General Conference: Saturday Afternoon Recap

October 2020 LDS general conference

The Saturday afternoon session of the 190th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with the sustaining of leaders, releasing, and callings. The First Presidency announced the calls of a new General Authority Seventy, a new member of the Presiding Bishopric, and four new Area Seventies. He also noted the releases of one member of the Presiding Bishopric, three General Authority Seventies, and 47 Area Seventies. Read about them here.

Dallin H. Oaks conducted this session.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson was the first speaker. The institutions of family and religion have been crucial for endowing both individuals and communities with the virtues that sustain an enduring society. If we, our families, and enough of our neighbors make our decisions and guide our lives by the truth of God, the moral virtues needed in every society will abound. Our joyous message to our children and to all humanity is that “the truth of God” points a better way, … a way to personal happiness and community wellbeing now, and to everlasting peace and joy hereafter.

Elder Steven J. Lund focused on the youth of the Church. Our youth cannot wait for the world to right itself before they come to know the Savior. The surest way to find joy in Christ is to join Him by helping others. To you of the rising generation, I testify, as one who knows, that you are beloved sons and daughters of God, and He has a work for you to do.

Elder Gerrit W Gong addressed finding Christ and peace in the midst of life’s challenges. Truly, for those with faithful hearts and eyes to see, the Lord’s tender mercies are manifest amidst life’s challenges. Faithfully-met challenges and sacrifice do bring the blessings of heaven. In the household of faith, there are to be no strangers, no foreigners, no rich and poor, no outside “others.” We are changing ourselves and the world in a gospel pattern that blesses lives everywhere.

Elder W. Christopher Waddell spoke about temporal and spiritual preparedness. In today’s environment, with a pandemic that has devastated whole economies and individual lives, it would be inconsistent with a compassionate Savior to ignore the reality that many are struggling. The Lord does not expect us to do more than we can do, but He does expect us to do what we can do…when we can do it. From the beginning of time, the Lord has provided direction to help His people prepare spiritually and temporally, against the calamities that He knows will come as part of this mortal experience.

Elder Elder Matthew S. Holland talked about repentance and healing. We must never forget that the very purpose of repentance is to take certain misery and transform it into pure bliss. Thanks to His “immediate goodness,” the instant we come unto Christ … the crushing weight of our sins starts to shift from our backs to His. Regardless of the causes of our worst hurts and heartaches, the ultimate source of relief is the same: Jesus Christ.

Elder William K. Jackson‘s theme was the contrast between eternal and mortal “culture.” Virtually all conflict and chaos would quickly fade if the world would only accept its “Original Culture.” The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that there is purpose in life. Our being here is not just some big cosmic accident or mistake! We are here for a reason. In the culture of Christ, there is perspective—and eternal focus and direction.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf was the final speaker, addressing suffering and how it can refine us to be like Christ. My message today is that even though this pandemic is not what we wanted or expected—God has prepared His children and His Church for this time. It is my witness that though at times we may feel buried by the trials of life, or surrounded by emotional darkness, the love of God and the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will bring something unimaginable to spring forth.


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.