General Conference: Saturday Afternoon Session

Ok, I am back with the afternoon session and more penetrating insights …

Sustaining the leadership: we do this in our living room, and it feels just as important as doing it in the Conference Center.

Auditing opinion: they have been doing this in Conference as long as I can remember, but it kind of a strange practice. Auditors almost never issue a negative opinion in the business world. I wonder when this started? It became a big deal for corporations after 1929.

Membership … almost 12 million. The convert numbers seem to be down this year. Time to open the Austria Vienna Mission again!

I wish they didn’t do this: “Prominent members who have passed away since last April.” After all, God is no respecter of persons.

Russell M. Nelson: Roots and fruits. Genetic and spiritual. “Fruit detached from roots cannot long survive.”

Jeffrey R. Holland: Reporting on his “mission” in Chile. He made a pitch for couple missionaries. The sacrifices made by some members in Latin America make me feel like a real piker. They give so much to be part of this: 110 hours on a bus to get to the temple!? That’s it, I am going to Chicago next week!

He told a great story about President Hinckley’s determination to retain members. President Hinckley made that the first point in his welcoming address this morning. Elder Holland sounded like an MTC missionary when he spoke Spanish, but he had a point: “Stay … stay forever. Come … come permanently.” I’m a sap. He made me cry. Elder Holland often does that to me.

Joseph B. Wirthlin: The Debt Talk. We have heard this before, and it’s good advice every time.

I know, some Seventies were mixed in there, too, but I was distracted by dinner preparations.

6 comments for “General Conference: Saturday Afternoon Session

  1. Kristine
    April 3, 2004 at 7:04 pm

    Elder Holland had me at the violin. I’m a pretty big sap, too.

  2. Ethesis
    April 3, 2004 at 11:12 pm

    Well, I thought I’d comment on the Priesthood session …

    I went to church with Robert Oaks in the early 70s and really admired him then, very, very much.

    Later, I heard he had retired, gotten the first good paying job of his life, moved his entire family and then been called as a Stake President.

    His job and his calling got in the way of each other.

    So, he quit his job. As far as I know, he hasn’t looked back. Nate will make more money than Elder Oaks has made, assuming he makes partner, by the time Nate makes partner.

    And yes, he did make some stars, but from a family background where that didn’t count for much.

    It is men like Elder Robert Oaks that reflect so very strongly on the truth of the Church. People of dedicated, rock solid integrity and deep human goodness.

    Just thought I’d add my two bits in on the topic.

    But there are many men like that, people that the Church could never afford and could never buy.

  3. Ethesis
    April 3, 2004 at 11:22 pm

    One other comment. I find some speakers really nourish my soul and give me healing and peace. I can’t account for it, as it isn’t really what they say, they just do. Elder Faust is one of these.

    Through my life, I’ve seen some real miracles. On my mission, in Balston Spa (it was more than 20 years ago) Larry Larson gave someone a blessing.

    They were scheduled for amputation, they had bed sores all the way through to the bone, and the bone was infected.

    That week they were discharged from the hospital, no bed sore and the report was that it was just a dislocated hip that made the x-rays turn out as they had.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever been near a bed sore, but the serious ones have the incredible stench of rotting human flesh as gangrene consumes it. Not the sort of thing that one casually mistakes for anything else.

    In my life, as I buried child after child, each from unexpected and unjustified causes, it did not comfort me to know, from personal experience, that God could and did work “real” miracles (a real miracle being a sudden and dramatic change in physical reality, like when I was kicked in the face and picked up off my feet and came away without even a bruise), but chose not to.

    I know a lot of people who believe in a God of “soft” miracles (i.e. God cares, he’ll redeem us all later, but the only miracle is the healing solace of the Spirit). But I’ve encountered the other God, the one that works real miracles.

    There I was, paying my tithing, doing my home teaching, and having negative miracles on a repeat basis.

    It made it very hard to attend conference and hear of God feeling inclined to help others while my children died in the midst of the Church and medicine and everything else.

    But some of the speakers have always helped to heal my soul, so I kept going, in spite of the hardness, and I’m grateful for them.

    As for God, well, he knows what he is doing and part of my part is to have faith in him.

    So I continue, accept that God will open the windows of heaven, from time to time, and pour out blessings that are too much for us to absorb or contain.

    But he will also give us the smaller blessings, the soft miracles, which includes Elder Oaks (both of them) and Elder Faust and others.

  4. lyle
    April 4, 2004 at 11:56 am

    The debt talk…

    was not the same ‘debt talk’ we have had in the past. I couldn’t say why exactly; but when I have the print…I’ll compare it. It seems that there were a a few changes.

  5. Ben Huff
    April 4, 2004 at 2:32 pm

    Yow! This woman is singing in Spanish, no? From the Conference Center in Salt Lake. Liriel Messiano, or something like that, soloist for “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”.

    This has to be a huge step forward in seriously taking up the task of being a world church. What a contrast from a talk a few years back which, because it was on the language of prayer, from an English standpoint, made no sense when translated into most other languages.

    I’m excited! What next?!

  6. Grasshopper
    April 4, 2004 at 2:53 pm

    Potuguese, not Spanish. But I *hated* her voice. It was a step backwards in time, about 50 years (which may explain Pres. Hinckley’s admiration).

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