Now that a day or two has passed and we all have caught our breath after an awesome general conference. We look forward to study the word.
I have pondered the conference. I’ve discussed with others. I am ready to share my list of key takeaways from conference. My list is from my perspective and the order is debatable because it is all important and life changing. But humans love to make lists.
1. Jesus Christ is central to the Plan of Salvation: Of course, I knew this was true before conference, but I list it first because I think the talks were powerful in teaching this truth. From the clear straight forward approach of President Oaks, the lawyer, to the gentle friendly approach of Elder Holland, the educator, the message given was that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
2. Solemn Assembly and the Hosanna Shout: What a perfect event to occur on Palm Sunday. People around the world waving and shouting hosanna. In the unity of faith, praising Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
3. New Symbol: Building on the theme that Christ is the chief cornerstone and is central to the Plan of Salvation, the new symbol or logo speaks to it. Now there is no question if we believe in Jesus Christ and his central role in our Salvation. I am reminded of his gift of the resurrection because of the image of Christ coming out of the empty tomb.
4. Restoration Proclamation: I liken this proclamation to the Articles of Faith. A wonderful way to share with others what does it mean to be a Latter-day Saint who believes that the heavens were open again in 1820 and God restored his church through the Prophet Joseph Smith.
5. Temple in Dubai, UAE: First, thinking of a Christian sacred building in a country where Islam is the official state religion is amazing. Now add to the fact that we are building it by invitation is mind blowing. The first temple in the Middle East. Let me just say, Jerusalem isn’t that far.
6. Temple in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China: Just saying the name takes your breath away. In my mind, the Lord started to lay the foundation for this day years ago when then Dr. Russell M. Nelson and later Elder Nelson developed friendships among Chinese leaders. He developed mutual respect and trust. Another fascinating aspect of this temple is that “a modest multipurpose meeting place will provide a way for Chinese members to continue to participate in ordinances of the temple—in the People’s Republic of China—for them and their ancestors,” President Nelson said. It makes me think that when the time is right, maybe other buildings can be repurposed for temple work. (Can anyone say the Jerusalem Center or the visitors center in Independence, Missouri?)
7. Six additional temples: Announcing more temples is always a highlight of General Conference. Third temple in Argentina. Third temple in Florida. Second temple in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Second temple in Pennsylvania. Third temple in Nigeria. Twenty-fourth temple in Utah. They continue to dot the earth.
8. Worldwide Fast on Good Friday: It seems to me when President Nelson called for another worldwide fast and when he said, “as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, I know that God ‘has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.’” his voice became stronger and more purposeful. He stood a little taller. You could see he was speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost. I can’t wait until Friday.
9. Last Musial number: The choirs from the four corners of the earth were wonderful. It reminded me of the worldwide nature of the church. We are seeing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joseph Smith that the church would fill the earth. For that matter, we are seeing “the stone cut out of the mountain without hands” (Daniel 2:45) filling the earth.
10. Sister Laudy Ruth Kaouk Alvarez and Brother Enzo Serge Petelo: Those were the best 5-minute talks they have ever given. With her broad smile, Sister Laudy’s love of the Savior and her faith in the Priesthood just poured out. Brother Petelo’s testimony of the power of the Aaronic priesthood and how it affects the way young priesthood holders live was a clarion call to all priesthood holders.
As I said earlier, this is my list and others would list them differently. I am very interested how you would rate these and other takeaways. What spoke to you? How are you changed because of the conference?
I look forward to your comments.