General Conference 2017 Notes and Thoughts
By Kenneth Green
Saturday Sessions of General Conference
It’s late at night in the Green home and throughout this day I have been blessed by the various talks at the General Conference. I LOVE the talks that seemed to emphasize people’s worth in the sight of God and in the Kingdom of God. I love the talk by Elder Pingree the most (its still just Saturday so by the time this publishes a Sunday Speaker may have captivated me).
The Reason Elder Pingree has captivated me is because I have been having issues with my own self-worth. Part of me thinks’s that in my current calling I’m not really helping anyone. When I know better because when the High Councilor set me apart he showed me how important my call was to the Bishop and his counselors and the Ward Council in order to do the work they need to do. I am a person who sometimes constantly regresses into feelings of depression and self-loathing. Can I keep it 100 with you here? Good because that’s what I vow to do.
Elder Pingree also hit the nail on the head for me when he talked about deflecting personal praise. I sometimes get caught up in that I can admit that. I also liked what he stated about avoiding distraction and discouragement. And finally, the attitude that I am here, willing Lord, send me!
Saturday Afternoon Session of Conference
My thoughts on the afternoon session are few unfortunately because I accidentally fell asleep. But I want to thank other bloggers out there in the bloggersphere for writing recaps on Saturday’s Afternoon session. Elder Stevenson had some words for me, especially about time wasting and pride. President Owen’s remarks on us all being prodigals especially hits home with me. I felt this way many times in my life with the church. Elder Cook’s talk will be the first one I catch up on. Inside of me, i have a passionate desire to be a leader.
Sometimes I have to beware of pride because of my desire to lead. Can I be transparent again? When I was Ward Mission Leader I was a leader. I actually had an auxiliary of the ward to think about. Making decisions on the fly, keeping in contact with the Elders and making sure they had what they needed. Leading baptismal services. In all these thing’s I felt like a leader. But like all callings, they must come to an end. And as I was called as an Assistant Ward Clerk part of me thought “How is this helping anyone?” or “How is this leading?”
Elder Cook probably hit the nail on the head of what I need. I need to be humble and magnify whatever calling Jesus Christ has issued on my life. Whether that’s leading in front of men, or from behind the scenes. I especially connect with what he said about weakness which was given to make man humble. I probably need a lot of humility because I have a lot of weakness.
The Priesthood Session
The Priesthood Session I was able to be awake and alert for (thank God!). I had to run to the store to get things for a dinner I am having tomorrow so I am very happy for YouTube Red where you can listen to things on youtube even if your phone display is off. Having that I was able to listen to the talks like a radio broadcast on my phone. One of the talk’s i loved was Elder Renlund’s talk about the young man who came to his office for a restoration of Priesthood blessings.
That story was very profound. Sometimes I think we the Priesthood of God take what we have for granted. This young man who was lost and now was found made a valiant effort to possess again something we take for granted daily. That talk reminded me of the importance of the Priesthood. Combined with President Eyring’s talk which was right on time, I can truly say that this Saturday’s priesthood session was off the hinges. I mean that all male choir from the session rocked me. They sounded so good and I for one am grateful for their offering of ministry. I never heard that opening song sang like that before. I must say this day was filled with blessings!
Sunday Sessions of General Conference
Sunday well let’s just say it held many more surprises for me. Elder Stanley G. Ellis talk on the hard circumstances of life was opening my mail. It’s like he knew exactly all of the past struggles that I had gone through this year. I am so grateful for wise men in the Lord who know how to reach out to the people of God and lead and guide us.
That talk was so uplifting to me. First, it helped further clarify in my mind the purposes that God has for the bad things that happen in our lives. God does not cause bad things to affect us but he uses the bad circumstances in our lives to test and prove us. The Lord trusts us with many holy and sacred things. Do we trust the Lord when the going get’s tough? Let me be a little transparent here, I know for one that I do not follow the Lord as closely as I should when bad situations happen.
Don’t go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the rivers and lakes that you’re used to!
I also liked the talk by M. Russell Ballard. He addressed the ways we are sometimes led astray by people who don’t even hold the Priesthood of God. How not to be led astray by those folks who think outside of the harmony of God, and those who try to come at us with get rich schemes and other things. I was challenged by this talk because I have been known to listen to some Christian theologians who are not of my faith.
If I believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint’s to be the church of Christ on the face of the earth than I must believe that Christ in his providence has provided teachers and all I need to know inside of the church. Lastly, i want to talk about the talk by Elder Alonso about the truest commandment that Jesus Christ has ever given us and that is to love one another. I’ve been to many churches in my life and indeed even other religions. And most of the time I’ve seen self-preservation is the order of the day.
Love One Another
The Church of Jesus Christ is one that should be a leader in love. Ask yourselves this question, who is my church helping today? Loads of people would say “Well if we were rich like those Mormons we could help others.” but I say that you do not need to have great means to be of service to others. I am grateful because I and my wife are making it even through this tough time. And while we are not rich, we are able to be of help to others.
Brothers and sisters, I hope you watched General Conference and got as much out of it as I have. I bear you my testimony that I know that the men who lead my church are prophets of God. I trust in what they say and I am grateful they take the time every six months to give talks that directly affect my life. And I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!