Tag Archives: ezra taft benson

True Shepherds – President Monson speaks about Home Teaching

I was surprised to hear President Monson speak about home teaching at the Priesthood session of General Conference. It isn’t that I think that home teaching isn’t important, it’s that I don’t remember the last time a President of the Church has addressed the topic directly. It has been mentioned in passing, or spoken about by others, but this was different.

You can go and read/watch the talk yourself, but I did want to highlight some quotes:

  • …as the priesthood of God we have a shepherding responsibility.
  • The home teaching program is a response to modern revelation commissioning those ordained to the priesthood “to teach, expound, exhort, baptize, … and visit the house of each member, and exhort them to pray vocally and in secret and attend to all family duties, … to watch over the church always, and be with and strengthen them; and see that there is no iniquity in the church, neither hardness with each other, neither lying, backbiting, nor evil speaking.”
  • To assist in our efforts, I share this wise counsel which surely applies to home teachers. It comes from Abraham Lincoln, who said, “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”
  • Home teaching answers many prayers and permits us to see the transformations which can take place in people’s lives.

Hearing this talk made me think back on a talk that Ezra Taft Benson gave in 1983. He spoke about home teaching, but rather than “preaching”, he asked a bunch of questions. I’m not sure exactly how many questions were asked, but there were 46 question marks in the published talk.

I find it a challenge to go home teaching, but I still make an effort and am able to visit most of my assigned families each month (at least the ones that let me in). Every time I leave a home, I feel like I’ve been doing a sacred work. The circumstances of life then creep up on me again the following month, and it is a struggle to go out again, but I remember the feelings and out I go. It’s worth it for sure.

Have you seen the Latter-day Apostles web site?

Have you seen the Latter-day Apostles web site? It is a cool site that someone has put together that shows all of the First Presidencies and Apostles that we’ve had since the Church was organized. You can pick a date in time or you can view a bit of a slide show and watch the changes happen over time.



I spent a little bit of time the other day looking at the changes. I wondered what was the greatest number of future presidents that were in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the same time. This is what I’ve seen. I may have missed someone, but these are definitely going to be among the highest:

  • In March 1945 there was the President of the Church (Heber J Grant) with a future president as a counselor (David O McKay), and 5 future presidents in the quorum together (George Albert Smith, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson)
  • In October 1968 there was the President of the Church (David O McKay) and 7 future presidents in the quorum together (Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W Hunter, Gordon B Hinckley, and Thomas S Monson)


Principles From Prophets

I go for a 3-4 km walk every day at lunch. While I’m walking, I like to listen to podcasts, talks, etc. One that I’ve read and listened to is by President Monson. On September 15, 2009 he gave a BYU Devotional address called Principles From Prophets. I remember reading about it when it first was given, but it took me a while to finally listen to it.

During the devotional, President Monson shares stories about the prophets that have been alive while he has been alive. He shares a characteristic, favourite food, song, and some personal anecdotes about Heber J Grant, George Albert Smith, David O McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W Hunter, and Gordon B Hinckley. I love to hear some of the “behind-the-scenes” stuff that was shared. I wish we heard this sort of thing more often.

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:

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: