Saturday AM General Conference: It’s Not BYU Football, So It Won’t Stink!

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Semiannual General Conference, live from Salt Lake City! BCC will 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.

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Turn off your cell phones and locate the nearest emergency exit, folks.

Choir is in white, auxilliary presidencies are in jewel tones. All is well. Ties look to be more red than blue, but we’ll continue our scientific poll as we go.

Biggest difference between conference center and your chapel: you can hear the prelude here. So far, minimalist renderings of hymn tunes.

This is Kristine, btw–mmiles, being the younger and more competent of us, is managing the twitter feed.

President Monson’s welcome: travels to temple dedications.

New ones:Hartford, CT, Indianapolis, IN, Tijuana, Mexico, Urdaneta, Phillipines, and Lisbon, Portugal

Missionary work: “Missionary service is a priesthood duty–an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much.”

Sisters, you can come, too, if you feel like it. (feel free to recalibrate your editorial bias meter now)

“We need many, many more senior couples.”

Elder Holland: “…my message today is to say that we sustain you, that we return to you those same heartfelt prayers and that same expression of love you extend to us. …we know that the Church draws incomparable strength, a truly unique vitality, from the faith and devotion of every member of this Church whoever you may be. In whatever country you live, however young or inadequate you feel, or however aged or limited you see yourself as being, I testify you are individually loved of God, you are central to the meaning of His work, and you are cherished and prayed for by the presiding officers of His Church. The personal value, the sacred splendor of every one of you, is the very reason there is a plan for salvation and exaltation.”

“I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done.”

First mention of green Jello–mark your Bingo cards, kids.

“Smile, if you will, about our traditions but somehow the too-often unheralded women in the Church are always there when hands hang down and knees are feeble.”

“And to the near-perfect elderly sister who almost apologetically whispered recently to me, “I have never been a leader of anything in the Church. I’ve only been a helper,” I say “Dear sister, God bless you, and thank heaven for you and all the helpers in the kingdom.” Some of us who are leaders hope someday to have the standing before God you have already attained.”

Quoting President Faust: “I feel ashamed of myself and have regretted my omission for all of my life. I hope someday to ask for her forgiveness.”

…I can do no less than make a similar admission and pay a long overdue tribute of my own today.”

“…my dad, a self-educated bookkeeper…who probably never wore a new suit or a new shirt or a new pair of shoes for two years so his son could have all of those for his mission. Furthermore, what I did not know but then came to know was that my mother, who had never worked out of the home in her married life, took a job at a local department store so that my mission expenses could be met. And not one word of that was ever conveyed to me on my mission.”

“To you, Mom and Dad, and to all the moms and dads and families and faithful people everywhere, I think you for sacrificing for your children and for other people’s children, for wanting so much to give them advantages you never had, for wanting so much to give them the happiest life you could provide.”

“We know how good the human heart can be because we know you. NO one of you is insignificant, because you make the Gospel of Jesus Christ what it is–a living reminder of His grace and mercy.”

Next up: Sister Wixom

“No child needs to walk the path alone–so long as we speak freely to our children of the plan of salvation. Understanding the plan will help them hold to the truths that they are children of God and He has a plan for them, that they lived with Him in the premortal existence, that they shouted for joy to come ot this earth, and that through the Savior’s help we all can return to our Heavenly Father’s presence. If they understand the plan and who they are, they will not fear.”

“When our intent is to hold tight to the word of God, our reading of the scriptures can be just one verse at a time. It’s never too late to begin, and you can start now.”

“What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.”

Elder Claudio Costa:

“I testify to you that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and because I have received this answer from the Lord, I know that all of his successors are prophets too. What a great blessing it is to have prophets in our day!”

“It is a great blessing to receive the word, commandments and guidance of the Lord in these difficult days of the earth. The prophet can be inspired to see the future in benefit of mankind.”

Much of the rest of Elder Costa’s talk is drawn from this address of President Benson’s.

Brother David M. McConkie:

“My message today is to all those who have been called to teach, in whatever organization you are serving and whether you are a recent convert to the Church or a teacher with years of experience. I am not going to talk about the how of teaching but rather about the how of learning. There can be a significant difference between what a teacher says and what those in the class hear or learn.”

“Note that what matters most in learning is not the number of years a teacher has been a member of the Church or how much teaching experience a person has or even the teacher’s knowledge of the gospel or teaching techniques. What matters most is the attitude or spirit by which the teacher teaches.”

“Successful gospel teachers love the gospel. They are excited about it. and because they love their students, they want them to feel as they feel and to experience what they have experienced. To teach the gospel is to share your love of the gospel. Brothers and sisters, a teacher’s attitude is not taught, it’s caught.”

“Soon after I was called to be a stake president, our stake presidency received training from an Area Seventy. During the training, I asked a question to which he responded, “That is a good question. Let’s turn to the General Handbook of Instructions for the answer.” We went to the handbook, and there was the answer to my question. A little later during our training, I asked another question. Once again he responded, “Good question. Let’s turn to the handbook.” I did not venture to ask any more questions. I thought it best to read the handbook.”

“Brothers and sisters, it is contrary to the economy of heaven for the Lord to repeat for each of us individually what He has already revealed to us collectively. The scriptures contain the words of Christ. They are the voice of the Lord. Studying the scriptures trains us to hear the Lord’s voice.”

“Second, apply in your life the things that you learn”

“Third, seek heaven’s help.”

“Fourth, …it is of utmost importance that we exercise our agency and act, without delay, in accordance with the spiritual promptings we receive.”

Elder Christofferson.

Five elements of a consecrated life: purity, work, respect for one’s physical body, service, and integrity.

“As the Savior demonstrated, the consecrated life is a pure life. While Jesus is the only one to have led a sinless life, those who come unto Him and take His yoke upon them have claim on His grace which will make them as He is, guiltless and spotless.

…Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require.”

“A consecrated life is a life of labor. …God Himself is glorified by his work. We naturally desire to participate with HIm in His work, and in so doing, we ought to recognize that all honest work is the work of God. Thomas Carlyle: “All true Work is sacred; in all true Work, were it but true hand-labor, there is something of divineness. Labor, wide as the Earth, has its summit in Heaven.”

Just as honest toil gives rest its sweetness, wholesome recreation is the friend and steadying companion of work. Music, literature, art, dance, drama, athletics–all can provide entertainment to enrich one’s life and further consecrate it.

A consecrated life respects the incomparable gift of one’s physical body, a divine creation in the very image of God.

Jesus demonstrated that a consecrated life is a life of service. …Those who quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good offer a model of consecration. No one in our time more perfectly incorporates this trait into daily life than President Thomas S. Monson. He has cultivated a listening ear that can discern even the faintest whisper of the Spirit signaling the need of someone he can teach and help.

A consecrated life is a life of integrity. We see it in the husband and wife “who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.” We see it in the father and mother whose demonstrated first priority is to nourish their marriage and insure the physical and spiritual welfare of their children. We see it in those who are honest.

Integrity is not naivete. What is naive is to suppose that we are not accountable to God.

A consecrated life is a beautiful thing. Its strength and serenity are “as a very fruitful tree which is planted in a goodly land, by a pure stream, that yieldeth much precious fruit. (D&C 97)

Next up: President Uchtdorf

“…it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.”

This is a simple, but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees or turbulence, but it’s surprising how easy it is to ignore this lesson when it comes to applying theses principles in our own daily lives. When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.”

“It is said that any virtue, when taken to an extreme, can become a vice. …There comes a point where milestones can become millstones, and ambitions, albatrosses around our neck.”

“The wise understand and apply the lessons of tree rings and air turbulence. They resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. They follow the advice, “There is more to life than increasing its speed,” In short, they focus on things that matter most.”
“It is said that any virtue, when taken to an extreme, can become a vice. …There comes a point where milestones can become millstones, and ambitions, albatrosses around our neck.”

…most of us intuitively understand how important the fundamentals are. It is just that we sometimes get distracted by so many things that seem more enticing. Printed material, wide-ranging media sources, electronic tools and gadgets…can become hurtful diversions or heartless chambers of isolation. Yet amidst the multitude of voices and choices, the humble Man of Galilee stands with hands outstretched. Waiting. …He does not speak with a powerful megaphone but with a still, small voice.

Brothers and sisters, diligently doing the things that matter most will lead us to the Savior of the world. That is why we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ… In the complexity, confusion, and rush of modern living, this is the “more excellent way.”

What are the basics?

Four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellow man, and with ourselves.

First, our relationship with God is most sacred and vital. …We experience greater peace, joy, and fulfillment as we give our best to live according to God’s eternal plan and keep His commandments. We improve our relationship with our Heavenly Father by learning of Him; by communing with Him, repenting of our sins, and actively following Jesus Christ.

Second key relationship with our families. …We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like famiy dinner, and family home evening, and just having fun. In family relationships, love is really spelled t-i-m-e.

The third key relationship we have is with our fellow man. We build this relationship one person at a time–by being sensitive to the needs of others, serving them, and giving of our time and talents.

Fourth…relationship with ourselves. It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. …Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you–as His precious daughter or son with divine potential.

Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the things that matter most.

Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship–the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace.

Bonus points to anyone who could keep track of how many key changes in “The Morning Breaks.” Whoa.

Comments

  1. Holy crap I’ve never been so excited for conference to start! Let the wild rumpus begin.

    BCC is the highlight of my conference weekend. That, and sneaking into priesthood session via hiding in the mother’s lounge. Bwahahaha!

  2. I know that lds.org has streaming, but I’m watching on BYU-TV again. The church’s site always seems to have an annoying lag, which makes it really confusing to follow the online coverage.

  3. Alex, does BYU-TV do online streaming, and how is their lag?

  4. I looked at both and the lag seemed similar, but it’s hard to tell. I think the biggest lag issue stems from when it pauses to buffer or whatever and you never catch up- I plan to “refresh” at the end of every talk to try to get up to speed.

  5. If you’ve got Firefox, there’s a great add-on called “ReloadEvery,” which sets up your browser to automatically reload every 5, 10, 20, 30 seconds or whatever you want.

    Perfect for liveblogging on a day like this! Although the one bad thing is you have to turn it off every time you want to add a comment or it will erase what you’ve typed.

  6. Last conference, there seemed to be no lag at all. Seems to be pretty close this time, as well.

    Just go to byutv.org and they’ll take you straight to the conference stream.

  7. I’ve lost audio on the new.lds.org feed!

  8. I’m working while listening, so I will have personal lag today.

  9. My audio is gone too- gah!

  10. I gave up- I think too many of my neighbors in this building are trying to stream conference. I’m on an audio stream now, considering switching to radio.

  11. It looks like they didn’t put the podium mic into the feed

  12. Someone just got fired.

  13. I can hear the music, but not the spoken word? Sounds like i’m not the only one.

  14. Mormon Times had an article a coupla days ago explaining the lag and why it varies from medium to medium. If you really care. (Or, I suppose, even if you really don’t — your not caring won’t erase the article.)

  15. BYU-TV is great. Yay for Bresnan cable in Casper, WY!

  16. So… we’ll have audio back now?

  17. Yup, I couldn’t hear Eyring and I can’t hear the prayer. I could hear both choir numbers.

  18. Oh man. We get music, but can’t hear the talks.

  19. Where can we get the audio? BYU Radio? Is there such a thing?

  20. Where’s the batsignal to notify SLC?

  21. Yup, we get music, but no sound from the podium.

    Get it together guys.

  22. I’m having the same problem – the microphone audio is not working – but I could hear the choir fine.

  23. Really wanting to HEAR the words of the prophets…

  24. Why am I somehow suspicious that mmiles and Kristine are to blame for this?

  25. I can hear it at BYU Radio streaming, and the delay is less than the video.

  26. Coffinberry says:

    Same problem here…. grrr.

  27. Can we get today’s lineup??

  28. I wish I could read lips.

  29. Yay for Bookslinger! A temple in his hometown!

  30. I lost audio, as well. I tried byutv but couldn’t get it up. Now I’ve got a working audio and working video (without audio), but together it’s a working combination.

  31. Tracy and etc, there is a link to audio from http://lds.org/broadcast/gc/1,5161,9199,00.html

  32. rachelsorensen says:

    Watch it through the ASL – that’s how I got sound.

  33. Have both audio and video streams going simultaneously.

  34. Researcher says:

    I’m getting audio in the sign language feed. New temples in Lisbon, Indianapolis, Philippines, Hartford CN, Tijuana.

  35. Audio works on ksl.com

  36. In other words, I opened up a separate audio stream, and synced it to the video.

  37. Agreed. No podium mic sound on new.lds.org. Can’t connect yet to byuradio.org–must be lots of folks trying to connect!

  38. the internet feed plays has audio for the choir, but not for the speakers. am i the only one with this problem?

  39. Audio through Mormon channel, video through lds.org. It works that way…

  40. i guess i am not

  41. Interesting how the first thing he mentioned was the logistics of pulling this conference off.

  42. The link in #31 works great for audio-only. Thanks!

  43. “Women do not have the same Priesthood responsibility as men to serve missions.”

    What would happen if women ever DID receive the priesthood?

  44. Where in the Philippines will the temple be?

  45. Mike Parker says:

    Now that the choir is singing again, the audio is back. I hope I didn’t miss President Monson’s call to go back to Missouri.

  46. Audio problems with Elder Holland up first, you’ve gotta be kidding me.

  47. I’ll be launching a campaign to rename this song “various blessings not necessarily dependent on or even related to each other.”

  48. a true church wouldn’t have these audio problems. i testimony is on the brink of destruction.

  49. The new temple in Tijuana is really exciting for our Mexican Saints–I used to be a temple worker at the San Diego temple, which is the temple the saints from that area of Mexico currently attend. They are really faithful in their temple attendance, but lately they’ve had a really hard time getting across the border to attend. This is really good new for them.

  50. I don’t like the split screen for the choir.

  51. Okay, got the byuradio feed, but it’s not synced. Now there’s this psycho video problem. The right 1/3 of the image is on the left side.

  52. Complete new temple list, for those without audio:
    Indianapolis
    Tijuana, Mexico
    Urdaneta, Philipines
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Hartford, Connecticut

  53. kew, refresh the screen and the split screen is gone.

  54. Was that a mustachoied man singing in the choir? Facial hair in the MOTAB

  55. Thanks! I thought they were doing that on purpose.

    The podium audio is back!

  56. Ha! And the video is spitting now on LDS.org. Problems aboud! OH, but listen- we have audio on HBE!

  57. Ladies and Gentlemen,

    MormonMedia FAIL

  58. “president monson, the entire worldwide membership of this church joins in this anthem… ‘we thank thee, O God, for a prophet.'” What if I wasn’t singing? :P

  59. STILL NO TEMPLE IN FRANCE.

  60. i have a testimony again.

  61. Video is fixed now.

  62. Audio appears to be fixed.

  63. And clearly problems abound in my world too. Sigh.

  64. Video feeds lag by about 5-10 seconds. Not too bad, all things considered.

  65. Finally fixed. YAY!

  66. The plan of salvation is “for you”… it is “about you.”

  67. Girls Camp reference – do they have these outside the US?

  68. I’m glad I have cable with BYUTV. No sound or video problems here on the 46″ HD Feed.

  69. So sorry some of you aren’t hearing Elder Holland. He’s giving a beautiful talk.

  70. mention of girl’s camp… that’s cool.

    mention of women’s role… immediately phasing to green jello, quilts, and funeral potatoes…??

  71. The too often unheralded women of the church.

  72. A “you are so loved” talk directed to both women and men?! Awesome!

    Of course, then we go almost immediately to green jello and funeral potatoes. Oh well.

  73. This is a lovely, personal talk.

  74. Mention of men’s role immediately phasing to hiking, ice caves, and setting up tables and chairs.

  75. The too often unheralded men of the church.

  76. Sweet heart count: 1

  77. Green jello quilts? Awesome! Get me one of those!

  78. “Thank heaven for all the helpers in the Kingdom.”

  79. “i guess i’ve only been a helper”
    that’s a good line.
    “some of us hope to have a standing before God that you’ve already obtained.”
    even better line.

  80. This is a beautiful talk. Truly beautiful.

  81. I am pretty certain that Elder Holland is being an equal opportunity praiser of stereotypical roles.

  82. “Smile, if you will, about our traditions but somehow the too-often unheralded women in the Church are always there when hands hang down and knees are feeble.”

    Thank you for posting that, Kristine. Dang it, I didn’t last 10 minutes without tears.

  83. Where you see stereotype, I see affection.

  84. Robert B. says:
  85. LaurieinKC says:

    An amazing humble message, an Apostle telling a sister, describing herself as “only a helper, not a leader”, that he hoped to someday obtain the standing before God that she has already earned. Very moving.

  86. Ardis – I agree!

  87. I always like to hear a new life story. Great mission story.

  88. “and legions of good people not of our faith” – Awesome!!

  89. I love the feed! I’m at work and not watching. Nice to get some commentary on what’s being said.

  90. StillConfused says:

    My first general conference with the spouse. He is over here weeping like a baby. Not sure why. Maybe he made his grandmother carry the big wood box too

  91. I’m a little put off by the stereotyping (of both sexes), but I agree that it comes from a place of affection, and I definitely appreciate the talk.

  92. StillConfused says:

    NOOOOOOO. The dorky Primary Voice. Shoot me…. NOW

  93. Not typhoid.

  94. While watching family at home with our 8 children, as well as my brother-in-law’s family of 7, we have a “word of the session.” When the designated word is said, there is a candy bowl that can be raided.

    With the word for this session being FAITH, the kids got a good jump on the sugar high during Elder Holland’s talk.

  95. “more kind, and devoted, more charitable and true.”

    overall – good, personal talk.

    no doctrinal insights, however. oh well.

  96. I am glad I’m missing the “dorky Primary Voice.”

  97. I may have to mute this.

  98. ah, yes, now here comes the Primary voice.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a deep, husky-sounding woman speaker (and I mean that in a completely non-sexual way).

  99. What?? Kindness, devotion, charity and truth are not doctrine? Methinks thou art looking beyond the mark.

  100. That probably is her normal voice. It’s a good message.

  101. None of the current RS presidency speaks in passive, apologetic primary voice.

  102. I don’t mind her voice because it isn’t being accompanied by the creepy painted on smile.

  103. Ah! It’s the “Joseph didn’t drink brandy” story. (See here)

  104. “Yes, it was tedious….”

  105. “It took us 3 1/2 years to finish the Book of Mormon.” – Yeah, it’s been said. Quality over quantity.

  106. alright! setting a new all-time low-bar for # of verses of scripture constitute “reading” the book of Mormon.

  107. Part of the problem is that women often don’t have commanding voices in general. They’ve done studies on this – statistically, women’s voices are more soothing, and less forceful.

    This makes a lot of them hard to follow in settings like General Conference. Probably contributes to the use of “primary voice” as sometimes the only viable option for female Conference speakers.

  108. Seth – #109
    that’s really interesting, and I guess it makes sense. do you happen to have an online reference to those studies? i’d love to look at them.

  109. StillConfused says:

    Well the advantage to the dorky primary voice is that my husband has stopped weeping. Now he just looks nauseated.

    P.s. I speak all of the time professionally and never use the primary voice. But then again, I am an attorney.

  110. Seth,
    I’m pretty sure the problem is not that the women’s voices don’t sound male or are more naturally soothing or less forceful…

  111. #108 – It’s not a low bar if it’s whatever children can understand. We did the exact same thing when our kids were young, and it was FAR better than speed reading without comprehension.

  112. over 100 comments and we’re only the 3rd speaker? Is that a record?

  113. More senior missionaries? I think I’ll go with my wife. All we need to do is find someone to take care of our five kids.

  114. Seth, I know what you’re talking about, but Julie Beck doesn’t have this problem. She speaks forcefully and my mind doesn’t wander and amble away from her message.

  115. I know Brad, it’s not acceptable to declare any difference between women and men.

    Somehow, I think I’ll manage to live on anyway.

  116. Seth – Have you ever gone to an elementary school classroom? I suppose it is possible that every single woman who teaches is an exception to the general trend you’ve cited, but I find it hard to believe. Every female teacher I know can speak with a commanding voice quite well.

  117. This portion of her talk reminds me of a righteous catcher in the Rye.

  118. Was she wearing pants?

  119. StillConfused says:

    Ahhh. Sexy Voice. I am back engaged.

  120. Ray – #113 –
    Good point. And since she is the Primary president, I guess her purpose IS mostly to help make sure that children get something out of scriptures.

  121. Tracy, Julie Beck has a more forceful voice.

    I didn’t say all women. I said statistically, women have less commanding voices. We have a bright, intelligent young mother in our ward who just has this high pitched voice that, while not unpleasant, is utterly incapable of commanding a room. It’s not her fault, it’s just the hand biology dealt her.

  122. You’re misunderstanding, Seth. I’m not saying that female voices aren’t naturally different from male voices. They clearly are. I’m saying that that’s not the problem here. It’s not about the comparison between this sister’s voice/delivery and President Monson’s; it’s about the comparison between hers and President Beck’s.

  123. Didn’t Elder Costa have a lot dark hair? Did he whiten over the course of a year?

  124. @100, I agree, wouldn’t it be great to have a woman with the voice of Coach Bieste from Glee speak at conference?

  125. Elder Costa has had mostly white hair for some time.

  126. StillConfused says:

    Don’t you just love the accent??

  127. Fourteen Fundamentals, baby!

  128. Peter LLC says:

    Aren’t there any native English speakers in the church that could do a voice-over? I just can’t concentrate with this accent in the way.

  129. “it’s about the comparison between hers and President Beck’s.”

    Fascinating. When Pres. Beck speaks forcefully in a commanding voice as a strong woman, but when she says something people don’t like, her voice doesn’t mean squat. However, when someone with a less commanding voice shares a good message about children, her voice means everything.

    I just really don’t like judging people and the messages they present based on their voices. Why do otherwise open, caring people make these comparisons and draw conclusions like these?

    Sorry; it just bothers me. I’ll drop it.

  130. “More vital for us than the standard works.”

  131. Here is a link to the 14 Fundamentals talk:

    http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6751 [edited by admin]

  132. #118,

    I know my wife can speak with a commanding voice quite well, too.

  133. StillConfused says:

    Come on Peter. THe accent is HOT

  134. LaurieinKC says:

    When I lived in the Northeast, I was in a meeting of strong, competent stake RS presidents and witnessed their adopting the Primary Voice after we transitioned to a meeting with the Stake Presidents and the Regional Representative at the time. No children were present or even in the building. We were well-educated adults in a problem-solving session. The women adopted a totally different tone in the meeting once we joined the men. Submission and authority had everything to to with this remarkable transition.

  135. “Living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works… than the dead prophets.”

    In theory I agree with this. However, I sometimes find myself wishing that the modern prophet would give off a good “Thus saith the Lord” revelation. Sigh.

  136. Ray, no one’s talking about the message. The only complaint is about delivery. I simply cannot imagine that Sister Wixom sounds like this in normal conversation. No one’s arguing that the voice means that the message should be taken any more or less seriously.

  137. John Taber says:

    Finally listening here. Cable system here didn’t carry conference in its usual place, and the best the video feed on lds.org could do was a still picture with no sound. Audio seems to be working fine.

    Hartford is a bit of a surprise for a temple – Connecticut only has two stakes. But then Manhattan temple is only so big, hence Philadelphia and Hartford to relieve what was originally planned for Harrison. My stepmother used to work at Manhattan – I’ll have to ask her where people are really coming from to go there.

  138. We have a worldwide church, I love that we don’t have all American leadership — or are starting too.

    My husband and I were just remarking that he speaks great English – the TH sound is very hard for Portuguese speakers to master and he’s got it down

  139. He sounds like “the count” from Sesame Street.

    “The First Fundamental…..bwahahaha”

    “THe Second Fundamental…”bwahaha”

  140. Stinkin’ academics. You disgust me.

  141. Shouldn’t the title of this post be, “Saturday AM General Conference: It’s Not a Rebuilding Year, So It Won’t Stink!”

  142. Seth, its not about pitch, its about breathy-ness. Primary-voice understanding fail.

  143. Ezra Taft Benson is dead. Sounds like we need another Strange Loops post from Cynthia…

  144. As someone with an extremely high-pitched voice (which I hate) who’s acted as a herald (in the medieval sense of the word — commanding the attention of everyone in a large gymnasium or on a battlefield) I can say that having a high-pitched voice does not in any way keep you from controlling a room, as long as you have the right tone of voice.

  145. “10th… the prophet may be involved in civic matters…”

    he kind of blew past this one pretty fast. I wish he had expanded on it.

  146. Peter LLC says:

    The accent is HOT

    Actually, I do think it’s pretty cool. But I wonder what Jared T thinks?

  147. “no one’s talking about the message.”

    That’s my point, Brad.

  148. I’d take another strange loops post any time.

  149. Fine, Ray, I’ll clarify: “no one’s criticizing the message.”

  150. StillConfused says:

    The song is at tempo. Yeah

  151. “we all have work, so don’t be a jerk put your shoulder to the wheel.”

  152. “two groups that have trouble following the prophet.. the rich and the learned.”

    yet we teach that if we keep the commandments we will prosper temporally. And we teach people to get an education.

    So are we TRYING to get people to stop following the prophet?

    I think this is one of those Mormon paradoxes that I wish would be expanded upon, as well.

  153. My dismay is probably my own failing. I have a very hard time hearing the message when someone delivers their talk in a voice that distracts and is too sing-songy. FWIW, I have a similar reaction to Richard G Scott’s talks. I don’t mean to sound personally critical. I actually don’t like missing the message due to delivery. A personal failing on my part.

  154. #154 it’s ‘the proud who are learned and proud who are rich’

  155. StillConfused says:

    They showed that lady. Were those pants?

  156. StillConfused says:

    Dorky man voice. Almost as bad as the female voice

  157. Is this Bruce R’s kid?

  158. Relative of BRM?

  159. Perhaps we can have a link to the ‘Fourteen Fundamentals’ talk that’s not on an anti-Mormon site. Here’s the original:

    http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6751

  160. Ebenezer Robinson says:

    Re: new temples.

    Wasn’t the present Boston temple originally announced to be in Hartford? (for those with really long memories)

  161. I have a hard time understanding how the prophet is not limited by men’s reasoning. Does anyone know what benson’s context for that was?

  162. My goodness he has an interesting haircut.

  163. #158,

    What’s dorky about it? He sounds fine to me.

  164. #156 good clarification.

    however, pride exists both in unlearned and learned. both in rich and poor (think of SW Kimball’s “pride from the bottom” talk).

    Yet i feel like the learned and the rich get unfairly picked on, when (as you point out) it’s really the PRIDE that’s the problem.

  165. StillConfused says:

    “Big farm hands”

  166. Perhaps we can have a link to the ‘Fourteen Fundamentals’ talk that’s not on an anti-Mormon site.

    Telling.

  167. StillConfused says:

    Okay. Less dorky now.

  168. This guy definitely has a voice like BRM.

  169. #166 Agreed

  170. StillConfused says:

    The lights must be really bright. There are going to be some major botox sessions after this

  171. Is this guy considered a GA? or just in the SS presidency?

  172. (168),
    Helpful, Bradley.

  173. He’s not a son of BRM. Perhaps a nephew?

    http://www.mormonwiki.com/David_M._McConkie

  174. StillConfused says:

    #173, my spouse is guessing yes.

  175. Yes. Nephew.

  176. The question is, does he have more or less authority than, say, the General RS President? Maybe the answer’s in the General Handbook.

  177. Brandt, that ReloadEvery app you mentioned in comment #5 is coming in very handy.

    Thanks for mentioning that.

  178. The Sunday School presidency is staffed by members of the Seventy, I think. As is the YM presidency. At least, I think that is the case.

  179. Fwiw, I don’t like the phrase “economy of heaven”. I agree generally with the idea he meant to teach, but I just don’t like that phrase. Maybe that’s my substitute for a primary voice.

  180. “it is contrary to the way of the Lord to reveal to us individually what He has revealed to us collectively.”

    Interesting doctrinal point, and another great paradox that I wish would have been elaborated upon, since we place so much emphasis on personal revelation.

  181. The YM Presidency is NOT staffed from the seventy.

  182. His father was F. Briton McConkie, son of Oscar W. McConkie and brother to Bruce R. McConkie.

    http://www.mission.net/california/los-angeles/page.php?set_lang=spanish&lang=eng&pg_id=5175&.

  183. I think it takes away from his story and his point that most people can’t just read the CHI.

  184. #178 LOL!

    Yes, we should probably read the manual first.

  185. He’s not listed on Grandpa Bill’s GA pages…

  186. Matt Page says:

    My wife works with Bro. McConkie. She says he and his two brothers are the nicest and coolest guys there.

  187. Looks like my comment got spammed, but it appears McConkie’s dad is F. Britton McConkie, son of Oscar W. McConkie and brother of Bruce R. McConkie.

  188. John Taber says:

    Hartford was announced as a temple site in 1992. In 1995/1996 (not sure which year) it was replaced with Boston and New York. (In the interim, I heard more than once that Hartford was getting the temple because Massachusetts was cursed.)

  189. I think it takes away from his story and his point that most people can’t just read the CHI.

    Indeed…

  190. Love me some Richard L. Evans.

  191. I need this talk.

  192. Striped Suit!

  193. I will never forget Cristopherson’s talk “Becoming a Man.”

  194. danithew, I’m surprised BCC isn’t using something like CoverItLive, which is a live-chatting platform used by lots of journalists for livechats. But then again, it’s expensive, and I’m not sure of the “economy of BCC.”

    But ReloadEvery is wonderful for conference.

  195. “our life here is a stewardship of time and choices”

    very cool.

  196. StillConfused says:

    This guy looks very prophetic

  197. it is contrary to the way of the Lord to reveal to us individually what He has revealed to us collectively.

    I’m pretty sure that is contradictory to a number of scriptures, the purpose of the gift of the Holy Ghost, and general teachings about personal revelation.

  198. LaurieinKC says:

    #181, I agree. I also suspect that the Lord does not require us to read and digest everything before answering one of our heartfelt questions. He grants us wisdom freely and “reproves not”.

  199. Ron Madson says:

    President Kimball was bothered by Pres. Benson’s “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” talk given at BYU in that espoused an “unthinking follow the leader” mentality. Pres. Kimball required that he apologize for parts of that talk to the Q12 and then seeing it was not a sufficient apology he was a week later required to apologize to the rest of the General Authorities. Camilla described her husband’s “displeasure with the speech.”
    If Pres. Kimball can have displeasure with the speech then the rest of us can also. It is IMO not doctrinal and in fact very dangerous and very unhealthy “fundamentals” to extent that it requires us to follow a prophet right or wrong.

  200. Great Roberts quote.

  201. This is an outstanding talk.

  202. I like how often grace has been mentioned directly – and how it has been interpreted and presented as something that gives us power and freedom to act as agents unto ourselves.

  203. #200 Ron – that’s very interesting. I think I tend to side with SWK… better to think for ourselves, after prayerfully considering what the prophet has said.

  204. John Taber says:

    “All honest work is the work of God.” Then there’s all the lawyers in my ward with their BMWs . . .

  205. StillConfused says:

    My husband keeps yelling “jeeping” for wholesome leisure

  206. He seems very natural up there….I really like his delivery, more than some of his other talks.

  207. “justification for leisure and wholesome recreation” –
    I’m glad he brought this up. I was a little depressed after Elder Eyring’s talk last conference that seemed to emphasize that “our work is NEVER done.”

  208. StillConfused says:

    Me: Thank you for not having a tattoo
    Husband: But I do have a tattoo
    Me: Where
    Husband: You are tattooed on my heart
    Me: ahhhh

  209. Those who believe in evolution will not respect their bodies?? Most of the athiests I know subscribe to the same rules of health I do; a moral life is not dependent upon a believe in God.

  210. Chistofferson was a lawyer- for Bank of America no less! At least he helped bring down Nixon.

  211. Most of the athiests I know subscribe to the same rules of health I do; a moral life is not dependent upon a believe in God.

    I agree with you. But I think you’re misreading his point here.

  212. Did my post #133 really need editing? It contained the same information.

  213. Enough with the Evolution- get used to it, stop living in the 1830’s!

  214. What is his point? I’m not quite sure how to interpret his statement.

    This always happens with Elder Christofferson. He says something that sounds really controversial, but then I chew on it for a week and decide I agree, but it was worded kinda funny.

  215. Are we dead on twitter?

  216. #214 – What Brad said.

  217. Craig I think you don’t understand what he actually said.

    He said that those who think our bodies are ONLY the result of evolutionary chance will not feel the same respect for them.

  218. A belief in evolution =/= a belief in life happening by chance. Not always, at least.

  219. Hypocrisy is damaging especially to children. I really like how he framed that point.

  220. I don’t think it’s about evolution per se, so much as evolution as a stand-in for unfettered naturalism.

  221. John Taber says:

    He left NationsBank before it absorbed Bank of America. I’m not saying lawyers aren’t honest, just that . . . you get the idea.

  222. #218, #219 – I guess that makes sense. Though I know friends who believe their bodies are the product of pure chance and they are grateful for the chance they have. It’s like winning the lottery, one friend always says.

    I would venture to say that a belief in life happening by chance =/= ingratitude

  223. Craig P.

    A lot of the atheists I encounter online don’t have a very firm grasp of where their moral paradigm came from.

  224. In other news, Illinois is hanging in the football game with Ohio State, OSU leading 14-10 at the half.

  225. I know lots of Evangelicals who abuse their bodies to no end! Just go to Wall-mart!

  226. In other words, to put it simplistically, he’s arguing that the consecration of our bodies makes little sense from a purely naturalistic perspective. Or at least less sense than from a perspective that includes pre-mortal and post-mortal existence.

  227. Trever, I’ll agree with that statement. Thanks.

  228. StillConfused says:

    The guys were swaying while singing!

  229. Matt,
    Twitter has been a bit wonky for BCC this morning–should be back on track now.

  230. He actually didn’t say that we don’t/can’t believe in evolution, since he talked about those who believe our bodies are the result of “only evolutionary chance”, but I’m afraid too many will hear it as a condemnation of evolution. Grr. (Also, I don’t really agree that not believing in God will necessarily make people respect their bodies less, but that’s a separate point.)

  231. #222 – Are you saying that lawyer apostles are dishonest opportunists? If so, then say it; don’t hide behind coyly worded innuendo. If not, then say so.

  232. And it’s not even just about respecting our bodies but about the respect of bodies as consecration of bodies.

  233. Anyone get the words of the new verse of “tell me the stories of Jesus?”

  234. brandt – Great to know! Maybe we’ll have a miracle here in Champaign today!

  235. #231 Vada – I agree that some will read it as a condemnation of evolution, which is really too bad. It’s time for us to just say outloud that evolution is pretty much fact, and that doesn’t discount that God works by evolution.

  236. #233 Gotcha. Makes sense. I must have missed the consecration part.

  237. StillConfused says:

    Yeah. Uchtdorf rocks my socks off

  238. yes! Uchtdorf! my favorite.

  239. HILARIOUS!

  240. StillConfused says:

    As I retired air traffic controller, I was waiting for the airplane remark!!

  241. Self-deprecating airplane jokes. LOL.

  242. Awesome airplane lead-in.

  243. Alex, any chance I have to see the Suckeyes fail, I will be an ardent supporter. We’ve taken their crap for way to long here in Michigan.

  244. That was fantastic.

  245. HA!

  246. “but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?”

    awesome. this guy just gets better and better.

  247. Shout out to a fellow Wolverine, brandt.

  248. StillConfused says:

    “What do pilots do when they encounter turbulence?”
    Answer: They complain to ATC.

  249. snort.

    I love self-aware people.

  250. I always tell my wife that roads are unsafe and that the faster I drive, the sooner I will be off of them and back to a safer place.

  251. My kids were being too loud- what did DFU say that made everyone laugh??

  252. OK, the airplane joke killed me. I love him.

    “Slow down, steady the course and focus on the principles when facing adverse conditions”

  253. StillConfused says:

    “It’s easy to be busy” = Quote of the Day.

    “Lists of meetings and minutiae”

  254. This is an incredible talk. It applies to so many things, and I immediately thought of how so many people react to a crisis of faith.

  255. Sounds to me like he’s speaking to the leaders of wards and stakes and telling them to cancel all the unnecessary meetings.

  256. this talk is BRILLIANT. Uchtdorf continues to deliver big!

  257. Tracy- he was talking about tree rings, then says “You may be thinking, this is very nice, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?”

  258. StillConfused says:

    Aviators are the bomb!

  259. *Rime of the Ancient Mariner,* FTW.

  260. StillConfused says:

    “Simplicity is the ultimate in sophistication” = New quote of the day

  261. I love that he started with studying nature, scientists, and evidence of climate change.

  262. This talk is for me and my 12-hour away-from-home days. Problem is I never know what to cut? Do I drop out of school? Do I stop working full-time? Neither one seems to be an option. I’ve cut out TV and other things most of the time.

    Need to go back to the fundamentals.

  263. He’s making me want to change the channel to a football game.

  264. John Taber says:

    #232 – That’s not what I’m saying at all. Just saying lawyers have to be careful to be honest (even if the BMW and McMansion are tempting.) See Alma 10:13-15.

  265. Correlation!

  266. StillConfused says:

    Oh it is so sad to see him choking

  267. He’s human!!!

  268. “We would do well to slow down a little.”

  269. “Proceed at the optimum speed for OUR circumstances.”

    I really love this man.

  270. StillConfused says:

    My husband has a torn rotator cuff and blown knee. He is learning to slow down.

  271. Great approach to an old topic. Good talk.

  272. “I lost my voice… this is one of the fundamentals I need to have.”

  273. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    I like that Uchdorf’s small coughing episode, which caused him to take a minute to get himself together, matched the theme of his talk so perfectly.

  274. I love love love this man.

  275. But where is the commentary on his tie? Detail print red checker, bold move, did he pull it off??

  276. “To strengthen our relationship with God, we need some time ALONE with him.”

  277. This is going to be my favorite talk of the entire conference.

  278. #266 – NO! Not correlation! This went from an outstanding talk about “spiritual balance” to a talk that will be used by all those people who want to simplify all the beautiful depth and paradoxes of Mormonism. I don’t think that’s what Pres Uchtdorf really intended, but I fear that’s how it will be interpreted.

    deep sigh.

  279. StillConfused says:

    “We speak with each other rather than about each other”

  280. It’s a pretty boring tie for an Uchtdorf.

  281. 279 I’m afraid you’re right, but such is life.

  282. “We appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities.”

    YES!! It’s so good to hear him say this.

  283. Walk in Nature!

  284. A simple tie to match a talk about simple truths. Very calculated.

  285. Welp, Uchtdorf and Holland. Check and check. Now what am I going to do during the next 8 hours of conference?

  286. B.Russ (#286), my thoughts exactly. Both were absolute home runs.

  287. Beautiful arrangement of this hymn. I <3 Mack Wilberg.

  288. #286 and #287 I feel the same way, too. :-(

    But Uchtdorf gets 1 more talk, right? Usually he does 2.

  289. Is it true choir members do not have callings in their respective wards?

  290. StillConfused says:

    Notice how conference never goes over-time. Pass that memo to the wards!!

  291. Craig, dunno about choir, but orchestra people do.

  292. “Even president Thomas S Monson”
    Even! Score!

  293. I’m wondering if the sources BCC has will be able to see if there’s an INSIDE STORY and SCOOPZ on the “Cough Drop Incident” with Pres. Uchtdorf?

  294. StillConfused says:

    Looking for my brother in law

  295. “two groups that have trouble following the prophet.. the rich and the learned.”

    yet we teach that if we keep the commandments we will prosper temporally. And we teach people to get an education.

    So are we TRYING to get people to stop following the prophet?

    I think this is one of those Mormon paradoxes that I wish would be expanded upon, as well.

    Isn’t that the plot of the Book of Mormon as told in seminary? (Cycles of righteousness)

  296. Forgotten Carols at 290 decibels. Volume normalization fail. Thanks for deafening me KSL.

  297. Uchtdorf will speak in PH Session tonight, and again sometime tomorrow. They counselors usually get 3 turns to speak.

  298. All right folks, I’m off to watch an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then mow the lawn before the afternoon session!

  299. #296 – Simple:

    Societies will prosper as a collective people as they follow God (largely because they are willing to love and care for and share with those who can’t contribute proportionately), but that prosperity leads to the “top” individuals proudly assuming special status apart from those who contribute less – which leads them to separate from others in society and actually persecute or oppress them – which leads to those societies no longer prospering as a collective people . . .

  300. Iow, the Prosperity Gospel is taught at the macro-societal level, but it is destroyed by application at the micro-personal level.

  301. The “New” verse of “Tell me the stories of Jesus” wasn’t new, just not included in the LDS Primary Song Book.

    For anyone interested:

    Into the city I’d follow the children’s band,
    Waving a branch of the palm tree high in my hand.
    One of His heralds, yes, I would sing
    Loudest hosannas, “Jesus is King!”

    Not Sung by Motab this time around, there is also a 5th verse:

    Show me that scene in the garden, of bitter pain.
    Show me the cross where my Savior for me was slain.
    Sad ones or bright ones, so that they be
    Stories of Jesus, tell them to me.

  302. #200 – I’d love to get some more info on SWK’s displeasure with the 14 Fundamentals…do you know where it’s published and I could get my hands on it?

  303. Ack – now it’s #201..Ron Madson’s comment…

  304. Researcher says:

    Thanks for the extra verses, Matt W. I hadn’t known that there were additional verses to “Tell me the Stories of Jesus.” I do love the song — it’s one of a very few that I’ve sung frequently over the years as a lullaby to my little children.

  305. #201: is there a link you could point me to with that story? I’d love to learn more about President Kimball’s reaction.

    For that matter, I’d love to learn from the prophet the way that the prophet ought to be followed!

  306. Wow. That first session was a wonderful olive branch.

  307. You can read about Kimball’s reaction in Quinn’s Mormon Hierarchy. It may be in other sources as well. I dont know.

  308. I too am interested in references/sources about the President Spencer W. Kimball story that is referred to by Ron Madson in comment #201.

    I’ve heard that 14 points talk a few times – once while I was in the MTC many years ago. I had never heard that it was rebutted by President Kimball.

    Sounds credible but it would be great to have more info about it.

  309. iirc, it was also included on the CD-ROM included in the Kimball biography published a few years ago–not in the text, but in the extra materials. I might be wrong on that, though…

  310. J. Madson and Scott B., thank you for the info. I’m going to have to try and get a hold of that Kimball biography, with c.d. I haven’t read Quinn’s “Mormon Hierarchy” either.

    Thinking about this just a little bit, it occurs to me that in general I’d like to read more about President Spencer W. Kimball.

  311. While I haven’t read Quinn’s account of the incident, I suspect that part of #201’s summary may be garbled.

    The story about a GA having to apologize for a talk given at BYU probably comes from Mormon Alliance reports of rumor about the aftermath of a 1992 Bruce R. McConkie speech. see http://bycommonconsent.com/2006/09/18/2084/ and use wayback machine to follow a link in one of the comments.

    The working draft of Lengthen Your Stride

    In February 1980 Elder Benson gave a talk at BYU titled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet” that emphasized the precedent of living prophet’s over those of earlier prophets and asserted, “Those who would remove prophets from politics would take God out of government.” Some perceived his remarks as laying the groundwork for himself, a likely successor to President Kimball, to make his personal political views the standard for faithfulness.

    Spencer felt concern about the talk, wanting to protect the church against being misunderstood as espousing ultraconservative politics or an unthinking “follow the leader” mentality. The First Presidency called Elder Benson in to discuss what he had said and asked him to make explanation to the full Quorum of the Twelve and other general authorities. Elder Benson told them that he meant only to “underscore President Kimball’s prophetic call.” A First Presidency spokesman Don LeFevre reiterated to the press the day after the speech that it is “simply not true” that the Church President’s “word is law on all issues–including politics.” The uproar continued, however, and a week later the First Presidency spoke to “reaffirm that we take no partisan stand as to candidates or political parties, and exercise no constraint on the freedom of individuals to make their own choices in these matters.” Members should not expect narrow political guidance from Church leadership

    One of Edward Kimball’s footnotes reports Camilla’s speculation “that if one of the other apostles had given the same talk the reaction would have been much less.”

  312. @291- Craig
    My sister is in MoTab and she does have a calling in her ward at present. I think it depends on when your ward meets. Hers is at 1 pm this year so she can still attend. When it was at 9 she couldn’t go to her own ward.

  313. Question about the Proclamation. I heard the Prophet and 12 didn’t write it, but that a committee wrote it. Have any of you heard this? If so, where can you find a reference supporting this?

  314. Re: comment #155 Tracy,

    This may interest you: Elder Scott is very concerned for the Spanish speaking attendees at conference. He pre-records his conf. talk in Spanish, and practies doing English voiceover to his own recording. When you hear him deliver his talk in English, he has a mic in his ear playing the Spanish recording, so that what he is saying in Eng. and Spanish line up perfectly. It’s a huge labor and explains why his delivery is unique, and makes it meaningful to the Spanish-speaking listeners.

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