General Conference Is for You

Thomas S. Monson

President of the Church


Thomas S. Monson

“May we long remember the messages we have heard [at this conference],” urged President Monson. “As we receive the issues of the Ensign and Liahona magazines which will contain these messages in written form, may we read and study them.”

This section points out some messages especially pertinent to youth and can help you in your study of general conference.

You can also view video, download MP3s, or read the text of conference online at conference.lds.org.

Words of the Prophet

President Thomas S. Monson

Be Examples of Integrity

“We face many challenges in the world today, but I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. He loves each of us and will bless us as we seek Him through prayer and strive to keep His commandments.

“We are a global church. Our membership is found throughout the world. May we be good citizens of the nations in which we live and good neighbors in our communities, reaching out to those of other faiths as well as to those of our own. May we be examples of honesty and integrity wherever we go and in whatever we do.”

Caution in Movies and Music

“Many movies and television shows portray behavior which is in direct opposition to the laws of God. Do not subject yourself to the innuendo and outright filth which are so often found there. The lyrics in much of today’s music fall in the same category. The profanity so prevalent around us today would never have been tolerated in the not-too-distant past. Sadly, the Lord’s name is taken in vain over and over again. … I am sorry that any of us is subjected to profane language, and I plead with you not to use it. I implore you not to say or to do anything of which you cannot be proud.”

Protection from Sin and Evil

“What will protect you from the sin and evil around you? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior and of His gospel will help see you through to safety. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, read it. I will not ask for a show of hands. If you do so prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. The Church is true. If you do not already have a testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. Once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through obedience to the commandments of God and through regular prayer and scripture study. Attend church. You young men [and women], attend seminary or institute if such is available to you.”

Temple Blessings for Youth

“Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. …

“Until you have entered the house of the Lord and have received all the blessings which await you there, you have not obtained everything the Church has to offer. The all-important and crowning blessings of membership in the Church are those blessings which we receive in the temples of God.

“Now, my young friends who are in your teenage years, always have the temple in your sights. Do nothing which will keep you from entering its doors and partaking of the sacred and eternal blessings there. I commend those of you who already go to the temple regularly to perform baptisms for the dead, arising in the very early hours of the morning so you can participate in such baptisms before school begins. I can think of no better way to start the day.”

The Gift of the Priesthood

“It is up to each of us who hold the priesthood of God to discipline ourselves so that we stand above the ways of the world. It is essential that we be honorable and decent men. Our actions must be above reproach.

“The words we speak, the way we treat others, and the way we live our lives all impact our effectiveness as men and boys holding the priesthood.

“The gift of the priesthood is priceless. It carries with it the authority to act as God’s servants, to administer to the sick, to bless our families, and to bless others as well. Its authority can reach beyond the veil of death, on into the eternities. There is nothing else to compare with it in all this world. Safeguard it, cherish it, love it, live worthy of it [see Gordon B. Hinckley, “Personal Worthiness to Exercise the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2002, 52–59].”

NEmore

To view President Monson’s full address from the Sunday morning session, visit lds.org/go/511 or use a smartphone to scan the QR code below for quick access (see the back cover for instructions).

I loved hearing from President Thomas S. Monson about temples. I’ve always loved going to the temple, and I’ve always thought they were important. But hearing from the prophet about the temples and how important they are really inspired me.

McKelle W., 16, Washington, USA

Nurturing Your Testimony

President Henry B. Eyring

A Growing Testimony

“Feasting on the word of God, heartfelt prayer, and obedience to the Lord’s commandments must be applied evenly and continually for your testimony to grow and prosper.”

Growing in Depth and Breadth

“Testimony will come to you in pieces as parts of the whole truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ are confirmed. For instance, as you read and ponder the Book of Mormon, verses you have read before will appear new to you and bring new ideas. Your testimony will grow in breadth and in depth as the Holy Ghost confirms that they are true. Your living testimony will expand as you study, pray, and ponder in the scriptures.”

Claim Moroni’s Promise Again

“I hope that you all have proved that promise for yourself or that you will do it soon [see Moroni 10:3–5]. The answer may not come in a single and powerful spiritual experience. For me it came quietly at first. But it comes ever more forcefully each time I have read and prayed over the Book of Mormon.

“I do not depend on what has happened in the past. To keep my living testimony of the Book of Mormon secure, I receive the promise of Moroni often. I don’t take that blessing of a testimony for granted as a perpetual entitlement.

“Testimony requires the nurturing by the prayer of faith, the hungering for the word of God in the scriptures, and the obedience to the truth we have received. There is danger in neglecting prayer. There is danger to our testimony in only casual study and reading of the scriptures. They are necessary nutrients for our testimony.”

Lift Those in Need

“[The Lord] has invited and commanded us to participate in His work to lift up those in need. We make a covenant to do that in the waters of baptism and in the holy temples of God. We renew the covenant on Sundays when we partake of the sacrament.”

Generosity

“When I am generous to Heavenly Father’s children in need, He is generous to me.”

NEmore

To view President Eyring’s full address from the Saturday morning session, visit lds.org/go/512 or use a smartphone to scan the QR code below for quick access (see the back cover for instructions).

I had an amazing time listening to conference. It was so calming to listen to things that will make me a better person. I felt the Spirit so strongly, especially during President Henry B. Eyring’s talk on Saturday, when he quoted, “A person cannot give a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.” While I give a little of my time listening to the words of the prophets and working on Personal Progress, I am slowly becoming the girl the Lord wants me to be.

Sarah M., 14, Minnesota, USA

Sharing and Doing

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Heed, Serve, and Share

“I testify to you that our Father in Heaven loves His children. He loves us. He loves you. … Often He speaks to us in ways that we can hear only with our heart. To better hear His voice, it would be wise to turn down the volume control of the worldly noise in our lives. If we ignore or block out the promptings of the Spirit for whatever reason, they become less noticeable until we cannot hear them at all. Let us learn to hearken to the promptings of the Spirit and then be eager to heed them.”

“Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us. … By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answer to our own.”

“There are times when the Lord reveals to us things that are intended only for us. Nevertheless, in many, many cases He entrusts a testimony of the truth to those who will share it with others.”

“With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before. … My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to ‘open [your] mouths’ might today include ‘use your hands’ to blog and text message the gospel to all the world! But please remember, all at the right time and at the right place.”

Do It Now

“The words written in the scriptures and spoken in general conference are … not for reading or hearing only. Too often we attend meetings and nod our heads; we might even smile knowingly and agree. We jot down some action points, and we may say to ourselves, ‘That is something I will do.’ But somewhere between the hearing, the writing of a reminder on our smartphone, and the actual doing, our ‘do it’ switch gets rotated to the ‘later’ position. … Let’s make sure to set our ‘do it’ switch always to the ‘now’ position!”

NEmore

To view President Uchtdorf’s full address from the Sunday morning session, visit lds.org/go/513 or use a smartphone to scan the QR code below for quick access (see the back cover for instructions).

Conference always makes me feel at peace, and I always receive wonderful insight. The talk given by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the priesthood session about living up to your priesthood potential really made me realize how much more I can do—and not just as a person but as a worthy son of God.

Theodore A., 16, Arizona, USA

Small and Simple Things

Flecks of Gold

Oftentimes we are like the young merchant from Boston, who in 1849, as the story goes, was caught up in the fervor of the California gold rush. He sold all of his possessions to seek his fortune in the California rivers, which he was told were filled with gold nuggets so big that one could hardly carry them.

Day after endless day, the young man dipped his pan into the river and came up empty. His only reward was a growing pile of rocks. Discouraged and broke, he was ready to quit until one day an old, experienced prospector said to him, “That’s quite a pile of rocks you are getting there, my boy.”

The young man replied, “There’s no gold here. I’m going back home.”

Walking over to the pile of rocks, the old prospector said, “Oh, there is gold all right. You just have to know where to find it.” He picked two rocks up in his hands and crashed them together. One of the rocks split open revealing several flecks of gold sparkling in the sunlight.

Noticing a bulging leather pouch fastened to the prospector’s waist, the young man said, “I’m looking for nuggets like the ones in your pouch, not just tiny flecks.” The old prospector extended his pouch toward the young man, who looked inside, expecting to see several large nuggets. He was stunned to see that the pouch was filled with thousands of flecks of gold.

The old prospector said, “Son, it seems to me you are so busy looking for large nuggets that you’re missing filling your pouch with these precious flecks of gold. The patient accumulation of these little flecks has brought me great wealth.”

This story illustrates the spiritual truth that Alma taught his son Helaman: “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass. … And by very small means the Lord … bringeth about the salvation of many souls” (Alma 37:6–7).

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

How Tithing Blesses Us

The payment of tithing helps us develop a submissive and humble heart and a grateful heart that tends to “confess … his hand in all things” (D&C 59:21). Tithe-paying fosters in us a generous and forgiving heart and a charitable heart full of the pure love of Christ. We become eager to serve and bless others with an obedient heart, submissive to the Lord’s will. Regular tithe payers find their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ strengthened, and they develop a firm, abiding testimony of His gospel and of His Church. None of these blessings are monetary or material in any way, but surely they are the Lord’s richest blessings.

Elder Carl B. Pratt of the Seventy

Still Small Voice

Because the Spirit whispers to us gently and delicately, it is easy to understand why we should shun inappropriate media, pornography, and harmful, addictive substances and behaviors. These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit. Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously “apply unto it,” even the spirit of revelation in our personal lives and families.

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

Keep All His Commandments

Teach of faith to keep all the commandments of God, knowing that they are given to bless His children and bring them joy. Warn them that they will encounter people who pick which commandments they will keep and ignore others that they choose to break. I call this the cafeteria approach to obedience. This practice of picking and choosing will not work. It will lead to misery. To prepare to meet God, one keeps all of His commandments. It takes faith to obey them, and keeping His commandments will strengthen that faith.

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

Everyone Is Tested

Everyone is tested. One might think it is unfair to be singled out and subjected to a particular temptation, but this is the purpose of mortal life—to be tested. And the answer is the same for everyone: we must, and we can, resist temptations of any kind.

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

Be a Follower of Christ

Followers of Christ pattern their lives after the Savior to walk in the light. Two characteristics can help us recognize to what extent we follow Him. First, followers of Christ are loving people. Second, followers of Christ make and keep covenants.

Elder Walter F. González of the Seventy

General conference was really inspirational. I know that I have been personally enlightened and strengthened because of it. I have recommitted myself to be a full-tithe payer and to read my scriptures more consistently.

Faith C., 15, Louisiana, USA

While carefully listening to the talks, I always learned something new that I can apply to my life and become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for modern-day prophets and apostles that prepare a message they know God wants us to hear.

Jonathan H., 17, Arizona, USA

Love and Service

From Rugby Pitch to Mission Field

Missionary service requires sacrifice. There will always be something you leave behind when you respond to the prophet’s call to serve.

Those who follow the game of rugby know that the New Zealand All Blacks, a name given because of the color of their uniform, is the most celebrated rugby team ever. To be selected for the All Blacks in New Zealand would be comparable to playing for a football Super Bowl team or a World Cup soccer team.

In 1961, at age 18 and holding the Aaronic Priesthood, Sidney Going was becoming a star in New Zealand rugby. Because of his remarkable abilities, many thought he would be chosen the very next year for the national All Blacks rugby team.

At age 19, in this critical moment of his ascending rugby career, Sid declared that he would forgo rugby to serve a mission. Some called him crazy. Others called him foolish. They protested that his opportunity in rugby might never come again.

For Sid it was not what he was leaving behind—it was the opportunity and responsibility ahead. He had a priesthood duty to offer two years of his life to declare the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and His restored gospel. Nothing—not even a chance to play on the national team, with all the acclaim it would bring—would deter him from that duty.

He was called by a prophet of God to serve in the Western Canadian Mission. Forty-eight years ago this month, 19-year-old Elder Sidney Going left New Zealand to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sid told me of an experience he had on his mission. It was evening, and he and his companion were just about to return to their apartment. They decided to visit one more family. The father let them in. Elder Going and his companion testified of the Savior. The family accepted a Book of Mormon. The father read all night. In the next week and a half he read the entire Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. A few weeks later the family was baptized.

A mission instead of a place on the New Zealand All Blacks team? Sid responded, “The blessing of [bringing others] into the gospel far outweighs anything [you] will ever sacrifice.”

You’re probably wondering what happened to Sid Going following his mission. Most important: an eternal marriage to his sweetheart, Colleen; five noble children; and a generation of grandchildren. He has lived his life trusting in his Father in Heaven, keeping the commandments, and serving others.

And rugby? After his mission Sid Going became one of the greatest halfbacks in All Blacks history, playing for 11 seasons and serving for many years as captain of the team.

How good was Sid Going? He was so good that training and game schedules were changed because he would not play on Sunday. Sid was so good the Queen of England acknowledged his contribution to rugby. He was so good a book was written about him entitled Super Sid.

What if those honors had not come to Sid after his mission? One of the great miracles of missionary service in this Church is that Sid Going and thousands just like him have not asked, “What will I get from my mission?” but rather, “What can I give?”

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

It Happens in the Family

It is here in our families, in an atmosphere of love, where we see and appreciate in a more personal way the divine attributes of His spirit children. It is here in our families where our hearts can be softened and in humility we desire to change, to become more childlike. It is a process by which we can become more Christlike.

Jean A. Stevens, first counselor in the Primary general presidency

Active Love

The love the Savior described is an active love. It is not manifested through large and heroic deeds but rather through simple acts of kindness and service.

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

Sharing Your Testimony

Teaching someone else what we know strengthens our own testimony as we build that of another. When you give someone money or food, you will have less. However, when you share your testimony, it strengthens and increases for both the bearer and the hearer.

Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy

Love Is Powerful

Love is a powerful influence in our hearts in our effort to be obedient. Love for our Savior inspires us to keep His commandments. Love for a mother, father, or spouse can also inspire our obedience to gospel principles. The way we treat others reflects to what extent we follow our Savior in loving one another. We show our love for Him when we stop to assist others, when we are “perfectly honest and upright in all things” [Alma 27:27], and when we make and keep covenants.

Elder Walter F. González of the Seventy

Caring for the Poor

We honor those innovative giants whom the Lord raised up to organize and administer the institutional outreach to needy members of His Church. We honor those who in our day reach out in countless and often silent ways to be kind to the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, minister to the sick, and visit the captive. …

The work of caring for one another and being kind to the poor is a sanctifying work, commanded of the Father and divinely designed to bless, refine, and exalt His children. May we follow the Savior’s counsel to the certain lawyer in the parable of the good Samaritan: “Go, and do thou likewise” [Luke 10:37].

Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop

This conference was especially meaningful to me, because I’m leaving to the Missionary Training Center in a couple months. All of the talks about serving and helping others really touched my heart. I know that the speakers were inspired in the messages they gave. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to watch conference this April, and I will do everything I can to apply what they said into my life and become a better person because of it.

Joseph C., 18, Utah, USA

This conference reminded me that not only can I help others when I serve, but I can also get the spiritual edification that I may be seeking. Jesus Christ Himself served His fellow men whenever He could. Sometimes in my life, I am so wrapped up in the things that I am currently involved in that I forget about those around me who may need my help. I know that God wants me to serve others.

Laney W., 14, Missouri, USA

Life as a Latter-day Saint

The Lost Purse

When I was recently assigned to a conference in the Mission Viejo California Stake, I was touched by an account of their four-stake New Year’s Eve youth dance. Following the dance, a purse was found with no outside identification. I share with you part of what Sister Monica Sedgwick, the Young Women president in the Laguna Niguel stake, recorded: “We didn’t want to pry; this was someone’s personal stuff! So we gingerly opened it and grabbed the first thing that was on top—hopefully, it would identify her. It did, but in another way—it was a For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Wow! This told us something about her. Then we reached in for the next item, a little notebook. Surely this would give us answers, but not the kind we were expecting. The first page was a list of favorite scriptures. There were five more pages of carefully written scriptures and personal notes.”

The sisters immediately wanted to meet this stalwart young woman. They returned to that purse to identify its owner. They pulled out some breath mints, soap, lotion, and a brush. I loved their comments: “Oh, good things come out of her mouth; she has clean and soft hands; and she takes care of herself.”

They eagerly awaited the next treasure. Out came a clever little homemade coin purse made from a cardboard juice carton, and there was some money in a zippered pocket. They exclaimed, “Ahh, she’s creative and prepared!” They felt like little children on Christmas morning. What they pulled out next surprised them even more: a recipe for Black Forest chocolate cake and a note to make the cake for a friend’s birthday. They almost screamed, “She’s a HOMEMAKER! Thoughtful and service minded.” Then, yes, finally some identification. The youth leaders said they felt greatly blessed “to observe the quiet example of a young lady living the gospel.”

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

NEmore

For short video clips of conference messages for youth, go to lds.org/go/514.

To Be Lists

Many of us create to do lists to remind us of things we want to accomplish. But people rarely have to be lists. Why? To do’s are activities or events and can be checked off the list when done. To be, however, is never done. You can’t earn checkmarks with to be’s.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy

Face the Future with Faith

Difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution.” That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.

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

Actions and Desires

Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. In addition, it is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life.

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

Vital Pillars of the Plan of Happiness

Two of the vital pillars that sustain Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness are marriage and the family. Their lofty significance is underscored by Satan’s relentless efforts to splinter the family and to undermine the significance of temple ordinances, which bind the family together for eternity. The temple sealing has greater meaning as life unfolds. It will help you draw ever closer together and find greater joy and fulfillment in mortality.

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

Exercise Hope

We should never let hope be displaced by despair. The Apostle Paul wrote that we “should plow in hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10). The exercise of hope enriches our lives and helps us look forward to the future. Whether we are plowing fields to plant or plowing through life, it is imperative we, as Latter-day Saints, have hope.

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, hope is the desire of His followers to gain eternal salvation through the Atonement of the Savior.

Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy

I loved Elder Lynn G. Robbins’s talk on becoming and not just doing. When he began speaking, I had just started a to-do list from the talks of what I could do better. I quickly opened to a new page in my notebook and wrote “To be:” at the top and then listed the qualities that the General Authorities had spoken on. I know that it takes becoming more Christlike to truly follow in His way.

Mckenna B., 16, Idaho, USA

I loved general conference. For a while I have been struggling with my testimony. The speakers really encouraged me and reminded me of the importance of a strong testimony, especially in these last days. I loved all of the talks, and one of the talks that really had an impact on me was Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s talk on desire. Something as seemingly small as desire makes a tremendous impact on our lives.

Jean G., 17, California, USA

I really enjoyed hearing the prophet and apostles. I know they’re called of God. I really enjoyed Elder Scott’s talk. I could tell he and his wife really loved each other and their home was so beautiful. I want my home to be like that when I grow up. He had such a strong testimony of the importance of marriage and families; it was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. I have a strong testimony of the importance of conference.

Madison T., 14, Utah, USA

Finding Answers

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

Why do I have to go through trials?

Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle. But growth cannot come by taking the easy way. We clearly understand that an athlete who resists rigorous training will never become a world-class athlete. We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.

Not one of the trials and tribulations we face is beyond our limits, because we have access to help from the Lord. We can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.

Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy

How do I know if I am living according to God’s will?

In many of the uncertainties and challenges we encounter in our lives, God requires us to do our best to act and not be acted upon (see 2 Nephi 2:26), and to trust in Him. We may not see angels, hear heavenly voices, or receive overwhelming spiritual impressions. We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps.

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

How can I measure up to the high expectations of our Heavenly Father?

If we sincerely desire and strive to measure up to the high expectations of our Heavenly Father, He will ensure that we receive all the help we need, whether it be comforting, strengthening, or chastening. If we are open to it, needed correction will come in many forms and from many sources. It may come in the course of our prayers as God speaks to our mind and heart through the Holy Ghost (see D&C 8:2). It may come in the form of prayers that are answered no or differently than we had expected. Chastening may come as we study the scriptures and are reminded of deficiencies, disobedience, or simply matters neglected.

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

What can I do right now to help the Church grow?

Another way we can serve Heavenly Father’s children is through missionary service—not only as full-time missionaries but also as friends and neighbors. The future growth of the Church will not happen through just knocking on strangers’ doors. It will happen when the members, along with our missionaries, filled with the love of God and Christ, discern needs and respond to those needs in the spirit of charitable service.

When we do this, brothers and sisters, the honest in heart will feel our sincerity and our love. Many will want to know more about us. Then and only then will the Church expand to fill all of the earth. This cannot be accomplished by missionaries alone but requires the interest and service of every member.

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

Should we be afraid of what is happening in the world?

We live in a time of turmoil. Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith. … Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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

Can I really be forgiven?

Jesus Christ is the Great Healer of our souls. With the exception of sins of perdition, there is no sin or transgression, pain or sorrow, which is outside of the healing power of His Atonement.

When we sin, Satan tells us we are lost. In contrast, our Redeemer offers redemption to all—no matter what we have done wrong—even to you and to me.

Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy

What can I do to make a difference in other people’s lives?

We can follow the example of the good Samaritan and “change the world” of just one person by being benevolent. I would like to invite each of you to do at least one Samaritan-like act this coming week. It may require that you reach beyond your usual friends or overcome your shyness. You may courageously choose to serve someone who doesn’t treat you well. I promise that if you will extend yourself beyond what is easy to do, you will feel so good inside that kindness will start to become a part of your everyday life.

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

Does a testimony grow and change?

A testimony is similar to a living organism that grows and develops when treated properly. It needs constant nourishment, care, and protection to thrive and prosper. Likewise, neglect or deviance from the pattern of living that a testimony clarifies can lead to its loss or diminishment. The scriptures warn that transgressing or breaking the commandments of God can result in the loss of the Spirit and even to one denying the testimony he or she once possessed.

Elder Cecil O. Samuelson of the Seventy

Why should I listen to my parents when they tell me to change?

Parents can and must correct, even chasten, if their children are not to be cast adrift at the mercy of a merciless adversary and his supporters.

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

What does it mean to be a Latter-day Saint?

A Latter-day Saint is quite an ordinary individual. … We are taught to be in the world but not of the world. Therefore, we live ordinary lives in ordinary families mixed in with the general population.

We are taught not to lie or steal or cheat. We do not use profanity. We are positive and happy and not afraid of life.

We are “willing to mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” [Mosiah 18:9].

If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one. It is not easy to be a Latter-day Saint, but in the long run it is the only true course.

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

What does it mean to rest from our labors on the Sabbath?

Sometimes we think of resting from our labors as merely letting the hay baler stand idle in the field or putting a Closed sign on the business door. Yet in today’s world, labor includes the everyday work of our lives. This could mean business activities we may accomplish from home, athletic competitions, and other pursuits that take us away from Sabbath day worship and the opportunity to minister to others.

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

What should I wear on Sunday?

I believe [Christ] … desires us to dress appropriately. Our youth may think the old saying “Sunday best” is outdated. Still, we know that when Sunday dress deteriorates to everyday attire, attitudes and actions follow. Of course, it may not be necessary for our children to wear formal Sunday attire until the sun goes down. However, by the clothing we encourage them to wear and the activities we plan, we help them prepare for the sacrament and enjoy its blessings throughout the day.

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

Who can receive revelation?

The spirit of revelation is available to every person who receives by proper priesthood authority the saving ordinances of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost—and who is acting in faith to fulfill the priesthood injunction to “receive the Holy Ghost.” This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.

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

What if my health doesn’t allow me to serve a full-time mission?

President Monson spoke of “every worthy, able young man [preparing] to serve a mission.” On occasion, because of health or other reasons, one might not be able to serve. You will know your ability to serve as you speak with your parents and your bishop. Should this be your situation, please do not feel less important in the noble commission before you. The Lord is very generous to those who love Him, and He will open other doors for you.

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

How are general conference topics chosen?

Perhaps you already know (but if you don’t you should) that with rare exception, no man or woman who speaks here is assigned a topic. Each is to fast and pray, study and seek, start and stop and start again until he or she is confident that for this conference, at this time, his or hers is the topic the Lord wishes that speaker to present regardless of personal wishes or private preferences. Every man and woman you have heard during the past 10 hours of general conference has tried to be true to that prompting. Each has wept, worried, and earnestly sought the Lord’s direction to guide his or her thoughts and expression. … My Brethren and sisters among the general officers of the Church [are] mortal messengers with angelic messages, … who with faith have consecrated their lives to the callings that have come to them and the duty to preach God’s word, not their own.

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

The music especially touched me. When the choir sang one closing hymn, “More Holiness Give Me,” I knew that Heavenly Father will help me as I try daily to become more like Christ. I know that the messages (through both music and word) were inspired.

Brandyn Y., 16, Arkansas, USA

I enjoyed general conference because of the Spirit I felt when watching it. I had many questions coming into the weekend, and one by one they were answered. I am grateful for the opportunity to listen and learn from our prophet and all of his counselors. Because of their diligence in preparing their talks and listening to the Spirit, my questions were answered.

Taylor B., 16, Utah, USA

This past conference was very spiritual for me. As I took notes I felt more enlightened and found new things to work on to become more like my Savior. I cannot wait to begin changing, become better, give more service to others, and try to make this world a better place. I feel more motivated to share the gospel.

Chelsey F., 18, Illinois, USA

The messages in this conference reminded me of how important our families are and how precious our time with them is. They also made me realize the importance of service to others, within and outside of our families.

Jorri F., 17, Utah, USA

I liked how Elder L. Tom Perry talked about the Sabbath day. It reminded me of how important it is to keep the Sabbath day holy and to do my priesthood duties every week.

Jarom L., 13, Alberta, Canada

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked about how conference topics are chosen by the Spirit and some apply specifically to each of us. I know that one talk especially applied to me and a challenge I am going through. I know it will help me. Some people may get tired of hearing the same lessons or advice over and over again, but sometimes we need that extra time to really dedicate ourselves to try harder.

Christina G., 13, Missouri, USA

I found conference very spiritually uplifting. I learned many things, including the importance of calling ourselves “Latter-day Saints” instead of “Mormons,” which I know I will apply in my daily life. I am very glad I have the gospel in my life and that it was restored through Joseph Smith. I would like to apply every bit of wisdom I heard into my life as much as I can.

Jeffrey H., 14, Indiana, USA

Learn Your Duty and Be Diligent

Read the Owner’s Manual

If you owned the world’s most advanced and expensive computer, would you use it merely as a desk ornament? The computer may look impressive. It may have all kinds of potential. But it is only when you study the owner’s manual, learn how to use the software, and turn on the power that you can access its full potential.

The holy priesthood of God also has an owner’s manual. Let us commit to reading the scriptures and handbooks with more purpose and more focus. Let us begin by rereading sections 20, 84, 107, and 121 of the Doctrine and Covenants. The more we study the purpose, potential, and practical use of the priesthood, the more we will be amazed by its power, and the Spirit will teach us how to access and use that power to bless our families, our communities, and the Church.

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

A Powerful Resource

I invite each deacons, teachers, and priests quorum presidency to regularly counsel, study, and pray to learn what the Lord’s will is for your quorum and then go and do. Use Duty to God to help you teach your quorum members their duties. I invite each quorum member to sustain your quorum president and look to him for counsel as you learn and righteously fulfill all of your priesthood duties. And I invite each of us to see these remarkable young men as the Lord sees them—a powerful resource for building and strengthening His kingdom here and now.

Brother Larry M. Gibson, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency

Priesthood Treasures

If you will be diligent and obedient in the priesthood, treasures of spiritual knowledge will be poured out upon you. You will grow in your power to resist evil and to proclaim the truth that leads to salvation. You will find joy in the happiness of those you lead toward exaltation. Your family will become a place of learning.

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

Prepare for the Spiritual Work of a Mission

Missionary service is a spiritual work. Worthiness and preparation are essential. President Monson has said: “Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord.” In the years prior to your mission, please remember the sacred assignment ahead of you. Your actions before your mission will greatly influence the priesthood power you bring with you into the mission. Prepare yourself well.

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

For Quorum Presidencies

Are you looking for help to understand your duties in a quorum presidency? You’ll find great counsel in the talk from Brother Larry M. Gibson. Read or watch it online at lds.org/go/515.

This was one of the first times I have been pumped up to change myself. One of my favorite talks was by Brother Larry M. Gibson. His talk made me see where I needed to improve in being a quorum president. The priesthood session was awesome!

Nathan C., 15, Utah, USA

My favorite session was priesthood session. I felt each speaker was talking directly to me. The stories and examples from President Uchtdorf talked about not just going through the motions of the priesthood—he challenged me to live so I use the priesthood to its full potential. President Monson talked about how to be in the world and not of the world. I know this is important, and I will strive to follow his counsel.

Parker S., 15, Arizona, USA

Daughters of God, Shine Forth

Be a Guardian of Virtue

Young women, in a world ever growing in moral pollution, tolerance of evil, exploitation of women, and distortion of roles, you must stand guard of yourself, your family, and all those with whom you associate. You must be guardians of virtue.

What is virtue and what is a guardian? “Virtue is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards. It includes chastity and [moral] purity” (Young Women Personal Progress [booklet, 2009], 70). And what is a guardian? A guardian is someone who protects, shields, and defends. Thus, as a guardian of virtue, you will protect, shield, and defend moral purity because the power to create mortal life is a sacred and exalted power and must be safeguarded until you are married. Virtue is a requirement to have the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost. You will need that guidance in order to successfully navigate the world in which you live. Being virtuous is a requirement to enter the temple. And it is a requirement to be worthy to stand in the Savior’s presence. You are preparing now for that time. Personal Progress and the standards found in For the Strength of Youth are important. Living the principles found in each booklet will strengthen and help you become “more fit for the kingdom” (“More Holiness Give Me,” Hymns, no. 131).

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president

Be Honest and Be Blessed

When we are honest in all things, big and small, we experience peace of mind and a clear conscience. Our relationships are enriched because they are based on trust. And the greatest blessing that comes from being honest is that we are able to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

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

Follow in His Ways

Our Savior taught us about and lived a benevolent life. Jesus loved all and He served all. Centering our lives on Jesus Christ will help us acquire this attribute of benevolence. For us to develop these same Christlike attributes, we must learn about the Savior and “follow in His ways.”

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

Reflect the Light of Christ

You will be a light to the world as you share your testimony with others. You will reflect to others the Light of Christ in your life. The Lord will find ways for that light to touch those you love. And through the combined faith and testimony of His daughters, God will touch the lives of millions in His kingdom and across the world with His light.

In your testimony and your choices lies the hope of the Church and of the generations who will follow your example of hearing and accepting the invitation of the Lord: “Come, follow me.” The Lord knows and loves you.

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

I loved Sister Elaine S. Dalton’s talk. It was very spiritual, and it helped answer some of my current prayers and concerns about chastity and how to hold onto it in our world today. It helped me realize that I really want to enter the temple someday. That is now one of my ultimate goals.

Elizabeth C., 15, Idaho, USA

I took notes on everything in the Young Women broadcast, and at least three of the talks felt like personal letters right to me. I feel confident going back to school, even though it’s hard, because I’m now freshly and completely armed with the fact that God is with me, that He and the Savior love me, and that my trials will not be wasted.

Leia B., 13, New Hampshire, USA

Testimonies of the Father and the Son

May I share with you my love for the Savior and for His great atoning sacrifice for us. … I believe that none of us can conceive the full import of what Christ did for us in Gethsemane, but I am grateful every day of my life for His atoning sacrifice in our behalf.

At the last moment, He could have turned back. But He did not. He passed beneath all things that He might save all things. In doing so, He gave us life beyond this mortal existence. …

To the depths of my very soul, I am grateful to Him. He taught us how to live. He taught us how to die. He secured our salvation.

President Thomas S. Monson

Through love the Savior was obedient to the will of the Father under any circumstance. Our Savior was obedient even when it meant great physical and emotional pain, even when it meant being whipped and mocked; even when it meant that His enemies would torture Him while His friends abandoned Him. … “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with his stripes we are healed” so that we may reach our full divine potential [Isaiah 53:5]. … His tender mercies can make us mighty as we follow Him under any circumstance.

Elder Walter F. González of the Seventy

I testify that God is our Father. Jesus is the Christ. His Church has been restored to the earth. His truth, covenants, and ordinances enable us to overcome fear and face the future with faith!

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

The Savior is not a silent observer. He Himself knows personally and infinitely the pain we face. … During His mortal life Christ chose to experience pains and afflictions in order to understand us. Perhaps we also need to experience the depths of mortality in order to understand Him and our eternal purposes.

Elder Kent F. Richards of the Seventy

Not only did our Savior love all; He served all.

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

Through His Atonement, He heals not only the transgressor, but He also heals the innocent who suffer because of those transgressions. As the innocent exercise faith in the Savior and in His Atonement and forgive the transgressor, they too can be healed. … Through His atoning sacrifice, our sins are remitted.

Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy

I’m so grateful for this conference. I received answers for questions I had in my heart. I know that our Heavenly Father knows all things and knows our hearts. He loves us and always answers our questions. I know that my Redeemer lives. My testimony is stronger after these last two days. It is an honor to watch those “mortal angels” speak to us and to our hearts and souls through the Holy Ghost.

Brenda S., 17, Bahia, Brazil

Learning from Conference

The Scriptures in General Conference

Speakers in general conference taught us from the scriptures. You can learn a lot by simply looking up the scriptures they used. The following scriptures were referred to most often:

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

NEmore

Watch, read, or listen to conference talks at conference.lds.org.

Reflect on General Conference

As our conference comes to a close, I ask you to reflect in the days ahead not only on the messages you have heard but also on the unique phenomenon that general conference itself is—what we as Latter-day Saints believe such conferences to be and what we invite the world to hear and observe about them. We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks, that for our time and in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, “the will of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation” [D&C 68:4].

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

Being able to sit and take in the messages of men and women of God is such a blessing. Every once in a while, something reminds me that I am more than just a teenage girl in a small town. I am a daughter of Heavenly Father whose destiny is so much bigger than anything I can comprehend. How fantastic is that! Conference was that reminder for me, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to hear, in the words of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “mortal messengers [deliver] angelic messages.”

Kayli L., 18, New Mexico, USA

As I listened to conference I felt the Spirit so much. I thought of how awesome it was that we have a living prophet to guide us. I received a feeling of peace, and I knew that everything said was said for a reason. I can’t wait for the next conference.

Faith C., 14, New York, USA

I really liked how there were so many talks about families. They made me so excited for my future family. It also helped me know how to deal with my siblings now and that we are all children of a Heavenly Father.

Erin C., 15, Arizona, USA

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    Seminary scripture mastery verses