The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Priesthood Session Notes

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 1 – M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

  • Priesthood is the divine power that seals
  • How to Talk between Father and Son:
  • Most Nurturing
  • Who Sons and Fathers Become
  • Applies to All Mentors
  • 3 Suggestions for the Son:
    • 1. Trust Your Father:
      • Not Perfect, but loves you and is looking out for your best interests.
      • Your Father will feel responsibility and will make him work harder.
    • 2. Take an interest in your father’s life.
      • Interests
      • Goals
      • Job
      • How he met your mother?
      • Watch your father, you’ll understand your father better.
    • 3. Ask for your father’s advice:
      • Ask on Church, Classes, School, Assignments, Missions, Callings.
      • Asking says to him: “I appreciate your knowledge and experience.”
  • 3 Suggestions for the Father:
    • 1. Listen to your sons. Ask the right questions and what to know.
      • Connect with your son: Driving, Fishing, Conversations before bed, working in the yard.
      • Have one deep conversation with your son at least once a month.
      • Where and when is not important. Just that it happens.
      • Ask how they “feel”
      • Just listen. You don’t have to fix everything.
    • 2. Pray with and for your sons.
      • Important events: New School Year, Birthday, One and One Prayer, Testimony Sharing.
      • Never give up. Even when you can’t do anything.
    • 3. Talk about and warn about bad things: Drugs, Pornography. Discuss the priesthood and moral cleanliness.
  • Trust will flourish. Be open about Sexual Behavior with open and frequent discussions. Be positive about sexual relations in the bounds of marriage.
  • Return Missionaries – All this advice applies to them as well.
  • Pray to Heavenly Father. Honor your Earthy Father.
  • Most important decision is to marry the right girl in the temple.
  • Fathers of return missionaries, this applies to them too.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 2 – Walter F. Gonzalez, of the Seventy

  • USE the Book of Mormon
  • Take the Book of Mormon Test: Is it of man or of God?
  • 3 Activities to best read and apply:
    1. Feast Upon the Words of Christ. READ IT.
    2. Implement the Teachings
    3. Teach From the Book of Mormon

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 3 – Yoon Hwan Choi, of the Seventy

  • Story of 9 Rowdy Boys, Baptized and went on missions.
  • They went from 9 Boys to a family of 45 members.
  • The boys sang in a group.
  • Choi prayed about them and was inspired to teach them to be missionaries.
  • “Attend all church meetings” – Taft
  • Teach them to change their lives
  • Adam did not always have to know why, he just obeyed.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 4 – President Deter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency

  • Must remain steadfast in faith.
  • Work Hard.
  • Trust in God.
  • Uchtdorf was teased as a young child. When he looks back, he sees that being teased gave him personal growth.
  • Adversity, when faced with faith, can be overcome.
  • Prinicples:
    • 1. WORK.
      • If you keep at it, steady and constant, things will improve.
      • In the sweat of thy face, thou shalt eat bread.
      • Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. Don’t compare your performance to others, he does not.
      • When your wagon is stuck in the mude, God is more likely to help one who gets out to push, than those who pray.
      • Righteous work in the home is sacred and has eternal results. It cannot be delegated.
      • Spend your days growing.
      • Spiritual Wings – as sons of God, we should grow to the horizons.
      • Retirement is not part of God’s plan. You should always be doing something.
      • Excuses with age: Skateboarding, biking, spicy food at the buffet… should not keep you from working.
      • No retirement from priesthood.
      • Wanting to retire from work is not a thought of a disciple.
    • 2. LEARN.
      • Old saying: “Education is not so much a filling of a bucket as a lighting of a fire.”
      • Learning is a commandment.
      • Joseph Smith said as a mortal part of our journey that knowledge in this life crosses into the resurrection.
      • Knowledge takes away anxiety, doubt and darkness.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 5 – President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor, First Presidency

  • Keeps olive oil on him at all times.
  • Keeps it in his desk (He has a desk!)
  • Keeps it on his nightstand.
  • The olive oil has a date on it: The day it has been concecrated.
  • Always ready.
  • Story: A father called him about his three year old daughter. She had been hit by a car. He plead for a priesthood blessing. He had to fight the doctors to place a drop of oil on her head amidst bandages. Doctors said she was dying. They were wrong. She lived and also learned to walk again.
  • Those prepared are ready to answer.
  • Preparation begins at home, quorums, etc.
  • Steady Obedient Service.
  • Need:
    • To have faith, authority to act in the name of God.
    • Nephi – Given the authority to do miracles. He brought drought/rain, god gave him power and trust.
    • D&C 121 – Moves are pure, Gentleness, Love, Not Selfish. D&C 121 contains a promise in there.
    • Prepare for days when heaven needs you. Service & Opportunity.

Saturday Session 3 (Priesthood), Talk 6 – President Thomas S. Monson, President and Prophet

  • Anger
  • Story of a couple fighting and a child who got hurt as a direct result.
  • Anger doesn’t solve anything.
  • Destroys everything.
  • Heber grant story about work.
  • “Man is a fool who takes insult that is not intended”
  • Anger is Satans tool.
  • Story about Brother Marsh, how a result of a quarrel over milk and cream lead to the extermination order.
  • Story about two brothers who shared a 1 room cabin in New York. They got into a fight and drew a line down the center of the room. They did not speak or cross the line for 62 years. This story was told at a funeral.
  • Reads “School Thy Feelings Poem”

The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Michael T. Ringwood Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 5 – Michael T. Ringwood, of the Seventy

My Notes:

  • What causes mighty change? As in the Laminites?
  • Easiness and willingness to believe in god comes from the softness of heart that is: Sensitive to the Holy Ghost, can love, will make and keep sacred covenants, feel the power of the atonement of Christ.
  • The daily living of the gospel brings about a soft heart that brings an easiness and willingness to believe.
  • Periods with a soft heart: marriage, birth a child, intense service from a calling or mission, in our youth with leaders and bishop, trials, growth from learning for the first time of the Gospel.
  • Most significant period is childhood, easy to receive the world of god taught by parents and grand parents.
  • Obedience will bring soft hearts, scripture study and prayer will bring soft hearts.

The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Brent H. Hielson Talk

Sunday Session 5, Talk 3 – Brent H. Hielson, of the Seventy

My Notes:

  • Kimball’s Prophetic Address that challenged the Church to stronger missionary work.
  • The rising generation is the fulfillment of prophesy of the Gospel blanketing the earth.
  • Scripture Quote Matthew 28:18-20 – Teach all nations
  • Jacob – Olive Tree Story, working in the vineyard.
  • The Savior said to Peter and Andrew: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”
  • The new generation should do their part and teach all nations.

The 179th Semiannual General Conference: Elder Russel T. Osguthorpe

Saturday Session 1, Talk 4 – Elder Russel T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School General President.
-missionaries save lives, spiritual lives.
-Joseph F Smith said “when we receive the truth, we will be saved by it, will be saved not merely because someone taught it to us, but because we received it and acted upon it”.
-When missionaries and teachers draw on the spirit they teach the appropriate principle, invite the learners to learn that principle and then bear witness of promised blessings which will follow.
-Elder David A. Bednar shared three simple elements of affective teaching:
– Key doctrine
– Invitation to action
– Promised blessings
-The guide “Preach My Gospel” helps missionaries teach key doctrine.
-The guide”Teaching, No greater call” helps parents and teachers do the same.
-President Monson has taught:
“The goal of gospel teaching is not to ‘pour information’ into the minds of class members….The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles.”
-“Teaching Helps Save Lives”

Saturday Session 1, Talk 4 – Elder Russel T. Osguthorpe, Sunday School General President.

My Notes:

  • Missionaries save lives, spiritual lives.
  • Joseph F Smith said “when we receive the truth, we will be saved by it, will be saved not merely because someone taught it to us, but because we received it and acted upon it”.
  • When missionaries and teachers draw on the spirit they teach the appropriate principle, invite the learners to learn that principle and then bear witness of promised blessings which will follow.
  • Elder David A. Bednar shared three simple elements of affective teaching:
  1. Key doctrine
  2. Invitation to action
  3. Promised blessings
  • The guide “Preach My Gospel” helps missionaries teach key doctrine.
  • The guide”Teaching, No greater call” helps parents and teachers do the same.
  • President Monson has taught:

The goal of gospel teaching is not to ‘pour information’ into the minds of class members….The aim is to inspire the individual to think about, feel about, and then do something about living gospel principles.

-“Teaching Helps Save Lives”

There Is No Death: The Extraordinary True Experience

After my friend Mike came back from his mission, we ended up working at the same company and he would share bits and pieces of the LDS Church beliefs with me. I remember sitting in my office over three years ago when my friend Mike started talking about a book that he borrowed and read.

Before he even started speaking I began to have what I described at the time as just cold chills, now that I look back it was more like the spirit talking to me. I was extremely excited to hear about the book he had just read and I knew I just HAD to read it.

The name of the book is called There Is No Death: The Extraordinary True Experience by Sarah Lanelle Menet.

thereisnodeath.jpg

I believe I read all 128 pages TWICE in one weekend, both times in one sitting. I usually don’t do that, but this book has something to it.

This is a story about a women that had a sad and abusive childhood. After attempting to commit suicide due, she leaves her body and enters the spirit world learning much about the beauty and peace that follow this life for those that have lived good lives. She then visits ‘hell’ where her abusive father resided. She learns about forgiveness and the importance of it in our lives. She returns to her body and tells her story after keeping it to herself for several years.

Menet answers many questions in her writings, such as:

  • Why we are here on earth?
  • What Deja Vu is?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Where we lived before being born?
  • What happens to us when we die and the degrees of heaven?
  • Who are guardian angels?
  • What is the basis of people claiming reincarnation?

The book does a few dark topics such as events that have happened (and haven’t happened) which will lead up to Armageddon and the return of Jesus Christ to Earth. However, the the positives in her book greatly outweigh the negatives.

One more note that I’d like to add – At the time of reading the book, I did not know she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until the very end. Also, she was not a member when she had her experiences as well. She later found that the teachings of the Church matched what she had saw during her experience.

This book definitely had an impact on my life. I recommend this book to everyone, whether you are: an Investigator, a recent convert or a long-time member.

Salvation Procrastination

I’ve come across an important message in Alma chapter 34, taught by Amulek, son of Alma, in the Book of Mormon a few times while studying in the past nine months since.

The gist of the message is: Do not procrastinate!

Don’t put things off that you can do today, for tomorrow. Especially for things of a spiritual matter.

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world. (Alma 34:32-34)

We came to Earth to obtain a body so that we may learn to control it and display obedience to Heavenly Father. Doing so during this probationary period prepares us for the blessings to come: Living with Heavenly Father and receiving all that he hath.

One who is not aligned with the Gospel can start changing today and should not wait for tomorrow. How do you change? Salvation comes by taking advantage of the atonement of Jesus Christ, repenting of your sins and obeying the commandments and living gospel.

In the preceding verses, the day is our life on Earth. Our labor is works that show our faith and obedience. Night is when we die. The state of your spirit, whether it be dirty or clean, becomes its permanent state after death.  Who wants a dingy spirit in their perfect and brand new body? Labor cannot be performed after death. How can you show faith or obedience when you know you’ve already died and still exist?

This is why we must live righteous every single day. We do not know what day will be our last.

And what if you live good for your whole life and then so happen to pass away during an off day or off week?

What if you put off your labors until night?

That didn’t seem right to me.

I remember my missionaries answering that the labor can still be done, it will just be more difficult. Things that take ten minutes to do with a body may take ten years without one.

The severity can be seen by a scenario setup by my missionaries:

Take for example smoking. What happens if you’re a regular smoker and don’t have a cigarette for a day? You begin to crave it. If you don’t kick the habit of smoking in this life, imaging having cravings for a cigarette when you do not have a body? If it takes you one month to quit smoking in this life, it may take you one hundred years!

Video Explains Myths vs. Reality

The Official Church Newsroom released the following press release a few days ago: Video Challenges Public Misperceptions, Explains Myths vs. Reality

The Church had produced a ten minute video originally for  journalists visiting Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics.  It was reposted in the Church Newsroom as well as YouTube today to help counter the constant myths about the Church.

Mormon Celebrities: Former NFL quarterback Steve Young and former Miss America Sharlene Hawkes, talk about three major misperceptions the public has about the Church:

  1. Polygamy
  2. Church Openness
  3. Whether Church Members are Christian

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=EfOyGTLDqjM]

Elder Ballard Encourages Blogging

According to an article in the Deseret Morning News, Elder Ballard addresses that the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints need to join the global conversation and use new technology to stand up for what they believe in.

“There are conversations going on about the church constantly,” Elder Ballard said. “Those conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot sit on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches.”

This month has brought a lot of attention, negative and positive, to the Church and it is up to us as members to take the attention as an opportunity for missionary work. There will be a lot of people with questions about our beliefs and it is up us to answer them.

LDS faithful can change perceptions of the church “one conversation at a time,” through a clear and simple message of the Restoration. Elder Ballard said the Internet is a great tool to start these conversations. In his remarks, he suggested members consider the following:

  • Start a blog “and share what you know to be true.”
  • Download videos from official church and other appropriate sites and send them to your friends.
  • Comment on news media sites that report on the church “and voice your views as to the accuracy of the reports.”

Elder Ballard continues:

“Do not be afraid to share with others your story, your experiences as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder Ballard said. “We all have interesting stories that influence our identity. Sharing those stories is a non-threatening way to talk to others. Telling those stories can help demystify the church.”

I feel it is wonderful that the Church embraces technology to share the Gospel:

Members seem to be doing their part as well with the following:

Other Links:

Official YouTube Video:

 [youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=PEsjYm6Av4w]

The Church Addresses Politics on YouTube

It’s been an interesting few weeks for the Church! With Mitt Romney going for President, there has been a spotlight on the Church and its members.

It looks like the Church released four videos touching on the subject of politics on YouTube. Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles appear in these videos and answer questions people may have on their mind.

What Does Church Political Neutrality Mean for Mormons?

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=DhR-uav1c0c ]

“Be involved, but don’t look at the Church to direct you as to how to be involved.”

Why Should Mormons Participate in the Political Process?

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=I4vhW-fTYKk]

“The very fundemental principal of freedom is absolutely essential for the gospel of Jesus Christ to propser.”

What is the Civic Duty of Mormons?

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=XB6RynMMK7I]

“The Civic Duty of any Latter Day Saint…is to be actively involved in the political process”

Are Mormon Politicians Directed By Church Leadership?

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=0S6cW-o0oTg]

“We have a long record in the Church of not interferring with public officials…Politcal Candidates understand that. They don’t ever come to the Church and say ‘What Do I do?'”

You can see additional videos by visiting their profile on YouTube.

Click here to view the Official Church Profile.

A Convert’s Survival Guide: What to Expect AFTER your Baptism

Usually the Sunday following your baptism, in which you were immersed in water, your confirmation follows.  It is done during sacrament meeting, before the sacrament ordinance. Confirmation can also be done immediately following the baptism. The confirmation is sometimes called baptism by fire, or the gift of the Holy Ghost:

For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:17).

With the gift of the Holy Ghost, we receive the right to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. It becomes our lifelong guide that will lead us back to Heavenly Father. It will help us stay on the straight and narrow path, know right from wrong, guide us through tough decisions and provide peace and comfort in all that we do. When Nephi realized that many did not know what to do after their conversion and baptism, he said the “words of Christ,” as communicated by the Holy Ghost, would guide them:

If ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do. (2 Nephi 32:5)

Confirmation is done by someone with the Melchizedek Priesthood Authority, under the direction of the bishopric or branch presidency.

The actual ordinance goes as follows:

  • One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders participate in this ordinance.
  • The Priesthood holders encircle you while you sit down in a chair facing the congregation.
  • They place their hands lightly on the person’s head.
  • Then the person who performs the ordinance:
    1. Calls you by your full name.
    2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
    3. Confirms you a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
    4. Bestows the gift of the Holy Ghost by saying, “Receive the Holy Ghost.”
    5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs. (one to two minutes)
    6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

After the ordinance is completed, you stand up and begin shaking hands with everyone in the circle. Don’t forget to take a look at the congregation. They are the people who will be there for you and help you through everything. They sincerely care for you and your family and…

…are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort” (Mosiah 18:8-9)

Congratulations, you are now a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.