Saturday PM General Conference: Only 8 More Hours to Go!

Welcome back to BCC’s coverage of the 180th General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those concerned, I would like to affirm that this session is being recorded and administered in accordance with appropriate accounting practices, approved budgets, and Church policies and procedures.

Before we get started with the session in 15 minutes or so, I wondered–is anyone from the ‘Nacle around SLC/Temple Square today that would like to get my autograph? Or maybe have me forge Kristine’s for you? Or maybe just hang out for a bit and tell jokes about Brad Kramer?


And we’re off! President Uchtdorf, with his magnificent hair and tie choice, are conducting this session. A choir from Orem will favor us with favorable hymns for this session. They are dressed in pink, periwinkle, and green. Oh my.

Get ready to right click, as the sustaining of the officers of the Church is up now.
New members of the 1st quorum of 70:
1. Kevin R. Duncan
2. Gerrit W. Gong
3. Patrick Kearon
4. Juan A. Uceda

New Members of the 2nd Quorum of 70:
1. Larry R. Lawrence
2. Per G. Malm
3. Jairo Mazzagardi

New Primary General Presidency:
President: Rosemary M. Wixom (USU grad!)
1st Counselor: Jean A. Stevens
2nd Counselor: Cheryl A. Esplin

If you want the list of new Area Seventies, send $8.95 to Steve Evans and we’ll think about it.

Here are your stats, folks:

  • Stakes: 2865
  • Missions: 344
  • Total Church Membership: 13,824,854
  • New children of record during 2009: 119,722
  • Converts baptized during 2009: 280,106
  • Number of full-time missionaries: 51,736
  • Temples dedicated during 2009: 2
  • Total temples in operation: 130

Elder Perry:

“Two husbands manned the kitchen. The Two mothers supervised the table arrangements and the serving of the food. Three Young children handled the table setting and the serving of the food under the supervision of their mothers. This was an opportunity for the mothers to have a teaching opportunity with their children.”


“The leaders of the Church spend a great deal of time thinking about how to improve teaching in the Church. Why do we invest this time and effort? It is because we believe in the immense power of teaching to increase the faith of individuals and the strengthening of families.”

Wow. I am beginning to wonder if we’ll have a talk this conference that is not about women being mothers and teaching children…


Elder Christofferson: The Blessing of Scripture

Quiz: What Englishman prayed once famously, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes!” ?

A) Harry Potter
B) Ronan Head
C) William Tyndale
D) Brad Kramer

Percentage of LDS who knew the history of the Bible’s English translation 10 minutes ago: 4%.
Percentage of LDS who now consider themselves experts in the matter: 87%

Money quote from Elder Christofferson:

“In Tyndale’s day, scriptural ignorance abounded because people lacked access to the Bible…Today the Bible and other scripture are readily at hand, yet there is a growing scriptural illiteracy because people will not open the books. Consequently they have forgotten things their grandparents knew.”

Somewhere, John C. is smiling.

Did you hear that, you bunch of BCC heathens? Read it and weep:

“Faith will not come by the study of ancient texts as a purely academic pursuit. It will not come from archeeological digs and discoveries. It will not come from scientific experiments.”


Everything you want to know about Elder Aoyagi
Everything you want to know about Elder Carlson

Elder Aoyagi relating his conversion to the Church after being raised Buddhist. After moving away from home, he wandered into inactivity, and was “rescued” by fervent prayer.
New Photos up on the blog from the Conference Center. My wife rocks.
Elder Carlson:
When we choose to disobey a commandment it is usually because:
1. We have convinced ourselves that the commandment does not apply to us,
2. We do not believe the commandment is important, or,
3. We are certain that the commandment is to difficult to obey.

Elder Bednar: Watching with All Perseverance

“I describe a spiritual early warning system…this early warning system applies to children of all ages and contains three basic components: (1) reading and talking about the Book of Mormon with your children, (2) bearing testimony of gospel truths spontaneously with your children, and (3) inviting children as gospel learners to act and not merely be acted upon.”

Okay, one talk left today. You know him. You love him. You want to hear him. It’s Elder Holland.

And he’s talking about pr0n.

Perhaps it was the father in me or maybe the grandfather, but the tears in those young women’s eyes brought tears to mine and the questions they asked left me asking—why is there so much moral decay around us and why are so many individuals and families falling victim to it, being tragically scarred by it?

“Blast a crater in their brains forever” FTW
“And you shouldn’t be serving tea anyway”

Funeral music at exit (Nearer, My God to Thee), and we’ll see you back here in a couple hours for the Priesthood session! Please remember to set your clocks back an hour and to be courteous in driving.

Oh–also, anyone around and care to meet up for a bit? It would be fun to meet some other bloggers/lurkers/commenters.


  1. Tanya Spackman says:

    At last! It’s getting close to 4:00 and I had no thread to post in!

  2. I too can forge Kristine’s signature.

  3. Mommie Dearest says:

    Safari failed me, but Firefox worked.

  4. is trying out some new streaming of GC
    Try it out here

    My wife saw it on facebok

  5. Kathleen says:

    So, just on the off chance that this might be helpful to a fellow Mac owner: I’ve been having major technical difficulties with the church’s media players lately. I have Snow Leopard and they don’t work for me in Safari or Firefox. BYUTV doesn’t work either. But what does work is the Windows Media Player stream, interestingly enough. You can play it on a Mac if you download VLC media player (it’s free, just google it).

  6. Watching on a big screen TV with some friends. Glad that I was able to get into their wireless network! All ready to go!

  7. Kathleen, that might explain some of the problems I have been having – since we’re trying to watch on a Macbook.

    Oddly, last general conference things worked quite well on this same laptop computer.

    Until this last session, I felt every year we saw an improvement in the streaming.

  8. Tanya Spackman says:

    Pres. Uchdorf changed ties! I didn’t expect that. I don’t like this one, though. Looks like a candy cane, and that’s not really a good thing.

    I like his hair.

  9. I like his hair.


  10. More red ties in the choir! I guess red is the colour of the season?

  11. Tanya Spackman says:

    Yeah, red ties definitely seem popular.

  12. President Uchtdorf does have wicked awesome hair :)

  13. His hair conducts itself.

  14. We need to make a Chuck Norris style site with quotes about President U’s hair.

  15. I’m watching on a macbook, but I’m lagging a good five minutes behind.

  16. Brad, I second that motion. Maybe BCC needs to create a special page?

  17. gillsyk says:

    I appreciated the nice call out to music in the prayers both this morning (closing) and to start the afternoon. They are noting the Easter season too.

  18. Only President Uchtdorf’s hair can prevent forest fires.

  19. Agreed about the hairsite!

  20. I don’t we haven’t had Uctdorf -Chuck Norris style jokes going already. That would be hilarious. We can come up with some while they are reading all that stats (sorry but the stats aren’t all that exciting).

  21. When you have questions, President Uchtdorf’s hair has answers.

  22. President Uchtdorf’s hair can win a Connect Four game in just three moves.

  23. I really liked hearing Uchtdorf pronounce his own name just now.

  24. Mommie Dearest says:

    I wonder if we’ll ever get to hear something like Ave verum corpus from the conference center….I fear it would give some old school brothers and sisters a proverbial heart attack

  25. Caraway says:

    Hirsute hairsite.

  26. Kristine says:

    nah, MoTab has done the Mozart Ave Verum lots. There’s a Protestant translation in the Choirbook.

  27. Wow his tie is psychedelic on my TV!

  28. His accent… Swooooon.

  29. sorry to interupt the hairfest, thanks for the MAC thoughts. We haven’t been able to watch this year either for the first time.

  30. Anyone else seeing moving stripes on his tie?

  31. Kristine says:

    So, has the unwritten order of things changed to read full middle names of the FP, and initials for the 12? I don’t remember that in the past…

  32. President Uchtdorf’s hair uses a night light. Not because President Uchtdorf’s hair is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of President Uchtdorf’s hair.

  33. Last time I play the drinking game while watchin GC…

  34. Mommie Dearest says:

    how many of y’all are raising your hands at your computers?

  35. His tie was all crazy, then I turned to the HD channel and this resolved the problem.

  36. MCQ, it’s called a _moire pattern_ and it happens anytime stripes are digitized. It’s an ongoing problem.

  37. I do – my tv is turning his tie into some kind of minor acid trip. (o.O)

  38. Thanks Tracy. I was concerned about my mental health.

  39. President Uchtdorf’s tie creates Moire patterns in real life.

  40. Tanya Spackman says:

    I wish BYUTV broadcast in HD. I really want to experience conference in HD. This plain broadcast just doesn’t cut it anymore.

  41. I have a major man-crush on Pres. U.

    Look at that chiseled jaw.

  42. Tanya Spackman says:

    I hate the red stripes on the auditing guy’s tie.

  43. MD…I am!

  44. This guy loves to count things.

  45. Ah ah ah!

  46. I would love to know how many of the 13+ million are active and how many are inactive and in what countries. Mostly out of curiosity.

  47. Tanya Spackman says:

    The guy with membership numbers looks to be wearing a black tie. I’ll assume it’s really dark gray. Verdict: eh.

  48. Have they always announced the deaths of these wives and widows?

  49. Truman Madsen and Robert Matthews get a shout out.

  50. They have announced the deaths of wives and widows as far back as I can remember (admittedly not that far).

  51. Tanya Spackman says:

    Lots of stripes this session. Not a stripe fan, and Elder Perry isn’t changing my mind. His looks black and white? Maybe black and silver?

  52. It’s got little white dots on it, and they tend to moire out too. (Unless you have HD :)

  53. Kristine says:

    48–yes, maybe not “always”, but at least for a long time.

  54. This story contrasts interestingly with the Church News editorial about studying for church lessons…

  55. HD Conference in the house!

  56. Julie M. Smith says:

    Is Elder Perry intentionally refuting that Church news article about lesson preparation?

  57. TrevorM says:

    Elder Wirthlin’s tie is very nice.

    He lookks a lot older this time around.

  58. Kim Siever says:

    President Uchtdorf, everyone in our home voted unanimously for all sustainings.

  59. Kristine says:

    54–Blair, that was my first thought, too :) Evil minds…

  60. There seems to be a heavy emphasis so far on parents, especially mothers.

  61. Julie (56) we were wondering that as well.

  62. what is this church news article?

  63. #57- Elder Wirthlin passed away in 2008, this is Elder Perry. :)

  64. Narrator (62), recently the church news ran an article saying that only “the inspired church manuals” should be used in preparing and teaching church lessons.

  65. It seems that whenever he does switch from “parents” to “mothers” it usually follows an example he gave of his own mother, which considering the time he grew up in, makes sense (to me, at least).

  66. Eric Russell says:

    Anytime I meet a step parent from now on, I’m going to call them the understudy.

  67. TrevorM says:

    BHodges, yes of course.

    an unfortunate typo.

  68. Wait, am I being validated in conference? Because that would be awesome!

  69. I love the men cooking in the kitchen quote. It contrasts nicely with a former bishop in my current ward who recently stated that real men “don’t bake cookies in the kitchen.” Yeah, he’s got issues; I’m happy he was never my bishop. I hope he’s listening…

  70. thanks

  71. Just skimmed the Church News article. That is kind of an interesting difference.

  72. Eric Russell says:

    Repeating “and the protection of their families” was for emphasis.

  73. That Church News article was utterly moronic. It had “Church Office Building yes-man” written all over it.

  74. William Tyndale

  75. Tyndale’s crime? Going against correlation.

  76. Tyndale was the man, inventor of the English word “atonement”.

  77. Check and Mate, Ariel.

  78. Chelsea says:

    YES, Tyndale story!

  79. Tanya Spackman says:

    No stripes! And a lovely gentle yellow. I approve of Elder Christofferson’s tie (which I’m sure leaves him relieved).

    Except I’m not sure the pattern on that tie mixes well with the stripes on his suit. I know those stripes are supposed be neutral to the eye (or so “What Not to Wear” tells me), but they seem to be too bold next to that tie.

  80. Kristine says:

    His wife, Kathy is wearing a great color, too. I bet she picked the tie :)

  81. I grew up hearing about the wicked people trying to destroy and change the Bible. This is a bit refreshing.

  82. Tanya Spackman says:

    Lesson learned: scriptures rock!

  83. Mommie Dearest says:

    I think we might also assess the tie-knot skills, doncha think? These guys have a lifetime of skill it appears. Get a load of the variation in the men’s part of the choir when they next get camera time.

  84. Wonder if he’ll mention scripture stories reinforcing culture, or if that’s part of what he means by increasing our memory.

  85. …. though it’d be nice to hear someone talk in GC who had a sense of historical and textual criticism.

  86. How important/impressive (or not) is it for non-English speakers to hear the occasional history and/or transmission of the King James Version? It seems to pop up every Conference or so?

    I wonder if it’s similar to how they respond to references to American football.

  87. I love the spiritual democracy that Tyndale brought by providing scripture in the language of the common people. It broke the yoke of dependence which is often linked with control.

  88. Julie M. Smith says:

    hm . . . social justice . . .


  90. jinx!

  91. So, is he saying social justice really is something we should work for, or is he linking working toward social justice with being immoral in other ways?

  92. Tanya Spackman says:

    Mommie Dearest, I don’t actually know how to tie a tie, so I’m not a good one to critique that. I just don’t have an eye to know if the knot I’m looking at is a good one or not.

  93. I’m going to need to re-read what he said about social justice…

  94. I heard it as a commandment from Jesus.

  95. klangfarben says:

    can someone rewind the DVR to get the the social justice comment correctly? I am crossing my fingers that it is a dig at Glenn Beck….please….

  96. I hope for BCC’s sake that it was a rebuke of social justice. Just think of all the posts!

  97. great. i’m telling my wife about why i think corianton was not guilty of sexual sin and I apparently miss the words I had been hoping to hear all week (“social justice”).

    Someone confirm what was said.

  98. Latter-day Guy says:

    96, I don’t think it was a value judgment on “social justice” either way. Rather, he was highlighting the inconsistency in promoting social justice without reference to a morality involving moral absolutes.

  99. We do have amazing access to scripture and information. And community! Look at what we’re doing right now. We are having discussion as a community of Saints across the world over the internet. Love it!

  100. narrator, I heard something like “there are those who preach social justice but think God doesn’t care about the sin in their personal lives.” Not totally sure, though.

  101. 97, what was that about Corianton? I have wondered the same thing myself (sorry if it’s a bit off topic). Was the sin next to murder not sex? You peaked my interest?

  102. Quote: “The world imagines a Jesus who works for social justice but makes no demand of personal righteousness”

  103. That was a fantastic talk.

  104. Mommie Dearest says:

    I could recommend a course of training oneself to recognize competent tie-knot tying, but maybe better to crack open the scriptures more often, like he said.

  105. symphonyofdissent says:

    It seemed to me that his comment was both a criticism of liberal theology and a statement urging us to seek social justice together with moral guidance.

  106. Aaron Brown says:

    I heard him say “social justice” is wicked, but I’m only able to hear what I want to hear, which makes for a lifetime free of cognitive dissonance and unpleasant challenges to my worldview. Don’t you all wish you were me?

  107. Here’s a chunk of the social justice quote:

    “Others would argue that it’s all relative, or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, he excuses all sins and misdeeds because of his love for us. There’s no need for repentance, or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior. But a God of love does not leave us to learn by sad experience that wickedness never was happiness. His commandments are the voice of reality, and are protection against self-inflicted pain. The scriptures are the touchstone for measuring correctness and truth.”

  108. Tanya Spackman says:

    Here’s the quote: “Others would argue that it’s all relative or that God’s love is permissive. If there is a God, they say, he excuses all sins and misdeeds because of his love for us. There is no need for repentance, or at most, a simple confession will do. They have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior.”

  109. It struck me as saying that Jesus taught social justice AND individual accountability for personal righteousness, and that to emphasize one without the other was errant.

  110. Tanya Spackman says:

    Ah, I was beaten to the quote. Oh well.

  111. Darn, that’s not very controversial.

  112. Tanya Spackman says:

    Elder Aoyagi’s tie isn’t thrilling me. The plain pink… eh. I think this is one I’d like better in person than on TV because I usually like pink/salmon ties.

  113. Todd Decker: regarding Corianton you might be interested in Michael Ash’s Sunstone article, “The Sin ‘Next to Murder’: An Alternative Interpretation.” Check it out:

  114. Chelsea says:

    Tanya, it’s not pink, it’s *salmon*. :D

  115. Thanks BHodges, I’ll check it out.

  116. Aaron Brown says:

    it’s not “plain” either. it appears to have a small checkerboard pattern, though I admit it’s a little hard to tell.

  117. klangfarben says:

    how can working for social justice make no demands on your personal life and behavior? Isn’t a change of behavior and attitudes at the heart of working for social justice (i.e. eliminating personal prejudice, sacrificing personal time and energy for others, etc.)?

  118. Mommie Dearest says:

    It’s tied well. Matsumoto is the place where I first discovered Muji products

  119. Michael says:

    I also heard it how Ariel did, it reminded me of Elder Maxwell’s statement that “to truly do good we must also be good.”
    Unfortunately, it sounded like something easy to interpret as “social justice isn’t important, sexual morality is”
    I think Glen Beck fans will see it not as a dig at Beck, but as validation.

  120. Elder Jairo Mazzagardi was my mission president. He told the Elders and Sisters in our mission that he was once like Paul of the New Testament. Just like Paul, he is now a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am pleased to raise my right hand to sustain this good brother.

  121. I think Glen Beck fans will see it not as a dig at Beck, but as validation.

    Isn’t that how these things typically work?

  122. I agree that Jesus was an advocate of Social Justice. BTW you might be interested in some of the books by Marcus Borg in which he talks about this. “The Heart of Christianity” and “Jesus” are both good books of his.

  123. Church Stats Facts-
    converts baptized is the best since the bar was raised in 2002, but converts per member is still half what it was in 1990… However, we did have less missionaries in 2004…

  124. Tanya Spackman says:

    Now that you’ve pointed out the pattern in the tie, I think I see it. (Need HD!) The gentle pattern is a good thing.

  125. #101 TD, I think Alma’s discussion with Corianton needs to be read with his words to Helaman (Alma 36:14) as a key.

    Corianton’s major problem was hurting Alma’s missionary labors, which Alma himself equated with murder.

    “Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom. . . . Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites. . . . Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted. . . .Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost? . . . Behold, O my son, how great iniquity ye brought upon the Zoramites; for when they saw your conduct they would not believe in my words.”

    “Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction”

    While Cortianton may have committed sexual sin (though I think there are alternative readings of what Corianton did), I think the text itself is clear that Alma’s major concern was the effect it had on others–something which he had personally done in his own youth.

  126. Tanya Spackman says:

    Elder Carlson’s tie returns us to the red theme. I like his tie, though. I like checkerboard patterns. It’s a lovely tie.

  127. What I heard Elder Christofferson say should send Beck running for the front door. My wife commented how would you like to be Beck’s Bishop?

  128. Hey, he’s stealing the story E. Uchtdorf was going to share in a later session!

  129. I think that’s a strong argument and a very well-grounded reading, tn.

  130. #123. I finished Dominic and Borg’s “Last Week” this morning. Unfortunately I feel like I get more out of the gospel from these so-called heretics than from our own ‘special witnesses.’

  131. Tanya Spackman says:

    Huh, from the side angle, it doesn’t look like a checkerboard pattern. How disappointing.

  132. In my reading of the quote, the next sentence seems to imply that the people who are seeking social justice have to first take responsibility for their actions (aka live a righteous life). So, unless you are living a righteous life (who decides this?) you have no right to social justice.

    This quote is so ambiguous though. I hope my reading is wrong.

  133. narrator, that’s part of Ash’s conclusions too. If you haven’t read the article you’d probably like it a lot.

  134. Yeah. Only Uchtdorf’s allowed to do airplane stuff :)

  135. Michael says:

    Wait, I expected aircraft discussion in a completely different talk.

  136. Tanya Spackman says:

    I think the quote about social justice is ambiguous because it’s really not about social justice at all.

  137. This story about Naaman is shared in every conference, I swear.

  138. I know this is way late, but in answer to the question about using full names in sustaining, the use full names in April and abbreviated names in October. Not sure why.

  139. Would “murmur” be considered a prominent Mormon word?

  140. Gibster says:

    Shout out for the Air Force. Elder Carlson is a retired 4 star General. Love the flying story

  141. Tanya Spackman says:

    My eyes! They’re burning from the hideousness of Elder Bednar’s tie!

  142. klangfarben says:

    #137 why we he use the term then? it is such a hot issue right now. It was used rather clumsily and I fear will unduly give an indirect feeling of validation to Beckheads.

  143. Yay Elder Bednar! I hope he makes a reference to his son, Mike, who happens to be the YM president in my ward.

  144. I worry that social justice quote will be read as the people who work for social justice are those who are otherwise immoral and looking for justification in their sins.

  145. klangfarben says:

    sorry: *would*

  146. The standing water principle?

  147. Tanya Spackman says:

    I didn’t know Elder Carlson is a retired General. Cool. (I work in the military world, so I have a soft spot for the military peeps.)

  148. Kristine says:

    Alex (139), seriously? That is weird.

  149. The tie looks fine to me.

  150. I see the social justice statement as being on par with those who draw near to the Lord with their lips, but they deny the power thereof. Or, of those who try to clean the outer vessel without cleaning the inner first.

    Social justice as a focus on a community without also teaching personal responsibility is an empty attempt. Unfortunately, I know far too many people who take this approach.

    Fortunately, I also know many who practice social justice by starting with the individual and having the effects radiate outward.

  151. but aren’t they, kristine?

  152. Michael says:

    Tanya, I quite like Elder Bednar’s tie

  153. Aaron Brown says:

    claire (123), I think you’re reading the quote wrong. He’s just saying let’s not focus on the one so much that we forget the other. He isn’t trying to rank order them, or claim that one is a necessary prerequisite to the other.

  154. oh wait. it’s the early warning system principle.

  155. #139 – Not so. From October 2009:
    “It is proposed that we sustain Thomas Spencer Monson as prophet, seer, and revelator and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Henry Bennion Eyring as First Counselor in the First Presidency; and Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf as Second Counselor in the First Presidency”

  156. Tanya Spackman says:

    I’m glad people like Elder Bednar’s tie. Hopefully it will ease the pain if my criticism gets back to him. (But I stand by my declaration of the hideousness.)

  157. Tanya Spackman says:

    Someone down the street is playing a saxophone (they weather is great, so windows are open). Whoever it is, they’re pretty good. It’s mixing nicely with Elder Bednar’s talk.

  158. Aaron Brown says:

    I’d like to comment on the Brethren’s wristwatches, but that darn podium always blocks my view.

  159. Curtis – I stand corrected.

  160. I sustain your claim, Tanya.

  161. Infants can respond to the Book of Mormon?

  162. #139 Maybe to save time? and fit everything in to the 2 hours GC format?

  163. Brad–kinda like people who exploit others economically and yet keep themselves morally clean so they can feel good about themselves?

  164. Mommie Dearest says:

    That tie is extreme in the wideness of the space between the stripes, and it is well-tied.

  165. Bingo, k.

  166. I believe infants have spiritual needs and can feel the spirit.

  167. “Here is how you spontaneously bear a testimony”

  168. Persecuted Mormon says:

    I think the general principle, narrator at 162, is that infants can respond to the Spirit.

  169. tn, LOL.

  170. Elder Bednar’s call to use Book of Mormon reading time to listen to kids = great.

    The suggestion that this time is primarily useful for looking for ‘early warning signs’ = a bit negative.

    I must admit this idea that we have to be always worried and worked up about our kid’s impending apostasy is less appealing to me than a more excited and positive outlook, as I seem to remember Pres. Hinckley often had.

  171. Aaron Brown says:

    “Giving a man a fish …”

    “not in the business of distributing fish …”

    Ooooh! Glen Beck is vindicated at last! Shame on all you liberal heretics!

  172. #167 I’m not even sure what that means. Do the actual words of the BofM have a ‘spirit’ just by virtue of reading them?

  173. Fishing quote is a eastern proverb, right? which culture?

  174. ‘Inviting children to act’ = now that’s more like it, Elder B.

    Perhaps I was prematurely negative.

  175. Theme of the day: Parents, you’re responsible for raising your children in the gospel.

  176. Chelsea says:

    the narrator 168, I thought the same thing.

  177. TrevorM says:

    If you build a man a house. you house him for the rest of his life. you Teach a man to build a house….

  178. My parents read me the children’s Book of Mormon with all the pictures. My dad always called King Noah “FAT King Noah”. My earliest memories of the Book of Mormon were very positive… and hilarious ;)

  179. IIRC, it’s a Chinese proverb.

  180. I like the promotion of the idea that FHE does not need to be perfectly organized and that spontaneity just might be better (for some families).

    I couldn’t stand FHE when it went by the formula. I always got so much more out of…well, basically what Bednar has been describing, I guess.

  181. I like principle 3 best.

  182. Kristine says:

    I’ve heard it called Native American. Is there a site for urban cliches?

  183. What? Family Home Evenings are not supposed to be comprised of purchased, packaged or downloaded aids?

    Love it.

  184. Kristine says:

    Yeah, three cheers for substance over cute.

  185. After a quick review of Ensign conference reports on, the tradition of giving the full names of the First Presidency and the President/Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve (but not others) began with the 1995 solemn assembly sustaining of President Hinckley.

  186. Tanya Spackman says:

    I wonder if Elder Bednar’s hair is soft….

  187. #178,

    And I’ll probably be doing his bankruptcy next year – just like all the other construction workers I’m getting as clients right now.

  188. Mommie Dearest says:

    I coulda used this 20 years ago

  189. Tanya, you’re making me laugh. out. loud.

  190. Watch out! Jeffrey Holland is in da house!

  191. symphonyofdissent says:

    Being anxiously engaged in asking seeking and knocking! Yes please!

  192. I wish someone would teach that parents should teach their children to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, and visit the sick and in prison by doing it themselves. The focus on a power of the actual words of the BofM and in ‘spontaneous’ testimony seems to much like idolatry to me… at least the bibliolatry that I used to mock some Christians of on my mission.

  193. Tanya Spackman says:

    Another red tie. I like this one. It’s a good color and it’s a good color on Elder Holland. I like the subtle pattern.

  194. I wonder if Elder Holland is going to lay the smackdown on Augustine.

  195. Chelsea says:


  196. Or maybe a rant against the TULIP…

  197. Quick Google search says Lao Tzu.

  198. We haven’t had a good porn talk in GC in a while.

  199. #173
    According to Ezra Taft Benson, Yes

    “It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance.”

  200. Elder Holland on pornography?? Whoa its smack down time!

  201. TrevorM says:


    someone points out that its not just men looking at porno.

  202. Mommie Dearest says:

    I agree that the words of the BoM have the spirit in them

  203. Aaron Brown says:

    isn’t it though?

  204. A talk on lust from Holland! Whoa, buckle your seatbelts.

  205. Tanya Spackman says:

    “…a global cesspool of perceptions that could blast a crater in their brains forever.”

  206. According to Elder Holland, welcome to the ‘global cesspool’. Ooo err.

  207. Yeah, whoa.

  208. Mommie Dearest says:

    “…blast a crater in their brains–forever!”

  209. #200. I’m not denying that a spirit can be found in a serious study of the teachings of the text. What I am denying is that a magical power is found through the incantation of the BofM.

  210. So, the porn widow’s club meets in the airport? Plus, this is the story they decided to share while waiting for a plane?

  211. I’m not LDS, but I think I really like this man. Anti-porn talks get old, but I think this is the first time I’ve heard someone mention the fact that it’s a problem for women, too.

  212. Mommie Dearest says:

    Looks like my Firefox feed is about 3 minutes behind y’alls.

  213. ‘True love must include the idea of permenance’

  214. I think he’s saying you ladies need to stop lusting after the ties the brethren are wearing.

  215. Kate–There was once a talk abouit pornography in my Stake Conference and they mentioned that women are great offenders as well.

  216. In a ten-minute passing conversation with an Apostle at the airport, the thing you choose to bring up is – “my husband divorced me, and he had a porn problem”?


  217. Aaron Brown says:

    this really surprises me. Am I the only one?

  218. Duke of Earl Grey says:

    “You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway.” Tee hee!

  219. Tanya Spackman says:

    “When fleeing the scene of temptation, do not leave a forwarding address.” :-)

  220. I do like that he mentioned that it’s not just a problem with men. I have gotten kind of tired of being prejudged for my gender. Of course, women have been putting up with a lot worse for thousands of years. But still…

  221. Aaron Brown says:

    I mean …. the notion that women are “great offenders” with respect to porn use surprises me.

  222. #210 continued… By this I mean that the words alone (without understanding) will just be words and audible sounds. I don’t believe that reading the english words of the BofM to a person who knows only french would have any real effect. I don’t believe that someone who reads the english words of the BofM without trying to spiritual understand it will have any real effect. And I certainly don’t believe that reading the BofM to a 6 month old will have any different effect than reading Cormac McCarthy to it.

  223. Mommie Dearest says:

    narrator, the spirit in the BoM is a reflection of the quality of the spirit within oneself. It’s powerful to the degree that a person has faith in it. I can’t remember where this came from, but I don’t recall being encouraged to chant the text in order to receive magical power.

  224. I thought he was going to say to not leave your clothes behind when fleeing, a la Joseph of Egypt. :)

  225. narrator,
    I read that quote as saying that there is something more to what you get out of reading the Book of Mormon than a renewed conviction of Christ’s gospel. I think that’s applicable. Your mileage may vary.

  226. lol, ‘You shouldn’t be serving tea anyway’.

    Well, that’s it. No more tea for our builders, then. Or my NM granddad. :)

  227. Kim Siever says:

    FWIW, a podium is something you stand on to speak; a lectern is something you stand at to speak.

  228. Tanya Spackman says:

    The porn talks have always been low on my list of talks I have any interest in, but Elder Holland is quickly becoming my favorite GA, and this talk is awesome.

  229. Seth R. – If there is one thing I have learned from hearing anecdotes from Apostles, it is that people tell them the strangest things in the strangest settings!

  230. narrator- parents read the book of mormon, understand it, and feel love of the lord. Child is there and feels that love. I can believe in that.

  231. Chelsea says:

    Aaron Brown (222) 1 in 3 p*rn users is female (according to Oprah.)

  232. Mike RM says:

    Seth #217,

    I can imagine that Elder Holland might ask if any of them were married. From there, the fact that they were divorced would come up, and from there I can see that it could come up pretty quickly.

  233. That’s the second conference in a row that Holland has rocked my world.

    Oh, and I love this hymn.

  234. Tanya Spackman says:

    Yep, Elder Holland is officially AWESOME!

  235. Very interesting talk from Holland. Not your average porn talk at all.

  236. Aaron Brown says:

    the pink and blue blouses on the female choristers are nice, but the other colors are jarring.

  237. I’m certainly glad my mom and dad didn’t hyperanalyze urgings to read the BoM with my family. Our family scripture study was sporadic, but I still remember it well.

  238. narrator,
    I actually gave a talk one time that argued that understanding actual content in reading scripture was secondary to the ritual of just reading scripture. I still kinda think that.

  239. Mommie Dearest says:

    Those colors (on the women’s blouses) are called jewel tones.

  240. John, that’s how I look at it too.

  241. I love this hymn. I wish the choir looked like they loved it, too. Alas, they all look sad.

  242. #231 I’m fine with saying that a couple who reads the BofM and expresses a love which they found in the text to the infant through care and nurture, that the infant can feel and appreciate the care and nurture. I don’t think that was what what Bednar was saying. He seemed to be rather saying that parents should read the BofM to infants and that the infants would spiritually benefit from that reading in a manner unique to the BofM.

    I also don’t know what it would mean for an infant to “feel” love outside of the context of the direct care and nurture they are receiving. Are you saying that an infant will feel more love “in the air” if her parents are reading the BofM in the same room?

  243. Tanya Spackman says:

    Ties should never be brown.

  244. Aaron Brown says:

    Especially if the brown alternates with a beigey white and the combination looks like a bad memory from the ’70s.

  245. Good final number from the UVU choir…

  246. Tanya Spackman says:

    Tomorrow I’m going to my cousin’s house to watch conference with her family, so I won’t be able to comment about ties. So thanks, everyone, it’s been fun.

  247. Kristine says:

    Alex, who cares? They sound great–they look like they’re working really hard to avoid the Utah vowel spread, and it’s mostly working. And the split in the last verse is the only reason in the world why you’d want a 300-voice choir. But when that’s what you need, wow! is it great!

  248. Nearer My God to Thee: best rendition I’ve heard from Mormons. Great harmony, fantastic energy. Those kids from Orem can really sing!!

  249. Many of my ties are brown. :)

  250. Hey guys, what is this “One Good Man” movie?

  251. Left Field says:

    Who has brown ties? They all look red to me.

  252. Mommie Dearest says:

    narrator: actually, I do believe that a person who is endowed with enough of a certain spiritual sensitivity would be able to feel it even in infancy, from the reading of beloved texts of scripture by their parents.

  253. Aaron Brown says:

    BHodges, God doesn’t hear the prayers of the fashion-challenged. So time to update your wardrobe.

  254. Left Field says:

    Oh, now I see the brown tie. Sorry.

  255. #239. I’m fine with that. In fact that is what I think most family scripture reading is. Bednar’s fascination with “doctrine” doesn’t really make all that sense to me. And while I do think that ritual/practice of family scripture reading can be wonderful. I don’t think an infant would get anything out of it that would be different from any other type of quiet social activity.

  256. I don’t know about this movie Alex, but I know later they’re putting on “The Other Side of Heaven” which I like.

  257. Most of my ties were made before 1980.

  258. Mommie Dearest says:

    This was fun. First time in years that I haven’t watched conference alone.

  259. That guy in the movie that just came on looks like Mr. Weasley from the Harry Potter movies. Maybe it should be Brother Weasley since it’s on BYUTV

  260. Tanya Spackman says:

    Do LDS wizarding folks attend church with muggles, or are there wizard-only wards?

  261. Eric Russell says:

    Did Holland ever actually address women and porn? I listened again and when he spoke of not being “only a man’s problem”, the problem he was referring to was infidelity. He then started talking about chat rooms.

  262. I fell asleep and when I woke up my wife said I missed a talk about pornography. Can anyone tell me what it said? Are they still against it?

  263. It’s being correlated, Brother.

  264. I loved the whole thing except for the comment on social justice. They should keep politics out of their talks.

  265. re narrator’s comment,
    I think even though infants don’t understand everything we say, they are still learning the sounds and structure of language. So if we read scriptures to them, perhaps the rhythm and maybe even vocabulary of the scriptures will be linguistically internalized. Just as supposedly exposing your babies to foreign language sounds while young will help them be more able to learn other languages when older. Since the 1600’s-style scriptures do have a different syntactical structure than modern conversation & prose, this could only help.
    I heard that when poet Dylan Thomas was young, his parents read Shakespeare aloud to him.

  266. Elder Holland delivers again. My jaw isn’t on the floor like it has been after his last two GC talks, but still, great stuff.

    Also, I concur that the choir sounded really good.

  267. #265

    It’s too bad the GAs didn’t consult with you before deciding what to talk about.

  268. Tanya, some stakes have wizards-only wards, but usually a muggle is called as the bishop.

  269. Antonio Parr says:


    It’s too bad that Sherri didn’t consult with you before deciding what to post.

  270. ckimball says:

    Regarding Elder Holland’s talk, is it accepted doctrine or well understood that a new sin will add to Christ’s suffering?

  271. Aaron Brown says:

    “My jaw isn’t on the floor like it has been after his last two GC talks,”

    That’s cause this time, you didn’t run to the computer afterwards to start looking at porn. :)

  272. Steve M says:

    I agree that Glenn Beck-ites can (and most likely will) read Christofferson’s “social justice” comment as vindication of what Beck said. I’d really appreciate it if we would emphasize that it’s not a dichotomy–Jesus can emphasize the importance of social justice and personal morality. Or, more accurately, that fighting for social justice is a component of personal morality.

    But then, we all know that “morality” is synonymous with sexual morality in Mormonspeak.

  273. Kristine says:

    As Stake President in my hometown, Elder Christofferson dramatically increased the church’s outreach and ecumenical activity in social justice projects. I would find it frankly shocking if he condoned Beck’s outburst in any way, and I suspect he’ll be horrified if people read his talk that way.

  274. I just went on a nice walk with my wife. Sorry if I let my bewilderment with everything Bednar leak out onto the blog too much.

  275. Steve M says:

    I certainly don’t think Christofferson is a Beckite, but the fact of the matter is that he made a semi-derisive comment about “social justice” Christians on the heels of Beck’s outburst–without providing a qualifier that social justice is a worthy cause (if not a substitute for personal morality).

    I’m not imputing Beckian political views to Christofferson. Not at all. But Beck’s followers will likely take the comment as a tacit endorsement of Beck’s remark. I guess my qualm is that I wish Christofferson had phrased things more carefully, so as to guard against that outcome.

  276. I just did not hear it/read it as derisive. Interesting.

  277. One of the most spiritual moments of my entire life was when I walked into the nursery to find my wife reading scriptures to our infant daughter. Don’t know if it had a big effect on my daughter, but it blew me away.

    Also, I have a brown tie that I wore almost every day of my mission and I wish brown ties were more in vogue.

  278. Steve M says:
  279. #263 FTW- why am i thinking of a cat?

  280. Steve M says:
  281. The more I think about it, the more I think that Beck and Christofferson were saying the same thing (especially in light of Beck’s later ‘explanations’).

    My question to Christofferson is who are “They [who] have imagined a Jesus who wants people to work for social justice but who makes no demands upon their personal life and behavior”?

    Is this some big movement that I’m not aware of? Granted, some would probably differ with Christofferson concerning what constitutes Jesus’s demands for personal life and behavior, but I don’t know many who have argued… nor do I understand how they would argue, that Jesus only had a concern for social justice which did not carry over to personal life and behavior.

    Is this a straw man or is this a reality?

  282. In re: Loyd and everybody else talking about spirit in Scripture: it may be relevant to note that this is precisely what Calvin and Luther claimed about the Bible. Scripture is the Word of God, as is Christ; the Word is how God acts in the world (as per Genesis 1); therefore, scriptural text is different from other texts because it is in some sense sacramental.

  283. My wife said Elder Holland could talk about the phonebook and she’d love it.

  284. Steve M, I want desperately to believe that Christofferson does not actually believe the same thing as Beck, and that his use of “social justice” was also just an unfortunate, but inadvertent choice of words. But then I have to also believe that Elder Christofferson is completely ignorant about that controversy, which is only about two or three weeks old, and that also does not inspire confidence.

    Although I think his comment was more nuanced than to be characterized as derisive, there was clearly some negativity directed at that idea– the idea that treating others fairly and helping our fellow man are inferior acts of devotion to sexual purity and assorted other moral conduct.

  285. Doug Evans says:

    BTW Not that anyone likely noticed, but in the world report which aired immediately after the Sat. morning session, they were pointing out the three temples that will be dedicated in the next few weeks. They started with the new Vancouver British Columbia Temple and point out with an illustration of its location in Vancouver. If you look more closely at the illustration you will note that they were pointing the location right at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in fact Victoria, the capital of B.C. The Vancouver Temple is really located in Langley, B.C., about 35 miles east of Vancouver. Sorry guys, but someones going to get lost in the ocean swells.

  286. Sorry to join the conversation late here, but I’m several hours behind/ahead of Utah time. My two cents on the “social justice” reference: I think Elder Christofferson must have used the phrase with eyes wide open, but perhaps part of the reason for his obliqueness was to show that we can talk about the issues without being drawn into the political controversy. Maybe he meant to signal that the key is not to score political points but to remember what our LDS doctrine is.

    If I recall correctly, the reference came in the context of pointing out scriptural misinterpretations. I took it that his point was that those who imagine to themselves a Jesus concerned only about social justice and not (also?) about personal morality are mistaken. If that’s the case, it’s a point a wholly agree with, even though I think Jesus was also concerned with social justice. In fact, this is one of the things I love about the church — its insistence that personal morality (which for Elder Christofferson is much broader than sexual morality) and social equity are not to be divorced ultimately, even if it appears at some moments that they’re not closely connected.

    Elder Christofferson seems to have had these sorts of issues on his mind for a while now. See for example a couple of recent conference talks and a recent speech at Duke University. Here again he’s sufficiently ambiguous for multiple interpretations, but my reading is of him is that we can’t divorce the personal from the social (or [redundantly] vice versa):,5232,23-1-947-13,00.html,5232,23-1-1117-34,00.html

  287. I think that Elder Christofferson is most like repeating the sentiment from Pres. Benson:
    “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.”

    I don’t see that as a bad goal.

    That said, I think that this is more a situation of Elder Christofferson saying we should do both (social justice stuff and new man creation stuff) rather than just one or the other.

  288. Kristine says:

    AHL Duke–it’s quite likely that these talks were written a lot longer than 3 weeks ago, so I wouldn’t get all worked about Elder Christofferson’s ignorance of the news. Somebody who has done translation–how long in advance do you get these talks?

  289. Kristine, from comments I heard from one of the GAs recently (he specifically asked that we not cite him on blogs, which is why I am not), he talked about turning in a talk about four weeks before Conference, then changing his subject a week later and turning in a new talk a week before Conference. He said the translators were a bit irked.

    Don’t know if that is the standard time-frame or not, though.

  290. #290

    I don’t know how to read the gospels without seeing Jesus as explicitly going after political and social forces, and not just focusing or demanding “personal life and behavior.” In fact, the former seems to totally outweigh the latter.

    As this is Easter, I think Jon Sobrino’s words are fitting:

    “Persons who preach an exclusively transcendent [Kingdom] of God do not get themselves murdered. People who preach a [Kingdom] that is only a new relationship with God, or only “love,” or only “reconciliation,” or only “trust in God,” are not murdered. All these things may be legitimately regarded as elements accompanying the message of the [Kingdom] of God, but they alone do not explain Jesus’ death, and therefore they alone cannot be the central element of the [Kingdom]. The [Kingdom] of God must have had some bearing on the historico-social, not only the transcendent.”

  291. Steve M says:

    I’m pretty sure Elder Christofferson is well-informed of the news–which, as AHLDuke suggests, is why the reference to “social justice” is striking.

    But, for the record, I don’t think he’s a Beckian. I attended his recent talk at Duke, at which he mentioned an interview with Desmond Tutu that he had recently heard while “listening to NPR.” I mean, NPR! I doubt there is much overlap in the venn diagram of Glenn Beck fans and NPR listeners.

  292. I know I’m behind everyone else, but I just wanted to point out that Elder Bednar pwns at the tie-knot-microphone game. It must be his good posture.

  293. One more comment: Anyone else listening with more attention to Elder Bednar since Ziff pointed out that he’s almost certainly going to be the prophet someday?

  294. Maybe Elder Christofferson just wanted to make sure that when anyone does a search for “social justice” at, his talk will come up first. Hooray for search engine optimization techniques.

  295. I thought I heard Elder Christofferson say we should work
    for social justice.

  296. Eric Russell says:

    “The [Kingdom] of God must have had some bearing on the historico-social, not only the transcendent.”


  297. Eric, you’re on a roll today.

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