Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sorta-liveblogging general conference: Sunday morning session

Sunday morning session—the one session where the speakers can be guaranteed an extra-large audience for their message.

And as with the other general conference entries, the first speaker is at the end of this post, with the most recent speaker is at the beginning, with each speaker’s entries made in top-down order.

Thus, starting with the bottom of this post …

Closing prayer, didn’t catch the name, probably of the seventy
  • Did he just pray that we’d be blessed to come back to the next session of conference on time? If so, has this been a problem?

Closing song
  • What’s with the dirge-level tempos for the songs this conference? I mean, here’s “Come, Come Ye Saints”, which is supposed to be a joyful song, and it sounds like…well, like it’s about death and mournfulness.

Thomas S. Monson, president of the high priesthood
  • A parallel between a child learning obedience to parental rules to us learning obedience to God’s laws.
  • Thomas S. Monson, pyromaniac!☺
  • I have to say, the fact that he’s so willing to admit stupid things he’s done is very humanizing, and i think that’s a very healthy thing for us as a church, to recognize the humanity of our prophets.
  • Obedience has provided prophets with spiritual strength, and all of us are entitled to the same strength through our obedience.
  • I’d previously heard the story of Johann Denndorfer receiving home teachers in Hungary after World War II and taking the opportunity to turn in his accumulated tithing at that point. You know, it’d make for a bit less busy-ness for bishops on Sundays before church if home teachers could accept tithing payments nowadays.

L. Tom Perry, of the quorum of apostles
  • <nerd>He just hypercorrected the card-cord merger (in the word armaments)!</nerd>
  • Satan fills “a role in God’s eternal plan”. That’s a pretty obvious thing, but you don’t hear it described as such very often.
  • As a larger society, we routinely ignore six of the ten commandments.
  • Here’s a difference stemming from age: The release of Proclamation on the Family seems recent to him; it seems a good while ago to me; and for my kids, well, they weren’t even born when that happened.

L. Whitney Clayton, of the presidency of seventy
  • “Repentance and humility build happy marriages.”
  • Husbands treating wives as secondary partners are going against divine law. (You know, this has big implications if people were to take it seriously, and a lot of Mormon culture doesn’t actually match well with this bit of counsel.)
  • This address is one of the few blunt attacks on sexism I recall ever hearing in general conference.

Rosemary Wixom, president of the primary organization
  • This is an amazingly bright, bright yellow outfit, and very Nehru jacket-like, too. (Kind of a pity to focus on the clothing a female speaker’s wearing, but let’s face it, there isn’t enough variation in what the men wear to focus on theirs, you know?)
  • Soft voice=spirituality. So: Is this actually true?
  • In a description of a parent being around but not really interacting with their child: “In both cases, Doctor Halcomb [or however it’s spelled] observed a dimming of the child’s inner light.” Um, how exactly does one measure that?
  • Basically, we need to be nice to kids.
  • And that was a rather abrupt ending—makes me wonder if she had more to say, but the time-over light went on or something.

Neil L. Andersen, of the presidency of seventy
  • A pep talk on full-time missionary service.
  • After the age limits were changed, there were a number of applications from 18-year-old men and 19-year-old women already in within five days.
  • Those who aren’t serving as full-time missionaries need to catch (or regain) the spirit of missionary service.
  • The important thing in missionary work is the invitation, not the acceptance of that invitation.
  • A pitch for sharing the gospel online.
  • An interesting story on how to deal with preaching the gospel in areas where there are sociocultural barriers to full acceptance of the gospel (in this case, in Mozambique). Wish we had more details about how they got past the dowry thing—did they just teach people to ignore it, or did they manage it some other way?

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the first presidency
  • He’s is a fan of semi-representational art! Does this mean we might start getting decent abstract stuff in future church art competitions?
  • Continuing the anti-bullying theme from his priesthood session address, it seems, but this time with a direct focus on the bullied/abused person.
  • Another continuation from last night: God’s okay with and understanding of our occasional stumbles.
  • I love that he calls his wife by her first name in conference addresses. He’s not alone in that, but he does it pretty frequently. The whole tradition of general authorities calling their wives “Sister X” squicks me out a bit, and it’s been filtering down to the local level, too—so here’s hoping that that trend is on the way out.
  • No airplane stories today, or last night. The times, they are a-changin’!

Opening song
  • Really, MoTab? Pepto-Bismol pink dresses? Not a good idea, seriously.

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