GCBC Week 4: Follow the Prophet

“Obedience to the Prophets”
Elder Claudio R. M. Costa
Of the Presidency of the Seventy
Saturday morning session

and

“Our Very Survival
Elder Kevin R. Duncan
Of the Seventy
Saturday afternoon session

 

It was interesting that both of these speakers based their talks on this same talk by President Ezra Taft Benson:  Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet

I thought it would be appropriate to study both of their talks together this week and take an up-close look at the importance of placing our trust in the Lord by heeding the words of his servants.  President Henry B. Eyring said the following specifically about listening to the messages we hear at General Conference:

“There seems to be no end to the Savior’s desire to lead us to safety. And there is constancy in the way He shows us the path. … Those means always include sending the message by the mouths of His prophets whenever people have qualified to have the prophets of God among them. Those authorized servants are always charged with warning the people, telling them the way to safety…

“In our own time, we have been warned with counsel of where to find safety from sin and from sorrow. One of the keys to recognizing those warnings is that they are repeated.

“One of the ways we may know that the warning is from the Lord is that the law of witnesses, authorized witnesses, has been invoked. When the words of prophets seem repetitive, that should rivet our attention…”  — Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, 24

So, since this message was repeated so obviously in these two talks, and then also mentioned in several other talks during general conference, it certainly begs our careful attention.

“This world is full of so many self-help books, so many self-proclaimed experts, so many theorists, educators, and philosophers who have advice and counsel to give on any and all subjects. With technology today, information on a myriad of subjects is available with the click of a keystroke. It is easy to get caught in the trap of looking to the “arm of flesh” for advice on everything from how to raise children to how to find happiness. While some information has merit, as members of the Church we have access to the source of pure truth, even God Himself. We would do well to search out answers to our problems and questions by investigating what the Lord has revealed through His prophets.”  — Elder Duncan

“We are privileged to have the words of our living prophets, seers, and revelators during this wonderful general conference. They will speak the will of the Lord for us, His people. They will transmit the word of God and His counsel to us. Pay attention and follow their instruction and suggestions, and I testify to you that your life will be completely blessed.”  — Elder Costa

What rivets your attention in these talks?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied them?  What do you think is the warning associated with this repeated message?  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, and then join us.

GCBC Week 10: When the Lord Commands

General Conference Book Club Week 10:


“When the Lord Commands” by Elder Bruce A. Carlson

First, a little congratulations to all of you who commented on last week’s General Conference post:

1. Jessica,

2. Kristen M. and…

(crickets chirping)

Huh, I guess that’s it.  Thanks, Jessica and Kristen.  Now for the rest of you, get your GCBC pants back on and join us!  Because we miss you.

We live in a society of convenience, sometimes called entitlement.  “If you don’t feel like it, don’t do it.  It’s your choice.” I’ve written before about the danger in treating obedience like a buffet– we can’t just pick and choose the commandments we like the most and expect to receive a fullness of blessings.  Elder Carlson teaches in this talk that :

Faithful obedience, regardless of the apparent size of the task, will bring the Lord’s guidance, assistance, and peace.

He outlines the reasons we often use to release ourselves from the obligations of our covenants and points out the folly in our excuses.  Simply put, he testifies that to access the blessings, we must obey.  Period.  It’s a refreshing reminder of a basic gospel principle and a stern warning against lame excuses.  What do you like about this talk?

Go here to find the media versions of the talk (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn more about it.

General Conference Book Club Week 3: Elder Christofferson

I chose Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk, “Moral Discipline,” this week because it has been on my mind the last few days.  I don’t know if you saw this recent devotional by Elder Oaks, but I’ve been thinking a lot about how our society honors wickedness and belittles efforts for righteousness.  Morality is the new minority.

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“Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard.”

“Societies will struggle in vain to establish the common good until sin is denounced as sin…”

“Moral discipline is learned at home.”

“At a minimum, moral discipline will be of immense help to us as we deal with whatever stresses and challenges may come in a disintegrating society.”

Elder Christofferson’s talk was delivered during the Sunday afternoon session of conference.  You can read it here, or watch it here or listen to it here.

I’ve considered this message in context of Elder Bednar’s talk and our call to be people of integrity who live what we know, and I realize that the missing piece for me (in most cases) is discipline.  I look forward to studying Elder Christofferson’s talk this week and reading more of your insights and applications.

If this is your first stop at our book club, click here for more information.  And welcome.

(In other news, today is the last day to vote for the lullaby contest winner.)

“I can’t help you if you don’t listen.”

DSCF0006Natalie is a squirmer, and she likes to exert her independence, so everyday when I try to get her dressed, or change her diaper or put on her pajamas, a small battle ensues.  I ask her to come here, and she scampers across the room.  I tell her to lie down, and she wiggles and flops around and giggles.  I tell her to put her arm in her sleeve, and she thinks it’s funny to roll from side to side.  It’s exasperating.  And it gets old fast.  I find myself saying things like this all the time:

“Natalie, I can not help you if you won’t listen.”

“If you’re not obedient, I can’t get you ready.”

“Do you want me to leave and come back and help you when you’re ready?”

The irony of this whole thing is not lost on me.  It makes me think about how much Heavenly Father probably wants to help us, and how it might be so simple to receive that help if we just listened and obeyed.  I can’t help but wonder how often I’m running around doing “my own thing” instead of paying attention to what he’s asking me to, and therefore, missing out of the help I need to do what it is I should do that day.  Spiritually speaking, I need to listen, come when He calls, lay still and let him dress me.

“There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, uponpredicated— And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” which all blessings are   (D&C 130: 20-21)

“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82: 10)