Deseret News archives

To read excerpts of talks from the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions of general conference, as well as excerpts of the Priesthood session, click here. Excerpts for Sunday morning and afternoon session will also be available after the sessions occur. To watch or listen to the Sunday sessions, click here.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve noted that the growing visibility and reputation of the Church presents an opportunity to members to help "disabuse the public mind" and to share who we are.

"While the Church is becoming more visible, there are still many people who do not understand it," Elder Perry said during the Saturday afternoon session of conference. He suggested a couple of things that members can do to advance the understanding of the gospel.

"First, we must be bold in our declarations of Jesus Christ.

"We want others to know that we believe that He is the central figure in all human history," Elder Perry said. It is only through Christ that salvation is possible and it is only through Him that one can find ultimate contentment. "He will bless us and guide us in all of our efforts," Elder Perry said.

"Second, be a righteous example to others."

Elder Perry said after a declaration of beliefs, members must follow the counsel given in 1 Timothy 4:12: '… but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."

"Our lives should be examples of goodness and virtue," Elder Perry said. "As you are engaged in doing good being honorable and upright men and women, the light of Christ will be reflected by your lives."

"Next, speak up about the Church."

During the course of everyday life, members are blessed with many opportunities to share their beliefs, Elder Perry said. Even though some people might not be interested in the Church, they are interested in getting to know the member on a deeper level. Some members may feel it is not their place to share their beliefs. Others might be afraid of making a mistake or not having an answer to a question. Elder Perry quoted 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear."

Elder Perry noted that when speaking about the Church, the conversation should be approached with Christlike love, regardless of the response from others. He also encouraged all members to utilize the internet and social media to reach out and share the gospel.

"The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is unlike anything else you will ever share with others," Elder Perry said. "It in this information age, is the most valuable of all information in the world. There is no question about its worth. It is a pearl of great price."

Elder Perry suggested that in speaking about the Church, the message be honest and direct. He said if members will open communication channels the message of the restored gospel will prove itself to those who are prepared to receive it.

"I promise you that if you will respond to invitations to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ a spirit of love and a spirit of courage, will be our constant companion for 'perfect love casteth out fear.'"