Sunday, April 1, 2012

Summary Of 182nd Annual LDS General Conference, Sunday Afternoon General Session

All too soon, another general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is concluded. Although each conference is relatively predictable, there's always a twinge of regret when the president of the Church says "Conference is now over" during his closing remarks. The spirit of general conference does not necessarily require attendance in person to experience; it can apparently be transmitted via cyberspace.

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. Those who don't want to wait can read the LDS Church News summaries of each talk available through their own General Conference portal, subdivided by session.

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

KSL news video embedded below:

LDS General Conference focuses on faith and relationships |

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke about the power of deliverance, leavening his discourse with two examples from the Book of Mormon. He constrated the examples of the people of Alma with the people of Limhi; both held captive by the Lamanites, but only one of them, the people of Alma, delivered. The difference: The people of Alma were peaceful and more righteous, they had already been baptized and entered into a covenant with the Lord, and they humbled themselves before the Lord even before their tribulations started. In the final analysis, Elder Perry reminded us that the Book of Mormon is just another testament of Jesus Christ; the first testaments of our Savior are the Old and New Testaments — or the Bible.

Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve compared the Holy Ghost to a divine version of the GPS navigational system; if heeded, it can bring us safely back onto the right path, where the atoning sacrifice of the Savior can once again take effect and return us home. In contrast to secular conventional wisdom that some sectors of society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous, Gospel-centered conventional wisdom holds that they are more educated and prosperous because of their values and strong families. Elder Mallard suggested four steps to avoid becoming lost. First, prioritize; second, do things in the right order, which means marriage FIRST, then family; third, husbands and wives should be equal partners in marriage; and fourth, use the family resources of the Church.

Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Seventy discussed how we can gain the vision necessary to do those things that will bring us closer to the Savior. The trick is to see ourselves as the Savior sees us rather than through our own imperfect mortal perspective. An example is when Jesus called humble fishermen to be his disciples; they may have looked rude and crude on the outside, but Jesus saw an inner strength not visible to most others. The upshot -- although Peter denied the Christ three times in one night, he ultimately became the Rock upon who Christ built his Church. But Elder Haleck also reminded people that the Holy Ghost and inspired Church leaders can help give a deeper understanding of our Savior's vision for us.

Elder Larry Y. Wilson of the Seventy spoke on the necessity of using power only upon principles of righteousness. He cited a personal anecdote where, early in his marriage, he made the mistake of telling his new bride that he had the right to tell her how to drive the car simply because he was her husband and he held the priesthood. A couple of days of being "cut off" from her presence and sleeping on the couch undoubtedly disabused him of that notion. Elder Wilson explained that the Doctrine and Covenants holds that the right to use the priesthood is directly connected with righteousness in our lives, and that we lose access to the Holy Spirit and to whatever authority we may have from God when we exercise control over another person in an unrighteous manner. Another drawback with using unnecessary coercion is that it negates learning opportunities for those being coerced. The bottom line -- some lessons can only be learned through trial and ERROR.

Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy gave a short but useful talk on the importance of sharing the Gospel. Many times, when you convert one person, it opens the door to the convert's family and friends. Elder Evans tells us we can ask our Heavenly Father for inspiration as to who we should reach out to first, and then make sure we act forthwith upon any promptings received. He advises us to do it in a natural and normal way, letting them know of your love for them and for the Lord.

Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy added his voice to those who already addressed this conference on the Holy Spirit and divine encounters. While our experiences with the divine will not be as dramatic as those of Moses or Joseph Smith, they are no less valid, even though they can be so natural and so subtle that we may overlook them or attribute them to reason or intuition, and our strength to endure faithfully depends upon us recognizing, remembering and holding sacred that which we receive from above. But Elder Pieper notes that, just as in ancient times, there is a battle for priority between the sacred and the secular in each human heart. Secular voices increasingly browbeat believers to abandon beliefs the world considers irrational and unreasonable. Nevertheless, Elder Pieper warns us that the sacred cannot be selectively surrendered; those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened and, unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them.

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve reminded us that Jesus Christ is a two-dimensional figure; while he preaches love, he also condemns sin. "Even with His love for all mankind, Jesus reprovingly referred to some around Him as hypocrites, fools and workers of iniquity," Elder Andersen said. "He approvingly called others children of the kingdom and the light of the world. He disapprovingly referred to some as blinded and unfruitful; He commended others as pure in heart, and hungering after righteousness. He lamented that some were faithless and of the world, but others He esteemed as chosen, disciples, friends..."

President Thomas S. Monson closed out the conference by assuring people that although the Brethren are far removed from many of us, they feel of our spirit and dedication, and they send their love and appreciation to us wherever we are. In closing, President Monson said, "We live in troubled times. I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves each of us and desires to bless us and to help us. May we call upon Him in prayer, as He admonished when He said: 'Pray always, and I will pour out my spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing — yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth'."

Bloggernacle Reaction: Discussion threads and reaction posted on Times and Seasons, Feminist Mormon Housewives, Wheat and Tares

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Finally he gets ex'd.