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186th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I thought I would nap between sessions, but I ended up watching the season finale of Star Wars Rebels with my kids. It was pretty awesome!

The first session today was pretty good. This afternoon I guess we’ll get the sustainings and statistics, which are always interesting.

We’ve had great weather this winter and spring, yet today it is snowing now as I sit here. We shouldn’t be having snow at this time of year!


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir comprised of students from BYU Idaho sang Sing Praise to Him

Elder Hugo E Martinez offered the invocation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented the general authorities and general officers of the Church for a sustaining vote.

Kevin R Jergensen read the audit report. All is ok.

Brook P Hales, the secretary to the First Presidency, read the statistical report for 2015

  • 3,174 stakes
  • 418 missions
  • 558 districts
  • 30.016 wards and branches
  • 15,634,199 total members
  • 114,550 children of record were baptized
  • 257,402 convert baptisms
  • 74,079 full-time missionaries
  • 31,779 church service missionaries
  • 5 temples dedicated in 2015
  • 2 temples rededicated in 2015
  • 149 in operation as of the end of the year

The choir sang Israel, Israel, God Is Calling

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • sustaining is a privilege
  • as we follow our leaders we follow the Lord
  • (my daughter spilled her smoothie, so we mised much of this talk)

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • children are entitled to be born to mothers and fathers
  • we need to remember that not everyone comes from a picture perfect family
  • knowing someone’s name can make a difference
  • the greatest influence on our youth can be other righteous youth
  • we need to reach out to the youth who seem alone or outside the fence

The choir and congregation sang Now Let Us Rejoice

Elder Mervyn B Arnold

  • the Savior understood the need to rescue Heavenly Father’s children
  • his mother was a good example of reaching out
  • we must be organized, but we not must delay going to the rescue
  • sometimes many weeks pass talking about people who have needs, meanwhile our lost brothers and sisters are needing help

Elder Jairo Mazzagardi

  • he attended the Sao Paolo temple open house and afterwards received a clear answer that the church was true
  • keep searching for your testimony
  • if you lack wisdom, ask of God

Elder David A Bednar

  • quoted from King Benjamin
  •  we will always rejoice and always retain a remission of our sins
  • holy ordinances are essential to the gospel plan
  • the sacrament is critical to help us feel the power of godliness
  • the blessings of retaining a remission of our sins help us understand that baptism is a point of departure. It is not a destination we should yearn to visit over and over again.
  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost and the Sacrament are elements in an additive plan of redemptive progress

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • he feels strongly about the importance of councils
  • family councils have always been needed
  • 4 types of family councils
    • general family council (everyone)
    • executive family council (mother and family)
    • limited family council (parents and one child)
    • one-on-one family council (one parent, one child)
  • it used to be that shutting the doors and locking the gates kept you safe. Today it is much harder with the ways that bad influences can enter our home

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

Brother Tad R Callister offered the benediction


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

184th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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So, I’m at home now with my family. The kids went out to the backyard to shot a few baskets (I think it’s too cold for basketball, but I’m glad they got some fresh air) in between sessions.

I’m interested to see/hear the statistical report this afternoon


President Henry B Eyring conduct

A combined choir from the Orem Utah Institute sang Glory to God on High

The invocation was offered by Elder Ian S Ardern

The choir sang I Lived in Heaven

President Dieter F Ucthdorf did the sustainings

  • Tad R Callister was released as a general authority and from the Presidency of the Seventy, and then was called to be the General Sunday School President
  • Lynn G Robbins was called to the Presidency of the Seventy
  • Our former stake president who became an Area Seventy last year is moving out of the area. He wasn’t released, so I guess he’ll be an area authority where he is moving to. I didn’t recognize any of the new names sustained, so I guess I don’t know (of) the Area Seventy who will replace him

Kevin R Jergensen, Managing Director, Church Auditing Department Annual Report

  • Every has been record/administrated according to policies/procedures

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency, shared the statistical report for the year 2013.

  • CHURCH UNITS
    • Stakes 3,050 (In 2012 it was 3,005)
    • Missions 405 (In 2012 it was 347)
    • Districts 571 (In 2012 it was 591)
    • Wards and branches 29,253 (In 2012 it was 29,014)
  • CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
    • Total membership 15.082,028 (In 2012 it was 14,782,473)
    • New children of record 115,486 (In 2012 it was 122,273)
    • Converts baptized 282,945 (In 2012 it was 272,330)
  • MISSIONARIES
    • Full-time missionaries 83,035 (In 2012 it was 58,990)
    • Church-service missionaries 24032 (In 2012 it was 22,961)
  • TEMPLES
    • Temples dedicated 1 (In 2012 it was 4)
    • Temples rededicated 0 (In 2012 it was 2)
    • Temples in operation 141 (In 2012 it was 140)

Elder Russell M Nelson ** one of my favourites

  • Our faith will be tested and challenged
  • Celebrity can fade
  • Let your faith show
  • Truth is truth; it is not divisible
  • Even if everyone is doing it, wrong is never right
  • Let your faith show

Elder Richard G Scott

  • We can help others in righteousness
  • Our influence can help bring to pass God’s purposes
  • Sometimes our mundane responsibilities consume us, and we miss the God’s greater purpose

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

Elder Robert D Hales – NOTE: Elder Hales is very thin, but ultimately seems to have much more strength in his voice than the last couple of years

  • No lesson is as clear from the Savior as is obedience
  • Be careful who you follow
  • The natural man only wants their own “wisdom”

Elder Claudio D Zivik

  • It would be great to keep the commandments without having to be asked to
  • We need to follow the right path

Elder W Craig Zwick ** one of my favourites

  • Told a story about his wife jumping out of a moving truck out of fear that the engine was on fire
  • They gave each other the silent treatment, and then talked
  • It could have been a disaster for their marriage
  • Destructive words can take a situation of dangerous to fatal
  • A soft answer is a reasoned response
  • Words can be firm in information but soft in spirit
  • We need to cultivate respect

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • When we die, we will live again
  • The doctrine of uniting families came forth line upon line
  • Baptism for your dead (D&C 127:5); our responsibility is to our own family
  • The Family History Centre is in your home
  • The youth are being called upon to help with this work

The choir sang High on the Mountain Top

The benediction was offered by Sister Linda K Burton


Read the recaps and other notes from the 184th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I got home just as the choir was singing to open this session of conference. It was a hectic day at work, but it’s nice to be home now.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir made up of students from Brigham Young University sang Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee

Brother Russell T Osguthorpe offered the invocation

The choir sang Did You Think to Pray?

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented officers for sustaining. There were lots of changes with Area Authorities. The only part that stood out to be with those names was that W T David Murray was released. He was the Area Authority in Southern Ontario. Then our own Stake President (David P Homer) was called to be an Area Authority. We have Stake Conference coming up in a few weeks, so I guess we’re getting a new Stake President!
There was also a new YW Presidency called. Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson, Carol Louise Foley McConkie, and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott were called

Brother Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Audit Report read the audit report for 2012

  • Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church have been recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and procedures.

Brother Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency presented the Statistical Report for 2012

  • 3,005 stakes
  • 347 missions
  • 591 districts
  • 29,014 wards and branches
  • 14,782,473 members
  • 122,273 children of record were baptized
  • 272,330 convert baptisms
  • 58,990 full-time missionaries
  • 22,961 church service missionaries
  • 4 temples dedicated
  • 2 rededicated
  • 140 temples in operation

Elder Richard G Scott

  • The world seems to want us to live a hectic life
  • We need a place of peace, ideally in our own home
  • The Savior is the true source of peace
  • Technology can be a protection if we use it right
  • Having the scriptures in your pocket (on a phone or tablet) won’t protect you, but studying them will
  • A Christ-centerd home will be where covenants are kept and love abounds
  • A good friendship is like asphalt that smooths over the holes and bumps
  • Recognize the good in others

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • He has been reflecting on the doctrine of peace
  • There is a difference between world peace and gospel peace
  • God is not the author of confusion
  • For those who reject God there is no peace
  • The Church is a refuge

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

Elder Stanley G Ellis

  • We are not spiritual orphans
  • With parents we do not need to be confused
  • One of the problems today is that every man walks in his own way
  • How we raise our children is more important than where we raise our children

Elder John B Dickson

  • Spoke quite a bit about the Church in Africa

Elder David A Bednar

  • Why is the law of chastity so important?
  • Every impulse of the natural man can be overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ
  • Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases in unrighteous indulgence
  • Let virtue garnish they thoughts unceasingly

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • There is great enthusiasm for sharing the gospel
  • The youth need to share it with their friends
  • Apply to the school of your choice before you serve a mission
  • We all need to “catch the wave”
  • Our Living God is a Loving God

The choir sang More Holiness Give Me

Elder J Devn Cornish 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:

182nd Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

My wonderings about President Packer and Elder Hales have been half answered, and will be fully answered this afternoon. Elder Hales is present, so I assume he’ll be speaking. We’ll see.

I love watching at conference from home. It let’s us get some things done in between sessions. I did some painting, and played some New Super Mario Bros Wii with my sons.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

Missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah provided the music. I saw a tweet telling everyone to look and see if David Archuleta was in the choir 🙂

The choir sang Glory to God on High

Elder William R Walker

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • There is a new Presiding Bishopric and a new Relief Society General Presidency
  • I didn’t catch all of the names, but you will be able to read about it on the LDS Newsroom web site

Brother Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Audit Report read the audit report for 2011

  • Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church have been recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and procedures.

Brother Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency presented the Statistical Report for 2011

  • 2,946 stakes
  • 340 missions
  • 608 districts
  • 28,784 wards and branches
  • 14,441,346 members
  • 119,917 child of record baptisms
  • 281,312 convert baptisms
  • 55,410 full time missionaries
  • 22,299 church service missionaries
  • 2 temples dedicated
  • 1 temple rededicated
  • 136 temples in operation

Elder Jeffery R Holland

  • shared the parable of the workers who all received the same wages
  • there are going to be times where people get unexpected blessings
  • don’t be hurt or envious when good fortune comes to another person
  • we are in the race against sin, not each other, and envy is a great sin
  • coveting, pouting or tearing others down does not elevate our standing
  • be kind and be grateful that God is kind
  • there is nothing that you have done that can’t be undone
  • there is no dream that cannot yet be realized
  • if you’ve made covenants, keep them; if you haven’t made covenants, make them; if you have made covenants and broken them, repair them

The choir sang Lead, Kindly Light

Elder Robert D Hales (Note: Elder Hales doesn’t really look any better, but sounds ok)

  • how do we increase our desire to repent
  • we are commanded to meet together oft and partake of the Sacrament
  • we need to obtain a temple recommend
  • Standards for recommend holders? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart
  • It is difficult for youth to understand how present actions will prepare/disqualify them from future service
  • Get on higher ground and lift others in need

Elder David S Baxter (Note: I read a tweet that said he sounded like Shrek)

  • spoke to the single parents, acknowledging that most of them are single mothers
  • in the Kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens
  • when you live to lift the burdens of others, your own burdens become lighter

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • To enhance our spirit it is required that we let bitterness be put away
  • Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?
  • We need to keep ourselves strong against the fiery darts of the adversary
  • You can’t be right by doing wrong, you can’t be wrong, by doing right

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • the church’s profile has been raised significantly
  • some parts of the world are becoming very secular
  • we desire all members to awaken fully to faith
  • don’t judge others
  • the family is the most important unit in time and in eternity
  • praying with children may be more important than any other example
  • a testimony must be based on faith, not just on logic
  • when you are tone deaf to the music of faith, you are out of tune with the Spirit

Elder Richard G Scott

  • those who have gone before us can see us better than we can see ourselves, they love us now more than ever
  • one of the great lessons we need to learn is to ask
  • loud laughter can block revelation
  • he gave some good practical advice on how to be worthy to receive revelation, and how we might receive the revelation
  • inspiration carefully recorded shows God that it was important to us
  • God did not put us on this earth to fail
  • as you live righteously you will always be prompted to know what to do

The choir sang Praise to the Man

Elder Bruce A Carlson 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 Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

During the time between the two sessions, my family went for a walk in the ravine behind our house. Spring is slowly making its appearance 🙂  I also cleaned up (showered and shaved). Lastly, I watched the April 2011 edition of the World Report. I love getting some of that “behind-the-scenes” information that show report shares.

Now we’re all gathered together again in the living room ready for the second session.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted.

A combined choir from BYU-Idaho sang How Firm a Foundation

Elder Kevin W Pearson offered the invocation

Sustainings presented by President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • During the sustainings of the apostles, Elder Robert D Hales had a huge knee brace on. He also had small clear tubes on his lap. They looked like they were oxygen tubes. Did anyone see him with them on, or were they for something else?
  • A bunch of  Area Seventies were released and sustained
  • (at one point during the sustainings, the Internet feed paused and my 3-year-old daughter said it was scratched)
  • There were a total of 10 new General Authorities sustained
  • There were no changes to any of the auxiliary presidencies

Robert W Cantwell Managing Directory of the Church Auditing presented the Church Auditing Department Report

  • Council of the Disposition of the Tithes consists of the First Presidency, Quorum of 12, Presiding Bishopric
  • Things are being administer

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency presented the Statistical Report of the Church for the year 2010

The choir sang How Great the Wisdom and the Love

President Boyd K Packer (he was sitting down)

  • 400 years since the publishing of the bible
  • We should use the full name of the Church whenever possible
  • Ordinances are done through the authority of Jesus Christ
  • We have the same organization as Jesus Christ had
  • If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one
  • Regardless of what happens in the world, no power can stop this work
  • Do a lot of forgiving, and a little repenting, and you will be blessed

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • thank you for your uplifting service
  • our faith now becomes part of our posterity’s faith later
  • the forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good
  • to prepare to meet God, one keeps all of God’s commandments
  • when we are faithful, He and His angels will bear us up
  • God will hear your sincere prayers

The choir and congregation sang Press Forward, Saints

Elder Richard J Maynes

  • the principle of eternal families is an essential element in God’s plan
  • the family is ordained of God
  • establish celestial traditions
  • kids don’t remember the FHE topic, but they remember having FHE
  • kids don’t remember what was read in the scriptures that morning, but they remember that they read them
  • Shared a poem by C C Miller

Elder Cecil O Samuelson Jr

  • he has worked with the young people in the Church for many years
  • who is entitled to have a testimony? anyone who is willing to pay the price
  • everyone has worth because we are all children of God

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • what do we really desire?
  • desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, choices determine our actions
  • desire, labour, and faith brought Enos the blessings he wanted
  • told story of Aron Ralson, the guy who cut off his own arm to save his life
  • we need to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other things that prevent our eternal progress
  • the desire to receive and keep a marriage for eternity should be paramount (priority efforts)
  • we cannot follow the politically correct but eternally false concept that we don’t need to be married and have children

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • told a nice story about a person who wanted gold; he was looking for nuggets, and missing the flecks of gold that would fill his pouch
  • by small and simple things are great things come to pass
  • we should keep our lives simple
  • charity begins at home
  • practice the golden rule
  • we need to serve
  • the most important attribute that we should seek to possess is charity, the pure love of Christ

The choir sang Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

Elder ??? offered the benediction (President Uchtdorf didn’t announce who it was going to be)


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

180th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session

I made it home from work to watch this session at home (4 PM start where I am). It was much easier to pay attention at work. Saturdays are always slow, so I could just watch the session. However, at home, there were 3 small children running around, talking, and being generally distracting. It’s hard to be mad at them for being themselves, but it was also a little frustrating. We still managed to get through it 🙂


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir from the Orem Institute of Religion sang Come, Listen to a Prophet’s Voice

The invocation was offered by Lynn G Robbins

President Dieter F Uchtdorf presented the sustaining of church officers. There is a new Primary Presidency as well as a few new members of the First Quorum of the Seventy and Second Quorum of the Seventy. There were also loads of Area Seventies released and called.

Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Auditing Department, presented the Church audit report. It’s all good.

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency, presented the Church 2009 Statistical Report.

  • Stakes 2,865
  • Missions 344
  • Districts 616
  • Wards and Branches 28,424
  • Members 13,824,854
  • Child of record baptism 119,722
  • Convert baptism 280,106
  • Full-time Missionaries 51,736
  • Temples dedicated 2
  • Total temples in operation 130

Elder L Tom Perry

  • Mother’s best teaching occurred at home, not with the sisters at church
  • His mother thought a mind would become weak if it was not constantly being exercised
  • Though times change, a parent’s teachings should never be devalued
  • One of the most important activities is parents teaching the children in their home

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • William Tyndale translate the bible into English and was put in jail
  • His work became the foundation for almost all future English translations of the bible
  • Through the scriptures God shows His power to save His children
  • We have the scriptural record to enlarge our memory
  • We are becoming illiterate because we aren’t opening books. We are forgetting things our grandparents knew.
  • His commandments are the voice of reality
  • The central purpose of scriptures is to fill us with faith in God the Father and Jesus Christ
  • Scriptures are revelation and will bring added revelation

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

Elder Koichi Aoyagi

  • Hands that help
  • Shared story of conversion
  • “I realized that I was not praying with all of my heart, and decided to do so. One morning I woke up early and knelt in my small apartment and prayed sincerely. To my surprise, the confirmation of the Holy Ghost came upon me as promised. My heart burned, my body shook…”
  • Follow the prophet, he knows the way
  • Sometimes we feel we lack the experience to rescue others, but we need to do it
  • We are surrounded by those who need us

Elder Bruce A Carlson

  • Strict obedience to God’s law brings blessings
  • “The safety in the Church lies in the members keeping the commandments. As they keep the commandments, blessings will come”
  • If we don’t keep the commandments, we are headed for disaster
  • Faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace
  • “When the Lord commands, do it”

Elder David A Bednar

  • He was recently driving in the rain. A sign said standing water ahead. The road seemed safe, but this sign helped him prepare
  • Early warning signals are evident in many aspects of our lives
  • Spiritual warnings should lead to increased watching
  • An early warning signal consists of 3 parts:
    1. Reading and talking about the Book of Mormon  with your children
      Book of Mormon speaks to the spirit and heart of the reader more than any other volume of scripture
    2. Bearing testimony spontaneously to your children
      A naturally occurring family conversation is a great way to testify of blessings received during the day
    3. Inviting children to act, not merely to be act upon
      Be doers of the word.
  • A child is never to young to take part in this pattern of learning
  • We are not in the business of distributing fish. We are teaching people to fish
  • The best Family Home Evenings are not necessarily from purchased or downloaded packets. Search the scriptures together
  • Are we teaching our children to be anxiously engaged?

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Why is there so much moral decay around us?
  • The Internet can blast a hole in your brain
  • The problems are no respecter of persons
  • Lust is  a deadly sin. It defiles the holiest relationship God gives us in mortality
  • True love we’re giddy about, but lust is characterized by shame and stealth
  • Love makes us reach out to Go, lust is anything but Godly
  • Start by separating yourself from people, material and circumstances that will hurt you
  • When fleeing temptation, do not leave a forwarding address
  • Ask for angels to help you
  • The only real control in life is self-control
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step
  • Remember the symbols you take with you from the temple, never to be set aside or forgotten
  • We can reject the evil one

The choir sang Nearer, My God, To Thee

The benediction was offered by Elder Craig C Christensen

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