Category Archives: Mormon Church Doctrine and Teachings

“We are His Work and His Glory”

Just a quick thought/note here…

Recently the Atonement Blog posted some remarks that Neal A Maxwell offered in his first address as an Apostle. We are all familiar with Moses 1: 39:

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

The Atonement Blog highlighted the fact that Elder Maxwell said that WE are God’s work, and His glory.

We can love Him, we can honor Him, we can worship Him! We can keep His commandments, and we can feast upon His scriptures! Yes, we who are so forgetful and even rebellious are never forgotten by Him! We are His “work” and His “glory,” and He is never distracted!

A very nice thought! Thanks to the Atonement Blog for sharing this…

Making the transition from seminary to institute

One of my responsibilities in our stake is to work with the young single adults, our YSA branch presidency, and the Institute Teacher. One of our biggest challenges is in getting the YSA to attend institute.

When you are a youth in the Church, it is generally expected that you will attend seminary. Not everyone goes, but there is definitely that expectation. If you are from an active family and plan on serving a mission (male or female), you are almost definitely going to attend seminary. However, in our area, Institute is just not a big thing. We want it to be, but when there isn’t that “critical mass” of YSA in one area, there just isn’t that momentum.

Anyway, that is just background as to why I’m sharing this article. The Deseret News recently had a nice article about making the transition from seminary to institute.

As an 18-year-old freshman at Utah State University, Bradon Capener registered for classes at the Logan Institute of Religion for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he admits he didn’t see the value and rarely attended.

It wasn’t until Capener returned from serving a Mormon mission a few years later and “decided to get involved” that he realized what he had been missing.

It’s a good read…

184th Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

Well, it’s over. I think my favourite session was the Saturday Afternoon General Session.

I mentioned that I had some things that I was hoping to get some inspiration for. I can’t say that I received any particular answers, but I have definitely felt the Spirit, which helps me to have some clarity. I appreciate that.

There were several talks that I quite liked. Here are a few of them:

  • Lynn G Robbins from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Cheryl A Esplin from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Dallin H Oaks from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Tad R Callister from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Jörg Klebingat from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Jeffrey R Holland from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Quentin L Cook from Priesthood Session
  • Henry B Eyring from Priesthood Session
  • Henry B Eyring from Sunday Morning General Session
  • M Russell Ballard from Sunday Afternoon General Session

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 – Sunday Afternoon General Session


In between sessions we finished our Game of Life. Our daughter one, and she was quite excited. The rest of time was spent cleaning up a LEGO bomb that exploded in our playroom in the basement (or at least it looks like LEGO shrapnel everywhere!)

Here we go ready for the last session…

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Lo, the Mighty God Appearing

The invocation was offered by Elder David F Evans

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • Compared white water rafting to our lives
  • Sometimes the water is smooth, sometimes it is like white water
  • Some of the challenges we face are physical/mental health issues, death of a loved ones, dashed dreams and hopes, a crisis of faith
  • we have been given a boat, supplies and experienced guides to help us make it down the river of life
  • 3 rules for safety when going through the white water
    1. Stay in the boat
    2. Always wear a life jacket
    3. Hold on with both hands

Elder Richard G Scott

  • Shared the account of The Fall
  • We are to be tested, tried, and stretched
  • We would face evil
  • 4 tools to help us
    1. Prayer – Family Prayer should be a non-negotiable priority
    2. Study the scriptures and the words of the living prophets – this is more important than sleep, games, social media, TV and more
    3. Weekly Family Home Evening – it should not be an afterthought. Monday your family should be together at home for the evening. Don’t let employment, sports, homework, or anything else become more important than that time you spent together at home with your family. The structure is not as important as the time invested
    4. Go to the temple – there is no more peaceful place on this earth than in the temples of God

Elder Carlos A Godoy (in Portuguese)

  • We all have to make great decisions in our lives
  • We need to consider our options with the end in mind

The choir and congregation sang Count Your Blessings

Elder Allan F Packer (Wow! He looks a lot like his father… President Packer)

  • We can be distracted on some things, and focus on just a couple of things
  • Qualifying for exaltation is a quest for a lifetime
  • Family History isn’t just the past. It includes the present as we shape our own
  • We must not sacrifice our exaltation for less important interests

Elder Hugo E Martinez (in Spanish)

  • He who serves in something, is good for something; he who serves in nothing, is good for nothing
  • The Savior focuses on the individual
  • Discover needs, then meet those needs. Observe then serve
  • The Good Shepherd will gather all of His sheep

The choir sang I Am a Child of God

Elder Larry S Kacher

  • The decisions we make in this life affect our eternal life
  • He told a story about getting caught in a riptide
  • There are many currents in this earthly life, some safe, some not
  • Do our choices? Do they affect only us?
  • Are our decisions firmly planted in the rich soil of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Elder David A Bednar

  • The Church has always been a missionary church
  • He is explaining to non-members why we are missionaries
  • Shared a story about one son getting hurt, and the other son helping. After the son had been helped, he went to help his friends who had been hurt

President Thomas S Monson

  • Let us resolve to be kinder and more thoughtful
  • Let us reach out to everyone and be more helpful
  • May we show our respect for them
  • He thanked us for our prayers on his behalf

The choir sang We Ever Pray for Thee

The benediction was offered by Brother John S Tanner

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 – Sunday Morning General Session


I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… I love General Conference Sunday! Normally I’m up at about 6 am, but this morning I slept past 7, and didn’t get out of bed until after 8. We had a nice breakfast of eggs, waffles, bagels, bacon, and sausage patties, then we played the Game of Life together. We haven’t finished it yet, so it is on hold why we watch Music and the Spoken Word. I assume we’ll play some more during the break.

Since it is the Sunday Morning General Session, each of the kids will watch the whole session with us.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Sing Praise to Him

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Praise the Lord with Heart and Voice

The invocation was offered by Elder Don R Clarke

The choir sang Praise to the Man

President Henry B Eyring

  • his hope is that we will all feel hope and light from God today
  • we can receive revelation for the areas that we have responsibility for
  • as a counselor at various leveled, he has seen those leaders receive revelation

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • what does it mean to sustain the prophet?
  • when we sustain someone, we are invoking the law of Common Consent
  • all leaders in the Church are called by proper authority
  • he reviewed the way that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve lead
  • he reviewed how the Church handles it when the President is not able to function fully

Sister Carol F McConkie

  • there is never but one on the earth who has all the keys
  • we need to sustain the prophet
  • it shows that we have faith
  • we need to heed prophetic counsel
  • the Lord will feed those who trust him
  • the words of prophets are like manna to our souls

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

Elder Robert D Hales (still does not look very good, but was able to sit on a stool at the main podium)

  • Heavenly Father loves Jesus Christ deeply, and Jesus shows his love through his obedience
  • Do you remember the first time you knew there was a God and could feel His love?
  • A home that prays to God is a house of glory

Elder James J Hamula

  • The Sacrament is one of the most holy ordinances in the Church
  • It reminds us of His sacrifice and redemption
  • Christ has the power to redeem us all

The choir sang Softly and Tenderly

President Thomas S Monson

  • Decisions determine destiny
  • God did not send us here without direction and guidance
  • He’s given us the tools we need
  • Walking where Jesus walked is less important than walking as Jesus walked
  • Each of us will walk the path of disappointment
  • The end result of disobedience is captivity
  • The end result of obedience is liberty

The choir sang How Firm a Foundation

The benediction was offered by Sister Rosemary M Wixom

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 – Priesthood Session


My son and I were picked up by my father to go to the Church for the semiannual sub-sational. We enjoyed the food, and it was great seeing my son enjoying himself with the other YM. We then watched the session at the Church.

Following the session, we headed to Boston Pizza for some more food. I’m stuffed!

President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir made up of missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah sang Rise Up, O Men of God

The invocation was offered by Elder Bruce A Carlson

The choir sang a medley of missionary songs from The Children’s Songbook.

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Decisions and choices
  • Told a brief Charlie Brown story. Lucy always had an excuse for when she dropped the baseball
  • Rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions
  • Social media can be very distracting
  • Many activities are good, but require moderation

Elder Craig C Christensen

  • Do you know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true?
  • There is nothing more important than receiving and maintaining a testimony
  • A testimony isn’t like a light switch. It is more like a tree. It starts with a tiny seed, they grow and develop

Bishop Dean M Davies

  • We need to care for the needy
  • The law of the fast should be followed. It applies to all members
  • Get the Aaronic Priesthood involved

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

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • The business of beams and motes seems to be tied to the fact that we don’t see ourselves clearly
  • When we think we are better than we are, we are blinded, and miss opportunities
  • We may appear to be disciples, but on the inside we can be separated from the Savior
  • Look inside your heart and ask yourself if you are one who would betray the Savior
  • We need teachable hearts

President Henry B Eyring

  • The Lord’s plan is full of preparation
  • The Aaronic Priesthood is a preparatory priesthood
  • Leaders and companions can help prepare the young men
  • We need to live by example to show the young men how to live
  • We need to trust the young men

President Thomas S Monson

  • Told story if the Bismark ship
  • Each of us is a miracle of engineering
  • God bestows us with special gifts
  • We need to street an undeviating course forward
  • Wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us
  • Are we standing in holy places?

The choir sang Ye Elders of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder James B Martino

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 – Saturday Afternoon General Session


Immediately following the first session, we had some birthday cake for our daughter. She wanted an ice cream cake, so we got one from the local Dairy Queen.

We then went outside in our back yard to do some work. It was a little chilly, but when working it just felt like a beautiful Fall day. After about an hour, it started to rain, so we came back inside.

I didn’t do much Twitter or blog reading during the first session, but I did take a quick glance at By Common Consent. Someone left a comment asking if we could get Liam Neeson to do voiceovers for the foreign language talks. That would be awesome!

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of members from the  Grantsville, Stansbury Park, and Tooele areas of Utah sang Arise, O God, and Shine

The invocation was offered by Elder Wilford W Andersen

President Henry B Eyring did the sustaining

  • Carlos H Amado and William R Walker were released as members of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and designated Emeritus General Authorities
  • Two Area Seventies were released
  • No new callings were sustained

The choir sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • Love one another
  • This is a unique challenge
  • Love is the very essence of the Gospel
  • We are warned against contention
  • We should not stir up the hearts of men to anger
  • As we strive to be meek, we should not dilute the truth we have
  • Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • It was said that Joseph Smith’s name would be used for both good and bad
  • He spoke about how to respond to people who question certain things about Joseph

Brother Tad R Callister

  • Parents have a duty to teach their children
  • Parents are to be the prime gospel teacher and example
  • Teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer
  • We may have to restrict their online time

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Jörg Klebingat

  1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being
  2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being
  3. Embrace voluntary whole-hearted obedience as part of your life
  4. Become really really good at repenting thoroughly and completely
  5. Become really really good at forgiving
  6. Accept trials, setbacks, and surprises as part of your mortal experience

Elder Eduardo Gavarret

  • Do not follow the wrong voice
  • Christ is the good shepherd, and his disciples know his voice
  • It is a clear voice that can’t be confused
  • Be determined to follow the Lord
  • Feed the desire to be a better follower of Christ
  • Persevere in the desire to be a better follower

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • The great Redeemer has issued no more consistent call than to help the needy
  • What we do is nothing but a drop of the ocean, but if we don’t do it, the ocean would be one less drop than it is – Mother Theresa
  • God is not overly occupied with percentages
  • We retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor
  • We should pray for those in need
  • More than 3/4 of a million members received fast offering assistance last year

Elder L Tom Perry

  • The gospel provides a sure foundation
  • The Savior is the master teacher; we follow him
  • We are blessed as members of the Church to have the Gospel

The choir sang Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide

The benediction was offered by Elder Edward Dube

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 – Saturday Morning General Session


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


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


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: