What a weekend! October 2018 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a wrap, and what an historic Conference this one was!
Friends… somehow I’m supposed to summarize an entire full weekend of General Conference music, talks, revelations and surprises right here in one quick post..And I’m doing this while I “press pause” in the middle of my packing meltdown [because yes, I’m really leaving for SPAIN in less than 10 hours!!] … Seriously?!
OK, here are my General Conference “quicky-notes” summary… (and yes, I definitely do plan to share more later!)
- A WHOLE LOTTA Modern Revelation is pouring down on this world right now (and do we ever need it)!!! And this means a whole lotta changes and excitement for the Church!
- TWO HOUR CHURCH – it’s finally happening. Latter-day Saints have been attending at least three hours of church every Sunday morning for centuries. But, our beloved prophet, President Russell M. Nelson has announced that there will be big changes made to our meeting schedule – reducing the time we spend in our chapels in order to increase our home worship and ministering time – which is part of the new “Home Centered, Church Supported” directive – and Elder Bednar wisely reminded us that we “[should not] focus on the logistical details… nor become Pharisaical” about these changes – but, rather, keep a “firm focus on Jesus Christ.” I’m super excited and love everything about this new focus (great video here)!
- CHURCH NAME CORRECTION: President Nelson made a strong statement that the Lord has revealed to him we must focus on using the full and proper name that Jesus gave to his restored church – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – and we should not use the nickname ‘Mormon’, ‘Mormon Church’ or “LDS Church” – which is misleading and confusing, and removes Jesus from our name. This directive applies to the media – and also to all members so that we can help the media and others learn the proper use of our name.
- CHOIR NAME CHANGE: The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square [“TabCATS” :D) This was technically not part of General Conference – it was announced on Thursday – but, it is in connection to #3.
- NEW MUSIC! – there were several new firsts for the Choir during General Conference – including singing a few selections that many Latter-day Saints may not be familiar with. FUN FACTS: First Time in General Conference to sing “His Voice As The Sound” – an American spiritual arranged by Mack Wilberg. which was a personal request by President Nelson. The popular protestant hymn “It is Well With My Soul” was shared after President Nelson’s remarks on Sunday, and the concluding song of the entire Conference was “Our Prayer To Thee” – a poem written by our very own President Russell M. Nelson himself, and set to music by Mack Wilberg. (as of this writing, these performances are still not posted online yet – but watch for them here).
- Prophet Challenge: Read the entire Book of Mormon between now and the end of this year [major blessings are promised]
- Prophet Challenge: Attend the Temple – often. Schedule a regular appointment, and keep it! [major blessings are promised]
- Prophet Challenge: TEN DAY SOCIAL MEDIA FAST…. Yikes! [major blessings are promised] … As with all of the other challenges, I want to accept this one – but, when I do, things will get quiet here for a while… stay tuned!
- Keep Ministering!!!: This was our prime directive from April 2018 Conference, and this conference A LOT of talks focused on encouraging us to continue to be disciples of Jesus Christ, to continue our ministering to everyone that we have a ministering assignment for – but also anyone the Spirit of the Lord directs us to – by being his hands on earth. So many beautiful talks used this as a focal point.
- Always Say “I Love You” – Elder Steven R. Bangerter (I loved his talk)
- “Deeply wounded souls who nurse the wounds of others are angels on earth.” – Elder Neil A. Anderson’s moving talk was one of my favorites during this weekend and had me – and everyone sitting near me – in tears. Summary: We live in a fallen world, and we are ALL wounded. But, Jesus Christ can heal every wound this earth can inflict! What a powerful and joyful message that is!
- Mary Poppins even got a cameo moment at Conference during Elder Dale C. Renlund’s thought-provoking talk about how our God our Heavenly Father wants us to stay on the Covenant Path to return to Him, but just like Mary Poppins, He cannot teach his children if they think they know everything already!! (i.e. Be humble. Be teachable. Choose wisely)
TWELVE NEW TEMPLES!!!!
Holy moly! President Nelson waited until the VERY END of Conference to spring this huge surprise on us! The Conference Center erupted in joy! What an amazing thing to be there when this happened – you have to watch it on this video, and imagine the reactions you hear were at least 5 times louder in person! 🙂
When the Apostles & prophet and other leaders are asked to speak no one is assigned a topic. They all seek inspiration through prayer and write their own talks. Every Conference, there are certain themes that keep emerging, and when the same quotes and scriptures are shared I think those must be especially important to the Lord that we hear them! This conference, we heard a lot about FEAR (as in, it’s a scary world, but we should hang on and we never have to fear when we stand on the Rock of our Redeemer) and TRUTH (where can we even find it these days?! Turn off the news, turn down the volume of the world, and Look to the Lord), and JESUS (every single talk was about Jesus – because we live in a world that we can’t survive in without him. Plus, his Second Coming is definitely getting closer).
So, I am back to packing now. Things are getting really REAL….and despite all of the years I’ve dreamed for our Camino, and months I’ve planned and weeks I’ve trained I feel completely unprepared right now!
But, I’m going to carry one of the abiding messages of General Conference in my heart.
Fear Not! If you’re standing on The Rock, you cannot fall. – Holly
All audio files, text and video of the General Conference talks & music will be downloaded over the next 3-4 days. Official page is here.
Also, keep an eye on the YouTube channel LDS General Conference