The Saturday afternoon session of conference is now underway. Saturday morning’s session was filled with excellent practical and spiritual advice from inspired prophets, seers and revelators. I was certainly uplifted and know others were as well. I hope to post some follow up analysis after the day’s sessions are over. The bloggernacle links that I referenced in the morning session post are still open and active for comments and analysis. Once this session is over I will clean up the horrible misspellings and other errors. So, if you catch this in mid stream as it were, please bear with me. Also, for an excellent post on the Tabernacle’s history, please check out Justin’s post over at the Mormon Wasp. As usual, he has some really great stuff!
This session live From the Restored Tabernacle on Temple Square
1:01 p.m. President Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet, Seer and Revelator Conducting. He looks well, and sounds strong. He welcomes all who are participating all over the world. He notes the session originates live from the Tabernacle, which will be re-dedicated at this session of conference
1:03 p.m. Mormon Tabernacle Choir Choir opens with Redeemer of Israel. A great Restoration Hymn. Wonderful spirit from this venerable old Tabernacle on Temple Square. The early Saints I’m sure are proud.
1:07 p.m. Invocation Roland Snow Quorum of the Seventy
1:09 p.m. Choir sings Come Come Ye Saints Very, very powerful rendition and spirit in his sacred hymn in this sacred building, built with the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice of the Early Saints who gave so much so that we could enjoy so much. I am in awe and indeed humbled at the very thought.
“Come, Come, Ye Saints”
Come, come, ye Saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
‘Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell—
All is well! All is well!
Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—
All is well! All is well!
We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the Saints will be blessed.
We’ll make the air with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell—
All is well! All is well!
And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell—
All is well! All is well!
[“Come, Come, Ye Saints,” Hymn, no. 30]
Forty Six years ago was called as an assistant to the Quorum of the 12. He felt keenly inadequate, and first came to this pulpit. Recalls a primary conference he attended, where the primary choir sang reverently and quietly. As they sang, the organist blended the young voices into an inspirational melody of revelation. It fixed deeply and permanently in his soul that has sustained him in the years following.
Nephities heard a voice from heaven, and understood it not. It was not a harsh or loud voice; but, it did pierce them, those who heard it. it pierced them to the very soul and caused their hearts to burn. This is the still small voice that the prophet Joseph understood. This still small voice is often felt rather than heard. This small voice is there for everyone who seeks and knocks.
He knew he would be alright in the years to come. Music can be akin to revelation. It too speaks the still small spirit. Worthy music has its place. The Tabernacle is different from all other places where spiritual sacred music can and is heard. Gently raise the sacred strain.
Was close to Elder LeGrande Richards, who was touched as a young boy of 12 in the Tabernacle during a conference session. He has felt the spirit of those who came before through music.
Great events have occurred in the tabernacle. Each president sustained in this tabernacle, other than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. One must be ordained by authority to preach the gospel. No stranger can come among us and claim to have authority. 1880 PGP accepted as cannon 137 and 137 accepted in tabernacle.
D&C section 137 records vision.
D&C section 138 visions of Savior’s visit to the dead
1979 LDS KJV Bible introduced to Church and world in Tabernacle. 1908 Section 89 read to church on word of wisdom discussed and then accepted as binding upon the Church. It is a shield and protection to all, and in particular our youth.
The Church will always be under siege from the adversary. He will use music, and every temptation he can devise. In the Tabernacle the Book of Mormon given the subtitle, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
All can receive the testimony of Jesus Christ. Tabernacle is house of prayer, fasting, glory the house of God. Those who speak are obliged to present that which is worthy. We cannot and should not aspire to the honors of men. It is not so much what is heard, but what is felt in listening to the messages.
Tabernacle anchors the Temple and is symbolic of the restoration. Built by poor and ordinary people. Choir voice of the church for many years. May they never drift from their central mission. Choir has opened and closed conferences with messages of inspiration.
Tabernacle stands as grate center of music and culture. More important it stands as testimony of Restoration of Gospel of Jesus Christ and his Church. God Bless this sacred building and all that transpires within its sacred walls.
Parley P Pratt section 121 read from pulpit. Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly. Pratt then turned to a hymn as the dew form heaven is distilling.
Jesus is the Christ. This is His house.
1:30 p.m. Elder Earl C. Tingy Presidency of the Seventy
Overwhelmed with sense of history. One foot in past and one in future. thanks for pioneers and for modern day apostles and prophets. Two men of vision
1. Brigham Young
Second prophet. Led church 33 years. He built this building October 1875 conference dedicated tabernacle. He was a pioneer. He prepared way for others to follow. Having no political authority, but priesthood authority, built up kingdom of God on earth. This is the right place he declared upon entering the Salt Lake Valley. This is where the Saints will prosper. We will build a city and Temple to the most high God in this place. He started the Salt lake, Manti, Logan, and St. George temples. One of America’s greatest colonizers over 400 colonies established by his death. Perpetual immigration fund. Founded University of Utah, Brigham Young University.
God is at the Helm of the might ship Zion. Stick to the Ship Zion and you need not worry about anything else. God guides the ship and will bring us safely into port. Let’s many the ship and she will outride every storm and get us to the harbor.
He loved Joseph Smith. I love his doctrine.
Brigham Young’s modern day successor. Brigham Young’s portrait hangs in President Hinckley’s office. But, this is his watch. President Hinckley is also a modern day pioneer. More than 75 temples in last several years. He was inspired to build the new conference center. President Hinckley continues to support church universities and perpetual education fund. The youth especially reach out to President Hinckley.
President Hinckley loves the Prophet Joseph. Though he doesn’t worship him, he does love him as the prophet of the restoration. Hopes upon death he sees the Savior, and can greet Bro. Joseph.1:39 p.m. H. David Burton Presiding Bishop
President Hinckley gave him the charge to preserve strengthen and return the old original Salt Lake Tabernacle to another period of distinguished service. Today the Tabernacle is presented as the old original Tabernacle with another 100 year warranty. There were difficult architectural decisions that had to be made.
If these old walls could talk they would express appreciation to the entire church project team that made the renovation possible. The Lord gave us capabilities beyond our means. If these old walls could talk, they would appreciate their new firm foundation, new roof, new paint, new benches.
These old wall would should we were here when Joseph F. Smith arose in 1918 and addressed conference, the Church and the world. He received a manifestation later to become D&C 138.
These old walls would recall April 1936 general conference, beginning the Church welfare system–helping people help themselves.
These old walls would recall the October 1964 conference Harold B. Lee talking about parental responsibility. We advise and urge the inauguration of Family Home Evening throughout the Church.
These old walls recall 1985 Bruce McConkie’s sermon from the pulpit and his powerful testimony of Jesus the Christ.
These old walls recall the 1995 Gordon B. Hinckley telling the women of Church and the world of the Proclamation of the Family.
Tabernacle is a sacred monument of our past.1:50 p.m. Choir Sings
1:56 p.m Choir and congregation sing How Firm a Foundation
Eliza R. Snow’s question in 1870. Is there anywhere on earth where women have more liberty than those Latter-day Saint women? Our women do indeed enjoy grand privileges both then and now.
We are oblivious to the Lord’s hand. We are ungrateful often. Those who mummer don’t know of the ways of the God who created them. Gratitude opens our minds to universe a living God. We become aware of the wonders of the smallest things. Heightens our sensitivity to Divine direction.
Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. We should live in gratitude daily. We should thank the Lord in all things, both difficult and those not difficult.
How do we feel when someone expressed gratitude to us? Only one of the lepers showed gratitude to Christ for his healing miracle. Gratitude is our acknowledgment of God’s hand in our life. It is our expression of faith. To my sisters of the Church, I thank you for the way you extend the Lord’s love, your care for families, you building of children’s testimonies, and preparing young women for life.
My most profound gratitude is to the Savior who obeyed the Father. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gifts. (great talk on gratitude!)
2:05 p.m. Marlin K. Jensen Quorum of the Seventy
Recalls his first general conference address from this pulpit. Relax, we haven’t lost anyone at the pulpit in years, whispered L. Tom Perry to him. This is a treasured memory for him.
Now enjoys sharing memories, despite vowing not to do so as a younger man. Remembering in the way God intends is a fundamental and saving principle of the gospel. King Benjamin’s advice, If we don’t watch ourselves and our deeds and thoughts, we must perish. Remember and perish not was his counsel.
What should we remember? This history of the Church of Jesus Christ and His people is something we should remember. Prophet Joseph commanded to keep a record. He appointed Oliver Cowdery to begin this historical record.
The First Vision is a simple but powerful remembrance for seekers of truth the world over. This was recorded as a remembrance by Joseph Smith, and has been memorized the world over by missionaries and retold over and over. Millions have heard this since and have embraced the Gospel Joseph helped restore. Remembering Joseph’s First Vision stirs his soul to action.
President Hinckley stresses remembering the past and God’s hand in it. Members in the past have faced challenges which helps us face our own today. President Hinckley was also discouraged in the early days of his mission, to which his father responded: Forget yourself and go to work. President Hinckley still takes that counsel to heart.
We remember Christ when we partake of the Sacrament, which in turn allows us to have His spirit. We are blessed by that spirit to remember again and again His Atonement. We come unto Christ and are perfected in him, which is the purpose of all remembering. May we remember Him and perish not.
Addresses the conference sitting at the pulpit. It is a great honor to address the conference at this time and dedication. The presiding Bishopric are to be congratulated. He recalls priesthood meeting in the Tabernacle. Was baptized in Tabernacle. Recalled the Kirkland Temple and Nauvoo Temple the early Saint’s places of worship. The prophet Joseph directed that a Canvas Tabernacle be built. They intended to build it to hold eight to ten thousand people. But, because of intense persecution the Saints left Nauvoo. They took the canvas west with them when they left.
The finished Salt Lake Tabernacle has roughly the same dimensions of the Nauvoo Tabernacle. It too sits west of the Temple, as Nauvoo’s would have. Joseph envisioned the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Brigham Young made it a reality.
One can’t help but feel the spirit of the early Saints in this Tabernacle. Recalls the significant events in his life in the Tabernacle.
1. Approaching baptism, 1935 went to tabernacle baptistry, dressed in white and was baptized in Tabernacle font.
2. April 1950, Sunday conference session. George Albert Smith was president. He delivered a powerful message of resurrection of Christ. He sounded a warning of calamities to overtake the human family. Shortly after than General Conference war broke out in Korea, claiming 2.5 million lives. This caused him to recall President Smith’s remarks that spring day.
3. October 1963, David O’ Mckay called him to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve. He was to attend conference in the Tabernacle the following day and he would be presented as an apostle. 101 general conference talks given from this pulpit. Now with this talk the total is 102.
4. October 1975 general conference, directed his remarks to Misty White in the balcony. She was approaching eight, and didn’t know whether or not to be baptized. She decided to go to conference, from California to see if the Lord would help her know what to do. He was inspired to direct his comments to Misty. And, while speaking in conference, Misty’s question was answered.
The Tabernacle is part of his life, part that he cherishes. He has sustained nine Church presidents from this building over his lifetime. As the Tabernacle is rededicated today, may we also rededicate to follow Christ.2:32 p.m. Choir Sing This House We Dedicate To Thee
2:36 p.m. President Gordon B. Hinckley
Reminds brethren of General Priesthood Meeting at the conference center at 6:00 p.m. MDT, and other conference sessions.
The Tabernacle has undergone significant renovation to bring it up to seismic code. The new benches are just as hard as the old ones were. Some of the old benches have been saved (but doesn’t say where). The roof has been strengthened with steel trusses. New exists have been added.
Originally there was no balcony. It was added after the fact. Many have spoken from the Tabernacle testifying of Christ and the Restoration. Every prophet has spoken from the pulpit since Brigham Young, and even some Presidents of the United States. The Utah Symphony once used the Tabernacle to perform. Prominent funeral services have been conducted at Tabernacle.
This is a peculiar building, the only one of its kind in the world. It was built in the wilderness. Those who built it did so on faith. Skeptics predicted that the roof would come down with the scaffolding. This, of course did not happen. It has become known as home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, with the longest running network program of its kind. The program will now return to this location at the “cross roads of the west.”
The Tabernacle will also be used for stake conferences, other conferences, and entertainment. As we conclude the meeting, President Hinckley offers the re-dedication prayer of the Tabernacle:
Come before with reverence.
Acting in authority of priesthood and Jesus Christ’s name, rededicate the Tabernacle to God and Christ
May it serve as a place of gathering for many reasons.
Thoughts return to Prophet Joseph, who Restored the Church. We thank thee for the great faith of the early Saints
Thank thee for inspired leadership of President Brigham Young, who only saw the Salt Lake Valley in vision
In the dessert the pioneers plowed and founded a great city.
Now the work has spread over the earth with more members outside the U.S. than within the U.S.
Continue to bless the people who support this work
May the work continue to go forward as a stone cut out of the mountain without hands
We dedicate rededicate and consecrate this sacred structure in the sacred name of Jesus Christ2:47 p.m. Choir The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning (Another very moving and spiritually powerful performance by the Choir in this incredible edifice.)
By W.W. Phelps
The Spirit of God like a fire is burning;
The latter day glory begins to come forth;
The visions and blessings of old are returning;
The angels are coming to visit the earth.
We’ll sing & we’ll shout with the armies of heaven:
Hosanna, hosanna to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever: amen and amen!
The Lord is extending the saints’ understanding—
Restoring their judges and all as at first;
The knowledge and power of God are expanding
The vail o’er the earth is beginning to burst.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
We call in our solemn assemblies, in spirit,
To spread forth the kingdom of heaven abroad,
That we through our faith may begin to inherit
The visions, and blessings, and glories of God.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
We’ll wash and be wash’d, and with oil be anointed
Withal not omitting the washing of feet:
For he that receiveth his PENNY appointed,
Must surely be clean at the harvest of wheat.
We’ll sing and we’ll shout &c.
Old Israel that fled from the world for his freedom,
Must come with the cloud and the pillar, amain:
A Moses, and Aaron, and Joshua lead him,
And feed him on manna from heaven again.
How blessed the day when the lamb and the lion
Shall lie down together without any ire;
And Ephraim be crown’d with his blessing in Zion,
As Jesus descends with his chariots of fire!
We’ll sing & we’ll shout with His armies of heaven:
Hosanna, hosanna, to God and the Lamb!
Let glory to them in the highest be given,
Henceforth and forever: amen and amen.
2:54 p.m. Benediction by R. Conrad Shultz 70