Saturday, April 4, 2020

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday morning session

So this is probably the last one of these i post here. It’s nice having my conference notes in an easy place to find, but it’s kind of a bother (and a little distracting during the conference, honestly) to take notes in this sort of restrictive format.

However, i’m still committed to doing this for this round, so as with the others of these, it’s arranged “bottom up”, with the first speaker at the bottom, and going later in the session upwards from there. (The comments under each speaker’s name, though, read from the name downward. It’s confusing at first, but it works.)

Before getting to that, though, i do want to say how happy i am that the leaders of the church are modeling “social distancing”—there are a number of religious leaders in this country who apparently think that being religious exempts us from common sense during a pandemic.

Henry B. Eyring, of the first presidency
  • As we prepared for this conference, we had the opportunity to become more optimistic and ready to move the work forward.
  • What we will do in the coming days is not yet known, but we do know some things.
  • The gospel will be offered to all people on earth, and we have the opportunity to join together in unity and then be a part of spreading that unity.
  • We need to practice the pattern of faith and drawing near to God through constant prayer.
  • Consider Joseph Smith’s response when Satan attacked him in the sacred grove—it was to call on God with all his energy, which is what we should do when the “enemy of the restoration” [his phrasing!] tries to convince us not to pray and not to do our part.
  • As we pray in faith, we become a vital part of God’s work.
Douglas D. Holmes, of the general presidency of the young men organization
  • Our relationships are one of the primary purposes that we gather in groups in faith, and they are the basis of effective ministering.
  • Helping others understand their true identity and purpose, and as God does, is one of the greatest gifts we have.
  • As we plan church gatherings, remember that we need to plan them to achieve unity in Christ.
  • [Interesting to be taught about church gatherings…at a time when we can’t have any church gatherings.]
  • In the youth programs the church formerly had, there were about 500 different requirements to achieve recognition, but now there is effectively one—come unto Christ.
  • The youth in the church today are important to the church, and have the capacity to change the world in great ways.
Neil L. Anderson, of the quorum of apostles
  • From time to time, God very powerfully and personally affirms love for us, and directs us—and then at later times the Spirit brings those experiences back to our minds.
  • God’s workings in our lives can be very attuned to our specific needs and times, giving us spiritual memories we can continually return to [along with several examples from his own and others’ experiences].
  • Sometimes God speaks so loudly and clearly to us that we might not realize it.
  • Angels have not ceased to minister to us, because they minister at the command and will of God.
Joy D. Jones, general president of the primary organization
  • Topic: Women’s continuing roles in the restoration.
  • It is time for women to step forward and use the influence they are entitled to have.
  • [And now to a pre-recorded clip of Sesame Street children asking Russell M. Nelson questions!]
  • Our journey in life takes effort and hard work, but brings eternal rewards.
  • There are many things to do, too many to do them all, so the Spirit helps us determine what we should do.
  • Everyone who keeps their covenants has access to the power of God, and to priesthood power.
James R. Rasband, of the quorums of seventy
  • The atonement satisfies the “demands of justice”—but what are the demands of justice?
  • There will be a “righteous judgment” through the atonement—which means that sins made in ignorance, or in the absence of agency, will not be held against us.
  • Where knowledge is given, however, we will be held accountable—but this is also glad tidings, because healing through repentance is possible.
  • We all make mistakes, and those mistakes sometimes affect others negatively even to the point of leading them into sin, but if they simply look to God and take advantage of the atonement, they will be healed, which is part of our own healing when we are the ones who caused the initial problem.
M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of Apostles
  • Starting out with a history of the circumstances surrounding Joseph Smith, Jr’s growing up, and the family’s move to western New York.
  • The Smiths were able to successfully start over when they moved because they were united as a family.
  • [Interesting, this is kind of a “harmony” of the four primary-source accounts of the first vision.]
  • Hyrum Smith [who, by the way, is one of M. Russell Ballard’s ancestors] was his brother Joseph’s faithful support, even to their deaths.
  • We should always keep in mind the price paid by Joseph and Hyrum Smith and so many others to bring us the truths we enjoy now.
Russell M. Nelson, President of the High Priesthood
  • We’re currently facing trials due to a pandemic, but there are other trials of other sorts we may face—but God has said that if we are prepared we shall not fear.
  • In the first vision, when God the Father pointed to Jesus Christ and said “Hear him”, that was ultimately a command to all of us.
  • There will be a worldwide solemn assembly in conjunction with this general conference on Sunday.

No comments: