Feast upon the Word Blog

A blog focused on LDS scriptures and teaching

182nd Semiannual General Conference (Sun AM)

Posted by kirkcaudle on October 7, 2012

I really love General Conference. When it comes to Church, it is my favorite time of the year. Conference always reminds me how fortunate that we all are to live in a time that we have modern-day prophets and apostles that we teach us true doctrine and give us so much guidance for our lives.

In my notes for this conference I am, more than anything, trying to focus on the scriptures that the speakers are using.  That is why I usually list a scripture first in my notes for each speaker.

I was watching on BYUTV and the channel went dead with about 15 minutes left in the conference…it came back on after about 5 minutes.

Henry B. Eyring

-The main scripture came from D&C 124. I missed the verse because that I wanted to write down because I was wrestling with kids! If anyone knows that one that I am referring to let me know.

-Sometimes it feels like God is far away. “God is never hidden, but sometimes we are.”As we become more childlike we will feel closer to God. “He never hides from his faithful children.”

-Always listen to that simple small voice. As you do this you will know that God feels deeply for your happiness. Sometimes we create a barrier to knowing God’s will.

-When you are having problems, ask for a divine errand. Do not just ask for an answer on your own terms.

-“His time is not always our time, but He always keeps his promises.”

-When we become like God we start to anticipate His coming with joy.

-Elder Eyring challenged us all to approach someone that we have offended and show them love and forgiveness. This will make us more like our Savior. What an awesome challenge. I think that this is hard for many of us.

Boyd K. Packer

-Main scripture: Mosiah 3:19, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticing of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict up on him, even a child doth submit to his father.”

-Elder Packer started his talk by declaring that he was speaking to those who are suffering from feeling such as guilt and failure. He knows that many of us are feeling lost and looking for the light.

-The atonement is the light shining in the darkness for those who have lost their way.

-Elder Packer quotes many scriptures that have to do with the atonement. If you are looking for a Christ-centered talk, this is it. This talk is about NOTHING but CHRIST and the ATONEMENT. Can anyone think of a better focus for a talk than these?

-I get the feeling that many of us will be using this talk in our third hour lessons within the next six months.

Linda K. Burton

-Two main scriptures for this talk. The first one comes from the sacrament pray found in D&C 20:77, “always remember him and keep his commandments which he has given them; that they may always have his Spirit to be with them.” She followed this up with a second scripture from  John 13:34,”Love one another as I have loved you.”

-She has us to remember four words, First observe, then serve. She provided many great examples of how we can serve though who do not always serve us. When we serve others we become living examples of the Savior’s teachings.

-We are the Savior’s hands when we serve the one.

-Sometimes we are tempted to serve in the way that we want to serve and not necessarily in the way that is needed. Service should never be for us.

-As we serve we are keeping covenants.

-A great talk on real Christlike service!! This might be my favorite talk so far.

-Like me book mark these notes with one more scripture quoted by Sister Burton that should not be forgotten. Matthew 5:44, “I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Walter F. Gonzalez

Come unto me that you might come and see. As we come unto Christ we can know with our hearts and our minds that Jesus is the Christ. We should learn truth with our hearts.

-We must see with our hearts essential things. Flesh and blood as not Peter

“Take time to be still and feel the promptings.”

-“The honest seeker of truth will know the truth of all things by the Holy Ghost.” I think we have a tendency to down play the power the Holy Ghost can give us when it comes to knowledge. I believe that we can be capable of understanding much more than we often think that we are capable of understanding. Nothing is possible when it comes to the Spirit.

-We must all be like Peter in Matthew 16:17, “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”

Jeffrey R. Holland

-Let me start off by saying that Elder Holland is my favorite speaker, so I am bias. It is really impossible for me to pick out one central scripture in this talk because the talk is littered with scripture after scripture.

-“For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.” Elder Holland adds that the disciples of Jesus either could not, or would not, believe him.  I think that we are prone to miss this just these facts just as much as they were.

-In his own words, Elder Holland described (in awesome detail) how the Apostles must have felt during their time with Christ and how they must have felt after his death. He sure does know how to paint a picture!

-Elder Holland sees John 21:15-17, “Peter do you love me?” As the crux of the entire Apostolic ministry. His elaboration on passage is amazing. I can’t do it justice here so I will not try. Needless to say, Christ needs us to teach and testify, otherwise, why are we here? Christ does not need our fish.

-Elder Holland believes that Christ will ask us exactly what he asked Peter during the final judgment, “Did you love me?” “The crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty.” Exactly!!!!!

-After we encounter Christ we can never go back. No matter what happens we will never be the same after the experience.

-Like Elder Packer’s talk, this talk is Christ centered to the MAX. In my lifetime, I have never heard a speaker that I “feel” every time that I hear speak.  This talk was spectacular.

-How would you like the job of following Elder Holland at conference? LOL.

Thomas S. Monson

-I guess the prophet is a good person to follow Elder Holland J He notes that this is his 49th year as an Apostle.

-The guiding scripture of this talk comes from 2 Nephi 2:25,“Men are that they might have joy.” President Monson says that this joy comes from a knowledge that we can commune with God.

-President Monson taught that we should not dwell on the negative aspects of our lives. We each have small blessings in our lives that are easy for us to miss. He compels each of us to “take an inventory of your life” and search for the blessings, large or small, that you have received.

-The more we act upon the inspirations that we receive the more errands the Lord will send us on.

-I am watching on BYUTV. About mid-way through this talk the channel went dead. Did this happen to everyone else????

-Back on now.

-“The Lord is in the details of our lives.”

-This was a more of a classic President Monson style talk, lots of stories.


The themes of this session? Christ, service, love and the atonement.

8 hours down, 2 hours to go.

4 Responses to “182nd Semiannual General Conference (Sun AM)”

  1. “I really love General Conference. When it comes to Church, it is my favorite time of the year. Conference always reminds me how fortunate that we all are to live in a time that we have modern-day prophets and apostles that we teach us true doctrine and give us so much guidance for our lives.”

    O.K. great, but what about those members who would really like to feel this way about conference but can’t because of the very content of conference? Myself, I honestly struggle with the often ideological content of conference talks, and how tautological conference is. Can there be inspired tautology? Is true doctrine directly linked to the economic and social ideology commonly found among conservative upper-middle-class white American males of the post war period?

    On another topic, Pres Monson often tells very sweet stories that illustrate the workings of an interventionist God in the small details of the lives of faithful saints; such as God’s answering prayers to make a jumbotron screen function correctly (this story came latter in the talk that opens with the note that this is his 49th years as an apostle.). Sounds great, but regretabilly it begs the question. In a limited context this is really no big deal. If people want to say the outcome was an answer to prayer there does not seem to be any harm in it. Its not like we want to be over confident nay sayers and insist that it wasn’t an answer to prayer. Except that when we look at the bigger context Monson’s stroy becomes more challenging. The world is full of prayers that go unanswered, filled with people who suffered injustice, or abuse, full of violence and heartship that go unabated by God. In that context Monson’s God is a troubling figure, on the one hand this God cares so deeply about the details of the lives of some people that he intervenes on every level telling them who to marry, who to go visit and comfort, making their electronics function correctly and so on; but this same God tolerates all kinds of violence, sufferring, injustice, abuse, etc that occur in other lives, and many times he does not answer the prayers of those turning to him for relief. Monson’s talks often point directly to this problem of an interventionist God but I suspect its unintentional on Monson’s part. His hope seems to be that we will be strengthened to know that if we have enough of the right kind of faith God will be constently at work in our lives. He wants to direct us to the behaviors and beliefs that will bring God closer to us. Nonetheless, Monson’s stories don’t realy give us a way to reconside God’s seeming indifference to some people with God’s deep involvement in the lives of others. What kind of God are we being asked to believe in? At times this God seems very partisian.

    Anyway those are just a couple of reasons that some people struggle with conference.

  2. kirkcaudle said

    I sympathize with what you are saying Douglas. I guess when I talk about “true doctrine” I am talking about those things that relate directly to Christ (faith, baptism, repentance, etc.). I am rarely inspired by the ideological content (see some of my other conference posts), but I’m not bothered by its tautological nature. I think that we (or at least I) need to hear the same things said in different ways over and over again.

    I have some other ideas about your original question, “what about those members who would really like to feel this way about conference but can’t because of the very content of conference?” But I will give others a chance to speak first. I’m sure they could give better answers than I could.

    My short answer is, I try and feel the spirit of the conference and listen with charity to those things that I disagree with. If I REALLY disagree with something, then I put it aside until later and so it does not distract me from the rest of the conference while it is happening. With that said, I am on bored with 98-99% of conference most of the time, but there are for sure things that irk me.

    Again, I think your concern here is very legitimate Douglas. One thing I have learned (and am still learning) is that General Conference is a very different experience for everyone.

  3. Robert C. said

    I too think Douglas raises important and interesting questions.

    Regarding the problem of evil, that I think is one of the issues Douglas is raising, my own inclination is to simply interpret Pres. Monson as telling stories that report certain graces that have been given, as a kind of song of praise. On this interpretation, then, there is no theological contradiction to also raise laments. But perhaps laments are better done in private.

    This, it seems to me, is what I see as one of the themes underlying the Book of Job — that no one is really in a good place to judge what is just or unjust, and that evil should indeed be mourned, and that unanswered prayers should be lamented, but that this lament should be understood as largely a personal matter (since Job’s friends basically kept interrupting Job’s ultimately rather private attempt to call God out…).

    By the way, Jim F.’s article here is one of my favorites regarding the problem of evil — he addresses this problem near the end of the essay. I think Jim is suggesting an approach similar to what I’ve said above, though I don’t want to speak for Jim.

  4. douglas Hunter said

    Thanks for your thoughts guys. A couple of follow-up thoughts.

    As I read your comments is sounds like there is a degree to which you are suggesting that we need to view conference within a narrow context. The ideas of “listening with charity” and “stories that report certain graces that have been given and songs of praise” for example, resonate with me very much. What keeps me uncomfortable though is that there are religious leaders in the world that I don’t need to keep the context narrow with. I saw Desmond Tutu speak during his last tour of the U.S. He talked about big graces, little graces, as well as very real atrocities and horrors. He spoke of justice and fairness, but in the end his discourse and his example is about mercy and forgiveness; the point he made over and over again in his address was that we need to seek the ability to see the divine in ALL people. No limited context necessary, everything he said made sense in terms of small graced, big horrors and all the rest.

    I was not trying to raise the problem of evil. Maybe a god who is portrayed as fawning over every need of some people and ignoring others is the problem of evil; but rightly or wrongly I think its something different. I think its an ideological issue or a moment where LDS theology is incomplete. Or maybe the problem is that I just don’t get it. Maybe the point is that institutional mormonism does assert a god that is more attentive to those who hold to the LDS ideas of righteousness than he is to those who do not and I just refuse to accept this notion of privilege. But I have had conversations with friends and family who are not only comfortable with this notion of privilege but who think its the way the gospel works! I am horrified by such an idea.

    There are two other things, the first being that I hope what I am talking about is not simply things I personally disagree with. It is also my deepest hope that I am not merely speaking from an ideological discomfort. Its my assertion that religion must transgress ideology, so if my problem is the problem of the liberal in the conservative church then I can’t consider myself to be a religious person in any meaningful sense of the word.

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