tabernacle_choir.jpgPriesthood Session Conference notes. Mormon Mentality also has an open thread on the Priesthood session.  See also the Priesthood session notes over at the blog Rise Up.

5:00 p.m. Conducting Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor First Presidency

Choir Father Son from stakes of Centerville Bountiful and West Bountiful Utah

5:02 p.m. Choir Redeemer of Israel

5:05 p.m. Invocation

5:07 p.m. Choir Sweet is the Peace

5:11 p.m. L. Tom Perry Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Attended Mission President’s seminar last month. Saw his son at the conference. Conversation centered on Mission work. He noted improvement of missionary preparation after raise the bar program. Story of his son’s high jumping in high school. If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?

Missionary bar has been raised. Young Men should prepare more for missions. Rise to the challenge of higher bar on worthiness and qualifications.

Full time missionary service is a privilege. Bishops and stake presidents responsible to identify full times members who qualify. Those not able to meet demands of full time missionary work are honorably excused and not required to serve.

Now minimum standard includes absolute moral worthiness, good health, and social skills. We should not expect standards to be lower for missionary service. We should keep raising the bar. If we don’t, now will we ever know our potential. A minimum standard exists. But, don’t stop at the minimum.

Things to do to raise the bar:

1. Physical standards. Physical health and strength. Can you work 12 to 15 hours walking 6 to 8 or ride 10 to 15 miles daily? Missionaries must be in good physical condition. Missionary expected to dress, projecting a clean cut appearance, short hair, clean shaven, shined shoes. Adopt the appearance of a missionary.

2. Intellectual. Take your school seriously. Learn how to study. Read good books. Read from Book of Mormon. Attend Seminary and institute classes. Study Preach My Gospel, especially chapter 3. Focus on these basic doctrines. Seek first to obtain my word, then shall your tongue be loosed.

3. Emotional. Learn your emotional limits and how to control your emotions. Your regular support network will be gone once you leave on a mission.

4. Social Skills. Don’t isolate yourself through excessive video games, texting, cells phones. Missionary work requires face to face contact. Get a job that requires interaction with other people. Try to earn enough money to pay for a significant part of your mission.

5. Personal worthiness. This is a minimum standard. Keep in every way the sacred Temple covenants. Only the spirit will convert. With the spirit you can teach with power and authority.

Where much is given, much is required. Come forth qualified young men and serve a mission. Make certain you easily clear the bar, and that you can raise and clear it as you progress. Start now to prepare yourself.

5:26 p.m. Donald L. Hallstrom First Quorum of the Seventy

Related story of procrastinating son and his favorite recipe. Rum cake . . umm. We delay because we say someday we will change. But, for many some day never comes. Spiritual procrastination is bad. Do we learn by study and also by faith? Or, do we believe we already know because we have heard it all before?

Do we allow the cares of the world to have us reject the Word? Or, do we hearken unto Christ’s words and not procrastinate the day of our repentance? The day of this life is the day to perform our labors. It is not meet that we are commanded in all things. We should not be a the sloth.

President Kimball’s Do it now taught us the need for timeliness. Procrastination leads to loss of exaltation. The most serious human defect is procrastination. Many want the simple way, that does not require serious work and sacrifice. Easy street is a dead end. In time procrastination produces a heavy burden. Spiritual goals not achieved by procrastination. Now is the time to exercise our faith, commit to righteousness. Now is th time to reconcile with God afforded by the Atonement.

If we are living in opposition to our covenants, or the Gospel in anyway, unresolved sins, we can change and it can be now. It may not be easy. But our afflictions will be swallowed up in the joy of Christ.

5:35p.m. L. Whitney Clayton First Quorum of The Seventy

We can’t swim against the sharp ends of the trap to swim out. King David, one of the saddest stories in the scriptures. Story of Bathsheba. David’s choices displeased the Lord. He saw something he never should have seen. Modesty and good judgment required him to turn away immediately. He did not, and this choices rendered dire eternal consequences.

Pornography is a similar trap, in that it is easy to enter, but quite difficult to escape. He that looketh upon a woman with lust shall deny the faith. This is what happened to David, after he lost the spirit.

Pornography users try to conceal their sin. Users become addicted, despite addiction. Moral standards degenerate. The world’s standard of popularity is not a good standard. That others do things, is not a good reason for us to partake.

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. When we live right we draw closer to God and the Spirit. Ours is a quest for purity. Now are we the sons of God. When he shall appear, we shall be like Him.

If you are already caught in pornography trap, use the Lord’s help to get out. Seek guidance of priesthood leaders. Repentance will bring the spirit back into your life. Turn to Christ with all of your heart and you will find the healing you need. You will have the power to overcome addiction. Let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly.

5:44 p.m. Gonzalez President of the Quorum of the Seventy

Was transferred to Lima Peru, just days before the devastating quake. Members and the Church immediately went to work to alleviate the pain and suffering. The priesthood organization functioned well to bring relief to the victims.

It was night time. There was no light. The earth would not stop shaking. The priesthood leaders went out in this condition, risking their own lives to get to their own members. Their great faith in Christ and His Church motivated them to go out amongst their brethren. When members were unable, the Lord made up the difference. Years of Church service helped them prepare to help others.

Today is the time to prepare for future crises. What are we doing today to prepare? What did Joseph who was sold into Egypt do, when confronted by Potipher’s wife? What did Nephi do? They allowed the spirit to write gospel principles in their souls.

Nephi took time to sit and ponder. Take the time to do what Lord has asked us to do. Let the solemnities of Eternity dwell in our minds. We should take the time to ponder in our homes.

Remove from our lives those influences that keep us from preparing for future perils. This includes inappropriate movies, internet sites and the like.

Choir 5:54 p.m. High on the Mountain top

5: 57 p.m. Henry B. Eyring Second Counselor First Presidency

Has held MP over 50 years, but has prayed much in the last few days to be adequate to fulfill his duties in First Presidency. Three things of assurance will come to you when you pray for help in meeting a hard priesthood calling:

1. Assurance will come from a memory of being helped previously. This has happened to him before. President Hinckely’s advice to him: Use your best judgment in discussing the need for the Restoration. Was given a clear direction in his prayers of what to do. Afterward other ministers spoke with him about knowing members of the Church who had helped them or others in their lives. They saw good fruits of the Restoration. As he has prayed in the last few nights, the Lord reassured him: Haven’t I always taken care of you?

What is impossible to us is possible with God’s help in His service.

2. Forget yourself. Pray about the people you are to serve. Don’t pray for yourself and your inadequacies. But, pray for those for whom you have been called to serve. Your heart will change.

3. Go to work. Priesthood power is given to bless others. Expect the clear prompting of the Holy Ghost to go and do something to help someone else. Christ didn’t ask easy things of his early disciples. Why should it be different for us?

We all face tasks beyond our own powers. We need to invite the Spirit in our lives.

1. Some things we do invite the spirit. Don’t chose to look at things that causes the spirit to withdraw. Everyday life requires discipline in our choices.

2. Be careful in what we say. Vulgarity and profanity offend the spirit. Vulgarity is more and more common. Crude humor is also prevalent. We much change what we say, even when we can’t control what others say. We can count on God’s help. God helps the faithful priesthood holder. It won’t be easy, it never is. Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly.

6:15 p.m. Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor First Presidency

The brethren gathered in the conference center and in chapels throughout the world are an impressive sight. We have been entrusted to act in the name of God. Much is expected of us. We have been reserved for this special period in history. We are a chosen people. We are a royal priesthood. How can we qualify for this? How do we obtain the characteristics of the Priesthood

1. Mark of vision. Everyone should develop vision. We are the product of our choices. We should recall the past to look into the future. You should envision the day as Aaronic priesthood holders to be ordained to the MP. Respond to a mission call by accepting it and fulfilling it.

2. Mark of effort. It is not enough to want to make the effort. We must actually make the effort. We must do, rather than just think. During the race, if you lose your shoe, will you stop and quit, or run on without the shoe? We must put forth the effort to meet our goals.

3. Mark of virtue. Let virtue garnish our thoughts unceasingly. Our actions are preceded by out thoughts. In other words our choices are influenced by our thoughts. As we think in our thoughts so are we. God’s spirit will not dwell in unholy tabernacles.

4. Mark of Prayer. We should pray always. And, if we don’t pray at all, there is no better time than now to pray. The devil trembles when he sees the weakest saint on his knees. Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire. Lord teach us how to pray.

6:32 p.m. President Gordon B. Hinckley, Prophet, Seer, Revelator

Is looking for Elder Monson to dye his hair red (a joke from Monons’s last story).

Wants to speak about anger. This is unusual but it is timely. When we become angry we get into trouble. Road rage is a hateful expression of anger. Most inmates are in prison because they lost their temper and became anger.

Passion shatters reason’s tower.

Anger is the brood of a host of evil actions. Many divorced before 25th anniversary. Divorce too often is the bitter fruit of anger. Little flaws are magnified. Anger sets in. The cycle is repeated again and again. In most cases it is the bitter fruit of anger. He was married 67 years to his wife. To this date he has no recollection of having a quarrel with her.

Too many of us are easily offended. We should brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on our way. Offense can absorb all our time and efforts. Anger may be justified in some circumstances, i.e. Christ driving the money changers from the Temple. But, this was more of a rebuke than an outburst of anger.

We should control our tempers. Smile to erase any anger. We will have fewer regrets. We will be much happier, do greater good, feel greater peace.

6:44 p.m. Choir: We Ever Pray For Thee

6:51 p.m. Benediction