Saturday Morning General Conference Open Thread

April 5, 2008 | 184 comments
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As has become tradition around here, Times and Seasons is opening up a thread for comments and discussion, insights and observations, thoughts and questions, arising from Saturday morning’s General Conference session. Enjoy!

184 Responses to Saturday Morning General Conference Open Thread

  1. Aaron Brown on April 5, 2008 at 11:55 am

    I thought the opening hymn was great, but the prayer dragged on much too long.

    AB

  2. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Man, Aaron’s new broadband is FAST!

  3. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Here we go! First thoughts – President Monson looks like he’s aged since he’s become prophet

  4. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    We are watching it on BYU TV, and they are beginning the opening hymn. AB, are you in a time warp?

  5. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Craig Jessop was the one that retired right?

  6. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    I am just on the opening song…

  7. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Answered my own question – he did, and he took a post at USU

  8. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Oops…I get it….*embarrased*

  9. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    Aaron – your internet must be AMAZINGLY fast to blow by even the live tv!

  10. Aaron Brown on April 5, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    I think the opening speaker’s tie looks great with his white shirt and dark suit.

    AB

  11. Ben H on April 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Did anyone else notice that the voice beforehand saying, “This is the English language channel of the Church of . . .” was female this time? I don’t remember it ever being a female voice before. Does this matter? : )

  12. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    But what coloured tie!!

  13. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    President Eyring has a cane?

  14. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Pres. Uchtdorf’s accent seems less pronounced.

  15. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    D. TODD CHRISTOPHERSON IS THE NEW APOSTLE!

  16. Ben H on April 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    D. Todd Christopherson then.

  17. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I knew it…D. Todd Christofferson

  18. CJ on April 5, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    This is a different way of doing the sustaining, isn\’t it? The standing seems new along with the additional instructions.

  19. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Wait – I think I remember hearing something about how President Eyring couldn’t come to the Rexburg Temple dedication because he broke his leg falling down some stairs or something – I know he broke a bone because I had a professor in charge of the temple public relations committee, and he said Pres. Eyring couldn’t make it.

    Maybe he’s still nursing that leg…

  20. Wilfried on April 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    D. Todd Christofferson – Bio

    Sustained to the First Quorum of the Seventy April 3, 1993, at age 48; called to the Presidency of the Seventy Aug. 15, 1998, and sustained Oct. 3, 1998. Former regional representative, stake president, stake president’s counselor, and bishop. Received bachelor’s degree from BYU, juris doctorate from Duke University. Former associate general counsel of NationsBank Corp., (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, N.C.; practiced law in Washington, D.C., Tennessee and North Carolina, and was volunteer chairman of Affordable Housing of Nashville, Tenn. Born Jan. 24, 1945, in American Fork, Utah, to Paul V. and Jeanne Swenson Christofferson. Wife, Katherine Jacob Christofferson; parents of five children.

  21. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Another American, another Utahn, another lawyer. I’m sure he’s a fine and inspired man, to be sure. But Elder Uchtdorf aside, these are some precedents that will take many years to break away from, I’m sure.

  22. Brian Litster on April 5, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    It is cool that Elder Christofferson is called to be a member of the 12 Apostles. I have spent a little bit of time with him. His son was one of my room mates at BYU

  23. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Nice touch to have the Relief Society and Young Women stand as “quorums” instead of only massing with the “general membership.”

  24. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    This is a different way of doing the sustaining, isn’t it? The standing seems new along with the additional instructions.

    Nope, this is the way solemn assemblies are always done. It’s just that we haven’t had one since 1995. (This is the fourth solemn assembly I can remember–I was alive for Kimball’s (and Lee’s, and Fielding Smith’s too, now that I think about it) but have no memory of it.)

  25. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Apparently Elder Christofferson was a lawyer as well.

    That makes Elder Oaks, Elder Cook, and now Elder Christofferson, all lawyers, in the 12

  26. Jon on April 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    When was sis tanner called?

  27. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    My first since joining the church. Does anyone find it a little amusing watching Pres. Uchtdorf going through all of these spanish names?

  28. EmWJ on April 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    F. Micheal Watson! That\’s interesting.

  29. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    “That makes Elder Oaks, Elder Cook, and now Elder Christofferson, all lawyers, in the 12 ”

    I’m sure there’s a joke there somewhere.

  30. Eric James Stone on April 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    CJ, the standing and voting by quorums and groups are done at the first sustaining of a new President of the Church.

  31. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    It’s cool to hear all of the 70′s names. Did I catch a Russian name?

  32. CJ on April 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Russell, thanks for the info. After my comment, the thought occurred to me that this might be different because of the calling of a new prophet–and that I don’t recall the procedure because I was much younger in ’95. Hat tip.

  33. Cameron on April 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    They called my first mission president as a Seventy! That’s Allen F. Packer, who served in Spain a couple years back and who is also one of President Packer’s sons. Way cool.

  34. jose on April 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    #28 wasn’t Watson the Sec. to FP or Gordon B. Hinckley?

  35. Jon on April 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Good job Pres Uctdorf – that has got to give you some major cotton mouth

  36. James T on April 5, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    Another old white American. Leadership does not represent the makeup of the church membership.

  37. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Did Elder Uchtdorf release Sister Beck? I wasn’t really listening.

  38. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    That makes Elder Oaks, Elder Cook, and now Elder Christofferson, all lawyers, in the 12.

    There are many more than that if you include the various seventies and the presiding bishopric. There are good institutional, educational, sociological, cultural, etc. reasons why you get so many lawyers (and businesspeople) called into the upper echelons of the church leadership, but still, their preponderance is certainly striking.

  39. EmWJ on April 5, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    Yes, he was the secretary to the First Presidency.

  40. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Did Elder Nelson just mention the weblog “By Common Consent”?

  41. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Re #29

    There probably is a joke somewhere in there – I’ll let you figure it out…;-)

    I really was a bit shocked to hear that there wasn’t an additional non-American Apostle. At least an Apostle NOT from Utah. Well, looks like we need to wait – again – for more diversity.

    I’m kinda glad that E. Jensen (Church Historian) wasn’t tapped. I love what he’s done with the church historical department.

  42. JWL on April 5, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Todd Cristofferson has one intersting unusual point in his bio. He was Judge Sirica’s law clerk during the Watergate court proceedings. Although only a functionary, he was actively on the scene of one of the more dramatic crisises in 20th C American government. I also think he is a Democrat (although never too active politically), but I could be wrong about that.

  43. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Along with where he was born – where were the stakes and temples at the time?

  44. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I was actually telling my wife that I was kind of hoping Elder Jensen would be called…but you make a good point. I didn’t know much about him, but grew to really love and appreciate him after watching ” the mormons”

  45. TIm J. on April 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Hmmm…having an apostle in the family. This could be interesting.

  46. Nate Oman on April 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Elder Christofferson was also a speaker at MHA in 2003.

  47. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Another old white American. Leadership does not represent the makeup of the church membership.

    That is certainly correct. But it begs the question of whether “representation” is at all importance to good, wise, and/or inspired church leadership. Personally, I think it probably has some importance, but I wouldn’t want to have to quantify just how much.

  48. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    re 44

    I think we are pretty much doe for a South American apostle. But I’m not too worried about it.

  49. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Don’t know about political activity – of course since 1982 he’s been either stake president, regional representative, or general authority, so that kind of precludes it. He was involved in interfaith clergy efforts in Nashville, I know that.

  50. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    re: 31. “the most exclusive club in Mormonism”

    I’ve never viewed the Quorum of the 12 as an “exclusive club.”

  51. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Interesting reference to not doing mass baptisms but teaching people one-by-one.

  52. JonW on April 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Actually I would agree that there will be a south american apostle soon because just listening to these announcements of names it almost surely means we will see one by default.(sort of..)

  53. Brian Litster on April 5, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    My roommate said that he did not really care when his father, Elder Christofferson was set apart as a general authority

  54. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I think it’s time for the Choir to come up with a new rendition of “Praise to the Man.” This one’s good, but I feel like I’ve heard it 50 times before.

  55. Tubby Jr. on April 5, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Of course there will be a latin or some other apostle of a varried ethnic persuasion in the future, just not yet. Big deal.

  56. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    OH YEAH!! Mack Wilburg strikes again! That brilliant version of “Praise to the Man” that we first heard during the broadcast honoring the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s birth! I’ve got to get a recording of this. There are a great many things that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir cannot do–too white, too large, etc.–but man, Wilburg really knows how to get them to do the things they can do brilliantly well. Well done!

  57. JWL on April 5, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Here’s a short piece summarizing a Tribune article about Elder Cristofferson’s Watergate experiences as Judge Sirica’s law clerk:

    http://www.mormonstoday.com/990815/L5Christofferson01.shtml

  58. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I was glad that the last half of the song they belted it out. It seems like for the last 5 years they’ve been using the quiet, subdued singing. I’m glad they put a little flair in it.

  59. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I was surprised too, and I’ve been keeping an eye on him since 1981 when he was called as a stake president’s counselor in Franklin (suburban Nashville + rural) Tennessee.

  60. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Any complaints about another lawyer in the group should be taken up with the Lord.

  61. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    @JWL

    Thanks for the Watergate info. Seems interesting.

  62. t on April 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    #59 – Random, but amusing.

  63. CTW on April 5, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks to the snoop dog comment, I am now laughing. You made my day.

  64. DavidH on April 5, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    Now that he has been sustained, it is safe to disclose that Elder Christofferson is the only general authority I know who has publicly quoted Sunstone (although without attribution) at a stake conference I attended about 10 years ago. I do not know if he has ever read another issue.

  65. Christopher on April 5, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Of course there will be a latin or some other apostle of a varried ethnic persuasion in the future, just not yet. Big deal.

    Tubby, it may not be a big deal to you. But it also may be to many members of color who continue to feel like second class citizens in a church they dominate numerically. I sustained Elder Christofferson this morning, and think he is a wonderful and inspired addition to the Quorum. But that doesn’t mean that I cannot lament that the leading quorums of the church continue to be an all-white bunch.

  66. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I think it’s time for the Choir to come up with a new rendition of “Praise to the Man.” This one’s good, but I feel like I’ve heard it 50 times before.

    Steve M., are you kidding? I think I’ve heard this version perhaps one other time, max, since it was introduced in 2005. Maybe my memory is all screwed up, but I think it’s a stunning rendition of the hymn.

  67. Aaron Brown on April 5, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Which Sunstone article was quoted?

    AB

  68. R. Gary on April 5, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I emphatically AGREE with Russell Arben Fox (#57) about Mack Wilburg!

  69. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    There’s a fascinating future post – “Incorrect Traditions of Our Fathers”.

  70. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    I missed the ID of the current speaker — who is she? I very much like her caution to modify our personal thoughts according to divine sources rather than complaining that divine sources don’t match our personal desires.

  71. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Cheryl C. Lant, Primary Pres

  72. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Sis. Lant – General Primary President

  73. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Current speaker = Cheryl C. Lant

  74. Nitsav on April 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Elder Christofferson also has referenced John Sanders in General Conference, an Evangelical theologian who argues in favor of open theism.

    http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-138-3,00.html

  75. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Thanks, INM and Ray and brandt.

  76. Jim Cobabe on April 5, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    lament that the leading quorums of the church continue to be an all-white bunch

    Not so politically correct, I always grumble when women address the conference. Should be reserved for male priesthood holders. Women have their own conference.

  77. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I’m leaving Jim’s comment up because it’s too jackass to bother moderating. But please, people, don’t respond to him or I’ll have to pull lots of comments and miss the next chunk of conference.

  78. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Re: #68,

    Concededly, I don’t consider myself much of an expert on the MoTab. If you say it’s not the same rendition I’ve heard 50 times, I guess I’ll have to take your word for it.

  79. Dustin C. on April 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Leadership has a lot to do with heritage. It\’s hard for areas that are relative newcomers to the church to \”produce\” general authorities, so to speak. They need experience leading in areas that know how the church is supposed to be run. So it is that we\’re now seeing more GAs with harder names to pronounce, mostly from Latin America. Like has been commented before, diversity will make its way into the quorum of the twelve as time passes. I\’m sure we\’ll start seeing more African GA\’s once the church has been in Africa for more than 40 or 50 years.

  80. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    But ARDIS!! That comment is just sitting there so ready and willing….

    Fine…I’ll behave

  81. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Sooo tempting . . .

  82. DavidH on April 5, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    It was only after I gave up hoping that, during my lifetime, God might decide/direct the Brethren to alter the practice of withholding the priesthood and temple blessings based on race/lineage, that the practice changed.

    Perhaps if I give up hoping that God might have raised up, and will reveal to and direct the Brethren to call, an Apostle who does not happen to be Caucasian, then it will happen.

  83. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    I like Elder Johnson’s accent. (Trivial, I know.)

  84. Tanya Spackman on April 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Yay for a British accent!

  85. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Same thought here.

  86. Kristine on April 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Elder Christofferson was my SP growing up. He’s really great, and his wife is the best, funniest roadshow director ever :) I, too, am sad that the leadership is not changing more quickly to be more representative of the church, but it’s hard not to be thrilled about Elder Christofferson.

    Amusing factoid: his youngest son is named Michael, but one of my hs friends started calling him “Fred” as a joke, and it stuck. He ended up being called Fred all the way through school, much to his mother’s consternation.

  87. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I have never heard Elder Johnson speak before, but I really like it. Not just for the accent, but he’s definitely got a great speaking voice. It sounds like he should be reading audiobooks

  88. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    This speaker sounds like the narrator Jim Dale, famous for the Harry Potter audiobooks. I’m half expecting his to say Dumbledore any moment.

  89. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    WillF (#90) -

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who thought that!

  90. Brian Litster on April 5, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Yep, I know Fred as Fred. The basis of this story is that his older brother’s friend thought he looked like a Fred rather than a Michael, so everybody called him Fred. Elder Christofferson visited us a few times. I had Elder Christofferson speak at a missionary fireside in my BYU ward almost two years ago.

  91. Kristine on April 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Steve M–it only feels like you’ve heard it 50 times because it follows the Wilberg formula: men’s verse, women’s verse; 4 part verse (the order can be changed a little), modulate via French 6th to a higher key, bang-up fortissimo finish. It does work especially well with Praise to the Man, though.

  92. DavidH on April 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Aaron, the Sunstone piece he quoted was “A Religion of Clerks” by Randal Quarles.

    I have also heard him quote Pope John Paul II (with attribution) on more than one occasion.

  93. James T on April 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Sorry Ardis. Not trying to threadjack. Just wanted to inject some humor. The Snoop Dogg story was an April Fools joke. Now back to Elder Johnson… I drove him and his wife back to the airport after a Mission Conference in Trondheim Norway. Nice guy, but he didn’t say much as we whizzed around the narrow roads in our litte Opal Hatchback. My driving made him nervous.

  94. scott on April 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    The implied competition/dichotomy between science and religion is troubling, and unfortunately not new.

  95. Tanya Spackman on April 5, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    He does have a great speaking voice. Lots of movement.

  96. Wilfried on April 5, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    All these gentle and concerned thoughts to see the top leadership culturally diversify… As a non-American, I must say that I want the most mature, experienced, stable leaders to be called for the needs of the Church today. Color or nationality are not criteria for such.

  97. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    I have to say that President Monson is the man for being a Utah Jazz.

  98. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Steve M–it only feels like you’ve heard it 50 times because it follows the Wilberg formula: men’s verse, women’s verse; 4 part verse (the order can be changed a little), modulate via French 6th to a higher key, bang-up fortissimo finish. It does work especially well with Praise to the Man, though.

    Well, damn, Kristine, way to take the magic out of it. (Kidding, snark, smiley face, joke, etc., etc.)

  99. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Nice to see Elder Wirthlin sitting…as touching as the last time he spoke in conference was, it was also a little sad.

  100. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    Speaking to the thousands but concerned about the one. I really like that.

  101. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    How long has Elder Wirthlin had a microphone on his glasses?

  102. Jim Cobabe on April 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Relieved, am I, to note Elder Wirthlin sitting down this time, to deliver his speech.

  103. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Some are lost because they are different. WOW! This is an amazing talk for the Bloggernacle.

  104. Matt W. on April 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    I love Elder Wirthlin. I will miss him when he is gone. He is doing much better sitting…

  105. Kristine on April 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Sorry, Russell :)

  106. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    He sounds much more relaxed than in October. Perhaps it is because he is sitting.

    For some reason I absolutely love this story – “Brothers and sister, if only we had more compassion for those who are different from us”

    “Many feel discouraged because they have not measured up to their potential. others simply feel too weak to continue…almost imperceptibly, some fall behind”

  107. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Re: Todd Christoferson’s bio

    Former associate general counsel of NationsBank Corp., (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, N.C.; practiced law in Washington, D.C., Tennessee and North Carolina, and was volunteer chairman of Affordable Housing of Nashville, Tenn.

    Maybe it is selfish as a U.S. citizen, but I like the idea that someone with experience in banking and affordable housing initiatives is taking a greater leadership role in the Church considering the financial crisis we are facing in the U.S.

  108. JonW on April 5, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    wow it is great to see him (Elder Wirthlin) speaking once again. He seemed so frail during the last conference I thought he would not make it to this one.

  109. Eliza on April 5, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    Sometimes Elder Wirthlin stumbles over his words and it can be hard to pay attention but his talks are so beautiful! I love this guy!

  110. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This is one to read over and over and over. Absolutely amazing.

  111. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Kristine and Brian – thanks for the “Fred” story. My family and I left Nashville in 1982, right before Elder Christofferson became stake president, so I didn’t get to know the family that much, but I did cross paths a couple of times. (We did come back to visit several times because my father still consulted with Vanderbilt, and we had family and friends there.)

    My father was stake clerk or stake executive secretary when they overlapped, and I have an interesting story from Dad from when Elder C. was set apart to the high council that I don’t feel right posting here but would be willing to share privately.

  112. Russell Arben Fox on April 5, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    “It is not whether we trip and fall….”–ha! Well played, Elder Wirthlin.

  113. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    “The Lord did not people the Earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world.”

    Incredible way to say that.

  114. Anna on April 5, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Kristine, you forgot that with Wilberg arrangements there are usually two or three fake endings before the last bang-up fortissimo finish. :)

  115. James T on April 5, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I LOVE THIS ELDER WIRTHLIN TALK!

  116. brandt on April 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    So with this first session almost over, has anyone noticed any themes?

  117. Brian Litster on April 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I also enjoyed Elder Wirthlin’s talk

  118. JonW on April 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Awesome talk. Very well done by Elder Wirthlin with a worthy message.

  119. R. Gary on April 5, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Re #64 and #92, Dallin H. Oaks was once a member of the Dialogue magazine Editorial Board.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialogue:_A_Journal_of_Mormon_Thought#History

  120. Cameron on April 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Loved that impromtu anecdote about Elder Wirthlin by President Monson. How charming and gentle.

  121. scott on April 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    “I am aware of no sign on the door reading ‘Restricted Entrance’.” I’m confident leaders like Richard B Wirthlin and Gordon B Hinckley truly accept differences. The real challenge is that the christlike Bittner family doesn’t populate ward houses on Sundays. Unthinking (or even malintended) members drive away those with differences, just like they draw in new members similar to them (see, for example, work by the sociologist Stark). At some point you have to decide if the church is Elder Wirthlin or the sum of its members.

  122. Jim Cobabe on April 5, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Elder Wirthlin — inspired and most uplifting counsel. Amazing…

  123. NoCoolName_Tom on April 5, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Re: 116:
    So far the only big thing I’ve noticed is that Corinthians has been quoted a lot: spiritual things can only be understood through the Spirit.

  124. Jon on April 5, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Thank goodness Elder Worthlin agreed to sit down. I am sure he put up a fight though

  125. Nitsav on April 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Scott, #121 I recently read the Sunstone interview with the PBS Mormon special maker. Among her comments was the irony between our emphasis on the family and unity, and between the many people ( whether gay, exmo, nevermo, non-caucasian etc.) who feel like if you don’t fit the mold perfectly, you’re not welcome.

    That’s something we need to work on as members.

  126. California Condor on April 5, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    I like that tie Elder Eyring’s wearing.

  127. Jon on April 5, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    True church because we hold the keys of the priesthood – Eyring

  128. rowish on April 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Christofferson may have been born in Utah, but it seems clear from the bio that he’s a DC/NC/TN guy. In other words, not a Utah guy.

    Just like Cook is really a Nothern California guy.

  129. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    An apostle gives a powerful message addressing a real need in the Church. It’s up to us to listen, understand, internalize and follow. This isn’t just applicable to our meetinghouses; it applies to how we treat each other here in this “meetinghouse”, as well.

  130. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Even if the tie’s a little crooked.

  131. SingleintheCity on April 5, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Fact for the ladies: Elder Christoferson\’s daughter in law attends law school at Hamline University in MN

  132. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    “Gratitude for a True and Living Church” – never thought of it quite like that before.

  133. Eric on April 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    #130 – In the most recent leadership broadcast on the family, Pres. Packer’s tie was crooked, it was driving me crazy.

  134. JonW on April 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    kind of surprised that President Monson is not speaking this morning.

  135. Ben H on April 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Very interesting. Elder Eyring says authoritative succession in the church depends on the faith of the people. I suppose this fits with what happened with Mormon when he was told to stop preaching because the people’s hearts were too hard. He reiterates the importance of apostles by saying that the apostasy was caused by apostles dying without proper replacements, but suggests that the reason this took place was a lack of faith among the membership. How does this compare with what Catholics say about the apostolic succession?

  136. John Taber on April 5, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    I hope when I’m their age to be able to tie a tie that well, day in and day out.

  137. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    “Those who never give up will find that God never gave up.” That brought tears to my eyes.

  138. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Did Pres. Eyring just refer to a non-Utahn locale as “the mission field”? Such a Utah-ism.

  139. Jon on April 5, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    i have always loved that Elder Eyring speaks with such emotion

  140. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    #138 Did Pres. Eyring just refer to a non-Utahn locale as “the mission field”? Such a Utah-ism.”

    So disappointing, isn’t it? ;)

  141. bonz on April 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    138– the \”mission field\” he referenced involved being in a district, meeting in a hotel room, without a bishop or quorums. That\’s a little more than anywhere besides Utah, don\’t you think?

  142. Frank McIntyre on April 5, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Ben, Pres. Eyring had a talk I wrote up for a post a few years back with this same idea in it.

  143. manaen on April 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    D. Todd Christofferson’s talk in GenCon 4/2004, When Thou Art Converted, had a profound effect upon me — expecially this,
    .
    “Your Heavenly Father wants you to pray about your hopes and fears, your friends and family, your school and work, and the needs of those around you. Most of all, you should pray to be filled with the love of Christ. This love is given to those who are true followers of Jesus Christ, who ask for it with all the energy of their heart. This love is the fruit of the tree of life, and tasting it is a major part of your conversion because once you have felt your Savior’s love for you, even the smallest part, you will feel secure, and a love for Him and for your Heavenly Father will grow within you. In your heart you will want to do what these holy beings ask of you. Go often to your closet, your secret place, your wilderness. Thank God for your blessings; ask for His help; ask Him to bestow upon you the pure love of Christ. Sometimes fasting will help.”

  144. Bob Cook on April 5, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Thanks to those responsible for this blog. The insights into the life of Elder Christofferson were worth the experience. Thank you. My high school classmate and employer Gary E Stevenson was called to the 70′s this morning!

  145. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Re: 141,

    My point is that it’s a Utah-ism to refer to other areas, where the Church is not as well-established, as “the mission field,” even when missionary work is not actually being discussed. The expression probably isn’t familiar to those who are not familiar with Utah Mormon culture. The appellation also implies that Utah is not a “mission field.”

  146. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    #138 – Just to echo #142, there is a HUGE difference between some stereotype and how Pres. Eyring actually used the term. I have served in a similar, tiny area – and you bet we classified ourselves as “the mission field”. What he said rang completely true to my own experience, not as some Utah-centric reference.

  147. Bob on April 5, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I\’m just glad to see Elder D. Todd Christofferson joining the ranks of apostles who go by a first initial, good men, such as L. Tom Perry, M. Russel Ballard, and R. Lee Ermey.

  148. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Of course, I only caught the “mission field” reference in passing. If Eyring was actually referring to being in the “mission field”–i.e., as a missionary or something to that effect–then my apologies.

  149. Ben H on April 5, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    There are places where they have a mission president instead of a stake president–I’d say that counts as objectively “the mission field”.

  150. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    Steve M, he was speaking of attending a conference when he was a child under 8 years old, in a place where there were so few members and facilities that the meeting was held in a hotel room. Places like that generally qualify as mission fields by any definition.

  151. Ray on April 5, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    I will be with a son this afternoon and will miss the second session. I look forward to reading all the comments tonight, after the Priesthood session.

  152. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Has anyone else been forwarded the ubiquitous “Conference Packet for Kids” or “General Conference Activity Book”? I’ve never seen this phenomenon until this year — someone came up with an idea to give children a packet of activity pages to keep them occupied during the conference talks (including bingo of course). I’ve never seen anything like it — we’ve been forwarded these attachments from at least 4 people this year!

  153. anon on April 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    two apostles named david now–makes for some interesting messianic speculation (messiah ben-david, 2 apostles in jerusalem stuff).
    seems like all the parenting/family stuff has been very gender-neutral–avoiding a beck reaction?

  154. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Kids conference packet: My favorite activity in the packet is the one where the child is supposed to color in a blank tie template for each Apostle or First Presidency member. Anything to keep them engaged I guess. So far the packet doesn’t look like a very promising new tradition in our home (it is too nice outside today).

  155. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Well, I hope such bizarre speculation is rare to nil, anon, especially when there were solid thoughts and tangible instruction to focus on.

    Which of those thoughts and instructions was most appealing to you?

  156. Brett on April 5, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Like others, I was definitely hoping for a non-white apostle. But my wife, who was also perturbed that another white guy was called, just asked me, “When you were on your mission, did the Mexicans ever complain about the 12 all being white Americans?” And the answer is no. I never heard anyone grouse about it. Which makes me wonder…is all this complaining about the apostles simply white guilt being projected unto the people of other countries? Or did others of you experience this as a complaint on their mission?

  157. paul white on April 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    The Sustaining was done differently because of the solom essembly..meaning a new prophet has been called and needed sustaining calling up each qurom is done at this time only…. otherwise sustaining is done altogether

  158. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Brett, I think it’s a limited phenomenon confined primarily to the internet, which tends to suggest such ideas to people who were never bothered before, and then to reinforce the grievance by allowing a community to form around those ideas. I didn’t hear anything like it in my European mission — except a special fondness for Elder Didier — and I don’t ever hear such complaints in my ward or other real life contacts.

  159. Steve M on April 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Ardis,

    I think this may boil down to semantics. Having lived outside of Utah my entire life (except for the 3 years I spent at BYU), I have always associated the phrase “mission field” with actual missionary work, not with the relative strength of the church in the area. You were in “the mission field” if you were a missionary, actually engaged in proselytizing. From this view, anywhere could be a “mission field”–even Utah, or other areas where the Church is strong–so long as you were a missionary.

    When I moved to Utah, Utah Mormons’ use of the phrase struck me as a bit bizarre. If you lived in an area where the Church was (or was perceived as) being less strong–which often meant anywhere outside of the Mormon corridor–you were in “the mission field,” even if you were in no way involved in missionary work.

    Outside of Utah, I seldom hear the term used in the latter sense, except by those who grew up in Utah. I’m merely suggesting that this usage may be unfamiliar to LDS ears who have no Utah experience, and that it may reveal some residual provincialism when General Authorities use it in a global conference.

  160. WillF on April 5, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    If you are watching the press conference, he is addressing the “no es Latino” question. He even joked, “It’s even worse, I’m a Lawyer…”

  161. Eric Russell on April 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Good overall response by Elder Christopherson on that question.

  162. DavidH on April 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    This article lists the new lifetime (subject to emeritus) appointments to the 1st Quorum. It includes brethren from Brazil, France, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Portugal, and Chile.

    http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695267789,00.html

  163. DavidH on April 5, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    “I never heard anyone [in Mexico] grouse about [the 12 being all white and U.S.].”

    When I served in Mexico (35 years ago), we could (and did) point to the First Presidency as being highly international–Pres. Kimball from U.S., Pres. Tanner being from Canada, and Pres. Romney being from Mexico.

    On a historical note, many members in Mexico, at least at one point, were so concerned about the perceived U.S. domination of leadership–particularly mission leadership–that the Third Convention was formed (I think in the late 1940s) and operated in parallel but separate fashion to the U.S. based church for a number of years, until President George Albert Smith, among others, helped facilitate a “reuniting” of the organizations. One of the patriarchs in an area I served had been part of the Third Convention.

  164. Swisster on April 5, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    I served a proselyting mission in Salt Lake City. Utah is the mission field.

  165. rjamesh on April 5, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Well, I’m struggling to recover from the incredible disappointment I felt when we had another old white guy called to the 12. PLEASE, everyone tell me you are not serious, OK? Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions about me…….I spent a recent 12 years in South Carolina, a state that is roughly 30% Afr-Amer. The church there does not yet reflect the state demographics though I often found that the investigators pool more nearly did so. That always bothered me because I knew how much need there was for the gospel in many areas where it had barely made a dent. I know that will change in time. Likewise, so will the makeup of the Quorum of the 12. As Elder Christofferson pointed out in the news conf., the Seventy has begun to look quite a bit more diverse in recent years. Inasmuch as many in the 12 are called from the Seventy, does it make sense that the 12 will in time begin to become more diverse and geographically representative of the church as a whole? I really don’t think there is a problem.

  166. jgtown on April 5, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Brett and Ardis…I have to say that in my experience living in Mexico and Bolivia I did hear plenty of members (and non-members) talk about the fact that all of the apostles and the great majority of general authorities are white males…I myself (a non-european latino) am also very aware of the fact and was hoping that a Latin American would be called to the quorum…Ardis, you served your mission in Europe where the great majority of people is white and I think that makes a difference…Brett, when did you serve your mission? and I have found that most members in Latin America do not want to bring up such controversial subjects in the presence of white missionaries (I am assuming you are white…I could be wrong)…I might add that even the ga\’s from Latin America are mostly of European blood…but maybe I am just a radical indio del altiplano =)

  167. Brett on April 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    jgtown- I served my mission in Tijuana. As far as my race, I put down Caucasian when asked about my race, but I have Mexican ancestors, so I\’ve ended up with a nice natural tan, brown hair, and dark brown eyes. It was nice on mission. I blended right in. People didn\’t believe me when I told them I was American.

  168. Margaret Young on April 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve seen Elder Christopherson deal beautifully with race issues. The most notable time was at the very public release of the Freedman Bank genealogical records, which the Church made available to all African Americans at minimal expense. At the release, a man from Public Affairs (who I won’t name, of course) was asked by the national press if this signaled that the Church was distancing itself from its past racism. The respondant was curt and said, “That’s not what we’re talking about here.” Elder Christopherson gently took the microphone and fielded the question with tremendous diplomacy, talking about the legacy of Black Mormon pioneers and the growing diversity in the Church. Bruce and I could hear the sigh of relief from everyone around us.

    But it is certainly not just on the bloggernacle where I hear a longing for other ethnicities to be represented in the Twelve. Here’s a quote we did NOT put in the documentary, from an active, Black LDS man: “When you look at the leadership of the Church, it seems to say that God doesn’t like Black people.” I think it’s worth acknowledging that faithful Latter-day Saints of color (many colors) do feel a desire to see someone in high positions who looks like them.

    Nonetheless, I know Elder Christopherson to be an unassuming, devoted, good man. (My cousin is married to his son.) I certainly sustain him.

  169. It's Not Me on April 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    I stand by my position that if anybody has a complaint about an “all white quorum,” take it up with the One who assembled it.

  170. Aaron Brown on April 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    Uchtdorf just welcomed those of us tuning in on the internet. Thus, my wife should stop chastizing me for watching conference and blogging simultaneously.

    AB

  171. Warren on April 5, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    \”I stand by my position that if anybody has a complaint about an “all white quorum,” take it up with the One who assembled it.\”
    -It\’s Not Me

    Amen, and amen. Finally, the correct response to the 12 race debate. I don\’t see the selection of the Lords 12 apostles as a topic up for debate or question, like so many other topics. This is something the Lord has a personal, direct hand in (literally, I believe). I can understand longing for the day when many different races are represented, but murmuring about its current make-up is just wrong.

  172. Ben on April 5, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Is the post morning-session press conference available anywhere?

  173. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    I met with Elder Christofferson back in the mid 90′s while I was serving as a Bishop. He was very kind and answered everyone’s questions. I met him again in late 1999.

    I have spent time with Elder Hamula on a number of occasions, the last time was early 2007.

    I’ve spent time on the phone with Elder Watson.

  174. J.A.T. on April 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    WillF. in #107,
    Yes, you have a great point . . . Christofferson does have the experience and talents in banking, econ and housing which at this time of “recession” (or whatever people call it) could potentially help many people. However, I’m not sure what he can do for us non-multimillionaires or whether he perceives it to be his responsibility now. We’ll see. If patterns continue, he’ll counsel us to pay tithing, keep out of debt, and not live above our means or be materialistic. (Which works really great until you get sick and a week in the hospital can wipe out an entire lifetime of salary and bankrupt you- even if you have insurance.)

    I love your optimistic thought though and would say to him . . .

    “who knowest whether thou art come to the kingdom for such as time as this?” (Est. 4:14)

  175. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    I spent a couple of hours with Elder Amado once. The only thing I remember was after he asked me about my family. I have a number of boys and he said, “Boys that have brothers shouldn’t have their own bedrooms.” They should always be together. I told him that we had 4 in one room with bunkbeds and two in another room with bunkbeds and he said we were doing it right.

  176. J.A.T. on April 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    cont . . . from #174

    So, it doesn’t really matter whether someone preaching the principles of tithing is a farmer, middle-class merchant, or multi-million/billion dollar banker. None of the principles being testified about are that complex.

  177. Chuck Boyd on April 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    \”I stand by my position that if anybody has a complaint about an “all white quorum,” take it up with the One who assembled it.\”
    - Correcdt Answer

    Amen, and amen. Finally, the correct response to the 12 race debate. I don\’t see the selection of the Lords 12 apostles as a topic up for debate or question, like so many other topics. This is something the Lord has a personal, direct hand in (literally, I believe). I can understand longing for the day when many different races are represented, but murmuring about its current make-up is just wrong.

    New apiostle not just “another” – he spent high school in NJ, the only Mormon in his school – he worked in the Bible belt South – he’s been to 40 plus countries – not jsut any lawyer, but one who saw up close the abuse of power, who saw good people doing the right thing at a time of great cynicism – ho worked on housing for the poor – he worked on interfaith relations – pretty good training, by any standard.

    Most of all – he was called by a Prophet of God under the direction of Jesus Christ – Seek not to steady the ark – God knows exactly what He’s doing !

    Besides, as noted, look at the Quorums of 70, and look at the compiositon of local leadership – Bishoprics and Ward leadership, Stake Presidencies and High Councils – all reflect local membership, and all seek the Spirit in leading the Church.

  178. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    How many of us have a pic of the First Presidency in our homes?

    We just have three pics in our reception room. Pres. Monson, The Savior and the Salt Lake Temple.

  179. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    How many of us have a pic of the First Presidency in our homes?

    We just have three pics in our reception room. Pres. Monson, The Savior and the Salt Lake Temple.

  180. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    oops. oops.

  181. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I met Elder Scott in the hall of the Mesa Temple.

    He knows how to make everyone around him, feel good.

  182. Jacob F on April 5, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Re #65 – I take comfort in the fact the brethren are likely not chosen this way. What this means is that when a Latin American is eventually named to the quorum, he will not be just the token Latin member.

  183. Double D on April 5, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Did we hear anything today about the impending economic colapse?

    I guess Pres. Hinckley warned us about it years ago.

  184. Ardis Parshall on April 5, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Thanks, all, for sharing your conference reactions with us. Please return for tomorrow’s open threads.

WELCOME

Times and Seasons is a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints.