Sunday, October 6, 2019

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday afternoon session

If you’re coming to this after the conference has ended, this may be the first of these entries you see, so for those new to this or who’ve forgotten, here’s how to read them: Blogs run—going against millennia of best practice in reading and writing, i’ll note—in reverse chronological order, so this one’s at the top of the page, followed by the entry for the previous session, followed by the previous one, and so on. Therefore, to make it easier to follow this whole thing chronologically, speakers are arranged within each session’s entry in reverse chronological order, as well—so the opening speaker for this session is at the bottom of this post, preceded by the next speaker, preceded by the next one, and so on.

So now it’s time to scroll down and read upwards, or start here and go backwards in time:

Closing thoughts
    There was a lot of intensity this conference. Yeah, that’s probably the right word to use.
  • My favorite address is a toss-up between Reyba I.Aburto in the general women’s session and Russell M. Nelson’s address that closed the Sunday morning session; I’ll have to give the nod to Sister Aburto just because she gets fewer chances to speak.
  • But I also have to say that the best-delivered address was Peter M. Johnson’s. It’s always good to have people around who grew up in a different and more, well, lively preaching tradition.
  • And that’s a wrap! Time to read up on the First Vision before the next one…

Russell M. Nelson, president of the high priesthood
  • Some will visit our temple open houses and desire to learn more about how to qualify for those blessings—and we must be ready to help them do so.
  • Consider the words on every temple: “Holiness to the Lord”. All of the requirements to enter the temple deal with holiness.
  • [He listed the temple recommend questions, including recent edits for—his word—clarity, though no real substantive changes.]
  • “In a sense, it is easier to build a temple than to build a people prepared to enter a temple.”
  • A reminder that next year is the bicentennial of the First Vision, and the next general conference will celebrate that—and all members are asked to prepare for that.

Neal L. Andersen
  • We must partake of the fruit of the gospel of Jesus Christ—but then it is not all done.
  • At times little things can upend our spiritual balance—but please don’t let those things turn you away from the fruit of the gospel.
  • Jesus Christ is the source of all joy—if we look to the world, we will never find joy.

Ulisses Soares
  • All those who wish to follow Jesus must deny their own desires, and follow precisely what God wills for them.
  • Our determination to follow God means that we will be protected from those things that can overcome those things that could overwhelm us.
  • Always strive to do your best—retain the desire to “cleanse the inner vessel”.
  • As we strive to do what we should, God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
  • “We cannot repent for other people, but we can forgive them.”
  • Taking up our cross means being humble, and recognizing that God knows what is best for us—and that will provide rest for our souls, and make our burdens light.

Peter M. Johnson, of the quorums of seventy
  • “If we do not understand who we are then it is difficult to understand who we can become.”
  • Satan uses deception, distraction, and discouragement to steal our happiness.
  • How do we overcome this? Remember that the first commandment is to love God, which will increase our capacity to love and serve others; pray every day; and study the Book of Mormon every day; take the sacrament worthily.
  • [Dang, this guy knows how to preach!]

M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the quorum of apostles
  • Don’t miss an opportunity to look into the eyes of your family with love.
  • Express your love and appreciation for family members.
  • By seeking spiritual help through the Holy Ghost, we can overcome all things.
  • How are we doing in the battle between our carnal and spiritual natures?
  • Remember that our spirits have been around much longer than our physical bodies—our spirits have more experience.
  • We need to think about how we are controlling our carnal desires, and promoting our spiritual impulses.

Hans T. Boom, of the quorums of seventy
  • We need all of the (metaphorical) instruments in the church—everyone has something to contribute, no matter what parts they play.
  • Even those who don’t play as frequently (like the gong) are needed.
  • If you feel you are not currently able to be a part of the orchestra, keep at it and your burdens will be lifted from you.
  • As we experience God’s love, it will brighten our lives and others will be drawn to that light.

Henry B. Eyring, of the first presidency
  • We can be sanctified (i.e., become more holy) when we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, follow the commandments, and make covenants.
  • We can hear the Holy Ghost when there is spiritual peace in our hearts.
  • The Holy Ghost brings peace and joy.
  • Feelings of happiness, even in the face of tragedy, is a promised blessing for a life of holiness.
  • When we choose to repent, we choose to become holier—we choose to become more like Jesus Christ.

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