Saturday, April 4, 2009

General Conference Thoughts and Reactions

I thought I would provide a place here at GDU for people to share thoughts and observations about General Conference, especially as they relate to Church history or teaching.

Share your comments below.


  1. OK, don't all speak at once!

    For what it is worth, I thought Sis. Lifferth's talk on showing repect for others and reverance for God was a great message for teachers. I think she was mainly talking about children, but a lot of the principles really struck a chord with me. I am going to leisten to her talk again.

  2. Hi Teacher,
    For me, Elder Bednar uses the techniques of a master teacher. He uses the scriptures utilizing the "search, analyze and apply" techniques so beautifully! His explanation of the process of taking the name of Christ upon you as one of a journey from baptism to attendance at the Temple, was both masterfully taught, and doctrinally insightful. Every word he says has a meaning, in the same way that Elder Neal A Maxwell's did.
    I guess you can tell I thought his talk rocked!

  3. I've always been impressed with Jeffrey R. Holland, even way back when he was BYU president. His commentary on the last hours of the earthly ministry of the Savior was engrossing. And I have never known, really known, such truths until then. This talk will stick with me.

    "Then in an act as unconscionable as it was illogical, Pilate scourged Jesus and delivered him to be crucified. Pilates freshly washed hands could not have been more stained or more unclean."

    " is wrenching to think that one of his special witnesses who sat at his feet, and heard him pray, and watched him heal, and felt his touch, could betray him - and all that he was for thirty pieces of silver. Never in the history of this world has so little money purchased so much infamy."

    "...Thus, of divine necessity the supporting circle around Jesus gets smaller, and smaller, and smaller. Giving significance to Matthew's short verse, 'all the disciples left, and fled.'"

    And finally, this:

    "I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which he may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually. That concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal. When he cries in ultimate loneliness "my God my God, why has Thou forsaken me?"

    "The loss of mortal support He had anticipated, but surely he had not apparently comprehended this.

    "...It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the atonement that this perfect son, who had never spoken ill, nor done wrong, nor touched an unclean thing, he had to know how the rest of humankind would feel – the rest of us - when we did commit such sins. For his atonement to be infinite and eternal, he had to feel what it was like to die not only physically, but spiritually; to sense what it was like to have the divine spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.”

  4. ITD: Elder Bednar is an amazing teacher. And I agree with you on his use of the scriptures to teach principles. I wonder if we will be able to use his talk as we get into lessons that focus on the temple? I have not looked that far ahead yet.

    Easton: I have enjoyed Elder Holland's recent "scholarly" talks on the Godhead and the open canon. But I have to say, he really has a gift for using emotionally powerful language, and that came through in this last talk.

    I really loved both talks.

  5. Teacher, it sounds like you don't like Elder Holland using "emotionally powerful language". I loved his talk. It moved me to tears. However, I remember when I was inactive many years ago, that I hated "emotionally powerful language" being used by Church members as I felt like it was a mild form of brainwashing almost.Having said that, I have used this same language in teaching classes because I find it works.

  6. Ellen: My comments about Elder Holland must have seemed ambiguous. I am actually a big fan of emotionally powerful language and of Elder Holland. In fact, two or three of his talks (with emotionally powerful language) are among my very favorites. I have a hard time using it myself in a classroom setting, because it is not really my personality; sometimes I can pull it off in a sacrament meeting talk. I admire it when I hear from others, though.


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