The morning session did not disappoint in delivering wonderful counsel. Here are a few of the highlights of the morning session.
President Thomas S. Monson announced five new temples: Lisbon, Portugal; Indianapolis, Indiana; Urdaneta, Philippines; Hartford, Connecticut; and Tijuana, Mexico. He also spoke of missionary work as a duty for young Priesthood holders. He encouraged young women and older couples to prepare for missions, as well.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke of the love that the leaders of the church have for us, and ultimately the love that our Heavenly Father has for us. He spoke of gratitude for the service and sacrifice of members of the church.
Sister Rosemary Wixom spoke of teaching children about the Plan of Salvation and helping them stay on the straight and narrow path by our examples and lives. "We need not be perfect. We only need to be honest and sincere."
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa bore testimony of the prophetic call of Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets. He then spoke of the importance of having living prophets on the earth. He reminded us that the Lord will reveal His will and instructions for us through the prophet. He also made reference to a talk that President Benson gave at a BYU devotional on fourteen fundamentals for following the prophet.
Brother David M. McConkie of the General Sunday School presidency spoke of the most important thing in Gospel teaching being the attitude of the teacher not his/her education or training. He gave four principles for successful gospel teaching: 1) Immerse yourself in the scriptures. 2) Apply what you learn from studying in your life. 3) Seek Heaven's help. 4) Exercise agency and act in accordance to the promptings you receive from the Holy Ghost.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson implored us to consecrate our lives, time, and choices to God's purposes. He spoke of five elements of living a consecrated life: 1) Purity, 2) Work, 3) Respect for our physical bodies, 4) Service, 5)Integrity. By incorporating each of the elements into our lives we can become closer to our Heavenly Father and become examples of His love here on earth.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf urged us to slow down and focus on the essentials of the Gospel. He said that we need to focus on what matters most and to place our attention on the basics of the restored gospel. He cautioned against becoming so "busy" with things, many of which may be "good" in our lives that we miss out on things that are "great" and "essential" to our lives and eternal salvation. He stated that, "Any virtue when taken to extreme can become a vice" and that "milestones can become millstones" and "ambition can become an albatross." He concluded by admonishing us to take care of four key relationships in our lives. Those relationships are with: God, family, fellowmen, and ourselves.
Powerful stuff! I can't wait to hear more this afternoon.