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.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland started us off with the story of the blind man and Jesus. In matter of faith, it is good to direct your questions to those who have some.
When you have questions about faith, turn to people who have faith.
Lots of jokes about gathering for Conference. (Which is good, because I’m not really coherent yet…)
““The prayer of every speaker, the hope of all who sing, the reverence of every guest — all are dedicated to inviting the spirit of Him whose Church this is, the living Christ, the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace.”
“This Conference tradition will mean little or nothing unless we find Jesus at the center of it all. We must cut through the commotion and fix our attention on Him.”
Talked about how all the changes lately all fit together and direct us to Christ. Or it is kinda pointless: “We will miss the real reason for these revelatory adjustments if we see them as disparate, unrelated elements rather than an interrelated effort to help us build firmly on the rock of our salvation.”
“We must point past the hustle and bustle and concentrate them on the meaning of it all, on the beating heart of the eternal gospel: the love of Heavenly Parents, the atoning gift of a divine Son.”
Bore apostolic witness of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. Very specific and very cool.
Fantastic opening talk – finished by saying “Welcome to General Conference.”
Elder Terrence M. Vinson based his thoughts on a verse from Haggai. (Not very ofter Haggai gets a shout-out in Conference.
Haggai 1:6-7 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; consider your ways.
Quoted s father saying, “What we need here is less WiFi and more Nephi.”
Used the Australian phrase “Fair Dinkum.” (used to emphasize that behaviour complies with accepted standards.)
“Giving your all does not guarantee success but rather giving your all means you will have joy.”
Told the story of King Lamoni and how he moved from giving up half his kingdom to giving up all he had. “Fair dinkum.” You have to be “all-in.”
“Get fair dinkum now, and feel the joy.”
Stephen Owen. (YM President) Told about how being distracted by social media kept him from his daily scripture study.
Tech is great, but can distract us from out relationship with the Lord.
“Many of the messages that bombard us in the information age are the spiritual equivalent of feeding hay to deer — we can eat it all day long, but it will not nourish us.” We can news and social media all day, yet still be empty.
“We must deliberately take time each day to disconnect from the world and connect with heaven.”
“The Lord knows about our challenges… and he is helping us prepare to meet them.”
“Satan is the master of distraction and author of procrastination. He will bring things to your attention that seem urgent but, in reality, aren’t that important.”
“Regardless of your circumstances, you can make your home the center of gospel learning and living. It simply means taking personal responsibility for your conversion and spiritual growth.”
“Remodel your home into a sanctuary of faith.” The Church supports what we do at home.
“At church we partake of the sacrament, which helps us reestablish our commitment to the Savior each week. And at church we gather with other believers who have made that same commitment.”
“Never underestimate the strength that comes from gathering with others who are also trying to be strong.”
(Editorial note: This talk is AWESOME!!!)
- Rest hymn: “How Firm a Foundation.” I will sing (in my head) “yoo hoo unto Jesus” until the day I die.
- My pan de chocolat was delicious.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson talks about Enos, and how he reflected back on the teachings of his father and the joy of the saints.
“The wicked may have joy for a season, but the joy of the saints is enduring.”
“God sees things in their true perspective, and He shares that perspective with us through His commandments, effectively guiding us around the pitfalls and potholes of mortality toward eternal joy.”
Told the story of a Stake President who was paralyzed from a body surfing accident. His wife took care of him for decades. He was called as Gospel Doctrine teacher and STAKE PATRIARCH.
“If our faith is strong, when bad things happen (and they will), we will be able to deal with them.”
“This is a day of sometimes merciless attacks on social media and in person.”
Serving others can help us get through tough times: “Even in times of discouragement or stress, we can minister patiently if we are focused on the joy of pleasing God and bringing light, relief, and happiness to His children, our brothers and sisters.”
“I believe that the ultimate joy of the saints comes in knowing that the Savior pleads their cause, and no one can conceive of the joy which will fill our souls as we hear Jesus pray for us unto the Father.”
Michelle Craig 1st Counselor YW Presidency talked the age old dilemma: How can you tell the Spirit from your own thought.
4 Ways to Increase Spiritual Capacity to Receive Revelation
- Be intentional about creating time and space to hear God’s voice. Lots of distractions out there. (Great quote from Joesph Smith about how the Lord speaks to us – gotta find it later)
- Act without delay. “You will increasingly recognize god’s guidance. If you delay you might forget the prompting or miss the chance
- Get your errand from the Lord. President Monson, “When you are on the Lord’s errand, you can expect the Lord’s blessing.”
- Believe and trust God.
More than one way to skin a spiritual cat. She didn’t say that part, but she said this: “Nephi, the brother of Jared and Moses all had a body of water to cross.”
“God will provide “a” way, not “the” way.”
“Do we miss or dismiss personal errands from the Lord because he has prepared a way different than the one we expect? Trust God to lead you, even if that way looks different than you expected or is different from others.”
Quoting President Nelson: “I plead with you to increase your spiritual capacity to receive revelation…Choose to do the spiritual work required to enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost and hear the voice of the Spirit more frequently and more clearly.”
(Very good talk!)
Elder Dale Renlund. Talked about waterfalls in the Congo. And how people would throw their objects into the waterfalls to show their conversion to their new lives as followers of Jesus. “God invites us to cast our old ways completely out of our reach and begin a new life in Christ.”
“Being ‘converted unto the Lord’ means leaving one course of action, directed by an old belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God.”
“Being converted unto the Lord starts with an unwavering commitment to God, followed by making that commitment part of who we are.”
“Our commitment to keep our covenants should not be conditional or vary with changing circumstances in our lives.”
Haha: “It’d be nice if increased faith were transmitted like the flu or the common cold. Then, a simple ‘spiritual’ sneeze would build faith in others. But it doesn’t work that way. The only way faith grows is for an individual to act in faith.”
2nd speaker to talk about how being halfway committed doesn’t cut it.
Summary quote: “I invite you to commit to a lifelong process of discipleship. Make and keep covenants. Throw your old ways into deep, churning waterfalls. Completely bury your weapons of rebellion with no handles sticking out.”
- Choir sang a Primary song. It almost rivaled our kids’ Primary program from last week.
- I am enjoying the “meatiness” of the session so far.
- Wrapping up with President Oaks. Buckle up.
President Dallin H. Oaks. (Which is what I called him in college)
Told the story about a man concerned about her marriage circumstances in the next life: “You are worried about the wrong things.
He receives lots of questions about what goes on in the Spirit World. “What do we really know about the conditions of the Spirit World?” Not much.
(This has always fascinated me, because we work so hard and build our lives around something we know precious little about.)
Ahh – just wan’t sure where he was going – it is a shot at those who have “life after death” experiences who write books and people treat them like its revelation.
“Elder Andersen taught this principle: ‘The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk.’”
“It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine.”
The Family Proclamation is an example of prophetic teachings of the presidency of the Church affirmed by other leaders.
“These is so much we do not know, that our only sure reliance is to trust in the Lord.”
Stop speculating! We can discuss questions in family and intimate settings, but we shouldn’t teach them in Church as if they are doctrine. (I wrote about this in January: link)
Something comforting about knowing that President Oaks has unanswered questions.
• That went fast!
• Halloween colored ties for the #TabCats. Well done!
• Back in four hours!