The “Now You Have a Friend in the Revelation Business” Saturday Morning Session

Watch this space for live coverage throughout Conference. It’s the March Madness of Mormonism!

Welcome one and all, male and female, to Saturday AM Session.

Welcome one and all, male and female, to the Saturday AM Session.

But be good!

But be good!

President Monson: Welcome. 15 Million members! 58,500 to 80,333 missionaries in one year! Listen to Conference. Thanks for money and support of missionaries. Keep it up.

On deck: Elder Hales, Elder Soares, Sister Stephens, Elder Dube, Elder Bednar, President Uchtdorf

Elder Hales: Speaking of conference at conference. Wow. Meta. 97% of church can hear conference in 95 languages. Use internet. Expect memes of “The greatest blessings of General Conference come after conference is over”

I’d like to be the dude who rushes over to get Elder Hales oxygen. Fastest helper ever!

Elder Ulisses Soares[Educated in Portugal at a Catholic university (thanks @PortugalMormons)]: Meekness is vital for us to become Christlike. It doesn’t mean weakness, but to have goodness and kindness. We are blessed to be born to have the seed of meekness in our hearts.

The first step to becoming meek is to become better day by day.
Another important step to becoming meek is to learn to control our temper. What is your response when someone offends you, critiques your efforts, or is simply unkind because they are in a bad mood, [bloggers and online folk]?
Another step to attain meekness is to become humble. Only the humble are able to be taught by god.
Story of Bro. Moses Mahlongu. Read more about it at here and here. I also wish I could attend Sacrament Meeting outside.
Christ at the greatest example of meekness. Thanks to Christ’s love it is possible to change and to leave our weaknesses behind. His invitation to us is to follow him.

Sister Carole Stephens: Each of us have our own divine destiny. We need priesthood ordinances to achieve this destiny. We need baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Pres. Woodruff: All who have been baptized have a right to revelation. You don’t have to be a man to be inspired by or hear the Holy Ghost. We renew all our covenants when we worthily partake of the sacrament.
Priesthood ordinances arm us with God’s power. A family is deficient if there is no priesthood holder at the head of it, in spite of the goodness and worthiness of the spouse.
In each home, a wise priesthood leader asked the sister if they’d like a priesthood blessing.
Trust in God and your reverence for Him and his priesthood power will be strengthened. Sisters who don’t have the priesthood in the home need never be alone.
Sons of God need Daughters of God and Daughters of God need Sons of God. Each have their own talents.
Sons of God, do you know what you have? Are you worthy to exercise the priesthood?
Daughters of God, do we know who we are? Do we know what we have? Are we worthy to receive the power and blessings of the priesthood? Do we show respect for men, manhood, and fatherhood?
We are beloved spirit sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents. Christ’s atonement provides a why to progress on the path back to our Heavenly home through priesthood ordinances.
SNACK TIME! Stand while snacking!

Elder Dube: Weeding with his mother. Edward, never look back, look how much we still have to do. Faith in Jesus Christ is about looking forward. We too can look ahead and believe. We can embrace the invitation of our Lord who says to us “Come unto me”. We are all invited to participate in the work of salvation. May we all unite in a common objective to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men. Our guiding principles were taught to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith. AMEN!

Elder David A. Bednar: Two lessons I’ve learned about paying tithing.
1. Significant but subtle blessings. Example of Sister Bednar’s mother. Elder Bednar’s MIL taught spiritual accounting to her daughter. Tithing is the Lord’s own Affordable Care Act. Some of the diverse blessings we obtain as we keep this commandment are significant but subtle. They are only noticed by the observant [pun intended, I’m sure]. One such blessing is the gift of gratitude. This keeps us content with what he have and constrains our greed for more. We might want a job offer, but the blessing might be to have our capacity to act increased [after all, you now have all that spare time]. Example of the stripling warriors, who were given assurance of deliverance, peace in their souls, faith and hope. These were precisely what these boys needed. Sometimes we ask for growth and are given the gift of grace. I testify that as we are spiritually attentive and observant with will be blessed with eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel.
2. The Simplicity of the Lord’s way. The Council for the disposition of the Tithes was established by revelation. The First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric. The basic financial approach of the Church is found in Sections 119 and 120 of the Doctrine and Covenants. These sacred funds are used to construct temples, support missionary work, foster family history and genealogy, and support education. How can the temporal affairs of the Church operate using such succinct instructions? This is the Lord’s work. [also, there is a lot of fine print nowadays]. The church doesn’t spend more than it receives. It asks members to save; it does the same.
We, the members, inspire Elder Bednar to be a better person and apostle. The Council for the disposition of the Tithes is keenly aware of the widow’s mite.
The honest paying of tithing is much more than a duty, it is an important step in the personal journey of sanctification.

DISCUSSION QUESTION: Is Elder Bednar subtly suggesting tax reform?

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: What do you require of your members? We don’t require anything, but the Lord requires that we consecrate all. 10 hours of people giving talks? Three hours every Sunday? Oh my! Why would anyone want to join such a church? We thought you would never ask…
Reasons why people join the church:
This church was restored by Jesus himself. Priesthood power and authority reside in the church. Members rejoice in the knowledge that God speaks to mankind again. When members enter the holy temple, they sense they are in his presence. When they read the holy scriptures, they grow closer to Jesus Christ.
The church provides opportunities to do good. Most people want to do more, to put their faith into practice, to become engaged in a great cause. That is what happens when they join with us. Our members perform the work of ministry themselves. Sometimes we volunteer; sometimes we are volunteers. Callings are opportunities to serve.
Walking in covenants gives us peace and joy. Those who follow the path of God faithfully avoid many of the pitfalls and sorrows of life. Those suffering from grief find relief here. Those suffering from sin find forgiveness.

The search for truth has led millions of people to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, there are some who leave the Church they once loved.

One might ask, “If the gospel is so wonderful, why would anyone leave?”

Sometimes we assume it is because they have been offended or lazy or sinful. Actually, it is not that simple. In fact there is not just one reason that applies to the variety of situations.

Some of our dear members struggle for years with the questions whether they should separate themselves from the Church.

In this church that honors personal agency so strongly, that was restored by a young man who asked questions and sought answers, we respect those who honestly search for truth. It may break our hearts when their journey takes them away from the Church we love and the truth we have found, but we honor their right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience, just as we claim that privilege for ourselves.

Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly two hundred years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and diving events—there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question.

Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information and we just need a bit more patience. When the entire truth is eventually known, things that didn’t’ make sense to use before will be resolved to our satisfaction.

Sometimes there is a difference of opinion as to what the “facts” really mean. A question that creates doubt in some can, after careful investigation, build faith in others.

And, to be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the Church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles, or doctrine.

I suppose the Church would only be perfect if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and His doctrine is pure. But He works through us—His imperfect children—and imperfect people make mistakes.

In the Book of Mormon we read, “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men: wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”

This is the way it has always been and will be until the perfect day when Christ Himself reigns personally upon the earth.

It is unfortunate that some have stumbled because of mistakes made by men. But in spite of this, the eternal truth of the restored gospel found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not tarnished, diminished or destroyed.

As an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and as one who has seen firsthand the councils and workings of this Church. I bear solemn witness, that no decision of significance affecting this Church or its members is ever made without earnestly seeking the inspiration, guidance, and approbation of our Eternal Father. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. God will not allow His Church to drift from its appointed course nor fail to fulfill its divine destiny.

To those who have separated themselves from the Church I say, my dear friends, there is yet a place for you here.

Come, and add your talents, gifts, and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result.

Some might ask, “But what about my doubts?”

It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are a few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.

Therefore, please first doubt your doubts, before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Some might say, “I just don’t fit in with you people in the Church.”

If you could see into our hearts, you would probably find that you fit better than you suppose. You might be surprised to find that we have yearnings and struggles and hopes similar to yours. Your background or upbringing may seem different from what you perceive in many Latter-day Saints, but that could be a blessing. Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we need your unique talents and perspectives. The diversity of persons and peoples around the globe is a strength of this church.

Some might say, “I don’t think I could live up to your standards.”

All the more reason to come! The church is designed to nourish the imperfect, the struggling, and the exhausted. It is filled with people who desire with all their heart to keep the commandments, even if they haven’t mastered them yet.

Some might say, “I know a member of your church who is a hypocrite.” If you define hypocrites as someone who fails to live perfectly what they believe, we are all hypocrites. We earnestly hope to become better through the church of Jesus Christ.

If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. In this age of waning faith, here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and their fellow man just like you.

Will we also go away? Or will we, like Peter, hold fast to the words of Eternal Life. If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging; Come, join with us! Ifyou have left the faith you once embraced. Come back again. Join with us! If you are tempted to give up: Stay yet a little longer. There is room for you here.

I plead with all who hear or read these words: Come, join with us!

I earnestly pray that your own search for truth will impress upon your heart the desire to come and serve with us.

That’s the show, folks. Have a nice lunch and an excellent day.

Comments

  1. Prediction: lots of white shirts and ties.

  2. Goin’ out on a limb, there, Evans.

  3. Also: dark suits!

  4. Mark Brown says:

    Veggie fritatta (onions, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms) + whole wheat toast, butter and persimmon jelly + big glass of milk = a strong testimony of a divine being.

  5. I’m predicting President Monson is the first Speaker. Unless he isn’t, in which case let the speculation begin!

  6. I going to guess that no more than 3 temples are announed

  7. Is there an audio only link? I have to go hang with the inlaws and could listen on my phone. I don’t wanna spend data streaming the video unless I have to.

  8. MDearest, click here

  9. Thanks JohnC, but I only have apple hardware which is designed to repel windows links. I can listen the low bandwidth if it comes to that. Im not such a complete apostate that I can’t make a few sacrifices.

  10. Logging in from Anchorage, Alaska, where the sun hasn’t even risen, but there’s a beautiful aplenglow over the Chugach Mountains, and we’re hoping that the internet connection isn’t as flaky as it’s been much of the past couple weeks.

  11. David B, I’d like to talk with you about Anchorage at some point. If you don’t mind, please email me in the next few days. (Go to my blog, and send me an email. The address is at the bottom of the blog.)

  12. Popcorn and Diet Pepsi in Maryland

  13. Wow. I logged in just as it started and we’re already at 10 posts? Sorry for my lateness. The donuts are out. Let the conference begin!!

  14. Still so weird to watch conference in the UK–just something wrong about the first session starting at dinnertime.

  15. MDearest:

    Try the KSL app – I believe they run a live feed.

  16. Checking in from Mexico with fresh grapefruit juice, mangoes, and pastries. It’s lovely to be able to watch conference in another country at the same time as everyone else!

  17. Cinnamon rolls will be cooking on the waffle maker in just a minute. Yum.

    Also, the red stripes on Eyring’s tie seem out of place.

  18. I’m not normally the type to kvetch about how wards sing as much as some other people, but can we get a memo out that songs like this one about joy are best sung at a tempo like this?

  19. I don’t care for the drapes the adies are wearing this morning. I wouldn’t even hang those in my living room.

  20. One should never hang a lady in one’s living room.

  21. Hurrah! For short prayers!

  22. Capozaino says:

    Deep fried french toast

  23. “I don’t care for the drapes the adies are wearing this morning. I wouldn’t even hang those in my living room”

    lol Rob

  24. Here we go. Betting on a temple in Africa.

  25. Yesterday was the 50th ANniversary of President Monson’s calling as an apostle.

  26. He’s hitting missionary work pretty hard for an opening pep-talk-type address.

  27. NIce to see you, Kirk. I believe, if memory serves me correctly, that there are 3 Alaskan/Former Alaskans here with us.

  28. I must admit that if I were asked in 2008 what the major theme of Thomas Monson’s tenure would be, I don’t think “missionary work” would have been in the top five.

  29. no temples or other major announcements.Interesting

  30. No temples announced??!

  31. While it’s cool that the Church is pushing the ‪#‎ldsconf‬ hashtag, its signal-to-noise ratio has gotten really low and is way harder to follow than it has been in the past. Plus, LDS-themed companies are clogging my feed with sponsored tweets. Gah. ‪#‎ldsconfhipster‬

  32. Even though I love big cities and hot weather, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Alaska!

  33. during the opening hymn, I can hear the FP whispering. Am listening on ksl. I wish I could make out the words.

  34. J. Stapley says:

    Brian, I think that the 38% increase in missionaries serving has taken all the attention, logistical, budgetary, and other, for the last year.

  35. My request to David B is open to anyone who has lived or lives in Alaska. Please contact me.

  36. Oh, I know. I’ve seen the work that goes on to support missionaries, and the money involved. I was just hoping that there might be more temples.

  37. No temples? Interesting!

  38. I was hoping for a temple or some other announcement too. I guess we just get to imagine how exciting last year’s announcement was.

  39. A meta-address about general conference addresses! Now maybe he can start talking about how one chooses to speak about how one chooses to speak about something at general conference, and the rabbit hole will have opened…

  40. Note to self: Elder Hales’ conference notes are basically useless as an historical document of what actually transpired.

  41. Elder Hales channels Elder Scott (note taking).

  42. I think my book just became irrelevant.

  43. ”What is said [at general conference] is not as important as…what i feel.” So if i come away from conference feeling like we have *way* too many administrative meetings in the church from week to week, do i get some sort of award?

  44. Let’s face it, it was hanging by a thread already WVS.

  45. Elder Hales intimating that future trials, like what we experienced in the early days of the Church, will come upon us. I really don’t want to be drive from my home by an angry mob.(joke)

  46. children love to be included in general conference. I must have been an awful child.

  47. Steve – LOL

  48. J. Stapley says:

    Interesting invocation of the “authorities of the church.”

  49. Conference is scripture. Sort of.

  50. Ray — Email sent.

  51. He said that things the proclamation on the family came from church leaders in advance of when we needed them most, specifically saying that the proclamation on the family came in advance of spiritual attacks on families. Does this mean that all those general authorities who talked about attacks on the family before 1995 were just joking? Or, from the other direction, that, say, teen pregnancy rates weren’t actually declining before that proclamation was issued?

    Sorry about that, but that hits a sore spot about Mormon rhetoric with me. I’ll shut up about it now.

  52. “more ‘revelant’ to our lives” = fortuitous slip of the tongue by Elder Hales

  53. I remember when a general conference shout-out to lds.org was an unusual event. Does that make me old?

  54. Loathing, I think he’s speaking as an insider.

  55. [Sidebar: My first comment on this thread showed up as David B, and since then as loathingthewordpressloginsystem. Bizarre.]

  56. Thanks for that Clarification Loathing. I thought you were an ALaskan also, and almost stated that there were now 4, including David B.

  57. You need to control your temper even when you’re right.

  58. “The Apostle Paul said . . . “

  59. I love Elder Soares’ talk so far. Great message.

  60. I’ve seen nothing but decline in the value our society places on the concept of family. The entire societal focus is on adult fulfillment. I might have quibbles with specifics Hales laid out, but I believe his overall observations about the decline of family are correct.

  61. I’m pretty sure this “control your temper” talk is meant for me. BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE TO RUB IT IN SO MUCH!!!

  62. Controlling your temper is part of what qualifies us for the gift of meekness. Interesting thought—i think i’d largely conflated those two things.

  63. @Seth R: My quibble was mainly with the timing—it sounded like he was saying none of what you refer to happened before 1995.

  64. I’m really loving this talk ay Ulisses Soares

  65. We’re in a different time zone. Prawn pad thai, watermelon, and green salad.

  66. Neat story of the South African saint.

  67. This is a very good talk, I hope I can apply it properly.

  68. But what about the wife and kids?

  69. Yeah—the story from South Africa is really cool on several levels, both in the main character’s story, but also in the workarounds that were effected.

  70. I think the difference between now and the 1980s is that back then, these problems were still seen as problems. Now, much of society (or at least the hip fashionable and affluent white people who TELL us what society’s views are) no longer even see them as problems or evils.

  71. This sounds so similar to the RS talk she just gave last week.

  72. The endowment is a gift of power, and specifically priesthood power, given to both men and women.

  73. “When men and women go to the temple, they are endowed with the same power – which is Priesthood power.” Wow.

  74. thisgreatdeep says:

    The Endowment is by definition “Priesthood power.”

  75. Did Apartheid also apply to churches? Moses couldn’t be baptized because of church policy at the time, but what of his sacrament attendance?

  76. So, with Soares’s talk, if we read an implicit message to OW about humility in the South Africa story, from his perspective, is it really the best strategy to invite the comparison to race? (I wonder if he thought through what that entails.)

  77. I was born in Alaska. Fairbanks. But my parents divorced when I was about two and I’ve lived in California ever since

  78. I think Sister Stephens is putting an early smackdown on the ladies planning to stand in line to get into the priesthood session tonight.

  79. Interesting thought: The core reason to want, e.g., the non-member husband of a female member to be baptized so that priesthood power will be in the home isn’t so much that someone who holds the priesthood will live at the home, but rather so that they can be sealed and *together* receive that priesthood power.

    This is pretty heavy stuff, both doctrinally and culturally.

  80. @chase: IIRC, he could finally enter the church for meetings in 1980, so that’d be separate from church policy on priesthood ordination, i’m thinking.

  81. Wait a second…why would a woman in the church feel alone without a man if men and women and both received PH power in the temple? I’m confused Sister Stevens

  82. J. Stapley says:

    This is part of the ongoing conflation of authority and power. If priesthood is the authority and power of God, then any manifestation of godly power must necessarily be priesthood.

  83. She does seem to be presenting a bit of a rhetorical shift on gender and Priesthood.

  84. Don’t men also have a responsibility to strengthen home and family? Seems like you can’t have the priesthood without it.

  85. Kirk, for the same reason a man should feel alone without a woman, I imagine. But yes – I felt like that was a bit of a narrative hole too.

  86. Kirk, she mentioned men and women being sealed and sharing Priesthood power as the ultimate ideal – not as an individual, man or woman, having Priesthood power alone.

  87. @Joni & Seth R: Given the stuff she said at the end, i think the rhetorical hole on men was more an issue of time than substance. Also, her stewardship is the women of the church, so it makes sense that she’d be dealing mostly with women. (Of course, i’m old-school enough to think we’ve lost something by not having the 70 and 12 split speaking about preaching the gospel and doctrine, respectively, so that may color my thoughts here.)

  88. Holy moly, Elder Dube looks young.

  89. J. Stapley says:

    Here is the download on Elder Edward Dube.

  90. Who was the first black person to speak at conference? When?

  91. Awesome accent alert!

  92. Wow, he is 53. He has such a babyface I would have guessed he was 30.

  93. This is officially my favorite accent of this General Conference. Sorry, President Uchtdorf.

  94. Can i just say right here how much i have loved Zimbabwean- (and Botswanan-) accented English for pretty much my entire life?

  95. “The past is to be learned from but not lived in.”

    Love that quote.

  96. He’s only 50.

  97. Best talk so far of Conference.

  98. Wow, he was a year old When President Monson was called as a member of the 12.

  99. Elder Dube is 51, not 53.

  100. I think I found a new favorite general conference accent…. Sorry, Uchtdorf.

  101. I love his accent so much I’m afraid I’m missing the message itself. I just love the way he says all those words!

  102. ELder Dube’s Date of Birth is May 12, 1962. That makes him 51.

  103. The Force moved the load. Awesome.

  104. I absolutely love this talk.

  105. I Wonder what the record is for quoting the most other general authorities in a single conference talk.

  106. In order to move forward and hasten the work of salvation, we need teamwork.

  107. “Elder Dube is 51, not 53.”

    Sorry, there was a reason I went into humanities, and not mathematics.

  108. His tie is also very nice.

  109. Annon, I believe that was Joseph Sitati in October 2009.

  110. Poor Elder Bednar—he gets called to the 12 at the same time as Pres. Uchtdorf, and now he gets overshadowed by following the coolest accent at a general conference ever.

  111. chasertalk says:

    As a PhD student in African History, Elder Dube’s talk touches my soul. His quote to remember (and not to live in) the past, and speaking of “our history” in the American pioneers – I’m honored to claim this history with him

  112. Elder Dube not only has a fantastic accent, but that was a phenomenal talk.

  113. As a full-tithe-payer who’s recently gone through non-overwhelming but larger-than-one-would-expect-given-our-overall-health medical bills, this story’s vaguely annoying me for reasons that have nothing to do with its ultimate message. Sorry.

  114. Elder Sitati is the first black African General Authority, but the first General Authority of African descent was Elder Helvecio Martins from Brazil. He was called in 1990. I think his frst talk was in 1992

  115. Bednar does P90X.

  116. Loathing, I hear you. I froth at the mouth whenever I hear talks about people who get laid off and then, because they have been faithfully paying their tithing, receive an even better paying job the very next day!!!

    It doesn’t always work that way. We shouldn’t associate financial success with righteousness. Sometimes you pay your tithing and then your life still sucks.

  117. Loathing, I find it slightly annoying too , but it is difficult to give examples of tithing blessings because everyone’s blessings are different.

  118. Thanks Brian, I knew about Elder Martins but couldn’t find that he had spoken in conference.

  119. Thanks de Pizzan and Brian, I knew the bloggernacle would know. It was an inspired talk.

  120. Anon hoarder says:

    “The church lives within its means…” Well, it does today, after learning the hard way twice.

  121. I used to find those stories annoying, but I don’t anymore. I’ve found that the great task of life is to find the hand of God in all your doings. So really, seeing a job offer as a blessing from God is not so much a formula to explain the world to others, but rather an inner reality that we construct for ourselves where God is very much present and active in our life.

    To me, this is the essence of a faithful life. The narrative of faith is self-created.

  122. Ah, Church finances. I can’t say much, but I know the care that goes into how the Church spends money.Our main goal at work is to make sure that we use sacred funds properly, and that there is no waste or fraud.

  123. Anon hoarder says:

    I don’t like the rhetoric of suggesting that the Church has no financial guidelines, legal/financial counseling or policies other than D&C. It adds to the rhetoric of simplicity that creates easily demolished expectations that nothing is complicated, conflicting, or difficult.

  124. I have the same reaction to stories like that, but I appreciate the talk he is giving – especially the statement, “We are keenly aware of the sacred nature of the widow’s mite.”

  125. @Anon hoarder: Well, it *is* entirely possible to have very simplistic overarching guidelines that result in more complex policies (which is, i think, what happens with the church and its financial policies). There’s danger in focusing on either of those, really, but it’s rhetorically difficult to deal with both at once.

  126. ANd finaly, the word for the Session, Repent/Repentance, allows the first raid on the candy bowl!!

  127. Mary Bliss says:

    Elder Martins first spoke in Conference in October of 1990. The title of the talk was “The Value of A Testimony”

  128. Anon hoarder says:

    It also adds to the rhetoric of timelessness, that things never change.

  129. Anon, we have lots of guidelines, We follow all laws and regulations, and abide by the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices in the US and the International Financial Reporting Standards. Believe me, It can be a hassle sometimes

  130. How about a full disclosure of finances? That’s an important part of church finances.

  131. The internet feed started stuttering, and so the 6-year-old figured that the speaker must be nervous.

  132. Evans does P90X.

  133. @loathing, I agree. I think an in depth discussion, in General Conference, on the various internal controls in church finances would go over the head of many people, and might distract from the Spirit

  134. Tom: Full disclosure is an optional part of church finances. I mean, i’d personally prefer if they were fully disclosed, but i’m not about to claim that it’s central.

  135. Apparently striped ties are the order of the day.

  136. J. Stapley says:

    President Uchdorf: most self-aware church leader.

  137. I wouldn’t mind knowing what percentage of my tithing dollars go to subsidize BYU.

  138. Wow—we *are* a timesink, aren’t we?

  139. J. Stapley says:

    Though, I don’t think that “one of the fastest growing churches in the world” is very accurate.

  140. Joni, that’s where all the widow’s mites go.

  141. Kapow, he’s awesome.

  142. yes, I spend about 12 hours a week on Church callings/meetings

  143. Every time a church is formed, it goes from 0 to n>0 members, and thus experiences ∞% growth. Once you get to 8 digits, it’s harder to manage high growth rates.

  144. J Stapeley, it may be controversial, but I don’t think it’s innaccurate. Certainly, the supposed exodus of members that has been spun out of Marlin K. Jensen’s remarks has been vastly overblown.

  145. He is awesome. There are some wonderful ideas and statements in this talk.

  146. Pres. Uchtdorf. Wow.

  147. A direct rebuttal to the CW that those who leave the church leave due to laziness or wickedness or such!

  148. Wow is right. He is always so amazing. Love him.

  149. Anon hoarder says:

    Uchtdorf rockin’ it.

  150. Anon hoarder says:

    CW?

  151. This talk is stunning.

  152. Bethany West says:

    The church would be stupid not to subsidize BYU. The money they put in makes BYU’s price almost as good as resident tuition for UVU and is competitive with the U and that other one in Logan whose name is escaping me atm. Plus, the ROI is probably the best you can get on any investment, ever (and I say that with very little exaggeration).

  153. Candor. Unprecedented candor. I’m cheering, Pres. Uchtdorf!

  154. We should honor the right of those who leave the church to worship God as they wish, just as we ask the same right. I don’t think i’ve ever heard that in conference, and i’ve listened to archived conferences going back to the 1930s.

  155. I love President Uchtdorf.

  156. Maybe he’s got spies in the Bloggernacle.

  157. If that’s the case, Bethany, then what would be the harm in transparency?

  158. A direct recognition that Mormon leaders have made mistakes. This address is making me incredibly happy.

  159. conventional wisdom maybe?
    Please lets share this talk with everyone. I think this can be a great help to all sorts of people.

  160. CW = conventional wisdom

  161. “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.”

  162. J. Stapley says:

    President Uchforf is a great church leader, and human being.

  163. “To those who have separated themselves from the Church I say, my dear friends, there is yet a place for you here. Come, and add your talents, gifts, and energies to ours. We will all become better as a result. Some might ask, But what about my doubts? It’s natural to have questions, the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are a few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith, even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true. “

  164. Joni, I’m sure I could name one or two venues that would make mischief out if even innocent data.

  165. Pack it up everybody, it’s over. Nobody’s topping this, no sense trying. Enjoy your weekend.

  166. Welcoming diversity!

  167. Anon hoarder says:

    Yep, conference is over. We’ve peaked :)

  168. We are all hypocrites. I don’t think he is excluding himself.

  169. Everything is resonating.

  170. We need a diversity of people and opinions in the church.

  171. President Uchtdorf makes me feel like staying is worth it – even with all the heartache. He gives me hope for the future of the church and my place in it. I’m not sure anyone else could do that.

  172. I love President Uchtdorf in the real sense of the word. This guy is simply awesome. If anyone can bring the church together it is him.

  173. This is off the charts the most loving, honest, invigorating, hope-giving message I’ve ever heard over that pulpit.

  174. My vote: After Elders Dube and Uchtdorf, let’s just tell all the American GAs to go home so that we can listen to a more diverse range of voices.

  175. It’s not even something that’s openly acknowledged. That kind of stinks.

  176. This and Elder Dube’s are among the best conference talks I’ve ever heard.

  177. President Uchtdorf, AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN

  178. I consider Boud K. Packer to BE a “diverse voice”. He may not be the kind of diversity some like, but nonetheless…

  179. @Mandy: I hear you. Relatedly, my quorum has everything ranging from socialists to Birchers, from those who actively and openly doubt the church to those who think that there is no truth outside of the church organization—and this address helps remind me that that’s not something that’s a problem, it’s actually a point of strength as we all search for truth together.

  180. I think Elder Holland will be working on a rewrite after hearing Uchtdof’s talk!

  181. I’m loving Uchtdorf’s talk. I hope that one day such a talk can make the connection to our discourse about authority. He says that if we come looking for perfection we’ll be disappointed. That’s fine, but we come looking for perfection because so often that’s what’s asserted–perfection in “doctrine” and an asking that we accept all advice, counsel, and decisions as perfectly inspired from general as well as local leaders. If we acknowledge that imperfection that, of course, pervades the whole of it, then we need to make space for disagreement and reel in the “my words are God’s words” attitudes out there.

  182. If you are tempted to give up, stay yet a little longer. There is room for you here.

    Beautiful. So loving and welcoming.

  183. “Then the full corn shall appear” is one of the worst lyrics in the LDS hymnbook. Ugh.

  184. Mandy, keep on keepin’ on.

  185. Also, quite a contrast between the endings and tone of Elders Bednar and Uchtdorf. Bednar: Repent and join us. Uchtdorf: We love you, come join us.

  186. Thanks, loathing and WVS. This was the talk I needed from the person who could reach me.

  187. Joni–it’s better in German :)

  188. Even a sometimes doubter like myself is now convinced: Utchdorf is our Francis, Francis is Catholicism’s Utchdorf. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.

  189. I have to cut out a few minutes early (b4 the closing prayer—evil, evil, evil!!) to take my daughter to voice lessons—see y’all this afternoon!

  190. EaT, there is paradox present. But there is grace too.

  191. Great talk by Uchtdorf. The disclosure of finances is more to protect the authorities than to satisfy my curiosity. It keeps them accountable. We also need to get rid of the myth that we have no paid clergy, as well.

  192. Anon hoarder says:

    “If you are tempted to give up, stay yet a little longer.” A teaser for the rest of conference? Like Steve Jobs “one more thing”?

  193. Thanks JDH, for the tip about the KSL app; it worked great, and I was able to hear Pres. Uchtdorf speak his good message.

  194. Anon hoarder says:

    BTW, Matt Richardson’s a nice guy. Met him a few times when I was at BYU.

  195. EaT I would not have respect for a Church that could not call me to repentance. I would not view it as useful to me.

  196. WVS, i think those who see this would already recognize that. The issue is those that don’t see it.

  197. “even Jesus Christ”

  198. Anon hoarder says:

    Also, I like the idea of “making ends meet” spiritually. Now off for a quick shower and some grocery shopping so I can compete with the other conference food here…

  199. Seth R. Don’t conflate Elder Bednar with The Church.

  200. Mary Bliss says:

    Joni, Henry Alford, a 19th century English theologian, was the lyricist, referencing Mark 4:28. Not likely that it will be changed any time soon.

  201. I looooove the World Report. Am I the only one? Unfortunately I usually don’t get to watch it because my husband views the hours between sessions as football time.

  202. Would have loved to hear a message to the “non-doubting” members to be welcoming and accepting of the diversity of thought he is espousing.

  203. Joni, if you can, it’s online!

  204. Also, pretty sure the praying guy said “covenantses and ordinances.”

  205. SuzyQ, that message was in his talk – abundantly.

  206. Suzy, I think that was implied

  207. Convenantses it was.

  208. I saw the implication, but would have loved to see a blunt call-out of the people that make doubters uncomfortable. Nevertheless, BEST TALK EVER. :) Elder Holland’s going to have to take it up a notch to beat this one!

  209. I didn’t know I had something in commmon with Sister Monson – rhyming maiden name and married name.

  210. Anon hoarder says:

    Convenantses, precious. We must keep the covenantses, yes!

  211. Anybody else feel like Uchdorf is welcoming DMQ to come back? I sure hope so!

  212. Russell Arben – totally agree.

  213. All the talks were good, I think we need to take all the talks together, not placing one message above another, but try and see what the Lord wants of us by applying all the messages.

  214. Elder Uchtdorf is “da man”… definitely he should go every chapel, teach every leader how to treat people…

  215. Whether I conflate Bednar with the Church or not – the Church DOES unequivocally state that we need to repent. So did Jesus, and so does the Book of Mormon. It’s ridiculous to think that any church that has King Benjamin’s speech in its scripture does not have a message of needing to repent in it.

  216. I think part of truly accepting Elder Uchtdorf’s message is that it’s important also to hear Elder Bednar’s perspective. Diversity isn’t just other people accepting us; it’s we accepting other people, as well.

  217. Butch Bowman says:

    I think “Then the full corn shall appear” is a beautiful image.

  218. Butch Bowman says:

    “I used to find those stories annoying, but I don’t anymore. I’ve found that the great task of life is to find the hand of God in all your doings. So really, seeing a job offer as a blessing from God is not so much a formula to explain the world to others, but rather an inner reality that we construct for ourselves where God is very much present and active in our life.

    To me, this is the essence of a faithful life. The narrative of faith is self-created.”

    That was perfectly stated, Seth R. Thanks.

  219. Butch Bowman says:

    @loathingthethewordpressloginsystem

    Where do you access conference audio from the 1930’s? I would love to hear this.

  220. Those stories are annoying when you lose your job, are unemployed for four months, and then after four months of job hunting and paying tithing, finally find another job at 30% of your previous salary. It’s really hard to see the hand of God in *that.*

  221. Fwiw, I’ve been there, Joni – but, looking back, I could see it. I couldn’t when it happened, but after “enduring to the end” I could.

    As I said, I don’t like how those stories often get universalized as if all things will be rosy if we only do X or Y, but I do believe deeply in the blessings of trying to live a righteous life, however one defines that.

  222. Seth R., never did I say there wasn’t any need for repentance nor did my comment in any way say anything negative about either message. It was an observation. You and Ray get a grip.

  223. *but not on yourselves, for this would be sin.

  224. EaT, my comment wasn’t in response to or directed at you. Seriously. It was a thought that hit me as I was participating at another forum that I wanted to post here.

  225. “Come Ye Thankful People” is a great hymn written by a Greek scholar, Henry Alford. It refers, as Mary Bliss said above, to the parable of the wheat and tares in Mark 4, but it is also firmly rooted in the British harvest festivals that are generally held at this time of the year, and not the end of November, when we, through a few quirks of history, celebrate ours in the United States. Some of these harvest festivals are known as “Harvest Home” and that phrase is found in the first and last verses. The Harvest Home would have been one of the great community celebrations of the year, so it is an appropriate image for the song with its ten thousand angels raising their voices in song.

    “Corn” in the song is undoubtedly used in the European or Biblical sense to mean the local major grain crop such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.

    We unfortunately only have two verses in the hymnbook, but Alford wrote four. There are two alternate versions available online. I couldn’t understand many of the words as the Choir sang the last verse, so I don’t know if they sang the version you can find on Cyberhymnal, or the version found in Wikipedia, which is the same as the one in Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Messages (Davidson). I would guess they used same version Davidson did with the additional verses as follows:

    3. For the Lord our God shall come,
    And shall take the harvest home;
    From His field shall in that day
    All offences purge away,
    Giving angels charge at last
    In the fire the tares to cast;
    But the fruitful ears to store
    In the garner evermore.

    4. Then, thou Church triumphant come,
    Raise the song of harvest home!
    All be safely gathered in,
    Free from sorrow, free from sin,
    There, forever purified,
    In God’s garner to abide;
    Come, ten thousand angels, come,
    Raise the glorious harvest home!

  226. Ray, fair enough, my apologies. You could see how yours following Seth’s might be perceived as also directed toward my comment.

  227. Yeah. It’s cool.

  228. Loathing: My reading of D&C 104:71 would indicate that some kind of disclosure isn’t optional. However, I’m open to change and would like to hear an explanation of why it is optional.

  229. Doh. I can’t type a coherent sentence. I believe full disclosure is required. I cite D&C 104:71 to support that. I, also, believe that circumstances can change. But I think when procedures that govern the Church, those changes must be explained and voted upon on.