The Voice of the Lord Unto All People
Over the past two days members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have participated in the semi-annual general conference of the church. We all had the opportunity to raise our hands to sustain the members of the First Presidency, the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and other general authorities. We had the opportunity to listen to prophets of God speak as they spoke by the power of the Holy Ghost and told us what we should be doing to protect us and our families from the evils of the world, what we should be doing to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ again on the earth, how to be of service to our fellow men and neighbors and many other things. In the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord’s preface and commandments to us today he declared:
For verily the of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to ; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither that shall not hear, neither that shall not be penetrated.
nd the shall be with much ; for their iniquities shall be upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
As these scriptures teach the Lord is not just speaking to the members of his church, he is speaking to the entire world – all of his children. Would you like to know what they Lord would have you do? I invite you to go to LDS.org and click on the General Conference link. There you can watch, read or listen to all of the conference talks. Here are some of the notes that I made from a few of the talks:
President Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet of the Church – membership of the church is now over 15 million members in over 190 countries. There are now over 80,000 missionaries serving throughout the world. He invited those who have wandered to come back and to all members to work together to labor in the Lord’s vineyard to bring souls unto Christ. He spoke tenderly of how much he misses his wife who passed away 6 months ago. She was by his side for almost 65 years and described her as the love of his life and confidant. He spoke to the men of the priesthood about the sacred duty of home teaching and caring for our assigned families. We are to watch over and see that they are keeping the commandments and to do their duty in teaching their children to live righteously. He said our duty is to brighten, lift and touch the lives of our home teaching families. President Monson spoke to the church on Sunday morning of the trials of this life and how the Lord will help us through them and the lessons we can learn from our trials.
President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency spoke about the choices that lead to happiness or unhappiness. He said the way to happiness is to follow all of the commandments of God. He quoted the scripture from Luke 10:27:
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy , and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
He also spoke of what parents can do to help children who choose not to follow God’s commandments. He spoke of the blessings of repentance and forgiveness to those who have strayed. In the priesthood session, President Eyring spoke of the parable of the Good Samaritan and our role to care for those who are in need. He spoke of seeking the Lord’s spirit to know who to call on that need our help and to invite others to help give service. He spoke of the lessons of service that he learned as a young man when his Bishop called on him to help provide service to members of his ward.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Council of Twelve Apostles, spoke of depression from a personal experience and how to overcome it. He said that those who suffer from depression need to remember that the Lord loves them and will never forsake them. They should ask for priesthood blessings. Hope is never lost. We need to be aware of the signs of depression and help those that show it or see it in ourselves. He spoke of the tragic accident that Stephanie Nielson and her husband experienced and the depression that Stephanie went through. She now says her purpose in life is to be a mom and to cherish everyday she has with her children.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, spoke on the world’s tendency to forsake God in favor of idols of other Gods. He spoke of the decline of the marriage covenant and the increase of immoral conduct all its forms. He spoke of trends of governments to legislate laws that are contrary to God’s laws and said that man’s laws cannot make moral, what God has declared to be immoral. Those who desire to live God’s laws will not condone laws that permit immoral behavior simply because it is legal.
Sister Bonnie Oscarson, General Young Women’s President spoke of the example of the Prophet Joshua and his admonition to choose to serve the Lord. She said that the decisions we make in our daily lives will determine what happens to us later. We need to have a firm testimony of the gospel and the church to get us through the trials that will come to us. Being truly converted means we act on our beliefs and live righteous lives. She spoke of growing up in the 60’s and how her parents taught her to avoid the temptations of drugs and alcohol that plagued her friends and how she was able to stay clean and strong because of her testimony and conversion to the gospel.
Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about living in the perilous times that the Apostle Paul spoke about in 2nd Timothy 3
He spoke of what we can do to protect us from these things. He said the scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. He said they teach us where to go and what to do, that they offer us hope and salvation. He challenged us to make scripture reading a daily habit and the blessings will come. He also spoke of he healing of the forgiveness that can come to those who have sinned by taking advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He said the gospel teaches us to have faith and not fear the days that will come. It offers us the protection that can come from keeping the commandments of God. The scriptures are the key to the protection promised to the faithful.
There were messages of the importance of giving service to those who are around us that are suffering or need encouragement to come back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Messages of the importance of teaching our children to live righteous lives and to follow the examples in the scriptures of those that keep God’s commandments and the warnings given to those who choose not to keep the commandments. There were message of the hope found in repentance and forgiveness and the blessings in making and keeping covenants.
Saturday evening I went with two of my sons to the conference center for the general priesthood session. It was a wonderful spiritual experience to be there with my sons and personally experience the opportunity to be in the presence of those who are called of God to govern his people and teach us the doctrines of salvation. To be there with 25,000 other priesthood holders all having a desire to know what we need to be doing to better our families and ourselves united in faith and the brotherhood of the priesthood was truly an experience to remember and cherish.
Overall I felt the love that the general authorities have for us and their love for the Lord Jesus Christ and their witness that he lives as does our Father in Heaven. I know the messages that were given were what God would have us know to keep us safe from the evils of the world and that God is there if we seek him through prayer and obedience he will bless us and our families. I felt the increase of the spirit as I participated in and listened to the servants of the Lord and I know if we follow their counsel we will be blessed. I also know that these message are for all the world and will bless your lives as you listen and obey.
Your comments and questions are always welcome.