Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

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


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

More Practical Mormonism

January 17th, 2017 by G.

Tools are beautiful. Even the words for tools and their parts have a charm to them. Tang, ferrule. They are most beautiful when you know their use because you have used them, such that your hula hoe has some hint of ripe tomato in your mind. (more…)

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January 17th, 2017 08:30:44

Canning Jar Mormonism

January 10th, 2017 by G.

Image result for canning jars


I have probably said something snide about “checklist” Mormonism a time or two.  But rules, checklists, and practicality have the same relationship to spirituality that flesh has to spirit.  The former provides form, content, and meaning to the latter.  The former is often the best route to the latter.  Eating is more important than studying nutritional principles.

I have read and written breathless little sermons on the spiritual value of gardening.  The glories of creation and all that.  I love them.

But the Mormon says, “Why should you garden?  For the cheap vegetables.” (NB: it takes a fair amount of mental independence these days to grow cheap vegetables. Much of the gardening advice out there will get you growing very expensive vegetables indeed.) (more…)

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January 10th, 2017 08:30:29

A New Aristocracy

December 13th, 2016 by G.

How can you not check out a general conference talk titled “The New Aristocracy“? (Saturday morning, October 1974, Elder Faust).

It did not disappoint.


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December 13th, 2016 08:28:27

The Rally will Come

December 06th, 2016 by G.

Who’s losing? asks Elder Ashton in the Saturday Morning session of the October 1974 General Conference. Answer: no one. We all will win if we will.

Proper attitude in this crisis-dominated world is a priceless possession. Never before is it more important for all of us to move forward with conviction. We may be behind, but we are not losing if we are moving in the right direction. God will not score our performances until the end of the journey. He who made us expects us to be victorious.

He who made us expects us to be victorious. (more…)

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December 06th, 2016 08:30:11

The Savior’s Program for the Care of the Aged

November 29th, 2016 by G.

Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone spoke on helping the old at the Friday afternoon session of the April 1974 General Conference. It was a very Mormon talk. It had throat-catching personal stuff, and a little chastisement, and some practical programmatic advice. I loved it. I love the Saints and the way they are.

Two things caught my eye. (more…)

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November 29th, 2016 08:30:46

God is Now

November 22nd, 2016 by G.

President Hunter taught that faith and testimony are steps towards experiencing the presence of God . . . in this life.  No need to wait.

He is right.

Those who have seen the face of Christ in mortality are blessed, not because they have seen the face of Christ in mortality, but because they have seen the face of Christ.

My brothers and sisters, I should like to speak of and to a particular group of important individuals. These are they who fully intend, someday, to begin to believe and/or to be active in the Church. But not yet! These are not bad individuals, but good individuals who simply do not know how much better they could be. Such individuals often stay proximate to—but do not participate fully in—the Church. They will not come inside the chapel, but neither do they leave its porch. These are they who need and are needed by the Church, but who, in part, “live without God in the world.”

To such individuals, in the brief, imploring invitation which follows, be assured there is a real craving for your companionship and a genuine need for your unique strengths.

thus Elder Maxwell. (more…)

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November 22nd, 2016 07:37:44

A Wife for All Seasons

November 15th, 2016 by G.

Sunday afternoon, April 1974 General Conference. Elder Maxwell’s first talk. I read it expecting his typical verbal kinesthetics.

Instead, I reverently stopped at this phrase:

Appreciation for a splendid woman, Colleen, a wife for all seasons, who has made our home a haven.

A wife for all seasons. (more…)

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November 15th, 2016 08:30:33

Covering Others with Your Shield

November 08th, 2016 by G.

We were dressed in our home each morning, not only with hats and raincoats and boots to protect us from physical storm, but even more carefully our parents dressed us each day in the armor of God. As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added to our shield of faith. While our shield was being made strong, theirs was always available, for they were available and we knew it.

-thus Elder Perry. (more…)

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November 08th, 2016 07:30:31

Solemn Assemblies and the Communion of the Saints

October 18th, 2016 by G.

The communion of the Saints is a phrase nowhere found in scripture.  But the idea is found there.  Even more, it is found in the lived experience of the Saints.  We soon find a sense of kinship and fellowship with other Saints both living and dead. (more…)

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October 18th, 2016 07:30:20

Momentum, a Theme

October 11th, 2016 by G.

Two points define a line, three points define a theme, and two to three witnesses establish a truth. (more…)

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October 11th, 2016 07:30:59

Pulling Down the Ladder

October 04th, 2016 by G.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband - The Divine Call of a Missionary - YouTube

Elder Rasband gave an emotional talk this conference. I paid close attention. He was visibly concerned about one of my own private terrors. (more…)

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October 04th, 2016 07:30:30