Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday morning session

Well, we’re back at general conference time, and even though this blog has been in full radio silence mode since the last one, i figured that it was worth dusting it off and posting my thoughts here again. (And who knows—now that the work pressures of the last couple years are lightening a bit, maybe i’ll get back to posting here regularly. We’ll see.)

So anyway, as has been the case since i started doing these, i’ll be doing these bottom-up—that is, if you continue read top-to-bottom, you’ll see that last speaker, then the previous speaker, and so on. If you want this session in chronological order, you need to scroll to the end of the post and work upwards. However, mainly ’cause i can’t keep track of it if i do otherwise, the notes for each speaker run top-down.

Confusing? Yep—but it’s where the whole blog-and-Facebook reverse-timestream posting order has led us.

So now scroll down to begin—unless you want to move backwards through time, of course.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)

  • Henry B. Eyring is descended from Prussian nobility? Who knew?
  • The examples of our righteous ancestors can be an inspiration to us.
  • The power of God can help bring the wayward back to the gospel—and the prayers of family can be a part of bringing that to bear.
  • Another shout-out to the importance of family scripture study!

Neil L. Anderson (of the quorum of apostles)

  • Facing trials makes us stronger, as long as we focus on Jesus Christ.
  • Ah! So we have arrived at our first address defending “traditional marriage”.
  • (Serious question, and not snarky, i promise: If changes in civil law don’t change divine law, then why do so many of us care so deeply whether civil and divine law match?)

Linda S. Reeves (of the relief society general presidency)

  • Listening to this, it occurs to me that it’s actually unusual for a woman to speak about pornography in church addresses.
  • Children need to be taught about the dangers of pornography, including its danger to relationships.
  • An endorsement of internet filtering of pornography, but then saying that the only filtering that will really work is developing an “internal filter”.
  • Keeping your house clean is less important than family prayer, scripture study, and home evening.
  • (Editorial comment: One of the things she said was something like “the intimate relationship that brings children into the world”. Can’t we just get over it and say “sex”?)

Carlos H. Amado (of the quorums of seventy)

  • Jesus showed his power over death by raising people from the dead, and then by performing the atonement.
  • (Editorial comment: Can somebody explain to me why the church doesn’t let speakers of non-English languages speak in their native languages, with subtitles or simultaneous overdubbing or somesuch? They could even use subtitles on the video screens in the Conference Center, so that’s not a problem—and my daughters are having a lot of trouble understanding this speaker and remaining engaged in the broadcast. I mean, at least do it with the Spanish speakers—there are more Spanish speakers than English speakers in the church now, after all!)

Ronald A. Rasband (of the presidency of the seventy)

  • One of the presidents of the seventy talking about the quorums of seventy and their responsibilities. This is meta enough to make me very happy.
  • A sustaining vote for our leaders is also an agreement to share their burdens.
  • “Reaching out to rescue one another, under any condition, is an eternal measure of love.”

Jeffrey R. Holland (of the quorum of apostles)

  • Being faithful can lead to persecution—but it’s worth it.
  • “What would Jesus do?” isn’t always honestly answered the way people want to hear.
  • There is a difference between the commandment to forgive sin, and the push to condone sin.
  • (Editorial comment: Elder Holland is clearly the true general conference speaker heir of Elder Maxwell, if alliteration is any gauge.)

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)

  • The Gilbert Arizona temple is the 142nd temple of the church. Showing my age, but i remember back when you could reasonably plan to travel and visit all of the temples.
  • Plans are in place for bringing the number of temples to 170. The church will be focusing on completing those before announcing any more.

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