Saturday, October 4, 2014

Saturday Evening Priesthood Session Of The 184th Semiannual LDS General Conference Not Disrupted By Ordain Women

The Priesthood Session of the 184th Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints featuring a series of inspiring talks to male Priesthood holders in the same vein that the General Women's Meeting was directed towards females a week earlier. Elder Cook and Bishop Davies followed up on previous Conference talks during the afternoon session by holding forth on personal responsibility and the need to avoid rationalizations which can hinder our spiritual growth, as well as the need to succor the poor and needy through the law of the fast. President Uchtdorf urged people to look within themselves before highlighting the faults of others. And President Monson wants us to use the Priesthood as a rudder to steer ourselves straight and true.

Ordain Women Sideshow: Ordain Women did not show up to crash the Priesthood Session at the Conference Center. Instead, they chose to split up and appear at various chapels around the country and internationally to demand entrance to the closed-circuit broadcast being shown at these chapels. See map of targeted stake centers HERE. Ordain Women reports they were allowed in to watch the priesthood session in buildings in Ogden, Logan, the DC area, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Tempe Arizona, Lakewood Colorado, Dallas Texas, Medford Oregon, and even at the Marriott Center on BYU campus, but not in Atlanta, Georgia and at the Joseph Smith Memorial building in Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake Tribune reported on OW's expedition to the Marriott Center and said that local stake leaders were given discretion as to whether or not to allow the women in to see the broadcast.

Sources of Information:

-- Official LDS Conference Archive Page: Video and audio to be available in 24 hours; written transcripts by mid-week.

-- LDS General Conference YouTube Page: Videos to be posted within 24 hours; these have less buffering than the Church's version.

-- KSL Channel 5 General Conference Page.

-- Deseret News Conference Page.

-- Deseret News Photo Gallery.

Summaries of Other Conference Sessions:

-- General Women's Meeting, September 27, 2014
-- Saturday Morning General Session
-- Saturday Afternoon General Session
-- Sunday Morning General Session
-- Sunday Afternoon General Session

Summaries of talks based upon the Deseret News reports and Twitter feeds provided below; click speaker's name to go directly to the Deseret News report.

-- Elder Quentin L. Cook, Quorum of the Twelve: Followed up on Elder Klebingat's call for increased personal responsibility by warning against rationalization and making excuses. Rationalizations preventing us from temple endowments, missions, and temple marriage can be harmful. Elder Cook finds it heartbreaking when we profess belief in these goals yet neglect the everyday conduct to achieve them. His counsel tonight is rise above any rationalizations preventing us from making righteous decisions, and he specifically charges young Aaronic Priesthood holders with the responsibility to recommit to worthy conduct and serious preparation to be emissaries of Jesus Christ. Urged moderation, balance, and wisdom on outside activities such as Internet and sports to maintain a seriousness of purpose, since being valiant in the testimony of Jesus is the great dividing test between the celestial and terrestrial kingdoms.

-- Elder Craig C. Christensen, Presidency of the Seventy: Spoke out on the value of having one's own personal testimony that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, noting that the testimonies of others can only take one so far. Elder Christensen defined testimony as the calm, unwavering certainty we receive as we study, pray, and live the Gospel; it is a scared gift of God brought to us by the power of the Holy Ghost. But a testimony can only grow and develop over a period of time with constant nourishment and frequent spiritual encounters.

-- Bishop Dean M. Davies, Second Counselor, Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church: Followed up on Elder Holland's concern over the poor and needy, explaining that care for these people is a fundamental gospel doctrine and addressed through the law of the fast. Bishop Davies assured the audience that Church leadership strives to be ware of and vigilant regarding the well-being of God's children everywhere. He also noted that he cannot think of any law, if kept faithfully, that is easier to keep and which provides greater blessings than the law of the fast (give up two meals and donate the proceeds as a fast offering once per month). But Bishop Davies cautioned that the correct use of fast offerings is intended to support life, not lifestyle. That means ground beef, not filet mignon.

-- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency: President Uchtdorf took issue with our tendency as humans to magnify the faults of others yet remain blind to our own. He also stated that when we start believing that our contributions at home, at work, and at church are greater than they actually are, we blind ourselves to blessings and opportunities to improve ourselves in significant and profound ways. To shine the pure light of God’s truth into our souls and see ourselves as God sees us, President Uchtdorf recommends we use the holy scriptures and the counsel given at each general conference as an effective mirror for self-examination. And refrain from thinking about how the words apply to someone else and ask the simple question, "Lord, is it I"?

-- President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor, First Presidency: Finally! President Eyring got time off from conducting the entire conference to share his personal pearls of wisdom with us. Directed his remarks specifically towards the young Aaronic Priesthood holders, telling them that the time they are given to serve in the Aaronic Priesthood is an opportunity to prepare them to learn how to give crucial help to others. President Eyring also discussed the interaction between a Melchizedek Priesthood holder and an Aaronic Priesthood holder who team up to perform home teaching duties; many times, a father and his son will be called to form a home teaching team. In this case, two of the blessings that the senior priesthood companion can give are trust and an example of caring. Paramount in our priesthood service is inviting people to come unto Christ by faith, repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, and "show me" will always score more goals than "tell me". Applying correction to young Aaronic Priesthood holders will be better accepted if laid upon a foundation of love and trust already established.

-- President Thomas S. Monson: Proclaimed that our purpose in life and in the Church is to steer an undeviating course forward toward our desired goal -- even the Celestial kingdom of God. To us, as we walk the pathway of life, our Heavenly Father provides a clear map and points the way toward our desired destination, and wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us. When we maintain our personal purity and honor our priesthood, we become righteous examples for others to follow. So President Monson charges us to chart our course, set our sail, position our rudder, and proceed -- with more success than the Bismarck, which was sunk because of a broken rudder. People watch us, look to us for leadership, and judge us and the Church by our actions.

From the Bloggernacle: Not much discussion of this session.

-- Millennial Star.

-- Feminist Mormon Housewives.

-- By Common Consent.

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