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.
• Ah, yes. I was able to take a nap. Now I am rather incoherent. Hopefully my notes will make sense.
• I also think this General Conference has been quite specific.
• It has been interesting watching the brethren walk to the pulpit as it is usually obscured by the podium. Some of the them look rather feeble – but then President Nelson basically glides along like he’s thirty.
President Henry B. Eyring. Encouragement when life is diffcult.
“The harder I tried, the more I fell behind.” HIs mom responded, “Of course it’s hard! It’s supposed to be hard, life is a test.”
Speaking of the Plan of Salvation and the pre-mortal life, “Those of us who accepted the plan did so because of our faith in Jesus Christ.”
“Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love you. They want you to return to Them and become like Them. Your success is Their success.”
Tied Joseph Smith’s struggles at the Liberty Jail to the reality of struggle, and how it gives us experience to become more like Jesus Christ.
“When you wonder how much pain you can endure well, remember Him. He suffered what you suffer so that He would know how to lift you up. He may not remove the burden, but He will give you strength, comfort, and hope. He knows the way.”
“As you live worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the Lord can direct you to safety even when you cannot see the way.”
Great peomise: “The greatest blessing that will come when we prove ourselves faithful, will be a change in our natures. By choosing to keep our covenants, the power of Jesus Christ can work in us. Our hearts can be softened to love.”
“We must notice the tribulation of others and try to help. That will be especially hard when we are being sorely tested ourselves, but we discover as we lift another’s burden that our backs are strengthened.”
This is a great quote: “The greatest blessing we will endure after the tribulation, will be a change in our natures.”
Elder Jeremy R. Jaggi:
“2020 would be a refreshing year.” Best joke of conference.
“Our Heavenly Father may be allowing us time to reflect and consider our understanding of patience and our conscious decision to choose joy.”
Taught about patience in affliction.
“Of all the zealous social, religious, and political endeavors of our day, let disciple of Jesus Christ be our most pronounced and affirming affiliation. ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.'””
“Just as the trying of our faith works patience within us, when we exercise patience, our faith increases. As our faith increases, so does our joy.”
“Be of good cheer is the commandment from the Lord, not be of great fear”
Elder Gary E. Stevenson spoke about his bitter disappointment in not being able to attend a conference as a missionary where President KImball announced the Tokyo temple.
(Two talks in a row about how COVID has trashed missions and temple work.)
“In short, many, many of you have dealt with heartbreaking disappointment, sorrow, and discouragement. So how do we heal, endure, and move forward when things seem so broken?
“Times of affliction and disappointment do not change the watchful eye of the Lord.”
(Second talk in a row mentioning Joseph Smith in Liberty, and God’s answer that it would be for his good.)
The Prophet had prepared us for these times with these adjustments: (Yesterday, Elder Uchtdorf mentioned that the pandemic did not catch the Lord by surprise.) And how we’ve been highly-favored of the Lord.
- Home-centered church.
- Opportunities to hone new Ministering skills.
- Increased welfare assistance and masks
- Heightened joy in the return of temple ordinances.
“I believe that one day, each of you will look back at the canceled events, the sadness, disappointments and loneliness attendant to the challenging times we are passing through to see it overshadowed by choice blessings.”
Brother Milton Da Rocha Camargo (Sunday School 1st Counselor, and third Brasilero to speak today)
Prayer: “An important part of Heavenly Father’s plan is to be able to communicate with him whenever we want to”
Quoted President Nelson: “Pray in the name of Jesus Christ about your concerns, your fears, your weaknesses — yes, the very longings of your heart. And then listen! Write the thoughts that come to your mind.”
“Why is revelation so essential to our spiritual survival? Because the world can be confusing and noisy, full of deception and distractions.”
“The world can also be harsh and heartbreaking. But as we open our hearts in prayer, we will feel the comfort that comes from our Father in Heaven and the assurance that He loves and values us.”
“What we might feel more often is the still small voice of the Lord whispering to our mind and heart, ‘I am here. I love you. Go on and do your best. I’ll support you.'”
“To knock is to act in faith. When we actively follow Him, the Lord opens the way before us.”
Had to add another bottle of DDP to my mug, and brush the Cheeto dust off my shirt.
Elder Dale G. Renlund jumps right in…
“What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, & to walk humbly with thy God?” —Micah 6:8
“To do justly and walk humbly with God is to intentionally withdraw our hand from iniquity, walk in His statutes and remain authentically faithful.”
“God delights in mercy and does not begrudge its use.”
Dealing honorably with others: “That which is hateful unto you, do not do unto your neighbor.”
“Always dealing honorably with others is part of loving mercy.”
“Without the blessings that come from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we can never do enough or be enough by ourselves. The good news, though, is that because of and through Jesus Christ we can become enough.”
Told a great story about a young doctor judging.
(Admit it – when he said “Doctor Jones, you thought of Short Round)
“To be Christlike, a person does justly, behaving honorably with both God and other people. A just person is civil in words and action and recognizes that differences in outlook or belief do not preclude genuine kindness and friendship.”
“To be Christlike, a person loves mercy. People who love mercy are not judgmental, especially to those who are less fortunate.”
Christlike love and mercy supersedes any other division or difference we may have with each other.
• That was a really good talk. Much needed for me and the world.
Elder Kelly R. Johnson noticed that President Nelson uses the word “Power” a lot.
“Elder Richard G. Scott offered a clear definition of what the power of God is: it is the ‘power to do more than we can do by ourselves.’
“Filling our heart and even our soul with the word of God and the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ is crucial to drawing upon the power of God to help us in these challenging times.”
The Parable of the Burning Microwave – I suggest you go back and read it. (The microwave caught on fire because there was nothing on the inside when the power was on.)
“Likewise, those who have faith and the word of God deep in their hearts will be able to absorb and overcome the fiery darts, which the adversary will surely send to destroy us.”
“There is no expiration date associated with the power God bestows upon those who make and keep temple covenants, or a restriction from accessing that power during a pandemic.”
“These covenants, if kept, give us vision and expectations regarding the future and a clear determination to qualify to receive all the Lord has promised.”
(an odd note that writers might notice – Elder Renlund has very consistent paragraph and sentence lengths.)
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, as the penultimate speaker, starts with a bald joke.
ANOTHER talk about Joseph in Liberty Jail, as a way to introduce the hardships and struggles we are facing.
“How long do we wait for relief from hardships that come upon us? What about enduring personal trials while we wait and wait and help seems so slow in coming? Why the delay when burdens seem more than we can bear?”
“I am no longer speaking of pandemics or prisons, but of you, your family and your neighbors.”
“While we work and wait together for the answers to some of our prayers, I offer you my apostolic promise that they are heard and they are answered, though perhaps not at the time or in the way that we wanted.”
(God never sleeps? Man, I would hate that.)
About seeking answers to prayers: “God can provide miracles, instantaneously, but sooner or later we learn that the times and seasons of our mortal journey are His, and they are His alone to direct.”
“The point is that faith means trusting God in good times and bad, even if that includes some suffering until we see His arm revealed in our behalf.”
“One’s life cannot be both faith-filled and stress free.” (Riff on a Maxwell quote)
“Christianity is comforting but often it is not comfortable. The path to holiness and happiness here and hereafter is a long and sometimes rocky one. It takes time and tenacity to walk it.”
Talked about Alma 32 teachings on seeds, trees and fruit.
“The path to holiness and happiness here and hereafter is a long and sometimes rocky one. It takes time and tenacity to walk it. But, of course, the reward for doing so is monumental.”
“COVID and cancer, doubt and dismay, financial trouble and family trials. When will these burdens be lifted? Well The answer is ‘by and by.'”
“I pray that by and by, sooner or late, these blessings will come to every one of you who seeks release from your sorrow and freedom from your grief.”
• It amazes me that Elder Holland can do this time after time. He is truly dialed-in to what we feel and can express himself so well. Beautiful.
President Nelson concludes by saying he knows the Lord wants us to feel optimistic about the future.
“Despite the world’s commotion, the Lord would have us look forward to the future with joyful anticipation.”
“If you really want to embrace a new normal, I invite you to turn your heart, mind and soul increasingly to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Let that be your new normal.”
“Live each day so that you are more prepared to meet your Maker.” Da-da-daaaa.
New temples? Yes please!
- Tarawa, Kiribati
- Port Vita, Vanuatu
- Lindon, Utah
- Greater Guatemala City, Guatemala
- Sao Paulo East, Brazil
- Santa Cruz, Bolivia
“I bless you with an increased desire and ability to obey the laws of God. I promise that as you do, you will be showered with blessings … even amid uncertainty.”
And there you have it! Went by super fast, did’t it?
Much to ponder, much to repent of.
Thanks for your kind words about my notes.