President Uchtdorf opened with the counsel for us to always, always, ALWAYS walk in the Light.
He said that Cain was the first to let the cancer of bitterness develop into envy and hatred, and discussed the destructive consequences. He said that contention, destruction, and revenge were not of God, and that we should never just assume we know what is happening inside other people, and that we should not assign dark motives to others as an attempt to justify our own bad behavior.
We must forgive others to be forgiven – and that includes forgiving ourselves.
Hate, gossip, ignoring, and causing harm is not of God. STOP IT.
We are all brothers and sisters. We should not just others just because they sin differently than we do. We all approach the mercy seat, and we all need forgiveness, and we all depend on the mercy of God. We need to give others the same grace that we need. A mighty change of heart is exactly what the gospel is designed to bring about!
The more we allow the love of God to govern our hearts and minds, the easier it is to love others. Even the wicked love those who love them back, but Christ gives us a higher law. If we love Him, we will not hold grudges, gossip, exclude, push away, punish, or wish harm on others. STOP IT. Speak peacefully, do good, love. Do not give in to negativity. Do not give in to negative behavior. We do not need to add to the heartache others already carry, LET IT GO. Heaven is filled with those who are forgiven, and who have forgiven.
Elder Nelson encouraged us to be more aware of God’s providence and love. He said that our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love. Immortality is a reality for all, eternal life is a possibility for all that accept it and prepare for it. He reminded us that a perfect body is not required, but that we develop and strengthen our spirits through prayer and obedience. Each day we must access the power of the atonement to change and qualify for exaltation.
Elder Rasband also said that a perfect body is not required, but reminded us also that we are promised our bodies will be restored. He said we all face challenges, but that our burdens are lightened as we submit to them cheerfully. He said we must find ways to help because saying “Let me know how I can help” means nothing and does no good. He promised that the Savior will always be there for us, even to offer peace and comfort.
Sister Beck spoke about faith, family, and relief. She said that we women are as obligated to draw the virtues into ourselves as much as the men are obligated to develop power in the priesthood. We should go into homes and exchange spiritual “rags” for spiritual robes (get our families to the Temple!). We should eliminate fads, traditions, and trends that are not consistent with these virtues.
Elder Christoffersen spoke of doctrine. He also spoke of revelation, saying that it can come four ways: by person, by messenger, Spirit-to-spirit, or by council. He said that our hearts are purified by faith, so don’t “yoke” others. He said that doctrine comes by revelation, not just consensus.
President Monson closed the morning session saying that we need to pause our fast-paced life enough for meditation, even thoughts of eternal truth. He said how we spend our time and money shows what is important to us. He said that we have come on this side of the veil, forgetting our premortal life, so that we can be tested and given a chance to prove ourselves, so that we can qualify and prepare ourselves for eternity. He said we must discern, differentiate, and discover! He said that we need stability, direction, and power, and that this will come through prayer and studying our scriptures.
Elder Perry opened the afternoon session, saying we needed to be as bold as the sons of Mosiah, but with a simplicity of beliefs. He said we need to share the Scriptures and its stories of deliverance. He said the Lord eases our burdens quickly when we are quick to be humble, obedient, and keep our covenants. He said we can be delivered by the teachings of the Scriptures and by the atonement.
Elder Ballard said we all lose our way in some degree along the journey, and that it is the atonement and Holy Spirit that brings us back. He gave us stats on the current state of the family, and talked about how families strengthen society. He said that communities and economies flourish when families work and play together. He said we need to prioritize, that nothing outside the home is more important than caring for our family inside the home. He said that we must organize our personal lives for prayer, study, and family to have priority. He said we can remove our fear with faith, and that we must get married! He told us to be cheerful. He reminded us that no career is as fulfilling as the family. He said we can ask the Lord for help, and that we need to be happy and supportive of each other.
Elder Haleck told the story of one family setting aside a day of the week for fasting and prayer. He said we should have a vision, and work to accomplish that vision. The Holy Spirit will bring to remembrance what we need, and help us to do what the Savior and prophets have taught. He said hard things can diminish our faith and our vision, but not to let it. He said that we can think we are overwhelmed, which will make us think we cannot do more, but then we need to refocus on what matters most. The Savior can teach us and heal us.
The power of Heaven only comes through righteousness. We will lose our power if we try to control through dominion or compulsion, and this will cause us to lose our authority and lose the Spirit of God. Compulsion builds resistance, mistrust, and incompetence, as does criticism and withholding of approval or love. We must let children develop the skills of their agency, teaching them to take spiritual responsibility for themselves. We must teach them how to pray and receive answers, and to establish their own connection to Heaven (and be obedient to that connection). We must seek the Lord until we open a path to Heaven, and we offer a path to others through compliments, love, and making them feel welcome.
Elder Evans said that gratitude and service are connected. He said that to be fulfilled, our sharing must be in natural and normal ways. He talked about our stories not being written yet. He reminded us never to delay a prompting, and to always act in love.
Elder Pieper said that we must recognize and remember and hold sacred the things we receive through revelation (and other sacred things). He spoke of the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost, and said we should daily record what we receive and reflect upon it. He said to remember these things are sacred, and defined sacred as worthy of veneration and respect, to require more care, to give deeper reverence. He said the opposite is the profane and secular, so that even good learning must be subordinate to the sacred.
Elder Andersen asked whether our lives reflect our devotion to the Savior. He challenged us to hunger after righteousness. He said that being a disciple now will be a badge of honor in eternity. He said that revelation gives us customized direction by the Holy Ghost. He said that even when we are unable to give our best everyday, if we are trying, the Lord gives us encouragement through difficulties and weaknesses. He told us not to be afraid, and to believe in Christ – both in seasons of peace and in seasons of difficulty. He said to be cheerful, and again said not to be afraid. He said that as we trust and obey, we will feel His love and approval.
President Monson closed with reminding us that our Father-in-Heaven is mindful of our challenges, and desires to help us and bless us. He urged us to pray, so that He can help us. He said family is more important than anything. He blessed us, that as we ponder these truths we will become better people than we were.