I won’t be posting any specific comments on the last session of conference, but I would submit what I would consider the two most confusing statements of the two days (sans priesthood session).

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The first statement came from Sister Cheryl Lant who, after reciting the story of the ministering angels among the children of the Nephites at the time of Christ, told us that we are the angels that will minister to our children. So… even though the Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys to the ministering of angels, we can only pretend that these messengers of God are real? So sad, as I indicated earlier, what else must be given up from the early revelations to satisfy the modern church?

The last statement which left me perplexed was Elder Neil Anderson’s emphatic declaration that the divine harmony of the conference talks was a miracle. First, I am puzzled by the need to call such an orchestrated event a miracle. What is miraculous about it? The fact that the conference talks are written out ahead of time and carefully edited yet totally uncorrelated is blatantly obvious to the listener. Even President Monson admitted to ad libbing during his opening remarks. So.. if there are not true miracles among us, let’s redefine the term so we can satisfy our pride that we are blessed with the heavenly events.

What are the true miracles that are the mark of the true church? As recorded in 3 Nephi 27, the resurrrected Lord told the Nephites that ‘the Father would show forth His own works’ in His church, in contrast to the works of men. The disciples demonstrated these works as recorded in 4 Nephi 1:5

“And there were great and marvelous works wrought by the disciples of Jesus, insomuch that they did heal the sick, and raise the dead, and cause the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear; and all manner of miracles did they work among the children of men; and in nothing did they work miracles save it were in the name of Jesus.”

These are the true miracles – works of God – that are to be found in His church and demonstrated by the twelve, just as in the past times. Where are these miracles? Why would an apostle attempt to redefine the ‘spiritual’ correlation supposedly demonstrated in the conference sessions as a miracle?

The emphasis on the role of the Savior, His atonement, and our need to come unto Him, perhaps due to the Easter holiday, came through in a multiplicity of talks. I am pleased to report that I only heard two somewhat veiled messages to ‘follow the brethren.’ I am gratified that we, as a people, are not subjected to the demand that we trust in this ‘arm of flesh.’

What think ye?

3 Responses to “Last Thoughts of April Conference 2010”

  • Tom:

    Might I suggest that the only reason for feeling “gratified that we, as a people, are not subjected to the demand that we trust in this ‘arm of flesh’” is merely because it is so ingrained in the hearts and heads of 99% of the LDS faithful that there bears no need to mention it?

    That would be my guess. Preaching a doctrine over the pulpits, no matter how false it is, for 120+ years will result in something that doesn’t need to be said every general conference. Of all the teachings the members have actually learned, it is that the brethren will “never lead [them] astray.”

    Just my $0.02.

    Otherwise, very cogent remark on 4 Nephi 1:15 and the redefinition of both miracles and angels. Hadn’t really noticed that redefinition, though true it is.

    One of my biggest beefs with conference is the call for “obedience.” Though “obedience” is never defined in the context of these talks, the feeling and understanding I get is that it’s obedience to the church and brethren, with a token mention of Christ and the Father. I’ve even heard this interpretation in my local meeting house. A lesson on obedience produced the resounding answer that we “need to be obedient to the Brethren.” The church, the brethren and Christ have become altogether conflated.

    The other interesting observation I had (though I think, in fairness, it was someone else who told me to watch out for it) is the incestuous nature of quoting from each other in conference. Elder X will quote from Elder Y or Presdent Z, or maybe even from himself (Ballard did this at least once). Elder Y will then quote from both Elder X and Elder Q, while Sister A will quote from all of them. Though the occasional scripture is thrown in, it seems that quotes from the presiding authorities are becoming more and more prevalent.

    Just my $0.03.

  • Tom,
    Thanks for your comments. I have to agree with you that it has been preached enough to now be implicit in the church. How sad that there are those who, even when confronted with conflicts between the current situation and scripture, cannot let go. It is so much easier to lean on the leadership of the church than to exert one’s on effort to know God.

    But, Tom, we are always told that we are to gain a testimony for ourselves. How much does that really happen? If you want my definition of where our obedience should be placed and where the church is clearly defined, please read D&C 10:

    “67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.
    68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.
    69 And now, behold, whosoever is of my church, and endureth of my church to the end, him will I establish upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.”

    So anything more or less than coming to Christ as the definition of His church is not acceptable. How about obedience to that?

    Spek

  • Tom:

    I totally agree with your definition of where our obedience should be placed. That’s absolutely where our obedience should be, but then that doesn’t sell very well. And, for anyone who is trying to uphold a structure or an institution, that definition of “church” must simply be wrong, or misinterpreted. After all, “church” means a building you attend every Sunday for 3 hours, listening to the same Rameumptum speeches and testimonies, the same gospel “doctrine” discussions and more and more on “programs.”

    If everyone were to think that “church,” as defined in D&C 10 were true and accurate, well, then we’d simply have mayhem and organizations (especially those predicated and reliant on a Babylonian system of laws and money) wouldn’t be able to prosper and grow.

    I should probably stop there before I say anymore. :)

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