Twelve Talks That Will Change Your Life!


In 2007 when I started writing daily messages to my children I ended the year with my 12 favorite talks  delivered by General Authorities in conference from 1997-2007.  I list those twelve here,  plus my comments from back then.

The number twelve talk is the only talk in that was not given by a member of the first presidency or quorum of the twelve. It was given in the Sunday afternoon session of the April conference of 2003. It is a talk entitled “Eternal Marriage”, given by a member of the seventy, F. Burton Howard. The parallel used by Elder Howard regarding his wife’s “silverware” and eternal marriage is wonderful.

At number eleven I have chosen a talk given by Elder Jeffrey Holland of the quorum of the twelve. Given in the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference, October of 2006. This talk inspired me because of the powerful testimony that he gave regarding the existence of living prophets. Over the years I have enjoyed more of Elder Hollands talks then any other general authority, except President Hinckley. I submit for your reading my eleventh most favorite talk over the past ten years entitled “Prophets In The Land Again”.

My tenth favorite talk that was given in General Conference this past decade was a message delivered by Elder Russell M. Ballard in the October 2006 conference called “O Be Wise”. Elder Ballard’s message was one I have been preaching for many years. As a church leader these past years it has become apparent to me that righteous members of the church, at times, find themselves unbalanced in their lives and on occasion focusing on details that are of little significance, or at the least, details that are not as fruitful as they could be. I remember listening to this talk and agreeing with every point that Elder Ballard made.

At number nine is a great talk entitled “The Healing Power of Forgiveness”, delivered by President James E. Faust in the Sunday morning session of the April 2007 conference…I recall listening to a seated President Faust as he told the story of the Amish and the tragedy that had befallen their community. More importantly, he told of the Christ like forgiveness that the Amish people gave to the family of the killer of eight of their children.

At number eight- the talks of Elder Wirthlin are gems and I always look forward to reading them. Such is the case with his talk from the April 2006 Sunday afternoon session. His talk titled “The Abundant Life” gave wonderful counsel that finding happiness in life is a choice. A matter of attitude and perspective.

At number seven-Elder Dallin Oaks presented his talk “Good, Better, Best” in the afternoon session of the October conference of 2007.  This is a talk that was long in coming and unfortunately, I believe, short in remembering by the saints and local leaders. Elder Oaks quoted other apostles who have forewarned us regarding the over scheduling of our families. His point was that just because something is “good” doesn’t mean it is the “best” use of our time.

At number six- Gordon B. Hinckley’s  1998 talk: “Living Worthy of the Girl You will Someday Marry”. I have listened to it may times. Each time I feel the confirming power of the Holy Ghost of the truthfulness of its message…This talk… is the talk I would want every young man, and young lady, to hear while in their courting years.  And every married person could use a reminder of how they should be as a spouse.

At number five-Rarely has a talk influenced the cultural expressions of our church as did a talk given in the April 2005 Sunday afternoon session of conference. Delivered by the newest of the apostles, David Bednar, it was called “The Tender Mercies Of The Lord”. Prior to that talk I don’t think I ever heard that term used by members. It is now part of “Mormon” lexicon.

At number four- Never have I heard a talk that so fully taught the essence, power, and nature of prayer then the address of Elder Richard G. Scott in the Saturday morning session of the 2007 April conference. Entitled “Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer”, Elder Scott brilliantly taught us by giving answers to questions about prayer that plague all of us from time to time.

At number three-I remember sitting in the chapel on an April Sunday morning in 2002 when I first heard my third most favorite talk given in General Conference. Elder Jeffrey Holland told an old story in a new way. Instead of telling the story of the prodigal son in the traditional sense, he taught the lesson of this great story from the point of view of the other prodigal, the faithful brother. Thus the title of his talk, “The Other Prodigal”.

At number two-Found in my second most favorite talk given in conference in the past decade is my favorite statement declared by our Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley. I quote him, referring to his newly deceased wife:

“My children and I were at her bedside as she slipped peacefully into eternity. As I held her hand and saw mortal life drain from her fingers, I confess I was overcome. Before I married her, she had been the girl of my dreams, to use the words of a song then popular. She was my dear companion for more than two-thirds of a century, my equal before the Lord, really my superior. And now in my old age, she has again become the girl of my dreams. ”  That last statement of his deceased wife becoming, again, the girl of his dreams is the most romantic line a man could say of his wife. President Hinckley gave this talk in the morning session of October 2004 entitled “The Women In Our Lives”.

And my number One favorite talk between 1997-2007- President Gordon B. Hinckley gave a talk in the Sunday Morning Session of the April 1998 General Conference… I have listened to his talk entitled “Testimony” at least a dozen times. Each time I am inspired and my testimony soars. As I have been driving around the stake I have put it on and more than once my eyes have watered and I have felt the Holy Ghost verify to me of the truthfulness of his words.

Of course since 2007 I have other favorites but I am convinced that anyone who applies the principles taught in these twelve talks would see a vast improvement in their happiness and in finding peace in this life. Having living prophets on the face of the earth is only beneficial to us if we apply the teachings in our everyday affairs.




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