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.
• We didn’t follow our tradition of making a Taco Bell run between session. Taco Bell has fallen out of favor at our house over the past few months. Very sad, indeed.
• Does anyone know what the Brethren do during the break between sessions? Some of them are getting up there in years. Is there a cafeteria or room where they can chill, or play video games? If you know, please comment.
• Loving the sisters in the choir and their autumn leaves colored outfits.
And we are off with President Eyring calling for sustaining votes. Sad to hear Elder Wilford Anderson and Elder Costa are released. My former Stake President, Len Greer (who extended my call to be bishop) was released as well. I wonder at what point will the Church be too big to read the names of every calling/release in Conference.
Elder David A. Bednar started out by quoting Boyd K. Packer – so I’m all in. Spiritual crocodiles. Elder Bednar talked about Cheetahs he saw in Africa chasing antelopes. (Topis)
The cheetahs patiently worked as a team to sneak up on the topis while distracting them. But there were topis watching from atop termite mounds that warned the heard. The pursuit continued – they did not stop or take a break – relentless.
— Ack! I just lost an entire section that highlighted the meat of the talk. I’ll try and go back–
- Beware of evil’s beguiling disguises.
- Stay awake and be alert.
- Understand the intent of the enemy. Satan will always be our enemy.
He used the word “relentless” several times in describing how cheetah, and Satan, stalk their pray. Good word.
“Understanding the intent of an enemy is vital for effective preparation for possible attacks.”
“As we are blessed with eyes to see and ears to hear, the Holy Ghost can increase our capacity to look and listen when we may not typically think we need to look or listen or when we may not think anything can be seen or heard.”
“The very tool he does not have and cannot use is thus the primary target of his attempts to lure us to physical and spiritual destruction. … Understanding the intent of an enemy is vital to effective preparation for possible attacks.”
“I promise that the blessings of effective preparation and spiritual protection will flow into your life as you are watchful unto prayer vigilantly and continually.”
“Please remember Your home is the true center of gospel learning and living”
Very enjoyable talk, with a super analogy. (Was surprised that he slipped in a shot about abortion rights not being human rights.)
Elder Ruben Alliaud, from Argentina. (Really thick accent to wade through)
Told his conversion story about when he came to the US. He borrowed a Book of Mormon from his brother’s bookshelf… “As I read more, I understood that if I really wanted to get anything from this, I had better start to pray; and we all know perfectly well what happens when you decide to not only read but to also pray about the Book of Mormon.”
“We all know what happens when you start to pray about the Book of Mormon”
“I came to know that the Book of Mormon was crucial in the conversion process by experiencing firsthand the promise that ‘a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts.”
“Regardless of how long your have been a member of the church, allow the power of the Book of Mormon to find us and embrace us”
President Russel M. Nelson jumped right in about the temple witness policy changes. Reviewed what was released earlier this week.
Then he jumped to youth and his invitation for them to join the “Youth Battalion.”
Young men adjustments now from Quentin Cook, YW tonight with Sister Bonnie Cordon.
Elder Quentin Cook on the YM changes:
- Curriculum expanded to home. (CFM)
- New Youth/Children program (New Program from last week.
- Organizational changes to make youth more significant focus.
“These efforts, together with those announced during the last two years, are not isolated changes. Each of the adjustments is an integral part of an interlocking pattern to bless the Saints and prepare them to meet God.”
“The bishopric is the presidency of the Aaronic priesthood.”
No more YM Presidencies at the Ward level. Advisors will be called to help. (Makes complete sense to me.)
“These adjustments will help bishops and their counselors focus on their core responsibilities to the youth and primary children—Place the power and duties of the Aaronic priesthood at the center of every young man’s personal life and goals.”
Talked about Bishop responsibilities (This is not new) The bishop cannot delegate the youth, caring for those in need, being a judge in Israel, and monetary responsibility.
No more BYC.
No more “Mutual” rather there will be “Activities” to be help weekly.
“Young Women presidents will now report to and counsel directly with the bishop of the ward.” Makes sense, as the bishop holds the keys. I always felt less “connected” to the YW than I did the YM when I served.
“The ward budget for youth activities will be divided equitably between the young men and young women according to the number of youth in each organization.” (Which wouldn’t have been possible unless Scouting was nixed.)
No more YM/YW Auxiliaries, now they are “organizations.”
A lot to unpack here. Will be interesting to see what is announced tonight.
BUT…here is an article that explains the changes in detail. You’re welcome. https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/october-2019-general-conference-youth-organizations
• My soda is kinda flat. Thought you should know.
• Wasn’t planning on stalking the Women’s Session tonight – might change my mind.
• I’m just barely getting my head around not calling myself a “Mormon.” Now I have to relearn not to call it “Mutual.”
Brother Mark L. Pace – Sunday school President spoke about teaching in the home.
“A father commented, ‘when we use Come, Follow Me, we are like the Children of Israel, marking the side posts of our doors, protecting our families from the influence of the destroyer.’”
Quoted a sister saying, “Before you had the lesson and the scriptures supplemented it; now you have the scriptures and the lesson supplements it.” Nice idea.
“The goal is to not make church 1 hour short, but to make church 6 days longer.”
(Tough gig to be the first speaker right after a new announcement. We talked over a lot of Brother Pace. Oops)
Elder L. Todd Budge spoke about having hope, even in the most trying of times.
Talked about how the Brother of Jared was completely dependent on the Lord, even though they worked hard.
Quotes Rumi, “Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” (link)
“Sorrow coupled with hope in Jesus Christ holds the promise of enduring joy.”
“In a paradoxical way, afflictions and sorrow prepare us to experience joy if we will trust in the Lord and His plan for us.”
“The good news of the gospel is not the promise of a life free of sorrow and tribulation but a life full of purpose and meaning — a life where our sorrows and afflictions can be “swallowed up in the joy of Christ.”
Elder Jorge M. Alvarado – I love how happy and energetic he is.
“Our question is: ‘What should we do to best meet the trials that come our way?’”
“As we follow God’s voice and His covenant path, He will strengthen us in our trials.”
I imagine this is very tough counsel: “To parents with children who have left the covenant path, go back, gently help them comprehend the gospel’s truths. Start now; it is never too late.”
“The influence we have on our children is more powerful as they see us walking faithfully on the covenant path.”
2nd reference this Conference to Enos and the example of his father.
• Man, this session if flying by.
• It just occurred to me that with the dissolving of the HP group leadership, and the YM Presidencies, 8 men’s callings in every ward have ceased to exist in the past year. Will bring more of a gender parity to Ward Council.
Elder Ronald Rasband talked about integrity and keeping covenants. Walking the Covenant Path. (That phrase has really become a big part of the lexicon the past few years.)
“Keeping promises is not a habit, it is a characteristic of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
“Our Savior Jesus Christ is our great exemplar when it comes to making and keeping promises and covenants.”
Gave a shoutout to Scouting. “To the scouting organization, to the scores of men and women who have served diligently as scout leaders, to the moms — real credit goes there you know — and to the young men who have participated in scouting, we say, ‘Thank you.’”
Gave a personal witness that “the Lord has guided every step of the way” when developing the new youth programs.
Spoke to the importance of the sacrament, and our daily experience. “Our daily thoughts and actions, both large and small, reflect our commitment to him.”
Third talk talking about being “all in,” rather than partially in.
Called us all out: “When we say to someone, ‘I will pray for you?’ do we? When we commit, ‘I will be there to help,’ will we? When we obligate ourselves to pay a debt, do we? When we raise our hands to sustain a fellow member in a new calling … do we?”
Food for thought: “When we keep promises to one another we are more likely to keep promises to the Lord.” (Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these…)
Apostolic Invitation: “Invite you to consider the promises and covenants you make with the Lord with great integrity, knowing your word is your bond.”
“I promise you, as you do this, the Lord will establish your words and sanction your deeds as you strive with unwearied diligence to build up your lives.”
• This session has been a lot about how we can support youth in our families, and how the Church is adjusting and supporting us in that role.
• I’m done for today, unless I decide to watch tonight………. ?