President Thomas S. Monson
President Monson spoke briefly to start the conference and announced the rededication of the Laie, Hawaii temple next month. He also announced five new temples to be built (Lisbon, Indianapolis, Hartford, Tijuana, and an additional one in the Philippines). After this announcement, President Monson encouraged members of the church to do missionary work. He reiterated the idea that all worthy young men should serve a mission and should keep themselves pure, clean, worthy, and healthy to do so. The church also needs "many, many more" senior couples.
President Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the 12
President Holland spoke on gratitude for faithful members of the Church. The Church draws strength from the faith and devotion of its members. He specifically thanks YW and YM leaders, and selfless parents. President Holland tells the story of his parents sacrificing to pay for his expensive mission; his mother took a job and his father worked extra hours. His parents never told him while he was serving that they were not using his mission funds to pay for the mission. They sacrificed for his welfare. President Holland pledges to be better, more charitable and true.
Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary General President
Sister Wixom started her talk relaying the story of Joseph Smith needing bone surgery as a child. He was brave and simply asked for his father to hold him during the ordeal. As members of the church we need to reach out to the children so we can help them through their challenges and help anchor them to the gospel. It is our opportunity to teach them the Plan of Salvation. Reading the scriptures daily with the children is a big part of this; she relates the story of a young family reading the Book of Mormon together, three verses a day to begin with. The world will teach our children if we do not teach them. Prayer is another important principle to teach the children. A story of a mother having her children pray while driving in a snow storm illustrates this point.
Claudio R. M. Costa, of the Seventy
President Costa is a convert and testifies of the importance of having a living prophet on the earth (Amos 3:7). He tells of hearing President Ezra Taft Benson speak to students at BYU about prophets and repeats President Benson's 14 points:
1. The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.
2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.
3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.
4. The prophet will never lead the Church astray.
5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.
6. The prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us scripture.
7. The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.
8. The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.
9. The prophet can receive revelation on any matter--temporal or spiritual.
10. The prophet may be involved in civic matters.
11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.
12. The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.
13. The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency--the highest quorum in the Church.
14. The prophet and the presidency--the living prophet and the first presidency--follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.
President David M. McConkie, 1st Couns. Sunday School
A teacher's attitude is what matters in the teaching process. A Teacher's attitude and spirit are more important than their experience. President McConkie tells a story about a Danish immigrant teaching 15 year old boys; the language barrier was a challenge, but he changed their lives nonetheless. A good teacher:
1. Immerses students in the scriptures
2. Applies lessons to real life
3. Seeks heaven's help
4. Acts according to promptings of the spirit
Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the 12
Elder Christofferson talks about living a consecrated life and names five elements of doing so:
1. Consecrated living requires purity. We need to submit to all that God may require of us.
2. A consecrated life is one of labor. Wholesome recreation is the companion of work.
3. Consecrated living respects the physical body. We should not desecrate our bodies with tattoos, drugs, sexual impurity, etc.
4. Consecrated living requires service. We should cultivate a listening ear to give service (story about his grandfather shearing sheep and then serving a mission).
5. A cultivated life is a life of integrity. We are accountable to God.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the First Presidency
In times of challenge we need to slow down and focus on the essentials. It is easy to get too busy. Over scheduling your day is a vice that turns ambition into an albatross around your neck. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" (DaVinci). Ball point pens do not work in outer space story (use pencil instead). Become great by mastering the fundamentals, which include:
1. Our relationship with God. Spend time alone with Him; repent.
2. Relationships with family members. Love for family is spelled T-I-M-E.
3. Relationships with fellowmen. Be sensitive to the needs of others and give service.
4. Ourselves. Learn to see yourself as God sees you.
Note: President Uchtdorf lost his voice for about a minute in the middle of his talk.