Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Sunday A.M. Session (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.

• Good morning. After a couple of hours of playing Legos, I’m ready to roll.

• Korean kids choir was sweet.

President Nelson “expressed a great desire to have speakers from throughout the world preach the gospel of Jesus Christ on Easter morning.” Should be interesting.

Elder Ulisses Soares – Brazil. Basic review of Christ’s role and the Atonement.

“The gift of repentance is an expression of God’s kindness towards His children and is a demonstration of His incomparable power to help us overcome the sins we commit.”

“Through Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice, we can experience a mighty change of mind and heart, bringing a fresh attitude, both toward God, and toward life in general.”


Sister Reyna I. Aburto, 2nd Counselor, Relief Society – Nicaragua.

“Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of love,” quoting President Nelson

“We are grateful for our knowledge of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. And yet, at some point in our lives, we will have felt heartbroken after losing someone whom we love dearly.”

Reviewed the details of the resurrection and Christ’s appearance to Mary Magdalene.

“I had received a witness that my brother’s spirit is not dead; he is alive. He is still progressing in his eternal existence. I now know that my brother shall rise again.”

(Reminds me of the quote in WandaVision, “What is grief, if not love persevering?”)


Elder Mark S. Palmer, New Zealand.

“The glorious message of Easter morning is central to all Christianity. Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and because of this, we too will live again after we die.”

“The doctrine of Christ is that he suffered for the sins of men, died by crucifixion, and rose from death on the third day. Everything else is an appendage to our religion.”

(Both speakers so far have talked about losing a sibling and how the promise of the resurrection helps them and their families.)


Elder Edward Dube – Zimbabwe.

Told a sweet, humble story of entering the Conference center and feeling, “”You do not belong here. A mistake has been made.” But then Elder Holland approached him with kindness – as Elder Holland does – “Edward! It is good to see you here!”

“While we look at Paul’s service, we are inspired and uplifted by our own “Pauls” in our day, who also serve, teach and testify with love and gratitude amidst the challenges they face in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones.”

Also spoke about those who have experienced loss and how the Plan of Salvation can give comfort.

“While the challenges of mortality will come to all of us in one way or another, let us focus on the goal of our “pressing toward the mark” which is the prize of the high calling of God.”

Favorite quote: “It is not so much what we are going through in life but what we are becoming.”


• Hearing my 3 year-old grandson singing “I am a Child of God” with the International choir is my high point this session, so far.


Elder José A. Teixeira, Portugal

“One of the most important things we can do in this life is to recognize and remember the pathway back to our Heavenly Father and faithfully and joyfully persevere throughout the journey.”

4 reminders that can rekindle feelings of our heavenly home.

  1. Remember that we are children of God. It is one of the first steps in the journey back home.
  2. Remember the foundation that protects us. “We can remember the foundation that protects us. Strength comes to us when we remain righteous through and faithful to Jesus Christ – even when others overwhelmingly disregard the commandments.”
  3. Remember to be prayerful. When we remember to pray, we find His sustaining love, and the more we pray to our Father in Heaven in Christ’s name, the more we bring the Savior into our life and the better we will recognize the path He has marked to our heavenly home.”
  4. 4. As we serve we show that we are Christ’s disciples.

“We have Jesus Christ’s perfect example to follow, and the journey toward our eternal home is possible only because of His teachings, His life, and His atoning sacrifice – including His death, and His resurrection.”


Elder Taniela B. Wakalo, Fiji.

“How, then, do we reciprocate and show our gratitude for their (Christ and Heavenly Father) universal love? The Savior taught us with this simple, all-encompassing invitation: ‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’”

Elder Wakolo said God shows love through:

1. Relationships with him and family. “Our most valuable relationships are with the Father and the Son, and with our own families because our relationships with them are eternal.”

2. His prophets. “President Nelson has travelled to many nations of the earth. In my mind, he is not just ministering to thousands, but he is ministering to thousands of ‘ones.’ In doing so, he shares the love God has for all His children.”

3. Chastening, to remind his children who they are and to give learning experiences. “Chastening can be a manifestation of God’s love for His children. The Lord chastens whom He loves. That chastening will bring about needed change in our lives.”

“Chastening is like spiritual surgery”


Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong, Hong Kong.

“Let us be determined to let God prevail in our lives.”

“When we are presented with an opportunity to repent, change, grow, or listen to the Spirit… are our hearts determined or hardened?”

(Talked about the song with “the wise man built his house upon a rock…” It was fun with his hand gestures and accent.)

Importance of a sure foundation: “If we build our foundation on Jesus Christ, we cannot fall. As we endure faithfully to the end, God will help us establish our lives upon His rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against us.”

“We cannot change what is coming, but we CAN change how we prepare for it.”

“The gospel is not part of our lives, but our lives are actually part of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

“God is our Heavenly Father. He loves all of us. He knows our potential way better than we know ourselves. He knows not only the details of our lives. God knows the details of the details of the details of our lives.”


Michael John U. Teh, Phillipines (Best English of the international speakers)

Started with a good question: “Do we only know about the Savior? Or are we increasingly coming to Know Him?”

“We need to recognize that knowing the Savior is the most important pursuit of our lives – it should take priority over anything else.”

“The Atonement of Jesus Christ is infinite and eternal and all-encompassing in its breadth and depth but wholly personal and individual in its effects.”


President Russell M. Nelson begins by making the case that this is an international church. (I guess a lot of people didn’t know that?)

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly what is needed in this confused, contentious, and weary world. Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ.”

“Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power.”

“Everything good in life, every potential blessing of eternal significance begins with faith. Allowing God to prevail in our life begins with faith that He is willing to guide us. It is our faith that unlocks the power of God in our lives.”

“My call to you this Easter morning is to start today to increase your faith. Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.”

Here’s how to increase faith:

  1. Study. Become an engaged learner. Immerse yourselves in the scriptures. Know the Doctrine of Christ. Internalize that the Atonement of Christ applies to you. Learn about miracles.
  2. Choose to believe in Jesus Christ. If you have doubts…choose to believe, and stay faithful. “Take your questions to the Lord and other FAITHFUL sources. Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters”
  3. Act. “Act in faith. What would you do if you had more faith? Receive more faith by doing something that requires more faith.”
  4. Partake of sacred ordinances worthily. Ordinances unlock the power of God.
  5. Ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ for help.

“Faith always increases our access to godly power.”

“Faith is the power that enables the unlikely do the impossible” 

“He is risen. He is risen to lead His church. He is risen to bless the lives of all of God’s children – wherever they live. With faith in Him, we can move the mountains in our lives.”


Choir concludes with a powerful rendition of “He is Risen.” Perfect for a beautiful Easter morning.


• Lovely session, but I’m super glad to hear from Elder Soares & President Nelson. They are the only ones who spoke this session that hold priesthood keys and actually have a stewardship to guide me and my family.

• I loved President Nelson’s teachings on faith. I also love how he stands up straighter when delivering an important point or declaration.

• I can’t believe how fast Conference is moving. Only one more session. See ya later.

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Comments

  1. I’m afraid we have a small point of disagreement, here. I believe if someone is called to speak in General Conference, they have been called by those holding all the keys and authority and stewardship needed to guide them and you and your family and me and mine. They are not chosen haphazardly.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Is it just me, or does the background look like hanging strips of bacon? Maybe I am just hungry…..

  3. I loved this session and especially enjoyed hearing Elder Taniela Wakolo. He talks with his hands and I especially enjoy watching his hands because of a faith-promoting fact about him that I heard directly from Elder Oaks in 2011.

    When Elder Wakolo was called as an Area Seventy in Fiji, he, like many in the various Pacific Islander cultures, had a tattoo on the back of his left hand. Elder Spencer Condie, who called him to that office, noticed the tattoo and mentioned that he might want to consider getting it removed at some point. At some later time when Elder Condie met with Elder Wakolo, he noticed an ugly scar on the back of his hand where the tattoo had once been. Elder Condie asked about it and Elder Wakolo proudly explained that he had removed the tattoo himself as Elder Condie had instructed. Horrified that he’d done it in such a painful and crude fashion, Elder Condie explained that he’d not intended for him to do it himself but to have it professionally done using laser tattoo removal technology. Elder Wakolo responded that Elder Condie need not be concerned. That technology was expensive and not even available in Fiji. “Besides,” he said, “now the Lord knows the lengths I am willing to go to to be obedient.”

    Elder Wakolo was my son’s Mission President in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission and I had the opportunity to meet him when we picked my son up at the end of his mission. I looked for the scar which was there on the back of his hand. I did not embarrass him by asking about it but I noted it for what he said it would always be – a symbol of his dedication to obedience to the Lord. Elder Wakolo will always be in a special category of disciple of Christ in my book.

  4. I loved hearing from all the speakers from all over the world. Having pioneer ancestors and raised in Utah, I don’t know what it would feel like to not “belong”. I imagine that this session helped thousands of our brothers and sisters to feel a better sense of belonging. The testimonies of Christ and His Atonement and His ultimate and intimate influence in each of our lives definitely spoke to my heart.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

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