Kids, Conference

October 4, 2010 | 39 comments
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I used to worry that my kids weren’t listening to a word of General Conference. Now I worry that my kids are listening to every single word of General Conference.

I loved GC. Tonight we’ll discuss our favorite talks for FHE and when the Ensign comes, I’ll re-read everything. There were some stellar talks (my favorites: Elder Holland, Pres. Uchtdorf, and Elder Gong).

But . . . I can also think of a handful of things that, had they been said by an average Joe in our sacrament meeting, would have warranted a Mommy Correction on the way home. Something along the lines of “I’m sure ___ meant well, but I’m afraid s/he implied _____, which isn’t true” or “_____ is entitled to her/his own opinion, but _____ is not the official position of the Church” or “I don’t think there was technically anything wrong with that, but it sure was insensitive” or “I’d just like to remind you that we don’t use the word ‘stupid’ in our home.”

But, of course, what was said in GC this weekend was not said by an average Joe. It was said by a general or auxiliary leader. Do y’all say something to your kids in a case like this? Which bothers you more: Conveying to your children that you approve/agree with everything said in GC, or conveying to your children that you think it is your role to correct the general leaders?

My goal for my children is this: that they would take the attitude that our Church is true, living, and imperfect. That the imperfections would not startle them, or even surprise them. That they would expect them, and move on. That they would doubt their doubts, and not let them stand in the way of their faith. That they would, in a nutshell, have very low expectations of the people and leaders of the Church, so they could be pleasantly surprised by outbursts of awesomeness (Holland, Uchtdorf, Gong) and shrug at the everything else (_____, ______, ______). But I’m not sure what the best road is for getting to that goal.

It sure was easier when they just screamed and no one could hear Conference.

Note: I’m not interested in debating the specific merits of ____, ____, and _____. I’m interested in the overriding principle of whether and how you discuss with your children things you hear in GC that you disagree with. If I catch them soon enough, I’ll delete comments that consider the specific speakers and/or statements that one might have objected to.

39 Responses to Kids, Conference

  1. Marc Bohn on October 4, 2010 at 11:10 am

    You beautifully summed up a discussion my wife and I had yesterday. It’s a tough balance.

  2. Paul on October 4, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I remember listening to certain talks and thinking, “Hmmm — I’ll have to re-read this one a few times.” I think responding to questions is probably better than feeling a need to run interference in most cases. But certainly as parents, we are the “front line” in teaching our children, and if there’s something you felt was questionable, you certainly have the choice to discuss your views.

  3. E.D. on October 4, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I’ve already listened to one of the talks a second time. I don’t have kids, but if I did, there would be a “Mommy Correction” of some kind. Probably something along the lines of “They said A, but I believe B and it’s OK for there to be some disagreement.”

  4. PaulM on October 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

    A standing princle in our home is that nothing said over any pulpit should be taken at face value. I think it important to address with our children directly what is said over the pulpit– both the things that we would like to reinforce as well as the stuff we’d like them to test a little more. Avoiding the difficult stuff implies tacit approval.

  5. Utahn in CT on October 4, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Examples of the statements that need Mommy Corrections would help those without the time and/or interest in listening to conference.

  6. Rameumptom on October 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I would teach my kids to listen to what the Prophets teach, and then seek the Spirit to gain my own understanding and witness of the issue. As Elder Oaks taught, there are two lines we deal with: the official priesthood line, and the individual line (priesthood of all believers). We are expected to gain our own witness of all things taught. If we do not have that witness after seeking it, then we should realize that our opinion is also just an opinion as well. There may be that both the Prophet AND I are wrong on our assumptions, with a possible third and more correct way neither has considered.

    As it is, I don’t disagree with anything taught this weekend. There are some things that may have been implied, which I may have to seek spiritual guidance upon.

    And Julie, just because you love violent video games and texting, doesn’t mean the prophets are wrong about them. ;)

  7. Ardis E. Parshall on October 4, 2010 at 11:51 am

    How are you certain on first hearing, without time for reflection, that Elder Whoever’s comment on _____, or even his entire talk on _____, is something that needs to be corrected? Maybe it does. But if the only reason for listening to Conference is to have our own views endorsed and not to have our views corrected or even challenged, what’s the point? If you’re at all like me, you resent correction on some level and need time and calm and reflection to consider whether maybe, just perhaps, in some tiny, trivial detail, a course correction is needed at home, rather than in the Q12 or auxiliary boardroom.

    If it’s something personal to your home rather than a doctrinal issue, wouldn’t you just say whatever you say whenever that home policy is violated by anyone? “Elder _____ and his family have different rules. In our family, the rule is still that we don’t say _____ or tell jokes about _____.”

    My comment is unfortunately not shaped only by what you wrote, Julie, but by the immediate and outspoken proclamations in some quarters that OF COURSE _____, _____, and _____ were wrong and that Elders _____, _____, and _____ need correction from the chattering masses. It doesn’t seem to occur to many of us that maybe we need to consider their words carefully enough to discover whether our own ideas need to be modified.

  8. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on October 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

    Julie raised a valuable dilemma for parents in this day of social websites on the Internet. The Apostle John, the Beloved, testified that Jesus was the Word and the Light of God for everyone. Are children not part of this? Today it seems that even kids learn of things; I had little interest in as a kid. Quibling with the First Presidency or the Twelve breaks our cycle of Faith.

    John spoke much of the Holy Ghost and how not to become deceivers or liars in our quest to learn the ways of God. In the OT are some interesting dilemmas between wives and husbands. For example, Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sariah, Isaac and Rebecca. What was interesting about them was that it was their wives, who proposed a possible solution. It resolved the dilemma temporarily, but it removed the stumbling block in their relationship. Does it means that wives are better at listening and obeying the Word of God?

    Making good choices is difficult, when tares are also growing among the wheat field. Who is the harvester? Jesus, Christ, He paid the ransom to gather us in as sons and daughters of God.

  9. ESO on October 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Honestly, I would not say anything about my concerns, but if they started discussing a specific issue, I would engage in the discussion and be honest at that point.

  10. Julie M. Smith on October 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    “And Julie, just because you love violent video games and texting, doesn’t mean the prophets are wrong about them. ;)”

    LOL! You caught me!

    Ardis, your point about reflection is a very good one: I can remember a certain talk last time around that got my knee jerking on first reading that I later decided I liked a lot. So let’s just pretend this post went up a month from now, after I had maturely reflected on all of the talks at length. :)

  11. Gina on October 4, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    I think ESO sounds about right. A friend of mine grew up in the church with what she described as a good, average family. They mostly had FHE and sometimes read scriptures etc, but it was never remarkable and she doesn’t remember many spiritual experiences related to those things. But she has no memory of her parents ever being critical of leaders or doctrine. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she learned her mother had some genuine troubles with some doctrine or something, but had never made an issue of it when my friend was younger. My friend thinks this had a really positive impact on her and her siblings’ relationships with the church and the gospel. I personally took a lesson from that.

  12. Ardis E. Parshall on October 4, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Okay, then, Julie, me being the expert on child-raising an’ all, my two cents –

    My own memories from childhood tell me that my parents were always teaching two messages: The specific lesson they thought they were teaching, and a more subtle lesson about how they really felt. Examples: When she heard neighbor kids calling other kids “dirty Mexicans,” my mother not only taught me about racism and why that kind of name-calling was wrong, but also (and unintentionally) that the kids calling those names came from homes that were not as nice, not as smart, not as good as our own. When she told me once about feeling bad about how women were sometimes treated by certain men in the church, she not only taught me the intended lesson of why she had reacted badly to a specific event in our ward, but also (unintentionally) that her testimony was great enough to look beyond the slighting acts of individuals to the truths that really mattered. Some of the unintentional lessons I drew from her explicit teachings might have been right; others might have been wrong. Since they were unintentional teachings, they were not under discussion and I didn’t ask questions.

    I think parents who “correct general church leaders” need to be sure they’re teaching the intended lesson. That is, after mature reflection, if you are sure you need to correct something said in conference, you need to be sure not only that you’re teaching correct doctrine and behavior, but also that you’re conveying what you intend to about church leaders and their responsibilities. Maybe it would be better simply to have a Family Home Evening lesson on what you believe to be the correct principle, without reference to the fact that Elder _____ said otherwise in conference. Or, maybe it would be better in other cases to tackle the issue head on, and teach not only the principle, but address the fact that Elder _____ said otherwise — at least that way you’d be sure you were addressing the matter of authority/fallibility/whatever directly, and not leaving it to your kids to draw an unintended lesson that may or may not be what you had really intended.

  13. Clean Cut on October 4, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Great post. You’ve articulated the exact conversation going on on my end of the line as well.

  14. Paul on October 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Ardis, your experience is similar to mine. When my parents “taught” they did so on many levels by their words and deeds.

    My mother was a bright and capable woman who, when she served as RS president, was sometimes frustrated by our bishop. I was her last child at home and Dad was out of town on business a lot in those days, so I often got to hear her commentary. But I also got to see that she faithfully executed every request whether she agreed or not. And I got to see her serve the families in the ward. I watched the care she took to be sure I did not know who she served sometimes, and I watched her defend the bishop to me if I made the mistake of thinking I could criticize him. (Say what you like about double standards, but in my growing up years, we understood that adults and kids lived in different worlds.)

    I don’t doubt that there is value in our children’s watching us work through questions of faith so that they know that such things exist and so they know they can be resolved. But I’m not sure we should assume all of our children are mature enough to sort through all the intricacies. It is, as has been mentioned here, a delicate balance.

    (That said, my 14-year old made a few “corrective” statements of his own after conference; we were thrilled that he was listening at all, and it gave us a chance to hear what he thought and to offer our view of what he might also want to consider.)

  15. Raymond Takashi Swenson on October 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Our human language is imperfect. Even God (especially) acknowledges that. My guess is that if you had a chance to sit down with a person who spoke at General Conference to ask about a particular statement you were concerned with, you would learn that the understandings of the two of you are not as far apart as the language of their talks might indicate. After all, all sorts of things, especially the most general statements we make and affirm (of which there are many in the context of any Church meeting), have all sorts of qualifiers and exceptions that don’t come up until a specific question is asked or a specific less usual situation arises.

    By the same token, we should not regard the talks given in General Conference as if they are legislative edicts, which are supposed to be crafted so carefully that they anticipate most of the variations in circumstances and thus can be applied inflexibly. Rather, they are intended to provide a certain amount of information, but especially to evoke emotion and motivation, and invite us to contemplate our own experiences, especially the experience of receiving inspiration. We don’t argue with the words to the hymns that are sung; we recognize they are meant in a poetic vein, and not offered for grading based on clarity of semantic expression and doctrinal correspondence with all scriptures. The talks are on the same scale with the hymns, though more toward the information transmission pole of the scale, and are not meant to be appendices to the General Handbook of Instructions.

    We LDS are taught, by example, not to extrapolate excessively from a single passage of scripture, but rather to consider each sentence or verse in the context of the rest of scripture. We should listen to or read these General Authority and Auxiliary Leader talks in the same way, in the context of the other talks given by the same speaker, and in the context of all the talks given in a General Conference.

    It is often noted that, by the end of a Conference, there are themes which have received repeated emphasis from several speakers, without any prior collaboration among them. The “unit” of meaning for a General Conference is more at that level, of multiple talks with common or related themes, than of the individual talk.

    There is also a certain recursiveness in these talks, many of which refer to other talks by other General Authorities at other Conferences, adding layers of meaning to those prior talks. Elder Eyring’s story about how he and his wife took to heart the counsel of President Benson to get out of debt, even for their home, and how they were able to carry out that counsel through the kind of circumstances that have the hint of miracle about them. That was a prosaic kind of advice, something that most churches would not consider (at least in the days before the recent mortgage crisis) to have nothing to do with spiritual matters. But President Eyring took it seriously, and was blessed as a result.

    Let’s face it. There are many things we Mormons expect of ourselves and each other that seem, to many people, including many Christians, to be extreme sacrifices, of the kind that in many denominations are only made by ministers, priests and nuns. If non-Mormons listen to General Conference, they will hear the audience being encouraged to make those sacrifices, and will resist such counsel. But accepting such counsel is part of the heritage of being Latter-day Saints, as we are constantly reminded of when we hear stories of the early Saints, and of modern Saints as well. Hard things are expected of us. And we amaze the world that we willingly do them, and are in the long run blessed by them.

  16. Conifer on October 4, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    A solution comes to mind for me that may not be for everyone. You could watch conference online, where you have the ability to pause, and briefly pause after every talk and ask everyone if they have any impressions they’d like to share, questions about the talk, etc. That means you’re letting them lead the discussion, addressing things while they’re still fresh, and letting all of the positive things come to the front, too.

  17. Sean on October 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Great question, Julie. I like Ardis’ idea of teaching a principle on its own merit (in FHE, for example) rather than explicitly correcting a speaker. Parents do indeed teach through words, but mostly by precept. And kids are very perceptive to the feeling in a home, and the feeling/intention behind what parents do and say.

  18. cms on October 4, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Great question. And I like the FHE corrective/discuss when they have questions as well.

    For me it is hardest to figure out how to handle when I don’t outright disagree with something per se, but would use a different tone. For example–the pron issue. While I don’t want my kids to think pron is okay, I would use different language than “vile plague.” But it is hard to correct that kind of language without giving an unintended message.

    And yet I do think putting these things into the right language is important–contrast the number of people who really liked Pres. Eyring’s trust talk, but were nervous about the 14 points talks, when at a certain level, they were both recommending greater trust for leaders.

  19. Jim W on October 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Not a parent yet, but I’ve always tried to approach the talks I struggle with as opportunities for further instruction in personal study. My approach is similar to Rameumptom’s.

  20. Kari on October 4, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    “I’m sure ___ meant well, but I’m afraid s/he implied _____, which isn’t true” or “_____ is entitled to her/his own opinion, but _____ is not the official position of the Church” or “I don’t think there was technically anything wrong with that, but it sure was insensitive” or “I’d just like to remind you that we don’t use the word ’stupid’ in our home.”

    Why isn’t this acceptable after general conference? Do you disagree less because it comes from the mouth of someone you consider an apostle/prophet, or is it because you don’t want to seem to be criticizing said apostle/prophet even though you don’t agree?

    If the official position is that these men are not infallible, then you should ensure that your children are not taught something by these men with which you don’t agree. And at the same time you teach your children that blind obedience isn’t desirable.

  21. mellifera on October 4, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Re: whether or not to share your misgivings with your kids–

    I’m really glad it worked out for the family in #11, but my mom was a faithful woman who was also pretty frank about the fact that things didn’t usually work out the way Sunday School manuals said. I am SO THANKFUL for her honesty. I didn’t have to think I was crazy when I started seeing the same things.

    If your kids grow up and stay active in the church, they will most likely discover that some of the other people in the church are kind of nutty, and sometimes they’re in a position of authority over you. All on their own. Now they can discover that on their own and think it means they can’t stay in, or can’t talk to their own parents about it, or whatever– or they can know you have issues and still stay in, because their parents did.

    You can do it gently and with respect and in gospel perspective, but I feel you really ought to teach your kids that people can be wrong– or at least say right things in a funny way that others will probably interpret differently.

    If you don’t it’s like you’re sending them off to play in a minefield without telling them it’s a minefield. If my mom hadn’t done that I would be feeling very betrayed right now….

  22. manaen on October 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    The Church’s website says this about what is our authoritative doctrine:
    .
    • Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.
    .
    Having noted that, I listened to all sessions of Conference last weekend and didn’t find any of them troubling. I’ll be re-listening to them all frequently through the next half-year — already downloaded onto CDs — and then less frequently as part of the rotation after that, but it’s all good now.

  23. manaen on October 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    6.
    Amen.

  24. Reeder on October 5, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I find it interesting that there seems to be a lot of chatter from people who disagree with something someone said at a Conference where we were reminded twice of President Benson’s Fourteen Fundamentals in following the prophet. Two of these (5 and 14) are:

    “The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.”

    and

    “The prophet and the presidency–the living prophet and the First Presidency–follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.”

    If we find something out of alignment between our views and something said by one of our leaders, it may be that we are the ones who need to adjust our views.

    In some aspects, it may not really matter who has the most airtight logical argument. The Prophet (or the General Authority, or the Stake President, or the Bishop), when duly authorized, and speaking in the authority of his calling, is speaking for God. And God will justify his words. He has promised to do so.

    (See Doctrine and Covenants 132:59–”Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the keys of the power of this priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him”).

    Yes, these are imperfect, flawed men, but the priesthood is real, the keys are real, and the power in them is real. All we need to do is humble ourselves and submit to the counsel we are given. Even if it may seem to our natural minds to be borne out by prejudice or just a really dumb idea (remember Elisha and Naaman), if we have faith and follow the counsel we are given, we will be blessed. If we refuse and rebel, we won’t be.

    I speak with no other authorization other than my own beliefs, but I do believe my statements to be consistent with revealed doctrine.

  25. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on October 5, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Reeder, I like your conviction. We often speak of atonement, but we miss an important concept. “Condescension” preceded the atonement. A Perfect Man of Spirit, Jesus, came to earth at the behest of God, the Father of our spirits; to redeem us and prepare us to become the physical sons and daughters of God.

    After our redemption His creation, this earth becomes ours, not in chronological time, but for time and eternity.

  26. Bob on October 5, 2010 at 8:35 am

    #22:”The Church’s website says this about what is our authoritative doctrine:…”. But does that matter, as the website itself__ is not doctrine?

  27. kfr on October 5, 2010 at 10:36 am

    Manaen, where did you find that quote you posted? I looked on the link and couldn’t find it. I had someone else mention it and I would like to find it on the newsroom/church site.

  28. Rameumptom on October 5, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Great comments here. I see the need to have open and honest discussions with our children. However, they need to find THEIR own testimonies regarding the doctrines, principles, and even procedures in the Church. We cannot be too dogmatic, especially where doctrine is not fully fleshed out. I’ve known too many kids go off to college with the concept that evolution is flat out wrong in LDS doctrine, only to come back from school as agnostics or even atheists. Why? Because the evidences refute the BRM school of dogma. I love Mormon Doctrine, but have to always determine for myself when he is actually speaking and interpreting doctrine correctly, or when he is only speaking his own opinions on the subject. That is when my own pondering, study and prayer must come in, to see what the Spirit confirms to me, what it tells me is incorrect, and what is still unrevealed. I do not see the average apostle’s knowledge of doctrine and principle to be any better than my own. I do see them to be the official guardians of doctrine and principles, and wise enough to counsel us in how to put them in practice.

    Can the Prophet lead us astray? I’ve pondered this before and decided, Not to the point where we lose exaltation. They will always stay close enough to the truth to ensure we receive the blessings of eternal life. Still, I do not beholden myself to blood atonement or Adam-God theories,as Brigham Young taught. My own witness has shown me those to be incorrect. The same with those who absolutely deny evolution. God must have used it somehow, and it will someday be revealed to us how he did it.

  29. H. Ross on October 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I didn’t find anything troubling about this General Conference. But perhaps that could be attributed to my dozing off at inopportune times… Haha. Anyways, I’ll be sure to re-read the talks.

  30. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on October 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Rameumpton, I know why you chose your pen name? You’re on that tower looking for the Gadianton robbers to steal the sheep from King Lamoni!

    Looking for “oughts” [that is what Jesus calls interruptions in our relationships with others] interferes with our Faith. It’s like being lost in a forrest without a GPS; we’re probably going around in circles until we recognize a landmark.

    Can a prophet lead us astray? Hardly, many of them tried to run away from delivering God’s message. Ezekiel, Jonah, even Isaiah had an excuse and many others. All faced up to the fact: when God wants you deliver His message of repentance – you better deliver it.

    I am at peace, because the message of our General Authorities are re-inforcing and protective of His children. This is not a time to expect Armageddon, like many Christians foresee. The time for the Glorification of the Only Begotten Son of God is at hand. Their work is to deliver a nation of the pure in heart.

    The high place, that is a place above the fray is the safest for our Faith.

  31. M. Buxton on October 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Julie and everyone,

    Thanks for this very interesting discussion. I don’t have kids who are old enough yet for this to matter (still at the screaming during conference stage), but the discussion has provided some excellent food for thought. In connection with the idea that we need to be careful about the unintended lessons we teach our children–e.g., conveying an attitude that undermines prophetic authority–I think from the standpoint of practicing charity, it is important to give speakers the benefit of the doubt. For this reason, and I realize I am being a little bit hypocritical on the charity front, I wonder about the appropriateness of Julie’s little corrections after sacrament meeting. Unless something is egregiously wrong, I worry about the unintended lessons we give our children when we knit-pick other people’s expressions of faith. I did not notice anything egregiously wrong expressed in GC (maybe I missed something), so I think I would just let it lie, and then (as others have suggested) teach the positive lessons in FHE. At the same time, I think it is important to teach children that it is OK (and natural) for members of the Church to have different views on certain issues, but that on the fundamentals we generally do and should agree.

  32. catania on October 6, 2010 at 7:42 am

    Reeder – I was thinking a lot of the same things you mentioned.

    I felt an over-arching theme of conference was “following the prophet.”

    As I listened to conference, and even felt a little bit of discomfort, I realized, Perhaps this is a warning. Maybe I DO need to listen to the words of the prophet and apostles. Maybe I need to change my perspective, and find delight, rather than discomfort, in their messages.

    15 years ago, the prophets and apostles made a proclamation to the world on the family. (hmmm…)

    During the height of our financial boom, they warned of excessive debt and financial crisis. (wow…)

    Now, they’re pleading with us to listen to the prophets.

    I feel like this is a no-brainer.

  33. Naismith on October 6, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Thanks so much for this great discussion–this is totally the reality on the ground for so many of us.

  34. Rameumptom on October 6, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    #30, actually Alma tells us that Rameumptom is interpreted as “holy stand” (or pulpit). So I just consider the nom de plume to be my soap box.

    Perhaps instead of looking for what was wrong with a Sacrament or General Conference talk, we should focus on the parts we can learn from? We can teach our kids to be overly critical and suspicious of prophets and bishops, if we are quick to correct them with a “harrumph” or statement of disagreement. How will our children trust in prophets and bishops, if we sow the seeds of distrust and mistrust?

    Nephi warned that the words of the Lord are often “hard” to bear. Perhaps we should be at least AS critical of our own views as those being taught from the pulpit, especially at General Conference. While I have compassion on people with any genetic predispositions, perhaps I should be careful not to confuse sympathy with empathy. Just because someone is predisposed to drug addiction or child porn does not mean we should embrace their genetic struggle.

    Pres Uchtdorf was direct, I believe, when he twice said that we need to have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the HG, AND endure to the end. Perhaps Enduring to the End includes alcoholics and homosexuals, among others? Things to ponder and pray about for me…

  35. Foobaritron on October 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I am surprised by this discussion. I have never heard or read any conference talk that I felt I needed to modify, justify, or apologize for to my children. And my parents never did when I was child either. Especially the First Pres and Q12. These men are called, sustained and set apart as prophets, seers, and revelators. I am sure that they take conference VERY seriously, spending susbstantial time in prayer and fasting, seeking the Lord’s spirit. If there is anything said in our day and age that is God’s will, it is GC.

    [maybe I was asleep during the talk you are referring to. Without the details, I can't imagine what you would disagree with. Totally foreign concept to me.]

    This seems to be a pride issue. For a person to think this way they apparently think they know better than the speaker. A more humble approach would be to ask if there is something amiss in your own life for you to be disagreeing with what is said.

    Ultimately there are only two ways to think about it, either the speaker is wrong or you are. I am certainly inclined to believe the latter.

    I will admit that listening to Pres Monson was uncomfortable at times but not because of what was said but by his method of delivery.

  36. Julie M. Smith on October 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Rameumptom,

    I’d like to remind you to avoid discussion of particular things with which one may have disagreed on this thread, particularly because you’ve gone for the low-hanging fruit and left untouched many other more interesting morsels. ;)

  37. Rameumptom on October 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Julie, I agree there are many issues to discuss concerning his talk, which is why I only mentioned it briefly in one post. However, we all know that what I brought up (low hanging fruit) is much of what’s on many people’s minds right now. Given it is your OP, I’ll defer to you.

  38. Heather on October 7, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I agree with Foobaritron! If there was something said that made you uncomfortable, you have something to fix in your life. They speak for God.

  39. Eduard A. Erdtsieck on October 8, 2010 at 6:56 am

    The FAMILY is increasingly not part of our world. Jesus, Christ and the General Authority’s power are centered on; not only on preserving it, but to maintain it as a functioning unit in a hostile environment. Why? In the eternities I believe that families are the smallest group in the hierarchy. On earth the smallest part is the individual and under the US Constitution he/she is promised Rights under an universal God. This places the USA very high in the view of the oppressed in the world.

    What I find different about the Church of Jesus, Christ; the Conference Talks are not the end of His direction, but the beginning. If it is possible to give a Reader’s Digest version. It centers on strengthening the fathers and mothers role in the family by calling them to live with the Holy Ghost and if repentance is warranted to utilize the services which the Church provides.

    We see our children as cute, innocent small people, which they are, but what we don’t know is their history as spirits in heaven. They could be a very important spirit, who had been placed in your family.

    Our doctrine that children reach accountability at the age of eight; means that the crucial part of the foundation of their moral agency has been partially completed. They are becoming individuals and the Holy Ghost should have a greater part in their life.

    Take the example of the Catholic Church, particularly the way their hierachy dealt with the issue of women and children. Their Priesthood protected the interests of their Church rather than face up to the abuses on their parishioners. Where within the Priesthood hierarchy is the Savior? It would have been much better, if their Priesthood allowed civil law to enter in that process. The parishioners would then have a way to seek a temporary solution for justice.

    Having read the postings on this issue; I understand the feelings expressed and realize that many have crossed my own mind. Our Redeemer Jesus, Christ expected criticism, when He said to His Apostles at Gethsemane on the night of His arrest: “To night I shall offend all men”. The next morning the cock crowed three times as Peter departed in tears from the Palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest.