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Just one Guy's personal blog of thoughts & sense--common, non, and otherwise--of the world in which we live.

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Location: Nipomo, Central Coast, California, United States

I also blog over at Nipomo News, Messenger and Advocate and Bloggernacle Times

Sunday, October 02, 2005

General Conference Sunday Morning Session

No, I'm not going to try and repeat a live blog of this morning's session, which has now begun--though my retention level of Saturday afternoon's session was higher than normal. I may post a few thoughts as the sesssion goes on, but not like yesterday. Based just on the choir selections this morning, (Joseph's First Prayer, and A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief--two excellent selections) it appears this morning's session may have some Joseph Smith talks. I would very much enjoy that, as we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 175th anniversary of the Church he restored.

President Monson 9:18 a.m. Yes. President Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency begins the conference with a talk on the Prophet Joseph (Millions shall know Brother Joseph again). Since I've been asked to speak on this subject in December in our own ward, these talks will be a great resource for me. He begins with the story of Joseph's leg operation, and his courage that he exemplified.

President Monson appears to be giving a good history of the Prophet's life, including the First Vision, and now into the translation of the Book of Mormon. "I am going like a Lamb to the slaughter . . ." as Joseph went off with his brother to meet his fate at Carthage Jail.

Though the Prophet was murdered by mobs seeking to destroy his work, that work continues to this very day. And, millions proclaim him a Prophet of God, as indeed millions know him again.

Section 135 of the Doctine of Covenents quoted about Joseph doing more than Christ only to save mankind. Fine closing for this talk.

9:35 a.m. Elder Boyd K. Packer, moves away from the specific theme of Joseph's life, but still remains on theme by discussing the Scriptures, including those we have as a direct result of Joseph's works. Today opposition is not so much directed to the Church as a body, but to us as individuals. The scriptures teach us that if we are prepared we shall not fear. This is also clearly set forth in the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared! Any correlation here between scouting and our young men's program---absolutely!

Good discussion of the compiliation of the LDS publication of the Scriptures, including the current indexes, dictionaries, and cross references. Good point about the use of modern technology and computers involved in the compliation of these modern scriptures. The most comprehensive scriptural compilation of the name Jesus Christ can be found in the Topical Guide of the LDS publication of the Scriptures. We are encouraged to read and study it.

The scriptural cannon is not closed, as the revelation of the Blacks and the Priesthood was also added to this publication. We beleive all that God does reveal, and all that He has revealed, and that He will yet reveal. Continuting revelation a critical topic, and foundational principle of Christ's Church. While the Church is housed in chapels, it lives in the hearts of Latter-day Saints. Nice quote by Elder Packer.

9:50 a.m. Merrill J. Bateman Quorum of the Seventy Discusses the parable of the wicked husbandman. Still there is a discernable Joseph Smith theme to the conference. Here, Elder Batement discusses the apostacy after Christ's death, and then the Restoration, by the Prophet Joseph. The Savior in the last dispensation will gather together all things. The restitution of all things began in the Sacred Grove. Again, specific reference to Joseph's mission.

He's now discussing how at each dispensation there is a Book involved. Of course in this last dispensation that is the Book of Mormon, which discusses Christ's Atonement more clearly than any book in history. This is clearly the case, as we read about Christ and his Atonement throughout the Book of Mormon. And, we read about the Atonement more clearly in the Book of Mormon than anywhere else. Good points all by Elder Bateman. Good discussion about Christ's Atonement and the Restoration by Elder Bateman

10:00 a.m. Choir and Congregation sing Sweet is the Work. Well, it's half time folks....the equivalent of the Seventh inning stretch at the Dodger game. Wow, that was a quick stretch--not a very long hymn.

10:02 a.m. Cheryl C. Lant General Primary President. She starts off speaking about reading the Book of Mormon again per President Hinckley's challenge. I'm remiss here, and confess I haven't yet taken up that challenge. Since so many are discussing this at conference, then I realize I need to get up to speed. There's still time to read and complete the Book of Mormon by the end of the year; however, combining that with the Prophet Joseph's new biography, that will be a tall order---well at least a great deal of reading, no doubt! Good empahsis on reading scriptures with the family.

10:11 a.m. Richard Scott, Quorum of the Twelve Deteriorating world conditions prompt people to seek out God's guidance and assistance. Elder Scott returns to the plan of salvation discussion and how we came to earth as part of a plan to test us. Part of the plan was to remove our recollection of our prior existence before this life. He also points out the opportunities lost by those rejected Christ's pre-mortal plan of salvation. They were cast out with Satan and deprived of a great learning experience and the opportunity for mortality.

How can we confirm these truths? How does God guide his children on earth? Prophets taught truths in their respective dispensations. Christ came and established his Church with apostles and prophets. He was crucified, over came physical death and was Resurrected. Yet, even Christ was rejected by the vast majority. Hence, the great spiritual darkness of the apostacy occurred.

Now back to the Joseph Smith theme, Elder Scott points out that God the Father, in His only appearance ever to mortals was to the Prophet Joseph, along with His Son Jesus Christ. This appearance dispursed the long spiritual darkness of apostacy, and commenced the Restoration. This initiated the dispensation of the fullness of times.

The Book of Mormon confirms the Restoration. Much of the Prophet Joseph's ministry focused on Christ and His Atonement and mission. Elder Scott has a distinct delivery--one has to learn to appreciate his delivery. I recall him from my mission days in South America when he came and spoke to us, year and years ago. Again the Book of Mormon challenge discussed. There's still time to take up this challenge and complete the reading. So, I'm again reminded of this important task.

10:26 a.m. Choir again sings The Seer

10:30 a.m. President Gordon B. Hinckley is the concluding speaker for this session. He is grateful for his extended life and the ability to serve. He travels a great deal, though observes he doesn't really like to travel. I don't travel much personally; however, I expect travelling as much as President Hinckley does probably gets old pretty quickly. So many hotel beds would not be something to look forward to I suppose.

He points out the prodigal son story, and encourages us to re-read that story, and he does in his talk. Sermon on the Mount also revisted, turn the other cheek, and give up your coat as well as cloak. Go not only one mile, but twain. Love our enemies and bless those who curse you. Strong words as the Prophet points out. And he asks, do we think we can really follow this injunction? Yet, he points out they are Christ's words, and we must decide whether we can, or will.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Woman where are thine accusers? A great review of some of the greatest verses of scripture--yet most difficult of concepts for those of us in mortality.

The use of frozen in fowel in the commision of a crime....great line by the prophet, and it got laughs as well . . . .but a great story as well about the individual who was a vicitm of crime, who actually forgave her assailant. These are hard words, and even harder concepts he is teaching. Forgivness, love and tolerance all tied into Christ's Atonement, His suffering, His promise of Salvation, Resurrection, and possible Exaltation.

We can all be a little more tolerant, walk an additional mile, lay aside old grudges, and move on.

Another very good conference session.

10:50 a.m. Choir concludes with two more Joseph Smith hymns, one my favorite, Praise to the Man.

Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus annointed that Prophet and Seer,
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere

Praise to his memory, he died as a martyr;
Honored and blest be his ever great name!
Long shall his blood, which was shed by assasins,
Plead unto heav'n while the earth lauds his fame

Great is his glory and endless his priesthood.
Ever and ever the keys he will hold.
Faithful and true, he will enter his kingdom,
Crowned in the midst of the prophets of old.

Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven;
Earth must atone for the blood of that man.
Wake up the world for the conflict of justice.
Millions shall know Brother Joseph again!

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven.
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again!



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