Tag Archives: testimony

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

183rd_seminannual_general_conference_header_screenshot

I think that General Conference Sunday is one of the my favourite Sundays of the year. I love sleeping in a bit, having a relaxing breakfast, and then going for a walk with the family. The whole morning is just so peaceful!

Yesterday was a good day. President Uchtdorf gave two great talks, Elder Holland gave a great talk, and President Monson gave a talk on Home Teaching last night that I’m sure will be quoted for years.

We’re watching Music and the Spoken Word right now, and the Sunday Morning General Session is almost ready to begin.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir started the session by singing Sweet Is the Work

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

Sister Cheryl A Esplin offered the invocation

The choir sang Master, the Tempest Is Raging ** Fantastic! **

President Henry B Eyring

  • The first of his grandchildren will be getting married
  • There is one overarching commandment that will lead to the heart of a happy family life… love the Lord
  • Service in the Church brings the Spirit
  • Pray each morning for the Spirit
  • Heavenly Father has perfect foresight
  • There is joy gauranteed to the faithful

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • Reviewed some of the 10 commandments
  • Birth rates are low around the world
  • This threatens the future of cultures and nations
  • Marriage rates are dropping
  • The median age for marriage is 26 for women and almost 29 for men
  • The eternal standard is that sexual relations occur only between a man and a woman who are married

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson

  • You need to have a firm foundation
  • Now is the time to gain the conviction that the Church is true
  • True conversion is more than a knowledge of principles
  • Being truly converted means acting on what we believe
  • Conversion comes as we live pure and virtuous lives

The choir and congregation sang Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Elder Richard J Maynes

  • The challenges we face if successfully endured will be for our good
  • Our ability to endure is in proportion to our testimony
  • We need to work on our spiritual stamina every day

Elder Richard G Scott

  • We receive personal strength from the atonement
  • Spoke about the people of Ammon who wanted to break their covenants in order to defend the people. Helaman wouldn’t let them. One of the reasons was that the people had previously experienced the problems with war, and they needed to stay away so they weren’t tempted again
  • We need to build fortifications around the weak places
  • Satan will try to use memories of past sin to get us to sin again

The choir sang O Divine Redeemer ** love this! **

President Thomas S Monson

  • Spoke of his wife and how much he misses her
  • No one has ever lived free from sorrow
  • When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, we are tempted to say “why me?”
  • We need to persevere and endure

The choir sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Elder Francisco J Viñas offered the benediction


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

A dying Apostle’s testimony

I, like many of you, follow quite a few Mormon blogs. Ardis over at Keepaptichinin always has fascinating historical postings. A couple of months ago she posted something about President Joseph Fielding Smith’s last testimony. There is a line in his remarks where he says:

Now, my young friends, as I stand at the edge of eternity, I want you to know that in my many years on the earth, I have found great joy and happiness.

Who knows if he really knew he would die shortly after making those remarks, but in hindsight he certainly seems to foresee it.

That made me think of other final testimonies. Perhaps the most “famous” one was from Bruce R McConkie. He spoke in April 1985 General Conference and said this (and then passed away two weeks later):

I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.
But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.

Maybe it’s just me, but it almost seemed like President Boyd K Packer was saying goodbye during the Work of Salvation broadcast. I wonder how much time he has left.

I still have very much to learn. I don’t know how long I’ll be learning for, but when it’s over I’ll go to the new realm and being a new school. I express my testimony to you that the Lord lives, that the restoration is true, that it was managed and determined beyond the veil for our benefit. I know the Lord lives, and I know the Lord.

Youth Chosen Topic – Participation in Church

A while back I posted some notes from a discussion we had with the youth about the Word of Wisdom. We had asked them what topics they wanted to discuss, and along with Word of Wisdom, they had general questions about why they need to sing, go to seminary, etc. We combined all of those things into a topic about participation. We were going to be addressing this topic at some point, but weren’t sure when. Since I am no longer the YM President, I won’t have an opportunity to discuss this with the youth, but I figured I’d still share my notes. Remember, these are just notes. I’m sure I wasn’t going to share everything, and I would have allowed the youth to direct the discussion in a certain way if it was going well.

From the youth topic survey, people wanted to discuss:

  • skipping classes
  • getting up for seminary
  • singing in Church
    • See D&C 25:12 – the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me
      For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.
    • See Mark 14:26 – Jesus and his disciples sang
      And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.
  • false ideology
    • people focus too much on one thing but not another
  • what if you don’t know the church is true
    • not exactly participation, but we figured that we could cover this as part of this topic since participation is a result of and leads to stronger testimonies

What is the purpose of the Church?

  • Mosiah 18: 8-9
    And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
    Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
  • Mosiah 18: 19-21
    And he commanded them that they should teach nothing save it were the things which he had taught, and which had been spoken by the mouth of the holy prophets.
    Yea, even he commanded them that they should preach nothing save it were repentance and faith on the Lord, who had redeemed his people.
    And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
  • 4 Nephi 1: 12
    And they did not walk any more after the performances and ordinances of the law of Moses; but they did walk after the commandments which they had received from their Lord and their God, continuing in fasting and prayer, and in meeting together oft both to pray and to hear the word of the Lord.
  • Moroni 6: 5-6
    And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls.
    And they did meet together oft to partake of bread and wine, in remembrance of the Lord Jesus.
  • D&C 20: 75
    It is expedient that the church meet together often to partake of bread and wine in the remembrance of the Lord Jesus
  • D&C 43: 8
    And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

3 main purposes of coming to Church

  1. Partake of the Sacrament
  2. Learn the Gospel
  3. Help others

Parking of the Sacrament

  • The bread and water help us to remember Jesus
  • We take upon ourselves His name
  • It helps us to remember Him
  • We commit to follow Him
  • Sacrament prayers are located in D&C 20: 77, 79
    O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it, that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.
    O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen.

Learn the Gospel

  • Listen to talks
  • Prepare for lessons
  • Be open to the Spirit
  • Don’t disrupt others
  • Even principles we’ve heard before can be interesting if we have the right attitude
  • Classes are as good as you make them
  • We should be edified together
    • See D&C 50: 17-25
      Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
      And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
      If it be some other way it is not of God.
      Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?
      Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together.
      And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness.
      That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.
      And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you;

Help Others

  • Hymn 270 – I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go
    • Perhaps there are things we need to do and say that will help others
  • What we say/do, how we act, and our body language has a profound impact on others

Do you know how to receive revelation? Part 2

As I mentioned in the first part, when I was interviewed by Elder Olson and Elder Echo Hawk to be in the Stake Presidency, Elder Olson asked me if I knew how to receive revelation. That, together with the topic for May in the new youth curriculum has given me plenty to think about.

“Do you know how to receive revelation?” is kind of a tricky question. It’s like the question in the temple recommend interview that asks if you are worthy to enter the Lord’s house. If you say yes, you sound boastful. If you say no, then it’s as if something is wrong with you.

I guess the first thing to remember is that what revelation is. To me, revelation occurs any time you feel the Holy Ghost. If someone is bearing their testimony and you feel the Spirit, you have received revelation. The Spirit has let you know that what they are saying is true. This obviously isn’t revelation like Joseph Smith received, but I still consider it revelation.

If we consider revelation to be received anytime we feel the Spirit, then it doesn’t seem so daunting. So let me ask the questions again… “Do you know how to receive revelation?” The answer should be yes. You receive revelation because you keep the commandments. If you aren’t receiving revelation, you probably have some areas that need some work.

I understand that this is a very simplistic way to look at it, but this is the way I was describing it to the Priests that I was teaching the last couple of weeks. At 16, 17 or 18 years old they should be able to receive revelation. Since they are able to receive revelation, they should be receiving it often. If they are not, then they need to figure out what needs to change in their life so they can receive it.

I also want to emphasize how important it is to want revelation. We shouldn’t just wait to see if it comes. We should be seeking it out. I love D&C 42: 61:

If thou shalt ask, thou shalt receive revelation upon revelation, knowledge upon knowledge, that thou mayest know the mysteries and peaceable things—that which bringeth joy, that which bringeth life eternal.

If we ask, we are promised revelation upon revelation. Good stuff!

On the wrong (or right) side of the tracks

tracks

For the first time in my time in the Church I will be experiencing the unique Mormon ritual of changing ward boundaries. I know that other churches have different methods of distributing their members, but no one seems to be as “strict” about it as we are.

I live in an area where there are three cities fairly close together with a fourth about half an hour away. The various boundaries were set 20 years ago and haven’t changed since. As demographics have shifted some wards have grown and some have shrunk, and so the existing boundaries lead to an imbalance of membership.

About halfway through my time as bishop we were looking at some boundary changes but nothing ever came of it. At the time it seemed that the wards were doing ok. The boundary work we were doing was just to clean things up. There were going to be very few members affected by the changes. However these days it seems that a couple of the wards are having a very hard time getting people out. Another ward is definitely smaller than they used to be. I’m pretty sure that the ward I am in is the biggest ward in the area  (not that I have much to do with that fact). I have absolutely no inside information, but I suspect that my current ward will be hardest hit by this.

So this coming Sunday all of the area wards will be meeting together and sustaining whatever changes are announced. They are expecting around 500 people and we’ll be having the Sacrament. The YM from two of the wards will be taking care of that. I’ve never been to such a large Sacrament Meeting, so it will be interesting. I don’t think this is a normal part of these meetings, but with General Conference earlier this month and Stake Conference at the end of the month, the Stake President was concerned that we’d only be taking the Sacrament once this month.

On the one hand, who cares where we go to Church? What does that have to do with my testimony and desires of my heart? We talk about ward families, but we wouldn’t just ship off our brother or sister in our real family to be part of another family (at least not by choice). On the other hand it shouldn’t matter where we attend. The Church is the same. We’ll make new friends and stay in touch with the friends that are changing wards. We should be willing to go where we are needed, and build up the kingdom where we are.

The only tough part for me will be not seeing some of my good friends as often as we did. We can obviously still be friends, but when most of our time together was spent at Church and Church activities, it just won’t be the same. We’ll just have to try harder to stay close.

I assume that where we live I will still be in my current ward, but depending on what the needs are in other wards they could shift a border and we’d end up going somewhere else. I guess we’ll find out soon enough…

Note: I’ve never been to one of these big meetings where changes like this are made, so I’ll report back on it next week.

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

Well, here we are ready for the last session. In between these Sunday sessions, I lay down with the kids to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, but I fell asleep almost right away. It was a nice nap 🙂

While the countdown was up on the screen for this session of conference, I saw Elder Hales. He stood up when President Monson walked in, and seems to be doing a bit better.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang The Day Dawn Is Breaking

Elder Octaviano Tenorio offered the invocation

The choir sang Did You Think to Pray

Elder Robert D Hales

  • the word Christian denotes taking upon us the name of Christ
  • as Christians we have a change to act decisively
  • we are called upon to leave our nets, leave worldly habits and customs
  • to be who Heavenly Father wants us to be, we follow Jesus Christ
  • Consider these Christian attributes
    • Christian love – kind and compassionate to all
    • Christian faith – despite temptations we can be faithful and obedience
    • Christian sacrifice – give of our time and energy
    • Christian caring – continually reach out to rescue, love and nurture
    • Christian service – spend your days serving others
    • Christian patience – we need to wait upon our God
    • Christian peace – be understanding and promote peace
    • Christian forgiveness – bless those that curse us
    • Christian conversion – continue to be converted
    • Christian endurance – continue all of your days
  • we need these characteristics to heed the voice of Christ

Elder Richard G Scott

  • Jesus made salvation available to every repentant soul
  • deceased people can receive all the ordinances of the gospel
  • we need to provide all ordinances for ourselves and our deceased ancestors
  • temple work is two parts – family history research, performing ordinances
  • those who engage in the research and do the ordinances will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessings
  • any work you do in the temple is time well spent

Brother Russell T Osguthorpe

  • there are new resources for the youth classes
  • as teachers, we need to meet the needs of our learners
  • we need to teach His word in His way
  • conversion is knowing, doing and becoming
  • we want every young person to understand
  • we want them to live the gospel every day

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

Elder Marcus B Nash

  • all things are fulfilled by faith
  • faith brings us the power of the Lord
  • told story of Ann Rowley, a member of the Willie Handcart Company
  • unbelief in the Lord will cause us to resist the Spirit of God
  • fear undermines faith in the Savior
  • sin diminished the effect of the Spirit in our lives
  • the future is as bright as your faith

Elder Daniel L Johnson

  • spoke of problems in Mexico where members lost their crops
  • we can prove ourselves not by what we are tested with, but how we handle them
  • affirm our commitment to God and to others

Elder Don R Clarke

  • as a young man, they filled out a card with what they thought about
  • the Sacrament needs to be important to us
  • if we properly prepare for the sacrament we will change our lives
  • we are renewing our baptism covenants
  • memorize the sacramental prayers
  • we can feel forgiven for our sins during Sacrament Meeting
  • we can receive inspiration during Sacrament Meeting
  • partaking of the Sacrament worthily will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost
  • it will always be a great Sacrament Meeting if the sacrament is the centre of our worship

Elder David A Bednar

  • there is a relationship between receiving a testimony of Christ and becoming converted
  • we need to ask, seek and knock
  • we need a permanent change in our very nature
  • conversion requires all of our heart, all of our might, all of our mind and strength
  • conversion is an ongoing process, not a one-time experience
  • strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is built

President Thomas S Monson

  • the conference has been wonderful
  • read the talks and ponder them
  • be of good cheer
  • the Lord loves us and is mindful of us

The choir sang God Be with You Till We Meet Again

Elder Larry W Gibbons offered the invocation


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

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

In between sessions, I went out with my father to a Chinese food buffet. Usually the women and children at home do something together. Since they were going to be spending money on food, my father suggested that we all go, so that’s what we did. There were 9 of us all together, and it was nice. In case you are interested, my fortune was “Get to the point and keep it clear and simple.”


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A priesthood choir from the Ogden Utah area sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Elder Jay E Jensen offered the invocation

The choir sang Love One Another

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • in the world today men and boys get conflicting advice on how they should be
  • some thing that life is a competition between man and woman
  • some take the negative signals and use them as an excuse
  • it cannot be this way with us
  • we must be men that women, children, and God can trust
  • whatever you do, be proficient
  • be worthy models and help the rising generation
  • we need strong quorums
  • the Church, the world and women are calling for us
  • rise up, o men of God

Bishop Gary E Stevenson

  • spoke of Helaman’s stripling soldiers
  • be valiant for courage
  • have the conviction to courageously do what is right
  • story of a friend named John who went to Japan for school; attended a party where marijuana was about to be used but left; those “caught” were expelled and sent home
  • teens are 3x to 5x more likely to use drugs or alcohol if seen on social media
  • to click or not to click
  • what you do and where you go shapes who you become

Elder Anthony D Perkins

  • young men need to prepare
  • don’t squander priesthood power
  • deep personal conversion and family relations keep is on the path
    1. pray always
    2. study ancient and modern scriptures to connect us to God
    3. worthily participate in ordinances prepares us to take the Holy Spirit as our guide
    4. showing genuine love is at the heart of personal conversion and family relations
    5. obeying the law of tithing is an essential element
    6. fully living the Law of Chastity gives us the confidence to stand in the presence of God with the Holy Ghost as our constant companion
  • obeying these principles prepares us to make and keep temple covenants
  • if our soul is drifting to an edge of a spiritual cliff, stop and steer back in the right direction

The choir and congregation sang Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • years ago he and a couple of friends restored an old airplane
  • recently got to fly in a fighter jet
  • these experiences were very similar, yet very different
  • our individual service in the gospel can be quite different
  • some live in areas that are fully staffed; others in areas with very few people
  • no matter your circumstances you and I know there is joy from dedicated priesthood service
  • it is easy to find things to complain about, but as His servants, we need to act in His name
  • as a pilot, he touched the sky; as a member of the Church he has felt heaven’s embrace
  • know the doctrine
  • be wise and act up on the gained knowledge
  • deepen your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

President Henry B Eyring

  • help your children understand the spiritual gifts they were born with
  • shared story of height boards he carved for his sons
  • we all have gifts to serve Him

President Thomas S Monson

  • there is nothing that will provide more comfort than a testimony of the truth
  • there are those without a testimony who would have one if we shared ours
  • we all need to be told we amount to something
  • mentioned the story of Warden Duffy (see my notes Leadership Training Conference with Elder Ballard post)
  • we need to see men as what they will become
  • to each of us comes the mandate to share the gospel of Jesus Christ

The choir sang Hope of Israel

Elder Patrick Kearon offered the benediction


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

The blessings of paying tithing

Original image found at
http://pathtogod.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/tithing-1.jpg

Some people might disagree with me, but I feel that much of the promises extended to faithful Christians are vague. We all have faith that by following commandments and trying to be like Jesus, our eternal reward will be life with God. However, what blessings are in store for me right now?

I feel that one of the clearest description of blessings is associated with paying tithing. The classic scripture in Malachi explains it this way:

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 3: 8-10

I guess you could say that the promised blessings are still vague, but it does seem to indicate that you will be blessed here and now. It’s a very vivid description. You can imagine a waterfall pouring over you and you can’t collect all of the water in the reservoirs you have gathered.

I was thinking about this because this past Sunday during Fast & Testimony Meeting a woman bore her testimony about tithing. She shared a story about how when she was younger she was speaking with someone who said that they couldn’t pay tithing. The member in my ward said that she had judged her friend. She had always thought paying tithing was easy and so judged her. Now, years later, the woman and her husband have had a very tough year. Her husband got laid off right after they bought their first house. During this time, she learned about the sacrifice it truly takes to pay tithing. They have continued to pay their tithing, and they feel they have been blessed for it.

It was one of the most touching testimonies I’ve ever heard in a Fast & Testimony meeting. She spoke of her past experience, compared it to the present situation, and bore testimony. It strengthened my own testimony of tithing, and reminded me of all of the blessings I have received from following this commandment. I truly felt the Spirit.

Our motivation for doing things

I don’t have anything deep to say about this, but it’s something I’ve thought about before and figured I’d put up something quick about it.

I’m certainly not the only one who has thought of this, but there seems to be a progression of why we do things. Sometimes we do things because we have to. Sometimes we do things because we want to. I suppose there are a variety of reasons why we might do things, and I’ve listed a few of them below.

  1. We do it because we feel we have to because of family and/or friends
  2. We do it because we are scared of potential consequences
  3. We do it because we don’t see any drawback to doing it
  4. We do it because we want to be obedient, and we have a testimony that obedience to that principle really does bring blessings

Is one reason better than another? If we are being obedient isn’t that good enough? What about the good gift/bad gift scriptures? If you are doing something for the wrong reason, is it worth doing at all? If you are doing something because of someone else, does the “believe on their words” gift of the Spirit apply?

Our Easter Sacrament Meeting

Here is the program that we used for our Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. Afterward, I’ve made a few notes:


Program Title: I Believe In Christ

Musical Number: Ward Choir—I Know That my Redeemer Lives

Reader#1:

Judith Robinson Walton, “The Mother,” Ensign, Dec. 1982, 49
She went unnoticed.
Amid the angry mob she was
But another witness.
Yet those who knew
Beheld a softly anguished face,
Whose sorrow raged, but silently.
A knowledge that this must be
For a time had steadied her.
And so she watched,
As, taunted, bound, and lifted high,
He stood his pain, and hers, and theirs.
She watched
The thing she could not bear to see.
For a moment
She remembered a time before;
Then, too, He was
About his Father’s business.
Yet, that time,
The parting short and painless.
This …
In new and sudden grief
She bowed her head.
Above the rabid cries of men
Her silent prayer, a plea.
Must this suffering be?
Might not a mother’s hands
Some comfort give?
The son looked down
And kindly drew her eyes to his.
She saw her answer there.
She could not ease these final steps,
And, at length, withdrew her gaze.
Her son, His Son: His will be done.
She turned and walked with John.

Read to add testimony

Congregational Hymn: 191 Behold the Great Redeemer Die

Reader#2

John 20:1-3, 9-17
1 THE afirst day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet bdark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the cstone taken away from the dsepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other adisciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the bLord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must arise again from the bdead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two aangels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and asaw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, aMaster.
17 Jesus saith unto her, aTouch me not; for I am not yet bascended to my cFather: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my dFather, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Read to add testimony of the resurrection

Musical Number: Look on Him and Live

Reader #3:

In April 6, 1985, 13 days before his death, Bruce R McConkie, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ delivered a stirring testimony. I will be reading part of his address.
We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane. We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him. We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible to suffer, except it be unto death. We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.
As near as we can judge, these infinite agonies- this suffering beyond compare- continued for some three or four hours… he was led away with a rope around his neck, as a common criminal, to be judged… they took him to Annas, to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. He was accused, cursed, and smitten. Their foul saliva ran down his face as vicious blows further weakened his pain-engulfed body. With reeds of wrath they rained blows upon his back. Blood ran down his face as a crown of thorns pierced his trembling brow…But above it all he was scourged, scourged with forty stripes save one, scourged with a multithonged whip into whose leather strands sharp bones and cutting metals were woven. Many died from scourging alone, but he rose from the sufferings of the scourge that he might die an ignominious death upon the cruel cross of Calvary. Then he carried his own cross until he collapsed from the weight and pain and mounting agony of it all.
Finally, on a hill called Calvary…the Roman soldiers laid him upon the cross. With great mallets they drove spikes of iron through his feet and hands and wrists. Truly he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. Then the cross was raised that all might see and gape and curse and deride. This they did, with evil venom, for three hours from 9 A.M. to noon.
The heavens grew black. Darkness covered the land for the space of three hours, as it did among the Nephites. There was a mighty storm, as though the very God of Nature was in agony. And truly he was, for while hanging on the cross for another three hours, from noon to 3 P.M., all the infinite agonies and merciless pains of Gethsemane recurred. And finally, when the atoning agonies had taken their toll- when the victory had been won, when the Son of God had fulfilled the will of his Father in all things- then he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and he voluntarily gave up the Ghost

Read to add testimony of Atonement

Congregational Hymn: 136 I Believe in Christ

Bishop:

Elder McConkie continues:
After some thirty-eight or forty hours- three days as the Jews measured time- our Blessed Lord came to the Arimathaean’s tomb, where his partially embalmed body had been placed by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. Then, in a way incomprehensible to us, he took up that body which had not yet seen corruption and arose in that glorious immortality which made him like his resurrected Father. He appeared unto Mary Magdalene and many others, and ascended into heaven, there to sit down on the right hand of God the Father Almighty and to reign forever in eternal glory. His rising from death on the third day crowned the Atonement. Again, in some way incomprehensible to us, the effects of his resurrection pass upon all men so that all shall rise from the grave.
As Adam brought death, so Christ brought life; as Adam is the father of mortality, so Christ is the father of immortality. And without both, mortality and immortality, man cannot work out his salvation and ascend to those heights beyond the skies where gods and angels dwell in eternal glory.
The Atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood off all our revealed truths.
I invite you to join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement… We must search the scriptures, accepting them as the mind and will and voice of the Lord
Bruce R McConkie went on to say : And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God- I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin.

Bishop will close with own comments)

Closing Hymn: 200 Christ the Lord is Risen Today


  • The meeting turned out excellent. The three readers/speakers before me bore wonderful testimony of the Savior, his mission, life, and atonement. It was very touching
  • The song Look on Him and Live is gorgeous! 4 woman sang it, and I really wanted to applaud when they were done. Bravo!
  • I only had a couple of minutes when I was done, and shared a thought based on the Primary Songbook song This Is My Beloved Son. I just wanted to emphasize that even though we have those who have seen Jesus, and we have the testimonies of our prophets and apostles, we, too, can have a witness.

Overall, it was a very good day!