“Your Heavenly Father knows that you will make mistakes,” President Uchtdorf said. “He knows that you will stumble — perhaps many times. This saddens him, but he loves you. He does not wish to break your spirit. On the contrary, he desires that you rise up and become the person you were designed to be.”
President Uchtdorf concluded with his testimony “that our living hope is in Christ Jesus. He is the true, pure and powerful entrance to divine enlightenment.”
“I testify that with Christ, darkness cannot succeed,” he continued. “Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ. I bear witness that darkness cannot stand before the brilliant light of the Son of the Living God! Even after the darkest night, the Savior of the world will lead you to a gradual, sweet and bright dawn that will assuredly rise within you.”
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles drew from a “little brown book” that was given to LDS servicemen and women during World War II. He said he found many of the same instructions given in that book equally applicable to the challenges facing church members today.
Like President Monson, Elder Perry focused on the importance of obedience to God’s commandments in what he called “the war against sin.”
“In many respects, this world has always been at war,” he said. “I believe when the First Presidency sent me my little brown book they were more concerned about a much greater war than World War II. I also believe they hoped the book would be a shield of faith against Satan and his armies in this greater war — the war against sin — and serve as a reminder to me to live the commandments of God.”
He referred specifically to the Ten Commandments, which he called “the most accepted and enduring delineation between good and evil” in the Judeo-Christian world.
“In my judgment, four of the Ten Commandments are taken as seriously today as ever,” he said. “As a culture we distain and condemn murder, stealing and lying, and we still believe in the responsibility of children to their parents. But as a larger society, we routinely dismiss the other six commandments.”
“In a world where the moral compass of society is faltering, the restored gospel of Jesus Christ never wavers, nor should its stakes and wards, its families, nor its individual members,” Elder Perry concluded. “We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistence and perfect trust in his promises.”
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles focused his time at the Conference Center pulpit Sunday morning on the miracles of missionary work.
“This is a remarkable time of miracles,” he said. “Six months ago as President Monson announced the age change for young men and young women desiring to serve missions, there was an undeniable spiritual outpouring. Faith overcame doubt and young men and women moved forward.
“The Thursday following conference I was assigned to recommend missionary calls to the First Presidency,” he continued. “I was amazed to see the applications of 18-year-old men and 19-year-old women who had already adjusted their plans, visited doctors, been interviewed by their bishops and stakes presidents and submitted their missionary applications — all in just five days. Thousands more have now joined them. It’s a miracle.”
He urged his listeners to participate in the miracle.
“Every righteous member of the church has thought about how to share the gospel,” he said. “Some share the gospel naturally, and we can learn a lot from them. Some struggle and wonder how to do better, wishing that guilty feeling we sometimes feel would find somewhere else to go.
“Our desire to share the gospel takes all of us to our knees, and it should, because we need the Lord’s help We are all in this together. With fellow ward members and missionaries, we plan and pray and help one another. Keep the full-time missionaries in your thoughts and prayers. Trust them with your family and friends. The Lord trusts them and has called them to teach and bless those who seek him.”
Also speaking during the Sunday morning session were Elder L. Whitney Clayton, who spoke about five important things he has learned about marriage by “watching and learning from wonderful marriages,” and Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, general Primary president, who said, “One of the greatest influences a person can have in this world it to influence a child.”
Music for the session was provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
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