This is a General Conference Odyssey post.
Our church is a vehicle of constant change and motion toward good. As members, we are required to sustain these changes with our hands raised and our hearts open. Change within the church, as directed by our prophet, come directly from the Lord and His timetable. Is our timetable His timetable?
In October 1978, they announced in conference the revelation on the Priesthood, and it is recorded that all in attendance raised their hands to the square in support of this new change.
Along with this highly publicized change, the prophet was sustained, and the other general authorities and officers were sustained in turn. All the voting was noted as being unanimous in favor.
As we know, nothing stays the same. Change happens. So it has always been in our church. But as we also know and understand, Jesus Christ is at the helm and He decides where and when change happens. Because He is the priesthood and the priesthood is administered at His hand, there is an order established in His church. The prophet is the only one on this earth who can speak for Jesus Christ in all things having to do with changes in the church. This is a basic principle of order in the kingdom of God.
Thanks be to God for His order, because without absolute order there is chaos.
Satan is the master of chaos and He longs to destroy the kingdom of God. We see his hand more and more as people around us succumb to his enticings. Demanding change out of order leads to chaos.
The church is an amazing machine of change. In the early days of the church, Joseph Smith had to move quickly to keep up with the Lord who prompted speed in spreading the gospel. Poor Joseph also, in many cases, had to learn through trial and error, because his faith had to be tested along the way.
Everything the Relief Society sisters did to build the Salt Lake Valley was inspired by the Lord. The accomplishments were integrated into the main church to build, and build, and keep building. As the church has grown by population, as well as capacity, modifications have been made on a regular basis.
The church welfare program has evolved exponentially with farms and ranches across the world, bishop’s storehouses filled and made available, and how food and basic needs are administered to the poor. The humanitarian arm changed dramatically when shipping costs soared.
When it comes to technology, as mentioned in another talk given during this session (“Ours Is A Shared Ancestry”), there is nothing like what the church has been inspired to do to handle the demands of people using FamilySearch.org all at once.
And still, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints marches forward with continued inspiration to change for the better, modernize, and keep up with the needs of its ever-growing population.
How is it possible that there are dissatisfied people placing demands on this robust ship of perpetual upward movement? There will always be people who desire to disrupt a working program, who hope the church fails, and who think their wrench just may be the final straw to cause chaotic collapse. There are those who sit quietly in the crowd, still supposing their voices make a difference when they oppose the prophet. There are those whose childish demands, claiming unfairness and failure to acknowledge their whims, get televised and spread on Social Media. Those are tiny victories lost amidst the giant engine of God’s kingdom on the earth.
This new year brings with it new changes in the mindset of our church and I will sustain them all completely. Women are being asked to modify their traditional thinking by quite a bit. I hope we will figure out how to move forward with these changes. They are inspired and much needed at this time.
As members of this church, we have nothing to fear from the adversary. We can faithfully sustain the prophet, knowing that through time we will continue being asked to change and modify the way we do things in the church as our kingdom extends to the ends of the earth.
The man and woman who use the power Marilyn Nielson