Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Saturday A.M. (October, ’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.

• Conference? Already? That came quickly, and it sure is needed for this guy.

• Lovely opening prayer by Elder Patrick Kearon. (But it probably means he won’t be speaking this go-around. Bummer.)


President Russell M. Nelson starting us off! The work is still moving forward – missionary, temple building, humanitarian service, etc.

“Unusual times can bring unusual rewards.”

“Angels are watching over us.” (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds great!)

Hey! He quoted my favorite scripture passage from Helaman 3: 28-30

28 Yea, thus we see that the gate of heaven is open unto all, even to those who will believe on the name of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God.

29 Yea, we see that whosoever will may lay hold upon the word of God, which is quick and powerful, which shall divide asunder all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil, and lead the man of Christ in a strait and narrow course across that everlasting gulf of misery which is prepared to engulf the wicked—

30 And land their souls, yea, their immortal souls, at the right hand of God in the kingdom of heaven, to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and with Jacob, and with all our holy fathers, to go no more out.

“Our spirits long to progress. And we do that best by staying firmly on the covenant path.”

“I pray that we as a people are using this unique time to grow spiritually. We are here on earth to be tested”


Elder David A. Bednar spoke about tests and being tested.

“Tests in the school of mortality are a vital element to our eternal progression.”

“Two basic principles can guide and strengthen us as we face proving and trying circumstances in our lives, whatever they may be: (1) the principle of preparation, and (2) the principle of pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ.”

Acknowledged that the Brethren haven’t spoken much about food storage and preparedness lately, but said, “The consistency of prophetic counsel over time creates a powerful concert of clarity and a warning volume far louder than solo performances can ever produce.”

Spoke about spiritual casualness and complacency, tying in the parable of the 10 Virgins. “Now is the time to prepare and prove ourselves willing and able to do all things whatsoever the Lord our God shall command us.”

What have we learned during these recent months? What have we improved?

“We are all in.” (Love this idea and that the phrase is being used more often.)

“Faithfulness is not foolishness or fanaticism. Rather, it is trusting and placing our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior, on His name, and in His promises.”

We are moving towards polarity – The middle of the road will be taken away as an option. Not making a choice is a choice. (Elder Holland)

“The days of comfortably having one foot in the restored church and one foot in the world is vanishing quickly.”

“The year 2020 has been marked, in part, by a global pandemic that has proved, examined and tried us in many ways. I pray that we as individuals and families are learning the valuable lessons that only challenging experiences can teach us.”


Elder Scott D. Whiting spoke on becoming like the Savior: “What if ‘even as I am’ is exactly and precisely what is meant by the Savior? Then what? What level of effort would we be willing to give?”

(Third talk in a row about progressing.)

Wise counsel: “Truly, there is no other way to heal the wounds of broken relationships or of a fractured society than for each of us to more fully emulate the Prince of Peace.”

“These attributes won’t come cheaply and suddenly, but through his grace they will come incrementally while endeavoring. Christlike attributes are gifts from a loving Heavenly Father.”

Focus on one attribute and others will improve along with it. Your significant effort to increase one attribute will bring others along with it.

Here is a link to the “Attribute activity” that he referenced: (link) It’s pretty cool.

THIS: “it is not intended to make you feel guilty, unworthy and unloved. But life is about progression. You are good enough. You are loved. But that does not mean you are complete.”

—–

• A theme has been developing after three speaker: Challenge and tests must be met with a desire to progress and be more like the Savior. We stay on that path and take it one step at a time.


Sister Michelle Craig on being Christlike:

“What am I doing that I should stop doing? And what should I start doing that I’m not doing?”

Talked about how she received a prompting that she needed to stop looking at her phone while standing in line. It turned into a chance to connect with another person.

“Ask God to reveal these truths to you, along with how he feels about you. The more you understand your true identity and purpose, soul deep, the more it will influence everything in your life.”

“Ask to see others as He does — His true sons and daughters with infinite and divine potential. Then act by loving, serving, and affirming their worth and potential as prompted.”

“I witness that Jesus Christ loves us and can give us eyes to see, even when it’s hard, even when we’re tired, even when we’re lonely, and even when the outcomes are not as we hoped.”

Really nice – and she stared directly into the front camera the whole time – made it more impactful and personal to me.


• Halftime came fast!

• I would like a game where anytime term “Covenant Path” is used, I get a free taco.


Elder Quentin L. Cook on Unity.

“When people love God with all their hearts and righteously strive to become like Him, there is less strife and contention in society. There is more unity.”

“Unity is enhanced when people are treated with dignity and respect even though they are different in outward characteristics.”

Glad to see this discussed: “Being righteous does not depend on having every blessing in our lives at this moment in time.”

Called this a 200 year “hinge-point” for the Church. “At this 200-year hinge point in our church history, let us commit ourselves as members of the Lord’s church to live righteously and be united as never before.”

We live in a moment of particularly strong divisions. But members of the Church have committed ourselves to righteousness and unity. Let us commit ourselves to be united as never before.

“With our all-inclusive doctrine, we can be an oasis of unity and celebrate diversity. Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity.”

Founding documents were inspired by God, written by imperfect men. Referred to Section 101:

79 Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

80 And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood.

Spoke to the Church’s early opposition to slavery.

Smacking down racism by noting that race is not included on church membership forms.

“While we rejoice in distinctive cultures, we should leave behind aspects of those cultures that conflict with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“With our all-inclusive doctrine, we can be an oasis of unity and celebrate diversity. Unity and diversity are not opposites. We can achieve greater unity as we foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity.”


Elder Ronald Rasband: Importance of temple recommends.

“The temple is the Lord’s house and a sanctuary from the world.” (Interesting that right now, when things in the world are so bad, temples are not available.)

Until 1891, each temple recommend was endorsed by the president of the Church. Wow!

“A recommend is not a checklist, a hall pass or a ticket for special seating. It has a much higher and holier purpose.”

“To be recommended to the Lord, we strive to be like Him”

President Nelson agonized about closing the temples, “What would I say to the prophet Joseph Smith.”

Even though temples aren’t fully open, “Being worthy of attending the temple has not been suspended”

“We must be diligent in living the commandments, persevere in our attention to our temple covenants and be grateful for what the Lord continues to teach about them, and be patient as we wait for temples to reopen in their fullness.”

Lots of blessings listed for being worthy to hold, and holding, a temple recommnd.


• Choir sings, “Have I Done Any Good.” One of my all time favorite. Preach!

• I would have gotten another taco because of Elder Rasband.

• And President Oaks is batting clean-up. Sweet.


President Dallin H. Oaks. Goes Political: The Lord’s teachings are for eternity and for all God’s children.

Brought up the violence in the “peaceful protests” this summer. Political arguments have spilled over into the church.

“In a democratic government, we will always have differences over proposed candidates and policies. However, as followers of Christ we must forego the anger and hatred with which political choices are debated or denounced in many settings.”

Christ taught that we need to love our enemies.

Devil is the father of contention.

We are to follow the laws of men, AND the laws of God.

President Monson taught that anger is Satan’s tool, and that no one can make us angry – it is our choice.

Christ did not teach revolution or law breaking. He taught that those who keep Christ’s laws have no need to break the laws of the land.

“We believe in…honoring obeying, honoring and sustaining the law.” (A of F)

We don’t have to agree with all laws, but we must peacefully obey and find proper ways to change them.

Speaking to the protests this summer. Some seem to forget the right to peaceably assemble – the authorized way to protest. There have been injustices.

“As citizens and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we must do better to help root out racism.”

During a time of anger and hatred in politics and policies, followers of Christ must learn to adhere to His “well-known but rarely practiced” teaching to “love your enemies,”

“The constitution and laws contain no invitation to revolution, violence or anarchy.”

Others have seemed to forget that mobs are illegal, it is anarchy. Revolution against legitimate government authority is contrary to the commandments of God. (D&C 143 is a great reference on this.

“Constitutional Patriotism.” No matter how divided or diverse, we need to be united by this.

“Loyalty to established laws instead of temporary allies is the best way to love our adversaries..”

“It is possible to obey AND seek improvement to laws AND love our adversaries.”

(Pretty awesome that this talk came from a Judge.)


• Is it true that the “H” in President Dallin H. Oaks means “The Hammer?”

• A lot of “Meat” in this session.

Back for more in a couple of hours!

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Comments

  1. I loved Elder Oaks’ talk. Everyone should read it and follow its wise counsel. I wish so many people in this country didn’t hate other people that they don’t even know based on their religious/racial/political differences.

  2. I marvel at how all these men and women can teach truth, some of which may be hard or even offensive without coming across, at least to me, as anything but loving and kind.

  3. I have always loved Saturday Conference. You’re right, so much meat and doctrine today. Could Elder Oaks talk have been give by anyone except he who has the law and the gravitas to deliver this important message? Can’t wait for more! And Tacos sound great right now!

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