Usually I quickly jot down my notes from general conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But this time I’d like to share my notes in a format that is approachable to those with different beliefs. I think that will be good for others to understand a bit more about beliefs of a member of the Church of Jesus Christ; also probably good for me.
- Service invites the companionship of the Holy Ghost. That is one reason it blesses both the giver and receiver of service.
- Sharing the gospel can feel unnatural at first. But as you treasure up the gospels teachings, it will become natural. It will be unnatural to not share it.
- Elder Holland describes a mother arriving at church in “Marvellous disarray” as a good thing (ie, just arriving is an accomplishment). But otherwise, we should arrive early and give reverence to the sacrament we are about to participate in. He said sometimes people’s “oxes are in the mire” on Sundays and so arrive late for the sacrament. But if “oxes are always in the mire”, they may want to sell the ox, or fill the mire. Because taking the sacrament deserves our respect and punctuality.
- It’s important to know the “play book” of how to act: what to do when invited to an inappropriate movie, are feeling down, or invited to a party on a Sunday. Because in the moment it’s hard. (For us: the answers to those situations are probably: “is it PG or G? Ok”; “reimmerse yourself in the scriptures and serve others”; and “does it help bring you or others closer to Heavenly Father or your family? If so, go. If not, that’s probably for other days.”)
- Church leaders are called by revelation from God, but they are still human. They can and probably will make mistakes. But it is God’s plan that they be there, with all their virtues, personality, and maybe faults. It will take faith to sustain them (that is, to follow their counsel, and help them). But it is God’s responsibility to condemn them if they err, and that of their leaders to correct them, but not ours. If we are critical of “the Lord’s anointed,” it will be hard to keep the Holy Ghost with us.
- How do I label myself? By my family, occupation, nationality? Elder Oaks points out the most important one is the title “Child of God” (just like all of human-kind). Maybe I should update my Twitter profile?? “Child of God (like you), husband of Amanda, son of Colin and Chantal, WordPress Developer with Event Espresso…”
- Does everyone need to repent? Yes, says President Nelson: we should all seek to improve. Daily, regularly.
- Some men are more obsessed with sports and games than they are with their wife’s well-being. That’s certainly not my problem; but for me it could be hobby projects and video games. That’s something for me to improve.
- We don’t earn blessings, but we do need to qualify for them. We do need to act, but our act is minuscule compared to the blessing received. It’s like us striking a match, and God provides the wood to make a great fire.
- Many of us feel we don’t fit into the Church. But Jesus was always reaching out to outsiders: lepers, tax collectors, harlots, etc. Church members should be doing likewise.
- Church members invite others to join us, but remain friends with those who do not accept. It is not our place to judge, much less to disobey Jesus’ instruction to “love our neighbor as ourselves.”
- The principles of what goes on in the temple is actually something that should be discussed, see this church website for info and videos.
- It is natural to doubt God is real if you haven’t had any experiences with God. So if you want to know He is real, start having experiences with Him: begin to learn his teachings, apply them, pray to Him and ask Him to help you know He is real.
You can see the actual conference transcripts here.