Sunday Morning General Conference Open Thread

As is tradition here at Times and Seasons, please feel free to post your comments, thoughts, insights and inspirations regarding the Sunday morning session of General Conference here.

449 comments for “Sunday Morning General Conference Open Thread

  1. I wonder if those “civic leaders” include the great and humble Rocky Anderson, noble mayor of SLC.

  2. President Hinckley thanked the owners of television and radio station owners who are broadcasting conference, yet, the radio stations owned by Bonneville International are NOT broadcasting conference. KSL in SLC is the only Bonneville owned radio station broadcasting conference.

  3. Predicted Speakers:

    David A. Bednar
    Silvia H. Allred
    Quentin L. Cook
    Henry B. Eyring
    Gordon B. Hinckley

  4. I have three little boys and I love this song. It reminds me of what I ought to be teaching them.

  5. Interesting, in the invocation, he used the phrase to soften the hearts of those in a position to make a difference so that peace would be restored–I liked that.

  6. Praying for peace to prevail in places of conflict seems somehow more appropriate than praying for “our” soldiers. Not that soldiers don’t deserve prayers (I have close relatives serving), but focusing a _general_ (i.e. global) conference prayer on the soldiers as such seems Americocentric.

  7. I gotta say – I love the choir number (A Child’s Prayer). My kids are paying rapt attention to motab.

  8. Ugh…can’t get KSL or BYU.TV to load. People who have access to conference on TV should be forbidden from accessing on the computer!!!!

  9. Eric, there was a time when I could have told you exactly who was speaking for every session. When I worked for a radio station in Utah that broadcast General Conference, we would receive an advanced copy of each and every talk. I was only a teenager at the time and didn’t fully appreciate what I had access to.

  10. I think it’s safe to say that Elder Eyring has the best fashion sense of all the Apostles. Cool glasses and tasteful ties.

  11. #17 – I know if you get the conference CD\’s they have the music on there, but I\’m not sure about music-only

  12. Hindsight as a re-visioning that enables God to show us His own intervention in our lives–this is seriously cool stuff.

  13. Elder Henry B. Eyring spoke at our Stake Conference in November 1994 (before he became an Apostle) in California. At that point in time, I was considering going on a mission. He didn’t speak about missionary work, but he brought the spirit in with him. In the middle of his talk, I turned to my friend and I said, “I’m putting my papers in right now!” I felt so excited and so sure of that decision. Before that moment, I kept waifing. So I did the interviews, visited doctors and turned my papers in, in December. On January 11, 1995 I received my call, to go back to my country of Romania. FOUR WEEKS later, I entered the MTC. Four weeks later, I was out in the mission.

    President Henry B. Eyring brings the spirit with him. He is a man of God.

  14. Wow. That’s why I started blogging – because I just couldn’t keep a “journal,” but I could sit down and write about what I believe and how God worked regularly in my life. Cool.

  15. Nice passage. Deu 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

  16. Notice that Eyring is the most animated of GAs? He moves his head, he gestures, he shifts his body weight, he has different facial expressions…

  17. Sacramental emblems as a key, via the reception of the Spirit, to seeing the hand of God in our lives is a profound way of connecting the shared, communal economy of blessing and uplift of the miraculous feedings of the gospels with the more metaphysical, interiorized aspects of Catholic/Protestant/Mormon Eucharist.

  18. I don’t know why, but every time Pres. Eyring gets a bit emotional, it brings a great spirit, a lot different than others who get emotional (in my view)

  19. “kaleidescope of feeling, sleepless nights, and much prayer” Since Thursday, wow. I’m surprised he’s had any sleep.

  20. Elder Cook has an awesome delivery, stern but caring have a feeling he was like that in a court room as well.

  21. So, do you think that when Eyring gave his address at the MMM gathering, anyone realized they were looking at the next member of the FP?

  22. Read an interesting story on the about Pres. Eyring yesterday. He was told by his father that if he “didn’t think about” the subjects of his major when he “didn’t have to” that he should do something else. Apparently it influenced him to go from his Physics major as an undergrad (don’t know what his degree ended up being) to business grad school. What a wise dad–basically you should love what you do enough to think about it when you aren’t doing it.

  23. “A lawyer by profession, Elder Cook graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 and worked as a managing partner of a San Francisco Bay area law firm for several years. Subsequently, he worked in business as president and chief executive officer of California Healthcare System and vice chairman of Sutter Health System…
    “As executive director of the church missionary department, Elder Cook oversaw the church’s massive missionary efforts around the world. He was in the media spotlight in February when four LDS missionaries were abducted in Nigeria.” (Deseret Morning News)

  24. Elder Cook is the archetypical Apostle:

    Stanford law degree? Check.

    British mission? Check.

    White Utah-born? Check.

    Partner in a law firm? Check.

  25. Comfort bearing witness to the “divinity” of the Savior. There are a lot of other words that could have replaced “divinity” there–atonement, teachings, resurrection (ala Joseph Smith), even Sonship.

  26. Little known fact: Fatboy Slim’s real name is Quentin Cook. Thus a new apostle for a new, hipper generation.

  27. Stanford is a pretty prestigious law firm, so I give him kudos for getting in there.

  28. “I didn’t realize he lived so long in California. Nice.”
    President E quipped playfully during yesterday’s press conference that he didn’t even really consider Elder C a Utahan.

  29. I think that between Eyring’s comment at yesterday’s press conference and Cook’s talk today, the “another Utah apostle” label can been put to rest. He’s effectively a Californian who has spent years amongst the people in the Pacific Islands, Europe, and the Philippines. Good to see an apostle with such a recent experience internationally.

  30. “Doesn’t “divinity” encompass all those words?”
    It may or may not. Even if it does, those other words do not necessarily flow from divinity. We typically link all those things together conceptually, but do those connections connote hierarchy–i.e. does one single idea encapsulate the others better than any one of the others?

  31. I’m glad Elder Cook is giving a full-length talk. Didn’t Elders Bednar and Uchtdorff only get about 5 minutes at their first general conference?

  32. Do you think that there is something about being a special witness and being bald. :o)

    The gospel of Jesus Christ and \”fresh spring water\”, invisible to physical eyes…. I love Elder Cook’s words.

  33. I am listening to an on-going talk, Brad. I don’t want to have to think about stuff and miss what he is saying now. *grin*

  34. We can raise righteous children anywhere if we teach them religious principles in the home.
    What? We don’t need to lament the lack of Bible study, prayer, creationism, etc in the schools? Gasp!

  35. You can take a Utah-born Mormon out of Utah, but you can’t take the Utah out of a Utah-born Mormon.

  36. I wonder too then if “godhood” should go on that list. If we are looking for something that best expresses the attribute of the Savior. It is sadly an idea that is lacking in much of modern Christianity.

  37. “You can take a Utah-born Mormon out of Utah, but you can’t take the Utah out of a Utah-born Mormon.”
    Funniest line ever.

  38. Sorry, California Condor – My Dad is a Utah-born Mormon who Utahns wouldn’t recognize anymore. Spending 35+ years in Ohio will do that to you.

    Did I just hear Elder Cook acknowledge that his daughter’s ward held their primary program in September? It’s *supposed* to be in the 4Q (but a lot of wards do it in September b/c it’s an audit month).

  39. I think that as a great introductory talk by E. Cook – I think you’re right austin, I think E. Bednar and E. Uchtdorff only bore their testimony. Also nice to see Pres. Eyring giving a full talk too

  40. Faithfully praying about problems solves them faster and better than trying to figure them out intellectually without prayer. I love it.

  41. Kerri,
    I like “godhood” or perhaps “godliness” as well. It encapsulates the fact that the collapse of ontological distance between God and man that characterized JS’s revelations with increasingly clarity throughout his life was most fully realized in the life of the Savior.

  42. This really has been a more international conference – a lot of foreign Seventies have been speaking

  43. President Eyring, as a member of the 12 until yesterday, probably already had today’s talk planned. His talk in Priesthood last night was more off-the-cuff.

    Steve, the guy with the accent is Claudio Costa, a Brazilian (who I had as my pick in my will-be-the-next-Q12 pool with my family). He’s been a 70 for awhile, and is now in the Presidency.

  44. As for accents, may I just say that I am *loving* this Conference’s international “flavour”?

  45. Costa was on my short list as well (though Cook wasn’t). There’s certainly still time. How old is he, again?

  46. “Sorry, California Condor – My Dad is a Utah-born Mormon who Utahns wouldn’t recognize anymore.”

    He may have tried to convince himself that, but deep down inside, he’s still a Utahan.


    Proud native Californian

  47. Double D,

    Are you trying to claim that you thought Quentin L. Cook was possibly going to be the next apostle? That sounds like a tall tale, and I’m not buying it.

  48. CC – He’d get violent if you accused him of that. How long do you have to live in a place before you are “from” that place? My wife was born in IL but raised in Utah. At what point was she no longer from IL? She’s lived in Texas now for over half her life. At what point is she now a Texan?

    It’s convenient to give Cook the “Utah guy” label as a prop to certain arguments, but it’s dead, intellectually.

    Of course, being a proud native Californian, can you really understand?

  49. I wish that the non-native English speakers would speak in their native language at their words be subtitled, it would reflect the world-wide church better i think.

  50. Maybe “tapped” isn’t the best word, given my incorrect prediction and in light of President Hinckley’s antics yesterday.

  51. Claudio R. M. Costa
    Sustained to the Second Quorum of the Seventy April 2, 1994, at age 45; sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy March 31, 2001. Former president of the Brazil Manaus Mission, regional representative, stake president’s counselor, and bishop. Graduated from Colegio Pio XII, attended Paulista School of Marketing, Paulista Institute of Gems and Precious Metals. Former Church Educational System associate area director, diamond cutter, manager of jewelry store chain, and finance director of Diversified Almeida Prado Co. Born March 25, 1949, in Santos, Brazil, to Nelson Mendes and Luzia Tassar Simoes Costa. Wife, Margareth Fernandes Morgado Mendes Costa; parents of four children.

  52. I like it when our women use a normal speaking voice- instead of the “sing song” voice often used when teaching sunbeams. Thanks I’m sure goes out to Sister Dew for being the great example of just preaching the gospel.

  53. #99 CC: Buy it.

    Elder Cook came to our stake in February of 2006 with Elder Hinckley for a Gladys Knight presentation. I got to have a chat with them at that time.

  54. Missionary haircuts? Well i guess it IS good and clean…

    “Therefore, LDS women should be the best homemakers in the world”

    The feminists are gonna have a field day with this one

  55. it would be nice if, in discussing parental responsibilities, she spoke about the responsibilities of BOTH parents…

  56. Is it just me or does it seem like they’ve used more video in the last couple years than before – I wonder what caused it?

  57. I noticed that Pres. Monson also uses a “conference talking voice” and a regular voice… when he finished his talk last night and then announced Pres. Hinckley’s talk.
    My wife does the sister singing voice.

    Sister Beck just made a funny..

  58. Well, I’m impressed. I didn’t think Sister Beck could say anything to be more upsetting than in the General RS Broadcast.

  59. When Sister Beck mentioned keeping our houses as clean as the temple, my wife pointed out the little hand prints on our television screen and said, “I don’t have a cleaning crew like that of the temple to keep my house clean.” I told my wife I thought Sister Beck was speaking metaphorically and not literally. Of course, a cleaning crew would be a real help for my wife. :-)

  60. Speaking as a woman–sometimes I cringe when the sisters speak, bc their comments seem to be more guilt-inducing. I agree with it all–yet how do you measure up? I am aware that this is a common feeling–not measuring up. Have been aware”just do your best” talks lately…

  61. “I like it when our women use a normal speaking voice.”
    Plus, she’s using complex sentences with dependent clauses. Say what you want about some of the content. She delivers with confidence and power. Utterly refreshing.

  62. I don’t know why LDS women complain about being powerless; why, with the burden of nurturing our children squarely on their shoulders, they hold the future in their hands. THAT is influence — THAT is power.

  63. Personally, I like the fact that Sister Beck is defining power and influence to include what mothers do – the influence they have on their kids.

  64. I am looking at Sister Beck as giving LDS mothers the ideal to work towards, but I worry that many LDS women are sinking lower and lower into their seats with this.

  65. Trevor — If you subscribe to the podcast through ksl, you can get 128kbps mp3 of each hour of conference as a separate file. You could edit out the music if you wanted.

    CC — I was born in Mesa, AZ, which is the same as being in Utah (more palm trees and cactuses, less Chuckarama), and I make Mormons outside the Jello Belt uncomfortable. In Utah (when I visit) I make Mormons really nervous when I talk about some of the stuff that interests me.

    Loved what I got of Pres. Eyring’s talk. Looking forward to listening to the whole thing. I think it might be a very useful piece for me right now.

  66. Announcer: “This is the 177th semiannual conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

    My young daughter: “Did they have conference back before TV was invented?”

    Our children are growing up in a very different world.

  67. Seth-

    YES YES YES YES.. Her talks are one big fat guilt trip with language that demands that we be the BEST. I hate that kind of language, and it is not an uplifting message to tell women they have to be the best. It decreases the value of other non LDS women’s efforts of mothering, and makes EVERYBODY feel like she is failing because she is clearly not the best.

    I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. There are better ways of building up women and mothers.

  68. you could have simultaneous audio, like at the UN. the thing is that sometimes it is difficult to understand the non-native English speakers, like yesterday, or when there is an Asian speaker.

  69. Don’t forget, these talks are addressed not JUST to the Church, but to the world at large – and what Sister Beck just taught it needed desperately throughout the world.

  70. Blain (135),

    News flash: Arizona is only 6% Mormon, and Mesa is maybe 25% Mormon. Not exactly Cache Valley.

  71. With the number of GAs floating around the church these days, nobody should be surprised that somebody would have correctly guessed the next Apostle. I guessed it would be Elder Hallstrom, who spoke in priesthood last night. Obviously, I was wrong.

  72. BIV, I wonder who does Sis. Beck’s laundry and hair. THAT is influence. THAT is power.

  73. Oops. Sorry for the name confusion. I’ll start posting with my full name. (I’ve noticed your presence before, Kerri, but we don’t usually comment on the same threads.)

  74. I was under the impression that we were not allowed to criticize the content of the sisters’ talks; just their hair-dos.

  75. I agree with Heather O. And “homemaking” is NOT nurturing. Leave the dirty dishes in the sink and go play with your children.

  76. #45: Elder Golden is a native of Johannesburg, South Africa. Counting time as an area seventy, he was in the Africa Southeast area presidency 12 of the past 13 years. Now in the Africa West area presidency.

  77. Double-D/Condor – It looks like Double-D’s candidates were all Presidency of the Seventy members. If you were going to slap down a fictitious bet on an apostle, that’s a good strategy.

  78. Mothers who know desire to have children.
    MOthers who know bring their children to church with clean white shirts and walk several miles through the mud with hosiery on
    Mothers who know are never off duty
    etc, etc etc
    Geeze who can ever live up to that?

  79. I was really looking forward to her talk, but – yeeesh. Way to make a bunch of women focus on all the wrong stuff, again. It’s not about being Christlike, it’s about cleaning and having more kids than you can handle. Very disappointing.

  80. Re: 106 –
    Most do record their talks in any other language that they speak instead of using the interpreters.

  81. #106 I wish that the non-native English speakers would speak in their native language at their words be subtitled, it would reflect the world-wide church better i think.

    Yes, good for translating to English, but to have translators on call to translate Portoguese to Russian, Chinese, Swedish, German, etc. probably not practical.

  82. I like how Ipods, cell phones, etc. were described as making our prospective missionaries socially retarded. Probably true.

  83. Ray-

    Sis Beck just told the world that Mormon mothers are better, or should be better, than everybody else. She said the same thing in the RS broadcast. If I was a non mormon mother listening to this, I would be highly offended that she thought that my effort was not acceptable to the Lord.

    It would be so much better if the languagewas more along the lines of The Lord will accept your offereing and efforts as your strive to do your best for your family, and the Lord is standing by to lift you us as you feel you are failing. If you tell me I have to be the best, you are only telling me that I am failing, because I will never feel I am the best mother, and if I ever DO feel like I am the best mother, it means that I think everybody else sucks. Yeah, that’s charity for you. Never faileth.

    I’m writing a letter to her, seriously. There are better ways to give her message that don’t leave the women of the church feeling awful.

  84. Heather and ECS, Our house is nowhere close to immaculate. It has been described – in an open meeting in church – as “untidy.” However, we do the chores as a family, together – exactly as Sister Beck described, and those minutes are some of the best discussion time we have.

    She didn’t say, “Mothers, it is you responsibility to do the dishes while the rest of your family plays.” She said explicitly that doing them together can be nurturing. I know that this is a touchy subject, but she didn’t “relugate” women to housekeepers and domestic servants.

    I’m trying to listed to the other speakers while I type, so I will stop now.

  85. One of my brother’s missionary companions said that Elder Bednar’s hairstyle is called “The Helmet of Righteousness.”

  86. re: 164

    While this may be true, i think actually hearing other languages at a conference would be almost revolutionary, an acknowledgement of the strength of the church worldwide, and heard by all those who listen/watch, even though not of our faith.

  87. Has anyone kept track of hw many times grace has been mentioned, as Bednar just did? No one’s spoken on grace per se, but it’s popped up a lot in talks.

  88. Ladies, if you feel that women have the capacity to work in the boardroom with the best of the boys, then please let’s not reach for the smelling salts every time we’re asked to get better results where we are now. Surely we can handle some straight talk.

    I find the line that “mothering is the most powerful occupation in the world” to be patronizing, and I wish she’d left that out. But I find the all the fluttering and fainting among my sex to be embarrassing.

  89. “does the 1st pres authorize talks given at conf?”
    I want to know if the correlation committee authorizes them.

  90. Heather, I agree with you that I would have liked your version better. I agree that I am going to have to talk with my own wife about her talk, because I know she will react like you did. All I’m saying is that it’s not fair to charge her with saying what she didn’t say.

  91. Re; 178 – I don’t think they do, although somebody goes through them after they are delivered and edits them, if needed, before publication.

  92. #175 – His hair truly is perfect – the part is nice and crisp, there isn’t a hair out of place – I wonder if he gels it or uses hair spray to keep it that way – I mean, in all seriousness, it’s picture-esque

  93. 147 — Check the numbers 40 years ago and you’ll see that they are closer. And show me the number of cities even 25% Mormon outside of Utah anyhow. I had many friends from SUP stock (Hancock, Stapley, Tanner, Haws, Asay, Madsen, LeSeuer, etc.), lived in the same ward as Pres. Kimball’s brother, would have attended release-time Seminary had we stayed another year, and could walk to the Temple. Not more than a handful of cities outside of Utah had those things in place 40 years ago. With the prophet’s brother, probably none.

  94. I am *so* looking forward to hearing Sis. Beck’s talk repeated over my ward pulpit and in my RS classes as “scripture” because it was said in General Conference and published in the November Ensign along with everything else – NOT!

  95. Just to be fair, I changed my handle too…(formerly Kerri) :)
    that would be cool, to be the apostle known for references to pickles…endorsements anyone? …sorry

  96. I had forgotten that we get to pick and choose which counsel from our leaders to accept. Thanks all for the reminder.

  97. Next time the “‘born again’ means baptism only” comes up I am going to be glad to reference this talk. What a great subject!

  98. One disturbing aspect of the negative reaction (writing letters in protest, it isn’t scripture) to Sis Beck’s talk here is the possibly sexist overtones. I had my problems with it as well, but would we be so brazen about reacting to hostilely if it was given by a man?
    I certainly hope we would.

  99. #182–when the work of the boardroom has truly eternal consequences, then I would agree that it is comparable to motherhood. However, it really doesn’t. Most LDS women feel an incredible, and eternal, accountability and responsibility for their ‘homemaking” skills. As in any good business practice, building up is always far better than tearing down or guilting (ever hear the phrase “praise to success”. It works!).

  100. Not to maintain something I want to let drop, but how is what Elder Bednar is saying (the core teaching he is addressing) any different? It is an ideal that is very, very difficult to achieve – so should I complain about such a beautiful talk because it makes me feel guilty – and it does.

  101. I liked Julie’s Talk.
    I think it’s good to have a little butt-kicking now and then.

  102. Re: 191,

    Richard R. Lyman was excommunicated as an apostle in 1943 (he was later rebaptized). Does that count?

  103. More on Elder Cook: He was my Bishop and Stake President in the San Mateo Stake in the San Francisco Bay Area when I was growing up there. But before that, he has a brother Joseph who was also my medical doctor. Joe was called as our Bishop before Quentin but he chose Quentin to be one of his counselors. Later when Joe became Stake President he again asked Quentin to be one of his counselors.

  104. “but would we be so brazen about reacting to hostilely if it was given by a man?”

    I pondered this, and, unfortunately, I think that if it had been given by a man, I may actually have reacted more strongly.

  105. Tima,
    President Brown pushed unsuccessfully for an emeritus status for FP and Q12 members–a status which, if adopted, would have applied to him as well. I doubt there’s been much discussion of the subject since.

  106. Great. Did I just hear Elder Bednar suggest that we repent? Now that’s all I’m going to hear in priesthood, men claiming that what he said is “scripture.”

  107. I’m all for being told that our occupation is the powerful in the world. I’m all for being told that we have be strong and immoveable, and that our influence is powerful. Hooray for that. But please don’t tell me that I have the best in the world, and then set a standard that seems hopelessly out of reach. That only adds to that already rampant Mormon Women Stress syndrome, where Mormon women everywhere already feel like they are failing. I agree with the message–be the best you can be. but it would have ben nice had she mentioned that to be the best, we need to call upon the Lord to do so, that our efforts are acceptable to the Lord, and that the Lord will help us out when we feel like we are far from being the best. That is power.

  108. I’d be less offended if being “the best homemakers in the world” wasn’t the only result expected of LDS women. Better results = cleaning the bathroom more often? No, thanks.

  109. You know, men get the same message.

    Priesthood meetings are typically jam packed with lists of things we ought to be doing to be more perfect Fathers and Husbands.

    It’s a good thing. We are commanded to be perfect are we not?

  110. I’ve always enjoyed re-reading E. Bednar’s talk because he’s very much an educator and very deliberate in his speaking style – like E. Oaks

  111. “conference theme so far? (other than primary songs)”

    I haven’t figured out one for today so far, but yesterday’s seemed to be bearing one another’s burdens.

  112. 207–but to be continually reminded that we aren’t perfect really isn’t helpful. i don’t know that perfection in its completeness is attainable as mortals…

  113. Ryan,
    We do get the same message on some level, but not necessarily with the same degree of fixation on mundane, especially stereotypically gendered tasks and chores. We aren’t chided for not keeping better yards, bringing home bigger kills, fixing our own cars. etc.

  114. Ray-

    The standards that Elder Bednar is setting forth–he makes it quite clear that you can notdo these things without Christ, that He is a companion in your struggle for perfection and cleanliness. Julie Beck made no such connection. Ok, sure, it was implied, but it would have be nice to hear it, rather than being told to clean your bathroom more often. Ok, so I’m exagerrating, but not by much.

  115. This may come as a shock to some of you, but not “every woman” in the church is offended at Sis. Beck’s talk. I’m watching conference with my wife and she had no problem with it. Of course, how would she dare–I have her so oppressed through my unrighteous dominion.

  116. Heather, I agree, but I can’t find fault with the actual words – or, at least, not many of them. I get my butt kicked all the time in General Conference, and, while I try hard to shield my wife from that type of butt-kicking (since she doesn’t need it), there are millions of women world-wide who need exactly the butt-kicking Sister Beck just delivered.

  117. ecs, that is what bothered me, too. We weren’t being urged to be better people, but were being tossed a bone that our popping out children and cleaning up after them (or even with them) was influence and power. oh, and btw make sure you wear pantyhose to church.

  118. yes, i agree, the emphasis on the role that Christ plays in our perfection is so very important.

  119. I thought yesterday’s theme was:

    “The church is good enough, we’re smart enough, and doggone it, Jesus likes us (we even have his name in our title — take that Christians)”

  120. Seems like it’s been focused on love and families – even though yesterday I thought that it was more of a PR type session for the LDS church (not that it’s bad, because it’s been helping the members to realize from the leaders what we really are and how to respond to people who dont understand our beliefs)

  121. “The church is good enough, we’re smart enough, and doggone it, Jesus likes us (we even have his name in our title — take that Christians)”

  122. 215 – I may be outspoken, but the Motab really gets on my nerves. One exception to this was “A Child’s Prayer,” which I really liked.

  123. ECS, I really don’t want to become the defender of Sister Beck’s talk, but your gloss of her message is distorted to the point that I wonder if you’re arguing in good faith. The theme she sounded, repeatedly, is that the purpose and meaning of homemaking is to create a loving, learning environment for children and parents. To say that housecleaning is the only result she requires is false on the face of it.

  124. Mormon men are told all the time that they should provide for their families so their wives don’t have to work. Ain’t that the same thing to those who struggle with that?

    I want to listen to Pres. Hinckley. Great first lines.

  125. #227 “Clearly your wife is perfect already. Congratulations.”

    Uh . . . no. Like most people, she’s still working on it. She’s just not prone to whining every time a leader suggest she raise the bar a little.

  126. #227 – I respect you tremendously, Heather. Please don’t belittle my wife in sarcasm, especially since she respects and admires you even more than I do.

  127. Not all of my apostle pics were from the presidency of the seventy. You’ll notice Jay Jensen was also there. We had him stay in our home two years ago. He is the editor of the Ensign

  128. pres hinkley is amazing. my 16 year old son just said (after I mentioned pres hinkleys recent health issues), “he could still beat you up mom.” hehe and he probably could and run circles around me afterward!

  129. Rosalynde,
    I’ve already forgotten the specifics of the talk, and I should probably wait until I can read it to say more, but I have walked away feeling like I was chastised for not cleaning my house more. Which I think is a really useless message to walk away from a talk with. I agreed with a lot of the things she said, point per point, but the way she couched it made the emphasis all warped and silly.

  130. I’m pleased to notice that not one single/childless woman has complained about Sister Beck’s endorsement of the idea that motherhood is the most powerful and influential role a woman can have — not one word of complaint about a lifetime of being entirely shut out of power and influence. Pick up a broom — or not — but the indignation is a little much, sisters.

  131. From yesterday’s priesthood session about things you need to start doing now to better measure up to stringent missionary standards:

    Physical standards. Physical health and strength. Can you work 12 to 15 hours walking 6 to 8 or ride 10 to 15 miles daily? Missionaries must be in good physical condition. Missionary expected to dress, projecting a clean cut appearance, short hair, clean shaven, shined shoes. Adopt the appearance of a missionary.

    If that doesn’t compare to pantyhose I don’t know what would.

  132. At one of our Spanish units one of the brethren prayed at the end of sacrament meeting, “Heavenly Father, please extend the life of President Hinckley beyond 100 years, that he may stand as a witness to the world of the value of living the Word of Wisdom” I think it would be cool if he were still around 3 years from now.

  133. Rosalynde (182) – You’re brave to say those things here. This is the Bloggernacle! How dare you! :)

  134. “I’m pleased to notice that not one single/childless woman has complained about Sister Beck’s endorsement of the idea that motherhood is the most powerful and influential role a woman can have — not one word of complaint about a lifetime of being entirely shut out of power and influence. Pick up a broom — or not — but the indignation is a little much, sisters.”

    Actually, I’m single and childless, and I disliked her dismissive attitude toward what I’m doing with my life.

  135. Ryan,
    Those denote the pragmatic requirements of being a missionary–not the idealized requirements of being a perfect man/father/husband/priesthood-holder.

  136. It’s interesting how much of what we get from talks is filtered through our perspectives. Thanks, Ardis.

  137. Sis. Beck used housecleaning as a means to that end result, however. I wish Pres. Beck had mentioned the father’s responsibility as an equal partner with the mother to nurture and make sure that the house is a house of order. After listening to Pres. Beck’s talk, I get the message that women are exclusively responsible for keeping the house clean. She seemed to completely miss the “equal partners” requirement in executing family responsibilities.

  138. I thought maybe President Hinckley was reaching for an original 1830 BoM to hold up.

  139. ECS: Equal partners? Women are not required to provide for the family. That’s the Father’s job. Equal partners but with different responsibilities. Perhaps that’s where she is coming from… I don’t know

  140. #244: Women who serve missions do all of that stuff, too, AND they have to wear pantyhose EVERY DAY for 16 months. (Been there, done that.)
    And I also agree with #251 that it’s not an appropriate comparision to Sister Beck’s talk.

  141. Brad,

    Isn’t serving an honorable full-time mission one of the idealized requirements of being a perfect man/father/husband/priesthood-holder?

  142. Lisa, if housecleaning, or the lack thereof, is detracting from your children’s ability to learn in your home, or is the source of consistent acrimony in your marriage, then I think Sister Beck wants you to feel chastised and change your habits. I doubt that’s the case in your home, so you can relax. But I think women should be encouraged to think of themselves as agents with the mental and psychological strength to handle chastisement when chastisement is necessary.

    Housecleaning and chore sharing is a volatile flashpoint in our public discussion of domestic affairs right now, and because of that I guess I’m not surprised that so many women have fixated on such a small part of her talk. But freaking out will serve nothing and nobody. Yes, indeed, Sister Beck clearly is advocating a rather traditional package of gender roles, and this will infuriate some. But she did not say that a mother’s highest purpose is cleaning the bathroom, so save your fury if it’s directed against something she didn’t say.

  143. Uh, 18 months. I wore pantyhose for 18 months and I want credit for every day of that, and it also exempts me from pantyhose for the rest of my life, IMHO.

  144. Ryan,
    Maybe, but it’s still apples and oranges. Not a single RM listening last night needed to feel guilty for being unable now to meet those physical requirements.

  145. “If it’s true, and I testify that it is, then this is the most important work on the face of the earth”

    He sounded very powerful right there

  146. Rosalynde, in my home, it is my responsibility to clean the bathrooms. My wife HATES cleaning the bathroom. Me, I don’t mind, so I do it. :-)

  147. Anyone concerned that we are trying to be just another Christian denomination isn’t listening to this talk – or those yesterday.

  148. i can’t imagine anyone listening to pres hinkley right now and doubting a word of it. He is amazing, his testimony gives me goosebumps.

  149. #267 “I wore pantyhose for 18 months and I want credit for every day of that, and it also exempts me from pantyhose for the rest of my life, IMHO.”

    I heartily agree! We’re exempt. Any other sister RMs who want to join our pantyhose rebellion?

  150. Rosalynde, I personally have no objection whatsoever to being inspired to do better–although I definitely hear Heather O’s objection to framing our most personal family relationships in terms of a competition. My reservations about Sister Beck’s talk have rather to do with the relentless emphasis on motherhood. (I do, however, give the woman full credit for speaking in a normal voice like a normal human being. Hooray! Now THAT is power. :) )

    But I have to wonder to what extent the “fluttering and fainting” you find among embarrassing in the comments of your sex is a function of the way we read objections by women rather than anything inherent in those objections themselves. If men express distaste or discouragement, my suspicion would be that they would not be subject to accusations of “fluttering and fainting.” Different reactions and disagreement are probably inevitable on such controversial topics as women’s lives and roles. But–as I’m understanding your characterization of others’ reactions (and please correct me if I’m wrong!)–you seem to be reading them somewhat uncharitably, and using the language of excessive femininity to dismiss them.

  151. about the motab–why not just put the sisters in collared white shirts??? The dresses are always awful, and the men look so nice. White generally photographs well and just makes it all glow…

  152. “and using the language of excessive femininity to dismiss them.”
    At least she didn’t use “hysterical.”

  153. Dude, sisters and brothers alike, don’t get all het up about Sister Beck’s talk. Stop asking yourself the question, are you good enough. If I could personally revise Sister Beck’s talk, I would take out the implicit comparison in the word “best,” as in the “best homemakers in the world.” But, by and large, she said good stuff. Don’t worry if you are good enough or not. Of course you aren’t. But that isn’t why you are doing all this stuff, it’s because you love the Lord and you want to be happy. And, don’t forget, Sister Beck did say we weren’t supposed to do it all. We have to choose wisely.
    Let’s be charitable and listen with the Spirit to the intent of the messages we hear.
    So, no worries about her talk.

  154. Just like a “real” family – the boys and girls fighting over whom mommy and daddy love best. *grin*

    What a powerful message from Pres. Hinckley.

  155. As I said to my wife, who was extremely upset by the talk, perhaps we should “put it on the shelf” for now.

  156. Maybe she chose the topic and words she did to provoke precisely this kind of discussion (maybe with a degree or two of reduced rancor). ;)

  157. It would be a real shame if such an amazing session – or the entire conference thus far – devolved afterward into a continued critique of one talk.

  158. Eve – Indeed. I prefer other “f” words to describe my reaction to Pres. Beck’s talk. Fuming and fulminating, for instance :)

  159. You know what folks? The only person accountable for how you receive counsel is you. And the only person you’re accountable to is the Lord. Being overly defensive of your criticism of Pres. Beck is unnecessary.

  160. Is anyone else watching the KBYU commercials? I’m a little blown away by them.

  161. #237, #238

    Re: 227

    I apologize. That was too harsh. Ray and It’s not me, please forgive me.

    I suppose I get angry at talks like sister Becks because so many mothers feel indequate, myself included. We struggle and struggle and struggle with motherhood, hoping that what we are doing is making a difference, hoping that our efforts are enough, hoping that it’s not the end of the world if we aren’t the best homemakers in the world, hoping that it’s okay if we somehow can’t have a house that looks we would like it too, or we think every other mother’s house looks like. And then we come to conference, and we hear that we have to be the best homemakers in the world. It’s discouraging.

    Yes, Rosalynde is right, it wasn’t the crux of her message, and I do believe that she was trying to give us what we all need to hear–that women DO make a difference with our mothering, and that we are powerful against the forces of evil. And I do appreciate that. I just wish that such a powerful message could have been delivered without the image that the best mothers have a clean sink and organized laundry. It speaks to the fear that every mother has–that if we AREN’T the best homemakers, then we are failures.

  162. I guess what really smarts is that here is a woman’s opportunity to speak in front of a worldwide church and be an example of what woman can accomplish. She could bear a powerful witness of Christ, she could give an insightful understanding of scripture, she could exhort to good works, she could encourage and strengthen, all kinds of things that the brethren have done for us this weekend. But instead it feels like she has put us in a small box in the kitchen. I’m getting the message that the only kind of power or influence I can rightfully exert is to have many children and to train them to be great, not to be great myself. Not to do missionary work myself, but to prepare others for missionary service. And with so many references to household chores. The way she worded her message, it seemed that if you are not happy with the traditional woman’s role, you do not have the kind of testimony that the great mothers of the stripling warriors had.

  163. I think I’ll get of the computer now and go clean house.

    Remember, cleanliness is next to Godliness…

    egads… St. Louis is up a touchtown over the Cards… maybe I’ll do housecleaning later.


  164. Well, Brad, I will certainly say I absolutely don’t envy her position! (What a nightmare, to have her calling!) The discussion here does beg the extremely difficult question: how do you inspire improvement and hope without inadvertently triggering discouragement? I think because the expectations for mothers, in particular, are already so colossally high, that it’s–obviously–an extremely delicate matter. My vague sense, from her talk and others I’ve heard in recent years, is that perhaps the high expectations ought to be on spiritual matters rather than on the infinite number of things mothers feel pressured to do from various cultural sources (hence the “mothers do less” remark). But that’s just my general impression.

  165. “I find the line that “mothering is the most powerful occupation in the world” to be patronizing, and I wish she’d left that out. But I find the all the fluttering and fainting among my sex to be embarrassing.” Rosalynde wrote.

    I can take straight talk from the hip anytime. I prefer it. This whole talk was patronizing, and denigrating to other Christian women. My boys should wear white shirts and have missionary haircuts and I should wear pantyhose? She focused on the fluff, on the extraneous flotsam of our faith- she focused on the cultural aspects of Mormonism, rather than what really matters- faith and service in the name of Christ. I find no satisfaction in cleaning my bathroom, or having the tidyest kids on the block.

    I don’t mind raising the bar, but lets raise it to something that actually matters, not to how something LOOKS.

  166. I understand, Heather. I really do. I also understand that there needs to be forum to express these concerns. I just hope it can end and not detract from what I believe has been an amazing conference thus far.

  167. 302 also–amen!! If I have to start worrying about appearances, I’m waaaaaaay behind…

  168. I still really miss pres faust. I loved his humor and his lovely smiling demeanor. I don’t know if I have ever seen a picture of him not smiling, he just has that face.

  169. A dispassionate observer might say, “Hmm, the leader of a worldwide organization of women has the pulpit to say whatever she thinks needs to be said, and she chooses to say *that*. Maybe it’s something to consider.”

    I wonder if some of the consternation is because so many women agree with her (even some who have made that comment here).

    (Although, I forgot. Men aren’t supposed to comment on behalf of their non-blogging wives. Nevermind.)

  170. And not to discount the testimony of the mothers of the Strippling Warriors – I’m sure they were strong, faithful women, but whenever I hear them referenced as the ultimate example of motherhood, it always feels hollow to me. Why, you may ask? Because I feel like the only reason they even get mentioned in the scriptures is beacuse the fathers were dead. Had the fathers been around, we probably wouldn’t even know about that example of great testimony juxtaposed with motherhood.
    My husband’s comment about Sis Beck’s talk was that basically, mothers are expected to raise others for greatness, but what about the woman’s ability to achieve greatness outside of her children? Basically, raise good sons to change the world and raise good girls so they can raise more sons to change the world. It’s a depressing cycle, personally, when I think about it, and I wish that female church leaders would allow us to have (and actually enjoy) power outside of children.

  171. Eve, I was referring to comments like 141, 168, 172 and the reactions report in 129 and elsewhere.

    But like I said, I don’t really want to be a part of this conversation as “defender of orthodoxy”, because that particular discussion is stale and boring.

    I’d much rather discuss how troubling I found Elder Eyring’s talk.

  172. #297: I actually got the opposite impression. I thought she was saying that women at home are not in a small box. It is a big box, with big consequences and great influence. I thought she was criticizing those who devalue the work of nurturing children, and trying to elevate that work in the eyes of those who might see it only as drudgery. There may have a few lines that made me wince, but I thought her general message was affirming.

  173. Let’s not forget how the Savior reacted to the suggestion that His Mother’s greatness consisted primarily in her having prepared Him for greatness.

  174. Seriously, RW
    Let’s assuage Ray’s concern that this discussion might devolve into a criticism of one talk by turning it into a criticism of two. ;)

  175. 307–I can see what you mean. That “depressing” cycle is exactly what the gospel is supposed to lift us out of. Science tells us that the whole purpose of life is, essentially, to perpetuate ourselves through creation of further life. That an organisms whole purpose is to reproduce. But the Gospel tells us WHY. But a talk like that can, in some cases, create feelings for some women of being exactly that–only existing to ensure the creation of a next generation. I personally fight that by having plenty of outside interests and reading a lot. But I am criticized (not by my wonderful husband or kids, by the way!!) by others for doing those things and not spending more time “homemaking” (which I think is generally a euphemism for cleaning and scrubbing!). Part of my “homemaking” is bringing a happier and more enlightened self before my husband and kids. I think it is good for us all.

  176. For the record, Ray, my efforts to generate substantive discussion of the non-criticism type earlier were summarily shot down by…uh, I forget who… ;o)

  177. I just wish Sister Beck would have said something about baking homemade bread. My Mom used to make the best homemade wheat bread. It was so healthy and tasty and good. It was the best homemade wheat bread in the world.

    [runs for cover]

  178. Rosalynde, OK, the remarks to which you refer are certainly vehement–but the capital letters and such simply suggest strength of feeling, and could at least as easily be read as deeply felt and forceful statements than dismissed as “fluttering and fainting.” My impression is that if Heather O and fmhLisa made such remarks above male handles, we wouldn’t even think to accuse them of fluttering. If DKL observed that something made him “sick,” we would read disgust, not proclivity for fainting. We tend to be “embarrassed” by what we perceive as women’s excessive emotionality. But I wonder: is the excess in the text, or in our gendered reading of it?

    But I’m belaboring a minor and tangential point in a much larger discussion, so I’ll stop now.

  179. Re: Elder Eyring’s talk: It depresses me to know that even an apostle experiences God’s intervention in the world largely as a product of hindsight bias, i.e. looking back on the random detritus of experience and re-shaping it into a narrative of providence. I want to know that God is real, not just a comforting hermeneutic by which to interpret my experiences.

  180. Heather (205)/Tracy(300): I think this might be what you are looking for (I’ve worked this quote into a half dozen RS lessons):

    As Elder M. Russell Ballard has already reminded us, there is great diversity in LDS homes. But all of these homes can be righteous homes where individuals love each other, love the Lord, and strengthen each other. Let me give you an example. Here are two quilts. Both are handmade, beautiful, and delightful to snuggle down in or wrap around a grandchild. Now look at this quilt. It’s a Hawaiian quilt with a strong, predictable pattern. We can look at half of the quilt and predict what the other half looks like. Sometimes our lives seem patterned, predictable in happy ways, in order. Now look at this second quilt. This style is called a crazy quilt. Some pieces are the same color, but no two pieces are the same size. They’re odd shapes. They come together at odd angles. This is an unpredictable quilt. Sometimes our lives are unpredictable, unpatterned, not neat or well-ordered. Well, there’s not one right way to be a quilt as long as the pieces are stitched together firmly. Both of these quilts will keep us warm and cozy. Both are beautiful and made with love. There’s not just one right way to be a Mormon woman, either, as long as we are firmly grounded in faith in the Savior, make and keep covenants, live the commandments, and work together in charity. All of us face different family circumstances and home situations. All of us need strength in dealing with them. This strength comes from faith in the Savior’s love and in the power of his atonement. If we trustingly put our hand in the Savior’s, we can claim the promise of the sacramental prayer to always have his Spirit with us. All problems are manageable with that strength, and all other problems are secondary in urgency to maintaining a strong spiritual life.” –Chieko Okazaki, General Conference 1993

  181. RW, Can’t it be both? That’s my own experience – and what I personally got from Elder Eyring’s talk.

  182. 320+ and the comments are still flowing without compulsory means.

    BCC: has a single general conference thread with 21 comments.

    Whither the fries?

  183. California Condor said:

    “Elder Cook is the Elder Cook is the archetypical Apostle:

    Stanford law degree? Check.

    British mission? Check.

    White Utah-born? Check.

    Partner in a law firm? Check.”

    He forgot a few other common characteristics of the “archetypical Apostle.”

    How about:

    A firm witness of the divinity of the Savior?

    Years and years of dedicated service?

    A profound love of God and humanity?




    And so forth…

    And so on…

    And on…

    And on…

    And on…

  184. Thanks, Deborah. My wife absolutely loves Sister Okazaki – and that quote is a good example of why.

  185. In re Sister Beck:

    Okay, I ‘m late to the discussion. Did she actually mention pantyhose? I missed that. I served a mission, wore pantyhose very few times during that period [i.e. mission conferences] and I still think I’m exempt forever. Except, darn it, when I am trying a case in court. Or should I not mention that? Cause I love being a mother, I really do, but I am rotten at housework and am happy that I get to be a lawyer and a mom. Lucky me. Or bad me. Definitely not perfect mom and homemaker me.

    My responses to Sister Beck are funny. After working for several hours on a service project last Saturday connected to Women’s conference I heard her talk and noticed 1) very cool hair 2) great voice of authority 3) loved her statement that service leads to sociality not the other way around. But, right after her talk, I felt totally overwhelmed by what I needed to do, and left, to go home and get a little comfort by hugging my great kids. She overwhelmed me. But I did love the voice of authority.

  186. I am amazed and shocked at all of the negative comments from Sister Beck’s talk. You guys remind me of the Nephites that rejected Nephi (the brother of Lehi) and thos that rejected Samuel the Lamanite. Instead of thinking negatively, why not take the inspiration in the talk, realize it is a message from God, and do good things and be better? The Spirit in Sister Beck’s talk was not degrading. Instead, it was uplifting.

    Quite frankly, if you are offended by her talk, I would kindly suggest that you go to your knees in prayer and find out why. Either we accept and sustain these as God’s servants on earth or we don’t.

  187. Rosalynde,
    Point taken, but God-in-the-narrative isn’t necessarily a heuristic (or comforting). I read it as a tacit (though probably not conscious) acknowledgment of what poststructuralists like Hayden White have been arguing for years: that we need narrative to confer any meaning onto our experience.
    After all, we have more of a collective cosmic narrative than a systematic theology of abstract principles (though the correlated gospel threatens to replace the former with the latter). Even the plan of salvation model–a heuristic aid developed during the late 19th century–is about systematizing a narrative in the way that catechisms or creeds (or Priesthood-RS manuals) formalize abstract propositions.

  188. “I would kindly suggest that you go to your knees in prayer and find out why. Either we accept and sustain these as God’s servants on earth or we don’t.”

    Unless you are a bishop or someone with ecclesiastical authority regarding the person this admonition is directed to, these words are never spoken (or written) kindly.

  189. Deborah, that’s a great quote and will probably make it into my RS lesson on families next week. At the same time, I don’t think it settles the debate over Sr. Beck’s talk; the line “There’s not just one right way to be a Mormon woman, either, as long as we . . .” implies that there are some non-negotiables and it seems clear that Sr. Beck would say that one of those non-negotiables is maintaining your home in a way that the house doesn’t distract from the spiritual/emotional/intellectual growth that should happen in it and also that the process of maintaining it provides opportunities to teach and talk with children. So the appropriate analogy from Sr. O would be “we all cook . . .but some of us start by killing a chicken in the yard and others start with a trip to Whole Foods.”

    In other words, lest we read too much into Sr. O’s comment, remember that the basis of her analogy is that all Mormon women quilt!

  190. David, as much as I disagree with and regret some of the reactions to Sister Beck’s talk voiced on this thread, none of them have violated our comment policy. They are free to continue the discussion, though I hope with perhaps a bit more light and less heat.

  191. Also, Rosalynde, President Eyring’s talk from last night could be read as making a completely opposite point, that God is the author of your narrative.

  192. “Deborah- that’s a GREAT quote, and I hope I have the opportunity to use it teaching sometime.”

    Tracy: I do to — because you would probably bring the homemade quilts to match the metaphor! :)

  193. David–I might consider walking a mile in my sister’s (or brothers) shoes before I made those statements. I hate to sound sexist, but don’t know if any male, however well meaning, could really have a clue about the guilt and pressure most women have. Just like I don’t understand many of my husband’s perspectives.

  194. David–and please realize that I say this with much sympathy for the position you take on Sr. Beck’s talk–your kind of rhetoric never helps. It just further alienates people and makes you sound judgmental.

  195. Yes indeed, Brad, all very true. But I would like to know that God exists and acts outside of subjectivity, that he interrupts and invades my own accounts of the world—at least on occasion—with the Real.

  196. David, I understand what you are trying to say, but, as John C. said, it can’t be said by any old
    Joe “kindly.”

  197. Rosalynde, I don’t get why the intervention can’t be considered objective just because I don’t realize that it was intervention until later. It was what it was whether I recognized it as such at the time.

  198. Oh, guess I should have said, “I would walk a mile in my sister’s shoes…in PANTYHOSE…before making those statements.” I have to think that pantyhose wouldn’t exist if men had to wear them…

  199. Cheiko Okazaki consistently provided a voice for inclusiveness, charity, understanding … she was amazing and I still think of things she said from time to time.

    David, I think I can understand why some people were having a serious problem with Sister Beck’s words. Her message pushed forward a view of a very traditional woman’s role in a home – something which makes some people get very anxious or uncomfortable or even angry. Some women will feel she’s challenging their capability as wives and mothers. It doesn’t get more personal than that.

    While she was speaking I kept looking at my wife to see if she would explode. She didn’t. But since we were listening to the talk and not watching, she got on the phone and called her sister to confirm it was Sister Beck speaking. Once this was confirmed, she went right back to listening to the talk. My basic impression is that she wasn’t surprised Sister Beck would offer this message over the pulpit. So I assume Sister Beck has a rep for being very traditional, orthodox and conservative?

  200. That’s right, David. No need to say such things. Everyone here already knows that Sister Beck is inspired.

  201. Amen, Rosalynde.
    I’m reminded of Bro Nibley’s insistence that our understanding of what goes on in the temple as just symbolic, idealistic, performance that remains on its stage as we leave and return to the ‘real’ world is a total inversion of the true state of things. The temple, he argued, is the only place where we face Reality.

  202. Julie, it is possible that sometimes things happen just as you suggest: God intervenes in your life, you don’t recognize it at the time, but later, looking back, you realize what was really going on. But hindsight distortion is a powerful cognitive bias, and if a primary way in which one experiences God is in hindsight, I suspect that one is often mistaken in one’s apprehension of the divine.

    Of course, that’s not the only way to experience God. There’s also Elder Bednar’s notion of tender mercies, which doesn’t offer me much solace, either!

  203. danithew, she hit many of the same themes at the RS meeting last week. Other than that, I don’t know much about her.

    For all the fireworks here, I am surprised that her admonition at the RS meeting and this morning to have children hasn’t gotten more play.

    While I agree with others about the ‘best’ rhetoric being problematic without careful parsing, I find Sr. Beck a breath of fresh air (in style and content) and can’t wait to read the talk on Thurs. when it goes up.

  204. re:333 Not sure what you meant? Kinda think we all could use alittle of that counsel.

  205. Maybe President Hinckley ought to have saved his Priesthood session talk last night for the general session.

  206. Are women who speak in GC told to limit their remarks to other women? I don\’t think so, but Julie Beck did that and others often do. Men speak to men in PM; they speak to the general membership in other sessions although sometimes, a speaker will address the youth.

    When she started on motherhood, I expected her to resurect the old \”there are millions of spirits waiting to come to this earth, we must prepare tabernacles for them\” which was popular when I was first married and having my family over 30 years ago. What happened to that?

    I also agree that she left fathers out of the process.

    Men have never had a \”handyman\” meeting to learn the fix-it-up arts. Why is that?

  207. MDS, the General RS President is not a General Authority. Her stewardship is the adult women of the church.

    As for the “pantyhose discussion”. I just replayed her talk and heard nothing about panythose. Is someone feeling guilty for not wearing panyhose?

  208. Ok, I have to concur. While I take issue with the fluff of focus on the cultural trappings, I do appreciate the complete lack of sing-song drawn-out conference talk Sr. Beck brought. I was actually able to listen without wanting to run away, which is good.

  209. “When she started on motherhood, I expected her to resurect the old \”there are millions of spirits waiting to come to this earth, we must prepare tabernacles for them\” which was popular when I was first married and having my family over 30 years ago. What happened to that?

    I also agree that she left fathers out of the process. ”

    If she left fathers out of this process, then I am really interested in hearing her talk.

  210. Julie, I also felt that it was refreshing to hear what Sister Beck had to say – in the sense that people at Church don’t hardly dare to speak up on these issues since they are considered to be so sensitive. How shocking can it be that the LDS church encourages married couples to have children?

    Having said that, I felt as a male that I ought to observe how women feel about what she was saying, since her words seemed directed to women more than men. From this thread, it appears she’s getting a wide variety of reactions from B’Nacle writers I’ve come to respect over time. So it’s interesting to see.

    In general, I try not to be too critical of speakers at General Conference. It’s a covenant thing, right? If someone were to get up and say something that was truly outrageous and out-of-line, then I would expect the leadership to correct what was said. Still, there’s no question that individual personalities have an effect on how the message is delivered and how the message is received.

  211. There were things from Sis. Beck’s talk that rubbed me wrong too, But she did say that as “Women who know” we should not try to do everything. To me this says we are striving to make our home a place of nurturing, not to make it perfectly clean, etc. I’d say that being perfectly clean, being an amazing cook, having the best looking and best-dressed children, etc. is the world’s definition of homemaking, not what a true defintion of “making a home” should be. I think when we walk away from a talk thinking “that was a really useless message”, it usually befalls us to reconsider it, see if we were misinterpreting, or if there are pride issues we need to just let go of.. I have to work on this myself.

  212. I think it is possible that Sister Beck meant that LDS women should be the best at homemaking collectively. Look at the success of Mormon Handicraft (torn down for the Conference Center) and the Lion House Pantry and the scrapbooking industry. LDS women already have an incredible reputation for domestics, rivaling the Amish. I served my mission on Temple Square and believe me, it is well-known. If you don’t fall into that category, fine, but I think the trend will survive with many outliers.

    My mission president on Temple Square, Robert Harbertson (General Authority emeritus), once had to get after a sister who was abysmal at cleaning up. She would learn these new foods from international sisters and then leave the apartment kitchen in shambles for days. The girl is adorable–everyone loved her–but finally it got to the roommates and the President heard about it. He gave her a gentle lecture about how the Spirit cannot dwell in unclean places and somehow I heard about it and it has really influenced me. I really believe that cleanliness invites the Spirit. I know HOW to clean, but I try to learn to LOVE to clean because of this fact. I’m learning. I personally loved Sister Beck’s talk.

  213. On another note, I mentally cheered at Sister Beck’s comment that women should spend less time and fewer resources in consuming the world’s goods. One of the real pathologies in our current shared accounts of motherhood is the inordinate prominence of shopping—for just the right home furnishings, clothing, baby gear, etc. There are a few parent-oriented blogs run by LDS that I feel very unfortunately promote this view of parenthood-as-shopping (not bloggernacle blogs or participants).

  214. General Presidencies are not GAs but I don’t think they’re told to limit their remarks to adult women, young women and primary children.

    John C. I meant out of the process of child rearing, not procreation. Sorry about that.

  215. “I think it is possible that Sister Beck meant that LDS women should be the best at homemaking collectively. Look at the success of Mormon Handicraft (torn down for the Conference Center) and the Lion House Pantry and the scrapbooking industry. LDS women already have an incredible reputation for domestics, rivaling the Amish. I served my mission on Temple Square and believe me, it is well-known. If you don’t fall into that category, fine, but I think the trend will survive with many outliers.”

    Huh? What in the world does needlepoint and scrapbooking have to do with homemaking?

  216. With you there, Rosalynde.
    Carol F.–I definitely believe that when my missionary apartment was unclean it was spiritually detrimental. My wife and I feel the same way about our home now. We try to share the responsibility for keeping things relatively tidy (3 kids and a 4th almost here), but inevitably, excepting weekends, more of those duties fall into her lap as I teach a class and have a full course load in my PhD program at a fairly competitive research university.

  217. Yeah, I can understand your consternation. At the priesthood session last night, the speakers came down real hard on the men. They made us feel like worms for looking at p-rn or getting mad and breaking things. How much can a regular schmoe achieve in one lousy life-time?

  218. Don’t worry about it, mmiles. There are lots of things that fall into the domestic arts categories. Cleaning is harder to market. The other is just an indicator.

  219. I can’t help but wonder what women in non-westernized more third-world countries would think about this discussion. What IS “homemaking”? And if you are worrying about putting food in your family’s stomachs, what are your priorities? (I’m remembering my Maslow’s triangle.) It is a mark of our affluence, as a western society, that we have the freedom, time, and technology to have these discussions.

  220. “On another note, I mentally cheered at Sister Beck’s comment that women should spend less time and fewer resources in consuming the world’s goods.”

    Amen and amen. Would that we would all fixate on that phrase.

  221. Anyone that is offended by Sister Beck\’s talk has chosen to be offended. Not every thing that is said in conference is meant for every person that hears it. Use what is for you, ignore the rest.

  222. Jack,
    That slant’s already been rehashed. See #213, 244, 251, 264, 269.
    An inapt comparison to say the least.

  223. Most of the time these discussions are wonderful. But criticizing and mocking talks when conference is not even over is disgusting.

  224. Anyone that is offended by those who chose to be offended by Sister Beck’s talk has chosen to be offended.

  225. I am offended by those who choose to be offended by those who choose to be offended by…wait, I lost my train of thought.

  226. President Beck’s message could be perceived by some as overly divisive.

    It could have fit in very neatly to the dogma advocated by President Benson 25 years ago. An ultra conservative gender-based model that clearly identifies the boundries of proper role modeling for women. The expectation of how ideal women in the Church should behave and act was laid out in finite detail in this talk.

    Unfortunately, this came off as unnecessarily divisive and for some offensive. My only comment to her message is that she appears to be ignoring the social-demographic realities of our day: many if not a majority of LDS women do not fit the ideal she is expressing….almost half of marriages fail, many women are forced to raise children as single parents, many women are compelled to work for survival of basic necessities. Case in point, both of my sisters are divorced and trying to reconcile the “ideal” with “reality.”

    If the vast majority of LDS women were SAHM who were married with children, I could understand President Beck’s message, but this is not reflective of the complex social reality of today. I would prefer a more pragmatic approach that shared the ideal, but recognized the reality of the difficult challenges many LDS women face, and recognize that the cookie-cutter model (as advanced by her) may need to be enlarged to fit the diversity and complexity of the challenges many LDS women face.

  227. No, Austin, the fact of my arguing against it does not make it inapt. My argument itself makes it inapt. ;)
    Seriously, though, if you want to argue against my assertion of inaptness, engage the substance of my argument.
    I’m more than open to revising my position.

  228. Why is it OK to take offense at something someone says in conference and to be offended when someone reminds us that maybe we might be better served by taking our concerns to the LORD in prayer, but not OK to urge each other to pray about our concerns? Sheesh!

    Possible subtheme of this conference: Apostles do not see burning bushes, only feel burning bosoms.

  229. Rosalynde,

    One needn’t take Pres. Eyring’s talk to say this is the only way God is involved (or the only way we know God is involved) in our lives. But we are commanded to remember and that remembering helps us see things in the past, and, I think see things more clearly now, than we would. I saw his talk as reminding us of the need to consciously remember.

    I was actually rather surprised at your reaction. As one who writes well and often, surely you see how writing (remembering) the past gives a meaning we wouldn’t have or that we wouldn’t see — a meaning that’s present with us as we write and remember. And if the narrative’s directed by the Spirit, or if it’s put in the a Divine framework (an incarnation as JimF says of scripture) this needn’t simply be arbitrary. Hope this helps.

  230. Razorfish, can you point me to what exactly in Sr. Beck’s talk (besides the admonition to have children, of course!) would not be applicable to a divorced woman? I don’t remember much (if any) in there about husbands. Everything about creating a spiritual environment for children would be applicable to nonmarried mothers, no?

  231. I always wait for the “I know better than thou” comments after conference. We love the inspired talks that muse and reminisce fun loving stories that pat our little backs. As soon as somebody starts telling us how to live our lives (when most of us aren’t up to par), lookout, as comments come out telling readers how uninspired leaders are.

    As I see it, those who complain about our leaders thoughts ought to remember why they aren’t called to speak to a world wide audience.

    Sometimes I wonder why people even watch conference if they don’t prepare themselves for the reprimands by both word and spirit. I don’t watch becuase it is ‘fun’, but becuase I learn what I should do better.

    With that said, it is too bad that some people feel like they aren’t measuring up. None of us do. I think members ought to remember that perfection is an eternal goal and that daily improvement is all that is asked. Conference talks should give us the direction we need to go and some encouragement to get there. Not necessarily in the same talk.

  232. “If the vast majority of LDS women were SAHM who were married with children, I could understand President Beck’s message, but this is not reflective of the complex social reality of today.”

    Perhaps Sister Beck is of the view that the “complex social reality of today” is at least in part a RESULT of the dismantling of those scary ultra-conservative gender roles.

  233. Just to clarify, austin and Austin are not the same commenters. I guess I will have to change my handle.

    On another note, that was a great session of conference. Elder Cook was very impressive, especially if he only had since Thrusday night to prepare that talk. And as was already discussed, the international theme was great. Too bad there’s only one session left!

  234. KerBear – He wrote inapt, which matches the context. So, I will go with inapt. ;)

    Brad – I do not feel the need to argue, nor the need to convince you that I am right and you are wrong. I have no problem with agreeing to disagree.

    When I am offended by someone, I have chosen to be offended and a victim. Society has conditioned men and women to handle criticism differently; I can’t fix society, only myself. By fixing myself and refusing to be a victim, I am making society better. My favorite answer when someone offers me advice or critique is to say ‘thanks for the suggestion’. Whether I take the suggestion is up to me.

  235. Here’s what I hope. I hope that as a result of Sister Beck’s talks these past two weeks, my local area will get more in the business of teaching the nuts and bolts of homemaking and motherhood. I have been telling my local leaders that for awhile, that if motherhood is my most important calling, I should get more free training on it. Here in AZ, Love and Logic (children behavior training) classes go for $160 a couple for four sessions and it is very popular to attend. I think someone should teach something like it for free as part of the training for my “calling”.

  236. Austin,
    I agree. In fact, over my career I have learned to use a version of “thanks for the suggestion” when presented with a hostile comment or critique at academic conference in order to avoid useless confrontations. There are some exceptions, but in general it works well in life too.

  237. Regarding my comments in support of Sister Beck, I am not trying to be overly critical of people that were offended. Of course, I am not offended. I am amazed, that is all.

    My comments were not intended to be an accusation, but rather a reminder of who these people are that are giving these talks. They are the words God has for us today. If we find them offensive, then perhaps now is the time to do some soul searching to assess where we stand. There is still time now to stand ready when the bridegroom comes. There is a sifting going on right now, and it is up to us as to which side we’ll end up on. Listening to and adjusting our lives appropriately as counseled by the leaders of the Church is always a good start in that process.

  238. My wife loved Sister Beck’s talk. She says it’s nice to stop being maternally coddled, and finally get it straight like the men do for a change. It shows confidence, she says, that the sisters can handle being rallied to greater heights without crumbling to pieces. And my wife is not perfect; my house is quite dirty right now.

  239. Austin,
    Content, as well, not to argue nor prove my rightness.
    But let’s be honest here: “Brad – just because you argued against it does not make it inapt,” is itself manifestly argumentative.
    Argument need not be about proving one’s self right and others wrong. It can also be instructive, synergistic, and edifying. I think that, especially when temperatures came down a bit, there was some substantive and enlightening discussion here about different ways to think about Pres Beck’s address and what it might mean for women and men in different circumstances with different challenges.
    On to session the fourth…

  240. Carol,
    So if I don’t scrapbook or do needlepoint it is indicative that my house isn’t that clean or that I can’t cook? Hoe does that follow?

  241. “And my wife is not perfect; my house is quite dirty right now.”
    Neither are you; your house is quite dirty right now.

  242. PS Do we want our leadership to tell us that all is well in Zion or do we want them to help us do good and be better?

  243. I wish to publicly thank T&S for this great public service. This way I can watch football and catch up with conference by reading these threads, which are way more entertaining than the real thing (even at 400 plus comments). Seriously, this is great and I appreciate it.

    I didn’t hear the Beck talk, but based on the discussion here, I wonder whether someone like Sister Beck doesn’t go out of her way to take a very traditionalist approach to gender roles and womens’ issues in an effort to sort of superappeal to what she assumes the brethren would like her to say. What I’m thinking is that a woman speaking in GC is so rare, she might put undue pressure on herself not to blow it for possible future women speakers by not being sufficiently traditional in this sphere. Sort of the way that middle managers in the Church bureaucracy are kind of superorthodox, trying to appease what they assume their leaders would want, even if they end up going further than their leaders in fact would do.

    Just a little psychoanalysis to chew on.

  244. OK.

    Since I had the distinction of being the first anti-Sister Beck comment in this little brouhaha, my wife has now chastised me for reporting only half of her gripe with the talk.

    Yes, my wife felt that it was a bit of a guilt trip, but that didn’t bug her half as much as how one-sided it was.

    Why is it mom’s fault the house is a pig stye? Where’s dad? Where is the injunction to the men to start supporting their wives at home?

    It didn’t seem fair, and that bothered my wife much more than the pressure being dumped on the women.

    For my part, some of this seems a bit like shooting the messenger. Pres. Beck is merely transmitting the party line here. There’s no need to rag on her personally.

  245. Though I found Sister Beck’s talk surprising (and not in a good way) in that it focused so much on superficial [i.e., all that matters is that we (and our homes and our children) look good], I found Elder Bednar’s talk, immediately afterward, a pleasant contradiction to that message (i.e., looking nice is nice, but it is the change of heart that matters). Since Elder Bednar is an apostle, I’m going to accept his message as more correct than Sister Beck’s message.

    (Though I will add my thanks for her ditching the sing-song pattern and speaking like a normal human. Nicely done.)

  246. I thought Sis. Beck\’s talk sounded like stuff that Dr Laura would like to hear. I also though it is similar to what we heard in priesthood last night about raising the bar.

    I\’m disappointed at all the comments from people who fall into hopelessness when they are challenged to raise their own personal bar a little higher in life every day.

    They totally miss the point of growing every day – line by line, precept by precept.

  247. Ah, I would actually consider Elder Oaks’ talk a much more straightforward contradiction to Sister Beck’s talk. Elder Oaks is awesome.

  248. Am I the only woman who did not hate Sister Beck’s talk? I understand how some of you might have seen it as emphasizing the wrong things, but I think you misinterpreted her words. Example: Beinga goood homemaker doesn’t mean you have the cleanest home on the block – homemaking entails much more than good “housekeeping ” – it was “homemaking” she said, not “housekeeping”, right? Is it possible that she was trying to inspire us – note all the positive interpretations the male commenters gave. Sometimes when we’re in the midst of motherhood, it’s easy to interpret encouragement for criticisml.

  249. Someone wrote: Why is it mom’s fault the house is a pig stye? Where’s dad? Where is the injunction to the men to start supporting their wives at home? It didn’t seem fair …

    Do women speakers (at General Conference) ever chastise the men/priesthood or focus all their attention/words on the male portion of the audience? I can’t recall if I’ve ever noticed that happening. Or do the women speakers leave that to the Brethren?

    I wonder how that would go over. It could create a very interesting dynamic, I think.

    Here’s a random question. I think I already know the answer … but has a woman speaker ever been invited to speak in the Priesthood session? Just curious. I don’t think it’s happened, but I could be wrong.

  250. Roland- I have no problem raising the bar. Everyday. I will raise the bar in a million ways- how I teach my children, prayers, scripture study, kindness to strangers, bearing my testimony, and a so forth. I WILL NOT be defined by how well a housekeeper I am. Period. Nor would I expect my husband to be defined by how green our lawn is, or if he wears a blue shirt to Sacrament meeting sometimes.

  251. No, shannon, I really liked it. I think that had she fleshed out the “best” language a little more she could have avoided some misunderstandings, but overall I thought the message was great. For years I’ve been complaining about the “you’re doing so well already!” message that is usually directed at women and so I for one was happy with this message. And while realizing that we need to be sensitive to those in less-than-ideal situations, I also think it is absurd that the pendulum has swung so far that we almost never hear an entire talk about mothering. So I appreciated that as well.

  252. I have done everything that Sis. Beck admonished us to do. I have seven children, stayed home, kept the house clean etc. So why did I let the tears fall for 15 minutes after her talk before I went back and sat with my family. Thanks for a forum where I can at least try and sort out my feelings.

  253. “I also think it is absurd that the pendulum has swung so far that we almost never hear an entire talk about mothering.”

    That’s what I’m talking about. I just had a conversation with my mom and she said one lesson a month in Relief Society used to be about mothering. In contrast, the mothering these days seems a bit like a free-for-all at times and I see some very sad and frustrated mothers who latch on to advice quickly when it is given. I feel the advice shouldn’t be so hard to come by.

  254. The problem is, if you are calling someone to teach parenting classes (as has been suggested), or mothering classes–you are getting one view of parenting. Perhaps in the past too much advice was given to parents, instead of letting them be prayerful and asking for advice when they really wanted and needed it.

  255. Good point, mmiles. I don’t actually think Sunday lessons are the best time anyway. There are too many single or older groups who are not in the market for the information. I think Home Enrichment and mid-week activities are the appropriate time. And not a calling, but different voices with solid opinions and experience. I don’t think it should be pushed down anyone’s throat. I think it should be available as an option more frequently.

  256. Hi mmiles,

    You Said,

    “nd my wife is not perfect; my house is quite dirty right now.”
    Neither are you; your house is quite dirty right now.”

    I think you are right.

    Those comments were made tongue and cheek, with my wife’s assistance (we both thought it was funny. Maybe you had to be there. We’re probably not that sensitive to this sort of thing because it is quite clear in our relationship that we share responsibility for household chores). I by no means meant to convey she is fully responsible for the house being dirty or that a woman’s perfection or imperfection is defined thereby. I guess one must be careful how things will come off in anonymous print.


  257. John-
    Yep. I don’t know you (at least probably not). That always happens on theses blogs.

    If you want something like that, I am sure you could start it in you area. If it were my ward, I don’t think there would be a turn out. They tried it in our stake once, free parenting classes. They don’t do it anymore.

  258. Hello…this is the world speaking…(ok, just an extremely disaffected Mormon)…and I\’m offended by Julie Beck.

    I didn\’t need her ladling on heaping helpings of guilt. I \’m not married and don\’t have any kids, but I cringed for my sisters that do, because they\’re doing the best they can under the circumstances. I\’m also old enough to remember President Benson\’s talk about women staying home because that\’s where we\’re supposed to be, and it did the same thing that I believe Sis. Beck\’s talk was designed to do. Lots of guilt laid upon women and it caused a similar amount of consternation.

    Speaking only for myself alone, Sis. Beck\’s talk gave me no warm fuzzies and doesn\’t incline me to want to go back to church any time soon.

    …end transmission from the world.

  259. Somehow I misquoted California Condor (#328). There’s a little hiccup in there–don’t know how I did that.


    Inapt-ness? You cut me to the quick! I was only trying to have a little fun at the expense of other people’s feelings. Oh, the irony!

  260. I loved Sis. Beck’s talk. I’m sure lots of women need to be handled with kid gloves but not all do and its a relief to see a talk that assumes that the women in the audience can be preached to without having their hand held.

  261. Unless you are a bishop or someone with ecclesiastical authority regarding the person this admonition is directed to, these words are never spoken (or written) kindly.

    Are you a bishop or someone with ecclesiastical authority over the person who made this comment?

  262. Why do all the faithful members of the Church of Whine watch my church’s general conference and comment about it so much? All right, I’m being too harsh, and whining about whining. Meta-whining. But still, why not devote equal time in our combox to building the community of Saints and affirming the inspiration we’ve recieved from listening to our leaders? Perhaps an omnipotent God can make some beauty for you out of the ashes you think they’re purveying.

    Go, Ardis P.

  263. Men have never had a ”handyman” meeting to learn the fix-it-up arts. Why is that?
    That’s a great idea. I wish we had something like that here. I suspect part of the reason is that we think men need to be at home more and women need to get out more.

    Carol F.,
    my mission president told us over and over that we needed to keep a clean house if we wanted to have the spirit, and he was right. That made a big impression on me.

    Rosalynde W.,
    Agreed. It comforts me that I have what I consider to be objective evidence of God’s action in my life, things like specific, detailed promises or spiritual impressions that I recorded in my journal at the time of the impression and that were later fulfilled in a manner that makes coincidence unlikely. But this is a handicap on our part, not a strength. Once you accept the gospel, once you move beyond the entry-level questions about God’s existence and action in this world, you can trust your post-hoc account of things because you know there is One who is able and willing to correct you where you go wrong.

  264. As one who writes well and often, surely you see how writing (remembering) the past gives a meaning we wouldn’t have or that we wouldn’t see — a meaning that’s present with us as we write and remember. And if the narrative’s directed by the Spirit, or if it’s put in the a Divine framework (an incarnation as JimF says of scripture) this needn’t simply be arbitrary.

    Mebbe I’m reading my own experience into what Pres. Eyring was suggesting, but evening reflections about how God’s hand was manifest during the day can be as much about recalling the instances where it was clear at the time that his hand was manifest and not just retroactively and with hindsight bias deciding that his hand was manifest in instances where you didn’t realize it at the time. In other words, I am capable of forgetting minor and major spiritual experiences within the span of just a few hours.

  265. Adam\’s quote: \”I’m sure lots of women need to be handled with kid gloves but not all do and its a relief to see a talk that assumes that the women in the audience can be preached to without having their hand held.\”

    Do you have any idea how patronizing and arrogant that is?

  266. I sustain our leaders and wish to support them. Sis Beck’s talk was hard for me to hear, in that I am single, no kids. Also I know lots of good women both LDS and nonLDS who work and are wonderful and caring mothers.

    I liked what she said about “mothers who know” in that they will seek to do so much for their kids. From her talk, I realized the spiritual nature entailed in being a mom, that is what had the impact on me…ie moms get to teach their kids, etc. Honestly I was surprised that so many of you who have kids feel guilt over homemaking! It is sad that we are all so sensitive, I shouldn’t be this sensitive as well, in my feeling let down due to being single. I think if the remarks had come from the counselor who is unmarried and has no kids, the talk wouldn’t have made me feel as let down.

    The comment about the kid who hadn’t learned anything in primary that he hadn’t already learned at home kind of hurt as well. While it is a great credit to the parents, and while parents have much to teach their kids, it sort of devalues the contributions of those (like me) who work in the primary. We give up our free nights w/joy to help in primary capacities, so it would be nice to feel we make a difference. For me, I just wish she had said “women who know” instead of “mothers who know”, as lots of us know have a testimony and are just as good as other women who are moms. Yet it is always the moms who get the #1 credit. So how will someone who remains single for life, remains faithful to covenants and strives to help othes make a difference? It is like the horse running after the piece of food hanging from a stick- we will run, we will work hard and do our best to help others at our work, in our family (of orientation & extended), help others in our ward and the community.
    Except that whatever service we do for others doesn’t count as much as what moms do. Not that what we do counts for nothing, but it isn’t as good as what the mom does– and that is what hurts.

    Yes, she did make a good comment about we can all be moms in the eternities and how the eternities are much longer than earth life. I just get tired of hearing the stuff about being given the same opportunities in the next life.

    I really wonder how some of those who say this would feel if THEY were the ones who hadn’t married or didn’t have kids, ie if they had struggled w/infertility or whatever. Would they be totally content to hear the stuff about the next life if the situation was reversed?

    I respect that and know the hope for the eternal possibilities can give hope to people.
    I just wish I as a single, nonmarried LDS women would hear more support in my current situation. I think we need a “new line” to offer hope. I loved what Elder Condie said about the “Lord remembered Rachel and the Lord will remember you.”

    It just hurts to be single and have no kids and hear the talks that praise moms and in so doing (I am sure unintentionally) discount the role that other women play in doing their part to make the world better.

    Anyway, I do thank those who said if we are offended by a talk to pray to find the reason. I do need to follow your advice.

  267. Nita: As a full-time teacher and member of a Primary Presidency (who gets to see the effects of good teachers up close), can I thank you across cyber-space for taking your calling so seriously. For some kids, it will make *all* the difference. I’ve *seen* it. . .

  268. It seems like all we ever hear anymore in conference is how to be good moms and dads, or good neighbors, or good citizens. Why can’t they change things up a bit and teach us how to be good ax murderers. I need a break from all the guilt, guilt, guilt.

    Deep Thoughts by Jack

  269. I don’t have a problem with the bar being raised, or with being reminded that I need to raise my standards (even, or maybe especially, in housekeeping – something that I’m just not very good at). I do, however, have a problem with nurturing and homemaking being explicitly equated to housekeeping – my home is so much more than the state of my dishes and windows. I believe that housekeeping should be something I do with my kids AND my husband. It also really rubs me the wrong way that I’m told that, as an LDS woman, I should be the best (although that bugged me a lot more last week when Pres. Beck said it over and over and over again). Again, being my personal best or being better than I currently am is something I need to work towards and a strong message I need to hear. Being better than my non-Mormon neighbors (at relief, at washing dishes, or even at living a Christ-like life) does not strike me as uplifting or helpful.

    “Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes, and dishes and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence. Therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world.”

  270. I neglected to add that after reading the transcript of Pres. Beck’s talk on FMH, the uplifting and positive and challenging really did outweigh the things that made me want to storm out of the room. And therein lies the problem. Whether the fault is all in my perception or whether there is actually something at odds with gospel priorities in her talk, the fact that so many of us (women and men) had a hard time even hearing the main points of the talk because of the few paragraphs of less-than-ideal-phrasing-of–a-worthwhile-goal (I really struggled with the right word there), it made the whole talk less effective. And there I go again, stuck on the criticism when my point was to say that there was much good.

  271. Sister Beck’s talk rubbed me the wrong way too! Pantyhose. Clean white shirts. It’s superficial. There so much substance she could talk about and she talks about clothes and housework. =(

    By the way, I’ve discovered the secret to never having to wear pantyhose ever again. Wear thigh-highs. If you get the true thigh-highs that come all the way up and have the rubber-cement-like band on the inside at the top, they stay up all day, you don’t have to remove or adjust them to go to the potty, and best of all, if you run one you’ve only lost half your investment. They give you such a feeling of freedom and ease compared to their evil cousins, the pantyhose. I buy them six pair at a time, and they last for a long long time.


  273. Yes, that was me screaming. I am beyond annoyed that President Beck is being repeatedly criticized for things that she didn’t say.

  274. MCQ-

    No argument there, even tho I always wear knee-highs because I wear long skirts. Because I don’t shave my legs. TMI, I know.

  275. Okay I read her talk again as transcribed on the thread at fMh. You’re right that there’s no specific mention of pantyhose. There’s just a nearly complete identification of the worth of women with bearing children and doing housework including washing dishes, washing windows, etc. (all spelled out with cheesy-video reinforcement), and keeping their children always looking good with missionary haircuts and white shirts on the boys, and clean pressed dresses on the girls. It does seem to me that she puts undue emphasis on the superficial, and relegates all housework as a woman’s responsibility. Both of those things bother me a lot. The talk totally alienates me.

    It’s funny that during the Saturday morning session I had such a powerful spiritual witness that this is the true church and the most important work that’s going on today. That it’s where I should be. Then when Sister Beck spoke, though she’s the leader of my auxiliary of the church, my special leader among the leaders, I totally felt that I don’t belong here at all. I love the restored gospel. I love this church. But the church tells me over and over again that I don’t belong, that I’m not valued or wanted. I’m an interloper. God sends me these powerful invitations, and then the Relief Society pushes me back out the door. Which one is mistaken?

    I think what God’s asking me to do is to be a member anyway, and fight for am earthly church that won’t exclude women or stifle them or stuff them into a box that’s too small or doesn’t fit. In the early church, as we now know from reading and researching our history, women were encouraged to be doctors and mathematicians, accountants, lawyers, to use all their talents to the utmost in the service of Zion. Women had great power from on high, and exercised spiritual gifts in many ways that we are no longer allowed to do. This lessening of women, this circumscribing of women’s roles that’s going on in the church today began in the early to mid 20th century, and is not from God.

  276. Tatiana: I think you should read it again, because it doesn’t say that.

    Also, fwiw, if you don’t like relief society, you don’t have to attend. It’s not required. You and your thigh-highs are welcome to come to my EQ meetings. We’ll even have treats.

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