Priesthood Session: Open General Conference Thread

I am not sure how an open thread on Priesthood Session will work, but let’s give it a try. I hope someone will provide summaries of the talks to provide a basis for the conversation.

52 comments for “Priesthood Session: Open General Conference Thread

  1. I like elder uchtdorf’s talk. the notion of being prepared for a future you don’t know about by life’s current trials seems to resonate with my own experience, though.

  2. Rasband did a great job, despite the collar. Football and King Benjamin — good stuff for priesthood meeting.

  3. Elder Hinckley clearly favors his father, physically and spiritually.

    He handled the nepotism issue well.

  4. What is that thing hanging on the left side of President Faust’s face? It looks like a microphone, but his voice doesn’t sound weak enough to need one.

  5. mullingandmusing: Windows Mobile PDA with wireless data access courtesy of Verizon.

  6. M&M, if you’re righteous enough, they broadcast it to your home so you don’t have to watch it in church like a regular schmoe.

  7. Don’t believe a thing they say, ladies. They’re really doing secret priesthood chants and stuff.

  8. Blackberry with T-Mobile. And Mike, could not agree more about Elder Hinckley. Even the self-depricating humor is the same.

  9. #7 I figured…it’s just kinda funny to have real-time comments, esp. for someone who is still in the dark ages with no PDA of any kind (except when kissing the spouse in public….) (oooo, that was a bad joke, but I couldn’t resist…moment of silence for the quirky elements of college life from days gone by, like terms such as PDA….)

  10. President Hinckley gave a pretty strong condemnation of racism and bad behavior toward non-Mormon neighbors. He said that any man who makes racist comments is not worthy to hold the priesthood.

  11. Not only that, he said that he has become aware that racist behavior is being practiced among members of the Church and that any who practice this are unworthy of their Priesthood.

    He also condemned husbands who refuse to work necessitating their wives working outside the home.

    He spoke often of how much hatred there is in the world and the need to rise above the cynicism prevalent today. He called for forgiveness generally. I noticed that he has lost quite a bit of weight …

    Aside from Pres. Hinckley’s zinger (really it was almost electric in there), Pres. Monson gave an annectdote I haven’t heard before, and Elder Uchtdorf’s talk was quite inspiriational.

  12. Elder Uchtdorf is a lion among the Apostles. He speaks with great power and authority that reasonates and inspires like few others. What a pillar of strength he represents to the body of the Church.

    Great to hear from President Hinckley and his messages. I’m always somewhat surprised or taken aback by some of his comments or issues that require discussion such as tonight the matter of discrimination among some holders of the priesthood. Or in previous sessions the discussions of gambling or spouse abuse, etc. I’d be surprised if most attending the priesthood sessions have such problems, as I can’t fathom it. But perhaps what we see on people is more of the veneer than meets the eye….

  13. After the session I called my dad to see what he thought. He agreed that it was very good. He also said that if he ever speaks in conference, he’s going to tell the following story: “Some years ago I was walking past the Church administration building with my son GST and we encountered President Kimball. I introduced him to my son, saying ‘President Kimball, my son GST turns twelve in a few weeks.’ President Kimball said, ‘Wonderful. Tell me, GST, what significance does turning twelve have for you?’ To which my son responded, ‘It means that under certain circumstances I can be prosecuted as an adult.'”

  14. Let me clarify that — does the fact that you were asking how people were making live comments, while you yourself were making comments during the session give us a hint to your gender?

  15. Is it just me, or has Pres. Hinckley aged about 15 years since last GenCon? He definitely showed the fire in his comments, though!

    gst, ppppppppppttt !

  16. Yeah Razorfish,

    I wouldn’t place any bets on what is going on behind the doors of Mormon homes.

    Spousal abuse rates in Utah County aren’t much different than they are anywhere else in the US (i.e. surprisingly high). I’ve seen people who looked to be perfectly fine Mormons turn out to be abusive and disturbed people.

    Gambling is a new craze in the USA in a way that it never was before. Those who have to pick up the pieces after these behaviors ruin lives know full well that poker isn’t “no big deal,” that pornography isn’t “harmless.” Pres. Hinckley has shown a lot of foresight in skewering dangerous or reprehensible behavior long before it becomes really acknowleged on the national awareness.

  17. gst, that was hilarious! I have heard that story from President Monson at least a couple of times before, but the other one about the interview with the scriptorian Stake President was new to me. President Monson was really funny tonight.

    President Hinckley looked very strong. The closing prayer gave thanks for the “restoration” of his health, and the opening prayer asked the Lord to leave President Hinckley with us “for a season” (perhaps President Hinckley wants to see BYU have a winning football season again before he goes?), so I assume that the Prophet has been struggling. As noted above, his condemnation of hatred and racism was as strong as I have ever heard in General Conference.

  18. Re Pres. Faust – it looked like a microphone at first, but I think it’s just a mole or something.

    Too often when President Monson starts a story, I know the whole story – not this time. Well, I knew the first part about meeting with the stake president, because that was in the New Era a while back. But he went a different direction this time.

    I noticed Pres. Hinckley actually used his cane to get up to the podium. I wished he’d gone a little further, and mentioned class differences within wards, etc. His son looks a little like Sister Hinckley, too.

  19. Oh, I just read Julie’s comment. No, gst did not say that. He is parodying a story by President Monson, whose son was asked the question by President Lee. President Monson said that it was one of those occasions when a father prays fervently for his son to say the right thing, which he did.

  20. I agree about Elder Uchtdorf’s talk. I think it was one of the most mesmerising this weekend.

    President Hinckley looks very old. He’s thin and has not a single dark hair. If I closed my eyes, though, I couldn’t tell any difference in his voice. I hope his talk will do some good; it’s not the first time he’s discussed these issues. I hope he’s still with us in October.

  21. John #24: No, when the camera was trained on his left side, I could clearly see an ultra-thin white microphone-looking device, with a wire coming from behind his ear and going into his jacket collar.

  22. Mike #28 – maybe. It just didn’t look like it to me on second glance.

    Something I do remember from when he conducted this morning is that he read an hour’s worth of speakers and music in one trip to the podium.

  23. Pres. Faust’s microphone looks like it’s just used for feedback (to himself), perhaps because his hearing is getting worse??

  24. That thing on the side of Elder Faust’s face is indeed a very small boom microphone. He has worn it and pointed it out before, at previous conferences. One time he gave his talk from his seat when he couldn’t stand, and used that boom mike. Maybe that mike was used as he spoke from the pulpit, or maybe not. It could be that he wore it just because he didn’t know until the last minute whether he was going to be able to stand long enough to give the talk, and it was there just in case he had to talk from his seat.

    Yes, the Stake Pres who asks to see how “used” your scriptures are is an old story. GA’s have also been known to ask to see your scriptures. I learned many years ago (20+) to always take your scrips to conferences and interviews for that possibility.

    I could detect a tiredness in Pres Hinckley’s voice compared to a year ago. He also looked frailer, even during the 1st and 2nd session today (Sat). And you could tell that he has lost weight.

    I’ve never heard or read anything about women being discouraged from attending general conference priesthood sessions or stake-level general priesthood meetings. In fact, I would encourage women to occassionally visit both.

  25. Yep, both Monson and Hinckley seemed more physically frail, but sharp as ever and full of fire. I wonder if they might even be more full of fire because of it! In their shoes I might be thinking, Carpe diem! Who knows how many more times I’ll get to speak to these folks?

    They definitely got something right in Elder Uchtdorf. He speaks with the wisdom and temper of years, but with youthful vigor and charisma. From bicycle-riding laundry delivery boy to jet fighter and 747 pilot, quality role models for young men don’t get much more attractive than him.

    Monson seemed so unguarded! I loved it! The dramatic pauses, the funny expressions on his face and sideways looks . . . it was almost like he forgot he was in General Conference for most of his talk! I love hearing a member of the First Presidency talk about how he was nervous about being quizzed on the scriptures as a not-quite-elder. Monson always tells stories, but I thought tonight he was really doing something special. His story also portrayed a leader who in his quirky way was very actively involved in guiding the young men under his stewardship, like we need to do more of if our missionaries are to be better prepared. Electricity, humor, warning, sincerity–this could have been the best priesthood session in several years.

  26. I seem to remember Pres Hinckley’s comments on racial prejudice coming in the context of trying to explain why there is so much strife in the world (he referred to the “terrible war” we’re involved in). At first I was taken back by the stuff on racism — it seems like church members have come leaps and bounds on this subject. Only afterwards, when I was pondering his message did it occur to me that he probably wasn’t talking about “earlier generation” race problems — i.e. anti-black sentiment — as much as he was probably referring to anti-Arab/anti-Muslim sentiment. This would make the most sense (in my opinion) both because he connected the racism problem to war as well as to discrimination or mistreatment of people outside of our faith.

    Just my thoughts. Great session.

  27. “I’ve never heard or read anything about women being discouraged from attending general conference priesthood sessions ”
    When I was in the MTC, the elders went into the auditorium to listen to the priesthood session and many sisters were out in the hall reading, quietly visiting. We were instructed to go into classrooms so we wouldn’t listen to the priesthood session that was piped into the hallways. Never did understand that since we can just read it later.

  28. I would venture that Pres. Hinckley’s counsel on racial slurs, jokes etc, may have something to do with the current immigration challenge facing America. Tensions seem to be heating up between Latino and European Anglos here in our country.

    It is my personal opinion that the prophecy on the children of Lehi becoming like a lion among lambs is going to find fulfillment in the current illegal immigration debacle. This hot potato will try the charity of all the saints before it is over. Think political voting block.

    Think about the evil the brethren have spopken about during this conference, and many conferences over the past few years. Could the great Gentile nation spoken of in the Book of Mormon be losing it’s grip because it is so involved with these evils. Are we begining to see the formation af a new nation, where the Lamanite blood runs rich and deep. A new nation that will be composed of millions of Latino Lamanite brethren, who will ultimately build the new Jerusalem.

    Harold B. Curtis

  29. President Monson told the story about his interview with the stake president in April 1980 general conference. It’s also recounted in articles in the New Era in June 1987, the Ensign in February 2002, and the Liahona in February 2001. Maybe others I couldn’t find.

    Last night though, he misspoke and quoted President Child as saying they wouldn’t have time to “persue the scriptures”. Previously, it has been “peruse the scriptures”. I remember when he told the story before, he really emphasized “per-OOOZE the scriptures.” Also, I’m pretty sure all the times mentioned in the story last night were an hour earlier than in the previous versions (Brother Monson suggested meeting at five because sacrament meeting was at six; they began their perusal at two). Maybe before, he was telling the story in daylight saving time.

    It does seem like he’s about run out of new stories. How many times have we heard about him shooting at the wrong basket? I don’t mind him recycling stories, but I really lost my faith when he misquoted The Voice.

    “If you build it, they will come”? Bah! Did he even see the movie?

  30. Haven’t there recently been serious demonstrations lately regarding immigration issues in the United States? I was wondering if President Hinckley’s remarks about racism were touching on that issue at all (though he certainly didn’t mention it specifically). I hadn’t heard of any racist comments being made by LDS members in this context but thought it was possible.

    I also found his comment about accomodating the diversity around us to be interesting. That’s a little bit more than just condemning racism.

  31. I think that President Hinckley’s remarks might also have to do with Darron Smith. There’s a podcast at with Darron that will explain more. The first of three, in particular (if I remember right), discusses the kind of racism that’s still present in the church.

  32. Great to hear from President Hinckley and his messages. I’m always somewhat surprised or taken aback by some of his comments or issues that require discussion such as tonight the matter of discrimination among some holders of the priesthood.
    Maybe theres something about the places I’ve lived in Northern Utah, but many members I know are prejudice toward Blacks, and even more toward Latinoes. I’m a little flabergasted that some here are wondering what he could have been refering too. Or maybe you’ve just been lucky. His consider he comment about racism the most important thing said so far this conference.

  33. danithew, where are you? I haven’t followed the news carefully, but my impression that the demonstrations have been students in California, maybe on the Texas border? (correct me if I’m wrong).

    I felt some sympathy with the demonstraters, but I think it was rude of them, and a big mistake, to carry the Mexican flag. They would have gotten farther in winning over Americans if they’d carried, proudly, the American flag and sung America The Beautiful.

    I think it was a mistake of youth and hope people can overlook it, but I doubt it.

  34. One thing about the references to Latinos, etc., that troubles me, perplexes me, is the constant emphasis on dress, which seems to reject some of these peoples.

    I think there needs to be clarification because here in southern Utah people look down on those who don’t dress “properly” but the Spanish speaking branch frequently dress in ways we’ve been counseled not to.

    Just an observation.

  35. 42: I thought Pres. Hinckley might have been addressing the Darron Smith issue as well, but if he was going to do that, shouldn’t he have announced Smith’s reinstatement? It’s nice and refreshing to hear this kind of talk at conference, but it would be even nicer if the Pres. Hinckley would back up the talk with some real action–perhaps an official proclamation on racial equality would be a good start.

  36. jjohnson: I’ve seen the attitudes you’re referring to, primarily in the mountain west states. I live in the midwest, and we’re proud to have a racially-diverse ward and stake. Those who live here and have problems with race seem to have brought those problems with them from elsewhere, in large part. But give them a couple months in our ward and those problems seem to melt away. We’re all fellow-citizens in Christ.

    Note that it wasn’t just President Hinckley who tackled the issue – several other speakers did as well, directly or indirectly. It makes me wonder what the future holds – perhaps China opens up to missionary work (there is a temple there, after all) and suddenly whites are in the minority in the church?

  37. Aren’t whites already the minority in the church?
    I think it’s funny everyone is trying to find a certain situation to put up against President Hinckley’s comments about racism. It was a general statement. It doesn’t matter what race, but that there is racism. It’s prevalant everywhere. There are so many different to be racist. It’s a problem we are all facing in one way or another.

  38. “Aren’t whites already the minority in the church?”

    Good question. Americans are, but are whites? I don’t know. Anyone have any non-anecdotal evidence on this?

    And I agree about the funniness (not in the humorous way) of people trying to find a certain situation to put up against President Hinckley’s comments, as you put it. I hope people aren’t looking for an “out” on this one. It’s an issue that everyone must struggle with and come out on top of, through the love of Christ. I hope we’re not seeking excuses.

  39. Like any good prophet, Pres. Hinkley’s remarks concerning racist remarks and discrimination among members of the Church are applicable to numerous circumstances – American style racism against African-Americans, Latinos, people of middle-eastern descent, etc; as well as racism in other countries around the world.

    If you’ll permit me an apocryphal anecdote from a sister-in-law who lives in Utah. According to the tale, a general authority has told stake presidents in the area that within 10 years because of the growth trend of the hispanic population in Salt Lake County most units will likely be predominantly Spanish-speaking. Whether or not this is true, this story is making its rounds to the delight or dismay of members in the Salt Lake Valley. President Hinkley’s remarks may be directed in part to the sentiment expressed in the wake of this prediction.

  40. #50 I have heard something similar re: the future increase of Latinos in Utah.

  41. The DARRON SMITH issue? What?! President Hinckley’s comments had nothing to do with Darron Smith. It strikes me as pretty funny that anyone would imagine President Hinckley spending his spare time listening to pod casts. (I have listened to Darron’s pod-cast, btw, and found it interesting–but nothing I didn’t already know.) Believe me, there is a royal army of well-seasoned soldiers who have been bearing the burden and speaking to it before Darron’s parents were born. I’m sure President HInckley would be kind and loving to Darron if he ever met him, but the Prophet has loving, long-standing relationships with other African Americans who have been speaking quietly and consistently for years on race issues. I do know that through these relationships, President Hinckley had become aware of several recent incidents where racial slurs were made. The important part is not whose struggles motivated the message, but WHAT the message was. I personally believe that President Hinckley thought and prayed about the issue at length before choosing to speak so boldly on it–and I believe that revelation had a strong part in his choice of words and subject. I know that his love for all he serves was at the foundation of his discourse. As it happened, he chose to speak to the subject at the exact time when immigration has become a huge issue, so his remarks go far beyond one ethnic group. I think the timing was perfect. And yes, we will be hearing more about it. Of course we will. We already did. Though Elder Oaks had certainly prepared his talk long before President Hinckley delivered his (since talks have to be submitted to translators well in advance), that talk was like a well-orchestrated follow-up. There will be more because we NEED more.

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