Tag Archives: Robert D. Hales

182nd Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

My wonderings about President Packer and Elder Hales have been half answered, and will be fully answered this afternoon. Elder Hales is present, so I assume he’ll be speaking. We’ll see.

I love watching at conference from home. It let’s us get some things done in between sessions. I did some painting, and played some New Super Mario Bros Wii with my sons.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

Missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah provided the music. I saw a tweet telling everyone to look and see if David Archuleta was in the choir 🙂

The choir sang Glory to God on High

Elder William R Walker

President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • There is a new Presiding Bishopric and a new Relief Society General Presidency
  • I didn’t catch all of the names, but you will be able to read about it on the LDS Newsroom web site

Brother Robert W Cantwell, Managing Director of the Church Audit Report read the audit report for 2011

  • Based upon audits performed, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received, expenditures made, and assets of the Church have been recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and procedures.

Brother Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency presented the Statistical Report for 2011

  • 2,946 stakes
  • 340 missions
  • 608 districts
  • 28,784 wards and branches
  • 14,441,346 members
  • 119,917 child of record baptisms
  • 281,312 convert baptisms
  • 55,410 full time missionaries
  • 22,299 church service missionaries
  • 2 temples dedicated
  • 1 temple rededicated
  • 136 temples in operation

Elder Jeffery R Holland

  • shared the parable of the workers who all received the same wages
  • there are going to be times where people get unexpected blessings
  • don’t be hurt or envious when good fortune comes to another person
  • we are in the race against sin, not each other, and envy is a great sin
  • coveting, pouting or tearing others down does not elevate our standing
  • be kind and be grateful that God is kind
  • there is nothing that you have done that can’t be undone
  • there is no dream that cannot yet be realized
  • if you’ve made covenants, keep them; if you haven’t made covenants, make them; if you have made covenants and broken them, repair them

The choir sang Lead, Kindly Light

Elder Robert D Hales (Note: Elder Hales doesn’t really look any better, but sounds ok)

  • how do we increase our desire to repent
  • we are commanded to meet together oft and partake of the Sacrament
  • we need to obtain a temple recommend
  • Standards for recommend holders? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart
  • It is difficult for youth to understand how present actions will prepare/disqualify them from future service
  • Get on higher ground and lift others in need

Elder David S Baxter (Note: I read a tweet that said he sounded like Shrek)

  • spoke to the single parents, acknowledging that most of them are single mothers
  • in the Kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens
  • when you live to lift the burdens of others, your own burdens become lighter

Elder Ulisses Soares

  • To enhance our spirit it is required that we let bitterness be put away
  • Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or in the enemy’s territory?
  • We need to keep ourselves strong against the fiery darts of the adversary
  • You can’t be right by doing wrong, you can’t be wrong, by doing right

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • the church’s profile has been raised significantly
  • some parts of the world are becoming very secular
  • we desire all members to awaken fully to faith
  • don’t judge others
  • the family is the most important unit in time and in eternity
  • praying with children may be more important than any other example
  • a testimony must be based on faith, not just on logic
  • when you are tone deaf to the music of faith, you are out of tune with the Spirit

Elder Richard G Scott

  • those who have gone before us can see us better than we can see ourselves, they love us now more than ever
  • one of the great lessons we need to learn is to ask
  • loud laughter can block revelation
  • he gave some good practical advice on how to be worthy to receive revelation, and how we might receive the revelation
  • inspiration carefully recorded shows God that it was important to us
  • God did not put us on this earth to fail
  • as you live righteously you will always be prompted to know what to do

The choir sang Praise to the Man

Elder Bruce A Carlson offered the benediction


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

What’s wrong with Elder Hales?

If you saw General Conference, you definitely noticed that Elder Robert D Hales looked significantly different. He looked “puffy”, spoke from a chair, and had oxygen tubes in his nose. He didn’t say what was wrong with him. Elder Ballard and President Monson both referred to how it was nice to see him, but no one shared what was wrong.

Yesterday and today the Church News & Events page, the LDS Newsroom, and the Deseret News all posted about a statement issued by Elder Hales:

I continue to work with doctors and physical therapists to regain my strength. I am grateful for the faith and prayers that made it possible for me to participate in general conference and resume my responsibilities. I am touched by the many kind expressions of love and support shown to me and your continued prayers.

None of the three sources I mentioned talk about what the health challenges were that Elder Hales faced.

Do you think it was a good idea to post the statement, or does it lead to more questions? Part of me says they should share what is wrong with him. There are millions of people who are concerned about him, and continually using the phrase “health challenges” seems pointless. Another part of me says that it is his health, and he deserves privacy, so we should all back off. Yet another part of me says that if Elder Hales shared what is wrong with him, there would be critics of the Church who would use that as an excuse to talk about the “old men” who lead the Church and that they aren’t capable.

I’m still not settled on what I think the best way is to handle this, but I do know that I hope for the best for Elder Hales. I hope and pray that he isn’t suffering, and that he recovers.

181st Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning General Session

The Sunday morning of Genetal Conference is awesome. I’m in the Eastern time zone, so conference doesn’t start until noon. We have all morning to relax. We went for a walk in the rain, watched part of Pocahontas, and then had the Music and the Spoken Word broadcast on. We’re all set now for the first session.


The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Lead Me Into Life Eternal

President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted

The choir sang Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah

Elder Paul K Sybrowsky offered the invocation

The choir sang Consider the Lilies

President Henry B Eyring

  • members recently did a day of service
  • spoke of the baptism commitment we read about in the Book of Mormon near the Waters of Mormon
  • charity is the pure love of Christ
  • feelings of charity can become part of your nature

Elder Robert D Hales

  • How sad to see Elder Hales to look the way he did. I wonder what is wrong with him. I don’t mean to be disrespectful in speaking about him, but his face seemed kind of “puffy”, but spoke well. He had the same small oxygen tubes that came around the side of his nose that President Packer did. It appears to be a neat contraption that hooked up to his glasses.
  • He spoke of the atonement
  • To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith
  • To wait upon the Lord is planting the seed of faith
  • Sometimes I don’t receive an answer to prayers because the Lord knows I am not ready
  • Too often we want patience, but we want it right now
  • Be kinder to one another, and kinder to ourselves
  • We are not alone in our Gethsemane
  • the Book of Mormon is either of God or of the Devil
  • feast upon the words of Christ
  • come unto Christ and be perfected in Him
  • shared a great analogy about a dot. You can draw an infinite number of lines through the point. That is the bible and different interpretations. Add a second dot, the Book of Mormon, and there is only one line between the dots.
The choir and congregation sang We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet
  • How do we raise girls?
  • The most important thing a father can do for his daughter is to love her mother
  • join with us in leading the world in returning to virtue
  • the importance of a name
  • the church was given a specific name
  • we take upon us the name of Christ
  • do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us His name? It is the only name under heaven by which man will be saved
  • went over the name of the church, and how it in some ways seems long, in another way it is a beautifully short and specific name
The choir sang I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go (the choir sang it beautifully!)

President Thomas S Monson

  • recounted how life has changed since he was born
  • along with technology changes, the morals of society have changed almost as rapidly
  • we’ve been spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandon as our financial capital
  • we can rely on God’s constancy
  • we need to reject anything that does not conform to our standards

The choir sang I Believe in Christ

Elder James B Martino 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 Annual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

During the time between the two sessions, my family went for a walk in the ravine behind our house. Spring is slowly making its appearance 🙂  I also cleaned up (showered and shaved). Lastly, I watched the April 2011 edition of the World Report. I love getting some of that “behind-the-scenes” information that show report shares.

Now we’re all gathered together again in the living room ready for the second session.


President Dieter F Uchtdorf conducted.

A combined choir from BYU-Idaho sang How Firm a Foundation

Elder Kevin W Pearson offered the invocation

Sustainings presented by President Dieter F Uchtdorf

  • During the sustainings of the apostles, Elder Robert D Hales had a huge knee brace on. He also had small clear tubes on his lap. They looked like they were oxygen tubes. Did anyone see him with them on, or were they for something else?
  • A bunch of  Area Seventies were released and sustained
  • (at one point during the sustainings, the Internet feed paused and my 3-year-old daughter said it was scratched)
  • There were a total of 10 new General Authorities sustained
  • There were no changes to any of the auxiliary presidencies

Robert W Cantwell Managing Directory of the Church Auditing presented the Church Auditing Department Report

  • Council of the Disposition of the Tithes consists of the First Presidency, Quorum of 12, Presiding Bishopric
  • Things are being administer

Brook P Hales, Secretary to the First Presidency presented the Statistical Report of the Church for the year 2010

The choir sang How Great the Wisdom and the Love

President Boyd K Packer (he was sitting down)

  • 400 years since the publishing of the bible
  • We should use the full name of the Church whenever possible
  • Ordinances are done through the authority of Jesus Christ
  • We have the same organization as Jesus Christ had
  • If someone is looking for a church that requires very little, this is not the one
  • Regardless of what happens in the world, no power can stop this work
  • Do a lot of forgiving, and a little repenting, and you will be blessed

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • thank you for your uplifting service
  • our faith now becomes part of our posterity’s faith later
  • the forces of evil will ever be in opposition to the forces of good
  • to prepare to meet God, one keeps all of God’s commandments
  • when we are faithful, He and His angels will bear us up
  • God will hear your sincere prayers

The choir and congregation sang Press Forward, Saints

Elder Richard J Maynes

  • the principle of eternal families is an essential element in God’s plan
  • the family is ordained of God
  • establish celestial traditions
  • kids don’t remember the FHE topic, but they remember having FHE
  • kids don’t remember what was read in the scriptures that morning, but they remember that they read them
  • Shared a poem by C C Miller

Elder Cecil O Samuelson Jr

  • he has worked with the young people in the Church for many years
  • who is entitled to have a testimony? anyone who is willing to pay the price
  • everyone has worth because we are all children of God

Elder Dallin H Oaks

  • what do we really desire?
  • desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, choices determine our actions
  • desire, labour, and faith brought Enos the blessings he wanted
  • told story of Aron Ralson, the guy who cut off his own arm to save his life
  • we need to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other things that prevent our eternal progress
  • the desire to receive and keep a marriage for eternity should be paramount (priority efforts)
  • we cannot follow the politically correct but eternally false concept that we don’t need to be married and have children

Elder M Russell Ballard

  • told a nice story about a person who wanted gold; he was looking for nuggets, and missing the flecks of gold that would fill his pouch
  • by small and simple things are great things come to pass
  • we should keep our lives simple
  • charity begins at home
  • practice the golden rule
  • we need to serve
  • the most important attribute that we should seek to possess is charity, the pure love of Christ

The choir sang Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise

Elder ??? offered the benediction (President Uchtdorf didn’t announce who it was going to be)


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

180th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon General Session

So I’m home now and my 3 kids are sitting down with my wife and I to try to watch some of the afternoon session together. I don’t imagine the kids will last very long.

My wife commented that it would be pretty cool to be part of the “family choir” that is singing for this session

Good news… the audio worked right from the start.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The choir sang Come Ye Children of the Lord

Elder Claudio D Zivic offered the invocation

The choir sang Beautiful Zion, Built Above (very nicely done!)

Sustainings by President Eyring

  • released a few long-time members of the Seventy, with minimal other changes

Elder Robert D Hales

  • we have a unique way of defining agency
  • we are free to choose to act, not to be acted upon
  • you can lose your agency when you use it wrong
  • when we don’t follow promptings, our opportunities are reduced
  • don’t be selectively obedient
  • hearken with exactness

Elder Quentin L Cook

  • mentioned receiving a CD of songs by Vera Lynn
  • by the light of Christ all mankind can know good from evil
  • pornography is a weapon of mass moral destruction
  • there is a common moral foundation shared by many faiths
  • an honest man is the noblest work of God
  • preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities

Bishop Richard C Edgley

  • conflicting message are bombarding us
  • the reality of the Saviour is challenged as a myth
  • we can choose how to react to it
  • choose faith
  • faith is not a free gift, it does not come as the dew falls from heaven
  • knock, and it shall be given you
  • choose faith over doubt, fear, unknown, pessimism
  • our faith takes us to a perfect knowledge
  • never seen the removal of an actual mountain, but have seen a mountain of doubt, sin, pain moved or replaced

The choir and congregation sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee

Elder Kevin R Duncan

  • told story about harsh winter/summer of 1847/8
  • we need to trust in and obey the counsel of a prophet of God
  • there are so many experts who advice and counsel on any and all subjects
  • it is easy to get caught relying on the arm of flesh
  • we have access to the source of pure truth, God himself
  • what has God revealed to His prophets?

Elder Gerrit W Gong

  • we love our missionaries
  • mirrors of eternity in the temple

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • the road of discipleship is not for the spiritually faint of heart
  • we need to submit to God
  • this is the mighty change of heart
  • two signal danger ahead: offended, ashamed

Elder Richard G Scott

  • the exercise of faith is central to the Plan of Salvation
  • faith and character are closely related
  • God will not always reward you immediately
  • the bedrock of character is integrity

The choir sang Home

Elder Jorge F Zeballos offered the benediction


Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

180th Annual General Conference – Sunday Afternoon Session

Well, another General Conference has come to a close. I know I comment on this every time, but it’s hard for me to get through 10 hours worth of meetings over two days. I don’t know how the General Authorities manage to do get through it in the Conference Center without falling asleep.

We watched this last session at home in the comfort of our living room.

Overall, it was much like other General Conferences. There certainly weren’t any talks that I thought were terrible, but that isn’t to say that I loved every one. There are obviously ones that I liked more than others. Out of all of the talks, the one I’ll probably remember the most was Elder Holland’s about pornography. He was definitely bold. I also thought Sister Beck’s talk was excellent. I’ll have to watch/read them again and see if I still feel the same way.


President Henry B Eyring conducted

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang Come, O Thou King of Kings

The invocation was offered by Christoffel Golden, Jr

The choir sang Jesus, Once of Humble Birth

Elder Russell M Nelson

  • When we sense the love we have for our family, we can imagine the love Heavenly Father has for us
  • The Church protects the truth that family is central to God’s plan
  • This church brings hope and help to this sacred institution of the family
  • No matter your situation, you can make family history a part of your life
  • New FamilySearch is creating one pedigree we all work on

Elder Robert D Hales

  • There is no substitute for seeing the gospel lived in our daily life
  • The stripling warriors didn’t have to wonder what their parents believed
  • Do our children know what we know?
  • When we sit down at the dinner table, is the whole family there?
  • Mother, Father, Grandma, Grandpa, are you there?
  • Being there means understanding their hearts and connecting with them
  • Teach them to walk in the light, but it can’t be borrowed light

Elder Bradley D Foster

  • There is no greater good in all the world than motherhood
  • By diving design, nurturing is part of mothers
  • A distraction doesn’t need to be evil to be effective
  • In a world where everyone is granted agency, some of our loved ones may stray for a season, but we must never give up
  • We never know when a heart will be turned

The choir and congregation sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives

Elder James B Martino

  • We’ll all face trials
  • How we react determines are success
  • We need to humble ourselves before God and learn from him
  • Learn from Christ
    1. Remain committed
    2. Learn to not complain
    3. Seek greater help from God
    4. Learn to serve and think of others
    5. Forgive others, and do not blame others
  • As we pass through the trials of life, keep an eternal perspective

Elder Gregory A Schwitzer

  • Do not judge others, but use excellent judgment
  • Good judgment guidelines
    1. Align yourself to the gospel
    2. Listen to the messages of the living prophet
    3. Have a listening relationship with the Holy Spirit
    4. Keep the commandments

Elder Francisco J Vinas

  • Spoke of natural disasters
  • Dying to spiritual things is worth than death
  • The Leadership Training Emphasis wants each family member to read, pray, and live the gospel
  • These things are works of righteousness
  • He who doeth the works of righteousness will receive his reward

Elder Neil L Andersen

  • The harmony in the talks is a miracle
  • We have heard and felt the mind and will of the Lord
  • The rising generation is the very best ever
  • “Tell me the stories of Jesus”
  • Are the life and teachings of Jesus Christ embedded in the hearts of our children?
  • Do they know that Jesus taught “Ask, and ye shall receive”?
  • If the child is not listening with a believing heart, your testimony will stay.
  • If a child is not listening, do not despair. Time and truth are on your side
  • Two men can do anything, as long as one of them is the Lord

President Thomas S Monson

  • Trust in the Lord and lean not unto thine own understanding
  • That is the story of his life
  • We’ve been richly blessed
  • The world seems to have slipped from the moorings of safety
  • The problems in the world cause people to be tossed about in a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reef of missed opportunities and shattered dreams
  • There is no one so lost that can’t be saved by the lighthouse of the Lord
  • Thank you for your prayers
  • May His promised peace be with you

The choir sang Abide with Me; ‘Tis Eventide

The benediction was offered by Bishop Richard C Edgley

Read the recaps and other notes from the 180th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

179th Semiannual General Conference – Saturday Afternoon Session

179th_semiannual_general_conference

I’m at home now. I can’t say enough about how great the Move Networks player is. I watched it through my laptop on my 26″ HD TV, and it was perfect. Very impressive. The only thing is that the stream seems to be a few minutes behind the live broadcast (even when you are showing it “live”).

I liked watching all of the various leaders sit down before the session started. There is a lot of smiles, a lot of hand-shaking, and a lot of talking. I know people who are so uptight about reverence, and that when you walk into the chapel it should be silent. I know the Conference Center isn’t a chapel, but for the purposes of General Conference, it is, and it is great to see people being so friendly with each other. It’s also nice to see everyone (including the leaders) stand as the First Presidency walks in. I also liked seeing President Eyring whisk something off of President Monson’s shoulder. Maybe something from lunch? 🙂

President Henry B Eyring conducted the session.

The choir sang “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise”.

Elder Carlos H Amados offered the invocation.

The choir sang “Know This, That Every Soul Is Free”

President Eyring conducted the business. Several members of the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy were released, but no one was called to replace them.

Elder Dallin H Oaks ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • God’s love and God’s commandments
  • The love of God does not supersede his commandments.
  • His commandments do not diminish the love of God
  • Every parent knows you can love a child and be angry and disappointed
  • The love of God is so universal, even those who are rebellious benefit
  • Where do parents draw the line with children that are not following the commandments. Don’t go to extremes (shunning the person, or totally ignoring the disobedience)
  • Real love does not support self-destructive behaviour

Elder Robert D Hales ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • We live in a time where secularism is deepening
  • We declare We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in his son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost
  • Why is belief in God so important?
  • Without God, life would end at the grave, and life would have no purpose
  • Cultivate a diligent desire to know God lives

Elder Jorge F Zeballos

  • From a purely human point of view at first, the commandment to be perfect seems to be an impossible task
  • The command to become perfect encourages us to achieve the best of ourselves
  • God will not require more than the best we can give
  • Let us with enthusiasm do all that is within our reach
  • It is possible to achieve the impossible. We can receive eternal life. We can be happy now

President Eyring forgot 3 other names that are being released from the 2nd Quorum of the Seventy

The choir sang “Come, Ye Children of the Lord”

Elder Tad R Callister ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • Joseph was the Lord’s anointed
  • He learned 4 fundamental truths
    1. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are two separate, distinct beings
    2. The Father and Son have glorified bodies of flesh and bones
    3. God still speaks to man today; the heavens are not closed
      Does God love us as much today as before?
      Does God have the same power today as then?
      Do we need him as much today as then?
    4. The full and complete Church of Jesus Christ was not on the earth
  • Hard to believe Joseph Smith saw angels? Were there not angels before? Mary, Joseph, Peter, James, John, Cornelius, Paul, Stephen all saw angels
  • There will always be an intellectual crisis, but there will always be faith that can strengthen us
  • Attempts to intellectualise salvation will never find the answers they seek. At some point, one must trust in God.

Elder Kent R Watson

  • Temperance
  • Exercise self-control
  • Peace of mind and security and happiness do not come from buying things we can’t afford
  • Security from our families comes from learning self-control
  • Peace of mind comes from faith in Jesus Christ
  • Happiness comes from being diligent in keeping covenants

Elder Neil L Andersen ** might use as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • I have felt His love in sacred and unforgettable ways
  • Spiritual arms of mercy, safety, love
  • We rejoice in repenting and the joy of forgiveness
  • There is no sin that cannot be forgiven (other then turning away)
  • “Will ye not now return unto me… that I may heal you?”
  • Repentance is more of a journey than an event
  • “You can’t feel what I have felt” – I don’t fully understand, but there is One who does. He does. He has felt your pain. He has said “I have engraven thee upon the palms of my hands”
  • I promise you, relief will come
  • Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance

President Boyd K Packer (spoke from a chair)

  • We must use our agency wisely
  • Pure intelligence can be spoken into the mind
  • The Spirit can protect you
  • The Gift of the Holy Ghost operates with men, women and children
  • Keep your mind clean and free from the clutter of the world
  • No matter who you are and what you may have done, you can always pray
  • Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven and the lock is on your side of the veil.
  • He has learned to conclude all prayers with “Thy will be done”

The choir sang “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”

The benediction was offered by Robert S Wood (who was released today)

Read the recaps and other notes from the 179th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

179th Annual General Conference – Saturday Morning Session

179th_annual_general_conference

We had planned on going to the Church to watch the first session of conference, but two of our children are sick, so we stayed at home. On the one hand, it’s nice relaxing at home, but on the other hand, it can be very distracting. However, given a choice, I’d probably rather watch at home.

It was reported to me that we had about 40 people attend the session at Church.

President Thomas S. Monson conducted

President Thomas S. Monson

  • opened the conference
  • noted the absence of Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • Announced Neil L. Anderson as new apostle
  • He said to him it would be “the longest walk you’ll ever take!”
  • They rededicated the Mexico temple
  • 87000 there for cultural night
  • also dedicated the Draper Utah temple
  • The Church is doing very well
  • We have 53,000 missionaries in 348 missions
  • Perpetual Education Fund is moving forward. 35,600 young men and women enrolled. 18,900 finished.

Elder Robert D. Hales

  • children growing up in time of uncertainty
  • excess debt and addiction have caused problems, undermined family relationships
  • our success is never measured by how strong the temptation, but how faithful the response
  • need to be provident providers
  • joyfully live within our means
  • keep basic command of “thou shalt not covet”
  • pay tithing
  • donate fast offerings
  • evaluate whether something has temporary or eternal value

Margaret S. Lifferth

  • respect one another
  • learn it at home, in sports, when discussing religion
  • each of us is a child of God and are brothers and sisters
  • respect for others is close to reverence for God
  • address leaders properly

Brother Michael A. Neider

  • commended YW for adding virtue to their values
  • don’t underestimate the youth and their abilities

Elder Alan F. Packer

  • tough times, but still a great time to be a live
  • learn to recognize the Spirit
  • we will receive answers and learn how the Spirit works in us
  • we will know, and know that we know

D. Todd Christofferson ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • told story of earthquake in Chile and the commitment of a branch president and his wife
  • we need strong Christians who can persevere and sustain hope
  • we need strong Christians who make important things happen because of their faith
  • we need to protect against militant atheism
  • follow the covenant path

President Eyring ** might use this as a 4th Sunday lesson **

  • How could this happen?
  • we have opportunities to face affliction
  • Remember, the Savior suffered as well

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference:

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”

We received a memo from the First Presidency in January saying that there was going to be some new welfare training material arriving soon. The memo instructed stake presidents to gather applicable leaders in the stake and to review the material. Well, the materials arrived, and on Sunday afternoon I headed to the stake centre for some training.

Leading up the meeting, I wondered what could possibly be different. Now I know… not much. The principles of self-reliance are consistent, and the training was actually a DVD with talks by Elder Robert D. Hales, Sister Julie B. Beck, Bishop H. David Burton, and President Thomas S. Monson. They didn’t really go into any detail of how to handle situations. They just emphasized those time-tested principles. Without going into it too much, here are a few thoughts that I had:

  • Elder Hales said that it takes great faith to say “I can’t afford that”.
  • A couple of speakers talked about downsizing your life to fit within your budget restraints. This includes moving if necessary.
  • Sister Beck brought up the phrase “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and how we would all be better off if we followed it.
  • A couple of speakers talked about the importance of using a budget
  • Bishop Burton mentioned that there is no requirement for wards or stakes to have their expenses and contributions remain in balance. Note: Perhaps it is just wording, but this seems to be different that it used to be (our stake president agrees that it is different). Before, if a ward or stake were to go “into the red” in their fast offering funds, then it needed approval. The implication was that this should not be. At the very least, it appears that the Brethren understand that in this economic time, more units will be using more fast offering funds than they collect.
  • President Monson emphasized that no member of the church who has served in a welfare project ever forgets or regrets the experience of helping provide for those in need. This is very true!

Note: I left the house at 6:20 am Sunday morning to go to my administration meetings, attended Church, had meetings after Church, drove to the stake centre for the training, and ended up getting home at 6:30 pm. What a long day!

178th Semiannual General Conference – Sunday Morning Session

  • President Monson conducted
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir was excellent
  • There were about 100 people at church for this
  • President Henry B. Eyring * might be used as a 4th Sunday lesson *
    • a great day of unity is coming
    • unity will be needed more in the days ahead
    • the reason we pray for unity is the same reason why God grants us… he loves us and it brings joy
    • revelation is needed to know how to follow the Lord together
    • be humble
    • pride is the great enemy of unity
    • be a peacemaker
    • no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens
    • NOTE: I took my son to the bathroom and so I missed the last bit of his talk
  • Elder Robert D. Hales
    • one of mortality’s greatest test is when our beliefs are questioned
    • Christian courage
    • when we don’t retaliate, we stand with the Saviour
    • true disciples of Christ see opportunity
    • seasons of opposition can help the Church
    • criticism creates interest in the Church
    • learn respect for others
  • Bishop Keith B. McMullin
    • God lives and lives in the heavens
    • the Church welfare plan is God inspired
    • pray for help
  • Sister Elaine S. Dalton
    • in the strength of the Lord I can do all things
    • the temple is the reason for all we do in the Church
    • virtue is the accumulation of lots of small decisions
    • poisoned by degrees
    • a slippery slope: tolerate, accept, then follow
    • return to virtue
    • stand in holy places
  • Elder M. Russell Ballard
    • the truth of God goes forth boldly
    • Joseph Smith had a prophetic vision
    • the growth of the Church was recounted
    • the works and designs and purposes of God cannot be frustrated
    • it is a great time to live
    • we must continue to move the work forward
  • President Thomas S. Monson
    • nothing is as constant as change
    • he’s been an apostle for 45 years
    • this is our only chance at mortal life
    • find joy in the journey, now
    • there is nothing to remember tomorrow if we do nothing today
    • relish life as we live it
    • in everything give thanks

Read the recaps from the other sessions of General Conference: