Saturday, October 06, 2007

Saturday October 6, 2007 - Afternoon Session of General Conference

Saturday Afternoon Session of the 177th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

M. Russell Ballard - Apostle
Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits (Text, Audio, Video)

He spoke of the increased attention the Church has been receiving due to its "rapid growth, by events like the Winter Olympics here in Salt Lake City, and by the prominence in their chosen professions of many of our individual members."

We as members are so proud of what we have and want everyone we know to have it. "Even questions on one specific aspect can be difficult to answer because every question seems to be connected to other questions." When someone says, "Tell me a little about your church." They mean little not, “Tell me everything you know and then send others to tell me everything else.”

He gave several simple statements that could be shared on the topics of Facts, Faith, Family, and Fruits.

An example of a fact is:
Mormon is a nickname. Saint means member.

An example of faith is:
"And we believe in the Book of Mormon and other books of scripture which support and authenticate the Bible and testify of the ministry and divinity of Christ and of God’s ongoing revelation to man. Indeed, the Book of Mormon is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.” "

An example of family is:
"Latter-day Saint families are encouraged to hold family home evenings weekly, usually on Monday nights. This provides a regular and predictable time for parents to teach values to their children and to have fun together. We invite those not of our faith to adopt this practice with their own families. "

An example of fruits is:
"...those who are married in and attend the temple regularly have a divorce rate far below the national and world average."
Joseph B. Wirthlin - Apostle The Great Commandment (Text, Audio, Video)
Elder Wirthlin began to shack a bit during his talk. The shaking increased as he spoke, but he finished his remarks. Elder Nelson got up and stood with him for most of the talk to make sure he was ok.

He spoke of the discord that was happening in the Church in the first century. He quoted Paul, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not acharity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. " (1 Corinthians 13:1)

"The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of transformation. It takes us as men and women of the earth and refines us into men and women for the eternities.

"The means of this refinement is our Christlike love. There is no pain it cannot soften, no bitterness it cannot remove, no hatred it cannot alter."

"Brethren and sisters, as you prayerfully consider what you can do to increase harmony, spirituality, and build up the kingdom of God, consider your sacred duty to teach others to love the Lord and their fellowman."
Bruce D. Porter - Seventy A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit (Text, Audio, Video)
Broken heart and a contrite spirit is what is necessary as an offering to God.

What does a broken heart mean? It means to do the will of God and not your own. That your heart is dedicated to God. In that state our heart is totally open to hear and listen to God. A broken heart can be molded by God.

What does a contrite spirit mean? It means that we are humble and teachable.

Eric W. Kopischke - Seventy Preach My Gospel—the Unifying Tool between Members and Missionaries (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked of the manual "Preach My Gospel" that the missionaries use to teach the Gospel. He said that if we wanted to be able to help the missionaries we should be familiar with how they teach. He also stated that we could use it to learn how to teach our own families the principles that the missionaries teach people new to the Church.

Michael J. Teh - Seventy Out of Small Things (Text, Audio, Video)
Am I my brother's keeper. Alma said, “And now, . . . ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;

“Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”(Mosiah 18:8–9)

Service should be regardless of race, standing, and relationships.

He quoted one of the Hymns,

Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love. (
Have I Done Any Good?Hymns, no. 223)

Keith K. Hilbig - Seventy
Quench Not the Spirit Which Quickens the Inner Man (Text, Audio, Video)
He quoted 1 Thes 5:19 - "Quench not the Spirit." He spoke of living in such a way that the spirit can always be there to guide us. He said, "...we too must be careful not to hinder, disregard, or quench the Spirit in our lives."

As I looked up verse 19 I noticed verse 20 that says "Despise not prophesyings." It seems as though these days people are immediately skeptical of anything you say came from a prophet.

To say that the Holy Ghost quickens us means "enlightens and enlivens" what is inside of us.

He list a few things we can measure how much effort we are putting into keeping the spirit with us or how much effort we are putting into quenching it.
  1. Do I spend more time with sports than Church attendance or callings?
  2. If I have a free day, do I choose to attend the temple or to visit the mall?
  3. Do I resort to computer games or surfing the Internet rather than offering meaningful service to others in my home and community?
  4. Do I read the newspaper religiously but find it difficult to read the scriptures daily?
Elder Jeffery R. Holland - Apostle The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent (Text, Audio, Video)
He opened by stating how we are often concerned that others see us as Christians. I still sometimes wonder if Christian really mean follower of Christ today or if it is just a title meaning protestantism with the foundation of creeds and such that Elder Holland touches on in his talk.

He discusses two main things that generally have people calling us non-Christian. "...our view of the Godhead and our belief in the principle of continuing revelation leading to an open scriptural canon."

He quoted the first Article of Faith, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” (Articles of Faith 1:1)

He had some good things to say about God The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost being one in "every significant and eternal aspect imaginable except believing Them to be three persons combined in one substance,". He sighted lots of scriptures that show them as separeate beings.

Elder Russle M. Nelson - Apostle
Scriptural Witness (Text, Audio, Video)
He talked on people disregarding scripture. People do this with modern day scripture, but I have also seen people doing it to the Old Testament as well. Some read it, but mostly ignore what is in it for more than just inspirational stories, since they feel that it is mostly irrelevant to us because Christ did away with it all.

He sited verses 6-8 of 2 Nephi 29, but I think the entire chapter is so powerful that I quote it all here.

Many gentiles shall reject the Book of Mormon—They shall say: We need no more Bible—The Lord speaks to many nations—He will judge the world out of the books thus written. Between 559 and 545 B.C.
1 But behold, there shall be many—at that day when I shall proceed to do a amarvelous work among them, that I may remember my bcovenants which I have made unto the children of men, that I may set my hand again the csecond time to recover my people, which are of the house of Israel;
2 And also, that I may remember the promises which I have made unto thee, Nephi, and also unto thy father, that I would remember your seed; and that the awords of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed; and my words shall bhiss forth unto the cends of the earth, for a dstandard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel;
3 And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A aBible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible.
4 But thus saith the Lord God: O fools, they shall have a aBible; and it shall proceed forth from the bJews, mine ancient covenant people. And what cthank they the dJews for the Bible which they receive from them? Yea, what do the Gentiles mean? Do they remember the travails, and the labors, and the pains of the Jews, and their diligence unto me, in bringing forth salvation unto the Gentiles?
5 O ye Gentiles, have ye remembered the Jews, mine ancient covenant people? Nay; but ye have acursed them, and have bhated them, and have not sought to recover them. But behold, I will return all these things upon your own heads; for I the Lord have not forgotten my people.
6 Thou fool, that shall say: A aBible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
7 Know ye not that there are more anations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the bisles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the cearth beneath; and I bring forth my dword unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
8 Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the atestimony of btwo nations is a cwitness unto you that I am God, that I remember one dnation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two enations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.
9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the asame yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my bwords according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one cword ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my dwork is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
10 Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my awords; neither bneed ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
11 For I command aall men, both in the east and in the west, and in the north, and in the south, and in the islands of the sea, that they shall bwrite the words which I speak unto them; for out of the cbooks which shall be written I will djudge the world, every man according to their works, according to that which is written.
12 For behold, I shall speak unto the aJews and they shall bwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the Nephites and they shall cwrite it; and I shall also speak unto the other tribes of the house of Israel, which I have led away, and they shall write it; and I shall also speak unto dall nations of the earth and they shall write it.
13 And it shall come to pass that the aJews shall have the words of the Nephites, and the Nephites shall have the words of the Jews; and the Nephites and the Jews shall have the words of the blost tribes of Israel; and the lost tribes of Israel shall have the words of the Nephites and the Jews.
14 And it shall come to pass that my people, which are of the ahouse of Israel, shall be gathered home unto the blands of their possessions; and my word also shall be gathered in cone. And I will show unto them that fight against my word and against my dpeople, who are of the ehouse of Israel, that I am God, and that I fcovenanted with gAbraham that I would remember his hseed iforever.

He also quoted from Ezekiel 37:16–17 which talks about the record of Judah (the Bible) and the record of Joseph (The Book of Mormon).
16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one astick, and bwrite upon it, For cJudah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and dwrite upon it, For eJoseph, the fstick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become aone in thine hand.

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