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.
• It amazes me how quickly there two-hour break between sessions passes.
• President Henry B. Eyring starts us off after some great tunes. (With a pretty wild tie for him)
“Always treat someone as if they are in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.”
“Since the beginning, the tests have not been easy. We face trials that come from having mortal bodies. … The world and your life can seem to you to be in increasing commotion.” “My reassurance is this, simply: the loving God who allowed these tests for you also designed a sure way to pass through them. Heavenly Father so loved the world that He sent His Beloved Son to help us.”
He spoke to the idea of taking Christ’s name upon us, which, or course leads to a discussion of the sacrament. (I enjoy any talk that turns to the importance of the sacrament.)
What does it mean to “be willing to take upon us the name of Jesus Christ?” Willing implies there is something to follow – doing.
“We must work continually to take his name throughout our lives, including when we renew covenants at the sacrament table and make covenants in the Lord’s holy temples.”
Spoke to faith, hope and charity. “The feelings that qualify us and enable us to take his name upon us include faith, hope, and charity, which is the pure love of Christ.”
Broke my heart as he talked about his wife, who can only speak a few words a day. He sings to her… (Sorry, gotta wipe my eyes,)
“By your being willing to take His name upon you, you will lift the burdens of countless others. And you will find in time that you know the Savior better and that you love Him more.”
(This was the second talk about taking Christ’s name upon us. Both came at it from different angles, but both were great)
• Brian K. Ashton (2nd Counselor Sunday School Presidency.)
“A correct understanding of Heavenly Father’s character can change how we see ourselves and others and help us to understand God’s tremendous love for His children and His great desire to help us become like Him.”
“An incorrect view of God’s nature can contribute to a feeling that we can’t ever make our way back.”
“The Father gives good gifts.”
The basic idea of the talk is that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing, He loves us, will bless us, and we need to strive to be more like Him.
• Brother Ashton is the 2nd Counselor in the Sunday school Presidency, which begs the question: Is there a bell to ring in the Conference Center when it is time to stop?
• Elder Robert C. Gay
“Can you not see that everyone around you is a sacred being?”
“To take upon ourselves the name of Christ means we faithfully strive to see as God sees.”
Super quote from Joseph Smith: “While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard.”
“From the Spirit’s rebuke at my sister’s bedside I learned a great lesson: that as we see as He sees, ours will be a double victory — redemption of those we touch and redemption of ourselves.”
For us to take upon us the name of Christ we need to try to:
1. See how He sees.
2. Serve how He serves
3. Trust him
“His love is greater than our fears, our addictions, our doubts, our temptations, our sins, our broken families, our depression and anxieties, our chronic illness, our poverty, our abuse, our despair and our loneliness.”
• Elder Matthew L. Carpenter – told story of his son having a stroke in the mission field, (I can relate to this talk with my son’s brain injury on his mission.)
(2nd talk in a row about God’s knowledge of our anxiety, depression, struggles, etc, and how He can heal us.)
Pool of Bethesda story.
“Mortal infirmities can refine us and deepen our reliance upon God. But when we allow Christ to be involved, he will always strengthen us spiritually so we can have greater capacity to endure our burdens.”
“Healing occurs according to God’s will and wisdom.” (Not the best news, but true,)
“Please remember that Jesus Christ is mighty in how he also heals the innocent victims of sin who turn to him.”
“Becoming clean from sin is being spiritually healed.” Repentance.
Repent fast. “Brothers and sisters, it is never a good idea to procrastinate your repentance.” “Our spiritual healing requires us to submit ourselves to the conditions our Savior has outlined. We must not delay! We must act today!”
• Rest hymn! Temple Square still looks green a pretty.
• Elder Dale Rendlund starts off by talking about Mary Poppins. Fun!
When Mary had to leave, she spoke about the kids: “They’ve got to do the next bit on their own.”
Hilarious: “God is not interested in His children just becoming trained and obedient ‘pets,’ who will not chew on His slippers in the Celestial living room. No, God wants His children to grow up spiritually and join Him in the family business.”
“Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to do what is right, He want’s us to choose to do right.”
“God established a plan whereby we can become heirs in his kingdom, a covenant pathway that leads us to become like him, have the kind of life he has, and live forever as families in his presence.”
(There is the theme of the weekend – “Covenant Pathway”)
“Lucifer is the ultimate bully; the one who kicks us when we are down.” He is referred to in the Book of Revelations as the “Accuser of the Brethren.” (Which I have always found interesting when applied to those who do complain about their leaders.)
“Though God wants us to be on the covenant path, He gives us the dignity of choosing. Indeed, God desires, expects, and directs that each of His children choose for himself or herself. He will not force us.”
If we choose to leave the path, we can get back on. “exercising faith in Jesus Christ, repenting, receiving help from him, and being forgiven, are not one-time events but lifelong processes, processes that are repetitive and iterative. This is how we ‘endure to the end.” (YES! Endure to the end is simply living the 4th Article of Faith cycle over and over again all our lives)
“Once we’re back on the path, through repentance, it will be as if we were never off.”
• Elder Jack Gerard – scary story about having a pulmonary embolism while traveling. The doctor asked if there was anything in his life he needed to consider…now is the time.
“I would invite you to consider an important lesson learned from this experience, to step back from the world and to assess your life.”
“Have we perhaps unintentionally let the cares of the world distract us from what matters most?”
“Unless we take the time to reflect, we may not have the time to recognize what the world has done to our lives.”
Talked about how media can be interesting and entertaining, but most has little to do with anything important – merely distraction as we move down the Covenant Path. (Yes, there is that theme again.)
“Today is the perfect time to change.” A great topic for the end of Conference.
“May I suggest that the best things in this life are centered on Jesus Christ and understanding the eternal truths of who He is and who we are in our relationship with Him.”
Truth is not relative.
• Strokes, pulmonary embolisms, etc. Rough stuff.
• I have the hiccups. Thought you should know.
• Elder Gary Stevenson on Ministering.
“Small efforts can have eternal consequences.”
“Heavenly Father can take our simple daily efforts and turn them into something miraculous.”
“Ministering … goes far beyond merely being nice. Done in the Lord’s way, ministering can have a far-reaching influence for good that ripples throughout eternity.”
Ministering/Lost sheep analogy.
Spoke of losing sheep to predators when they stray from the flock, then tied it to Christ as the shepherd. (I wonder if the devoted sheep dog was a …wait for it…German Shepherd.)
“Ministering is to be led by the Spirit, flexible, and customized to the needs of each member.”
• President Nelson: “We took to the future with enthusiasm.” (Always glad to hear that.)
Lots of prophetic promises regarding working to establish our home-based church. “I promise that as you diligently work to remodel your home into a center of gospel learning, over time your Sabbath days will be a delight.”
“Now let’s turn to the topic of temples…” !!!
Encouraged us to attend the temple.
Update SLC and other “pioneer” temples.
Construct 12 new temples.
Yuba City, California
Phomn Penh Cambodia
Praia, Cabo Verde
Auckland, New Zealand
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Washington County, Utah
(Cheering in the Conference Center is kinda crass too me.)
“I assure you that revelation continues in the Church and will continue until the ‘purposes of God shall be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
• I love how excited President Nelson is about everything. It is contagious!
• To all you sisters beginning their Social Media fast now, good luck. Enjoy! It can be a great thing
• I hope you had a great weekend, and feel filled and ready to step up.
• I am so thankfully for continuing revelation, prophets and the gospel of Jesus Christ and our Savior. I feel SO blessed to be able to receive God’s guidance in such abundance and intensity twice a year at General Conference,