Not every speaker is represented here. There was probably a ton more that I could have included but these were some of the highlights that were particularly meaningful to me personally. I’ll include some commentary here and there at the end of each list.
Stephen W. Owen
- “They starved to death with their stomachs full.”
- “They went through the motions of spirituality but were not converted.”
- This is a day of spiritual malnutrition.
- “[Satan] is the master of distraction and author of procrastination.”
I really liked how the story of the deer eating the hay in winter can apply to us filling ourselves with things that don’t nourish. I have felt like this is a problem for many of our members for a long time, especially the youth. We feel safe and secure as members because of the church around us but we need to have a personal relationship with God that is real and living.
D. Todd Christofferson
- Having religion or faith in God will not protect you from bad things. When our faith is strong, if bad things happen, and they will, we will be able to deal with them.
- “Be intentional about creating time and space to hear God’s voice.”
- “Act without delay. When you receive promptings and act with intention, the Lord can use you.”
- “Get your errand from the Lord.”
- If you ask questions like that, you will feel nudges from the Holy Spirit as to who you can help.
- “You can pray and ask the Lord for an errand.”
I need to be better about this, a lot better. I felt a call to turn to God and incorporate some of these things back into my life from her talk.
Dale G. Renlund
- Don’t bury your weapon of war with the handle sticking out.
Dallin H. Oaks
- “You are worried about the wrong things.”
David A. Bednar
- Today, evil is described as a right, and chaos is described as liberty.
- All day, every day, a cheetah is a predator.
- The devil seeks to make the sons and daughters of God confused and unhappy.
- “The adversary works relentlessly to attack the parts of the Father’s plan that he hates the most.”
- “Lucifer seeks to frustrate our progression by tempting us to use our bodies improperly.”
- Pres. Nelson has said:
- Never taking the first enticing step to going where you should not go and doing what you should not do.
- The adversary attacks us through our appetites.
- “These appetites are absolutely essential for the perpetuation of life. So, what does the adversary do? He attacks us through our appetites. He tempts us to eat things we should not eat, to drink things we should not drink, and to love as we should not love!”
- He lures us to physical and spiritual destruction.
- Understanding an enemy is vital to understanding their attacks.
I loved this talk as well, this conference had a lot of animal stories. This was a very timely warning that I hope we as a people hear. There are many important keys he taught to be able to divorce our minds from the hold that pop culture has been increasingly tightening. Our appetites are a huge indeed a key weakness and we need to understand the enemy.
Russell M. Nelson
- The changes to the witnesses are meant to increase family participation in all ordinances.
Quentin L. Cook
- Our youth are being asked to take more individual responsibility at younger ages.
I’m very thrilled about all that we are doing for the youth, it’s a great time to be a young person in the church and I’m grateful that all of my children will be impacted by these changes.
Mark L. Pace
- The goal is not to make church one hour shorter, it is designed to make church six days longer.
L. Todd Budge
- “I don’t feel safe, but I am.”
- Sorrows make space for more joy.
Ronald A. Rasband
- “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” 1 Nephi 3:7
- We increase the Savior’s power in our lives when we keep our covenants and his commandments.
- Consider the promises and covenants you make with the Lord and others with integrity. Your word is your bond. The Lord will establish your words and sanction your bonds.
The power of Nephi’s words hit me in another way in this talk. Many struggle with same-sex attraction and I think Nephi’s words could be a light to those in that situation. We have been commanded to create families, to unite in the bond of marriage according to the order of God. There is a way prepared for all people no matter their circumstances if they are willing to put their full trust in God and not the leperous outstretched arm the pride of the world extends.
Cristina B. Franco
- “Every day before I leave my house I pray to Heavenly Father to direct me to something who needs the gospel in their life.”
Simple, but powerful; I need more of this.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
- “Thou mayest choose for thyself for it is given unto thee.”
- “Discipleship is not about doing things perfectly, it is about doing things intentionally.”
- “We do not hide our faith, we do not bury it.”
- “God does not need us to ‘sell’ the Church of Jesus Christ, he just asks that we not hide it under a bushel.”
Inspiring all-around. I think this is a good one to listen to again and really digest the principles.
Walter F. Gonzalez
- The leper came forward because of the power of hope. The world gave him no comfort.
- We all can be mended and cleansed.
Gary E. Stevenson
- People are unable to see things as they truly are or are unsatisfied with truth.
- Satan would have us ignore eternal truths or replace them with something more pleasing.
- “You cannot deceive me because I know who I am.”
- Satan always seeks to trick you and has always pretended to be something that he is not.
- He sows misinformation to cause doubt in our hearts and minds.
- “Wickedness never was happiness.”
- “The Spirit speaketh the truth, and lieth not.”
I loved this talk. What he is saying here is incredibly pertinent to right now. It seems like so many people are indeed unsatisfied with reality and are seeking to change things to what they want instead of what the Lord wants. We can never forget that there are adversaries who seek to gain our obedience to their will and have nothing to offer us in return. It is critical that we understand true doctrine to weather the storms ahead.
Russell M. Nelson
- “We go hungry to help others who are hungry.”
- Thou shalt open they hand wide unto they brother, unto the poor and unto the needy.
- “Members feel passionately about the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.”
Neil L. Andersen
- They fall away into forbidden paths and were lost.
- We are not to be in fear but on guard.
- “He heard the voices, but he did not heed them.”
Forbidden paths. Today the call from the great and spacious building is “live your truth” instead of “live the truth.” I’ve wondered lately if that was a similar message Satan used to draw the 1/3 after him: “You don’t have to do what the Father says, live your own truth.”
Russell M. Nelson
- Holiness to the Lord, the House of the Lord.
- “It is easier to build a temple than it is to build a people prepared for a temple.”
Overall, a great conference. I enjoyed it quite a bit and will be revisiting each of these talks by reading them because different things pop out when you read rather than listen.
The concept of “live your truth” can indeed be interpreted as a corruption of “live the truth” if “your” is inferred as promoting moral relativism.
But another interpretation is possible, preferable, and depending on context, may be the meaning implied. “Live your truth” would be better interpreted as something like “live according to the truth as it applies to you” or “live according to your individual needs.” But isn’t “live your truth” so much catchier? For sure, and a frequent problem with catchy is context.
One person’s “truth” includes physical abilities, proclivities, skills, preferences, and so forth. As temperament, dietary requirements, and spiritual gifts differ from person to person, so do and must each person’s choices differ in certain contexts. Some choices are possible, natural, or beneficial, and others not.
For instance, shaking someone’s right hand is an expected social convention, that is, except for someone without a right hand. Nuts are healthy, that is, except for someone allergic to nuts. Earning a living as a sportsball player may be a dream come true, that is, except for the person who does it only to appease a parent when they would rather be an artist.
In every context, we should apply truth according to who and what we are, not who or what we are not.
I love your line “a frequent problem with catchy is context” that’s a great way to frame the issue. I get your point about how you can view “live your truth” in a proper context by sliding it into the framework of our theology. It’s abstract enough to have alternate meanings read into it.
The context in which I’m critical of the phrase is how it is used by others who reject our theology to teach something vastly different. I’m not so much frowning on the phrase itself, but the meaning that it seems most people who use that phrase included behind it.
These catchy phrases often run into the same issues that symbols face. They are general enough that alternate meanings can be read in.
This is why I don’t mind so much that the church has become very specific with various names and titles such as using the complete name of the church instead of substitutes or shorter versions that are more convenient. We are favoring clarity over convenience.
When we get so lazy that we seek after simple, abstract ideas and quips but do not comprehend the depth of things, it is easy to be deceived and led astray.
There are these signs I see around town that are black with rainbow text and say things like “Love is love, science is real, no human is illegal,” etc. as if these are actual answers to the problems we face and they actually explain something.
I certainly think that there are profound truths that we can find while looking within. We are children of God, we are divine beings. But I don’t think that we can understand what any of it MEANS without connecting to a higher intelligence, God, who is the ultimate source of all meaning.