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General Conference Highlights

This past weekend, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from all over the world took time, wherever they were, to tune in to General Conference. They learned of some of the work that the Church has been doing to improve the conditions of people who are struggling around the world, but most importantly, they came to be instructed. They turned to their religious leaders for guidance to help them in their lives.

As the worldwide political, social, and economic climate becomes increasingly more tumultuous and threatening, many members went into this conference seeking comfort and guidance on how to be in, but not of, the world. The prophets and other inspired church leaders delivered.

Within the first few talks of the first session of the conference, it became clear that missionary work was a central theme of the conference. President M. Russell Ballard reminded those who have not yet served a church mission of the amazing opportunity it brings. President Russell M. Nelson remarked on the importance of serving a mission so everyone has the chance to experience the peace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Messaging on missionary work extended also to everyday members. Elder Gary E. Stevenson extended the invitation to “love, share, and invite” others we know to the Gospel in a natural way. Elder Quentin L. Cook added to this by instructing that all converted members in sharing the Gospel should also love and serve their neighbors.

A common extension of missionary work that was discussed during the conference was the call to serve others because the world is in need. As Sister Reyna I. Aburto put, the church members are to act as the body of Christ and serve on His behalf. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf added that whatever we are able to offer is enough, as long as we are offering everything that we are able.

The most prevalent message of this General Conference was that we need to cling to Christ and His Gospel during this time of worldwide unrest. As the world continues to move farther away from Christ and His commandments, we need to rely on Him to keep us from the evil within the world. Elder David A. Bednar counseled members to disregard the opinions of the world and “press on in the work of the Lord.” Both President Nelson and Elder Neil L. Andersen encouraged us to actively fight against conflict and contention, because in a world where there is so much division and hatred, we cannot afford to contribute to that evil. These days, avoiding conflict is not enough. We need to peacefully stand up for what is right and persuade others to not engage in the conflict. However, initiating peace does not mean that we can allow our beliefs to be stomped on and weeded out. President Dallin H. Oaks “reaffirmed” the beliefs outlined in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” emphasized that marriage is between a man and a woman and that men and women are divinely different; therefore requiring that we do not “homogenize” the genders. Elder Ronald A. Rasband asserted that all people have the right to freely practice religion however they see fit, and that we need to unite with other faiths to protect that freedom and lift the world through our systems of faith.

This General Conference made it increasingly clear that practicing our religious beliefs is going to become increasingly difficult, and as a result, we need to dedicate more of our time to learning of Christ, sharing the Gospel, and spreading light.

In the concluding talk of General Conference, President Nelson emphasized the importance of always progressing and keeping our covenants, and, with that, he announced 17 new temples in New Zealand, the Republic of Congo, Spain, the UK, Peru, Florida, Tennessee, Ohio, Kansas, Texas, Montana, Idaho, California, and 2 each in Brazil and Mexico.

April 5, 2022

Reagan Sumrall

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