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Morning Session: 167th Semiannual General Conference

President Gordon B. Hinckley

President of the church

Latter-day Saints are to "turn about and face the future" in a "season of a thousand opportunities."

By early November the church will include 10 million members in all parts of the globe, with more members outside the United States than in. "The key to the succes of the work will be the faithfulness of all those who call themselves Latter-day Saints" and live their beliefs without fear.

With missionary work, temple building and humanitarian aid, "we must continue and enlarge our efforts."

Church members need to learn better to love their neighbors as friends, whether or not they are interested in the church. "Let us banish from our lives any elements of self-righteousness." Members must keep the Sabbath Day holy, observe the Word of Wisdom, pay tithing and work to maintain strong family relationships.

Perhaps the greatest concern is that "too many (families) are in trouble. This is a malady with a cure. The prescription is simple and wonderfully effective. It is love. It is plain, simple, everyday love and respect."

President James E. Faust

Second Counselor, First Presidency

"Those who extend judgment, mercy and faith and forgiveness exhibit a greatness of soul and mind consistent with the spirit of the Lord's teachings and example."

In exercising moral judgments, members must seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost, look to the counsel of priesthood leaders, including the living prophets, and demonstrate love.

Judgment can't be separated from mercy, as the Savior showed in introducing a higher standard of human conduct, which includes loving one's neighbor, exercising forgiveness and an emphasis on doing rather than on what not to do.

"We are to focus on the inward things of the heart, which we know and value intuitively, but often neglect for that which is trivial, superficial or prideful.

"Some of our greatest sins are sins of omission. These are some of the weightier matters of the law the Savior said we should not leave undone. These are the thoughtful, caring deeds we fail to do and feel so guilty for having neglected them."

Elder L. Tom Perry

Quorum of the Twelve

The scriptures contain repeated instructions to study the gospel of Christ. "To be truly converted we must understand him and how he deals with his children here on Earth."

Members must cultivate "a thirst and a desire to become acquainted with the doctrines of the kingdom."

To help members, inspired church leaders have established the seminary and institute programs, which "offer you young people a special paved road that will lead you to life eternal."

Such programs "will put a shield of protection around you" from temptations and trials.

Quoting President Hinckley, "Our great program of church education moves forward. . . . We urge all for whom it is available to take advantage of it. We do not hesitate to promise that your knowledge of the gospel will be increased, your faith will be strengthened, and you will develop wonderful associations and friendships with those of your own kind."

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Quorum of the Twelve

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to "satisfy ultimate spiritual hunger" and to allay "definitive spiritual thirst."

In a time when people need spiritual nourishment, some may actually choose to be spiritually malnourished, "willfully indulging in a kind of spiritual anorexia."

But Christ has lifted the spiritual famine spoken of in the scriptures. Only he "knows how to heal our modern wounds" and can "answer the deepest and most urgent questions of our soul."

"In spite of life's tribulations and as fearful as some of our prospects are, I testify there is help for the journey. There is the `Bread of Eternal Life' and the `Well of Living Water.' Christ has overcome the world - he's overcome our world - and his gift to us is peace now and exaltation in the world to come."

Members must have faith in and always follow him. "When he bids us to walk in his way and by his light it is because he has walked this way before us, and he has made it safe for our travel here."

Elder Harold G. Hillam

Presidency of the Seventy

Technology will surely advance, and methods of teaching will certainly change. But the personal touch by a dedicated, loving teacher who radiates the spirit is the key to teaching principles of the gospel.

Excerpts from a historic letter, written in 1899 to mark the 50-year anniversary of the Sunday School, urged the organization's objective never be forgotten: to teach children the principles of the gospel.

The letter's signatories may have seen only dimly what the next 50 years would bring regarding technological methods of gaining knowledge.

New technology including the Internet, TV and other media must "be used with wisdom and discretion if they are to bless and simplify our lives." Members should ask themselves if their use of such tools is edifying, adding value and truth to their lives.

"If the answer is not a resounding yes, then we should have the courage and determination to click the off button and direct our lives to more important tasks."