Tag Archives: mtc

186th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

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I almost didn’t make it home from work on time. I have to cross a canal on the way home, and there is a website where you can check when the bridge will be up. I left work and it was supposed to be up in about an hour. Then 30 minutes later when I got there the bridge was up. Frustrating!

Regardless, as a family we are gathered in our family room watching the broadcast.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

A choir made up of missionaries from the Provo Missionary Training Center sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer (it was beautiful!)

The invocation was offered by Elder Daniel L Johnson

President Henry B Eyring did the sustaining of Church officers. As is usual now, there were those who opposed during the sustaining of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. There were a few General Authority Seventies released (Daniel L. Johnson, Jairo Mazzagardi, Kent F. Richards and Francisco J. Viñas) but no new ones called. There was also one Area Seventy released and two sustained. There were no other changes.

The choir sang Baptism

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Eternal life is the greatest gift from God
  • There are obstacles that can stop of us from receiving that gift
  • The philosophies of men can lead people astray
  • We have to beware of gospel extremism, where we raise one gospel principle above another

Elder Gary E Stevenson

  • Told story of Mary Rollins
  • No one is ever too young to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon
  • He read recently that teenagers spend 7 hours a day looking at screens
  • He asked that they reduce some of that time and spend it reading the Book of Mormon

The choir and congregation sang Called to Serve

Elder D Todd Christofferson

  • The bible tells us that God is love
  • The scriptures use terms other than “unconditional” to describe love
  • What matters is how we respond to His love
  • God will always love us, but He cannot save us in our sins
  • As we trust, not resist, our divine Teacher, we will learn from Him

Elder W Mark Bassett

  • He and his brother had replica gold plates when they were kids
  • They tried really hard to get at the “sealed” portion
  • They spent all their time trying to read something hidden when they
  • We need to focus on the things that matter
  • Keeping our life in harmony with God will allow Him to guide us in our spiritual development

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

  • We need to be ambitious for Christ
  • Missionaries are a great example of focus and faith
  • He told a story about a missionary who served in his mission (when he was president) and his challenges with a prosthetic leg

The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • We need to share the gospel with everyone
  • We have a lot of modern technology that helps us
  • Are we using them to maximum effect?
  • Ideas that will work everywhere
  • We can all pray for desire to help in this work
  • We can keep the commandments ourselves
  • Faithful members are the most persuasive and they always have His spirit with them
  • We can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others
  • Invite people to learn about the gospel and about Jesus Christ, not just to learn about our Church

The choir sang Hope of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder Allen D Haynie




Read the recaps and other notes from the 186th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

184th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

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My son and I were picked up by my father to go to the Church for the semiannual sub-sational. We enjoyed the food, and it was great seeing my son enjoying himself with the other YM. We then watched the session at the Church.

Following the session, we headed to Boston Pizza for some more food. I’m stuffed!


President Henry B Eyring conducted

A choir made up of missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah sang Rise Up, O Men of God

The invocation was offered by Elder Bruce A Carlson

The choir sang a medley of missionary songs from The Children’s Songbook.

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • Decisions and choices
  • Told a brief Charlie Brown story. Lucy always had an excuse for when she dropped the baseball
  • Rise above any rationalizations that prevent us from making righteous decisions
  • Social media can be very distracting
  • Many activities are good, but require moderation

Elder Craig C Christensen

  • Do you know for yourself that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true?
  • There is nothing more important than receiving and maintaining a testimony
  • A testimony isn’t like a light switch. It is more like a tree. It starts with a tiny seed, they grow and develop

Bishop Dean M Davies

  • We need to care for the needy
  • The law of the fast should be followed. It applies to all members
  • Get the Aaronic Priesthood involved

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

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • The business of beams and motes seems to be tied to the fact that we don’t see ourselves clearly
  • When we think we are better than we are, we are blinded, and miss opportunities
  • We may appear to be disciples, but on the inside we can be separated from the Savior
  • Look inside your heart and ask yourself if you are one who would betray the Savior
  • We need teachable hearts

President Henry B Eyring

  • The Lord’s plan is full of preparation
  • The Aaronic Priesthood is a preparatory priesthood
  • Leaders and companions can help prepare the young men
  • We need to live by example to show the young men how to live
  • We need to trust the young men

President Thomas S Monson

  • Told story if the Bismark ship
  • Each of us is a miracle of engineering
  • God bestows us with special gifts
  • We need to street an undeviating course forward
  • Wherever we go, our priesthood goes with us
  • Are we standing in holy places?

The choir sang Ye Elders of Israel

The benediction was offered by Elder James B Martino


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

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Press Conference Regarding Lower Missionary Service Age

This morning I watched the press conference that was held between the two general sessions yesterday regarding the lower missionary service age. It was pretty good. Michael Purdy, Director of Media Relations for the Church led the press conference. He briefly introduced Elders Russell M Nelson and Jeffrey R Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder David F Evans of the Seventy. Elder Nelson spoke for a few minutes, and then Elder Holland spoke for the rest of the time. Elder Holland fielded most of the questions, but did have Elder Nelson and Elder Evans contribute.

Here are my notes from the press conference. I didn’t make note of who said what, but most things were said by Elder Holland.

  • no one knew that this was coming. President Monson wanted to keep it confidential, so only the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles knew
  • the main qualification for missionary service is total personal worthiness
  • new missionaries will spend approximately 1/3 less time at their MTC, regardless whether they are speaking their native language or learning a new language
  • prospective missionaries need to have improved preparation
  • there is a fairly new 12-week training program that has been implemented that is done in-field by Mission Presidents that has helped
  • there are no new missions yet, but it is expected that there will be new ones (currently there are 347)
  • the Lord is hastening His work and needs more missionaries
  • parents need to take a strong hand in helping prospective missionaries prepare
  • prospective missionaries can be recommended for a mission up to 120 days before their 18th birthday or when they are finished high school
  • young men can enter the Missionary Training Centre after they have turned 18 and finished high school
  • young women can enter the MTC after they have turned 19
  • missionary work remains a priesthood responsibility
  • why the difference in age at which they serve? Years of experience has shown them this is the best way
  • young men can serve any time between the ages of 18 and 25
  • young women can serve from 19 onward. There is no upper limit
  • two years ago President Monson asked for more missionaries. In those 2 years, the number of YM becoming missionaries has increased by 6%, young women by 12% and couples by 18%
  • they considered many options when making this change including ages and length of service, but they decided to go with this for now. One miracle at a time.

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

178th Semiannual General Conference – Priesthood Session

It has been a tradition in our ward for quite some time now to have a “sub-sational” before the priesthood session of General Conference. This is a submarine sandwich dinner for the YM and their fathers.

  • President Monson was conducting
  • there was a choir from the MTC. There is a member from a neighbouring ward who is in the MTC right now and he was in the choir. Every time the choir sang we were looking for him, but he wasn’t on camera until the closing hymn
  • We had about 42 people there for the session
  • Elder Richard G. Scott
    • do we ponder the inestimable value of holding the priesthood?
    • the Saviour is the perfect example of how to hold the priesthood
    • Elder Scott did a “personal” interview with us
    • with regards to the idea that man is better than woman he said “nothing could be farther from the truth”
    • God will hold us accountable for how we treat his daughters
  • Elder Jay E. Jensen
    • the blessings of the atonement are “arms of safety”
    • this is demonstrated during the sacrament
    • true servants are properly dressed
  • Elder James J. Hamula
    • God’s kingdom will not be lost but will overcome the world
    • in doing the will of the Lord, our knowledge increases
    • youth, these are your days… do not squander them
  • President Dieter F. Uchtdorf * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • “stand close together and lift where you stand”
    • some seek to lead, some seek to hid; both are selfish
    • our service should be motivated by charity, not selfishness
    • the Lord judges differently than we do
    • the Lord is pleased with noble service, not a self-serving Noble
    • he told the story of John R. Moyle, a stone worker on the Salt Lake Temple
    • cease to aspire, cease to retire
  • President Henry B. Eyring * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • your priesthood duties will stretch you
    • God will increase our power to carry the load
    • to get that power, we need to take our service to the outer limits
    • when we give our all, he will give us all the courage we neeed
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • the First Presidency is united as one under the direction of the Lord
    • in these trouble times, make sure that those we care for do not go hungry
    • to become God’s people we need to do three things to qualify
      1) Learn what we should learn
      2) Do what we should do
      3) Be what we should be

As a final note, I was reading a couple of other recaps, and read Jeff Lindsay’s comments about the MTC choir:

Toward the end of the Priesthood session, watching the missionary choir from the MTC was especially poignant with my own son in the MTC right now (his companion, Elder Excel, was in the choir). As I looked at the missionaries and contemplated all the good that they stand for and pondered all the powerful, inspiring, and Christ-centered messages we heard today, one thought crystallized: I love this Church. The wholesome, joyous, soul-lifting teachings, the goodness of its leaders, the rich Spirit that it brings, all make me so glad to be a part of it.

Well said, Brother Lindsay!

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: