President Uchtdorf conducted the Saturday morning session, featuring talks by President Boyd K Packer, Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, Elder Paul E. Colliger, Elder Dallin H. Oaks and President Eyring, with brief introductory remarks by President Monson.
Direct quotations (based on my notes) are given in quotes; all other text represents my summary of the remarks given. Parenthetical comments and discussion notes at the end of the post in italics are my own editorial comments.
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: High on the Mountain Top
Invocation: Elder John B. Dixon
President Monson opened the session with brief remarks welcoming members and addressing the purpose of general conference.
- “We are here to learn.”
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: You Can Make the Pathway Bright
Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Twelve, again speaking from a chair, on poverty, children and the responsibility of parents:
- Told a series of touching stories of child beggars in Japan, Cuzco and Salt Lake City — the one in Cuzco trying to steal the sacrament bread from a meeting.
- “The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.”
- “We must be careful to make the church family friendly.”
Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, second counselor in the primary general presidency, on teaching children to understand:
- “Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment.”
- “As our children learn to understand gospel doctrines, they become more self-reliant and responsible. They become part of the solution to our family challenges and make a positive contribution to the environment of our home.”
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, of the first quorum of the seventy, on the plan of salvation:
- Tells story of David O. McKay visit to Hawaii when Elder Hallstrom was 5.
- “Sometimes we use the terms ‘gospel’ and ‘Church’ interchangeably, but they are not the same. They are, however, exquisitely interconnected and we need both.”
- “Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less-active in the gospel. Let me stress — activity in the Church is a highly-desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed. By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but, they are of greater eternal importance. …”
- “It is possible to be active in the church, and less-active in the gospel.” and “Some think that activity in the Church is the most important thing. Therein lies a danger…it is insufficient.”
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: How Firm a Foundation
Elder Paul E. Koelliker, of the first quorum of the seventy, on helping others to listen to the spirit and learn to love:
- “Awakening the desire to know enables our spiritual capacities to hear the voice of heaven.”
- “The Father’s plan designated the pattern of the family organization to help us learn, apply and understand the power of love.”
- “It is when we yield to His will and live His pattern that His Spirit is felt.”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the twelve, on the atonement, the mortal sacrifices we are asked to make:
- “Christians killed by other Christians are the most tragic martyrs of the Christian faith.”
- In speaking about Temple service, Oaks suggests that such service should be understandable to other Christians, just as serving in a monastery is understandable to the rest of us.
- “I also see unselfish Latter-day Saints adopting children, including those with special needs, and seeking to provide foster children the hope and opportunities denied them by earlier circumstances. I see you caring for family members and neighbors who suffer from birth defects, mental and physical ailments, and the effects of advancing years.”
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Love is Spoken Here
President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the first presidency, on challenges and the faith required to meet them:
- Tells story of having sought a challenge from the Lord and being blessed with that challenge.
- Forgiveness leads not just to happiness, but hope.
- “One of the keys to an enduring faith is judging correctly the curing time required. The curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.”
- Tells of President Kimball speaking at his mother’s funeral and suggesting that her trails were because she needed a little polishing. — “If a woman like that needs a little polishing, what does that mean for me?”
Mormon Tabernacle Choir: Redeemer of Israel
Benediction: Elder Wilford W. Andersen