Sunday, April 05, 2009

LDS General Conference

This weekend LDS members enjoyed the 179th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every six months the leaders of the LDS church including the president and prophet of the LDS Church, the quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the quorums of the Seventy instruct the members. Several of the talks I really enjoyed include:

Elder David A. Bednar spoke of the importance of the Temple. While members of the church covenant in baptism and the sacrament that we are "willing to take upon" ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, it is the temple were we in actuality take upon ourselves fully the name of Jesus Christ. Elder Bednar spoke of the spiritual protection from sin promised to those who "stand in holy places" and who have taken upon them and feel the "fire of the covenant." Elder Bednar challenged all Saints to regularly go to the temple and keep our temple covenants.

D&C 109:22-26 And we ask thee, Holy Father, that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them; And from this place they may bear exceedingly great and glorious tidings, in truth, unto the ends of the earth, that they may know that this is thy work, and that thou hast put forth thy hand, to fulfil that which thou hast spoken by the mouths of the prophets, concerning the last days. We ask thee, Holy Father, to establish the people that shall worship, and honorably hold a name and standing in this thy house, to all generations and for eternity; That no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that he who diggeth a pit for them shall fall into the same himself; That no combination of wickedness shall have power to rise up and prevail over thy people upon whom thy name shall be put in this house;

Elder Quentin L. Cook spoke about several doctrinal "stumbling blocks" or misunderstandings that others have about the LDS church and our doctrine and about the true doctrine of Christ from the Bible and from modern scripture. Many Christians have been falsely taught that there is to be no more revelation or prophets after Jesus Christ. However, the reality of Joseph Smith's First Vision demonstrates that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Elder Cook suggests that it can be as difficult to accept miracles today as it is to accept the miracles of Christ such as the virgin birth, the atonement and the resurrection. In our modern technological age, we are still expected to live by faith. It is the message of the LDS church that the Lord's church continues to be led today by living prophets and apostles.

Elder Cook also spoke about the LDS doctrine on the salvation of man. Many Christians have been taught that only a small number of men will be saved by Christ and go to heaven while everyone else will be damned to hell with Satan forever. LDS doctrine understands that only some who willfully and knowingly rebel against God will not be saved. While there will be different rewards in heaven; the vast majority of mankind will be saved from Hell through Christ who will save all children who die before the age of accountability and those who hear the gospel in the spirit world, who had died without a knowledge of Christ and accept it with all their hearts will also be saved.


O, yet we trust that somehow good
Will be the final goal of ill,
To pangs of nature, sins of will,
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood;

That nothing walks with aimless feet;
That not one life shall be destroy'd,
Or cast as rubbish to the void,
When God hath made the pile complete;

I also was very moved at the talk by our prophet President Thomas S. Monson. President Monson talked about the calamities, trials, tribulation, and adversity of our time. He said it is easy to become cynical, doubt, and fearful if we focus only on the negative and not the blessings in our lives.

2 Tim. 1: 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

If we make the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will not remove the troubles from us, but it will help us focus on our blessings and prevail over all our trials. President Monson recounts the story of a German Woman living in East Prussia after World War II who was forced to take her 5 children 1000 miles to West Germany on foot in winter. She had already lost her husband in the war. During the journey, she buried all 5 children in the frozen earth, one by one, along the way digging shallow graves with only a spoon. After burying her last infant child with only her bare fingers, she was overcome with grief and contemplating suicide, the voice of God came to her pleading with her to kneel and pray for strength. She did so and was strengthened in the hour of her Job-like extremity. She was comforted knowing that through the Resurrection of Christ she would see her children and have the joy of raising them to adulthood. Despite all of her trial and adversity she was one of the happiest, optimistic and faithful saints. President Monson charged us to "fear not, be of good cheer; our future is a bright as our faith."


Kathy said...

I have few questions would like to ask about the LDS doctrine, would that be possible to get in touch with you via email?

BRoz said...

you can post a question as a comment if you like.

Arthur T. Lee said...

This is probably too late, but Kathy -- did you ever get your questions answered? I'd be happy to talk via email.