Note: These are the instant, mildly-filtered things that ran through my brain and heart as I watched this session of General Conference. If you are looking for deep, spiritual analysis, this is not the place. Drive on. Please check back later for that, after I have had some time to process.
…staggers back into the family room, plops down on the couch with a can of Diet Dr. Pepper.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson started by talking about Ezekiel, watchmen and dying.
“Prophets warn us to turn away from sin and choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator.”
Uh-Oh. He just morphed into it being our responsibility to warn our neighbor.
“Warning may take the form of reproof…but it is always from a position of love… To warn is to care. This is to be done with mildness, meekness and gentleness.”
“Sometimes those who raise a warning voice are dismissed as judgmental.”
“Paradoxically, however, those who claim truth is relative and moral standards are a matter of personal preference are often the same ones who most harshly criticize people that don’t accept the current norm of ‘correct thinking.’”
“The SHAME CULTURE.” Man, is that good. Here is a link to the David Brooks article quoted about “The Shame Culture.”
“How much better it is to know the truth than to be ‘tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.’”
Here is a link to the Deseret News article about marriage he cited.
“Do not succumb to false notions of tolerance or to fear—fear of inconvenience, disapproval, or even suffering.”
This idea of “Guilt Culture” vs. “Shame Culture” is really quite brilliant and so right for our times.
Elder Joaquin Costa. (Spoke at a recent youth/parent devotional here in Gilbert. He is great.)
“Once you meet the missionaries, please take them seriously; they are giving up important years of their lives just for you.”
To those just learning about the Church: “If you are feeling confused by something you don’t understand don’t worry I was clueless, too”
“If you are confused, don’t worry; remember the feelings you have experienced, they come from God.”
I love his technique of saying, “I will explain this in one sentence.”
Alma 42:29 “…I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance.”
Shout out to “My Elder Cutler,” made me teary. How cool to know you helped in the conversion of a G.A.
“If you pay the price of revelation, humble yourself, pray, and repent, the heavens will open.”
• MMM Critique: If I were a young, Latino man, Elder Costa’s invitations would be almost irresistible to me. His spirit, joy and enthusiasm are contagious. What a happy soul.
Elder S. Mark Palmer has a sweet New Zealand accent.
While listening to the Bible, he found these six words, “”Then Jesus beholding him, loved him.” (Only found in Mark. (10:21) (From the story of the rich young man.)
“The question no longer was “How does a frustrated mission president get a struggling missionary to behave better?” but “How can I be filled with Christ Like love so that I can allow them to feel the love of Christ?”’
Offered four things that happen when we look at others with the Savior’s love: (Very incomplete notes.)
1) When filled with love we won’t be afraid to speak with boldness. (Second witness)
2) Hearts will not change where love is not present. Our homes should always be safe havens for our children—not hostile environments.
3) Love should never be withdrawn.
Offered the possibility that the rich young man eventually came back. Hooray! (link)
4) Four: repeat steps one through three.
Elder Gary E. Stephenson asked the question: “How does the Holy Ghost help you?”
Especially relevant to kids about to be, or recently have been baptized. Converts, too.
Told a story from his childhood about hiking with his dad. Here’s a link to the story included in a bio written by Elder Robert D. Hales.
Spent time highlighting basic truths about the Holy Ghost.
Told the tragic story of a young man who lost his wife in a car accident. Here is a link to the news about the car crash.
Spoke of several ways the Holy Ghost can help us:
- “The Holy Ghost will help you by comforting you.”
- “As you heed promptings from the Holy Ghost, … you may be removed, without ever knowing, from spiritual and temporal danger.”
- “The Holy Ghost will help you by testifying of the Father and the Son and of all truth.”
- “The Holy Ghost testifies and bears witness of the truth of all things.”
• Multiple witnesses about the importance of having the Holy Ghost very involved in our lives, and the worthiness required.
Elder C. Scott Grow: Knowing your identity as a child of God, and understanding your purpose.
John 3:16 quoted yet again.
He spoke about Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s talk. “The Purifying Power of Gethsemane.”(Which I remember! Read it.)
Back to the basics again: Individual and family prayer and scripture study.
“When you pray with faith, you will feel God’s love, as His spirit speaks to your soul.”
“Scripture study becomes the channel for the Spirit to give each of us a customized tutorial.”
“You and I do the will of the Father, by honoring our covenants, keeping the commandments, and serving God.”
“Knowing God is the quest of a lifetime.”
…Singing, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play…”
Elder Benjamin de Hoyos bears a sweet testimony of modern prophets and makes the case for letting folks speak in their native tongue at the same time.
We don’t have to imagine hearing the Savior’s voice: “It has become constant for us to hear the voice of the Lord because when we hear the voice of the servants, it is the same.” (D&C 1:38)
And as a second witness to Elder Clayton: “We should not be surprised by what may seem like ‘small things’ because of their simple and repetitive nature.”
…Singing, “Line upon line, precept on precept, that is how He lifts us…” Ooops, soory. Back to the talk.
“As we keep the Sabbath day holy and partake of the sacrament, we are not only cleansed, but out light also grows brighter.” Last Conference almost every talk spoke to the importance of the Sacrament. This might be the first reference this time.
“As we all teach and learn in His way and become more like Him, our light shines brighter and cannot be hid.”
Your light will shine brighter when you keep Sabbath day holy, take sacrament and find family names to the temple.
“Learning to teach as the Savior taught is another way we can rise and shine…The goal of every gospel teacher is to teach the pure doctrine of the gospel by the Spirit.” (Wish that I had his faith!)
• Many references to the Holy Ghost and “light” this Conference.
• Suddenly missing my missionary in Mexico so much right now that I teared up. I hope he is sharing in this with us.
Elder Quentin L. Cook to finish it off.
“If there is one preeminent objective of General Conference, it is to build faith in our Heavenly father and Jesus Christ.”
“Personal foundations, are usually built slowly. One challenge, one success at a time.”
…Oh-no…Line upon line is bubbling up again…
Talked about the Malcolm Gladwell 10,000 hour rule. Gotta put in the time to reach a level of mastery in anything. (From a book called “Outliers.” Interesting book.)
“Just as repetition and consistent effort are required to gain physical or mental capacity, the same is true in spiritual matters.”
Foundation of testimony: Is Christ my Savior? Is the Book of Mormon true? Was Joseph Smith a prophet?
Immediate second witness: “I believe weekly participation in sacred sacrament meetings has spiritual implications we do not fully understand.”
Floated the idea that the seer stones were essentially “training wheels” for the prophet Joseph to translate. Very interesting.
Talked about the financial disasters in early Church history, specifically my ancestor Parley P. Pratt, and his flirtation with opposing the prophet Joseph. Thankfully it was a short flirtation.
“Conversion to the gospel does not mean all our problems will be solved… Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of His blessings.”
- And the choir nails it by closing with “How Firma Foundation,” immediately after Elder Cook talked about our foundations.
- In a surprising twist, the emphasis of Conference was studying the scriptures, praying, being worthy to have the Holy Ghost. Didn’t see that coming!
- An awesome Conference. I feel blessed to live in a time and place where we can have God’s servants teach, inspire, motivate, counsel and love us.
I feel blessed.
I also feel tired.
Please join me on Facebook for Sunday Night Check-in and you can tell us your #1 thing from today.