Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday morning

A couple final thoughts
→Interesting how short the prayers in this session were.
→And speaking of prayers, one last thought before moving on to the next session: Why don’t women ever give prayers in general conference sessions? I mean, it’s not like they have to be offered by general authorities (not too many decades ago the tradition was to have stake presidents offer general conference prayers)—so why not open it up a little?

Dieter F. Uchtdorf
→Interesting unasked question: Does one need a reason to love someone or something?
→He said that the closer we get to God, the more we love God. This raises another interesting question: If perfect love casteth out all fear, then does that mean that if we fear God (in the sense of being afraid, not the semi-obsolete sense of giving reverence), then we don't properly love God?

David A. Bednar
→I went googling for the text of an address of David A. Bednar’s a few weeks ago, and i discovered that he’s pretty intensely hated by a very vocal group of people out there. One of the most common charges? He’s bland, and therefore a stealth public-relations scheme to make Mormonism look reasonable to non-Mormons. Now, aside from this being paranoid on way too many levels to count, i don’t think they’ve been watching the same person by that name that i have.
→Nice use of the ambiguity in the term “bear testimony”.
→How long have general conference addresses been attempting to purge testimony meetings of travelogues and such? I’m starting to think that if they really want this to change, they’re going to have to change the format of those meetings somehow.
→Why do general authorities nearly consistently refer to their wives in public as “Sister X”? It’s always felt vaguely squicky to me.
→I’d like to say that i like the example of brushstrokes working together to create a painting.

Russell T. Osguthorpe
→“Osguthorpe” is officially the coolest name of the day so far.
→This guy’s the Sunday School general president, and he’s talking specifically about religious instruction—brings to mind the way the presidents of the Seventy used to nearly always talk about missionary work (which makes sense, given their charge in the book of Doctrine and Covenants).

L. Whitney Clayton
→Serious question: Do bad things ever happen simply because bad things happen? He’s dealing with trials/burdens that happen to us because we are evil (punishments) or to teach us lessons (blessings in disguise)—is he treating this as a conprehensive list, or as two possibilities out of many?

Vicki F. Matsumori
→We live in a skeptical age. I’m actually comfortable with this, but it does seem to have crept into our preaching, you know? The Holy Spirit is a God—so why do we focus so much on the tiny “feelings of peace and warmth” manifestations of this God, rather than the great and powerful manifestations that a God is capable of?

Richard G. Scott
→As someone who sometimes uses “obscure references” when i teach, i do think i should point out that some of us simply have those rattling around in our heads, so it’s natural to use them—from us, it’s not an attempt to impress people, it’s just what we do. (Now, that said, i do agree that some people use obscurity in weird ways.)
→Grapes and jalapeno peppers together—yummm!
→Strong emotions can block out communication with the Spirit? So does this mean those whirlwind BYU engagements work against the Spirit? Just wonderin’.
→I’m gonna have to go through Elder Scott’s conference addresses since he was called to the Twelve—has he ever not included an at-least-oblique reference to pornography?
→ General conference addresses that deal with pornography seem to assume it’s all about the men, but women can be pretty ardent consumers of porn, too. Do women and girls get similar messages in Relief Society and Young Women’s general meetings? I’m gonna have to look thatt up.

Thomas S. Monson opens us off:
→Temples in Brigham City, Utah (pretty close to existing temples) and Fort Lauderdale, Florida (read: Miami, not terribly far from Orlando but far enough to create logistical headaches). Russia still gets bupkis.


Michelle said...

As someone who did not want to stay up past midnight to watch conference, I only saw/heard the Saturday morning session so far, so thanks for the summaries.
My notes - after the closing prayer, all of us here (me, Jim and 4 missionaries) were agreed that such a short, to the point prayer was the best we'd heard in Conference in a long time.
I can't believe someone would say Elder Bednar is bland. He has such a unique way of interpreting phrases and putting twists on commonly used words (i.e. "going" to church, "going" on a mission not really encompassing what is involved).
I think Elder Scott is my new favorite speaker. Every time he speaks lately, it really seems like he feels raw emotion for the topic he is addressing. Remarkably open for a General Authority I'd say.
Sorry for the lengthy comment...

Butter said...

I can't think of any anti-porn talk from a general meeting. There have been lessons on porn in RS, though. A sister in our ward, one you have known most of your life, was addicted to porn a few years ago. She says it is definitely not just a men's issue.

I am going to hereafter refer to Jamie as Brother Hejduk. And I'm going to pronounce it wrong just for kicks. Then I can be like my friend who sometimes calls her husband by his name (Troy) and sometimes by his nickname (Ched) leading someone to ask her if she was married to two men (obviously asked by someone as swift as the one who asked me if I was a lesbian since my husband is named Jamie which everyone knows is a girl's name).

I know a few too many people who rattle off obscure things to make themselves sound smart. Of course they are often wrong but I suppose they SOUND smart saying it...