last days

Maybe I happened to be in just the right mode to receive what I heard. More likely the Spirit enlightened my mind and directed my thoughts. Either way, as the talks progressed I became more enthralled. In the very first talk we were given in the 183rd Semi Annual General Conference on Saturday October 5 I noted something of importance that I had never before considered.

Elder Robert D. Hales said, “In recent decades the Church has largely been spared the terrible misunderstandings and persecutions experienced by the early Saints. It will not always be so.

The world is moving away from the Lord faster and farther than ever before. The adversary has been loosed upon the earth. We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected.

For example, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” was given long before we experienced the challenges now facing the family. “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” was prepared in advance of when we will need it most.

We may not know all the reasons why the prophets and conference speakers address us with certain topics in conference, but the Lord does.”

A small bit of enlightenment glowed as I absorbed the message. The Lord through His prophets, seers and revelators is preparing His children in advance through general conferences. What is the Lord preparing us for this time?! As I continued to listen to each presenter I noticed a few patterns.

And so I decided to combine them. Yes, this is long!! It took me ‘forever’!!!! And yet there are other themes to consider that I haven’t included for example ‘reaching out’ was mention at least three times and ‘conversion’, besides being a whole topic was mentioned by more than one speaker.

Had you noticed these same themes? Are they more prevalent this time than in past conferences? Have I missed anything that you noticed in particular? Share your thoughts.

Last Days, Hasten my Work,

Voice of Warning, the Time is Now

“And when we are converted, we strengthen each other to stand strong amid the fiery darts of these last days.” Robert D Hales

“I testify that as we follow the example of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and raise our hands to the square with action in sustaining our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, we will find peace, comfort, and joy, and we “shall eat the good of the land … in these last days”  Edward Dube

“Behold, I will hasten my work in its time” …Brothers and sisters, that time is now! I feel it, and I’m sure you do also.” Elder S Gifford Nielson

“My message this afternoon is that the Lord is hastening His work.” M. Russell Ballard

“I will compare some circumstances of our day with those in the days of Jeremiah before the downfall of Jerusalem. In presenting this voice of warning, I am grateful…” Quentin L. Cook  

“Given the urgent need for spiritual preparation in a time of such peril, I want to extend a word of warning about one very strong sign of the times.”  Adrian Ochoa

Perilous Times, Adversity, Trials

“Paul and others warned about the trials of our time and the days yet to come.”   President Boyd K Packer

“The Apostle Paul prophesied and warned that “in the last days perilous times shall come.” President Boyd K Packer

Perilous Times

“We can review each of these prophecies and put a checkmark by them as being present and of concern in the world today: Perilous times—present. We live in very precarious times.” President Boyd K Packer

“The descriptions Paul and Moroni give of our day are so accurate that they cannot be dismissed.” President Boyd K Packer

“We live in perilous times; nevertheless, we can find hope and peace for ourselves and for our families.” President Boyd K Packer

“He alone offers us eternal peace in times of adversity…Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times, He is with us.” President Thomas S. Monson 

“As we continually hold fast to the rod by keeping our covenants, we will be strengthened to resist the temptations and perils of the world.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“But the perilous times are now upon us. Today is the time to look to the Source of truth and ensure that our testimonies are strong.”  Adrian Ochoa

“We live in the stormy, perilous days that Paul described” Adrian Ochoa

Strengthen, Protection, Safety

“We watch, hear, read, study, and share the words of prophets to be forewarned and protected.” Robert D. Hales

“And if we listen and obey the prophets now, including those who will speak in this very conference, we will be strengthened and protected.”  Robert D. Hales

“And when we are converted, we strengthen each other to stand strong amid the fiery darts of these last days.” Robert D. Hales

“…The only safety we have as members of this church is to … give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet.” Robert D. Hales

“But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not:

and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:32

“I testify that those who put their trust in the Lord and heed this counsel in faith will gain great strength to bless themselves and their families for generations to come.” Robert D. Hales

“Anytime, anywhere, we can enlarge our knowledge, strengthen our faith and testimony, protect our families, and lead them safely home.” Robert D. Hales

“On LDS.org you will find resources to help you study the gospel, strengthen your home and family, and serve in your calling.” Robert D. Hales

protection-shield…a knight in armor to teach me about putting on the whole armor of God and the spiritual protection it brings. Robert D. Hales

“The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection.”  President Boyd K Packer

“But peace can be settled in the heart of each who turns to the scriptures and unlocks the promises of protection and redemption that are taught therein.” President Boyd K. Packer

“I bear certain witness of the scriptures as a key to our spiritual protection.”  President Boyd K. Packer

“In Paul’s revelation, in addition to the list of challenges and problems, he also tells us what we can do to protect ourselves” President Boyd K. Packer

“I promise you in His name that if you pray with a sincere desire to hear your Heavenly Father’s voice in the messages of this conference, you will discover that He has spoken to you to help you, to strengthen you, and to lead you home into His presence.” Robert D. Hales

“The stripling warriors…prayed earnestly that God would strengthen and deliver them out of the hands of their enemies.” David A. Bednar 

“Opposition, rather, is the indispensable element of mortality and strengthens our will and refines our choices.” Timothy J Dyches

“Do not run faster than you have strength. Whatever else you may or may not be able to provide, you can offer your prayers and you can give “love unfeigned.” Jeffrey R. Holland

“The Savior taught Peter, “When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Bonnie L Oscarson

“…it is important to remember that the spiritual strength we develop will help us successfully endure all the challenges we face in life.” Richard J. Maynes

“Our ability to endure to the end in righteousness will be in direct proportion to the strength of our testimony and the depth of our conversion.” Richard J. Maynes

“Being spiritually prepared means we have developed spiritual stamina or strength—we will be in good shape spiritually.” Richard J. Maynes

“So whatever challenges you wake up to each morning, remember—with the spiritual strength you develop, coupled with the Lord’s help…” Richard J. Maynes

“May the Spirit of the Lord inspire us all to develop within ourselves the strength to endure.” Richard J. Maynes

“We need strong testimonies that will lead to true conversion, and as a result we will find within ourselves the inner peace and strength needed to endure whatever challenges we may face.” Richard J. Maynes

“Today I expound on one aspect of that power, which is the personal strength we can receive through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.” Richard G. Scott

“…because of their obedience to the counsel of their priesthood leader, the Savior was able to protect them from their weaknesses and strengthen them. Their humble, lifelong commitment to forsaking their sins did more to protect their families than anything they could have done on the battlefield. Their submission did not deprive them of blessings. It strengthened them and blessed them and blessed future generations.” Richard G. Scott

“Their families were blessed, protected, and strengthened.” Richard G. Scott

“…each of you can feel the elevating power of the Lord’s forgiveness, mercy, and strength. I have felt it, and I testify that it is available to each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Richard G. Scott

“…because of their obedience to the counsel of their priesthood leader, the Savior was able to protect them from their weaknesses and strengthen them. Their humble, lifelong commitment to forsaking their sins did more to protect their families than anything they could have done on the battlefield.” Richard G. Scott

“The spiritual protections built around the Ammonite fathers blessed and strengthened themselves, their families, their country, and future generations. The same can be true with us.” Richard G. Scott

strength“The more the storm, the more the strength.” President Thomas S Monson

“Let us be at the forefront in protecting time for family.” Quentin L. Cook

“Our primary emphasis, however, should always be to make any necessary sacrifices to protect our own family and the rising generation.” Quentin L. Cook 

“…we can live every hour “blessed by the strength of priesthood power,” whatever our circumstance.”  Neil L. Anderson

“Whatever your situation, your home will be “blessed by the strength of priesthood power” and those close to you will more fully desire these blessings for themselves.” Neil L Anderson

“Through the ordinances of the priesthood, this young couple and all of us receive comfort, strength, protection, peace, and eternal promises.” Neil L Anderson

“I testify that as you worthily participate in the ordinances of the priesthood, the Lord will give you greater strength, peace, and eternal perspective.” Neil L Anderson

“Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.” David M. McConkie

“Your own testimony will grow, your conversion will be deepened, and you will be strengthened to meet the challenges of life.” David M. McConkie

“As we continually hold fast to the rod by keeping our covenants, we will be strengthened to resist the temptations and perils of the world.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“God’s promise to us in return is His Spirit as a guide and protection.Kevin S. Hamilton

“May we choose to be diligent and gain the great blessings and protections that come from gathering together and keeping covenants.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“Let us cherish and strengthen our testimonies every day.” Adrian Ochoa

“May you constantly nourish your testimonies of the gospel that they will be a protection to you against the buffetings of the adversary.” President Thomas S. Monson

Faith, Patience

“Through conferences our faith is fortified and our testimonies deepened.” Elder Robert D Hales 

“There will be some things that take patience and faith.” Robert D Hales

“But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; … and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.” Robert D Hales

“Meekness is the quality of those who are “Godfearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering.” Ulisses Soares

“At these moments and in other difficult situations, we must learn to control our temper and convey our feelings with patience and gentle persuasion” Ulisses Soares

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient…” Ulisses Soares

“Assurance, peace, faith, and hope initially might not seem like the blessings warriors in battle might want, but they were precisely the blessings these valiant young men needed to press forward and prevail physically and spiritually.” David A. Bednar

“Your faith strengthens my faith.” David A. Bednar

“We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience.” David A. Bednar

“Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information and we just need a bit more patience.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

hourglass“Have faith and patience in the Savior’s timing and purposes for you.”  Timothy J Dyches

“If those are only small victories, be grateful for them and be patient. Dozens of times in the scriptures, the Lord commands someone to “stand still” or “be still”—and wait. Patiently enduring some things is part of our mortal education.” Jeffrey R Holland

“…let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Richard J. Maynes 

“…the heavenly virtue of patience is required President” President Thomas S Monson

“Job kept the faith. Will we do likewise as we face those challenges which will be ours?” President Thomas S Monson

“It is a pleasure, and it is a satisfaction and joy to know that men lay down their lives in righteousness, in the faith, true to the faith.” Richard J. Maynes

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faithRichard J. Maynes

“The sons were fortified by the faith of their mothers” Richard G. Scott

“They were faithful and spiritually stronger when they returned home” Richard G. Scott

“Father in Heaven has provided us tools that help to build the fortifications between our vulnerabilities and our faithfulness.” Richard G. Scott

“Serve faithfully in all Church callings…” Richard G. Scott

“We should not need to experience difficulties for us to remember Him, and we should not be driven to humility before giving Him our faith and trust.” President Thomas S. Monson

“We know that the power of the holy priesthood does not work independently of faith, the Holy Ghost, and spiritual gifts.” Neil L. Anderson

“Our faith is strengthened as we study the scriptures and learn more about the restored gospel.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“Nourish your faith and testimony with the word of God.” Adrian Ochoa

“They (faithful people) love God as a close friend, and He takes care of them.” Terence M. Vinson

“…the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him.” Terence M. Vinson

“He said, “I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; … for if they humble themselves … and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”  Russell M. Nelson

“Nourish your faith and testimony with the word of God.” Adrian Ochoa

 Study

“…I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when I study them in greater depth.” Robert D. Hales

“In addition to inviting us to hold personal and family scripture study, Heavenly Father wants us to regularly study and apply what we have learned in conference.” Robert D. Hales

“On LDS.org you will find resources to help you study the gospel, strengthen your home and family, and serve in your calling.” Robert D. Hales

“We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ” Richard J. Maynes 

“Our faith is strengthened as we study the scriptures and learn more about the restored gospel.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“Continually holding fast to the rod means that we strive to keep all of God’s commandments, to have daily personal and family prayer, and to study the scriptures daily.” Kevin S. Hamilton

“His doctrine is ours to study, understand, and uphold.” Russell M Nelson

Repeated Scripturesstudy

“The Apostle Paul prophesied and warned that “in the last days perilous times shall come.

“For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”” President Boyd K. Packer

 

“We live in the stormy, perilous days that Paul described: “Men shall be lovers of their own selves, … disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, … false accusers, incontinent, … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2–4).” Adrian Ochoa

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“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” S. Gifford Nielson

 

“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (D&C 18:15–16). Arnulfo Valenzuela

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE General Conference! I know I’m not alone when I say I love our leaders, love the uplifting lasting spirit that they bring, love their encouragement that permeates my being. I love that each conference there is something totally unexpectedly directed personally for my ears and heart! And that is true for each of us who choose to make the time to enjoy the feast!general conference

There may not be any brand new teaching in the words of the speakers, however as each expresses the message the Lord has impressed on their heart, truth is magnified and anyone, Latter Day Saint member or not, cannot help but be edified and filled with sweet morsels of truth to carry on until next time.

I would never be able to choose which my favorite talk was. I delight in feeling the depth of each speaker’s spirit, their genuine desire to communicate truth, matters of great importance impressed on their hearts by God, and their fervent love of the gospel. They teach and help us prepare for the days ahead. We are filled with hope and faith and each buoyed up with courage and truth eternal which will never pass away.

Not because I deem them favorites but because their messages did resonate with me, I’ve chosen to list the promises I heard from two of the talks.

 “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” Doctrine and Covenants 38:30

I believe we are living in the longed for end days prophesied since the beginning. I recently have renewed my interest, passion and desire to be as informed as possible regarding the coming days so that I may be prepared.

Elder Bruce Porter addressed these turbulent, uncertain, and difficult times. Feel free to ponder the meanings that these promises hold for you. 🙂 May each one serve to uplift and be an encouragement to you.

  1. In the world ye shall have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world
  2. If they seek prayerfully for help and guidance they shall be given power over adverse things
  3. We need not fear the future nor falter in hope and good cheer because God is with us
  4. Be of good cheer and do not fear for I the Lord am with you and will stand by you
  5. The Lord will stand by His church and people and keep them in safety until His coming
  6. There will be peace in Zion and in her stakes for He has proclaimed that the gathering together upon the land of Zion and upon her stakes may be for a defense and for a refuge from the storm and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth
  7. The church stands as a bulwark of safety for its members
  8. Though conditions in the world may become very vexing at times faithful Latter Day Saints will find sanctuary in the stakes of Zion
  9. The stone cut without human hands shall roll forth until it has filled the whole earth and no human power can stay its course for God is the author of this work and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone
  10. In the last days the power of the lamb of God will descend upon the covenant people of the Lord and they will be armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory
  11. Every one of us and our families can be armed with the power of God as a defense if we will but remain true to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and let the Spirit be our guide
  12. Trials may come and we may not understand everything happening to us or around us, but if we humbly and quietly trust in the Lord He will give us guidance and strength in every challenge we face
  13. When our only desire is to please Him we will be blessed with deep inner peace

“When surrounded by mobs with death and destruction threatening on every hand

I am not aware but that I felt just as joyful and well  in my spirit as I do now.

Prospects might appear dull and very dark but I have never seen a time in this gospel

but what I knew that the result would be beneficial to the cause of truth” Brigham Young 

14. Even in a darkening world we as Latter Day Saints may sing with joy knowing that the powers of heaven are with God’s church and people

15. We may rejoice in the knowledge that a beautiful morning lies ahead-the dawn of the Millennial Day when the Son of God shall rise in the east and rein again on earth

 

Which of Elder Porter’s promises do you feel is most comforting?

 

As I began to list the promises in President Henry B. Eyring’s talk, I realized that so very much of it is promises-more than one per minute! Can you find more?

  1. I will draw near unto you
  2. Ye shall find me
  3. Ye shall receive
  4. It shall be opened unto you
  5. In our service to Him He comes to us
  6. I will encircle thee in the arms of My love
  7. We will feel our love for Him. It will increase because we will feel His power and His drawing near to us
  8. I will go before your face
  9. I will be on your right hand and on your left
  10. My Spirit shall be in your hearts and mine angels around about you to bear you up
  11. As we give devoted service to Him, He draws closer to those we love in our families
  12. I will do for (your families) as seemeth me good for in Me there is all power
  13. The prayers of those who exercise their faith will bring the Lord’s servants to help your family members
  14. They will help them choose the way home to God
  15. I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best
  16. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing closer as you reach out your arms in giving service
  17. The Lord’s power will sustain you
  18. There is a glorious homecoming prepared for us
  19. We will then see fulfilled the promises of the Lord we have loved
  20. If ye keep my commandments and endure to the end ye shall have eternal life which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God
  21. Those that live shall inherit the earth
  22. Those that die shall rest from all their labors
  23. They shall receive a crown in the mansions of my Father which I have prepared for them
  24. Every covenant servant of His within His Kingdom on earth and in the spirit world will receive His guidance by the Spirit as they bless and serve others for Him
  25. And they will feel His love and find joy in being drawn closer to Him
  26. (The judgement) will be a time of joy for those who have drawn close to Him in His service in this life

What did you most like about this General Conference?