Highlights from General Conference, April 2010

This was kind of a rough General Conference for me — because of the little one — but it was still inspiring as always. Dominant themes included the Resurrection of Christ, teaching children the gospel, and having hope and faith in the midst of turmoil and adversity.

Because this post is late and synthesis requires more effort than chronology, I’m just going to list the Top 10 “moments” that stood out to me (in chronological order), and include some of my own thoughts:

1. Elder Bednar distinguished “things that act” from “things that are acted upon.” (And kudos for the gentle rebuke on “pre-packed, purchased, and downloaded family home evenings.”) There seemed to be a sub-text of creation vs. consumption in this last part of Bednar’s talk. Rather than passively consume information and resources, we need to actively create what is most important for our families.

2. Once again, Elder Holland delivered a masterful and emotional sermon, tackling pornography in a way that perhaps no other authority has before. My favorite part is when he encouraged those who struggle with pornography or lustful addictions to remember the face of a mother, wife, or child.

3. In the priesthood session, Elder Oaks gave a nice overview of healing through priesthood blessings. Much was familiar, but it was interesting how he said that the words of the blessing, after the anointing and sealing — though often important — are not essential. Even where the giver of the blessing speaks amiss or struggles with uncertainty, the proper blessing will  be given according to the faith of those involved and the will of the Lord. It sounds like he emphasized this to encourage priesthood holders who are afraid they don’t know what to say.

4. The funniest moment of the conference, for me, was in Elder Rasband’s priesthood talk. (Sorry sisters, but the funniest moments are almost always in priesthood sessions. President Monson ear wiggling–need I say more?) Rasband recounted his experience of “assisting” Elder Eyring with calling  missionaries. A couple times, Eyring would ask Rasband where he thought the elder should go. Rasband would fumble a best guess, to which Eyring would reply tersely, “No, that’s not it.” It was pretty funny the way Rasband said it.  (On the last call of the day, Rasband said he knew with a certainty where the elder would go–and he was right.)

5. I was moved, as I often am, by President Eyring’s talks. In his priesthood talk, he spoke of the importance of pressing on when you feel you deserve a rest and that as we do so, Christ can change our hearts to want what He wants.

6. President Monson said that the Priesthood session was one of the finest priesthood meetings he has ever attended. Plus an amusing story about a “trained toe expert.” (For those who weren’t there, you need to watch this talk to fully appreciate it.)

7. Everybody loves President Uchtdorf. The German rock star of General Conference. “You are my hands.” “Canned food Mormons.” He never disappoints.

8. Amen, Elder Cook, about the need for civil discourse. How we disagree is a measure of who we are. An important lesson, for me most of all.

9. President Monson: “At the last moment, the Master could have turned back. But He did not.” This talk brought tears, and then ended with God’s promise to wipe away tears from our eyes.

10. Thank you, Elder Nelson, for talking about the New Family Search. I’ve found that many members have no idea what it is. This talk gives validation, I think, to the Church being ready to roll out with this new platform on a wide scale. It’s exciting to think about a family tree for the entire world, to be made worthy of all acceptation by the Lord.

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