Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, sustained by millions worldwide as prophets and apostles, addressed various topics during the 181st annual general conference of the Church at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City on April 2-3, 2011.
The President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Boyd K. Packer, spoke of what being a Latter-day Saint means, saying, “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 course. Regardless of opposition or ‘wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in diverse places,’ no power or influence can stop this work. Every one of us can be guided by the spirit of revelation and the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
To watch, listen to, or read messages from the prophets and apostles, visit the General Conference page.
Elder L. Tom Perry addressed the role of the Sabbath and the Sacrament in our lives. In regards to these, he said, “there appear to be three things the Lord requires of us. First, to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Second, to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments. And third, to rest from our labors. . . . Let us remember the blessings and opportunities that are ours as we attend sacrament meeting each week in our wards and branches. Let us prepare to conduct ourselves in a manner that will call down the blessings promised us upon ourselves and our families.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson urged us to strengthen our faith and teach it to our children. “Why do we need such resilient faith? Because 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 Dallin H. Oaks said we need to realize what we truly desire and what our priorities are, because our desires ultimately determine who we become and what we receive in eternity. “To achieve our eternal destiny, we will desire and work for the qualities required to become an eternal being. For example, eternal beings forgive all who have wronged them. They put the welfare of others ahead of themselves. And they love all of God’s children. If this seems too difficult—and surely it is not easy for any of us—then we should begin with a desire for such qualities and call upon our loving Heavenly Father for help with our feelings. . . . Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard encouraged us to find joy in serving. “Great things are wrought through simple and small things. Like the small flecks of gold that accumulate over time into a large treasure, our small and simple acts of kindness and service will accumulate into a life filled with love for Heavenly Father, devotion to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a sense of peace and joy each time we reach out to one another.”
Elder Richard G. Scott, addressing the blessings of eternal marriage, said, “It is so rewarding to be married. Marriage is wonderful. In time you begin to think alike and have the same ideas and expressions. You have times when you are extremely happy, times of testing, and times of trial, but the Lord guides you through all of those experiences together. . . . Marriage provides an ideal setting for overcoming any tendency to be selfish or self-centered.”
Read a message about recognizing and developing spiritual gifts.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland reminded us of the divine inspiration involved in both speaking in conference and learning from the messages given. “I ask you to reflect in the days ahead, not only on the messages you have heard here 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 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.’”
Elder David A. Bednar offered insights on the spirit of revelation and the patterns of receiving revelation, saying, “As you appropriately seek for and apply unto the spirit of revelation, I promise you will ‘walk in the light of the Lord.’ Sometimes the spirit of revelation will operate immediately and intensely, other times subtly and gradually, and often so delicately you may not even consciously recognize it. But regardless of the pattern whereby this blessing is received, the light it provides will illuminate and enlarge your soul, enlighten your understanding, and direct and protect you and your family.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook expressed appreciation for the women of the Church, saying, “Our women are not incredible because they have managed to avoid the difficulties of life—quite the opposite. They are incredible because of the way they face the trials of life. Despite the challenges and tests life has to offer from marriage or lack of marriage, children’s choices, poor health, lack of opportunities, and many other problems, they remain remarkably strong and immovable and true to the faith. Our sisters throughout the Church consistently succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson addressed our need to accept and even seek correction, saying, “Correction is vital if we would conform our lives ‘unto a perfect man, [that is], unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ Paul said of divine correction or chastening, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.’ Though it is often difficult to endure, truly, we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen directed his remarks to the 12- to 25-year-old priesthood holders of the Church. “Have you ever thought about why you have been sent to earth at this specific time? You were not born during the time of Adam and Eve, or while Pharaohs ruled Egypt, or during the Ming Dynasty. You have come to earth at this time twenty centuries after the first coming of Christ. The priesthood of God has been restored to the earth, and the Lord has set His hand to prepare the world for His glorious return. These are days of great opportunities and important responsibilities. These are your days.”
The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles are sustained by millions of Latter-day Saints worldwide as prophets, seers, and revelators, who receive inspiration from God to direct the affairs of His Church today. They serve under the direction of the First Presidency, which consists of the President of the Church and his two counselors. Their messages are intended not only for members of the Church but for all of Heavenly Father’s children throughout the world.