As usual General conference was filled with great uplifting talks and thoughts. Here’s a recap of Today’s conference talks:
President Monson started by talking about the Cultural Celebration and Gilbert Temple dedication. He talked about the many more temples being built, but also said there were no plans to announce any new temples; suggesting that there may not be any more until the current temples are completed.
Elder Holland talked about the challenges that we face in this world, and gave encouragement for us to be courageous with our faith, but to also be courteous to others. On Twitter #elderholland was trending nationally despite saying things that are not very trendy today.
Elder Rasband spoke of a visit to Oklahoma after a devastating tornado occurred in the area. He talked about the service that was given in the aftermath, and quoting the scripture “When you have done it unto the least of these ye have done it unto me” – D&C 42:38, Mathew 25:45
Elder Amador focused on the simple life and amazing mission of Jesus Christ. Amador mentioned how Christ has atoned for our sins and took upon him our illnesses and our sickness to know how to succor us.
Sister Reeves talked about the sacred nature of marriage relationships and how it has been corrupted through pornography. She emphasized the importance of putting up barriers to this plague, but that he best filter is a strong testimony and belief in the gospel.
Elder Anderson touch on the often touchy subject of same sex attraction. He pointed out that changes in the legal definition of marriage does not change God’s laws.
President Eyring gave a wonderful talk about choosing the right, and how righteous choices don’t always immediately result in reward, just as evil choices can sometimes take time before the negative affects can be seen.
Saturday afternoon we were treated by a wonderful combined choir from Institutes in Orem, Utah.
President Uchtdorf presented the Church leaders for sustaining.
The statistical report showed over 15 million members and growing, 83,000 full time missionaries, 142 operational temples, with many more being built, and much more.
Elder Nelson beat President Uchtdorf to an airplane metaphor where he talked of a fellow passenger who was in fear due to turbulence, and tied that to his theme of Faith being the antidote for fear. Religion was defined as being tied back to something, and the question was presented about what it is that we tie ourselves back to.
Elder Scott talked of his mother and how she and his grandmother were great examples to him and his father in bringing them into the Church. He further explained about how our examples can have great impacts on others. He stated that loving others is a powerful foundation for influencing those you want to help.
Elder Hales admonished us to not practice selective obedience to God’s commandments. His talk on obedience was a very clear and pointed call to repentance. He defined selective obedience as claiming to love and honor God while picking and choosing which of His commandments to follow. He said we all need to aim for Self-Mastery to gain confidence, eternal happiness and a sense of fulfillment. He also said that the commandment to not kill includes the unborn.
Elder Zivic started out with a piano metaphor and suggested that we all should have the a great desire to love and practice the Gospel. He continued his talk with a metaphor on following the right path.
Elder Zwick start off talking about a trucking experience with his wife and baby that may get him the silent treatment from his wife. His theme was about how we communicate and encouraged us to not use harsh words or to allow misunderstandings sever our most important relationships.
Elder Cook talked of temple work, and our genealogy. He encouraged us to get our family trees in order, and that baptism for the dead is very essential to not only the salvation of our ancestors, but your own as well. He noted that 85% of Church members live within 200 miles of a temple. With 28 more in the building process it’s no wonder that President Monson said they have no new temples to announce.
Priesthood session had some familiar themes about being better priesthood holders, respecting women, and the usual scolding about pornography being bad.
Elder Oaks set the record straight on the roll of both men and women in the Church, in the priesthood, and in the home. While each has separate duties, they are both equal, and both have roles to play within the priesthood. He made it very clear: while men hold the priesthood to perform priesthood service and ordinances, they are not the priesthood; while women do not hold the priesthood many of the things women do to serve in the Church are very much a part of the priesthood. Both benefit equally from the priesthood. He also mentioned that not all priesthood keys have been restored (including keys of creation and resurrection), and admonished us to forget our rights, and focus on our obligations.
Elder Hallstrom talked about the great advances he’s seen in technology in his lifetime, and pointed out that it allows for great advancements in sharing the gospel, and to improve ourselves. He gave one of my favorite talks so far, pointing out something that is a theme of this web-site: we must believe we can change to improve our selves. If we say that’s just the way I am, we will are giving up on the chance to improve our selves. “Who we are is not who we can become.”
Elder Ridd did a little play on words saying the young generation is a choice generation because we have so many more choices to choose from then ever before. He talked about how every click we make on the internet helps to further define who we are. It can help bring out both the best, and the worst that is in the world today. The web-sites we visit are a reflection of our desires, and posed the question for us to ponder what it is that our heart desires. He also said that using a smart phone does not make you smart; rather it’s how we use it, or what we use it for, that can help us or hurt us.
President Uchtdorf created a metaphor between Rip Van Winkel sleeping through the U.S.A. revolution and us sleeping through the on-going restoration of the gospel. He made it clear that we are not yet done restoring the gospel and bringing it to the whole earth. He gave three things we should avoid: Selfishness; Addictions (during which he finally got around to his airplane story); and giving a half-hearted effort.
President Eyring talked about his childhood baseball hero Joe DiMaggio, and went on to explain that we need to have good heroes who will help us on our path. We should copy what we admire most in our heroes, such as following Jesus’ example. He said to have a pattern of prayer, a habit of service, and rock-hard honesty.
President Monson’s talk was focused on being courageous in a world where sin is flagrantly on display. He cautioned us that we will almost certainly be required to defend our beliefs, despite them being entirely unpopular. He said to be the same person in the dark as we are in the light, to stand up for what is right in all circumstances and situations. Not all acts of courage are spectacular, but they all bring peace of mind; even if they cause us to loose popularity. Great conflicts will come and go, but the war over our souls continues unabated.