This rickety photograph above (too many dark suits affected the exposure) was taken in the stake center last night immediately after the conclusion of the General Priesthood Meeting broadcast. I am with my sons (left to right) Paul, Daniel, Jake, and Steven. It is customary for us to go after the broadcast to eat. Judging by the long lines at some eating establishments the custom is widespread. In the photograph below we are at Panda Express in Layton. Left to right are Daniel, Paul, Steven, and Jake. Not shown is my friend Paul Stout and his son Tyler who were eating with us.
As usual our large stake center was filled to overflowing. There were several general authorities speaking via broadcast. Daniel, Jake, and I took notes. I find it helps me concentrate on what is being said. Of course it is also useful as a resource in constructing a blog post. I will just mention two talks here. What struck me about these two talks was the effectiveness of using a phrase throughout the addresses. With Elder Jay E. Jensen it was Arms of Safety. He said:
As I have pondered how to effectively teach the atonement to others, the phrase arms of safety has been useful. When we were baptized and received the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, we received two ordinances that introduce us to the arms of safety. By coming humbly and fully repentant to sacrament meeting and worthily partaking of the sacrament, we may feel those arms again and again.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf used the phrase Lift Where You Stand. He said:
Individual recognition is rarely an indication of the value of our service. Readers of the Book of Mormon do not know the names, for example, of any of the 2,000 sons of Helaman. As individuals, they are unnamed. As a group, however, they will always be named as a symbol of honesty and courage. They accomplished together what none of them could have accomplished alone.
That is a lesson for us, brethren of the priesthood. When we stand close together and lift where we stand, when we care more for the glory of the kingdom of God than for our own prestige or pleasure, we can accomplish so much more.
Elder Uchtdorf had some clever phrases to illustrate his points: Cease to aspire and cease to retire in reference to some members that will only serve if they can lead. If they can’t lead they find a cave to hide in. Also: The Lord is pleased with a noble servant and not with a self-serving noble.
Using a phrase repetitively throughout a talk means that it is easily recalled by those listening. For example, most of you can probably remember Elder Bednar’s The Tender Mercies of the Lord. I hope you are enjoying conference today and that if you have sons you were able to go with them to General Priesthood Meeting last night.