Saturday, October 2, 2010

LDS 180th Semiannual Conference, Saturday Evening Priesthood Session; Obedience, Anger, Pride, And The Three R's Of Choice

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 Saturday evening priesthood session of the 180th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On the menu were talks about the value of missionary activity, obedience, and the dangers of pride.

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

Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve: Discussed missionary service. Asked all full-time missionaries to stand, and expressed his gratitude to them. Urged everyone to follow the missionaries' examples and be ready to open the door to salvation for someone else. Invite someone to church, either for a service or a social activity. Explain to them that the Book of Mormon is not a novel or history book, but a testament of Jesus Christ. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Patrick Kearon of the First Quorum of Seventy: Elder Kearon spoke of the hazards of choosing a path different than what we covenanted to do, citing the example of someone, namely himself, who walked out in the desert in the Arabian Peninsula as a child wearing only flip-flops and getting bitten by a scorpion. We may tell ourselves it doesn't matter, since everyone else is doing it, but when we refuse to be obedient and hold back a part of our heart from the Lord, we get stung. We must lay down our weapons of rebellion, sin, vanity and pride, and cease fighting against God so he can cleanse and heal us. When obedience becomes our goal, it's no longer an irritation or stumbling block, but becomes a building block. Deseret News story HERE.

Elder Juan A. Uceda of the First Quorum of Seventy: Spoke of the need to have the Holy Spirit dwell in our homes to promote peace and harmony. Related the tale of a father who got angry with his daughter for not joining a family scripture study. The father felt prompted to apologize to his daughter, did so, and she responded with a penitent attitude towards the scriptures. Cited one of the most meaningful verses, D&C 121:37, which cites the attributes by which priesthood power is maintained: persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, love unfeigned, kindness and pure knowledge. We must be humble, meek, and submissive, rather than haughty, arrogant, or assuming. Deseret News story HERE.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: President Uchtdorf talked about pride, referring to a May 1989 Ensign article by Ezra Taft Benson entitled "Beware of Pride". He spoke of the difference between being proud and being prideful. Pride is negative because it's sinful, breeding hatred and hostility. We end up violating the two great commandments, loving our God, and loving our neighbor. Pride is self-worship. In contrast, being proud is taking pride in someone else's achievements without glorifying one's self. President Uchtdorf reminded us, in football terms, that all of us wear the same jersey; namely, the Lord's jersey. Priesthood is not conferred upon us so we can take our bows and bask in praise, but to roll up our sleeves and get to work. We seek not our own honor, but to give praise and glory to God. Pride is a switch that turns off priesthood power; humility turns it back on. Deseret News story HERE.

President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency: President Eyring tailored his remarks more towards the missionaries. He spoke of the difference between the gift of the Holy Ghost vs. the companionship of the Spirit. When confirmed a member of the Church, we are told to seek the gift of the Holy Ghost. But to enjoy its constant companionship, it requires faith, repentance, and atonement. Just as we must be cleansed from sin, we must be humble before God and recognize our need for atonement.

President Eyring also said that magnification of power to serve will come as a priesthood holder responds with faith to go forward in callings with the help of the Holy Ghost, President Eyring explained. He suggested two services to which priesthood holders are called. "The first is as His agent to teach and testify to others for Him. The Lord included the youngest and the least experienced of the Aaronic Priesthood holders in that call to serve. … Somewhere in the world this week there will be a deacon asked by his quorum president to invite a member of their quorum whom they have never seen to a meeting. The 13-year-old president is not likely to use the words 'warn, exhort and teach.' But that is what the Lord expects of the deacon assigned to go to the rescue. To the deacon who receives the call, I will make three promises. First, as you pray for help the Spirit will calm your fears. Second, you will be surprised that you know what to say when you get to his home and during the walk with him to the church. What you say may seem jumbled to you. But you will feel that words were given to you at the moment you needed them. And, third, you will feel the approval of the Lord who called you, through your president, whatever the outcome." Deseret News story HERE.

President Thomas S. Monson: President Monson spoke of making choices, and described the "three R's of choice": Right of choice, responsibilities of choice, and results of choice. The right of choice was conferred by the Father when he gave us free agency. Lucifer thought that was too risky, so he opposed it and got cast out. Responsibility of choice means no neutrality; we're either on the Lord's side or the adversary's side. The Father sent us here with the tools necessary to make correct choices; the spirit of Christ is given unto all to distinguish between good and evil. In contrast, Lucifer, who became Satan, is cunning. Some he will pacify and others he will flatter -- with the objective of leading them down to hell. Before we can choose our path, we must choose our destination. Results of choice mean everything has consequences. Some have little to do with salvation, while others, such as viewing pornography, is a major step off the path. But no pressure or enticement can overcome us unless we allow it, as promised in 1 Corinthians 13:10. Repentance allows us to get back on the path once we've gotten off it. Deseret News story HERE.

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