Saturday, April 4, 2009

LDS 179th Annual Conference, Saturday Morning: Elder Neil Andersen Ordained As An Apostle; Members Counseled To Minimize Debt, Live Within Their Means

Note: Full transcripts of all Conference addresses now available in English HERE.

The 179th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked off on Saturday April 4th, 2009, and the highlight of the Saturday morning session was the announcement that Elder Neil Andersen has been ordained as an Apostle to fill the vacancy on the Quorum of the Twelve created by the death of Elder Joseph Wirthlin, who passed away in December 2008. Utah media stories by KSL Channel 5 and the Deseret News.

Saturday afternoon session discussed HERE, and the Saturday evening priesthood session discussed HERE.

Visit this static page to find out how you can watch or listen to Conference sessions.

The LDS website contains a an official photo of Elder Andersen and a biographical sketch of his life. As is the case with all such selections, Elder Andersen's life teems with accounts of his service to the Lord, to the Church, and to the community. Most recently, he was serving as the senior member of the Presidency of the Seventy, having been first named to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 1993 at the age of 41. He also supervised Church audiovisual production and managed construction of the broadcast facilities in the Conference Center as the Executive Director of the Church Audiovisual Department. Elder Andersen and his wife, Kathy Williams Andersen, are the parents of four children and twelve grandchildren. Additional biographical information posted on the FromTheDust website.

The Messenger and Advocate website is providing current written summaries of each session of the conference. In addition to naming Elder Anderson an Apostle, President Thomas Monson also delivered what can be characterized as a "State of the Church" address. Most notably, he disclosed that there are now 53,000 missionaries serving in 348 missions around the world.

But relevancy is part and parcel of the Church's outreach, as reflected by the address delivered by Elder Robert D. Hales, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Elder Hales discussed the current economic situation, and counseled members to avoid unnecessary debt. This means you buy not to keep up with the Joneses, but to satisfy your legitimate needs.

Since publishing this post, Messenger and Advocate have added to their own post. Margaret Lifferth, First Counselor to the Primary Presidency, called for increased reverence, respect, and etiquette. Michael Neider, Second Counselor to the Young Mens's Presidency, called for increased virtue and fidelity amongst Aaronic Priesthood quorums. Alan Parker, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, discussed testimony and cautioned people against expecting dramatic manifestations. Todd Christopherson, another member of the Quorum of the Twelve, discussed the importance of covenants. And Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor to the First Presidency, discussed the role of adversity in our lives, and how it can strengthen faith if handled properly.

More detailed summaries are posted by the Mormon Times, at the following links:

-- President Thomas A. Monson
-- Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve
-- Margaret S. Lifferth, first counselor, Primary General Presidency
-- Michael A. Neider, second counselor, Young Men General Presidency
-- Allan F. Packer of the Seventy
-- D. Todd Christopherson of the Quorum of the Twelve
-- Henry B. Eyring, first counselor, First Presidency

Full transcripts of all Conference addresses now available in English HERE.

Other LDS blogs, part of what is called the Bloggernacle, or Mormon Archipelago (I love the first term), are also providing current information. By Common Consent has posted some current photos. Juvenile Instructor gives us more background on Elder Andersen by referring us to a talk he delivered at the 178th Semiannual General Conference in October 2008, entitled “You Know Enough”.

Because new temples have been announced during previous recent conferences, many anticipate that Church authorities may announce new temples during this conference as well. The LDS Church Growth blog offers objective and empirical speculation on where the next series of temples might be constructed.

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