I don’t always study the talks from the General Priesthood Session immediately. But my husband encouraged me by praising the session, so I made it a priority. I especially appreciated the teachings of Elder Oaks on the priesthood, given all the recent hoopla by the Ordain Women movement.
Elder Oaks: There is no up or down in the service of the Lord, only forward or backward. Prieshood power blesses all of us. Priesthood keys direct women and men. Priesthood ordinances pertain to women and men. Ultimately, all keys of the priesthood are held by Jesus Christ–he directs how the keys are passed to mortals and how they will be used. The work of Relief Society is done by divine authority. Whoever holds priesthood authority should forget about their rights and concentrate on responsibility. “It is time to defend not so much human rights as human obligation”. Women are builders and organizers of the priesthood peers, and partakers of its blessings. Women and men are equal, with some different responsibilities.
Elder Hallstrom: What manner of men (or women) ought ye to be? The purpose of General Conference is only fulfilled if we are willing to act, if we are willing to change. Saying “That’s just the way I am” gives up our ability to change. Who we are is not who we can become. The gospel can change people permanently. 1) We need to be priesthood men (or women). 2) We need to be worthy. 3)We need to be worthy. Be as Jesus Christ. Come unto him and be perfected in him.
Brother Ridd (Young Men Presidency): This is the “choice generation”. More choices means more opportunities to do good or evil. The internet is one of the greatest tools of mean. What does your heart desire? With the click of a button you can access it. The internet records your cyber book of life. Agency is you power to become. Ask “Where will this choice lead?” Develop the ability to see beyond the moment. 1) Knowing who you are makes decisions easier. 2) Plug into the source of power (be fully charged spiritually). 3) Owning a smart phone does not make you smart. Don’t do dumb things with your smart phone. Be where you are when you are there. 4) The divine purpose of technology is to hasten the work.
President Uchtdorf: Rip Van Wrinkle story. Are you sleeping through the restoration? 3 Obstacles: 1) Selfishness-the remedy is to follow Christ and serve. 2) Addictions-are much easier to prevent then cure. But there is hope-seek help. 3) Competing priorities. Ye are sons (or daughters) of light. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an effort of once a day. It is an effort of once and for all.
President Eyring: HEROES. We try to be like, or copy, our heroes. You are a model to others: you can be good, or average, or bad. “Let your light so shine before men…” Characteristics of good priesthood models: 1) pattern of prayer 2) habit of service 3) decision to be honest.
President Monson: decisions determine our destiny. We need courage to say no, courage to say yes, and courage to do the right thing because it is right. If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t be-GET OUT! Jabari Parker’s dad said “Just be the same person you are in the dark as you are in the light.” Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. “… Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:5, 9)