In the first-ever live broadcast of the all-male LDS General Priesthood meeting, Mormon leaders talked about missionary work, repentance, responsibility, unity and overcoming feelings of inadequacy.
LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson, the final speaker of the day, said "as the priesthood of God, we have a shepherding responsibility. The wisdom of the Lord has provided guidelines whereby we might be shepherds to the families of the church, where we can serve, we can teach and we can testify to them."
Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the governing First Presidency, echoed that sentiment.
"To hold the priesthood of God is to be held responsible by God for the eternal lives of his children," Eyring said. "That is real, that is wonderful, and at times that can feel overwhelming."
Monson's second counselor, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, said that men experience feelings of guilt, depression and failure. "We might pretend these feelings don't bother us, but they do."
Some Mormon men, who are "filled with potential and grace ... who could have been exceptional priesthood holders and servants of God," he said, disengage from the church because they have "failed a time or two."
"True repentance is about transformation," Uchtdorf said, "not torture or torment."
GÃ©rald CaussÃ©, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, celebrated the church's growing diversity as a global faith and urged members to embrace differences in "appearance, language, manner of dress or color of skin."
Unity, said CaussÃ©, who was born in France, "is not achieved by ignoring and isolating members who seem to be different or weaker and only associating with people who are like us. On the contrary, unity is gained by welcoming and serving those who are new or who have particular needs."