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FHE: General Authorities

Shauna Gibby - October 10, 2011

Photo from LDS Newsroom.

As your family prepares to receive and study the printed general conference addresses, discuss the position of general authorities and how we can support them.

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “An Ensign to the Nations,” by Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2011, 111.

Thoughts:
In general conference we offer our testimonies in conjunction with other testimonies that will come, because one way or another God will have His voice heard.

(Jeffrey R. Holland, “An Ensign to the Nations,” Ensign, May 2011, 111.)

Song:
“Fifth Article of Faith,” Children’s Songbook, p. 125.

Scripture:
Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor. (Doctrine and Covenants 88:81)

Lesson:
Before scripture study, obtain a copy of the May or November issue of the Ensign magazine (preferably a current one). Find the page with the pictures of the First Presidency, Quorum of Twelve, and General Authorities on one page (usually in the middle of the issue). Read D&C 107:22 and ask:

• Who are the three presiding high priests in this picture?
• How are they “upheld”?
• What do we call them?

Read D&C 107:23–24, 33, 35 and ask:

• Who are the Twelve Apostles in this picture?
• How do they differ from other officers? (They are special witnesses of the name of Christ “in all the world.”)
• The entire Quorum of the Twelve is equal in power and authority to which other quorum? (The First Presidency—see verse 24.)
• What are some of their responsibilities? (See verses 23, 33, and 35.)

Read D&C 107:25–26, 34 and ask:

• Who are the Seventy in this picture?
• How are they different from the other officers?
• Their quorum is equal in authority to which other quorum? (Quorum of the Twelve—see verse 26.)
• What are some of their responsibilities? (See verses 25 and 34.)

Read together D&C 107:27, 30–31 and list the Lord’s counsel to these quorums as they make decisions. Ask:

• How would you describe the Lord’s council to these quorums?
• What promise does the Lord give if they make decisions in His way? (See verse 31.)

To help explain the authority of the different quorums, share the following explanation: “There can never be two or three quorums of equal authority at the same time; therefore in the revelation where it reads that the Twelve Apostles form a quorum equal in authority with the First Presidency, and that the Seventies form a quorum equal in authority with the Twelve, it should be understood that this condition of equality could prevail only when the ranking quorum is no longer in existence, through death or otherwise. When the First Presidency becomes disorganized on the death of the President, then the Apostles become the presiding quorum, or council, of the Church with all the power to organize again the First Presidency, when they fall back again as the second ranking quorum of the Church. So with the Seventies, they would become equal only on the condition that the first two quorums ceased to exist.”

(Hyrum M. Smith and Janne M. Sjodahl, Doctrine and Covenants Commentary, 699–700.)

Ask your family to tell about a time when they were in the presence of one of these men or heard them testify and share how they felt. Testify to your family that these are men whom God has chosen to lead us.

(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The Doctrine and Covenants, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2004], p. 238.)

Story:
“When We Recognize the Priesthood”
Loren C. Dunn

Shortly after being called [as a General Authority] in April Conference . . . , I returned to Boston to get my personal affairs in order so that I could make a permanent move to Salt Lake City. I was released from the New England Mission presidency, and for the first time in five years had more opportunity to attend my own ward in the Boston Stake, since I was usually traveling on mission business every weekend. I can remember going to our ward and, incidentally, if you want to see a picture of frustration, you should see a bishop in whose ward there is a General Authority with no assignment! I went to my own ward and I was invited to sit on the stand, which I did. A counselor in the bishopric was conducting the meeting, and he said these words, and they will forever be in my mind: “Presiding at this meeting is Brother Loren C. Dunn of the First Council of the Seventy, and the meeting will proceed under his direction.” Now, I didn’t have anything to do with the meeting other than just being there and being a member of the First Council of the Seventy. Yet above me and behind me, I felt a force that came down through me and from me out to the audience, and I was given to know that this was a manifestation of the Spirit of the Lord that made itself manifest because the presiding authority had been recognized.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about Loren C. Dunn. He will go along, and some day he will pass from the scene and turn to dust and be forgotten. He is not very important really, but the mantle and priesthood and authority that have been conferred upon him are extremely important and this is what the Lord, I am sure, was trying to tell me. When we recognize the priesthood, when we recognize presiding authority, the Spirit of the Lord begins to operate.

(Leon R. Hartshorn, Outstanding Stories by General Authorities, vol. 2, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1971].)

Activity:
Choose a number of topics that General Authorities speak about from page 3 of a May or November issue of the Ensign magazine. Write each topic on a slip of paper and put the slips in an envelope. Family members take turns pulling a slip of paper from the envelope and then drawing clues for the rest of the family to guess what the topic is.

Refreshment
Pumpkin Spice Dessert

Crust

  • 1 cup prepared biscuit mix
  • 1⁄2 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup margarine


Mix biscuit mix, rolled oats, brown sugar, and margarine until crumbly. Press into a 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Middle Layer

  • 1 can (16 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 tall can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cloves


Beat pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and spices until well mixed. Pour over crust. Return to oven and bake 25 minutes longer.

Topping

  • 1⁄2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Whipped cream


Mix chopped pecans, brown sugar, and butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over pudding. Return to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer. Cool. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 24 servings.

(Lion House Classics, [Salt Lake City: Shadow Mountain, 2003] p. 123.)

To get the PDF version of this lesson, click here.

© LDS Living, 2011.
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