General Conference Is for You


President Monson said, “It is my prayer that we may be filled with the Spirit of the Lord as we listen to the messages [from this conference] and learn those things the Lord would have us know.”

This section points out some messages especially pertinent to youth and is designed to help you in your study of general conference. You can read all the messages in this month’s Ensign magazine.

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

You Can Know for Yourself

“In order for us to be strong and to withstand all the forces pulling us in the wrong direction or all the voices encouraging us to take the wrong path, we must have our own testimony. Whether you are 12 or 112—or anywhere in between—you can know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Read the Book of Mormon. Ponder its teachings. Ask Heavenly Father if it is true. We have the promise that ‘if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost’ (Moroni 10:4).”

Dare to Stand Alone

“I believe my first experience in having the courage of my convictions took place when I served in the United States Navy near the end of World War II.

“Navy boot camp was not an easy experience for me, nor for anyone who endured it. For the first three weeks I was convinced my life was in jeopardy. The navy wasn’t trying to train me; it was trying to kill me.

“I shall ever remember when Sunday rolled around after the first week. We received welcome news from the chief petty officer. Standing at attention on the drill ground in a brisk California breeze, we heard his command: ‘Today everybody goes to church—everybody, that is, except for me. I am going to relax!’ Then he shouted, ‘All of you Catholics, you meet in Camp Decatur—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’ A rather sizeable contingent moved out. Then he barked out his next command, ‘Those of you who are Jewish, you meet in Camp Henry—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’ A somewhat smaller contingent marched out. Then he said, ‘The rest of you Protestants, you meet in the theaters at Camp Farragut—and don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’

“Instantly there flashed through my mind the thought, ‘Monson, you are not a Catholic; you are not a Jew; you are not a Protestant. You are a Mormon, so you just stand here!’ I can assure you that I felt completely alone. Courageous and determined, yes—but alone.

“And then I heard the sweetest words I ever heard that chief petty officer utter. He looked in my direction and asked, ‘And just what do you guys call yourselves?’ Until that very moment I had not realized that anyone was standing beside me or behind me on the drill ground. Almost in unison, each of us replied, ‘Mormons!’ It is difficult to describe the joy that filled my heart as I turned around and saw a handful of other sailors.

“The chief petty officer scratched his head in an expression of puzzlement but finally said, ‘Well, go find somewhere to meet. And don’t come back until three o’clock. Forward, march!’

“As we marched away, I thought of the words of a rhyme I had learned in Primary years before:

Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.

“Since that day there have been times when there was no one standing behind me and so I did stand alone. How grateful I am that I made the decision long ago to remain strong and true, always prepared and ready to defend my religion, should the need arise.”

God’s Laws Remain Constant

“Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel. If we but listen, we hear the echo of God’s voice, speaking to us here and now. …

“Our code of conduct is definitive; it is not negotiable. It is found not only in the Ten Commandments but also in the Sermon on the Mount, given to us by the Savior when He walked upon the earth. It is found throughout His teachings. It is found in the words of modern revelation.

“Our Father in Heaven is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The prophet Mormon tells us that God is ‘unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity’ [Moroni 8:18]. In this world where nearly everything seems to be changing, His constancy is something on which we can rely, an anchor to which we can hold fast and be safe, lest we be swept away into uncharted waters.”

How Blessed We Are

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

“How blessed we are to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides answers to the questions concerning where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go when we depart from this life. It gives meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.”

See the Full Message

To view President Monson’s full address from the Sunday morning session, visit lds.org/go/11A.

I really enjoyed President Monson’s talk about prayer. Prayer can help us build a strong relationship with our Heavenly Father. Hearing this, I felt the Spirit strongly and realized how blessed I am. I know that Heavenly Father is a real Being and that He knows and loves me. I am thankful for prayer.

Shanalee W., 14, Utah, USA

Preparing and Serving

President Henry B. Eyring

A Sacred Charge

“Every member of the Church has the same sacred charge. We accepted it and promised to rise to it as we were baptized. [See Mosiah 18:9.] …

“First, we promised to become charitable. Second, we promised to become witnesses of God. And third, we promised to endure.”

Drinking Deeply from the Book of Mormon

“The effect of the Book of Mormon on your character, power, and courage to be a witness for God is certain. The doctrine and the valiant examples in that book will lift, guide, and embolden you. …

“Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel. It will build your faith in God’s prophets, ancient and modern.

“It can draw you closer to God than any other book. It can change a life for the better. …

“Your copy of the Book of Mormon may be hidden from your view by cares and attention to all you have accumulated in your journey. I plead with you to drink deeply and often from its pages. It has in it the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the only way home to God.”

Blessings of Service

“As you serve others for [the Lord], He lets you feel His love. And in time, feelings of charity become part of your very nature. … As you persist in serving others in life … all will be well with you.”

Priesthood Preparation

“Most of us wonder to ourselves at times, ‘Am I prepared for this assignment in the priesthood?’ My answer is ‘Yes, you have been prepared.’ …

“We may come to think of priesthood preparation as occurring in the Aaronic Priesthood years. But our Heavenly Father has been preparing us since we were taught at His knee in His kingdom before we were born. … And He will continue to prepare us as long as we will let Him.

“The purpose of all priesthood preparation, in the preexistence and in this life, is to fit us and those we serve for Him for eternal life. …

“Don’t worry about how inexperienced you are but think about what, with the Lord’s help, you can become.”

See the Full Message

To view President Eyring’s full address from the Sunday morning session, visit lds.org/go/11B.

I recently received my patriarchal blessing, and I was surprised to hear in conference many of the things addressed in my blessing. I loved President Henry B. Eyring’s talk about standing as a witness of Christ. I felt that phrase was repeated often in conference, and I want to do that now more than ever.

Olivia N., 16, Utah, USA

God’s Love and Our Duty

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

You Are Not Forgotten

“No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you, with an infinite love. …

“The love of God is redemptive and saving. If you will only allow His divine love into your life, it can dress any wound, heal any hurt, and soften any sorrow.”

“This is a paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God. While against the backdrop of infinite creation we may appear to be nothing, we have a spark of eternal fire burning within our breast. …

“The Lord doesn’t care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. He knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use—in His own way and for His holy purposes—those who incline their hearts to Him. …

“God sees you not only as a mortal being on a small planet who lives for a brief season—He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him.”

We Must All Help Each Other

“This very hour there are many members of the Church who are suffering. They are hungry, stretched financially, and struggling with all manner of physical, emotional, and spiritual distress. They pray with all the energy of their souls for succor, for relief.

“… Please do not think that this is someone else’s responsibility. It is mine, and it is yours. We are all enlisted. ‘All’ means all. … In the Lord’s plan, there is something everyone can contribute. …

“The temporal is intertwined with the spiritual. God has given us this mortal experience and the temporal challenges that attend it as a laboratory where we can grow into the beings Heavenly Father wants us to become.”

See the Full Message

To view President Uchtdorf’s full address from the Saturday morning session, visit lds.org/go/11C.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk was the one that hit me the most. I now know that there is a Heavenly Father and that He loves and cares for me. There is someone who listens to my prayers and answers them, no matter how messed up I feel. Heavenly Father loves me.

Courtney N., 15, Idaho, USA

Topics from Conference

She Knew It Was True

Some years ago I attended one of our worship services in Toronto, Canada. A 14-year-old girl was the speaker. She said that she had been discussing religion with one of her friends at school. Her friend said to her, “What religion do you belong to?”

She replied, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons.”

Her friend replied, “I know that church, and I know it’s not true.”

“How do you know?” came the reply.

“Because,” said her friend, “I have researched it.”

“Have you read the Book of Mormon?”

“No,” came the answer. “I haven’t.”

Then this sweet young girl responded, “Then you haven’t researched my church, because I have read every page of the Book of Mormon and I know it’s true.”

I too have read every page of the Book of Mormon, again and again, and I bear my solemn witness … it is from God.

Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy

The Aaronic Priesthood

It has been my experience that you who serve as deacons, teachers, and priests are as willing, reliable, and capable in doing your duty as we expect you to be. We admire you. Your vitality is infectious, your abilities astounding, your association invigorating. You and the Aaronic Priesthood office you hold are essential to Heavenly Father’s work with His children and the preparation of this earth for the Second Coming of His holy Son.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

Agency and Choice

We cannot successfully choose both the safety of righteousness and the dangers of worldliness. … Your eternal destiny will not be the result of chance but of choice. It is never too late to begin to choose eternal life!

Elder Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

Do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us the name of God’s Beloved and Only Begotten Son? Do we understand how significant that is? The Savior’s name is the only name under heaven by which man can be saved (see 2 Nephi 31:21). …

The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly who we are and what we believe.

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

Covenants

At baptism we covenant to serve the Lord and keep His commandments. When we partake of the sacrament, we renew that covenant and declare our willingness to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ. …

The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a covenant keeper.

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

Keeping covenants is true joy and happiness. This is comfort and peace. This is protection from the evils of the world.

Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency

Example

Our lives should be examples of goodness and virtue as we try to emulate His example to the world. Good works by each of us can do credit both to the Savior and His Church. As you are engaged in doing good, being honorable and upright men and women, the Light of Christ will be reflected by your lives.

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

Family

It is a crowning privilege of a husband and wife who are able to bear children to provide mortal bodies for these spirit children of God. We believe in families, and we believe in children.

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

“It Is Better to Look Up!”

At the end of a particularly tiring day toward the end of my first week as a General Authority, my briefcase was overloaded and my mind was preoccupied with the question “How can I possibly do this?” I left the office of the Seventy and entered the elevator of the Church Administration Building. As the elevator descended, my head was down and I stared blankly at the floor.

The door opened and someone entered, but I didn’t look up. As the door closed, I heard someone ask, “What are you looking at down there?” I recognized that voice—it was President Thomas S. Monson.

I quickly looked up and responded, “Oh, nothing.” …

But he had seen my subdued countenance and my heavy briefcase. He smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, “It is better to look up!” As we traveled down one more level, he cheerfully explained that he was on his way to the temple. When he bid me farewell, his parting glance spoke to my heart, “Now, remember, it is better to look up.” …

President Monson’s encouragement to look up is a metaphor for remembering Christ. As we remember Him and trust in His power, we receive strength through His Atonement. It is the means whereby we can be relieved of our anxieties, our burdens, and our suffering. It is the means whereby we can be forgiven and healed from the pain of our sins. It is the means whereby we can receive the faith and strength to endure all things.

Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy

Followers of Christ

We are followers of Jesus Christ. Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon. … We should honor His name, keep His commandments, and “seek not the things of this world but seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33, footnote a; from Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 6:38).

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

Heavenly Father

We are Heavenly Father’s children. He wants to be a part of our lives, to bless us, and to help us. He will heal our wounds, dry our tears, and help us along our path to return to His presence. As we look to Him, He will lead us.

Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy

Jesus Christ

We declare our belief in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior. He will bless us and guide us in all of our efforts. As we labor here in mortality, He will strengthen us and bring us peace in the time of trials. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints walk by faith in Him whose Church it is.

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

Our most important message, which we are both divinely commissioned and commanded to take everywhere in the world, is that there is a Savior. He lived in the meridian of time. He atoned for our sins, was crucified, and was resurrected.

Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy

Joy

I have found that one of the secrets to a joyful life is to recognize that doing things the Lord’s way will make me happier than doing things my way.

Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy

Missionary Preparation

In almost all athletic contests of which I know, there are lines drawn on the floor or the field within which every participant must stay in order to compete. Well, the Lord has drawn lines of worthiness for those called to labor with Him in this work. No missionary can be unrepentant of sexual transgression or profane language or pornographic indulgence and then expect to challenge others to repent of those very things!

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

As you prepare to serve, there is much to do. …

Arrive on your mission with your own testimony of the Book of Mormon, obtained through study and prayer. …

Arrive on your mission worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost. …

Arrive on your mission ready to work.

Elder W. Christopher Waddell of the Seventy

I speak to … all of you preparing to serve missions. …

People all over the world are waiting for you. Please go quickly to where they are.

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita of the Seventy

The Lord Knew Where to Send Him

Prophets, seers, and revelators assign missionaries under the direction and influence of the Holy Ghost. Inspired mission presidents direct transfers every six weeks and quickly learn that the Lord knows exactly where He wants each missionary to serve.

A few years ago, Elder Javier Misiego, from Madrid, Spain, was serving a full-time mission in Arizona. At that time, his mission call to the United States appeared somewhat unusual, as most young men from Spain were being called to serve in their own country.

At the conclusion of a stake fireside, where he and his companion had been invited to participate, Elder Misiego was approached by a less-active member of the Church who had been brought by a friend. It was the first time this man had been inside a chapel in years. Elder Misiego was asked if he might know a José Misiego in Madrid. When Elder Misiego responded that his father’s name was José Misiego, the man excitedly asked a few more questions to confirm that this was the José Misiego. When it was determined that they were speaking about the same man, this less-active member began to weep. “Your father was the only person I baptized during my entire mission,” he explained and described how his mission had been, in his mind, a failure. He attributed his years of inactivity to some feelings of inadequacy and concern, believing that he had somehow let the Lord down.

Elder Misiego then described what this supposed failure of a missionary meant to his family. He told him that his father, baptized as a young single adult, had married in the temple, that Elder Misiego was the fourth of six children, that all three boys and a sister had served full-time missions, that all were active in the Church, and that all who were married had been sealed in the temple.

The less-active returned missionary began to sob. Through his efforts, he now learned, scores of lives had been blessed, and the Lord had sent an elder from Madrid, Spain, all the way to a fireside in Arizona to let him know that he had not been a failure. The Lord knows where He wants each missionary to serve. …

Now, to the young men who have yet to serve a full-time mission, …

Just as with missionaries past and present, the Lord knows you and has a mission experience prepared for you. He knows your mission president and his wonderful wife. … He knows each of your companions and what you will learn from them. He knows each area in which you will labor, the members you will meet, the people you will teach, and the lives you will impact for eternity.

Elder W. Christopher Waddell of the Seventy

Missionary Work

Missionary work isn’t the only thing we need to do in this big, wide, wonderful Church. But almost everything else we need to do depends on people first hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ and coming into the faith.

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

Today’s “manner of conversation” seems to involve the Internet more and more. We encourage people, young and old, to use the Internet and the social media to reach out and share their religious beliefs.

As you utilize the Internet, you may come across ongoing conversations about the Church. When directed by the Spirit, do not hesitate to add your voice to these conversations.

The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is unlike anything else you will share with others. In the information age, it is the most valuable information in all the world.

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

Real Missionaries

Many years ago I was with my companion at the missionary training center when I heard the voice of a child say, “Grandma, are those real missionaries?” I turned to see a young girl holding her grandmother’s hand and pointing at me and my companion. I smiled, extended my hand, looked her square in the eye, and said, “Hello, I am Elder Richardson, and we are real missionaries.” Her face beamed as she looked at me, thrilled that she was in the company of genuine missionaries. I walked away from that experience with renewed dedication. I wanted to be the type of missionary that the Savior, my family, and this young girl expected me to be. For the next two years, I worked hard to look like, think like, act like, and especially to teach like a real missionary.

Upon my return home, it became increasingly apparent that even though I had left my mission, my mission didn’t leave me. In fact, even after all these years, I still feel that my mission was the best two years for my life.

Matthew O. Richardson, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency

The Plan of Salvation

Righteousness, prayer, and faithfulness will not always result in happy endings in mortality. Many will experience severe trials. When this happens, the very act of having faith and seeking priesthood blessings is approved by God. …

… Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven’s overall plan. The refiner’s fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God.

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

Prayer

We must not imagine that any kind of prayer, no matter how sincere, will be very effective if all we do is to say the prayer. We must not only say our prayers; we must also live them. The Lord is much more pleased with the person who prays and then goes to work than with the person who only prays. Much like medicine, prayer works only when we use it as directed.

Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy

Prophets

Our living prophets, seers, and revelators both see and seek to warn us of the often subtle but dangerous worldly currents that threaten us. They lovingly invite, encourage, teach, remind, and warn us. They know that our safety depends on choosing to follow (1) the insights we gain during daily scripture study, pondering, and prayer, (2) the guidance of the Holy Ghost, and (3) their prophetic counsel. They know that there is safety and ultimately joy only in and through our Savior, Jesus Christ, and living His gospel.

Elder Randall K. Bennett of the Seventy

Repentance

Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. … Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.

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

If we repent, we can be forgiven of our sins, the price having been paid by our Redeemer. … Those who have strayed significantly from the paths of righteousness desperately need this redemption, and if they fully repent, it is theirs to claim. But those who have worked hard to live good lives also desperately need this redemption, for none can get to the presence of the Father without Christ’s help.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. of the Seventy

Scriptures

Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. …

Scriptures can communicate different meanings at different times in our life, according to our needs. A scripture that we may have read many times can take on nuances of meaning that are refreshing and insightful when we face a new challenge in life.

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

Service

For many who have need of our help, it is not necessary to create new programs or take actions which are complicated or costly. They only need our determination to serve—to do the right thing at the right time, without delay.

Elder José L. Alonso of the Seventy

Providing service and extending charity toward others helps us overcome our own difficulties and makes them seem less challenging.

Silvia H. Allred, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency

Technology

Electronic games and cyber acquaintances are no lasting substitute for real friends who can give an encouraging hug, who can pray for us and seek after our best interest. …

I know our greatest happiness comes as we tune in to the Lord (see Alma 37:37) and to those things which bring a lasting reward, rather than mindlessly tuning in to countless hours of status updates, Internet farming, and catapulting angry birds at concrete walls. I urge each of us to take those things which rob us of precious time and determine to be their master, rather than allowing them through their addictive nature to be the master of us.

Elder Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy

Temple Marriage

A temple marriage for time and all eternity is worthy of your greatest efforts and highest priority.

Elaine S. Dalton, Young Women general president

Womanhood

From the day the gospel began to be restored in this dispensation, the Lord has needed faithful women to participate as His disciples.

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president

General conference was so wonderful. The Spirit was in abundance. The talks have strengthened my testimony and given me a desire to be a better person.

James D., 16, Wales, UK

After this conference, I felt like I should reach out to more people and share the gospel with them. I also felt that just because people refer to us as Mormons doesn’t mean we can’t explain that the real name is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jessamyne C., 14, Washington, USA

General conference really gave my week a nice wrap-up and a great start to this week. All the General Authorities covered everything I needed to hear—from making the right choices to prioritizing, fulfilling responsibilities, and magnifying our callings. It reminded me of the things I need to do as preparations to serving a mission. Thanks for all the wonderful talks. I am proud to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!

Meise P., American Samoa

This general conference was one of the best I have ever listened to. I had the opportunity to get an answer to my prayers summarized all in one talk during the very first session. I hope to continue to strive to follow President Monson and all of the General Authorities’ counsel in my daily life.

Nathan P., 15, Utah, USA

I love the fact that conference is for everyone but that you can get something just for you out of every talk. I’ve been struggling with forgiving someone, and the talk by Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy helped remind me that if I truly want to get over it, I need to ask the Lord for help and He will take away the burden.

Kelsey R., 16, Wyoming, USA

The words of the Lord’s prophets and apostles are true. There is no doubt in my mind that these men are called of God to lead our generation into the events preceding the Second Coming.

Brandon C., 14, New Jersey, USA

Conference made me more motivated to memorize scriptures and work on family history. I like conference because it helps me to do better.

Emily P., 16, Oregon, USA

I have noticed that when I take notes on the general conference talks I get more out of them. I loved how Elder Richard G. Scott considered the scriptures as friends and how they can be with you forever. I am going to try hard to memorize each scripture mastery in seminary so I can better understand the gospel and teach others about it.

Cassandra A., 14, New York, USA

I loved what Sister Dalton said to the men about raising daughters. That’s exactly what every girl needs—a man who will love his family unconditionally and lead them to the temple!

Jacie R., 14, Utah, USA

Before I started watching conference, I wrote down some topics I wanted to learn about. One of the topics I wrote down was time. I was really grateful for Elder Ardern’s talk about prioritizing my time. This talk taught me things I can do to save more time. I also liked Sister Dalton’s talk. I hope the relationship between me and my father will continue to grow as we follow Sister Dalton’s counsel.

Jamie H., 14, California, USA

Finding Answers

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

What do I do if I feel lonely or unimportant?

No matter where you live, no matter how humble your circumstances, how meager your employment, how limited your abilities, [or] how ordinary your appearance, … you are not invisible to your Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your humble heart and your acts of love and kindness. Together, they form a lasting testimony of your fidelity and faith.

Please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise. Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed.

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

I’ve made a big mistake, and I feel like I’m lost and can’t repent. What can I do?

If the adversary should take you prisoner due to misconduct, I remind you that you hold the key that will unlock the prison door from the inside. You can be washed clean through the atoning sacrifice of the Savior Jesus Christ.

You may in time of trouble think that you are not worth saving because you have made mistakes, big or little, and you think you are now lost. That is never true! Only repentance can heal what hurts. But repentance can heal what hurts, no matter what it is.

If you are slipping into things that you should not slip into or if you are associating with people who are pulling you the wrong direction, that is the time to assert your independence, your agency. Listen to the voice of the Spirit, and you will not be led astray.

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

Why do I sometimes not get answers to my prayers?

In my life I have learned that sometimes I do not receive an answer to a prayer because the Lord knows I am not ready. When He does answer, it is often “here a little and there a little” because that is all that I can bear or all I am willing to do.

… As a young man, President David O. McKay prayed for a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. Many years later, while he was serving his mission in Scotland, that witness finally came. Later he wrote, “It was an assurance to me that sincere prayer is answered ‘sometime, somewhere’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay [2003], xviii).

We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter. This may be true for some promises in our patriarchal blessings and for some blessings for family members. Let us not give up on the Lord. His blessings are eternal, not temporary.

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

Sometimes we seem to get no answer to our sincere and striving prayers. It takes faith to remember that the Lord answers in His time and in His way so as to best bless us. Or, on further reflection, we will often realize that we already know full well what we should do.

Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy

What do I need to know about Satan?

Number one, Satan or Lucifer or the Father of Lies—call him what you will—is real, the very personification of evil. His motives are in every case malicious, and he convulses at the appearance of redeeming light, at the very thought of truth. Number two, he is eternally opposed to the love of God, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and the work of peace and salvation. He will fight against these whenever and wherever he can. He knows he will be defeated and cast out in the end, but he is determined to take down with him as many others as he possibly can. …

Satan cannot directly take a life. That is one of many things he cannot do. But apparently his effort to stop the work will be reasonably well served if he can just bind the tongue of the faithful.

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

Why do we need the Book of Mormon when we have the Bible?

The Bible is one witness of Jesus Christ; the Book of Mormon is another. Why is this second witness so crucial? The following illustration may help: How many straight lines can you draw through a single point on a piece of paper? The answer is infinite. For a moment suppose that single point represents the Bible and that hundreds of those straight lines drawn through that point represent different interpretations of the Bible and that each of those interpretations represents a different church.

What happens, however, if on that piece of paper there is a second point representing the Book of Mormon? How many straight lines could you draw between these two reference points: the Bible and the Book of Mormon? Only one. Only one interpretation of Christ’s doctrines survives the testimony of these two witnesses.

Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy

How can I teach by the Spirit in sacrament and quorum meetings?

Real learning … depends on real teaching. …

… We must fully realize that it is the Holy Ghost who is the real teacher and witness of all truth. Those who do not fully understand this either try to take over for the Holy Ghost and do everything themselves, politely invite the Spirit to be with them but only in a supporting role, or believe they are turning all their teaching over to the Spirit when, in truth, they are actually just “winging it.” All … teachers have the responsibility to teach “by the Spirit.” They should not teach “in front of the Spirit” or “behind the Spirit” but “by the Spirit” so the Spirit can teach the truth unrestrained. …

The Holy Ghost teaches individuals in a very personal way.

Matthew O. Richardson, second counselor in the Sunday School general presidency

How can I receive personal revelation?

The way to receive personal revelation is really quite clear. We need to desire to receive revelation, we must not harden our hearts, and then we need to ask in faith, truly believe that we will receive an answer, and then diligently keep the commandments of God.

Following this pattern does not mean that every time we ask a question of God, the answer will immediately appear with every detail of what to do. …

Most often personal revelation will come as we study the scriptures, listen to and follow the counsel of prophets and other Church leaders, and seek to live faithful, righteous lives. Sometimes inspiration will come from a single verse of scripture or from a line in a conference talk. Perhaps your answer will come when the Primary children are singing a beautiful song. These are all forms of revelation.

Barbara Thompson, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency

What should I look forward to in Relief Society?

One of the Lord’s primary purposes in organizing the Relief Society was to give the women the responsibility to help each other prepare “for the greater blessings of the priesthood found in the ordinances and covenants of the temple” (Daughters in My Kingdom: The History and Work of Relief Society [2011], 131).

[You] should also know that the sisterhood of Relief Society can provide a place of safety, refuge, and protection. As our times become ever more difficult, the faithful sisters of Relief Society will help protect the homes of Zion from the shrill voices of the world and the predatory and provocative influence of the adversary. And through Relief Society, … the influence of righteous women can bless many more of our Father’s children.

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president

What if I don’t feel worthy to pray?

There is a risk that a person may not feel good enough to pray. This idea comes from that evil spirit, who is the one who teaches us not to pray (see 2 Nephi 32:8). It is as tragic to think we are too sinful to pray as it is for a very sick person to believe he is too sick to go to the doctor!

Elder J. Devn Cornish of the Seventy

Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?

Among the most frequently asked questions of Church leaders are: Why does a just God allow bad things to happen, especially to good people? Why are those who are righteous and in the Lord’s service not immune from such tragedies?

While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us. Some of the most important principles are:

First, we have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves us personally and understands our suffering perfectly.

Second, His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer, whose Atonement not only provides for salvation and exaltation but also will compensate for all the unfairness of life.

Third, the Father’s plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding.

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

Why can’t I do some of the things my nonmember friends are doing? They seem to be happy.

It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates.

President Thomas S. Monson

In my seminary class we were told to write down a few questions we wanted answered during general conference. I’m so glad we did, because all of my questions were answered! A lot of the talks focused on how important the Holy Ghost is in our lives. I think it is a huge blessing to have the Holy Ghost, and I really want to start paying more attention to His guidance in my everyday life.

Katie M., 15, Texas, USA

When we pray for a desire to learn and put forth effort to get something out of conference, we can gain precious truths that will help us in our everyday struggles!

Brandon R., 16, Arizona, USA

Elder Tad R. Callister’s talk made me realize that when someone questions me about the Church, it could be because they view the Bible differently and don’t have the Book of Mormon, so they don’t have the same interpretation as me.

Cassandra H., 13, Alabama, USA

I took notes while listening to all of the speakers. I love doing this because I’m able to feel an added measure of the Spirit, and because of this I’m able to have amazing spiritual experiences and receive new revelation in my life.

Aaron F., 18, Virginia, USA

I felt that general conference has been spiritually edifying, because the General Authorities of the Church have such a positive attitude towards us and are always there to lift us up in comfort.

Sean F., 16, Illinois, USA

The Apostles love us because they know who we are and they know our potential. I hope to someday be as great as they are and have their faith.

Sariah W., 18, Utah, USA

There were many things I learned and felt at general conference—and some things I felt were directed straight at me. I am excited to continue to grow and learn in the gospel and prepare myself for life after high school, which is fast approaching. Our leaders are truly inspired men and women, and I am so grateful for their love for us and of the Savior’s love for me.

Victoria S., 17, Washington, USA

Two Calls to Youth

To the Aaronic Priesthood

There are thousands of Aaronic Priesthood–age young men already on the records of this Church who constitute our pool of candidates for future missionary service. But the challenge is to have those deacons, teachers, and priests stay active enough and worthy enough to be ordained elders and serve as missionaries. …

But there is an answer to this challenge for you every bit as much as there is for that investigator to whom you will go. Whoever you are and whatever you have done, you can be forgiven. Every one of you young men can leave behind any transgression with which you may struggle. You can do that. It is the miracle of forgiveness; it is the miracle of the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. But you can’t do it without an active commitment to the gospel, and you can’t do it without repentance where it is needed. I am asking you young men to be active and be clean. If required, I am saying get active and get clean. …

My young friends, we need tens of thousands of more missionaries in the months and years ahead. They must come from an increased percentage of the Aaronic Priesthood who will be ordained, active, clean, and worthy to serve.

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

An Invitation to the Rising Generation

It is no coincidence that FamilySearch and other tools have come forth at a time when young people are so familiar with a wide range of information and communication technologies. Your fingers have been trained to text and tweet to accelerate and advance the work of the Lord—not just to communicate quickly with your friends. The skills and aptitude evident among many young people today are a preparation to contribute to the work of salvation.

I invite the young people of the Church to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. I encourage you to study, to search out your ancestors, and to prepare yourselves to perform proxy baptisms in the house of the Lord for your kindred dead (see D&C 124:28–36). And I urge you to help other people identify their family histories.

… Any young person can do what I am suggesting, using the modules available at lds.org/familyhistoryyouth.

… I know the youth of the rising generation have a key role to play in this great endeavor.

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

Elder David A. Bednar talked to the youth about how we should do family history. I went to the website he gave for the tutorial and got to work with my mom. We stayed up late, looking for our lost ancestors and finding temple work to be done. We are still finding people and are on the hunt for more. It feels so good to help our ancestors get their work done and, for the first time, be able to go to the temple for family members soon. I know they are on the other side of the veil encouraging us and helping us find them.

Bailey Y., 13, Alaska, USA

Attending conference in the United Kingdom

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:

Watch Video Highlights for Youth

At youth.lds.org, you’ll find short video highlights from conference made just for youth! Just click on “From Church Leaders” from the youth.lds.org home page, or go directly to lds.org/go/11D.

Find All of the Conference Talks

Read, watch, or listen to the full conference talks at conference.lds.org and in the November 2011 issue of the Ensign magazine. You can even download the talks as MP3 files to put on your mobile devices.

I was excited to hear the Church is building several new temples across the world. I am so excited for all of the members around the world who will now get to have the temple a little closer. Heavenly Father’s work is amazing, and nothing is stopping it from coming forth!

Heather H., 17, Utah, USA

During conference I focused on what I could learn that would specifically help me in my life right now. I took notes during each of the sessions and tried to listen to the Spirit so I would know what to write down. After conference ended, I compiled a list of things I want to do and things I want to become. I have made a goal to work on one thing from each list each week so I can make sure I act on the words of the prophets instead of listening once and never thinking about it again. I know by focusing more intently on what I can do, I will be able to change and become more like my Savior.

Katie K., 18, Utah, USA

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    Seminary scripture mastery verses