President Uchtdorf conducted the Priesthood session, featuring talks by Elder Ballard, Elder Gonzalez, Elder Choi, Elder Uchtdorf, Elder Eyring and President Monson. Direct quotations (based on my notes) are given in quotes; phrases without quotes are my summary of the remarks given.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve, on the father-son relationship:
- The father-son relationship can have a profound impact on the lives of both the father and the son.
- Fathers take pride and joy in their sons and see them as the future of both their family and the Church.
- Sons look to their fathers as their primary role and see them as both their mentors and their heros.
- Three suggestions for sons: “(1) Trust your father… (2) Take an interest in your father’s life… and (3) Ask your father for advice.”
- Three suggestions for fathers: “(1) Listen to your sons… (2) Pray with and bless your sons…. (3) Dare to have the ‘big’ talks with your sons.”
Elder Walter F. González of the Seventy, on becoming more like the missionaries of the Book of Mormon:
- By following the examples of the great Book of Mormon missionaries, we can become more powerful in all facets of our lives.
- As we read the Book of Mormon and other scriptures and put them to the test, we will gain a testimony of their authenticity. We can further our understanding of these scriptures by making covenants.
- We can become more like the missionaries in the Book of Mormon by: (1) Feasting upon the words of Christ; (2) Applying in our lives all that we learn about Christ; and (3) Teaching others the doctrines and principles found in the Book of Mormon.
Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the Seventy, on reaching out to the young men:
- A a ward leader many years ago, Elder Choi was inspired to reach out to a group of rowdy young men and help them serve missions. A number of non-members in the group eventually joined and nearly all went on to serve missions, marry in the temple, and stay active in the Church.
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, on the hope, work and education:
- Acknowledging the difficulties that many are struggling with today, Elder Uchtdorf said he had seen enough winters to know that spring will come again, urging members to remain steadfast in hope.
- Recounting his own struggles as a refugee as a child, Elder Uchtdorf said he is now able to look back those trials “through the softening filter of experience” and can see that it was a period of great personal growth.
- Two principles that helped Elder Uchtdorf overcome the adversity he faced and find hope were (1) work and (2) learning.
- Of work, he said that God makes many promises to those who work hard to bless their own lives and the lives of others. He noted we are only expected to do what is in our power to do, that work is an “antitode” to many of our struggles, and that “retirement is not part of the Lord’s plan of happiness.”
- Of learning, he said that for members of the Church, education is a commandment. He noted that the knowledge we acquire during this life will follow us into the next and urged members to strive to increase their knowledge. In doing this, he counseled members not to neglect the study of modern revelation.
Elder Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency, on being prepared:
- Noting the many vials of olive oil he keeps in various places, Elder Eyring pointed out that the phone call or knock seeking a priesthood blessing “always comes as a surprise.” The preparation to put that oil to use, however, comes long before such a call or knock.
- “Those who are prepared will be ready.”
- To prepare our youth to be in a position to administer such blessings, we need to (1) instill faith in the ability to act in the name of God (which doesn’t come at the moment of dramatic need, but is acquired beforehand); and (2) build their confidence in all they are capable of.
President Thomas S. Monson, on anger:
- Upon recounting the many tragic headlines he see stemming from anger, President Monson said, in the words of the psalm, we need to “cease from anger and forsake wrath.”
- Quoting a story from Heber J. Grant, he said “a man is a fool who takes an insult that wasn’t intended.”
- President Monson spoke on how anger drives away the spirit and invites sin and noted that “to be angry is to yield to the influence of Satan… no one can make you angry, it is a choice.”
- We should leave unsaid the harsh and hurtful things that might be said when we are angry.
- President Monson urged priesthood holders to keep the oath and covenant of the priesthood, forsake anger, and be peacemakers, because “by this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one to another.”