Saturday, October 02, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Session of General Conference October 2, 2010

Text in quotes are from the talk being noted, unless otherwise indicated.  Text without quotes are my own commentary.

From the Prayer
“Let us know the changes we must make to obey all of Thy commandments.”

Elder Robert D. Hales, Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life
“Without agency we could not make right choices and progress.”

“[Jesus] taught us that when we choose to do the will of our Heavenly Father, our agency is preserved, our opportunities increase, and we progress.”
In our mortal journey, it is helpful to remember that the opposite is also true: when we don’t keep the commandments or follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, our opportunities are reduced; our abilities to act and progress are diminished.”

“...when we hearken to the Word of Wisdom, we escape the captivity of poor health and addiction to substances that literally rob us of our ability to act for ourselves.
As we obey the counsel to avoid and get out of debt now, we use our agency and obtain the liberty to use our disposable income for helping and blessing others.”

“Saul was commanded through Samuel to wipe out a people.  ‘Selectively obedient’  ‘Are we obeying with exactness?’”

My brothers and sisters, are we hearkening with exactness to the voice of the Lord and His prophets? Or, like Saul, are we practicing selective obedience and fearing the judgments of men?”

Elder Quentin L. Cook, Let There Be Light!
Our day has been described as ‘a time of plenty and an age of doubt.8Basic belief in the power and authority of God is not only questioned but also denigrated.”

My personal experience of living and interacting with people all over the world has caused me to be optimistic. I believe that light and truth will be preserved in our time. In all nations there are large numbers who worship God and feel accountable to Him for their conduct.”

Still, the majority of people aspire to be good and honorable. The Light of Christ, which is distinct from the Holy Ghost, informs their conscience. We know from the scriptures that the Light of Christ is ‘the Spirit [which] giveth light to every man that cometh into the world.15 This light is given “for the sake of the whole world.”16 President Boyd K. Packer has taught that this is a “source of inspiration, which each of us possesses in common with all other members of the human family.”17 This is why many will accept moral values even when founded on religious convictions which they do not personally support.

In almost every instance, people of faith feel accountable to God for being honest.

Bishop Richard C Edgely, Faith—the Choice Is Yours
Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, “Come unto me” (Matthew 11:28) and “Knock, and it shall be [given] you” (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock. They are choices. So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”

Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.

But while I don’t know everything, I know the important. I know the plain and simple gospel truths that lead to salvation and exaltation. I know that the Savior did suffer the pain of all men and that all repentant people can be cleansed from sin. And what I don’t know or don’t completely understand, with the powerful aid of my faith, I bridge the gap and move on, partaking of the promises and blessings of the gospel. And then, as Alma teaches, our faith brings us to a perfect knowledge (see Alma 32:34). By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.

Ether 12:6
6 And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

Elder Kevin R Duncan, Our Very Survival
“We have been kicked out of the frying-pan into the fire, out of the fire into the middle of the floor, and here we are and here we will stay. God has shown me that this is the spot to locate His people, and here is where they will prosper; He will temper the elements for the good of His Saints; He will rebuke the frost and the sterility of the soil, and the land shall become fruitful. Brethren, go, now, and plant … your … seeds.” (Brigham Young, as quoted by Wilford Woodruff, in The Utah Pioneers(1880), 23)

This world is full of so many self-help books, so many self-proclaimed experts, so many theorists, educators, and philosophers who have advice and counsel to give on any and all subjects. With technology today, information on a myriad of subjects is available with the click of a keystroke. It is easy to get caught in the trap of looking to the “arm of flesh”5 for advice on everything from how to raise children to how to find happiness. While some information has merit, as members of the Church we have access to the source of pure truth, even God Himself. We would do well to search out answers to our problems and questions by investigating what the Lord has revealed through His prophets. With that same technology today, we have at our fingertips access to the words of the prophets on nearly any subject. What has God taught us about marriage and the family through His prophets? What has He taught us about education and provident living through His prophets? What has He taught us about personal happiness and fulfillment through His prophets?

“What the prophets teach may to some seem outdated, unpopular, or even impossible.”

He quoted the 14 points the “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” from Ezra Taft Benson’s talk as did Elder Claudio Costa earlier.

Elder Gerrit W Gong, Temple Mirrors of Eternity: A Testimony of Family
The world pursues enlightened self-interest.”

Sometimes things go wrong even though we have done our very best.”

Elder Neal L Anderson, Never Leave Him
The Lord has not left us alone in our quest to return to Him. Listen to His warning words alerting us to the dangers ahead: “Take … heed, watch and pray.”1 “Beware lest ye … be deceived.”2 “Be watchful and careful.”3“Beware lest ye also … fall from your own stedfastness.”4

No one of us is immune from the influences of the world. The Lord’s counsel keeps us on guard.”

Some ask, “Do I have to be so different from others?” “Can’t I be a disciple of Christ without thinking so much about my behavior?” “Can’t I love Christ without keeping the law of chastity?” “Can’t I love Him and do what I want on Sunday?” Jesus gave a simple answer: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”32

Elder Richard G Scott, The Transforming Power of Faith and Character
This mortal life is a proving ground. How well you meet its challenges determines how strong your character will be.

The bedrock of character is integrity.

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