We continue our coverage; this post will be updated with photographs and commentary as we go. I’m starting this off but Kristine will take over once she realizes what I’ve been writing. Best conducting award goes to Elder Uchtdorf.
First speaker up: M. Russell Ballard.
Rob, because I like you, I’ll give it my educated guess: Ballard, Cook, Pearson (Q70), Pino (Q70), Scott, Nelson. That’s my guess, anyhow.
Theory: Elder Uchtdorf is presiding because he alone holds the keys of pronunciation. I am getting cultural whiplash from the multitude of nationalities reflected in the names, which strikes me as precisely the way things ought to be. Elder Yoon Hwan Choi strikes me as the first Korean 70; Joseph Sitati is certainly the first African 70 (Kenya).
Elder Ballard: luddite? Keep in mind he is the one responsible for the big blogging uptick. He is saying now though that the internet is a potential hub of mass apostasy. His money quote, I think, is “you can’t do a Google search to gain a testimony. You can’t text-message faith.” It’s a challenge to us to get on our knees, old-skool.
(Kristine here) Elder Cook: “IT IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE BE KIND TO MEMBERS OF OUR OWN FAITH REGARDLESS OF THEIR LEVEL OF COMMITMENT OR ACTIVITY. THE SAVIOR HAS MAD IT CLEAR THAT WE ARE NOT TO JUDGE EACH OTHER. …OUR OBLIGATION IS TO LOVE AND TEACH AND NEVER GIVE UP. (emphasis mine–sometimes I feel like shouting hallelujah…)
“They had come to understand the sublime destination that was in store for them. They were not fearful of the arduous journey they were undertaking and their ultimate destination was not really the Salt Lake Valley.” Ah! And he closes with this gorgeous quote from Orson Whitney: A loving Father has provided a comprehensive and compassionate plan for His children, “that saves the living, redeems the dead, rescues the damned, and glorifies all who repent.”
And–” I rejoice in the great Plan of Salvation that is big enough for all of our Father in Heaven’s children.” AMEN!!
(Steve)Elder Pino seems like a nice guy, but his delivery makes it sound like this story actually happened to him.
(Kristine again) ok–I’m at my limit for stories about babies dying. Seriously.
Elder Nelson: “The concept of ‘too much and unneccessary’ could also apply to the length of our prayers. A closing prayer in a church meeting need not include a summary of each message and should not become an unscheduled sermon. Private prayers can be as long as we want, but public prayers ought to be short supplications for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us, or brief declarations of gratitude for what has transpired.” Heh. I feel a little bad for the person now sitting in the congregation furiously editing the prayer s/he was planning for the benediction of this session :)