General Conference (Part 2)

Wow! What a wonderful conference! I must say, President Nelson’s last few words were quite the cliff hanger….

In case you missed conference, here’s a link:

Across all the talks, two common threads stood out to me:

  1. How to find joy.
  2. Spiritual preparation for the Second Coming.

There were so many good talks…. In the coming posts, I’ll highlight some quotes that stood out to me.

The prayer of every speaker, the hope of all who sing, the reverence of every guest—all are dedicated to inviting the Spirit of Him whose Church this is—the living Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace.

Sisters and brothers, through the incessant din and drumbeat of our day, may we strive to see Christ at the center of our lives, of our faith, and of our service. That is where true meaning lies.

Jeffrey R. Holland, Apostle of Jesus Christ.
The Message, the Meaning, and the Multitude.

Giving our all doesn’t mean that we will be continually enveloped in blessings or always have success. But it does mean that we will have joy. Joy is not fleeting pleasure or even temporary happiness. Joy is enduring and is founded on our efforts being accepted by the Lord.3

There is no treasure, nor any hobby, nor any status, nor any social media, nor any video games, nor any sport, nor any association with a celebrity, nor anything on earth that is more precious than eternal life. So the Lord’s counsel to every person is “consider your ways.”

Are we true followers of Him who gave His all for us? He who is our Redeemer and our Advocate with the Father? He who was Himself absolutely committed in His atoning sacrifice and is so now in His love, His mercy, and His desire for us to have eternal joy? I plead with all who hear and read these words: Please, please don’t put your total commitment off until you get around to it at some nonexistent, future time.

Elder Terence M. Vinson, Presidency of the Seventy
True Disciples of the Savior.

You know that you are sons and daughters of God and that He has a work for you to do. You love God with all your “heart, might, mind and strength.”6 You keep your covenants and serve others, beginning at home. You exercise faith, repent, and improve each day, and this brings you enduring joy. You are preparing for temple blessings and other opportunities you will have as true followers of the Savior. And you are helping prepare the world for the Second Coming, inviting all to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of His Atonement.

Brothers and sisters, I testify that Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church. He is inspiring our leaders and guiding us to the spiritual nourishment we need to survive and thrive in the latter days. That spiritual nourishment will help us be faithful and not faithless.

Stephen W. Owen, Young Men General President
Be Faithful, Not Faithless.

In this conference three years ago, President Russell M. Nelson spoke of joy.2 Among other things, he said:

“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.

“When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation … and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. … For Latter-day Saints, Jesus Christ is joy!”3

Saints are those who have entered into the gospel covenant through baptism and are striving to follow Christ as His disciples.4 Thus, “the joy of the saints” denotes the joy of becoming Christlike.

Keeping the Lord’s commandments enables us more fully and more easily to feel His love. The strait and narrow path of the commandments leads directly to the tree of life, and the tree and its fruit, the sweetest and “most desirable above all things,”10 are a representation of the love of God and fill the soul “with exceedingly great joy.”11 Said the Savior:
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”12

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Apostle of Jesus Christ
The Joy of the Saints.

More to come….

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