LIVE BLOG: Sunday April 2020 General Conference

Apr 5, 2020, 10:04 AM | Updated: 4:00 pm
Salt Lake Temple photo from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Twitter...
Salt Lake Temple photo from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Twitter

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The April 2020 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued on Sunday morning from Temple Square. Both the Saturday and Sunday sessions of the 190th Annual General Conference were held virtually due to concerns about coronavirus. President Russell M. Nelson announced Saturday that there would be a worldwide solemn assembly and sacred Hosanna Shout during the Sunday morning session.

Sunday Morning

Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, welcomed Church members to the morning session. He said they were commemorating the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. “We hope you will be strengthened as you participate in the conference,” he said.

Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the restoration of the church, and the fulfillment of prophecies. “It is a profound witness that Daniel’s words are being fulfilled as member of the Church from all over the world are watching and listening to the conference today,” he said.

Rasband also said people must prepare to receive the Lord, and all the was prophesied long ago. “What I am describing is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that in the last days, nations shall flow unto the mountain of the Lord’s house. The great Salt Lake Temple stands in the center of that majesty and glory,” he said.

Bonnie H. Cordon, Young Women General President, spoke about the Lord’s invitation to “let our light so shine.” She gave examples of individuals who shared light with those around them. “You and I have enough light to share,” she said. “Ask yourself, ‘Who needs the light you have?'”

Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke next. He said he and his wife imagined themselves living in the early 1800s as they reflected on the restoration.

“What was once only hoped for, has now become history,” he said. He also said there are hopes that have not yet been fulfilled.

“Because the Restoration reaffirmed the foundational truth that God does work in this world, we can hope, we should hope even when facing the most insurmountable odds,” he said. He spoke about having hope to overcome the effects of COVID-19, and being committed to overcoming many world challenges. “Among our most indispensable virtues will be this precious gift of hope, linked inextricably  to our faith in God and our charity to others,” he said.

David A. Bednar, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, spoke about covenants, ordinances and blessings of the temples. He said the covenants of the temple are “essential to the sanctifying of our hearts.” He called it selfless service that brings people closer to the Savior. “We come to the temple to concur the world of evil,” he said.

President Russell M. Nelson concluded the morning session of the conference. He spoke about the disruption to many lives from COVID-19, earthquakes, fires, and more. However, joining together for conference brings needed light, he said. “Your love of and faith in the Savior may very well be the catalyst for someone to discover the restoration of the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. Nelson also spoke about overcoming fear and darkness. “When we are surrounded by uncertainty and fear, what helps the most is to hear his Son. When we seek to truly hear his son, we will be guided to know what to do in any circumstance.” He advised people not to listen to all of the things they see on social media. “We can go to the scriptures. They teach us about Jesus Christ and his gospel,” he said.“Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival especially in these days of increasing upheaval.”

He also spoke about attending the temple. “When these restrictions from COVID-19 are lifted, please schedule regular time to worship and serve in the temple. It will bless your lives in ways nothing else can,” he said.

Nelson said they felt impressed to create a monument of words, “not to be carved in tables of stone, but to be etched in the fleshy tables of our hearts.

Nelson then announced the Church’s newest proclamation: “The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World.”

“To prepare for today, I previously recorded this proclamation in the Sacred Grove,” he said. “Two hundred years have now elapsed since this Restoration was initiated by God the Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. Millions throughout the world have embraced a knowledge of these prophesied events. We gladly declare that the promised Restoration goes forward through continuing revelation. The earth will never again be the same, as God will “gather together in one all things in Christ.”

After the video, Nelson said, “That is our bicentennial proclamation to the world. It has been translated into 12 languages.”

He then led the congregation, participating in their homes throughout the world, in the Hosanna Shout.

“Joseph Smith sealed his testimony with his blood. How I love him,” Nelson concluded.


Sunday Afternoon

Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, spoke first in the Sunday afternoon session. He said those who prayerfully study the restoration will gain their own witness of its divinity. He then outlined the purpose of mortal life. “As spirits we desired to achieve the eternal life enjoyed by our Heavenly Parents. At that point we had progressed as far as we could without a mortal experience in a physical body,” he said.

Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about continuing revelation to prophets and personal revelation. The new proclamation represents loving communication from a Father to his children, Cook said.

“Personal revelation is available to all those who humbly seek guidance from the Lord. It is as important as prophetic revelation,” he said.

Ricardo Gimenez of the Quorum of the Seventy spoke about facing unexpected challenges. He quoted “Faith is the antidote to fear.” The single refuge is Jesus Christ and his atonement, Gimenez said. “In order to enjoy the refuge that Jesus Christ and His Atonement offer, we must have faith in Him — a faith that will allow us to rise above all the pains of a limited, earthly perspective.”

Deiter F. Uchtdorf spoke about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. “To Him we dedicate our hearts, our lives, and our daily devotion,” he said. The church is structured to provide opportunities to practice the fundamentals of discipleship. “We have to diligently practice our craft,” Uchtdorf said.

He invited people around the world to meet with church members and missionaries online during this time of coronavirus concerns.

He also spoke about believing and learning, even when it’s difficult to do so. “We learn the important lessons of life through experience,” Uchtdorf said.

L. Whitney Clayton, Presidency of the Seventy, spoke about raising families and creating homes. Establishing homes is made by the people in it, he said. “The finest characteristic is the image of Christ reflected in the home’s residents.” He also encouraged members to go to the temple. “We can maintain our home’s close connection to His home by qualifying for and using a temple recommend as frequently as circumstances allow. As we do so, the holiness of the Lord’s house rests in our house as well.”

D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke about the restoration belonging to the world. “Our invitations cannot be a matter of self-interest. Rather, they must be an expression of selfless love,” he said.

“We need to understand and live the principles of the gospel as best we can,” he said. What  you are lends authenticity to your invitation. “When you share the Book of Mormon, you share the restoration.”

President Russell M. Nelson concluded the conference. “We express our gratitude to the Lord,” he said. He reminded the congregation of the worldwide fasting invitation on April 10. “Hear him,” he said. “I promise that decreased fear and increased faith will follow.”

“It may seem odd to announced new temples when our temples are closed now,” Nelson said. “During times of our distress when temples are closed, you can still draw upon the power of your temple covenants.”

He announced plans to construct 8 new temples:

Nelson said in respect to the laws of China, the church does not send missionaries there, nor will they do so now. The Shanghai temple will not be a temple for tourists, and it will be by appointment only.

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LIVE BLOG: Sunday April 2020 General Conference