Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Priesthood session

Priesthood session, now on pay-per-viewthe internet! (Though i watched it at the church building, ’cause that way i was able to chat with a few people, which, when added to a post-priesthood session dinner out with the family—a nice perk of living in this time zone—explains the delay in posting these notes.)

So anyway, as with the rest of these, the first speaker appears at the bottom of this post, the second speaker above that, and so on until you get to the end of the session, which is what looks like the first entry below the intro (but each speaker’s entry is arranged top to bottom).


Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Priesthood holders have a shepherding responsibility; one significant way this is done is through home teaching.
  • He went over some very specific, basic things about home teaching here: make an appointment rather than just dropping by; make a real visit rather than just pass by so that you can report good numbers; when youth are part of the companionship, make sure that they have a significant teaching role; and so on. [Are we really doing that badly at such basic stuff?]
  • If we are conscientious in visiting and teaching the members in their homes, we will be the means of blessing many lives.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)
  • ”All of us are blessed with the responsibility for others.”
  • The parable of the good Samaritan can be read as a parable of an overworked priesthood holder—just make sure you’re not the priest or the Levite!
  • The Samaritan stopped because he had compassion—and he didn’t just feel compassion, he acted with compassion.
  • Priesthood holders can be assured that (1) we will be given, if we ask for it, the compassion that God feels; (2) the Lord will provide others who will help us; and (3) the recompense for what we do will be more than enough.
  • As a priesthood leader, you will be inspired about not just who to ask to help provide service, but also who not to ask—after all, while many would benefit from an opportunity to serve, some may need to, say, spend time with their children that day. You must pray to receive such inspiration.
  • If you are faithful and see that someone’s faith is being attacked by Satan, you will feel compassion and minister to them.
  • To minister to someone and strengthen their faith, you must first continually build your faith beforehand.
  • In the end, we must have charity.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf (of the first presidency)
  • What may seem impossible can suddenly become possible when someone looks you in the eye, takes you by the hand, and says “You can do it”.
  • No one likes to fail, especially when others see us fail; however, we mortals don’t become champions without making mistakes along the way.
  • Prophets have given the message over and over again that people can repent. This doesn’t mean that we should be comfortable in our sins, but it does mean that we shouldn’t despair in them.
  • When guilt leads to self-loathing it impedes rather than promotes repentance.
  • If we see doing good as something we are and something we desire, we are more likely to do good than if we see those things as just expected of us by others.
  • Those who are focused on divine goals may still stumble and fall, bit they will rise up and continue to move forward, becoming better and happier as a result.

Randy D. Funk (of the quorums of seventy)
  • How could someone who was underprepared to be a full-time missionary end up fulfilling that calling with power? Answer: An apostle has given your assignment, a prophet of God has called you, and you have been set apart by the correct authority, and so you are guaranteed power.
  • To have this power, missionaries must be humble, be obedient, and hear and follow the Spirit.
  • Cool wordplay: Soil is broken to plant crops; wheat is broken to make bread; bread is broken to provide the emblems of the sacrament; one who partakes of the sacramental emblems with a broken heart and a contrite spirit is made whole.
  • To gain enough knowledge to be a good full-time missionary, first be obedient to the commandments of God.

Gérald Caussé (of the presiding bishopric)
  • [He doesn’t use an initial or a middle name, but he’s still a general authority!? Is that even allowed?]
  • While the church is growing in diversity, we all share a common heritage—we are all a part of the family of Abraham. [Hurrah! An address about our heritage that doesn’t devolve into a “We are all pioneers” bit.]
  • The people of Israel were commanded to treat outsiders who lived among them as if they were native-born.
  • Jesus Christ was an example of accepting those who were outsiders, in national, regional, and cultural senses.
  • In our church, we have no such barriers—we are all brothers and sisters.
  • [I’m thinking that when he heard Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s address earlier today, he did a little internal fist-pump for having apostolic backing for his ideas.]
  • It is very likely that the next person who enters the church in your ward will come from a different background than you do; you are to welcome this person, no matter their background, with love and a spirit of unity.
  • Unity is not achieved by marginalizing those who are different; rather, it comes about by serving all.
  • There is no one who is a stranger to God.
  • He referenced the parable of the sheep and the goats, referencing the fact that one of the things the sheep did was to see strangers and take them in.

L. Tom Perry (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Memorizing the Articles of Faith means nothing if you don’t learn the doctrine underlying them.
  • The Articles of Faith provide doctrinal instruction helpful for following God’s plan. He then went into this in quite a bit of detail.
  • We have personal revelation; an additional source of such revelation is our church leaders.
  • Investing the time to learn about the Articles of Faith will result in knowledge that will allow us to testify with power before the world, and help us throughout out lives.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I didn't watch the PH session even though it's broadcast now. Instead I went to a football game with my daughter, watched her school get creamed (58-7), and was very cold (70s and windy... hey, it's TX and was in the 90s during the day... cold is relative and the sun going down and that wind makes a huge difference). So anyway my comments are based solely on what you wrote.

Elder Perry
When I was in primary they wanted all the kids to learn the AoFs. They got to the second one and quit. The presidency probably changed or something. I learned them a few years ago along with Ani and Cameron. We learned them to the AoF primary songs. It's amazing how often I use them to explain things.

Bishop(?) Causse
I grew up in what is apparently the most diverse stake in the entire church. There is more diversity in my current ward than I ever saw in the wards I lived in before moving to TX (granted, the diversity in the stake is no doubt mostly in two or three wards more north of where I lived).

President Eyring
Just today Mommie and I were talking about serving (in relation to how it's always the same people over and over no matter where you are - church, kids' schools, etc.) and how sometimes people need to be with their families/kids and that is just as good (quite probably better) as serving in the church.

President Monson
If the ward we were in before the split last month is any indication... yes. Our ward was the smallest in the stake encompassing about 4 miles by 1 mile in area. And it had the *worst* home teaching record. People just weren't visiting but instead doing some pass bys and drop off some cookies (which they do not count). Now our ward is the new smallest in the stake encompassing about 2 square miles. We'll see how home teaching goes.