Episode 161: October 2011 General Conference Relief Society and Priesthood Sessions

35 comments on “Episode 161: October 2011 General Conference Relief Society and Priesthood Sessions”

  1. Alan Reply

    These episodes are as close as I want to get to conference. My wife won’t even listen to them with me–it’s nothing against you guys. Amazing how much negative, toxic mo-baggage is tied up in GC, and it seems that once women become aware that they don’t have to put up with it anymore, it’s harder to go back to even listen to it. Thanks for sharing  your thoughts about the RS meeting. Even though it’s no fun being a male in the church, especially if the power thing doesn’t do it for you, I can’t imagine how damaging all the reminders of being a 2nd class citizen must be. 

    • Amy (sinclaire on PostMo) Reply

      well…after listening i feel sorta guilty for not being to interpret things more positively :/ Go figure. I found the Priesthood session interesting in that it also brought up feelings up being a failure and never being able to live up (missionary success) I’ll have to listen to the Satan talk…i would have liked to hear more about my personal Adversary. 🙂

  2. Jack Rodwell Reply

    on another note, one of the guys was right in saying always involve your son in whatever you do no matter what the reasons.  i remember my dad , who was a 25 year old young lt in the marine corps , taking me with him wherever he went even though it made his life difficult when i would start crying or making a fuss.  he still took me camping, to museums, or to watch a meteor shower on the beach.  looking back these were the best memories of my childhood.  so i make an extra effort to do this with my son.  even if you think its dumb or your son wont care, trust me this means everything to them. it will make it harder on you but trust me in the long run it is worth doing

  3. Jeannie Reply

    I was a little disappointed by how snarky the discussion of Uchdorf’s talk was. He said a lot of things that Mormon women deserve and need to hear – be patient with yourself, don’t make foolish sacrifices in an effort to live up to a certain unrealistic image of what you should be, be happy in the here and now, remember the “why” of the gospel instead of always worrying about your to-do list and remember God loves you. Basically, he said the sorts of things many of us uncorrelated Mormons say we wish we heard more in church. I feel like many of the commenters went out of their way to find negatives and read in more than was intended and that is a shame. If one of our liberal Mormon heroes had given the same talk I believe there would have been a totally different reaction.

    • Alyssa Reply

      I think that’s a fair statement. And I think we tried to mention that the subject of the talk itself was really good—that it was the kind of thing Mormons need to hear (not being too hard on yourself, finding joy in the present, looking for God’s love). I really like Uchtdorf, honestly.

      But being in the Conference Center during that talk is probably what did it for us. It was very different being there and listening to it in person. The energy in the room completely shifted when Uchtdorf talked—and it was hard not to see that as having a gendered quality to it since the audience had been completely silent during the female auxiliary leaders’ talks. So, for me, the more problematic element was the “meta” stuff surrounding Uchtdorf’s talk rather than the talk itself.

      • Jeannie Reply

        Interesting how different it was in person, though I have to say we had a similar response in our chapel, where about a half-dozen of us were watching. But I chalked that up to the fact that the first three talks were really boring and when Uchdorf stepped up to the mic we anticipated a good talk because his subject matter and delivery are usually pretty good. But if you were sensing sexual energy, like it seemed to imply in the podcast, – well, he is a pretty attractive man and we poor Mormon women need somebody to crush on:)

    • Amy Reply

      Since i was the “snarky” one, all i can say in response was that i shared my experience. i read from my notes and i wrote my feelings down as i had them. i understand that it was meaningful to you but my comments were based on how that talk made ME feel. A liberal hero didnt give that talk so i wont critique the talk while wearing rose colored glasses. i personally dont have any liberal mormon heros. all my mormon heros are ex mormons. i also dont really appreciate you saying what a “shame” it was that i didnt take the talk as it was intended. i’m done with being told how to feel about spiritual matters. i went into the session with a hugely open heart for what Uchtdorf was going to say. my mom and sister loooove him. i cant help that i was literally baffled by the way he chose to share his msg or how the other women reacted to it. i’m not going to apologize for my opinions. 

      • Richard of Norway Reply

        Snarky FTW!

        Personally I really enjoyed your comments and I always love a snarky take on any given topic – especially LDS related. 😉

        That said, I think it would have been interesting if one or more of you had an opposing view, like Jeannie seems to have. It always makes a discussion more interesting when not all parties agree.

        But I loved your comments and wanted to kiss you for them. *smooch*

      • Jeannie Reply

        No one has asked you or anyone else to apologize. I thought comments were welcome, however, and like Richard of Norway said, a little balance would have been nice. Heather tried to interject some but she was pretty much overruled. I appreciate Alyssa’s explanation of how different things were in the actual audience but I’m just saying that women all along the Mormon and liberal Mormon continuum appreciated the message of that talk It was discouraging to tune into the podcast and be made to feel ridiculous for that opinion. Once again, it made me question where I fit in the Mormon world. I never quite fit in with the believers and I don’t seem to quite fit in with the non-believers either. Maybe I’ll just become Catholic and make my mother-in-law happy. 

        • Amy Reply

          i can understand the need for balance and if you remember i said during the podcast “someone…take it to another level!!” i realized my comments were negative but its hard to “overrule” someone’s personal experience. i would love to have you on next years Womens ‘meeting’ podcast. we definately need more TBM types. your opinion would be great to have! i think its interesting that once again you, an active member is having a hard time fitting in. that would be an interesting perspective-not a hard liner and not a liberal. as for becoming Catholic….my mom converted away from the Great and Abomindable Whore so good luck with that 🙂

          • Richard of Norway

            My Mom always threatened to go Catholic too. Her mother left Mormonism for Catholicism. Mom always said it was because Mormons consider it to be the Great and Abomindable Whore and her mother really wanted to piss off her Mormon relatives. 😉

          • Jeannie

            I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted that you think I am TBM! I’m not, believe me. I’m married to a lapsed Catholic and have always been aware of my unworthiness among the more orthodox, who can’t understand how someone got through BYU without getting married and then had to settle for a non-member. I hated the Temple when I finally went through and stopped wearing garments six years ago, much to my husband’s relief. But I still choose to believe in God (faith is a choice, imo) because I just like the person I am better when I have belief in my life and enjoy growing and enriching my understanding of what God is and how he/she influences existence. I have chosen to remain active for the few friendships I have in my small branch but that is subject to change at any time. When the bad outweighs the good (and the scale is starting to tip that way) I will leave and pursue a more fulfilling path. In the meantime, I guess I cling to what good I come across and, judging by the reactions of the more orthodox women in my circle, Uchdorf’s talk was good. It gave them permission to be a little easier on themselves. It’s just sad that they should think they need anyone’s permission.

            As for balance in the commentary, I would suggest that next year you include someone from the midwest or east coast. If I’m not mistaken all the women were from the Mormon Corridor and I think the experiences outside of Utah can be very different. For instance, from what I’ve listened to I have concluded that the sexism many experience in Happy Valley is not as rampant where I am in New England. Women have long been included in leadership decisions as far as who should be called to their presidencies and our opinions are sought on a variety of issues within our units. That’s not to say I’m about to be called to lead the High Priests, but sometimes I think my Branch President wishes he could have called me to be a counselor when he only had one. Instead, I often functioned as one without the title.

            And the Catholic thing is definitely a joke. My MIL has made that such an issue in our marriage and family life I wouldn’t do it even if an angel with a flaming sword commanded it. Wouldn’t give her the satisfaction.

      • Oz Reply

        I thought each of your insights were great.  “The Shift” during Uchtdorf’s talk you all described forced me to seek it out and watch it myself.  WOW.  This sort of Uchtdorf Phenomenon brings to my imagination the similiar type of reactions Joseph Smith may have experienced during his life.  I can imagine JS viewing it as an opening to introduce the ole Celestial Marriage thing.  

        Thanks for sharing your very interesting thoughts on this session… 

  4. Alyssa Reply

    I wanted to mention a thought I had after we had recorded. In the podcast, a comment Cindy made prompted me to say something about how the traditional Mormon woman acts within a private sphere (the home) and the traditional Mormon man acts within the public sphere (the church, the workplace). And the consequence of that is that Mormon women rarely get public recognition for the work they do in comparison to men.

    Later I was thinking about how healing a sick child relates to that. When a child gets sick, the mom (typically) is the one who stays up late with the child or takes the child to the doctor, gets the prescription filled, etc. She’s the one doing the ground work. But then the father breezes in and gives a priesthood blessing and often gets the credit for healing the child—at least in a church context since the blessing is the thing that gets mentioned in church. It’s kind of an example of how the very real contributions made by Mormon women can be easily overlooked. And I think that has consequences for how Mormon women perceive their worth.

  5. Anonymous Reply

    I am glad someone mentioned that Monson sounded like something was in his mouth.  I asked my TBM relatives I was with if they noticed and none did. I thought I was going crazy.  To me it sounded like he had a lisp. Maybe he had some dental work done as one of the commentators mentioned.

  6. Jeannie Reply

    Another thing I noticed – Only Sylvia Allred wore earrings. The only bit of jewelry between the other two was a rather ugly necklace Julie Beck wore. I suppose Sis. Allred can be excused this little peduliarity because she is a Latina. First they came for the double piercings and I did nothing because I had only one hole in each ear . . .

    • Anonymous Reply

      “First they came for the double piercings and I did nothing because I had only one hole in each ear….”

      That’s my kind of humor.  haha.

      • Jeannie Reply

        I joke about it but I actually have real concern about the direction of women’s fashion in the church. Skin seems to be disappearing from view as hemlines get lower and necklines get higher. Jewelry seems to be discouraged also. I remember President Hinckley declaring “We do not, however, take any position on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings–one pair” and looking surprised when the women in the audience laughed. That he would presume to have authority over that is scary enough, but he also seemed to think all he had to do was declare earrings forbidden and they would be removed on the spot. Disturbing.

  7. Megan Reply

    By the way – I think it’s really, REALLY interesting to have these two meetings presented this way, back to back, because the men rarely hear the RS one and the women have (traditionally) been banned from the men’s meeting. the difference in message, in tone, and in reception are all fascinating, and say a great deal about both the modern church culture AND the modern NOM or post-mormon audience.

  8. Hamboneal Reply

    So if Hinkley is the “Hinkster”, would that make monson the … “Monster?”

  9. Elder Vader Reply

    I especially loved listening to the section on the Relief Society General Meeting.  I think I see pretty clearly the reasons that *I* no longer believe the truth claims of the LDS church.  And I think I see pretty clearly the gripes that *I* have with the LDS church.  But it was absolutely fascinating to listen in on the women talking.  Anyway.  Thanks ladies.  This was my favorite. 

    The past few days I’ve been thinking about why exactly the Relief Society session commentary stuck in my head so much. 

    One of the common threads I’ve seen among the disaffected is an anger, or irritation that we have been subjected to ‘brainwashing’ or ‘mind control’ techniques.  I know that I look back on certain scenes from my life and I just re-experience embarrassment, and anger.  I just feel like a big dummy.  I think the mind control techniques may be different for men and women.  As I listened to some of the gripes etc… I thought to myself over and over again “I never saw it that way” — but I did feel trapped, and stifled, just with a different strategy. 

  10. Brolygamist Reply

    Best comment on the podcast that I’ve heard in listening so far was “the good part is the 10% raise, but the downside is the homosexual sex, because I’m not gay”. 

  11. Steve Redinger Reply

    Mormons are NOT considered Christians by most Evangelicals.  This is mainly due to a few critical descriptions related to the identity of the Christ figure of Mormonism.  These attributes of identity assigned to the Mormon Christ are associated to LDS Eternal Progression.      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAZD4DhhlBo

  12. Dan Lewis Reply

    Hello I’m new to this podcast and I just heard something very interesting in this episode regarding the Seperate but Equal idea and that she had written about it on her Blog. Could someone please provide me the name of the blog as I would very much like to read more about this.

    • Alyssa Reply

      Hi, Dan. Welcome to Mormon Expression. Robyn mentioned your comment to me just now. Sorry that I didn’t see it earlier.

      I generally keep my personal blog where I vent about the church somewhat private, but I’m willing to be a little more open about these days. My review of Daughters in My Kingdom is at: http://oxymormongirl.blogspot.com/2011/09/feminist-review-of-daughters-in-my.html

      I post a new entry on this blog every couple of weeks. Today I’m planning on working on Part Two of my review of Daughters in my Kingdom in which I talk about how the book works to construct charity and service as being innate female attributes—and why I think that is pretty problematic.

  13. Jay Reply

    I used to enjoy listening to the conference review episodes on this podcast.  It used to be critical and thoughtful.  This one however seems have just become a game of who can come up with the most clever barb.  Disappointing snarky tone.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *