Author Archives: Graham

187th Annual General Conference – Post-conference notes

Well, another conference has come and gone. I think I enjoyed this one more than I have many recent ones. There were a couple of talks (at least) in every session that I really enjoyed. These included:

Saturday Morning General Session

  • M Joseph Brough – Families are a care package from God
  • Dale G Renlund – The Savior’s compassion, love and mercy draw us towards Him

Saturday Afternoon General Session

  • Robert D Hales – The tapestry of discipleship
  • Jeffrey R Holland – Stand close to the Savior when attempting to sing the song of redeeming love
  • Gary B Sabin – Be all-in when it comes to the gospel
  • M Russell Ballard – Set goals and have a plan

Priesthood Session

  • Thomas S Monson – Be kind
  • David A Bednar – Missionaries are called to serve, they are assigned to labour
  • Gerald Causse – The AP and MP need to work together
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf – God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward

Sunday Morning General Session

  • Joy D Jones – We need to raise sin-resistant children
  • Yoon Hwan Choi – We are all in the middle of an eternal family
  • Ronald A Rasband – Let the Holy Spirit guide
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf – We need not fear

Sunday Afternoon General Session

  • S Mark Palmer – Behold and love others
  • Gary E Stevenson – The Spirit helps us

Of course it is sad to see how President Monson and Elder Hales’ health has deteriorated. After so many decades of service to the Lord, they still must suffer in their mortal bodies. My heart definitely goes out to them.

Well, time to go forth and be better. I hope that you were uplifted by what you heard, and that the Spirit


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

Between sessions, I napped for a bit while my kids watched Moana in the background. We’re all gathered around now for the last session of conference. It looks like President Thomas S Monson is not in attendance for this final session.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Come, Rejoice

The invocation was offered by Elder Eduardo Gaverret

The choir sang More Holiness Give Me

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • We should have a desire to warn others, to share the gospel with our neighbour
  • Parents need to warn their children
  • In a moral system, life is based on who is included and not included
  • It is a culture of sensitivity and panic
  • The modern shame culture is supposed to include everyone, but is unmerciful to those who disagree
  • As watchmen and disciples, we cannot be neutral

Elder Joaquin E Costa

  • Things he learned as he met with the missionaries
    • Meet with the missionaries
    • Attend Church
    • Read the Book of Mormon and pray about it
    • Experience repentance
  • If you are investigating or a friend of the Church, you are very close. We invite you to go and be baptized

Elder S Mark Palmer

  • How can we be filled with Christ-like love so we can help others to change
  • As we learn to see others as the Lord see them, a love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them
  • No teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger
  • Love should never be withdrawn when someone fails to live up to our expectation
  • Because He loves us, the Lord expects much from us

The choir and congregation sang The Iron Rod

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • How does the Holy Ghost help you?
  • The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead
  • The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit
  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost comes by the laying on of hands
  • He told the story about how missionaries were safe after the Fukushima Japan earthquake because a leader was prompted to have the missionaries attend a meeting inland

Elder C Scott Grow

  • We can begin to know God through prayer
  • As you read the scriptures, you will hear his voice
  • We do the will of the Father by keeping our covenants and keeping
  • As we strive to become like God, he can make of us more than we can make of ourselves

Elder Benjamín De Hoyos

  • We can be a light or ensign to other people
  • We can be an ensign by doing family history work
  • We can be an ensign by teaching in the Savior’s way
  • We can be an ensign as we keep the Sabbath holy

The choir sang Keep the Commandments

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Spiritual guidance is received when needed and according to the Lord’s time
  • The Urim and Thummim and the seer stones may have been like training wheels that were only necessary until Joseph had the confidence to do it himself
  • Weekly participation in weekly Sacrament Meeting has spiritual ramifications we do not understand
  • Faith is a principle of power
  • What are the blessings of faith? Our sins are forgiven, we have communion with the Holy Spirit, salvation comes, we receive strength according to our faith, we can enter into His rest, prayers are answered, God can do miracles
  • Our faith in Jesus Christ is the eseential foundation for our salvation

The choir sang How Firm a Foundation

The benediction was offered by Elder Marcos A Aidukaitis


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

I saw this every 6 months, but I love General Conference morning! I slept in until 7:30, which is pretty late for me. We got up, watched a family movie together while having a yummy French Toast Bake that my wife made. We then played a game and went for a walk. My wife and daughter had a choir practice this morning as well.

We’re all gathered around now, finishing up Music and the Spoken Word, and ready for the Sunday Morning General Session to start.


One of the Bible videos played at noon right when the session should have started

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Press Forward, Saints

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Now Let Us Rejoice

The invocation was offered by Sister Neill F Marriott

The choir sang Love is Spoken Here

President Thomas S Monson

  • 5 new temples in Brasília Brazil, Manila Philippines, Nairobi Kenya, Pocatello Idaho, Saratoga Springs Utah
  • The power of the Book of Momron and the power we have to study it
  • A strong testimony of the Savior and His gospel will help us to safety in the world today
  • If you are not reading the Book of Mormon regularly, please do so
  • The testimony of others will only carry us so far. We need our own testimony and to maintain it

Sister Joy D Jones

  • We need sin-resistant children
  • They need learn patterns of daily personal discipleship
  • Begin at very early ages
  • There is unusual power in making and keeping covenants with our Father in Heaven
  • Helping children understand covenants is key in making a sin-resistant generation
  • Keeping covenants is always independent of our situation

Elder Yoon Hwan Choi

  • Told of his father’s missionary efforts as well as family history efforts
  • All of us are in the middle of an eternal family
  • President Hinckley said to never let yourself be the weak link in our eternal family
  • Do not lose your faith because of the people around you. Don’t look around, but look up to Jesus

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Let the Holy Spirit guide
  • Joy that fills our souls brings with it an eternal perspective
  • We must strive to be worthy to have the Spirit with us
  • We must lay aside the things of this world for the Spirit does not dwell in unholy temples
  • We must always try to obey God’s laws
  • We must be willing to receive the Spirit
  • We must recognize the Spirit
  • We must act on the first prompting
  • Be a “first responder”. We need to respond immediately, just as firefighters, police and paramedics

The choir and congregation sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Elder L Whitney Clayton

  • We need to trust in the Lord
  • We need to return to simple acts of faith
  • When you are deliberate in your obedience, you are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the things which you are obedient to
  • God will always bless us for our steadfast obedience, but he rarely shows us His timetable in advance
  • That is where faith, hope, and trusting in the Lord comes in
  • Real obedience accepts God’s commandments unconditionally and in advance

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • What we believe about the Godhead is different than what other faiths believe
  • He reviewed the role of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

The choir sang Dearest Children, God Is Near You

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • He mentioned the Great Awakening that was happening during Joseph Smith’s youth and how often the preachers used fear to impact how people felt
  • How much do we use fear to motivate others?
  • People who are fearful often do the right thing, but they don’t feel the right thing
  • The Lord has made it clear what the fruits of the Spirit are
  • We need to rejoice in the Lord
  • There is no fear in Christ’s love
  • God knows you perfectly. He loves you perfectly. He knows what your future holds. He wants you to be not afraid, only believe and abide in His perfect love.

The choir sang High on the Mountain Top

The benediction was offered by Elder Richard J Maynes


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

My father, my brother-in-law, my two sons and I are gathered in our family room ready to watch the Priesthood Session. We have pizza and wings from Pete’s Pizza, Cactus Cut Potatoes from Boston Pizza, and some chicken from Popeyes


President Dieter F Ucthdorf conducted

A choir made up of Young Single Adults from the Holladay and Murray Utah sang Rise Up, O Men of God

The invocation was offered by Elder Vern P Stanfill

The choir sang Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

President Thomas S Monson (the broadcast had captioning since President Monson sometimes slurs his words now)

  • charity never faitheth
  • As preisthood holders, we must be kind
  • look at our own lives and be kind
  • we will be in a better position to call down the powers of heaven

Elder David A Bednar

  • Missionaries are called to serve
  • They are assigned to labour
  • If an assignment changes, missionaries should not feel disappointed or guilty
  • Priesthood/Temple/Mission all go together
  • Emphasis should be given to all, not just mission

Bishop Gérald Caussé

  • Shared a story about his boss at work promoting him because he knew his faith and values that he had learned at Church
  • If we could follow the pattern of Jesus and John the Baptist, the priesthood work would move forward in ways unimaginable
  • Get the YM involved, don’t just entertain them

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Told of the Madrid Spain temple dedication and he did not receive an invitation
  • You can’t get honour in the kingdom of God by campaigning for it, nor can you power lunge your way to eternal glory
  • We need to see others as God sees them
  • Rejoice with those who are happy, weeping with those who grieve, lifting up those who are weak
  • God’s greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectation of reward
  • In the eyes of God there is no calling that is more important than another
  • One kind of service is not above another

President Henry B Eyring

  • We need to have confidence in the Lord that we can do what is required of us
  • He shared a few scriptural examples of people who were strengthened when they thought they couldn’t do it
  • Our ordination is an invitation to walk with Him
  • As soon as we accept the invitation, the nature of our service changes. It becomes more achievable
  • God will notice and support even the newest Deacon
  • The Lord’s work is not just to solve problems, but to build people
  • The most efficient solution isn’t always the best solution, as it won’t allow people to grow
  • Walking with the Savior in priesthood service will change the way you look at others

The choir sang Hope of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder Carlos A Godoy


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

So, I’m home from work now and the family is gathered in our living room ready to watch the afternoon session.


President Henry B Eyring conducted. NOTE: President Thomas S Monson was NOT in attendance, but they did not announce it.

A family choir made up of members from the stakes in Tremonton, Garland and Fielding Utah sang Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth

The invocation was offered by Elder Von G Keetch

President Dieter F Uchtdorf did the sustaining of Church officers

Kevin R Jergensen, Managing Director Church Auditing Department

  • things are done in accordance to approved budgets, policies and accounting practices

2016 Statistical Report presented by Brooke P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency

The choir sang a medley of I Am A Child of God and How Will They Know?

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Weaving a tapestry of discipleship is more than a single thread
  • We minister to everyone, even if they are different than us
  • Now more than ever we cannot be part-time disciples
  • We can’t be disciples on just one point of doctrine
  • Discipleship is not limited by age, gender, ethnic origin or calling

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Just as we sound better when we sing a song if we are beside someone with a good voice, we should be trying to stand as close as possible to Savior when we want to sing the song of redeeming love
  • It is by design that not all voices are the same
  • There is room for diverse languages, culture, marital status, childless and more
  • There is room for those who have questions, with differing sexual attractions. There is room for everyone who loves God and honours His commandments
  • Come as you are, but don’t plan to stay as you are

The choir and congregation sang Go Forth with Faith

Elders Gary B Sabin

  • We need to be all-in, not lukewarm
  • Often we don’t take the time to sincerely pray and do other important things. When we don’t we risk having our fire go out
  • We need to stand up inside
  • It is hard to measure the good we can do

Elder Valeri V. Cordón

  • He has observed that people who speak Spanish stop speaking the language. Within a couple of generations, the language is lost
  • Just as we need to preserve our mother tongue, we also need to preserve the language of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
  • We need to avoid traditions that stop us from keeping the Sabbath Day holy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • We need to overcome the world
  • Told of Elder Bruce D Porter’s health problems and how he overcame the world

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • Those who accomplish the most in this life are those with goals
  • Knowing where you are going and how you expect to get there can bring great meaning to your life
  • A plan and a goal are different things
  • We need to interview ourself

The choir sang A Child’s Prayer

The benediction was offered by Elder Hugo Montoya


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

As seems to happen often, I’m at work today. Luckily, I’m able to arrange my schedule so that I can watch the session during an extended lunch. I’ll be home by 3:30 or so, so can watch the next session at home with my family.

For the last couple of weeks we have been down in Florida relaxing physically. It is going to be kind of nice this weekend to “relax” spiritually. I don’t mean to avoid or get away from spiritual things, but to be refreshed and recharged.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang The Morning Breaks

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

The invocation was offered by Elder Kim B Clark

The choir sang Do What Is Right

President Henry B Eyring (President Thomas S Monson did NOT open the meeting)

  • General Conference is a time of gathering
  • Spoke of the gathering of the Family of God
  • Parental love is the closest thing to Heavenly love
  • Hearts have turned to fathers since Elijah came
  • The Lord always provides a way
  • Technology can never replace revelation

Brother M Joseph Brough

  • Righteous grandparents are a blessing
  • Heavenly Father gives each of us a care package to help us in this life which includes parents and bishops
  • His Son is the greatest part of the care package
  • 3 ways we can be the car package for someone else
    1. Be with the youth
    2. To guide youth, we need to connect them to heaven
    3. Let youth leader
  • Let your covenants be paramount

Elder Weatherford T Clayton

  • Our mortal birth is not the beginning, it is just a milestone
  • The pillars of God’s plan are:
    1. Creation of the Earth
    2. The Fall of Adam of Eve
    3. The Savior and His atonement
  • You can find peace and purpose in this mortal experience

The choir and congregation sang Glory to God on High

Elder Dale G Renlund

  • The Savior’s compassion, love and mercy draws us towards Him
  • God doesn’t want mindless obedient followers
  • He wants us to knowingly and willingly choose to be like Him
  • We can all express our opinion, but we cannot be hateful
  • Follow the Golden Rule
  • If we want respect, we must respect others
  • Our conversion brings meekness, which invites the Holy Ghost which fills us with perfect love for others
  • Our perfect Shepherd feels the same way towards us

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • We can received strength and hope from the Savior
  • We need to press forward in faith
  • We often feel that we are burdened and some leave the Church

Elder Mark A Bragg

  • Take comfort that there is Light available to us
  • There are places where you can always find light
    1. The Light of the Church
    2. The Light of the Gospel
    3. The Light of Christ

The choir sang Teach Me To Walk in the Light

President Russell M Nelson

  • We live in turbulent times
  • How can we draw into our lives the power of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ
  • We cannot be saved in ignorance. We must learn and know about Him
  • We should be careful that the terms we use do not take away from the living reality of our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ
  • There is no amorphous being called The Atonement. Jesus Christ is the source
  • Those sacred terms describe what the Savior did so that we may live with hope
  • Study “The Living Christ”
  • Our covenants bind us to Him

The choir sang Rejoice, the Lord is King!

The benediction was offered by Elder Jorge F Zeballos


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – General Women’s Session

I haven’t had a chance to watch the General Women’s Session of General Conference. We were driving home from Florida on that day and so we missed it. I’m sure my wife and daughter will watch it soon.

Since I don’t have any of my own notes, I wanted to share a few links in case you haven’t been able to find these yourself:


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

187th Annual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

Well, here we go again! I’m still not blogging regularly, but I do enjoy doing my General Conference notes.

I’m working today, so I’ll have to do the first session at work, then the afternoon session at home. I think the boys are staying home tonight to have pizza and wings in our family room while we watch the Priesthood session.

It’ll be interesting to see if/how the brethren address a lot of the political unrest in the world, including in the United States. I’m sure there will be messages about charity, compassion and unity.

I’m sure we’ll hear from President Monson even less than we have in the past

And of course, I expect the music to be beautiful.

I’m looking forward to the sessions… bring them on!


Read the recaps and other notes from the 187th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

A good clean joke?

Recently I was in a second hand store and was browsing the books. I was flipping through The Best of the Good Clean Jokes by Bob Phillips and happened to come across one related to Mormons. It makes a joke about polygamy. It may be clean, but

A Mormon acquaintance once pushed Mark Twain into an argument on the issue of polygamy. After long and tedious expositions justifying the practice, the Mormon demanded that Twain cite any passage of Scripture expressly forbidding polygamy.

“Nothing easier,” Twain replied. “No man can serve two masters.”

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.

and

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.

and

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.

and

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!