Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Saturday Afternoon Session (April ’24)

Note:  These are the instant, post-conference, 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.

• Went outside, enjoyed walking around the yard in the sunshine. Picked a few oranges and sliced on up for my EC. Took a shower, ate a piece of leftover chicken. Life is good.

• Yes, I know there are occasional mistakes and typos in these notes, but you don’t need to point them out unless they really matter. Like if I say “Jesus doesn’t love you,” or something radical.

• Elder Gary E Stevenson is Conducting. How’s that for weird!

• Oh, here’s a link to the Church’s annual statistical report.

Elder David A. Bednar started by reacting a discussion with media in the Celestial Room at a temple open house. One journalist said, “I have never experienced anything like that in my life. I did not know quiet existed like that in the world…”

Stillness requires overcoming the outside environment.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Tougher than it sounds!)

“‘Be still’ may be a way of reminding us to focus upon the Savior unfailingly as the ultimate source of the spiritual stillness of the soul that strengthens us to do and overcome hard things.”

“True faith is always focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Jesus is the rock, not the foundation. It is personal. It needs to have a “strong and reliable connection to the rock,” including anchor pins and steel rods.

“The sacred covenants and ordinances of the Savior’s restored gospel can be compared to the anchor pins and steel rods used to connect a building to bedrock.” Remembering and renewing our covenants can secure us.

Sabbath day: “Every Sunday, if we will, we can be still and know that God is our Heavenly Father, we are his children and Jesus Christ is our Savior.”

Our meetinghouses are holy places. Temple is holy. It is different than any other place – we can be still.

“Our homes should be the ultimate combination of both sacred time and holy place wherein individuals and families can be still.”

Can’t sustain the purposes of our mortal life in the home without the strength obtained from the other holy places.

Testimony: “I joyfully witness that God is our Heavenly Father, we are His children, and Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and the ‘rock’ of our salvation.”

Elder Massimo De Feo‘s Wife: “The reason we don’t have many trials in our life is because you have a very short memory.”

He dealt with a scary time where he risked losing his vision. The treatment was going to be the rest of his life. “But what about my spiritual vision?”

“The first principle we learn is we keep a clear spiritual vision when we focus on Jesus Christ and stay true to what we know to be true.”

Told story of Jesus healing blind man, and how he was not distracted by the voices around him. He then acted in faith when Jesus commanded.

Second Principle: “We keep a clear spiritual vision when we leave the natural man behind, repent, and begin a new life in Christ.”

—> “There is never a good excuse to say that ‘I am the way I am because of some unfortunate and unpleasant circumstances.I cannot change and I am justified .”

Third Principle: “We keep a clear spiritual vision when we hear the voice of the Lord and allow Him to guide us.” Peter, could walk on water when focused on the Savior.

A promise: “As we hear the voice of the Lord and allow Him to guide us on the Savior’s covenant path, we will be blessed with clear vision, spiritual understanding and peace of heart and mind throughout our life.”

The world needs to hear more about Jesus Christ and not less.

• The BYU-I kids in the choir look and sound great.

• Is this halftime already?

Elder Brent N. Nielson: As a lawyer, talked abut witnesses testifying. Legal terms are a lot like gospel terms: Witness, testimony, etc.

Talked about scriptural witnesses of Jesus Christ

FamilySearch adds over a million new names every day! “If you didn’t find your ancestor yesterday, I invite you to look again tomorrow.”

(Sorry – interrupted)

From what I kind of, he talked a lot about the growth of the church all over the world, especially focusing on the Pacific.

“I am an eyewitness to the ongoing Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fulfilling of the prophecy of Joseph Smith that ‘the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear.’”

“There has never been a better time to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.”

Brought it full circle by declaring his witness.

Elder José L. Alonso Where can we turn for peace?

OK. Honest moment. I’m not going to take notes on Elder Alonso. I need to focus to understand what he’s saying, and I can’t do both. Even with subtitles. Usually not a challenge for me. Apologies.

Pause button: “By placing Christ at the core of our thoughts and deeds, we align ourselves with His outlook and strength. This adjustment does not discount our struggles. Instead, it helps us to navigate through them under divine guidance.”

“Jesus Christ is our hope and the answer to life’s greatest pains.”

Sweet talk and powerful testimony of the Savior.

• Oh, THIS is halftime. I need a refill.

Elder Garret W. Gong: April 6th: Anniversary of restoration of the Church and celebration of life of Savior.

Tell the wonderful story of the Chinese man and his son. “We’ll see…”

“To do the most good, we must be good.”

“We become our truest, best selves only as we put off the natural man or woman and become a child before God.”

“When we trust God and His love for us, even our greatest heartbreaks can in the end work together for our good.”

Referenced biblical Joseph being sold into bondage: “Trials and sacrifices we would never choose can bless us and others in ways never imagined.”

“In sacred moments, He may let us glimpse the larger eternal reality of which our daily lives are part, where small and simple things work together for the good of givers and receivers.”

Wonderful thoughts about perspective and how good can come from bad and all things work together for our good. More emphasis on the temple.

“In time and eternity, the purpose of Creation and the nature of God Himself are to bring all things together for our good.”

Elder Michael T. Nelson spoke about Hellman and his relationship with the youth. Brought in Bishop’s responsibilities towards the youth.

“Bishops today can lead their uniquely gifted youth in blessing the ward and gathering Israel.”

Hellman followed leaders and honored covenants. So should church leaders.

“The entire ward will be blessed and strengthened as members focus on the rising generation.”

“We express our confidence in the youth by offering support and direction, without taking over.” (Note: This does not mean “Youth Led” by standing back and watching them do whatever they choose.)

Adults need to be examples for the youth, and “No program can replace the influence of loving, covenant-keeping adults.” Bishops can set an example of how to be a husband, father. etc.

Main point: Take care of the youth.

Elder Quentin L. Cook began by talking about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how, when he was 25 his understanding grew, and how he learned that “works” aren’t enough for redemption w/o the atonement.

“Regardless of who our earthly ancestors are, each of us will report to the Savior on how well we kept His commandments.”

Christ prayed that his followers “that they may be one, even as we are one.” “Oneness is what Christ prayed for before his betrayal and crucifixion.”

Dug into the scriptures to show the doctrines and principles revealed through Joseph Smith in D&C 20. Crucial stuff for the restoration.

“The Lord’s saving mercy is not dependent on lineage, education, economic status or race. It is based on being one with Christ and His commandments.”

“It makes little sense to emphasize our differences.”

“Some have wrongly assumed that because all people are invited to receive His goodness and eternal life, there are no conduct requirements. However, the scriptures attest that all accountable persons are required to repent of sins and keep His commandments.”

Agency is a fundamental doctrine of our faith, an essential element in the pre-mortal life.

“We are free to choose and act, but we do not control the consequences.”

“The most significant choices can be made by almost everyone regardless of talents, abilities, opportunities or economic circumstances. An emphasis on putting family choices first is essential.”

Faith is a choice: “On matters of principle, conduct, religious observance and righteous living, we are in control. Our faith in and worship of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, is a choice that we make.” (This has become so important to me.)

“We are united by our love of and faith in Jesus Christ and as children of a loving Heavenly Father. The essence of truly belonging is to be one with Christ.”

(Lots of good stuff to review)

  • I feel like this session had lots of specific things that will have different personal application for different people. Less “general” than last session.
  • I’ve been typing a lot and my wrists are killing me. (Weird, right?!) Notes for the evening session are a maybe at this point…
  • Enjoy your break!

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