Saturday, April 1, 2017

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Priesthood session

Priesthood session. I still wonder why they haven’t turned this into a general men’s session open to boys as young as eight like they did with the general women’s session a few years back, but as it is, it’s still twelve and up.

Anyway, as with all the rest of these, the first speaker is at the bottom of this post and then you can read upwards to the last speaker at the top, with comments under each speaker’s name going chronologically the other way (i.e., downwards).

Henry B. Eyring, of the first presidency
  • It is natural to feel inadequate when we contemplate our responsibilities.
  • If we feel completely capable we should probably learn our duties better, but if we feel like giving up we should learn what God can do to increase our capability.
  • The power of the priesthood includes being able to do all things—literally all things—that God desires to be done.
  • Contemplating the power of the priesthood should instill in us a desire to do more in the service of God.
  • Remember that Enoch was a great prophet, but he saw himself as “but a lad” until he accepted the invitation to walk with the Lord.
  • You need never feel too small or insignificant for God to care about you.
  • Walking with the Savior in priesthood service will change the way you see people—if you walk with the Savior long enough you will see every human being as a child of God with limitless potential, and in fact you will ultimately be able to help them see that in themselves.
  • We come to know Jesus Christ best when we join in the work of salvation for all of God’s children.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the first presidency
  • He started with two stories (one personal, one scriptural) underscoring the need to see the work of the gospel as the work of God, and not as a vehicle for our own success and aggrandizement
  • In God’s kingdom, leadership means seeing others as God sees them—as they really are—regardless of nationality, race, political orientation, or any other such thing, and reaching out and ministering to them.
  • James E. Faust noted that the members of the church are gracious to the general authorities—and the general authorities need to be grateful for that, and be careful not to “inhale it”.
  • J. Reuben Clark, Jr used to tell those called to leadership positions to remember “rule #6”. When asked what that was, he’d say it’s “Don’t take yourself so darn seriously”. Then, when asked what the first five rules were, he’d respond that there weren’t any.
  • We become great by accepting callings to service with grace, humility, and gratitude—and then when we are released, by accepting the change with the same grace, humility, and gratitude.
  • Every time we reach outside ourselves to serve, especially when our service is unseen by others, we come closer to our Lord, who gave his all for us.
  • One kind of service is not greater than another.
  • “What is the most important calling in the church? It is the one you now have”, because it is the one that allows you to serve now.
  • “He that is greatest among you shall be your servant” is the paramount principle of church governance.

Gérald Caussé, presiding bishop
  • Growing up in a small branch, he had many opportunities to serve and lead as a teenager.
  • The Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods have different missions and stewardships, but they are inseparable and work together toward the same goal—and for a perfect example of this, see the relationship between Jesus Christ and John the Baptist.
  • Aaronic priesthood holders should willingly labor in their sphere to prepare the way for the work of the Melchizedek priesthood; Melchizedek priesthood holders should invite Aaronic priesthood holders to provide meaningful assistance in the work.
  • “Too often we try to entertain our young men and relegate them to a spectator role.”

David A. Bednar, of the quorum of apostles
  • Letters calling new full-time missionaries issue first the calling of full-time missionary, and then an assignment to a particular mission—and the distinction is important.
  • We are called not to serve in a particular mission, but rather to the work.
  • Those who are called to do the work of God, if they serve faithfully, cannot go amiss no matter where they serve—an assignment is necessary, but it is not a central part of the call.
  • Why bring this up in general conference? Because of the occasional negative feelings, including guilt and failure, that full-time missionaries sometimes feel when they are reassigned.
  • No member of this church should carry an unnecessary burden of anguish or guilt over an assignment from the Lord.
  • Priesthood and temple blessings precede the blessing of a mission call.
  • Personal worthiness is the single most important qualification for temple blessings.
  • To the young men [and if this hadn’t been delivered in priesthood session, i would expect the young women would have been included, too]: Each of you is a missionary now!

Thomas S. Monson, president of the high priesthood
  • We don’t honor the priesthood if we’re unkind to others
  • We must be kind, loving, and charitable.

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