Tomorrow we get to sit and listen to General Conference. Including the Women’s Session from last week, there are about 11 hours in which we will be instructed, counseled, and taught as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know many of us look forward to this weekend with anticipation.
This year I have approached Conference differently. In years past, I just sort of showed up and was wiling to hear whatever was said. If I learned something, great! And I always have. This year, however, I decided to do what many people do, and that is, come to General Conference with questions. I’m hoping that with a few particular points to focus on, in addition to learning what is presented, I will come away from Conference a bit more enriched and a bit more focused for the next six months.
In the Book of Second Nephi 2: 26-27, we read, “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” The words of the prophets and other leaders of the Church are the way to eternal life. By choosing to follow their council and guidance, we are choosing to follow the Lord. But we have to choose to follow. Nephi also teaches us in these verses that we are here to “act” and “not to be acted upon.” Continue reading
Snacks? Notepad? Pencil? Remote Control? Selfies of your feet watching General Conference? Or perhaps you get dressed up and watch at your meetinghouse? Do you have friends and family over to watch? Activities for the kids ready? But, are you ready for General Conference?
Over at Middle-aged Mormon Man’s blog, he suggested we use General Conference as the kick-off to the 4th Quarter (of the year) to reset the goals we made back in January. He suggested doing these things:
1) Watch all of Conference this weekend.
2) Figure out what you NEED to accomplish before the year is out.
3) Make sure the Lord is onboard with your plans.
4) Write it down!
5) Tell someone that is important to you what you plan to do.
6) Get it done.
I thought those were great suggestions, and I think I’m going to accept the challenge, to reset myself for the 4th Quarter of 2015. Continue reading
During Conference there were a lot of talks about marriage and family. While the talks briefly mentioned current events such as same-sex marriage, they mostly focused on something somewhat different. Elders Christofferson and Perry in particular had very similarly titled talks which focused on the doctrine or the why of family (“Why marriage, why family” and “Why Marriage and Family Matters” respectfully). President Packer likewise talked about “The Plan of Happiness” and in doing so focused heavily on the doctrine of the family.
Twenty years ago, the Family a Proclamation the World declared powerfully to the world our unique theology and doctrine of family. In the interceding years, that vision has only become more and more essential. Yet, we often focus on the details of the proclamation such as teachings about the roles of men and women and lose sight of what this inspired doctrine taught about the nature of significance of the Family in God’s plan.
What I believe we are witnessing today is a great clarification and sharpening of the doctrine of the family brought about by current events and the global effort to redefine marriage. These challenges have led our leaders to ponder and reflect on the true meaning of the family. These challenges have deeply enriched our understanding of the gospel as a familial matter. Much more so than twenty years ago, our leaders today teach not merely what families should be like, but why this is so essential.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie famously taught of the three pillars of eternity as being the creation, the fall, and the atonement. Today, instead of three pillars Elder Christofferson put forward four things essential for realizing God’s plan of happiness. The first three were the same as Elder McConkie’s pillars—creation, fall, and redemption, but the fourth of these pillars is the Family “the setting for physical birth and subsequent spiritual rebirth in God’s kingdom.” Elder Christofferson explained that this is essential, because in marriage we are able to create “in partnership with God, the physical bodies that are key to the test of mortality and essential to eternal glory with Him.” It is in marriage that we become co-creators with God and therefore enter the path towards exaltation.
President Packer also discussed this theme in his remarks. He emphasized that “The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan of happiness; it is the key to happiness.” It is through this power, that “we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fullness of joy, even Godhood.” Being able to responsibly use our power of procreation responsible is the great test of mortality.
Some notes from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference. They are very incomplete, because as it always happens Mom, that’s me, was on duty
most part of the time.
For a better summary follow the link to the Conference summary provided by the Church, HERE.
In this session the statistical reports and sustaining of Church officers were taken care of.
The General Young Men’s presidency was released and a new presidency was called. The new Presidency is:
Steven W. Owen, President
Douglas D. Holmes, 1st Councilor
Monte J. Brough, 2nd Councilor
There was also a change in the General Primary Presidency. Sister Jean Stevens was released in anticipation for going to serve with her husband as a mission president. Sister Cheryl Esplin was also released. Sister Esplin was then called to be the new first councilor, and Sister Mary L. Durham is the new second councilor. Continue reading
One doubt that I frequently encounter among those who have lost faith that this Church is being led by Christ through continuing revelation Is that we have not received a canonized revelation in several decades and that the Prophets after Joseph Smith have on the whole received very few revelations. I came across a very interesting quote in a talk given by Bruce R. McConkie to the Sperry Symposium which sheds some light on why this is so. The quote is lengthy, but I am going to quote it in full and then I will address some of the insights it provides. Continue reading