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  • From the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake

  • City, this is the Sunday morning session of the 185th Semiannual

  • General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day

  • Saints, with speakers selected from the General

  • Authorities and general officers of the Church.

  • Music for this session is provided

  • by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

  • This broadcast is furnished as a public service

  • by Bonneville Distribution.

  • Any reproduction, recording, transcription,

  • or other use of this program without written consent

  • is prohibited.

  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor

  • in the First Presidency of the Church,

  • will conduct this session.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING - "ARISE, O GOD, AND SHINE"]

  • Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends,

  • we welcome you to the Sunday morning session

  • of the 185th Semiannual General Conference

  • of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • President Thomas S. Monson, who presides at the conference,

  • has asked that I conduct this session.

  • We extend our greetings and warm regards

  • to those of you who are participating

  • in these proceedings throughout the world

  • by radio, television, the Internet, or satellite

  • transmission.

  • We acknowledge the General Authorities

  • and the general officers who are in attendance this morning.

  • The music for this session will be provided by the Mormon

  • Tabernacle Choir under the direction of Mack Wilberg,

  • with Richard Elliott and Andrew Unsworth at the organ.

  • The choir opened this meeting with "Arise, O God, and Shine"

  • and will now favor us with "Redeemer of Israel."

  • The invocation will then be offered by Elder Chi Hong (Sam)

  • Wong of the Seventy, after which the choir will

  • sing "If the Savior Stood beside Me."

  • [MUSIC PLAYING - "REDEEMER OF ISRAEL"]

  • Our Heavenly Father, we are grateful to have

  • the opportunity to gather together this conference.

  • We pray in particular for the three new Apostles whom

  • Thou hast called and we sustained yesterday.

  • We also pray that Thou can bless us to soften our hearts,

  • to continue to be kind to one another,

  • to make progress and balance our life on this earth

  • according to Thy will, that we will

  • have eternal joy with Thee.

  • And we pray so, humbly, in the name of Thy Son,

  • our Savior, even Jesus Christ, amen.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING - "IF THE SAVIOR STOOD BESIDE ME"]

  • It will now be our privilege to hear from our beloved prophet,

  • President Thomas S. Monson.

  • He will be followed by the three new members

  • of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elders Ronald A.

  • Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund,

  • who were sustained yesterday afternoon

  • and have been invited to share their testimonies with us

  • today.

  • President Monson.

  • Brothers and sisters, how good it

  • is to be with you once again.

  • As you know, since we were together in April,

  • we have been saddened by the loss of three of our beloved

  • Apostles--President Boyd K. Packer, Elder L. Tom Perry,

  • and Elder Richard G. Scott.

  • They have returned to their heavenly home.

  • We miss them.

  • How grateful we are for their examples of Christlike love

  • and for the inspired teachings they have left to all of us.

  • We extend a heartfelt welcome to our new Apostles, Elder Ronald

  • A. Rasband, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, and Elder Dale G.

  • Renlund.

  • These are men dedicated to the work of the Lord.

  • They are well qualified to fill the important positions

  • to which they have been called.

  • Recently, as I have been reading and pondering the scriptures,

  • two passages in particular have stayed with me.

  • Both are familiar to us.

  • The first is from the Sermon on the Mount:

  • "Let your light so shine before men,

  • that they may see your good works,

  • and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

  • The second scripture is one which came to my mind

  • as I pondered the meaning of the first.

  • It is from the Apostle Paul's epistle to Timothy:

  • "Be thou an example of the believers,

  • in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith,

  • in purity."

  • I believe the second scripture explains, in great part,

  • how we can accomplish the first.

  • We become examples of the believers

  • by living the gospel of Jesus Christ

  • in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith,

  • and in purity.

  • As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see.

  • Each of us came to earth having been given the Light of Christ.

  • As we follow the example of the Savior and live as He lived

  • and as He taught, that light will burn within us

  • and will light the way of others.

  • The Apostle Paul lists six attributes that

  • will allow our lights to shine.

  • Let us look at each one.

  • I mention the first two attributes together--being

  • an example in word and in conversation.

  • The words we use can lift and inspire,

  • or they can harm and demean.

  • In the world today there is a profusion of profanity

  • with which we seem to be surrounded

  • at nearly every turn.

  • It is difficult to avoid hearing the names of Deity being used

  • casually and thoughtlessly.

  • Coarse comments seem to have become a staple of television,

  • movies, books, and music.

  • Bandied about are slanderous remarks and angry rhetoric.

  • Let us speak to others with love and respect,

  • ever keeping our language clean and avoiding words or comments

  • that would wound or offend.

  • May we follow the example of the Savior,

  • who spoke with tolerance and kindness

  • throughout His ministry.

  • The next attribute mentioned by Paul

  • is charity, which has been defined

  • as "the pure love of Christ."

  • I am confident there are within our sphere of influence

  • those who are lonely, those who are ill,

  • and those who feel discouraged.

  • Ours is the opportunity to help them and to lift their spirits.

  • The Savior brought hope to the hopeless and strength

  • to the weak.

  • He healed the sick; He caused the lame to walk,

  • the blind to see, the deaf to hear.

  • He even raised the dead to life.

  • Throughout His ministry He reached out in charity

  • to any in need.

  • As we emulate His example, we will

  • bless lives, including our own.

  • Next, we are to be an example in spirit.

  • To me that means we strive to have

  • in our lives kindness, gratitude, forgiveness,

  • and goodwill.

  • These qualities will provide for us

  • a spirit which will touch the lives of those around us.

  • It has been my opportunity through the years to associate

  • with countless individuals who possess such a spirit.

  • We experience a special feeling when

  • we are with them, a feeling that makes

  • us want to associate with them and to follow their example.

  • They radiate the Light of Christ and help

  • us feel His love for us.

  • To illustrate that the light which

  • comes from a pure and loving spirit is recognized by others,

  • I share with you an experience of many years ago.

  • At that time, leaders of the Church

  • met with officials in Jerusalem to work out

  • a lease agreement for land on which the Church's Jerusalem

  • Center would be built. In order to obtain

  • the permissions needed, the Church

  • had to agree that no proselyting would

  • be undertaken by our members who would occupy the Center.

  • After that agreement had been made,

  • one of the Israeli officials, who was well acquainted

  • with the Church and its members, remarked

  • that he knew the Church would honor

  • the no-proselyting agreement.

  • "But," he said, referring to the students who

  • would attend there, "what are we going to do

  • about the light in their eyes?"

  • May that special light ever shine within us,

  • that it might be recognized and appreciated by others.

  • To be an example of faith means that we trust in the Lord

  • and in His word.

  • It means that we possess and that we

  • nourish the beliefs that will guide

  • our thoughts and our actions.

  • Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

  • and in our Heavenly Father will influence all that we do.

  • Amidst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience,

  • and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith

  • becomes an anchor to our lives.

  • Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind

  • at the same time, for one will dispel the other.

  • I reiterate what we have been told repeatedly--that in order

  • to gain and to keep the faith we need,

  • it is essential that we read and study and ponder

  • the scriptures.

  • Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital.

  • We cannot afford to neglect these things,

  • for the adversary and his hosts are relentlessly seeking

  • for a chink in our armor, a lapse in our faithfulness.

  • Said the Lord, "Search diligently,

  • pray always, and be believing, and all things shall

  • work together for your good."

  • Finally, we are to be pure, which

  • means that we are clean in body, mind, and spirit.

  • We know that our body is a temple,

  • to be treated with reverence and respect.

  • Our minds should be filled with uplifting and ennobling

  • thoughts and kept free from those things which

  • will pollute.

  • In order to have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion,

  • we must be worthy.

  • Brothers and sisters, purity will bring us peace of mind

  • and will qualify us to receive the Savior's promises.

  • Said He, "Blessed are the pure in heart:

  • for they shall see God."

  • As we prove to be examples in word,

  • in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith,

  • and in purity, we will qualify to be lights to the world.

  • May I say to all of you, and particularly to you

  • young people, that the world moves further and further away

  • from the principles and guidelines given to us

  • by a loving Heavenly Father.

  • We will stand out from the crowd because we are different.

  • We will stand out because we dress modestly.

  • We will be different because we do not use profanity,

  • because we do not partake of substances which

  • are harmful to our bodies.

  • We will be different because we avoid off-color humor

  • and degrading remarks.

  • We will be different as we decide

  • not to fill our minds with media choices that

  • are base and demeaning and that will remove the Spirit

  • from our homes and our lives.

  • We will certainly stand out as we make choices regarding

  • morality--choices which adhere to gospel principles

  • and standards.

  • These things, which make us different from most

  • of the world, also provide us with that light

  • and that spirit which will shine in an increasingly dark world.

  • It is often difficult to be different

  • and to stand alone in a crowd.

  • It is natural to fear what others might think or say.

  • Comforting are the words of the Psalm:

  • "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

  • the Lord is the strength of my life;

  • of whom shall I be afraid?"

  • As we make Christ the center of our lives,

  • our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions.

  • Life is perfect for none of us, and at times the challenges

  • and difficulties we face may become overwhelming,

  • causing our light to dim.

  • However, with help from our Heavenly Father,

  • coupled with support from others,

  • we can regain that light which will

  • illuminate our own path once again

  • and provide the light others may need.

  • To illustrate, I share with you the touching words

  • of a favorite poem I first read many years ago:

  • "I met a stranger in the night

  • Whose lamp had ceased to shine.

  • I paused and let him light

  • His lamp from mine.

  • A tempest sprang up later on

  • And shook the world about.

  • And when the wind was gone