Priesthood Session Online

October 15, 2008 | 25 comments
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According to this, the priesthood session of conference will be available online starting next year.

I’m not sure if I am parsing that comment correctly, but I think he’s saying that it will be available if you can log in and you can log in if you are a priesthood holder.

Hmm.

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25 Responses to Priesthood Session Online

  1. Kim Siever on October 15, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Just to clarify, that the commenter is saying if the LDS Account is fully active, they EXPECT to broadcast the priesthood session online.

  2. jjohnsen on October 15, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    What if I log in to watch and my wife glances over my shoulder?

  3. James on October 15, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    She turns into a pillar of salt :-)

  4. mrblue on October 15, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    When I was in college, a couple of my female friends wanted to view the priesthood broadcast at the state center. I didn’t (and still don’t) have any issue with that — the talks are published in the Ensign, for heaven’s sake. One older man got a bit apoplectic at me in the parking lot as I walked in with my friends, and he admonished me to have a talk with my Bishop. I did just that — we went in and sat with him! I related the admonition of the man in the parking lot, and he just laughed. I liked that Bishop.

  5. Bro. Jones on October 15, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Seriously, I don’t get it: the talks are in the Ensign. Why require a login?

  6. LRC on October 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Log-ins are required b/c they don’t want the unwashed masses watching the prophet wiggle his ears.

  7. Blain on October 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    I had just spoken to my bishop about the previous policy, and he was as confused as I was. I am another who doesn’t see the point of withholding audio (which is all that is withheld — the video is available in the ASL version — deaf folks can read the text, so the point there is escaping me). Especially when video-with-sound is available on the DVDs that you can buy for each conference.

    If the point is to encourage men to attend this session in a group, then holding onto the audio until a period of time after the conference would do that without blocking the audio indefinitely. And it’d be cheaper than rebuilding an identifying infrastructure for the whole site.

  8. manaen on October 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    I’ve been in several General Priesthood meetings in which one/a few women sat in, including this month’s. Nobody ever seemed to mind and a few of us seemed glad that at least someone came.
    .
    I’m more surprised about the plan to broadcast it than that women would sit in because the semi-private admonitions and upbraidings in the Priesthood session can be much more pointed (e.g. quotation below) than the gentle invitations and reminders of the general session.
    .
    (suppressing urge to note that my fiancee qualifies as a “priesthood holder”)
    .
    - – - – -
    .
    In the marriage companionship there is neither inferiority nor superiority. The woman does not walk ahead of the man; neither does the man walk ahead of the woman. They walk side by side as a son and daughter of God on an eternal journey.
    .
    She is not your servant, your chattel, nor anything of the kind.
    .
    How tragic and utterly disgusting a phenomenon is wife abuse. Any man in this Church who abuses his wife, who demeans her, who insults her, who exercises unrighteous dominion over her is unworthy to hold the priesthood. Though he may have been ordained, the heavens will withdraw, the Spirit of the Lord will be grieved, and it will be amen to the authority of the priesthood of that man.
    .
    Any man who engages in this practice is unworthy to hold a temple recommend.
    .
    I regret to say that I see too much of this ugly phenomenon. There are men who cuff their wives about, both verbally and physically. What a tragedy when a man demeans the mother of his children.
    .
    It is true that there are a few women who abuse their husbands. But I am not speaking to them tonight. I am speaking to the men of this Church, men upon whom the Almighty has bestowed His holy priesthood.
    .
    My brethren, if there be any within the sound of my voice who are guilty of such behavior, I call upon you to repent. Get on your knees and ask the Lord to forgive you. Pray to Him for the power to control your tongue and your heavy hand. Ask for the forgiveness of your wife and your children.

    .
    – Pres. Hinckely, 4/2002 Priesthood Session
    (link: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-266-21,00.html)

  9. aloysiusmiller on October 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Oh no…they’ll learn the awful secret…that we go to Priesthood Meeting to get chastised about our treatment of women. We’ll be powerless.

  10. Kent G. Budge on October 15, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Am I the only one here who remembers the “little factories” talk? I figured it explains why the priesthood session is not so publicly broadcast.

  11. DTL on October 15, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    Kent makes a valid point. I even recall that talk was not published in the Ensign. Instead it was only published in a pamphlet distributed to the Aaronic Priesthood called “For Young Men Only”.

    I have always assumed that if there was a posibility that a talk may be distributed this way in the future, that there was a need to control distribution of the Priesthood session.

  12. quinn on October 15, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    i know in some countries, where the priesthood session is on delayed broadcast, many women sit in and watch. in portugal, when my wife and i still lived there, one priesthood session had more women than men in it. the same happens in parts of brasil where my wife’s family lives.

  13. Starfoxy on October 15, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    The more I think about Priesthood session the more it continues to baffle me. And this recent announcement just baffles me even more.

  14. Manuel on October 15, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    I have always wondered myself why this peculiar tradition of making sure Priesthood holders hear this session first.

    I remember in conference of 1997, President Hinkley made the following remark about something he had just said:

    “Now, that may appear to be something of a strange thing to say in priesthood meeting. I say it here because I do not know where else to say it. The bishops and stake presidents of the Church have now heard it. And they must be the ones who make the judgment in this matter. ”

    When he said “I do not know where else to say it” the tabernacle and the room I was sitting in erupted in laughter… because he had been talking about a “touchy” subject where some women could have been offended.

    Then I thought…. AAAAAHHHHHH, even the Brethren need a space where they can be a little more themselves.

    The remarks Pres. Hinckley was talking about included the following lines about women and missionary work:

    “Young women should not feel that they have a duty comparable to that of young men. Some of them will very much wish to go. If so, they should counsel with their bishop as well as their parents. If the idea persists, the bishop will know what to do.”

    “We do not ask the young women to consider a mission as an essential part of their life’s program. Over a period of many years, we have held the age level higher for them in an effort to keep the number going relatively small.”

    Both of these statements were a bit shocking if you may. “…If the idea persists…” implies that ideally, sisters would let the idea go away.

    “…we have held the age level higher for them in an effort to keep the number going relatively small.” This implies there is an “effort” from Leaders to discourage women from going on a mission.

    Since then I have been a “misogynist” by my best friend for believing President Hinckley, in the most public relations friendly way possible, was telling leaders that they should prevent woment from going on missions in a way that numbers resulting in sister missionaries are kept low.

    The whole text and context is found here: http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-32-20,00.html

    Later, when the remarks were available to everyone, I found out most people give these remarks a wide range of interpretations, and as of today, I have witnessed some leaders encouraging women to go on missions.

    I have divided the range of interpretations in three groups:
    Leaders with daughters didn’t care for these remarks: a loose interpretation was given.
    Women didn’t care for these remarks: a loose interpretation was given.
    Missionaries that served as leaders to sister missionaries in their missions agreed with the remarks: interpretation was – the Prophet is telling leaders they (GAs) are making an effort to lower the number of sisters in the mission field, and this he is asking for their cooperation in this matter.

    I also remember other Priesthood meetings where President Hinckley urged men to obtain a higher education because statistically, women were leaving them behind… a number of irritated women ensued in a war saying that it was a sexist statement. Pres. Hinckley’s point (in my opinion) was that men should raise up and be more prepared to provide better for women. Interpretation given by irritated women: “Women are getting more educated than men and that is unnacceptable. Men should be more educated in order to keep women in line and in subservient positions.”

    Clearly, women were not the audience for this message, and many of them who insisted being an audience for it didn’t get it!

  15. Dan Knudsen on October 15, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    I remember, in the mid-sixties, that the Priesthood Session was carried live on KBYU-TV–one time only and never since. It may have been in 1965.

  16. Amy S on October 15, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    I also think maybe the men just need their own space, their own time, a little spiritual male bonding for lack of a better way to phrase it.

  17. mlu on October 16, 2008 at 1:30 am

    When I was a deacon attending local priesthood meeting, it always seemed to me that the meetings dealt more with the administrative side of things that you wouldn’t necessarily go public with. Ward budget problems etc.

    I always assumed keeping the priesthood meetings less public at general conference had more to do with being discreet with the non-Mormon public than it had to do with keeping women away.

    Since no church business is actually conducted, there seems to be little reason to continue the practice.

    I have no information. Just growing up in the church, I never had a sense that there was any problem with women being in priesthood meeting (it wasn’t unusual for one or two to be there) so much as the tasks taken up there had been delegated to the men.

  18. Left Field on October 16, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Since there’s never anything confidential, and the proceedings are made publicly available, I’ve always assumed that the closed broadcast was merely a symbolic nod to the idea that it’s a meeting of the priesthood, and not a meeting to which the public is officially invited. I think that symbolism has probably fulfilled its purpose and could well be eliminated.

  19. cyril on October 16, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Left Field – - that’s how I feel about public restrooms. Purely symbolic and totally unnecessary in today’s enlightened age.

  20. PB & J on October 16, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Cyril # 19–What?

  21. WMP on October 17, 2008 at 11:07 am

    I just want to know when Bronco Mendenhall will be speaking in priesthood session, like LaVell did (at least once, in 1984 I believe).

    (Maybe not so soon after last night.)

  22. CE on October 17, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Of course, the audio from the priesthood session is available to the general public for purchase on CD/cassette, and the video is available for purchase on DVD. So the only limitation is on the free online audio/video. This makes the policy seem even more arbitrary to me.

  23. CE on October 17, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Cyril (#19) —

    The issue here is not whether we should have separate meetings for priesthood and relief society. I don’t think anyone here is grousing about this practice. The fact is that the church has made this gender segregation merely symbolic, because the proceedings of those meetings are reported in the church news and Utah newspapers, and the talks are all published online and in church magazines. So the church does nothing to keep the content of these meetings secret from the excluded gender. Nothing, except limit access to the free online audio MP3s. And that seems very arbitrary.

  24. Nathaniel Cannon on October 19, 2008 at 2:04 am

    To echo/add to #7:
    For the last two years you could in fact watch AND listen (simultaneously thanks to the miracles of modern audio video technology) to priesthood online. April 2006 – “.asx” links were provided for ASL provided streamed priesthood talks. April 2007 – downloadable QT and WMP formats. With a simple shareware video-to-audio bit of software anybody could download, save, and listen to “I’d like to direct my talk to the members of the Aaronic Priesthood…” while they jog.

    It seems like the church has been moving toward making it publicly available. I don’t totally get why there seems to be some hesitancy, but can only suspect church leaders are proceeding with caution. Pretty standard M.O. as far as that goes. It would make sense to me if they added non-ASL audio/video, and added a feature to watch LIVE streamed Priesthood. Certain mountain-standard-time-challenged individuals would be pleased to not shuffle home from their 6th hour of Saturday Conference at 10PM.

  25. Curtis on October 21, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    I’ll echo #24 (having been so MST-challenged in the past that priesthood session would get out at 11am Sunday morning) – it would have been nice to be able to watch it online. (not live, of course)