A List of EVERYTHING the Brethren Counseled Us to Do at General Conference (Oct. 2019)

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President Nelson and wife Wendy at General Conference

After about 8-10 hours of general conference it can be difficult to keep track of all of the counsel our leaders give us. Never fear! We’ve searched through every talk from the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and have compiled a comprehensive list of all of their counsel. And FYI, they gave a lot of advice. Check out the table of contents (organized by session, in order of appearance) and click on whose counsel you’d like to jump to. Enjoy!

Note: You’ll notice that this list only includes the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Council from the sisters, 70s, and other leaders is also, of course, invaluable, and will be forthcoming in a second article. When it’s published, I’ll be sure to link it with this article.

Saturday morning session

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The Message, the Meaning, and the Multitude”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson: “The Joy of the Saints”

Elder Dale G. Renlund: “Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ”

President Dallin H. Oaks: “Trust in the Lord”

Saturday afternoon session

Elder David A. Bednar: “Watchful unto Prayer Continually”

President Russell M. Nelson: “Witnesses, Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, and Young Women Classes”

Elder Quentin L. Cook: “Adjustments to Strengthen Youth”

Elder Ronald A. Rasband: “Standing by Our Promises and Covenants”

General women’s session

President Henry B. Eyring: “Covenant Women in Partnership with God”

President Dallin H. Oaks: “Two Great Commandments”

President Russell M. Nelson: “Spiritual Treasures”

Sunday morning session

Elder Gerrit W. Gong: “Covenant Belonging”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Your Great Adventure”

Elder Gary E. Stevenson: “Deceive Me Not”

President Russell M. Nelson: “The Second Great Commandment”

Sunday afternoon session

President Henry B. Eyring: “Holiness and the Plan of Happiness”

President M. Russell Ballard: “Giving Our Spirits Control Over Our Bodies”

Elder Ulisses Soares: “Take Up Our Cross”

Elder Neil L. Andersen: “Fruit”

President Russell M. Nelson: “Closing Remarks”


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “The Message, the Meaning, and the Multitude

Photo of a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • “In matters of faith and conviction, it helps to direct your inquiry toward those who actually have some!”
  • “As in our New Testament story, those blessed with sight will recognize that, in spite of
    everything else this conference tradition may offer, it will mean little or nothing unless we find Jesus at the center of it all.”
  • “…we must cut through the commotion—as joyful as it is—and fix our attention on Him.”
  • “But we don’t have to be in a conference center to find Him. When a child reads the Book of Mormon for the first time and is enamored with Abinadi’s courage or the march of 2,000 stripling warriors, we can gently add that Jesus is the omnipresent central figure in this marvelous chronicle…”
  • “…as our new friends experience a multitude of new sights and sounds, we must
    point past the hustle and bustle and concentrate them on the meaning of it all, on the beating heart of the eternal gospel—the love of Heavenly Parents, the atoning gift of a divine Son, the comforting guidance of the Holy Ghost, the latter-day Restoration of all these truths and more.”
  • “When one goes to the holy temple for the first time, he or she may be somewhat awestruck by that experience. Our job is to ensure that the sacred symbols and revealed rituals, ceremonial clothing and visual presentations, never distract from but rather point toward the Savior, whom we are there to worship.”
  • “Amid all the wonder we encounter, we are to see, above all else, the meaning of Jesus in the temple.”
  • “As we minister to one another, or refine our Sabbath experience, or embrace a new
    program for children and youth we will miss the real reason for these revelatory adjustments if we see them as disparate, unrelated elements rather than as an interrelated effort to help us build firmly on the Rock of our Salvation. Surely, this is what President Russell M. Nelson intends in having us use the revealed name of the Church.”
  • “If Jesus—His name, His doctrine, His example, His divinity—can be at the center of our worship, we will be reinforcing the truth Alma once taught: ‘There be many things to come; [but] behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all— . . . the Redeemer [who] liveth and cometh among his people.'”
  • “In case you may be striving to see more clearly and find meaning in the midst of a
    multitude of opinions, I point you toward that same Jesus…”
  • “Sisters and brothers, through the incessant din and drumbeat of our day, may we strive to see Christ at the center of our lives, our faith, and our service. That is where true meaning lies. And if some days our vision is limited, or our confidence has waned, or our belief is being tested and refined—as surely it will be—may we cry out the louder, ‘Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.’ I promise with apostolic fervor and prophetic conviction that He will hear you and will say, soon or late, ‘Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.'”

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D. Todd Christofferson: “The Joy of the Saints

Photo of a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • Quoting President Nelson, “When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation, . . . and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. . . . For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!”
  • “The Lord’s commandments are our guide to better choices and happier outcomes. How we ought to rejoice and thank Him for showing us this more excellent way.”
  • “Keeping the Lord’s commandments enables us more easily and more fully to feel His love. The strait and narrow path of the commandments leads directly to the tree of life.”
  • “Said the Savior: ‘If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.’ ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.'”
  • “Even when we are found faithfully keeping the commandments, there are trials and tragedies that could interrupt our joy. But as we strive to overcome these challenges with the Savior’s help, it preserves both the joy we feel now and the joy we anticipate.”
  • “It is in turning to Him, obeying Him, binding ourselves to Him, that trial and sorrow are
    turned to joy.”
  • “It is often the  youth and young adults among the Saints, as well as women and mothers, who bear this cross of mocking and persecution. It is not easy to rise above such abuse, but remember the words of Peter: ‘If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.'”
  • Quoting President Nelson, “As in all things, Jesus Christ is our ultimate exemplar, ‘who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross’ (Hebrews 12:2). Think of that! In order for Him to endure the most excruciating experience ever endured on earth, our Savior focused on joy!”
  • “…the joy set before us is the joy of assisting the Savior in His work of redemption.”
  • “Even in times of discouragement or stress, we can minister patiently if we are focused on the joy of pleasing God and bringing light, relief, and happiness to His children, our brothers and sisters.”
  • “With President Russell M. Nelson, I testify that joy is a gift for faithful Saints ‘who have endured the crosses of the world’ and who are ‘intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.'”

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Dale G. Renlund: “Unwavering Commitment to Jesus Christ

Photo of a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • “Being ‘converted unto the Lord’ means leaving one course of action, directed by an old
    belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God. Personal desires that are contrary to being anchored to the Savior and to following the covenant path fade away and are replaced by a determination to submit to the will of Heavenly Father.”
  • “Being converted unto the Lord starts with an unwavering commitment to God, followed by making that commitment part of who we are. Internalizing such a commitment is a lifelong process that requires patience and ongoing repentance. Eventually, this commitment becomes part of who we are, embedded in our sense of self, and ever present in our lives. Just as we never forget our own name no matter what else we are thinking about, we never forget a commitment that is etched in our hearts.”
  • “God invites us to cast our old ways completely out of reach and begin a new life in Christ. This happens as we develop faith in the Savior, which begins by hearing the testimony of those who have faith. Thereafter, faith deepens as we act in ways that anchor us more firmly to Him.”
  • “The only way faith grows is for an individual to act in faith. These actions are often prompted by invitations extended by others, but we cannot ‘grow’ someone else’s faith or rely solely on others to bolster our own. For our faith to grow, we must choose faith-building actions, such as praying, scripture study, partaking of the sacrament, and serving others.”
  • “As our faith in Jesus Christ grows, God invites us to make promises with Him. These
    covenants, as such promises are known, are manifestations of our conversion.”
  • “But a half-hearted commitment to our covenants will not guarantee us anything. We may be tempted to equivocate, throw our old ways in calm water, or bury our weapons of rebellion with the handles sticking out. But an ambivalent commitment to our covenants will not open the door to the sanctifying power of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”
  • “Our commitment to keep our covenants should not be conditional or vary with changing
    circumstances in our lives. Our constancy to God should be like the dependable Congo River that flows near the Kinshasa Temple.”
  • “The Savior invited His disciples to be dependable and steadfast. He said, ‘Wherefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.’ A ‘settled’ determination to keep our covenants allows for the full realization of God’s promise of enduring joy.”
  • “How do we anchor ourselves to the Savior and remain faithful like these and many tens of thousands of Congolese Saints who followed them and millions of others throughout the world? The Savior taught us how. Each week we partake of the sacrament and make a covenant with our Heavenly Father. We promise to link our identity with the Savior’s by pledging our willingness to take upon us His name, to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. Conscientiously preparing for and worthily making these covenants each week anchors us to the Savior, helps us internalize our commitment, and powerfully propels us along the covenant path.”
  • “I invite you to commit to a lifelong process of discipleship. Make and keep covenants.
    Throw your old ways into deep, churning waterfalls. Completely bury your weapons of rebellion with no handles sticking out.”
  • “Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, making covenants with a real intent to reliably honor them will bless your life forever. You will become more like the Savior
    as you always remember Him, follow Him, and adore Him.”

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Dallin H. Oaks: “Trust in the Lord

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  • “What a comforting teaching! Trust in the Lord!”
  • “Many members of the Church have had visions or other inspirations to inform them about how things operate or are organized in the spirit world, but these personal spiritual experiences are not to be understood or taught as the official doctrine of the Church.”
  • Quoting Elder Christofferson: “It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.”
  • “…what about a question like I mentioned earlier about where spirits live? If that question seems strange or trivial to you, consider many of your own questions, or even those you have been tempted to answer on the basis of something you heard from another person sometime in the past? For all questions about the spirit world, I suggest two answers. First, remember that God loves His children and will surely do what is best for each of us. Second, remember this familiar Bible teaching, which has been most helpful to me on a multitude of unanswered questions: ‘Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths’ (Proverbs 3:5-6).”
  • “We can all wonder privately about circumstances in the spirit world, or even discuss these or other unanswered questions in family or other intimate settings. But let us not teach or use as official doctrine what does not meet the standards of official doctrine. To do so does not further the work of the Lord and may even discourage individuals from seeking their own comfort or edification through the personal revelation the Lord’s plan provides for each of us. Excessive reliance on personal teachings or speculations may even draw us aside from concentrating on learning and efforts that will further our understanding and help us go forward on the covenant path.”
  • “Trust in the Lord is a familiar and true teaching in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints … That is still the best principle we can use when our efforts to learn or our attempts to find comfort encounter obstacles in matters not yet revealed or not adopted as the official doctrine of the Church.”
  • “There is so much we do not know that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord and His love for His children.”
  • “The duty of each of us is to teach the doctrine of the restored gospel, keep the
    commandments, love and help one another, and do the work of salvation in the holy temples.”

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David A. Bednar: “Watchful unto Prayer Continually

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  • “…spiritually dangerous ideas and actions frequently can appear to be attractive, desirable, or pleasurable. Thus, in our contemporary world, each of us needs to beware of beguiling bad that pretends to be good. As Isaiah warned, ‘Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!'”
  • “For a topi, a brief moment of carelessness or inattentiveness could invite a swift attack
    from a cheetah. Likewise, spiritual complacency and casualness make us vulnerable to the advances of the adversary. Spiritual thoughtlessness invites great danger into our lives.”
  • “Constant vigilance is required to counteract complacency and casualness. To be vigilant is the state or action of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties. And keeping watch denotes the act of staying awake to guard and protect. Spiritually speaking, we need to stay awake and be alert to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the signals that come from the Lord’s watchmen on the towers. ‘Yea, and I also exhort you . . . that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, . . . for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.'”
  • “Focusing our lives in and on the Savior and His gospel enables us to overcome the tendency of the natural man to be spiritually snoozy and lazy. As we are blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear, the Holy Ghost can increase our capacity to look and listen when we may not typically think we need to look or listen or when we may not think anything can be seen or heard. ‘Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready.'”
  • “President Russell M. Nelson has taught that spiritual safety ultimately lies in ‘”never
    taking the first enticing step toward going where you should not go and doing what you should not do.” … [A]s human beings we all have [physical] appetites necessary for our survival. “These appetites are absolutely essential for the perpetuation of life. So, what does the adversary do? He attacks us through our appetites. He tempts us to eat things we should not eat, to drink things we should not drink, and to love as we should not love!”‘
  • “Understanding the intent of an enemy is vital to effective preparation for possible attacks. Precisely because Captain Moroni knew the intention of the Lamanites, he was prepared to meet them at the time of their coming and was victorious. And that same principle and promise applies to each of us. ‘If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear.’ ‘And that ye might escape the power of the enemy.'”
  • “Just as important lessons can be learned by observing the behavior of cheetahs and topis, so each of us should look for the lessons and warnings found in the simple events of everyday life. As we seek for a mind and heart open to receive heavenly direction by the power of the Holy Ghost, then some of greatest instructions that we can receive and many of the most powerful warnings that can safeguard us will originate in our own ordinary experiences. Powerful parables are contained in both the scriptures and in our daily lives.”
  • “I invite and encourage you to reflect on this episode with the cheetahs and the topis and identify additional lessons for you and your family. Please remember always that your home is the true center of gospel learning and living. As you respond in faith to this invitation, inspired thoughts will come to your mind, spiritual feelings will swell in your heart, and you will recognize actions that should be undertaken or continued so that you can ‘take upon you [the] whole armor [of God] that ye may be able to
    withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.'”
  • “I promise that the blessings of effective preparation and spiritual protection will flow into your life as you are watchful unto prayer vigilantly and continually.”

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Russell M. Nelson: “Witnesses, Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, and Young Women Classes

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  • “You will remember that I have invited the youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
    day Saints to enlist in the Lord’s youth battalion to participate in the greatest cause on earth today—the gathering of Israel. I issued this invitation to our youth because they are unusually gifted in reaching out to others and sharing what they believe in a convincing fashion. The cause of the gathering is an essential part of helping to prepare the world and its people for the Second Coming of the Lord.”
  • “In each ward, the Lord’s youth battalion is led by a bishop, a dedicated servant of God.
    His first and foremost responsibility is to care for the young men and young women of his ward. The bishop and his counselors direct the work of the Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and the Young Women classes in the ward.”

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Quentin L. Cook: “Adjustments to Strengthen Youth

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  • “Our youth are being asked to take more individual responsibility at younger ages—without parents and leaders taking over what youth can do for themselves.”
  • “One of the scriptural duties of the bishop is to preside over the priests and to sit in council with them, teaching them the duties of their office.5 In addition, the first counselor in the bishopric will have specific responsibility for teachers and the second counselor for deacons.”
  • “It is our hope that bishoprics will give great emphasis and focus to the priesthood
    responsibilities of young men and help them in their quorum duties.”
  • “As this account suggests, these adjustments will:
    • Help bishops and their counselors focus on their core responsibilities to the youth and
    Primary children.
    • Place the power and duties of the Aaronic Priesthood at the center of every young man’s personal life and goals.”
  • “These adjustments also:
    • Emphasize the responsibilities of Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidencies and their direct reporting line to the bishopric.
    • Motivate adult leaders to assist and mentor Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidencies in magnifying the power and authority of their office.”
  • “As President Nelson just taught, ‘[The bishop’s] first and foremost responsibility is to care for the young men and young women of his ward.’
  • “in 2018, Melchizedek Priesthood quorums were adjusted to work even more closely with Relief Societies so that elders quorums and Relief Societies can, under the direction of the bishop, help shoulder important responsibilities that previously consumed much of his time. These responsibilities include missionary work and temple and family history work in the ward—as well as much of the ministering to ward members.”
  • “The bishop cannot delegate some responsibilities, such as the youth, being a common judge, caring for those in need, and overseeing finances and temporal affairs.”
  • “As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained last year when the adjustments to the Melchizedek Priesthood quorums were announced: ‘The bishop remains, of course, the presiding high priest of the ward. This new alignment [of elders quorums and Relief Societies] should let him preside over the work of the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Relief Society without requiring him to do the work of either of those bodies.'”
  • “…a Relief Society president and an elders quorum president, as assigned, can take a greater role in counseling with adults—as can a Young Women president in counseling with young women … That doesn’t mean a young woman cannot or should not talk to the bishop or to her parents. Their focus is the youth! But it does mean that a Young Women leader may best meet the needs of an individual young woman.”
  • “Young Women presidents will now report to and counsel directly with the bishop of the ward. In the past, this assignment could be delegated to a counselor, but going forward, young women will be a direct responsibility of the one who holds presiding keys for the ward.”
  • “The bishopric youth committee meeting will be replaced by a ward youth council.”
  • “The word ‘Mutual’ will be retired and become ‘Young Women activities,’ ‘Aaronic
    Priesthood quorum activities,’ or ‘youth activities’ and will be held weekly where
    possible.”
  • “At all levels—ward, stake, and general—we will use the term ‘organization’ rather than
    the term ‘auxiliary.'”
  • “Those who lead the General Relief Society, Young Women, Young Men, Primary, and Sunday School organizations will be known as ‘General Officers.'”
  • “Those who lead organizations at the ward and stake levels will be known as ‘ward officers’ and ‘stake officers.'”
  • “The adjustments announced today may begin as soon as branches, wards, districts, and stakes are ready, but should be in place by January 1, 2020.”

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Ronald A. Rasband: “Standing by Our Promises and Covenants

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  • “How important is it to you to keep your word? To be trusted? To do what you say you will do? To strive to honor your sacred covenants? To have integrity? By living true to our promises to the Lord and to others, we walk the covenant path back to our Father in Heaven and we feel His love in our lives.”
  • “What are the dangers if we cheat a little, slip a little, or do not quite follow through with our commitments? What if we walk away from our covenants? Will others “Come Unto Christ” in light of our example? Is your word your bond? Keeping promises is not a habit, it is a characteristic of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
  • “The Lord has said, ‘…every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am;’ That is His ultimate promise.”
  • “To ‘go and do’ means rising above the ways of the world, receiving and acting on personal revelation, living righteously with hope and faith in the future, making and keeping covenants to follow Jesus Christ and thereby increasing our love for Him, the Savior of the world.”
  • “Like those baptized at the waters of Mormon, we covenant to become His people, ‘…to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;… ‘…to mourn with those that mourn;… …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….’ Our ministering one to another in the Church reflects our commitment to honor those very promises.”
  • “Our daily thoughts and actions, both large and small, reflect our commitment to Him. His sacred promise in return is, ‘…if ye do always remember me ye shall have my spirit to be with you.'”
  • “My question today is do we stand by our promises and covenants or are they sometimes half-hearted commitments, casually made and hence, easily broken? When we say to someone, ‘I will pray for you,’ do we? When we commit, ‘I will be there to help,’ will we? When we obligate ourselves to pay a debt, do we? When we raise our hands to sustain a fellow member in a new calling, which means give support, do we?”
  • “The Lord has said, ‘I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.’ What is He saying to those who abide by the Word of Wisdom? That we will have the promise of health, strength, wisdom, knowledge and angels to protect us.”
  • “In the pre-earth life when we chose God’s Plan, we made a promise to help gather Israel on both sides of the veil. ‘We went into a partnership with the Lord,’ Elder John A. Widtsoe explained years ago. ‘The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work.'”
  • “First the invitation. I invite you to consider the promises and covenants you make with the Lord, and others, with great integrity, knowing that your word is your bond. Second, I promise you, as you do this, the Lord will establish your words and sanction your deeds as you strive with unwearied diligence to build up your lives, your families, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He will be with you my dear brothers and sisters, and you can with confidence, look forward to being ‘received into heaven, that thereby [you] may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness . . . for the Lord God hath spoken it.'”

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Henry B. Eyring: “Covenant Women in Partnership with God

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  • “The covenant daughters and sons of God, however, all share one important and joyful call. It is to serve others for Him.”
  • Quoting President Nelson, “The Lord said, ‘My work and my glory [is] to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.’ (Moses 1:39.) So His devoted daughter-disciple may truly say, ‘My work and my glory is to help my loved ones reach that heavenly goal.’” “To help another human being reach one’s celestial potential is part of the divine mission of woman. As mother, teacher, or nurturing saint, she molds living clay to the shape of her hopes. In partnership with God, her divine mission is to help spirits live and souls be lifted. This is the measure of her creation. It is ennobling, edifying, and exalting.”
  • “You will be wise to bend every effort to prepare now with the end in mind. That task is
    made simpler because each of these assignments requires much of the same preparation. Let’s start with the assignment to be a ministering sister.”
  • “In the same way that you prepare to minister, you can and must prepare for your call to be a leader for the Lord when it comes. It will require faith in Jesus Christ rooted in your deep love of the scriptures to lead people and to teach His word without fear. Then you will be prepared to have the Holy Ghost as your constant companion. You will be eager to say ‘I will’ when your counselor in the Young Women presidency says, with panic in her voice, ‘Sister Alvarez is sick today. Who will teach her class?'”
  • “It takes much the same preparation for the wonderful day when the Lord calls you to an assignment as a mother. But it will also take an even more loving heart than you needed earlier. It will take faith in Jesus Christ beyond what has ever before been in your heart. And it will take a capacity to pray for the influence, direction, and comfort of the Holy Ghost beyond what you may have felt was possible.”
  • “You remember President Nelson’s perfect description of a woman’s divine mission—
    including her mission of mothering: ‘As mother, teacher, or nurturing saint, she molds living clay to the shape of her hopes. In partnership with God, her divine mission is to help spirits live and souls be lifted. This is the measure of her creation.'”
  • “Becoming a covenant woman in partnership with God is how great and good daughters of God have always mothered, led, and ministered, serving in whatever way and place He has prepared for them. I promise that you will find joy in your journey to your heavenly home as you return to Him as a covenant-keeping daughter of God.”

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Dallin H. Oaks: “Two Great Commandments

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  • “President Nelson has also reminded us that we don’t ‘have to always agree with each other to love each other.'”
  • “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
    thy mind, This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ This means we are commanded to love everyone…”
  • “But our zeal to keep this second commandment must not cause us to forget the first, to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We show that love by ‘keep[ing] [His] commandments.’ God requires us to obey His commandments because only through that obedience, including repentance, can we return to live in His presence and become perfect as He is.”
  • “In his BYU talk President Nelson taught, ‘Abiding by God’s laws will keep you safe as you progress toward eventual exaltation.'”
  • “We seek to persuade our members that those who follow lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender teachings and actions should be treated with the love our Savior commands us to show toward all our neighbors. Thus, when same-sex marriage was declared legal, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve declared: ‘The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us to love and treat all people with kindness and civility—even when we disagree. We affirm that those who avail themselves of laws or court rulings authorizing same-sex marriage should not be treated disrespectfully.’ Further, we must never persecute those who do not share our beliefs and commitments.”
  • “Regretfully, some persons facing these issues continue to feel marginalized and rejected by some members and leaders in our families, wards, and stakes. We must all strive to be kinder and more civil.”
  • “For reasons we do not understand we have different challenges in our mortal experiences. But we do know that God will help each of us overcome these challenges if we sincerely seek His help.”
  • “we must try to keep both of the great commandments. To do so we walk a fine line between law and love—keeping the commandments and walking the covenant path, while loving our neighbors along the way. This walk requires us to seek divine inspiration on what to support and what to oppose and how to love and listen respectfully and teach in the process. Our walk demands that we not compromise on commandments but show forth a full measure of understanding and love. Our walk must be considerate of children who are uncertain about their sexual orientation, but it discourages premature labeling because in most children such uncertainty decreases significantly over time.21 Our walk opposes recruitment away from the covenant path and it denies support to any who lead people away from the Lord. In all of this we remember that God promises hope and ultimate joy and blessings for all who keep His commandments.”
  • “Mothers and fathers and all of us are responsible to teach both of the two great commandments.”
  • “For the women of the Church President Spencer W. Kimball described that dutyin this great prophecy: ‘Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world…will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different…from the women of the world….Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.'”

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Russell M. Nelson: “Spiritual Treasures

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  • “The Lord instructed Emma to expound the scriptures, to exhort the Church, to receive the Holy Ghost, and to spend her time ‘learning much.’ Emma was also counseled to lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better, and to hold fast to her covenants with God. The Lord concluded His instruction with these compelling words: ‘This is my voice unto all.'”
  • “Everything that happened in Harmony has profound implications for your lives. The restoration of the priesthood, along with the Lord’s counsel to Emma, can guide and bless each of you. How I yearn for you to understand that the restoration of the priesthood is just as relevant to you as a woman as it is to any man.”
  • “Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power.”
  • “I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life. Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love.”
  • “The Holy Ghost will be your personal tutor as you seek to understand what the Lord would have you know and do. This process is neither quick nor easy, but it is spiritually invigorating.”
  • “I invite you to study prayerfully section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants and discover
    what the Holy Ghost will teach you. Your personal, spiritual endeavor will bring you joy as you gain, understand, and use the power with which you have been endowed.”
  • “Part of this endeavor will require you to put aside many things of this world. Sometimes we speak almost casually about walking away from the world with its contention, pervasive temptations, and false philosophies. But truly doing so requires you to examine your life meticulously and regularly. As you do so, the Holy Ghost will prompt you about what is no longer needful, what is no longer worthy of your time and energy.”
  • “As you shift your focus away from worldly distractions, some things that seem important to you now will recede in priority. You will need to say “no” to some things, even though they may seem harmless. As you embark upon and continue this life-long process of consecrating your life to the Lord, the changes in your perspective, feelings, and spiritual strength will amaze you!”
  • “Most certainly, the adversary does not want you to understand the covenant you made at baptism, or the profound endowment of knowledge and power you have received or will receive in the temple—the house of the Lord. And Satan certainly does not want you to understand that every time you worthily serve and worship in the temple, you leave armed with God’s power and with His angels having ‘charge over’ you.”
  • “Conversely, it thrills me when I learn of priesthood leaders that eagerly seek the participation of women in ward and stake councils. I am inspired by each husband who
    demonstrates that his most important priesthood responsibility is to care for his wife. I praise that man who deeply respects his wife’s ability to receive revelation and treasures her as an equal partner in their marriage.”
  • “From the dawning of time, women have been blessed with a unique moral compass—the ability to distinguish right from wrong. This gift is enhanced in those who make and keep covenants. And it diminishes in those who willfully ignore the commandments of God.”
  • “I hasten to add that I do not absolve men in any way from God’s requirement for them also to distinguish between right and wrong. But my dear sisters, your ability to discern truth from error, to be society’s guardians of morality, is crucial in these latter days. And we depend upon you to teach others to do likewise. Let me be very clear about this: If this world loses the moral rectitude of its women, the world will never recover.”
  • “Whether by exhortation or conversation, we need your voice teaching the doctrine of Christ. We need your input in family, ward, and stake councils. Your participation is essential and never ornamental!”
  • “My dear sisters, your power will increase as you serve others. Your prayers, fasting, time in the scriptures, and service in temple and family history work will open the heavens to you.”
  • “I entreat you to study prayerfully all the truths you can find about priesthood power. You might begin with Doctrine and Covenants sections 84 and 107. Those sections will lead you to other passages. The scriptures and teachings by modern prophets, seers and revelators are filled with these truths. As your understanding increases and as you exercise faith in the Lord and His priesthood power, your ability to draw upon this spiritual treasure that the Lord has made available to you will increase. As you do so, you will find yourselves better able to help create eternal families that are united, sealed in the temple of the Lord, and full of love for our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”
  • “In closing, I would like to leave a blessing upon you, that you may understand the priesthood power with which you have been endowed and that you will augment that power by exercising your faith in the Lord and in His power.”

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Gerrit W. Gong: “Covenant Belonging

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  • “When we come to God’s great commandments to love Him and those around us bycovenant, we do so not as stranger or guest, but as His child at home. The age-old paradox is still true. In losing our worldly self through covenant belonging, we find and become our best eternal self—free, alive, real—and define our most important relationships.”
  • “When we covenant all we are, we can become more than we are. Covenant belonging gives us place, narrative, capacity to become. It produces faith unto life and salvation.”
  • “Faith in Jesus Christ and personal change (repentance) bring mercy, grace, forgiveness. These comfort the hurt, loneliness, injustice we experience in mortality.”
  • “We are not meant to wander in existential uncertainty and doubt, but to rejoice in cherished covenant relationships ‘stronger than the cords of death.'”
  • “To belong with God and to walk with each other on His covenant path is to be blessed by covenant belonging.”
  • “Every good and promised blessing comes to those who remain faithful to the end. The ‘happy state of those that keep the commandments of God’ is to be ‘blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual,’ and to ‘dwell with God … in never-ending happiness.'”
  • “As we honor our covenants, we may sometimes feel we are in the company of angels. And we will be—those we love and who bless us on this side of the veil, and those who love and bless us from the other side of the veil.”
  • “Along life’s path, we may lose faith in God, but He never loses faith in us. As it were, His porch light is always on. He invites us to come or return to the covenants that mark His path. He waits ready to embrace us, even when we are ‘yet a great way off.’ When we look with an eye of faith for the patterns, arc, or connected dots of our experience, we can see His tender mercies and encouragement, especially in our trials, sorrows, and challenges, as well as in our joys.”
  • “As we read the Book of Mormon, by ourselves and with others, whether silently or aloud, we can ask God ‘with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ,’ and receive by the power of the Holy Ghost God’s assurance the Book of Mormon is true. This includes assurance Jesus Christ is our Savior, Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration, and the Lord’s church is called by His name—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • “Your forefathers received covenant promise that you, their descendants, would recognize a voice as if from the dust in the Book of Mormon. That voice you feel as you read testifies you are ‘children of the covenant’ and Jesus is your good Shepherd.”
  • “The Book of Mormon invites each of us, in Alma’s words, to ‘enter into a covenant with [the Lord], that [we] will serve him, and keep his commands, that he may pour out His Spirit more abundantly upon [us].'”
  • “When we want to change for the better—as one person put it, ‘to stop being miserable and to be happy being happy’—we become open to direction, help, and strength. We can come by covenant to belong with God and a community of faithful believers, and receive the blessings promised in the doctrine of Christ—now.”
  • “Finally, the blessings of covenant belonging come when we follow the Lord’s prophet, and rejoice in covenant living, including in marriage. Covenant marriage becomes supernal and eternal as we daily choose the happiness of our spouse and family before our own. As ‘me’ becomes ‘we,’ we grow together. We grow old together, we grow young together. As we bless each other across a lifetime of forgetting ourselves, we find our hopes and joys sanctified in time and eternity.”
  • “While situations differ, when we do all we can, the best we can, and sincerely ask and seek His help along the way, the Lord will guide us, in His time and manner, by the Holy Ghost.”

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Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Your Great Adventure

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  • “The Savior invites us, each day, to set aside our comforts and securities and join Him on the journey of discipleship. There are many bends in this road. There are hills, valleys, and detours. There may even be metaphorical spiders, trolls, and even a dragon or two. But if you stay on the path and trust in God, you will eventually find the way to your glorious destiny and back to your Heavenly home.”
  • “…you need to choose to incline your heart to God. Strive each day to find Him. Learn to love Him. And then let that love inspire you to learn, understand, and follow His teachings.”
  • “If you hesitate in this adventure because you doubt your ability, remember that discipleship is not about doing things perfectly, it’s about doing things intentionally. It is your choices that show what you truly are, far more than your abilities. Even when you fail, you can choose not to give up, but rather discover your courage, press forward, and rise up. That is the great test of the journey. God knows that you are not perfect, that you will fail at times. God loves you no less when you struggle than when you triumph.”
  • “Like a loving parent, He merely wants you to keep intentionally trying. Discipleship is like learning to play the piano. Perhaps all you can do at first is play a barely recognizable rendition of ‘Chopsticks.’ But if you continue practicing, the simple tunes will one day give way to wondrous sonatas, rhapsodies, and concertos. Now, that day may not come during this life, but it will come. All God asks is that you consciously keep striving.”
  • “There is something interesting, almost paradoxical, about this path you’ve chosen: The
    only way for you to progress in your gospel adventure is to help others progress as well. To help others is the path of discipleship. Faith, hope, love, compassion, and service refine us as disciples. Through your efforts to help the poor and the needy, to reach out to those in distress, your own character is purified and forged, your spirit is enlarged, and you walk a little taller. But this love cannot come with expectations of repayment. It cannot be the kind of service that expects recognition, adulation, or favor.”
  • “True disciples of Jesus Christ love God and His children without expectation of something in return. We love those who disappoint us, who don’t like us. Even those who ridicule, abuse, and seek to hurt us. When you fill your hearts with the pure love of Christ, you leave no room for rancor, judgment, and shaming. You keep God’s commandments because you love Him. In the process, you slowly become more Christlike in your thoughts and deeds. And what adventure could be greater than this?”
  • “The third thing we strive to master in this journey is to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ and not be ashamed of being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ. We do not hide our faith. We do not bury it. To the contrary, we talk about our journey with others in normal and natural ways. That’s what friends do—they talk about things that are important to them. Things that are close to their heart and make a difference to them. That’s what you do. You tell your stories and experiences as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
  • “Sometimes your stories make people laugh. Sometimes, they bring them to tears.
    Sometimes, they will help people to continue in patience, resilience, and courage to face another hour, another day, and come a little closer to God. Share your experiences in person, on social media, in groups, everywhere.”
  • “One of the last things Jesus told His disciples was that they were to go throughout the world and share the story of the risen Christ.8 Today we too, joyfully accept that Great Commission.”
  • “May I remind you that God does not need you to ‘sell’ the Restored Gospel or The Church of Jesus Christ. He simply expects that you do not hide it under a bushel. And if people decide the Church is not for them, that is their decision. It does not mean you have failed. You continue to treat them kindly. Nor does it exclude that you invite them again. The difference between casual social contacts and compassionate courageous discipleship is – invitation! We love and respect all of God’s children, regardless of their position in life, regardless of their race or religion, regardless of their life’s decisions.”
  • “For our part, we will say, ‘Come and see! Find out for yourself how walking the path of
    discipleship will be rewarding and ennobling.’ We invite people to ‘come and help, as we try to make the world a better place.’ And we say, ‘Come and stay! We are your brothers and sisters. We are not perfect. We trust God and seek to keep His commandments. Join with us, and you will make us better. And, in the process, you will become better as
    well. Let’s take this adventure together.'”
  • “If you and I have felt the stirrings to join the great adventure of living and sharing what our loving Heavenly Father has prepared for us a long time ago, I assure you, today is the day to follow God’s Son and our Savior on His path of service and discipleship.”
  • “We could spend a lifetime waiting for that moment when everything lines up perfectly. But now is the time to commit fully to seeking God, ministering to others, and sharing our experience with others. Leave behind your hat, walking stick, handkerchief, and messy house.”
  • “To those of us already walking that path, take courage, compassion, have confidence, and continue! To those who have left the path. Please come back, join again with us, make us stronger. And, to those who have not yet begun, why delay? If you want to experience the wonders of this great spiritual journey, set foot upon your own grand adventure! Speak with the missionaries. Speak with your Latter-day Saint friends. Speak with them about this marvelous work and a wonder. It’s time to begin!”
  • “If you sense that your life could have more meaning, a higher purpose, stronger family
    bonds, and a closer connection with God; please, come join with us. If you seek a community of people who are working to become the best versions of themselves, help those in need, and make this world a better place, come join with us! Come and see what this marvelous, wondrous, and adventurous journey is all about. Along the way you will discover yourself. You will discover meaning. You will discover God. You will discover the most adventurous and glorious journey of your life.”

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Gary E. Stevenson: “Deceive Me Not

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  • “There is much we can learn from Moses’s mighty response to temptation from the
    adversary. I invite you to respond the same way when you feel influenced by temptation. Command the enemy of your soul by saying, ‘Go away! You have no glory. Do not tempt or lie to me! For I know who I am—a child of God. And I will always call upon my God for His help.'”
  • “Moses’s resistance of the adversary is a vivid and enlightening example for each of us, no matter our stage in life. It is a powerful message for you personally—to know what to do when he tries to deceive you. For you, like Moses, have been blessed with the gift of heavenly help.”
  • “Obedience to commandments given to our prophet is a key not only in avoiding the
    influence of the deceiver, but also in experiencing lasting joy and happiness. This divine formula is rather simple: righteousness, or obedience to commandments, brings blessings, and blessings bring happiness, or joy, into our lives.”
  • “…in the same way that the adversary tried to deceive Moses, he seeks to trick you. He has always pretended to be something that he is not. He always attempts to hide who he truly is. He claims that obedience will make your life miserable and that it will rob you of happiness.”
  • “Can you think of some of his ploys to deceive? For instance, he disguises the destructive consequences of illicit drugs or drinking and instead suggests that it will bring pleasure. He immerses us in the various negative elements that can exist in social media, including debilitating comparisons and idealized reality. In addition, he camouflages other dark, harmful content found online such as pornography, blatant attacks on others through cyberbullying, and sowing misinformation to cause doubt and fear in our hearts and minds. Cunningly, he whispers, ‘Just follow me, and you will surely be happy.'”
  • “The words written so many centuries ago by a Book of Mormon prophet are especially relevant for our day: ‘Wickedness never was happiness.’ May we recognize Satan’s deceptions for what they are. May we withstand and see through the lies and influences of the one who seeks to destroy our souls and steal from us our present joy and future glory.”
  • “My dear brothers and sisters, we must continue to be faithful and vigilant, for so is the only way to discern truth and to hear the voice of the Lord through His servants.”
  • “We are the Saints of Almighty God, the hope of Israel! Will we falter? ‘Shall we shrink or shun the fight? No! … To God’s command, soul, heart, and hand, faithful and true we will ever stand.'”
  • “As we obey His commandments, we will always be led in the right way and will not be deceived.”

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Russell M. Nelson: “The Second Great Commandment

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  • “Latter-day Saints, as with other followers of Jesus Christ, are always looking for ways to
    help, to lift, and to love others. They who are willing to be called the Lord’s people, are willing to ‘bear one another’s burdens:’ to ‘mourn with those that mourn,’ and to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort.’ They truly seek to live the first and second great commandments. When we love God with all our hearts, He turns our hearts to the well-being of others in a beautiful virtuous cycle.”
  • “To assist members of the Lord’s Church who are in distress, we love and live the ancient law of the fast. We go hungry to help others who are hungry. One day each month, we go without food and donate the cost of that food (and more) to help those in need.”
  • “As members of the Church, we feel a kinship to those who suffer in any way.5
    As sons and daughters of God, we are all brothers and sisters. We heed an Old Testament admonition: ‘Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy.’ We also strive to live the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 25: (Quote) ‘For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me’ … ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’ (close quote)”
  • “This kind of service, rendered by so many of you, is the very essence of ministering.”
  • “My dear brothers and sisters, the activities I have described are merely a small part of the growing welfare and humanitarian outreach of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And you are the ones who make all this possible. Because of your exemplary lives, your generous hearts, and your helping hands, it is no wonder that many communities and government leaders are praising your efforts.”
  • “Regardless of where we call home, members of the Church feel passionately about the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Thus, our greatest joy comes as we help our brothers and sisters, no matter where we live in this wonderful world. Giving help to others—making a conscientious effort to care about others as much or more than we care about ourselves—is our joy. Especially I might add, when it is not convenient and when it takes us out of our comfort zone.”

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Henry B. Eyring: “Holiness and the Plan of Happiness

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  • “Alma knew that wickedness could never be happiness for his son—or for any child of Heavenly Father. He taught his son that increasing in holiness was the only path to happiness. He made it plain that greater holiness is made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ cleansing and perfecting us. Only by faith in Jesus Christ, continuing repentance, and keeping covenants are we able to claim the lasting happiness we yearn to experience and retain.”
  • “My prayer for today is that I may help you understand that greater happiness comes from greater personal holiness so that you will act upon that belief. I will then share what I know for myself about what we can do to qualify for that gift of becoming ever more holy.”
  • “The scriptures teach us that among other things, we can be sanctified or become more holy when we exercise faith in Christ, demonstrate our obedience, repent, sacrifice for Him, receive sacred ordinances, and keep our covenants with Him. Qualifying for the gift of holiness requires humility, meekness, and patience.”
  • “Here is the Lord’s message to His faithful and suffering prophet: ‘And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.’ ‘The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?’ ‘Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.'”
  • “After Job repented and so became more holy, the Lord blessed him beyond all he had lost. But perhaps the greatest blessing for Job was to have increased in holiness through adversity and repentance. He was qualified to have greater happiness in the days he had yet to live. Greater holiness will not come simply by asking for it. It will come by doing what is needed for God to change us.”
  • “President Russell M. Nelson has given what seems to me the best counsel of how to move along the covenant path to greater holiness. He pointed the way when he urged: ‘Experience the strengthening power of daily repentance—of doing and being a little better each day. When we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy—the joy of redemption in Him. When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!'”
  • “President Nelson went on to give us this encouragement in our efforts to become holier: ‘The Lord does not expect perfection from us at this point. … But He does expect us to become increasingly pure. Daily repentance is the pathway to purity.'”
  • “President Dallin H. Oaks, in an earlier conference address, also helped me see more clearly how we grow in holiness and how we can know we are moving toward it. He said: ‘How do we achieve spirituality? How do we attain that degree of holiness where we can have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost? How do we come to view and evaluate things of this world with the perspective of eternity?’ President Oaks’s answer begins with greater faith in Jesus Christ as our loving Savior. That leads us to seek forgiveness every day and to remember Him by keeping His commandments. That greater faith in Jesus Christ comes as we feast daily on His word.”
  • “The hymn ‘More Holiness Give Me’ suggests a way to pray for help in becoming more
    holy. The author wisely suggests that the holiness we seek is a gift from a loving God, granted over time, after all we can do. You remember the last verse: ‘More purity give me, more strength to o’ercome, More freedom from earth-stains, more longing for home. More fit for the kingdom, more used would I be, More blessed and holy—More, Savior, like thee.’ Whatever our personal circumstance, wherever we may be on the covenant path home, may our prayers for greater holiness be answered.”

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M. Russell Ballard: “Giving Our Spirits Control Over Our Bodies

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  • “Brothers and sisters, please do not miss an opportunity to look into the eyes of your family members with love. Children and parents, reach out to each other and express your love and appreciation. Like me, some of you may wake up one day to discover that the time for such important communication has passed. Live each day together with hearts filled with gratitude, good memories, service, and much love.”
  • “A few years ago, President Gordon B. Hinckley said something that is particularly
    meaningful about this. ‘How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that comes from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time.’ I certainly married right. Of that there can be no doubt. But that isn’t enough, according to
    President Hinckley. I also have to live right.”
  • “Today, ‘living right’ can be a pretty confusing concept, especially if you spend much time on social media, where any voice can declare real truths or false concepts about God and His plan for His children. Thankfully, members of the Church have eternally true gospel principles to know how to live so that we might be better prepared when we die.”
  • “Brothers and sisters, remember, we can receive spiritual help through the influence of the Holy Ghost that ‘can teach you all things.’ Help can also come through the power and blessings of the priesthood.”
  • “Now I ask, ‘How is this battle going with you?’ President David O. McKay said: ‘Man’s earthly existence is but a test as to whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to the comfort and gratification of his physical nature, or whether he will make as his life’s purpose the acquisition of spiritual qualities'”
  • “In his final sermon to his people, King Benjamin taught that ‘the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord.'”
  • “It seems clear to me that one of the most important things we can learn in this life is how to emphasize our eternal spiritual nature and control our evil desires. We know this is possible.”
  • “Think about that for a moment. This is who you really are, and who you have always been: a son or daughter of God, with spiritual roots in eternity and a future overflowing with infinite possibilities. You are – first, foremost and always – a spiritual being. And so when one chooses to put our carnal nature ahead of our spiritual nature, we are choosing something that is contrary to our real, true, authentic, spiritual selves.”
  • “Learning to choose the things of the Spirit over the things of the flesh is one of the primary reasons why this earthly experience is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. It’s also why the plan is built upon the solid, sure foundation of the Atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ so that our sins, including the errors we make when we yield to the flesh, can be overcome through constant repentance and we can live spiritually focused. Now is the time to control our bodily appetites to comply with the spiritual doctrine of Christ. That is why we must not procrastinate the day of our repentance.”
  • “Repentance, therefore, becomes an indispensable weapon in our battle over self. Just last general conference, President Russell M. Nelson referred to this battle and reminded us that ‘when we choose to repent, we choose to change! We allow the Savior to transform us into the best version of ourselves. We choose to grow spiritually and receive joy – the joy of redemption in Him! When we choose to repent, we choose to become more like Jesus Christ!'”
  • “Another resource is the weekly opportunity we all have to refresh ourselves spiritually by partaking of the Sacrament in remembrance of the atonement and the perfect love that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has for us.”
  • “Brothers and sisters, I encourage you to slow down a bit and think about where you are now in subjugating your carnal nature and empowering your divine, spiritual nature, so when the time comes, you may pass into the spirit world to a joyful reunion with your loved ones.”

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Ulisses Soares: “Take Up Our Cross

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  • “We have received wonderful teachings from our leaders during these last two days. I testify to you that if we strive to apply these inspired and timely teachings in our lives, the Lord, through His grace, will help each of us carry our cross and make our burdens light.”
  • “To help His disciples to understand that devotion to His work includes submission and
    suffering, the Savior emphatically declared, ‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’ Through this declaration, the Savior emphasized that all those who are willing to follow Him need to deny themselves, and control their desires, appetites, and passions, sacrificing everything, even life itself if necessary, being entirely submissive to the will of the Father — just as He did.”
  • “In the same fashion, all of us, need to understand more fully the relevance of taking upon ourselves our crosses and following Him. We learn through the scriptures that those who wish to take their cross upon themselves love Jesus Christ in such a way that they deny themselves of all ungodliness, and of every worldly lust and keep His commandments. The Apostle Paul taught, ‘Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.'”
  • “Our determination to cast off all that is contrary to God’s will and to sacrifice all we are
    asked to give, and to strive to follow His teachings will help us to endure in the path of Jesus Christ’s gospel — even in the face of tribulation, weakness of our souls, or the social pressure and worldly philosophies that oppose His teachings.”
  • “For example, for those who have not yet found an eternal companion and may be feeling lonely and hopeless, or for those who have been divorced and feel abandoned and forgotten, I assure you that accepting the Savior’s invitation of taking upon yourselves your crosses and following Him means continuing with faith on the Lord’s path, maintaining a pattern of dignity and not indulging in worldly habits that will eventually take away our hope in God’s love and mercy. The same principles apply to those of you who are experiencing same-gender attraction and feel discouraged and helpless.”
  • “To those who have committed serious sins, accepting this same invitation means, among other things, to humble yourself before God, to counsel with appropriate Church leaders, and to repent and forsake your sins. This process will also bless all who are fighting against debilitating addictions, including opioids, drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Taking these steps brings you closer to the Savior, who can ultimately free you from guilt, sorrow, and spiritual and physical slavery. Additionally, you may also desire to seek the support of your family, friends, and competent medical and counseling professionals.”
  • “Please never give up after subsequent failures and consider yourself incapable of
    abandoning sins and overcoming addiction. You cannot afford to stop trying and thereafter continue in weakness and sin! Always strive to do your best, manifesting through your works the desire to cleanse the inner vessel, as taught by the Savior. Sometimes solutions to certain challenges come after months and months of continuous effort. The promise found in the Book of Mormon that, ‘it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,’ is applicable in these circumstances. Please remember that the Savior’s gift of grace is not necessarily limited in time to ‘after’ all we can do. We may receive His grace before, during, and after the time when we expend our own efforts.”
  • “I testify that as we continually strive to overcome our challenges, God will bless us withthe gifts of faith to be healed and of the working of miracles. He will do for us what we are not capable of doing for ourselves.”
  • “Additionally, for those who feel bitter, angry, offended, or chained to sorrows for
    something you feel is undeserved, to take up one’s cross and follow the Savior means to strive to lay aside these feelings and turn to the Lord so He can free us from this state of mind, and help us to find peace. Unfortunately, if we hold on to these negative feelings and emotions, we may find ourselves living without the influence of the Lord’s Spirit in our lives. We cannot repent for other people, but we can forgive them — by refusing to be held hostages by those who have harmed us.”
  • “The scriptures teach that there is a way out of these situations — by inviting our Savior to help us to replace our stony hearts with new hearts. For this to happen, we need to come to the Lord with our weaknesses, humble ourselves before Him, and implore His help and forgiveness, especially during the sacred moment when we partake of the sacrament each Sunday. May we choose to seek His forgiveness and His help, and take an important and difficult step by forgiving those who have hurt us so that our wounds may begin to heal. I promise you that in your doing so, your nights will be full of the relief that comes from a mind at peace with the Lord.”
  • “While in the Liberty Jail in 1839, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote an epistle to Church
    members containing prophecies that are so very applicable in these situations. He wrote, ‘All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ.’ Therefore, those who take upon themselves the name of the Savior, trusting in His promises and persevering to the end, will be saved and may dwell with God in a state of never ending happiness.”
  • “My dear friends, we must remember that taking our cross upon ourselves includes being humble and trusting in God and in His infinite wisdom. We must acknowledge that He is aware of each of us and of our needs. It is also necessary to accept the fact that the Lord’s timing is different than ours. Sometimes we seek for a blessing and set a time limit for the Lord to fulfill it. We cannot condition our faithfulness to Him by imposing upon Him a deadline for the answers to our desires. When we do this, we resemble the skeptical Nephites from ancient times, who mocked their brethren by saying that the time was past for the fulfillment of the words spoken by Samuel the Lamanite, creating confusion among those who believed.24 We need to trust the Lord enough to be still and know that He is God, that He knows all things, and that He is aware of each of us.”
  • “Brothers and sisters, I want to testify to you that taking upon us our cross and following the Savior requires us to follow His example and strive to become like Him, patiently facing the circumstances of life, denying and despising the appetites of the natural man, and waiting on the Lord. The psalmist wrote, ‘Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord’ ‘…He is our help and our shield.'”
  • “I testify to you that by following our Master’s footsteps, and waiting on Him who is the
    ultimate healer of our lives, will provide rest to our souls and make our burdens easy and light. I witness that He can relieve our burdens by strengthening our shoulders so much that we can endure them.”

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Neil L. Andersen: “Fruit

Photo of a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • “What does this tree with its most precious fruit symbolize? It represents ‘the love of God’ and proclaims our Heavenly Father’s marvelous plan of redemption. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'”
  • “Not only will we live again following our mortality, but through our faith in Jesus Christ, our repentance and keeping the commandments, we can be forgiven of our sins, and one day stand clean and pure before our Father and His Son.”
  • “Partaking of the fruit of the tree also symbolizes that we embrace the ordinances and
    covenants of the restored gospel—being baptized, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and entering the house of the Lord to be endowed with power from on high. Through the grace of Jesus Christ and by honoring our covenants, we receive the immeasurable promise of living with our righteous family throughout eternity.”
  • “President Nelson explained, ‘The adversary is quadrupling his efforts to disrupt
    testimonies and impede the work of the Lord.’ Let us remember Lehi’s words, ‘We heeded them not!'”
  • “Although we need not fear, we are to be on guard. At times little things can upend ourspiritual balance. Please don’t allow your questions, the insults of others, faithless friends, or unfortunate mistakes and disappointments, to turn you away from the sweet, pure, and soul-satisfying blessings that come from the precious fruit of the tree. Keep your eyes and your hearts centered on the Savior Jesus Christ and the eternal joy that comes only through Him.”
  • “President Russell M. Nelson described why the Hall family feels joy and hope. He said,’The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy.’ ‘If we look to the world … we will never know joy. … [Joy] is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.'”
  • “If you have been without the fruit of the tree for some time, I promise you that the Savior’s arms are always outstretched to you. He lovingly beckons, ‘Repent and come unto me.'”
  • “For anyone desiring to return to the tree and taste the fruit once again, begin by praying to your Heavenly Father. Believe in Jesus Christ and the power of His atoning sacrifice. I promise you that as you look to the Savior ‘in every thought,’ the fruit of the tree will be yours once again, delicious to your taste, joyous to your soul, ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God.’ The Savior said, ‘He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.'”
  • “Like Lehi of old, President Russell M. Nelson beckons to us and all of God’s family, to come and partake of the fruit of the tree. May we have the humility and strength to follow his counsel.”

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Russell M. Nelson: “Closing Remarks

Photo of a leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • “We know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bring hope and joy to people who will
    hear and heed His doctrine. We also know that each home can become a true sanctuary of faith, where peace, love, and the Spirit of the Lord may dwell.”
  • “Some will sincerely ask how they might qualify for the blessings of the temple. As members of the Church, we will need to be prepared to answer their questions. We can explain that the blessings of the temple are available to any and all people who will prepare themselves. But before they can enter a dedicated temple, they need to qualify. The Lord wants all His children to partake of the eternal blessings available in His temple. He has directed what each person must do to qualify to enter His holy house.”
  • “A good place to begin such a teaching opportunity is to call attention to the words etched on the temple’s exterior: “Holiness to the Lord; the House of the Lord.” President Eyring’s message today and many others have inspired us to become more holy. Each temple is a holy place; each temple patron strives to become more holy.”
  • “In those interviews, several questions will be asked. Some of those questions have recently been edited for clarity. I would like to review them for you now:
    • 1. Do you have faith in and a testimony of God, the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost?
    • 2. Do you have a testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of His role as your Savior and Redeemer?
    • 3. Do you have a testimony of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
    • 4. Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the prophet, seer, and revelator and as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys? Do you sustain the members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators? Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local leaders of the Church?
    • 5. The Lord has said that all things are to be ‘done in cleanliness’ before Him (Doctrine and Covenants 42:41). Do you strive for moral cleanliness in your thoughts and behavior? Do you obey the law of chastity?
    • 6. Do you follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ in your private and public behavior with members of your family and others?
    • 7. Do you support or promote any teachings, practices, or doctrine contrary to those of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
    • 8. Do you strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, both at home and at church; attend your meetings; prepare for and worthily partake of the sacrament; and live your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?
    • 9. Do you strive to be honest in all that you do?
    • 10. Are you a full-tithe payer?
    • 11. Do you understand and obey the Word of Wisdom?
    • 12. Do you have any financial or other obligations to a former spouse or to children?
      If yes, are you current in meeting those obligations?
    • 13. Do you keep the covenants that you made in the temple, including wearing the temple garment as instructed in the endowment?
    • 14. Are there serious sins in your life that need to be resolved with priesthood authorities as part of your repentance?
    • 15. Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?”
  • “In addition to answering those questions honestly, it is understood that each adult temple patron will wear the sacred garment of the priesthood under their regular clothing. This is symbolic of an inner commitment to strive each day to become more like the Lord. It also reminds us to remain faithful to covenants made each day and to walk on the covenant path each day in a higher and holier way.”
  • “For just a moment, I would like to speak to our youth. We encourage you to qualify for limited-use temple recommends.”
  • “Individual worthiness requires a total conversion of mind and heart to be more like the Lord, to be an honest citizen, to be a better example, and to be a holier person.”
  • “I testify that such preparatory work brings innumerable blessings in this life and
    inconceivable blessings for the life to come, including the perpetuation of your family unit throughout all eternity in a state of ‘never-ending happiness.'”
  • “In the next six months, I hope that every member and every family will prepare for a unique conference that will commemorate the very foundations of the restored gospel.”
  • “You may wish to begin your preparation by reading afresh Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price.”
  • “Our course of study for next year in Come Follow Me is the Book of Mormon. You may wish to ponder important questions such as, ‘How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?’ Or, ‘How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?’ Also, with the Book of Mormon videos now becoming available, you may wish to incorporate them in your individual and family study.
  • “Select your own questions. Design your own plan. Immerse yourself in the glorious light of the Restoration. As you do, general conference next April will not only be memorable, it will be unforgettable.”
  • “Now in closing, I leave with you my love and my blessing, that each of you may become happier and holier with each passing day.”

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To review counsel from the April 2019 conference, check out these resources:

A Comprehensive List of EVERYTHING the Brethren Counseled us to Do at General Conference (April 2019)

A Comprehensive List of EVERYTHING the Sisters, 70s, and Other Leaders Counseled us to Do at General Conference

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to update our list of counsel.

David Snell is a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He's the Founder of The Sunday Pews, and has experience writing for Mormon Newsroom Pacific, KBYU11, Classical 89 Radio, FamilyShare.com and plenty more. He tries not to take himself too seriously and just wants to brighten your day a bit.