President Monson: I like how his talk was based on combining two different works of scripture. That’s a skill that we all need to develop better, and it only comes from a quantity of repeated study. Seeing similar themes and seeing how various passages and even very different books can overlap produces the kind of personal insights the prophet shares here.
Comparing this to his talk in the priesthood session last night, I see President Monson here as a prophet of the basics. I’ve been teaching Primary for the last couple of years now, and I’m learning how important it is to be constantly reminded of simple, foundational things. President Monson is like that, and I’ve no doubt that’s what we need today–a Primary prophet.
Three new apostles: Interesting what they chose to share with us as their first introductions as apostles. Humility is obviously a big trend here, but I was especially touched by Elder Renlund’s story of losing a patient.
President Nelson: Wow! What to make of this talk? I approach it like this: to whom was he speaking and why? This was clearly not just another “cheer up girls, you’re awesome!” talk.
First, though couched in such inspirational language, the substance here is a call to greater spiritual leadership by women, in the sense that the men get from such talks as President Uchtdorf’s a few years ago. It also, then, seems like a successor to President Julie B. Beck’s “Mothers Who Know.”
Second, it’s also clearly a clarion call to priesthood leaders to be more inclusive in regards to welcoming female leaders’ contributions; this is not the first time in recent years we’ve heard this message. Perhaps it’s time to pay attention.
In short, this talk says that we all, of both genders, have things to work on. This is will be an important one to study and work on.
Also, two apostles in this session now are heart doctors who have told stories of losing patients.
President Nelson’s emphasis on the value of women in our lives reminds me of Elder Holland’s similar focus yesterday.
Elder Schwitzer: His remarks are largely inspired by a quote from an epistle of Paul, as were President Monson’s. We need to read the Bible.
His bold words about the danger of criticism very much echo Elder Andersen’s talk in the priesthood session last night. (Among many other things, Elder Andersen encouraged people to, quote, “Give Brother Joseph a break.”)
Elder Costa: Will there be any more conference talks given in speakers’ native languages? Or was that just a one-time thing to make a point about the growth and compassion of the Church?
I’ve said this before, but the most simple and basic, yet moving and spiritual, talks tend to be given by seventies. And President Monson.
President Eyring: As a debate coach, I like how many speakers at this conference are explicitly starting off talks by saying, “Here’s my agenda for you today…” (President Monson also did this in priesthood last night.)
In my years as an active church member, I have noticed an increased effort to make our sacrament meetings centered on worship and the Savior (scaling back the pomp of missionary farewells, for example). It makes a difference.
Imagine if everyone approached their assignments to speak in sacrament meeting by trying to copy the examples set in President Eyring’s talks: doctrine with applications; then inspiring, engaging stories of models to follow. Doesn’t he just fill your heart and make you want to be closer to Christ?
Bonus note: This arrangement of “The Spirit of God” has been sung before, but not often. It’s ambitious, epic, and rousing. I’d love to hear it sometime with every verse, but that would run 10 minutes, I’m sure.