Tag Archives: Dallin H. Oaks

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:

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:

186th Annual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

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In between sessions we watched Once I Was a Beehive. We’d never seen it before, and we quite enjoyed it. My wife is going to girls camp this year to be the craft leader, so the movie got her quite excited.

We’re ready to start the final session. Here we go…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Elder C Scott Grow offered the invocation

The choir sang For I Am Called By Thy Name

Elder Robert D Hales

  • the Holy Ghost is a remarkable gift
  • the Light of Christ is given to everyone
  • the Holy Ghost guides us in all that we do
  • he shared several examples of how the Holy Ghost has guided him

Elder Gerrit W Gong

  • there are 3.6 billion who live in the Asia area
  • remembering and forgetting are part of every day life
  • 6 ways to always remember Him
  • have confidence in his covenants
  • trusting when the Lord assures that when we repent we are forgiven
  • remember that he always welcomes us home
  • partake of the sacrament
  • we are invited to always remember Him as He always remembers us

Elder Patrick Kearon

  • he currently serves in Europe and sees the refuges that are arriving
  • the Church is working with 75 organizations in 17 countries to
  • we shouldn’t expect the Church to organize projects for us

The choir and congregation sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • opposition is part of life
  • spoke of the opposition in trying to get the Book of Mormon printed
  • exercise faith and put reliance on the Savior’s teaching that by their fruits ye shall know them

Elder Kent F Richards

  • surely in today’s times we need the temple more than anything else
  • we need to be obedient to the temple ordinances

Elder Paul V Johnson

  • Easter was last week
  • the resurrection is real
  • we need to have faith in the resurrection
  • all other promises in the gospel are just as real
  • we will see our family members who have died

The choir sang The Day Dawn is Breaking (a gorgeous arrangement!)

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • he asked if we had any idea how much they love us
  • it has been a great conference
  • none of us want tomorrow or the day after that, to destroy the feelings we’ve had this weekend
  • we want to hold fast to the spiritual impressions we’ve had
  • if in the days ahead you see limitations, don’t be cast down in spirit. Don’t give up
  • the first great truth of eternity is that God loves us
  • if we do our best to follow God, then tomorrow will be magnificent

The choir sang Sing We Now at Parting

Elder Shayne M Bowen 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:

185th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I spent most of the time between sessions watching whatever came on the Mormon Channel. I love watching the World Report and found it interesting (as always). I also cleaned up more around the house in preparation for the family visiting tomorrow after my daughter’s baptism.

We’re back in the family room again ready for this session to start…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of Primary children from stakes in the Riverton, Utah area sang Beautiful Savior

Elder Terence M Vinson offered the invocation

President Henry B Eyring conducted the sustaining of Church officers. The new apostles are:

The choir sang a medley of Search, Ponder, and Pray and I Think When I Read That Sweet Story

Elder Robert D Hales

  • Much has been written about the younger generation today that isn’t interested in religion and doesn’t consider marriage important
  • Try not to go into debt
  • No one marries for perfection, we marry for potential
  • Don’t date just to have a good time
  • Dating and marriage aren’t final decisions… they are the gateway to where you want to go
  • When seeking friends, reach up not across

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • No one in mortality comes closer to that of Jesus Christ than the selfless love of a mother
  • Mothering is a staggering feat
  • Most mothers know intuitively that theirs is a sacred trust
  • Elder Holland shared stories about the love of mothers

The choir and congregation sang Come, Follow Me

Elder Bradley D Foster

  • Spoke to and about children in the Church
  • They were God’s children before they became our children
  • We should always be in their corner

Elder Hugo Montoya

  • Help others when required
  • Smile
  • Express compassion
  • Invite others to come to Church

Elder Vern P Stanfill

  • He shared a story about a bike ride through a pitch black tunnel
  • The lights they had were inadequate
  • Everyone relied on the light of a friend, and the light that was off in the distance
  • No matter how intense the darkness of doubt, we choose how long it will influence us
  • Trust in the Lord to develop spiritual strength in ourselves

Elder James B Martino

  • Be converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ
  • Our response to life will influence our testimony
  • Be strong to the knowledge of truth
  • Our testimony of truth gets us closer to the Savior

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • We have the certainties of death and sin
  • Christ suffered of “every kind” for us
  • He willingly experienced this and because of this the atonement empowers him to bear it all
  • We face lots of “infirmities” and troubles in our lives that are NOT caused by sin
  • His healing is available to all of us

The choir sang I Feel My Savior’s Love

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita 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:

184th Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

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Well, it’s over. I think my favourite session was the Saturday Afternoon General Session.

I mentioned that I had some things that I was hoping to get some inspiration for. I can’t say that I received any particular answers, but I have definitely felt the Spirit, which helps me to have some clarity. I appreciate that.

There were several talks that I quite liked. Here are a few of them:

  • Lynn G Robbins from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Cheryl A Esplin from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Dallin H Oaks from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Tad R Callister from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Jörg Klebingat from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Jeffrey R Holland from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Quentin L Cook from Priesthood Session
  • Henry B Eyring from Priesthood Session
  • Henry B Eyring from Sunday Morning General Session
  • M Russell Ballard from Sunday Afternoon General Session

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

184th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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Immediately following the first session, we had some birthday cake for our daughter. She wanted an ice cream cake, so we got one from the local Dairy Queen.

We then went outside in our back yard to do some work. It was a little chilly, but when working it just felt like a beautiful Fall day. After about an hour, it started to rain, so we came back inside.

I didn’t do much Twitter or blog reading during the first session, but I did take a quick glance at By Common Consent. Someone left a comment asking if we could get Liam Neeson to do voiceovers for the foreign language talks. That would be awesome!


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of members from the  Grantsville, Stansbury Park, and Tooele areas of Utah sang Arise, O God, and Shine

The invocation was offered by Elder Wilford W Andersen

President Henry B Eyring did the sustaining

  • Carlos H Amado and William R Walker were released as members of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and designated Emeritus General Authorities
  • Two Area Seventies were released
  • No new callings were sustained

The choir sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • Love one another
  • This is a unique challenge
  • Love is the very essence of the Gospel
  • We are warned against contention
  • We should not stir up the hearts of men to anger
  • As we strive to be meek, we should not dilute the truth we have
  • Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • It was said that Joseph Smith’s name would be used for both good and bad
  • He spoke about how to respond to people who question certain things about Joseph

Brother Tad R Callister

  • Parents have a duty to teach their children
  • Parents are to be the prime gospel teacher and example
  • Teach our children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer
  • We may have to restrict their online time

The choir and congregation sang Redeemer of Israel

Elder Jörg Klebingat

  1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being
  2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being
  3. Embrace voluntary whole-hearted obedience as part of your life
  4. Become really really good at repenting thoroughly and completely
  5. Become really really good at forgiving
  6. Accept trials, setbacks, and surprises as part of your mortal experience

Elder Eduardo Gavarret

  • Do not follow the wrong voice
  • Christ is the good shepherd, and his disciples know his voice
  • It is a clear voice that can’t be confused
  • Be determined to follow the Lord
  • Feed the desire to be a better follower of Christ
  • Persevere in the desire to be a better follower

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • The great Redeemer has issued no more consistent call than to help the needy
  • What we do is nothing but a drop of the ocean, but if we don’t do it, the ocean would be one less drop than it is – Mother Theresa
  • God is not overly occupied with percentages
  • We retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor
  • We should pray for those in need
  • More than 3/4 of a million members received fast offering assistance last year

Elder L Tom Perry

  • The gospel provides a sure foundation
  • The Savior is the master teacher; we follow him
  • We are blessed as members of the Church to have the Gospel

The choir sang Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide

The benediction was offered by Elder Edward Dube


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

184th Annual General Conference – Post-conference notes

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Well, it’s over. It was quite good. I think my overall favourite session this time was the Priesthood Session. Each session had a talk I enjoyed, but that had more that I enjoyed in just the one session.

Overall, here are the talks I particularly enjoyed:

  • Jeffrey R Holland from Saturday Morning General Session
  • Russell M Nelson from Saturday Afternoon General Session
  • Dallin H Oaks from Priesthood Session
  • Randall L Ridd from Priesthood Session (probably my favourite talk of the whole conference)
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf from Priesthood Session
  • Henry B Eyring from Priesthood Session
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf from Sunday Morning General Session
  • Thomas S Monson from Sunday Morning General Session

I hope that all who participated in the conference will ponder the feelings they’ve had, and go forth and be better Church members, friends, and family members.


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

184th Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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I’m sitting in our den with my father getting ready to watch the conference. We’ve got pizza, wings, chips, and pitas ready to go. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to type with chicken wing sauce all over my fingers! 🙂


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A Priesthood choir made up of students from Brigham Young University – Idaho sang Saints, Behold How Great Jehovah

The invocation was offered by LeGrand R Curtis Jr

The choir sang Secret Prayer (it was super long!!)

Elder Dallin H Oaks ** one of my favourites

  • There is no step up or step down in the Church. Just forward and back
  • Priesthood power is for all
  • Priesthood keys direct the work
  • Priesthood ordinances and authority pertain to all
  • Keys direct, control and govern the use of the priesthood on the earth
  • Note: He gave a very good description of the differences between power and keys and how it affects men and women
  • Forget about your rights and focus on your responsibilities!

Elder Donald L Hallstrom

  • Who we are is not who we may become
  • His atonement gives everyone of us a chance to change
  • We need to see our potential
  • How can we become what the Lord wants us to become?
    1. We need to be priesthood men
    2. We need to serve
    3. We need to be worthy

Brother Randall L Ridd ** one of my favourites

  • More choice means more opportunity, which means more choices for good, but also for evil
  • We need to discern between the mind-boggling choices available
  • Spoke a lot about the choice on the Internet. Think about where each click where lead you
  • Will technology empower you or enslave you
  • 4 principles to educate your desire and guide your use of technology
    1. Knowing who you are makes decisions easier
    2. Plug into the source of power
    3. Owning a smart phone does not make you smart, but using it wisely can
    4. The Lord provides technology to accomplish His purposes

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

President Dieter F Uchtdorf ** one of my favourites

  • Talked about Rip Van Winkle
  • Don’t sleep through the restoration
  • Things that will stop us from building God’s kingdom
    1. Selfishness – those who are selfish seek their own pleasure above anything else. What is in it for me?
    2. Addiction – they often begin subtly. Thin threads that weave themselves into thick bonds of habits. Negative habits become consuming addictions
    3. Competing priorities – some of us are so busy that we feel pulled a dozen different ways

President Henry B Eyring ** one of my favourites

  • We all have heroes, especially when we are young
  • When we choose heroes, we begin to copy what we admire most about them
  • His father only took him to a MLB game once, but he was taken to Church each week
  • Each of us are models, whether we want to be or not
  • You can be great, average, or bad. It might not matter to you, but it does to the Lord
  • Pray, serve, and be honest

President Thomas S Monson

  • We live in a world where moral values have been tossed aside and sin is on display
  • Decisions are constantly before us which can affect our destiny
  • We need courage, to say no when we should and to say yes when it is appropriate, and the courage to do the right thing because it is right
  • If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!
  • Are you the same person wherever you are?

The choir sang Abide with Me!

The benediction was offered by Brother Russell T Osguthorpe


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

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

Another conference has come and gone. It was excellent. I enjoyed almost all of the talks, and definitely felt the Spirit. In fact, when President Monson announced the change in the missionary service age, I felt a rush of the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t hoping for a change and therefore wasn’t expecting a change, but it was a welcome change. The feeling of the Spirit I felt was quite unexpected, but wonderful!

It always good to hear from all 15 of our prophet, seers, and revelators. Some of the men are obviously suffering with health challenges, but it is wonderful to see them and hear them. President Packer looked pretty good. Elder Hales looked way better than he did a year ago. At that time he seemed incredibly frail, and kind of puffy. I’m not sure if he was taking some steroids for something, but he looks more like his normal self than before. It was nice to see.

Elder Oaks sure spoke with authority when he spoke about caring for children, and Elder Holland sure spoke with passion about Christ and the need for disciples.

Probably my favourite line in conference was Elder Andersen who said that doctrine is taught by all 15 prophets, seers, and revelators, not in one line in one talk to one group. It was a good definition.

There has definitely been lots for me to think about over the coming months. I resolve to do better.


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

The bald-headed guy

A couple of weeks ago in High Priests Group we had a lesson about making the temple a priority in our lives. We were discussing why it isn’t always a priority. One of the members tried to mention a talk he remembered and said:

You know… what’s his name? The bald-headed guy…

Of course he meant Elder Dallin H Oaks, and he was referring to the Good, Better, Best talk he gave in the October 2007 General Conference. Gotta love those forgetful High Priests 🙂

(Note: the brother who said this is a super nice guy, and is always really “with it”, so this must just have been one of those forgetful moments, but it was still funny)