Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 October General Conference Priesthood Session

Elder Renlund

A rocket's mission is delivering a payload

Christ's atonement is the payload

Priesthood is only useful if payload is delivered

Priesthood is the rocket. 

Minor defects can compromise the rocket leading to catastrophic failure.

We have the priesthood to help others, bring others to Christ, teach His commandments, administer His ordinances.

Covenant is like holding water in cupped hands. If we loosen fingers, we can't hold any water.

We can't be casual about our covenants.

Restoration of blessings revokes excommunication.

Elder Evans

While you question, remember to do the things you know you should and not do the things you know you shouldn't

Do what is necessary to gain a testimony.

Keep testimony alive

Act by reading the Book of Mormon  and giving away our sins

Elder Maynes

Developing integrity of heart cultivates Gods trust

Integrity engenders trust which brings peace

Never compromise your integrity or take a bribe.

President Uchtdorf

It helps to talk to someone who cares about our struggles

"I would rather wait in line, the stamp machine won't ask me about my arthritis"

Vibrant spiritual health without stagnation.

Spiritual wounds are not incurable.

Healing power of Christ is alive in our day.

The Light of Christ allows us to see things as they really are.

We can then have a perfect brightness of hope.

President Eyring

Honor the priesthood 

Beware eroding faith in our leaders

Beware fault-finding

Do not cut the thread that binds you to the prophet

Be faithful like Brigham Young was to Joseph Smith

2017 October General Conference Saturday Afternoon

Elder Stevenson

Beware spiritual eclipses

Use social media to share gospel

Beware time wasting

Beware idealized reality and debilitating comparisons

Beware of pride

The gospel of Jesus Christ is our spiritual light.

President Owen

Repentance brings happiness, confidence and peace.

True repentance leads to commitment.

Repentance is for saints and sinners

We are all prodigals

Repentance is a lifetime pursuit

Do not procrastinate 

Elder Cook

Beware self-importance

Life is short like a British summer

Consider Christ's condescension 

Have we been sufficiently humble?

Humility is serving faithful in any calling

Beware self-aggrandizement 

Beware the natural man and calls for authenticity as an excuse. 

Men are given weaknesses to be humble

Humility is a sign of spiritual strength

Elder Rasband

God does not work by coincidence but by divine design.

Nephi was led by the spirit not knowing beforehand what he should do.

No weapon can frustrate God's plan of happiness.

God knows the end from the beginning.

God will orchestrate opportunities in our lives. 

Right devisions will foster Gods confidence in us.

Agency means we have a choice to follow God's divine design or not.

God knows what we are capable of.

God is in the small details and bigger milestones.

Elder Haleck

The poor widow gave all her living

The pacific saints show similar faith

Family suffered social stigma, employment

America Samoa contributed to building of their temple joyfully

President Nelson

Diamonds, rubies or scriptures; which is of more value to us?

Study the Book of Mormon: what does it refute, affirm and reveal.

Testifies that Jesus is the Christ

Teaches the doctrines of Christ

Restores plain and previous truths

Answers questions of the soul

Exposes tactics of adversaries

Refutes false doctrines like infant baptism

Proves the heavens are not sealed

We will receive answers to our own questions and overcome personal struggles.

2017 October General Conference Saturday Morning

President Uchtdorf

God's Spirit will lead us home

If we seek our Heavenly home and follow the Savior, Our lives will be better but not trouble free

Fruit of the gospel is not material wealth but joy and peace

God will increase our strength

Begin our journey home

Seek to be a blessing to others

God uses the weak and imperfect if we are humble

Sister Oscarson

Natural disasters brings opportunities for service

Whosoever will lose his life shall save it

Service is our purpose

We do not go to church for what we get out of it

Yes learn doctrine and feel inspired but also lift others

Servers and suppliers, not just takers and consumers

Look to Minister to others

Elder Oaks

The wisdom of God is foolishness to the world

Do not seek the vain things of the world

We should expect mocking and opposition 

We should forsake the world

Salvation is an individual matter

Exaltation is a family matter

Sometimes truth causes conflict

Family Proclamation is not just a policy

Show love for all but fearlessly follow our faith 

In 1995, the Family Proclamation was inspired and prophetic

It is a test for our generation

Elder Pingree

God has a work for each of us

Improve our discipleship by serving others

Identify and develop spiritual gifts

Make use of adversity

Tribulation helps us serve others

Avoid distraction and discouragement

Allow God to work through us

Deflect personal praise

"Here am I, send me"

Elder Christopherson 

The 5000 hung around wanting to be fed again

Jesus wanted the people to eat His flesh and blood (spiritually) not just the barley loaves

This is a hard saying, who can hear it?

Feast upon the words of Christ

Each torn piece of bread is unique just as our needs, struggles are unique

Internalize the qualities of Christ

Give away all our sins

Gap between our sinfulness and the holiness of God

We must be humble and plead for forgiveness

Christ is the Son of the Man of Holiness

Seek holiness in all we do, think, hear

Elder Holland

Be ye therefore perfect

How can we ever measure up

Are covenants just curses and condemnations?

We may not be perfect here but this does not justify our sins

We are all debtors, our debt is incomprehensible

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

2017 October General Women's Conference

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf:

"We are responsible for our own discipleship, and it has little--if anything--to do with the way others treat us."

"I am not going to let other people and their opinions stop me from singing"

Don't be a victim or a hater.  Be a true disciple. 

Stay on the path and press on.  Never let go of the iron rod ... and when anyone tries to make you ashamed for partaking of the love of God, ignore them. 

Fill your heart with gratitude and find refuge in the organizations of thr Church.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Council of Fifty

The LDS Church History Department has been anxiously engaged in the publishing the Joseph Smith Papers and an updated Church History.  One wonderful aspect of Church history that has come out of this project is revealing more details about the Council of 50 at Nauvoo.  

The LDS Church is led be a First Presidency, Council of the Twelve, and Council of the Seventies. But not much was known by the general membership about the Council of 50. Joseph Smith was not only the President of the LDS Church but also Mayor of the City of Nauvoo.  The Council of 50 was focused on more political and logistical issues of running a vibrant city.

After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Council of 50 continued to meet.  When it became apparent that the state of Illinois was unwilling to protect the LDS and we were going to need to abandon Nauvoo, the Council of 50 discussed and explored potential locations.

Several fascinating lessons that can be learned from the Council of 50.  Joseph Smith had prophesied that the latter-day would become a great people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains. However, when it came to making the decision to flee Nauvoo and settle in the barren Salt Lake Valley, all other options were considered.   The Council of 50 explored settling in Texas, Oregon, California, and even with certain Native American tribes.  However, after all alternatives were exhaustively explored, the Council formed a unanimous consensus around the will of God and the prophetic words of the Prophet. 

Settling in the barren Salt Lake Valley next to a dead sea was the most unlikely and ill-advisable option. There were so many more  attractive options.  But the consensus of the Saints to leave the United States and settle next to the Great Salt Lake and thoughout the Rocky Mountains demonstrates the inspired operation of the Council of 50 and evidence of the divine providence of God. Had God not revealed His will through the prophet Joseph Smith, the Saints would have never seriously considered it.  Yet, modern Israel made the deserts of the Great Basin blossom as the rose. 

Sometimes God may allow us to briefly go down a couple of wrong roads so that when we eventually start down the right road we know it's the right one; especially is the right on is bumpy.

Another major policy issue that was considered by the Council of 50, was a discussion on proper civil government. Free discussion on these sensitive matters is believed to be a reason why the proceedings of the Council were not publicized.  Like the discussion on where the LDS should settle, the Council of 50 discussed vsrious aspects of goverment from theocracy and democracy to socialism and communalism.   

The LDS had been betrayed by the United States government.  The US and several state governments had denied them their freedom of religion and failed to protect life, liberty, and property.  So, in the end of extensive deliberations, it seems the most unlikely result that the Council of 50 formed a unanimous consensus that the US Constitution was an inspired document and that the LDS Church should defend the US Constitution; even if its leaders were desecrating it through their evil policies of Manifest Destiny, slavery and a Mormon extermination order in Missouri.

The prophet Joseph Smith had taught that God had raised up the founders and inspired them to establish this nation and its constitution which would serve as a model of constitutional goverment thoughout the world.  It is because of the revelations of God through Joseph Smith that it was decided for Joseph Smith to champion the constitution and run for POTUS instead of abandoning it or opposing it. Unfortunately, Joseph Smith was killed not long thereafter. 

Joseph's influence and the consensus of the Council of 50 led Joseph's predecessor Brigham Young to heed the call of the US goverment in supplying the US Army with men during the Mexican-American war (Mormon Battalion) while fleeing Illinois and walking with their wives and children to the Utah Territory.  Instead of forming their own nation, the LDS  eventually sought statehood. In spite of the many abuses, the LDS have remained fearlessly patriotic and devoted to the US Constitution and standing up for the liberty and freedom.