My dear brothers and sisters, welcome to general conference! I have looked forward to this day with great anticipation. I pray for you every day. I have also prayed that this conference will be a time of spiritual rejuvenation for each one of you.
Since last conference, difficulties in the world have continued. The global pandemic still affects our lives. And now the world has been rocked by a conflict that is raining terror on millions of innocent men, women, and children.
Prophets have foreseen our day, when there would be wars and rumors of wars and when the whole earth would be in commotion.1 As followers of Jesus Christ, we plead with leaders of nations to find peaceful resolutions to their differences. We call upon people everywhere to pray for those in need, to do what they can to help the distressed, and to seek the Lord’s help in ending any major conflicts.
Brothers and sisters, the gospel of Jesus Christ has never been needed more than it is today. Contention violates everything the Savior stood for and taught. I love the Lord Jesus Christ and testify that His gospel is the only enduring solution for peace. His gospel is a gospel of peace.2
His gospel is the only answer when many in the world are stunned with fear.3 This underscores the urgent need for us to follow the Lord’s instruction to His disciples to “go … into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”4 We have the sacred responsibility to share the power and peace of Jesus Christ with all who will listen and who will let God prevail in their lives.
Every person who has made covenants with God has promised to care about others and serve those in need. We can demonstrate faith in God and always be ready to respond to those who ask about “the hope that is in [us].”5 Each of us has a role to play in the gathering of Israel.
Today I reaffirm strongly that the Lord has asked every worthy, able young man to prepare for and serve a mission. For Latter-day Saint young men, missionary service is a priesthood responsibility. You young men have been reserved for this time when the promised gathering of Israel is taking place. As you serve missions, you play a pivotal role in this unprecedented event!
For you young and able sisters, a mission is also a powerful, but optional, opportunity. We love sister missionaries and welcome them wholeheartedly. What you contribute to this work is magnificent! Pray to know if the Lord would have you serve a mission, and the Holy Ghost will respond to your heart and mind.
Dear young friends, you are each vital to the Lord. He has held you in reserve until now to help gather Israel. Your decision to serve a mission, whether a proselyting or a service mission, will bless you and many others. We also welcome senior couples to serve when their circumstances permit. Their efforts are simply irreplaceable.
All missionaries teach and testify of the Savior. The spiritual darkness in the world makes the light of Jesus Christ needed more than ever. Everyone deserves the chance to know about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Every person deserves to know where they can find the hope and peace that “[pass] all understanding.”6
May this conference be a time of peace and spiritual feasting for you. May you seek and receive personal revelation during these sessions, I pray in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.