President Uchtdorf conducted this opening session. Opening prayer by a (male) Seventy and music by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Direct quotations of a speaker (based on my real-time listening) are given in quotation marks; other text represents my own summary of their remarks.
President Thomas S. Monson opened the session by announcing two new temples in Cedar City, Utah, and Rio de Janerio, Brazil. He noted the inspiring response of young LDS men and women to the new missionary age policy (minimum age 19 for young women, 18 for young men), with about 65,000 missionaries now serving, resulting in 58 new missions.
Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Twelve quoted a long poem of his own composition on the wisdom of age and on his testimony. Told a story about a snake getting some of the neighborhood finches. Moral: watch your (human) fledglings. The Light of Christ enlightens all who come into the world, to know good from evil. Moral agency: the power to choose, but all men are accountable.
Elder Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, on a strong foundation. He related his experience in the Loma Prieta earthquake in San Francisco. Houses built on unstable land shook and collapsed.
Sister Elaine S. Dalton, President of the Young Women, on virtue and chastity. Be covenant-keepers. Quoted the Proclamation on the Family.
Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy, on the Atonement. God forgives sin; we should forgive seventy times seven. “No one need think that forgiveness comes without repentance.” God recognizes that some sins, such as blasphemy against the Holy Ghost and sexual sins, have greater gravity than others. People can change; we must see them as they can become, not as they are when struggling. “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God.”
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twelve, on Creation and the power of the priesthood. The Hubble Space Telescope reveals 200 billion galaxies. “Worlds without number have I created” (Moses 1:33). Jesus Christ used the power of priesthood in Creation. The priesthood of God and its keys has been restored to the Church. Men hold the priesthood but are not the priesthood. “Men and women have different but equally valued roles.” Men have the priesthood, women bear children, but these powers are shared by husbands and wives. We can return to live with our Heavenly Parents. “The priesthood is an everlasting principle …” (Joseph Smith). “The work of Jesus Christ is accomplished through the priesthood.”
President Eyring on drawing closer to God. “Draw near to me and I will draw near to you; seek and ye shall find.” Luke recounts how Jesus visited (drew near to) his disciples on the road to Emmaus. “Stand as witnesses of God at all times … and in all places …” (Mosiah 18:9). You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to those in your family who stray from the Church as you serve. The Savior will bless you and your family as you give service to others.
Closing prayer by Sister Jean A. Stevens, First Counselor in the Primary General Presidency.