Saturday Afternoon General Conference: The Session Mighty and Strong

We here at BCC would like to thank you all for being courteous in driving after the Morning session concluded today. We are now back, with the Afternoon session set to get underway in about 3 minutes. Remember to get up-to-the-minute commentary, quotes, and door prizes on our Twitter feed, @ByCommonConsent.

More to come, but let’s get it started.

Fun Fact #3: I ate at Crown Burger for lunch. I may have a heart attack during this session.

Elders Didier, Madson, Michelson, Neuenschwander are now Emeritus GA’s. Elders Callister, Christensen, Dunn, Partley, Shumway, and Wood released as members of the 2nd Quroum of the 70.

I love Elder Wood–one of the most memorable stake conferences of my life came when he visited and provided a blessing on the congregation that still brings chills to me thinking about it.

Announced are Elders Oaks and Hales–should be a great session start.

Alright, folks. Elder Oaks addressed some very touchy subjects related to parenting and children–cohabitation, drugs & alcohol, general disobedience–and how we are to react as parents in requiring obedience or tolerating behavior contrary to the commandments. I expect there will be plenty of discussion over that one in the coming months–what are your initial reactions?


From Elder Hales:

“However, we must be careful not to constrain His influence. When we do not do what is right, or when our outlook is dominated by skepticism, cynicism, and irreverence toward others and their beliefs, the Spirit cannot be with us. We then act in a way that the prophets describe as the natural man.”

Bloggernacle mass repentance will begin at approximately 4:05 PM MST.

Elder Zeballos:

“However, it begins to appear possible upon understanding that … we are not alone.”

Even though right now you’re on your own…(with apologies to Matsby)

From Elder Kent D. Watson, speaking on temperance:

“…a temperate soul–one who is humble and full of love–is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control or temper our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength we can protect ourselves from dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world.”

Elder Andersen’s sophomore talk as an Apostle is a great one–focusing on the need to allow ourselves to be wrapped in the arms of the Lord through repeated repentance and humble faith. The entire conference center seems to have a different feeling with Elder Andersen speaking; his voice and presence invoke a feeling of respect and reverence. It’s a neat feeling.

President Packer is delivering his talk from his chair on the stand. Some of these men have been around for so long that they take on an aura of permanence, of immortality. Seeing President Packer sitting–and other recent events, such as Elder Wirthlin & Elder Nelson at the rostrum, President Faust, and President Hinckley’s cane–reminds me that these Prophets and Apostles are mortal men, with the same difficulties, both physical and otherwise, that we all experience.

From President Packer:

“Learn to pray. Pray often. Pray in your mind, in your heart. Pray on your knees. Prayer is your personal key to heaven. The lock is on your side of the veil. And, I have learned to conclude all my prayers with ‘Thy will be done.'”

Very touching last remarks from President Packer–testifying in a very personal way of President Monson’s role as President of the Church, and pleading for prayer on behalf of President Monson, his wife Francis, and his family. The closeness and decades-old friendship between those two great men was very bare and open for everyone to see there.

That’s all for this session, folks! Men, go iron your white shirts and get your lazy butts to Priesthood meeting in two hours. See you then!

And please–be courteous in driving.

Saturday Afternoon General Conference: The Session Mighty and Strong


  1. and go

  2. Um, mixed choir dresses? Whoa.

  3. Some women need to learn that some shirts are made to be tucked in and look foolish hanging out. Still, I think I like this choir.

  4. Liberal Mormon says:

    I love the mixed color of dresses

  5. I mean some are blue and some are red.

    Oh, I see. It’s actually more nuanced: button-up shirts of every hue of red, blue and purple.

    So there are purple shirts after all.

  6. @Ben, they had to figure out a way to get *some* color in a group from Bountiful and Farmington.

  7. Grab a sandwich everyone…..It’s HIGH NOON, which means time for afternoon conference and LUNCH!! I gotta say, I love the new days, as opposed to the olden days.

  8. And yellow!

  9. I hope nobody was playing the MoTab drinking game for the opening hymn–if you took a shot for every key change, you’d be sloshed already, I think!

  10. ::hand raised::

  11. SCOTT–can we get the full lineup for this conference please?

  12. It’s the sustain!

  13. Droylsden says:

    Someone’s not a fan of key changes? I never noticed. Actually, I guess they often change keys for the last verse. I know nothing about music. Are frequent key changes bad?

  14. Tanya Spackman says:

    Of the Twelve, Pres. Uchdorf has the best tie.

  15. just started 4th verse of post-prayer song. Slight lag even on “live” feed.

  16. Aaron Brown says:

    If you’re going to ask if there are any hands in opposition, you need to actually look up to see if there are any.

  17. Liberal Mormon says:

    A few did object during the sustaining of GAs

  18. How long do 70s serve until they are emeritus?

  19. Kim Siever says:

    My 11-year-old just shushed me.

  20. Tanya Spackman says:

    Yay for more love and commandments! I like Elder Oaks.

  21. Aaron Brown says:

    Is Oaks’ discourse partially motivated by the “unconditional love” brouhaha?

  22. Oh boy. The gay marriage talk.

  23. Tanya Spackman,


    Elders Oaks and Christofferson had the best.

  24. Droylsden–nothing wrong with key changes, except when they’re used too frequently for cheap intensification of musical effects.

  25. Kim Siever says:

    Tanya, I am partial to Elder Scott’s tie.

  26. Liberal Mormon says:

    I don’t care personally for that lawyer talk from Dallin Oaks

  27. Chad Too (6), Oh snap!

  28. Aaron Brown says:

    OK, so what is the “law” related to the sufferings endured by this-or-that race?

  29. Tanya Spackman says:

    Elder Oaks’ tie is my least favorite of them all. I’m not a fan of the brown/yellow. On anyone.

  30. Kim Siever says:

    I predict Elder Oaks will be the next president of the church.

  31. My favorite talk so far.

  32. Liberal Mormon says:

    At least Oaks can distinguish the difference between God’s unconditional love and the blessings God will give based on following his commandments, unlike Russell M. Nelson

  33. Kim, that would take a lot of apostles dying before President Monson. I don’t see it happening.

  34. Liberal Mormon says:

    Better Oaks than Packer!

  35. Liberal Mormon says:

    President Uchdorf is really cool!

  36. Tanya Spackman,

    Yellow is risky in a tie. But a maize / navy stripe looks great.

  37. creatively angry?

  38. Kim Siever says:

    Rob, it would take only two apostles dying.

  39. I stand corrected. I was thinking he was 5th in line. I can see Packer dying first, but not Perry.

  40. Liberal Mormon, you’ll be sure to let us know if anything or anyone meets with your approval, won’t you? Until then, can it.

  41. Liberal Mormon says:

    Anger and wrath are indicators of God’s love?

  42. You’ve been warned Liberal Mormon.

  43. #41,

    actually yes.

  44. Liberal Mormon says:


  45. I have a hard time using God’s love as a close parallel to parental love. Mortal parents are rarely good at balancing unconditional love and disappointment when their kids don’t measure up. This has caused disastrous consequences in my family of origin. I’d rather be too accepting of my children, warts and all, than not accepting enough.

  46. Glad to see the blog monitors are fulfilling their duties.

  47. Steve Evans says:

    Lib Mo, you’re in the holding pen until you cool off.

    Scott: Are there any G.A.s wearing Disney ties? TELL US.

  48. Aaron Brown says:

    Elder Oaks says God will not protect some people from other people’s choices, although he will help them endure the consequences of others’ choices. How broadly is this intended? Is it wrong to think God EVER intervenes to protect some people from other people’s actions?

  49. Kim Siever says:

    My mistake. It would take three, but he is a decade younger than they are.

  50. Thanks, Ardis. It’s kind of hard to wait to understand the overall context of someone’s message when every statement is taken in isolation and dissected all on its own.

  51. Kim Siever says:

    Rob, Perry is older than Packer. FWIW.

  52. Is our theology really this legalistic? Or is this just the theological speculations of a lawyer and judge?

  53. YES! Elder Oaks hits on cutting people off over sexual sin. NOT APPROPRIATE

  54. Kim Siever says:

    Which glory we attain isn’t dependent on any of God’s love?

  55. His talks are always so well organized that even a fourth-grader learning how to outline would have no trouble with him as an example. I love the way he runs logically through every permutation of law and mercy, relating each back to core principles.

  56. Liberal Mormon says:

    sorry for my earlier comments

  57. the narrator, I think it’s the latter.

  58. I could totally see Elder Oaks as a Supreme Court justice.

  59. I’m hoping Oaks finishes this with that grace thing I hear about in the scriptures.

  60. …doubt it though.

  61. He’s doing it, narrator.

  62. Our theology has a long history of legal views of justice, and mercy. Viz., Proxy Baptism. Oaks is a smart and capable leader, and inspired.

  63. I like Oaks’ no-nonsense style, even when his directness makes me squirm.

  64. Except Oaks defines love legalistically instead of seeing it as something that can supercede and transcend legality.

  65. Is mercy an aspect of love? or is it a separate entity?

  66. Yellow is risky in a tie. But a maize / navy stripe looks great.

    Anything in maize-and-blue looks terrible. Scarlet-and-grey, though, are colors of the Divine.

  67. No he doesn’t, narrator. That’s not AT ALL what he actually said.

  68. narrator,

    that is why we have multiple talks and 12 apostles. Pres. Uchdorf presented love in different terms. It is the larger picture and not no talk in particular that is important.

  69. He pronounced elohim right! It’s a long i sound, like “beam” not like “him.”

  70. Elder Hales states that without God, there is no morality and no point.

    The atheists are gonna love that one.

  71. touche chris.

  72. Complain much Narrator?

  73. Chris, Very true, Elder Uchtdorf’s talk provides a nice balance to Elder Oaks’.

  74. Oh, comment moot. sorry Narrator didn’t see 71

  75. A good portion of the speakers have choked up at least once during their talk. Sometimes these emotional touches are, well, touching, but sometimes I wish we had a more “Muscular Mormonism.” Less gentle words and tears and more pulpit pounding. I can’t imagine Brigham and Joseph getting weepy during their talks.

  76. chelseaw,

    I think that the message is the same. THe difference is in style. I like that.

  77. “or her” – I like that.

  78. Me too Chris.

    I really like Elder Hales’ use of inclusive language too.

  79. queno,

    Are you trying to make a reference to Ohio State?

    I would say their colors are bright red and silver, not scarlett and gray.

    And love or hate Michigan, you have to concede that their color combination looks great.

  80. Katie,

    These emotional touches are the things which connect me to the brethren. Whether talking about the Savior of my family my emotions are quite evident.

  81. I think that is why I live in the era of Elder Holland and not Brigham Young.

  82. Yeah, well Chris…

    Some of us don’t get off on the weepy stuff. I for one, could do without it.

  83. I have some weird audio stuff going on through Anyone else with that problem?

  84. Is God necessary for a person to love his neighbor?

  85. “dominated by skepticism, criticism . . .”

    There is a great message in his description.

  86. Droylsden says:

    The morality-religion thing reminds me of the nature vs nurture debate. Even animals show signs of primitive morality which indicates that morality is deeply ingrained in our brains. However, after the French Revolution ushered in an era of societies without religion it seems to have created a values vacuum ande we saw the worst genocides in human history. In the end, religion and morality probably have a complex interaction that play off each other and create a morality irreducible to a single cause.

  87. 84: yes, narrator. And I’m sure we can count on you, too, to let us know when someone says anything you can endorse.

  88. Sorry for my late responses. I was eating some chicken wings.

    #47 — I wore a Tasmanin Devil tie to work on Thursday.

    #51 — While Packer is younger than Perry, Packer’s health seems to be failing faster.

  89. ummquestion says:


    God’s law is love. His mercy cannot rob justice. He loves us even when we break His laws, but He cannot bless us when we do.

    Those who love Him in return, keep His commandments, and thus obtain His blessings.

  90. “However, after the French Revolution ushered in an era of societies without religion it seems to have created a values vacuum ande we saw the worst genocides in human history.”

    Except when God commanded Israelites to slaughter thousands of innocent women and children, right?

  91. I ask again, what’s the difference between love and mercy? Are they of the same entity, or wholly different things?

  92. Wouldn’t you have more congenial company in some other forum full of snarkers, narrator? Some of us are actually trying to enjoy conference with other believers.

  93. “Is God necessary for a person to love his neighbor?”

    No. But the lack of something transcendent makes it hard to normatively advocate for any moral behavior. You lose the ability to demand standards at all.

  94. Deleted for tackiness–Admin.

  95. Droylsden says:

    Thanks to technology, the genocides of the 20th century were far worse than any that could have occurred in the bronze age. And that’s given that those genocides actually happened, of which I believe there is no acheological evidence that they did.

  96. @79 – From TOSU logo page:

    The Ohio State University Red (Scarlet)

    * PANTONE 200
    * CMYK: four-color process formula:
    o 0 cyan
    o 100 magenta
    o 65 yellow
    o 15 black
    * Web or interactive: Use web safe hexadecimal: #990000 or RGB values: 153, 0, 0

    The Ohio State University Gray

    * PANTONE 429
    * CMYK: four-color process formula:
    o 6 cyan
    o 0 magenta
    o 0 yellow
    o 34 black
    * 35% black
    * Web or interactive: Use web safe hexadecimal: #999999 or RGB values: 153, 153, 153

    It’s been scarlet-and-gray since I was a pup. And I just can’t tolerate maize-and-blue. Some alternate form of yellow-and-royal blue (my children’s future HS) are fine, though.

    (I’m also a big fan of burnt orange, given where I live.)

  97. narrator, please read #85.

  98. @90

    That’s cute narrator. Oh wait, no it’s not! We get it, you don’t like what you are hearing.

  99. Seth,

    I would then encourage you to skip all talks by Pres. Eyring and Elder Holland. You do not need to like it. But, I would say that we might be able to respect their sincerity. Maybe you see it differiently.

  100. Light-hearted frivolity = ok

    persistent heckling = not ok. you will be modded.

  101. #LDSCONF is no longer one of the top 10 trending topics on twitter.

  102. Elder Zeballos is giving an excellent talk, fwiw.

  103. Liberal Mormon says:

    This current Seventy who’s talking is giving a very good talk as well

  104. It’ll be back tomorrow, when Pres. Monson gives the keynote.

  105. Liberal Mormon says:

    Ray thanks for letting me know who the Seventy is that’s talking. I’m not bery familiar with him.

  106. Abu Maryam says:

    I think the speakers should give their talks in their native languages. Subtitles in English would be great for us and those interpreting. would be fine. Doing this may help us to better understand their emotions and ‘spirit,’ as it were. It would also be interesting for linguists.

  107. I do like Zeballos. Nice balance between be perfect and don’t run faster that you have strength.

  108. Chris. Respect had nothing to do with my comment. Don’t know why you jumped to that assumption.

  109. OOPS!!! Forgot to release people? Is that a first?

  110. Abu Maryam,

    I agree. It would be awesome.

  111. I LOVE that Paul quote.

  112. Abu Maryam says:

    I think the speakers should give their talks in their native languages. Subtitles in English would be great for us and those interpreting. Doing this may help us to better understand their emotions and ’spirit,’ as it were. It would also be interesting for linguists.

  113. Tanya Spackman says:

    Oops. “Wait… wasn’t I going to be released?”

  114. Abu, 92 English to x language translators are hard enough to come by.

  115. Seth R. (70), I think some of the most honest atheists already recognize this. I think of Michel Onfray.

  116. Tanya Spackman says:

    My closed captioning just switched to Spanish….

  117. J. Stapley (114),

    I think it would be easy enough to find ones for Spanish, French, Japanese, and German.

  118. Kim Siever says:

    I thought Robert C Oaks was recently called.

  119. I love how sincerely humble Pres. Eyring is.

  120. That’s a good point about foreign talk translation. How do you facilitate a talk translation from Spanish to Serbian? Though I have often felt the sentiments that Abu is mentioning

  121. ummquestion says:


    I would suggest that they are similar but not always interchangeable in all circumstances. For example, a judge might show mercy in court without loving the person it is granted to.

  122. I think Nietzsche, the father of them all recognized it as well.

    One thing people don’t get about Nietzsche – his declaration that “God is dead” gave him not an ounce of pleasure. It wasn’t the gleeful pronouncement you get from self-worshipful atheist Hitchens fans. It was a profoundly agonized cry of an awful realization.

    Nietzsche knew exactly where all this was leading. And it disturbed him greatly. Self-awareness in the atheist movement has been on a steady decline ever since his death.

  123. thanks ummquestion,

    Elder Oaks teaches us that loving someone doesn’t mean showing them mercy for their sins. I think this is a topic worth discussing at more length.

  124. Do you think we’ll really all wear white in heaven? I really like wearing colorful clothes. And white stains so easily.

  125. TrevorM,

    They could print them out before hand, and then just read them.

  126. Latter-day Guy says:


    It would be nice except for those moments when a speaker departs from their written text. Then the translators would get ulcers. Having English as the standard simplifies things overall. But you’re right, it would be cool.

  127. Seth: Sorry. I was not assuming disrespect. Peace.

  128. (115) Sorry, by “honest” I meant those who think unabashedly through the rational results of their atheism on the existence of morality.

    (119) me too, Ray.

  129. Doesn’t “always”, Daniel. He said that determination was a personal thing to be directed by the Spirit.

  130. Tanya Spackman says:

    kew, things only stain in the Telestial Kingdom.

  131. Latter-day Guy,

    Do Conference speakers ever free-style their talks like that? I doubt it.

  132. I like the parallel between Peter and JS. Especially considering that Peter’s failures were canonized.

  133. I’m liking the NT emphasis.

  134. J. Stapley,

    I’m disappointed how in the LDS Church, we rationalize away Peter’s failings.

  135. @125

    It’s not just the reading. it’s the doubling of translation efforts. Now they not only need English to X translators they need Spanish to X translators. or they have to do a second tier translation. It’s not impossible, just more trouble.

  136. Ray,


    What I was meaning is that I got from his talk that he thinks mercy and love are two separate things. I was asking the highly intelligent commentators at BCC for clarification. :)

  137. Interesting. If Jesus and the Father are the same person, the Father’s sacrifice of the Son is pointless.

    Evangelicals are gonna love that one.

    I wonder if a talk rejecting traditional Christian assumptions is going to be the norm for every General Conference.

  138. I was eavesdropping at the bus stop yesterday on a group of translators — they get a printed text ahead of time, which some speakers update even as late as the day the talk is given. And still there are times, they said, when speakers departed from their texts and everybody had to scramble. They were laughing about it, but it was obviously a real challenge.

  139. I find some of his reasoning problematic.

  140. 137, Except that the doctrine he’s describing is modalism and is a heresy.

  141. Latter-day Guy says:

    131, It happens from time to time. Some speakers ad lib more often than others. I knew a translator who used to hate translating for Pres. Monson, because he would alter so much on the fly.

  142. #134 – Yeah, we really should condemn him for them. After all, he was a prophet.

    I try hard not to be sarcastic, but I really have a hard time with the implication that we should not be charitable.

  143. psychochemiker says:

    Seth, #137.
    We can always hope so.
    What else would we have to argue with Jack & our other gelly friends if there wasn’t a talk rejecting traditional christian assumptions?

  144. Ardis Parshall (138),

    Interesting. In any event, they could just keep reading the text even if the speak free-styled.

  145. Abu Maryam says:

    Actually I believe that the interpreters receive the talks well in advance. They translate them before GC. The English subtitles would only be needed for the crowd…and so the interpreters could ensure a smooth correspondence. Thus, Spanish to Serbian wouldn’t be a huge problem because they would have opportunity to translate it before GC.

  146. Ray (142),

    I’m saying that Peter’s denial is more poignant if we don’t whitewash it.

  147. @144,

    then’s it’s not translation, silly.

  148. Was that a mustache?

  149. I wonder what got in Elder Callister’s craw about criticizing Joseph Smith? Who is he talking to? I vote for Kaimi.


  150. But then non-English speakers wouldn’t get the speaker’s talk! You’re assuming that the speaker is only varying a few words, not dropping whole paragraphs or throwing in a new story.

  151. Abu Maryam says:

    didn’t see 138 before last posting. good job.

  152. Reference to Farrar. Source for Talmage’s Jesus the Christ, and referred to by Elder Packer as a model scholar.

  153. Although modalism is officially decried as a heresy in traditional Christian scholarly circles, I’ve found that Evangelical and other Christian ministers tend to suddenly transform into raving modalists any time a Mormon walks into the room.

    Likewise, I think a lot of tri-theistic rhetoric in the LDS Church is actually a response to the perceived modalism in the wider Christian world.

    Basically, I think we’re over-compensating for each other.

  154. 145, you’re assuming that we have a flock of people who speak both Spanish and Serbian. And both Finnish and Tongan. And both Armenian and Navajo. And both …

  155. Latter-day Guy says:

    144, At least in the case of the translator I know, they are told to translate (as well as they can) what is actually spoken. I suspect this has to do with wanting to get up-to-the-minute inspiration into the broadcast. On the other hand, I think Elder Scott records his own talks in Spanish and Portuguese ahead of time, so he probably stays pretty much with what he’s written.

  156. psychochemiker says:

    English => 92 languages means a minimum of 92 translators.
    Having any possible language to 91 other languages means a minimum of 92! = 1×10^142.
    We don’t have that many church members.

  157. Elder Watson looks nervous. I have a horrible memory. Is this his first GC talk?

  158. 152, Several women in my ward have become fans of Farrar. At their request, I’ve had to comb Amazon and other sites for reasonable cheap, reasonably complete editions to supply the demand. Cool, no?

  159. Abu Maryam says:

    154, no you just have english subtitles as each speaker goes. This happens in the UN also. many interpreters listen to the english translation of x language before going into the third language. I’m not suggesting this would be easy! just interesting.

  160. Seth, I hope you don’t mind, but I think I’m going to print out your comment and save it somewhere. That’s probably the best description of the debate I’ve heard in a while. :-)

  161. #253 – Amen, Seth.

  162. Sorry – #153.

  163. 137, 140 – indeed. A large number of theologians have dealt with this. It would be nice if our talks repudiating traditional Christian assumptions got those assumptions right. (Not that this has not been done; Elder Holland’s not bad at it. But on the whole these sorts of talks are jousting with strawmen.)

  164. psychochemiker says:

    159 Abu,
    What makes you think the the same spirit, emotion, and other first hand language points are going to get through a double translation rather than an authorial translation?

  165. I like the idea that the economic downturn might give us an opportunity to reconsider what it important. While it has been difficult and tense at times, this has been the case in my family.

  166. Becky (148) I thought the same thing! Mustache on Elder Callister?

  167. Although I suppose we ought to grant that so far, we don’t have many languages represented in the non-native-English-speaking general authority contingent. We’d probably only need what, Spanish and Portuguese and one or two others? Still, having English–>92 languages, and Spanish–>92 and Portuguese–>92 still seems overwhelming.

  168. Don’t mind at all Tom.

    In exploring traditional Christian theology, I was personally surprised to find that they don’t actually believe God is a single being who merely wears different hats.

    But I think a lot of Mormons still assume that modalism is the official stance of the rest of Christianity.

  169. Ardis Parshall (167),

    I would imagine that professional interpreters would speak Spanish, French, and maybe German in addition to English. Those that don’t would just have to stick to the printed text when the speak ad libbed.

    Basically, it could be done without hiring more interpreters.

  170. Droylsden says:

    “raving modalists”


  171. Chris (#165) that’s been true for ours as well.

  172. “But I think a lot of Mormons still assume that modalism is the official stance of the rest of Christianity.”

    That is likely the case because most Mormons know little about the rest of Christianity beyond a really bad straw man.

  173. psychochemiker says:

    Three languages into the others still requires 531441
    translators, unless a double translation process is used. Why the added level of complexity. If you’re going to suppose a double translation, why not have the author’s onus be to make sure they are happy with the translation they deliver?

  174. Seth R.: What’s a good relatively brief article on traditional Xtianity not embracing modalism?

  175. I served my mission in Japan. I really appreciate the description of the Asian saints.

  176. Abu Maryam says:

    164, Consider this:

    Uchtdorf speaks in German. An English translation has been provided to all interpreters before GC. Subtitles would be provided so we, the audience, are getting the same talk but we hear the speaker in their native language. We don’t need more interpreters. For example, there is no need for an interpreter from German to Serbian, because the German talk was already translated into English. The Serbian interpreter would have already had access to the English version – as is already the practice.

    The reason for my interest in this may be illustrated by the film ‘life is beautiful.’ Watching it with subtitles was much more intimate and powerful for me. I realize I may be in the minority.

  177. One of the most rigorous look at notions of godhead in other religions from an LDS perspective is probably Ostler’s 3 vols.

  178. psychochemiker (173),

    The people who do the translating are probably linguists who speak Spanish, French, and German in addition to English and their mother language.

    Maybe they could do it without hiring any extra interpreters.

  179. Interpreters aren’t hired, Plufyn; they’re called from among church membership as a volunteer missionary corps. And although I obviously have no authority to state it categorically, I cannot believe the church would ever sanction a program that delivered what could be two very different talks by one speaker.

  180. ummquestion says:

    #123 Daniel

    Mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, but it cannot rob justice. Justice demands a consequence for both good and evil. For evil it demands punishment , for good it demands blessings.

    The law of justice allows another to pay for our sins, and Christ mercifully offered Himself in exchange for our repentance and change. But as stated in Mosiah 2-Mercy has no claim on the unrepentant or the unbelieving. Upon those-justice has full claim.

    God loves us unconditionally and so all have access to His love, but our actions/thoughts/hearts must be in a certain condition in order to have access to God’s mercy.

  181. “There is no sin that cannot be forgiven.”

    I love this sentiment (even with the double negative construction) but I can’t ever harmonize it perfectly with the “no forgiveness in this life or the next” sins.

  182. I also understand that the Church requires translators to be native speakers.

  183. Abu Mayran,

    I would love to hear Elder Uchtdorf give a talk in German, even though my German is pretty basic.

  184. I’m loving Elder Andersen’s talk.

  185. And as for how many languages they speak, the ones I know speak only English and their native language. These are not professional linguists who have learned multiple languages as a business venture.

    Sorry for the threadjack; I’m going back to conference now.

  186. I harmonize it by applying the no forgiveness rule to apply to those who will not seek the forgiveness, 181.

  187. Well, Ardis, it does happen fairly often when missionaries get asked to translate for visiting authorities :). I guess the difference in this case would be that it would be anticipated.

  188. I don’t understand, Kristine. The difference between what and what?

  189. Missionaries translating for visiting authorities aren’t simultaneously trying to translate into 92 languages.

  190. It would be really cool to hear President Uchtdorf speak in German. And the saints in Germany would love it. I think they would really appreciate the gesture–being able to hear his voice in German during conference. It would reinforce the idea of a worldwide church. And it would allow us English-speakers a chance to experience Conference like all non-English members do–with translators.
    Same with Spanish, etc.
    I’d be a fan.

  191. I am with Ray (#184)

  192. Uchtdorf’s talks are pre-recorded in German by him for the German broadcast, I believe.

  193. Maybe a translation post would be appropriate?

  194. Just as most of the hispanic Authorities record their own talks in Spanish.

  195. My daughters are now each complaining that the other is breather her air. Thanks a lot, Elder Bednar.

  196. I very much remember Pres. Faust telling that story about his grandmother and the wood bow. It was emotional and powerful.

  197. Tim (190),

    Exactly. We’re not an English-only church.

  198. Well, you can’t really blame Mormons for thinking modalism is the stance of traditional Christianity.

    The official stance of traditional Christianity is creedal trinitarianism.

    But it’s a really difficult concept to get your mind around (I’d say impossible). All creedal trinitarianism really ends up doing, is mouthing unhelpful phrases like “God is one being, but God is also three beings.” It’s having things both ways. So you can hardly blame Mormons for the charitable impulse of trying to attribute to their Christian neighbors, a theology that actually makes logical sense.

    We’re helpful like that.

  199. *breathing

  200. Droylsden says:

    Chris Henrichsen: glad to see your kids learning from conference and applying it to their lives ;)

  201. Elder Anderson sure has been “asked to meet with a lot of people.”

  202. Droylsden says:

    #198, you’re killing me, Seth R. LOL!

  203. Droylsden (#200):

    I think you are talking about Ben Pratt’s kids. Not sure if mine are even picking that up.

  204. Droylsden says:

    My bad, yeah, I meant Ben Pratt.

  205. Whoah! President Packer is chair-bound!

  206. Nauvoo era familial perseverance. I like.

  207. @203, and here I just thought that Ben Pratt and Chris H. were an “alternative family”.

  208. Has Elder Packer been in poor health?

  209. TrevorM (#207),

    Yes, but our parents neither ignore our little arrangement nor have they banned us forever.

  210. Tanya Spackman says:

    chelseaw, I think he’s just getting old. It happens sometimes, particularly to those who don’t die young.

  211. He seems like a shadow of his prior self.

  212. Ben Pratt, (#209)

    2 points for funny.

  213. #210 – Niblet nomination, mehthinks.

  214. What’s wrong with Pres Packer?

  215. BHodges,

    You asked me for an article outlining the heresies of modalism and tri-theism as opposed to trinitarianism.

    I’m not really a good source for something authoritative here. But I find Evangelical minister – C. Michael Patton’s work pretty good. Here’s a link to one of his on-point articles:

  216. Ben and Trevor:


  217. “What’s wrong with Pres Packer?”


  218. Tanya Spackman says:

    I like that Pres. Packer speaks often of spiritual promptings. His talks have provided useful guidance for me many times.

  219. I once had a chance to meet with Elder Maxwell privately in his office. When I sat down, he pointed at papers on his desk and told me he was writing his conference talk. “I’m famous for changing my talks right up to the moment I stand up to talk,” he said with a twinkle in his eye. “It’s very hard on the teleprompter people and the translators,” he said with a big smile. I smiled right back and felt my love for this wonderful man grow even stronger. I miss him very, very much.

  220. Elder Packer is a personal hero of mine, since he gave our graduation speech way back when at Utah State.

  221. Daniel (219),

    I’m curious. How did you end up getting a private audience with an apostle? Family connection?

  222. xenologue says:

    Poor Pres. Packer.
    I’m listening, not watching, and finding it difficult at times to understand him.

  223. Daniel,

    Thanks for that story. I still love Elder Maxwell.

  224. Yes, Dan, what did you do?

  225. 219:

    Thanks for that story, I miss him too. I imagine that I will continue to miss him for a long time. His final talk deeply inspired me not long before my mission.

  226. Pres. Packer says “your mind is in charge.”

    Obviously, he hasn’t seen my mind.

  227. Good one Seth

  228. Thank you, President Packer for the final testimony of President Monson, especially for including his wife, Francis.

  229. Tanya Spackman says:

    I declare Saturday’s sessions a success!

  230. This is one of my favorite talks that Elder Packer has ever given.

  231. I had written him a letter of gratitude for the influence his ministry had had on my life. He wrote back and gave me the phone number of his secretary, saying he very much wanted to meet me and told me not to be shy in taking him up on his offer. Even with that, I waited two months, but finally worked up the courage to call and schedule the visit. It was a transcendent experience, the tenderest of tender mercies in my life. I share it here only to say that I gained a powerful witness of Elder Maxwell’s apostolic calling in the course of that visit. He was the kindest and most gracious man I ever met. He was an apostle of the Lord.

  232. I have never had much of a connection will President Packer, but I really felt a sense of love for him during that talk. This is why I love conference.

  233. Daniel, please share you story on the New Cool Thang thread:

    Is President Packer the oldest of the 15 now?

  234. Anne (U.K.) says:

    almost 11pm here. The Sunday ‘afternoon’ session is the killer!

  235. Answer to my own question: President Packer is younger than Elder Perry by 2 years, and younger than Elder Nelson by one day!

  236. Daniel (231),

    That’s a good story. Thanks for sharing.

  237. I had been told that Pres. Packer was in poor health. The person who told me said that it was likely Pres. Packer would deliver his talk seated.
    It may well be that Elder Perry is the next prophet. God is in charge.

  238. Ha! thanks for the perspective, Anne.

  239. Anne (U. K.) (234),

    I would imagine that the Priesthood session is pretty brutal for the brethren in the UK.

  240. #232 – Right there with you.

  241. I do not know who will be the next President of the Church, but I second Margaret. God is in charge.

  242. Margaret Blair Young (237),

    Do you know someone high in Church leadership?

  243. crying because of daniel’s story, my now-softened stance on president packer, and that song.

  244. Just wanted to thank you all for enriching my viewing experience of Conference today! Enjoyed the discussion, and you all gave me things to think about more than what I would have learned.

  245. Anne (U.K.) says:

    Plufyn 239: Priesthood don’t watch priesthood session live. They go to the stake centre at 10am Sunday morning to see it, so they get 3 sessions on the Sunday..

  246. Robert S. Wood is one of my heroes (he is a political scientist). I get to meet him on Friday at work. I am excited.

  247. Awesome, did anyone see Pres. Monson do the cool brother handshake with Elder Hales?

  248. “Holy, eternal, and beloved Father”. I like that salutation.

  249. Per the early choir comments, this isn’t MoTab. In my experience the guest choirs always have mixed colors, don’t they?

    FWIW, I sang in a Saturday session of the last ever June conference when I was in Primary. President Kimball was the prophet. We wore “spring colors.” :)

  250. “the last ever June conference”

    What? They used to have conference in June?

  251. BHodges (247), my wife saw that and we rewound the feed so I could see it. Killer.

  252. I’ll share one more thing about my Elder Maxwell meeting. I rarely talk about it, because it is so personal and sacred to me. But something tells me it’s OK to share this part of the story in this setting. I had resisted writing Elder Maxwell in the first place, very aware of the counsel we are given not to write to General Authorities. But the prompting continued very strong that I needed to do it. So I wrote him a very heartfelt letter and told him repeatedly that he did not need to bother about writing me back. Having a chance to communicate my gratitude was enough. The day that we met, one of the first things he told me was: “I was having a very hard day the day your letter arrived. Your letter lifted me (he made a large lifting motion with his hands) and I wanted to meet you and thank you for lifting me on the exact day I needed some special encouragement.” If you don’t think that humbled me to the very core of my being, you’d be mistaken. Since then, Elder Maxwell’s phrase, “God is in the details of our lives,” is my favorite mantra. I say it all the time and I believe it fervently.

  253. Thanks, Daniel.

  254. Yes, Daniel. Thank you.

  255. I Third Clair and Ben.

    Thanks Daniel, that was beautiful.

  256. Thanks for your warm words everyone. I’m new to sharing anything in the blog world, and I certainly didn’t intend to share that when I came here to review Conference coverage. But I’m glad I did. I believe one of the reasons I was given that experience was to be able to testify personally as to the apostolic calling of the special witnesses. It’s good for me to be able to do that here today since it’s been years since I’ve talked about it publicly, or expressed the deep witness that flowed from it.

  257. I haven’t even watched the Priesthood Session in years, but now I am headed downtown to meet up with Scott. He assures me it will be fun and exciting.

  258. Thanks for sharing that story, Daniel. You never think about the Apostles having bad days. I mean deep down you know they do, but I generally picture them kind of gliding through each day on a cloud of Spirit. It’s nice to know their human side and know that they have hard days too.

  259. #143 psychochemiker ~ What else would we have to argue with Jack & our other gelly friends if there wasn’t a talk rejecting traditional christian assumptions?
    You can always attempt to argue that Joel was better than Mike.

    But you will get schooled.

    #237 Margaret ~ That’s interesting. I had been told that Monson was in poor health, which doesn’t bode well for those who don’t want to see a BKP presidency. Perhaps you won’t get one.

  260. Thank you so much, Daniel, that’s an exceptionally moving story.

  261. Monson doesn’t give the impression of being in poor health when he speaks.

  262. Finishing watching this session late right now. Must say I love “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” and it’s being sung beautifully. There’s a definite soft spot for this song, as I remember listening to it in my car as I left after my baptism =)