President Monson’s Blessing Gesture

…was my favorite conference moment. What was yours?

Edit: I decided to remove the animated gif, because I do not wish to portray unintentional disrespect towards President Monson. I found his blessing gesture touching and sweet, but see via commenters that some people found it troubling. This thread may also be closed to not propagate discussion in this vein. Thanks.


  1. My favourite moment was learning that human bodies are not created through explosions.

  2. Have to agree, the blessing gesture was awesome. So like him. =)

  3. Romni – that part made me cringe

  4. I thought the blessing gesture was sacriligious and preposterous. We deserve better than that. Shame.

  5. Who is this guy- playing with his kids?

  6. This Monson Moment was humorous. My favorite part was finding out that those children in the earthquake in Haiti lived, and that the middle child was singing I Am A Child of God until his father found him.

  7. Steve G. says:

    If we are indeed a peculiar people, shouldn’t our top guy be the most peculiar?

  8. I’m surprised that people are seeing it as a “blessing gesture”. He was just pointing at everyone for emphasis. It was silly and fun and it reminded me of my grandma. No need for GAB to get a wedgie over it.

    I’m still working on reviewing the Sunday sessions, but I really loved Holland’s entire talk. And Perry’s. Sorry. I guess my best “moment” of conference was watching my kids actually listen this time. They’re young.

  9. This was my favorite moment:

  10. Here is the video of the Blessing

  11. #9: Amen and amen!

  12. The explosion comment was a pointless attack on science that has nothing to do with our faith. Do we need such efforts to define the boundaries of God and our faith? It seems that we make both smaller by doing so.

  13. Also a strange attack on science: the assertions regarding cause and effect in demographics.

  14. “Stop it!”

  15. #8 ErinAnn I am pretty sure Holland’s talk was during the Saturday Afternoon session. I didn’t want you to go looking around in Sunday for it and not find it.

    I found it interesting that the snarks about BBTheory came directly following a talk telling us not to be snarky. :)~~

  16. I am surprised nobody has mentioned Obama Administration member Larry Echo Hawk becoming a General Authority… :)

  17. CE (#13)

    Bob Newhart did a funny bit on “stop it” several years back. Equally as entertaining was this one by Uchtdorf.

  18. I feel similarly to GAB, but I wouldn’t put it so strongly. I was uncomfortable with it. It felt like he was trivializing the notion of a prophet blessing his people, although I’m sure he didn’t intend it that way.

    It was just bad timing for a joke, I think.

  19. also saddened says:

    Invoking a prophetic blessing should be just about the most reverential and awe-some thing a prophet does in a meeting of this sort. Trivializing it is more than just bad timing, and whatever his intentions, it got a laugh. A laugh at the invoking of a holy blessing on the Saints. Very, very sad.

  20. Awesome clip, Me Too. Think I might share that one on Facebook.

  21. I think y’all are misunderstanding Monson’s gesture. He was simply pointing to all the parts of the audience, not doing some kind of papal sign with his hand (I think that would have been inappropriately irreverent). The little flourish at the end seems to me to suggest that the size of the room is impressive–just kind of keeps going–and perhaps a nod to folks on TV etc. Perhaps surprising timing for a whimsical flourish, but I don’t think it bad, as some are suggesting.

  22. #1,4,5,12: this thread is supposed to be for highlighting favorite moments….

  23. It's Not Me says:

    You people are kidding, right? You think the prophet was being inappropriate? Your glass is not only half empty, it doesn’t have the brand of bottled water which you insist on drinking.

  24. Mommie Dearest says:

    I missed the original gesture, I was listening to the audio while I had a different tab up on Safari, and I just now saw a repeat of the actual hand jive. He’s just letting his (slightly dorky) flag fly. Trust me I know from LDS dorkiness. It’s sweet. In his case totally adorable. If you see something cringe-worthy, don’t expect any sympathy from me.

  25. Left Field says:

    President Uchtdorf’s Sunday sermon was excellent.

    I also missed the gesture live; I had just switched to a different window, and couldn’t switch back in time after I heard the audience reaction. And the gesture was impossible to interpret in the jerky clip that had been posted here. But after watching the video, I agree that he was just pointing to members of the audience. He emphasizes “*each* of you” and then starts out as if he was going to recognize each person individually (you and you and you…), then as if realizing it’s hopeless, indicates the entire audience with a broad gesture, exclaiming, “the building is full!”

  26. NewlyHousewife says:

    I think my favorite part was all the lawn work that got done by having it on DVR instead.

  27. My favorite was when President Uchtdorf made an interesting statement against the hypocrisy of those who judge others whose perspectives and actions in life differ from our own as he read the saying on a bumper sticker off the truck of a ‘rough-edged’ individual: “Don’t Judge Me Because I Sin Differently Than You.” “Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind”.

  28. So many statements in so many talks. I haven’t had this many “favorites” from which to choose in a long, long time. That was my favorite moment – the fact that there were so many favorites moments.

    Joseph wasn’t accepted by some as a prophet because he wasn’t serious enough in many cases for their preconceived notions of what a prophet should be and, even more specifically, what a prophet should do. I see that exact thing happening in some of the comments above with regard to Pres. Monson’s very sweet gesture.

    Fwiw, I wrote the following yesterday about the past, but, as the commenter mentioned, it is just as true about our prophets now:

  29. Mommie Dearest says:

    My favorite conference moment was when I realized that I felt called to repent, and I very much liked it.

  30. I didn’t see anything bad about what he did (I guess I just have a high tolerance for these types of things) but he was not just pointing to everyone in the conference center. He was making a sweeping motion for a blessing. Like I said, I don’t see the big deal about it, but I grew up Catholic where there are all sorts of strange sweeping motions.

  31. Mustaches.

  32. Aaron B says:

    My favorite moment was seeing David Archuleta. It was soooooo AWESOME!!!

  33. annegb5298 says:

    I loved Elder Baxter’s talk, too. I always worry, though, when conference speakers are funny, since Elder Rector got scolded from the pulpit for being too light-minded.

    I thought the prophet made the sign of the cross! I was half paying attention, then sat up mid-bite on my soda cracker (flu)! Rewound it. Whew, what a relief!

    Loved seeing Elder Archuleta, also.

    I enjoyed conference this time. Maybe it was because I was just coming off a month of giving up blogging for Lent and I wasn’t all over every little mis-step. No offense, you guys, but we really are piranha-like in the way we pounce on each other. I’m guilty as the rest of you.

  34. EOR,

    Thanks, but I just need to review Sunday morning because of my kids. I know the ones I listed weren’t from that session.

  35. I was watching President Monson invoke his blessing. When the murmer of CC center laughter came across the speaker, I wondered what they found amusing about the gesture, which just confused me. Rewatching it from a YouTube clip, I am convinced that when he gestured after he said “blessing on each of you” he was merely indicating where “each of you” were; and the complete circle above him was to incliude both the conference center audience and those from all over the world watching or listening to conference. The CC podium is, after all, at the bottom of a pit. Because I completely missed that significance on first watching, I again wonder what the audience thought they were laughing at. I doubt that anyone who laughed could clearly say. I doubt that Pres. Monson expected laughter, but his smile when it occurred was pure charm.

  36. Question says:

    #34 Can you give the source to when Elder Rector got scolded from the pulpit for being too light-minded.
    Like the link to the scolding?

  37. annegb5298 says:

    I agree with you, CraigC.

    I don’t have a link to it, it happened prior to 1973, I believe, when Elder Rector was a new general authority. They called them something else then, I think. I’ll try to find it, but I bet it’s not in the Ensign.

    Another thing I loved was President Eyring’s story about President Monson saying “Look who’s here and aren’t we glad?” referring to when President Monson’s daughter visits them.

  38. StillConfused says:

    The don’t judge me comment was my favorite.

    I was thinking back to when my children were created and there was a big bang involved

  39. Jacob Givens says:

    Oh please. Pres M was circling his finger to indicate everyone, as he said after he made the motion “all of you, there are a lot here.” He wasn’t casting a spell.

    Brother, please.

  40. Jason Covell says:

    It’s the difference between childlike and childish.

    Or lighthearted and lightminded.

    Or innocent and ignorant.

    President Monson never pretends to be anything he is not. He never pretends to be more righteous, more perfect or more knowledgeable than he really is. He does not wear affectations; his naturalness is entirely unstudied and unpretentious. That is all we saw here – a person at ease, who does not need to try to appear more solemn than necessary.

    And who cannot learn from that? Not me.

  41. Jason Covell says:

    That last sentence should have read: “And who cannot learn from that? Certainly I need to.”

    Editing fail on my part!

  42. micahburnett says:

    Richard G. Scott’s talk on revelation was both unexpected and amazing.

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