use consistently for your peace and happiness.
How can I know the Book of Mormon is true?
For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died—from Ethan Smith to Solomon Spaulding to deranged paranoid to cunning genius. None of these frankly pathetic answers for this book has ever withstood examination because there is no other answer than the one Joseph gave as its young unlearned translator. In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” …
… Now, I did not sail with the brother of Jared in crossing an ocean, and settling in a new world. I did not hear King Benjamin speak his angelically delivered sermon. I did not proselyte with Alma and Amulek nor witness the fiery death of innocent believers. I was not among the Nephite crowd who touched the wounds of the resurrected Lord, nor did I weep with Mormon and Moroni over the destruction of an entire civilization. But my testimony of this record and the peace it brings to the human heart is as binding and unequivocal as was theirs. Like them, “[I] give [my name] unto the world, to witness unto the world that which [I] have seen.” And like them, “[I] lie not, God bearing witness of it.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Why should I honor my parents?
The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” [Mosiah 13:20]. It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise. … You may not have parents that are living. In some cases, you may not feel that your parents are worthy of the honor and respect of their children. You may not even have ever known them. But you owe them life. And in every case, even if your life is not lengthened, its quality will be improved simply by remembering your parents with honor.
I loved this conference because I was able to receive personal answers to my questions. There had been a question in mind as I came into conference, and in the talk given by Elder Richard G. Scott, my question was answered. I love how the Lord works through His servants to answer your questions and concerns because He cares about you and how you feel.
Brianna H., 17, Utah
I’ve never really planned on serving a mission, and now I am actually considering the option.
Bessie B., 13, Idaho
I got some questions answered that I was worrying about in my life.
Alyssa J., 15, Utah
I took my seminary teacher’s challenge to pray that I might get the answers to my questions and problems from general conference. When I was listening, I gained a totally different outlook!
Spencer O., 14, Nevada
I was amazed by Elder Holland’s strong declaration of his testimony of the Book of Mormon. His words of the truthfulness of and his feelings for the Book of Mormon are forever etched in my mind.
Claire C., 14, Washington
For more answers from general conference, go to newera.lds.org.
Rising as a Generation
The Savior’s call is to you of the rising generation. He is asking for worthy, prepared, faithful young men and young women who will heed the prophet’s voice. …
… I pray that you of this rising generation will stand up for truth and righteousness and understand your sacred call to go and teach all nations.
Elder Brent H. Nielsen of the Seventy
To you Aaronic Priesthood holders, I believe that by doing these three simple things you can make your relationship with your father even better than it is right now.
First, trust your father. … He is entitled to inspiration on your behalf. His advice to you will be the heartfelt expressions of someone who knows and loves you. …
Second, take an interest in your father’s life. … Your love, admiration, and understanding will increase by what you learn. …
And third, ask your father for advice. Let’s be honest: he is probably going to give you his advice whether you ask for it or not, but it just works so much better when you ask!
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I strongly felt that the most important thing to do is to love our fellowman as much as we can.
Parker R., 14, Arizona
The good women of the world are embracing the gospel of Jesus Christ in large numbers across the nations. You are the real heroines he was talking about. … We have seen the light of the gospel reflected in your faces. Your example and influence for good are both extraordinary and remarkable.
Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency
In recent months I have heard deacons, teachers, and priests give talks which are clearly as inspired and powerful as you will hear in this general conference. As I have felt the power being given to young holders of the priesthood, I have thought that the rising generation is rising around us, as if on an incoming tide. My prayer is that those of us in the generations which have come before will rise on the tide with them. The preparation of the Aaronic Priesthood is a blessing to us all as well as to those they will serve in their generation and the generations to follow.
Learning from Conference
Teaching from General Conference
If you are asked to give a talk or teach a lesson based on a conference talk, follow these guidelines:
Read the talk.
Decide what should happen in the lives of those you teach as a result of the lesson.
Decide on the main principle or principles you will teach, along with any supporting ideas.
Consider how you want to teach the main ideas and the supporting ideas you have selected.
(From Teaching, No Greater Call, 100–101; available at GospelLibrary.lds.org under Support Materials.)
Look up Teaching, No Greater Call for more details on teaching from a conference talk, including an example of how to do it.
Conference is one of the most special blessings that we receive. As I talked with my family, I was amazed at how we all had heard and remembered such different things from one another. Conference is a great time and place for personal revelation and guidance.
Alisha R, 17, Utah
Songs from General Conference
The following songs were quoted by speakers at general conference:
“The Spirit of God,” Hymns, no. 2.
“School Thy Feelings,” Hymns, no. 336.
“Have I Done Any Good?” Hymns, no. 223.
“I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus,” Children’s Songbook, 78–79.
I absolutely loved conference. It is so great to get away from the world and learn so many good things from the speakers. I also love the amazing spirit that is felt when you listen to them. So many of my prayers are answered during that time.
Shayli S., 17, Utah
Scriptures from General Conference
As you study the messages from general conference, you might want to look up the following scriptures, which were referred to three or more times in the conference:
Here are some other scriptures that were referred to more than once: