Tag Archives: joseph f smith

“The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life”

This is one of my all-time favourite quotes. We sometimes can get into a debate about the “spirit” of the law and the “letter” of the law. Which is better? Which is right? Which do we follow?

Apparently this was written to one of Joseph F Smith’s sons who was on a mission. He had asked his dad about whether to anoint with oil with the right hand.

The question you ask about anointing seems very simple to me. I think it is the general practice to pour the oil with the right hand. I suppose because most people are right-handed. But there is no law or rule against anointing . . . with the left. We shake with the right hand. In the endowments the signs and tokens are made and given with the right hand. When we lay but one hand on the sick it should be the right. We take the Sacrament with the right hand. The practice makes the rule. But always remember that it is not the rule, or practice, which gives life or force, but the true spirit. There is no good in splitting hairs nor in tickey-technical rules. “The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life.”

Scott Kenney, ed., From Prophet to Son: Advice of Joseph F. Smith to His Missionary Sons, p. 93.
Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:103.

The practice makes the rule, but the rule doesn’t give force. Only truth or the Spirit gives force. I guess according to President Smith, the debate is over… the Spirit wins!

2012 Canada-wide Stake Conference

On Sunday, May 27, 2012 we had what appears to be a bi-annual Canada-wide Stake Conference. The Saturday portion of Stake Conference was still a local event, but the Sunday morning session was broadcast from one of the studios at the Conference Centre.

In the morning while still at home, my 9-year-old son offered our family prayer, and he prayed that the speakers at the conference wouldn’t be nervous speaking in front of a lot of people. Cool!

Elder William R Walker conducted and President Boyd K Packer presided. They were accompanied by D Todd Christofferson and Sister Carole M Stephens.

A couple of days before the conference I asked my wife which of Elder Ballard or President Monson would be speaking. She said Elder Ballard for sure, but thought both of them would be there, seeing as they have such a connection to Canada. Well, neither of them was there.

Apparently there was something like 47 stakes and 3 districts participating in the conference.

The opening and closing of the conference were done locally.

Here are my notes from the meeting:

Elder William R Walker

  • We need to point our children to the temple
  • In 1912 there were 7,000 members in Canada, most of them from Southern Alberta
  • The Alberta Temple was announced in October 1912 and the ground-breaking ceremony was on July 27, 1913 by Joseph F Smith
  • The temple was dedicated by Heber J Grant in August 1923
  • There are now temples in Cardston, Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Calgary will be open soon, and Winnipeg has been announced
  • There will soon be 9 temples in Canada, the same number of temples that were in all the Church in 1955
  • The temple should be the great symbol of our membership

Sister Carole M Stevens

  • We need to prepare our children for the evil world ahead of them
  • We need to act with faith, not fear
  • Don’t waste time with “I wish I would have…” Start today!

The intermediate/congregational hymn was “How Firm a Foundation

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • He recounted his connection to Canada
  • Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life is made
  • Why must we be commanded to serve one another?
  • Even though President Monson can’t reach everyone, he still does what he can
  • We are a church of service
  • The most crucial services is in our own home
  • The Savior is the great Exemplar of service

President Boyd K Packer
Note: President Packer did NOT sound good. He was hard to understand, and didn’t seem to be able to remember things. He would try to speak without looking at his notes, but then had to refer back to them

  • He spoke of his experiences of Canada
  • He was President of the New England Mission, and that involved trips to Eastern Canada
  • We have to remember the Gospel is true
  • When we get that feeling in our hearts, we know what we need to know
  • It’s not an easy thing to be a member, but it is easier than anything else if we do what is right
  • Never be ashamed of the Church
  • He blessed us to “take faith”