General Conference All-Session Recap #LDSconf

23A lot went down this weekend at the semi-annual LDS General Conference. In our decision to not live-blog conference (this time, still experimenting, subject to change) the BCC bloggers were able to listen in ways not possible when typing and tweeting furiously. It’s seriously a marathon, folks- no time to even breathe. Guest blogger Kacy Faulconer beautifully encapsulated what contributed to our decision to try something different. Now, after the dust has settled, we’ve got some interesting and thoughtful post-analysis to go along with some of the stellar talks given in the 185th General Conference.

General Conference actually began the weekend before, with the General Women’s Session on Saturday, March 28, 2015. In case you missed it, “women” now means females aged 8 and up. Bit of a head-scratcher, that one, but away we go anyway. General Relief Society President Linda K. Burton conducted the session, while Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, second counselor in the Primary general presidency spoke on filling our homes with light and truth, and Carole M. Stephens, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency spoke on the family being of God. President Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women general president spoke at length about the Family Proclamation. It was one of the more discussed sermons, particularly in the light of President Oscarson’s previous talks, and it raised some very important and valid questions posed by C.Jane here at BCC.

Saturday morning opened with President Eyring giving a sermon on the fast, followed immediately by a very fragile appearing President Packer, who spoke with difficulty, tinged with the reminiscence of a man whose time is short. Sister Burton followed, pedestaling and praising the boys, which Angela C appreciates, arguing as sexy as the priesthood is, landry and dishes are the real aphrodisiac. Elder Oaks was up next. Many prayers were answered- no mention of the culture wars! Instead, we got the parables of Jesus and he brought the hammer down on the Prosperity Gospel. Jason K tackled Elder Perry’s talk on World Religion v. Religion of The World by asking for us, with our focus on the family, to “…do the theological work required to understand how our teachings about family keep our faith rooted in Him whose Resurrection we celebrate tomorrow.”

Saturday afternoon we got down to the nuts and bolts of church business, and while you might often snooze through that part, Sam Brunson can make even the driest of reports interesting. Really. He can. Check it out. Elder Bednar followed the statistical reports; he’s not quite as lulling as Elder Scott, but it’s close. NB: Elder Scott was not present at conference. The official word is “For health reasons, Elder Scott is watching conference from home.” Include him in your prayers. J. Stapley gives us a write up of Elder Christofferson’s talk, where he imagines a slugfest between Bruce R. McConkie and B.H. Roberts. I doubt that’s what Christofferson meant with his focus on “Why Marriage?” but it’s pretty aweome anyway. Follow that with Angela C’s  take on Elder Cook’s sermon on keeping our faces turned towards the light of Christ.

Priesthood session Saturday night was televised, so women and those at home could watch along with all the men gathered at stake centers. President Uchtdorf gave a sermon that will surely go down in church history. If you missed it, take the time to listen or watch- it’s truly worth your time. Kevin Barney give us a brief overview of the Saturday night talk.

Sunday morning we had what was quite possibly the Best Session Ever ©. One after the other, we got sermons on Christ, and on the hope and glory of the Gospel. President Monson opened the session with the announcement of three new temples- Haiti, Ivory Coast and Thailand. President Rosemary Wixom spoke of those who leave, and those who navigate doubts, and she gave them their own voice, using their own words. It was a powerful sermon, and one many people desperately needed. Both Cynthia and PeterLLC wrote responses. There will no doubt be more analysis of this talk. Elder José A. Teixeira was next with a talk on social media- something that applies to all of us, for sure. Kyle M. added a nuanced perspective on on the good and the bad therein. Bishop Gérald Caussé spoke next on the question of grace, and Jason K, gives a lovely analysis, tying in Sister Wixom’s talk and President Uchdorf’s remarks. Elder Neilson followed, adding the perspective of those who stay to the conversation about struggles with the church, and modeled how to actually approach the parable of the Prodigal Son- both BHodges and Tracy M touched on it. Sam Brunson gives us a thoughtful write up of Elder Holland’s talk on the Fall, with some serious things to consider about what it means to live in mortality. JasonK also examines Elder Holland’s talk by discussing the variations on the Genesis Fall stories. Closing out Sunday morning, President Uchtdorf delivered one of the most supernal sermons for Easter we may have in Mormon Christianity-  a rich and provocative analysis by guest-blogger Adam S. Miller is worth your time.

Sunday afternoon was a bit of a snooze-fest. It might have been a no-win trying to follow the morning session. Elder Hales spent Easter talking about religious freedom— Michael Austin’s takeaway is nuanced and thoughtful . Elder Pearson of the Seventy gave six points on enduring to the end. Elder Pino, also of the Seventy, spoke on the plan of salvation and having perspective. Elder Andersen spoke about God’s kingdom on earth. Elder Zeballos, another Seventy, addressed us in Spanish, and spoke of responsibility. (I love the talks in the speaker’s native language- but I wish we’d get subtitles instead of voiceover.) Elder Sitati, also a Seventy, talked about being fruitful and multiplying, and we closed out with Elder Nelson, who shared how he delighted in Sabbath worship. You can listen here, or… just re-visit Sunday morning.

If that’s too much for you, consider this a concise summation:


  1. Angela C says:

    Godfather quote FTW. That’s what I was thinking about the Women’s Session. And I definitely think we need to make #subsnotdubs a thing. Especially since the dubber’s voice doesn’t even remotely match the speakers’ faces.

  2. Coffinberry says:

    (as someone who raises disability issues for a living — the blind need the voiceover, the deaf need the subtitles. Don’t go asking that they ditch one in favor of the other.)

  3. Thanks for this, Tracy; it clearly took a ton of work, but it’s great to have all of these accessible in one post!

  4. Jason K. says:

    Thanks, Tracy: it’s very useful to have this overview!

  5. J. Stapley says:

    Extraordinary. Thanks!

  6. Karen H. says:

    Tracy, you’re the best. This is great!

  7. Steve G. says:

    I agree about the dubbed over voice not always matching up. I heard that Elder Uchtdorf reads his own talk in german ahead of time so they can dubb it in for the german feed. I decided to check it for myself:

    Unfortunately I think this is a myth. While the voice isn’t far off, its a bit higher and I don’t think it belongs to President Uchtdorff. Too bad, it would have been cool.

    While on the topic of President Uchtdorf, I loved when he got up and started speaking german after Elder Pino’s talk in the Sunday Afternoon session. I watched it again, and can’t quite tell if he was purposely making a joke or if perhaps he was listening to a german translation prior to standing up. There is no sign of him taking out an earpiece just before standing up though. Regardless it was very funny. It is can be seen 48 minutes in:

  8. Steve G. says:

    I decided to watch Elder Uchtdorff’s german flub in the german feed and it’s wonderful to hear the joy in the translator’s voice as he translates the apology to President Monson. Again about 48 minutes in.

  9. To add to Coffinberry’s comment, dubs are easier for those who cannot read at all or who cannot read quickly. Personally, I prefer subs and it seems it would be easy to add subs as the words are already on the teleprompters.

  10. Godfather FTW. Thanks for this, Tracy.

  11. MDearest says:

    Well done and thank you so much. I wasn’t able to watch all of conference. Now I’m paddling furiously through the whitewater of my life as it all flows downstream. This helps a LOT.

  12. It occurs to me that we get dubbed instead of subtitles of the non-English talks to accommodate saints that are illiterate or semi-illiterate. Thats a decision I can get behind even though I too personally prefer subtitles.

  13. I’m no expert on this, but adding subtitles doesn’t seem to be too high of a hurdle.

    99% of the content is already prepared for the teleprompters. It would just take translators to pre-translate the talks (most likely already done for those doing voice translation) and be on the button to add any ad-libbing that sometimes occurs. I bet most ad-libbing occurs at the front and backend of talks, but the main content could just programmed to advance with the teleprompter.

    I heard a few different voices when I was listening to the german feed, so they already have a team working on each language. Adding or rotating a team member to run the subtitles seems like something that could happen.

  14. Translators do typically work as teams. They need breaks! I’d love the subs so that I could hear their voices, but I also do a fair amount of listening live (Saturday chores stop for no session at my house) as opposed to watching. If they’re already using dubs for the audio feed, they probably figured it’s easier to have them for the vid as well. Is conference closed captioned? (re: comment above on disabilities)

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