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.
• And we are back at it…
• I always love the sustaining. But I miss hearing President Uchtdorf attack the foreign names. Oops. That is April.
• Reminder: Earlier today President Nelson asked us to look for “pure truth, the pure doctrine of Christ, and pure revelation”.
Elder David A. Bednar leads off talking about Moroni’s visit to Joseph Smith, which segued into speaking about temples and the role of the Spirit of Elijah.
“Moroni’s teachings in September of 1823 about the Book of Mormon and the mission of Elijah established the doctrinal foundation for the work of salvation and exaltation on both sides of the veil.”
“Our purpose in building temples is to make available the holy places wherein the sacred covenants and ordinances necessary for the salvation and exaltation of the human family can be administered, for both the living and the dead.”
Mention Joseph Smith in the King Follett discourse: “Our greatest responsibility is to seek out our dead.” As is our need to share the gospel.
“Missionary and temple and family history work are complementary and interrelated aspects of one great work that focuses upon the sacred covenants and ordinances that enable us to receive the power of Godliness in our lives.”
Explain how important making, and adhering to covenants is crucial, “We are bound securely to and with the Savior as we faithfully remember and do our best to live in accordance with the obligations we have accepted.”
“The covenant people of the Lord today are indeed armed with power and great glory.”
Elder Ciro Schmeil via recorded message. He’s from Brazil.
“I realized that the Lord wants me to become a better husband, father, and son and a better servant. I then realized that all of this could be accomplished as I worked to become a better disciple of the Savior Jesus Christ.”
“We need to ask in faith to know the will of the Lord, and accept that the Lord knows what is better for us.”
“Asking through prayer is one of the keys to know how to become a better disciple of Jesus Christ.”
Acting helps us become a better disciple of Jesus Christ. Used Nephi and brass plates as an example.
Scripture study also helps us become a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
Quoted Richard G Scott a couple times about prayer. Smart move.
“To become a better follower of the Savior Jesus Christ is a lifelong journey and we are all in different stages, moving at a different pace. We must keep in mind that this is not a competition, and we are here to love and help each other.”
“I have questions that have not been answered yet. But I keep asking and studying. I ask the Lord to give me strength as I wait for the answers.” LOVE this.
Sister Susan H. Porter: God loves you. (She was married to Elder Bride Porter, who died about 5 years ago.)
“When you know and understand how completely you are loved as a child of heavenly parents, it changes everything. It changes the way you feel about yourself when you make mistakes. It changes how you feel when difficult things happen It changes your view of God’s commandments. It changes your view of others, and of your capacity to make a difference.”
“Sometimes we mistakenly think that we can only feel God’s love after we have followed the iron rod and partaken of the fruit.”
—Grandkids arrived – my focus is a little diminished.
“Pray that we may know of God’s pure love for ourselves. As we receive His love, we find greater joy in striving to love and serve as He did.”
“How can I show God’s love through my service?” (I like this take which is more in line with “becoming” rather than having a “checklist mentality.”)
“Gods love is not found in the circumstance of our lives, but in his presence in our lives.”
“I testify that our Lord and Savior did indeed die for each and every one of us. It was an expression of His infinite love for us and for His Father.”
• Two talks in a row that mentioned moving forward even if we have questions.
Elder Erich Kopischke (from Germany in a taped message) speaking about conditions like ADHD, depression, etc.
“Because mental illness can interfere with our perception of perfection, it remains all too often a taboo. As a result, there is too much ignorance, too much silent suffering and too much despair.”
Mental illness is NOT a character defect.
“Because he understands all afflictions, He knows how to heal the broken-hearted.”
(This is super-important, timely and deep. I dont think that my notes will do it justice. Sorry!)
“One of the first things we need to learn is that we are certainly not alone. I invite you to study the topic of ‘mental health’ in the Life Help section of the Gospel Library app.”
“Regardless of our mental and emotional well-being, focusing on growth is healthier than obsessing about our shortcomings.”
“We should help our children and youth feel the love of Jesus Christ in their lives, even when they struggle to personally feel love for themselves.”
“We need to constantly watch over each other. We must love one another and be less judgmental—especially when our expectations are not immediately met.”
Spoke about parenting with mental illness issues.
He quoted one of my favorite scriptures: Section 123:17“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God; and for his arm to be revealed.”
Elder Ronald A. Rasband. (2nd talk this session referencing Nephi, 3rd referencing Book of Mormon prophets.)
“What things really matter to you? What are the things of your soul?”
“When we are heavy laden with mistakes, heartaches, feelings of inadequacy, disappointment, anger or sin, the power of the Savior’s Atonement is, by divine design, one of the things that lifts the soul.”
“7 Things of my Soul:”
- Love God
- Love thy Neighbor The order is important: “When we love God with all our hearts, he turns our hearts to the well-being of others.”
- Love yourself “Isn’t it curious that loving ourselves seems to come less easily than loving others? Yet, the Lord has said, ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.’”
- Keep the commandments.
- Be worthy to enter the temple. “Whether you have access to a temple or not, being worthy of a current temple recommend keeps you firmly focused on the things that matter, the covenant path.”
- Be of good cheer. Quotes President Nelson, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives, and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”
- Follow God’s living prophet. “We have the voice of the Lord through His prophet to calm our fears and lift our sights, for when President Nelson speaks, he speaks for the Lord.”
We are distinguished as a Church to be led by prophets, seers and revelators, called of God for this time. I promise that as you listen and follow their counsel, you will never be led astray. Never.
Spoke about Naaman the leper and ‘cafeteria saints.’ “The account of Naaman reminds us of the risk of picking and choosing the parts of prophetic counsel that fit our thinking, expectation or today’s norms. Our prophet continually points us to our own River Jordans to be healed.”
Boe a sweet testimony of President Nelson’s prophetic role.
Invited us to identify #s 8, 9 10 to complete the list.
Elder Christoffel Golden (South Africa)
“We live in a modern world filled with great knowledge and much prowess. Nonetheless, these things too often camouflage the unsteady foundation upon which they’re built.” (“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 7)
“For those who have eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel, more than ever before, we are required to confront the reality that we are getting ever closer to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.”
“The Second Coming will be a day of mourning for the wicked, but a day of peace for the righteous.”
“I unreservedly testify of and attest to the reality of God and the miracles in the everyday life of countless people from both the low and high stations of life.”
(I like that he pointed out that many miracles and spiritual experience aren’t discussed because they are sacred, or fear of ridicule. Personally, I know miracles still happen. Some of them crazy miracles.)
Elder Moisés Villanueva from Mexico.
Joy. Also quoted President Nelson, “The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives, and everything to do with the focus of our lives.”
“The Savior has perfect compassion for us. He doesn’t fault us for our short-sightedness, nor for being limited in visualizing our eternal journey. Rather, He has compassion for our sadness and suffering.”
Also spoke about Nephi and going after the brass plates.
“I think of the many trials that Nephi experienced, many of which are included in his writing. His trials help us understand that we all have our dark days.
How do we react to our afflictions? Do we murmur?
“In moments of difficulty and trial, there are few things that bring us greater peace and satisfaction than serving our fellow man.”
“Jesus Christ showed us that during times of trial and adversity we can recognize the difficulties of others. Moved with compassion, we can reach out and lift them. And as we do so, we are also lifted by our Christlike service.”
(Unimportant note: I think he only blinked once the entire talk.)
Elder Gary Stevenson
“Living the Gospel…The Gospel is simply beautiful and beautifully simple.”
“We are blessed as we exercise care not to allow complexity, so common in the world, to enter into the way we receive and practice the gospel.”
“We should all strive to keep the gospel simple, in our lives, in our families, in our classes and quorums and in our wards and stakes.”
Told a cool story of a man who had a prompting to “immediately change a lightbulb.” In the process, he watched a boy fall in a lake and no one else saw this. This man quickly jumped in to the lake, and saved the boy.
Divinely ordained responsibilities:
- Living the gospel
- Inviting others to come unto Christ
- Caring for those in need
- Uniting families forever
“The Lord wants to see us in the temple often.”
“Much can be learned from miraculous outcomes brought through the simple application of simple gospel principles.”
• Where this morning was the Heavy Hitters Session, this one has been the International Session.
• Good stuff!
• I really had no idea what this evening’s session will be like. See you then!