Temple Square Salt Lake City, Utah

Saturday’s afternoon session of Conference is about to begin. You can listen and/or watch live on the Church’s website at LDS.org. Fortunately you won’t have to rely on my sparse notes, as the full transcripts of Conference are posted usually by the following Thursday also on the Church’s website. You can choose from a variety of different languages as well. The Deseret News also has a General Conference section on their website. For the iPod crowd, Sixteen Small Stones has some excellent links already posted to podcasts of the Saturday Morning broadcast. They were put up quite quickly. For the Bloggernacle links on Conference see my morning post.1:00 p.m.

Choir: Young Women’s Choir from Stakes in Mapleton and Springville Utah

Choir Come Rejoice

1:01 p.m. Conducting Thomas S. Monson First Counselor First Presidency

1:04 p.m. Invocation: Kenneth Johnson Quorum of the Seventy

1:07 p.m. Choir Oh How Lovely Was The Morning. Very colorful fall outfits by the young women in the choir–beautiful voices as well. I love this hymn–very well done.

1:12 p.m. M. Russell Ballard, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Since 1997, worldwide increase in inquires about the Church. This is fueled by things like the 2002 Winter Olympics and of prominent LDS members. (Harry Reid, and Mitt Romney for example). Tell me a little about your Church. There is a difference between interest and curiosity. Those who are curious deserve to know about the Church from those of us who are members, so they don’t have to rely on outside media or those outside the Church.

There is a great need for simple statements for those who are curious about the basics of the Church. You may want to prepare your own list of talking points. Have on one page a few facts about the Church, which you can give along with the Articles of Faith.

1. Facts

Mormon is a nickname of the Church. Saint means member.

Church Restore 1030 New York by Joseph Smith

Over 13 million 176 countries, 6 million in the U.S. 4th largest Christian demoniation in the U.S. A new Chapel created every day.

Local congregations led by unpaid volunteer members, both male and female.

Mormons well represented in politics. Sixteen members in Congress. Also represented in all other walks of life.

2. Faith.

Articles of Faith

We believe in the eternity of the soul.

We Believe Christ is our personal Saviour.

We commemorate Christ’s Atonement in our Sacrament meeting. We accept as Christians all who accept Christ as the Son of God.

Joseph Smith taught that Christ is the core of our belief. Everything else is just an appendage. We believe in an apostasy, and then a restoration with Priesthood, Apostles.

We believe in the Bible, both testaments.

We believe also in the Book of Mormon, which also testifies of Christ–another Testament.

3. Family

Our faith is family oriented. Simple statments are important.

It is the basic unit of the Church and society.

We have a deep commitment to marriage–one man and one woman. Polygamy discontinued 117 years ago.

We worship together on Sundays as family. All are welcome.

Family Home evenings on Mondays.

4. Fruits Restored Gospel

Christ said by their fruits ye shall know them.

Longer life. Practicing Mormons generally healthier and live longer than average Americans.

Married and regular temple attendance results in more stable marriages.

Greater education amongst Mormons generally.

Many serve and volunteer 18 to 24 months on a mission.

Strong work ethic, and providing service to others.

Write down your lists of facts. Keep it accurate, short and simple. Reach out and share with others the basic information found in the Articles of Faith, and also these four categories. For those who want to learn more, the missionaries can do that. They can help lead to conversion and baptism for those interested in knowing more. Never hesitate to bear testimony with love. The power of testimony cannot be denied.

1:29 p.m. Joseph B. Wirthlin, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

What quality defines us best as members of Christ’s church? In the first century the Corinth saints were new converts and ambitious in the Gospel. But, they were also contentious as well. Without Charity, the pure love of Christ nothing else matters. The Pharisees asked Christ, what is the greatest commandment? Thou shalt love the Lord the God, answered Christ. The second, to love your neighbor. On these two hang all the law and prophets.

If any man love God, the same is know of Him. 1840, Joseph Smith taught love is a chief characteristic of Deity. Both great commandments are necessary. Love is the beginning, middle and end of the pathway of discipleship. The prophet Joseph exemplified the pure love of Christ. True love lasts forever. If you love the Lord, spend time with him. (Elder Nelson arises and helps steady Elder Wirthlin has he finishes his talk–an example of love for his fellow man.) He is shaking noticeably, but continues nonetheless to complete his talk.

We will not be asked about our fame. We will be asked how we treated the least of these our Heavenly Father’s children. For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son. Through Christ’s Atonement we can be cleaned and live with God again. Charity has the power to transform. Love one another as I have loved you is the grand key of heaven.

1:43 p.m. Bruce D. Porter Quorum of the Seventy

Kipling quoted re: Contrite Heart. Even in Old Testament times people knew burnt offerings not enough. They needed to give their hearts to God. The sacrifices then were only symbolic. Every thing pointed to the great and last Sacrafice, of Jesus Christ. When Christ appeared to the Nephites he told them now he would accept only a broken heart and a contrite spirit. No longer would he accept sacrafices.

Christ, though without sin, walked through life with a broken heart and contrite spirit. He submitted to the Father’s will in this life. When it came time for the ultimate sacrifice Christ shrank not from the cup. A broken heart is an eternal attribute of Godliness. We recognize our dependence on him for all we have and all that we are. We sacrafice our pride in all its form.

The broken hearted can be molded and shaped by the hands of the Master. A broken heart and a contrite spirit are also pre-conditions of true repentance. Unto none else can the ends of the law be answered. It means to expereince Godly sorrow as an end to repentance.
We yearn to feel at peace with our Father in Heaven. We are willing stop doing things our way, and learn to do them God’s way instead. In such a condition of submissiveness, the true power of the Atonement can work.

A broken heart serves as a divine shield against temptation. When we yield our hearts to God, the attractions of the world lose their luster. At Golgotha he poured out his soul unto death. Christ’s heart literally broke on the cross. The Lord will fill our hearts with peace with his Love.

1:52 p.m. Eric W. Kopischke, Third Quorum of the Seventy

The missionaries gave them a scripture marking and study tool from the pamphlet “Preach My Gospel.” The missionaries master the concepts from the manual and then teach them in their own words under the guidance of the spirit. To preach the Gospel to the world, we need to be one with and understand the missionaries.

We need to become more acquainted with Preach My Gospel and it’s concepts. Our own study will help us understand better our missionaries and also help us in our day to day life. Studying it will also help develop a strong testimony. We also should study the scriptures along with Preach My Gospel. The manual is for the missionaries but also for ward missionaries and regular ward members.

Youth preparing for a mission should study Preach My Gospel as well as the scriptures.

2:00 p.m. Choir Come Come Ye Saints

2:03 p.m. Michael J. Teh, Eighth Quorum of the Seventy

Am I my brother’s keeper?–asked Cain. One of the most profound question in all of religious theology. Christ answered yes in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We need to expand our circle of those we consider friends. Transfer the malice to the neighbor and the benevelonce to the outer most circle, so that the malice is closer to home–so paraphrased is the advice of Wormwood to Screwtape.

Be not weary in doing good to others. Service need not be on a grand scale to be important or effective.

2:10 p.m. Keith K. Hilbig, First Quorum of the Seventy

Quench not the spirit, wrote Paul the Apostle. The journey to exaltation is long, but we don’t travel it alone. God provides us with a companion of the Holy Ghost if we are living worthy. Life is a continuous incline, not a plateau. Living without the Holy Ghost, we live below that which is our right. The Holy Ghost quickens us, or enlightens or enlivens us. We are strentghened. Our natural abilities are enhanced.

We determine our current level by our choices. If we have a free day, do we visit the Temple or the mall? Do we read the newspaper but not the Scriptures daily? Time is a precious asset. We should invest in things eternal, to obtain deeper spirituality and more holiness. Then we increase the price we pay for heaven’s help.

The spirit will quicken our inner selves. We will gain greater insight with the spirit. We should pray frequently and fervently. We access the spirit by partaking the sacrament and attendig the Temple. The more we attend and ponder the greater our insights that influence the decisions we make daily.

We dare not quench the spirit through disobedience and neglect.

2:19 p.m. Jeffry R. Holland, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Cross currents of our time has brought greater attention to the Church. No one should wonder about whether we are Christian. We do not need to be apologists, but we don’t want to be misunderstood.

1. Godhead

Our first article of faith says we believe in God the eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. We believe these three personages who compose the Godhead are one in purpose. They are one in every signifanct aspect imaginable–except as in one person. This is not a biblical concept at all. Our view of the Godhead breaks with post New Testemnent history, and returns to the teachings and doctrines of Christ.

Council of Nicea eventually produced Nicaean and other creeds. They declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost abstract, without body, parts, and passions, and dwelling outside space and time. This we do not accept. Such a confusing definition of God is indeed incomprehensible. On this we agree with our critics–the definition is incomprehensible.

We also believe in an embodied and glorified God, which is some views exclude us as Christian. If having a body is not necessary or desirable, then why did Christ redeem his own for Resurrection? For those who reject this, they reject the Resurrected Christ. He is the literal living son of the literal Living God.

Christ was born of a Virgin mother, who performed many miracles in life. He was Divine, yet, also mortal, and subjected Himself to death, paying for all our sins. He conquered the grave physically and spiritually. He was physically resurrected from the tomb, and appeared repeatedly to the old and new worlds. He will again reign on earth as Lord of Lord and King of Kings. There is no other Name given whereby we can gain eternal life. And, Christ has already come back to earth, more than once as a glorified and resurrected being. One such visit to the young boy Prophet Joseph Smith. That day marked the beginning of the return of Christian doctrine of the true nature of the Godhood. May we all know the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ.

(Very Very powerful talk)

2:33 p.m. Thomas S. Monson, reminders of the remainder of conference sessions.

2:34 p.m. Russel M. Nelson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Scriptural Witnesses. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as long as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. In the mouth of two or three witnesses will all things be established. Both the Bible and Book for Mormon testify of Jesus Christ.

Both the Book of Mormon and Bible speak and confirm each other’s divinity. The Book of Mormon underscores Biblical doctrines such as tithing, temples and priesthood. The Book of Mormon will and did restore plain and precious things taken from the Bible. The Book of Mormon anticipates its own critics who claim they need no more Bible. See 2 Nephi 29.

The Bible and Book of Mormon both stand as scriptural witnesses to Christ and His Resurrection. The Book of Mormon has more references to Christ’s Resurrection than does the Bible. Atonement in the Book of Mormon appears 39 times. In the KJV of the Bible Atonement appears only once.

2:49 p.m. Choir Oh May My Soul Commune With Thee

2:53 p.m. Benediction: Richard G. Hinckley of the First Quorum of the Seventy