Notes from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference

This post will be updated during this session.

President Eyring conducting.

Choir sings “Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee.”

Did not catch who did the opening prayer, but it was a man-type guy.

Choir sings “Did You Think to Pray?”

President Uchtdorf presents authorities. I love his accent when he pronounces Spanish and Portuguese names. Lots of good hard “RRRRRs.”

Statistical report:

Total stakes: 3005

14,782,473 members

new baptisms: 122,273

272,330 converts

Four new temples dedicated in 2012. 140 total temples.

Elder Richard G. Scott

Where is the place of refuge, away from the frantic pace of modern-day life? The ideal place is in our own homes, where we have done all we can to make Jesus Christ the centerpiece.

Regardless of circumstance, you can center your home and life on Jesus Christ.

Make sure you decisions are based on what the savior would have you do.

Daily personal and family prayer and family scripture study and weekly FHE are essential to a Christ-centered home.

Be obedient to the prophetic teachings of Christ. Little things lead to big things. Small indiscretions can lead to big problems.

There is real danger surrounding you. Don’t yield to the devil-inspired contamination around you. Satan’s fate is decided. He knows he is lost. But he wants to take as many with him as he can. Stay on the Lord’s side and you will win every time.

Technology. Depending on how technology is used, the advantages of modern technology can be a burden or a blessing. Personal electronic device. These devices can be a source of filth and wasted time. But used correctly these devices can be a source of protection. The scriptures and all of the conference talks can fit in your pocket. Be wise about how you embrace technology. If young people would refer to scriptures as often as they send text messages they could soon have hundreds of scriptures memorized.

(Mentioned the word “obedient” at least four times now. Interesting.)

Focus your life outward in selfless service to others. Obeying brings power from God, power to do more than we can do by ourselves. People will be drawn to the serenity of your home. Become friends with your children’s friends and be a worthy example to them. The power of the Christ-centered home where the Gospel is taught, covenants are kept and love abounds.

Thoughts on family members who are not making good choices. Trust in the Lord and His timing. Exercise faith and remember that there are some things that must be left to the Lord. We can know that this straying loved one is not abandoned but is in the Lord’s loving care. Strive to live worthily and place your trust in the Lord.

The Lord says there is a time and a season for all things. The Lord will direct us in what should be emphasized in each phase in our lives.

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Events often occur that rob us of peace. Referenced Sept. 11 attacks. The stakes of zion are a refuge from the storms of life.

The doctrinal difference between universal peace in the world and personal peace. “Peace and good will toward men.” There was no peace in Israel. Agency allows for pain and suffering of mortality. The apostles were warned that they would be in the midst of wolves. Jesus said “think not that I am come to bring peace upon Earth.” The spirit of Christ shall not always strive with man. Peace shall be taken from the Earth. Prophets have declared that peace has been taken from the Earth. Lucifer is not bound.

There will never be total peace until mankind will receive Christ. It is as individuals and families that we receive the promised peace today. Peace is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment. Heber J. Grant said: “His peace will ease our suffering.” The savior’s peace can blot out our hates.

Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are. God is the author of peace. For those who reject God there is no peace. Peace is not found by attaining great wealth or prominence. Where can we turn for peace? To the Savior.

Becoming true disciples of Jesus will be rewarded with abiding peace. Ordinances bring peace because they are covenants with the Lord. Temples are a source of peaceful refuge from the world.

Hymn: “Rejoice, the Lord is King.”

Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy

Grew up in Burley, ID. Learned to work. Learned a variety of virtues. You don’t have time to be politically correct. Do you want me to speak directly or with sugar. I will be direct today. Stick to the basics. Nothing is more basic than the truths of the First Article of Faith.

We are not spiritual orphans. We are not alone. We can learn from our heavenly parents. We don’t have to be lost, confused, deceived. God has a way to live, to love, to pray, to lead, to marry, to raise children, to know the truth, to share the Gospel.

The Lord concurs in our goal of helping the needy, but says that it must be done in the Lord’s way. Promote self-reliance. Everywhere it is tried the world learns the evils of the dole.

The Lord teaches there is an authorized way and time to express love between two people. What happens inside the home is far more important than what happens outside. The Lord’s way is that we hearken to our leaders’ teachings and govern ourselves.

We should do all we do in his way. The doctrine of Christ is the way. The Lord has The Way. He knows best how to help. Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life.

Elder John B. Dickson of the Seventy

The Church of Christ has been restored and continues to move forward under the First Presidency and the apostles. The church has moved steadily from people to people in the Lord’s time.

Priesthood revelation. All of Heavenly Father’s children could partake in the blessings of the Gospel. He had just been called as a mission president. Tears came to his eyes. I was pleased beyond words because I knew it was right. He served in the West Africa area of the church among a believing, faithful people who lives were so affected by the revelation. As a people, West Africans believe in God and have no shame in declaring and sharing their beliefs with others. They are coming into the church by the hundreds.

Church curriculum followed across Africa. Gospel going to a happy people unencumbered by the problems in the West. They have very little of that which matters least but a great deal of that which matters most. Not interested in materialism.

When Daniel envisioned the Kingdom of God rolling forth as a stone without hands, it is very fitting that our wonderful African brothers and sisters would be an important part of that process.

Elder David A. Bednar.

Why is the law of chastity so important? All created in the image of God. All lived with God as spirit children before coming to Earth. Our physical bodies make possible an intensity of experience that could not be obtained in our premortal existence. There are lessons we must learn and experiences we must have according to the flesh.

Adam was placed in Garden of Eden. Eve became his wife and helpmeet. The unique combination was needed to enact the plan of happiness. The man and woman are intended to learn from, bless and complete each other. The first commandment pertained to their potential to replenish the Earth. This is the authorized channel for spirits to enter mortality. Chastity until marriage protects this channel.

Heavenly Father and Jesus are Creators and have entrusted us with the power of creation. How we deal with this power will affect our happiness.

The church has a single, undeviating standard for sexuality: only within marriage (summary). They are not a conquest to be achieved or an act to be performed. Sexuality help spiritual bonds between husband and wife. We are no defined by sexual behaviors, or secular feelings.

Avoid the natural man. The man and woman of Christ deny themselves and take up His cross and press forward in devotion to Him and His Gospel. We live in a fallen world. We are subject to the pull of sin and death. Our Spirit is inside a physical body subject to the fall. “Will I respond to the inclinations of the natural man or will I follow the enticings of the Spirit.” Every appetite of the natural man can be overcome through Christ.

Heavenly Father desires us to be together in the Light and filled with Hope. Lucifer wants us to be confused and unhappy and hinder our progression. Lucifer wants us to be alone, in the dark without hope. Lucifer’s progress has been halted — no body. He cannot learn the lessons that only an embodied spirit can learn. He resents our reality. He cannot develop and become more like our Heavenly Father. He wants to tempt us to use our bodies improperly. The adversary who is miserable because he has no body wants to entice us to use our body improperly. Violating the law of chastity is a grievous sin. Defiling the body is an act of rebellion.

The counterfeit companionship advocated by the adversary is temporary. Bridle your passions so you may be filled with love. Love increases through righteous restraint.

Living the law of chastity invites the greatest blessings men and women can receive in mortality. Our innate longing to belong is fulfilled in righteousness.

Some need to repent of sexual sins. The Savior is the great physician. Sin is a spiritual wound that causes guilt. Guilt is to our spirit as pain is to our body. The Atonement can heal our spiritual wounds and remove guilt. Repentance and consistent obedience are needed. Your bishop can help you repent. Serious spiritual wounds need treatment and time to heal completely.

The Lord’s truth is not altered by fads or public opinion polls. Chastity and virtue are now, always have been, and always will be most dear and precious above all things.

Elder Russell M. Nelson.

Praise for more worthy missionaries. Unprecedented wave of enthusiasm for missionary work. People ask what we will do with all the missionaries. They will do what missionary have always done: preach the Gospel and bless the children of the Almighty God. Catch the wave of interest in missionary work.

Advice for missionaries and people preparing for a mission.

Speaks to ward mission leaders. Your role is crucial, truly crucial, to the success of this work. Catch the wave with faith and enthusiasm. Connecting link between members and missionaries.

Families can be together forever. Announcement made 193 years ago. “This is my beloved son. Hear Him.” This introduced Joseph Smith to Jesus Christ and launched the Restoration. How amazing is it that messengers from Heaven came to give power to this work?

Hymn: “More Holiness Give Me.”

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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.

4 thoughts on “Notes from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference

  1. Elder Bednar was the most outstanding talk of the Conference so far, IMNSHO. The Lord’s truth is not altered by fads or public opinion polls.

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