Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

182nd Semiannual General Conference (Priesthood)

Posted by kirkcaudle on October 6, 2012

Historically, Priesthood is my favorite session of conference and I am always sorry that the sister do not have the opportunity to participate. I’m sure that it will be my favorite this year too.

D. Todd Christofferson

-I was not a huge fan of this talk and so not to cause contention on the site I will edit/withhold most of my comments.I felt like the beginning of this talk was an attack against the feminist element in the Church, but I realize that many people did not see it that way. I don’t want to get political here on the Feast blog because I respect how this blog is different than many of the others blogs out there and I would like to keep it that way. Although,  I guess if you would really like to know my thoughts contact me personally :)

However, I thought that the rest of the talks were more than fantastic!

Gary E. Stevenson

-This talk centered around Alma 53:20, “And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold, this was not all—they were men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.” Elder Stevenson expanded upon what it means to be “valiant for courage” in this verse.

-To be valiant for courage one cannot hang around with people that are doing sketchy things and then not expect to not get caught up in the trouble that that crowd brings. You will feel the consequences of this whether or not you are the one doing the sinning. He added that today teens must have courage in the face of temptation both in person and in cyber space. These teens do not only have peer pressure to deal with, but they also have to deal with cyber pressure. “What you do when nobody else is watching is a strong measure of your virtue.”

-What you do, where you go, and what you see will shape what you will be.

-We should follow our prophet, Thomas S. Monson, as the Stripling Warriors followed their leader, Heleman.

Anthony D. Perkins

-I thought the main scripture in this talk was D&C 84:43, “And I now give unto you a commandment to beware concerning yourselves, to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life.” He also showed on the screen a street sign that read, “beware of falling rocks.”

-Elder Perkins chose to focus on the issue of “beware” because “we are prone to wonder.” King David is used as an example that even a prophet king can all. We can lose our eternal families if we are not careful.

-Satan has two main goals: First, help us develop faith crushing pride and second, have us get involved in things that will destroy our families. So how do we “beware” of these things? Elder Perkins offers six ways that we can strengthen our family and our faith.

1. Pray always. He quotes Pres. Monson as saying, “A man never stands taller then when he is on his knees.”

2. Studying scripture. This connects us to God.

3. Worthily participating in ordinances. The temple and the partaking of the sacrament are specifically mentioned.

4. Show genuine love. Satan brings contention into the family. Contention causes us to lose the power of the Priesthood.

5. Pay a full tithing. Do not covet.

6. FULLY live the Law of Chasity. This includes more than just physical acts.

-If we do these things then our Priesthood journey will be be fulled with joy.

-He ends the talk with John 8:11, “go, and sin no more.” I think that this phase is great to remember when we are prone to wonder.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

-The main scripture for this talk is Isaiah 55:1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Christ wants us to experience the authority and the power of the Priesthood.

-Oh course, Elder Uchtodorf gives and airplane reference right off the bat! WooHoo! He talked a bit about flying with the “Blue Angels.” That is pretty cool if you ask me!

-Elder Uchtodorf made the point that each of experiences serving with in the Priesthood are different. We all live in different area of the world, we have various degrees of functioning ward/branches, and we hold different callings. However, the one thing that is the same is that there is always joy in the service. “There is always something imperfect in any situation.” In other words, we can always find something to complain about if we want to complain. I think that this is very important to keep in mind when it comes to our own wards/branches.

-Elder Uchtodor loves flying, but his love of flying does not compare with his love of building up the King of God via the Priesthood. That made me wonder how many of us in the church feel this same way? Can we honestly say that we love performing church service more than we love doing anything else? I’d love to say yes, but I am not sure that I am at this point yet.

-We must lead people and service people with love. “Lew us find the joy in serving in the Priesthood.” To do this we must understand the covenants connected with the Priesthood that you hold.

-“Let our works make our faith perfect.”

Henry B. Eyring

-Elder Eyring says that he was (and is) able to serve in the Priesthood because people older than him saw things in him that he could not see himself. He cannot tell us what the best thing to do is because we are all individuals. We must see others in the gospel as individuals  this is especially true when it comes to our children.

-You can be inspired to help youth that you love, whether they are your children are not. (Love being the key word here I think). Elder Eyring gave some examples of inspiration for each of his sons. Interesting, the source for each of these inspirations came from scripture passages. He connected each of his sons with a verse from scripture and sculpture. I will now list the scriptures that he cited.

-Isaiah  40:30-31, “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” The Lord will tell you as much as you need to know in order to help a YM to aim high in his life. God will inspire you to help that boy succeed.

-Proverbs 28:1, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” The boy Joseph turned into a spiritual giant during his time in liberty jail. The Lord will give us the power to speak boldly (like a lion) when we need to do so.

– D&C 62:4, “Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.” Our prayers are most often answered from other people, in the form of angels.

-John 17:3, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” He applies this verse to one of his sons, but he also applies it to his daughters and them raising eternal families because of what they are teaching their children.

-I felt like in this talk Elder Eyring at least indirectly connects scripture study with receiving revelation for our children and for other youth that we love.

-When it comes to youth we should be spending time with them. However, it is the attitude, not the activity that is the most important. Watching a movie or going out to a sporting event works just fine. Doing these things in love will shape the life of a young man forever.

-God not only knows the gifts of the youth, but he also knows our gifts. We should ask Him to show us these gifts. God gave us these gifts in order to better serve Him and others.

 Thomas S. Monson

-Ok, first off, is there anything more AWESOME than having the opportunity to listen to the prophet speak to us? It is one of the things that I seriously look forward to every conference. Now onto my notes…

-Central scripture, D&C 84:38-39, ” And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him. And this is according to the oath and covenant which belongeth to the priesthood.” This is Truth.

-“There is nothing in this world that will provide more happiness then a testimony of the Truth.”

-President Monson explained that we are all at different levels of having a testimony. If we see others who are struggling, then we should be sharing our with those people.

-President Monson told us that a woman needs to be told that she is beautiful, valued, and worth while. Now, I must confess, that when he started this part of his talk I was not liking where he was going with this because I never like talks that make women look psychological mentally weaker than men. However, as I was thinking this he added, “men are much like women.” I loved this line! In other words, men might look tough, but we need all of the same things that our wives, sisters, and mothers need. We are not so different after all. I think that he is right on in this regard. This is something that we do not hear enough of in church, in my opinion.

-“Men can change.” He stressed that we do not have to stay in the spiritual position that we are in now.

-Sometimes when we let our brothers know that they are wanted and loved (regardless of age) this can turn into the first step to them regaining (or building) a testimony. “We should develop the capacity to not see men as they are, but as what they can became.” This is a great line, but honestly thinking this is easier said than done, at least for me. I think that most of us are very good at being “right” about people, or maybe we believe that we are and we deceive ourselves. :)

-President Monson referred to Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.” We must always have the courage to bare our testimonies in whatever situation that we find ourselves in, even it is literally before kings and rulers.

-No commandment is as clear in the scriptures as is preaching the gospel  Missionary work has always been an identifying feature of the Church of Jesus Christ.

-Awesome talk. I loved it.

Themes of the session? Lots of talk about the importance of the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood. Talk of staying worthy to hold the Priesthood. Love for others and courage.

7 Responses to “182nd Semiannual General Conference (Priesthood)”

  1. Zen said

    I thought the talk by Christofferson was amazing and sorely needed. There is a growing disparity and we need to address it.

    It was not remotely anti-feminist. It was however, addressing what it means to be a man when that role seems to be unnecessary and underappreciated in modern culture, except for the few guys already on top.

  2. joespencer said

    I agree with Zen that there was nothing anti-feminist about Elder Christofferson’s talk. I worried all the way through it about how it would be regarded that way, but I think it can only have been heard that way if one isn’t willing to listen for his actual message. His point clearly wasn’t: “Men, stand up and take back what women are taking from you!” but rather “The feminist movement has had certain social effects, about most of which I’m not going to wager a value judgment, but one effect that has to be addressed is the fact that many males see the changing social dynamic as a reason never to mature into adults.”

    The books he cited at the beginning of his talk were not books by LDS feminists, and he didn’t see in these books a claim that women don’t need men. These were sources he was drawing on to mark the changing social structure of the West, without wager value judgments. The point of citing the statistics about jobs, degrees, etc., was not to say that men need to get more competitive and take over the public sphere; the point was to emphasize the fact—and it’s an important one—that one response men have had to the call for gender equality is to begin to retreat from the public sphere. And isn’t it a bit unfair to ask whether we need women men can trust in response to his talk? To whom would he have addressed that sort of statement? And wouldn’t you have been frustrated to hear him tell the men that, since it would imply it was their responsibility to produce women worthy of trust? And I think you entirely missed the point of the story about the young man in India. Elder Christofferson was careful to note that his situation was awful. The point was that the guy actually did something about it, instead of giving up. I too would have liked to hear a statement about how we ought to overturn such situations, but it would have been a tangential point, and he can’t be faulted for not making it in that context (and, anyway, I think he did gesture toward it). Are there worse things than unemployment? Sure. But if you were to tell that to Elder Christofferson, I think he’d be baffled by anyone having a concern about him having said what he said. I don’t think he was trying to establish a universal, timeless hierarchy of awful experiences.

    Can we listen with a bit more charity? Can we figure out what can be learned from a talk, even when some of it doesn’t seem to work for us? Can we lose the paternalistic spirit when we listen to someone we’ve sustained as a prophet, a seer, and a revelator? I’m not saying the Brethren are perfect, nor am I saying that I fall down to worship every word that’s said in General Conference. But I don’t see why we should feel the need to criticize and nit-pick instead of finding what’s worth celebrating and promoting here.

  3. BeccaatEOU said

    Thank you KIrk!!! I love the spirit you bring to this Blog even though I loved Sister Dibbs talk! I use your notes in my relief society lessons. Thank you so much us sisters do not get to see this.

  4. Robert C. said

    Yes, thanks for the summaries (and discussion!).

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