Note: These are the instant, mildly-filtered things that ran through my brain and heart as I watched this session of General Conference. If you are looking for deep, spiritual analysis, this is not the place. Drive on. Please check back later for that, after I have had some time to process.
Here we go! (I woke up with a stiff neck, but its feeling better.)
• New choir name, new hashtags. The name adjustment is serious business.
• Opening prayer: Elder Craig Cardon – my former Stake President when I was called into the High Council decades ago.
• President Nelson starts us off… fundamental question: How can we take the gospel in its simple purity and the… ordinances… to all of God’s children.
Time for a “Home Centered Church.” “We need an adjustment to this pattern. It is time for a home-centered Church, supported by what takes place inside our branch, ward, and stake buildings.”
“For many years Church leaders have been working on an integrated curriculum to strengthen families and individuals through a home-centered and Church-supported plan to learn doctrine, strengthen faith, and foster greater personal worship.”
Time for an adjustment…
New balance and adjustment between church and home. Parents responsible as supported by the Church.
• Hands it off to Elder Quentin Cook to explain what it means.
Family Home Evening is now whenever, not just Monday.
New curriculum and “Come Follow Me” for home study use to follow with Church curriculum.
Honoring the Sabbath and sacrament, Ministering, Temple covenants and family history.
Singles and those who don;t have somebody can meet in groups. (Phew!) Informally by those who desire. (Essentially study groups)
Likes using social media to invite and organize.
More wards meeting earlier in the day.
“We are confident that members will be blessed in extraordinary ways.”
Worked well in test markets.
The goal of these adjustments is to strengthen testimonies.
Lots of great promised blessings for those who enthusiastically embrace the changes.
• The NFL is gonna love the ratings boost!
• Brilliant that the ministering changes came BEFORE this change.
• Brad note: Just realized my calling just got cut in half.
• M. Joseph Brough, General Young Men’s Presidency.
Everyone faces hard things.
To overcome trials: 1. Forgive others. 2. Give ourselves to Heavenly Father.
We need to look different than the world.
• Elder Steven Bangerter: Family traditions should instill faith and conversion.
“Lessons taught in the home, though small and simple, are increasingly important in today’s world.”
We gotta teach our kids and give them a strong foundation.
“In the spirit that accompanies these efforts, our children become protected from the fiery darts of the adversary, so embedded in the worldly culture of our day.”
“When parents exercise faith by teaching children candidly, lovingly and doing all they can to help them along the way, they receive greater hope that the seeds being sown will take root within the hearts and minds of their children.”
(Lots of empty-nesters breathing a sigh of relief)
• Elder Ronald Rasband: “Is it still safe and wise to bring children into this…world?” YES!
Fear is not new.
(Great to have a talk about overcoming fear after the earthshaking changes that were just announced)
How to overcome fear:
1: Stand in holy places.
2: Be not troubled.
3: Trust the Lord and his prophets.
“If we stay on the covenant path, we need not fear.”
(Gonna have to re-watch this talk. It is full of good stuff, but we are all still a bit distracted by the changes.) The timing on this talk is perfect. I’m a firm believer in faith casting out fear.)
• Elder David A. Bednar: Together we are stronger.
(I’m having happy memories of teaching kids how to make rope at Science and Scout camps!)
“The historic adjustments announced today have only one overarching purpose: to strengthen faith in Heavenly Father and His Plan and in His Son Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The Sunday meeting schedule was not simply shortened, rather we now have increased opportunities and responsibilities…to use the Sabbath as a delight…”
“Please do not focus primarily upon the logistical aspects of what has been announced. We must not allow procedural details to obscure the overarching spiritual reasons these changes now are being made.”
Warned against “pharisaical focus on checklists,” rather “the power of the Savior’s gospel to transform and bless us flows from discerning and applying the interrelatedness of its doctrine, principles and practices.”
“Only as we gather together in one all things in Christ, with firm focus upon Him, can gospel truths synergistically enable us to become what God desires us to become and endure valiantly to the end.”
Then he jumped into the most basic doctrine of the core “first principles of the gospel.” with groovy new graphics!
• This is the most lit up my phone has ever been during a General Conference session.
• President Dallin H. Oaks. Truth
“We live in a time of greatly expanded and disseminated information. But not all of this information is true.”
(Sure glad my blog isn’t anonymous right about now)
“When we seek the truth about religion, we should use spiritual methods appropriate for that search: prayer, the witness of the Holy Ghost, and study of the scriptures and the words of modern prophets.”
Continued with a review of the Plan of Salvation.
(2nd talk in a row reinforcing the First Principles of the gospel.)
Ideas that are best understood against the backdrop of the Plan:
1: “We honor individual agency.”
2: “We are a missionary people.” “We esteem all mortals as children of God.”
3: “Mortal life is sacred.” – thus we oppose abortion and euthanasia.
4: We oppose changes to traditional marriage and gender confusion
5: We like kids.
6: We are beloved children of a Father in Heaven who told us 1-4. Opposition is part of the plan and Satan, and he loves to fight the important stuff, confuse gender and oppose child bearing.
Seek help if you are struggling.
Keep on the Covenant Path. (I think this is the 3rd reference to this in just one session.)
• President Oaks is fearless in the face of the world’s social pressures. What a great example.
• This performance of Come, Come Ye Saints is LIT! (Did I say that right?)
• I am already exhausted and it is only the first session. (But I do get the night off!)
Much to process!