Are you looking for talk summaries, quotes, or a recap of the April 2023 General Conference? Here is our recap of the Saturday Morning Session.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Elder Stevenson opened General Conference by discussing the importance of Easter. “How do we model the teaching and celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Easter story, with the same balance, fullness, and rich religious tradition of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Christmas story?” he taught.
In what he called a heavenly epiphany, Elder Stevenson shared how Latter-day Saints are “endowed with the most remarkable Easter gift.” Just as we can read Luke 2 at Christmas, we can read the Savior’s Easter ministry to the people of the Americas in the Book of Mormon as found in 3 Nephi. “In reality, the Book of Mormon shares the greatest Easter story ever told. Let it not be the greatest Easter story never told,” he said.
Elder Stevenson bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon. “I invite you to look at the Book of Mormon in a new light and consider the profound witness it bears of the reality of the Risen Christ as well as the richness and depth of the doctrine of Christ. The Book of Mormon is Another Witness of Jesus Christ because throughout its sacred pages, one prophet after another testifies not only that Christ would come, but that He did come.”
President Bonnie H. Cordon
“Bonnie, never give up an opportunity to testify of Christ.”
President Cordon opened her talk with these powerful words from her father when he first discovered he had ALS. “How can we draw close enough to gain a personal witness of Jesus Christ?” President Cordon pondered. She testified that “through the Holy Ghost, we can experience His power every day as much as we need.”
As Young Women General President, President Cordon shared examples of two young women who stood as witnesses of Christ in hard situations. “As we choose to seek Christ, the Spirit will witness of Him in many different situations. These witnesses of the Spirit occur as we fast, pray, wait, and continue forward,” she said.
“His words are alive in me,” she said tearfully as she closed her talk. “I invite you to join me in accepting his invitation to look for Christ everywhere. I promise he is there. True joy rests on our willingness to come closer to Christ and witness for ourselves.”
Elder Carl B. Cook
Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy made a plea to not let discouragement overwhelm us. He shared this quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith: “If I was sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia and all the Rocky Mountains piled on top of me, I ought not to be discouraged but hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage and I should come out on the top of the heap at last.”
“The God of heaven and earth will help us overcome discouragement and whatever obstacles we encounter if we look to Him, follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and just keep going with faith,” Elder Cook taught.
He shared a story of being in a meeting with President Boyd K. Packer inviting him to speak multiple times. “I was empty. I had nothing. I knew it was time to exercise more faith. Slowly, I made my way to the pulpit plead to God for help. As I stepped up to the microphone the Lord miraculously blessed me to give another 15-minute message.”
“I didn’t give up or resist,” Elder Cook continued. He shared how he learned of the enabling power of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. “In spite of my weakness, I learned that I can serve. I can contribute when the Lord is by my side if I just keep going with faith.” We can experience the same.
“Just as the Savior finished the work He was given to do, He has the power to help us finish the work we have been given,” Elder Cook closed with.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we seek to minister to others as He would because lives are waiting to change,” Elder Gong taught as he shared multiple examples of members around the world who were changed by the love and support of others. “Everywhere I go, I gratefully learn from those who minister and care as our Savior would.”
Elder Gong shared ideas on how wards and branches can strengthen their ministering efforts. He talked about a ministering gap where more people say they are ministering than those who are ministered to. “In many places, we can reach out, understand others where they are, and build relationships when we regularly visit members in their homes. Let’s do more, as our Savior would.”
Elder Gong related ministering the principles of the Lord’s vineyard. “Inspired ministering blesses families and individuals. It also strengthens wards and branches. Think of your ward or branch as a spiritual ecosystem.” He continued, “Ministering, shepherding, makes our vineyard one body, a sacred grove. Each tree in our grove is a living family tree, roots and branches intertwined. Ministering blessed generations.”
He offered this invitation in closing, “Wherever we are in this Easter season, let us reach out and care as our Savior would, especially to those whom we are privileged by love and assignment to minister.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook
The great work of safely gathering all of God’s children home is deeply connected to the truth that all of God’s children are alike unto Him. “Our Heavenly Father’s plan for safely gathering His children to our heavenly home is not based on worldly success, economic status, education, race or gender,” Elder Cook said. “Father’s plan is based on righteousness, keeping His commandments and receiving sacred ordinances and honoring the covenants we make.”
Elder Cook, who has served often throughout his life in the British Isles, shared some of the histories of the Church in the area. He discussed the faith of members in the Philippines and the Polynesian islands. He then continued by sharing a detailed look at the scattering of Israel throughout the scriptures. Latter-day Saints “have the great privilege of loving, sharing inviting, and helping gather Israel to receive the fulness of the Lord’s covenant blessings.”
The work of gathering Israel will continue as members work to share the gospel. “Individual members need to become beacon-light examples wherever we live. We cannot be in camouflage,” Elder Cook taught. He shared the blessings of sharing the gospel with others. “My specific prayer today is for every child, young man, young woman, family, quorum, Relief Society and class to review how we individually and collectively accept dramatic counsel to help gather Israel.”
Elder Allen D. Haynie
Elder Haynie of the Seventy shared a heart-warming story from his youth when he hoped to watch cartoons but was surprised to find General Conference was playing instead. He shared how he noticed something different about an old man sitting in a chair. It was David O. McKay. He somehow knew that he was a prophet. “Knowing by revelation that there is a living prophet on the earth changes everything,” Elder Haynie said.
“As God’s covenant children, … we do not need to fear. The doctrine and principles that we must follow to survive spiritually and endure physically are found in the words of a living prophet,” he said. “A prophet is someone God has personally prepared, called, corrected, inspired, rebuked, sanctified and sustained. That’s why we are never spiritually at risk in following prophetic counsel.”
He shared another wonderful story about asking President Nelson why he crunched his water bottle. President Nelson said it made it easier for those who work in recycling. President Oaks and President Eyring began to crunch their water bottles. President Oaks smiled and told Elder Haynie how they need to follow the prophet.
Elder Haynie gave specific counsel to parents and guardians about the need to follow the prophet in the home. “As a generation that has the sacred charge to prepare the rising generation for its prophesied role in the latter days … we cannot be a source of confusion about the importance of following prophetic counsel.”
President Henry B. Eyring
President Eyring spoke on what he learned about the miracle of finding personal peace, whatever our circumstances. “The Savior knows that all of Heavenly Father’s children yearn for peace, and He said that He could give it to us,” he said. President Eyring shared five truths from the Savior about peace.
First, the gift of peace is given after we have the faith to keep His commandments.
Second, the Holy Ghost will come and abide with us.
Third, the Savior promises as we keep our covenants we can feel the love of the Father and the Son for each other and for us.
Fourth, keeping the Lord’s commandments requires more than obedience. We are to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and soul.
Fifth, it is clear that the Lord loves enough to pay the price of our sins so that we can through our faith in Him and our repentance, through the effects of his Atonement have the gift of the peace that passeth all understanding in this life and with Him eternally.
President Eyring warned of the adversary who wants to prevent us from even wanting to find peace. Still, we have everything we need to find peace. “There is reason for optimism — it is that the Light of Christ is placed in every newborn child. With that universal gift comes a sense of what is right, a desire to love and be loved.”
“The rising generation will become the nurturers of the generation to follow. … the Lord’s kingdom on earth will be prepared and ready to greet Him with shouts of hosanna. There will be peace on earth.”