Sunday Morning General Conference Open Thread

April 6, 2008 | 196 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 Sunday morning’s General Conference session. Enjoy!

196 Responses to Sunday Morning General Conference Open Thread

  1. Patrick on April 6, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Just catching the end of “Music and the Spoken Word.” They’re singing my all-time favorite of Bro. Wilburg’s arrangements, “The Spirit of God.” I’m always reminded of when I first heard it sung – it was a Thursday evening rehearsal of the Choir in the Tabernacle, and Bro. Wilburg was still at BYU. He was to be guest conductor the following Sunday, and was there to rehearse with the Choir. When they got to the last first (which they’re singing right now!) with the step-wise modulations, I wanted to stand up right where I was. WOW!

  2. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    The improvement in diction with the Tab Choir from a few years ago to now is striking.

  3. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Are more old-time Mormon hymns than usual being sung this weekend, or is it only that Mack Wilberg’s arrangements bring back the old-time feeling more?

  4. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    My wife just made the comment that it seems like more members of the choir are younger. Do you notice that, or it it just us getting older?

  5. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    That can’t be, Ardis, since we are trying to be more Protestant. *grin* “Praise to the Man” and “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” are just coincidental.

  6. Ben on April 6, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    IN the prayer- “Through thy grace they can overcome the afflictions that beset them.”

  7. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    This is probably my favorite primary song, and I love the arrangement.

  8. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    “joyfully overwhelmed” — I love that phrase.

  9. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I absolutely loved President Uchtdorf’s talk last night at priesthood, and I’m pumped that he’s speaking first

  10. Cameron Steinbusch on April 6, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Not to be vain but I love President Uchtdorf’s tie!

  11. anon on April 6, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    please!!!!! no more fashion analysis today!

  12. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Another point about teaching the all but focusing on the one — that seems to be a theme this weekend.

  13. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I think the fashion analysis is somewhat interesting. The men of the church are counseled to follow the brethren regarding dress and appearance. Even if that’s all someone gets out of conference, ‘watch and follow the brethren’ is still a great message.

  14. Kevin on April 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    BYU TV just announced a live news conference will be held following the Sunday Morning Session at 12:30 noon. I wonder why they need another news conference?

  15. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    what a moving story – “The site he wanted to visit was a feeble, faithful man” – or whatever the exact quote was.

  16. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Hurray! I love that he claims the 19th century legacy of pioneers, as well as the modern era, as his own. It does belong to all, and I’m bothered when so many reject the original pioneers as having anything to do with their religious heritage.

  17. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    anon (#11) – we could be talkign about his haircut…it could be worse

    I’m glad to see he’s talking about how the plains pioneers aren’t just the only pioneers out there – and a great Lutheran reference!

  18. Tanya Spackman on April 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I’m enjoying where he is taking the “faith of our fathers” thing.

  19. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    This is an amazing talk – simply amazing.

  20. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Kevin –

    Did they do a news conference yesterday for E. Christofferson?

  21. JonW on April 6, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    great talk, I love his discussion of tolerance of others. Especially with his comparision to Lutheranism.

  22. Kevin on April 6, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Nope they scrolled a text at the bottom of the screen saying a live news conference will be broadcast at 12:30 following the Sunday Morning session. They also stated it would be broadcast on BYU TV. It wouldn’t be live if it was from yesterday. But it could have been a mistake. Did anyone else see that?

  23. JonW on April 6, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    “Tell them how wrong they were…you guess she was baptised”

    Funny, funny line

  24. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    What of the faith of the ancient ones before them?

    I really like his animation and voice intonation as well (petty, i know, but it’s better than haircut discussion)

  25. Tanya Spackman on April 6, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    He’s really covering quite a number of ideas with this talk. This is one I will definitely be reading as soon as the transcript is up.

  26. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Did he say he is a decendant of Martin Luther?

  27. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Did he say he is a decendant of Martin Luther?

  28. j on April 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    The news conference today is to introduce the new YW presidency

  29. JonW on April 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Faith of our Fathers is our Heavenly father’s faith (in us) I love that consept.

  30. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    und great talk.

  31. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    What an amazing spirit he brings. You can just see the joy of the gospel in his eyes.

  32. JonW on April 6, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    #26 yes he did

  33. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks j

    That would make sense, seeing that they’ve reorganized the YW presidency (and yesterday was trumped by the new Apostle)

  34. RBH on April 6, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Wow… Simply wow.

  35. Kevin on April 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Thanks for the info…good to know the motivation for the press conference.

  36. anon on April 6, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    The new coonference is a meet and greet with the new Young Women’s General Presidency, who were sustained yesterday

  37. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    I wonder if the lights that they are under when they are at the podium are hot?

    Obviously the nervousnes of speaking would contribute to the perspiration, but I wonder if it’s just plain ol’ hot too?

  38. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    It’s interesting to hear the continuation of the theme “faith of our fathers” with his comment about being born of goodly parents “the great foundational blessing of my life”.

  39. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Sorry, back on Pres. Uchtdorf–he really seems to me like “le package totale”. I am so impressed by the power and yet the humility he conveys. I guess I never listened closely enough to him before…

  40. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    It was much warmer in the Tabernacle than it is in the Conference Center

  41. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    So much for Elder Ch. being just another Utahn.

  42. austin s on April 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    #41: Although he did pronounce measure with the first syllable rhyming with “may.”

  43. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    Pres. Uchtdorf reminds me of a great german mission president, Walter Kindt.

  44. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    “touched by his concern for me” instead of being offended — I love that statement.

  45. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    So Uchtdorf was called as a stake president by Joseph Wirthlin.
    Christofferson served under Richard G. Schoot in Argentina.

  46. austin s on April 6, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    “The remarkable experiences in the scriptures are just that: remarkable, not typical.” I like that

  47. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Baptism without repentance is faith without works. – I really like that concept.

  48. It's Not Me on April 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    For those who don’t know, Elder Child was formerly the president of R.C. Willey. Another darn wealthy white guy. From Utah.

  49. Wilfried on April 6, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I have always wondered why tithing stories nearly always deal with poor people in the third world who have nothing…

  50. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Or the depression.

  51. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    To shame us in the first world who have everything, but neglect to pay tithing.

  52. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    It’s the scriptural pattern, Wlifried. (the widow’s mite)

  53. austin s on April 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    I think it was interesting to have the quote that paying tithing will bless you, in addition to spiritually, also “in dollars and sense.” I don’t remember that ever being made explicit before.

  54. Steve M on April 6, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    Doesn’t look like Julie Beck will be speaking this time around.

  55. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    maybe because the poor countries send offerings to the rich countries to support us as we use more than we give

    That alone should cause us to think.

  56. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    That simply was uncalled for, Steve M. (thought I’d save Ardis from having to say it – *grin*)

  57. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Ray, do you have any reliable source for saying that the offerings of poor countries go to the rich?

  58. Steve M on April 6, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Ray,

    What are you talking about? They normally have only two women speak at each General Conference, and we are now hearing from the second woman to speak at this Conference. I was simply pointing at that those who were hoping to hear from President Beck this time around will be disappointed.

  59. Eric Russell on April 6, 2008 at 1:00 pm

    Steve, not after having spoken last time. There’s a rotation.

  60. bbell on April 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Ray,

    I have never seen any evidence of your #55. In the worldwide Church North America is the source of the funding for other regions of the world.

  61. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    What a great YW president she has been.

  62. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    She used the word “nurturer.” Let the fireworks begin.

  63. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    She’s here in spirit.

  64. TMD on April 6, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    in re 57: We had an area authority tell us that most all of the eastern US was not self-sufficient in fast offerings, but that Chile, for instance, has a surplus, and that surplus goes into the central accounts that meet the deficits in places like the eastern US.

  65. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    #60… I once heard L. Tom Perry myself say what Ray said.

  66. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Interesting–they only put her name, no title. Guess the word “former” doesn’t sound quite right…

  67. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Ardis, I will try to find one.

    One recipient of offering funds in my stake often receives more money than a dozen (or a hundred) in many countries would receive. Honestly, I just am repeating what I have been told by multiple Stake Presidents and Area Authorities without documentation. I should have said that in the first comment.

  68. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Ardis –

    Is the word “nurturer” really that bad of a word? I think it’s actually quite respectful and honorable

    But i guess I can see your point

  69. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Chile isn’t a third-world nation.

  70. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    bbell, I am speaking only of fast offerings – not tithing or other contributions. Again, I will try to find a source quote.

  71. Wilfried on April 6, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    (60) “In the worldwide Church North America is the source of the funding for other regions of the world.”

    At the present rate of the dollar, I think we could be surprised about the directions of funds, at least from other rich countries.

  72. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I’m absolutely fine with it brandt — I just expect this talk will become the focus of a lot of angry ‘nacle posts by those who find it a hot button word.

  73. Jami on April 6, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    The new pres normally speaks, doesn\’t she? Did I miss it?

  74. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    A very nice farewell talk from Sister Tanner

    Pres. Packer looks like he’s getting older and more tired as the conferences go on

  75. Carl Youngblood on April 6, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    #64: Don’t know if that’s true or not, but I would bet my bottom dollar that overall, the US church has an enormous surplus in offerings that goes towards the rest of the world.

  76. denebug on April 6, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    The only problem with “nurturer” is that she referred to women and even little girls. My son is naturally very nurturing and compassionate. We want nurturing men in our church, but we don’t praise that trait in little boys or teenagers as much as we do in the girls.

  77. Seth R. on April 6, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Interesting to have Elder Packer bluntly refuting any speculation that he might have been considered for the spot as President. I seem to recall there was such speculation floating about.

  78. JamesBC on April 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Does anyone know why some speakers use the additional head-mounted microphone, in addition to the pulpit mic?

  79. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Is it just me or does Pres. Packer look like he’s distracted? And what reasons would he have the mic on his cheek?

    Ardis – I’m glad you’re fine with it
    It seems like sometimes people are just looking for a hot-button word to go off on their personal agendas (I’ll end there, I don’t want to distract from conference)

  80. Seth R. on April 6, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Come on denebug, she said chastity was precious for both sexes. What more do you want?

  81. Clark on April 6, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Pres. Packer isn’t looking healthy. And what’s with that small white microphone coming out of his ear?

  82. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    the head mic is for those who can’t project their voice as well as others.

  83. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    clueless non-techie here–but could it amplify a soft voice even more so the podium mike could pick it up better??

  84. Wilfried on April 6, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    (75) “the US church has an enormous surplus in offerings that goes towards the rest of the world”

    I think we have no idea how many needs of poverty there are in many non-affluent wards and branches in the U.S.

  85. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    This comment is a little late, but regarding fast offerings again –
    I don’t think the fast offering comments were meant to incite frustration, just point out what some might find to be of interest. Much of what was discussed is due to different economic conditions in various countries. Exchange rates, domestic policy, and other conditions make it very difficult to translate all offerings into US equivalent and still have that number retain meaning. The fact of the matter is that offerings are collected at the local level, and if needed used there. If there is an excess, it is transfered to the church’s general fast offering fund. From there it is distributed wherever needed based on need. In the end, the logistics of moving the funds is not of much importance to our own salvation. What matters is we have the opportunity to help others who need it wherever they may be.

  86. JamesBC on April 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Elder Wirthlin used one yesterday, and Elder Faust used to. That makes sense – older people whose voices aren’t as loud…

  87. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    Just checking in, having returned early from watching this session at church (we’ve a sick daughter at home, so Melissa and I are eaching catching half). All I have to say is, man, Elder Packer sounds terrible–confused, weary, and possibly sick. Poor guy.

  88. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    They are all elderly. Pres. Packer will be 84 this September. Unlike the average age of 24 by the first quorum.

  89. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    wait – Elder Christoffer “will be ordained an Apostle”?

    I thought he already was?

  90. John Taber on April 6, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    President Faust had a microphone like that his last couple of years. I noticed Elder Wirthlin had one yesterday.

  91. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Yesterday during the Solemn Assembly I thought he looked nearly slumped in his chair. I do remember many years ago when he had much more of a twinkle in his eye. We know so little of their health challenges.

  92. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Did Elder Packer comment that Elder Christofferson “will be ordained an apostle”? I had assumed that had already taken place, but I guess it makes sense that it would happen after the sustaining vote was taken. Does anyone have any insight to offer on this one?

  93. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    It will occur on Thursday when they next meet together.

  94. Clark on April 6, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    Oh. That makes sense that Pres. Packer is having trouble speaking loud. I didn’t notice it on Elder Wirthlin.

    Is it just too hard to adjust sound levels?

  95. Paradox on April 6, 2008 at 1:20 pm

    And so begins the speculation of who might replace him…

    I’ve never really considered the symbolism of the keys before.

    I’m glad that the Apostles and the First Presidency have been better with their keys than I am with mine.

  96. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks, mctopher.

    To add to Wilfried’s #84, let me repeat even more directly that we also don’t see the very large contributions that sometimes go to those whose temporary needs are much larger than those we normally envision receiving help. That is NOT a complaint or condemnation; I have been that person. It simply is another reason why the Church stresses staying out of debt – so those who make much can share it with those who need, not pay it in interest rates to lenders who already are rich. Every dollar I pay in interest is a dollar I can’t pay in offerings.

    Few people stop and think about that.

    End of threadjack. I’m missing too much of Elder Packer’s talk.

  97. Paradox on April 6, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Elder Wirthlin has always been softer-spoken though, so I wouldn’t read too much into his mic.

    Just sayin’.

  98. Matt Evans on April 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve been rather surprised how unaware some of the speakers seem to be about highlighting things that distinguish them from their audience. Sister Tanner just mentioned the strong the spirit at her children’s temple marriages, but got especially choked up adding that her father was the temple sealer. Elder Christopherson said he received his patriarchal blessing from his grandfather. Elder Cook said his great-grandfather was one of the young men called to rescue the handcart companies. Someone yesterday, I forget who, said he was given the Aaronic priesthood by his father, who was the bishop.

    It would be better to avoid mentioning these kinds of things because first, it wrongly suggests that they matter, and consequently implies that other members should feel a little disappointed that their fathers and grandfathers aren’t bishops, patriarchs, sealers or pioneer heroes, and second, because it makes their own experience less relevant for “regular” members or converts. A speaker’s highlighting their differences from their listeners creates distance, and makes it harder for the listeners to identify with them, or to think the speakers life experieces are relevant to their own challenges.

  99. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    “Military men”–interesting phrase for Elder Packer to use. It reflects the world of near-universal male conscription that existed for most of the 20th century, ending in the late 1960s. None of the twelve (is Richard Scott the exception?) has had a “military career,” but the majority of them did serve for a time in the U.S. armed forces as young men in one capacity or another.

  100. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    Those 84 year old ears just keep growing don’t they?.

  101. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I know Pres Uchtdorf is a pilot (that is so cool!)–was he military? Germany also had high rates of conscription, if I have my info correct.

  102. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Great talk by a great prophet, seer and revelator.

  103. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    don’t know that I have ever seen so many full heads of hair at the podium either…

  104. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Elder Uchtdorf was a civilian pilot for Lufthansa, but I assume he served in the Bundeswehr at some point as a youth as well.

  105. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I’m having a hard time disagreeing or concurring with your comment. It would be nice to hear them speak and see that they were more like me. However, on the flip side, these are remarkable people and I like to see that that is what I can work toward, something greater than what I’ve known to this point. Like Wilfred from yesterday, I like to see mature, experienced, stable leaders who can teach more than what I’ve already see.

  106. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Uchtdorf learned to fly in the military.

  107. austin s on April 6, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Wow, this is a very different arrangement of If You Could Hie to Kolob. I like it, much more subdued.

  108. JamesBC on April 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I have never heard the choir hie to Kolob before

  109. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Interesting arrangement of Hie to Kolob. Did Wilberg put this one together?

  110. Bored in Vernal on April 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    They’re singing my theme song! Hoorah!

  111. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    ?? Matt, would you have them conceal their background for some reason? Deny who they are? Not model what a multigenerational family in the gospel can be? I guess I should call on you not to mention your wife and children, ’cause that creates distance, makes me feel disappointed that I don’t have a similar background, and makes it harder for me to identify with you, or think your life experiences are relevant to my own challenges.

  112. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I actually like this rendition of “If you could Hie to Kolob” because it’s much different then any of the other renditions I’ve read

  113. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    105 was directed to 98…

  114. j on April 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    good point matt. i agree.

  115. Seth R. on April 6, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    Yup, they actually said it.

    “There is no end to race.”

    Sigh.

    Someone really needs to do something about that phrase.

  116. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Fascinating arrangement of “If You Could Hie to Kolob”–I don’t know how I feel about it yet, but I’m impressed that Wilberg has taken it on. It’s such a difficult hymn to do right.

  117. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    What is this arrangement? And did they change the words to the last verse (not that I’d blame anyone).

    Dang, my favorite part of “If you could Hie to Kolob” was the tune.

  118. trev on April 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Hey, anyone else here think it would be cool if we could get some variation in the music instead of using the Choir all the time? Isn’t there a Temple Square Orchestra?

  119. Carl Youngblood on April 6, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I think Pres. Uchtdorf’s service as a pilot has been entirely commercial. He flew commercial jetliners.

  120. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    I won’t forget it.

  121. Andy Munzer on April 6, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    @ Ardis (111) – I also think that it’s nice to hear them share an experience that they feel emotional about. With Sister Tanner’s memory of her father sealing her kids, I thought it was a lovely, human moment in her talk.

  122. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I’m wondering about a possible change in the lyrics in that rendition of “If You Could Hie” as well…I think Wilberg may have taken out the clumsy, too-easily-misconstrued “there is no end to race” line. If so, all praise to him.

  123. LRC on April 6, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    #115 – easy: There is no end to grace.

  124. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    “belongs to the ages”. That is lovely. I am trying to think who else that has been used for?

  125. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Oh, just hit me, I think it was Abraham Lincoln?

  126. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Oh, did they actually sing it, Seth (#115)? Ah, well–bummer. (Shoot, these comments work slowly when everyone is writing at the same time.)

  127. Matt Thurston on April 6, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Not a fan of this arrangement of “If You Could Hie to Kolob”… prefer the hymnal version in the minor, more somber, key.

  128. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Yes, Lincoln, and many others.

  129. Seth R. on April 6, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    Nope Russell. I was listening. They left it in there as it is in the hymnbook.

  130. Ben on April 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Seth, I don’t think the word at the time the song was written means quite what it does today. Webster’s 1828 lists for the first “The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles, &c.”

    That said, it’s easy for us today to misunderstand the word, given current usage and semantics.

  131. Jami on April 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Think of it as human race. Less painful that way.

  132. brandt on April 6, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Ben –

    That’s always the way that I interpreted the song – I don’t think skin color ever came into question

  133. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    You’re correct, Ben (#130), but the point is, obviously, that no one uses the word that way any longer. It’s not a big deal, but then again, as LRC points out (#123), there’s a ridiculously easy change that would take care of the problem.

  134. t on April 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    It means family. Orson Scott Card did a recent article where he talked about it on the dn website. He also said that a quick change to Grace would be perfect.

  135. Seth R. on April 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    We get enough crap about the blacks-and-the-Priesthood business without this kind of (admittedly trivial) stuff adding grist for the mill.

  136. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Pres. Uchtdorf’s bio is here. It says, “Elder Uchtdorf joined the German air force in 1959 and received his pilot wings in Big Spring, Texas, and fighter pilot training in Phoenix, Arizona.”

  137. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Isn’t life just one great race to the end? :o)

  138. kristine N on April 6, 2008 at 1:42 pm

    Okay, I thought they said grace. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

  139. rowish on April 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    My wife just piped up to comment that if my father had been a sealer and I would have insisted on having him perform our wedding, there wouldn’t have been a wedding. (All strictly hypothetical.)

  140. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Going along with the “faith of our fathers” theme, I have to say that I’m not sure I’ve ever actually heard President Monson talk about his own family and ancestors before. Good on him. And good, good, GOOD on him for paying a loving tribute to his wife, and the fact that his church service basically turned her into a single mother for their entire lives. And one other thing–it’s nice being reminded that Monson is a complete spiritual prodigy (a bishop at 22, a mission president at 32, etc.) who nonetheless never served a mission himself.

  141. rowish on April 6, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    If Uchtdorf received his fighter-pilot training in Phoenix, then there’s a really, really good chance that my wife’s uncle trained him (ironic, since he’s an ex-Mo).

  142. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    President Monson is bringing back President Hunter’s themes of “come back” and “the burden is light” in this, his first Sunday General Conference address as prophet. Intriguing and touching.

  143. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Uchtdorf got his training where Packer was trained… out at Luke AFB

  144. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    the home, “where the storm stops at the door.” Unless you have teenagers… :)

  145. Russ on April 6, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    In Priesthood Session, President Monson said \”Sin often wears the halloween mask of tolerance\”. Does anyone know what he was referring to, tolerance towards what or whom?

  146. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    145 – when people say we need to become “tolerant” of sin.

  147. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Before we “accept” sin, we tolerate it…. it is just the next step.

    It’s another way of saying we detest the sin but love the sinner.

  148. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    tolerance of sin itself maybe? too many out there think in order to love the sinner we have to embrace the sin.

  149. Double D on April 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    Time to go get dinner ready for all of the little darlings.

  150. mctopher on April 6, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    145 – little clarification – they say we should tolerate sin, and they try to make us feel as though we are doing the right thing in accepting the wrong things they’re masking.

  151. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Russ, it was a very direct reference to sin and incorrect doctrine.

  152. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    It’s another way of saying we detest the sin but love the sinner.

    I’ve long thought that to be a rather facile depiction of a very difficult, very complicated, very deep gospel principle, one that may be beyond mortal ability to fully comprehend (much less enact).

  153. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    All in all, a fine sermon, I think. Not brilliant or prophetic or especially moving, but solid, heartfelt, wise and expansive. Perhaps that’ll be President Monson’s administration in a nutshell.

  154. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    152–strongly agree. Somewhere I heard a leader say that a big part of our ultimate “judgement” would be our ability to love. And that goes along with the “tolerance”–bc it IS difficult, as an imperfect human, to truly and unreservedly love someone with whom we completely disagree (or with whose behavior we completely disagree).

  155. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Though, as SAP just commented over at BCC, it was also more emphatic and particular than many (most?) of President Monson’s talks; no alliterative things-you-ought-to-do lists, for example.

  156. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    sorry–I really hate the advertisements on conference sunday. guess it would be one thing for Church dist. ctr items, but…

  157. Starfoxy on April 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    The melody they used for If you could hie to Kolob is from the older hymnals. You can see it here.

  158. Joe Johnson on April 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    AMEN. Now 2 hours to kill before the finale.

  159. Mack on April 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I’m a newbie but wanted to chime in on Matt\’s #98. I have/have had similar feelings from time to time. Such comments kind of make the leadership at the General level seem kind of cliquish. At the same time, the fact that it is a person\’s father/grandfather/husband/close friend administering a certain blessing or ordinance would absolutely add a special touch to the situation. But, I sometimes think the addition of these details (maybe inadvertently) perpetuates superstitions like an ordinance/blessing administered by a Church ‘celebrity’ (that\’s probably not a great word for it), is somehow more valid than one performed by your dad who’s the Assistant Ward Bulletin Typesetter but also a worthy priesthood holder.

    Which gets us the couple where the bride’s brother’s 2nd mission companion is the cousin of Elder So-and-so’s great nephew. So, even though they have no kind of personal relationship with Elder So-and-so, they somehow talked him into sealing them so they could name drop Elder So-and-so everytime they discuss their upcoming/recently completed nuptials. THAT’s what bugs me.

  160. Jared on April 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    After hearing Pres. Monson last night, and just now I feel we have a mighty Prophet of the Lord at the head of the church–again!

  161. Melissa Proctor on April 6, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I disagree, Russell. I thought President Monson’s talk with deeply moving; the best talk all conference by far. Talks can strike us quite differently depending on circumstance and situation.

  162. Russell Arben Fox on April 6, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    I thought President Monson’s talk was deeply moving; the best talk all conference by far. Talks can strike us quite differently depending on circumstance and situation.

    Very true, Melissa, very true. Your take is certainly every bit as legitimate as anyone else’s (maybe even a bit more so).

  163. KerBearRN on April 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    157–That is very cool, thanks so much for sharing that link!

  164. Paradox on April 6, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    In response to Matt 98 as well, I really don’t see the issue with them sharing the position of their family members within the stories they share.

    As a convert that is the only member of my family, I speak from experience when I say that to hear those details means more than I can even say. To know that a family so tight-nit, so united in the Gospel is a beautiful image to behold. Hearing about it in Conference gives people like me something to envision and to strive for… and it makes it easier, because now I know what it looks like.

    As always, to each their own. But my preference is to hear whatever they prepare, even if it might rub me the wrong way… my experience is that if it doesn’t resonate with me, the message was for someone else who needed to hear it.

  165. Matt Evans on April 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Ardis, but “who they are” really doesn’t have anything to do with their family’s callings. I shouldn’t aspire to be a bishop, patriarch or temple sealer because it will be cool for my family and posterity, and there’s no way to say there are special blessing for families of patriarchs, sealers and bishops and also insist that fathers not desire these special blessings for their families. It’s this commitment to “don’t aspire to calling” that drives my thought here: worthiness is all that matters (in the gospel). I think it would be as irrelevant for someone to say in church that he received the Aaronic priesthood from his father, the stake president, as it would be for him to say in church that he received the Aaronic priesthood from his father, the CEO of American Motors, for example, even though both facts would deeply influence the person’s self-identity. Neither fact should shape our church identity.

    I would encourage church speakers to only highlight facts that everyone should aspire to: we hope for a world where every father is worthy, not a world where every father is bishop.

  166. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Wonderful perspective, Paradox.

  167. Jared on April 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    #164 Paradox–well said.

  168. Clair on April 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve always thought of it as “human race”. Grace would be a fine lyric, too, but a different one. Grace is meaningless without humanity.

  169. John Taber on April 6, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    My father having been stake clerk and bishop have significantly shaped who I am. I’m not sure I’d wish that experience on anyone else, but it is experience nonetheless.

  170. rowish on April 6, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    In our ward, we occasionally get new families from Utah who name-drop LDS celebrities, and they are occasionally shocked when they get bemused, “ummm, who cares?” looks in sunday school and relief society.

    “Really, you used to live near the Osmonds? Wow. Like, they were so relevant when I was a kid!”

    One of our old bishops used to shake his head sadly when someone would get accepted to BYU or the U of U, and offer his condolences that they weren’t accepted into a Texas school.

  171. Clark on April 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Russell, if something is difficult and deep won’t most saying designed to point us towards them appear facile? They should be judged not in terms of descriptive depth but their ability to point us to the phenomena itself.

  172. John Taber on April 6, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I hope that bishop was kidding – at least about BYU.

  173. rowish on April 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    John, he was an Aggie (Texas A&M variety), so we all quietly forgave him. I mean, if you can’t be a Zoobie, at least be a Longhorn.

  174. John Taber on April 6, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I’m not saying BYU is for everyone, but it’s the #1 stone cold sober school in the nation for a reason. The public university where I am prides itself on moving from the very bottom of that list, up maybe five spaces.

  175. Bill on April 6, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    RE: 124

    Here’s an interesting article on the sources for the Lincoln bedside eulogy:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/05/28/070528fa_fact_gopnik

  176. chris j on April 6, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Often my feelings align with Matt: “calling-dropping” or “church-celebrity” rubs me the wrong way. I could interpret those sorts of statements very negatively: “My family has the secrets to spiritual success, and that’s why I am who I am–and why you’re family will never be as good.” Maybe it is sometimes my own pride and insecurity that caused me to question motivations and jump to conclusions. I’m sure these general authorities were not trying to teach that aspiring to callings is proper. I would prefer, though, more lightly loaded statements like, “My father, who was worthy to do so, conferred the priesthood upon me.”

    I hope all my family members can live to be worthy enough to fill any calling from the Lord. Some people just aren’t made for certain callings, though. Would it be normal for a mentally handicapped member to become the prophet? Does that mean we respect them less than those that were natured/nurtured into apostleship? Is it just the assumption that worthiness is attached to callings? I think we’re going to be letting go of that assumption more and more with this next generation.

  177. sasha on April 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Yesterday I made a comment that Mack Wilberg had outdone himself. Well, I take it back. I am very fond of Bro. Mack’s talent but the arrangement of “If You Could Hie to Kolob” was atrocious. My favorite hymn was mutilated. What was he thinking?!

  178. Jacob F on April 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Pres. Packer has serious back issues and likely wore the mic in case he needed to sit down while speaking, like E. Wirthlin. Could have been a last minute decision. This could also explain any discomfort he showed. I’m glad I won’t be under a microscope at 84.

    In the priesthood session, the reason the speaker mentioned he was ordained by his dad, who was the bishop, was because he was setting up a later point about his dad’s counselor challenging him to live up to his dad’s example.

    I’ve also never thought of “there is no end to race” in a negative or race-as-we-know-it context. But I guess I see the point. I do like the Vaughan Williams melody from the current hymnal best.

    My grandfather performed our sealing; never thought of myself as in any special clique. A lot of people are sealers.

  179. Maryanne on April 6, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Maybe the idea of an open thread during conference should be put aside. Unlike most threads it seems to be mainly irrelevant or annoying comments, or things that should perhaps be reflected on (or at least waited upon until the entire talk has been given) before jumping to conclusions about what’s being said.

  180. Bill on April 6, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    177, check 157.

    Obviously you prefer the tune from the 1985 book.

  181. East Coast on April 6, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for the link Starfoxy. I printed it out and played through the Daynes tune. I like it a lot more than the Vaughn Williams tune. (Ducking as I say that, since the intelligentsia tend to prefer Vaughn Williams.)

  182. rowish on April 6, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Jacob, there are indeed a lot of people who are sealers. My wife’s comment about family member sealers is apparently centered around the fact she just wouldn’t have wanted a family member of either of us performing the sealing.

    It is interesting how Mormon celebrity-dom is tightly tied to where you live, not just who your relatives are. If you leave the shelter of the corridor, you abandon your celebrity ties.

  183. Matt W. on April 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I don’t mean to spam, but is anyone esle watching this Henry Eyring Biopic. To here Henry B. Eyring frankly talk about his dad’s confrontations with JFielding Smith. It’s awesome.

  184. Matt W. on April 6, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    I don’t mean to spam, but is anyone esle watching this Henry Eyring Biopic. To here Henry B. Eyring frankly talk about his dad’s confrontations with JFielding Smith. It’s awesome.

  185. Wilfried on April 6, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    I must agree with matt evans and chrisj. Though totally innocent and positively meant in the talks of our authorities, these referrals to personalities among ancestors and to callings may tend to be misunderstood by less mature members. I have seen it abroad, how “special groups” are thus being formed, claiming long-standing family leadership and temple callings.

  186. DavidH on April 6, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    I too agree with Matt.

  187. Matt Evans on April 6, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Chris, I agree with your preference that they ignore callings and instead use a formulation like “my worthy father”. The purpose (or at least the effect) of mentioning callings suggests that fathers who can ordain their sons are worthy, but bishops are worthy worthy and sealers are worthy worthy worthy. It’s a logic I dislike.

    “It is interesting how Mormon celebrity-dom is tightly tied to where you live, not just who your relatives are. If you leave the shelter of the corridor, you abandon your celebrity ties.”

    Mormon celebrity-dom can’t get any worse than the Washington DC stake.

  188. JimD on April 6, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Re the mic on Elder Packer’s glasses: The others who have used them (Wirthlin this conference; Faust in previous conferences) gave their talks from a seated position, far from the microphone.

    What the mic tells me is that Elder Packer was probably planning to give his sermon seated, but chose to do so standing at the last minute.

  189. liz on April 6, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    Was anyone else quite heartened to hear Elder Ballard quoting Anna Quindlen from the pulpit in his talk on Motherhood? I never would have thought that would happen.

  190. Patrick on April 6, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    FWIW, I, too, am partial to the “original” melody for “If You Could Hie to Kolob.” It is better known outside the church as the Irish tune “Star of the County Down.” Still, it’s always interesting to hear a familiar song set to new music.

  191. Patrick on April 6, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    If anyone’s still monitoring this thread, I’ve got the assignment to select 6 talks from this conference to be used in our ward’s 4th Sunday lessons in Priesthood and Relief Society for the coming half year. I’m open to suggestions…!

  192. Ardis Parshall on April 6, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Patrick — Actually READ the talks with teaching in mind before you pick ‘em. I teach what our stake’s leaders choose which can be very hard when they go only by the name of the speaker. Sometimes the talks are not really suitable for teaching — they need to be more than a warm, fuzzy story, and should have general appeal (a talk addressed to deacons about the benefits of scouting can leave the RS teacher with little to work with).

  193. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I echo Ardis. I might go with Wirthlin, Christofferson, Uchtdorf, Tanner, Ballard and Holland, but there are pitfalls to each of them at the ward level.

  194. Ray on April 6, 2008 at 7:56 pm

    Sorry, thought my comment on the other thread had been lost.

  195. Patrick on April 6, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Ardis,

    Absolutely – the content is key in selecting the talks. I was just looking for first impressions based on what we’ve heard the past two days. For example, in this afternoon’s session I was especially struck by Elder Bednar’s talk on Meaningful Prayer, and Elder Ballard’s on Motherhood.

    (As a German missionary, I must confess a bias for President Uchtdorf. I’m tempted to select one of his, even if just to force the teachers to learn to pronounce his name correctly…!)

  196. Gaylen Holt on April 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    For those who don’t know, Elder Child was formerly the president of R.C. Willey. Another darn wealthy white guy. From Utah.

    Comment by It\’s Not Me — 4/6/2008 @ 12:51 pm

    He wasn\’t the president. It was his brother Bill Child. He was my stake president when I went on my mission. He worked for RC Willeys, I\’m sure close to the top, but he wasn\’t the president. He is a great man. He may have material wealth, he may not, what matters is that he serving the Lord. and learning from those who may not have as much as the world\’s goods.