Fill homes with love, Pres. Monson says as LDS general conference closes
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — President Thomas S. Monson encouraged members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday to fill their homes with love and to make kindness a daily goal.
"We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey," he said during the final two sessions of the church's 184th Annual General Conference. "Likewise, we cannot fully love our fellow man if we do not love God, the Father of us all."
Attendance at the conference's five sessions reached 100,000 at the LDS Conference Center near Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City.
President Monson called God's gift of his Son an "incomparable gift" and 12 other speakers on Sunday described the roles for accessing that gift played by obedience, covenants, ordinances and reliance on Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.
The afternoon session featured the touching testimony of Christ by President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, on the 44th anniversary of his call as an apostle.
President Monson closed the conference by expressing hope that church members will read the conference messages when they become available on LDS.org and in church magazines.
"They are deserving of our careful review and study," he said.
"Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our exemplar," President Monson said during the Sunday morning session.
"Some of our greatest opportunities to demonstrate our love will be within the walls of our own homes," he added. "Love should be the very heart of family life, and yet sometimes it is not. There can be too much impatience, too much arguing, too many fights, too many tears."
"As we arise each morning," President Monson said later, "let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way."
In the afternoon session, he returned to that theme.
"May our homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the Spirit of the Lord," he said.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, said that in his ministry he often meets with people experiencing deep sorrow and grief.
"Sooner or later, I believe that all of us experience times when the very fabric of our world tears at the seams, leaving us feeling alone, frustrated and adrift."
One thing each person can do to make life sweeter is to be grateful.
"Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation," he said. "In other words, I'm suggesting that instead of being 'thankful for things' we focus on being 'thankful in our circumstances — whatever they may be."
President Uchtdorf said people can choose to be grateful in the midst of tribulation like Job, the Book of Mormon prophet Nephi, the Mormon pioneers or the LDS Prophet Joseph Smith.
He called being "grateful in our circumstances" an act of faith in God.
Another way to confront sorrow and grief is to consider eternal perspective. He said all of God's children are made of the stuff of eternity: "Endings are not our destiny.
"The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all," he said. "They are merely interruptions — temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful."
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