When I first started writing for the General Conference Odyssey, I thought it would be interesting to read through past talks, perhaps share a few thoughts and insights, but I never realized the process would invoke so much spiritual manifestation in me. This particular session, Sunday morning, April 1972, just may be my favorite session so far. I cannot possibly pick just one address to talk about. I want to be able to refer to this session over and over again.
Elder David B. Haight–“A Foundation Whereon Men Cannot Fall.”
I believe our families are in grave danger, and here Elder Haight adds his warning 44 years ago. He said,
“The evidence is overwhelming and the need so critical for a strong bond of respect and admiration in our homes. The trend is growing more acute daily. Latter-day Saint parents must analyze the foundation on which their homes are being built, for the rains of evil are descending.”
He referred to the Savior’s warning in Matt. 7:24-27, where we must not build our houses on sand, but only on a firm foundation, which we know to be Jesus Christ and His gospel. Can you imagine what our families would be like if all of us were better at teaching the gospel in our homes early on, and that we taught with consistency, and love? He closed his remarks with a promise given by President Joseph F. Smith. “If you will gather your children around you once a week and instruct them in the gospel, they will not go astray.”
It’s never too late to start today. Never give up on your family. We can gather our children around us, teach them, love them, and humbly testify to them anytime, but starting early is better.
Harold B. Lee–”A Time of Decision.”
He opens his talk with these words:
“This is the beginning of an intense political activity, when men of every persuasion in the political arena will be clamoring for attention and acceptance by the electorate. There will be controversy, debate, conflict, and contention, which seem to be the order of a political campaign.”
Hello, Deja Vu!
I’m sure many of us, in the United States, have wondered what to do this election year. Harold B. Lee remembered some advice he was given at a critical time. “Vote for that which in your heart you feel is right. We would rather many times over that you would make a mistake doing that which you felt was right, than to vote for policy sake.”
This talk is definitely worth reading if you are seeking guidance in this troubled world.
Marion D. Hanks–”Joy Through Christ.”
He said one thing that I want to always remember.
“We cannot permit the mistakes of others to mislead us from our own joy, nor can we disqualify ourselves because of our own mistakes. Jesus died for our personal sins. He is the Savior and Redeemer to whom we belong.”
There are many paths to follow, if we choose, but why would we ever choose to veer from the path of happiness? Life was meant to give us joy, even through our struggles, and that can only be achieved if we let go of the world, and follow Jesus Christ. Therein lies our happiness.
Boyd K. Packer–”Why Stay Morally Clean.”
A teacher asked his class, “Why is Chastity so important?” The room full of adults sat silent. Many confessed later to knowing it was important, but were unable to put it into words. Elder Packer has put it into words so that we can all understand clearly just how important it is to stay morally clean.
“The power of creation–or may we say procreation–is not just an incidental part of the plan: it is essential to it. Without it the plan could not proceed. The misuse of it may disrupt the plan. Much of the happiness that may come to you in this life will depend on how you use this sacred power of creation. The fact that you young men can become fathers and that you young women can become mothers is of utmost importance to you.
“I repeat, this power to act in the creation of life is sacred. You can some day have a family of your own. Through the exercise of this power you can invite children to live with you–little boys and little girls who will be your very own–created, in a way, in your own image. You can establish a home, a dominion of power and influence and opportunity. This carries with it great responsibility.”
This is the very reason Satan is attacking the family so viciously today. He is doing everything in his power to destroy the plan of our Father in Heaven, which is to create eternal families and give them the opportunity of exaltation. I’ve underlined much of this talk, so that I can refer to it often.
Bruce R. McConkie–”The Testimony of Jesus.”
Elder McConkie introduced his poem to the world for the very first time, called “I Believe in Christ.” Now we can enjoy the spirit of these words in a beautiful hymn.
May I add my testimony to those given in this session of conference. We must call upon God for help and He will come running; but likely He was there all along waiting upon us to turn and look to Him. I know this to be true, for I am a happy witness of the spiritual manifestations that testify of Him, even Jesus Christ.
Additional General Conference Odyssey reports:
The Most Decisive Time is Always Now Nathaniel Givens
Counsel about Civic Engagement Michelle Linford
A Testimony of Jesus SilverRain