Saturday, October 1, 2011

LIVE BLOGGING! LDS General Conference Notes: Saturday Afternoon, October 1, 2011


Not totally alone as my married daughter dropped by to get some lunch. Yep, that's right. Actually, she left it here in the fridge from going out last night with her husband. I went outside to mow the lawn for some more Saturday points (even if only self-awarded). I try to save that job for my boys to earn a little money which I'd rather pay than do it myself anyway. But my boys are all busy today and I like to save a few bucks now and than. Besides, I figured I only had to mow the front lawn to keep my good standing in the neighborhood. I just closed the gate to the backyard and one of my boys can earn his pay next week mowing the extra-long back yard.

The highlights this morning were to hear about the new Temples, especially the restoration of the burned-out Provo Tabernacle as a new Temple. What will they call it? They already have a Provo Temple. The Temple in American Fork is named for Mt. Timpanogos. The two in South Jordan, Utah are named for  the Jordan River and Oquirrh Mountain. Maybe Y-Mountain Temple? No, that probably wouldn't work. Also - President Packer on evil, but not end-times - that's actually rather significant. And Pres. Uchtdorf of being of value to the Lord.

Back to Conference:
President Uchtdorf conducting. Maybe they have names to present.

This is a genuine Primary choir with all its fidgeting and off-tune beauty.

Oh, but President Eyring reads the sustaining names. I'm all alone and I raise my hand.

Elder Claudio Costa (Brazilian) released from the Presidency of the 70

Tad R. Callister (isn't he British? [nope - Californian]) sustained as President of the 70

Jon Huntsman's dad released as an Area 70 - Well, that clears up that candidate's path a little.

Elder Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve
Joseph Smith's First Vision - ushered in dispensation and signal event of world history.
Vision of Moroni - then Moroni quoted Malachi - priesthood to be revealed by the hand of Elijah - hearts of the children to the fathers. Two themes Book of Mormon and the role of Malachi in prophesying restoration of all things. Salvation for both the living and the dead.
Mission of Elijah [Hmm. Someone was just blogged on this last night]
power of the key of the fullness of the Melchizedek priesthood - binding both on earth and in heaven.
Elijah appeared on Mt. of Transfiguration to confer these keys and again in the Kirtland Temple Apr. 3, 1836.
Greatest responsibility is to seek after our dead - that is why he sent the Prophet Elijah - (quoting Joseph Smith) This is the establishment, the gathering - saviors on mt. Zion - by building Temples and receiving all ordinances on behalf of our progenitors - this is the chain to bind which fulfills the mission of Elijah. Russell M Nelson said it is a manifestation of the Holy Ghost to inspire family history research.
 they without us cannot be made perfect nor we without them [D&C 128 and Paul somewhere]
Invites young men and women and rising children on spirit of Elijah. Don't think it's just older people.  You need not wait to reach an arbitrary age to assist in this work. [so glad I took my boy to the FHL a couple of weeks ago! - and we've been doing that oral history at my in-laws' family dinners promoted by my wife] Your fingers trained to text and to tweet to advance the work of the Lord - digital "skills" are to be used for this work in the spirit of Elijah. As you respond in faith, your hearts shall turn to the fathers. The blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will be placed in your hearts.
Promises protection against intensifying influences of the adversary!
Parents help your children to learn and experience - do not overly program or provide too much training - have them learn for themselves. Use resources at church website family history for youth.
Parents - you will learn from these youth as they use their skills. They will expend more efforts on their family history than video games, etc.
Storied about youth teaching and enthused about family history.
Family history is not just an interesting church program but a vital part of the plan of salvation.
[Wow! just, Wow!]

Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Twelve
Families and children
Quoting Family Proclomation
Story about family waiting for seventh child.
Standards of church and society formerly similar, now the chasm is growing wider - quote from Pres. Monson [mangled by me]
Importance of having children -
Sensitive issue for those who do not have the opportunity to have children. The bearing of children can also be heartbreaking for childless couples or couples with few children desiring more. Promises faithful members will have all promised blessings in the eternities.
Blessing to receive sons and daughters into our homes.

Ian S. Ardern of the 70 [ New Zealand guy - I could tell the accent wasn't British, but it wasn't quite Aussie either]
Time is a commodity that can't be bought at any store - we all have the same number of minutes and hours to use "Time flies on wings of lightning, we cannot call it back" Proper use of time vs. idleness - don't become a compulsive digital communicator - obsession with constantly checking social communications - specific call out on wasting time with Angry Birds.
Hyrum Page's distraction by a certain stone - ground to dust - [destination of our iPods, etc.?]
Balance family, work and wholesome family activities (quoting Proclamation on the Family)

[slightly distracted after Elder Bednar talking on family history for youth. On the church website, he features prominently for that]

Carl R. Cook of the 70
Meeting with Pres. Monson in elevator "It's better to look up!"
Believe in God, believe that he is - has all power in heaven and in earth.
Most of what we worry about is not of eternal significance. Why is it a challenge to simply look up in our lives? lack of faith? Israelites in the wilderness only had to look up to the serpent to be healed. Quotes Alma.

LeGrand R. Curtis, Jr. of the 70
both big sinners and those who lived good lives need the Redemption of the Lord.
We can't pay back the Savior but it requires our best efforts. We can love Him, though.

D. Todd Christofferson of the Twelve
Followers of Nehor. Then Corihor. Anti-Christ. Challenged Atonement - everyone fared and prospered according to their own abilities. We live in a time of preparation for His Second Coming. Message of Repentance not always welcome. Values, standards, truths are relative is appealing, but . . . doctrines of Corihor and Nehor. Repentance is a divine gift. Points us to freedom, peace. It exists because of the Atonement of Christ.  Repentance is the effort, Grace is the power.

Five aspects:
1. invitation to repent is an expression of love [well, most of the time] invite others, demand of ourselves. Guided by the spirit it is genuine caring.
2. it means desire to change. It takes effort on our part to seek his Grace to compliment and reward our efforts. May require repeated attempts - there is something refining in such striving.
3. committing to obedience. a turning of the heart and will to God. Alma to son "turn to the Lord." Covenant of obedience to Him. Without this covenant, repentance remains incomplete.
4. requires serious of purpose and to persevere even through pain - list of steps isn't enough. True repentance is not superficial. Confess and forsake. Faith in him turns despair into hope.
5. whatever the cost, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness. Quotes Elder Packer on contrasting Mormon Pioneers with the Donner Party and the brightness of the morn after rescue which is like the morn after repentance.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Twelve
Thrilled by new Temples. Especially about Wyoming Temple.
Temple open houses are wonderful events for the visitors. Visitors are impressed by the members.
Church is receiving more attention. Media across the globe. Internet has changed the way people share information [heh, heh] Talking about the Church. We the Mormons are more visible than ever.
Wonderful that so many are so aware. So many still don't understand and promote stereotypes, misinformation and confusion. This has been true since Prophet Joseph Smith. There will always be those who deliberately misrepresent but the vast majority simply want to understand. We have remarkable opportunities. Disabuse the public mind and correct. More importantly we can share who we are. We should do it with same spirit as we have at the Temple open houses.

A few ideas:

1. Must be bold in our declaration of Jesus Christ as the central figure in all human history. Old and New Testaments - the Book of Mormon another witness. He is our Savior and Redeemer. Only through Jesus Christ is salvation possible. Must press forward with steadfastness in Christ [2 Nephi 32]. We declare our belief in Jesus Christ and accept Him as our Savior. We walk by faith in Him

2. Be righteous examples to others. After declaring our beliefs 2 Timothy - in charity, faith, purity, etc. Let your light so shine before men. Our lives should be examples of good works. The light of Christ reflected by our lives.

3. Speak up about the church. Professional and personal associates may inquire, they are interested to know us even if not in the church. Engage in two way conversation. Ask about their beliefs. Gauge level of interest by questions. It's always better for them to ask than for you to tell. Some in the church are afraid to speak - simply remember John "there is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out fear." Check out with member-uploaded info. Our tone when speaking and writing should be civil. Want to avoid becoming defensive or argue in any way.  Today's conversation involves the internet. Use it to share religious belief. You may come across ongoing conversations about the church. Do not hesitate to add your voice. In speaking about the church, do not try to make is sound better than it is. No spin needed. The message will prove itself to those who receive it. There is a wide gulf how we experience it on the inside and those on the outside. Back to Temple open house attitudes. Perfect love casteth out fear.

This is a great time and opportunity to share our beliefs.

[Wow. One of the oldest apostles gets the digital age! Born 1922. Apostle since '74. Very healthy and active too.  I've seen him out for walks downtown SLC. Second in line after President Packer. But then President Monson is five years younger.]

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