Monthly Archives: October 2008

Gordon B Hinckley pumpkin carving

Brett Nordquist, a member from Seattle, is good at carving pumpkins. He even carved one of Gordon B. Hinckley:

Visit Brett’s site to see a larger version of that carving, and others that he has done.

Seminary and Institute sub-domains at LDS.org

The LDS Media Talk blog recently posted about some excellent Flash-based scripture mastery pages. I assumed this would be on the LDS-CES.org site. I As I followed the link, I found that it had its own Seminary.LDS.org sub-domain. Not only is there information about scripture mastery, but there are links to the manuals, scriptures, and even some of the songs.

I naturally tried Institute.LDS.org, and sure enough, it exists as well with comparable information for the YSA crowd.

I’ve added both of these to the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page…

Family Home Evening on Samuel the Lamanite

I’m not sure where my wife got the idea from, but recently she did a Family Home Evening lesson about Samuel the Lamanite. She made a “wall” out of Rice Krispie Squares and had a bunch of the kids toys standing on the table in front of the “wall”. A “Lamanite warrior” figure that my sister had purchased for my sons was used as Samuel.

In the crowd was smurfs, Geotrax men, army men, Little People (including a tourist, pilot, ice cream man, cave girl, and more) and a Mega Bloks Buzz Lightyear (that another sister had purchased for my sons).

It looks exactly like the scripture in Helaman 16!

And now, it came to pass that there were many who heard the words of Samuel, the Lamanite, which he spake upon the walls of the city. And as many as believed on his word went forth and sought for Nephi; and when they had come forth and found him they confessed unto him their sins and denied not, desiring that they might be baptized unto the Lord.

But as many as there were who did not believe in the words of Samuel were angry with him; and they cast stones at him upon the wall, and also many shot arrows at him as he stood upon the wall; but the Spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows.

Preserving the Divine Institution of Marriage

In conjunction with a broadcast to California last night (about Proposition 8), the Church has started a new official web site called Preserving the Divine Institution of Marriage.

As you can tell, it is currently aimed at California residents. Once that vote is done, I would assume the Church would keep the site and make it more generic.

I have added this to the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page…

178th Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon Session

Like we did yesterday afternoon, we watched conference at home. Unfortunately, unlike yesterday, the video feed was pretty bad. Yesterday everything loaded perfectly right from the start. Today, I couldn’t get anything to play until about 15 minutes after the session started. Even the audio stream from the Church web site would cut out. BYU.tv wouldn’t play, and KSL TV wouldn’t play either. Oh well, at least it played eventually.

  • President Uchtdorf conducted the meeting
  • President Boyd K. Packer
    • liberty
    • pioneers
    • NOTE: I missed much of this talk because of the video problem mentioned above
  • Elder Russell M. Nelson
    • joy comes when we choose to follow
    • marriage between a man and a woman is sacred and ordained of God
    • the talk was about the importance of proper marriage
  • Brother William D. Oswald * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • teaching
      1) show love for those you teach and call them by name
      2) teach from the scriptures
      3) encourage the pondering of gospel truths
  • Elder Eduardo Gavarret
    • I drifted off a bit during this one… sorry!
  • Elder Carlos A. Godoy
    • we don’t have to have great spiritual experiences
    • the basic experiences give us the strength we need
  • Elder Quentin L. Cook * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • enduring trials (there were several speakers throughout General Conference who mentioned this sort of thing)
    • we suffer together, but we can also help each other
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • the conference has been inspiring
    • we’ve felt the Spirit, our hearts have been touched, our testimonies have been strengthened
    • may we long remember what we have heard
    • Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face
    • persevere in the pursuit of this most precious prize

So that brings an end to General Conference. It was pretty good. There were several talks that I thought were just great. I think it will be easy to come up with the lessons for the 4th Sunday of each month.

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

178th Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning Session

  • President Monson conducted
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was excellent
  • There were about 100 people at church for this
  • President Henry B. Eyring * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • a great day of unity is coming
    • unity will be needed more in the days ahead
    • the reason we pray for unity is the same reason why God grants us… he loves us and it brings joy
    • revelation is needed to know how to follow the Lord together
    • be humble
    • pride is the great enemy of unity
    • be a peacemaker
    • no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens
    • NOTE: I took my son to the bathroom and so I missed the last bit of his talk
  • Elder Robert D. Hales
    • one of mortality’s greatest test is when our beliefs are questioned
    • Christian courage
    • when we don’t retaliate, we stand with the Saviour
    • true disciples of Christ see opportunity
    • seasons of opposition can help the Church
    • criticism creates interest in the Church
    • learn respect for others
  • Bishop Keith B. McMullin
    • God lives and lives in the heavens
    • the Church welfare plan is God inspired
    • pray for help
  • Sister Elaine S. Dalton
    • in the strength of the Lord I can do all things
    • the temple is the reason for all we do in the Church
    • virtue is the accumulation of lots of small decisions
    • poisoned by degrees
    • a slippery slope: tolerate, accept, then follow
    • return to virtue
    • stand in holy places
  • Elder M. Russell Ballard
    • the truth of God goes forth boldly
    • Joseph Smith had a prophetic vision
    • the growth of the Church was recounted
    • the works and designs and purposes of God cannot be frustrated
    • it is a great time to live
    • we must continue to move the work forward
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • nothing is as constant as change
    • he’s been an apostle for 45 years
    • this is our only chance at mortal life
    • find joy in the journey, now
    • there is nothing to remember tomorrow if we do nothing today
    • relish life as we live it
    • in everything give thanks

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

178th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

It has been a tradition in our ward for quite some time now to have a “sub-sational” before the priesthood session of General Conference. This is a submarine sandwich dinner for the YM and their fathers.

  • President Monson was conducting
  • there was a choir from the MTC. There is a member from a neighbouring ward who is in the MTC right now and he was in the choir. Every time the choir sang we were looking for him, but he wasn’t on camera until the closing hymn
  • We had about 42 people there for the session
  • Elder Richard G. Scott
    • do we ponder the inestimable value of holding the priesthood?
    • the Saviour is the perfect example of how to hold the priesthood
    • Elder Scott did a “personal” interview with us
    • with regards to the idea that man is better than woman he said “nothing could be farther from the truth”
    • God will hold us accountable for how we treat his daughters
  • Elder Jay E. Jensen
    • the blessings of the atonement are “arms of safety”
    • this is demonstrated during the sacrament
    • true servants are properly dressed
  • Elder James J. Hamula
    • God’s kingdom will not be lost but will overcome the world
    • in doing the will of the Lord, our knowledge increases
    • youth, these are your days… do not squander them
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • “stand close together and lift where you stand”
    • some seek to lead, some seek to hid; both are selfish
    • our service should be motivated by charity, not selfishness
    • the Lord judges differently than we do
    • the Lord is pleased with noble service, not a self-serving Noble
    • he told the story of John R. Moyle, a stone worker on the Salt Lake Temple
    • cease to aspire, cease to retire
  • President Henry B. Eyring * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • your priesthood duties will stretch you
    • God will increase our power to carry the load
    • to get that power, we need to take our service to the outer limits
    • when we give our all, he will give us all the courage we neeed
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • the First Presidency is united as one under the direction of the Lord
    • in these trouble times, make sure that those we care for do not go hungry
    • to become God’s people we need to do three things to qualify
      1) Learn what we should learn
      2) Do what we should do
      3) Be what we should be

As a final note, I was reading a couple of other recaps, and read Jeff Lindsay’s comments about the MTC choir:

Toward the end of the Priesthood session, watching the missionary choir from the MTC was especially poignant with my own son in the MTC right now (his companion, Elder Excel, was in the choir). As I looked at the missionaries and contemplated all the good that they stand for and pondered all the powerful, inspiring, and Christ-centered messages we heard today, one thought crystallized: I love this Church. The wholesome, joyous, soul-lifting teachings, the goodness of its leaders, the rich Spirit that it brings, all make me so glad to be a part of it.

Well said, Brother Lindsay!

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

178th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session

As we’ve done the last few conferences, we watched the afternoon session at home. It was awesome! The Church has a new video player that performed incredibly. When you visit http://lds.org/move/ you can see a video that is about 640 x 360 pixels. There is a full screen option, which actually does go to a full screen (no toolbar or anything). My laptop has a resolution of 1440 x 900 and the video was the entire width and was about 810 pixels high. The quality was perfect. It was very impressive. I’ve always enjoyed watching conference more at home, and this is going to make it even more tempting to stay at home!

  • President Eyring was conducting
  • There was a Primary choir. This was a great idea, as it got the attention of my two sons
  • During the business Elder Tingey was released. For some reason I thought he was released last conference
  • Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • he was sitting down again
    • every day has peaks and shadows
    • his mother said “come what may and love it”
    • those who are happy learn from difficult times
    • we can’t avoid days of sorrow
    • the way we react determines how successful we are
    • learn to laugh as it will extend your life and makes life more enjoyable for those around you
    • seek for the eternal and realize we all must experience sorrow
    • the Lord compensates us for our loss
    • trust in the Lord; He is our helper and advocate
  • Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
    • the separation from God must have been hardest for Adam and Eve
    • angels come to communicate with man
    • angels are still sent today
    • heaven never seems closer than when we see the love and care of the people
  • Elder Gérald J. Caussé
    • need knowledge
    • we can make things too complicated; God is right there
    • we can make things too easy
  • Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • Jesus Christ is the way
    • entire talk was a powerful testimony of Christ
    • this is not a human endeavour; it is the work of God
    • any other way is madness
  • Elder D. Todd Christofferson * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • building Zion
    • To establish Zion we need 3 things
      1) be unified
      2) be a holy people
      3) care for the poor effectively
  • Elder David A. Bednar
    • continuing his talk about prayer from April
      1) prayer will be more meaningful as we council with the Lord in all our doings
      2) prayer will be more meaningful as we express heartfelt gratitude (D&C 59:21)
      3) prayer will be more meaningful as we pray for others with real intent and sincere heart

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

178th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

My postings from the April General Conference sessions brought a lot of visitors (although no comments), so I figured I’d do the same this time. I already take notes anyway and include them in my journal, so this is just an extension of that.

  • When I first got to the church, there was only 1 person sitting in the chapel. Within a few minutes, there were about 55 people there (not a bad turnout)
  • President Monson conducted. He had a typical dark conservative suit on. This might not be note-worthy, but given that he wore a very light coloured suit at the RS broadcast (that was the first thing my wife told me when she got home that night), I wondered what he would wear.
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • during the last 6 months they have dedicated 3 more temples
    • he recounted the cultural celebrations
    • 5 new temples announced to be built in the greater Kansas City area; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Calgary Alberta, Canada; Córdoba, Argentina; and Rome, Italy
    • he asked us to pray for areas of the world to be opened
  • Elder L. Tom Perry * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • endure
    • be positive and optimistic
    • “the best is yet to be”
    • he shared the story of Henry David Thoreau and his life on Walden Pond
    • Thoreau said that we only needed 4 things: food, clothing, shelter, fuel
    • we need a simplified lifestyle
    • Food – read from the Word of Wisdom
    • Clothing – simple & modes; dress and grooming sends message to others; casual dress brings casual manners
    • Shelter – live within our needs; stay out of debt; save for a rainy day
    • Fuel – spiritual fuel
  • Sister Silvia H. Allred
    • the Lord’s church has responsibility to preach the gospel
    • she was taught when she was 14
    • missionary work is in the life blood of the church
    • how can I assist or participate?
      1)have a clear understanding that God loves all his children
      2) our message is the most important gift that we have to give
    • every member can help
    • be a good neighbour
    • be specific in your efforts
  • Elder Neil L. Anderson
    • “you don’t know everything, but you know enough”
    • we have moments of spiritual power, as we do, we have personal storage that we can go to in moments of doubt
    • faith is not just a feeling, it is a choice/decision (my favourite line of the session)
    • questions and doubts are normal
    • “be not afraid, only believe”
  • Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis
    • 2-Jun-1940 was an important day in his family. It is the day his father was baptized
    • reading the Book of Mormon brings great promises
    • NOTE: There was a brief power outage near the beginning of the talk, so I’m not sure what the exact topic of the talk was
  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • we live in perilous times spoken of by the apostle Paul
    • D&C 59:9-10
    • sacrament meeting is the only Sunday the whole family attends
    • importance of individual reverence
    • prepare for ordination of the sacrament
    • he read from Elder Nelson’s training from WWLT broadcast in 2003
      bring broken heart and contrite spirit
      be seated early
      have quiet time before sacrament meeting; prelude music should be subdued
    • appropriate dress (like going to the temple)
    • concentrate on worship
    • music is for worship, not for performance
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • shared a bit of the story of his family leaving Germany
    • his mother had faith and hope which led to action
    • he spoke of the infinite power of hope
    • hope is 1 leg of a 3-legged stool (faith and charity being the other 2)
    • if we have hope, why despair?
    • there must be opposition in all things
    • faith/doubt, hope/despair, charity/failure to act
    • the hope of Israel, Jesus Christ
    • hope is trust and confidence

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: