Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

They the Builders of the Nation

July 04th, 2017 by G.

At one of the bicentennial general conferences, President Benson was full of the red, white, and blue . . . and the beehive.

I pay fervent tribute to the forebears who made this possible—the Founding Fathers of this republic and our Mormon pioneers. I pay tribute to their faithful deeds, their noble lives, and their lasting lessons of faith in God, courage, industry, self-reliance, and integrity.

My emphasis.  We Mormons are the heirs of a twice-founded nation.

Image result for flag beehive

from lunarmotion.com

And to a surprising extent, President Benson seemed to see the American founding as more of a moral and spiritual founding, like the Pioneer one. (more…)

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July 04th, 2017 07:30:27

Are We There Yet?

June 27th, 2017 by G.

No.

Now may I speak, not to the slackers in the Kingdom, but to those who carry their own load and more; not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short.

Earlier disciples who heard Jesus preach some exacting doctrines were also anxious and said, “Who then can be saved?” (Mark 10:26.)

The first thing to be said of this feeling of inadequacy is that it is normal. There is no way the Church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance.

-thus Elder Maxwell. (more…)

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June 27th, 2017 07:30:57

Family Preparedness

June 20th, 2017 by G.

Reading an old Welfare session of General Conference is an interesting experience. It’s very temporal and in a petit bourgeois way. Class instincts you didn’t even know you had rebel.

So it was a relief to see a talk by Spencer W. Kimball about “Family Preparedness.” At last, something about strengthening the family, instead of about food storage! (more…)

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June 20th, 2017 07:12:41

The Grace of Consequences

May 31st, 2017 by G.

There’s a talk by L. Tom Perry in the Sunday afternoon session of the April 1976 general conference that anyone who is interested in our recent posts on freedom and agency should also be interested in. We’ve been saying that consequences are keys to agency. No consequences, no agency. Brother Perry taught that too, but as one having authority.

Brother Perry spends a lot of time talking about the orderliness of creation and the predictability of divine law, without which meaningful choice of meaningful consequences would be impossible. He teaches that our choices ultimately have to be anchored or oriented towards that divine order, because it is only that order that makes them possible in the first place. To choose against that order is to embrace self-contradiction.

Here’s a line relevant to some of our recent discussions on educating for freedom:

Because all that they would ever need had been supplied them, it was now possible to hold them accountable for their mortal performance.

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May 31st, 2017 07:30:17

The Honest Man

May 23rd, 2017 by G.

More and more, honesty is not a virtue our society prizes but fails to live.  More and more, it is a virtue that we reject as for dupes.  And more and more, it is.

What I failed to realize when I was younger is that honesty is a societal virtue.  It is a virtue whose purpose and sense is in relation to society at large. (more…)

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May 23rd, 2017 07:30:10

Communication beyond Words

April 25th, 2017 by G.

There is a form of communication that transcends the power of words

thus Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

All that is best transcends the power of words. All that is best goes beyond our descriptions of it. There is always a remainder.

But just as the body can be a vessel for a spirit, words can be a vessel for that which transcends words.

Other Posts from the Sunday Afternoon session of the October 1975 General Conference

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April 25th, 2017 07:30:01

Congratulatory Criticism

April 18th, 2017 by G.

There is something deeply difficult, deeply right, and deeply Mormon about being very pleased with what people are doing but encouraging them to do better still.

God bless all of you who are deeply engaged in this program. And if it isn’t quite up to par, bring it there, will you?—in every ward and branch and stake and mission. And let us come nearer to the accomplishment of what the Lord has given us to do.

-thus President Kimball.

I might say the same for all of you.  You can do better, but you guys are great.

Other Posts from the Welfare Session of the October 1975 General Conference

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April 18th, 2017 07:38:56

Step 3 General Conference

April 04th, 2017 by G.

Image result for lds general conference

I was looking for Step 3 insights at General Conference. Boy did I find them.

 

 (more…)

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April 04th, 2017 07:30:24

Literal Selflessness

March 07th, 2017 by G.

The gospel has a universal message.  Breathtakingly universal.

Here is the opener from a First Presidency proclamation that Elder Benson read out in conference:

 

To all the Kings of the World;

To the President of the United States of America;

To the Governors of the several States;

And to the Rulers and People of all Nations:

The message goes on to say that the church and the priesthood are for all of them. (more…)

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March 07th, 2017 08:30:56

The Laborer is Labored Upon

February 28th, 2017 by G.

President Kimball gave a very President Kimball talk at the Friday morning session of the October 1975 general conference.  It was titled “the Time to Labor is Now,” and it was all about cleaning up your place, planting some fruit trees, and eating a little food that you had grown with your own hands.  The talk is the boiled down essence of one of the distinctive facets of Mormonism.  Reading it is like a free tour to a cultural monument. (more…)

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February 28th, 2017 07:54:16

Real Christianity is Contagious

February 21st, 2017 by G.

The way that can be said is not the true way.

Neal A. Maxwell is a mine.  Every sentence is a sermon.  (more…)

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February 21st, 2017 08:30:35

The Symbol of Our Worship

February 14th, 2017 by G.

He then asked: “If you do not use the cross, what is the symbol of your religion?”

I replied that the lives of our people must become the only meaningful expression of our faith and, in fact, therefore, the symbol of our worship.

thus Gordon B. Hinckley, from the Sunday morning session of the April 1975 General Conference. This anecdote was meaningful to him, and he brought it up more than once later.

We of course must be those symbols ourselves. But we must also surround ourselves with saints. Surround ourselves with symbols of Christ. It lifts up the soul.

Other Posts from the Sunday Morning Session of the April 1975 General Conference

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February 14th, 2017 08:30:23

Rebellion to God is Rebellion to Self

February 07th, 2017 by G.

Being a Christian is hard. Let’s not kid around. The more seriously you try it, the harder it gets, until you reach the breakthrough. The idea that religion is a bunch of harsh rules that require abject submission to a harsh and demanding God is a caricature–but it is a caricature that every faithful man will experience at some point. (Almost everything is the experience of knitting together a series of caricatures.)

But there is a point to it all. When we are learning to submit to God, not least we are learning to submit to our own will. We are not eliminating our own agency and our own desires. We are taming them until they can be brought into the whole. We are ensuring that some irruption of will or desire now doesn’t make that will or desire unworkable forever. Submission now preserves all of our full characteristics for the eternities. Obedience to God is saying that every part of ourself is too precious to ever lose.

Character is determined by the extent to which we can master ourselves toward good ends. It is difficult to say just what builds good character, but we know it when we see it. It always commands our admiration, and the absence of it our pity.

-thus Elder Tanner

Other Talks from the Priesthood session of the April 1975 General Conference

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February 07th, 2017 07:50:00

Peace with Muscles

January 31st, 2017 by G.

John C. Wright has announced the Last Crusade. It is mostly silly, of course. But on the other hand, it is what most of us who have children are already doing. One has to stand against the great maw of modernity that is gaping wide to eat your kids up. It is easy to be gloomy and despairing about it.

In a 1975 conference talk, Brother H. Burke Petersen recited the usual gloomy statistics. Divorce, illegitimacy, and so on. They are all much worse now.

Then he turned to the words of the Lord. (more…)

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January 31st, 2017 08:30:44

All

January 24th, 2017 by G.

In Brother Hales’ first conference talk, he told how he had accepted the call.  He had originally been asked to be a mission president, and because his personal, business, and family affairs were in order, he was free to obey.

A few weeks later the phone rang again. This time it was a man whom I have greatly admired—Brother Arthur Haycock. I spoke to him briefly; and then, the prophet’s voice—distinctive, clear, the clarion call.

“Brother Hales, do you mind if we change your mission?”

I had thought I was going to the London England Mission. But I figured someone else would have that call, and I said, “I will be glad to go to whatever place you send me.”

He said, “Do you mind if we change it to Salt Lake City?”

And I said, “No, that will be fine, President.”

“Do you mind if it is little bit longer than three years?”

“However long you want it, President.”

“We would like a lifetime of service.”

-thus Brother Hales.  This story of unquestioning obedience is the centerpiece of a talk on free agency.  “Free to obey” is a good summary.  The kind of freedom you have on vacation is great.  But the kind of creative freedom an artist has to pursue their vision, to improve their vision, to cleanse the inner vessel and express more truly the inner fire, is a better freedom.  That is the kind of freedom the man of God has.

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January 24th, 2017 08:30:19