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.
• Sunday morning, and I managed to sleep in. Here I sit, waiting for Conference to start, and my eyes are blurry. But man, the Choir sounds terrific this morning. And the correct answer is “Cyan.”
• I wonder if today will hold any more surprises…
• President M. Russell Ballard. Spoke about the backstory of Section 138, and “Joseph F. Smith’s lifetime of preparation to receive this revelation.”
He made it a point to tell the young men that Joseph F. drove a team of oxen to the Salt Lake Valley before he was even 10 yeas old, and served a mission at 15. He was ordained an apostle at 27.
He went on to detail how Joseph F. lost so many children and so many family members throughout his life. Disease, war, etc. Remarkable how much death he dealt with within his own family.
We can be comforted when loved ones die by reading D&C 138.
Elder Ballard mentioned at the onset that he had already begun working on this talk before his wife recently passed away, making it very poignant and personal.
He invited us to thoughtful read the revelation (138) as it is the 100th anniversary of the revelation.
• Sister Bonnie Cordon (YW Pres.) How can we show the Savior we love him? Feed his sheep, lambs.
Spoke about Peter, and how after his ascension, Peter would need to do it on his own with the help of the Spirit.
“We must develop a shepherd’s heart in understanding the needs of the sheep.”
“I hope the people you minister to will see you as a friend, a confident, a champion for them.”
“Do our sheep know we are watching with love and will take action to help?
“Your sacred ministering assignment gives you the divine right of inspiration.”
Offered praise to the youth as great shepherds. Encouraged them to seek out ministering assignments.
• Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Wearing glasses? (I guess he is going with the Clark Kent look – even though we know he is Superman.)
About ministering -““Just jump into the pool and swim. Head toward those in need. Don’t be immobilized wondering whether you should do the backstroke or dog paddle.”
Speaking about the personal aspect of ministering that is not by assignment…
Told the story of a man who left the church for 15 years because of a bad recommend renewal experience. “Anger, if not restrained is frequently more destructive than the injury that provoked it.”
The man did come back into activity 50 years later. (The solution involved a son named Brad. Yeah, Brad.) Very sweet and powerful story of how the invitation from his children brought a man back to the church.
“Our relationship with Christ will be determined, or at least affected, by our relationship with each other.”
(Almost ready for him to break out the “Tarzan Principle.”)
“We can rise above our pain only when we put our feet onto the path to try healing. That path is the forgiving one walked by Jesus of Nazareth, who calls out to each of us.”
“My beloved friends, in our shared ministry of reconciliation I am asking you to be peacemakers.”
Important: “Forgiveness does not mean you have to re-enter a toxic or abusive relationship.”
• I didn’t catch it in my notes, but I THINK Elder Holland said “Forgive and FORSAKE,” rather than “Forgive and FORGET.” That is a significant and serious difference.
• Elder Holland has a unique way of slapping me upside the head and making me grateful and happy about it.
• Elder Shayne Bowen (I always feel bad for whoever follows Elder Holland.)
Told the conversion story of his MTC teacher in Chile. Chile is awesome.
Talked about getting a testimony of the Prophet Joseph and the Book of Mormon .
(To be honest, I kinda zoned out during this talk. I apologize.)
The Book of Mormon is the keystone to conversion of all of Heavenly Father’s sons and daughters.”
Tied the Book of Mormon to the gathering of Israel. “If there was no Book of Mormon, the Gathering could not occur.”
• Elder Neil A. Anderson stated by talking about the Brussels airport bombing and the missionaries that were injured there. (link to the story of Elder Norby here.)
“Someone could understandably say, it just isn’t fair, it isn’t right – they were giving their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ – how could this happen?”
The answer? “This is mortality.”
“Wounds of the soul are not unique to the rich or the poor, to one culture, one nation, or one generation. They come to all.”
“My message today is especially to those who are keeping the commandments of God, keeping their promises to God, and … are confronted with trials and challenges that are unexpected and painful.”
He went through a listing of possible trials…”and a hundred other” things that can happen.
Peter: “think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” (Peter 4:11)
“However deep the wounds of your soul, whatever their source, wherever or whenever they happen, and for how short or how long they persist, you are not meant to perish spiritually. “You are meant to survive spiritually and blossom in your faith and trust in God.”
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
“You may be exhausted, but don’t ever give up.”
“It is my promise to you that increasing your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will bring you added strength and greater hope.”
• Elder Holland and Elder Anderson present a powerful and emotional one/two punch to the heart.
• My Crunchberries aren’t sitting well.
• President Nelson: Speaking about the correction of the Church name. Wahoo! He praised those of us who changed their blog names and stuff. (Feeling happy and relieved.)
“The name of the Church is not negotiable.”
God is offended if we use nicknames for the Church. “It is not a name change. It is not rebranding. It is not cosmetic. It is not a whim. And it is not inconsequential. Instead, it is a correction. It is the command of the Lord.”
(Note word “Command.”)
“For much of the world, the Lord’s Church is disguised buy the name Mormon Church.”
President Nelson knows SEO – but doesn’t care!!! So awesome!
“Responsible media will be sympathetic to our request.” (Yeah, that’s a tall order.)
“One by one our effort will be to correct efforts that have crept in over the years.”
“I promise that if we will do our best to restore the correct name of the Lord’s Church, He who’s Church this is will pour down His power and blessings upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints–the likes of which we have never seen.”
• LOVE that there is a whole lot of shake-up going on. I feel like we are experiencing a huge leap forward, and I find it invigorating.
One more to go….who knows what could happen???