With two little children, it’s tough to always watch conference live. But through the afternoon, I have received several e-mails and comments on Elder Holland’s talk at general conference. So, this evening I listened to it, and it is one of the most powerful Church talks I’ve heard. You can listen to it here.
I’ve been trying to analyze exactly why it was so powerful, and I have a few, inadequate thoughts. Please help me out.
I think educated Latter-day Saints spend a lot of time trying to defend our testimony, both to ourselves and to others. What I come back to time and again is the existence of the Book of Mormon. There is no good explanation for its existence, except the explanation that Joseph Smith put forward.
And I think Elder Holland put together in a 16-minute talk the most cogent defense of the Book of Mormon that I have heard. He declared that the pretended explanations for the Book of Mormon have been pathetic and shallow. He pointed out an historical fact that I was unaware of, that Hyrum and Joseph Smith referred to the Book of Mormon just before they were about to die. If it had been an elaborate falsehood, wouldn’t that have been the moment to set the record straight? Instead, they did no such thing.
Elder Holland’s language was also unusually strident and forceful (remember I did not see him, I heard his voice). It was kind of like listening to Gregory Peck in “Two Kill a Mockingbird” defend the things that were right and true. Often conference talks can be calming and quiet. Instead, this talk seemed intended to wake up the angels.
So, it appears those of us who experienced this talk have shared something special. What are your thoughts?