An inspiring weekend




Such descriptive words could go on and on, but perhaps these will serve to represent last weekend in Salt Lake City.

The spring weather was perfect.

Temple Square was glowing with the fresh blooms of springtime.

It was general conference time.

It was the 166th anniversary of the organization of the Church.

And it was Easter Sunday! Seldom have so many events converged in one weekend and with such satisfying results.

General conferences are always memorable, but often in April the weather is less than desirable. No one could have asked for better temperatures, more beautiful blue skies, better landscaping on Temple Square, and more warming, radiant sunshine. The thousands who crowded the grounds, unable to get inside the Tabernacle, also added their own radiance to the Square.

Inside the Tabernacle those who spoke and sang did so with inspiration and conviction. The voice of God was truly heard through the mouths of His chosen servants.

For those who listened with spiritual ears there could be no doubt about the truthfulness of the gospel. The power of the Holy Ghost bore abundant witness that this Church in its first 166 years has risen above its critics and the persecutors of the past and is clearly heading towards its millennial destiny.

Because it was Easter weekend there was much said about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and of His infinite atonement and redemptive grace through the resurrection. As each testimony of the Savior was borne, it was said anew, as did those on the road to Emmaus so long ago, ". . . did not our hearts burn within us, while [they] talked with us by the way, and while [they] opened to us the scriptures?" (See Luke 24:32.)

As he spoke of the redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ, President Gordon B. Hinckley stirred the hearts of all with his firm declaration: "There is nothing more universal than death, and nothing brighter with hope and faith than the assurance of immortality. The abject sorrow that comes with every death, the bereavement that follows the passing of a loved one are mitigated only by the certainty of the resurrection of the Son of God that first Easter morning.

"What meaning would life have without the reality of immortality? Otherwise, life would become only a dismal journey, of `getting and spending,' only to end in utter hopeless oblivion.

"The pain of death is swallowed up in the peace of eternal life. Of all the events of human history, none is of such consequence as this."

Then, bearing his personal witness of the Savior, President Hinckley said: "Whenever the cold hand of death strikes, there shines through the gloom and the darkness of that hour the triumphant figure of the Lord Jesus Christ. He, the Son of God who by His matchless and eternal power overcame death. He is the Redeemer of the world. He gave His life for each of us. He took it up again and became the firstfruits of them that slept. He, as King of kings, stands triumphant above all other kings. He, as the Omnipotent One, stands above all rulers. He is our comfort, our only true comfort, when the dark shroud of earthly night closes about us as the spirit departs the human form.

"There stands Jesus the Christ, the King of glory, the unblemished Messiah, the Lord Emmanuel."

Thank you, President Hinckley, for this witness and assurance. Thank you also for a stirring Easter conference. Thank you for the leadership and direction you give so willingly to the work of the Master. Thank you, also, for reminding us of why we all serve when you said: "As everyone here knows, there is only one reason for any of us serving. And that is to assist our Father in Heaven in His declared work and glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His sons and daughters."

A special thanks goes also to all who spoke, provided music, offered prayers, or in any way contributed to the spirit of the conference.

The sum total of this special weekend was Glorious! Memorable! Inspiring! Uplifting!

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