GCBC Week 6: “Counsel to Youth” by President Boyd K. Packer

I was surprised that I hadn’t heard anything about this week’s talk yet until I checked this morning and realized that I never actually pushed the publish button yesterday. Sorry about that. I guess I had just saved the draft.

So we all know, of course, that counsel to “youth” is chock-full of counsel to the not-so-young, too, right?  I mean, what’s good for the gosling is good for the goose.  So I loved listening to this with two sets of ears:  one as an adult that can benefit from this counsel in my own life, and another as a parent who will play a hands-on role in raising the next generation.  Both sets of ears learned some really important lessons.  I’m excited to study it more in depth throughout this week.

Counsel to Youth  by President Boyd K. Packer

“I say again that youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit.”

Your general conference book club participation so far has been phenomenal, so thank you.  I love reading and sharing your comments.  What lessons did your ears learn from this talk this time around?  Please share your insights in the comment thread below.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

I found this in my inbox this morning.  More counsel to youth from Pres. Packer just last night.  Check it out if you have the time.

GCBC Week 5: “Doing the Right Thing…” by Elder José L. Alonso



What I remember the most from this talk was the story about losing their son in Mexico City.  I’ve lost my son Clark before at Disney World, the Minnesota Zoo, and Mall of America, so I could understand their panic, and their desperate reliance on prayer.  This is a great talk to go back and read again. What most stood out to me was the concept of acting quickly to do what we know we should do.  I also was struck by the importance of reaching out to others in rescue.

Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time, without Delay by Elder José L. Alonso

“I know that our Heavenly Father is loving, understanding, and patient. His Son, Jesus Christ, likewise loves us. They render help to us through Their prophets. I have learned that there is great safety in following the prophets. “The rescue” is still going on. President Monson said: ‘The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.’”

What stood out to you in this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

GCBC Week 4: “The Time Shall Come” by Elder L. Whitney Clayton


On a few occasions, I have served in callings in the church where I worked closely with committees.  Sometimes I have been frustrated about how inefficient and misguided some of the planning seems to be.  One time I got a little fed up (admittedly in a self-righteous way, which I’ve since tried to repent of) and took my concerns to the Lord.  I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants one day and I read some passages that humbled me and gave me new insight.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s, not mine.  And if He trusts regular, flawed people to do His work, I should too.  And even though this sounds a little tongue-in-cheek, I also realized how TRUE the church is, and must be, if it continues to roll forth and fulfill prophecy despite the foibles of its human workers.  For this reason, I really loved this talk by Elder Clayton.  It reminded and reinforced that lesson I learned:  The Church is true.  It will continue to flourish and grow and prosper, and no human hand– either inside or outside of the church– can keep it from fulfilling its destiny.

The Time Shall Come by Elder L. Whitney Clayton

“This work of the Lord is indeed great and marvelous, but it moves forward essentially unnoticed by many of mankind’s political, cultural, and academic leaders. It progresses one heart and one family at a time, silently and unobtrusively, its sacred message blessing people everywhere.”

What did you like or learn from this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

GCBC Week 3: “Personal Revelation and Testimony” by Sister Barbara Thompson

In April 2011, Sister Julie Beck said, “The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”  This is a theme that Sister Barbara Thompson builds upon in her talk.

Personal Revelation and Testimony by Sister Barbara Thompson

I really enjoyed going back and reading her talk; I found it deeper than I had remembered it.  I liked her emphasis that revelation can come in many different ways and really depends upon our willingness to recieve it and live worthy of it.  I also loved this important reminder after the story about the WWII sister whose “testimony kept [her]”:

“Because we have a strong testimony doesn’t mean it will always remain that way. We must nourish and strengthen it in order that it will have sufficient power to sustain us.”

What are your thoughts after studying this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want more information about how it works, go here.  And then join us.

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GCBC Week 15: “The Spirit of Revelation” by Elder David A. Bednar

One of the things I love about Elder Bednar is how he takes gospel principles and breaks them down into really digestible steps or categories.  This approach makes the application of those principles seem much more manageable or understandable.  He’s a great teacher that way.  In this particular talk, he analyzes the nuances of receiving revelation through the Holy Ghost.

“The Spirit of Revelation” by Elder David A. Bednar

Some of my favorite quotes were these:

“These tools of the adversary can impair and eventually destroy our capacity to recognize and respond to the subtle messages from God delivered by the power of His Spirit. Each of us should consider seriously and ponder prayerfully how we can reject the devil’s enticements and righteously “apply unto it,” even the spirit of revelation, in our personal lives and families.”

“We frequently may press forward hoping and praying—but without absolute assurance—that we are acting in accordance with God’s will. But as we honor our covenants and keep the commandments, as we strive ever more consistently to do good and to become better, we can walk with the confidence that God will guide our steps.”

What parts of his message stood out most to you?  Did he help you better understand your own experiences with revelation?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.  If this is your first visit to GCBC, visit here to learn more about it and join the fun.

ROLL CALL:  We’re a little more than halfway through all the talks since April’s general conference.  It’s typical that by now, some of our participants and comments are starting to dwindle off.  It’s a busy time of year and easy to lose momentum.  I’m curious to know who is still “playing along” in GCBC, even if you’re not commenting.  If you’re still reading the talks with us, say hi in the comments just so we can all get a better sense of GCBC community.  And if you haven’t been and want to start now, or recommit, this is your chance, too.  The more, the merrier.

GCBC Week 18: Two Lines of Communication

Holy cow.  Has it really been 18 weeks since General Conference?  Crazy.

This talk is a talk I’m excited to go back and read because (for me) it was a tiny bit difficult to follow while listening to it.  I’m just looking forward to studying it on paper so I categorize the different points.

“Two Lines of Communication”
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Of the Quorum of the Twelve

What did you learn and/or understand better from this talk?  What did you feel like it encouraged you to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

(If this is your first time to General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it.)

GCBC Week 16: The Holy Ghost–Receiving Revelation

This week we are studying two really great talks. Elder Jensen and Elder Bednar both spoke about the Holy Ghost and I thought it might be really insightful to study them together.

The Holy Ghost and Revelation
Elder Jay E. Jensen
Of the Presidency of the Seventy

Receive the Holy Ghost
David A. Bednar
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

How about you? What are your favorite moments or quotes from these talks?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied it?  And, most importantly, what did it make you feel or want to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

(If this is your first time to General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it.)