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187th Annual General Conference – Post-conference notes

Well, another conference has come and gone. I think I enjoyed this one more than I have many recent ones. There were a couple of talks (at least) in every session that I really enjoyed. These included:

Saturday Morning General Session

  • M Joseph Brough – Families are a care package from God
  • Dale G Renlund – The Savior’s compassion, love and mercy draw us towards Him

Saturday Afternoon General Session

  • Robert D Hales – The tapestry of discipleship
  • Jeffrey R Holland – Stand close to the Savior when attempting to sing the song of redeeming love
  • Gary B Sabin – Be all-in when it comes to the gospel
  • M Russell Ballard – Set goals and have a plan

Priesthood Session

  • Thomas S Monson – Be kind
  • David A Bednar – Missionaries are called to serve, they are assigned to labour
  • Gerald Causse – The AP and MP need to work together
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf – God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward

Sunday Morning General Session

  • Joy D Jones – We need to raise sin-resistant children
  • Yoon Hwan Choi – We are all in the middle of an eternal family
  • Ronald A Rasband – Let the Holy Spirit guide
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf – We need not fear

Sunday Afternoon General Session

  • S Mark Palmer – Behold and love others
  • Gary E Stevenson – The Spirit helps us

Of course it is sad to see how President Monson and Elder Hales’ health has deteriorated. After so many decades of service to the Lord, they still must suffer in their mortal bodies. My heart definitely goes out to them.

Well, time to go forth and be better. I hope that you were uplifted by what you heard, and that the Spirit


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

I saw this every 6 months, but I love General Conference morning! I slept in until 7:30, which is pretty late for me. We got up, watched a family movie together while having a yummy French Toast Bake that my wife made. We then played a game and went for a walk. My wife and daughter had a choir practice this morning as well.

We’re all gathered around now, finishing up Music and the Spoken Word, and ready for the Sunday Morning General Session to start.


One of the Bible videos played at noon right when the session should have started

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Press Forward, Saints

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Now Let Us Rejoice

The invocation was offered by Sister Neill F Marriott

The choir sang Love is Spoken Here

President Thomas S Monson

  • 5 new temples in Brasília Brazil, Manila Philippines, Nairobi Kenya, Pocatello Idaho, Saratoga Springs Utah
  • The power of the Book of Momron and the power we have to study it
  • A strong testimony of the Savior and His gospel will help us to safety in the world today
  • If you are not reading the Book of Mormon regularly, please do so
  • The testimony of others will only carry us so far. We need our own testimony and to maintain it

Sister Joy D Jones

  • We need sin-resistant children
  • They need learn patterns of daily personal discipleship
  • Begin at very early ages
  • There is unusual power in making and keeping covenants with our Father in Heaven
  • Helping children understand covenants is key in making a sin-resistant generation
  • Keeping covenants is always independent of our situation

Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

  • Told of his father’s missionary efforts as well as family history efforts
  • All of us are in the middle of an eternal family
  • President Hinckley said to never let yourself be the weak link in our eternal family
  • Do not lose your faith because of the people around you. Don’t look around, but look up to Jesus

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Let the Holy Spirit guide
  • Joy that fills our souls brings with it an eternal perspective
  • We must strive to be worthy to have the Spirit with us
  • We must lay aside the things of this world for the Spirit does not dwell in unholy temples
  • We must always try to obey God’s laws
  • We must be willing to receive the Spirit
  • We must recognize the Spirit
  • We must act on the first prompting
  • Be a “first responder”. We need to respond immediately, just as firefighters, police and paramedics

The choir and congregation sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Elder L Whitney Clayton

  • We need to trust in the Lord
  • We need to return to simple acts of faith
  • When you are deliberate in your obedience, you are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the things which you are obedient to
  • God will always bless us for our steadfast obedience, but he rarely shows us His timetable in advance
  • That is where faith, hope, and trusting in the Lord comes in
  • Real obedience accepts God’s commandments unconditionally and in advance

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • What we believe about the Godhead is different than what other faiths believe
  • He reviewed the role of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

The choir sang Dearest Children, God Is Near You

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • He mentioned the Great Awakening that was happening during Joseph Smith’s youth and how often the preachers used fear to impact how people felt
  • How much do we use fear to motivate others?
  • People who are fearful often do the right thing, but they don’t feel the right thing
  • The Lord has made it clear what the fruits of the Spirit are
  • We need to rejoice in the Lord
  • There is no fear in Christ’s love
  • God knows you perfectly. He loves you perfectly. He knows what your future holds. He wants you to be not afraid, only believe and abide in His perfect love.

The choir sang High on the Mountain Top

The benediction was offered by Elder Richard J Maynes


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I thought I would nap between sessions, but I ended up watching the season finale of Star Wars Rebels with my kids. It was pretty awesome!

The first session today was pretty good. This afternoon I guess we’ll get the sustainings and statistics, which are always interesting.

We’ve had great weather this winter and spring, yet today it is snowing now as I sit here. We shouldn’t be having snow at this time of year!


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir comprised of students from BYU Idaho sang Sing Praise to Him

Elder Hugo E Martinez offered the invocation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented the general authorities and general officers of the Church for a sustaining vote.

Kevin R Jergensen read the audit report. All is ok.

Brook P Hales, the secretary to the First Presidency, read the statistical report for 2015

  • 3,174 stakes
  • 418 missions
  • 558 districts
  • 30.016 wards and branches
  • 15,634,199 total members
  • 114,550 children of record were baptized
  • 257,402 convert baptisms
  • 74,079 full-time missionaries
  • 31,779 church service missionaries
  • 5 temples dedicated in 2015
  • 2 temples rededicated in 2015
  • 149 in operation as of the end of the year

The choir sang Israel, Israel, God Is Calling

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • sustaining is a privilege
  • as we follow our leaders we follow the Lord
  • (my daughter spilled her smoothie, so we mised much of this talk)

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • children are entitled to be born to mothers and fathers
  • we need to remember that not everyone comes from a picture perfect family
  • knowing someone’s name can make a difference
  • the greatest influence on our youth can be other righteous youth
  • we need to reach out to the youth who seem alone or outside the fence

The choir and congregation sang Now Let Us Rejoice

Elder Mervyn B Arnold

  • the Savior understood the need to rescue Heavenly Father’s children
  • his mother was a good example of reaching out
  • we must be organized, but we not must delay going to the rescue
  • sometimes many weeks pass talking about people who have needs, meanwhile our lost brothers and sisters are needing help

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi

  • he attended the Sao Paolo temple open house and afterwards received a clear answer that the church was true
  • keep searching for your testimony
  • if you lack wisdom, ask of God

Elder David A Bednar

  • quoted from King Benjamin
  •  we will always rejoice and always retain a remission of our sins
  • holy ordinances are essential to the gospel plan
  • the sacrament is critical to help us feel the power of godliness
  • the blessings of retaining a remission of our sins help us understand that baptism is a point of departure. It is not a destination we should yearn to visit over and over again.
  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Sacrament are elements in an additive plan of redemptive progress

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • he feels strongly about the importance of councils
  • family councils have always been needed
  • 4 types of family councils
    • general family council (everyone)
    • executive family council (mother and family)
    • limited family council (parents and one child)
    • one-on-one family council (one parent, one child)
  • it used to be that shutting the doors and locking the gates kept you safe. Today it is much harder with the ways that bad influences can enter our home

The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Brother Tad R Callister offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

185th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

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The baptism was beautiful this morning. My daughter was thrilled to be baptized and confirmed, and the turnout from the ward was great. The entire service was probably only about 40 minutes long, and then we had some light refreshments until about 11:30. We’re all back at home now to watch the first Sunday session.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Arise, O God, and Shine

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong offered the invocation

The choir sang If the Savior Stood Beside Me

President Thomas S Monson

  • We have lost 3 apostles since last conference
  • The new apostles are well qualified
  • Let your light shine
  • Be thou an example of the believers
  • Word and Conversation – the words we use can inspire or harm
  • Charity – the pure love of Christ
  • Spirit, Faith, Purity
  • An abiding faith is an anchor to our lives

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Read from I Stand All Amazed
  • President Monson told him that this call comes from Jesus Christ
  • He committed to serve with all his heart, might, mind, and strength

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • Was called on Tuesday morning
  • One of his sons is on a mission in Taiwan right now

Elder Dale G Renlund

  • The fullness of the gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and simple
  • You are called because what the Lord will do through you
  • Told a nice story about a heart transplant patient he had
  • We must see people through a parent’s eyes

The choir and congregation sang verses 1, 2, 3, and 7 of How Firm a Foundation

President Russell M Nelson

  • Spoke lovingly about his three apostle friends who he misses dearly
  • Their wives were great examples
  • Covenant keeping women can make such a difference
  • Good women in the world will be drawn to the Church
  • We need the strength, conversion, conviction, ability to lead, wisdom and voices of covenant keeping women
  • We need women to speak up and speak out

Elders Gregory A Schwitzer

  • Told story about his grandson practising the piano
  • One man or woman who testifies can make a difference
  • Something changes in us… we take his countenance upon us
  • True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine
  • We should be more concerned about inspiring others rather than impressing them

Elder Claudio R M Costa

  • Partake of the sacrament in honour of the Savior
  • The sacrament is a time for su to receive revelation about the atonement

The choir sang There Is Sunshine in My Soul

President Henry B Eyring

  • At baptism we received the Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • We need the companionship of the Holy Ghost throughout our lives
  • Our hearts need to be full of charity in order to feel the Spirit
  • The most valuable information to receive is to know what God would have you do

The choir sang The Spirit of God

Sister Cheryl A Esplin offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 185th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

185th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I spent most of the time between sessions watching whatever came on the Mormon Channel. I love watching the World Report and found it interesting (as always). I also cleaned up more around the house in preparation for the family visiting tomorrow after my daughter’s baptism.

We’re back in the family room again ready for this session to start…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of Primary children from stakes in the Riverton, Utah area sang Beautiful Savior

Elder Terence M Vinson offered the invocation

President Henry B Eyring conducted the sustaining of Church officers. The new apostles are:

The choir sang a medley of Search, Ponder, and Pray and I Think When I Read That Sweet Story

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Much has been written about the younger generation today that isn’t interested in religion and doesn’t consider marriage important
  • Try not to go into debt
  • No one marries for perfection, we marry for potential
  • Don’t date just to have a good time
  • Dating and marriage aren’t final decisions… they are the gateway to where you want to go
  • When seeking friends, reach up not across

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • No one in mortality comes closer to that of Jesus Christ than the selfless love of a mother
  • Mothering is a staggering feat
  • Most mothers know intuitively that theirs is a sacred trust
  • Elder Holland shared stories about the love of mothers

The choir and congregation sang Come, Follow Me

Elder Bradley D Foster

  • Spoke to and about children in the Church
  • They were God’s children before they became our children
  • We should always be in their corner

Elder Hugo Montoya

  • Help others when required
  • Smile
  • Express compassion
  • Invite others to come to Church

Elder Vern P Stanfill

  • He shared a story about a bike ride through a pitch black tunnel
  • The lights they had were inadequate
  • Everyone relied on the light of a friend, and the light that was off in the distance
  • No matter how intense the darkness of doubt, we choose how long it will influence us
  • Trust in the Lord to develop spiritual strength in ourselves

Elder James B Martino

  • Be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Our response to life will influence our testimony
  • Be strong to the knowledge of truth
  • Our testimony of truth gets us closer to the Savior

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • We have the certainties of death and sin
  • Christ suffered of “every kind” for us
  • He willingly experienced this and because of this the atonement empowers him to bear it all
  • We face lots of “infirmities” and troubles in our lives that are NOT caused by sin
  • His healing is available to all of us

The choir sang I Feel My Savior’s Love

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 185th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

184th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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It’s a cold, rainy day where I live, so it’s a great day to be inside. Here we go… the first session out of five (six if you could the women’s meeting last weekend). I’m sitting at work with two laptops in front of me. One is the full-screen video of the session, and the other is where I’m typing this. I’ll probably also follow some of the #ldsconf hashtag on Twitter.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang How Firm a Foundation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Press Forward, Saints

The invocation was offered by Elder Carl B Cook

The choir sang Lead, Kindly Light

President Thomas S Monson

  • We’re united as a big family
  • The work of the Church moves forward unhindered
  • He recently dedicated the Gilbert AZ temple, the 142nd temple
  • There are no new temple announcements, but when all of the previously announced temples are completed, there will be 170 in operation

Elder Jeffrey R Holland ** one of my favourites

  • Someday you will be called on to defend your faith
  • There is a long history of rejection
  • You may ask if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand… Yes it is!
  • The bumper sticker “What would Jesus do?” will not always bring a popular response
  • Defend your belief with courtesy and compassion

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Currently 317 Seventies
  • Lots of us are also helping in this work
  • Take up the joyful burden of discipleship
  • Spoke of a tornado in Oklahoma, and how our worldly treasures can be taken in an instant

Elder Carlos H Amado

  • Christ was born in unusual circumstances
  • Elder Amado went on to describe various events in Christ’s life

The choir and congregation sang Choose the Right

Sister Linda S Reeves

  • Has 13 grandchildren in the congregation
  • We are concerned about pornography
  • Satan is attaching with unprecedented fury
  • We are here to manage the passions of the human body
  • Pornography overtakes lives, damages relationships, and consumes time, thought, and energy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Told a story about the power of a tornado, and compared it to the power of sin
  • Challenges will come, but as you trust in God, it will strengthen your faith
  • Our foundation must be on the Savior

The choir sang A New Commandment I Give Unto You

President Henry B Eyring

  • When you choose to keep a covenant you choose to leave an inheritance of hope
  • We have a universal inheritance because of Jesus Christ and His atonement
  • There is a heritage of hope left for those who come after us

The choir sang Come, O Thou King of Kings

The benediction was offered by Elder W Christopher Waddell


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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My father and I went to the Church for about 6:45 pm so we could setup for the traditional sub-sational. We had about 22 people there and had lots of subs, chips, and pop. It was nice.

We watched the broadcast at the church and then my father and I still went out for another snack. We’ve done it for many years, and we want to keep the tradition alive. In another year and a half my oldest son will be able to join us.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A priesthood choir made up of YSA from the Salt Lake City area sang Arise, O God, and Shine

Elder Ronald A Rasband offered the invocation

The choir sang Nearer, My God, to Thee

Elder Robert D Hales (he sounded good, but did not look good)

  • His father taught him about wearing the armor of God
  • If your father wanted to get into trouble, he had to go looking for it; today temptation finds you
  • The Church will remain constants
  • The gap between the world and the Church is getting wide
  • A true friend doesn’t ask us to choose between the gospel and their friendship
  • We are not authorized to negotiate the conditions of God eternal plan
  • Glorify God’s name by standing strong

Elder Tad R Callister

  • The priesthood of the boy is just as powerful as the priesthood of the man when exercised righteously
  • When on missions, people haev strong spiritual growth during those mission years
  • We should exercise these principles to help growth happen earlier
  • Trust our youth
  • Have high expectations of them
  • Provide training
  • Teach the YM how to lead
  • Leaders need to step back

Brother David L Beck

  • What does it mean to minister?
  • We need to help others feel loved
  • There are people around us who need to feel Heavenly Father’s love
  • We are always priesthood men, not just on Sunday’s

The choir and congregation sang Hope of Israel

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • We identify ourselves by titles
  • 4 titles that apply to all priesthood holders
    1. Son of Heavenly Father
      • No matter what we do, we are God’s literal spirit children
    2. Disciple of Christ
      • We are all different, but we have our discipleship in common
    3. Healer of Souls
      • We are to practice the Healer’s art
      • We need to build up, repair, uplift
      • We shoudl reach out to those in need
    4. Heirs to all that He has
      • We are joint-heirs with Christ
      • Does it make sense that so many of us spend time on wealth, prestige, or what is cool?
  • Live what you learn

President Henry B Eyring

  • The gospel is to go into all the world
  • Every member is to be a missionary
  • The members need to find people to teach

President Thomas S Monson

  • Missionary work is an identifying feature of the Church
  • Joseph Smith said that the greatest and most important duty is to preach this gospel
    1. Search the scriptures with diligence
    2. Plan your life with purpose
    3. Teach the truth with testimony
    4. Serve the Lord with love

The choir sang Ye Elders of Israel

Brother Larry M Gibson offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

182nd Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

The Sunday morning of General Conference is the best! I’m in the Eastern time zone, so General Conference starts at noon. We got up late, had a nice breakfast, and then relaxed for the rest of the morning. Nice!

The family is gathered together now, and we’ll watch the session together. The other sessions we ask the kids to watch the first half hour, but they watch the entire Sunday morning session with us.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord (I love this hymn)

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (my wife loves this hymn… she attended a meeting where she first felt that the Church was true and this song was sung at the meeting, so it has a special place in her heart)

Elder Brent H Nielson offered the invocation

The choir sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light (a beautiful arrangement)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • everyone has been affected by resentment
  • we feel hurt, angry or envious and judge other people
  • Christ’s atonement is infinite and eternal
  • The Lord will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all (that includes ourselves)
  • If you are gossiping, criticizing, judging, just STOP IT
  • He saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you”
  • We need to forgive others, as we want to be forgiven
  • the pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment from our eyes
  • the merciful will receive mercy
  • let us be know as a people who have love one to another
  • there is enough heartache and sorrow in the world than to have us add to it

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • are we like fish, and are oblivious to the source of our food (the bread of life)?
  • our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for him
  • we are not required to have a perfect body in order to achieve our divine potential
  • could an explosion in a printing shop create a dictionary? It is remote, but it couldn’t heal itself if the pages were torn (Note: What a great analogy!!)
  • just as the body needs food, our spirit needs nourishment

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • he spoke of his grandson who is missing a chromosome
  • some people are born with physical ailments
  • with infinite love and ever last compassion God loves your afflicted one and he loves you
  • this life is training for eternal exaltation
  • trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality
  • the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
  • do we offer to help a drowning person, or do we jump in to save them?
  • The offer of “let me know if I can help” is really no help at all

The choir and congregation sang Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

Sister Julie B Beck

  • the Relief Society increases faith
  • the Relief Society strengthen families and homes
  • the Relief Society seeks those in need
  • faith, family, and relief have come to express the vision of prophets for the sisters of the Church
  • Relief Society is not a program, it is part of the Church
  • there is no other organization to match the Relief Society

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • we’ve seen a growing interest in the Church as of late
  • there is still some confusion with our doctrine and how it is established
  • establishing the doctrine of Christ is not done through scholarship
  • the Lord communicates with his servants by personal visits, but messengers, by voice, and by feeling
  • the prophet is a prophet only when acting as such
  • the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimonies of the prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ

The choir sang Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

President Thomas S Monson

  • he will speak of eternal truths
  • we are so busy, and often are worried about the trivial things of life
  • we get caught up in the race of life
  • we need to reach heavenward for assistance
  • the prize belongs to him who belongs to the end
  • we enter mortality not to float with the current of life, but with the power to think and reason and to achieve

The choir sang Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Elder Per G Malm offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

180th Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

Before the Priesthood Session, the Young Men and their fathers met at the Church for our semi-annual “sub-sational” dinner. We had cold/deli meat and/or meatball subs along with pop and chips. As always, we had a great time.

We had a little less than 50 people attend the session.

Also, as is a tradition in my family, afterward my Dad took me out for some more treats. We tried to go to Swiss Chalet but they were closed. We headed to Dairy Queen, but of course they were closed too. We ended up just going to 7-11 and getting Slurpees.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A Priesthood choir from Brigham Young University sang God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son

The invocation was offered by Elder Keith K Hilbig. It was kind of weird as at the end of his prayer, it didn’t sound like he said Amen.

The choir sang Choose the Right

Elder Dallin H Oaks
(Note: I missed the first half of the talk as there was a problem I had to tend to)

  • Spoke about priesthood blessings, such as administering to the sick
  • We are all affected by increases and decreases in sensitivity to the Spirit
  • If faith is sufficient, then the words of the blessings don’t necessarily dictate the outcome
  • Faith and healing power of priesthood can’t trump the Lord’s will

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Missionary service
  • Be worth to serve a mission
  • Told a great story explaining how the apostles choose where missionaries serve
  • The call comes from the Lord

Brother David L Beck

  • The Aaronic Priesthood is a sacred gift
  • The new Duty to God books will be available in June
  • “Behold thou art my son and I have a great work for you to do”

The choir and congregation sang Glory to God on High

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Patience is not passive resignation
  • Patience means active waiting and enduring
  • Impatience is a symptom of selfishness
  • As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve
  • Give me patience to wait until I can comprehend it for myself

President Henry B Eyring

  • Diligence in the Lord’s service
  • A calling may end, but priesthood service never ends
  • Let every man learn his duty… in all diligence
  • Ponder deeply and diligently the scriptures
  • Persist in prayer

President Thomas S Monson

  • He commented that this was one of the finest General Priesthood Meetings he’s ever attended
  • “Come all ye sons of God who have received the priesthood”
  • He reminded us of many of the standards
  • Honesty is the best policy
  • Avoid pornography at all costs

The choir sang The Iron Rod

The benediction was offered by Michael J Teh

Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: