Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday afternoon session

Saturday afternoon—time for everyone to relax, since we’re on a glide path to done.

As always for these, these are ordered bottom-to-top, with the first speaker at the bottom of the post and each succeeding speaker higher up.

Closing thoughts
  • The internet video feed from the church continues to improve. This is the first time we didn’t have to drop to an audio-only feed due to video-feed issues, and even momentary hiccups were pretty rare.
  • Lots of love for the MoTab tenors in the arrangements in the final session.
  • No new temples announced.
  • In fact, no big news at all.
  • And no mention of pornography—that’s gotta be a first in how many years?

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Great, great, great Freudian slip: If you see conflict in your family, “I urge you to sell ’em—settle them…”
  • A general closing of the sort he usually gives, with a little bit of an extended riff on not being contentious.
  • Also, this will make no sense without the video feed, but what was that…thing he did with his hand?

Neil L. Andersen (of the quorum of apostles)
  • (Did i get the spelling of his name right this time?)
  • He’s giving an interesting wrap-up, making sure to tie stuff in to previous speakers’ themes.
  • “Discipleship is not a competition.”
  • “We may not be at our very best every day, but if we are trying” we’ll be okay.
  • God makes up for what we can’t do ourselves.
  • A straight-up statement that there are non-Mormon disciples of Christ!

Paul B. Pieper (of the quorums of the seventy)
  • We need to remember times we get spiritual inspiration.
  • He said we have to be careful not to attribute spiritual inspiration to things like reason or intuition. My question: Can't reason or intuition be the result of spiritual inspiration? Where’s the problem?
  • We should keep a record of divine inspiration we receive.
  • “The opposite of sacred is profane, or secular.” Um, i don’t think that secular actually means what you think it means.

David F. Evans (of the quorums of seventy)
  • The growth of the church begins within our own families.
  • Every one of us has the responsibility to share the gospel. Question: How is this different from the responsibility to share the gospel that the book of Doctrine and Covenants says is inherent in holding the Melchizedek priesthood?
  • We can’t just hearken back to the glory days of our full-time missions, we have to share the gospel now.
  • Alpine German-speaking Mission represent! (That’s my old since-renamed mission.)
  • Sharing the gospel should be “natural and normal”.

Larry Y. Wilson (of the quorums of the seventy)
  • Controlling other people is a Bad Thing.
  • Interesting reason for unrighteous dominion being bad: It makes people feel incompetent.
  • “Wise parents prepare their children to get along without them.”
  • We need to allow children to make their own decisions, and learn their own lessons.
  • Question: We have lots of stories about deciding whether to play in sporting events on Sundays. Why don’t we get as much hand-wringing over, say, musical events, or cooking big meals for family gatherings, or…?

O. Vincent Haleck (of the quorums of seventy)
  • Another general authority with a non-member father!
  • God has a vision of what we can become, even if nobody else (including ourselves) can see it.
  • As we figure out the way God sees us, we will become better people.

M. Russell Ballard (of the quorum of apostles)
  • He has a cell phone—that’s gotta be a pretty closely-guarded phone number.
  • “Today we live in a time when much of this world has lost its way.” I fear that many in the church are going to remember that as “Today we live in a time when this world has lost its way”, and there’s an important difference.
  • Is he preaching a prosperity gospel?!?
  • So commitment leads to prosperity? I suspect the sort of commitment he’s talking about is a very specific one, but it goes beyond commitment to marriage, and i can’t figure out its boundaries.
  • Those married in the temple have better marriages, and are better off temporally. I’m curious if i see the causation here the same as he sees it.
  • This is the closest we’ve gotten to the “everybody get married right away” that it feels like we’ve heard over and over and over the past few conferences.

L. Tom Perry (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Some of you wouldn’t believe how much discussion online there is of the general authorities’ ties and their changes between sessions. L. Tom Perry appears to have been reading those threads.
  • And L. Tom Perry fills in for Dieter F. Uchtdorf with the airplane reference!
  • God has power to deliver.
  • Nice exegesis, really.
  • Alma’s people were delivered because they were “peaceful and righteous”. Nice to have peace endorsed along with righteousness.
  • ”Neither the Bible nor the Book of Mormon in and of themselves are sufficient”, though each is necessary. I like that.
  • The Book of Mormon: “It’s a great book”, in great part because of its harmony with the Bible. Interesting reason, really.

W. Craig Zwick (of the quorums of seventy), opening prayer (hope i got the right name)
  • Never mind my comment on the closing prayer of the last session—i think we’ve got our longest prayer right here.

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