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.
• Deep breath. Wolfed down a burger from Carl’s Jr., have a DDP by my side, a smile on my face, ready to roll.
• Spent most of the break on the phone with tech support, trying to get them to stop throttling the crazy traffic spikes on my blog.
• Elder D. Todd Christofferson starts off by talking about covenants – continuing the trend.
“When will you decide once and for all?” (The great Elijah story – sacrifice on altars of Baal. I LOVE how Elijah rubs their noses in it by dousing the wood and offering with water. Show off!)
“To preserve firm and steadfast in the faith of Christ requires that the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrate one’s heart and soul.”
“Either God, our Heavenly Father, exists or He does not. But if he exists, worship Him.”
“Either the Book of Mormon is the word of God, or not…”
“Either Joseph Smith was a prophet, or not…”
“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8)
Spoke about who don’t honor their covenants by picking and choosing what parts they will follow. Contrasted to those who are on the covenant path and will to do what they should.
Condensed version: Keep your covenants and keep trying. “Remaining firm in the faith of Christ will bring his sustaining grace and support.”
• Bishop Dean M. Davies (OPB) Had the cool job of finding temple sites around the world. Told interesting story of acquiring the site of the Vancouver Temple (Which I have been to! Very cool to hear the inside scoop about President Hickley, because it is way far away from Vancouver proper, and seems out of place.)
President Hinckley asked, “”This is where the Lord wants the Temple. Can you get it?” They did – but it wasn’t easy.
“The Lord has revealed and continues to reveal to the president of the church the patterns by which the kingdom of God is to be directed in our day.”
Mentioned the theme: “Stay on the covenant path.”
• Elder Ulisses Soares (I think this is his first talk as an Apostle.)
“As we encourage, support, and love each other, we combine to form a mighty force for good in the world.” We need to become one with each other and Christ.
“We cannot afford to lose anyone.”
Spoke to the struggles of new members as they try and fit in. Convert retention is a hard thing, and has been for as long as I can remember.
“Extend a warm hand of fellowship to our new friends, accept them where they are, and help, love, and include them in our lives.”
Things new friends in the Church need:
1. They need brothers and sisters in the church who are sincerely interested in them.
2. They need an assignment, an opportunity to serve others.
3. They must be nourished by the good word of God.
“Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:9) “You should always be attentive and look for new faces when attending church activities and meetings.”
“I invite you to seek the Lord’s help in loving others as He has loved you.”
Really heartfelt and important. Christlike even.
• Halftime. The top trends seem to be about staying on the covenant path, and green ties.
• Elder Garrit W. Gong. (The other new Apostle!) Spoke about some of the other Apostles and their artistic/creative endeavors and how they tie into the gospel. (Packer, Scott, Eyring)
“The light will come, when we desire and seek it, when we are patient and obedient to God’s commandments, when we are open to God’s grace, healing and covenants.”
- Find joy in wholesome creativity. ““We cannot love ourselves enough to save ourselves, but the Lord loves us more”
- Minister in higher holier ways.
- Joy comes when we seek to love God and others with our hearts and souls
- Establish righteous routines. “When righteous patterns and spiritual yearnings join, time and eternity come together.”
- Remember that perfection is in Christ, not the world.
THIS IS A GREAT TALK.
• I think is very cool that Elder Scott would take time to teach someone how to watercolor. Ministering…
• Tidbit: Elder Gong earned both a Masters Degree and a Doctorate Degree at Oxford in just 3 years – while he was serving in a bishopric.
• Elder Paul Pieper. Speaking about the Covenant Path. (Yes, him, too.)
Baptism is just the beginning – we must take upon ourselves the name of Christ, which requires action.
“When we take upon ourselves the name of Christ, we take upon us the responsibilities of a true disciple.”
Made the important point that being a disciple includes being an active member of the church. (I you ain’t coming to church, you ain’t a disciple- my paraphrasing)
This makes sense as he proceeds to talk about the covenant of baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost – which naturally leads to a discussion of the sacrament.
(This talk, while not flashy or exciting, is honest truth, and nicely constructed.)
“The Holy Ghost will warn us if we start to wander off the covenant path. If we don’t heed that warning, it will soon be lost.” (Powerful!)
• I just ate Ding-Dong. It was delicious, but they are smaller than they used to be. If you eat one in Vancouver, they are called “King-Dons.”
• Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. (Weird to list him as “Elder” instead of President)
“King Solomon who had everything ended up being pessimistic, disalushiomed and unhappy despite everything he had going for him.”
“Hope is found in the transformative power of the gospel of Jesus Christ…”
“We find the abundant life by forgetting ourselves and engaging in the cause of Christ.”
“Discipleship begins with three simple words: Believe, Love, Do.”
“Belief is not so much like a painting, it is more like a plow that we take into the fields, and by the sweat of our brow bear fruit.”
“The love Jesus spoke about, however, isn’t a “gift-card, throw-away, move-on-to-other-things” love. It isn’t a love that is spoken of and then forgotten. It is not a “let-me-know-if-there-is-anything-I-can- do” sort of love.” (Haha!)
“Shepherding” was a consideration for theme of the ministering program. (German Shepherd joke was killer!!!)
“The more we love God and his children the happier we become.”
“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feebleknees;” (Hebrews 12:12)
To those not in the church: “Come help us build a culture of helping, healing and kindness.”
He mentioned that the Church is filled with some of the “finest people in the world, but that they are imperfect. “But they do have this in common—they want to improve and draw closer to the Lord, our Savior. They are trying to get it right.” (Very generous of him)
(This is a very sweet, uplifting talk to end the session with.)
• Well, I have the night off. Sisters, enjoy your session!