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On Sunday morning, Church President Thomas S. Monson spoke with tenderness about the death of his wife, Frances, in May.

"Her loss has been profound," said the 86-year-old leader, considered a "prophet, seer and revelator" of the 15 million-member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Tomorrow would have been our 65th wedding anniversary. She was the love of my life, my trusted confidante and my closest friend.

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"To say that I miss her," he said, his voice breaking with emotion, "does not begin to convey the depth of my feelings."

This conference also marks the 50th anniversary of Monson’s appointment to the Utah-based faith’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles.

Monson went on to discuss facing the challenges of mortality with strength and grace.

"The difficulties which come to us present us with the real test of our ability to endure. A fundamental question remains to be answered by each of us: Shall I falter, or shall I finish?" Monson said. "Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured and then have overcome."

Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the governing LDS First Presidency, said families are the testing ground for human character.

"Life in families will test us. That is one of God’s purposes in giving us the gift of mortality — to strengthen us by passing through tests," Eyring said. "That will be especially true in family life where we will find great joy and great sorrow and challenges which may at times seem beyond our power to endure them."

Bonnie L. Oscarson, president of the LDS Church’s Young Women’s organization, addressed the nature of conversion.

"True conversion is more than merely having a knowledge of gospel principles and implies even more than just having a testimony of those principles," said Oscarson, the only female speaker in the Sunday morning session. "It is possible to have a testimony of the gospel without living it. Being truly converted means we are acting upon what we believe and allowing it to create ‘a mighty change in us, or in our hearts.’ "


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