Dale G. Renlund

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (October 3, 2015 – present)
First Quorum of the Seventy (April 4, 2009 – October 2, 2015)

General Conference Addresses

  • October 2017 General Conference
    • The Priesthood and the Savior’s Atoning Power
      • “This evening I would like to compare the priesthood that we hold to a rocket and the opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power to the payload that a rocket delivers.”
      • “The atoning power of Jesus Christ is essential because none of us can return to our heavenly home without help. In mortality, we invariably make mistakes and violate God’s laws. We become stained by sin and cannot be allowed back to live in God’s presence. We need the Savior’s atoning power so that we can be reconciled to Heavenly Father. Jesus Christ broke the bands of physical death, allowing resurrection for all. He offers forgiveness of sins, conditioned on obedience to the laws and ordinances of His gospel. Through Him, exaltation is offered. The opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power is creation’s most important payload.”
      • “The use of the priesthood is consequently governed by both priesthood keys and covenants. A man’s priesthood commission is individually given and does not exist independent of him; priesthood is not an amorphous source of autonomous power.”
      • “A man makes a covenant only when he wants to commit himself quite exceptionally to a promise. He makes an identity between the truth of the promise and his own virtue. When a man makes a covenant, he is holding himself, like water, in his cupped hands. And if he opens his fingers, he need not hope to find himself again. A covenant-breaker no longer has a self to commit or a guarantee to offer.”
      • “An Aaronic Priesthood holder covenants to avoid evil, help others be reconciled to God, and prepare to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. These sacred responsibilities are fulfilled as he teaches, baptizes, strengthens Church members, and invites others to accept the gospel. These are his “rocket” functions. In return, God promises hope, forgiveness, the ministering of angels, and the keys of the gospel of repentance and baptism.”
      • “A Melchizedek Priesthood holder covenants to fulfill the responsibilities associated with the Aaronic Priesthood and to magnify his calling in the Melchizedek Priesthood. He does so by keeping the commandments associated with the covenant. These commandments include giving “diligent heed to the words of eternal life” by living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, bearing testimony of Jesus Christ and His latter-day work, not boasting of himself, and becoming the Savior’s friend, trusting Him as a friend would.”
      • “In return, God promises that a Melchizedek Priesthood holder will receive keys to understand the mysteries of God. He will become perfect so that he can stand in the presence of God. He will be able to fulfill his role in the work of salvation. Jesus Christ will prepare the way before the priesthood holder and will be with him. The Holy Ghost will be in the priesthood holder’s heart, and angels will bear him up. His body will be strengthened and renewed. He will become heir to the blessings of Abraham and, along with his wife, joint-heir with Jesus Christ to Heavenly Father’s kingdom. These are “exceeding great and precious promises.” No greater promises can be imagined.”
      • “I have come to realize that the purpose of organizing a stake, or using the priesthood of God in any way, is to assist Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Their work—to provide the opportunity for redemption and exaltation to each of God’s children. Like the rocket whose purpose is to deliver a payload, the priesthood delivers the gospel of Jesus Christ, enabling all to make covenants and receive the associated ordinances. “The atoning blood of Christ” can thereby be applied in our lives as we experience the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost and receive the blessings God promises.”
  • April 2017 General Conference
    • Our Good Shepherd
      • “As we become more like Him, we learn to treat others as He does, regardless of any outward characteristic or behavior.”
      • “As the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ views disease in His sheep as a condition that needs treatment, care, and compassion. This shepherd, our Good Shepherd, finds joy in seeing His diseased sheep progress toward healing.”
      • “While God is empathetic, we should not mistakenly believe that He is accepting and open-minded about sin. He is not.”
      • “The Savior’s compassion, love, and mercy draw us toward Him. Through His Atonement, we are no longer satisfied with our sinful state. God is clear about what is right and acceptable to Him and what is wrong and sinful. This is not because He desires to have mindless, obedient followers. No, our Heavenly Father desires that His children knowingly and willingly choose to become like Him and qualify for the kind of life He enjoys. In doing so, His children fulfill their divine destiny and become heirs to all that He has. For this reason, Church leaders cannot alter God’s commandments or doctrine contrary to His will, to be convenient or popular.”
      • “The message for us is clear: a repenting sinner draws closer to God than does the self-righteous person who condemns that sinner.”
      • “Everyone, including people of religion, has the right to express his or her opinions in the public square. But no one has a license to be hateful toward others as those opinions are expressed.”
  • October 2016 General Conference
    • Repentance: A Joyful Choice
      • “Changing our behavior and returning to the “right road” are part of repentance, but only part. Real repentance also includes a turning of our heart and will to God and a renunciation of sin.”
      • “Real repentance must involve faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith that He can change us, faith that He can forgive us, and faith that He will help us avoid more mistakes.”
      • “Without the Redeemer, the inherent hope and joy evaporate, and repentance becomes simply miserable behavior modification. But by exercising faith in Him, we become converted to His ability and willingness to forgive sin.”
      • “But blaming others, even if justified, allows us to excuse our behavior. By so doing, we shift responsibility for our actions to others. When the responsibility is shifted, we diminish both the need and our ability to act. We turn ourselves into hapless victims rather than agents capable of independent action.”
      • “But minimizing our mistakes, even if no immediate consequences are apparent, removes the motivation to change. This thinking prevents us from seeing that our mistakes and sins have eternal consequences.”
      • “However, what we do matters to Him and to us. He has given clear directives about how we should behave. We call these commandments. His approbation and our eternal life depend on our behavior, including our willingness to humbly seek real repentance.”
      • “Additionally, we forgo real repentance when we choose to separate God from His commandments. After all, if the sacrament were not sacred, it would not matter that the smell of the firecracker was disruptive to that Göteborg sacrament meeting. We should be wary of discounting sinful behavior by undermining or dismissing God’s authorship of His commandments. Real repentance requires recognizing the Savior’s divinity and the truthfulness of His latter-day work.”
  • April 2016 General Conference
    • “That I Might Draw All Men unto Me”
      • “Family members and local Church leaders are closest to those in need, frequently have faced similar circumstances, and understand best how to help. Because of their proximity to the givers, recipients who receive help according to this pattern are grateful and less likely to feel entitled.”
      • “Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the ultimate Givers. The more we distance ourselves from Them, the more entitled we feel. We begin to think that we deserve grace and are owed blessings. We are more prone to look around, identify inequities, and feel aggrieved—even offended—by the unfairness we perceive. While the unfairness can range from trivial to gut-wrenching, when we are distant from God, even small inequities loom large. We feel that God has an obligation to fix things—and fix them right now!”
      • “The closer we are to Jesus Christ in the thoughts and intents of our hearts, the more we appreciate His innocent suffering, the more grateful we are for grace and forgiveness, and the more we want to repent and become like Him. Our absolute distance from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ is important, but the direction we are heading is even more crucial. God is more pleased with repentant sinners who are trying to draw closer to Him than with self-righteous, faultfinding individuals who, like the Pharisees and scribes of old, do not realize how badly they need to repent.”
      • “To draw closer to the Savior, we must increase our faith in Him, make and keep covenants, and have the Holy Ghost with us. We must also act in faith, responding to the spiritual direction we receive. All of these elements come together in the sacrament. Indeed, the best way I know of to draw closer to God is to prepare conscientiously and partake worthily of the sacrament each week.”
      • “No one is immune from life’s challenges; we all need the safety that comes from partaking of the sacrament.”
      • “The sacrament truly helps us know our Savior. It also reminds us of His innocent suffering. If life were truly fair, you and I would never be resurrected; you and I would never be able to stand clean before God. In this respect, I am grateful that life is not fair.”
      • “Our present circumstances may not change, but through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for.”
  • October 2015 General Conference
    • Through God’s Eyes
      • “Decades ago, when I was called to be the bishop of a ward in the eastern United States, my brother, slightly older and much wiser than I, called me on the phone. He said, “You need to know that the Lord hasn’t called you because of anything you have done. In your case, it is probably in spite of what you have done. The Lord has called you for what He needs to do through you, and that will happen only if you do it His way.” I recognize that this wisdom from an older brother applies even more today.”
      • “To effectively serve others we must see them through a parent’s eyes, through Heavenly Father’s eyes. Only then can we begin to comprehend the true worth of a soul. Only then can we sense the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Only then can we sense the Savior’s caring concern for them. We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes. This expanded perspective will open our hearts to the disappointments, fears, and heartaches of others. But Heavenly Father will aid and comfort us, just as Chad’s parents comforted me years ago. We need to have eyes that see, ears that hear, and hearts that know and feel if we are to accomplish the rescue so frequently encouraged by President Thomas S. Monson.”
      • “With all my heart I want to be a true follower of Jesus Christ. I love Him. I adore Him. I witness of His living reality. I witness that He is the Anointed One, the Messiah. I am a witness of His incomparable mercy, compassion, and love.”
  • April 2015 General Conference
    • Latter-day Saints Keep on Trying
      • “In less formal terms, God cares a lot more about who we are and who we are becoming than about who we once were. He cares that we keep on trying.”
      • “Just as God rejoices when we persevere, He is disappointed if we do not recognize that others are trying too.”
      • “My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were.”
  • October 2009 General Conference
    • Preserving the Heart’s Mighty Change
      • “As a result of our transgressions, our spiritual hearts have become diseased and hardened, making us subject to spiritual death and separation from our Heavenly Father.”
      • “Enduring to the end can be challenging because the tendency of the natural man is to reject the spiritually changed heart and allow it to harden.”
      • “They must have frequently assessed the condition of their spiritually changed hearts. They did not simply assume that all was well. By figuratively examining their changed hearts, they could identify any early hardening or rejection and treat it.”

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