General Conference Recap: Sunday Morning Session

President Nelson's social media challenge happened at the meeting shown in this image

President Russell M. Nelson presiding, President Dallin H. Oaks conducting.

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Elder Dale G. RenlundHow to access and obtain blessings. Are they completely earned? Are the chosen the only ones to receive them? Neither is right. Striking a match & lighting kindling yields a large fire. Oxygen, however, is needed. The receipt of blessings requires action based on faith. Then comes power. The action required is always tiny considering the blessings we receive.

There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven—blessings are predicated on obedience. We don’t earn, but we do qualify. Small acts of faith are required to bring to fruition God’s promises—ongoing, faith-filled actions. Blessings come on God’s timetable. Patiently wait on the Lord.

Restored truth reveals that blessings are never earned, but faith-inspired actions on our part, both initial and ongoing, are essential.”

Sister Sharon Eubank

A fundamental need is staying close to the light of Christ. Satan works to dim our light and leave us alone in the dark. For those of us in grief, Christ heals wounds. It’s not intended that we run faster than we have strength. We can step back and ask Heavenly Father what to let go of. Christ is rest.

Some of us don’t feel accepted or acceptable. Christ sees us. Some of us have questions. We can have hope in the evidence in things not seen. Patience and faithful questions can bring light. Some of us feel we can never be good enough. Sins as scarlet can be white as snow. What is the key to reconnecting to the power of Christ? Make and keep sacred covenants. Keep your promises to God.

If you feel that the beacon of your testimony is sputtering and darkness is closing in, take courage. Keep your promises to God. Ask your questions. Patiently melt stone to glass. Turn to Jesus Christ who loves you still.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Current photo of Quentin L. Cook
Current photo of Quentin L. Cook

This is the last dispensation before the Second Coming of the Savior. Sharing the gospel is based on a great love for Heavenly Father’s children. Charity and love are central to the work. When missionaries and members feel this kind of love, the work moves forward.

We need to align our hearts with this kind of love in order to gather Israel. We can make simple invitations to meetings. Love is also the center of our temple and family history effort. Eleven-year-olds are bringing others to the temple. Performing ordinances for our ancestors will protect our youth.

Make technology your servant, not your master. Media content should be wholesome. Teaching in the home should be compelling but joyful and full of love.

Those who seek to know the will of the Lord as individuals and for their families must strive for righteousness, meekness, kindness, and love.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder D. Todd ChristoffersonThe work of ministering through temporal needs (humanitarian aid) is vital. Beyond selfless service, it is important to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ. There will be no humanitarian needs during the millennium. Even the pain and sorrow of death will be done away. Let’s relieve suffering and sorrow now, but prepare for the day of redemption.

The resurrection of Christ brings the resurrection and redemption of all things, exhausting the power of evil. We are uniquely empowered to prepare the world. If you can’t find that power here, you won’t find it anywhere. What can we do to prepare now? We can prepare as a people and gather the covenant people. He needs a people prepared to receive Him. We need to build up Zion. It happens in tumultuous times for a defense and a refuge.

We want to know about the Lord and we want to know the Lord. The gathering of Israel is the most important thing taking place today. We have always been a missionary people; all of us can participate. The Book of Mormon is the instrument in gathering and conversion. Elijah gave us the keys for gathering those beyond the veil and sealing of families on earth. God is doing it, and He permits us to labor with Him. He is hastening His work.

“…let us do all we can to relieve suffering and sorrow now, and let us devote ourselves more diligently to the preparations needed for the day when pain and evil are ended altogether…”

Elder Tad R. Callister

Tad Callister lds leader

What is the purpose of the atonement? Christ overcame physical death, spiritual death, and helps us overcome our weaknesses and infirmities. When we sin, we are subject to the law of justice and a crash landing awaits. Repentance calls in the power of the Savior to rescue us. The Savior overcame sin for all who repent. It’s an infinite atonement and can cover your sin.

With an increased understanding of the atonement comes an increased ability to forgive ourselves and others. If you can feel the Holy Ghost, you have been forgiven. Residual guilt and remembering our sins can serve as a warning and a protection. When we repent, we become new creatures in Christ.

Christ knows how to succor His children in their affirmities. Sometimes He give relief, other times He succors the suffering. We can have an eternal perspective that gives meaning to our trials.

Because the Savior performed His Atonement, there is no external force or event or person—no sin or death or divorce—that can prevent us from achieving exaltation, provided we keep God’s commandments.”

President Russell M. Nelson

lds president russell m nelson
President Russell M. Nelson

Much has happened since our last General Conference…temple dedications. We’ve read the Book of Mormon and miracles have happened. The activity of eleven-year-olds, going to the temple, passing the sacrament. Many people are receiving the power of God in their lives. President Nelson talked about the death of his daughter…a farewell daddy-daughter conversation. They talked about ordinances, covenants, obedience, faith, and family. They look forward to a reunion.

Their visit to Paradise, California, occurred shortly after his daughter’s death—the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. He talked about a man who rescued many, all the while worrying about where his own family was. The question…where is my family?

God’s arms are outstretched toward us. We yearn for family ties and love to last forever. Salvation is an individual matter, but exaltation is a family matter. Ordinances must be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise. Earthly covenants end at death. Eternal covenants continue. Pour out your heart to God; find out if these things are true. Pay the price to know these eternal truths and then abide by them.

Begin to have experiences with God. Ask Him to tell you if He is really there. Make the effort necessary to qualify for the highest blessings. President Nelson pled with those who have distanced themselves from the Church to do the work now to find out that the Church is true and reap the blessings.

“What is required for a family to be exalted forever? We qualify for that privilege by making covenants with God, keeping those covenants and receiving essential ordinances.”

Gale Boyd is the managing editor for She is a Jewish convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has lived all over the world. She has raised 6 Third Culture Kids and is always homesick for somewhere.