Preparing for Conference
marzo 28, 2015
A talk given by Affirmation Board member Tom Christofferson at the Affirmation Fireside, Salt Lake City, April 4, 2014
We come together tonight on the eve of General Conference, a time some will be approaching with eager anticipation and some with trepidation. President Harold B. Lee is often quoted having said, “The function of the Church is something like one man’s definition of the function of the newspaper – to comfort the afflicted, and to afflict those who are too comfortable.”1 Whether or not we feel we are too comfortable, I would guess that many could call to mind examples of addresses in the most recent General Conference that comforted, and addresses that afflicted. So what are we to do as we go forward with that feeling of having been afflicted in the past by what we have heard in a session of Conference? Some may have already decided that they no longer desire to participate; some may be taking an approach of listening on tenterhooks, dreading the moment when they have to grit their teeth, knowing that the longest addresses are only twenty minutes, most are fifteen or twelve.
However, I would like to suggest and explore with you tonight an alternative approach to preparing for and participating in General Conference.
Before we discuss that approach, may I say that my own perspective is shaped by having been born into an active Mormon family, growing up in the church, filling a mission, and then coming to a period in my life where I felt I had reached the breaking point and could either be fully who I felt I was as a gay man, or could continue trying to be what I was not, a straight man, in order to be a practicing Mormon, but at that time I could not see a way to do both. Over the years and with my beloved companion, Clarke, having done some searching among other theologies, I came to the same conclusion as Peter: “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”2
Therefore, about seven years ago I strongly felt the desire to return to my gospel home and integrate myself as best I could as a gay Latter-day Saint.
And while I don’t know all of you, I do know many LGBT/SSA Latter-day Saints, families and friends who participate in Affirmation, and although we are each in different stages of our journeys, may I share with you some information that I have noticed about the many attributes and aspirations that you collectively possess?
You have had experiences in your life, as a convert to the church, as a missionary, as a child or as an adult where you have felt the Spirit of the Lord in your life testifying to you of the goodness and love of our Heavenly Father, and of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Your experiences in the church and in the world have made you sensitive to the aspirations and desires of others, and you seek to be a peacemaker and to be part of creating a world that is more just and kind. You have at times felt yourself to be outside the circle of societal norms, and perhaps at odds with family members and with members of the church. Because of that experience, you are more aware of others around you who are different in some way either externally visible or internally sensed, and your desire is to draw an inclusive circle where all are known, welcomed and loved. You are aware of your talents and abilities and you yearn to be able to contribute these more fully in your family, in the church, and in the world around you. You desire to be of service to others and to gain the gift of charity, the pure love of Christ, and to be filled with and act with that love more consistently and more generously each day. You know what it feels like to enlarge your soul, to be part of something greater than yourself, to share in a common purpose with others of like hearts and minds, and you seek to make something of your life that transcends the concerns of the workaday world, which will ennoble your soul. Perhaps with great consistency, or perhaps only in rare moments of strength and resolve, you see in your prayers, your scripture study, your attendance at church a framework to build stronger faith, and especially to gain greater clarity in understanding the will of the Father in your life. Your ultimate desire is to hear the words, “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”3
In a Conference address a couple years ago, Elder Neil L. Andersen made what to me is an astute and powerful observation: when he said: “Wherever you now find yourself on the road of discipleship, you are on the right road, the road toward eternal life.”4
As I observe where you and I find ourselves this evening, we are all on that right road of discipleship toward eternal life.
The undergirding attribute of all disciples is faith, remembering Alma’s explanation, “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.”5 We have faith that we are children of heavenly parents who know, and eternally have known, each of us, our hopes and struggles, and who love us without reservation; we have faith in the Messianic role of the Savior, and in the enabling power of his atoning sacrifice on our behalf.6 The alternative approach I mentioned earlier that I am suggesting for your consideration is that we watch, listen or attend Conference with a focus on four ways to increase our faith as disciples of the Savior. First, our faith will grow by listening through the Spirit; second, our faith will grow by learning through personal revelation; third, our faith will grow through the love we show to Heavenly Father and to His children; and, fourth, our faith will grow as we labor to accomplish His will in our lives.7 In this conversation we will examine the scriptures together, remind ourselves what modern prophets, seers and revelators have said; and, I pray that we will do so with a sense of our Heavenly Father’s great love for each one of us, and with the enlightening influence of the Holy Ghost.
What are the four ways to use our participation in General Conference to increase our faith?
First: Listen Through The Spirit
In order to listen, we need to free our minds and hearts of a focus on past challenges and wounds in order to enable ourselves to be fully present to hear and feel what will be said. In the beautiful hymn we sing to the glorious music of Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia, Katherina von Schlegel penned the timeless words:
Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav’nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul: Thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: The waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.
Be still, my soul: The hour is hast’ning on
When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: When change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.8
The explicit purpose of General Conference is that we may be filled with the Spirit. In the forty-fourth section of the Doctrine & Covenants, the Lord commanded the church to gather together for a conference, saying, “And it shall come to pass, that inasmuch as they are faithful, and exercise faith in me, I will pour out my Spirit upon them in the day that they assemble themselves together.”9 And in the pattern we see so often, the Lord also indicated the blessings that would follow obedience to the command: “That your enemies may not have power over you; that you may be preserved in all things; that you may be enabled to keep my laws; that every bond may be broken wherewith the enemy seeketh to destroy my people.”10 I am particularly grateful for that promise of enabling power.
In General Conference in October of last year, Elder Robert D. Hales provided insight into the process of creating a conference address: “These conferences are always under the direction of the Lord, guided by His Spirit. We are not assigned specific topics. Over weeks and months, often through sleepless nights, we wait upon the Lord. Through fasting, praying, studying, and pondering, we learn the message that He wants us to give…. Conference messages come to us after prayerful preparation, through the Holy Ghost.”11
President Thomas S. Monson, in his introductory remarks to the same Conference said, “Now, brothers and sisters, we have come here to be instructed and inspired. Many messages, covering a variety of gospel topics, will be given during the next two days. Those men and women who will speak to you have sought heaven’s help concerning the messages they will give. It is my prayer that we may be filled with the Spirit of the Lord as we listen and learn.”12
As we listen to each speaker, and to the music, we have an opportunity to reach beyond ourselves and perhaps even beyond our preconceptions. President Heber J. Grant related an experience of a time when in spite of the limitations of the speaker, the effect on him of the witness of the Spirit was profound. “(W)hen I was a young man, probably seventeen or eighteen years of age, I heard the late Bishop Millen Atwood preach a sermon in the Thirteenth Ward. I was studying grammar at the time, and he made some grammatical errors in his talk. I wrote down his first sentence, smiled to myself, and said: “I am going to get here tonight, during the thirty minutes that Brother Atwood speaks, enough material to last me for the entire winter in my night school grammar class.” We had to take to the class … four sentences a week, that were not grammatically correct, together with our corrections. I contemplated making my corrections and listening to Bishop Atwood’s sermon at the same time. But I did not write anything more after that first sentence—not a word; and when Millen Atwood stopped preaching, tears were rolling down my cheeks, tears of gratitude and thanksgiving that welled up in my eyes because of the marvelous testimony which that man bore of the divine mission of Joseph Smith, the prophet of God, and of the wonderful inspiration that attended the prophet in all his labors. Although it is now more than sixty-five years since I listened to that sermon, it is just as vivid today, and the sensations and feelings that I had are just as fixed with me as they were the day I heard it…. That testimony made the first profound impression that was ever made upon my heart and soul of the divine mission of the prophet…. this was the first testimony that had melted me to tears under the inspiration of the Spirit of God to that man.”13
Second: Learn Through Personal Revelation
As Joseph Smith taught, “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it”.14 So the primary thing we should learn through revelation is the reality of Jesus, His divine sonship, His role as the Christ, “the anointed Messiah”, the redeeming power of His sacrifice that all may be resurrected, and through the enabling power of His atonement we may be justified and sanctified and therefore exalted.15
In the 131st Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, we read: “It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.”16 And in Mosiah, “Hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view”.17
Some of the messages we will hear may help provide answers to our individual concerns; others may challenge our current understanding. As LGBT/SSA Latter-day Saints, while we desire to know the answers to the large questions of our lives — our place in the Plan of Salvation, our opportunities to love and be loved in this life, the ways in which we can serve and bless the lives of those around us -– we are left to work out the answers day by day, prayer by prayer. You may be familiar with a quotation from Elder Dallin H. Oaks as it seems to appear often in Facebook groups and blogs, the gist of which is: “If you feel you are a special case so that the strong counsel I have given doesn’t apply to you, please don’t write me a letter…. As a general authority it is my responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules…. But don’t ask me to give an opinion on your exception. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.”.18 That’s really our challenge, isn’t it, as we listen to Conference: to discern the counsel to which I as an individual may claim exception, versus the counsel that is the prick of conscience for which I need to ponder, pray and change course. Our ability to learn to act in faith as we move forward on our path of discipleship is a function of our ability to receive and discern personal revelation.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie, speaking at a BYU devotional, said, “I desire to point attention … to the fact that revelation is not restricted to the prophet of God on earth. The visions of eternity are not reserved for Apostles—they are not reserved for the General Authorities. Revelation is something that should come to every individual. God is no respecter of persons19, and every soul, in the ultimate sense, is just as precious in his sight as the souls of those that are called to positions of leadership. Because he operates on principles of eternal, universal and never-deviating law, any individual that abides the law which entitles him to get revelation can know exactly and precisely what any prophet knows, can entertain angels just as well as Joseph Smith entertained them, and can be in tune in full measure with all of the things of the Spirit.20… Our concern is to get personal revelation, to know for ourselves, independent of any other individual or set of individuals, what the mind and the will of the Lord is … as pertaining to us in our individual concerns…. Providentially, every member of the Church … is given … “the gift of the Holy Ghost” which, by definition, means that he then has the right to the constant companionship of this member of the Godhead, based upon his personal righteousness and faithfulness…. It was Moses who said: “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them”.21 It was Paul who said we should “covet to prophesy”22.23
Elder Robert D. Hales has written: “As we grow in the gospel, it is natural to have questions and sometimes even doubts. Genuine questions can actually fuel our spiritual growth. As we study and seek answers, doubts about matters of religion that arise from a lack of knowledge can be constructively resolved. We might ask, How do we question without becoming suspicious and losing our desire to believe? At various times in our lives, questions arise on policies, procedures, and even principles. Our attitude, or how we ask the question, is vitally important. If we demand an answer on our terms, we may not see the answer the Lord is providing for us. Or if we have strong feelings about a matter and become unwilling to listen, we may not understand the answer when it is given. To receive answers to our genuine questions, seeking with a humble heart and an open mind is the first step. Then, sincere study and prayer and counseling with priesthood leaders give us opportunities to increase in understanding. As we do, our faith grows, our testimony is strengthened, and our doubts begin to flee away …. Heavenly Father … wants to help us grow. Therefore, He allows us to be engaged in seeking answers for ourselves.
Elder Hales concludes, “My personal experience is that answers to our prayers often come slowly over an extended period of time. As we act upon the feelings of our hearts, feelings of peace, comfort, and confirmation grow within us, and we know that we are on the right course.”24
May I contrast the process for gaining personal revelation we have just reviewed with the procedure I might go through in order to find a good restaurant? In the latter circumstance, I look online to find a large number of recommendations and see what the consensus is; I may also ask friends who have dined there for their ratings. In so doing, the more views and votes I can access, the better will be my information. However, in the situation where I am trying to ascertain the mind and will of the Lord for my life, there is only one voice that can authoritatively answer my query, and that is through the Holy Ghost. In Alma we read, “Behold, I say unto you they are made known unto me by the Holy Spirit of God. Behold, I have fasted and prayed many days that I might know these things of myself. And now I do know of myself that they are true; for the Lord God hath made them manifest unto me by his Holy Spirit; and this is the spirit of revelation which is in me.”25 And as Brigham Young said, “How shall we know that we obey [God]? There is but one method by which we can know it, and that is by the inspiration of the Spirit of the Lord witnessing unto our spirit that we are His, that we love Him, and that He loves us. It is by the spirit of revelation that we know this.”26
Knowledge certified as true by the Holy Ghost yields understanding and produces an illumination, a comprehension, a perspective, and a depth of desire and commitment not obtainable through reason alone. As President Harold B. Lee frequently taught, “When we understand more than we know with our minds, when we understand with our hearts, then we know that the Spirit of the Lord is working upon us”.27
I agree with Nephi: “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”28 Therefore, what to me is a very comforting insight from Joseph Smith: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel – you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.”29
Third: Grow in Faith Through Loving Heavenly Father and His Children
In his earthly ministry, the Savior taught us that the sum and substance of the gospel is love. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”30 He also taught us that love is a principle of action, and of consistent effort. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”31 It is in the daily living of our lives, the ordinariness of our contact with colleagues at work, with members of our families and of our wards, with strangers on the street that we demonstrate our love for the Lord our God and for His children. Fortunately, as in all our efforts we are not left alone: our Heavenly Father will give us strength to do His will, and we also may gain power through unity with other disciples.
A couple of years ago I was traveling on business in Asia the week following General Conference. I was in Singapore on Sunday and looked up the address for the nearest ward to my hotel. When I arrived, I found that since Conference occurred in the middle of the night local time, their practice for the two Sundays following General Conference was to show each week the videos of one day of Conference sessions, and for the members to bring food so that all in attendance could share a large picnic lunch together between sessions. Current technology would certainly have allowed every member and family to watch the sessions at a convenient time in the comfort of their own homes, so I was moved by this display of their unity. In Moses we read: “And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”32
“The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live….”33 As we consider the unity required for Zion to flourish, we should ask ourselves…. Are we individually and as a people free from strife and contention and united “according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom”?34 Forgiveness of one another is essential to this unity. Jesus said, “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men”35.
“We will become of one heart and one mind as we individually place the Savior at the center of our lives and follow those He has commissioned to lead us.”36
We may pray, as Parley P. Pratt wrote in the concluding verse of the beautiful hymn “Father in Heaven, We Do Believe”: “Baptize us with the Holy Ghost And seal us as thine own, That we may join the ransomed host And with the Saints be one.” 37 Before we leave the topic of growing faith through our love for Heavenly Father and His children, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the enormous gratitude I feel for my parents and how they have over decades approached the challenge of reconciling their rock-solid commitment to the gospel with their love of a gay son. My parents were married for nearly sixty-eight years before my dear mother passed away two and a half years ago. Happily, we just celebrated my wonderful father’s ninety-fourth birthday. My parents made a decision very early on that nothing need break the circle of love that binds our family together. We may not be able to reach complete perfection in many aspects of this life, but we can be perfect in the unconditional love of parents for children, and children for parents and each other. The eternal principles of the gospel help us to have even greater determination: since we want to be together forever, we should treat each other every day in a way that reflects that desire. My parents and I have had many opportunities over the years, on trips together and in quiet times in my home or theirs to talk about many things. I recall one conversation with my father where I told him how much I love him and how greatly I appreciate the charity and empathy he shows to me. He was quiet for a few moments and then said, “I’ve thought about what would have happened if I went home and told my father I was gay, and I’m very sure he would have thrown me out of the house and had nothing to do with me ever again.” Then he said, “I think each generation gets better at parenting and learning to show our love.” On another occasion just a few years ago my parents and I talked about how best we could be united in our prayers; we came to the determination that we could acknowledge in our prayers our faith that Heavenly Father is perfectly righteous and perfectly just, and that some of the things we don’t understand today we leave in His hands. I also know they have never ceased praying that there would be a way for me to fully return to membership in the church, likewise for Clarke, and that is another prayer in which we have been united. I am so very grateful for the example I have seen of perfect love on earth.
Fourth: Labor to Accomplish His Will in Our Lives
Elder David A. Bednar frequently refers in his Conference addresses and his writing to the principle that is perhaps of greatest importance to us as we seek to become disciples of the Savior, “As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances, rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who “act” rather than objects to be “acted upon”38.39 I cannot imagine an audience to whom that truth is of more comfort, and of more urgency, than to LGBT/SSA Saints. Speaking from the perspective of my own experience at the midpoint of my life, I am grateful for the traits and talents that I feel are intrinsically bound with being gay. I feel they have made me more susceptible to an understanding and acceptance of others, and make my heart more eager to follow the path of the Master. The call of discipleship is no small thing. As James said, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”40 And Nephi’s words which I’m sure we could all recite in unison: “And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”41
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has said, “(E)ach of these conferences marks a call to action not only in our own lives but also on behalf of others around us, those who are of our own family and faith and those who are not….. in October of 1856 … President Brigham Young’s inspiring general conference message to the Saints, [was] simply “go and bring in those people now on the plains.” As surely as the rescue of those in need was the general conference theme of October 1856, so too is it the theme of this conference and last conference and the one to come next spring. It may not be blizzards and frozenearth burials that we face this conference, but the needy are still out there—the poor and the weary, the discouraged and downhearted … Take your team and wagon; load it with your love, your testimony, and a spiritual sack of flour; then drive in any direction. The Lord will lead you to those in need if you will but embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ that has been taught in this conference. Open your heart and your hand to those trapped in the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Martin’s Cove and Devil’s Gate. In doing so we honor the Master’s repeated plea on behalf of lost sheep and lost coins and lost souls. “42
And, as a reminder that each of these four actions on the path of discipleship we have discussed is a manifestation of our faith, Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, “It takes faith to persist in doing good, particularly quiet good, for which there is no recognition.”43
May I conclude this section with a portion of the history of Joseph Millett that is likely familiar from a short film that was made a few years ago? Said he: “One of my children came in, said that Brother Newton Hall’s folks were out of bread. Had none that day. I put…our flour in [a] sack to sent up to Brother Hall’s. Just then Brother Hall came in. Says I, “Brother Hall, how are you out for flour.” “Brother Millett, we have none.” “Well Brother Hall, there is some in that sack. I have divided and was going to sent it to you. Your children told mine that you were out.” Brother Hall began to cry. Said he had tried others. Could not get any. Went to the cedars and prayed to the Lord and the Lord told him to go to Joseph Millett. “Well, Brother Hall, you needn’t bring this back if the Lord sent you for it. You don’t owe me for it.” Brother Millett concluded, “You can’t tell how glad it made me feel to know that the Lord knew that there was such a person as Joseph Millett.44
As Jesus promised, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”45
I know that your road of discipleship, and my road, will continue to impel us to listen, to learn, to love and to labor. I give you my witness that our Heavenly Father knows and is attentive to each of us. He has given us our abilities and talents in order to lift others; He has given to us “to be the salt of the earth”46 “and the savor of men”47. I testify with Paul that His “grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong”48. All the answers that we seek may not be immediately available to us, but as with His children in days past, the Lord will provide “daily bread” to sustain us as we persevere in seeking Him.49 I also witness, with Elder Maxwell, that “The unrelenting reality, brothers and sisters, is that we are never very far away from the need for “faith unto repentance,” including repentance of our sins of omission. Such faith unto repentance is not just for next year or next month or next week, but also for [today and] tomorrow.”50 I pray that the experience of the next two days will provide a renewal and a deepening of our desires for discipleship, as well as an opportunity to receive revelation specifically applicable to each one of us to know how we may act in faith, how we may access the enabling power of the atonement in order that our actions will draw us ever nearer to the Lord, to know how our lives of faith and love can bless all around us, and a time to again “sing the song of redeeming love”51 in gratitude for the grace of our Savior. I say these things in His name, Jesus Christ, amen.
1 The Teachings of Harold B. Lee
2 John 6:67-68
3 Matthew 5:21
4 “What Thinks Christ of Me?”, Elder Neil L. Andersen, April 2012 General Conference
5 Alma 32:21
6 “Grace”, Bible Dictionary
7 Variation of a theme in Area Conference addresses of Elder Thomas S. Monson, as quoted by President N. Eldon Tanner, October 1976 General Conference)
8 Hymns, 124
9 Doctrine and Covenants 44:2
10 Doctrine and Covenants 44:5
11 “General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony”, October 2013 General Conference
12 “Welcome to Conference”, October 2013 General Conference
13 Heber J. Grant, Gospel Standards, compiled by G. Homer Durham
14 Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith , 49
15 See Doctrine and Covenants 20:30-31 and 88:68; Moses 6:59-60; Helaman 3:35
16 Doctrine and Covenants 131:6
17 Mosiah 2:9
18 “The Dedication of a Lifetime”, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, CES Fireside, May 1, 2005
19 Acts 10:34
20 Alma 26:21—22
21 Numbers 11:29
22 1 Corinthians 14:39
23 BYU Devotional, 11 October 1966; published as “How to Get Personal Revelation,” Ensign, June 1980, pp. 46-50
24 Return: The Four Phases of our Mortal Journey Home, Elder Robert D. Hales, Deseret Book Company
25 Alma 5:46
26 Journal of Discourses, 12:99
27 President Harold B. Lee, “When Your Heart Tells You Things Your Mind Does Not Know,” The New Era, February 1971
28 1 Nephi 11:17
29 Teachings: Joseph Smith, 268
30 1 John 4:7-8
31 Matthew 22:37-40
32 Moses 7:18
33 Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society course of study, 2007, 186
34 Doctrine and Covenants 105:4
35 Doctrine and Covenants 64:10
36 “Come to Zion”, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, October 2008 General Conference
37 Hymns, 180
38 2 Nephi 2:26
39 “In the Strength of the Lord”, Elder David A. Bednar, BYU Devotional, October 2001
40 James 1:22
41 1 Nephi 3:7
42 “Prophets in the Land Again”, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2006 General Conference
43 “The Pathway of Discipleship”, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, CES Fireside, January 1998
44 Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, p.141
45 Matthew 11:28-30
46 3 Nephi 12:13
47 Doctrine and Covenants 101:39
48 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
49 See “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread”, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, BYU Fireside January 2011
50 “The Pathway of Discipleship”, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, CES Fireside, January 1988
51 Alma 5:26