Tag Archives: elder holland

George Albert Smith suffered from depression

Once again referring to Elder Holland’s talk from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference, he mentioned that George Albert Smith suffered from depression. I’m fairly well versed in Church history, but didn’t realize how sever it was until I followed some links online. Apparently while an apostle he had a 3-year battle that at times saw him rarely leave his bed. He seemed to hit rock bottom, and then he started to get a bit better, and ultimately became President of the Church.

Jana Reiss at Religion News Service has a great summary of his struggles, as well as a link to a Journal of Mormon History article that has more details.

Mormon Message about Stephanie Nielson

During the Saturday afternoon General Conference session, Elder Holland spoke about depression, and shared a touching story about a woman who had been in a plane accident. I’ve never heard this story before, but the Church has had a Mormon Message up for 3 years with the story of Stephanie Nielson. Rather than give you the details here, just go and watch the video.

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:

More on Elder Holland’s CES Devotional address

A couple of weeks ago I posted my notes from Elder Holland’s CES Devotional address. As you will probably recall, it was a great talk!

I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, but the part that I’ve thought about many times in the last two weeks was regarding how we deal with people who appear to be living their lives contrary to gospel standards. He told a story about a 3o-something woman who “had a couple of tattoos, a variety of ear and nose rings, spiky hair reflecting all the colors now available in snow cones, a skirt that was too high, and a blouse that was too low.” He said he had several thoughts go through his mind and then said this:

However one would respond to that young woman, the rule forever is that it has to reflect our religious beliefs and our gospel commitments. Therefore, how we respond in any situation has to make things better, not worse. We can’t act or react in such a way that we are guilty of a greater offense than, in this case, she is. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have opinions, that we don’t have standards, that we somehow completely disregard divinely mandated “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in life. But it does mean we have to live those standards and defend those “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots” in a righteous way to the best of our ability, the way the Savior lived and defended them. And He always did what should have been done to make the situation better—from teaching the truth, to forgiving sinners, to cleansing the temple. It is no small gift to know how to do such things in the right way!

I couldn’t agree more. Whether reaching out to family members, young adults, youth, or anyone, we have to make things better, not worse. It is so easy to point out problems, but what are the solutions? Are we strengthening people with our interactions, or hurting them? This part of Elder Holland’s talk has definitely led me to think about how I interact with people. I hope to be better.

180th Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

I’ve said this before, and I’ll probably say it every conference… I have a hard enough time getting through 10 hours, how do the apostles and First Presidency make it through?!

So, after 10 hours of General Conference have gone by, and I’ve had a few thoughts:

  • I was surprised with the number of talks about choice, agency, and accountability. I wonder if that means anything.
  • I commented in the beginning that I preferred the old Move Networks player, and I still think that. The Flash version wasn’t as smooth.
  • My favourite talks of the conference were probably Elder Kearon and President Uchtdorf from the Priesthood Session, Elder Oaks from the Sunday Morning General Session, and Elder Holland, Brother McConkie, and President Uchtdorf from the Saturday Morning General Session

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

180th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

Here we go…

Wait, what’s up with the audio? I can hear the choir, but no voiceover, and nothing from President Eyring (who is conducting)…

Phew! There is audio now.

In general (and not because of the audio problem that has been resolved), I prefer the Move Networks plugin that the Church used to use for these broadcasts. I find this Flash (Brightcove) plugin is choppy.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

President Henry B Eyring conducted the session

The choir sang Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

Elder Octaviano Tenorio offered the invocation

President Thomas S Monson

  • 4 temples have been dedicated since April
  • Laie, Hawaii temple will be rededicated next month
  • Announced 5 new temples in
    • Lisbon, Portugal
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Urdaneta, Philippines
    • Hartford, Connecticut
    • Tijuana, Mexico
  • The ordinances performed in our temple are vital for salvation
  • spoke of need for worthy missionaries
  • Sisters and senior missionaries are also needed

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

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • Thank you for sustaining us
  • We sustain you in return
  • Can’t express the gratitude the brethren have for the members
  • members make the gospel what it is, a power manifestation of the life Christ gave bringing peace and salvation to other people

Sister Rosemary M Wixom

  • take my hand and hold on tight
  • help children understand Plan of Salvation
  • if we don’t teach our children, others will
  • if we want them to know something in 5 years, we need to teach them now
  • the Savior has marked the path and led the way

Elder Claudio R M Costa

The choir and congregation sang Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel

Brother David McConkie

  • what matters most is the attitude or spirit by which a teacher teaches
  • successful gospel teachers love the gospel
  • a teacher’s attitude is not taught, it’s caught
  • suggestions for effective teaching
    • before we teach the gospel, we need to know the gospel
    • apply in your life the things you learn
    • seek heaven’s help
    • exercise our agency and act on promptings

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

  • we have freedom to use our time
  • our life is a stewardship of time and choices
  • we should live a consecrated life
  • one who lives a consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of another

The choir sang Tell Me the Stories of Jesus (it had a verse I’ve never heard before)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • started off by talk about a tree, then said that most of us were probably wondering what that had to do with an airplane. The crowd laughed, as did I. I was actually think that exact thing! 🙂
  • you don’t necessarily go faster through turbulence
  • this life seems to have us moving faster despite the turbulence we face
  • it’s easy to be busy
  • focus on the fundamentals, don’t get distracted
  • ** partway through his talk he started coughing, and cleared his throat a bunch of times. He said that he’d lost his voice and that it was one of the fundamental things he needed 🙂
  • we would do well to slow down and proceed at the optimum speed
  • some important fundamental relationships include
    • our relationship to God
    • our relationship to our family
    • our relationship to our fellowman
    • our relationship to ourself

The choir sang The Morning Breaks

Elder Eduardo Gavarret 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 – Sunday Morning Session

179th_annual_general_conference

I ended up going to the Church this morning sans family for the first session. Two of our three kids are sick, and so my wife stayed home with them. I left a little early as I had an interview before. I also had an interview afterward. It was nice being able to refer to the talks in providing some counsel. Overall, we had 100 people at Church for the broadcast.

President Thomas S. Monson conducted

The choir music was awesome!

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • today is Palm Sunday
  • the flame of new theories fade
  • the gospel is the ultimate formula for happiness and success
  • stay with it
  • we don’t go after eternal life in a sprint… we endure
  • for some, spectator discipleship is preferred
  • we need to get off the sidelines and practice what we preach
  • gospel has the power to fill any emptiness

Elder Neil L. Andersen

  • knows with perfect clarity that Jesus is the Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost
  • note: he was very humble while speaking
  • he knows he is not what he must become
  • expressed gratitude and bore testimony

Elder Steven E. Snow

  • get on with life
  • change is an essential part of life
  • follow the prophets
  • have faith
  • be of good cheer

Sister Barbara Thompson

  • the time is far spent
  • increase our faith
  • no matter what our families look like, we can strengthen our own families, or help strengthen other families

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • spoke of those who are lonely
  • recounted Christ’s last week
  • Christ said “why has thou forsaken me”, but the Father was probably closer than at any other time

President Thomas S. Monson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • since last conference, the world has changed
  • moral footing is slipping
  • would be easy to become discourage
  • blessings as members of the Church
  • how do we have joy despite the challenges we face?
  • though the storm clouds gather, our love of the gospel will sustain us
  • fear not, be of good cheer, the future is as bright as your faith

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: