Home teaching, the Book of Mormon, Alma and Amulek, Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, and the Word of Wisdom were the subjects of last night’s priesthood session of the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

One theme rang true through each of the five talks given last night – strength.

Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on the importance of home teaching in any way possible.

“Brethren, the appeal I am making tonight is for you to lift your vision of home teaching,” Holland said. “Please, in new, better ways, see yourselves as emissaries of the Lord to his children.”

Holland told Troy Russell’s story of tragedy and receiving the strength he needed through the love and compassion of his home teacher, John Manning.

“At first it was difficult, but over time I realized I had found my strength in the form of a very slow 6-foot-2 Church ball player with an absolutely pathetic jump shot, but who loved me and listened to me until the sun finally rose again on my life,” Holland quoted.

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. of the Seventy taught about the power of the Book of Mormon.

He told stories of three men who experienced the power first hand and who ultimately were baptized because of what they gained from the Book of Mormon.

“Perhaps the greatest power of the Book of Mormon is its impact in bringing us closer to Jesus Christ,” Curtis said. “It is a strong witness of him and his redeeming mission.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency showed how leaders of the Church need their own Amuleks, just as Alma needed his.

Uchtdorf said that, while there are those within stakes, wards and branches who may be reluctant to heed the call of the Lord, that it is the responsibility of their leaders to empower them to reach their full potential.

“I invite you to think of those in your branches and wards, in your missions and stakes, who need to hear a call to action,” Uchtdorf said. “The Lord has been working with them – preparing them, softening their hearts. Find them by seeing with your heart. Reach out to them. Inspire them. Ask them.”

Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency taught how holders of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a responsibility to strengthen and inspire those of the Aaronic Priesthood.

“Many things may help strengthen our younger brothers to rise up in the priesthood, but nothing will be more powerful than our helping them develop the faith and confidence that they can draw on the power of God in their
priesthood service,” Eyring said.

President Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, told the story of a young man in World War II who received strength through obeying the Word of Wisdom.

“Brethren, may we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom, a divinely provided plan,” Monson said.

The recurring theme of strength led to a powerful close to the priesthood session of General Conference.