President Thomas S. Monson – Choices
President Thomas S. Monson, prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, opened the Sunday Morning session of the 186th annual General Conference announcing four new temple: Quito, Ecuador; Harare, Zimbabwe; Belem, Brazil; and Lima, Peru.
President Monson said there are 150 temples in operation throughout the world right now.
“The choices we make determine our destiny,” President Monson said.
He continued by saying that our goal is to obtain celestial glory and the choices we make will, in large part, determine whether or not we reach our goal.
“May we choose to build up within ourselves a great and powerful faith, which will be our most effective defense against the designs of the adversary,” President Monson advised. “May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong.”
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson – Do I Believe?
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President, talked about believing.
“We believe that this Church is more than just a lovely place to go on Sundays and learn how to be a good person,” she said.
She said members believe in a prophet, in the priesthood power to make covenants and ordinances, in eternal families and so forth.
“As good and sincere as other religions and churches are, none of them have the authority to provide the ordinances of salvation that are available in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” she said.
Sister Oscarson asked if everyone really believed in all that.
“To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts!” she said.
Sister Oscarson said to choose faith over doubt is a daily choice.
“We don’t have to go searching through the philosophies of the world for the truth that will give us comfort, help and direction to get us safely through the trials of life — we already have it!” she said.
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell – Learn, Listen and Walk
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, a member of the Presiding Bishopric, talked about peace.
“Peace of mind, peace of conscience and peace of heart is not determined by our ability to avoid trials, sorrow, or heartache,” he said. “Despite our sincere pleas, not every storm will change course, not every infirmity will be healed and we may not fully understand every doctrine, principle or practice taught by prophets, seers and revelators.
Bishop Waddell numbered three steps with a promise.
First: “Learn of me.”
“Each time we attend the temple, in all that we hear, do and say, in every ordinance in which we participate and in every covenant that we make, we are pointed to Jesus Christ,” he said. “We feel peace as we hear his words and learn from his example.”
Second: “Listen to Lord.”
“As we listen to the Lord through his authorized servants, we stand in holy places and cannot be moved,” he said.
Third: “Walk in the meekness of my Spirit.”
“We may not have the ability to control all that happens around us, but we can control how we apply the pattern for peace that the Lord has provided (…) a pattern that makes it easy to think often about Jesus,” he said.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson – Fathers
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, focused his talk in the role of fathers.
He said fathers are fundamental in the divine plan of happiness.
“We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable,” Elder Christofferson said.
He said the role of father is of divine origin beginning with a Father in Heaven and in this mortal sphere, with Father Adam.
“Perhaps the most essential of a father’s work is to turn the hearts of his children to their Heavenly Father,” he said. “A father who reads scripture to and with his children acquaints them with the voice of the Lord.”
He talked about men who struggle sustaining their families, foster father and stepfathers.
“Live your life so that as man you will bring purity to your marriage and to your children,” Elder Christofferson said.
Elder Quentin L. Cook – See Yourself in the Temple
Elder Quentin L. Cook, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, talked about the importance of being able to go inside the temple.
“Despite the lack of righteousness in the world today, we live in a sacred, holy time,” he said. “Prophets with loving and longing hearts have described our day for centuries.”
Elder Cook said the Lord provided prophetic guidance and resources to His children so they can be valiant in attending temple responsibilities, both for living and for dead.
“Please don’t see the temple as some distant and perhaps unachievable goal,” he said.
He continued by saying the primary blessings of the temple are the ordinances of exaltation. The gospel plan is about exaltation and encompasses making and keeping sacred covenants with God.
“Occasionally in the temple, the veil between us and those on the other side becomes very thin,” Elder Cook said. “We get additional assistance in our efforts to be saviors on Mount Zion.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf – He Will Place You on His Shoulders
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the First Presidency, started his talk sharing his experience as a boy witnessing a war.
“I thought, if man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild and awe-inspiring structure that rises toward heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore his children who have fallen, struggle, or become lost?” he said.
President Uchtdorf said it matters not completely ruined lives may seem or how scarlet sins, deep bitterness, lonely, abandoned, or broken hearts people may be.
“Save those rare sons of perdition, there is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored,” he said.
He told the parable of the lost sheep and explained Christ knows and loves everyone.
“It matters not how you become lost — whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control,” he said.
President Uchtdorf said God will force no one to heaven. He will not rescue anyone against their will.
“He will rescue you,” he said. “He will lift you up and place you on His shoulders. He will carry you home.”