The “Mormon Olympian” Sunday afternoon session

Welcome BCC fans to the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference.


  1. Just finished lunch of ham buns, salt and vinegar chips and fruit. We’ll see if this diet coke can keep me awake for the home stretch!

  2. I wish that the women’s broadcast counted as a session of Conference. That would make this the sixth and not the fifth.

  3. Xenophon says:


  4. all variants of humility earn a visit to the candy dish stocked with pistachio, pecan and almond toffee. Sugar trumps diet Coke.

  5. Either I’m getting older or the MoTab is getting younger.

  6. It’s high noon in Alaska. Conference and lunch are served. Enchilladas, Tossed Salad, a vegetable tray, corn, and some red koolaid.

  7. I know the trend has been toward shorter conference prayers, but that was short even for these modern times!

  8. I know this makes me a heathen, but I can’t stand I Stand All Amazed. It’s the only thing in the hymn book I won’t even sing.

  9. There was great debate amongst the children as to what the Word of the Session should be. It was between FAITH and ATONEMENT. ATONEMENT was approved.

  10. There he is.

  11. Xenophon says:

    Why not?

  12. The combover needs to go.

  13. “supernal”

    *takes a drink*

  14. Villate says:

    I was thinking the same thing, MT!

  15. supernal! everyone gets candy.

  16. Jjohnson says:

    Diet coke and salted caramel popcorn at 9pm and I am wide awake.

  17. I love this talk.

  18. Is this the 3rd straight conference Pres. Packer has been seated? It seems like it’s been that way for a while…

  19. Wonderful talk. Very touching.

  20. Yes, he’s been seated for quite a while now—post-polio syndrome.

  21. Another Brooke says:

    That reminded me of Bruce R. McConkie’s final testimony.

  22. Even if you’re not descended from the Mormon pioneers, you’re indebted to them for purposes of considering your own heritage!

    Sorry, but my not-descended-from-Mormon-pioneers self bristles a bit whenever i hear that.

  23. I was also wondering if we may have just heard President Packer’s final testimony in conference.

  24. Brian F says:

    He has had several of those lately. But yes, he isn’t looking well.

  25. Loathing, you and me both.

  26. *sigh*

    Why do we need to rehash the Benbow Farm episode? Learn some new history. Some “international” Church history.

    Need more diversity here.

  27. Jack of Hearts says:

    Loathing, I always hear it as, “Even if you’re not descended from the Mormon pioneers, you have claim on that rich heritage of devotion, sacrifice, and faith.”

  28. Joe in Alaska: I though that, too, but then i remembered all the times people were like “Well, that sounds like Elder Haight just delivered his final testimony in conference!”—except that that went on for a half-dozen years or so.

  29. BKP did a little flicker with his eyes at the end, seemingly showing relief that he made it through. I’m also wondering if he knows that’s the last talk…

  30. Jack of Hearts: There’s a difference between having claim on something and being told you’re indebted to it, you know. (Not to mention that my ancestors have their own stories of faith, and they may not have been Mormon, but they give me plenty enough to lean on as it is.)

  31. Did we lose the blogging up above, or is it just my page that’s not working?

  32. Utahhiker801 says:

    I liked Packer’s use of “believe” in his testimony.

  33. Jack of Hearts says:

    Loathing: True. I just take it as an invitation then. They sacrificed like my ancestors did, and like modern first generation converts do too, and I can celebrate that and draw inspiration from it.

  34. loathing, that is why I loved Pres. Uchtdorf’s “Faith of Our Fathers” so much. He explicitly mentioned being indebted to non-Mormon ancestors and the Protestant reformers.

  35. Utahhiker801, I noticed and appreciated the same thing.

  36. Did he actually just say that we are more likely to choose well if we had faithful ancestors? I’m thinking i must have misheard, but i’m afraid i didn’t.

  37. Well my feed just jumped ahead. That was weird. Didn’t wake up the husband, though.

  38. Seth R. says:

    Loathing, I think there’s nothing wrong with saying that faithful ancestors are a good thing and convey an advantage to hose who have them.

  39. I don’t like horse-breaking lessons, but Elder Perry is talking about Jesus as the driver and trainer, so I’m okay with it. Any other application doesn’t do anything for me.

    The harness and bit are the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I like that, as well.

  40. “We must be sensitive to our spiritual bits.”

    Ok, sometimes I’m a five year old.

  41. I think for those of us that come from recent-convert families (my parents are converts, I was born into the church), it’s a bit of a sensitive subject, because there seems to be this implication that we are “less-than” those who have been in the church for a while. I think that’s why Uchtdorf’s “Faith of our Fathers” talk resonated so much with people in my part of the world, because it was more than Mormon pioneer stories

  42. Spiritual Bits is my favorite breakfast cereal.

  43. At least he didn’t say we have to pay attention to our sensitive bits.

  44. Seth R. says:

    I come from a family composed of a father who was the first convert in his line, and a mother who came from a part-member inactive family (she coming from a long line of mixed message stories of faithfulness).

    And the idea of faithful ancestors conveying an advantage doesn’t offend me in the slightest.

  45. mjberkey says:

    His “antagonizing” test?

  46. What brandt said—it’s the implication that those of us from convert families are somehow lesser. And yeah, it’s not what’s generally intended, but that doesn’t mean it’s never intended—growing up, i was faced with that sort of attitude quite explicitly from some Utah royalty families who had relocated to the DC area, f’rex…

  47. I think he said that we are more likely to make good decisions if we understand something about our ancestors and the challenges they overcame. I am a first generation convert but my non-member ancestors overcame plenty of challenges, just not those which are a part of church history.

  48. That’s how I heard it, noray.

    Also, I love that he said there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that he can’t guarantee that what works for him will work for everyone else.

  49. someone all wrapped up in himself makes a very small package. the quotable LTP

  50. wow that hour went fast!

  51. I got curious and looked it up last conference. My extreme aversion to mouth noises is actually a thing called dystonia. It inevitably kicks in every GC.

  52. My last comment on the topic: I just worry that sometimes it’s an expression of privilege—and remember, those who are in positions of privilege often really do have difficulty seeing how what they’re saying/doing is an expression of said privilege. So just ’cause you don’t see how it could be a problem for those of us who aren’t part of that cultural background, please don’t assume it isn’t problematic.

  53. @noray – I can understand that. My wife’s family has a long history of Mormonism. And there were many things that came “naturally” to them that were different for us (an “automatic” of going on a mission, extremely familiar with church ordinances, etc). So I can understand how having that “standard” would cultivate an environment where Mormon-related decisions come quite naturally. And I’m not being too sensitive to it, but it is a bit irksome when a bone isn’t thrown to those of us who weren’t in that environment (again, coming from someone who really appreciates his convert-parent upbringing)

  54. And this hymn is a good choice for the seventh inning stretch.

  55. Xenophon says:

    Great talks. Great counsel and encouragement to become better disciples of Jesus Christ.

  56. symphonyofdissent says:

    I am a convert and the only member in my family, but my family history offers incredible examples of faith that inspire me. I think Elder Walkers message applies to those that do not have Mormon pioneers, because our ancestors can still be inspiring for us.

  57. Seth R. says:

    I understand the concern with “Utah pedigree”.

    It especially irks me when some ex-Mormon treats us all to a pioneer pedigree before launching into a criticism of the Church – as if that was supposed to make their words more valid.

  58. OK, how’s this for privilege…

    My sister in law’s stake will have a Seventy visiting for their stake conference next month. As the Stake Relief Society president, she has been asked to coordinate a lunch at noon on Saturday that will include the visiting Seventy, the Stake Presidency, and the Stake Presidency’s children and their families.


  59. Does anyone else think Elder Corbridge looks a lit like Kevin Nealon?

  60. Eddie, I pity those children. #boring

  61. Xenophon says:

    Looking forward to Elder Christofferson…

  62. Wait, Eddie, your SIL is coordinating a lunch she’s not even invited to? Yikes.

  63. The New York Times agrees with Elder Walker, and provides an interesting point that an oscillating narrative can be the most valuable:

  64. I appreciate much of what he is saying about special things Joseph restored, but I don’t like the idea that opposition proves truth.

    It doesn’t, but it’s a common paradigm. We aren’t right because we are opposed; we aren’t wrong because we are opposed. Lots of things both right and wrong have been opposed.

  65. I don’t know that I agree with the idea that “the truth is always opposed.” At the very least, we shouldn’t fall into the belief that the presence of opposition is am indicator of truth. Wrong or crazy ideas are often met with opposition too.

  66. Villate says:

    That doesn’t sound unusual, Eddie. Does she have a committee? That’s how they’ve done it where I have lived. And the RS President/family usually is busy in the kitchen, but they’re not not invited. Usually they are trotted out for embarrassing recognition and thanks at some point.

  67. I totally see the Kevin Nealon thing.

  68. Eddie, I think it all depends on what the visitor wants to discuss with the Stake Presidency – and if he invited the families to reduce the SP time away from their families.

  69. If opposition proves truth, then i think we can all agree that the Huguenots had all truth on their side, right?

  70. Regarding a pioneer heritage, my parents were converts to the church, but in doing my family history, I have found more than one sideline–on both my mother’s and my father’s side, who were pioneers, some of them very prominent pioneers. So I attend or neighborhood DUP meetings, since although I’m not a daughter, I’m sort of a great-great-grand-niece of sorts in a round about way of some of these people. I claim that heritage.

  71. I know that on an individual basis some pioneer descendants come across as feeling superior to those who don’t have that ‘advantage’. Fortunately we are to be judged on our own merits in the end so it doesn’t bother me at all. I do admire the strength and commitment of the Mormon pioneers even though I can’t count them among my forefathers.

  72. This is a unique and good way to address this topic. I really like it.

  73. If opposition proves truth, the good folks at Fox News have been fervently testifying of Islam lately.

  74. Seth R. says:

    Eddie, good example.

    I showed your comment to my mom. She kind of laughed, nodded her head and said – “yeah, but isn’t that how the world works?”

    Me – “mom, I don’t think they’ll be happy with that response.”

    She agreed, but said, “yeah, but would you rather be a Roberts than a Rogers? He’s built a real family dynasty here in this [Utah] ward. Married into other big families with his kids, and become a real community pillar. But he worked all his life for his dad, now he’s supporting his mom, all his kids have moved back into the ward and he’s dealing with their problems and financially supporting them. One of these days, that man is going to have a heart attack.”

    She paused and said “we shouldn’t envy people.”

  75. I think I love your mom, Seth.

  76. Seriously good talk.

  77. Elder Teh gets a unanimous thumbs up at my house.

  78. Kevin Barney says:

    “One should not roam through garbage.”

  79. Seth R. says:

    My dad want to know what country this speaker is from. Can’t place the accent.

  80. mjberkey says:

    Seth, my wife and I are having the same conversation. What is that accent?

  81. He’s from Brazil.

  82. Jack of Hearts says:

    He’s from Brazil.

  83. Elder Teh is like Samuel the Lamanite warning the US church of pride and materialism.

  84. Villate says:

    He was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

  85. “Those who taste the fruits of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will find them delicious”…. Especially the Jell-o salad!

  86. Vanessa says:

    His parents are Lithuanian.

  87. Iguacufalls says:

    He is from Brazil. Sort of a different sort of Brazilian accent.

  88. Another Brooke says:

    He spoke in our stake conference recently. Great speaker.

  89. Another Brooke says:

    His voice is very comical; makes the kids sit up and listen.

  90. Grad from byu

  91. His intonation reminds me of Chekov from the new Star Trek movies

  92. The really fun thing about Elder Aidukaitis as a speaker is that he has the same delivery both pre-scripted and off-the-cuff—he’s quite engaging either way.

  93. Craig in Oklahoma says:

    All my kids are thinking his voice sounds like a movie character.

  94. I enjoyed the last two talks quite a bit.

  95. andrewheiss says:

    Elder Aidukaitis’s picture on Wikipedia seems to capture his personality:

  96. andrewheiss says:

    I like the factoid stretch at WP too: “He is the first Brigham Young University (BYU) graduate from South America to become a church general authority.”

  97. I love the story of Jesus’ appearance to Mary. It’s one of my favorites.

  98. Resurrected bodies have no lungs. You heard it here first.

  99. Resurrected bodies eat food. That appeals to me. It would be a shame to have to spend eternity with no chocolate.

  100. So stomachs, gonads, but no lungs. Gotcha. ;)

  101. Okay, I believe everything Elder Christofferson is saying, but I’m not sure his logical arguments actually follow the way he said they do. Maybe someone smarter than me can take that one on?

  102. “skinworms destroy our bodies”?

  103. Skin worms are from Job. The boys loved that part when I taught seminary.

  104. I guess I just never parsed it that way.

  105. It’s good to hear one more time to be kind to those who see things differently than we do.

  106. We need to follow the Lord’s example by bearing a message of peace and goodwill, even toward those we disagree with.

  107. Hedgehog says:

    Just hold it a moment. How am I going to play trumpet with no lungs, or any wind instrument for that matter…

  108. Villate says:

    It’s nice to have women praying in Conference, but what I’d really like is to have the speakers and pray-ers do so in their own language. Let us Americans get the translations for once.

  109. Hedeghog, could still be lungs, but circulating some other substance than oxygen, since Jesus doesn’t need oxygen. Methane? OMG, Titan in Kolob!

  110. Another Brooke says:

    Villate: Agreed! It would be a good reminder of our worldwide membership.

  111. Brian F says:

    The issue is then with translation from the native language to all the other languages. It is easier and cheaper to just have translators do English to other languages.

  112. Not if they have a script to read from (as they do).

  113. David Elliott says:

    The MoTab’s rendition of “Come, Let Us Anew” just blew me away. Perfect ending for this conferences.

  114. Brian F says:

    Prayers aren’t scripted, and sometimes people ad lib or otherwise deviate from their prepared remarks. Also, I’m going to assume that by your use of the word script you are not saying that the talks are written for those who give talks. Ie, that they are speaking their own words

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