This talk was given 33 years ago. It is to me, an amazing testimony of vision for things to come. Now after 33 years we have the benefit of hindsight and it is undeniable that Elder McConkie was not prophetic in his declaration of the world we would live in today. I do find it interesting that those that fight against the church and Christianity in general, fulfill prophecy as they fight.
Brothers and Sisters, The other night I had the great opportunity to be taught by a noble and righteous soul in the battle for our salvation. My wife and her sister who have some idea, as to the internal war that has been raging within me for the last year, told me we were going. They told me that the seminar was on body language, and I am thinking, I am a salesman I already know a fair amount about non verbal communication. To my surprise, reading people was an aspect of the training, but more of the training was dedicated to eternal truths that the presenter Kirk Duncan had learned for himself. Then he was able to package these truths with terms that everyone could appreciate and not be offended to the religious overtone. It was beautiful. As I listened , my mind reverted back time and time again to this talk given 37 years ago in General Conference by Elder Sterling W. Sill “Success Stories”.
At this time I would like to take a quick second to highlight one of the eternal truths taught in the Seminar. As you are on the path of this life there are individual defining moments. These are quick, they are more like pop quizzes, thrown at us, as check points along our lifes path. Then there are other times, as we all travel the path of life that we have defining tests of strength and endurance. We wonder why the Lord is not answering our prayers, why our friends betray us. We are lying on the path with blood spilling out of our heads enveloping around our bodies. And we can’t get up, the blow that knocked us down has paralyzed us and we can’t move. As we lay there we begin to hear the jeers, taunts and laughing of the devil and his minions.
Then the spirit says to you. “Did you expect less?, Did you expect eternal glory to come through a life without trials?, Greatness before God is best measured through your faithfulness and noble response to the happenings in life that appear to be totally unfair, unreasonable and undeserved. Now on your feet, put the pieces of your life back together, you are on the cusp of great things.”
I want to bear witness of this eternal principle. Sometimes in life there are great elevating points, The Lord knows when we are ready and prepared. The adversary also has vision of these soul elevating points. I believe that we in the preexistence were advised of these points as well if we were true and faithful. The devil will rage against you as you come near this point. He tried to not give the prophet Joseph Smith utterance before prayer that would bring about the restoration. He battled the saints on every front that as they were on the cusp of the establishing the restored gospel to the earth. When the temple was to be built in SLC the Prophet Brigham Young said “We will build a temple here to the most high God. Prepare for trials and tribulation because nothing rings Hells Bells like the Saints building a temple.” Two nights before Columbus discovered America there was a near mutiny on the ship and he was going to be forced to turn back if land was not sited within 48 hours.
I know this is a true principle. If you are depressed and listening to those evils voices laughing at you lying on the path. Dig deep, pray for courage, rise to your knees envoke the powers of Almighty God and then press forward. Greatness is so close, you’re on the cusp.
This evening the family met together to have dinner and visit, then go over to the Stake Presidents office so that my Nephew would be set apart as a missionary ordained of God. To preach the gospel to the good people of Wisconsin. What a great experience to be a part of tonight. What an awesome responsibility it is for us to bear witness not only of the Savior, and his divine mission as the only begotten son. But also to bear witness of the restoration of his church to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith.
I love this talk it is a masterpiece from one of the greatest men since the restoration. This talk was given Sunday afternoon in the October 2007 conference. It was the last talk that the prophet would give in General Conference. I find it very fitting that the talk is on the restoration and his witness of the prophet Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon.
As I watched the Presidential debate tonight on the TV. I could not help but think how weird is it 2 of these 5 guys debating to run against the President of the United States for his office are Mormon. I thought about the various negative comments that I have heard as to some perceptions that exist in this country. As I thought about these comments I remembered this talk given by President Hinckley in general conference Oct 1990. “Mormon should mean more good”. I know that there are people who are good Mormons but yet make mistakes. I also know that there are members within the church ,who espouse themselves to be good Mormons, but yet fall short due to an inability to take gospel knowledge, and teachings, and translate them into action.
Anybody who has paid attention to any of my posts over the last few months would know that I have had an extremely difficult time over the last few months. The hardship has been one of an emotional nature. Through this I found the greatness that exists, the charity and pure love of Christ in those that live close to us. As they have put aside their own selfish endeavors and have taken the time to inquire as to our well being and have been there to sustain and help. These Mormons have shown me a love and support that if I hadn’t have seen it for myself I wouldn’t have believed it. I am honored to associate with them and to be counted among there people. I truly believe that they the salt of the earth and I will always love and hold sacred our association, and the blessing of having them in our life. I think that these people are what this great prophet of the Lord was talking about in counsel. To be a Mormon is an awesome responsibility to be and do more good. The greatest good, the good that which is of God in emulation of the greatest of all the Savior Jesus Christ, and therefore someday be counted among his people.
Tomorrow, my little boy Cordon Edward turns 5. I think about him when I hear this great inspirational talk given at the Priesthood Session in April 1983 by Elder Holland, who at the time was the President of BYU. Elder Holland talks about his son and some of the challenges of parenting and the current relationship that they enjoy. He relates a story that happened to him when his beloved son was 5 years old, and his learning of fatherhood.
I have high hopes for my future relationship with my son, and my 3 little girls. Along with these hopes, I feel an enormous pressure and responsibility to do all that is with my power to raise a strong noble young family that is prepared to face a world in turmoil and in perilous times. Face it with dignity and courage and no matter the consequences live in a way that their father in heaven would be proud. I wish that I could have been able to envision the world to come, and worked harder to create a better relationship with my father, but that opportunity has past. Luckily for me for the time being, the future with my band of little ones still lies before me.
This week we celebrate Christmas and the birth of the Savior. We also celebrate the birth of the prophet Joseph Smith. Joseph was born on Dec. 23, 1805. This talk was given by President Monson in the October 2005 general conference . I love this talk and feel like it is a great tribute to one of the greatest men to ever live. As we celebrate Christmas and reflect with gratitude on the birth of the Savior coming to earth in the humblest of circumstances. Willing to embark on his divine mission to save all mankind.
I think that we can also keep in mind that 1800 years later another would be born that would be asked, or is his words have a vision imposed on him. His mission would also require the ultimate sacrifice to seal the validity of his testimony. Not only that but a life of trials and hardship because of his uncompromising integrity to stand for truth not far different from the persecution the Savior endured.
Give a prayer of gratitude for the blessing of living on the earth not only at a time when the atonement has been fulfilled, but the fullness of the gospel abounds and we can live knowing why we are here, from whence we came, and most importantly that we are youth of a noble birthright and our potential is limitless. Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday
As Christmas approaches I think this is be a great talk to highlight. In recent months I have been humbled by the various tender mercies of Lord, both brought to pass through the spirit, and others through his disciples here on the earth. I am so grateful for both, and I am awestruck by the examples that I have seen. The author Charles Dickens wrote in his novel A Tale of Two Cities “It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” This year I have come to know what this means. For me, in my life this year has been the best year of my life right along with maybe the worst. This talk given all the way back in 1973 speaks specifically of Charity. What an awesome responsibility it is when you have been blessed by the Lord through the charity of others to accept, and spend the rest of your life trying to repay. I thank the Lord for good righteous modern-day disciples of the holy one of Israel who are trying with all their heart to emulate the master and hope to make improvements after the example that I has been so beautifully set forth. I hope that you love this message. Merry Christmas.
This talk really needs no introduction. In my humble opinion it is the one of the greatest talks ever given at any time. I remember when he gave it. I am embarrassed to say that I had no idea who Elder Holland was at the time, and my wife had conference on upstairs on Sunday afternoon. I was downstairs watching football. I came up for a minute and he was right in the middle of the talk. To me it seemed like he was just going off. I remember, I said to my wife “holy cow he is about as fired up as I have ever seen a GA”. At the time I didn’t realize but would come to find out over the next few years, that it doesn’t happen a lot today in General Conference, but this kind of bold testifying used to occur with more regularity. I told my wife to rewind it I have to see what the heck this guy is talking about that would summon this kind of energy. We rewound the Tivo, and what an absolute masterpiece. I could not believe how concise, to the point, and eloquent this testimony was of the restoration, Book of Mormon, and prophetic calling of the prophet Joseph Smith. As well as the divine mission of the Savior. He said things that I had previous thought on some level, but didn’t have any idea how to verbalize with any simplicity or clarity.
My nephew is going out to serve the Lord this upcoming week. This is, in my humble opinion one of the greatest talks ever given on any topic in General Conference. It is on missionary work and the building of the kingdom of God here on the face of the earth. For me, as I listen to Elder Dunn, and this emotion in his voice I have no idea how he gave this talk without losing his composure. I am so grateful for our forbearers, and the sacrifices that they made in our behalf. I hope that we can build upon their sacrifice, and by so doing honor them. Jaden I think that you understand what this means to you.
I really love this talk given “Let Us Be Men” by Elder Christofferson in Priesthood session October 2006. This is one of the few talks that I actually heard when it was given originally. In the same Priesthood session President Hinckley gave in conclusion a talk “Rise Up O Men of God” that was along the same theme as this one, and a classic that made the library as well. The reason this talk impacted me so much when I heard it, was because my dad passed away in July of that year. Then 3 weeks after my dad died while my heart was still aching, sitting with my beautiful wife, and 3 little girls in the ultrasound room at the hospital. The Dr. told us we were going to have a son. The timing of these 2 events was not lost on me. I understood that there was a special quality, and a tender mercy in yearning for a son for years. Then finding out I would get the chance to raise a son just after dad passed.
Two months later sitting in Priesthood session. Elder Christofferson gave this brilliant talk. I was grateful my dad understood what Elder Christofferson meant to truly be a man. And I felt an awesome responsibility to better understand myself, what it means to be a man, and to teach Cord by word and example. I love when he speaks about the ultimate man, The Savior who taught all us what needs to be done if we are to pass the test of true manhood.
As we come upon Thanksgiving, it is a great time of reflection with a heart of gratitude. This talk given by Elder Maxwell in April of 2004 would be his last talk ever given in General Conference. He would pass away in July of Leukemia which he battled for 8 years. Elder Maxwell gave in his time as an apostle of the Lord a number of inspired magnificent talks, but this particular talk to me has a much different feel. This entire week for me is going to be one where the emotions are close to the surface, and my heart full of gratitude for the mercies the Lord has bestowed upon me. I am indeed blessed beyond measure, and have witnessed the opening of the windows of heaven. Happy Thanksgiving
In Elders Quorum last week the lesson was on the Gathering of the House of Israel. I thought about this talk given in 1976, because of the awesome conversion story that Elder Rector shares about a great man and family from Denver. I thought it interesting that the talk was given by Elder Rector considering that he himself is a convert . Elder Rector was born in Missouri in 1926, and baptized into the church in 1952 after the missionaries started teaching his wife. He became a General Authority in 1968 at the time he was the first convert General Authority in over 100 years. I played this talk for the Elders on Sunday, and it was funny to see Bubba (The Elders Quorum President) get choked up, but I understand.
This great talk I listened to for the first time about a month ago. It was one of those talks that you hear precisely at the time you need it most. It was in the morning on my way to work. I had just started a job that I had 10 years ago after being unemployed for 4 months. I was laid off in June, but it was more than that I cut loose as a fall guy for a number of management and internal issues that had nothing to do with me. Either way I way depressed, disappointed felt I had no value. I had tried for months to get a job to match my experience without success. I told my wife just the night before that I was amazed that she would stay with a man that was such an obvious failure and loser. We didn’t (and still don’t) have health insurance, or money for school clothes. If I do real well at this new job (in sales) I can probably make about half of what I was making. These thoughts were all very vivid in my mind driving to work for another day of the ongoing humiliation. Then an inspired Elder Packer stepped to the pulpit and said these words. I went into work and was waiting for a customer when I saw a long time friend of mine from Cedar City who was running his father in laws furniture store. I said, what are you doing here are you checking out the competition? He said “No, I am actually here to see if I can get a job. The store fell on hard times we had to close the doors. It’s been a rough few months and I have to tell you it was hard to come in here today.” I told him for you and me both but we are here, and I have a talk you have got to hear and it will make you feel better. I also think that the Lord wants you to hear it.