2014 BYU Easter Conference

Easter Conference

(NOTE: Lloyd D. Newell's presentation will not be posted here; however, it is scheduled to be made available in the upcoming RSC book entitled Our Savior's Love, to be made available in March 2015 in LDS bookstores.)

Watch Elaine S. Dalton's Video Presentation

 

Watch D. Kelly Ogden's Video Presentation

 

2014 Easter Conference, a Big Success
 
The BYU Easter Conference was held in the evening of Friday, April 11, in the JSB auditorium. There was an estimated crowd of 1,400 people who came to hear the three speakers. The keynote speaker was Sister Elaine S. Dalton, a former Young Women general president of the Church; Lloyd D. Newell, who is known to many as the voice of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Music and the Spoken Word and a professor of Church history and doctrine at BYU; and D. Kelly Ogden, distinguished author, speaker, and BYU professor.
 
Sister Dalton spoke of the enabling power that makes it possible for all to have strength, abilities, and power beyond their capacity because of the love of the Savior.
 
“Everything He did was motivated by one thing—and one thing only. It was and is love,” she said. “He was not motivated by power, position, or possessions. His motive was not political or to seek popularity. His motive was pure. He was motivated by pure love.”
 
Because of that pure love—a love without further agenda or motive—individuals have reason to hope. It is that atoning love that allows those who are broken to become healed.
 
“Have any of you experienced broken dreams, broken relationships, or a broken spirit?” Then she testified how the Savior “is there to heal us, to bear our pain, and to enable us to bear all things.” She declared how “through His infinite Atonement, broken things can mend—broken hearts, broken lives, broken bodies, and broken dreams. . . . This is why He invites us to take His yoke upon us. . . . It is He that is on the other side of that yoke.  And because He bore all things, He enables us to do the same.  He strengthens us.” She continues, “My desire from that time forth has been singular, to show my love to Him in all I do. To serve Him; to become like Him; to be His hands, His smile, His disciple. My desire is to help those who feel ‘broken’ know that we do not ever walk alone--- that the Savior is right there beside us.  My desire is to help others know that even when we feel alone, He is always there.  That is my sure knowledge.  And yes, ‘I stand all amazed.’”
 
Brother Lloyd Newell spoke of how the Easter season is a reminder to all that every person can change and “walk in a newness of life” because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
 
“How beautiful, how sweet, how tender it is to see hearts changed, the lost found, and the blind restored to sight,” said Brother Newell. “Though we may not understand how it happens, we know why—because God loves His children. Rebirth really is as precious as birth.”
 
It seems fitting that the Lord would use birth as a metaphor to describe the change that is made possible by the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Brother Newell said.
 
“We’ve all fallen short and longed for another chance, a fresh start, a new beginning. We’ve all wished we could rewind time and try again. … We hear the expression ‘there are no guarantees in life.’ But here’s a promise, a guarantee you can count on no matter where you are or what you have done: we can change; we can walk in newness of life. …
 
“Rebirth, then, is not so much a moment as a mindset, an ongoing experience of the heart, the gradual accumulation of countless righteous choices built up over a lifetime,” he said. “It is a daily decision to sincerely accept the Lord’s invitation to discipleship. … He knows our heart, and we know enough of His heart to know that He loves us perfectly and continually.”
 
The way people think of their friends, neighbors, and family members is vital.
 
“Do we sometimes define people in terms of who they have been rather than who they are or who they can become?” he asked. “Our ability to accept change in our own lives is tied, I believe, to our ability to accept it in the lives of others. …
 
“Nothing is more beautiful than seeing new life and renewed life,” he said. “That hope and promise is centered in the Savior’s encompassing love, and it is the sweetest, the most tender, and I think the most beautiful principle of the gospel.”
 
Brother Ogden taught that the Resurrection literally changed the lives of every Christian.
 
“This single, historical fact and doctrine forever changed the course of the ancient Church and the course of the world,” he said. “There is no fact in history that is so widely attested and confirmed by credible witnesses.”
 
Brother Ogden shared different accounts of visitors to the resurrected Savior—the women and angels first at Jesus’s tomb, Peter and John, Mary, the Apostles, and other disciples who had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus, including some from modern times.
 
“From all these accounts—ancient and modern, on both hemispheres—we learn that Jesus Christ was the first of all who have ever lived on this planet to rise from the dead to immortality,” he said. “Every human will resurrect, as Paul wrote: ‘As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive’ (1 Corinthians 15:22), though not everyone will resurrect to the same glory: there are different levels or degrees of resurrected bodies.”
 
Because of the gift of resurrection provided by the Savior, all humankind will rise again from the dead and live forever, Brother Ogden taught.
 
“In fact, there is no choice in the matter; as a gift from the God of heaven we are all going to live forever,” he said. “The choice we do have is where and with whom we would like to live forever. We are now in the process of determining that by how we are behaving here on earth.”
 
There were also musical presentations to enhance the evening. Watch for next year’s Easter Conference.
 
Images
 
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2014 BYU Easter Conference program included Lloyd Newell, D. Kelly Ogden, and a musical presentation.

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After her keynote address, Sister Dalton is speaking with Brent Top, dean of BYU Religious Education.