I just got done watching the Saturday Morning Session of General Conferences and here are my thoughts:
Jeffrey R. Holland:
Pretty amazing. Usually you expect a really powerful talk from him, but this one was a little more sentimental. He talked about all the great service that happens in the church, how many people do service for you that you never even acknowledge. My parents, I realize, have done so much for me and I have not even begun to return my thanks and gratitude. I resolve to be more loving and appreciative of my parents, as well as others who do service for me.
Kids are so important, and it's our job to take care of him. I think people often forget just how much of an example we set for our children. I like the imagery Sister Dixon used when she described how we need to put our hands over the children's hands on the iron rod so we can travel down the straight and narrow path together. I don't have kids, but I have suddenly been inspired to teach the children of my present and future life through example and support.
Claudio R.M. Costa:
Brother Costa talked about something I learned last year in my Book of Mormon Class: the 14 Fundamentals of following a prophet. I tend to assume that I follow the prophet as much as I need and that there is no room for improvement. This is NOT true. I have only done a minimal amount of work when it comes to service, love, and keeping the commandments. All of these were emphasized by President Monson last conference. I pledge to do more than before when it comes to following the prophet's counsel that he will give this conference.
David M. McConkie:
This talk really hit me because I want to be a teacher someday. This guy really helped me understand that I, as a teacher, am very responsible for how much my students learn. It's all about ATTITUDE. I really liked the quote: "A Teacher's attitude is not taught, it's caught." In regards to the gospel, it is important to love what you teach and to live what you teach. Only then can you truly influence others' lives for good. I pledge to keep this in mind whenever I have a teaching opportunity, both in the church and in my work.
D. Todd Christopherson:
A consecrated life. This was a talk that covered a TON of material in only a few short words. But the main thing I took away from this talk was the importance of work and the power of integrity. I have learned that hard work -- like the work I do now -- brings your life purpose and helps you grow. As I labor in the job I have now and in the career I have in the future, I plege that I will keep this love of work that I feel today in mind, even though it may be tiresome and not as pleasant as I would want it to be. And when I have leisure time, I will try to use it to uplift my life and bring me closer to God. As for integrity, I pledge to not let Satan tell me that integrity is "passe" or "naiive." Following the commandments is never too old.
Dieter F. Uchdorf:
This was just what I needed to hear. I make life sooooo COMPLICATED, but I fail to see the simple truths and the simple things I need to do to be truly happy. Perhaps this is why I've been so down all the time. But I need to learn how to sacrifice some good things for some better things. A kid can understand that, but I can't! I need to not be distracted by the crap that's out there that makes my life really much more complicated than it should be. I need to get off the computer, quit watching the tube, quit doing nothing. I pledge to simplify my life by searching for the things that are really much more important.
Elder Quentin L. Cook:
He gave me a bit of a reality check. I need to remember that there are some things, especially in the media, that don't bring me toward Christ. It's hard to completely avoid that stuff, but I have been reminded of Elder Cook that it can be done. I pledge to do better on monitoring the things I watch, read, and listen to, and immersing myself in uplifting media material that will help me feel the spirit.
More about the fourteen fundamentals of following the prophets! It's kinda scary how some of these talks coincide with one another. I wonder if they plan that. Apparently it's something we really need to know. It makes me excited to hear what President Monson will say next. I will repeat the pledge I made before: I pledge to do more than before when it comes to followi.ng the prophet's counsel that he will give this conference.
This was such an inspiring talk. It made me really want to have an eternal family. I suddenly had this resurging feeling of connection with my ancestors and the future connection I will have with my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren. I want to find a spouse who can help me keep that chain of eternity alive. We are all trying to get home to heaven. That's an eternal perspective. I pledge to be worthy to enter into the temple and be sealed to my future spouse and children forever.
Neil L. Andersen:
This one hit home for me. I often find myself wondering, "Why should I believe this Mormon stuff? It all seems a little extreme, doesn't it?" Well Elder Andersen reminded me. Those two words, "offended" and "ashamed." I think those words come up all the time in my life. I think "fear" is my problem. I often fear so much about what other people think, that I forget that I need to be focusing on the tree of life, not the great and spacious building. I pledge to care more about what God thinks of me than others.
Richard G. Scott:
Faith, faith, faith. I'm hearing a lot about it this session. I'm hearing also about integrity and strong character. This talk is all about our attitude, our mindset. It's about the types of decisions we make as a whole, not really individual choices. This makes it harder for me to follow, because I'm a slothful, unwise servant who must be commanded in all things. But I will try. I love the quote, "We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become." I pledge to activate this quote in my life by considering how my character is affected with each choice I make.