Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Annual General Conference on this freezing cold Saturday morning in Salt Lake City! BCC is pleased to provide near-continuous live commentary, photography, and other goodies throughout the weekend’s activities. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.
A couple of ground rules for participation today:
1. Don’t be rude (unless you’re an admin)
2. Don’t dominate conversation (unless you’re witty)
3. Don’t criticize the speakers (unless they tell unfunny jokes)
Conference will be starting in about 10-15 minutes, and right now the GA’s are filing in slowly. Most of them are wearing dark, conservatively colored suits. Charcoals, blacks, and dark, dark greys appear to be in style this conference.
How is everyone watching conference today? Internet? TV? Direct Revelation from on high? Any problems with streaming quality on the interwebs?
President Uchtdorf is conducting, and is giving the welcome, introducing the MoTab choir (Men in magenta, Women in black), GA’s, and the opening prayer. First talk to follow soon!
President Monson is giving the semi-expected update on happenings for the Church in the past six months–mostly a summary of humanitarian efforts and temple building. This year marks the 25th anniversary of humanitarian efforts being integrated officially into the program of the Church.
Early nominee for quote of the Conference:
“You can’t keep one of these Swedish girls down.”
Very nice to hear President Monson going off script and talking about his personal life a bit–telling some great anecdotes from his early courtship with his wife Frances, who is attending today after recovering well from surgeries since last conference. Very touching remarks, and a nice start to conference.
President Packer opening statement:
“Years ago we began correlation under the direction of President Harold B. Lee.”
Brad Kramer and other BCCers, I urge you to control yourselves!
“the priesthood will lose great power if the sisters are neglected.”
“…distributing the authority of the priesthood has raced, I think, ahead of distributing the power of the priesthood.”
“The authority of the priesthood is with us. After all that we have correlated and organized, it is now our responsibility to active the power of the priesthood in the Church. Authority in the priesthood comes by way of ordination; power in the priesthood comes through faithful and obedient living in honoring covenants. It is increased by exercising and using the priesthood in righteousness.”
President Julie B. Beck:
“A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources, telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence.”
“Women should be women and not babies that need petting and correction all the time. I know we like to be appreciated but if we do not get all the appreciation which we think is our due, what matters?”
Well, there you have it! Discuss.
Bishop McMullin’s talk on duty has been great–sorry I’ve been unable to get some quotes for you. I had a bit of technical failure. Regardless, Bishop McMullin gave several definitions and blessings related to duties that we have as LDS, including keeping our covenants, worshiping the Father in Heaven, etc…
Time for a quick singing break, then Elder Anderson of the 70, followed by Elder Ballard, then the choir again. Whew.
From the Twittersphere:
RT @brycehaymond: To paraphrase the first two talks: Pres. Packer – Men, man up; Pres. Beck – Women, man up. #ldsconf
Everything you ever wanted to know about Wilford W. Anderson: http://bit.ly/aOEclU
He’s got a degree in economics (Yay!) from BYU (Boo!)
Quoting the diary of Sarah D’Armon (Pea) Rich!!!! Booyah!! My GGG Grandmother, first wife of Charles C. Rich. Elder Anderson is my new favorite General Authority.
Elder W. Anderson, commenting on the efforts of the Church in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in Port-au-Prince:
“The nine chapels in and around Port-au-Prince were mostly undamaged — another remarkable miracle. During the weeks that followed the earthquake, they became shelters for over 5,000 Haitians and bases from which food, water, and medical attention were distributed…Though the faithful Haitian saints have suffered greatly, they are filled with hope for the future.”
Elder Anderson comments on depression:
“I do not wish to minimize the reality of clinical depression. For some, solutions to depression and anxieties will be found through consultation with competent professionals. But for most of us, sadness and fear begin to melt away and are replaced by happiness and peace when we put our trust in the Author of the plan of happiness…”
It would seem that we’re trying to get as many statements as possible that will ignite “energetic” discussion from a single session of conference…sigh.
Elder M. Russell Ballard: “Mothers and Daughters”:
“…all women have within their divine nature both the inherent talent and the stewardship to mother…”
“Love your mother, my young sisters. Respect her. Listen to her. Trust her. She has your best interests at heart. She cares about your eternal safety and happiness. So be kind to her. Be patient with her imperfections, for she has them. We all do.”
Elder Ballard gives a shout out to Facebook and text messages…always the tech-guru of the 12!
Elder Ballard notes that he has been speaking to youth and parents together for three consecutive conferences. Last conference, it was fathers and sons, and today it’s mothers and daughters. “I hope you’re listening and see a pattern and hear a steady, consistent message…”
One talk to go…Choir singing now…a perfect chance to check out more photos from the Conference Center! http://bit.ly/9pbZRq
President Eyring to conclude the session this morning!
President Eyring is speaking on the need to teach and aid children when they are young to ensure that they have a foundation of gospel living to sustain them later in life. It’s a very touching talk, one that–in his natural way–shows the love and kindness that seems to flow from Pres. Eyring. Difficult to type, because I just get kind of stuck listening to him.
“The two programs (Personal Progress and Duty to God) have been improved but their purpose remains unchanged.”
What have been your recent experiences with the efficacy of these programs?
What a great talk to end the session with. Choir to sing, benediction, and lunchtime at Crown Burger (maybe?)! Thanks to everyone for participating, and we’ll see you back here in about 2 hours!