Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday afternoon session

Final session! The big question: Will everyone be able to stay awake for the ninth and tenth(!) hours of church this weekend?

And as with the other general conference entries, the first speaker is at the end of this post, with the most recent speaker at the beginning, with each speaker’s entries made in top-down order.

Thus, starting with the bottom of this post …

Thomas S. Monson, president of the high priesthood
  • Be good neighbors in your communities, including reaching out to members of other faiths.
  • Be tolerant, kind, and loving to people who don’t share our beliefs or standards. (Yes, or standards—he totally said that.)
  • There are challenges, but there are plenty of grounds for rejoicing, particularly if we put our trust in the Lord.
  • Nice close to conference—it was the usual closing pep talk, but with a little more substance than usual.

D. Todd Christofferson, of the quorum of apostles
  • Interesting idea: That part of the atonement that redeems us from physical death is universal because it’s a universal state that we’re simply born into, but the redemption from spiritual death depends on our own choices because that state is a result of our own choices. I don’t think i’ve ever heard that before, and my initial reaction is that i think i like it.
  • Jesus was said to have gone about “doing good”, which included both spiritual and temporal redemption.
  • I’m really liking this one, which is cool, ’cause i have to admit that Elder Christofferson’s sermons usually leave me a bit cold.
  • Some redemption requires a collaborative effort, which is why God created a church.
  • Interesting—talking about the church’s humanitarian efforts not in number-of-dollar terms, but (mostly) in number-of-people terms.
  • Yeah, i think that overall i liked Elder Holland’s address more, but this one’s a really, really close second.

Bruce D. Porter, of the first quorum of the seventy
  • God has promised that there will be peace in Zion and in her stakes.
  • If we trust God, we will be given direction and peace in our trials.
  • This is totally turning not into a “why do bad things happen to good people?” sermon, but rather a “who cares why bad things happen to good people?” sermon.

Erich W. Kopischke, of the first quorum of seventy
  • “What no one around us knows, we surely know.” We need to be honest with ourselves as we judge whether we really are the sorts of people we should be.
  • If we are contrite we acknowledge our sins and are willing to repent.
  • Sacrifices don’t have to be big to be important.

Enrique R. Falabella, of the first quorum of seventy
  • First really good laugh line of the conference!
  • Lowering the boom on emotional abuse! Not something you hear mentioned directly in conference all that often.
  • “It is not enough to know the scriptures—we have to live them.”

Christoffel Golden Jr., of the first quorum of seventy
  • South African accent in da house!
  • The world has (and has had) a lot of God-fearing people, and this certainly isn’t just limited to Mormons.
  • Joseph Smith’s vision of the Father and the Son accords well with such visions in the scriptures.
  • The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the key of the knowledge of God. This sermon suddenly just got deep, and will require later reading rather than on-the-fly interpretation.

Dallin H. Oaks, of the quorum of apostles
  • “Like all other Christians, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…” Makes me almost wish i was still faculty at Brigham Young University so that i could bring this up as an example in the linguistic presupposition unit I’m in the middle of teaching right now.
  • This is the second address in this conference that’s mentioned “political correctness” as a bad thing, and that seems to presume everyone knows what was meant by it (and i’m not certain that i do).
  • Did he just try to mandate that family prayers have to involve everybody kneeling?
  • It’s not terribly often you get precise dollar amounts of church charitable service in conference.
  • This one’s being difficult to summarize. Part of that’s because it followed what really was an amazing address, but part of it is also that i’m having trouble figuring out what the central thesis of the whole thing is.

Jeffrey R. Holland, of the quorum of apostles
  • Just the beginnings of faith are enough for God. I like this. Nice echo of topics in Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s addresses this conference, too.
  • He’s addressing his comments to those who are young, whether young in years of age, or young in years of membership in the church, or young in years of faith—and he says (interestingly) that that includes all of us.
  • The level of your faith is unimportant—what’s important is your integrity with regard to the faith you do have.
  • Rather than focusing on acknowledging your lack of faith, make an honest declaration of the faith you do have.
  • You have more faith than you think you have, anyway.
  • When you see imperfection, be patient and kind and forgiving.
  • If you can’t say you know that the church is true, but you believe it is, you never need to apologize for “only believing”—after all, Jesus himself said “Be not afraid, only believe”.
  • I’ve said before how amazed i am at Elder Holland’s exegetical skills—this one’s not fully exegesis (though it started with one), but I’m still liking it. Probably my favorite of the conference so far.
  • Also, this.

Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the general presidency of the relief society organization
  • After having heard on the interwebs some people grumbling about how Sister Stevens’s prayer yesterday was a closing prayer and so wasn’t as high-profile as it should’ve been, along with a few people grumbling that women shouldn’t be authorized to close off a meeting, here’s a woman saying an opening prayer just so that both sides can knock themselves out at silliness some more.

No comments: