The “Temple in Kirtland” Saturday morning session

BCC welcomes you to the annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

We are just about ready to start. Snacks are ready (Quality Street chocolates). Live stream working. Family already distracted.

President Uchtdorf conducting.

Invocation: Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy

Lead Kindly Light written by John Henry Newman

President Monson: We are gathered together as a great family.

Live true to the faith, think about that: Live true to the faith.

When all previously announced temples are completed we will have 170 operating temples throughout the world.

Gilbert Arizona Temple


Elder Holland: If you haven’t already you will one day be called upon to defend your faith. Such moments will require courage and courtesy.

“Sometimes it is hard being a missionary.”

The Writer of the Book of Hebrews” – see this from Kevin Barney

Yes, it is worth it. Because the alternative is to have our houses left unto us desolate.

It is a characteristic of our age, that if they want any Gods at all, they want smooth Gods. Someone who will make us run along and giggle (read: Alanis Morissette as God).

The question ‘What would Jesus do?’ does not always bring a popular response.

“Christ-like love is the greatest need we have on this planet in part because righteousness was always supposed to accompany it.”

Defend your faith with courtesy and compassion, but defend them.


Elder Rasband: Former COO of Huntsman Chemical.  Became a GA in 2000, Presidency of the 70 in 2005.

We are not the only ones assisting in this work, as members of the church worldwide we have opportunities to serve.

*** Fun fact:  all seventies quorums were dissolved in 1986. ***

“To sustain our leaders is a privilege” that comes “with a personal responsibility to share their burden, and to be disciples” of Christ.

Take up the joyful burden of discipleship.

Oklahoma Tornado


Elder Carlos Amado of the Seventy: Guatamalean GA with a love of scouting. Worked in CES. Convert aged 9. Currently serving as counsellor in the Central America Area

“He never received honors, favors, recognition, nor preferred treatment from the political leaders of the earth.”

“He walked bravely and determinedly to face His most demanding trial.”

“His sacrifice blessed everyone, from Adam, the first, to the last of all human beings.”

In the short period of three days, He worked untiringly to organize the immense work of salvation among the dead.


Choir: Choose the Right


Linda Reeves (No relation): Member of the General RS Presidency since 2012. From California and has 13 children. Yup, 13! Bachelor’s degree in special education. S is for Sheffield, her maiden name.

When someone confesses looking at pornography “we would be wise not to react with shock, anger, or rejection”

Consequences of pornography = Deceit, damage relationships, loss of self-control, and almost total consumption.

The greatest filter in the world is the personal filter of a deep abiding testimony of the Father’s love for each one of us.

When you ask people to read the scriptures and pray more, it stresses them our, they already feel like they too much to do. But I testify that these practices take away stress and add protection to our lives.

Turn off your phone if necessary.

What do I want my grandchildren to know: The saviour lives and loves us.


Elder Andersen:

Lots of Tornados today.

Sin “has never been so accessible, insatiable, and acceptable.”

Cellular level discussion of how a tree withstands winds. “You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree.”

Changes in the civil law cannot change the moral law.

Marriage goes far beyond the satisfaction of adults.

“I want to express my love and admiration for those who courageously confront [same sex attraction] and stay true”.

In temple, “learn more about the creation of the world, about the patterns in the lives of Adam and, most importantly, about our Savior”


President Eyring: 

The Story of Heinrich Eyring. Heinrich’s baptism and Doctor Foster’s experience bear some similarities.

The journal of Henry (Heinrich) Eyring. (Picture)

Never neglect this important duty to assemble with the saints.

“His hope of eternal happiness depended on people not yet born.”

“He accepted those calls because of his faith that the resurrected Christ and our Heavenly Father had appeared to Joseph Smith”

A universal inheritance: “the promise of the resurrection and the possibility of eternal life to all who are born.”

“The Lord has given us all the source of hope as we struggle to help those we love accept their eternal inheritance.”

God makes it attractive for us to choose the right by letting us feel the effects of our choices.

“Like the Savior . . . Lehi kept his arms outstretched to draw his family toward salvation.”

“Those memories will exert a pull that may bring them back when they wander for a time . . . from the pathway home to eternal life.”

“After all we can do in faith, the Lord will justify our hopes for greater blessings for our families than we can imagine.”

Choir: Come, O Thou King of Kings, written by Parley P. Pratt, also the author of the pamphlet that converted Heinrich Eyring.


  1. The donuts and chocolate milk are out. Eggs have been scrambled. And the Word of the Session is YOUTH. Each pronunciation of that word from the pulpit allows a trip to the candy bowl.


  2. Streaming via youtube. Who needs cable or a flash supported browser?

    Anyone know who the women are sitting in the middle of the stand? I thought all the women presidencies were over on the right side.

  3. Good to have you with us Joe.

  4. Brian F says:

    Any major announcements this year? What does everyone think?

  5. Mandatory coloured shirts for the sacrament?

  6. I’m setting the over/under on new temples announced at 3.5.

  7. Good morning from Guadalajara. We’re eating fresh raspberries with cotija cheese and mangoes. I love you Mexico.

  8. Ebenezer says:

    Where is everybody

  9. Brian F says:

    I’ll take the under, budgets are strained with the increase in missionaries. I’m in Salt Lake

  10. They are bringing out the heavy hitter early this early, Holland up first.

  11. No comments yet on the seating arrangements?

  12. Brian F says:

    I noticed it and like it.

  13. Ebenezer says:

    Good you all showed up at last.

  14. I wish it was possible to post photos here in the comments. It would be cool to see peoples various arrangements at home.

  15. Jason A says:

    My six year old boy just asked me why there are mostly men in conference.

  16. anonymous says:

    Love Uchtdorf’s tie. I pick under on the number of temples. Predict women getting more responsibility in some small way.

  17. And the Word of the Session pays off in the first few minutes of the first talk. Let the sugar highs begin.

  18. Brian F says:

    First time I’ve ever heard them say explicitly there will be no temple announcements in the near future.

  19. J. Stapley says:

    We have to keep our powder dry.

  20. And, the UNDER pays off!!

  21. I would like a video montage of Saints walking to church in Africa, Guatemala, Nepal, etc. when the choir sings “Press Forward Saints!” Tab Choir is too tidy for the message.

  22. Jason K. says:

    Amen, Margaret!

  23. It’s good to see another Alaskan, even if former, here in the crowd.

  24. With 28 temples yet to complete, I guess they decided they’d better hold off for a day or two before announcing any more.

  25. Purple tie for Holland. Nice.

  26. Um, that is quite a list! (bigoted, patriarchal, elderly….)

  27. Jason K. says:

    No kidding!

  28. Kevin Barney says:

    I came into the Elder Holland talk midstream, right where he was giving his list, including patriarchal. Is this a sub rosa response to OW, I wonder?

  29. Brian F says:

    yeah, there is a lot of work to be done, and they seem to be taking longer than normal to build. But we may just be spoiled over the last 30 years. There were 25 dedicated temples when I was born 30 years ago.

    I really like Elder Holland’s talks. Even when they are challenging and uncomfortable.

  30. “Because I have told you the truth (about gender roles), you have called me patriarchal…” Abinadi/Prophets

    Liberal Slam.

  31. What the h– is a village love-in?

  32. Angela C says:

    I don’t think it was OW only. All liberals. He has a valid point about people who constantly state that Jesus would always be open and accepting vs. challenging and exacting. There is evidence for both moods of Jesus. But I’m not sure his caricature of liberals is accurate. He seemed to be going for the easy joke with the “village love in” comment.

  33. thumbs down on E. Rasband’s tie.

  34. Wheatwoman says:

    I’m happy that sister missionary didn’t respond cruelly to the mentally ill man who threw his food at her.

  35. re: love-in
    I don’t know if that’ll work…

  36. Brian F says:

    Elder Rasband might be wearing the coolest tie I have ever seen in conference. It is a bunch of little baseballs! I don’t think Elder Holland was singling out just one group of people. Yeah, he was going for an easy joke, but his point is true.

  37. J. Stapley says:

    Don’t forget to check the post updates. There is some good stuff up there.

  38. I am totally conservative and neither side has the corner on the market on intolerant “love”. I wish I had his actual quote…anyone?

  39. Interesting context Meggle.

  40. There is a certain violence to general council. I’ll bet that if one talked to E. Holland personally about a wide range of “liberal” causes, he would be sympathetic, and supportive of advocacy for many of them, even if he himself did not agree. And the same would probably go for many other GAs. But by “vaguebooking” it, the messages allow a lot of space for those who do not share that same compassion and nuance to use those messages to wage spiritual war on the same folks who would have otherwise been met with compassion.

  41. Thanks for the context, Meggle.

  42. mjberkey says:

    “spiritual war”?

  43. Thokozile says:

    So lots of kids miraculously survived the tornado but seven didn’t. Is that a statistical miracle or God just didn’t protect the other seven?

  44. Kevin Barney says:

    On Elder Holland referring obliquely to the writer of the Book of Hebrews, see the second paragraph of p. 2 here:

  45. I agree with Angela C – it seemed to be Salam on Liberals in general. The frustrating thing is that his crack about the “village love-in” displays less a courageous stand against sin than a complete ignorance and lack of curiosity about what liberals actually think and value.

  46. Kevin Barney says:
  47. If only those other 7 kids had had a GA lay hands on them and assure angels protected *them* in the storm.

  48. Or maybe that’s just my sin-loving liberal heart choosing to be offended ;)

  49. Seth R. says:

    I think he was plainly enough stating that loving a person does not mean acceptance of their sins – as so-defined by doctrine.

    This is a distinction not often made in modern first-world culture.

  50. @Mooner724 on Twitter “Elder Amado is rockin the Guatemalan corte tie!!”

  51. Oops – just re-read my comment. I wish it were “Salam,” but I meant “slam”

  52. Brian F says:

    Do you think that Elder Holland in his 70 plus years, never met a liberal? or thought about what liberals believe? Remember Elder Faust, a liberal Mormon was in the same quorum as him for over 10 years, or what about Marlin K Jensen, or his colleagues at Yale? I think you are reading too much into his one comment, and not on his broader message.

  53. Thanks, Kevin. Great stuff on Hebrews.

  54. Just starting in on the French Fancies. Thank you Mr Kipling.

  55. Brian, you may be right. I’m sure I’m just projecting my fears about how his talk will be used in the future as a cudgel in Sunday school, PH, etc.

  56. Brian F says:

    Sorry, My comment came off a bit harsh. Yes there might be some unintentional misunderstanding of what he said, but I don’t think that is what he meant.

  57. Brian F says:

    I share those fears Rick.

  58. I have never heard “Choose The Right” sung so slowly!

  59. Jack of Hearts says:

    “I have never heard “Choose The Right” sung so slowly!”

    They have time to fill

  60. Wow, she looks great to have had that many children. And such nicely correlated hair.

  61. Annie in KC says:

    Jesus was inteed tough on some–typically the religious, keepers of the law, Pharisees and Saducees. He demonstrated a low tolerance for these self-righteous individuals. For those not in power, the afflicted, the marginalized, the imprisoned, the hungry, the poor, the destitute, the sinner, women–he reached out to them and claimed them.

  62. A woman talking about marriage and family, how novel…

  63. Brian, I think TJ has a good point that what Holland meant was measured and balanced, but may provide ammunition to those less kind, smart, and balanced. I do worry about that.

  64. Startling actions between a man and woman on tv without clothing. That’s alot of words.

  65. Kevin Barney says:

    Pornography is not limited to Priesthood session this year!

  66. “not react with shock, anger, or rejection” to a confession of porn use. Nice.

  67. Nominations for most correlated hair: Elder Holland. Never a strand out of place.

  68. Novelty is vastly overrated.

  69. morganlf21 says:

    My husband just said, These feelings make me want to get married and have sex, not necessarily children.” We high fived. (Don’t fret, we’ve got 3 kids.)

  70. Both men and women are viewing it–good to hear greater emphasis on both, and that “not react with shock, anger or rejection” is a great statement.

  71. Okay, I know we’re two talks past E. Holland’s talk, but it was thought provoking. I do think that he comes from a place of understanding- and compassion. He is boldly standing up for following the doctrines of Christ- but largely not defining them. And I appreciate that he did not equate liberal with sinful- I personally don’t feel like he was directing his remarks toward OW- to me, their desire is righteous and faithful- nothing sinful in wanting the priesthood.

  72. Elder Rasband also mentioned having people with him in this session. I wonder if the speakers have a certain allotment of tickets to give out for the session they speak in.

  73. Kevin Barney says:

    My understanding is that topics are not assigned for GC talks. If true, it were me and I had been given my big opportunity to go speak at the Big Dance, I think pornography would not be my first choice of topic. But I admire her for taking it on.

  74. Joe, yes, speakers certainly have some for family but I am sure they can use them for whoever they want.

  75. Angela C says:

    Kevin B: Pornography has been creeping into the regular sessions a lot in the last few GCs. The topic, that is.

  76. wait…did she just say that a woman’s priority is something other than keeping house?

  77. Kevin Barney says:

    Awkward to talk obliquely of “my own experiences” in the context of a pornography talk…

  78. The candy contents of the candy bowl are decreasing as she continues to talk about youth.

  79. Kevin, I had wondered whether, when she said she was talking to her family, she meant that literally.

  80. Cynthia, et al; you are right. I get frustrated too when people use what someone said, remove it from context and meaning, and use it to cudgel, thanks for the good word, others. We really shouldn’t be fighting other Saints based on interpretation of what a GA said. I don’t know how we would get the talks so that there could be no misunderstanding, or ability to twist the words to fit one’s political, cultural, etc, beliefs. It might sound like legalese, and be an hour per talk. haha,

  81. Charlotte says:

    Did she say that her daughter needed the atonement to overcome accidentally seeing porn?

  82. Kevin Barney says:

    There’s another one, Joe!

  83. Primary voice grates. Primary voice on the verge of tears may drive me to drink.

  84. Kevin Barney says:

    “We will never be led astray…”

  85. Yes Charlotte. Just like a soldier needs the Atonement to overcome seeing men torn apart all around him, dying and bleeding. The Atonement is not just for the sinner – it is for the victim.

  86. Jack of Hearts says:

    Charlotte: I don’t think she meant because her daughter had sinned, but because she felt sick because of what she saw. The Atonement comforts and heals.

  87. Turn off your phone if necessary!! (But not my MacBook Pro during conference)

  88. Jason K. says:

    What Seth said. We’re talking an Alma 7 theology of atonement.

  89. Did anyone hear this letter? Not sure it made it to the UK.

  90. Stealthy.

  91. Kevin Barney says:

    He said “divergent”; time to hit the candy bowl…

  92. What do you call a 2 story mobile home? A REDNECK SKYSCRAPER!!

  93. Ok, Ok, I know that God’s decrees about race have changed, but really, really, nothing else will. Promise.

  94. Aaron, this letter was read in our ward conference a couple weeks ago (Colorado). We devoted the entire third hour block to it.

  95. Seth, sounds like it is on the way.

  96. Can we post pictures, or is that just a Moderator privilege?

  97. If you can embed them using html then yes.

  98. Thokozile says:

    Nice — he admitted that lots of Mormon teenagers support gay marriage.

  99. Way to look for that silver lining, Thokozile.

  100. “Primary voice” comments aren’t appreciated by sopranos present. When women get nervous and emotional, our voices tighten up. Pres. Reeve deserves respect and attention to her message, not derisive comments about her female voice and hair.

  101. Thokozile says:

    Also, if Adam and Eve provided such a perfect family environment, why did Cain kill Abel? Shouldn’t he have learned not to do that in FHE?

  102. de Pizan says:

    That was not a primary voice. That was a woman’s voice.

  103. Someone in the choir reminded me of this dude

  104. BYU Student says:

    @Joe you’d have to upload it to another website like twitter or imgur and then post the link here I think.

  105. Glad to see an acknowledgement to the teenagers that they can expect to meet hostile and angry responses for rejecting gay marriage.

  106. Exactly, Vanessa. Reeves sounded more to me like she was unusually nervous than she was intentionally affecting a primary voice. Her vocal chords sounded tight, that’s all. As someone whose voice does the same when lecturing in front of (mere) hundreds, I have a lot of empathy for this.

  107. This won’t be popular, but I’m glad I was a few minutes behind on the DVR, so I could fast forward through all the choir numbers.

  108. Angela C says:

    TJ: I consider choir and prayers to be like commercials. Snack time, or DVR ahead time.

  109. Kevin Barney says:

    Hoping to catch a glimpse of Eric Huntsman in the choir; no such luck.

  110. Glad I’m not the only one :)

  111. People like to think of FHE as a preventative fix-all.

    And it’s not the sound of the voice so much as the cadence and choice of language that makes for a “Primary Voice.” Sister Reeves started with a primary voice, but I think she loosened up a bit by the end there.

  112. Personally, I haven’t really heard what I knew as “Primary Voice” in Conference for several years. Sounds fine to me.

  113. Thin line between “honoring him” and all the other stuff mentioned.

  114. STill no comments here on the women leaders being seated front and center? Amy mentioned it above but it.seems mostly everyone missed seeing it? Rewind those DVRs and check it out. Wonderful optics, love it.

  115. Missed it, are they on the same row as the apostles? Or the row behind?

  116. Jjohnson says:

    I’m interested that HBE cited Book of Mormon examples of change to comfort parents with “wayward” children, rather than going to the Joseph Smith tentacles quote….

  117. I’m glad he didn’t say that parents of wayward children could take hope in a statement from Joseph Smith that those kids can be saved by the faithfulness of the parents. Elder Bednar wrote an excellent article clarifying that in the March 2014 Ensign.

  118. J. Stapley says:

    Divine tentacles of providence, ftw.

  119. They’re behind the flowers, IIRC.

  120. Parents can take a lot of comfort in the fact that rigid idealistic judgmental and accusing teenagers tend to even out in personality after they’ve had a few decades on their own and fallen on their own pious faces a few times.

  121. J. Stapley says:

    Joe in Alaska, check it.

  122. Memorable Morning-Session Moment: when Elder Holland expressed more certainty in the reality of Priesthood keys and authority than in his physical presence at the pulpit and the congregation’s presence in front of him. A strongly worded testimony. But I wouldn’t let him drive the car home.

  123. Jjohnson says:

    Did I miss the divine tentacles quote? Clearly not paying as much attention as I think….

  124. Aaron, second row, I believe, front and center. It looks wonderful and is visually powerful. My wife and I both loved it. Mostly because it just makes sense.

  125. Thanks, Hunter. One of the perils of liveblogging is that you do not look at the video much.

  126. Thanks for the link to Henry (Heinrich) Eyring’s diary. His wife Mary Bommeli will be one of the upcoming biographies in the Eminent Women of the St. George Temple series and I hadn’t started working on her yet, so that will save me a Google search. : ) Also, as a matter of interest to those interested in reading biographies, Mary Bommeli Eyring has a chapter in the digital version of Volume 2 of the Deseret Book series “Women of Faith in the Latter Days.”

  127. J. Stapley says:

    Andrew, he framed it in terms of the reality and efficacy of the salvific rituals. I’m a big fan of that framing, because my belief is rooted in a similar vein.

  128. Thanks for your efforts, Brother Aaron.

  129. Amy T, great tip.

  130. Angela C says:

    Seth R: “Parents can take a lot of comfort in the fact that rigid idealistic judgmental and accusing teenagers tend to even out in personality after they’ve had a few decades on their own and fallen on their own pious faces a few times.” From your mouth to God’s ears!

  131. J. Stapley says:

    Thanks Amy! That version is a little wonky, and generally have checked against the archival materials (only minor differences), but super handy.

  132. Great we had people here. We will back later this afternoon.

  133. Another Brooke says:

    During one of the earlier songs, the apostle just to the left of the podium seemed to notice the location of the women as well and was pointing this out the the apostle next to him.

  134. “Africa is enchanting.”

    Exoticism FTW.

  135. Can we go back to the Elder Holland talk for a second?

    He claimed that Jesus taught that even people who are thinking about breaking the commandments are sinning. I assume he was referring to Jesus’ admonitions not to lust, not to hate, etc. To me, his statement seems like a rhetorical flourish that exaggerates the principle of cleansing the inner vessel. I hope that teenagers don’t walk away from that statement thinking that if they struggle with temptation, they’ve already broken the commandments because they were thinking about breaking the commandments.

  136. @Genevieve: I think there was a distinction missing between being tempted by a sin and wanting to sin. It could have been more clear, but I think Elder Holland’s point was still obvious.

  137. Yeah, E. Holland’s talk…gosh. I did get the distinct feeling that, “I think he’s talking about Mormon liberals…but it doesn’t sound like any of the Mormon liberals I know…or many of the liberals I know, religious or otherwise.” The examples and the way the “other” is framed represents a lot of antiquated cliches (*cough* Love In *cough*). The Mormon liberals I know are not interested in a god that is just “whatever” about everything. They’re not looking for some easy journey, but a journey that is challenging and constantly self-reflective.

    So, I’m gonna choose to read him as speaking to a small, and shrinking charicature of liberalism, and not at all about the faithful LDS liberals that are anxiously engaged in a host of good causes.

  138. Left Field says:

    Speaking of seating…

    The first time I watched a session from the conference center, I was bewildered for nearly the entire session. I couldn’t find the speaker when they showed the long shots. I could see the choir seats, I could see the organ, I could see rows and rows of general authorities, I could see the place where there ought to have been someone speaking, but nobody was there. Then they would switch to a closeup, and show the speaker. Then a long shot and I couldn’t find him. I examined the background on the closeup and looked for the same thing on the long shot. I couldn’t find it. There was someone continuing to speak, yet he was nowhere to be seen. Nor could I even see where the apostles and First Presidency were seated.

    Then finally, near the end of the session, I saw it! The pulpit and the seating for the apostles and the First Presidency were at the BOTTOM row of the stand!

    In the Tabernacle, the pulpit and the apostles’ row were at the top, right in front of the choir. In fact, the original tabernacle stand (before my time) had tiered pulpits as in temple assembly rooms, with the presiding officers seated behind the uppermost pulpit. It never had occurred to me that they might do away with the symbolism of having the apostles and the pulpit on the upper row.

  139. I thought Elder Holland presented that as a caricature – what others believe we believe, not what we actually believe. It was in the same breath as the “bigoted, elderly, etc.” comment, I think. Though he didn’t clarify that, so it might have gotten lost. I hope my interpretation/recollection is correct; I will have to read and/or view that again to be sure. I thought it was interesting that Sister Reeves addressed pornography and did not focus solely on men as consumers of it. I still think there is way too much fear about it, though – I did not like the normalization of the horrified reaction her daughter had. You will see this stuff. It won’t kill you. It’s good to talk about it, but you don’t have to be afraid of it. I don’t know. I get what she was saying, but I worry about the over-sensitivity we have about sex in the Church. It should be taken seriously, but it seems like it’s often given too much negative attention. I loved Pres. Eyring’s story of his ancestor. I know we have our own, equally intense and difficult pressures in our day, but it is remarkable how much effort and time people in the past put in to their callings and duties and just seemed to consider it normal. Walking hundreds of miles to be released from one’s mission? Wow.

  140. Actually, Holland’s word sounded exactly like a lot of the Mormon liberals I encounter online.

  141. Definitely a caricature.

  142. Ditto to Seth R.

    Between E. Holland, Sis. Reeves, E. Anderson, and one or two passing references from Pres. Eyring, I’m afraid it’s been a tough morning for at least some elements of the Church’s progressive wing.

  143. Peter Yates says:

    J., do we have a record of the Prophet Joseph actually uttering the “divine tentacles of providence” statement, or just Orson F. Whitney stating that Joseph taught that?

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