Tag Archives: baptism

186th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I almost didn’t make it home from work on time. I have to cross a canal on the way home, and there is a website where you can check when the bridge will be up. I left work and it was supposed to be up in about an hour. Then 30 minutes later when I got there the bridge was up. Frustrating!

Regardless, as a family we are gathered in our family room watching the broadcast.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer (it was beautiful!)

The invocation was offered by Elder Daniel L Johnson

President Henry B Eyring did the sustaining of Church officers. As is usual now, there were those who opposed during the sustaining of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. There were a few General Authority Seventies released (Daniel L. Johnson, Jairo Mazzagardi, Kent F. Richards and Francisco J. Viñas) but no new ones called. There was also one Area Seventy released and two sustained. There were no other changes.

The choir sang Baptism

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Eternal life is the greatest gift from God
  • There are obstacles that can stop of us from receiving that gift
  • The philosophies of men can lead people astray
  • We have to beware of gospel extremism, where we raise one gospel principle above another

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • Told story of Mary Rollins
  • No one is ever too young to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • He read recently that teenagers spend 7 hours a day looking at screens
  • He asked that they reduce some of that time and spend it reading the Book of Mormon

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • The bible tells us that God is love
  • The scriptures use terms other than “unconditional” to describe love
  • What matters is how we respond to His love
  • God will always love us, but He cannot save us in our sins
  • As we trust, not resist, our divine Teacher, we will learn from Him

Elder W Mark Bassett

  • He and his brother had replica gold plates when they were kids
  • They tried really hard to get at the “sealed” portion
  • They spent all their time trying to read something hidden when they
  • We need to focus on the things that matter
  • Keeping our life in harmony with God will allow Him to guide us in our spiritual development

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

  • We need to be ambitious for Christ
  • Missionaries are a great example of focus and faith
  • He told a story about a missionary who served in his mission (when he was president) and his challenges with a prosthetic leg

The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • We need to share the gospel with everyone
  • We have a lot of modern technology that helps us
  • Are we using them to maximum effect?
  • Ideas that will work everywhere
  • We can all pray for desire to help in this work
  • We can keep the commandments ourselves
  • Faithful members are the most persuasive and they always have His spirit with them
  • We can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others
  • Invite people to learn about the gospel and about Jesus Christ, not just to learn about our Church

The choir sang Hope of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder Allen D Haynie




Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

185th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

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The baptism was beautiful this morning. My daughter was thrilled to be baptized and confirmed, and the turnout from the ward was great. The entire service was probably only about 40 minutes long, and then we had some light refreshments until about 11:30. We’re all back at home now to watch the first Sunday session.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Arise, O God, and Shine

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong offered the invocation

The choir sang If the Savior Stood Beside Me

President Thomas S Monson

  • We have lost 3 apostles since last conference
  • The new apostles are well qualified
  • Let your light shine
  • Be thou an example of the believers
  • Word and Conversation – the words we use can inspire or harm
  • Charity – the pure love of Christ
  • Spirit, Faith, Purity
  • An abiding faith is an anchor to our lives

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Read from I Stand All Amazed
  • President Monson told him that this call comes from Jesus Christ
  • He committed to serve with all his heart, might, mind, and strength

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • Was called on Tuesday morning
  • One of his sons is on a mission in Taiwan right now

Elder Dale G Renlund

  • The fullness of the gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and simple
  • You are called because what the Lord will do through you
  • Told a nice story about a heart transplant patient he had
  • We must see people through a parent’s eyes

The choir and congregation sang verses 1, 2, 3, and 7 of How Firm a Foundation

President Russell M Nelson

  • Spoke lovingly about his three apostle friends who he misses dearly
  • Their wives were great examples
  • Covenant keeping women can make such a difference
  • Good women in the world will be drawn to the Church
  • We need the strength, conversion, conviction, ability to lead, wisdom and voices of covenant keeping women
  • We need women to speak up and speak out

Elders Gregory A Schwitzer

  • Told story about his grandson practising the piano
  • One man or woman who testifies can make a difference
  • Something changes in us… we take his countenance upon us
  • True disciples of Christ are not looking to make excuses for the doctrine
  • We should be more concerned about inspiring others rather than impressing them

Elder Claudio R M Costa

  • Partake of the sacrament in honour of the Savior
  • The sacrament is a time for su to receive revelation about the atonement

The choir sang There Is Sunshine in My Soul

President Henry B Eyring

  • At baptism we received the Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • We need the companionship of the Holy Ghost throughout our lives
  • Our hearts need to be full of charity in order to feel the Spirit
  • The most valuable information to receive is to know what God would have you do

The choir sang The Spirit of God

Sister Cheryl A Esplin offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 185th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

185th Semiannual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

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Well, here we go again! I didn’t do write-ups in April as I was travelling, but I’m back in the swing of things for this conference. There are some exciting things happening… we will get some new apostles, and my daughter is being baptized tomorrow morning!

I’m looking forward to some good messages, and hope that we all are uplifted by what we see and hear!


Read the recaps and other notes from the 185th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

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 baptism of my second child

(Note: I had a stub/draft posted yesterday and I have since deleted it. This is the full posting)

At the beginning of the month my middle child turned 8 years old.  We had been planning his baptism for a few months as we had to schedule it when some family were coming in from out of town. The baptism took place this past Sunday. As mentioned, it was my second child to be baptized.

Leading up to the baptism, I asked my son about his decision, and he said that he didn’t have a choice. He wasn’t bitter about it, he just knew that this is what you did when you are 8. I explained to him that he did have a choice, but when you commit to the Church, then it makes some of our decisions a lot easier to make.

We had 16 members of our family there, which was great. I performed the baptism and my older brother and my father were the witnesses. I performed the confirmation with the two of them assisting.

There was a huge turnout from the ward (maybe 70 people?). Part of that was because on the 5th Sundays we have a “Munch and Mingle” potluck lunch, and people were staying for that. However, I think that even without the lunch, there would have been a large turnout. We have always found the ward to be very supportive, and my son is well-liked.

I’m not sure why there was a difference, but I found this experience much more spiritual. It certainly isn’t because I love my second son any more than the first. It is probably several things, but one of them is definitely that I am feeling better about myself and my spirituality, so nothing felt forced. I was open to the Spirit, and it was there. I hope others felt it and were strengthened by it. I was.

The brouhaha over baptisms for the dead

Sometimes I think I’m pretty with it, and other times I just don’t get it. I don’t get all the commotion recently about the practice of baptisms for the dead in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t understand why some outside the church are so against it, and I don’t understand why some inside the church seem to intentionally break the “rules”.

If you haven’t been following it, for the last couple of decades the Church has had an agreement with Jewish groups that we will not baptize people who are proxy for holocaust victims. Unfortunately, there are members who keep submitting these names, along with the names of celebrities. Recently the First Presidency stated again these rules (the letter was read in our Sacrament Meeting this past Sunday).

Like I said, I just don’t get it. Why would anyone care what we do with a name? If someone came up to me and said that they had baptized my grandfather (who is deceased) as a Lutheran, it wouldn’t bother me in the least. If they don’t believe in what we teach, then I just don’t get why it matters what we do when they don’t believe it has any effect. On the other hand, if we have this agreement with these Jewish groups, then we need to keep our agreement. I don’t mean to downplay anyone’s concerns. The brouhaha is on both sides.

I think one of the problems that we have is trying to help non-members understand why we do these baptisms for the dead. Terryl Givens, professor of literature and religion at the University of Richmond (and one of my favourite writers/authors) posted an article on the First Things web site called The Heavenly Logic of Proxy Baptism

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: