“May I mention that no Church-built facility is more important than a temple. Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through the eternities,” President Thomas S. Monson told members in the opening session of conference on Saturday.
President Monson announced plans to build five new temples. In Provo, Utah, the Provo Tabernacle gutted by fire in December 2010, will be rebuilt to become the second temple in Provo. Temples are also planned in Barranquilla, Colombia; Durban, South Africa; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Star Valley, Wyoming, and President Monson noted that progress is being made on the previously announced plans to build a temple in Paris, France. This will bring the number of temples announced or under construction to 31 and, once completed, will bring the Church’s worldwide total to 166.
President Monson also announced the creation of the General Temple Patron Assistance Fund to provide a one-time visit to the temple for those who live far enough away that they cannot afford to go to the temple.
During the priesthood session, President Monson said that there will be times when individual priesthood holders may need to stand alone in defending the right. “With all my heart and soul,” he said, “I pray that every man who holds the priesthood will honor that priesthood and be true to the trust which was conveyed when it was conferred. May each of us who holds the priesthood of God know what he believes. May we ever be courageous and prepared to stand for what we believe, and if we must stand alone in the process, may we do so courageously, strengthened by the knowledge that in reality we are never alone when we stand with our Father in Heaven.”
In his Sunday morning address, President Monson said that in a world that has lost its moral compass, everyone needs the Lord’s help to follow His plan. “Communication with our Father in Heaven—including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us—is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life,” he said.
On Sunday afternoon, as he closed the conference, President Monson assured those listening that Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges they face. “May the spirit we have felt here be and abide with us as we go about those things which occupy us each day,” he said.
During the priesthood session, President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke of the need to prepare for priesthood assignments and to work diligently despite fatigue and distractions. “My prayer is that we may keep our priesthood covenants to qualify ourselves for eternal life,” he said, “and those we are called to train. I promise you if you do all that you can, God will magnify your strength and your wisdom. He will season you.”
In the Sunday Morning session, he testified that the Book of Mormon helps us in keeping three promises we made at baptism—to become charitable, to become witnesses of God, and to endure. “The Book of Mormon is the best guide to learn how well we are doing and how to do better,” he said.
President Eyring explained that as members serve others, the Lord lets them feel His love. “In time, feelings of charity become part of your very nature,” he said.
“The Lord uses a scale very different from the world’s to weigh the worth of a soul,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, said during the Saturday Morning session.
He cautioned against pride and thinking too much of ourselves. He also shared four divine principles to consider that will counteract any doubt that each soul matters to God:
- God loves the humble and meek.
- He has chosen the weak and simple to share the gospel.
- None are ever invisible to our Heavenly Father.
- Heavenly Father sees from an eternal perspective.
During the priesthood session Saturday evening, he told men that each follower of Christ has a sacred obligation to help his neighbor. Members of the Church need to study what the Lord has revealed about welfare and principles of provident living, President Uchtdorf said, and then seek to apply those principles in helping others.
“The welfare principles of the Church are not simply good ideas; they are revealed truths from God—they are His way of helping the needy,” he said.