Sunday Morning One Miracle at a Time Session

Welcome to Sunday Morning session of the 182nd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, I am a Mormon, and I love it.

Prayer from one of the greatest human beings I have ever met.

First up: President Henry B. Eyring.
As a side note, Kathleen Flake has an article in the recent Journal of Religion on the canonization of Liberty Jail letter. This letter was first published in the Times and Seasons (May and July 1840) in Nauvoo. It was added to the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1876 edition. I’d give you the link to the actual letter at the JSPP website, but it is on the blink as usual. Look for the March 20-25, 1839, letter when you get a chance. The whole letter is fascinating.

Also, I love Eyring. Just sayin.

2nd: President Boyd K. Packer.
My son: “Is he close to death?” Me: “Closer than you.”

There are a lot of youtube videos of “Brightly Beams.” I don’t want to go through and find a good one.

“Our message is faith and hope in Jesus Christ.” Amen.

MoTab w/Solo [caught me off guard, I must admit]

President Linda K. Burton
Four words to remember: First observe then serve. EmJen: “…Sister Burton consistently adds “and women” to her scriptural references. Interesting.”

It is okay to be nervous at the temple and we should help each other.

Choir and congregation: Called to Serve

Elder Walter F. Gonzalez (One of the Presidents of the Seventy)

“Information alone is not enough.” “Navigate the celestial web in our hearts and minds.” Interesting contrast between technology and spirituality. I think that not too long ago, it would have been secular vs. spiritual.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Extended modern language adaptation of the New Testament story of the fisherman apostles. Powerful stuff.

President Thomas S. Monson

’nuff said.


  1. Love the title. I am getting ready have my speakers hooked up and all. Oddly enough right now I miss Spencer Kinard. Or does it have two K’s?

  2. Sunday morning water in my ears after showering and it’s already driving me crazy session…

  3. MKJ giving the invocation

  4. Love your session titles.

  5. For us, it’s the Sunday Morning Lots of People Are Tuning In to The One Session They Ever Watch, Creating Internet Server Glitches Session.

  6. In my #1 I meant does he have to N’s not two K’s. I guess I am not as awake as I thought.

  7. Back for the morning session! Had technically difficulties yesterday and lost our audio on the TV, but all is well again! Looking forward to the session!

  8. [removed]

  9. Well, short of a woman giving the prayer, Marlin Jensen giving a prayer is a pretty nice treat.

  10. For me, it’s the Sunday Morning My Hair Totally Changed Colors This Morning Session

  11. I don’t think I’ve ever been moved more by a prayer at GC.

  12. ‘Cause there’s never been a better one, Ray.

  13. Darn it, this means that Jensen won’t be speaking. Sadness.

  14. It was an excellent prayer.

  15. Pres Eyring’s into the family stories this weekend. (I mean, he often is, but we’ve gotten lots between this and the priesthood session.)

  16. I like the implication of the pavilion as it relates to even Joseph, but I’m sure there will be many who are striving hard, faithfully, to feel close to God without being able to do so who will struggle with this talk.

  17. God never hides? What of Christ on the cross? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mat 27:46) There are even some LDS sermons on the topic, e.g. Melvin Ballard, here
    “His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son.”

    Heck, someone had a post on this recently, referencing Mother Theresa, maybe at Patheos?

  18. Ray, that was my thought, too.

  19. I still like the idea that we are not hidden from God though.

  20. You know, speaking as an academic, going from tenured prof at an R1 to president of a CC isn’t an ordinary career path, but i don’t know that it would be seen as a downgrade.

  21. I also struggle with us creating a pavilion. I know it can happen, but I don’t know if that’s always the reason why a pavilion is there.

  22. 20 I got the impression that the downgrade was CA to ID

  23. I missed the point of his story. Was it a bad thing that he took a job at Ricks?

  24. Fwiw, for those who are able to hear messages and feel strong promptings, I agree totally that “we create the pavilion”. However, I believe the Fall creates pavilions for many simply as a function of mortality.

    I love Pres. Eyring. He’s one of the most humble, caring, charitable leaders we’ve ever had, I believe. I just think, in this case, his talk applies to one group in the Church and not another one.

  25. Any chance that the profanity in #8 could be deleted?

  26. I like the idea that it can sometimes take a change of focus (like here, from a hyperfocus on motherhood to one on service generally).

  27. Joe In Alaska says:

    Good morning everyone from Soldotna, Alaska once again. A little late logging in here, but we heard the choir’s program, and the opening minutes of conference as me and 2 of my children who are just above the age to be eligible to be seated in the conference center whipped up a delicious breakfast. Scrambled Cheesy eggs, sausage, bacon, english muffins, chocolate or white milk(so as to show that we’re not racists), and orange and apple juices.

    I think that having breakfast during conference is God’s revelation to me that it’s OK for us to be banned from the conference center right now since we have children under the age of 8.

  28. How old were his kids when this happened? The couple he’s taking about… They sound pretty young for missions…

  29. #25: thanks, Mark. I missed that.

  30. I like this closing about eventually our pavilions being removed.

  31. “The Lord’s delays can seem long. Some can last a lifetime…[but] we can be sure that he always keeps his promises.” Deep and heavy words, there.

  32. J. Stapley says:

    As a side note, Kathleen Flake has an article in the recent Journal of Religion on the canonization of Liberty Jail letter. This letter was first published in the Times and Seasons (May and July 1840) in Nauvoo. It was added to the Doctrine and Covenants in the 1876 edition. I’d give you the link to the actual letter at the JSPP website, but it is on the blink as usual. Look for the March 20-25, 1839, letter when you get a chance. The whole letter is fascinating.

  33. I love this statement of Jesus’s, ’cause the righteous have no idea that they’ve done good, it was just part of them.

  34. I also like the idea that the pavilion can be removed or lessened by service to others.

  35. Being unable to have children tied to righteousness? Not entirely comfortable with that… I’m sure that’s not what he intended to imply, but the idea was there.

  36. No, #23, it was not a bad thing that he took the job at Ricks. He was following what God wished him to do.

  37. Anyone know the latest on President Packer’s health?

  38. I was a little uncomfortable with the opening, but yeah, service being the key to communion with God? I’m cool with that.

  39. Is anyone else’s internet feed freezing up every few minutes?

  40. Casey – I heard his message about infertility (something my wife and I struggle with) as the challenge to maintain one’s faith and righteousness despite the inability to have children.

  41. Joe In Alaska says:

    Interesting opening by Elder Packer — “My talk is directed at those of US that suffer from….” all those emotions he listed. The fact that he said US would help us to realize that even he suffers some of these emotions.

  42. I don’t think he’ll be around for much longer. Even his breathing is quite labored.

  43. Latter-day Guy says:

    Perhaps the implication was that infertility is not the result of unrighteousness.

  44. Ebenezer Robinson says:

    #39 Isn’t everybody’s??

  45. #39 BHodges: It was the first several minutes, but it seems to have smoothed out up here (he said, probably jinxing his connection).

  46. J. Stapley says:

    BHodges, I’m watching the stream on my Roku in HD, and it is working great.

  47. Joe In Alaska says:

    #39 — Our internet feed seems to be running just fine today. It was good for both sessions yesterday as well. WiFi connection to my iPhone 4S that is transferred to the 50″ TV via AppleTV connection.

  48. #43 Latter-day Guy: That is what I heard, too.

  49. J. Stapley says:

    My son: “Is he close to death?” Me: “Closer than you.”

  50. We probably need to be praying that elder packer will have the strength to finish his talk!

  51. To be precise, it wasn’t a case of infertility. It was a temporary condition, with children born before and after.

    I think it’s more an example of impatience and perhaps depression over not having things happen according to the time frame we desire. I think that fits the overall message of the talk better.

  52. #35, the implication to me was that even righteous desires have to be met in the Lord’s good time. (Said as a 36 year old with 1 child, who always wanted 7, or at least 4.) That story spoke directly to me, as I have been praying about what to do with my time. For me, the “all my time is yours” is an answer to my prayers. Though I do not interpret it to mean that I will soon be pregnant.

  53. #40 and #43, those are happier interpretations; I like those. Maybe it was just the turn at the end, where once she humbled herself she almost immediately became pregnant, that led to my less-generous take, not to mention that I’m in still-young but childless marriage so it’s something my wife and I have discussed several times.

  54. Joe In Alaska says:

    Was that the Iron Rail that kept brother Littleton(I may have gotten the name wrong) from going overboard?

  55. Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy!

  56. Yep, jinxed myself—now it starts glitching.

    After #49, i figure i might as well offer that my 11-year-old exclaimed when he came on, “I thought he was dead!”

    I’ve listened to conference addresses of his from decades past, and he was amazingly vibrant as a speaker. It’s a good reminder that one person really *can* live multiple lifetimes.

  57. 51 – Technically, infertility is defined in textbooks as trying to have children unsuccessfully for over a year. So if it was as long as I understood, it can be counted as infertility.

  58. Thanks, Brooke, for the clarification. I wasn’t aware of that.

  59. Joe In Alaska says:

    I think we’ll sing Brightly Beams our Father’s Mercy in my Seminary class sometime this week.

  60. Did he say “white as wool”? If so, it’s not the first time a General Authority quotes scripture from memory, and gets it slightly (though insignificantly) off.

  61. No problem Ray. I didn’t know until I took a class last semester.

  62. “We do not know how, exactly, the Lord accomplished the Atonement.”

    I like that he said that so clearly.

  63. #62 Ray: Bet it won’t stop folks in gospel doctrine classes from insisting *they* do, though!

  64. Clearly, it was the intelligences reacting to the suffering of their God…I mean, Skousen laid it out pretty clearly guys. Also, you’re all communists :)

  65. I’m finding it very interesting (and awesome) that he keeps quoting hymns during this talk.

  66. Solo!

  67. Whoa. Solo. This is a new thing?

  68. I love the words of this hymn.

    I was touched deeply by this talk. It reminded me in a way of Elder McConkie’s final talk.

  69. I was thinking the same thing, Jacob. Not so common for Packer to quote so extensively from songs is it? There’s something sweet about it.

  70. I know! Solo! They’ve done it before, haven’t they? But nice voice!

  71. When was the last time they had a soloist in conference?

  72. Love The Lower Lights version of Brightly Beams…check it out.

  73. Who is the soloist?

  74. We’ve had vocal solos a number of times before, but this one’s working better than most, IMO.

  75. StillConfused says:

    Who is Solo Man?

  76. I like this arrangement quite a bit.

  77. Shane Warby is the soloist.

  78. Love this solo.

  79. What a sweet voice. This is nice.

  80. StillConfused says:

    Creepy close up of the organ… looked like a man with three hands. My husband said “those Mormons sure are strange beings.”

  81. Gorgeous.

  82. Sharee Hughes says:

    I ditto those who loved this soloist. Very nice voice.

  83. Shane Warby was the soloist- lyrics by Joseph Fielding Smith. Cool.

  84. I’m a sociolinguist. As a result, her Wasatch Front vowel system (California Shift+hypertensing of some tense vowels) are going to be astonishingly distracting for me throughout this entire address.

  85. Joe In Alaska says:

    Ray RE #81 — When did we start commenting on the appearance of the speakers?

  86. That was awesome to do that for Elder Packer! Very sweet moment.

  87. There was a male soloist during A Poor Wayfaring Man about 9 years ago.

  88. 85 – Ha!

  89. “This was only my second time as a newlywed…” Casey (DH): “Don’t worry, it gets easier.”

  90. #85 – lol

  91. Stopping bullying by being nice to the bully? Wouldn’t work every time, of course, but a good reminder that it should be in our toolkits.

  92. Joe In Alaska says:

    Good one Brooke.

  93. Sharee Hughes says:

    Red top with a big black flower. Is that the uniform for female speakers at conference this time?

  94. This is a good message, and I’m laughing at comments here.

  95. @loathing, you’re not the only one….

    What’s a CA shift?

  96. Joe In Alaska says:

    I forgot that the word of the session granting access to the candy bowl is FAMILY. It has only paid off one time so far this session.

  97. Grrrr…Yeah, i know how it was intended, and i know i’m taking this wrong, but as a father of daughters, i’m tired of being told that the personal progress program is intended to help my children become good mothers. It’s teaching them to become good human beings, thankyouverymuch.

  98. I’ve noticed that Sister Burton consistently adds “and women” to her scriptural references. Interesting.

  99. I really love this talk.

  100. #95 Cynthia L.: Fronting of /u/ and /o/, plus lowering (and backing, for short-a) of the front vowels except for a short-i lowering/tensing split depending on the following sound. In less technical terms, think Moon Unit Zappa in “Valley Girl”.

  101. EmJen. Because of where I was, that would have annoyed me, because I used to think that saying the generic men to replace all of humankind was sufficient to me. But now I find it endearing and inclusive.

  102. What’s the dead baby count so far? I’m getting worried about my own kids.

  103. As an educator, I can tell you that killing with kindness really does work! However, I cringe whenever I hear someone label a child as a bully. Bullying is a behavior, and should never be used as a label to describe any person. We constantly tell our students that they should not respond to bullying behaviour with negative, aggressive action. Students who bully are seeking attention and have not learned appropriate ways to get it. We (parents, teachers, community members) need to help teach them how to get attention through positive behavior. Being kind is a great step!

  104. Sweet! A pay it forward story!

  105. I was supposed to type “because of where I was 5 years ago”. The sentence makes more sense that way.

  106. And, as my wife points out, someone is sitting somewhere saying, “That was me!”

  107. A simple message, but a really good one. This is a talk that I think will speak to people in a way that they’ll reconsider day to day moments of their lives.

  108. Loathing, this is interesting stuff to me but is there a dummy-talk version anywhere? Preferably on Youtube so I can hear what those funny symbols sound like?

  109. JEA, my wife has noticed a lot of dead children this conference as well.

    Struck a bit too close to home to me since I have a cute little 6 year old boy who has often had rough nights throwing up.

  110. Ah, my favorite hymn:

    Seventy-Six Trombones Lead The Big Parade

    Called To Serve

  111. I think Henry B. Eyring’s address from priesthood session still edges it out for me, but i liked this address a whole bunch.

  112. Having learned “Called to Serve” in Spanish, I can’t help but feel the English version is so very inferior.

  113. “Serve” is the candy word for this session. The kids got a boatload of candy corn during Sister Burton’s talk. At least it got them listening, even “Called to Serve.”

  114. So, our cable feed went weird on the last note of the organ intro, so my family started cracking up.

  115. Shameless plug for Shane in his 15 minutes of fame. He really lets it rip as the soloist in an arrangement of “Ain’t Got Time to Die” on the BYU Singers Album “I Believe This is Jesus.” He also arranged “His Eye is on the Sparrow” on “My Redeemer Lives.” All on iTunes. Good stuff.

  116. Speaking of my 6 year old boy – he got up and started marching in place in time to the music. So I got up and marched with him, while my 11 year old daughter looked both amused and mortified at the same time.

  117. Rad tie.

  118. Yeah! Little kids stories. Always takes me back to my childhood, even if it’s one I haven’t read

  119. #108 Casey: Most everything written on it requires a working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet. (I just checked the Wikipedia page on it, and it contains a lot of correct information but a lot of spurious stuff, too.) I’m sure there’s YouTube videos—look for California teens, especially anglo and latina/chicana girls.

  120. #116 – Oh, Seth, I can relate – both to enjoying my boys and simultaneously mortifying my girls.

  121. I love The Little Prince.

  122. Joe In Alaska says:

    Brooke — RE #112 — We exclude song and prayer utterances from being candy eligible.

  123. Can anyone tell us how this cutesy sing-song speaking style came into our culture? It is virtually taking over the women speakers in conference and BYU-TV.

  124. Ben S.- on God Never Hiding, I believe Ballard’s statement was superseded by this from Holland:

    With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering. Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required; indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind, us, all of us, would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.

  125. @Brooke Totally best tie of the conference.

  126. #123 – I haven’t heard it this conference at all.

    Sometimes, I think when we look for it, we hear it in the normal voices of some people.

  127. #123 Quayle: Women just tend (in most cases) to be a generation or two ahead of men in adopting linguistic changes. No worries, all you have to do is wait a decade or two and the men will join in.

  128. Actually Quayle, the sing-song has been on a decline from the 1990s as far as I can tell. Couldn’t tell you about earlier than the 90s because I wasn’t really listening then.

  129. When are we going to let GC speakers speak in their native languages? It’d create some difficulties for those in the Conference Center itself, but i’d love for people like Elder González to be able to express themselves in a more natural way.

  130. Good examples of male nurturing in Sister Burton’s talk.

  131. I like the connection of the Atonement to feeling and healing and not to “solving problems”.

  132. Holland! Time to wake up!

  133. The two most popular songs chosen by the young men in Priesthood Opening Exercises are Called to Serve and If I Could Hie to Kolob. We sing them again and again. Does this happen in your wards?

  134. Joe In Alaska says:

    I recall someone yesterday afternoon hoping that Elder Holland wouldn’t be allowed to speak last night in priesthood session so she could hear him today. Wish granted.

  135. “I think we sometimes forget just how inexperienced [the eleven apostles right after Jesus’s death] were.”

  136. J. Stapley says:

    @129, it is too difficult logistically. It would require significant increases in translation services. Though they often record a version in their native languages for simulcast.

  137. Matt W.- Looks like Holland is going to address this :)

  138. I like the start of this talk

  139. 129 – They generally record the talk in their native language prior, so Spanish speakers everywhere heard him in his native language just now.

  140. Mike R.M. says:

    Wouldn’t speaking in native languages create very difficult translation problems? In addition to needing translators to go from English into French, Korean, Russian, etc., you would now need Spanish to French, Korean, Russian, Korean to French, Russian, Finnish, etc., etc. When everyone speaks in English, you only need one translator per language.

  141. I also like the start of this talk.

  142. Joe In Alaska says:

    Dr Brew Ha Ha — RE #133 — We sang Called to Serve last week, but that was the first time in a long time. We get a pretty good mix, except for when one particular young man plays the piano, in which case we always sing Sweet Hour of Prayer.

  143. #133 drbrewhaha: It was exactly like that in my old ward until they started making young men both lead and play the music. Then it became “Sweet Hour of Prayer”, every time.

  144. drbrewhaha says:

    Interesting idea #129.

  145. 134 – that was me. :)

    Also, I like how he’s rocking a hankie in his suit pocket.

  146. #140: As others have pointed out, they pre-record in their native languages. The simultaneous translation could be from the written version, perhaps?

  147. Holland has commented on Peter this way before, with the “I go a fishing” phrase from John 21:3

  148. I love that he just said, “This is my opinion. Please allow me to extrapolate from the scriptures.”

  149. Joe In Alaska says:

    Brooke — RE #139 — That must be confusing to the native speakers of that language as his mouth movements don’t match what he’s saying. I know I would find that particularly distracting.

  150. Fun job pulling the story of the eleven after Jesus’s death into modern language.

  151. Peter: “It’s been a great year, guys…”
    John: “Umm don’t you mean three?”

  152. Joe #149 – Those watching in other languages are used to seeing that, since they are hearing translations anyway.

  153. J. Stapley says:

    Elder Holland has used alternate translation and modern language for Bible stories in the past. E.g., last April.

  154. Joe In Alaska says:

    Loathing — RE #143 — That must be the easiest hymn to play. I know when I was young, I had 3 different hymns I could play.

  155. drbrewhaha says:

    “I think we sometimes forget just how inexperienced [the eleven apostles right after Jesus’s death] were.”

    This so applies to the newly called apostles and prophets of the restoration. So many people expect perfection of actions and knowledge that, when they don’t see it, they leap off the boat.

  156. I love the circle of events he is describing.

  157. Peter jumping off the boat is one of my favorite moments in scripture.

  158. 149 – Joe, it would be harder if they had to listen in English. They wouldn’t get much of it, that’s for sure.

  159. Joe In Alaska says:

    Good point Alex.

  160. You know, i feel kind of sheepish in having to admit that i never caught the parallel between the initial meeting of the fishers-to-be-apostles meeting Jesus for the first time, and their meeting in the same way after Jesus’s resurrection. I’m always happy when i learn simultaneously obvious and new stuff about the scriptures.

  161. drbrewhaha says:

    …marking this talk for a definite reread this week.

  162. loathing – I had never made that connection, either.

  163. Joe In Alaska says:

    Hearing all this talk about fishing and catching massive quantities reminds me of the dipnet fishing we do here in Alaska every summer. Loathing — do you dipnet?

  164. #149, Spanish speakers are used to it from bad dubs of Walker Texas Ranger and the like.

  165. Wow, I love this talk.

  166. #163 Joe in Alaska: We’ve only been up here 3 years. We’ve intended to, but life (family reunions, illnesses, and such) has kept interfering. Next summer, though, definitely.

  167. Whhy! Wheat thins!

  168. Joe In Alaska says:

    Living next to the greatest salmon river in the world, “When I need fish, I can get fish” rings true!!!

  169. *chills*

  170. #167 Jacob M.: I’ve actually published a paper on initial [hw] along the Wasatch Front. Yes, it’s true, there is nothing so obscure but that some academic has written about it.

  171. #167, Lolz.

  172. This is so amazing right now. I second the chills from maria

  173. I love exegesis. I don’t know, if this is what we usually got every week from our speakers maybe i wouldn’t find it as cool. But coming from the Mormon tradition, this approach rocks.

  174. Stunning talk.

  175. Did I hear somone laugh in the Conference Center?

  176. Joe In Alaska says:

    I’m going out on a limb and betting that 87% of all wards end up using this talk as one of their Teachings for our Times lessons over the next 6 months.

  177. “Love” in the Old Testament has strong covenantal fidelity/loyalty overtones, much less of the emotional response idea.

  178. So much for “cafeteria Mormonism” …

  179. @176: And 95% of those lessons will be woefully inadequate because Holland’s unique delivery is integral to what makes him great.

  180. This is perhaps the most Christian talk I can remember. Powerful.

  181. Indeed, Ardis!

  182. had a second where I thought he was going to say “halls of justice”. “halls of time” doesn’t have the same super-hero ring to it.

  183. John Taber says:

    I’m getting the feeling (earlier talks this Conference have pointed this way) that the calling I’ve had for ten and a half years, I’m not letting go of any time soon.

  184. Joe In Alaska says:

    FAMILY just edged out LOVE as the word of the session. The children are regretting that decision now.

  185. Wow. This one, President Eyring’s from last night, Sister Burton’s from earlier this session…Anytime you get three addresses that are that impressive, it’s been an amazing conference, you know? I’m not even going to try to pick a favorite. (And we’re not done yet.)

  186. I thought the same thing, loathing. And the parallel between being asked a question three times, on two close occasions. Ouch!

  187. My kids are liking this song. Can’t say it’s resonating for me – but they’re enjoying themselves.

  188. [removed]

  189. Magnificent talk by Elder Holland. I will re-read this several times.

  190. Joe In Alaska says:

    John — RE#183 — What calling is that?

  191. Elder Holland is the Captain Moroni for our time. That was a battle cry if I’ve ever heard one.

  192. Does MoTab usually do non-Hymn, non-Primary songs in General Conference?

  193. #191 – Fwiw, I don’t see it as a “battle” cry as much as a “call to serve”.

    I’m not comfortable with war rhetoric to describe a talk like that.

  194. Sharee Hughes says:

    I belong to a study group that meets every Wednesday afternoon. In addition to our current study of Talmage’s Jesus the Christ, we also tr to cover the conference talks. I am definitely going to claim this talk. I love Elder Holland!

  195. #192 I don’t believe so

  196. #188 Ben: Huh? How so?

  197. StillConfused says:

    What is the status of the Prophet’s health? I am impressed that he is speaking. He seems to be doing well.

  198. #194–What city do you live in or rather where your group meets?

  199. [removed]

  200. Word to the encouraging of optimism re: “the world”!!

  201. Does this mean that now i get to say that i believe that one of my blessings is to live in the cultural surroundings i do at the time i live in? Or do i get smacked down (as usual) for clearly being too tolerant of the evils of the world around me?

  202. Joe In Alaska says:

    192 — I would say about 80% of COnference songs are Hymns or PRimary songs.

  203. John Taber says:

    Assistant Stake Clerk since about May 2002, nominally for Geography but pitch-hitting at times for Membership. Since August 2004, I’ve been Stake Membership Clerk as well.

  204. KerBearRN says:

    Urg. Watching on a feed. Keeps skipping. When Prophet said “let’s take a step backward”, the feed obligingly skipped back to the beginning of his talk.

  205. KerBearRN says:

    Shout out to swimmers

  206. What happened to Steve Evans and Scott Bosworth? I miss them.

  207. Joe In Alaska says:

    Didn’t the old Deseret Gym get torn down to build the conference center?

  208. That makes two suicides averted via divine inspiration this conference.

  209. J. Stapley says:

    Matt W., we all miss them.

  210. >170


    I just figured out who you are!

    I read that comment and thought, “That’s weird. I haven’t heard of anyone besides D—- B—- writing about the Utah accent in any detail.” And then I clicked through to your blog.

    I was studying linguistics (as an undergrad) when you were teaching at BYU, although I never took a class from you. Anyway, nice to make the connection. And now I’ll go back to lurking. :)

  211. Joe In Alaska says:

    So Diving Inspiration can help avert suicides, but not infant deaths?

  212. Byu TV just lost its feed.

  213. Sharee Hughes says:

    Dolly, I live in Salt Lake City. Our study group is just a small group of old ladies in my ward. I have been a part of it for a little over a year, but it has been going on for many, many years. The woman whose home we meet in prepares the discussion each week, except for the month of September, when we decided to take a break from Jesus the Christ and discuss the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. Then I lead the discussions. Actually, I gave four lessons on Abraham. That is one of the most bypassed scriptures we have, yet it is so full.

  214. Joe In Alaska says:

    BYUTV via the internet is still running strong here in Alaska, Brad.

  215. Just lost the satellite feed and my wife lost the Mormon channel feed. Did this happen everywhere?

  216. Just curious, who is filling the role of “admin” today?

  217. KerBearRN says:

    212–We must have been inspired to dump our satellite, since we are watching from LOL

  218. #210 Katya: [wave!] I tried to have a more transparent WordPress login name, but David is a really common first name, you know?

  219. J. Stapley says:

    The Church President uses the metric system, so should you.

  220. Internet feed on in Romania became very skippy about 20 min ago. But maybe it has recovered by now.

  221. That’s me, Ben.

  222. J. Stapley says:

    The Roku HD stream is still going strong.

  223. Ben, #216, several of us. Why?

  224. Way to be bold! (Asking the guy if he was going to serve a full-time mission.)

  225. #219–Stapley!! Ha. From his mouth to all our nation’s ears!

  226. has been rock solid for me — don’t have anything fancy like a Roku so I’m streaming it through my desktop, using my TV as a monitor.

  227. Roku ftw.

  228. Just wondering about deleted comments.

  229. Joe In Alaska says:

    I have to admit I was a bit wary about trying to rely solely on internet feed and transfer to the big screen via AppleTV this time, but it has worked flawlessly. Great sound, great audio, and no skipping, lagging, etc. Now there’s no chance our family will incur extra cable TV Expense by delaying the post-conference cable TV Disconnect due to something we want to watch on TV.

  230. I feel like President Monson had moved away lately from the story-based style he historically used. Not this time, though!

  231. StillConfused says:

    Husband asked “What cultural thing to they have in Kansas?”

  232. Ben, there is only one deleted comment in this thread as far as I know. And it had profanity in it and was requested to be removed.

  233. I am a bit annoyed at his choppy diction.

  234. Joe In Alaska says:

    Seth — I htink there were 2.

  235. #231 StillConfused: Barbecue, the Musical.

  236. KerBearRN says:

    I love that my “lost his desire to serve a mission” 21 yo son is listening intently right now.
    Loved the eyebrow- raise-eye roll Monson did when he told of the letter and sending the book. He is so human and sweet.

  237. Katya & 170 —

    BYU linguistics on BCC FTW.

  238. Joe In Alaska says:

    QUick review shows comment #8, 188 and 199 were all removed.

  239. Yo, no more talk about admin. Anybody have complaints or commentary they can email me cynthial at

  240. StillConfused says:

    Working on jumbo-tron … youngens in the audience… they can fix anything

  241. Pres. Monson has as close to a single-minded focus on one thing (service, in his case) as any apostle I’ve known in my life. His story-based delivery is perfect for being able to pound away at one point over and over again, imo.

    I love that focus and delivery style and how much it emphasizes being doers of the word.

  242. My oldest brother and his family live in Kansas. All of his kids were part of the cultural celebration. Awesome hearing the prophet talk about it.

  243. Joe and Seth, I count 3.

  244. What a great snort!

  245. KerBearRN says:

    Thought he was gonna say they had those 3000 teenagers start working on the jumbotron. That’s what we do with tech problems at our house–turn it over to the teenagers.

  246. “He attributed the solution to luck. But all of the youth knew better.”

  247. StillConfused says:

    #242 … so what was the celebration?

  248. Joe In Alaska says:

    I’m still slightly more tech savvy than my teens. Have to be to filter their internet, cut off their access at the right times, and even intercept their passwords when needed.

  249. StillConfused says:

    What is this song? Sounds like something from the Sound of Music or some such musical

  250. The hot pink dresses are hurting my eyes b

  251. #247, the party they have before most temple dedications–he even mentioned in his opening remarks yesterday that he would speak of it today.

  252. KerBearRN says:

    I spy facial hair

  253. I’d call the dresses “hot salmon”

  254. This year we have both Steve Martin and Ron Paul singing in the choir.

  255. Kansas City and the surrounding has a diverse population that includes people of various European, African, Asian, and Polynesian countries. The cultural celebration brought all of those ethnic traditions together. There are videos on YouTube of the celebration.

  256. Joe In Alaska says:

    #247 — It has become traditional in the last decade or so that whenever the prophet comes to town to dedicate a temple, some kind of “cultural celebration” which focus on the culture of the area. It is generally a performance by youth in the region.

  257. Does anybody else keep hearing “She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain When She Comes” every time the organ refrain kicks in?

  258. KerBearRN says:

    Impressed with the color saturation of my monitor with those hot whatever dresses.

  259. KerBearRN says:

    254– LOL hub and son just said same thing.

  260. Joe In Alaska says:

    Casey — re #@53 — Hot RAW salmon maybe.

  261. loathing 257 – Yes!

  262. Closing prayer: Way to prove you were listening, dude!

  263. Suicide: My brother felt prompted to visit someone on his home teaching list, though he had been told that she was antagonistic. He arrived and she let him in. (No companion, but that’s not the point.) They talked for awhile, and finally she said, “Well, do you see these vials here? These are some poisons. I was planning on taking my life tonight. In fact, I was going to start right when you knocked. I guess I won’t.” So, those who have lost loved ones to suicide might wonder why their loved one wasn’t interrupted. I’d prefer to focus on the unexpected miracles, not disappointment in what didn’t happen. Losing children? Oh, that we could save them all! I recommend John Groberg’s _Fires of Faith_ in which he talks about his own son’s birth and near death. A group of Tongans arrived at Elder Groberg’s door and told him his son would not die, because they had been fasting for him and had been told the child would survive. A miracle. Yet other miracles happene when bereft parents find comfort and healing in midst of tragedy. We are called not only to heal but to comfort. Healing wears many faces.

  264. #263 Margaret Blair: There were many widows in Zeraphath (did i get the city right?), but the Elisha came to only one. Kind of like that, you mean?

  265. Thanks Sharee Hughes. I just moved to Provo recently. I hope to find a nice study group close by. Would love to have attended your Abraham month!

  266. I don’t know why I have witnessed undeniable and obvious miracles in a few cases in my life and not in others – or why some people seem to have not experienced any such miracles – or why one of my children was saved while others’ children were not – or any number of other situations where experiences are so disparate in mortality.

    I don’t understand it intellectually, so I am left simply to be grateful for the experiences I have had and to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort – without dismissing or diminishing in any way those who have not had cause to mourn or need comfort to the same extent.

    I think that’s part of Pres. Monson’s message – that, now knowing why, we focus on the positive as we try to deal with the negative.

    It reminds me of a wonderful post here by Kristine last year:

    “I Pray You…Bear My Joy Awhile” (

  267. Loathing–I had not thought of that specific example, but that’s a great one. I also recommend Gene England’s “Blessing the Chevrolet” in which he ruminates about all of this. It’s easily findable in his online collection of essays. Just do a goodle search.

  268. #263 & 264


  269. drbrewhaha says:

    Mix in England’s essay on the trueness of the church and you start to build a real foundation for practical gospel application vs lesson manual application.

  270. Left Field says:

    When President Monson said “municipal center,” was he referring to the Municipal Auditorium?

    #231: Not much in Kansas perhaps, but of course this is in Missouri.

  271. willswords says:

    #270 – yes, the Kansas City Temple cultural event was in the Municipal Auditorium in downtown Kansas City, Missouri:

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