Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Priesthood session

Priesthood session, the general session that isn’t really a general session.

As before, the addresses are presented in reverse chronological order, with the last speaker first going down to the first speaker at the end. If you want this session in chronological order, you need to scroll to the end of the post and work upwards. However, the notes for each speaker run top-down.

So now, scroll down to begin.

Thomas S. Monson (president of the high priesthood)

  • To make correct decisions, courage is required.
  • “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out.” (Editorial comment: I didn’t get why so much laughter when he gave this line—some, sure, but it seemed a bit much. It was only later i realized that shouldn’t ought is ungrammatical for much of North America, so maybe that was it?)
  • Are you the same person wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing?
  • Acts of courage don’t always result in immediate obvious results, but they do always bring peace of mind and a knowledge that good has been done.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency)

  • When we choose heroes, we—consciously or unconsciously—copy what we find admirable about them.
  • Whatever you do, as a priesthood holder you will be a model of priesthood service; what you do will determine whether you are a good or bad model.
  • Good models of priesthood service do so through prayer, service, and honesty.
  • As you pray, you will learn completely that you are a child of your Heavenly Father.
  • Great models of priesthood service do not always recognize how great their service is—they don’t seek praise for what they do, and they remain modest about their accomplishments.
  • As you give your heart to the work of the priesthood, God will magnify you.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf (of the first presidency)

  • (I think this is the first time i’ve ever heard Martin Luther King, Jr. invoked in a general conference address.)
  • The restoration is a continuing process, and we’re living through it right now—it includes all that God has revealed, does reveal, and will reveal.
  • It is easy to “sleep through” the restoration, particularly when there are selfishness, addiction, and the many competing priorities we face.
  • Selfishness is seeking your own desires, asking what’s in it for you, and seeking the glory of the world.
  • If you need to change, it may take several attempts, but never give up—and God will set you free.

Randall L. Ridd (of the young men general presidency)

  • The internet is one of the greatest tools for good anywhere, but it requires us to make choices.
  • The key is what your heart desires—“where will your desires lead?” Remember that God gives according to your desires.
  • A smartphone gives you access to a lot of good things, but a smartphone won’t make you smart—and remember that splitting your attention between your smartphone and other tasks results in poor performance in everything you’re doing.

Donald L. Hallstrom (of the presidency of the seventy)

  • Priesthood session is set up to teach us what sort of men we should be.
  • Saying “that’s just the way i am” in response to bad habits is a form of surrender that denies what we can be.
  • We need to show spiritual maturity because we have made covenants.
  • Being perfected in Christ requires change, and we have been promised that if we come to Christ, we will be shown what we need to change.

Dallin H. Oaks (of the quorum of apostles)

  • There is no up or down (in the context of callings) in the service of the Lord, only forward or backward.
  • His topic: Understanding the priesthood. He then said it’s good that this broadcast is available to everyone, since this is important for both men and women to learn about.
  • It is not the case that all priesthood keys were given to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple—he was only given the “keys of this dispensation”.
  • Directly stated: It is the “divinely decreed plan” that only men hold priesthood offices. (Editorial comment: Gee, i wonder if this is a response to the “Ordain Women” group…?)
  • Holding a priesthood office should not be equated with holding priesthood authority—priesthood authority can be given to women without them holding a priesthood office, even authority that is binding on earth and in heaven.
  • “Women and men are equal, with different responsibilities.”

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