Monday, April 7, 2008

Wonderful Conference Talks

This past weekend, our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held its semi-annual General Conference, a four-part broadcast totalling eight hours over two days. Each session is filled with informative, spiritual, loving talks from the general authorities of our church. The closest comparison I can give those who wonder about conference is to imagine being able to sit and listen at the feet of Moses, Elijah, Peter, or Paul. To have the chance to listen to a prophet or an apostle is powerful, and I am thankful for it. The rest of this post is a list of audio links to the talks I enjoyed most from these sessions. I like to listen to them several times so I can have time to absorb the information.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks gave a wonderful explanation on building and bearing a testimony. He makes it clear that there are multiple types of knowledge, and he explains how one can know the truth of something without having seen it first hand.

Elder Richard G. Scott expressed compassion for abuse victims and explained how the atonement affects them. The story he shares of a victim seeking healing for her abuser struck me particularly strongly.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf discussed the new prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and his individual ministry within his broader ministry. He also discussed his kinship with the pioneering nature of Latter-day Saints, despite having grown up in Germany. I especially enjoy President Uchtdorf's talk about a few degrees making a big difference in the path of life, and I will post a link to that talk when it becomes available.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland talked about the idea of an open gospel, or of the Heavens being opened. In simpler terms, he explains the church's belief in continuing revelation and personal revelation from a Biblical perspective.

Elder M. Russell Ballard gave a great tribute to mothers. I loved it and was glad my wife had the chance to hear it since we divided the duties of watching our children. I hope she listens to it regularly over the next few months.

President Boyd K. Packer explained the organization of the twelve apostles and the first presidency, the top governing body of our church. I appreciated it because a friend of mine pointed out how much he appreciated the explanation from its Biblical perspective.

Elder David A. Bednar discussed the difference between simply praying and engaging in prayer. I appreciated his explanation because it made it clear that prayer followed by action has true power, while prayer followed with expectation might often feel hollow.

There certainly were other talks I enjoyed. I am still working through them, but this list certainly comprises many of those that struck me as I first heard them. I welcome anyone wanting to understand my faith a little better to listen to these great men. Feel free to comment here, or email me questions, if that is preferred.

-- Robert


le35 said...

Elder Ballard's talk was SO my favorite, and any of you moms who come to read Rob's blog, please go listen to Elder Ballard's talk. It makes me feel so loved as a mother.

Robert said...

I think a mom would appreciate hearing the talk because it's the perspective of a kind grandfather recalling what it has been like at various times in his life where he's helped out with his wife's duties and appreciated how much harder her job is than his. It is also a request by him to fathers to get involved in their children's (and this there wives') lives more instead of focusing all their attention outside the home.