Self-Assessment and Babies

Casual listeners* to general conference may have come away with the impression that the Church, as represented by Elder Neil L. Andersen, really wants us to have more babies. There is plenty of reason for this, but I’m going to suggest that Elder Andersen was making a subtler and more nuanced point. The target of the post was not childlessness; it was selfishness. [Read more…]

Boyd K. Packer and Prophetic Despair

I’m just going to say it. Please don’t throw things.

I loved President Packer’s talk. [Read more…]

Daring to Stand: President Monson’s Priesthood Address

President Monson’s address during this October’s Priesthood session at first seems somewhat unremarkable in theme: he bemoans the lack of moral compasses found in folks today, and calls on members of the Priesthood to stand up and be counted as Mormons and to adhere to the laws of God. This is a familiar theme for President Monson, who is a missionary through and through. The talk raises a few questions and takes a novel approach in describing what it means to stand as a Mormon. This post is a brief walking tour of President Monson’s address, going through the themes and issues of his remarks in order. The audio of the talk is available here. [Read more…]

Uncle Buck Demonstrates the Wisdom of President Dalton’s Counsel

President Elaine S. Dalton, speaking in this morning’s conference: “Fathers, if  your daughter isn’t back from her date on time, go get her!” [Read more…]

Sunday PM General Conference: The Languatron Memorial Session

And we are finally here–the final session of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference. We are still giving constant coverage on Twitter as well as here 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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Lunch for me today was just nuts. Brazil nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc… Salty!

Okay, John C. on the live-blogging this session, Scott B. on Teh Tweets.
[Read more…]

Sunday AM General Conference: The Gordon Jump Memorial Session

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the Sunday Morning session of the 181st Semi-Annual 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.

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Alrighty…had some problems with my Interwebs this morning, but we are finally up and running now.

I had a Ziplock baggie full of Reese’s Puffs for breakfast today. How about you? [Read more…]

Let My People Pray: It’s time to consider having women give opening/closing prayers in General Conference

To my knowledge, no woman has ever given an opening or closing prayer in a general session of General Conference. It is time to reconsider this practice of not calling women to share in the giving of these prayers.

The church has been engaged in a sustained effort to identify and end inequalities between men and women that are without doctrinal justification, such as women not being allowed to give opening prayers in Sacrament Meetings and women’s voices not being adequately included in Ward Councils. In particular, the new Handbook and accompanying Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast explicitly emphasize this theme. In doing so, the church is showing its awareness that seemingly little things, like restrictions on who gives the opening/closing prayers in Sacrament Meeting, can send a big message that “you aren’t important,” or, when working as they should (as under the new handbook), a message that “we really do value everyone’s voices.” These messages radiate from the little things to all aspects of how we treat one another.
[Read more…]

Saturday Evening General Conference: The Connor Macleod Memorial Priesthood Session

It’s evening. It’s the Priesthood session. We’re kicking back and relaxing a bit, so feel free to provide your own thoughts on the talks as they come over the satellite. We’ll update as we have energy…
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[Read more…]

Saturday PM General Conference: The Edgar Albert Guest Memorial Session

Welcome to By Common Consent’s live coverage of the Saturday afternoon session of the 181st Semi-Annual 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.
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We ate (lousy) teriyaki for lunch. What about you? [Read more…]

Saturday AM General Conference: The T&S Memorial Session

Welcome to The Times & Seasons Memorial General Conference Thread, as part of By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference! We will be providing you with near-continuous live commentary, and other goodies throughout the weekend’s activities. Don’t forget to check out our minute-by-minute coverage on Twitter and updates on Facebook, 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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It’s go-time!

In case you’re wondering, I’m munching some Peanut M&Ms, John C. is eating Golden Oreos, and Stapley is scarfing down the Nacho Cheese Doritos. What are you consuming with your GC this morning? [Read more…]

Come, Follow #ldsconf

It’s that Semi-Annual time of year again, and the rumors of an announcement regarding the 2-hour block have reached a fever-pitch.

It's not like they're mutually exclusive options...

BCC’s coverage of the 181st Semi-Annual General Conference kicked off with President Beck last weekend. This weekend, settle in with a casserole dish of funeral potatoes and a bowl of Jell-O salad while J. Stapley, John C., and Scott B. spoon-feed The Only True and LivingTM conference coverage: Live-blogging, tweeting (#ldsconf), Facebook (guaranteed to all be Top Stories!), and analysis of the proceedings throughout the weekend. As always, free babysitting will be provided, courtesy of Times & Seasons.

What you need to know:

1. Live-blogging, with BCC perma commentary, photos, and open threads for all sessions here at By Common Consent, starting about about 30 minutes before each session.

2. Twitter Updates throughout the weekend at Twitter.com/ByCommonConsent. Use the #ldsconf hash tag on Twitter for more (albeit inferior) updates from the Twittersphere.

3. Commentary, quotes, and photos on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” or Subscribe to BCC’s Facebook page in order to access this new area of coverage! [Read more…]

BCC Zeitcast 73: Ken Jennings vs. GST

BCC’s beloved podcast returns! It’s been months since the last podcast, but we hope the new episodes are worth the wait.

In this episode, Scott B. listens in as John C. outlines his hopes for the upcoming General Conference (Hint: 2-hour block!), BHodges talks with long-time BCC friend Ken Jennings about Ken’s new book “Maphead,” and Mormon blogging legend GST makes an appearance to tell the world what it feels like to be humiliated on national TV. And if that lineup isn’t sufficient, we also have the sound of our very own Kristine Haglund listening to songs by Michael McLean.

Episode Content Guide (below the fold) [Read more…]

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.
[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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]

[Read more…]

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…]

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