Saturday, October 6, 2012

Live-Blogging LDS General Conference - Saturday AM - AND Press Conference on Change to Missionary Age

Here we go! [Big announcement with Pres. Monson and notes of Press Conference with Elders Nelson & Oaks below]

[don't forget live-broadcast, recordings, transcripts - eventually are all at right here]

Keep checking back as we'll keep updating.

Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy will be released into Emeritus status. There is a wonderful write-up by Peggy Fletcher Stack at the SL Trib.

How Firm a Foundation with 7th verse ending - slowed down. Yes, that means something.

President Monson  (right out of the box!)
Worried that there are still a few seats empty in the back but its filling up.
When he hears the choir or any music, he thinks of his mother. Her only regret is that he didn't stay with the piano. Big chuckle. He wishes he had.
Welcome. 3 new temples since last conference, 1 rededicated. Celebration on Kansas City. Manaus. Rededication of Buenos Aires. Brigham City   139 in operation 27 more announced or under construction.
two more temples. Tucson, AZ and Aricuiba Arequipa, Peru. [thanks Michael B.]
Missionary work - 18-year-old missionaries in some countries - ALL young men. All worthy young men who graduate from high school can serve a mission at AGE 18. Not all young men will or should. based on individual circumstances. This option is now available. AND ALL YOUNG WOMEN AT AGE 19. Not under same mandate as young men. They make a valuable contribution and we welcome their service.
Still need many more senior missionaries.

Well, that's some news.

Elder Quentin L. Cook - He went on a mission as 20 year old when they changed the rules to allow 19 year old.
[We're fielding calls from our kids - actually texts - one who is 15 - the other, who is an 18-yr-old freshman at BYU - and then my mom]
OK Elder Cook has been talking about Alma and sins and stuff.
No neutral ground between good and evil once you join the church.
Arms of mercy extend to those who repent - Alma
violence and sexual sins most serious - [that's an interesting shift] Famly Proclamation against domestic abuse.
Kindness and civility begins in homes. Decline incivility in public relates to decline of families.
Sexual immorality will cause a spiritual drought and loss of commitment.
Pornography plague in this day. 15-yr-old informed him how easy this is to access. In society most other sins are recognized as no good for you. But there is no such warning in society about pornography or sexual immorality.
Religious observance in the home is the only way we can fulfill our responsibilities to teach our children. places of refuge. Parents must have courage to monitor and filter. They must say "no" and bear powerful testimony with truth. Spiritual maturity must flourish in our homes. Moral issues must be addressed in the family. Even before youth graduate from Primary it is not too early.
Through repentance you can qualify for all the blessings of heaven.
No good acts can compensate for failure in these areas.
Not cool to try to hard some say - please do not fall into this trap.
Commitment to be strong and immovable - story of Eric Little in 1924 Olympics (This is the Chariots of Fire story) scripture from Isaiah about run and not be weary.
We will win a much more important race with spirituality.
Remember it is never to late to use the power of the Atonement to save us from sin.
though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as wool. Isaiah 1:18

Sister Ann Monson Dibb - Young Women's Presidency (Pres. Monson's daughter)
Meets young woman in store wearing a t-shirt "I'm a Mormon. Are U?" She figured she was from out of state.
Not afraid. Let the world know.
I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power unto salvation. - Apostle Paul Romans 1:16
It is individual - It is the process of a life time.
Can we focus on what matters most?
I Know It.
Do we actively seek to find answers to our questions through scriptures and the prophets? Do we seek confirmation by the Spirit?
Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness - knowledge is the power of God unto salvation - Joseph Smith [?]
As our gospel knowledge increases, we can feel confident.
I Live It
No matter who may or who may not be watching.
We will all make mistakes and sin but through our Savior's redeeming sacrifice we can be made clean again.
I Love It
Gaining a knowledge of the gospel of Christ leads many members to exclaim "I love the Gospel!"
Comes by witness of the Holy Ghost.
As we show we are willing to obey and follow.
Humility and submission to the will of God. Not my will but thine be done - as the Savior in the garden.

Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Seventy
Temple should be focus of our life - President Hunter
Tells of open house of Bountiful Temple and his small son Ban who felt the Spirit. The boy said he felt something he had never felt before. He taught his son about the Holy Ghost.
Holy Ghost is the 3rd member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit.
Primary purpose is to testify of the Father and the Son and to confirm all truth. Has the power to conduct truth greater even that personal contact with Heavenly Beings.
He is the comforter to help us and teach us the peaceable themes.
The Holy Ghost is a teacher - witness of the Truth.
Inspires us to reach out to others in service.
Pres. Monson said in our responsibilities we will be blessed and as we heed promptings the Lord can serve someone through us.
President Monson visiting a Sister Watson in the hospital. Lady in next bed covered her head. He heard a prompting to go approach the other lady and pull the sheet off her face. She was also a member of his ward. Her name was Kathleen McKee. She was disappointed that he came to see the other sister when she had been praying for him to come. But he said Heavenly Father knew and prompted him to come intrude.
Spiritual prompting "I had a feeling" this can indicate what God wants us to do.
In teaching son Ben he taught the difference between feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost different than receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost - we receive additional blessings leading to sanctification.
Experience taught him to become as a little child to feel the Spirit.

Elder Shayne M. Bowen of the Seventy
Served as missionary in Chile. Story of teaching Ramirez family. Issue of infant baptism came up. Moroni 8.
She had a baby boy who had died and Priest had told her that since she hadn't had him baptized he would be in limbo for all eternity. She felt the spirit of the Elder's words confirming the doctrine was true that infants need no baptism.
He would like to speak to those who have lost a child and asked "why me?"
He would like to help restore faith in God.
He had a son born, Tyson. Everyone in the family loved him. When 8 months old he aspirated a piece of chalk. They administered CPR and called 911. But the baby didn't make it. They entered the room where Tyson lay. He seemed to have a celestial glow around his body. But they felt their world had come to an end. How could they go explain to the other children that their baby brother would not be coming home.
He felt as if he were in a bad dream. For many nights he didn't sleep. Wandered house making sure other children were safe. He felt so guilty he felt dirty. Sometimes even today those feelings creep in and he has to get rid of them because they can be destructive.
He counseled with a church leader. The Lord would not want you to punish yourself for the death of his little boy.
But he continued to be tormented. He became angry with those trying to comfort. Self pity can be very debilitating. Guilt, anger and self pity beginning to destroy him
But he took it to the Lord and was comforted. He knows that this life is transitory the spirit world is real.
You will never completely get over it until you are together with your loved ones.
Spirit and body are eternal and when separated man cannot receive a fullness of joy. - Prophet Joseph Smith.
We love deeply and eternally and feel sorrow - blessing of God.
Because of Savior Jesus Christ our feelings of despair will one day be swallowed up in joy.
"Because I live, ye shall live also" John 14:19
All can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We with our loved ones will come forth from the grave and we will have a fullness of joy.

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve
Every worthy able young man should prepare to serve a mission. For young sisters a mission is a welcome option but not a responsibility and for older couples it is an invitation.
Missionaries support themselves with their own savings. All serve with a soul hope of making life better for other people. It will shape the destiny of the missionary, spouse, and posterity for generations to come.
Many are listening not members who want to learn about us.
We appreciate all that is good and true and want to add more.
Our missionaries set aside all on hold because of deep desire to serve the Lord.
Some serve in more mature years of life. In his own family 8 are currently serving 3 daughters, their husbands, one grandson, one granddaughter.
Why are we called Mormons? It is a nickname from the Book of Mormon.
We are the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A restoration of Jesus Christ's original church. His church lost priesthood authority and fell away from full truth. Jesus commissioned his apostles to go into all the world. Today we have modern apostles and prophets who give the same charge to missionaries to go throughout the world.
Take the fullness of the gospel abroad and spread the gospel everywhere.
They share the good news that will bring true joy and everlasting happiness.
They preach of Jesus Christ and his atonement
They preach of the restoration of Christ's primitive church through the Prophet Joseph Smith
Don't fear the missionaries, they can be a blessing to you.
Story of Jerry - the son of Protestant ministers. One day a friend shared her story as a single mother. She confessed she was thinking of taking her own life. Jerry tried to help her understand her life had value. He took her to his church but she said she had given up on God. He prayed what to do and heard the impression "stop the boys on the bikes" stunned by looking up and seeing them, he watched them ride by. After going by he yelled at them. Jerry said it may sound weird but I was prompted to stop the boys on the bikes. "Can you help me?" He explained the plight of his friend Priscilla. The missionaries met with her, her children and Jerry. They grew in faith through prayer, study of the BoM, and association with members.
Jerry's faith in God drew stronger. Priscilla's despair turned into hope.
Missionaries can help in many ways.
Some might want to know more about their ancestors. Ask the missionaries, they can help you.
Some of you are missionaries and not actively participating. The missionaries can help you. They would love to bring the joy of the gospel back into your life.
Some may struggle with addiction or other problems. Ask the missionaries, they can help you.
Some may feel that life is busy and frenetic and feel an emptiness. Ask the missionaries, they can help you. They can help you learn about the true purpose of life and where you are going after death.
If you have concerns about your family. Ask the missionaries, they can help you. Families can be together forever. Ask them how this is possible.
Truth comes a scientific laboratory or the Spirit of God - we seek after it all.
Many of you have a deep desire to help people in need. Anyone can join with us to help the need. Ask the missionaries, they can help you.
If you want to know more about life after death, Jesus Christ and his atonement, ask the missionaries, they can help you.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor, First Presidency
We are all mortal. I hope this does not come as a surprise.
None of us will be on earth very long - it's a blink of an eye. Then we depart and our spirits are taken home to the God who gave us life.
When we are young it seems we will live for ever. We think there is a limitless supply of sunrises. However, the older we get, the more we tend to look back and marvel how short it is [sigh]
We begin to think about the choices. We remember many sweet moments and also remember the regrets. The things we wish we could go back and change.
A nurse who cares for the terminally ill if they have any regrets. Clarity comes at the end. They opened their hearts. If only they could turn back. The foundational principles of the gospel can affect us.
The defining principles are straightforward they can definitely help us avoid future regret.
Most frequent regret was not spending more time with those they loved. Especially with men too involved in work. We often wear our business as a badge of honor as though that were a sign of a valuable life.
He doesn't see President Monson being busy but ministering to people.
It is easy to pretend to spend time with others. With a click of a mouse we can connect with friends without ever having to face any of them [heh, heh].
It's not enough to connect by linking humorous pictures or the internet. How much time are we willing to spend on it if we don't give time to those most important around us. Spend meaningful time together and creating treasured memories.
Another regret was failing to become the person they intended to be. I'm not speaking of climbing the ladder of success in our professions. That ladder barely makes a single step in our eternal climb.
We enter this world "trailing clouds of glory" Wordsworth. [See also, Vaughan]
Would it not be wiser to lay up treasures in heaven? How do we do this?
Follow the example of our Savior. By truly loving our fellow man. Can't do it looking at our watch and our feet. It's like the boy who dipped his toe in the water and claimed he went swimming. Good intentions are not enough - we must do. Declaring testimony is good, but being a living example is better. Being faithful to sacred covenants is better. Announcing more time for family prayer is good, but actually doing will bring heavenly blessings.
Discipleship is a pursuit for holiness and happiness.
Heavenly Father will reveal to us and illuminate the path
Another regret - they wish they had allowed themselves to be happier.
External circumstances don't determine our happiness, we are responsible to determine it.
He and his wife love to bike. They don't keep track of how far or how fast. Occasionally, he thinks they should be a bit more competitive. Sometimes he makes the mistake of mentioning this to his wonderful wife. She always responds. It's not a race, it's a journey. Enjoy the moment.
Sometimes we become so focused on the finish line we fail to enjoy the journey.
Doesn't it seem foolish to fail to enjoy the experience because we are waiting for it to end?
Do we only enjoy music at the final note?
Happiness was already available all the time - not just at the end.
Life was not made to be appreciated only at the retrospect.
There is something in each day to cherish bring gratitude and joy.
"One sees clearly only with the heart" [from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry]
The Lord has promised he who receives all things with thankfulness - and all things shall be added to him even a hundredfold.
Have we not reason to rejoice? Let us resolve to be happy regardless of our circumstance.
One day we will look back - it would be good to make some resolutions today.
Spend more time with those we love. Strive to be the person God wants us to be. Find happiness regardless of our circumstances.
Follow the Savior today. We can't change the past but we can repent. His atonement can erase sins allow us to move forward. To do and become better.
Our spirit will continue to live and one day be united with our resurrected body. Because of Christ we will all live again. We will rejoice "the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ"
Our destiny as sons and daughters of God is an eternal one.
We cannot take for granted one single day.
Don't wait til you are ready to die to learn how to live.

Carol Mikita is standing by at LDS Church HQ for a press conference. Apparently on the change for missionary service. [If I can make it through the LDS oriented TV ads]  But for some reason, KSL TV isn't showing it. We're just going on to the LDS World in Review.

Now KSL goes to the LDS News Conference. Elder Nelson and Elder Holland are addressing.

Elder Nelson - All able and worthy young men who have graduated from high school at age 18 may be recommended for missionary service. And young women at age 19. "This is an option" to allow more young men and young women to serve. We are accelerating mandate to go into all the world. We are not suggesting that all young men will or should serve at 18. Many may still serve at 19 or older. Young women may serve at 19 or older or not at all. None should begin before they are ready. Schooling, family circumstances, worthiness, health are are important in determining timing. Young 18-year-olds serving in other countries have been very successful.

Elder Holland - "bordering on the giddy" He's ready to go. It's been a thrill to participate in the review of this matter. He serves with Elder Nelson in church's missionary committee. This has been studied and prayed over and they have experienced "revelatory power."  How big is this going to be? We don't know. This new option will be exercised by many. But it will be steady over several months. We'll know better following high school graduation next Spring. Parents may be anxious - not the only ones surprised. Not even all the GA's knew (only First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve) or the mission presidents or church school administrators, so there will be all kinds of questions. Prospective missionaries will be asked to enhance and improve preparation - total personal worthiness supplemented by gospel study especially Book of Mormon and study of "Preach My Gospel" Time at MTC will be reduced by 1/3. They will be hiring staff at MTC and add to construction. Housing in community? Do not anticipate constructing any new MTC's but may expand existing. Improved prep of missionary & technology before entering will allow larger numbers on into the future. 12 week training course in missions by mission presidents has already been implemented. Are we going to create new missions? Yes. but they will do it in a systematic and methodical way. Our existing 347 missions will add more. This means that God is hastening his work and needs more missionaries. This isn't about you but about the sweet message you are to bear. We want you teaching effectively from the first day onward. That requires preparation and help from parents. May be recommended 120 days before 18th birthday. You may enter missionary service after 18th birthday. This is an option. Missionary service remains a priesthood duty of young men. All physically and emotionally able should serve. We do not express this for young women in exactly the same way. Those who do serve are enthusiastically successful. This is an option for young women. Difference in age? There is some value in having some difference in age based on experience of interaction with missionaries and better when the young women are older. (Gets emotional about those who are unable to serve) - breaks the heart - these are also on the team. No one man ever affected more by a mission than he was. He loves missionaries.

Questions: ABC-4 - last time for change to age was in late 40s early 50s. - E. Holland - I'm not that old! Why now? E. Holland - the work is hastening. Our numbers are up but we have lots of places still waiting for missions. There is a hastening it seems providential and wise.

American Chronicle: Is there an upper age for young people to serve? He knows of one that is 25. We have not made any similar adjustment. Young men, age 18-25 (to be called). For sisters no established upper age.

E. Nelson says service is up 6% for young men, 12% for young women 18% for seniors

BYU: Impacts? E. Holland - still working it out.

Carol Mikita, KSL - impact on young missionaries in other countries - E. Nelson - there are some conditions about educational cycles or military requirements.

Church News: - Young women - won't they miss RS experience? E. Holland confused. CN Sister: YW don't have same experience as Priesthood. E. Holland - as part of pre-mission prep everyone needs to work earlier and  more. E. Nelson - when young women get done with missions they'll

Channel 2: Takes effect when? E. Holland - immediately. A young man graduated from high school can put his papers in.

Peggy Stack SL Tribune: Why not extend amount of time served by YW? E. Holland - good question. We did review this. One miracle at a time. Let's deal with the age now, nothing off the table. Take it a step at a time. Have you considered impact on state's sports teams? laughter. But we think they'll get back sooner and be better. Freshman class of all young women? No idea - we'll have to ask Pres. Samuelson.

[I wish someone would ask if this has anything to do with Mitt Romney "going to become President" and more attention to the church so they could answer "no." I'm pretty sure this idea will "go forth" among the Mormon urban legend crowd. Sorry to mention it hoping I don't start it.]

BYU Idaho - new manuals? E. Nelson - I think we have all we need. Will Seminary be required now? - E. Holland - only high school graduation.

[My 21-year-old daughter just said that it would make it easier to wait for a missionary or for both to go out at the same time before marriage - I will not go farther into her particular situation]


  1. Arequipa is the city in Peru. I served in the Trujillo Peru mission from 2005-2007 and we felt that a new temple would come to either the Trujillo mission or the Arequipa mission. (and it was announced a few years ago for Trujillo). That's so exciting for yet another temple in Peru!! Love that country!

    1. Thanks! I gave you attribution on the correction above.

  2. Thanks for the liveblog! This is great!

  3. This means that if #5 goes this summer, and #6 goes when he is 18, they could potentially miss each other and not see the other for 4 years....weird... (I forgot the 'code names' for those two...)

  4. Awesome! I am running kids around and so can't watch today! So glad I found this to stay up to date with!

  5. With twins, I will have three out for six months, if the twins go at their earliest chance. Good tax breaks I guess. ;-)

    Truly, my kids were so happy, especially the identical twins, now going they can be 19 year-old proselytizing missionaries in India. (One of their grandfather's is from India. My son is still hoping for a mission where most of it is answering questions on the Internet.)

  6. With twins, I will have three out for six months, if the twins go at their earliest chance. Good tax breaks I guess. ;-)

    Truly, my kids were so happy, especially the identical twins, now going they can be 19 year-old proselytizing missionaries in India. (One of their grandfather's is from India. My son is still hoping for a mission where most of it is answering questions on the Internet.)


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