Saturday, March 31, 2012

General Conference Saturday Afternoon Session, 3-31-12

3-31-12 General Conference Saturday Afternoon Session

Unedited Notes:

Sustainings and releases.
Audit report
Statistical report—14,441,346 members at the end of2011.

Elder Holland

Householder went out early in the morning to hire laborers. About the 11th hour, 5 p.m, he hired a concluding number of workers. Everyone received the same wage. No one was treated unfairly. The first workers agreed to the wages of the day, and they received it. They were grateful to get the work. The first men chosen were the most fortunate because they were assured to have work for the day. The last of the workers accept the work without knowing what they will receive. They’ve only been told that they would be treated fairly. Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind? There will be times when someone else gets an unexpected blessing. Let us not be jealous when good fortune comes to someone else.

The race we are in is against sin. Envy is truly in there. Get a quart of pickle juice every time someone around you has a happy moment. Coveting, pouting, or tearing someone else down does not improve your understanding.

The formula of faith is to hold on, work on, and see it through. Don’t dwell on old grievances. Don’t hyperventilate because of something that happened at 9 o’clock in the morning, when you are getting paid at the end of the day. Even if a grievance did not start with you, it can end with you.

This is a story about the goodness of God, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. God most enjoys being God because of the thrill of being merciful. Even if you feel like a lost servant of the 11th hour, the Lord is still standing there beckoning for you to Come unto Him. Men: come join the ranks. His concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not at which hour you go there. It is never too late if the Master of the vineyard tells you there is time.

Elder Hales

Son who went to a far country and wasted his inheritance. He ate the husks of the pigs’ food. In his poor conditions, he remembered he was.
To worthily partake of the sacrament, we remember that we are renewing our baptism covenant. Make covenant to follow the Savior during the coming week. Provide special opportunities for young to understand sacrament. The sacrament gives us an opportunity to come to ourselves and remember who we are. Worthiness to hold a temple recommend gives us the strength to keep our covenants. Sustain our leaders, treat our family with kindness, etc., makes us worthy to go to the temple. Faithfully live the gospel and follow the prophets. Christ-like living—obedience, sacrifice, chaste in thought and action. We receive power from on high to face challenges in life.
The temple and self-reliance’s purpose is to get us on higher ground so that we can be of service to others.

The father ran and kissed his son, gave him a nice robe, and killed the fatted calf to give a party for his son. Follow our spiritual desires and come to ourselves. I worthily take the sacrament; I am worthy of a temple recommend; I sacrifice for others. We will be encircled in the arms of His love and welcomed home.

Elder Baxter

We cannot do all the sums or make it all add up, because we do not have all the numbers. We might have the ability to do the math if it were available for us to do!
Your journey has had bumps, detours, etc., because we live in a fallen world. Every single one of your children’s achievements will stand as a tribute to you. “No, little one, you cannot come to me now, but I can come to you.” When you lift the burdens of others, your own burdens become lighter. Your circumstances may not have changed, but your attitude has. Single parents, as you do your very best, heaven will smile upon you. Consider the present with fortitude, and look to the future with confidence.

Elder Soares

Whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. Be not weary in well doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. Line clearly defined between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s territory. Do my actions place me in the Lord’s or the devil’s territory?

The African people have touched his heart because of their diligence in staying in the Lord’s territory. The serve and invite others to come to Christ.
Humble ourselves before God, witness we have broken hearts and contrite spirits, confess sins, etc. Our disposition to live our covenants prepares us to live in His presence. The Savior banished from His life any influence that would take Him away from His divine mission. You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t by wrong by doing right. (Monson)

Elder Cook

Lehi’s dream. Lay ministry extends to entire membership who serves one another. The Savior’s gift of the atonement is for everyone. We recognize and respect all those who Lehi saw in his dream. We need to reach out to those who have fallen away and those who haven’t come to the iron rod yet. Avoid being overly judgmental about conduct that is foolish or unwise, but not sinful.

A great peace came over him when he saw his mother in prayer. (This was her response when she heard of her brother’s death.) 2 Nephi 25:26. We talk of Christ….
Essential for member’s to read, study, and ponder the scriptures. “And it came to pass” actually confirms the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. “If I immerse myself in the scriptures, the distance narrows.” Temporary setbacks are overshadowed by persistence. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His commandments is the defining test of this life. Our doctrine is clear: we are to be positive and of good cheer.

Elder Scott

He is thankful to feel Jeanine’s presence from the other side of the veil. We move and have our presence in the presence of heavenly messengers. We always hold them in our hearts, in memory; we are lifted and held to them in ties that we cannot break. Those who are faithful, who have gone beyond, know us and are solicitous for our welfare. Our relationships with those who have gone ahead can be strengthened as we keep our covenants. We need to learn to ask! If we pray to our Father and ask, that is how revelation is received. Fast; pray to find and understand scripture that will help. Pray to know if I’ve captured all the Lord wants me to do. We need to let go of hurts and be forgiving if we want revelation; also, we need to be quiet and avoid loud laughter. Spiritual education can be enhanced by good health practices. Our daily activities should not prevent us from listening to the Spirit. Pay attention to revelation given between sleep and wakefulness. Write it down. When it is for the Lord’s purposes, He can bring anything to our remembrance.

Live a clean life and be obedient to the Lord’s commandments to obtain the Lord’s trust. Plant ourselves in a righteous environment. Humility is a fertile soil. Our Heavenly Father did not put us on earth to fail, but to succeed gloriously. Ponder the scriptures; look for evidence in your lives that God has already answered you. Peace in your hearts and quiet in your life. More abundant your progress and capacity to serve. The Lord’s guidance in your life does not take away your agency. Choosing the right brings peace of mind and happiness. Communication with our Heavenly Father is not a trivial matter; it is a sacred privilege.

General Conference Saturday Morning Session, 3-31-12

3-31-12 General Conference SaturdayMorning Session

Unedited notes:

President Monson

Resist evil wherever we are. How blessed we are to be here at this time. This great cause in which we are engaged will continue to go forward. Nothing can stop it. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing…(Joseph Smith). Much that is challenging; much that is uplifting. Seek after those things which are good, lovely, and praiseworthy.

President Packer

He wanted to give money to a boy at a train station, but his train pulled away before he could.

Young boy so hungry and wanted to take the sacrament bread. Woman shooed him out. He came back. President Packer welcomed him into his arms. He was told, “You were holding a nation on your lap.”

Little boy had drowned. Minister gave a sermon. The parents were scolded that they did not have their son baptized and that he had gone to hell. The Elders approached the grieving parents. They said that they were servants of the Lord with a message for them. They were taught about the restoration and redemption for the living and the dead. The Elders came as comforters and as authorized servants of the Lord.

Challenge of mortality to be responsible parents. Woman shared a story of having an abortion before she was married. This couple can learn that they can be forgiven. Another couple found that they could not have children. President Packer said that they were fortunate because they would choose to have children if they could. Some situations now are just temporary states. We have hope in Christ beyond this life. “Sealed safely in the covenant of the everlasting priesthood.” We learn more from our children than we did from our parents. Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

President Packer is number 10 out of 11 children. His parents did not have prominent positions in the church, but they were effective in their most important calling—as parents. He hopes that he does as well before he hears the greeting, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” We need to provide the way for parents and children to have time together as families. Family time is sacred time and it should be respected and protected. Brother and Sister Packer were willing to give up their lives if their ill children’s lives were preserved. This is akin to the love that our Heavenly Father has for us.

Sister Esplin

Our children are an heritage unto the Lord. The Lord knows what our children need to know, do, and be to come back to Him. He gives guidance to parents, teachers, and leaders to help his children. We need to teach our children to understand the doctrine. We need to do more than impart information; we need to help get the doctrine into their hearts. Create an atmosphere where we can help our children feel the Spirit. Teach in the context of what they are experiencing right in that very moment.

Elder Halstrom

He loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he loves the Church of Jesus Christ. They are not the same thing, but they are connected.
The Gospel is the glorious plan of God in which we can receive all that the Father has. Jesus descended below all things so that He could raise all of us again.
The Church was established by Jesus Christ during His mortal ministry. The Church was established again during our day. Jesus is the Head, and it is governed by those with apostolic callings.

It is possible to be active in the church and less active in the gospel. The things of the gospel are less visible and more difficult to measure. But they are of more importance. We need the gospel and the church.

Have the gospel be our foundation: Strengthen our relationship with Diety; focus on the ordinances and covenants (then establish the discipline to live faithful to our covenants); unite the gospel with the church. Concentrating on the gospel, the church will become more, not less, in our lives. The Lord wants the members of His church to be fully converted to His gospel.

Elder Koeliker

A mission is like a mini-life. Elderly couples add a whole lot to missions. Returned missionaries become key contributors in establish the church in many countries. Laman and Lemuel did murmur because they did not understand the dealings of the Lord. How can we help our children feel the Spirit so they are not caught up in worldly distractions? (Nephi cried until the Lord, so he didn’t rebel like unto his brothers.) We need to find and awaken our desires to know. We need to establish patterns of righteousness that lead us in the right direction. When we live the gospel and the pattern taught by Jesus Christ, our ability to help other people increases. As a man witnessed the kindness between two missionaries, he reopened his door and invited them back. “By this shall all man know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have love you, that ye also love one another.” Love of God is the foundation of doing all things that are right. There is seemingly no end of the expanding capacity to love. Our Heavenly Fathers arms are constantly extended to embrace us and to say the words, “I love you.”

Elder Oaks

The atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is the center of the message of all the prophets. The sacrifice of the Savior offered the ultimate good for the ultimate evil in the world. We are also asked to continue to offer sacrifices: a broken heart and a contrite spirit; love and serve one another.

The Christian faith has a history of sacrifice: the Lord’s sacrifice; many martyrs for their faith; Christians killed by other Christians are the most tragic martyrs. Many have given life-long service in the Catholic or Protestant churches. What can we do on a day-to-day basis in our ordinary lives?

Pioneers sacrificed much. The symbols of our Christian faith are the lives of the people. The effort by our members to train and lead each other is uniquely large. Also, home teaching and visit teaching. Sacrifice of missionaries to serve missions at their own cost. Knowing what the Savior did for me, I feel privileged to make the small sacrifice I am making in his service.

Converts sacrifice to hear and follow the message of the gospel. Sometimes they lose family and friends. Young man who became Christian knew that, upon his return home, his family might reject him and his employment opportunities might be nil. But he said, “It’s true, isn’t it?” His sacrifice was worth it to him. No sacrifice to great for those who receive temple blessings.

Mothers devote themselves to the bearing and nurturing of their children. Husbands devote themselves to supporting their families. As you sacrifice for each other and your children, the Lord will bless you.

President Eyring

President Kimball asked that God would give him mountains to climb. There are great challenges to be met. Give me the mountain; give me the challenges. (President Kimball) The hardest trial of his life humbled and startled him. He knew that a great blessing could come from adversity that would more than compensate for any cost. “And if thou should be cast into the pit or into the hands of murderers….know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience and be for thy good…the Son of Man has descended below them all; art thou greater than He…” Jesus passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine. “I God suffered these things for all if they would repent…” The way to rise above and get through trials is believe that there is a balm in Gilead and that the Lord will not forsake us. This foundation faith takes time to build. If the foundation of faith is not imbedded in our hearts, the foundation will crumble. The ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms of life. If we have faith in Jesus Christ, the hardest, as well as the easiest, times in our lives can be a blessing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trying to Write Carefully

The most obvious thing to me is that not one of us is perfect: not in language abilities, people skills, or judgment of anyone's abilities including our own. We also are not privy to anyone's real intents or what they truly think and feel. While there may be a need to respect someone on merits of social status, age, or education, I think that it is even more important to respect someone just because that person also has feelings and opinions, and gifts and talents that make him or her uniquely wonderful. Indeed, most of us on Facebook are unaware of the merits of those with whom we converse.

Facebook should not become a forum to prove that we are right and others are wrong. Nor should it be a place where we feel it's okay to slander another person. It is a social network. Using correct English is actually really important to me, but using language in such a way as to get across my intent without being offensive is by far more important. So if what I have written in the past was misunderstood to be an attack on character or a challenge, I apologize. Thank you to those of you who know who I am and accept me for that and are ever so kind in your correspondances with me and with others. Kindness is truly the hallmark of greatness.

While some think that Facebook is one of this world's evils, I think it is a great tool. I have reconnected with so many people and befriended a few others. I love seeing the great things that people think and do. So I am continuing to work on writing carefully. But even more importantly than that, I am working on not writing at all if I think my comments will just heat things up. I have learned that sometimes it is best to write directly on a person's wall than on his or her post. When you are the original poster, you have the power of deletion. Isn't that an awesome thing? There is also private messaging or the more ancient medium of email.