Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Come What May and Love It"

I love Elder Wirthlin's talks. He doesn't deliver them spectacularly, but when you read them, they are marvelous. This talk was no exception.


When our kids get upset about something, we try to take the edge off the situation by making it light. Sometimes it backfires, but a lot of times it seems to work. Sometimes a lot of memories are made by turning a bitter moment into a happy memory.

Eternal Perspective

If we keep things in an eternal perspective, we see trials and adversities in proper perspective.

Princial of Compensation

Elder Wirthlin said, "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss." My seminary teacher Keith Rasmussen had a favorite saying in dealing with how we are sometimes treated by others because of our religious beliefs. He said, "we will pay in this life and they will pay in the next." I always wondered about that doctrine, but Elder Wirthlin seems to make it legitimate.

Trust in God and His Son

He typed a little note to his daughter that said, "put your trust in the Lord, do your best, then leave the rest to Him." One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."

As the title reminds us, we can face any adveristy and overcome it. Our attitudes are what make the difference between leading a bitter life or a life of happiness.

Read the entire talk: Come What May, and Love It

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There were a couple of parts I particularly liked about Elder Uchtdorf's talk on hope.

He said, "The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.

"Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."

It is always easier to despair than to hope. What takes real courage is to hope in the face of despair.

Another thing he said that I liked was, "The things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk. They uphold us through trials, temptations, and sorrow. Everyone has experienced discouragement and difficulty. Indeed, there are times when the darkness may seem unbearable. It is in these times that the divine principles of the restored gospel we hope in can uphold us and carry us until, once again, we walk in the light."

On a related note, there is this thought in chess that is taught by a chess instructor named Dan Heisman. He calls it the theory of infinite resistance. Basically, it means that even if you are losing in a game, you do your best until you are mated. Can we do apply this to our lives? When things are dark and gloomy, we can still hope for the best and do our best. If we are overcome, then we know we did our best to survive. If we overcome the trial, then we will be that much stronger.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Book of Mormon

In his talk, Elder Aidukaitis shared how his father joined the Church after he came to know the Book of Mormon was true.

He also cited a couple of quotes that I had not heard before. The first is in Preach My Gospel. It says, "the Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is [the] most powerful resource in conversion." ([2004], 104)

I love the Book of Mormon. I love it because the Holy Ghost has testified the truthfulness of it to me. As I've said on my Book of Mormon Inspection blog, even if all the "evidence" in the world came out against the Book of Mormon, I'd still love the book and live the teachings found within. Reading it has changed my life and the life of many others.

The other quote was from President Hinckley. “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power. . . .

“. . . Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts . . . the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God” (“The Power of the Book of Mormon,” Ensign, June 1988, 6)

Will you read the Book of Mormon today?

Additional Reading:
Book of Mormon Inspection
Because My Father Read the Book of Mormon by Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis

Friday, October 10, 2008

"Settle this in your hearts"

Elder Neil L. Anderson said, "Brothers and sisters, we each have moments of spiritual power, moments of inspiration and revelation. We must sink them deep into the chambers of our souls. As we do, we prepare our spiritual home storage for moments of personal difficulty. Jesus said, “Settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.” (see footnote Luke 14:27b) (You Know Enough by Elder Neil L. Andersen)

In those times of "spiritual power, moments of inspiration and revelation" our testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ increases. We come to know of the reality of a Living God who hears and answers and prayers. We come to know that Jesus Christ indeed lives and will come to the earth again. We come to know that the prophets speak with God and know God's will for us.

I can't see how we have those moments if we are not studying and pondering the scriptures and the teachings of the living prophets. Each of us must make the time to quietly and reverently sit and read and study and ponder ... so that we can "settle these things in our hearts"

In these perilious times, the saving forces will be the testimony of individual members and the Priesthood.

Are we shoring up our testimonies?

Additional reading:
Luke 21:14
Larry W. Gibbons, “Wherefore, Settle This in Your Hearts,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 102–4
James E. Faust, “The Forces That Will Save Us,” Ensign, Jan 2007, 4–9

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Simple Life

I've always tried to advocate the simple life. Some might see me as lazy or shy or too laid back, but what my aim has always been is to lead a simple life.

Being the youngest in my family, I got to see my parents in a different light than my brothers and sisters. They live a simple life.

During the cold falls and winters of the Idaho Oregon area, my dad would always concern himself with having enough wood to burn in his fireplace. He loved to start a fire and enjoy the warmth it produced.

I also remember him sitting in the rocking chair by the window either at night or the late afternoon reading his scriptures.

The TV never blared in our home. Nor did the radio. We did not own a Nintendo or any game consoles. It was a reverent home. You could hear the clock ticking if you listened ... and it wasn't hard.

I've read Walden. The biggest impression I got when I read that book was the quietness of life. I think what Thoreau felt living on Walden Pond was very similar to what I felt in my home growing up.

Today, with four little ones, church callings, work, school functions, homework, church functions, limitless entertainment in the form of TV, game systems, cell phones, the Internet and music, the quietness of life can get lost. And with it the simplicity. We lose focus. We get distracted. Our minds grow numb. We don't feel at peace.

And so, using Elder Perry's talk for a guideline, we can (and should) ask ourselves these questions ...

What are we doing to simplify our life? Are we eating as we should? Do we get enough exercise? Do we keep our appearance clean and modest? Are we getting and staying out of debt? Do we manage our finances well? Do we feed our spirits? Do we pray earnestly and search the scriptures and living oracles? Do we take time to sit and reflect in quiet moments?

What are you going to do about it now?

Further reading: Let Him Do It with Simplicity by Elder L. Tom Perry

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Oct 2008 General Conference Notes: Sun PM Session

*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined

Elder Boyd K. Packer

The saints celebrated the nation's freedom despite the persecution they faced by that same government. The saints knew the Lord told them that we believe in being subject to kings ... etc.

Rather than consumed with revenge, the Saints were anchored in revelation.

The leaders of the Church are prepared through the decades to lead the Church.

"Today the sun never sets on congregations of Latter-day Saints."

Elder Russell M. Nelson

Men and women are that they might have joy. That joy comes when we choose the right.

Patterns of the shopper

Some shoppers study ... the best, quality. Some are bargain shoppers ... and find that what they buy don't last. Then there are those who steal what they want.

Marriage is of God. It is sacred.

Salvation is an individual matter. Exaltation is a family matter. The earth was created and this Church was formed so that families can be created, formed and sealed. Marriage is a divine commandment.

"All covenants, contracts, obligations ... that are not made ... are of no efficacy ... when men are dead" These truths are absolute.

No blessings with held from His faithful saints (to those who go unmarried).

Minimize personal demands, maximize loving unselfishness.

As with the pattern of the shopper, we can choose what type of marriage we will have. The best choice is the celestial marriage. If a lesser choice is taken, you can still "upgrade"

Brother William D. Oswald

He shared story of his grand-daughters learning to jump rope. Once they learned the fundamentals they were able to successfully jump.

We all have the responsibility to learn the basic principals of teachings. This can be done by watching other teachers and learning from the World Wide Broadcast on teaching (Feb 2007?)

We can learn from Jesus ... the master teacher.

1) Show love to those you teach and call them by name.
2) Teach from the scriptures.
3) Encourage the pondering of Gospel truths.

Elder Cabaret(?) and Elder (?)

Elder Quentin L. Cook

I had to take a call and take care of some business during the last three talks. I'll have to go back and watch these talks later.

President Thomas S. Monson

Heavenly Father is aware of the challenges we face in the world today.

May we be good citizens in the nations in which we live.

May we be men and women of honesty and integrity.

Contributions to the Church help us respond to disasters throughout the world.

May we be mindful of the needs of those around us and be willing to lend a helping hand.

Continuous revelation is the lifeblood of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Faustus: "There is a more searing anguish than fire - eternal exile from God"

Oct 2008 General Conference Notes: Sun AM Session

*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined

President Henry B. Eyring

Message of unity. The Lord's prophets have always called for unity. The challenge to maintain it will grow difficult. We are doing well as a people.

Our hearts will be knit together in unity (see Mosiah 18:21)

We should pray and ask for the blessing of unity. God's desire is to grant us this blessing. We must seek it and qualify for it.

We can receive guidance and encouragement from the story of Alma the Elder and those who followed him. "One eye, one faith, one baptism ... hearts knit together" (Mosiah 18:21)

When testimony of Christ is born, the Spirit testifies the truth of it and our hearts become knit together.

We need to be humble to be united. Pride is the enemy of unity.

Ask help from God to help others see common ground ... to be a peacemaker.

We need to speak well of each other. Sometimes we must judge others. Most of the time we have a choice. If you can't say anything good about a person, don't say anything at all. We can choose to "step away" from sowing seeds of dissension.

The saints can accomplish anything when our hearts are unified.

The unity we now experience will increase.

Elder Robert D. Hales

Why would someone want to attack us when we have taken upon us the name of Christ? We may feel inclined, when our faith is attacked, to "put up our dukes" and attack back. But we should prayerfully respond. Study the way Christ responded to various attacks on him.

To love our enemies ... that takes faith and strength and Christian courage.

True disciples of Christ see opportunities in opposition. Example: Abinadi & Alma.

As true disciples, seek guidance from the spirit ... seek to give customize counsel when we respond. We must never become contentious, but by the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22) Quiet confidence, not boastful pride. We should be guileless.

In some instances, we are better off just walking away and avoiding the situation all together. Some people bait us to leave the high ground. Do not leave it ... it is the safe ground ... where the truth and light is. Lehonti was coaxed to come down from the mount and was poisoned by degrees (see Alma 47) Some want us to enter a theological scrum. "I am doing a great work and I cannot come down" (Nehemiah 6:3). Muster Christian courage and move on.

To those who would argue, we must love them no matter what.

Bishop Keith B. McMullin

We are all children of our Heavenly Father. We are to love our "neighbor." Everyone is our neighbor.

By fasting and donating a fast offering, we serve our neighbors. It is heaven's help in a practical way.

We are commanded to pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ. Heavely Father answers all sincere prayers. Priesthood blessings are another form of prayer. The story of Janice who was run over by a bus. She was given a blessing to fully recover and lead a normal life. She is now a grandmother and has not suffered single effect from that accident.

We must be careful in the use of Christ's name.

Sister Elaine S. Dalton

A call to virtue. A pattern of thought and behavior based on high standards. Accumulation of 1000s of daily actions. Quiet dignity and inner strength.

Lehonti was well positioned on the mount. But after 4 tries, Lehonti came down and was poisoned by degrees.

We must return to virtue ... return to strict to training. The will to win is the will to prepare.

I was inspired this morning while driving to work to dig up my old "Putnam Papers" I wrote and put together while on my mission. I was truly inspired to remember those words I wrote to myself 11 years ago. I am reviewing them now and will continue to review them. This is my return to virtue.

"When He shall appear, we shall be like him" (Moroni 7:48)

Elder M. Russell Ballard

Joseph Smith was aware that that Saints would be driven to the Rocky Mountains where they would become a great people. The Church has grown from small numbers to the great organization it is today.

There really isn't a whole lot to note about Elder Ballad's talk. He did a review of the growth of the history of the Church. It is amazing to listen how far the Church has come. In 22 years, we'll see the 200th anniversary of the Church. Can you imagine what will happen between today and 2030? What marvelous times we live in.

The works and the designs and purposes of God cannot be frustrated.

The Lord isn't asking us to load up a handcart ... but to shore up our faith. Not to walk across a nation, but to cross the street. Not a martyr's death, but a disciple's life.

We must carry on the rich tradition of those who have established this church. Our testimonies must run deep.

President Thomas S. Monson

Nothing is as constant as change. We must always deal with change.

This life is short. The longer we live, the more we realize how brief this life is. We also learn what is most important. Find joy in the journey now.

"If you pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find that you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays."

Do all that you can in providing pleasant memories for the future. Do not let stresses get in the way of what is most important. What is most important is those who are around us. We won't regret hugs, and wishes of love. But we will regret missed opportunities of hugs and wishes of love.

One day, each of us will run out of tomorrows.

He spoke of Borghild Dahl who faced vision problems early in life. But she endured and had a desire to learn and participate. She lead a wonderful life, received an education and eventually had her vision restored. She expressed these words after receiving her sight: "Dear father in heaven. I thank thee. I thank thee"

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God" The story of the 10 lepers.

Christ taught us how to live.

I've always loved listening to President Monson and his tender stories. I simply forget to take notes when listening to him. His talks are flashy, but make you quietly ponder the teachings of the Savior. He weaves the teachings of the Savior so beautifully into his talks. What a wonderful talk!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Oct 2008 General Conference Notes: Priesthood Session

*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined

One other note ... for the other sessions I was able to listen and type my notes. During the Priesthood session, I had to hand write my notes and I'm just not as fast writing as I am typing, so my notes are a little less copious.

Elder Richard G. Scott

We should feel deeply humble to hold the Priesthood, especially when we consider how few men have held the Priesthood through the ages.

Jesus Christ is the perfect role model. He humbly served others without thought to himself.

Private Priesthood Interview

Are you holy & worthy to hold the Priesthood?
How often do you use it?
Are you private thoughts whole? Do you eleveate your mind?
Do you control what enters your eyes and mind?
Are you mentally and physically faithful to your wife?
Are you kind and supportive to your wife and family?
Do you lead your family in FHE, prayer?
Do you tell your wife that you love her?

How Priesthood Should be Used to Bless Others

We should have an equal partnership with wife.

Widows in need.

Some women are short-changed. A son or Priesthood holder carries more weight than a woman. This should not be! No unrighteous dominion (D&C 121:37, 39).

The most splendid, extreme creation is the woman. Of all creations, none is more beautiful. He quoted President Hinckley "Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth. God will hold us accountable if we neglect His daughters. He has given us a great and compelling trust. May we be faithful to that trust." (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Our Responsibility to Our Young Women,” Ensign, Sep 1988, 8)

Is it no wonder, then, that one of Satan's most powerful tools is that of degrading women in the media available to virtually anyone today ... especially p****ography.

Express your gratitude often to your mother, wife ... be tender and appreciative.

The Priesthood is to be used not kept. Have I ever freely offered to give a blessing to anyone? We always seem to wait until called upon to give blessings. Can we not be angels too?

He quoted President Hunter. "As special witnesses of our Savior, we have been given the awesome assignment to administer the affairs of his church and kingdom and to minister to his daughters and his sons wherever they are on the face of the earth. By reason of our call to testify, govern, and minister, it is required of us that despite age, infirmity, exhaustion, and feelings of inadequacy, we do the work he has given us to do, to the last breath of our lives." (Howard W. Hunter, “To the Women of the Church,” Ensign, Nov 1992, 95)

Elder Jay E. Jensen

Arms of safety is the Savior's love (see Alma 34:16)

A girl fell from a lookout point above the Grand Canyon. A 19-year old boy named Ian, who had been trained in emergency recues, immediately knew what to do. The girl was able to climb up a little bit, but was now stuck again. Ian climbed down to where she was and held her in his arms until the rescue teams could help them.

He reference the section heading of D&C 110 "Visions manifested to Joseph Smith the Prophet and Oliver Cowdery in the temple at Kirtland, Ohio, April 3, 1836. HC 2: 435–436. The occasion was that of a Sabbath day meeting. The Prophet prefaces his record of the manifestations with these words: “In the afternoon, I assisted the other Presidents in distributing the Lord’s Supper to the Church, receiving it from the Twelve, whose privilege it was to officiate at the sacred desk this day. After having performed this service to my brethren, I retired to the pulpit, the veils being dropped, and bowed myself, with Oliver Cowdery, in solemn and silent prayer. After rising from prayer, the following vision was opened to both of us.”

There is too much informality and casual dress in those who administer the sacrament.

True servants of Jesus Christ are properly dressed.

Elder James J. Hamula

The war in heaven was instigated by Satan. This war continues on the earth today. Blood and horror fill the earth. We are in the final day. This time, the restoration of the Church will triumph.

Some of the most valient and noble are on the earth today. Young men are the valient and noble. Satan knows his time is short and is using all tools to prevent the noble from keeping the commandments of God.

Today and days to come are perilous.

We should not fear, but be sober. We should exercise good judgement and have measured conduct.

There is one way to overcome Satan. It is through the blood of the Lamb ... faith in Jesus Christ ... testimony of the Gosepl and consecration of self to the work (see D&C 88)

Three things to do:
1) Do as Joseph Smith and pray privately and regularly ... this will inspire revelation.
2) Learn to hear the voice of the Lord ... you must be still in your mind.
3) Obey the word of the Lord as it is given to you.

"stand still and see the salvation of the Lord" (see Exodus 14:13, 2 Chronicles 20:17, D&C 123:17)

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Some members had the task of moving a grand piano from the chapel to the cultural hall. They tried all sorts of methods, but could not do it. Then one brother suggested, "stand close together and lift where you stand" Roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Some struggle ... two ways.
1) Some seek to lead and seek a crown of power.
2) Some seek to hide and seek a cave ... they are too busy.

Some turn down callings, while some accept and do not magnify them.

The root cause of these problems is the same for both --> selfishness

The opposite of selfishness is charity.

The Lord is pleased with the humble servant. One such servant was John Roe Moyle. He was a stone mason. He walked six hours from his house to work on the Salt Lake Temple. One day on his farm, a cow kicked him in the leg. The leg had to be amputated. He survived and healed. When he was well enough, he began carving a wooden leg. Eventually he built up his endurance to walk the 22 miles to the temple despite the pain it caused him.

Do you care more for the kingdom of God or for yourself?

In the story, the piano is the Lord's work, therefore, no one does it alone. We all do it together.

President Henry B. Eyring

Each of us is asked to stretch our limit. The more faithful service you give, the more the Lord asks of you.

You push muscles to the point of exhaustion in order to build them up.

You can't do this work by yourself. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up" (D&C 84:88)

Confidence replaces doubt.

"The promise of angels to bear you up is real."

"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.

"And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (2 Kings 6:16-17)

More references to angels ... this conference is talking a lot about angels. Are more and more coming in these Latter Days?

President Thomas S. Monson

He received a call from the MTC president regaring an elder who was determined to go home because he could not learn Spanish. President Monson suggested to the MTC president that he send the elder to a Japanese class and then have him report back at noon. After the elder attended the Japanese class, he reported that he could learn Spanish!

We must feed those who go through rough times. We must be prudent in our spending.

"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

"And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

3 Imperatives for our Considertion

1) Learn what we should learn.

Paul taught, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

"I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

"Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." (Philippians 3:13-15)

Paul taught the Hebrews, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

The Priesthood is the power of God delegated to man. It is the perfect plan of service.

He who neglects it shall not be counted worthy to stand. Use it or lose it.

2) Do what we should do

D&C 107:99-100... let every man learn his duty. Put forth your best effort. There are eternal consequences to our actions. John Taylor quote ... you will be held responsible for those you could have saved.

3) Be what we should be

"be thou an example of the believes, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (2 Timothy 4:12)

Man must seek that power which is higher than him.

"What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am" (3 Nephi 27:27)

The hireling fleeth. The shepard does not, but lays down his life for the sheep.

Bro. Borrup (sp?) was part of a bomber crew over the Pacific in WWII. He knew he would be called to be a part of a sorty and he knew they would be shot down. Sure enough, they were shot down. He tried to inflate his raft, but it wouldn't inflate. He was drowning. He passed out. He woke up, pled to God and the raft inflated. They floated for 3 days with no food or water. They saw a submarine go by one day. The next day they saw it again. They knew it was going to leave the area. Then a thought came to his head ... use the Priesthood to command the submarine to stop. He spoke the words and it stopped. The captain was in awe. They weren't even looking for the downed crew.

So my notes weren't necessarily less copius. I guess I was able to write a lot. I filled in the gaps too as I remember things.

Oct 2008 General Conference Notes: Sat PM Session

*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Everyone has experience joy and happiness as well as trials and sorrow. "Come what may and love it." How we react to adversity in large part contributes to our happiness or sadness.

Laugh - "Learn to laugh." He shared experiences with family travels about how they got lost. They did not get angry, but laughed. The blind date and babysitter mix-up story ... very funny!

Seek for the eternal - You may feel singled out and ask "why me?" Everyone must experience sorrow. Examples: Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Joseph, Emma. These times help us have increased compassion and understanding for others. "Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment." (D&C 121:7)

Understand the principal of compensation - That which is taken away will eventually be returned a hundred fold. His autistic grandson has been a challenge, but he also has been a great joy. In playing baseball, he'd watch the baseball roll by, but then pull another out of his pocket and throw it to the pitcher!

Put our trust in our Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ - He wants us to be happy and successful. He will comfort and uphold us. "The simple secret is this: put your trust in the Lord, do your best and he will do the rest."

Adversity can be a blessing in our lives. "Come what may and love it."

Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Perhaps the most difficult thing for Adam and Eve was not having to face the physical trials, but not being able to live in the presence of God. In times of special needs, God sent angels.

From the beginning, God has sent angels to us.

Just like Lehi, we will all spend time in darkness and gloom. Macro concerns turn into micro concerns for our family. "I testify that angels are still sent to help us." Even the son of God had need of comfort from angels.

Pray always and be believing and walk uprightly. The latter-days are not a time to fear and tremble ... they are a time to remember and keep our covenants.

Story of his friend Quinn D. Berris (sp?). During the spring flood season, the kids were never to cross the flood plain to seek the cattle. Young seven-year-old Quinn knowing his rare night at the movies was at risk when he saw the cows weren't there, decided to go after the cows himself ... across the river. He urged his horse into the river. The horse's head barely cleared the water. The current completely covered Bro. Barris. When the horse cleared the other bank, he knew he was in deep trouble. It was dark. He was wet, cold, lost and afraid. He began to pray. He begged for forgiveness over and over again. When he looked up, he saw a figure dressed in white walking toward him. He felt it must be an angel. He didn't move or make a sound. Would the Lord really send an angel to me who had been disobedient. "'Son, I've been looking for you.' In the darkness, I recognized the voice of my father. 'I was worried. I'm glad I found you.'" He later learned that his father removed his clothes and tied his shoes around his neck and braved the river to rescue his son.

"God never leaves us alone." We may feel distanced from God ... sometimes of our own making. Even then, the Father of us all is watching and assisting and sending angels.

"I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D&C 84:88)

May we be more believing in angels and be more angel-like.

Elder Evans?

Story of his 8-year-old daughter was asked what the difference is between her religion and others? We have to study so much!

Except you become as a child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.

The Savior's teachings are adapted to everyone ... anyone can understand the Gospel.

The Little Prince ... people can grow 5000 roses in a garden and know not what they seek. But what they seek can be found in a single rose and a little water.

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge

There is only one way to happiness. He offers a well of living water. He is the bread of life. He is the light of the world. He is the only way back to our Father in Heaven.

Everything depends on getting and keeping the Holy Ghost in our life. We do this by always remembering Him and keeping His commandments. "What manner of men ought ye to be? Even as I."

While the standard of the Lord is the highest, don't ever think that it can only be achieved by a select few who are most able. The higher the standard, the fewer capable ... this is NOT the case. The Lord's standard is achievable by everyone ... not that we are able, but that He is able and He can make us able.

The Lord's way is not hard. Life is hard, but it is also simple. We can either follow the Lord and be endowed with His power or we can go some other way and go it alone without support from the Lord. Which way is easier? Get on the path and never, ever give up.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Zion is both a place and a people. Are we faithful in establishing Zion on the earth today? Are we establishing Zion in our homes, wards and stakes?

We must be unified in heart and mind - Are we free from strife and contention? Do we forgive all? We must reach out to those who have fallen from our ranks. We invite all to come back. Story of Moldovans who attended a regional conference. They determined to split up and attend all the classes so that they could take notes and then share them with each other and with the members back in Moldova. This is the spirit of one heart and mind.

Individually and collectively, we must be a holy people - Lord warned early saints of their lustful desires ... this was during a much holier time compared to our Ipod, TV, sexually filled society. We cannot keep a summer cottage in Babylon!

We must care for poor and needy - If we do not impart to the poor and needy, we will look up and plead with the wicked in the last day. Today we impart to the poor and needy through tithes and offerings. We each need evaluate our capacity to maximize helping the poor and minimizing our covetousness. Story of Brother Johnson who cut his table in half to make two tables ... one to keep and the other to help a refugee Vietnamese family living in a trailer.

Elder David A. Bednar

Building on his last conference talk, he will offer three additional principals and that will help us have more meaningful prayers.

1) Prayer becomes more meaningful when we counsel with the lord in all our doings.

All things were created spiritually before they were created naturally. Meaningful morning prayer is a spiritual creation of the actual creation of the actions of the day. We can counsel with the Lord to overcome our weaknesses and seek the Lord's help in overcoming them. As we go about our day, we should continually keep a prayer in our heart and our prayers will be answered. When we recognize that we have been reminded and helped, we offer a prayer of gratitude. At the end of the day, we thank the Lord for His help and seek forgiveness and seek His guidance for what we can do better the next day. We arise the next morning and repeat the process.

As we remember our relationship with deity and remember this admonition .. "Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. ." (Alma 37:36-37)

2) Prayer becomes more meaningful when we express gratitude.

Sister Bednar was asked by a General Authority to give a prayer of gratitude, asking nothing, despite having been just informed of a friend who had passed away. She heeded this counsel and their hearts were swollen with gratitude.

Periodically when we pray, we should only give thanks and ask for nothing.

3) Prayer becomes more meaningful as we pray for others with real intent and with a sincere heart.

Example of Lehi ... he learned of the future destruction of Jerusalem. He prayed for his people. As a result, he received a vision. His heart was full. His vision came in response to a prayer for others. Jesus also prayed for the apostles and saints.

Do our families and those we serve feel and hear our prayers for them?

Heavenly Father hears and answers every earnest prayer. Revelation is real.

Oct 2008 General Conference Notes: Sat AM Session

*Personal commentary, thoughts and inspirations are underlined.

President Thomas S. Monson

128 temples in the world. Five more temples to be built:

Calgary, Canada; Cordoba, Argentina; Kansas City, United States; Philadelphia, United States; Rome, Italy (gasps from audience).

Pray for the opening of those areas in which the Church is not currently operating.

Elder L. Tom Perry

Patterns of life's tests; ups and downs ... we sometimes experience stress. Our challenge is to endure these tough times with optimism.

"We know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come."

Thoreau's Walden ... the simple life. There were only 4 things a man needs food clothing shelter fuel


D&C 88:15 - spirit and body= soul of man. D&C 89 - word of wisdom. For the Strength of Youth - observe WoW, eat nutritious food, exercise, get enough sleep. Do not abuse drugs, prescription medication, household chemicals


Simple and modest clothing. It sends a message to others, affects the way we act around others. Very casual dress is followed by casual manners. Some dress and get the "wrong kind of attention" Fashion-conscious mockers in great and spacious building ... others felt ashamed and were lost because of the mockers.


The current housing crisis. DO NOT live beyond your means ... a message regularly given in General Conference. Do not run into debt. The majority of our troubles are because of lack of heed to this counsel. Live within income, stay out of debt, save for a rainy day. Well-managed families do not pay interest, they earn it.

Amen to this!! We have little debt, but we can do a lot better in our finances, food storage and savings.


Walden discussed biological fuel. Perry discusses spiritual fuel. Acquire knowledge of god's eternal plan, surrender our will to Gods.

May we earnestly seek to simplify our lives.

I want to re-read "Walden" Does our life style need simplification?

Sister Allred

The Lord's church has the responsibility to teach the gospel in the world. The blessings of the gospel have touched 4 generations of her family. Each family has served missions who in turn have had a positive impact on many, many others.

How can I assist in missionary work? First have a clear understanding that God loves all his children. Second, learn that the message of the Christ and the Restoration is the most important message. Be a good example. Live a gospel-centered life. Be specific in your efforts. Prepare kids for missionary service. Invite friends to activities. Go with missionaries on visits. Invite people to family history centers. Share your beliefs. Send letters to full-time missionaries.

I need to pray for more missionary opportunities. Jill is such a good example of missionary work.

Elder Neil Anderson

"You don't know everything, but you know enough." Our spiritual journey is a process of a lifetime. Foundation of faith in Jesus Christ ... baptism, Holy Ghost, repentance, prayer, Book of Mormon ... we remain steady and patient. You don't know everything, but you know enough to keep the commandments.

Missionary about to leave. Talked about a life full of challenges. He didn't know if God even loved him. "You do know God loves you." He bowed his head and cried. "I do know it" That knowledge was enough to keep him on his mission.

We each have moments of strength and inspiration that sink deep. These times can be spiritual storage ... Jesus Christ: "settle this in your hearts" (Luke 21:14) So true ... do we stop and think to use this reservoir more often? Do we seek opportunities to replenish it as often as possible?

We have enormous spiritual reservoirs at our disposal. "Be not afraid, only believe"

"We come to know what we already knew."

Faith of Child

Story of Hadly the little girl who was born deaf. She saw a boy with no legs and asked her mom why. Heavenly Father makes everyone special. Hadly told boy that she is deaf and then testified to him that one day he will have legs and she will be able to hear.

Elder Marcos Aidukaitis

The faith of his father is a great example to Marcos. His father was able to go through difficult times because he read the Book of Mormon regularly. The Book of Mormon combined with the Spirit is the most powerful resource to conversion.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks

We live in the perilous times spoken of by Paul. How can we have the Spirit to guide our choices and keep us on the path? "Go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments ... " By participating in the sacrament, we will always have the Spirit with us.

Wilford Woodruff ... the Spirit is the greatest gift than can be bestowed on man.

Some in the rising generation have not yet come to understand the significance of this meeting and the important of individual reverence in this meeting.

How we should prepare to take the sacrament

Elder Nelson taught the priesthood leaders how to plan and conduct sac. meetings. We bring a broken heart and contrite spirit. It is the highlight of our Sabbath day. Prelude music is subdued. No communication ... prayerful meditation.

We should have a broken heart and contrite spirit.

How we dress is important. It is like going to the temple.

We should concentrate on worship and refrain from all other activities, especially if it interferes with others. Not a time to read books/magazines. Not a time for texting or whispering. We promise to ALWAYS remember him. How sad that some violate this during the sac.

Music - everyone should join in the singing. This music is for worship, not performance.

How can we get our kids to understand these principals? I need to get off this shift schedule so I can consistently help teach this to the kids.

To those who officiate the sacrament

Speak slowly and clearly when saying the sacred prayers. Those who officiate the sac should be clean. They should dress appropriately. All should be well-groomed and modestly dressed. Elder Holland: white shirt for deacons, teachers, priests who administer the sacrament.

Administered by those who hold/exercise the keys to this ordinance

This is why we don't hold sacrament meetings in homes and family reunions.

Choir is singing

the last 90 minutes have flown by. I've not been this attentive to Gen Conf since before we had kids! Ironically, I am working the day shift and it is a quiet day. Typing up my notes has helped me focus on the speakers' messages too.

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

He is telling the story of how his family fled Czechoslovakia. On a train trip, she left her kids on the train to get some food. When she returned, the train was gone! I can't imagine the horror she felt. She prayed and ran from track to track and train to train and finally found her 4 children. He wondered how she overcame the fear and despair on that cold winter night.

The Infinite Power of Hope

Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool of faith, hope and charity. Hope is a principal of promise and a commandment.

Why is there despair? There must be opposition in all things.

What is hope? This hope of which is speaks transcends the trivial. Confidence if we live according to God's laws, we will receive the blessings. It is believe and expecting our prayers will be answered. Optimism, enthusiasm, patience perseverance. A hope glorifying God with goods works. Patience to bear our afflictions.

Things hoped for: future events. Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we will live forever. We can be cleansed of our sins. The Savior is the author of our salvation.

Things we hope in: sustain us in our daily walk. They uphold us in our trails. We hope in Jesus Christ. In times of distress, we can hope that things will work together for our good as we keep the commandments.

We cultivate hope the same way we learn to walk ... one step at a time. Pray daily, pay tithes and live the gospel more perfectly. There will be times where everything around us is dark, but within us we find an invincible summer. The brighter our hope, the greater our faith.

This is what I feel whenever I contemplate my career or our kids growing up in this wicked world or when I think of the perilous times that are yet ahead. I know things will get much, much darker before they get brighter. But in my heart of hearts, I know that things will get brighter. We have so much to hope for. It is easy to despair. But we must always hope and have faith.