Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was the first speaker in the Saturday Afternoon session of the 192nd Annual General Conference. He started his talk sharing a note written by an eight-year-old girl who wrote to her bishop:
“Dear Bishop general confrins was Boring why Do we half to Do it? tell me why Sinserlie, Marin Arnold.”
Because of her age, Marin understandably doesn’t understand the hype of general conference weekend, so no one will blame her for missing the excitement of the messages from these speakers during the Saturday afternoon session.
Elder Jeffery R. Holland: “Fear Not: Believe Only!”
“You are His most precious possession, His child, to whom He has given prophets and promises, spiritual gifts and revelation, miracles and messages, and angels on both sides of the veil,” Elder Holland said during his talk.
He let everyone know they are loved. He said he understands that life gets difficult, but our lives are worth living. God has given us so much because we are so precious to him.
Elder Patrick Kearon: He is Risen with Healing in His Wings: We Can Be More Than Conquerors
Elder Kearon spoke of the survival story we each can experience.
“God does not now, nor has He ever, seen you as someone to be despised. Whatever has happened to you, He is NOT ashamed of you or disappointed in you. He loves you in a way you have yet to discover,” he said.
He promised that we can discover the way God loves us if we learn to believe that we are precious to Him.
Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis: Lift Up Your Heart and Rejoice
Elder Marcos told the story of the challenges he faced while preparing for a mission; his dentist was against it, his university wouldn’t allow a two-year deferment, and he would have to leave a special girl. Ultimately though, the decision to serve was worth it.
“Serving a full-time mission may seem difficult to us. Perhaps it requires that we give up important things for a moment. The Lord certainly knows this, and He will always be by our side,” he said.
Elder Marcos said he found another dentist instead and his university made an exception for him, and even though the girl he had to leave married someone else, he was also able to meet someone else, his wife whom he describes as ‘the sunshine of my life.’
Elder Gerrit W. Gong: We Each Have a Story
Elder Gong told us that we are important and so are our families. We each have stories to live, and our families are a big part of them.
“In this age of ‘I choose me,’ societies benefit when generations connect in meaningful ways. We need roots to have wings — real relationships, meaningful service, life beyond fleeting social media veneers,” he said.
We can connect to our roots through our families. We can find meaningful ways to live out our stories.
Elder Adrián Ochoa: Is the Plan Working?
Elder Ochoa had a special message to those who, at one time, “‘felt to sing the song of redeeming love’ but do not ‘feel so now.'”
He spoke of a returned missionary who questioned whether the Lord’s plan was working in his life.
Many of us may feel this way at times, but the question should not be “Is the Lord’s plan working?” It should be, “Am I working to live out the Lord’s plan for my life?”
Elder Kevin S. Hamilton: Then Will I Make Weak Things Become Strong
Today, a common thought is that we should embrace our true selves. “Our true selves,” the way the world speaks of them, could also be identified as the natural man in us.
“While it is indeed good to be authentic, we should be authentic to our real, true selves, as sons and daughters of God with a divine nature and destiny to become like Him. If our goal is to be authentic to this divine nature and destiny, then we will all need to change,” he said.
The scriptures are filled with examples of people who chose to change for the better through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ died to allow us to change — we should not reject his offer to help us do so.
If we change according to the Lord’s pattern, we can become our best “true selves.” We can reach the full potential the Lord knows we have.
Elder Quentin L. Cook: Conversion to the Will of God Our Personal Conversion Includes the Responsibility to Share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the World
Elder Cook told a story of his brother‘s decision to serve a mission even though their father did not believe it was a good choice.
His brother ultimately decided that because he had a testimony that Jesus Christ is divine, the Book of Mormon is the word of God and Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration, he would serve a mission despite their father‘s disapproval.
“For the Savior’s mandate to share the gospel to become part of who we are, we need to become converted to the will of God, we need to love our neighbors, share the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and invite all to come and see,” he said.
Though we all receive resistance to our own testimonies, we have ways to work through them. We can look outward and find ways to share what we believe with others.