April 2015 General Conference: Saturday afternoon session

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.

Elder Uchtdorf conducted the sustaining of the Church officers. Sadly, there were those that dissented when Pres. Monson and the Quorum of the 12 were presented. I won’t link to the website, but it looks like this might have been a “planned action”. These people have stated they wish to remain anonymous, but also state they want to have more of a voice in the councils of the church. Personal observation: you’ve defeated your purpose then. Put your name on your dissent, and wear your opposition publicly. If you are going to disrupt and upset Conference, we ought to know who you are.

The Statistical Report:

Stakes: 3000+
Missions: 406
Temples: 144, and 3 dedicated in 2014.
Full Time Missionaries: 85,147
New Converts: 260K+
8 year old baptisms: 116K+
Church Membership: 15,372,337

Elder Bednar:
Dispelling fear thru faith in Christ. The Atonement makes repentance possible. Alma: look to God and live. Peter sank on the water when he lost focus on Christ and focused on the chaos around him. Helaman 5: 12, build on the rock of Christ. Ordinances & covenants are our building blocks of faith to overcome fear. Nephi: press forward with a steadfastness in Christ. We need to submit cheerfully to the will and timing of the Lord. We need consecrated commitment, and the mercy and grace of God. Godly fear = reverence, which grows from faith in Christ.

Elder Christofferson:
Quoted from a letter Dietrich Boenhoeffer wrote from prison. Sidebar: if you have not read Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas, do it! Bonhoeffer was executed for his faith by the Nazis. Letter to his niece re: marriage, it’s the link in the chain of generations, it’s a post of responsibility. The Plan of Salvation was planned before we came here and included: creation, motality, redemption from the fall & sanctification of the soul, and marriage. In marriage we become life partners with God as we create bodies for His children. Marriage is the order of heaven and cannot be changed by man. It is not social science. Satan attacks sexuality and families because of jealousy. The Atonement anticipates and compensates for the inadequacies of life.

Elder Wilford Anderson:
Teache the steps hear the music. DC 8.

Elder Renilund:
A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying. The Lord cares that we keep on trying. Once we decide to try again, the Atonement kicks in. The Atonement covers more than just our sins. It covers the consequences that we experiences from the sins of others, our failed relationships, economics and suffering. God will give us Beauty for Ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. God expects us to keep on trying and is disaapoined when we do not realize that others are trying as well. We have to be kind and tolerant with others as they try. “If we don’t try we’re latter-day sinners. If we don’t preserver we’re latter-day quitters. If we don’t allow others to try we’re latter-day hypocrites.”

Elder Ringwood:
Doing right for right’s sake. Shiblon-like souls. Be good without guile.

Elder Cook:
Rejoice and celebrate the Atonement. Sunflowers follow the sun, so we should follow God. When we follow Christ we flourish despite bad circumstances. Wheat & tares: the faithful shall shine forth as the sun. We can thrive and bloom if we are rooted in the love our Savior. The role of the family is to bring happiness and teach truth. When we have prayers, FHE, scripture study and priesthood blessings our families will thrive. “What time is at home?”…his Uncle who died in WW2, would wear a watch set to home time. Husbands and wives have different, but complementary roles. Hearing the gospel in our native language: D&C 90: 11. Unite in the gospel, build faith, don’t be critical of others. The Church has never been stronger. Those how leave voluntarily, has grown smaller. There has been an increase in endowments, missionary service, service. A personal note about that: I am glad that Elder Cook said that. It’s good to remember that those are faithful are many … reach out and let’s find each other.

That’s all for this session, please check back for notes on the Priesthood Session tonight and the sessions tomorrow. We want to hear what you learned, tell us in the comments! Please feel free to like and share this, and make sure to like us on Facebook.

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About Joyce Anderson

Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom

12 thoughts on “April 2015 General Conference: Saturday afternoon session

  1. Two important notes:

    Elder Christofferson’s talk is a must-read on the plan of salvation.

    Elder Cook put to rest the notion that the Church is losing members, which is a constant meme of the antis/ex-mos and liberal Mormons. To quote Elder Cook:

    “Let me say again, the Church has never been stronger.”

  2. Agreed on that Geoff. Elder Bednar’s talk was also great, following the dissenting on the sustaining of Church officers. We can overcome our fear and the things we do not understand, but we have to follow the Lord’s pattern to do it the right way.

  3. Summary of Elder Cristofferson’s talk:

    “A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive—the setting for the birth of children, who come in purity and innocence from God, and the environment for the learning and preparation they will need for a successful mortal life and eternal life in the world to come. A critical mass of families built on such marriages is vital for societies to survive and flourish. That is why communities and nations generally have encouraged and protected marriage and the family as privileged institutions. It has never been just about the love and happiness of adults.

    Our claims for the role of marriage and family rest not on social science but on the truth that they are God’s creation. … Each individual carries the divine image, but it is in the matrimonial union of male and female as one that we attain perhaps the most complete meaning of our having been made in the image of God—male and female.”

  4. Flew my wife and teenage daughter 2,000 miles to attend conference in person and we get to hear some knuckleheads say “No” during the sustainings. Sheesh.

  5. Dietrich Boenhoeffer rivals C. S. Lewis for his understanding of the true Gospel. Reading “The Cost of Discipleship” should be required reading for all who desire to be disciples of Christ.

  6. As far as the response to the Nos “The vote is noted,” my son in law said he would have great pause if a prophet of God indicated that no votes had been noted (if he had voted no, which he didn’t).

    Loved how the response to those with concerns was to talk with their Stake President. That is not (to my recollection) how the no votes in the 1980s were handled. In retrospect, it’s perfect, as it is at the local level that such things are best dealt with, one way or the other.

  7. It is truly mind boggling how many members don’t understand how a sustaining vote works. If the church doesn’t want the possibility of any dissenting votes, why do they ask the congregation in the first place? It’s a good thing that those members remained anonymous, since there are so many members who have publicly bashed them on a forum like this. I wonder how many threats they’d receive if the church & members knew who they are!? These dissenting members have legitimate concerns and they went about it in a way that in any other public forum that asks for a vote wouldn’t come with backbiting and unbecoming gossip from other members. I understand that since we hardly EVER see any dissenting votes (even on a stake & ward level), to see it at GC is definitely shocking, ESPECIALLY with the sustaining vote of the prophet and GA’s. I was personally taken by surprise as well. However, since this incident, so many members have behaved as though these dissenting members denied Jesus Himself. REMINDER: Church leaders, as much as they are loved and revered, are NOT perfect. They’re NOT our Savior to worship & sustain…Jesus Christ is. These LDS leaders (believe it or not) DO make mistakes…several church leaders and prophets have. These members were standing up for that simple fact. They don’t have answers they feel they should have from current leadership. Let’s not be blind followers. Faith is activated when we use the common sense God gave us, which is why I personally applaud these members.

  8. Erin, I took your comment out of the spam folder because I felt it needed to be addressed.

    First, if those that opposed were not trying to make a spectacle and to get their 15 mins on the news, your points would be valid, but they were there for self aggrandizement, and that only. Just like so many other groups that we have seen lately who go to the sacred grounds of Temple Square to contend, to stir up trouble and to make a scene, they were there for promotion of their group and to make a scene. Their behavior was infantile and out of place for the sacred nature of General Conference. The Lord has a pattern and a system in place for addressing concerns. These people tried to circumvent that pattern and system, which ended up upsetting many people. No, it’s not right to lash out, but people were hurt and betrayed by their public tantrum. We should not publicly protest, agitate and or cause a commotion with our consent or lack of consent.

    Second, if you go to the Any Opposed website and read their list of grievances, those grievances have been addressed numerous times in General Conference and I’m sure by their local leaders — who are lay people, called to serve and who do the very best they can. Even those who serve at the top levels of the Church are lay leaders and should be treated with respect and with patience. Furthermore, the issues presented by the Any Opposed group are doctrinal, and we have been told, again, many times in Conference, that we as people are not at liberty to change the doctrines of the Church. Groups like Any Opposed keep kicking against the pricks. Guess what, they’re the ones who will be hurt. The minute they decide to humble themselves and to follow the Lord’s pattern, they will find their issues will resolve with help from priesthood leaders and the Holy Ghost.

    Finally, I think if these people were sincere, instead of wanting to grandstand, they would already be working with their local leaders to resolve their issues, humbly and privately. The fact that they held a press conference that day, speaks volumes — they were there only to get attention. They were not sincere in their opposition. They were there to make a scene and to contend, which was not alright.

    With this said, I think it has been a good opportunity for ALL of us who do sustain the Lord’s called prophet and leaders to really think about what we do when we raise our hand to sustain them. When we do that it means we sustain them to speak for the Lord, we sustain the things they say, and we fulfill our temple covenants to be obedient. The Lord wants us to all be able to do that with a willing and joyful heart. But He understands when we cannot, however, He expects us to work on resolving those issues thru the pattern He has established, not by grandstanding and making a spectacle in General Conference.

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