General Conference Scripture Mastery, October 2013

GCSM

Well, we have some new scriptures to study.

Really. Remember general conference? (Wasn’t it so great???) The talks are all available for study now. You can find them here. President Howard W. Hunter said this about general conference:

“Much inspired counsel by prophets, seers, revelators, and other General Authorities of the Church is given during general conference. Our modern-day prophets have encouraged us to make the reading of the conference editions of our Church magazines an important and regular part of our personal study. Thus, general conference becomes, in a sense, a supplement to or an extension of the Doctrine and Covenants. In addition to the conference issues of the Church magazines, the First Presidency writes monthly articles that contain inspired counsel for our welfare” (The Teachings of Howard W. Hunter, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1997], 212; emphasis added).

Oh, and President Joseph Fielding Smith said this:

When one of the brethren stands before a congregation of the people today, and the inspiration of the Lord is upon him, he speaks that which the Lord would have him speak. It is just as much scripture as anything you will find written in any of these records, and yet we call these the standard works of the Church. We depend, of course, upon the guidance of the brethren who are entitled to inspiration.

Elder Richard G. Scott has talked a lot about the importance of memorizing scriptures. Here’s one of my recent favorites:

If you young people would review a verse of scripture as often as some of you send text messages, you could soon have hundreds of passages of scripture memorized. Those passages would prove to be a powerful source of inspiration and guidance by the Holy Ghost in times of need.

So in light of all this new scripture a.k.a. general conference and “let’s memorize more scriptures” business, I put together some scripture mastery of simple and powerful statements that we’re going to try and study in my family over the next six months. Did you ever notice before that there are always just about the exact number of talks from the four general sessions of general conference that if you study one talk a week, you’ll finish up right in time for the next general conference?  I love that. So here are some quotes from each talk. I chose one to memorize with my kids each week. (Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I think the effort is worthy.)

Elder Robert D. Hales If you will listen [to general conference,] you will feel the Spirit well up within you. The Lord will tell you what He wants you to do with your life.
Elder Ulisses Soares Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike… Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness
Sister Carole M. Stephens We all need each other. Sons of God need daughters of God, and daughters of God need sons of God.
Elder Edward Dube In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been but much more where we are willing to go.
Elder David A. Bednar Spiritual and temporal blessings come into our lives as we live the law of tithing.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the …gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
President Boyd K. Packer The scriptures hold the keys to spiritual protection. They contain the doctrine and laws and ordinances that will bring each child of God to a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson It is your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father, who is the source of your moral power, that you must always put first in your life.
Elder S. Gifford Nielsen We each must develop and carry out our own personal game plan to serve with enthusiasm alongside the full-time missionaries.
Elder Arnulfo Valenzuela Let us reach out to others with faith and with love.
Elder Timothy J. Dyches As we repent and become converted to the Lord, we become whole, and our guilt is swept away.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland Never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend.
Elder M. Russell Ballard It is impossible for us to fail when we do our best when we are on the Lord’s errand.
President Henry B. Eyring The miracle of becoming one requires the help of heaven, and it takes time.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks We must not set our hearts so much on the things of the world and aspire to the honors of men that we stop trying to achieve our eternal destiny.
Sister Bonnie Oscarson True conversion occurs as you continue to act upon the doctrines you know are true and keep the commandments, day after day, month after month.
Elder Richard J. Maynes We need to study and learn the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then we must do our very best to live them.
Elder Richard G. Scott Remember, repentance is not punishment. It is the hope-filled path to a more glorious future.
President Thomas S. Monson We learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass.
Elder Quentin L. Cook We must always remember that we do not save ourselves. We are liberated by the love, grace, and atoning sacrifice of the Savior.
Elder Neil L. Andersen The priesthood is the power and authority of God given for the salvation and blessing of all—men, women, and children.
Brother David M. McConkie Our first and foremost responsibility is to live so that we can have the Holy Ghost as our guide and companion.
Elder Kevin S. Hamilton As we continually hold fast to the rod by keeping our covenants, we will be strengthened to resist the temptations and perils of the world.
Elder Adrian Ochoa If you ever come across anything that causes you to question your testimony of the gospel, I plead with you to look up. … Let us cherish and strengthen our testimonies every day.
Elder Terence Vinson The Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him.
Elder Russell M. Nelson True change—permanent change—can come only through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Here is a link to download the document if you want to print it out or tweak it: General Conference Scripture Mastery Oct13

I focused on quotes with principles that I thought were meaningful and age-appropriate for my children.

And here is a .pdf you can print out with each quote on one page that you can hang up by your dinner table or in your kids’ rooms or wherever:  Quotes from conference  We like to practice repeating ours at morning and dinner prayers.

So if you’re like me, and are already feeling a little bit of general conference withdrawal, this is one way to keep the messages alive in your heart and home until the next conference rolls around. Enjoy.

Quotes and Happenings from BYU Women’s Conference Day 2

Day two is over and I’m ready for a good night’s sleep. There were some great classes and talks today and I learned a lot. I also met some really wonderful people. One of the highlights of my day was meeting Annie Henrie, the artist whose work is on the cover of my book, and being able to tell her how much I love her work and how honored I feel to have my work connected to hers. I’m pretty sure we’re BFFs now.  Here are the tweets from today’s lessons, again in reverse chronological order. (And you can still click on the links to see photos, etc.)

Tweets

  1. Amen! I bear my testimony that God LOVES His daughters. #holyghostsaysso #byuwc #finaltweet

  2. Blessing from Pres. Eyring: You will feel by the Spirit his appreciation for your faithful service as His friend. #byuwc

  3. Can I leave “a glorious spiritual heritage” like John Taylor did? Am I a defender of the prophet? #thoughtsinspiredbyEyring #byuwc

  4. The gift if the HolyGhost in action= the gift he gives all His friends who are offering sanctification. #Eyring #byuwc

  5. The Lord’s power is greater than all the forces that that oppose His faithful servants. #Eyring #byuwc

  6. The Lord protects, guides, and watches over those who are His trusted friends. #Eyring #byuwc

  7. The friend of God is one for whom the Savior died. #Eyring #bookofjohn #byuwc

  8. There are physical and spiritual dangers for us and those we love. We will need divine protection. #presEyring #byuwc

  9. Gathering at the feet of a living prophet, seer, revelator. Waiting to hear Pres. Eyring. #thegospelisrestored #byuwc pic.twitter.com/hy4ybSO3Hy    View photo

  10. Singing all the longest hymns we know while Pres. Eyring is stuck in traffic. #waitingontheLord #byuwc pic.twitter.com/W6Krv1W55H   View photo

  11. Just because I can’t do it today doesn’t mean I can’t do it someday. #carlahansen #byuwc

  12. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time to plant a tree is today. # chineseproverb # carlahansen #byuwc

  13. The Lord needs healthy servants. He needs us to run and not be weary. #carlahansen #byuwc

  14. Count your blessings, not your blemishes. #katiedavis #byuwc

  15. You are worth more than a number on a scale. Your weight is not what defines you. #katiedavis #byuwc

  16. If you have a relationship you want to improve, try taking them for a walk. #katiedavis #byuwc

  17. D&C 59:19 Food enlivens the soul. Food is not the enemy. #katiedavis #byuwc

  18. Men can learn. Men can be taught. They don’t learn from criticism. They learn from a constant, elevating vision. #brosandberg #byuwc

  19. Making love begins in the kitchen. (Do the dishes.) #sandbergs #byuwc

  20. When we nurture love and friendship and marriage, we create a safe haven and a secure base. #sandbergs #byuwc

  21. “Pray for the love which allows you to see the good in your companion.” #eldernelson #sandbergs #byuwc

  22. When we love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, it’s manifest in the choices we make. #michelleking #byuwc

  23. In marriage, we have to avoid negativity just like we avoid pornography. #paraphrased #sandbergs #byuwc

  24. Charity is a state of becoming. It is a way of life that takes a lifetime to achieve. #michelleking #byuwc

  25. We become better and not bitter as we humble ourselves. #michelleking #byuwc

  26. “The most common problem in marriage is DRIFT. Life will do that to you if you are not intentional.” #sandbergs #byuwc

  27. “If you want something to last forever, you treat it different.” #elderhoward #sandbergs #byuwc

    NEXT WEEK, I’LL TRY TO TAKE THE TIME TO WRITE UP MY NOTES MORE THOROUGHLY AND SHARE THE MESSAGES FROM THE CLASSES I ATTENDED.  SO, HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND, BUT STAY TUNED….

     

 

General Conference Mastery

Remember how in seminary we would memorize 25 key scriptures for each year of study? Well, Elder Holland gave the following testimony about the role of modern revelation:

God continues to speak His word and reveal His truth, revelations which mandate an open canon of scripture.

So I got to thinking. I want to memorize some of the key phrases and principles that were taught at general conference. Elder Richard G. Scott taught once that:

… memorizing scriptures is like filling a filing cabinet with friends, values, and truths that can be called upon anytime, anywhere in the world.

I want that for me. I want that for my children. Since I’m going to study one general conference talk a week until the next conference, I thought that I could use that opportunity to help my family memorize some phrases from living prophets and apostles. I am going to print out a brief phrase from each talk on the week I study that talk. I will hang it by our kitchen table and we will all say it out loud before family prayer and before each meal prayer. Hopefully we can memorize it by the end of the week.

conference mastery

I went through each talk and picked out a key phrase from that talk that I thought would be easy for my family to memorize, but still packed a powerful doctrinal punch.  I’ll paste them below in case it’s something you’d like to use as well.

Here is an excel file download of the quotes: Conference Mastery

Week Speaker Quote
14-Apr-13 President Boyd K. Packer We are free to choose what we will and to pick and choose our acts, but we are not free to choose the consequences.
21-Apr-13 Bishop Dean M. Davies Let us accept the Savior’s invitation to come unto Him. Let us build our lives upon a safe and a sure foundation.
28-Apr-13 Elaine S. Dalton We are each unique and different in our circumstances and experiences. And yet our part matters—because we matter.
5-May-13 Elder Craig A. Cardon Remember and believe the words of the Lord and […] exercise faith in Him unto repentance. He loves you. He wants to forgive.
12-May-13 Elder M. Russell Ballard The power of the priesthood is a sacred and essential gift of God.
19-May-13 President Henry B. Eyring We are under covenant both to lift up those in need and to be witnesses of the Savior as long as we live.
26-May-13 Elder Richard G. Scott The ideal place for […] peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.
2-Jun-13 Elder Quentin L. Cook We earnestly hope and pray for universal peace, but it is as individuals and families that we achieve the kind of peace that is the promised reward of righteousness.
9-Jun-13 Elder Stanley G. Ellis Our Heavenly Father knows us, loves us, and wants to help. He knows best how to help. We are not spiritual orphans!
16-Jun-13 Elder John B. Dickson Heavenly Father loves all of His children, […] Jesus is the Christ, and […] the gospel is available to all, both the living and the dead.
23-Jun-13 Elder David A. Bednar Obedience to the law of chastity will increase our happiness in mortality and make possible our progress in eternity.
30-Jun-13 Elder Russell M. Nelson Now is your time to prepare to teach others about the goodness of God.
7-Jul-13 President Dieter F. Uchtdorf God promises the hope of His light—He promises to illuminate the way before us and show us the way out of darkness.
14-Jul-13 Elder Neil L. Andersen We are witnessing the miracles of the Lord as His gospel is spreading across the world.
21-Jul-13 Rosemary M. Wixom Why not choose a time each day to disconnect from technology and reconnect with each other? Simply turn everything off.
28-Jul-13 Elder L. Whitney Clayton Marriage is a gift from God to us; the quality of our marriages is a gift from us to Him.
4-Aug-13 Elder L. Tom Perry [Heavenly Father’s] commandments are the road map He has given us to return to Him, which is the only way we will be eternally happy.
11-Aug-13 President Thomas S. Monson A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God.
18-Aug-13 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.
25-Aug-13 Elder Dallin H. Oaks As Jesus taught, those who love Him will keep His commandments. They will be obedient.
1-Sep-13 Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. The Father and the Son are distinctly separate beings, but They are perfectly united and one in power and purpose.
8-Sep-13 Elder Enrique R. Falabella Home [is] the place that can become a piece of heaven here on earth.
15-Sep-13 Elder Erich W. Kopischke Seeking and receiving acceptance from [Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ] will always lift and encourage us.
22-Sep-13 Elder Bruce D. Porter We need not fear the future, nor falter in hope and good cheer, because God is with us.
29-Sep-13 Elder D. Todd Christofferson The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ.

The full text of all the talks can be found by clicking here. General Conference makes me happy. Good luck filling that filing cabinet in your mind full of friends.

Here is an excel file download of the quotes: Conference Mastery

Why I still love Neal A. Maxwell

As a young single adult, I was a spiritual admirer of Elder Neal A. Maxwell.  I loved the way he used words to create images and analogies that helped me better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ.  He died the day that Clark was born.  I like to think they gave each other a hug somewhere in the “wormhole” between here and the spirit world.  Now that I am a mother and (maybe) a little bit wiser, I love him even more.

“Occasionally some individuals let the seeming ordinariness of life dampen their spirits. Though actually coping and growning, others lack the quiet, inner-soul satisfaction that can steady them, and are experiencing instead, a lingering sense that there is something more important they should be doing . . .as if what is quietly achieved in righteous individual living or in parenthood are not sufficiently spectacular.”

“If we spent as much time lifting our children as we do criticizing them, how effectively we could help them to see themselves in a more positive light!”

“Some mothers in today’s world feel “cumbered” by home duties and are thus attracted by other more “romantic” challenges. Such women could make the same error of perspective that Martha made. The woman, for instance, who deserts the cradle in order to help defend civilization against the barbarians may well later meet, among the barbarians, her own neglected child.”

“God’s extraordinary work is most often done by ordinary people in the seeming obscurity of a home and family.”

“One’s life … cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free…Therefore, how can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say, ‘Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain, not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken. Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell with Thee and fully share Thy joy!’ …Real faith … is required to endure this necessary but painful developmental process.”

“When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this.”

“Obviously, family values mirror our personal priorities. Given the gravity of current conditions, would parents be willing to give up just one outside thing, giving that time and talent instead to the family? Parents and grandparents, please scrutinize your schedules and priorities in order to ensure that life’s prime relationships get more prime time! Even consecrated and devoted Brigham Young was once told by the Lord, “Take especial care of your family” (D&C 126:3). Sometimes, it is the most conscientious who need this message the most!”

“We salute you, sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby’s first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child’s first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms.”

And finally, this was my favorite quote that I printed out and carried in my planner for almost the entire decade of my 20s.  It still rings true today:

“Throughout scripture we encounter the need for us to remember that the Lord has His own timetable for unfolding things; it will not always accord with our schedules or our wants. When, in our extremities, we urgently call for a divine response, there may be, instead, a divine delay. This is not because God, at the moment, is inattentive or loves us less than perfectly. Rather, it is because we are being asked, at the moment, to endure more for the welfare of our souls. The blessed meek understand that God loves them even when they may not be able to explain the meaning of what is happening to them or around them.”

What a great man.