Sunday, October 3, 2010

General Conference Notes: Saturday Afternoon Session

Note: The choir for this session was called a "family choir" from two different cities in Utah.

Elder Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency
Sustaining of Church Officers

Elder Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles
Elder Hales spoke on agency. The LDS view of the word 'agency' is unusual; it means the ability to choose to act with responsibility for our actions. Agency is a key component in the Plan of Salvation. Satan wanted to take away our agency, but his plan was turned down. One-third of the host of heaven chose to follow Satan. Because we chose to follow Christ we came to earth and still must exercise our agency, continue to choose to follow Christ. Our opportunities diminish when we don't choose the right. Christ chose to atone for our sins. Story about varnishing the floor and ending up stuck in the corner. The world teaches many falsehoods about agency, much like the story of Saul in the scriptures.

Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles
Elder Cook tells of being named after a British radio announcer during the WWII bombing days in Britain. They cities had to black out the light to make it safer. "By the light of Christ all mankind are saved." Our primary effort is to seek out the light and to black out those things (i.e., pornography) that assualt morality. If we do not blackout such things, do not be surprised if our peace in the home is shattered. Live the gospel in the home; you will be protected if you do so. Be a source of light in your community. There has always been an ongoing battle between church-goers and secular people. No one's voice should be eliminated. All have the light of Christ to some degree. We should behave with honesty (story of person whose bishop sent reimbursement for office supplies stolen) and treat others as our brothers and sisters (story of Wilbur Force and "Amazing Grace"). Preserve light, hope, and morality in our society.

Bishop Richard C. Edgely, 1st Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
We can choose how we react to challenges/attacks; choose faith. Faith is a choice because it requires effort. In Alma 32 there are many action words used to describe how to grow faith. Bishop Edgely bears testimony of the atonement and says that he bridges what he doesn't know with his faith. At that point we can have the "perfect faith," which Alma mentions. Let us choose faith. If our testimony is weak, do not throw out the seed. There will always be a trial of faith. Bishop Edgely has never seen a mountian moved because of faith, but he has seen a mountain of doubt removed, a mountain of sin removed, and a mountain of pain removed because of faith.

Elder Kevin R. Duncan, of the Seventy
The winter after the Saints arrived in the Salt Lake valley was very challenging and many did not want to stay. Gold had been discovered in California and some did not feel the desert climate would be good for growing crops. But Brigham Young said, "Here we will stay." Some had faith while others were skeptical. Protection in this life comes from following the living prophet. We would do well to investigate what the Lord tells us through the prophets (Amos 3:7). Our very salvation hangs in the balance in doing so. Elder Duncan repeats the same 14 principles by Ezra Taft Benson as quoted by Elder Costa in the Saturday morning session.

Gerrit W. Gong, of the Seventy
Elder Gong tells his family history of becoming members of the Church. His parents were married three times: once in a traditional Chinese ceremony for family; once in a civil ceremony for friends; and once in the temple. The temple mirrors remind us of eternity and our divine nature and destiny. Forever families can be seen in temple mirrors. The eternity of family relationships is depicted there. The power is in Christ to save us.

Elder Neil L. Andersen, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles
No one is left immune from the influences of the world. In the scriptures there is an account of some who left off following the Savior; then he asked his disciples, "Will ye also go away?" The road to discipleship is not for the faint of heart. Refining experiences will deepen our testimony. Two warning words we should watch for are 'offended' and 'ashamed.' Hundreds of things could offend us at church. Do not let your injured spirit protect your personal ego (story of Frederick G. Williams). In Lehi's vision of the tree of life there were those who partook of the fruit and were then ashamed. We can all love Christ (even without obeying); but Christ taught, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Choose not to be offended or ashamed.

Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles
Our faith can have far-reaching effects if it is centered on Jesus Christ. Faith is the building block used to create galaxies, as well as quarks. We need to have faith in the future--that we can overcome. Faith builds character. The more your character is fortified, the better you can exercise your faith. Character and faith go hand-in-hand. A righteous character is a most valuable object to own. Five principles of faith include:
1. Trust in God
2. Obedience to His commandments
3. Sensitivity to promptings of the Holy Ghost
4. Implementation of these promptings
5. Patience

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