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.
• Productive break. Got some chores done, ate lunch.
• If there are open slots from Elder Holland having COVID, they should ask Elder Cook to speak again, and again…
• BYU Choir: “How Firm a Foundation” great choice, great performance.
Starting off with the sustaining and audit report. I always enjoy participating in this. THIS is one of the moments where there is a real difference between watching live vs watching/listening/reading later.
Props to President Oaks for pronouncing “Ahmad” correctly.
New YW Presidency: Freeman, Runia, Spanos.
New YM Counselors: Wilcox, Nelson
Audit report. (Essentially a “thumbs up” from the auditors.)
Here is a link to the Church statistical report. Interesting stuff.
Elder Dale G. Renlund started speaking about “pororoca,” which is an unnatural tide going the wrong direction up the Amazon. “Even the Amazon must yield to heavenly powers.”
“With heaven’s help, we can do unnatural things.”
“When we yield “to the enticings of the Holy Spirit” and put off the selfish tendencies of the natural man or woman, we can receive the Savior’s transforming power in our lives, the power to do difficult things.”
“Going against the flow may be difficult, but when we yield to ‘the enticings of the Holy Spirit’ and put off the selfish tendencies of the natural man or woman, we can receive the Saviors transforming power in our lives.”
We are “transformed, changed and exalted” through covenants with God.
Covenant Path defined: “The covenant path refers to a series of covenants whereby we come to Christ and connect to Him.” (Baptism, temple, etc.) “Keeping covenants in baptismal fonts and in temples also provides us with strength to withstand mortality’s trials and heartaches.”
“You shouldn’t identify yourself as a disciple of Jesus Christ unless you intend to represent him well.”
“Unlike the Amazon, we can choose whether we yield to heavenly powers or go with the flow.”
“By connecting to God’s power, we become our own pororoca, able to go against the flow of the world, throughout our lives and into the eternities.”
Elder Renlund is of Finnish descent – who knew?
Two strong promises: “As you walk the covenant path … I promise you power to go against the natural worldly flow — power to learn, power to repent and be sanctified, and power to find hope, comfort and even joy as you face life’s challenges.”
and, “I promise you and your family protection against the influence of the adversary, especially when you make the temple a major focus in your life.”
“As you come to Christ and are connected to Him and our Heavenly Father by covenant, something seemingly unnatural happens. You are transformed and become perfected in Jesus Christ. You become a covenant child of God and an inheritor in His kingdom.”
Elder Peter F. Meurs (I hope he says “Krikey!” at some point in his talk.)
Spoke about Christ’s visit in 3 Nephi. (I think this is the third reference in this Conference, so far.)
“When our Savior Jesus Christ looks upon us, He sees and understands the pain and burden of our sins. He sees our addictions and challenges. He sees our struggles and afflictions of any kind—and He is filled with compassion toward us.”
Spoke about a head-on collision he had with his family. The baby was unresponsive. Elder Meurs blessed the baby. By the time the paramedics got there, the baby was responsive.
He had a lot of PTSD after the accident – lots of guilt. Eventually realized the Savior could heal him. “I realized that the Savior could heal me. This power applies to accidental mistakes, trials of every kind, as well as to our sins.”
“Whether you are carrying the burden of unresolved sin, suffering because of an offense committed against you long ago, or struggling to forgive yourself … you have access to the healing and redeeming power of the Savior Jesus Christ.”
“He can heal you.”
(This was beautiful – typing through tears.)
Elder Randall K. Bennett. Had to choose which parent to live with as they divorced. Suffered a lot of anxiety as a child.
“For years, I struggled with anxiety. A gift from my Heavenly Father changed everything: my Patriarchal Blessing.”
“My patriarchal blessing helped me understand my true, eternal identity – who I was – and what I could become.”
“You are Known. You are Loved by your Heavenly Father and your Savior and they’re personally involved in your life.”
(I need to get mine out – and my kid’s blessings – and study them.)
“Patriarchal blessings can help guide us. Mine did for me, during a turbulent time in my life. My blessing allowed me to draw closer to my Heavenly Father, & gave me direct, personal guidance. Many others can testify of this as well.”
“I studied my blessing frequently, and as a youth often daily, which helped me feel the comforting, guiding influence of the Holy Ghost, who helped reduce my anxiety as I followed His promptings.”
• Halftime. Didn’t even stand up – instead I sat and talked about good stuff with my sweetie.
Elder Craig C. Christensen: Jesus taught parables about the importance of seeking out those who strayed. “My desire today is to strengthen the connection between joy and repentance.”
Speaking about the joy we feel from repentance, and the joy of bringing others to repentance.
“Joy is more profound, elevating, enduring, and life-changing than any pleasure or comfort this world can offer. We were created to have joy.”
“Joy and comfort are not the same thing.” Joy follows repentance as the Savior’s Atonement frees us from sin and suffering.
“Repentance is the pathway to joy, because it is the pathway that leads us to the Savior Jesus Christ.” “Repentance brings joy because it prepares our hearts to receive the influence of the Holy Ghost.”
As we find that joy, we want to share it with others, like Alma.
“I find it helpful to imagine the joy the Savior must feel each time we receive the blessings of His atoning sacrifice in our life.”
Elder Evan A. Schmutz.
“We must invite the Holy Ghost to engrave the doctrine of Christ in the fleshy tables of our hearts as permanently as it was engraved by Nephi upon the plates of gold.”
We need to trust the Doctrine of Christ more than the philosophies of man.
“If we trust the doctrine of Christ, we will set aside the shiny things of the world so that we can focus on the Redeemer of the world.” He went on to define it as social media, video games, etc.
“When the Savior forgives, He more than cleanses us from sin, He also gives us increased strength to withstand and overcome future temptation.”
“Build your lives on the rock of the Redeemer.”
• A quick shout-out to whomever God inspired to invent the pause button. Let’s resume.
Elder Benjamin DeHoyas Temples.
“After the Lord restored the sealing keys to Joseph Smith, the work of salvation on both sides of the veil began in our dispensation.”
“The construction, and proper use, of temples have been in many dispensations a sign of the true church of Jesus Christ.”
“The Lord encourages us as members of His church to preserve our own family history, to learn from our ancestors and to make the necessary arrangements for them to receive the ordinances of the gospel in the temples.”
“That is a central focus of the plan of our Heavenly Father – uniting families for this life and for eternity.”
“…family history is more than just looking for names, dates and places. It is uniting families and feeling the joy that comes from extending to them the ordinances of the gospel.”
(Personally, I prefer doing the research for temple ordinances than performing the ordinances. Does that make me evil?)
Ah, glad to hear this: “The work of the temple and family history are one and the same work in the Church.”
“As we follow the guidance of the prophets and learn how to do our family history and perform the temple ordinances for our ancestors, we will experience great joy to the point that we will not want to stop doing it.” (Ain’t that the truth!)
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, concluding speaker on parenting. (I can’t believe he’s 82)
“Parents, thank you for everything you’re doing to raise your children. And children, thank you for everything you’re doing to raise your parents.”
“Our Father in Heaven, our Divine Parent, surely rejoices when His children are taught and nurtured by their parents on earth.”
“My message to all parents is this: the Lord loves you. He is with you. He stands beside you. He is your strength in guiding your children to make righteous choices. Accept the privilege and responsibility of parenthood courageously and joyfully. Don’t delegate this source of heavenly blessings to anyone else.”
Seek his help and inquire of the Lord.
“Your efforts may seem small compared to the loud voices your children hear in the world – at times you might feel that you aren’t accomplishing anything, but remember that by small means, the Lord can bring about great things.”
“Daily bread is best prepared and served at home.”
“With God’s help, you can learn to know your children in a pure and heavenly way. I invite you to accept God’s offer to guide your family by personal revelation. Seek His guidance in your prayers.”
“With God’s help, you can learn to know your children in a pure and heavenly way.”
“FSOY doesn’t give a list of dos and donts but teaches correct principles to help youth make good choices.”
“Patiently allow the rising generation to make inspired choices and let God work His miracle. The result will be more beautiful and more stunning and more joyful than anything you could accomplish just by yourself.”
(This talk had double meaning for me as someone serving in the youth program.)
(I enjoyed how he both challenged and praised parents.)
• BYU choir shows their chops with an beautiful a cappella version of Abide With Me.
• Two sessions down and no words from President Nelson. Tonight?
• Enjoy the break.