182nd Semiannual General Conference (Sat PM)
Posted by kirkcaudle on October 6, 2012
Henry B. Eyring: Sustaining
I am sad to see Elder Marlin K. Jensen go! He will truly be missed by many.
L. Tom Perry
-Elder Perry talked about the sanctity of marriage and the importance of the family. A pretty standard conservative talk on the family I would say.
-The main scripture of this talk is Gen. 2:23, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Elder Perry then went on to say that marriage will bring the greatest sense of happiness in this life. I would add that it is a great preparation for the next life too.
-Elder Perry laid out five things that parents can do to build a better family culture
- Pray for your children
- Hold FHE, scripture study, and family dinners
- Talk with your children’s church leaders
- Bare testimony to your children
- Organize the family on clear rules and expectations. Give your children chores and give them allowances so that they can learn how to budget money.
*I think that allowances are great if parents actually have extra money to give away to their children. I know mine never did though.*
-He somewhat defended gender roles, but not to the extent than church leaders have done before. For example, he cited the Proclamation to the Family and declared that mothers are the primary nurturers and teachers of the family.
Elder M. Russell Ballard
-We need to act like a beehive and love our neighbors as ourselves. The defining scripture of this talk comes from Luke 10:27, “Thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy should, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.”
-“Service is the very definition of church service.”
-The cumulative effect of every member of the church doing going works would create a huge change in the world. Simple daily acts of service matter even if they do not seem like much within themselves.
-How did we get this kind of love for others? Elder Ballard sets out one thing that everyone can do, ask God to guide you to an opportunity to help someone that day. Stay focused on that task for the rest of the day. If you do this then you will discover places to serve that you have never thought of before. It is possible that a person might need a service that maybe only you are able to give.
-I really liked this talk because of its communal nature. Elder Ballard did not talk about service as something that you or I do, but as something that “we” do as a people. We make an impact as a people, not because of our deeds, but because of our love for others that drives our actions.
Larry Echo Hawk
-The central scripture of this talk comes from 1 Nephi 15:14, “And at that day shall the remnant of our seed know that they are the house of Israel, and that they are the covenant people of the Lord; and then shall they know and come to the knowledge of their forefathers, and also to the knowledge of the gospel of their Redeemer, which was ministered unto their fathers by him; wherefore, they shall come to the knowledge of their Redeemer and the very points of his doctrine, that they may know how to come unto him and be saved.”
-Your testimony is a gift given to you by the Holy Ghost.
-Elder Hawk spoke of the importance of understanding that the Book of Mormon is a book written to the Lamanite people. I believe that this is a point that is not made NEARLY enough in the church today.
-This really was an excellent talk and one that I fear will be forgotten quickly by most local church leaders when it comes time to choosing the Teaching for our Times talks. The Book of Mormon being a book written to the Lamanities is a very rich theme, imo.
Robert C. Gay
-The question to keep in mind during this talk comes from Mark 8:36, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
-Not long after asking this question, Elder Gay made a point against playing sports on Sunday. Always a controversial topic… However, his question is relevant, is a championship worth giving up what you have to give up? I think that only the individual can answer a question such as this, but we each run into these situations, in one form or another, every day.
-We should not ask whether or not we are doing good or bad things (because we are always failing). Rather, we should ask if we can finish doing what the Lord has asked us to do. We should stop focusing on not doing bad things and start focusing on doing meaningful service.
Scott D. Whiting
I didn’t get to hear enough of this talk to make any substantial comments. My wife and I had an important phone call that we had to take.
Neil L. Andersen
-Everyone has trails, even those with faith. The only difference is that those that have faith have trials of faith. I’d say the main scripture of this talk comes from 1 Peter 1:7, “the trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”
-A reasonable test of faith for one person is a fiery furnace for another. How do should one face trails of faith? Elder Anderson answers this question by saying what we should not do, he says don’t leave the church. We must pray, listen to good music, and serve others.
-When talking about trials, “there is always room for you here [in the church].” Elder Andersen, like Elder Ballard, impresses upon us the importance of the communal effort here. He talks about how “we” can get through this trial together. Basically, the trial of one is the trail of all. Now, I think this sounds great, but I do not think that is often happens like this in practice. Many people are going through trials in their life that many in the church will not support them in because they feel that their trials are immoral, evil, or damaging.
-Elder Andersen talks about a person dealing with “same sex attraction.” This person deals with it by remembering the law of chastity. The problem here is that he is only dealing with the sexual aspect of this issue, not the relationship aspect.
-Elder Andersen does make a great point though when he says, do not let your faith be destroyed when you hear church leaders say things that you disagree with.
-The main scripture of this talk is from Matthew 18:6, “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones . . . it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”
-We must take care of children. We must speak for children because children cannot speak for themselves.
-One cause of the diminishing birth rate in the world is abortion. Oaks calls abortion “a great evil.” He also spoke against women who do not take care of their bodies during pregnancy.
-8 million children in the world die each year before their fifth birthdays. Elder Oaks seems to imply that this is not just a problem for someone else, but that is a problem for us as a people. We are responsible for what is happening to children everywhere, not just within our own borders.
-Making a youth feel worthless or unloved is a major sin. Elder Oaks goes out of his way to say that homosexual teenagers are particularly venerable to this. Good for him for pointing this out!
-Seeing marriage as simply a contract is “evil.” Divorced parents teach children “a negative lesson.” Divorce should be avoided at all costs for the sake of the children. Elder Oaks sees very few exceptions where a divorce would be necessary.
-Elder Oaks calls on the state to make marriage laws that support children first and adults second. For children, stability matters.
-This was a very political talk in multiple ways. In fact, it was the most political that we have seen so far this conference. I have a feeling this is one of those talks that people will be talking about at the dinner table and on the internet quite a bit this weekend.
This session was much heavier on scripture usage than was the morning session. That was very nice to see! I also noticed how heavy it was on the utilization of the New Testament. This session also had a strong element of communalism and our responsibility towards other people.