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Ten Things of Thankful: General Conference Edition

Twice a year, in April and October, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gather together across the world to watch General Conference. I always look forward to conference weekend: the words of counsel given, the beautiful music performed, and the spirit felt. General Conference this year fell on Easter weekend, which enhanced both. It also happened to be the first General Conference since the passing of President Thomas S. Monson and the first with President Russell M. Nelson as prophet.

As if that wasn't enough, last weekend's General Conference brought plenty of changes and announcements which sent ripples of excitement--and even applause, in some cases (which is practically unheard of in Mormon meetings!)--throughout the church. 

For this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, come with me as I revisit some of the highlights of General Conference:

1. I'm thankful for Easter Sunday and the happy hope it offers to everyone.




2. I'm thankful that God has established a pattern of speaking to prophets throughout history. (This video clip is not from last weekend's conference, but it illustrates my point.)



3. I'm thankful for the new prophet, Russell M. Nelson. In one of his addresses last weekend, he mentioned that when he was young, his parents did not attend church and did not follow some of the teachings that generally are associated with Mormon teachings (such as abstaining from alcohol.) Russell M. Nelson did enjoy going to church, though. In his words: 
As I came to understand the Word of Wisdom, I wanted my parents to live that law. So, one day when I was very young, I went to our basement and smashed on the concrete floor every bottle of liquor! I expected my father to punish me, but he never said a word.
I'm thankful for a bottle-smashing boy who grew up to be a heart surgeon and later, a prophet--who still skis at age 93! 

4. I'm thankful for apostles. Robert D. Hales passed away between conference sessions in October 2017. His death, combined with Russell M. Nelson becoming the prophet, left two vacancies in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Those vacancies were filled last weekend with the calling of Elder Gerrit W. Gong and Elder Ulisses Soares. It is exciting to see more diversity introduced into that quorum, as Elder Gong is of Asian descent, and Elder Soares is from Brazil. 

5. I'm thankful for organizational changes in the church. One of those changes announced last weekend was a restructuring of priesthood quorums. To provide a little background, our Sunday services are three hours long. The first hour is sacrament meeting, our worship service. The second hour is Sunday School, and our third hour the men and women meet separately in priesthood quorums and Relief Society. Relief Society always benefited from the diversity of age and experience, as women met all together, but the priesthood was divided by quorum. By combining the High Priests and Elders together, the priesthood can now be more like the women, enjoying the contributions of all ages and stages of life. 



6. I'm thankful for additional organizational changes in the church, which allow us to better meet the needs of the members. I must admit, when it was first announced, "We have made the decision to retire home teaching and visiting teaching," I was waiting for "April Fool's!" I do believe, however, that this new ministering program is a natural outgrowth of what the visiting teaching program was meant to be. 


 

After President Nelson announced the retirement of home and visiting teaching, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland voiced the opinion of everyone in the first forty seconds of this next clip:




7. I'm thankful that the changes didn't stop there, though, and that President Nelson announced seven new temples will be built. (This is the clip where you can hear actual applause.)




Having temples announced for India and Russia, where no LDS temples currently are, was especially exciting. 


8. I'm thankful for the music of conference. Not only did we hear from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, other choirs, such as the one here made up of young adults, provided beautiful music.



9. I'm thankful for the messages of conference, which remind me of what is truly important. This talk, "Pure Love: The True Sign of Every True Disciple of Jesus Christ" really sums it up. We need to love God, and love each other. 




10. As always, I'm thankful for John. We enjoyed watching General Conference together, as we always do, and we enjoy re-visiting the talks, as we read them together after they are published


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What are you thankful for this week? 

Comments

  1. Most exciting and wonderful conference for a long time!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is refreshing to witness change that causes people to feel its an improvement (as opposed to the all-too-familiar, 'but thats the way it's always been done') and to draw energy from it. Especially in the current day and age when change seems to be only to undermine, not improve.
    I did listen to the beginning of the vid of your Elder Jeffrey R Holland. Excellent! (I am a total fan of deadpan... he does it to maximum effect), clearly a man who not only appreciates the scope of the changes but, more importantly (imo), knows how others feel in the face of such significant changes.
    Good TToT post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elder Holland is a gifted speaker, equally skilled with humor and serious topics. He served as president of BYU when I was a student, and I had the privilege of being in a class he taught. I always look forward to his conference talks!

      Delete
  3. Wonderful list of thankfuls. I hope you have a nice week.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love how you did your TTOT summing up conference. I started my day by reading your blog post and listening to all these excerpts of the talks. I enjoyed them as much as I did when I first heard them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always enjoy revisiting General Conference talks.

      Delete
  5. I am listening to the Choir as I type this comment. I can tell the conference and was exciting and meaningful for you. It was especially interesting to the changes being made to the men's groups. I think women have always shared and benefited from one another's thoughts and experiences. Growing and sharing together is a beautiful thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the changes will really be a benefit to everyone.

      Delete
  6. I always find choirs fascinating things, how so many individual voices come together to create something wonderful and powerful.

    :-)

    Lovely.

    ReplyDelete

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