'Be of good courage,' Pres. Monson counsels during Saturday sessions of general conference

Published: Sunday, April 6 2014 8:20 a.m. MDT

Those commandments include keeping sexual relations to between a man and a woman in marriage. "As the world slips away from the Lord's law of chastity," Elder Andersen said, "we do not."

"Don't let the whirlwinds drag you down," he added. "These are your days — to stand strong as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

Sister Linda S. Reeves of the Relief Society general presidency stepped to the pulpit from the third center row on the Conference Center stand, where auxiliary leaders, including nine women in the presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women and Primary, sat in a more prominent position for the first time, to speak in the morning session.

With 13 grandchildren in the congregation Saturday morning, Sister Reeves said she wanted them to know about the destruction pornography causes in families.

"Filters are useful tools," she said, "but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father's love and our Savior's atoning sacrifice for each one of us."

She said daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening "take away stress, give direction to our lives and add protection to our homes."

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy also spoke in the morning session and encouraged conferencegoers "to take up the joyful 'burden' of discipleship."

He told a story about a tornado that ripped through Oklahoma City last year and how it devastated the personal possessions of many and killed several people.

"It is so important for each of us to strive to lay up our spiritual treasures in heaven," he said.

Latter-day Saints should let their faith show, Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during the Saturday afternoon session.

"We might ask ourselves, where is our faith?" he said. "Is it in a team? Is it in a brand? Is it in a celebrity? Even the best teams can fail. Celebrities can fade. There is only One in whom your faith is always safe, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. And you need to let your faith show!"

Elder Nelson told a story about a medical faculty colleague chastising him for not separating his faith from his profession. He said he understood why scholars cherish freedom of expression, but said "full freedom cannot be experienced if part of one’s knowledge is ruled ‘out of bounds’ by edicts of men.

"Spiritual truth cannot be ignored," he continued, "especially divine commandments. Keeping divine commandments brings blessings, every time! Breaking divine commandments brings loss of blessings, every time!"

Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told personal stories about how his grandmother encouraged him to be baptized and the girlfriend who became his wife encouraged him to serve a full-time mission for the church before marriage.

Like those women, he said: “You can help in ways that are grounded in principle and doctrine. Encourage those you love to seek to understand what the Lord would have them do. One way to do this is to ask them questions that make them think and then allow them sufficient time — whether hours, days, months or more — to ponder and seek to work out the answers for themselves.”

As members share principles that help loved ones progress on the path to eternal life, Elder Scott said, "they should keep it simple because each person learns line upon line."

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles described three kinds of obedience — "natural man's obedience," which rejects God's law in favor of personal wisdom and desire; selective obedience; and spiritually mature obedience.

“As our understanding of obedience deepens, we recognize the essential role of agency," he said.

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