Sunday Afternoon Session

April 7, 2013 | 13 comments
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Conference CenterPresident Uchtdorf is conducting this final session of Conference, with music by the Tabernacle Choir. Invocation by another female, Sister Stephens — they seem to be everywhere this Conference! Benediction by a male Seventy. Direct quotes of a speaker are in quotation marks, otherwise the text is my summary of their remarks.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – “Lord, I Believe” (to the youth)

  • “In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. … When those moments come and issues surface the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes.”
  • “When problems come and questions arise do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” … Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!”
  • “Please do not hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will.”
  • “When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks – “Followers of Christ”

  • “Like all other Christians, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints study the life of our Savior as reported in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”
  • “[F]ailures to follow Christ are too numerous and too sensitive to list here. They range all the way from worldly practices like political correctness and extremes in dress and grooming to deviations from basic values like the eternal nature and function of the family.”
  • “Jesus taught that God created male and female, and that a man should leave his parents and cleave to his wife (Mark 10:6-8). Our commitment to this teaching is well known.”
  • “Using funds donated by generous members, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sends food, clothing, and other essentials to relieve the suffering of adults and children all over the world. … Our massive relief effort following the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami provided $13 million in cash and relief supplies.”

Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. of the Seventy – “The Father and the Son”

  • “[T]he prevailing view of the nature of the Father and the Son throughout the many centuries and among much of mankind is clearly inconsistent with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. We respectfully submit that at the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ and its power to save is a correct understanding of the Father and the Son.”
  • “The Father and the Son are distinctly separate beings, but They are perfectly united and one in power and purpose. Their oneness is not reserved for Them alone; rather, They desire this same oneness for everyone who will, with devotion, follow and obey Their commandments.”
  • “Seen in its true light, the doctrine of the Father and the Son is the doctrine of the eternal family. Every human being has existed previously as a spirit child with heavenly parents, with Christ being the Firstborn of the Father in this heavenly family.”

Elder Enrique R. Falabella of the Seventy, on the home as the school of life and parenting. Funniest story of Conference: “Blanquy, shake hands with everyone!” He decries domestic abuse. Share kind and loving words frequently. “How easy it is to send a text message of love and gratitude!”

Elder Erich W. Kopischke of the Seventy, on being accepted of the Lord. Don’t seek acceptance from the wrong sources or the wrong people. Instead, seek acceptance by God and Jesus Christ by having a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and by keeping our covenants. “Sometimes observing our covenants means nothing more than standing firmly and faithfully when the storms of life are raging all around us.”

Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy, on days of trouble and mornings of joy. “Tribulation and difficult times may lie ahead, yet we too have cause for good cheer and rejoicing. … [W]e need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us.”

Elder D. Todd Christofferson – “Redemption”

  • “As indicated in my brief account of immigrant “redemptioners,” the word “redeem” means to pay off an obligation or a debt. “Redeem” can also mean to rescue or set free as by paying a ransom. If someone commits a mistake and then corrects it or makes amends, we say he has redeemed himself. Each of these meanings suggest different facets of the great Redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ through His Atonement which includes, in the words of the dictionary, “to deliver from sin and its penalties, as by a sacrifice made for the sinner.”
  • “Because we are accountable and we make the choices, the redemption from our own sins is conditional — conditioned on confessing and abandoning sin and turning to a godly life, or in other words, conditioned on repentance (see D&C 58:43).”

President Thomas S. Monson gave closing remarks and a blessing

  • “May we be tolerant of, as well as kind and loving to those who do not share our beliefs and our standards.”
  • “As this conference now concludes, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May your homes be filled with peace, harmony, courtesy and love.”

13 Responses to Sunday Afternoon Session

  1. Kent Larsen on April 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Is it just me, or did Elder Holland’s remarks seem directed to half the Bloggernacle…

  2. Kirsten on April 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    It’s not just you.

  3. Duke of Buccleuch on April 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I believe that they, (Elder Holland’s remarks), were directed towards any Latter-day Saint to whom they apply, whether a denizen of the bloggernacle or just your average Mormon working out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

  4. Duke of Buccleuch on April 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    …speaking as a self-confessed denizen of the bloggernacle.

  5. Dave on April 7, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Elder Holland himself told us who his remarks were directed to: the youth of the Church, who seem more susceptible to doubt and questioning than prior generations of youth given the temper of our times (running against organized religion) and given their easy online access to information critical of the Church.

    One’s opinion may differ whether the Bloggernacle (I’m thinking sites listed at the MA portal, not the broader universe of blogs that discuss Mormonism) is simply a forum for venting one’s doubts or criticisms or whether it is a forum for exploring different perspectives (generally active, faithful perspectives) on dealing with issues and doubts. Correlated sources rarely give candid discussion of such issues, so they provide little substantive help to those with honest doubts or issues. Maybe FAIR or FARMS or a local Institute teacher or friends on Facebook can provide similar content on troubling issues. The Bloggernacle offers not just content but discussion, endless discussion. That works for some people, not for others.

  6. Cameron N on April 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    To be more specific, Elder Holland offered a pretty broad definition of ‘youth,’ though, expliciting saying basically he was talking to everyone. =)

  7. Alison Moore Smith on April 7, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I loved Elder Holland’s talk beyond words. And since it was just for me, that must mean I am YOUNG.

    And I cried when I saw a woman give the opening prayer. They put away the erroneous past practices for good. LOVE.

  8. Sonny on April 7, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Agreed, Alison. I loved Elder Holland’s talk. And I loved the invocation just as much.

  9. Kent Larsen on April 7, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I loved Elder Holland’s talk also. It just seemed like it was right on topic for a lot of the doubts expressed in the Bloggernacle, and especially among the Mormon Stories crowd.

    I even saw one post on facebook suggesting that John Dehlin may have ghost-written the talk (no, I don’t think the poster was being serious).

  10. Beth on April 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Elder Holland even said Joseph Smith wasn’t perfect. I think he has been listening to the concerns of faithful and questioning people. Because of his talk I came away from conference with hope.

  11. Cameron N on April 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    That Joseph Smith quote has been cited at least 3-5 times each of the past two conferences.

  12. Mary on April 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I believe his comments were directed to Tom phillips

  13. Mary on April 9, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    Really people…..basically he is saying forget about the past, look at where we are now and just Believe. We are founded on a lie but it’s ok just believe.

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