The Sunday Morning Where Have All the Flowers Gone Open Thread

The weather is gross, but inside the choir is resplendent in lavender and all’s swell. Numerous comments about the British bringing the bad weather, but it hasn’t rained at home in . . . months. So, on to conference, blogged/tweeted by Ronan, Kristine, and Jacob. Hi Becky!

Braving the rain

Peanut Gallery

N.B. Quotes from speakers are not necessarily precise. We’re having to type fast here! Check official transcripts later.

Elder Eyring conducting. Kristine pulled no faces during the opening hymn; must have been OK.

I wish they would put the choir under UV light.

Elder Uchtdorf first up after the MoTab sing a Primary song. Women sing child’s verse.

***

Elder Uchtdorf: “The Merciful Obtain Mercy.” To use an analogy that Germans would understand, DFU prepares to bend a curler around the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net. The goalie watches in amazement, his feet rooted to the spot.

“I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge.”

“Forgiveness for our own sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others.”

“We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous, and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.”

“Sometimes, of all the people in the world the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror.”

Bumper sticker: “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

Ask yourself these questions:

“Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?

Do you gossip—even when what you say may be true?

Do you exclude, push away, or punish others because of something they have done?

Do you secretly envy another?

Do you wish to cause harm to someone?

If you answered yes—Stop it!”

“Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. et us talk peacefully with each other. Let the love of God fill our hearts. Let us do good to all men.”

***

Elder Nelson: “Thanks be to God”

“I thought of some people I know who are just as oblivious to their Creator and their true ‘bread of life’ [as the fish are unaware of where there food comes from]. They live from day to day without an awareness of God and His goodness unto them.”

“A perfect body is not required to achieve one’s divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail or imperfect bodies.”

“Important as is the body, it serves as a tabernacle for one’s eternal spirit. Our spirit’s existed in the premortal realm and will continue to live after the body dies. Spirit and body, when joined together, become a living soul of supernal worth.”

“God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but we are not. Each day, ours is the challenge to access the power of the Atonement, so that we can truly change, become more Christlike, and qualify for the gift of exaltation and live eternally with God, Jesus Christ, and our families.

For these powers, privileges, and gospel gifts, thanks be to God!”

***

Elder Rasband: Special Lessons

“To all of you who have challenges, concerns, disappointments, and heartaches with a dear one, know this: with infinite love and everlasting compassion, God our Heavenly Father loves your afflicted one and He loves you!”

Quoting James Faust: “I have great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a chlld who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues eery day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child. Not infrequently, parents are required to give superhuman nurturing care that never ceases, day or night. Many a mother’s arms and heart have ached years on end, giving comfort and relieving the suffering of her special child.”

“[Contemplating the monetary cost of caring for fragile newborns in the NICU], I wept as pondered the limitless love our Heavenly Father and HIs Beloved Son, Jesus  Christ, have for each one of us, while learning in a powerful way, what the worth of a soul is both physically and spiritually to God.”

“‘Let me know if I can help,’ is really no help at all.”

***

The CC is really a spectacular building but I wish there was some natural light in here.

***

Julie B. Beck: Visions of Prophets regarding Relief Society: Faith, Family, Relief

Just as the Lord’s prophets have continually taught elders and high priests their purposes and duties, they have shared their vision for the sisters of Relief Society.

Faith, family, and relief–these three simple words have come to express the vision of prophets for sisters in the Church.

Understanding about how we can increase faith, strengthen families and homes, and provide relief comes as we seek, receive and act on revelation.

Since the days of Joseph Smith, who the Lord used to restore His Church, prophets have spoken of the essential need for sisters to be full participants in the Lord’s work. They have shared their vision of strong, faithful, purposeful women who understand their eternal value and purpose.

Joseph F. Smith: The Relief Society is “divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God, and has “been given power and authority to do a great many things.”

Relief Society is not a program. It is an official part of the Lord’s Church that is “divinely ordained of God” to teach, strengthen, and inspire sisters in their purpose regarding faith, family, and relief.

The influence of Relief Society has always extended far beyond a Sunday class or social gathering. Relief Society is meant to be a way of life for Latter-day Sain women, following the pattern of female disciples who served with the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles in His ancient Church.

When Joseph Smith told sisters that the organization of Relief Society would prepare them for the “privileges, blessings and gifts of the priesthood,” the Lord’s work of salvation was opened to them.”

Quoting John A. Widtsoe: “Relief of poverty, relief of illness, relief of doubt, relief of doubt, relief of ignorance–relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of woman. What a magnificent commission!”

Spencer W. Kimball: “There are many sisters who are living in rags–spiritual rags. They are entitled to gorgeus robes, spiritual robes. It is your privilege to go into homes and exchange robes for rags.”

President Joseph F. Smith expected the sisters “to lead the world and especially the women of the world in everything that is praiseworthy, everything that is God-like everything that is uplifting, and that is purifying to the children of men.”

The sociality, friendship, and unity we desire are not the purposes of our association; rather, they are the sweet results of serving together with the Lord in his work.

President Kimball: There is power in this organization that has not yet been fully exercised to strengthen the homes of Zion and build the Kingdom of God–nor will it until both the sisters and the priesthood catch the vision of Relief Society.”

***

Elder Christofferson: The Doctrine of Christ

[German for exegesis: “Bibelerklärung {f}, Exegese {f}.]

[From Ancient Greek ἐξήγησις (eksēgēsis, “interpretation”), from ἐξηγέομαι (eksēgeomai, “I explain, interpret”), from ἐξ (eks, “out”) +ἡγέομαι (hēgeomai, “I lead, guide”).]

***

We must admit there has been and still persists some confusion about our doctrine and how it is established.

The Savior’s apostles two thousand years ago struggled mightily to preserve His doctrine against a barrage of false tradition and philosophy. The centuries that followed were illuminated by occasional rays of gospel light until in the nineteenth century a brilliant dawn of Restoration broke upon the world and the gospel of Christ, full and complete, was once again on the earth.

In these revelations we find what might be termed the core doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ re-established upon the earth. In the Book of Mormon: “This is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.  And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.

This is our message, the rock upon which we build, the foundation of everything else in the Church. Like all that comes from God this doctrine is pure; it is clear; it is easy to understand. With glad hearts, we invite all to receive it.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” …We value scholarship that enhances understanding, but in the Church today, just as anciently, establishing the doctrine of Christ or correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of divine revelation to those the Lord endows with apostolic authority.

How does the Savior reveal His will and doctrine to prophets, seers, and revelators? He may speak by His own voice or by the voice of the Holy Spirit–a communication of Spirit to spirit that may be expressed in words, or in feelings that convey understanding beyond words. He may direct Himself to His servants individually or acting in council.

Two illustrations from the New Testament. Acts 10 “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”

The meaning of this dream became clear soon afterward… Cornelius had gathered a sizeable group of relatives and friends, and finding them expectantly waiting to receive his message, Peter said “God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Of a truth I perceive that God is not respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him.”

By  this experience and revelation to Peter, the lord modified the practice of the Church and revealed a more complete doctrinal understanding to His disciples. And so the preaching of the gospel expanded to encompass all humankind.

Later in the Book of Acts, we find another somewhat related illustraition, this time showing how revelation on matters of doctrine may come in a council setting. A controversy arose about whether circumcision required under the Law of Moses should carry over as a commandment in the gospel and church of Christ. …We are told that after “much disputing,” Peter, the senior apostle, rose up and declared what the HOly Spirit had confirmed to him: God “put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. …We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15)

Thereafter Paul, Barnabas, and perhaps others spoke in support of Peter’s declaration, James moved that the decision be implemented by letter to the Church, and the council was united “with one accord.”

“These same patterns are followed today in the restored Church of Jesus Christ. The president of the Church may announce or interpret doctrines based on revelation to him. Doctrinal exposition may also come through the combined council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Council deliberations will often include a weighing of canonized scriptures, the teachings of Church leaders, and past practice. But in the end, just as in the New Testament church, the objective is not simply consensus among council members, but revelation from God. It is a process involving both reason and faith for obtaining the mind and will of the Lord.

It should be remembered that not every statement made by a church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. The prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a prophet [is] a prophet only when is [is] acting as such.”

Quoting President Clark: “The Church will know by the testimony of the Holy Ghost in the body of the members whether the Brethren in voicing their views are moved upon by the holy Ghost, and in due time that knowledge will be made manifest.”

I appeal to all who hear or read this message to seek through prayer and study of the scriptures that same witness of the diving character, the Atonement, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Accept His doctrine by repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then throughout your life following the laws and covenants of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

President Monson: The Race of Life

“In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life? Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks or by checking the internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.”

The Apostle Paul told the Athenians on Mars Hill that we are “the offspring of God.”

How grateful we should be that a wise Creator fashioned an earth and placed us here, with a veil of forgetfulness of our previous existence, so that we might experience a time of testing, an opportunity to prove ourselves in order to qualify for all that God has prepared for us to receive.

Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason and to achieve.

Our Heavenly Father rejoices for those who keep His commandments. He is concerned also for the lost child, the tardy teenager, the wayward youth, the delinquent parent. Tenderly the Master speaks to these, and indeed to all: “Come back. Come up. Come in. Come home. Come unto me.”

Comments

  1. French Toast Casserole, Sausage, APple Juice and CHocolate Milk for Breakfast. I sure hope that whomever offers the opening prayer will give the blessing on the food as well.

  2. Brian F. says:

    Ready and waiting,

  3. Same here, in the North of Germany. Cloudy and rainy.

  4. Not feeling Eyring’s tie. Too blah for me.

  5. Jacob M says:

    I’m here for today’s sessions. Yesterday I was not elect enough, as my girlfriend wanted to visit Big Bear.

  6. Also cloudy and drippy but warm(er than normal—it’s a relative thing) here in Anchorage, Alaska.

  7. I wish they would put the choir under UV light.

  8. Checking in again from Kyrgyzstan, at least for a few minutes. I like pretending that we’re still connected with the church for a bit by staying up too late to listen to Conference live.

  9. annegb5298 says:

    I love lavender.

  10. It’s an overcast 34 degrees here in ALaska, which means even more of the record snowfall we received this winter should melt today!!

  11. Ebenezer Robinson says:

    Probably a new heat record again today at the Center of Zion.

  12. Brian F. says:

    The choir is sounding good this morning, more upbeat than it looks outside

  13. You know, purple’s my favorite color, but my eyes are totally not finding the choir’s robes happy. That said, “Praise to the Lord” is one of my three favorite songs in the hymnal, and as much as i’m not a fan of MoTab’s style, they can consistently knock this one out of the park, so i’m happy with that.

  14. I have a soft spot for this song. We used to sing it often as a family when I was very young, probably 5 or 6 yrs old.

  15. StillConfused says:

    When I turned on the TV, it was on Joel Olsteen’s church…but spouse made me change

  16. Elder Uchtdorf first up after the MoTab sing a Primary song. Women sing child’s verse.

  17. I loved the great seamless uptempo take on Praise to the Lord–great!

    My kids now singing along to Teach Me to Walk in the Light.

  18. Teach me to walk in the UV light?

  19. Coffee, pancakes, orange juice. I’m walking in the light.

  20. StillConfused says:

    One word — metronome!!!

  21. Cinnamon rolls in the oven!

  22. Sourdough and Apple Struedel French Toast (two kinds!), fruit salad, and a juice buffet. For some reason something is broken and no one has put conference on yet. :/

  23. We are building arks here in Washington state. Hasn’t stopped pouring in weeks. Aaron B assures me he will steady any ark I build.

  24. LOATHING — What part of Anchorage? I’m in Soldotna.

  25. I was in charge of breakfast this morning, toast, bacon, and scrambled eggs mixed with sugar and cinnamon. And orange juice. Despite grumbling about the toast, everyone seems happy enough.

  26. marymelodi says:

    Notice how all the choir women have the exact same necklace.

  27. Elder Uchtdorf: “The Merciful Obtain Mercy.” To use an analogy that Germans would understand, DFU prepares to bend a curler around the wall and into the top left hand corner of the net. The goalie watches in amazement, his feet rooted to the spot.

  28. Joe in Alaska: Somewhere in the hazy area between Midtown and Abbott Loop.

  29. Brian F. says:

    Just started snowing at my house in Salt Lake, Happy April Fools from nature

  30. John Taber says:

    Cool and overcast here.

  31. Can either of you Alaskans see Russia out the window?

  32. John Taber says:

    Snow in Utah in April? That’s the norm.

  33. Uchtdorf is pulling some serious punches with his tie selections this weekend. Another win, with a light blue background and alternating dark blue and white diagonal stripes.

  34. @15 Joel Olsteen is my favorite started-watching-ironically-but-now-I’m-totally-into-this speaker.

  35. Family disharmony, this address might be brought to bear on the shunning thing?

  36. “I imagine that every person on earth has been affected in some way by the destructive spirit of contention, resentment, and revenge.”

  37. I grew up in Anchorage, about a mile from Service High School. Lived in the old 8th ward when I was first married not far from Abbott Loop Elementary School.

  38. StillConfused says:

    Now how is he going to work an airplane analogy into this talk???

  39. “Forgiveness for our own sins comes with conditions. We must repent, and we must be willing to forgive others.”

  40. -Assigning motives in order to justify ourselves.

  41. StillConfused says:

    How many kids are wondering if it is their own mom who wrote this letter

  42. “These words seem perfectly reasonable when applied to someone else.” hah.

  43. “Of course, these words seem perfectly reasonable when applied to someone else.” Intense love for that, and there was a rumble (nervous giggling?) from the audience, i think.

  44. “We can so clearly and easily see the harmful results that come when others judge and hold grudges. But when it comes to our own prejudices and grievances, we too often justify our anger as righteous, and our judgment as reliable and only appropriate. We make exceptions when it comes to our own bitterness because we feel that we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.”

  45. I think it’s great when GAs take requests for conference talks.

    I hope he got my letter and that he’s going to sing Freebird next,

  46. Counsel against attempting mind reading of your opponent in an Internet debate.

  47. Make exceptions for our own bitterness….

    None is without sin…

    Refusing to forgive is a sin…

  48. I Just looked out my window and I do not see Russia. ALl I See is 3 spruce trees and my Brother In Law’s Motorhome in my driveway which is still half full of about 3 inches of ice.

  49. StillConfused says:

    Forgiving ourselves — yayyy great point

  50. “Sometimes, of all the people in the world the one who is the hardest to forgive—as well as perhaps the one who is most in need of forgiveness—is the person looking back at us in the mirror.”

  51. Turn it off!

  52. John Taber says:

    Please apply the following: “Stop it!”

  53. “hating, gossip, ridicule, grudges, harm…”

    Please apply the following: Stop it.

  54. annegb5298 says:

    I love to hear that I should be easier on myself.

  55. Jacob M says:

    Stop it!

  56. EmmaNadine says:

    Stop it. Greatest two word sermon ever.

  57. #50 RJH, a great excerpt too.

  58. STOP IT!

    Which flashes my mind to the Veggie Tales version of the story of Jonah, for those of you familiar with it.

  59. Bumper sticker: “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

  60. That’s some bumper sticker theology I can appreciate!

  61. Quoting a bumper sticker: “Don’t judge me because i sin differently than you.” He’s right, there’s a pretty serious lesson there.

  62. My mission president in Japan told us the same thing as that bumper sticker:

    “We should not choose to judge those who are sinning differently than we do.”

  63. Wow. Quote for the ages: “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” Tracy M., start cross-stitching!

  64. EmmaNadine says:

    Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you. Greatest nine word sermon ever.

  65. “Don’t judge me because my sins are different that yours.” – Haven’t see it. Love it.

  66. StillConfused says:

    Bumper sticker: “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.” Now that is my facebook status

  67. This one’s edging past Elder Holland’s address as my favorite of the conference so far.

  68. The bumper sticker is useful for how we view OTHER people. However, I’m dubious about it’s value in SELF-evaluation.

  69. Powerful sermon.

  70. StillConfused says:

    This guy is a great speaker.

  71. Jacob M says:

    Seth R – Good point!

  72. Also here in ALaska, I just saw a moose walking down the street outside my window.

  73. 38: “Many times I have had difficulty forgiving air traffic controllers who allowed other planes to land before mine, even though I had clearly arrived at the airport much earlier than the other planes who had been allowed to jump the line.”

  74. You know, it occurs to me that a lot of this is a recurring theme with Pres. Uchtdorf. I like to think that his background (how many GAs of the past century were refugees?) feeds into this a bit.

  75. Ask yourself these questions:

    “Do you harbor a grudge against someone else?

    Do you gossip—even when what you say may be true?

    Do you exclude, push away, or punish others because of something they have done?

    Do you secretly envy another?

    Do you wish to cause harm to someone?

    If you answered yes—Stop it!”

  76. Do you gossip, even when what you say may be true? Much irony in that statement.

  77. Brian F. says:

    Wow, Pres. Uchtdorf. That is really all I can say. this is a wonderful talk.

  78. A self-test: Do you harbor grudges? Do you gossip (even the truth)? Do you exclude others because of something they’ve done? Do you secretly envy others? Do you wish to harm others? If you answered yes to any of these: Stop it.

  79. “Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. et us talk peacefully with each other. Let the love of God fill our hearts. Let us do good to all men.”

  80. Kristine says:

    “Let us put down our stones” ftw.

  81. I can’t see Russia, but Anchorage is ringed by mountains. Of course, so is Wasilla, so…

  82. the matthew 7:2 principle, woot!

  83. StillConfused says:

    #73 … Hahaha. I was an air traffic controller before becoming an attorney.

  84. “put down our stones”

  85. Vengeance belongs to God, not us mortals.

  86. Jacob M says:

    StillConfused – doesn’t that make you like, double evil or something?

  87. Heaven is filled with those who are forgiven—and who forgive.

  88. Epic sermon.

  89. amen.

  90. Hugh Nibley once said:

    “There are two things the angels envy us for – our ability to forgive, and our ability to repent. Because they can do neither. So let’s start repenting – starting now.”

  91. 81: seeing Russia with your spiritual eyes will have to suffice.

  92. The appointment of DFU to the first presidency shows me that the Lord still guides the church.

  93. Elder Nelson: “Thanks be to God”

  94. Carolee says:

    Watching here on Sunday afternoon in Lagos, Nigeria. We had regular Fast Sunday services this morning. We also sang “Praise to the Lord” for our opening hymn today. We didn’t exactly sound like the Tabernacle choir in our branch, but it still sounded pretty good.

  95. So do the GAs draw straws or something to figure out who has to follow Pres. Uchtdorf?

  96. StillConfused says:

    “Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. et us talk peacefully with each other. Let the love of God fill our hearts. Let us do good to all men.” Wow. Great stuff. Sounds very Christian. He should be a guest with Joel Olsteen or Joyce Meyer (my personal favorite pastor)

  97. Ingrateful fish!

  98. The sermon I really needed I didn’t know I needed that I really needed. Thank you Elder Uchtdorf.

  99. “I thought of some people I know who are just as oblivious to their Creator and their true ‘bread of life’ [as the fish are unaware of where there food comes from]. They live from day to day without an awareness of God and His goodness unto them.”

  100. Speaking of Russia, a lot of Russian members are fond of Elder Nelson based on a visit he made a while back.

    A somewhat ecological sermon?

  101. John Taber says:

    Aaugh! The audio still cuts out occasionally.

  102. AnnieinKC says:

    DFU talk–out of the Park!!

  103. StillConfused says:

    #86 — oh I have levels of evil that you don’t even begin to know (also an accountant, a Southerner, and …. a woman!!)

  104. Is this an exegesis of the Proclamation on the Family?

  105. “Supernal” sighting #2! (Nelson always does one.)

  106. drbrewhaha says:

    Starting now to create a new “Stop It!” desktop sign to sit next to my “Do It!” desktop sign.

  107. BTW, the Word of the Session, which grants access to the Candy Bowl sitting in the middle of the living room, is PRAYER. No payoffs thus far.

  108. Jacob M says:

    drbewhaha – doesn’t that seem like contradictory messages? Just sayin’!

    103 – Ha! :)

  109. Based on my assumption that President Uchtdorf will not be speaking again, I think this may be his first conference without an airplane analogy.

  110. What does he think he is, a doctor or something?

  111. Larry the cable-guy says:

    1975: Do it

    2012: Stop it

    Continuing revelation indeed.

  112. “Stop it!” will be the follow up song to “Turn it off”, in the soon-to-be-written sequel to Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon”. Rumor has it that the title of the sequel will be “Book of Mormon: The Sealed Portion”.

  113. eyes, heart, heart valves, immune system, pain response, skin, self-heaing, sacred gift of sex, much to be thankful for. Ok, ok, he didn’t exactly say the sacred gift of sex.

  114. phbrown says:

    Joe in Alaska – do you knowJulie and Jesee Kincaid?

  115. “A perfect body is not required to achieve one’s divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail or imperfect bodies.”

    Also, cosmetic surgery . . .

  116. Big Bang BOO!

  117. Brian F. says:

    Uh, did he just say the Big Bang didn’t happen?

  118. Argument from design, following a classical argument from design a la William Paley. Takes a little swipe at big bang cosmology, which I think is unfortunate. Reinforces anti-scientific attitudes.

  119. EmmaNadine says:

    The Big Bang does not contradict doctrine. I hate it when we come across so anti-science, especially from a doctor.

  120. Aaaaugh! If you don’t understand the Big Bang Theory, please don’t mock it, ‘kay? As a (social) scientist, such rhetorical turns really annoy me. (Not to mention that it’s possible to believe in the big bang and even—gasp and horror!—evolution and still believe that God’s in charge.

  121. With his science/medical background, why does Elder Nelson take the evangelical approach to science? He’s done this on other occasions.

  122. “Important as is the body, it serves as a tabernacle for one’s eternal spirit. Our spirit’s existed in the premortal realm and will continue to live after the body dies. Spirit and body, when joined together, become a living soul of supernal worth.”

  123. PHB–QUite well actually. I used to work for Julie’s brother when I lived in Anchorage. Julie and Jessie are in our ward.

  124. 119, 120, 121, Amen to that. Not sure why he occasionally takes swipes at good science, and misrepresents it.

  125. Big Bang =/= explosion in a printing shop.

  126. Is Nelson saying that spirits are created?

    Isn’t that contrary to what Joseph Smith taught?

  127. And now as he continues, he really didn’t need the anti-science turn. Why, oh why do people do stuff like that?

  128. Brian F. says:

    Boo on anti-science. The Big Bang, and science in general, reinforce my faith. After all, we see God moving in His majesty and power by looking into the heavens

  129. #126: Actually didn’t he say that it’s intelligences that aren’t created? I think there’s a difference.

  130. “The attributes by which we will one day be judged are all spiritual. These include love, virtue, integrity, compassion, and service to others. Spiritual progress is attained through the steps of faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”

  131. Ha, I love the printing shop explosion metaphor! However, if it turns out that Heavenly Father used an explosion, I’m not going to argue with him.

  132. The Big Bang is false doctrine: there’s no air in space, so the Big Bang wouldn’t have made a sound. There can’t be a “bang” in a vacuum. Star Wars space battles notwithstanding.

  133. John Taber says:

    I’ve been distracted by this weird image on his tie – must be a reflection, or some inadvertent digital imaging effect.

  134. Jacob M says:

    Big Bang theory fits better with a creation of the universe as opposed to a universe that eternally fluctuates between collapsing and expanding.

  135. “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, but we are not. Each day, ours is the challenge to access the power of the Atonement, so that we can truly change, become more Christlike, and qualify for the gift of exaltation and live eternally with God, Jesus Christ, and our families.

    For these powers, privileges, and gospel gifts, thanks be to God!”

  136. What’s sad 125 is the audience reaction to the “inspired words” of an apostle. They love it.

  137. drbrewhaha says:

    From now on, the words of the session that give a free M&M is “Close Quote”

  138. Some theologians have advocated for the “Big Bang,” a rather inelegant descriptor, to be replaced by something like “Flaring Forth.”

  139. #132 – Plus, there probably wasn’t even a universe to have a vacuum at the point of the Big Bang, right?

  140. StillConfused says:

    As long as he is only dissing Big Bang and not Big Bank Theory because that show rocks my socks

  141. #129

    The distinction of “intelligences” I think is something different. And it came after Joseph Smith I believe.

    Joseph Smith never drew a hard line of distinction between “intelligence” and “spirit” I think.

  142. Brian F. says:

    @mark 132, google baryonic oscillations, the big bang did make sound. The sound waves are seen in the formation of galaxy clusters, etc.

  143. Elder Rasband: Special Lessons

  144. 134: What about a universe that’s just “one eternal round”?

  145. Holding personal reservations about cosmology as a layman is perhaps understandable. Imposing those reservations on others from a standpoint of ignorance is unnecessary. This is where we part company, and it makes me sad.

  146. Elder Neslon was bordering on a Manichean perspective there after praising the body, by praising the spirit as something ultimately better or different from matter. An unnecessary dualism. But this is not a necessary (and I would argue, a very good) reading of LDS possibilities regarding nature, matter, spirit, bodies, etc.

  147. AnnieinKC says:

    Elder Nelson’s repetition of the phrase: “Praise be to God” reminds me of some Protestant worship services where they use a scripture followed by the congregation saying in unison: Praise be to God.

  148. Mike C. says:

    Why does President Uchdorf have a wedding band on his right hand?

  149. Imasurfer says:

    Over/under on picking up our stones after DUF talk, for use on Elder Nelson and his BB opinions….under 10 minutes.

  150. “To all of you who have challenges, concerns, disappointments, and heartaches with a dear one, know this: with infinite love and everlasting compassion, God our Heavenly Father loves your afflicted one and He loves you!”

  151. 139: That would be a reference to the Pre-Vacuum Experience.

  152. NOT happy about that little anti-science tirade

  153. Sweet spirits again.

  154. #137–haha! I don’t know what I want them to say instead, but the “close quote” thing always seems really clunky to me.

  155. #141: If i recall correctly, intelligences are referenced in the King Follett funeral sermon, and also in the Book of Abraham.

  156. 145- agreed, Jeff. We’re falling behind on ecotheology despite Mormonism’s great potential, and talks like that won’t help.

  157. John Taber says:

    Mike #148: That’s a typical European custom.

  158. Watching on my laptop in sunny warm south-central Colorado. The fruit trees are blossoming and life is good. I like the talks so far, realistic themes that are practical for my family. Don’t like JRH bit about Mormon history – too simplistic. Just waiting for an anti-gay talk – maybe none this conference?

  159. 148: Why does President Uchdorf have a wedding band on his right hand?

    That’s the hand Europeans generally wear their bands on. In Russia my wife and I switched ours over.

  160. Second speaker in a row who mentioned “sweet spirits” in fragile bodies.

  161. Oh, putting “fingers” on the baby’s head instead of “hands.” As the mom of twins who had a rough start, that is a heart-wrenching image.

  162. Quoting James Faust: “I have great appreciation for those loving parents who stoically bear and overcome their anguish and heartbreak for a chlld who was born with or who has developed a serious mental or physical infirmity. This anguish often continues eery day, without relief, during the lifetime of the parent or the child. Not infrequently, parents are required to give superhuman nurturing care that never ceases, day or night. Many a mother’s arms and heart have ached years on end, giving comfort and relieving the suffering of her special child.”

  163. phbrown says:

    147
    I think thats “thanks be to God.”

  164. Peter LLC says:

    Why does President Uchdorf have a wedding band on his right hand?

    That’s how they roll on the continent.

  165. Jacob M says:

    153 – and he said almost the exact same words about sweet spirits as someone did yesterday, didn’t he?

  166. #148: ‘Cause he’s German, and wedding ring traditions are different there.

    #149: Correcting false doctrine!=refusing to forgive someone for preaching false doctrine.

  167. John Taber says:

    Not only the child with needs, but also his/her siblings as needed (albeit mostly by phone)

  168. I’m wondering when intersex people might be identified among the “sweet spirits”… whose bodies might prevent them from fulfilling the divine designs often attributed to genders. (Trust me when I say that that’s not sarcastic or negative in tone.)

  169. also – LOVE the new slogan “Stop It!” along with “Do It!” The gospel is full of contradiction! AND does anyone have bio’s on the new RS Pres? Can’t find any….

  170. How much better would it be if we had socialized medicine! :)

  171. “[Contemplating the monetary cost of caring for fragile newborns in the NICU], I wept as pondered the limitless love our Heavenly Father and HIs Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, have for each one of us, while learning in a powerful way, what the worth of a soul is both physically and spiritually to God.”

  172. StillConfused says:

    So now what was wrong with the little baby? Life expectancy?

  173. 172 – Chromosomal deletion.

  174. Haha “Let me know if I can help!” not being helpful is a REALLY good point for home/visiting teachers. Don’t toss out an empty (or even sincere) offer on your way out the door. Look around. See something that needs doing. Do it. (And I’m lecturing myself here too.)

  175. By speaking of PRAYERS and PRAYING for Paxton, Elder Rasband is the first to grant access to the candy bowl today.

  176. So, we love what the GAs say at general conference, except when they say something we don’t like? Way to have it both ways.

  177. Peter LLC says:

    How much better would it be if we had socialized medicine! :)

    Easy, we wouldn’t want to deny anyone the blessings that come from medical bankruptcy!

  178. #168: I’ve wondered and asked about intersex folks since my teens, and have never, ever, ever gotten a straight answer from anyone (including a couple people who i’d’ve thought would *really* be in a position to know).

  179. Actually, if I saw a person drowning, I WOULD ask if they need help first. Then I would analyze the situation – see if I could throw a line or reach out to them with something.

    “Jumping in” is probably the last course of action I would take.

    And even then, I would approach the drowning person cautiously. Drowning victims can be incredibly strong and panicked. They can and will grab you and drown you along with them. Better to keep your distance and wait till they tire themselves out – then grab them.

  180. John Taber says:

    That reminds me of a Calvin Grondahl cartoon where an old woman has about a dozen pots and pans out trying to collect water from a leaking roof, and the home teachers are saying “If there’s anything we can do for you, just let us know.”

  181. 177: So, we love what the GAs say at general conference, except when they say something we don’t like? Way to have it both ways.

    Is there any other way? (Aside from wholesale uncritical acceptance, or uncritical wholesale rejection)?

  182. yay! Sister Beck!

  183. Although it’s not always easy, I’ve learned to accept that my affinity for science and reason puts me in a minority among the Saints. Such dismissive and derisive attitudes toward science unnecessarily pushes smart people away from religion. It makes me feel disappointed. It also makes it more difficult for me to share the principles of the gospel with my peers. I have to try hard to ignore it and listen to the important principles being taught.

  184. StillConfused says:

    Straight up… does sister beck talk normal or does she do the primary voice

  185. 174–That would mean at the conclusion of my HT Visits, I should spend an extra half hour shoveling the snow out of their driveways, right?

  186. Jacob M says:

    Rejoice!

  187. I find it important that the Church does not put forward a position on evolution, meaning that comments on that topic are personal opinion. It’s still taught and researched at Church universities – I don’t think you’d get a creation science professor teaching astrophysics or paleobiology at BYU.

  188. StillConfused says:

    Normal voice… praise be

  189. Brian F. says:

    Elder Rasband’s talk was pretty good, I have lots of family members with various congenital birth defects, and constant health issues.

  190. Elouise says:

    Experimentally, I clicked the TV channels from top to bottom this morning; listened a moment or two to each of the preachers. Then watched and listened to Elder Uchtfdorf.

    With total respect: he’s a traffic-stopping bumper sticker all by himself.

  191. #183: Hear, hear.

  192. loathingthewordpress, see here regarding intelligences and spirits.

  193. Hang in there, Shawn. Let that science light shine when you can, be an influence for good.

  194. StillConfused says:

    Uh oh… eternal purpose. In my case, is that accountant, air traffic controller or attorney?

  195. Kristine says:

    Ronan will be right back–wifi troubles.

  196. It sounds like she may be picking right up with the Suffrage NOW! tone at the end of her last GC address two years ago. I’m gonna miss her.

  197. SHERRY — 169 — There was a link in yesterday afternoon’s thread to a news story showing bios on all the newly called individuals sustained yesterday.

  198. “let the sisters organize Relief Societies”

  199. How would this address have been different back when relief society membership was voluntary, rather than a function of sex and age?

  200. “Relief Society is not a program”

  201. The way she talks about Relief Society always seems more aspirational than descriptive to me. “It’s not a Sunday class or an activity.” Hm…we’re not there (yet).

  202. “Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society” x2

  203. Preparation for relief society membership should begin long before a girl gets near the age of advancing into it. I’ve heard (anecdotally) lots of people say that there are difficulties for lots and lots of women as they move from the young women program into relief society—is this a reaction to that?

  204. Cynthia L. says:

    [deleted comment]

  205. JS sermons to the RS in the Spring of 1842, FTW.

  206. Cynthia L. says:

    [deleted comment]

  207. Jared T. says:

    I notice that Julie Beck’s talk in Spanish is being read by a fluent Spanish speaker. My wife says she can understand it this year. Bravo.

  208. I’m waiting for her to quote a woman about Relief Society :)

  209. StillConfused says:

    Sisters lead the world … just not the church

  210. EmmaNadine says:

    204 and 206: Stop it! [admin--those comments have been deleted]

  211. Agreed, Cynthia. I understand the aspirational purpose of Relief Society, but frankly, the way it plays out in my ward it is nothing but a Sunday cattle call (hundreds crowded into a single room) and some tacky parties and a weekly quilt-tying activity (done in such a dark room that women with bad eyesight cannot participate). The VT program here is a bad joke.

  212. Cynthia L., I think you are right. And I think that it applies to more than the RS.

  213. I’m trying to figure out what that pin on her lapel is—is it a turtle? Can anyone with a bigger screen than mine figure it out?

  214. #198–Interesting, J. That reminds me of mmiles’ outstanding post about organizing Relief Societies in remote places where there isn’t yet enough priesthood for other kinds of church units.

  215. drbrewhaha says:

    #210 Touchee

  216. The women of the church need to be seen as distinct from the rest of the world “in happy ways”. What exactly would those “happy ways” be—and that’s a serious question, ’cause i can’t figure out what that means.

  217. Ooh, it will only fulfill its purpose when the Priesthood and the Relief Society grasp the purpose of RS … Did I hear that right?

  218. Of course, the original vision of the RS was as an independent organization, not under the direct control of the male Priesthood.

    Under the “original” vision, Beck wouldn’t be getting released.

  219. Imasurfer says:

    183..Martyr post of the Conference.
    You doin ga great survice…wee don’t need none of them there smart peepul round here

  220. The CC is really a spectacular building but I wish there was some natural light in here.

  221. @208- that’s fine, but her thesis statement was what Prophets have shared about their vision for Relief Society.
    Cynthia- I agree. I was just released from RS and had so many great ideas that I felt were shot down because “it’s just the way we do it” Tradition! BAH!

  222. drbrewhaha says:

    #213 It’s a Mocking Jay. Very topical.

  223. Welcoming scrutiny of Church doctrines… Establishment of doctrine! Listening closely now.

  224. StillConfused says:

    I love older men with a full head of hair.

  225. #219: There’s a fine line between snark and pointless sniping, you know—and you seem to have missed.

  226. (Also, no women quoted talking about RS in the last talk. :( )

  227. AnnieinKC says:

    Sister Beck has indeed a great job as General RS President. This was a superb address that could have been strengthened (in my view) by drawing on the words of past RS Presidents and other women. The fact that she selected only men to quote as evidence of her thesis of the importance of RS, tells us that in her view, women in the church has a ways to go in establishing their credibility.

  228. #203- I’m sure it is. I’ve heard her speak several times in the last year and that transition is something that seems to have been on her mind quite a bit.

  229. 224: They are the elect.

  230. #208, 226: Interesting point. Sad.

    #217: I thought I heard that too. Veerrrry interesting.

  231. “translate that” to the translation booth. Ha!!

  232. StillConfused says:

    This guy has already said “damned” and “gates of Hell” wow

  233. drbrewhaha says:

    Translate that! Ha!

  234. Um, some of us know absolutely and precisely what Biblical exegesis and hermeneutics means, and didn’t find the line as funny as a CC audience apparently did.

  235. What Nelson does to big bang cosmology Elder Christofferson does for biblical scholarship.

  236. He says exegesis and hermeneutics like they are a bad thing.

    Why?

  237. The Church Architecture Committee are lovers of darkness rather than lovers of light.

  238. Regarding President Beck, I imagine that her quotation of Church Presidents was a conscious choice as most members view them to be the Aces in doctrinal poker.

  239. “Much that we do not yet know.”

    Hermeneutics and exegesis shout-outs FTW!

    Correcting doctrinal deviations is a matter of revelation, though.

  240. We welcome academic-type research on religious things…but (essentially) get to ignore it. Is that actually what he just said?

  241. American Eagle says:

    What motivated Elder Christofferson to talk about this subject?

  242. Is this really a talk advocating being simple-minded about the Bible?

  243. annegb5298 says:

    I like this guy.

  244. @234, I think he was talking to the translators there, not the general audience.

  245. That is the one difficulty about biblical (and other) scholorship. They often have their own language which makes it difficult for the layperson to understand the point, or even have the patience to read the work in the first place. All of which is to say that there are reasons why it’s easy to be anti-intillectual or anti-science.

  246. StillConfused says:

    The guy has fabulous skin. I have had more wrinkles than he since I was 12

  247. What motivated Elder Christofferson to talk about this subject?

    He said recent media and other interests in the teachigns of the church.

  248. Michael H.

    They get a shout-out all right.

    They get a shout out as irrelevant intellectualizing of a Bible message that ought to be simple. It was a joke, but a joke that reinforces LDS anti-intellectual prejudices. He seems to be saying “ha – look at all those silly intellectuals trying to actually study the Bible. We all know you don’t need none of this here book-learnin”

  249. I don’t think what he said was *quite* as bad as dismissing exegesis and hermeneutics, and certainly not like Elder Nelson with the Big Bang… just saying that that’s generally not the method by which revelation and doctrinal change are accomplished. And indeed, in the modern Church is this is, at least, descriptive. Normative is another question.

  250. Peter: have some lobster!

  251. German for exegesis: “Bibelerklärung {f}, Exegese {f}.”

  252. annegb5298 says:

    When Brother Nelson said that about telling people to call if there’s anything one can do, it got kind of quiet here. Because I’ve said that a million times.

  253. Seems like we always forget that the resurrected Lord told the Twelve to go teach and baptize everyone throughout the world, and that Peter didn’t quite get it.

  254. -Revelation to a leader.

    -Revelation occurring in a council setting.

  255. StillConfused says:

    A talk on circumcision. Nice

  256. Note that Peter didn’t say “Here’s what the revelation is”, but rather, “Here’s what the revelation said, and here’s why”. There’s a difference, and i wish he’d mentioned that.

  257. From Ancient Greek ἐξήγησις (eksēgēsis, “interpretation”), from ἐξηγέομαι (eksēgeomai, “I explain, interpret”), from ἐξ (eks, “out”) + ἡγέομαι (hēgeomai, “I lead, guide”).

  258. Yes J.Stap. The revelation had to occur to correct something the apostles were seemingly doing wrong.

  259. American Eagle says:

    Elder Christofferson must not speak a European foreign language, or he would know that the longer and more complicated the word, the more likely it’s spelling the same in every language, just pronounced with a different accent.

  260. Vielen dank, Herr Kopf!

  261. Wifi troubles. We’ll have transcripts soon…

  262. #257 (my own post): Never mind, he did deal with it—it just came a couple minutes later.

  263. @255–better to talk about it than to do it.

  264. Joe, forget it or be forgotten.

  265. Adam/God shoutout!

  266. American Eagle says:

    Wasn’t the Quorum of the Twelve heavily influenced by lay scholarship when they received the revelation to give blacks the priesthood?

  267. A bit on when prophets aren’t actually delivering prophecy. He didn’t give a clear line on how to tell when that happens, but it’s nice to have a nod to the fact that it happens.

  268. Great, so how are we supposed to figure out whether “the prophet” is talking or “the man?”

  269. [paraphrase] “Members know by the spirit if prophets are telling the truth: so its not OUR fault if we say something wrong, YOU should’ve known.” Tell me that didn’t just happen.

  270. Mommie Dearest says:

    nice modern take on the teachings of Brigham

  271. Is that the first mention of the word “Easter” in the entire GC?

  272. And saying – the Holy Ghost will tell you is a bit of a copout.

    So, if the Holy Ghost tomorrow tells me that Thomas S. Monson was speaking as “a man” last night in Priesthood session, is that OK with everyone?

  273. Seth: 269: The prophet will get up in the next session and tell us, of course.

  274. StillConfused says:

    Please play at tempo. This is a cool song when played at tempo

  275. Thanks for redeeming his words a bit for me, Michael (249).

  276. There are quite a few footnotes to EC’s talk including Elder Maxwell’s “Let us be wary about accommodating revealed theology to conventional wisdom.”

  277. Breaking news: Elder C. suggests that Elder N’s Big Bang crack was the words of a man.

  278. John Taber says:

    His mission language was Spanish, he went to Argentina.

    My experience with Italian was that words from Greek (and even Latin) often shifted to English one way, and to Italian another way. (I don’t know off the top of my head what the Italian for exegesis would be, but my guess is it would be a bit different – Italian doesn’t really consider X to be a letter of the alphabet.)

  279. #270

    Nope, that did seem to be the logical conclusion.

  280. “I cannot speak kind words about this song.”

  281. Much of Joseph Smith’s revelations came pretty much as a sort of exegesis and hermeneutics – “What’s this stuff about baptism for the dead in 1 Corinthians 15:29?” Exegesis and hermeneutics can be useful, but not definitive; they can inspire revelation, but not finalize disputes. (Thoughts on the topic that might reconcile the seeming dismissal with the validity of the practice of e & h.)

  282. I think J. Reuben Clark said the way to tell if the Brethren are moved to speak by the Holy Ghost is if we are moved by the Holy Ghost that they were. Something to that effect. Ultimately is that not true? If the Brethren are following D&C 121 their words move us only by persuasion through the Holy Ghost.

  283. 277 FTW.

  284. And incidentally, Brigham Young never got up in a “later General Conference” and said “Adam-God was all just my own opinion.”

  285. StillConfused says:

    Amazing that he doesn’t wear glasses

  286. Mommie Dearest says:

    I adore President Monson. And his Easter egg tie.

  287. President Monson is sad you’re all in a hurry and can’t take the time to sit down and chat with him.

  288. Loving Monson’s tie. Light blue with what seems to be the same color/different texture dots on it.

  289. So TSM is now going to go through all the addresses of this session, line by line, and tell us which ones were inspired and which ones weren’t.

  290. Is he going to tell us to reduce petroleum dependence? Doubt it.

  291. Well, there’s plenty of evidence that I wasn’t asked to approve the music in advance–but .400 would be a good batting average.

  292. Actual quote: “The question is, how shall we know when the things they have spoken were said as they were “moved upon by the Holy Ghost”? I have given some thought to this question, and the answer thereto, so far as I can determine, is: We can tell when the speakers are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost” only when we, ourselves, are “moved upon by the Holy Ghost.” In a way, this completely shifts the responsibility from them to us to determine when they so speak.” http://emp.byui.edu/marrottr/ClarkWhenAreWritings.pdf

  293. John Taber says:

    What color tie to wear this session?

  294. Anyone else notice how “fast” Sis Beck spoke? Is that because she had much to say but was only allocated a “program” leader’s amount of time? Just wondering…

  295. It’s been mentioned before, but Pres. Monson’s slurs on his s’s are very noticeable now. It wasn’t that way a couple of conferences ago.

  296. Kristine says:

    My kids are loving this–they asked for the candy word to be passive constructions for this talk…

  297. #292: Of course, JRC also seemed to hold that not getting that confirmation about pretty much everything that was delivered by the prophets was the first step along the short path to apostasy, at least in my reading/listening of him.

  298. #278: I was a missionary in Bulgaria, then served in Bosnia with the stabilization force. My interpreter thought I was a genius because I could “translate” words like “auditorium” (auditorija) “immunology” (imunologija) and “conference” (konferencija). But of course, it’s just learning the tricks in those cognates.

  299. in utah, the font of every blessing is papyrus…

  300. #296: He’s always sounded like that, but i think it may be amplified now for some given the increase in creakiness and breathiness that comes with age.

  301. “In our times of deepest reflection or greatest need, the soul of man reaches heavenward, seeking a divine response to life’s greatest questions: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where do we go after we leave this life? Answers to these questions are not discovered within the covers of academia’s textbooks or by checking the internet. These questions transcend mortality. They embrace eternity.”

  302. markymark5005 says:

    We are building arks here in Washington state. Hasn’t stopped pouring in weeks. Aaron B assures me he will steady any ark I build.

  303. Countdown to Ben P’s head asplode about Wordworth…

  304. Ebenezer Robinson says:

    282 – I’ve had to use the JRC quote for decades because no one since has acknowledged that we’re led by men, not gods. Good to have a more recent statement that we have a responsibility to recognize doctrine when it’s preached, instead of uncritically parroting whatever a leader might have said in some conference or other.

  305. The internet video has gone pixelated here—is that a glitch at our end, or are the servers getting hit hard now that the prophet’s speaking?

  306. Elder Wordsworth quoted. Waiting for Elder Lewis. :)

  307. Larry the cable-guy says:

    #295- full arch dental changes most likely

  308. #294– Ouch. Good point.

  309. I wish I could be more participatory this year, but my computer is dying…

    Anyway, since it seems to be working right now, just a couple of thoughts about Elder Nelson and Elder Christofferson:

    I didn’t hear Elder Nelson slamming the Big Bang as a theory explaining how the universe started. I heard him slamming the idea that the Big Bang happened by accident. There is a big difference between those statements.

    I also didn’t hear Elder Christofferson slamming Biblical scholarship. I heard him slamming those who rely upon Biblical scholarship as a claim of religious authority. As Latter-day Saints, our authority comes from God, not from our superior interpretation of Scripture.

  310. Having a perfectly clean house and perfectly coiffed hair are ephemeral concerns! Hallelujah.

  311. StillConfused says:

    Whit watering in the Provo river!!

  312. Video feed’s better now—must have just been a transient thing.

  313. John Taber says:

    Cognates aren’t perfect, “liberia” is Italian for bookstore, not library. I do have a pretty good idea what “exegis” would be but I can’t verify it online.

  314. #309 Alex,

    I doubt that’s a distinction a lot of listeners will make.

  315. John Taber says:

    I meant “libreria”.

  316. “Unlike toy boats, we have been provided divine attributes to guide our journey. We enter mortality not to float with the moving currents of life, but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve.”

  317. he’d better not end this with April Fool’s!

  318. 309 – I think you got Elder Christofferson right, but Elder Nelson definitely seemed to be saying that it was impossible to imagine the complicated human body (which he had just described) arising from randomness succeeding the Big Bang.

  319. We enter mortality with “the power to think, to reason, and to achieve”, which gives us the ability to make it through this life safely (in a spiritual sense).

    The big bang theory, and biblical exegesis and hermeneutics are the products of reason. Just sayin’.

  320. “I didn’t hear Elder Nelson slamming the Big Bang as a theory explaining how the universe started. I heard him slamming the idea that the Big Bang happened by accident. There is a big difference between those statements.”

    I agree, Alex, but try convincing anybody inclined to anti-science thinking of that! He’s handed them a memorable, pithy quote. Any nuances he intended will be utterly, utterly lost on them.

  321. I agree that Elder Nelson’s comment can be read as simply wanting room for direction or God’s work in the process of creation. But most people will just hear “science tells funny stories, huh!”

  322. 318. A la Behe’s irreducible complexity, along with Paley’s watchmaker analogy earlier mentioned. What’s funny is that BYU Bio professors scoff at those arguments and teach organic evolution and natural selection with gusto.

  323. StillConfused says:

    What is the summary of this talk?

  324. Being a public opinion leader these days is ALL about carefully crafting your soundbites.

  325. Seth R – The distinctions I heard were both from the direct context of the statements. Elder Nelson didn’t say “the Big Bang is false” nor did Elder Christofferson say “hermeneutics and exegesis are stupid.” They both made the statements within a very specific, very clear context that carried throughout the entire talk.

    To take the statements out of context is to do to our current GAs what detractors of the church have done to church leaders from the beginning. Why the complete lack of charity and examination among members here?

  326. 323 – Hence my comment at 187 ;)

  327. Because the commenters here are all too often the target of uncharitable remarks from our fellow ward members who opportunistically use soundbites like this in exactly the manner I warned of.

  328. Elder Nelson has actually used the watchmaker analogy in past conference talk.

  329. American Eagle says:

    Hermeneutics is actually brain-dead simple to translate in European languages. That’s how it is with long, complicated English words.

    herméneutiques
    hermeneutiikka
    hermeneutiek
    hermeneutikës
    Hermeneutics
    hermeneutika
    hermenèutica
    hermeneutika
    hermeneutika
    Hermeneutik
    hermeneutiek
    hermenêutica
    Hermeneutik
    hermeneutika
    ermeneutica
    hermeneitika
    hermeneutikk
    hermeneutyka
    hermenêutica
    hermeneutica
    hermenéutica

  330. Alex, I largely agree with you on Elder Christofferson, though I think it does nothing except make people less likely to take those terms seriously.

    But Elder Nelson was making a pithy aside pitting science against religion.

  331. #325: Using the print-shop-exploding image is very precisely and exactly dismissing the big bang as false—it ties into a long history of such arguments.

    I’m quite willing to accept that the line against exegesis &c. was simply a poor phrasing that’ll probably work better in writing than it did orally, but the big bang line? Nope, that was simply an outright dismissal, and the wider context of the address supports that reading, i think.

  332. john willis says:

    In regards to Elder Chirstophersen discussion of J. Rubern Clark’s speech on when statements of G.A.’s words are to be considered scripture: The speech was given in 1954 in the context of the controversy over Joesph Fielding Smith’s book” Man his origin and destiny” which took a very anti-evolution persepective. Clark’s speech gave the message that JFS views were his own and not church doctrine

  333. Another reference to Easter!

  334. 325. Because the two biggest congregational responses in this session came after blatantly anti-intellectualist jabs. We then turn around and say God gave us the ability to reason… but we better not use it!

  335. John Taber says:

    I found it – “exegesis” is “esegesi” in Italian. I would have thought the first s would be doubled.

  336. Was there a GC talk about “the Rescue” that I missed? Some of the speakers, especially in PH session, referred to it as though it was common knowledge.

  337. Why the heck is this song not in the hymnal?

  338. Cynthia L. says:

    Best song ever! Put this song in the next edition of the hymnbook!!! Better yet, distribute photocopies of it and instruct us all to paste in the backs of our current hymnbooks, a la “Faith in Every Footstep” a few years ago.

  339. StillConfused says:

    Holy slow music batman

  340. 337 – The Worldwide Training Session talked about it a lot.

  341. Kristine says:

    Holy largamente, Batman! Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing is going to take the entire rest of the time at this tempo.

  342. #332: Interesting. Addresses of JRC’s i’ve listened to from, say, 1945 and 1950 have a much more “follow the prophet” tone to them. Maybe his views evolved when he had to look at them critically? That would be cool, if that’s what happened.

  343. drbrewhaha says:

    #337 Because no one knows exactly what an Ebenezer (sp?) is.

  344. Men’s voices and deceptive cadences are a winning combination.

  345. To the (now deleted) person complaining about Kristine’s moderation of this thread: I have been doing all the moderation, not Kristine.

    To the (now deleted) person complaining that a comment complimenting one speaker on his fine non-wrinkled skin was not deleted, whilst a disparaging comment about Sis. Beck’s appearance was deleted: the difference is not sexism, it is that one comment was complimentary and one was very rude.

    FYI, all comments complaining about how I am doing the moderation, have been deleted. Because I am a TYRANT, and that’s how I roll. You’re welcome.

  346. StillConfused says:

    acapella dude music is awesome

  347. Hermeneutics is a little harder in Japanese: 解釈学

  348. What Jacob said. #337.

  349. American Eagle says:

    @ Cynthia:

    Power is a drug… don’t get addicted.

  350. #337- When they last revised the hymnal it simply wasn’t sung very often. Shortly afterwards Wilberg revived it- I’ve heard members of the music committee say that it will definitely be put back in whenever the next revision comes (which probably won’t be for a while)

  351. Kristine at 341 FTW!

  352. It’s a stone in an altar. The word is taken from 1 Sam. somewhere.

  353. Re: Christofferson: all I know is it will be a bit tougher to convince my D&C students that hermeneutics and exegesis are stil important terms for them to learn and understand…

  354. My ward’s choir sang this several months ago, but nearly didn’t get to ’cause (a) it’s not in the current hymnal and (b) the bishopric didn’t know what “my Ebenezer” meant, and worried that the message wouldn’t be doctrinally correct.

  355. Cynthia!!! You rule! (I’m just a fanboy)

  356. chelseaw says:

    Love this arrangement but it’s way better with the orchestra.

  357. Ebenezer Robinson says:

    Thanks, Cynthia I’ve admired your deft touch, even if it messes up the numerical references. Good work, there.

  358. I imagine the Elder Christofferson’s quip was not anti-intellectual. I think it was populist. The reality is that 99.99 of the people listening have no idea what those words mean.

  359. @344 “After a long period of sadness and trouble, a consequence of Israel’s disobedience, Israel repented under the leadership of a new priest and judge, Samuel. God restored their political security, and the people, for their part, re-committed their hearts and minds to their Lord.

    Samuel placed a large stone at the place where this restoration began. He publicly dedicated it as a monument to God’s help, God’s faithfulness, God’s eternal covenant. And as the people got on with their lives, the stone stood there, visible to all who passed that way, a reminder of judgment and repentance, mercy and restoration.

    The Ebenezer stone represented a fresh beginning, a reversal of course for God’s people. It also said something important about God: his mercies are everlasting; his covenant is forever.”

  360. You’re doing good, Cynthia. Haters gone hate.

  361. Doesn’t “Eben-ezer” mean “Stone of Help,” commemorating a the construction of an altar to show gratitude to God after an Israelite victory?

    (Besides providing a Biblical name for lots of local Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, hehe.)

  362. For how much we sing Come Thou Fount why don’t they just put it back in the hymnal…

  363. kentslarsen says:

    From the OED:

    Ebenezer
    1. a. The name of the memorial stone set up by Samuel after the victory of Mizpeh: see 1 Sam. vii. 12. Used appellatively in religious literature in fig. phrases, alluding to the sentiment ‘Hitherto hath the Lord helped us’, associated with the origin of the name. Chiefly U.S.
    b. Temper, passion. U.S. slang. Evidently by a misunderstanding of ‘raise’.

  364. #346: 100% agreed. Men singing a cappella is so, so awesome.

  365. American Eagle says:

    I just read the Wikipedia articles… it looks like both Hermeneutics and Exegesis both simply mean “reading.”

    Hope that helps.

  366. The “keel of testimony”! Way to prove your were listening when the prophet spoke!

    Also, i think that was the longest prayer we’ve had at this conference so far.

  367. Dangit, people, don’t make me threaten to delete comments praising how the moderation is done. Oh wait, I just did!

  368. Kaishakugaku for you non-Kanji readers.

  369. Is there liveblogging of the World Report? ;)

  370. #362- they’re working on it. Give it some time…

  371. Cynthia, you did great. Don’t let the you-know-whats get you down.

  372. Regarding Robert Blatchford, the mighty Wikipedia notes:

    “Robert Peel Glanville Blatchford (17 March 1851 – 17 December 1943) was a socialist campaigner, journalist and author in the United Kingdom. He was a prominent atheist and opponent of eugenics. He was also an English patriot. In the early 1920s, after the death of his wife, he turned towards spiritualism.”

    Snowden noted, “No man did more than he to make Socialism understood by the ordinary working man.”

  373. American Eagle says:

    I thought Elder Christofferson dropped the two five-dollar words “Hermeneutics” and “Exegesis” to sort of impress the lay audience into thinking he knows just as much as intellectuals.

  374. That was a line the poet heard repeatedly from his neighbor, Mrs. Scrooge.

  375. Carol Brady Dupuis’s really nice guest post about raising a modern Ebenezer.

  376. World Report liveblogging right here in this thread! (Seriously people, this is one of my favorite parts of conference. Not so much a fan of BYUTV’s ads for food storage and wilderness programs in between things though.)

  377. (Young) Elder D. Todd Christofferson in a poncho FTW. :)

  378. Scott E. says:

    This has been a fascinating discussion to read through, although I am surprised at the cynical nature of so many of the comments. It seems like many posters are motivated by a “let’s see what mistakes we can find” attitude rather than a “come listen to a prophet’s voice” attitude.

  379. (And yay, he visited my mission!)

  380. Sort of, Scott. If I figured that, on the whole, many members would dismiss Elder Nelson’s swipe at modern and perfectly acceptable cosmology, I wouldn’t care so much. Instead, I think it likely reinforces anti-scientific attitudes on one hand, and alienates scientifically-inclined members on the other.

  381. It’s been a nice session, inspite of all the stuff going on with the children. At least it’s bed time for them, now. 8 pm in Germany.

    We are greatful to have a satellite dish at home. That way we can connect with the world-wide church.

  382. Scott, at least we’re paying attention to the message and taking it seriously.

    Unlike a lot of faithful churchgoers who took naps during the talks.

  383. That said Scott, your point is valid.

  384. Thank you, Ardis, for the link to that post.

  385. Scott, I think your point is only partially valid. Read the comments about Pres. Uchdorfs talk. Then decide if many are only looking for the wrong things people say.

  386. Scott E. says:

    Seth – That is definitely clear, but I guess i was expecting some more positive responses to the doctrine being taught. Instead it seemed like the discussion was mired in a critique of two comments. Perhaps its just a matter of perspective, but to become offended over a denouncement of the Big Bang theory, or the usefulness of hermeneutics in understanding theology seems to be missing the point. 99% of the talks were focused on Jesus Christ, and basing our testimonies on the principles that have been revealed. Instead, the discussion veered off into the unknown and unrevealed.

  387. To a hammer, everything looks like a nail Scott.

    To an Internet church issues debater, everything looks like…. well, you fill in the blank.

  388. Scott: do you believe the earth began some 14+ billion years ago in something like what scientists have described as a “Big Bang”?

  389. Scott E. says:

    Point taken.

  390. Nice! Islamic art exhibit in Utah.

    Joseph Lieberman: “we haven’t defined ourselves by our geographical borders.” Nope, because we believed in Manifest Destiny, moving borders, and displacement of non-white current residents of the land taken. Sigh.

  391. Re: World Report – Wow, Jane Seymour is still gorgeous! It might be sad that that is my only comment on the World Report, but we are making breakfast right now, so I haven’t been able to watch much.

  392. Blair and Seth R – While switching out loads of laundry, it occurred to me that my understanding of how members of the church will respond to the statements from both Nelson and Christofferson is very, very, very much influenced by the fact that I live in a largish-university town with a largish-LDS population located outside the Wasatch Front, and so members discuss the Gospel in terms of their studies (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, medicine, law, business, especially) in a positive manner, so I envision those in my ward taking a very nuanced and contextualised approach to the Brethren, rather than simply snipping out the three-second soundbite. I tend to forget (or choose to ignore) that there are members of the church who do not appreciate academics and nuance as much as many in my ward and stake do.

  393. You know, coming from a church culture where you still get the brownies story vectored not-infrequently (you know, the one where there’s only “a little” dog droppings in the brownies, thus ruining the whole thing), you would think that a focus on the dramatically low points of an address makes sense.

    That said, Scott E., did you read the whole thread to discover that most everyone (including me) who’d had a problem with the line on exegesis and hermeneutics were swayed around to not seeing it as really a problematic thing? It’s not like an active conversation/debate about perceived problems just results in a simple hardening of battle lines.

  394. Scott E. says:

    BHodges – I think you hit on a major point, the question is whether I believe or not. From everything I have been taught, that is a legitimate conclusion to come to based on the knowledge that we have. But would I say that I know that is how it happened? Definitely not. I also believe that God created Man in his own image. These two statements are not mutually exclusive, but the belief that God created Man in his own image is more important to me in regards to the “why” of life. Evolution and the Big Bang may do an adequate job explaining the “how” of life began, but it does a terrible job of answering the “why”, or purpose of life. During General Conference, I am much more interested in the why’s of life than the how’s, this probably wouldn’t be the case if I were attending a lecture on biology.

  395. Oh—and i’ve heard the watchmaker/print-shop analogy against the big bang in church (even over the pulpit!) multiple times over the past few months, so i’m probably primed more than most to see its use in general conference as particularly dangerous.

  396. jasonwoodward says:

    “It is God who orchestrated the “big bang” 20 billion years ago and set the universe on its way. He it is who devised, promulgated, and now enforces the laws of nature with never-failing accuracy and consistency.” — Reflections of Scientist, Henry B. Eyring (http://www.cumorah.org/libros/english/Science/Reflections_of_a_Scientist_-_Henry_Eyring.html)

  397. Scott E. says:

    @loathing… Perhaps my comment about the critical attitude of the discussion was made in haste, however I was just reporting my observations about the tone of the overall discussion. I am new to this board, and was interested in seeing what other members had thought of the conference. I did not participate in the discussion in real time, so my perception was limited to the quick read through I did at the end of conference. And while many of the comments were positive and appreciative, there seemed to be a much larger proportion of the comments focused on two fairly “controversial” subjects.

  398. I think the process itself, evolution, gives us things to think about in regards to the “why.” I think the how and the why are not entirely separable questions. Overall, Elder Nelson could easily declare God’s part in creation without diminishing the research and claims of modern scientists. There’s no need for an uncharitable (and yes, I really do think it was lacking in charity, implying that people who accept BB cosmology might as well say a book was created in a tornado) remark about an eminently established cosmology, and one that can actually positively inform our faith in God.

  399. Scott E. – you have to understand. To the internet Mormon, the prophets and apostles are like a little brother. They can pick on em, no one else can.

  400. I mean, it was a few sentences in a larger sermon, of course, and it would be straining at gnats to imagine it was the main thrust of his talk. It wasn’t. In fact, I think your overall strategy of dealing with it is a positive way to go about it. Contextualize and extend it. But what a distraction, and a very unnecessary distraction, to rely simplistically on Paley while also mocking BB cosmology.

  401. #399 (CTJ): I am *so* going to steal that line.

  402. When did disagreeing with someone, apostle or not (and Elder Christofferson noted, apostles too can sometimes speak ‘as a man’) automatically become picking on someone?

  403. “During General Conference, I am much more interested in the why’s of life than the how’s…”

    Scott E.: Makes you wonder why an Apostle of the Lord would waste your time dismissing this particular “how,” which you recognize as a “legitimate conclusion to come to based on the knowledge that we have.”

  404. Also, we tend to forget that the apostles not “picking on” each other is a relatively recent development. Take Ezra Taft Benson’s highly controversial support of the John Birch Society in the 1950s and 60s and the public criticism he received from other Church leaders for the tactics he used to try to link the LDS Church and the Birchers.

  405. Scott E. says:

    @ Joel – That is a pretty condemnatory statement to say that an Apostle of the Lord is “wasting my time” when giving a personal, well thought-out opinion. Even if you disagree with him, I hope that you would admit that he is not making this statement out of any sort of malice or bad intentions. I am willing to take his statement as opinion, not doctrine, and as it has little to no effect on my understanding of basic principles of the gospel, that’s as far as I’m going to take it. Until the President of the church identifies the process and manner of creation as essential to my eternal salvation, I’m willing to let that question go unanswered.

  406. My last thought on this conference thread. “Where have all the flowers gone?” Reminds me of the 90’s song by Paula Cole (I think) that was “Where have all the cowboys gone?” So thank you – kind of – for making me think of that dang song for the last three hours!

  407. Back to the earlier commentary, Pres. Uchtdorf’s sermon was rather masterful, and will be one I return to again and again, I am sure.

  408. Scott E: But you’re the one saying that you’re not so much concerned with the personal, well thought-out opinion of an Apostle because he’s taught you about something that “has little to no effect on [your] understanding of basic principles of the gospel.” Why on earth would he trouble us with such talk? And what is he doing if not wasting your time if he’s telling you things that have no impact on your understanding of the gospel?

  409. Scott E. and CTJ (and everyone else): As someone who’s struggling with a testimony of the divine guidance of the institutional Church, I find hope and inspiration reading this thread and seeing faithful members rejoicing at those parts of conference that touched my heart and raising skeptical queries at those parts that left me cold. If the thread were filled only with slack-jawed praise of all said across the pulpit, I’d have much less reason to think there’s still room in the Church for people with my kind of struggles.

  410. Scott E. says:

    @ Joel – I suppose that is a question best asked of Elder Nelson himself. I won’t begin to place motivations behind his words. But at the very least, I trust that his motivation is not one of evil intentions. I would pose a question to you though, what is the importance of his statement to you?

  411. mjberkey says:

    While I don’t disagree with anything Elder Christofferson said, I do wish he would have more carefully clarified that even though exegesis and hermeneutics don’t form the basis for authority on doctrine, they are valuable tools for understanding scripture. I think there will be many who go away from that part of the talk, not knowing what those words mean, but convinced they’re bad news.

  412. It is of no importance to me for the very same reasons you articulate. It’s his personal opinion. It doesn’t affect my understanding of the Gospel. It doesn’t bring me closer to the Savior. If anything, it makes me question whether Elder Nelson and I share the same God. My God exists in the universe whether the big bang theory is true or not. His God seems to be so small and powerless that Elder Nelson needed to dismiss that theory with a ridiculously old and tired argument, lest his God vanish. It was a waste of my time and I’d prefer getting out of conference a few seconds early next time rather than having to listen to more of it.

  413. I must have missed the aside by Elder Nielsen as an attack on science. I wish I had a transcript to read it. I didn’t even notice anything as controversial until I came here.

    Not remembering exactly what he said I’ll simply say there are undeniable theological problems with the big bag. So I’ll just take Elder Nielsen as endorsing string theory and the multiverse beyond what relativists can stomach. You all are string and multiverse haters. I’m just glad my sins isn’t your sin of doubt of theoretical physics.

  414. Scott E. says:

    @LTRFTW – Thank you for bringing up a valid view that I hadn’t considered. I certainly agree that it is important to gain a witness of the teachings of the prophets for yourself, and not to take everything that comes over the pulpit as doctrine (we were, in fact, counseled not to do that in this very conference).

  415. Dang. Nelsen not Nielsen.

  416. Play nice, kids! (Mostly you are, but as long as I’m yelling it across the room at my actual kids, I thought I’d yell it here on the blog too.)

  417. Kristine says:

    373–Christofferson’s the real deal; he does know more than plenty of intellectuals! He was my stake president growing up, and I learned lots of new words from his talks.

  418. mjberkey says:

    Joel, I agree that we ought not be so dismissive, as Elder Nelson was, of the big bang theory. But isn’t it a little silly to say the problem with Elder Nelson talking about the big bang is that it wasted 5 seconds of your life? If you’re counting the seconds until conference ends, then why watch at all? Anyway, if Elder Nelson had taken 5 seconds less, the closing prayer would have taken 5 seconds more…

  419. mjberkey says:

    I believe it Kristine!

  420. mjberkey: It’s not that I’m counting down the seconds. It’s that given the choice between hearing a tired old argument for creationism and getting out of conference 5 seconds early, I’ll take those 5 seconds every time. Heck, I’ll lend them to the guy who said the closing prayer. He definitely could have used them.

  421. My wife and I took Christofferson’s talk as laying the foundation for a clearer understanding, in the body of the Church, of the human fallibility of individual leaders, which can lead to wrongful practices and policies, and the importance of personal revelation in owning your opinion and separating practice from doctrine. The “yesterday Brigham was speaking” reference in particular seemed important. If the Church is going to directly refute false practices mistakenly justified and presented as doctrine in the past, this kind of talk establishes a context for it.

  422. I really enjoyed comment #275, especially when coupled with the insights of comment #349, but juxtaposed with the caveat of comment #137.

  423. mjberkey says:

    I guess I don’t feel like its such a tired argument. While I think it is an inadequate basis for faith (and Elder Nelson would probably be the first to agree on that point), I do like the thought experiment. Further questions I’d ask is, even if an explosion could randomly produce a dictionary that reproduces and self-repairs, would it think? Would it write and produce great poetry, literature, and art? Would it love?

    None of this is to say that the big bang theory is wrong. From my very limited understanding, there seems to be compelling evidence that our universe did originate with a big bang. But many (I don’t know how many) physicists do believe that there are other, perhaps infinitely other, universes, distinct from ours, and they speculate that perhaps those started from similar phenomena. I don’t know. I really have no idea. But I am convinced that belief in a creating (i.e. organizing, as we mormons like to believe) God doesn’t contradict a big bang theory at all.

  424. #421 Agreed, Micah. Very, very interesting talk.

  425. Darrell says:

    373: I actually thought he used those terms because he wanted us to know that he knows what they mean and that he appreciates their place. At the same time, he used it as a populist tactic to show that not everyone needs to understand those terms to have a testimony or understand Gospel truths.

  426. Left Field says:

    Elder Nelson’s comment was to the effect that “some people” claim that living things were formed by chance. I don’t know who the “some people” are, but they certainly aren’t scientists, who claim that living things were formed largely by natural selection. Selection is pretty much the opposite of chance. If he thought he was bashing evolution, he missed the mark, and bashed something else. And even if he knew he wasn’t describing evolution, he ought to have known that many people in the audience would think he was.

  427. Am I the only one that laughed at the font of blessings comment?

  428. Ron Madson says:

    Could Elder Christofferson’s address could be read as a step towards the actual application of BY Common Consent?—as if—and if interpreted that way do not be surprised if it gets Poelmanized.

  429. Sorry to show up at the party when everyone’s gone home, but I’m curious. Were Nelson’s remarks the exact same thing he’s been saying for 25 years?

    http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6997&x=60&y=6

  430. Left Field says:

    Pretty much. I’ve heard/read him say the same stuff before. I don’t know why that print shop thing got a laugh. It’s hackneyed and inapt, and he just keeps telling it. Maybe the same reason the worn-out “tithing as fire insurance” thing keeps getting laughs after ten thousand tellings. Laughing is just sort of an expected ritual.

  431. So, many years ago when I was living in the Midwest, Elder Nelson gave one of those multi-stake broadcast talks. He was very into the ‘law of witnesses’ at the time and spoke about it on that occasion. I remember him saying that when one prophet quoted another prophet, he was giving his 2nd witness. Then he said (something to the effect of) conversely, if a prophet talks about something that is never spoken of or reiterated again by any other prophets or apostles, it is usually a good indicator that it was his own thoughts and not prophetic.

    Now this is my recollection of a talk given many years ago and not written down so I can’t go back and read the written record. However, it has stayed with me as I use it as my gauge to help deal with some of the more interesting quotes that haven’t set right with me over the years. For instance, Pres. Young is attributed to several quotes about women, makeup, etc that I have never heard reiterated by another prophet, and therefore I am able to say that is his opinion and not get too bothered by it. Elder Christoffersen’s talk added to my knowledge on this topic and was insightful to me.

  432. kc, I found that talk super interesting as well. I think what Christoffersen said potentially goes a step beyond what you’re attributing to Elder Nelson, because it takes revelation out of the “personal” hands of any given leader or leaders. That’s important because wrong ideas can sometimes become institutionalized and therefore repeated over and over, which could be taken as a “second witness” that something wrong is actually right. Its unfortunate that this very real responsibility that we have to be spiritually aware and accountable for our personal beliefs so often gets referred to by many as the “Church blaming the members” for wrong practices. We are all the Church. “Activating” a wrong idea repeatedly and thoughtlessly, essentially ignoring our responsibilities to discern, might just be exactly where wrong practices come from.

    The key is to be Charitable and look for what the Lord is trying to say to us through our leaders. Take error as a given, and stop resenting the actual process of Revelation: All of us, together, trying and failing, recognizing error and reaching for truth within a Divinely instituted organization with specific – constantly changing – responsibilities.

  433. Vernon Feig says:

    If Elder Ch. thought we were to dumb to understand his theological terminology, why did he even use it?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,516 other followers