Do Be Do Be Doooooo…

On the internet, identity is an obsession. Because we are primarily only acquainted with one another through words, there is an opportunity (and, perhaps, a tendency) to mislead others about ourselves. Our facebook pictures are from the most flattering angles; our political and religious tendencies more firm. Knowing this about ourselves, we tend to also be suspicious of others. Praise and sarcasm are easily distinguished in real life; online you never really know. Therefore, we try to establish a context for what is written online by establishing a relationship with other participants or, failing that, by trying to discern where they are coming from. Are they Libertarian, Progressive, Indie Rock, Country Strong, Molly Mormon, or Andy Anti? Establishing these identities can allow us to create the body language, tone of voice, and other non-verbal aspects of language that are absent in online communication, allowing us to create a context for interpreting comments.

This is dangerous. [Read more...]

The Reciprocity Resolution

One of the significant memes from this past General Conference was a concern that so many of our people are not getting married. As usual, men just aren’t getting with the program and need to shape up and hop to it. [Read more...]

Elder Perry: The Act of Sabbath

Elder Perry, in the first talk of the SM session (after Pres. Monson’s welcome), observed: there is ‘no better way for us to begin or continue to be an example of the believers than in our observance of the Sabbath day’.  Elder Perry then counselled, based on D&C 59:9-10, that there are three things the Lord expects from me on this day: ‘first, to keep ourselves unspotted from the world; second, to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments; and third, to rest from our labors’.  Using E. Perry’s homiletic and, in my view, intentional mis-reading of this passage[1], I want to offer my own meditation on his invitation to ‘avoid… worldly distractions of businesses and recreational facilities on the Sabbath day’ [2]. [Read more...]

A very short post about Elder Cook’s talk

When women are really allowed to work “side by side” with men in the church,  talks like this will be unnecessary.

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

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Meridian, Idaho! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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

Sunday Morning General Conference: One Session To Rule Them All

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Panguitch, Utah! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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The first waffles are about to hit the iron, so let’s get this party started…

Good Morning! Sunday morning session currently being kicked off with Music and the Spoken Word, the 4255th performance of the 82-year-old broadcast. During this morning’s performance, Lloyd Newell’s comments included an excerpt from Harvard professor Clayton Christiansen’s talk to a graduating business school class, How Will You Measure Your Life? [Read more...]

Saturday Evening Priesthood Session

Belatedly, here’s the thread.

Elder  Neil L. Anderson and Elder Steven Snow have just addressed us–I’m catching up now.

Brother Larry M. Gibson, First Counselor of the YM General Presidency

Keys of presidency–deacons’ quorum presidents get them, too.  (I’m still not going to start calling my son “President”). [Read more...]

Saturday PM General Conference: Since Jimmer’s Not Playing Today, Let’s Watch Conference!

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Hurricane, Utah! Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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Official Over/Under on mentions of “Jimmer” has been set at 17 for this session. Please place your bets accordingly, brothers and sisters.

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Choir in jewel tones, but sounds good anyway.

First Presidency just seated.

Bummer–same tie.

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BHodges here. Had some problems with the wifi but I’m up and running.
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General Conference Cinnamon Rolls

Everyone swears their cinnamon rolls are the best, but they’re deluded. Mine are. (Well, with the possible exception of Brad’s mom.) These cinnamon rolls are the closest thing you’re ever going to make at home to the real deal. I say that with absolute certainty and calm. They. Are. It. I’ve held this recipe close to the bone for a long time, folks, but I will divulge the secret:

Pudding.

That’s right, you make the rolls with vanilla pudding as your primary liquid. (get out your food storage pudding!) That, and a lot of butter. I have no idea what the nutritional breakdown is, but to be on the safe side, and out of kindness to your heart, I suggest making them only 2 or 3 times a year. Without further ado, I give you… [Read more...]

Saturday AM General Conference:Two-Hour Blocks 4Evar!

And here you thought we wouldn’t do anything special for April Fool’s Day…

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181th Annual General Conference, live from Salt Lake City! BCC will provide near-continuous live commentary, photography, and other goodies throughout the weekend’s activities. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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Good morning BCCers! This is Neylan reporting on the Saturday Morning Session of General Conference.

Okay, enough from me.  The choir ladies are sporting a lovely magenta this morning. [Read more...]

Elder Holland and the Adversity Gap: A Modesty Proposal

Recently, I read Elder Holland’s talk from the October 2010 General Conference. Entitled “Because of Your Faith,” Elder Holland describes the sacrifices and support that has been offered to him personally and to the Church generally and says thank you. It is a heart-felt act of gratitude for the many people who serve in the church; specifically, gratitude for the many people who serve in the church in the Mormon corridor today and therein lies the rub. [Read more...]

Subversion at General Conference

It has been a month and I have yet to see the most controversial talk at General Conference discussed. I suppose it falls to me. [Read more...]

Let There Be Light, If Only We Could Agree on What Light Was

“The assault on moral principles and religious freedom has never been stronger…. there are also people who are determined to both destroy faith and reject any religious influence in society….” Quentin L. Cook, Let There Be Light, October 2010 General Conference.

It is hard to understand what Cook, as well as other Mormon speakers in recent years making similar arguments, means when he refers to “religious freedom.” I am, as always, tempted to ask what is happening today which limits our ability to worship more than the conflict between the church and the US government over plural marriage, when the church was disincorporated and lost most of its property. But restraint on ability to worship seems not to be central to what Cook has in mind in referring to religious freedom. Instead, the operative issue here involves a perceived rejection of “religious influence in society.” Let me allow Cook to elaborate: [Read more...]

Elder Hales & Elder Kearon: Agency and Self-Deception

Two talks at the most recent GC raised important questions concerning agency.  Consequently I want to consider those questions through the work of Walter Brueggeman.  [Read more...]

Elder Christofferson: Making Sacred Selves

Despite all the clamoring and buzzing about some of last weekend’s more, um, provocative and controversial moments, the most memorable sermon for me this General Conference was delivered by Elder Todd Christofferson. [Read more...]

Conference quotes: “Fourteen Fundamentals,” Part 1

During General Conference this last weekend, two separate members of the Seventies Quorums quoted from a talk apostle Ezra Taft Benson delivered at BYU entitled “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet.” It is notable that the talk was not without controversy when it was given. Many authorities apparently were supportive but according to his biographer, “Spencer [Kimball] felt concern about the talk, wanting to protect he Church against being misunderstood as espousing ultraconservative politics or an unthinking ‘follow the leader’ mentality.” [1] What follows is a review of each point with some historical context and my own thoughts and analysis.

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Conference quotes: “keep the Spirit of the Lord”

In February 1847, the Latter-day Saints were quartering in the Omaha Nation. Young had gathered those that were sealed to him and others who intended to be into a family company, for migration and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. From the beginning of the month this group prepared for a two day meeting and feast. For the bulk of his discourse at the first day of this gathering, Brigham Young chose adoption—the sealing of non-biological relations—as his subject. People were confused and some had tried to abuse the system. Young in his characteristic manner, did not pull his punches.[1]

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Sunday PM General Conference: The Ezra Taft Benson Memorial Conference Thread

(Yawns, stretches fingers, flexes neck muscles…)

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Semiannual General Conference. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

(On site today are Kristine Haglund, M Miles, and the Crawdaddy himself, John C.)
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Two more hours, folks. You can do it. [Read more...]

Sunday AM General Conference: The “No, I Will Not Attend Your Brunch” Thread

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Semiannual General Conference. We appreciate your willingness to reject your neighbors’ brunchly advances this Sabbath day in favor of staring at a computer screen. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

(On site today are Kristine Haglund, M Miles, and the Crawdaddy himself, John C.)
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The only thing better than 3 hours of Church on Sunday is 4 hours of Church on Sunday! Who’s with me?!?
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Ye Elders of Israel!

You should all be in the meeting, without your iPhones, but just in case…

Elder Russell M. Nelson: Be Thou an Example of the Believers

[it would be interesting to see how often this scripture gets used in the Priesthood session compared to other times...] [Read more...]

Saturday PM General Conference: The Hanging-By-A-Thread Thread!

Welcome back to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Semiannual General Conference, as the Saturday afternoon session is about to get started. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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Only 8 more hours to go, folks. [Read more...]

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

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Semiannual General Conference, live from Salt Lake City! BCC will provide near-continuous live commentary, photography, and other goodies throughout the weekend’s activities. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage on the blog. We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from LDS.org.

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

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

General Conference: Teh Contest

We already know how you’re going to follow General Conference this year: by following our open thread and our Twitter feed. We also strongly suspect that most of you lot will be watching in your pajamas, sitting in a hammock. Now you can show us, and win. [Read more...]

15 Things Heard Behind the Podium During General Conference

Do you ever wonder what the Brethren say to each other up on the stand during General Conference? We do, too. [Read more...]

#LDSConf

It’s that semiannual time of year again, folks.

BCC’s coverage of the 180th Seminannual General Conference started last Saturday evening with the Relief Society Broadcast, and will continue throughout the coming weekend and into next week. As is our custom, we will be providing you with the Only True and LivingTM live blogging, Twitter feeds, and analysis of the proceedings throughout the weekend. As always, free babysitting will be provided, courtesy of Times & Seasons.

(As an added bonus, at Kevin Barney’s request, we will also being using talks from the upcoming General Conference in all of our Sunday posts for the next year.) [Read more...]

Making Lemonade from Assigned GC Talks

Yesterday my wife mentioned that she had to give a talk today. That was the first I had heard of it. When I came home from watching the UFC fights, at about midnight, she was still up working on it. I felt bad for her, because I know how much she hates speaking, and she has vowed never to give another talk. But as agonizing as it is for her, she always does a wonderful job. [Read more...]

Gender, Authority and Strange Loops

I want to expand on thoughts expressed by commenters in the Sunday PM General Conference Open Thread, specifically, “…Or maybe, if we’re going to talk about how wise mothers are, and what good teachers, and read sentimental poems about grown men longing to hear their mothers’ voices, we could just, y’know, hear their voices….”

The immediate context of this comment was Brother Foster’s talk, “Mother Told Me,” but the point applies to the entire conference, and more broadly to women’s influence in the church. I’d like to delve deeper into an analysis of some details in Brother Foster’s talk. I want to emphasize that this should not be read as a condemnation of the whole talk. It is both much narrower (a quibble with just one particular example he selected), and much bigger (the whole situation of women in the church), than his talk. Also, on some level, this is just a golden opportunity for me to geek out on some of my favorite geeky topics: logic, paradox and feminism.
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Sunday PM General Conference Photos

More photos from around the Conference Center during the last session of General Conference.

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Sunday PM General Conference: A Morally Clean AND Socially Just Session

We now conclude By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 180th Annual General Conference from the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City! Check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter in addition to coverage of this final session on the blog. We also encourage you to follow Conference streaming live from LDS.org.

I remember last October when the final session of Conference started I was essentially out of energy and ran out of things to say after the first 10 minutes. I have taken precautions this time around to ensure that such a letdown won’t happen again. Basically I spent the entire break scarfing Little Debbie Swiss Rolls. My hands are shaking a bit, but my eyes are open. Roll BCC! [Read more...]

Sunday AM General Conference Photos

More photos from around the Conference Center before and during the Sunday Morning Session.

[Read more...]

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