"My dear brothers and sister, it’s such a wonderful occasion to be with you in this marvelous general conference session today," said Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in opening his remarks.
"To listen to inspired messages, to listen to this marvelous, amazing choir of missionaries representing the many thousands of missionaries all around the world. Our daughters, our sons. And especially of being united in our faith today, again sustaining our dear president and prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, the First Presidency and the general officers of the Church. What a joyful day to be with you today."
Latter-day Saints around the world raised their arms to the square to sustain the leaders of the Church during the Saturday afternoon session of the 188th Semiannual General Conference of the Church on Oct. 6.
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, announced the release of seven General Authority Seventies and 39 Area Seventies.
The General Authority Seventies — Elder Mervyn B. Arnold, Elder Craig A. Cardon, Elder Larry J. Echo Hawk, Elder C. Scott Grow, Elder Allan F. Packer, Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer, Elder Claudio D. Zivic — were given emeritus status.
Additionally, Elder Brook P. Hales was sustained as a General Authority Seventy.
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Uchtdorf, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares spoke during the session, along with Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Paul B. Pieper, General Authority Seventy.
"There is a solution to the emptiness, vanity and Weltschmerz of life," Elder Uchtdorf said — Weltschmerz being a German word meaning a sadness that comes from brooding about how the world is inferior to how one thinks it ought to be.
"This hope is found in the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the Savior's redemptive power to heal us of our soul-sickness."
Discipleship, he said, begins with three simple worlds: Believe, love, do.
Elder Christofferson taught, "To persevere firm and steadfast in the faith of Christ requires that the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrate one's heart and soul, meaning that the gospel becomes not just one of many influences in a person's life, but the defining focus of his or her life and character."
Elder Gong spoke of the strength that can come from a "campfire of faith."
"My testimony is, for those who see, allow, live for it, the dawn of faith, sometimes gradually, will come or can return. The light will come, when we desire and seek it, when we are patient and obedient to God's commandments, when we are open to God's grace, healing and covenants," he said.
Elder Soares compared how the Solimoes and Negro Rivers flow together before blending into one, to the way children of God from different backgrounds and traditions come together in the restored Church of Jesus Christ.
"Eventually, as we encourage, support and love each other, we combine to form a mighty force for good in the world. As followers of Jesus Christ, flowing as one in this river of goodness, we will be able to provide the 'fresh water' of the gospel to a thirsty world."
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the session. Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Elder Joni L. Koch, General Authority Seventy, offered prayers.
A combined choir of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center provided music during the session, with Ryan Eggett and Elmo Keck directing, and Linda Margetts and Bonnie Goodliffe at the organ.