April 2024 General Conference

Talk Summaries from the April 2024 Sunday Morning Session

Individual Talk Summaries

Session Summary

President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, said, “The Church of Jesus Christ is known as a church which emphasizes making covenants with God.”

Speaking at the close of the Sunday morning session on April 7, he explained that covenants were foundational in the restoration of the gospel. A fundamental history of God’s covenant promises are found in the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. The central role of covenants was reaffirmed in the preface the Lord gave for the first publication of His revelations. The early pioneers received spiritual strength and power by making covenants in the Nauvoo Temple before beginning their historic trek to the Rocky Mountains.

Today Latter-day Saints have a better understanding of the role of covenants in the restored Church. The Church’s growth and its purpose in building temples worldwide is to bless the children of God through temple worship and unique blessings associated with being bound to the Savior through covenants. 

“Covenants are inherent in each of the ordinances of salvation and exaltation this restored Church administers,” he said.

Persons who have been endowed in a holy temple are responsible to wear a temple garment beneath outer clothing that reminds them of sacred covenants and promised blessings. “Persons who wear their garments faithfully and keep their temple covenants affirm their role as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said

Presidency Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted the morning session. President Russell M. Nelson watched the proceedings from home.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles opened the Sunday morning session with reminder that “words do matter” and an invitation to consider the words of God, the words of His prophets and one’s own words.

First and foremost, let the Lord’s words in scriptures, from personal revelation, promptings of the Holy Ghost and answers to prayer matter. “Believing and heeding the word of God will draw us closer to Him,” he said.

“I promise that if we ‘feast upon the words of Christ’ that lead to salvation, our Prophet’s words that guide and encourage us, and our own words that speak of who we are and what we hold dear, the powers of heaven will pour down upon us.”

Comparing living the gospel of Jesus Christ to kayaking in the ocean, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said building spiritual momentum helps individuals avoid falling when adversarial waves hit. The same size wave that a moving kayak can absorb without tipping can cause a stopped kayak to roll over in the water. Likewise, making efforts to grow spiritually can help an individual avoid spiritually falling when temptations or challenges come into their life. 

“If we maintain spiritual momentum by continually ‘rowing’ toward the Savior, we are safer and more secure because our eternal life depends on our faith in Him,” he said.

Faith in Jesus Christ must be nourished daily through prayer, scripture study, repentance and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Honoring covenants helps individuals create a conduit to receive God’s power in their lives.

Elder Patrick Kearon of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said God’s plan is designed to bring each of His children home, not to keep them out. “God is in relentless pursuit of you,” he said.

The intent of Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness, redemption, mercy and salvation is to provide all of those things to His children.

One of Jesus’ most consistent invitations was to change and repent and come unto Him. “God wants for us a radical reorientation of our selfish and prideful impulses, the eviction of the natural man, for us to ‘go, and sin no more,’” he said. The Savior goes in search of the lost sheep until He finds them.

“Are there things we need to do, commandments to keep, aspects of our natures to change? Yes. But with His grace, those are within our reach, not beyond our grasp,” he taught.

Primary General President Susan H. Porter addressed her remarks to children, drawing on the Primary song “Pray, He Is There.”

“When you know that Heavenly Father is real and that He loves you, you can live with courage and hope. ‘Pray, He is there; speak, He is listening.’”

The gift of prayer is a blessing — we can talk to Heavenly Father anytime, anywhere. “Praying every day will fill you with love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. This will help you want to follow Them your whole life. … I invite you to pray to know Heavenly Father is there, pray to grow to become like Him and pray to show His love to others,” she said.

Elder Paul B. Pieper, a General Authority Seventy, said we can choose to trust God every day and build a relationship of trust with Him. “God invites us to grow by trusting His spiritual tutoring through soul-stretching experiences,” he said.

That means that once someone shows trust in Him once, He will always give another invitation to trust Him. He will not stop providing opportunities for growth. 

“In an information-saturated world, there is no shortage of sources promoting their solutions to our challenges. … We show our trust in God by turning to Him first when confronted with challenges.”

Elder Brian K. Taylor, a General Authority Seventy, said that every disciple of Christ must face life’s different trials as part of mortality. In the process, they learn to trust in God’s divine purposes, which provide hope and kindle determination to carry on.

“Life’s trials ‘prove us,’” he said. “Even the Savior ‘learned obedience by’ and was made ‘perfect through sufferings.’”

Three principles help us avoid discontent and find peace, hope and joy in the midst of life’s challenges: 1. Stronger faith comes by putting Jesus Christ first. 2. Brighter hope comes by envisioning our eternal destiny. 3. Greater power comes by focusing on joy.

The opening prayer was given by Elder Vaiangina Sikahema, and the closing prayer was given by Elder Adrián Ochoa, both General Authority Seventies.

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