Tag Archives: president hinckley

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.

My funny kids

On Sunday we had our Ward Conference, so the Stake Presidency, along with many other stake leaders, were there. My oldest son (10-years-old) asked me after Church if I knew the Stake President. I said yes, and he said the next time I am bishop I need to ask him for his¬†autograph. I asked why, and he said, “because he’s the stake president!”

Funny stuff! The first thing is the “next time you’re the bishop” like he just assumed it would happen. The other thing is that he thinks the Stake President is “famous” enough to get his autograph.

I sent an email to the Stake President to let him know that, and he thought it was pretty funny. He said that years ago someone had asked him to get a General Authority to sign something (he didn’t say what it was), and the GA told him that President Hinckley had asked them not to sign things since they aren’t rock stars.

The other funny thing was on Monday at Family Home Evening. My 4-year-old daughter was in charge of the lesson so we told her to get The Friend magazine and pick something. She saw a story with a picture of Jesus and she wanted to read that. I helped her with the lesson and asked a few questions about Jesus. I started off by asking where Jesus was born. My oldest son said Jerusalem. I told him it was a very close answer, but there was specific place the scriptures mention. After a few seconds my daughter blurted out, “Agrabah!” (For those that don’t know, that where Disney’s Aladdin took place). Perhaps that is why there was a party in Agrabah ūüôā

Nominal membership in the Church

I taught Chapter 15 from the George Albert Smith manual during our HP Group lesson time yesterday. The lesson was titled “Advancing the Work of the Lord.” As I prepared for the lesson, it reminded me a lot of the way President Hinckley used to speak (we are in good hands; this is the work of the Lord; the rock cut out of the mountain will fill the earth, etc). President Smith spoke in the same way.

The manual had several great quotes, but the one that really stuck out to me was on page 161:

…then there are those who accept nominal membership in the Church but who seem to feel themselves exempt from rendering any kind of service. But sooner or later they find themselves uneasy in their hearts, and doubtful in their thoughts, as we all do when we fail to do what we know to be our full duty. A man who is living in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ is never in doubt about its success; but the man who neglects his duty, who fails to keep his covenants, loses the Spirit of the Lord, and then he begins to wonder what will become of Zion. ‚Ķ

I guess we all need to be asking ourselves if we are nominal members, or are we doing our full duty. It definitely gives me something to think about.

Encouraging children to read

I’m sure many of you have heard that last week Sister Julie B Beck answered questions that had been submitted by members on the Mormon Channel. A lot of the “buzz” has been about her comments about blogging. She says that women have always needed a way to communicate, and as long as there is balance and a purpose (my interpretation).

The part that I was particularly interested in was what she said about reading. The blog A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman has a partial transcript, and this is what was reported (italicized text is a quote, non italicized is a summary):

I remember a conference where President Hinckley stood up and prefaced his remarks by saying, “In preparation for this talk I read‚Ķ” and then he gave this list that was probably two thousand pages long, if not more. Other times he quoted from Shakespeare or other writers or poets. He loved Tennyson. That taught me something about President Hinckley. I remember sitting in conference once listening and thinking “My goodness, Pres. Hinckley loves to read”. ¬†Another time he said, “I love the heft and feel of a good book”. ¬†So reading isn’t evil. ¬†Reading is a blessing and the Lord has created records for us to read and to study. A lot of good things have been written to elevate us, so I don’t think reading is a waste of time, and I don’t think we can only read church sponsored books. There is a lot of good out there. It’s on us though, to learn to make the choices that will create the climate in us that enables the Spirit to grow and flourish.”

Sister Beck then shared this sweet tidbit about how she raised her own children to love reading:

As a young mother when needing to get up in the middle of the night, she thought ‘oh good‘ I can read for 20 minutes! She always had something that she wanted to read that she saved for those quiet, in the middle of the night hours, when no one would bother her.

I love that! And this…

She never told a child to turn out the light if they were reading a book before bed. She let them read as late as they wanted — even if they were young children.¬† She wanted to foster a love of reading.

I quote her here: “A reading child is a child that will stay out of trouble. That’s a belief that I have. There’s something wholesome in a child wanting to feed their mind. You have to imagine things when you are reading, that only you can see. And visualize things that only you can see. That’s why it’s important to select good things. I don’t know that there’s enough great literature for younger children. I wish there was more of that.¬† But I encouraged my children to read and put a lamp by the side of their bed. They always had a little bookcase by the side of their bed. Yes we read the scriptures. Yes we read The Liahona, and The Friend, and The New Era…”¬†

I spoke to my wife about this earlier today. Right now our two sons share a room, but we’re moving in a couple of months and they will have their own room. We think we’re going to try the reading thing once we move. If they go to bed and are reading, we’ll let them keep reading.

179th Annual General Conference – Priesthood Session

179th_annual_general_conference

It has been tradition for 8 years or so that before the Priesthood Session of General Conference, the Young Men have a “sub-sational”. It’s for the young men and their father’s, their home teacher, or some other priesthood holder who brings them. There are several kinds of meat (including meat balls), chips, cookies, and pop. It’s a good time. Last night, the missionaries (who are of course always invited) even had an investigator. He is older than 18, but he was still welcome.

Actually, the missionaries had 2 investigators attend the session. This is the first time I can ever remember the missionaries having investigators at the Priesthood Session. It’s kind of hard to commit people to attend Church on a Saturday night for 2 hours. Overall, we had 48 people attend the session.

President Thomas S. Monson conducted

President Boyd K. Packer

  • priesthood authority
  • many accounts in scriptures of young men serving
  • “let no man despise thy youth”
  • don’t be discouraged about your physical features as you are a child of God
  • treasure the masculine part of who you are
  • don’t neglect learning the practical
  • a life of fun and games has come to an end
  • learn to be content

Bishop Richard C. Edgley

  • many natural disasters over the last few years
  • we are prepared, organized, have empathy, and have charity
  • no organization more prepared for the challenges of humanity than the Church
  • priesthood quorums can and must make a difference
  • rise up and let the brotherhood of the priesthood fulfill their duties
  • this is our “phone call”

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa

  • President Hinckley taught us we have 4 responsibilities
    • families
    • employers
    • Lord’s work
    • ourselves
  • preserve opportunities to strengthen our families
  • need to keep Monday night free
  • be a good employee
  • home teaching is one of great responsibilities

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • know for a few months what he wanted to say
  • story of plane crash in Everglades
  • plane was fine, but a light bulb burned out which distracted them
  • we often will focus on the insignificant things in life instead of what is most important
  • what matters most?
  • don’t be distracted from our sacred duties
  • put away childish things
  • become true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • “I’m doing a great work and cannot come down”

President Henry B. Eyring

  • be brave and bold in your service
  • there has been conflict since the beginning
  • “no man left behind”
  • spiritual wounds can only be seen by inspired eyes
  • “none but fools will trifle with the souls of men”
  • have joy in your priesthood service

President Thomas S. Monson

  • priesthood is a great responsibility
  • 3 suggestions to live safely
  • study diligently
    • have daily scripture study
  • pray fervently
    • with God, all things are possible
  • live righteously
    • touch no unclean thing
  • chart your course and be cautious

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

Happy Anniversary President Monson!

Today marks the first anniversary of Thomas S. Monson being ordained President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Salt Lake Tribune had a good article on Friday about the first year, and compares President Monson with his predecessor, Gordon B. Hinckley. The article comments that President Monson has essentially kept doing what President Hinckley did. I agree, but I’m not sure what else would have been expected. It’s only been a year, after all. Most of what has happened this year was most likely already in the works (including plans to support Proposition 8). In fact, it may take a few years before we really see President Monson’s hand in the direction of the Church.

As a member of the Church, I do indeed sustain Thomas Spencer Monson as Prophet, Seer and Revelator. I commented in a talk recently that even though this man is essentially a stranger to us, that doesn’t matter. Through the Spirit, and from following his counsel, we very quickly know that he is the man who the Lord has chosen to lead the Church. I wish him continued health, strength, and success.

Note: Dave Banack at Mormon Inquiry has also posted about this.

Combating Pornography church web site

The other day I was skimming through the “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” booklet. This is a booklet that is to help people who are struggling with pornography. There is a booklet for the member, and another booklet for the Bishop. I’ve flipped through it before, but didn’t notice an LDS.org sub-domain that is reference in the back.

If you visit http://combatingpornography.lds.org/, you will find a link to President Hinckley’s talk on pornography from the 2004 General Conference, a PDF version of the “Let Virtue Garnish Thy Thoughts” booklet, along with a few other resources. Very nice!

I’ve updated the Official web sites of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints page with this sub-domain.

“How to Bury a Prophet”

Times and Seasons had a posting recently that linked to an article by Kathleen Flake called “How to Bury a Prophet”. In the article, she mentions how the family wishes were followed, and how one of President Hinckley’s sons dedicated the grave even though there were so many Church leaders there.

The article is short, but good reading, and the comments at Times and Seasons were also good.