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Highlights from the Sunday afternoon session

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

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Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, informed members on why the true church is established on earth and how we can become better saints.

“It is worth pausing to consider why He chooses to use a church, His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to carry out His and His Father’s work ‘to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,’” Elder Christofferson said.

Elder Christofferson said the Saints can grow closer to the Lord, how the priesthood keys were re-established on earth for today and how we help each other.

“It is important to recognize that God’s ultimate purpose is our progress. His desires is that we continue ‘from grace to grace, until we receive a fullness’ of all He can give,’” he said.


David G. Durrant


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David G. Durrant, first counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency in his talk “My Heart Pondereth Them Continually” invited us to do two things, which will require effort over an extended period of time to earn the rewards.

He first invited us to save money, and to “ponderize” one verse of scripture each week.

“Imagine the positive outcomes of saving money weekly for six months, a year, 10 years, or more. Small efforts sustained over time can produce significant results.”

“As you reflect on yo1ur selected verse each week, words and phrases will be written on your heart. Words and phrases will also be written on your mind. In other words, memorization will take place easily and naturally.”

Brother Durrant said we will not regret implanting a scripture in our hearts and minds each week, and we will be able to experience “a feeling of perpetual spiritual purpose, protection, and power.”


Elder Von G. Keetch

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In Elder Von G. Keetch talk, “Blessed and Happy Are Those Who Keep the Commandments of God,” he spoke of how rules and commandments keep us safe from certain “predators” of life.

Elder Keetch said some things in life look fun, but if inspected closely, could send us in a trap of grief.

“A barrier that had seemed rigid and restrictive–that seemed to curtail the fun and excitement of riding the really big waves–had become something very different. With our new understanding of the danger that lurked just below the surface, the barrier now offered protection, safety, and peace.”

Elder Keetch continued that if we are truly obedient to the Lord, we can become as how the Lord wants to be and “increase in peace and happiness.”

“He gives us divine direction, though His commands and loving guidance, so that we may avoid the dangers–so that we may set a course in our lives that is protected from spiritual predators and the gaping jaws of sin.” said Elder Keetch.


Sister Carole M. Stephens


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In her talk, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”, Sister Carole M. Stephens, First counselor of the Relief Society presidency, spoke about how we can choose to see the commandments not as boundaries in our lives, but as ways that our Heavenly Father shows us how much he loves us.

“We can choose to see commandments as limitations. We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom, take from our agency, and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding, as we allow our Father to teach us–we will begin to see that his laws are a manifestation of his love for us, and obedience to his law is an expression of our love for him.”

Sister Stephens said to listen to our leaders in the Church, especially in these times we live in today.

“In this world of increasing fear, distraction, adversity, and anger, we can look to them to see how disciples of Jesus Christ, filled with charity, look, sound, and react to issues that could be divisive,” she said.

Sister Stephens said that if we trust Christ and the Spirit, we will be able to stay safe in this world and find joy on our journey home.


Elder Allen D. Haynie

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Elder Allen D. Haynie, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, shared that Christ’s Atonement is essential for us to be clean and return to our Heavenly Father and why we should remember to be grateful for His sacrifice.

“Being denied the opportunity to return and be with our Father in Heaven because we chose to remain in or dirtied by a mud hole of sin would be eternally tragic. We should not deceive ourselves about what it takes to return and remain in the presence of our Father in Heaven. We have to be clean,” he said.

Elder Haynie invited us to continually repent, keep our covenants, and endure to the end. If we strive to avoid sin and make ourselves clean, we can stand beside of Father in the kingdom of heaven.

“His plan included the role of a Savior; someone who could help us become clean no matter how dirty we have become.”


Elder Kim B. Clark

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Elder Kim B. Clark of the Seventy reminds us in his talk “Eyes to see and ears to hear,” that the times that we are living in today are dangerous and we need to prepare for what we will be facing, “Our time is a dangerous time– a time of great evil and temptation, a time of confusion and commotion.”

Elder Clark tells us that the level of spirituality we have now will not be enough for what we will have to endure.

“We need greater spiritual light and power. We need eyes to see more clearly the Savior working in our lives and ears to hear His voice more deeply in our hearts,” Elder Clark said.

Elder Clark said we will be able to receive these blessings when we open our hearts and let Jesus Christ in our lives.

“We do not have to be perfect, but we need to be good and getting better. We need to strive to live the plain and simple truths of the gospel,” he said.

Life will get hard and discouraging said Elder Clark but if we keep the Holy Ghost in our lives the light of the gospel will cut through the confusion, the pain, and the darkness.


Elder Koichi Aoyagi


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Elder Koichi Aoyagi, a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, instructed us to always trust in the Lord, no matter what trial occurs in your life. Elder Aoyagi shared personal experiences and how he learned of the Lord’s hand in his life.

“It is, that the God who created the heavens and the earth knows the grand design of this earth, that He has dominion over all things in the heavens and the earth, and that in order to bring to pass the plan of salvation He provides us with many different experiences– that is to say, trials–while we are on this earth.”

Elder Aoyagi said the Lord does test us, not to see us suffer, but to see us grow in our testimony of Jesus Christ. If we can endure our trials well and remember the covenants we made with the Lord, He will strengthen us in all we do.

“Put God first, regardless of the trials you face. Love God. Have faith in Christ and entrust yourself to Him in all things” Elder Aoyagi said.



Elder David A. Bednar

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“My purpose is to explain why indeed it is wonderful to have older men of great spiritual maturity and judgment serving in the senior leadership positions of the restored Church of Jesus Christ,” Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostle said his talk, “Chosen to Bear Testimony of My Name.”

Elder Bednar said that when he asked Elder Robert D. Hales what lessons he had learned as he grew older and his physical abilities decreased, Elder Hales said, “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”

Elder Bednar says many have wondered why there are not younger leaders in this church due to the modern challenges we are facing today.

“The Lord does not use contemporary philosophers and practices of leadership to accomplish His purpose,” Bednar said.

Elder Bednar says these men are not granted a pass to not go through trials, however they are given the strength to overcome the challenges that they have to face.

“You and I are blessed to learn from the benedictory teachings and testimonies of latter-day prophets and apostles. The names today are not Nephi, Jacob, and Moroni– but President Faust, President Hinckley, Elder Wirthlin, Elder Perry, President Packer, and Elder Scott,” said Elder Bednar

Elder Bednar said that as we hear the words of the man who are the Lord’s authorized representatives our faith will be strengthened and we will be able to “receive spiritual guidance and protection for our specific circumstances and needs.”

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