Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered online globally to join the live proceedings of the historic 190th Semi-Annual General Conference on October 3-4.
During the Conference, 34 messages were shared with Latter-day Saints and others around the world. The First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other Church leaders shared messages during five sessions. Their key messages encourage us to focus our lives on our Savior, Jesus Christ; letting God’s will prevail in our life, focusing on Christ’s promises to the faithful, having “eyes to see” the hand of God in our lives, to recognize our own divine identity, and to see the needs of God’s children around us as Christ would, developing the attributes of Christ’s divine nature, finding joy in our service as we represent our Savior while ministering to others, and rejoicing in the Culture of Christ that results from faith in Christ and obedience to His commandments.
Please find a summary of direct quotations from selected talks below. For more talks or the entire talk please visit churchofjesuschrist.org/general-conference. Click on the title to read or download the text or watch the video.
As you choose to let God prevail in your lives, you will experience for yourselves that our God is “a God of miracles.” … one of the Hebraic meanings of the word Israel is “let God prevail.” Thus the very name of Israel refers to a person who is willing to let God prevail in his or her life. The Lord is gathering those who will choose to let God be the most important influence in their lives. God does not love one race more than another. His doctrine on this matter is clear. He invites all to come unto Him, “black and white, bond and free, male and female.” Favor or disfavor with God is dependent upon your devotion to God and His commandments and not the color of your skin. Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children. The question for each of us is the same, Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life? As you study your scriptures during the next six months, I encourage you to make a list of all that the Lord has promised He will do for covenant Israel Ponder these promises. Then live and watch for these promises to be fulfilled in your own life.
“Elisha prayed, … Lord, … open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.” There may be times when you, like the servant, find yourself struggling to see how God is working in your life—times when you feel under siege—when the trials of mortality bring you to your knees. Wait and trust in God and in His timing. But there is a second lesson here. Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to see things you would not normally see. See clearly who God is and who we really are—sons and daughters of heavenly parents, with a “divine nature and eternal destiny.” See others as He does. Jesus Christ sees individuals, their needs, and who they can become. Even in our busy lives, we can follow the example of Jesus and see individuals—their needs, their faith, their struggle, and who they can become. Then act by loving, serving, and affirming their worth and potential as prompted. As this becomes the pattern of our lives, we will find ourselves becoming “true followers of … Jesus Christ.”
Our youngest son, Tanner Christian Lund, contracted cancer. Shortly before he passed away, Tanner’s disease had invaded his bones, and even with strong pain medicines, still he hurt. He could barely get out of bed. One Sunday morning, his mom, Kalleen, …was surprised to see that he had somehow gotten himself dressed and was sitting on the edge of his bed, painfully struggling to button his shirt. Kalleen sat down by him. “Tanner,” she said, “are you sure you are strong enough to go to church? He stared at the floor. He was a deacon. He had a quorum. And he had an assignment. “I’m supposed to pass the sacrament today.” “Well, I’m sure someone could do that for you.” “Yes,” he said, “but … I see how people look at me when I pass the sacrament. I think it helps them. As the deacons stepped to the sacrament table, he leaned gently against another deacon as the priests passed them the bread trays. Tanner shuffled to his appointed place and took hold of the end of the pew to steady himself as he presented the sacrament. It seemed that every eye in the chapel was on him, moved by his struggle as he did his simple part. Somehow Tanner expressed a silent sermon as he solemnly, haltingly moved from row to row—his bald head moist with perspiration—representing the Savior in the way that deacons do. His once indomitable deacon’s body was willingly suffering to serve by bearing the emblems of the Savior’s Atonement into our lives. Seeing how he had come to think about being a deacon made us think differently too—about the sacrament, about the Savior, and about deacons and teachers and priests. …when a deacon carries the sacred emblems to us, standing as he does where Jesus would stand if He were there, offering to lift our burdens and our pain. And the surest way to find joy in this life is to join Christ in helping others.
What a magnificent world we live in and share, home to a great diversity of peoples, languages, customs, and histories. But though learned behavior—those things to which we are exposed by the cultures we grow up in—can serve as a great strength in our lives, it can also, at times, become a significant obstacle. An overfixation on one’s cultural identity may lead to the rejection of worthwhile—even godly—ideas, attributes, and behavior. Many of our world’s problems are a direct result of clashes between those of differing ideas and customs arising from their culture. But virtually all conflict and chaos would quickly fade if the world would only accept … the culture founded on the Savior’s teachings. It is unique. It unites rather than divides. It heals rather than harms. We are responsible and accountable for ourselves, one another, the Church, and our world. Charity, true Christlike caring, is the bedrock of this culture. It is a culture of learning and study, faith and obedience. These give rise to self-mastery. It is a culture of prayer…of covenants and ordinances, high moral standards, sacrifice, forgiveness and repentance, and caring for the temple of our bodies. It is a culture governed by the priesthood… It edifies and enables individuals to be better people, leaders, mothers, fathers, and companions—and it sanctifies the home. We can, indeed, all cherish the best of our individual earthly cultures and still be full participants in the oldest culture of them all—the original, the ultimate, the eternal culture that comes from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Here is one of our Savior’s teachings, probably well-known but rarely practiced: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you” (Matthew 5:43–44).What revolutionary teachings for personal and political relationships! But that is still what our Savior commands. In the Book of Mormon we read, “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29). … as followers of Christ we must forgo the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings. It also helps if we are even willing to learn from [our enemies]. … we should try getting to know them. In countless circumstances, strangers’ suspicion or even hostility give way to friendship or even love when personal contacts produce understanding and mutual respect. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “it is a time-honored adage that love begets love. Let us pour forth love—show forth our kindness unto all mankind.” And President Russell M. Nelson has urged us to “expand our circle of love to embrace the whole human family.”