The “imminent apocalypse” Sunday Morning session

Welcome to the Sunday morning session of General Conference. Lets take some notes! 

In the meantime, check out some photos (bottom right) from the sessions yesterday or watch ‘Music and the Spoken Word’.

Elder Eyring conducts in an Ol’ Boy tie.

Invocation: L. Whitney Clayton

Choir: Let us all press on


President Uchtdorf:  He apparently was a pilot for a few years.

“Others feel they are facing the end of hope–the hope of being married or bearing children or overcoming an illness”

We can be grateful to “make life sweeter, more joyful, even glorious.

“Those who set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of gratitude can find a purifying drink of healing”

It is easy to be grateful when life seems to be going our way.

“I don’t believe the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease.”

Be like Nephi “whose grateful heart never faltered.”

Be like the Mormon pioneers “who maintained a spirit of gratitude during their slow and painful trek” to Utah

We sometimes think that being grateful is something we do after the trials have gone.

“Being grateful in times of distress does *not* mean that we are pleased with our circumstances.”

The word “Naked” has been used 548 times during GC (ht: Brandt)

“Our tears of sadness and loss will be replaced with an abundance of happiness and joy”

In God’s Plan, “there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.”



Elder Ballard:

We may call ourselves Mormon, if we couple it with the name of the church.

John Fowles on Ballard’s 2011 talk

Invite someone once a quarter to be taught by the missionaries.

Corporate policy not to call the Church the “Mormon Church” because if Mormons use this name it can emphasize that we are Christians.

“If every man [and I include women]”

Tell missionaries what you are studying in your family – can result in “extraordinary outpouring of atoning grace”


Sister Jean A. Stevens: University of Utah graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (WVS’s favourite general authority). She was one of the first two women to ever pray in GC.

“As we develop greater trust and faith in the Lord, we can access His power to bless and deliver us.”

We are not alone.

He wasn’t lost but rather had bitten off more than he could chew in trying to walk miles home after missing bus.

‘I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God- it changes me.’  C.S. Lewis
“Still in our day, God’s power and love is manifest in the lives of His children.”

“I would never have asked for this trial, but I would never give it away” because of the peace they experienced.

“The gospel of Jesus Christ if not a checklist of things to do. The gospel is not weight; it is wings.”


Bishop Gary E. Stevenson: Chief operating officer of ICON Health & Fitness.

Mormons at the Winter Olympics

Noelle Pikus-Pace story

“This life if your four minutes . . . [they] will pass quickly and you’ll have eternity to think about” it

“Remember you are not alone. The Savior has promised that He will not leave you comfortless.”

Torah Bright

“I am a competitor–I want to do my best–but I want my fellow competitors to do their best too.”


Elder Bednar:

This is what he was really thinking

“It was the load of wood that provided the traction necessary for him to get out of the snow.”

“Making and keeping sacred covenants yokes us to and with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Note the centrality of covenants to the promise of deliverance.” (See Mos. 24:13)

D&C 84:20-21, “For in the ordinances of the priesthood, the power of Godliness is manifest unto men and women.”

The Atonement “also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities.”

We “mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone–through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline”

We know by revelation that April 6 is the correct and accurate day of the birth of the Savior. (John P. Pratt, FTW!).


President Monson:

“Love is the very essence of the Gospel and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar.”

I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight that to somebody’s need made me blind; But I never have yet Felt a tinge of regret for being a little to kind

The poem has been quoted 4 times in General Conference since 1990, 3 of those have been President Monson.

Helping was a sacrifice under the conditions of the shop but a lifelong friendship was established.

President Monson also shared this story in 1996

“Love should be the very heart of family life, ad yet ofttimes it is not.”

We must be careful that we do not destroy another person’s confidence through careless words or actions.

“it doesn’t really matter how small the issue was. It cannot and should not be left to canker and ultimately to destroy.”

John Greenleaf Whittier – The poem was a favourite of Joseph H. Dye in the 1920s

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For rich repiner and household drudge!
God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall;
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “It might have been!”

And the parody…

Maud soon thought the Judge a bore,
With all his learning and all his lore;
And the Judge would have bartered Maud’s fair face
For more refinement and social grace.
If, of all words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are, “It might have been,”
More sad are these we daily see:
“It is, but hadn’t ought to be”.


  1. So…anyone see the game last night?

  2. Chelsea vs Stoke?

  3. Jason K. says:

    Shouldn’t it be “immanent apocalypse”? :)

  4. I was disappointed there wasn’t an open blog for PH Meeting last night. I Would have loved to see the reactions during Elder Oaks talk as he explained how women have total access to the priesthood.

  5. Brian F says:

    Yeah, I thought it was a very good talk last night.

  6. so the FB vacation means that I’m over on BCC and Twitter for conference.
    There wasn’t much angst in yesterdays threads. This makes me incredibly happy.

  7. It’s Waffles with Strawberries for Breakfast. Got some Sunny D, Apple Juice, and White and Chocolate Milk to wash em down. And BACON!!

  8. Internet is glitchy up here in Alaska, but i’ve been getting probably 95% of Music and the Spoken Word, so hopefully it keeps up giving me at least most of it…

  9. @Joe – Biggest question: What is the word of the session? My candy basket runneth over in anticipation

  10. Sunday Morning Session must be accompanied by cinnamon rolls. I know this to be true with every fiber of my being. *sobs*

  11. Brian F says:

    No President Packer again? Has anyone seen him this weekend?

  12. Also, Sister Burton was quoted in a talk in PH session last night. I thought that was pretty cool.

  13. brandt, we don’t fast on Sunday, though! It’s a joyful taste of the glorious resurrection to come.

    Also, this hymn is kind of fun, I like the restraint/quietness in what’s usually a boisterous hymn

  14. What’s the over-under on time for Pres. Uchtdorf to bring up an airplane story? +/- 7 min?

  15. I’ve always been bugged by the awkward way this hymn breaks up the word ‘opposite’

  16. Brioche swirls.

    Plus, sorry Joe, but that is what is get for trusting in the arm of flesh.

  17. Not really feeling this arrangement, you know? I like the color choices, though.

  18. Brian F says:

    Over, he talked about planes last night

  19. Ebenezer says:

    Great hymn arrangement! I hope I can get a copy.

  20. Okay, never mind—it got better.

  21. BRANDT — Word of the session is CHURCH. I’m thinking the candy bowls will remain rather full this session.

  22. The singing is beautiful. Feeling inspired already

  23. Are there usually women leaders seated in the center section behind the podium? I remember seeing them on the sides, but tis looks new.

  24. Moss, apparently they moved to that spot yesterday for the first time.

  25. Elder Uchtdorf, making a play for the title of most alliterative apostle in response to Elder Holland’s address yesterday.

  26. This talk is going to be a Fourth Sunday lesson for sure.

  27. This waiter is really an air steward.

  28. I wonder how many times the word ‘naked’ has been used in GC.

  29. Naked would NOT be a good “word of the session.”

  30. Stunning talk so far. Not surprised, but . . . Wow.

  31. @Loathing, we were having problems with our feed down here in Soldotna via BYUTV App on my iPad through the choir number, but we switched to the feed and it seems better.

  32. According to the GC Corpous, the word “Naked” has been used 548 times, with it being used the most in the 1970’s (53), followed by the 1870’s (50 times)

  33. Context for this address: He hasn’t mentioned it today, but recall that he was a war refugee, so he really does know whereof he speaks.

  34. We resist endings because we are eternal in nature. This is one I’m going to have to read.

  35. Jason S says:

    Quite honestly, given the quality of this talk, I wonder if we need the rest of this session. Here’s my hope that at the end he drops the mic and pimp apostle walks off the stand. This is one of his best.

  36. My less-active sister, who has just recently started coming back to church, is over at our house watching this session with us. I’m so very glad that a sermon like this is happening. To borrow a JS quote, this “tastes good” to me.

  37. Feeling the peace, and wanting to sing my rejoicing :)

    Loved, loved, loved this talk

  38. Elder Ballard is talking about tag team dancing. I find this to be only appropriate, considering tonight is WRESTLEMANIA

  39. Seth R. says:

    Just an observation, my children had their eyes glazed over and blank during Uchtdorf’s talk, but they perked right up grinning at Ballard’s talk of his courtship of his wife.

    Different strokes for different folks.

  40. I’ve heard general conference addresses arguing against using the term “Mormon church”, but i don’t recall ever hearing preaching against using “LDS church”.

  41. TrevorM says:

    Elder Ballard giving a great talk from 10 years ago.

  42. We had to institute a 1 MINUTE between words for candy bowl payoff.

  43. I like that he gave a simple reason for using the full name – that people need to know we are Christians.

  44. Utahhiker801 says:

    I have issues with micromanaging language like that. It strikes me as corporate branding.

  45. So why don’t we try using “Church of Jesus” (or “of Jesus Christ”) as a short form? I mean, let’s face it, the hyper-long full name of the church just isn’t going to happen in regular conversation.

  46. I get what E. Ballard is trying to say, and that might work in other areas, but there’s a lot of areas where it’s just much more convenient and reasonable to respond that we are Mormons. If there’s time to follow up, it might be better to explain it out a bit more, but…I don’t know, I’m just thinking back on my experiences here in Detroit

  47. Villate says:

    Wow, Elder Ballard’s tie!

  48. Utahhiker801, I can understand the desire to differentiate ourselves from other ‘Mormon’ groups and the impulse to address whether we are Christians. Not so much corporate branding, but rather just creating stable linguistic markers.

  49. Seth R. says:

    I don’t really follow Elder Ballard’s preferences on naming the church and avoiding “Mormon” (and I do see it as a preference). But I don’t see it as something worth comment – one way or the other.

  50. We’ve trained our daughter not to buy into ideas like “tag dances” or waiting for a guy to call.

  51. I’d love to see PResident Uchtdorf make an appearance at Wrestlemania tonight. Maybe he could be the special guest reference during the Undertaker/Brock Lesnar match.

  52. I generally introduce myself as a member of the Cee of Jay Cee of Ell Dee Ess.

  53. Frankly, using only “The Mormon Church” and/or “The LDS Church” will reinforce people’s mistaken assumption in many locations that we are not Christian. I’ve seen it first-hand in some of the places I have lived across the United States. It’s not an issue of corporate branding; it’s an issue of breaking down – and not reinforcing – misunderstanding.

  54. John Fowles on Ballard’s 2011 talk

  55. Kirk–the Uchtertaker?

  56. You mean like OW calling yesterday’s choreographed protest which included marching and singing “not a protest”? I agree…

  57. I am fine being called a Mormon, in fact, I embrace it.

  58. So if we need to differentiate ourselves from other Mormon groups, how do we differentiate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (our group) from, e.g., the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the group that traces back through James J. Strang)?

  59. Is that really an issue? I can understand people confusing us with the FLDS, but other offshoot Mormon branches? At least, Ive only had the FLDS confusion…

  60. Utahhiker801 says:

    MT, I like your approach :). And I can respect that other people may disagree with me.

  61. How would using Mormon or LDS get people to think we’re not Christian? Do people think the same thing about Presbyterians or Methodists?

  62. He didn’t say it’s about differentiation. He said it’s about using the name of Jesus Christ openly and directly. I don’t care about differentiation; I do care about being known as a Christian.

  63. FOR THE RECORD, the word “Facebook” has been used at least 4 times in General Conference (1851-2013): 2009 (Monson), 2010 (Ballard), 2011 (Ardern), 2013 (Anderson)

  64. Loathing, I know LOTS of people who currently believe “Mormons” and “LDS” aren’t Christian. At least when we use his name, it’s harder to ignore it and might open the door.

    Time to end this for me. Thanks for the discussion, everyone.

  65. Seth R. says:

    Loathing, I’ve found that the issue is usually resolved by simply carrying the conversation on longer than thirty seconds. People are naturally curious about Mormons these days, in my experience. As long a you aren’t preachy and aggressive, they usually are perfectly happy to stick around for the details.

  66. Did Sister Stevens sing in the choir yesterday afternoon?? She certainly has the outfit for it.

  67. I love her cute wrap- dress! And she is rocking those lashes :)

  68. Seth R: Right—that’s what i was thinking. A name can be anything, but content is where real differentiation happens.

  69. Utahhiker801 says:

    Ray, people know you’re christian because of your kind interactions and the way you love others.

  70. Kevin Barney says:

    I missed the first part of the talk. But I thought the Church had gotten comfortable with the word “Mormon” due to the internet. Like it or not, if you want people to find you online you’ve got to suck it up and use that word prominently.

  71. Thought: It’s interesting that, listening to general conference addresses over the past several decades, there’s a real and public difference of opinion on the issue of what to call the church and its members among the highest leadership of the church.

    And Sr. Stevens’s address is getting interesting now.

  72. @Kevin – When you’ve got an entire campaign revolving around “I’m a Mormon,” and your non-Mormon friendly site is, I was getting that impression as well.

  73. No, Utahhiker801, they don’t. People of ALL religions act kindly and love others.

  74. Utahhiker801 says:

    Ray, good answer.

  75. This is a really good talk.

  76. Seth R. says:

    I’ve always considered it a major part of my apologetic work to rehabilitate the word “Mormon”.

  77. Ebenezer says:

    Other Restoration churches don’t identify themselves as Mormon, btw.

  78. I don’t think people think we’re not Mormons because they’re not familiar with the Church’s full name. And giving it isn’t going to be some panacea either.

  79. I’m liking this talk.

  80. Primary leader giving a non-Primary-specific talk. Woman in GC giving a non-woman-specific talk. I love it.

  81. Ebenezer: Not true. Some (e.g., the Community of Christ) explicitly reject the label “Mormon”, but others (e.g., the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) explicitly embrace it.

  82. Nobody said it’s a panacea. Nobody.

    “The Gospel is not a checklist of things to do.” It’s good to hear that said explicitly.

  83. what was the line before “the gospel is not weight; it is wings.”

  84. Utahhiker801 says:

    I like her emphasis that the gospel isn’t about checklists. I find that important to remember.

  85. Teach Me To Walk In The Light isn’t really a standing-up hymn.

  86. Sometimes I think the Gospel is the wings that make the weight of church responsibility and culture acceptable.

  87. PNWTBM: I thought she said “wait”, not “weight”. Both make sense, i suppose—i’m curious what was intended.

  88. Fair enough, Ray, but the point remains. Lutherans and Catholics aren’t known as Christian because they don’t use nicknames.

  89. Like this talk–Gospel is not weight but wings.

  90. Are Pres Packer and Elder Perry still out? I can’t tell if there is one or two empty chairs from the long shots. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t hear all 15 speak at conference.

  91. I was so thrilled when Pikus-Pace won silver. I love that she’s talked openly about her pregnancy loss and how it inspired her to get back into competing.

  92. Do you think he checked with the Olympians before using their stories?

  93. Imagine–you’re an Olympic medalist AND a General Conference inspiration story.

  94. Amen, Joni. I admire her more for her willingness to talk about that loss so openly than I do for winning the Olympic medal, as much as I admire what it took to win that medal.

  95. I had no clue that Pikus-Pace was a Mormon until afterwards. When Pikus-Pace won, in her post-race interview, when asked what she wanted to say to the world, it was something along the lines of “Just remember who you are and what you stand for.” It was like my MoDar went into overdrive. Sure enough, Wiki confirmed that she was from Utah, which confirmed my testimony in my MoDar

  96. and the checklist is back.

  97. Jjohnson says:

    Stevenson is all about lists.

  98. Fwiw, I also wish those who competed but did not medal were mentioned in talks like this, as well. Right now he is talking about the Atonement, and I like it very much – but it would be awesome to make the point explicitly that those who do not win a medal still receive the same reward ultimately – or that medals are not limited only to a very few who compete.

  99. Answer: “A backside rodeo 720”

    Question: What are words that will never ever be spoken again in General Conference?

  100. Great quote from Torah Bright. Love it.

  101. Ray: Victory=truth is a tradition in general conference addresses going back at least to the 1940s.

  102. Jjohnson says:

    Hasn’t Bednar told this story before?

  103. I know, loathing. I’ve been hearing it for the majority of that period. That’s why I would love to hear differently.

  104. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m glad he told the Torah Bright story. I was so impressed by that when it happened.

  105. Am I the only one who suspects that Bednar’s ‘friend’ is actually himself?

  106. Usually, these talks are about loads that weigh us down and stop our progress. Interesting that he uses this analogy of a heavy load in a different way.

  107. I really like pairing the idea of “proper loads” to the concept of Jesus’ yoke.

  108. Utahhiker801 says:

    I love a lesson that involves an example that uses science/physics.

  109. Is that the fourth person in this session to remind us that we are not alone? Keep thinking about Michael Jackson.

  110. Joni: You’re not the only one. My wife is trying to imagine why someone would tell a friend such a story, for starters…

  111. If the plural of ox is oxen, why isn’t the plural of box boxen? Thank you Brian Regan.

  112. I love that the Atonement is not limited to healing but also to strengthening, also.

    “We also need to appreciate that the Lord desires to enliven us.” I really like that phrasing.

  113. MT: I actually teach the reasons behind that in my history of the English language classes each semester, thus proving my level of dorkdom.

  114. Not always a fan of Bednar, but really loved this talk on the atonement.

  115. Kevin Barney says:

    Isn’t it kind of problematic to make obedience a condition precedent to the effects of the Atonement?

  116. Jason K. says:

    Loathing FTW.

    Is the take-away of Bednar’s talk “buy the truck”?

  117. I agree Ray. The Atonement doesn’t only come into play when we screw up. That is powerful.

  118. Upvote=>Loathing

  119. It occurs to me that the end of Elder Bednar’s address can be summed up as “Nobody knows the trouble i’ve seen/Nobody knows my sorrow/Nobody knows the rouble i’ve seen/Nobody knows but Jesus”.

  120. For certain aspects of the Atonement, isn’t it? Not for resurrection, but to receive forgiveness of sins isnt repenting a requirement? Repenting involves not sinning and being obedient

  121. Ummm… April 6

  122. Kevin, I don’t think he did that. Rather, I think he said that the Atonement can bless even those who aren’t sinning in some obvious and egregious way. I like that message.

  123. Relevant:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has taken no official position on the exact date of Christ’s birth. In his 1915 classic Jesus the Christ, Elder James E. Talmage maintained that Jesus Christ was born on April 6 in the year 1 BC. Talmage was apparently the first LDS writer to propose this particular date. Nearly a century has passed since his book appeared, and in that time it has become practically axiomatic among Latter-day Saints that Jesus was born on April 6 in that year. Two other Apostles, President J. Reuben Clark and Elder Bruce R. McConkie, published major studies on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and proposed that Jesus was born in late 5 BC or early 4 BC. In this article, Jeffrey R. Chadwick, Jerusalem Center Professor of Archaeology and Near Eastern Studies, draws upon many sources—scriptural, historical, archeological, and astronomical—to shed light on the probable date of the Savior’s birth. Using the known date of Herod the Great’s death, information from the Book of Mormon about the length of Jesus’s life, technical details about the Jewish lunar-solar calendar, the timing of the Annunciation to Mary, and other historical data, Chadwick narrows the window of time in which the Savior would have been born to December of 5 BC. The author is careful to deal with statements made by latter-day prophets supporting the April 6, 1 BC, date first proposed by Elder Talmage. Chadwick is able to show that these statements always occur in talks given about other topics (not expressly about the date of Christ’s birth) and probably rely on Elder Talmage’s assumptions. But a careful look at Doctrine and Covenants 20:1, upon which Talmage’s proposal is based, shows that this verse was not a revelation by the Lord about his birth date. In fact, the verse is likely prefatory material dictated by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribe with the express purpose of establishing the date of the Church’s organization rather than the date of the Savior’s birth.”

    Sorry for long comment.

  124. Being obsessed with labels like “Mormon” and “Christan” seems to me to be the very essence of drawing near with our lips.

    If people want to ask me what I believe, I’ll explain it with nuance, not rely on a label.

  125. Just curious: Does anyone else watch GC with the captions on?

  126. Joni–yes. In fact…I watch all TV with captions…just habit. And often very useful.

  127. The great Jay-hova

  128. Kevin Barney says:

    I missed why the date when Jesus was born is relevant, but if people are interested here is my take:

  129. Joni: I used to—i got used to it from growing up in a stake with a deaf person who preferred captions to simultaneous ASL. More recently it proved too distracting for the kids, though.

  130. Elder Bednar does not read BYU Studies, J Reuban Clark, Bruce R McConkie, or Hyrum M Smith

  131. Jay…I first read your comment as “drawing near with our hips” and had a short moment of extreme confusion.

  132. Cold War is fading if “fellow travelers” makes it into a conference talk.

  133. President Monson talking about love is a perfect way to end this session.

    I thought it wouldn’t be possible to top the Priesthood session last night for overall impact. I was wrong. This session has been phenomenal.

  134. What is the print on Pres Monson’s tie?

  135. That Alaska Airlines flight story sounds familiar. Loathing, do you recall it, and know where it was diverted to?

  136. Joe in Alaska: Our internet dropped for a couple minutes, and i suspect it took the Alaska Air story with it, i’m afraid.

  137. Wheat Woman says:

    I truly love President Monson.

    “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well”

  138. Monson has shared the flight story before, that is why it might be familiar.

    See main post.

  139. I’ve been waiting for a galvanizing talk – one that drops the “Us against them” mentality that we sometimes have. Pres. Monson’s talk was beautiful. There were so many little quotes that I was thinking “Yes. Exactly this. We need more of this.”

    I’m so glad that was the concluding talk of this session.

  140. Kevin Barney says:

    I love this new trend of ending the meetings early.

    I thought President Monson looked and sounded much better than what I was expecting. That was encouraging.

  141. Who gave the closing prayer? You don’t hear serious Southern accents in GC very often.

  142. Kevin Barney says:

    Bonus: a woman giving the closing prayer.

  143. Kevin Barney says:

    And the prayer was appropriately brief. Score!

  144. Ok, so there’s Elder Perry, at least. still no Pres Packer.

  145. Sister Neill F. Marriott was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana gave the closing prayer:

  146. loathing, I was thinking the same thing. Just another reason we need Kristine to speak in the near future.

  147. So, Perry was there today. Is this the first conference BKP has missed? Also, when was the last time an apostle missed all sessions of conference? (Assuming BKP misses the PM session)

  148. Kevin Barney: The live feed was fun for a couple minutes after it ended, too, with the shots of the flowers that were clearly *not* pre-planned to fill up the time.

  149. For those who worry the church concentrates too much on making money: KSL Radio played several minutes of organ music after conference, instead of cutting straight to a suit store ad, accompanied by a jaunty song about a London serial killer.

  150. MT — Robert D Hales did not speak in the April 2011 conference. I’m not sure whether he was in attendance at any of those sessions or not, but that is the most recent conference when a sitting apostle did not speak.

    The normal pattern calls for 3 members of the quorum of the 12 to speak in the Sunday afternoon session. Packer, Perry and Christofferson are the three who have not spoken so far this conference, so they seem to be on track to continue the pattern, assuming Packer is able to make it this afternoon.

  151. Kevin Barney says:

    Joe in Alaska, may I say that I thoroughly admire the way you attach your GC viewing? Watching it in your house sounds like a lot of fun.

  152. Rude Dog says:

    Oh oh, is the “internet” talk on its way?

  153. It is good we are going to give up the word “Mormon” because now people will finally be able to start differentiating us from that group that has the website at……uh. wait a minute. That’s us, isn’t it.

    Actually if we are going to get technical about what we are really called, we need to start calling ourselves by are real title, The Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  154. I didn’t watch conference, but I read all of these threads. I must say that it seems not in keeping with the church’s recent efforts to be more sensitive to gay issues, it least in official discourse, for a church authority to use the term “backside rodeo.” Unfortunate.

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