Pres. Hinckley conveys prophet's love

Members of the Church were encouraged to come unto Christ and "partake of the fruit of the tree of life" as President Gordon B. Hinckley left a message in behalf of President Ezra Taft Benson at the final session of general conference Sunday after-noon.

"It has been customary for the president of the Church to leave a message for us to ponder at the close of each conference," remarked President Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency. "We regret that President Benson has been unable to speak to us or attend any of the sessions. However, he has seen and heard all of the sessions and would have me convey his love and a Prophet's blessing."Quoting from President Benson's words, President Hinckley said: " `As witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ we proclaim that He truly is the Savior of all . . . [andT indeed the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Promised Messiah. No message is more significant than the one He brought. No event is of greater importance than His atoning sacrifice and subsequent resurrection. And no mortal tongue can express sufficient thanks for all that Jesus has done for us.

" `We need to know that Christ invites us to come unto Him. "Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, . . . Yea he saith: Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life." (Alma 5:33-34.)

" We declare the divinity of Jesus Christ,' " President Hinckley said, continuing to quote President Benson. "We look to Him as the only source of our salvation. We strive to live His teachings, and we look forward to the time that He shall come again on this earth to rule and reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.' "

President Hinckley urged members "to accept and ponder that testimony from him whom we sustain as Prophet, Seer and Revelator.

"President Benson, we know that you can see us. All of us participating in this conference, many, many thousands in the aggregate, express our love for you and invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you. We sustain you as our Prophet. We embrace you as our leader. We thank you for the mighty work you have done in leading this people in truth and righteousness. May God bless you, our beloved friend, our Prophet, and our President."

Reflecting on the past two days of conference meetings, President Hinckley noted that general conferences are occasions to grow in faith and in love for the Lord and His eternal work.

"I am confident that each of us has had stirred within himself or herself a resolution to live a little better, to be a little kinder, to serve with less selfishness, and to be more worthy of the wonderful blessings the Lord has generously poured out upon us."

He concluded by expressing, in behalf of the General Authorities, his deep appreciation to the members of the Church everywhere for their kindness and for their sustaining vote.

"The adversary is abroad in the earth," President Hinckley said. "He would seek to destroy this work. But if we are united - you and I and all of us - his efforts will be to no avail. The work of the Lord will go on and grow in majesty and power and strength across the world.

"We've seen today and during these past few days the majesty and the wonder and the power of this, the work of God."

He reflected on the conversion stories of Chieko N. Okazaki, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Elder Kwok Yuen Tai of the Seventy. Both shared their conversion stories in conference talks Sunday afternoon.

"This is a work of miracles and the power of the Spirit is resting upon the heads of men and women and boys and girls all across the globe. Someone has said the Holy Ghost can teach us things we cannot teach one another. How wonderfully true that is. Said the prophet Jeremiah, ` . . . and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.' (Jer. 3:14-15.) That is the miracle that is taking place.

"Beloved friends, associates, we wish for each of you a safe return to your homes," President Hinckley commented. "We invoke the blessings of heaven upon you that there may be peace and love in your homes and in your hearts. God bless you. Please accept our love. We pray for you. We want you to know that. We know that you pray for us, and we thank you. God bless you.

"Accept of our testimony, which is the same testimony that each of you can bear, that God our Eternal Father lives, our Father, the ruler and the governor of the universe, to whom we may look, and with whom we may speak in prayer. Jesus is the Christ, the only begotten of the Father in the Flesh, the Son of the living God who gave His life to atone for the sins of all mankind. Those two visited the earth to usher in this, the dispensation of the fullness of times, and conferred upon him who became prophet the great and grand keys which are the bedrock of this work."

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