Priesthood Session: I’m a Man!

Welcome to BCC’s continuing coverage of the 180th Annual General Conference. Up next: The Priesthood Session, brought to you by Old Spice: We’re Men!

Elder Oaks speaking first, on the importance of blessings and healings (did you see Stapley’s ears perk up?). He addresses healing the sick by three modes:
1. Medical Science
2. Prayers of Faith
3. Priesthood blessings

This is a great topic–our newest permablogger, Aaron R., wrote a post some weeks ago about this very topic, so hopefully it resonates with many of us.

Well, that’s just fantastic–I typed a lengthy quote, and then the Internet connection cut out. Spectacular.
Oh, Elder Rasband. He is one of my favorite GAs for the simple reason that he is the only who has ever put me in a head lock. When I was a missionary in Finland, he came and spoke and after it was over, he came over and spoke privately with my companion and I for a few moments–we were in a position of leadership in the mission, and he had asked me to say a few things during the meeting earlier, so we were already familiar with each other. After giving me some general instruction, he put his arm around me, then squeezed and moved up until I was literally in a head lock, and he whispered in my ear a few last bit of counsel. Some time I’ll do a post about what he said, but not now.

Very interesting to hear Elder Rasband describe the process of how mission calls are assigned. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the process described before, at least not this intimately.
Elder Rasband:

“Elder Eyring bore his witness to me of the love the Savior has for each missionary assigned to go out into the world and preach the restored gospel. He said that it is by the great love of the Savior that His servants know where these wonderful, young men and women, senior missionaries, and senior couple missionaries are to serve.”

Am I wrong in my understanding that we just heard something really, really amazing/fascinating/interesting? That entire talk just blew my mind–it is the kind of talk I love–the sort where the speaker is answering a question in great detail that you would love to ask, but assume they’ll never answer; in this case, the nitty-gritty details of mission call assignments.
Everything you ever wanted to know about David L. Beck, from the Young Men’s General Presidency.
President Uchtdorf:
Airplane or No Airplane: You make the call!

“Patience–the ability to put our desires on hold for a time–is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and bitter.”

Personally, I love the fact that President Uchtdorf is talking about that YouTube video of the kids and the marshmallows. I wonder what else he watches on YouTube (other than Mormon Messages, of course!)

“As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve. Understand that they, like us, are imperfect. They, like us, make mistakes. They, like us, want others to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

All those present who suddenly feel guilty, please right-click.

Also, if you thought President Uchtdorf was going to skip talking about airplanes, you were wrong. Pilot story….NOW.

From his early days in training to become a pilot, he relates the following:

“As I was running I began to notice something that, frankly, troubled me. Time and again, I was being passed by men who smoked, drank, and did all manner of things that were contrary to the gospel and, in particular, to the Word of Wisdom. I remember thinking, “Wait a minute! Aren’t I supposed to be able to run and not be weary?” But I was weary…”

“Patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit.”

President Eyring: Act In All Diligence
Looks like we’re talking Duty to God-ish stuff this evening.

“The pattern from the new Duty to God booklet…is to learn what the Lord expects of you, make a plan to do it, act on your plan with diligence, and then share with others how your experience changed you and blessed others.”

This quote from President Eyring resonates with me tonight–I’ve been thinking about this very much of late:

“You have seen such examples of great priesthood servants. Tonight I will try to tell you about what I have learned about them. It begins with their learning to know whose service they are in and for what purpose. When that goes down into their hearts, it makes all the difference.

Hey–Chris H! Wake up! He’s speaking to the Melchizedek Priesthood now. Eyes open!

And here is the money quote from President Eyring:

“When I find myself drawn away from my priesthood duties by other interests and when my body begs for rest, I give to myself this rallying cry: ‘Remember Him.’ The Lord is our perfect example of diligence in priesthood service. He is our captain. He called us. He goes before us. He chose us to follow Him and bring others with us. This evening I remember Him and it stirs my heart. This is the Saturday night before Easter Sunday when we remember His resurrection. I remember His example in the days before.”

Okay, one more because President Eyring is just a rockstar tonight in this talk:

“I close now with this counsel to the Lord’s priesthood servants. Ponder deeply and diligently in the scriptures and in the words of living prophets. Persist in prayer for the Holy Ghost to reveal to you the nature of God the Father and His Beloved Son. Plead that the Spirit will show you what the Lord wants you to do. Plan to do it. Promise Him to obey. Act with determination until you have done what He asked. And then pray to give thanks for the opportunity to serve and to know what you might do next.”

Okay, one more talk: President Thomas S. Monson, PsR, and then it’s time for a break until tomorrow morning.

President Monson: “Preparation Brings Blessings”
Looks like this address is geared mainly to younger men–preparing for missions, For the Strength of Youth pamphlets (Yes, I know it’s equally applicable to adults, too. Especially the part about R-rated movies), temple marriage preparation, dating, and such.
Other bullet points:
-“Everyone needs good friends”
-“Honesty is the best policy”
-Dress appropriately and neatly
-Treat others kindly and with dignity
-“How you speak and the words you use tell much about the image you choose to portray”
-Pr0n is bad
-Movies, music, TV–don’t be afraid to walk out.
-WoW: Hard drugs, wrongful use of Rx drugs, alcohol, coffee, tea, and Peeps destroy our physical mental and spiritual well being.

(President Monson didn’t really include Peeps in his list, but he should have, so I added it myself.)

The money quotes from President Monson:

“When you were confirmed a member of the Church, you received the right to the companionship of the Holy Ghost. He can help you make good choices. When challenged or tempted, you do not need to feel alone. Remember that prayer is the passport to spiritual power. If any has stumbled in his journey, there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. Though the path is difficult, the promise is real: ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.'”

Well, that about does it for the Priesthood Session. Feel free to share any of your thoughts and reactions–or else just go back to the previous threads and endlessly debate the meaning of Elder Christofferson’s mention of “social justice” if that sounds like fun instead.

Either way, be back tomorrow morning for more.


  1. Kevin Barney says:

    Here are two tickets to that thing you love…

  2. exciting..for the first time ever I sort of get to attend Priesthood! Thanks!

  3. Running a little late. I’m guessing we’ve only missed some singing and praying so far.

  4. no amen on the prayer? Hmmm.

  5. Eyring conducting. Awesome. Love this arrangement of Choose the Right. Never liked this song before.

  6. coachodeeps says:

    Simple, humble renditions of the first 2 songs to set a good tone.

  7. Eric Russell says:

    I wonder how many people would be here right now if BYU had made it this far.

  8. Chris Henrichsen says:

    This is tempting. I can type in the chapel without my wife glearing at me like she does when I blog sessions at home.

  9. coachodeeps says:

    My wife edoes the same…8

  10. Oaks talking first. Sounds like he’s being paid by the AMA.

  11. ♫ That’s spelled M…A…N… ♫

  12. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Eric, if BYU makes it past the second round, the second coming is soon. Better attend conference for instructions.

  13. coachodeeps says:

    Elder Oaks, I like his talks and deep voice. Healing the body equaled to cultivating and harvesting. All things done in its order.

  14. Chris Henrichsen says:

    8 in 10 Americans believe in miracles. Would like to see the details of that poll.

  15. Interesting that he acknowledges miracles can happen without priesthood authority.

  16. coachodeeps says:

    Increase in natural disasters and economy show we will need the healing power of the priesthood more than ever before.

  17. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Is there an increase in natural disasters?

  18. coachodeeps says:

    17-according to Elder Oaks, yes.

  19. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Well then

  20. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Trying to explain why some live or heal and others do not can be a messy business.

    Faith leads me to think that we do not always need an explanation.

  21. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Mission call time is fun.

  22. RE: miracles

    Did Anyone see 20/20 last night? They actually had a special on miracles and healings that reminded me while Elder Oaks talked.

  23. Nice explanation of the mission call process by Rasband.

  24. Chris Henrichsen says:

    “No…that’s not it,” Awesome.

    “Japan?” Awesome, again.

  25. Eric Russell says:

    E. Eyering calling out E. Rasband on a wrong mission assignment. Awesome.

  26. That explination of the mission call process is a lot more detailed than I’ve ever heard.

  27. Now half the missionaries in the Japan Sapporo mission are going to think they are the One Mighty and Strong.

  28. coachodeeps says:

    Assign or reassign done by revelation…I was reassigned while in the MTC, and I know it was by revelation. I knew I would be reassigned before it happened and I knew to where I would go.

  29. Chris Henrichsen says:

    I knew that I was going to go to Canada English speaking. Instead, went California Anaheim Vietnamese speaking. It worked out well. I now just want to move to Canada.

  30. Chris – I suspect it’s the Pew American Religious Landscape survey, here.

  31. Chris Henrichsen says:

    My phone battery might not be up for a two hour session.

  32. Chris, 14 – I suspect it is the Pew American Religious Landscape survey, here.

  33. 14 – Chris, I suspect it’s the Pew American Religious Landscape survey. I tried to link it, but think the spam filter ate the post. You can google it, I’m sure.

  34. Chris Henrichsen says:

    I see you…bringing death and misery to many natives. Nothing like the image of Christian missionaries as European conquerors. Cringe.

  35. Priesthood is being liveblogged (not open-threaded) at

  36. Who thinks President Uchtdorf will talk about airplanes? I won’t spoil it for you…

  37. Uhh, Ben, I’m kind of liveblogging it here, too.

  38. For the ladies, Uchtdorf is wearing the same tie from the afternoon session. Being patient is a key factor to later success in life.

  39. coachodeeps says:

    No airplanes today…

  40. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Matt: for most Americans “Do you believe in miracles?” is more about hockey than faith.:)

    I say there will be no airplane story.

  41. Chris Henrichsen says:

    What Ben means is liveblogging without my comments.

  42. Advertising liveblogging on another site to direct traffic away from ME is a good way to get banninated.

  43. coachodeeps says:

    Chris-I have enjoyed your comments! Keep them coming.

  44. He was never sure why endless running was such an important part of preparation to become a fighter pilot.

  45. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Pilot training…I think that counts as an airplane story.

  46. coachodeeps says:

    Scott-you are more than live blogging for me here in my stake center. The paragraph about us needing to be patient with those we serve was written here about 3-4 minutes before Pres. Uchdorf said it…so you are futureblogging!

  47. coachodeeps says:

    Pilot training-a stretch to say it is airplanes. But, I concede, I was wrong.

  48. Chris Henrichsen says:

    Scott, see, all these month of dealing with me has just been a way to help you develop patience.

  49. Patience means reigning in anger and holding back the unkind word. Patience is a process of perfection.

  50. coachodeeps,
    Yes, I made a small mistake there–hit save before I intended to. Forgive me!!!

    Also, Butler beat Michigan State.
    Duke will beat West Virginia.

    How ’bout them spoilers, suckas!

  51. The nice part about following the live blog for priesthood is that there aren’t any comments about how attractive E. Uchdorf is…


  52. Butler/MSU was a great game. Not thatt I was updating ESPN during the first hour…

  53. Chris Henrichsen says:

    I am more into Eyring’s looks.

  54. Is Pres. Eyring’s tie the same as the earlier sessions?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  55. coachodeeps says:

    Pres. Eyring is a great speaker. I have always liked the way he expresses things, both in which words he choses and his inflection and spirit in which I speaks those words. He truly speaks by the spirit of the Holy Ghost.

  56. coachodeeps says:

    He almost announced new sections of the Doctrine and Covenants…183?!

  57. It is difficult to liveblog during talks by President Eyring, Elder Holland, and President Uchtdorf. It’s so easy to just kind of become transfixed on their face and let time pass because they just command attention–albeit in very different ways.

  58. coachodeeps says:

    Scott-no worries. I enjoy the futureblogging and your live blogging.

  59. I said I was sorry! I actually even deleted it and then reposted it because I was so filled with anguish!

  60. Madeline says:

    Thanks for giving us sisters in Zion a glimpse into your world. :)

  61. coachodeeps says:

    Quotes about dating and dress/appearance-straight from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. Nice to hear Pres. Monson as Prophet read them.

  62. Anyone feel like President Monson didn’t want to write a fourth talk this year?

  63. Madeline says:

    speaking of dating what’s the difference between dating and hanging out with friends…? My 15 year old and I have different views of this. Do you parents allow your young teens to go to movies, amusement parks, the mall with members of the opposite sex (in groups)? What exactly is a date?

    A confused mom :-)

  64. coachodeeps says:

    I know there was a great talk about dating and hanging out about 3-4 years ago in GC. I would have to search for it. If I find it I will post the link.

  65. Madeline says:

    62 thanks

  66. Thanks for posting this for those of us who couldn’t attend. Good work–very detailed for doing it live.

  67. I’m on a horse.

  68. #60. I felt the same way. 2/3 of it felt like a rehash of an old Hinckley talk.

  69. Left Field says:

    I thought it was the slowest most painful rendition of Choose the Right I’ve ever heard. Are they done singing yet? I thought of that later when someone mentioned that the tempo of music can drive the spirit away.

  70. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 61, in my view that’s hanging out, not dating, and ought to be copacetic. But I’m a liberal on this kind of issue. (The major address on dating v. hanging out isn’t going to help you much, because it was by Elder Oaks addressed to young adults of marriageable age.)

  71. I didn’t have the foresight to take a wifi capable device with me, but i took a few notes.

    E’ Oaks: loved his comment about God answering the prayers of that community in Waco; nice that He hears any prayer of faith
    E’ Rasband: “I didn’t know, and didn’t know i could know”
    “Pay attention and you can” how often do we, by our own culture, live beneath our potential cause we don’t think to look up.
    P’ Eyring: loved his comment about today being the Saturday before Easter

  72. And after my ward had a choice of vanilla or Neapolitan ice cream with a nice selection of toppings. That was the talk of the session

  73. Madeline says:

    No. 69 Thanks for sharing your views. I didn’t grow up in the church so I feel like I don’t have a pattern to follow. My son says It’s not fair that he can’t hang out with a girl just because she’s a girl. He says he understands the consel to not date until 16 and then only in groups. So I’m confused on what is the difference between a group date and a group of friends hanging out. And yes he does “like” one of the girls in the group he wants to “hang out” with.

    Any ideas on this????

  74. Madeline, I just typed up a long response, and somehow it didn’t post. So here’s the abbreviated answer:

    It is only a date if your son and the girl he is hanging out with think it is a date. Young people are counseled to not date until they are 16 so they can focus on developing friendships. Also, he shouldn’t be paying for her dinner, the movie, or whatever. That definitely makes it a date.

    FWIW, I hung out with my friends all the time, and many times there were equal numbers of boys and girls, but most of the time we were just hanging out, and that’s all it was.

  75. do you have a link or name for the you tube video on marshmallows?? Being single it is nice to have a glimpse into what was said!
    Thanks for the report!!

  76. Starfoxy says:

    Nita, I think this is the video.

  77. thanks!

  78. I would say a “date” is nearly any event where (young) men and women pair off. If they don’t, its not a date.

  79. nita, Pres. Uchtdorf actually referred to the first time the marshmallow experiment was done, at Stanford in the 1960s. Scott’s just messin’ with ya.

    Just a couple of things that I wrote down during the session, some of which I haven’t seen mentioned yet:

    I quite liked Choose the Right. It was almost haunting in places.

    Chris touched on this above. Elder Oaks listed 5 components of a priesthood blessing: 1) anointing, 2) sealing, 3) faith of the recipient, 4) words of the blessing, 5) will of the Lord. I liked his take on which of these is most essential, viz all but #4. Whereas the words of e.g. a patriarchal blessing are the essence of the event, in priesthood blessings for healing the other (i.e. non-verbal) components most strongly determine the result whether or not the elder actually indicates healing in the blessing.

    Elder Oaks also seemed to think of #5 as kind of a veto; if the anointing and sealing occur and the recipient exercises faith (and he gave some examples of how one does this) the blessing will take effect in some way *unless* the recipient is appointed unto death. I’d love to hear Jonathan’s thoughts on this talk.

    Elder Rasband’s talk was just amazing, starting with the description of the setting of the mission call room–several large computer monitors, one on which a large photo of the prospective missionary appeared, one with bishop/stake president comments and medical records, and one with mission information–and going through the whole call process with then-Elder Eyring. At the beginning, Elder Eyring prayed with Elder Rasband and the Missionary Department staff member that they might “know perfectly” where to assign each missionary.

    At one point: “What do you think, Elder Rasband?” “I don’t know. I don’t know if I *can* know.” “If you pay closer attention, you can know.”

    Later Elder Rasband was asked again. He named a mission. Elder Eyring thought a while, then said “No, that’s not it.” Laughter all around the audience.

    One photo came up, and Elder Rasband had the strongest impression that the missionary would go to Japan. He timidly suggested “Japan?” Immediately President Eyring said “Yes! Let’s go there” and they did. Elder Rasband thought silently that it would be the Sapporo mission, and that is what Elder Eyring assigned.

    At the beginning of his message, President Monson seemed to ad-lib: Remember that you were here for one of the finest General Priesthood Meetings he’s ever attended.

    The closing song was also quite nice: an arrangement of The Iron Rod. It wasn’t the Jupiter (from The Planets) version from a few years ago, but rather the standard melody but in a funny 7/4 signature (or 3/4 + 4/4 measure pairs) for the verses and 4/4 for the chorus.

  80. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    I think the Choose the Right arrangement started off great, but they needed to “choose the right” number of verses for the pace of the song.

  81. Antonio Parr says:

    President Monson’s extemporaneous comment that last night’s meeting was one of the finest Priesthood sessions ever echoed my simultaneous thoughts about the meeting. What a blessing to hear such wisdom and light.

  82. Here is the Dallin H. Oaks talk, though, yes, it is set toward Young Single Adults, you can learn from the talk.

    I was looking for this article (Thought it was a talk, sorry for the confusion):
    I really like the guidelines that are pointed out:
    Make sure there’s an adult around
    Make a plan and a time frame
    Don’t pair off
    Follow common-sense safety rules
    Get ready to move on

    This on by Brad Wilcox is also good:

  83. #63:

    Look up the article in the New Era called, “Why Date?” from August 2006. (Linking to it isn’t working right now). I like the guidelines it gives.

    Also, Brad Wilcox’s article for August 2001 “Just Hanging Out” is pretty good.

  84. Madeline says:

    74 78 and 82 Thanks for the tips on young people and dating.

    From the responses I’ve gotten it appears I might be taking to strict of a perspective on this. Oh well I chalk it up to two things 1) I’m a “new” parent of a teen and 2) not having church standards to protect me as a teen I got into “trouble” I don’t want my kids to have to deal with.

    So no one here sees allowing a young teen (14-15) to go to the movies, mall, amusement park etc with a group of kids including some that “like” each other as a date. What trips me up is the counsel to group date beginning at 16. To me this seems like a group date.

    Any thoughts?? Thanks!! :-)

  85. Madeline says:

    82 and 83

    Thanks for the Why Date article. That is the 1st time I’ve seen the church address the dating issue for 14-15 year olds.

    Here’s a quote I found interesting:

    Make sure there’s an adult around. This is your best way of making sure you don’t end up in situations you won’t be comfortable with. The next steps on the path—group and individual dating—are the appropriate time to begin socializing on your own, without adult chaperones.

    This seems to point toward my way of thinking. No movies without an adult chaperone. That is what I told my son but he says I’m the only LDS parent that feels that way. Is he right?

  86. Madeline says:

    Sorry to highjack the thread (Pres Monson did bring up dating right?! :-), as you can see this has been on my mind and I wish there was clearer guideline. But yes I know only a fool has to be instructed in all things… or however that saying goes.

    Okay I better pay attention to conference now least I set a bad example for that teen I’ve been asking questions about.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. :-)

  87. SawSkooh says:

    Madeline, Dallin H. Oaks defines a date (versus hanging out) as follows:

    “A ‘date’ must pass the test of three p’s: (1) planned ahead, (2) paid for, and (3) paired off.”


  88. Madeline says:

    Thanks 87

    I read the article and it was encouraging older teens to start dating insteaed of just hanging out. This won’t be a problem for my teen. My question is the reverse problem. Is it okay for younger teens to “hang out” in groups at the movies or mall or would this be considered a group date.

    Looking at the 3 P’s. It is planned ahead of time, it is NOT paid for, as far as paired off. That’s hard to say. My son does “like” one of the girls. Hmmm still confused here??

  89. no amen on the prayer? Hmmm.

    Maybe that’s because the “amen” at the end signifies that one agrees with what the one saying the prayer vocally has expresses, and it really is kind of strange for the one saying the prayer to indicate at the end that he agrees with what he just said.


  90. Madeleine,
    3 couples at dinner is a group date. 6 individuals hanging out together is not a date, no matter how many of them secretly like eachother. I’d be hard-pressed to imagine a mixed-sex group of teenage friends where somebody doesn’t have a crush on somebody else. that’s just normal social life, not “dating”.

  91. Madeline says:

    No. 90 good point.


  92. Just in case anyone is still checking in, it seems that an upcoming issue of the New Era is going to be a special issue devoted to dating. Madeline, if you don’t get the New Era, ask your son’s YM leaders to get him a copy! I know my ward is ordering a copy for each of the youth.

  93. Tatiana says:

    President Uchtdorf’s talk on patience really hit home for me. I think he’s such a great speaker and teacher, and I love his talks.

    If we’re asking parenting questions: Is it okay to link your grown non-LDS kid to a talk with a “don’t miss this, it was awesome” comment? I think it was perfect counsel for both of us. I’m learning lately and trying to teach him too that almost every important accomplishment in our lives comes through consistent daily effort, and very rarely from one big push or plunge into effort. This talk said that so well. I love that he referred to the marshmallow test which by the way I’m pretty sure I would have flunked with flying colors as a 4 year old. =) I learned early that whatever I didn’t eat immediately would be stolen by an older sibling, so that’s my excuse.

  94. Madeline says:

    Thanks Alex!

    We do get the New Era. I will have to check that out.

    I really do appreciate all the advice.


  95. Madeline says:


    I told my husband that the Next New Era is all about dating and he said he do have some issues on the bookshelf we might have it already. Sure enough there it was still shrinked wrapped. I guess it’s not enought to just subscribe to the magzines and have them on the bookshelf. I guess we should actully read them! :-)

    I’m off to read it now, but I am still wondering how parents put the counsel to use. Do you allow 14-15 year olds to go to public places like movies and the mall in? Of course the teens say it’s not a date. But I’m not so sure. Thoughts??

  96. Madeline says:


    I think sending a link to an article is fine. I don’t have grown children, but I am a grown child and this would not offend me. I think if you send the message to your grown up child that your passing this along because it helped you and you thought it might do the same for him or her that it just shows you care. I think this is fine.


  97. Tatiana says:

    Thank you, Madeline! I’ll do that.