Saturday, April 05, 2008

General Conference Saturday Afternoon Session April 5, 2008

They gave the statistical report this afternoon. We are over 13 million members.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Apostle (Audio, Video)
"What do we mean when we testify and say that we know the gospel is true? Contrast that kind of knowledge with “I know it is cold outside” or “I know I love my wife.” These are three different kinds of knowledge, each learned in a different way. Knowledge of outside temperature can be verified by scientific proof. Knowledge that we love our spouse is personal and subjective."

Elder Oaks again gave guidelines about what a testimony is not. This is at least the second time I have heard this topic covered in the last couple of years.

He said that a testimony is not:
  • A travelogue
  • A health log
  • An expression of love for family members.
  • A sermon
He shared that President Kimball stated that once one starts preaching to another, their testimony has ended. (See The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball (1982), 138. )

He talked about how we can be as sure about the truthfulness of gospel principles by study and practice as a scientist is about scientific truths through his study and practice.

How do we gain a testimony?
  • Desire to know.
  • Ask in sincere prayer. DnC 42:61, Alma 5:46
  • Acquiring a testimony is not a passive thing but a process in which we are expected to do something.
  • Bare it. Testify of what you do know.
  • Partake of the sacrament.
We have a duty to share our testimonies. Those who know should tell those that do not.

Children should be encouraged to define themselves by their testimony rather than by sports achievements and such.

Testimonies can be shared privately with an acquaintance or in public to a group or meeting.

We are united in following our leaders and also independent in choosing for ourselves.

Knowledge encourages obedience and obedience increases knowledge. As a scientist obeys the principles in an experiment he will learn more about that principle.

Elder Robert D. Hales - Apostle (Audio, Video)
Gaining a Testimony of God the Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost
The solemn assembly was not a vote. It was a commitment.

"People all over the world, of every creed and persuasion, search and struggle to know, Who is God? What is His relationship to Jesus Christ? And what is our relationship with Them?"

He talked about God and Jesus being separate distinct beings. He quoted the 1st Article of Faith. "We abelieve in bGod, the Eternal Father, and in His cSon, Jesus Christ, and in the dHoly Ghost. " He talked about Joseph Smith finding out through personal experience the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ by seeing them.

Elder Hales gave some scriptures that show that they are two beings and he talked of Jesus being the literal Son of God.
Matthew 3:16–17, Luke 9:35, 3 Nephi 11:7, Joseph Smith—History 1:17, John 17:24, Matthew 26:39, Luke 23:46

Elder Gerald N. Lund - Seventy (Audio, Video)
Opening Our Hearts
Personal Revelation
Elder Lund said, "The voice of the Spirit is described as still and small and one that whispers.4 How can a voice be still? Why is it likened to a whisper? Because the Spirit almost always speaks to our minds and to our hearts5 rather than to our ears."

The condition of our hearts affects our sensitivity of spiritual things. The scriptures talk much of having soft hearts and pure hearts.

Elder Carlos H. Amado - Seventy (Audio, Video)
He talked about three purposes of the savior's life. His atoning Sacrifice, His Doctrine, His Service to the Children of God.

"As Heavenly Father’s Only Begotten Son in the flesh, He inherited all of His Father’s divine qualities, and from His earthly mother, Mary, He inherited mortal characteristics."

Mosiah 5: 13 - "For how aknoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?"

Mosiah 2: 17 - "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. "

Elder William R. Walker - Seventy (Audio, Video)
Three Presiding High Priests
He talked about how the leadership of the church are in three. Bishoprics, stake presidencies, and even the first presidency.

Elder Richard G. Scott - Apostle (Audio, Video)
To Heal the Shattering Consequences of Abuse
He talked to the victims about relying on Christ to find healing. He talked to the abusers about relying on Christ to repent and change.

Elder L. Tom Perry - Apostle (Audio, Video)
The Gospel of Jesus Christ
Rom. 1: 16 - For I am not aashamed of the bgospel of Christ: for it is the cpower of God unto dsalvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

The desired results of the picture in the cookbook can only be achieved by following the recipe. So it is with the gospel. "If directions are not followed or an ingredient is left out or miscalculated, the desired taste and appearance are seldom attained."

Baptism is a gate, because it is an entry into a covenant.

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