Tag Archives: Jeffrey R. Holland

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 – Saturday Morning General Session

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It’s a cold, rainy day where I live, so it’s a great day to be inside. Here we go… the first session out of five (six if you could the women’s meeting last weekend). I’m sitting at work with two laptops in front of me. One is the full-screen video of the session, and the other is where I’m typing this. I’ll probably also follow some of the #ldsconf hashtag on Twitter.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang How Firm a Foundation

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Press Forward, Saints

The invocation was offered by Elder Carl B Cook

The choir sang Lead, Kindly Light

President Thomas S Monson

  • We’re united as a big family
  • The work of the Church moves forward unhindered
  • He recently dedicated the Gilbert AZ temple, the 142nd temple
  • There are no new temple announcements, but when all of the previously announced temples are completed, there will be 170 in operation

Elder Jeffrey R Holland ** one of my favourites

  • Someday you will be called on to defend your faith
  • There is a long history of rejection
  • You may ask if it is worth it to take a courageous moral stand… Yes it is!
  • The bumper sticker “What would Jesus do?” will not always bring a popular response
  • Defend your belief with courtesy and compassion

Elder Ronald A Rasband

  • Currently 317 Seventies
  • Lots of us are also helping in this work
  • Take up the joyful burden of discipleship
  • Spoke of a tornado in Oklahoma, and how our worldly treasures can be taken in an instant

Elder Carlos H Amado

  • Christ was born in unusual circumstances
  • Elder Amado went on to describe various events in Christ’s life

The choir and congregation sang Choose the Right

Sister Linda S Reeves

  • Has 13 grandchildren in the congregation
  • We are concerned about pornography
  • Satan is attaching with unprecedented fury
  • We are here to manage the passions of the human body
  • Pornography overtakes lives, damages relationships, and consumes time, thought, and energy

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Told a story about the power of a tornado, and compared it to the power of sin
  • Challenges will come, but as you trust in God, it will strengthen your faith
  • Our foundation must be on the Savior

The choir sang A New Commandment I Give Unto You

President Henry B Eyring

  • When you choose to keep a covenant you choose to leave an inheritance of hope
  • We have a universal inheritance because of Jesus Christ and His atonement
  • There is a heritage of hope left for those who come after us

The choir sang Come, O Thou King of Kings

The benediction was offered by Elder W Christopher Waddell


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

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.

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183rd Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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Wow! Wasn’t President Uchtdorf‘s talk this morning awesome?! Hopefully there is another awesome one this session.

As I make my notes, I’m also following the #ldsconf tag on Twitter. As was expected, the hashtag was trending after the first session.

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In between sessions I watched The World Report, and then played some Mario Kart Wii with my son. Fun stuff!

We settle down to watch this next session…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A family choir made of members from the Roy, Kanesville, Hooper and West Haven, Utah stakes sang On This Day of Joy and Gladness

Elder Paul B Pieper offered the invocation

Persident Henry B Eyring read the sustaining of Church officers

  • A few members of the 1st quorum of seventy were released
  • A few Area Seventy were released and a few sustained
  • There is a new 2nd Counselor in the General YM Presidency

The choir sang I Know That My Savior Loves Me

President Boyd K Packer

  • A gospel-centred home is a safe place
  • “In the last days perilous times shall come”
  • Perilous times are present
  • The cure for most mistakes can be found in forgiveness through personal prayer

Elder D Todd Chistofferson

  • Society has relied on the moral force of women
  • A woman’s noble influence is felt at home
  • There is no better setting to raise the rising generation
  • Your moral authority is vital, and we may be taking you for granted

Elder S Gifford Neilsen

  •  What would you do if the prophet called you?
  • They do call us. Are we listening?
  • We have been called to do more missionary work
  • We need to serve with enthusiasm next to the full-time missionaries

The choir and congregation sang Press Forward, Saints

Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela

  • By small and simple things are great things brought to pass
  • We need to teach in simple ways
  • The small and simple means often bring greater results

Elder Timothy J Dyches

  • Recounted several bible stories of Christ’s compassion and miracles
  • There is opposition, and this helps us see Christ’s healing power

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel” – Joseph Smith
  • It is impossible for us to fail if we do our best
  • Pray
  • If we all reach out to just one between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and what a wonderful gift to the Saviour
  • You will have many opportunities

The choir sang Love at Home

Sister Carol F McConkie offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

My notes on the Work of Salvation broadcast

I’m sure many of you watched the Work of Salvation broadcast this past Sunday. It was a good broadcast, but I’d read so much “hype” about it online that I guess I was a little disappointed that there was nothing earth-shattering about what was shared. I acknowledge that is my fault for falling for the hype.

Overall it was a nice meeting. There were a few lines that really stuck out for me, and I’ve bolded them below and added a couple of comments in italics.


Look at all those missionaries… what a sight!

A choir sang Hark. All Ye Nations!

Ten of the Apostles were there

Elder Jeffrey R Holland conducted

  • You will never be part of a zone conference this large ever again
  • We’ve been thinking “there they go” but we need to think “here they come”

The invocation was offered by Elder Ludlow

Elder Holland

  • At Church Headquarters we counsel widely; we hear from everyone on all vital issues
    I loved the phrase (counsel widely)! I totally agree that leaders need to be open and discuss issues with everyone affected. Trust the other leaders that they have worthwhile things to say, and that they will keep the necessary confidences.
  • There was a Mission (Washington), a Stake (Peru) and a Ward (Hawaii) via satellite to represent all the other councils
  • The Seventy have clearly defined responsibilities for missionary work

Elder L Tom Perry (he almost jumped out of his seat… it’s hard to believe that he is 90 years old!)

  • As all these missionaries go out we ask “what will they do?”
  • They will do what they have always done
  • The nature of missionary work must change in order for the work to move forward
  • Missionaries will be able to use computers during less busy time
  • This will be phased in over several months
  • Internet safety is paramount
  • Missionaries will give building tours
  • 70,274 missionaries
  • 52 new missions this year for 405 total
  • 173 new mission presidents this year
  • What we are being asked to do has not changed, but how we do it has changed
    I think this is true for much of the gospel. The core doctrine does not change, but how we implement it in our lives can change depending on the time we live in.
  • If or greatest and most important duty is to preach the gospel than we all have the responsibility to invite everyone to come unto Christ
  • Every Ward should have a Ward Mission Plan
  • We should be anxiously engaged

Elder Holland

  • An invitation that is born of our love for others and our love of the Savior will never be seen as offensive and judgmental

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • Our work begins on our knees
  • When we leave our meetings is when we bring about His most important purposes
    Attending meetings isn’t as important as committing to action at the meetings and then going forth to do it
  • He shared some stories from the Tampa Florida area. In the end, 32 men were sustained to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood at their recent stake conference
  • We often receive different help from the Lord than expected; but it is always better
  • There is a new section of LDS.org called “Hastening the Work of Salvation”

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • He showed a video with Sister Neill F Marriott of the General Young Women Presidency about her conversion
  • Too often we split the work into areas that seem unrelated
    The work is indivisible
    They are not separate but all part of the work of salvation
    Great points!
  • The Bishop and Ward Mission Leader set the pace of missionary work
  • Good leaders, like good parents, take actions because of love

President Boyd K Packer

  • Everything comes down to teaching
  • Live so you can depend on the Spirit
  • The greatest teaching that goes on in the Church is done by mothers
    I couldn’t agree more. My wife is a superb teacher to my children
  • The Atonement is the mighty healer
  • Just do it right; be better

President Thomas S Monson

  • Now is the time for us to come together to bring souls unto Him
  • Shared the story of how the St Thomas Branch in Ontario grew
  • Have faith in the work

The choir sang Called to Serve

Sister Estorga offered the benediction

183rd Annual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon General Session

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After the morning session of General Conference I watched The World Report (I like their new logo and theme). I then had a nap for about an hour. I awoke to some of the Bible videos being played. I haven`t seen them before, and they looked pretty good.

Well, here we go with the final session…


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang  Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Sister Carol M Stephens offered the invocation

The choir sang Tell Me the Stories of Jesus

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • All things are possible to him that believeth
  • When facing the challenge of faith, the father in the scripture exerts his faith first, then acknowledges his weakness
  • The size of your faith is not the issue; it is the integrity you show when your faith is tested
  • When questions arise, don’t start your quest by saying you don’t have faith
  • Be as candid as you need to be, but if you need to be healed, don’t let your questions stay in the way of faith and its miracles
  • Imperfect people are all God has to work with (other than Jesus)
  • When doubt comes, do not be afraid to ask for help

Elder Dallin H Oakes

  • Come, Follow Me
  • All of the messages in conference help us to follow Christ
  • He compared many things that Christians do and how we fit that description

Elder Christoffel Golden Jr

  • We are to inherit all that the Father has

The choir and congregation sang Now Let Us Rejoice

Elder Enrique R Falabella

  • There is no special school for parenting, but we have our homes
  • Marriage in the temple is for time and all eternity
  • “In order to contend, you always need two people, and I will never be one of them”
  • “I need you to hug me”
  • A child who sings is a happy child
  • I love the Book of Mormon and my Savior Jesus Christ
  • It is not enough to know the scriptures; we have to live them

Elder Erich W Kopischke

  • We all want acceptance
  • Unfortunately we sometimes try to get acceptance from the wrong sources

Elder Bruce D Porter

  • The apostles didn’t know that the Passover meal was the Last Supper
  • We need not fear the future
  • God is with us

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • Spoke about how Jesus Christ is our Redeemer

President Thomas S Monson

  • Study the messages given at conference
  • We are a world-wide church
  • Be tolerant and kind
  • May we ever follow his example
  • Be aware of the needs of those aware us

The choir sang Lord, Dismiss Us with Thy Blessing

Elder Larry Y Wilson offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 183rd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Talk repeats by General Authorities

If you are lucky enough to go to enough meetings, chances are you’ve heard the same story told numerous times by a General Authority. This came to mind the other day when in the Institute class I teach we were talking about Elder Jeffrey R. Holland powerful talk (The First Great Commandment) from the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference. One of the students said that he had heard the talk about a year or more before. He was a missionary in one of the missions in Russia, and apparently Elder Holland had given that talk to mission presidents in Europe with a slightly different twist (it was more about missionary work than about love/commitment).

I had the same sort of experience when I was a YSA. I had attended a few different regional conferences over a period of a year. Vaughn J Featherstone spoke at each one of them and gave the same talk at each one of them.

Whenever I hear or experience that, my first reaction is, “That stinks. Why didn’t they write a new talk?” But then I think about the number of times a year that these leaders speak, and this goes on for anywhere from 5-50 years (depending on what position they hold). There is no way they could come up with hundreds or thousands of new talks and topics over their “career”. Even President Hinckley’s invitation to read the Book of Mormon a few years ago was a repeat of the same invitation he had given years before that.

Ultimately I’m ok with this. I guess in a way it is just like a lot of other things in the Church. We are always taught the same general principles because the Gospel doesn’t change and because we haven’t kept the commandments as we should. Maybe when we are more on the ball we’ll hear some new things.