Sunday, November 6, 2011
Stake Conference Report - Sunday General Session
Speaker 1: Elder Donald Hallstrom of the Seventy. Elder Hallstrom is from Hawaii and recalled for us an experience from his youth when he attended a conference at the Honolulu Tabernacle as a five-year-old with his older brother Jim (who is a former Kaneohe Stake President). Presiding at that conference was President David O. Mckay. Though he said he did not recall President McKay's message, he, from his seat in the tenth row of the Tab, received a distinct impression that he was listening to a prophet of God. At that conference, one of the hymns sung was "Who's on the Lord's side?" In his talk today, Elder Hallstrom asked us if we are on the Lord's side and discussed things we can do to solidify our membership on the Lord's team including  gaining and nurturing a testimony,  studying the doctrine continually,  honoring priesthood ordinances and covenants,  rooting out duplicity and  establishing a life of service. Elder Hallstrom made reference to these points in a talk that was recently published in the June 2011 Ensign.
Speak 2: Sister Cheryl Esplin, 2nd counselor in the primary general presidency spoke about keeping the Sabbath day holy. Of course, keeping the sabbath holy is one of the commandments, and we were reminded that we "parents have a sacred duty" to do so for the sake of our children. Sister Esplin shared a couple of stories about faithful observance of the Sabbath. One was about a talented young swimmer named Ashley, who, thorough her mother's counsel to pray and to study scripture about the Sabbath, decided to forgo swimming competitions on Sunday. The second was about Elder H. Verlan Anderson, who "not only knew the truth but lived it" [ref]. It seems that Elder Anderson's son forgot to fill the family car with gasoline after an exuberant Saturday night outing with friends. The next morning, the Sabbath, upon discovering that the car fuel tank was empty, Elder Anderson "put on his coat, bid [his family] good-bye, and then walk the long distance to the chapel, that he might attend an early meeting."
One of the great teachers of the gospel, according to Elder Ballard, JFS also was inspired in 1915 to dedicate the grounds for the Laie Temple. Sadly, he died in 1918 at age 80, a year before the Laie Hawaii was opened and dedicated. Today, JFS is remembered in Hawaii by the Joseph F. Smith Library on the BYU-Hawaii campus and the Iosepa, the 105-foot, double-hulled Hawaiian canoe that was launched in October 2001, a hundred years after JFS was called as Church President.
 Be clean. He talked about partaking the sacrament weekly, about repenting for our sins, about being faithful, about being humble, about remembering the Savior. "God will help us to be clean," said President Eyring.
 Be diligent. He spoke of having a sense of urgency in our undertakings, using a story of a recent meeting with church leaders where President Monson told them about an initiative they'd been discussing, "We're all agreed that it is a good thing, so why wait? Let's get started now!" He cited D&C 4:1-2 and D&C 88:124, the latter scripture being one he said he reads/recites to himself when he is feeling tired and in need of a boost of diligence.
 Be prayerful. We were counseled to pray always, and as such, I was reminded of D&C 90:24. To illustrate, President Eyring recounted the story of fainting spells he was having a few years ago, one fainting episode which resulted in a fall and a broken leg. Medical examinations at first yielded no clear explanation for the fainting episodes but through continual prayer and a priesthood blessing (from President Monson), a doctor was found who identified the cause (a faulty heart) which was taken care of with a pacemaker. All is well with President Eyring.
Summary: Stake Conferences are meant to foster unity among members and us partake of the spirit. In that regard, this was a great Stake Conference with timely and helpful messages for all of us.
Posted by Dayle Turner at 4:49 PM