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April 2024 General Conference Recap – Saturday Morning 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 Morning Session.

At the beginning of the session, President Dallin H. Oaks announced a few things of note. First, he noted President Russell M. Nelson was not in attendance and watching the session from home. Then, he shared that members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles had been called upon to conduct sessions of General Conference. Sessions have been generally conducted by a member of the First Presidency.

Sustaining of Church Leaders

President Oaks led the sustaining of Church leaders, which included the sustaining of new apostle, Elder Patrick Kearon.

The Sunday School presidency, consisting of Elder Mark L. Pace, Elder Milton Camargo, and Jan E. Newman, was released, to conclude their service on August 1, 2024. A new Sunday School General Presidency was called. Elder Paul V. Johnson was called as president, Elder Chad H. Webb as first counselor, and Elder Gabriel W. Reid as second counselor.

Church Audit Report for 2023

Jared B. Larson, Managing director of the Church Auditing Department, read the Church Audit Report for 2023. He stated that in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church for the year 2023, have been recorded and administered within budgets, accounting process, and policies.

President Jeffrey R. Holland

Read the full text of President Holland’s talk here.

President Jeffrey R. Holland delivered a deeply personal and spiritually profound address, weaving together personal experiences, scriptural insights, and principles of faith. His speech began with a humorous admission of a lesson learned from his recent absences from General Conference.

“I’ve learned a painful lesson since I last occupied this pulpit in October of 2022. That lesson is: if you don’t give an acceptable talk, you can be banned for the next several conferences.”

Holland then transitioned to sharing recent personal experiences, particularly the passing of his beloved wife, Pat. He spoke of her virtues and spiritual qualities, describing her as a “complete daughter of God” and an “exemplary woman of Christ”:

“She was the greatest woman I have ever known, a perfect wife and mother. To say nothing of her purity, her gift of expression, her spirituality.”

Reflecting on a medical crisis he faced shortly after his wife’s passing, Holland hinted at a profound spiritual experience outside the hospital, which urged him to intensify his ministry with greater urgency and consecration:

“I cannot speak fully of that experience here, but I can say that part of what I received was an admonition to return to my ministry with more urgency, more consecration, more focus on the Savior, more faith in His word.”

Quoting scripture, Holland emphasized the divine calling to preach the gospel to all nations, drawing parallels to his own renewed commitment to his ministry:

“‘Go forth, go forth to preach my gospel, to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.'”

Furthermore, Holland expressed gratitude for the prayers of the Church members, likening their persistence to the importuning widow in the scriptures:

“I will be eternally grateful for the supplication of thousands of people who, like the importuning widow, repeated, repeated, repeated the same prayer.”

He underscored the power of prayer as a form of worship and a shield against temptation, urging individuals to pray fervently and consistently:

“Our prayers are our sweetest hour, our most sincere desire, our simplest, purest form of worship.”

Holland emphasized the importance of belief in fundamental principles such as angels, miracles, and the Atonement of Christ, urging listeners to embrace personal righteousness and seek forgiveness through repentance:

“We need to believe in angels and miracles and the promises of the Holy Priesthood. We need to believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost, the influence of good families and friends, and the power of the Atonement of Christ.”

In conclusion, Holland expressed hope in the eternal promises of salvation and encouraged listeners to repent, seek mercy, and find forgiveness through Jesus Christ:

“Brothers and sisters, as we repent of our sins and come unto the throne of grace, pleading before him with our arms and our heartfelt supplications, we will find mercy and compassion and forgiveness at the benevolent hands of our Eternal Father and his obedient, perfectly pure Son.”

He concluded his address with a solemn affirmation of faith in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sister J Anette Dennis

Sister Dennis talked about the parables of the Savior, and how they hold deeper meanings when we have ears to hear. She then related how we can find deeper meanings through our covenants. “Each person on earth is a beloved son or daughter of God. When we choose to be part of a covenant, it enhances and deepens our relationship with Him,” she said. “As we choose to draw nearer to Him through a covenant relationship, it allows Him to draw nearer to us and more fully bless us.”

Sister Dennis spoke of some of the covenants we make through ordinances, such as baptism, the sacrament, and temples. “I invite you to choose a deeper relationship with God by making covenants with Him in the house of the Lord,” she said. “Through a covenant relationship with God, our own lives can become a living symbol of our commitment and deep love for our Father in Heaven.”

Elder Alexander Dushku

Elder Dushku focused his message on those who worry about their testimonies, especially if they feel they haven’t had outstanding spiritual experiences.

He began by relating the story of Joseph Smith, and how he needed clarity and peace, light and knowledge. Through the First Vision, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ commenced. 

“All that and much more began with a boy’s desperate prayer,” Elder Dushku said. He related that just as Joseph, we too need freedom from spiritual confusion. We too need to know for ourselves. 

We have access to our own pillars of light, but we can often fall into the trap of requiring marvelous spiritual experiences in order to feel connected with God. The Lord’s typical pattern is more simple. 

“Rather than sending us a pillar of light, the Lord sends us a ray of light,” Elder Dushku said. “Then another, and another. Those rays of light are continuously being poured on us.”

He noted that we all won’t experience this in the same way and should take some time to ponder on how we receive the Lord’s light in our lives. There are many ways to receive heavenly rays, including looking back on past experiences. He shared on past precious experiences from his own life. 

As a rowdy teenager at a baptism, he felt the spirit tell him to sit down and be reverent. While preparing for a mission, as he plead with Heavenly Father, he felt a powerful sense of light and warmth. Years later, he was awakened by a feeling that he would be called to serve in an Elders Quorum. He recalled praying with others around the bedside of a dear friend on a ventilator, who suddenly woke up and pulled the ventilator out of his own throat. These acted as rays of light for Elder Dushku. 

“As we recognize, remember, and gather these rays together in one, something powerful begins to happen,” Elder Dushku testified. “Lights cleaves to light.” Ultimately, the reality and power of one ray of testimony reinforces testimony. 

Elder Ulisses Soares

Elder Soares spoke on the covenant confidence we receive through Jesus Christ. “The construction of new houses of the Lord under the inspired leadership of President Russell M. Nelson has caused great rejoicing,” he shared. However, Elder Soares reflected that we might get lost on the excitement of new temples and lose the perspective of what these houses of the Lord are truly for.

“When we enter the Lord’s house, we embark on a sacred journey on becoming higher and holier disciples of Jesus Christ,” he said. “As we commit to follow the Savior, we receive the power to change our hearts. Such an endeavor brings sanctification to our souls.”

A correct perspective of our holy covenants gives us true covenant confidence. This type of confidence is “the pinnacle of our divine connection with god. It fortifies our ability to love and serve others, and strengthens our souls to live in an unholy world that is increasingly dark and discouraging. It empowers to over come the seeds of doubt and despair, fear and frustration, heartache, and hopelessness, especially when life is hard.”

He shared the Biblical verse, “Cast not away therefore your confidence.”

“Those who gain genuine confidence in the covenants made in the House of the Lord through Jesus Christ posses one of the most powerful forces that we can access in this life,” Elder Soares said. How do we gain this covenant confidence if we lack it?

“It comes through humility, centering our lives on the Savior, living by the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, receiving the ordinances of salivation and exaltation, and honoring the covenants we make with god in his holy house.”

Elder Soares also taught that if we change the way we prepare to enter the temple, we will change our experience inside the temple. We can all do a better job at preparing to be “temple bound,” not just those who are preparing to go for the first time. “When we walk out of the temple, transformed by our hope in the promises of the covenants, armed with power from on high, we take the temple with us into our homes and lives. I assure you that having the Spirit of the Lord’s house in us changes us, completely,” he said.

“All of us should intentionally enhance such binding by having our next appointment scheduled with the Lord in his Holy House, whether the temple is near or far way,” he said, speaking of how being temple bound actually binds us to the Lord.

“As we keep our covenants, He endows us with His healing, strengthening power. And oh, how we will need His power in the days ahead,” Elder Soares testified.

Elder Jack N. Gerard

Elder Gerard began his talk by speaking of the Savior’s experience in the garden of Gethsemane. With tenderness, he related how Christ atoned for our sins and “did not shrink.” Elder Gerard related this to the attribute of integrity and how we should follow Christ’s life in being true to God, to each other, and to our divine identity.

Integrity should flow from the first great commandment. Because we love God, we want to be true to Him. “Integrity means we do not lower our standards or behavior to impress or be accepted by others. You do what is right and let the consequence follow,” Elder Gerard said.

He related an experience with Elder Uchtdorf where the apostle asked if there was anything in his life that, if made public, would be embarrassing to himself or the Church. This question was deeply poignant to Elder Gerard, who realized it was more about integrity than worthiness.

The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is an example of how others can find God through our integrity. “The king found Daniel’s God have delivered him and issued a new decree that all should tremble and fear before the god of Daniel for he is the Living God,” Elder Gerard related. “The king came to know God through Daniel’s integrity. Others see God through ours. Words and deeds just like Daniel being true to God will increasingly set us apart from the world.”

The world increasingly grapples with integrity. As we strive to live the two great commandments, to love God and love others, the second cannot replace the first. “Christian kindness is not a substitute for integrity,” Elder Gerard said.

Finally, integrity requires us to be true to our divine identify. “May we reconcile ourselves to the will of God and develop the Christlike attribute of integrity. May we follow our exemplar, the Savior of the World and not shrink, but live a life that is true to God, to each other, and to our divine identity.”

President Henry B. Eyring

President Eyring began by speaking of an experience he had one day while visiting the temple. The visit was wonderful and edifying! However, as they prepared to leave, they noted temple workers and other patrons looking distressed.

“Within moments, one of the temple workers told us that the newly constructed Teton Dam in Eastern Idaho had collapsed. More than 80 billion gallons of water were flowing through the dam and into the 300 square miles of neighboring valleys. Much of the city of Rexburg was underwater,” President Eyring related.

With no way home and no way to communicated with their children, who were left with a babysitter, President and Sister Eyring were forced to stay in a motel that night. As they anxiously waited, the Spirit of the Lord confirmed the power of the temple could bring them peace.

“At that moment, it was as if the Spirit of the Lord confirmed in our hearts and minds what we both already knew to be true. The sealing ordinances, found only in the house of the Lord and administered by proper priesthood authority, had bound us together as husband and wife, and our children had been sealed to us. There truly, truly was no need to fear.”

Their boys were indeed safe and indeed we are spiritually safe when we live inside our temple covenants.

“Brothers and sisters, I humbly testify, then, as we attend the temple, we can be reminded of the eternal nature of our spirits, our relationship with the Father and His divine Son, and our ultimate desire to return to our heavenly home,” President Eyring testified.

Qualifying to make covenants in the temple is not a one time effort, but a lifetime pattern President Eyring continued. The Lord will pour out grace and mercy on us as we strive to make the temple a central focus of our discipleship. “We have been promised, because we keep a covenant with God, that He will never tire in His efforts to help us, and we will never exhaust His merciful patience with us.”

When President Eyring and his wife Kathy were sealed, President Spencer W. Kimball gave this advice: Live so that when the call comes you can walk away easily.” Though they did not understand in full what this advice meant, they found it was essential as they faced multiple calls in Church service.

“My dear brothers and sisters, I witnesses that there is nothing more important than honoring the covenants you make, or may make, in the temple. No matter where you are on the covenant path, I urge you to qualify and become eligible to attend the temple,” closed his message with.

President Eyring’s message was pre-recorded. 

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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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