Notes from General Conference Priesthood session

Elder Eyring conducting.

Choir: “Like 10,000 Legions Marching.”

Elder L. Tom Perry

Went on hike with primary teacher. The teacher said that memorizing the Articles of Faith would mean nothing more than just a lot of words unless they understood the doctrine.

True doctrine comes from God. False comes from Satan. Paul: “All scriptures is given by inspiration from God.” After we understand the basic doctrines of Christ, the 5th and 6th articles of Faith teach of priesthood authority.

Thruthfulness of the 13 Articles of Faith.

Gerald Causee, first counselor of the presiding bishopric

Tells the story of Jean Valjean from “Les Miserables.” How do we welcome the strangers?

It is likely that the next person baptized in the ward may not be in your usual circle of friends. How will you fellowship this person? Home teachers and visiting teachers must reach out. Unity in the ward.

In the BoM: “not any many of -Ites.”

Do not just associate people who are like you. Welcome and serve those who are new and who have particular needs. We can purify our own hearts to reach out to anyone who appears at the Church. Invite strangers to sit with you at church. Make the first move.

No one is a stranger to our Heavenly Father. God is no respecter of persons.

Randy D. Funk of the Seventy

The missionaries of the Church are simply outstanding. One brother from Nepal had never seen a missionary until he was one. Came on his mission with five jeans, two t-shirts and a lot of hair gel. He felt inadequate. He had to learn English. He was hungry, tired and homesick. But he served with great faith. He became a powerful teacher of the Gospel in English.

Now serves as a branch president in New Delhi.

How do the missionaries receive this spiritual power?

The answers are found in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets and apostles.

Missionaries need to humble themselves, abide in God’s word and hearken to the Spirit.

If you are humble, you will want to be obedient. The Spirit is essential.

Missionaries who were not fully clean did not have the companionship of the Holy Ghost until they had partaken of the mercy and grace of the Savior. Come to the Savior and offer your whole souls as an offering. If burdened by sin, please repent immediately. The atonement will help you feel the spirit.

Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.

Go ye and teach all nations.

Choir: “Do What is Right.”

President Uchtdorf

The laws of physics have changed and not to my advantage. Went skiing with my grandson. Hit an icy spot, landed on a steep slope. Tried to stand up on the ski slope. “I had fallen and I couldn’t get up.” His ego was bruised. Wanted to make sure other skiers didn’t recognize me. I began to wonder what it would take to rescue me. His grandson said: “you can do it now.” Instantly, I stood. A 12-year-old reached out and said I could do it.

Rising up and continuing on our way may seem beyond our ability, but even when we think we cannot rise up there is hope. We need someone to look us in the eye, take our hand and say, “you can do it now.”

Sometimes we are overcome by our shortcomings. Quotes F. Scott Fitzgerald from the Great Gatsby. People sometimes give up when becoming discouraged. No one likes to fail. We all want to be respected and esteemed. We want to be champions, but we cannot be champions without effort and discipline.

Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble, but by the amount of times we get up and try again.

The words of the prophets tell us how to rise up and how to get back on track.

Mankind can repent, change course and get back on the true path of discipleship.

Difference between sorrow for sin that leads to repentance and the sorrow that leads to despair. Godly sorrow will inspire change. Worldly sorrow brings us to further temptation.

True repentance is about transformation. When guilt leads to self-loathing and prevents us from rising up again, it is impeding rather than promoting repentance.

We should rise up and become men of God. When we make mistakes, we must turn our heart and will to God and giving up sin.

Satan’s purpose is to tempt us to exchange pearls of the Gospel for fake plastic trinkets.

Satan tries to make us see the commandments as things that have been forced upon us. We must keep our eyes on higher goals. People may occasionally stumble, but they will not be defeated. They know they can do it now.

We mortals always fall. But we can rise up again and continue on the path toward the spiritual goals God has given us.

President Eyring

We are all responsible for others. That is wonderful but also overwhelming.

EQ president example: an elder, a young father, calls saying he is moving today. He has a borrowed truck. The elder hurts his back. The young father felt desperate, thought of EQ president. The EQ prez had other obligations. The other members of the quorum also were busy. The Lord gave you a parable for overload priesthood holders. The story is the story of the Good Samaritan. You are the Samaritan and not the priest or Levite who passed by.

The Samaritan stopped because he had compassion. He acted. He took care of the man. He helped pay the innkeeper.

1)The Lord will give you, if you ask, the feelings of compassion He feels for those in need.

2)He will provide others, like the innkeeper, to help.

3)The Lord will recompense all of those who join in to give help to those in need.

The Lord knows who can help and who cannot. So, pray to know who to ask to help.

Pres. Eyring, when he was just a priest, went with his bishop to help others. It was training for him. He learned a huge amount.

Don’t become hardened to the pains of others. Don’t be impatient with people who do not believe the same things you do or who are not as advanced spiritually. Cleave unto charity.

President Monson

Story about Provo Canyon. Stay in the family cabin for several weeks. Drove a 1928 Oldsmobile. If more than 35 mph, mother would say, “keep it down.” Children were anxious to get there. Sheep in the road. The shepherd was asleep in the saddle, didn’t do the work, the dogs did the work.

In Munich, he saw a shepherd with a staff in his hand leading his sheep.

The good shepherd leads us. He is the Good Shepherd and leads his sheep.

We are supposed to be shepherds to the families of the church. Home teaching.

Aaronic priesthood goes with Melch priesthood holder. Go to homes to help them, to make sure there is no iniquity in the homes.

Pres. McKay: “home teaching is one of our most urgent activities…it is our duty as home teachers to carry the spirit into every home and to every heart.”

Alma consecrated all the priests and teachers.

Executive committee: President Kimball, Pres. Hinckley, Pres. Monson. The HT showed up and said he would instruct three apostles and their wives. The home teacher did his best. Pres. Hinckley thanked him for coming. But he did not call before coming.

Pres. Romney came to the Romney home. Would not sit down. The HT said he just came by so he could tell his bishop he had come by.

HT should teach, motivate, inspire. Try to reactivate the inactive. Be a friend to the families you teach.

A friend cares, shows love, listens. He reaches out. HT answers many prayers. You can see the transformations in peoples’ lives.

Told the example of one home teacher who visited his family for years. He finally baptized somebody when the man was 90 years old. He was baptized and a year later went to the temple.

If are complacent about home teaching, there is no time like the present to rededicate yourself to home teaching. Reach out to those to whom you have been given responsibility. The master teacher, the son of God. He went about doing good. We shall qualify for his divine help in our home teaching.

Choir: “God of Our Father.”

Benediction: Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

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