Saturday PM Football Schmootball Conference Thread

Choir is from Grantsville, Stansbury Park, and Tooele–Holly Bevin, conducting, Linda Margetts at the organ. President Uchtdorf conducting (the meeting, not the choir, I presume).

Opening Hymn: Arise, O God and Shine (props for not breathing between “streams” and “of.” And the descant on the last verse sounded great.)

Elder Dallin H. Oaks:

“The commandment to love others as He had loved His flock was to His disciples – and is to us – a challenge that was unique.”

“Why is it so difficult to have Christlike love for one another?…because we must live among those who do not share our beliefs and values and covenant obligations.”

Followers of Christ can’t leaven the earth “if they only associate with those who share their beliefs and practices.”

“Teachings about contention are central” to the gospel.

“Savior didn’t limit His warning about contention to those who were not keeping the commandment about baptism… Even those who keep the commandments must not stir up contention.”

“Even as we seek to be meek…we must not compromise or dilute our commitment to the truths we understand”

“No middle ground” in eternal contest between good and error.

“Some behaviors must be endured, if legalized by … ‘the voice of the people.'”

“on the subject of public discourse, we wish for greater attention to the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention.”
“our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious” #welp #bloggernacle

“We should accept unfavorable outcomes graciously.”

“we challenge all youth to avoid bullying”
“policy differences need not involve personal attacks that poison the process of government and punish participants.”

“Banish hateful discourse and practice civility.”

“most important setting to forego contention and practice respect for differences is in our home and family relationships.”

“Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting.”

“Our Savior’s command to love one another as He loves us is probably our greatest challenge.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen

“The importance of Joseph’s work requires more than intellectual consideration. It requires that we ask of God. Spiritual questions deserve spiritual answers.”

“Defectors always tell us more about themselves than about that from which they have departed.”

“Let us offer kindness to those who criticize Joseph Smith.”

Uh-oh. Salamander letter is not the best example of why to rely on prophets. Ouch.

“We do not discard something we know to be true because of something we do not *yet* understand.”

Everything bad happens on the East Coast :)

“Be sure to adjust your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

“A testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith may come differently to each of us.”

“water balloon volleys from the sidelines” may get you wet, but “need never extinguish your burning fire of faith.”

“[God] chose Joseph Smith.”

“Millions shall know Brother Joseph again.”

Tad R. Callister

As parents, we are to be prime gospel teachers of our children. The home is the ideal forum for teaching the gospel of Christ.

Teach children the power of prayer, not just the routine of prayer.

Intermediate Hymn: Redeemer of Israel (#6, if you’re following along at home :))

Elder Klebingat‘s Six Suggestions:

1) Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. Accept that you are free to choose…
2) Take responsibility for your own physical well-being. “Body is an instrument of our mind…”
3) Embrace voluntary, whole-hearted obedience as part of your life.
4) Repent quickly, joyfully.
5) Become really, really good at forgiving.
6) Accept trials and setbacks as part of mortal experiences. Acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don’t be immobilized by them.

The Savior’s Atonement envelops and follows you wherever you go. Yours is the privilege to come to know for yourself that you are pleasing God in spite of your shortcomings.

Elder Gavarret

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Jesus’ first and foremost messianic ministry was to impoverished and disadvantaged.

“What we do is nothing but a drop in the ocean, but if we didn’t do it, the ocean would be one drop less.” Christianity is not a statistical endeavor.

Perhaps some have created their own difficulties, but don’t we all do the same thing? Don’t we all beg for forgiveness? Don’t we all implore that grace will compensate for our weakness?

We obtain a remission of our sins by pleading to God; we retain a remission of our sins by compassionately responding to the poor who plead to us.

Rich or poor, we are to do what we can when others are in need.

We are always expected to help ourselves before we seek help from others. I don’t know exactly how each of you should fill your obligations to those who do not or cannot help themselves, but I know that God knows. He will help you.

I bear witness of spiritual and temporal miracles that come to those who live the law of the fast. Cherish that privilege at least monthly and be as generous as circumstances permit. God will be generous to you, and those who find relief at your hand will call your name blessed forever.

Such a sermon demands that I acknowledge the unearned, and unending blessings of my life. I do not even know how the poor feel. I do not know why circumstances vary so widely in mortality. I do know that there but for the grace of God go I. Because I have been given much, I too must give.

May we fulfill the prophecy of the Kingdom saving the poor, by coming in the power and glory of the true Church of Jesus Christ to deliver any we can from the poverty that holds them captive.

L. Tom Perry
The gospel provides a sure foundation; the Savior is the master teacher.

Cites mother’s [uncorrelated!] RS lesson notes: To be  a Christian is to admire Jesus so sincerely, so fervently, that a whole life goes out in an attempt to be like him.

The only way to find lasting peace is to look to Jesus and live.

Parable of wheat and tares applies especially to our day. Tares come through media along with education and enlightenment.

Who can put a pricetag on the influence of a mother? [A good start:

We must instill an ever-greater reliance on the teachings of the Savior [in our children].

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the foundation on which we may establish peace and build lasting families.


  1. High noon in Alaska means lunch to go with afternoon conference. On the menu is Taco Soup, Tortilla rounds, egg salad sandwiches, and water to drink.

    I hope that the spiritual nourishment accompanying this meal equals the physical nourishment from the food that has been prepared.

    I have a feeling that it may actually exceed it.

  2. By Pres Uchtdorf’s own reckoning, wouldn’t this be the third session of conference and not the second?

  3. Good question, Joni.

  4. melodynew says:

    Beautiful rendition of I Know That My Redeemer lives from non-mo-tabbers. Men’s ties? No. Just no.

  5. Many of whom do not share our values . . . But who happen to belong to our church.

  6. I think this is the first time I’ve heard it called “same sex marriage” instead of “same gender” or some other euphemism.

    I don’t know that I’d put having a non-believing spouse in the same category as having non-believing co-workers.

  7. I think he just said that if gay marriage is upheld by SCOTUS, church members should endure it and be gracious. That needed to be said.

  8. I don’t think he did put it in the same category – he just wanted his advice to be applicable to everyone listening.

  9. Kill them with kindness!!!!

  10. My fright or flight response kicked in when DHO started speaking, because it sounded a lot like he was going down a familiar road, but I’m very glad I didn’t turn it off, because he finished with a necessary and potent message on kindness and treating one another with love, even what it’s a challenge to do so. My heart-rate is returning to normal now.

  11. I missed the sustaining of officers due to some technical difficulties. If there were any changes, can someone please post a brief summary?

  12. melodynew says:

    I love these men. I do. I love the messages in this session. Strong spirit. Truth. Goodness. But I want more women’s voices. I want to hear strong, wise women expound the doctrine of Christ, recount church history, and address vital current events. It hasn’t bothered me before quite so much as today. It actually hurts my heart.

  13. “The internet does not have a truth filter” literally caused me to get up and walk out of the room. There are a lot of things about Joseph Smith that aren’t acknowledged by the Correlation committee but are still generally acknowledged to be true.

  14. I’m really loving this theme in these first two talks. Seems to be a new focus on showing charity and kindness, especially to those who think or believe or act differently. I really feel hopeful now that so many GAs are promoting tolerance and understanding and kindness. It feels like one step closer to a Zion community.

  15. Mark Hoffman in General Conference!

    If you have no idea what he was talking about, go read Richard Turley, Victims :the LDS Church and the Mark Hoffman Case

    Or Elder Oaks in the Ensign,

    I have some concerns about how some of what he said might be received. “…but you can rely upon the testimony of the prophets” will too easily be heard as “but anything published by the Church is entirely reliable in all respects, unlike the World.”

  16. Left Field says:

    This really isn’t helpful for people who encounter “negative information about Joseph Smith.”

  17. There are a lot of true things out there about Joseph Smith that certainly aren’t worth putting in the correlated curriculum.

  18. Why would Elder Anderson not mention the Joseph Smith Papers? Or the Gospel Topics? We’ve got to talk about it!

  19. Yeah, there are some really unstable areas in this- there ARE actually things known about the historical Joseph Smith Jr that are not correlated, and pretending otherwise is problematic. I’m worried he’s set some folks up to fall even harder when or if they encounter the even our own Joseph Smith Papers.

  20. Left Field, I’d say this isn’t really helpful for people who are already in crisis about stuff on the Internet and casting around for desperate last gasps to keep faith afloat. But it’s useful for quite a few people encountering negative information who fall into other categories.

  21. Seth R.–not including them is not the same thing as pretending they’re not true.

  22. Librarians of Utah are rejoicing.

  23. That’s right. Just because the Church doesn’t include them does not necessarily mean the Church is pretending they aren’t true.

  24. Seth, I thought Elder Andersen came dangerously close to suggesting that.

  25. PNWReader says:

    New yMYW activity: running a gauntlet of waterballons with a lit candle. so many teaching points.

  26. “How many parents let their children march out the front door unprepared…”

    We homeschool.

    We just don’t let our kids march out the front door. (kidding)

  27. Uh, Ben Carson 2016? (I bet he’s on the radar of a lot more Mormons now. )

  28. I’m watching Conference alone and came online after Elder Andersen’s talk to find others whom I was sure would have responded to his talk as I did — it’s one of the best of the Conference so far. But what I find here and on Facebook is anything but sharing my response. I think I must have heard a completely different talk from the rest of you. Really, really odd …

  29. Yeah, Ardis–I’m surprised :) I like Elder Andersen, but thought this one sounded kind of “All is well in Zion…”

  30. Yeah–the Ben Carson story from the GC pulpit is a bit alarming.

  31. Left Field says:

    What I heard was that negative information falls into one of two categories: (1) things that aren’t true (e.g., salamander letter); and (2) things that are are taken out of context (e.g., worker lounging on the lawn).

    How about (3) things that are entirely true because Joseph Smith was human; and (4) things that are true and irrelevant to Joseph Smith’s calling?

  32. Last Lemming says:

    That quasi-endorsement of Ben Carson may be the newsmaker of the conference.

  33. Kristine, If the church doesn’t help provide the context, it can’t really blame those who don’t understand the context.

  34. Are we politically vetting our inspirational stories now?

  35. I was disappointed in Elder Anderson’s talk. Why doesn’t he understand that the perception of institutional opacity about history is more damaging to more testimonies than history itself is?

  36. “[The Prophet] claimed for himself no special sanctity, no faultless life, no perfection of character, no inerrancy for every word spoken by him. . . To claim perfection for him, or even unusual sanctity, would be to repudiate the revelations themselves which supply the evidence of his imperfections.”

    —B.H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church; vol. 2, p. 360

  37. …just started singing ‘Master of the House’ from Les Mis.

    This is shaping up to be a good talk.

  38. John B.–I’m not sure why that’s directed at me?

  39. Nothing good ever starts, “No offense, but. . . “

  40. Why do I have to listen to the translation? And why is the translation ahead of the speaker?

  41. Come on, I doubt he was referencing that Ben Carson. Overreacting much? Seriously though, the talks so far have been a balm to my soul. It has been wonderful.

  42. There’s Brigham Young’s famous statement about Joseph’s failings (or accused failings.)

    I never preached to the world but what the cry was, “That damned old Joe Smith has done thus and so.” I would tell the people that they did not know him, and I did, and that I knew him to be a good man; and that when they spoke against him, they spoke against as good a man as ever lived. I recollect a conversation I had with [p.78] a priest who was an old friend of ours, before I was personally acquainted with the Prophet Joseph. I clipped every argument he advanced, until at last he came out and began to rail against “Joe Smith,” saying, “that he was a mean man, a liar, money-digger, gambler, and a whore-master;” and he charged him with everything bad, that he could find language to utter. I said, hold on, brother Gillmore, here is the doctrine, here is the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the revelations that have come through Joseph Smith the Prophet. I have never seen him, and do not know his private character. The doctrine he teaches is all I know about the matter, bring anything against that if you can. As to anything else I donor care. If he acts like a devil, he has brought forth a doctrine that will save us, if we will abide it. He may get drunk every day of his life, sleep with his neighbor’s wife every night, run horses and gamble, I do not care anything about that, for I never embrace any man in my faith. But the doctrine he has produced will save you and me, and the whole world; and if you can find fault with that, find it.

    – Journal of Discourses, 4:77-8 (November 9, 1856)

  43. @Brian: No, it was totally that Ben Carson. Don’t think we can call it anything close to an endorsement, though.

  44. Brian, do you have another Ben Carson in mind:

    That is the guy we’re talking about.

  45. Ryan Mullen says:

    I’m watching conference in Spanish at with subtitles (close captioning is still in English). No voiceover. #ldslifehack

  46. melodynew says:

    On the plus side: Elder Gavarret, another conference address spoken in the speaker’s native language. The Church is moving along. Slowly, but surely. God is good.

  47. Yo, BCC! You missed the guy before Holland! George something?

  48. Brain,

    Find me two Ben Carsons that have directors of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins and then we can talk.

    I agree that a similar story could have been told about any number of people. The fact that a prominent Tea Party figure was chosen is interesting, and I don’t think it is meaningless.


  50. Resolved: the implied meaning of Holland’s sermon is that there is no such thing as the “deserving poor.” Discuss.

  51. Please, listen to Holland. He’s bringing home some heavy and truly Christian sermoning here.

  52. RAF, I heard that there is no such thing as a “deserving” anyone. We are all beggars.

  53. I appreciate Elder Holland’s talk on succoring the poor. I’ve been feeling like my efforts are just a drop in the bucket, but this touches my soul and reminds me that whatever I can do is good enough. Plus I just love that he’s addressing this. I think it’s so important that we do more to alleviate poverty and to lift others up without judging them.

  54. Such a sermon demands that I acknowledge the unearned, and unending blessings of my life. I do not even know how the poor feel. I do not know why circumstances vary so widely in mortality. I do know that there but for the grace of God go I. Because I have been given much, I too must give.

    I have never heard anything so moving or unexpected in a GC sermon in my life. That address was nothing short of jaw-dropping in its scope and import.

  55. Tracy, the “deserving poor” is an old idea, carried over from Victorian England, and often unconsciously reflected in welfare policies to this very day, which says that some poor are “deserving” of assistance (because they’re actively looking for work, because they are currently in school, because they have stayed married, etc., etc.), whereas others are not. My understanding of what Holland said is that the old idea of some poor being “deserving” (or “righteous”) is utterly besides the point of Jesus’s commandments.

  56. I love Elder Holland’s talk.

  57. I just mentioned to my 12 year old that L. Tom Perry talks like a pirate.

    Lots of “arrr”s

    She told me to be quiet and pay attention to Conference.

  58. Then we heard the same thing, RAF.

    He very clearly said it’s irrelevant; our obligation to one another is without end.

  59. I do not know why circumstances vary so widely in mortality.

    Scott, I think his spoken comments departed from this prepared text; I remember him, just a couple of minutes ago, talking specifically about how he does not know how or why education, upbringing, health, and more matter so much. The challenging implication of such specificity, I think, is that dwelling upon “fixing” the health or education opportunities or family structure of those who are poor is a complete distraction from the pure charity we are called to show.

  60. That was classic Holland. So glad he’s back.

  61. I need to listen to Elder Holland’s talk again. I am so unworthy of my many blessings.

  62. Every one of us is, John- I think that’s the whole point.

  63. Russell–go back and listen again. I think you’re conflating a couple of sentences.

  64. What a great session. Elder Holland — wow. I am going to watch that one again very soon.

  65. Okay, turning unfiltered comments back on now until the Priesthood session starts.

  66. I will, Kristine–I really thought that’s what I heard, though.

  67. Left Field says:

    “Ben Carson” wasn’t a name that meant anything to me, so I guess it went past me. What did he say about the guy?

  68. Pleasing session. Much to chew on. I’m sure Holland’s talk will be great on paper, but nothing will match watching it.

  69. I wonder if DFU got a talking to for referring to the women’s meeting as an actual session of conference. When he said that it gave me hope – to see it retracted is a slap in the face.

    Yes, it’s a little thing. But as a woman struggling to find my place in the church, it’s one of a thousand little things.

  70. melodynew says:

    Elder Holland publicly acknowledged his socioeconomic privilege. In general conference! From the Walnut Tree Pulpit! This tiny drop of self-disclosure, on the heals of some of his other disclosures in the past about situational depression, etc., is remarkable. If all the millionaire GAs could begin to do the same thing, I think it would eventually cause many within the church to consider where we are in the pride cycle. For instance, as beautiful and heartfelt as Elder Uchtdorf’s words were, does he really need to live in a six-million-dollar home? Or is that figure erroneous?

  71. melodynew says:

    Also, what Joni said.

  72. The story about Ben Carson’s a great story. The problem’s that he’s become an extremely political figure–he’s appeared on Fox numerous times, and there’s a movement involved with making him the Republican nominee for president in 2016. To put it lightly, he’s an extremely polarizing figure. Might as well tell an uplifting story about Elizabeth Warren (also a polarizing political figure and potential 2016 presidential candidate who, like Carson, had very humble beginnings). A story about him was out of place in General Conference.

  73. I’m always a bit bothered when people start bandying about the kinds of assets prominent people have, either saying or implying that they should divest themselves of all assets and just give the money to the guy holding a sign on the corner.

    Obviously, I’m being a bit snarky. I realize there are legitimate charities to which one could donate their wealth. But what we’re missing here is much, much more information, beginning with whether that really is the value of his home, and not ending there. But it’s really none of my business.

  74. Dan Ellsworth says:

    No, that’s not the value of his home. Not even remotely.

  75. Left Field says:

    I listened to Elder Holland again and *still* missed the Ben Carson reference that got everybody so alarmed. Just as well, probably.

  76. Elder Holland’s talk was fantastic, and I don’t think he’d be so tone-deaf to discuss Ben Carson in General Conference. That would be Tad Callister.

  77. Left Field says:

    Oh, *that* story… The guy in Elder Callister’s story didn’t have a name I recognized, so I thought he was just some dude, rather than someone known for something else. So I didn’t store the name in my short-term memory. Elder Holland had been speaking for quite awhile when the subject first came up, so I assumed this Ben Carson guy was somebody Elder Holland had made reference to.

    Never mind…

  78. I have seen comments like that of melodynew pop up with some frequency on this and other similar blogs. To be clear, I know nothing about President Uchtdorf’s socioeconomic status, much less the value of his home. In high school, however, I knew one of the apostles of the time reasonably well. I had been to his home and seen him in his pajamas. I had seen his car and been to the home of some of his family members.

    I have no way to know how much money he made or how much he had in the bank. What I can say with certainty, however, is that he lived modestly in the holistic sense of that word. His car was practical–functional but far from ostentatious. His home was modest; it was more of a condo and would never catch anyone’s eye. His clothes were unremarkable. He got his haircut from the same local barbers I did–probably eight or ten dollars for a trim.

    Along the same lines, a member of the 70 who lived in our ward lived in a non-descript–actually, pretty ugly–duplex, and wore clothers that stuck out for being kind of frumpy, if anything.

    It’s true that neither of these men had taken a vow of poverty and they had not given every one of their possesions to the poor (though I suspect strongly they would have been willing to do so); if people want to argue that the GAs should do that, that is a different discussion. In my small but personal experience, however, the idea that the GAs are all millionaires who live lavish lives is simply not the case.

    Indeed, I will never forget hearing my barber talk, when I was about 19, about the member of the 12 who got his hair cut there. His polaroid was hung on the barber’s corkboard next to other “famous people” (eg college football players) who came to the shop, and the barber remarked how no one could seem more kind, grounded, and down-to-Earth.

  79. For whomever’s interested, here’s my transcription of the conclusion of Holland’s spoken sermon (available here

    Now brothers and sisters, such a sermon demands that I openly acknowledge the unearned, undeserved, and unending blessings of my life, both temporal and spiritual. Like you, I’ve had to worry about finances on the occasion, but I have never been poor. Nor do I even know how the poor feel. Furthermore, I don’t know all the reasons why the circumstances of birth, health, education, and economic opportunities vary so widely in mortality. But when I see the want among so many, I do know that there but for the grace of God go I. I also know that although I may not be my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother, and because I have been given much I too must give.

    I haven’t seen the prepared version, but from what others’ referred to, that seems to be a (wonderfully personal) expansion on what was made available. Either way, a remarkable climax to his sermon.

  80. That what just a great (and much needed) reply, tyler. Thank you so much.

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