President Russell M. Nelson closed the Sunday morning session of the 190th Semiannual General Conference by issuing a call to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.”
President Nelson told listeners to “please listen carefully to what I am about to say. God does not love one race more than another. His doctrine on this matter is clear. He invites all to come unto Him, ‘black and white, bond and free, male and female’ (2 Nephi 26:33). I assure you that your standing before God is not determined by the color of your skin. Favor or disfavor with God is dependent upon your devotion to God and His commandments, and not the color of your skin.”
The question for all, regardless of race, is the same, President Nelson said. “Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? Are you willing to let God be the most important influence in your life? Will you allow His words, His commandments, and His covenants to influence what you do each day? Will you allow His voice to take priority over any other? Are you willing to let whatever He needs you to do take precedence over every other ambition? Are you willing to have your will swallowed up in His? (See Mosiah 15:7).”
President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, opened that same session by calling on people of all faiths worldwide to redouble their prayers on behalf of Church and government leaders — and all others in need of support and healing.
“Certainly, we live in a time during which things are in commotion,” President Ballard said. “Many people fear the future, and many hearts have turned away from their faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ.”
News reports are filled with accounts of violence, moral denigration and a deadly global pandemic. Lives are being disrupted and many feel isolated and alone.
“No matter how you pray or to whom you pray, please exercise your faith — whatever your faith may be — and pray for your country and for your national leaders. … This is not about politics or policy. This is about peace and the healing that can come to individual souls as well as to the souls of countries.”
Two Apostles — Elder Ulisses Soares and Elder Neil L. Andersen — spoke during the session about seeking Christ in every thought and doing better about speaking about Christ, respectively. Elder Carlos A. Godoy of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Sister Lisa L. Harkness of the Primary general presidency also offered remarks.
During the session President Henry B. Eyring, who conducted the proceedings, noted that Elder Brent H. Nielson, a General Authority Seventy, was called to the vacancy in the Presidency of the Seventy left by Elder Whitney L. Clayton, who was given emeritus status in Saturday’s afternoon session.
Music for the session was provided by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square from previous general conferences and included selections such as, “Press Forward, Saints,” “If the Savior Stood Beside Me,” “We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” “God Is Love,” and “For I Am Called by Thy Name.”