182nd Semiannual General Conference (Sat AM)
Posted by kirkcaudle on October 6, 2012
I thought that conference notes would be appropriate for this site because we post notes for Sunday school and third hour manual lessons, but we have nothing for those of you that teach “Teaching for our Times” during the fourth Sundays. Therefore, these notes are less for now, and more for later. Hopefully they can serve as a reference for lesson helps later down the road. In the spirit of the Feast blog, I will attempt to keep my notes focused on the scriptures used by the speakers.
I can’t speak for the other bloggers on this site, but in the future, if anyone is teaching a specific lesson on any of these talks let us know and we (or I) can write up some teaching notes. I’m not sure if there is a demand for that sort of thing or not.
President Monson: Opening Remarks
-New temples are announced for Tempe, AZ and Peru
-The missionary age for males has been dropped from 19 to 18 if that person is out of high school. Females can now go on their missions at age 19. I think this is great. It appears to me that the Church is making a push for missionary service from girls. By moving the age of female service from 21 to 19 it will give females less time to attend school and/or get married before they can decide that a mission is not right for them. The same goes for males that are getting out of high school and having to wait a year to go on a mission. It looks like the Church wants to put these youth to work as soon as possible before they choose other options. The Church already struggles with knowing what to do with the young single adult population.
A live press conference is streaming on this issue here at 12:30pm MST
Quentin L. Cook
- Alma 5:26, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, 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?” The entire talk revolves around the question in this scripture.
-Cook believes that there are two problems with youth today. First, there is an increased rate of unrighteousness. Second, there is a refusal to make a commitment to the gospel.
-Many of us in spiritual droughts are not committing major sins, but we have not repented for the little things that we have done. We can no longer feel what we used to be able to feel. I thought there was a slight jab here at historians and those who on the internet “make up” problems with past church leaders.
-Nothing will change in our lives until we realize that we need help and that there is a problem. Here he draws upon C.S. Lewis. Our first C.S. Lewis reference. However, I love Lewis too! J
-Violence and sexual sins are at the root of our non-committal attitude to the Church. I’m not sure why he focused his comments concerning physical abuse focused on men and not women. I wish the church leaders would not label these as “male” problems, but people problems. Violence against men in marriage is very under reported.
Ann M. Dibb
-I did not really hear many scriptures reference during this talk. This is always a bit frustrating for me.
-This talk was mostly about a t-shirt, “I’m a Mormon. I know it, I live it, I love it.” She asked, “What would your shirt say? I thought that we were no longer supposed to be referring to ourselves “Mormon”? I’m so confused…
-It is not so much what you see but about what you feel. I like to apply this principle when I am reading the scriptures; it is not so much about the words on the page as it is about how I am feeling while I am reading. The scriptures will witness to you if you let them. I LOVE this!!
-Again, we have another talk with minimal scripture references.
-We are back to talks revolving around the scriptures! Bowen quotes much of the beginning of Moroni 8. I am not sure of the exact verses, but it sounded like he went from verse 6 until around 12. That is a nice little quotation.
-This is talk is great because he takes a real life question, “why have I lost a child?” And he uses the scriptures (and Joseph Smith) to try and give ways to answer that question.
-He makes a great point that when bad things happen in our lives we often go through self-pity and become angry with those around us that are only trying to help us. We must look forward with hope and not backward with despair.
-Why do children die early? He never really answers this question. However, he does say that he will never have a “fullness of joy” on this earth until he is back with his child again. He also says that this life is just a stopover point in our eternal existence. I like how he answers the question. He provides scripture and provides options for how to answer to the question. He does not give a definitive answer to something that we do not know the answer to.
-I really thought that this talk was top notch all the way.
Russell M. Nelson
-Elder Nelson reiterated the policy that missionary service is a duty and an obligation for young men. On the other hand, missionary service is not responsibility for females, but an option. Elder Nelson does add that a desire to serve a mission is a reflection of one’s conversion. I wonder what that says about females/couples that do (and do not) serve missions? For examples, many males grow up feeling like they are required to serve, whether they like it or not. Females do not grow up with this mindset.
-I am reminded of D&C 58:26-27 (not quoted by Elder Nelson), “For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant . . . [people] should be anxiously engaged in a good case, and do many things of their own free will.” This makes me think of all those who have a desire to serve a mission and yet have no “duty” to serve a mission.
-Kudos to Elder Nelson for using the phrase “those who love the Lord” when speaking about those who are inactive in the Church. It is my experience that many of those who no longer attend Church still have a great love for God, even if they are not currently attending.
-Interestingly, this talk was more geared towards non-members than it was towards members. I wonder how many non-member actually watch conference? I’ve never met any personally.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
-As humans we are mortal and when humans die they “are taken home to that God who gave them life” (Alma 40:11). Elder Uchtdorf talks about what sort of regrets we go home to that God with. Many wish they spent more time with the people that meant the most to them.
-Elder Uchtdorf makes the case that we feel accomplished when we are busy in life. That is not the point. The point is to be like the Savior and make other around you feel loved while you are busy. It is easy to “pretend” to spend time with others. It is something else to actually love and spend time with others. We should be lifting each other up in person, not just on the internet (seems to me that he was talking about the popularity of sites like Facebook). He really drives home the point of how important personal interaction is to discipleship.
-Declaring good things is good, but being who we should be is much better.
-“We determine our happiness . . . It [life] is not a race, it’s a journey, enjoy the moment.”
-Elder Uchtdorf makes a great point about prayer and life (and I would add grace). Do we pray with the end/amen in mind? No we do not. We pray and think about what we are praying about along that way. That is what is important, the small details. We cannot just focus on the amen, if we do we miss the rest of the prayer. We cannot look back at the end of our lives and just find out how happy we really were (or could have been) in retrospect. I think that this works perfectly with grace. Happiness/grace is always with us, we just have to stop denying that it is already there.
Now that I am actually listening for scriptures in General Conference I am really noticing how little the scriptures are used. I always knew that we (as a people) did not use the scriptures as much as we should use them, but this has really opened my eyes to the issue on a different level.
With all that said, great session (as they always are) and I will be back with notes from the afternoon session later tonight.