General Conference Study Schedule Week 12: Overcoming the World by Elder Neil L. Andersen

I'm so glad I took on the challenge of reading each General Conference talk from April 2017. It has been a blessing to me and I'm grateful for the experience. Noone is forcing me to read each week. I have taken on the challenge for myself and hopefully others will also study the talks. I would love to read your comments so please let me know how your study session is going. Thanks again for joining me each week as I embark on the General Conference Study Schedule.

I made a few FREE printables so be sure to click, download and print.

Overcoming the world is not one defining moment in a lifetime, but a lifetime of moments that define an eternity.

Quote #1 (pdf)

I love this quote. It doesn't just take a moment but it takes a lifetime to overcome the world.


How can we overcome the world step by step?

Neil L. Andersen started by sharing a story that President David O. McKay shared.

After falling asleep, he “beheld in vision something infinitely sublime. In the distance,” he said, “I beheld a beautiful white city. … Trees with luscious fruit … and flowers in perfect bloom abounded everywhere. … A great concourse of people [was] approaching the city. Each one wore a white flowing robe. … Instantly my attention … centered upon their leader, and though I could see only the profile of his features … , I recognized him at once as my Savior! The … radiance of his countenance [was] glorious. … [The] peace about him … was divine!”

President McKay continues, “The city … was his … the City Eternal; and the people following him were to abide there in peace and eternal happiness.”

President McKay wondered, “Who [are] they? [Who are these people?]”

He explains what happened next:

“As if the Savior read my thoughts, he answered by pointing to [words in] a semicircle that … appeared above [the people], … written in gold … :

“‘These Are They Who Have Overcome the World—

“Who Have Truly Been Born Again!’”1


What are the blessings that he promises to those who overcome the world?

-They will be clothed in white

-Named in the book of life

-The Lord will confess their names before the Father and before his angels

-Have part in the first resurrection

-Receive eternal life

-Go no more out from the presence of God


Is it possible to overcome the world and receive these blessings?

What are the blessings?


We love him, because he first loved us. -1 John 4:19

What can we do to overcome the world?



What does it mean to overcome the world?

-It is a private, personal battle that requires hand-to-hand combat with our own internal foes.

-It means treasuring the greatest commandment: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."

C. S. Lewis described it this way: “Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You.’”

Quote #2 (PDF)

-Keeping our promises to God (Baptismal and temple covenants)

-Humble ourselves so we attend sacrament meeting each week

-Ask for forgiveness

-Pledge to "remember him and keep his commandments" that we "may always have his Spirit to be with us."

-Keep the Sabbath Day Holy by praying, studying, reaching out to family and others who need our attention

-Focus on the Savior and upon His holy day

-Trust in the one voice that warns, comforts, enlightens, and brings peace "not as the world giveth."


-Turn ourselves outward and remember the second commandment

-Make your spouse happy

-Help children to love God and keep His commandments

-Share material blessings through tithing, fast offerings and giving to those in need

Overcoming the world brings humility, empathy, patience, and compassion for those different than yourself.


It was my 20 year High School reunion recently and although I didn't go, I knew that if I did, I would be the one that was different. That is NOT the reason I didn't go. I didn't go because it was in California and I'm in Utah so there wasn't a way to get there with my family this year. Maybe next time I'll be able to go.

It is okay to be different than others. Overcoming the world will always mean that we will have some beliefs that are ridiculed by the world.

Overcoming the world is being less concerned with our online connections and more concerned with our heavenly connections to God.

Let us heed the guidance from His living prophets and apostles.

Quote #3 (PDF)

Overcoming the world is remembering the times we have felt the love and light of the Savior. It opens the more expansive view of faith, drawing us to the Savior and His promises. It keeps our hope aflame that one day we "shall stand before our Redeemer and see his face with pleasure" and hear His voice: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.”

Story of Elder Bruce D. Porter:

On December 28 of this past year, our dear friend and beloved General Authority Elder Bruce D. Porter completed his mortality. He was 64 years old.

I first met Bruce when we were students at Brigham Young University. He was one of the best and the brightest. After he received his doctoral degree from Harvard University, emphasizing Russian affairs, Bruce’s thinking and writing brought prominence that could have derailed him, but the wealth and praise of the world never clouded his view.25 His loyalty was to his Savior, Jesus Christ; to his eternal companion, Susan; to his children and grandchildren.

Bruce was born with a kidney defect. He had surgery, but over time his kidneys continued to decline.

Shortly after Bruce’s call as a General Authority in 1995, we served together with our families in Frankfurt, Germany, where his work centered in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Life for Elder Porter changed dramatically in 1997 when his kidney function and health began to fail. The Porter family returned to Salt Lake City.

During his 22 years of service in the Seventy, Bruce was hospitalized numerous times, including for 10 surgeries. Doctors told Susan on two occasions that Bruce would not live through the night, but he did.

For more than 12 years of his service as a General Authority, Bruce was on dialysis to clean his blood. For much of that time, the dialysis consumed five evenings a week for four hours each treatment so that he could serve in his calling during the day and accept conference assignments on the weekends. When his health did not improve after several priesthood blessings, Bruce was puzzled, but he knew in whom he trusted.26

In 2010, Bruce received a kidney from his son David. This time his body did not reject the transplant. It was a miracle, bringing renewed health and eventually allowing him and Susan to return to their beloved Russia, with him serving in the Area Presidency.

On December 26 of last year, after fighting continuous infections in a hospital in Salt Lake City, he asked the doctors to leave the room. Bruce told Susan “that he knew through the Spirit that there was nothing the doctors could do that would save his life. He knew … that Heavenly Father would take him home. He was filled with peace.”27

On December 28, Bruce returned to his family home. A few hours later, surrounded by loved ones, he peacefully returned to his heavenly home.

Years ago, Bruce Porter wrote these words to his children:

“The testimony I have of the reality and love of Jesus Christ has been the compass of my life. … It [is] a pure, burning witness of the Spirit that he lives, that he is my Redeemer and Friend in every time of need.”28

“Our challenge … is to come to know [the Savior] … and, through faith in him, to overcome the trials and temptations of this world.”29

“Let us be faithful and true, trusting in him.”30

Bruce Douglas Porter overcame the world.


May we each try a little harder in our efforts to overcome the world, not excusing serious offenses yet being patient with minor slips and falls, eagerly hastening our speed and generously helping others. As you trust more fully in the Savior, I promise you blessings of greater peace in this life and a greater assurance of your eternal destiny.

Trifold (PDF)

Next week: Return and Receive by M. Russell Ballard (HERE).

***The purpose of the 25 weeks of General Conference talks came from our ebook called, Growing up with Conference. In our book, we share an FHE lesson titled: Favorite talk. The purpose is to teach your family to use the general conference talks as part of their personal scripture study. This FHE lesson is found in our “Live it” section of our ebook. You can find our ebook HERE. ***

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