Our stake, along with all the other stakes of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico participated in a sattelite broadcast from SLC. I jotted down a few notes.
Elder Marlin K. Jensen talked about translating beliefs into action. He quoted Mosiah 4:10 where King Benjamin said, "If ye believe all these things see that ye do them." Covenants help us link beliefs into actions and ordinances.
He talked about a prosperity study that was done on a bunch of nations. The one thing that was consistently linked to a nations prosperity was not resources, race or education; rather it was contract-keeping. He then told of the example of Zoram and Nephi. So strong were oaths in Nephi's time, that when Zoram made an oath that he would not try to flee from them, Nephi and his brothers were relieved - they did not have to worry about Zoram. He said, in the end, after all has been said and done, all that will matter will be if you have kept your word - your covenants. He also reminded us all of Karl G. Maeser's quote: "I have been asked what I mean by 'word of honor.' I will tell you. Place me behind prison walls--walls of stone ever so high, ever so thick, reaching ever so far into the ground--there is a possibility that in some way or another I may escape; but stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the circle? No. Never! I'd die first!"
Sister Ann M. Dibb spoke next. She spoke of virtue. She talked about a sister from Nacogdoches who lived a virtuous life. She said that everything this sister did or said was centered around being a Mormon. This sister said, "being a member of the Church was a party of my identity." Sister Dibb also spoke of PROS. P for pray; R for read from the Book of Mormon; O for obeay the standards; and S for smile!
Elder Ballard spoke next. He gave some stats ... 75 stakes + 3 districts in Texas/OK/NM. There are over 380,000 members in those 3 states. He spoke a bit about Lucien Woodards? He was sent from the Prophet Joseph Smith to see about a land purchase in Texas. Zodiac, Texas was first settled by members.
He then spoke of keeping the doctrine of Christ simple. He then discussed and commented on the first principals and ordiances of the Gospel as outlined in the 4th Article of Faith. He also included the enduring to the end. With regard to enduring to the end, he related a story. There was this 90-year-old patriarch in his ward. He prayed every night to die in faithfulness. Elder Ballard approached this brother and asked him "aren't you safe?" This brother grabbed Elder Ballad by the lapels of his jacket and said, "look me in the eyes! No man is ever safe until he endures to the very end!"
Lastly, President Monson spoke. His talk was very similiar to several talks he's given recently. The topic was rescueing. Our ward has been focused on rescueing ... members, ancestors, and neighbors who are not of our faith. He has referred several times to the painting by J.M.W. Turner entitled Shipwreck, the Rescue. President Monson calls this painting To the Rescue! I did some searching a while back and finally found the painting. I'll include it here for reference.