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.
•• My Spirit is excited. My mind and body are playing catch-up.
•• One of my favorite parts of the start of Conference is that all the rampant speculation can stop for a couple hours to see what is actually happening.
•• Ma pain au chocolat était délicieux.
•• When I see two people playing the organ at the same time, I secretly wish they would bust into a “Dueling Organist” battle.
• Elder Ulisses Soares started things off. (He’s one of the newest Apostles.)
Spoke of how the Spirit will help us become new creatures. (“Creatures” always cracks me up, because it is frequently the perfect word.)
“The commandment to learn the gospel and teach it to one another is not new. It has been constantly repeated from the beginning of human history.”
“When we accept the Savior’s invitation “to come and see,” we need to abide in Him, immersing ourselves in the scriptures, rejoicing in them, learning His doctrine, and striving to live the way He lived.”
“If we desire people, whether that be family or not, to joyfully treasure up the scriptures and the teachings of living apostles and prophets of our day, they need to see our souls delighting in them.” (Makes sense.)
Powerful statement: “I never felt like my mom raised us alone because the Lord was always in our home.”
•• If you squint, the floral arrangement behind the speakers looks like a produce display at a farmers market.
Sis. Becky Craven (2nd Counselor YW Presidency)
Spoke about being careful, rather than casual as we walk along the covenant path. “Careful, Not Casual” is a great catchphrase.
“We can rationalize all we want, but there is no right way to do the wrong thing.”
Gave a list of things that we should be careful about, including sacrament, scripture study, modesty, service etc.
“We do not lower our standards to fit in or to make someone else feel comfortable. We are disciples of Jesus Christ and as such we are about elevating others, lifting them to a higher, holier place where they, too, can reap greater blessings.
“We are not meant to blend in with the rest of the world.” (I love to hear this because so many members are worried about appearing to be “normal” to the rest of the world. We aren’t supposed to be “normal.”)
“Although none of us are perfect, but we can be worthy.”
Really, really good talk.
• Elder Brook P. Hales.
“One aspect of that perfect love is our Heavenly Father’s involvement in the details of our lives, even when we may not be aware of it or understand it. “
“When we honor our covenants and strive to be more like our Savior, we are entitled to a constant stream of divine guidance through the influencing inspiration of the Holy Ghost.”
(So far, 3 of the 3 speakers have talked about covenants and the Covenant Path.)
“Sometimes, the answer to prayer that we so righteously, desperately, and earnestly seek is not given in this life.” (Hard truth)
“I know that as an all-knowing, loving Father, He answers our prayers perfectly, according to His infinite wisdom, and in ways that will be to our ultimate benefit and blessing.”
• Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Some perspective on how tiny our church is compared to the 7 billion people on earth.
“In spite of persecution and sometimes because of it, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow.”
“Wherever you are on this earth there are plenty of opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” (I noticed that there have not been a lot of talks about missionary work lately. Nice to hear Elder Uchtdorf tackle it.)
“Remember, the Lord has never required expert, flawless missionary efforts. Instead, the Lord requires the heart and a willing mind.”
Introduced an interesting way to pronounce “Pew.”
5 guilt-free things that anyone can do to participate in…the gathering Israel.
- Love God. (1st great commandment)
- Fill your heart with love for others. (2nd great commandment)
- Strive to walk the path of discipleship. “The important thing is that you don’t give up; keep trying to get it right. You will eventually become better, happier, and more authentic”
- Share what is in your heart. “Always look for opportunities to bring up your faith in normal, natural ways, in person and online.”
- Trust the Lord to work his miracles. “Invite others to come and see and come and help, and God will do His saving work, and they will come and stay.”
….and now I have Paula Abdul in my head, “Two steps forward and one step back…we come together ’cause opposites attract.”
•• If anyone is curious why Elder Uchtdorf wears his wedding band on his right hand, it is because that’s how they roll in Germany.
• W. Christopher Waddell (2nd Counselor Presiding Bishopric) told a touching story of his brother who returned to activity as he battled with pancreatic cancer. (Spoiler: He died 5 hours after being ordained an Elder.)
“In response to that invitation of a prophet of God, remarkable efforts to minister to the one are taking place all over the world.”
“We will be provided opportunities to forget self and lift others. These opportunities may often be inconvenient, testing our desire to become more like the Master, whose greatest service of all, His infinite Atonement, was anything but convenient.”
“It isn’t necessary for someone to be suffering, like my brother, from a life-threatening disease in order to be in need of ministering service. Those needs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and conditions.”
“Whether we serve as ministering brothers or sisters, or simply when we are made aware of someone in need, we are encouraged to seek the guidance and direction of the Spirit…and then act.”
And a lovely assurance: “It is never too late and no one has ever wandered so far from the path that they are beyond the reach of the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ.”
(Interesting that he read off notes, rather than the teleprompter)
•• There is a lot of extra forehead space in the men’s side of the choir. #TabCats
• President Henry B. Eyring wrapped things up, speaking of the organization of the Church in 1830 – 189 years go today.
The Church was organized in a home – he turned to focus of the talk to what we do in our homes. “The pure love of Christ must come into the hearts of those in our family.”
Spoke of how the people of 4th Nephi were able to live in happiness for a long time. “The eventual symptoms of their decline is a pattern that appears over the ages.”
Studying that pattern of decline can help protect us..
2) People stopped sharing
3) Began to see themselves in classes
4) Began to diminish in their Faith in Jesus Christ
5) Began to hate
6) Began to commit all kinds of sin
“Building faith in Jesus Christ is the beginning of reversing against any spiritual decline in the home.”
Faith and example are better than preaching or calling out the sinner.
“For me, the old saying ‘The family that prays together stays together’ could be expanded to ‘The family that prays together is together, even when they are far apart.” (That means so much more to me now the my kids are all over the place)
“Both for parents and children the temple is the best opportunity to gain a feeling for and a love of heavenly places.”
“Our family members will grow in their desire to share the gospel as they feel the joy of forgiveness.”
For those worried about how their families will end up: “You are worrying about the wrong problem. You just live worthy of the Celestial Kingdom and the family arrangements will be more wonderful than anything you can imagine.”
•• Core doctrines. Nothing new. All those who tuned in out of curiosity for new changes might be disappointed. We shall see…
•• Sister Craven was my fav for the session. Eyring had the best tie – a sweet Burgundy number.
•• Off to do some yard work. Back in a couple hours.