Provo/Orem Energy Source

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

General Conference: Thou shalt not covet...

Elder Robert D Hales began the Saturday Morning session of General Conference Apr 2009 with a rousing talk in the same vein as Elder L Tom Perry's talk that opened the Oct 2008 Saturday morning session. Elder Perry's talk, which he entitled "Let Him Do It With Simplicity", used Emerson's Walden Pond experience to talk about "the spiritual benefits of a simplified lifestyle." (For more information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints see the church's website at

Link to: Becoming Provident Providers Temporally and Spiritually

Elder Hales gave what I feel is the gospel answer to the problems of dwindling natural resources and financial troubles - turning to the Lord and following his commandments. One of the most basic of the Lord's commandments is "Thou shalt not covet". The appetite for worldly things can not be satisfied by obtaining worldly things, and can only be overcome through coming unto Christ. We have hope through Christ that we can break the cycle of debt and uncontrolled excesses. Learn to recognize the temptations of the devil and with unflinching resolve to say "Get thee behind me Satan". Paying tithing and fast offerings teaches us to put the things of the Lord first.

By our unwise choices we can bind ourselves down so that we do not have the time, energy or resources to serve others or the Lord. He spoke candidly of a couple situations early in his marriage that made a large impression on him. In summary, he said that the four most caring words may be "we can't afford it". We often buy, consume, and engage in worldly behaviors for things we don't need and often don't even want. Learn to communicate better as husbands and wives and as families.

Our deepest hunger is for our Heavenly Father's love, His security, and eternal joy. Quoting 2 Nephi 9:51 "Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy." I would add that we also crave the love and acceptance of those closest to us, our families and close friends. As a husband and father, I liked the term Elder Hales used to describe my role as a "provident provider".

Throughout the sessions of conference yesterday I was gratified at the optimism. As we face the challenges of our day, we can do so with hope. "The best is yet to come" as Elder Perry said last conference. As Elder Packer said in Priesthood session, we are entering a time of hard work, the time of expensive toys is ending - thank goodness! Maybe these economic hardships and resource problems will be the shaking up of the devil's kingdom that will soften our collective hearts and turn them back to each other and away from the closeted lives so many of us lead.

I deeply believe that the gospel holds the answers to all of the world's problems - all of them. Resource depletion will not be solved by technological innovation; it will only be solved as we willing curb our worldly appetites, when we gain our sense of worth from our identity as children of God and our relationship with Him as our Father and each other as brothers in sisters. It is not a technical problem but a behavioral one.

Matt Whiting

I find it interesting that both Elder Perry and Hales come from a business background, and that Elder Hales was the Presiding Bishop for nine years.


Blogger NoSurfGirl said...

I also looooved his comments.

I wanted to let you know I found out that both Provo and Springville follow federal building guidelines, with wind, earthquake, and snowload factors.

I think, from what I've read, that free-standing strawbale structures would be very difficult to get approved. But post-and-beam construction (where straw is just "infill") should be OK. As long as you have the right concrete footers (which one man told me would likely need to be put in/designed by an engineer.)

The only area that might have guidelines is plat A, in Springville... I don't know what theirs are but it's different.

1:12 PM  

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