Sunday, April 01, 2018

LDS General Conference April 2018

April Conference 2018 was an eventful one.  It started out with a Solemn Assembly where President Russell M. Nelson was sustained as the new President and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A sustaining vote by common consent is not an election but an opportunity for leaders and members alike to commit to sustain, support and follow the Lord’s chosen leader by covenant.  

Why is a covenant necessary?  Covenants are necessary in the same way and purposes physicians take the Hippocratic Oath or politicians make an Oath of Office.  If making oaths and covenants find their origins in Judeo-christian religion, it shouldn’t he a surprise that the true Church of Jesus Christ makes full use of this principle.  The world inevitably gives us excuses to break our promises, covenants give us a sacred reason to keep them. 

In addition to sustaining a new President and prophet, the LDS Church made some administrative changes.  The Church combined its men’s organizations (Elders and High Priests) and made adjustments to its Home and Visiting Teaching programs.  These changes will simplify, expand, empower, and refocus these programs on ministering.  They also better take advantage of social media technologies.  More information on this ministering program can be seen at the followimg link:

In this conference we heard many inspirational stories and received excellent counsel. 

President Ballard taught us to never become discouraged, to be Christ-centered, and that Sacrament and Sabbath Day observance is a sign unto God that we remember Him and His Son.  Elder Hawk invited us to be forgiving even when others do not deserve it. Elder Robbins taught that mistakes are stepping stones to success but instead of going from failure to failure, we should grow from failure to failure. 

Elder Renlund taught that temple work and family history can heal family rifts and that the temple will bless anyone it touches like a river. Elder Holmes uncouraged wards to give young men more responsibilities and to not give the Aaronic Priesthood “children’s chairs to sit on”. Elder Christofferson taught that combining Elder and High Priests will unify our efforts, provide mentoring and more effective ministering.  He illustrated the kind of service wards can perform by telling the story of a ward that helped a man harvest his crop of Sugar Beets while he was attending funerals of several if his adult children.  

Elder Wilson told the story of Ensign Frank Blaire who was asked to serve as an acting chaplain for a troop transport ship during the Korean War. The ship was caught in a terrible typhoon and the captain asked Ensign Blaire to pray for the ship. Ensign Blaire didn’t just pray but asked what he could do to be part of the solution. In the end, Ensign Blaire provided spiritual impressions to the captain that saved the crew and the ship. Elder Wilson taught that these spiritual impressions were made possible because Ensign Blaire was 1. living a clean and virtuous life and had confidence to approach God. 2. Asked what he could do to be part of the solution. 3. Committing to act. 4. He practiced in calm waters so he was ready during the storm. Elder Wilson taught that we should be spiritually self reliant, “counsel with the Lord in all thy doings”, and live a guided life. 

Sister Aburto encouraged members to act with one accord, agreement and unity like a kaleidoscope of monarch butterflies. Elder De Feo taught that true disciples love one another, are peacemakers, stand in holy places and make the places they stand holy, listen to prophets voice and love to obey the Lord’s commandments.  President Oaks taught that great things are brought about by small means like how we spend our time and that spiritual fabric (rope) is woven by many small threads. 

Finally, President Russel M. Nelson told us the story of growing up in a less-active home and, as a child, breaking all his parents liqueur bottles wishing them to obey the Word of Wisdom.  He taught that we can be guided in matters large and small, that good revelation is based on good information and that members must increase our spiritual capacity to receive revelation.  President Nelson then announced the construction of seven new temples.
  • Salta, Argentina
  • Bengaluru, India
  • Managua, Nicaragua
  • Cagayan de Oro, Philippines
  • Layton, Utah
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • and a major city yet to be determined in Russia
President Nelson said, “My dear brothers and sisters, construction of these temples may not change your life, but your time in the temple surely will.”

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