Twice a year, in October and April, my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, meets for a world wide General Conference presided over by the man we sustain as the one and only anointed and set apart Prophet of God on the earth today, accompanied by the twelve currently living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. Normally, this has included in-person meetings with thousands of people in attendance physically, joined by many thousands more viewing around the world via television, internet, and satellite.
This year, COVID-19 has necessitated changes such that all participation (other than speakers) has been via electronic means. Although I currently live far enough from Salt Lake City to make physical attendance difficult, at best, I have had the opportunity in years past to attend in-person, and even to be able to sing in the choir several years. What a sacred experience!
This year, the fall sessions are being held this weekend, the 3rd & 4th of October. It is now very early in the morning of Sunday, the 4th, but I want to share my thoughts on my overall impressions from the Saturday meetings. Please understand that this is only the briefest of comments on what was nearly 6 hours of teaching relative to the gospel of Jesus Christ and applying the gospel to our daily lives. And so, now my
Thoughts on General Conference – Saturday’s sessions
I felt there was a very unusual emphasis on the Constitution. I don’t remember hearing so many references to it since I joined the Church in 1973.
There was also unusual (for the last 20+ years) emphasis on temporal preparedness – food, water, cash, other necessities, in addition to the need for deepening spiritual worthiness and preparedness, learning to listen to (listening = obeying) the Light of Christ, the Holy Ghost.
Unheard of since I joined the Church in 1973 for anyone, much less the Prophet, to speak so clearly about the “need to create places where we are safe physically and spiritually.” (Women’s session, time mark 1:21:03) and, “Having places of security to which you can retreat will help you to embrace the future with faith.” Further, to place the first statement about physical safety immediately after referring to Moroni fortifying the Nephite cities by building embankments, forts, and walls and in connection with turmoil raging around us. I am of the opinion this portends some very hazardous conditions in our very near future, life-threatening conditions, possibly either/both civil war or attack from other nations, potentially even world war again.
President Oaks comments in the morning session were very interesting on a couple of levels. First, his quoting of the Savior’s teaching to render to Caesar and his comments on being subject to the powers that be at least partially answered a question I have been pondering recently.
Second, his comments on using peaceful means to achieve change of laws coupled with his final sentiments on the need to remain united in Constitutional principles for me, spoke to the current fear based unconstitutional mandates around the country relative to COVID-19. Further, having just this past week documented at least 5 first hand witnesses giving account (including 1 dated journal account the day of the statement, and a second journal account giving the month/location/circumstance) of Joseph Smith prophesying that the Constitution will hang by a thread (this many first-hand witness accounts would stand in any reasonable court of law and certainly fulfill the Lord’s requirement of 2 or 3 witnesses), I believe the fulfillment of that prophecy is upon us. Further, I am of the opinion that, as Joseph said, IF the Constitution is to be saved at all, it will be saved by the Elders of Israel, and Elder Oaks has just called upon the Saints to step up to the plate in every state in the nation and push back within the courts against the unconstitutional government mandates, and if the mandates are allowed to stand, the brittle thread by which the Constitution now hangs will be severed and only blood will bring back the liberties that have been cherished by so many generations before us. This is certainly NOT saying that ONLY members of the Church will/should be fighting for a full return to Constitutional principles of government, only that we should be leading the attempts to use the law and utilize the courts to accomplish that goal.
It is also worth noting that President Oaks spoke very clearly on the need to stay within the confines of the law, and he soundly denounced mobs and anarchy.