Tag Archives: called to serve

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:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

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After the last session, we watched some YouTube videos about Stephanie Nielson. What a story… what an example of perseverance!

Afterwards my kids played the game of Life and I had a bit of a nap.

We’re settled in now to watch the last session…


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang They, the Builders of the Nation

Brother David L Beck offered the invocation

The choir sang When He Comes Again

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Spoke about bondage in scriptures
  • Bondage in our time include addictions, using our time ineffectively, ideology that is inconsistent with the gospel of Jesus Chris, and forces that violate strongly held religious views

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • We can live every hour blessed by the help of priesthood power
  • A man may open the curtains, but doesn’t own the light and warmth
  • Why is the priesthood only administered by men? We do not know all things

Brother David M McConkie

  • God speaks
  • Live so we can have the Holy Ghost as our guide and companion
  • We must become men and women of sound understanding by studying the scriptures
  • Learn to listen
  • Stand as an independent witness of what you teach, not just an echo of what is in the manual

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder Kevin S Hamilton

  • The Sacrament helps us to pledge to follow Christ
  • Sacrament Meeting helps us renew our covenants
  • Sunday School allows us to teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom
  • Priesthood meeting helps men and boys learn their duties
  • RS/YW help women and girls learn their responsibilities
  • In all of these meetings, we learn, serve and feel the Spirit
  • We should strive to attend all of our Sunday meetings

Elder Adrián Ochoa

  • We need to be spiritually prepared
  • We need to be aware of the signs of the times
  • Be careful with what you see and do online
  • There is safety in a strong testimony

Elder Terence M Vinson

  • God should be the centre of our universe
  • How do our behaviour and actions show the integrity of our intent?
  • Rather than solves problems Himself, God wants us to work to solve the problems and rely on him
  • Come and see!
  • It is personal, inviting, and embracing

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • You are never to young to learn and never to old to change
  • The physical body can break and heal, but some physical conditions require special care
  • We may need special care for spiritual problems as well
  • True change can only come through the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ
  • Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin to God

President Thomas S Monson

  • May heaven’s blessing be with you
  • May your homes be filled with love and courtesy
  • May the Spirit we felt here be and abide with us as we go about our things that occupy us each day
  • May we show increased kindness to one another

The choir sang Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide

Elder Claudio Costa 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 notes on the Work of Salvation broadcast

I’m sure many of you watched the Work of Salvation broadcast this past Sunday. It was a good broadcast, but I’d read so much “hype” about it online that I guess I was a little disappointed that there was nothing earth-shattering about what was shared. I acknowledge that is my fault for falling for the hype.

Overall it was a nice meeting. There were a few lines that really stuck out for me, and I’ve bolded them below and added a couple of comments in italics.


Look at all those missionaries… what a sight!

A choir sang Hark. All Ye Nations!

Ten of the Apostles were there

Elder Jeffrey R Holland conducted

  • You will never be part of a zone conference this large ever again
  • We’ve been thinking “there they go” but we need to think “here they come”

The invocation was offered by Elder Ludlow

Elder Holland

  • At Church Headquarters we counsel widely; we hear from everyone on all vital issues
    I loved the phrase (counsel widely)! I totally agree that leaders need to be open and discuss issues with everyone affected. Trust the other leaders that they have worthwhile things to say, and that they will keep the necessary confidences.
  • There was a Mission (Washington), a Stake (Peru) and a Ward (Hawaii) via satellite to represent all the other councils
  • The Seventy have clearly defined responsibilities for missionary work

Elder L Tom Perry (he almost jumped out of his seat… it’s hard to believe that he is 90 years old!)

  • As all these missionaries go out we ask “what will they do?”
  • They will do what they have always done
  • The nature of missionary work must change in order for the work to move forward
  • Missionaries will be able to use computers during less busy time
  • This will be phased in over several months
  • Internet safety is paramount
  • Missionaries will give building tours
  • 70,274 missionaries
  • 52 new missions this year for 405 total
  • 173 new mission presidents this year
  • What we are being asked to do has not changed, but how we do it has changed
    I think this is true for much of the gospel. The core doctrine does not change, but how we implement it in our lives can change depending on the time we live in.
  • If or greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel than we all have the responsibility to invite everyone to come unto Christ
  • Every Ward should have a Ward Mission Plan
  • We should be anxiously engaged

Elder Holland

  • An invitation that is born of our love for others and our love of the Savior will never be seen as offensive and judgmental

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Our work begins on our knees
  • When we leave our meetings is when we bring about His most important purposes
    Attending meetings isn’t as important as committing to action at the meetings and then going forth to do it
  • He shared some stories from the Tampa Florida area. In the end, 32 men were sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood at their recent stake conference
  • We often receive different help from the Lord than expected; but it is always better
  • There is a new section of LDS.org called “Hastening the Work of Salvation”

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • He showed a video with Sister Neill F Marriott of the General Young Women Presidency about her conversion
  • Too often we split the work into areas that seem unrelated
    The work is indivisible
    They are not separate but all part of the work of salvation
    Great points!
  • The Bishop and Ward Mission Leader set the pace of missionary work
  • Good leaders, like good parents, take actions because of love

President Boyd K Packer

  • Everything comes down to teaching
  • Live so you can depend on the Spirit
  • The greatest teaching that goes on in the Church is done by mothers
    I couldn’t agree more. My wife is a superb teacher to my children
  • The Atonement is the mighty healer
  • Just do it right; be better

President Thomas S Monson

  • Now is the time for us to come together to bring souls unto Him
  • Shared the story of how the St Thomas Branch in Ontario grew
  • Have faith in the work

The choir sang Called to Serve

Sister Estorga offered the benediction

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

We had a great morning! We got up after 7 am, had a nice big breakfast (regular bacon, peameal bacon, eggs, pancakes, bagels and toast) and then went for a long walk. When we got back, the kids watched a cartoon movie, and I watched the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast.

We’re all set now to watch the Sunday Morning General Session. The whole family will watch the session together.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Oh Say, What is truth?

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang The Morning Breaks (a gorgeous arrangement!)

Elder Marlin K Jensen offered the invocation

President Henry B Eyring

  • many of us feel that God is far from us
  • in moments of pain, confusion, we do not need to see Jesus to know that he is there to help
  • don’t let things of life stop of us from seeing the things of God
  • we can’t insist on our time table when God has his own
  • His time should be enough for us since he wants only what is best
  • some delays seem long, but they are always calculated to bless
  • we can be assured the Lord keeps his promises

President Boyd K Packer (spoke from his chair)

  • told a story about going to American Samoa years ago
  • there was a horrible storm and along the coast there was a light above on land, and a light below
  • quoted from Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
  • we need to repent and turn away from sin
  • guilt can be wiped out

The choir sang Does the Journey Seem Long?

Sister Linda K Burton

  • we are surrounded by people who need us
  • we need to love one another
  • it isn’t easy, but we can do better with practice
  • observe then serve

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder Walter F. González

  • we need to come unto Christ
  • navigating millions of pages on the Internet will not be enough
  • we have another source for greater knowledge
  • we need to navigate the celestial web in our hearts and minds
  • iniquity hampers our ability to love

Elder Jeffrey R Holland (he always speaks with such passion!)

  • we forget how inexperienced the original apostles were and how much they depended on the Savior
  • when Jesus left them, the apostles must have asked “What do we do now?”
  • they went fishing, and saw the Savior again
  • the Savior asks, “Do you love me?”
  • Christ needs disciples and needs them forever
  • at judgement day, we very well may be asked if we loved God
  • we can’t quit and we can’t go back
  • the commission to a missionary as he baptizes people changes the convert, but it was to change the missionary as well
  • love God and remain clean from the blood and sins of this generation
  • our Father in Heaven expects our loyalty and love

The choir sang If the Savior Stood Beside me

President Thomas S Monson

  • an apostle for 49 years
  • take an inventory and recognize the blessings you have received
  • our prayers are heard and answered
  • the more we act on impressions and inspiration, the more the Lord will trust us with his errands
  • never postpone a prompting
  • shared a few stories of ways he had responded to a prompting to find out the person had been praying for help
  • the opportunity to be a blessing in the life of another comes rather expectantly
  • the Lord is in the details of our lives

The choir sang If the Way be Full of Trial, Weary Not

Elder Keith R Edwards offered the benediction


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

180th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

As indicated in the write-up for the Saturday afternoon session, I watched that one at home. I had to be at the Church by 6:15 pm (Eastern time), so I left about halfway through Elder Scott’s address and picked up my father. We both had to be at the YM sub-sational which started at 7:00 PM (I had a meeting before then).

The sub-sational was great, with around 15 YM attending with their fathers. Include the YM leaders, the missionaries and the bishopric, and we probably had 30 people there. Good times for sure!

My father has always taken me out after the Priesthood Session of conference, and that tradition continues. Even after eating a couple of subs, we went out afterward to Boston Pizza and had some chicken wings and cactus cut potatoes. As to me as I dropped him off at home, “Good conversation, good company.” Thanks Dad!


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The Priesthood Choir sang Hark, All Ye Nations!

Elder Marcos A Aidukaitis offered the invocation

The choir sang Go, Ye Messengers of Heaven

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • we need to remember why we have missionaries
  • “go ye into all the world”
  • 52,000 missionaries in 340 missions
  • missionaries serve to make life better for all of God’s children

Elder Patrick Kearon

  • he told a story about growing up on the “Arabian peninsula” and got stung by a scorpion
  • he knew he was supposed to wear shoes, but didn’t
  • disregarding what we know to be right brings

Elder Juan A Uceda

  • story of a man and his daughter, the man yelled at his daughter because she didn’t want to read the scriptures with his family
  • after a short time both the daughter and father said they were sorry
  • our home has to be a place where the Spirit can dwell
  • the home is next to the temple in sacredness

The choir and congregation sang High on the Mountain Top

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • remembers President Ezra Taft Benson’s talk on Pride from 1989
  • there is a difference between being proud of something and being prideful
  • pride is self-elevation
  • pride is a gateway sin
  • there is a lot of pride in sports
  • in life, we all wear the same jersey
  • we are to encourage all people
  • we can be grateful, but when we obsess or focus on those things, that is when the trouble begins
  • pride is a switch that turns off priesthood power
  • humility is a switch that turns on priesthood power
  • there are so many people in need we could be thinking about other than ourselves

President Henry B Eyring

  • the power of a holder of the priesthood is magnified by the Holy Ghost
  • we should pray for the Holy Ghost in our service
  • pondering is the thinking and praying after reading and studying

President Thomas S Monson

  • the 3 R’s of choice
    • right of choice
    • responsibility of choice
    • results of choice
  • we cannot be neutral, there is no middle ground
  • we are bombarded by the messages of the adversary
  • the lies are endless
  • we cannot afford the luxury of a detour from which we may never return
  • it’s easier to keep the commandments 100% of the time than 98% of the time

The choir sang Called to Serve

Elder James J Hamula offered the benediction


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