A key theme of the now-completed 190th Semiannual General Conference — the Lord’s Church is moving forward — was epitomized Sunday afternoon by President Russell M. Nelson’s concluding announcement of six new temples.
Temples will be built in:
- Tarawa, Kiribati
- Port Vila, Vanuatu
- Lindon, Utah
- Greater Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Sao Paulo East, Brazil
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Meanwhile, the Church president signaled a coming day “when all worthy members of the Church can again serve their ancestors, and worship, in a holy temple.”
Blessings, he added, await all who obey God’s laws.
“I promise that as you do, you will be showered with blessings, including greater courage, increased personal revelation, sweeter harmony in your homes and joy even amid uncertainty.
“May we go forward together to fulfill our divine mandate — that of preparing ourselves and the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.”
Even during trials, individuals can remain faithful to sacred covenants. Exercise faith and repentance and look for opportunities to lift the burdens of others.
“Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love you. They want you to return to Them and become like Them. Your success is Their success.”
A General Authority Seventy, Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi, taught that patience truly is a divine virtue — and that being a “disciple of Jesus Christ” should be one’s most affirming affiliation.
Patience allows one to find joy, even amid the trials that are defining the year 2020.
“Just as the trying of our faith works patience within us, when we exercise patience, our faith increases. As our faith increases, so does our joy.”
Remember, the Lord commands: Be of good cheer — not “be of good fear.”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said Latter-day Saints can follow Nephi’s example by finding they are “highly favored” of the Lord, even during the challenges of the pandemic.
“Times of affliction and disappointment do not change the watchful eye of the Lord as He favorably looks upon us, blessing us.”
Many key adjustments, made by a living prophet long before COVID-19, are now allowing people to endure the trials of the day — including improved home-centered gospel study and ministering, along with finding increased joy and appreciation in temple service.
Receive increased personal revelation by learning to “ask, seek and knock” taught Brother Milton Camargo of the Sunday School general presidency.
Jesus Christ taught this timeless principle when he invited: “Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (3 Nephi 14:7).
Diligent prayer may not always yield a desired outcome, said Brother Camargo. But “if we then speedily align our plan with His plan, He will open the way for us.”
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles encouraged his listeners Sunday afternoon to follow the direction of the ancient prophet Micah and “do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.” (Micah 6:8).
“A broken heart and contrite spirit prompt us to joyfully repent and try to become more like our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As we do so, we receive the Savior’s cleansing, healing and strengthening power.
“We not only do justly and walk humbly with God, we also learn to love mercy the way that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do.”
Follow Their example by loving one another and follow the covenant path.
Elder Kelly R. Johnson, a General Authority Seventy, spoke of the importance of keeping temple covenants, even though regular temple attendance is not possible at the moment.
“There is no expiration date associated with the power God bestows upon those who make and keep temple covenants or a restriction from accessing that power during a pandemic; His power diminishes in our lives only if we fail to keep our covenants and do not live in a way that allows us to continually qualify to receive His power.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles promised a “monumental” reward to all who tenaciously walk the path of holiness and happiness.
Modern-day burdens such as COVID-19, illness, doubt, financial troubles and family trials will be lifted “by and by.”
“Whether that be a short period or a long one is not always ours to say, but by the grace of God, the blessings will come to those who hold fast to the gospel of Jesus Christ. That issue was settled in a very private garden and on a very public hill in Jerusalem long ago.”
President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency conducted the concluding session of general conference. Elder Paul V. Johnson, a General Authority Seventy, and Brother Jan E. Newman of the Sunday School general presidency offered prayers.
The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square provided music via prerecorded performances. Choir selections included “Oh Say, What is Truth?,” “Softly and Tenderly,” “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah,” and “God Be with You Till We Meet Again.”