Opposing votes heard again – invited to contact their Stake Presidents.
Elder Quentin L Cook
‘There are a number of stumbling blocks to our valor that can prevent us from reaching the goal of eternal life.’
Story of father building cabin on ranch. Window focused on power pole. ‘That power pole is the most beautiful thing to me on the entire ranch.’ To him that pole represented an improved life. While the pole was stumbling block to me it had great practical meaning to my father.
‘One Stumbling Block Is the Philosophies of Men’ . We are committed to intelligence.
1 Corinthians 15 – Handel’s Messiah. Describes some of what Christ accomplished. The apostasy – plain and precious truths lost. Christianity did not destroy paganism – it adopted it.
Heber C Kimball warned the time is coming when it will be difficult to tell the face of a friend from the face of an enemy…there is a test coming.
Elder Maxwell said much sifting will occur because of lapses in righteous behaviour which go unrepented of.
‘Another Stumbling Block Is Refusing to See Sin in Its True Light
Many people … have no remorse or willingness to acknowledge their conduct as being morally wrong. Even some who profess a belief in the Father and the Son wrongfully take the position that a loving Father in Heaven should exact no consequences for conduct that is contrary to His commandments. ‘
Corianton – son of Alma the Younger. Alma 39. Made the necessity of repentance clear to Corianton. Alma helped Corianton to understand that it is not injustice that the sinner should be consigned to misery Justice and mercy. None but the truly penitent are saved. Sooner or later everyone has to sit down to a banquet of consequences.
‘Looking beyond the Mark Is a Stumbling Block’
Gospel extremism is when one elevates any gospel principle above other equally important principles.
‘Some members elevate causes, many of which are good, to a status superior to basic gospel doctrine.’
‘If we elevate anything above our devotion to the Savior, … then we are looking beyond the mark. Jesus Christ is the mark!’
D&C 76 – being valiant in the testimony of Jesus is the simple test between the celestial kingdom and the lower kingdoms.
If we are to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus we must avoid the stumbling blocks.
Stumbling blocks may be made into stepping stones. Being valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ is a stepping stone.
Elder Gary E Stevenson
Story of young girl in New York who lost her father. Moved to another state. Missionaries came to town. Told story of Joseph Smith. Two of the missionaries had seen the plates themselves. 12 year old Mary yearned to read it.
‘I went to his house just before the meeting was to commence, and asked to see the book; Brother Morley put it in my hand, as I looked at it, I felt such a desire to read it, that I could not refrain from asking him to let me take it home and read it, while he attended meeting. He said it would be too late for me to take it back after meeting, and another thing, he had hardly had time to read a chapter in it himself, and but few of the brethren had even seen it, but I pled so earnestly for it, he finally said, ‘Child, if you will bring this book home before breakfast tomorrow morning, you may take it.’ He admonished me to be very careful, and see that no harm came to it.’
She became the first person in her town to read the Book of Mormon.
When you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it you can have the same feeling Mary had.
Joseph Smith described the Book of Mormon as the most correct of any book on the earth and the keystone of our religion.
Mission experience in Japan. Began to teach about the Book of Mormon. Received the strongest feeling accompanied by a warm feeling of serenity and confidence.
‘Each of you can also receive a personal witness of this book! Do you realize that the Book of Mormon was written for you—and for your day? This book is one of the blessings of living in what we call the dispensation of the fulness of times.’
We have the benefit of the complete Book of Mormon. Moroni saw our day Mormon 8:
I’n order to help the Book of Mormon become the keystone of your testimony, I offer you a challenge. I recently learned that many young people spend an average of seven hours a day looking at TV, computer, and smartphone screens. With this in mind, would you make a small change? Will you replace some of that daily screen time—particularly that devoted to social media, the internet, gaming, or television—with reading the Book of Mormon? If the studies I referred to are accurate, you could easily find time for daily study of the Book of Mormon even if for only 10 minutes a day. And you can study in a way that allows you to enjoy it and understand it—either on your device or in book form.’
Not to be treated as nasty medicine to be gulped down (Elder Russell M Nelson).
You will encounter the Saviour on almost every page.
The Book of Mormon – tangible evidence of the Restoration.
‘Within the book’s pages, you will discover the infinite love and incomprehensible grace of God. As you strive to follow the teachings you find there, your joy will expand, your understanding will increase, and the answers you seek to the many challenges mortality presents will be opened to you. As you look to the book, you look to the Lord. The Book of Mormon is the revealed word of God.’
(Prayer and the Book of Mormon seem to be the emerging themes of this Conference)
Elder D Todd Christofferson
‘One of the terms we hear often today is that God’s love is “unconditional.” While in one sense that is true, the descriptor unconditional appears nowhere in scripture. Rather, His love is described in scripture as “great and wonderful love” [D&C 138:3], “perfect love” [1 John 4:18; Moroni 8:16], “redeeming love” [Alma 5:26], and “everlasting love” [Jeremiah 31:3]. These are better terms because the word unconditional can convey mistaken impressions about divine love, such as, God tolerates and excuses anything we do because His love is unconditional, or God makes no demands upon us because His love is unconditional, or all are saved in the heavenly kingdom of God because His love is unconditional. God’s love is infinite and it will endure forever, but what it means for each of us depends on how we respond to His love.’
To “continue in” or “abide in” the Savior’s love means to receive His grace and be perfected by it. To receive His grace, we must have faith in Jesus Christ and keep His commandments, including repenting of our sins, being baptized for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and continuing in the path of obedience.’
‘God will always love us but he cannot save us in our sins.’
Repentance is his gift to us purchased at a very dear price.
Russell M Nelson – ‘The resplendent bouquet of God’s love—including eternal life—includes blessings for which we must qualify, not entitlements to be expected unworthily. Sinners cannot bend His will to theirs and require Him to bless them in sin. If they desire to enjoy every bloom in His beautiful bouquet, they must repent.’
Dallin H Oaks – ‘The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become.’
Helen Keller and her teacher, Ann Sullivan. Not a pleasant experience at the beginning. Finally won her trust. Spelling words on her hand.
‘Each of us can love and serve God and be empowered to help our fellow man.’
Production of olive oil. The oil is red.
Keep his commandments.
Elder W Mark Bassett
Given a model of the golden plates as a young boy. Wanted to see what was written on the sealed portion of the plates.
‘Since the Creation of this earth, our loving Father in Heaven has provided direction, leadership, and instruction to His children through prophets. His words have been passed down through these prophets and are saved as scripture for our development and learning.’
‘Sadly, our development and learning can at times be slowed or even halted. … [Our] actions can lead us to seek after things that are not necessarily meant to be understood at this time, all the while ignoring the beautiful truths that are meant for us and our circumstances—the truths Nephi described as written for our learning and profit.’
The mysteries of God are unfolded to us only according to His will and by the power of the Holy Ghost.
‘Nephi’s example of seeking knowledge included (1) a sincere desire, (2) humility, (3) prayer, (4) trust in the prophet, and an exercise of (5) faith, (6) diligence, and (7) obedience.’
In the modern age we expect information to come immediately.
Some things can be learned only by faith – Dallin H Oaks.
‘Faith and trust in the Lord require us to acknowledge that His wisdom is superior to our own. We must also acknowledge that His plan provides the greatest potential for spiritual development and learning.
We were never expected “to have a perfect [understanding] of things” during this mortal existence. Instead, we are expected to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” [Alma 32:21].’
‘As we acknowledge that we are the workmanship of a wise and devoted Father in Heaven, “O then,” why not allow Him to guide our spiritual development and learning “according to his will and pleasure” rather than our own? [Jacob 4:9].’
Testimony of Joseph Smith.
Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita
Dedication of the Sapporo Temple in Hokkaido.
‘In 1876, a renowned educator named Dr. William Clark was invited to come to Hokkaido to teach. He lived in Japan for just eight months, but his Christian spirit left a lasting impression on his young non-Christian students. Before leaving, he gave his students a parting message that has become immortalized in this bronze statue. He said, “Boys, be ambitious!”—“Be ambitious for Christ” [William Clark, in Ann B. Irish,Hokkaido: A History of Ethnic Transition and Development on Japan’s Northern Island (2009), 156]. His injunction to “be ambitious for Christ” can help direct daily decisions for today’s Latter-day Saints.
What does it mean to “be ambitious for Christ”? Being ambitious for Christ means being motivated, focused, and dedicated to His work. Being ambitious for Christ will seldom mean that we are singled out for public honor. Being ambitious for Christ means that we serve faithfully and diligently in our wards and branches without complaint and with joyful hearts.’
Missionaries are examples of those who are ambitious for Christ.
Story of missionary with prosthetic leg.
The Book of Mormon includes many examples of people who were ambitious for Christ. Alma the Younger.
‘In our lives we experience trials, but if we are ambitious for Christ, we can focus on Him and feel joy even in the midst of them. Our Redeemer is the ultimate example. He understood His holy mission and was obedient to the will of God the Father. What a choice blessing it is to bring His wonderful example to our remembrance each week as we partake of the sacrament.
My dear brothers and sisters, we are ambitious for Christ when we serve faithfully, accept humbly, endure nobly, pray fervently, and partake worthily.’
(Lovely talk, emotionally delivered.)
Elder Dallin H Oaks
Go ye therefore and teach all nations. The Great Commission.
We have many resources not available to previous generations. Are we using all of these resources to maximum effect?
Ideas that will work everywhere.
‘We need the help of every member, and every member can help, since there are so many tasks to perform as we share the restored gospel with every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.’
Member participation in missionary work is vital.
‘Sharing the restored gospel is our life-long Christian duty and privilege.’
‘There are three things all members can do to help share the gospel, regardless of the circumstances in which they live and work. All of us should do all of these.
First, we can all pray for desire to help with this vital part of the work of salvation. All efforts begin with desire.
Second, we can keep the commandments ourselves. Faithful, obedient members are the most persuasive witnesses of the truth and value of the restored gospel. Even more important, faithful members will always have His Spirit to be with them to guide them as they seek to participate in the great work of sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
Third, we can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others.’
This is different than praying for the missionaries.
Praying for a commitment to act upon the inspiration you receive.
We should never set ourselves up as judges of who is ready and who is not.
‘As an Apostle of the Lord, I urge every member and family in the Church to pray for the Lord to help them find persons prepared to receive the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.’
Elder M Russell Ballard – Trust the Lord. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep, and His sheep know His voice; and today the voice of the Good Shepherd is your voice and my voice. And if we are not engaged, many who would hear the message of the Restoration will be passed by. Simply stated, it’s a matter of faith and action on our part. The principles are pretty simple—pray, personally and in your family, for missionary opportunities.
People interested in the results of the doctrine.
As we speak to others we need to remember that an invitation to learn more about Jesus Christ and his gospel is preferable to an invitation to know more about our church.
Our efforts to share the gospel should not be limited to our circle of friends and acquaintances.
No correlation between the depth of a relationship and the probability that someone will be interested in the gospel.
There are many opportunities to share the gospel.
Our young members’ fascination and expertise with social media gives them unique opportunities to reach out.