"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
September 18, 2013
Top 10 Favorite Conference Talks (Plus 2 Bonus Talks)
by Kathryn Grant

Now we have a world where people are confused.
If you don't believe it, go and watch the news.
We can get direction all along our way,
If we heed the prophets — follow what they say.

As usual, a Primary song says it just right. One of the greatest blessings of the restored gospel is being led by prophets, apostles, and other inspired leaders.

With general conference coming up, I started thinking about past conference talks that have profoundly blessed and taught me — talks that are well worth revisiting. So here, in no particular order, are some of my favorites, along with quotes from each one.

A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit by Bruce D. Porter

“Though Jesus of Nazareth was utterly without sin, He walked through life with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, as manifested by His submission to the will of the Father. ‘For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me’ (John 6:38).”

We Did This for You by Elaine S. Dalton

“How can the promises made to the fathers be planted in the hearts of the children? How can the hearts of the children be turned to their fathers? This can happen only when we understand our identity and roles in this work and remain worthy and prepared to enter the temple and act on behalf of those who have gone before.”

Honorably Hold a Name and a Standing by David A. Bednar

“There is a difference between church-attending, tithe-paying members who occasionally rush into the temple to go through a session and those members who faithfully and consistently worship in the temple....

“The fire of the covenant will burn in the heart of every faithful member of this Church who shall worship and honorably hold a name and standing in the Lord’s holy house.”

O, Divine Redeemer by Neal A. Maxwell

“Indeed, we cannot teach [the Savior] anything! But we can listen to Him. We can love Him, we can honor Him, we can worship Him! We can keep His commandments, and we can feast upon His scriptures! Yes, we who are so forgetful and even rebellious are never forgotten by Him! We are His ‘work’ and His ‘glory,’ and He is never distracted! (See Moses 1:39.)”

Remember How Thou Hast Received and Heard by Susan L. Warner

“Remembering our spiritual feelings draws us to our Heavenly Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ. It gives us a sense of our true identity....Recalling spiritual feelings reminds us of who we really are.

“It is no wonder that over and over in the scriptures we are instructed, counseled, and commanded ‘O remember, remember.’”

Beware of Pride by Ezra Taft Benson

“The central feature of pride is enmity — enmity toward God and enmity toward our fellowmen. Enmity means ‘hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.’ It is the power by which Satan wishes to reign over us.

“Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of ‘my will and not thine be done.’”

The Purifying Power of Gethsemane by Bruce R. McConkie

“I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears.

“But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way.”

Come What May, and Love It by Joseph D. Wirthlin

“I know why there must be opposition in all things. Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it.

“As we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial. We can say, as did my mother, ‘Come what may, and love it.’”

Look to God and Live by Jeffrey R. Holland

“God is not dead, and he is not an absentee landlord. God is not uncaring, or capricious, or cantankerous. Above all, he is not some sort of divine referee trying to tag us off third base.

“The first and great commandment on earth is for us to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 59:5; Matt. 22:37) because surely the first and great promise in heaven is that he will always love us that way.”

The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing by Richard G. Scott

“Even if you exercise your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you. He loves you to a depth and completeness you cannot conceive of in your mortal state. Indeed, were you to know His entire plan, you would never ask for that which is contrary to it even though your feelings tempt you to do so. Sincere faith gives understanding and strength to accept the will of our Heavenly Father when it differs from our own.”

And here are the two bonus talks. Elder Wirthlin has such a down-to-earth, relatable way of teaching eternal truths that it was too hard to pick just one of his talks.

The Abundant Life by Joseph D. Wirthlin

“Who knows of what we are capable if we only try? The abundant life is within our reach if only we will drink deeply of living water, fill our hearts with love, and create of our lives a masterpiece.”

Sunday Will Come by Joseph D. Wirthlin

“Each of us will have our own Fridays — those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.

“But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death — Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.”

What conference talks have blessed your life over the years? Share your favorites on the Nauvoo Forum.

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About Kathryn Grant

Kathryn Grant is a user assistance professional with a passion for usability and process improvement. She also loves family history and enjoys the challenge and reward of building her family tree.

As a child, she lived outside the United States for four years because of her father's job. This experience fueled her natural love of words and language, and also taught her to appreciate other cultures.

Kathryn values gratitude, teaching, learning, differences, and unity. She loves looking at star-filled skies, reading mind-stretching books, listening to contemporary Christian music, attending the temple, and eating fresh raspberries.

Kathryn teaches Sunday family history classes at the BYU Family History Library, and presents frequently at family history events. For more information, visit her Family History Learning Resources page

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