April 2015 General Conference - Sunday Sessions
Young LDS should be hopeful about marriage, family, leaders say in General Conference:
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church is stronger than ever, and young Mormons can feel confident marrying and starting a family despite legitimate concerns, the faith's leaders said Saturday.
Multiple speakers acknowledged the very real fears, challenges, trials and temptations confronting contemporary young Latter-day Saints throughout Saturday's three sessions of the 185th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Despite poor role models some have, the degradation of fatherhood and motherhood in popular media or reports of world trouble, failing families and attacks on marriages, LDS leaders said young adults can put their faith Heavenly Father's plan, in Jesus Christ and in the guidance of the Holy Ghost "to know how to create a home," as said Sister Linda K. Burton, the church's general Relief Society president.
That help is available because God ordained that a man and a woman should marry and establish families, and he wants them to succeed, said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Similar to the teachings of several other leaders, he also acknowledged "the sacrifices and successes of those for whom the ideal (family) is not a present reality."
During six hours of meetings that included news about church growth and the announcement of dozens of new church leaders, general conference was for much of the day the hottest trending topic on Twitter.
The church ended the year with 15,372,337 members, up about 290,000 from the year before.
Church members voted to sustain church leaders, including five new General Authorities, a new Young Men general presidency and a new counselor in the Primary general presidency during the Saturday afternoon session. (See story)
Five of the 20,000 people in the Conference Center for that session stood and opposed the sustaining votes for the First Presidency, Quorum of the Twelve and other general officers of the church. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency noted the votes and invited those who said "opposed" to contact their stake presidents.
Soon afterward, Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles addressed the questions and concerns some members have "as they seek to strengthen their faith and testimonies." He said other members should not be critical or judgmental but that those questions should with counsel with leaders and do everything to build their faith.
"Some have asserted that more members are leaving the Church today, and that there is more doubt and unbelief than in the past," he said. "This is simply not true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has never been stronger. The number of members removing their names from the records of the Church has always been very small and is significantly less in recent years than in the past."
At the same time, there has been what he called "a dramatic increase" in the numbers of temple-endowed members with a current temple recommend, adult full-tithe payers and those serving missions.
"Let me say again," he added, "the church has never been stronger."
With another mention of challenges, Elder Cook asked, "How then do we deal with the harsh realities that surround us?"
Protection from today's and future storms includes righteousness, church ordinances and following Christ, he said.
"If the grim realities you are facing at this time seem dark and heavy and almost unbearable, remember that in the soul-wrenching darkness of Gethsemane and the incomprehensible torture and pain of Calvary, the Savior accomplished the atonement which resolves the most terrible burdens that occur in this life."