General Conference Book Club Week 9: Elder Perry

05_06_perryThis post will be brief and boring, but the GCBC talk for this week is

by Elder L. Tom Perry
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

For more info on how the General Conference Book Club works, go here.

And I never got around to making my comments for last week, but I read it, and you should read all the great comments that people have left on previous GCBC posts.  You continue to amaze me with your insights.

I’m frantically getting it together; I leave *early* in the morning for EFY.  See you in a few days.


11 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 9: Elder Perry

  1. This is one of those talks that makes me feel guilty. I have a son in the mission field and have been relying on him to do all the work. I really need to step it up! I cant wait to serve a mission with my husband in about 10 years but I guess I need to fill my time doing what Elder Perry counsels me to do. Thanks Stephanie for choosing this talk and Ihope all goes well at EFY!

  2. Have fun at EFY. My daughter just got home, and described it in her testimony in church yesterday as “life changing”. You’re doing a good thing,here…

  3. I’m way too tired. I read the first line as “This will be a brief and boring GCBC talk…” and wondered why you chose it if you thought it was boring. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but will comment when I do.

  4. I think Steph meant her INTRODUCTION to the talk would be brief and boring (because she’s crazy-busy getting off to EFY). 🙂 But I’m sure she’ll be amused to read this when she gets back… 🙂

  5. Okay. I groaned inwardly when I read what the talk was for this week. Is that bad? Is it bad that I also hoped that it was given during the priesthood session? Nope. Darn.

    Whenever someone starts talking about missionary work, I experience two conflicting things. The first is this: I knocked on door for 8 hours a day, literally, EIGHT HOURS A DAY, for over 6 months. We had no one to teach. No members had us over to eat. It was gut wrenching work. Part of me thinks I’ve done my part, and it surely isn’t my turn again.
    The second is this: the sound of someone being baptized. I love that sound. I have been blessed to hear it a few times. A couple of those times was for dear friends that I had grown to love that I was able to share the gospel with not as a missionary, but as a friend.

    So. I read and listened to Elder Perry’s talk, with those two conflicting things in my mind and in my heart. The thing that really got me? This phrase:
    “We’re missing a golden opportunity…”

    Everything else in the talk centered in and focused, for me, on that phrase. If I choose not to participate in spreading the gospel, I am missing a golden opportunity. God will do His work. It will get done. But it’s up to me if I want to be part of it. It’s up to me to open my mouth (three times) and offer this knowledge that I have to people around me. If I don’t, I am hurting myself far more than their rejection ever could.

    That’s what I learned this week. Thanks, Stephanie.

  6. Becca, you crack me up. Isn’t it funny how we peg ourselves for a guilt complex before we even hear/read the message?

    I’m going to cheat in my comments a little because I’m combining my reactions to this talk with summary from Elder Perry’s talk at Women’s Conference because it was pretty much the same topic. (I think he’s got a bee in his bonnet about missionary work, but since he’s an apostle and all, he’s allowed to get worked up about a topic. Elder Eyring taught that when prophets and apostles repeat a message/theme, it should rivet our attention.)

    1. “I would like to focus on three objectives for members of the Church found in the Doctrine and Covenants. Each of these encourages us not to be missing in action when friends, neighbors, and family members need our help. This should include those who have fallen away, the less active.” Notice he doesn’t say when they want to learn about the church, just when they need our help. It reconfirmed to me that we are really involved in a huge friendshipping effort and that we simply need to be more service-oriented and less self-consumed.

    2. He talks about surveys and what he’s learned about misconceptions about the church. At W.Conf., he said we need to do a MUCH better job of helping people to know at least these simple facts about Mormons: A) We follow Jesus Christ, and B) we are the reestablished original Christian Church. I thought to myself, “you know, it would not be hard for me to work that into more conversations. The church comes up a lot because I’m always involved in activities, etc.. Why can’t I just say, ‘Do you know much about Mormons by the way? Can I just tell you two things?’ and then state those facts with no expectation of further conversation about it.” My guess is people are probably more interested/curious than we think and might ask questions. If not, at least we might clear up some super common misconceptions.

    3. A phrase that stuck out to me was “with great earnestness.” I think I’m sometimes conveniently blind to the urgency of sharing our message, and therefore don’t have as much zeal as I should. I know how much the restored gospel of Jesus Christ blesses MY life, but perhaps I don’t fully understand how much the message is NEEDED by others.

    4. That whole part at the end about “how great will be your joy” got me thinking. It’s true, you know. I truly would be overjoyed if I were to see a dear friend or family accept the gospel message. I wonder why I don’t do more to achieve that kind of joy. I wonder what I’m afraid of. For some reason I thought of that one quote by Nelson Mandela about how we don’t fear that we are powerless but we fear that we are great/powerful. I can’t articulate the connection, but I feel like I should embrace the power that I have to bless others with something so wonderful that could mutually bring us great joy.

    5. (I should have just turned this comment into a post.) Here are ten things that Elder Perry said at W.C. that we should do to help the Church in its efforts to close the gap between how we see ourselves and how the world sees us:
    1. Listen. Ask neighbors about their beliefs.
    2. Know the Doctrine. 1. Restoration, 2. Plan of Salvation, 3. Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel
    3. Live the Standards.
    4. Be exemplary citizens.
    5. Be good neighbors.
    6. Open your mouths.
    7. Extend Invitations.
    8. Use technology.
    9. Be bold, but not overbearing.
    10. Our love for the Savior must be illuminated to others.

    I’ll shut up now, but I commit to do better at this. I can. I’m just lazy.

    • Oooooh…I love that list of 10 things, especially the first one: LISTEN. I am really interested in other people’s beliefs–why is it that I assume that aren’t the least bit interested in mine??? Good, good thoughts, Steph.

  7. I haven’t read this talk yet, but we had a sacrament meeting about missionary work a few weeks ago. One of the speakers said there are 5 things we should OPEN: our scriptures, our doors (to our neighbors AND the missionaries), our hearts, our mouths…. and darn, I can’t remember the 5th one… I’m sure it’s something obvious… I’ll write again if I think of it.

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