Unto Him That Receiveth I Will Give More

October 8, 2007 | 27 comments

In General Conference we get to be a people, instead of just wards; we get spiritual refreshment in prayer, song, and preaching; and sometimes some personal answers.

One of my answers came in Priesthood session from Elder Perry and Elder Hallstrom’s talks. The background is that there’s an ongoing duty I have that I don’t like and that leaves me feeling spiritually drained and unhappy. I’ve wondered if its really something I need to be doing.

Elder Perry gave a talk on how tough it is to be a missionary. He made it sound like a mission would repeatedly stretch you to the breaking point physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and that you would only survive by the hardest. That was mostly how my mission was.

Elder Hallstrom condemned indolence, ease, procrastination, and the pursuit of pleasure in a broad sense. He was pretty light-hearted about it (he showed a photo of a Hawaiian road sign saying “Easy Street” and then panned out to the “Dead End” sign below it) but he was also pretty unmistakable.

And so, like so many times in the past, God has told me to cowboy up and carry my cross. But if comforts me to know that he has answers for my concerns. And it comforts me to have remembered, during Elder Perry’s talk, that carrying the cross on my mission was the hardest but also the sweetest thing I’ve ever done.

What did you learn from Conference? How were you benefited?

P.S. In my opinion the Conference open threads had too much reviling and reviling of revilers. Please keep your comments positive.


27 Responses to Unto Him That Receiveth I Will Give More

  1. Adam Greenwood on October 8, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    NB: Receiving doesn’t just mean listening to Conference talks to find answers, it means putting those answers into practice. Too bad.

  2. Guy Murray on October 8, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I was struck by how many times different speakers referenced, let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly and then shall our confidence wax strong.

    In conjunction I was also impressed by President Eyring’s counsel Sunday morning about keeping the Holy Ghost as a constant companion with the pattern of always remembering Christ by taking His name upon us, keeping His commandments, and in return having Christ’s spirit to be with us–which is of course the promise given to us when we partake of the Sacrament.

  3. Julie K on October 8, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I thought it was an exciting weekend!
    Lots of great messages.
    I felt lots of warmth and energy from our leaders.
    And lots of neat things happened.
    New 2nd counselor, new Apostle, new organist.

    I am really looking forward to having this Conference issue of the Ensign
    to study for the next 6 months.

  4. Jacob M on October 8, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for this thread, Adam. Your PS is no BS, either. (Grins)

    Anyway, I loved Elder Eyring’s Priesthood talk about how the Lord will help you feel not so unable to do your calling. His sunday morn. talk actually made me write down my first journal entry in over six months. When he talked about writing down those ways in which the Lord has blessed you this day made me think a lot. Quick question for anyone who might remember, was it Elder Eyring who also had a quick bit about vulgarity? I remember someone mentioning it, but I can’t think of who it was. It reminded me of some vocal habits I need to break. Pres. Hinckley, who’s always awesome (cuz, Duh! Prophet!!), talked about cooling down the anger, which made me think about my driving protocol, which also needs some changing.

    Sister Beck’s talk reminds me that I need to clean up my room. Elder Wirthlin reminded us all in deed about not giving up under difficult circumstances. I vaguely remember what he talked about, but him standing there determined to give his talk despite hardship spoke volumes about his character. As a side note with him, he has never been one of the most exciting speakers, but when I’ve gone back and read his talks after the fact, I’ve been struck every time how wonderful his talks really are. I’m sure it will be the same with this one.

  5. Costanza on October 8, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for opening this thread. For the first time in many years, I felt that one of the talks was a direct and explicit response to a pressing issue in my life. Elder Hales’ talk seemed as if it were written specifically to provide me with the guidance and direction for which I had been fervently praying. It did, in fact, lead to action.

  6. Nehringk on October 8, 2007 at 2:18 pm


    I enjoyed the tone and the substance of your post. I was in a discouraged mood as I went to the priesthood session, but felt as though at least a couple of the speakers, especially Elder Hallstrom, were speaking directly to me at times. I felt challenged by what they said, but at the same time, energized. And now, yes, there are things I need to put into practice (and some things I need to put out of practice).

    I really enjoyed Sister Beck — one of the best conference talks I have heard by a RS President. Although she was speaking more directly to the sisters, I found much food for thought in what she said and how she said it. I was amazed by her presence. She has a mantle!

    Alas, my old brain is failing me because off the top of my head I can’t remember which speaker, but neverthelsss I remember one of the speakers quoting extensively from Moses — not just 1:39, but many other verses. The way he quoted these scriptures struck me as quite penetrating.

    Finally, it was thrill to hear from President Eyring. He is an inspiring man. both intellectually and spiritually.

  7. Adam Greenwood on October 8, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    Elder Eyring told a story about being in a military shop where his superiors were vulgar and profane, but after he started praying about it they slacked off. The neat thing is that my superiors are the same way though less so but I’ve never thought to pray about it.

  8. Jacob M on October 8, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    7 – Thanks Adam.

  9. Grant on October 8, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Specifically, I have a new calling requiring my leadership in our ward’s missionary work. I haven’t been courageous in the past. I can’t remember who said it, but he said the members of the Church have been in camouflage. We need to stand out in the open and let others see us. That inspired me.

    Generally, I praise God for the refreshment I felt this weekend. My faith was renewed and I feel new strength.

  10. Chris Laurence on October 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I have many things from this conference that are sinking deep into my soul, as it were.

    My favorite thing was what was not said: anything remotely political. Nothing to help Mitt Romney. No affirmations of political neutrality (which would have been construed as protesting too much). Nothing. In fact, if anything, the talks were along the lines of “we’re getting a lot of free advertising, so this is what we think.” Conference had nothing to do with Mitt Romney. It was great, and I’m a Romney supporter.

  11. Frank McIntyre on October 8, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Oaks on the opportunity cost of our activities. Less surfing the internet, more family and scripture time.

  12. Kaimi Wenger on October 8, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    I liked the confluence of Elders Ballard, Holland, and Nelson, on Christianity, Atonement, Mormon views on Christ. It provided a good mix, and they worked well together. For that matter, Elder Bednar also focused on the broad theme of Christ and Atonement — that seemed to be a recurring motif this conference, even more so than usual.

  13. m&m on October 8, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    I, like Chris Laurence, have much, much distilling on my soul. I have felt a fervent plea for us to tighten up our time and really focus on what matters most, the things of eternal import. I am reminded of something then-Elder Eyring said:

    The prophets of God have foreseen the times in which we live. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Anyone with eyes to see the signs of the times and ears to hear the words of prophets knows that the peril is great. The peril comes from the forces of wickedness. Those forces are increasing. And so it will become harder, not easier, to keep the covenants we must make to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    I feel we are receiving direction about how to prepare for harder times ahead, to keep our spirits stronger to stay true. There are many, many talks that got to this direction, from Sister Beck and Elder Oaks on priorities and really focusing on spiritual family life, to Elder Hales and Elder Scott about revelation and knowledge, to many others that left me feeling invited to improve in significant ways.

    I also found the boldness of Elder Holland breathtaking. There wasn’t just a nice talk sharing what ‘we believe — his was a declaration of the way things really are. Powerful.

  14. Curtis DeGraw on October 8, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Elder Wirthlin shaking but determined to finish – while speaking of the Savior trembling in pain; Elder Nelson standing to steady Elder Wirthlin as he spoke of succoring the weak. Those two images absolutely blew me away and left me crying in the pew.

    They helped me immensely, since they gave me such beautifully simple examples of what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about.

    Also, the talks that said, essentially, “These are the charges against us. Here is our response.” Those were some of the most “Old Testament prophetic, Thus sayeth the Lord” talks I have heard in a while. We need that type of boldness – and proof that we aren’t trying to become just another mainstream denomination.

  15. Dave on October 8, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Two highlights: First, sprinting out from the factory stores in Park City (early morning shopping duty) to the car at 10:08 on Saturday morning to catch the announcement of the new Second Counselor (Elder Eyring) and the new Apostle (Elder Cook). When I heard President Hinckley read the sustaining of all leaders, I figured I had missed the official announcement. Nope, it was just a low-key method of announcing the names.

    Second, Elder Packer’s talk reminding everyone that LDS leaders try very hard to think they aren’t any different than any other worthy member of the Church who tries to keep the commandments and serve in the Church. Elder Packer’s talks the last several years have been rather mellow and upbeat — if there were justice in the world his public image would have shifted in accordance with his new kinder and gentler demeanor rather than being held hostage to a talk or two he gave fifteen years ago.

  16. Ben H on October 8, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Dave I’m so with you; I loved Pres. Hinckley’s deadpan in announcing what millions of people were dying to hear about! I thought the talks (a) on the inspiration behind callings, but also (b) on the importance of every role in the church from most to least public, and (c) on the availability to all members of personal revelation to compare with the revelation leaders receive in their spheres, were very appropriate just now as a result.

    For many reasons, I thought this might have been the most thought-provoking conference I have heard, and the messages were surprisingly timely.

  17. Julie M. Smith on October 8, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    I’ve got the Sears catalog image of those good-better-best shoes etched in my mind, and find that a useful analogy for choices we make. (It’s complicated, too: you pay much more for the best). It is causing me to reconsider how I use my discretionary time.

    Unrelated aside: I wish goods were still sold as good-better-best.

  18. Martin Willey on October 8, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Man! I wish I had as good an attitude as Jacob M! I, too, found the messages, though not always easy to hear, generally important for me to implement in my life. I am firmly committed to looking each day for the hand of God in my life and the life of my family. How ungrateful I have been! And on an ironic note, I missed Sis. Beck\’s talk because I was doing laundry – - I need to ask my wife what she thought . . .

  19. Jared on October 8, 2007 at 10:28 pm

    I share the same sentiments that many of you have expressed. We are a blessed and rich people to have the restored church of Jesus Christ available to us. It really is a miracle!

  20. ed42 on October 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I’ve have to have the picture (did anyone tape conference?) to prove one way or another, but generally if one can read “Easy Street” AND “Dead End”, then Easy Street is perpendicular to the Dead End street. If perpendicular, the Easy Street is NOT a dead-end.

  21. Ray on October 8, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    ed42 – I couldn’t care less, and I say that without any degree of rancor or anger or emotion whatsoever. I just flat-out don’t care to quibble to that degree with a great visual to make a humorous point.

    [Ed.: Ditto.]

  22. nita on October 9, 2007 at 1:38 am

    Lots of great talks, I also look forward to seeing the talks come out on LDS.ORG and in the Ensign.

    ~Overall, I learned and gained more from Sat talks as Sunday I had a temperature, headache and onset of a cold as I watched and listened, so it was harder for me to focus on what was being said.

    ~most powerful talk to me personally was the one by Elder Condie. I ended up missing most of it, as I was eating w/some people at their home. We had the prayer during the intermediete song and then his talk ended up being when we went to get the food. But he concluded w/saying “the Lord remembered Rachel and the Lord will remember you.” Something like that, those words spoke to me in a powerful capacity due to being single and in my late 30s.

    ~ Elder Holland’s talk especially helpful due to the fact I have a sis who feels we as LDS aren’t Christian. She is of another Christian faith. When we were both in college, we used to debate and go over some of the things- ie I’d say how can Jesus be praying to himself when he was getting baptized, etc. Yet she wouldn’t see my point. And we just grew to not discuss the “Christianity” aspect in our relationship. We grew closer by the areas of common interest in other aspects of our lives, ie careers and other family things.

    Then a couple months ago, she “approached” me in a “concerned way” about my LDS membership- essentially she told me she felt “Mormonism doesn’t do it for me”. SO UNTRUE. SO PAINFUL to hear her say that, she also called me “empty”. So for some time, I’ve pondered how to respond to her. (She wanted me to view some type of antiDVD her pastor has and that she has seen. She told told me, watch what I have and I’ll watch something you have).

    OK, not to be too long but I don’t want to watch her material. I do know I will respond to her by sharing my testimony of how I am not empty, how so much in the gospel “fills me”, I feel I have many things that contribute to me feeling full, all the principle of the gospel mean much to me. So I will try to let her know how I am full, even if she doesn’t think I am.

    But I haven’t been sure what to do about the “exchange a video” idea my sis had. Sure I want to share w/her but I don’t want to view her video, for I feel those things are biased. (I did ask the missionaries and they suggested Defenders of Our Faith).

    Anyway- I now have another answer to what to do: I will send her a copy of Elder Holland’s talk, he says it so well. I know there are others w/similar message from last Conference, also Elder Ballard’s I think.

    ~the moment of Elder Nelson helping Elder Wirthin. I know Elder Wirthlin must have been in pain. Every disease/condition is different. Yet it was inspiring to see him do that stand, I am a therapist in a nursing home and help others to get up, to support them in standing, we work on all the basic every day things, etc Sometimes things seem mundane though we are happy to help people and see them progress and do their individual best. What I am trying to say is the compassion Elder Nelson showed Elder Wirthin inspired me to strive to do my daily job w/more patience and love and to do better at treating and working w/my patients w/dignity.

    ~Elder Oaks talk was helpful for me as my life right now is total unorganized chaos, I have a typed to do list over 4 pages long, I procrastinate a lot, etc. I know I need to decrease my time in forums,etc

    ~Sis Beck’s- I did comment in another thread here some of my feelings about that talk. I felt a little “less” as I’m not a mom. But today I did feel more an idea of the intended holiness of her remarks. I’m single, late 30s and no kids, etc. But in my daily job, I do get a chance to help care for people in their 70s-90s (and sometimes beyond or a little younger than 70s) who need help. I get to help them a little and try to care for them and do what their own parents would want to do for them, if they could. If as Elder Oaks said, I can do my best there in that capacity, then I think it is ok.

    ~several of the speakers spoke about simple service/compassion. Elder Wirthlin and Elder Teh are the ones I remember w/o getting notes.

    ~Favorite story: Pres Monson’s about that lady in California. It was cool to me that he comforted her both when he was a 12 yo boy and when he was a Church leader. (don’t know what his “title” was in ’69 and I’m too lazy to look it up right now). But that story supported well what PRes Packer’s comments.

    ~ Also I liked Pres Eyring’s suggestion about writing lists of things that happen/experiences to remember. I am a horrible journal writer, a sometimes blog writer. I’m a pretty good list maker. Maybe I can do this.

    ~~Elder Packer and how any member has equal access to pray, to get help from the Holy Ghost, etc

    ~ Ok, that better be all I say so I don’t get kicked off this place. Everything was good, I wish we had General Conf 4 times a year so we could hear from more of our leaders!! And I wish we had RS General Conf twice a year, since the men get Priesthood Twice a year.

  23. Steve Jones on October 9, 2007 at 1:55 am

    #22 Pres. Monson was called to the quorum of the twelve in Oct. 1963. In 1969 he was a member of the twelve with a primary assignment of the eastern block nations in Europe.

  24. Chris Laurence on October 9, 2007 at 8:39 am

    #22 You could tell your sister that you would love to view something about her faith in exchange for viewing something about your faith, but you will not view something attacking your own faith.

  25. Bro. Jones on October 9, 2007 at 9:12 am

    I’m looking forward to the release of the transcripts on Thursday. Ever since I joined the church, I’ve preferred reading conference talks to listening to them. I don’t begrudge anyone who prefers listening, but I just tune out after 30-45 minutes of hearing *anyone* talk on a TV set. I’m not one of those “I wish the speakers were more dynamic!” types–even if there were talks by Barney the dinosaur, Mick Jagger, the Three Nephites, and Warren Jeffs, I probably wouldn’t make it past Mick’s talk.

  26. Bro. Jones on October 9, 2007 at 9:14 am

    But I will say that I learned a lot from the whole argument about Sister Beck’s talk. Not so much about the content of the talk itself, but about how we should be really eager to find personal meaning in a talk, even if that meaning is “I’m not sure if I agree with this talk, but I need to do some spiritual work to find out how I can achieve harmony between the commandments, my leaders’ counsel, and what I want to choose for my life.”

  27. nita on October 9, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    #24- thanks Chris, good idea. I work w/people of other faiths- Muslim, etc. We all get along and learn from each other and uplift each other in the living of our respective faiths, I think that is how it should be.


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