Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Priesthood session

So now for priesthood session.

Question: Nearly every ward i’ve ever lived in, there’s been an ice cream get-together for all the priesthood holders in the ward following priesthood session. Why? (And why ice cream?) I mean, it always seems a bit weird to me that after we’ve had two hours of being told how much we need to pay attention to our families, we end up not going home to hang out with them. Weird, really.

Anyway, as with the other general conference entries, the first speaker is at the end of this post, with the most recent speaker is at the beginning. However, within each speaker’s entries the various bulleted comments i have made are in top-down order.

So now, starting with the bottom of this post …

Thomas S. Monson, president of the high priesthood
  • Dedication to missionary service results in eternal glory.
  • How to be successful in missionary service: search the scriptures with diligence, plan your life with purpose, teach truth with testimony, and serve the Lord with love.
  • Remember that missionary service is not limited to time spent serving formally as a full-time missionary.

Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the first presidency
  • Members need to find the honest in heart for the missionaries to teach.
  • He told stories about his experiences in New Mexico and New England, both ending with the district he was in being organized into a branch on the last Sunday before he moved away. The moral of these stories: If you want to live in a stake, invite him to live there and simply wait for him to move away.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the first presidency
  • We have all sorts of titles that identify us in various ways, but there are four that apply to all priesthood holders: son of God, disciple of Christ, healer of souls, heir to all that God has.
  • Satan tries to take advantage of our feelings of weakness when we come up short of the glory of God, but just as a father doesn’t scold a toddler for stumbling while trying to walk, our loving heavenly father isn’t bothered by our stumbling attempts to grow.
  • Even though we stumble, we shouldn’t use that as an excuse to keep from trying to reach our goal of eternal life.
  • While the atonement is intended to make us like Christ, it isn’t intended to make us all the same as each other.
  • Personal differences are not sins, they are part of the plan of God. The fact that we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences strengthens the church.
  • We are healers, which ranges from blessing the sick to feeding the hungry to comforting with the word of God.
  • Given that we are heirs to all that God has, it doesn’t make sense to spend so much effort simply to gain wealth or prestige.
  • You may feel unwanted or unloved, but you certainly aren’t unwanted or unloved by God, and the church needs your special contribution.
  • Did somebody shout something (one word maybe, i didn’t catch what) at the end of this address? What was up with that? Was it like the folks who shout “You da man!” after their favorite player’s swings at professional golf matches?

David L. Beck, president of the young men organization
  • He related, in some detail, the story of Chy Johnson and Carson Jones that target="_blank">made the news last year.
  • There are people all around us who need love—and “virtually anyone could benefit from your ministry”.
  • ”There are more active Aaronic priesthood holders than ever before in the history of the church.” Interesting little factoid, that.
  • Quorum meetings involve counseling together and sharing feelings—mocking and demeaning are right out.
  • This whole address was a pretty intense smackdown on bullying, and it’s in the running for my favorite address of the conference.

Tad R. Callister, of the presidency of seventy
  • He’s directing his remarks to Aaronic priesthood youth (and especially Aaronic priesthood presidencies) and their adult leaders. I am none of these, so can i take a nap now?
  • We should entrust, e.g., deacons quorum presidents with large responsibilities just as we do with full-time missionaries.
  • Aaronic priesthood quorum presidents will rise or fall to the level expected by their leaders.
  • Youth leaders need to teach youth how to lead, and not simply lead the youth.

Robert D. Hales, of the quorum of apostles
  • A statement that nowadays temptations are greater and more available than in earlier times. Is this actually true (especially the part about temptations being greater now), or is it just remembering earlier times via rose-colored nostalgia?
  • A claim that “the world” has changed its standards, but the church hasn’t.
  • We all know people who say “i’ll be your friend if you change your values to match mine”, but a true friend wouldn’t try to make us give up our values. This leads me to wonder: If we’re true friends to people, do we then let them keep their values without trying to swing them over to ours?
  • We are not authorized to negotiate the conditions of [God’s] eternal plan.”

Opening comments, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor on the first presidency
  • And so we finally get a mention of Eldred G. Smith’s death!

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