First PresidencyThe Church’s 178th Annual General Conference–Solemn Assembly version–begins today, against the historic backdrop of a new First Presidency, and the calling of a new apostle to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  You can view General Conference on the Internet at here.  You can also follow various live threads in the bloggernacle including Mormon Mentality, Times and Seasons, By Common Consent, Our Thoughts.  If there are others, let me know and I’ll add them.

9:00 a.m. Tabernacle Choir How Wonderous and Great

President Thomas B. Monson 9:01 a.m. Conducting President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, Revelator

Welcome by President Monson.

9:03 a.m. Choir Lead Kindly Light

9:07 a.m. Invocation Lynn A. Mickelson Quorum of the Seventy

9:10 a.m. President Monson introduces President Uchtdorf.

President Uchtdorf9:11 a.m. President Uchtdorf presents general authorities for sustaining in Solemn Assembly

Solemn Assembly sustaining.  Dating from 1880 John Taylor was sustained as Prophet, Seer and Revelator.  Voting done by Quorums and groups.

First Presidency arises, Thomas S. Monson,  Henry B. Eyring, Deiter Uchtdorf.

Boyd K. Packer as President of the Quorum of the Twelve

The remaining Twelve sustained.

Elder D. Todd ChristoffersonD. Todd Christofferson is the newest sustained Apostle. From the Presidency of the Quorum of the Seventy

9:14 a.m. The Quorum of the Twelve now arise and sustain the General Authorities.

Quorum by quorum, Relief Society members, and young women, and all members of the Church, all over the world, each are called to arise and sustain the First Presidency, and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as general authorities of the Church.

Many foreign born general authorities are sustained.  This is a very good thing.  New authorities called to take their position on the stand

Elder Russell M. Nelson9:26 a.m. Russell M. Nelson Quorum of the Twelve

All felt a deep sense of loss at the passing of President Hinckley.  Today we have invoked the Law of Common Consent through the formal sustaining of the general authorities.  Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone of the Church.  We have the Church and the general authorities for the perfecting of the Saints and the knowledge of the Son of God, and the unity of the Faith.  We are to help people prepare for their salvation and exaltation.

Through Christ’s Atonement all mankind may be saved.  Salvation means to be saved from physical and spiritual death.  Christ’s Resurrection saves us from physical death.   To gain exhalation refers to the highest state of Happiness in the Celestial realm.  The time to prepare, however, for salvation and exhalation is now, in this early life.  For this reason the Gospel is taken to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

Conversion is an individual process and matter, as is salvation.  This is fostered in the family, however.  The home is God’s laboratory of love and service.  Husbands, Wives and children are to love one another.  Throughout the world the family is under attack.  If the family fails, many economic and social systems on earth will likewise fail.  We are to be faithful to one another.

In the Temple we receive the highest blessings in store for his children.  Families can be together as exalted beings.  This is my work and my glory said God to bring to pass the eternal life of mankind.

Exaltation is a conditional gift from God.  If you keep God’s commandments, we shall have eternal life.  Parents are never subject to release, as we are in Church callings.  We are always parents, always teaching children.  (Guess I don’t have an early release in sight after all– oh well!)

Today rampant immorality and pornography requires parents to teach children of God and His commandments.    No power can be maintained by the Priesthood but by persuasion, and love unfeigned. When a child needs correction, ask ourselves, what can I do to persuade?  Correct, privately, lovingly, not publicly.  Love must be sincere.  Show increased love afterward.  (I can certainly use this instruction and wisdom in my own life.)

We should teach and persuade.  That is the key.  Sealing ordinances are imperative–Husbands to wives, wives to husbands, children to mothers and fathers.  The blessings of exaltation will be afforded to all who are worthy.

9:49 a.m. Choir Praise to the Man (Outstanding Hymn.  One of my favorites of the entire book!)–Millions shall indeed know Brother Jospeh again!)

9:45 a.m. President Monson

Our hearts were touched  by that hymn

9:46 a.m. Ronald A. Rasband, Presidency of the Seventy

President Monson is indeed a Prophet.  This is indeed the Lord’s true and living Church.  Our life’s experiences build our testimony.   Some experiences are heavy trials, straining our ability to cope.  They make us more aware, sensative.

All these things shall give the experience and shall be for thy good, the Prophet Joseph was told at Liberty Jail.   It is no wonder the Lord chooses the senior apostle as the Prophet, after a lifetime of experiences.  Do you remember when you first knew the Prophet Joseph was the first of the Restoration?

These special experiences give us gratitude and resolve to continue on with greater faith.   We the weak and simple members of the Church are taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  Let us remember our own special experiences, the building blocks of Faith.

Sister Cheryl Lant9:54 a.m. Cheryl C. Lant Primary General President

We all have family traditions.  The most important are connected by the way we live our lives.  The Lamanites were impacted by the traditions of their fathers, which caused them to reject the Gospel.  What kinds of traditions do we have?  Are they based on righteousness and faith.  Are they material in nature, or are they eternal?  Are they influenced the still small voice of the Spirit?  How shall we determine our traditons?

Mosiah 5:15.  Be steadfast and immovable, abounding in good works.  How do we determine what is good or good enough?

3 Nephi 6:14.  People who were converted and who would not depart from the Faith–diligent in keeping the commandments.  Conversion preceds our ability to remain steadfast and immoveable.  It is gounded in the belief of Jesus Christ our Reedemer.  The Book of Mormon is a second witness and testament of Jesus Christ along with the Bible.  It contains teachings of how we should live our lives.

Conversion requires a witness of the Spirit, which testifies of Christ.  It comes only when we have a deep desire to know the Truth.  We cannot be lost and caught up in finding fault with the scriptures.  We must change our lives.  Our conversion will come about after we change our lives.

Process of refinement.  Make each day better than the last.  Reflect on our own traditions in our lives.  Family prayer, scripture study, respect, Church activity.  If our parenting is based on the Scriptures and the counsel of the Prophets we will not go wrong.  If our children know where we stand, and if we stand of the Lord’s side, that is what we should do.  Our children can hold on to that foundation or return to that tradition if they stray.  The Gospel of Christ is true, and the scriptures testify of it.   We have a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson.

10:03 a.m. Choir and congregation:  We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet

10:05 a.m. Kenneth Johnson Quorum of the Seventy

We are like men of medicine and science in restoring and sustaining the family, using proven methods of scriptural truths.  Through logic and learning, knowledge is increased.  There are laws that keep living things in balance, as the enlightened mind learns.  This also applies to ethical standards.  The home is a center of learning through the atmosphere of love.   Where do we learn loyalty, integrity and dependability–in the home from our parents.   We learn honor and respect for the daughters of God in the home.   Service is a source of satisfaction.  Never be satisfied by anything less than doing our very best.

The natural man receives not the things of God, for they are foolishness to them. (How true). Diciplies of Christ receive their witness through observing Christ’s word and life.  Impact of spiritual truths are incredible.  I believe as the Family Proclamation states that marriage is ordained of God.    Gospel principles are the foundation of a productive life.    Christ taught that He came that we might have life, and more abundantly.

What of those who have not experienced a positive family environment?  For those who pray and yearn, God’s promises will be fulfilled.  Your faith will be re-lighted.  The family is a God given gift.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin10:14 a.m. Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Quorum of the Twelve.  (Seated whild giving his address)

The world is a better place because of President Hinckley and we will miss him.  President Monson is likewise a Prophet.  Many of the lowly call him friend, which is more important that the mighty who know him.

President Eyring  is wise and learned man in the Church and outside the Church.  When he speaks people listen.

President Urchdoft, all is full, all is well.

Christ is our greatest example.  He was surrounded by thousands, but was always concerned about the one.  We are commanded to seek out those who are lost.  We must be concerned for the one.  He directs his comments to those who are lost, to those who feel they don’t belong, who are slipping away from the flock.

It is an erroneous belief that all members should look, sound or believe the same (Good advice–good stuff) We each have our own beautiful sound.  God doesn’t esteem one flesh one above another.  He denieth none who come unto Him.

We need more compassion who are different from us.  It would make our families and Church a more hallowed and heavenly place.  Many are discouarged because they have not measured up to their potential.  Everyone has felt tired.  Even Christ knew what it meant to be tired.  We bear a heavy weight on our shoulders with our spiritual trials, that are difficult to bear.  Put your shoulder to the wheel.  The Lord and the Church needs you.  Christ uses the weak things of the world to further His work.  The power of God can invigorate us.

We shall run and not be weary.  Leaders teach and support, but do not pressure.  Those who start slow sometimes go the farthest.  The question is not whether we trip and fall, but how we will respond.  The Church is an imperfect place for all of us to get together.  We are all imperfect but are striving to be better people.  No signs on our Church doors, “restricted entry, perfect people only.”

The Church encourages us to be better.  We can and should lose ourselves in the service of others.  Get back on our feet and strive to be better.  Those who stray, can you not set your offense aside and return?  We cannot apologize for the truth, even though there are those who think spiritual things are foolishness.  The natural man receives not the things of God for they are foolishness to the natural man.  Spiritual things are received only by the spirit and those spiritually in tune.

God lives and Jesus is the Christ our Savior and King.  He has restored His Church.

10:27 a.m. President Monson

Grateful for speakers.  Story about Elder Wirthlin calling him at midnight Salt Lake time, the best time to always reach him.

10:29 a.m. Choir  I will Go Where You Want Me To Go

President Henry B. Eyring10:35 a.m. President Henry B. Eyring First Counselor First Presidency

Sustaining President Monson and Elder Christopherson as a new Apostle we have seen how the Church is both true and living.   This is the True Church because we have the Keys of the Priesthood–the sealing keys.  They were restored to Joseph Smith, who in turn conveyed them to the Quorum of the Twelve.  Those who martyeed Joseph thought the Church would die with him, but it was not to be becasue of the Priesthood Keys which have been passed on to His chosen servants.

The keys were lost in the Apostacy after the orignal Twelve had died.  Today is a day of historical significance because of this continuing process of the passing along of the keys.  But, the Lord cautions us today as He has in the past that He does not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.  We need to repent and reexamine our lives individually.  We need to

1.  Measure the depth of gratidute of Church membership

2.  By the influence of the Holy Ghost, wee need to determine in what ways can we do better?  We can and we must do better.

We sustain all those who serve us in the Kingdom.  All those sustained today will be sustained by God because of our collective faith.  The Church is a powerful force for the blessings of its members and all in the world.

God wishes to bless all.  The blessings of the sealing power reach into the Spirit World, to those who no longer live in mortality.  Grateful for cleansing power of Church and baptism.

Sealing power changes and transforms family life here and in the next life.  This is the promise of membership in the Church, that we will have associations with our families in the eternities.   Because of the Restoration of the sealing power we are hopeful to have the same sociality that we have in this life in the worlds to come.

Sees Atonement changing members lives who are in the Church.  We need to nourish with the good word of God.  Every member a missionary, we will see increasing numbers of people who will hear the word of God.

Parents seeking to protect children in this world.  Those who never give up will find that God never gave up.  The spirit of reaching out will inspire those who don’t recognize the blessings God has in store for them.

Another improvement is the desire to reach out of the poor and those in need.  Sees donations to perpetual education fund and humanity funds.  This is happening among more members of the Church.  This extends to those who even have less themselves.  This is evidence the Atonement is working among the members of the Church.

This is the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ, and all can have this knowledge.  Ordinaces performed here that can clease souls as they were in the days of Peter, James, and John.  Jesus is the Christ and He lives.  I KNOW THAT.

(very very powerful talk and testimony–you just could not sit and listen to Elder Eyring today without having a spiritual witness of the truth of his words).

10:53 a.m. Choir Come Follow Me

10:58 a.m. Benediction