2023 October General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session

Jesus Christ is the Treasure
Elder Dale G. Renlund, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Main Points

  • Taking for granted or undervaluing what is nearby is “looking beyond the mark”
  • Jesus Christ is our mark; we have to take care not to look beyond him.
  • The blessings of the sacrament are a treasure that is available to us each time we attend sacrament meeting.
  • When we take the temple for granted, we ‘miss the mark’ by undervaluing the opportunity to draw closer to the Savior.

Gospel Principles taught

Jesus Christ, The Atonement, Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, Sacrament, Sabbath, Temple attendance

Gospel Doctrine taught

The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Commandments, the Covenant Path


Jacob 4:14, 2 Nephi 31:19, Moroni 7:27–28, 2 Nephi 25:26, Alma 33:22, Doctrine and Covenants 76:52, 3 Nephi 18:12–13, Mosiah 2:36, Alma 5:14, 2 Kings 5:9–14, I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Other Sources

  • Eric H. Cline, “King Tut’s Tomb,” in Archaeology: An Introduction to the World’s Greatest Sites (2016), 60–66.
  • Howard Carter and A. C. Mace, The Tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen: Discovered by the Late Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter, vol. 1 [1923], 124–28, 132).
  • Zahi Hawass, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs (2005); 
  • Nicholas Reeves, The Complete Tutankhamun: The King, the Tomb, the Royal Treasure (1990), 80–83
  • Nicholas Reeves and Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Valley of the Kings: Tombs and Treasures of Egypt’s Greatest Pharaohs (1996), 81–82.

Related talks: 

Look for Jesus Christ:

  • Testimony of Christ.
    • I bear my solemn and sure witness that God, the Eternal Father, is our Heavenly Father and that He lives; Jesus is the Christ; He is our kind, wise heavenly Friend; and this is His restored Church.

Inspiring Words & Phrases

  • During Jesus’s mortal ministry, many looked beyond the mark, beyond Him. They looked past the Savior of the world. Instead of recognizing His role in fulfilling Heavenly Father’s plan, they condemned and crucified Him. They looked and waited for someone else to bring them salvation.
  • We too can be prone to look beyond the mark. We need to guard against this tendency lest we miss Jesus Christ in our lives and fail to recognize the many blessings He offers us. We need Him.
  • He is our mark.
  • If we incorrectly imagine that there is a need for something beyond what He offers, we deny or diminish the scope and power He can have in our lives.
  • Jesus Christ is our treasure.
  • In the years since my baptism, I have learned that sins are cleansed by the power of Jesus Christ through His atoning sacrifice as we make and keep the baptismal covenant. Then, through the gift of repentance, we can remain clean.
  • Only with a robust spiritual foundation can we handle the metaphorical rain, wind, and floods that confront us in our lives.
  • When we have the Holy Ghost with us, we will be inspired and guided to make and keep other covenants, such as those we make in temples. Doing so deepens our relationship with God.
  • When we trust God’s prophet on the earth today and act on his counsel, we will find happiness, and we too can be healed. We need to look no further.
  • The multiple covenants on the covenant path are not just sequential but additive and even synergistic. They facilitate a closer and stronger connection with God. Such a connection allows us to be transformed to the point that His image is in our countenances and our hearts have been mightily and permanently changed (see Alma 5:14). (footnote 15)


Ways Jesus Christ is our “mark”:

  • He has claimed the rights of mercy and extends that mercy to us. 
  • He is the ultimate “source [to whom we should] look for a remission of [our] sins.” 
  • He is our Advocate with the Father 
  • He champions what the Father has wanted all along: for us to return to Him as inheritors in His kingdom. 

There are many ways to focus on Him intentionally:

  • Daily repentance
  • Keeping our baptismal covenant
  • Partaking of the sacrament
  • Attending the temple regularly
  • Trust and follow the prophet
  • Act on the prophet’s counsel

We can strengthen our spiritual foundation:

  • Through repentance.
  • By conscientiously preparing for the sacrament.
  • Worthily partaking of the sacrament.

Our spiritual foundation is weakened:

  • When we voluntarily skip sacrament meeting.
  • When we don’t focus on the Savior during the sacrament.


  • Our commitment to attend [the temple] should be at least as strong when the temple is nearby as when it is distant.
  • I encourage you to remember and always focus on Jesus Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer, the “mark” to whom we should look, and our greatest treasure.
  • Treasure the opportunity to repent, the privilege of partaking of the sacrament, the blessing of making and keeping temple covenants, the delight of worshiping in the temple, and the joy of having a living prophet.


  • Paradoxically, as temples become more accessible, it may be easier for us to become more casual about temple attendance.
  • Nor need we seek counsel from exotic sources, prizing the novelty of the source and thinking such counsel will be more enlightened than that which we can receive from a humble prophet of God.
  • The sacrament was, however, not instituted as a specific means of securing a remission of our sins (see James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, 12th ed. [1924], 175). A person cannot willfully sin on Saturday evening and expect that all he or she needs to do is eat a piece of bread and drink a cup of water on Sunday and magically be cleansed. But the sanctifying effect of the Holy Ghost can cleanse all who repent with a sincere heart and with real intent. (footnote 12)


  • Through the gift of repentance, we can remain clean.
  • The sacrament brings a powerful virtuous cycle into our lives, enabling us to retain a remission of our sins.
  • The Holy Ghost will be our constant companion if we approach the sacrament the way a new convert approaches baptism and confirmation, with a broken heart and contrite spirit and a determination to live up to that baptismal covenant. The Holy Ghost blesses us with His sanctifying power so that we can always retain a remission of our sins, week in and week out.
  • When we trust God’s prophet on the earth today and act on his counsel, we will find happiness, and we too can be healed. We need to look no further.
  • As you come to Him, you will be rewarded with strength to face life’s challenges, courage to do what is right, and the ability to fulfill your mission in mortality.
  • I pray that you will be blessed, prospered, and preserved.


  • The story of Egyptologist Howard Carter who searched for the tomb of King Tutankhamun, funded by the Earl of Carnarvon. They excavated the Valley of the Kings for 5 years without finding anything; Carter realized the only place they hadn’t looked was under the base camp. They began excavating there and within a few days found the steps leading to the tomb, which, after some excavation, yielded the most famous archaeological find of the 20th century. They had overlooked what was literally ‘under their feet.’
  • When Elder Renlund was eight years old, after his baptism, he was crossing a street with his father. Not paying attention, he stepped out from the curb just as a big truck came by. His father pulled him to safety. He thought at the time that it would have been a good time to be killed, as he was clean from sin from his baptism.
  • The story of Naaman in the Old Testament. Elisha told him to dip in the nearby river seven times to cure his leprosy. That wasn’t what he expected a miracle to look like, but when he yielded and did as Elisha had instructed, he was healed.

Application Ideas

  1. Consider evaluating your schedule and prioritizing regular temple attendance.
  2. Make a pattern in your life to ponder the Savior and your baptismal covenant each week before partaking of the sacrament.
  3. Think of ways that you can focus on the Savior during the sacrament. This article might give you some ideas to try. You may want to record in your journal your impressions of the different ideas you try, so that you can repeat those that work best for you.
  4. As you celebrate Easter and approach General Conference, prayerfully seek inspiration about how you personally can come closer to Jesus Christ. Write down any guidance you receive.
  5. Find ways to incorporate repentance into your daily life.


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