Category Archives: Mormon Church Doctrine and Teachings

184th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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The family is gathered together and we are set to get started. Since my oldest is now 12, he is going to watch all of the sessions with us. The younger two will watch half an hour of each session, all of Sunday morning, and then President Monson’s conclusion on Sunday afternoon.

Let’s get going…


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang The Morning Breaks

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang High on the Mountain Top

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson offered the invocation

President Thomas S Monson

  • 90-year anniversary of radio broadcast
  • 65-year anniversary of tv broadcast
  • 1 new temple dedicated (Florida Fort Lauderdale) by President Uchtdorf
  • 1 temple rededicated (Utah Ogden) by President Monson
  • New Phoenix temple will be dedicated next month
  • In 2015 there will be 5 temples dedicated or rededicated, with more possible depending on how things go
  • When all previously announced are done there will be  170 operating temples
  • No new temples to announce
  • The Church continues to grow
  • Over 88,000 missionaries serving

The choir sang Beautiful Zion, Built Above

President Boyd K Packer (he looked good, but seemed to have a hard time speaking)

  • Told story about giving Oxford a copy of the scriptures, and pointing out the 18 pages about Christ in the Topical Guide
  • Our scriptures are full of references to the Savior
  • The mercy and grace of Chris is available to all
  • No matter how large the Church becomes, the true success of the Gospel will be measured by the spiritual strength of its individual members

Elder Lynn G Robbins

  • Which way do you face?
  • We should not flip/reverse the first two great commandments
  • We should not try to please others instead of pleasing God
  • If we are facing the wrong way, we can turn around
  • Lowering our standards to meet the world is apostacy

Sister Cheryl A Esplin

  • What do you wish you had known when you were younger?
  • I wish I had understood the significance of the Sacrament
  • Spoke all about the Sacrament

The choir and congregation sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Elder Chi Hong Wong (spoke in Cantonese)

  • Reach out and rescue
  • He compared the story of the man with palsy being lowered through the roof to our efforts to rescuing
  • There are sometimes obstacles, but we can’t give up
  • With so many missionaries in our units, we need to get them involved
  • Our combined faith can help others

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • We see God’s love through His commandments
  • The Gospel opens the path to what we may become
  • Christ died not to save indiscriminately, but to offer repentance
  • Freedom comes not from resisting it, but from applying it

The choir sang If I Listen With My Heart

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • A century ago, we thought we were alone in the universe, that the Milky Way was the only galaxy
  • With greater light, we have been introduced to glorious vistas we had never before imagined
  • If people haven’t experienced things, received the more complete light of truth, then they don’t believe new truth
  • As humans we believe we are right, even when we are wrong
  • We can know truth for ourselves
  • Read the scriptures, ponder, and be grateful
  • Ask Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to manifest the truth of the Church unto you
  • Put the Gospel and Church teachings to the test in your life
  • Spiritual truth will fill your heart

The choir sang From All That Dwell below the Skies

The benediction was offered by Bradley D Foster


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

184th Semiannual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

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Well, here we are again… another General Conference. Strangely, I’m off work, so I’ll be at home with the rest of the family. Today also happens to be my daughters birthday, so we’ve had a lovely morning of homemade waffles, hot apple cidar, and gifts. What a great way to start General Conference!

My son is particularly excited about tonight’s priesthood session. He just turned 12 this summer, so this is the first time he’ll be able to go, and the first time he’ll be able to go out with us afterwards.

Who knows if there will be anything exciting announced this conference. We’ll wait and see.

For me personally, I have a couple of things that have been troubling me, so I’m hoping to receive some inspiration.

Enjoy the conference!


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

184th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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It’s a cold, rainy day where I live, so it’s a great day to be inside. Here we go… the first session out of five (six if you could the women’s meeting last weekend). I’m sitting at work with two laptops in front of me. One is the full-screen video of the session, and the other is where I’m typing this. I’ll probably also follow some of the #ldsconf hashtag on Twitter.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang How Firm a Foundation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Press Forward, Saints

The invocation was offered by Elder Carl B Cook

The choir sang Lead, Kindly Light

President Thomas S Monson

  • We’re united as a big family
  • The work of the Church moves forward unhindered
  • He recently dedicated the Gilbert AZ temple, the 142nd temple
  • There are no new temple announcements, but when all of the previously announced temples are completed, there will be 170 in operation

Elder Jeffrey R Holland ** one of my favourites

  • Someday you will be called on to defend your faith
  • There is a long history of rejection
  • You may ask if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand… Yes it is!
  • The bumper sticker “What would Jesus do?” will not always bring a popular response
  • Defend your belief with courtesy and compassion

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Currently 317 Seventies
  • Lots of us are also helping in this work
  • Take up the joyful burden of discipleship
  • Spoke of a tornado in Oklahoma, and how our worldly treasures can be taken in an instant

Elder Carlos H Amado

  • Christ was born in unusual circumstances
  • Elder Amado went on to describe various events in Christ’s life

The choir and congregation sang Choose the Right

Sister Linda S Reeves

  • Has 13 grandchildren in the congregation
  • We are concerned about pornography
  • Satan is attaching with unprecedented fury
  • We are here to manage the passions of the human body
  • Pornography overtakes lives, damages relationships, and consumes time, thought, and energy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Told a story about the power of a tornado, and compared it to the power of sin
  • Challenges will come, but as you trust in God, it will strengthen your faith
  • Our foundation must be on the Savior

The choir sang A New Commandment I Give Unto You

President Henry B Eyring

  • When you choose to keep a covenant you choose to leave an inheritance of hope
  • We have a universal inheritance because of Jesus Christ and His atonement
  • There is a heritage of hope left for those who come after us

The choir sang Come, O Thou King of Kings

The benediction was offered by Elder W Christopher Waddell


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

True Shepherds – President Monson speaks about Home Teaching

I was surprised to hear President Monson speak about home teaching at the Priesthood session of General Conference. It isn’t that I think that home teaching isn’t important, it’s that I don’t remember the last time a President of the Church has addressed the topic directly. It has been mentioned in passing, or spoken about by others, but this was different.

You can go and read/watch the talk yourself, but I did want to highlight some quotes:

  • …as the priesthood of God we have a shepherding responsibility.
  • The home teaching program is a response to modern revelation commissioning those ordained to the priesthood “to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, … and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties, … to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.”
  • To assist in our efforts, I share this wise counsel which surely applies to home teachers. It comes from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”
  • Home teaching answers many prayers and permits us to see the transformations which can take place in people’s lives.

Hearing this talk made me think back on a talk that Ezra Taft Benson gave in 1983. He spoke about home teaching, but rather than “preaching”, he asked a bunch of questions. I’m not sure exactly how many questions were asked, but there were 46 question marks in the published talk.

I find it a challenge to go home teaching, but I still make an effort and am able to visit most of my assigned families each month (at least the ones that let me in). Every time I leave a home, I feel like I’ve been doing a sacred work. The circumstances of life then creep up on me again the following month, and it is a struggle to go out again, but I remember the feelings and out I go. It’s worth it for sure.

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

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Well, another 6 months, another conference, another 10 hours (11 if you count The World Report). I think my favourite session was Saturday morning. President Uchtdorf’s talk inviting people to return was excellent. I personally know some people who that applies to. I hope that some how they get the message.

I followed the #ldsconf hastag on Twitter, and found that it added a lot to my viewing. If I missed something, almost certainly someone tweeted it.

As usual, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was spectacular!

I definitely felt the Spirit through many of the messages. I look forward to reading the messages again in the Ensign, and using various passages as I visit the wards in my stake.


 

Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

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After the last session, we watched some YouTube videos about Stephanie Nielson. What a story… what an example of perseverance!

Afterwards my kids played the game of Life and I had a bit of a nap.

We’re settled in now to watch the last session…


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang They, the Builders of the Nation

Brother David L Beck offered the invocation

The choir sang When He Comes Again

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Spoke about bondage in scriptures
  • Bondage in our time include addictions, using our time ineffectively, ideology that is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Chris, and forces that violate strongly held religious views

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • We can live every hour blessed by the help of priesthood power
  • A man may open the curtains, but doesn’t own the light and warmth
  • Why is the priesthood only administered by men? We do not know all things

Brother David M McConkie

  • God speaks
  • Live so we can have the Holy Ghost as our guide and companion
  • We must become men and women of sound understanding by studying the scriptures
  • Learn to listen
  • Stand as an independent witness of what you teach, not just an echo of what is in the manual

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder Kevin S Hamilton

  • The Sacrament helps us to pledge to follow Christ
  • Sacrament Meeting helps us renew our covenants
  • Sunday School allows us to teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom
  • Priesthood meeting helps men and boys learn their duties
  • RS/YW help women and girls learn their responsibilities
  • In all of these meetings, we learn, serve and feel the Spirit
  • We should strive to attend all of our Sunday meetings

Elder Adrián Ochoa

  • We need to be spiritually prepared
  • We need to be aware of the signs of the times
  • Be careful with what you see and do online
  • There is safety in a strong testimony

Elder Terence M Vinson

  • God should be the centre of our universe
  • How do our behaviour and actions show the integrity of our intent?
  • Rather than solves problems Himself, God wants us to work to solve the problems and rely on him
  • Come and see!
  • It is personal, inviting, and embracing

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • You are never to young to learn and never to old to change
  • The physical body can break and heal, but some physical conditions require special care
  • We may need special care for spiritual problems as well
  • True change can only come through the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
  • Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin to God

President Thomas S Monson

  • May heaven’s blessing be with you
  • May your homes be filled with love and courtesy
  • May the Spirit we felt here be and abide with us as we go about our things that occupy us each day
  • May we show increased kindness to one another

The choir sang Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide

Elder Claudio Costa offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

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I think that General Conference Sunday is one of the my favourite Sundays of the year. I love sleeping in a bit, having a relaxing breakfast, and then going for a walk with the family. The whole morning is just so peaceful!

Yesterday was a good day. President Uchtdorf gave two great talks, Elder Holland gave a great talk, and President Monson gave a talk on Home Teaching last night that I’m sure will be quoted for years.

We’re watching Music and the Spoken Word right now, and the Sunday Morning General Session is almost ready to begin.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir started the session by singing Sweet Is the Work

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Rejoice, the Lord Is King!

Sister Cheryl A Esplin offered the invocation

The choir sang Master, the Tempest Is Raging ** Fantastic! **

President Henry B Eyring

  • The first of his grandchildren will be getting married
  • There is one overarching commandment that will lead to the heart of a happy family life… love the Lord
  • Service in the Church brings the Spirit
  • Pray each morning for the Spirit
  • Heavenly Father has perfect foresight
  • There is joy gauranteed to the faithful

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • Reviewed some of the 10 commandments
  • Birth rates are low around the world
  • This threatens the future of cultures and nations
  • Marriage rates are dropping
  • The median age for marriage is 26 for women and almost 29 for men
  • The eternal standard is that sexual relations occur only between a man and a woman who are married

Sister Bonnie L Oscarson

  • You need to have a firm foundation
  • Now is the time to gain the conviction that the Church is true
  • True conversion is more than a knowledge of principles
  • Being truly converted means acting on what we believe
  • Conversion comes as we live pure and virtuous lives

The choir and congregation sang Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Elder Richard J Maynes

  • The challenges we face if successfully endured will be for our good
  • Our ability to endure is in proportion to our testimony
  • We need to work on our spiritual stamina every day

Elder Richard G Scott

  • We receive personal strength from the atonement
  • Spoke about the people of Ammon who wanted to break their covenants in order to defend the people. Helaman wouldn’t let them. One of the reasons was that the people had previously experienced the problems with war, and they needed to stay away so they weren’t tempted again
  • We need to build fortifications around the weak places
  • Satan will try to use memories of past sin to get us to sin again

The choir sang O Divine Redeemer ** love this! **

President Thomas S Monson

  • Spoke of his wife and how much he misses her
  • No one has ever lived free from sorrow
  • When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, we are tempted to say “why me?”
  • We need to persevere and endure

The choir sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Elder Francisco J Viñas offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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So, here I am with my father, sitting in our family room. This is weird! But I think I like it. The pizza and wings have been ordered and should be here mid-session. Like I mentioned earlier, I think we’ll do this in April as well, and then head back to the Church for when my oldest son joins us next October.

I wonder how many women are watching…


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir made up of Aaronic Priesthood holders from the Murray, Utah area sang Sing Praise to Him

Elder Paul E Koelliker offered the invocation

The choir sang Like Ten Thousand Legions Marching

Elder L Tom Perry

  • Memorizing the Articles of Faith is just a bunch of words unless we understand the doctrine in each of them
  • He reviewed each of them briefly
  • Priesthood is a vital source of power and will last beyond the veil
  • A church that doesn’t teach truth is like a phone without a battery

Bishop Gérald Caussé

  • A promise has been made to everyone in the Church… we are no more strangers, but fellow citizens
  • We may feel like outsiders in the world
  • Jesus went beyond the obligation of hospitality and tolerance
  • All received an equal part of his teachings and ministry
  • Fellowshipping is an important priesthood responsibility
  • Reach to anyone who appears at the door of your meetings

Elder Randy D Funk

  •  He was a mission president in India
  • Told a story about a missionary who couldn’t understand much English at all, but became a great missionary
  • If you are humble, you will want to be obedient
  • Look at what good can come from breaking things…
  • You break ground to plant something
  • You break wheat to make bread
  • You break bread to partake of the Sacrament

The choir and congregation sang Do What Is Right

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Told a story about falling while skiing. He couldn’t get up, and his grandson came and said “You can get up now!”
  • No one likes to fail, but we don’t become champions without first falling down first
  • We need to repent
  • If see goals as only the leaders goal, we won’t be successful, but as we make it our goal, we will accomplish it in a goal that will bless others and ourselves
  • Rise up and be men of God
  • “You should hear President Monson pray for you”
  • Your paths will at times be difficult
  • Rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Savior and Redeemer
  • No matter how many times you have slipped and fallen, rise up, stand tall, and walk in the light of the restored gospel

President Henry B Eyring

  • All of us are blessed with responsibility for others
  • Shares a story about an EQ President getting a last-minute call to help someone move
  • Remember, we should be the Samaritan, not the Levite
  • You can’t know all of your quorum members well, but the Lord does
  • Don’t be hardened to the pains of others

President Thomas S Monson

  • Christ is the perfect shepherd
  • Home teaching is inspired, a response to modern revelation
  • It is our duty to bring the gospel to every home and every heart
  • Learn about each family member
  • Home teaching is more than a mechanical visit once a month
  • We teach, inspire, and motivate and bring to activity the sons and daughters of God
  • “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend” – Abraham Lincoln
  • A friend is more concerned about helping people, then getting credit
  • If you have become complacent in your home teaching, there is no time like the present to rededicate yourself to fulfilling your home teaching duties

The choir sang God of Our fathers, Whose Almighty Hand

Elder Walter F. González offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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Wow! Wasn’t President Uchtdorf‘s talk this morning awesome?! Hopefully there is another awesome one this session.

As I make my notes, I’m also following the #ldsconf tag on Twitter. As was expected, the hashtag was trending after the first session.

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In between sessions I watched The World Report, and then played some Mario Kart Wii with my son. Fun stuff!

We settle down to watch this next session…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A family choir made of members from the Roy, Kanesville, Hooper and West Haven, Utah stakes sang On This Day of Joy and Gladness

Elder Paul B Pieper offered the invocation

Persident Henry B Eyring read the sustaining of Church officers

  • A few members of the 1st quorum of seventy were released
  • A few Area Seventy were released and a few sustained
  • There is a new 2nd Counselor in the General YM Presidency

The choir sang I Know That My Savior Loves Me

President Boyd K Packer

  • A gospel-centred home is a safe place
  • “In the last days perilous times shall come”
  • Perilous times are present
  • The cure for most mistakes can be found in forgiveness through personal prayer

Elder D Todd Chistofferson

  • Society has relied on the moral force of women
  • A woman’s noble influence is felt at home
  • There is no better setting to raise the rising generation
  • Your moral authority is vital, and we may be taking you for granted

Elder S Gifford Neilsen

  •  What would you do if the prophet called you?
  • They do call us. Are we listening?
  • We have been called to do more missionary work
  • We need to serve with enthusiasm next to the full-time missionaries

The choir and congregation sang Press Forward, Saints

Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela

  • By small and simple things are great things brought to pass
  • We need to teach in simple ways
  • The small and simple means often bring greater results

Elder Timothy J Dyches

  • Recounted several bible stories of Christ’s compassion and miracles
  • There is opposition, and this helps us see Christ’s healing power

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel” – Joseph Smith
  • It is impossible for us to fail if we do our best
  • Pray
  • If we all reach out to just one between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what a wonderful gift to the Saviour
  • You will have many opportunities

The choir sang Love at Home

Sister Carol F McConkie offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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So here we sit in our family room getting ready for this session. As we usually do, we will have our kids watch the first half hour of every session, and then President Monson on Sunday morning.

I’ve been reading some of the blog postings online about how people feel about General Conference. I find that General Conference is like a lot of Church meetings… before the meeting I can think of every reason in the world why I shouldn’t bother going/participating, but after virtually every meeting I’m glad that I went, and I got something out of it.

I’m sure I’ll be tired after my 10 hours of conference this weekend (plus Music and the Spoken Word, and probably The World Report), but I’m also sure it will be an uplifting weekend. I’m looking forward to it!


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang How Wondrous and Great to start the session.

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Now Let Us Rejoice ** It was an awesome arrangement!

Elder Kent F Richards offered the invocation

President Thomas S Monson

  • Church membership just passed 15 million members
  • Missionaries serving has gone from 58,500 in October 2012 to 80,333 today
  • “Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost”
  • Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together to labour in the lords vineyard to bring souls unto him
  • He thanked us for the donations that have come in for missionary support. The need is ongoing.
  • No new announcements of any kind

The choir sang Israel, Israel, God is Calling

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Note: Elder Hales looked about the same as previous conferences. He definitely still doesn’t look well. He seemed to have a bit of trouble reading his talk, but still spoke well. You could also faintly hear the oxygen feed (there was a slight hissing sound)
  • No topics are assigned for General Conference
  • In conferences we can receive the word of the Lord
  • What is said is not as important as what is heard and felt
  • “Oh how we need General Conference!”

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • You can’t have hope unless you are meek and lowly in heart
  • Meekness is the quality of those who are God-fearing
  • If we want to be meek, we need to improve day by day

Sister Carol M Stephens

  • We all need priesthood ordinances
  • Men and women need to have respect for each other
  • We need to trust in Heavenly Father’s plan and show reverence for Him
  • Sons of God needs daughters of God and daughters of God need sons of God

The choir and congregation sang There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today

Elder Edward Dube

  • “Never look back. Look at what we still have to do”
  • The past is to be learned from, not lived in
  • Faith always points us towards the future

Elder David A Bednar

  • Will speak on the importance of tithing for individuals and families and the importance of tithing in the growth of the Church
  • We often teach about dramatic blessings, yet some of the diverse blessings we obtain are significant but subtle
  • We need to be spiritually attentive and observant
  • The foundation for the fiscal affairs of the Church are found in D&C 119 and 120
  • These sections are so simple compared to the complex financial setup of worldly companies
  • The Church lives within its means and doesn’t spend more than it receives
  • A portion of the annual income as a reserve for contingency
  • The Church follows the same principles that are taught to the members
  • Paying tithing is not just a duty

The choir sang Keep the Commandments

President Dieter F Uchtdorf ** Excellent **

  • The Church doesn’t require anything from us, but the Lord does
  • This Church was restored in our day by Jesus Christ himself
  • Here you find the authority to act in His name
  • The Church gives opportunity to do good
  • People want to put their faith into practice
  • Walking the path of discipleship leads to precious blessings
  • Some people struggle for years about whether they should separate themselves from the Church
  • In the history of the Church, some things have been done and said that raise questions. Sometimes we don’t have all the information. Sometimes there is a difference of opinion of what the facts really mean. There have been times when people have made mistakes
  • “If there are faults, they are the mistakes of men”
  • No decision of significance to this Church is made without prayerfully asking for His direction
  • One of the purposes of the Church is to cultivate the seed of faith, even if it is in the sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty
  • Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith
  • We need your diverse talents
  • Here you will find the pathway to happiness

The choir sang Come, Ye Thankful People

Brother Matthew O Richardson offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: