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.
• This is kind of weird: For the first time in my life, I am watching the Priesthood Session from home – but I would rather not be. Both my boys who could attend with me are not feeling well, so going to the tradition of heading to the Stake Center and then out for Mexican food has been replaced by watching in the living room and ordering pizza.
• On the plus side, I will get this posted a lot earlier tonight. (But I would rather maintain our tradition.)
• I wonder if it would be humanly possible to sing “Secret Prayer” slower than the choir did, without members of the choir dying of old age before they reach the last verse.
Elder Dale G. Renlund: Rockets! With groovy animation. “The Priesthood is like a rocket, and the opportunity to benefit from the Savior’s atoning power is similar to the payload the rocket delivers.”
Ah! The priesthood is the delivery vehicle to deliver access to the atonement. (This could go LOTS of direction.)
“Priesthood is not an amorphous source of autonomous power.” (Yes! No man taketh this honor unto himself…Hebrews 5:4)
“We have the priesthood so that we can help Heavenly Father’s children be relieved of the burden of sin and become like Him.” (That’s the payload.)
Gotta keep the rocket flight-worthy: “Being casual or apathetic in a priesthood calling is like introducing material fatigue into a rocket component.”
Nice explanation of the Oath & Covenant of the Priesthood: God makes the Oath, Man makes the Covenant.
What we need to do:
- Keep the commandments
- Make and keep priesthood covenants
Elder David F. Evans spoke on finding answers and testimonies.
“If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one.”
It is interesting how often he uses the word “patient” in discussing how to find truth. A struggle for many of us.
“To know truth, we need to live the gospel and experiment on the word.” (An allusion to Alma 32:27)
• I got distracted: I got a message that Monty Hall died today. I wonder if he is trying to make a deal.
Elder Richard J. Maynes: Men with integrity of heart are trusted.
“With each decision we make we either merit more of God’s trust, or diminish it.” (I would suggest that it is that way with kids and parents, too.) “One thing is for certain: earning the Lord’s trust is a blessing that comes through great effort on our part.”
Told a terrific story from his youth about his father refusing to work with a slimy businessman. “Once you take a bribe or compromise your integrity, it is very difficult to get it back.”
• No flowers behind the podium – just shiny greenery.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Spiritual Wellness: How to find healing from stagnation and walk a path of vibrant spiritual health. (Awesome!)
“Most of us have experienced times where Heavenly Father seems distant.”
“Sometimes spiritual breakdowns come so gradually that we can scarcely tell what is happening.”
“Just because spiritual trials are real, does not mean that they are incurable. We can heal spiritually.”
He talked about the importance of light in seeing what is important. I always like when the concept of light is discussed in a religious or scientific sense. (It is one of my favorite topics, and I think they are more closely related that we can imagine.)
Jesus is the Light of the World. That light will grow and eventually dispel all darkness.
Spirit=Light=Truth. “For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ.” (D&C 84:45)
“We will find spiritual healing as we step away from the shadows of the world and into the everlasting Light of Christ.”
“The ultimate remedy for spiritual sickness: Darkness vanishes in the presence of light.”
He warned us about getting too comfortable with darkness – we will be less likely to change.
Night is nothing more than a shadow – harkens back to Elder Stevenson – then he referenced the eclipse directly.
If it is dark, it simply means that we are in the wrong place to receive the light.
He went on a tear to list different ways we could find increased light, temple, sacrament, service, etc. Ned to go back and read it. Really good stuff.
“Our young people are seeking light, and they need to hear from you…”
President Henry B. Eyring. Primer on how Christ leads His Church.
“My purpose tonight is to build your faith, that God directs you in your service to him, and even more importantly, my purpose is to build your faith that the Lord is inspiring the imperfect persons he has called as your leaders.”
He talked about how when a Bishop gets called, he gets called to serve people who know him well – warts and all – knowing there are probably other people who could do the job better. (Been there, done that.)
“The Lord sees his servants perfectly. He sees their potential and their future. He knows how their very nature can be changed. He also knows how they can be changed by their experiences with the people they serve.”
Told the best joke of the conference. You’re gonna have to look it up.
I love how President Eyring gets choked up when he speaks, which he does almost every time.
He quoted James E. Faust: “Every member of this Church may receive counsel from a bishop or a branch president, a stake or a mission president, and the President of the Church and his associates. None of these brethren asked for his calling. None is perfect. Yet they are the servants of the Lord, called by Him through those entitled to inspiration. Those called, sustained, and set apart are entitled to our sustaining support.” (link)
Told the story about Brigham Young calling out the other church leaders when they were trying to mutiny against the prophet Joseph.
“I bear you my solemn and yet joyful witness that the Lord Jesus Christ is at the helm. He leads His Church and His servants.” I believe him.
• My Nudge List is already pretty long, and we have another day…
• Have a great night. Back tomorrow, same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.