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185th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning General Session

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We had a nice morning. We slept in a bit and after breakfast spent a couple of hours cleaning the house, and then the kids


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Press Forward, Saints

President Henry B Eyring conducted. He opened by noting the passing of Boyd K Packer, L Tom Perry and Richard G Scott.

The choir sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Sister Mary R Durham offered the invocation

The choir sang I Know that My Savior Loves Me

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Tell a man there are trillion of stars in the universe and he’ll believe you. Tell him there is wet paint on the wall, and he’ll touch it just to be sure
  • Sometimes the truth is too straightforward and plain to appreciate
  • We put away what we know in search of mysterious information
  • When we chase after shadows, we are going after things of little substance
  • Are my efforts leading to my highest spiritual goals
  • Is my experience in the Church working for me? Is it bringing me closer to Christ? Is it blessing me and my family with peace and joy?
  • Some feel the Church experience is not what they had hoped for
  • Why does it work for some, and not for others?
    1. Are we making our discipleship too complicated?
      1. We need to simplify
    2. Start where you are
      1. God will take you as you are at this very moment as you start
      2. You just need a willing heart, a desire to believe, and trust in the Lord
  • Discipleship is our journey

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • Too many people think Church leaders need to be perfect
  • Our leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes we make mistakes
  • Looking for weakness in others is rather easy
  • We make a mistake if we see human nature and fail to see God working through those people
  • We need to keep the Sabbath holy
  • Sacrament Meeting is the Lord’s and should be rooted and grounded in his teachings
  • Stay on the old ship Zion
  • It is a vehicle to take us to a destination.. the full blessings of the gospel

Elder Richard J Maynes

  • We need to live a Christ-centred life
  • Shared story about making pottery, and the problem when the clay is not in the centre of the wheel
  • Elder Maynes shared several stories to illustrate this point
  • We need to be centred with exactness

The choir and congregation snag We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

Sister Neill F Marriott

  • We need to reform our lives
  • How can we continue to believe when things don’t always work out?
  • We need to yield to the Lord’s will

Elder Larry R Lawrence

  • He investigated the Church and was baptized as a convert
  • The journey of discipleship is not easy
  • We must be willing to act when we receive answers
  • The Holy Ghost really does give customized counsel
  • The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once
  • We need to ask what is stopping us from progressing

Elder Francisco J. Viñas

  • Some suffering and affliction will enter our lives
  • This can be caused by a lack of repentance
  • With the influence of the Holy Ghost we will not be offended or offend others

The choir sang Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer (a gorgeous arrangement!)

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Ship-shape and Bristol fashion
  • The storms and temptations in life are unpredictable, but we know they will come
  • The following will help us survive the storms
    1. Righteous self-control and control and conduct
    2. Honor the sabbath
    3. Divine protection is provided when we are righteous

The choir sang Come, Come, Ye Saints (another gorgeous performance!)

Elder Adrian Ochoa offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 185th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

183rd Semiannual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

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Life has gotten in the way of my blogging over the last month and a half, but I’m definitely going to get some postings up this weekend about General Conference. It seems that most times I’m at work for one of the sessions, but this weekend I’m off, so I’m going to watch all conference sessions at home. This will also include the Priesthood Session. My father and I talked about it, and we think we’ll watch this one and April’s conference at home, and then when my son is 12 for next October’s conference, we’ll go to the Church so he has that tradition of going out with us.

I have no insight whatsoever into what will be shared this weekend, but I assume that much of the same themes we’ve heard in other meetings this year will be continued. The Work of Salvation, along with strengthening families will be hot topics for sure.

Enjoy the conference!


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

“Are you a good person?”

I work in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and each day I go for a walk along the Niagara Parkway. It is a fascinating place to be as there are A LOT of tourists around in the summer. It’s nice to see families together enjoying themselves. Since there are a lot of people around, it also attracts others who are looking to speak with a lot of people. Occasionally I come across some tracts that people have left on benches or car windshields.

I recently came across one of the best tracts I’ve ever seen. The ones I normally see are usually just messages about how evil we all are and how we need to repent. This one has that same message, but it does it in the form of a cartoon. Since it is a cartoon, it doesn’t feel quite as harsh. I’ve scanned it to a PDF if you want to download it. I’ve also included it below.

I think my two favourite panels are on page 3 and page 5. The guy with his tongue sticking out as he lusts after a woman is pretty comical. And I love the panel where the guy compares himself to Hitler, a KKK clansmen, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein and says at least he isn’t as bad as some people 🙂

I wonder how effective these sorts of tracts are. Considering how ineffective door-to-door tracting can be, I would assume that handing out paper tracts or leaving them for others to pick up isn’t going to be any more effective. But I guess if they reach even one person it is worth it.

The tract ends by telling the reader to find a good church. Well, I feel that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good church. I’m glad it’s a part of my life and that I have the truth of the gospel. I may sin more than 127,000 times in my life, but I know that the Savior died for me and that I can be forgiven. I hope others can find this out as well.

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183rd Annual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

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Here we are at another April, and General Conference is here. I’m not sure how this happened again, but I’m working today, so I’ll have to watch the first session while at work. I think I’ve worked 5 out of the last 6 conferences (or something like that). Otherwise, the plan is the same as last time. We’ll watch the other general sessions at home, and I’ll go with my father to the Priesthood session broadcast at Church. Since I’m now the YM President, I’m also in charge of our “sub-sational” that we have beforehand. Even though we are eating, I’m sure my father and I will find some excuse to still go out together afterward.

I have no predictions about anything. The stats will be interesting. This is the first General Conference since the big “Mormon Moment” (Mitt Romney’s bid for the White House, the Book of Mormon musical, etc). That moment seems to be passing, so it will be interesting to see if it led to increased baptisms. It will also be interesting to hear how many missionaries are currently serving.

Enjoy the conference!


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

What Church RSS feeds to I follow? (3 and a half years later)

I was looking through some old posts and saw one from January 2009 about what feeds I follow that are Church-related. I have a much shorter list than I used to. Many of the blogs that I used to follow haven’t been updated in a long time. Many others are coming to me through the Nothing Wavering listing, so I don’t need to follow them on my own

As a side note, Mormonopia used to be on Nothing Wavering, but isn’t any more. I was never given a reason why it isn’t listed, and I’ve filled out the form 3 times on the site and haven’t heard back from anyone. It’s unfortunate, as I was getting a fair amount of traffic from them. I really noticed when I was doing my General Conference reports for this April. I still had thousands of visitors, but only about half as much as I’d had before.

Anyway, here is what I follow:

If you are interested, you can download a Zip file that can be extracted and imported into Google Reader.

You can also find individual links here:

182nd Annual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

It is amazing that another 6 months has gone by, and another General Conference is upon us. In a way, not much has changed since last conference… the economy still isn’t great; the Church has been in the news lots; there have been no “scandals” that have rocked the church. I guess it is “steady as she goes”. That is mostly a good thing. Instead of having to put out fires, the Church can focus on the doctrine.

The only thing I’m kind of wondering about is the health of some of the apostles. Last conference President Packer and Elder Hales both had oxygen tubes in place. I wonder if their conditions have improved, or worsened.

We’ll be watching General Conference from home again. I’m not working this weekend, so we’ll watch all 4 regular sessions, and then I’ll go with my father to the Priesthood session at Church. We’ll go out to eat afterwards.

Enjoy the conference!


Read the recaps and other notes from the 182nd Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

181st Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

Between the afternoon session and the priesthood session, my father, my brother-in-law, and I went out for dinner together. I ate so much Chinese food I thought I was going to burst! Not a good idea when you have to sit down for two hours.

Even after eating for an hour and a half, we made it to the church on time for the broadcast.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A Melchizedek Priesthood choir provided the music

The choir sang Rise Up, O Men of God

Elder Richard G Hinckley offered the invocation

The choir sang I Need Thee Every Hour

Elder Jeffrey R Holland

  • We sometimes gloss over the menacing confrontation before the First Vision
    1. Satan is real
    2. He is eternally opposed to the love of God, the atonement, and peace
  • In this battle you need to be more morally clean than you are now
  • We need YM already on the team to stay on the team
  • Be active and be clean. If required, get active and get clean
  • From every priesthood holder I ask for a stronger voice

Bishop Keith B McMullin

  • Duty, properly carried out, affects our destiny
  • Spoke to the YM about being born again and developing priesthood power

Elder W Christoper Waddell

  • The Lord knows where he wants each missionary to serve
  • You learn things for the rest of your life
  • In order for the blessings to continue, you need to remain faithful
  • Arrive on your mission with a testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • Arrive on your mission knowing how to have the Spirit with you
  • Arrive on your mission ready to work

The choir and congregation sang the intermediate hymn. I sang it but didn’t write it down, and now I can’t think of it.

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • Experienced the church welfare program when he was a child
  • This year marks the 75th anniversary of the church welfare program
  • We care for the poor and needy because we love God and love our fellow man
  • Our spiritual life is that, a life. It is to be lived
  • This very hour there are many members of the church who need help
  • Do not think this is someone else’s responsibility. It is yours and mine.
  • It will take all of us

President Henry B Eyring

  • Priesthood preparation
  • Am I prepared?
  • Be an example of the word in deed
  • You can work harder than you think you can

President Thomas S Monson

  • The young people today think morals are a matter of personal taste
  • We should not have any question about what is moral
  • These laws are unchanging
  • Do we have the courage to stand strong in the face of opposition?
  • Dare to be a Mormon!

The choir sang Come, Ye Children of the Lord

Elder Koichi Aoyagi offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

181st Semiannual General Conference – Pre-conference notes

I can’t believe 6 months have gone by already. I haven’t even posted anything since the last General Conference. Yikes! Well, even though I’ve been a slacker on the blog, I’m still going to do my notes as usual.

Heading into this Conference, I haven’t heard any “rumours”, and there hasn’t been much talk that I’ve read on the Internet. I have no predictions myself. I’m going into it with an open mind, and I’m looking forward to receiving some direction. Getting through 10 hours of conference can be difficult, but it is always worth it.

One of my sons had a sleep over last night. This morning I was telling them that we had to get him home before General Conference started. Earlier we watched part of last night’s Star Wars The Clone Wars which had General Grievous in it. My 3-year-old daughter asked who General Conference was. I told her it was General Grievous’ friend, and she looked amazed, and asked if General Conference was from Star Wars 🙂

I’m pretty sure we are going to watch all 4 general sessions from home. In the past we’ve still gone to watch the first Sunday session at Church. We’ll see how it goes this time watching it at home with the kids. We generally have them watch half an hour of each session, and they watch the entire first Sunday session. Hopefully they won’t be too distracted at home.

The only other thing that is a little different this time will be the food after the priesthood session. Normally my Dad and I go out afterward. Since conference ends at 10 pm, it makes for a late night. This time my brother-in-law is also here, and we’ve decided to go out for dinner instead, so we’re going out to an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in between the Saturday afternoon and Priesthood sessions. It should be good.

Enjoy the conference!


Read the recaps and other notes from the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

Paying Tribute to Mormon Church’s Ohio Roots

The New York Times has a nice article about the Church’s “Historic Kirtland”. It quotes some locals, as well as people from both the LDS and CoC churches.

Tim Powell remembers when the “Utah Mormons” first came to town with their plans in the early 1990s.

The Mormon faith’s first temple has stood for 174 years in Kirtland, Ohio, the site of the church’s headquarters in the 1830s.

They wanted to recreate a historic village that would explain the role this city played as the Mormon Church’s headquarters in the 1830s and celebrate the fact that the faith’s first temple is here…

Mr. Powell, who has lived in Kirtland all his life and been on the City Council for 14 years, and some others did not like the idea. He had read how Mormons had swept into two other towns that played significant roles in the church’s founding — Palmyra, N.Y., and Nauvoo, Ill. — resulting in conflicts with non-Mormons.

“In other places you could see the Mormons were taking over those towns,” said Mr. Powell, 55.

Mr. Powell fought the church’s project every step of the way, worried, he said, about allowing such a relatively large tourist development in the middle of town.

But now, eight years after it was completed, Mr. Powell concedes that he was wrong. “I was a skeptic,” he said. “But now that the dust has settled, I think people are pretty happy with it.”

I’ve never been to Nauvoo, but if I had to choose between Palmyra and Kirtland, I’d choose Kirtland in a second. I love going through the temple, and walking around the “Historic Kirtland” area. I also love the quarry. I know what you see isn’t from the same time frame, but you can still get a pretty good idea of what they had to do to get stone for the temple.