I’m visiting teaching today so I went through some of the conference talks I remembered most and found the parts that made such a strong impression on me. I’m recording those here, for my own future reference. (And as I often do, I’ll be adding to this over the next few weeks.)
Elder Scott’s talk, “I Have Given You An Example”:
How can each of us become such a significant influence? We must be sure to sincerely love those we want to help in righteousness so they can begin to develop confidence in God’s love. For so many in the world, the first challenge in accepting the gospel is to develop faith in a Father in Heaven, who loves them perfectly. It is easier to develop that faith when they have friends or family members who love them in a similar way.
Giving them confidence in your love can help them develop faith in God’s love. Then through your loving, thoughtful communication, their lives will be blessed by your sharing lessons you have learned, experiences you have had, and principles you have followed to find solutions to your own struggles. Show your sincere interest in their well-being; then share your testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
You can help in ways that are grounded in principle and doctrine. Encourage those you love to seek to understand what the Lord would have them do. One way to do this is to ask them questions that make them think and then allow them sufficient time—whether hours, days, months, or more—to ponder and seek to work out the answers for themselves. You may need to help them know how to pray and how to recognize answers to their prayers. Help them to know that the scriptures are a vital source of receiving and recognizing answers. In that way you will help them prepare for future opportunities and challenges.
God’s purpose is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”2 That is fundamental to all we do. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in things that we find fascinating or become so consumed by mundane responsibilities that we lose sight of God’s objectives. As you consistently focus your life on the most basic principles, you will gain an understanding of what you are to do, and you will produce more fruit for the Lord and more happiness for yourself.
When you focus your life on the basic principles of the plan of salvation, you will better concentrate on sharing what you know because you understand the eternal importance of the ordinances of the gospel. You will share what you know in a way that encourages your friends to want to be strengthened spiritually. You will help your loved ones want to commit to obey all of His commandments and take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ.
Remember that the conversion of individuals is only part of the work. Always seek to strengthen families. Teach with a vision of the importance of families being sealed in the temple. With some families it may take years. This was the case with my parents. Many years after I was baptized, my father was baptized, and later my family was sealed in the temple. My father served as a sealer in the temple, and my mother served there with him. When you have the vision of the sealing ordinances of the temple, you will help build the kingdom of God on earth.
Remember, loving them is the powerful foundation for influencing those you want to help. The influence of my Grandmother Whittle and my wife, Jeanene, would have been negligible had I not first known that they loved me and wanted me to have the best in life.
As a companion to that love, trust them. In some cases it may seem difficult to trust, but find some way to trust them. The children of Father in Heaven can do amazing things when they feel trusted. Every child of God in mortality chose the Savior’s plan. Trust that given the opportunity, they will do so again.
From Sister Reeves’s talk “Protection from Pornography — A Christ Centered Home“:
Brothers and sisters, how do we protect our children and youth? Filters are useful tools, but the greatest filter in the world, the only one that will ultimately work, is the personal internal filter that comes from a deep and abiding testimony of our Heavenly Father’s love and our Savior’s atoning sacrifice for each one of us.
How do we lead our children to deep conversion and to access our Savior’s Atonement? I love the prophet Nephi’s declaration of what his people did to fortify the youth of his day: “We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, [and] we prophesy of Christ … that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”4
How can we do this in our homes? Some of you have heard me tell how overwhelmed my husband, Mel, and I felt as the parents of four young children. As we faced the challenges of parenting and keeping up with the demands of life, we were desperate for help. We prayed and pleaded to know what to do. The answer that came was clear: “It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone. The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”
We were trying to do these things, but they were not always the priority and, amidst the chaos, were sometimes neglected. We changed our focus and tried not to worry about the less-important things. Our focus became to talk, rejoice, preach, and testify of Christ by striving to daily pray and study the scriptures and have weekly family home evening.
A friend recently cautioned, “When you ask the sisters to read the scriptures and pray more, it stresses them out. They already feel like they have too much to do.”
Brothers and sisters, because I know from my own experiences, and those of my husband, I must testify of the blessings of daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. These are the very practices that help take away stress, give direction to our lives, and add protection to our homes.
Another talk I enjoyed was Elder Christofferson’s talk on the Resurrection. The whole talk was just a nice summary and a testimony of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection. I don’t have one part to share, but here is the link to
Elder Christofferson’s “The Resurrection of Jesus Christ”
From Pres. Uchtdorf’s “Are you Sleeping through the Restoration?”:
This is one of the most remarkable periods of the world’s history! Ancient prophets yearned to see our day.
Past generations had their struggle with variations of egotism and narcissism, but I think today we are giving them serious competition.
Those who wholeheartedly turn their lives over to our Savior and serve God and fellowman discover a richness and fulness to life that the selfish or egotistic will never experience.
t saddens our Heavenly Father to see how willingly some of His noble sons extend their wrists to accept the chains of devastating addictions.
Brethren, we bear the eternal priesthood of Almighty God. We are truly sons of the Most High and are endowed with unspeakable potential. We are designed to soar freely through the heavens. We are not meant to be shackled to the earth, imprisoned in straitjackets of our own making.
It may be a long, difficult path, but the Lord will not give up on you. He loves you. Jesus Christ suffered the Atonement to help you change, to free you from the captivity of sin.
Elder Holland’s talk “The Cost — and Blessings of — Discipleship”: