Tuesday, September 17, 2013

201: REGIONAL CONFERENCE for 116 STAKES in Salt Lake

Last Sunday on September 15, I took my family down to the Conference Center for our Regional Conference. It was special Regional Conference for 116 stakes that live in the heart of the Salt Lake Valley. (See footnote at bottom of post)  Elder Russell M Nelson presided and spoke in the meeting. I wanted to share much of what he said on this blog post. As many of you might be aware, Elder Nelson presides over the Strengthening the Members Committee, as well as a member of the Council on the Dispensation of Tithes. His wife just recently published a book that has been gaining much attention and promoted to be used in Family Home Evenings.

He began his talk by telling the congregation of the importance of their financial contributions for the building up of the Church throughout the world. He said, that those of us who live in the Salt Lake Valley are the "heart" of the Church and much of the burden falls on us to sustain the growth worldwide.

 “Each one of you is an important part of the Church , I love a good strong heart. A heart works better if each muscle fiber works in sync with the others. I also know that if they don’t work in unity that the heart will stop pumping. A large heart is needed to support a large body. And the body of this church gets larger every day.... At this moment, there are 3,033 stakes in the church. Three more are being created today. As the Church continues to grow, it will bless the lives of more people around the world. So a larger heart and greater resources will be needed. From where do those resources come? It comes from you… the faithful tithe paying members in the heart of the Church. You dear members bear much of the burden of the growth. President Packer and I are members of the Council on the Dispensation of the Tithes. We can assure you that those resources are carefully budgeted and appropriated. As we are all under covenant to obey the Lord’s commandment to go unto all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, Yes we need to keep the heart of the Church strong in order to keep pace with the growth elsewhere. That means we rescue those among us that are not currently participating as actively as they might. We need their strength and more importantly they need the blessings that will come to them and their families."

He then went on to talk about how his own dear parents were among the many third generation members that had let other interests take a higher priority in their lives. He said that they had lost their anchor. (Sidenote: I will post more about this later) He spoke about his deep concern, even anguish over the eternal welfare of his beloved mother and father. He wanted to teach them about the glorious truths of the gospel. Decades later, he said, they learned the doctrine and became truly converted, and sealed in the temple. He went on to say:

"Yes, loved ones in our own families and neighborhoods in the heart of the Church, are just a precious in the sight of the Lord, as those who live far away. Missionary work in the Lord’s Kingdom is a rescue effort. We love to bring people back to their previous covenants just as we love to bring them to their first covenants. We do that best with caring love. Caring love means loving care. Genuine care for their eternal welfare. They need to be nourished by the good word of God. That good word is spelled. D.O.C.T.R.I.N.E. "

"May I focus a little of the word doctrine. In the church do we use it as a singular noun or as plural noun? Scriptures refers to the Doctrine of Christ and the Doctrine of God. We also hear references to important doctrines, plural, of the Church such as tithing, chastity, the atonement, the Word of Wisdom, caring for the needy and more. One day, I wanted to find out just how many doctrines there really are. So I searched the scriptures. This is what I found."

"Whenever a scripture refers to the Doctrine of God, or the Doctrine of Christ, the word Doctrine was used in its singular form. In contrast, when a scripture used the word in its plural form, doctrines, it was used in its negative connotation, such as doctrines of men, the doctrines of devils, or diverse and strange doctrines. Now I wouldn’t want anyone to be overly concerned or offended for a word, but this information has given me a new appreciation for the power of the singular form of the word doctrine.. as in Doctrine and Covenants."

Elder Nelson then compared what he referred to as the Doctrine of God or the Doctrine of Christ to a diamond with many facets.  He explains that there is 9 definable facets or doctrine, which is the same  9 topics to be taught each month in the new Youth Curriculum.

He said, "We employ the knowledge that the list to be memorized and for its components to be understood and taught. Then we can teach them to relatives, friends and neighbors who would like to know more about the true Doctrine. Real and expensive diamonds may have many more than nine facets, but my leaner model might be more affordable."

He then went on to outline each of the nine facets of this "leaner model diamond that is affordable".

Facet 1: Godhead: Three separate personages comprise the Godhead. God the Eternal Father; His Son, Jesus Christ; and the Holy Ghost, They are separate and distinct beings.

Facet 2: Plan of Salvation:  In the premortal existence, Heavenly Father introduced a plan to enable us to become like Him and obtain immortality and eternal life. The scriptures refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the great plan of happiness, the plan of redemption, and the plan of mercy. The plan includes the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, the Final Judgment, and all God-given laws, ordinances, doctrine, and commandments.

Facet 3: Atonement of Jesus Christ: Jesus Christ was the only one capable of making a perfect Atonement. His Atonement included His suffering for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His Resurrection from the tomb.

Facet 4: Dispensation, Apostasy, and Restoration. All of the previous dispensations were limited in two ways. They were limited in time, because each ended in apostasy. They were limited in location to a small segment of planet earth. In contrast, this last dispensation, the dispensation of the Fullness of Times will not be limited in time or place. It will not end in apostasy, and it will fill the entire earth. The Church has been restored to accomplish three major objectives. To gather scattered Israel, to seal the families of gathered Israel in the Holy Temples, and help prepare the people of the world for the Second Coming of the Lord.

 Facet 5: Prophets and Revelation: A prophet is one who is called of God to speak for Him. Throughout history, prophets have testified of Jesus Christ and have taught His gospel. Through prophets, revelation is communicated through God to his children. And where the entire Church revelation comes from through his prophets and apostles. For each worthy member, revelation comes from the Holy Ghost for one’s personal guidance and blessing. Sacred scripture are priceless revelation to previous prophets. President Packer and I and others have seen portions of the original manuscript of the book of Mormon. Rare are the marks of editorial correction. This amazing Book is a record of revelation as the words flowed from the lips of the Prophet Joseph Smith to his scribes. And we know that present and future revelation will come according to the will of God and the needs of His children.

 Facet 6: Priesthood and Priesthood Keys. Priesthood is the authority and the power that God has granted to men on earth to act for Him. Adam held the Priesthood, which is without beginning or end. Keys are given to bearers of the Priesthood to direct the work of God’s Kingdom on Earth. There are two orders to the Priesthood, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek, each with specific offices and quorums. The Priesthood and its’ keys were restored by heavenly messengers specifically John the Baptist, Peter, James and John, Moses, Elias, Elijah, and Moroni. The Priesthood was restored so that ordinances of salvation and exaltation could be performed by proper authority. And the priesthood was restored to provide blessings to all of God’s sons and daughters along their challenging journey in mortality.

 Facet 7: Ordinances and Covenants: An ordinance is a sacred, formal act of spiritual significance. Ordinances are accompanied by covenants. A covenant is sacred agreement or promise between God and a person. Ordinances and covenants of salvation pertain to an individual such a baptism, sacrament. Ordinances and covenants of exaltation pertain to families such as sealings in the temple.

Facet 8: Marriage and Family: Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and the family is central to His plan of salvation and to happiness. The highest responsibility of a man who bears the priesthood is to love and care for his wife. Brethren on each day that God’s lends you breath, with that breath tell your dear wife that you love her. She is most precious to you here and here after. God’s glory of eternal life allows for the (continuation) of the family throughout all eternity. That is why we have temples. So that families can truly be together forever.

 Facet 9: Commandments : Commandments are given from God to man to protect and to bless his children. We show our love of God by obeying his commandments. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind and to have Christlike love for others. The ten commandments have never been rescinded. They are still in force today. Other commandments include fasting, praying, tithing, observance of the Sabbath day. Keeping the Word of Wisdom. The Law of Chastity.. and more. Such as caring for those in need. We are invited, even commanded, to emulate the example of the Savior in all that we think, and do.

 He closed by apologizing to the congregation and then closed with his testimony. He said,

"Dear Brothers and Sisters those are nine facets of our diamond of Doctrine. No doubt you can think of others. I apologize if you feel that I have given you a heavy load of doctrine this morning. But the truth, if you know the doctrine and live by it, your load in life will be much lighter and easier. You won’t have the burden of guilt to way you down. You won’t be bothered by decision that could have been made once well in advance. Yoked with the Lord you will have faith needed to endure whatever challenges you face in life.

 What are my hopes for you, members of 116 stakes. I hope you will love the Lord, and yoke yourselves to him. Be one of his true disciples. Accept his sweet invitation, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. And ye will find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. I hope you will learn of the Lord and learn of his doctrine. You learn best by teaching it. Teach your families, your friends. We invite you on occasion to meet with the missionaries, teach the doctrine as your rescue your loved ones. As you do so, my loving prayers will be with you. 

God lives, Jesus is the Christ, this is His church that he directs through his prophets and apostles. President Thomas S Monson is His senior and presiding Apostle on the Earth today. This testimony I leave with an expression of gratitude and love for each of you in the sacred of Jesus Christ. Amen."


 Footnote: I find the number 116 to be quite symbolic. When I think of the number 116 , I associate that with being lost.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the summary of Elder Nelson's talk for those of us outside the Wasatch Front. Did he really say "God’s glory of eternal life allows for the capitulation of the family throughout all eternity."? I hope he realizes this word 'capitulation' has multiple meanings, including 'the surrender of or giving up of...' Was this a Freudian slip? Perhaps with the release of the written transcript of the talk he can substitute this word with one less duplicitous, such as: 'continuation'. Prayers go with him...I know his position on the 'Strengthening the Family' Committee cannot be an easy one. Lots of pressure... Slips like this one can really be embarrassing. First his wife's book, then this... I hope nobody from his committee begins an investigation of his family for the possible promotion of false doctrine or apostate teachings....


It was hard to tell what word he used, I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and changed the word to continuation and put it in parathesis. Thanks for pointing that out.

Inspire said...

I'm glad the Ten Commandments are still in "force." (And who would be the ones to enFORCE them? The STM Committee maybe?) It must mean that they were never part of the Law of Moses, because surely he knows that it was fulfilled in Christ and done away.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time getting excited about those doctrines. He only sort of mentions the Salvation offered by Jesus Christ in Doctrine #3, "The Atonement". And even then, he glosses over the most amazing and profound thing to ever happen.

These doctrines are important things to understand, yes. But they can be taught once--in a single talk--a few times a year, as necessary. I've looked over the new youth curriculum carefully, and it's structured for six-year-olds. :o(

Anonymous said...

P.S.) My understanding is that the Doctrine of Christ is this: "Come unto me, and be saved." And from that hang all other doctrines and appendages, just like all of the law and the prophets hang upon the first and second great commandments . . .

Elizabeth said...

I thought His doctrine was much simpler than that.... and anyone who adds to it is in trouble. Repent and come unto Him. That's it.

Toni said...

"I apologize if you feel that I have given you a heavy load of doctrine this morning." Huh?

If that's "heavy" I fear what light might be.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, interesting.

I believe the Word of Wisdom was never meant to be a commandment--

2 To be sent greeting; not by commandment or constraint, but by revelation and the aword of wisdom, showing forth the order and bwill of God in the temporal salvation of all saints in the last days—

"not by commandment or constraint"--

I would be curious to know where the revelation is that made it a commandment after this initial statement--

Anonymous said...

It's obvious that was a scribal error- this post is full of them.

Anonymous said...

I guess the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost isn't as important as it used to be...

Brett said...

So let me get this straight, when the scriptures use the word "Doctrine," it's meaning is plain, simple, and true. When the scriptures use the word "doctrines," there is a negative connotation.

So pay no attention to the scriptures and let me tell you of my 9 doctrines? WTH? He would have been better off just diving into his Doctrine of the Diamond than telling you he was about to completely ignore scripture.


I would be very appreciative if you or anyone would help edit for errors. I apologize for the lack of editing. I realize all of my posts are in great need of proof reading.

Vince said...

30 Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things ashould be done away.

31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my adoctrine.

32 And this is my adoctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear brecord of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the cHoly Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.

33 And whoso believeth in me, and is abaptized, the same shall be bsaved; and they are they who shall cinherit the kingdom of God.

34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not abaptized, shall be damned.

35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso abelieveth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him bwith fire and with the cHoly Ghost.

36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the aHoly Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are bone.

37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and abecome as a blittle child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.

38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little achild, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.

39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my adoctrine, and whoso bbuildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the cgates of hell shall not prevail against them.

40 And whoso shall adeclare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a bsandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.

Anonymous said...

I was at this meeting with my stake as well. I had a couple of small kids to deal with so I wasn't able to pay as close attention as I could have as he listed out the 9 facets. After the meeting I had to ask in another forum for someone to list the facets again for me, because I honestly didn't remember even one of the facets that dealt with Christ. Obviously, facet #3 is Atonement, but I still wonder how much time he actually spent on it. The other discussion of the other facets were very "Christ-light," with only passing mention.

I too had my thoughts draw to the words of the master and His personal definition of his doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"His wife just recently published a book that has been gaining much attention and promoted to be used in Family Home Evenings."

Please, give more info.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if this apostle ever read in the D&C where the Lord told the church that it should conduct all business by common consent? How many church members voted to sustain the building of City Creek Mall? How many voted to bring homosexuality into church Boy Scout troops?
Wonder if he ever read in the parables of the Savior that the Lord claimed His talents AND He also claimed all the earnings from the invested talents as His own?
Wonder if he has ever read The Doctrine of Christ as explained by Nephi in 2 Nephi 31-32? I find it hard to tell based on the weak doctrine he chose to feed the 116 stakes of gathered sheep.

Anonymous said...

David, can you explain more about the number 116?

I did think his 9 points were interesting. 9 seems to symbolize incompleteness (or not quite finished) or death.


Anonymous said...

116 pages of lost manuscript from the Book of Mormon

Anonymous said...

It's called The Not Even Once Club. Check out the reviews on Amazon.

Anonymous said...

I can't even stand to listen to these false prophets anymore and the falsehoods they promote. Why give them anymore influence over us or our families? The longer we attend their Church the harder it will be to one day convert our children to the real truth and away from all the falsehoods they learned at Church, many will not even listen when you try.

Anonymous said...

I know the book. But I am curious about the "promoted to be used in FHE" part.

Anonymous said...

I don't live in Utah, but perhaps Deseret Book has signage in the stores promoting it for FHE. I have seen blogs where young mothers are saying that they are forming clubs for their children.


Here is the link to the FHE lesson:




Email Comment from a reader:

"It would have made a much shorter talk if Elder Nelson had expressed the doctrine of Christ as the Lord did in section 10 of the D&C

67 Behold, this is my doctrine—whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church.
68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

Short and sweet.


Anonymous said...

There is a great famine in the land, a famine of hearing the word of the Lord preached in its fullness. These watered down talks are no longer providing sustenance. The people are starving for the plain word of God spoken in power. No wonder Elder Snuffer was kicked out, he was attempting to feed the Lord's sheep instead of feeding himself off their fat and clothing himself from their wool (Ezekiel 34). The day has come when the Lord Himself must gather His sheep and feed them because His shepherds are failing and His flock is scattered.

Cherrie said...

Many of you are sounding like apostates? "We believe all that God has revealed, all that he does now reveal, and we believe he will yet reveal..." The Word of Wisdom came as a warning, but is now a commandment. And how about "When a prophet speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost it is scripture?" I heard this talk given in Florida. Elder Nelson spoke by the power of the Spirit and I and others received by that same power and the blog notes are very good and actually maybe that word, if you consider it, is correct. Elder Nelson doesn't just throw out words, maybe the word 'capitulation' is correct. Maybe we will have to surrender or give up some family members because they just don't want what Christ has to offer?

Anonymous said...

Reading this 19 months later, I still wonder how anyone can believe these men are speaking for Christ. Re-read the "9 Diamonds" Elder Nelson spent this valuable time of 116 stakes of LDS people talking about. You could read the same ideas in the Childrens' Friend magazine. Where is there anything here worthy of someone who claims to be a "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator", a representative of the Living God? Where is there anything here noteworthy about the Doctrine of Christ, the very central core of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only way for man to be saved, in this drivel he propounded to thousands of eager listeners? This talk could have been written by any high school kid who has attended seminary. Where is the doctrine befitting a true Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ these days? Instead, this soon to be next president of the church fed those thousands of starving-for-the-truth listeners...warmed over mush.
Apostates? Is seeking for the truth and striving and longing to come unto Christ apostasy? Is speaking the truth about the shriveling and decline of the church apostasy?
Is following after the doctrines of men mingled with scripture so noble? Is allowing men in fancy suits to come between you and your Lord so righteous?
Oh sister, repent while you still can. Open your eyes and see the glaring truth before you!
Come unto Christ and stop striving and yearning to come unto church!
James Russell Uhl