Conference begins at 10AM on Saturday morning mountain time. So we call it the Saturday morning session, even though it’s noon over here. The session will last two hours, and then there is a two hour break. Many members are on hand to watch it in person, many more watch from their church building. Like a lot of others, I am watching from the comfort of home. I’ll update the post as we go, so refresh for updates. After I’ve had some time to listen again, and have some more time to process, I might update all my posts again.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is singing this morning. President Uchtdorf is conducting. President Monson will deliver his opening address.
He starts off by talking about some of his travels since last conference. He was able to make it back to Germany, where he had served when he was an Apostle. Then he spends some time talking about Temples that have been built and dedicated. Two new temples announced. One in Utah, one in Brazil. Now he returns to the major announcement made at the last conference, about missionaries. 65,000 missionaries are serving right now. Over 25,000 on their way into the field. New missions have been created. Donating to the missionary fund is encouraged.
The Apostle Boyd K Packer gives the next talk. He talks about getting older, he was born in 1924. He is the longest serving Apostle with the exception of President Monson. He speaks of a snake that had gotten into his backyard, and killed some of the local birds. “We will not always be safe from the adversary’s influence, even in our home” The family is our fundamental organization. And it is under attack. Families are needed on earth, and in eternity. We must honor the covenants that we have made. Teach yourself and your family about the gift of the Holy Ghost. We are free to chose our acts, but not the consequences of those acts. We need to be tolerant, but that cannot turn into permissiveness. God’s law of Chastity must be followed. We must be open to the promptings of the spirit.
Dean Davies, a member of the Presiding Bishopric is up next. He describes being caught in an earthquake in San Francisco. Buildings put on loose soil did not fare so well. Those built on a solid foundation did much better. We need to build our lives with a foundation in Jesus Christ. When we build a Temple, we do pay attention to what natural disasters can occur there, and they are built with a literal strong foundation. God’s Plan of Salvation helps us understand life, and helps guide us to return home safely. Pray and read the scriptures daily. Take part in the Sacrament. Visit the Temple. The sacrament is a chance to repent, and renew our covenants.
Elaine S Dalton, the Young Womens President, speaks next. We all have responsibilities. And whether we like them or not, they matter. To ourselves and to others. How do we help our children grow in Christ? We need to be good examples. Relationships matter. Fathers have the Priesthood, and must provide for their families. The way we treat our spouse, is often mimicked by our children. We must stand as a witness of Christ.
Craig Cardon is the next speaker. Heavenly Father hates sin, but he loves us. We can always repent, and be forgiven. Even those who have sinned multiple times, it is not too late. Our Savior knows when we are truly repentant. Some sins are worse than others. We must be willing to forgive each other as well.
M Russell Ballard of the Twelve Apostles is up next. He contemplates the immensity of the heavens. These were created by the power of the Priesthood. This was also the Priesthood that the Savior used here on earth. Every Priesthood holder has some authority to use it. And the power of it depends on our righteousness and our using it in accordance to God’s wishes. Men and women have equally valuable roles. Both men and women are needed to create eternal families. Love, humility and patience are needed in our families. the Priesthood should be used to help those in need. He talks about a young girl who was growing a tomato. She recognized that this one tomato plant, and it’s seeds, could eventually lead to millions of tomato’s. However, she briefly neglected the plant, and thought she had killed it. Through focused nurturing, she was able to bring the plant back, and it began growing again. Using the Priesthood is like this, we must pay attention to it. We should use it to do what the Savior would do if he was here. He talks about the recent Worldwide Leadership training.
President Eyring is the concluding speaker of this session. During this Easter season, we are reminded of our Savior. He tells stories of Christ’s death and resurrection. We are to help those in need, and be witnesses to the Savior. We need to love him, and feel his love for us.
The first session concludes, and we now have two hours until the afternoon session begins.