Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Saturday afternoon

Boyd K. Packer
→He’s speaking from his seat. I’d known he’d been having health problems, but i hadn’t known they’d progressed so far.
→Hint for rail travelers: Don’t pull the emergency brake if you’re on a train going the wrong way—get off at the next stop. Pulling the emergency brake is a very, very good way to get a lot of people very, very angry at you.
→Thinking of a hymn to push immoral thoughts out of my mind doesn’t work—i simply end up thinking naughty thoughts to the sound of sacred music. Further proof that i’m evil, i suppose, as if you needed any more evidence.

Neil L. Andersen
→Addresses like this have to walk a fine line—is it pointlessly easy to repent, or is it pointlessly difficult? It’s actually neither, presumably, but it’s hard to strike a balance.
→Unless i’ve missed it, he hasn’t talked about “the steps of repentance” (or, even worse, giving a specific number of steps it takes to repent). Repentance is, as he points out, a continuous process, not a discrete one.

Kent D. Watson
→Temperance? I am reminded of St. Augustine’s famous non-penitential prayer, “Lord, give me chastity and temperance, but not now.”
→Anyone out there know enough Koine Greek to let me know what word got translated as “temperance” in the New Testament verses he quoted? I’m curious what precisely it meant in the Greek.

Tad R. Callister
→I got that the intro was about Peter after one and a half clues. Do i get a sticker for knowing my New Testament?
→The dude speaks very quickly but very clearly. I like his speaking style.
→We have to be careful when we claim that it only makes sense that divine revelation occurs nowadays ’cause God loves us now just as in ancient times. However, taking that to its logical conclusion would mean that God didn’t love people in the middle ages, or in ancient China, or other such cases.
→Were all the keys actually restored through Joseph Smith? Or does God reserve some keys, not to be delivered to mortals? I don’t know that it really matters for us, but i wonder.

Henry B. Eyring (addenda to the sustaining of church officers)
→I’ll bet the three guys he mentioned were relieved to find out they were getting released, after all—i mean, they’d probably planned a full night’s sleep and everything!

Jorge F. Zeballos
→When are non-native speakers of English going to be allowed to speak in their native languages in general conference? I mean, i remember listening to Ángel Abrea back in the day and being able to tell that he had something really, really important to say—but his facility with English was distracting enough (and slowed his delivery down so much) that it didn’t really come across. (Or is this yet another so much for being an “international church” item?)
→I like the implied (and nearly explicit) claim that it’s possible to become perfect in this life. The “nobody’s perfect in mortality, save Jesus Christ” meme lets us excuse ourselves of a lot of stuff we shouldn’t excuse ourselves of.

Robert D. Hales
→Interesting—a lot of review of fairly basic but mostly exclusive-to-Mormonism theology. I wonder if addresses like this in part an attempt to make sure that the rapid rate of conversion into the church doesn’t end up shifting Mormon theology toward something more mainstream.
→“Most of us will not see God as the prophets have…”—i thought D&C 130:3 says precisely otherwise, at least for the righteous, no?

Dallin H. Oaks
→“A young adult in a cohabitation relationship…” Can i just say how much this turn of phrase made the word nerd in me giddy?
→I’m pretty sure that he’s rather emphatically not saying that parents shouldn’t love their children who sin. I’m also pretty sure, though, that a number of people in and (probably mostly) out of the church are going to take some of what he’s saying that way.
→I like the fact that this directly confronts the fact that God gets angry at us sometimes—we tend to avoid that fact (out of discomfort?) in favor of focusing on God’s love.

Henry B. Eyring (sustaining of church officers)
→Why are area authorities sustained in general conference? They don't have, well, general authority—why do i (in Alaska) sustain someone who has authority in, say, Thailand but not here?

1 comment:

Butter said...

I love Dallin H. Oaks.

I didn't know President Packer was that bad off. He's such a cute little man. He spoke at stake conference in VA three years ago. I was surprised at how small he is.