By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

General Conference Sunday Afternoon Notes

President Faust conducting.

Elder Ballard—We are blessed to know the Atonement of Christ. Because of Joseph Smith, we have been given much. Without the restoration, we would not know the true nature of the godhead or our divine nature or many other things. We would assume all of God’s word is in the Bible. We would not have additional scripture or Priesthood ordinances. Would not have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Mighty change of heart because of knowledge we have. Our love for the Lord and appreciation for the restoration of the gospel should be all the motivation we need to share the gospel. Preach My Gospel increases missionaries abilities to teach and to adjust to meet needs of those they teach. They need more people to teach. Focus on love for the Lord, testimony, and gratitude. That will lead us to do all we can to assist the Lord. The Savior showed us the way when he called his disciples. He was teaching them. They could see and experience his message first hand. Our homes can be gospel-sharing homes. We can set an example and let the spirit of our home and family be our message. The D & C says we can be forgiven when we help another to be forgiven. We pray for many when we are in our homes. Create a gospel-sharing home. Easy. Families, college students, older couples, single members can all do this. Guests are welcome and feel comfortable and love to be there. These homes are ordinary, but family members clearly love each other and visitors feel the spirit of the Lord. It is not a program—it is a way of life. It means inviting friends and neighbors into the ongoing flow of gospel and church activities. We don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time developing friendships. We just have to be open. Be open about our church membership. Gospel-sharing home is not defined by people joining. We are to care, share, and invite and then leave it to them whether they accept or not. We do not just pray for the missionaries around the world—we pray for our own missionary experiences. Listen to the promptings. They will come. The Lord will guide us as we seek His divine help. Example of a French woman who is successful in sharing the gospel. Other examples. People join the church because of the example and attitude of those they know. Invite people to activities and open houses, etc. Invite them to sacrament meeting. Support the Ward leaders and mission activities. If we do some of these simple things, the Lord will lead us to find tens of thousands with whom to share the gospel.

Elder Scott—Hard to imagine anything more exciting than being a full-time missionary. Message of gospel is vital. Replaces turmoil with peace, sorrow with happiness. Preach My Gospel provides help. It has improved teaching around the world. It has strengthened our capacity to teach the gospel, the plan of salvation. Raising the bar has made a big difference, improvement in many areas. How to prepare to be a full-time missionary. Process begins in the home long before missionary age. Children best taught gospel truths in the home. Teaching can be tailored to each child. Young men should go, young women may go. Many parents are using Preach My Gospel to teach concepts to children. Children will be strengthened to do well, to go to the temple, to live worthily, to serve missions, be good spouses and parents. It’ll give you a head start. Just under 1,000,000 copies of Preach My Gospel have been distributed so far. Encourage potential missionaries to serve missions. Gives example of his daughter, Mary Lee. His grandchildren are following the example to serve. Missionaries arrive in the field better prepared. Help those who need to work to meet the standards. Urgent need for missionaries. Tells what an honorable full-time mission meant to him. After his mission, his parents became strong members. His future wife made it clear she would only marry in the temple to a returned missionary. He learned much on his mission. He pleaded with God for help. He came to love the people. His later life has brought many opportunities that his mission prepared him for. He is anxious to motivate young men to serve a mission. Also older couples and young women. It brings many blessings. Seek counsel of parents, bishop, stake president. Pray about serving a mission. Ask the Lord to guide you in whatever may be necessary to become a prepared full-time missionary. You won’t regret serving a mission, but you will regret not serving.

Elder Stone—Saw Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Would be nice to have an early warning system of approaching evil. Babylon – decadence. Every man walketh in his own way and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world. Live in the world but not be of that world. Create Zion in the midst of Babylon. Babylon is becoming more widespread. We have to create Zion in the midst of it and not be engulfed in Babylon’s culture. The people of God were an island in the midst of an ocean of idolatry in early times (Israel). How could Israel forget the Lord? The culture pressured them. Molded by the ethos or zeitgeist or culture. People in every culture move in a cocoon of self-satisfied…. They are influenced to think their way is right. Like puppets on a string as culture decides what is cool. Peter says we are a peculiar people (chosen generation, royal priesthood). Follow God, live by every word that cometh out of the mouth of God. Lesson of silence in the Manhattan Temple—minimal contact with outside walls to the world. This is how we can minimize Babylon’s influence on our Zion. Daniel. Young men refused to do that which they believed to be wrong. The Lord blessed them. Seduced by our culture, we often seldom recognize our idolatry. We do not need to adopt the standards of Babylon. We can have our own standards. We can live in accordance with the Lord’s moral laws. We can limit how much of Babylon can come into our Zion homes through media, etc. We will need courage to have Zion in the midst of Babylon. Sometimes we imagine courage in great episodes of danger. The opportunity to stand for that which is right come along far more frequently. No journalist will record it. We will know, though, that we did right. If Babylon is the city of the world, Zion is the city of the Lord. Zion is the pure in heart. Wherever we are, we can build Zion by the principles of the celestial kingdom. Our homes can be a refuge and protection. We do not need to be puppets of the culture and the times. We seek Zion because it is the habitation of our Lord. He will rule forever.

Elder Wood—We appear to live in an era when people are encouraged to speak without thinking, to speak from emotion, to give and take offense. Scriptures tell us that Satan and evil men will try to stir up contention and agitate people. Days of wickedness and vengeance. Wrath poured out in the last days upon the earth. First casualty of human wrath are truth and understanding. Beware of those who stir us up to such anger that calm feelings are suppressed. We must remain true to the way, the truth, and the life who is Jesus Christ. Have we slipped unknowingly into habits of stereotyping and other things? We need to raise the level of public discourse. Do not cast aspersions. Recognize good people wherever they be found. It is too easy to fall into a spirit of mockery and cynicism. There are those who watch for iniquity and make a man an offender for a word. We must cease to find fault with one another per the Lord. Hatred, …, unkindness wrong. It is not for us to criticize but rather to share our truth. World in darkness but righteous and truth also spread from heaven. We cannot afford to be caught up in a world prone to give and take offense. We must not be envious or prideful, etc. We must represent pure love of Christ. Never let us become a party to works of evil toward our brothers and sisters around the world. Let us not fall into the darkness so that we cannot see afar off. Let us be fruitful…. We must overcome with our Master the darkness of the world.

Elder Stucki—Tells story of going hunting at age 9 with new bow and arrow. Lost arrow. Prayed for help. Found arrow and ran home to get there before dark. That was the first time he’d prayed for the Lord to help him and He did. God hears our prayers and gives us the guidance we seek. Scriptures instruct us to pray. James 1:5 D & C 112:10. Prayer is a 2-way communication. It is one of the stepping stones that leads us on the path to our return to our Heavenly Father. Faith is another such stepping stone. Story of a doctor on an island. 8-year-old boy injured. Brain surgery required. All involved prayed. All helped. After 6 hours the surgery was completed and a successful outcome was achieved. Doctor grateful for all help and blessings. Neal Hutchison was the doctor. He’s now a bishop in New Zealand. Met the boy and his father. Boy is now an electrician with no ill effects from his head injury. Faith. Trust in God and in His willingness to help when needed. Joseph Smith displayed unwavering faith at 14 and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him. We need to pray always. If we haven’t been, we can begin now. God will hear and give us guidance and comfort. Third stepping stone is the family. Divinely ordained. Our love, loyalty, and respect for each other can become a shield to protect us from the fiery darts of the adversary, from the wickedness of the world. Use these three stepping stones to return to God.

Elder Wirthlin—Starts with story of horse auction. Bought horse named Snowman. Was gentle and reliable, but had had a hard life. Turned out to be a jumper. Became an example of hidden, untapped potential. Elder W. has met many types of people. Some overcome trials and some do not. Some are happy and live lives of abundance. First, they drink deeply of living waters. The gospel of Jesus Christ heals and binds people together. The faith of our fathers is one of hope and joy. The abundant life is a spiritual life. Some live the gospel on the surface, but need to drink deeply of living waters. Develop an unshakable faith in Christ. Prayer, study, keep commandments. Second, fill our hearts with love. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Joseph Smith reached out to others in love. Story of eight African-Americans who walked to Nauvoo to meet the prophet. Those who reach out to lift and serve others will find happiness (President Hinckley). We must get the selfishness out of our lives. Excuses will sound hollow to our Heavenly Father. Third, we can create a masterpiece of our lives. We are sons and daughters of an eternal Heavenly Father. We have potential we can scarcely imagine. There is a spark of greatness in each one of us. What we do with that gift is up to us. The abundant life does not come packaged and ready. It comes through faith and hope and charity. “In the depth of winter lies an invincible summer.” It is in the quest of the abundant life that we fulfill our eternal destiny.

President Hinckley—As we return to our homes, may we remember and express in our lives the counsel we have received. May we be fortified against the adversary. Blessing.



Blogger Guy Murray said...

Mary . . wow, you really did a great job of note taking . . .far better than did I. Thanks for posting them all!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, Guy! I'm glad you found them useful. It really did help me concentrate better than I have in the past when I didn't take notes. I think I got a lot more out of conference because of it. While I was taking the notes, I was aware of missing a lot, but when I read them later, I felt like I'd gotten the gist of the talks reasonably well. It'll give me something to review and ponder while waiting for the Ensign!

2:14 AM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Great notes! I started falling asleep during the very first talk of the very first session. I should have been talking notes. When my dad was around though, that kept me awake with all of his funny comments. He placed a soccer ball under our dining room table and said that it was going to watch from there. He informed me that it was a Mormon ball that had been played by a Mormon(me). I am not sure if the ball got much out of the experience. I know that I loved conference!

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Scooby said...

Hi there - I found your blog through LDS Women Bloggers. I am also LDS but I missed conference this year :o(

I really enjoy your blog and plan to return often!

2:48 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Barb, I'll bet your dad was a riot! Scooby, I'm glad you like my blog--that's always nice to hear! Thanks to bothof you for stopping by.

12:03 AM  

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