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.
• The final session. Productive break: Got the ribs on the smoker and a 30″ nap. Ready to roll.
• If there is sunshine in your soul, sing it out – loud and proud!!
• I saw my friend in the choir!
• Bro. Wilcox prayed “May He come quickly.” Hold on a sec there, brother.
President Henry B. Eyring is the lead off hitter. “I encourage you to keep striving to qualify to return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.”
When he would complain to his mom, she would say, “Oh, Hal! Of course it’s hard – it’s supposed to be. It’s a test!”
“Where ever you are on the covenant path you will find struggles,”
Talked about his mother: “Looking back, now, I see how that gift of charity—the pure love of Christ—strengthened, guided, sustained, and changed my mother in the struggle on her way home.”
Spent time in Mormon’s teachings on charity.
As we gain charity, we become more like Christ.
About his wife he said, “We have been married for 60 years. It is because of that experience that I now understand the meaning of these scriptural words: faith, hope, meekness, enduring, seeking not our own, rejoicing in the truth, not thinking evil and, above all, charity.”
“When you sit with someone as their ministering sister or brother; you represent the Lord. Think of what He would do or say.”
“The Savior knows your struggles in detail. He knows your great potential to grow in faith, hope, and charity.”
“The commandments and covenants he offers are not tests to control you. They are a gift to lift you toward receiving all the gifts of God, and to returning home to your Heavenly Father and the Lord.”
Prophetic witness: “I testify that He lives and leads His Church. I am His witness. President Russell M. Nelson is the living prophet of God for all the earth.”
Elder Ryan K. Olsen When called to be a Seventy, the Brethren told him, “Don’t worry. You belong.”
“There is something undeniably special about this generation of youth.”
“I am grateful for what I learn from the youth. I am grateful for what my children teach me, for what our missionaries teach me, and for what my nieces and nephews teach me.”
“The answer to the simplest questions and most complex problems is Jesus Christ…Every solution is found in Him.”
—–> “When we have questions or doubts, we may feel that the solutions are too complex or that finding answers is too confusing. May we remember that the adversary – even the Father of all lies – is the architect of confusion. The Savior is the Master of simplicity.” (I think this is a bit of an overstatement – truth can be confusing and complicated.)
“To our magnificent youth—including my nephew Nash—throughout your life, no matter how difficult or confusing the challenges may be, you can always remember that the answer is simple; it is always Jesus.“
(Weird that Elder Olsen is less than HALF the age of some of the senior apostles.)
• Spritzed the ribs with a mix of apple cider vinegar and apple cider. Now maybe wife says I smell like a campfire.
Elder Jonathan Schmidt. (Arizona!)
Which of Jesus’ names should I take upon me?
“As we come to know Jesus’ many names, we will come to better understand his divine mission and his selfless character. Knowing his many names also inspires us to become more like him.”
Names for Christ. (We can develop our own lists.)
- Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep. He knows their names.
YES —-> “As good shepherds, and as local conditions permit, we should seek to spend more time ministering to people in their homes. In our ministering, texting and technology should be used to enhance, not replace, personal contact.”
- The High Priest of good things to come. “Despite any challenges in our past, faith always points toward the future, filled with hope, allowing us to fulfill Jesus’s invitation to be of good cheer. Joyfully living the gospel helps us to become disciples of good things to come.”
- He Is the Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever. Be consistent.
“Great spiritual strength comes from small and simple things like developing “holy habits and righteous routines” of daily prayer, repentance, scripture study, and service to others.”
- The Holy One of Israel: “Time in the temple will increase holiness in our lives.”
- He is Faithful and True.. “Don’t ever give up on Jesus. He will never give up on you.”
Great spiritual strength comes from small and simple things like developing “holy habits and righteous routines” of daily prayer, repentance, scripture study, and service to others.”
Elder Mark D. Eddy spoke about Alma and the Zoramites. “As the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just … therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God.”
“Throughout scripture we read of miraculous blessings poured out upon those who have chosen to try the virtue of the word of God in their lives.”
“Perhaps you are feeling as though you were in the midst of darkness. Does your soul ache for illumination? If so, please try the virtue of the word of God.”
(He quoted my favorite scriptures! Helaman 3:27-30)
“Are you seeking to cut through all the cunning and the snares and the wiles of the devil so prevalent in the philosophies of our day?”
There is virtue in the words of scriptures and living prophets.
“Ultimately, the virtue of the word of God is the Lord Jesus Christ.”
• Feeling kind of old, considering the last 3 GAs that spoke are in their 40s.
Elder Gary L. Stevenson.
“Your testimony is a most precious possession, often associated with deep spiritual feelings.”
Talked about his college days and learning how not to be embraced by being a member of the Church. “I am not ashamed…”
I invite you to reflect upon these four questions:
- Do I know and understand what a testimony is?
“Your testimony is your belief or knowledge of truth, given as a spiritual witness through the influence of the Holy Ghost. Acquiring this witness will change what you say and how you act.”
“Your testimony in Jesus Christ isn’t just wnat you say, it’s who you are.”
- Do I know how to bear my testimony? “President Dallin H. Oaks shared ‘Sometimes testimonies are better gained on the feet bearing them than on the knees praying for them.’ The Spirit bears witness to the speaker and listener alike.”
- What are the obstacles in sharing my testimony? “Uncertainty about what to say.”
- How do I keep my testimony? “I promise as you more fully understand what a testimony is, and as you share it, you will overcome obstacles of uncertainty and fear enabling you to nurture and keep this most precious possession, your testimony.”
Invitation: “I invite you to seek opportunities to bear your testimony in word and in deed.”
• Elder Stevenson mentioned to use Twitter to spread good messages. Twitter? That’s the Devil’s playground!
Elder Isaac K. Morrison. Did the blind man sin, or his parents?
“While some challenges may come because of willful disobedience, we know that many of life’s challenges come because of other reasons. Whatever the source of our challenges, they can be a golden opportunity to grow.”
Lost their 18-month baby who drowned in a bucket. “Though we knew Kenneth would be part of our family eternally, I found myself questioning why God would let this tragedy happen to me when I was doing all I could to magnify my calling.”
“I learned a life-changing lesson and made two rules, never to be broken. Rule 1: Listen to and heed the promptings of your wife. Rule 2: If you are not sure for any reason, refer to rule number 1.
The loss helped bind husband and wife together.
“Reflecting on my own experiences, I realize I have learned some of my best lessons during the hardest times, times that took me out of my comfort zone.”
“The more I cheerfully respond to difficult circumstances with faith in the Lord, the more I grow in discipleship.”
“The love we feel because of the Savior and his Atonement becomes a powerful resource to us in our trying moments.”
Eventually had “many children” as a mission president. Sweet thought.
“I testify that we grow in our discipleship when we exercise faith in the Lord during difficult times. As we do so, He will mercifully strengthen us and help us carry our burdens.”
Elder Quentin L. Cook.
Went to the UK for a Conference, where he had served as a youth, along with Ballard and Holland.
Heber C. Kimball: “If you have not got the testimony, live right, and call upon the Lord and cease not until you attain it. If you do not you will not stand…. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light.”
Made an interesting point that the sun/celestial generates its own light, where the moon and stars reflect light.
“We cannot obtain the Celestial Kingdom and live with God the Father on borrowed light, we need our own testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel.”
“We live in a world where iniquity abounds and hearts turn from God because of the precepts of men.”
“Let’s talk about two passions in particular – first, anger and second, lust. It is interesting that both left unbridled or uncontrolled can cause great heartache, dimmish the influence of the Spirit, and separate us from God and His work.”
Another witness against abuse: “Please make up your mind that regardless of whether your parents did or did not abuse you, you will not physically or verbally or emotionally abuse your spouse or children.”
“The adversary takes every opportunity to fill our lives with images of violence and immorality.”
“None can return to God by his or her own good works alone — we all need the benefit of the Savior’s sacrifice. All have sinned, and it is only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can obtain mercy and live with God.”
Made a similar push to get and strengthen personal testimony – this has been a theme throughout conference.
President Russell M. Nelson started wrapping things up with a clip from the Book of Mormon video series. (Of which I have seen none!) (My wife is crying)
“It is significant that the Savior chose to appear to the people at the temple. It is His house. It is filled with His power.”
He’s announcing the list of new temples. I’m not even gonna try to keep up.
- Philipines x2
- Brazil x2
- Mexico City x4
• Another Conference in the books. I look forward to reviewing the talks. Sometimes I don’t seem to be able to give them all the same degree of attention when I’m watching. There is some mystical saturation point that usually hits me early Sunday afternoon.
• I hope you enjoy my write-ups. I still do it mostly for me, but it is nice to know that some of you benefit.