Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday morning session

Sunday morning! Historically, the “big leagues” session, because if people away from the Mormon Dominance Area only heard/saw one session, it was this one. Not so much anymore, though—but it still has sort of an aura, you know?

Russell M. Nelson, president of the high priesthood
  • As he travels the world, his purpose is to build others’ faith—but instead he always returns with his own faith strengthened.
  • The church exists to help those who are in need.
  • The church’s organized humanitarian efforts started in 1984, with a churchwide fast to help those suffering from the famine in Ethiopia.
  • [He then gave a solid overview of church humanitarian efforts.]
  • [He mentioned both church efforts to help rebuild mosques and assist refugees. I’m going to suggest there are a good number of members, perhaps specially in the United States, who need to be reminded that refugees an Muslims are good people.]
  • “Living [the] second great commandment is the key to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ.”
  • [I’ll admit it, i kept expecting a “therefore, today we are announcing…” But that wasn’t the reason for it—no announcements, just a reminder of what we’re doing and what we should be doing. Most excellent.]

Gary E. Stevenson, of the quorum of apostles
  • [He started with a pair of stories, the morals of which are, i think, that his family shouldn’t ever be around animals.]
  • There are some dangers before us: Either that we want things that are right to be different than they are, or that we don’t recognize things that are wrong as being what they are.
  • The Spirit will, however, not lie or mislead.

Walter F. González, of the quorums of seventy
  • Whatever we are experiencing, we can trust in the mercy and goodness of God.
  • If you feel unclean or broken, you can be made clean and mended because God loves you.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the quorum of apostles
  • The plan of God promised so much difficulty that many chose against it—but we accepted the challenge, believing that the promised reward was great enough to brave the discomfort.
  • The gospel is simple enough for a child to grasp, but so full that we can barely grasp the smallest part of it with a lifetime of study and experience.
  • “The gospel is not about doing things perfectly, but about doing things intentionally”—it is not our outcomes that determine our success, but rather our choices.
  • When we have the love of Christ in our hearts we love those who dislike or even ridicule us, and there is no room for rancor or shaming.
  • It is time to choose to be a part of the great adventure which is the gospel path.

Christina B. Franco, of the general presidency of the primary organization
  • [My linguist self absolutely adores her accent. She’s Argentinian, but her vowels are so Northern Cities (roughly, the Upstate New York to the Dakotas corridor). It’s a delightful combination. But it also means that i’m busy listening to the form of her speech, and not the content…]
  • We can all be part of the work of sharing the gospel with others.
  • We can pray for inspiration in sharing the gospel, and also for the ability to act on that inspiration.
  • [I'm liking that we’re hearing an intensely missionary-oriented address from a woman—we don't usually get that (except in the context of children sharing the gospel, which is how this started, but she’s going beyond that).]

Gerrit W. Gong
  • The age-old paradox is still valid: By losing our worldly self in covenant belonging, we gain our greatest possible eternal self.
  • We may lost faith in God along the way, but God never loses faith in us.
  • By making covenants, we can stop being miserable and “be happy being happy”.

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