Saturday Afternoon General Conference

img_1185 We continue our coverage; this post will be updated with photographs and commentary as we go. I’m starting this off but Kristine will take over once she realizes what I’ve been writing. Best conducting award goes to Elder Uchtdorf.
First speaker up: M. Russell Ballard.

Rob, because I like you, I’ll give it my educated guess: Ballard, Cook, Pearson (Q70), Pino (Q70), Scott, Nelson. That’s my guess, anyhow.

Theory: Elder Uchtdorf is presiding because he alone holds the keys of pronunciation. I am getting cultural whiplash from the multitude of nationalities reflected in the names, which strikes me as precisely the way things ought to be. Elder Yoon Hwan Choi strikes me as the first Korean 70; Joseph Sitati is certainly the first African 70 (Kenya).

Elder Ballard: luddite? Keep in mind he is the one responsible for the big blogging uptick. He is saying now though that the internet is a potential hub of mass apostasy. His money quote, I think, is “you can’t do a Google search to gain a testimony. You can’t text-message faith.” It’s a challenge to us to get on our knees, old-skool.


“They had come to understand the sublime destination that was in store for them. They were not fearful of the arduous journey they were undertaking and their ultimate destination was not really the Salt Lake Valley.” Ah! And he closes with this gorgeous quote from Orson Whitney: A loving Father has provided a comprehensive and compassionate plan for His children, “that saves the living, redeems the dead, rescues the damned, and glorifies all who repent.”

And–” I rejoice in the great Plan of Salvation that is big enough for all of our Father in Heaven’s children.” AMEN!!

(Steve)Elder Pino seems like a nice guy, but his delivery makes it sound like this story actually happened to him.

(Kristine again) ok–I’m at my limit for stories about babies dying. Seriously.
Elder Nelson:  “The concept of ‘too much and unneccessary’ could also apply to the length of our prayers.  A closing prayer in a church meeting need not include a summary of each message and should not become an unscheduled sermon.  Private prayers can be as long as we want, but public prayers ought to be short supplications for the Spirit of the Lord to be with us, or brief declarations of gratitude for what has transpired.”  Heh.  I feel a little bad for the person now sitting in the congregation furiously editing the prayer s/he was planning for the benediction of this session :)


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  1. Did you notice that President Uchtdorf didn’t even get one camera shot this morning?

  2. Steve–

    Can you give us a rundown of all the speakers for this session please?

  3. With the outfits that the chicks in the choir are wearing, it looks like the choir director went to a shopping mall and rounded up a bunch of employees at The Limited.

  4. Hey, a multicultural youthful choir. Nice!

  5. Oh, DKL – I was looking at their faces, not their blouses.

  6. Thanks Steve. I’m also guessing that before Ballard, we’ll get the Sustaining of Church Officers, the Statistical Report, and the Audit report?

  7. DKL was discerning their spirits.

  8. I was just out of order on the Statistical and Audit reports.

  9. those have got to be the most invisible glasses i’ve ever seen

  10. I am ready.

  11. Anyone catch that guy in the choir who looked just like “Randy” from “My name is Earl”?

  12. Is Packer not in attendance? They didn’t show him.

  13. Tanya Spackman says:

    Hey! Pres. Uchtdorf pronounces his name with a German accent!


  14. Pres. Uchtdorf’s hair is…just…stunning.


  15. I think Pres. Uchtdorf also just rolled his R’s…I like his German accent with these names.

  16. I get tired of all the “Come thou…” songs. If we said, “Come you…” it would be asinine. Why do we tolerate it when it in archaic form?

  17. I read #13 just as he was saying it… It was great to hear, but did we honestly expect him to say it like we do?

  18. I think he released a Joseph Hicken as an Area Seventy. Does anyone know if that is the same Hicken that was a Stake President of the North Shore Illinois Stake in the early 90s?

  19. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    My family hypothesizes he is in the Tabernacle or Assembly hall. But we don’t really know.

  20. I get tired of DKL being asinine….. :P

  21. Tanya Spackman says:

    #17 – I was kidding :-). ‘Cause, yeah, obviously he’s, well, German.

  22. Does anything happen if people do oppose the sustainings?

  23. DKL, I think I’ve heard all possible complaints now. (Don’t take that as a challenge, please.)

    Insert the comma that belongs between “Come” and “thou” and even thou shouldst be grammatically comforted, howsoever thou pickest.

  24. #12 I have it on good authority that at each conference there are 1 or 2 apostles that are home — not at the Conference Center or Temple Square at all. In case of earthquake or terrorist attack or something they aren’t all in the same building.

  25. Nooooo, we have another McConkie in the General Sunday School Presidency!

  26. Urban legend, CAW…

  27. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    I believe that if you are watching with Church leaders (at temple Square, or in a Stake Center) they are looking and will ask you about it.

  28. I have it on good authority.

  29. Tanya Spackman says:

    Loving the wide range of international names.

  30. Neil L. Anderson — 97th Modern Day Apostle

  31. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Wow – the funniest joke of all Conference and it’s from the Church Auditor!

  32. I always find the confirming of officers to be a very powerful moment. It makes me regret that I was ever inactive. Indeed, due to the fact that I was inactive, I was never able to cast an opposing vote for Richard Klien as a seventy. He was the MTC mission president who sent me home from the MTC, and I would have loved to have cast an opposing vote against him year after year after year. Alas, he’d died by the time I’d returned from inactivity.

    But seriously, what are the odds? The one guy I actually know who’s being sustained in general conference, and he’s a lowlife!

  33. Did you all see Elder Perry, Elder Nelson, and Pres Monson getting ready to correct Pres. Uchtdorf when he almost skipped the audit report and statistical report?

  34. New YM presidency:
    David Beck, Larry Gibson, Adrian Catana

  35. An accountant with a sense of humor. Wow!

  36. Tell the whole story DKL. Why’d he send you home?

  37. Two years ago, I was in the standby line and I got placed in conference overflow in the JSMB. There were one or two apostles sitting in the front by the screen.

  38. I missed the auditor’s joke – can someone fill me in?

  39. “assininitty” isn’t enough?

  40. Rob, it’s all right here in this post. The summary: He was a dick.

  41. I wish they’d text us all their conference talks so we wouldn’t have to listen to them.

    Just kidding.

    Nice texting story by Elder Ballard.

  42. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    I was kinda over-reacting. President Uchdorf messed up and announced the next two speakers instead of the Church auditor and there were a few moments as the auditor was walking up when we were wondering if he’d be corrected. The auditor got up to the podium and quickly said, “I’m neither.”

  43. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Still, the relief made it extremely amusing.

  44. J. Michael says:

    Anybody notice the call of an African member of the 1st Quorum of Seventy? He is Joseph Wafula Sitati, currently serving as a mission president in Nigeria. He was the first president of the Nairobi, Kenya Stake and served as an Area Seventy from 2004-2007. He was an executive with Total Oil and was a Church employee as Director of Public Affairs for Africa.

  45. Texting joke… go Ballard

  46. ah, got it.

  47. Richard Evan’s wife just died? Wow. How much younger was she than him? He passed away in 1971…

  48. #44 – Hopefully that will be noticed.

  49. J. Michael – yes. see the post above.

  50. Santayana quoted.

  51. Anybody get the number of wards and branches?

  52. Big Love reference

  53. Steve Evans,
    Is there a link to the full names and nationalities of those just called?

  54. 2,818 stakes, 348 missions, 622 districts, 28,109 wards & branches.

  55. John Williams says:

    Hey do any GAs tweet?

  56. DavidH, it will be up at the LDSNewsroom later today.

  57. John: no.

  58. Steve–I just gotta know. With a media credential, do you get advance texts of the entire talks, or just some kind of summary of what each speaker will say?

  59. Steve, how did you get the spellings and nationalities so fast? (Trade secret?)

  60. Thanks steve, gotta update my plots–my favorite part of conference.

  61. Tanya Spackman says:

    “You cannot Google a testimony.” That made me smile :-)

  62. Interesting that the most technically-forward focused post is also a statement of the value of the past. (Not that such focus speaks to ME or anything … )

  63. You can’t test-message faith? What?!?

  64. 63: I think he said TEXT message faith.

  65. Anyone know what year they dedicated the Conference Center?

  66. MCQ is old. He doesn’t understand technology like Elder Ballard does.

  67. fascinating insight, Ardis.

  68. MCQ is our Edsel.

    Rob: ancient Chinese secret.

    BTW, a word to the wise: Elder Cook’s talk is the best of the afternoon, so pay attention.

  69. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Conference Center, 2000

  70. @ #65: 2000

  71. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Um, Steve, do you have a time machine?

  72. I just broke Elder Ballard’s commandment, and I googled “a testimony.” This is what I found.

  73. Steve knows this because he not only has the gift of the Holy Ghost — he uses it.

  74. John Williams says:

    On, the tag #ldsconf is on the front page as a “trending topic.”

  75. “The summary: He was a dick.”

    i’m pretty sure he thought the same.

  76. Looks like Quentin L. Cook is the one to throw down the gauntlet at our critics this conference.

  77. “A liberal salvation” – Bloggernacle code? *grin*

  78. i do apologize for my irreverence during conference but it was too easy…

    love you d!

  79. When does the church put the text of the talks on its website?

  80. @79: I think it’s Thursday.

  81. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    It usually takes a few days for minor editing before they are released.

  82. LDS in KC says:

    Confusion of doctrines is a key point! Many non-LDS expect that our doctrine consigns them to Hell, and associate us with those religious traditions that do.

  83. They already have most of the text typed up, right Steve? :D

  84. mfranti: i’m pretty sure he thought the same.

    A lot of people do. Maybe I’m general authority material after all!

  85. In fairness, LDS in KC, we ourselves often desire to be associated with those traditions that do.

  86. “We shouldn’t judge members of our own faith regardless of their levels of activity.”

    My favorite line of the conference thus far.

  87. Elder Cook is right. We don’t typically talk about people going to hell much in this Church.

    I have always liked that feature.

  88. Quentin’s middle name is “LaMar.” Hee hee.

  89. brandt,
    usually around Wednesday or Thursday during the week following. Audio and Video records go up earlier.

  90. I am proud to belong to one of the few churches that manages to not send everyone else to hell.

  91. LDS in KC says:

    Brad, #85, no argument from me on that point. It is unfortunate when we advance that association, thus denying a stunning reality for ourselves and for those who do not yet know us.

  92. I’ve heard they do more than just cosmetic and grammar changes to the talks between the live session and Ensign publication time.

    My dad was always adamant that only the PUBLISHED conference talks have authority since the spoken talks must first be approved by Church authorities before publication.

  93. Thanks guys. I’m anxious to get the text of his talk, because I think there’s a ton of stuff in there that we fail to think about (the going-to-hell thing stuck out to me)

  94. Back to live action. We had to rewind the text story at the beginning of Elder Ballards for the irreverent teenagers in the house. Love being able to FF through some of the music.

  95. Seth R: I’ve heard they do more than just cosmetic and grammar changes to the talks between the live session and Ensign publication time.

    I wish they’d have done the same with Jesus’s teachings, would have saved us a world of hate.

  96. LDS in KC says:

    John, #90, I am also–the issue is that we need to work hard to disabuse others of the perception that we do not send others to Hell. Ray, #86, me too!

  97. Seth, I noticed one occasion a line was removed. (Full disclosure, I only noticed because a friend told me to watch the talk while following along…) It didn’t seem particularly troublesome, but I do tend toward liberal theology.

  98. What is his name? For a second there, I thought Ray Romano was speaking.

  99. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Seth R,
    Occasionally they will do more, but usually they will fix grammatical errors and soften the occasional doctrinal error or controversial statement. The best example of a large edit is the one over a decade ago comparing the differences between the Church and the gospel that got both rewritten and refilmed into a new talk about the union between the church and the gospel. but that is the exception.

  100. Mephibosheth says:

    Elder Packer made a statement a few conferences ago about how “we have nothing to apologize for” which was absent from the published version of the talk.

  101. Bree, that’s not funny. His name is David Schwimmer, and he doesn’t look anything like Ray Ramano.

  102. Needs a longer face and wider eyes to be Romano.

  103. They do edit the conference talks, but they mostly just remove the lies.

  104. NCN Tom speaks the truth.

  105. oh, for a second I thought he was saying the valiant missionary was a woman. that would have been cool.

  106. #101 – I actually looked up David Schwimmer thinking it was the speaker, and am now missing the rest of the talk for laughter.

  107. “Personal righteousness is a choice.” Take that, homosexuals!

  108. Net Usable Faith. I like that.

  109. Particles? Atoms? What?

    The use of analogies is pushed way too far in general conference.

  110. My oldest son, after hearing about the mathematical equation, was:


  111. Elder Cook – YES!

  112. Note that the doubt he is discussing is self-doubt, not doubt in general

  113. Douglass, you got some serious delay man.

  114. Six Destructive D’s – Somebody read Pres. Hinckley’s book.

  115. CJ D got so bored with this talk re rewound the tivo.

    also Kristine just left to go to the bathroom, if that’s any indicator.

  116. Looks like Elder Pearon has a degree in finance and a Harvard MBA. Explains the use of “Net Usable Faith”

  117. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    An important distinction, John C.

  118. Pearson’s talk is actually fairly doctrinally dense. I find it interesting, even if others of you do not.

  119. Rachel (#106) I’m glad you got that joke!

  120. First Mexican speaker.

  121. Is going to Harvard Business School a spiritual decision?

  122. #118 – I agree – I will enjoy reading the talk once I get past the devices and am not distracted by the delivery

  123. Eric Russell says:

    “I’ve heard they do more than just cosmetic and grammar changes to the talks between the live session and Ensign publication time.”

    I’ve heard that you can find out for yourself by watching the video on the church website as you read along.

  124. They only make minor grammatical changes to conference talks. ;-)

  125. RAchel–I think it is. You choose to go there so you can make more money and pay more tithing.

  126. Doubt
    (lack of) Diligence

    Pushing it once again.

  127. Oh, my goodness. I’m extremely touched by the story about his daughter.

  128. Eric #123, Elder Poelman actually re-recorded the video version of his talk, with a cough track and everything, so it could be included on the videotapes (it was 1984).

  129. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    That’s the one.

  130. In the LDS tradition we speak so much as faith versus fear that, in a conversation with a close friend who is a protestant minister, I once referred to a New Testament scripture as saying that “perfect faith casteth out fear.” He gently pointed out that the scripture actually says that “perfect love casteth out fear.” 1 John 4:18. I wonder why we so frequently refer to faith as being the antidote to fear rather than love as being the antidote.

    (I mention this because Elder Pearson also mentioned the LDS paradigm of faith being inconsistent with fear.)

  131. Rachel, see above — it WASN’T his daughter.

  132. We watch conference on our TV and use the option for the hearing impaired so that we can read along with it at the same time. It helps our kids too. Especially with all these great accents!

  133. Eric Russell: I’ve heard that you can find out for yourself [about changes to conference talks] by watching the video on the church website as you read along.

    A testimony needs to be based on prayer and scripture study, Eric, not factual verification.

  134. So, to keep our children engaged, my wife is picking one word for each session. As we watch the session, if the key word is spoken, there is a bowl of candy and each person can get a piece of candy. For this session, the word is Temple. My 14 year old daughter complained at the start of the session that they wouldn’t use that word enough. We’ve each had the opportunity to partake from the bowl 7 times this session — 5 during the statistical report, and 2 during Elder Pino’s talk.

  135. #125 – I was thinking what a good investment the PEF is for the church (not in only monetary ways, of course, but increasing the income of your members by 3 or 4 times can’t hurt the tithing coffers!)

  136. #133, make that a drinking game and you are on to something! ;-)

  137. btw, #133, great idea for a game. I’m going to use that one.

  138. I’d like to question him on several points, because as he has stated them, they strike me as… misstated or easy to misunderstand. Perhaps he’d agree with me and restate if I asked.

    Is perfect understanding really a prerequisite to faith? Are fear faith and doubt absolute black-and-whites?

    I thought he sounded a little McConkie-esque, and then he quotes Elder McConkie.

    I dunno. I’ll be thinking about this one, and not quoting it in any lessons anytime soon.

  139. Ben, I didn’t get that message from McConkie. What it was saying was that faith is strengthened by righteous action.

  140. Elder Scott… scares me because he looks right at the camera like he’s looking at me.

  141. #133 – Lots of candy for Rob’s kids!

  142. LDS in KC says:

    Steve #131: I thought the tragedy was about his youngest daughter! Was it someone else?

  143. While this message might be fantastic, I have trouble with RGS’s cadence and tempo and voice. GRrrrrr… it’s an exercise in faith to LISTEN.

  144. Latter-day Guy says:

    “Elder Pino seems like a nice guy, but his delivery makes it sound like this story actually happened to him.”

    That’s technically referred to as the “Paul H. Dunn Style” of public speaking.

  145. #141 – The daughter of one of his counselors when he was a Bishop.

  146. The candy bowl will soon be empty.

    “Making up for missed sessions.” That’s dedication.

  147. Rob, your kids are going to end up in a diabetic coma after this one. At least its being delivered with the tortoise-like pace of RGS. Did someone accidentally hit that slow-mo button on the Tivo remote?

  148. Ray speaks the truth. it was a counselor’s daughter.

  149. Kristine says:

    Bad form, L-d Guy.

  150. Elder Scott is like a human Del Parson Jesus painting – no matter where I go, he’s always looking at me.

  151. I find myself leaning forward, wanting to finish his sentences. Tortise-like would be super!

  152. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    143, ouch. :-/

  153. The funniest part is, it’s the older kids that are still engaged and rushing the bowl each time.

  154. #144, #147, hmm. I’m less touched.

  155. Latter-day Guy says:

    Does it make me evil to want to hear Elder Scott say something about a “fully armed and operational battlestation!” during his talk?

  156. Elder Scott: the Staremaster.

  157. L-d G, I would love for Palpatine to deliver this talk on his behalf.

  158. Just for the record, Elder Pino said explicitly that it was not his daughter. He was very clear about who was involved, and that he was relating what he had been told. The use of “I” was appropriate, given his introduction explanation.

    Sorry, but I get a bit miffed when charges are made like that when they are flat-out unjustified.

  159. Mephibosheth says:

    This GC thread is starting to sound like a Police Beat Roundtable.

  160. Latter-day Guy says:

    148, 151,

    Oh, come on. I actually really like Elder Dunn…

    …we fought together in ‘Nam.

  161. how often did Elder Scott said he did a temple ordinance & for what period of time

  162. i would like to say that while his rate of speech is slow… it’s a dream for the translators. Maybe that’s why he speaks at a calm, even, slow rate.

  163. RGS instructing us to take our watches off when we go to the temple…

    I’ve never thought about taking it off, but it’s interesting council

  164. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    Isn’t D&C 131 kinda shaky to use? Not to imply that if it a poor source we should avoid the doctrines it teaches, but still I would try to find a different source.

  165. listening for supernal says:

    I just got “supernal” for my Conference bingo

  166. #160 one ordinance a week for the past 14 years.

  167. GSJ — I don’t think he gave the frequency. He just indicated that he has one which he aims to achieve.

  168. LDS in KC says:

    Elder Pino’s account was very moving–and no less tragic because it was not his own child.
    Obviously, I need to take notes to keep the story straight.

  169. I nominate comment #143 for a niblet.

  170. Hey do any GAs tweet?

    Well, as we heard this a.m. – if they do during the session, they are a distraction to everyone else around them.

    Now, do they tweet during intermissions, or does their coach prohibit that too?

  171. ldsdad #161, Not really. I worked with some translators in China at a recent conference and was told to speak at a normal pace, but give slightly longer pauses *between sentences*. Pausing between words can be distracting to a translator because some words might be translated differently depending on the context, which you get from the entire sentence.

  172. belledame2 says:

    Richard G. Scott has a way of relaxing me and before I know it zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  173. The written account is considered correct.

    (It’s like a baby blessing. It doesn’t matter what name you give at the pulpit. What counts is what’s on the paper that the parents sign and give back to the clerk.)

  174. Pseudoscience question of the day: Partlicles of Faith become molecules of what?

  175. pwaldrop2 says:


    Why would D&C 131 be a “shaky” reference to use?

  176. interesting how Elder Pino’s and Elder Scott’s talks were delivered together. And #167, you’re right – accounts of suffering being borne through faith are always moving regardless who tells them, and each person I’m sure could supply several.

  177. #172 Sorry, no sale.

  178. 176 – Which part?

  179. I’m sending everyone outside after this session to run off their sugar high while I watch the first fame of the final four.

  180. “The written account is considered correct.”

    Assuming you are talking about massive changes to conference talks. Otherwise I’m just confused and you can strike it from the record.

  181. #179 – Sounds good. Where’s Steve’s hammer?

  182. So if there’s a discrepancy between the written record and the spoken record, the spoken is correct?

    Boy, then anyone who missed the spoken part is really screwed…

  183. belledame2 says:

    I really like Russell M. Nelson’s talk on prayer.

  184. LDS in KC says:

    Elder Scott’s comments on the Temple, his wife and loved ones already diseased, are a wonderfully moving account in concert with Elder Pino’s comments. And Rachel, yes, there is much comfort supplied to us, amidst severe pain and grief.

  185. Kevin W. Pearson gave an excellent talk, Faith molecules notwithstanding. Disappointment leads to lowered expectations. I with I had known where he was going when he started the string of one thing leading to another. Now I have to wait to get the list.

  186. #181

    That reminds me of the time-travel discussion in this week’s Lost.

  187. In the case of Elder Poelman, he gave the talk he wrote. He was later asked to revise it because it would likely be misinterpreted. In that case, his original talk was a correct expression of his thoughts, and the written version was a correct expression of someone else’s thoughts on what his thoughts should be.

    “The written account is considered correct.” just sounds too much like a set rule, thus no sale, at least for me.

  188. #186 – Clay, your third sentence doesn’t reflect the actual meaning of your second sentence. Perhaps your bias is showing just a bit? The fact that this talk is used on an anti-Mormon site (that you linked here) to discredit the Church, and that your own second sentence is a perfectly innocuous and reasonable request given the concern, says something to me about your perspective in constructing your criticism.

  189. How come I’ve never heard this quote by Joseph F. Smith? I love it. It speaks to the importance of intent.

  190. Proud to be the BCC Edsel, Steve:

    Especially compared to your automotive alter-ego:

  191. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    I think it was in response to my query on D&C 131; never meant a threadjack.
    The section is an expansion on some quick notes made during some lectures given by Joseph Smith. Since they are expansions they do not represent the words of the Prophet Joseph exactly; however, the expansion was under the supervision of church leadership in 1856 and 1876 and, as such, doesn’t mean it somehow is saying something Joseph never meant. I avoid using the section, however, for this reason and you can find pretty much all of its doctrines elsewhere.

  192. “Public prayers ought to be short supplications.” Get out your stopwatches for the benediction. We’ll see if the person called on to pray next was listening to this talk.

  193. An instruction to keep public prayers brief.

    Thank goodness someone said it.

    Two bucks says the closing prayer for this session doesn’t take Elder Nelson’s advice and drones-on.

    Any takers?

  194. I’ll take that bet Seth.

  195. The length of prayers in conference is dictated principally by the time remaining.

  196. Kristine says:

    Ray, I don’t know about Clay’s motivations, but I have no anti- ax to grind, and I find the incident with Elder Poelman’s talk quite disturbing.

  197. Depending on the length of the song, if 193 is correct, we could be in for a long one.

  198. My daughter just asked me:

    “When Jesus prays, does he say, ‘In the name of Me’?”

  199. Well I agree that public prayers should be short. I still do not understand the Church’s (and Elder Nelson’s) insistence on using Thee and Thou, other than as time-cultural constraint. Since the most culturally conservative churches in the U.S. (and even the Pope–not exactly a liberal person) use “you” and “your” in prayer, I have a hard time understanding how “you” and “your” are too casual. I suppose it ends up being a cultural-religious boundary marker.

  200. Wow, I’m impressed by those boys in the choir. they sound quite nice.

  201. Robert B. says:

    I suspect their is some indicator (clock?) on the podium at General Conference so they can say Amen at the appropriate time to cut to commercial.

  202. Mephibosheth says:

    #191 No deal!

  203. #187, Run out of windmills, Ray? sigh.

    You can actually watch the original talk on youtube. It was fantastic. I linked the comparison from that particular website because it gives a clear comparison of the two versions. As for interpretations, I’m a social construction guy, so I admit to being biased. So are you, brother.

  204. My son’s 14 year old friend asked if all those girls in the choir are young and single. I said “Yes, and no.”

  205. Mephibosheth says:

    #197 – Not only that, but in other languages members of the church use the same forms but they are the familiar, less-formal pronouns.

  206. Kristine says:

    I’m wondering what the translators of languages like German and Spanish that use the familiar for prayers do with the “formal” prayer language bits…

  207. Seth: you win.

  208. Wow. Short prayer. Finished a minute early.

  209. #201

    Clay, here is another illegible look at the talk I put together a few years ago.

  210. wow! no way – that wonderful man always used to give hugely long prayers.

  211. Kristine, we just differ on that, I guess.

    I’ve given hundreds of talks and speeches in my life, and I’ve had quite a few people ask me for a copy at times. I’ve altered my talk or speech, sometimes substantially, based on the audience that would be hearing it – and I generally ask the person who wants a copy how they will be using it. If there is a good chance my message will be misunderstood, I understand completely a request to clarify it – and even alter it significantly.

    In fact, what I end up writing as a “final” version often is quite different than what I say at the pulpit or in a speech. It’s just no big deal to me.

  212. Naw Steve,

    That was just over a minute. Not that long at all.

    I owe you two bucks.

  213. Time for the Final Four!!

  214. p.s. Admitting that I am biased is not admitting that I am “anti”. I don’t think the Poelman edit was evidence of some major church control issue. I think its more like he originally thought the message was right, and then people who are maybe a little obsessed with the dangers of heterodoxy convinced him the message was ripe for all kinds of uses he didn’t intend.

    My bias is that I am really bummed that we don’t have talks like his original version, which would be like a life-blood to me spiritually in this church.

  215. Ray, that seems like an odd practice. If people ask you for a copy of your talk, they probably want the talk you gave, not a talk you would have given if you were talking to a different audience. It is, however, one way to ensure you don’t get asked for copies of your talk again!

  216. Ray, I think Clay linked to the lds-mormon site because that is the only place, at least that I have found, that contains both versions of the talk. That site, overall maybe “anti-Mormon”, but I do not think that knowing that there were two versions of the talk, and telling other people about it (and linking to a copy that happens to be on an “anti-Mormon” site), are themselves anti-Mormon act.

  217. NoCoolName_Tom says:

    The problem I have with Elder Poelman’s talk is this: it always comes up when people discuss the editing of Conference talks as though it were a good example of the way Conference talks are edited. It is an exception, not an example.

    Yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy since I brought it up at first, but anytime I bring it up I always try to stress the uniqueness of it.

  218. Clay, there is no “windmill” factor to my comment; I just don’t think it’s a big deal to alter a spoken talk for publication – especially to ask the speaker to do so. If someone else has changed it on their own, that’s one thing; this clearly was a case, as troubling as some might see it, of concern over misunderstanding and asking the speaker to re-write it for clarification. Even you said so in your comment.

    I just don’t get riled up over something LOTS of public speakers do when they get ready to publish what they said. Speeches get revised all the time for publication – but this is presented as somehow a terrible thing if it happens with General Conference talks.

    Sure, I’m biased, as well, but it’s such a common practice that I fail to see why it’s a big deal.

  219. #215-

    In my experience it is on the contrary. It is used as an unfortunate abuse of the practice.

  220. observer says:

    Elder Han in Sang was the first Korean General Authority.

  221. Tom, its an exception AND an example. Its an example to other conference speakers to basically make talks pretty generic and safe. It seems the only stuff that even approaches the fringes of Mormon thought from the church itself comes out of the newsroom… which is really an odd situation.

  222. Also, everyone, I never meant to claim that Clay is “anti”; that’s why I used the word “bias” and never called him anti. I am sorry that wasn’t clearer – sincerely.

    I just thought it was interesting that an anti-Mormon site is the only place that took the time to compare them in that way.

    MCQ, I rarely write my talks and speeches. I outline them, so any print form is going to be a bit different than what I say. I reconstruct what was said to the best of my ability, but I do so based on the audience I believe will be hearing it – and I think that’s true (altering a message to fit the audience) of MANY people, especially those who speak often to differing audiences.

  223. Ray: “his is presented as somehow a terrible thing if it happens with General Conference talks”

    Dude, I am talking about that particular talk from Elder Poelman. The original is incredibly beautiful and meaningful to me personally. The revision strips away the parts that are beautiful (again, a personal perspective). The original is about the relationship between the individual and God. The revision is about the relationship between the individual and the church.

  224. Clay, I apologize. I have heard too many people over the years use it as a hammer that I have a hard time separating those experiences from what you just described.

    My mind was saying, “Here we go again.” Again, I apologize.

  225. I stand corrected. Lloyd (the narrator), thanks for pointing out that your site compares the two talks. Ray, Lloyd’s site is not anti-Mormon in anyway.

  226. # 162, Please.

  227. I have also always preferred Poelman’s original version.

  228. David, the author can say whatever he wants, but that site is FULL of statements that claim Joseph Smith “pretended to be a prophet” (and “pretended to translate the Book of Mormon” and many such charges) – and everything at the site is couched in critical terms explicitly and openly to point out “the problems of Mormonism”. It is as “anti-Mormon” as there is.

    I will apologize to Clay sincerely, but that site is anti-Mormon to its core.

  229. Ray, we are good. Mutual understanding if preferable to apologies anyway.

  230. David, let me rephrase, if it’s acceptable to write a revision (*grin*):

    The CONTENT of MUCH of that site is anti-Mormon in every classic definition of that term that means anything. The author can say whatever he wants to say, but there are too many blatant statements of derision and contempt and denial to qualify as a neutral site or an uplifting site or a scholarly site. The intent is strictly and solely to highlight “problems” – with NO attempt to express any possibility of reasonable reconciliation or compassion. It’s a negative site to the core, which might as well be classified as “anti-Mormon” as anything else. If a non-member read the site, there would be no question that s/he would leave it condemning the Church.

  231. belledame2 says:

    #201/Clay: Please provide the YouTube link for Ronald El Poelman’s talk as was originally given in 1984. I’d like to see that.

  232. Poor Loydo. Reviled again. Feel that love.

  233. Latter-day Guy says:

    228, 230,

    Ray, would you please clarify whether you are referring to the “lds-mormon” site, or to the narrator’s blog, “project mayhem.”

  234. Original Poelman talk on YouTube:
    Part One
    Part Two

  235. belledame2 says:

    Clay: Thanks for the links. I greatly appreciate it!:-)

  236. I still stand by my statement, that the written record of anything in the Church surpasses the spoken record, if the two are in conflict. (There, I qualified it.)

  237. BiV,
    Ray is referring to the lds-mormon site, not the narrator’s

  238. Absolutely the lds-mormon site. Everything I’ve written has referenced that site, not Lloyd’s.

    Sorry for the confusion. I thought that was clear.

  239. Who cares what the trends of the LDS-Mormon site are?

    The content of the two different talks would be not change regardless of the leanings of the site-owner.

  240. narrator,
    As is evident from this discussion, interpretation can be applied to both the why and the how of the editing. It would be surprising if an anti site was generous regarding either question.

  241. RGS always strikes me as being a sad man.

  242. #173:

    Molecules of action, of course.

  243. Sweet Em says:

    #130 THANK YOU for pointing out this difference (love casts out fear, not faith). I had a bishop (who grew up in another religion) point this out to me as I was doubting my faithfulness in the face of a great fear I had. It has meant so much to me to understand the actual scriptural reference and how it allows me to have faith, coupled with my human weaknesses.

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