Rock Star Brandon Flowers Shares His Mormon Faith

For many Brandon Flowers fans, finding out that this rock star is a Mormon, may comes as quite a surprise.  In fact, Brandon is the latest I'm a Mormon profile at -- along with this inspiring video interview, sure to go viral!

For the few of you who don't know who Brandon Flowers is, he is best known as the frontman in the Las Vegas-based rock band, The Killers.  He recently released his first solo album titled Flamingo.  But what Brandon also wants people to know about him, is the importance of faith and family, in his life.

Brandon was raised a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and recalls his mother taking him to church each Sunday, which left an indelible impression on him as to the importance of family values.   His parents have been married 44 years, of which Brandon said "there was always a happiness in my home, and that's what I want".

My name is Brandon Flowers.  I'm a father, a husband and I'm a Mormon.

I love that Brandon Flowers is sharing his Mormon faith, via the I'm a Mormon campaign.  I also appreciate his blunt response about never outgrowing his faith, regardless of worldly success.  That takes courage.  In my book, this is one Well-Behaved Mormon Guy!  

I'm a fan!

Kathryn Skaggs

To learn more about the Mormon faith, visit

Mormon Beliefs: Sharing versus Standing

My news feeds across all of my social networks, online, have been permeated over these last few days, with various responses to the recent claims that Mormons are not Christian and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a cult.  I blogged about how Mormons should respond, here.

I've never seen anything like this!  Four years ago when the same Mormon was running for President, as much publicity as that received, the online response was not the same.  There's a reason for this, too.  And that is, that most likely you were not active online.

Everyday Mormons are starting to come out of the woodwork, so to speak, and are beginning to stand for what they believe.  For the most part, it is Mormons that are sharing the many responses, from the multitudes of media outlets, on Facebook, Twitter, etc...  about our Christianity and what we believe.

I've observed both family members and friends, for the first time ever, sharing various articles, videos, etc..  and even update their online status with bold statements like this one:

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, A Mormon and Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. That makes me a Christian!

This is awesome!  However, I do have some concerns...  Currently we are standing up for our Mormon beliefs in response to a media storm of false accusations, which is right now a hot topic in  the news -- and so everyone has something to say about it.  So basically, we've jumped on the bandwagon and are taking the opportunity to spread what others are saying about us.  Not that this is necessarily a negative thing, particularly, when happily, many outside of our faith have been willing to speak out against this type of religious bigotry.  And of course, this is what we all find so appealing and obviously want to share with others. I've done plenty of it myself.  After all, it's always good to feel validated for what and how we believe, by those who most often are perceived as critical toward us.   And certainly, in general, the liberal media is that!

Please don't misunderstand what I am trying to say here, because I do see the good in what is happening.  My hope, is that in all the excitement about what others are saying and writing about our Mormon beliefs, that we don't miss the opportunity to speak up ourselves.  As good as I believe it is to stand, I honestly feel that our greater power to share the gospel online, will come when we as members are actually saying and writing, ourselves, what and how we believe.

Sharing the gospel means sharing not only what we believe, but how and why we believe it  -- personally.  We are most effective when we not only take opportunities to share, but actually create those opportunities.

I really like the above photo/visual that a member created, and is currently being shared by many Mormons, online. (Sure wish I knew who to give credit.) What I really like about this unofficial "I am a Christian" campaign, is that when we share this type of social media on our social networks, either as a link or even your profile picture, it gives us, the individual, the opportunity to share what we believe --  versus discussing what someone else has said.  I posted it over on Google Plus last night -- you can check out how that's going here.  It's always a wonderful opportunity when someone invites an individual member of the Mormon faith, to share their testimony of Jesus Christ.  It is in the sharing of our individual testimonies of Jesus Christ, that we will soften hearts toward our faith.

I also really like this powerful video that features Apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, who teaches with clarity the Mormon doctrine of the Godhead, and what we believe about the Divinity of  Jesus Christ.   I probably like it best for what members can actually learn, which helps us better discuss our faith with others.  The more comfortable we are with understanding our doctrine, the more confidence we will have to actually step out and share what we believe --  and ultimately bear testimony of such.

Jeffrey R. Holland: True Doctrine of Godhead

Not surprising, the Church has received a barrage of inquiries, by various media outlets, to comment on the Christianity of the Mormon faith.  And also not surprising is this response titled, A Christ-Centered Faith:

“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.” (2 Nephi 25:26)  
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in, study and seek to live by the teachings found in the Old and New Testaments. We also believe the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. As the verse above plainly teaches, Christ is at the center of our worship, study, service and faith, and we believe this is clearly demonstrated in the lives of more than 14 million members in over 130 countries around the globe.

You and I are those members that this statement is referring to, and we are the ones that can create opportunities to share these beliefs with others.  We can do this, online, by using our social networks to share either created social media by the Church, ourselves or others, that will help you share what you personally believe.

Have you had the opportunity to share your beliefs online, over the last week, because of the recent media attention?  I'd love to hear about it...

Kathryn Skaggs

“On Faith” Blog: How Do Mormons Answer “Not Christian” Claims?

“Research shows that people have a far better view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when they know a member personally,” Otterson says. “There is a point when those people who have seen Mormons caricatured in their Sunday School classes realize that the second-hand prejudices they have learned don’t fit with their first-hand experiences with faithful Latter-day Saints.”

Responding to Claims: Mormonism a Cult - Church of Jesus Christ not Christianity

What do we as Mormons do, when someone refers to us as a cult, or claims that Mormons are not Christian? I'll tell you what we do, we educate!  Yup, that's all. You and I both know that going on the defense, or becoming offended, rarely works.  Take for example, the recent claims of a baptist minister who pronounced that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not Christianity.  Unfortunately, he has a large and very public audience of which he is able to broadcast his opinion.  So once again, the distortions about what Mormons believe and how we believe becomes a media firestorm.   And that's what's happening right now.   The beliefs of Mormonism are once again, high on the radar of mainstream America.

In response, or actually not in response, the Church made this statement on the LDS Newsroom blog

"In response to media calls regarding comments made by a Baptist minister at a political event stating that Mormons are not Christians, the Church issued the following statement today:
"We really don’t want to comment on a statement made at a political event, but those who want to understand the centrality of Christ to our faith can learn more about us and what we believe by going to"
So here's the good news...  It gives you and I another chance to teach those interested how we feel about Jesus Christ, and His central roll in our personal religious beliefs.  Have you noticed that these opportunities seem to be coming with greater frequency?  It's not any wonder that  LDS leaders continue to urge members to share what we believe with others -- and are especially encouraging this online.

If you have not yet created your own profile on, I'd like to challenge you to do so.  The most powerful tool we have for sharing the gospel is our own personal testimony of its truthfulness.  When creating your own personal profile on you have the opportunity to share with others your feelings, thoughts and testimony on many different topics of Mormonism.  As an example, you can check out mine, here.

I love that the Church responded to the question of our Christianity by directing those interested in learning more, to members of the Church.  We are the ones that will have the greatest impact on those who are searching to know for themselves -- what and how Mormons believe.

This video that highlights some of the recent teachings from the October 2011 General Conference, does an excellent job of sharing with others what Mormonism teaches, believes and how we are counseled to live.  Jesus Christ is at the very center of Mormon beliefs.  We can share our testimonies of Jesus Christ with others, so that they may know for themselves, from a Mormon, that we truly are Christians.

I really loved the counsel that L. Tom Perry gave to members of the Church, on the importance of sharing the gospel...

"If you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a spirit of love and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion."

Instead of becoming defensive or offended when we hear of those who make false claims toward the Church, we should consider it an invitation to share.  Elder Perry explained it this way...

"While the Church is becoming more visible, there are still many people who do not understand it. Some have been taught to be suspicious of the Church, to operate under negative stereotypes about the Church without questioning their source and validity. There is also a great deal of misinformation and confusion about what the Church is and what it stands for."

Elder Perry, on the part we as members can have to help correct distortions...

"The growing visibility and reputation of the Church presents some remarkable opportunities to us as its members. We can help “disabuse the public mind” and correct misinformation when we are portrayed as something we are not. More important, though, we can share who we are.

There are a number of things that we can do—that you can do—to advance an understanding of the Church. "

Elder Perry goes on to list a number of suggested way that we can share our faith with others, online, here.

I particularly appreciated this counsel on how we should communicate with others, when discussing our Mormon beliefs...

"We should appreciate and approach such conversations with Christlike love. Our tone, whether speaking or writing, should be respectful and civil, regardless of the response of others. We should be honest and open and try to be clear in what we say. We want to avoid arguing or becoming defensive in any way.

Today’s “manner of conversation” seems to involve the Internet more and more. We encourage people, young and old, to use the Internet and the social media to reach out and share their religious beliefs.

As you utilize the Internet, you may come across ongoing conversations about the Church. When directed by the Spirit, do not hesitate to add your voice to these conversations.

The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is unlike anything else you will share with others. In the information age, it is the most valuable information in all the world. There is no question about its worth. It is a pearl of great price."

I'd just like to reemphasize the counsel of Elder Perry, by restating that this truly is a time of opportunity to share the gospel with others.  So instead of getting upset when we hear something unfavorable about what and how we believe, lets get excited that people are more apt to listen to what we have to say, because we are Mormon.  And then, say something!

Kathryn Skaggs

Here are a couple articles that I wrote over on Hubpages, a few years ago, that are getting quite a few hits over these last few days...

Is Mormonism A Cult?

Beliefs: Mormonism vs Christianity - Can a Comparison be Made?

Mormons Are Christians - No Doubt About It

Video: The Good We Can Do for Each Other

Opportunities to DO MORE good are all around us -- if we just look.  I wasn't planning on blogging today, until I saw this new Mormon Messages video: Opportunities to Do Good.  How easy it is for us as individuals, in our own simples ways, to help carry the burdens of others, who simply cannot do it alone.

So much of what the Savior's life exemplified, had everything to do with caring for others.  His mission is to rescue His brothers and sisters, and to heal them -- both physically and spiritually.

Here in mortality we become more like Him, as we reach out to bear one another's burdens.  We have a covenant relationship with God, to do so.  Perhaps personally, I needed to be reminded of this -- but I've decided to start praying each day to have my eyes opened, just a little bit wider, that I might truly see...

Please consider sharing this video with your family and friends.

Kathryn Skaggs

Sunday Afternoon General Conference Highlights and Quotes

I'm finally back home in California, after traveling to Utah for General Conference.  I am exhausted.  Totally spent.  But it's the really good kind of exhaustion, where you find yourself easily brought to tears, by a simple memory.  I have so many treasured memories from this one trip, that most likely, I'll be a basket case for a good week -- at least!

But I'm filled with peace -- the peace that only He can give to us.  The peace that confirms that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly His Church upon the earth, today.  And the work that is done to share it with others, is His work.   I love that.  And knowing it with a surety, is my favorite thing.

I'm not one to frequently request a priesthood blessing for personal reasons.  But I felt impressed to do so, before I left for Utah.  And of course, my sweet husband kindly obliged.  It was precise and I felt comfort.  I'm now thinking that I need to start making such requests more often.  I feel confident that my weekend was what it was, because I reached out to my Heavenly Father.  I need to be more humble.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference...

Elder Nelson - Covenants:

"Through the ages, God has made covenants with His children.  His covenants occur throughout the entire plan of salvation and are therefore  part of the fulness of His gospel."  Russell M. Nelson

"Ours is the responsibility to help fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant.  Ours is the seed foreordained and prepared to bless all people of the world.  That is why priesthood duty includes missionary work. After some 4,000 years of anticipation and preparation, this is the appointed day when the gospel is to be taken to the kindred of the earth.  This is the time of the promised gathering of Israel.  And we get to participate!  Isn't that exciting?"  Russell M. Nelson

"The Book of Mormon is a tangible sign that the Lord has commenced to gather His children of covenant Israel.  This book, written for our day, states as one of its purposes that "ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of already beginning to be fulfilled....For behold the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel."

"When we realize that we are children of the covenant, we know who we are and what God expects of us.  His law is written in our hearts.  He is our God and we are His people."  Russell M. Nelson

"The greatest compliment that can be earned here in this life is to be known as a "covenant keeper".   The rewards for a covenant keeper will be realized both here and hereafter."  Russell M. Nelson

Elder Cook - Tragedy:

"While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us."  Quentin L. Cook

"Many do not understand that under His loving and comprehensive plan those who appear to be disadvantaged, through no fault of their own, are not ultimately penalized."  Quentin L. Cook

"Righteousness, prayer and faithfulness will not always result in happy endings in mortality.  Many will experience severe trials.  When this happen the very act of having faith and seeking priesthood blessings is approved by God."  Quentin L. Cook

"There are many kinds of challenges.  Some give us necessary experiences.  Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven's overall plan.  The refiner's fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."  Quentin L. Cook

"Some challenges result from the agency of others.  Agency is essential for individual spiritual growth and development.  Evil conduct is an element of agency."  Quentin L. Cook

Elder Oaks - Jesus Christ:

"Some who call themselves Christians praise Jesus as a great teacher, but refrain from affirming His divinity...  We should all consider what He himself taught about who He was and what He was sent to earth to do."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He is the life of the world because He is our creator and because through His resurrection we are all assured that we will live again.  And the life He gives us is not merely mortal life."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He is the way and He is the light because His teachings light our path in mortal life and show us the way back to the Father."  Dallin H. Oaks

"Who then will enter the kingdom of heaven?  Not those who merely do wonderful works using the name of the Lord, Jesus taught, but only "he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."  Dallin H. Oaks

"He also challenges us to focus on Him, not on the things of the world." Dallin H. Oaks

"The culmination of our Savior's mortal ministry was His resurrection and His atonement for the sins of the world."  Dallin H. Oaks

"And so we understand that the atonement of Jesus Christ gives us the opportunity to overcome spiritual death that results from sin, and, through making and keeping sacred covenants, to have the blessings of eternal life."  Dallin H. Oaks

"There is no middle ground.  We are followers of Jesus Christ.  Our citizenship is in His Church and His gospel, and we should not use a visa to visit Babylon or act like one of its citizens."  Dallin H. Oaks

"Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten and Beloved Son of God.  He is our Creator.  He is the light of the world.  He is our Savior from sin and death.  This is the most important knowledge on earth, and you can know this for yourself, as I know for myself."  Dallin H. Oaks

President Monson - Until We Meet Again:

"We are all here because we love the Lord and want to serve Him.  I testify to you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us.  I acknowledge His hand in all things."  Thomas S. Monson

"Brothers and Sisters, I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face in the world today.  He loves each of us and will bless us as we strive to keep His commandments and seek Him through prayer.

"May heaven's blessings be with you.  May your homes be filled with harmony and love.  May you constantly nourish your testimonies, that they may be a protection for you against the adversary."  Thomas S. Monson

"We are one with you in moving forward this marvelous work.  I testify to you that we are all in this together and that every man, woman and child has a part to play.  May God give us the strength and the ability and the determination to play our part well.

I bear my testimony to you that this work is true, that our Savior lives, and that He guides and directs His Church here upon the earth.  I leave you with my witness and and my testimony that God our Eternal Father lives and loves us.  He is indeed our Father, and He is personal and real.  May we realize and understand how close to us He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, how much He loves us and how much He does and is willing to do for us."  Thomas S. Monson

Kathryn Skaggs

When Conference Materials Will Be Available

Sunday Morning General Conference Highlights and Quotes

As I walked to General Conference this morning, from my hotel, I was struck by the string of people trying to obtain a last minute ticket.  It was clearly about those who had, and those who did not.  I had to walk about a mile, and this was the scene all the way leading up to the Conference Center.  Most were holding up some type of makeshift sign, that would perhaps catch the eye of someone who held an extra, coveted ticket!

Upon first notice, I simply saw it as a novelty of attending the conference - just like the presence of the many do-gooders, on the corners, crying repentance to all the Mormons.  But as I got closer to the Conference Center, their numbers increased and their desperation to attend became more apparent.  One sweet, wide-eyed little girl, stood with her mom and dad holding a sign that said "Just turned 8".  I'm pretty sure they were from out of the country.  I so wished that I had a few hundred tickets that I could hand out along the way.  I thought of how happy this would make so many people.  When I realized that such a fantasy was not to be, and that the sincere desires of those wanting to see living prophets was not going to happen for most, I became overwhelmed with sadness.  You can imagine all the many metaphors that one could apply to such a scenario...

Eventually, gratitude for the miracles of technology filled my heart!  Even though these good people, with their truly righteous desires, could not physically attend the meeting, they were here and would hear the words of living prophets and apostles -- if they were willing to simply listen.

This morning we all listened, once again, to living prophets and apostles of the Lord.  No matter our physical location, what was most important is that we listened and heard, and are ready to now act...

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the Sunday morning session of General Conference...

President Eyring - What We Promise:

"First we have promised to become charitable. Second, we promised to become witnesses of God.  And third we promised to endure. The Book of Mormon is the best guide to learn how well we are doing and how to do better."  Henry B. Eyring

"The Lord is keeping His promises to you as you keep yours."  Henry B. Eyring

"Prayerful study of the Book of Mormon will build faith in God the Father, in His Beloved Son, and in His gospel.  It will build faith in God's prophets, ancient and modern.

It can draw you closer to God than any other book.  It can change a life for the better." Henry B. Eyring

Elder Hales - The Savior's Example, for Us, of Waiting Upon the Lord:

"I have had the opportunity to study and learn more about our Savior's atoning sacrifice and how He prepared Himself to make that eternal offering for each of us.  His preparation began in the pre-mortal life as he waited upon His Father, saying "Thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.  Beginning in that moment and continuing today, he exercises His agency to accept and carry out our Heavenly Father's plan." Robert D. Hales

"As we wait upon the Lord we are "immovable in keeping the commandments," knowing that we will "one day rest from [all] afflictions."  Robert D. Hales

"Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us.  Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them.  Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion.  Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving.  Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us." Robert D. Hales

Elder Ballard - The Importance of a Name:

"The name the Savior has given to His Church tells us exactly wo we are and what we believe.  We believe that Jesus Christ is the Savior and the Redeemer of all mankind.  He atoned for all who would repent of their sins, and He broke the bands of death and provided resurrection from the dead. We follow Jesus Christ."  M. Russell Ballard

"While Mormon is not the full and correct name of the Church, and even though it was originally given by our detractors during our early years of persecution, it has become an acceptable nickname when applied to members rather than the institution.  We do not need to stop using the name Mormon,  when appropriate, but we should continue to give emphasis to the full and correct name of the Church itself.  In other words, we should avoid and discourage the term "Mormon Church".  M. Russell Ballard

President Monson - Prayer:

"Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society.  Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable."  Thomas S. Monson

"Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant.  They have not changed; they will not change.  The ten commandments are just that -- commandments. They are not suggestions.  They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel."  Thomas S. Monson

"My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments." Thomas S. Monson

"As a means of being in the world but not of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer.   He wants us to do so; He'll answer our prayers."  Thomas S. Monson

"Not a day has gone by that I have not communicated with my Father in Heaven through prayer.  It is a relationship that I cherish -- one I would literally be lost without." Thomas S. Monson

"My beloved brothers and sisters, communication with our Father in Heaven -- including our prayers to Him and His inspiration to us -- is necessary in order for us to weather the storms and trials of life."  Thomas S. Monson

"As the winds of change swirl around us and the moral fiber of society continues to disintegrate before our very eyes, may we remember the Lord's precious promises to those who trust in Him:  "Fear thou not; I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yeah, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Thomas S. Monson

Kathryn Skaggs

Watch or listen, online, to all sessions of the October 2011 General Conference now!

Saturday Afternoon General Conference Highlights and Favorite Quotes

As I reflect over this past week, I'm absolutely blown away by the many blessings that I'm experiencing in my life!  I absolutely love blogging and writing about my membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what I believe, and encouraging others to do the same.  Doing this has brought opportunities into my life, that I never could have possibly imagined.   Since this post is about more General Conference highlights, specifically Saturday afternoon, it must include the overwhelming feelings of gratitude that being here to attend Conference has caused me to feel.  It has to be the Spirit, because I am completely filled with love...  Love for my Father in Heaven who clearly knows my heart.  Love for dear members of this Church who share the same passion as I do -- to share the gospel online.  And love for eternal principles and doctrines, taught with clarity, by living prophets of God!

So, lets get to those highlights...  Being here in Salt Lake City this weekend, to attend General Conference, is allowing me to finally meet a handful of the wonderful members that I have gotten to know, online, in person.  And really, it's been an absolute thrill!  Pictured with me in the above photo, are Elyse Hawks and David Horan.  These are two of the most amazing young people I know, who fearlessly and with delightful enthusiasm, share their Mormon beliefs, online!

As I met each person today, that I've known for quiet a while, online - it was reconfirmed to me just how powerful the Spirit can be, and is, in developing these types of friendships.  On occasion I'll run into people who are very doubtful that you can actually form meaningful relationships online.  I'm here to tell you that you can.  We all felt it today, and it was powerful.  There was nothing foreign about our meetings.  Our hearts were one spiritually, before we ever met physically.  Why am I telling you this?  Because, you can develop meaningful online friendships with those not of our faith, and have wonderful experiences sharing the gospel -- particularly when the Spirit is a part of the development of that relationship.

I'd also like to share my favorite quotes from the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference...

Elder Bednar on the Spirit of Elijah:

"The Spirit of Elijah affects people inside and outside of the Church.  However, as members of Christ's restored Church, we have the covenant responsibility to search out our ancestors and provide for them the saving ordinances of the gospel."  David A. Bednar

Elder Christofferson - Divine Gift of Repentance:

"As in the days of Nehor and Korihor, we live in a time not long before the advent of Jesus Christ -- in our case the time of preparation for His Second Coming.  And similarly, the message of repentance is often not welcomed.  Some profess that if there is a God, He makes no real demands upon us.  Others today maintain that a loving God forgives all sin based upon simple confession, or if there actually is a punishment for sin."  D. Todd Christofferson

"Repentance exists as an option only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ."  D. Todd Christofferson

Elder Andersen - Children:

"It is a crowning privilege of a husband and wife who are able to bear children, to provide mortal bodies for these spirit children of God.  We believe in families and we believe in children."  Neil L. Andersen

"Many voices in the world today marginalize the importance of having children or suggest delaying or limiting children in the family." Neil L. Andersen

Quoting a Christian mother who said: "Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling.  You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps.  It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in.  It is what God gave you time for."

"The bearing of children is a sensitive subject that can be very painful for righteous women who do not have the opportunity to marry and have a family.  To you noble women, our Heavenly Father knows your prayers and desires.  How grateful we are for your remarkable influence, including reaching out with loving arms to children who need your faith and strength."  Neil L. Andersen

Elder Perry - Share Who We Are:

"At all times of day across the entire world, the Church and its teachings are being discussed on the internet, on blogs and social networks by people who have never written for a newspaper or magazine.  They are making videos and sharing them online. These are ordinary people -- both members of our faith and other faiths -- who are talking about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  L. Tom Perry

"The growing visibility and reputation of the Church presents a remarkable opportunity to us as its members.  We can help to "disabuse the public mind, " and correct misinformation when we are portrayed as something we are not.  More importantly, though, we can share who we are."  L. Tom Perry

"How we speak about the Church is as important as what we say.  We should approach such conversations with Christ-like love.  Our tone, whether speaking or writing, should be respectful and civil, regardless of the responses from others.  We should be honest and open and try to be clear in what we say.  We want to avoid becoming defensive or argue in any way."  L. Tom Perry

"As you utilize the internet you may come across ongoing conversations about the Church.  When directed by the Spirit, don't hesitate to add your voice to these conversations."  L. Tom Perry

You can probably guess which of the afternoon talks really resonated with me, eh?  I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know that the work we are doing to share it with others, is among the greatest of which we can be engaged.  Using the internet to assist in this work is truly a modern miracle,  and the possibilities are endless...

Kathryn Skaggs

When Conference Materials Will Be Available

New Youth Site Announced to Help Teens Start Family History

Saturday Morning General Conference Highlights and Favorite Quotes

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...

Kathryn Skaggs

When Conference Materials will Be Available