Tag Archives: atonement

182nd Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

The Sunday morning of General Conference is the best! I’m in the Eastern time zone, so General Conference starts at noon. We got up late, had a nice breakfast, and then relaxed for the rest of the morning. Nice!

The family is gathered together now, and we’ll watch the session together. The other sessions we ask the kids to watch the first half hour, but they watch the entire Sunday morning session with us.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord (I love this hymn)

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty (my wife loves this hymn… she attended a meeting where she first felt that the Church was true and this song was sung at the meeting, so it has a special place in her heart)

Elder Brent H Nielson offered the invocation

The choir sang Teach Me to Walk in the Light (a beautiful arrangement)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • everyone has been affected by resentment
  • we feel hurt, angry or envious and judge other people
  • Christ’s atonement is infinite and eternal
  • The Lord will forgive whom he will forgive, but we are required to forgive all (that includes ourselves)
  • If you are gossiping, criticizing, judging, just STOP IT
  • He saw a bumper sticker that said “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you”
  • We need to forgive others, as we want to be forgiven
  • the pure love of Christ can remove the scales of resentment from our eyes
  • the merciful will receive mercy
  • let us be know as a people who have love one to another
  • there is enough heartache and sorrow in the world than to have us add to it

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • are we like fish, and are oblivious to the source of our food (the bread of life)?
  • our degree of gratitude is a measure of our love for him
  • we are not required to have a perfect body in order to achieve our divine potential
  • could an explosion in a printing shop create a dictionary? It is remote, but it couldn’t heal itself if the pages were torn (Note: What a great analogy!!)
  • just as the body needs food, our spirit needs nourishment

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • he spoke of his grandson who is missing a chromosome
  • some people are born with physical ailments
  • with infinite love and ever last compassion God loves your afflicted one and he loves you
  • this life is training for eternal exaltation
  • trusting in God’s will is central to our mortality
  • the worth of souls is great in the sight of God
  • do we offer to help a drowning person, or do we jump in to save them?
  • The offer of “let me know if I can help” is really no help at all

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

Sister Julie B Beck

  • the Relief Society increases faith
  • the Relief Society strengthen families and homes
  • the Relief Society seeks those in need
  • faith, family, and relief have come to express the vision of prophets for the sisters of the Church
  • Relief Society is not a program, it is part of the Church
  • there is no other organization to match the Relief Society

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • we’ve seen a growing interest in the Church as of late
  • there is still some confusion with our doctrine and how it is established
  • establishing the doctrine of Christ is not done through scholarship
  • the Lord communicates with his servants by personal visits, but messengers, by voice, and by feeling
  • the prophet is a prophet only when acting as such
  • the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimonies of the prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ

The choir sang Let Us Oft Speak Kind Words

President Thomas S Monson

  • he will speak of eternal truths
  • we are so busy, and often are worried about the trivial things of life
  • we get caught up in the race of life
  • we need to reach heavenward for assistance
  • the prize belongs to him who belongs to the end
  • we enter mortality not to float with the current of life, but with the power to think and reason and to achieve

The choir sang Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Elder Per G Malm offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

181st Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

The Sunday morning of Genetal Conference is awesome. I’m in the Eastern time zone, so conference doesn’t start until noon. We have all morning to relax. We went for a walk in the rain, watched part of Pocahontas, and then had the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast on. We’re all set now for the first session.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Lead Me Into Life Eternal

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Elder Paul K Sybrowsky offered the invocation

The choir sang Consider the Lilies

President Henry B Eyring

  • members recently did a day of service
  • spoke of the baptism commitment we read about in the Book of Mormon near the Waters of Mormon
  • charity is the pure love of Christ
  • feelings of charity can become part of your nature

Elder Robert D Hales

  • How sad to see Elder Hales to look the way he did. I wonder what is wrong with him. I don’t mean to be disrespectful in speaking about him, but his face seemed kind of “puffy”, but spoke well. He had the same small oxygen tubes that came around the side of his nose that President Packer did. It appears to be a neat contraption that hooked up to his glasses.
  • He spoke of the atonement
  • To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith
  • To wait upon the Lord is planting the seed of faith
  • Sometimes I don’t receive an answer to prayers because the Lord knows I am not ready
  • Too often we want patience, but we want it right now
  • Be kinder to one another, and kinder to ourselves
  • We are not alone in our Gethsemane
  • the Book of Mormon is either of God or of the Devil
  • feast upon the words of Christ
  • come unto Christ and be perfected in Him
  • shared a great analogy about a dot. You can draw an infinite number of lines through the point. That is the bible and different interpretations. Add a second dot, the Book of Mormon, and there is only one line between the dots.
The choir and congregation sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet
  • How do we raise girls?
  • The most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother
  • join with us in leading the world in returning to virtue
  • the importance of a name
  • the church was given a specific name
  • we take upon us the name of Christ
  • do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us His name? It is the only name under heaven by which man will be saved
  • went over the name of the church, and how it in some ways seems long, in another way it is a beautifully short and specific name
The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go (the choir sang it beautifully!)

President Thomas S Monson

  • recounted how life has changed since he was born
  • along with technology changes, the morals of society have changed almost as rapidly
  • we’ve been spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandon as our financial capital
  • we can rely on God’s constancy
  • we need to reject anything that does not conform to our standards

The choir sang I Believe in Christ

Elder James B Martino offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

181st Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

Between the afternoon session and the priesthood session, my father, my brother-in-law, and I went out for dinner together. I ate so much Chinese food I thought I was going to burst! Not a good idea when you have to sit down for two hours.

Even after eating for an hour and a half, we made it to the church on time for the broadcast.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A Melchizedek Priesthood choir provided the music

The choir sang Rise Up, O Men of God

Elder Richard G Hinckley offered the invocation

The choir sang I Need Thee Every Hour

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • We sometimes gloss over the menacing confrontation before the First Vision
    1. Satan is real
    2. He is eternally opposed to the love of God, the atonement, and peace
  • In this battle you need to be more morally clean than you are now
  • We need YM already on the team to stay on the team
  • Be active and be clean. If required, get active and get clean
  • From every priesthood holder I ask for a stronger voice

Bishop Keith B McMullin

  • Duty, properly carried out, affects our destiny
  • Spoke to the YM about being born again and developing priesthood power

Elder W Christoper Waddell

  • The Lord knows where he wants each missionary to serve
  • You learn things for the rest of your life
  • In order for the blessings to continue, you need to remain faithful
  • Arrive on your mission with a testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • Arrive on your mission knowing how to have the Spirit with you
  • Arrive on your mission ready to work

The choir and congregation sang the intermediate hymn. I sang it but didn’t write it down, and now I can’t think of it.

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Experienced the church welfare program when he was a child
  • This year marks the 75th anniversary of the church welfare program
  • We care for the poor and needy because we love God and love our fellow man
  • Our spiritual life is that, a life. It is to be lived
  • This very hour there are many members of the church who need help
  • Do not think this is someone else’s responsibility. It is yours and mine.
  • It will take all of us

President Henry B Eyring

  • Priesthood preparation
  • Am I prepared?
  • Be an example of the word in deed
  • You can work harder than you think you can

President Thomas S Monson

  • The young people today think morals are a matter of personal taste
  • We should not have any question about what is moral
  • These laws are unchanging
  • Do we have the courage to stand strong in the face of opposition?
  • Dare to be a Mormon!

The choir sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Elder Koichi Aoyagi offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

180th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning Session

I know that in areas where the Church has a lot of members, General Conference is shown on TV, but where I am for years we’ve only been able to get GC at Church. Many years ago it was only at the Stake Centre, but now we can get it at our own Ward Meetinghouse. Now with the amazing Internet broadcast, we don’t have to go, but we still feel like you have to on Sunday morning, kind of like it is “regular” Church. So, off we went.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang On This Day of Joy and Gladness

The session was conducted by President Henry B Eyring

The choir sang Christ the Lord Is Risen Today

The invocation was offered by Elder Kenneth Johnson

The choir sang This is the Christ

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Told story of a statue of Christ in Germany that was damaged in the war. It was fixed, but the hands were shattered. A sign was put up that said “You are my hands”
  • It is not good to make others feel as though they are deficient
  • We are all in need of mercy
  • In our zeal, we confuse the sin and sinner
  • Every person we meet is a VIP to our Heavenly Father
  • A friend loveth at all times and a brother is born in adversity
  • True love requires action
  • Love is the grand motive of the Plan of Salvation

Elder Richard G Scott

  • Easter should bring peace and joy
  • He rose with healing in His wings
  • Saviour’s atonement allows us to repent
  • Heavenly Father didn’t forsake Him. The atonement had to happen with Christ on His own
  • Learn about the atonement at the temple
  • “I love and adore him”

Elder Donald L Hallstrom

  • In the difficult parts of life, there is only one source of peace
  • He shared several examples of people who chose to be bitter rather than choosing peace
  • We need to choose peace

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

Sister Cheryl C Lant

  • We need to bring our children to Christ
  • Learn to love the Lord and our families
  • Become worthy examples
  • Teach them truths of the gospel

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • If we are to be His disciples, we must reverence the sacrament
  • He didn’t teach a class in ethical behaviour. He was the Son of God
  • You can disagree, but don’t be disagreeable
  • We live in a noisy, contentious world
  • If we want the Holy Ghost, we must slow down
  • None is exempt from the storms of life
  • Get to higher ground and cling to the saving ordinances

The choir sang When He Comes Again

President Thomas S Monson

  • Referenced the painting “A Hopeless Dawn
  • “If a man die, shall he live again?”
  • If there is a design, there must be a designer
  • Man alone has capacity of faith
  • He recounted Christ’s life
  • He passed beneath all things that he might save all things

The choir sang He Is Risen

The benediction was offered by Wolfgang H Paul

Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Sacrament Hymn 169 – As Now We Take the Sacrament

I’ve commented before how I love music. I like most of the hymns that we sing in the Church, but there are definitely some that I like more than others. My favourite Sacrament hymn is #169. “As Now We Take the Sacrament” has beautiful music and words to match:

With devotion

1. As now we take the sacrament,
Our thoughts are turned to thee,
Thou Son of God, who lived for us,
Then died on Calvary.
We contemplate thy lasting grace,
Thy boundless charity;
To us the gift of life was giv’n
For all eternity.

2. As now our minds review the past,
We know we must repent;
The way to thee is righteousness—
The way thy life was spent.
Forgiveness is a gift from thee
We seek with pure intent.
With hands now pledged to do thy work,
We take the sacrament.

3. As now we praise thy name with song,
The blessings of this day
Will linger in our thankful hearts,
And silently we pray
For courage to accept thy will,
To listen and obey.
We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.
We’ll walk thy chosen way.

Text: Lee Tom Perry, b. 1951. © 1985 IRI

Music: Daniel Lyman Carter, b. 1955. © 1985 IRI

Doctrine and Covenants 138:1–4

Doctrine and Covenants 59:8–12

“169: As Now We Take the Sacrament,” Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, no. 169

Here are a few of the things that touch me:

  • “We contemplate they lasting grace, Thy boundless charity” – So true!
  • “With hands now pledged to do thy work, We take the sacrament.” – What good does it do us if we take upon us the name of Christ, but don’t take any action? We need to commit to do the Lord’s work
  • “The blessings of this day Will linger in our thankful hearts” – I love Church. The meetings aren’t always the best. I don’t always go with a great attitude. But each and every week I leave Church a better person. I feel closer to God, and I’m thankful for the ward family that I have.
  • “…we pray For courage to accept thy will, To listen and obey.” – Most of us have a desire to do what’s right, but we fall short. We should, indeed, pray for courage.

Our Easter Sacrament Meeting

Here is the program that we used for our Sacrament Meeting on Sunday. Afterward, I’ve made a few notes:


Program Title: I Believe In Christ

Musical Number: Ward Choir—I Know That my Redeemer Lives

Reader#1:

Judith Robinson Walton, “The Mother,” Ensign, Dec. 1982, 49
She went unnoticed.
Amid the angry mob she was
But another witness.
Yet those who knew
Beheld a softly anguished face,
Whose sorrow raged, but silently.
A knowledge that this must be
For a time had steadied her.
And so she watched,
As, taunted, bound, and lifted high,
He stood his pain, and hers, and theirs.
She watched
The thing she could not bear to see.
For a moment
She remembered a time before;
Then, too, He was
About his Father’s business.
Yet, that time,
The parting short and painless.
This …
In new and sudden grief
She bowed her head.
Above the rabid cries of men
Her silent prayer, a plea.
Must this suffering be?
Might not a mother’s hands
Some comfort give?
The son looked down
And kindly drew her eyes to his.
She saw her answer there.
She could not ease these final steps,
And, at length, withdrew her gaze.
Her son, His Son: His will be done.
She turned and walked with John.

Read to add testimony

Congregational Hymn: 191 Behold the Great Redeemer Die

Reader#2

John 20:1-3, 9-17
1 THE afirst day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet bdark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the cstone taken away from the dsepulchre.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other adisciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the bLord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must arise again from the bdead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two aangels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and asaw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, aMaster.
17 Jesus saith unto her, aTouch me not; for I am not yet bascended to my cFather: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my dFather, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Read to add testimony of the resurrection

Musical Number: Look on Him and Live

Reader #3:

In April 6, 1985, 13 days before his death, Bruce R McConkie, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ delivered a stirring testimony. I will be reading part of his address.
We do not know, we cannot tell, no mortal mind can conceive, the full import of what Christ did in Gethsemane. We know he sweat great gouts of blood from every pore as he drained the dregs of that bitter cup his Father had given him. We know he suffered, both body and spirit, more than it is possible to suffer, except it be unto death. We know that in some way, incomprehensible to us, his suffering satisfied the demands of justice, ransomed penitent souls from the pains and penalties of sin, and made mercy available to those who believe in his holy name.
As near as we can judge, these infinite agonies- this suffering beyond compare- continued for some three or four hours… he was led away with a rope around his neck, as a common criminal, to be judged… they took him to Annas, to Caiaphas, to Pilate, to Herod, and back to Pilate. He was accused, cursed, and smitten. Their foul saliva ran down his face as vicious blows further weakened his pain-engulfed body. With reeds of wrath they rained blows upon his back. Blood ran down his face as a crown of thorns pierced his trembling brow…But above it all he was scourged, scourged with forty stripes save one, scourged with a multithonged whip into whose leather strands sharp bones and cutting metals were woven. Many died from scourging alone, but he rose from the sufferings of the scourge that he might die an ignominious death upon the cruel cross of Calvary. Then he carried his own cross until he collapsed from the weight and pain and mounting agony of it all.
Finally, on a hill called Calvary…the Roman soldiers laid him upon the cross. With great mallets they drove spikes of iron through his feet and hands and wrists. Truly he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities. Then the cross was raised that all might see and gape and curse and deride. This they did, with evil venom, for three hours from 9 A.M. to noon.
The heavens grew black. Darkness covered the land for the space of three hours, as it did among the Nephites. There was a mighty storm, as though the very God of Nature was in agony. And truly he was, for while hanging on the cross for another three hours, from noon to 3 P.M., all the infinite agonies and merciless pains of Gethsemane recurred. And finally, when the atoning agonies had taken their toll- when the victory had been won, when the Son of God had fulfilled the will of his Father in all things- then he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and he voluntarily gave up the Ghost

Read to add testimony of Atonement

Congregational Hymn: 136 I Believe in Christ

Bishop:

Elder McConkie continues:
After some thirty-eight or forty hours- three days as the Jews measured time- our Blessed Lord came to the Arimathaean’s tomb, where his partially embalmed body had been placed by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. Then, in a way incomprehensible to us, he took up that body which had not yet seen corruption and arose in that glorious immortality which made him like his resurrected Father. He appeared unto Mary Magdalene and many others, and ascended into heaven, there to sit down on the right hand of God the Father Almighty and to reign forever in eternal glory. His rising from death on the third day crowned the Atonement. Again, in some way incomprehensible to us, the effects of his resurrection pass upon all men so that all shall rise from the grave.
As Adam brought death, so Christ brought life; as Adam is the father of mortality, so Christ is the father of immortality. And without both, mortality and immortality, man cannot work out his salvation and ascend to those heights beyond the skies where gods and angels dwell in eternal glory.
The Atonement of Christ is the most basic and fundamental doctrine of the gospel, and it is the least understood off all our revealed truths.
I invite you to join with me in gaining a sound and sure knowledge of the Atonement… We must search the scriptures, accepting them as the mind and will and voice of the Lord
Bruce R McConkie went on to say : And now, as pertaining to this perfect atonement, wrought by the shedding of the blood of God- I testify that it took place in Gethsemane and at Golgotha, and as pertaining to Jesus Christ, I testify that he is the Son of the Living God and was crucified for the sins of the world. He is our Lord, our God, and our King. This I know of myself independent of any other person. I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God’s Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way. God grant that all of us may walk in the light as God our Father is in the light so that, according to the promises, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son will cleanse us from all sin.

Bishop will close with own comments)

Closing Hymn: 200 Christ the Lord is Risen Today


  • The meeting turned out excellent. The three readers/speakers before me bore wonderful testimony of the Savior, his mission, life, and atonement. It was very touching
  • The song Look on Him and Live is gorgeous! 4 woman sang it, and I really wanted to applaud when they were done. Bravo!
  • I only had a couple of minutes when I was done, and shared a thought based on the Primary Songbook song This Is My Beloved Son. I just wanted to emphasize that even though we have those who have seen Jesus, and we have the testimonies of our prophets and apostles, we, too, can have a witness.

Overall, it was a very good day!

Why do bad things happen to good people?

I’ve had a few experiences recently that have brought to mind this question. As I’ve counseled people, sometimes they are suffering because of their own actions and sometimes it is because of the actions of others. It’s a good question, and probably doesn’t have a specific answer. Why do bad things happen to good people? When approaching this question, there are a few things I try to remember/share:

  1. There is always someone worse off than you. Not that we are happy that other people are suffering, but hopefully we can gain strength by seeing how others have coped.
  2. Paul wrote that “God… will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” (1 Cor 10:13). The footnote for “tempted” says that it means “seized upon”. So we won’t be tested, have challenges, or have outsides forces that will be more than we can bear. My wife was recently telling me that she had heard a talk that explained that we often misquote this scripture. You’ve probably heard people say that God won’t test us beyond what we can handle. There is a difference between “handle” and “bear”. The word “handle” seems to imply that we are doing it on our own, as in “I can handle it”. The word bear seems to imply that we are enduring, that God is giving us strength to bear it.
  3. The last point kind of blends into this one. Since God is giving us strength to bear our afflictions, then it is through our afflictions that we see the hand of God in our lives. It is when we can’t do things on our own that the grace of God takes over. At this point, the Atonement of Christ has effect in our lives. He suffered for our sins and all our pains and sufferings (Alma 7:11-12). We need Him, and our trials help us recognize that.

This certainly isn’t mean to be an exhaustive treatment, but these are some of the thoughts I’ve been having.