Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Welcome to Conference", Pres. Monson, Oct. 2014

Find this talk here.
  • We come from all over
  • The leaders who will speak have sought inspiration
    • I'm sure they have. We once lived in the same ward as Elaine Jack, who described to me something about what it was like to prepare a talk for General Conference. She was a thoughtful woman who took her responsibility seriously, and I'm quite confident the rest of them do the same
  • The church has been doing these conferences a long time
  • We're building temples
    • I'd like to study the history of the modern temple, sometime. In Kirtland, Far West, and Nauvoo, I know we built, or tried to build, temples in response to specific, canonized revelation, but what about the rest of them? Is there a revelation somewhere that says we should keep building them? Have the temples been ratified by the Church's vote?
  • It's interesting that the focus this time around would be to complete temples already in progress, and that we don't get the usual announcement of new temples. This seemed like a temporary plan when Pres. Monson said it, and indeed two more temples were announced in the conference after this one.
  • Where in the scriptures does it say that missionary work is a "priesthood duty"?
    • Lots of the D&C talks about duties, but outside of section 20, it's directed to specific individuals or presidents of specific groups. The "Go ye into all the world" commandment (Mark 16:15) was made to the apostles, and repeated to the apostles specifically in D&C 84:62.
    • Section 20 gives the duties of elders, priests, teachers, deacons, and members, which where the original offices in the church. Of those, all but the members have the duty to preach and teach. The modern concept of offices within the priesthood didn't develop until later.
      • When Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received the Aaronic priesthood in May 1829, they were told they'd be given the Melchisidek Priesthood "in due time", and known as the first and second elders of the church. We typically say they received that priesthood in 1836, with the events of section 110, but our history doesn't actually make clear when they received that priesthood. They were known as the first and second elder long before 1836, at least as early as 1830 when the church was established.
  • "As we listen, may our hearts be touched and our faith 
    • The word of God is supposed to increase our faith (Romans 10:16 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.")
      • That's an interesting verse. I'd say "hearing" in that use means "understanding", not just "listening to" the word of God.

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