Sunday Morning Session: Open General Conference Thread

Welcome to the second day of General Conference. President Hinckley, President Faust, and Elders Oaks, Ballard, Wirthlin, Scott, Holland, and Uchtdorf have yet to address a general session this year, so there is a lot to look forward to today.

74 comments for “Sunday Morning Session: Open General Conference Thread

  1. President Faust starts off by giving the reasons that we are different from all those other churches.

  2. Anyone know what happened to the scroll that is the Pearl of Great Price? I recall something about it being destroyed in the Chicago fire?

  3. Elder Holland reminds us that it is not enough simply to have trials. They must motivate you to find Christ.

  4. SRD, the scrolls were thought to have been destroyed in a fire, but some of them were discovered in the late 1960s. There is a good deal of debate about just which scrolls were actually used by Joseph Smith to produce the Book of Abraham, as well as just how he produced the text (eg.did he use the scrolls as a catalyst for religion, did he translate the images on the scrolls by the gift and power of God, some combination). Some have argues that the texts recovered in the 1960s were not the ones Joseph used, based on Joseph and Oliver Cowder’s discussion of what those scrolls looked like. The material we now call the book of Moses, of course, came through revelation based on Joseph’s work with the Old Testament.

  5. I tried to get a video stream at BYU TV, but it didn’t work. So I got an audio stream at, which we’re listening to right now. But the video screen was still up on my computer, and there is this funky Pink Floydish laser light show going on on the screen. So we decided we could really use some pot to smoke while we listen to this session of conference. Pass the Doritos!

  6. Hmm, interesting. Quotes from a “19th century theologian” about Christ’s atonement emerging in GC, but without specific attribution.

  7. Brushes with Fame:
    Earl Tingey was in on the high council in my stake in Connecticut in the early 70s.

  8. Thanks for the idea of singing along with the congregational hymn. I had never done that before; it was fun singing along with the bass part to Redeemer of Israel.

    And now we get a second woman speaker. Woohoo!

  9. Several of my acquaintances here in southern Utah knew Elder Holland and his wife. I remember one saying that she didn’t like him, “because she knew him what he was really like.” Made me think of the people of Nazareth and Jesus.

    I’ve always loved Elder Holland and his wife, myself, I didn’t know them before. Patricia Hollands article about peace in the Ensign remains on my all time greats list.

    I loved his talk–the “foxholes of the heart” and “tsunami of the soul” things he said, reminded me of Elder Maxwell.

    I needed to hear that and I so hoped member of my family were listening.

  10. Anne,

    My thoughts exactly! I’ve keenly missed Elder Maxwell this conference and those phrases in Elder Holland’s talk seemed to echo my favorite apostolic wordsmith.

  11. Anne, it is an interesting phenomenon that you describe. I have heard similar things about a variety of church leaders. It seems that familiarity breeds contempt. Elder Holland was in my stake presidency in New England in the early 1970s and he just seemed like a normal member of the church.

  12. I attended several small meetings (includng a FHE at Jeff Holland’s home) while he was Pres at BYU. He’s a great administrator. I never really met his wife.

    He’s a real person and shared some funny jokes with us. Not really jokes but anecdotes. The best one was about the time he sat in the drunken student section at an away BYU football game while he was the Pres of BYU.

  13. Does anyone know where the poem from Elder Holland’s talk, the one about Jesus as a Carpenter, came from?
    I didn’t hear any attribution, but I doubt Elder Holland wrote it himself. I really liked it a lot, and I don’t think we talk enough about Jesus’ occupation(s) as a carpenter and fisherman.
    My father is a contractor who has worked construction most of his life, and I would love to give him that poem.

  14. “This sister’s voice is driving me crazy. I can’t listen to it.” There seems to be an interesting performance aspect to general conference that someone with training in ritual studies or theater studies could make a fascinating study from. Sylized speaking styles, etc, seem commonplace in GC.

  15. Costanza did we cross paths in Connecticut? I was in the Danbury branch from 1969-1972.

  16. Newsflash: the apostles *are* normal member of the church. They have a special calling, but they are human beings just like us. Thinking otherwise is unhealthy

    My favorite personal story about an apostle: We use to have wedding receptions in our home quite frequently when I was growing up. I’ll never forget the one Elder Perry attended. We caught him at the buffet table filling his pockets with cookies for later. It was so cute.

  17. “normal member of the church.”

    They _are_ normal members of the church. They simply have callings most people won’t have. Elder Oaks was in my ward for a while. He’s really intelligent, but he’s a normal member, too.

  18. Kevin Barney: So we decided we could really use some pot to smoke while we listen to this session of conference

    Don’t say that to your spouse. It might be considered lewd!

    Rusty Clifton: This sister’s voice is driving me crazy. I can’t listen to it.

    My, my, Rusty? Do I detect a hint of sexism? (I’m tempted to ask what her hair looks like, but only chicks can be that sexist.)

  19. Costanza, I think you’re right, that would be fascinating. There are very few sisters (read maybe one) that speak to us as adults. The rest are speaking as if we’re all in primary or something and it drives me crazy. It makes me want to turn it off and read the talk later (if that).

  20. Speaking of sexism, I’d like to hear more about all men AND women being saved. Or at least mix the pronouns up a bit if you’re going to be gender specific.

  21. Melissa, no news flash necessary. I was just trying to point out the obvious fact that neither the hagiographic portraits of church leaders nor the carping criticisms of the same leaders by others are accurate. Although I agree with you that there is a very dangerous tendency to view church leaders as something other than “normal” church members.

  22. DKL,
    HA! If you define sexism as “being annoyed with the sound of a woman’s voice and the way she talks to me” then yes, you definitely detect a hint of sexism.

  23. Elisabeth, I agree. Elder Oaks is usually better about that than he has been in this talk.

  24. Rusty’s comment about a sister’s voice “driving him crazy” reminds me of an experience I had while in high school. I was trying to share some general conference talks on cassette tape with a female non-LDS friend of mine. We were using a car cassette player and driving somewhere. The first talk that came on was a woman’s voice that was unusually annoying. My friend, who was driving the car, immediately turned off the cassette player, saying “I can’t listen to that.”

    So if you’re going to share general conference talks with a friend, do a voice-check first. :)

  25. Kevin, we have the same videostream with the “Pink Floyd” type graphics going on.

    Just another brick in the wall (of my testimony). :)

  26. “The life of the President of the Church belongs to the entire Church.”

    Wow! He’s never been in a hospital?

  27. It sounds very much like a benedictory address to me too, Melissa. I thought that the preisthood session last night was almost funereal

  28. Yeah, but I might just be subconsciously projecting the concerns that have been voiced here by others.

  29. I met Elder Perry at a “special interest” conference. That’s what they used to call us single, divorced, widowed people younger than 50 (although guys older came to pick up on us girls).

    He gave a great talk and after was mulling around talking and a screwed up guy took him off to a corner and monopolized him. I was waiting for a friend and sat next to his wife, a small pretty woman (he is huge, you guys, very tall and broadshouldered). She was/is his second wife.

    We just chatted, I asked if she was tired (she was) and we visited for a moment. Then Elder Perry, with a few guys around him, hugged the screwed up guy and left. Sister Perry laughed and said, “he’s forgotten me. He always does that.” And she got up and hurried after him and he turned around and saw her and they both laughed and went off, his arm around her.

    My theory is that as men and women advance in the church, not sought-for advance, just progress in the gospel, they are more good natured, cheerful, and funny. More accepting of human-ness in others. Not always, but a lot.

    Melissa! He just said it’s not an obituary. what a guy our prophet is.

  30. Well, alright. He does say not to take this talk as an obituary and that he looks forward to speaking to us again in October.

  31. He also said the name George Bush without plagues of locusts issuing from his ears.

    That’s going to disappoint a lot of Nacle regulars.

  32. I think Pres. Hinckley must have a Blackberry up there informing him of the blog chatter. That’s why he felt the need to address it. ;-)

  33. Ivan,

    I wonder …

    Perhaps they have posting feeds from the bloggernacle up there on the lecturn and that’s what they keep looking at …

    Yeah … right …

  34. I still wonder if this talk wasn’t to begin to prepare the church for his passing. October is only six months away. He might speak to us then, and still not be around to do so next April.

    The talk is just too striking to dismiss that easily. Here are just a few of the things he said.

    I recently underwent major surgery. I still have residual problems.
    I’ve given over 200 talks in General Conference. Things are changing. My companion left me 2 years ago. I miss her more than I can say.
    The old wise heads are passing on

    Then he quotes from his journal and his patriarchal blessing and closes with a rehearsal of his wide travels and says that he hopes he has made at least a small difference . . .

  35. It does sound like something. I was also thinking that Monson sounded different yesterday, as if he were slowly assuming responsibility for another mantle.

  36. What a wonderful thing it is to hear President Hinckley speak. I was very happy to hear him say that he looks forward to speaking at the next General Conference.

  37. and it surprised me, although it shouldn’t have, but I thought, “oh, man, who knew?”

  38. They really loaded the morning session—Faust, Holland, Oaks, and President Hinckley–who is left to speak this afternoon?

  39. First off, it is indeed a microphone President Faust is wearing. I was wrong.

    I’m reminded of a story involving President McKay when he was President Hinckley’s age, maybe a little younger. One of his counselors asked him if he ever thought what things would be like for the church a decade or two or three after they were gone. President McKay’s response was “I’m not going anywhere.”

    At the dedication of the Raleigh North Carolina Temple in 1999, Pres. Hinckley said almost the opposite of that. At that point, he said he had to consider the possibility every time he traveled, that it would be the last time he visited that place in mortality.

    The prophecy in Pres. Hinckley’s patriarchal blessing reminded me of the one in Pres. Kimball’s, about working with the Lamanites.

  40. “The talk is just too striking to dismiss that easily. Here are just a few of the things he said.”

    Along with telling us about the residual problems, he mentioned more than once choices he has faced. He may now have a choice between treating the cancer and not treating it. Based on the rest of the talk, I think he will not treat it.

  41. I wouldn’t blame him if he chose not to. At his age, dying naturally of cancer can be a much more dignified option than running a gauntlet of IVs, radiation sickness, surgery and hospitals to buy yourself maybe a couple more years of drastically reduced quality of life.

    He did say that it was the first time he’s been in a hospital and he didn’t care for the experience.

  42. I liked how Elder Oaks expanded the definition of who are meant the by “bond” in 2 Ne. 26:33.

    “more than slavery, it means being bound in bondage to anything to which it is dificult to escape. freedom restricted by physical or emotional afflictions… addicted to some substance or practice… imprisoned by sin… encircled by the chains of hell… those held down by traditions or customs… confined within the boundaries with other erroneous ideas.”

    You can watch him say it better than I roughly transcribed it here.

  43. did anyone else notice, speaking of finality and farewell, that the closing song “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” was the one that President Hinckley authored? it was a lovely arrangement with that last line and word “eternity” repeated.

  44. One thing that struck me was how many of the talks this morning mentioned that one person is not superior to another. Coupled with Pres. Hinckleys remarks on racism yesterday, in light of immigration and terrorism fears, I wondered how much of a problem racism or feelings of superiority are in the church?

  45. Living in Alaska, we watch conference via satellite and let our DVR record it live, then watch it two hours later (at 10:00 a.m. Alaska Time). To our dismay, we gathered our family around the TV to find that our satellite failed after 54 minutes of recording — probably because just got a fresh snow fall.

    Does anyone know anywhere that I can find a summary of the talks so I can see what we missed until posts the talks?


  46. Tom, do you have broadband internet on a Windows PC? If so, you can watch it on (you can ‘rewind’ the byu tv feed back to the point you missed.)

  47. Tom, just be sure to download the Move media player.
    Also, usually summarizes the talks the day after, and summarizes them the night of.

  48. Conference always makes me really love our GA’s and renews my faith and desire to do better. It was good to hear from President Hinkley finally, and we kind of felt like it was goodbye, too, until he cracked about his obituary. I really hope he’s still around in October.

    Regarding the “Sister’s voice”: my husband and I had this exact discussion while she was giving her talk. We muted the TV because her tone was so grating. This seems to by a common problem with talks given by women- I know I could get flamed for saying it, but it’s true. I yearn for a woman to get up there and give a great talk, as an adult, in a strong, rather than condescending, tone. Why do the women so often get all “breathy”, speak so darn SLOW and temper their voices to sound like little girls?? I KNOW we have strong, gospel centered women with rock solid testimonies in this Chuch- heck here in the BN we have scads of them- so why don’t we get to hear from them in Conference??

  49. He said don’t take it as an obituary, but it sure sounded like one. It was rather farewell-esque, like King Benjamin’s speech.

    Did anyone else notice the earnestness in President Monson’s voice Saturday night when he urged the audience to listen to President Hinckley?

  50. tracy m–

    I’ve heard many people say the same thing about most women speakers that you said. I think the fact that Sisters Dew and Okazaki (sp?) *didn’t* fit that speaker mold explains a good bit of their popularity.

  51. The prophet’s what, 96 years old? Every time he speaks in conference I wonder if it’ll be his last time. Today it seemed like he’d been wondering the same thing and decided to speak as if it were.

    I think Elder Holland’s talk was the best I’ve ever heard. There was a part I wanted to rewind and listen to again, but I didn’t, and now I can’t remember which part it was.

  52. I think President Hinckley’s talk was a resignation. I thought he was going to do something really drastic, like actually resign. (The road less traveled). I think he is telling all of the church leaders that his work is pretty much finished and they need to pick up the slack. I bet he has already had some interesting private conversations with President Monson.

    His “residual problems” are still not clear when we are not certain of the exact underlying disease. Is this typical colon cancer with extension to a depth that is likely to spread? Is it something else not as bad? Or worse? Another problem facing his physicians is that there is not much data on how chemotherapy and radiation therapy will affect a 96 year old. Most of the time the older folks don’t do well. Medically he may not have many options, his life is in the hands of the Lord.

    President Hinckley is an optimist. He may think he has more time than he does. He is a fighter and I think he will take every opportunity to preserve his life at some level of quality as long as possible.

    This should not be too disturbing to the Saints. President Hunter was in worse shape the day he we sustained him as President of the Church than President Hinckley is right now. President Hunter had prostate cancer that had already spread to his bones and he was not expected to live more than a few months. You don’t think President Hinckley saw this battle up close? He did hang on for about a year, which may not happen twice.

    One last thing. If you are over 50 years old, get your colonscopy as recommended. If this is garden variety colon cancer, most cases can be prevented. These malignancies generally take many years if not decades to develop and the precursor polyps can be removed. We also lost Bruce McKonkie and many others to colon cancer. In a male population that does not smoke, it will be the #1 or #2 cause of cancer deaths, the other one being prostate cancer and that can also be detected early and prevented. Rumor has it that Elder Nelson is a prostate cancer survivor. For non-smoking women #1 is breast cancer and same lecture, second verse.

  53. “Although the fact that he felt the need to point that out is telling.”

    Nonsense. It told nothing. You should write biographies of famous people.

  54. “You should write biographies of famous people.” What makes you think I don’t?

  55. I thought it was Elder Eyring who had had cancer recently…. (Gotta love the rumor mill….)

  56. About the “sisters’ voice” — that is one reason I miss Sheri Dew. She speaks like an adult (who is addressing other adults)!

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