Category Archives: Mormon Church Priesthood

184th Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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I’m sitting in our den with my father getting ready to watch the conference. We’ve got pizza, wings, chips, and pitas ready to go. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to type with chicken wing sauce all over my fingers! :-)


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A Priesthood choir made up of students from Brigham Young University – Idaho sang Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah

The invocation was offered by LeGrand R Curtis Jr

The choir sang Secret Prayer (it was super long!!)

Elder Dallin H Oaks ** one of my favourites

  • There is no step up or step down in the Church. Just forward and back
  • Priesthood power is for all
  • Priesthood keys direct the work
  • Priesthood ordinances and authority pertain to all
  • Keys direct, control and govern the use of the priesthood on the earth
  • Note: He gave a very good description of the differences between power and keys and how it affects men and women
  • Forget about your rights and focus on your responsibilities!

Elder Donald L Hallstrom

  • Who we are is not who we may become
  • His atonement gives everyone of us a chance to change
  • We need to see our potential
  • How can we become what the Lord wants us to become?
    1. We need to be priesthood men
    2. We need to serve
    3. We need to be worthy

Brother Randall L Ridd ** one of my favourites

  • More choice means more opportunity, which means more choices for good, but also for evil
  • We need to discern between the mind-boggling choices available
  • Spoke a lot about the choice on the Internet. Think about where each click where lead you
  • Will technology empower you or enslave you
  • 4 principles to educate your desire and guide your use of technology
    1. Knowing who you are makes decisions easier
    2. Plug into the source of power
    3. Owning a smart phone does not make you smart, but using it wisely can
    4. The Lord provides technology to accomplish His purposes

The choir and congregation sang Rejoice, the Lord is King!

President Dieter F Uchtdorf ** one of my favourites

  • Talked about Rip Van Winkle
  • Don’t sleep through the restoration
  • Things that will stop us from building God’s kingdom
    1. Selfishness – those who are selfish seek their own pleasure above anything else. What is in it for me?
    2. Addiction – they often begin subtly. Thin threads that weave themselves into thick bonds of habits. Negative habits become consuming addictions
    3. Competing priorities – some of us are so busy that we feel pulled a dozen different ways

President Henry B Eyring ** one of my favourites

  • We all have heroes, especially when we are young
  • When we choose heroes, we begin to copy what we admire most about them
  • His father only took him to a MLB game once, but he was taken to Church each week
  • Each of us are models, whether we want to be or not
  • You can be great, average, or bad. It might not matter to you, but it does to the Lord
  • Pray, serve, and be honest

President Thomas S Monson

  • We live in a world where moral values have been tossed aside and sin is on display
  • Decisions are constantly before us which can affect our destiny
  • We need courage, to say no when we should and to say yes when it is appropriate, and the courage to do the right thing because it is right
  • If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!
  • Are you the same person wherever you are?

The choir sang Abide with Me!

The benediction was offered by Brother Russell T Osguthorpe


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th 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:

My interview with Elder Echo Hawk and our new Stake Presidency

As mentioned before, this past weekend was our Stake Conference. Our previous Stake President, David P Homer, was called to be an Area Seventy (he told us on Sunday that he had been called in November and had to keep it a secret all this time) so we needed a new Stake President. We were originally supposed to have Elder Eduardo Gavarret attend, but apparently he had visa problems, so Elder Larry Echo Hawk was asked Thursday afternoon to fill in. He attended with the already assigned Area Seventy, Elder Jeffery E Olson.
NOTE: I’ll have a posting about Elder Echo Hawk later this week.

My interview was scheduled for 9 am at the Stake Centre. I live about 45 minutes away, and was scheduled to work on Saturday, so I got up early and went to work for 6:45 am and then left just after 8 am to go to the interview. I got there just before 9 and waited/chatted with Elder Homer and the Stake Clerk.

Just as it was with Elder Russell M Nelson and Elder Gary Crittenden 5 years ago, the interview was very short. I was with them for 5 minutes max. They first asked me about men who I thought would be good candidates for the stake presidency and then they asked me some questions. They asked about my wife and my previous callings. I keep typing “they”, but it was actually just Elder Olson doing the talking. Elder Echo Hawk sat there watching and listening.

I then headed back to work and the waiting began. It is a strange process. You want your leaders to know that you are worthy, but we are certainly not looking to get the “job”. I knew the interviews were ending at around noon, so I thought if was getting called to something I’d hear within an hour or two. By the time it was pushing 2 pm I figured that they had chosen other men, and I felt fine with that. Then at about 2:15 I received a call from Elder Homer asking if it were possible for my wife and me to come back to the Stake Centre to meet with Elder Echo Hawk and Elder Olson.

We made arrangements for someone to look after our children and off we went. We got to the Stake Centre at about 3:40. I met with Elder Echo Hawk and my wife met with Elder Olson. I was asked about my worthiness and if there was anything that would lead to members of the stake not sustaining me (I still didn’t know what the position was). My wife was asked the same question, along with questions about how I treat her and our children. After that we were brought back together again and the call was extended. I was called to be the 1st Counselor in the new Stake Presidency. Without hesitation we accepted. I was surprisingly calm about it. I know it will be a lot of work, but I also know how much the Lord blessed me as a bishop, and I know He will do that again.

It was kind of funny during the rest of the afternoon/evening and Sunday morning before the business was done. Several people made a few comments to me wondering what was going to happen. I just had to kind of shrug my shoulders and brush it off. They would find out soon enough.

And so the time for the sustaining arrived, and as I’m sure it usually is, it was unanimous. We were invited to the stand to participate in the rest of the meeting. The outgoing Stake Presidency and their wives were invited to bear their testimonies, and then the incoming Stake Presidency was invited to do the same (unfortunately there wasn’t time for our wives).

After the meeting we were set apart. Elder Echo Hawk set apart the President, I was set apart by Elder Olson, and then Elder Echo Hawk set apart the 2nd Counselor.

Lastly there was a short (about 1 hour) introductory training meeting with our wives to go over the basic responsibilities and how to main balance.

It was a whirlwind of a couple of days! I feel good about things, and think we’ll be able to continue the great work that the previous presidency was able to do.

One thing that really stuck out in my mind over the two days was how many times Elder Echo Hawk and Elder Olson testified that they were there under the direction of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve and that the Spirit had definitely witnessed to them what they were supposed to do. A sceptic might say that they have to say that, but it was very sincere, and the Spirit was with them as they said it. As one of the people who was chose, this was definitely very comforting.

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183rd Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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My father and I went to the Church for about 6:45 pm so we could setup for the traditional sub-sational. We had about 22 people there and had lots of subs, chips, and pop. It was nice.

We watched the broadcast at the church and then my father and I still went out for another snack. We’ve done it for many years, and we want to keep the tradition alive. In another year and a half my oldest son will be able to join us.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A priesthood choir made up of YSA from the Salt Lake City area sang Arise, O God, and Shine

Elder Ronald A Rasband offered the invocation

The choir sang Nearer, My God, to Thee

Elder Robert D Hales (he sounded good, but did not look good)

  • His father taught him about wearing the armor of God
  • If your father wanted to get into trouble, he had to go looking for it; today temptation finds you
  • The Church will remain constants
  • The gap between the world and the Church is getting wide
  • A true friend doesn’t ask us to choose between the gospel and their friendship
  • We are not authorized to negotiate the conditions of God eternal plan
  • Glorify God’s name by standing strong

Elder Tad R Callister

  • The priesthood of the boy is just as powerful as the priesthood of the man when exercised righteously
  • When on missions, people haev strong spiritual growth during those mission years
  • We should exercise these principles to help growth happen earlier
  • Trust our youth
  • Have high expectations of them
  • Provide training
  • Teach the YM how to lead
  • Leaders need to step back

Brother David L Beck

  • What does it mean to minister?
  • We need to help others feel loved
  • There are people around us who need to feel Heavenly Father’s love
  • We are always priesthood men, not just on Sunday’s

The choir and congregation sang Hope of Israel

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • We identify ourselves by titles
  • 4 titles that apply to all priesthood holders
    1. Son of Heavenly Father
      • No matter what we do, we are God’s literal spirit children
    2. Disciple of Christ
      • We are all different, but we have our discipleship in common
    3. Healer of Souls
      • We are to practice the Healer’s art
      • We need to build up, repair, uplift
      • We shoudl reach out to those in need
    4. Heirs to all that He has
      • We are joint-heirs with Christ
      • Does it make sense that so many of us spend time on wealth, prestige, or what is cool?
  • Live what you learn

President Henry B Eyring

  • The gospel is to go into all the world
  • Every member is to be a missionary
  • The members need to find people to teach

President Thomas S Monson

  • Missionary work is an identifying feature of the Church
  • Joseph Smith said that the greatest and most important duty is to preach this gospel
    1. Search the scriptures with diligence
    2. Plan your life with purpose
    3. Teach the truth with testimony
    4. Serve the Lord with love

The choir sang Ye Elders of Israel

Brother Larry M Gibson offered the benediction


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

183rd Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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As mentioned in my Pre-conference notes, I had to watch this session at work. I got called out of my office at about 11:45, and didn’t get back to my desk until almost 12:30. I was surprised to note how anxious I was to get to my computer and watch conference. I felt like I was missing something. Then throughout the session, I kept getting calls. Usually I can just sit there and watch, but not today. There must have been something that the Adversary didn’t want me to hear!

I thought it was interesting that the Church is promoting the #ldsconf hashtag


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Redeemer of Israel

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang In Hymns of Praise

Elder Randall K Bennett offered the invocation

President Thomas S Monson

  • Traveled to Germany, Alberta, Idaho in the last 6 months (the last two to dedicate temples)
  • Didn’t attend cultural celebration in Calgary as it was Sister Monson’s birthday
  • President Uchtdorf dedicated to Honduras to dedicated a temple
  • Announced new temples in Cedar City Utah and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • In October changes to missionary age announced
  • As of April 4, 65634 full-time missionaries
  • More than 20,000 more have received their call
  • 6,000 are in process
  • 58 new missions
  • We were invited to donate to the general missionary fund of the church

The choir sang Hark, All Ye Nations!

President Boyd K Packer (he looked good, but spoke from his chair and had oxygen tubes in his nose)

  • In 1992 he turned 68
  • He shared a short poem he wrote at that time (he updated it at 78 and again at 88)
  • He is getting older. Although he loses physical ability, there are “great spiritual gains” that come with age
  • We need to protect our homes
  • The priesthood has been given to protect the home
  • There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother

Bishop Dean M Davies

  • Talked about earthquakes in California
  • We must build on sure foundations in order to be safe
  • Just as buildings use the right material, we need to be built properly spiritually
  • We wouldn’t knowingly build our homes on sand

Sister Elaine S Dalton

  • spoke about the first line in the YW theme… we are daughters of our Heavenly Father who loves us and we love him
  • we need to understand who we are and whose we are
  • we must never lose sight of the strength of the women
  • we need virtue to be a vital value in society

The choir and congregation sang Let Us All Press On

Elder Craig A Cardon

  • The Savior forgives sin on earth, not just in the eternities
  • In this forgiveness the enabling power of the Atonement helps us
  • False faith does not justify sin
  • “I will be merciful unto your weakness”
  • He knows our weakness
  • “Notwithstanding your sins, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you”
  • The Savior wants to forgive

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • “And worlds without number have I created”
  • The Milky Way is just one of 200+ billion galaxies
  • It is impossible to fathom
  • The power by which these were created is the priesthood
  • The source of this power is God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ
  • Men administer the priesthood but they are NOT the priesthood
  • Just as a woman cannot have a child without a man, a man can’t properly use his priesthood without a woman
  • Shared an analogy of growing a tomato plant, it’s potential, and what happens when it is neglected
  • Those who hold the priesthood but don’t honour it will wilt spiritually
  • Spoke of the recent Worldwide Leadership Training videos about the role of priesthood and strengthening the family

The choir sang Faith

President Henry B Eyring

  • This is His church and we take His name upon us as we enter the Church
  • “I will encircle thee in the arms of my love”
  • Recounted much of the life of Christ
  • Great blessings come from faithful service
  • Christ has shown us how to hear our Heavenly Father
  • He bore powerful witness that he knows Christ lives as surely as if he were there

The choir sang My Redeemer Lives

Sister Jean A Stevens offered the benediction


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

The bald-headed guy

A couple of weeks ago in High Priests Group we had a lesson about making the temple a priority in our lives. We were discussing why it isn’t always a priority. One of the members tried to mention a talk he remembered and said:

You know… what’s his name? The bald-headed guy…

Of course he meant Elder Dallin H Oaks, and he was referring to the Good, Better, Best talk he gave in the October 2007 General Conference. Gotta love those forgetful High Priests :-)

(Note: the brother who said this is a super nice guy, and is always really “with it”, so this must just have been one of those forgetful moments, but it was still funny)

The truest thing said at the most recent General Conference

As I commented before, I quite enjoyed General Conference. I felt the Spirit often as I listened to the speakers.

There was lots of eternal truths spoken during the conference, but one of the “truest” things said was just an unscripted throw-away line. Brother Adrián Ochoa spoke during the Priesthood Session. The talk was called Aaronic Priesthood: Arise and Use the Power of God. About halfway through the talk, he mentions that the Church has a section of their web site where you can hear stories about youth. The official transcript records it this way:

You can find some of these stories and many others like them on the Church’s youth website, youth.lds.org. By the way, the Internet, social media, and other technologies are tools the Lord has placed in your hands to help you exercise your priesthood duties and extend the influence of truth and virtue.

However, that’s not what he said exactly. If you watch the video of the talk, you’ll see that he says the following (it starts at about 8:45):

You can find some of these wonderful stories and many others like them on the Church’s youth web site. Just Google it. Be careful. By the way, the Internet, social media, and other technologies are tools the Lord has placed in your hands to help you exercise your priesthood duties and extend the influence of truth and virtue.

Google it, and be careful