What follows are my very rough Priesthood Session notes, which I will try to clean up as time permits. See also Brian D’s notes over at M*
Conducting President Thomas Monson First Counselor First Presidency
President Gordon B. Hinckley Presiding
Choir Priesthood Choir from BYU
5:02 p.m. Choir Singing Rise Up O Men Of God
5:04 p.m. Invocation Wayne S. Peterson Quorum of the Seventy
5:06 p.m. Choir sings Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy
5:08 p.m. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Reflected on many wonderful experiences in life. Formative years very critical. Lessons learned then formed character and changed his destiny.
H.S. Football game, played wingback. Block and then get open was his assignment. The other player was a giant, and he wasn’t so big. Other player probably twice the size. For most of first half was able to avoid him. On one play going to catch a pass. Team depended on him. He remembers ball hitting his hand, but then it fell to turf, and the giant hit him so hard couldn’t remember anything else. He took his eye off the ball, which is why he dropped the pass. This type of mistake loses ball games. Decided never again to take eye off the ball, even if it meant getting pounded by the other player.
Second half another play where he got open. The other giant was in front of him. He never took eye off ball this time, caught the ball, and won the game with the game winning touchdown.
Easy to get distracted from those things most important in life. We need to prioritize values. Determine where we are. Determine where we need to go to be what we want to be. Keep our eyes on our goals in life so we don’t drop the ball.
Another lesson he learned in football, was at the bottom of the pile. Was on a running play. He reached close to goal line. He cold have reached across and cheated; but recalled the words of his mother to do what is right. He left the ball where it was two inches from the goal. The reward of temporary glory was too steep. It would have left a scar on his conscience.
The light of Christ tells us what is right or wrong. Avoid temptation.
Service to others was another important lesson learned in youth. Priesthood means service. The lessons he learned as a youth served as the foundation for his future life. We should cultivate an obedient spirit. We are wise if when we hear inspired counsel we obey.
Do what is right. Set righteous goals and achieve them.
Behold a Royal Army, as is the Priesthood. Speaks to the Aaronic Priesthood who are venturing forward on the battlefield of life. Remember you are a son of God who decided to follow Christ when it mattered most. That decision determined your eternal progression. It allowed you a physical body and a chance to prove yourselves.
You are learning who you are, why you are here, and where you are going. Aaronic Priesthood is a preparatory Priesthood. It will prepare you to receive Melch. Priesthood, getting an education, going on a mission, marrying.
Make certain you make proper decisions. The twenty’s are your decade of your decisions. Make preparations for your future. If you are not prepared to make correct decisions, there will be consequences for the future. You must know what to do and when to do it, when the important decisions present themselves. Making no decision can have just as critical impact as the wrong decision. Now is the time to decide to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
We need to remember Christ, keep our covenants by partaking of the Sacrament. Now is the time to organize and have the Holy Ghost as our constant companion. Follow a schedule to achieve important goals. Always live the concepts in For the Strength of Youth.
Peer group can inspire you to great things, or lead you into false paths. True friends will guide you correctly. Am I that kind of friend to others? Now is the time to prepare for a mission. You may be able to serve a full time mission. It is a priceless opportunity to live temple covenants, particularly consecration.
Now is the time to prepare for education and an occupation. You are in the internship of life. Your diligence in school now will help you get all the education you can. Do your best in school now so you will do your best in the future in a career.
Develop your gifts and talents. Carefully select your classes. Now is the time to obey. In the prior life, obedience was not selective. We did not get to choose which parts of plan to obey. Don’t crash into the lights of the oil fields below. When we practice selective obedience we cannot detect the adversary’s influence. In the pre-existence we obeyed all or nothing. Now is the time to prepare to meet God. Learn to use time wisely, and learn wisdom in your youth. Now is the time to safely guard your birthright.
Unstable as water. Let’s not be unstable. None of us knows of all the blessings that await us. Don’t give up eternal heritage for the things of this world. Young men you are the vital strength of the Lord’s army.
Law of the Harvest lays a pattern to make decisions. Prepare the ground. Let seeds of inspiration grow. As we follow the light, the darkness will vanish, until we arrive in God’s presence. When we make a commitment, be there to honor that commitment. Be there when it is time to perform. Be there when it’s time to serve a mission. When its time to marry, be there.
After your decade of decision, go onward and upward. Rise up and be worthy. God knows you are here tonight. Victory, Victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. He wants us to be with him.
5:40 p.m. Bishop Keith B. McMullin Second Counselor Presiding Bishopric
Each priesthood bearer can because of Christ inherent the Celestial order of life. You are in charge of your world. Don’t overlook adequate preparation, and the discipline of study. Hard work can overcome poor choices when we are foolish.
Prepare for that which is to come. We are warned of troubled times to come. God shall have power of His saints and shall reign in their midst. If ye are prepared ye shall not fear. We are to prepare our families. Let us appreciate we are in charge of our own world.
Be faithful. Unencumber your life. Lay up in store.
Unencumber your life.
Turn away from excess. Put God first. Pay off debts and live debt free as much as possible.
Wives are instrumental here; but husbands also crucial. Prepare for the day of scarcity. Frugality part of the order of life. Every father and mother are the family store keepers. God will sustain us through our trials.
Many more people could ride out trials if they had their year supply of food and are debt free. The best place to have food set aside is in our homes. Start slowly and in a small way. Gradually build.
Live a provident lifestyle. Store sufficient so that you and your family are prepared.
Promote family preparedness and home making. Put basic food items and water into your emergency preparedness. As we do our best, we will enjoy greater wisdom and we shall be prepared. Because we are prepared then we will not fear.
5:51 p.m. Choir and congregation sings Now Let Us Rejoice
Talks to young priesthood holders as he would his grandsons. The great blessings of holding the priesthood is limited to a relative few given the numbers of people in the world. Priesthood is the power given to man to act in the name of God. No man aspires to the priesthood on his own.
Power of Priesthood is real. Institution of Priesthood preceded foundations of this world. We are agents of the Lord as Priesthood holders. We are on the Lord’s errand. Missionary work is essential to Priesthood responsibility.
Missionary service brings lasting joy. Mission changed his life. It will prepare us for the rest of our life’s work. We become men of God through righteous works. It is not always easy to follow a righteous plan. Following the rules is the best pathway to obtain that which the Lord has promised.
Some claim, “the devil made me do it” to escape the consequences of their own agency. Snares and pitfalls befall all of us. Permissive society requires us to hold tightly to the Iron Rod of God. There is great danger in trifling with Satan’s temptation.
We need to respect womanhood. We need to protect their physical safety and virtue. Do not approach the edge of sexual enticement.
If we have no self control how can we hope to play a great role in Eternity? No one loves you more than your parents. You might question their advice, but not their love and caring for you.
When you marry you will be responsible for your own family’s welfare. Marriage and fatherhood can and will bring great joy.
We do not have it made or will be free from challenges in this life. Today’s cars are very complex, unlike cars of old. Today technical education is important. Any skill requires specialized learning. It doesn’t matter what vocation you choose as long as it is honorable.
Don’t be so preoccupied with materiality that you lose your humanity. We need to strengthen society. Best formula for success is to first seek the kingdom of God. Success requires preparation and hard work. There are no short cuts to success.
No one else is exactly like you. We are all unique in some way. Your future is full of great promise. Go forward in faith and righteousness. Follow President Hinckley’s example.
6.5 billion people in the world. Of those we as priesthood holders are a small select group. We are a royal priesthood. It is the power of God delegated to man to exercise on earth to save the human family. With the priesthood you can bind on earth. The Priesthood is sacred. It is a gift bringing special blessings and solemn responsibilities.
We need to conduct our lives to be worthy of the Priesthood we bear. We need to avoid paths that take us in the wrong direction. The call for courage comes constantly. We need courage to stand for our convictions, honor our priesthood. Are we standing in holy places? The priesthood is not like a suit of clothes like we can put on and take off at will.
If when we detour we should ask, should I take my priesthood here? There is no limit to the power of the priesthood we hold. The only limit is ourselves. Are we living our lives in accord with what the Lord requires? Are we worthy to bear the priesthood? If not, commit here and now to change your life. We need the guidance of God on the sea of life.
The missionary handbook. He took it into basic training with him. It actually came in handy. He used it to learn how to bless a fellow soldier who was sick.
Come follow me said Christ. When we accept that invitation he will direct our paths. Let us remember the priesthood is a sacred gift. It bring us and those we serve the blessings of heaven. We should always be on the Lord’s errand so we are entitled to His help. There is a war being waged for men’s souls. Now let every man learn his duty.
What an inspiration to look into the 21,000 faces in the conference center, and knowing millions others gathered around the world. Was ordained 3/12/95 as President of the Church, 12 years ago.
387,750 missionaries in those 12 years. 40% of missionaries that have served in this dispensation.
3,400,000 converts baptized in 12 years 1/4 membership of Church in those 12 years.
Missions increased 303 to 344. Three more to come.
Retention in sacrament meeting attendance significant increase.
With a bit more dedication this can be prologue to a greater future. Let’s put our shoulder to the wheel and do our duty to push along.
Joseph F. Smith president of church son of Hyrum smith. Came out of Missouri as an infant. Heard of his father’s death. At 9 drove an ox team to Salt Lake City. At 14 called to Hawaii to serve a mission. Hawaii not a tourist center then. It was populated by natives. He learned their language.
He dreamed a remarkable dream. Dreamed on a journey. Impressed he should hurry.
Had a small package wrapped in a cloth. Came to a wonderful mansion. Saw a notice, that said Bath. Went into the bath and washed himself clean. Opened the bundle he had, and it was white clean clothing. Put on clean white clothing. Knocked on the door. Saw prophet Joseph Smith. First words were Joseph you’re late. Yes, but I am clean. He grasped his hand and drew him in the great door.
Also saw his father and Brigham Young, and other good men he had known. On stage were all the people he had known. Had this dream while alone on a mat in a mountain in Hawaii.
After awaking, he was a man, but while still a boy. He feared nothing after that. He could look anyone in the face knowing he was a man. That vision has made him what he is.
I am clean gave him self assurance and courage. He received strength that comes from a clear conscience. This dream holds something for each of us.
Cleanliness is next to Godliness. Put away the evil of your doings. Cease to do evil. Though our sins are like scarlet they shall be white as snow.
World wallows in filth Be clean in body, dress, language. Be clean in our language. Failure to express ourselves in clean language marks us as one with limited vocabulary.
Modern revelation reminds us not to take God’s name in vain. Be clean in thought. All things to be done in cleanliness.
Clean mind expresses itself in clean language and deeds which bring happiness to heart.
Do not permit ourselves to be tattooed. You will regret it someday. Be clean, neat and orderly. Sloppy dress leads to sloppy manners. Remember Joseph F. Smith’s dream. Remember the clean clothes of the dream. Look your best when administering the sacrament.
Internet use can lead to degrading thoughts and actions. It is unbecoming you who holds God’s priesthood. We cannot live in the world and partake of the world’s ways. We must be above all that.
Get on with your education. Provide for your families. Opportunity lies ahead of you. Education will unlock the door. It will unlock the door of the mansion.
Speak with the Lord in prayer.
6:46 p.m. Choir I love the Lord
Benediction Paul B. Johnson Quorum of the Seventy