LDS General Conference Saturday: Family, Faith, Atonement (and David Archuleta)

It was a beautiful day in Salt Lake City for the opening sessions of the 182nd General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thousands converged on Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City filling the 21,000 seat Conference Center, as well as overflow into the historic Tabernacle, and many chose to listen seated outside enjoying the warm spring sunshine.

Here are a few personally meaningful excerpts of today’s talks from my note taking. When I listen to Conference I always try to watch for repeated themes and/or scriptures because that is a good sign that God really wants us to remember that point!



President Thomas S. Monson

President Thomas S. Monson
President Thomas S. Monson

Our beloved prophet, gave the opening address. He spoke about the purpose of why we meet each 6 months: to be strengthened, encouraged, comforted, and to build our faith.

“We are here to learn”

“May we continue to oppose evil wherever it may be.”

“No cause, no force in the entire world can stop the work of God.”

He reminded us of the prophesy of the prophet Joseph Smith;

“The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done” (History of the Church, 4:540).

He also emphasized our 13th Article of Faith; (my personal favorite)

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”


President Boyd K. Packer

President Boyd K. Packer

The senior member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke on the theme of Family.

“Little children are our hope”

“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3)

“Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling — from which they will never be released — is to one another and then to their children…the family is the basic organization in time and all eternity.””

“Family Time is sacred time and should be respected and protected”


Cheryl A. Esplin

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin

The second counselor in the Primary general presidency (the children’s organization of the LDS church) focused on how to teach our children about spiritual things.

“Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3 **repeated scripture alert!**)

“Teaching our children to understand is more than just imparting information. It’s helping our children get the doctrine into their hearts”


Donald L. Hallstrom

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

A Member of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Hallstrom spoke about the separate but interconnected terms of “the gospel” and “the church”.

In summary:

The Gospel = God’s Plan. Our earthly experience and test of faith combined with the coming of Jesus The Christ who provided the great Atonement for our sins and eternal salvation.

The Church = Originally established by Jesus Christ when he was on earth with prophets and apostles and priesthood authority. Restored to the earth in 1830 with prophets and apostles and priesthood authority.

“It is possible to be active in the church and less-active in the gospel.”

“..we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel.”


Paul E. Koelliker

 Elder Paul E. Koelliker 

Elder Koelliker of the Seventy addressed the question: “How do we help someone “want to know more about their Heavenly Father?”

“Finding a way to awaken and nurture that desire is the quest and responsibility of each of us — missionary, parent, teacher, leader and member”

Elder Koelliker taught that the answer is by “establishing righteous patterns“, such as humble prayer, yielding to God’s will, and showing love to one another.

“I will give unto you a pattern in all things, that ye may not be deceived; for Satan is abroad in the land, and he goeth forth deceiving the nations” – D&C 52:14


Dallin H. Oaks

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the important gospel principle of sacrifice.

“Just as the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to prepare for the destiny that plan provides for us”

“Perhaps the most familiar and most important examples of unselfish service and sacrifice are performed in our families”


Henry B. Eyring

President Henry B. Eyring

The First Counselor in the First Presidency, Pres. Eyring spoke about enduring trials. We each have “mountains to climb”. Our trials can help us to be “polished a little more.”

“Fear not what man can do for God will be with you forever and ever”

“If the foundation of faith is not strong, it will crumble and fall.”

“It is never too late to build the foundation of faith.”



Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve opened the afternoon session with the parable of the Laborers In The Vineyard (Matthew 20:1-15).

A householder that employs workers throughout the day. At the end of the day, each worker whether those who began working in the morning, or those who came only in “the eleventh hour” were all paid the same wages. The moral? God rewards each of us individually and mercifully, and it is never “to late” for any of us.

“Brothers and sisters, there are going to be times in our lives when someone else gets an unexpected blessing or receives some special recognition. May I plead with us not to be hurt — and certainly not to feel envious — when good fortune comes to another.

We are not diminished when someone else is added upon. We are not in a race against each other to see who is the wealthiest or the most talented or the most beautiful or even the most blessed.

“The race we are really in is the race against sin, and surely envy is one of the most universal of those.”


Robert D. Hales

Elder Robert D. Hales

Elder Hales (Quorum of the Twelve) spoke about becoming spiritually self-reliant. In the parable of the prodigal son, he returned home becuase “He came to himself“. Each of us can also come to our senses spiritually.

“Throughout our lives, whether in times of darkness, challenge, sorrow, or sin we may feel the Holy Ghost reminding us that we are truly sons and daughters of a caring Heavenly Father Who loves us and hunger for the sacred blessings that only He can provide,”


David S. Baxter

Elder David S. Baxter

Speaking to all of the single parents, Elder Baxter of the Seventy offered a special balm to many hearts today.

[Note: Our family also thinks he has a very cute Scottish accent!]

 “Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier, sub-category of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens.”

When things get hard, God says, ‘No, little one, you cannot come to me, but I can come to you.’


Elder Ulisses Soares

Elder Soares of the Seventy quoted President Monson by reiterating this simple truth

‘You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t be wrong by doing right,’

We always need to ask ourselves:

“Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?”

“There is a line of demarcation…stay on the Lord’s side!”


Quentin L. Cook

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Elder Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke about “staying in tune to the music of faith” (**Love that!**)

“Our great desire is to raise our children in truth and righteousness.”

While Lehi’s vision includes all people, the culminating doctrinal concept is the eternal significance of the family.

“Praying with our children may be more important than any other activity.”


Richard G. Scott

Elder Richard G. Scott

Elder Scott (Quorum of the Twelve) spoke about living so that we can always have the Holy Ghost as our guide.

“Communication with our Father in Heaven is not a trivial matter. It is a sacred privilege,”

“Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously”

Other things of note: Elder Scott mentioned how the Holy Spirit can speak to us in many ways, including in dreams. We should diligently keep a record our spiritual impressions and our spiritual records should be “carefully protected by loss or intrusion by others” .



The newest (and most popular) missionary Elder David Archuleta was spotted singing in the Saturday afternoon session as part of a special “Missionary Training Center” Choir! 🙂

Saturday March 31, 2012 Elder David Archuleta sings as part of a special “missionary training center choir” during LDS General Conference
Elder Archuleta has been called to serve as a full-time LDS missionary for the next 2 years in Chile.


  1. “newest (and most popular) missionary Elder David Archuleta” ain’t that true!

    So much respect for David. He walks the walk. A lot of people are waiting for his return on 2014. Godspeed, David! You’re gonna be great out there on the field!


  2. This was my first time watching the LDS General Conference and why? because I am not a Mormon and it was all because I am a huge fan of David Archuleta’s from the very beginning. I enjoyed listening and watching it very much. I am just so very proud of him for following his heart, his faith and doing this. I wish him the very best on his Mission. Hope he will be fulfilled in every way and I will be waiting for him to return in 2014.


    1. Pabuckie, I cant think of anything that could make David happier to hear! Thank you for joining us for General Conference and getting to know more about what David believes and why he feels it is so important to go out and serve. The enjoyable feeling you had inside while watching Conference was God’s spirit giving you a hug.


  3. I watched the afternoon session mainly so I could see David Archuleta. I enjoyed the sessions, especially the one on Envy!!! I couldn’t help but think of what David must be thinking as he thought of the Christmas Program 1.5 years ago when he was the featured singer and now ,how he is following his Journey to become a Missionary. You can see how beautiful David is inside and out. So proud of him.
    I’m so glad David was selected to be in the Choir!! Many David fans have been inspired already by David and pray for his safety. David never saw himself as a Star when he sang with Motab always giving praise to God and to the Choir.
    Hoping the other Missionaries accept David and give thanks that he sang with the Choir.


    1. Thanks for your comment, Heidijoy. I’m sure the other missionaries were very happy to welcome Elder Archuleta into their choir (especially all those seated close enough to him to enjoy some extra facetime) 🙂
      But seriously, I agree with you – David is a very humble and inspirational young. I’m very impressed with the fervor of his global fans who plan to faithfully “wait for him”.


  4. It was a great joy to see David there singing along with the Choir he so highly respects. Thank you for sharing. I also enjoyed the session on envy.
    I’m so thankful to be a fan of this outstanding young man. I’ve learned and appreciated more in my life over the last four years. Just following David’s career and watching him handle all that has been put in front of him with such class and humble appreciation has been more than inspiring!
    God be with you Elder Archuleta. I’m so proud of you!


  5. I’m a fan of David; however, I’m a bigger fan of God. Watching the choir sing brought the two of them together most beautifully. The LDS must be so proud of their young adults giving of their time and talents. May God bless all.


  6. Enjoyed conference as usual…BUT in these hard times it’s even more comforting specially the closing prayer on the Sunday Afternoon Session!

    Thank you for the comments about Elder Archuleta…Every Young Men {and women} that sacrifices two years {year an a half} of his {her} life to serve Jesus Christ, is a role model to ME!… BUT… In a WORLD where good role models for OUR YOUTH are almost impossible to find in the CELEBRITIES aisle… here’s a perfect one today….In whom not only ‘Latter Day Saints’ eyes are on BUT many others, who are watching closer and following on his success!


  7. Thank you for your post. It’s so pleasant to read your re-caps. I intend to go thru them again.
    As a die-hard fan, I thank you, thank you, for your kind comments on Elder Archuleta (that has such a nice melody to it). He is an outstanding young man, and I’m so proud of him and his desire to serve the Lord. I can only imagine his feelings yesterday as he sat at the feet of the prophets and apostles, listening and learning. I pray for him and all of the missionaries as they learn, teach, and sacrifice, to share, with others, the beauty that the message of the gospel has for everyone.


  8. I enjoyed all of conference, as usual, and my emotions swelled as did those of the various speakers. Since so many commented about Elder Archuleta, I will echo that he is a remarkable young man. I have a pleasant and wonderful memory of serving him in the baptistry of the Sacramento temple about a year ago, as he performed that proxy work. He lives what he believes, and it is that kind of love that will enhance his missionary service in Chile. I suspect that we might be able to enjoy some songs in Spanish when he returns!


    1. He already sings in Spanish Susan ; )
      He said his Mom LOVES this song…me too. He is a very sweet boy…I have a son his age and is as sweet as him!


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