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

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

Elder Hales described Christ's own example of courage in a whirlwind, when "He made his own choice to obediently endure to the end and complete his atoning sacrifice, even though it meant great suffering and death.

“Spiritually mature obedience is ‘the Savior’s obedience,’" he continued. "It is motivated by true love for Heavenly Father and his son. … Using our agency to obey means choosing to ‘do what is right (and) letting the consequence follow.’ It require self-mastery and brings confidence, eternal happiness, and a sense of fulfillment to us and, by example, to those around us; and it always includes deep personal commitment to sustain priesthood leaders and follow their teachings and counsel."

Like Elder Andersen, Elder Hales said obedience makes people stronger, "capable of faithfully enduring tests and trials in the future. Obedience in Gethsemane prepared the Savior to obey and endure to the end on Golgotha."

The final speaker Saturday afternoon was Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. He emphasized the importance of family history work among Latter-day Saints. (See accompanying story on temples.)

President Eyring also spoke in the evening's priesthood session about models of a true priesthood man.

He said his boyhood baseball hero was the great Joe DiMaggio, whom he saw hit a home run the only time he ever watched him play. President Eyring modeled his swing after Joltin' Joe's.

“When we choose heroes, we begin to copy, consciously or unconsciously, what we admire most in them,” he said, adding that every priesthood holder becomes a model of a priesthood man "whether you want to be or not. Each of you will be a model of a priesthood man whether you want to be or not. You becomes a lighted candle when you accepted the priesthood. … You can be a great model, an average one or a bad model.”

The priesthood holders who became President Eyring's heroes had three common characteristics.

"One," he said, "is a pattern of prayer, the second is a habit of service, and the third is a rock-hard decision to be honest."

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency asked the men in the priesthood session to consider whether they are “sleeping through the Restoration,” which he said is an ongoing process.

He identified three obstacles that “prevent us from fulling engaging” in the blessings of the restored gospel — selfishness, addictions and competing priorities.

“Past generations had their struggles with variations of egotism, but today we are giving them serious competition," President Uchtdorf said. "Is it any coincidence that the Oxford Dictionary recently proclaimed ‘selfie’ as the word of the year?”

He encouraged “small gifts of charity that have a grand impact for good — a smile, a handshake, a hug, time spent in listening, a soft word of encouragement or a gesture of caring” because such selfless acts “can change hearts and lives.”

“Addictions," he added, "are thin threads of repeated action that weave themselves into thick bonds of habit. … These binding chains can have many forms, like pornography, alcohol, sex, drugs, tobacco, gambling, food, work, the Internet or virtual reality. Satan, our common enemy, has many favorite tools he uses to rob us of our divine potential to accomplish our mission in the Lord’s kingdom.”

He encouraged those struggling with addiction not to give up or lose faith but to keep their hearts close to Christ.

As for competing priorities like hobbies, sports, work or politics, they may be honorable, he said, "but are they leaving us time and energy for what should be our highest priorities?”

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