The Sunday Afternoon Holl and Oaks Session

The Holl and Oaks Session

President Uchtdorf conducting. Sister Stephens praying–no big deal; women pray all the time :)

Girls watching opening prayer

Girls learning to fly.

Elder Holland–Lord, I Believe
“The man’s initial conviction, by his own admission, is limited. But he has an urgent, emphatic desire on behalf of his only child. We are told that is good enough for a beginning. “Straightway,” the scripture says–not slowly nor skeptically nor cynically, but “straightway”–the father cries out in his unvarnished parental pain: “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” In response to new and still partial faith, Jesus heals the boy, almost literally raising him from the dead as Mark describes the incident.”
Observation number one regarding this account is that when facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first and only then acknowledges his limitation. …I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. …The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue–it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.
The second observation is a variation of the first. When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading with your unbelief. That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! …Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them… but don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.

Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process with the manifestation and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will.

Be kind regarding human frailty–your own as well as that of those who serve with you in this Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. …Imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with since time began. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.

When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. If we want it as humbly and honestly as this father did, we can get it.

…Belief is always the first step towards conviction and the definitive articles of our collective faith each begin with the phrase, “We believe.”

What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine. Hang on. Hope on. Honestly acknowledge your concerns, but first fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.

Elder Oaks–Followers of Christ

All of the messages of this conference have helped us follow in the footsteps of our Savior, whose example and teachings define the path for every follower of Jesus Christ.

Throughout his ministry Jesus gave commandments. And He taught, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” He affirmed that keeping His commandments would require His followers to leave what He called “that which is highly esteemed among men” and “the tradition of men.”

Jesus’ teachings were not meant to be theoretical. Always they were to be acted upon. …As Jesus taught, those who love Him will keep His commandments. Following Christ is not a casual or occasional practice, but a continuous commitment and way of life that applies at all times and in all places.

In our efforts to rescue and serve, we follow our Savior’s unique example and tender teachings about love. …As part of loving one another, Jesus taught that when we are wronged by persons, we should forgive them.

[Blogger’s note: I was sitting next to Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA at the White House Prayer Breakfast Friday morning. Mormons are good, but we’re far from the only church that’s great at providing aid and help in disasters. Some humility would serve us well here.]

“We are the children of God, and if children, then heirs.” If we come to the Father, we are to inherit all things–all that He has– a concept our mortal minds can hardly grasp. But at least we can understand that achieving this ultimate destiny in eternity is only possible if we follow our Savior. We seek to follow Him and become more like Him, here and hereafter.

Elder Christoffel Golden, Jr.–The Father and the Son

“Seen in its true light, the doctrine of the Father and the Son is the doctrine of the eternal family. Every human being has existed previously as a spirit child with heavenly parents, with Christ being the Firstborn of the Father in this heavenly family.

So it is with all of us. We are the children of our Heavenly Father.” [AND MOTHER–really, this doesn’t make sense unless we talk about Her. Why are we so afraid to say this?]

“I bear my solemn testimony of the reality, nearness and goodness of our Eternal Father and His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.

Elder Enrique R. Falabella–The Home, the School of Life

Best metaphor of conference so far: “as I travel back to the past on the wings of memory…”

The Lord has clearly described the attributes that should guide our dealings with other people. There are “persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, and love unfeigned.”
“Physical abuse in the family is a practice that is occurring less often in certain societies and we rejoice in that. However, we’re still far from eliminating emotional abuse. The harm caused by this form of abuse dwells in our memory, it wounds our personality, it sows hatred in our hearts, it lowers our self-esteem, and it fills us with fear.”

Best text ever: “a hug like heaven, a kiss like the sun, and an evening like the moon. Happy day, I love you.”

The Book of Mormon is a big book. But it would only take about 32 hours to read. Less than a day and a half!

“With time, as we learn to delight in the scriptures we shall exclaim as the psalmist, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

In summary:

1) The temple is the place.
2) To contend, you need two people, and I will never be one of them.

3) A child who sings is a happy child.

4) I need you to hug me.
5) I love the Book of Mormon and my Savior Jesus Christ.
6) It is not enough to know the scriptures, we have to live them.

These and many other lessons are learned in a home, the place that can become a piece of heaven here on earth.

Elder Erich W. Kopsischke

The feeling of being accepted by someone we love is a basic human need. Being accepted by good people motivates us. In increases our sense of self-worth and self-confidence.

Elder Bruce Porter

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

In colonial times, potential immigrant laborers were recruited in …European countries, but many who were willing to go could not afford the cost of travel. It was not uncommon for these to travel under an indenture or contract promising to work after their arrival for a certain period of time without wages as payment for their passage. …The term used to describe these indentured immigrants was “redemptioners.” They had to redeem the cost of their passage, in a sense purchase their freedom, by their labor.

Among the most significant of Jesus Christ’s descriptive titles is Redeemer. The word “redeem” means to pay off an obligation or a debt. “Redeem can also mean to rescue or set free as by paying a ransom. If someone commits a mistake and then corrects it or makes amends, we say he has redeemed himself. Each of these meanings suggest different facets of the great Redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ through his Atonement…
The Savior’s redemption has two parts. First, it atones for Adam’s transgression and the consequent Fall by overcoming…physical and spiritual death.

The second aspect of the Savior’s Atonement is redemption from what might be termed the indirect consequences of the Fall–our own sins as opposed to Adam’s transgression. By virtue of the Fall we are born into a mortal world where sin is pervasive. …Because we are accountable and we make the choices, the redemption from our own sins is conditional–conditioned on confessing and abandoning sin and turning to a godly life, or in other words, conditioned on repentance.

Inasmuch as we follow Christ, we seek to participate in and further His redemptive work. The greatest service we can provide to others in this life…is to bring them to Christ that they may experience His Redemption.

We can also assist in the Lord’s redemption of those beyond the grave. …With the benefit of vicarious rites we offer them in the temples of God, even those who died in bondage to sin can be freed.

Under the influence of the holy spirit, we may go about doing good. This kind of redemptive work means helping people with their problems. It means befriending the poor and the week, alleviating suffering, righting wrongs, defending truth, strengthening the rising generation, and achieving security and happiness at home. Much of our redemptive work on earth is to help others grow and achieve their just hopes and aspirations.

Some forms of temporal redemption come by collaborative effort. It is one of the reasons the Savior created a Church. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are a community of Saints organized to help redeem the needs of our fellow Saints and as many others as we can reach across the globe.

President Monson:

As this conference now concludes, I invoke the blessings of heaven upon each of you. May your homes be filled with peace, harmony, courtesy and love. May they be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. May you nurture and nourish your testimonies of the gospel. …Until we meet again in six months, I pray that the Lord will bless and keep you, my brothers and sisters. May his promised peace be with you now and always. Thank you for your prayers in my behalf and in behalf of all the General Authorities. We are deeply grateful for you.


  1. FIRST!!

  2. NOT FIRST!!

  3. Holl and Oaks…I LOVE it! HA!
    Did anyone catch Pres. Uchtdorf kiss his wife and surprise her on his way in? Love him!

  4. Lady invocation!

  5. Lamplighter says:

    first opening!

  6. Opening and closing prayers by women. Solid message there.

  7. ok it wasn’t a kiss…just rewatched. Still a nice little gesture.

  8. Who gave the prayer?

  9. Both while Uchtdorf is conducting!

  10. Women can only pray if they’re brunette? (jks!)

  11. Oh, goodness, what a sermon in prayer.

  12. StillConfused says:

    Is this an opening or closing prayer???

  13. Guest Poster says:

    “I’m praying in conference, but I sure do know my divine role…”

  14. DeepThink says:

    She must be an activist. If she had said, “and take us home in safety”, this might have qualified as both opening and closing prayers.

  15. Joshua B. says:

    holy long prayer batman! maybe that’s why we don’t let women pray in general conference

  16. “Who gave the prayer?”

    Carol M. Stevens

  17. andrew h says:

    I’,m so glad that she did not say, “EVEN, Thomas S. Monson”

  18. Fairchild says:

    Mu husband says Cougar Board is blowing up already!

  19. Seth R. says:

    Not as long as the prayer at the end of Priesthood session Josh.

    I fell asleep halfway through that one and woke up disoriented, thinking a talk was still going on.

  20. andrew h says:

    What is it with whispered hymns today?

  21. andrew h says:

    The awfulness of the dresses on the Choir are giving my wife fits

  22. Two members of my ward announced as speakers in one breath.

  23. Kent Larsen says:

    The Church doubles down on women praying in conference!

  24. Carole M. Stephens actually.

  25. ms otis regrets says:

    Where do i find the additional verse to “tell me the stories of jesus”? Its not in the songbook…as far as i can tell…

  26. Ardis, in what city do you live?

  27. City of Enoch.

  28. Yup. I mis-typed her name. Thanks, Rob.

  29. (18th North Ward, Ensign Stake — Salt Lake. More GAs per square inch than any other ward in the Church.)

  30. StillConfused says:

    Hahaha (to Ardis)

  31. Just the beginnings of faith are enough for God. I like this. Nice echo of topics in Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s addresses this conference, too.

  32. And at since this session began at high noon here in Alaska, lunch is served. Egg Salad Sandwiches, Tortilla Chips, Mandarin ORanges, Wheat Thins, and Salmon Dip. WIth some lemonade to wash it all down.

  33. andrew h says:

    Ardis, your “Enoch” comment made me choke on my beef stick ;)

  34. ^^^ or in other words Ardis, The City of Enoch.

  35. FAITH is the chosen word that grants access to the candy bowl this session.

  36. Flyfishdoug says:

    Yea but who knows what a womens real hair color is??????:-)

  37. “Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief” – One of the most powerful, tender utterances in scripture.

  38. annegb5298 says:

    “I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” is a prayer I say often.

  39. Jeannine L. says:

    Ardis wins. Again.

  40. Those young in years of age, young in years of membership, or young in years of faith includes all of us. Interesting.

  41. The level of your faith is unimportant—what’s important is your integrity with regard to the faith you do have.

    I am totally liking this sermon.

  42. Seth R. says:

    “Hold the ground you have already won.”
    “The integrity you demonstrate to the faith you already do have.”
    “I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have – I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have.”

    Half the DAMU seriously needed this advice several years ago.

  43. StillConfused says:

    Turkey through the beak comment – shout out to all the farmers in the church

  44. Who’s going to be the first to come up with an image of stuffing a turkey through the beak?

  45. Shawn Tucker says:

    Is there a Stephonic or Stevonic priesthood that allows women to pray in conference?

  46. This has been an amazing talk so far for anyone who struggles with faith in some way.

  47. Possibly best…talk…ever.

  48. J. Stapley says:

    “If you want to be healed…” Between this and Uchtdorf last night, I am full.

  49. Good thing we implemented a new rule on the candy bowl this year — once the last child has collected from a particular pronounciation of the given word, a one minute timer is started, and any time the word comes up in that minute are not collected on.

  50. StillConfused says:

    What does DAMU mean?

  51. Don’t hyperventilate…

  52. …or maybe it’s just what I need to hear.

  53. This talk sounds directed towards the disaffected crowd…

  54. Seth R. says:

    Disaffected Mormon Underground.

    Basically ex-Mormon blogs. Or blogs that are more there than here.

  55. @Still Confused: DAMU = DisAffected Mormon Underground

  56. This entire talk should be engraved on the masthead of every blog in the Bloggernacle.

  57. “This is a divine work in process.” “Please do not hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined and resolved.” “Everyone needs to walk by faith.” “Be kind regarding human frailty.” “Imperfect people are all God has to work with. That may be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it.” -Elder Holland. Loving this talk. Just what is needed. Love, love, love Elder Holland.

  58. DAMU=DisAffected Mormon Underground

  59. libbypotterboss says:

    Shawn Tucker, I think it dovetails with the Petersonic, Thompsonic, and Smithic priesthoods.

  60. “He need never apologize for only believing.”

    There are too many statements for me to keep up. This is an instant favorite for me.

  61. Seth R. says:

    Oh, that’s awesome. I’ve always personally felt that I “believed” the LDS Church is true, but I’ve never “known” the Church is true.

  62. “Belief is a precious word.”

    Man. I really like this talk.

    It’s not that NOT saying “I know” is bad. But we need to be aware that there are some that feel like that 14 year old boy, and that it’s all OK.

  63. If you can’t say you know that the church is true, but you believe it is, you never need to apologize for “only believing”—after all, Jesus himself said “Be not afraid, only believe”.

  64. drbrewhaha says:

    This talk is for everyone. We are all on different rungs of the ladders of belief and that is ok.

  65. I hear “be patient,” not “don’t raise issues.”

  66. Elder Holland, the patron Saint of the Bloggernacle.

  67. Shawn Tucker says:

    Is this not additional evidence that Elder Holland is talking performance enhancing drugs???

  68. @JTZ: Not to mention “it’s okay if you have issues”.

  69. Truly, I cannot remember a more inspired talk at a more perfect time than this one. Just had my testimony of Elder Holland as a prophet, seer, and revelator reconfirmed yet again.

  70. No one emotes conviction quite like Elder Holland.

  71. Holland=AWESOME.

  72. drbrewhaha says:

    +1 to Seth and brandt. I’ve always had difficulty using the word “know”. It’s probably because of my logical/mathematical training. Belief is precious.

  73. Great point about belief. Too often on the mission and in other settings I’ve seen people talked down to about using words like “believe” instead of “know.”

  74. I love this talk.

  75. Shawn Tucker says:

    This talk will be excellent for my Institute class–Wow!

  76. I’ve said before how amazed i am at Elder Holland’s exegetical skills—this one’s not fully exegesis (though it started with one), but i’m still liking it. Probably my favorite of the conference so far.

  77. This has been his most accessible and least affected talk in several conferences.

  78. loathing–thanks. I missed that (kids running wild). Looking forward to reahearing/reading this one.

  79. andrew h says:

    They should do an “all former BYU president” session of conference ;)

  80. I’m really going to be intrigued to tracking the reception of this talk, as it hit on a lot of things that many have been talking about online for a while.

    Spoiler alert – reception seems to be very good.

  81. Oh thank you Elder Holland! Stunning.

  82. Seth R. says:

    JTZ, his point was not to stick our heads in the sand and not question.

    But rather to not let the questions overwhelm the ground we’ve already won. Basically – when you find out Joseph Smith was a polygamist for the first time – don’t panic! Don’t freak out and chuck all the valid work you’ve done in the church, and run around screaming and allow isolated data points to undo all the positive experiences you’ve had in the Church, and all the good things you know about it.

  83. DeepThink says:

    I love this man. How many are saved by this one talk? He has given room in the Church for all.

  84. “Like all other Christians, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…” Makes me almost wish i was still faculty at Brigham Young University, so i could bring this up as an example in the linguistic presupposition unit i’m in the middle of teaching right now.

  85. Shawn Tucker says:

    Correction: Elder Holland is *taking

  86. Extremes in dress and grooming? You mean, like insisting on wearing white shirts and ties and dark suits?

  87. drbrewhaha says:

    Seth – Well put. “Don’t hyperventilate” was another quote related to your post.

  88. Also, this is the second address that’s mentioned “political correctness” as a bad thing, and that seems to presume everyone knows what was meant by it (and i’m not certain i do).

  89. andrew h says:

  90. The Lord’s teachings are not meant to be theoretical. They are meant to be acted upon.- Elder Oaks

  91. Seth R. says:

    “Of all the paradoxes, this is the one I find to be most lopsided, most weighted in favor of certainty and least appreciative of its counterpart: seeking, searching faith. I fear Mormons often make too little room for those who say in the anguish of their heart, not “I know,” but “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.” The LDS scriptures claim that “to some is given by the power of the spirit to know Jesus is the Christ” but also add the counterweight “and to some is given to believe on their words.”

    Teryl Givens

  92. Shoot….I have to follow Holland again……

  93. “Jesus’ teachings were not meant to be theoretical, they were meant to be acted upon.” -Dallen H. Oaks

    Now all we have to do is agree on exactly what Jesus meant on all of these issues and then we will have it made!

  94. Did he just try to mandate that family prayers have to involve everybody kneeling? As a family that lives in a house with wooden floors, i’ma have to wonder at the wisdom there.

  95. “Political correctness” as some boogeyman term is not helpful. It is not politically correct to call a Mexican or other brown person a “wetback.” Is that to be denigrated? PC is more often than not about inclusion and sensitivity.

  96. JTZ, that’s verging on tolerance. Tsk tsk.

  97. @loathing:

    Knee guards, obviously. At least, that’s what the RIGHTEOUS would do. ;-).

  98. Elder Holland . . . Amen and amen! Beautiful testimony of grace.

  99. Seth R. says:

    Well, I do think the General Authorities are correct in their assessment that the general cultural tide of tolerance at all costs is leading to widespread and rampant tolerance for and encouragement of sin.

  100. I’m just gonna leave that one alone.

  101. I really like this portion of Elder Oaks’ talk about service and charity. I think this is really important and it’s inspiring me to think a little more about my own service and charitable efforts.

  102. Its not often that you hear the church throw out specific numbers when it comes to money.

  103. “The sacred name of Jesus Christ” Is the name itself sacred, as opposed to the individual and His mission? Are we veering off into “sacred heart” territory?

  104. StillConfused says:

    Do non-US countries know what political correctness means

  105. CJ Douglass says:

    Oaks: we rock.

  106. “Let not thy left hand know”… oh, forget it.

  107. @Seth R.: On the other hand, i tend to think that “the world” isn’t as bad as we like to think it is. (Though i do think we’ve trained ourselves to be more likely to see the evil than the good—and i don’t see that as a good thing for us to be doing.)

  108. Seth R. says:

    Since City Creek is paying for itself more or less – I see the whole thing as pretty much a zero in the calculations of what has or has not been given.

  109. Seth, I think it is leading to the tolerance of the *people* who sin, which is an important distinction since, you know, we all sin.

  110. It’s interesting to juxtapose Elder Holland’s and Elder Oaks’ styles and approaches. Elder Oaks works for lots of people, and I appreciate the core messages he tends to share (even if I don’t agree with some of his applications), but his approach simply doesn’t work for me often.

  111. Ditto, Seth. I don’t know Rob well enough to know if he’s joking. Am I insisting on political correctness? No, just letting you know that I’m sensitive to those specific terms.

  112. @Aaron: I think there’s a time and place for it. I’m not certain that this address was the right time, but general conference certainly seems like the right place.

  113. StillConfused says:


  114. I love Elder Golden’s voice/accent.

  115. In these debates about whether Mormons are Christian, both groups talk past each other. If by “Christian” one means that Christ is the center of a religion’s theology and practice, then Mormons are certainly Christian. If by “Christian” one means that the organization subscribes to the beliefs set forth in the creeds of the early-ish church, then Mormons are not Christians.

    Pushing our position will not resolve the conflict in these definitions.

  116. Ray, I agree with you. However, it is almost impossible to follow Holland at conference. Nobody else can match that guys passion.

  117. What? No middle initial? Does the “Jr” make that acceptable?

  118. StillConfused says:

    Husband says he is from South Africa. Very interesting accent.

  119. Fun fact: Elder Golden is from South Africa, and was the first African resident to be called as a GA.

  120. Seth R. says:

    loathing, on the one hand, the world doesn’t get enough credit for what good it does have.

    But on the other hand, the evil it has is severely underplayed and minimized. Modern sexual practices on your average American campuses are pretty-much unabatedly horrible.

  121. Let me just say I’m COMPLETELY serious. I Think people are too sensitive.

  122. Seth, I though CC was off to a mediocre start, reflective of the national economic situation. I highly doubt it has broken even yet.

  123. Amen, Seth R – on both counts.

  124. CJ Douglass says:

    Golden to Oaks: LOTS of God fearing people in the world bro.

  125. The importance of perspective:

    Given: Joseph Smith’s vision of the Father and the Son accords well with such visions in the scriptures.

    A believer’s take is that this is evidence for Joseph Smith actually having had such a vision. A non-believer’s take is that this just proves he thought through how to snooker people in advance.

  126. andrew h says:

    I’ve gone from thinking about “We Didn’t Start the Fire” to, “I Guess it Rains Down in Africa!”

  127. @andrew h: It’s actually “I bless the rains down in Africa”, thus making it *totally* conference-appropriate music.

  128. Why would anyone think that City Creek would have broken even by this point?

  129. Snooker’s such a fun word. I need to take more opportunities to use it.

  130. Actually, Andrew, the song says, “I BLESS the rains down in Africa”

  131. Besides, the building of City Creek was just a transfer of assets.

  132. Someone needs to confiscate andrew h’s iPod and put some decent music on it.

  133. I’m not really into this talk. It is not a bad message or anything. It just kind of drags for me for some reason.

  134. There is a difference between “has broken even by this point” and “is breaking even”. It’s an important difference.

    /Back to the actual talks

  135. I just loaded the top 100 songs from each year in the 80s into my iTunes collection, and onto my iPhone, yestrday. I’m pretty sure Africa, but Toto, is in there somewhere.

  136. Seth R. says:

    Yes, back to the talks.

  137. andrew h says:

    @loathingthethewordpressloginsystem When I was on my mission a favorite activity of several of my companions and I was to “Re-write” rock songs with religious lyrics so they would be Kosher. Turning “Janie’s Got a Gun” into “Nephi’s Got a Sword” was particularly fun

  138. @kirkcaudle: Though the end of it is going to require careful re-reading, i think.

  139. I wish I lived in Utah so I could enough to drop a few clever zingers about City Creek.

  140. andrew h says:

    @BRuss – What can I say, I’m a child of the 70’s ;)

  141. StillConfused says:

    Song is a little more at tempo. Praise Jesus.

  142. @Aaron: I know—i feel left out of half of the party.

  143. @StillConfused: The congregational songs have to be fast enough that us regular folks can handle them (well, except for the one in priesthood session last night). If it was left up to the current choir director, i’m sure this one would be at something like 46 bpm.

  144. Shawn Tucker says:

    This is one of the salad songs! (Now Lettuce Rejoice)

  145. StillConfused says:

    I think each speaker should be able to speak in their native tongue and just do subtitles.

  146. Actually, when you look at the actual numbers, the bogeyman of college “hook-up culture” might be one of the BEST examples of our insisting on seeing the worst in the world around us.

  147. @StillConfused: Amen! (As someone who’s been saying that for years.)

  148. Shake hands with everyone … lolz

  149. I thought he said that his wife had long blond hair—the actress has got long dark hair in the video.

  150. Shake hands with everyone!

    First *really* good laugh line of the conference.

  151. Still Confused–yep.

  152. John Taber says:

    So you’d rather Pres. Uchtdorf spoke – and conducted – in German?

  153. “We are still far from eliminating emotional abuse.” So important to talk about this.

  154. Kristine — the photo. The caption. Wonderful, wonderful!

  155. StillConfused says:

    I am glad that they are discussing emotional abuse. I see that so much in Mormon culture.

  156. Lowering the boom on emotional abuse! Not something you hear mentioned directly in conference.

  157. Brian F. says:

    @still confused, the issue with that is the translation. It is cheaper, and easier to have a common language for all of the translators, i.e. English to X Language. If they spoke in their native tounges the levels of complexity would grow exponentially, i.e, Spanish to English to x language, etc.

  158. Ken, I’ve worked in colleges for the last few years. Seth’s statement is accurate. He didn’t address percentages; he addressed “sexual practices”.

  159. John Taber–yep.

  160. @John Taber: Why not? Conducting might be an issue, but that’s not the content stuff, anyway—but his addresses? Sure. Maybe he could even record overdubbing for it in other languages (incl. English) as some GAs do already.

  161. loathing–yep

  162. StillConfused says:

    Seriously, the hardest part of me being in the mormon culture is the serious amount of emotional abuse that I have to observe on a regular basis. Adult children against their parents; parents against their children; neighbors, etc. Seriously difficult to see. I wish they would give more talks on the evils of emotional abuse.

  163. John Taber says:

    Two issues I see on the bloggernacle way too much: “Why can’t General Conference speakers use their native languages?” and “Why can’t everyone marry outside the temple first without having to wait a year, or at least let everyone in the sealing room?”

  164. “It is not enough to know the scriptures—we have to live them.”

  165. I feel bad for people who read the BOM in spanish. They have 111 more pages to read!!

  166. I think this guy failed to read the talk yesterday about the evils of taking free money.

  167. MDearest says:

    I’m so glad I watched Elder Holland in the other room on BYUtv without any of your witty distractions. (just my nmDH remarking on the women’s choir dresses) When Holland began, I thought his lovely subtle purple stripe tie might be a coincidence, by the end I am sure it was deliberate, and I felt like he was having a conversation with us. So much help for me I cannot express. That one will make it into the study queue, thank the Lord.

  168. @John Taber: Others might well argue we don’t ask those questions nearly enough. Whether a question is being asked too much or too little is entirely an opinion issue, not something you can simply state as a given.

  169. StillConfused says:

    Where is this guy from

  170. John Taber says:

    “Kilometers” used in General Conference, in English!

  171. Yet the behavior has to be practiced by a significant percentage for it to be described as a normal part of college culture. The article Ken links to attempts to show that the percentages do not meet that threshold.

  172. Guatemala.

  173. Kopischke is from ELmshorn, Germany

  174. Mark B. says:

    Amazing!! Almost no accent.

  175. Fred Jones- wondering who you prefer? Bednar?

  176. @StillConfused: He’s from Germany.

  177. “4. I need you to hug me.”

  178. What @Mark said: Exactly. The problem is that the perception doesn’t match the reality—and we’re attacking “the world” based purely on perception, when you’d think we’d do better to encourage improvement in the reality.

  179. Male Primary voice

  180. Looks like my feed is behind.

  181. StillConfused says:

    This guy just said something that was word-for-word from my husband’s talk. I am suspicious

  182. Fred Jones says:

    It seems to me like the seventy often start with a story that is kind of weak and has to be stretched thin to make a point. The Twelve seem to just get right down to business.

  183. Haggoth says:

    He spoke in our ward–the guy is brilliant.

  184. Seth R. says:

    loathing, I already said I think that Spanish is just fine. I also think it’s fine if the speaker has a lot of trouble with English. But that’s not what was being suggested. People were suggesting that Uchtdorf give his speeches in German – which yes – most certainly is playing the diversity bingo game. Diversity for diversity’s sake.

  185. libbypotterboss says:

    Roughly half of LDS members speak English. About 2t percent speak Spanish. It makes sense to start ramping up a Spanish-to-English translation department.

  186. He makes a crucial point: Sacrifices don’t have to be big to be important.

  187. libbypotterboss says:

    *25 percent.

  188. Fred Jones says:

    Maria, You are good! I do like Bednar. Though not as much after I saw him in person. He’s much better in gen. conference than he is interacting with a group in the chapel of a stake center.

  189. @Seth R.: Elder Uchtdorf has really good English competence—but what about the GAs who don’t. Seriously, why do they have to be hobbled in their ability to preach by an insistence on English for the delivered text?

    It’s not about diversity, it’s about edification!

  190. Well, let me amend, speakers should speak in the language they feel most comfortable with. If for U that’s English, have at it, and I’m sure he gives his own talk in German as Scott does in Port and Spanish, etc. But if he feels more comfortable speaking in GC in German, then yes, he should be allowed to. This “diversity bingo” business is easy for you to say as a privileged white man.

  191. Uchtdorf being a pilot is what makes his english so good.

  192. StillConfused says:

    Hey this is that guy from Revenge of the Nerds

  193. All of the 70s speaking to this point have been from the first quorum. Don’t we generally get one or two from the second quorum?

  194. StillConfused says:
    This guy is an older version of Robert Carradine. Seriously

  195. Okay, can we have done with the racial slurs, folks?

  196. Sounds like people are getting tired.

    I like Elder Porter. He interviewed me for my mission.

  197. Is it radical to believe, as I do, that the Lord accepts me no matter what, that I do not have to earn His acceptance? I follow Christ not because I hope to earn His love but because I already have His love and I hope to return it as best I can.

  198. Cousin Mose says:

    Children, behave!

  199. andrew h says:

    Loved the wheelchair comment. Wheelchairs liberate people!

  200. @EdwardJ: I don’t know that that conflicts with what Elder Porter’s saying here—i think he’s talking about gaining divine direction and peace, not about gaining divine love.

  201. Fred Jones says:

    THe comb over hair styles are distracting. Been too many of them today.

  202. StillConfused says:

    He lived in a house with a bunch of young men — see he is the Revenge of the Nerds guy

  203. This is totally turning not into a “why do bad things happen to good people?” sermon, but rather a “who cares why bad things happen to good people?” sermon.

  204. Privileged says:

    Talk of race offends me, please take it outside my race-blind zone.

  205. Cousin Mose says:

    Yeah, Fred Jones, because I’m sure you are Fabio good looking…

  206. Fred Jones says:

    I love that musical.

  207. Bruce Porter & his family lived next door to us in Belmont, MA for a couple of years (over 20 years ago). They were amazing people. He’s been through serious medical problems, a kidney transplant, and yet he himself is an eternal optimist.

  208. Fred Jones says:

    Mose, Actually I’m quite on the ugly side. But I’m ok with that.

  209. The way he just delivered “Oh, what a beautiful morning” sounded sarcastic. Not meant as such, clearly, but it sounded, well, *down*.

  210. socalmormondude says:

    It would be more comforting if speakers who tell us all would be well wouldnt be so serious and stone faced.

  211. Fred Jones says:

    Elder Christofferson…one of my very favorites. Very genuine!

  212. He’s teaching part of the old first missionary discussion here…

  213. Christofferson begins by using the genesis of American slavery as a metaphor for the Atonement. Bold move.

  214. Fred Jones says:

    He looks so relaxed and comfortable. Cook and Anderson haven’t found that comfort yet.

  215. Interesting idea: That part of the atonement that redeems us from physical death is universal because it’s a universal state that we’re simply born into, but the redemption from spiritual death depends on our own choices because that state is a result of our own choices.

  216. Elder Christofferson is so articulate. It’s pretty impressive.

  217. Jesus was said to have gone about “doing good”, which included both spiritual and temporal redemption.

  218. @loathing Thanks! That’s really helpful.

  219. Les Miserables! Love the story of forgiveness and mercy in that story. Nice reference, Elder Christofferson.

  220. I’m really liking this one, which is cool, ’cause i have to admit that Elder Christofferson’s sermons usually leave me a bit cold.

  221. StillConfused says:

    I may be the only one in the world but I hated Les Mis. It was annoying

  222. He’s wearing a Hufflepuff tie.

  223. Some redemption requires a collaborative effort, which is why God created a church.

  224. “I may be the only one in the world but I hated Les Mis. It was annoying.”

    Repentance is possible even from great wickedness like this.

  225. andrew h says:

    “You’re here until you die!”

  226. Never saw the play Les Miserables, but my wife dragged me to the movie. I actually enjoyed it.

  227. Interesting—talking about the church’s humanitarian efforts not in number-of-dollar terms, but (mostly) in number-of-people terms.

  228. andrew h says:

    Oh, please, not the No lunches and ironing story again.

  229. Fred Jones says:

    Don’t do your alms to be seen of men…

  230. “The most unattractive person I have ever seen in my life.”

  231. Trolls are interesting creatures.

  232. @Fred Jones: If you’re not doing them to be seem of men, but they get seen by men anyway, that doesn’t mean they were done for the wrong reasons.

  233. John Taber says:

    Never read the book or saw the play or the movie, but found the soundtrack gross and repulsive.

  234. I may be the only one, but I love to hear about the good the church is doing in the world. It lifts and warms my heart to know that I belong to a church that does these things. I appreciate that they let the members know about these things.

  235. @andrew h: I didn’t hear anything about ironing or no lunches—was it a different story you were thinking of?

  236. His use of “social justice” actually was a positive one. That’s refreshing.

  237. IT was the CLiff Notes version of the story, thus no reference to ironing and lunches.

  238. And Glenn Beck’s head nearly explodes, but gets caught in time.

  239. andrew h says:

    If Elder Christofferson had spoken a second longer my wife would have adopted some children to care for before the session was over

  240. Yeah, i think that overall i liked Elder Holland’s address more, but this Elder Christofferson’s is a really, really close second.

  241. What I got from his talk was that we need social justice on earth, but that social justice does not replace Christ’s eternal justice/mercy.

    Loved it.

  242. TSM: Be tolerant, kind, and loving to people who don’t share our beliefs or standards.

  243. daveonline says:

    As thoughtful and comprehensive as Pres. Monson was in offering thanks, (I was expecially touched that he mentioned those how prayed), I realized that he must have purposely and specifically left out those who chose the attire for the Choir.

  244. Loved the sessions today. So uplifting and inspiring. President Monson sums it up beautifully.

  245. Fred Jones says:

    @loathing, agreed. Good point.

  246. andrew h says:

    @loathingthethewordpressloginsystem – A Couple of years ago Elder Christofferson gave a talk about how after his mother got sick his father used his lunch money to buy her an “Ironrite” so she could keep ironing his shirts for him despite her painful disability

  247. The twitter feeds are going crazy with TSM’s statement that we need to be tolerant of those who don’t share our beliefs, but the “or standards” is central to his message, i think.

  248. Nice close to conference—it was the usual closing pep talk, but with a little more substance than usual.

  249. drbrewhaha says:

    Go tell Aunt Rhodie, go tell Aunt Rhodie, go tell Aunt Rhodie the old gray goose is dead.

  250. Kristine says:

    Yup–my favorite setting of this tune. It’s also the first tune I ever played in church on my violin as a little girl. Makes me weepy.

  251. Sharee Hughes says:

    I can’t believe it! I fell asleep and totally missed Elder Christofferson’s talk! My bad. I will have to watch it online later. All in all, good conference.

  252. andrew h says:

    Closing lullaby, er, hymn put my family to sleep

  253. Love for those with different beliefs and standards + classic Monson mention of widows + “even Jesus Christ” + Go Tell Aunt Rhodie = awesome end to GenConf

  254. My first time watching conference with the refresh button, and first time I’ve stayed awake through it all. Could be crazy coincidence, but I doubt it. Thanks to all.

  255. And that’s a wrap! See y’all in October!

  256. Kristine, over the last few weeks, I’ve been excited about the news that women would pray at conference, but the reality of it didn’t really do much for me emotionally. It was nice, the prayers were good, but it didn’t feel like a big deal in my gut. But this picture and caption suddenly made me sob. Thanks for bringing it home for me.

  257. The goose isn’t dead, just sleeping.

  258. How many Conference talks can be engraved on the head of a pin?

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