They Spoke to Us

“They Spoke to Us,” Friend, June 2004, 26

They Spoke to Us

As you make the April 2004 general conference a part of your own and your family’s life, you might consider using the following ideas for family home evening and personal study. Or you may wish to create your own questions, activities, and discussion ideas. (Page numbers refer to the beginning of the talks in the May 2004 Ensign.)

Search the Words Activity

  1. Who are President Gordon B. Hinckley’s counselors in the First Presidency? How many years have they served as his counselors? (Clue: See President James E. Faust’s talk, p. 61.)

  2. How long ago was President Thomas S. Monson called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles? Who extended the calling to him? (Clue: Check President Monson’s talk, p. 20.)

  3. What are the names of the members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles? How many Brethren serve in the Presidency of the Seventy? How many serve in the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy? (Clue: Look at the General Authority chart, pp. 64–65.)

  4. About how many members belong to the Church? What percentage of Church members can see and hear conference? (Clue: Search President Hinckley’s talk, p. 4.)

  5. How many converts were baptized last year? (Clue: See the Statistical Report, p. 26.)

  6. Who wrote the poem that begins, “I beheld round the throne holy angels and hosts”? (Clue: Find the answer in Bishop Keith B. McMullin’s talk, p. 33.)

Quotes and Activities

President Gordon B. Hinckley: “It is wonderfully refreshing to see the faith and faithfulness of our young people. They live at a time when a great tide of evil is washing over the earth. It seems to be everywhere. Old standards are discarded. Principles of virtue and integrity are cast aside. But we find literally hundreds of thousands of our young people holding to the high standards of the gospel” (p. 4).

Find your copy of My Gospel Standards and read through them. Put them where you will see them every day. Be one of the faithful.

President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency: “One Sunday morning, a lovely young lady accompanied the superintendent into the classroom and was presented to us as a teacher who requested the opportunity to teach us. … Her name was Lucy Gertsch. … When Lucy taught, she made the scriptures actually live. We became personally acquainted with Samuel, David, Jacob, Nephi, Joseph Smith, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our gospel scholarship grew. … Our love for Lucy Gertsch knew no bounds. …

“We undertook a project to save nickels and dimes for what was to be a gigantic Christmas party” (p. 20).

What happened to those nickels and dimes? What kind of a party did the class have? Turn to page 20 and find out.

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “President Hinckley is the inspired President and prophet for our time. I testify that he has known and received and will continue to receive the mind and will of the Lord for this people and the whole world. We should always be looking for and heeding the prophetic messages that come from the current President of the Church” (p. 61).

Sister Gayle M. Clegg, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency: “I heard a Primary child from Ghana answer the question ‘What does it mean to choose the right every day?’ with, ‘It means to follow the Lord and Savior every day and do your best even when it is hard’” (p. 14).

As part of a family home evening, share with one another times when you have made the right choice even when it was hard. How did you feel?

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “The fruits of the gospel are delicious to those who obey the Lord. … The blessing of tithing comes by paying tithing (see Mal. 3:10; 3 Ne. 24:10). Rewards are reaped from the Word of Wisdom by obedience to it (see D&C 89:18–21)” (p. 27).

Pretend you are a missionary and teach your family what it means to pay tithing. Then explain what the Word of Wisdom is and what one must do to obey this commandment.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “I testify that God has known you individually … for a long, long time (see D&C 93:23). He has loved you for a long, long time. He not only knows the names of all the stars (see Ps. 147:4; Isa. 40:26); He knows your names and all your heartaches and your joys!” (p. 44).

Think of this statement as you pray to your Father in Heaven today. Remember how much He loves you. Talk to Him.

Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy: “Faith is believing that although we do not understand all things, He does. Faith is knowing that although our power is limited, His is not. Faith in Jesus Christ consists of complete reliance on Him” (p. 73).

Find in this talk “But If Not …” the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego and read about their faith and a big fire.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “In the spring of 1820, a pillar of light illuminated a grove of trees in upstate New York. Our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith. This experience began the restoration of powerful doctrinal truths that had been lost for centuries” (p. 84).

In the front of the Book of Mormon is a brief history of the Church. Read it and talk about some of the great truths that we have learned through the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Elder W. Douglas Shumway of the Seventy: “I shall never forget the family home evening, years ago, in which the name of each member of our family was placed in a hat. The name you picked from the hat would be your ‘secret friend’ for the week. You can imagine the love that filled my heart when I came home that Tuesday after work to sweep out the garage, as I had earlier promised, and found it cleanly swept. There was a note attached to the garage door which read, ‘Hope you had a good day—your secret friend’” (p. 94).

Read the rest of this fun family experience. Think of a secret service you can give to each family member during the next two weeks.

Stories to Read and Share

Are you preparing a talk or lesson? In the conference talks beginning on the pages listed below, you’ll find stories you can tell and insights you can share.

  • Boy finishes his story years after starting it, p. 14

  • Pioneer walks to Utah, p. 14

  • Sunday School teacher influences youth, p. 20

  • Spencer W. Kimball shows concern for people, p. 20

  • Brazilian young man becomes active in the Church, p. 46

  • African official accepts For the Strength of Youth, p. 49

  • Young Gordon B. Hinckley looks at North Star, p. 49

  • Boys dare young man to dive off cliff, p. 51

  • Military officer refuses to drink alcohol, p. 51

  • Man with multiple sclerosis carries Olympic torch, p. 54

  • Thomas S. Monson plays basketball, p. 54

  • Widow waits for son to visit, p. 54

  • Lost Battalion regains contact, p. 61

  • Missionaries walk through mud slides, p. 92

  • Blind hurdler is taught by father, p. 94

  • Secret friends serve one another in a family, p. 94

  • Ballplayer drops the ball, p. 112

Photos by Tamra Ratieta and Kelli Pratt