General Conference Book Club Week 21: Elder Oaks

(Countdown to General Conference:  5 weeks!  Yay.)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks spoke during the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference.  His talk was called Love and Law.” Elder Oaks was a lawyer by profession and eventually a Supreme Court Judge at the state level.  His entire career was dependent upon the understanding of and the application of law.

Although I had been taught about the Atonement my entire life, and had even served a mission and taught Gospel Doctrine in several wards, I did not realize that I grossly misunderstood the role of the Atonement until I attended a seminar in which the teacher carefully laid out the delicate balance between justice and mercy.  As I begin to understand the demands of each, and the urgent need for a perfect mediator, the Atonement came into focus for me.  The Atonement of Jesus Christ answers the demands of law and satisfies the requests of mercy.  In this talk by Elder Oaks, he outlines how important the role of law is in the gospel of Jesus Christ and how His love gives us access to mercy at a cost far less than its real worth.

The love of God does not supersede His laws and His commandments, and the effect of God’s laws and commandments does not diminish the purpose and effect of His love.

You can read the talk here, or watch it here, or listen to it here.  I invite you to study the talk with me and share what you learn about law and love and justice and mercy and you.  Elder Oaks declares that these principles can guide us in the teaching of our children;  What helpful patterns do you see that you can apply as a parent?

(If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book club, click here to learn more.)

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5 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 21: Elder Oaks

  1. Does reading this count as going to church? I hope so because I didn’t go today, but it was just stake conference and just so early and I was just so tired and… I know I should have gone.

  2. I like how he laid out this talk and made the comparisons to parenting. Justice and mercy make a lot more sense to me when I think of it in terms of raising my children. I love my children completely, but that love doesn’t preclude me from imposing consequences for bad choices. Parents who try to prevent any disappointment or difficulty from coming near their children aren’t doing them any favors. In order to grow and mature, they have to learn for themselves to make good choices and how to overcome difficulties. Heavenly Father is going through a similar struggle to what we are. It is hard to watch his children making bad choices or struggling, but he lets us do it (all the while offering his support and comfort if we’re open to receive it) because he loves us.

  3. I loved this talk! What a great reminder of what parenting really is. I love my children in spite to the choices that they make, but that establishing consequences for those choices is my responsibility as a parent and that not delivering the consequences doesn’t help them become responsible members in the family. Thanks for the great talk.

  4. I really like this talk. I love the quote from Elder Nelson that says true love does not support self-destructive behavior. So many families are affected by wayward children (like Noah, Lehi and even God) and we are foolish if we think we never will be. I love the doctrines of the gospel that teach us that the greatest protection of our families comes through careful obedience and keeping our covenants. Real love has high expectations.

  5. I think I’m going to have to read this talk about 50 more times to understand everything. Drawing the line in the right spot as a parent is so hard, and my kids are still little.

    I enjoyed reading about the love of God and the effect on us though.

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