Sustaining of Church officers. A new Primary General presidency was sustained: Rosemary Wixon (president), Jean A. Stevens (1st couns.), Cheryl Esplin (2nd couns.).
Robert W. Cantell
Church Auditing Report
Brook P. Hales
13,824,854 total membership of Chuch
119,722 new children of record
51,736 full-time missionaries
2 temples dedicated in 2009
130 temples operating by end of 2009
Elder L. Tom Perry
Elder Perry was recently shown some notebooks his mother had used to help prepare relief Society lessons. Although she was only able to use a portion of the research and materials she prepared, her extra effort was not wasted--she was able to use the information to help teach her children. Parents are entrusted with both the secular and spiritual education of their children. This responsibility falls mainly to the mother. Values, morals, ethical standards, and faith were all part of the things President Perry's mother taught. Teaching in the home is most sacred. Parents are the central cast members in their children's lives. We can improve the teaching in the church by improving teaching in the home.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Elder Christofferson relates the story of William Tindale's execution as the result of translating and publishing the Bible in English. We owe Tindale a great debt of gratitude, as well as to those who kept scriptural records over the years. What did they know about the importance of scripture that we too should know? Scripture enlarges the memory, sheds light on error, and brings us to Christ. there is growing scriptural illiteracy because people will not open the book. Scriptures are the touchstone for measuring truth; they tutor us in morals necessary for an honorable society. We should study the scriptures carefully, ponder and pray over them. Never in history has a people been so blessed with so much holy writ. This is because our need for constant recourse in scriptures is greater than in any other period of time.
President Koichi Aoiyagi
President Aoiyagi tells of his conversion story and how he stopped going to church for a time period. A friend and church member sent him a postcard with a scripture and expressed concern about his inactivity. This touched him and brought him to prayer and scripture study, which then reignited his testimony. We should offer a saving hand to others, in missionary work, in service, and in helping the sick and poor. When we serve others we are serving the Lord.
President Bruce A. Carlson
President Carlson tells of some fisherman who overloaded a plane, which stalled and crashed into a swampy area. The crash was caused by ground-effect. They had crashed similarly the previous year. Sometimes we want shortcuts to get where we want to go. But there are no shortcuts. Safety in the Church lies in keeping the commandments. Three reasons people do not keep commandments include:
1. We are convinced the commandment does not apply to us.
2. We think the commandment not important.
3. We feel the commandment is too difficult to obey.
President Carlson relates scripture stories supporting each of these three reasons for failure to obey the commandments.
Elder David A. Bednar
Spiritual early warning signs in our children can be detected by doing three things regularly:
1. Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon--this provides parents with the opportunity to teach, listen to, and observe their children and their reactions to gospel truths.
2. Bearing testimony of gospel truths spontaneously--A child's expression or questions in this type of conversation can help parents gauge spiritual growth/challenges.
3. Invite children to act and not merely to be acted upon--This helps children to gain their own testimonies. As parents we must be careful not to keep giving our children "fish," but must teach them to "fish" for their own spiritual nourishment. Help them to ask, seek, and knock.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Why is there do much moral decay all around us? Most days we find ourselves assaulted by pornography on the computer, in mass media, and even on cell phones/iPods. President Holland outlines the differences between love and lust. Lust is the most deadly of the 7 deadly sins. This is because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God has given us here on the earth. True love ignites a feeling of permanence while lust is pathologically clandestine. Lust destroys faith and trust. To break the habit of pornography one must separate him/herself from people, materials, and circumstances associated with it--and do not leave a forwarding address. Talk to the Bishop, get a priesthood blessing, pray without ceasing. The only real control in life is self control. Picture the faces of those who love you if you are tempted to relapse. Go to the temple as often as circumstances will allow and remember the symbols you take with you from there. In the sacrament we take the name of Christ upon us and remember Him--do this literally. Nephi wrote, "I will give place no more for the enemy of my soul."