Conference open thread

Please feel free to add your thoughts from Conference this weekend.

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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.

25 thoughts on “Conference open thread

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  3. Did Elder Christofferson just diss people who believe in evolution? He said something to the effect of: “people who believe that our life is just an accident of evolutionary chance” are less likely to do good. I missed the entire statement.

  4. Something to that effect. I do not think his statement is a “diss” toward evolution, but toward atheism or agnosticism. Some kind of evolution is perhaps how God “brings to pass” the earth and it’s inhabitants.

  5. ok, good point on evolution and atheists. Nice to see Elder Uchtdorf able to poke fun at himself with the comment that, “what does this have to do with airplanes?” And then he proceeded to discuss airplane turbulence. :)

  6. Excellent Saturday Morning Session! I also initially misunderstood Elder Christofferson’s statement; I agree that the substance of what he said was that those who do not believe in God, nod to Stephen Hawking’s latest diatribe, are less likely to do good.

  7. I was particularly touched by Pres Monson’s thoughts on missionary service and then Sis Wixom’s thoughts on teaching our children. THey go hand in hand….I have a son and a lot of work ahead of me I think :)

  8. Sat afternoon session starting. IN between the sessions, our five-year-old boy watched “Chronicles of Narnia” — the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He cried like crazy when Aslan was killed. We explained to him that Aslan was like Jesus and would come back. A very touching moment.

  9. I am hearing an unusually high number of references to three things: weekly Family Home Evening, family prayer and family scripture study. Of course we have all heard that before, but I’ve heard at least four talks mention those three things so far.

  10. Elder Cook praises other faiths that share “common moral values.” “Many opinion leaders today reject a view of common Judeo-Christian values.”

    Quotes Mosiah — if the time comes that the majority of people choose iniquity, the judgements of God will come. Religious faiths help build moral societies.

    Elder Cook is clearly taking side in cultural issues. Praises churches for promoting honesty and fidelity in marriage. Praises churches for bringing morality in politics as well. William Wilberforce — the religious political leader in the UK — is praised for helping end slavery. Faith-based values greatly bless society.

    “Neither religious nor secular views should be silenced.” The moral foundation of the Church’s doctrine can be a beacon of light to the world.

    GREAT talk!

  11. Marvelous talk indeed. I loved Elder Cook’s recognition of William Wilberforce. Amazing grace was a fantastic film about a brave Godly man. I also like the international feel to this talk.

  12. I feel rather uncomfortable with the emphasis on following the prophet in which following the Savior and heeding the words of the Scriptures seem to be superceded. Although I am a faithful member, I feel that quoting Pres. Benson’s dogmatic statements about the almost omnipotent role of the prophet seems almost cult-like.

  13. I really like the powerful description of the Savior given by Elder Gong. I wish more talks discussed the Savior’s love for us in such a beautiful manner. I also liked the comforting and inspirational scriptures He quoted.

  14. Several of the talks were repeated topics. I guess that means we need it. We have been taught of the Holy Ghost, agency, and prophets.

    The reference to President Benson’s BYU devotional talk was good. A living prophet is what makes the restored church different than the other churches. If we didn’t have living prophets, we would be like the other churches. What makes the restored churh different is that we have living prophets/ apostles, the Priesthood, and the Book of Mormon. What we hear now is what helps us now, and living prophets and apostles make that possible. I am so grateful for prophets and revelation.

    A reread of President Utchdorf’s Priesthood session talk on pride is a top priority for me. Also, I will reread President Benson’s 1989 talk on Pride.

  15. Chris: Brigham Young also said, several times, that living prophets trump scripture, and living prophets trump dead prophets. It’s actually a theme that can be found in scripture itself. The concept was not originated by ETB.

    Geoff: re a temple in Indianapolis. Wow. The Internet audio was not working during President Monson’s opening remarks, so I didn’t know what he said until I replayed it today.

    I’m actually kind of surprised, since our current temple, Louisville KY, is very under-utilized, according to the local temple-workers.
    (BTW, the Louisville Temple is 10.5 years old.)

    The next closest “big” temple is Chicago, from whom we would take 2 stakes, is also very under-utilized. We would also take at least one stake from the Columbus Ohio temple district, and 4 stakes from the Louisville KY temple disrict.

    My guess is that this area of the midwest is poised for a lot of church growth.

    ——

    Did anyone else notice that Elder Packer’s chair was empty during the 2nd session on Sunday?

    Also, due to the awkward camera cuts before and after his talk during the 1st Session on Sunday, it looked to me like his talk was pre-recorded, and was replayed during the live conference. The greenery in the background also looked different during his talk than the others.

    Elder Oaks also looks like he has lost weight, in a good way.

  16. They have had speakers in the past speak from areas not at the actual pulpit. I think that was the case with President Faust and even President Packer– in the past. I don’t think it was prerecorded.

    Also: In each session of conference, at least 1 or 2 apostles are not in the actual conference center. This is just in case something happens to the First Presidency/ Quorum of the Twelve. It would then be possible to reorganize the leadership of the church.
    It is the same thing at a presidential inauguration or even a State of the Union (a member of the Cabinet is missing).

  17. I also am excited about the temple in Indianapolis. Prime location where the Church owns a couple hundred acres is only 15 minutes from my house!

    I think we are being encouraged to follow the prophets, and reminded of Pres Benson’s 14 fundamentals and talk on Pride, because they are needed in our day. It is our pride that makes us think we are smarter than the prophet. The D&C in sections 1 and 84 teaches us that we receive Christ by receiving his prophets and apostles.

    I am glad that there was no focus on the Church’s stance on homosexuality, rather on all immorality. Also interesting was the focus on video games and even texting as addictions we need to avoid.

  18. Also, I thought it interesting that Elder Oaks used the term “priesthood of all believers” (from Martin Luther) to define our individual connection with God, and then separate it from the ecclesiastical priesthood authority, both of which are necessary for salvation.

  19. “My guess is that this area of the midwest is poised for a lot of church growth.”

    My guess is decades to come in which even attending the temple is not a respite from being “a lonesome and a solemn people” in a wilderness.

  20. I really enjoyed Uchtdorf’s talk, as well as Oak’s. They really hit the nail as to what we are going through in the world and pretty much the political arena and other areas. Unity is a big thing, even with those we do not agree. Missionary work was a great emphasis, there seems to be a decline in those going out on missions. I hope that trumpet resonates on everyone’s home.

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