General Conference: Sat pm

Lunch run. I had to eat. And then my hands were full with food, so I didn’t get a chance to sit down until partway through the first talk.

Elder Robert D Hales
Poor use of agency can lead to loss of agency
Christ exercised his agency to act, continuing until the end “It is finished”
Chains of sin and death were broken through Christ’s choice to be our Savior
Job chose to be faithful, Mary & Joseph chose to flee to Egypt, Joseph Smith chose to heed God’s counsel
When we don’t keep commandments and follow promptings, our abilities to act and progress are diminished
Cain’s spiritual progress stopped when he chose to kill Abel
Disobedience paints us into a corner – we become captive to our choices
Despite being spiritually stuck there is always a way back
Following Word of Wisdom frees us from captivity of poor health
Staying out of debt enables us to have opportunities to help others financially and temporally
We liberate others from darkness by sharing the gospel, which allows them to walk in the light
Righteous exercise of agency always makes a difference in the opportunities we have to progress eternally
Do we hearken with exactness to voice of the Lord and His prophets, or practice selective obedience?
If you’re held captive by sin, come back; trust in the Atonement

Elder Quentin L Cook
By the light of Christ all mankind may know good from evil
Freedom and light have never been easy to attain or maintain
We must do our best to preserve light and protect families and communities from assault on morality
Onslaught of evil forces are particular threat to the family
We would be wise to black out lethal bombs that destroy spiritual growth and development (pornography, tv, websites)
If we don’t, devastating moral explosions may shatter the peace of righteous living
We need to increase religious observance in the home
Introduce content that is praiseworthy, virtuous, holy – shelter us from evil
Be source of light in protecting communities
“A time of plenty and an age of doubt”
How can we promote values to help abate descent into violence and evil?
Common moral foundation transcends theological differences
Majority of people are still respectful of basic moral values
Power and influence of evil people is large despite being small in number
Many leaders reject Judeo-Christian moral view of the world, no preference given to moral goals
Light of Christ informs conscience of all people (distinct from Holy Ghost)
Pres Packer “source of inspiration which each of us possesses in common with all other members of the human family”
Common for lesser part of people to desire that which is not right
If voice of people chooses iniquity, the judgment of God will come
Religious faith is store of light, knowledge, wisdom that benefits society
Engage in moral conduct because we feel accountable to God
A of F #13 We believe in being honest
Religion is critically important to democracy – abide by rules and practices that promote democratic ideals
Role of religion in treating all mankind as brothers and sisters (made in image and likeness of God)
Support people of character and integrity to help re-establish values that will benefit society
Don’t expect views to be automatically accepted, but ask for review based on merits
Live and proclaim gospel principles and moral values to be a force for righteousness

Richard C Edgley (Presiding Bishopric)
Reality of restoration of gospel continues to be challenged
Confusion, doubt, and pessimism can result from attacks on church
We choose how to react to challenges against gospel principles
Our choice should be faith, which requires effort
“Come unto me and knock, and it shall be given unto you”
Choose faith over doubt, fear, the unknown, pessimism
Awake, arouse, experiment, exercise, desire, work, plant – Alma’s talk on faith uses action words
We must seek after and develop faith
Responsible for our own faith or lack of faith
There are many things we don’t know; some matters are “mysteries of heaven” and we know what is important
Plain and simple gospel truths have been revealed for us
Choose to awake and arouse your faculties, humbly approaching the Lord to find truth
“If any man will do his will, he will know of the doctrine”
Faith needs constant nourishment through prayer, scripture study, application of doctrine
Difficult times are sometimes in reality the best of times when we have faith

[ Choir: Lord, I would follow thee ]

Elder Kevin R Duncan
Early Saints in Utah had hard time believing that this was really the place (me too)
Protection in this life comes from trusting the prophets of God
We have blessing of being led by a living prophet
The Lord will reward our obedience when we heed the words of His prophet
Many in the world have advice for us and it’s easy to rely on “the arm of the flesh”
The answers we need come through the prophet
We can learn what the Lord wants us to know about almost every subject

(diaper change)

Elder Gong
We bless generations when we become fellow Saints in the gospel
Temple blessings and ordinances make it possible for individuals and families to return to heaven

(naptime)


General Conference: Sat am

I was stretched out on the couch (in all my pregnant uncomfortableness) and using my iPod to take notes, and made it all the way to Elder Costa’s talk before I accidentally hit the Home button and lost everything. Oops. Switching to the Romgi’s laptop now…thanks ‘sposita for the live blogging idea! I actually feel like I’m paying attention now! (It helps that the Bwun is off playing with the twins instead of clamoring after me.)

[ Choir + congregation: Put your shoulder to the wheel ]

David M McConkie (Sunday School general presidency)
All those who are called to teach – the “how” of learning
Can be significant difference between what teachers says/what student learns
“What matters most in learning is attitude – the attitude of the teacher.”
Teachers love students, want them to share experiences
Attitude is caught, not taught
Basic gospel teaching principles
1. Immerse yourselves in the scriptures
Develop daily scripture study habits separate from lesson preparation
Become acquainted with the Lord’s voice
2. Apply in your life the things you learn
“Keep my commandments with all your might, mind, and strength”
3. Seek heaven’s help
Even if you use right techniques, real learning will not take place without the Spirit
Responsibility of teacher is to awaken desire in students to live the gospel
Pray for inspiration how to help each individual student
If you earnestly search scriptures, keep commandments, pray for class, Holy Ghost will be your companion
4. Exercise our agency and act without delay to spiritual promptings
Listen for still small voice
Wise men and women listen and obey promptings
Sweetest, most gratifying experiences as teacher come when you submit to will of the Lord

D Todd Christofferson
“Life offers you two precious gifts. One is time. The other, freedom of choice – the freedom to buy with your time what you will.” – Man’s Search for Happiness
Our life on earth is a stewardship of time and choices, granted by our Creator
Law of consecration is application of celestial law
Set apart, dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes
True success comes in consecrating our lives to God’s purposes, allowing us to rise to our highest destiny
1. Purity
We can become guiltless and spotless through the Atonement
Consecration means repentance
Desire for correction; acceptance of all the God may desire – putting off the natural man
Promise the enduring presence of the Spirit
Elder Roberts “The man who so walks in the light and wisdom and power of God will, at the last, … make the light and wisdom and power of God his won, linking himself forever to God and God to him.”
2. Labor
God himself is glorified by His work
Mortal existence is designed to require nearly constant exertion
By work we sustain and enrich life
Enables us to survive disappointments and tragedies of life
Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth
Consecrated life is filled with work which improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, inspires
Kind word for leisure: wholesome recreation is friend and steadying companion of work
Entertainment should enrich and further consecrate one’s life
3. Physical body
Divine creation in image of God
Each spirit receives body and learns to exercise agency through mortal experience
Some lives will be brief; some bodies will be malformed, broken, or nearly inadequate
Acknowledge we have duty to God with respect to our bodies
“Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you”
Do not deface (tattoos), debilitate (drugs), defile (adultery)
Use powers of body to further the work of God
Living sacrifice
4. Service
Christ humbly washed disciples’ feet shortly before Atonement
“The servant is not greater than his lord”
Quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good
Pres Monson has cultivated listening ear to discern whisper of spirit; always responds to promptings
5. Integrity
Couples who dedicate themselves to marital fidelity
Integrity is not naivete; naivete is to suppose that we are not accountable to God
We will stand before God and be judged of our works
Consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of others, but will turn cheek, give cloak
Honor is the rich soil in which the seed of faith thrives
Strength and serenity of consecrated life “yieldeth much precious fruit”
Consecrate ourselves as sons and daughters of God

[ Choir: Tell me the stories of Jesus ]

Pres Dieter F Uchtdorf
Examine tree rings to make educated guesses about climate change
Turbulence caused by sudden change in air movement
When pilots encounter turbulence, optimal speed will minimize turbulence (reduce speed, not increase)
Same principle applies to speed bumps – slow down a little
It may seem logical but easy to ignore in our own lives
When stress levels rise or tragedy appears, we attempt to rush our pace
Modern life characterized by ever-increasing rate regardless of turbulence or obstacles
It’s easy to be busy or feel self-worth depends on length of to do list
Unnecessarily complicate lives -> diminished joy, too little sense of meaning
Any virtue taken to extreme can become vice
Overscheduling days: milestones become millstones
The wise resist temptation to get caught up in rush of everyday life
Elder Oaks “We have to forgo some good things in order to choose others that are better or best.”
Search for best things leads to foundational principles of gospel
Simple, beautiful truths revealed to us by Heavenly Father provide answers to most complex questions of life
Beauty and clarity come from simplicity
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” -Leonardo da Vinci
We can recognize and appreciate the elegance of God’s wisdom through simplicity of plan of salvation
Become great by mastering fundamentals
Helpful gadgets can become hurtful distractions
Christ’s message: “Come, follow me” (still small voice, not powerful megaphone)
Pure, basic principles of gospel are gateway to truth
Keys to opening windows of heaven; lead us to peace, joy, and understanding
We would do well to slow down a little
Proceed at optimum speed for our circumstances so we can see what matters most – relationships!
Examine our lives to see where we have drifted from “more excellent way”
1. Our relationship with God: He desires our happiness
Open our hearts to influence of Holy Ghost -> lives more stable and secure
Greater peace, joy, fulfillment when we live commandments
Improve relationship by learning of and communicating with Him, repenting of our sins, actively following Christ
Meaningful time spent with Heavenly Father – daily prayer and scripture study – worthy of temple recommend
“Be still and know that I am God”
2. Our relationship with our families
Build deep loving relationships by doing simple things (dinner, FHE, having fun)
Love is T-I-M-E, taking time for each other to create harmony at home
Talk with, not about, each other; establish divine bond through family prayer and worship
3. Our relationship with our fellow men
Be sensitive to needs of others and serve by giving of our time and talents
Watch for people who look troubled or discouraged; spend time listening
4. Our relationship with ourselves
Some people can’t get along with themselves – criticize and belittle until they don’t like themselves
Reduce the rush and get to know yourself better
Ponder truths of restored gospel and discover what they mean for you personally
Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you (divine potential)
Turn to pure doctrinal waters of restored gospel, joyfully partake of simplicity and plainness
Satisfaction comes not from frantic activity but from basic foundational gospel principles

[ Choir: Morning breaks]