What an exciting day to be here in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah, attending the October 2011 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There were inspired messages presented throughout the day, with much to ponder and find personal application for in our lives. Being a Mormon means following living prophets and apostles. That's an amazing concept for people outside of our faith to wrap their heads around. But we do, and this is what our General Conferences are all about -- hearing and listening to living prophets of God!
BTW, I hope some of you are shooting video of your own conference experiences this weekend, for the Come Listen campaign. I can't wait to see that project evolve and how it will literally bless people on a global scale.
Two events that stand out from the Saturday morning session -- the absence of President Monson at the commencement of the session, and the announcement of five new temples; France - Africa - Columbia - Utah - Wyoming! Amongst the online community of LDS members who were sharing #LDSConf, there was particular enthusiasm for the new Provo temple. I still have no concrete information about why President Monson was late this morning, so I won't even attempt a speculation about that. LDS Church spokesman, Cody Craynor, told Deseret News that President Monson was "delayed en route". All I know is that he was is excellent spirits when he stood to speak. One thing for sure, we were all grateful!
I do however, have some information about the Prove, Utah Tabernacle:
"The Converted Provo Tabernacle will become the second temple in Provo and the sixteenth in the state. The Tabernacle was originally constructed from 1883 to 1898. it is located on University Avenue between Center Street and 100 South.
Historically, the tabernacle was used for church meetings and cultural events. Since the 2010 fire, Church leaders have worked with architects, engineers and historical exerts to determine the future of the building. The project will include a complete restoration of the original exterior. To facilitate these plans the Church has recently acquired additional property near the tabernacle.
This will be the second time the Church has converted an historic tabernacle into a temple. The Vernal Utah Temple, which was dedicated in 1997, was constructed within the brick exterior of the 1907 Uintah Stake Tabernacle." LDS Newsroom
Here are my favorite quotes from the Saturday morning session of General Conference...
President Monson on Temples:
"No Church-built facility is more important that a temple. Temples are places where relationships are sealed together to last through eternity." President Thomas S. Monson
Elder Scott on the Power of Scriptures:
"Scriptures are like packets of light that illuminate our minds and give place to guidance and inspiration from on high. They can become the key to open the channel to communion with our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ". Richard G. Scott
"Pondering a passage of scripture can be a key to unlock revelation and the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Scriptures can calm an agitated soul, giving peace, hope, and a restoration of confidence in one's ability to overcome the challenges of life. They have potent power to heal emotional challenges when there is faith in the Savior. They can accelerate physical healing." Richard G. Scott
Presidents Packer - Counsel to Youth:
"Perhaps the single greatest thing I learned from reading the Book of Mormon is that the voice of the spirit comes as a feeling rather than a sound. You will learn, as I have learned, to "listen" for that voice that is felt rather than heard." Boyd K. Packer
"It is not expected that you go through life without making mistakes, but you will not make a major mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Spirit." Boyd K. Packer
"Youth today are being raised in enemy territory with a declining standard of morality. But as a servant of the Lord, I promise that you will be protected and shielded from the attacks of the adversary if you will heed the promptings that come from the Holy Spirit." Boyd K. Packer
President Uchtdorf - You Matter to Him:
"Disciples of Jesus Christ understand that compared to eternity, our existence in this mortal sphere is only "a small moment" in space and time." Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"The Lord doesn't care at all if we spend our days working in marble halls or stable stalls. he knows where we are, no matter how humble our circumstances. He will use -- in His own way, and for His holy purposes -- those who incline their hearts to Him." Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"It may be true that man is nothing in comparison to the greatness of the universe. At times we may even feel insignificant, invisible, alone, or forgotten. But always remember -- you matter to Him!" Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"God sees you not only as mortal beings on a small planet who lives for a brief season -- He sees you as His child. He sees you as the being you are capable and designed to become. He wants you to know that you matter to Him." Dieter F. Uchtdorf
As always, I look forward to studying the inspired words of these living prophets over the next few months...