Church supports the family, not the other way around–we need a home-centered church. “We are each responsible for our individual spiritual growth.”
Elder Cook–2 hour block
60 min sacrament meeting. SS on 1st and 3rd Sunday, priesthood and women’s meetings on 2nd and 4th. Home-centered, church-supported balance. Deepen conversion! More time to study the gospel at home! Gospel study at home will be significantly enhanced! New SS classes will support home study course. RMN wants us to “walk the covenant path.” Honor the Sabbath day and the sacrament (emphasized for last three years now). New “Come Follow Me” program helped people move from reading scriptures to *studying* them. The 12 and FP prayed about all this in the temple.
M. Joseph Brough (YM 2nd)–Enduring Hard Things
Sometimes we have to face hard things. Asking “why?” never takes away the hard thing. Examples. NAM: “I have given you leukemia that you might teach with authority” (check the wording on this). Forgive others who have hurt us, and turn ourselves over to HF. Great story of forgiveness. Then an even better story of his missionary daughter! “We can always rejoice when we keep the commandments.” Testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Steven R. Bangerter (70)–Gospel-centered Family Traditions
Infuse children with strength to face challenges of life. (Great illustration of stones here!) Jesus Christ is our precious corner stone. Advice on family traditions. Parental interviews. Consistent, wholesome family traditions that include prayer, church meetings, etc. will bless our children. Helaman 5:12. Proverbs on training children. Are we exercising faith in the Lord’s command to teach our children? (check wording of this one)
Elder Rasband–Responding to Fear With Faith
Testimony of unanimity in leadership and blessings of today’s policies. Examples of people’s fear. Elisha in 2 Kings: story of the unseen host on his side. Center our thoughts on Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. “My disciples shall stand in holy places and be not moved. Be not troubled.” 1. Stand in holy places: home, chapel, temple. 2. Lay aside our fears. 3. Be not troubled. Remember, they that be with us, on both sides of the veil, are more than they that be with them. Be engaged in His work, and don’t fear the trends of the world. Set aside worldly pressures and influences. Love what the Lord loves. 4. Trust the Lord and His promises. SWK as an example of all this–“we can, too.”
Elder Bednar–Unity of Purpose in the Church
Aspects of the gospel are like strands making up a strong rope. We must use our new extra hour on Sunday for gospel study and Sabbath observance. The changes in church structure lately are to help bless people by its fundamental mission. Don’t just focus on the logistical aspects. This is all to help increase faith! “Facilitate continuing conversion to the Lord, and to love more completely, and serve more effectively, our brothers and sisters.” This doesn’t come just from checking off the things we’re supposed to do. Become what God desires us to become. 4th Article of Faith as an example of this. Faith is IN and ON Jesus Christ. Place confidence in Him–every element of the gospel depends on it. 2. All church programs are gathered together in one in Christ. (Very clever icons illustrate each point in this talk!)
President Oaks–Modern Priestcraft
Scriptural warnings against priestcraft as a guide to competing voices of opinion today. Clarifies many doctrinal truths! Understanding these truths explains why we do what we do. Big emphasis on sex and gender issues here. Overtly connects Satan to major social upheavals in these areas. Then great quotes from NAM, JRH, RMN on spiritual strength in these times.
Elder Christofferson–Fully Faithful Conversion
Story of Elijah at Mt. Carmel. Testimony of the restored gospel. “The defining focus of life and character.” Encourages a conversion that defines us, centered in Christ, not being selective about belief and service. Inspiring story of a fully converted woman. Further stories of steady faithfulness. “I will feel after them.” D&C 112:13. “Easting vegetables” spiritually is to pray, study, go to and serve in the church, etc. Be firm and steadfast!
Dean M. Davies (Pres. Bshp. 1st)–Building Up Our Own Temples
Story of Vancouver temple. Testimony of President Hinckley’s prophetic calling. Spiritual analogy–how to make ourselves, as temples, strong and holy. Components of the gospel–and our testimony of then–as building blocks. He studied every conference talk RMN has given in 34 years since he was called as an apostle: great review of themes in his ministry.
Elder Soares–Strengthening Our Congregations By Loving Others
Amazon river as metaphor for church societies where we blend and merge to become one. Some great NT quotes about how this works, and he modifies this metaphor to include our own changing to become more spiritual. 1. Pay attention for new people and really welcome them! 2. New friends need a chance to serve. 3. They must be nourished by the good word of God. Moroni 6:4-5. Start next Sunday to be more welcoming, and don’t let programs and activities get in the way. Minister with pure love in our hearts.
Elder Gong–How the Campfire of Faith Encourages Us
Examples of beauty in the natural world. Elder Scott painted “Campfire at Sunset” with him, with spiritual lessons. Campfire of faith 1. encourages us to find joy in wholesome creativity, 2. encourages us to minister in higher, holier ways, 3. gospel joy and blessings come when we strive to love the Lord and others (OT & NT quotes), 4. establish regular patterns of righteous living, 5. remember perfection is in Christ, not in ourselves.
Paul B. Pieper (70)–Taking Upon Us the Name of Christ
“Take” is not passive; it’s an action word. “Partake” is another action. We commit to take His character, actions, and love deep into our loves. Study each of His titles and names to get this. We also “take” His name by accepting Him. We take the gospel to be true and obediently live it. We align ourselves with His name and cause. We take on responsibility and take up His cause. Describes the progressive path of increasing conversion and discipleship.
Successes and failures of Solomon. Finding the abundant life in the cause of Christ. Summary of Jesus’s service to others. Solomon was wrong–life is not vanity. It can be full of healing, happiness, and peace. We must make the gospel part of who we are and what we do. Believe, love, do. The more we love others, the happier we become. Love lets us see others for who they really are. Practice makes perfect at anything, including charity. Love and serve our fellow beings by loving and ministering to them. German Shepherd joke!
Elder Ballard–JFS vision of the Spirit World
Story of JFS, background for 1918 vision of the spirit world. This vision can help us in the way we live. Invites us to read this revelation, thoughtfully, and prays that we’ll appreciate God’s plan of love.
Bonnie H. Cordon (YW pres)–Feeding the Sheep
We all matter: story of Peter and “feed my sheep.” We must first know and number His sheep. Make sure each person feels the love of the Savior. Be a champion and confidante for those we minister to. 2. Watch over His sheep. Key word in Matt. 25 is “saw.” See the less visible needs. Tender story of counseling a man in friendship. 3. Want to gather the sheep into the covenant path. We have the opportunity to be angels to others.
Jump in and swim; head toward those in need. Seneca quote on anger. A son and daughter’s ministering plea to their father, his forgiveness and moving forward in spite of the imperfections of others. Spirit of contention is not of me. Let go of old grievances! Walk the forgiving path walked by Jesus. Forgiving is central to the Atonement. If you know of an old injury, repair it. Shared ministry of reconciliation. Be peacemakers. Seek peace, cherish, peace, create peace.
Elder Bowen (70)–Book of Mormon
Testimony. Story of a Bible scholar in Chile who read the Book of Mormon. Personal story of gaining testimony. Teachings about the gathering of Israel.
Elder Andersen–Atoning Grace
Story of terrorist attack. Why? Everyone suffers in life. A passionate talk about death, trials, and the merciful healing of the Atonement. Links faith to strength and healing.
President Nelson–The Name of the Church
3 Nephi 27:7-8. Story of the restoration. Call His church by His name. Be patient and do our part. “Responsible media will be sympathetic.” Use the full name of the church (as per revised style guide), followed by things like “restored church” thereafter.
President Eyring–Taking the Savior’s Name Upon Us
Reassurance: the loving God who allows tests in life also designed a sure way to pass through them. Build on the rock. Reviews sacrament prayers. “Willing to take” vs. “take.” “What must I be doing to take His name upon me? How will I now when I am making progress?” Hope to become purified. Savior put His name in our hearts. Feel hope and optimism. Moving story of Sister Eyring’s service and endurance now.
Brian K. Ashton (SS 2nd)–Becoming Like the Father
Reviews doctrines about HF to help those who feel they aren’t good enough. HF will help us if we strive to keep the commandments. He ensures that all things work for good for those who love Him. Summarizes nature of the Father. Continual repentance leads to receiving grace for grace. Becoming like the Father comes from gifts of grace, sometimes smaller or bigger, over time.
Robert C. Gay (Pres of 70)–Taking te Savior’s Name On Us By Serving Like Him
Moving story of learning to see his sister as God saw her. 2. To take upon ourselves the name of Christ, we must serve as He served. Amazing story of service by James E. Talmage. How can people seem happy when they leave the church? 3 Nephi 27:11. Power of the Atonement is to overcome any challenge in this life. Whatever the price you must pay to trust Him, it is worth it.
Matthew L. Carpenter (70)–Acting on the Atonement of Jesus Christ
Story of NT miracle where a man suffered for 38 years, but was healed immediately when he turned to the Savior–ditto for story of woman with “issue of blood” for 12 years. Jesus Christ can heal our hearts, from loss and heartache. Christ also heals from sin. Sad stories of delaying repentance. Invites people back–everyone belongs on the covenant path. Act now!
Elder Renlund–Choosing to Live the Plan
HF wants to bless us, but we don’t always let Him. Reviews agency and the “choices” to be made. Christ’s advocacy is to remind us of His love and that nobody is excluded from His mercy. Lucifer is the accuser, who seeks to drag us down. We knowingly choose the pathway home. We punish ourselves with less happiness when we sin. This talk is a deep review of how and why to repent!
Jack N. Gerard (70)–Spiritual Priorities
“If there is anything in your life you need to consider, now is the time.” Reflect on where we stand on the covenant path. References “Good, Better, Best.” Some strong words here about truth–excellent! This world moves swiftly towards “alternative realities.”
Eldet Stevenson–Ministering Like a Shepherd
Summary of ministering. Follows up on Sister Cordon this morning. Story of a family who had a hard time as ranchers. We are to be shepherds ourselves, just like Jesus: “no calling is required.” “determined dog won’t abandon lost sheep” Identify the lost sheep, search after them, lay them on our shoulders and bring them home, surround them with friends.
President Nelson–Review and testimony:
Transform home into a sanctuary of faith, a center of gospel learning. Testifies of the temple. Assaults of the adversary are increasing in intensity and variety: combat this with more time in the temple. TWELVE new temples! Feast upon the word of the Lord and apply His teachings in our own lives. Be *exemplary* Latter-day Saints.