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’.

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The “don’t write Apostles” Saturday afternoon session

Welcome back fellow watchers. Time to get supernal.

President Eyring conducting. Is the opposite of conducting a meeting, insulating a meeting?
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The “Temple in Kirtland” Saturday morning session

BCC welcomes you to the annual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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Announcement: LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous

This coming weekend is General Conference. You probably already know about that. But did you also know that there is also a bloggernacle-oriented get together, put together by long-time BCC BFF, J. Max Wilson? That’s right–it’s the first ever “LDS Friends & Foes Rendezvous,” which is intended to be a “recurring event hosted semiannually around LDS General Conference weekend in April and October.”
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Alan Goff on Alan Goff; Also, Alan Goff on Joseph Spencer on the Book of Mormon

BYU Studies Quarterly 52/4 2013

Alan Goff: Likening in the Book of Mormon: A Look at Joseph M. Spencer’s An Other Testament: On Typology

BCC: Tell us about yourself, Alan. [Read more…]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 28: O God, Where Art Thou? [Guest: James Holt]

James is a member of the Church in the UK, he is Senior Lecturer in Religious Education at the University of Chester, holds a PhD in Mormon Theology from the University of Liverpool and, most importantly, is married to Ruth with four gorgeous children. His book, Towards a Latter-day Saint Theology of Religions is to be published by Greg Kofford books later this year.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.

This week’s Sunday School lesson provides me with a perfect antidote to some of the discussions that took place last week. Though agreeing with the necessity of chastisement and also the character building nature of trials I was left feeling a little bit empty as I considered the nature of a God whose purpose in our suffering is to teach us a lesson. Two things come to mind in such a discussion. [Read more…]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 24: “Be Not Deceived, but Continue in Steadfastness” [Guest: fmhLisa]

We are very excited to have as our guest, long-time friend, fmhLisa.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.


To help class members understand how they can avoid deception and apostasy.

As you might guess from the outset with a title like that, this lesson is a challenging one for someone who has been accused of being an apostate more than a few times myself.

The very word Apostasy is a super heavy word in the Mormon world.  As a tight knit community where belonging is vitally important, an apostate is (painfully)  no longer one of us.  And I think it implies something even stronger than that, going along with the idea of deception, I think being an apostate implies that he is not only no longer one of us, but he is actively working toward hurting us. [Read more…]

Gospel Doctrine Lesson #14: The Law of Consecration

Gina teaches cultural studies, media represetation, and critical pedagogies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.  She blogs at KiwiMormon and we are pleased to have her as our guest.

Notes, commentary, and questions for LDS Sunday School teachers using the ‘Doctrine & Covenants and Church History’ manual. Feel free to share your thoughts or ideas regarding the lesson in the comments.

Professionally I research, teach, and think a lot about teacher positionality and cultural locatedness. Teachers inevitably bring their whole cultural selves into the profession but are often unaware that they are culturally constituted, socially constructed beings. It’s the most challenging of tasks to have them interrogate their own assumptions, and to see themselves as other than ‘the norm’. I’ve spent some time thinking about this issue in LDS teaching contexts, where, in an increasingly international church, Sunday school teachers from all variety of political persuasions are delivering the LDS curriculum. This becomes reasonably important when we consider a divine political economy such as the Law of Consecration. I would argue that ones culture, whether North American, French, or Samoan, will have a significant influence upon the approach of the teacher as she or he delivers this lesson. [Read more…]

In the Aftermath of the Great BCC/FMH Wars, Times and Seasons Revealed to Be Prussia

Keepapitchinin is Australia.

Mormon Newswire:

In the wake of the Bloggernacle-shaking series of wars between the BCC and FMH Empires last February, it has been revealed that Times and Seasons suffered devastating collateral losses. [Read more…]

Display Announcement: LDS Church History Library, “Treasures of the Archives” (Today Only)

In conjunction with the Church History Conference currently taking place at the LDS Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake (after a successful day of sessions yesterday at BYU), the Church History Library is hosting a today-only display of some of the most exciting documents in Mormon history. All of these documents relate to the Book of Abraham, which is the topic of one of today’s panels, including: [Read more…]

Let Women Pray in General Conference (explained by gifs)

We are pleased to have Casey from ExpertTextperts return with another guest post.

Brad Kramer demanded politely asked that I write a post the Let Women Pray in General Conference campaign…with gifs. With the February 22 deadline for the letter-writing campaign approaching, I have duly complied. The purpose of this is educational: Most regular BCC readers will be familiar with the issues and arguments, but when your non blog reading relatives or ward members bring it up, then direct them here for a concise and hopefully accurate summary!
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The Myth of Self-Reliance

victorian-wheelchairAnnE continues her fabulous guest stint at By Common Consent.

I have tried continually to get this people to pursue a course that will make them self-sustaining, taking care of their poor—the lame, the halt and the blind, lifting the ignorant from where they have no opportunity of observing the ways of the world, and of understanding the common knowledge possessed among the children of men, bringing them together from the four quarters of the world, and making of them an intelligent, thrifty and self-sustaining people.” (Brigham Young 6 Apr 1868 JD 12:195)

At the close of overland emigration, Brigham Young reminded the survivors comfortably gathered in the new Tabernacle it was time to graduate from a scrappy interdependence to a covenant community. In self-reliance they had packed individual wagons; in self-preservation companies banded and braced against the journey; the prologue was over. To circumscribe the breadth of a Zion worthy of exaltation, the saintly challenge is what Young called becoming “self-sustaining”, or creating a lasting and corporate abundance in the soul, heart and hand. [Read more…]

Faith and Science: Friends not without Benefits

Lord Kelvin, a long time ago: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

Lord Kelvin, 113 years ago: “There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.”

We’re pleased to present the first in a series of guest posts by Ben F, who is working toward a PhD in condensed matter physics at a fancy school in the northeast. 

Growing up, I took it for granted that faith and science were friends. My parents’ bookshelves were stuffed with an absurd number of works on church history and theology that was matched only by the equally absurd number of volumes on physics, chemistry, biology, and everything in between. I don’t think I ever so much as cracked open one of those books—the Orson Scott Card shelf just seemed so much more interesting to me at the time—but their happy coexistence on those shelves still left a deep impression on me. They were a visual testament that science and religion are close companions, tied together by a common quest for truth and understanding.

Naturally, I thought that was how everyone viewed the issue—until I moved to Provo to attend BYU. Between a discussion in elders quorum about the post-Fall intergalactic migration of the Earth from Kolob to our present solar system and an Old Testament classmate’s vehement insistence that Pangaea existed up until Noah’s flood, I realized that perhaps mine was not the only view people had on science and religion. My first instinct was to burst out laughing whenever I heard something like this, but the part of me trying to be a good person pointed out that everyone comes from a different background and I shouldn’t ridicule people for beliefs that are clearly important to them. But honestly, we Mormons should do much better than that, and here’s why.

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Sam Brown in Dallas/Fort Worth, January 26 -27

Sam Brown will be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area speaking at three events sponsored by Miller Eccles Study Group Texas. On Saturday, January 26, he will be speaking to MESG TX in Arlington and Plano. On Sunday, January 27, he will be speaking at a multi-stake fireside in Arlington. All of the events are open to the public. Those in the North Texas area should mark their calendars and stop by. For full details, check out the MESG TX website.

Whee, the People! A Faith-filled Inauguration

Sunrise behind the capital

Ouch Dark Thirty

AnnE, who worked yesterday as an ASL interpreter for the inauguration, continues her guest stint at BCC.

I arrived at the Inauguration so early yesterday morning, it was pretty much uniforms, audiovisual crew, and of course the snipers.

With fewer than half the 2009 crowds expected and at least fifteen more degrees forecast on the mercury, I was hopeful for a less Armageddon-like experience than four years ago. Indeed there were fewer tree climbers, and the crowds did not scurry across the frozen Reflecting Pool this time as though a Starbucks lay on the opposite bank of the North Platte. There was however a fair amount of fainting, port-a-john scaling, and a two-hour monologue shouted from the perimeter about THE BABIES.

The theme was “Faith,” and the musical performances featured enthusiastic and unapologetic hymns of praise, as well as patriotic standards in which God was central. The choir from Lee University invited our monotheist cousins and folks of other persuasions with aspirations (pun intended) to “join with Abraham’s seed to adore Him.” It was one worshipful program.

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Stapley in the Bay Area, January 26-27, “Women, Ritual, and Authority”

Just a heads up that this weekend J. Stapley will be giving a presentation titled “Women, Ritual, and Authority” at two different Bay Area locations. On Saturday night, he’ll be in Palo Alto, and on Sunday night he’ll be in Oakland. Bay Area folks won’t want to miss this. For details, contact Todd Compton (Palo Alto) or Greg Call (Oakland).

Conference Prayers 2002-2012, a reference

It is come to our attention that some people seem to remember women offering prayers in General Conference. While there is missing data from October 2007 that keeps that door cracked slightly, the overwhelming evidence is that members of the Seventy and Presiding Bishopric have offered all the General Conference prayers for the past ten years and likely beyond. For your reference, here is a listing of nearly all of the invocation/benedictions from the past ten years of General Conference. [Read more…]

Authoritative Predictions for 2013

Two of the bloggers from ExpertTextperts, Brett and Casey, return with another guest post.

Every new year brings with it the promise of hope and the apprehension of uncertainty, and in the interest of dispelling both we set out to forecast exactly what 2013 will offer Mormondon and the bloggernacle. Our methodology included rigorous logic, a deep grasp of human nature and, we hope, a measure of the spirit of prophecy.* We now present our predictions as a public service.

*the spirit of prophecy disclaims any responsibility for the following

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By Common Consent Reader Survey: 2013

Reader Survey2013 has thus far been one of introspection for the By Common Consent permabloggers. We’re deep into discussions about the direction of the blog (editorially and otherwise), and are thinking of how we can best edify and grow the bloggernacle community.

Please help us by filling out a short survey. It’s only six questions, and is completely anonymous and confidential (and you can skip any you don’t feel comfortable answering). Be as specific or as general with your responses as you like.

The survey is here. Thanks so much!


Nothing Common, or Why Peter Would Have Been Your BFF

We are pleased to have Brooke, from ExpertTextperts, return as our guest.

I was reading the book of Acts (because when your religion class is Christian History it’s still more a religion class than a history class, and also why would you ask that?), or as my favorite apostle, Jeffrey R. Holland, has affectionately renamed the book: “The Acts of the Resurrected Christ Working through the Holy Spirit in the Lives and Ministries of His Ordained Apostles.” (See Acts 1)

Anyway, as I was saying—I was reading the book of Acts in the 10th chapter. [Read more…]

MHA undergraduate and graduate student papers awards submission

The following call for submissions comes to us by way of John Sillito, the Mormon History Associations awards chair for student papers.
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Catholicism and Advent

We are pleased to have the bloggers from experttextperts as our guests over the next few weeks.

Brooke is a blogger at Expert Textperts who tricked a pretty smart guy into marrying her a couple of years ago. She is a Spanish Education major at BYU – Idaho and currently holds more jobs than is considered normal or socially acceptable.

This semester at BYU – Idaho, I took a class on Catholicism in the Hispanic world. We spent a large portion of the semester studying the religion and rites, and the remainder watching movies about Catholic figures (The Mission and Romero—both of which I would highly recommend) as well as hearing and/or giving presentations on aspects of the religion that I just didn’t know or hadn’t thought of before. While I still think some of the things that Catholics do can be a little weird, like keeping fingers once belonging to saints, I have found my own faith strengthened by a few Catholic practices, like Holy Week and the stories of various saints. [Read more…]

From Mitt to Musicals: A Mormon Moment Postmortem

We are pleased to have the bloggers from experttextperts as our guests over the next few weeks.

I, Casey Walrath, graduated from BYU with a BA in History in 2010 and, finding that my degree is underappreciated in the job market, currently work in IT while blogging on the side. I’ve been married to my wife (and co-blogger) Brooke for just over two years. We currently live in Idaho while she finishes school. My primary goal at this point is to not live in Idaho or Utah longer than necessary. 

Now that the Mormon Moment has subsided (at least until Tagg 2020), I’ve been thinking about what it all meant. What did the spotlight do for us as Mormons? What did it do to us? Webster’s dictionary defines “moment” as “the expected value of a power of the deviation of a random variable from a fixed value,” and like many of you, I have indeed felt moments of power, value, and deviation over the last five or six years. In the interest of sorting things out, I’ve written a stray few observations for public benefit to help us all grasp what “The Mormon Moment” was about. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning One Miracle at a Time Session

Welcome to Sunday Morning session of the 182nd Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Also, I am a Mormon, and I love it. [Read more…]

Saturday Afternoon Anticlimactic Nothing Will Compare to Saturday Morning Session Session

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf conducts. [Read more…]

Taysom and Park: Welcome

We are pleased to announce two stellar individuals to our ranks of contributors here at By Common Consent. They are both veteran authors and are familiar to many, not least because of their writing over at the Juvenile Instructor. And don’t worry, they will continue to write for the JI while simultaneously offering their cogent insights on more general topics here. Welcome aboard: [Read more…]

Silence, Taboo, and Power: Kramer at UVU, September 19

Title: Keeping the Sacred: Silence, Taboo, and Power in LDS Discourse.

Date: September 19, at 11 am, room 206c of the Sorensen Student Center on the Utah Valley University campus in Orem, Utah.

Description: [Read more…]

For Those Who Wonder

An online petition recently posted at a site with a domain name similar to BCC’s is not associated with this blog or any BCC permabloggers. We take no position regarding their objectives, and we regret that they have attempted to draw traffic by creating confusion.

General Conference: The Steve Evans Memorial Saturday Morning Open Thread

Welcome to the BCC Saturday Morning General Conference Thread, as part of By Common Consent’s live coverage of the 182nd Semi-Annual General Conference! We will be providing you with near-continuous live commentary, and other goodies throughout the weekend’s activities.  We also encourage you to (if you’re not already doing so) watch Conference live, streaming from

And, here in SLC, where it’s sunny and ridiculously gorgeous weather in preparation for Winter’s arrival tomorrow…

First Presidency is on the stand, the choir is in fuschia/magenta/orchid pink, Wilberg conducting High on the Mountain Top.

President Uchtdorf conducting.

Welcome from President Monson, “no unhallowed hand…”

You Can Make the Pathway Bright–can’t decide if this is the moment to deploy the one snarky musical comment I’ve allotted myself for this session.

President Packer–“These children of whom I speak represent all of our Heavenly Father’s children. ‘Children are an heritage of the Lord…”

“The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is to see a husband and his wife and their children happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.”

“Many times I have puzzled over why I should be called as an Apostle and then as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve in spite of having come from a home where the father could be termed less active. I am not the only member of the Twelve who fits that description. Finally, I could see and understand that it may have been because of that circumstance that I was called. And I could understand why in all that we do in the Church we need to provide the way for parents and children to have time together as a family. Priesthood leaders must be careful to make the Church family friendly.”

“There are many things about living the gospel of Jesus Christ that cannot be measured by that which is counted or charted in records of attendance.” (!!)

Sister Cheryl Esplin–“Teaching Our Children to Understand”
I like the pairing of President Packer talking about learning from our children with this admonition to teach children.

Nice story about prayer with Ashley. I always told my kids they weren’t allowed to pray for their siblings’ repentance :)

“The divine privilege of raising our children is a much greater responsibility than we can do alone without the Lord’s help.”

“Sometimes the most powerful way to teach our children to understand a doctrine is to teach in the context of what they are experiencing right at that moment.”

“We can know our children are beginning to understand the doctrine when we see it revealed in their attitudes and actions without external threats or rewards. As our children learn to understand gospel doctrines, they become more self-reliant and responsible. They become part of the solution to our family challenges and make a positive contribution to the environment of our home.”

I really like this emphasis on children’s development, and the respect for them as real humans!

Elder Hallstrom is cribbing from Gene England :)

Elder Paul Koelliker:

[missionaries] are a powerful, persevering force for good, which is having a profound effect on their lives and upon those who are touched by their service.”

Missionary experience [can] be applied as a template for nurturing others throughout the rest of their lives.

Awakening the desire to know enables our spiritual capacities to hear the voice of heaven.
When we actually live the gospel in the pattern taught by Jesus Christ, our ability to help others increases.

Seeking the patterns leads us to the doctrine of Christ as taught by the Savior and His prophets.

The ultimate means by which we can enjoy the gift and power of the Holy Ghost…is our LOVE for Christ and our fellow man.

The Savior defined the pattern of love…

The Father’s plan designated the pattern of the family organization to help us learn, apply and understand the power of love.

There is seemingly no end to the expansive capacity to love.

Elder Oaks: The incomprehensible suffering of Jesus Christ ended sacrifice by the shedding of blood, but it did not end the importance of sacrifice in the gospel plan. Our Savior continues to require us to offer sacrifices, but the sacrifices he now commands are that we “offer for a sacrifice unto [Him] a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” (3 Nephi 9:20)

“Many Christians have voluntarily given sacrifices motivated by faith in Christ and the desire to serve Him. Some have chosen to devote their entire lives to the service of the Master. This noble group includes those in the religious orders of the Catholic Church and those who have given life-long service as Christian missionaries in various Protestant faiths. Their examples are challenging and inspiring…”

But Mormons sacrifice a lot in lay ministry, missionary work, sacrifices of conversion, temple service, and tithing and offerings and volunteering.

“Such examples strengthen all of us.”

“I also see unselfish Latter-day Saints adopting children, including those with special needs, and seeking to provide foster children the hope and opportunities denied them by earlier circumstances. I see you caring for family members and neighbors who suffer from birth defects, mental and physical ailments, and the effects of advancing years. The Lord sees you also, and He has caused his prophets to declare that “as you sacrifice for each other and your children, the Lord will bless you.” (ETB, 1988)

Just as the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to achieve the destiny that plan provides for us.

Elder Eyring: Mountains to Climb

There seems to me no better answer to the question of why trials come and what we are to do than the words of the Lord Himself, who passed through trials for us more terrible than we can imagine: “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.”

President Monson has also wisely taught that a foundation of faith in the reality of those promises takes time to build. …My purpose today is to describe what I know of how we can lay that unshakeable foundation.

Building lasting foundations for buildings was hard work [when I was young]. It also required patience.

In a similar way, the ground must be carefully prepared for our foundation of faith to withstand the storms that will come into every life. That solid basis for a foundation of faith is personal integrity.

Choosing the right consistently creates the solid ground under our faith. Those choices, hundreds in most days, prepare the solid ground on which our edifice of faith is built.

One of the keys to an enduring faith is judging correctly the curing time required. The curing does not come automatically through the passage of time, but it does take time. Getting older does not do it alone. It is serving God and others persistently with full heart and soul that turns testimony of truth into unbreakable spiritual strength.

Kristine on C-SPAN

Kristine CSPAN

Kristine and on CSPAN.

Watch on and discuss below.