Sunday, April 29, 2012

Ancestors in Heaven Vol. 3 - William ATKINSON and Phebe CAMPBELL

ATKINSON Phebe and William 2
Phebe Campbell Atkinson and William Atkinson

                                  Great-grandparents of Edmund Newlove Atkinson
      (Transcribed from two different typed copies,with the few differences shown in [brackets].)

My paternal great-grandfather, William Atkinson, was born on the 20th of September, 1812 at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.  He was the son of Christopher Atkinson and Nancy [Ann] Smith. His grandfather, Robert Atkinson, came from Yorkshire, England to Canada 1774.

St Johns New Brunswick
Map showing St. John, New Brunswick
      He settled [first] at River Herbert, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. 

Sackville MtAllison sprintime
Mt. Allison Univ in the springtime (Sackville, New Brunswick)
He did not remain there for any length of time, but purchased a farm in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada. 

His family moved there with him.  His farm is now the site of the Mt. Allison Educational Institute.

    William was married in December, 1833 to Phebe Campbell. 

She was also born at Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada on the 7th of October, 1809. 

She was the daughter of Isaac Campbell and Ann Wry.  She had a brother named John. 

To William and Phebe were born fifteen children, which included one pair of twin girls and a pair of twin boys.  These four and one other child died in infancy in Canada. 

Phebe’s father was a sea captain and was drowned at sea.
Baptism in a pond color
Baptism in frozen pond
    William and Phebe heard the Gospel and early in the spring of 1851 they were baptized by Elder Henry Skerry.  They had to cut through 2 feet of ice in order to be baptized.

On the 22nd of April, 1853, William and Phebe with five daughters and three sons left Sackville to gather with the Saints in Utah. 

Elder Marriner Merrill and Sarah Ann Atkinson Merrill
They were also accompanied by Marriner Merrill, a recent convert.

After arriving in Utah, Brother Merrill married their oldest daughter, Sarah Ann Atkinson.

    Their journey was by way of St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, East Port, Maine, Boston, Massachusetts, Troy, New York, Buffalo, New York, Detroit, Michigan, Chicago, Illinois, La Salle, Illinois, St. Louis, Missouri, and from there up the Mississippi River to Keokuk, Iowa. 
Keokuk Iowa engraving
Keokuk, Iowa

wagon train Not Alone Teichert
Not Alone by Minerva Teichert
Keokuk was a town twelve miles below Nauvoo, Illinois.  From there they were to go West by team.

   They arrived Keokuk on the 9th of May, 1853.  At this point, they found others going to the Salt Lake Valley across the then Territory of Iowa and the great plains of the west.  It was here that teams bought, usually two yokes or pairs of oxen to a wagon. 

In some instances, the cows were yoked up and placed in teams to assist in pulling the wagons.  William was elected Captain of this division.  They were in the Crosby Company. 

On the 18th of May, 1853, they rode out of Keokuk. 

Mormons_bury wagon train
Burying their dead
On the 19th of May, William and Phebe’s youngest daughter, Profinda, just two and a half years old died. 

This delayed the Company one day.

    Because of the newness of the country, the lack of bridges and the rain they encountered, the 330 mile journey across the Territory of Iowa was extremely difficult. 
ferry long flat boat
Flat-boat ferry across the river
However, on the 17th of June they arrived at Council Bluffs with their company.  Here they camped near the Missouri River. They made arrangements to be ferried across the Missouri River on a large flat boat.  After a few days, they succeeded in getting across the river safely with all their outfits.

    On the 1st of July, 1853, they left the Missouri River and wended their way slowly to the Rocky Mountains.  Nothing serious occurred that impeded their progress. 

Indians allow wagon train to pass
However, some little incidents occurred occasionally to cause a fad feeling in camp.  On one occasion they were stopped by a large band of some five hundred Sioux Indians. 

They placed themselves across the road and stopped the teams. 
The Indians demanded coffee, sugar flour, tobacco, etc. 

The company complied cheerfully to their wishes because it was their only safety. 

After receiving their demands, the Indians reluctantly let them pass and continue on their journey.
Buffalo herd 1
Buffalo herd
    The company also had one small stampede with their teams as they were being hitched to the wagons, but without serious damage.  They encountered many herds of wild buffalo which at times came near stampeding their teams.  By using caution and stopping their teams, what seemed to be pending calamity was averted. These herds of wild buffalo were often seen on the Laramie Plains and west of them by the thousands.  There were ten or fifteen thousand in a herd.  The herd would sometimes cover many acres of ground.  Buffalo are a species of wild cattle, larger than our common cattle and very ferocious looking.  They are covered with long coarse hair, dark brown to black in color.
wagontrain emerges echo canyon to slc2
Entering Salt Lake Valley
    The train of wagons arrived in Salt Lake City on the 11th of September, 1853 [and it was a pleasing spectacle to behold civilization again]. The people were pleased at the sight of civilization. 
Oregon-Trail wagon train
Arriving to a crude state of civilization
The houses where the people lived with comforts around them seemed very nice, even though they were still in a crude state. 
It must be remembered that the first pioneers had only been in the country a little over six years. 

Peace, good will and brotherly kindness seemed to prevail in all the land.

    There were no grog shops, no drunkenness and no profanity anywhere in all the city of Salt Lake.  The people could lie down in peace and rise up in safety with doors and windows open.  No fears were entertained of burglars or any one to disturb the quiet of any in all the City of the Saints.

    But in opening up a new country there were many things to contend with in a financial way.  The country was new and the climate was arid.  Those first years were very dry.  There were grasshoppers and crickets by the millions to contend with.  All these things had a tendency to discourage the early settlers of this region.  Had it not been for the former experiences of the “Mormon” people with mobs killing and being expelled from society no doubt many would have been discouraged and left the country.  There were seasons along in the 1850’s when not a drop of rain fell on the parched earth from April until November.  Flour in those days was more precious than fine gold.  In 1855, twenty dollars was offered for one hundred pounds of flour and it is said that in 1848, flour was worth a dollar per pound.  There were no settlers west of the Mississippi River in those days and the country was very sparsely settled east of the river for hundreds of miles.
Pres Brigham Young
Come come ye saints
Saints settle and colonize
   (This account of leaving Canada, crossing the plains and up to this point was taken from the diary of Apostle Marriner Wood Merrill.)

    The Atkinson family camped in Salt Lake City for a short time where William Atkinson became acquainted with Brigham Young and received counsel from him.

William went to Bountiful, Davis County, Utah and rented a farm from a Mr. Perrie.

The Atkinsons were one of the first families to settle in Bountiful. 

After working for two years, he bought a farm which he owned until his death.

William Atkinson 1812 no eye patch
William Atkinson
    William Atkinson made one trip back after handcart companies.

At the time of the Johnson army scare, he moved his family south to Provo with the rest of the Saints and then returned when things were settled again. 

William went on a mission to his old home in New Brunswick, Canada. 

emma-smith_lindsley HR
Emma Smith

At one time, he met the [Prophet Joseph Smith’s] prophet’s mother and also his wife, Emma Smith.

 He visited with them and when he left he gave them some money. 

On the 3rd of May, 1856, their 15th and last child Rhoda was born.

Bountiful Tabernacle dup hist markers
Bountiful Tabernacle

    In Bountiful he was called to be First Counselor to Bishop John Stoker [Stocker]. 

About 1857, he was called to preside over the saints of South Bountiful before it was made a Ward. [He also assisted in erecting many public buildings.]

The Endowment House
All of his children were married either in the old Endowment House or in one of the Temples. 

    The Atkinsons were a religious people.  They were very loyal, not only to the Church, but to the government as well. 

They were all a very industrious people and have all been well off financially. 

They were also an independent people, believing not only in taking care of themselves but doing all they could for their fellow men.

    The Atkinsons were large of stature, especially the men. 

They seemed to believe in large families which all of them had.  There were several pairs of twins in the families.  They were also a long-lived people, several of them living into their nineties.

William Atkinson 1812
William Atkinson with eye patch
It was said that they were a congenial and a jolly family.

    William, at one time, had Erysipillas and lost an eye.

    William’s occupation was farming, cattle raising and horse raising.  [He helped Hatch, Moss and Pace homestead the Silver Creek ranch and later bought half interest in it.]

Having investigated the Silver Creek and Parleys Park area in Summit County, he with William Brown, Joseph Nobels, Edwin Pace and Eric Hogan formed the B1 T2 Ranch.

mowing machine
Mowing Machine
Daniel Wood and Joseph Moyle joined them later.  William bought the first mowing machine that came to Utah. He and Horace Eldredge also bought the first threshing machine in the area.

    William bought a Mr. Peck’s place because Mr. Peck had been called on a mission for the church. 
Atkinson Sarah Ann Tingey 2
Sarah Ann Tingey Atkinson
While he was gone William fed and clothed his family.

    In November, 1862, William married Sarah A. Tingey, a daughter of Henry Tingey and Ann Young, also pioneers of 1852. 

She was born on the first of March, 1847 at Bedfordshire, England.  To them were born eight children.

    William and Sarah would live on the Silver Creek farm and Phebe and her son Amos would live on the Bountiful Ranch for a while, then they would change around.

dream tree life BOM-03-01
Dream of gathering

 Just a short time before his death, William had a dream that Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and others were in a gathering and having the names of those that were to go back and settle Jackson County Missouri written in a book. 

In the dream, Brother Kimball asked Brigham if he should write William Atkinson’s name down.

  President Young answered, “No, his name has been there a long time.”

A short time after this William was kicked by a horse. [and] He lived only three more days.  William Atkinson died the 25th of August, 1879, at his home in Bountiful.  He was 66 years, 11 months and 21 days old.

    In those days there were no cars or buggies, only old shaky wagons.  The young men would not consent to have him taken to the church in one of them so they carried him a distance of a half a mile.  Then they carried him from there to the cemetery, a distance of about three and half miles.  There were twelve young men taking shifts of six at a time.  It was such a hot, dry day that it kept two others carrying water for them.  He was the first and the last person to be carried that distance.  He was buried in the Bountiful Cemetery.

    William was a man of noble traits and of strong character.  He was a great favorite of the young people and was always welcome at their dances and parties.  He was a great fun-maker and delighted in telling and playing jokes.
ATKINSON Phoebe Campbell_4 dau
Phebe Cambell Atkinson and her four daughters
    Phebe Campbell Atkinson was a large, strong, healthy woman. 

 She was a very industrious wife and a splendid manager.  She made butter and cheese and sold them in Salt Lake City to help with expenses.

Phebe was a lover of all mankind.  She kept an open house for all her friends and relatives and did lots of entertaining. 

Phebe was a step dancer and danced up until a few days before her death.

    The following is quoted from a clipping from a newspaper at the time of her death:
ATKINSON Phoebe Campbell
Phebe Campbell Atkinson

    “Mrs. Phebe Campbell Atkinson was in her 95th year.  Her living descendants aggrate to a total of 460 souls. She is represented by 15 children, 77 grandchildren, 329 great-grandchildren and 39 great-great-grandchildren.  She was an exceedingly active woman and until a few weeks prior to her death was accustomed to taking a daily ride. Mrs. Atkinson was born at New Brunswick near the Bay of Funday, Canada on the 9th of October 1809.  Her marriage to Mr. William Atkinson occurred in 1834 when she was 25 years of age.  She came to Utah with him in 1853.  They settled in Bountiful when that village had hardly a single inhabitant.  Since then, she has been prominently identified with church work as well as socially.  She is well known as a faithful and an aggressive Latter-Day Saint.”

    It is worthy to note that at the time of her death [in 1904] there had not been one child or grandchild married outside of the temple.  She died at the old home at Bountiful where she had lived alone with her daughter Rhoda for years.  She was buried in the Bountiful Cemetery.
    Phebe Campbell Atkinson was an officer in the Relief Society of Bountiful from the time it was organized until the ward was divided in 1877.  She was appointed President of the South Bountiful Ward Relief Society on the 26th of January, 1879.  She held this position for fifteen years then resigned because of ill health.

    The following is a note taken from the book, EAST OF ANTELOPE ISLAND, published by the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Davis County Company in 1948.  It is a history of Davis County, Utah:
    “In the winter of 1854, William and his son-in-law, Marrineer Merrill went into the mountains east of Bountiful and made some 17,000 shingles.  They were sold the following summer for $8.00 per 1,000.”
All living pioneers in 1897

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our Smurf Heritage

In usual fashion, Great Papa chose an animated movie for the Grandkid’s sleep-over.
And since he turns 80 next weekend, we indulged his movie choice at the RedBox rentals.
(Actually, none of us were too interested in watching the movie with him at first!)
BUT, then, we all looked at the screen:
On the screen was the spitting image of Great-Papa with his same globe thing-a-magig suspended in air!!
Just look at the resemblance:
Now, we had to restart the movie so that we could actually watch it from the beginning.  Especially because it looked like we are living with one of the original Smurfs! 
No wonder we always have sooooo much fun!!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

He Is Risen

To commemorate Easter, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) has released “He Is Risen,” a new Bible video portraying the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The video incorporates the days leading up to the Savior’s Resurrection and includes segments of the recently released Bible videos “Triumphal Entry,” “The Last Supper,” “The Intercessory Prayer,” “Christ in Gethsemane,” “Peter’s Denial,” “The Savior’s Trial before Pilate,” “The Scourging and Crucifixion,” “The Laying of the Lord’s Body in the Tomb” and “The Savior’s Resurrection.

President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the Church’s First Presidency, said the short videos follow faithfully the scriptural account of Jesus Christ’s life from the King James Version of the Bible.

The Church has released a number of free Bible videos, and they’re all available at Read more about the Bible videos: Jesus Christ’s Life Leading Up to His Resurrection Portrayed in New Bible Videos

Sunday, April 1, 2012

General Conference Sun Aft 1 Apr 2012 Recap

Since we were blessed with Tickets to attend the Sunday Afternoon Session in the Conference Center, we were unable to transcribe our notes on the spot – (ie, we didn’t take our laptop). The Spirit was Strong. The music was Heavenly. Our hearts were overflowing at the great blessing and opportunity given to us to be able to be there with our beloved Prophet and the Apostles; and the General Authorities and Leaders; and the thousands upon thousands of Saints; with ALL hearts turned to the Lord to hear His Words. We loved being there!!

AND, upon returning home, we discovered that the Church News has published amazing and wonderful Summaries of the Talks!!  (They’re probably better and more accurate than my personal notes.)

The official Summaries are posted below for your enjoyment and enrichment!

General Conference Summaries

Summaries from the Sunday afternoon session of the April 2012 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder L. Tom Perry: The Power of Deliverance

Prophecies foretelling the life and mission of Jesus Christ speak of the deliverance only He can provide. “His Atonement and Resurrection provide all of us an escape from physical death, and, if we repent, an escape from spiritual death, bringing with it the blessings of eternal life,” said Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the Sunday afternoon session of conference.

“I wish to speak about how the Book of Mormon, which is a tender mercy of the Lord preserved for these latter-days, delivers us by teaching us, in a pure and ‘most correct’ way, the doctrine of Christ,” he said.

Telling of a young friend named Scott, Elder Perry spoke of Scott’s boldness in sharing the gospel. On a flight to visit his brother, Scott spoke with a person seated next to him about the Book of Mormon. “This year in Sunday School classes, we are studying of the Book of Mormon. As we prepare and participate, may we be motivated to follow Scott’s bold example to share our love of this special scripture with others not of our faith,” Elder Perry said.

He then directed his address to two stories from the Book of Mormon about deliverance. The first was about the people of Limhi who were in bondage to the Lamanites. “When Limhi’s people had their fill of Lamanite abuses, they convinced the king to go against them in battle. Three times they were defeated. Heavy burdens were laid upon them,” he said. “The Lord was slow to hear their cries. …”

The second story was about the people of Alma who were also subject to the Lamanites. When the Lamanites placed heavy burdens on the people of Alma, “The people of Alma were delivered from the hands of the Lamanites and safely made their way back to be united with the people of Zarahemla.”

Elder Perry asked, “What was the difference between the people of Alma and the people of Limhi? ... The people of Alma were peaceful and more righteous; they had already been baptized and entered into a covenant with the Lord; they humbled themselves before the Lord even before their tribulations started.”

To close his remarks, Elder Perry noted an additional two stories, one from the Old Testament and one from the Book of Mormon. He first spoke of Lot who “pitched his tent facing Sodom, a city of great wickedness.” The second story was about King Benjamin and his instruction to his people gathered to hear his final words. “King Benjamin instructed them to position the doors of their tents facing the temple,” he said. “We can be delivered from the ways of evil and wickedness by turning to the teachings of the Holy Scriptures.”

“I declare that Jesus is the Christ, and we can draw close to Him by reading the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. The first testaments of Jesus Christ are the Old and New Testaments—or the Bible.”

Elder M. Russell Ballard: That the Lost May Be Found

The Lord has provided a navigational tool far more powerful than the most advanced GPS system, said Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“Everyone loses their way at some point, to some degree,” he said Sunday afternoon. “It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can be brought safely back onto the right path; and it is the atoning sacrifice of the Savior that can return us home.”

Much of the world has lost its way, particularly in regard to the values and priorities within the home. “It is in our home and families that need reforming in this increasingly materialistic and secular world,” he added.

Elder Ballard then spoke of the connection between prosperity and education and traditional families and values. The question is about cause and effect. Do some sectors of society have stronger values and families because they are more educated and prosperous—or are they more educated and prosperous because of their values and strong families?

“In this worldwide Church we know that it is the latter,” he declared. “When people make the family and religious commitments to gospel principles, they begin to do better spiritually and often temporally as well.”

Societies are strengthened as families grow stronger.

“When couples marry and make commitments to each other, they greatly increase the chances of economic well-being. When children are born in wedlock and have both a mom and a dad, their opportunities and their likelihood of occupational success skyrocket. And when families work and play together, neighborhoods and communities flourish, economies improve, and less government and fewer costly ‘safety nets’ are required.”

Societal and economic ills, he added, can be remedied by living correct principles and values.

Elder Ballard said that a spiritual divide gets ever wider as evil becomes more deceptive and subtle, pulling people toward it like a dark magnet—even as the gospel attracts the honest in heart who seek what is moral and good.

“We may be relatively small in number, but as members of this Church we can reach across these widening gaps. We know the power of Christ-centered service that brings together God’s children regardless of their spiritual or economic status.”

The Church remains a mooring in a tempestuous sea—an anchor in the churning waters of change and division. So what can be done to avoid becoming lost?

First, he said, prioritize. “Put everything you do outside the home in subjection to and in support of what happens inside your home.”

Make time for prayer and scripture and family activity. Give children responsibilities in the home that teach them how to work. Teach them that gospel living helps protect them from the filth of the world.

Second, do things in the right order. “Marriage first, and then family.”

Third, husbands and wives should be equal partners in marriage.

And finally, he concluded, use the family resources of the Church.

“The Holy Ghost will guide you and your family,” promised Elder Ballard. “You will have a spiritual GPS to tell you always where you are and where you are going.”

Elder O. Vincent Haleck: Having the Vision to Do

Elder O. Vincent Haleck of the Seventy presented his talk as an answer to the question, “How do we, amidst the challenges of our lives, gain the vision necessary to do those things that will bring us closer to the Savior?”

Using an example from his childhood, when his parents desired a bright future for their children and sent them from American Samoa to the United States for schooling, he said, “[My parents] acted on this vision, and they exercised their faith by seeking the Lord’s blessings.”

Like the vision his parents had for him and his siblings, Elder Haleck said the Savior has a vision for each child of God.

“If we are to prosper rather than perish, we must gain a vision of ourselves as the Savior sees us,” he said.

For example, Elder Haleck recounted how the Savior “saw more in those humble fishermen whom He called to follow Him than they initially saw in themselves; … With that vision, these faithful and devoted disciples were able to do hard things as they traveled to preach the gospel and establish the Church after the Savior departed.”

Scriptural figures aren’t the only examples for whom the Savior has visions, Elder Haleck continued.

“In our own day, many young men, young women, and senior couples have answered the call of a prophet of God to serve missions. … As they act on their vision to serve, they bless the lives of many and, in the process, change their own lives.”

Elder Haleck reminded conference participants that the Holy Ghost and inspired Church leaders can help give “a deeper understanding of our Savior’s vision for us.”

He taught, “Throughout this conference, we have received inspired counsel from prophets and apostles. Study their teachings and ponder them in your hearts, while seeking the Spirit of the Holy Ghost to help you catch a vision of these teachings in your life.”

Elder Haleck also cautioned against things that can weaken vision and faith. Difficult life experiences, busy schedules, and feelings of being overwhelmed can all dim that vision, he said.

Instead, he encouraged each person to “focus [their] vision on the Savior and His teachings.”

“I know that as we gain a vision of ourselves as the Savior sees us and as we act on that vision, our lives will be blessed in unexpected ways,” he promised.

Elder Larry Y. Wilson: Only upon the Principles of Righteousness

Recounting a long road trip early in his marriage, when he mistakenly told his new bride that he had the “right” to tell her how to drive the car simply because he was her husband and he held the priesthood, Elder Larry Y. Wilson used the experience to teach that husbands and wives, parents and leaders can lead “only upon the principles of righteousness.”

“The Doctrine and Covenants explains that the right to use the priesthood in the home or elsewhere is directly connected with righteousness in our lives,” he explained. “We lose our right to the Lord’s Spirit and to whatever authority we may have from God when we exercise control over another person in an unrighteous manner.”

Elder Wilson taught that when one tries to “compel someone to righteousness who can and should be exercising his or her own moral agency,” he warned, “we are acting unrighteously.” Instead, he admonished, “when setting firm limits for another person is in order, those limits should always be administered with loving patience and in a way that teaches eternal principles.”

Elder Wilson explained that compulsion created by unrighteous dominion prevents learning opportunities for those being coerced. He taught that parents need to be especially cautious of making this mistake with their children.

“Wise parents must weigh when children are ready to begin exercising their own agency in a particular area of their lives,” he said, adding, “if parents hold on to all decision-making power and see it as their ‘right,’ they severely limit the growth and development of their children.”

Elder Wilson expanded his talk about leading with principles of righteousness to comfort those who may have lost trust in God’s love due to the unfortunate unrighteous dominion of others.

“If we are going to help those in our stewardships make the all-important link with heaven, we must be the kind of parent and leader described in Doctrine and Covenants section 121,” he said. Closing by speaking to everyone in the Church—parents, leaders, children, and everyone in between—Elder Wilson promised, “Even if you’ve been mistreated in the past, I know the Lord wants you to come unto Him. All are loved. All are welcomed.”

Elder David F. Evans: Was It Worth It?

“What can I do to help build up the Lord’s Church and see real growth where I live?” So asked Elder David F. Evans of the Seventy, who spoke Sunday afternoon about strengthening the Church through serving families, ward members and “the one” whom the Spirit may prompt reaching out to, he said.

First, Elder Evans said, real Church growth occurs in families. “Our most important work in this and every other endeavor is always within our own home and family,” he said.

Second, Elder Evans said growth occurs as members “labor diligently to … persuade [their] brethren to believe in Christ and be reconciled to God” (see 2 Nephi 25:23).

He spoke of Dave Orchard, a Salt Lake native who had many Latter-day Saint friends but wasn’t a member himself. One day in his young adulthood, however, one of Dave’s friends invited him to accompany him to an interview with his bishop.

“What an invitation!” Elder Evans declared. “But in the context of their friendship and circumstances, it was both natural and normal.” Dave, said Elder Evans, received a testimony and was baptized by that bishop.

“As Dave spoke of his conversion and bore his testimony regarding these events, he asked … 'So, was it worth it?'” Dave recounted the effort of friends and Church leaders through the years, with the result being “just one boy [being] baptized.” As Dave pointed to his own family, he said, “Well, at least for my wife and our five children, the answer is ‘yes.’”

“Whenever the gospel is shared,” Elder Evans said, “it is never ‘just one boy.’ Whenever conversion happens or someone returns to the Lord, it is a family that is saved. … Was it worth it? Oh, yes, it was worth it.”

Elder Evans offered several ways members can act on spiritual promptings to serve others.

“If we will pray and ask Heavenly Father who we can help and promise to act on the promptings He gives us letting us know how we can help, He will answer our prayers and we will become instruments in His hands to do His work.”

Elder Evans reminded members that they may have even thought about someone whom they could reach out to during the conference proceedings.

“My invitation is to act, without delay, on that prompting,” he admonished. “Talk to your friend or family member. Do it in a natural and normal way. Let them know of your love for them and for the Lord. … Watch as our Heavenly Father uses your willingness to act to bring about a miracle in your life and in the life of the person you care about.”

Elder Paul B. Pieper: To Hold Sacred

“Moses, Alma, and Joseph Smith’s lives were all changed by encounters with the divine,” Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy said during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference. “These experiences strengthened them to remain faithful to the Lord and His work throughout their lives, despite overwhelming opposition and subsequent difficult trials.

“Our experiences with the divine may not be as direct or dramatic, nor our challenges as daunting. However, as with the prophets, our strength to endure faithfully depends upon recognizing, remembering, and holding sacred that which we receive from above.”

It is through seeking light and truth that individuals are able to feel the still, small voice whisper to their spirits, Elder Pieper said.

“These feelings—these impressions—are so natural and so subtle that we may overlook them or attribute them to reason or intuition,” he said.

Daily reflection upon and recording the impressions that come from the Spirit serves the dual purpose of helping individuals recognize their personal encounters with the divine, and to preserve them for themselves and their posterity, he said.

“Recording them is also a formal acknowledgement of our gratitude to God, …” he said. “Light and knowledge from heaven is sacred. It is sacred because Heaven is its source.”

As individuals exercise agency and choose to accept and hold sacred impressions from God, they are able to recognize it as light and knowledge sent from heaven.

“But, there is an opposition in all things,” Elder Pieper said. “The opposite of sacred is profane or secular—that which is temporal or worldly. The worldly constantly competes with the sacred for our attention and priorities. Knowledge of the secular is essential for daily living. Further, the Lord instructs us to seek learning and wisdom, to study and learn out of the best books, and to become acquainted with languages, tongues, and people. Therefore the choice to place the sacred above the secular is a choice of relative priority, not exclusivity.”

But, just as in ancient times, there is a battle for priority between the sacred and the secular in each human heart, he said.

“Secular voices are growing in volume and intensity,” he noted. “Because we see through a ‘glass darkly’ and do not know the ‘meaning of all things,’ … We may feel that we may need greater spiritual assurances.”

In those cases, individuals must rely on and hold sacred the things that had already been received from God.

“The sacred cannot be selectively surrendered,” Elder Pieper said. “Those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened and, unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them. Unanchored by the sacred, they will find themselves morally adrift on the secular sea. In contrast, those who hold sacred things sacred receive promises.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen: What Thinks Christ of Me?

Each and every person, said Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will one day stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Each will have to face the important question: “What thinks Christ of me?”

“Even with His love for all mankind, Jesus reprovingly referred to some around Him as hypocrites, fools, and workers of iniquity,” he said. “He approvingly called others children of the kingdom and the light of the world. He disapprovingly referred to some as blinded and unfruitful; He commended others as pure in heart, and hungering after righteousness. He lamented that some were faithless and of the world, but others He esteemed as chosen, disciples, friends.

“And so we each ask, ‘What thinks Christ of me?’”

It is a time of growing disbelief and disregard for Christ and His teachings, he added.

“In this turbulent environment, we rejoice in being disciples of Jesus Christ. We see the Lord’s hand all around us. Our destination is beautifully set before us. … Being a disciple in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout the eternities.”

Elder Andersen said the messages heard during general conference were guideposts from the Lord on the journey of discipleship. Remember, Jesus’ call to “come, follow me” is not only for those prepared “to compete in a spiritual Olympics.”

“Discipleship is not a competition at all, but an invitation to all,” he said. “Our journey of discipleship is not a dash around the track, nor is it even comparable to a lengthy marathon. It is a life-long migration toward a more celestial world.”

The road of discipleship is always the right road. It is the road to eternal life.

Elder Andersen shared accounts of discipleship in action. He spoke of President Thomas S. Monson, who administered a priesthood blessing nearly 20 years ago to a 12-year-old girl named Jami who was battling bone cancer. In the blessing, President Monson promised Jami that Christ “will be on your right side and on your left side to buoy you up.” Following the blessing, the girl presented President Monson with a balloon that read “You’re the Best” in bright letters.

President Monson’s blessing lifted Jami’s spirit as she endured chemotherapy and limb-saving surgery. President Monson did not forget her. Three years after their first meeting, Jami met again with President Monson in his office. He surprised her with the same balloon she had given him three years earlier.

“He had saved it knowing she would return to his office when she was cured of cancer,” said Elder Andersen. “Fourteen years after their first meeting, President Monson performed the marriage of Jami Palmer and Jason Brinton in the Salt Lake Temple.”

Miracles are not always immediate. “But as we trust in the Savior, promised miracles will occur. Whether in this life or the next, all will be made right.”

Elder Andersen testified that “as you love Him, trust Him, believe Him, and follow Him, you will feel His love and approval.”

President Thomas S. Monson: As We Close This Conference

Following is the text of President Thomas S. Monson’s concluding remarks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 182nd Annual General Conference on April 1.

My heart is full as we come to the close of this glorious conference. … We have been so richly blessed as we have listened to the counsel and testimonies of those who have spoken to us. I think you will agree with me that we have felt the Spirit of the Lord as our hearts have been touched and our testimonies strengthened.

Once again we have enjoyed beautiful music, which has enhanced and enriched each session of conference. I express my gratitude to all who have shared with us their talents in this regard.

My heartfelt thanks go to each who has spoken to us, as well as to those who have offered prayers at each of the sessions.

There are countless individuals who work either behind the scenes or in less visible positions each conference. It would not be possible for us to hold these sessions without their assistance. My thanks go to all of them as well.

I know you join with me in expressing profound gratitude to those brethren and sisters who have been released during this conference. We will miss them. Their contributions to the work of the Lord have been enormous and will be felt throughout generations to come.

We have also sustained, through uplifted hands, brethren and sisters who have been called to new positions during this conference. We welcome them and want them to know that we look forward to serving with them in the cause of the Master. They have been called by inspiration from on high.

We have had unprecedented coverage of this conference, reaching across the continents and oceans to people everywhere. Though we are far removed from many of you, we feel of your spirit and your dedication, and we send our love and appreciation to you wherever you are.

How blessed we are, my brothers and sisters, to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives and in our hearts. It provides answers to life’s greatest questions. It provides meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.

We live in troubled times. I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face. He loves each of us and desires to bless us and to help us. May we call upon Him in prayer, as He admonished when He said: “Pray always, and I will pour out my spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing—yea, even more than if you should obtain treasures of earth.”

My dear brothers and sisters, may your homes be filled with love and courtesy and with the Spirit of the Lord. Love your families. If there are disagreements or contentions among you, I urge you to settle them. Settle them now. Said the Savior, There shall “be no disputations among you. … For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another. But behold, this is not my doctrine … but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”

As your humble servant, I echo the words of King Benjamin in his address to his people, when he said, “I have not commanded you to … think that I of myself am more than a mortal man. But I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen … by the hand of the Lord … and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me.” My beloved brothers and sisters, I desire with all my heart to do God’s will and to serve Him and to serve you.

Now, as we leave this conference, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May you who are away from your homes return to them safely. May you ponder the truths you have heard, and may they help you to become even better than you were when conference began two days ago.

Until we meet again in six months’ time, I ask the Lord’s blessings to be upon you and, indeed, upon all of us, and I do so in His holy name—even Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.



Summaries from the Sunday afternoon session of the April 2012 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Full text of the talks will be available in English on Thursday, April 5.

Experience general conference again at

General Conference Sun am 1 Apr 2012 Recap

Pres. Dieter F Uchtdorf
We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children.
Two-Word Sermon:  When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm; please apply the following: Stop it!
The minute we judge others, we condemn ourselves.  Refusing to forgive is a grievous sin and one that the Savior warned against. When the Lord requires that we forgive all men, that includes forgiving ourselves, too.
we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves?”
Forgiving is not easy.  It requires a major change in our attitude and way of thinking, even a ‘Change of Heart’. The good news is that this mighty change of heart is exactly what the gospel of Jesus Christ brings.
It is easier to love others with the Pure Love of Christ when we allow the Love of God to govern our minds and emotions. Jesus Christ Consolator BlochCarl-
The Pure Love of Christ can remove resentment and wrath from our eyes, allowing us to see others the way Heavenly Father sees us.  Because God loves us so much, we too must love and forgive each other.
Let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. Let us talk peacefully with each other. Let us let the Love of God fill our hearts. Let us do good unto all.
Let us be known as a people who have love one to another.
Allow Christ’s Atonement to change and heal your heart.

Elder Russell M Nelson
Too many are like the fish in the tank; oblivious to how they are cared for and fed.  Many are living today without an awareness of God and His Goodness. Oh, that more could be aware of God’s Love and express gratitude to Him!
God is the Father of our Spirits. He created us physically in His image with a body.
All things to sustain us are heaven-sent: air, food, water – are all gifts from a Loving Heavenly Father.
Marriage and family are ordained of God.
Central to God’s Eternal Plan is the Mission of His Son Jesus Christ.  Jesus came to Redeem us. Because of His Atonement, eternal life is a possibility for all of us who qualify.
Our Loving God has provided us, His Children, with physical and spiritual gifts.
Jesus Perfect love fixedDeath and birth are both a part of life. Death is the gateway that we return to God and is a Joy for those who love Him and are prepared to meet Him.
We will all be judged one day by our spiritual attributes: Love, Virtue, Integrity, Compassion, and Service to others.  Our Spiritual Progress is attained through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. This includes the Endowment and Sealing Ordinances of the Holy Temple.
It is our challenge to access the Power of the Atonement – each day – to become more Christ-like and live eternally with God, Jesus Christ and our family.

Elder Ronald A Rasband
We need to trust in God’s Will.  With faith in Him, we draw upon the power of Christ’s Atonement at those times when our questions abound and our answers are few.
Pres. James E. Faust said, “I have a great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a child who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues every day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child.”

We have been surrounded by countless heavenly and earthly ministering angels. Jesus He Loves Me Too_McNaughton b
We continue to learn the important value of being aware and interested in the lives of those around us; learning not only the importance of giving help, but also the overwhelming joy that comes from helping others.
Though many people face trials, adversities, disabilities, heartaches, and all manner of afflictions, a loving Savior will always be there. He has promised:  “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you…Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14: 18, 27)
Continue to bear nobly our burdens.  Reach out to those among us who are suffering and in need of being lifted and encouraged.

Sister Julie B Beck
Faith, Family, Relief.  Three simple words that express the vision of Prophets for the Sisters in the Church. We can increase faith, strengthen families, and homes and provide relief comes as we seek, receive, and act on revelation.
Prophets have spoken of the essential need for sisters to be full participants in the Lord’s work.  Prophets have shared their vision of strong, faithful, purposeful women who understand their eternal value and purpose.
Relief Society is not a program.  It is an official part of the Lord’s Church that is Divinely ordained of God; to Teach, Strengthen, and Inspire Sisters in their purpose regarding Faith, Family, and Relief.

Relief Society follows the pattern of female Disciples who served WITH the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles.
Relief Society is meant to help sisters avoid problems and establish righteous patterns in their lives. It helps us to learn Spiritual and practical skills to make our homes a sacred center of Gospel living.
We are to seek Revelation.  The friendship and unity are sweet results of serving together WITH the Lord in His Work.

Elder D Todd Christofferson
The purpose of the Lord and the labor of His Prophets IS to proclaim God’s Plan of Redemption. After centuries of occasional rays of gospel light, the Restoration of the gospel in its fullness illuminated the earth. A brilliant dawn of Restoration broke upon the world and the gospel of Christ, full and complete, was once again on the earth.  This glorious day began when, in a pillar of light above the brightness of the sun, God the Father and His Beloved Son Jesus Christ visited young Joseph Smith and initiated what would become a virtual flood of revelation linked with divine power and authority.
Jesus Christ declared: “I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.  And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.  And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.  And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.” ( 3 Nephi 11: 35-39)
The Church today, just as anciently, establishes thFirst_Presidency_Monsone Doctrine of Christ by Revelation to those the Lord endows with Apostolic authority.  We value scholarship that enhances understanding, but in the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the Doctrine of Christ or correcting Doctrinal deviations is a matter of Divine Revelation to those the Lord endows with Apostolic authority.

The Savior may act by messenger or in His own person to Reveal His Will and Doctrine to Prophets, Seers, and Revelators. The Savior may speak by His own voice or by the voice of the Holy Spirit. The Savior may direct Himself to His servants individually or in council.
The President of the Church may announce or interpret Doctrines based on Revelation to him.
Quorum of 12 Apostles cDoctrinal exposition may also come through the council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
In the end, just as in the New Testament Church, the objective is not simply consensus among council members, but Revelation from God. It is a process involving both reason and Faith for obtaining the Mind and Will of the Lord.

President Thomas S Monson
Eternal Truths will enrich our lives and see us safely home.  Pause for moments of meditation; even thoughts of timeless truths.
Moments of clarity come to all of us at one time or another. We see clearly what it is that really matters in our lives and how we should be living.
In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life?
These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.
The spirits of all men are literally His begotten sons and daughters.
A primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. We are privileged to choose for ourselves. We discern between good and evil. We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet. We discover that there are consequences attached to our actions.
Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal voyage without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him guidance to ensure our safe return. I speak of Prayer. I speak of the whisperings from that Still, Small Voice; and I do not overlook the Holy Scriptures, which contain the Word of the Lord and the Words of the Prophets, provided to us -- to help us successfully cross the finish line.
Death is not the end.  “Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.  And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.” (Alma 40:11-12)
Jesus He Lives simon_deweyAs the result of Christ’s victory over the grave, we shall all be resurrected. This is the redemption of the soul.

It is the celestial glory which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings are earned through a lifetime of striving, seeking, repenting, and finally succeeding.
Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His Commanments and He is also concerned for the lost, the tardy, the wayward and the delinquent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these, and indeed to all: “Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me”.