The April 2021 General Conference held messages of spiritual revival, to look to Christ for strength and confirmation of gospel principles, said members of the BYU–Hawaii ohana.
They said even if they have to wake up as early as 5:30 a.m. to watch it live, they do, and it doesn’t minimize conference’s personal impact.
Every six months, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather for general conference. Perry Christensen, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education and Social Work, said conference is a spiritual revival because it increases his testimony that the Lord is leading His Church and watching over it.
This April’s General Conference, held on April 2 and 3, President Russell M. Nelson announced 20 new temples, the second-highest total of temples to be built in a single conference session. The Church's Newsroom stated the record remains 32, which was set by President Gordon B. Hinckley in 1998.
Associate Academic Vice President for Faculty Yifen Beus expressed gratitude for the 20 new temples and said it would bless the lives of people in those areas.
President Nelson said during his announcement, “We want to bring the house of the Lord even closer to our members, that they may have the sacred privilege of attending the temple as often as their circumstances allow.”
One of the talks Christensen said he enjoyed was by Elder Dale G. Renlund. “I loved the story about the older sister complaining to the mom that the younger sister was getting new shoes and she wasn’t,” he said. Christensen said the story taught him that life isn’t fair, but Jesus Christ makes all things fair.
In his conference address, Renlund stated Christ will resolve all unfairness, and members should focus on developing faith in Christ first. “Jesus Christ both understands unfairness and has the power to provide a remedy,” he said.
Jesus Christ both understands unfairness and has the power to provide a remedy.
Beus said her two favorite messages were from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and President Nelson. Beus explained President Nelson’s message concerning peace and hope in the middle of the pandemic is clear. “We do what Christ would do to others by doing our part in protecting ourselves and others and following local regulations and other sound safety measures to minimize the effects of COVID-19.”
President Nelson said, “Truly, the blessings of the gospel are for every race, language and people. The Church of Jesus Christ is a global church. Jesus Christ is our leader.”
President Nelson focused his Sunday morning address on faith in Jesus Christ. He invited members to do five things to increase their faith:
· Study and become an engaged learner.
· Choose to believe in Jesus Christ.
· Act in faith.
· Partake of sacred ordinances worthily.
· Ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for help.
“Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest,” President Nelson said.
Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.
Beus said Elder Holland’s message reminded her to provide a safe, loving and peaceful environment for all. “We need to look even harder to Christ for strength and help, so we can remove contention and conflict around us,” she explained.
Holland said, “Challenging times come in this mortal world … but the reassuring message of Christ is that although He, the paschal lamb, would go ‘like a sheep before [its] shearers,’ He would nevertheless rise … to be ‘our refuge and strength, [our] very present help in [times of] trouble.’”
He added members are fighting a Third World War against the adversary to lift and heal one another.
“In 21st-century culture generally and too often in the Church, we still see lives that are in trouble, … too many broken covenants and too many broken hearts,” Holland explained. He also warned members who live after the manner of the world to not expect a peaceful experience in their lives.
Beus said general conference is important to her because prophets and Church leaders give members guidance to help them live righteously. The personal stories speakers shared were new, but the gospel principles were not, she shared.
“For me, self-reflection is key to applying these teachings,” Beus explained. “I must constantly think of where I am coming short and where I must improve.”
I must constantly think of where I am coming short and where I must improve.
Lilio Tuitavake, a junior studying business management from Tonga, said conference is an opportunity to receive answers to questions and is a confirmation of doctrines and principles from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Her favorite talk was by Elder D. Todd Christofferson who spoke on staying on the covenant path. To her, staying on the covenant path means being obedient to gospel principles and ensuring they are rooted in us.
Christofferson explained by diligently pursuing the covenant path, members can “avoid the choices that harm or disadvantage others and instead acquire the habits of self-discipline and service.”
He said, “It is only in pursuing the covenant path that we inherit the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ultimate blessings of salvation and exaltation that only God can give.”
Tuitavake said she hoped students understand they can return to the covenant path. “God loves all His children and desires that we all come back to the covenant path and stay,” she said.
It is only in pursuing the covenant path that we inherit the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ultimate blessings of salvation and exaltation that only God can give.
Beus said students must understand academics are not the only pressing matter they have. “They must continue to care for their own selves, family and those around them.” Beus explained students can still contribute their talents to these matters for the benefit of God’s children.