It’s General Conference time again, and we’re going to be posting summaries and our thoughs here on The Millennial Star blog. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ll preface my summary by saying that I tried to get as much down as I could, but is as usually the case with young children in the room, everyone needed everything, all at the same time.
President Uchtdorf conducted the session.
Prelude hymn: How Firm A Foundation
Opening hymn: Press Forward Saints
Elder Carl B. Cook offered the opening prayer.
The Mormon Tabernacle choir sang, Lead Kindly Light … all of the music was beautiful. I love the choir!
President Monson spoke first. He told us we were gathered as a great family of saints. He then spoke about his experience dedicating the Gilbert, Arizona temple in March. Here is where I will put in a little personal note. The Gilbert Temple is just down the street from where I grew up. Many family members and the children of my friends were able to participate in the cultural celebration, Live True to the Faith. Hearing their experiences, along with Pres. Monson’s experiences was very sweet for me. It truly was a blessing, even with all of the rain, and cold to watch the program and know that it did in fact make lasting memories for the people and the home I love so dearly.
Pres. Monson continued …
In May the Ft. Lauderdale temple will be dedicated, and will be the 143rd temple of the church. When all of the temples which are currently under construction and those that have been announced have been built, there will be 170 temples world wide. It was mentioned later on in another talk that right now, 85% of the members of the church live within 200 miles of a temple. Temples truly dot the earth!
We will continue to build temples and to look for places where there is a need for temples. We are a temple building and a temple attending people. May we be filled with the spirit, uplifted and inspired as we listen and learn.
I’m calling his talk “Defending the Faith”. We will be called to defend our faith and will be attacked personally. We have to have courage and courtesy on our part as we endure these attacks. He shared a story of some sister missionaries who were attacked by a man weidling mashed potatoes. I appreacited this story, as a returned missionary myself. In one of my areas, we had a neighbor who would wait every day to throw her garbage on us. I actually am thankful to her. She taught me how to love my enemeies as a missionary!
Elder Holland contined by quoting Jacob and Nephi and the Apostle Paul from Hebrews about enduring with loving kindness and how we can be better disciples. There will be a painfully high price for those that choose to follow the Savior. He quoted Matthew 23: 37-38, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.”. He promised us that our discipleship and suffering are worth it, because we do not want to be in the desolate places.
There is a pleasant part of discipleship and a hard part of discipleship. The road to the land of milk and honey runs by Sinai and is full of commandments. People want the prophets to prophesy easy things, and gods that don’t demand, and gods that don’t rock the boat, or even row the boat. Jesus was not a comfortable God. The bumper sticker question, “What would Jesus do?” might not bring a popular response these days. Christ asks that if we love him we keep his commandments, that we must forsake transgression and advocacy for transgression. We must defend our beliefs with courtesy and compassion, but we must defend them! This Conference will point us toward discipleship. We have a steadfast and perfect brightness of hope and we can and must rely on the rock of our Redeemer.
Elder Rasband of the 70s.
He related the experiences he had last year in the wake of a tornado that hit Oklahoma City, and how we can bless the lives of others. Sustaining our leaders is coupled with a responsibility to share their burden. We are the Lord’s hands on earth. Will we respond with love with the need for service arises? We must strive to lay up our spiritual treasures and take up the joyful burden of discipleship. Elder Rasband quoted D&C 84: 88. “I will be on your right and and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up.”
We need to take up the burden of discipleship, because rescuing each other is spiritual service. He quoted Mosiah 18: 8-10 and Mosiah 2:17. We grow as we serve.
Elder Amado of the 70s.
The Son of Man hath nowhere to lay his head. Christ’s ministry was blessing people one by one. He delegated to his apostles the charge to teach, but only He could forgive sin, as He paid the price for our sins. This angered his enemies and made them conspire against Him. During the last Passover with his disciples, Christ taught us to Love One Another. He faced Gethsemane bravely and submitted his will to the Father. He referenced Alma 7: 11-12 – Chirst took our sins, and our burdens so that he could fully succor us. Christ’s sacrifice blessed all of us from Adam to the last person who will be born. Christ was accused of blasphemy and sedition. But, while on the cross he showed kindness and tenderness toward those who came to weep for him and those who had crucified him. During the three days he was dead, Christ continued his work in the Spirit World (see D&C 138). Christ will come the second time with promise and glory. Serve with joy an dedication and be faithful to the end.
Congregational singing: Choose the Right. Verse 2, struck me particularly “there’s a right and wrong to every question”. I also noticed there was a hashtag (#LDSConf) on my TV screen for the first time! YAY technology!
Sister Reeves – Relief Society 2nd Councilor
Destruction of pornography. We are on earth to learn how to manage our passions. The Lord has given us passions, feelings and desires, but wants us to use them in the right context and way. Our physical desires can bring us closer to God, if used correctly. Our spouse should take precedence in our lives and there should be full fidelity in marriage. Many see porn on accident, but many are also choosing to partake in willingly. It damages our spirits. When someone we love is addicted to porn, we is not wise to react shocked, angry or to reject the person. Rather, listen with love and understanding. We must council with our children often to help protect them. Porn can become and all consuming addiction.
Create a family plan. Use filters on computers, but know that most porn is accessed via mobile deceives. Teach that the Savior has the power to heal us. He cherishes us. She refrenced Richard G. Scott’s talk, “To Be Free of Heavy Burdens” (October, 2002). We do not have to needlessly suffer because of the bad choices of others. For spouses and family of those that are addicted to porn, there is help as well.
We can protect and strengthen our children – the best filter is a deep conversion of our children. They must know of God’s love and atonement. She quoted 2 Nephi 25:26, “We talk of Christ, we teach of Christ … so that our children might know”. Daily scriptures and prayer and weekly Family Home Evening will help shore our Children up. Take responsibility, ask for help from parents, spouses, bishops. We have power in our covenants and power from the temple.
The world will not glide calmly to the second coming of the Lord. As the Church spreads, so does the power of evil. There are spiritual whirlwinds all around us, and temptation has never been so accessible and acceptable. Some whirlwinds come fro the choices of others, some come because this is mortality. Challenges can strengthen us if we trust in God. The whirlwinds of youth prepare us for life – Helaman 5:12.
He quoted a letter that was sent to church leaders recently about changes in civil law and how we as Church members must take a stand. This letter was a restatement of the Lord’s standards. We must reject false teachings and concepts. Marriage goes beyond the commitment of adults, but is a setting for children to be taught and nurtured.
Sometimes we will stand alone. We have safety in the words of the prophets and following them, in The Book of Mormon and the temple and our covenants. There is a tangible feeling of holiness in the temple. Family history and temple work help us to see patterns in our family – some worth following, some not worth following.
Don’t let the whirlwinds of the day get us down – they are there to test us, tempt us, they can distract us but also they can make us stronger. The Savior will not leave us comfortless, but will come to us.
Song by the Choir – my children busted in looking for food, so I have no idea what song it was. I’m sure it was lovely though!
I’m calling this talk and Inheritance and Heritage of Hope. He shared the conversion story of his ancestor Heinrich Eyring from Germany. Sidebar here … my ancestor Parly P. Pratt helped in this conversion I learned today! Hooray missionary work!
Covenants move us along the path, they are hard sometimes, but keeping our second estate, depends on us keeping our covenants. The Atonement brings and universal inheritance. With the assistance of the Holy Ghost we can keep our covenants. Eternal life comes only as we keep our covenants.
Parents can take hope when their children stray by exercising their faith – he gave examples of Alma the Younger, Alma’s son Corianton, the Sons of Mosiah, the Anti-Nephi-Lehis and how they all changed and came back to the Church by the faith and prayers of their families and communities.
The Lord is waiting to gather us, as a hen gathers her chicks, if we allow ourselves to be gathered. But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will never force us to be righteous, but they always make it available to us. They help us understand that the fruits of rightouseness are desireable.
Lehi was an example of righteousness. He preached until his final days. Even though he had children that strayed, he never stopped trying to teach them.
There are things we can do early for our families: prayer, scripture study, sharing our testimonies, singing hymns. These things will give us the LONG VIEW of people who have strayed and help us be patient for their return. Be hopeful in the Lord, let the Lord be the leader in our families. The Lord will justify our hope.
The choir sang, again, I did not catch the song and Elder Waddell said the closing prayer.
It was a great session, full of great council and teachings. We’ll see you back here for the afternoon session!