Thursday, October 14, 2010


My last post, and particularly the exchange following it between Heather and me, led me to wonder something about general conference: Since the written report is the official record of the conference and effectively overrules what was spoken there, and since the written report is freely available, why are we encouraged so strongly to actually listen to the could-be-changed speeches when they’re given?


Heather the Mama Duk said...

If you don't listen you miss some of the voice inflection and funny faces they make. Other than that... I don't know.

Actually, the majority of people up in arms about President Packer's talk *didn't* listen to it but went from media reports and second hand information about it. The majority who admit they actually listened *as it was being given* didn't have a problem with it. As Gay Mormon Guy points out in his very excellent blog post, President Packer has a very specific way of giving a talk - and it confuses a lot of people - but a couple of the things people were most outraged about weren't even about homosexuality. They were about porn. But you have to look at it in context rather than a pulled out statement here and there.

Also, I actually don't read the November or May Ensign whether I listen to conference or not. I don't know how many others there are like me, but listening is kinda my only shot to hear every talk.

David B said...

Yeah, i’m an auditory learner, so hearing it is best for me. Most (North Americans, at least) are visual learners, though, so the Ensign might work better for them.

And there’s the sustainings of general authorities and officers, which i’d meant to mention in my original post, along with the body of the church in conference assembled voting on matters of church doctrine (though that’s become very rare). You only need one general session for that, though.

I remember thinking to myself during the conference that Elder Packer was contradicting Elder Oaks’s previous statements on the nature of homosexuality, and i kind of wondered how the church generally would deal with it—by seniority and recentness Elder Packer would have won, but by sheer volume of commentary Elder Oaks would have. With the edits to Elder Packer’s address, though, there’s no longer a contradiction.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

I'm a visual learner. I'm just too lazy to read the conference talks. My mind also wanders while listening. I did better this time because I did digital scrapbook pages the whole time. I canNOT listen to an audiobook. I don't pay attention.