Sunday, April 5, 2015

Live-Blogging LDS General Conference - Easter Morning - 2015

Conference is always best when it comes at Easter. For live-broadcast and past conferences, go to Here I will take some notes and make a few comments for my own and to share with any who would like to read.

I re-posted on Facebook one of the Easter poems of my distant cousin, Henry Vaughan.

The Choir was good this morning. There will be more Easter Hymns in conference.

The house is quiet. Married kids are off with in-laws to regather here for second session and Easter dinner after. Well, my youngest is not with in-laws but his girlfriend's family. She's a sweet girl and plans to go on a mission herself a year from now. I realized last evening when she was here that the song from the band my boy started (SoupStuf now available on iTunes) named "Summer Hair" is about her. I hadn't noticed how long her hair is. I guess it kind of embarrassed her when I announced the connection. My boy wrote that song.

Yep, the Choir sings "He is Risen" one of my faves. I just saw the guy in the choir who is a mortician outside his volunteerism in the Choir. That's a good connection.

I am also reminded on Henry Vaughan's twin, Thomas, who was a bit of an alchemist with a very religious strain. His words that clearly relate to Easter:
O Christ Jesus! Light and life of the world: Son of God, Son and Redeemer of Mankind: Draw me, after Thee: We shall run! Amen!
We shall run, indeed!

President Monson
He gives Easter greetings. Still very animated as he was last night.
Talks about Temples
announces 3 new ones. Ivory Coast, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and Bangkok, Thailand !!!
[It never ceases to amaze and surprise]
Feeling of peace in the Temples shielded from the outside influences of the world
Such Peace can permeate any heart, those that are in trouble, struggle, and yearning for help.
Missionary met in Temple discouraged because of waiting for visa sent to another mission. He himself was stricken with an illness and took leave. He recovered and went back to the same troubled mission [where missionaries were goofing off]. Another young man prompted to speak to the troubled missionary. "I felt impressed that I needed to talk to you" the missionary poured out his heart. Landon had just returned from a mission and talked about his experiences and challenges. The troubled missionary was inspired. His prayer in the Celestial Room had been answered. When asked where Landon had served, it was the very mission the missionary would serve in.
The humble prayer of a sincere heart had been heard.
We will have temptations, trials and troubles
If we go to the Temple we will be better prepared and will find peace there.
No blessing more precious that his eternal sealing to his wife.

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom General Primary President
[She's the one who has worked with Linda on Cub Scouts and remains while counselor was released]
Story of young woman with spirit of inquiry - questions grew harder and so did the answers. Then there were no answers. Some counseled "just lean on my faith"
She was willing to extend respect to those who had faith and needed then to do it for her.
Her ward was not a place to put on a perfect faith but on helping - [more on being false]
She read book about Mother Theresa and her own struggle with doubts.
"Ask our Lord to give me courage"
The path may not always be clear at once, pray for light, it may take some time.
"You have enough"
If Mother Theresa could do her religious work with doubts, she thought she could
She wanted temple marriages for her children and that's when belief came back into her heart.
With questions of how the Book of Mormon came to be, she could not deny the truth of what was in the Book of Mormon.
Believe in God, Believe that he is, that he has all power and that man cannot comprehend all things [Isaiah in the BoM]
She got calling to Primary pianist. She could accept the simple things and feel clarity.
Answers come when we earnestly seek and keep the commandments.
Pres. Uchtdorf - we are all pilgrims on a journey of faith.
We may wonder if He is really there. And those simple assurances come.

Elder José A. Texeira of the Seventy
[Brazilian speaking in very good English]
The Lord said "Seek me in every thought . . . doubt not"
We have resources to deepen our appreciation of eternal life
"Abide in me and I in you" Fruit on the Vine
Troubles and trials come - abiding in Christ and blessings can continue through tribulations.

[My expecting daughter just came with her husband]

simple behaviors - Mobile data, smart phones, etc. can remove us from a life filled with everlasting joy. Make good choices and priorities.
Three habits
1. Visit Church official page often for resources [check]
2. Subscribe to Church's official media sources. [check if Fam Hist counts]
3. Make time to set aside your mobile devices [check]
Life is not confined to a 4" screen.

Elder Geráld Causée of the Seventy
Book of Mormon period like ours - the time just before the Savior arrived - the people began to forget the signs and wonders
1. Never tire of discovering or rediscovering the truths of the gospel. Like first time reading a scripture that spoke to us. First time felt the Holy Ghost
2. [?] Christ-centered
3. Seek and cherish the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Never to anything to risk the loss of this companionship

Elder Brent H. Nielson of the Seventy
Leave the ninety-and-nine and seek after the lost one
The woman who sweeps for lost silver
Parable of Prodigal Son - The father let him go - Then demonstrates sincere love- watches and waits.
He had a sister who left the church.
Her sister's choices were breaking their mother's heart.
Our persistent efforts to rescue and invite her back pushed her farther away. They had to let her go.
name in temple, included in family gatherings, love, and respect. Created family events to bring them in and celebrated with her accomplishments.
We watched and we waited.
When he was to be ordained a Seventy, we thought it was time for Susan to come back. Invited her to watch that session of conference. She came to herself.
She let go of the iron rod and found herself in darkness. She didn't realize it until she came back.

All of us fall short. All of us get lost and need to be found. We are all like the prodigal son.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Council of the Twelve
without safety ropes, climbing gear or harnesses of any kind, two brothers attempted to scale a sheer cliff in Snow Canyon.
One brother saved another
Today is Easter Sunday - we promise to always remember in Sacrament
This is the most sacred day of the year with brotherly arms to save us.
Gratitude for the Atonement and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ
It is unfashionable in society at large to speak of Adam and Eve and Fall
There's no way to truly celebrate Christmas and Easter without understanding there was an actual Adam and Eve.
I don't know what happened on the planet before them. But there was an Adam & Eve who lived in a state with no death and that they left to have children and to suffer the fall and spiritual death.
Because we were born in that world we faced the same "free-fall" of Adam and Eve to death
Is that the end of our purpose in life? Needing something to grip with nothing to save  us?
Is our only purpose in life an empty existential exercise to hang on and then to fail and fall forever.
All is done in the wisdom of He who knows all things.
Anticipating Adam and Eve sent angels of heaven to teach that this was all for our divine joy
Another Adam to atone for the first Adam
Complete and unconditional conquest of death
And forgiveness of sins of all conditioned on repentance and obedience
Jesus of Nazareth was and is the Savior of the world. The last Adam. The Alpha and Omega.
So as in Adam all die,
Adam fell that man may be 2 Nephi 2
Jacob - resurrection must come by reason of the Fall.
We celebrate the gift of victory over every sin, discouragement, fear
To say nothing of resurrection
Available because of what happened more than 2k years before.
Under His own power He rose from death.
He shed His own burial linen.
The most consequential moment ever demonstrated in the history of this world
Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, suffered and died and rose from death so he could grasp us as we fell, held us with his might, and lifted us to the Father.
He still extends unending Grace with pierced palms and wrists.
A nail driven cross and an empty garden tomb.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor of the First Presidency
Easter Sunday greetings. Thanks Pres. Monson for Temple announcements
Easter most glorious day in the history of the world
Death has not sting. The death has no victory. Satan has no lasting power
And we are begotten again to a lively hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ
We often of the Savior's Atonement = but as we preach we must never lose our sense of awe and eternal gratitude for the sacrifice of the son of God. It cannot become common place - it is sacred and it is holy. He brought salvation to all those who would believe in Him.
Tried to understand with his finite human mind and can't understand it except for love.
The Grace of God - the Divine assistance to help us from flawed  humans into eternal beings
Grace often misunderstood
Grace unlocks the gates of heaven and opens the windows of heaven
Everyone of us is unworthy to return to God's presence.
We cannot earn our way into heaven
The demands of justice stand as a barrier
The plan of mercy appeases the demands of justice so that man may have faith unto repentance
our sins tho as scarlet can become white as snow
A ransom for all. The gate is unlocked.
Grace does not merely restore us to allow salvation. That alone does not fulfill the Father's aim for us
With Grace, the path of discipleship leads upwards to be like him - exaltation in His kingdom surrounded by our loved ones.
all that the Father hath shall be given to us.
We need more than an unlocked gate - we must enter through with a change so dramatic it is described as being Born Again.
Grace opens the windows of heaven
through which God pours out blessings of power and strength
how we can overcome the undercurrents and quicksands of the deceiver
Though we all have weaknesses we can overcome them
Weak things can become strong
Blessings and spiritual gifts to enrich our lives - Grace refines us
Simon the Pharisee - regularly checked of his to do list of requirements
But when Jesus was with Simon the sinner woman washed Jesus's feet
He must not be a prophet to let her touch her
2 debtors the one who loved Him the most - She
Are we confident and comfortable in our good deeds? impatient of those not living up to our standards? Attending our meetings? Yawning during Sunday School?
Do we love much?
Do we understand our indebtedness to God - when we pray is it to rehearse our greatest hist of accomplishments or are we humbled before Him
Thinking we can achieve by works and not Grace is like buying a ticket and owning the plane
We obey the commandments of love out of LOVE FOR HIM
understanding Grace gives us all the more reason to do what he commands
It makes us like him and leads back to His presence.
Obedience to God comes out of our generous love and wanting to be like Him
Living faithfully is not a burden. It is a joyful rehearsal for the eternities.
Grace is a gift of God and  our efforts are to reach out for it.
Nephi - We labor to teach - we know it is by Grace we are saved after all we can do
We misinterpret
"After" does not equal "because"
Does God wait until we have done all before He can give Grace?
Even Nephi - my soul grieveth because of my iniquities. 2 Nephi 4
Believe in Christ and be reconciled to God. - That is all we can do
God's Grace is available to all whose hearts and broken and hearts contrite

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