Saturday, October 2, 2010

LDS 180th Semiannual Conference, Saturday Morning General Session: Five New Temples Announced, The Value Of A Living Prophet Highlighted

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 180th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began on Saturday October 2nd, 2010, and the major highlight was the announcement of five new temples to be constructed. Other important issues were a renewed call to serve missions, a reminder of the value of having a living prophet amongst us, and five elements to a consecrated life. Representatives of two of the Church's auxiliaries, Primary and Sunday School, also took the stand to remind congregants of the relevance of these programs. KSL news video embedded below:

Video Courtesy of

The summaries combine highlights from single reports on the session from the Salt Lake Tribune and KSL Channel 5 with individual Deseret News stories on each speaker to provide a broader perspective. Video and audio archives will be posted on the Conference Page as soon as they are available; official written transcripts of each address will be posted on the LDS website in about a week from now. Deseret News photo gallery available HERE.

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

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

President Thomas S. Monson: Began the session by discussing travels to previous temple dedications. Announced the intention to build five new temples; the lucky cities will be Hartford, CT; Indianapolis, IN; Tijuana, Mexico; Urdaneta, Philippines; and Lisbon, Portugal. Issued a renewed call for missionary work, specifying that missionary service is a priesthood duty, an obligation the Lord expects of those of us who have been given so very much. He cordially invited the sisters to get more involved, too, if they so desired, and reiterated the need for more more senior couples. Deseret News story HERE, and the full text of President Monson's address is at LDS Church News. More after the jump.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve: In anticipation of the formal opportunity Church members will have to raise their hands in a sustaining vote of the General Authorities later this afternoon, Elder Holland thanked Church members for their support of the Brethren. In return, Elder Holland said that they sustain the membership, and return those same heartfelt prayers and that same expression of love. He reminded Church members that the Church draws strength from the faith and devotion of every member of this Church, testifying that each member is individually loved of God regardless of human limitations.

Elder Holland also paid tribute to the sisters, saying that they seem to grasp instinctively the divinity in Christ's declaration, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these. … ye have done it unto me", as well as the Church's Priesthood army of teachers, officers, advisers and clerks. He also paid tribute to his own parents who sacrificed so he could go on a mission. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Claudio R.M. Costa, First Quorum of the Seventy: Elder Costa delivered what I consider a defining speech, worthy of the closest attention. He spoke of the value of having a living prophet to guide us, noting that it is a great blessing to receive the word, commandments and guidance of the Lord in these difficult days of the earth. Most importantly, he noted several facts: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything, the living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works, the living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet, and the prophet will never lead the Church, as an entire body, astray. He concluded by saying that there are only two groups of people who scorn the prophet's counsel; the proud who are rich, and the proud who are learned. Much of this address was inspired by this February 1980 address by President Ezra Taft Benson. Deseret News story HERE.

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom, Primary General President: Speak freely to our children of the plan of salvation. Understanding the plan will help them hold to the truths that they are children of God and He has a plan for them, that they lived with Him in the premortal existence. She reminded members that since power abhors a vacuum, the world will teach our children if we do not, and reiterated that children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder David M. McConkie, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency: Elder McConkie's address is significant because some within the LDS community have advocated discontinuing Sunday School in order to shorten the three-hour Sunday meeting bloc. McConkie said what matters most in gospel learning is the attitude and spirit by which the gospel instructor teaches. He pointed out that duccessful gospel teachers love the gospel, are excited about it, and because they love their students, they want them to feel as they feel and to experience what they have experienced. To teach the gospel persuasively is to share one's personal love of the gospel. Elder McConkie also outlined four basic principles that can help one "catch" the attitude required of successful teachers. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Twelve: Elder Christofferson noted that true success in this life will come as Church members consecrate their lives — their time and choices — to God's purposes. He outlined five elements to a consecrated life: Purity, work, respect for one's physical body, service and integrity. Elder Christofferson further defined "consecration" as means repentance. "Stubbornness, rebellion and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction and acceptance of all that the Lord may require." Deseret News story HERE.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: President Uchtdorf discussed the management of adversity. It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions. When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be. He expounded upon our four key relationships: With our God, with our families, with our fellow man, and with ourselves. President Uchtdorf urged Church members to simplify our lives by maing the changes necessary to refocus on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship – the proven path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace. Deseret News story HERE.

Several unofficial LDS bloggers are live-blogging the event, including By Common Consent, Feminist Mormon Housewives, and Faith Promoting Rumor. Open thread by Millenial Star; good summaries at Times And Seasons.

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