Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Sunday 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.

• Back at it – tired, but excited to see what will happen today.

Here we go:

“How Firm a Foundation.” Could there be a better song at this moment? Especially for the Utah folks who keep shakin’.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband starts us off highlighting a few of his favorite prophets who spoke about our day. Daniel, Joseph of Egypt, John the Revelator, Moroni and Malachi.

“Through generations of time prophets foretold, dreamed, envisioned and prophesied of the future of God’s kingdom on earth, what Isaiah called a marvelous work and a wonder.”

“We are the people charged with ushering in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; we are to gather God’s children, those who will hear and embrace the truths, covenants and promises of the everlasting gospel.”

“The doctrine of Jesus Christ unites all of us — around the world — as sons and daughters of God, as brothers and sisters in the gospel.”

(Establishing Zion and the Gathering seem to be the logical next step for the progression of topics we started yesterday.)

Went through a list of world leaders that have come to Salt Lake as a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “What I am describing is a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that in the last days, nations shall flow unto the mountain of the Lord’s house. The great Salt Lake Temple stands in the center of that majesty and glory.”

Closed with one of my favorite quotes from Joseph Smith:

“The standard of truth has been erected; No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:540.

– Wishing Joseph had included the word “virus” in there somewhere. 😉

I always love the promises: “I promise as you follow the inspired counsel of our dear Prophet … and as you pay heed to ancient Prophets who foretold of our day, you will be filled, deep in your heart and soul, with the spirit and the work of the Restoration.”


Bonnie Cordon (YW President) spoke about the need to let our light shine.

“I have come to love the phrase ‘that they may see.’ It is an earnest invitation from the Lord to be more intentional about helping others see the path and thereby come unto Christ.”

Told a great story about feeding the chickens with Elder L. Tom Perry. She wasn’t focusing the light in front of him, and Elder Perry stepped in a ditch. “I need the light to shine where I am walking.”

“The Lord’s invitation to let our light so shine is not just about randomly waving a beam of light and making the world generally brighter. It is about focusing our light so others may see the way to Christ.”

“Ask yourself, ‘Who needs the light you have?'”

“I testify that the Lord will magnify every small effort. The Holy Ghost will prompt us to know what to say and do. Such attempts may require us to step out of our comfort zone but we can be assured that the Lord will help our light shine.”

She made the point that not everyone is a high wattage bulb, some of us are just 20 watt bulbs. (I think I just got called a dim bulb.)


Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.

“The Parental Character of God.” Taking on Calvinist, Deist and Agnostic views on God. God is more of a loving parent – “He certainly would not be a cold, arbitrary autocrat who predestined a select few for salvation and then consigned the rest of the human family to damnation.”

“Had we lived in those first years of the 19th century, we would have realized with great alarm that doubts about the reality of the Savior’s life and Resurrection were beginning to take significant hold within Christendom.”

He echoed my personal mantra – “Heaven wouldn’t be heaven without Chrissie.” “I know that ‘in (our) Father’s house are many mansions,’ but… if I were to be so fortunate as to inherit one of them, it could be no more to me than a decaying shack if Pat and our children were not with me to share that inheritance.” In addition he took a shot at the “Til death do us apart” as a “haunting curse.”

Actually addressing the Covid-19 pandemic as an ““all hands on deck” war with COVID-19, a solemn reminder that a virus 1,000 times smaller than a grain of sand can bring entire populations and global economies to their knees.”

And afterwards, we need to practice Christianity: “When we have conquered this—and we will—may we be equally committed to freeing the world from the virus of hunger and freeing neighborhoods and nations from the virus of poverty. May we hope for schools where students are taught — not terrified they will be shot — and for the gift of personal dignity for every child of God, unmarred by any form of racial, ethnic or religious prejudice.”

The two “great commandments” can do more to help the world than anything else, and are the best hope we have to give our children a better world.

“Because the Restoration reaffirmed the foundational truth that God does work in this world, we can hope, we should hope even when facing the most insurmountable odds.”

He quoted Dante. (that was unexpected!) “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” But added, “Truly, when hope is gone, all we have left is the flame of inferno raging on every side.”

“So, when our backs are to the wall and, as the hymn says, ‘other helpers fail and comforts flee,’ among our most indispensable virtues will be this precious gift of hope linked inextricably to our faith in God and our charity to others.”

“Because the Restoration reaffirmed the foundational truth that God does work in this world, we can hope, we should hope even when facing the most insurmountable odds.”

“May we press forward with love in our hearts, walking in the brightness of hope that lights the path of holy anticipation that we’ve been on now for 200 years.”

Very upbeat and hopeful talk about the future.


“Now Let us Rejoice.” I enjoyed singing that one.


Elder David A. Bednar: Quick recap of First Vision and the later visit of Moroni. Reminded us that Moroni quoted Malachi talking about the return of Elijah.

“Fundamental question: Why was the return of Elijah important?” Turning the hearts of the children to the fathers, and the hearts of the fathers = restoration of the priesthood keys for sealing authority.

“The restoration of the sealing authority by Elijah in 1836 was necessary to prepare the world for the Savior’s second coming and initiated a greatly increased and worldwide interest in family history research.”

“The essence of the Lord’s work is changing, turning, and purifying hearts through gospel covenants and priesthood ordinances.”

Doing family history and temple work fulfills both of the great commandments – loving God and loving others.

Great quote from President Benson about changing from the inside out. “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

That quote is huge in a religious vs political context, and shows why most political interventions don’t work.

“Covenants & priesthood ordinances are the means by which the Lord works to change us from the inside out.”

From there out, it is mostly about the importance and growth of temple: “Houses of the Lord are being constructed on the ‘isles of the sea’ and in countries and locations previously considered by many unlikely to warrant a temple.”

“This year we will break ground and start construction on 18 temples.” (Covid willing) Fun trivia: 96% of all temples have been built during President Nelson’s lifetime.

Members are obligated to 1) “Hear Him!” and 2) joyfully bring temple blessings to those who have passed on.

“I witness that this latter-day work will destroy the powers of darkness and bring about the salvation of the human family.” SWEET!


President Russell M. Nelson.

Acknowledge the pandemic: “The increasing darkness that accompanies tribulation makes the light of Jesus Christ shine even brighter. Just think of the good we can each do during this time of global upheaval.”

“Regardless of where you live or what your circumstances are, the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior and God’s Prophet, Joseph Smith, is your prophet.”

“What an anchor to our souls are these truths, especially during this time when the tempests are raging.”

The adversary is clever. He makes good look evil, and evil look good. “Messages from our Heavenly Father are communicated simply, quietly and with plainness where we cannot misunderstand him.”

“Our Father knows that when we are surrounded by uncertainty and fear, what will help us the very most is to hear His Son.”

#HearHim

“As disciples of Jesus Christ, our efforts to hear Him need to be ever more intentional. It takes conscious and consistent effort to fill our daily lives with His words, His teachings, His truths.”

“Where can we go to hear him? We can go to the scriptures.”

He mentioned daily immersion in the scriptures twice: “Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival especially in these days of increasing upheaval.”

We should be eager to seek inspiration in the temple.

“It has never been more imperative to know how the Spirit speaks to you than right now.”

We need to increase our capacity to receive personal revelation, increase family history work, and when the temples are open, increase temple attendance. “I renew my plea for you to do whatever it takes to increase your spiritual capacity to receive personal revelation.”

“We felt impressed to create a monument not of granite or stone but of words.”

Looks like it is going to be a new proclamation…

“The Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ: A Bicentennial Proclamation to the World.”

He read the new proclamation on video recorded at the Sacred Grove.

Here’s a link to the new proclamation:

“Study the proclamation privately and with your family members and friends. Ponder the truths and think of the impact those truths will have on your life if you will hear them, hearken to them and heed the commandments and covenants that accompany them.”


Hosanna Shout. Spirit of God. (Tingle)


Wipe your eyes, and enjoy your lunch. Back in a couple hours!

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Comments

  1. I, too, was powerfully moved by the spirit during the Hosanna Shout. Think about it…a worldwide Hosanna Shout of praise and imploring the God of heaven to save us! Never done before in the history of the Church and at a time when civilization is on the ropes. I picture in my mind’s eye families and individuals all over the world waiving white handkerchiefs in supplication and praise to God. I brings chills and tears and hope. To follow with the choir singing The Spirit of God (which was one of my baptismal songs) well, there was no way I could avoid puddling up! Bless you brother!

  2. Thank you Brad for your condescending sanctimonious reply to my comment about the day of the first vision.

    1. You are most welcome. And thanks for using my blog to hype non-church sanctioned speculation about things that do not affect our lives. (Yes, I’ve seen the video and get sent a link to it almost weekly)

  3. I was emotional yesterday, then during the middle of Elder Holland’s address I lost it; then just got it together when our sweet Prophet started addressing us barely held together. By the time it came to sing, could barely sing the spirit was so strong I blubbered thru the song. WOW and WOW again!

  4. “Israel, Israel, God is Calling” between Elder Bednar and President Nelson was POWERFUL! Seriously, guys, “mark how judgment’s pointing finger justifies no vain delays.” “Zion’s walls shall ring with praise.” “Come to Zion, and within her walls rejoice.” “For your coming Lord is nigh.”

  5. Of course saying “in President Nelson’s lifetime” is really like saying “in the last 100 years” but that 86% of temples were dedicated since he became an apostle is still impressive. So grateful for Conference and living apostles and prophets.

  6. How DO you get those full, correct quotes so fast??! I have to star my notes where I want to go pull them from transcripts later. Impressed!

  7. My 87-year-old Dad said he was surprised by the Hosanna Shout when the L.A. Temple was dedicated. He was there, but had no clue what was happening. We participated in the living room, along with families all over the globe. Dad says it’s a Hosanna Shout, and he would like to holler instead of just saying it normally. What a glory.

  8. It was as good as advertised, if not better! Loved the proclamation. Loved all the talks and the Tabernacle Choir’s greatest hits.

    I have not heard the full quote Elder Bednar gave from the Prophet Joseph and I look forward to reading it but here is the excerpt I already knew and loved:

    “The building up of Zion is a cause that has interested the people of God in every age; it is a theme upon which prophets, priests and kings have dwelt with peculiar delight; they have looked forward with joyful anticipation to the day in which we live; and fired with heavenly and joyful anticipations they have sung and written and prophesied of this our day; but they died without the sight; we are the favored people that God has made choice of to bring about the Latter-day glory; it is left for us to see, participate in and help to roll forward the Latter-day glory.”

  9. Already found, printed, framed and hung the proclamation on my living room wall.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

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