About Geoff B.

Geoff B has had three main careers. Some of them have overlapped. After attending Stanford University (class of 1985), he worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. In 1995, he took up his favorite and third career as father. Soon thereafter, Heavenly Father hit him over the head with a two-by-four (wielded by the Holy Ghost) and he woke up from a long sleep. Since then, he's been learning a lot about the Gospel. He still has a lot to learn. Geoff's held several Church callings: young men's president, high priest group leader, member of the bishopric, stake director of public affairs, media specialist for church public affairs, high councilman. He tries his best in his callings but usually falls short. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

April 2014 184th General Conference, notes from Priesthood Session

President Uchtdorf conducts.

Choir sings, “Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah”

Choir sings, “Secret Prayer.”

Elder Oaks

THIS IS A MUST-READ TALK IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE PRIESTHOOD AND THE RECENT CONTROVERSY REGARDING WOMEN AND THE PRIESTHOOD. THESE NOTES ARE NOT COMPLETE. PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE TALK CAREFULLY ON-LINE.

We do not step down when we are released from a calling, we do not step up when we are called. Our attitude toward the calling is the issue. Nursery is equally honorable.

Keys and authority of the priesthood. Broadcast so all members can see this talk. Priesthood power blesses all of us. Priesthood keys direct women and men. Priesthood authority pertain to women as well as men.

Priesthood is the power of God delegated to man so man can act on the Earth for the salvation of the human family. It is the power by which the Earth was created. The priesthood is the power by which we will be resurrected and proceed to eternal life.

Priesthood keys are the authority to direct, control and govern the use of the priesthood on the Earth. Every act is done under the authorization of the person holding the keys.

Keys both enlarge and limit. Certain people are given the authority of the priesthood. A person who holds the priesthood cannot give authority to another unless authorized by the person who holds the keys. A priesthood holder cannot administer the Sacrament in his own home without authorization from the one who holds the keys.

Keys held by the temple president allow sisters in the temple to perform priesthood acts. Jesus Christ determines what keys are given to mortals. We think that all were given to Joseph Smith. The keys of this dispensation were given to Joseph Smith. There are other priesthood keys not given to man on the Earth, including the keys of creation and resurrection.

The first presidency has the power to make many decisions. These authorities exercise all of the keys given to men in this dispensation, but they are not free to change the divine pattern that only men will hold the priesthood.

How does this apply to women? Joseph Fielding Smith said, “while the sisters have not been given the priesthood…this does not mean the Lord has not given them authority…they have authority (in the temple) to do great and wonderful things.”

Women have been given authority. The RS has been given power and authority to do a great many things. Church work done in the temple and wards and branches is done under those who hold priesthood keys. RS is not just a class, but something they belong to, a divinely established appendage.

When a woman is set apart to preach the Gospel, she is given priesthood authority to preach the Gospel. Same with women who receive a calling.

A person who has authority or calling should forget about their “rights” and concentrate on their “responsibilities.”

The Lord has directed that only men will only be ordained to the priesthood. The power cannot be exercised without the companionship of one of God’s daughters. Marriage is a partnership. A full partnership. Women and men are equal with different responsibilities.

Blessings of the priesthood. These are available to men and women on the same terms. The gift of the Holy Ghost and the blessings of the temples are examples. Women are equal to and different than men. Men and women are both endowed with the same power, which is priesthood power.

Continue reading

April 2014 184th General Conference notes: Saturday afternoon session

Pres. Eyring conducts.

(My wife says she really likes the flowers in the background).

Choir sings: “Glory to God on High.”

Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy gives the opening prayer.

Choir sings: “I Lived in Heaven.”

Elder Uchtdorf presents general officers and authorities for sustaining vote. (He has the coolest accent of any of the GAs).

Audit report: Kevin Jergensen. Passed the audit (phew!).

Statistical report: Brook P. Hales. Couldn’t catch all the numbers. Over 15 million members. 282,945 converts. 83,000 missionaries. Once new temple in Honduras. 141 temples in operation.

Elder Nelson:

Turbulence on plane. Woman is upset. Husband tells Elder Nelson: “the only way I could comfort my wife was to tell her that Elder Nelson was on the plane.”

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Can be bolstered as we learn about him and live our religion.

Are we tied to God so our faith shows or are we actually tied to something else? Avid fans of Sunday sports. Would their religion only tie them back to some kind of a bouncing ball? Where is our faith: in a team, in a brand, in a celebrity? There is only one in whom your faith is always safe: in the Lord Jesus Christ.

So many people look only to their bank balance for peace.

In his medical practice, Elder Nelson was asked not to mix science and faith. Truth is truth. It is not divisible. All truth emanates from God. Elder Nelson was being asked to hide my faith. He let his faith show.

Some challenge the relevance of religion in modern life. Mock or decry free exercise of religion. Some even blame religion for the world’s ills.

Are we ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth? Scripture study.

Political campaigns look to polls. But the polls cannot be used to justify disobedience to God’s commandments. Even if everyone is doing it, wrong is never right. Woe unto them who call evil good and good evil.

Immorality is still immorality in the eyes of God.

Uses the example of his daughter who died young, but with faith.

Monson: “Let us have the courage to defy the consensus. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.”

Increase your faith. Proclaim your faith. Let your faith show.
Continue reading

Guest post: The UP movement

By Jeffrey Collyer

Jeffrey Collyer says about himself: “Not much to say really. I’m a middle-aged member of the Church, married to a fabulous woman with whom I do my best to raise 4 children, living in the UK. I’ve been writing my own blog about the Atonement for the last 6 months or so – www.allthingswitness.wordpress.com”

If you pay any attention to the LDS blogosphere (and let’s face it if you’re reading this you probably do), then you will have noticed that again as we approach General Conference there has been an upsurge in the number of OW-related posts.

While I wouldn’t say I have actively followed the various arguments on either side, I follow a wide range of LDS blogs, and have therefore read countless posts on the subject. Unfortunately I am now at the point of inwardly groaning every time there is another post about OW, and after some pondering on this, I have identified why that is, as well as a proposal for an alternative “Movement” (so if you don’t want to read about OW skip to the end).

So firstly, why I don’t want to read anything about OW anymore (and yes I appreciate the irony that I am writing about something that I don’t want to read about):

Firstly, I find it boring. I don’t mean that in an insulting way; it’s just that I can’t find anyone saying anything new on the subject. One of the reasons I follow the blogs that I do is that I like to read thoughts and ideas from others that are fresh to me, giving me new insights and different perspectives. But all of the arguments that proponents of OW make basically boil down to variations on, “It’s not fair”, which makes neither the argument nor the counter-argument terribly enlightening. I still tend to read OW-related posts because, I think, “Maybe this one will be different. Maybe this one will actually have something new to say.” But invariably I’m disappointed and end up wishing I’d spent the 2-3 minutes doing something else. So, could anyone wishing to post on the subject of OW please SAY SOMETHING NEW!

Secondly, I really can’t see what they’re trying to achieve. Anyone who knows anything about how the Church works will know that confrontational campaigning just isn’t going to do anything to further the cause, so I have to assume that the leaders of OW either have a different agenda to the one they are publicly espousing, or they’re not terribly well informed on how the Church functions. Either way, it doesn’t suggest to me that this is a “Movement” either from or on behalf of faithful members.
Continue reading

Guest post: but will they come without purse?

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson, who describes himself as a “father, husband, lawyer and family history consultant living in southern Nevada. Being a family history consultant ties with nursery leader for third on my list of all time favorite callings.”

By Michael Davidson

As I write this, we are just a few days away from the Ordain Women action, in which they intend to get themselves turned away from the Priesthood Session of General Conference. Will they be met on the sidewalk and asked not to continue? Will they be barred from entering Temple Square? It hasn’t even happened yet and I’m already annoyed because I know that this will be a distraction against my favorite conference tradition. I’ve always come home after Priesthood Session and read my notes to my wife and discussed how we will apply that counsel to our family. Last year I found myself distracted by the OW circus, even though I wasn’t even on Temple Square.

This year, I will probably get distracted again … and I hate that, but a lot of the blame there goes on me. At least the OW crowd has indicated that they won’t be doing this again next conference, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of them. In her podcast over at FMH from March 24, 2014, Kate Kelly pulled back the curtain a bit about OW’s next big plan and they are not content with merely making a spectacle of themselves on Temple Square. Here’s what Kate had to say:

[The transcription is mine, and I take responsibility for any errors. This portion begins at about 50:12 in the MP3 I download from FMH] “One of the things we are doing directly after the action is a set of 6 discussions specifically about women’s ordination, and so we’re going to be creating discussion packets. All you’ll have to do is literally, like, print out the PDF, all of the articles and everything is going to be less than ten pages for each discussion, so there will be excerpts from articles, there will be scriptures, there will be other things that you can study. You can take this packet that you have in your hands and invite a couple of your friends over and have a discussion about it. It doesn’t have to be people who already agree with us. It can be anyone who has ideas about ordination or about the priesthood who wants to learn more. So we’re hoping that women will engage in those [There is a noticeable break here, at about 50:50 in the MP3, and it is clear that some content got missed either deliberately or accidentally.] you know leaders in the Ordain Women movement will go through the discussions as well so if you are, in Tajikistan, and don’t have anyone who is a Mormon feminist in your area you can get together with, you can join with us online.”

First, this was the most interesting part in the 2 hour podcast, and I’m disappointed that just as things were getting interesting, someone exercised a little editorial control and removed part of that discussion. I would like to ask the proprietors of FMH in the interest of transparency, what exactly got removed here, and was the removal at Kate Kelly’s request? Was there anything else removed from the podcast after the fact? I’m not holding my breath for a response.

Continue reading