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April 2024 General Conference Recap – Saturday Evening Session

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Are you looking for talk summaries, quotes, or a recap of the April 2024 General Conference? Here is our recap of the Saturday Evening Session.

Elder Shayne M. Bowen

Elder Shayne M. Bowen’s message emphasized the continued existence of miracles, the reality of angelic ministering, and the openness of the heavens to those who have faith. He began by acknowledging the skepticism prevailing today regarding miracles and angelic interventions. “Many today say that miracles no longer exist, that angels are fictional and that the heavens are closed. I testify that miracles have not ceased, angels are among us and the heavens are truly open,” he said. 

However, he firmly asserted that miracles have not ceased and angels continue to minister to humanity. Elder Bowen grounded his testimony in the restoration of priesthood keys by Jesus Christ during his ministry on earth, particularly through the visitation of ancient prophets like Peter, James, and John.

He highlighted the role of priesthood authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the blessings it brings, including the power to perform ordinances and receive spiritual guidance. Reflecting on his own experiences, Elder Bowen recounted a moment of crisis during his missionary service in Chile and was jailed, separated from his companion. He turned to prayer and received comfort from the Holy Ghost. This experience reinforced his faith in the promises made in his patriarchal blessing, which were later fulfilled in his life.

Elder Bowen shared a touching family story about his grandfather’s miraculous encounter with his deceased mother, illustrating the continuity of divine intervention across generations. He also recounted a harrowing incident involving his daughter, Emily, who miraculously survived a serious accident with the help of priesthood blessings and the intervention of Heavenly Angels.

Throughout the message, Elder Bowen underscored the importance of faith, obedience, and the priesthood in accessing divine blessings. He encouraged listeners to seek and expect miracles in their lives, trusting in God’s timing and plan. “While not all circumstances turn out like we may hope and pray for, God’s miracles will always come according to His will, His timing, and His plan for us.”

In conclusion, he bore his testimony of the reality of Jesus Christ, the restoration of priesthood authority, and the ongoing presence of miracles and angelic ministering in the world today.

Elder Steven R. Bangerter

Elder Bangerter spoke about our divine identities and highlighted some of the power and specific missions were were given as pre-mortal decrees. This includes opportunities to serve in the Church and to help gather Israel. “Before you were born, God appointed each of you to fulfill specific missions during your mortal life upon this earth. If you remain worthy, the blessings of that premortal decree will enable you to have all kinds of opportunities in this life.” He explained that this is foreordination and the blessings of such callings come as we prove ourselves worthy.

Knowing who we are begins with the foreordained blessings God has for us, Elder Bangerter said. “Our Heavenly Father desires to reveal to you your personal foreordination, and He will do so as you seek to learn and follow His will.”

Elder Bangerter shared how his own father helped him understand this principles. When he was 13, he had finished mowing the grass. He could see his father at the back porch, where his father invited him to sit with him on the steps. Elder Bangerter’s father told him that he loved him and asked him about his goals in life. Elder Bangerter said he wanted to be taller and wanted to go camping more.

His father shared this tender advice, “Son, protect the private times of your life.” He referred to the time when no one is around and no one would know what he is doing. “More than any other time in your life, what you do in the private times of your life will have the greatest impact on how you confront challenges and heartaches you will face,” his father continued.

By following this advice, he was able to receive revelation and grew his testimony.

“Our Heavenly Father will answer your prayers, especially your prayers offered during the private times of your life. He will reveal to you your foreordained gifts and talents, and you will feel His love envelop you, if you will sincerely ask and genuinely desire to know,” Elder Bangerter testified.

Sister Andrea M. Spannaus

Sister Spannaus spoke directly to the youth of the Church, sharing how she has been able to feast on the message of Christ together. She asked, “Have you ever wondered how you can be faithful to god when living in a world of sin? Where do you get the strength to go forward and continue doing good? How do you experience true joy?”

The story of David and Goliath holds principles to help, Sister Spannaus said, relating the Biblical story. David knew that God would protect him and make him victorious. Full of faith in a God who would not abandon him, David went to face the giant Goliath. While David only needed one stone to kill Goliath, he came with five. What if each of David’s stones represented the strength we need to be triumphant in our life?

Sister Spannaus gave five principles to act as these five stones:

Stone of the Love for God

“Our love for God and our close relationship with Him give us the strength we need to transform our hearts and more easily overcome our challenges,” she taught. 

Stone of Faith in Our Savior Jesus Christ

Christ took upon Himself all of our suffering and knows how to help us. Having faith in Jesus Christ means to full trust his wisdom, his timing, his love, and his power to atone for our sins. It will defeat any giant in our lives. We can overcome this fallen world because he overcame it first.

Stone of the Knowledge of Our True Identity

Sister Spannaus related President Nelson’s reminder of our three most important identifiers as children of God, children of the covenant, and disciples of Jesus Christ. When we know these things, we can have the confidence to move forward

Stone of Daily Repentance

Repentance allows the Savior to free us from sin. Nothing is more liberating than feeling god’s forgiveness and knowing we are clean and reconciled with him. Forgiveness is possible for everyone.

Stone of Access to God’s Power

The covenants we make with god, give us access to the power of godliness. God’s power is a real power that helps us face challenges, make good decisions and increase your capacity to endure difficult situations. How do we draw on this power? Obeying our covenants and having faith in Jesus Christ is key.

Stone of My Testimony

Sister Spannaus added an extra metaphorical stone. Being true to our knowledge and testimonies gives us power. If we love the truth, we will seek it, and when we find it, we will defend it. She invited youth to meet and think about what other strengths we need to acquire to overcome the world.

She closed with her testimony of joy—that there is joy in being close to God and being a disciple of Jesus Christ. 

Elder Matthew L. Carpenter

Elder Carpenter loves ripe peaches! When ripe, they only last a few days before they spoil. With his family, Elder Carpenter would preserve the peaches with his family, extending their life. 

Christ calls us to bring forth good fruits. The Holy Ghost is needed, however, to ensure our “good fruit” remains. 

“If we make and keep covenants with God, the blessings associated with our covenants can extend beyond this life and be sealed upon us, or preserved, forever, becoming fruit that remains for all eternity,” Elder Carpenter said. 

He then expounded on how the sweetest fruit is exaltation, and eternal marriage is needed. When we are sealed, our blessings remain. But what can we do to enjoy these blessings for now and eternity? He said the answer is that we must be true to both the lateral and vertical bonds of our sealing covenants, quoting President Nelson.

Laterally, we must be kind, counsel together, prioritize each other, and call upon God to help us overcome our weaknesses. The vertical bond is one we make with God.

“To keep the vertical bond with God, we are true to the temple covenants we have made regarding the laws of obedience, sacrifice, the gospel, chastity and consecration. We also covenant with god to receive our eternal companion and be a righteous spouse and parent,” Elder Carpenter said. 

What happens if we are less than ideal circumstances? Elder Carpenter spoke on many difficult circumstances, asserting God’s love and the lasting promises of covenants kept. 

“God will not require anyone to remain in a sealed relationship throughout eternity against his or her will. Heavenly Father will ensure that we will receive every blessing that our desires and choices allow,” he continued. 

The blessings of God are more delicious than any earthly fruit, Elder Carpenter testified. “It is important to understand that to receive the blessings of exaltation, we must demonstrate that we are willing to enter into and faithfully keep this new and everlasting covenant, either in this life or the next.”

As we are true and faithful, this fruit will remain sweet to us and be sealed by God’s power. 

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

One question always comes up after General Conference for Elder Uchtdorf is this—

He began by talking about the birth of flight by the Wright brothers in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Orville and Wilbur’s father elicited a promise from his sons that they would never fly together, fearing for their safety. Seven years after their first historic flight, Milton Wright determined to fly with his sons. All fear left him as he experienced flying and called for his son to take him higher. 

“I know something of what the Wrights felt,” Elder Uchtdorf said. He could relate to the desire Milton had to ascend more. “There is an even higher kind of joy. I would like to speak about this higher joy, where it comes from, how it enters our hearts, and how we can experience it in grater measure.”

If happiness is so important to us, why are we so unsuccessful in finding it, Elder Uchtdorf asked. Before continuing he noted the reality of mental illnesses and the reality of these problems. 

“My purpose today is not to diminish or trivialize mental health issues. If you face such challenges, I mourn with and I stand beside you,” Elder Uchtdorf said. 

Still, joy and sorrow are inseparable companions. Joy is the very purpose of God’s plan for His children. “You are built for this,” he said. “Our Father in Heaven has not hidden the path to happiness. It is not a secret. It is available to all!” However, we must be willing to walk the path of discipleship.

Elder Uchtdorf also did not discount the many other ways we can experience joy in the world outside of religion or faith. Still, that joy is not meant to last. 

“It is the nature of all earthly things to grow old, decay, wear out, or become stale. But godly joy is eternal, because God is eternal.”

“God has something more to give, a higher and more profound joy, a joy that transcends anything this world offers,” Elder Uchtdorf proclaimed. “Jesus Christ came to lift us out of the temporal and replace corruption with incorruption. Only He has that power, and only His joy is perpetual.”

How do we find pure joy? Elder Uchtdorf shared a few principles. He began discussing the woman with the issue of blood, who spent all she had but found no relief. She should have stayed away from others, and it seemed out of the question for her to approach Christ. Still, she knew if she could touch His clothes, she would be healed. Her faith overcame her fear. 

We should not dismiss simple solutions, such as touching the hem of the Savior’s robes. “I have learned that if we draw near to God and reach out to touch Him, we can indeed find healing, peace and joy,” Elder Uchtdorf said. 

We rarely find something we are not looking for, Elder Uchtdorf admonished, inviting us to look for Christ and His joy in our lives. 

Another way to find joy is the bring joy to others. Joy is like a barrel of flour or jar of oil that will never run out—it multiples when it is shared. “The joy you give to others will return in good measure,” he taught. 

“May we all seek and find the higher joy that comes from devoting our lives to our Heavenly Father and His beloved Son.”

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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