Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday morning session

Big leagues! Sunday morning, when the server load peaks, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir women wear their most attractive robes (well, at least usually—remember the not-found-in-nature pink from last time?), and everybody’s on their best behavior.

So: As with all 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.

And so we begin…

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)
  • Opening with a eulogy for his wife. [Very intense, and very sweet.]
  • As we face challenges, we need to respond with faith, as Job did.
  • Remember that others have faced similar challenges, and overcome them and remained steadfast and of good cheer.
  • This is possible to do when the gospel of Jesus Christ is at the center of our lives.
  • Sadness and suffering are universal, but we can still recognize the goodness of God in the midst of our sufferings.
  • “This should be out purpose: To persevere and endure—yes, but also to become more spiritually refined…”

Richard G. Scott (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Sins, even those repented of, may have long-term effects—Satan can use our memories of what we have done before to tempt us back into them.
  • We must fortify our weak points to be able to avoid temptation.
  • The Lord sees weaknesses differently than rebellion—he views weaknesses with mercy.
  • [He’s not saying this directly, but i think there’s applications here to Mormons who build fences around the law. That is, it’s fine for people to go beyond the word of wisdom by avoiding all caffeine, or who go beyond the laws of sabbath observance by never changing out of their church clothing, because that may be helpful for them, shoring them up against some sort of weakness that they perceive in themselves. However, such rules shouldn’t be preached to others, since those aren’t everyone’s weak points, and those others may need to focus on different weaknesses.]
  • As you serve others, Satan’s temptations lose power in your life.

Richard J. Maynes (of the presidency of the seventy)
  • Spiritual endurance, like physical endurance, comes at a price: dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline.
  • When tragedy strikes, we should remember that tragedy isn’t forever—and having the spiritual strength that lets us endure will let us know that tragedy isn’t forever.
  • If we develop such spiritual strength, we’ll be able to face any challenge we’re faced with.

Bonnie L. Oscarson (young women general president)
  • Living the principles of the gospel and sacrificing for them leads to conversion to those principles.
  • True conversion is a continuing process that takes place by following gospel principles over time.

Dallin H. Oaks (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Another early-speech reference to Jesus’s statement of the greatest commandment!
  • A listing of things that we may prioritize higher than God, and then something like “if these don’t apply to some of us, we can come up with others that do”.
  • [He’s decrying falling birth rates. I have to admit that i don’t get why this is a problem. If infant mortality rates have dropped, it seems like lower birth rates is the reasonable reaction.]
  • We need to be tolerant of others’ beliefs (including lack of belief), and ask that we receive the same tolerance for ours.
  • Concern about large number of out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation preceding marriage.
  • Our standard of behavior needs to be based in God’s law, not civil law.
  • [I have to admit that i'm not sure what his overall message is—is he saying we need to change civil law to match our religious beliefs, or is he saying we simply need to follow religious beliefs when civil law would allow us to not follow those religious beliefs? There’s a big difference.]

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)
  • “The wonderful world of family creation”. [Let’s just say that isn’t a phrase i’ve heard before, and that i don’t expect to ever hear again.]
  • To have an excellent family life, follow the two great commandments.
  • It is only by having the companionship of the Holy Ghost that we can have a marriage free of discord.
  • Amazing quote from George Q. Cannon (i think it was) on the love that God has for each of us.
  • “God has devised means of saving each of this children”, and those means are often our family members.

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

President Eyring
I think the term the wonderful world of family creation has a nice ring to it and should be used by all.

Elder Oaks (yay)
The number of those growing to adulthood has dropped. Infant mortality hasn't changed a huge amount in many countries in several decades, but in that time the birth rate has decreased much faster. It is a problem for countries when most of the population is older/out of working age. Interesting... our school district is the wealthiest in our city (we have many school districts in the city). Even the poor schools are relative compared to the "richest" in some of the other districts. The poorest districts and schools are the ones with the most single parent households. Many of the kids were born out of wedlock. It's unfortunate for the children, but I can see those statistics are true. I think his point was to follow religious beliefs and not civil law if they contradict.

Elder Scott
Not long before we moved someone gave a talk on keeping the sabbath day holy and actually stated that watching TV or using the internet on Sunday is wrong (hmmm... except, perhaps, twice a year on General Conference weekends?). They decided in their family not to therefore everyone should not do it. It left a bad taste in my mouth because several people afterwards were like "I never thought before I was doing the wrong thing on Sundays..."

President Monson
He seems so old and sad and tired. He rarely talked about his wife when she was alive and that was out of respect for her wishes. We, as a church, really got to "know" Sister Hinckley because she was out there nearly as much as her husband. We never got to know Sister Monson, really. It's so obvious she was an amazing person and he misses her so terribly.