I think California Mormon Standard Time is worse than about anywhere. When it was time for the meeting to start there were 20 men and 3 youth from the 3 wards that meet in the building. Of course the numbers still weren’t too great later. By the end there were 60 or so including 2 who showed up only 15 minutes before the end. There were still only 4 youth.
Elder Robert D Hales talked about these being the last days and we were engaged in standing in defense of our inalienable rights. He reminded us to put on the armor of God. He said in previous times people had to seek after trouble, today trouble comes to you, He also lamented the fact that the standards of the world have gotten farther and farther away from the Lord. He reminded us that we can’t judge our actions on where the world stands. He reminded us that “true friends” don’t ask you to stray from the gospel. He encouraged the Youth to engage in temple preparation and to go on a mission.
Even in these last days we have no need to fear as we live right and stay with the Savior and leave the world behind. We need to remember that the gospel doesn’t, and never will, bend to the political winds of the times.
Tad R. Callister of the 70s talked about Priesthood power – primarily in the Aaronic priesthood. Basically told leaders to conduct the young men the way they are supposed to. His talk in General Conference says to me too many men are falling back into the old ways of doing things and aren’t trying to teach the Youth in the ways we have been taught to use for decades now. (A little frustrating, but in small wards it’s really hard to follow all of the admonitions we’ve been given) In a nutshell, we are taught teach them how to lead, let them lead and expect them to do their duty.
David L Beck of the Seventy spoke to the Aaronic Priesthood. How to minister. Serve others and show how Heavenly Father loves everyone. Follow the Savior’s example especially in the home. strengthen your father and prepare to be a father. Honor you priesthood in how you act and treat others.
Then we sang Hope of Israel – I have loved that some for years now because it reminds me of “The Trek.” So many good memories – including my woman wearing a pioneer dress!
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf then spoke about brotherhood. He said we all have many titles in our life – as family members, workers, church members etc. He wanted to expound on four 4 key titles we all hold.
1) Son of Heavenly Father. We are not perfect, and not always worthy of that title, but we can’t don’t let Satan get us down. Think of teaching our children to walk, do we scold them for stumbling? He counseled us that the Lord doesn’t scold us for stumbling, he encourages us to get up and keep trying. We progress one step at a time. 2) His disciples. Again we are not perfect, but we are learning. The Church is not only for, or by, the perfect, just the trying. We are all different. 3) Healer of souls – reach out to those who need help. 4) Heirs to all God has. We need to serve and do all we can to be worthy to receive blessings. In the end he taught us that we need to work and learn and live the gospel.
President Henry B Eyring talked about missionary service, where ever we are. But also to avoid the things of the world. We need to take the take the gospel to the world, but where ever we are is part of that world. He talked about his military service in Albuquerque were he spent two years as a district missionary in the branch. By the end of his two year military assignment there was a stake. Members were bringing friends and neighbors to be taught. He testified of the effectiveness and need for member missionaries.
Our Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson reminded us that after his resurrection, the Lord sent the eleven to go and teach the world. He reminded us that missionary work is a defining characteristic of the Church, prepare to serve. He spoke of a four step formula to help us in that preparation. Search the scriptures with diligence. Plan your life with purpose. Teach the truth with testimony. Serve the Lord with love.