Saturday Morning General Conference

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We will be reporting and photoblogging the Morning session as it develops. For more instant updates follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ByCommonConsent .

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The weather is terrible; don’t believe it if one of the speakers talks about the beauties of Spring.

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The choir arms up with its new assistant sitting by the organ, with Elder Gerald Causse in the foreground.

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Elder Charles Dider gives the opening prayer.

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And, huzzah, the choir did not breathe between the last two lines of the first verse of “The Morning Breaks.” Makes my day.

The new apostle is Neil Linden Andersen.
He is 57 years old, was called to the First Quorum of the 70 in 1993. he has been in area presidencies in Western Europe and Mexico and Central America. He speaks French, Portuguese, and Spanish, and has experience supervising Church A/V productions, including “The Testaments: Of One Fold and One Shepherd.” He was mission president in France, Bordeaux and president of the Tampa Florida Stake.

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Here the conference sustains Elder Andersen.

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Elder Andersen takes his place on the stand.

Elder Hales speaks of self-imposed servitude, either through sin or overconsumption. We are driven by the natural man to consume things that enthrall us but cannot satisfy.

Sister Lifferth: “reverence will increase if our socializing is done in the foyer, and if sacrament mtg begins with the prelude music, not the opening prayer.” She notes showing respect for priesthood leadership, calling priesthood leaders by their titles, but she also mentions auxiliaries. And she wants us to turn off blackberries and iphones in church. COME ON.

Elder Neider: “The work of the quorum is to increase faith in Christ, prepare and save young men, and eliminate mistakes and sloth in implementing God’s will.” Excellent–I can’t remember the last time anyone said “sloth” in General Conference. It’s interesting that he’s trying to include the YW in his talk to the Aaronic Priesthood. It does seem awkward, though–the parallels don’t quite hold.

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Elder Neider speaking.

I just went out into the congregation for the intermediate hymn–and the singing was LAME! I’m so sad. When did we decide that being reverent included barely moving our mouths for the hymns?

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The audience listens to Elder Packer.

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Some matronly guides watch from the plaza.

Elder Christofferson: “We need strong Christians who can persevere against hardship, who can sustain hope through tragedy, who can lift others by their example and their compassion, and who can consistently overcome temptations. We need strong Christians who can make important things happen by their faith…” The new and everlasting covenant summed up by John 3:16–seems to me a remarkable manifestation of the Church’s re-emphasis on the centrality of Christianity to Mormonism’s essence over the last several decades.

OK–wow. “The gift of the Holy Ghost is part of the new and everlasting covenant. It is an essential part of our baptism, the baptism of the Spirit. It is the messenger of grace by which the blood of Christ is applied to take away our sins and sanctify us.” I think that’s beyond re-emphasis. I like it, but it strikes me as a fairly radical restatement. What do you all think?

And this is lovely: “Divine covenants make strong Christians. I urge each one to…faithfully keep the promises you have made by covenant. In times of distress, let your covenants be paramount and let your obedience be exact. …I testify that God will keep His promises to you as you honor your covenants with Him: He will bless you in ‘good measure, pressed down…shaken together, and running over’ (Luke 6:38). He will strengthen and finish your faith.”

It’s interesting to me that both Elder Hales and Elder Eyring have framed their discussion of the economic crisis entirely in terms of individual morality–righteous preparation vs. sinful and addictive spending. I suppose that is the most important way for them to offer counsel, but I sure would like to know what they think about the larger structural issues.

I love the fact that the ending of the story was surprising to Elder Eyring even after giving the blessing–it’s nice to hear him testify of the undramatic kind of holiness and grace which is, ultimately, more significant than miraculous healing.

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Comments

  1. PARENTS: Check the sideblog for a link to a nice conference activity packet for kids.

  2. Shouldn’t the title of this thread read SATURDAY morning session??

  3. Wish I could pass along the packet my wife made 8 copies of yesterday, but not sure where she got it. I’ll see if I can ask her when she gets down here.

    The donuts and chocolate are on the table, just waiting for the big announcement of the new apostle now.

  4. Scott B says:

    ADULTS WITH ADHD: Check the sideblog for a link to a nice conference activity packet for bored adults.

  5. makakona says:

    totally love the shot of the guy licking his fingers and wiping something off of his pants, then notifying the man next to him, who pulled out a hanky.

  6. John Taber says:

    Elder Didier should give up on that combover.

  7. makakona says:

    we have a delay. just saw the combover. yeouch.

  8. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    Neil L. Anderson called as apostle.

  9. makakona says:

    the flowers are gorgeous!

  10. makakona says:

    who had the inside scoop on talks last conference?

  11. makakona says:

    you stink, duke. stupid delay.

  12. I hope that the news conference at 12:35 doesn’t go past 1 PM as BYU TV is scheduled to do a show about The Joseph Smith Papers.

  13. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    I’m a bad, bad man…

  14. Yawn.

  15. I’ve interacted with Neil L. Andersen before. He impressed me.

  16. makakona says:

    snap, someone was quick on anderson’s wikipedia update!

  17. And Wikipedia is already updated ;)

  18. So, who is he?

  19. Left Field says:

    Was that a lucky guess, #9, or is my computer slow?

  20. Tanya Spackman says:
  21. MBA at Harvard, French missionary, French mission president. No wonder he came to my French mission…

  22. makakona says:

    slow, left field.

  23. I totally predicted him.

  24. makakona says:

    was wikipedia you, ben? that was FAST! as soon as they announced it, i googled and there it was!

  25. another Harvard Business School grad to the apostleship. yawn.

  26. 53000 missionaries, 438 missions.

  27. Anyone following any other conference blogs? Times and seasons doesn’t seem to have theirs up this year.

  28. Tanya Spackman says:

    Someday I hope to warrant my own wikipedia page.

  29. Steve McIntyre says:

    Another white, American businessman! Who saw that one coming?

    I’m quite sure Elder Anderson is qualified and will do a wonderful job, but I’m beginning to wonder if a non-caucasian will ever be called to the Q12. I remember thinking that a Latin American apostle was inevitable after Elders Haight and Maxwell passed away.

  30. Grandpa Bill’s bio of Elder Andersen http://www.gapages.com/andernl1.htm

  31. No, wasn’t me. I went there as soon as I read his name, before your comment went up. I wonder who edited it, and if they had advance knowledge.

  32. an MBA is the ultimate sign of righteousness

  33. makakona says:

    #28, messenger and advocate, but no one else really comments much. #30, amen.

  34. Another Galillean. Yawn. When are we ever going to get a Jerusalem apostle?

  35. Left Field says:

    I assumed #9 was a guess until I heard the announcement 2-3 minutes later. Is there really that long of a delay?

  36. What news conference? It is a Church News Conference? I missed that..

  37. the reference to hinckley was unexpected and beautiful…

  38. makakona says:

    i think so, left field. i didn’t see didier’s combover till after i’d already read it here…

  39. Bryan H. says:

    #35 LOL. The original Q12 was rather homogenous, eh?

  40. Steve McIntyre says:

    The original Q12 didn’t preside over a global church. Aren’t a majority of Mormons (at least on the books) non-English speaking now?

  41. 37 — A ticker ran across the bottom of the screen on BYU TV saying there would be a press conference at 12:35 to introduce the new apostle to the media.

  42. How many other apostles speak French?

  43. Have you guys considered using CoverItLive.com for live coverage? It’s free!

  44. Is this a new arrangement, or is it available on a MoTab CD somewhere? I LOVE it.

  45. sorry I didn’t realize there was a delay…

  46. My kids are playing in their activity packets. My 13 year old son drew a picture of our family watching conference, and even has me sitting here on the couch with my laptop.

  47. Ok thanks

  48. Bryan H. says:

    I just got a text alert from the LDS Newsroom about the new apostle.

  49. “I’m beginning to wonder if a non-caucasian will ever be called to the Q12.”

    I am 53. My father told me, when I expressed the same sentiment after the last apostle was called, that he predicted that a non-caucasian would be called to the 12 during my lifetime. He was speaking seriously. So there you have it.

    Personally, I do not think it will happen until we give up on the idea. Sort of like the practice with respect race/lineage did not happen until the issue was no longer a high profile one, and the outside (and inside) pressure was largely off.

  50. “The original Q12 didn’t preside over a global church. ”

    Yep. And France sure needs the help.

  51. Left Field says:

    So who’s getting conference without the delay? Satellite system, or those watching on TV in Utah? Or just people in the Conference Center?

    Those who are getting it live: any announcement of the two-hour block yet?

  52. Patricia says:

    My 10-year-old son says that Elder Hales kind of looks like Q, but older…

  53. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Okay, start the tally – 1 talk that references the economic crap. Last conference seemed to have a hopeful optimistic theme – I wonder if this conference will have a divine comfort and divine aid theme (Yes, I’m making a wild assumption on the basis of President Monson’s remarks and the first part of the first talk).

  54. Deseret News had it on their front page pretty quick. Still don’t see it on the Tribune’s page.

  55. Kim Siever says:

    Wikipedia hadn’t been updated when I went to it to check where he’s from.

  56. Personally, I do not think it will happen until we give up on the idea. Sort of like the practice with respect race/lineage did not happen until the issue was no longer a high profile one, and the outside (and inside) pressure was largely off.

    I don’t really buy this David. The pressure will mount every conference it doesn’t happen.

    Regardless, when Pres. Monson says it was a matter of prayer and fasting – I believe him.

  57. makakona says:

    i’m with cj… wasn’t overjoyed, but raised my arm to the square.

  58. Elder Hales gave a similar talk during a welfare leadership training broadcast.

  59. She asked him if he was buying a woman’s coat for himself?!? What is the implication here.

  60. makakona says:

    “we can’t afford it.” hrm.

  61. I’m on about a 40 second delay right now — self imposed as I missed a little bit while yelling at the kids. We’ll catch up during the next song.

  62. makakona says:

    yep, delay. just got woman’s coat here…

  63. C.J., when you say you do not buy it, do you mean that increasing the pressure on the Brethren is the way to assure that God will inspire them to call a noncaucasian to the 12?

  64. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Why thanks, makakona! ;-)

  65. My stream has dropped out entirely…

  66. You know, I appreciate the advice to be frugal and avoid excessive wants, but…

    As a bankruptcy attorney, I’ve dealt with this day-in and day-out. And here’s what I’ve found -

    My clients ARE frugal. They HAVE avoided excess. They WERE responsible.

    Guess what?

    It didn’t keep them out of bankruptcy.

    Furthermore, his advice to be frugal does nothing for those already IN debt. When you are spending two thirds of your income in debt payments, telling people to be more frugal really doesn’t do much.

  67. I think that in the CC, it’s live….any broadcasts via TV or Satellite have a brief delay, which I would guess is less than 15 seconds, and the internet I once calculated had up to about a 90 second delay.

  68. I knew Mr. Andersen would be The One.

  69. Actually, he’s The 15th

  70. David – no, I accept whomever is called. I’m just saying that people will expect/hope it to happen – until it happens.

    I’m not suggesting any sort of pressure should be given to the Brethren.

  71. I meant “The New One”.

  72. Bryan H. says:

    #67 – Seth R. that’s an interesting comment. What do you think is pushing them into chapter 11? The bad economy?

  73. Tanya Spackman says:

    Sis. Lifferth speaks in a normal voice. Huzzah!

  74. LOL Agent Smith

  75. Looks like she’s talking to us. *grin*

  76. Crazyguy says:

    I would just like to say that I like her hair. It’s not Utah poofy.

  77. Love the normal voice – you go Sister!

  78. 1. Job loss.
    2. The adjustable rate mortgage crisis
    3. Medical Debt from no insurance, or refusal of insurance companies to provide coverage.
    4. Divorce.

  79. And yes, some of them just are financially irresponsible.

    But most aren’t.

  80. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Good internet choices… live-blogging?

  81. Respect for others, even those with whom we disagree politically & culturally… not demonizing others… I’m glad to hear this said in General Conference

  82. i sat down a few minutes late but i missed the first speaker’s name.

    i liked this a lot: ” our world is fraught with self entitlements”.

  83. Patricia says:

    “If reverence is rooted in love, so is the teaching.”

    AMEN!!!

  84. I’m enjoying Sis. Lifferth’s presentation style quite a bit.

  85. MFRANTI–The first speaker’s name was President Thomas S. Monson.

  86. Tanya Spackman says:

    Uh oh. No texting during church meetings.

  87. C.J., I suppose I can only speak for myself then.

    From the time I first found out about the Church’s race-lineage practice, and having been told that God could change it by revelation, I began to hope/expect (and pray) for it to happen every conference. After about 10 years, I gave up. In January 1978, after my having read Lester Bush’s piece for the first time, and speaking to my mother about it, my mother told me she had a feeling that the practice would change soon, and that she thought President Kimball would be the prophet through whom it would come.

    I smiled, and simply said that I doubted it. I had abandoned all hope that it would change even in my life time–even though I thought it should change.

    I suppose if another 10 years go by with the 12 still limited to caucasians, at least I will likely have given up. Maybe then it will happen. My apologies for having hoped/expected/prayed for such additions to the 12.

  88. Does her statement about not texting on our phones or blackberries during a church meeting mean i shouldn’t be blogging during priesthood this afternoon?

  89. Tanya Spackman says:

    I like her presentation style, too. Based solely on her speaking style, I think I’d like her if I ever met her :-)

  90. Little Sister says:

    (Sorry for tech question: Does anyone know how to get java working on macs using Safari or Firefox? When I try to get video from lds.org it gives me the error message: “The page “LDS.org – Media” attempted to load Java content, but Java is unavailable or not installed.”)

  91. Sweet, another talk defining specifically how we can measure our failure to be reverent.

  92. Crazyguy says:

    She’s a great speaker and this is a great topic.

  93. I remember a comment about “ever-texting” by the general YW President last year in conference.

  94. My parents had General Conference packets to keep them occupied during Conference. I’m 25 and I have now started a tradition over the last 4 conferences liveblogging in the comments on BCC/T&S…it wouldn’t be a conference without the commentary.

  95. Crazyguy says:

    Does his smile look natural?

  96. Conference is different from Sacrament Meeting.

    Sacrament Meeting is a worship service. Conference is not.

    Live-blogging A-OK as far as I’m concerned.

  97. 86.

    sorry, not Pres Monson. the first speaker after him.

  98. Leahhona says:

    Did she say she calls her husband President in public?

  99. Steve M says:

    Re # 67,

    Great comment, Seth R.

  100. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Robert D. Hales

  101. mfranti – Elder Hales.

  102. Personally, I thought “Virtue” was a rather superfluous and unhelpful addition to the Young Women values.

  103. Seth, that horse has already been beated and taxidermy-ed

  104. “Uh oh. No texting during church meetings.”

    if only that were true in all social situations. meetings, classes, standing in the checkout line at the grocery store.

    oh, and driving. definitely driving.

  105. “Are we too being poisoned by degrees? What could be more deceptive than to entice the youth of this noble generation to do nothing or to be busy ever-texting but never coming to a knowledge of the truths contained in a book that was written for you and your day by prophets of God—The Book of Mormon? ” — Elaine Dalton in October Conference

  106. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    My sisters are reveling in the fact that the talk is not directed towards them. “Yes! hand over the computer, Tom!”

  107. Aha! Study scripture AND other good books!

  108. Kim Siever says:

    Mfranti: Elder Hales, one of the 12

  109. I’m taking his talk as evidence that the youth leaders are trying to present a united front and that he’s sustaining the leadership of the YW presidency. Guess I’m seeing it as half-full, Seth R.

    His heh-heh jokes about his wife giving him underlined marriage-improvement reading material fall flat on my ears. Grr.

  110. Ben, that phrase stood out to me as well. It’s nice to see there’s acknowledgment that there are other things out there

  111. There’s the first mention of Preach My Gospel this conference.

  112. Reverence talk started out great… but then turned to the standard prayer language and proper use of titles to talk to leaders.

    Whatever happened to Brother Joseph and Brother Brigham?

  113. So I just realized that Elder Anderson will speak at the BYU-Idaho Commencement next Friday…where my wife and I will both be graduating.

    She was kinda disappointed when they announced it last Monday, and told me “Here’s my theory…he’ll be called as the new Apostle,” only because she wanted an apostle to speak at our graduation.

  114. @108 and @111 – apparently he’s only using that phrase to mean studying the “inspired handbooks.”

  115. JEANS — define “inspired handbooks” please.

  116. Left Field says:

    The videos seem kind of contrived. Aren’t there any Aaronic Priesthood holders who don’t have missionary haircuts and white shirts?

    My delay appears to be at least two minutes.

  117. anyone have an answer for poor conferenceless Little Sister upthread?

  118. I’m just quoting Nieder, who said that’s what priesthood leaders should be studying, in addition to the scriptures. His phrase not mine.

  119. Tanya Spackman says:

    I join Pres. Monson in looking forward to “Consider the Lilies.” It’s one of my favorites, too.

  120. “seem kind of contrived”

    Are you new?

  121. As a single, childless woman, I’m having trouble getting anything from this talk.

  122. Cousin Mose says:

    Has anyone seen any reports of Prop 8 demonstrators onsite?

  123. #117 — Only the slothful ones.

  124. Last use of sloth: Elder Hallstrom in November, 2007.
    http://tinyurl.com/cdvvce

  125. I heard the Prop 8 Demonstrators changed their mind.

  126. #122 Ariel, it’s the perfect excuse for you and I to be on the internet. :-)

  127. #121 Best comment ever

  128. OK, I see the name Packer, but I swear this dude is a ounger clone of Elder Ballard. Anyone?

  129. I thought Neider’s talk was quite useful personally.

  130. Using the phrase American football? Nice acknowledgment that there’s other forms of football out there.

  131. Tanya Spackman says:

    Ariel (#122) – As a single, childless woman, I understand. But not all talks are meant to speak to everyone. Actually, most talks aren’t meant to speak to everyone, IMO, but I can be patient through the talks that speak to others, for others need a message as much as I do, and rarely do they need the same message. I’m content to wait for the one that speaks to me. There’s almost always at least one.

  132. Latter-day Guy says:

    Poor Elder Neider. All of his jokes withered on the vine.

  133. He told jokes?

  134. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    131, maybe we’ll get a footy experience => gospel principle someday, too.

  135. I came across this blog as I was serching for sister missionary stuff. I strongly disagree with the derogatory comments made in response to that post. Quit criticizing your leaders and help them! It is how we choose to receive our opportunities. Most of you are looking for reasons to be offended instead of finding ways to help your children learn the gospel and how to love the Lord.

    To say the least, I am sorely DISAPPOINTED in all the comments made on this blog…I don’t understand your harsh criticism of everything that has to do with the Gospel.

    This blog has left me with a very nasty feeling in my gut and makes me ashamed that you claim to be “Latter Day Saints”. There is no need to make any comments to this post as I will not respond to your negativity.

  136. Tanya Spackman says:

    AZ, are we reading the same blog…?

  137. Actually, if I close my eyes, this younger Packer almost sounds like Paul Toscano on valium.

  138. Kristine says:

    Actually, from AZ, we spell it “Latter-day Saints.”

  139. Go Arizona!

  140. John Taber says:

    I meant to post this before but it got eaten . . . anyone else remember Elders Christofferson and Andersen were called to the Seventy together, in 1993?

    (My participation here is going to be intermittent since I’m trying to catch up on calling work – lots of copying from one set of printouts to another.)

  141. Personally, I’m not a “Latter Day” Saint. I’m a “Latter-day” Saint. Maybe you’re looking for the blog of another church, AZ.

  142. I think AZ needs to lighten up a bit.

  143. Crazyguy says:

    #129 – I see (and hear) Elder Ballard too. Weird.

    I heard the Prop 8 group were going to have this a weekend of service for them to reach out to the community in Utah rather than protest too much. Although I’m sure there are still protesters out there.

  144. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    AZ,
    Give it a chance – think of this less as a review of conference by critics and more as a large room with everyone watching Conference together, eating snacks, and enjoying the company of friends (complete with the occasional snarky comment) while watching and listening to our leaders’ messages. :-)

  145. “Latter Day Saints”.

    Well, actually we’re Latter-day Saints. But I’m sure the Latter Day Saints appreciate your proxy outrage on behalf of the inspired leadership of the prophet James J. Strang.

  146. Robert B. says:

    Allan F. Packer is a son of Elder Boyd K. Packer – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_F._Packer

  147. AZ, get to know these people better. Your opinion will change.

  148. He doesn’t seem very comfortable speaking.

  149. Cousin Mose says:

    “AZ, get to know these people better. Your opinion will change.”

    Or maybe not. But we’re still good people.

  150. BHodges is the blogger who last OCtober had an inside source and was able to list all speakers each session at the beginning of the session.

  151. Latter-day Guy says:

    Well, AZ will never make that capitalization error again!

  152. I found all the moaning about caucasians in the Quorum of the Twelve rather tiresome as well. I can understand AZ’s reaction in that respect.

    To hear some of you talk, you’d think racial diversity was the only value worth having in the Gospel.

  153. Is this the only gray suit amongst the 12?

  154. Nice Spanish pronunciation…

  155. Latter-day Guy says:

    Also, “from AZ” the great thing about agency is that you never have to visit this blog again! See, great for you, and great for BCC!

  156. Cousin Mose says:

    So do we not really understand what the “new and everlasting covenant ” is? We always seem to tie it to temple marriage or polygamy, don’t we?

  157. “militant atheism” – awesome

  158. My live stream just stopped for about 30 seconds. Is anyone else having issues with the player?

  159. Ariel and all. skip the player and just go to byu.tv

    never had a problem

  160. Bryan H. says:

    I couldn’t even get the video player up and running this morning. It seems like I always end up just listening to the audio feed.

  161. I love Cable TV. Last year I purchased a 46″ HDTV the night before conference under the guise that it sure would be nice to see the Prophet larger in living color.

    It was purely coincidental that it was also the night before the Final Four.

  162. Harsh criticism? Wow. I must have missed that.

  163. militant atheism? What about militant Christianism? Is it okay that Christians be militant?

  164. randyandmeganchristensen says:

    New and everlasting covenant…started with christ’s ministry and atonement…it is what the Church is all about now.

  165. #154: I couldn’t be prouder that JI comes up as #5 on that list.

  166. Patricia says:

    As Elder Christofferson began to speak about our need for strong Christians, I wondered why more in my ward don’t participate in our community’s interfaith activities (I am one of our ward’s delegates to our very strong Interfaith Council). Now I remember that Elder C. was very involved with interfaith activities on the east coast, right? I’m in tune!

  167. Great and spacious building references from inside the great and spacious conference center always seem weird to me.

  168. Bryan H. says:

    Nope, only Democrats can be militant ;)

  169. Thanks you for the Job reference, short as it is!

  170. The silverlight player seems to be working best for me. Thanks for the hint.

  171. christofferson is the new eyring

  172. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    And Eyring is the new…?

  173. I love his speaking style. This talk is pure joy to listen to.

  174. Am I allowed to use my iPhone during church if I have my scriptures on it? And the hymn book and manuals? I love not lugging my quad around.

    Love love Elder Christofferson.

  175. Tanya Spackman says:

    I have to say, I’m really liking this talk. I believe this will be one of the first I’ll read as soon as the text is online.

  176. I don’t know if anyone who doesn’t constantly debate with Evangelicals would notice this, but Christopherson’s talk is really, really informative on the whole “grace vs. works” dispute.

  177. randyandmeganchristensen says:

    Eyering is the new Eyering…;)

  178. Catherine says:

    JI came up third on my “Sister Missionary Stuff” search.

  179. I like how he has a very clear delivery without falling on the voice pitches that many at conference can be guilty of. Very calm, clear, and deliberate

  180. Mt. Redoubt blew again at 6 AM this morning.

  181. Robert B. says:

    Maybe somebody with greater insight can review this but don’t the current Q of 12 members show the evolution of the church? Pres. Monson – born & raised & lived in Utah – common biography of the senior 12 BUT the junior 12 reflect the Mormon diaspora – Elder Christofferson for example was born and raised in Utah – BYU bachelors but left to Duke Law School and didn’t return to Utah until his call as a GA.

  182. “Eyering is the new Eyering…” Same as the old Eyering?

  183. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Wow, that was an awesome talk. Forceful and inspiring.

  184. @174 dunno, but he will be the prophet someday

  185. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    :-D

  186. i’m quite sure of it. christofferson might be too

  187. randyandmeganchristensen says:

    One of the best talks I have heard in awhile. He is a great orator.

  188. Seth R I did notice that. Can’t wait to get my hands on the text version.

  189. I have always loved Elder Christofferson’s talks. This one is possibly his personal best, however.

  190. Patricia says:

    With one child on my right showing me stuff from his new LEGO catalog, and another on my left filling out her newly-printed conference packet, and asking me how to spell stuff, I’m really just getting the gist of most of these talks… Everything in its season…

  191. MadChemist says:

    FDSA,
    Let’s just hope that Chris H doesn’t hope for either of those things, because then God won’t let it happen {g}. Strange logic, I think. But if it reduces the “I think I know who should be called apostle tone” I’m all for this strange new logic.

  192. First Uchtdorf, then Christofferson – Elder Anderson has some shoes to fill as a public speaker.

  193. Eyring or Christofferson will be the prophet? I was thinking Christofferson but I won’t live to see it.

  194. I *love* this version of Consider the Lilies.

  195. In response to Kristin’s comment above re the Spirit being the messenger of grace that sanctifies us, see Alma 13:12. The Spirit makes us holy. I think that’s the essence of Elder Christofferson’s point, and the scripture. How do you see it as radical?

  196. I usually spend Confernece time bringing some order to my home while listening, so I haven’t been blogging. Not sure if this has been stated, but as I read about Elder Anderson, I immediately saw how beautifully he will serve Africans. Spanish, French, Portuguese–those are THE languages he needs to serve them. As MP in France, I am certain he saw many Africans come into the fold. My missionaries (yes, they’re still mine, though I’m no longer in the MTC) teach mostly Africans. Those in the COngo (French speaking) are doing beautifully. Heck, they all are. And DavidH–I am also 53. I am certain that we will see a non-Caucasian during our mortal sojourn. Keep healthy!

  197. Kristin’s comment is found at the bottom of the main post under the photos.

  198. Re #153,

    Doesn’t it seem at least somewhat incongruous that, for as much as we celebrate the global scope of the Church and the universal appeal of the gospel, we persist in calling Caucasian men, who are normally (a) from the intermountain West and (b) worked in either law or business, to the highest Quorum(s) of the Church?

    And I don’t think that the “It’s God’s decision, so there” response is completely satisfying. I don’t think it’s very controversial to suggest that, for any given vacancy in the Twelve, there are probably several men who could faithfully and satisfactorily fill it. Presumably, this group is not exclusively Caucasian. Inspiration may also presumably sanction the calling of any one of these individuals.

    That white men have thus far been exclusively chosen, despite the availability of suitable non-white candidates, does lead one to wonder whether there is some discomfort with racial integration at the highest levels of the Church.

  199. eyring will be

  200. Patricia says:

    Our ward choir is singing this “Consider the Lilies” next Sunday for Easter. I just love singing it!!!

  201. Robert B. says:

    What I was trying to say was that the Q of 12 LOOKS the same but it, like the church, is evolving into a world wide leadership. Elder Christofferson speaks Spanish – Elder Anderson French, Portuguese and Spanish.

  202. Madchemist,
    While you and I do not like each other, I am not sure what I said. Help me out here. I never made any predictions.

  203. First Christofferson, then that amazing song, now Eyring? I’m not sure I can handle it! :D

  204. No prop 8 protestors. Just the usual “you’re going to burn in hell” type protestors. You know, the ones we teamed up with to fight for prop 8.

  205. #200 – No. Absolutely not.

  206. LOL @ Seldom

  207. Leahhona says:

    I thought it was Andersen?

  208. I love President Eyring. I agree with Ariel in #205.

  209. #207 was in response to the last paragraph of #200.

  210. @205, could be the highlight of the whole weekend.

  211. My the first bcc hit that I got on my own personal google “sister missionary stuff” search was “There once was a sister missionary from Nantucket.” Maybe that explains the animosity… :)

  212. Christofferson and Eyring in the same session! I guess I don’t have to watch the rest, now.

  213. Molly Bennion says:

    Delivery does matter! I have no doubt of the sincerity and wisdom of all the speakers, but those who like Elder Christofferson and Sister Lifferth use natural inflection and pacing are just more effective. When speakers in my ward choose to copy the styles of GAs, as invariably some do, may they look to these.

  214. Thanks for those remarks in #198 Margaret.

  215. To be clear, in #200 I was by no means alleging racism on the part of our leaders. I think the members of the Q12 and FP are generally forward-thinking and tolerant when it comes to race. I believe this was especially true of President Hinckley. But I don’t think it’s impossible that there might still be some discomfort with calling, say, a Latin American apostle, especially when there are several Caucasian alternatives.

  216. Expressions of encouragement and comfort for the afflicted warm the heart of this cynic.

  217. Patricia says:

    #198 Sister Young, that was so beautifully expressed! Thank you for helping us to understand Elder Anderson’s importance!

  218. pwaldrop2 says:

    “I wonder if the anticipated “hoopla” of the calling of “minority” apostle would also be somewhat uncomfortable for the brethren.

  219. Bryan H. says:

    #217 That was about as clear as mud. What is this “discomfort” you speak of if not racism?

  220. I am sure there are many non-caucasians who have the spiritual chops to serve as an apostle. Perhaps they are needed more on the front lines however. When the time is right, it will happen.

  221. pwaldrop2 says:

    What I mean to say #220 that they may be uncomfortable with the focus on race in the calling of a new “non-Caucasian” Apostle would bring. . .when that shouldn’t be a consideration.

  222. #200, #207 and #211. Yes, it definitely leads some to wonder (myself included).

  223. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Elder Eyering always reminds me of Joseph in Egypt when he brings his family to Egypt (not Joseph before Egypt; he’s a pompous jerk) – he’s humble in a position of power, a man of vision and prophecy, a man who seeks reconciliation over revenge, and… a man who weeps a lot. :-D

  224. #221

    I think Steve was making a distinction between strong (conscious) racism and weak (subconscious) racism. I think “discomfort” may be a better word as “racism” has a lot of unnecessary baggage.

  225. I don’t want to get into a semantics debate, but I tend to think of “racism” as something much more invidious than modest discomfort with those of other races and cultures.

  226. Robert B. says:

    With TIVO I might never get through President Eyring’s talk – it is way good and I keep backing up.

  227. . . . Not that “modest discomfort” is OK, but it’s certainly understandable.

  228. I love it when Pres. Eyring chokes up. It gets me everytime. We get emotional about the same things. Love him.

  229. Yeah, what the narrator said (#226).

  230. Kristine says:

    Rachel, I think defining the “new and everlasting covenant” completely without reference to eternal marriage is, at least, unusual in the history of discourse about that covenant.

  231. I think Glenn Beck is trying to either over-emulate or one-up Elder Eyring’s tendency to cry in almost every talk now.

  232. #230–totally.

  233. Pres. Monson chooses the apostle through fasting and prayer, yes. But he is pondering over a list of candidates, which come from a casting of lots from the apostles (Trib reported they each give him 3 names). I doubt racism or discomfort. I think its just matter of who they know. They interact with lots of non-whites, but people tend to build the most connection with people with whom they have commonalities. Upbringing, personal interests, family dynamics, professional backgrounds, etc. I’m just talking tendencies here. So I think the list of candidates given to the prophet are filled with a lot of white American dudes of a certain age and background, because they are being suggested by a group of dudes who can relate to that kind of guy.

  234. narrator,
    I seem to react a bit differently to the two, but I will leave it at that.

  235. You know guys, are you all aware that the cultures of Central and South America are even more conservative on issues like abortion, birth control, patriarchal control, and homosexuality than Republicans in Utah.

    I wonder if all the liberal whining about “cultural diversity” here ever takes that little fact into account.

  236. CLAY–What is the Trib’s source on this reporting of the other apostles submitting names?? I notice they didn’t cite it. I’ve never heard this before.

  237. Who is the one doing the whining most in this thread? Left or Right? Hard to tell.

  238. Bryan H. says:

    Hugo Chavez for apostle!

  239. MadChemist says:

    Chris H.
    I didn’t mean any harm by that. Poor attempt at a joke I guess.

    I don’t really think that the only reason the priesthood ban reversed was because you “personally” were hoping for it. Therefore, the joke would have been, let’s hope Chris isn’t hoping that Eyring (or Christopherson) are made prophet because then it won’t happen. Of course, when you have to explain your humor, it’s probably not funny. But I wanted you to know that it wasn’t a serious (or personal) attack.

  240. That is not to suggest that, say… Claudio Costa would actually push Latin American ultra-conservativism.

    I just find the liberal obliviousness on the issue to be… interesting.

  241. I was more leaning toward Ivo Morales. I like how he dresses.

  242. John Taber says:

    I was expecting two gripe sessions on the open threads this weekend. We’ve just gone through one now with Elder Andersen’s call. We’ll go through the other the first time a Latin American speaks.

  243. Plus (and none of them are personally to blame for this) current leaders were all raised in a Church where discomfort with racial integration and ideas about racial superiority and inferiority were more than just reflections of social mores. That’s the Mormonism they imbibed from a very young age, and additional light and knowledge notwithstanding, it’s incredibly difficult to refashion your view of the world comprehensively. The greatest impact of the 1978 revelation is on generations that are raised in its aftermath.

  244. My wife thinks that the choir director looks kind of like Pres. Hinckley.

  245. Standard procedure prior to seclection of a stake president–names are submitted and lots of interviews take place. That doesn’t mean that inspiration isn’t involved in the actual selection.

    I’ve been contemplating the kinds of interviews Elder Anderson would have had as MP in France. I know the issues my missionaries tell me come up in baptismal interviews, and which must ultimately be resolved by a mission president. I am certain we underestimate the ways the Lord has prepared this man. I’m eager to hear him speak tomorrow.

  246. MadChemist,

    Sorry for overreacting. The funny thing is that those two are amongst my favorites. I will try to keep from hoping for them. Happy Conference weekend to ya. I look forward to sustaining them all later today.

  247. Rob #238, no idea. Peggy Fletcher Stack always seems to find moles in the highest places, though. Keep in mind, there were tons of FPQ12 procedures that were largely unknown until David O. McKay’s journals were released.

  248. “I just find the liberal obliviousness on the issue to be… interesting.”

    I find this chimera also to be… interesting.

  249. #232 – ah, yes, I see. Bears more thinking . . . the scriptures mention the Holy Spirit of Promise in connection with the new and everlasting covenant. I’ve heard people reference the Holy Spirit of Promise as something that pertains specifically to sealing, but it always had the vague air of deep doctrine. I guess Elder Christofferson was reminding us the the Spirit’s role is deeper, wider, and more coherent than we’re used to thinking.

  250. I am not oblivious to it at all, it has surely played out that way in other issues.

  251. That should read “other churches.”

  252. I’d be interested to know if there is any kind of “vetting” process that occurs once Pres. Monson has received the revelation as to who should be the new apostle.

    Just wonderin….see you all in 2 hours — with a Roast Beef Sandwich.

  253. I LOVE Wirthlin. What a guy. His humility is unmatched.

  254. I think a concern at higher levels (either human or even divine) about calling some one from “outside the box” is whether the person called would be absolutely comfortable interacting with caucasian U.S. English speakers and would have an absolute loyalty to the structure and other leaders of the Church, warts and all. I suspect, but do not know, that some of the Brethren may have felt “burned” with the calling of Elder George P. Lee, who ultimately (and rightly or wrongly) was not comfortable in the position. I think some of the Brethren may feel that, often, having deep family roots in the Church may provide some support and strength for a potential candidate’s potential loyalty to the Church’s structure and other leaders.

    I agree that there may also be a concern that calling a noncaucasian might be seen by some LDS as “affirmative action.” Perhaps the Brethren (and/or God) are waiting for a post-racial or multi-racial noncaucasian. Or perhaps several have already been identified, but it is a matter of their further maturing to become more comfortable interacting with white U.S. anglo members (and leadership) and their developing even greater tolerance for flaws in fellow leaders and Church structure.

  255. Bryan H. says:

    Just read the wikipedia page for George P. Lee and it blew my mind. Never heard of all this!

  256. Leahhona says:

    Is it AndersOn, or AndersEn? I am hearing Andersen….

  257. #242 Seth R. – I don’t see this in any way as an issue of looking for a liberal or less-conservative apostle. Rather I think it would be good to see a Q12 that reflects the membership of the Church.

    While I don’t know how many Mexicans are in the quorums of the 70, there can’t be more than a couple. This means that there are almost as many (if not actually as many) Seventies among Pres. Packer’s offspring as there are among approximately 1M Mexican members. Of course it may be that there are truly no worthy and prepared Mexican saints.

    I’ve wondered if there is some concern that calling an apostle from Mexico (for example)would create a Mexican apostle. With so few German members there would have been far less potential for such concern with Pres. Uchtdorf.

  258. makakona says:

    andersEn.

  259. #259 – Do your homework, then come back and speak intelligently about the issue. There are two (of seven) Hispanic members of the Presidency of the Seventy, and the Fourth and Seventh Quorums of the Seventy live and serve in Central and South America.

  260. #259 – and the sarcasm speaks volumes.

  261. Wirthlin left some MIGHTY big shoes to fill…

  262. Leahhona says:

    Thanks, 260…

  263. Ray (261 and 262) – Such hostility.

    How many from Mexico? That’s the comparison.

  264. He’s spent 10 of last 20 years outside the US. Watching the press conference now.

  265. Hmm. New apostle is basically an international guy who speaks 3 other languages. Surely just another white guy (sarcasm).

  266. randyandmeganchristensen says:

    In the Press Conference…Elder Andersen directly said he would and will sustain those who are not from the US when the time comes.

  267. It has been said before that the composition of the quorums of the 70 may be a modest predictor of the future composition of the FP and 12.

    I think a few other modest predictors/indicia of the future leadership of the Church may be the composition of the faculties and student bodies at the three BYUs, the composition of Church employees, and even the composition of the bloggernacle (perma-bloggers and commenters), the composition of the publications that are “alternate voices” (their editors, writers, and subscribers), and the composition of Mormon Studies participants.

    Even the composition of RFM may be a moderate predictor, in that it has a substantial component of disillusioned people who once were highly committed to the Church.

  268. I’m enjoying thoughtful comments and discussion. I loved the new and everlasting covenant thoughts.

    Until I read this thread my most outstanding conference moments involved my 7yo daughter commenting from “the playdough table” “the apostles wear dresses?”

    to which I reply, President Monson said the apostles will address us

  269. Eric Russell says:

    DavidH, except that the organizations you mention, including the bloggernacle and the Mormon Studies publications, are all racist.

    Well, maybe not consciously racist, but they’re all unconsciously racist.

  270. My favorite moment in the morning session was, during President Eyring’s talk, the Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door and asked me if I’d like to celebrate Jesus with them.

  271. #271

    Thanks for the nonsense.

  272. I think the point of 271 is that the composition of the BYUs, Church employees, bloggernacle, alternate voices, and Mormon Studies is not much more ethnically and racially diverse than the general leadership of the Church. That is correct.

  273. Mere composition cannot denote racism.

  274. Eric Russell says:

    Yes it can.

  275. I dont think it matters what their skin color is. He sounds like a wonderful man that will do a wonderful job. He was called of God and we need to support that.

  276. In the Press Conference…Elder Andersen directly said he would and will sustain those who are not from the US when the time comes.

    Then he certainly did that when we sustained the First Presidency and general leadership of the Church.

    Let’s stop focusing on who didn’t get called, and celebrate the ministry and leadership and experience of who DID get called…

    Personally, I would have preferred that Kevin Barney be called to be an apostle, but my hopes were dashed, yet again.

    (Seriously – wouldn’t you love one of his talks in GC?)

  277. bookwisewin says:

    Sister Lifferth said, “calling priesthood leaders by their titles” was important.

    I know you’re all so over this thread, but can someone tell me why don’t we call female leaders by their titles? I have, I think, heard a female leader called by her title two times in my life. If they are meaningful, let’s use them consistently. If not, why make an issue of it?

  278. #279 – I’ve heard female leaders referred to by their titles all my life. I think it’s important, even as I use first names almost all the time in private communcations with people – like e-mail.

  279. As I just posted on Mormon Momma:

    **********

    I once heard it in a ward and once in a general meeting. That’s all I can recall. If you google “President Packer” on lds.org, you get over 500 hits, over 160 for “President Uchtdorf.” None of “President Dalton” or “President Lant.” You get three for “President Beck,” but only two are about her and none actually contain her name with the title.

    On the flip side, there are 91 of “Sister Dalton,” 48 of “Sister Lant,” and 167 of “Sister Beck.”

    I think it’s safe to say that using “president” isn’t the norm for females–even for the general presidents.

  280. Ray, I’ve never heard a Relief Society President called by her title in regular usage (i.e. any time one isn’t being formally introduced from a pulpit setting).

    It’s always been “Sister Jones.” Not “President Jones.”

  281. I just got back from the Priesthood session, and when I read the last few comments, it struck me that my own experience has been forged by a father and mother who used the titles when speaking of women in our wards growing up. A RS Pres. is “President _________” to me because that’s what I grew up hearing. I’ll have to step back and think about if I’ve heard it from others, but that’s what I say and think, so I’m probably not as aware of others not saying it.

    I had never stopped and thought about that. Thanks for making me do so.

  282. I’ve got it on good authority for RS that it’s PRESIDENT _____.

  283. I always call auxiliary presidents “President”, except for the young women president in our ward who told me she prefers “Empress”.

  284. You may find the following instructive:

    In past Conference editions of the Ensign, the table of contents lists all General Authorities by Elder/President. It lists all others by name only–no title at all–not even “Brother” or “Sister.” The same form is used for each individual talk throughout the reports.

    Thus, if the Ensign’s editorial decisions are taken to be a reflection of proper form (which I do not assert myself), then the use of “President” is not a male/female thing, but Priesthood only. The Sunday School General President gets the same treatment as the General Relief Society President.

    Make of that what you will.

  285. Tracy is right.

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