Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday morning session

Sunday morning is, as always, the big leagues of general conference—this is the one everybody watches. As a result, the internet feed is being slightly glitch as the church’s servers work to keep up with the load.

As a sidebar, the bloggernacle has been all atwitter with the lack of temple announcements so far. You know, it wasn’t really that long ago that temple announcements were rare, and it was exciting when we got one—how quickly we forget.

So anyway—the beginning of the session is at the bottom of the post, and then it runs from the bottom up, with each speaker’s (or event’s) entries arranged as you might expect. Basically, that means that if you don’t scroll down after this paragraph, you ‘ll be starting with the end of the session.

Didn’t catch the name, closing prayer
  • The “keel of testimony”! Way to prove you were listening when the prophet spoke!
  • Also, i think that was the longest prayer we’ve had at this conference so far.

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Times of crisis make us focus on the important things in our lives.
  • The internet video has gone pixelated here—is that a glitch at our end, or are the servers getting hit hard now that the prophet’s speaking?
  • A perfectly clean house is an ephemeral concern—a sitting prophet actually said so!
  • We have the ability to discover good and evil for ourselves.
  • We enter mortality with “the power to think, to reason, and to achieve”, which gives us the ability to make it through this life safely (in a spiritual sense).
  • The resurrection is real.
  • And anyone can come back to the church if they want to.

D. Todd Christofferson (of the quorum of apostles)
  • We welcome academic-type research on religious things…but (essentially) get to ignore it. Is that actually what he just said?
  • This is all (and i do mean all—it’s a bit repetitive, honestly) about the need for relying on revelation to clarify points of doctrine. I wonder what got his mind whirring along in that direction.
  • The objective is not just consensus, but revelation (which requires the Spirit and reason).
  • A bit on when prophets aren’t actually delivering prophecy. He didn’t give a clear line on how to tell when that happens (just saying that the Spirit tells you doesn’t give a yardstick for weighing competing claims for inspiration), but it’s nice to have a nod to the fact that it happens.
  • A reminder that the core of our doctrine is Jesus and his atonement.
  • And was that the first mention of the word “Easter” in the entire conference?

Julie B. Beck (just released as relief society general president)
  • The relief society has power and authority, and is a vital part of the kingdom of God on the earth.
  • How would this address have been different back when relief society membership was voluntary, rather than a function of sex and age?
  • Preparation for relief society membership should begin long before a girl gets near the age of advancing into it. I’ve heard (anecdotally) lots of people say that there are difficulties for lots and lots of women as they move from the young women program into relief society—is this a reaction to that?
  • Leading relief societies includes expounding the scriptures and such.
  • The women of the church need to be seen as distinct from the rest of the world “in happy ways”. What exactly would those “happy ways” be—and that’s a serious question, ’cause i can’t figure out what that means.
  • One last thought from me on this: Her rhetorical choice to quote only male voices in supporting her view of what the relief society should be is interesting, to say the least.

Ronald A. Rasband (of the Presidency of the seventy)
  • We’ll end up having perfect bodies in the resurrection, even if we had an especially imperfect one in this life.
  • I’m curious what exactly the chromosomal abnormality was that his grandson had.
  • Praise for people who serve those who need it without having to be asked to do it.
  • “Often…‘Let me know if i can help’ is really no help at all.” That’s gonna leave a mark in the morning.

Russell M. Nelson (of the quorum of apostles)
  • So do the GAs draw straws or something to figure out who has to follow Dieter F. Uchtdorf?
  • Is this an exegesis of the Proclamation on the Family?
  • What does he think he is, a doctor or something? (And before i get indignant responses, yes, that was a joke.)
  • We do not need a perfect body to house a perfect(ed) spirit.
  • An open plea to folks speaking in church meetings, but especially in meetings archived in perpetuity: If you don't understand the Big Bang Theory, please don’t mock it, ’kay? As a (social) scientist, such rhetorical turns really annoy me. (Not to mention that it's possible to believe in the big bang and even—gasp and horror!—evolution and still believe that God's in charge.) Okay, end of rant.
  • And now as he continues, he really didn’t need the anti-science turn—it was a throwaway part of the sermon. Why, oh why do people do stuff like that?
  • We get judged on spiritual attributes, not physical ones (or, i think he’s also saying, not our deeds, at least not in the way they’re often thought of by members of our church).

Dieter F. Uchtdorf (of the first presidency)
  • The opening leads to this question: If you were really angry with folks, and a general conference address told you to stop being angry, would you stop being angry or would you figure it must not have been meant for you, since your feelings are justified?
  • “Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable when applied to someone else.” Intense love for that line from me, and i think i heard a rumble (nervous giggling?) from the audience.
  • Those who pass judgment on others are “inexcusable”.
  • We’re required to forgive others, and if we don’t forgive, we’re condemned. This is the kind of call to repentance i really, really like.
  • The requirement to forgive extends to ourselves, even (especially?) when that’s the hardest person to forgive.
  • If you can’t forgive other people, apply the following (and i quote directly): “Stop it!”
  • Quoting a bumper sticker: “Don’t judge me because i sin differently than you.” He’s right, there’s a pretty serious lesson there.
  • This one’s edging past Jeffrey B. Holland’s address as my favorite sermon of the conference so far.
  • A self-test: Do you harbor grudges? Do you gossip (even the truth)? Do you exclude others because of something they’ve done? Do you secretly envy others? Do you wish to harm others? If you answered yes to any of these: Stop it.
  • A thought on that last line: A warning against even true gossip very cleanly undercuts several rationales i’ve heard given for gossiping.
  • Vengeance belongs to God, not us.
  • We’re not perfect, nor are those around us—but even so, we must let go of our grievances.
  • Heaven is filled with those who are forgiven—and who forgive.
  • And…that’s a wrap (and another sermon without a reference to airplanes).

Mormon Tabernacle Choir, opening song
  • You know, purple’s my favorite color, but my eyes are totally not finding the choir’s robes happy.
  • That said, “Praise to the Lord” is one of my three favorite songs in the hymnal, and as much as i’m not a fan of MoTab’s style, they can consistently knock this one out of the park, so i’m happy with that.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency), opening remarks
  • It’s the fourth general session of general conference. That means that priesthood session counts—but none of the meetings before general conference do, including the young women or relief society meetings. This is a consistent way of counting sessions going back at least decades, for what it’s worth.

1 comment:

Jorge said...

Thanks for sharing!!