Just over a month ago, I had the opportunity to meet Carol Lynne Snideman Rice, a mother and former student of Ricks College. During my encounter with her, I learned that as a senior writing on the school newspaper from 1984 to 1986, she was tasked with covering a general conference session in 1985.
I find myself doing the same work 36 years later, but instead of sitting live in the conference center with paper transcripts in hand, I sit at my laptop and wait for the notification ding of my email inbox as the conference talks transcripts are sent. Each talk arrives to my email with the stamp of confidentiality. My eyes follow along word for word as they are spoken live by prophets and apostles in Salt Lake City. What a blessing this is.
The Saturday morning of general conference was full of direct calls to action and inspiring words from general authorities. The following outline some of the main points of each talk:
“The Great Depression we now face has less to do with the external loss of our savings and more to do with the internal loss of our self-confidence, with real deficits of faith, hope, and charity all around us. But the instruments we need to create a brighter day and grow an economy of genuine goodness in society are abundantly provided for in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
“Such help and hope is dearly needed because in this worldwide congregation today are many who struggle with any number of challenges—physical or emotional, social or financial, or a dozen other kinds of trouble. But many of these we are not strong enough to address in and of ourselves, for the help and peace we need is not the kind ‘the world giveth.’
“In matters of covenantal purity, the sacred is too often being made common and the holy is too often being made profane. … ‘Wickedness never was happiness.’
“Tomorrow is Easter, a time for the righteous principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement to ‘pass over’ conflict and contention, over despair and transgression, and ultimately over death. It is a time to pledge total loyalty in word and deed to the Lamb of God.”
“I bear witness of Him, even Jesus Christ, the Master minister and Savior of us all. I invite each of us seek out the ‘pobrecitos’, the ‘poor little ones’ among us who are in need.”
“Different types of unfairness can merge, creating a tsunami of overwhelming unfairness. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affects those who already are subject to multifactorial, underlying disadvantages. … It was not fair that (Jesus Christ) experienced all the pains and afflictions of mankind. It was not fair that He suffered for my sins and mistakes and for yours. But He chose to do so because of His love for us and for Heavenly Father. He perfectly understands what we are experiencing.”
“Our personal journey did not begin at birth. Before we were born, we were together in a world of preparation where we ‘received [our] first lessons in the world of spirits,’
“Some may question if life begins, —with the formation of an embryo or, — when the heart begins to beat, or —when the baby can live outside of the womb, but for us, there is no question that spirit daughters and sons of God are on their own personal journeys coming to earth to receive a body and experience mortality.
“You are the mothers of the sons and daughters of God, whose lives are sacred. Safeguarding them is a divinely given responsibility which cannot be lightly brushed aside.
“Let us share our deep feelings about the sanctity of life with those who make decisions in society. They may not fully appreciate what we believe, but we pray that they will more fully understand why, for us, these decisions go well beyond just what a person wants for his or her own life.
“As the Lord’s servant, I promise you that as you are faithful to Jesus Christ and your covenants, you will receive compensating blessings in this life and your righteous desires in the eternal timeline of the Lord.”
“Jesus Christ is the light that we should hold up even during the dark times of our mortal life (3 Nephi 18:24). When we choose to follow Christ, we choose to be changed.”
“Knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father will help us know who we are and know that we belong to His great eternal family.
“Nevertheless, despite the challenges we face in life, like that first Easter morning, we can awake to a new life in Christ with new and marvelous possibilities and new realities as we turn to the Lord for hope and belonging.”