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 178th Semiannual General Conference: Elder Richard G. Scott’s Talk

This year, I missed the October 2008 General Conference Priesthood session because I was on vacation in San Luis Obispo, CA and had trouble finding a Stake Center.  I knew I should have waved down the missionaries on the bikes one of the many times I saw them but I was concentrating on driving in unfamiliar territory.

I had the Saturday and Sunday sessions Tivo’d while I was away at least.  I’m not sure why the General Conference Priesthood session is not available in video on the lds.org General Conference Gospel Library, but I assume it is for a good reason.

Elder Richard G. Scott

I finally got to sit down with my November 2008 Ensign magazine and I went straight to the Priesthood Session talks.  The first one was by Elder Richard G. Scott Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

His talk was entitled “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well.”  I’ve heard the saying “Honor the Priesthood” before and this pertains to setting standards for ones self and making sure that we, as Priesthood Holders, are worthy to exercise our privileged authority at any given moment.

I love how he implores us to give ourselves a personal worthiness interview and ask ourselves the following questions:

  • Are your private, personal thoughts conducive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or would they benefit from a thorough housecleaning?
  • Do you nourish your mind with elevating material, or have you succumbed to the enticement of pornographic literature or Web sites?
  • Do you scrupulously avoid the use of stimulants and substances that conflict with the intent of the Word of Wisdom, or have you made some personally rationalized exceptions?
  • Are you most careful to control what enters your mind through your eyes and ears to ensure that it is wholesome and elevating?
  • If you are divorced, do you provide for the real financial need of the children you have fathered, not just the minimum legal requirement?
  • If you are married, are you faithful to your wife mentally as well as physically?
  • Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another woman that you wouldn’t want your wife to overhear?
  • Are you kind and supportive of your own wife and children?
  • Do you assist your wife by doing some of the household chores?
  • Do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home?
  • Do you tell her you love her?

Now hopefully we can all answer yes to these questions.  But before we can do so, we should take these questions and turn them into directives for our lives.  Just as in the Boy Scout’s Slogan “Do a good turn daily,” we should turn these questions into our slogan or motto for our daily lives.

I feel that if we ask these questions to ourselves every night and strive from the moment we wake up every morning to answer “yes” to these questions we will become better in our role and responsibility to serving the families that we love so dearly.

Elder Scott’s talk speaks more about treating the daughters (mothers, sisters and daughters) of Heavenly Father with love and kindness.  And that:

God will hold us accountable for how we treat His precious daughters.

I’d like to take this a step further and apply this to our Fathers, brothers and sons as well.  We are charged by Heavenly Father to take care of one another.  We must gauge ourselves with these personal worthiness interview questions often and keep in mind that we are all children of Heavenly Father.  Doing so will bring us closer to emulating the perfect role model, Jesus Christ.

Click here to read Elder Richard G. Scott’s Talk in the November 2008 Ensign online.