Saturday Afternoon Session

Conference CenterPresident Eyring conducted the afternoon session. President Uchtdorf read a long list of sustainings and releases, notably releasing President Dalton of the Young Women and calling a new President (Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson) and counselors. The annual audit report and statistical report were read: there are now 3005 stakes and 347 missions. In what follows, direct quotations of a speaker are given in quotation marks; quoted scriptures cited where possible; and other text represents my own summary of the speakers remarks. I will try posting updates after each speaker this session.

Elder Richard G. Scott – “For Peace at Home”

  • “You live in a world where technology advances at an astounding pace. … Depending on how technology is used, these advances can be a blessing or a deterrent.”
  • “I offer some final thoughts for those who love a family member who is not making good choices. … We need to trust in the Lord and in His timing that a positive response to our prayers and rescue efforts can occur.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook – “Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness”

  • He spoke at the funeral of 6-year-old Emilie Parker, a victim of the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.
  • He distinguishes between “universal or world peace and personal peace.” World peace we don’t have, but “it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness.”
  • “Agency is essential to the plan of happiness. It allows for the love, sacrifice, personal growth, and experience necessary for our eternal progression. This agency also allows for all the pain and suffering we experience in mortality, even when caused by things we do not understand and the devastating evil choices of others.”
  • “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” (John 16:26-27)

Elder Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy, sharing lessons of an Idaho farm boy on work and self-reliance. “How we raise our children is more important than where we raise them.”

Elder John B. Dickson of the Seventy, on the spread of the gospel in the early Christian Church (where Peter received a revelation to take the gospel to the Gentiles) and in our day (where President Kimball received a revelation that all worthy men could hold the priesthood).

Elder David A. Bednar – “We Believe in Being … Chaste”

  • “The unique combination of spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional capacities of both males and females was needed to enact the plan of happiness. … The man and the woman are intended to learn from, strengthen, bless, complete, and perfect each other.”
  • “Every appetite, desire, propensity, and impulse of the natural man may be overcome by and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We are here on the earth to develop God-like qualities and to bridle all of the passions of the flesh.”
  • “Love increases through righteous restraint and decreases through impulsive indulgence.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson – “Catch the Wave”

  • LDS youth: catch the wave (of missionary work) by preparing to serve and by learning the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
  • “We encourage them [non-LDS friends and neighbors] to keep all that is good and true in their lives. And we invite them to receive more, especially the glorious truth that through God’s eternal plan, families can be together forever.”
  • “Through him [Joseph Smith], we have received more pages of scripture than we have from any other prophet. In what must have been a wistful moment, he said to the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois, ‘I never told you I was perfect; but there is no error in the revelations which I have taught.'”

13 comments for “Saturday Afternoon Session

  1. Julie M. Smith
    April 6, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    I’ve linked it in the sidebar, but the Pinterest presence of the new YW President is fascinating. She’s pinned this:

    as well as this:

    She also has a Facebook page, which (if I understand this correctly) I am able to see only because I am friends with a friend of hers. There’s a picture of her in midair(!).

  2. Kirsten
    April 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Was impressed by President Uchtdorf’s pronunciation of the names of the leaders of the church from so many lands. Don’t know how accurate his pronunciation actually was, but it sounded as if he had gone over the names carefully ahead of time.

    I was somewhat perplexed by Elder Bednar’s emphasis, near the end of his talk, on the duration and severity of repentance needing to equal somehow the gravity of the sin. I don’t know if he had specific situations in mind, and clearly we can’t expect to be blithe about the consequences of our actions, esp. those that impact others, but we also cannot ever pay for our own sins. Christ already did that.

    I can’t help but think of Alma the Younger, who was wracked for 3 days and 3 nights following _years_ of destructive behavior. The true measure of his—and anyone’s—repentance is not the level or duration of torment and punishment, but the level of commitment to another, better way.

  3. whizzbang
    April 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    E. Bednar’s talk came across to me as extreme. It sounded like sex in marriage was strictly for procreative purposes. if I was feeling guilty for anything I would quit the Church just on that talk alone

  4. Sam Brunson
    April 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Interesting, Julie. I can’t wait to see it. Hilariously enough, her pins (as with the rest of Pinterest, apparently) is filtered on the Church’s wi-fi.

  5. Jax
    April 6, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Whizzbang… He did throw in one line saying that it was also for the love/comfort/something of the couple, but since his emphasis was chastity as a means of pro-creation he did talk about that aspect of “relations” more than the others. But he did try to acknowledge other purposes for sex within marriage without trying to distract from his primary message.

  6. Cameron N
    April 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Thanks for doing this Dave.

  7. chris
    April 6, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    #2 – the Alma story proves the point. He was pretty much confined to outer darkness for three days. He wanted to have his soul pretty much removed from existence. That’s pretty severe!

  8. Listening
    April 7, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I, too, wish Elder Bednar had spent a little more time on sexual relations non-procreative. After all, many women go through menopause around age 45. If chastity was only about procreation, there wouldn’t be much reason for a woman not to have relations with multiple partners after menopause. Because relations are more than just for procreation, he could have spent a few minutes talking about the other aspects of relations. Still, considering the audience listening (children) I imagine he didn’t want to get too detailed. There is plenty of material addressing intimacy in Ensign articles.

  9. Kirsten
    April 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    #7 — Certainly what Alma depicts is a profound experience that left him wishing for annihilation at the thought of approaching God in his sinful state. My point is simply that it was 3 days and 3 nights — no doubt the longest 3 days and 3 nights of his life — but nonetheless _only_ 3 days and 3 nights, a period of time that did not equal the years during which he had sinned. Three days and nights just happened to be the time he needed to be “harrowed up by his sins” sufficiently. The moment he called upon Christ he could remember his sins no more “and from that time…labored without ceasing.” The harrowing up (which was all private, not public), the letting go, and the moving forward all characterize repentance, not any particular length of time or procedure.

    I am not downplaying the ways in which sexual sins, esp. infidelity and pornography have devastating impact and require an intense response. I think that was Elder Bednar’s point. I just am often troubled by our frequent emphasis on steps, on lists, on x number of months before sacrament, rebaptism—on a public ‘harrowing,’ if you well., rather than turning to Christ.

  10. April 7, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Here’s what D&C section 58 says about repentance and forgiveness:

    42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.
    43 By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins — behold, he will confess them and forsake them.

    Not that LDS doctrine is always constrained or even defined by scripture, but as between what God says in the D&C and what Elder Bednar says in Conference, I’ll go with God, who doesn’t seem to defer or condition forgiveness on a three-month waiting period. In fairness, the waiting period idea is more a practical feature of church governance and supportive counseling than a theological statement about when divine forgiveness is or is not granted.

  11. Cameron N
    April 7, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Perhaps you and Elder Bednar are on the same page Dave, and your definition of repentance/forsaking is too narrow? Surely Alma’s repentance included many days of fasting and praying to receive a testimony (even though he saw an Angel), and probably months of initial restitution, followed by a lifetime of sacrifice and service.

    My personal belief is that for the Lord’s forgiveness is a bit harder to earn than the church’s. Usually it comes after the church’s.

  12. Kirsten
    April 7, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    We don’t ever earn or deserve forgiveness. It is always a gift. Always.

  13. Cameron N
    April 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    We earn and access the gift by repenting and obeying. Seems we agree Kirsten, apart from semantics?

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