The Sunday morning session of the April 2012 General Conference, here in Salt Lake City, brought with it a complete turnaround in the weather. Just the day before it was warm and sunny with evidence of Spring throughout the city. Although walking back to our hotel, at around 9 pm that evening, felt more like Summer. It was beautiful. So many people were out and about, enjoying the special spirit that always accompanies the Latter-day Saints, wherever they gather in large numbers.

So waking up to the north winds, with its accompanying rain throughout the day, was a big change.  Talking to few locals confirmed nothing new to this pattern. The previous day's sunshine, setting off brilliantly the flowers throughout Temple Square, and the beautiful blossoms on the trees, were clear signs that God is in the details.  On the other hand, a rainy day, to some, is seen as dreary. But not to me, at least not on this particular day.

I couldn't help but think of what it means to hear our prophets, who speak the words of Christ -- literally the fountain of living waters. As people were hurrying along, with their umbrellas and warm jackets, rushing to get inside, I thought of revelation as rain, and how exciting it was that we were about to have a huge storm!

And we did.

The Church created wonderful social media tools to encourage members to invite others to listen to the words of living prophets and to, specifically, join us for the Sunday morning session of General Conference. Thank you, to so many, who helped extend that invitation, as encouraged. Knowing that many, not of our faith, would be watching caused me to reflect on just how important, eternally, it is to have prophets. And as I, in my own small way, helped to broadcast their messages via social media, my heart was filled with gratitude for the technology that allows this modern day miracle, to gather the elect, to occur.

As President Monson addressed the conference, I felt the power and eternal significance of his prophetic message -- to the entire world. He taught the Plan of Salvation, to a hungry and thirsty world -- ignorant to their condition. My personal prayers were that the pure in heart, the seekers, would hear and receive his message. My faith tells me that many did, and will, as the digital proceedings continue to make waves around the globe.

Here is just some of what 'rained' from the Conference Center, Sunday morning:

Dieter F. Uchtdorf - The Merciful Obtain Mercy

"Strained and broken relationships are as old as humankind itself."

"The spirit of envy and hatred has led to some of the most tragic stories in history."

"I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge."

"When we feel hurt, angry or envious it is quite easy to judge other people, often assigning dark motives to their actions in order to justify our own feelings of resentment."

"We must repent and we must be willing to forgive others."

"Though we cannot look into another's heart we assume that we know a bad motive or even a bad person when we see one."

"When the Lord requires that we forgive all men that includes forgiving ourselves."

"This topic of judging could actually be taught in a two-word sermon… Stop it!"

"Don't judge me because I sin differently than you."

" We must recognize that all are imperfect -- that we are beggars before God."

"Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others the measure of grace we so desperately desire for ourselves?"

"When our hearts are filled with the love of God, something good and pure happens to us."

"As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventual fade."

"The pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment and wrath frm our eyes, allowing us to see others the way our Heavenly Father sees us…"

"Let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ return good for evil.  Let us not seek revenge or allow our wrath to over come us."

"Remember, heaven is filled with those who have this in common. They are forgiven. And they forgive."

"Lay your burden at the Savior's feet. Let go of judgement. Allow Christ's Atonement to change and heal your heart. Love one another. Forgive one another."

Russell M. Nelson - Thanks Be To God

"How much better would it be if all could be more aware of God's providence and love."

"Our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for Him."

"Think of our physical sustenance. It is truly heaven-sent."

"The earth was created to support our brief sojourn in mortality. We were born with a capacity to grow, love, marry and form families."

"The family is the most important social unit in time and eternity."

"Central to God's eternal plan is the mission of His son Jesus Christ."

"Because of the Atonement eternal life became a possibility for all who would qualify."

"Heavenly Father loves His Children.  He has blessed each with physical and spiritual gifts."

"The many amazing attributes of your body attest to your own divine nature."

"Be we reminded that a perfect body is not required to achieve one's divine destiny."

"Great spiritual strength is often developed by people with physical challenges, precisely because they are so challenged."

"Mercifuly for us, our Creator provided for aging and other processes that would ultimately result in our physical death. Death, like birth, is a part of life."

"To return to God through the gateway we call death is a joy for those who love Him and are prepared to meet Him."

"Important as is the body, it serves as a tabernacle for one's eternal spirit."

"In this life and in the next, spirit and body, when joined together, become a living soul of supernal worth."

"The attributes by which we shall be judged one day are all spiritual."

"Just as the body requires daily food for survival, the spirit needs nourishment as well."

"The spirit is nurtured by eternal truth."

Because of the scriptures… "we know that God is our Eternal Father and that His Son Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. For these spiritual gifts, thanks be to God!"

"Ours is the responsibility to teach His children and awaken in them an awareness of God."

"God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but we are not."

"Each day, ours is the challenge to access the power of the Atonement, so that we can truly change, become more Christlike, and qualify for the gift of exaltation and live

Sister Julie B. Beck - The Vision of Prophets regarding Relief Society

"Just as the Lord's prophets have continually taught elders and high priest their purposes and duties, they have shared their vision for the sisters of the Relief Society."

"Faith, family and relief --these three simple words have come to express the vision of prophets for the sisters of the Church."

"Providing relief to others is how we follow the example of the Savior who taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves."

"Relief Society is not a program. It is an official part of the Lord's Church that is "divinely ordained of God" to teach, strengthen, and inspire sisters in their purpose regarding faith, family and relief.

"Relief Society is meant to be a way of life for Latter-day women, following the pattern of female disciples who served with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles in His ancient Church."

"Relief Society is meant to help sisters avoid problems, if possible, and establish righteous patterns in their lives."

"As sisters become more aligned with the purpose of Relief Society, the vision of the prophets will be fulfilled."

Learn About Relief Society for LDS women: Daughters in My Kingdom 

D. Todd Christofferson - The Doctrine of Christ

"We have seen of late a growing public interest in the beliefs of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is something we welcome because after all our fundamental commission is to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ, His doctrines, in all the world." 

"Since the beginning, it has been the purpose of the Lord and the labor of His prophets to proclaim God's plan of redemption."

"This is our message, the rock upon which we build, the foundation of everything else in the Church. Like all the comes from God, this doctrine is pure; it is clear; it is easy to understand, even for a child. With glad hearts, we invite all to receive it."

President Thomas S. Monson - The Race of Life

"My beloved brothers and sisters, this morning I wish to speak to you of eternal truths -- those truths which will enrich our lives and see us safely home." 

"In this fast-paced life do we ever pause for moments of meditation -- even thoughts of timeless truths?"

"When compared to eternal verities, most of the questions and concerns of daily living are really rather trivial."

"Moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another, although not always through dramatic circumstances. We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living."

"In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking divine response to life's greatest questions: Where did I come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after this life?"

"Answers to these questions are not discovered with in the covers of academia's textbooks or by checking the internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity."

"Where did we come from? This query is inevitably thought, if not spoken, by every human being."

"Parents ponder their responsibility to teach, to inspire and to provide guidance, education, and example. And while parents ponder, children -- and particularly youth -- ask the penetration question: Why are we here? Usually it is spoken silently to the soul and phrased: "Why am I here?""

"One primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. In a thousands ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves."

"By obedience to God's commandments we can qualify for that "house" spoken of by Jesus…"  

"God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord, have marked the way to perfection. They beckon us to follow eternal verities and to become perfect, as they are perfect." 

"Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return.  I speak of prayer. I speak, too, of the whisperings from that still, small voice; and I do not overlook the holy scriptures which contain the word of the Lord and the words of the prophets -- provided to us to help us successfully cross the finish line."

"Death comes to all mankind. It comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet."

"What of an existence beyond death? Is death the end of it all? 

"Death is not what some people imagine. It is like going into another room. In that room we shall find... the dear women and men and the sweet children we have loved and lost." (quoting Robert Blatchford)

"After the Savior was crucified and his body had lain in the tomb for three days, the spirit entered again. The stone was rolled away, and the resurrected Redeemer walked forth clothed with an immortal body of flesh and bones."

"Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these, and indeed to all: "Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me."


Kathryn Skaggs

Saturday Morning April 2012 General Conference Highlights
What a day in downtown Salt Lake City, to kick off the April 2012 General Conference. So many highlights! I'm kind of like a kid when it comes to being here in Utah. I love it! And I love the spring with all the blossoms on the trees, and the daffodils popping up everywhere. Life is everywhere! When I drove into town on Thursday, the first thing I did was make my husband pull the car over, so I could use Instagram to take a picture of the beautiful pink blossoms. But what most excites me about being here is covering General Conference -- via social media.
Saturday Afternoon April 2012 General Conference Highlights
The Saturday afternoon session of the April 2012 General Conference brought with it plenty of Church business with, among other positions, the release and call of the Presiding Bishopric and the General Relief Society Presidency. On the lighter side, the Internet was frantically trying to confirm rumors that David Archuletta was part of the MTC choir, singing during the session -- which he was -- made evident by snapshots taken by attendees, flying across cyberspace!

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