Almost-Instant Post-Conference Thoughts: Priesthood Session (April ’17)


Conf April Priesthood

Note:  These are the 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.

• I was sitting in the dark, equipped with only the most primitive devices to record my conference thoughts: A pen and notebook. I did my best, most of the time.


We started out being blessed by some brief remarks from our dear prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He spoke slowly, carefully. I was surprised to see that they added subtitles to his comments, as if they were concerned if he would be able to speak clearly enough. I closed my eyes for a bit and understood him perfectly.

He spoke about eh importance too three virtues: Kindness, charity and love. He spent some time in D&C 121 talking about how if we exercise those traits, we can better call down the powers of heaven for ourselves and others.

It was sweet, and short.


Elder David A. Bednar then took to the stand to teach a curious subject. He lighted the difference between being called to serve vs. being assigned a field of labor. Using D&C 80:1-3 as his backing, he explained that when missionaries are serving, they are serving – regardless of where they are assigned.

Why was this important? Because he has encountered many missionaries and returned missionaries who struggle with the fact that they were unable to serve in the area where they were called – rather assigned – and they often wonder why. (Visa issues, wars, health, etc.)

He explained that when a missionary is re-assigned for whatever reason, the assignment still comes through from the Lord through an apostle, just like the original call. I’m sure there are many who needed to hear this.

He said that “noting affirms the reality of continuing revelation” as much as the process of assigning missionaries.

He then continued by talking about the importance of focusing equally on preparation for Priesthood, Temple and Mission. We too often focus on mission, when learning and gaining strength from the priesthood and temple could make for a better missionary. (Sorry, lots of paraphrasing going on here.)

Huge focus on staying worth for all three areas.


Presiding Bishop Gerald Causee spoke about priesthood training. He spoke of his lifetime of learning in the priesthood and made two interesting points:

-The role of the Aaronic Priesthood is to prepare the way for the Melchizedek Priesthood’s role.

-The MP should turn to our AP brothers and invite them to participate with us.

Great quote: “Two often we try to entertain our young men and relegate them to the spectator role.”  Can I get a big AMEN?


• Odd that we sang all four verses of the rest hymn, but they didn’t show the words on the screen. My youngest was lost after were one.


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf was the story man tonight. He told a great story about not being invited to the Madrid, Spain Temple Open House, even though he was the European Area President at the time. He talked about how he dealt with it.

The second story was along the same lines, but I won’t retell it, other than to say he missed a perfect opportunity to level the place with a “Doody Duty” joke, but he showed great restraint.

The point of the stories? “You can’t get honor in the Kingdom of Heaven by campaigning for it.”

“God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward.”

“When we inhale the praise of others, that will be our compensation.”


• I’ve noticed that there have been a lot of references to the Pauline Epistles today.


President Henry B. Eyring concluded as a second witness about Priesthood service. He started by telling us that he desired to reassure and invigorate us in our Priesthood service.

“If you are feeling a little overwhelmed, take that as a good sign.” (Further proof that men and women are different. I don’t recall that message in Women’s Conference.)

The main focus was to remind us to include Christ in our service. He told several stories from his life about how inspiration guided his service.

Three points:

  • “God will notice and support even the youngest Deacon.”
  • “The Lord’s work is not just to solve problems, but to build people. Sometimes the most effective system is not the Lord’s system.” (That is good stuff right there.)
  • “Walking with the Savior in the Priesthood will change how you look at people.”

The Savior was able to see Peter “The Rock” within Peter the impulsive fisherman.

“Develop the ability to help people see themselves the way the Savior sees them.”


• I will admit that I missed some parts of President Eyring’s talk because of a remarkable distraction – maybe I’ll tell the story next Sunday.

• Great Session. 90 minutes and out.

• Have a good sleep! It is all true! Every bit of it!




  1. The lack of song words on the screen has been a bad change this Conference! I noticed it in Women’s Conference last week and have hated it every session. I hope they bring song words back ASAP. Thanks for sharing your observations.

    • I noticed the lack of hymn lyrics too and chalked it up to technical difficulties. But as I’ve thought more about it, it makes sense that they’re not putting the English words on the broadcast for an international audience, especially if some places are already receiving subtitles either for the hearing impaired or another language.

    • I asked my brother in law who is an AV guy for the church and he said it was a conscious decision to be sensitive and inclusive to the world wide church. I guess there is only one video feed despite 70+ language audio translations. So it didn’t make sense to watch the broadcast in Swahili and see English lyrics. I guess we’ll have to have hymn books ready or memorize the hymns like our African brothers and sisters.

      • That was the only reason I could think of – with so many platforms now, Facebook, YouTube, etc., you never know where it will be watched. Thanks for checking this out for us!

  2. “The Lord’s work is not just to solve problems, but to build people. Sometimes the most effective system is not the Lord’s system.” (That is good stuff right there.)
    I will have to hear this talk. This comment piqued my interest.
    Thanks for your notes. (Even if you’re a meany and won’t share what the distraction was.)

  3. Thank you for your notes. I love to gather other’s insights and thoughts on conference. I tried to listen to PH session, but with a loud 2 year old grandson…it was hard. It was so nice to read your notes, and know that I did catch quiet a bit more than I thought.

  4. If I remember correctly from President Eyring’s talk, I believe the operative word wasn’t ‘effective’; rather, it was ‘efficient’.

    There may be a more efficient way for a program to be done and an adult can plan whatever, but then a growth opportunity is missed for the youth who could have gained valuable experience. I loved the emphasis how that the Lord is interested in building people and not solely planning the most efficient activity. What a great message!

  5. Every Sunday, I remind my Deacon’s Quorum President to “invite” the MP to participate in their activities. I love it when the General Authorities back me up!

  6. “It is all true! Every bit of it!” 🙂

    I always think of the Gospel of Jesus Christ when I watch the scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens where Han Solo says,

    “I used to wonder about that myself. Thought it was a bunch of mumbo-jumbo. A magical power holding together good and evil, the dark side and the light. Crazy thing is… it’s true. The Force. The Jedi… All of it… It’s all true.”

    …Crazy thing is… It’s true. The Spirit. The living prophets. All of it… It’s all true.

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)