What I am expecting from General Conference

I generally expect one talk that will knock my socks off, two or three that will become important to me once the Ensign comes out, one or two that I will find silly for some reason or another (pickle analogy, I’m looking at you), several that don’t interest me terribly much but that will seem relatable when I read them later in the year in the Ensign.

I expect to feel the Spirit. I think this comes from participation in a worldwide ritual wherein millions gather to seek the divine and its application in their lives. I think this comes from hearing the counsel and concerns of men I have chosen to follow and whom I believe are conversant with the counsel and concerns of God. I think this comes from thinking more about the meaning of my life than is typical for me (even at my navel-gazing best).

I expect no actual surprises. When President Hinckley was first called, there was always some dramatic announcement (another temple, the Perpetual Education Fund, and so forth). I got to expecting something new and exciting every conference. I don’t see this happening with President Monson (who doesn’t seem to me to have President Hinckley’s love of the limelight nor his flair for the dramatic). I am happy to be proven wrong in this instance.

I expect to be with my family, to listen to the words of the prophets, to decide that I need to change my life, and, hopefully, to actually do something about it this time.

What do you expect from General Conference?


  1. Get out of debt (and stay there). Avoid pornography in all its forms. Don’t worry about the future or what’s around you; focus on your own level of spirituality. A few talks directly to the Aaronic Priesthood. A football analogy. A pilot analogy.

    I don’t expect a new apostle to be called.

  2. I expect that julie beck and elder uchdorf gave the best two talks of this conference last week. I expect elder wirthlin to do well, if he speaks. I expect some changes in the 70. I expect to feel the power of god. I hope to learn something. I hope it changes my life forever. I hope it changes the world and makes it a better place.

  3. Same sex marriage, same sex marriage, and more same sex marriage.

  4. A vacation from church?

  5. Life is one long vacation from church, Sue.

  6. Be not afraid, but be sure to repent.

    Keep the commandments.

    Stay close to the brethren.

    A gooey poem or two. (“Little Boy Blue” one more time?)

    Most likely something that will be written entirely for me. (They try to fit one in each and every conference, because they know how needy I am.)

    Oh and my dial up will probably mess with me the whole time I’m listening.

  7. Thomas Parkin says:

    I think we will hear very little on same sex marriage, but that if we are particularly jacked up about the issue, on either side, we’ll recall hearing a lot about it.

    I’m also not sure about President Monson not making changes. I think we are going to see many changes in the church over the next few years. Perhaps even more fundamental than those that happened with Pres Hinckley. I expect some of the changes that have been percolating around member missionary work to be foregrounded in ways that are pretty radical – for instance.

    Also disagree about the pickle talk. Really important stuff, there – and unfortunate only if people can’t see through the silliness to the aptness of the metaphor.

    Otherwise, same. I usually recall one or two talks as being especially pertinent to me. Perhaps no more because I’m not all people. :)


  8. For general conference I am expect great talk.

  9. Steve Evans says:

    I for one am glad John is channeling his inner lolcat.

  10. Latter-day Guy says:

    I am hoping for Elder Holland to deliver a doctrinal smackdown of some kind. Any subject will do. How does he rock so hard?

  11. Nick Literski says:

    More than the supposed evils of marriage equality, I suspect you’ll hear a larger than normal dose of “follow the prophet,” complete with threats of dire consequences which follow (to the point of death and destruction) whenever people don’t do so.

    I expect you’ll also hear a talk along the lines of Oaks’ recent redefinition of tolerance (i.e. “we love you in spite of how horribly wicked you are, and to show you how much we love you, we’re going to use legislation to make your life hell, in hopes that we can pressure you into living the way we think deity commands you to live”).

  12. (pickle analogy, I’m looking at you)

    The ‘Idaho Falls is built on a pile of rubbish’ analogy is much, much sillier.

    There’s been a teaser out there about the recent change in Areas outside of the US. They were recently reorganized and consolidated, and the word has been that they will be given more autonomy. Rumor has it that they might spell out what that might mean during conference.

    Oh yeah, and large groups of people singing at the same time. Good stuff.

  13. An anecdote from Pres. Monson.

  14. Passive voice.

  15. Aaron Brown says:

    I am scheduled to be made an Apostle at this weekend’s conference. You heard it here first, folks. I was asked not to disclose this publicly beforehand, on pain of demotion back down to my present obscure church rank. Will leaking these facts in a blog comment count against me? I guess we’ll see on Sunday.

    Aaron B

  16. Mark Brown says:

    This weekend on TV, I plan to watch the baseball playoffs, mingled with conference.

    I am expect(ing) to hear that I should have:

    first, a foundation of faith,
    second, a pattern of prayer,
    third, a season of service,
    and finally, a legacy of love.

    I’m looking forward to going out to eat with my son before the priesthood session, although we haven’t yet decided whether it will be for Mexican or hot wings.

    I plan on having at least one good nap during a conference talk.

    When I read the talks on the internet next Thursday night, I plan to be surprised at how good they are.

    Mostly, I’m really looking forward to being with family for the event itself.

  17. I am expect to get more out of reading the talks than listening to them.

  18. Steve,

    If there isn’t a serious grammatical error in the title, it isn’t me.


    The threats of immediate, horrible, tortuous death are why I love conference. It’s also why I voted for Bush (What? Too Partisan?)

  19. I expect to hear: “What happens on Wall St impacts Main St”

    Oops, I mixed up my debate bingo card with my conference bingo card.

  20. Probably some major announcements about the new family history integration program.

  21. I expect a comfortable nap on a couch at my parents house (where we will be visiting) during the final session. I usually cannot help it by then.

  22. Yes, Ronan, I predict that after Conference is over, we will look back and reflect that, hearts were warmed, spirits were touched, and voices raised in hymns of praise.

  23. Reference to the Proclamation on the Family.
    Financial counsel.
    0 invocations by women.
    0 benedictions by women.
    An endorsement of Nothing Wavering, the aggregator for mainstream and orthodox LDS blogs.
    Two female speakers (one on Saturday and one on Sunday): Silvia Allred and Margaret S. Lifferth.

  24. What Queno said. Plus some quotes from Dickens and old-timey American tunes from the 40’s, and a LOT of “said he…”

  25. merrybits says:

    My 13-year old to whine and complain during the one talk I have her actually sit down and listen to.

  26. If I don’t hear the story of the boy who stole Jack’s lunch and how Jack took his licking for him, I’ll be disappointed, and I will owe my neighbor lunch.

  27. 3 New Temples, 4 new GAs (minimum), Explicit advice on what members should be doing (which is a bad case for us as members becuase when they do that we are being dumb. I only predict this because of the backlash from the membership about Californias prop 8 on samesex marriage). 2 Talks on marriage being between a man and a woman (minimum). 1 on getting out of debt.

    And for the big shabang… an anouncement that the world will be ending soon and all saints are supposed to move to Missouri!!!!

  28. I expect to hear someone say:

    Many years ago when I lived on a farm in South Eastern Idaho…

    And something about how it was his/her stewardship to milk a cow.

    I also expect to see the Fall 2008 collection of MoTab moo moo’s. I love the MoTab but I think the choice of the clothes is a little humorous sometimes.

  29. Julie Beck will subtly adopt the diction and cadence of Sarah Palin.

  30. John Mansfield says:

    Since it’s seven months since Craig Jessop left the choir, I’m expecting more Wilberg arrangements.

  31. Stories from Monson about visiting hospitals and giving blessings to people on their death beds.

    Lots of marriage talks as well.

  32. John can you have more Wilberg than “all wilberg”

  33. Ronan (14), amen!

    dug (26), I challenge you to use that story next time you teach priesthood meeting. c’mon, you know you want to.

    What I would like to hear in conference is a voice of humility among the bold testimonies and the lengthy admonitions to DO more. Elder Wirthlin was brilliant last April with his “Concern for the One,” and Marlin Jensen gave an excellent talk in a recent area conference that I hope he’ll revisit in general conference. I hope to hear something along those lines this time, too.

    And sadly, I expect to hear at least one shrill admonition about the evils of same sex marriage balanced out with at least one statement on how much we need to love those afflicted with same gender attraction. But I don’t expect to be enlightened by either speaker.

  34. Another clear statement of political neutrality (wink), followed by several talks that frequently use the words “maverick” and “reform” (wink, wink). Let he/she who has ears to hear . . . .

    Oh wait, I am confusing this conference with the one in St. Paul . . . .

  35. Aaron B,

    If your name is not presented, I will make a motion from the floor. Will someone here offer a second?

  36. #15–Aaron Brown, you are lolz.

  37. I expect we will marvel at the ladies’ hairdos.

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