President Nelson presided at this session of conference and Elder Oaks conducted.
Elder Henry B. Eyring was the first to speak. He promised succor and strength from the Savior as we face the tests and trials of life. [The Purpose in the Creation of this world] was to give His children the opportunity to prove themselves able and willing to choose the right when it is hard. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love you. They want you to return to Them and become like Them. Your success is Their success. When you wonder how much pain you can endure well, remember Him. He suffered what you suffer so that He would know how to lift you up.
Elder Jeremy R Jaggi was the next to speak. His focus was patience and again, suffering is what we are wont to go through. Our Heavenly Father may be allowing us time to reflect and consider our understanding of patience and our conscious decision to choose joy. Just as the trying of our faith works patience within us, when we exercise patience, our faith increases. Even in the most trying circumstance, we knew that our Heavenly Father was mindful of us and helping us find joy.
Elder Gary E Stevenson referred to Joseph Smith’s experience in Liberty Jail as did several other General Authorities. The prophet’s suffering in extreme cold and discomfort, unable to help the Saints in their extremities, was also a time of a flow of revelation and comfort from on high. Times of affliction and disappointment do not change the watchful eye of the Lord as He favorably looks upon us, blessing us. I believe that in this life, and in the life to come, your afflictions, your Ammonihah, your Liberty Jail, will be consecrated for your gain. He understands our grief, pain, and desperation. He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our hope, our consolation, and our Deliverer.
Elder Milton Camargo spoke about communication between us and God. An important part of Heavenly Father’s plan is the opportunity to communicate with Him anytime we want. Communication with our Father in Heaven enables us to sort through what is true and what is false, what is relevant to the Lord’s plan for us, and what is not. The Holy Ghost is real, and His impressions are real—the big ones and the small ones. We have direct access to our own revelation so the Lord can comfort and guide us personally.
Elder Dale G Renlund talked about the 3 main attributes of God—Love, Justice, and Mercy. Loving mercy means that we do not just love the mercy God extends to us, we delight that God extends the same mercy to others. Jesus Christ exemplified what it means to do justly and to love mercy. He freely associated with sinners, treating them honorably and with respect. To be Christlike, a person does justly, behaving honorably with both God and other people. We assimilate the attributes of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ into our character and we love one another.
Elder Kelly R Johnson centered his thoughts on drawing on the power of God. Understanding what we must do to access God’s power in our lives is not easy, but I have found it is doable by studying it out in our minds and praying for the Holy Ghost to enlighten us. Filling our heart and even our soul with the word of God and the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is crucial to drawing upon the power of God to help us in these challenging times. ” I invite you to seek the power God wants to give you.”
Elder Jeffrey R Holland referring again to Joseph Smith’s suffering in Liberty Jail, Elder Holland assured us that our prayers are always heard and answer in the ways that God sees as best for us. So while we work and wait together for the answers to some of our prayers, I offer you my apostolic promise that they are heard and they are answered. Please understand that He who never sleeps nor slumbers cares for the happiness and ultimate exaltation of His children above all else that a divine being has to do. Sooner or later we learn that the times and seasons of our mortal journey are His and His alone to direct.
President Nelson closed the session with a short talk and temple announcement. This is the dispensation when no spiritual blessing will be withheld from the righteous. Let us not spin our wheels in the memories of yesterday. The gathering of Israel moves forward. If you really want to embrace “a new normal,” I invite you to turn your heart, mind, and soul increasingly to our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ. May we go forward together to fulfill our divine mandate—that of preparing ourselves and the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.
- Sao Paulo East, Brazil
- Port Vila, Vanuatu
- Lindon, Utah
- Greater Guatamala City, Guatamala
- Tarawa, Kiribati
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia