My dear brothers and sisters and friends throughout the world, I offer my personal welcome to this general conference. We gather as a great global family desiring to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for joining with us.
This last year has been one for the record books. No doubt we have each learned things we did not know previously. Some lessons that I knew before have been written on my heart in new and instructive ways.
For example, I know for sure that the Lord directs the affairs of His Church. He said, “I will show [you] that I am able to do mine own work.”1
Often, my counselors and I have watched through tear-brimmed eyes as He has interceded in extremely challenging circumstances after we had done our best and could do no more. We do indeed stand all amazed.
I also understand better now what He meant when He said, “Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.”2 Over and over again I have rejoiced as He has directed and executed the hastening of His work—even during a global pandemic.
My dear brothers and sisters, the strength of the Church lies in the efforts and ever-growing testimonies of its members. Testimonies are best cultivated in the home. During this past year, many of you have dramatically increased the study of the gospel in your homes. I thank you, and your children will thank you.
The huge project to renovate the Salt Lake Temple continues. From my office I have a front-row seat to watch the work taking place on the temple plaza.
As I have watched workers dig out old tree roots, plumbing, wiring, and a leaky fountain, I have thought about the need for each of us to remove, with the Savior’s help, the old debris in our lives.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of repentance.3 Because of the Savior’s Atonement, His gospel provides an invitation to keep changing, growing, and becoming more pure. It is a gospel of hope, of healing, and of progress. Thus, the gospel is a message of joy! Our spirits rejoice with every small step forward we take.
Part of the gathering of Israel, and a very important part, is the charge for us as a people to be worthy and willing to help prepare the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.
As we listen to the messages that have been carefully prepared by our leaders under the direction of the Holy Ghost, I invite you to pray to identify the debris you should remove from your life so you can become more worthy.
I love you, my dear brothers and sisters, and testify that our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son know and love you individually. They stand ready to assist you in every step forward you take. Welcome to general conference and to the privilege of hearing the voice of the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.