Asking and seeking are clearly not the same as demanding. The former is Joseph Smith at 14, the latter is Martin Harris with the lost pages, and I think this distinction is evident to most people who watched the talk in good faith.
Earlier I talked about how it seemed that many of the brethren came from inactive households, now there are two more that I didn’t know about until their conference talks: Elder Cook and President Ballard. Again, something to buoy up people who feel otherized because their family situation doesn’t match some ideal template.
I also see some chatter on why the brethren keep hitting the Proc. “Everybody knows what the Church’s position is, can’t they move on?” Yes, I don’t think anybody is unclear on the Church’s position, but some are still promoting the “hold on and the Church will change” perspective on Proc issues, which I think does more harm than good (I would believe this just as much if I was on the other side of the issue), whereas the more times the Church hits this the harder it is to walk back. In international relations this is called “costly signaling,” and I suspect it’s intentional. The sooner this point gets across the sooner people can stop halting between two opinions and make their life decisions accordingly.
It does look like growth rates are starting to rebound. As I’ve mentioned before, some of this growth is an artificial rebound from delayed child-blessings and the like that won’t be captured in the next set of numbers. Ultimately, the test for the extent to which the pandemic simply delayed growth from “tempo effects” or actually reduced it will come with the first full set of pandemic-less numbers, so we’ll be able to do a fuller pandemic post-mortem on Church growth next year.