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LDS conference concludes with a charge to 'be of good cheer'

Published: Sunday, Oct. 7 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

"This is the call of Christ to every Christian today: 'Feed my lambs,' 'Feed my sheep' — share my gospel with young and old alike, lifting, blessing, comforting, encouraging and building them, especially those who think and believe differently than we do," Elder Hales said. "We feed his lambs in our homes by how we live the gospel — keeping the commandments, praying, studying the scriptures and emulating his love. We feed his sheep in the church as we serve in priesthood quorums and auxiliary organizations. And we feed his sheep throughout the world by being Christian neighbors, practicing the pure religion of visiting and serving the widows, the fatherless, the poor and all who are in need."

A third member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder David A. Bednar, spoke about testimony and conversion.

"A testimony is personal knowledge of spiritual truth obtained by revelation," Elder Bednar said. "A testimony is a gift from God and is available to all of his children ... Testimony brings increased personal accountability and is a source of purpose, assurance and joy."

Conversion, on the other hand, "is an enlarging, a deepening and a broadening of the under-girding base of testimony," Elder Bednar explained. "It is the result of revelation from God, accompanied by individual repentance, obedience and diligence. ... Conversion is an offering of self we give to God in gratitude for the gift of testimony."

Comparing the two concepts, Elder Bednar said "Testimony is the beginning of and a prerequisite to continuing conversion. Testimony is a point of departure; it is not an ultimate destination. Strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is established.

"Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony," he continued. "Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel."

Other speakers during the Sunday afternoon session were Brother Russell T. Osguthorpe, general president of the Sunday School, who spoke about the recently announced curriculum for teenagers in the church; Elder Marcus B. Nash of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who spoke about how steadfast faith in Christ can anchor believers to "the rock of our Redeemer"; Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who explained that obedience and service can help us become better disciples of Jesus Christ; and Elder Don R. Clarke of the First Quorum of the Seventy, who said, "It will always be a great sacrament meeting if the sacrament is the center of our worship."

Music for the session was once again provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

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