GenConf: Saturday Morning Session Notes

Choir: Guide Us, Oh Thou Great Jehovah

President Uchtdorf conducted this opening session.

Choir: Glory to God on High

Invocation: Timothy J. Dyches

President Henry B. Eyring: “Is Not This the Fast that I Have Chosen?”

  • When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.
  • There are more hungry, homeless, and lonely children of Heavenly Father than we can reach. And the numbers grow ever farther from our reach. So the Lord has given us something that we each can do… It is the law of the fast.
  • Your fast offering will do more than help feed and clothe bodies. It will heal and change hearts. The fruit of a free-will offering may be the desire in the heart of the recipient to reach out to others in need.
  • … other storms and tragedies will come across the world to people the Lord loves and whose sorrows He feels. Part of your fast offering and mine this month will be used to help someone, somewhere, whose relief the Lord will feel as if it were His own.

Choir: “Have I done any good”

President Boyd K. Packer: The Plan of Happiness

  • The door had a frosted glass window, but if I stood close to the glass, she could see my shadow outside. She would slip out with a cookie and a kiss. The rest is history.
  • The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home and sealed together for time and for all eternity.
  • The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth has never been rescinded. It is essential to the plan of redemption and is the source of human happiness
  • … if you suppose that the full-blown rapture of young romantic love is the sum of the possibilities which spring from the fountains of life, you have not yet lived to see the devotion and the comfort of longtime married love. … Mature love has a bliss not even imagined by newlyweds.
  • … romantic love is incomplete; it is a prelude.
  • Our physical bodies, when harmed, are able to repair themselves, sometimes with the help of a physician. If the damage is extensive, however, often a scar will remain as a reminder of the injury. With our spiritual bodies it is another matter. Our spirits are damaged when we make mistakes and commit sins. But unlike the case with our mortal bodies, when the repentance process is complete, no scars remain because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
  • I offer this comfort: God is our Father! All the love and generosity manifest in the ideal earthly father is magnified in Him who is our Father and our God beyond the capacity of the mortal mind to comprehend. His judgments are just; His mercy without limit; His power to compensate beyond any earthly comparison.

President Linda K. Burton: We’ll Ascend Together

  • Please know that I am painfully aware that the topics of fatherhood, motherhood, and marriage can be troubling for many. I know that some Church members feel that their homes will never reach what they perceive to be the ideal. Many are hurting because of neglect, abuse, addictions and incorrect traditions and culture. I do not condone the actions of men or women who have willfully or even ignorantly caused pain, anguish, and despair in their homes.
  • I am convinced that a husband is never more attractive to his wife than when he is serving in his God-given roles as a worthy priesthood holder…
  • It must be difficult, at best, for covenant men to live in a world that not only demeans their divine roles and responsibilities but also sends false messages about what it means to be a “real man.” One false message is “It’s all about me.” On the other end of the scale is the degrading and mocking message that husbands and fathers are no longer needed.
  • Brothers and sisters, we need each other! As covenant-keeping women and men, we need to lift each other and help each other become the people the Lord would have us be. And we need to work together to lift the rising generation and help them reach their divine potential as heirs of eternal life.
  • When we seek to “complete” rather than “compete,” it is so much easier to cheer each other on!

Choir and Congregation: “High on the Mountain Top”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks: The Parable of the Sower

  • Subjects for General Conference talks are assigned—not by mortal authority but by the impressions of the Spirit. Many subjects are suggested by the mortal concerns we all share. But just as Jesus did not teach how to overcome the mortal challenges or political oppression of His day, He usually inspires His modern servants to speak about what His followers can do to reform our personal lives to prepare us to return to our Heavenly Home.
  • But even those raised in the Church—long-term members—can slip into a condition where they have no root in themselves. I have known some of these—members without firm and lasting conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we are not rooted in the teachings of the gospel and regular in its practices, any one of us can develop a stony heart, which is stony ground for spiritual seeds. Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel.
  • If the emblems of the sacrament are being passed and you are texting or whispering or playing video games or doing anything else to deny yourself essential spiritual food, you are severing your spiritual roots and moving yourselves toward stony ground.
  • … to be securely rooted in the gospel we must be moderate and measured in criticism and seek always for the broader view of the majestic work of God.
  • When attitudes or priorities are fixed on the acquisition, use, or possession of property, we call that materialism. … Those who believe in what has been called the theology of prosperity are suffering from the “deceitfulness of riches.”
  • Whoever has an abundance of material things is in jeopardy of being spiritually “sedated” by riches and other things of the world.
  • We surrender to the “pleasures of this life” (1) when we are addicted, which impairs God’s precious gift of agency; (2) when we are beguiled by trivial distractions, which draw us away from things of eternal importance; and (3) when we have an entitlement mentality, which impairs the personal growth necessary to qualify us for our eternal destiny.
  • Quoting Charles J. Chaput, the Archbishop of Philadelphia: “I want to stress again the importance of really living what we claim to believe. That needs to be a priority—not just in our personal and family lives but in our church, our political choices, our business dealings, our treatment of the poor; in other words, in everything we do. . . .”

Elder Whitney L. Clayton: Choose to Believe

  • … all of us will, at some time or another, have to traverse our own spiritual wilderness and undertake our own rugged emotional journeys. In those moments, however dark or seemingly hopeless they may be, if we search for it, there will always be a spiritual light that beckons to us, giving us the hope of rescue and relief. That light shines from the Savior of all mankind, who is the light of the world.
  • Perceiving spiritual light is different from seeing physical light. Recognizing the Savior’s spiritual light begins with our willingness to believe.
  • Every day each of us faces a test. It is the test of our lifetimes: Will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or, will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark?
  • There may be times when we have been hurt, when we are tired, and when our lives seem dark and cold. There may be times when we cannot see any light on the horizon and we may feel like giving up. If we are willing to believe, if we desire to
    believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior’s teachings and example will show us the pathway forward.
  • Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose – we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His Gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments.
  • Our actions are the evidence of our belief, and become the substance of our faith.
  • Sometimes progress in spiritual things can seem slow or intermittent. Sometimes we may feel that we have lost ground, that we have made mistakes or that our best efforts to find the Savior are not working. If you feel this way, please do not give up – ever. Go right on believing in Him and in His gospel and His Church. Align your actions with that belief. In those moments when the light of your faith has dimmed, let your hope for the Savior’s love and grace, found in His gospel and His Church, overcome your doubt. I promise that He stands ready to receive you.

Choir: “Come Unto Jesus”

Elder L. Tom Perry: Why Marriage and Family Matters – Everywhere in the World

  • Quoting Pope Francis: “We now live in a culture of the temporary, in which more and more people are simply giving up on marriage as a public commitment. This revolution in manners and morals has often flown the flag of freedom, but in fact it has brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable…It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis.”
  • … when various faiths and denominations and religions are united on marriage and family, they are also united on the values and loyalty and commitment which are naturally associated with family units. It was remarkable for me to see how marriage and family-centered priorities cut across and superseded any political, economic or religious differences. When it comes to love of spouse and hopes, worries and dreams for children, we are all the same.
  • While it was wonderful to see and feel that we have so much in common with the rest of the world in regards to our families, only we have the eternal perspective of the restored gospel.
  • The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.
  • We want our voice to be heard against all of the counterfeit and alternative lifestyles that try to replace the family organization that God Himself established. We also want our voice to be heard in sustaining the joy and fulfillment that traditional families bring. We must continue to project that voice throughout the world in declaring why marriage and family are so important; why marriage and family really do matter and why they always will.

Choir: “I believe in Christ”

Benediction: Elder Larry J. Echohawk

10 comments for “GenConf: Saturday Morning Session Notes

  1. Does anyone know where that scripture Pres. Burton quoted came from? Something about ascending together. I thought she said it was in the Psalms but it isn’t there

  2. I am really worried about President Thomas Monson. Last week it was his turn to speak in the Women’s Session, but he did not participate, and now he didn’t open the Saturday Morning session, either. President Gordon Hinckley was able to do both of those things right through the last general conference he was alive for. We have to go back to President Ezra Benson in the early 1990s, over 20 years ago, to the last time a prophet was unable to open a general conference.

    I hope he isn’t suffering terribly.

  3. He also didn’t meet with the President of the United States two days ago in Utah; the rest of the First Presidency was there, but President Monson wasn’t able to make it.

  4. Does Peter count? Just kidding…

    Elder Packer looked near death. Wow. I’m surprised they had him speak.

  5. It seemed Elder Scott was absent from the red chairs, or did I just miss him. Hope he’s doing okay.

    For President Monson, he seemed very energetic during his talk, maybe a bit thinner. Prayer time!

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