Monday, April 8, 2019

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on the blessing of repetition

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"Don’t discount a message merely because it sounds familiar.
"Prophets have always taught by repetition; it is a law of learning. You will hear repetition in themes and doctrines in general conference. Let me reassure you: this is not due to a lack of creativity or imagination. We continue to hear messages on similar issues because the Lord is teaching and impressing upon our minds and hearts certain foundational principles of great eternal importance that must be understood and acted upon before we can move on to other things. A wise builder first lays the foundation before erecting the walls and the roof."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "General Conference—No Ordinary Blessing," Ensign, September 2011, p. 2
Click here to read the full article

I have personally been paying attention to general conference since my early teenage years, so that's about 50 years, twice a year. With 100 sessions of general conference, and typically about 6 talks per session, that's a LOT of talks, and a lot of chances for themes, topics, stories, scriptures, and applications to be repeated or reused! President Uchtdorf reminded us that there is nothing wrong about repetitive themes or talks; we should expect them, and recognize in them the blessing of being reminded, of having testimonies confirmed.

If we recognize repeated themes as "foundational principles of great eternal importance," we should be eager to focus on them and seek for blessings that come from pondering and applying the teachings. We will always be blessed to re-strengthen foundations as we continue to build upon them!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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