Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Saturday A.M. (April ’20)

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.

Okay campers, rise and shine! Time for a unique General Conference experience.

• Before I get started, I want to give a shout out to those healthcare professionals who can’t watch Conference because they are busy SAVING LIVES. Thank you, and stay well!

Aaaannnd, we’re off!

• And wow, this is weird. The sound is different. Not better or worse, but different.

• Oh, and going with the theme, here is a picture of some of my kids in the Sacred Grove:

President Russell M. Nelson is starting us off. And he wiped his nose with a handkerchief. RED ALERT!

“Life’s trials reach far beyond this pandemic.”

“Our ultimate quest in life is to prepare to meet our Maker. We do this by striving daily to become more like our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

• Unique announcements? Solemn assembly and global ‘Hosanna Shout’ after Sunday morning session? Wowza. Only other time I remember this happening was when the Conference Center was dedicated back in the Hinckley days.

“The most important lasting effects of this historic conference will be as our hearts change and we commence a lifelong quest to hear Him.”

President M. Russell Ballard. Retelling of the events leading up to, and including the First Vision, Book of Mormon, through to the martyrdom. Lots of quoting from Joseph Smith History.

“Joseph came to realize that the Bible did not contain all the answers to life’s questions. Rather, it taught men and women how they could find answers to their questions by communicating directly with God through prayer.”

“Like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, Joseph has sealed his mission and his works in his own blood, and so has his brother Hyrum.”

“In June 1844, Hyrum was presented the choice to live or to lay down his life to glorify God and to seal his testimony with his blood, side by side together with his beloved brother Joseph.”

(President Ballard is a descendent of Hyrum Smith, which must make it more personal for him.)

“As we listen to the Spirit during this 200th anniversary celebration this weekend, consider what offering you will present to the Lord in righteousness in the coming days. Be courageous.”

Elder James R. Rasband. (Don’t know if there is a connection to the Apostle, but he was a BYU law professor)

The Doctrine of Christ and the demands of justice.

Spoke about Alma and how his life represents “fixing of the Un-fixable”

“Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and cannot fix, is the very purpose of the Atonement of Christ.” (Quoting Boyd K. Packer)

(The Book of Mormon clarifies so much about mercy/justice and the Atonement.)

“Accountability for sin depends on the light we have been given and hinges on our ability to exercise our agency. We know this healing and comforting truth only because of the Book of Mormon and other Restoration scripture.”

“The magnificent, peace-giving promise of the Book of Mormon and the restored gospel is that the Savior will mend all that we have broken.”

Joy Jones (Primary President) on Women’s Continuing Role in the Restoration.

“I plead with my sisters of the church to step forward, take your rightful place to place in your home, in your community and in the kingdom of God, more than you ever have before.” (Quoting President Nelson)

“The Lord loves effort, because effort brings rewards that can’t come without it.” President Nelson

“There is beautiful unity between women and men in accomplishing God’s work today. We access the power of the priesthood through covenants, made first in the waters of baptism and then within the walls of holy temples.”

Avoid “General Conference Overwhelm:” “Women wear many hats but it is impossible and unnecessary to wear them all at once. The Spirit helps us determine which work to focus on today,”after Conference, the Spirit will help us know what things to focus on.”

This is probably my favorite quote from her talk: “A righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times.”

• Singing time! “Come Ye Children of the Lord,” which was the first hymn I learned from the hymnbook when I was little.

• Had a suspenseful moment – I was getting a bottle of Dr. Pepper for my son and dropped it. Luckily there was no disaster when he opened it.

Elder Neil L. Anderson. Started out quoting Joseph Smith History.

“Remembering these spiritually defining experiences takes us to our knees, declaring as did the Prophet Joseph: ‘What I received was from heaven. I know it and I know that God knows that I know it.'” Joesph Smith

He talked about “Doctor” Nelson received revelation instructing him on how to perform a heart surgery. (It gave me pause. I need to figure out how to let the Spirit be more involved in running my business.)

“From time to time, God powerfully and very personally assures each of us that He knows us and loves us, and that He is blessing us specifically and openly.”

“Over the years, I have listened to thousands of profoundly spiritual experiences from Latter-day Saints all across the world, confirming to me beyond any question that God knows and loves each of us.”

Showed a pic and told the story of a woman in Brasil that was a convert at 103 years old. Cool!

Theme: “I knew that God knew that I knew…”

“These spiritually defining moments come at different times and in different ways, individualized for each of us.”

Key question: “How do you hear Him?”

He made the point that we need to be searching out spiritual experiences, and to not look “beyond the mark” for some huge thing.

“When personal difficulty, doubt or discouragement darken our path, or when the world conditions lead us to wonder about the future, the spiritually defining memories are like luminous stones that help brighten the road ahead.”

“Embrace your sacred memories. Believe them. Write them down. Share them with your family. Trust that they come to you from your Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.” (Awesome counsel) (Here is a link to a post where I extended a challenge to write down your top ten spiritual experiences. Seems apropos.)

• FAR AND ABOVE my favorite talk yet.

Douglas D. Holmes (YM Presidency)

“The word of God is spiritual power. It is truth and light It is how we hear him.” (Flows nicely with Elder Anderson’s talk)

“The unity we seek is to be one in Christ. To connect ourselves with him.”

“If our youth are too underwhelmed by God’s work, they are more likely to be overwhelmed by the world.”

Speaking of agency: “We must choose to repent. The gospel can’t be forced into our hearts.”

“We are commanded by God to take this Gospel to all the world. That is the cause that must unite us today. Only the Gospel will save the world from the calamity of its self-destruction.” (Quoting Ezra Taft Benson)

(This was in the context of the new youth program)

“You have the capacity to be smarter and wiser, and have more impact on the world than any previous generation.”

“To get the gospel of Jesus Christ deep in our hearts we need to engage in it — to give our time and talents to it, to sacrifice for it.”

“I promise, as we focus on these principles — relationships, revelation, agency, repentance and sacrifice — the gospel of Jesus Christ will sink deeper in all our hearts.”

• Choir: The lovely “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer,” aka “Oh, How lovely Was the Morning.”(Dumb name change: We don’t know – and I seriously doubt – that it was his first prayer – only his first vocal prayer.)

• Oh, in case you were wondering: Orange, and lemon blueberry cinnamon rolls, courtesy of an amazing friend.

President Henry B. Eyring. (Looks healthier than the last couple years)

“As part of our preparation for His coming, He will lift each of us so we may rise to spiritual challenges and opportunities unlike any seen in the history of this world.”

“Through His Saints, the Lord will offer the gift of His gospel ‘to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.’ Technology and miracles will continue to play a part — as will individual ‘fishers of men’ who minister with power and increasing faith.”

We will need to become increasingly united as opposition increases.

“Even an unbelieving world will recognize the Church of Jesus Christ and realize the power of God is upon it.”

“As part of our preparation for His coming, He will lift each of us so we may rise to spiritual challenges and opportunities unlike any seen in the history of this world.”

“Joseph Smith showed us that the power of faith is key to receiving revelation from God.”

“Satan’s attempt to thwart the beginning of the Restoration was so severe because Joseph’s prayer was so important.”

And the application: “You and I will have smaller parts to play in the ongoing Restoration. Yet the enemy of the Restoration will try to stop us from praying. The example of Joseph Smith’s faith and his determination can strengthen us in our resolve.”

Closed with his testimony that President Nelson holds all the keys.

• Choir closing with “Come Thou Fount.” Which, this year, makes me sad. My son would be performing this with the choir and orchestra at Baccalaureate, if not for this stupid pandemic.

• A theme I am seeing is that the Lord needs us to get better at repenting and listening for His voice so that we can make an impact on the world.

• There are SO MANY ways the First Vision is being applied to our lives. Love it.

• Rest up! We do it again in two hours!

About the author


Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

%d bloggers like this: