General Conference Is for You

Thomas S. Monson

President of the Church


Thomas S. Monson

Words of the Prophet

President Thomas S. Monson

For the Strength of Youth

“There are many tools to help you learn the lessons which will be beneficial to you. … One such tool is the booklet entitled For the Strength of Youth, published under the direction of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. It features standards from the writings and teachings of Church leaders and from scripture, adherence to which will bring the blessings of our Heavenly Father and the guidance of His Son to each of us. In addition, there are lesson manuals, carefully prepared after prayerful consideration. Families have family home evenings, where gospel principles are taught. Almost all of you have the opportunity to attend seminary classes taught by dedicated teachers who have much to share.

  • “Begin to prepare for a temple marriage as well as for a mission. Proper dating is a part of that preparation.”

  • “Servants of the Lord have always counseled us to dress appropriately to show respect for our Heavenly Father and for ourselves.”

  • “Everyone needs good friends. Your circle of friends will greatly influence your thinking and behavior, just as you will theirs.”

  • “A Latter-day Saint young man lives as he teaches and as he believes. He is honest with others. He is honest with himself. He is honest with God.”

  • “Use language to build and uplift those around you. Profane, vulgar, or crude language and inappropriate or off-color jokes are offensive to the Lord. Never misuse the name of God or Jesus Christ.”

  • “Whatever you read, listen to, or watch makes an impression on you. Pornography is especially dangerous and addictive.”

  • “Hard drugs, wrongful use of prescription drugs, alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco products destroy your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.”

  • “Because sexual intimacy is so sacred, the Lord requires self-control and purity before marriage as well as full fidelity after marriage. In dating, treat your date with respect and expect your date to show that same respect for you.”

  • “Spiritual strength frequently comes through selfless service.”

Never Lose Your Faith

“Two weeks ago I received a touching letter from a father of seven who wrote about his family and, in particular, his son Jason, who had become ill when 11 years of age. Over the next few years, Jason’s illness recurred several times. This father told of Jason’s positive attitude and sunny disposition, despite his health challenges. Jason received the Aaronic Priesthood at age 12 and ‘always willingly magnified his responsibilities with excellence, whether he felt well or not.’ He received his Eagle Scout Award when he was 14 years old.

“Last summer, not long after Jason’s 15th birthday, he was once again admitted to the hospital. On one of his visits to see Jason, his father found him with his eyes closed. Not knowing whether Jason was asleep or awake, he began talking softly to him. ‘Jason,’ he said, ‘I know you have been through a lot in your short life and that your current condition is difficult. Even though you have a giant battle ahead, I don’t ever want you to lose your faith in Jesus Christ.’ He said he was startled as Jason immediately opened his eyes and said ‘Never!’ in a clear, resolute voice. Jason then closed his eyes and said no more.

“His father wrote, ‘In this simple declaration, Jason expressed one of the most powerful, pure testimonies of Jesus Christ that I have ever heard. … As his declaration of “Never!” became imprinted on my soul that day, my heart filled with joy that my Heavenly Father had blessed me to be the father of such a tremendous and noble boy.’”

Reflections on Our Savior

“There was very little written of the boyhood of Jesus. I love the passage from Luke: ‘And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.’ And from the book of Acts, there is a short phrase concerning the Savior which has a world of meaning: ‘[He] went about doing good.’”

“No words in Christendom mean more to me than those spoken by the angel to the weeping Mary Magdalene and the other Mary when, on the first day of the week, they approached the tomb to care for the body of their Lord. Spoke the angel: ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.’”

NEmore

For complete text of President Monson’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.

President Monson urged us to “study the messages [of this conference], to ponder their teachings, and then to apply them in your life.”

This section can 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 April 2010 general conference online at Conference.lds.org.

I enjoyed conference. The messages seemed to go straight to my heart. I really enjoyed that many people talked of faith. I realized I need a lot more faith in my life, and now I’m more convinced to attain faith. I love conference and know that listening to the prophet will bless my life.

Caleb W., 16, Utah, USA

General Conference Is for You

Making Good Choices

President Henry B. Eyring

Change Is Possible

“I will tell you one story of a young person who represents many whom I have tried to help over the years.

“She sat across from me at my bishop’s desk. She spoke to me of her life. She had been baptized and confirmed as a member of the Church when she was eight. There were no tears in her eyes as she recounted the more than 20 years that followed, but there was sadness in her voice. She said that the downward spiral began with choices to associate with what she thought were exciting people. She began to violate what at first seemed to be less important commandments.

“She felt at first a little sadness and a twinge of guilt. But the associations with her friends provided a new feeling of being liked, and so her occasional resolutions to repent seemed less and less important. As the gravity of the commandments she was breaking increased, the dream of a happy eternal home seemed to fade.

“She sat across from me in what she called misery. She wanted me to rescue her from the trap of sin in which she found herself bound. But the only way out was for her to exercise faith in Jesus Christ, to have a broken heart, to repent, and so be cleansed, changed, and strengthened through the Lord’s Atonement. I bore my testimony to her that it was still possible. And it was, but so much harder than it would have been to exercise faith early in her life on the journey home to God and when she first began to wander.

“So we help God’s children best by providing ways to build faith in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel when they are young. And then we must help rekindle that faith quickly before it dims as they wander off the path.”

Two Powerful Programs

“You know of two powerful programs provided by the Lord. One, for young women, is called Personal Progress. The other, for Aaronic Priesthood holders, is called Duty to God. We encourage young people in the rising generation to see their own potential to build great spiritual strength. …

“The two programs have been improved, but their purpose remains unchanged. President Monson put it this way: we must ‘learn what we should learn, do what we should do, and be what we should be.’”

What to Do Next

“Ponder deeply and diligently in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. Persist in prayer for the Holy Ghost to reveal to you the nature of God the Father and His Beloved Son. Plead that the Spirit will show you what the Lord wants you to do. Plan to do it. Promise Him to obey. Act with determination until you have done what He asked. And then pray to give thanks for the opportunity to serve and to know what you might do next.”

NEmore

For complete text of President Eyring’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.

This conference I had questions, and they were answered without fail. President Eyring answered one of my questions perfectly. I am so grateful for conference and the impact it has on my life.

Ashlee K., 19, Utah, USA

General Conference Is for You

Love and Patience

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Loving Others

“As we extend our hands and hearts toward others in Christlike love, something wonderful happens to us. Our own spirits become healed, more refined, and stronger. We become happier, more peaceful, and more receptive to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.”

“Let our hearts and hands be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path. As disciples of Jesus Christ, our Master, we are called to support and heal rather than condemn.”

The Worth of a Soul

“We cannot gauge the worth of another soul any more than we can measure the span of the universe. Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father. Once we understand that, we can begin to understand how we should treat our fellowmen.

“One woman who had been through years of trial and sorrow said through her tears, ‘I have come to realize that I am like an old 20-dollar bill—crumpled, torn, dirty, abused, and scarred. But I am still a 20-dollar bill. I am worth something. Even though I may not look like much, and even though I have been battered and used, I am still worth the full 20 dollars.’”

“I hope that we welcome and love all of God’s children, including those who might dress, look, speak, or just do things differently. It is not good to make others feel as though they are deficient. Let us lift those around us. Let us extend a welcoming hand. Let us bestow upon our brothers and sisters in the Church a special measure of humanity, compassion, and charity so that they feel, at long last, they have finally found home.”

Perfecting Patience

“Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. … We don’t like to wait. …

“Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.

“Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”

NEmore

For complete text of President Uchtdorf’s conference addresses, go to conference.lds.org.

I loved what President Uchtdorf said—that everyone is a VIP to God and that we need to seek for others’ happiness. I can see that when I look at others through God’s eyes and have a good attitude in things I do, things go smoother and happier.

Kelli H., 15, Arizona, USA

General Conference Is for You

Our Families and Our Faith

Follow Your Mother

In my profession as a farmer and a rancher, I’ve had a front-row seat to observe how a mother’s natural affection manifests itself even in nature. Each spring we take a herd of cows and their new calves up along Idaho’s Snake River. …

… On one particularly hot spring day, I was helping with the roundup by riding at the back of the herd as it moved down the dusty road toward the corral. My job was to gather any calves that had wandered from the road. …

… After several hours of gathering up stray calves … , I yelled to the calves in frustration, “Just follow your mothers! They know where they’re going! They’ve been down this road before!” …

As soon as we got the herd into the corral, we noticed that three of the cows were pacing nervously at the gate. They could not find their calves and seemed to sense they were back on the road somewhere. …

… We found our lost calves taking a nap in the shade. Our approach startled them, and they resisted our efforts to round them up. They were frightened because we were not their mothers! The more we tried to push them toward the corral, the more stubborn they became. Finally I said to the cowboys, “I’m sorry. I know better than this. Let’s ride back and let their mothers out of the corral. The cows will come and get their calves, and the calves will follow their mothers.” I was right. The mother cows knew exactly where to go to find their calves, and they led them back to the corral, as I had expected.

Brothers and sisters, in a world where everyone is granted agency, some of our loved ones may stray for a season. But we can never give up. We must always go back for them—we must never stop trying.

Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy

A Father’s Blessing

During the Vietnam War, we held a series of special meetings for members of the Church called into military service. After such a meeting in Chicago, I was standing next to President Harold B. Lee when a fine young Latter-day Saint told President Lee that he was on leave to visit his home and then had orders to Vietnam. He asked President Lee to give him a blessing.

Much to my surprise, President Lee said, “Your father should give you the blessing.”

Very disappointed, the boy said, “My father wouldn’t know how to give a blessing.”

President Lee answered, “Go home, my boy, and tell your father that you are going away to war and want to receive a father’s blessing from him. If he does not know how, tell him that you will sit on a chair. He can stand behind you and put his hands on your head and say whatever comes.”

This young soldier went away sorrowing.

About two years later I met him again. I do not recall where. He reminded me of that experience and said, “I did as I was told to do. I explained to my father that I would sit on the chair and that he should put his hands on my head. The power of the priesthood filled both of us. That was a strength and protection in those perilous months of battle.”

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

When we sit down at the dinner table, is our whole family there? I remember as a young man asking permission to play baseball through dinnertime. “Just put my meal in the oven,” I said to my mother. She responded, “Robert, I really want you to take a break, come home, be with the family for dinner, and then you can go out and play baseball until dark.” She taught all of us that where family meals are concerned, it’s not the food but the family interaction that nourishes the soul. My mother taught that the greatest love we give is within our homes.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

The health of any society, the happiness of its people, their prosperity, and their peace all find common roots in the teaching of children in the home.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living. It has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it. They are literally helping to exalt their families.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

All the talks in the last session have been what I have been thinking about these past months. I’ve been really thinking about my future family, and the talks spoke right to me.

Jessica D., 14, Washington, D.C., USA

I noticed that most of the talks given by the General Authorities were about families, parents, and youth. I thought this was very inspirational, because in a few years when I am married, I can use what I’ve learned during conference to teach my children the gospel and show proper compassion towards them.

Kristina G., 17, Alberta, Canada

General Conference Is for You

Testifying of Jesus Christ

Tsunami in Samoa

Presiding Bishop H. David Burton, Elder Tad R. Callister, and I were able to meet with the Saints who had lost family members as a result of the tsunami that hit the eastern side of Samoa last September. The chapel was full, and it was an emotional meeting. We were able to assure these choice members that because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they can be reunited with the loved ones they have lost.

The stake president, Sonny Purcell, was driving his car when he saw the enormous wave coming far out at sea. He honked his horn and stopped children on the road walking to school and warned them to run for higher ground and safety as fast as they could go. The children followed his instruction. He frantically drove, reached his four-year-old daughter, put her in the car, and then tried to get to his mother. Before he could reach his mother, the wall of water picked up his car and swept it over 100 yards (91 m), where it lodged in a tree. He scrambled to secure his daughter on top of the car and then swam to rescue his mother, who was clinging to a branch of another tree near their house. With great effort he swam with her to the car and safety. Many were not as fortunate. They did not have time to get to higher ground and safety. Many lost their lives, particularly the young and the elderly.

We told the Samoan families that members all over the world expressed love and concern and had prayed for them and contributed fast offerings and humanitarian aid for both the members and their neighbors. The same is true for the members and their neighbors in Chile and Haiti. We do this because we follow Jesus Christ.

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

Hope comes from faith in Jesus Christ. …

Some who at this very moment feel desperate or discouraged may wonder how they can possibly regain hope. If you are one of those, remember that hope comes as a result of faith. If we would build our hope, we must build our faith.

Elder Wilford W. Andersen of the Seventy

We manifest our love for God when we keep His commandments and serve His children. We don’t fully comprehend the Atonement, but we can spend our lives trying to be more loving and kind, regardless of the adversity we face.

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

The best way to make a permanent change for good is to make Jesus Christ your model and His teachings your guide for life.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

With all my heart and soul I give thanks … for the life and example of Jesus the Christ, and for His sinless and selfless sacrifice. I rejoice in the fact that Christ is not dead but risen from the grave! He lives and has returned to the earth to restore His authority and gospel to man. He has given us the perfect example of the kind of men and women we should be.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

A talk I really enjoyed was Elder Neil L. Andersen’s. Although it was directed to the parents and leaders of children and youth, I felt I could apply his talk to my life. It is now my goal to keep Jesus Christ in my mind at all times and contemplate on His life before making decisions for my own. Throughout the day I imagine that Christ is at my side. It changes my behavior.

Elisabeth H., 15, New York, USA

I saw the conference from my stake center. It was a wonderful experience. I learned once again that the Savior has taught and spoken about how I can return to the presence of the Father. Without a doubt I know now more than ever that He lives and loves us.

Marin C., 17, Peru

General Conference Is for You

Being Steadfast and Diligent

Look Straight Ahead

A month ago I visited a group of young women. I asked the older girls what advice they would give a new Beehive to help her to remain faithful and virtuous in every setting that she may encounter. One young woman said, “When you walk down the halls of your school, you might, out of the corner of your eye, see something that catches your attention, something that doesn’t seem right. You may be curious and want to look. My advice to you is this: Don’t look. I promise you’ll regret it if you do. Believe me; just look straight ahead.”

As I listened to this young woman, I knew I was hearing the Lord’s advice to Joshua, “turn not from it to the right hand or to the left” (Joshua 1:7), applied to an everyday setting in these latter days. … Avoid the temptations that surround you by strictly following the commandments. Look straight ahead at your eternal goal.

Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency

Significance of the Sacrament

[One young man] and another Aaronic Priesthood holder were assigned to administer the sacrament to a man who was homebound and very sick. They arrived at his home not realizing that recent medical treatments prevented him from eating any food—even a piece of the sacrament bread. After blessing the bread, the young man presented the sacrament to the frail man. He took a piece of the blessed bread, waited a moment, and then held it against his lips. The young man said when he saw this faithful brother express his reverence for the sacrament, he felt as though he were watching him kiss the feet of the Savior. He could tell that he loved Him.

The significance of the sacrament was impressed upon that young man in an unforgettable way that day. You will have sacred experiences, just as this young man did.

David L. Beck, Young Men general president

If you feel you have been wronged—by anyone (a family member, a friend, another member of the Church, a Church leader, a business associate) or by anything (the death of a loved one, health problems, a financial reversal, abuse, addictions)—deal with the matter directly and with all the strength you have. “Hold on thy way” (D&C 122:9); giving up is not an option. And, without delay, turn to the Lord. … Never let an earthly circumstance disable you spiritually.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Seventy

Like thieves in the night, unwelcome thoughts can and do seek entrance to our minds. But we don’t have to throw open the door, serve them tea and crumpets, and then tell them where the silverware is kept! (You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.) Throw the rascals out! Replace lewd thoughts with hopeful images and joyful memories, picture the faces of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quroum of the Twelve Apostles

In our world today, each child, each young man and young woman needs his or her own conversion to the truth. Each needs his or her own light, his or her own “steadfast and immovable” faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, independent of parents, youth leaders, and supportive friends.

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

When we choose to disobey a commandment, it is usually because (1) we have convinced ourselves that the commandment does not apply to us; (2) we do not believe that it is important; or (3) we are certain that it is too difficult to obey. …

… The Lord’s response when we obey His commandments is sure. He has promised us, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life.”

Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy

All youth will be more likely to make and keep covenants if they learn how to recognize the presence and the voice of the Spirit. Teach your daughters [and sons] about things of the Spirit. Point them to the scriptures. Give them experiences that will help them cherish the blessing of priesthood power in their lives. Through keeping covenants they will learn to hear the voice of the Lord and receive personal revelation. God will truly hear and answer their prayers. The Mutual theme for 2010 applies to our youth as well as to all of us: “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). This will lead them safely to the blessings of the house of the Lord.

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

NEmore

For short video clips of conference messages for youth, go to youth.lds.org.

I wasn’t having the greatest week, and I wasn’t looking forward that much to conference. But on Saturday and Sunday when I watched it, I felt a whole lot better. Conference really does make a difference in my life!

Rachel A., 14, Arizona, USA

Before conference I prayed to the Lord telling Him of my doubts and hopes. During each and every talk I received personal revelation and I am now taking practical decisions to apply those teachings into my personal life. I am so grateful for all the inspiring and inspired messages. I love general conference!

Camilla A., 17, Argentina

General Conference Is for You

Finding Answers

If you listen to general conference, you can often find answers to the questions that concern you.

Temptation is so strong. Can I really resist it and repent?

We can reject the evil one. If we want it dearly and deeply enough, that enemy can and will be rebuked by the redeeming power of the Lord Jesus Christ. … The light of His everlasting gospel can and will again shine brightly where we feared life had gone hopelessly, helplessly dark.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

What is a testimony, and how can I gain one?

Testimony is personal knowledge, based upon the witness of the Holy Ghost, that certain facts of eternal significance are true. The Holy Ghost is the messenger for the Father and the Son and the teacher of and guide to all truth (see John 14:26; 16:13). Thus, “by the power of the Holy Ghost [we] may know the truth of all things” (Moroni 10:5).

… Seeking for and obtaining these blessings require a sincere heart, real intent, and faith in Christ (see Moroni 10:4).

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

How can I truly feel that I am beautiful?

I learned about what I now call “deep beauty”—the kind of beauty that shines from the inside out. It is the kind of beauty that cannot be painted on, surgically created, or purchased. It is the kind of beauty that doesn’t wash off. It is spiritual attractiveness. Deep beauty springs from virtue. It is the beauty of being chaste and morally clean. … It is a beauty that is earned through faith, repentance, and honoring covenants.

The world places so much emphasis on physical attractiveness and would have you believe that you are to look like the elusive model on the cover of a magazine. The Lord would tell you that you are each uniquely beautiful.

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president

How can I make good judgments?

Good judgment is needed not only in understanding people but also in facing decisions that often lead us to or away from our Heavenly Father. …

… The standards of morality are eternal and have not changed; neither should we try to discover a new interpretation of them. For the youth these standards are written in the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth. These standards are clearly aligned with the gospel of Jesus Christ and are intended to continue through adult life. …

… We are given the gift of the Holy Ghost after our baptism, but often we leave this gift on the shelf, forgetting that He will help us in the most important judgments of our lives. The Lord gave us this gift, knowing we would face difficult decisions in life. Listening to this voice is vital in developing good judgment.

Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer of the Seventy

What things will help me develop real faith?

Faith will not come from the study of ancient texts as a purely academic pursuit. It will not come from archeological digs and discoveries. It will not come from scientific experiments. It will not even come from witnessing miracles. These things may serve to confirm faith, or at times to challenge it, but they do not create faith. Faith comes by the witness of the Holy Spirit to our souls, Spirit to spirit, as we hear or read the word of God. And faith matures as we continue to feast on upon the word.

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

How serious is it, really, to break the Church’s moral standards?

In a complete reversal from a century ago, many today would dispute … about the seriousness of immorality. Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, He excuses all sins and misdeeds because of His love for us—there is no need for repentance. Or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior. … The scriptures are … clear that real happiness lies not in denying the justice of God or trying to circumvent the consequences of sin but in repentance and forgiveness through the atoning grace of the Son of God (see Alma 42).

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

Why me?

We must always attempt to correct the problem and overcome the trial, but instead of asking “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” maybe the question should be “What am I to do? What can I learn from this experience? What am I to change?”

Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy

Why are some people who receive priesthood blessings not healed?

If faith is sufficient and if the Lord wills it, the afflicted person will be healed or blessed whether the officiator speaks those words or not. Conversely, if the officiator yields to personal desire or inexperience and gives commands or words of blessing in excess of what the Lord chooses to bestow according to the faith of the individual, those words will not be fulfilled. … The words spoken in a healing blessing can edify and energize the faith of those who hear them, but the effect of the blessing is dependent upon faith and the Lord’s will, not upon the words spoken by the elder who officiated.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

What should I do if my prayers seem unanswered?

Heavenly Father does hear and answer our prayers. But often patience is required when we are “wait[ing] upon the Lord” (Isaiah 40:31). As we wait, we may begin to believe that we have been forsaken or that our prayers were not heard or that possibly we are not worthy to have them answered. This is not true. I love King David’s comforting words: “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency

What is true love?

True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

True love endures. But lust changes as quickly as it can turn a pornographic page or glance at yet another potential object for gratification walking by, male or female. True love we are absolutely giddy about—as I am about Sister Holland; we shout it from the housetops. But lust is characterized by shame and stealth and is almost pathologically clandestine—the later and darker the hour the better, with a double-bolted door just in case. Love makes us instinctively reach out to God and other people. Lust, on the other hand, is anything but godly and celebrates self-indulgence. Love comes with open hands and open heart; lust comes with only an open appetite.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

What is the Atonement, and what is its role in my life?

The Atonement gives all the opportunity to overcome the consequences of mistakes made in life. When we obey a law, we receive a blessing. When we break a law, there is nothing left over from prior obedience to satisfy the demands of justice for that broken law. The Savior’s Atonement permits us to repent of any disobedience and thereby avoid the penalties that justice would have imposed.

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Why should I read the scriptures so often?

Many answers to difficult questions are found by reading the scriptures because the scriptures are an aid to revelation. Insight found in scripture accumulates over time, so it is important to spend some time in the scriptures every day.

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president

What am I really in control of in my life?

Remember that the only real control in life is self-control. Exercise more control over even the marginal moments that confront you. If a TV show is indecent, turn it off. If a movie is crude, walk out. If an improper relationship is developing, sever it. Many of these influences, at least initially, may not technically be evil, but they can blunt our judgment, dull our spirituality, and lead to something that could be evil. An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

What is the difference between the authority and power of the priesthood?

The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to activate the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.

President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

If I’m sick, should I go to the doctor or just get a blessing?

The use of medical science is not at odds with our prayers of faith and our reliance on priesthood blessings. When a person requested a priesthood blessing, Brigham Young would ask, “Have you used any remedies?” To those who said no because “we wish the Elders to lay hands upon us, and we have faith that we shall be healed,” President Young replied:

“That is very inconsistent according to my faith. …”

… Of course we don’t wait until all other methods are exhausted before we pray in faith or give priesthood blessings for healing. In emergencies, prayers and blessings come first. Most often we pursue all efforts simultaneously.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

General conference approached as I struggled to find and understand answers to my questions. Most of the talks seemed to be specifically for me. Especially as I heard the prophet’s talks, I know that God has been listening to my prayers and that He is aware of everything that I have been going through. I gained a desire to study and better understand the Atonement. Most importantly, my testimony has been edified. I can now say bravely and boldly that I know with every inch of me, with every little atom of my body and with all of my spirit, that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me. This general conference has helped me to rededicate myself to living the gospel, and I am truly grateful that I was able to listen and learn.

Sophia B., 17, California, USA

Before conference I wrote down gospel questions I had. Through the sessions I got a lot of advice that applies to what I had written down and advice about other things too. I’m grateful for conference, and I love our Church leaders and their counsel.

Hannah G., 15, Utah, USA

I was touched during Elder Holland’s talk. This is a subject that was taught about in our ward conference recently. We need to stand up against this weapon of Satan’s and put our trust in the Lord.

Adam K., 15, Washington, USA

When Elder Holland took his place at the pulpit and explained that the subject he would talk on was very serious, it caught my attention. He looked as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. I knew he had something important to say. He talked of true love and chastity and self-control. “The only real control in life is self-control,” said Jeffrey R. Holland. It hit me. I knew what I needed to work on—self-control.

Eva S., 14, Utah, USA

This conference was especially wonderful for me. Before conference, I had been praying with some questions. Throughout the four sessions, I felt the spirit so strongly and knew with all my heart that what they were saying was true. I couldn’t deny the truth because all of the questions I had were answered. I know that Thomas S. Monson truly is a prophet of God and that what he tells us is true.

Bailey F., 13, New York, USA

General Conference Is for You

Learn, Act, and Share: Doing Your Duty to God

As a deacon, teacher, and priest, you will participate in activities that will help you build spiritual strength and learn and fulfill your priesthood duties. Each activity follows this simple pattern:

First you learn about a gospel principle or a priesthood duty. You discover what Heavenly Father wants you to do, and you strive to gain a spiritual witness about why it is important.

Next you make plans to act on what you have learned. You are encouraged to base your plans on your own needs, circumstances, and opportunities to serve others. This is a wonderful chance to take responsibility for your own growth and develop spiritual self-reliance.

Then you share what you learn and experience with others. As you do so, you will strengthen your testimony and build faith in those around you. You will increase your ability to talk about the gospel with others. …

… I testify that your faithful service in the Aaronic Priesthood will change the lives of those you serve. There are people who need your priesthood service. Your family needs you. Your quorum needs you. The Church needs you. The world needs you.

David L. Beck, Young Men general president

“Come all ye sons of God who have received the priesthood.” Let us consider our callings, let us reflect on our responsibilities, and let us follow Jesus Christ, our Lord.

President Thomas S. Monson

The stage is yours, my dear Aaronic Priesthood boys. Are you ready and willing to play your part? The Lord needs every able young man to prepare and recommit, starting tonight, to be worthy of a call from the prophet of God to serve a mission.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Seventy

Just a few weeks ago, I saw a new deacon start on that path of diligence. His father showed me a diagram his son had created that showed every row in their chapel, a number for each deacon who would be assigned to pass the sacrament, and their route through the chapel to serve the sacrament to the members. The father and I smiled to think that a boy, without being asked to do it, would make a plan to be sure he would succeed in his priesthood service.

I recognized in his diligence the pattern from the new Duty to God booklet. It is to learn what the Lord expects of you, make a plan to do it, act on your plan with diligence, and then share with others how your experience changed you and blessed others.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency

Adult members of the Church should understand that Personal Progress and Duty to God requirements are not just lengthy lists of items to check off. They are personal goals set by each young man and young woman to help them become worthy to receive temple ordinances, serve missions, enter into eternal marriage, and enjoy exaltation. But let it be understood: for young men and young women to try to accomplish these goals alone would be a great loss and tragedy!

Fathers, mothers, and leaders of youth, we urge you to participate in Personal Progress and Duty to God with your children and with the youth. Not only will they grow; you will grow too. And just as importantly, you will grow together in a bond of faith and friendship that will allow you to strengthen each other and stay on the gospel path forever.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

NEmore

For more information about the new Duty to God program, go to DutyToGod.lds.org.

I have a new motivation to be a better priesthood holder and serve the Lord. I love quotes like “True love requires action,” or “If there is a design in this world there must be a designer,” and also “The Church proclaims, promotes, and protects the truth.” Quotes like these help me remember to be a better young man.

Jesse M., 18, Utah, USA

I liked the fact that many of the speakers chose to direct their remarks to us, the youth. I especially liked when President Eyring spoke of the importance of the youth programs.

Zachary S., 13, North Carolina, USA

General conference has helped me to increase my desire to serve a mission. So many talks addressed missionaries or even missionary work. I liked Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk about the scriptures, because I never had before considered that the people of the world didn’t have access to scripture quite like what we have today.

Steven M., 20, Missouri, USA

As Daughters of God, Stand Out

Young women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, remember who you are! You are elect. You are daughters of God. You cannot be a generation of young women who are content to fit in. You must have the courage to stand out, to “arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations.” The world would have you believe that you are not significant—that you are out of fashion and out of touch. The world calls to you with unrelenting, noisy voices to “live it up,” “try everything,” “experiment and be happy.” Conversely, the Holy Ghost whispers and the Lord invites you to “walk in the paths of virtue,” “lay aside the things of this world,” “and cleave unto [your] covenants.”

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president

Personal Progress provides a wonderful way for you to nourish your testimony step by step. Value experiences and projects are small steps that will nourish your testimony of Jesus Christ as you learn His teachings and regularly apply them in your life. This constant nourishment will keep you safely on the path.

Mary N. Cook, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency

As one of His precious daughters, you have access to His assurance and guidance through the power of prayer.

Ann M. Dibb, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency

On the first page of your Young Women Personal Progress book you will find these words: “You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, prepared to come to the earth at this particular time for a sacred and glorious purpose.”

Sisters, those words are true! They are not made up in a fairy tale! Isn’t it remarkable to know that our eternal Heavenly Father knows you, hears you, watches over you, and loves you with an infinite love? In fact, His love for you is so great that He has granted you this earthly life as a precious gift of “once upon a time,” complete with your own true story of adventure, trial, and opportunities for greatness, nobility, courage, and love. And, most glorious of all, He offers you a gift beyond price and comprehension. Heavenly Father offers to you the greatest gift of all—eternal life—and the opportunity and infinite blessing of your own “happily ever after.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency

NEmore

For more information on Personal Progress, go to PersonalProgress.lds.org.

I really appreciated the many talks on motherhood because it showed how much young women need to learn to become great mothers. It also showed me that even though young men have the priesthood, young women have an equally important role in becoming nurturers and mothers in the home.

Jamie H., 13, California, USA

At a time when evil tries to destroy our families, this conference was inspiring and exciting. It reminded us that we must take care, live the gospel of Christ, and reach exaltation together! I love learning from the Apostles and the prophet. It is wonderful, and I am very grateful for that opportunity!

Brenda S., 16, Brazil

I think it’s wonderful how all of the speakers at general conference always have a smile and a happy attitude. It is nice to be able to listen to Church leaders who believe in us youth and have faith that in this crazy world we can stand firm as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Ivy O., 14, Arizona, USA

Learning from Conference

Here are some things that can enhance your study of general conference.

Story Index

Speakers in general conference often use stories to illustrate the principles they are teaching. You might consider using these stories in a talk or a lesson. Here are some of the stories that were told in conference. You can find them by looking up the speakers’ talks in the Ensign or at conference.lds.org.

  1. 1.

    A hike to a cave becomes an example of overcoming adversity. (Mary N. Cook)

  2. 2.

    Scripture study helps a youth forgive friends. (Mary N. Cook)

  3. 3.

    Youth of a noble birthright. (Elaine S. Dalton)

  4. 4.

    Not judging a book by its cover. (Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer)

  5. 6.

    Mother knows best. (Elder Bradley D. Foster)

  6. 7.

    The life and trials of William Tyndale. (Elder D. Todd Christofferson)

  7. 8.

    How we react to adversity. (Elder James B. Martino)

  8. 9.

    The plan of salvation comforts a family dealing with cancer. (Elder Wilford W. Andersen)

  9. 10.

    An experience assigning missionaries to missions. (Elder Ronald A. Rasband)

  10. 11.

    A concentration camp survivor practices forgiveness. (Bishop Keith B. McMullin)

  11. 12.

    A personal conversion story. (Elder Koichi Aoyagi)

  12. 13.

    Reacting to problems the right way. (Elder Donald L. Hallstrom)

  13. 14.

    Never being old enough to watch certain movies. (Elder Robert D. Hales)

Look for Lists

  • President Thomas S. Monson—how to prepare for a full-time mission

  • President Henry B. Eyring—ways to learn, act, and share, based on new Duty to God materials

  • Elder Richard G. Scott—challenges faced by the Savior

  • Elder David A. Bednar—components of a spiritual early warning system

  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson—blessings from the scriptures

  • Bishop Keith B. McMullin—our duty as Church members

  • David L. Beck—blessings that come by doing your duty to God

  • Ann M. Dibb—four guides from Joshua

  • Elder James B. Martino—ways to overcome trials in life

The Scriptures in General Conference

As you study the messages from general conference, you might want to look up the following scriptures, which were referred to most often in the conference:

Here are some other scriptures that were referred to more than once:

Here are some seminary scripture mastery verses that were mentioned in general conference:

Here are some stories from the scriptures that were told in general conference:

  • Gideon (President Packer)

  • Alma and Korihor (Elder Christofferson)

  • Jeroboam (Elder Carlson)

  • Naaman (Elder Carlson)

  • Laman and Lemuel (Elder Carlson)

  • Parable of the Pharisee and the publican (President Uchtdorf, Sunday morning)

  • Easter and the Atonement (Elder Scott and President Monson, Sunday morning)

  • Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail (Elder Hallstrom)

  • Jesus and the Nephite parents (Sister Lant)

  • Last Supper (Elder Cook)

  • Jesus and His mother (Elder Foster)

  • Mary and Martha (Elder Schwitzer)

NEmore

Check out a beta version of the conference Web page at beta.lds.org/general-conference.

I learned so much about how integral the family is to Heavenly Father’s plan for us on earth. I learned how to more easily get through trials or struggles that I go through in my life by leaning on the Savior and turning my heart towards Him. The scripture mastery Helaman 5:12 was used by Church leaders, and now I understand just how incredibly important it is: building our foundations on Christ means we cannot fall.

Heather H., 16, Utah, USA

The most important values and virtues that you will learn are taught at home. General conference is the best way to learn how to serve the Lord and teach the gospel. My family uses conference weekends to invite less-active members to experience the words of the prophet and the General Authorities.

Thomas R., 14, Missouri, USA