April 2014 General Conference Sunday Sessions Highlights

Today’s Sunday Conference sessions were full of great inspirational talks.  I can’t wait to see all the affirmations that can be derived from these talks.

After a couple of great songs by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, President Uchtdorf started off with a talk about being grateful, saying that anyone can have times in there life when they feel a lack of hope or faith. The way to prevent or even get over these down times is to have an attitude of gratitude. He warned us against only being grateful when blessing come or problems are solved, but to make gratitude a continual mindset despite our circumstances. He talked about how to develop this attitude, and mentioned that endings in mortality are not endings at all but merely interruptions; that in eternity there are only endless beginnings.

Elder Ballard encouraged us to follow-up continually so that our message of the gospel will be heard and understood. No matter how good our message is, it may not be heard without consistent, persistent follow-up. He focused on making sure we use the full name of the Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that the nick-name Mormon is only appropriate when referring to members, but not when referring to the Church; noting that using the full name of the Church will underscore the fact that we are Christians. He also encourage us to invite two people to be taught by the missionaries by next conference.

Next up was Sister Stevens who focused on getting answers to our prayers. She said that they don’t always come quickly, but we can trust that God will help, just not always the way we want. She pointed out that God does not change because of our prayers, but that our prayers will change us. She went on to say that the Gospel is not a checklist of things to do, but something that lives in our hearts; that it is not weight, but wings.

Presiding Bishop Stevenson talked about Mormon Olympians, and all the practice they did to prepare for a four minute performance. He likened this four minutes to our short mortal lives, and that our pre-mortal lives were preparation for this Mortal experience. Unlike the athletes failing during their performance because they made mistakes, we can have our mistakes made up for through the atonement of Christ. He said that it is not too late to repent, but it soon may be as nobody knows when their four minutes will be over. He recommended self discipline, daily prayer and reading your scriptures.

Elder Bednar gave an analogy of a 4×4 truck stuck in the snow. That once it was loaded down it had the traction to get unstuck. He likened this to our own spiritual loads that help us to move forward toward getting back to our Heavenly Father. Reminding us that we don’t have to carry this load alone, that the Savior, through the atonement, has already experienced it all, and thus his yoke is light. That our unique burdens are meant to help us rely upon the merits, mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah. He also reminded us of the common LDS cultural belief that Today, April 6th, is the date of the Savior’s Birth, and the day the Church was organized.

President Monson finished up the Sunday morning session with an excellent talk about love. He quoted Matthew 22:37-39 where it says the greatest commandment is to love the lord they God, and to also love thy Neighbor. He said that love is the very essence of the Gospel, and Jesus is our Exemplar. He pointed out that every day we have opportunities to show love and kindness to those around us.  That those we meet are people God has put in our path so we can love and serve them. He also ended up giving the only airplane story despite President Uchtdorf having spoken at the beginning of the session.

Elder Packer lead off the Sunday Afternoon session with an inspiring message about how to obtain true eternal knowledge; saying it can only be obtained through personal study and prayer. He said that it’s under times of uncertainty that our focus turns to what’s most important. He said that he has learned an eternal truth that God lives, we are his children, and he is our father. He mentioned Moroni’s promise that “By the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things,” and that protection is as simple as deciding to commit to the savior. He gave his testimony of Jesus that “the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

Elder Walker Mentioned the Cultural Celebration and Gilbert temple, and tied it into a talk on pioneers saying that we are either a descendant of a pioneer, or that we are pioneers. He encouraged us all to know the conversion story of our forefathers, and talked about how we are standing on the shoulders of the Giants who came before us.

Elder Perry talked about family home evenings and how these days we often live far apart from our family members. He expressed his belief that Heaven may be a place where we are much closer to our families. He talked of the Prodigal Son who only returned home after many trials that humbled him enough to listen to the spirit. He talked about how the Holy Spirit will not take away our free agency, and thus is a still small voice that is not forceful. We must be willing to completely alter our course. He also said that learning to listen to the spirit is one of life’s greatest challenges, and that there are very few one size fits all solutions.

Elder Corbridge talked about the “First Vision” of Joseph Smith, and went on to explain the nature of God; being a personal exhausted being. Separate from Jesus and the Holy Ghost. That as his children we can become like God.

Elder Teh told of his experience in the Philippines to help in the aftermath of a great earthquake and tsunami. The experience was humbling and taught him that material things are not important, but rather that our families are what’s truly important. He reminded us that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also, and encouraged us to lay up treasures in heaven. He suggested we do this by acquiring the Christlike attributes of faith, hope, humility and charity; doing whatever the lord asks of us.

Elder Aidukaitis talked about how wonderful the internet is, but to be careful as there is a lot of garbage and we should not spend our time sifting through garbage. He talked about how we can know the good from the bad, saying by their fruits ye shall know them. Satan is the one who causes doubt, fear and destroys faith and hope. We can also know of truth through personal revelation: ask in faith if it is right: a burning in the bosom if it is right, or a stupor of though if it is not.

Elder Christofferson gave an excellent Easter message about the resurrection of Jesus. Christs Resurrection shows that His existence is independent and everlasting. It is also a victory over death and enables us to overcome the human predicament; death is not our end – yet in our flesh, we shall see God. No mere mortal has the power to come to life again after death . . . Jesus was no mere mortal, but had to be God; the only begotten son of the Father.

President Monson finished up by noting that we face many serious challenges in the world today, but assured us that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us. May heavens blessings be with us, love be in our homes . . . May God bless you…

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