Tag Archives: elder nelson

The greatest force for good in the world

As mentioned in my General Conference summaries, our Stake President, David P Homer, was called to be an Area Seventy. Our Stake Conference was already scheduled for the end of this month, so we will be getting a new Stake President. Elder Eduardo Gavarret of the First Quorum of the Seventy will be presiding at the Stake Conference and he will be accompanied by Elder Jeffery E Olson. I figured that since I am no longer in a bishopric that I was “off the radar”, but I received an email earlier this week requesting that I meet with them for a few minutes on the Saturday of Stake Conference. I’m not sure how I can make it work out, as I am scheduled to work that day and the person who I work with is on vacation. Oh well, somehow things will work out.

Anyway, this got me thinking about my short meeting with Elder Nelson when the Stake Presidency was reorganized the last time. I met with him for 5 minutes in the morning of the Saturday of Stake Conference. There was a form I had been given ahead of time that I was to fill out that had questions like the following:

  • Do you believe in God the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost and do you have a firm testimony of the restored gospel?
  • Do you sustain the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator; and do you recognize him as the only person on the earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys?
  • Do you sustain the other General Authorities and local authorities of the Church?
  • Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?
  • Do you affiliate with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or do you sympathize with the precepts of any such group or individual?
  • Do you earnestly strive to do your duty in the Church; to attend your sacrament, priesthood and other meetings; and to obey the rules, laws and commandments of the gospel?
  • Do you live the law of chastity?
  • Are you honest in your dealings with your fellowmen?
  • Are you a full-tithe payer?
  • Do you have prayer regularly in your home?
  • Do you keep the Word of Wisdom?
  • Do you hold weekly family home evening?
  • Have you ever been divorced?
    If the answer is yes, has it been cleared by appropriate priesthood authorities where required?
    If you have ever been divorced or separated, are you presently fulfilling your obligations for the support and maintenance of your family?
  • Have you ever been subject to Church discipline?
  • If you have received your temple endowment:
    Do you keep all the covenants that you made in the temple?
    Do you wear the authorized garments both day and night?
  • Has there been any sin or misdeed in your life that should have been resolved with priesthood authorities but has not?

There were some places to record biographical information (age, wife and children, education, occupation, etc).There was also a chance to leave some comments. I wrote the following:

I love this church, its organization, and its teachings. It has brought such joy into my life and family. I cherish the eternal relationship that I have with my family and am grateful for the priesthood keys that have allowed that to happen.

At the end of my brief interview, Elder Nelson said it was a very nice thought and that “the Church is a great force for good in the world.” He then paused, and corrected himself, “No. It is the greatest force for good in the world.” It was interesting to watch him during this brief exchange. He made an initial comment that was perfectly valid, but then almost looked troubled and corrected what he said. That second line was said with surety, and I believed him. I’m sure there are those who would disagree with the statement, but I too believe that the Church is the greatest force for good in the world!

183rd Annual General Conference – Post-conference notes


Well, 10 hours are done (10 3/4 hours if you count The World Report). Usually there is a session that I love, and maybe a session that I find kind of dull. For this conference, there wasn’t one particular session that was my favourite. Each session had a speaker or two that I really enjoyed. This probably made it easier for me to stay away; I didn’t fall asleep during any of the sessions 🙂

Online there has been all sorts of buzz about having women pray at General Conference. It wasn’t really something that was on the radar for me, but if it helps some people then it’s all good. I certainly see no reason why women can’t pray or speak in General Conference or any other meeting.

Ultimately probably the most interesting thing for me was that our Stake President was called to be an Area Authority. President David P Homer is a good man. He was serving as a bishop at the same time that I was when Elder Russell M Nelson came to our Stake Conference. I didn’t really know Bishop Homer very well, but my brief interactions with him were positive. Elder Nelson was inspired to call him to be the Stake President, and he has served faithfully for 5 1/2 years. I emailed him yesterday and told him that I was sure he’d inspire many people.

So that’s it. Conference is done. Hopefully we’ve all heard something that is making us think more deeply about our faith and our commitment. I definitely have some things I need to review.

Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Annual 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:

179th Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session


As I mentioned l last time, I was a little distracted during the first session, but I was able to pay attention more during this second session. There were several good talks that I made note of and we might use them in my ward for the 4th Sunday lessons.

It was reported to me that we still had about 46 people attend the session at Church.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf is conducting

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf did the sustaining

  • The Sunday School General Presidency and the Young Men General Presidency was changed
  • There were a bunch of Area Seventies released, including Clayton M. Christensen. Elder Christensen visited one of our stake conferences, and was awesome

Auditing Department Report

  • it’s all good

First Presidency Secretary Statistical Report

  • 2,818 stakes
  • 348 missions
  • 622 districts
  • 28109 wards and branches
  • 13,508,509 members
  • 123,502 child of record baptisms
  • 265,593 convert baptisms
  • 389,095 total baptisms (my calculation, not report in conference)
  • 52,494 missionaries
  • 4 temples dedicated
  • 128 temples total in operation

M. Russell Ballard ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • First and last Edsel dealership
  • Some of the most powerful lessons can come from those who have come before you
  • Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it
  • There are great lessons to be learned from the past
  • Learn them, so you don’t exhaust your spiritual strength
  • be wise and learn the lessons of the past
  • no new technology to help you can a testimony… you can’t Google it or text message

Elder Quentin L. Cook ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • there has been an increase in the discussion of our faith
  • in 1863 Charles Dickens was going to report on the Saints. He went onboard to bear testimony against them, but he found them to be the “pick and flower of England”
  • some descriptions of us are harsh
  • non-believers find it hard to accept the miracles in the scriptures
  • traditional definition of hell not consistent with the restoration
  • we need civility and mutual respect between people of other faiths
  • other churches do much good, bless mankind, and teach about Christ.. we should not criticize them

Kevin W. Pearson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
  • faith is a principle of action and power
  • we can give our children many things, but if we don’t give them faith in Christ, we have given them little
  • if we desire more faith, we must be more obedient
  • fear and faith cannot co-exist
  • 6 destructive D’s
    • doubt
    • discouragement
    • distraction
    • lack of diligence
    • disobedience
    • disbelief

Elder Rafael E. Pino

  • told story of former counselor whose daughter had drowned
  • “my peace I give unto you”
  • endure adversity confidently

Elder Richard G. Scott ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • I’m going to speak heart to heart, without mincing words
  • temples
  • go to the temple often
  • what activity could have greater impact
  • remove your watch when you enter the House of the Lord
  • personal story of two of his children who died as small children, who are in the Celestial Kingdom and born in the covenant
  • when we keep the temple covenants, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or feel despondent

Elder Russell M. Nelson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • hearken to the will of the Lord
  • The Lord’s Prayer
  • a pattern to follow, not a piece to repeat often
  • we can pray for unity
  • pray in Jesus’ name
  • don’t overdo our prayers and fasting
  • closing prayer doesn’t need to summarize and become an unscheduled sermon
  • private prayers can be as long as we want, but public prayers should be short supplications or expressions of gratitude
  • do not be casual in the way we speak in our prayers
  • we should pray to God “Thy will be done”
  • pray that His kingdom will go forth

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: