Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Saturday Morning 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.

• Last General Conference I only managed to blog one session of the entire conference due to my rematch with COVID. And…I kind of liked it (Not COVID, watching without worrying about the blog). But, I am back and ready to roll. Not like in my wheelchair roll, I have graduated to walking like an old man.

• As I have been busy as of late, I didn’t know that President Nelson would not be attending until it was mentioned in the opening prayer.

• Sustainings: (type – type – type – raise right hand – type – type – type – raise right hand, etc.)

• Audit report. Quicker if he just gave us a smile, a “thumbs up,” and crossed his heart.

The sisters of the #tabcats looked truly angelic in their glowing white dresses, as they lulled me to sleep with a lullaby version of “Did You Think to Pray?”.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland started off joking about missing the last few conferences, then took a hard turn making a tribute to his recently passed wife.

He spoke of his medical crisis, and the journey that followed. He “received… an admonition to return to my ministry with more urgency, more consecration, more focus on the Savior, and more faith in His word.”

“I testify that God hears every prayer we offer and responds to each of them according to the path He has outlined for our perfection.”

This is hard to grasp: “It’s for reasons known only to God why prayers are answered differently than we hope, but I promise you they are heard, and they are answered according to His unfailing love and cosmic timetable.”

Oray even when you don’t feel like it, because “hesitancy does not come from God.”

Jesus prayed a lot, in different circumstances, in different manners, alone or with different people.

“I bear solemn witness of the reality of eternal life and the need for us to be serious in our planning for it.”

He truly carried a sense of urgency.

Sister J. Anette Dennis – 1st Counselor RS.

Jesus taught through stories and symbols. Hard pivot to covenant living.

“When we choose to be part of a covenant, it enhances and deepens our relationship with Him.”

“As we choose to draw nearer to Him through a covenant relationship, it allows Him to draw nearer to us and more fully bless us.”

Continued talking about the covenants along the path: Baptism, sacrament, temple, garments,

Spent significant time speaking to the symbolism and importance of wearing garments, and linked them with the covenants and our relationship with Christ. (Muchly needed nowadays.)

“Our temple garment reminds us that the Savior and the blessings of His Atonement cover us throughout our lives.”

Wearing the garment is symbolically putting on Christ.

Invited those who have not received temple covenants who want to, to get moving on it.

“I invite you to choose a deeper relationship with God by making covenants with Him in the house of the Lord.”

Conclusion: “Through a covenant relationship with God, our own lives can become a living symbol of our commitment and deep love for our Father in Heaven.”

(That was a terrific talk.)

Elder Alexander Dushku begins retelling the story of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, and how that led to so much revelation and restoration.

“One of the great blessings of the restoration is that the heavens are open.” But warned of the trap of drifting away because we have not received a huge revelation or experience.

“Rather than sending us a pillar of light, the Lord sends us a ray of light, and then another, and another.”

“No two people experience God’s light and truth in exactly the same way.” (Yes!)

Allowed that depression and anxiety can get in the way of spiritual promptings. Encouraged those to look back at their past experiences for reassurance.

He talked about spiritual experiences that some would consider small and who they impacted his life. “Some of my rays.”

“Line upon line, precept upon precept, ray upon ray.”

Alma, “Is not this real?” (Brought tears to my eyes.) (Alma 32:35)

“Perhaps no one ray is strong enough or bright enough to constitute a full testimony, but together they can become a light that the darkness of doubt cannot overcome.”

• Oh my goodness! What great talks. When Elder Dushku started, I was put off by his dramatic delivery, from which I quickly repented. I think his talk was passionate, powerful, wise and inspiring.

Elder Ulisses Soares. Confidence comes through Covenants.

Confidence comes from living covenant lives: “Those who gain genuine confidence in the covenants made in the house of the Lord through Jesus Christ possess one of the most powerful forces that we can access in this life.”

Nephi was confident that he would be able to do what the Lord commanded him to do.

Spoke about his wife being touched by seeing an elderly couple wheelchair/cane attending the temple.

“If we change our preparation to enter the temple, we will change our experience in the temple, which will transform our lives outside of the temple.”

A bishop he knows has the oldest primary kids consider their last year as a temple prep class, so that they are ready to go when they enter YM/YW. (Neat idea)

“Being temple-bound secures us to the Savior, gives us proper direction and stability while ensuring we have covenant confidence through Jesus Christ.”

“I assure you that having the Spirit of the Lord’s house in us changes us, completely.”

We take the spirit of the temple home with us.

Unkind feelings causes the Spirit of the Lord to withdraw from us. “If we want the Spirit of the Lord to be unrestrained in our lives, we simply cannot and must not have unkind feelings toward anyone.”

• Yeah, now I feel like a toad for not attending the temple when I was in my wheelchair.

Elder Jack N. Gerard. Began speaking of Christ’s suffering in Gethsemane. Christ didn’t withdraw because he had integrity.

“Integrity flows from the first great commandment to love God.” “There is absolute truth – God’s truth.”

“Would the world see consistency between my words and deeds?”

Talked about Daniel of lion’s den fame as an example of integrity that impacted many.

“A life of integrity is not a life of perfection.”

President Oaks: “Our zeal to keep the second commandment must not cause us to forget the first.” “Christian kindness is not a substitute for integrity.”

“As a covenant people, and as leaders of His Church, we must be beyond reproach and aligned with the standards the Lord has set.”

“May we reconcile ourselves to the will of God.”

“May we follow our exemplar, the Savior of the world, and not shrink, but live a life that is true to God, to each other and to our divine identity.”

  • Didn’t know much about Elder Gerard. Here’s a brief bio: Link Looks like integrity is one of his driving principles.

Elder Henry B. Eyring with a pre-recorded message, beginning with a story of attending a temple sealing, and coming-out to news of the Teton Dam disaster. They were worried about their family and home in Rexburg. No cellphones – couldn’t get there because roads were closed.

Prayed for safety of their children and others impacted. Wife asked, “Hal, how can you sleep at a time like this?”

“These words then came clearly to my heart and mind. So, I said to my wife, ‘Kathy, whatever the outcome, all will be well because of the temple. We have made covenants with God and have been sealed as an eternal family.’”

“Brothers and sisters, I humbly testify that as we attend the temple, we can be reminded of the eternal nature of our spirits, our relationship with the Father and His divine Son, and our ultimate desire to return to our heavenly home.”

“Qualifying to make sacred covenants is not a one-time effort but a lifetime pattern. The Lord has said it will take our full heart, might, mind and strength.”

Quoted President Nelson that the safest place we can be is living inside our temple covenants.

“Honoring marriage and family covenants made in temples of God will provide protection from the evil of selfishness and pride.”

“I bear witness that there is nothing more important than honoring the covenants you have make, or may make, in the temple.”

In their temple sealing, President Kimball said, “Hal and Kathy, live so that so that when the call comes, you can walk away easily.” (Great counsel) Ten years later he was called to be president of Ricks College.

Encouraged us to attend the temple several different ways.

Circled back to intro: “I can assure you of the same truth I shared with Kathy in the middle of the night nearly five decades ago in an Idaho Falls motel room: ‘No matter the outcome, all will be well because of the temple covenants.’”

Testified of President Nelson.

  • Love to hear Elder Eyring refer to his wife as his “Eternal Companion.” Now if we could just get him to trim it down to his “E.C.” my work here would be done.
  • Terrific session, even with the absence of the Prophet.
  • Things to do, places to go. Back in a couple hours.

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  1. Ahhh just catching up your conference recaps that bring a smile to our face. Love the little quips of humor mixed in with the serious, important stuff. 😊

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