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.
Here we are – Day 2!
Are you hoping for anything? Me? I’m wishing for the return of 3-hour church. (But I’m not holding my breath)
Yesterday was a great day – heavy and enlightening – perfect for our times.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson is the leadoff hitter. “if God does not help when I pray to him, how can I have faith in him?”
We shouldn’t presume to judge God. “It truly is folly for us with our mortal myopia to presume to judge God, to think, for example, ‘I’m not happy, so God must be doing something wrong.’”
“It is folly for us with our mortal myopia to think we know better than God.”
We ought not to think of God’s plan as a cosmic vending machine where we select a desired blessing, insert the required sum of good works, and the order is promptly delivered.” (YET, the scripture tend to make this a thing – WofW and tithing, for example.)
“God will indeed honor His covenants and promises to each of us. We need not worry about that.”
“Mortal Myopia” is a good phrase. “The children of God should set aside their mortal myopia, trust God’s promises and seek a deep relationship with him and Jesus Christ.”
“In the midst of this refiner’s fire, rather than get angry with God, get close to God.”
A key point: What is our testimony based on? Getting blessings, or our relationship with Jesus?
“In the end, it is the blessing of a close and abiding relationship with the Father and the Son that we seek. It makes all the difference and is everlastingly worth the cost.”
Sister Amy Wright, Primary Presidency.
Told a “Brady Bunch-esqe” story about a broken vase to make the point that God fixes broken things.
“We can learn much from the scriptures about how our savior Jesus Christ will help us successfully navigate the things in our lives that are broken” —
Woman taken in adultery
“No one’s life can be understood by one magnificent moment or one regrettable public disappointment”
“We need to assume accountability for the condition of our hearts.”
“Forgiveness is a universal commandment.” “Forgiveness is one of the noblest gifts we can give one another, and most specifically ourselves.”
“He can heal broken relationships with God, broken relationships with others and broken parts of ourselves.” Peter healing man at the gates.
(Second talk in a row about waiting on the Lord.) “Oh God, where art thou…requires us to exercise faith in Christ.”
“I spent countless hours at a cancer treatment facility united in my suffering with many who were yearning to be healed. Some lived. Others did not. I learned in a profound way that deliverance from our trials is different for each of us.”
“We all have something in our lives that is broken…as we turn our heart to the Savior…as we repent.”
We need to trust the Lord in His timing.
Elder Gary E. Stevenson
Back to missionary work. “We, too, as Christ’s disciples, are invited to heed his commission today, as if we were there on that mountain in Galilee as he first proclaimed it.”
Why don’t we all begin now? (Rather than wait for a call.)
“The Savior’s great commission can be accomplished through simple, easily understandable principles taught to each of us from childhood: love, share and invite.”
1. Love – spoke to the good things that people have done in response to the Ukraine war. “Whenever we show Christ-like love towards our neighbor, we preach the Gospel even if we do not voice a single word.”
2. Share – “Sharing isn’t about selling the gospel. You don’t have to write a sermon or correct someone’s incorrect perceptions. When it comes to missionary work, God doesn’t need you to be his sheriff; He does, however, ask that you be his sharer.” We already share lots of stuff – movies, travel, food, etc. “How might we simply add to the list of things we already share what we love about the gospel of Jesus Christ?”
3. Invite – “As we invite others to learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ, we take part in the Savior’s call to engage in the work of His commission.”
“I invite you to consider ways that you can love, share, and invite…no name tag is required.”
“I invite you to consider ways you can love, share, and invite. As you do so, you will feel a measure of joy knowing that you are heeding the words of our beloved Savior.”
I love how he pointed out, “This is not a new program.”
Elder Michael T. Ringwood – John 3:16-17, (For God so loved the world…)
“We are the focus of Heavenly Father’s plan and the reason for our Savior’s mission.”
Old Testament gives lots of examples of how Jesus/Jehovah are involved in people’s lives. (Joseph, Moses, Judah, Benjamin)
“I am grateful for those who never give up on us, who continue to pour out their souls in prayer for us and who continue to teach and help us qualify to return home to our Father in heaven.”
“Why does Heavenly Father’s personalized plan for us include helping others return to Him? Because that is how we become like Jesus Christ.” – another plug for missionary work.
Our lives are unique, as is the personalized plan for each of us. “This is not a blanket, catch all, hit-and-miss sort of plan. It is personal, set forth by a loving Heavenly Father who knows our hearts, our names and what he needs us to do.”
Important things happen according to God’s timing…no detail is too small.
Every talk so far has mentioned that we need to trust the Lord’s timing.
I don’t know if it is just my perception, but, as I have been doing this a long time, the speakers seem to be speaking really fast today – hard to keep up.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband – speaking about attacks on our religious freedom. (My ears perk up.)
“What is religious freedom? It is freedom of worship in all its configurations — freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom to act on personal beliefs and freedom for others to do the same.”
Eleventh Article of Faith is the essence of religious freedom: “We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”
-note: Elder Rasband spoke about religious freedom to the G20 Interfaith Forum last year. (link)
Spoke to the persecution the saints experienced – “From those days of intense persecution, the Lord’s Church has grown steadily to nearly seventeen million members, with well over half living outside the United States.”
“Whether in a chapel, synagogue, mosque or tin-roofed hut, Christ’s disciples, and all like-minded believers, can express devotion to God by worship of him and willingness to serve his children.”
We need to let all people speak to their convictions – even if we don’t agree, because we have more in common with them than with people who would silence religious voices.
– ah, now he’s talking about speaking at the G20.
1. Religious freedom honors the first and second great commandments.Jesus went about doing good. So must we.”
2. “Religious freedom fosters expressions of belief, hope, and peace.”
3. “Religion inspires people to help others. When religion is given the space and freedom to flourish, believers perform simple and sometimes heroic acts of service.”
“No question, people of faith, working together, can make significant interventions. At the same time, one-on-one service is often unheralded, but quietly changes lives.”
4. “Religious freedom acts as a unifying force for shaping morality.”
“If religion is not there to help with shaping character and mediating hard times, who will be?”
“I invite you to champion the cause of religious freedom. It is an expression of the God-given principle of agency.”
(Lots to unpack here – gonna go back and read it.)
Elder Hugo E. Martinez – self reliance.
“I’ve come to know that adults can best be on the path towards self-reliance when they have been taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and have practiced its doctrine and principles since childhood and as youth in the home.”
“Self-reliance is defined as the ability, commitment, and effort to provide for the spiritual and temporal needs of self and family. It’s a DOCTRINE of the gospel of Christ, NOT a program.”
Self-reliance is a lifetime work.
Self-Reliance is not only for adults. The principles can be learned and practiced by children and youth.
“Striving to be self-reliant is part of our work along the covenant path that leads us back to Heavenly Father and to His Son, Jesus Christ.”
“The Children and Youth Program (spiritual, intellectual, physical, social) is teaching self-reliance.” ( I like how that serves as a template for planning youth activities.)
“We become self-reliant throughout our lives by growing in spiritual strength, physical and emotional health, pursuing our education and employment, and being temporally prepared.”
Reviewed roles for fathers and mothers from The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
“Let us follow our Savior Jesus Christ and His gospel by becoming self-reliant throughout our lives, and teaching this to our children and youth.”
President Russell M. Nelson is the concluding speaker. Began by saying, “Brothers and Sisters, I love you.”
Talked about the war in Ukraine: “Any war is a massive violation of everything the Lord Jesus Christ stands for.”
“My call today is to end conflicts raging in your heart, your home, and your life. Bury any and all inclination to hurt others. Whether those inclinations be a temper, a sharp tongue, or a resentment for someone who has hurt you.”
Introduced the idea of momentum but talking about basketball.
What can ignite “spiritual momentum?…Momentum can swing either way.” “We have never needed positive spiritual momentum more than we do now, to counteract the speed with which evil and the darker signs of times are intensifying.”
Five specific actions we can take to maintain positive spiritual momentum.
- Get on the covenant path and stay there. Importance of sacrament and temple covenants. “Ordinances and covenants give us Godly power.”
- Discover the joy of daily repentance. “Repenting is the key to progress…please do not fear or delay repenting.” “The Savior loves us always, but especially when we repent.” “Please do not fear or delay repenting. Satan delights in your misery. Cut it short. Cast his influence out of your life.” If you have been off-roading, returning to the covent path will not be easy
- Learn about God and how HE works. Discern how to tell the difference between God and Satan – used the example of Moses recognizing and rebuking Satan. “We should follow that example – cast Satan’s influence out of your life.” “With frightening speed, a testimony that is not nourished daily by the good word of God can crumble.”
- Seek, and expect, miracles. God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. “Do the spiritual work to seek miracles. Prayerfully ask God to help you exercise that kind of faith.” “Few things will accelerate your spiritual momentum more than realizing the Lord is helping you to move a mountain in your life.”
- End conflict in your personal life. “Between now and Easter, seek an end to a personal conflict that has weighed you down. If forgiveness seems impossible, plead for power through Christ’s atonement.”
These things will give us momentum on the covenant path
“With all the pleadings of my heart, I urge you to get on the covenant path and stay there, experience the joy of repenting daily, learn about God and how He works, seek and expect miracles, strive to end conflict in your life.”
That was fast and furious! It was all I could do to keep up – I am definitely missing my pause button.
I guess I should be capitalizing “Covenant Path.” I’ll do better.
I love President Nelson’s specific challenge to end personal conflict before Easter. (That’s two weeks!)
Time fora break, see you soon!