My notes (in between tweets) from the 179th Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Sunday Morning Session
President Thomas S Monson conducted the Sunday morning session. Here are the key points made by each speaker (with direct quotes noted as such):
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “I Need Thee Every Hour”
MoTab sang “Beautiful Zion, Built Above”
President Henry B. Eyring, 1st Counselor of the First Presidency:
- Do not give up trying to be better.
- The message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we CAN and we must expect to become better as long as we live.
- We believe that through living the Gospel, we can become perfected like the Savior (although not in this life).
- Primary song “I’m trying to be like Jesus”
- The greatest joys and sorrows come in the family
- Pray for the love that let’s you see the good in your companion
- Persist in love.
- Family is the testing ground for learning Love
- Love is putting others above ourselves. Sorrow comes primarily from selfishness, which is the absence of love.
- A man and a woman are to make sacred covenants that they will put the welfare and happiness of the other at the center of their lives.
- Children are to be born into a family where parents hold the needs of the children equal to their own in importance.
- Children learn to love parents and each other.
- Choices to qualify that there will be no empty chairs in our families in the world to come
- Pray for the love that allows you to see the good in your companion.
- Council to the parents of a wandering child. The savior is the perfect example of persisting in love. Story of Jesus re-inviting the Nephites to come to him. Story of the Prodigal Son gives us hope. Elder Orson F. Whitney, General Conference in 1929:“Though some of the sheep may wonder, the eye of the Shepard is upon them and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of divine providence reach out after them and drawing them back to the fold…Pray for your careless and disobedient children, hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on ’till you see the salvation of God. You can pray for your children. Love them. Reach out to them with confidence that Jesus reaches for them with you. When you keep trying, you are doing what Jesus does.”
- The only commandment with a promise… Honor thy Father and Mother.
- “Try to show kindness in all that you do. Be gentle and loving in deed and thought.”
Elder L Tom Perry
- The pioneers left us a great heritage: learn from the past to help us manage the future
- Reference to the Pagent of Manti. Pres Kimball promised a temple on the hill in Manti.
- The older temples are built with sacrifice.
- Use the lessons from the past to help meet the challenge.
- Being baptized means you must teach others
- The missionaries MUST teach investigators about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Bishop H David Burton
- Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly, then shall thy confidence wax strong in the Lord
- Virtue traits form the foundation of a Christ-like life
- “Ity” virtues (charity, chastity, morality, etc)
- We need not be part of the virtue malaise
- Teaching virtuous traits begins in the home with parents who care and set the example. A good parent example encourages emulation. A poor example give license to disregard and even expand. An hypocritical example destroys credibility.
- Integrity is more important than revenge
The congregation sang “How Firm a Foundation”
Sister Ann M Dibb
- Focused on the importance of safety. The iron rod brings us safety
- Workers two weeks away from completing a yearlong task of painting a bridge when a scaffolding collapsed.
- Held on for hours. Thought of their family.
- They chose not to use the safety equipment. If they had, tragedy could have been averted.
- The rod of iron is our safety equipment.
- Invited to reread Lehi’s vision of the iron rod.
- “Get a Grip” on the iron rod. “Repent, hold on and don’t let go.”
- If we find ourselves on ‘strange roads’, it is always possible for us to find our way back.
- Daughter of President Monson — I’m probably the only Mormon in the world who didn’t know that. <Thank you Twitter>
Elder Russell M Nelson
- Technology allows us to communicate rapidly.
- Even more amazing than modern technology is our opportunity to access information directly from heaven. Without: hardware, software or monthly service fees.
- It’s one of the most marvelous gifts the Lord has offered to His children. To access information from Heaven you need:
- Firm faith and deep desire.
- Sincere heart and real intent having faith in Jesus Christ. Real intent means that one really intends to follow divine direction given.
- Study the matter diligently. Study it out in your mind. The ask God if it is right. If it is right, he will cause a burning in your bosom, therefore you shall FEEL that it is right.
- Know and obey the teachings of the Lord.
- Personal revelation can be honed
- Paul wrote: “The natural man receives not the things of the spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can they know them because they are spiritually discerned.”
- Gift of Discernment is a Spiritual is a supernal gift: it allows members of the Church to see things not visible and to feel things not tangible. Bishops are entitled to this gift to seek out the poor and care for the needy. Sisters may view trends in the world, members can discern between schemes that are flashy and fleeting – and those refinements which are uplifting and enduring.
- To receive revaluation unique to our needs and responsibilities:
- Develop faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of god. then with your firm faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility and diligence you may ask and you will receive, knock and it will be upon unto you.
- Revelation from God is always compatible with His eternal law.
- Revelation may be incremental:“I will give unto the children of men, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little there a little and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom, for unto him who receiveth, I will give more.”
- Patience, perseverance are part of our eternal progression
MoTab sang “Love is Spoken Here”
President Thomas S Monson, Prophet, Seer & Revelator
- Spoke about service — story of Father who asked “What did you do for someone today?” at the dinner table each night.
- “Often we live side by side, but do not communicate heart to heart.”
- King Benjamen “When you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God.”
- Savior taught us “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it. But whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”
- He is telling us that unless we lose ourselves for service to others, there’s little purpose to our own lives.
- At Baptism – covenanted to bear one another’s burden that they may be light.
- Warm Fuzzies Idea! Embodied by soft little things in a jar!
- Notes from children who helped others:
- “My grandpa had a stroke and i held his hand”
- “My sister and I served my family by organizing and cleaning the toy closet. It took us a few hours and we had fun. The best part was that we surprised my mom and made her happy because she didn’t ask us to do it!”
- “There was a family in my ward that did not have a lot of money. They have 3 little girls and mom and dad had to go somewhere, so I offered to watch the three girls. The dad was just about to hand me a 5 dollar bill. I said “I can’t take it”. My service was that I watched the girls for free.”
- Mongolia – “Brought water from a well so his mother would not have to do so”
- “My dad has gone for army training for a few weeks. My special job is to give my mom hugs and kisses”
- “I picked strawberries for my great grandma. I felt good inside.”
- “I played with a lonely kid.”
- “I went to a ladies house and asked her questions. And sang her a song. It felt good to visit her. She was happy because she never gets visitors.”
- Members responded to his request to serve others as a gift for his birthday last year
MoTab sang “Have I Done Any Good?”
The benediction was offered by Enrique R Falabella
Sunday Afternoon Session
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency, conducted.
MoTab sang “In Hymns of Praise”
MoTab sang “O, Divine Redeemer”
Elder Jeffrey R Holland
- Even those in the covenant could be deceived by the enemy of truth
- The rod marks the way of that redeeming trail
- “As one of a thousands elements of my testimony…”
- In Joseph’s and Hyrum’s last hours, they marked a scripture in the Book of Mormon as their testimony
- “I lie not!”
- Shared his testimony by oath and his office of the Book of Mormon. Direct Testimony and Quote:
“One cannot come into full faith in this latter day work and thereby find the fullness measure of peace of comfort of these are times until he or she embraces the divinity of the book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a here before unknown text, teaming with literary and symbolic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages somehow. Especially, without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and their profound spiritual impact, that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers…if that’s the case, then such persons, elect or otherwise have been deceived. And if they leave this church, they must do so by crawling over or under or around the book of Mormon to make their exit. In that sense, the book is what Christ himself was said to be a stone of stumbling and a rock of offensive, a barrier in a path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates…”
- These are the words of Christ and they teach all men to do good
- God always provides safety for the soul
Elder Quentin L Cook
- We live in times where people feel they are not accountable to God. Need stewardship and accountability.
- Rationalization will be seen in their true light.
- We do welfare work because we are doing what we believe God wants us to do
- We try to do what is right because we love and want to please our Father in Heaven, not because someone is forcing us to obey
- Repentance means the Lord will forgive and FORGET your sins.
- Our Family/Children:
- Remember that having religious observance at home is as important as providing food, clothing and shelter.
- Children are accountable for using their time/talents well.
- Family Proclamation: “Individuals who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand responsible before God.”
- Caring for the poor and those in need
- Our Family/Children:
- It is our responsibility to teach the Savior’s standard of morality
- See that all these things are done in wisdom and order
- In all of our stewardship efforts we follow Jesus Christ
- Review our stewardship roles and know we are accountable to God
Elder Brent H. Nielson
- Challenge: go ye into all the earth and teach all nations
- Lengthen our stride and widen our vision
- Every young man should serve an honorable full-time mission. The rising generation is the fulfillment of prophesy of the Gospel blanketing the earth.
- Scripture Quote Matthew 28:18-20 – Teach all nations
- Jacob – Olive Tree Story, working in the vineyard.
- The Savior said to Peter and Andrew: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”
- Who are the laborers? They are prophets and apostles, stake presidents, bishops, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters
- The new generation should do their part and teach all nations.
- We have just begun to scratch the surface. The need has never been greater, the field has never been whiter
The congregation sang “Hope of Israel”
Elder Dale G Renlund
- Heart transplant analogy, body will naturally reject the new heart unless medication is taken daily and heart health is monitored.
- Patients become casual with medicine and monitoring, sometimes even stopping the medication (even tho’ they know the consequence).
- If you have experienced the change of heart…can you feel so now?
- Are you humble? Free of pride and envy/ Kind to your fellow man?
- Pray and read scriptures every day keep your changed heart. Do not be casual about those small actions.
- Partake of the Sacrament each week and have the Holy Ghost as your constant companion.
- In homes, talk of, rejoice in and preach of Christ.
- If you feel good, all is NOT well
- The ultimate operation is a spiritual change of heart
- Our transgressions lead to our hearts that are hardened and diseased
- Do not become casual with prayer and scripture study
- Do not compromise our covenants or commitments
Elder Michael T Ringwood
- What causes mighty change?
- Easiness and willingness to believe in God comes from the softness of heart that is: sensitive to the Holy Ghost, can love, will make and keep sacred covenants, feel the power of the atonement of Christ.
- The daily living of the gospel brings about a soft heart that brings a willingness to believe.
- We need to allow the words to sink deep into our hearts. Periods with a soft heart: marriage, birth a child, intense service from a calling or mission, in our youth with leaders and bishop, trials, growth from learning for the first time of the Gospel.
- At some times, it is easier to believe the word of God
- The teachings of this conference, if followed, will lead to an easiness in believing the good word of God
- Obedience will bring soft hearts, scripture study and prayer will bring soft hearts.
Elder Joseph W Sitati
- The Church is a Global faith (there are now more LDS than Jewish people. Also, there are more LDS outside the US than within it).
- History of the Priesthood Keys from Adam to today.
Elder D Todd Christoffersen
- We need moral discipline
- The gospel of Jesus Christ provides moral certainty
- Moral Agency, the right to make choices and account for those choices.
- WW II – James E. Faust was in enlisted in the US Army.
- Asked the question “In times of war, should not the morale code be relaxed? Does not the stress of battle justify men in doing things they would not do while at home under normal situations?”
- Answered “I do not believe there is a double standard of morality.”
- Discipline’s root word is Disciple.
- The lack of internal control in people, breeds external controls by governments. The more of God’s laws we obey, the fewer laws we need on earth.
- Morale Discipline is learned at home. Teach your children while you have them and convert them while they are with you.
- Discipline needs to be founded on faith in Heavenly Father and the son and what we can achieve with atonement of Jesus Christ.
- God is our Father, his son Jesus is our redeemer. Their law is immutable, truth everlasting and love is infinite.
President Thomas S Monson
- Study the addresses in the Ensign
- Parable: a couple fighting and their child who got hurt as a direct result. Message: Anger doesn’t solve anything and it destroys everything.
- Anger is Satans tool.
- Story about two brothers who shared a 1 room cabin in New York. They got into a fight and drew a line down the center of the room. They did not speak or cross the line for 62 years. This story was told at a funeral.
- Reads “School Thy Feelings Poem”
- “I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you”
- Leave this conference a better person