General Conference

It’s Sunday Morning, during the Tabernacle Choir’s Spoken Word broadcast, just prior to the Sunday Morning Session of General Conference.  The counsel and addresses by the General Authorities, including members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and First Presidency, prophets, seers, and revalators have been magnificent.  Their counsel is timely, wise, and directly to the point–at least for my life.  I look forward to the two remaining sessions of conference.  For ‘nacle discussion of General Conference please check out these open threads, Mormon Mentality, By Common Consent, Times and Seasons,

9:00 a.m. Tabernacle Choir Rejoice The Lord Is King

President Thomas S. Monson9:01a.m. Conducting, President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, Revelator

Welcome all to conference.

9:02 a.m. Choir Joseph’s Smith First Prayer

9:07 a.m. Invocation Anthony D. Perkins, Quorum of the Seventy

9:09 a.m. Choir He Sent His Son

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf9:13 a.m. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor, First Presidency

Rejoices calling himself as member of Church, counting himself among us.  Learned new dimensions of humility since being called to First Presidency.  No one more surprised at his calling than his children and grand children.  We all miss President Hinckely.  Known President Monson many years, and is currently the Prophet of the Church.  Grateful to also serve with President Eyring.

Marveled at the abilities of the Quorum of the Twelve when they met in the Temple to sustain President Monson. Loves these men of great faith.  Pledges his support to them, including Elder Christofferson as the newest member of the Twelve.

A few words about President Monson.  Accompanied him on a recent visit to Germany a few years back.  He has asked about specific members, including a former stake president, now seriously ill.  President Monson himself had undergone foot surgery, climbed five floors to see this brother.  Thanked him for his service.  Gave him a Priesthood blessing.

President Monson did not rest, or go sightseeing around Germany.  Rather, he went to see a feeble and ailing member of the Church.  He came to bless the people of a country, but also focused on the one.  He grasps the complexity of a world wide Church, but also still focuses on the one.

He went about doing good.  The faith of our fathers, marvels at differing background of the Church members.  We are very diverse.  Faith of our Fathers, one of our hymns he has contemplated because of this diversity.

Loves and honors faith of early pioneers in the Church.  His fathers dis not make the journey across the plains, but still claims the pioneer legacy as his own.

Often when people learn of the restored gospel, they are impressed and want to join the Church.  But, often they are reluctant because they don’t want to disappoint their ancestors, i.e., the faith of their fathers.

Carmen his wife had a similar experience.  Carmen’s mother objected to her joining the Church.  How could you leave the faith of your fathers?   Eventually Carmen’s mother and her sister were baptized after their own conversions.

What is the faith of our fathers?  The religion of our parents and grand parents?  What about of Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Noah, Adam, Eve?  The faith of our fathers has been consistent from the begining of time, and before the foundation of the world.

The battle today is the same as it was before the world was, Agency.  We owe allegiance to God.  We believe through Christ’s Atonement all may be saved.  We believe in the plan of Happiness and salvation.  God’s children may return to the Father.  It is in place before the earth.  This is the plan and the faith of our fathers. The restored Gospel is the faith of our fathers from Adam to our own time.  The Father and the Son appeared to Josesph Smith to restore the faith of our fathers.  True religion should not originate from what pleases men, but from what pleases God the Eternal Father.

Joseph’s first prayer is a testimony of this.  God loves His children and hears their prayer from all nations.  He grants light to those who honor and obey His commandments.  The faith of our fathers is on our planet today.  We invite all to partake and confirm its sweetness.

This faith will make us whole.  This is our message to the world.  Bears testimony of God, Christ, Holy Ghost, and Prophets with keys from Joseph Smith to Thomas Monson

(President Urchtdorf is an incredibly powerful speaker.)

9:30 a.m. Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Tweleve Apostles

Recalls when he was sustained as a member of the Quorum of the Seventy.  Pleads with God to sustain and build him up in his new calling.  Commits all that he has and is to God and Christ.  Commits likewise to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

Recounts some of his patriarchal blessing.  Has four sons and daughter, all married.  Loves his family and grandchildren.  Wife Kathy is the pinnacle of their home.  Loves her beyond expression.  Blessed to serve a full time mission in Argentina.  One of whom was Elder Richard G. Scott.    He as spent time all over the country as well as three years in Mexico.

The Quorum of the Seventy are key to the success of the work of the Church.  Is honored his name was ever included amongst theirs.

In Tennessee received a call from a retired minister of another faith.  Said he came out of concern for his soul, and wanted to save Christofferson.  They found some things they believed in common, and some not.  Discussed about being born again.  It is spiritual re-birth that is the foundation of his testimony of Christ.

Our own action and Divine intervention required for the re-birth.  One example is Book of Mormon King Benjamin.  The people wanted to do good, and evil no more.  They were called by the name of Christ.

Spiritual rebirth originates with faith in Christ.  When this true faith takes root, it leads to repentance.  God then baptizes us with fire and the Holy Ghost.

Take heed because man may fall from Grace.  We must press forward with steadfastness and hope in Christ.

Why doesn’t the might change happen more quickly with me?  Because typically the changes are gradual and occur over time.  They are a process rather than an event.  Let’s not justify only a casual effort.   Partake of the Sacrament worthily.  Atonement will take away our sins, and temptations will lose their allure.

Knows Christ is the Son of God.  Believes in Joseph Smith, the preeminent revelator of Jesus Christ.

9:45 a.m. Sheldon F. Child Quorum of the Seventy

Young boy, neighbors had dairy cows.  Selling the cow brought mixed emotions.  Wanted the money in silver dollars.  Recalls his dad bringing home 20 sliver dollars for him.  He reluctantly gave up two of them to tithing, but felt good for his obedience.

If we faithfully pay an honest tithing, God will bless us.  There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven.  When we obey God’s law of tithing He will bless us.

If we violate God’s laws we suffer consequences.  Obey them, and we receive blessings.  Obeying the law of tithing we will receive temporal and spiritual blessings.  We live in challenging economic times.  There will continue to be times of prosperity and uncertainty.  If we pay our obligation to God and use wisdom and good judgment He will help us manage our resources.  Obedience to tithing law brings inner joy.   Prayer becomes easier.  Man becomes more like God.

If we always pay an honest tithing the Lord will bless us.  The best investment we can make.

9:54 a.m. Choir and Congregation How Firm a Foundation

9:58 a.m. Susan W. Tanner Former Young Women’s President.

Nephi speaks often of delight.  He delights in the things of God.  His sources of delight he rembembers in affliction.  We too should delight in the things of God.  She delights in Christ.  Glories in Jesus.  He provides light and hope, and given us the Holy Ghost along the path we go.  Salvation only comes through Christ.

Delights in restored Gospel based on Apostles and Prophets.  Testifies Thomas S. Monson is God’s Prophet today.

Delights in Priesthood keys and temples dotting the earth.

Delights in the strength of Youth as they throng to the temple.

Delights she is a daughter of God.  Learned her divine identity early at her mother’s side.

Delights as a nurturer and a  mother.  It is a mother’s primary responsibility  (Look out ‘nalce and others –here is another controversy in the making–wait for it.–there will be those who take issue with this truth.)

Scriptures use nurture twice.  President Hinckley admonished both men and women should nurture.

Delights in families, including recently the birth of a grand child.

Delights in the chastity of both women and men.  Modesty is mocked everywhere in this wicked world.

Delights in the clarity of the Proclamation of the Family to the world (Yea!)

We are in the middle of our earthly path.  We don’t know the rest of our own stories.

Delights in God’s mercies and miracles.  Miracles do come, but at times not until the fourth watch.

Delight’s in God’s love for each of His children.

Delights in the love of her husband and family.    Gospel duty is to do what is right.  When we delight to serve Him God delights to bless us.

Wants to be worthy always of God’s delight.   (Well done–Amen!)

Elder Boyd K. Packer10:08 a.m. Elder Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve

After President Hinckley’s death, the 14 remaining apostles gathered in the upper room of the Temple to reorganize the First Presidency.  There was no hesitancy.  We all knew President Monson would be the new President of the Church.  President Monson was given all the keys to exercise all priesthood authority.  He is the only man authorized to exercise all the keys even though all the twelve held them.  Only President Monson may exercise them all.

They also eventually called and ordained an new Apostle.  This goes back to Jesus Christ.  A number of seventies also sustained.

The Quorum of the Twelve direct the Church.  When they need help they look to the Seventy.  Christ Himself set in motion this manner of administration, back in His earthly ministry.

Recounts the calling of the original Twelve apostles, their names and calling of the original Twelve.  Christ said to Peter, I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom.  Whatsoever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven.

Christ gave the apostles power and authority over all devils and the power to heal the sick.  The Twelve hold the keys to send word to every creature.

Peter confessed the Christ.   Lord, to whom shall we go?  Thou has the words of Eternal Life.  We don’t know of all the apostles travels or deaths, but we do some.  They scattered, taught, and testified, dying for their beliefs.  With their deaths came the apostasy.  The keys were lost.  There must be a Quorum of the Twelve for Christ’s Church to be on earth.

Peter, James and John restored the keys directly from God and Christ.  The Restored Church was young when the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve were first organized.  The first average age was 28.

Yesterday 96th apostle in this dispensation was sustained.  President Kimball pointed to the keys at the original Christus in Denmark, and said tell everyone in Denmark, and I hold those original keys.

We believe in the same organization that existed in the primitive Church.   We do not hear of other Christian Churches exercising keys.  We are the only ones.

We are all students of Christ’s Gospel.

Is the duty of the Twelve to ordain and set in order the other officers of the Church, under the direction of the First Presidency.  To confer keys of authority one of the Twelve must be there every time.

All members may receive personal revelation.  We are directed to do that.  We have access to the Father via the Spirit.  Christ is the chief cornerstone of the Church.

10:26 a.m. Choir If You Could Hie To Kolob

President Thomas S. Monson10:32 a.m. President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet, Seer, Revelator

Thanks to Choir

Remarkable session.  Great talks, and Spirit.   Over 44 years ago 1963 was just sustained as member of the Quorum of the Twelve.  Recalls a small sign saying who stands at this pulpit let him be humble.  Today, however, he addresses us all from the absolute depths of humility.

Two months ago we said farewell to President Hinckley.   We miss him.  He now belongs to the ages.

Upon his death, the First Presidency was dissolved.  The counselors returned to the Quorum of the Twelve and they were the governing body for the Church.  Many loving tributes were given at President Hinckley’s funeral.

The following day, all 14 apostles met in the upper room of the Salt Lake Temple and reorganized the First Presidency based on the pattern the Lord set.  Yesterday in Solemn Assembly the Church world wide sustained the actions taken in the Salt Lake Temple after President Hinckely’s funeral when the new First Presidency was reorganized.

Testifies each of us can feel Lord’s inspiration.  Has served as a counselor to three of the previous 15 Prophets of the Church.  Prays he will continue as an instrument in God’s hands.  Thanks God for wonderful counselors today.  They are men of sound understanding and great ability.  They are true counselors and he values their judgment.  Loves the Quorum of the Twelve.

If we are not one, ye are not mine.  We will continue to be united in one purpose:  The work of the Lord.  Thanks God for countless blessings.  Was born of goodly parents.   1848 great great grandparents from Scotland and came to St. Louis MO.  Recounts how death and sickness took may of his ancestors and family.  They eventually came to Salt Lake Valley in 1850.

Thanks God for his wife.  Have been married nearly 60 years of marriage.  She has never once complained of his Church service over the decades.  He has often been taken away from home because of his service.  Was a bishop at 22 (wow, very young).

Appreciates the Church members, their service, and testimony.  You are dedicated to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  One of his greatest joys is to meet members and enjoy their spirits.

Some depart from Eternal Life road markers only to discovery the detours lead to dead ends.  Change for the better can come to all.  We have appealed to the less active, the critic, the transgressor to feast at the Lord’s table.  In our conscience lies our spirit to cast off the old person and live up to our potential.  We again issue the same invitation in the pure love of Christ to come back, back to full fellowship.  Let us lift you and cheer you and calm your fears.  Come unto to me, said Christ.  Take this literally.

May we follow Christ’s example.  What is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report, virture, praise, we should think on these things.

Show kindness and respect to everyone everywhere, including to those of differing beliefs.  Our home should be where God’s Spirit can dwell.

Society’s moral fabric is unraveling an an alarming speed.  Our youth face temptations we can scarecly comprehend.   We are waging a war with sin, which we can and will win.  God has given us the tools to win.  God is the God of light and hope.  He loves each one of us.  Mortality is a testing period.  We must be challenged and face difficulty.

Don’t view our misfortunes through the distorted lens of pessimism.   Look to God, who will lead us with love through the storm.  God does live.  Jesus is His son.  He is our Redeemer and Mediator.  He loves us.  He gave His life for us.

Invokes Christ’s blessings upon us, in home, work and in service to others.  Pledges all he has to offer to direct Christ’s Church in accordance to His will and inspiration.

10:53 a.m. Choir High on the Mountain top

10:58 a.m. Benjamin De Hoyos