Saturday, April 3, 2021

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday afternoon session

Saturday afternoon, first address at the bottom of the post, the remainder in reverse chronological order.

M. Russell Ballard, acting president of the quorum of apostles
  • Knowing God helps us know who we actually are, and gives us a sense of belonging because we know we are part of one great family.
  • “Believing that God loves us and we are his children is comforting and reassuring.”
  • We need to help those who feel they don’t belong.
  • “Waiting on the Lord” is an action, and requires action.
  • We tend to make divisions for administrative convenience (e.g., Single Adults, Young Single Adults…), but we’re all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that encompasses everybody in one.
Thierry K. Mutombo, of the quorums of seventy, pre-recorded
  • [Telling the story of growing up in an inharmonious family, but then the gospel helping them have a change of heart that led “truly [becoming] a family”.]
  • If we follow Jesus Christ we will have light, and will be changed into what we should be.
  • [He may have been the happiest-looking and most expressive general authority i’ve seen speak in a long time.]
Neil L. Andersen, of the quorum of apostles
  • Our eternal perspective not only helps us know that those who have died continue to live, but also that those who are newly born are continuing an ongoing journey.
  • [This led into an extended anti-abortion address. Not a lot of individual bits to pull out of that.]
  • [I really do just worry that people are going to hear the “no abortion” message, since it matches their point of view, but are going to miss everything else in it.]
Dale G. Renlund, of the quorum of apostles
  • For many, suffering and brutal unhappiness can seem in conflict with the reality of a loving God.
  • Sometimes our perception of unfairness can disappear when we learn more—but some unfairness cannot be explained away, and that is reasonably enough infuriating.
  • Unfairness is baked into mortality—but Jesus Christ both understands unfairness, and can provide a remedy through his compassion, healing, and help.
  • When we are faced with unfairness, we want to know when and how God will fix it. The when and how have, however, not been revealed—but they will happen.
  • Even though unfairness is part of our existence, we should fight against it in whatever ways we can.
  • “How we deal with [our] advantages and disadvantages is part of life’s test.”
Jorge T. Becerra, of the quorums of seventy, pre-recorded
  • [Dang, even being thousands of miles away from the conference doesn’t get you out of speaking anymore!]
  • We need to be aware of each pobrecito ‘poor little ones’ around us, and remember to see them as God does.
  • We are all the body of Christ, and every member of the body is necessary, especially those that we may think of as weaker.
Jeffrey R. Holland, of the quorum of apostles
  • “Violence and conflict [are] a signature feature of relationships in the last days.” [That’s an interesting (and mildly disturbing) framing.]
  • There are “real deficits” of faith, hope, and charity all around us, but we need to develop an economy of goodness.
  • [I don’t know if he means this address in terms of what we normally think of as economics (e.g., money flows and such) or in terms of something more figurative, but i like to think that it’s meant both ways.]
  • We need the powers of heaven, which can be exercised via principles of righteousness (recognizing the difference between powers and principles).
  • [He called out sexual harassment directly, and in the context of broken covenants. And then he called out abuse of all kinds (including ecclesiastical abuse!)—and he got a little (righteously) angry about it. Way more direct than you usually hear.]
  • Everyone has the right to have love, peace, and safety.
Jared B. Larson, managing director of the church auditing department, presenting the church auditing report
  • [Seriously, why do we even do the audit report bit anymore? Back in the day it actually had content, but nowadays, not so much…]
Dallin H. Oaks, of the quorum of apostles presenting the general officers and authorities of the church
  • New general primary presidency! And a lot of new general authority seventies.

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