Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday afternoon session

And now the Saturday afternoon session. As with the other sorta-liveblogging posts i do, this is done in reverse order—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 immediately below this introduction. Each speaker’s entry, though, is arranged top to bottom.


Closing thought
  • Can we have kids in the choir all the time from now on? Watching the yawns and the faces being made and all, it just all seemed so…well, real.

M. Russell Ballard (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Using the word “command” deliberately to refer to the directive to perform missionary work.
  • The Lord is hastening his work, but this requires all members of the church (not just the full-time missionaries) to participate in it.
  • Two basic reasons for not sharing the gospel: Fear (even fear of praying to receive opportunities to share the gospel) and a misunderstanding of what missionary work actually is.
  • When members and full-time missionaries pray for help, fear of doing missionary work will be replaced by faith.
  • Even if the time isn’t right for someone to hear the gospel message, they’ll still feel and remember your love.
  • Receiving the gospel is a matter of someone else’s agency; sharing the gospel, however, is required of us.
  • To the full-time missionaries: If you want to teach more, you must speak to more people. [True for everyone, actually, i suppose.]
  • We’re not asking everyone to do everything, we’re just asking everyone to pray—and then if everyone, young and old, reached out with the gospel message to just one person by Christmas, imagine how many people would come to the gospel.

Jeffrey R. Holland (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Speaking directly about mental illness. [Not a frequent topic in general conferences, you know?]
  • There should be no shame in saying you’re facing mental illness, any more than there would be in saying you’re facing a physical illness.
  • Real depression isn’t just what’s colloquially (and in the scriptures) called depression, but something much, much more significant.
  • He says he’s a strong advocate of moving forward past trials with strong shoulders, but this is something that can’t be solved through such means.
  • He himself faced serious depression early in his married life. [An apostle saying out loud and publicly that he faced depression! And i was just about to immediately follow that last sentence with “Does that mean we get to talk about George Albert Smith’s depression now?” only to have him beat me to it.]
  • “If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to get a priesthood blessing and go to the doctor for it. The same is true with emotional disorders.” (I think i got a couple words wrong, but the meaning’s there.)
  • Those caring for those with any type of illness need to make sure they maintain their own balance through the ordeal, too.
  • Whatever struggles you face, do not deal with it by ending your life. Wait for the power of God to repair your life, as it will.
  • One day everyone will resurrected in a perfect frame; imagine the joy that will result from seeing those we know freed from what bound them!
  • [President Uchtdorf’s and Elder Holland’s addresses were both amazingly important to different (though in a few cases overlapping) groups. Elder Dube’s address was amazingly stirring. And we're only in the second session!]

Timothy J. Dyches (of the seventy)
  • Difficulties happen in this life, but the grace of God can help us become whole.

Arnulfo Valenzuela (of the seventy)
  • Great things comes from small things, even stuff like a simple conversation or singing a hymn together.
  • There are less-active members whose hearts have already been softened by the Lord, and are simply waiting for us to reach out to them.

S. Gifford Nielsen (of the seventy)
  • Quoting from the morning session? Way to move fast, dude!
  • Former football player, and totally using football metaphors.
  • [A guy who speaks like this notices exclamation marks? I'm shocked. Shocked!]
  • We need to do missionary work, and be excited about it. [Oh, sorry. That should be: We need to do missionary work, and be excited about it!]

D. Todd Christofferson (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Women have provided much of the moral force for good throughout history, and this has traditionally been underappreciated.
  • [He totally just got the meaning of “mommy track” wrong, along with using that wrong definition as a means of building a strawman attack on feminism. I wonder if that will be corrected in the conference report?]
  • Three philosophies that diminish the moral authority of women are the demeaning of homemaking as a career, the promotion of sexual immorality, and pushing women to adopt masculine roles (in relation to things like toughness, coarseness, and violence).

  • Praising the moral authority of women should not be taken as excusing men from exercising their moral authority.

Boyd K. Packer (president of the quorum of apostles)
  • [Boyd K. Packer’s looking better than the last few conferences.]
  • A listing of the evils all around us, based on Paul’s and Moroni’s lists of evils in the last days.
  • The evils around us shouldn’t make us despair—looking to the future can be an optimistic act.
  • ”Righteousness is more powerful than wickedness.”
  • The effects of transgression can be erased through the atonement of Jesus Christ—a promise that exists in every era.
  • Troubles will come, but peace is promised to all who turn to the scriptures and to Jesus Christ.
Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency) , presentation of church general officers and authorities
  • No real surprises, except that there was a call to the young men general presidency without a concurrent release—what happened there to create the opening?

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

The yawns from the little kids were so cute.

The guy called to the young men's presidency was actually called in May so that was just his sustaining. The previous second counselor was called to the Seventy at April's conference and they did not replace him at that time.

President Packer
He was looking a whole lot better. I have trouble paying attention to his talks.

Elder Christofferson
Very good talk. I didn't get that he got mommy track wrong. I've heard people say it in that context often.

Elder Nielson
I actually covered my ears at one point because his speaking in exclamation points about exclamation points was just too much for me.

Elder Valenzuela
Nice talk. He's right about some people just waiting. My best friend was inactive and what got her active again was calling her to serve in nursery. Definitely not what would have done it for most people, but she loves being in there. Her former home teacher said he tried to convince them to give her a calling with the little children for months before they finally did.

Elder Dyches
I don't really remember much about his talk.

Elder Holland
A lot of people on my FB news feed are talking about his talk. Quite an usual one. I have a friend who took a psych class in college at SVU (the pseudo church college in VA). There was a girl in the class who was *insistent* that mental illness only happens because people are unrighteous or don't pray enough. Nothing anyone said could change her mind. I hope if she still holds that opinion she was paying attention today. My best friend takes an anti-anxiety drug as needed. She decided to finally go on it because she realized she'd treat herself if she had a physical problem so why not for a mental problem. It was causing issues in her life just like a physical problem would after all. She doesn't talk about taking her meds much, though, because to many people there's still that stigma.

Elder Ballard
It was a good talk, but I missed most of it partly because I am one of those that goes "ugh" internally when missionary work is mentioned and partly because we were eating dinner during his talk.