The hope a woman prays post so Hannah Wheelright will rejoice Saturday morning session

Courtesy of HABBENINK // ILLUSTRATION at habbenink.com.

Courtesy of HABBENINK // ILLUSTRATION at habbenink.com.

And we’re off on the 183rd Annual General Conference.

Up first, President Monson, followed by President Packer.

Invocation by Elder Randall K. Bennent

After Packer, then Bishop Dean M. Davies, followed by Sister Elaine S. Dalton.

Welcome to Conference by President Monson

Talks about his travels from Europe to Canada to Boise.

Announces two new temples in Cedar City, UTah, and Rio de Janiero Brazil.

We now have 65,634 full-time missionaries serving and over 20,000 with their calls.

These Things I Know by President Packer

A poem about when he was 88, and finally, when he was 88 last year, he wrote:

“I take a nap now and then

But a priesthood power remains.

And for all the physical things I lack

There are great spiritual gains.”

“We live in a very dangerous world that threatens those things which are spiritual. The family, the fundamental organization in time and eternity, is under attack from forces seen and unseen. The adversary is about. His objective is to cause injury. If he can weaken and destroy the family, he will have succeeded.  Latter-day Saints recognize the transcendent importance of the family and strive to live in a such a way that the adversary cannot steal into our homes. We find safety and security for ourselves and our children by honoring the covenants we have made and living up to the ordinary acts of obedience requires of the followers of Christ.”

“The consummate power of the priesthood has been given to protect the home and its inhabitants. The father has the authority and responsibility to teach his children and to bless and provide for them the ordinances of the gospel and every other priesthood protection necessary. He is to demonstrate love and fidelity and honor to the mother so that their children can see that love.”

“There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.”

“Tolerance is a virture, but like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice.”

“The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequences that result form the violation of God’s law of chastity. ”

A Sure Foundation by Bishop Dean M Davies

Relates story of being in an earthquake in San Francisco.

“Prayer is one of the most basic and important foundation building blocks of our faith and character. Through prayer we are able to express our gratitude, love and devotion to God.”

Note on the new temples from the Newsroom.

We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father by Sister Elaine S. Dalton

“What e’er thou art, act well thy part.”

“Our daily contributions of nurturing, teaching, and care for others may seem mundane, diminished, difficult, and demeaning at times, and yet as we remember that first line in the Young Women theme—“We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us”–it will make all the difference in our relationships and our responses.”

What is the part we must “act well”?

She quotes the Family Proclamation.

“Again, I renew the call for a return to virtue. Virtue is the strength and power of the daughters of God. What would the world be like if virtue–a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards, including chastity–were reinstated in our society as a most highly prized value?”

Vacuuming the Conference Center carpet helped her act well her part.

The Savior Wants to Forgive by Elder Craig A. Cardon

“The Son of Man forgives sins! While this truth is readily accepted by all believers, not so easily acknowledged is the essential companion truth: The Savior forgives sins “upon earth” and not just at the final judgement.”

“…because of this, all of us, including those struggling to overcome addictive behaviors sch as substance abuse of pornography, and those close to them, can know that the Lord will recognize our righteous efforts and will lovingly forgive when repentance is complete.”

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“This Is My Work and Glory” by Elder M. Russell Ballard

“In our day, the Hubble deep space telescope has confirmed the magnitude of what Moses saw.”

“The power by which the heavens and earth were and are created is the priesthood.”

“The power of the priesthood is a sacred and essential gift of God. IT is different from priesthood authority, which is the authorization to act in God’s day. That authorization or ordination is given by the laying on of hands. The power of the priesthood comes only when those who exercise it are worthy and acting in accordance with God’s will.”

“In our Heavenly Father’s great priesthood endowed plan, men have the unique responsibility to administer the priesthood, but they are not the priesthood. Men and women have different but equally valued roles. Just as women cannot conceive a child without a man, so a man cannot fully exercise the power of the priesthood, to establish an eternal family without a woman. In other words, in the eternal perspective, both the procreative power and priesthood power are shared by a husband and wife.”

“It is crucial for us to understand that Heavenly Father has provided a way for all of His sons and His daughters to have access to the blessings of and be strengthened by the power of the priesthood.”

“We can drift away from the true doctrine and gospel of Jesus Christ and become undernourished and wilted having removed ourselves from the divine light and living waters of the Savior’s eternal love and priesthood power.”

“The same priesthood power that created worlds, galaxies and the universe can and should be part of our lives to succor, strengthen and bless our families, our friends and our neighbors–in other words, to do the things that the Savior would do if He were ministering among us today.”

Ballard shouts out to the new Worldwide Leadership Training videos. Another shout-out to using it on your computer, smartphone or tablet devices.

First primary song. “Faith”

Woman said to be rumored to give the closing prayer. Stay tuned.

Sister Jean Stevens, 1st counselor in the Primary presidency to give benediction.

History will be made.

“Come Unto Me” by President Henry B. Eyring

Retelling the Easter story. “I read of the third day after His crucifixion and burial. Faithful women and others came with them and found the stone rolled away from the tomb and that His body was not there.”

“There must have been affection in the risen Lord’s voice as HE spoke to those sorrowful and mourning disciples.”

“There is another way you and I have felt Him draw closer to us. As we give devoted service to Him. He draws closer to those we love in our families….many of you have loved ones who are wandering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him faithfully.”

“My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you ill have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family. But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best.”

Sister Jean Stevens, Benediction: Gratitude for conference, especially the gift of the Savior. Grateful for priesthood, temple, prophet. We pray for those who labor to assist in this great work. We are grateful for everything we’ve heard, and as we come to a close, we pray that our spirit will abide with us.

Amen!!!!!

Comments

  1. First comment. Woo!

  2. Looks like no lady for the opening prayer.

  3. andrew h says:

    Randall K Bennett Does not sound like a Woman’s name to me ;)

  4. Me neither. Also the “of the Seventy” part. Maybe it was a subtle announcement about women’s ordination too.

  5. I had that familiar twinge of anticipation when Pres. Uchtdorf was announcing who was going to give the prayer – SOOON.

  6. cookie queen says:

    Americans have some odd names though’

  7. StarieNite says:

    Odd use of the word even if anyone is playing bingo

  8. Please tell me we’re going to lose the ‘even’ thing one of these days.

  9. If a woman prays today or tomorrow, it would be ideal if it was in the first session tomorrow, since that’s the one most members probably will be watching.

  10. Is that Kirk, formerly of Anchorage?

    THe conference donuts, muffins, and bagels are out.

    The conference candy bowl has been placed, and the word of the session is PROPHET.

  11. John Taber says:

    Pres. Monson has given up on his combover.

  12. Strange to see President Monson speaking first. I’m not complaining though. I never get tired of hearing the Prophet speak.

  13. Ray, I’m gonna go with the dark horse prediction:

    A woman will pray during Priesthood Session.

    ;-)

  14. Kirk formerly of Anchorage, AK. Yes sir!

  15. maybe i’m jaded, but if a woman says the opening prayer at one of the sessions, there will be complaints that it wasn’t the closing prayer.. tell me I’m wrong… well, maybe unless a woman says the opening prayer of Priesthood session… hmmm..

  16. 2 temples.. Cedar City UT?? Rio Brazil

  17. Having BKP kick things off. Interesting…

  18. I just got chills about the number of missionaries. That really is incredible.

  19. If anyone is interested in the social media aspect of things, within the first 4 minutes of General Conference #LDSConf is already trending on Twitter.

  20. (looks like you’ll have to copy-paste the link)

  21. starienite says:

    I imagine that one day Temples in UT will be like Walgreens with one on every corner.

  22. @Rob Lewis and @kirkcaudle: FWIW, someone currently from Anchorage here.

  23. Silence says:

    Why would that be interesting, Brad?

  24. I can’t decide whether i like that shade of purple on the MoTab women. I think it gets a thumbs-up from me, but it’s a tentative one.

  25. @loath I lived up there in HS during the mid-90s. Im pretty sure Rob still lives up there.

  26. How many more does Boyd have left in him?

  27. Pres. Packer looks a bit more healthy than last year? Or is it just me?

  28. John Taber says:

    I’m 40 and I can relate to much of this.

  29. This is a profound talk by President Packer so far.

  30. This is funny. In a good way.

  31. @brandt: I was thinking the same thing—more color in his face, or something (and i don’t think it’s just more color saturation in the video feed, given the colors behind him).

  32. I still live in ALaska, but now I’m in Soldotna, not Anchorage.

  33. “We are meant to age, with it comes a knowledge of the truth.”

  34. I hope this doesn’t end up in the hymn book!

  35. John Taber says:

    Hmm . . . he seems to be channeling Bruce R. McConkie with the last stanza.

  36. I’m really loving this talk. Very introspective and personal. This is really good.

    My wife just mentioned that she thinks this sounds a lot like a “farewell” talk? I don’t mean to speculate (I’ve got nothing), but it reminds me a lot of Maxwell’s final talk.

    Then again, the last couple of talks from Pres. Packer seem to reflect this theme as well.

  37. @brandt: I still remember all of the “Aha! A farewell talk” reactions to David B. Haight’s addresses…for the last ten years of his life.

  38. John Taber says:

    David B. Haight had several “:farewell” conference talks. At this age, of course, no one knows just how long he’ll be around.

  39. “‘Agency’ is defined in the scriptures as ‘moral agency’.” Really? Where, precisely? I didn’t realize it ever got quite that specific.

  40. Silence says:

    D&C 101:78: That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

  41. Moral agency: D&C 101:78.

  42. Jinx

  43. Even with the standard “family under attack” theme, the imagery he actually used is powerful – and it’s instructive what he didn’t say. For example, when talking about fathers and their responsibilities to their families, he never used the word “preside” in any form. He also never defined any particular example of something that is attacking the family. I know he was addressing certain topics that are his focus, but he never identified any particular topic. I really like that “teach correct principles and they govern themselves” approach.

  44. Jacob H. says:

    So Pres. Packer’s scriptural justification against tolerance is the perilous pericope adulterae: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_and_the_woman_taken_in_adultery

  45. Seth R. says:

    I like the story, whatever it’s provenance Jacob.

  46. I think “moral” is used as a qualifier for “agency” once or twice in the scriptures. That doesn’t count as a definition. And I pick my consequences by the actions I do. I started to learn that lesson before I could walk. If I want X, then I do Y. Oh good, in the time I took me to type this, he’s done complaining about our degenerate society and moved on to testifying of Jesus Christ.

  47. Jacob H, So you folks will use a possible addition to the NT if it justifies immnorality, but if it is used to warn against the false god of tolerance, you reject it? Nice consistency…

  48. A general conference address on structural engineering!

  49. More like “tolerance is only justified on the condition that the tolerated party stop sinning.”

  50. Base isolation (essentially building on a shaky foundation) is much better for earthquakes than “sure foundations” actually.

  51. What temple was that photo of?

  52. …which of course is not the actual point of the story…

  53. My youngest has nearly filled out her simplified-for-5-year-olds general conference buzzword bingo card from this address alone.

  54. “Prayer is one of the most basic building blocks of our character.” Bishop Davies. I like that.

  55. @Rob Lewis: I wondered the same thing. I think it may have been an architectural rendering rather than a photo, so maybe it’s a planned one?

  56. Do you have a PDF of that bingo card you could send me?

  57. I thought packer’s talk sounded fairly “farewell”-ish too…

    Also, here in the conference center a huge excitement fell over the crowd over the Cedar city temple. How many temples will that make in Utah? I’m too lazy to look it up.

  58. Seth R. says:

    I wonder if the definition of “tolerance” automatically implies approval and encouragement.

  59. He’s being at once very focused (here’s how to strengthen yourself spiritually) and very general (as in he’s covering lots and lots of parts of that). Given its structure, i’m thinking that this is one that’s more intended as written than as oral text.

  60. Not any definition of tolerance I’m familiar with. Tolerance implies a measure of discomfort.

  61. Looks like that is temple number 17 for Utah. Glad I don’t live there. Too many mormons.

  62. Pres. Packer said tolerance is a good thing, except at the extremes, and he never specified things that cannot be tolerated, even if we all know some of the things he was implying.

    I like that approach, frankly, and prefer it to previous statements that specified things not to be tolerated.

  63. @Rob Lewis: My wife printed it out, so i don’t know where it’s from. It has the church’s logo on it, so maybe it’s from the Friend? Probably—it has http://www.ConferenceGames.lds.org at the bottom.

  64. A rendering of the Rome Temple.

  65. Now be good time go make u a samdwich. j/k :)

  66. Please, can this one be a farewell talk?

  67. My sociolinguist self is *so* going to have to one day finally do a proper study of female speakers’ intonation patterns in general conference addresses.

  68. What’s worse, “even” or “the sacred name of”?

  69. Yes, Ray. And I strongly concur with his truism that virtues in excess become vices. I wonder what other virtues he would apply that logic to?

  70. @loathing, I’d be so intrigued to read that. There is definitely a certain cadence, style, and linguistical style that they seem to all employ.

  71. I wonder when Boyd is going warn us about being too empathetic?

  72. J. Stapley says:

    Folk dancer channels David O. McKay.

  73. Sharee Hughes says:

    Women speakers in Conference always sound so “sweet.”

  74. @J. Stapley: Yeah—at one point i was wondering if she was quoting David O. McKay’s story, and i’d just missed the intro.

  75. Who defines what the extremes of tolerance are? I’ll bet that Elder Packer’s view of what is extreme is different from that of 4-5 supreme court justices.

  76. I love Pres. Dalton’s statement that her mother insisted that they all receive a college education so they could be meaningful contributors to society.

  77. Mark, obviously, we do individually – and, again, I like that Pres. Packer didn’t try to specify anything in this talk.

  78. Nice turn! After quoting something about the importance of mothers for their daughters, she extended it to fathers without it seeming forced at all.

  79. liz johnson says:

    I’m feeling a bit “incredible” with this talk. It feels itchy… like a rash…

  80. By divine design, we don’t have any kids yet so I guess my wife doesn’t have a primary role right now.

  81. Joshua B. says:

    Nope. it wouldn’t.

  82. I can’t talk about her…

  83. J. Stapley says:

    Casey, the Subject of the sentence was “mothers.”

  84. I agree with Mark, Elder Packer’s view is probably different than the Supreme Court. Of course, God has called Elder Packer to be an apostle, and president of the Quorum of the Twelve. I’ve sustained him as such. I can’t say the same for anyone on the supreme court.

  85. Sometimes being a linguist is distracting: ‘virtue’ has, as its root, a word meaning ‘man’ (as in a male person, not the generic meaning), and so once in a while it weirds me out when it’s applied to female behavior.

    Yeah, i’m just odd. Carry on as if this never happened.

  86. Anything can be taken out of context and criticized.

  87. Joshua B. says:

    gosh I hate it when people cry.

  88. “my part was to vacuum. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.”

  89. Joshua B. says:

    do you think she’s wearing pants?

  90. What’s the best way to follow these comments? I think the old system would automatically scroll down to unread content whenever I refreshed. Now, when refreshing, I am always taken to the top and I have to scroll down and find where I left off. #firstworldproblems

  91. Welp, I think that was a response to Ordain Women and the feminist movement.

  92. Virtue = chastity/virginity = our power as daughters of God.

  93. Joshua B. says:

    mine doesn’t scroll. I just hit f5.
    update: I added #comment-291508 to the end of the url and it scrolls down later. click on a date to update to the latest url under this comment for example.

  94. DSB – depends on the browser you’re using. Both Firefox and Chrome have plugins that are “auto reloaders” that will usually take you to the bottom of the comments.

  95. John Taber says:

    We don’t have children either, but my wife definitely has a divine role, in our home, in our ward, and supporting me in my (stake) calling.

  96. Elder Craig L. Cardin was my brother in law’s mission president in Italy. My brother in law and his family always come visit us on conference weekend. Good times!!

  97. The vacuuming was used as an example of doing something small in the building something great – and it was capped by her statement about speaking in General Conference on the carpet she had vacuumed previously. It probably will be attacked for what it never was intended to say, but I thought it was a great illustration of her point.

    Also, loathing, my previous comment was not directed at yours.

  98. True, but as a man my “fatherly” spiritual expectations are already in force, regardless of whether I have kids. The family proc, at least in the line quoted by Dalton, doesn’t really allow that for women.

  99. Harpo Elkenstone says:

    The interwebs are chockablock – agog and clogged – with banal blogs; behold – my very dog curls up and snogs the soggy mog in a disinterested fog…attention hog! and off I jog.

    Hymn pause!

  100. cookie queen says:

    @

    @ loathingtheword …….

    We here in Europe would call that Prozac Purple.

  101. Make that Craig A Cardon. Oops.

  102. “Virtue = chastity/virginity = our power as daughters of God.”

    I know you don’t like her, Brad, but that’s not what she said. She said, “including” – and that is not the same thing as “all-encompassing and equal to”.

  103. @Ray: No worries—i hadn’t figured it was.

  104. J. Stapley says:

    For those interest, in the Fall 2007 JMH, includes Matthew O. Richardson, “What E’er Thou Art, Act Well They Part: John Allen’s Albany Crecent Stone.” Also the stone is a magic square, which is the coolest thing ever to get inspiration from.

  105. I gotta agree with Ray on that one.

  106. katie88 says:

    Virtue=unnecessary guilt for women who have been sexually abused

  107. “Arise and take up thy couch” sounds more impressive than “arise and take up thy bed”… My couch is kind of huge and heavy.

  108. Two things that irked me about Sis Dalton’s talk:
    1 – I thought the comparison of pornography and objectification to *wartime rape* was borderline offensive to rape survivors.
    2 – How informative of gender roles is it that it was Sis Dalton’s job to vacuum the carpets that it was her husband’s job to install?

  109. Ray, let me be the one to jump in. I liked Dalton’s talk, but why couldn’t her “small part” have been speaking in General Conference instead of vacuuming? Why choose something so stereotypically female menial laborish?

    I realize that she DID vacuum, but she ALSO speaks in GC. I’m waiting for the day a man give changing diapers (which he’s probably done) as the example of “his part.”

  110. DeepThink says:

    Missing the numbered comments. Harder to follow when I don’t know which post is replying to which.

  111. Sister Dalton’s “meaningful contributors” comment sounded a bit too much like Romney’s 47% comment for my liking. Because, you know, if you don’t go to college you won’t be a meaningful contributor…

  112. I wonder for how long we are not allowed to enjoy good things for the mere fact that bad things exist in the world.

  113. @katie88: There’s been enough from the church that being victimized by sexual abuse entails no loss of virtue that i don’t know that that’s warranted. (Yes, it wasn’t always that way, but the last couple decades? Yeah.) Remember, ‘virtue’ and ‘chastity’ are not precisely equivalent to ‘virginity’.

  114. Yes how horrible if women were nurturing to others whether they had children or not.

    Did she define virtue as only feminine?

  115. Alison, she DID choose talking in General Conference. She used both that and vacuuming, but you focused strictly on the vacuuming.

  116. And while we’re arguing about Sr. Dalton, we’re missing a non-groundbreaking but interesting discourse on forgiveness.

  117. She has made it the linchpin of her ministry to conflate and identify “virtue” with “virginity/chastity.” I’m on solid ground here, even if she did use the word “includes.”

  118. J. Stapley says:

    DeepThink, we are working on getting them back.

  119. I think she did define virtue as feminine, or just about. I can’t quote the exact sentence, but she said something about virtue being tied to young women. She may have not meant it was only about young women, but she didn’t mention young men, so I guess it could be taken either way.

  120. DeepThink says:

    Yea! Thanks J. Stapley. Ask and it shall be given!

  121. Yes, this is a very good talk about forgiveness. I love that he used Joseph Smith as an example of someone who sinned regularly, and I love that he mentioned even serious, repeated sin being forgivable.

  122. And yes, this is a very good talk on something other than women’s roles. Which means either President Beck or a man is giving it.

  123. I really love this talk by Elder Cardon. Very strong on the grace. We need more talks like this one.

  124. “The Savior *wants* to forgive.” (And the emphasis was certainly there in the way he delivered it.)

  125. Brad, please let it drop. I’m done with it.

  126. Yes loathing,
    It’s called irony…

  127. Does anyone else think Cardon is vaguely reminiscient of Willem DaFoe?

  128. I love it when the apostles tease each other.

  129. Beautiful talk by Elder Cardon. Looking forward to reading it too.

  130. Science Rocks!

  131. Brandt: “Ray, I’m gonna go with the dark horse prediction: A woman will pray during Priesthood Session.”

    Ha! +1

  132. I must say that i like being part of a religious tradition that doesn’t get freaked out by our world being simply a part of something cosmologically much larger.

  133. Daveonline says:

    As a glass half full guy, I thought it pretty interesting that the husband sought and took direction from Sr. Dalton as to what he should write underneath the carpet upon which she would later stand. That is a pretty powerful image, all the more for it being woven into the structure of the story which is set up by the prior mentioning of vacuuming.

  134. J. Stapley says:

    I’m simply fascinated by this conflation of God’s power and “priesthood.”

  135. This is it. The real preisthood talk.

  136. What @Daveonline wrote reminds me of a discussion i had about general conference with a non-Mormon rhetorician some years ago. She found it fascinating that people listen so attentively to (and react so strongly to) the oral delivery of the addresses, but the written record, after the speakers have had the chance to make changes, is what really counts.

    I have to wonder if details like what @Daveonline points out are more likely to come out from the written record than the oral presentation.

  137. “The Priesthood power, just as the procreation power, is shared by husband and wife”-Elder Ballard

  138. I think Elder Ballard is trying to explain why there may not be any women praying in conference as some people are hoping.

  139. Nice job dismantling the (male) priesthood vs. (female) procreation dichotomy.

  140. The General Relief Society President once spoke in the Priesthood Session of conference.

  141. You might be right Rob, but I REALLY hope that you are wrong.

  142. Wha-wha-what, Rob? When?

  143. “I’m simply fascinated by this conflation of God’s power and ‘priesthood.'”

    Yup. I like lots of things about this talk a lot, but I had the same reaction.

  144. “The priesthood power, just as the procreation power, is shared by husband and wife” – Except, you know, in the obvious sense, in which it is in fact not.

  145. Is Priesthood the same thing as God’s power? Or is it the means by which WE use God’s power?

  146. I’ll have to see if I can find it, but off the top of my head, and I just read it within the past 3-4 days, I want to say it was 1946.

  147. It was mentioned in a Salt Lake Tribune Story: “Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of LDS founder Joseph Smith, spoke at an 1845 General Conference, and other women occasionally followed, Janiece Johnson wrote on the blog. “Relief Society General President Belle Spafford spoke in the priesthood session of General Conference in 1946, teaching and encouraging bishops to work in a partnership with the Relief Society and utilize the expertise of Relief Society presidents.”

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56026380-78/women-general-conference-lds.html.csp

  148. I’m loving the Parable of the Tomato Plant, in large part because of the accompanying video. I like the message too—we can be revitalized even when we seem too far gone.

  149. Since the usual Sunday School answer for “what is the priesthood” is “the power of God”, i don’t see why that conflation is surprising here.

  150. What does Ballard mean by “literal spirit children?” More specifically, what does “literal” mean?

    Are our spirits eternal and adopted by God? Or did he take eternal intelligences and create the spirit form?

  151. Yeah, no matter how you phrase them, complimentarian arguments always relegate women to background, supporting roles.

  152. Joshua B. says:

    Was going to say: nice to hear something like this. I sure hope other people (e.g. leaders) enjoy watching this leadership video for me. Not that I really want to watch it, so maybe I’ll hold off on posting.

    Then Elder Ballard said that the whole thing is available online for everyone. I really respect that.

  153. Loathing, I was thinking the same thing. It’s usually defined as the power or authority of God. So that seemed fairly consistent for Elder Ballard to say.

  154. That video clip just showed Mary Fielding Smith administering, didn’t it.

  155. I actually like the focus on power being something outside ordination. I also think he just used an example of a woman “using that power” to raise her family.

    I might have heard that incorrectly. Can anyone quote what he said?

  156. J. Stapley says:

    Was Mary laying on her hands with those dude’s, because I grantee that she would have.

  157. Ray, was it unclear that I was referring to her analogy? Her ANALOGY was that “her part” was vacuuming and she did the vacuuming well. I don’t think I questioned whether or not she was aware she was speaking in conference or that she mentioned that she didn’t know she’d do it one day.

    Like I said, let me know when a man uses diaper changing as an analogy for “his part” in the kingdom.

    But I better go get dinner on.

  158. Joshua B. says:

    Alison, I would be totally content with diper changing if it meant I’d never have to be a bishop. Appreciated your comment though too.

  159. J. Stapley says:

    Amy T, it sort of looked like it. Definitely going to be checking that when it is archived.

  160. Ah, soon comes the great “(non-)Gasp heard ’round the Church” of 2013….

  161. I would gladly make “doing my part” changing diapers if my wife would make her part going to work every day to provide for our family.

  162. Alison, I’ve heard men talk about doing their part by taking care of kids – from the pulpit in General Conference – multiple times. It actually is a common theme over the years.

  163. Joshua B. says:

    aAamen. then we could make a blog that might rival fmh (gasp!)

  164. Really, Rob?

  165. Peggy Fletcher Stack just reported that the Closing Prayer is scheduled to be given by a woman. Just reported.

  166. I’m really liking the organ arrangement here. (The vocal arrangement? Not so much.)

  167. Yes, Brad, really.

  168. and it’s an explicit part of the Proclamation to the World – “in these sacred duties . . . obligation . . . help each other as equal partners.”

  169. Joshua B. says:

    That conductor reminds me of why I left Utah! (I’m sure he’s a nice guy- no offense intended).

  170. Ahhhh! At last! It’s history!

  171. annegb5298 says:

    We’re getting a temple, we’re getting a temple……..!!

  172. There it is.

  173. Karla Bennion says:

    Huh. My 20 y.o. son said, at the conclusion of Ballard’s talk, “Priesthood is so great. Too bad you can’t have it, ladies.” (He’s naturally snarky, and a feminist)

  174. Joshua B. says:

    Aannd I feel bad for saying that. I might move back someday too.

  175. Sharee Hughes says:

    Well, there it was. Sister Jean Stevens will give the closing prayer.

  176. Brandt: link?

  177. Didn’t hear any sort of congregational reaction to the announcement of the prayer…

  178. Your wife must feel so blessed.

  179. WHOA!!! A FEMALE offering the benediction!!! But her name’s Jean, or Gene. Hmmmmm.

  180. Kirk – it was in one of the Facebook groups that she is a part of, so I don’t think the link will work unless you are a member of that group.

  181. Open comment to the dude on the lower floor of the Conference center, right side (facing pulpit). I’d be a hypocrite to criticize your using your phone, but turn your brightness down! I can see it from a hundred yards away!

  182. Ballard: God and Jesus have a mind-blowing Midi-chlorians level.

  183. I love my Church. I love modern day revelation. I love its continual promise of change.

  184. Pity that nobody in the Mormon blogosphere will be listening to Elder Eyring, in breathless anticipation of the prayer.

  185. Did anyone else notice a sort of ironical/humorous expression on President Uchtdorf’s face when he announced the benediction. :)

  186. It’s awesome to think that we will be witnessing real history today!!!

  187. Joshua B. says:

    loathing…system, everybody anticipates the closing prayer. everyone, always.

  188. Brad — She does….and she also knows that I changed my fair share of diapers throught the childhood of our 8 children.

  189. I knew there was a reason to come to the Conference Center today. Nobody around me is freaking out. (?)

  190. J. Stapley says:

    I love P. Eyring.

  191. This is so typical of Pres. Eyring’s talks – and a great example of why I love him so much.

  192. Honestly guys, I’ll bet you half the Mormons on the Wasatch Front watching Conference weren’t even aware that women don’t give Conference prayers in the first place.

  193. The new updated version of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/71496009/proc%20fam.pdf

  194. I love, absolutely *love* general conference exegesis. Elder Holland’s my favorite at it, but President Eyring’s work at it is nicely impressive, too.

  195. Just as an aside, I had the chance to ask Jan Shipps once who her favorite Mormon apostle was. She mentioned a few, including calling Pres. Uchtdorf a Mormon rock star, but she concluded by saying that Pres. Eyring is one of the most gentle, humble, dedicated, loving leaders she has ever met.

  196. Joshua B. says:

    what changed? or was there some joke or snarky comment kirkcaudle? I didn’t see anything…. or was that the point? #lost

  197. @kirkcaudle: Where’s that from?

  198. Lots of chatter about witnessing history by a woman praying in Conference. That’s right. The LDS Church has finally entered the 20th century.

  199. Is it time to ask if it’s more prestigious to give the opening or the closing prayer yet?

  200. I am not sure what was changed, I just saw it shared by a few people on my FB page. I haven’t looked into it myself yet. Apparently it has been updated though??

  201. The BCC Twitter feed just said that if you remember evening sacrament meetings you’re probably not following BCC…Dudes, if you’re even just in your upper 30s you may well remember then from your childhood.

  202. Actually Mark, it used to be part of the order of things in many wards and stakes that women weren’t allowed to give closing prayers in Sacrament Meeting. So the fact that this is the closing prayer can be seen as a repudiation of that practice.

  203. Who says “faithful agitation” doesn’t work? Mother and Father must be smiling down at us mere mortals as as WOMAN is finally praying in GC!

  204. I love Henry B Eyring. That is all.

  205. @kirkcaudle: A quick glance-over shows less division between men and women—less mention of the sexes overall, in fact. That’s why i’m wondering if it’s official or if it’s a homebrew by someone who’s uncomfortable with the document in its original form.

  206. J. Stapley says:

    Totes homebrew.

  207. @kirkcaulde: It’s homebrewn.

  208. It’s not official; it’s a political and religious statement – and it’s disingenuous to present it as anything else.

    I’m not saying anything about the changes – honestly. I’m just saying it’s disingenuous to present it as anything other than what it is.

  209. So, now that they are allowing a woman to pray, will they cut their number of speaking slots this weekend back from 3 to 2?

  210. pepperoni40 says:

    I think people aren’t freaking out because it is really no big deal. We see women pray every week and in essentially every church meeting.

  211. Here comes the primary voice

  212. Ok, like I said, I didn’t know that it was not real. sorry! I just saw it floating around on FB. I should have actually read it first. My bad!!!

  213. I was actually expecting at least a mild bit of freak-out just because of the release of tension from the will-they-or-won’t-they suspense leading up to it.

  214. “I think people aren’t freaking out because it is really no big deal. We see women pray every week and in essentially every church meeting.”

    Except these = big deal.

  215. Pizza — I’ve never seen a woman pray in priesthood meeting.

    And it looks like they’re putting some pretty serious pressure on Sister Stevens to give the longest prayer in conference history to fill the balance of the time allotted to this session.

  216. drbrewhaha says:

    So is this really the very first time ever a woman has prayed in GC?

  217. “The LDS Church has finally entered the 20th century.”

    Highly debatable.

  218. Longest GC prayer i’m aware of: just shy of 8 minutes by David O. McKay (IIRC) at the solemn assembly to sustain George Albert Smith as president of the church.

  219. Yes, it really, really is.

  220. It didn’t seem that long to me. I feel like I’ve heard much longer prayers from men in GC.

  221. Morning session summary: 1 small step forward for women, 5 steps back… or as we Mormons call it, HISTORIC progress

  222. Seemed like a normal-length prayer to me, even with the recent trend toward short GC prayers.

  223. Fwiw, I really liked the talks this session, but the emotional highlight was the closing prayer. It just felt really good.

  224. What the narrator said.

  225. That felt un-climatic and natural.

  226. A light appeared in the firmament — I *promise* I saw a flashbulb from the Seventies section *during* the benediction.

  227. drbrewhaha says:

    So now we get a Temple Picture video to fill the time. I guess it could have been worse…it could have been Johnny Lingo.

  228. pepperoni40 says:

    Rob: I wouldn’t consider General Conference a priesthood meeting. My point is that outside of blogs like this one, people (men and women) probably weren’t paying that much attention to who was or was not saying the prayer to begin with. And since women pray in other settings, it is not unusual to hear it. No one seems to have noticed in the group I am watching with.

  229. They gave her 10 extra minutes to pray, and she didn’t even take advantage of it. ;-)

  230. My ten-year-old daughter didn’t want to go to the restroom during the closing hymn, because, “I don’t want to miss the prayer” – and I hadn’t mentioned it openly today. If you knew her, you’d know how odd that is.

    Yes, it was a big deal.

  231. Yes!

  232. Well, off to make brunch for the family. See y’all in a couple hours!

  233. Kent Larsen says:

    We need to work on abbreviations here. Who came up with abbreviating “Sister” as “Sr.”? “Sr.” is Señor or Senhor NOT Sister.

    Try “Sis.” or something else. It’s confusing!!!

  234. It’s only a big deal because our expectations have been set so low. But any progress, even if it is small, is good.

  235. Represent, sister!

    Let’s get a snapshot of that prayer as the cover for the conference edition of the Ensign :)

  236. pepperoni40 says:

    Mark,
    I think you would have a more fulfilling conference experience if you did not dwell on such negativity. I understand there are things that you disagree with or wish would be different. But I think we can all set aside our issues to be spiritually fed for a weekend. If these issues are of such importance to us that we can’t focus on the spirit of the messages being given, then I think our focus is off.

  237. Nope. False alarm on Mary Fielding Smith. Went back and watched that again; it’s around 1:19. It would have been a nice historically accurate touch.

  238. What! No cherubic choir descending from above, playing their heavenly strains on miniature harps? No great earthquakes or dramatic pillars of fire? Just the sorta standard procedure closing prayer, pronounced by a woman. She wasn’t even wearing pants to demonstrate, well, something. At least as far as I could tell.

    This is what all the anticipation was about? Hmpf. What an anticlimax.

  239. drbrewhaha says:

    So a woman has prayed in General Conference. Historic? Sure. But has it really changed the world. People still suffer with personal tragedies and challenges. People still feel the pain of loss and sin. People still struggle. So my reaction is a big MEH! I’m glad that it happened so that maybe we can get back to worrying about real issues.

  240. No chills during the closing prayer for me. It was a lovely prayer. Sis. Dalton always addresses virtue (conflated to really mean chastity). That’s great for the young women who haven’t had sexual experiences. I desperately want a talk addressed to young women who feel that they will never be accepted in the church because of their past experiences, or that they will forever wear a scarlet letter. I was grateful that the Seventy talked about ADDICTION. He had talked about sin in general and those who violate righteous principles. Addiction is another animal, and nobody who hasn’t been there gets it. I’d love a talk about the LDS addiction recovery program.

  241. Sheesh….

    People on the Internet just have an ability to be so negative about positive news and events. Can we please enjoy the moment?

  242. “This is what all the anticipation was about? Hmpf. What an anticlimax.”

    And yet you’d never have predicted that based on all the angry and cartoon-villainous opposition to it for the weeks that the campaign was in full swing…

  243. I’m glad that women are praying now. Now we can listen to the murmurnacle put their prayers down as well. Equality is great!

  244. “The new updated version of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/71496009/proc%20fam.pdf

    Is this for real?

  245. I missed the morning session….

  246. Never mind. I see there is no way it is real.

  247. Sharee Hughes says:

    I’m with you, Margaret. I think it’s unfortunate that it’s always put on the girl’s shoulders to maintain virtue–never the boy’s. It’s because the girls wear immodest clothing that the boys want to do things they shouldn’t. The girls get the blame for the boys’ actions, whereas I believe the boys themselves should bear the brunt for their actions. I loved the photo essay I found online not too long ago (by following a link somewhere) with pictures of boys on campus (BYU-Idaho and BYU) wearing shorts above the knee, with comments from the female photographer something like “How can I contain my self after seeing those bare knees?” And it would be nice to hear a talk about the Church’s recovery program. I sometimes attend singles firesides at a ward in Midvale and they are always having their addiction recovery meetings there the same night, with quite a number of attendees. It’s unfortunate that Church members allow themselves to become addicted to anything, but it’s a larger problem than we like to think. If any of the brethren read this blog, maybe they’ll get the hint. Stay tuned for October Conference!

  248. pepperoni40 says:

    As a man, who was once a young man, I don’t understand the notion that it is only girls who are supposed to be virtuous. I was never told in a church or other setting that remaining chaste was the girl’s responsibility. I never had that impression

  249. drbrewhaha says:

    It’s not only young women who struggle to feel worthy after giving into temptation. I know many young men who feel that they can never meet expectations after facing their own struggles. It doesn’t help that there are so many talks about raising the bar for missionary service and so forth. We need to be at least as good at teaching about the cleansing and restorative power of the atonement as we are in teaching about the goal of remaining virtuous.

  250. As a young man, I don’t remember being told that girls bore the responsibility for chastity either. But that’s because I was a teenage boy at the time, and wasn’t really focused on what the girls were being taught. Now as a youth leader I have a better appreciation for what Sis Young and Hughes are concerned about. What I hear as a middle aged man is quite different from what a 16-year old young woman hears between the lines.

  251. Harpo Elkenstone says:

    “Rob Lewis (@rnlewisjr) on April 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

    I would gladly make “doing my part” changing diapers if my wife would make her part going to work every day to provide for our family.”

    Dear sir,
    Perhaps it has escaped your attention that your wife doesn’t go to work because she lives at work. She rises and dresses and eats and labors and sleeps and dreams at work. She spends most of her 24/7 on the job, providing for your family. Your comments were unworthy of her value and contribution to you and to your family and to the community at large. And unworthy of any priesthood with which I am familiar.
    Regards,
    A hard working wife and mother

  252. “We need to be at least as good at teaching about the cleansing and restorative power of the atonement as we are in teaching about the goal of remaining virtuous.”

    A helpful topic might center on the “buts,” “what ifs,” and practical reservations living on the plaza of atonement. It seems to be surrounded with varying conceptions regarding its meaning and the extent of its effectiveness (again, in a practical sense).

  253. Antonio Parr says:

    Kudos to each of the speakers at this morning’s session, and prayers for those who will speak this afternoon. We all give talks, and know that sometimes they flow and sometimes they sputter. There is always at least a small measure of anxiety in the preparation and at least a small amount of second guessing when it is over. We should probably give them the benefit of the doubt every chance we can. (To that end, I thought that Sister Dalton did a nice job, and I felt encouraged in my spiritual journey.)

  254. Rob, enjoy this infographic of how much more your wife does than you. http://www.salary.com/stay-at-home-mom-infographic/

  255. I don’t want to offend anybody, and won’t be back on to read the angry responses to what I am going to say, but I recently listened to a devotional talk where the speaker spoke about pride and was mentioning red flags of pride. He says, quote, “Do you react to prophetic counsel by ignoring it, or being upset by it, or interpreting it to fit your own desires?” It is important to realize, though as much as many people would like it to be, the church is not a democracy, where the people decide what is right and what is wrong. There is one way– God’s way. He is the King, he makes the laws. No amount of voting or lobbying or arguing about what he says is going to change his mind. If you sustain the prophet and apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators, and then decide that you only agree with portions of their words, and publicly mock them, instead of seeking with on open and honest heart for confirmation of their truth, you are being dishonest. So, instead of commenting on Sis Dalton doing such womanly work (vacumming) and being upset by the doctrine that the priesthood is only on the earth because God allows it to be so, and complaining that motherhood and the priesthood are not equal at all, because for some reason, many people like to believe that motherhood is degrading for women, despite the many prophets who have assured that it is indeed to highest calling in mortality and beyond, you might seek to listen to conference with an open heart and mind, not to see how it suits you own desires and agenda. I am a moderate, Canadian member of the true church of Christ. Conference is a blessing, and having prophets on the earth is also a blessing. Count your blessings, and seek to love our leaders instead of criticize them.

  256. MDearest says:

    “This is what all the anticipation was about? Hmpf. What an anticlimax.”

    This is your experience, Jim. It was not a big thing to you. We understand and accept that.

    Though it was an ordinary prayer, and we’ve all heard women pray in meetings lots of times, and I’ve even been known to scoff at such a minor thing as women praying, even in comments on this very blog — *this* prayer in *this* meeting today was different to me. I listened to her voice with more attention than I’ve had for the prayer in a long time; I teared up and it brought feelings to my heart that I have a hard time putting into words. Especially if those words will be met with rejection and “it’s not a big deal.” It made me feel like maybe me and my kind belonged too.

    Your mileage may vary, Jim. Just keep in mind that there are a bunch of people with a different take on it.

  257. Has anyone ever wondered why initials are used or full names used for all the Salt Lake City church leaders? Like Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Elder M. Russell Ballard, Sister Elaine S. Dalton and so on. Why not Elder Russell Ballard, Sister Elaine Dalton. :) (it sure is the rage with famous people)
    (my family had an episode involving our daughter and some boys at a church function. we got the “boys will be boys” and that did not work on me. threatened to get the law involved to get their attention. parent’s are failing, the church is failing to teach these boys respect for all and especially for females and for the Priesthood)
    How many are aware that Joseph Smith allowed endowed women to give blessings (healing, comfort) to other women and small children and said it was proper for women to do so. :)

  258. JRSG, you’re new here.

    That’s all.

  259. I gave a standing “ova”tion when Sis. Stevens prayed!