General Conference highlights according to students

Written by: 
Eric Hachenberger

With the world in financial, social and moral turmoil, General Conference was full of messages meant to strengthen families, point to global crises and empower individual’s faith.

The latest session of General Conference found great acclaim among BYU-Hawaii students although the 6 a.m. sessions left many students watching a rebroadcast.

“If we teach by the Spirit,” said Elder Holland in 2011, “and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you.”

“This is true of many others,” said Brendan Campbell, a senior from California majoring in political science. “Elder Duncan’s talk on forgiveness applied to me so much. I was struggling with forgiving somebody. I really wanted to, but I couldn’t. That was the talk for me!”

Elder Kevin R. Duncan summarized, “Forgiveness is a glorious, healing principle. We do not need to be a victim twice. We can forgive.”

Addressing the global issue of the refugee crises, Elder Patrick Kearon found great acclaim and echo among members, even making President Dieter F. Uchtdorf wrestle with tears. “This moment does not define the refugees,” he said, “but our response will help define us.”

“The refugee topic is a political heated debate,” said Landin Hayter, a junior from Washington majoring in political science, “but I liked how he broke it down to the people and took the politics out of it. Regardless of what the leaders decide on their policies on refugees and immigration, you can reach out. Elder Kearon did a perfect job showing this is one of the missions of Jesus Christ.”

“It is so important for us to be up to date to current events,” said Anna Hudson, a junior majoring in social work from Washington, on the topic of Elder Kearon’s talk. “I didn’t know that this refugee thing was such a big deal right now.” However, after the talk she reconsidered. “When they talk about this in conference that means I should probably be educated about this. It is important to not just be in our little shells, which is so easy to do in Laie, Provo and Rexburg.”

The talk that stood out to Hudson was Elder M. Russell Ballard’s message on family councils. “It brought back memories from my childhood,” she said. “That was something we did all the time growing up. Every Sunday we would talk about what we had learned in church, coordinate all family activities and schedules. It made me appreciate my parents more and made sure what I will do in my future family.”

Hudson said she was proud of having an apostle confirming the righteous pattern implemented in her home. “He usually talks about missionary work, but I really enjoyed this new style.”

Elder Ballard stated that when parents are prepared and children listen and participate in the discussion, the family council is truly working.

Uploaded April 11, 2016