Saturday, March 31, 2012

Live-Blogging April 2012 LDS Conference - Saturday A.M.

We're settled in. I was up early enough to transcribe a few pages of 2nd-Great-Grandpa Wood's journal, then the neighbor called. My wife, bless her (!?), had mentioned to a sister of an older couple I home teach that we needed to get our small garden plot roto-tilled and she offered up her husband to teach my 18-year-old boy who had helped on his roof this last summer. But the neighbor called me this morning and not sure whether he really wanted my boy on his machine, I said I was happy to borrow it and get it done this morning before conference. So, I went over there and he showed me the basics on the old, large-size tiller and I rolled it over and got it done. It was sort of like wrestling an ox. Well, I haven't ever done that, but I was looking for some pioneer analogy.

So having done my exercise, good turn, and "honey-do" task to the point of my wife actually apologizing for getting me into it (and I was gracious and didn't complain), I am finally in the big chair to watch conference.

Keep clicking for my updates, but you don't have to rely on me, conference is better direct at this link.
President Uchtdorf conducting.

President Thomas S. Monson
Distinguished speaker story who looked left, looked right, looked at audience and departed. He guesses he'd better not do that.
He expresses love and purpose to meet to strengthen each other and to learn. Some seeking answers. Some are struggling with disappointments. All can be uplifted. May each of us resolve to live anew. Oppose evil wherever found. We can't be together under one roof but we have all the technology to come together as one. All of one faith and one doctrine and purpose.
No cause, no force can stop the work of God - it will go forward - Prophet Joseph's words "no unhallowed hand - persecutions - mobs - calumnies but it will go forth boldly, nobly -every continent.
Much that is challenging - much that is good in world today - quotes 13th Article of Faith.
Thanks for our faith and devotion - care and love one to another - thanks for service in local units.
Thanks for prayers in his behalf.
Many messages will be shared - those who address us have sought heaven's help. Our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us. May we be filled with his spirit in this conference.

President Boyd K. Packer
Not looking too well.
Story of an orphan beggar seen from a train. He felt so helpless when the train pulled away.
Some years later in a sacrament meeting in Cuzco, Peru with Elder Tuttle. Another ragged little boy appeared in a doorway and saw the sacrament bread. A woman banished him out to the night. The boy came in again and Elder Packer gathered him in his arms. Pres. Kimball later told him that he was holding a nation in his lap. Pres. Packer has looked for that little boy in the faces of those he visits in Latin America.
Story about a boy with no coat in Salt Lake City. Pres. Packer offers prayers for those who have no warmth.
Military service in Japan at the end of WWII. He saw a little girl who had found some beauty in a tree leaf. She was the beauty left in the world.
Story of missionaries in the mountains of the South. A little boy had drowned. The preacher gave no comfort and scolded them for not having him baptized. Told them their boy had gone to hell and it was their fault. The elders approached the grieving parents, as servants of the Lord we have brought a message for you. Sympathy for the preacher with some light and knowledge but the fullness of the gospel brings greater blessings.
All these children are our Heavenly Father's
Creation of life is important to our Heavenly Father. Meant that children have two parents, father and a mother.
Story of a woman with a history of abortion and the empty place in her children.
The Atonement can erase this pain. Not easy, but life is not meant to be either easy or fair.
Another young couple who could not have children of their own. Surprised when he told them they were fortunate because they were better off than those capable and did not have children.
Singleness is temporary state - in the eternities righteous longing will be fulfilled.
Ultimate end of all activity in church is to see husband, wife and children happy at home sealed together by the priesthood blessings.
Great discovery of parenthood is that we learn more from our children than we do from our parents.
Jesus called the little children and said to be like the little child "the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven" Matt. 18:4 "suffer the little children." Mark 10:14
Book of Mormon visit of Christ he commanded children brought and Jesus stood in midst and multitude gave way and he commanded them to kneel. He prayed and blessed the children one by one and he wept again.
Pres. Packer understands the feelings towards children
He is number 10 in a family of 11 children. His parents did not have prominent church callings but they fulfilled their primary duty as good parents.
Hopes to be judged as good a man as his father. He hopes to hear "well don" from his earthly as well as his heavenly father.
It may be because his father was less active that he was called into the Quorum of Twelve.
Leaders must make church family friendly.
Too often we have too many new programs, activities burdening families. Show devotion to your families.
In raising their family, twice they had two little boys who doctors believed would not live, they were willing to give up their own lives for them and understood better the Lord's sacrifice.
When you hold a new child you understand what the whole purpose of the Lord's plan is.

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin 2nd Counselor, Primary
She talks about children as heritage of the Lord. Sacred responsibility as parents.
Teach children to understand basic doctrines repentance, Holy Ghost, baptism D&C 68:25
role of Holy Ghost is to carry truth to hearts of men. Parents are to create atmosphere to receive that spirit
Story about child and prayer.
Teach in the context of what the child is experience in normal flow of family life. Recognize the teaching moments.
Best learning in atmosphere of warmth and love.
She first learned to pray listening to her parents. Every morning without fail they knelt before breakfast.

Elder Donald L. Hallstrom Presidency of the Seventy
Church and Gospel are not the same but they are inextricably linked together and we need them both.
[true that]
Mission of the Savior. The Church was established by the Savior for his purposes. The Lord restored this church in the latter days. This is His church. Led by apostolic prophetic representatives. Nothing like this church in all the world.
His family lived in a small house on the property of the Honolulu Tabernacle. He explored every inch of that place including swinging on banyan tree vines.
Talks about old-time comings and goings of Sunday meetings and busy days of church.
He had a sense there was something even more. Went to a meeting when he saw President David O McKay and felt the influence of the Holy Spirit "Who's on the Lord's side, who?" He wanted to stand and say "I am!"
Activity in the church is not enough. it is an outward expression of our desire. The things of the gospel are less visible and more difficult to measure but of much greater eternal importance. repentance, covenants. The purpose of the church is to help us live the gospel.
How can people go inactive? Perhaps, they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel
Three things:
1. Deepen our understanding of Diety. - sustained knowledge and love of God, Jesus and Holy Ghost.
2. Focus on ordinances and covenants. Any essential ordinances yet to be done, focus on them. Then live faithful to covenants using weekly gift of the sacrament.
3. Unite the gospel with the church. Concentrating on the gospel the church will become more and not less a blessing in our lives.
Lord wants members of his church to be fully committed to the gospel.

Choir & Congregation: "How Firm a Foundation" (but not the 7th, or best verse)

Elder Paul Koelliker
Concern of elders for the people they were teaching in their work. He could envision them in a few years with young families and church responsibilities and how the missionary experience is a template for that.
Lehi  and his sons. His two eldest Laman and Lemuel murmuring. How do we deal with our children or others?
Nephi having great desires to know mysteries of God - he cried unto Him and He did visit and he did not rebel like his brothers.
June of 1831, Joseph Smith told that Satan is abroad in the land. To combat we would receive a pattern in all things. A pattern, a template help us not to be distracted and led away.
When we live the gospel in the pattern taught by Jesus Christ, our ability to help others increases.
[So, once again, we live the gospel and are effective? It's all about how we do things? Yep.]
Story of mean guy and missionaries and their gospel-living response touched him.
One pattern of this doctrine is to "endure to the end"
Ultimate means by which we can enjoy the influence of the Holy Ghost. Following Jesus - love one another.
To love the Lord is not just counsel it is a commandment -Pres. Hinckley
Talked about his temple marriage. He had only begun to see the love and how that has grown with all his family. No end to the expansive capacity to love.
It's all about the love (Heavenly Father's)
Because of the heaven-designed plan of the family we understand better how God loves us.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the important thing
prefigured by ancient sacrifice of animals
Christ's sacrifice as a pure lamb to cover our sins.
That sacrifice is at the center of the plan of Salvation.
Sacrifice still important in the gospel plan- offer a sacrifice unto him a broken heart and contrite spirit
And to love and serve one another - sacrifice our own time and interests to the benefit of others.
The Christian Faith has a history of sacrifice. Rome martyred thousands. Later years religious wars - Christians killed by other Christians are the most tragic markers of faith.
Sacrifice of Catholic orders and protestant missionaries devoting entire lives.
Mormon pioneers -
[my wife came in late from buying Cocoa Krispies on sale (yay!) and running into ward members she needed to visit with]
Symbols of our Christian Faith are the lives of our members - Pres. Hinckley
No professionally trained or salaried clergy.
Home teachers and visiting teaching - no other organization does this.
Work of our missionaries
Sacrifice of young Brazilian working to support his siblings after parents did. He accepted missionary call and a 16-year-old brother took over responsibility to work to support the family.
How do you persuade young and old for missionary service? Knowing what the Savior sacrificed it is a privilege to make a small sacrifice in His service.
How do we persuade? We just ask them.
Young foreign convert who recognized with Pres. Hinckley he would sacrifice all when he went home and was rejected.
Temple service - like monastic service - Pres. Monson told story about father on Pacific island worked six years to afford to take his family to New Zealand Temple. No sacrifice too great.
Appreciates service of LDS members.
Followers of Christ deny themselves lose your life for His sake and find it.
Sacrifice in families - adopting children and special needs.
A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all thing does not have the power to save. (Lectures on Faith)

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor, First Presidency
President Kimball prayed for mountains to climb and challenges.
So, Pres. Eyring prayed for a challenge and he was blessed with the hardest challenge of his life. He had proof that God answers his prayer but he had a tutorial in how great blessings come from adversity. The adversity now seems tiny compared to what he has experienced since.
Many of you are suffering now from adversity.
Cites Joseph in Liberty Jail D&C 122 - know thou, my son, that all these things shall give the experience and shall be for thy good. - Fear not what man can do for God shall be with you for ever and ever.
No answer for why trials come other than the words of the Lord
We should out of faith in Him repent -  or suffer as he has D&C 19.
Faith to rise through and above trials is to believe in the balm in Gilead and that the Lord will not forsake us.
Pres. Monson has taught that foundation of faith in reality of promises takes time to build. If faith not embedded, the power to endure will crumble.
Tests still will come to all of us.
As a young man he worked building foundations for buildings in the hot summer. Hard work and waiting for the pours to cure before taking away the forms. And the time consuming process of metal bars in the form to give it strength.
We must carefully prepare the ground of our foundation of faith. Personal integrity - choosing the right consistently creates the solid ground under our faith. Begins in childhood with spirit of Christ.
The forms are the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The curing takes time but does not come automatically. it is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony into enduring strength.
Trouble can be your way to strengthen and gain unshakable faith.
Acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it Alma 32. Faith is things hoped for and not seen. Ye see no witness until after a trial of your faith. Ether 12:6.
Ye may also have hope and be partakers of the gift if ye have faith.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Moroni 7:37  - miracles by faith.
Story of woman exercising forgiveness by faith.
Never too late to strengthen the foundation of faith.
Cannot promise an end to adversity in this life.
Adversities seem to make clocks slow down. Heavenly Father and His Son want us to live in families with them.
Talks about his mother suffering in death - God wanted her to be polished by the Lord -Pres. Kimball said. Pres. Eyring worries what is in store for him as she was such a good woman.
We are never alone in the Lords service. He has promised angels on the left and on the right. D&C 84:88

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