Saturday Morning Session

President Uchtdorf conducted the Saturday morning session, featuring talks by Elder Perry, Sister Jean A. Stevens, Walter F. Gonzalez, Kent. F. Richards, Elder Cook, and President Eyring, with brief remarks by President Monson. Direct quotations (based on my notes) are given in quotes; all other text represents my summary of the remarks given. Parenthetical comments and discussion notes at the end of the post in italics are my own editorial comments.

Conference CenterPresident Monson opened the session with brief remarks summarizing recent LDS humanitarian aid work in Japan.

Elder L. Tom Perry of the Twelve, on the sabbath and the sacrament:

  • God expects us to rest from our labors on the sabbath day; observance of the sabbath includes worship.
  • “Sunday dress” isn’t out of date — it helps prepare us to partake of the sacrament each Sunday.

Sister Jean A. Stevens, First Counselor in the General Presidency of the Primary, on children as models of faith:

  • Children have believing hearts and exemplify humility, obedience, reverence, love, and other Christ-like attributes.
  • Jesus blessed the little children one by one: “Behold your little ones.”
  • Rediscover your faithful inner child.

Walter F. Gonzalez of the Presidency of the Seventy, on characteristics of true followers of Christ:

  • Followers of Christ love God and show that love by how they treat others.
  • Followers of Christ make and keep covenants, as Jesus showed his love for the Father by doing the will of the Father.

Kent F. Richards of the Seventy … sorry, technical difficulties. Notes to follow.

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Twelve, on women in the Church:

  • Scores bonus points by opening with a short quote from Wallace Stegner praising LDS pioneer women. (He quoted Epictetus in his last talk.)
  • What would the contents of your purse say about you?
  • Puts in a plug for the new Handbook 2. Bishops should delegate. Women play an active role in the Ward Council.
  • Nice story from Western Samoa about helping young men who did not serve missions not feel like second class citizens in the Church.
  • Women should never have to apologize for raising children … or for working outside the home if that is the choice they are forced to make. (I thought he touched on this highly charged topic very diplomatically.)
  • “The errand of angels is given to women.” (Quoting someone whose name I didn’t catch.)

President Eyring of the First Presidency, on helping those in need:

  • Do something more than dream of your mansion above.
  • In noting humanitarian service, he remembers the widespread floods in Queensland, Australia, as well as the devastation in Japan.
  • The LDS Welfare Program started during the Great Depression in the 1930s, but the principle of self-reliance is eternal. Spend less than you earn, then use part of the surplus to bless others. God will bless you: give a crust, get a loaf.
  • There will be a global Day of Sevice held this year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the LDS Welfare Program.


  • For the first hour, I listened via the iPad stream at, then switched to the iPhone stream hoping for better reception, but both were spotty and jumped around a lot. I don’t know if the problems were on the transmission end or with my ISP (Qwest 1.5M DSL). God deserves more bandwidth! The second hour I switched to the audio feed at the Momon Channel app, which was stable but of course didn’t provide the names and titles that are so helpful to livebloggers. How was online reception for the rest of the world?
  • My favorite for the session is Elder Cook’s talk. I believe his quote from Wallace Stegner was drawn from his book The Gathering of Zion: The Story of the Mormon Trail, published in 1964. I think it remains the best and most readable book on the topic.
  • President Eyring misquoted the date of the Teton Dam disaster in Idaho — it was 1976, not 1966.

8 comments for “Saturday Morning Session

  1. Don’t know if Dave’s conf. notes were affected by his technical difficulties, but two key points from President Monson’s talk must be noted, in my opinion.

    First, his comments on temples – his experience at recent rededication of Laie Hawaii temple, the purpose and importance of temple work, and the announcement of 3 new temples.

    Second, his comments on missionary work, following his opening talk 6 months ago, and his request for contributions to the General Missionary Fund.

    BTW, church conference website already has summaries of some of the morning session talks – how wonderful is modern technology to further the work of the church.

    Truly we have a living prophet leading the church today.

  2. One more follow up comment – since Dave had problems during Eler Richards talk – a summary is already posted on church conference site at – a very moving talk from Elder Richards of the 70, a surgeon, his talk titled “The Atonement Covers All Pain” highlighting the power and compassion of the Savior’s At-one-ment for each of us in all facets of the challenges of life which so surely come to each of us in our custom-tailored trials and instruction called life.

  3. One question: What have readers done already, or will you do, in personal response to President Eyring’s talk? Big things or little things. No need to advertise, just do something. I went out and picked all the dandelion flowers and buds off the lawn of the vacant rental property next door. Not a big deal, but the owners will appreciate it. [And not altogether altruistic either, I admit, the prevailing wind would blow the seeds onto my lawn.] Big things take planning, but little things can be pretty quickly done, and even touch souls, as Pres. Eyring suggests. Next, maybe the pass-along card.

  4. I was quite surprised by a comment Eyring made towards the beginning of his talk on how the modern church welfare system is to us what the law of consecration and united order were to those living in the 1800s. I acknowledge that similarities exist, but there was a conflation the likes of which are extremely hard to justify. Our modern system (fast offerings) is quite unlike the actual law of consecration. I’ll have to get an actual quote when I get a chance to rewatch it, but it was surprising.

  5. Homer – your point is one that is often made. Hugh Nibley wrote and spoke on this several times. However, I think the key point, and the point Pres.Eyring would make, is that the current church welfare plan in now way prevents individuals from living the law of consecration – of having sufficient for the needs of yourself and your family and consecrating any surplus to God, via the Church, for building up the kingdom. Of course, defining where that point is becomes a challenge, and will be defined differently by different individuals. I’m sure Elder Eyring’s point is that the current financial system of the church allows willing and able members to live the lasw of consecration to the extent that they are willing to do so – by consecrating their time, their talents, their material resources, and all that they have to further the work of the church. The mechanics and details are different, but the principle is the same.

  6. Hi Homer,

    Perhaps you are clinging too tightly to a definition of the law of consecration in it’s most absolute form???

    It is almost as if you had failed to recognize a young man’s efforts to get his date in before curfew as living the law of chastity. Is it the entire law? Of course not. But for that period of time in that young man’s life, that was his expression of the law. And for him, at that moment of his life, he may be living the law perfectly.

    I’d suggest that you research the United Order (or United Firm) in church history. I think you’d find that it was more of a vehicle for living the law, which changed over time based on needs and circumstances, than an absolute and perfect expression of the law itself.

    In my opinion, the church welfare system, the Deseret Industries, tithing, fast offerings, and other personal, private service we provide to our fellow human beings are all expressions of the temple covenant we call the “law of consecration.” I believe that many LDS people live that law and keep their covenants fully.

  7. You guys, please don’t make excuses. Homer is right. Fast offerings is a far cry from the law of consecration as clearly defined in our scriptures. It is a replacement law because the church simply rebelled against the higher law. Fast offerings is a donation; it involves little or no actual sacrifice. The law of consecration, on the other hand, requires the sacrifice of all things. The united order, when created, was intended by the Lord to last “until I come” (D&C 104:1) The “whole church” is “under condemnation” unto she returns to “the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to DO according to that which I have written” (D&C 84:55-57). Also, study section 82, which is a revelation given specifically in regard to the united order and its penalties for having fallen away from it; also section 105, first few verses. Very powerful. Let’s not keep excusing those general authorities who try to redefine the gospel, and the principles of Zion. Let’s just admit the awful and fallen state that we are in, as a people and a church. I we can do that much, humbly confessing our plight, maybe we can yet qualify for Zion, at least on an individual basis. Zion is our goal, not just membership in an unsanctified church.

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