Can’t we all just get along

I am a Canadian living in Canada, so I am an outside observer when it comes to the US election. It is crazy how long the campaign lasts for (here it is about two months), and how mean the tone has become.

I’ve recently read a BYU Speech by Hugh B Brown from 1968 called “God is the Gardener“. I don’t know what was happening at that time, but he commented that “our nation is engaged in an abrasive and increasingly strident process of electing a president.” Before getting into the meat of his speech, he made a couple of other comments:

Beware of those who feel obliged to prove their own patriotism by calling into question the loyalty of others. Be skeptical of those who attempt to demonstrate their love of country by demeaning its institutions.


Strive to develop a maturity of mind and emotion and a depth of spirit that will enable you to differ with others on matters of politics without calling into question the integrity of those with whom you differ.


At a time when radicals of the right or left would inflame race against race, avoid those who preach evil doctrines of racism. When our Father declared that we, His children, were brothers and sisters, He did not limit this relationship on the basis of race.


Patriots have never demanded of good men the hatred of another country as proof of one’s love for his own. Acquire tolerance and compassion for others and for those of a different political persuasion or race or religion.

It’s fascinating the words spoken almost 50 years ago would have such meaning today… A prophet, seer and revelator indeed!

186th Semiannual General Conference – General Session Women’s Session


I finally got around to watching the General Women’s Session. It was exceptional.

Sister Linda K Burton conducted

The choir made up of Young Women from stakes in Ogden, Huntsville, and Morgan Utah sang Arise, O Glorious Zion

The invocation was offered by Denise P Lindberg

The choir sang If I Listen with My Heart

Sister Jean B Bingham

  • Since last conference much charitable work has been done with refugees
  • You must have charity to be saved
  • Be generous in your thoughts and words
  • We look at others with incomplete or inaccurate views
  • A compliment or smile can be like a wind in our sails
  • Choose to say what is positive
  • Don’t compare ourselves to others
  • The great beauty is the reality of eternal progression
  • Will we commit to bless others in Jesus’ name?

Sister Carole M Stephens

  • We need to understand the doctrine of Christ
  • She has met people who are desperate for help but who won’t turn to the One (Christ)
  • All of us need the same infinite atonement
  • He is might to save
  • Helps i not found in screete. It is found in the Light of CHrist
  • She told story of a YW named Josie who suffers from bipolar disorder who felt the power of the atonement. As her mother said she wished she could take the pain away, Josie said, “You don’t have to, someone already has”
  • You don’t have to carry burdens and pains alone

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson

  • We live in perilous times
  • Moroni asked “Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?
  • We are at risk of being led astray by false teachings
  • We live in perilous times, but they are also the fulness of times
  • 3 foundational areas of a strong testimony include Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are central, the need for a restoration, and to study and understand temple ordinances
  • many have questions, but there are answers
  • we are afraid to cause offense, so we fail to teach the correct doctrine
  • “All women need to see themselves as essential participants in the work of the priesthood. Women in this Church are presidents, counselors, teachers, members of councils, sisters, and mothers, and the kingdom of God cannot function unless we rise up and fulfill our duties with faith. Sometimes we just need to have a greater vision of what is possible.”
  • Be bold and straightforward as we teach

The choir sang How Firm a Foundation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • President Monson loves you sisters
  • He summarized the woman of influence in his life
  • This same thing is repeated millions of times across the Church
  • Faith is a conviction that moves us to action
  • Faith confuses non-believers
  • There are more ways to see than with your eyes
  • When trying to help others, telling them to try harder may not be the best way
  • The better advice is to do it differently
  • No matter how much faith we have, we cannot violate others agency
  • Faith cannot force our will upon God’s
  • The purpose of faith is not to change God’s will, but to empower us to act on God’s will
  • He told the store of how the missionaries found his wife Harriett and her family. They were on the top floor of the building, and the last door.
  • God rewards those who seek Him, but He is usually not behind the first door
  • Continue in faith until the fourth floor, last door

The choir and congregation sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives

The benediction was offered by Bonnie H Cordon

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes


It was a lovely conference and I was glad to be able to participate in it. The things that have been on my mind haven’t been solved, but I have definitely heard some things that will alter how I think about those things.

As I watched President Monson come in before the last session, it brought tears to my eyes. I’m not predicting anything, but it seems that the amount of time we have left with him is limited. It’s sad. He has truly given his life to the Church, and yet he is still suffering the same things as everyone else as they get older. There is nothing any of us can do to help him other than to pray for him and to do what he asks. I’ll try to do that.

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session


I say this each time we have General Conference, but I love the Sunday morning of General Conference. The session doesn’t start until noon, which gives us lots of time to relax. I got woken up at 6:30 by a call from work and was unable to get back to sleep, so that was unfortunate. Other than that, it was a great morning. We had a nice walk, worked together in the kitchen, and just generally “chilled”.

I’m sitting here in our family room on my own watching Music and the Spoken Word. The rest of the family will be joining me soon, and we’ll watch the session together. We have homemade cinnamon rolls, apple cider, and cheese Bugles (the kids request).

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang  My Redeemer Lives

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang In Hymns of Praise

The invocation was offered by Elder Christoffel Golden

President Thomas S Monson

  • Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where do I go when I leave this life?
  • Those who accept the life, their lives are forever changed
  • We can’t just have an admission that we follow Jesus. We need to live His laws
  • We’re blessed to have the truth
  • This is the one perfect plan to peace and happiness

President Russell M Nelson

  • The world is corrupt and scriptures are being fulfilled that it will be in commotion
  • A key to our spiritual survival is understanding that men are that they might have joy
  • Saints can be happy under any circumstance

The choir sang On This Day of Joy and Gladness

Elder Peter F Meurs

  • The sacrament is a sacred ordinance. It can make us holy.
  • Prepare in advance
  • Arrive early
  • Sing and learn from the words of the Sacrament Hymn
  • Spiritually participate in the Sacrament prayers
  • Ponder and remember Him as the Sacrament emblems are passed

Sister Linda S Reeves

  • President Packer looked back on his life and found no trace of past sin. Almost as if he had never experienced them
  • The same can be true for all of us
  • We need to confess and repent
  • Whatever the cost of repentence, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness

The choir and congregation sang I Am a Child of God

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • If you are faltering in faith, to whom shall you go?
  • Choosing to walk away has long-term consequences that cannot be seen now
  • Things have a way of working out
  • The restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold
  • Never abandon the great truths revealed by the Prophet Joseph Smith
  • Not everything can be learned by study only, sometimes it comes by faith and learning from others

Bishop Dean M Davies

  • We need to learn true worship
  • If we fail to find Christ in our hearts, we will look for him in incorrect places
  • Spiritual experiences have less to do with what is around us but what is happening with what is happening in our hearts
  • Church meetings can be spritual feasts

Elder Lynn G Robbins

  • Jesus is the Righteous Judge
  • We all need to judge righteously
  • To remember a child’s true identity is a gift
  • Never let a problem to solve be more important than a person to be loved
  • We need to be righteous judges of our children

The choir sang My Heavenly Father Loves Me

President Henry B Eyring

  • Count your blessings
  • We should be thankful on the Sabbath
  • We partake of the sacrament

The choir sang Come, Ye Thankful People Come

The benediction was offered by Brother Devin G Durrant

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session


We went to the chapel tonight to watch the broadcast. It is my middle child/youngest son’s first time at conference. There was a bit of a social beforehand where we could have subs and chips.

Afterwards we went to Boston Pizza for more food. It’s a great tradition!

President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir made up of Melchizedek priesthood holders from stakes in West Valley City, Utah and Magna, Utah sang Ye Elders of Israel

The invocation was offered by Elder Paul B Pieper

The choir sang Love at Home

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Home teaching… we struggle anywhere near an acceptable level of performance
  • Some people have 18-20 families
  • In the best of all worlds, a monthly visit in each home is still the ideal we’re striving for
  • Read from a First Presidency letter from 2001
  • Use the resources available
  • Visit the house of each home, no matter how many months it would take us
  • Prioritize our time with those who need us the most
  • If you can’t visit, make contact in any way you can
  • Watch for them at Church, make calls, send emails/texts
  • Lift your visit of home teaching
  • In newer, better ways, see youselves as emmisaries of the Lord

Elder Le Grand Curtis Jr

  • Told the story of how the Church had been “freeze’d” out of Ghana
  • Shared several stories of how some Ghana members found the Church
  • Some people have experiences like Parley P Pratt, while most people have smaller, but still powerful experiences
  • A testimony of the Book of Mormon can come slowly

The choir and congregation sang Now Let Us Rejoice

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • He recounted the story of Alma the younger
  • What can I learn from Alma?
  • How am I like Amulek?
  • Like Alma, to be successful, you must find your Amuleks
  • Who needs a call to action?
  • Who has the Lord been preparing? Find them by seeing with your heart!
  • Listen with your heart and follow the promptings of the Spirit
  • If the Lord calls, will I hear?
  • Seek out, find, inspire, and rely upon the Amuleks

President Henry B Eyring

  • The Lord grants his power to those of all priesthood offices who worthily serve in their duties
  • The Aaronic Priesthood is an appendage of the Melchizedek Priesthood. They are connected.
  • The AP prepares YM for a more sacred trust

President Thomas S Monson

  • Spoke of the Word of Wisdom
  • Told a story about someone in the war who had been given added strength and stamina
  • The Word of Wisdom is a divinely provided plan

The choir sang You Can Make the Pathway Bright

The benediction was offered by Elder Bruce D Porter

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session


I almost didn’t make it home from work on time. I have to cross a canal on the way home, and there is a website where you can check when the bridge will be up. I left work and it was supposed to be up in about an hour. Then 30 minutes later when I got there the bridge was up. Frustrating!

Regardless, as a family we are gathered in our family room watching the broadcast.

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer (it was beautiful!)

The invocation was offered by Elder Daniel L Johnson

President Henry B Eyring did the sustaining of Church officers. As is usual now, there were those who opposed during the sustaining of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. There were a few General Authority Seventies released (Daniel L. Johnson, Jairo Mazzagardi, Kent F. Richards and Francisco J. Viñas) but no new ones called. There was also one Area Seventy released and two sustained. There were no other changes.

The choir sang Baptism

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Eternal life is the greatest gift from God
  • There are obstacles that can stop of us from receiving that gift
  • The philosophies of men can lead people astray
  • We have to beware of gospel extremism, where we raise one gospel principle above another

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • Told story of Mary Rollins
  • No one is ever too young to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • He read recently that teenagers spend 7 hours a day looking at screens
  • He asked that they reduce some of that time and spend it reading the Book of Mormon

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • The bible tells us that God is love
  • The scriptures use terms other than “unconditional” to describe love
  • What matters is how we respond to His love
  • God will always love us, but He cannot save us in our sins
  • As we trust, not resist, our divine Teacher, we will learn from Him

Elder W Mark Bassett

  • He and his brother had replica gold plates when they were kids
  • They tried really hard to get at the “sealed” portion
  • They spent all their time trying to read something hidden when they
  • We need to focus on the things that matter
  • Keeping our life in harmony with God will allow Him to guide us in our spiritual development

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

  • We need to be ambitious for Christ
  • Missionaries are a great example of focus and faith
  • He told a story about a missionary who served in his mission (when he was president) and his challenges with a prosthetic leg

The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • We need to share the gospel with everyone
  • We have a lot of modern technology that helps us
  • Are we using them to maximum effect?
  • Ideas that will work everywhere
  • We can all pray for desire to help in this work
  • We can keep the commandments ourselves
  • Faithful members are the most persuasive and they always have His spirit with them
  • We can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others
  • Invite people to learn about the gospel and about Jesus Christ, not just to learn about our Church

The choir sang Hope of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder Allen D Haynie

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session


I wish I was at home watching this, but I’m working today, so I’m watching this during my lunch break (and then some). I’ll be able to get home before the next session, and then my sons and I will go out with my father and my brother-in-law for tonight’s session. We’ll watch both sessions at home tomorrow.

It is a brisk Fall day today, so it’s kind of nice to be inside. I’m looking forward to the warmth of the Spirit as we hear from the various leaders.

It looks like the First Presidency has changed the side they are sitting on. They used to sit on the left of the pulpit (when watching from the congregation). They are now on the right side. I wonder if that is so President Monson doesn’t have so far to walk.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Sweet Is the Work

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang With Songs of Praise

The invocation was offered by Sister Joy D Jones

President Dieter F Ucthdorf

  • computer analogy
  • see, that’s how you do it
  • 22 years later, he is comfortable with it
  • The more adept I get, the more I take it for granted
  • We can take the gospel for granted
  • We have been given by so much
  • we get distracted
  • we tread a path covered with diamonds, but we can’t tell the
  • ifference between them and pebbles
  • what shall we give for the flood of light and truth we have received
  • live by the truth we have received

The choir sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (it sounded wonderful!)

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Elie Wiesel‘s grandson asked him, “If I loved you more, would I hurt less?”
  • If we loved the Savior more, would we suffer less
  • We may not be able to eliminate our physical suffering, but we can suffer less spiritually
  • Teach your family. Don’t let the time slip by
  • We cannot pray away another’s agency

Sister Carol F McConkie

  • We can commune with God personally
  • Prayer is a gift from god
  • We are never alone
  • Every moment of prayer can be holy time

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Craig C Christensen

  • We don’t need to be timid about Joseph Smith’s mission
  • If any of us lack wisdom, we can ask too
  • We have prophets to this day
  • The priesthood authority of God is on the earth

Elder Juan A Uceda

  • Told a story about how he almost fell off a cliff when he was a missionary
  • Always pray with a sincere heart
  • Let us pray as Jesus taught us to pray

Elder J Devn Cornish

  • Others believe in us when we sometimes don’t believe in ourselves
  • We must stop comparing ourselves to others
  • Yes, you are good enough and yes, you will make it
  • God is not a heartless referee looking to toss us out of the game
  • The atonement is both for sinners and saints
  • This doesn’t mean sin is ok. It always has consequences
  • True repentence is not easy
  • Do not rationalize rather than repenting

The choir sang Take Time to Be Holy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Shared story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream
  • This church is the stone cut of out of the mountain
  • We have a great missionary responsibility
  • The gospel must go to everyone

The choir sang If the Way Be Full of Trial

The benediction was offered by Elder Marcus B Nash

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

186th Semiannual General Conference – Pre-conference notes


I’m sitting here at work waiting for the first session. I haven’t watched the General Women’s Session myself, but my wife thought it was excellent. Her and my daughter went to watch it with my mother, and my daughter fell asleep almost instantly. I guess she didn’t find it too interesting 🙂

I would assume that we won’t be hearing much from President Monson this weekend. That’s ok. He is still the prophet, and I sustain him fully.

I have a couple of things on my mind, so I’m hoping that the Spirit will touch my heart and help me find answers to those things. Regardless of what messages are shared, I’m positive I’ll be uplifted and a better person from having watched.

Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

“Mormon mommies have the best blogs”

I’m sure many of you have seen this by now, but recently the Toronto Star had an article about how Mormon “mommy blogs” are among the most popular of that category of blogs. The general thinking is that family is important to us, and Mormon moms can be quite crafty. Lots of non-Mormon women apparently like this.

It’s an interesting read. Check it out at the Toronto Star website.