Monday, April 6, 2015

general conference april 2015

Every few years General Conference and Easter Sunday fall on the same weekend and it is a lovely treat. This year it happened and I want to share with you my favorite parts from this year's General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday Morning

I felt the Saturday sessions were overwhelmingly about the family and marriage and defending these two. 

"Two essential ingredients to a successful marriage are a cookie and a kiss." -Boyd K. Packer on his own marriage and how he met his wife. 

"Nowhere is the generosity and mercy of God more manifest than in repentance." -Boyd K. Packer

Linda K. Burton began her talk with numerous quotes from general authorities on their wives and marriages and they were so cute, you guys. 

"Because of the office I hold I have a solemn responsibility to tell the truth-- she's perfect." -Linda K. Burton quoting Boyd K. Packer on his wife. AWWWWW!!!!

"A husband is never more attractive to his wife than when he is serving in his god-given role as a worthy priesthood holder in the home." -Linda K. Burton. Preach sister, preach.

"When was the last time I chose to be happy instead of demanding to be right?" -Linda K. Burton. One of those moments when a part of a talk is aimed right at you :-O

Dallin H. Oaks gave one of my favorite talks of the weekend about the parable of the sower and how different members of the church are like different seeds and their hearts are like the different types of ground the seeds fell upon. Also he straight up called people out on being on their phones during the passing of the sacrament which was cool and alarming. He talked about members sometimes having a "keyhole view" of the gospel, where they focus on a certain aspect that bothers them, they disagree with or don't fully understand instead of looking at the entire beautiful picture of the gospel. He quoted Hugh Nibley on defending our faith and how living this gospel is supposed to be difficult and we are going to offend people and our lifestyle is going to be viewed impractical by the world, but that is the gospel and we should stand for truth until the end.

"Any one of us can develop stony hearts which is stony ground for spiritual seeds." -Dallin H. Oaks 

Saturday Afternoon

"Ultimately we will be left without excuse." -David A. Bednar getting real about the importance of godly fear and how it's not the kind of fear we are accustomed to and is actually good to have.

"Many things are good, many things are important, few are essential." -D. Todd Christofferson

Wilford W. Andersen used a beautiful and unique metaphor of dancing and music as ways we learn of the gospel, live it and the blessings we receive from it. Dance steps are the things we do in our lives and the music is the blessings we receive from doing these things. Sometimes we do things that people don't understand and it's like seeing someone singing and dancing in their car next to you in traffic. They look ridiculous, but it's cuz you can't hear the music. 

"A saint is a sinner who keeps on trying." -Dale G. Renlund on how the name of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) can sometimes make us uncomfortable because we are 100% aware that we are not saints and are always making mistakes. While we are free to make mistakes, repent and learn from them, it's also our responsibility to allow others to make mistakes and change. When we judge people for trying or don't give them the same chances we would want for ourselves, we become Latter-day Hypocrites. 

Easter morning! Sunday sessions were primarily testimonies of the life of Christ, the miracle of His resurrection and the wonder of his Atonement. It was amazing to listen to the words of prophets of God proclaim their knowledge and surety of Jesus' triumph over death and such a perfect way to celebrate the Easter holiday.

Sunday Morning

President Thomas S. Monson announced the building of temples in the Ivory Coast, Haiti and Thailand!!!

"Casual commandment keeping and apathy desensitize us from marveling at the miracles of the gospel." -paraphrased from Bishop Gerald Causse. He started his talk describing how sometimes, because we are so accustomed to seeing marvelous things, in his case it was his family living in Paris and always see the Eiffel Tower, that we get used to them, take them for granted and sometimes completely ignore them. Sometimes this can happen to us in the gospel and the way we live our lives causes us to forget about the miracles and wonders of the gospel and forget about how it blesses our lives.

"All of us are lost and need to be found." Brent H. Nielson gave an incredibly touching testimony of his sister leaving the church and many years later re-joining and how sometimes all we can do is wait, watch and love the people in our lives who leave the church. We need to remember that we are all lost sheep trying to be found and we must never stop loving the ones who take longer to be found.

Jeffrey R. Holland shook me to the core, in the most reverent and powerful way with his testimony of the Savior, his death and resurrection and the importance of the Fall of Adam.

"We cannot celebrate Christmas or Easter without acknowledging Adam and Eve and the Fall." -paraphrased from Elder Holland's talk, but one of those things you know you've learned, but then it hits you how true and pertinent it is. He even made the comparison of the Savior as another Adam who came to the earth to die for our sins as well as Adam's, so that we could be saved and live again. 

"Jesus stands triumphant over death, although He stands with wounded feet." -Jeffrey R. Holland

1) Grace unlocks the gates of heaven
2) Grace opens the windows of heaven
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf back to back was one of my favorite Easter treats. President Uchtdorf spoke on the grace of God and how even if we lived perfect lives, it still wouldn't be enough to enter heaven because we would still be unclean and need the grace of God to fully cleanse us.

"We must enter the gates of heaven with a change of heart so dramatic it is referred to as 'being born again.'" -Dieter F. Uchtdorf (paraphrased)

"Salvation cannot be purchased with the currency of obedience. It was bought by the blood of the Son of God." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Here's a conference throwback for you. I think this was in October 2011. This was also the same weekend I met Preston for the first time aww. 

Sunday Afternoon

"How we live our religion is far more important than what we say about our religion." -Robert D. Hales. Maybe my favorite quote from Conference? Elder Hales spoke about the freedoms we enjoy to live our religion and proclaim it, but ultimately, our example is what speaks the loudest to people.

Neil L. Andersen gave a beautiful talk about the revelation behind the decision of where to build temples and how their locations demonstrate the Lord's revelation to his prophet and the Saints in that area's faith and willingness to serve. My heart is always softened when I learn and hear about members of the church around the world make sacrifices to attend the closest temples to them, some saving up for months or years just to attend the temple. It makes me realize how lucky I have been my whole life to live relatively close to the temple and how I should more regularly attend.

"Because of what I've heard and felt during this conference, how will I change?" Russell M. Nelson, perfectly ending the final session of this April's General Conference.

Once again I am moved and humbled by the words of our prophet and his counselors. I am especially grateful for their testimonies of the Savior and add mine to theirs. He lived and died for us and triumphed over that death. It was the most miraculous and wonderful event in the history of the world and it was done because of pure love for you and me. 

Thank you for reading. Visit here to watch or listen to this April's Conference messages.

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