Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve kicked off the Sunday morning session of general conference by speaking on his favorite prophecies taught to him by Church leaders and his mother.
Speaking on Daniel, Joseph of Egypt, John the Revelator and more, Elder Rasband testified that we are the people to usher in the Second Coming of Christ.
“We are to gather God’s children, those who will hear and embrace the truths, covenants and promises of the everlasting gospel,” Elder Rasband said. “President Nelson calls it ‘the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on the earth today.’ Of that miracle I bear my witness.”
He concluded by promising that the prophecies given by Joseph Smith are being fulfilled and that as the prophets and apostles are followed, hearts and souls will be filled with the spirit and work of the Restoration.
President Bonnie H. Cordon, the Young Women’s general president, began her address by quoting 3 Nephi 12:16 and told a story of taking Elder L. Tom Perry to assist in feeding the family chickens when she was a young girl. Although she knew the path they walked, Elder Perry stepped deep into a ditch filled with water, unfamiliar with the landscape. She then learned that her light would guide Elder Perry on the unknown journey.
Sister Cordon encouraged members to be aware of those around them, and then to see how their light could shine and lead others unto Christ.
In the midst of COVID-19 fears, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Twelve reminded us that while we fight to free the world of a virus, once it comes to a close, we should be equally committed to ridding the world of the viruses of hunger; racial, ethnic or religious prejudice; poverty and school safety in hopes of creating a better world for our posterity.
“Because the Restoration reaffirmed the foundational truth that God does work in this world, we can hope, we should hope, even when facing the most insurmountable odds,” Elder Holland said. “That is what the scripture meant when Abraham was able to “hope against hope” — that is, he was able to believe in spite of every reason not to believe—that he and Sarah could conceive a child when that seemed utterly impossible.”
Elder Holland said that when we lose hope, we have only the flame of the infernal raging on every side. Hope is a precious gift linked to our faith in God and our charity to others.
He closed by reminding members that in a Church of continuing revelation, we can hope for blessings greater than those already received as benevolence and unlimited grace are found in the gospel.
In this bicentennial year of the First Vision, Elder David A. Bednar of the Twelve recounted the instruction Joseph Smith received in visions from Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and Moroni. Along with the Restoration of the gospel, the return of the prophet Elijah enabled obtaining all ordinances in the kingdom of God.
According to Elder Bednar, covenants, ordinances and blessings are found in the temple. An animated graphic detailed the growth of temples, allowing for a spread of covenants and ordinances throughout the world.
“Sacred temple covenants and ordinances can strengthen us and purify our hearts as we “Hear Him” and receive the power of godliness in our lives,” Elder Bednar said.
President Russell M. Nelson reminded those listening that choosing to listen to the words of the Lord at this time will bring blessings into lives and that in this time of global upheaval, we have the power to do good in the world.
President Nelson stated that the adversary will make bold proclamations that good is evil, and evil is good. The Lord will plainly and simply speak, allowing for understanding.
He then went on to announce a new proclamation titled, “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World,” which will be available to all on the Church’s website, churchofjesuschrist.org.
Following the presentation of the new proclamation, President Nelson led the Hosanna Shout, a sacred shout which first occurred at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple in 1836, to commemorate Joseph Smith’s First Vision of the Father and the Son.