Priesthood Session in a Nutshell

President Eyring conducted, with music by a BYU priesthood choir (with an expressive and energetic conductor) and talks by Elder Oaks, Elder Rasband, YM President Beck, and the First Presidency. This was an amazingly upbeat meeting. President Monson called this one of the best priesthood meetings he ever attended.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Twelve, on healing the sick.

He noted that relying on medical science and doctors is not in conflict with the prayer of faith or priesthood blessings. Spoke at length on priesthood blessings, which consist of (1) anointing with oil; (2) sealing the blessing; (3) faith of the one blessed; (4) words of blessing, which are important but not essential to the blessing or its efficacy as are the first three items; and (5) the will of the Lord, which along with the faith of the person controls the outcome, not the words of the blessing. So elders, fear not to give a blessing.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Seventy, on missionary work.

This talk will be remembered for its detailed description of the process of determining mission calls (based on Elder Rasband assisting President Eyring during one session). Picture of missionary displayed on big screen. President Eyring consults notes by stake president, etc., in file. Missions of church display on second screen. The Spirit speaks to President Eyring and he makes an inspired assignment.

David L. Beck, YM General President, on the Aaronic Priesthood.

Reviews the revised Duty to God program to be released June 2010. Encourages young men to be courageous, like the early explorers who ventured into unknown oceans. “How far to the point of no return?” (lyrics to the old Kansas song) kept playing in my head.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency, on godly patience.

A powerful talk encouraging patience and longsuffering. Godly patience is not passive resignation, it is active; it endures. Impatience arises from selfishiness; avoid Center of the Universe syndrome. Don’t give up on yourself: blessings come in the Lord’s time and in the Lord’s way.

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency, on priesthood.

Quotes D&C 107:99-100 (“Let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office to which he is appointed, in all diligence”). Other good stuff that I really didn’t follow very well (tired from skiing this morning).

President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency, to the young men.

Prepare for service as a missionary. If it’s part of your culture, date (at 16). Dress to bring out the best in yourself and others. Treat all (especially young women) with kindness and dignity. Avoid profanity; use language to uplift those around you. Porn is dangerous and addictive, to be avoided at all costs. Drugs, alcohol, coffee, tea, and tobacco are harmful to body and spirit. Tears inevitably follow transgression. Good thoughts lead to good actions.

9 comments for “Priesthood Session in a Nutshell

  1. April 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Now Kansas is playing in my head. ;)

  2. Tim
    April 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Glad to hear I wasn’t the only one who thought of the Kansas song.

  3. Liberty
    April 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Does anyone have an inkling of what this new Duty to God program entails? Are we witnessing a scaling back of Scouting?

  4. coachodeeps
    April 4, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Here is a quote about scouting from the Duty to God Q&A on

    “The new program does not to overlap or compete with
    Scouting, but it does include some activities relating to
    physical, educational, and social development.”

  5. JamesM
    April 4, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Just FYI, that “expressive and enthusiastic” conductor happens to be Ron Staheli, head of the BYU choral dept. Within the broader choral world, he is considered every bit as prolific as Mack Wilberg (if not more so) and is respected as absolute giant within the field. An apt sports comparison might be Dean Smith at UNC basketball.

  6. Jacob F
    April 4, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Dr. Staheli is a legend. It was great to see him last night.

    I look forward to re-listening to those talks.

  7. thesnakeguy
    April 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

    “The new program does not to overlap or compete with
    Scouting, but it does include some activities relating to
    physical, educational, and social development.”

    This sentence makes no sense to me. Either it competes with scouting or it overlaps. Either duty to god activities take away mutual nights from scouting and compete with scouting for resources and time. Or they are done at a seperate time thus overlapping with scouting. You can’t have it both ways. Many wards in the past have been frustrated as trying to find the balance. Scouting tends to be activity based eschewing lectures and duty to god seems to be all about lectures. The two philosphies seem hard to reconcile.

  8. Gilgamesh
    April 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I, for one, would be glad to see the Duty to God program replace scouting. As a father of four sons, two of which are in scouts. They are more interested in church than scouting. As it now stands the Duty to God program is redundant most wards I have been in only pay it lip service, if even that. In the 8 years I have been in my current ward, only two youth have completed the Duty to God and their awards were given to them at a YM meeting, not even in the larger priesthood body. I hope the church puts a little weight behind it this go around. Either that or drop it all together.

  9. Ben
    April 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Staheli is a legend. It was great to see him last night.

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