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October 2023 General Conference Recap – Saturday Evening Session

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Are you looking for talk summaries, quotes, or a recap of the October 2023 General Conference? Here is our recap of the Saturday Evening Session.

Elder Gary B. Sabin

Elder Sabin began his talk by recounting an experience he had on an airplane while on a business trip to the Netherlands. He met a man who gave him a business card that said, “Professor of Happiness.”

“I commented on his amazing profession and asked him, ‘What does a Professor of Happiness do?’ He said he taught people how to have a happy life by establishing meaningful relationships and goals. I replied, “That’s wonderful, but what if you could also teach how those relationships can continue beyond the grave? And answer other questions of the soul, such as: What is the purpose of life? How can I overcome our weaknesses? And where do we go after we die?” He admitted that it would be amazing if we had the answers to these questions, and I was pleased to share with him that we do today.”

Elder Sabin focused his talk on then sharing a few essentials for true happiness.

First, Elder Sabin said “building upon the foundation of Jesus Christ is essential to our happiness.” He taught, “I bear my witness to the Divinity of the Savior of the world, and of His redemptive love and power to heal, strengthen, and lift us when we are earnestly striving to come unto Him. Conversely, there is no way we can move with the crowd and also toward Jesus. The Savior has defeated death, disease, and sin, and has provided a way for our ultimate perfection if we will follow Him with all of our hearts.”

Second, Elder Sabin taught “it is crucial to our happiness that we remember we are sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.”

Third, always remember the worth of a soul. Elder Sabin shared a humorous story about a time when his son was sprayed by a skunk. After trying to remove the odor with a tomato juice bath, the family went to a movie theater. Others could smell the skunk and moved from sitting next to them. “We have laughed as we recall that experience, but what if all of our sins had an odor? What if we could smell dishonesty, lust, envy, or pride? With our weaknesses revealed, we would hopefully be a little more considerate and careful of others, and likewise, they with us, as we make the needed changes in our lives,” Elder Sabin said.

Fourth, maintain an eternal perspective. Elder Sabin shared another story, this time about his daughter who needed a serious lung transplant. “The night before her surgery, Jennifer almost preached to me with all her 90 pounds, saying, ‘Don’t worry, Dad. Tomorrow, I will wake up with these new lungs, or I will wake up in a better place. Either way, it will be great.’ That is faith; that is a true perspective. It seems like the eternal vantage point provides clarity, comfort, courage, and hope.” 

Finally, Elder Sabin taught that “you will never be happier than you are grateful.” He said, “We are surrounded by innumerable blessings that we can easily take for granted if we are not mindful. Conversely, when nothing is expected and everything is appreciated, life becomes magical.”

Elder Joni L. Koch

Elder Koch spoke about how to develop humility. “We all like to think we are sufficiently humble, but some experiences in life make us realize that the natural, prideful man often is very much alive within us,” he said.

Once, Elder Koch brought his family to the business unit where he worked. Without his company ID, he was unable to enter. Elder Koch made a prideful response to the guard, “Do you know who you’re talking to?” Ultimately, he had to turn around. Through this experience, he learned, “When we choose not to be humble, we end up being humiliated.”

Elder Koch shared how General Conference was a time to practice humility.

“During this conference, we have heard and will yet hear the unfailing counsel of our prophets and apostles. It’s a perfect occasion to develop humility and let our strong opinions be swallowed by an even stronger conviction that the Lord does speak through these chosen leaders.”

Part of being humble is relying on the Savior, Elder Koch said. “In developing humility, we must also understand and accept that we are not able to overcome our challenges or to achieve our full potential through our own efforts only.”

“It’s so important to make and keep covenants with God, as doing so will give us full access to the healing, enabling, and perfecting power of Jesus Christ through His Atonement.”

Sister Tamara W. Runia

Sister Runia shared a message about seeing God’s grand view of the universe and to experience an “overview feeling” with hope and joy.

“Sometimes, all we can see is that up close, magnified view of those we love. Tonight, I invite you to zoom out and look through a different lens—an eternal life that focuses on the big picture,” she taught.

She shared about a difficult time she experienced during high school when she wasn’t making good choices. She lost hope in her ability to turn things around, but her father acted as her cheerleader as she went to college. Just like her father, Sister Runia taught we can do the same for others and related the experience to Lehi’s dream of the Tree of Life.

“You don’t chase after your loved ones; you stay where you are and you call them. You go to the tree,” she said. We need to partake of the fruit again and again and invite others to join us.

“Families are a God-given laboratory where we’re figuring things out, so missteps and miscalculations are not just possible but probable,” she taught. Because of this, how we treat those around us is important. “Before we interact with loved ones, can we ask ourselves this question: Is what I’m about to do or say helpful or hurtful?” Sister Runia taught. “Because our words are one of our superpowers, and family members are like human blackboards standing in front of us, saying, ‘Write what you think of me.’ These messages, whether intentional or unintentional, should be hopeful and encouraging.”

“It is the Savior’s work to bring our loved ones back. It is His work and His timing. It is our work to provide the hope and a heart they can come home to.”

God sees who are loved ones really are, and who we really are, and will be patient with us as strive to gain a large perspective. “Having this eye of faith now, is a recapturing, or an echo, of the faith we had before we came to this planet,” she said as she talked about moving forward. We can ask and pray for a hopeful feeling now.

“It is my witness that the Savior has the ability, because of His Atonement, to turn any nightmare you are going through into a blessing,” she continued. “With an eye of faith on Jesus Christ, may we see that everything will be all right in the end and feel that it will be all right now.”

Elder Ulisses Soares

Elder Soares focused on the need for respect and rejecting prejudice in God’s global church. His remarks were especially inspired by President Russell M. Nelson’s past prophetic counsel.

“I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children as a global and ever-growing Church,” he said.

He shared the blessed state of the Nephites who lived in harmony after Christ’s ministration in the Americas. Considering the sacred relationship between humanity and God as a parental relationship is fundamental step to building bridges of understanding.

“As disciples of Christ, we are invited to increase our faith in, and love for, our spiritual brother and sisterhood by genuinely knitting our hearts together in unity and love, regardless of our differences,” he taught.

“I can assure you that the light of a new day shines brighter in our lives when we see and treat our fellow beings with respect and dignity and as true brothers and sisters in Christ,” Elder Soares said with great emotion.

In relating examples from Christ’s life, such as visiting those in Samaria, Elder Soares said, “He ministered, healed and was always attentive to everyone’s needs, especially those who at the time were considered different, belittled or excluded.”

The world is polarized by strong divisions, accentuated by racial, political, and socioeconomical lines. These divisions can lead us to treat others with indifference, anger, and prejudice. “Such attitudes have their root in pride,” Elder Soares said.

“We can help eliminate this kind of behavior by looking at the inherent differences between us with the Savior’s eyes,” he said. Elder Soares also shared that we can strive to find ourselves in the hope and dreams of those around us.

Elder Soares explained we can see these important principles in the temple.

“Have you ever pondered on how the principle of respect for human dignity and equality is demonstrated in the simple way we dress in the House of the Lord,” he taught. “We all come to the temple united in one purpose, filled with the desire to be pure and holy in His holy presence. Dressed in white, all of us are received by the Lord himself as His beloved children. We are privileged to perform the same ordinances, make the same covenants, and receive the same eternal promises. United in purpose, we see one another with new eyes.”

“May we align our hearts and minds with the knowledge and testimony that we are all equal before God, that we are all fully endowed with the same eternal potential and inheritance,” Elder Soares said to close his talk. “May we enjoy more the spiritual kinship that exists between us and value the different attributes and varied gifts we all have.”

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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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