Snapshots from a Priesthood Session

This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey.

From Elder Paramore’s talk, I liked this story:

I am grateful for my wife. I would like to tell you a little story. I have been to three or four thousand meetings, I guess, in the last twenty-five years; and every one of those times she has sustained me—except for one. When I was off to a Sunday School meeting one night, she asked, “Will you be home early?” I said, “Yes, I’ll be home at 10:30.” Eleven o’clock and 11:30 came, and I wasn’t home. When I finally came home, I walked up to the door to walk in as usual, and it was locked. I rang the doorbell—and no answer. So I knocked on the door, and finally she came. She said, “I’m not going to let you in.”

I said, “Oh, come on.”

And she said, “No, it’s one time too many.”

In those days we had a Nash Rambler with a front seat that made out into a bed (but it was in the middle of winter). So I took my overcoat and went out into the car and rolled back the seat, and went to bed.

After a little while I could hear the front door open, and my wife came out to the car and asked me to come in. I told her I didn’t think I would. It was so cold I finally did.

Good intentions, obedience, and righteousness are not a pass on the ordinary difficulties of relationships. Good to keep in mind. We always expect religion to make life easier. It doesn’t. It makes life better. I don’t think I’ll ever really, truly learn that distinction. I just have to keep reminding myself.

From Elder Tanner’s talk:

Some people ask the reason for an organized church. They feel they can work out their salvation alone, and that there is no need to attend church meetings or fill other requirements as long as they are honest and honorable and do good to their fellowmen. But the Lord has given us instructions that we should belong to a church; and this, his church, has the same organization that Jesus Christ himself established while he was on the earth. We have many explicit declarations from the Lord that make this clear, and also that we need to encourage and help one another.

You might have expected an explanation of why we need to have an organized church. I did. But there really isn’t one. There is just an explanation that we need to have an organized church because Jesus said so. God reveals the what more often and sooner than the why. Another good thing to keep in mind, when it comes to keeping our expectations in tune.

And finally from President Kimball’s concluding talk:

Let me mention one more thing. While we are in the mortal body we cannot “fashion kingdoms [or] organize matter, for [that is] beyond our capacity and calling, beyond this world. In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh, [who] have kept their first and second estate, and [are] worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter. How much matter do you suppose there is between here and some of the fixed stars which we can see? Enough to frame many, very many millions of such earths as this, yet it is now so diffused, clear and pure, that we look through it and behold the stars. Yet the matter is there. Can you form any conception of this? Can you form any idea of the minuteness of matter?” (JD, 15:137).

So, was Brigham Young presciently predicting the existence of dark matter? Or is that just an attempt to retcon his words?  Hard to say, or rather: I’d better not try to say without much more context and historical awareness than I actually possess. I’ll just quote President Kimball’s next words:

Can you realize even slightly how relatively little we know?

That sentiment is almost always a wise one. And—more than a habitual regard for intellectual humility—I like the practical implications of a religion that has a lot to look forward to. Much as Mormons do believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the “one, true church”, we also very much believe it’s a work in progress with more to come.

Check out the other posts from the General Conference Odyssey this week and join our Facebook group to follow along!