Sunday, October 3, 2010

LDS 180th Semiannual Conference, Sunday Afternoon General Session: Aaronic Priesthood, Holy Ghost, A Good Name, And Addiction

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

The Sunday afternoon session of the 180th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints brought more counsel to the membership, focusing on the Aaronic Priesthood, how to receive the Holy Ghost, the value of maintaining a good name, and avoiding addiction.

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

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

KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve: Elder Perry focused on the "wonderful young men" of the Aaronic Priesthood. He explained that not only do young men of the Aaronic Priesthood receive the power and authority to be agents of the Lord in carrying out their priesthood responsibilities, but they receive the keys of the ministering of angels. He promised Aaronic Priesthood holders that if they heed the voice of warning of the Holy Ghost and follow His direction, they will be blessed with the ministering of angels. He challenged them to build their lives on a foundation of truth and righteousness and to prepare themselves to eventually receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. Parents are charged with the responsibility of teaching their children the doctrines of the holy priesthood, and bishops are charged with the responsibility to be certain each young man who is worthy to receive the Aaronic Priesthood fully understands the attendant obligations and blessings. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve: Elder Bednar held forth on the idea of receiving the Holy Ghost. These four words – ”Receive the Holy Ghost” – are not a passive pronouncement; rather they constitute a priesthood injunction–an authoritative admonition to act and not simply to be acted upon. The Holy Ghost does not become operative in our lives merely because hands are placed upon our heads and those four important words are spoken. As we receive this ordinance, each of us accepts a sacred and ongoing responsibility to desire, to seek, to work, and to so live that we indeed receive the Holy Ghost and its attendant spiritual gifts. To receive the Holy Ghost, one must meet three criteria: Sincerely desire to receive the Holy Ghost, appropriately invite the Holy Ghost into our lives, and faithfully obey God’s commandments. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Larry R. Lawrence of the First Quorum of Seventy: Directed his counsel towards parents. Because our bright and energetic youth are the future of the Church, they are also a prime target of the adversary. Parents are responsible for the protection of their children; that means spiritually as well as physically. Parents who love their children cannot afford to be intimidated by them. Elder Lawrence also suggested that fortifying homes comes by establishing righteous patterns. He listed five ways families can fortify the youth of the Church: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.

Elder Lawrence also warned parents about allowing their children to spend nights away from home. He warned that too often, violations of the Word of Wisdom, law of chastity, and exposure to pornography and sometimes even encounters with the police occur when spending a night away from home. This is being interpreted by many as a warning against "sleepovers" for kids. However, Elder Lawrence later states "if you have ever felt uneasy about an overnight activity, don't be afraid to respond to that warning voice inside". This implies he's aware that some parents allow their kids to participate in sleepovers; he's just merely advising caution. This is NOT a "worthiness" issue. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Per G. Malm of the Second Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Malm proclaimed that it is by coming unto Christ that individuals are able to find rest unto their souls. "To find rest unto our souls includes peace of mind and heart, which are the result of learning and following the doctrine of Christ, and to become Christ's extended hands in serving and helping others," he said. "Faith in Jesus Christ and following His teachings give us a firm hope, and this hope becomes a solid anchor to our souls. We can become steadfast and immovable. We can have lasting, inner peace; we can enter in to the rest of the Lord. Only if we turn away from light and truth, a hollow feeling of emptiness ... will occupy the innermost chambers of our souls, and we even might attempt to fill that emptiness with things of no lasting value." Recognizing earth life as a day of probation, Elder Malm spoke of the need for individuals to not waste their days but, rather, choose to follow the invitation of the Savior. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi of the Second Quorum of Seventy: Elder Mazzagardi urged members to remain awake and alert so sin is not allowed to grow about them. What may appear to be of little importance, such as going to bed late, not praying for a day, skipping fasting, or breaking the Sabbath — such little slips — can make us lose sensitivity little by little, allowing us to do worse things. Decisions about standards to follow must be made in advance — not when temptation appears. Elder Mazzagardi identified two key parameters in avoiding sin: First, "This I will do because it is right, it comes from the Lord, and it will bring me happiness"; and second, "This I will not do because it will drag me away from truth, from the Lord, and from the eternal happiness He promised to the faithful and obedient." Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Mervyn B. Arnold of the First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Arnold spoke of the value of having a good name. The Bible speaks of the importance of having a good name: "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold" (Proverbs 22:1). But as Latter-day Saints, we also take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, and someday, each one of us will have to account to Him for what we have done with His name. Our kind, wise and loving Heavenly Father has given us commandments — not to restrict us, as the adversary would have us believe — but to bless our lives and to protect our good name and our legacy for our future generations. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Russell M. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve: Elder Ballard spoke out on the problems of addiction. He noted that Satan does not believe in catch-and-release; his desire is to catch-and-enslave. While medical research describes addiction as a disease of the brain, once Satan has someone in his grasp, it also becomes a disease of the spirit. Satan knows how to exploit and ensnare us with artificial substances and behaviors of temporary pleasure. Elder Ballard notes he has observed the impact when one struggles to win back control, to become free from destructive abuse and addiction, and to regain self-esteem and independence.

But Elder Ballard also notes that no matter what addictive cycle one is caught in, there is always hope. If anyone who is addicted has a desire to overcome, then there is a way to spiritual freedom, a way that is proven. It begins with prayer – sincere, fervent, and constant communication with the Creator of our spirits and bodies. There is hope for the addicted; this hope comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and by humbling oneself before God. Fervent prayer is key to gaining the spiritual strength to find peace and overcome an addictive craving. Set aside all pride and turn your life and your heart to Heavenly Father. Ask to be filled with the power of Christ’s pure love. You may have to do this many times, but your body, mind and spirit can be transformed, cleansed and made whole – and you will be freed. Deseret News story HERE.

President Thomas S. Monson: Summarized the Conference and expressed gratitude for the membership and their efforts further the Kingdom of God on earth. President Monson asked for heaven’s blessings to be upon them, filling their homes with love and courtesy and with the spirit of the Lord. He asked that the spirit felt at Conference may abide with us as we go about those things which occupy us each day. May we show increased kindness toward one another. May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord. Deseret News story HERE.

Several unofficial LDS bloggers continue to live-blog the event, including By Common Consent, Feminist Mormon Housewives, and Faith Promoting Rumor. Useful summaries also posted on Times And Seasons.


Anonymous said...

Hey I have a question. Which one of the talks mentioned the dangers of stuff like texting and sleepovers? I tried to figure out which one but had no luck. I'm just curious.

Jack Mormon said...

The talk by Larry Lawrence.