T&S does not run open posts — we figure readers ought to be listening to Conference rather than yakking online during the sessions. Instead, we do post-session summaries and posts looking at individual talks. Comments welcome.
President Uchtdorf conducted the concluding Sunday afternoon session, featuring talks by Elder Perry, Elder Bednar, Elder Lawrence, three more Seventies, Elder Ballard, and President Monson. Direct quotations (based on my notes) are given in quotes; phrases without quotes are my summary of the remarks given. Parenthetical comments in italics are my own comments.
Elder L. Tom Perry of the Twelve, on young men holding the Aaronic Priesthood:
- Four lessons from Daniel, including keep your body clean and trust in the Lord.
- Exhorts young men to build on a solid foundation of righteousness; tells parents and bishops to teach young men to honor and magnify their priesthood.
Elder David A. Bednar of the Twelve, on the importance of actually receiving the Holy Ghost:
- Joseph Smith: Primary difference between Latter-day Saints and other Christians is contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.
- “Receive the Holy Ghost” is a priesthood injunction to live in such a way that it comes to pass, not a passive statement. It is a directive to make it so.
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church upon the face of the earth. The “living” term refers to the ongoing connection between the Holy Ghost and the Church.
Larry R. Lawrence of the Seventy, giving counsel to teenagers and parents thereof:
- “Challenges and temptations are coming toward our teenagers with the speed of a freight train.”
- Alma the Younger exercised early intervention and redirected Corianton. But Eli (in the Old Testment) failed to redirect his boys toward righteousness.
- “Parenting is not a popularity contest.”
- A sad tale of addictive gaming (of the first-person shooter sort). Sleepovers are pretty edgy, too.
Elder Per G. Malm of the Seventy, on strength through doing good:
- In Sweden they hold up weakened trees with steel wire.
- So … do the right thing and you won’t have a weak and hollow core (like the weakened tree with a hollow trunk). You’ll be strong and immovable; your confidence will wax strong before God.
Elder Jairo Mazzagardi of the Seventy, on sin wrapping its twisty tendrils around your soul:
- “Grandpa, what is sin?” Disobedience to God’s commandments that results in sadness and suffering.
- Be alert; don’t let sin grow around you, like the tree growing around the post. Beware late night outings (teens) and the perils of new technologies (everyone).
- In contrast, the fruit of the Tree of Life fills our souls with love.
Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the Seventy, on the value of a good name:
- Nine kids in a two-bedroom, one-bath house, but mom and dad gave us their love and time. They left few earthly possessions, but left us the legacy of a good name and a good example (of activity in the Church and adhering to LDS moral standards).
- Like fences (that protect cows from breaking on through to the other side, gorging on grain, and dying), rules and commandments protect us.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve, on avoiding addictions.
- The fisherman versus the noble trout — like Satan and his deceptive lures. Don’t let him hook you.
- Beware addictive substances (even prescription drugs) and behaviors (even gaming and texting). Any addiction is a surrender of agency and the acquisition of dependency.
- But there is hope for the addicted person — the atonement; counsel from priesthood leaders; LDS family services offers supportive assistance based on twelve-step programs.
- All things are possible through Christ — recovery is a blessing.
President Thomas S. Monson, closing the Conference:
- Quotes Robert Frost: “… and miles to go before I sleep.”
- Expresses appreciation for his couselors, Elders Eyring and Uchtdorf, and the Twelve, and the men and women who serve in presidencies of the LDS auxiliaries.
- May heaven’s blessings be with each of you, and be a protection from the buffetings of Satan. Show increased kindness toward one another.