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.
Before we get started, here’s a fun thing: I checked and it looks like people from over 43 countries have been reading these recaps. The top ten, in order are:
- New Zealand
Enough with feeding my fragile ego, off we go into the final session…
I know the choir couldn’t perform live, but they sure did a great job of choosing from the archives. Lots of great, iconic hymns.
President Dallin H. Oaks is the first speaker. I love that he is in the First Presidency now, so we can hear him more than once each conference.
“Even in the midst of trial, we are truly blessed.” Then giving us a reminder of what we have listened to yesterday and today.
Plan of Redemption/Happiness/Salvation: “All of this is part of a diving plan whose purpose is to enable the children of God to become exalted and become like Him.”
“In ways that have not been revealed, our action in the spirit world have influenced our journey in mortality.”
Glad to hear teachings that we made covenants before we came to this earth. Seems right, right?
“Sometimes our needed growth is achieved better by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquility.”
“The commandments of God warn us against straying into dangerous circumstances. The teachings of inspired leaders guide our path and give assurance that promotes our eternal journey.”
“God’s plan gives us four great assurances to assist our journey through mortality. All are given to us through the atonement of Jesus Christ, the centerpiece of the plan.”
- We can be cleansed from out sins and God will “remember them no more.”
- Receive divine help and strength to deal with mortality, and overcome sickness and infirmity.
- “Because of the resurrection, we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary.”
- Progress can go on post-mortality.
“Marriage according to God’s plan brings about the purpose of God’s plan”
“The power to create mortal life is the most exalted power God has given His children.” Outside of marriage, all forms of using procreative powers are sinful.
“God’s love is so great that, except for the few who deliberately become sons of perdition, He has provided a destiny of glory for all of His children.”
“Many of our members do not fully understand this plan of salvation, which answers most questions about the doctrine and inspired policies of the restored Church.” True statement.
Elder Quentin L. Cook. “The Church owes it’s existence…and future to the principle of continuing revelation.”
“Sometimes we receive revelation even when we do not know the Lord’s purposes.”
“All the standard works of the church contain the mind and will of the Lo“All the standard works of the Church contain the mind and will of the Lord for us in this last dispensation. In addition to these great foundational scriptures, we are blessed with continuing revelation to living prophets.”
“Some revelations are of monumental importance and others enhance our understanding of essential divine truths and provide guidance for our day.”
“I testify the new Proclamation President Nelson delivered this morning is a revelation to bless all people.”
Two talks in a row mentioning those who have had their names removed from the records of the Church. Elder Cook extended an invitation to come back. “Brothers and sisters, regardless of your situation, please know that the Church and its members will welcome you back!”
It seems that an overarching theme of the conference is that we need to be able to #HearHim. “Personal revelation is available to all those who humbly seek guidance from the Lord. It is as important as prophetic revelation.”
Basic discussion about the influence of the Holy Ghost on revelation and repentance.
“Some principles that prepare us to receive revelation include: Praying for spiritual guidance … Preparing for inspiration … Partaking of the sacrament worthily.”
Another witness of the need of regular scripture study: “Our spiritual preparation is greatly enhanced when we regularly study the scriptures.”
Elder Ricardo Gimenez. (Hooray for Chile!)
“…although our lives may at times be relatively smooth, the time will come for each of us when we will face unexpected challenges and storms that will push the limits of our ability to endure.”
“Faith is the antidote for fear.” Quoting M. Russell Ballard.
Suffering can go two ways: It can strengthen us, or it can be destructive.
Talking about the Lord’s response to Joesph Smith in Liberty Jail. (D&C Sections 121/122) “When answers evade us, that is when the words expressed by our Savior to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail are completely applicable.” “…all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”
Great thought: To one with faith, no explanation is necessary; to one without faith, no explanation is possible.
“We can feel joy regardless of what is happening in our lives. Joy comes from, and because of, Him. He is the source of all joy.”
“Come and help others find the refuge that they so yearn for. Come and stay with us in this refuge, which will help you resist the storms of life.”
“There is no doubt in my heart that if you come, you will see, you will help, and you will stay.“
(Really nice, hopeful message.)
• If you follow these recaps because they are often funny, I apologize – I am aware that there hasn’t been much humor this time around. Must be an age thing. (Curmudgeon age)
• After the way I’ve eaten this weekend I immediately noticed again that Elder Uctdorf’s first name is Diet-er.
Elder Dieter Uchtforf.
No story. 🙁
But did get to talking about using a flight simulator to teach pilots, and tied it into church membership. “Actively participating in the Church of Jesus Christ, and its great variety of opportunities will help us be better prepared for life-changing circumstances.”
“Being a disciple involves much more than talking and preaching of Christ.” We have to put those principles into action and serve others.
“We invite all of God’s children throughout the world to join us in this great endeavor. Come and see.”
He is reaching out to non-members. I’m guessing there are more watching than ever before, because people are stuck at home. Way to use a situation to the Lord’s advantage.
“We invite you to come and help. Come and serve with us, ministering to God’s children, following in the footsteps of the Savior, and making this world a better place.”
Switched over to talking about our personal quest: “There is no threshold of perfection you must attain in order to qualify for God’s grace. Your prayers do not have to be loud or eloquent or grammatically correct in order to reach heaven. In truth, God does not show favoritism.”
Third reference this session about people leaving the Church, and then returning home. Alluding to the prodigal son, he said, “Even when you feel far away from God, He will see you, He will have compassion for you and run to embrace you. Come and belong.”
“Our mistakes can become stepping stones to a greater glory.”
“Our loving Heavenly Father has not given us every answer. He expects us to figure out many things for ourselves. He expects us to believe, even when it’s difficult to do so.”
I like how he referred to Joseph Smith as a “young man,” rather than the usual “young boy.” “He lacked experience, and to some people, he probably seemed underqualified to be the Lord’s prophet. And yet, the Lord called him anyway.”
“Joseph was a lot like you and me. Though he made mistakes, God used him to accomplish His great purposes.”
God uses weak and plain people to get things done. “It is God’s power, not man’s, that accomplishes His work on this Earth”
L. Whitney Clayton – What does it mean to live in the “Finest Homes?”
- “The finest characteristic of any home is the image of Christ reflected in the home’s residents.”
- “Residents in the finest homes make time to study the scriptures and the words of living prophets every day.”
- “Fine homes follow the blueprint created by the Lord for His finest home, the temple.” Have a recommend and use it. “As we do so, the holiness of the Lord’s house rests in our house as well.”
- “The finest homes are refuges from the storms of life.”
“As we become more like the Lord, we will feel at home in His house, and He will feel at home in ours.”
“Wherever you live, whatever your house looks like, and whatever the composition of your family, you can help build the finest home for your family. The restored gospel of Jesus Christ provides the plans for that home.”
• Elder Clayton has the “Dave Britt Look” down cold.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson.
“The revelations of the First Vision were not for Joseph Smith alone but are offered as light and truth for any who lack wisdom.” (ie: the world)
“The Restoration belongs to the world, and its message is especially urgent today.”
It would seem that the progression of topics has now moved to our responsibility of taking the message of the restoration to the world. Perfect.
Regarding missionary work: “Our invitations cannot be a matter of self-interest. Rather, they must be an expression of selfless love.”
“While our invitations are without compulsion, we hope people will find them compelling. For that to be so, I believe at least three things are required: (1), your love, (2), your example and (3), your use of the Book of Mormon.”
Many who are attracted to the church is from the example of a member: Their actions, their countenance, etc. Made a push for “authenticity.” “What you are lends authenticity to your invitation.”
The Book of Mormon is palpable evidence of Joseph Smith’s divine calling. “When you share the Book of Mormon, you share the restoration.”
(I really appreciate how Elder Christofferson highlights his points with stories. Listening to him made me realize that this Conference has been really light on stories and personal experiences.)
“We remember, we always remember, Christ’s suffering and death to atone for our sins. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the restoration has meaning, our lives have meaning”
President Russell M. Nelson –
Conference can be summarized by tow words “Hear Him.”
“We pray that you will begin anew truly to hear, hearken to and heed the words of the Savior. I promise that decreased fear and increased faith will follow.”
Cited a great passage about the temples being closed by President
“Brothers and sisters, during times of our distress when temples are closed, you can still draw upon the power of your temple covenants and endowment as you honor your covenants.”
“lease use this time as temples are closed to live a temple worthy live”
Announcing 8 new temples – and nobody is shouting on the TV.
- Bahia Blanca, Argentina
- Talahassee, FL
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Benin City, Nigeria
- Syracuse, UT
- Dubai, UAE
- Shanghai, China
Dubai? Shanghai? Whaaa? That is crazy cool! (Goosebumps, anyone?)
Left us with a lovely blessing, that you need to read.
• Wow, that was a big finish! And the multi-national choir singing “We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet” was very cool. Curious if it was the world’s largest singalong. Somebody call Guiness!
• Another Conference come and gone. Wonderful stuff. It was, as advertised, memorable.
• I love you all!