Sunday Afternoon General Conference: Like Satellite Stake Conference, but More General

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Meridian, Idaho! 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.

________________

BHodges here. Welcome to the final session of conference. As is customary I’ll be adding some comments in the main body of the post during each talk.

***

Elder Richard G. Scott began his talk by talking about his wife Jeanene. Though he doesn’t mention it directly at this point, she passed away due to cancer in 1995 and he has thus far chosen not to marry again, which is somewhat unusual for General Authorities.

“I traveled extensively in my profession.” Elder Scott was a nuclear engineer. From 1953 to 1965 he served on the immediate staff of Admiral Hyman Rickover.He had assignments to direct the design, testing, and manufacture of nuclear fuel elements for the Navy nuclear program and the Shippingport Reactor where the first extensive commercial application of nuclear power to private industry occurred.

“If you are a young man of appropriate age and are not married, don’t waste time in idle pursuits.” Elder Scott joins several other speakers including President Monson and Elder Oaks, in encouraging young men to not delay marriage. Interestingly, Pres. Monson quoted Pres. Hinckley directly recognizing the cultural expectation that the man take lead in courting and asking to be married.

“I didn’t know then that just a few months later he would pass away.” As he mentioned earlier, two of the Scotts seven children passed away before reaching adulthood. Their first son Richard died after an operation to correct a congenital heart condition. Elder Scott does not mention the timing in this talk, but just six weeks earlier their daughter died minutes after being born.

***
This is Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s seventh Conference address, he has not spoken in a Priesthood session, but has spoken once at each conference since his ordination to the apostleship in April 2008.

“Some years ago Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained…” Elder Christofferson refers to Elder Oaks’s address “The Challenge to Become.” On a personal note, during my mission I bought the Fall 2000 Conference session cd’s and this talk stood out, changed the way I viewed the gospel.

“As one author declares…” Elder Christofferson’s comments about Christians who want a therapist-like Jesus who “makes them feel good about themselves” is a quote from a new book from Oxford University Press called Almost Christian by Kendra Creasy Dean (2010). Dean is Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture, at Princeton Theological Seminary. She’s also a United Methodist pastor.

Jana Reiss wrote a nice review of the book last August at her Beliefnet blog “Flunking Sainthood.”

The currant bush is a a popular story about Hugh B. Brown, and it is even more poignant when considering his experiences in Church hierarchy positions. He served as First Counselor to David O. McKay, but was not retained as a counselor by Joseph Fielding Smith. One of eleven or so past counselors who experienced it. This is discussed in An Abundant Life: The Memoirs of Hugh B. Brown (Signature Books, 1999), edited by Brown’s grandson Edwin B. Firmage.

***

Elder Carl B. Pratt tells a story based in Colonia Jarez, a small town in Chihuahua, Mexico. It was established in 1886 as a sort of outpost where families might avoid federal pursuit due to the anti-polygamy Edmunds Act, which passed in 1882. It was the site of some post-manifesto plural marriages, incidentally.

Ever wished you had a talk to quote from to counter the idea that paying tithing will inevitably lead to financial security? “One might conclude that since we pay tithing with money, the Lord will always bless us with money. I tended to think that way as a child. I’ve since learned that it doesn’t necessarily work that way.”

***

*Shakespeare quote alert* from Elder Lynn G. Robbins. President Monson is particularly apt to quote from the Bard, incidentally. See here, here, here, etc. “To be or not to be” is from Hamlet, Act 3 scene 1. President Hinckley quoted from the same scene in the April 1999 session, but he referred to “the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns.”

From the Bard to Reader’s Digest. “Never let failure progress from an action to an identity with its attendant labels like ‘stupid’ — ‘slow’ — ‘lazy’ or ‘clumsy'” comes from “Make Up Your Mind to Succeed” by Carol Dweck, Reader’s Digest, May 2009, 54-55. Dweck is a Stanford University psychologist.

Robbins is the great-great grandson of George Reynolds of the famous 1878 United States Supreme Court case Reynolds v. United States. It remains a landmark decision regarding freedom of religion in the United States.

He was also a co-founder of Franklin Quest Company, so get out your day planners and…

***

Elder Benjamin de Hoyos is the second speaker in this Conference to discuss the Church’s long name. Yesterday afternoon President Boyd K. Packer discussed the revelation naming the Church. President Packer cited the Book of Mormon(3 Nephi 27), Elder de Hoyos cites the New Testament (Acts 11:26).

“For many years I have been a witness to the faithfulness of the members of the Church.” De Hoyos was a seminary teacher at an LDS Church-owned prep school in Mexico City called Benemerito De Las Americas where he met his wife Evelia. He later served as an institute director and a CES coordinator at various levels. At the time of his call as a general authority  in 1999 he was the CES Director for the Mexico South Area of the church.He also served as president of the Mexico Tuxtla Gutiérrez Mission, supervising the reopening of missionary work in areas where it had been closed due to civil unrest.

***

Elder C. Scott Grow is eight years older than his three younger brothers, one of whom recently passed away in his sleep.

Elder Grow’s talk is focusing heavily on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There are many different ways Latter-day Saints might conceive of the Atonement, almost always acknowledging that it somehow escapes full comprehension by mortals. Kevin Barney’s “Atonement Stew” is an interesting look at some of the possibilities open to Mormons regarding the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

The “penal substitution” theory of atonement is perhaps the most commonly employed view in the Church today, although other views are in the mix. Elder Grow referred to a quote from the missionary manual Preach My Gospel. Matt W. over at the NewCoolThang blog put an interesting post together talking about how the Preach My Gospel manual discusses the atonement.

***

Elder Jeffery R. Holland refers to Ensign Peak. Devery Anderson’s new book The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History includes journal excerpts describing the peak as the place where Addison Pratt received his temple endowment prior to serving a mission.

Elder Holland lists what he sees as the duties or angles various conference speakers can take. The principles of the gospel like “faith, hope, charity and Christ crucified.” Also, to “say nothing but repentance unto this generation.” At the same time, they must “preach good tidings to the meek and bind up the broken-hearted.” Elder Holland is the second speaker to refer to Harold B. Lee’s “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” quote. He cites the first issue of the New Era Jan. 1971, p. 4.

Like President Packer yesterday and Elder Christofferson this afternoon, Elder Holland emphasizes that the Church’s view of the gospel of Jesus Christ can be “deeply strenuous and demanding at the summit of true discipleship.” The Church is not “a fast food outlet; we can’t always have it ‘our way.'” Stern and smoothing.

“Bedlam that sometimes reigns in a house full of little bedlamites…” “Bedlam” is a colloquial term referring to a “scene of mad confusion.” The online etymological dictionary finds it in the 1660s, from a stylistic pronunciation of “Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem” in London, founded 1247 as a priory, mentioned as a hospital 1330 and as a lunatic hospital 1402; converted to a state lunatic asylum on dissolution of the monasteries in 1547.

***

President Thomas S. Monson offers his concluding remarks. It’s become common to hear the concluding speaker, the President of the Church, alert listeners to the forthcoming issues of Church magazines. Did this originate with President Hinckley?

President Monson closed with a poem by Emily Harris. I couldn’t find it anywhere but in the most recent issue of the New Era.

“Empty Linen”

The linen which once held Him is empty.

It lies there,

Fresh and white and clean.

The door stands opened.

The stone is rolled away,

And I can almost hear the angels singing His praises.

Linen cannot hold Him.

Stone cannot hold Him.

The words echo through the empty limestone chamber,

“He is not here.”

The linen which once held Him is now empty.

It lies there,

Fresh and white and clean

And oh, hallelujah, it is empty.

Emily Harris, “Empty Linen,” New Era, April 2001

***

 

Thanks to BCC for letting me guest blog two sessions of General Conference. Word to my other blog homes,  lifeongoldplates.com and faithpromotingrumor.com. Have a great Easter, folks.

Comments

  1. This should be great, BHodges. Thanks for liveblogging!

  2. First!

  3. Man that was a good looking Cinnamon Roll that appeared at the start of the last commercial before it started on BYU TV. Must have been one that Tracy made this morning. It was still steaming hot.

  4. observer (fka eric s) says:

    Will speakers for this session be selected from the general authorities and officers of the Church?

  5. The word(s) of the session are SPIRIT/HOLY GHOST. Let the sugar highs begin!!!

  6. observer (fka eric s) says:

    Mighty angels have wings. Garden variety angels must walk.

  7. Is that an Al Roker sighting in the choir??

  8. Scott (1) – Well played sir. You win this round, but vengeance will be mine.

  9. B. Russ – I thought about commenting on the thread as soon as it was posted, but figured being first 3 times out of 5 would have been a bit much.

    Also, I was enjoying my bacon sandwich.

  10. StillConfused says:

    Those choir dresses are so unflattering

  11. Cadbury Mini Creme Eggs for our candy this session. We need a hard word or its gonna get ugly…

  12. So, I’m anticipating hearing from 4 apostles, a member of the general YW presidency, Pres. Eyring, and Pres Monson. Wonder if they’ll have time for any members of the Seventy.

  13. #11 – How about polygamy?

  14. When I say 4 apostles, I mean 4 members of the quorum of the 12.

  15. Get out the caffeine or prepare to slip into a coma.

  16. Nap time begins.

  17. KerBearRN says:

    Wow. You should have seen the entire room (3 teenagers and a 9 year old) come to attention when we uncovered the candy dish and informed them of the word(s) of the session.

  18. And your word is?

  19. KerBearRN says:

    Just took the one from #5. I thought you guys were in charge of this!

  20. StillConfused says:

    This get married young stuff just cracks me up

  21. Another shout out to the young single adult males to GET MARRIED!!

  22. Dang, how many talks this conference have touched on young adults not getting married. Is this the new focus and worry?

  23. Brett H says:

    The candy dish word for Richard G. Scott should be “supernal.”

  24. Third mention in this conference of single men needing to get married.

  25. Using our words is fine too KerBear.

  26. Kevin Barney says:

    No more Call of Duty, single Mormon men. Get married!

  27. I’m old school–got married young 29 years ago–was the best thing I ever did

  28. 26 – Lucky for me, I’m already married. I can now play Call of Duty free of guilt.

    And. I. Do.

  29. KerBearRN says:

    Oh, then maybe I will change it. My kids are already getting frustrated… but don’t want to make it too easy…

  30. I would be interested to here what exactly attracted Sister Scott to Richard. Surely it wasn’t his speaking voice.

  31. Did I miss the “young” part? I’m just hearing “get married.” I’ve met plenty of single LDS in their late 20’s and early 30’s on the east coast…

  32. My kids share your kids frustration. I wanted temple, but they objected since Pres. Monson spoke on those this morning. It would have already paid off 3 times. And they are still without sugar so far.

  33. KerBearRN says:

    #30–I can tell you why. What a romantic!!

  34. My wife thinks he gave this talk last conference. Does anyone remember?

  35. Now I know why I’m getting deja vu from this, he gave this talk at a CES broadcast last year.

  36. KerBearRN says:

    Will we begin to look alike too? My DH is bald…

  37. I can’t remember what he spoke about last conference. He put me to sleep then too.

  38. Nice departure for Elder Scott to tell personal anecdotes rather than mesmerize with a hypnotic psychology message.

  39. The Transforming Power of Faith and Character was Elder Scott’s topic in October.

  40. His anecdote about the notes his wife kept is certainly corny, but it’s breaking my heart!

  41. StillConfused says:

    This is so freaking depressing.

  42. KerBearRN says:

    Rob–in a spirit of communal suffering, 9 year old Matthias wants to know how old your kids are?

  43. Aaaaand my wife is now asleep.

  44. StillConfused says:

    Okay I can';t take this anymore.

  45. Josh B. says:

    aargh! here we go again, its all the guy’s faults!

  46. Kevin Barney says:

    He just mentioned getting married “early in life.”

  47. My children are 16, 15, 13, 10, 9, 8, 6 and 4. And their cousins who are 17, 15, 11, 8, and 6 are here as well.

  48. Kevin Barney says:

    I like the personal stories.

  49. This is without a doubt Elder Scott’s most personal talk in my memory. I am loving it.

  50. observer (fka eric s) says:

    “Full feminine splendor”

  51. Kevin Barney says:

    No celestial polygamy for him…

  52. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    Rob

    Why did you stop at 8 kids?

  53. FFS, ftw.

  54. KerBearRN says:

    woo hoo! candy!!

  55. First CANDY BOWL RUSH!!!

  56. Romney–I finally figured out what was causing them. And 8 is enough. And my wife and I both come from families with 8 kids. And I could go on.

  57. KerBearRN says:

    Heck Rob, your 8 makes my 5 look like chump change… lol. But Matthias felt better seeing all those other suffering kids… :)

  58. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    @Rob

    LOL

  59. my kids keep wanting to change our word to “amen” :)

  60. Wonderful tribute to Elder Scott’s EC.

  61. Kevin Barney says:

    Is “Hebrew” anyone’s secret word for this session? If so, you just scored.

  62. Interesting that you have a 9 year old Mathias, and I have a 9 year old Matthew. Thing that make ya go hmmmmmmmm.

  63. “benign whateverism”….new awesome phrase

  64. KerBearRN says:

    Emily– LOL I had just made the same comment. Guarantees at least 6 pieces of candy.

  65. I’m rather upset at the blatant mischaracterization of Christianity perpetuated here. LDS people complain when other churches bash them- “we don’t say that about YOUR church, why say it about MY church?” Ugh.

  66. KerBearRN says:

    Rob– Pre-existence long-long twins?

  67. I really liked the tribute to a woman he loves.

  68. #65, agreed. I don’t think you can generalize that all Christians don’t think God expects things of them.

  69. The cheap grace Protestant anti-Mormons online just started drafting their next blog post.

  70. My kids wanted the word to be Jesus for the same “guarantee,” but I told them I would specifically disqualify that line from each talk if we did that.

    And if the word is mentioned during songs or prayers, those don’t count either.

  71. KerBearRN says:

    I am currently chastening multiple hands away from the candy dish. Someone has now declared “spiritual” to be a form of “spirit”… plus 19 year old Erik has attempted recording the word “spirit” on his iPhone and playing it… sheesh…

  72. @ #47.
    Just wondering if you’re serious or joking?
    If you’re serious, you’re gonna need something a little stronger than candy to get you through this session.

    I recommend a margarita.

  73. #65 – Ariel, what he said is absolutely true of much of Christianity – and that’s all he said.

  74. KerBearRN says:

    RE #66–that was supposed to be long-lost…

  75. #65 Ariel, if I am not mistaken, Elder C’s use of “benign whateverism” and other negative characterizations are quotes from a recent study by a prominent protestant theologian and researcher that recently authored an influential book on the topic…will have to wait and see when the print talks come out with footnotes

  76. So if I said “much of Mormonism is polygamist” that would be A-OK?

  77. Yet another good reason to not let my kids have iPhones. Only my 16 year old daughter even has a cell phone at all.

  78. “Benign Whateverism” and etc may have been part of a quote, but he still said that much of christianity does not believe that God changes people and their actions to fit his image. That is completely incorrect and a blatant mischaracterization of Christianity, quote or not, and if it is a quote, shame on him for legitimizing it.

  79. Sitting in a snuggy, drinking Dr. Pepper, eating chocolate, white-chocolate chip, macademia cookies, and folllowing the conference posts on BCC. Sure wish I was at the monster-nacle…NOT!

  80. CANDY!!! And yes, I knew what was meant by “long-long.”

  81. Apologies for the typo’s. When I get angry I type too fast and don’t proofread well.

  82. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    If it’s a quote in regards to most *Christians*, then I think there’s a case to be made, but if he’s talking about the official theology of “much of Christianity” I’d like to see the proof of such. (Never mind that, population-wise, “much” of Christianity is Catholic.)

  83. Ariel, the problem is that the Protestants that are usually most interested in interacting with Mormons usually do deliberately portray their religion as a “cheap grace” package deal. Whether this is because they really do believe that, or because they are subconsciously overcompensating for the false idea they have about us, I don’t know. But these are the type of Protestants we tend to run into on a regular basis.

    Also, a good deal of the Protestant mega-church movement is largely a diet of uninterrupted touchy-feely, “you’re-fine-just-the-way-you-are” crap. You’ll often get Protestant bloggers lamenting the situation.

    Anyway, it’s true enough that “some” of Protestantism has gone this way. Whether “most” of them have is a more controversial point.

  84. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    When was the last time someone gave a General Conference talk with facial hair?

  85. KerBearRN says:

    Giant Bunny Ellie has just joined the proceedings. She is not allowed candy, though with her huge ears she can hear words BEFORE they are uttered…

  86. So, it’s Elder Scott’s wife’s fault that he stares so intently into the camera when he speaks.

  87. Reproving with sharpness *or clarity*. I like that interpretation.

  88. OK, I figured it out. “benign whateverism” and related terms like “therapeutic deism” which Elder C referred to indirectly came from national survey of youth and religion. I would argue that this watered-down, undemanding form of worship is a national or worldwide trend that crosses most religions, including inroads into LDS.

  89. KerBearRN says:

    Thank you Elder Christofferson, now we’re fairly sugar-addled.

  90. Can anyone tell me how I can switch back to the mobile version of BCC.com on my iPad?

  91. KerBearRN says:

    “Benign whateverism” reminds me of a term my DH uses to refer to those who believe God requires no real committment — “The Church of the Most Holy Convenience”.

  92. I should perhaps clarify that I’m a Protestant who follows Evangelical culture closely and studies doctrine carefully. My whole family is LDS, as is my husband’s family, so here I am. But I feel that I can speak with experience about modern protestant doctrine and culture.

    Yes, Protestant blogs lament the poor understanding of many nominal christians, as do protestant pastors and many others. Most “mega-churches” are not in favor of “feel-good doctrine.” I am familiar with “cheap grace” and the way it is portrayed to LDS people and I can tell you that those who believe in “cheap grace” would absolutely insist that God changes people’s actions after they get that “cheap grace.”

    So if his point is able to stand because “some” christians believe that way, can I fairly say “much of Mormonism is polygamous?” Serious question. Because I think that if I said that here, I’d be (rightly) called a liar.

  93. So for those who are offended by what Elder Christofferson said, you can blame the mainline Protestant researchers for saying it. Can’t trust the experts, I guess.

  94. the narrator, over at FPR, just pointed out that if you close your eyes, you’ll be listening to Jeff Bridges. Awesome.

  95. I remember a few years ago when Elder Pratt spoke in conference, and really pushed the idea of a fast lasting a “full 24 hours” and totally hating it.

    Fortunately, the new GP Manual excised that little bit. #23hourfasts

  96. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Paul is pretty clear on where *he* stands on “cheap grace” and “benign whateverism” in Romans 6. If much of Christianity feels this way then they’re not reading their scriptures.

  97. B.Russ,
    What are you doing visiting FPR, bro? Are you really that bitter over First!?

  98. Sorry to carry this thread from the last talk, but Elder C was definitely referring to national study of youth and religion survey, which has gotten a lot of media attention (and attention from conservative protestant faiths) the past two to three years. For details, go to http://www.youthandreligion.org/

  99. What’s FPR? That’s one I’m not familiar with.

  100. KerBearRN says:

    94–THAT IS EXACTLY IT– He also looks like him. I was just sitting here trying to figure out who he looks like. I’m watching Righteous Iron Man!

  101. Kevin Barney says:

    Wow, I can totally hear the Jeff Bridges thing. The Dude speaking in GC!

  102. 97 – Ha. A bit territorial?

    If it makes you feel better, I’m auto-refreshing BCC every 45 seconds and FPR 2 minutes. So you guys have my heart.

  103. Close your eyes and it sounds like Jeff Bridges is speaking to us…

  104. I took the “closed eyes” test: Jeff Bridges in True Grit!

  105. waterspout says:

    Jeff Bridges – ha ha – he does sound like him – awesome!

  106. The advice to pay tithing as soon as you get paid is nice enough – if you actually draw a regular salary.

    If you’re self-employed, like I am, things get more messy.

  107. The researchers said most American youth self-identify as “christian” when asked, but have little understanding of what that means. The majority of those youth are equivalent to LDS kids who were blessed as babies and havent been back to church since. This isn’t exactly indicative of what “christians” believe, only of what TEENS who DON’T ATTEND CHURCH believe.

    To quote the article linked,
    “For many we interviewed,” says Smith, “it seemed as if this was the first time anyone had ever asked them what they believed. Some of them actually said, ‘I don’t know, nobody’s ever asked me that before.’ By contrast, there was a lot of clear articulation about subjects they’d been drilled on, such as drinking, drugs, and STDs.”

    I maintain that saying this is “much of Christianity” is completely dishonest and if I represented the LDS church in the same way, I would be absolutely reamed here and elsewhere.

  108. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    He does sound like Jeff Bridges, but he doesn’t look like him.

  109. I’m waiting to hear him tell us that if we win the lottery or gamble, we can’t pay tithing on it.

  110. So what Ariel?

    Are you saying all those apathetic teens are not a problem that American Protestantism is grappling with?

  111. I maintain that tithing settlement is once a year, and as long as I have paid a full tithe for the previous year, the Lord doesn’t care when I make the payments. He doesn’t charge monthly interest.

  112. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    RE

    Works v. Grace

    It’s mostly just semantics. Protestants still think you need to be good to get to heaven.

  113. I mean, it’s not like anyone allows us Mormons to selectively only hold up our most faithful members as an example of the fruits of the religion. We have to own our problem members. Why shouldn’t you own yours?

  114. Brett H says:

    @ 94 — General Tronference?

  115. Kevin Barney says:

    When he said C. Scott Grow I heard “see Scott grow!”

  116. I’m saying these teens are not “protestant.” They are not anything. When pressed, most of them say “christian” with no understanding of what that is. The article called them “Moralistic therapeutic deists” as a more accurate characterization. Using them to characterize “much of mainstream christianity” is therefore not appropriate.

  117. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    Grow Scott, grow.

  118. They aren’t “problem members” because they aren’t members.

  119. 110 – I think the point is that we don’t need to put others down in order to call ourselves to be better. We can just call ourselves to be better.

  120. Alex — I agree with your “once a year” assessment. How often we pay really doesn’t matter as long as we make it whole at the end of the year and can answer in the affirmative when our Bishop asks us if our contributions constitute a full tithe.

  121. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    1. Tithing settlement should be banned. We are asked in the temple recommend interview if we pay a full tithing. Think of how much time could be saved if bishops didn’t have to ask everyone the same question each December.

    2. We should pay tithing online at LDS.ORG with a debit card. That way the bishopric and ward clerk wouldn’t have to stay after church each Sunday for 2 hours adding up all the tithing. AND, there won’t be 5 or so men in the ward that have a good idea how much each ward member’s income is.

  122. I get what you are saying Ariel, but there isn’t alot of difference between “much” (which you dislike) and “some” (which seems completely accurate). Regardless, that is not the point of the talk (religious people of every kind need to do more) which is getting lost.

  123. Ariel, I’ve even heard conservative Christians over at Touchstone magazine sniff at the term “mainline Christianity” – precisely because it contains people like these teens.

  124. Kevin Barney says:

    Crap, we have to wait a whole half an hour for Elder Holland.

  125. Ariel I completely agree with you I think elder c was agreeing with conservative criticisms of the way christian youth are perceived to understand religion I personally don’t see moral therapeutic deism as a bad thing but I gather that elder c does

  126. #107,

    Ariel, the report isn’t about teens who don’t go to church. It says this:

    “First, contrary to popular notions fueled by the media, most teens today are not religious “seekers” rebelling against their parents’ religion. Instead, they willingly accompany their parents to church. Second — here’s the troubling part — these teens, even those regularly attending Christian churches and youth groups, are hard-put to articulate the first thing about what they believe. “

  127. if I said “some Mormons are polygamous” would that make you happier that “much of mormonism is polygamous?” I think there’s a big difference.

    Ok, I get that Protestants are not welcome in Conference. I’m just kind of shocked at the double standard that Protestants aren’t allowed to criticize LDS people but LDS apostles are allowed to dishonestly characterize Protestantism in a way that will cause many (I’d bet most) listeners to get an idea that is far from the truth.

  128. My head be spinning.

  129. I’m beginning to wonder if we will hear from Elder Hales this conference. With the announcement before the congregational hymn of 3 members of the seventy, followed by Elder Holland, that doesn’t leave a lot of time for both Elder Hales and President Monson. We also have not heard from a member of the general YW Presidency. Could this be because last week was the general YW meeting?? ALthough I seem to recall that in the past, a member of that presidency has still always spoken.

  130. KerBearRN says:

    116 — I think in a way I understand. Characterizing these teens as “mainstream Christianity” or “protestant” just b/c they identify themselves as “Christian” is similar to identifying people as “mormon” just b/c they live in Utah. Sort of.

  131. Magnolia says:

    #121

    Agreed.

  132. Protestants aren’t allowed to criticize us Ariel?

    Half the Protestant blogs I hang out on must have missed the memo.

  133. I should have said youth who classify themselves as christian whether churchgoers or not

  134. #121 You can pay tithing online you know. Even set it up as an automatic bill pay.

  135. I’m really glad they translate these talks ahead of time. I have no idea how I would interpret this be/do talk on the fly.

  136. Kevin Barney says:

    The Latin lexical form is disco. (True and fun fact.)

  137. KerBearRN says:

    134–really??

  138. 134 – I was not aware of that. I’ll need to look into it. I hate handing the bishop an envelope.

  139. Ariel, you have a point, but you are picking at nits by now. Perhaps you understand a little better what we face constantly.

  140. @129 It’s possible these next 3 talks are 7 minutes instead of 15 as the middle name flash showed up pretty quickly. That would set up Elder Holland at :15 and then Elder Hales ~:30.

  141. I’m guessing if you aren’t married or don’t have kids, you might feel really left out of this session.

  142. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Ariel,
    I agree with you, as well; he may have nuance in mind with what he was saying, but he did nothing to adequately express that nuance and thus it results in an incorrect notion of what “Christian teachings” are for Mormons who are listening— exactly what we hate to have people do to our beliefs (I am reminded of Huckabee’s “simple” question of whether Mormons believe Jesus is the brother of Satan, technically true but without anywhere near enough context to prevent incorrect conclusions).

  143. #121 You can pay your tithing via direct deposit through Church HQ. I”ve been doing for the past year.

  144. Nate — Agreed that these 3 will be 7-8 minutes each. And the congregational hymn did hit a little early, so you could be correct.

    The YW pres looks like they still aren’t going to get their airtime this weekend though.

  145. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Bill pay for tithing has been awesome; I recommend it for everyone.

  146. KerBearRN says:

    142–I wanna know how.

  147. I hope, if talks need to be rehashed in SM talks and EQ talks, that this talk is chosen to be rehashed. I think non-judgmentalism is a HUGE underlying current of this talk. And I’m loving it.

  148. It makes me so happy when you do your chores with a WILLING HEART!!!!!

  149. How DO you pay tithing on line
    btw, my wife has made two comments that don’t show up, anyone know why?

    Lastly, I like Elder Robbin’s (?) hand gestures.

  150. My point is that if he would have said “some” instead of “much” we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  151. NoCoolName_Tom says:
  152. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    Mark,

    If your wife is using profanity in her comments, BCC will ban them.

  153. #146 – AMEN.

  154. Have believers truly been called “saints” from the beginning of time?

  155. Ariel, when he said it, I said out loud (my wife was listening with me) something like, “I wonder what he’d do if a Christian of another persuasion chastised him about his insensitivity and reckless generalization and characterization of their belief.” That was my impression and feeling. I prefer letting others represent their positions when they differ from mine, not speaking for them when they aren’t there to speak for themselves. Truth is, however, I suppose we all make representations we don’t own. May we all do better at being fair and sensitive.

  156. Fantastic tie.

  157. Mormon Life Hacker! I love it.

  158. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    How did this GA get away with wearing this tie in Conference?

  159. Kevin Barney says:

    Why does the church have such a long name? Good question.

  160. #158, Kevin, agreed. Why so long?

  161. Anyone know what part of Latin America he’s from (I’m assuming he wasn’t raised in the states though I could be wrong)?

  162. Kevin Barney says:

    The word “saint” derives from sanctus “consecrated,” the passive participle of sancire “to consecrate.”

  163. Brett H says:

    The Holy Juan of Israel??

  164. 162. LOL.

  165. Close your eyes and you could swear you were listening to Nacho Libre.

  166. De Hoyos was born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. De Hoyos grew up in northern Mexico. As a young man, he served a mission in the Mexico Hermosillo Mission, where he first met his wife Evelia Genesta Mendivil, who is a native of Ciudad Obregón, Sonora. Mendivil had coverted to the LDS Church while a teenager and was then serving as a Stake missionary.

  167. Magnolia says:

    Born in Monterrey, Mexico

  168. Kevin Barney says:

    The death of a 51-year old hits close to home (I’m 52).

  169. Hedonistic lifestyle = He started drinking coffee.

  170. Jessawhy says:

    Wondering why my comments got caught in moderation. . .?

  171. #162 – My girls will never hear that phrase the same again.

  172. Jessawhy says:

    That one worked.

    I guess BCC thinks “margarita” is profanity.

  173. 171 – BCC is prejudiced against girly-drinks (Single Malt Irish Whiskey will make it through the filters just fine)

  174. Kevin Barney says:

    Margarita derives from the Greek word for “pearl.” I like to think of the Pearl of Great Price as the Margarita of Great Price.

  175. As will Beer. So sign on to get Miller High Life to sponsor you!!

  176. Chad Too says:

    I know he just said “bravery” but it sounded like “bribery.”

  177. Kevin Barney says:

    Wait; are we supposed to take it from this talk that repentance really works? Even if you, you know, commit actual sins? What a concept!

  178. I’m still not seeing enough time for Elder Hales.

    Anyone aware of any current health issues that would have kept him from speaking?

  179. What are sins of perdition?

  180. Matt Grow any relation to C. Scott?

  181. Kevin Barney says:

    Did he say sins of perdition or sons of perdition? It sounded like the former to my ear.

  182. He just said sins of perdition again.

  183. Not sure Kevin, but he did say SPIRIT….CHOCOLATE!!

  184. 178 –
    Loss of one’s testimony.
    Loss of one’s chastity.
    Loss of one’s virtue.
    Loss of one’s keys.

  185. Kevin Barney says:

    He said it again; definitely “sins of perdition.”

  186. It seems like a good talk but I have to apologize to him, I’m getting antsy for Elder Holland.

  187. #183, B.Russ, any references come to mind?

  188. I’m really loving this talk.

  189. I’m assuming that the “sins of perdition” are the sins of denying Christ and assenting to His crucifixion… Maybe?

  190. I wonder if Elder Holland will be donning any white gloves to handle some church artifacts.

  191. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    I’m curious what his brother did… cocaine?

  192. TrevorM says:

    I don’t think he meant “literally” there.

  193. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m sure the GAs would be apoplectic at this way of experiencing conference. But it works for me. The BCC threads have kept me actively engaged and listening and appreciating in a way that simply wouldn’t happen without the (often witty) real-time commentary.

  194. 186 – no, it was word-play. “Perdition” means loss or lost.

  195. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    Elder Holland has so much gravitas.

  196. Grow, Scott, grow…

  197. HOLLAND!

  198. #192, agreed, I would have been asleep by now.

  199. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    How is Elder Holland’s hair so dark? I’m 33 and I already have gray hairs.

  200. Here’s to hoping Elder Holland will hoist the yellow banner!

  201. Before Elder Bednar combed, Elder Holland is.

  202. #199, with a white-gloved hand, lol.

  203. Jessawhy says:

    And after their talks are written, they are edited for content by the correlation committee (or Big Brother as we call it).

  204. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 198, three words: Just for Men.

  205. I appreciate the blunt statement that conference addresses are not scripted, directed, or assigned.

  206. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    @ Kevin Barney

    LOL

  207. Romney, you can pay tithing online. You can also schedule auto pay through your bank account: http://nickolaspickolas.blogspot.com/2010/03/pay-lds-tithing-online.html

    I’ve been doing it for the last few months and love it. I did remember that fast offerings are still better sent to local units so they can aid people in nearby communities.

  208. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    I wonder if Elder Holland would have even more gravitas if he took a page from Mitt Romney’s book and left just a touch of salt-and-pepper on the temples?

  209. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    I believe Just For Men corporation markets a product called “Touch of Gray” so you “Look Like you have the experience but are still young enough to do it”

  210. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    Thanks everyone for the links to pay tithing online. I’ll look into it.

  211. “Knee-buckling pinnacle.” Nice Hollandism.

  212. Kevin Barney says:

    Ariel, he just gave a shout out to you and the other non-LDS watching, who are not members of the Church–yet.

  213. He just ruled out cafeteria mormonism and fast food mormonism!!

  214. And there’s another slam on those who think they can dictate the doctrines of the church.

  215. Awesome. They do know that not everyone is viewing pornography.

    Thats reassuring.

  216. Kevin Barney says:

    He omitted “without a cause,” following 3 Nephi and JST (properly omitting the Greek adverb eike, which is a secondary addition to the text).

  217. Family Fight Night!!!!!

  218. hurrah for bedlamites

  219. I have a houseful of bedlamites!!

  220. I liked that….”If we teach by the SPIRIT……” followed by a long pause for the candy rush!!!!

  221. Jessawhy says:

    Bedlamites!

    That’s going to be my new nickname for my kids!

  222. Kevin Barney says:

    Some of you are a couple of minutes ahead of the rest of us–or way in tune with the Spirit…

  223. Ron Madson says:

    Are we not all buffet Mormons–doctrinally and behaviorally. Whoever isn’t raise their hand.

  224. I think I will march down to the courthouse tomorrow with my 8 children, instruct them to be rowdy as we do so, and change out last name to Bedlamite.

  225. No Elder Hales?

  226. Ron – We aren’t all proud that we are imperfect, nor do we all excuse ourselves and say that cafeteria Mormonism is acceptable to God.

  227. Nick–That’s what I’ve been saying for the past 45 minutes.

  228. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    @ Alex

    A lot of church rules and commandments are open to interpretation.

    For example: caffeine.

  229. 224 – nope.

  230. 227 – That is neither commandment nor rule nor doctrine. And there is a difference between interpretation and choosing to simply disregard.

  231. Romney — What’s to interpret about caffeine? There is not official church declaration about it. Just as I have never had anyone be able to show me where I can’t pay tithing on lottery or gambling winnings.

  232. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    @ Alex

    OK, how about keeping the sabbath day holy?

    Some Mormons think that means no TV or wearing your Sunday best all day long.

  233. Parenting 505 here.

  234. I’m going to have to go back to Holland’s talk and listen again. He’s speaking from the heart and to many of us who get frustrated by the way things are.

  235. Jessawhy says:

    I’m missing an old friend, James Winder, who used to do a great imitation of Pres Monson’s speaking cadence.

  236. Nick and Rob:

    During the sustaining yesterday, I thought I saw Hales wearing some sort of weird leg brace/thingy, combined with what looked like an oxygen tank. So that’s probably why he’s not speaking.

  237. I’m signing up too Tracy — 505 all the way!!!

  238. Chad Too says:

    TracyM: tons of virtual hugs to you and your bedlamites!

  239. Thanks Katie.

  240. Katie–Thanks for sharing that. I hadn’t noticed it, although one of my sons earlier today mentioned something about seeing someone with something weird on their leg.

  241. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 237, when I heard bedlamites I immediately thought of Tracy’s kids…

  242. Rob, my mom said it looked like an oxygen tank, but it was the brace that caught my eye. And then I promptly forgot about it until you guys brought it up.

  243. Tracy–How many bedlamites do you have?

  244. Saw Skooh says:

    Re: Elder Christofferson’s comments about “much of Christianity.” I take great issue with the assumption implicit in the criticisms here that Elder Christofferson is not allowed to speak of “Christianity” as an INSIDER, but rather that any comments regarding “Christianity” in General Conference must necessarily be interpreted to mean “people of OTHER faiths [but not mine].”

    It’s fair to say that Elder Christofferson not only considers himself a Christian, but a witness of Christ and a leader of a Christian faith. His audience also considers themselve to be part of the Christian world. Your assumption that he is gloatingly casting stones specifically at YOUR personal brand of Protestant Christianity, from outside of it, rather than identifying popular trends and attitudes within the larger Christian world (including LDS Christianity, I would say) seems a betrayal of your bias that Mormons aren’t really Christians.

  245. Kevin Barney says:

    No. 242, Tracy has three, whose bedlamish exploits are regularly chronicled on her blog, Dandelion Mamma.

  246. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Saw,
    Much of the responders on this blog to his comments were Mormon.

    Speaking for myself, Protestantism isn’t my personal brand. :-)

  247. Closing with one of my favorite arrangements of this hymn! Prepare to be impressed by the organ on the last verse where the accompaniment is triplets against eighth notes.

  248. Ron Madson says:

    #225–Alex. Do you accept all doctrine taught by Mormonism ever uttered in General Conference? Do you believe that every commandment/policy/instruction issued from Mormonism since its inception is from God and he approves of all of it? If not, then I would suggest you are a cafeteria Mormon. And I know of no one that isn’t. When President Hinckley stated that his thoughts on King Follett discourse he was exercising his right to not partake fully of that doctrine. When he said “polygamy is not doctrinal” in his interview he was choosing not to pass on parts offered in Section 132. I am okay with that. Are you?

    So tell me how much do I have to consume to no longer be a buffet Mormon both doctrinally and behaviorally? And do we conflate that with being the perfection Christ refers to in Matthew 5? Or does Matthew 5 not cover it lacking all our rules and side bar doctrines?

  249. Kevin Barney says:

    Finis.

  250. 231 – Disagreeing on the nuance of HOW to keep the Sabbath holy is different from picking and choosing which commandments to keep in the first place.

  251. @bekah #246 – SPOLER ALERT!

  252. Romney 2012 Supporter says:

    @ Alex (231)

    You still get to be a cafeteria Mormon, though, if you think that you don’t have to wear your Sunday best all day to follow the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.

  253. Thanks Blair. Great job.

  254. Thanks BCC for helping me survive another GC.

  255. Whoa, I must have missed something. Apparently my bishop has been replaced by people on here who are now responsible for determining my standing in the church. Sorry, I must have missed the memo.

  256. Kristine says:

    #74, etc. on Elder Christofferson’s talk referencing Christianity, check the main body of the live blogging at the top of this thread for more info on his source.

  257. Did you catch the kid who grinned into the camera at closeout? Great move.

  258. Who saw the kid pop up and turn to face the camera after the closing prayer?? My kids all had a good laugh at that.

    Thanks again for making conference fun everyone. See you in 6 months!!

  259. Saw Skooh says:

    @245
    I know, but but even some of the Mormons seemed to have a reaction to the criticism which granted the assumption implicit in it (to whit: when Elder C. talks about Christianity, he is talking from the outside looking in, criticizing something he’s not part of.)

    If his comment applies to you, then he’s talking about you. If they don’t, then he’s not.

  260. Thanks also to Kristine and Neylan for running show as well, great job all.

  261. I forgot that Elder Scott and his wife lost their daughter six weeks before their son passed away. Thanks for that reminder in the post notes.

  262. KerBearRN says:

    Because of BCC, I find myself disappointed when Conference ends. I love being able to “hang” with you guys and I learn so much from you. THANK YOU!!

  263. KerBearRN says:

    @Rob–I’m gonna run the Tivo back just so I can see the grinning kid.

  264. quick question before y’all leave… does anyone know what the church handbook says about tithing settlement?

  265. GP Italy says:

    Why wasn’t never sung “We thank Thee, oh God for a Prophet”? It’s always sung at GC… I’m so sorry…

  266. #263 – Not very much other than why it is held and that it should be attended.

  267. @263. Specific instructions about Tithing Settlement are sent from SLC separately from the handbook. The handbook just states that the purpose is to check accuracy of Church records and give the opportunity to the members to declare their status: full, part, exempt. Bishop encourages fast offerings used to be mentioned. Don’t know about the current version.

  268. Katie- thanks for the info on E Hales. During the sustainings, I knew I’d seen o2 tubing and a leg brace and wasn’t sure who it was

  269. No prob, Ray. It was fun live blogging. Thanks again to BCC. I had a good time.

  270. I found Elder Lynn Robbins’ talk a highlight of the conference. It seems that sometimes we get so concerned about what we do that we forget that connection between what we do and what are are — and which is more important. I hope they ask him to speak again.

    Re Elder Todd Christofferson’s comment: As much as I believe we need to be very careful about judging other Christians based on our sometimes peculiar standards, I have no problem with what he said. There’s a significant part of contemporary U.S. Christianity that emphasizes the blessings of faith with little talk of personal responsibility or divine judgment. I wouldn’t say it’s a majority — many non-LDS Christians believe in doing good as much as we do and lead exemplary lives — but there are various pastors who have drawn big followings by taking such an approach. (Just do a Google search for Joel Osteen sometime if you want to see plenty of Protestants agreeing with what Christofferson’s criticism.) I don’t think he was saying “we’re better than they are because they teach this” — it was more a caution to us, and I found it appropriate.

  271. One more comment on Elder Christofferson’s talk, since it seems to be generating so much discussion: I think he was talking to Latter-day Saints in a cautionary way, the same way that major protestant leaders have been doing with their flocks on the ‘feel good Christianity’ issue. The source for some of his comments seems to have been protestant scholar Kendra Creasy Dean’s 2010 book “Almost Christian: What the Faith of our Teenagers is Telling the American Church (Oxford University Press), which dissects the 2006 national youth religion survey. Dean popularized the terms “moral therapeutic deism” “benign whateverism,” and “do-good feel-good Christianity” among others. Elder C did not say anything in this regard that has not been previously emphasized by leaders of other Christian faith traditions in recent years. People can take offense if they wish, but it seems like one needs to be looking for offense first to do that.

  272. StillConfused says:

    Thanks for the summary. I took a nap instead of watching the last session and your comments totally trump what my spouse observed

  273. #270: that is the source. See the liveblogged notes at the top of this post.

  274. EnglishProfessor says:

    I’m a longtime BCC reader, but I’ve never posted before now. Briefest of bios: I’m a university professor specializing in British literature, hence my screen name.

    I’m posting because something has been on my mind this evening, and since I haven’t seen anyone else mention it, I thought I’d see what others have to say.

    Near the end of his remarks, Elder Holland spoke about the responsibility that general authorities have to raise a voice of warning. Here is an excerpt:

    “Because one way or another, God will have his voice heard: ‘I send you out to testify and warn the people,’ the Lord has said to his prophets. ‘And after your testimony come the testimony of earthquakes and thundering and tempests [. . .] and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds.’ [. . .] Every sermon given is by definition both a testimony of love and a warning, even as nature herself will testify with love and a warning in the last days.”

    My question is this: was Elder Holland implying that the recent tsunami (and, by extension, the entire “voice of nature”) was one of the ways that God is making His (warning) voice heard?

    It was Elder Holland, of course, who gave the March 15 press conference expressing love for the people of Japan. His concern was clearly genuine, and I do not mean to suggest otherwise. But surely he must have known that there is no way he could give a talk that references “the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds” without listeners relating that imagery to the recent tsunami, especially given his recent press conference. Surely he must have known that he could not say those words in conjunction with other words, namely “one way or another, God will have his voice heard,” without people concluding that the recent tsunami was some kind of message from God. Please understand, I’m not trying to put words in Elder Holland’s mouth. I have no way of knowing what he meant. But given the rhetorical choices at the end of his talk, it certainly seems possible that he believes God’s word was in those waves.

    And while I hate to bring it up, I couldn’t help but think of the recent firestorm surrounding Glenn Beck’s (typically) idiotic comments about the tsunami. I don’t want to rehash Beck’s entire quotation because it was offensive to me, but it included these words: “But I’ll tell you this—whether you call it Gaia or whether you call it Jesus, there’s a message being sent.” How different is this kind of rhetoric from “one way or another, God will have his voice heard”?

    There *are* differences, I know (plenty of them), and I’m inclined to give Elder Holland the benefit of the doubt (something I stopped doing with Beck long ago). But are there not also similarities?

  275. Eric Russell says:

    EP, supposing Elder Holland does believe God’s word was in those waves, do you feel that belief is at odds with what he said at the press conference?

  276. For me, many of the problematic statements are eased when I consider what they mean for *me* and not what they mean for *those people over there who obviously need them*.

    the christian thing-Do I get frustrated when God asks me to do something? Am I quick to volunteer? Do I seek to serve others? I wasn’t thinking so much about whether he meant protestants or catholics or those christians over there, so much as remembering a time this December when we were very late for meeting family, it was pelting rain, children were very grumpy and someone asked us to help them jump their car and we said no.

    as per the waves…same thing. I don’t necessarily think waves are the best way to communicate a message…seems as shady as divination, but it does communicate to me…it says life is short, be grateful for what you have, you never know, love while you can-stress if you have time for it.

    I get that both messages MAY communicate some larger message to some body…but when I worry too much about that, I’m just procratinating change. I’m not saying that’s what is happening here…that’s just what I do.

  277. Ron Madson says:

    #273. No Marcionite heresy here. The God of the OT is alive and well in our faith community. Elder Christofferson’s address in the same session was a forewarning of Elder Holland’s message and I quote:
    “The God of the Bible traffics in life and death, not niceness.” —Elder Christofferson.
    Message sent. I hope the Japanese will appreciate God’s voice of “love and warning.”

  278. English Professor:
    I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about Japan. If I remember correctly, just prior to that he mentioned that they know that not everyone is looking at pornography, but they have a divine calling to give warnings to the world. So I think he was trying to explain what the purpose of general conference addresses are, not talk about any specific event. Based on the talks given, it sounds to me that the warnings we got were that we need to do more service and to get married.

  279. Ron Madson says:

    #273 English Professor –I agree with you. I do not see how anyone could not have made the connection that Elder Holland stated that it is God sending messages through natural disasters, including, and in particular, the recent tsunami.

    The God of the OT allegedly sent messages through destruction. He would wipe out whole cities–including innumerable innocents to send a message. What is “peculiar” is how we have chosen to continue to incorporate at times that God into our faith (what Glenn Beck stated is not isolated. I hear it at church implied if not stated explictly). Jesus came saying it has been said and written of old “such and such” but I am here to tell and show you what God is really like–not the warrior/vengeful God you have created in your image. New wine was not to be placed into old bottles.

    For me I defy the god that Beck, Christofferson and/or Holland describes that “traffics in life and death, not niceness” through natural disasters. That God of the OT if he really exists needs to get a clue that he needs to quit killing innocent people because of the sins of others—it is a very poor way to communicate our need to serve more or young men to get married—or whatever message by drowning little children in Japan or anywhere else.

    As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
    They kill us for their sport.—-Gloucester in King Lear

    That God is dead to me. He does not exist and if he does then I do not like him nor respect him and I find it even spiritual abuse and the real taking god’s name in vain to link him to any message we want to send others.

    In fairness for the most part that angry, wrathful God found in the OT throwing fits is not referenced in conference, but too often he pops up here and there as he did in this last conference and in my ward instruction.

  280. Ron: Did Christofferson really state that and, if so, did he mean it the way it reads?

    ““The God of the Bible traffics in life and death, not niceness.” —Elder Christofferson.”

  281. Kristine says:

    That sentence was also part of the quotation from Creasy. (and therefore, written long before the disaster in Japan, as Christofferson’s and Holland’s talks likely were as well)

  282. Stephanie says:

    Wait, Ron Madson, you reject the God of the OT, but you demand the church uses tithes as He outlines in the OT?

  283. Ron Madson says:

    Stephanie, Touche! You got me.

    So here is how I weasel out. I am confessedly a cafeteria Mormon. I chose to embrace myths, lessons, laws, narratives, histories that are consistent with how I see the words of Christ and reject the rest. The OT has many valuable insights/teachings, lessons. It as Girard points out advances from human to animal sacrifice, but then even the prophets in the OT seek to move them out of the animal sacrifice. But then sometimes it regresses into genocide and “my God is meaner/tougher then your God.” It is IMO a work in travail. It is not all true IMO.

    So I pick and choose. At my buffet table I choose, for example, the laws of Moses that requires that a full one-third of all offerings go directly to the poor, widow, direct relief. Others reject that suggestion and choose to believe that God floods the whole earth and kills everyone to send a message or orders his ‘prophets” to kill every man, woman and child in Jericho. That is their choice to ignore most tenets of the law of Moses (which is often higher then what we live now) but keep in place the parts where God commissions us to destroy our enemies and/or God sends messages to us by killing others whether by wholesale natural disasters or killing David’s newborn–slowly and painfully to send David a message.

    Well, you exposed me. I am truly a cafeteria mormon/reader of the OT.

  284. Stephanie says:

    Well, as long as you’re honest about it. I respect integrity. :)

    (I am about halfway through an in-depth study of the OT right now and view many of those stories differently, partiularly the lessons learned from them, but that’s okay. I don’t really want to get into discussing the OT right now. Too much to do.)

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