Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday afternoon session

So it’s Saturday afternoon, and time for our next session. Once again, the first speaker is at the bottom of the post, the next speaker is above that, and so on to the end of the session at the top. This means that, to follow the session chronologically, you should scroll to the bottom of the post and work your way upwards. However, under each speaker, the comments are done top-down, because it’s easier for me to write that way.

Dallin H. Oaks (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Jesus Christ experienced all possible mortal challenges and infirmities so that he could be filled with mercy.
  • Jesus knows our difficulties because he willingly experienced them all—and so he can give us strength to bear them all.
  • Afflictions are universal to all—but through the atonement, they can be resolved.
  • No matter our anguish, Jesus understand it.
  • Having descended beneath all things, Jesus is perfectly positioned to lift us up if we but ask.
  • [A solid address, but his professorial delivery hid some of the emotional impact behind it, i think—like many of his, this seemed built more for the written record than the immediate delivery.]

James B. Martino (of the quorums of seventy)
  • God answers prayers asked with sincere intent, not just to satisfy curiosity.
  • If you’ve lost your connection to the Spirit, you can get it back—ask in faith, don’t give up, and it will come.
  • Why did the trials of the sons of Mosiah strengthen their commitment, while Laman and Lemuel’s trials didn’t? Because the sons of Mosiah held to the scriptures.
  • Obedience, scripture study, prayer, and fasting strengthens us spiritually; not doing these weakens us.

Vern P. Stanfill (of the quorums of the seventy)
  • We may feel confident about our preparation for challenges to our faith, only to find that our preparations are inadequate.
  • We may be embarrassed at our lack of preparation, which may push us into despair and apostasy if we let it.
  • God will never abandon us when we are struggling—and this help may come directly or from other people.
  • When we are struggling, it is okay to rely on the faith of those who reach out to help us. [So can we tattoo this thought on the forehead of everyone who teaches in church that it simply doesn't count if someone relies on others’ testimonies?]
  • We have the capacity to choose belief over doubt.

Hugo Montoya (of the quorums of the seventy)
  • [Okay, so i’m evil and all, but every time i hear about Elder Montoya, all i can think is “My name is Inigo Montoya…”]
  • Something as simple as a smile can bring peace to the heart of another.
  • The atonement brings peace and joy.
  • We can help other children of our Heavenly Father reach their potential.

Bradley D. Foster (of the quorums of the seventy)
  • Consider: Our children are the largest group of investigators of the church.
  • Heavenly Father wants our children to succeed—remember that they were his children before they were ours.
  • “Our children learn when they’re ready to learn, not when we're ready to teach them.”
  • It’s never too early, nor too late, to teach our children. (And this includes fully-grown and self-established children.)
  • We need to not just hear, but understand—and we need to help our children (and grandchildren) not just hear, but understand.

Jeffrey R. Holland (of the quorum of apostles)
  • [What with his reputation for being hyperinspiring and all, it’s gotta have turned into a bit of pressure for him to speak in general conference.]
  • The love of God has strong parallels with the love of mothers.
  • Mothers not only bear us, they bear with us.
  • The weight of expectation and responsibility can for mothers, especially young ones, be overwhelming.
  • When tempted, we can remember our mothers as well as our Savior, and think to spare them both the pain we might inflict on them.
  • A story involving someone with same sex attraction where the goal wasn’t trying to “cure” it or somesuch, but simply what should be everyone’s goal—worthiness.
  • Mother in Heaven reference, over the pulpit!
  • [You should look this address up if only for the brief story of the mother with her disabled daughter. It was…beautiful. Simply beautiful.]

Robert D. Hales (of the quorum of apostles)
  • Young adults are faced with choices that will have long-term consequences.
  • One of the purposes of the scriptures is to tell us how the righteous have responded to evil—they run from it.
  • Temporal counsel—don’t live beyond your income.
  • Education will prepare you for life, including marriage.
  • “None of us marry perfection, we marry potential.”
  • If you want to marry an attractive, spiritual, kind person, be that person yourself.
  • Figure out where you want to be in the next year or more, and what choices you need to get there.

Henry B. Eyring (of the first presidency), presentation of general officers and authorities
  • [Drum roll…]
  • Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund as new apostles. All are Americans, if my quick googling is correct, to my moderate surprise.
  • Some dissenting votes, as presumably will be the norm from this point. At least those who opposed seem to have simply raised their hands rather than shouting, which seems a lot more polite than last time, you know?

Before the opening
  • Fifteen chairs in the first presidency/quorum of apostles row again! Guess we’re getting the announcement of the new ones this session.
  • My oldest just pointed out how much more interesting distance shots of the rostrum area would be if the men got to wear suits as brightly colored as the women.
  • Primary children’s choir! Quite cute, really (especially the ones who are looking phenomenally bored).
  • If my high priests group were a betting cartel, the only candidate with better than even odds on being called as an apostle would be Ronald A. Rasband, currently of the presidency of the seventy. We’ll see…

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Before the Opening:
I counted the chairs as they panned across them. I love when they have primary children.

I admit. I cheered when they announced Elder Rasband. I love him. Elder Renlund gave one of my favorite talks from last conference. They just pulled the average age of the quorum down considerably. 60, 62, and 64. That also makes Elder Bednar no longer the youngest (he's 63). Then we have another 64 year old and everyone else is 70+.

Elder Hales:
The oxygen glasses are a seriously cool invention. He had a lot of good advice, particularly for unmarrieds of marrying age.

Elder Holland:
Just when you think he can't give a better talk than the ones he's previously given... He has a true gift. I think that was the first Heavenly Mother mention in Conference ever. A talk on mothers and motherhood is especially nice on the anniversary of the day you gave birth to one of your children.

Elder Foster:
I liked how he said our children are investigators. Time and time again I'll say something teaching the Beehives assuming they know it already, but then I have to explain it to them. These girls are all lifelong members with almost all lifelong member parents. It's easy to assume kids know everything we do already, but they really don't and need to be explicitly taught.

Elder Montoya:
Have you seen the meme yet? "My name is Hugo Montoya. I speak at General Conference, prepare to listen."

Elder Stanfill:
I liked his comments about relying on the faith of those who reach out to us.

Elder Martino:
His story about his own conversion was very interesting. I never really thought about the "real intent" part and figured you wouldn't be praying if you didn't have that already. As much as we joke about the "Sunday School Answers," they are answers because they are true.

Elder Oaks:
His delivery is always very straight-forward, but there's something about his voice that just soothes me. I'm still rooting for him to be prophet one day.