My wife could give a humdrum talk at church, and I’d listen. She’s my wife.
Neither does someone who’s a member of my congregation need to have remarkable insights to keep my attention. What they say matters to me because its them saying it (the mezzo-intellectuals who populate the bloggernacle like to brag about reading books during the services. They are inadvertently revealing a lack of affection.)
An apostle or the prophet won’t be on personal terms with most of his audience, but we know them well and they have the frisson of authority to boot.
High councilmen, however, are proverbially the dullest speakers in the church. The congregation doesn’t know them personally and they do not have any authority that most members know anything about. They are not part of the family or the ward family and they don’t have their picture hung on the family wall.
Our high councilman and his companion speaker gave a clinic recently on his to overcome these disadvantages.
The companion used humor. He told a lot of jokes on himself and was wry about the foibles he shares with us.
The high councilman didn’t joke. He brought himself into our circle in another way. He complimented our reverence during the prelude and told us how in that relative quiet he had heard the Holy Ghost. He talked about his history of loving music and how our choir had moved him. He discussed specific reactions to the previous speakers he had noticed in the congregation and told us his own. He spent more than 5 minutes on this. He had fewer speaking minutes for his topic, but more listening minutes.