Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday morning session

So it’s general conference weekend, which means it’s time for this blog to receive what has become its twice-yearly flurry of posts. Welcome to anyone strolling by! To explain if you’re unfamiliar with these, i post my notes on general conference here in “liveblog” style. To briefly explain: The first speaker of this session is actually at the bottom of this post, the next speaker is above that, the next is above that, and so on to the last speaker (who appears at the top of the post). This means that once the whole conference weekend is past you would be able to scroll down to the bottom of this session’s post for the start of the conference, and then scroll up to read through the entire conference chronologically. However, under each speaker, the comments are done top-down chronologically (i.e., the opposite direction), because—and just trust me on this—the bottom-up thing really and truly doesn’t work within an individual speaker’s entry.

So, now is when you scroll to the bottom of the post to read each speaker in order, or you start reading normally to read the speakers in reverse order. Doesn’t matter to me, really.

Russell M. Nelson, president of the quorum of apostles
  • He recently did a deep study of Jesus Christ in the scriptures, and when his wife asked him how it had affected him, he said it had made him “a changed man”.
  • It is doctrinally incomplete to speak of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ with shortcut phrase like “the atonement” or “the X of the atonement”—that risks misdirecting faith by focusing on the event independent of God the Father and Jesus Christ.
  • It is the Savior who saves us, not an amorphous event called “the atonement”—the atonement is what the Savior did.
  • A suggestion to study 2000 statement “The Living Christ”.
  • When we truly desperately and intensely reach out for the power of Jesus Christ with full desire, we will receive it.

Mark A. Bragg, of the quorums of seventy
  • We are children of God, and are created to continually receive light from God.
  • The church will always have its critics, but we can’t allow such criticism to deflect us from seeking after more and more light.
  • Cool story about firefighters battling a fire at a stake center in Arizona (i think it was).
  • [This is one of those weird cases where i didn’t have a lot of notes, but felt that the speech was both well-delivered and contentful—and that’s even with his continual references to “a darkening world”, which is the sort of thing that usually bothers me. He handled it incredibly well, though, and struck a most excellent rhetorical balance—certainly worth a listen/read.]
  • [Also, i just learned he actually has an IMDB entry!☺]
Ulisses Soares, of the presidency of seventy
  • [People who don’t use gratuitous initials in their names, represent!]
  • Jesus overcame the world, and in so doing holds out salvation to all—and through him, we will overcome the world.
  • As we contemplate the strength we receive from the Savior, we have reason to rejoice.
  • If we are not rooted by a steadfast faith in God, we can lose hope, and thus lose our desire to progress in the gospel.
  • Remember that God listens to us in our moments of desperation and doubt.
Dale G. Renlund, of the quorum of apostles
  • If God can’t look at sin with the least degree of allowance, then how can he look at us sinners without recoiling in horror? It’s because God sees our imperfections as illnesses to be treated, not as our permanent state.
  • Jesus surely didn’t condone the actions of the woman taken in adultery, but he didn’t condemn her either—and the scriptural record shows how that led to her spiritual healing, saying that “the woman glorified God from that hour, and believed on his name” [which comes from the Inspired Version].
  • Our job is to “replace fear and despair with hope and joy”.
  • Jesus rebuked those who believed that they were less sinful than others. [And then he quotes the parable of the Pharisee and the publican—my favorite parable!]
  • We must not be guilty of persecuting anyone, whether those people are inside or outside the church.
  • Our church’s history has many instances of our members being treated with disrespect and persecution—it would be horrible for us to be similarly disrespectful to others.
  • We, as disciples of Christ, need to treat those around us such that none feel abandoned, alone, or hopeless.
  • [Really, this was an excellent reconciliation between not tolerating sin and being unconditionally loving and merciful. And i’m not saying that Mormons need to hear this kind of message because we’re quite often bad at it, but Mormons need to hear this kind of message because we’re quite often bad at it.]
“Glory to God on High”, congregational hymn
  • What’s with no longer putting the words to the song on the screen? Is the assumption that everyone has their phones or tablets close at hand while watching general conference?
  • Also, i will state right now that this organ arrangement—which i’ve heard before—annoys me. I like extra-fancy organ arrangements, but this one seems like there’s ornamentation for the sake of ornamentation, not to add to the setting.
Weatherford T. Clayton, of the quorums of seventy
  • In order for Christ to rise from the tomb, he first had to die—and so must we.
  • “Even in our moments of deepest grief…we can find comfort in our Savior, because he suffered as well.”
  • There is more to our existence than merely what happens between birth and death.
  • We receive eternal life by choosing it.
M. Joseph Brough, of the young men general presidency
  • God’s commandments help counter the idea that wickedness might be happiness.
  • We are given daily opportunities to “lead, guide, and walk beside” those in need.
  • To “lead, guide, and walk beside” youth we have to be with them, connect them with heaven, and let them lead.
  • Letting youth lead is harder and takes more time than just doing it ourselves, but it is necessary, and we will be with them to help them succeed if they stumble.
Henry B. Eyring, of the first presidency
  • We are all literally children of a Heavenly Father, making brother and sister not just friendly greetings, but literal truths.
  • Even those who know nothing of the plan of God feel that kinship with God, and that leads them to know right from wrong.
  • Only a very small minority of God’s children have the gospel and its ordinances available in this life—and this is why the priesthood power to seal families eternally was restored.
  • The desire to seek out the histories of our families is more than just an effect of interest in shared DNA—it’s part of the plan of God.
  • Just loving our ancestors isn’t enough—we must also perform the necessary ordinances on their behalf so that they can progress.
Kim B. Clark, of the quorums of seventy (opening prayer)
  • That may be the shortest invocation i’ve ever heard at a general conference. I feel like a lot of the general conference prayers the last few years have been on the shorter side, though—maybe a trend? One can dare hope…

1 comment:

Heather the Mama Duk said...

President Eyring:
His comment about the best technology not being a replacement for revelation when doing family history work is so true. Once I was visiting my best friend and we went to the family history class and this woman asked if she could do one complete line (apparently back to Adam) and then go to another line, one at a time. The teacher was kind of like, sure... but it doesn't usually work that way. And the Kimberlee and I were all like "They'll tell you who needs to be done" and the woman was like "Who will" and we were like "The dead people." The woman then moved a couple seats away and left soon after. Oops. But it's TRUE!

M. Joseph Brough:
You know what's funny? My notes focused on his care package analogy and do not overlap with yours at all.

Weatherford T. Clayton:
I thought it was interesting that he said we choose eternal life.

Elder Renlund:
I love, love, love, love, love him. This talk was the best "love the sinner, hate the sin" talk ever.

Ulisses Soares:
We've always joked that Jamie could be a general authority because he'd be M. Jamie, but then maybe not because they don't usually use a nickname of one of their names. Fritz would be the most fun as a general authority since he's got not one, but TWO middle initials.

Mark A. Bragg:
I liked his story about the firefighters.

President Nelson:
It's interesting when someone his age and so focused for so long on the Church can say he's a changed man because of intense doctrinal study. Explains why we have the same lessons over and over.