Well, I’m back…
I just woke up from a nice nap and figure I should give it a go. First reason: I missed blogging the first 4 sessions. Second: I realized that I wasn’t paying as good of attention this morning as I should have been. Third: I noticed that people from over 30 countries visited my blog this morning and didn’t find what they were looking for.
So I decided to give it a go. (Where’s my Diet Dr. Pepper?
Results may vary.
Elder Dale G. Renlund talked about the search for King Tut’s tomb. They couldn’t find it because it was right under there feet.
Talked about Jacob’s prophecy about blindness coming from “looking beyond the mark.”
We need to guard against the tendency to look beyond the mark and not recognize Jesus in our lives. “He is our mark.” If we need something beyond him, we are looking beyond the mark.
“No need we seek counsel from exotic sources, prizing the novelty of the source and thinking such counsel will be more enlightened than that which we can receive from a humble prophet of God.”
—> “It is not the water of baptism that washes away sins, it is the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and when we make and keep sacred covenants, we avail ourselves of the power of that Atonement.”
• (Can we finally get rid of that Primary song that says “I know when I am baptized my sins are washed away?” That’s false doctrine – especially for 8 year-olds.)
Letting little things get in the way of attending the temple. Proximity makes it easier to not attend. “Living close to a temple does bring greater flexibility in scheduling time in the temple, but that very flexibility can make it easier to take the temple for granted. When we do, we miss the mark.”
Talked about Naaman the leper was healed because he looked to the Lord’s prophet. “When we trust God’s prophet on the earth today, and trust his counsel, we will find happiness, and we can be healed.”
—–> “As you come to Him, you will be rewarded with strength to face life’s challenges, courage to do what is right, and the ability to fulfill your mission in mortality.”
• And now the Tabernacle Choir will perform “King Tut.”
Elder John C. Pingree: “Our need to recognize truth has never been more important.”
“Truth is absolute, fixed, and immutable.”
“God reveals eternal truth to us through a network of revelatory relationships involving Himself, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, prophets, and us.”
How to recognize truth:
- Is the concept regularly taught through his prophets “First, God is the source of eternal truth. He and His Son, Jesus Christ, have a perfect understanding of truth and always act in harmony with true principles and laws.”
- Is it confirmed by the Holy Ghost. “Second, the Holy Ghost testifies of all truth. He reveals truths to us directly and witnesses of truth taught by others. Impressions from the Spirit typically come as thoughts to our minds and feelings to our hearts.”
- Third, prophets receive truth from God and share that truth with us. We learn the truth from past prophets in the scriptures and from living prophets at general conference and through other official channels.
- We gotta do the work. “Finally, you and I play a crucial role in this process. God expects us to seek, recognize, and act on truth.”
Knowing the truth helps us with the difference between doctrine and policy. “While doctrine doesn’t change, policy changes from time to time.” This trips up a lot of people.
“Our aim is to teach truth in a way that invites the converting power of the Holy Ghost.” “Truth has the best chance of blessing another when conveyed with Christlike love.” “Love without truth rings hollow.”
“Truth is critical for us to establish and strengthen our relationship with God, find peace and joy, and reach our divine potential.”
- (Lot of good stuff I couldn’t catch. A terrific discourse on how to find truth.)
Elder Valeri V. Cordón “on intentional parenting or “Divine Parenting Lessions.”
“As we choose to make the gospel culture the predominant culture in our family, then by the powerful influence of the Holy Ghost our current parenting styles, traditions, and practices will be sifted, aligned, refined, and enhanced.”
“Jesus Christ is the center of this gospel culture. Adopting the gospel culture in our families is critical to creating a fertile environment where the seed of faith may flourish.”
How to do it:
- Teach Freely = Teach the truths of God without restraint.
- Model discipleship. “Whatsoever things the father doeth, these things his son also doth in like manner.” Set an example.
- Invite to act. “We must do everything we can to create an environment where our children can feel His divine influence.”
“Faith in Jesus Christ should be the core of our children’s testimonies, and these testimonies must come to each child through individual revelation.”
“Our love and inspired invitations can make a difference in how our children use their agency.” “To assist our children with the building of their testimonies, we encourage them to use their agency to choose what is right and prepare them for a lifetime of God’s covenant path.”
Elder J. Kimo Esplin: Talked about a Japanese woman during WWII managed to survive living in a cave with her family to escape death in Okinawa. You need to watch/read it.
Talked about the struggle for Japanese members to get to the temple in Hawaii. “When the endowed Japanese members living in Hawaii first heard the Japanese translation, they wept.”
On his way to Japan, “I looked out of the airplane and saw Pearl Harbor and remembered what our country had done to these people on December 7, 1941, I feared in my heart. Will they accept us? But to my surprise they showed greater love and kindness than I have ever seen in my life.”
“Through temple blessings, the Savior heals individuals, families and nations to each other — even those that once stood as bitter enemies.”
• Halfway there, so far so good.
• So weird to see so many empty seats in the Conference Center.
Elder Gerrit W. Gong: Love is Spoken Here. “Today, let us speak of three languages of gospel love: the language of warmth and reverence, the language of service and sacrifice, and the language of covenant belonging.”
- Language of warmth & reverence. We speak reverently of the Atonement. We use the full name of the Church. We use reverent words in our prayers. ” Non-members and converts can get tripped up by the language of the Church. “Let us be understanding and kind as we learn new languages of love together.” “Let us always speak with warm and reverent gratitude for God’s work and glory and the mercy, merits and grace of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice.”
- Service and Sacrifice. “Calls to serve the Lord and each other in His Church give opportunity to increase in compassion, capacity, and humility. As we are set apart, we can receive the Lord’s inspiration to lift and strengthen others and ourselves.” “When we serve and sacrifice in the gospel together, we find fewer faults and greater peace. When we let Him, Jesus Christ helps us speak His love here.” “Sociality and service often go together. Young adults know if you really want to get to know someone then paint side by side on a ladder in a service project.”
- Covenant Belonging: “We live in a self-centered world. We think we know what is in our best interest and happiness but this isn’t always true.” “In truth, He knows us better and loves us more than we know or love our self.” “Covenant belonging with God and each other can heal and sanctify our most cherished relationships.”
“In God’s plan, we will each transition one day from this life into the next life. When we meet the Lord, I imagine Him saying, with words of instruction and promise, ‘My love is spoken here.’”
Elder Christophe Gerard-Carrier: (Hoping he says the word “Inconceivable!” in his talk.
Christ saw “individuals for who they were, and accordingly ministered to each one.”
“May we likewise not let our eyes, our ears, or our fears mislead us, but open our hearts and minds and minister freely to others as He did.”
“The adversary rejoices in labels because they divide us and restrict the way we think about ourselves and each other. How sad it is when we honor labels more than we honor each other. Labels can lead to judging and animosity.” (I would add that people self-apply labels to themselves which limit them as well.)
Classic C.S. Lewis quote: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…”
“I have come to realize that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the great equalizer.” “The gospel raises our sights and allows us to see each other through the flawless, unchanging lens of our sacred covenants.”
“The way we treat each other is a direct reflection of our understanding of and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice and atonement of…our Savior Jesus Christ.”
“I pray that like Him, we may love others, because that is the right thing to do, not because they do the right thing or fit in the right mold.”
• I would like to start a fund to hire someone to help the brethren tailor their suits so they fit correctly.
President Russell M. Nelson to close it out with a video message. (He hurt his back a few weeks ago and couldn’t attend.)
Things he has learned over 99 years: “What we do in this life really matters.”
“Mortality is a master class in learning to choose the things of greatest eternal import.”
“Today, to assist you to qualify for the rich blessings Heavenly Father has for you, I invite you to adopt the practice of “thinking celestial.” Thinking celestial means being spiritually minded.”
“Here is the great news of God’s plan: The very things that will make your mortal life the best it can be are exactly the same things that will make your life throughout all eternity the best it can be.”
“When you make choices, I invite you to take the long view — an eternal view. Put Jesus Christ first, because your eternal life is dependent upon your faith in Him and in His Atonement.”
“When you are confronted with a dilemma, think celestial. When tested by temptation, think celestial.” (And lots of other examples of when to Think Celestial..)
“Don’t let your prayers sound like a shopping list.” “Our prayers can be, and should be, living discussions with our Heavenly Father.”
As you Think Celestial, you will find yourself avoiding anything that robs you of your agency:
- Any addiction
Those obsessions “offend God because your obsession becomes your god. And you look to it instead of Him for solace.”
Breaking the law of chastity can mess up your life faster than anything. “Physical intimacy is only for a man and woman who are married to each other.”
“Public opinion is not the arbiter of truth.”
“As you think Celestial, you will view trials and oppositions in a new light.”
“Never take counsel from those who do not believe”
“Importance of temple attendance,”Paying tithing requires faith and it also builds faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ. Choosing to live a virtuous life in a sexualized, politicized world builds faith. Spending more time in the temple builds faith.” segway to announcement…
TWENTY new temples:
- Savai’i, Samoa
- Kahului Hawaii
- Fairbanks Alaska
- Vancouver, Washington
- Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Roanoke, Virginia
- Cancún, Mexico
- Piura, Peru
- Huancayo, Peru
- Viña del Mar, Chile <— My mission!
- Goiãnia, Brazil
- João Pessoa, Brazil
- Cape Coast, Ghana
- Calabar, Nigeria
- Luanda, Angola
- Mbuji-Mayi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Laoag, Philippines
- Osaka, Japan
- Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
• SO GLAD I TOOK NOTES. President Nelson’s talk was amazing!
• “Think Celestial” is the best prophetic catchphrase since President Kimball’s “Do it!” back in the ’70s.
• Have a great Sabbath!
• Thanks for all the love this weekends. I love you all!