Saturday, October 6, 2012

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Priesthood session

So now we have priesthood session, the general session that isn’t.

Anyway, as with the others, scroll to the bottom of the post and read up to get the entries in chronological order.

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Everyone here has at least some level of a testimony.
  • There are many without a testimony who would gladly have one if we would just share ours.
  • People say that women need to be told that they’re beautiful and valued and worthwhile—but men also need such encouragement.
  • Leaders shouldn’t be shy about giving priesthood responsibilities to those who aren’t fully active.
  • I do think that i heard an endorsement there of running prisons as rehabilitative rather than punitive institutions.
  • We need to develop the capacity to see people not as they are, but as they may become.
  • Interesting story of John Groberg bearing his testimony to the King of Tonga.
  • Lots of quotes about the importance of preaching the gospel.
  • We need the tenacity to extend the hand of fellowship again and again and again, and the humility to accept God’s mandate to preach.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)
  • Something like: Everything i’ve experienced in the priesthood has come because individuals saw something in me that i didn’t see in myself.
  • You should help your children recognize their unique gifts and contributions that they can make.
  • No one is detined to fail.
  • Make sure your children (and others you mentor and lead) have a view of what they can accomplish.
  • You can be blessed to recognize the gifts that your children have, and how to help them see them.
  • He gave a really excellent story of hiking with his son, and his son couldn’t make it to the top—and then, when his son asked if he (the son) would be sorry he didn’t make it, Henry B. Eyring’s response was that he wouldn’t be sorry, and he’d always know that they’d hiked to where they’d gotten together.
  • Family prayer and scripture study will bear more fruit than you think.
  • Even things like going to a sporting event or attending a movie with your child will lead to good results (especially if the child suggests it).
  • You know, i’m sure that some people will read this sermon as a child-brag, but i think it’s sweet, and it’s my favorite address of the conference so far.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf (of the first presidency)
  • Ah! So here’s the airplane story we didn’t get earlier!
  • Our individual experiences of service may be as different as flying a Piper Cub or flying an F-18, but they are all still valid.
  • There is always imperfection, always something to complain about, but we have been given authority and are called to bless, serve, and act—could anything be greater than that?
  • Something like: As a pilot i have touched the skies, but as a church member i have touched the face of heaven.
  • We can easily recite the definition of the priesthood (the eternal power and authority of God), but do we understand what we’re saying when we say it?
  • People who don’t grasp the significance of the priesthood are like people grumbling about the size of their packet of peanuts while they’re soaring through the sky. (Cue thoughts of Louis CK’s “everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy” bit.)
  • Quote: “As we honor the holy priesthood, God will honor us.”

Intermediate song (“Guard Us, O Thou Great Jehovah”)
  • Wow—this song has some truly vicious lyrics, if you pay attention to them.

Anthony D. Perkins (of the quorums of seventy)
  • Anyone can fall from grace at any time
  • God has given us the “twin guardrails” of deep personal conversion and strong family relationships
  • The danger to conversion is pride; the danger to family is sins like anger and lust.
  • To safeguard our sense of conversion we need to pray often (to counter temptation), study ancient and modern scriptures (to connect us to God; he includes church magazines and websites in this), and worthily participate in ordinances (which lets the Spirit guide us).
  • To safeguard our family relationships, we need to show true love (which is the characteristic at the heart of both conversion and family relationships), obey the law of tithing (to counter greed and covetousness), and fully live the law of chastity (which lets us be confident before God).
  • Dude—this guy is talking fast.
  • He says to beware of hypocrisy, and his example is participating in priesthood ordinances when one is unworthy to do so.

Gary E. Stevens (presiding bishopric)
  • Lots of stuff, but one major theme: One individual taking a stand can do much good.

D. Todd Christofferson (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Some have promoted the interests of women (“which we applaud”, which seemed an interesting aside), but have simultaneously denigrated the interests of men—but that’s not the right way of doing things, since it’s not a competition.
  • We need to be men that women, children, and God can trust.
  • Wasting your life in cyberspace is “ironically, being in the world but not of it”.
  • Whatever your path—college, trade school, the arts, or whatever—become proficient at it.
  • Here’s something you don’t get very often: notice that a first presidency letter is coming soon (on the importance of family history and temple work).
  • Quorums need to help their members.
  • We need to help our children experience “a mighty change of heart”.

Jay E. Jensen (recently of the quorums of the seventy), opening prayer
  • A reference to Thomas S. Monson as “the senior apostle”, which is something you don’t hear mentioned all that much.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

It was neat to think that Daddy and Jamie were watching conference at the building here in MD, Jim was watching in his building in NM, and you were watching in your building in AK. Pretty nifty. Crazy... next October's conference it will be Jamie, Daddy, and CAMERON going to watch the session. He'll turn 12 a couple days before it.