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191ST ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE * APRIL 4, 2021 | SUNDAY AFTERNOON SESSION NOTES

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

Sunday Afternoon Session

Hymn: Come Follow Me – Hymn 116

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

Hymn: Christ The Lord Is Risen Today – Hymn 200

Invocation: Elder Randy D. Funk – General Authority Seventy

Hymn: He Sent His Son – Children’s Songbook pg. 34

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

Defending Our Divinely Inspired Constitution

Major Themes: US Constitution; Government;

Stories: 

Scriptures: Article of Faith 12; Doctrine and Covenants 98:10

    • The US Constitution is divinely inspired and meant to benefit the entire world, not just the US.
    • A Constitution is the foundation of Government. 
      • It provides structure and limits for the exercise of Government powers. 
      • The United States Constitution is the Oldest Constitution still in force today
      • It gives maximum freedom so that we are accountable for our own sins. 
    • Our belief that the United States Constitution was divinely inspired does not mean that divine revelation dictated every word and phrase, such as the provisions allocating the number of representatives from each state or the minimum age of each
    • Every phrase in the constitution was not divinely inspired 
  • I think the first three article (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) was inspired by Isaiah 33:22 where God is King, Judge, and Lawmaker
  • Sovereign power in the people does not mean that mobs or other groups of people can intervene to intimidate or force government action
  • The Constitution established a constitutional democratic republic, where the people exercise their power through their elected representatives
  • We do see divine inspiration by the supreme court in interpreting the Constitution. 
  • There is divine inspiration in the vital purpose of the entire Constitution. We are to be governed by law and not be individuals, and our loyalty is to the Constitution and its principles and processes, not to any office holder
  • 5 divine principles in the US constitution 
    • 1. Sovereign power comes from the people 
    • 2. Division of power between nation and states
      • Some amendments that superseded this are still good
      • By design federal government power is limited. 
    • 3. Separation of powers between government branches 
    • 4. Guarantees of individual rights and government authority (e.g., bill rights) 
      • Without bill of rights, the US could not have been the host nation for the restoration of the gospel, which began just three decades later
        • I had never thought of that before! 
        • A concept supported by the Book of Mormon. 
      • 1st amendment freedom of speech, press, etc
    • 5. Purpose of the entire constitution
      • We are to be governed by laws and not individuals 
      • Principles block the autocratic ambitions that have plagued some countries, keep branches of government from exerting control over other branches
  • Despite divine inspiration, mortals have goofed stuff up.
    • Freedom of speech is compromised.   Eg. suppression of unpopular speech 
  • Stature of constitution is diminished by substituting current trends for the reason of the founding
  • The constitution should not be used as a loyalty test
  • The authority of the Constitution is trivialized when candidates ignore its principles
  • We have the responsibility to uphold and defend the Constitution. 
  • On contested issues, we should seek to moderate and unify
  • Advocate inspired principles 
    • We should seek and out support individuals that will support these principles. 
  • Despite the divinely inspired principles of the United States Constitution, when exercised by imperfect mortals their intended effects have not always been achieved
  • The dignity and force of the Constitution is reduced by those who refer to it like a loyalty test or a political slogan, instead of its lofty status as a source of authorization for and limits on government authority
  • Citizens don’t need to do everything 
  • No party, platform, or candidate will satisfy all individual preferences. This means that individuals can belong to a party without supporting all positions 
  • The stature of the Constitution is diminished by efforts to substitute current societal trends as the reason for its founding, instead of liberty and self-government
  • Faithful LDS can belong to any party. 
  • No political party, platform, or candidate can fulfill all we desire at any given time. 
    • We may need to adjust party or candidate choice from election to election
  • Refrain from judging members in political matters… They can choose any party they want to affiliate with.
  • Political beliefs should not be taught in any church meetings. 
  • The church may support/not support measures that affect religious freedom. 
  • Latter-day Saints must also learn and advocate the principles of the Constitution. 
    • We should seek out and support wise and good persons who will support those principles in their public actions 
    •  We should be knowledgeable citizens who are active in making our influence felt in civic affairs
  • Because of the many threats that undermine the principles of the Constitution, Latter-day Saints have a unique responsibility to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution by praying for the Lord to guide and bless all nations and their leaders.  
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will exercise its right to endorse or oppose specific legislative proposals that we believe will impact the free exercise of religion or the essential interests of church organizations
  • We have a duty as Latter Day Saints to uphold the constitution
  • We teach correct principles and leave our members to choose how to prioritize and apply those principles on the issues presented from time to time
  • We should never assert that a faithful Latter-day Saint cannot belong to a particular party or vote for a particular candidate
  • God has given His children moral agency—the power to decide and to act. 
    • The most desirable condition for the exercise of that agency is maximum freedom for a person to decide and act according to his or her individual choices
  • The dignity and force of the Constitution is reduced by those who refer to it like a loyalty test or a political slogan, instead of its lofty status as a source of authorization for and limits on government authority

Talk: Elder Ronald A. Rasband – Quorum of the Twelve

Behold! I Am a God of Miracles

Major Themes: Miracles 

Stories: 

Scriptures: 

  • I am God and I am a God of miracles
  • Have miracles ceased, Nay
  • Jesus Christ can calm the wind, can give sight, can heal, can tell a man to rise up and Come Follow Me.
  • Miracles are not coincidences or sheer luck.
  • Miracles, signs, and wonders abound among followers of Jesus Christ today
  • He who created the seas can calm them
  • Miracles are wrought by divine power…
  • The magnitude does not distinguish a miracle, only that it came from God
  • Face-2-face in Goshen, UT was originally planned for sacred grove but Covid… 
    • Power went out
    • Elder Rasband pleaded for a miracle.  It came. “We had experienced a miracle”
    • His prayer was supported by a similar prayer from Pres Nelson. 
    • One generator had to power the entire event, which required a miracle 
  • Many of you have witnessed miracles, more than you realize. 
    • They may seem small in comparison to Jesus raising the dead. 
    • But the magnitude does not distinguish a miracle, only that it came from God
  • Miracles are extensions of God’s eternal plan.
    • Miracles are a lifeline from heaven to earth
  • Miracles are worked through the power of faith.
  • Moroni: If there be no faith among the children of men, God can do no miracle among them
  • Miracles are not always what we ask for or what we expect. 
    • But they will always be what we need
  • “Miracles can come as answers to prayer. 
    • They are not always what we ask for or what we expect, but when we trust in the Lord, He will be there, and He will be right. 
    • He will suit the miracle to the moment we need it
  • The Lord performs miracles to remind us of His power, His love for us, His reach from the heavens to our mortal experience and His desire to teach of that which is of most worth
  • We need to look for heaven-sent miracles in our lives
  • Peace amidst confusion or sorrow is a miracle. … 
    • The miracle is that Jesus Christ, the Great Jehovah, the Son of the Highest, is responding with peace
  •  I humbly pray that you will feel the power of the Redeemer in your life. That your appeals to Heavenly Father will be answered with the love and commitment Jesus Christ demonstrated throughout His ministry
  • Looking at things through mortal eyes, we want the Lord to intervene to fix what is broken. 
    • Through faith the miracle will come, though not necessarily on our timetable or with the resolution we desired
  • Miracles will happen if they are God’s will 
  • Miracles are expressions of God’s limitless power and abound among followers of Jesus Christ today.
  • Miracles are worked through the power of faith and come as answers to prayers.
  • Miracles will come through faith, but not always with one’s desired resolution or timetable. Exercise faith in the Lord.
  • Miracles are worked through the power of faith.” 
    • They also come as answers to prayer.
  • Miracles don’t always come on one’s desired timetable or preferred resolution. 
    • Does that mean we are less than faithful or do not merit His intervention? 
      • No. 
    • We are beloved of the Lord.
  • Just as the Lord appeared to Mary in the garden calling her name, “He calls to us to exercise our faith.”
  •  Look for these heaven sent blessings in your life. 

Talk: Elder Timothy J. Dyches – General Authority Seventy

Light Cleaveth Unto Light

Major Themes:

Stories: Repelling into a cave 

Scriptures: Proverbs 3:5–6

  • Without warning, their lights went out. Without electricity, darkness was impenetrable. 
  • Decent into cave parallels mortality 
  • Christ’s light is equally vital as sunlight
  • Light cleaveth unto light.
    • Choices with the Holy Ghost will keep you in the light, choices without the Holy Ghost will lead to darkness.
  • As we intensify our faith in Christ, we receive light in intensifying measure until it dispels all darkness that might gather around us
  • Just as sunlight daily bathes the earth to renew and sustain life, you can daily brighten the light within you when you choose to follow Him, Jesus Christ
  • The Holy Ghost is the greatest source of light we receive.
  • Adding light in our own lives will also invite more spiritual sunlight into our soul.
  • Darkness can only be defeated with an increase of light from God.
  • Seasons of our lives can take us to places both unexpected and undesirable. 
    • If sin has led you there, pull back the curtain of darkness and begin now to humbly approach your Heavenly Father with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and repent
    • He will hear your earnest prayer. 
  • ‎Its inner light increases with its acts of kindness, love… and manifests itself with a happy face.
    • However, darkness appears when we are quick to anger or slow to forgive‎
  • The greatest source of light your Heavenly Father imparts to you in mortality comes through the Holy Ghost.
    •  His influence enlightens your mind and fills your soul with joy
  • A drop of sunshine is added every time you see God in prayer, study the scriptures to hear Him, act on guidance from living Prophets, and obey the commandments
  • You invite light into your life each time you repent. 
  • Trust the light… know it leads us to good places.
  • Jesus Christ is the everlasting light that still shines in the darkness. 
    • There is no darkness that can ever suppress, extinguish, overpower, or defeat that light 
  • “If we ‘let God prevail in our lives,’ the light of the Holy Ghost will reveal that there is purpose and meaning in our trials.”

 

Hymn: How Firm a Foundation – Hymn 85

  • October 2019

Talk: Elder D. Todd Christofferson – Quorum of the Twelve

Why the Covenant Path?

Major Themes: Covenant path

Stories: News story about baptisms for the dead; Mary and John – role as parents 

Scriptures: N/A

    • Living commandments day by day is the surest way to happiness 
    • Tennis analogy: Are we avoiding unforced errors?
      • Self discipline and service. 
    • ‘I may not have always walked the strait and narrow but I tried to cross it as often as I can’ – J. Golden Kimball 
  • First reference in a long time in GC to Elder Kimball!
  • I have heard of President Spencer Kimball, but not Elder Kimball
  • Covenant consistent path versus Covenant path.
  • The covenants God offers to His children do more than guide us. 
    • They bind us to Him, and bound to Him we can overcome all things
    • Covenant path includes devine help. 
    • We feel accountable to God.   
    • We take upon us His name and take upon us His character. 
  • With God next door, we can overcome all things‎
  • What is the covenant path?
    • It is the one path that leads to the Celestial Kingdom of God
    • We embark upon the path at the gate of baptism, and then ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ
    • Path extends beyond mortality.
    • Too often our challenges are self inflicted.
    • Obedience is fundamental to walking the covenant path.
    • Covenants are at the root of all blessings.
  • In the course of the covenant path (which extends beyond mortality), one receives all the ordinances and covenants pertaining to salvation and exaltation
  • Following the principles and commandments of the gospel of Jesus Christ day by day is the happiest and most satisfying course in life
  • When we are diligently pursuing the covenant path, we quite naturally avoid many unforced errors
  • We solemnly commit to live by every word that proceeds forth from the mouth of God
  • We must be accountable for our actions and avoid mistakes
  • With covenants, obedience to Gospel principles becomes rooted in our very soul
  • Baptism is incredibly personal
  • Can’t do baptisms for the dead by baptising a roll of microfilm
    • Would ignore the infinite worth of each soul and the critical importance of making a personal covenant with God
    • The Church isn’t always efficient, but the Lord makes sure each soul matters.
  • Those pursuing the covenant path find singular blessings in various divinely appointed gatherings
  • The object in gathering God’s people in any age of the earth has been to build a House of the Lord
  • “It is only in pursuing the covenant path that we inherit the blessings of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the ultimate blessings of salvation and exaltation that only God can give.”
  • 2) Another unique aspect of the covenant path is our relationship with Deity. 
    • The covenants God offers to His children do more than guide us. 
    • They bind us to Him
  • 3) The gift of the Holy Ghost is a key blessing of following the covenant path. 
    • The path also brings blessings of forgiveness and cleansing from sin.
  • 4) Pursuing the covenant path also requires gathering with other Latter-day Saints — including gatherings at the temple.
    • Covenant gathering renews us spiritual as well as physically
    • We can gather at the temple
    • Purpose of gathering was to build his house (temple)
    • We receive the ultimate blessings of exaltation. 
  • Invitation: Let us stay on the covenant path. 

Talk: Elder Alan R. Walker – General Authority Seventy

The Gospel Light of Truth and Love

Major Themes: Temple ordinances

Stories: N/A

Scriptures: N/A

    • Pre-recorded
  • Bio — from Argentina and was serving as a gospel doctrine teacher when called at age 48.
  • Hark, all ye nations
    • 1. Hark, all ye nations! Hear heaven’s voice
    • Thru ev’ry land that all may rejoice!
    • Angels of glory shout the refrain:
    • Truth is restored again!
      2. Searching in darkness, nations have wept;
    • Watching for dawn, their vigil they’ve kept.
    • All now rejoice; the long night is o’er.
    • Truth is on earth once more!
  • God’s work moving forward at an unprecedented pace is not the same as growth in membership 
  • Sacred ordinances and covenants that bind us to God and set us on the covenant path clearly manifest the power of godliness
  • As we participate in these sacred ordinances for the living and dead, we gather Israel on both sides of the veil and prepare the Earth for the Second Coming of the Savior
  • ‎Thanks to the beginning of the Restoration underway just over 200 years ago, the light of the gospel of truth and love now shines brightly throughout the earth
  • ‎The sacred ordinances and covenants that bind us together with God and place us on the path of covenants clearly manifest the power of piety‎
  • Since the Restoration of the gospel that started just over 200 years ago, the “gospel light of truth and love” has spread across the Earth. 
    • The ongoing Restoration includes the building of temples at an increasing pace to help “gather Israel on both sides of the veil.”
  • ‎As we participate in sacred ordinances for the living and the dead, we gather Israel on both sides of the veil and prepare the earth for the Savior’s Second Coming‎
  • As we gather on both sides of the veil, as we make sacrifices to serve and make the temple pivotal in our lives, the Lord is truly building us — He is building His covenant people
  • May we be willing and decide today to engage ourselves and our families in hearing heaven’s voice, even the voice of the Savior 
  • The Restoration of the gospel — bringing the “gospel light of truth and love” to the world — has been ongoing for just more than 200 years.  
  • There is joy in making covenants in the temple and sealing families together. 
  • Through serving and making covenants in the temple, we are gathering Israel and the Lord is building His covenant people
  • Invitation: May we be willing to hear heaven’s voice for ourselves and for our families

Talk: Elder David A. Bednar – Quorum of the Twelve

The Principles of My Gospel

Major Themes: Teaching; principles of righteousness. 

Stories: 

Scriptures: D&C 89 Section Heading; D&C 89:1 

  • Elder John Taylor opening France for the church in 1851
    • Asked Joseph Smith, how he could oversee so many people.
    • Joseph Smith: I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves
  • Elders, priests, teachers shall teach the principles of my gospel.
  • Principles derive from broader gospel truths
    • They provide direction and standards
  • First four Article of Faith
    • Faith
    • Repentance
    • Baptism
    • Gift of the Holy Ghost
  • Look beyond or personal perceptions
  • Section 89:  a principle with a promise
  • Provide guidelines for both physical and spiritual well being
  • President Oaks described the principle of non distraction. 
    • An aaronic priesthood holder should never want anything that would distract from his priesthood
      • President Oaks did not provide a list of exact behaviors since circumstances in a world-wide church are so varied. If people know the principle and underlying reasons, they can figure out their own behaviors.
  • April 2015 Conference: President Nelson 
    • My behavior constituted a sign 
    • Sabbath is a delight. List of things to do and not to do on the Sabbath distract from the Sabbath itself. Ask yourself, what sign do I want to give to God? 
    • That question makes the choices of what to do on the Sabbath crystal clear.
  • Learning, understanding, and living gospel principles strengthen our faith in the Savior, deepen our devotion to Him, and invite a multitude of blessings and spiritual gifts into our lives
  • Oct 2020 Conference: President Nelson.  Principle based questions that serve as guides and standards
    • This is a marvelous example of letting principle guide our life. 
    • Are you willing to let God prevail in your life? 
    • Are you willing to let God be the most important influence?
    • Consider how such willingness could bless you. If you are unmarried and seeking an eternal companion, your desire to be “of Israel” will help you decide whom to date and how.
    • If you are married to a companion who has broken his or her covenants, your willingness to let God prevail in your life will allow your covenants with God to remain intact. The Savior will heal your broken heart. The heavens will open as you seek to know how to move forward. You do not need to wander or wonder.
  • Stated succinctly, a gospel principle is a doctrinally based guideline for the righteous exercise of moral agency
  • Principles of righteousness also help us to look beyond our personal preferences and self-centered desires by providing the precious perspective of eternal truth
  • Notice how many crucial decisions and life experiences can be influenced by the principle of being willing to let God prevail
  • Gospel principles are to me and you what a helm is for a ship
  • The conference edition of the Liahona should sit next to your standard works and be referred to frequently. 
  • Learn, live, and love principles of righteousness
  • A gospel principle is a doctrinally based guideline for the righteous exercise of moral agency.
  • Gospel principles help strengthen faith in the Savior, deepen devotion to HIm and invite a multitude of blessings and spiritual gifts.
  • Principles taught in general conference should be used to govern one’s life according to testified truths.
  • We have been blessed abundantly in this general conference to learn about eternal principles from the Lord’s authorized servants. Now, our individual responsibility is to govern ourselves according to the truths of which they have testified.
  • I invite all of us to learn, live and love principles of righteousness. 
    • Only gospel truths can enable us to ‘cheerfully do all things that lie in our power’ to press forward on the covenant path and to ‘see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.’

Talk: President Russell M. Nelson – President of the Church

COVID-19 and Temples

Major Themes: Temples

Stories: N/A

Scriptures: N/A

    • Decision to close all temples was difficult but necessary. 
      • Gradual reopenings are occuring cautiously through revelation 
        • Phase 1: Sealings of living who were already sealed
        • Phase 2: Living ordinances and proxy baptisms 
        • Phase 3: Scheduled appointments for living and deceased ancestors 
        • Phase 4: Return to full Temple activity. 
      • Temples will be reopened when local government regulations allow it. 
        • Do all you can do bring Covid numbers down in your area so your temple opportunities can increase
        • Meanwhile stay true to your temple covenants
    • 41 temples currently under construction or renovation. 
      • 21 new temples had ground breakings last year. 
    • Temples announced (20 new temples) 
      • Oslo, Norway
      • Brussels, Belgium
      • Vienna, Austria
      • Kumasi, Ghana
      • Beira, Mozambique
      • Cape Town, South Africa
      • Singapore, Republic of Singapore
      • Belo Horizonte, Brazil
      • Cali, Colombia
      • Querétaro, México
      • Torreón, México
      • Helena, Montana
      • Casper, Wyoming
      • Grand Junction, Colorado
      • Farmington, New Mexico
      • Burley, Idaho
      • Eugene, Oregon
      • Elko, Nevada
      • Yorba Linda, California
      • Smithfield, Utah
  • Fingers crossed for another Cache County temple before the Logan temple begins refurbishment.  Yahoo. Saved the best for last. 🙂
    • Ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength available in no other way
    • With courage, let us all press on in the glorious work of the Lord
    • Stay true to one’s temple covenants and blessings.
    • Temples are a vital part of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness.  
      • Ordinances of the temple fill our lives with power and strength—available in no other way.  
      • We thank God for those blessings
  • From NC — See you all in six months!!! 
  • Don’t heed what the wicked say. Obey the Lord.

 

Hymn: Let Us All Press On – Hymn 243

  • April 2018

 

Benediction: Sister Sharon Eubank – First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency 

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191st Annual General Conference * April 3 – 4, 2021

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

Listen/Watch/Read

 

THOUGHTS:

  • I think this is the second time I heard President Oaks speak of the Constitution! 
  • I think it was last conference
  • I know he spoke on it during the last conference. I was saying that I think this is the second time I heard him talk on it..
  • YOWIE WOWIE! 20 new temples announced!
    • Lots of Europe and smaller US areas 
  • How long does it normally take from announcement to opening? 
    • Looks like 1 year to groundbreaking is low end, 2 years looks typical. Building takes up to 2 years. 
  •  

 

TO-DOs:

  •  

 


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