Saturday, April 3, 2010

LDS 180th Annual Conference, Saturday Afternoon General Session: Teaching The Gospel Begins At Home, Avoid Cultural Pollution

NOTE: Audio and video archives, as well as written transcripts of the 180th Annual Conference in English, are now available HERE. For any other language, go HERE and select the language of your choice.

The Saturday afternoon session of the 180th Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continued the underlying theme of bucking up the morale of the sisters by reminding them of their unique role and importance. But the value of the scriptures in our everyday lives was also stressed.

Visit my static Conference page for information regarding times and broadcast options for all Conference sessions.

-- Summary of Saturday morning session available HERE.
-- Summary of Saturday evening priesthood session available HERE.
-- Summary of Sunday morning session available HERE.
-- Summary of Sunday afternoon session available HERE.

KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

First was some "general housekeeping". Seven general authorities, 43 area authority seventies and a new Primary General Presidency have been added to the leadership of the LDS Church. The new leaders were called by the First Presidency and sustained during the Saturday afternoon session. Reflecting the increasing internationalization of the Church, a growing number of the newcomers hail from outside the United States. Read the full list of callings and condensed bios HERE.

Next came the demographic report, current as of December 31st, 2009. The numbers show the Church to be still convert-fueled; 280,106 converts were reported vs. 119,722 new children of record. Here are the pertinent new membership statistics:

-- Stakes: 2,865
-- Missions: 344
-- Districts: 616
-- Wards and branches: 28,424
-- Members: 13,824,854
-- Full-time missionaries: 51,736
-- Total operating temples: 130

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve then ascended the stand. Elder Perry stressed the importance of teaching the Gospel in the home. "Our teaching in the home prepares us to teach more effectively at Church, and our teaching at Church helps us teach more effectively at home," Elder Perry said. "Throughout the Church there are dining room tables covered with reference materials and notebooks filled with ideas for lessons to be taught." He also opined that there is no such thing as over-preparing to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ; lessons not taught during formal class time can always be taught in the home. And, consistent with the underlying theme of the Conference so far, Elder Perry highlighted the role mothers play in this task, reminding people that since the father tends to be out of the home working, the mother gets more time with the kids. Deseret News story HERE. More after the jump

Next up was Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve. He spoke of the value of the scriptures, describing them as a blessing from the Lord, showing forth His power to save and exalt His children. Elder Christofferson outlined three important functions of the scriptures:

-- They enlarge our memory by helping people remember their relationship to God and by helping us not forget what we and earlier generations have learned.
-- They help unmask erroneous thinking, false traditions and sin with its devastating effects.
-- They bring us to Christ, our Redeemer.

In the final analysis, the central purpose of all scripture is to fill our souls with faith in God the Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ. Deseret News story HERE.

Next up was Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy, who spoke of the value of keeping commandments. He identified three primary reasons why people fail to obey commandments:

-- "This commandment doesn't apply to me." Partial obedience only brings partial blessings, at most.
-- "We do not believe the commandment is important." Full obedience to the Lord's command, in spite of how trivial it is believed to be, will surely bring His promised blessings.
-- "We are certain that the commandment is too difficult to obey." Faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task, will bring the Lord's guidance, assistance and peace.

The bottom line: Obedience to the Lord's commandments provides us confidence in our chosen path, His guidance and direction as we pursue our efforts and offers us the potential to become like our Savior, Jesus Christ and return to our Father's presence. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Koichi Aoyagi of the Seventy was next up. He pointed out that humanitarian aid doesn't always mean physical assistance alone, but can also mean spiritual assistance. He cited a number of examples from his own life to buttress his counsel. Elder Aoyagi concluded by saying, "May we follow the counsel and example of the prophet and each day seek out those in need, that we might be the hands of the Lord in helping and saving His children." Deseret News story HERE.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve then spoke of a spiritual early warning system that can be a source of protection and direction in one's life. He set forth three components of a spiritual early warning system:

-- Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon. Regular reading of and talking about the Book of Mormon invite the power to resist temptation and to produce feelings of love within our families.
-- Bearing testimony spontaneously. Parents should be vigilant and spiritually attentive to spontaneously occurring opportunities to bear testimony to their children. The more spontaneous and unscripted it is, the more authentic it will be perceived.
-- Inviting children to act. Spiritual understanding cannot merely be given to our children; the tuition of diligence and of learning by study and also by faith must be paid to obtain and personally 'own' such knowledge. Only in this way can what is known in the mind also be felt in the heart. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Jeffrey Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke out against cultural pollution and moral decay. And why does Elder Holland think there's so much moral decay about victimizing individuals and families?

"I knew at least part of the answer to my own question," he said. "Most days we all find ourselves assaulted by immoral messages of some kind flooding in on us from every angle. The darker sides of the movies, television and music industry step farther and farther into the mire, saturating society with offensive language and sexual misconduct."

Elder Holland advises people in this predicament to first separate themselves from harmful people, materials and circumstances. Then request outside help - use the priesthood chain of command, ask for a priesthood blessing, use the Church's family service offerings, pray without ceasing, and even ask for the help of angels. Deseret News story HERE

Several on the Bloggernacle continue to live-blog or discuss the sessions, including Feminist Mormon Housewives, By Common Consent, The Fulness, and Mormon Mentality. Photos of afternoon session also published at By Common Consent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the short summaries -- they were perfect for our FHE tonight!