Sunday, April 05, 2009

General Conference Sunday Afternoon Session 4-5-09

Elder Dallin H. Oaks - Unselfish Service
Matthew 16:24–25
24 ¶ Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him adeny himself, and take up his bcross, and cfollow dme.
25 aFor whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will blose his life for my sake shall cfind it.

Elder John A. Widtsoe declared, 'We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it].' (John A. Widtsoe, in Conference Report, Apr. 1940, 36. ) That reality has current application to every trendy action, including immodest dress."

"The worldly aspiration of our day is to get something for nothing. The ancient evil of greed shows its face in the assertion of entitlement: I am entitled to this or that because of who I am—a son or a daughter, a citizen, a victim, or a member of some other group. Entitlement is generally selfish. It demands much, and it gives little or nothing. Its very concept causes us to seek to elevate ourselves above those around us. This separates us from the divine, evenhanded standard of reward that when anyone obtains any blessing from God, it is by obedience to the law on which that blessing is predicated (see D&C 130:21).

The effects of greed and entitlement are evident in the multimillion-dollar bonuses of some corporate executives. But the examples are more widespread than that. Greed and ideas of entitlement have also fueled the careless and widespread borrowing and excessive consumerism behind the financial crises that threaten to engulf the world.

Gambling is another example of greed and selfishness. The gambler ventures a minimum amount in the hope of a huge return that comes by taking it away from others. No matter how it is disguised, getting something for nothing is contrary to the gospel law of the harvest: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7; see also 2 Corinthians 9:6).

The values of the world wrongly teach that “it’s all about me.” That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become."

Elder David A. Bednar - Honorably Hold a Name and Standing
"'Behold, the field was ripe, and blessed are ye, for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted' (Alma 26:5).

The sheaves in this analogy represent newly baptized members of the Church. The garners are the holy temples. Elder Neal A. Maxwell explained: 'Clearly, when we baptize, our eyes should gaze beyond the baptismal font to the holy temple. The great garner into which the sheaves should be gathered is the holy temple' (in John L. Hart, 'Make Calling Focus of Your Mission,' Church News, Sept. 17, 1994, 4). This instruction clarifies and emphasizes the importance of sacred temple ordinances and covenants—that the sheaves may not be wasted."

Elder Gary E. Stevenson - Sacred Homes, Sacred Temples
"The First Presidency has invited 'adult members to have a current temple recommend and visit the temple more often' where time and circumstance permit and encouraged members 'to replace some leisure activities with temple service.' They also encouraged 'newer members and youth of the Church who are 12 years of age and older to live worthy to assist in this great work by serving as proxies for baptisms and confirmations.'(First Presidency letter, Mar. 11, 2003.)"

“Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness.” (Bible Dictionary, “Temple,” 781)

Elder José A. Teixeira - Gifts to Help Us Navigate Our Life
"Choices have consequences attached, which may or may not be manifested immediately after our decisions. Using the spiritual gifts we have been given is paramount in order to remain on the right course."

Elder F. Michael Watson - His Servants, the Prophets
“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views . . . [or] your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if [we] listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that . . . ‘the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’.” (Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Oct.1970, 152; or Improvement Era, Dec. 1970, 126)

“Are you too close to the Brethren [so that you] think of them not as prophets but as men just guessing [such counsel] might be a good thing?” (Harold B. Lee, Christmas devotional for employees of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dec. 13, 1973; in The Teachings of Harold B. Lee, ed. Clyde J. Williams (1996), 298)

Elder L. Tom Perry - "Bring Souls unto Me"
"There is . . . no substitute for a member-oriented proselyting program. Tracting will not substitute for it. Golden questions will not substitute for it. A member-oriented program is the key to success, and it works wherever we try it" (President Thomas S. Monson, "Motivating Missionaries," June 22, 2008, 8)

"The Church has over 50,000 full-time missionaries serving around the world. Preach My Gospel has helped make them the best teachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ we have ever had in the history of the Church. Unfortunately most of our full-time missionaries spend more of their time trying to find people rather than teaching them. I view our full-time missionaries as an underutilized teaching resource. If you and I did more of the finding for the full-time missionaries and freed them up to spend more time teaching the people we find, great things would begin to happen. We're missing a golden opportunity to grow the Church when we wait for our full-time missionaries to warn our neighbors instead of doing it ourselves."

President Thomas S. Monson - Until We Meet Again
"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." (D&C 25:12)

"pray always lest [we] enter into temptation." (3 Nephi 18:18)

"On the other hand, however—and extremely alarming—are the reports of the number of individuals who are utilizing the Internet for evil and degrading purposes, the viewing of pornography being the most prevalent of these purposes. My brothers and sisters, involvement in such will literally destroy the spirit. Be strong. Be clean. Avoid such degrading and destructive types of content at all costs—wherever they may be! I sound this warning to everyone, everywhere. I add—particularly to the young people—that this includes pornographic images transmitted via cell phones."

"Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

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