Saturday, April 01, 2006

176th Annual LDS General Conference Priesthood Session

Note--Bryce over at M* also has posted his notes, of this session. They are very, very good. See here.

Note 2--Dave over at DMI has also posted notes of this session. They too are very, very good. Please see them here.

5:00 p.m
. Thomas Monson Conducting. Pres. Hinckley attending and presiding. Priesthood Choir Orem and Salt Lake Institutes of Religion

5:02 p.m. Awake Ye Saints Of God Awake

5:05 p.m. Invocation

5:09 p.m. Choir The Lord is My Shepard.

5:15 p.m. Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Quorum of the Twelve. Priesthood is wonderful force for good. We live in a time of opportunity. Correct choices requires discipline and good outlook. (Choice is a big theme this conference) If we trust and obey the Lord His hand will be over us, and He will help us see the end from the beginning.

As a boy he left East Germany for West Germany overnight. He was a laundry delivery boy, and needed a bicycle. He had always dreamed of a shiny new bike. Instead he got just a black steady work horse, which he used to deliver laundry before and after school. He did his part because the family needed income and he wanted to contribute. Back then he couldn’t see the end from the beginning, and it was hard to live. He got so tired and worked so hard his lungs would literally burn from delivering the laundry. He didn't like it.

He joined the air force to be a pilot. He took the medical exam, and told him he had scars on his lungs from his teen aged years. The treatment that helped him recover, was the exercise and fresh air as a laundry boy, which he didn’t even know at the time, or until later. Without that experience as a boy he would not have become a jet fighter and later commercial pilot.

Discouragement may creep into our life along with doubt about the value of our work. Satan will plant seeds of doubt that we will never make a difference. He will try to prevent us from seeing the end from the beginning. As priesthood holders we are taught by prophets, seers, and revelators of our day. The decisions we make now will determine what will follow in this life and through out eternity.

He is grateful for Pres. Hinckley’s leadership. His prophetic view helps us see the end from the beginning. God loves us, so that he gave us prophets to give us guidelines. For the Strength of Youth are some of these critical guidelines. The principles contained therein are priceless. If you don’t have one get one. It is a gem for any aged group. All these youth, and leader guide books and temple recommend have symbol of Salt Lake Temple. The Temple binds us together, past, current, and future generations. Eternal questions answered in the Temple, divine Truths are taught in the Temple.

Our temporal bodies are also sacred, as are the Temples of God. We are not our own, as we have been bought with a price (Christ's Atonement). Use our thoughts, minds, hearts, and bodies with respect and dignity. As we keep Strength of Youth standards, we will perform life’s work with greater skill. We will be temple worthy.

God keeps promises. We need to fulfill our part to receive His blessings. When we are blessed it is because we obeyed the law upon which it is predicated. To go to the Temple you will be interviewed by a Bishop. Are you honest, morally clean, keep word of wisdom, pay tithing, sustain Church leadership? These standards are similar to those found in Strength of Youth. These along with guidance of Holy Ghost will help us decide on education, friends, media, dating, sexual purity, and a host of other choices we do and will make.

As we keep the standards we will see beyond the “moment” We will endure and work hard. The youth will then serve missions. Upon their return they will plan their lives, and prepare for marriage and eternal families. Your priorities in life will change. You will be able to see the end from the beginning. Write these standards into your hearts and minds. Compare the standards with where you are today. The Spirit will let you know what changes you need to make. Use true repentance and Christ’s Atonement to achieve your potential.

Know thou my son that all these things shall give you experience. This was a lesson taught by Christ to Joseph, and by extension the saints.

Teaching by example is the best way to teach. Teach our youth by being a Temple worthy leader. This will be of great help to our youth, and help them see the end from the beginning. He promises that when we follow this pattern God will help us make more out of our life than we can by ourselves. He will help us see the end from the beginning.

5:31 p.m. Ronald A. Rasband Presidency of the Seventy. 122 temples now available to the saints worldwide–more have been announced and are coming.

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin called families together for counsel from him. They came up to the temple with their tents, and the doors toward the temple so they could hear King Benjamin’s words. Are our doors pitched toward the Temples that we love in our own homes?

Families received his word with enthusiasm and commitment. They entered a new covenant to follow Christ. Unfortunately the little children at the time did not understand his words, since they were small children. The did not believe the traditions of their fathers? Why did they not accept them? Do we have reason to be concerned of our rising generation of youth?

President Hinckley has praised our youth. They look to the Lord for His guidance and help. But there are warnings too. Many youth are mature; but they are sorely tested, with the tests to become more severe. Does this get your attention? It should. As fathers and leaders we need to respond to the call “All hands on deck.” We need to teach and fortify fathers and mothers, to help them teach the children in the home.

Now is the time to increase our awareness, and to be influences for good in their lives. When first called to the Seventy, he took his family with him to England to preside in an area presidency. He included his family in his Church work, which brought them together. They performed baptisms for the dead in the Temple, which also brought them closer together, more so than all the prior football games of other temporal activities.

Nephi understood commitment to children of the upcoming generation. We teach Christ, to our children so they know to Whom they may look for a remission of their sins.

5:43 p.m. Elder Richard G. Hinckley Quorum of the Seventy. President Hinckley’s son (he does look like him.) He began his talk by stating he is likely the only General Authority sustained by the entire Church membership, over the protest (tongue in cheek) of the prophet. His mother passed away two years ago just after April conference. He can honor her now only by how he lives. He loves his father, and honors him. He recalls some of his youth and interaction with his family. He recalls laughter and love. His father, President Hinckely is kind and wise.

What my membership in the Church means to me. List the thoughts that come to your mind. You will soon have a growing book that helps you understand your membership in the Church. It may help you in future talks.

Tonight he talks about repentance. It is not a harsh principle. It means to turn, or to return to God. Jehovah asked Israel to return, repeatedly. All they needed to do was acknowledge their sins.

When we acknowledge sin, forsake, it, and change our hearts, then God will and does forgive us. Atonement makes repentance possible. His Church membership means everything to him. It gives life meaning.

5:52 p.m. James C. Faust Second Counselor in First Presidency It is always a great privilege to address the priesthood of the Church. The young men are blessed to hold the Aaronic Priesthood. The lesser priesthood doesn’t mean there is anything small about it. Upon taking of the Sacrament members take Christ’s name upon them.

Some deacons became careless in passing the sacrament. One Sunday, the High Priests of the ward sat on the deacons row, to pass the sacrament. The young deacons learned by example that passing the Sacrament was a sacred trust, and a great honor. Peter called the Priesthood a Royal Priesthood. The Aaronic Priesthood holds keys for administering of angels. In ancient and modern times angels have appeared with warnings and instructions. At times our relatives who have passed on may be such angels in our lives.

Alma the Younger had an experience with ministering of angels. Alma was so overcome that he fainted and was carried to his father. He subsequently repented and was born of the Spirit. He went on to become one of the Church’s greatest missionaries. Miracles don’t always convert people. Laman and Lemuel are prime examples. Aaronic priesthood holder obligated to qualify for the Melchizedek priesthood.

Upon ordination the Aaronic Priesthood holder can administer in certain ordinances. Duties of different quorums reviewed. Home teaching companions to their fathers helps to watch over the Church. You need to have spirit with you in your lives as you perform your priesthood duties. You must avoid all types of addiction: drugs, alcohol, tobacco, pornography. Some addictions are mind altering, and can inhibit reason from guiding you.

6:07 p.m. Choir and congregation sing We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet.

6:10 p.m. Thomas B. Monson First Counselor First Presidency. Remember it is a great blessing to hold the priesthood. All should honor the priesthood. We should know what we believe. We should be ready to answer those who wants to question our beliefs. When the time for performance arrives, the time for preparation has passed. We should prepare now.

Are we ready to answer questions and declare truth? We should be prepared. Pres. Mckay asked what beliefs set us apart from others? He responded that it is divine authority by direct revelation. Perfect example is First Vision of Joseph Smith.

John Baptist in May 1829 ordained Joseph and Oliver, to the priesthood of Aaron, which he held on earth. He was acting under Peter, James, and John who held keys of Melchesidek priesthood, another example of divine authority and direct revelation. Apostles sent by God ordained Joseph and Oliver to be specially witnesses of Him.

We carry the requirement and duty to be true to the trust we have been given. Priesthood is the power of God delegated to man for man to act toward man’s salvation. This is authority given in this day by ministering angels, direct from presence of Almighty God.

When he was 17 he was to be ordained an Elder. He went to Stake President for his interview. The SP was a scriptorian, and felt others, should also be. He was told by SP to come two hours before sacrament and to bring his personal scriptures. SP asked to see his scriptures. He commented “well read”. He asked Monson, have you ever had an angel minister to you? Well, I’m not sure. Then citing 13th section of D & C, this priesthood holds keys for administering of angels. At the end of a “long” interview SP passed him, and said he would be ordained an Elder. Remember that the Lord blesses those who serve him.

Oath and Covenant applies to all priesthood. It is a pronouncement to Aaronic priesthood of future duty. If you obtain these two priesthoods you are sanctified. He that receives this priesthood receives my servants, and my Father and His kingdom.

Two main requirements. First faithfulness and obedience. Second to magnify ones calling–to honor and glorify your calling. To increase the importance of your calling.

Prophet Joseph asked what does magnify calling mean:? To hold it up. To elevate it. To perform your calling.

Aaronic priesthood should be given opportunity to magnify their callings. We should not doubt, but believe. The priesthood is not a gift, but a commission to serve and bless the lives of others.

Melchizedek priesthood are shepards watching ovaer Israel. Are we prepared to feed flock of God? We must recognize worth of human soul. Never give up on any of God’s children. When priesthood callings are magnified, the power of God brings to pass his purposes. For whom God calls, He qualifies.

6:35 p.m. Reminders of tomorrow’s sessions, day light savings time tomorrow 2:00 a.m. President Hinckley concludes

6:35 p.m. President Hinckley. He remarks how President Monson is a difficult man to follow. Full of humor but also sincerity. When a man grows old he develops a softer touch. He emphasized how he has thought a great deal about that recently. Why there so much hatred? There are terrible wars. At home there is contention. Fathers who make wives weep and children fear. There are racial tensions. I cannot understand how this can be. He recalls the 1978 revelation on priesthood to all worthy males. There are racial slurs and remarks heard amongst the saints. True disciples of Christ do not participate in them. No man holding MP can arrogantly assume he can hold MP but another whose skin is different cannot. We have a diverse society, and we must accommodate this diversity.

Each is son or daughter of God, who loves all children No basis fro racial hatred in this church. If you so indulge you need to ask for forgiveness.

Receives letters about issues to discuss at conference. One from a woman who divorced then remarried. Husband quit job and refusing to work, while wives provide for households. If one so does, they deny the faith and are infidels. Women have claim on their husbands for maintenance, as do children till they are of age. Husbands considered breadwinners for family. A man who refuses to work to support family, is not in good standing.

Knows that conflicts of th world are of adversary. From time of Church’s organization Satan has been at work.

Story of young man growing up in community not members of church. Some of his LDS associates belittled him. He hated Church. At 17 he enrolled in college, after his father died. One friend asked him to join a club. For first time in his life someone wanted me around. This was good feeling for this brother, and after 16 years he finally had a friend.

His friend read the Book of Mormon, and he asked about it. He asked what was so important in Book of Mormon. H didn’t want to touch the book, only what was in it. Richard, his friend asked him to attend and sing in choir. He was promised the first time if he read the Book of Mormon he would know it was true. He did read the book, and was eventually baptized.

Recently he was married in the Salt Lake City Temple. Elder Coleman performed the ceremony. It is unfortunate how his early Mormon friends treated him. It was only afterward when another Mormon treated him better than he was converted.

Why do we have to be so mean? Why so much animosity? It is not part of Christ’s gospel. We must forgive others their trespasses. We all sin. We are members of God’s church. We are obligated to Him and others. The world needs men of strength and righteousness. Most LDS though show outpouring of love and concern for others. Relief Society does vast good all across the world. Welfare program provides clothing, food and other temporal things for those in distress.

Perpetual education lifts thousands out of poverty into sunshine of knowledge. No end to the good we can do. Don’t dwell on critical or negative. Pray for strength and capacity to assist others. Radiate light of Gospel all times and places. Spirit of Redeemer to radiate from us to all others.

6:55 p.m Choir Closes Come Oh thou king of kings.

Benediction.

I was particularly struck by President Hinckley's remarks. He spoke plainly, clearly, and with conviction. He clearly is dismayed at the level of contention in the world. He is greatly disturbed at how we treat each other, the wars that rage unchecked, the meanness of spirit with which we treat each other. He asked a couple of times Why? I got the sense he was truly concerned with hate, contention, war, and unchristian conduct. He decried it on a national level, and at home, as well as by members of the Church. I very much appreciated hearing these comments, and felt them a strong reminder to live a more Christlike life. We can all do with more charity in our actions, thoughts, and deeds. We truly were fed by a Prophet of God this evening.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Naiah Earhart said...

It sournds like a real feast. Thanks for sharing it.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Robert C. said...

Thanks for posting this.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 5:46:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Hi Naiah: It was pretty tasty ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

Robert: Thank you as well for stopping by and taking the time to read them.

Sunday, April 02, 2006 6:58:00 AM  
Blogger Eric Nielson said...

Guy:

I really thought about blogging during Richard Hinkley's talk. He recommended making a notebook about what your membership in the church means to you. Sounds just like blogging to me.

Monday, April 03, 2006 9:21:00 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Hi Eric,

Yeah . . I agree--I'm sure he meant to actually say "blog"; but, just couldn't find the word ;-)

Monday, April 03, 2006 10:35:00 AM  

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