Fill homes with love, Pres. Monson says as LDS general conference closes
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke about "following up," and did so by following up on two messages he shared at previous conferences.
He again encouraged members to pray to be led to someone they could invite to learn about the church in the next three months.
"There is much more to missionary work for members than simply extending invitations to people to listen to the missionaries," he said. "It also includes follow up with the missionaries in the cultivation of faith, the motivation to repentance, the preparation for making covenants and enduring to the end."
He invited all members to obtain a copy of "Preach My Gospel," the church's missionary guide, and read, study it and tell the church's full-time missionaries they are reading it.
"Together, we can follow up on our invitations, take others by the hand, lift them up and walk with them on their spiritual journey."
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve suggested members could look differently at their burdens. He used the story of a friend whose truck was stuck in the snow until he unwittingly freed it by filling it with firewood he cut nearby.
The load gave the truck traction.
Elder Bednar said that each person's "load" comes with opportunities, privileges, blessings and options as well as demands, obligations, afflictions and constraints.
"Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load," he said. "But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness."
Latter-day Saints should be careful not to haul around too "many nice but unnecessary things" that distract and divert from the spiritual traction their load needs to generate.
He also described the scriptural symbolism of accepting Christ's yoke.
"In essence, the Savior is inviting us to rely upon and pull together with him, even though our best efforts are not equal to and cannot be compared with his. As we trust in and pull our load with him during the journey of mortality, truly his yoke is easy and his burden is light."
Elder Bednar said unique burdens in each life help people rely on Christ, who eases them. Latter-day Saints who make covenants with God should recognize covenants are central to Christ's promises of deliverance.
"Covenants received and honored with integrity and ordinances performed by proper priesthood authority are necessary to receive all of the blessing made available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ," he said.
Bishop Gary E. Stevenson, the presiding bishop of the church, talked about Noelle Pikus-Pace, a Latter-day Saint who earned a silver medal at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in four, 60-second skeleton runs.
"This life is your four minutes," he said. "While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life. Do you sense the urgency? Your four minutes will pass quickly, and you'll have eternity to think about what you did in this life."
Bishop Stevenson counseled self-discipline. He invited members to follow Elder Bednar's previously made suggestion to mark progress in making covenants on a piece of paper with two columns, one for name and one for the plan for the "next or needful ordinance." Each family member on Bishop Stevenson's list needed the weekly sacrament ordinance.
He called life "exhilarating" and the help of Jesus Christ is available to all.
"You have the Savior of the world on your side. If you seek his help and follow his directions, how can you fail?"
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