3-31-12 General Conference SaturdayMorning Session
Resist evil wherever we are. How blessed we are to be here at this time. This great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forward. Nothing can stop it. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing…(Joseph Smith). Much that is challenging; much that is uplifting. Seek after those things which are good, lovely, and praiseworthy.
He wanted to give money to a boy at a train station, but his train pulled away before he could.
Young boy so hungry and wanted to take the sacrament bread. Woman shooed him out. He came back. President Packer welcomed him into his arms. He was told, “You were holding a nation on your lap.”
Little boy had drowned. Minister gave a sermon. The parents were scolded that they did not have their son baptized and that he had gone to hell. The Elders approached the grieving parents. They said that they were servants of the Lord with a message for them. They were taught about the restoration and redemption for the living and the dead. The Elders came as comforters and as authorized servants of the Lord.
Challenge of mortality to be responsible parents. Woman shared a story of having an abortion before she was married. This couple can learn that they can be forgiven. Another couple found that they could not have children. President Packer said that they were fortunate because they would choose to have children if they could. Some situations now are just temporary states. We have hope in Christ beyond this life. “Sealed safely in the covenant of the everlasting priesthood.” We learn more from our children than we did from our parents. Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
President Packer is number 10 out of 11 children. His parents did not have prominent positions in the church, but they were effective in their most important calling—as parents. He hopes that he does as well before he hears the greeting, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” We need to provide the way for parents and children to have time together as families. Family time is sacred time and it should be respected and protected. Brother and Sister Packer were willing to give up their lives if their ill children’s lives were preserved. This is akin to the love that our Heavenly Father has for us.
Our children are an heritage unto the Lord. The Lord knows what our children need to know, do, and be to come back to Him. He gives guidance to parents, teachers, and leaders to help his children. We need to teach our children to understand the doctrine. We need to do more than impart information; we need to help get the doctrine into their hearts. Create an atmosphere where we can help our children feel the Spirit. Teach in the context of what they are experiencing right in that very moment.
He loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he loves the Church of Jesus Christ. They are not the same thing, but they are connected.
The Gospel is the glorious plan of God in which we can receive all that the Father has. Jesus descended below all things so that He could raise all of us again.
The Church was established by Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry. The Church was established again during our day. Jesus is the Head, and it is governed by those with apostolic callings.
It is possible to be active in the church and less active in the gospel. The things of the gospel are less visible and more difficult to measure. But they are of more importance. We need the gospel and the church.
Have the gospel be our foundation: Strengthen our relationship with Diety; focus on the ordinances and covenants (then establish the discipline to live faithful to our covenants); unite the gospel with the church. Concentrating on the gospel, the church will become more, not less, in our lives. The Lord wants the members of His church to be fully converted to His gospel.
A mission is like a mini-life. Elderly couples add a whole lot to missions. Returned missionaries become key contributors in establish the church in many countries. Laman and Lemuel did murmur because they did not understand the dealings of the Lord. How can we help our children feel the Spirit so they are not caught up in worldly distractions? (Nephi cried until the Lord, so he didn’t rebel like unto his brothers.) We need to find and awaken our desires to know. We need to establish patterns of righteousness that lead us in the right direction. When we live the gospel and the pattern taught by Jesus Christ, our ability to help other people increases. As a man witnessed the kindness between two missionaries, he reopened his door and invited them back. “By this shall all man know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have love you, that ye also love one another.” Love of God is the foundation of doing all things that are right. There is seemingly no end of the expanding capacity to love. Our Heavenly Fathers arms are constantly extended to embrace us and to say the words, “I love you.”
The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the center of the message of all the prophets. The sacrifice of the Savior offered the ultimate good for the ultimate evil in the world. We are also asked to continue to offer sacrifices: a broken heart and a contrite spirit; love and serve one another.
The Christian faith has a history of sacrifice: the Lord’s sacrifice; many martyrs for their faith; Christians killed by other Christians are the most tragic martyrs. Many have given life-long service in the Catholic or Protestant churches. What can we do on a day-to-day basis in our ordinary lives?
Pioneers sacrificed much. The symbols of our Christian faith are the lives of the people. The effort by our members to train and lead each other is uniquely large. Also, home teaching and visit teaching. Sacrifice of missionaries to serve missions at their own cost. Knowing what the Savior did for me, I feel privileged to make the small sacrifice I am making in his service.
Converts sacrifice to hear and follow the message of the gospel. Sometimes they lose family and friends. Young man who became Christian knew that, upon his return home, his family might reject him and his employment opportunities might be nil. But he said, “It’s true, isn’t it?” His sacrifice was worth it to him. No sacrifice to great for those who receive temple blessings.
Mothers devote themselves to the bearing and nurturing of their children. Husbands devote themselves to supporting their families. As you sacrifice for each other and your children, the Lord will bless you.
President Kimball asked that God would give him mountains to climb. There are great challenges to be met. Give me the mountain; give me the challenges. (President Kimball) The hardest trial of his life humbled and startled him. He knew that a great blessing could come from adversity that would more than compensate for any cost. “And if thou should be cast into the pit or into the hands of murderers….know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and be for thy good…the Son of Man has descended below them all; art thou greater than He…” Jesus passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine. “I God suffered these things for all if they would repent…” The way to rise above and get through trials is believe that there is a balm in Gilead and that the Lord will not forsake us. This foundation faith takes time to build. If the foundation of faith is not imbedded in our hearts, the foundation will crumble. The ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms of life. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest, as well as the easiest, times in our lives can be a blessing.