GC Day Two: Fall Conference Open Thread

October 2, 2005 | 97 comments
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Keep up the good discussions, everyone. I, unfortunately, missed most of conference yesterday, so I very much appreciated the summaries of the afternoon and priesthood sessions.

97 Responses to GC Day Two: Fall Conference Open Thread

  1. Guy W. Murray on October 2, 2005 at 12:08 pm

    Just from the opening choir selections, it appears the morning session may have a Joseph Smith emphasis . . .looking forward to that.

  2. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 12:13 pm

    Sign of the endtimes: Julie in Austin was about to post precisely what Guy W. Murray just posted.

  3. Guy W. Murray on October 2, 2005 at 12:17 pm

    I thought I felt a disturbance in the force!

  4. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:20 pm

    Looking forward to more parsing of “offensive” words used by the general authorities.

  5. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    You see! You see! He left out the part where Joseph Smith fired shots at his assassins! Then he used the word “martyrdom.” How can I find peace within myself when our church leaders continue to do this??!! (Okay, I’m finished with the sarcasm. Just had to get it out of my system)

  6. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    Mike B–

    I, personally, have no problem with the word patriarchy as our leaders use it. But I do have a problem with your attitude toward Saints who are genuinely trying to understand what our leaders are saying and what they mean by it. That effort should be lauded.

  7. Guy W. Murray on October 2, 2005 at 12:34 pm

    I’m pleased to see Pres. Monson refer to Section 135’s proclamation about Joseph doing more save Jesus only for mankind’s salvation, and his final reference to Praise to the Man. Well done.

  8. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    Julie in A: Granted, it’s difficult to get a true feel for who people are from little snippets posted on the internet, so I’m probably being unfair in my judgments of certain people. I think my post above is probably illustrative of this, though its readers won’t know that. What do I mean by that? Trying not to be judgmental of people is something I have worked on laboriously for several years, and I’ve gotten much better.

    My sarcasm, on the other hand, is a weakness I haven’t tried to work on as much. I need to work on that.

  9. EricG on October 2, 2005 at 12:41 pm

    I’ll be the first to admit I may spend too much time parsing words. But I honestly mean no disrespect toward those who have uttered the words. In the particular case of yesterday’s comments, the words involved an issue that’s a major one in our society, and I am often asked what the Church’s view is on issues such as that. I’d like to be able to give an accurate answer, and I also want to do what is right in my own actions.

    As for today, I enjoyed listening to President Monson, as usual.

  10. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    Just wondering (seriously), if President Packer’s critics are disappointed that he’s not speaking about the Law of Chastity. (By “critics” I mean those who claim that “Chastity” is his “pet doctrine”, as if that makes the Law any less important.)

  11. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 12:45 pm

    Good grief, the talks seem *exceptionally* good this conference. Elder Packer’s talk is fabulous.

    I’ve heard it before but I love that line: “We’ve been through heavena nd hell, love and lust, and now we’re working on repentance.”

  12. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 12:45 pm

    All right Mike,

    Down boy!

  13. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Nice to see a nod to some of the Protestant martyrs.

  14. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 12:50 pm

    11. Julie, earlier he said , “Now we’re working towrads Repentance and Salvation.” which strikes me as funnier.

  15. Wilfried on October 2, 2005 at 12:50 pm

    Perhaps interesting to know: when Pres. Hinckley welcomes civic leaders etc., there are in the audience, with special invitation, a large group of delegates from countries around the world, attending the yearly Law & Religion Symposium at BYU. Those delegates are invited to attend the Conference session and most do. It’s very well organized to give them this experience. Many of them, dealing in their countries with the relation between State and religion, have little idea of what Mormonism represents. They sure get an idea now…

  16. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:52 pm

    It’s somewhat curious that, not too long ago, when the conducting officer would make that remark (about civic leaders attending), the camera would pan to several of these “civic leaders.” Wonder why the change?

  17. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 12:53 pm

    RE: people in Europe, Africa, and Asia not feeling affinity with a religion founded in America. Yet, our detractors have no problem offering those people a religion founded in Israel.

  18. Ronan on October 2, 2005 at 12:59 pm

    Manean,
    True, but Christianity long since stopped being “Israelite” in its culture.

  19. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 12:59 pm

    On the one hand, what a comfort to know that Jesus took upon himself our sicknesses, pains, temptations, as well as our sins, that his bowels may be filled with mercy and know how to succor us. On the other hand, it frightens me to think what I might have to pass through in order to succor those in my various stewardships.

  20. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 1:01 pm

    I like Bateman’s personalization of the Atonement:

    Jesus didn’t just get one impersonal mass of sins heaped upon him at once via Golgotha and Gethsemane. Instead, it was a long line of individual sins with his experiencing each of our pains and sufferings. He has an infinite capacity to know us intimately.

  21. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 1:03 pm

    18 Ronan, my comment was a (muffed) attempt to show that our detractors also offer a religion that is not from Europe, Africa, or Asia. I hadn’t intended to focus on Israel — though I mentioned it. Clumsy, very clumsy.

  22. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 1:06 pm

    I like this sister’s (what is her name? that’s the disadvantage of listening . . .) emphasis on the benefits of scripture reading at different times of day.

  23. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:12 pm

    Sorry for the trivia, but Elder Scott speaks much differently in settings other than GC. I suspect someone told him long ago to speak slower because, for some, perhaps he spoke too fast. Speculation. Enjoy his talks, nonetheless.

  24. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 1:16 pm

    20.
    Seth, this description of Jesus suffering our sins individually answered something I’ve wondered about:

    Christ suffered for each sin that I commit now. So I add to that suffeing with each sin I commit. Do I then lessen his suffering whenever I refrain from a sin? This gives me a deeper, literal appreciation for, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    Likewise, do I lessen his suffering for others’ pains when I mourn with those who mourn, strengthen the feeble knees, and lift the hands that hang down or teach them the gospel that leads them away from sin? If so, “When ye did/did it not to the least of these, ye did/did it not unto me” also becomes very literal.

  25. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 1:18 pm

    Seems like Elder Scott is bringing us back to the basic missionary discussions at the center of the Gospel.

  26. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:19 pm

    #24: I listened to a discussion of this principle recently on BYUTV. It was pointed out that we do not add to the suffering of the Savior each time we commit sin. The reason: the Atonement was and is infinite.

  27. quinn mccoy on October 2, 2005 at 1:20 pm

    ronan,

    we live in syria cause i am teaching at an international school. ( i teach first grade). Syria is great

    Q

  28. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 1:20 pm

    RE 24: Not only has Christ suffered for the bad things I’ve done, he has felt all the awkwardness and embarassment and sorrow I’ve felt for things that weren’t necessarily my fault either. He suffered for the innocent as well as the wicked.

  29. Guy W. Murray on October 2, 2005 at 1:29 pm

    I’m also stuck by how often the speakers in all sessions of conference have revisited the Book of Mormon reading challenge, one I have not yet taken upon myself–but with this constant emphasis, and Elder Scott’s reassurance that there is still time, I will now do.

  30. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 1:30 pm

    I appreciate talks like Elder Scott’s that center us and put everything in perspective. Makes you remember why you’re a Mormon in the first place.

    By the way, this is kind of an interesting musical number. I like it …. but it’s hardly conventional.

  31. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:32 pm

    How amazing to see a 95-year old man still with so much energy and clarity of mind.

  32. gst on October 2, 2005 at 1:32 pm

    I’m listening from another room–I had thought it was Gilbert and Sullivan.

  33. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:50 pm

    It would be interesting to see what, if any, effect President Hinckley’s comments might have on LDS judges when sentencing criminals.

  34. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 1:51 pm

    I can hardly listen to this story of the woman forgiving her assailant and seeking his healing. What a miracle I felt when I first felt God’s redeeming love and he gave me a new heart.

  35. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 1:51 pm

    Wow! Hinckley takes on the American culture of vengeance!

  36. Costanza on October 2, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    I really enjoy President Hinckley’s talk about the importance of forgiveness. It is sometimes easy to become discouraged unless we, at least sometimes, get reminded that forgiveness for ourselves and for others is just as much a part of the plan of salvation as obedience.

  37. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:52 pm

    That story is remarkable because forgiveness seems to be much too rare.

  38. Ronan on October 2, 2005 at 1:53 pm

    Beautiful talk by the Prophet. Simple, Christian, timely. Wonderful.

  39. Matt Jacobsen on October 2, 2005 at 1:54 pm

    Yeah, that song about Joseph Smith did sound fun. Still, as much as we’re trying to convince other churches that we really are Christian, is it any wonder that people may get confused when they listen to our largest, most public meeting and hear songs praising the seer and rejoicing at the chance to meet him in heaven?

  40. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 1:54 pm

    Mike B–I think he was very careful to distinguish between ‘unspeakable crimes’ and foolish youth who can be saved.

  41. Matt Jacobsen on October 2, 2005 at 1:58 pm

    And yes, wonderful talk by the prophet. I didn’t mean to disrupt the chain of thought with my #39 comment. I wrote it after the break song but didn’t post it while I was listening to the forgiveness sermon.

  42. Eric Russell on October 2, 2005 at 1:58 pm

    Just to clarify, I think the distinguishing between unspeakable crimes and foolish youth was only in terms of legal prosecution. I think he made the case that, on the personal level, our forgiveness must be unconditional.

  43. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    Julie in A: I agree. But in those cases in which there would seem to be some room for discretion, there may be some who might get a chance to stay out of prison who might otherwise go. Murderers and rapists, child molesters, etc., may get more compassion and a tender look from the LDS judge as he imposes the prison sentence.

  44. Steve Evans on October 2, 2005 at 2:00 pm

    Great session. President Hinckley cannot be praised enough, IMHO.

  45. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 2:05 pm

    40,
    Julie, yes but “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.” (Doctrine and Covenants 64.)

    Just found this when looking for that verse. I had forgotten the poem by Carol Lynn Pearson.

    ——

    Dennis Rasmussen in his wonderful little book, The Lord’s Question, taught me this: “To hallow my life, [God] taught me to endure sorrow rather than cause it, to restrain anger rather than heed it, to bear injustice rather than inflict it. ‘Resist not evil,’ [Jesus] said in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5:39.) Evil multiplies by the response it seeks to provoke, and when I return evil for evil, I engender corruption myself. The chain of evil is broken for good when a pure and loving heart absorbs a hurt and forbears to hurt in return. The forgiveness of Christ bears no grudge. The love of Christ allows no offense to endure. The compassion of Christ embraces all things and draws them toward himself. Deep within every child of God the light of Christ resides, guiding, comforting, purifying the heart that turns to him.”

    What a privilege we have to forgive those who offend us or even sin against us. I love Carol Lynn Pearson’s poem “The Forgiving”:

    Forgive?
    Will I forgive,
    You cry.
    But
    What is the gift,
    The favor?
    You would lift
    Me from
    My poor place
    To stand beside
    The Savior.
    You would have
    Me see with
    His eyes,
    Smile,
    And with Him
    Reach out to
    Salve
    A sorrowing heart—
    For one small
    Moment
    To share in
    Christ’s great art.

    Will I forgive,
    You cry.
    Oh,
    May I—
    May I?

    Sometimes I say out loud to myself, “Oh, may I, may I?” What an attitude about forgiveness. God tells us that He will forgive whom He will forgive. (D&C 64:10.) I think He meant that He is ready to forgive all of us when we repent; however, He reminds us that we must “forgive all men.” I would add, if we want to be like Him. He is willing to forgive all of us. A dear friend taught me that we learn to forgive by changing ourselves. Joseph Smith instructed, “The nearer we get to our Heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.” I think that’s a great barometer to test ourselves to see how close we are getting to God. The closer we are to our Heavenly Father, the more we have these feelings of compassion and desire to forgive and forget.

    (As Women of Faith: Talks Selected from the BYU Women’s Conferences, 160.)

  46. EricG on October 2, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    I echo what’s been said about President Hinckley’s talk. He’s truly a great man with an even greater message.

  47. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 2:10 pm

    I don’t know Julie, he didn’t drop a blanket statement about any crime (even rape and murder which he mentioned). He only stated that such crimes MIGHT require harsh penalties.

    I remember hearing one account of a kid in Texas who held up a convenience store. A local beloved teacher got in a struggle with the kid and was shot and killed.

    Just about everyone in the local community was calling for this kid’s blood.

    The attitude of these people just seemed so un-christian to me. I always get a sick feeling in capital punishment cases hearing the families of the victim calling for retribution and vengeance (they call it “justice” but the anger in their voices tends to give them away).

    But this is hardly confined to capital cases. The stupid political rush to “get tough on crime” touches all levels of crime. Our prisons are packed with idiots whose only crime was possession (not selling) of marijuana!

    I’m just fed up with America’s obsession with seeing other people “get what’s coming to them.” Pres. Hinckley’s message is quite timely.

  48. Guy W. Murray on October 2, 2005 at 2:17 pm

    Matt #39

    No more confused than I at the “Christian” charity the Prophet Joseph received from his fellow pastors, and “Christian” (so called) brothers and sisters throughout his entire life, culminating in his murder at Carthage for his role in the Restoration.

  49. Russell Arben Fox on October 2, 2005 at 2:21 pm

    I just got back from church, and Melissa and I are busy talking about President Hinckley’s sermon as well. I’m going to have to wait until I can read through his talk carefully. I think I hear echoes in it of an old and powerful sermon given by Elder Packer many years back, titled “Balm of Gilead,” when he made it fairly clear that he thought civil lawsuits were more often than not a bane rather than a help, and that litigants would be far better off letting most things go and forgiving one another. When President Hinckley first began his story, I assumed it would be a similar example–a grudge between neighbors, a lawsuit gone bad, etc. But no, he pushed forgiveness much further than that; he was quite explicit in the story that he chose, acknowledging that what he was commenting upon–showing mercy and forgiveness to criminals–was a difficult and delicate topic, but insisting upon its importance nonetheless.

    Have we just heard the first, subtle, very preliminary stones being laid in an LDS argument against the death penalty? President Hinckley’s final aside, about giving people a “chance to change,” may end up having far reaching consequences.

  50. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 2:27 pm

    All–

    All I was suggesting was that Pres. Hinckley made clear that there might be very good reason for legal action (I believe he mentioned deliberate murder and rape)–that’s all.

    All the other comments take my comment in directions I didn’t intend. Although a future discussion about where the rubber of complete forgiveness hits the road of legal consequences might be interesting . . .

  51. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 2:34 pm

    50.
    “All the other comments take my comment in directions I didn’t intend.”
    What, again? This isn’t your week!

  52. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 2:39 pm

    Truer words never spoken, manaen!

  53. DavidH on October 2, 2005 at 2:44 pm

    President Hinckley’s remarks seemed even more timely after having read today’s New York Times article about the proliferation of life sentences.

  54. Ivan Wolfe on October 2, 2005 at 2:47 pm

    It must be tough sometimes to be a prophet.

    Hinckley’s talk was great, and I think Julie’s reading is spot on.

    But you know some are going to use it to justify their own positions (lighter sentences for criminals), despite there being nothing in the talk obviously about that, while other will write it off as a unique, one-time anecdote and go on refsuing to forgive others.

    Some will take it too far, others not far enough.

    As RAF said, Hinckley’s talk is going to take serious in-depth study and pondering.

  55. Ivan Wolfe on October 2, 2005 at 2:52 pm

    And davidH – the Nytimes article is interesting because it’s main complaint is that people with life sentences are (amazingly enough) – dying in prision.

    Yes – there are some who don’t deserve the life sentence to begin with, but the NYT article is full of equivocation when it comes to that point.

    Here’s an interesting read on that (I think this article is too harsh in its tone, but otherwise on).
    http://www.californiaconservative.org/?p=1065

    Hinckley’s comments are timely, but I’m not sure if we really should be using them to score political points.

  56. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 3:04 pm

    Julie in A: I guess I’m a little confused about your statement that “all comment” have gone off in a different direction. I actually thought that you and I were in agreement on President Hinckley’s comments. Perhaps one of the casualties of communicating via short posts on the internet.

  57. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 3:08 pm

    Mike B:

    I think 43, 45, 47, (and to the extent that he thought is needed clarifying 44–but the clarification offered reflects my intent) read something into my comment that I didn’t intend. But I offer that I may here be reading something into their comments that *they* didn’t intend. So there you have it.

  58. gst on October 2, 2005 at 3:09 pm

    I’m not sure why Russell Arben Fox would think that this may be an early indicator of a Church stand against the death penalty. The doctrine of forgiveness is not new, nor is the death penalty. Why should we think that now the Church will start to teach that they are inconsistent?

    I don’t think they are. I must forgive murderers. A state that does, however, isn’t doing its job.

  59. Russell Arben Fox on October 2, 2005 at 3:18 pm

    “But you know some are going to use it to justify their own positions (lighter sentences for criminals), despite there being nothing in the talk obviously about that, while other will write it off as a unique, one-time anecdote and go on refsuing to forgive others.”

    Very true, Ivan. Responding to the prophets is always a difficult proposition, which I suppose is as it should be. Every critique they offer gets incorporated into some agenda or another, and every rejection of such agendas tends to deny the critique in the first place. But the only sure way to prevent any of that is to refuse speak the truth as they see it and receive it, and then they wouldn’t be prophets at all.

    If nothing else, President Hinckley’s choice of stories probably ought to suggest that we need to be asking ourselves, prayerfully, not only if we are sufficiently forgiving of those who have done us wrong, but also of those who have done us harm. Just because someone’s actions cross the line into matters of law is not an excuse to place conditions upon the imperative of forgiveness.

  60. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 3:21 pm

    Well, I think Julie is right that the political ramifications of Hinckley’s talk probably deserve their own thread.

    For now, I will only say that I have heard almost nothing in recent times from the pulpit either endorsing or condeming the death penalty per se as a societal response.

    True, we used to hear all that “blood atonement” stuff in the old days. But then again, we also used to hear about the “curse of Cain,” and the Catholic church being the “whore of Babylon.” I haven’t heard any of these doctrines being freshly endorsed by modern prophets.

    On the death penalty, Hinckley doesn’t agree or disagree in this talk. Where his message of forgiveness logically leads us is, of course, up for discussion.

  61. Ivan Wolfe on October 2, 2005 at 3:51 pm

    RAF –

    exactly. I wish I was that eloquent.

  62. Mike Parker on October 2, 2005 at 4:05 pm

    Okay. The MoTab singing “The Iron Rod” set to “Jupiter” from Holt’s The Planets?

    Awesome.

  63. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 4:14 pm

    Not to mention a bunch of Deacons singing lyrics about the Priesthood to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony last night.

  64. cooper on October 2, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    Beautiful opening number with flute accompanience.

  65. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 4:17 pm

    Who is speaking right now? I missed it and cannot ID the voice with all the background noice here!

  66. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 4:19 pm

    never mind

  67. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 4:23 pm

    Wow, a prayer from a New Zeland youth healed the prophet and brought him to speak to a youth gathering.

    I wouldn’t have had the guts to give that prayer.

  68. Ronan on October 2, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    a bunch of Deacons singing lyrics about the Priesthood to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony last night.

    Sorry, Seth, that was awful.

  69. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 4:27 pm

    Re: 67 – My feelings are the same. I must occasionally remind myself when I have a problem that, if I’d had that problem as a child, I would have prayed about it. I’m thankful that I had experiences with prayer as a child, because it has helped me as an adult. I have had some “silly” prayers answered (I use the word “silly” because I felt silly asking the Lord for help).

  70. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 4:29 pm

    Clarification: asking that the prophet be healed is not silly, and I did not intend to imply such.

  71. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 4:31 pm

    I wasn’t expressing approval or disapproval of that rendition of Beethoven. I just found it interesting, that’s all.

  72. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 4:33 pm

    It seems to me that Elder Nelson’s description of “conversion” seems to speak directly to the debate on “grace vs. works.”

  73. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 5:04 pm

    Looks like T&S is back online… Anyway, I appreciated Won Yong Ko’s refreshing remark that we ought to look at sacrifice as a blessing and opportunity.

  74. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 5:06 pm

    I thought I was the only one having problems getting on.

  75. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 5:07 pm

    Nope, me too. No idea what the problem was.

  76. Mike Parker on October 2, 2005 at 5:11 pm

    Has anyone else noticed that several talks have focused on the work of Wycliffe and Tyndale and the persecution they faced? I’m wondering if this is the result of collaboration, or if there was some shared experience (like a spiritual thought at a Q12 meeting) that prompted several people to focus on the same subject for their talks.

  77. Julie in Austin on October 2, 2005 at 5:15 pm

    Yes, I noticed that, Mike. It struck me as an effort to contextualize Joseph Smith’s ministry. I loved it. (I loved the Roger Williams ref too–I’m from RI (grin).)

  78. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 5:22 pm

    Elder Soares is right. And I have been guilty of this. I need to remember that there is a purpose to the things we do, and it is not in the doing of them.

  79. aaron on October 2, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    I like Elder Uchtdorf’s use of agency within context of organizational structure of the church. It seems he is suggesting the structure in this case does not run counter to agency but aids it.
    Also his tie is an awesome optical illusion

  80. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 5:37 pm

    “We have to be careful that our testimony is not rooted in the local social community or the services and programs of the Church.”

    Good point. Sometimes it is good to step back from the fray a take a more eternal perspective (both cosmic and internal).

  81. aaron on October 2, 2005 at 5:44 pm

    On second thought, Elder Uchtdorf sketches out, as Seth says, a place/perspecive outside Church structures by which we find salvation. Structures may help but are ancillary, and If they become a focus in fact detract from those concentrations, christ-like attributes, which are truly emancipatory. A truer liberation theology.

  82. Mike B on October 2, 2005 at 5:49 pm

    President Hinckley: “How empty our lives would be without [the gospel].” He did not say that our lives would “feel” empty, but would be empty. There are those who do not have the gospel in their lives who “feel” that they have all that they need. But those who know of the truthfulness of the gospel know that there is more. We should not take this knowledge for granted.

  83. Russell Arben Fox on October 2, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    Wow–Vermont and Utah, resounding with song and praise of Joseph Smith this Christmas season. I’ve thought that December 23 ought to become a holiday amongst the members of the church for years now. With any luck, the celebration President Hinckley has described for this December will just be the first of many!

  84. Seth Rogers on October 2, 2005 at 6:53 pm

    Interesting that Pres. Hinckley should mention Joseph F. Smith’s dedication of the monument 100 years ago.

    At that time, Church leaders were being grilled before Congressional committees over the polygamy issue. The proclamation announcing the rejection of polygamy had just been given. While those in Washington sought to convince Congress that the Mormons had changed, Pres. Smith’s purpose in dedicating the monument was to send a message to the membership that the Church hadn’t really changed at all.

    Many Mormons were quite upset at the Church’s rejection of polygamy (a principle that they had been told by General Authorities was necessary for exaltation). Pres. Smith’s daunting task was to shepard the Church membership through this identity crisis intact. His trip to Palmyra was a centerpiece of the effort.

    If I got anything wrong there, please correct me.

  85. danithew on October 2, 2005 at 7:02 pm

    I’d like to see December 23rd become more important in the Church as well. With it late in the year and near the holiday season anyway, it might as well be celebrated.

  86. GeorgeD on October 2, 2005 at 7:12 pm

    Re; Hinckley and forgiveness

    I am predisposed to be a “zero-tolerance” person. It isn’t necessarily a good thing to be but I wonder if it is more common today. My father tells stories about pranks that teenagers pulled and the butt-kickings and a**-whuppings that resulted. But there wasn’t any reform school and the matter was settled. Nowadays our schools don’t tolerate looking cross-eyed. We criminalize kids (especially boys) at a young age. I think that a little more punishment to fit the crime is in order.

    Of course I could threadjack (how do you threadjack an open thread) this and say that its all about Moms working outside the home and not being available for their children and all but that might create a firestorm so I won’t say it….

  87. Ronan on October 2, 2005 at 7:13 pm

    Danithew,
    How do we avoid accusations of celebrating “Smithmas”?

  88. Bryce I on October 2, 2005 at 8:18 pm

    My birthday is December 23rd and can tell you from sad experience that having any kind of celebration so close to Christmas is pretty much futile.

  89. Brett on October 2, 2005 at 9:28 pm

    I agree. My birthday is December 23 as well. Having a birthday celebration became a wishful dream during my childhood.

  90. manaen on October 3, 2005 at 12:14 am

    90. My son’s b-day is 12/22. We worked to avoid it becoming absorbed into Christmas celebrations. I decided that we were doing OK when a few days before his 4th or 5th b-day, he noticed a house with lights up and said, “there’s another house ready for my birhday!”

  91. manaen on October 3, 2005 at 12:33 am

    60
    “For now, I will only say that I have heard almost nothing in recent times from the pulpit either endorsing or condeming the death penalty per se as a societal response.”

    That’s because the Church’s official position is no position:

    “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regards the question of whether and in what circumstances the state should impose capital punishment as a matter to be decided solely by the prescribed processes of civil law. We neither promote nor oppose capital punishment.”

    http://lds.org/newsroom/mistakes/0,15331,3885-1-16708,00.html

  92. Jason P. on October 3, 2005 at 12:53 am

    It seemed as though Pres. Packer was almost trying to prove to the critics that revelation still exists. Quite possibly people have forgotten the principle of revelation and miracles in the gospel. It doesn’t just reside in the awe inspiring movinbg of mountains and parting of waters but also the everyday administrative work that the church has to perform in order for this living gospel to proceed without being trampled by the outside world. Think of all of the countless experiences that the general authorities have had being in the work 24/7. Being a missionary for two years I saw many things that will never let me deny the gospel. Dedicating an entire life to serving in the gospel will provide experiences that only strengthen a testimony ultimately making it into that of a special witness of God…

  93. Chad Too on October 3, 2005 at 2:04 am

    re 32 & 39: The “Joseph the Seer” song is in the old hymnbook (for some reason I want to call it the ‘brown’ hymnal though I remember it being red or blue sometimes too). Our ward choir performed it earlier this year.

    Gilbert & Sullivan: LOL!

  94. danithew on October 3, 2005 at 7:31 am

    I haven’t been able to get a hold of the podcasts for GC Day 2. Anyone (maybe Nonny Mouse) know why?

  95. A Nonny Mouse on October 3, 2005 at 11:27 am

    Danithew: what are you using to get them?
    If you’re using iTunes, you might have to click on the “get” button next to each one, since if you haven’t checked and more than one episode shows up since the last time you checked, iTunes gets picky…

  96. Wm Jas on October 3, 2005 at 12:19 pm

    Maybe June 27 would be a better holiday than December 23. Saints are traditionally honored on the anniversary of their death, not birth, plus you’d avoid the conflict with Christmas.

  97. Concierge on October 5, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    Random thoughts: Loving the comments. Much food for thought as I study out each article (1 per week) from now until next conference. Wondering which talks will be chosen by our stake/ward for each auxilliary to study out.

    *grin*I wonder if they are all reading Josephus – and his tomes on the vicissitudes of religion/politics in ancient times.

    Why? Vicissitudes seemed to sum up many of the conference messages. It was used by Elder McMullin and President Faust, illustrated best in Elder Hales message, and dwelt with in looking at the changes in the life of Joseph Smith, the development of the quad and church publications, and the changes worldwide allowing the growth of the church. Change happened. Change will continue to happen.

    I’m intrigued about the Book of Martyrs mentioned by Elders Hales and Packer. I’m not sure I could stomach it though, and am grateful there are others to disseminate the stories for us. The story of Wycliff was intersting – what could spark such hate is so incomprehesible to many of us today (yet it happens in our world with genocide and torture/oppression). I thought Isaiah’s murder was full of hate and vengance (ugh, that log…). Nero was just a mental (wrapping Christians in tar and lighting them as candles in his garden). But it continued through time – as illustrated by the mentions of Wycliff. I was glad to hear (sorry too lazy to look through notes for the reference) that we will most likely not have to lay our lives down, but we (LDS) will have to live through persecution in the days to come.

    Last random thought – loved Holland’s talk but felt the message of chastity, modesty, and the WoW was a biiiiit closer to home when the same counsel came from Sister Tanner – female to female…