Speaking to an empty auditorium on Temple Square, President Russell M. Nelson opened the 190th Annual General Conference by emphasizing the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, in which God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared.
“The purpose of this and every general conference is to help us to hear Him,” President Nelson said.
“We pray that this conference will be memorable and unforgettable because of the messages you will hear, the unique announcements which will be made, and the experiences in which you will be invited to participate.”
At the conclusion of the Sunday morning session, Latter-day Saints will convene a worldwide solemn assembly and give the sacred Hosanna Shout, he announced.
President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, said each person’s ability to make a vital contribution to the Restoration will increase as faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father grows. “As we pray in faith, we become a vital part in the Lord’s work as He prepares the world for His Second Coming.”
As Latter-day Saints listen to the Spirit during the weekend’s 200th anniversary celebration, “consider what offering you will present to the Lord in righteousness in the coming days. Be courageous — share it with someone you trust and most importantly, please take time to do it!” said President M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder James R. Rasband, a General Authority Seventy, spoke on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which ensures a righteous judgment. Sister Joy D. Jones, Primary general president, explained how Joseph Smith’s experiences can give Latter-day Saint women insight into receiving their own personal revelation.
Elder Neil L. Andersen talked about finding strength in spiritually defining moments, just as the Prophet Joseph did. “Embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down,” he said. “Share them with your family. Trust that they come to you from your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son. Let them bring patience to your doubts and understanding to your difficulties.”
Speaking on the principles of the new Children and Youth program, Brother Douglas D. Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men general presidency, said the Lord is trying to help all members get His gospel deeper into their hearts.
President Dallin H. Oaks, first counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the session. The invocation was offered by Elder Richard J. Maynes of the Seventy. Sister Michelle Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, offered the benediction.
Pre-recorded hymns performed by the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square shared during this session included “The Morning Breaks,” “It is Well with My Soul,” “Come, Ye Children of the Lord,” “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” and “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.”