Arts & Entertainment
May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. … I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life. My beloved brothers and sisters, my heart is full and my feelings tender as we conclude this great general conference.
We have been richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us. I believe we are all more determined to live the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I express my sincere thanks to each one who participated in the conference, including those Brethren who offered prayers.
The music has been magnificent. How grateful I am for those blessed with musical talents who are willing to share their talents with others. I am reminded of the scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants: "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."1
May we long remember that which we have heard during this conference. I remind you that the messages will be printed in next month's Ensign and Liahona magazines. I urge you to study the messages and to ponder their teachings and then to apply them in your life.
I want you to know how much I love and appreciate my devoted counselors, President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. They are men of wisdom and understanding. Their service is invaluable. I love and support my Brethren of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. During this conference we sustained a new member of that Quorum. He is completely dedicated to the work of the Lord, and I testify that he is the man our Heavenly Father wants to fill this position at this time.
Every family and group of friends has a different way of making the two days of General Conference more exciting and memorable. And because it's easy to get distracted during several hours of talks, here are a few traditions that help these people make the experience more meaningful:
Every year I drive to Salt Lake City and meet my family for General Conference. Before leaving for Salt Lake City, my mother or father will wake up early to prepare a picnic lunch for the day. Then, between the sessions, the whole family goes out to their car and sits together for lunch. We usually talk about the most recent session and how specific talks were most meaningful to us. This helps me to remember the points that were most meaningful for me, and talking with my family about it helps me to set realistic goals of how I can use the conference advice to improve my life. - Jordan Lowe, UT
I have young kids and it can be difficult to get them to listen to so many talks in only two days, so our family has a couple of traditions that help us all pay closer attention.
Through the week before General Conference, we read King Benjamin's address in the book of Mosiah. Then, the night before the conference, each of my kids will decorate a cardboard box. On Saturday morning we arrange all of the boxes in front of the TV, making sure that the open end is facing the TV. This is our way of pointing our "tent doors" toward the speaker, just like King Benjamin's people did. - Martin Jenston, CN
Every year before General Conference, we try to memorize the names of all of the apostles. This helps us to know and recognize them when they give a talk. To help us memorize their names, we put their names to the tune of "Ten Little Indians":
Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others. Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.
"If any man will come after me [He said], let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 16:24-25; see also Matthew 10:39).
As a group, Latter-day Saints are unique in following that teaching - unique in the extent of their unselfish service.
Each year tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints submit their papers for full-time missionary service. Seniors put aside the diversions of retirement, the comforts of home, and the loving companionship of children and grandchildren and go forth to serve strangers in unfamiliar places. Young men and women put work and education on hold and make themselves available to serve wherever they are assigned. Hundreds of thousands of faithful members participate in the unselfish service we call "temple work," which has no motive other than love and service for our fellowmen, living and dead. The same unselfish service is given by legions of officers and teachers in our stakes and wards and branches. All are uncompensated in worldly terms but committed to Christlike service to their fellowmen.
It is not easy to give up our personal priorities and desires. Many years ago a new missionary in England was frustrated and discouraged. He wrote home saying he felt he was wasting his time. His wise father replied, "Forget yourself and go to work."1 Young Elder Gordon B. Hinckley went to his knees and covenanted with the Lord that he would try to forget himself and lose himself in the Lord's service.2 Years later, as a mature servant of the Lord, Elder Hinckley would say, "He who lives only unto himself withers and dies, while he who forgets himself in the service of others grows and blossoms in this life and in eternity."3
You just got married, and now it's time to start your own family home evenings--but can you really have FHE with just two people? Is it really worth it? Definitely!
Time is one of the most important things you can give to your marriage, and family home evening can be a wonderful way to add new levels of depth to your relationship. As you take the time to get to know one another (even after marriage) you will grow closer together, and that closeness will become a strong foundation for your family through the years. So, here are a few ideas on how to spend your family home evenings.
h3. Think Tank
Evaluate your marriage in each of the following areas. Rank your responses on a scale of 1 to 10, and then make a goal to strengthen one of the areas.
1. Common goals and values
2. Commitment to growth
3. Communication skills
4. Creative, productive use of conflict
5. Appreciation and affection
6. Agreement on roles
7. Cooperation and teamwork
8. Money management
h3. Bags of Blessings Set the timer for three minutes and write down as many blessings as you can think of during that time. Write as quickly as you can and put down everything that comes to your mind. When the time is up, compare your lists. What blessings do you have in common? What blessings are different? Combine your lists and add some more blessings to create a master list of "100 Things We Are Grateful For." Post your list on the fridge and refer to it often during the week. For the next family night, you may want to discuss how thinking about your blessings and having the list posted affected your attitudes and behavior during the week. h3. Need to Succeed A successful marriage depends upon selflessness on both sides. Here's an activity to help you think of each other's needs instead of your own. First, write down five needs you feel your spouse has. (For example: The need to feel attractive, the need for your support in callings, etc.) Write what you're doing now to meet those needs, and choose one area where you feel you could be doing more. Identify several specific things you can do to meet each need. Then share your lists with each other, or work on them privately the rest of the week. h3. Scavenger Hunt Go on a scavenger hunt at home! Each of you takes a paper sack and fills it with ten objects that represent the following: 1. Yourself
There is indeed a system of gospel prerequisites. Milk must come before meat. As we grow in holiness, it is vital that we grow steadily and surely, feeding regularly and consistently upon the fundamental and foundational doctrines of salvation....
This young woman was now back to give birth to her second baby. As they talked together, my wife commented that it was a bit of a financial challenge to buy extra food items. The young woman replied, "We always fed our baby what the rest of us ate."
Shauna asked, "What do you mean?"
"Well, if we had chicken, the baby had chicken. If we had potatoes, the baby had potatoes. If we had beans, the baby had beans."
My wife asked, "You mean when the child was a little older?"
"No," she said, "when we brought the baby home."
Shauna asked delicately, "Is he, uh, still living? Is he all right now?"
The young mother answered, "Oh, yes, he gained twenty pounds in no time at all."
There's a lesson there. Some foods are not only inappropriate but dangerous for an infant to eat. So it is with our spiritual digestive system and our growth to spiritual maturity. Just as it would be unwise for a college student who had very little math in high school to jump into an integral calculus class, so too must we be careful about what we study, how we study, and when we study. There is, in a manner of speaking, a system of gospel prerequisites. Elder Boyd K. Packer explained: "Teaching prematurely or at the wrong time some things that are true can invite sorrow and heartbreak instead of the joy intended to accompany learning. . . .