Category Archives: Mormon Temples

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 – 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:

LDS Youth Temple Challenge

A few months ago, Elder Neal L Andersen challenged the youth to take their own names to the temple (I first heard about this on LDS Media Talk). Right away an official page was setup, and word started to spread. So far over 20,000 people have signed up to accept the challenge.

Our stake hasn’t set a specific goal, but we certainly endorse the challenge. In one ward I was in recently, the youth Sunday School class (only 3 youth) were in the Family History Centre learning how to index. It’s great to see the youth getting involved like that.

“Things overheard at Jesus’ wedding” Top 10 List from the Late Show with David Letterman

Our local newspaper prints the Top Ten from the Late Show with David Letterman in the paper. I don’t often read them, but did the other day. The list from Tuesday, April 22, 2014 was the “Top 10 things overheard at Jesus’ wedding“. Apparently they had been talking about this with an audience member earlier before the show had started recording. #6 on the list was:

Should’ve  used the Temple in Salt Lake City

It probably got the biggest laugh/cheer in the place, and they put the camera on a man in the audience. I have no idea if that was his joke, or if he’s a Mormon, but I think it was kind of neat that the temple was mentioned.

You can see the video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQCtKuCC75g

184th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

184th_annual_gc_header

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:

Some brief thoughts on the new temple video

Last night my wife and I went to the Toronto Ontario Temple and saw the new temple video. Overall we were very impressed. Here are a few random thoughts/observations:

  • The creation scenes are beautiful
  • Most of the additional length is in the video presentation, so it doesn’t really feel like the session is 15 minutes longer
  • One of the actors/characters sounded like (and even kind of looked like) Elder Hales
  • There is a lot more emotion shown in the Garden of Eden scenes. I have no problem with this, but it is different from the way it used to be. I need to ponder about what this means
  • There are a couple of scenes where it is obvious that a character is in front of a “green screen”. If I thought it was that noticeable now, what will we think in 5-10 years when the video is still being used…
  • I thought the way Satan was portrayed was very effective. He seems particularly manipulative
  • As others have commented, it doesn’t seem like there are any wording changes

I’ve read all sorts of comments online on other sites… some are complaining about the acting, some are complaining about the music, and some are complaining about the cinematography. I have to admit that I probably didn’t get as much out of the session last night as I would have normally, as I was absorbing all of the new changes. But overall I quite liked it and I’m looking forward to going back again so I can focus on the spiritual side of things.

The passing of the Mormon pioneer in our family

I’ve lived in Ontario for my whole life. My parents were born in Ontario, and most of the generations before that are Canadian. We’ve been here for a long time. My ancestors did not know about the Church during the first wave of missionary work to Canada in the 1830s, so it wasn’t until 1961 that someone first joined the Church. That was my grandmother, whom I have written about previously. Well, after 96+ years on this earth, she passed away on May 26, 2013.

(That is why I haven’t been posting much lately… I obviously was busy around the time my grandmother was sick, and then when she passed away, and I just got out of the habit of posting. It has taken longer than expected to get back to it).

I’m not going to take up too much space writing all about someone you don’t know, but I did want to highlight a few things. As mentioned, she joined the Church in 1961. She was a member of the Church for more than 51 years, and never was less-active. My father was a teenager when she joined, and it was another 20 years before my grandfather joined. She knew the Church was true and persevered until my grandfather found that out for himself. I was only 7 years old when my grandfather was baptized, but I vaguely remember how excited everyone was at the time.

My grandmother loved family history work. Even though my grandfather wasn’t a member at the time, he took her all over Canada to find cemeteries and help with her research. By the time I got involved, she had a family tree with around 5,000 names!

She loved her family very much and she was always so proud to see her grandchildren and great-grandchildren progress in the Church. Many of us have moved around, but as often as she could she’d attend a baby blessing or a baptism. She just knew that she started it all and was thrilled to see it continuing.

Since family history work and family were so important to her, you can imagine that she always insisted on having a temple recommend. I have lots of great memories of my grandmother, but I’ll always remember the smile she gave me a few weeks before she passed away when I did her temple recommend interview. It was eternally memorable!

Good-bye Nanny. I will miss you, but I’m sure Poppa is ecstatic to see you. Say “Hi” to him for me and I’d appreciate it if the two of you could continue to watch over me and my family.

The Calgary Alberta Temple has been dedicated

One of my sisters lives in Calgary and so they’ve been very excited about the new Calgary Alberta Temple. The temple was dedicated yesterday along with a cultural celebration the day before.

My sister posted this picture to Facebook with the comment “Finale brought tears to my eyes!”

She then emailed the following to the family:

We just got home from the temple dedication. It has been an awesome and excited few weeks. Open house, tours and such.

Last night was a youth cultural celebration. It was phenomenal.

The dedication today was the icing on top. The spirit was so strong and we feel so very blessed to have a temple 20 minutes away (when traffic is good 😉

Life is good!

The Church Newsroom covered the dedication with pictures and videos of the cornerstone ceremony and the cultural celebration.

Lego replica of Salt Lake Temple

I’ve mentioned before that my kids love LEGO. They thought Brick of Mormon Stories was awesome, and they were amazed by the great LEGO replica of the Bountiful Utah Temple. Well, here is another one to add to the list. The blog Sixteen Small Stones has posted pictures of someones replica of the Salt Lake Temple. It looks fantastic!

I love the golden LEGO figure on top 🙂

Be sure to follow the link above to see a larger image, along with several others.

8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.

(I promise this is my last CNN link for at least a little while)

Salt Lake Temple Dedication Day

Salt Lake Temple Dedication Day.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mormon_Temple_under_construction_Salt_Lake_City.jpg

CNN has a Summer Travel series and they recently posted about 8 religious wonders to see in the U.S.. I don’t know if it is any particular order, but the Salt Lake Temple is listed as number 6. There is a picture and the following brief description:

The Neo-Gothic Salt Lake Temple, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct.

Then further down in the article are a few more paragraphs about the temple and Temple Square:

The Neo-Gothic building, which was dedicated in 1893, took 40 years to construct. Except for some of its hardware and glass, the temple was built completely of native materials. With five floors, six spires — the tallest standing at 210 feet — and a granite facade, the structure is definitely imposing.

I’ve never been to Salt Lake City before other than when I flew in and out of the airport when I was a missionary. There was no opportunity to visit Temple Square, and I’ve never made it back. I hope to visit someday…