Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday afternoon session

So here we are for the final general session. (Worn out yet?) As with all of these entries, if you want to get these entries in chronological order, you should go to the bottom of the post and scroll upwards. And with that…

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • “Let us not be critical and judgmental—let us be tolerant.” So does this put a fork in sacrament meeting speakers using the “we first endure, then pity, then embrace” line ever again, then?
  • “None of us is immune” to an unexpected calling. Uh-oh…
  • And we’re done—ponder on what’s been taught, be good, and be better than you were before.

David A. Bednar (of the quorum of apostles)
  • There is a relationship between receiving a testimony of Jesus Christ and being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Any honest seeker of truth can gain an testimony and become converted.
  • Speaking of which, given the way he just pulled out textual parallelism in his use of the phrase “honest seeker”, i suspect that he is, as is so often the case, delivering an address that's intended to be read more than heard.
  • Testimony is the beginning of full conversion.
  • Testimony is important, but insufficient to give us enough spiritual strength—we need to be converted.
  • From my oldest: “Didn’t he give this exact same talk last year?”
  • I know this makes me evil and all, but strained interpretations of the parable of the ten virgins really do nothing for me.

Don R. Clarke (of the quorums of seventy)
  • What do we think about during the sacrament? Well, when i’m taking the sacrament, i’m generally thinking about whether my youngest is taking the opportunity to crawl under the seats.
  • We should care about the sacrament—it’s not just a chance for a (really, really tiny) snack in the middle of church.
  • By cleansing yourself through the sacrament each week, you ensure that after you die, your spirit will be clean.

Daniel L. Johnson (of the quorums of seventy)
  • We need to become like Jesus, which is not easy (though necessary).
  • Trials aren’t limited to things like death of a loved one or the loss of a crop, but can include worldly popularity, artistic or athletic talent, or such.

Marcus B. Nash (of the quorums of seventy)
  • What is it about Mormons and faith/mountain analogies?
  • How long has it been since we’ve had a Martin and Willie handcart company story in conference?
  • Wait a minute! “The Lord’s antidote for doubt is” [drum roll] belief? I mean, isn’t that kinda tautological?

Russell T. Osguthorpe (general president of the Sunday school)
  • And here’s the official rollout of the church’s new youth curriculum. (And it’s about time, i say.)
  • Teaching as an active work, not a semi-passive pursuit.
  • The one who learns has to decide to learn, but they have to be taught by those who can teach.
  • “We want our youth to understand.” (May have gotten a word or two wrong, but the content is correct.)
  • Someone online just pointed out that a new curriculum is absolutely needed, what with Missionary Training Center stays being shortened.

Richard G. Scott (of the quorum of apostles
  • Wow—Sunday afternoon, and this is the first extended mention of temple work?
  • Interesting idea, that doing both family history work and proxy temple work for those you find brings you “both halves of the blessing”.
  • Don’t selfishly hold on to names for proxy work, let others help out.
  • I love it when he talks about his wife. You can hear the love and pain and joy in his voice. It’s always a good reminder that these aren’t just guys in suits, they’re real people.

Robert D. Hales (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Is it just me, or is he looking a lot healthier than he did last conference?
  • The grace of God is important, don’t ignore it!
  • This is sounding like it’s going to be the obligatory general conference “no, we are Xian, so there!” address.
  • Good question: Given that we are Xians, “what kind of Xians are we?”
  • He’s framing this as a call to repentance for all Xians, not just Mormons. Interesting.
  • I’m quite liking this address. That makes four favorites by now.
  • Lots of explicit calls to (temporal and spiritual) service this conference, aren’t there?

Opening couple of choir songs
  • Okay, what’s with the amazingly slow arrangements? MoTab was all upbeat and cheery yesterday, and today they’re trying to put me to sleep.

[didn’t catch the name], opening prayer
  • Okay everybody, admit it, you all said “amen” after the first time he said “in the name of Jesus Christ”, didn’t you?

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