News Release

Be spiritually minded, speakers urge at global Latter-day Saint conference

When making choices, being spiritually minded and putting Jesus Christ first paves the way for a joyful life, said President Russell M. Nelson in a prerecorded video message shown during the final session of a two-day conference held 30 September and 1 October 2023 in Salt Lake City in the U.S. State of Utah and broadcast to audiences around the globe.

“As you think celestial, you will view trials and opposition in a new light,” the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who recently celebrated his 99th birthday, added. Thinking celestial will change one’s heart and lead to praying more sincerely, he said. Due to a muscle injury, he followed the proceedings through technology rather than attending in person.

General conference is the worldwide gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Twice a year, during the first weekend of April and the first weekend of October, Church leaders from around the world share messages, or sermons, focused on Jesus Christ and His gospel. People of all faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds and from everywhere in the world are invited to watch, listen, and participate.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a native of Germany, Elder Alan T. Phillips from the United Kingdom, and Elder Christophe G. Giraud-Carrier who was born in France were among those addressing at the conference. Other speakers were from Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Korea, New Zealand, and the United States.

During his remarks, Elder Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles referred to the parable of the prodigal son. In this story from the Bible originally told by Jesus Christ, a rebellious son leaves home and squanders his inheritance. Upon his return, his father forgives him and welcomes him back.

Elder Uchtdorf addressed those who lost sight of their faith, promising them that the moment they decided to return and walk in the way of Jesus Christ, His power will enter their lives and transform them.

“How we treat one another truly matters,” said Elder Phillips. He encouraged listeners to help those who are struggling in one’s own family, congregation, or local community. Caring for those in need may also include seeking to relieve the suffering of those living in extreme poverty and those forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, and violence.

During his first talk delivered at a general conference, Elder Giraud-Carrier explained that people may have been raised in different cultures; they may come from different socio-economic circumstances; their mortal heritage, including their nationality, skin color, food preferences, and political orientation may vary greatly. But all are children of God, without exception, he said.

Elder Alexander Dushku was sustained as a General Authority Seventy during the conference. At the general conference leadership session, two new Area Seventies were sustained and two were released.

At the conclusion of the conference, President Nelson announced that the Church will build a total of 20 additional temples in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States, and Oceania. Latter-day Saints consider temples houses of God, places of holiness and peace separate from the preoccupations of the world. They are different from the thousands of regular chapels or meetinghouses all over the world that are used for Sunday services.

Music at the conference was provided by various choirs, including the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, with Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy conducting and accompanied by organists Andrew Unsworth and Richard Elliott.

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