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.
• FOR THE RECORD: I did listen to the Women’s Session last night as I grocery shopped. I like the new YW theme. (Wish the boys had an equivalent.)
• Props to the Utah saints for needing even more temples.
• I’m tired. Glad the #TabCats started with something rousing like “High on a Mountain Top.” That and a Diet Dr. Pepper and a lemon muffin seemed to do the trick. Let’s roll!
Elder Garrit W. Gong. This world is full of a mirage…
(Sorry, this is talk is too beautifully written. Stopped and just listened to the first part.)
Jumped right in talking about walking on the Covenant Path. To belong with God and to walk with each other on His covenant path is to be blessed by covenant belonging.”
Here is how he defines it: “Covenant belonging is to make and keep solemn promises to God and each other, through sacred ordinances, that invite the power of godliness to be manifest in our lives.”
“Covenant belonging centers in Jesus Christ as mediator of the new covenant. All things can work together for our good when we are sanctified in Christ.”
(If some of these thought on “Covenant Belonging” sound familiar, he spoke about it at BYU Women’s Conference a couple years ago. link)
“Along life’s path, we may lose faith in God, but He never loses faith in us. As it were, His porch light is always on.”
“Stop being miserable, and be happy being happy.”
(Glad that he spoke about Patriarchal Blessings, as my son is getting his in a couple weeks and he listened intently.)
I love it when I hear someone hold up marriage as something wonderful. Not enough of that around. “Covenant marriage becomes supernal and eternal as we daily choose the happiness of our spouse and family before our own”
“In losing our worldly self through covenant belonging, we find and become our best eternal self — free, alive, real — and define our most important relationships.”
He covered a lot of ground – Christ, Book of Mormon, relationships, covenants etc. But he did it so beautifully.
Main point: “When we covenant ALL THAT WE ARE, we can become more than we are.”
• The theme of this Conference continues to be about being “all-in.”
Sister Cristina B. Franco, 2nd Counselor, Primary. She has a nice Argentine accent.
“Our Father in Heaven’s whole purpose — his work and his glory — is to enable each of us to enjoy all of his blessings.”
Blunt: “We must choose whether to follow Jesus Christ or follow Satan.”
Quoting President Oaks: “Faithful members will always have the Savior’s Spirit with them to guide them as they seek to participate in the great work of sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”
(Basic talk on missionary work. Not a lot of notes. Sorry.)
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf started by talking about Hobbits. How awesome is that?
Spoke about how, like Bilbo Baggins, we left our comfort of our First Estate and went on an incredible adventure – mortality.
“By the gift and power of moral agency, we determined that the potential of what we could learn and eternally become was well worth the risk.”
“We tend to lose sight of our great quest, preferring comfort and ease over growth and progress.”
“Still, there remains something undeniable, deep within our hearts, that hungers for a higher and nobler purpose.”
What we need to do: First incline your heart towards God. Then, when you get answers from God, use them to motivate you to keep the commandments.
“Discipleship is not about doing things perfectly, but about doing things intentionally.”
“The only way for you to progress in your gospel adventure is to help others progress as well. To help others is the path of discipleship.”
“One of the last things Jesus told His disciples was that they were to go throughout the world and share the story of the risen Christ. Today we too, joyfully accept that great commission.”
(Two in a row about missionary work.)
“We could spend a lifetime waiting for that moment when everything lines up perfectly. But now is the time to commit fully to seeking God, ministering to others, and sharing our experience with others.” (All-in)
Carried the Hobbit analogy all the way through. Very fun, approachable and on point. He is so good at this.
• Why yes, I am craving a Second Breakfast.
• Just read a very disconcerting tweet from popular bloggers “Sistas in Zion” wherein they criticize President Oaks and actually call him names for teaching truth last night. Last straw. Time to un-follow them. I don’t need that kind of crap in my feed. (Evil-speaking of the Lord’s anointed is a pet-peeve of mine)
Elder Walter Gonzalez. “We can find strength and comfort in this life by accepting His will and knowing that He wants to bless us.”
“Our Savior always wants to bless us. Some blessings may come immediately, others may take longer, and some may even come after this life, but blessings will come in due time.”
Spoke about leprosy, and the physical, spiritual and social consequences. Compared the idea of being “broken” from leprosy to our feelings of being “broken.”
“Sometimes — in one way or another — we too can feel broken, whether due to our own actions or those of others, due to circumstances we can or cannot control. In such moments, we can place our will in His hands.”
Told about how his wife had a cancerous tumor removed. “Whatever our circumstances might be, we can exercise our faith to come unto Christ and find a God we can trust.” – “We can trust Him because He loves us.”
“If you feel that in any way you are not clean, if you feel broken, please know you can be made clean, you can be mended, because He loves you. Trust that nothing bad can come from Him.”
“A God of love. A God of hope. A God of healing. A God who loves and blesses us.”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson. Haha! Told a story about his 5-year-old son trying to make their black lab look like a Dalmatian – with white paint.
Second story about his boys being warned about skunks. “Did you see a skunk?” “We didn’t see a skunk. We saw a black kitty cat with white stripes on its back.”
“There are forces at play today designed to deliberately lead us away from absolute truth. These deceptions and lies go far beyond innocent mistaken identity and often have dire, not minor, consequences.”
“Satan, the father of lies and the great deceiver, would have us question things as they really are and either ignore eternal truths, or replace them with something that seems more “pleasing.'”
Another talk referencing the idea of calling evil good, and good evil. Timely.
Told story of Moses rebuffing Satan. (From Moses 1) Love that story.
Satan wants us to forget who we are, eternally. He wanted Moses to worship him, claiming to be God. “The great deceiver said, in effect, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t harm you — I’m not a skunk; I am just an innocent black-and-white striped kitty cat.’”
“The Lord, who knows the end from the beginning, knows the unique difficulties of our day. Therefore, He has provided a way for us to resist challenges and temptations, many of which come as a direct result of the deceitful influences of the adversary and his attacks.”
Oooh – I like this: “The restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ offsets perilous times with the fullness of times.”
We have modern prophets and the Holy Ghost to help us recognize Satan’s lies.
Survival tip: “This divine formula is rather simple: righteousness, or obedience to commandments, brings blessings, and blessings bring happiness, or joy, into our lives.”
“May we recognize Satan’s deceptions for what they are. May we withstand and see through the lies and influences of the one who seeks to destroy our souls and steal from us our present joy and future glory.”
Testified that “Wickedness never was happiness.”
• Finding joy is a huge focus of this Conference.
• Suddenly craving an Almond Joy, but we haven’t bought any Halloween candy yet.
• I called my son “Youth of Zion” when I woke him up this morning. Maybe the acronym “YOZ” needs to replace YOLO.
• President Nelson on deck.
President Russell M. Nelson. I love how happy he seems.
Spoke about his travels and some of the welfare initiatives. “Latter-day Saints, as with other followers of Jesus Christ, are always looking for ways to help, to lift, and to love others. They who are willing to be called the Lord’s people, are willing to ‘bear one another’s burdens:’ to ‘mourn with those that mourn,’ and to ‘comfort those that stand in need of comfort.’”
First and Second great commandments are a beautiful cycle. When you do #1, the Lord points you to #2.
Since its creation, “Latter-day Saint Charities has provided more than $2 billion in aid to assist those in need throughout the world. This assistance is offered to recipients regardless of their church affiliation, nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, or political persuasion.”
Law of the Fast, simplified: “We go hungry to help others who are hungry.”
How the Church helps:
124 Bishops Storehouses, 400,000 food orders per year.
“To date, the Church’s humanitarian initiative has helped provide clean water in hundreds of communities in 76 countries.” AWESOME
“In the year 2018 alone, the Church provided emergency supplies to refugees in 56 countries.”
“Just last year, the Church provided vision care for more than 300,000 people in 35 countries, newborn care for thousands of mothers and infants in 39 countries, and wheelchairs for more than 50,000 people living in dozens of countries.”
(Having spent time in the humanitarian development world for a decade, I always find this stuff interesting.)
“Last year alone, the Church carried out more than 100 disaster-relief projects around the world, helping victims of hurricanes, fires, floods, earthquakes and other calamities.”
“Giving help to others — making a conscientious effort to care about others as much or more than we care about ourselves — is our joy.” (There is that joy” word again.)
“Living that second great commandment is the key to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ. My dear brothers and sisters, you are living exemplars of the fruits that come from following the teachings of Jesus Christ. I thank you! I love you!”
• Lovely conclusion to a lovely session. See you in a few hours!