By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog
The greatest Mormon blog in the universe.
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Aha! You don’t mind the pepto-bismol pink here, only on the Choir! :)
That second session could use some improvement, no women speaking or praying? That aside I was so grateful for the prayer business to be set a little right, by the closing one it seemed like it had always been that way.
The heading info says “April 1, 2012″.
Love the infographic, Cynthia, thank you.
Were there more women participating this conference than people of color? Elder Falabella is the only one that comes to mind, but maybe I missed a prayer in there somewhere.
This graphic is not completely accurate, because priesthood meeting is included while relief society meeting is left out. For the numbers to be valid, both must be included or both left out. If not we are left with artificially low percentages for female participation in conference.
[This is a common question, so I'm going to answer it here even though there is already a great answer below. In fact, the church itself does not consider RS/YW meetings to be part of conference. In the original version of this very infographic (i.e., the church's version), it says right in there that conference is 5 sessions Saturday and Sunday of one single weekend. I took that part out to save space.]
ldscoming…the Church website here http://www.lds.org/general-conference/about-general-conference?lang=eng
Says the following:
“What is general conference?
General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During general conference weekend, Church members and others gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders.
When is the next general conference?
Conference sessions are held the first weekends in April and October. They are held Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. mountain time. For the April 2013 conference, the President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson, will be speaking during the Sunday morning session at 10:00 a.m. MDT on April 7.”
And the infographic here: http://www.lds.org/bc/content/ldsorg/general-conference/images/LDS-Mormon-general-conference-info-graphic-apr-2013.jpg?lang=eng
Says that conference is 5 sessions. Just sayin’.
Except that the RS/YW meeting is not officially considered part of general conference. Except in my heart, sigh.
Yeah, and they alternate YW/RS conferences. Not exactly the same.
That said, I think it’s worth nothing that the message is a bit unclear as General YW meeting is included in this list, though not marked as “session”
And if you go here: http://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2013/04?lang=eng&vid=2282161401001
You can click “choose another session,” and the YW meeting is in the list. So…
And that ambiguity right there is what drives some of us women mad, not just that list, but how it’s subtle and it’s everywhere…
In the Ensign, all of the sessions are in order… starting with Saturday Morning and ending with Sunday Afternoon. Then they throw the RS or YW meeting in at the end. If it were a session of conference, it would be in chronological order with the others.
Good point, TopHat. Looking back at the drop down menu in my last comment (“choose another session”), that’s exactly how it’s listed. At the end, after Sunday Afternoon session.
LDScominghome- priesthood session is a session of General Conference, (the third session) and is held each time we have conference.
Relief Society and YW General Meetings are not a session of General Conference. Each is held only once a year. I suppose they could be added to General Conference at some point, but for now they are not.
As a percentage of voices, including those meetings (by making them important enough to be considered part of conference) really wouldn’t change the overwhelming numerical and structural inequality of the LDS church. (There are 4 talks, one by each member of the auxiliary presidency, and one by a member of the First Presidency. So yearly you would add 6 talks and 4 prayers added for the year.)
The good news is that most inequalities are structural, rather doctrinal. While many believe it will take the women being ordained to create equality, our theology makes it possible. Unfortunately the people in the church may not allow those structural inequalities to leave, because equality threatens privileges that some hold very dear.
Folks, the fact is, you have a conference just for men, and another conference just for women. Both occur every 6 months with astral punctuality, occur only in conjunction with the larger phenomenon of general conference, cant be watched live at home by the general membership, and end up in the ensign when it’s all over. To include one and not the other is bad statistics, and harsh though it may sound, i assert that it is ideologically driven hair splitting to qualify RS/ YW meeting differently from priesthood meeting. They either both need to be counted, or both excluded. That’s just proper statistics. Sorry.
Please don’t hear me discouraging the clarification of ambiguous policies about womens roles in leadership, an increased role for women in the church, or priesthood ordination for women. I am simply taking umbrage with ideology being presented as fact, when poor methodology undergirds the information presented.
ldscominghome, I’m sorry, but if what’s been presented is poor methodology, I’m afraid yours is no better.
“Folks, the fact is, you have a conference just for men, and another conference just for women. Both occur every 6 months with astral punctuality…”
Except when they don’t. The Priesthood Session of General Conference happens every 6 months, the General Young Women’s Meeting happens every year. The General Relief Society Meeting happens every year and the Church infographic saying that General Conference is 5 sessions are not ideological hair splitting, it’s numbers and stuff.
Fair enough, that there may be different interpretations of on what constitutes conference (so long as it is translated correctly, right? :), and we can agree that there is ambiguity that it would be great to clarify, but I think the way Cynthia has presented the data makes perfect sense given those ambiguities.
Julia the poet; according to the church website link provided by JTZ, the only sessions listed by the church as conference sessions are Sat/Sun at 10 am, and 2 pm. Priesthood is not listed as a general session.
TopHat; your use of the website’s drop-down-menu listing of session cant be seen as a satisfactory method of defining the women’s meeting as being different. Undervalued, yes, but different from the priesthood meeting in terms of not being a generalized session, no.
The official Conference Reports
don’t include the RS/YW meetings, and when they open the conference on Saturday morning, they call it the “first session.”
Also you cannot watch the YW/RS meeting at home. And you have to have a password to login and stream the priesthood session.
Steady, could you elaborate? Do you mean to stream the priesthood session at a Church building you have to log in? Cuz it’s all there on the website, no login required, both phood and YW meeting:
In fact, I wasn’t able to attend last night, so we all watched the Phood session together tonight via hdmi from a laptop.
You can watch RS and YW meetings from home, streaming live on lds.org. (That’s how I watched the YW meeting last week.) The priesthood session is NOT available live streaming on lds.org. I tried yesterday. It is, however, put online to watch shortly after the meeting finishes.
I didn’t use the drop down menus, ldscominghome. I used the magazine in my living room.
Technically, we didn’t whittle conference down to 5 sessions until the 1970s. Which just means that there were 3-5 more meetings every six months with no women participating in them. And since women didn’t speak, much less pray, in general conference sessions until the 1980s…..
Quibbling over whether YW/RS meetings are part of general conference seems a bit silly statistically speaking. But it’s very clear that those meetings are not counted as general sessions of conference by the church itself and the priesthood session is counted as a general session by the church.
Well, no, the priesthood session is not considered a “general session.” See the second paragraph of the Conference Reports I liked to previously. But the priesthood session is considered part of “general conference,” while the RS/YW meetings are not.
Sometimes, all people arguing opposite arguments actually can be correct and making good points. This is one such case.
So, were some of the concerns over women praying correct? Did we lose female speakers to get female prayers? That’s kind of disappointing.
No, Frank. Generally, there are two or three female speakers; there were two this time.
I don’t think the infographic is correct….there were more speakers during the last session—-I didn’t check the others….
I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. It’s good to see perspectives from multiple viewpoints. Either way – the church is true!
Also of note, pay attention to the way each conference session/meeting is opened up. “Welcome to the 183rd semiannual….” vs. “Welcome to the General Young Women Meeting of the CoJCoLDS”.
Everything gets translated the same and published in the Ensign (roughly), but someone somewhere insists on treating the week-earlier women’s meeting as a non-conference meeting on some kind of technicality.
Here’s further evidence that priesthood session is absolutely considered a session of Conference, while RS and YW sessions are not. The men conducting the sessions *after* priesthood always count it in telling us which session number they’re conducting.
Here’s President Eyring in October 2011 (the most recent Conference Report I could find online):
“Brothers and sisters, we welcome you this afternoon to the fifth and concluding
session of the 181st Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints.”
The heading right before that also calls it the fifth session. And President Eyring said the same thing in April of that year when he opened the same session (except he said “annual” instead of “semiannual.”
Count PH or don’t count PH, the infographic is pretty clear who’s talking to whom.
Count PH or don’t count PH, the infographic is pretty clear who’s talking to whom.
Yep. Prophets, seers, and revelators talking to the members of the church.
Except for Seventies, General YM presidencies, Bishopric, and the occasional astronaut or sports star.
I meant in PH session. In the other sessions we get lots of good counsel from other people who aren’t prophets, seers, and revelators.
Agreed. But that was not the point I was responding to. Discounting the words of “prophets, seers, and revelators” just because they happen to be male seems to be unwise.
Perhaps, but not more so than counting the words of “prophets, seers, and revelators” just because they happen to be male.
Peter, agreed. I weigh the counsel because of the role, not because of the gender. I really liked the quote recently posted on bcc (can’t find it now) about Eliza Snow being one of the greatest prophets of the modern church.
This graphic and this continuing discussion is concerning… The implied message seems to be that if there is ANY inequity, then the institution, its work and its message is somehow invalid from a feminist/racial perspective. But I don’t think we have any business judging the Church. Simply because the church is not our stewardship. And I wonder how ideologically-based criticism of the Church and church leaders plays in the minds of our own children and our neighbors? It is almost as if two report cards were issued for General Conference, and God gave the conference high marks, while the feminists gave it a D+ due to gender inequity. Which one really matters?
Are we overemphasizing issues within the Church because we think they are important and ignoring what really is important?
Old Man: “The implied message seems to be that if there is ANY inequity, then the institution, its work and its message is somehow invalid from a feminist/racial perspective”
Not at all. The purpose is to make sure we are simply informed of what is happening. When I first started asking about praying in general conference, I was amazed how many people said, “I *know* I’ve seen women praying in general sessions of conference!” No woman ever had, at yet so many were just convinced women routinely did. Sometimes our perceptions are just wrong. And having wrong information in our heads is never a good thing, ever!
But what we do with correct information, or how we interpret it, that’s our own choice. If you think this “report card” (your words) is a failing grade, that’s your interpretation. If you think that this speaker/prayer/etc lineup is what it should be, then there is nothing that says “invalid” about making the lineup known. But we should at least know what the lineup is.
We stumbled over here by a different website and thought I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page repeatedly.
October 9, 2014 By Cynthia L. 58 Comments
The Living Christ
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