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  1. I wish I could have running side commentary from this group going through this Conference. Thank you all for the encouragements and thoughts.

  2. Dan i loved your ‘pastoral’ advice at the end, particularly the part where you said even Elder Oaks said that when he speaks in general conference he is giving general advice. Do you have a source for that? I tried an internet search for those words or similar but couldn’t find much.

    Also, I love the genuineness as you respond to your guests– “thank you brother”, “good stuff”, “glad we’re friends”. It’s made me think, how often am I expressing appreciation to my friends? Love that about you, thank you.

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      Cynthia! Thank you for the question about the Elder Oaks’ comment about “general authorities” giving “general counsel.” I had to go digging, and am glad to report that I think I found the one that had stuck with me some time ago. My guess is he’s also said it in other places, too. (I have a vague memory of possibly reading something like this in his book, The Lord’s Way.)

      Anyway, here is one spot with that connection. In 2005, he gave a talk to LDS young adults called “The Dedication of a Lifetime.” Toward the end, here is the key section on this:

      “I’ve learned that the kind of direct counsel I have given results in a large number of letters from members who feel they are an exception, and they want me to confirm that the things I’ve said just don’t apply to them in their special circumstance. I will explain why I can’t offer much comfort in response to that kind of letter by telling you an experience I had with another person who was troubled by a general rule.

      I gave a talk in which I mentioned the commandment, thou shalt not kill. Afterwards, a man came up to me in tears, saying that what I had said showed there was no hope for him. What do you mean, I ask him. He explained that he had been a machine gunner during the Korean War. During a frontal assault, his machine gun mowed down scores of enemy infantry. Their bodies were piled so high in front of his gun that he had is man push them away in order to maintain their field of fire. He had killed a hundred, he said, and now he must be going to hell, because I’d spoken of the Lord’s commandment, thou shalt not kill.

      The explanation I gave that man is the same explanation I give to you if you feel you are an exception to what I’ve said. As a general authority, it is my responsibility to preach general principles. When I do, I don’t try to define all the exceptions. There are exceptions to some rules. For example, we believe the commandment is not violated by killing pursuant to a lawful order in an armed conflict. But don’t ask me to give an opinion on you’re exception. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord.

      The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the same thing in another way when he was asked how he governed such a diverse group of Saints. He said, I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves. In what I’ve just said, I’m simply teaching correct principles and inviting each one of you to act upon those principles by governing yourself.”

      Here is link to talk. You can also view a transcript. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2005-05-03-the-dedication-of-a-lifetime?lang=eng#p3s:2338830&p3e:2487820

      Thanks, so much, for listening and your kind words!
      All my best!
      Dan

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