And lo, the Aggies did crush the Coogers, and it was gray and navy and delightsome and if you disagree with me then good luck trying to get your comments in on this thread!

We’re about an hour or so from the start of the session, so feel free to comment on your cereal, your clothing, your key words and candy rewards, or whatever else you’d like until the top of the hour when I’m going to turn on the filter a bit. As for me and my house, we will serve the pancakes.

And we’re underway!

President Monson talking to us first. He is no doubt pleased about the sportsball outcome of yesterday evening.


According to President Monson, this is the the 90th anniversary of radio broadcasts of GC. Similarly, yesterday was the 3rd time in my life that USU beat BYU in football, and 1st time in Provo. Milestones!

President Monson: There are approximately 88,000 missionaries serving. Incidentally, this is roughly the same number of people who left the game last night in tears.

President Boyd K. Packer of the 12 will speak to us next.
Utah State v BYU

President Packer: The guilt that accompanies mistakes can be washed away [through the Atonement]; Total church membership has passed 15 million; Each individual member of the Church is a critical element of the Body of Christ; True success of the gospel…is measure by the spiritual strength of its individual members.

Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the 70, proud graduate of Utah State University, the school that destroyed BYU last night on the gridiron, will speak next.

Elder Robbins: A 70 doesn’t represent people to prophet, but prophet to the people; Never forget which way you face; when one tries to save face with men, we can unwittingly lose face with God; bishops are faced with pressure to lower standards on temple recommends, school endorsements, and other worthiness requirements.

Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, Primary General Presidency 2nd Counselor: Partaking the sacrament means remembering His Son always, not just during the ordinance itself; Focus on words in hymns and prayers, conduct a “self-evaluation” during the sacrament; BUT – focusing on the “repentance part” of the Atonement can lead us to neglect a big part — Christ’s enabling power; the Sacrament can be a healing and cleansing experience (as taught by Melvin J. Ballard); Aaronic Priesthood holders represent the Savior when they prepare, bless, and pass the Sacrament; the more we ponder the significance of the sacrament, the more sacred and meaningful it becomes to us.

CANTONESE LANGUAGE ALERT!!!! Alas, BYUTV is doing voiceover instead of subtitles. Boo. A blown opportunity, IMO.

Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong of the 70Do we know anyone in our life who is afflicted with spiritual palsy?


Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the 12: God does not save us just as we are, for we are unclean, and unclean things cannot dwell in His presence; God will not act to make us something we do not by our actions choose to become; The real manifestation of God’s love for us is His commandments; a world without a God with moral laws…is also a world without truth…and is a world of moral relativism; we must depend accountability against persons and programs that would…prevent independence; it is God’s will that we be free men and women…from poverty and the bondage of sin; Take responsibility and go to work, so that there is something for God to help us with.


President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the 1st Presidency:
(FYI I hit up President Uchtdorf on gChat before kickoff last night and asked him who would win and he told me that righteousness and awesomeness would prevail so #PROPHETIC)

I’m not going to provide quotes for this talk, because I’d rather sit back and listen.

See you all in the afternoon!


  1. Bran cereal, a fluffy blue bathrobe, and a runny nose. Alka Plus doesn’t seem to be working. Congrats on Aggies win over the Coogs!. Hubby complained about the traffic trying to get home from Provo last night.

  2. The Seattle puzzle is ready and the dough for the Lebanese tahini rolls is rising. All you people who will be eating cinnamon rolls are seriously deprived.

  3. LiteralHipster says:

    Any predictions for big announcements? Mine is that they will lower the sister missionary age to 18, right after lowering the elders’ age to 17 3/4.

  4. I hope everyone is making cinnamon rolls.

  5. It’s 8:00a here in Anchorage, Alaska, so the kids don’t have to be up for the morning sessions at our house, but two of them are.

    As for football, i was in the MTC many, many years ago when BYU lost to Miami, and as much as i grew up cheering for Notre Dame (big Catholic extended family), i discovered that i hated BYU football more than Miami football, and i was the only happy person in the MTC that day.

    And now conference is starting, so…

  6. Tempo!

  7. Lunchtime out here on the east coast. Breakfast was hours ago. Spinach wilted in bacon grease, then add some homemade pesto and scrambled into eggs.

  8. Ardis E. Parshall The opening hymn of General Conference is being sung at its proper tempo!

  9. We have biscuits and gravy for General Conference breakfast. And it’s about the only day(s) of the year we do that.

  10. It was neat that President Monson called this a “great world conference.” I like the flavor of that: world conference. Especially fitting given that we’re likely to hear some speakers preach in their native language.

  11. Well, the Conference Doughboy Donuts have been purchased, the family is in the Living Room together, and after a few technical difficulties, we got everything on the big screen from the iPhone 6 Plus. Looking forward to some great messages from all our leaders!!

  12. Shoutout to the awesome Mormon mommy blogger who posts General Conference packets for the kids on her blog every year.

    You rock.

  13. Did Pres Monson mention when Montreal will be rededicated? I got distracted thinking about biscuits and gravy.

  14. Word of the session for the candy bowl is FAITH, and when the Prophet spoke it near the end of his talk, all 6 of our children and their three cousins missed it.

  15. I hope the choir’s choice of Beautiful Zion will be a theme of one of the sessions. Incidentally, I wonder if the women’s dresses are really that bright pink in real life.

  16. Is it just me, or does Pres. Packer look a bit healthier than last conference?

  17. Didn’t get the exact wording, but: The atonement offers healing even to “the wounded innocent”.

  18. I am loving Pres. Packer’s talk today. It’s so wonderful to hear about the Savior and atonement. And I love that Pres. Packer is talking about mercy and grace and finding forgiveness. I’m feeling a little awed that answers to a couple of things I’ve been praying about lately are coming from the apostle I was most worried about listening to. And I love that he’s saying we need every member of the church. This is making me feel so hopeful.

  19. MikeInWeHo says:

    It may come as a surprise that I turn on GC when possible. (Making fabulous breakfast burritos while I watch right now.)

    This is morbid, but I wonder if they insert a 15 second delay in the live broadcast like they do with most like TV events. Wardrobe malfunctions are unlikely (much less f-bombs), but as I watch President Packer right now my thought was “Sooner or later one of them is going to die up there right during the broadcast.” BTW: The almost-hidden oxygen tubes running through his glasses are really cool. I’ve never seen those before.

  20. Genuinely appreciating President Packer’s focus on Jesus.

  21. I love the “which way do you face?” question.

  22. Elder Packer’s question on “which way do you face?” goes back to an experience he had with Elder Lee, which he recounts in the (not published anywhere official) 1993 “Talk to the All-Church Coordinating Council.”

  23. I may be too suspicious but I wonder if he isn’t talking about LDS members who are outspoken in support of gays and women in the Priesthood when he talks about pleasing men more than God.

  24. When we try to save face with men, we lose face with God. — Lynn G. Robbins

    It’s so important to make sure we have our priorities in order when we decide whether we will stand up for what’s right, or whether we will sit quietly and let others try to bring down our beliefs.

  25. @MikeInWeWho – no one had died on air but two or three of the Brethren, including Howard W Hunter and Joseph B Wirthlin have collapsed/fallen over on air

  26. @noray: Nope, i think you’re spot-on. Probably more than that, but pretty much yeah.

  27. Honestly, I feel like this talk by is setting up a false dichotomy that too many members buy into. There is much good in the world, and I feel like members are set up to not look for that because they get riled up into an unnecessary combativeness by talks like these.

  28. Yes, I had the same question. It’s subtle, though.

  29. Welcome, Mike! Glad to know you like to connect with GC.

    Scott B: Your mocking of BYU’s loss is awful and pathetic. May you be banninated forever for this sacrilege.

  30. Elder Robbins’s talk feels very pointed at women’s rights and gay rights. Maybe that’s just my interpretation, but I don’t think facing the prophets instead of the people is the same as facing God. I think facing God may be unique for different individuals.

  31. Shut it, Hunter.

  32. :)

  33. @Megan: I know, i have the same worry. I’d be interested, though, to hear what he thinks about movements to change society (in directions he presumably doesn’t like), but not to change the church.

  34. Fools mock, but they shall mourn. :)

  35. Sister Esplin’s talk should forever put to rest the canard that women speakers talk only to other women, use “Primary voice,” or are inadequate to address doctrinal topics.

  36. I’m appreciating Sis. Esplin’s focus on the positive aspects of the sacraments. That’s a tweak for me that I’ll try and put into place next week!

  37. Yes–this has been a very good talk in every way. Preach it, Sister!

  38. I think this talk on the Sacrament by Sister Esplin will make a good 4th Sunday Relief Society/Priesthood Topic.

  39. @ Hunter – Fools cheer for BYU, but they shall mourn

  40. Sister Esplin’s talk makes me wonder why we don’t have pictures of the Savior in out chapels. I think that would be wonderful to look at during the sacrament. Is there some reason we couldn’t do that?

  41. False. No GC talks make good 4th Sunday lesson topics.

  42. Great talk from Sis. Esplin. It is indeed terrific to see a woman’s talk addressing deep theology, and speaking clearly to both genders and all ages. However, the Primary voice seems well established here.

  43. I respectfully disagree, Scott. Some are definitely better than others.

  44. My 7-year old has been enjoying Sister Esplin’s talk and is taking notes, writing words like “forgivin” and “atonmint” but he flinches every time she says “wine.”

  45. That was one of the best talks I’ve ever heard on the sacrament. Just masterful!

  46. Wonderful talk by Sister Esplin. Just wish the feed wouldn’t stop dead every few minutes.

  47. Wow — Native language with Subtitles. This will be cool!!

  48. I’ve been saying for years (decades, actually, now that i think about it) that GAs should be allowed to deliver GC addresses in their native languages. I’ve actually been called borderline apostate by a couple people for that—so is it okay if i feel a little thrill of justification at this moment?

  49. Interesting that the translation voiceover still uses the archaic “palsy.” Wonder what he’s actually saying.

  50. Awesome! Someone speaking in his native language. I wish the translation was closed captioning, though, so I could hear more of his voice. Sometimes I feel the spirit more strongly when I can’t understand the words.

  51. Sorry, no subtitles.

  52. There was not a hint of Primary voice, Jana! We must speak different languages, if you heard any singsong or any falsetto, and any rising inflection at the end of sentences.

  53. GAH IT’S DUBBED. This is disastrous.

  54. Can we get Liam Neeson to do guest voice overs for the translation?

  55. Well, if it weren’t dubbed, it would be too hard for some of us to listen while also spending Conference on BCC & Twitter. They were just thinking of the ADHD members, see. ;-)

  56. I like the way he’s overlaying modern roles onto the Biblical story, It’s a high-risk rhetorical move, but it works here.

  57. I would prefer subtitles like an opera

  58. I really wish there were subtitles, but I’m still thrilled at this change. Let’s hope this is a growing process and maybe we’ll move towards subtitles at home, as they’re getting at the conference center. Either way, I’m so happy to be hearing Cantonese.

    Ardis, I didn’t hear Primary Voice either. Not anywhere.

  59. Ok, it’s clear that the translation is using KJV language, which isn’t a surprise.

    And actually, Israelite houses often had steps up to the roof, on the outside of the house.

  60. For the folks complaining about overdubbing instead of subtitles—you know, this (subtitles in the conference center, dubbing elsewhere) is precisely what was announced weeks ago…

  61. When they announced it, they announced that it would be voice over. I too would prefer subtitles, but think of my 6 year old, who has no hope of reading subtitles fast enough to keep up. Granted this isn’t a talk focused at him, but there are also some adults who also can’t read fast enough to keep up with subtitles.

  62. How does this work translating to non English languages. Do they have a slew of 175 translators for each language that knows the language being spoken and the language to translate to? Or do they just translate it beforehand, tell the speaker not to AdLib at all and hope the translator manages to finish at the same time?

  63. Some people are already complaining about the first non English talk being in Cantonese instead of English and about it being dubbed instead of subtitled – well I think that it is pretty cool that they started with Cantonese, and there are people who cannot read or whose eyesight is too poor to read subtitles so I am okay with dubbing

  64. Great job to tell how a Ward Council can come together to help individuals. My past experience has been that too much time is spent at times in these meetings discussing calendar items and activities, and not enough time talking about saving souls.

    And FAITH pays off at the candy bowl — in Cantonese!!

  65. Fair enough, but it’s still disappointing.

  66. If they made the “non-English” exception just for this talk, totally worth it!! I love the extended metaphor and new looks at familiar stories.

  67. We went from non-English to some of the “most English English”, Shakespeare. :-)

  68. Of course it’s dubbed. If I were sitting at my Stake Center where Conference is being shown only in Spanish, I would expect the talk given in Cantonese to be treated as ones given in English and dubbed into Spanish rather than having Spanish subtitles. It is reasonable for an English broadcast to dub the talk into English. Members listening to Conference in Cantonese will see this talk given at the pulpit in Cantonese and that is not a small thing.

    Also, we are hearing from someone who has never been able to speak at Conference before. That is not a small thing either.

  69. I’m going to hold tight to that dubbing and subtitles can be reassessed and changed, if that seems to be the right thing. We just got addressed in Cantonese. We have women praying. The auxiliaries are on the stand. Women’s sessions as referred to by DFU as the first session of GC. We’ve got a lot to be happy about, and we’re being shown that change and flexibility are within the purview of our faith, more than we’ve seen in a long time. That makes me very happy.

  70. Yes! Live that Elder Christofferson just said we need to choose independently to be righteous, rather than letting prophets dictate everything. I’m summarizing, but I think that’s what he was saying.

  71. I wish the Cantonese talk had been subtitled, but as a former Hong Kong missionary, I still have to say thay having Elder Wong give the first non-English General Conference talk was 非常好.

  72. If God made no demands, that would be proof that God does not exist(!)

  73. “How does this work translating to non English languages.”

    My parents used to translate for GC into Dutch. They would get the talks ahead of time, translate them, and then read their translations over the closed circuit system available in the Tabernacle (it was a while ago). I remember Mom and Dad saying that no one wanted to translate for LeGrand Richards because he was notorious for going off script, and what was a fairly straightforward translation task became an intensely demanding simultaneous interpretation task.

  74. chrisba644441160 says:

    Subtitles don’t work for blind individuals or those who have trouble reading.

    If you’re listening to the English audio channel, you’ll hear every talk in English. Listen to the Cantonese channel and you’ll hear every talk in Cantonese.

  75. Alright everyone…enough on the subtitles for the moment. Let’s listen to conference again.

  76. So what are the odds on Pres. Uchtdorf speaking in German or English? (He spoke in English at the women’s broadcast, yes?)

  77. LoathingtheWP, I have the quote as this: A God who makes no demands is the functional equivalent of a God who does not exist.

  78. I am enjoying Elder Christofferson’s talk but I think it is one I will need to read in order to get the full impact.

  79. Will Pres. Uchtdorf talk in English or German? The anticipation is killing me!

  80. Did Elder Eyring get so excited about The Dieter that he forgot the hymn? :-)

  81. Take SOME responsibility, and go to work!!

    Wise counsel. It is much easier for the Lord to help those who put forth some effort to help themselves.

    I was hoping to hear Pres. Uchtdorf speak in German!!

  82. It happens to all of us, Jana.

  83. Uchtdorf channeling Carl Sagan :)

  84. We used to not believe that there was anything beyond the Milky Way galaxy. Then we discovered there was much, much more out there—not that the truth changed, but that our ability to see changed.

  85. Pres. Uchtdorf: “God wants you to find your way back to him—and the Savior is the way”

  86. This is good stuff. Uchtdorf just made it into the section of my Genesis 1 book on cosmology, culture, and revelation. He models the idea that our understanding of the universe is somewhat dependent on our ability to see. As that increases, our knowledge increases. We shouldn’t expect to find a modern scientific cosmology in ancient Israelite literature.

  87. Good stuff indeed, Ben. Looking forward to your book.

  88. Everyone in the church is at a different point in our testimony—and that’s okay, and we are not to condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have.

    Preach it, brother!

  89. Okay everyone–I’m turning the comments back on unfiltered until the start of the next session.

  90. Pres. Uchtdorf: “God wants you to find your way back to him—and the Savior is the way”

    I loved this statement. And even though it seems simple, it felt profound to me and gave me a much needed answer. Pres. Uchtdorf always hits a home run.

  91. Uchtdorf was rocking a pink tie for breadt cancer awareness month!

  92. Why such an early finish??

  93. @Joe: ‘Cause even the GAs get excited about eating lunch!

  94. I couldn’t help but wonder if Pres. Eyring forgot to announce one of the speakers.

  95. Where do the apostles wives sit? And where was Pat Holland?

  96. Good news about the subtitles! You can go to the Cantonese version of the the livestream on to watch Elder Wong’s talk in Cantonese with English subtitles. (I can’t read Cantonese, but clicked on Chinese characters and then had Google translate to verify I was indeed in the Cantonese version.)

  97. Merciless.

  98. Great session. I enjoyed reading these comments about it. Thanks to everyone who participated here.

  99. Please no voice overs. Subtitles subtitles subtitles!

  100. I wish I had known about the Cantonese livestream sooner. Next time, though!

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