Episode 85a: 180th Semi-annual General Conference Saturday Review

23 comments on “Episode 85a: 180th Semi-annual General Conference Saturday Review”

  1. Janet Reply

    As to Kyle’s comment about the “conference conspiracy” and topics being assigned . . . I have a hard time not believing that. About 30 years ago (before my mission) I worked at the dear old COB (Church Office Building) in a small department that handled all office supplies, copy services etc. A couple of days before conference, all the talks were hand delivered to us (and watched over) after being reviewed and approved by Correlation where we in turn had to make several copies so that a few (well guarded) copies could be distributed to those who needed them in preparation for the conference. There were three of us, the department manager, assistant manager and me (the secretary) to be sure no “extra” copies were made or that there were any “wandering” eyes taking sneak peaks.

    That was a big disappointment to me (I was quite naive) because I thought their talks were more inspired and straight from the spirit. (So much for magical thinking).

    There’s probably a “correlation master sniper” with his tranquilizer gun on guard to take out any who might stray from their talks. . . Elder Legrand Richards was the only one who wasn’t required to submit a talk for review before conference.

    Great jobs. I was actually tempted to listen to conference this weekend – something I never looked forward to when I was an active member.

  2. Janet Reply

    As to Kyle’s comment about the “conference conspiracy” and topics being assigned . . . I have a hard time not believing that. About 30 years ago (before my mission) I worked at the dear old COB (Church Office Building) in a small department that handled all office supplies, copy services etc. A couple of days before conference, all the talks were hand delivered to us (and watched over) after being reviewed and approved by Correlation where we in turn had to make several copies so that a few (well guarded) copies could be distributed to those who needed them in preparation for the conference. There were three of us, the department manager, assistant manager and me (the secretary) to be sure no “extra” copies were made or that there were any “wandering” eyes taking sneak peaks.

    That was a big disappointment to me (I was quite naive) because I thought their talks were more inspired and straight from the spirit. (So much for magical thinking).

    There’s probably a “correlation master sniper” with his tranquilizer gun on guard to take out any who might stray from their talks. . . Elder Legrand Richards was the only one who wasn’t required to submit a talk for review before conference.

    Great jobs. I was actually tempted to listen to conference this weekend – something I never looked forward to when I was an active member.

  3. Swearing Elder Reply

    I heard about the Portugal temple (a friend posted it to FB), but didn’t know about the others.

    Seriously? Can the church really sustain all these temple? I guess if they’ve got the cash, why not — even if they just open the temple on Saturdays for a few hours?

  4. Patrick Reply

    Ha Ha John! You bleeped Sh$t but left all your “God Dammit’s!”

    I think the one skill that any GA or auxiliary head needs is the ability to read the teleprompter without looking like it. There were some talks there that were the worst read-a-thon sacrament meeting level bore-fests!

    I’m going to try to find some active friends to be on the panel next conference to balance out the harping. I tried to discuss the some of the critiques with my wife but she got too grumpy…I think it’s a Mormon culture thing to believe in the fallibility of Apostles and Prophets but just not during Conference.

  5. Duke of Earl Grey Reply

    Concerning the “really obnoxious Joseph Smith story” ­čÖé told by Rosemary M. Wixom, I had an Institute teacher in Salt Lake a few years ago who had an interesting take on it. He mentioned how Joseph Smith Sr had had a lot of trouble with alcohol around that time, and that maybe Joseph Jr refused the drink as his way of saying, “If I don’t need it, then you don’t need it” but also to show his love and trust, wanting his father to hold him. I don’t know, it’s a bit sophisticated for a 7-year-old, but it’s possible, and I like it. It’s a different way of approaching the story, anyway. I wonder if that Institute teacher got sacked. I haven’t seen him lately…

    And maybe the Smiths wouldn’t have had brandy lying around, but why wouldn’t the doctor have some, if that was the intended anesthetic?

  6. NoCoolName_Tom Reply

    I loved hearing Richard Edgley say that he didn’t know where Zarahemla was; I could be wrong, but I took that as a subtle swipe against Meldrum’s Heartland Model that has been gaining inertia recently as something of a “Tea Party” model — the Book of Mormon didn’t happen in Mexico, it happened in the USA, darnit! While I personally have trouble with any model based on an interpretation of the Book of Mormon as a fully ancient work, Meldrum’s model really bugs me both for its distrust of science as well as its nationalistic stance towards the US.

  7. Joseph Reply

    I agree wholly with your critique of Quentin Cook’s talk: it was ridiculous — a collection of ahistorical, ignorant nonsense that fundamentally misrepresented the differences between religion and “secularism” (which is really just someone else’s religion).

  8. Skrattarinna Reply

    I think there may have been two reasons for the heavy emphasis on sustaining the prophet: First, the backlash against Prop 8, of course. Second, I think it is going to become increasingly clear that he is probably suffering from Alzheimer’s. I attended the first live session of the Gila Valley temple dedication–when President Monson told the exact same story for literally the third time in a row without anything in between, there was a very uncomfortable feeling in the room.

    From little side comments he has made, I think he has been strongly encouraged to not go off script . . . but he just loves to tell that story about his first date too much to resist.

    Having several close relatives who have had Alzheimer’s, the memory lapses, childlike behavior, and increasing tendency to recall and share favorite memories are all too familiar.

    It’s going to stick out especially following President Hinckley who was always so sharp, all the way to the end.

    Being in my twenties I can’t remember any past Presidents with Alzheimer’s. Have there been any in modern church history that you remember? If so, how did the Church handle it? What did they do to maintain the illusion of the dignity of the office?

    • Jake Reply

      I am old enough to remember when Joseph Fielding Smith and his wife spoke at a large area conference in Los Angeles back in the 70s. He was clearly not “all there” to the point where the atmosphere became embarrasing and uncomfortable. Shortly thereafter, his media appearances pretty much stopped.

      The church will never admit that its chief prophet, seer and revelator has gone senile. For a while he may take his place on the stand at General Conference (assuming he can sit upright quietly and won’t get up and start wandering about), but he won’t speak. Later, he will be absent altogether, which will be blamed on “health reasons.” However, the real reason for his absence will be generally known, through the Mormon rumor mill. Meanwhile, all the GAs will make a point of saying how they recently had a private meeting with the prophet and that he continues to inspire them, sends his love to the members, etc.

  9. Nonny Reply

    Great review folks. Plus you go this posted in record time. I love it when John gets animated!

  10. Oz Reply

    I think Richard G. Scott won the “Best Tie at General Conference,” it was borderline worldly for the brethren. Great shade of blue though.

  11. Oz Reply

    I think Richard G. Scott won the “Best Tie at General Conference,” it was borderline worldly for the brethren. Great shade of blue though.

  12. Ray Reply

    One more thing:

    The real question for me is what the percentage is for uber-dedicated members of other denominations.┬á There is no obvious, easily-identifiable, quick, survey-friendly measure for them, so we have an uber-dedicated Mormon rate and no comparable rate for other religious groups.┬á For all we know, the rate for temple married Mormons might be exactly in line with other comparable groups – but we have no way currently to know, one way or the other.

    • Eric Z Reply

      Ray,

      I think you make good points in both of your posts. It’s true that there is no way of knowing how many uber-dedicated members within Mormonism (or other denominations) get divorced, but I would submit that measuring dedication is impossible. And even if it was definable, it certainly is unmeasurable. Because it can’t be measured, I think the best we can do is use extant data.

      When I was looking for divorce statistics, I couldn’t find any report that looked at the actual religious ceremonies in which a person participated (e.g. Mormon temple sealing) and the divore rate. If I would’ve found anything to suggest that temple married Mormons divorce at a lower rate, I would have posted it. But I saw nothing that.

      I realize comparing Utah data with church data may be unreliable, and that we reach the same conclusion as your point 2 below. But I think it is the best available data set we can use. Perhaps I could have softened my conclusion by stating “it appears temple married persons divorce at the same rate.” But I don’t think it changes the intent of the post.

      Finally, I think I read that Mormons who marry non-mormons experience a 40% divorce rate, which as you say is about doulbe the normal divorce rate.

      Let me know if that answers your points.

    • Eric Z Reply

      Here is what CDC said:

      “Rates are based on provisional counts of divorces by state of occurrence. ┬áRates are per 1,000 total population residing in area.”

      It appears that rates is per total population, and not just adults. But I will dig a little deeper and see if I can’t get a more concrete answer.

    • Eric Z Reply

      Here is what CDC said:

      “Rates are based on provisional counts of divorces by state of occurrence. ┬áRates are per 1,000 total population residing in area.”

      It appears that rates is per total population, and not just adults. But I will dig a little deeper and see if I can’t get a more concrete answer.

    • Eric Z Reply

      Here is what CDC said:

      “Rates are based on provisional counts of divorces by state of occurrence. ┬áRates are per 1,000 total population residing in area.”

      It appears that rates is per total population, and not just adults. But I will dig a little deeper and see if I can’t get a more concrete answer.

  13. Bridgetdonovan Reply

    Yes, Mormons are not taking their marriage covenants seriously. They’ve followed the trend of the world, which is to just unload the old marriage partner and go after the new. I’ll bet at least half of the divorces wouldn’t happen if people were just more concerned with pleasing the Lord than they were in pleasing themselves. Actually, we could get rid of divorce if everyone really loved the Lord better than they loved their own egotistical selves.

    • Anonymous Reply

      I don’t know about you, but I married my spouse because I love her–not because I loved the Lord or loved myself better than the Lord.┬á It is my considered opinion that the marriages in which one or both parties love anyone or anything more than they love their own spouse, even if that entity is the Lord, are potentially in jeopardy–especially if both parties don’t share the same degree of commitment to a particular religious belief system.

  14. Cody P Reply

    I don’t know where you got the idea that 6% is an often-repeated statistic. I’ve only heard 6% once before I read this article and heard the “half of Mormon women have or will be divorced at some point” or similar arguments countless times.

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