Tuesday, October 06, 2009

General Conference thoughts

I love listening to general conference. I was thrilled when Fixitman made it so we could have the internet stream on our TV this time, since we don't have cable anymore. I try to purposely stay home and have nothing else going so I can listen to all four sessions. A side benefit to this is a whole weekend where we are all in the house together enjoying each other with no outside distractions.

I encourage the boys to listen to the talks but allow them to be kids. Dinoguy enjoyed playing the matching games at the Friend magazine website during the sessions and I used the printable conference notebook for my notes. We draw pictures, take notes, work on crafty projects, cook and bake together, all while enjoying the inspired counsel from the prophet and other leaders.

While April's conference seemed to be about surviving the hard economic times and recognizing the lessons in adversity, to me this conference had more about doing the small and simple things that are necessary to maintain our spiritual health. I certainly heard my word for the year, Listen, often. I look forward to studying the talks more in the next 6 months until next conference.

My notes/highlights from talks:

Prophet Monson: There is no regret in being too kind.
President Eyring: We can have peace and assurance of knowing we are on the Lord's path for us.
President Uchtdorf: Love is the defining characteristic of a disciple of Christ. Listen for the Lord's voice in everything.
President Packer: Learn from the spirit, stay close and it will protect you. Learn to pray and pray often in your mind and heart, but conclude with "thy will be done".
Elder Perry: Learn lessons from the past way of viewing the future and listen to the spirit for individual guidance.
Elder Nelson: Prayer is more amazing than phone technology. Be prepared by being obedient to commandments.
Elder Oaks: Explanation of Gods love versus divine law. Gods laws will not change for anyone. Gods love will not excuse us from following his laws. Listen. Can feel Gods love anytime. Model our parenting like that of God.
Elder Ballard: (did not speak to my knowledge)
Elder Scott: Write down impressions of the spirit and listen to feelings of peace. Practice hearing and it will become easier. Strong emotions overcome delicate communication of the spirit. Pray with the fervor of your soul, in humility and gratitude.
Elder Hales: Don't constrain the spirit. Develop a testimony and belief in God and it will bless family, posterity and friends. Knowledge of God gives purpose to life.
Elder Holland: Bore strong testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Discussed martyrdom of Joseph & Hiram Smith. Allegory of Lehi's dream. Mists of darkness make an already difficult journey harder. Successful traveler resist ALL distractions. There is happiness and hope for the faithful in the travail of the last days.
Elder Bednar: Become more diligent and concerned at home. Express love and show it! Bear testimony and live it! Be consistent.
Elder Cook: We have stewardships for selves, families and for poor and needy. Teach children to be accountable for time and talents. Important to fill home with gospel learning. Follow counsel of the prophet to serve those in need.
Elder Christofferson: Have moral discipline to choose the right, and reject the self absorbed life in favor of developing a life worthy of respect. Laws and police enforcement cannot replace customs & morality. There can never be enough rules and will limit freedoms of all. Internal moral compasses must be established. Constantly teaching mostly by example. Have standards like stripling warriors.
Elder Anderson: Come unto the Savior and be spiritually wrapped in his arms. His arms are open and extended. Repentance always means greater happiness is ahead.
Sister Matsumori: Spirit only dwells in clean temples. Let virtue garnish thoughts unceasingly. Pray, read scriptures and invite Spirit into our homes. Make time for still and quiet each day and listen to give the still small voice an opportunity to talk to us.
Brother Clayton: Burdens can be consequences of natural conditions, results of others deeds or from our own sins. Burdens bring blessings, though it takes time and prayer to understand. Adversity is a small moment. It invites us to yield to the Holy Spirit, to be perfected and grow. Examples: work, poverty, war.
Brother Oglethorpe: Inspired teachers save spiritual lives. Draw upon the spirit to be effective teacher. 3 points from Elder Bednar: Key doctrin, Invitation to action & promised blessings. Goal of gospel teaching is not to pour info in but to think about, feel about and do something about knowledge gained. Aim High. Rely on the Lord and he'll help us do the impossible. Learn truth and then teach it, following example of the prophet Joseph Smith.
Brother Olsen: Prayers given 32 years previously while he was a missionary in Finland that seemed impossible will fulfilled. His son was missionary in city he was praying for while he was a missionary.
Bishop Burton: Teach the -ity virtues. Parents, remain steadfast in raising kids in righteousness.
Sister Dibb: Use the safety equipment! Pray, Read scriptures, Listen to the prophets and the Holy Ghost.
Brother Ringwood: Bring up children in light and truth. The easiness and willingness to listen to the word of God comes into our lives by doing the small things like prayer and scripture study.
Brother Sitati: Blessings of the temples in Africa to people there.
Brother Zeballos: God requires our best but not more than that. Do our part. Remember our covenants.
Brother Callister: Peter the apostle had weaknesses, but was a great man. Joseph Smith is similar. We gained 4 important truths from the first vision. God and Jesus Christ are separate beings. God and Jesus Christ ahave glorified bodies of flesh and bones. The Heavens are not closed. Lastly, the Full and Complete Church of God was not on the earth at the time of the vision.
Brother Watson: Security is found in self control and being temperate. Happiness is in diligence. Be patient in affliction. Be kind even when others are unkind.
Brother Renland: Heart transplants compared with the mighty change of heart brought by the spirit. Heart transplant patients must take rejection medication and have regular biopsies, but many become casual and figure if they feel fine, they must be fine. Similarly, the ultimate operation of a mighty change of heart requires great care because the tendency of the natural man is to reject the spiritually changed heart. Read questions in Alma 5 as a biopsy. It is a spiritual death trap to become casual with our prayers and scripture study. Be eager to please God and worship him with fervor and passion.

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