Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Saturday P.M. (April, ’21)

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.

• Easter egg hunt for the grandkids. Great fun! Now back to Conference.

President Oaks presents the leadership for sustaining votes. I’m glad they do this. I also wish the auditing report would contain more detail.

• President Eyring just said Elder Holland will be the first speaker. Millions of ears perked up all over the world.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. “Let not your heart be troubled…I will not leave you comfortless. Peace I leave with you, my peace I die unto you…Let not your heart be troubled.”

Challenging times come…including to the faithful.

A related message from the descriptions of conflict in the Book of Mormon. Violence is part of the last days. Christ foretold of wars and rumors of wars.

“We see too much conflict, anger, and general incivility around us.”

“We are facing a kind of Third World War that is not a fight to crush our enemies, but a conscription marshalling the children of God to care more about each other and to help heal the wounds we find in a conflicted world.”

“The great depression we now face has less to do with the external loss of our savings and more to do with the internal loss of our self confidence.”

“How do we find what Christ called ‘The Covenant of Peace?'”

A challenge: “This Easter, let’s apply peace in a personal way, applying the healing balm of Jesus Christ to ourselves, our families, and all those we can reach around us.”

“The soothing salve of the Atonement is available to ALL without money and without price.”

The absence of principles of righteousness in our time: Coarse language, sexual harassment, etc. “In matters of covenantal purity, the sacred is too often made common and the holy is too often made profane.”

“To any who are tempted to walk or talk or behave “as the world giveth,” so to speak, don’t expect that to lead to peaceful experience; I promise you in the name of the Lord it won’t.”

WICKEDNESS NEVER WAS HAPPINESS. “When the dance is over, the piper must always be paid – most often in tears of remorse or regret.”

Laying down the law: No abuse or unrighteous dominion – of ANY kind. “Everyone has the right to be loved, feel peaceful, and find safety at home.”

“The promise of being a peacemaker is that you will have the Holy Ghost as your constant companion.”

“Tomorrow is Easter, a time for the righteous principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement to pass over conflict and contention.”

Elder Jorge T. Bacera, via a pre-recorded message. That’s new- I think.

“Pobrecito.” Reminded me that my dad you used pull that out when I was whining about something.

Told the story of Peter healing a lame man. “As Peter looked at this man, he saw him differently than others. He looked past his inability to walk and weaknesses and could discern that his faith was adequate to become healed.” (I loved the phrase ‘saw him differently than others.‘)

“As we minister we should be led by revelation to those who are most in need, as opposed to just going down a list or visiting people in a methodical way. We should be led by the power of inspiration.” So true.

“We need everyone—those who may be strong, and those who are perhaps struggling. All are necessary to the edification of the ‘Body of Christ.’”

“I invite each of us to seek out the ‘pobrecitos,’, the ‘poor little ones’ among us who are in need.”

Elder Dale G. Renlund starting by referencing the genocide in Rwanda. “If there were a God, wouldn’t he have done something about it?” (A most excellent question.) How can a loving God…

How do we explain this dichotomy? “Much unfairness (injustice) which we attribute to God comes instead through individual exercise of agency.”

“When others receive benefits because of their diligent choices, we cannot rightly conclude that we have been treated unfairly when we have had the same opportunity.”

“Some unfairness cannot be explained. Inexplicable unfairness is infuriating. Unfairness comes from living with bodies that are imperfect, injured or diseased. Mortal life is inherently unfair.” (Important, that.)

“I declare with all my aching heart that Jesus Christ both understands unfairness and has the power to provide a remedy. Nothing compares to the unfairness He endured.”

“In mortality we can come boldly to the Savior and receive compassion, healing and help. Even while we suffer inexplicably, God can bless us in simple, ordinary and significant ways.”

A great admission: “We understandably want to know how God and Jesus will resolve unfairness – but we don’t know how or when.”

“One of our tasks is to trust that all unfairness can be made right thought the Atonement of Jesus Christ…He will not just console us and restore what was lost; He will use the unfairness for our benefit.”

“In the eternities, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will resolve all unfairness.”

“Our desire to know how and when is unproductive and ultimately myopic.”

“Brothers and sisters, not throwing stones is the first step in treating others with compassion. The second step is to try to catch stones thrown by others.”

“Don’t let unfairness harden you or corrode your faith in God. Instead, ask God for help. Increase your appreciation for and reliance on the Savior. Rather than becoming bitter, let Him help you become better.”

“Your faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will be rewarded more than you can imagine. All unfairness—especially infuriating unfairness—will be consecrated for your gain.”

(It’s hard to type with tears in my eyes…)

Elder Neil L. Anderson gave an overview of this mortal existence. “Our eternal perspective not only enlarges our understanding of those who are continuing their journey beyond mortality, but also opens our understanding of those who are earlier in their journey and just now entering mortality.”

A nice shout-out to the women of the Church: “We love and honor the amazing women of this Church. With intelligence and wisdom, you bear the burdens of your family. You love. You serve. You sacrifice. You strengthen faith, minister to those in need and greatly contribute to society.”

On abortion: It is evil. Shun it. (There is no doubt that the Church and God are Pro-Life. Are you?) Quoting President Hinckley, “What is happening to our appreciation of the sanctity of human life? Abortion is an evil, stark and real and repugnant, which is sweeping over the earth.”

But…”How grateful we are for the divine gifts of repentance and forgiveness.”

“If an unanticipated child is expected, let us reach out with love, encouragement, and when needed, financial help, strengthening a mother in allowing her child to be born and continue his or her journey in mortality.”

“It is concerning that even in some of the most prosperous countries of the world, fewer children are being born. God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.”

“May we always remember that each spirit child of God is coming to earth on his or her own personal journey. May we welcome them, safeguard them, and always love them.”

Elder Thierry K. Mutombo, pre-recorded talk. This brother radiates goodness and joy.

Spoke of his life as a child in Africa and how they changed from a home of “darkness” to light. “We, who previously walked in darkness, chased darkness from among us and saw great light.” “After our baptism, we truly started to progressively have a new lifestyle because of the restored gospel. The words of Christ began to enlarge our souls.”

“What do you think Sister Mutombo and I do with our children today? We pray, pray, pray. This is our legacy.”

Great stories of surviving in violent times.

“When we choose to follow Christ, we choose to be changed.”

Concluding speaker??? President M. Russell Ballard. (He’s 92!)

“Knowing that we are loved by our Heavenly Father will help us know who we are and know that we belong to His great eternal family.”

The Covid pandemic has highlighted the loneliness of many.

“I know what it is to be surrounded by family members, friends and associates but still feel lonely, because the love of my life is no longer here beside me.”

“The Savior’s invitation to come unto Him is an invitation to all to not only come unto Him, but also to belong to His Church.”

“I personally feel the pain of those who lack a sense of belonging….Believing that God loves us and that we are His children is comforting and assuring.”

“Nevertheless, despite the challenges we face in life, like the first Easter morning, we can awake to a new life in Christ with new and marvelous possibilities and new realities as we turn to the Lord for hope and belonging.”

Second talk to mention that more than half the adults in the Church are single. Speaking to the singles, “We should understand that eternal life is not simply a question of current marital status but of discipleship and being valiant in the testimony of Jesus.”

Second talk about things being “set right” after mortality.

“The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have counseled together, in a spirit of prayer and with a yearning to understand, how to help all who feel alone or feel they don’t belong. We long to help all who feel this way.” (Good to know.)

“Waiting upon the Lord does not imply biding one’s time. We’re not in Christ’s waiting room. We should be people of action!”

“I speak of hope in Christ not as wishful thinking. Instead, I speak of hope as an expectation that will be realized.”

“In the final analysis, a person’s capacity, desires, and opportunities in matters of agency and choice, including qualification for eternal blessings, are matters only the Lord can judge.”

“When we have hope in Christ, we come to know that as we need to make and keep sacred covenants, our fondest desires and dreams can be fulfilled through Him.”

A real, sincere effort to let single members know that they are wanted, needed, can serve, and have the potential to reap all the blessing Heavenly Father has offered.

• An emotional session for me. That’s good thing.

• When President Ballard said, “fondest desires and dreams can be fulfilled” I immediately thought that I should vote for Pedro. (But I can always repent, right?)

• The roast has been smoking for 2:15. Better go check it.

• Priesthood in a short two hours! Gonna hit the pool. (It’s 94 here.)

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