Saturday Afternoon Session Open Thread: Go Syracuse! Edition #ldsconf

We are back for the second session of the day!

This afternoon, Todd and I will be joined by Blake S. He is a law student and a a former student of mine from my days at BYU-Idaho.

Todd and I enjoyed observing protesters between session. We witness an Atheist protester and a Born again protester get into a confrontation with each other.

This morning, we had a great conversation and saw the first prayer ever offered by a women in General Conference.

In addition to Blake, my friend Brian Duffin will also be joining us. I hope that you will join us, too!

Pres. Henry B. Eyring is conducting this session.

The music is being performed by a combined BYU choir.

President Uchtdorf to Present General Authorities and Area Authorities.

Young Women’s President Elaine Dalton and her counselors were released.

S. Gifford Nielson…is that the football player?

Bonnie Lee Oscarson??? I did not get the full name of the new YW President. Will update when I have that more exactly.

UPDATE: Here is the new Young Women’s General Presidency:

President – Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson

Sister Oscarson has served as both a ward Young Women president and as an early morning seminary instructor multiple times. From 1976

Young Women General Presidency: Carol Louise Foley McConkie, Bonnie Lee Green Oscarson and Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott© 2013 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

to 1979 she served with her husband, who was the president of the Sweden Göteborg Mission. From 2009 to 2012, she served as the matron of the Stockholm Sweden Temple. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University with an emphasis in British and American Literature, and is married to Paul Kent Oscarson. They are the parents of seven children.

1st Counselor – Carol Louise Foley McConkie

Most recently Sister McConkie was serving on the Young Women General Board. She has served as a ward Young Women president, in a ward Relief Society presidency and in a ward Primary presidency. She has also served as a Primary teacher, Sunday School teacher and with her husband, who was president of the California San Jose Mission from 2005 to 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Arizona State University and is married to Oscar W. McConkie III. They are the parents of seven children.

2nd Counselor – Evelyn Neill Foote Marriott

Sister Marriott recently served as an ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple. She has also served as a stake Relief Society president, ward Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, gospel doctrine teacher, Primary teacher, Sunday School teacher and in many other callings. She served with her husband who was president of the Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission from 2002 to 2005. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Secondary Education from Southern Methodist University and is married to David Cannon Marriott. They are the parents of 11 children.

Called as General Authorities to serve in the First Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Edward Dube,Zimbabwe; Elder S. Gifford NielsenSugar Land, Texas; Elder Arnulfo ValenzuelaQueretaro, México; and in the Second Quorum of the Seventy are Elder Timothy J. Dyches, Reno, Nevada;Elder Randy D. Funk, Denver, Colorado; Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, Agoura Hills, California;Elder Adrián Ochoa, Highland, Utah; and Elder Terence M. Vinson, Sydney, Australia.

Elder Ulisses Soares was named to the Presidency of the Seventy, succeeding Elder Walter F. González.

Elder Richard G. Scott spoke on the importance of Christ-centered life and Christ-Center family.He also touched on the way that technology might be part of such a life…as well as a distraction.

Elder Cook is discussing peace. Mentions the Newtown massacre,  famine and turmoil in the Ivory Coast, and 9/11.

Elder Cook emphasized the role of forgiveness in achieving peace. The Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates,” said Elder Cook.

“The Savior is the source of true peace,” said Elder Cook.

Elder Stanley G. Ellis

Elder John B. Dickson

Elder Bednar discussed the creation, procreation, and the Law of Chastity. We are here are here on earth to “bridle all passions of the flesh.”

Lucifer wants us to be alone and miserable, Elder Bednar said.

Guilt is spiritual pain meant to warm us of danger, Bednar taught. He added that obedience to the law of chastity will increase our happiness.

Elder Russell M. Nelson encourages those going on mission to apply to college/university before their missions rather than having it as a burden while serving.

Elder Nelson is encouraging all members to “catch the wave” of missionary work that is happening with the recent boost in those serving missions.



  1. WHen I was a kid, I used to think this song was about a kid names Ere who ran away from home.

  2. One reason I started live-blogging way back was to stay awake during the afternoon sessions. No snoring aloud in the Conference Center. Uh, oh.

  3. Chris, so you and Blake are actually in the conference center for these?

  4. My son Todd and I are.

  5. My other guests are coming from their homes and have been committed to help with certain session. Like you are tomorrow!

  6. Blake S says:

    Pretty funny hearing Pres Utchdorf pronounce Polynesian names.

  7. OH wow. YW Presidency released!

  8. Gifford Nielson was a football player at BYU, no?

  9. That was quite the list. Wow.

  10. Yeah, I am trying to figure out if the guy called is the football player or not.

  11. Marriot and McConkie are pretty big LDS names.

  12. Blake S says:

    Yeah Chris I think they handle the Church’s legal matters.

  13. Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, 58, was serving as an Area Seventy in the North America Southwest Area when he was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy. He has served in many Church callings, including seminary teacher, elders quorum president, mission president’s counselor, bishop, stake president and Area Seventy.

    Elder Nielsen received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. He played professional football for six years and worked in television broadcasting and banking.

    He was born in Provo, Utah, and is married to Wendy Olson. They are the parents of six children and currently reside in Sugar Land, Texas.

  14. Blake S says:

    Christ should be the center of our home regardless of our family makeup.

  15. “Depending on how technology is used it can either be a blessing or a deterrent.” Elder Scott

  16. Blake S says:

    Technology can help enhance spiritual communication. The Church seems to be fully embracing technology which will only help in the future.

  17. Too much texting during conference and not enough memorizing scripture mastery verses! haha

  18. I just think about how much easier it is to watch conference. For many, there is no need to make the trek to the nearest Stake Center, which may be hours away. If you have internet service, you can watch/listen to conference from home.

  19. Christ-centered families and Christ-centered living.

  20. Blake S says:

    Invitation to invite others to take refuge in our home…great missionary tool. Seen many join the Church or become active again because of this principle.

  21. “Be a true friend”-Elder Scott. Simple, but powerful.

  22. Blake S says:

    Build on other’s virtues, not their stains. Chris, this seems to go to your “love the sinner, hate the sin” article.

  23. Blake S says:

    Wow didn’t know Elder Cook spoke at Emily Parker’s funeral. Pretty cool!

  24. Blake S says:

    In the last days, personal peace is our only hope.

  25. Blake S says:

    The Savior’s peace can “blot out our hates”. That is a powerful doctrine.

  26. “We pray for world peace, but we understand that it is as individual families that we find peace and reward…The Savior’s peace can blot out our hate.” Quentin L. Cook (loose quote)

  27. Blake S says:

    After those two talks, I fear for what the future brings but optimistic because of Christ and the protection the gospel provides.

  28. Blake S says:

    I want one of those virtue ties.

  29. Virtue tie: Thumbs up. Jabs at “political correctness”: groan. Oh, he is getting choked up. I am a softy for that!

  30. Blake S says:

    Elder Ellis is the prototypical Idaho farm boy. He also described Idaho farmers spot on.

  31. I’m not a huge fan of “self-reliance” as interpreted by many. Lots of hot issues.

  32. Blake S says:

    Wow government dole, gay marriage, and immigration all hit in one talk.

  33. The Casper 8th Ward is the best ward. Not that anyone asked me….

  34. “How you raise your children is more important than where you raise your children.” Amen!

  35. Blake S says:

    I wonder if this “govern yourselves” is gonna be the Church’s new stance on all political issues. Seems like the best way to please everyone.

  36. I could see this particular talk being given in Casper 8th Ward. FOr me, I’d rather sin by giving something to someone who didn’t really need it than not giving at all.

  37. Elder Dickson interviewed me for my visiting position at BYU. Super nice.

  38. Blake S says:

    So many modern day “Pauls” yet to be found in China. That is an exciting prospect.

  39. Not just China, but many parts of Africa (still) and the Middle East as well.

  40. Blake S says:

    Elder Bednar meets Law of Chastity. This is gonna be good.

  41. I still want to call him President Bednar.

  42. Todd H. says:

    I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable

  43. The Adam and Eve story is really one that I like to contemplate and theorize about. Not on task…

  44. “Procreation power is spiritually significant . . . God is a creator . . . How we use that [procreation] power will largely determine our happiness . . the usage of this power shows our divine potential.” -Elder David A. Bednar

  45. It could be worse, Todd. I could be sitting there besides you. Isn’t your friend in there listening to the same talk…probably feeling as uncomfortable as you are?

  46. Blake S says:

    Amazing promise. The Atonement will conquer every desire, appetite, and passion of the natural man.

  47. Blake S says:

    Love increases through righteous restraint. Love of God that is.

  48. “Guilt is to our spirit what pain is to our body. it is a protection from further danger.” -Elder Bednar

  49. Blake S says:

    The Lord’s truth is not subject to public opinion polls. Great message to those who allow their opinions to “evolve”.

  50. Blake S says:

    Wise counsel to figure out school before the mission. Definetly guilty of trying to do that on my mission.

  51. “Catch the wave…” We are now doing California. Better than Idaho 🙂

  52. “”This is my beloved Son. Hear him.”

    Gives me chills. Also brings me back to my visits to the sacred grove.

  53. Blake S says:

    This talk is exactly what my wife and I spoke on two weeks ago in sacrament meeting.

  54. I like the reminder to seek for spiritual confirmation.

  55. Blake S says:


  56. 4 hours down…6 to go!

  57. I love this song. So y’all know. Thanks everyone!

  58. Blake S says:

    I wondered which topic would be addressed most this conference based on trends in society. Looks like the two major ones are gay marriage and the call for women to be ordained to the priesthood. Both topics were addresses in almost every talk.

  59. Brian Duffin says:

    Sorry to be so conspicuously absent from this session, Chris. Since I had to miss the session, I will enjoy following your notes and comments.

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