Saturday, April 12, 2014

Reviewing General Conference

We are now a week removed from the 184th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am sure that most of the Saints are on a spiritual high after hearing their leaders speak, but more importantly I hope they really understand how groundbreaking of a conference this was.

In what might be his last conference address, an apostle testified openly that he has seen the Lord Jesus Christ. That does not happen often, if in fact ever. The most recent time prior to President Boyd K. Packer's open disclosure was Elder Bruce R. McConkie's testimony in April of 1985. That was nearly 30 years ago. Treasure the opportunity you had to hear that witness, you might not hear it again.

Also groundbreaking was the talk by Sister Linda S. Reeves on the topic of pornography. This is a topic that is raised every conference, but usually it is by one of the brethren, and usually it occurs during the priesthood session. For a woman to talk as candidly about this subject as she did surely stirred many of the hearts and souls of men ensnared by this poisonous, toxic stuff. This was an address that will be remembered for decades to come, and I am grateful that I personally know such a powerful, inspired woman.

Not that all of conference was remarkable. We continue to talk about rather basic stuff and talk about things that mainstream Christianity covers every day of the year. Honestly, we do not need anymore talks about homosexuality; the entire world has known for many years what the church stance on this subject is. General Conference is a time to teach the doctrine of the kingdom, lets focus on the things that separate us rather than what unites us with mainstream Christianity. Conference is a great missionary tool, and that tool is wasted when all you say is "We are just like you."

To end on a positive note, as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated in the first address of conference, in coming days we are going to have to stand up more for our beliefs. I wholeheartedly agree with him. Let's prepare for that time now by studying deeply the doctrine of the Gospel and the history of the church. It is not enough to merely go through the primary lessons, we must did deep for the mysteries as Alma counseled.


  1. I have reviewed both the talks you have referred to and find no mention of a claim of seeing the Lord. Can you please point this out to me?

    What I do see is two men who are claiming that they have as sure a witness as someone who has, which I think is as presumptuous as a blind man supposing he has just as plain an idea as the color red as someone with sight.

    As a pre-empt, I remind you that President Packer previously discussed that when he was called to the 12, he was shocked to hear that his witness, which was based on the Holy Ghost and not sight, was sufficient to qualify him to be an apostle, as he had always previously assumed one had to have a visual witness of Christ as the scriptures and Oliver Cowdery's original charge indicate.

  2. I concur with Rob. I got not such "witness" from Elder Packer's talk about meeting Christ. Elder Christofferson came closer to saying he has seen him. But, even then, he didn't. I wrote about it here:

    Careful! Writing these words (in part) got me excommunicated!