Tag Archives: elder hales

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:

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

Well, here we are ready for the last session. In between these Sunday sessions, I lay down with the kids to watch Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, but I fell asleep almost right away. It was a nice nap 🙂

While the countdown was up on the screen for this session of conference, I saw Elder Hales. He stood up when President Monson walked in, and seems to be doing a bit better.

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang The Day Dawn Is Breaking

Elder Octaviano Tenorio offered the invocation

The choir sang Did You Think to Pray

Elder Robert D Hales

  • the word Christian denotes taking upon us the name of Christ
  • as Christians we have a change to act decisively
  • we are called upon to leave our nets, leave worldly habits and customs
  • to be who Heavenly Father wants us to be, we follow Jesus Christ
  • Consider these Christian attributes
    • Christian love – kind and compassionate to all
    • Christian faith – despite temptations we can be faithful and obedience
    • Christian sacrifice – give of our time and energy
    • Christian caring – continually reach out to rescue, love and nurture
    • Christian service – spend your days serving others
    • Christian patience – we need to wait upon our God
    • Christian peace – be understanding and promote peace
    • Christian forgiveness – bless those that curse us
    • Christian conversion – continue to be converted
    • Christian endurance – continue all of your days
  • we need these characteristics to heed the voice of Christ

Elder Richard G Scott

  • Jesus made salvation available to every repentant soul
  • deceased people can receive all the ordinances of the gospel
  • we need to provide all ordinances for ourselves and our deceased ancestors
  • temple work is two parts – family history research, performing ordinances
  • those who engage in the research and do the ordinances will know the additional joy of receiving both halves of the blessings
  • any work you do in the temple is time well spent

Brother Russell T Osguthorpe

  • there are new resources for the youth classes
  • as teachers, we need to meet the needs of our learners
  • we need to teach His word in His way
  • conversion is knowing, doing and becoming
  • we want every young person to understand
  • we want them to live the gospel every day

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

Elder Marcus B Nash

  • all things are fulfilled by faith
  • faith brings us the power of the Lord
  • told story of Ann Rowley, a member of the Willie Handcart Company
  • unbelief in the Lord will cause us to resist the Spirit of God
  • fear undermines faith in the Savior
  • sin diminished the effect of the Spirit in our lives
  • the future is as bright as your faith

Elder Daniel L Johnson

  • spoke of problems in Mexico where members lost their crops
  • we can prove ourselves not by what we are tested with, but how we handle them
  • affirm our commitment to God and to others

Elder Don R Clarke

  • as a young man, they filled out a card with what they thought about
  • the Sacrament needs to be important to us
  • if we properly prepare for the sacrament we will change our lives
  • we are renewing our baptism covenants
  • memorize the sacramental prayers
  • we can feel forgiven for our sins during Sacrament Meeting
  • we can receive inspiration during Sacrament Meeting
  • partaking of the Sacrament worthily will help us be filled with the Holy Ghost
  • it will always be a great Sacrament Meeting if the sacrament is the centre of our worship

Elder David A Bednar

  • there is a relationship between receiving a testimony of Christ and becoming converted
  • we need to ask, seek and knock
  • we need a permanent change in our very nature
  • conversion requires all of our heart, all of our might, all of our mind and strength
  • conversion is an ongoing process, not a one-time experience
  • strong testimony is the foundation upon which conversion is built

President Thomas S Monson

  • the conference has been wonderful
  • read the talks and ponder them
  • be of good cheer
  • the Lord loves us and is mindful of us

The choir sang God Be with You Till We Meet Again

Elder Larry W Gibbons offered the invocation

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

What’s wrong with Elder Hales?

If you saw General Conference, you definitely noticed that Elder Robert D Hales looked significantly different. He looked “puffy”, spoke from a chair, and had oxygen tubes in his nose. He didn’t say what was wrong with him. Elder Ballard and President Monson both referred to how it was nice to see him, but no one shared what was wrong.

Yesterday and today the Church News & Events page, the LDS Newsroom, and the Deseret News all posted about a statement issued by Elder Hales:

I continue to work with doctors and physical therapists to regain my strength. I am grateful for the faith and prayers that made it possible for me to participate in general conference and resume my responsibilities. I am touched by the many kind expressions of love and support shown to me and your continued prayers.

None of the three sources I mentioned talk about what the health challenges were that Elder Hales faced.

Do you think it was a good idea to post the statement, or does it lead to more questions? Part of me says they should share what is wrong with him. There are millions of people who are concerned about him, and continually using the phrase “health challenges” seems pointless. Another part of me says that it is his health, and he deserves privacy, so we should all back off. Yet another part of me says that if Elder Hales shared what is wrong with him, there would be critics of the Church who would use that as an excuse to talk about the “old men” who lead the Church and that they aren’t capable.

I’m still not settled on what I think the best way is to handle this, but I do know that I hope for the best for Elder Hales. I hope and pray that he isn’t suffering, and that he recovers.

180th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

So I’m home now and my 3 kids are sitting down with my wife and I to try to watch some of the afternoon session together. I don’t imagine the kids will last very long.

My wife commented that it would be pretty cool to be part of the “family choir” that is singing for this session

Good news… the audio worked right from the start.

President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Come Ye Children of the Lord

Elder Claudio D Zivic offered the invocation

The choir sang Beautiful Zion, Built Above (very nicely done!)

Sustainings by President Eyring

  • released a few long-time members of the Seventy, with minimal other changes

Elder Robert D Hales

  • we have a unique way of defining agency
  • we are free to choose to act, not to be acted upon
  • you can lose your agency when you use it wrong
  • when we don’t follow promptings, our opportunities are reduced
  • don’t be selectively obedient
  • hearken with exactness

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • mentioned receiving a CD of songs by Vera Lynn
  • by the light of Christ all mankind can know good from evil
  • pornography is a weapon of mass moral destruction
  • there is a common moral foundation shared by many faiths
  • an honest man is the noblest work of God
  • preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities

Bishop Richard C Edgley

  • conflicting message are bombarding us
  • the reality of the Saviour is challenged as a myth
  • we can choose how to react to it
  • choose faith
  • faith is not a free gift, it does not come as the dew falls from heaven
  • knock, and it shall be given you
  • choose faith over doubt, fear, unknown, pessimism
  • our faith takes us to a perfect knowledge
  • never seen the removal of an actual mountain, but have seen a mountain of doubt, sin, pain moved or replaced

The choir and congregation sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee

Elder Kevin R Duncan

  • told story about harsh winter/summer of 1847/8
  • we need to trust in and obey the counsel of a prophet of God
  • there are so many experts who advice and counsel on any and all subjects
  • it is easy to get caught relying on the arm of flesh
  • we have access to the source of pure truth, God himself
  • what has God revealed to His prophets?

Elder Gerrit W Gong

  • we love our missionaries
  • mirrors of eternity in the temple

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • the road of discipleship is not for the spiritually faint of heart
  • we need to submit to God
  • this is the mighty change of heart
  • two signal danger ahead: offended, ashamed

Elder Richard G Scott

  • the exercise of faith is central to the Plan of Salvation
  • faith and character are closely related
  • God will not always reward you immediately
  • the bedrock of character is integrity

The choir sang Home

Elder Jorge F Zeballos 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:

179th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session


We had planned on going to the Church to watch the first session of conference, but two of our children are sick, so we stayed at home. On the one hand, it’s nice relaxing at home, but on the other hand, it can be very distracting. However, given a choice, I’d probably rather watch at home.

It was reported to me that we had about 40 people attend the session at Church.

President Thomas S. Monson conducted

President Thomas S. Monson

  • opened the conference
  • noted the absence of Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • Announced Neil L. Anderson as new apostle
  • He said to him it would be “the longest walk you’ll ever take!”
  • They rededicated the Mexico temple
  • 87000 there for cultural night
  • also dedicated the Draper Utah temple
  • The Church is doing very well
  • We have 53,000 missionaries in 348 missions
  • Perpetual Education Fund is moving forward. 35,600 young men and women enrolled. 18,900 finished.

Elder Robert D. Hales

  • children growing up in time of uncertainty
  • excess debt and addiction have caused problems, undermined family relationships
  • our success is never measured by how strong the temptation, but how faithful the response
  • need to be provident providers
  • joyfully live within our means
  • keep basic command of “thou shalt not covet”
  • pay tithing
  • donate fast offerings
  • evaluate whether something has temporary or eternal value

Margaret S. Lifferth

  • respect one another
  • learn it at home, in sports, when discussing religion
  • each of us is a child of God and are brothers and sisters
  • respect for others is close to reverence for God
  • address leaders properly

Brother Michael A. Neider

  • commended YW for adding virtue to their values
  • don’t underestimate the youth and their abilities

Elder Alan F. Packer

  • tough times, but still a great time to be a live
  • learn to recognize the Spirit
  • we will receive answers and learn how the Spirit works in us
  • we will know, and know that we know

D. Todd Christofferson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • told story of earthquake in Chile and the commitment of a branch president and his wife
  • we need strong Christians who can persevere and sustain hope
  • we need strong Christians who make important things happen because of their faith
  • we need to protect against militant atheism
  • follow the covenant path

President Eyring ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • How could this happen?
  • we have opportunities to face affliction
  • Remember, the Savior suffered as well

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”

We received a memo from the First Presidency in January saying that there was going to be some new welfare training material arriving soon. The memo instructed stake presidents to gather applicable leaders in the stake and to review the material. Well, the materials arrived, and on Sunday afternoon I headed to the stake centre for some training.

Leading up the meeting, I wondered what could possibly be different. Now I know… not much. The principles of self-reliance are consistent, and the training was actually a DVD with talks by Elder Robert D. Hales, Sister Julie B. Beck, Bishop H. David Burton, and President Thomas S. Monson. They didn’t really go into any detail of how to handle situations. They just emphasized those time-tested principles. Without going into it too much, here are a few thoughts that I had:

  • Elder Hales said that it takes great faith to say “I can’t afford that”.
  • A couple of speakers talked about downsizing your life to fit within your budget restraints. This includes moving if necessary.
  • Sister Beck brought up the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and how we would all be better off if we followed it.
  • A couple of speakers talked about the importance of using a budget
  • Bishop Burton mentioned that there is no requirement for wards or stakes to have their expenses and contributions remain in balance. Note: Perhaps it is just wording, but this seems to be different that it used to be (our stake president agrees that it is different). Before, if a ward or stake were to go “into the red” in their fast offering funds, then it needed approval. The implication was that this should not be. At the very least, it appears that the Brethren understand that in this economic time, more units will be using more fast offering funds than they collect.
  • President Monson emphasized that no member of the church who has served in a welfare project ever forgets or regrets the experience of helping provide for those in need. This is very true!

Note: I left the house at 6:20 am Sunday morning to go to my administration meetings, attended Church, had meetings after Church, drove to the stake centre for the training, and ended up getting home at 6:30 pm. What a long day!