Saturday, March 31, 2012

Summary Of 182nd Annual LDS General Conference, Saturday Morning General Session

The 182nd Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints kicked off at 10 A.M. MDT in Salt Lake City, and so far, no one's made any headlines. The precursor event was the General Young Women Meeting held in Salt Lake on March 24th. Directed towards young women 12-18 years of age, the General Young Women Presidency called upon young women to resist the temptations of our popular culture and hold fast to the moral standards of the Church, referring frequently to a manual entitled "For The Strength Of Youth". Video, audio archives, and written transcripts of the talks are available HERE.

Visit the General Conference portal page to learn about the different viewing options available. Audio archives of each session available eight hours after the session, video archives available 24 hours later, and written transcripts in English available four days later, all on the Archive Page. But if you absolutely, positively cannot wait, LDS Church News makes summaries of each talk available through their own General Conference portal, subdivided by session.

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

Summary: Apparently the LDS leadership is concerned about reports that many Latter-day Saints are spending too much time on Church callings and not enough time with their families. President Boyd K. Packer declared that family time is a sacred time that should be protected and respected, and called upon local Priesthood leaders to make the Church more family-friendly. And Elder Donald L. Hallstrom cautioned people against sacrificing Gospel activity for the sake of Church activity, noting that Church activity is merely the external manifestation of Gospel activity.

President Packer also added that that some people remain unmarried and childless, while others, due to circumstances beyond their control, are raising children as single mothers or single fathers. He noted that these are temporary states, and that in the eternities, righteous yearning and longing will be fulfilled. The Salt Lake Tribune also reported that President Packer spoke out against elective abortion, relating the story of a college coed who had an abortion and then later married the young man who had fathered the child. The couple went on to have other children, but mourned the loss of that one. President Packer said "She told me how tormented she now was to look at her family, her beautiful children, and see in her mind the empty place where that one child was missing..."

Sister Cheryl Esplin, second counselor in the Primary General Presidency, reminded parents that their responsibility was not merely to teach their children the doctrine, but also to teach them to understand the doctrine. This can often be done within the context of a given moment, which means parents must always be alert for teaching opportunities which can present themselves without prior notice. Elder Paul E. Koelliker noted that establishing righteous patterns is essential in developing the ability to love and nurture others, and in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ. He explained that establishing such patterns can also help one learn to heed the Holy Spirit, and concluded that it is through developing the ability to be Christ-centered in how one thinks, speaks and acts that is fundamental in becoming a disciple of Christ.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of the importance of sacrifice. After enumerating the multitude of ways in which Church members make sacrifices regularly, most notably through missionary service, Elder Oaks concluded by saying that sacrifices of time and means are part of one's schooling and qualifying for eternity. "Just as the Atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to prepare for the destiny that plan provides for us," Elder Oaks declared.

President Henry B. Eyring said that an unshakable foundation of faith is built by loving as the Savior loved and serving for Him. But he noted that building faith requires exposure to the tests of adversity, and the ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms that will come into every life. Choosing the right creates the solid ground under one's faith. Serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul can turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.

And, of course, President Thomas S. Monson opened up the session by reminding us that we should be grateful that we live during an era where modern conveniences permit almost instantaneous communication worldwide, permitting us to better come together as one, speaking many languages, living in many lands, but all of one faith and one doctrine and one purpose. President Monson pledged that this great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forth, changing and blessing lives as it does so, promising that no force in the entire world can stop the work of God from going forward.

Bloggernacle Reaction: Discussion threads and reaction posted on Times and Seasons, By Common Consent, Feminist Mormon Housewives, and The Millennial Star.

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