Instructed and inspired: Conference speakers share poignant personal reflections, timeless truths

Published: Saturday, Oct. 5 2013 11:10 p.m. MDT

"Sometimes we may ask God for success, and he gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace.”

Elder Bednar emphasized the concern with which church tithing funds are disbursed. “As I travel the earth I learn about your hopes and dreams, your varied living conditions and circumstances, and your struggles. . . . . . The leaders of the Lord’s restored church feel a tremendous responsibility to care appropriately for the consecrated offerings of church members.”

“Join with us”

Saturday morning’s session concluded with President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency encouraging those who have left the LDS Church to "come back again. Join with us!"

"My dear friends," he said, "there is yet a place for you here. Come, and add your talents, gifts and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result."

President Uchtdorf acknowledged a variety of reasons why people may choose to leave the faith, including struggles with "unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past."

"We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of church history — along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable and divine events — there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question," he said.

"And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes," President Uchtdorf continued. "There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine. I suppose the church would only be perfect if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and his doctrine is pure. But he works through us — his imperfect children — and imperfect people make mistakes."

"If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed," President Uchtdorf said. "But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God 'which healeth the wounded soul' and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith — in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven's embrace — here you will find a people who know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!"

Promises of protection

The afternoon session featured remarks from four apostles. President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, offered hope and peace through righteousness for those who may find the challenges and temptations in the world “quite disturbing, even discouraging.” For those who wander from the path, he said “there is a way back.”

“Just as chalk can be removed from a blackboard with an eraser, with sincere repentance the effects of our transgressions can be erased through the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” he said, adding that “Peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein.”

Moral force of women

Elder D. Todd Christofferson told women the church relies “on the moral force you bring to the world, to marriage, to family, to the church. We rely on blessings you bring down from heaven by your prayers and faith."

He said, “A woman’s moral influence is nowhere more powerfully felt or more beneficially employed than in the home. There is no better setting for rearing the rising generation than the traditional family where a father and a mother work in harmony to provide for, teach and nurture their children. Where this ideal does not exist, people strive to duplicate its benefits as best they can in their particular circumstances. In all events, a mother can exert an influence unequalled by any other person or in any other relationship.”

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