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191st Annual General Conference * April 3 – 4, 2020 | Saturday Evening Session Notes (formerly known as Priesthood Session)

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NOTE: Original notes found here. They are editable and can be used by anyone and everyone.

Saturday Evening Session

Hymn: Rise Up, O Men of God – Hymn 324

Conducting: President Dallin H. Oaks – First Counselor in the First Presidency

Hymn: In Hymns of Praise – Hymn 75

Invocation: Bishop L. Todd Budge – Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

Hymn: God Loved Us, So He Sent His Son – Hymn 187

Talk: Elder Quentin L. Cook – Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

Bishops – Shepherds Over the Lord’s Flock

Major Themes: Bishops 

Notable Stories: Move while being a Deacon, going to a priesthood meeting with his Bishop.

Scriptures: 

    • Shall the Youth of Zion falter? NO!
    • Supporting the rising generation in a time of unusual challenges and temptations is an essential responsibility given to parents and bishoprics by Heavenly Father
    • Parent have a responsibilities of the families
    • Quorums Presidencies have responsibilities over their quorums
    • Bishops
      • Presiding High Priest
      • President of the Aaronic priesthood
      • Common judge
      • Coordinate work of salvation and exaltation. Works with counsels 
      • Oversee records and finances in regards to the meeting house
    • Christ is the Shepherd and the Bishop of our souls
    • he father and mother will always be the main people responsible for the family
    • Shepard in guiding the young adult towards Jesus 
    • Care for YM/YW
      • Why is the bishop directed to spend so much time with the youth?
      • Bishop has dual responsibility: Doctrinal for the ward as a whole and specific responsibility for the priests quorum. 
    • Priest-age youth have a short period of time with numerous significant spiritual decisions. 
    • The Lord has organized His church to accomplish crucial priorities
    • Bishops, please know that a relatively short time spent with a young priest, young woman or young adult can help them understand the power available to them through the Atonement of Jesus Christ
    • The bishop has a paramount role in serving as a shepherd to guide the rising generation, including young single adults, to Jesus Christ
    • Thoughtful leaders have always sacrificed for the rising generation
    • At a time when young people seem to have maximum conflict with their parents, the person who presides over their quorum and to whom they answer ecclesiastically is also the person to whom their parents go for temple recommends
      • This puts the bishop in a unique position to counsel both the youth and their parents when contention has created a division
    • Teach by word and by example on how to be disciples.
      • Give others a vision on how they can Become disciples of Christ
    • Bishops should not have assigned ministering families so they can focus on the youth 
    • Teaching children to be a disciple is more important than how or when chores are accomplished 
    • Delegations of counseling that do not involve issues of worthiness should be assigned to counselors, EQ/RS leaders, or other people in the ward. Be prayerful. 
    • Youth: May not have a clear vision of who you are and who you will become. Yet you are at a stage where decisions are important
      • Trials will come from every direction 
      • Counsel with the common judge to get your life in tune with the gospel.
      • Please counsel with both your parents and your bishop about important choices that are ahead of you. 
        • Allow the bishop to be your friend and counselor
    • Bishops: Thanks! You’re great. 
      • 30,900 bishops and branch presidents around the world 
      • Bishops, we sustain you! 
      • Bishops, we love you! 
      • You are truly the Lord’s shepherds over His flock. 
      • The Savior will not forsake you in these sacred callings
      • You can extend powerful invitations to change behavior, prepare them for life and inspire them to stay on the covenant path
    • We need to know that God longed for all His children to enjoy eternal life with Him
  • I was just released as a bishop two months ago. Totally say amen to what Elder Cook said. That experience was the sweetest Church service in my life. Definitely love all the bishops out there!!
  • At one point I thought I would want to be a bishop but the closer I’ve served around bishops and consider all they’re asked to do, I am very happy to never be one. 

Talk: Brother Ahmad S. Corbitt – First Counselor in the General Young Men Presidency

You Can Gather Israel!

Major Themes: Youth and potential 

Notable Stories: Family joining the church. 

Scriptures: 

    • Gathering is the most important thing on the earth today. 
    • Youth have divine identity and enormous capability 
    • Family joined the church when he was 17. He decided not to serve a FT mission but changed his mind because the gospel is great.  
    • We shouted for joy to come to a fallen world and experience trails and death.
    • Knowing you overcame Satan by the word of your testimony before will help you love, share and invite, now and always
    • When Jesus Christ promised He would come into mortality and give His life to gather and save us, you did not simply believe Him. You noble spirits had such exceedingly great faith that you saw His promise as sure
    • All hope for returning resurrected and clean to God’s holy presence rested entirely upon one Being keeping His promise.
    • Your great faith is like muscles that get stronger and bigger the more you exercise them, but they are already inside you
    • Imagining lies hurts faith.
  • I can almost read the teleprompter in his glasses
  • As can I. He does have shiny glasses.
  • Look forward in faith!
  • What a wonderful reminder of who each of us were before this mortal life.
    • We trusted in God’s plan. 
    • We had faith in Jesus Christ. 
    • If we did it then, we can do it now
  • My friends, intentionally envisioning or viewing things that conflict with who you really are, especially poronography, will weaken your faith in Christ and, without repentance, could destroy it
  • When you set a good goal, you are looking forward. Becoming who your Father wants you to be.
  • Your true identity and the enormous power of faith in Christ within you will enable you to ‘help prepare the world for the Savior’s return by inviting all to come unto Christ and receive the blessings of His atonement.
  • When Jesus Christ promised He would come into mortality and give His life to gather and save us, you did not simply believe Him. 
    • You ‘noble spirits’ had such ‘exceedingly great faith’ that you saw His promise as sure. 
    • He could not lie, so you saw Him as if He had already shed His blood for you, long before He was born.

Talk: Elder S. Gifford Nielsen – General Authority Seventy 

This Is Our Time

Major Themes: Being Strong and Courageous. Priesthood power

Notable Stories: Visiting a YM with a head injury in the hospital 

Scriptures: Matthew 22:46–40

  • First game as a QB in the NFL was against the reigning champions. 
    • It hurt.  
  • I needed to learn that I could be strong and courageous in the face of difficult situations
  • Maybe we don’t always feel up to the challenge, but we are fearless builders of His kingdom.
    • That is why he sent us: 
    • This is our time. 
  • We don’t know what will come but we can still be ready
  • Worthily exercising priesthood has never been more crucial.
  • The Lord needs us to be ready.
    • Worthily exercising priesthood power has never been more crucial  
  • When we hear stories of God’s mighty servants who came before … they seem bigger than life
    • But they were not that different from us. 
    • They were regular people who faced challenges

 

    • It is good to remember God uses regular people in fantastic ways.
      •  Elijah asked to be done, showed signs of depression.
        • He was a mighty prophet. 
      • Regular people can do amazing things with God
    • When we reach for him, he will be there
    • He will prevail in our life, if we will let him.
    • Good Choices turn our lives eternally.
    • The great commandments
      • Love God
      • Love thy neighbor
      • 3rd is implied.   Love Thyself.   Not prideful or self centered.   But view ourselves as God sees us, recognizing our divine worth. Have we thought of this as a commandment?
    • When winds blow in our lives, where is our focus? 
      • Remember, there is always one reliable source of strength and courage. 
      • The arms of Jesus extend to us, just as they extended to Peter
    • We are his cherished children.
    • We can’t always choose the outcome of our actions, but we can choose to be ready to act
    • We are all called upon to do life-changing things as representatives of the Lord. 
      • He will not forsake us
      • This is our time
    • Pray to recognize our individual role. 
    • The victory is already in the record books.
    • No matter where we are we can be an important part because “THIS IS OUR TIME!” GO TEAM!
  • Our Heavenly Father wants us to love ourselves — not to become prideful or self-centered, but to see ourselves as He sees us.
  • Our Heavenly Father sees us as fearless builders of His kingdom. 
  • That is why He sent us here during this most decisive time in the world’s history. 
  • This is our time!
  • Pray to recognize and embrace each individual’s role to prepare for the glorious day when the Savior comes again. 
  • The Lord loves us more than we can comprehend, and He will answer our prayers! 
  • Whether we are on a football field, in a hospital room, or in any other place, we can be an important part of these remarkable events — because this is our time!
  • The more we recognize our divine worth, the better we understand this divine truth: that God has sent us right here, right now, at this momentous time in history, so that we can do the greatest possible good with the talents and gifts we have
    • We are all called upon to do life-changing things as representatives of the Lord. 
      • He will not forsake us. 
      • This is our time
  • The more we recognize our divine worth, the better we understand this divine truth: that God has sent us right here, right now, at this momentous time in history, so that we can do the greatest possible good with the talents and gifts we have. 
  • This is our time!
  • NFL career (from Wikipedia): Nielsen was selected in the third round of the 1978 NFL Draft (73rd overall) by the Houston Oilers, the team with which he spent his entire NFL career, six seasons as a part-time quarterback.

    Nielsen served as backup to Dan Pastorini in 1978 and 1979 and to Ken Stabler in 1980 and 1981. He played the most games in his last two seasons, 1982–1983, when he shared quarterbacking duties with Archie Manning and Oliver Luck.

    From 1984 to 1987, he served as a color commentator on Oilers radio broadcasts.
  • He played 3 years at BYU with a much better sophomore season than junior. Does anyone know what happened? Did he just get beat out for starting? Did he get hurt? 
  • I didn’t follow BYU back then, but it looks like he was good enough to get drafted (3rd round isn’t bad) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was playing behind future NFL legends in Stabler, Manning and Luck when he got to the League.

 

Hymn: Hark, All Ye Nations! – Hymn 264

Talk: President Henry B. Eyring – Second Counselor in the First Presidency

Bless in His Name

Major Themes: Priesthood

Notable Stories: 

Scriptures: 

    • What can magnifying your calling mean for you? 
      • Deacons: 
      • Elders:
      • Bishops: 
    • I wish someone told me then, what I will suggest now.
    • The purpose for our receiving the priesthood is to allow us to bless people for the Lord, doing so in His name
  • For some reason I assumed President Eyring was the oldest son because of his shared name. 
  • I’m a reasonably thoughtful guy, but I think the 12 year old President Eyring was more thoughtful than my 38yo adult self. 
  • Branch vs Army of Utah Deacons
    • Own dining room vs. precession working together
  • High Priest passing at a care center: Instead of process, looked at each elderly person taking the sacrament
  • Priesthood service given out of love.
  • Pray to know what blessing the Lord has instore for that person.
  • Pray for the Lord to sense from the Lord
    • It takes effort to distinguish what the Lord wants and what you want, even what the person wants.
  • We can magnify our priesthood service over our lifetime and perhaps beyond. … That magnification will come in small steps. 
    • It may come slowly, but it will come
  • Even when the blessing is not what others desire for themselves or their loved one, the Spirit touches their hearts to experience acceptance and comfort rather than disappointment.
  • You may feel small in regards to the great sweep of the Lord.
    • Pray to know your worth to him.
  • Our rising up and magnifying the priesthood matter to Him because He loves you and He trusts you to bless people He loves in His name.
  • It takes effort when giving a priesthood blessing to distinguish what the Lord wants from what you and the other person may want

Talk: President Dallin H. Oaks – First Counselor in the First Presidency

What Has Our Savior Done for Us?

Major Themes: 

Notable Stories: 

Scriptures: John 3:16; Article of Faith 3

  • When you think of all the Savior has done for you, you have many reasons to come to church.
  • What has Jesus Christ done for each of us? 
    • He has done everything that is essential for our journey through mortality toward the destiny outlined in the plan of our Heavenly Father
  • 4 principal features of the plan
    • Christ is the central figure
      • 1. Resurrection
      • 2. Forgiveness
      • 3. Taught us
      • 4. Christ took the pains and sicknesses of every kind for every person 
  • The resurrection from the dead is the reassuring personal pillar of our faith. 
    • It adds meaning to our doctrine, motivation to our behavior and hope for our future.
      • Changes the way we view mortal life.
  • The magnificent and incomprehensible effect of the Atonement of Jesus Christ is based on God’s love for each of us
  • Because He loves us, He challenges us to focus on Him, instead of the things of this mortal world
  • The resurrection gives us the chance to achieve our ultimate ideal in life. 
    • It can be a comfort in this life when we lose loved ones. 
    • Ultimately, it also allows us to enjoy the joy of eternal life. 
    • He suffered to make it so
  • The resurrection gives us the perspective and the strength to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and those we love
  • The resurrection provides us hope and the strength to be patient as we wait. 
    • It also prepares us with the courage and dignity to face our own death — even a death that might be called premature.
  • Mortal deficiencies are temporary. 
    • Resurrection gives us a powerful incentive to keep commandments and make sure family likes us. 
  • ‘What has Jesus Christ done for me?’
    • Resurrection 
  • Forgiveness is for all
  • Cleansed of personal sins so we can be remitted to the open door of our Father.
  • Worth of souls is great in the sight of God.
  • Taught us
    • Plan of salvation
    • Agency
    • Ordinance we must experience to return to our parents
  • Challenges us to focus on him instead of the things of this world
  • Not be attracted to the things of this earth that don’t give nourishment for eternal life.
  • Took upon him the pains and sickness of every kind.
  • Feels and knows our temptations, sufferings and heart aches.
  • Our Savior feels and knows our temptations, our struggles, our heartaches and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as part of His Atonement
  • All who suffer, can know that our Savior also and offers our strength to bear it.
  • Create all that allows us to fulfill our part of Heavenly Father’s Plan
  • Covenants show us the was and the priesthood allows us the means
  • All who suffer any kind of mortal infirmities should remember that our Savior experienced that kind of pain also, and that through His Atomentment He offers each of us the strength to bear it.
  • Jesus did all this motivated by love. 
  • Love is the motivation for it all and it was so from the very beginning

Talk: President Russell Nelson – President of the Church

What We Are Learning and Will Never Forget

Major Themes: 

Notable Stories: 

Scriptures: 

  • The last two years have been busy. 
  • People have lost loved ones, jobs, or sense of peace for the future
  • Continue to let God prevail in your lives. God is just as optimistic about your future than He has ever been
  • Amid the losses we have experienced, there are also some things we have found
  • In the midst of trials, many have found deeper faith, fresh perspective on life, stronger relationships
  • Difficult trials often provide opportunities to grow that would not have come in any other way
  • How have we grown during the last two years? What have we learned? 
  • As we continue to let God prevail in your life, He is just as optimistic about our future as He has ever been
  • The Lord has great plans for us both collectively and individually. 
  • We will see many ways in which the Lord has been guiding us through this time of hardship, helping us to become a more devoted, more converted man — a true man of God
  • He wants us to grow and to learn, even through and perhaps especially through adversity.
    • Adversity is a great teacher
  • How have you developed the ability to “hear Him”?
  • Four lessons Pres Nelson has learned
    • 1. The home is the center of faith and worship
    • 2. We need each other
    • 3. Priesthood Quorum is meant for more than a meeting 
    • 4. We hear Christ better when we are still 
  • Stand ye in Holy Places
    • Temple and meeting houses included,
    • One of the Holiest places is the home.
  • Between now and the time the Lord comes again, we all need our homes to be places of serenity and security
  • Elijah restored priesthood keys 185 years ago today (I didn’t realize it was today!)
    • Ability to administer the sacrament in your home.
  • Homes should be places of serenity and security 
  • Holiness will vanish if there’s anything in your behavior or environment that offends the holy spirit 
  • Making homes the center of our gospel lives is not just about the pandemic 
  • Home primary sanctuary in faith should never stop.
  • We need each other.   
    • We can accomplish more together than separately.  
  • Work together and help each other
    • i.e. families and wards/stakes
  • Live in the world and not of the world.
  • As the world grows more wicked, we need more holy places in our lives.
    • Find them and make them
  • If there is anything in your home or environment that offends the Spirit, then the heavens withdraw themselves
  • Holiness will vanish if there is anything unholy in our homes. 
    • Do not let it decrease in our homes
  • Our common trial has potential to unite God’s children like never before.
    • Has the trial brought you closer to neighbors? 
  • The commitment to make home the primary sanctuary of faith should never end.
  • If you know of anyone who is alone, reach out — even if you feel alone, too! … 
    • Pandemic or not, each precious child of God needs to know that he or she is not alone!
  • Priesthood Quorums were canceled for some time.
  • How can we use our quorums to do God’s work?
  • We can accomplish so much more together than we can alone. 
    • God’s plan of happiness would be frustrated if His children remained isolated one from another
  • Expand your vision why we have quorum.
  • Quorums are in a unique position to accelerate Israel on both sides of the veil.
  • Whatever your priesthood office or calling, let God prevail in your commitment as a member of your quorum and in your service
  • We live in a time when all things are in commotion. 
    • Commotion will continue to increase, making the still voice of the spirit harder to hear
    • In order to hear the still voice, you must be still 
  • We may soon be able to fill our lives as the pandemic ends.
  • Even better is to have still-time. 
  • Quiet time is sacred time, time that will facilitate personal revelation and instill peace. 
    • Discipline yourself to have time alone with your loved ones
    • Take time to pray, immerse yourself in the scriptures and temple. 
  • Make your own list of learnings from the pandemic and share it with those you love. 
  • The future is bright for God’s people. 
    • God will increasingly rely on his priesthood
  • As faith and holiness decrease in this fallen world, our need for holy places will increase.  
    • We need to continue to make our home a truly holy place and be not moved from that essential goal.

 

Hymn: Hope of Israel – Hymn 259

 

Benediction: LeGrand Curtis Jr

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191st Annual General Conference * April 3 – 4, 2020

Saturday AM * Saturday PM * Saturday Evening * Sunday AM * Sunday PM

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THOUGHTS:

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