Brief thoughts on the first day of Confererence October 2008

– Rome temple?!  SWEET!  (See one post below)  But where are they going to put it?  I don’t know that it will fit too well in urban Rome.  Maybe in the suburbs like the rest of our temples?
– Greater Kansas City area- I did not catch on to this like some people did.  I don’t read too much into it, but it seems like an odd way to announce a temple.  Maybe they have not found a spot yet?  On the other hand, as I mentioned above, all of our temples could best be described as in the Greater _______ area, since they are almost universally in the suburbs, with the exception of Manhattan.
– Big ups to Elder Perry for the Thoreau references.  Walden is one of my favorite books and I could listen to a whole session of talks focusing on what Latter-day Saints could take away from that.
– My wife also mentioned during Elder Perry’s talk: do you think that Deseret Book will start stocking copies of Walden and we will see them flying off the Utah shelves at B&N, Borders, etc.?  Mormons have bought stranger and less valuable things after seeing them mentioned in conference, I suppose.
– Nothing about Prop 8 yet?  Really?  Given the kind of behavior that seems to be going on (and encouraged in California), I thought there would be solicitations from the pulpit this morning with the address of protectmarriage.com scrolling across the screen like a crawler on CNN.  Maybe those in charge realize that this really does go out all of the world and nobody in other countries wants to hear about our political crap.
– Elder Oaks talk- the “white shirt” comment- note that Elder Oaks only said that deacons, teachers, and priests should be careful to always wear white shirts during sacrament.  Elder Oaks was a lawyer so I suspect he will understand the following law Latin and how it applies to his statement: Inclusio unius est exclusio alterius- the inclusion of one means the exclusion of the others- which means I don’t have to wear a white shirt ever, except to the temple.
– I think Elder Uchtdorf consistently gives the most solid talks of any of the General Authorities I have seen.  He steers away from anything remotely controversial (at least in my memory) and gives simple talks about faith, hope, and love for the Lord and each other.  
– Elder Wirthlin looked worse this Conference than last.  
– Isn’t it ironic that the French guy got up and decried all the over-intellectualizing of the Gospel?
– Elder Corbridge’s talk had a certain je ne sais quoi that I did not like.  The rhetorical style was just a little funny.  It was not the content, but I cannot exactly put my finger on what it is.
– Elder Christofferson’s talk about building Zion- superb.  This is something I could hear about all day, and I wonder with the growing economic mess, if we won’t be hearing a lot more about this sort of law of consecreation stuff.  Helping the poor, paying larger fast offerings, etc.  IMO its been too long already.
– Elder Scott said some things that I think the girls over at FMH would be delighted to hear.  
– Generally, I think that Priesthood session is consistently a let-down, especially after such good sessions earlier in the day.  Maybe I just get a little burned out as the day goes on, or maybe the GAs purposefully don’t save the good stuff for last, just so the sisters don’t miss out on something and scream bloody murder. j/k

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6 thoughts on “Brief thoughts on the first day of Confererence October 2008

  1. I had a lot of the same thoughts as you. I’m just waiting for the FMH response to Elder Scott.Now that Conference is over (okay, practically over–I’m writing this during the closing hymn of the last session), I admit that I’m surprised at the relative lack of Prop 8-related content. I think Ballard alluded to it, and then Nelson addressed it somewhat, but Nelson’s broader topic was celestial as opposed to civil marriage, rather than traditional as opposed to same-sex marriage. (Although, I suspect that Nelson’s talk will be controversial for other reasons.)And I agree that Priesthood session tends to be a bit of a letdown.

  2. Do you know how close Kansas City is to Independence, Missouri? We’re getting closer! Ooo! Ooo! Elder Corbridge’s talk was actually quite hebraically poetic, especially at the beginning where he was doing the contrast thing. As a listener it was easy to see where he was going with it, and even easy to predict what he would say and I think this helped me to grasp it. I agree that Elder Christofferson’s talk about building Zion was really good. We’ll be hearing a lot of that as time goes on, I think.Now, Elder Oak’s talk- the bit about wearing white shirts I thought was very well explained and that’s the best reason I’ve ever heard for guys wearing white shirts to church. I think if you’re trying to get out of wearing a white shirt to church because of his lawyer-ness… well I think you might be pushing it there.. (You’re such a rebel! 😉 )

  3. Count me as really surprised that something more overt was not said about Prop 8. The allusions to it (Ballard, Nelson) were subtle enough to be missed by members of the Church that either don’t live in California or don’t follow the blogs much. However, I heard on one of the open threads that there is some kind of broadcast just for CA Mormons (or maybe just for leadership) that will probably be 100% Prop 8-related (kind of like an extra session of Conference).And I agree that we’ll see at least 2-3 major posts on the big blogs on Elder Nelson’s talk in the next week or so. I thought the denigrating of other people’s non-temple marriages stepped over a line of good taste, but I am sure that others will have detected more substantive problems.

  4. Michaela, I never said that Elder Oaks’ comments about white shirts were not well-explained. But if keeping sacrament meetings focused on the Savior is the concern, I have several suggestions that might help and having the men and boys wear white shirts is at the very bottom of that list. If someone is seriously distracted from the sacredness of the occasion by non-white shirts, that person may need Ritalin. The whole white shirt issue seems to be to be soooo superficial and a convenient way to ignore the real problems with our meetings (noise, bad talks, etc.)On the positive side, I hope to hear a great many more talks in the vein of Elder Christofferson’s. It has been a long time since a GA talked so seriously and clearly about the economic implications of our idea of Zion. It was a favorite topic of Hugh Nibley’s, but he was never a GA. We have constantly been told to be frugal and live within our means, but Elder Christofferson suggested to what end we do this- not just to save our own hides. IMO, as the Millennium approaches, it will be the law of consecration, in the economic sense, that separates the sheep from the goats in the Church, not abortion or SSM or any of that other highly politicized nonsense.

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