Tag Archives: prophets

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:

182nd Semiannual General Conference – Post-conference notes

Another conference has come and gone. It was excellent. I enjoyed almost all of the talks, and definitely felt the Spirit. In fact, when President Monson announced the change in the missionary service age, I felt a rush of the Holy Spirit. I wasn’t hoping for a change and therefore wasn’t expecting a change, but it was a welcome change. The feeling of the Spirit I felt was quite unexpected, but wonderful!

It always good to hear from all 15 of our prophet, seers, and revelators. Some of the men are obviously suffering with health challenges, but it is wonderful to see them and hear them. President Packer looked pretty good. Elder Hales looked way better than he did a year ago. At that time he seemed incredibly frail, and kind of puffy. I’m not sure if he was taking some steroids for something, but he looks more like his normal self than before. It was nice to see.

Elder Oaks sure spoke with authority when he spoke about caring for children, and Elder Holland sure spoke with passion about Christ and the need for disciples.

Probably my favourite line in conference was Elder Andersen who said that doctrine is taught by all 15 prophets, seers, and revelators, not in one line in one talk to one group. It was a good definition.

There has definitely been lots for me to think about over the coming months. I resolve to do better.


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

Tattoos and piercings: How young is too young?

CNN has an article talking about “whether young people are too vulnerable to make permanent (or potentially scarring) decisions about their bodies”. Obviously the debate can get rather heated. On the one hand, I’d say that any age is too young to get a tattoo or piercing (other than ear). However, we do let people get baptized at age 8, and this is supposed to be a major decision in their entire life. Thankfully we have direction from our Prophets and Apostles:

Do not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Young women, if you desire to have your ears pierced, wear only one pair of earrings.

Short but to the point. I like it!

 

Alma 5 questions

I substituted in Sunday School today and taught lesson 22 from the Book of Mormon. This covers Alma 5 – 7. Obviously we spent the whole time on Alma 5, and we only got halfway through.

I had prepared 30 copies of a handout that included all of the questions. There are 42 question marks, so I’ve left it at 42 questions. There are some long questions that are multi-part, so at one point I counted that there were 47 questions.

Anyway, here are the questions.

  1. Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? (v6)
  2. Have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? (v6)
  3. Have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? (v6)
  4. Were they destroyed? (v8)
  5. Were the bands of death broken, and the chains of hell which encircled them about, were they loosed? (v9)
  6. On what conditions are they saved? (v10)
  7. Grounds had they to hope for salvation? (v10)
  8. Is the cause of their being loosed from the bands of death, yea, and also the chains of hell? (v10)
  9. Did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi? (v11)
  10. Is he not a holy prophet? (v11)
  11. Did he not speak the words of God, and my father Alma believe them? (v11)
  12. Have ye spiritually been born of God? (v14)
  13. Received his image in your countenances? (v14)
  14. Have you experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (v14)
  15. Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? (v15)
  16. Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body? (v15)
  17. Can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth? (v16)
  18. Do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say -Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth-and that he will save you? (v17)
  19. Can ye imagine yourselves brought before the tribunal of God with your souls filled with guilt and remorse, having a remembrance of all your guilt, yea, a perfect remembrance of all your wickedness, yea, a remembrance that ye have set at defiance the commandments of God? (v18)
  20. Can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? (v19)
  21. Can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? (v19)
  22. Can ye think of being saved when you have yielded yourselves to become subjects to the devil? (v20)
  23. What will these things testify against you? (v22)
  24. Do ye suppose that such an one can have a place to sit down in the kingdom of God, with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob, and also all the holy prophets, whose garments are cleansed and are spotless, pure and white? (v24)
  25. How will any of you feel, if ye shall stand before the bar of God, having your garments stained with blood and all manner of filthiness? (v22)
  26. Will they not testify that ye are murderers, yea, and also that ye are guilty of all manner of wickedness? (v23)
  27. If ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? (v26)
  28. Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? (v27)
  29. Can ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble? (v27)
  30. Can ye say that your garments have been cleansed and made white through the blood of Christ, who will come to redeem his people from their sins? (v27)
  31. Are ye stripped of pride? (v28)
  32. Is there one among you who is not stripped of envy? (v29)
  33. Is there one among you that doth make a mock of his brother, or that heapeth upon him persecutions? (v30)
  34. If ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd, of what fold are ye? (v39)
  35. If you are not sheep of the good shepherd, the devil is your shepherd. Who can deny this? (v39)
  36. Do ye not suppose that I know of these things myself? (v45)
  37. Do ye suppose that I know of their surety? (v45)
  38. Can ye withstand these sayings; yea, can ye lay aside these things, and trample the Holy One under your feet; yea, can ye be puffed up in the pride of your hearts; yea, will ye still persist in the wearing of costly apparel and setting your hearts upon the vain things of the world, upon your riches? (v53)
  39. Yea, will ye persist in supposing that ye are better one than another; yea, will ye persist in the persecution of your brethren, who humble themselves and do walk after the holy order of God, wherewith they have been brought into this church, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and they do bring forth works which are meet for repentance-Yea, and will you persist in turning your backs upon the poor, and the needy, and in withholding your substance from them? (v54-55)
  40. What have ye to say against this? (v58)
  41. What shepherd is there among you having many sheep doth not watch over them, that the wolves enter not and devour his flock? (v59)
  42. If a wolf enter his flock doth he not drive him out? (v59)

Principles From Prophets

I go for a 3-4 km walk every day at lunch. While I’m walking, I like to listen to podcasts, talks, etc. One that I’ve read and listened to is by President Monson. On September 15, 2009 he gave a BYU Devotional address called Principles From Prophets. I remember reading about it when it first was given, but it took me a while to finally listen to it.

During the devotional, President Monson shares stories about the prophets that have been alive while he has been alive. He shares a characteristic, favourite food, song, and some personal anecdotes about Heber J Grant, George Albert Smith, David O McKay, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B Lee, Spencer W Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W Hunter, and Gordon B Hinckley. I love to hear some of the “behind-the-scenes” stuff that was shared. I wish we heard this sort of thing more often.

Why do we need prophets?

Portrait of the Prophets (Temple Prophets) by D O Christensen

That was the title of the first article in the March 2012 Ensign. The first article is the one we are to use when home teaching. I reviewed the article before going out a couple of weeks ago, and it definitely got me thinking. I understand the theory of why we need prophets… they are God’s representatives on the Earth… it is the way God communicates with His people, etc. However as I thought about how prophets affected me on a daily basis, I thought of them more as inspirational speakers. I thought to myself that my life is generally in line with the teachings of the Church. I read and pray and the Holy Ghost guides me. So why do we need prophets? Is it just for the “big” revelations?

As we discussed this topic while home teaching, one of the people we visit said she sees one of the most important reasons is so that there is a consistent message to the world declaring what the standards of God are. I thought this was a good point. But in my mind I wondered if prophets had a greater role for non-believers than for me, since I know what the standards are.

Let me interrupt here and say that I don’t want anyone to think that I don’t know the role and importance of prophets. I do. But it was an interesting question for me to think about. Before thinking about this question, I don’t know if I would have been able to explain clearly why they are important to me.

We visited three people that one night, and I had the question in my mind for 4 days and then General Conference came along. There was nothing new taught at General Conference, but I felt the Spirit consistently throughout every session. It was perhaps the most inspiring conference for me. It became very clear to me that our prophets, seers, and revelators are NOT just inspirational speakers. They are not a version of Tony Robbins or Jim Fannin. They are speaking for God. They are the watchmen on the towers. They speak of love, kindness and compassion. The talk of Christ and preach of Christ. They do inspire people, but it is not just a feel-good seminary. Our spiritual intelligence increases as we are enlightened by the Spirit.

Why do we need prophets? We need prophets so that we will always have an authorized representative from God who warn the people of the consequences of not following His commandments. We need prophets to help us have hope in the atonement of Jesus Christ. We need prophets so that all of the keys of the priesthood, with the associated ordinances, can be on the Earth. We need prophets so there are always those on the Earth who will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. We do indeed need prophets. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!

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:

The Apostle Song – revised with Elder Andersen

It was almost a year ago that I posted about The Apostle Song. This is apparently a little tune by The Sons of Ammon and is supposed to help you remember our 15 Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. Here is the latest version with a line about Elder Andersen.

Happy Anniversary to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Today marks the 179th anniversary of the founding of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. What kind of a gift do you get for that number? 🙂

Doctrine and Covenants 21 was received on April 6, 1830. A portion of the section mentions how we should listen to Brother Joseph (and the other seers, translators, prophets, and apostles of Jesus Christ) and promises protection:

Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;
For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.
For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.
For thus saith the Lord God: Him have I inspired to move the cause of Zion in mighty power for good

I’m thankful I’m a part of this great work and know that it is true.

179th Annual General Conference – Sunday Morning Session

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I ended up going to the Church this morning sans family for the first session. Two of our three kids are sick, and so my wife stayed home with them. I left a little early as I had an interview before. I also had an interview afterward. It was nice being able to refer to the talks in providing some counsel. Overall, we had 100 people at Church for the broadcast.

President Thomas S. Monson conducted

The choir music was awesome!

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

  • today is Palm Sunday
  • the flame of new theories fade
  • the gospel is the ultimate formula for happiness and success
  • stay with it
  • we don’t go after eternal life in a sprint… we endure
  • for some, spectator discipleship is preferred
  • we need to get off the sidelines and practice what we preach
  • gospel has the power to fill any emptiness

Elder Neil L. Andersen

  • knows with perfect clarity that Jesus is the Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost
  • note: he was very humble while speaking
  • he knows he is not what he must become
  • expressed gratitude and bore testimony

Elder Steven E. Snow

  • get on with life
  • change is an essential part of life
  • follow the prophets
  • have faith
  • be of good cheer

Sister Barbara Thompson

  • the time is far spent
  • increase our faith
  • no matter what our families look like, we can strengthen our own families, or help strengthen other families

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • spoke of those who are lonely
  • recounted Christ’s last week
  • Christ said “why has thou forsaken me”, but the Father was probably closer than at any other time

President Thomas S. Monson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • since last conference, the world has changed
  • moral footing is slipping
  • would be easy to become discourage
  • blessings as members of the Church
  • how do we have joy despite the challenges we face?
  • though the storm clouds gather, our love of the gospel will sustain us
  • fear not, be of good cheer, the future is as bright as your faith

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: