Here we are. I was at a high school marching band competition yesterday, so my apologies for not being able to live-blog. In other words, I spent a week in Herriman yesterday. Or maybe it was a whole winter because it was cold! And I had to give my jacket to my boy who was in shorts and t-shirt when he took off his band uniform. This is a serious conference distraction (as it was yesterday), but you can see the video I put up on YouTube:
"Music & the Spoken Word" message this a.m. is to avoid modern popularity but stay with what is wise, tested & true. And that's why I'm a Democrat in Utah!
Pres. Uchtdorf conducting this morning. You can watch conference live at lds.org and on Mormon Channel YouTube
President Henry B. Eyring on Marriage & Family - How to choose happiness in family life
Whatever our differences there is but one plan of happiness - to follow the commandments of God.
One commandment above others - applicable to all relationships
"Which is the greatest Commandment?" - Love the Lord thy God - Second is like unto it - Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
What choices help us love God? Story about baptizing someone in Albuquerque who whispered in his ear - "I'm clean! I'm clean"
The Lord will give you the assurance of his forgiveness.
Serve in the church. Serve others.
His father worked in New Jersey and his mother was separated from her family. Then he had a chance to move back to Utah. He turned it down because he forgot the promise he made to his wife that they would move closer to family.
Some of Heavenly Father's children choose sin and unhappiness - that's why he sent his son to be the Redeemer.
Life will test us - it will strengthen us to pass through tests.
Pres. George Q. Cannon quote about God's love and his desire to save us all - we may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes and those of others but not in God's eyes.
Prays for human angels to come - God has devised means for each of us. God has placed us with a brother, sister or grandmother or someone who loves us unconditionally.
Story of Grandson who seemed to have destroyed his life - answer to prayer was that he was given to her to love him no matter what he did.
We cannot force God's children to choose the plan of happiness.
The Savior paid the price of ALL sins no matter how heinous
Alma to son Corianton - Alma 42 Mercy & Justice.
Message to his grandchildren is that there is joy guaranteed for the faithful.
With the help of the Holy Ghost all truth can come to us. We cannot force it on others.
Elder Dallen H. Oaks - Quorum of the Twelve
10 Commandments fundamental to Christian and Jewish Faith
1st- no other Gods before me.
Love the Lord thy God (as Pres. Eyring said)
2nd - no graven image. Don't bow down or serve them.
He's a jealous God. (possessing sensitive and deep feelings) Shows mercy to those who follow commandments.
False Gods. Other priorities. Political Correctness, Power prominence prestige, (and I lost most of them) The problem is not these things necessarily but what is our ultimate priority which should be to love him and keep his commandments.
God's plan - the great plan of salvation - the great plan of Happiness
Where we came from, why we're here, where we're going.
If we don't give priority to God's plan we are not following God
Talking about families - family relationship - marriage of man & a woman - only this marriage will provide approved setting for mortal birth and to prepare families for eternal life - part of God's plan
Ultimate treasures on earth and in heaven are our children and posterity
We grieve at sharply declining numbers of birth and marriage in Christian and Jewish heritage countries.
Threatens cultures and nations. Stats follow
Pursuit of a career instead of family is choice of many women
Role of father diminishing (2 & 3 - I think I missed 1)
Salvation free for all men - none are forbidden [scripture]
We have to be charitable and loving to all men
We have to respect all even those who express NO belief in God - we hope others are respectful to us.
We believe that as an essential part of plan is eternal standard - no sex except man & woman married.
Power to create mortal life is great power - for families - not misuse
Emphasis of Law of Chastity is that all use of power of reproduction outside of marriage is sinful to one degree or another.
Many persons in other affiliations agree with us.
This explains why we are distressed with so many children (41%) born out of marriage.
Many couples in cohabitation - proceeds 60% of marriages.
teenagers think kids out of wedlock OK
Societal pressures - same gender marriages - eternal perspective does not allow us to condone or find justification in laws that permit them - because our policies follow God's rules.
Art. of Faith 12 - Man's laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral - we look to his law for his standard of behavior
We don't commit adultery or fornication even if it's legal or participate in same-sex marriage.
In this determination we may be misunderstood and suffer persecution, etc.
1st priority is to serve God - push our personal handcarts forward with same fortitude as pioneers.
Quoting somebody - Courage not compromise brings smile of God's approval (he means compromise on religious principles not on political).
Don't aspire to honors of men - priority is to serve God.
Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women Pres.
[sorry, no disrespect intended - but I gotta eat breakfast - actually brunch, I guess, because I had breakfast hours ago and my boys just fried up some sausages.]
Richard Maynes of the Seventy
Challenges - spiritual strength will help us endure.
Cross-country story. -takes training
How do we get testimonies in shape - can't do it just by watching conference! [no, we have to blog it]
You must become the rock the river cannot wash away.
Not immunity from death but victory over it - Elder, later Pres. Anthony W. Ivins
Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve
Met with youth from Idaho - told them to learn to really on Atonement of Jesus Christ - most important thing
Alma converting Anti-Nephi-Lehis - righteous example in conversion laying down arms
People of Ammon - Nephites protected them but their armies wore down - Helaman told them not to break their covenant with the Lord - but the sons were not guilty of the same sins and had not made the covenant.
Striplings! Took their fathers' place in defending home. Fathers wept for sorrows that they would not be able to defend their families.
He who has repented - the same is forgiven and Lord remembers them no more. D&C
So, why counseled not to defend families?
We can be cleansed and become virtuous - but sometimes there are long term consequences. -Bear the short and long term consequences of our sins. Satan could take advantage of our vulnerabilities. Avoid enticements.
Even after years of faithful living they had to protect themselves spiritually to any attraction to the past memory of sins.
Captain Moroni fortifications of defenses. Fortify the weak areas to create strength.
The Lord sees weaknesses differently than he sees rebellion [!!]
We he speaks of weaknesses it is always with mercy.
By following prophet leader they did not give Satan a chance to lead away their souls.
Savior was able to protect them from their weaknesses.
End of the story illuminates how the mercy of the Lord made weak things become strong - fierce battles, all some injury - but not one was lost.
Repent of any rebellion - D&C 1 Lord cannot look upon sin with least degree of allowance
Many of us have allowed weakness to develop but like the Ammonites we can develop spiritual protections.
1. Sincere, thorough & complete repentance. - repentance is not punishment - hope filled path.
Make covenants & receive ordinances & provide them to others in the temple
Share the gospel with others.
Serve in callings particularly home & visiting teaching - acts of kindness show how much you care
Serve members of your own family - spiritual development of spouse & children - give freely of your time
Fill your life with service to others - Satan's temptations lose power in your life.
President Thomas S. Monson
one of the most inspiring sessions of any general conference - everything has been of the greatest and most spiritual nature
6 months ago - his wife was in the hospital from a devastating fall. In May she slipped into eternity - her loss has been profound - married since 1948 - tomorrow would have been 65th anniversary - the love of his life - confidant - closest friend - missing her does not convey depth of his feeling - 50 years since call as apostle by Pres. McKay. Countless are the sacrifices his companion made so he could fulfill his calling. She was an angel indeed. Wishes to express thanks to tremendous outpouring of love. cards, letters, contributions in her name. Deep gratitude.
most comforting has been his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - she lives still - separation temporary - sealed in the Temple of God - bound on earth as in heaven.
No person has ever lived entirely free of sorrow - nor is there any period in history that was not difficult
We feel disappointment - we join in Biblical plea "is there no balm in Gilead?"
We become impatient.
The difficulties that come is the real test of our ability to endure
Shall I falter or shall I finish?
Some do falter.
To finish involves enduring to very end of life itself - Job "man is born unto trouble" test that could have destroyed anyone. urged to curse God and die.
"Behold my witnesses in heaven . . .- I know that my Redeemer liveth!"
Others have passed the same way.
We can face our challenges
From the bed of pain from the pillow filled with tears we are lifted heavenward
"I will not fail thee nor forsake thee"
Come to know many things - sadness and suffering are universal - cannot measure all the heartache and sorrow he has witnessed.
The list goes on and on with countless problems that can befall us.
Challenges - thinks of Br. Brims [?] his Sunday School teacher in his youth. his granddaughter reached his 105th birthday - he meets with family each Sunday and conveys gospel message. He said he would die this week please call Tommy Monson - he will no what to do. He had lost his hearing and sight. Family communicated by tracing their names on his hand. He followed the procedure and spelled T O M M Y M O N S O N. Bro. placed Pres. Monson's hands on his own head for blessing - tears and grasped hands.
He could still feel and share the spirit - "Thank you. Heavenly Father has been good to me" he passed away within a week.
Our Heavenly Father knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we learn and grow and face and survive the trials through which we pass.
We may be tested to our limits - but it allows us to change our lives for the better - better than what we were - more understanding, empathetic, stronger testimonies - this should be our purpose to persevere and endure and become more spiritual.
Poet "Good timber does not grow with ease - the stronger the wind, the stronger the trees . . . . "
"In trees and in men good timbers grow"
"Come unto me and I will give you rest - take on my yoke - I am meek and lowly - my yoke is easy and burden is light"
Whether best of times or worst of times - he is with us.
We should not have to face troubles before we turn to him.
We must pray and listen to Him every day.
We truly need Him every hour.
"I will not fail thee nor forsake thee"
Testimony that God lives and loves us. Only begotten Son lived and died for us. Gospel is penetrating light through the darkness of our lives.