*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined.
Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
Everyone has experience joy and happiness as well as trials and sorrow. "Come what may and love it." How we react to adversity in large part contributes to our happiness or sadness.
Laugh - "Learn to laugh." He shared experiences with family travels about how they got lost. They did not get angry, but laughed. The blind date and babysitter mix-up story ... very funny!
Seek for the eternal - You may feel singled out and ask "why me?" Everyone must experience sorrow. Examples: Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Joseph, Emma. These times help us have increased compassion and understanding for others. "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." (D&C 121:7)
Understand the principal of compensation - That which is taken away will eventually be returned a hundred fold. His autistic grandson has been a challenge, but he also has been a great joy. In playing baseball, he'd watch the baseball roll by, but then pull another out of his pocket and throw it to the pitcher!
Put our trust in our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ - He wants us to be happy and successful. He will comfort and uphold us. "The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best and he will do the rest."
Adversity can be a blessing in our lives. "Come what may and love it."
Elder Jeffery R. Holland
Perhaps the most difficult thing for Adam and Eve was not having to face the physical trials, but not being able to live in the presence of God. In times of special needs, God sent angels.
From the beginning, God has sent angels to us.
Just like Lehi, we will all spend time in darkness and gloom. Macro concerns turn into micro concerns for our family. "I testify that angels are still sent to help us." Even the son of God had need of comfort from angels.
Pray always and be believing and walk uprightly. The latter-days are not a time to fear and tremble ... they are a time to remember and keep our covenants.
Story of his friend Quinn D. Berris (sp?). During the spring flood season, the kids were never to cross the flood plain to seek the cattle. Young seven-year-old Quinn knowing his rare night at the movies was at risk when he saw the cows weren't there, decided to go after the cows himself ... across the river. He urged his horse into the river. The horse's head barely cleared the water. The current completely covered Bro. Barris. When the horse cleared the other bank, he knew he was in deep trouble. It was dark. He was wet, cold, lost and afraid. He began to pray. He begged for forgiveness over and over again. When he looked up, he saw a figure dressed in white walking toward him. He felt it must be an angel. He didn't move or make a sound. Would the Lord really send an angel to me who had been disobedient. "'Son, I've been looking for you.' In the darkness, I recognized the voice of my father. 'I was worried. I'm glad I found you.'" He later learned that his father removed his clothes and tied his shoes around his neck and braved the river to rescue his son.
"God never leaves us alone." We may feel distanced from God ... sometimes of our own making. Even then, the Father of us all is watching and assisting and sending angels.
"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)
May we be more believing in angels and be more angel-like.
Story of his 8-year-old daughter was asked what the difference is between her religion and others? We have to study so much!
Except you become as a child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Savior's teachings are adapted to everyone ... anyone can understand the Gospel.
The Little Prince ... people can grow 5000 roses in a garden and know not what they seek. But what they seek can be found in a single rose and a little water.
Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge
There is only one way to happiness. He offers a well of living water. He is the bread of life. He is the light of the world. He is the only way back to our Father in Heaven.
Everything depends on getting and keeping the Holy Ghost in our life. We do this by always remembering Him and keeping His commandments. "What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I."
While the standard of the Lord is the highest, don't ever think that it can only be achieved by a select few who are most able. The higher the standard, the fewer capable ... this is NOT the case. The Lord's standard is achievable by everyone ... not that we are able, but that He is able and He can make us able.
The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, but it is also simple. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power or we can go some other way and go it alone without support from the Lord. Which way is easier? Get on the path and never, ever give up.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson
Zion is both a place and a people. Are we faithful in establishing Zion on the earth today? Are we establishing Zion in our homes, wards and stakes?
We must be unified in heart and mind - Are we free from strife and contention? Do we forgive all? We must reach out to those who have fallen from our ranks. We invite all to come back. Story of Moldovans who attended a regional conference. They determined to split up and attend all the classes so that they could take notes and then share them with each other and with the members back in Moldova. This is the spirit of one heart and mind.
Individually and collectively, we must be a holy people - Lord warned early saints of their lustful desires ... this was during a much holier time compared to our Ipod, TV, sexually filled society. We cannot keep a summer cottage in Babylon!
We must care for poor and needy - If we do not impart to the poor and needy, we will look up and plead with the wicked in the last day. Today we impart to the poor and needy through tithes and offerings. We each need evaluate our capacity to maximize helping the poor and minimizing our covetousness. Story of Brother Johnson who cut his table in half to make two tables ... one to keep and the other to help a refugee Vietnamese family living in a trailer.
Elder David A. Bednar
Building on his last conference talk, he will offer three additional principals and that will help us have more meaningful prayers.
1) Prayer becomes more meaningful when we counsel with the lord in all our doings.
All things were created spiritually before they were created naturally. Meaningful morning prayer is a spiritual creation of the actual creation of the actions of the day. We can counsel with the Lord to overcome our weaknesses and seek the Lord's help in overcoming them. As we go about our day, we should continually keep a prayer in our heart and our prayers will be answered. When we recognize that we have been reminded and helped, we offer a prayer of gratitude. At the end of the day, we thank the Lord for His help and seek forgiveness and seek His guidance for what we can do better the next day. We arise the next morning and repeat the process.
As we remember our relationship with deity and remember this admonition .. "Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. ." (Alma 37:36-37)
2) Prayer becomes more meaningful when we express gratitude.
Sister Bednar was asked by a General Authority to give a prayer of gratitude, asking nothing, despite having been just informed of a friend who had passed away. She heeded this counsel and their hearts were swollen with gratitude.
Periodically when we pray, we should only give thanks and ask for nothing.
3) Prayer becomes more meaningful as we pray for others with real intent and with a sincere heart.
Example of Lehi ... he learned of the future destruction of Jerusalem. He prayed for his people. As a result, he received a vision. His heart was full. His vision came in response to a prayer for others. Jesus also prayed for the apostles and saints.
Do our families and those we serve feel and hear our prayers for them?
Heavenly Father hears and answers every earnest prayer. Revelation is real.