Saturday, October 3, 2020

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday afternoon session

Round 2! As with the rest of these, the first speaker is at the bottom of the post, and it reads upward from there.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the quorum of apostles
  • The current pandemic is not what we wanted to experience, but it still fits into God’s plan.
  • Even when we feel buried in darkness, the love of God will bring us, like seeds, into something greater and wonderful.
  • The righteous are not given a pass to let them avoid adversity, because it is in our adversity that we learn what we need to know.
  • God is fully aware of and concerned by our struggles.
  • [Indirect airplane references! Followed by much more direct ones.]
  • In times of crisis, we need calm and clearheaded trust.
  • With Christ at the helm, things won’t be just all right, they will be unimaginable.
William K. Jackson, of the quorums of seventy
  • An overfixation on one’s cultural identity and assumptions can blind us to good or even godly changes that would help us grow.
  • The greatest of all cultures, the culture of Christ, comes from the great plan of happiness.
  • Charity—feeling real concern for the temporal and spiritual welfare of others and acting on it—is the bedrock of this culture.
  • [Sorry, y’all, but this guy looks like a cross between Leslie Nielsen and Steve Martin to me, and that’s making it a little hard to pay full attention.]
  • When we join with the culture of Christ, we are to bring everything in our cultures that is good and let the church add to it.
  • [Once again, can we get an explicit mention that “the culture of Christ” doesn’t equate to whatever church members in Utah think is the default? Please?]
Matthew S. Holland, of the quorums of seventy
  • The purpose of repentance is to take exquisite misery and turn it into pure bliss.
  • We do not know how unfathomable our pain will be if we do not repent—but we are offered a complete erasure of that.
  • Not all pain comes from our own sin—it can also come from honest mistakes, or the sins of others.
  • In those cases, counseling and medical intervention and the like can bring relief—but the ultimate relief from this kind of pain also comes from the atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • It is a lie of Satan’s that we would not suffer if only we were better—we will all suffer, it is just a matter of whether we make use of the atonement so that they are a part of what leads us to perfection.
W. Christopher Waddell, of the Presiding Bishopric
  • We are led by prophets who understand the need we have to prepare against the calamities to come, and who also recognize the limits we face as we strive to follow their counsel.
  • The church has provided tools to bishops and branch presidents to help people rebuild their temporal lives.
  • If you are struggling temporally, it would be cruel to ask you to prepare by (for example) building up a year’s supply of food. However, once we are again able, we should make sure we are prepared for future problems we may face, and to do so in wisdom, without overextending ourselves.
  • It was not enough for Joseph to have let the people of Egypt know that times of dearth were coming, they then had to act to prepare.
  • Of all of the steps needed to prepare ourselves temporally, the most important is to begin.
Gerrit W. Gong, of the quorum of apostles
  • [A prerecorded address, because he is quarantining due to a potential exposure to the novel coronavirus.]
  • In the kingdom of God, there are no strangers or “others”.
  • Joseph Smith was told that Heavenly Father desires everyone to experience God’s love.
  • As we live the gospel, we can become a part of the fulfillment of that prophecy.
  • As we live the gospel, we change ourselves in ways that make the world better.
  • Our religious faith leads us to do good in ways that improve not just ourselves, but also our communities.
Steven J. Lund, general president of the young men organization
  • [Shouldn’t make light of it, i know, but i’m starting to think that dying/dead child stories need to be added to our various general conference bingo cards.]
  • Young men and women, by serving, learn to do what Jesus does. And what does Jesus do? Brings to pass our immortality and eternal life.
  • We need to support our youth in the children and youth program so that they can use it to bless others and come closer to God.
D. Todd Christofferson, of the quorum of apostles
  • The United Nations issues goals for sustainable development a few years back. That is important, but more important is building a sustainable society. What would that take?
  • We have scriptural examples of flourishing societies: The City of Enoch, and the first- and second-century Nephites and Lamanites.
  • Those societies were sustained by heaven as they adhered closely to the two great commandments—they were obedient to God, and looked out for others.
  • Even for these societies, sustainability was not guaranteed—when the Nephites and Lamanites turned from a sense of accountability to God, disaster followed.
  • We can all agree that even those who have no belief in God are often good, moral people—but that is itself a manifestation of the influence of God, because it is the Light of Christ that lets us all know the difference between good and evil.
  • When Alma stepped down as chief judge to devote himself to address the sin that was growing (particularly in the church), his strategy was not to make new rules, but to remind the people of the truth of God.
Henry B. Eyring of the first presidency, the presentation of church authorities and officers
  • A handful were released from the general authority-level quorums of seventy, but one was not granted emeritus status—which was a hint that they weren’t done with him. (He was called into the presiding bishopric.)

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