Whew! Here is the last General Conference summaries. I hope these are helpful to a few people out there, but if not it helps me to really hear what is being said. I heard a lot of themes about teaching in the home, God's love for us (I think Moses 1:39 was quoted 6 times!), and the resurrection of the Savior. What were your thoughts and impressions?
Elder Russell M. Nelson
God's love for His children is infinite. The atonement enables us to have immortality and eternal life. But many have not had access to the blessings of the gospel while on the earth. A way has been provided for all to be part of an eternal family. When our hearts are turned to our ancestors we feel something greater than ourselves. Building more temples helps to make more families eternal. Our greatest responsibility is to seek after our dead. New technology, specifically New Family Search, helps to eliminate duplication of proxy work and exposes errors that need correction. The Church understands the problems associated with the huge endeavor of creating one huge family tree. They are working to solve these problems. Genealogy work blesses both the living and the dead and helps to exalt families.
Elder Robert D. Hales
Desires to encourage parents and youth leaders. We have a duty toward the rising generation. Doing our duty to God begins by living by example--there is no substitute for seeing the gospel lived. We should walk alongside them on the gospel path. Plan and take advantage of teaching moments to make strong impressions on their hearts. Sit and talk with the youth--be interested in their lives and let them feel your love. Parents need to understand the hearts of their children and have regular warm, caring interaction with their children. Nourish their souls. Pay attention to them; ask them questions; then take time to really listen. Participate in Personal Progress and Duty to God projects with them. They will grow, you will grow, and your bonds with each other will grow. Also, teach your children to participate fully in gospel and to earn their own testimony. Do this by helping them to understand who they are and that the Lord loves them. Share your testimony with them so your children know where your heart is at.
President Bradley D. Foster
Parents have the primary responsibility for the spiritual nourishment of their children. There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. Nurturing is the spiritual heritage of women. President Foster tells of his experience as a rancher gathering lost calves who had wandered off the road, which reminded him of youth in the church who are distracted from living the gospel. The calves were led by their mothers back to the corral. Always go back for those who have strayed--keep trying and assure them of your love. Most often they will first turn to their mother, perhaps because a mother's love typifies the love of the Savior.
President James B. Martino
It is how we react to tests that will determine who we are; there "must be opposition in all things." Paul taught that "all things work together for good to them that love God." Our trials help us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good from each experience. As we understand this principle we will more fully feel Heavenly Father's love. Try to gain an eternal perspective while you are going through it, not just after it is over.
Five things we can learn from the last hours of the Savior's life:
1. He sought not to do His own will, but only to do the will of the Father.
2. When faced with trials, learn to not complain or murmur.
3. When you face challenges, seek the help of God.
4. Learn to think of others first, even in times of trial.
5. Forgive others and do not try to pass blame to them.
President Gregory A. Schwitzer
The Savior taught to "judge not," but how can we do this in a world where there is so much corruption? He does expect us to use excellent judgment. President Schwitzer tells the story of the Savior's visit to Mary and Martha, and the later story of Christ raising their brother Lazarus. It is easy to misjudge Martha without knowing both stories. President Schwitzer then told an account of some patients he had misjudged by their appearance. Judgments can lead us closer or further away from the Savior.
Four points of advice in developing good judgment:
1. Put your own standards in alignment with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel has a long track record of bringing people to happiness.
2. Listen to the messages of the living prophet.
3. Cultivate with the Holy Ghost a "relationship of listening." He will help us to judge.
4. Keep the commandments; doing so brings great blessings.
President Francisco J. Vinas
President Vinas is a member of the Caribbean Area Presidency and his experiences with the Saints after the earthquake have reminded him of the prophecies of the Book of Mormon. Immediate help was sent by the Church, both temporal items and comfort and counsel were provided. More than 40 members of the Church died in the earthquake, but Prophets from all ages have warned of another tragedy that is less perceptible but not less important: the "awful death [that] cometh upon the wicked; for they die as to things pertaining to things of righteousness; for they are unclean, and no unclean thing can inherit the kingdom of God" (Alma 40:26). Parents play an important essential role in helping their children to understand truth and righteousness.
Elder Neil L. Andersen
We have heard and felt the mind and will of the Lord in this conference. The youth are here at an important, but troubled, time. We cannot be casual in how we prepare the rising generation. We need to fan the flame of the spiritual glow already alight in them from the pre-existence. Each youth needs their own light and 'steadfast and immovable' faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, independent of parents, youth leaders and supportive friends. Teaching them the stories of Jesus helps to do this better than anything else. Our children need to know of Christ's life and that He will return to earth again.
Elder Andersen counsels the youth to live up to their important responsibilities and great spiritual capacities. They should study the scriptures. Single mothers should speak of the Savior and President Andersen promises they will feel of His love for them. Fathers should also speak to their children of the Savior. Wayward children will return--time and truth are on the side of parents.
President Andersen tells the story of the Forrest family. Brother Forrest died in a car accident, leaving seven children behind. The children know their father had a strong testimony because they had studied the scriptures before school and listened to him recite scriptures. Their testimonies are strong because of their dad's example and the strength of their mother.
President Thomas S. Monson
"Trust in the Lord." This has been the story of President Monson's life. President Monson encourages members to study the conference messages, to ponder their teachings, and then to apply them. He counsels us to "look to the lighthouse of the Lord. There is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what its beacon light can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. The lighthouse of the Lord sends forth signals readily recognized and never failing." The Lord hears your prayers and blesses and directs us in the affairs of His kingdom here upon the earth.