The Listener, by James Christensen
I’ve been as guilty as anyone of, subconsciously and in the back of my mind, looking forward to General Conference more for the big announcements or controversy than the spiritual nourishment. Reading about the controversy and ensuing outrage (and counter-outrage) in particular are kind of an emotional crack cocaine for people like me. There’s a very momentary feeling of exhilaration, but it gives you a gross feeling inside that you don’t need a lot of discernment to know is not of God. If you are listening to General Conference in the spirit in which it was intended, and do plan to make social media commentary part of your experience, some people have put together Twitter lists of less polemical commentators. And if listening to General Conference isn’t your thing, I wish you a spiritually capacious weekend hiking, listening to music, meditating, or whatever else you do to commune with deity.
I have to say that I, for one, do look forward to conference because of controversial issues. Not so much because I enjoy controversy–but rather because sometimes I’m in need of grounding while wondering in the midst of a whirlwind of controversies. The simple truth spoken in plain tones by prophets and prophetesses at general conference is often the only escape from the confusion and bewilderment heaped upon us by the world.
Yes, grounding-ness is important and sometimes refreshing.