Opening Remarks by President Russell M. Nelson – Conference Notes Oct. 2018
In keeping with the purpose of this blog as my personal study journal, I’m going to be doing something new. This last General Conference was particularly inspiring for me, as I’m sure it was for many.
I want to dig deep into the talks and post of some of my thoughts here as part of my study process and make them available for any others who may be interested (which is why this is a public blog). I may not do a post for every talk, some talks didn’t feel like they had anything in particular for me and I’m not going to try and force insights where I don’t feel any coming naturally just for the sake of including everyone.
I’ll begin with Russell M. Nelson’s introductory remarks at the Saturday Morning Session to kick things off. I think this is an important one, this is the beginning of something great.
“It is time for ‘home-centered’ church.”
What comes to mind first is the idea that this is the start of something that could be a very positive direction for us as a people. My second thought is the words of Nephi who said: “And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.” (1 Nephi 16:29)
Is this really a small thing though? Reducing an hour of church may reduce the need for several callings and definitely remove a lot of pressure off those that will remain, that is pretty big. This vision of a home-centered church is one that I can get behind; it feels right. I love that those in our leadership do not feel compelled to implement more control over people’s lives and instead seek to empower individuals. That isn’t what typical large organizations do over time, they don’t give up control. I think it will take some time to feel the full weight of these changes but I like them.
“I asked the mother how she liked going to church in her own home…”
Why tell this story? Could be several reasons but it may foreshadow a time where that may be the only place we can publicly worship. This change certainly lays the groundwork for that kind of situation and caught my attention.
“The adversary is increasing his attacks on faith and upon us and our families at an exponential rate. To survive spiritually we need counter-strategies and proactive plans. Accordingly, we want to put in place organizational adjustments that will further fortify our members and their families.”
“Counter-strategies” and “fortify” this language takes my mind to the time of Captain Moroni and only serves to validate further my prior thoughts. The intent here is to strengthen our people where it counts, the home and the family. While we’ve said that for years and years, this feels different. These changes are the most dramatic steps in recent memory to actually rise to this vision.
“home-centered and church-supported plan”
“…a new balance and connection between gospel instruction in the home and in the church.”
We all feel strong when we are at church, but when we go back home is it all video games, TV, and Netflix, even on the Sabbath? Do we sink back into the ways of Babylon? Man, do we ever need some kind of revival and a renewed vision of what the home is, what it can be, and some guidance on how to get there. I am all for this 100% let’s do it.
“Scriptures make it clear that parents have the primary responsibility to teach the doctrine to their children.”
Again, we’ve said this for a long time, but now we have some pretty dramatic action being taken to double down on this idea and make it a reality. I feel a great weight of trust being placed on my shoulders and I’m feeling stoked to take things to the next level. I feel like I’ve needed this message and to have the entire church and all its people and resources revolve around to help make my family better is a powerful feeling.
Something about this really resonates with me and I am very excited about these changes. I think a lot of needless burden will be lifted from the shoulders of members and directed toward efforts that will have a deeper and richer impact on families and thus lift our people as a whole.