#LDSConf General Conference – 1 Apr ’17 – Sat PM Session

President Henry B. Eyring [First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church] will be conducting this meeting.

President Henry B. Eyring: Welcome to all, participating in person or via TV, satellite broadcast, or the Internet. The Choir is composed of families from three Utah stakes.

Choir: Home Can Be A Heaven on Earth

Opening Prayer: Elder Von G. Keetch

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President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Sustaining of Church Leaders. Releasing Elders Godoy and Pingree and Sisters Burton, Stephens, Reeves and the current Relief Society Board. Also releasing Sisters Bingham and Cordon of the Primary Presidency. Sustaining Sister Bingham as Relief Society President with two new Counselors, one of whom has the Christian name of Reina, Spanish for “Queen.” Sister Cordon and Sister Franko are sustained as Primary Counselors. Numerous individuals are now named as new Area Seventies (it appears a new quorum of the Seventies is being formed). The voting has been noted. Any opposed should contact their Stake presidents.

Sister Franko is currently serving in Argentina with her husband. She will assume her new role in the Primary Presidency in July, when she is released.

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Kevin R. Jergensen: Auditing report. In all material respects, all assets have been administered in accordance with proper policies and procedures.

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Brook P. Hales: Statistics:
Stakes: 3,266
Missions: 421
Wards and Districts: 30,034
Members: 15,882,417
Missionaries: [missed this]
New children of record: 109,246
Converts Baptized: ~240,000

Six new temples were dedicated in 2016.

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Choir – How Will They Know?

Elder Robert D. Hales: A disciple strives to become like the Lord, much as an apprentice strives to become like their master in a craft.

Some think a disciple is just a follower. But it is much more. Looking at 2 Peter 1:5-7, the admonition to the disciples was rigorous (c.f., D&C 4).

In Jesus’s day, there were those who gave an outward impression of righteousness, but their hearts were far from righteousness. Jesus said there would be those who had professed to believe who in the final day would not be known to the Lord.

As we strive to attain the characteristics of Christ, all other characteristics will be improved, bringing us closer to God. Virtue is more than just sexual purity. Our minds become more receptive to the Holy Ghost.

Add to your virtue knowledge. If we strive to be like Jesus, we will know the doctrine. By our virtuous living, we make the journey from “I believe” to “I know.”

Add to knowledge temperance and patience. Being temperate in our lives, we learn patience. We can be still and know He is God. When faced with the storms of tribulation, we can ask “What wouldst Thou have me learn from this experience?” As we are humbled by God’s patience with us, we become patient with others.

Add to patience godliness and brotherly kindness. We reach out to others, even when they are not our friends. We bless those who curse us. This love is a defining attribute of the disciples of Christ. It is faith, hope, and charity which qualify us for the work of God, but of these charity is the greatest.

All these attributes are necessary to us standing strong in these last days. These characteristics will be interwoven and added upon. We will be kind to all, friend and foe alike. We will be as honest when we are alone as when others are watching. Discipleship is not constrained by age, gender, or calling.

Now is the time to recommit ourselves to being His disciples. Let this conference by your opportunity to begin as in times of old. I bear my testimony that Christ lives. Amen.

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: It must have been a day like today that cause the poet to write:

There is sunshine in my soul today
More radiant and bright

But there are times when peaceful, happy moments do not roll.

Yet Jesus, listening, can hear the songs you cannot sing. Some days are difficult. Our faith and fortitude is challenged. For whatever reason, these times can rob us of the songs we wish to sing.

What do we do? We hope for that which we see not and with patience wait for it. We may have to stand silent for a time and listen to others, drawing strength from the music around us. How many of us have bolstered our own singing by positioning ourselves near those who are confident in their singing? As we position ourselves near the Savior, His perfect pitch will allow the dove of peace to sing in our heart.

Remember it is by divine design that not all the voices in God’s choir are the same. As two ladies wrote, “All God’s Critters Got a Place in the Choir.” Diversity is wonderful. But choirs are not cacophony. Once we have been instructed by God, we can sing in our own voice the hymns of Zion. The loss of even one voice diminishes the great Choir. Even the loss of those who believe they are on the margins.

I struggle with songs I should be singing when I see the economic deprivation in the world. Poverty harms families and destroys dreams. If we could do more to alleviate poverty, then perhaps some in the world could hum a few notes, perhaps for the first time in their lives.

I find it hard to sing happy lyrics when so many are suffering from mental illness. I pray we will not let these children of God suffer in silence.

Someday I hope a great global chorus will harmonize across all ethnic and racial lines, declaring that the only way complex issues can be satisfactorily resolved is loving God and one another. The prophet Ether taught we should love one another. Moroni declared that the way to that better world is through Jesus Christ.

There are times when our love is unutterable, like the prayer Jesus spoke over the Nephites children. These sanctified moments are so sublime that to attempt to speak of them is to desecrate them.

Please stay permanently and faithfully in the choir, that we may together sing the song of redeeming love. There is room for all, in all cultures around the world. There is room for the single, married, childless. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions. There is room for all who love God and honor God’s commandments.

With love and faith, repentance and compassion, there is room in this choir for all who wish to be there. Plan to come, but don’t plan to stay as you are. God plans to make of us much more than we are. Let us keep working on those songs we cannot sing, until we sing and shout with the armies of heaven, Hosanna, Hosanna to God and the Lamb, as Jesus descends with His chariot of fire.

I testify that this day will come, when Christ shall rule as King of Kings and bring the saving ordinances of the gospel to all the world. In that day there will indeed be sunshine in our souls. Amen.

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Choir and Congregation: Go Forth With Faith

Elder Gary B. Sabin: My grand-daughter was excited to tell me “I scored all three goals today!” Then my wife mentioned that the score was 2-1. I didn’t dare ask who won.

Modern GPS programs do not tell us we are idiots. They politely say, “Recalculating route. When possible, make a legal U-turn.”

When we repent, we don’t hold back. We should not be like the man who sent cash to the IRS, with a note suggesting that when his conscience got the better of him, he would send the rest. We should be all in.

On a scout camping trip, a cold scout mentioned the fire had gone out. When I asked whether he had been able to snuggle in his sleeping bag. But he hadn’t rolled it out, to save himself the bother of rolling it back up in the morning.

At times we are similarly foolish. When we are complacent with our covenants, we are complicit with the consequences. As mentioned in Star Wars, there is a disturbance in the force.

When we repent and rely on the Lord as a little child, we can hold on His way and become stronger and stronger.

The Lord has counseled, stand ye in holy places and be not moved. A boy was punching an inflatable punching bag in the shape of a man. Every time the boy punched the inflatable man, he rebounded. When the father asked the boy why this was, the boy replied, “I don’t know. I guess he is standing up on the inside.”

Let us stand up on the inside. Let us stand up and defend the plan of our Heavenly Father as we did in the life before this, when we chose Heavenly Father and Jesus as our Christ.

If we cannot be all in the way we are walking, maybe we should run. Make a U-turn.

My father was in the Navy in World War II. His example guided two of his shipmates into the Church. The families from these two shipmates now number in the hundreds. The gospel blessed their lives immeasurably. They knew it was better to follow the creator than follow the crowd.

Sometimes the jangling of the great and spacious building of our day manifests as those who become lost and then accelerate.

My father used to hate watching BYU football games. But with the invention of the VCR, he could record the games and just watch the games where BYU won. He could, as one might say, watch with a perfect brightness of hope.

I pray will be be all in, recalculate our route when necessary, and stand up inside. Amen.

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Elder Valeri V. Cordón: I have noticed when families from Spanish-speaking lands moved to the United States and by the third generation the native language has been lost. This is simply called language lost.

Nephi was concerned to obtain the records to preserve their language. But he was also concerned about preserving for his people the gospel.

I would like to emphasize not any earthly language, but the eternal language that must be preserved in our families. Let me suggest three keys to preserving the language of the gospel:

1) Be more diligent and concerned at home. Newel K. Whitney was counseled to be more diligent at home. It is not enough to merely speak the language in the home, it must be taught. Parents who make a conscious effort to preserve the language succeed. Weak gospel teaching and modeling in the home is a key for those families which cease to continue in the gospel. By comparison, powerful gospel teaching in the home will help our families remain strong in the gospel. Don’t wait until it is too late.

2) Model the gospel in the home, bringing the gospel language alive in our homes. My father always asked, “What are you going to do with your money?” I would answer that I would pay my tithing. My father repeated this question for eight years, and hoped that I had learned. But I learned this lesson in a single week. During a difficult time when the choice was being paying tithing and purchasing food for the family. That Sunday I saw my father put his tithing in an envelope and give it to the bishop. That Monday people came to our door and told my father about an urgent sewing order, and order so urgent that they would pay in advance. I learned from this about the importance and blessings of tithing. We must not merely talk about the importance of the temple, they must see us make time to attend the temple. They must see us keep the sabbath holy.

3) Traditions. One way language is lost is when foreign phrases and traditions are mixed with the mother tongue. As families we need to avoid any tradition that would prevent us from keeping the sabbath day holy, or reading our scriptures. We need to use the scriptures and the voice of our prophet to guide us as we avoid harmful traditions, such as pornography. In the Book of Mormon, the gospel became a strange language, which they could not understand.

As children of God we are imperfect people trying to learn the perfect language of God. Heavenly Father treasures our utterances, our first Gospel words. No achievement will be eternally significant if we lose the language of the gospel, which always was our mother tongue. Amen.

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Elder Neil L. Andersen: David O, McKay had a vision of a great people clothed in white, led by the Savior. This great city was the city of God.

“These are they who have overcome the world, who have truly been born again.”

The blessings the Lord has promised to those who overcome the world are breathtaking. They shall arise in the first resurrection and dwell in the presence of God.

We love God because God first loved us. Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”

Overcoming the world is not a single event, but a lifetime of actions. It could become as one studies the life of the Savior in the scriptures. Alma said, “A mighty change is wrought in their hearts, and they remain faithful unto the end.” Those who endure to the end know they will be accountable to God, knowing they will have to account to God for what they’ve done at the end.

Overcoming the world is treasuring the greatest commandment, to love the Lord with all they should, might, mind, and strength. Christ says, “Give me all.” He doesn’t want a portion of our time and money and work, He wants us. Overcoming the world leads us humbly to the sacrament table each week, that we may have His spirit to be with us.

The Sabbath doesn’t end when we leave Church, but continues on for a blessed time of peace. Let our focus remain on the Savior and His holy day.

The world is full of enticing and seductive voices. But to overcome the world we listen to the voice of God. We turn outward to help others. We treasure our spouse and our children. We willingly share our material blessings through tithes and fast offerings, and allow God to lead us to those He would help.

The world wants us to take pride in ourself, and is easily irritated. Overcoming the world will always mean we will have some beliefs that are ridiculed by the world. If we were of the world, the world would love its own.

Disciples of Christ are willing to stand up and speak out. Overcoming the world is being less concerned about our online connections and more concerned with our connection with God.

President Monson said that as we go to the temple, we will be renewed and fortified. The world attempts to beguile the past as foolish deceptions. Overcoming the world is remembering the times we have felt the love and light of the Savior. “I had been blessed, and I knew that God knew that I had been blessed.”

Overcoming the world does not mean we live a cloistered life, but opens up the expanded world of faith. It opens up the hope that some day we will see the Savior, and he will invite us to inherit the kingdom He has prepared for us.

Elder Bruce Porter passed away recently. He was one of the best and brightest. Graduating from Harvard, his brilliance could have led him away from the gospel. But he resisted this temptation, and remained true to his spouse and family. His kidneys began to fail in 1997, and the Porter family returned to Salt Lake City. Bruce was hospitalized many times, including for ten surgeries. Bruce was on dialysis for 12 years of his serving as a General Authority.

When Bruce’s health was not improved despite priesthood blessings, he was confused. Then he received a kidney transplant from his son, and his health was restored for a time. Then infections began again. And he told his wife he knew his time on earth was nearing an end. Before he died, he wrote to his family of his testimony of the Savior, asking them to be faithful and true, always trusting in Christ. Bruce Douglas Porter overcame the world.

May we always continue in our effort to overcome the world. As you trust more fully in the Savior, I promise you a strengthened assurance in your eternal destiny. Amen.

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Elder M. Russell Ballard: My assignment is to talk, and yours is to listen. I hope I will finish my assignment before you finish yours.

Some have difficulty differentiating between a goal and a plan. A goal is a destination and a plan is the route to that destination. [Story about how he sometimes doesn’t ask for directions, hoping the destination will be around the next corner.] Sometimes the goal is clear, but there isn’t a good plan for getting to that goal.

God’s goal is the immortality and eternal life of man. The plan of salvation is the means to that goal. Families and temple work is the plan to achieving that goal.

If we focus on this eternal plan, we will inevitably qualify to return to God’s presence. It is good to have goals for our work, our education, even our golf game best golf clubs for beginners. And we can have goals for our families But our most important goal should be to return to God.

The simpler and more straightforward our goal is, the more powerful it will be.

There are two words that symbolize God’s goals for us and our most important goals for ourselves.

To Return to God’s presence and to Receive His blessings are those words.

Lucifer did not accept the plan that would allow him to return and receive God’s blessings. He rebelled and was cast out, with those who had followed him. The only thing left for Satan is to oppose God, to bring us down and make us miserable, like himself. His goal and plan applies to everyone, in every culture. Satan desires to prevent us from returning and receiving God.

Satan uses the voices of the world to preach immorality, violence, and all other things that will destroy the faith and divert the focus of those who are simply attempting to return to God and receive all that He hath.

I have to regularly ask myself how I am doing. It is like a personal interview with myself. You know yourself better than anyone else, how you are doing on the path of reviewing to receive God’s blessings.

Have ye spiritually been born of God? Have you experienced that mighty change in your hearts. [And if you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, can ye say so now?]

As we follow Christs’s path to peace, to heal the wounds that bind, we will appreciate the magnitude of the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Find time to review your goals and how they align with God’s plan for our happiness. Take the time to prayerfully think about what adjustments are needed to keep your eye single to the glory of God. We must keep God and Christ central to our eternal goal and our plans.

I urge you to study The Living Christ and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. Read the Family Proclamation in light of the saving power of Christ. It is through families, and uniting families, that we can together return to God and receive His blessings. Prayerfully reading The Living Christ will increase your faith in the Savior, as will reading the Gospels and the Book of Mormon accounts of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

No one will escape death. Therefore our long-term goals and plans should be to return at death to God and receive His blessings. It is not just our goal, it is Their goal. They have a perfect love for us. They are completely and eternally aligned with us. More than anything else, they wish for us to return home. As we focus on the Savior during Palm Sunday and Easter, let us look deeply into our own lives, aligning our lives with our precious privilege to return and receive. Amen.

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Choir: A Child’s Prayer

Closing Prayer: Elder Hugo Montoya

Presiding – Not specified
Conducting – President Henry B. Eyring
Choir – Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth
Opening Prayer – Elder Von G. Keetch
Sustaining Officers – Speaker 1 – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Auditing Report – Speaker 2 – Kevin Jergensen
Statistical Report – Speaker 3 – Brook P. Hales
Choir – How Will They Know?
Talk – Speaker 4 – Elder Robert D. Hales
Talk – Speaker 5 – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Choir and Congregation – Go Forth With Faith
Talk – Speaker 6 – Elder Gary B. Sabin
Talk – Speaker 7 – Elder Valeri V. Cordón
Talk – Speaker 8 – Elder Neil L. Andersen
Talk – Speaker 9 – Elder M. Russell Ballard
Choir – A Child’s Prayer
Closing Prayer – Elder Hugo Montoya

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ (of Latter-day Saints) for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

19 thoughts on “#LDSConf General Conference – 1 Apr ’17 – Sat PM Session

  1. Granted, I’m working today and only hearing highlights, but I’m catching a lot of SJW buzzwords, especially from Elder Holland. Twitter very much thinking the church has finally turned around. Maybe I’ll have a different take once I can listen to the whole thing?

  2. There were some great talks!

    Unfortunately, the rearrangement of the Relief Society and Primary presidencies kind of messed with the pool from which they select female speakers. When I was live-blogging the Women’s session last week, I was thinking that the lovely women leading the various auxiliaries looked relatively similar. So it was fun to see these presidencies changed in a manner that better reflects the global membership. The Young Women Presidency has already selected a rather globally representative board.

    During the sustaining of officers, I was thinking it would be awesome if the manner was to actually take “Ayes” and “Nays” like in typical Robert’s Rules of Order situations. Then the opposition would be obviously puny. As it is, I dislike the fact that the opposition didn’t signify their opposition in “like manner.” Not only did they yell out rather than simply raise their hands, it seems they may have used some sort of amplification, for the 1-2 voices to be so easily heard.

    I don’t think it is so much that the Church as “turned around” as that it has done a better job of articulating the Christ-centered viewpoint that typified believers in the original Church (e.g., during Joseph Smith’s lifetime). Joseph honestly loved everyone, even the ones who tried to kill him. In that vein, I really liked the imagery of the shepherd and the suffering sheep.

  3. I just read Elder Holland’s talk, and yikes, it does read a bit like a DNC talking points memo at times.

    It’s unfortunate that one of our tent pole speakers used his slot today to float pop-social justice buzz phrases without distinguishing the church’s prescriptions from pop culture’s prescriptions.

    (The LDS Twitterati are thrilled, and will be until Elder Holland says something that disagrees with their progressive sensibilities. Then he’ll have betrayed them again!)

    I’m truly open to the possibility that I read him wrong here. If so, by all means, please alert me to my error.

  4. I don’t follow twitter. But I can imagine my daughter’s joy at the discussion about sheep.

    It’s nice when Elder Holland shows us his tender side. It seems from past addresses that he deeply felt the departure of those one might imagine aligned with the “twitterati” of which you speak. And in at least one past address, I remember thinking he sounded more angry than sorrowful or compassionate. But I suspect we won’t hear him being angry again.

  5. I don’t have a Twitter account, but I read it during General Conference specifically to understand the liberal Mormon mind, perspectives and vocabulary. This talk was clearly a nod to that contingent.

    This is the same contingency that was absolutely livid when the latest additions to the Q of 12 happened to be white, and completely appalled with the recent guidance on baptism. And they’ll be livid again when they realize that this talk was essentially pandering. So why pander?

  6. I’d have to search, but I’m pretty sure this discourse is consistent with Elder Holland’s past talks discussing depression and the need for social justice. It’s just that he pulled those threads together in this talk.

    I think the talks were clear that the Church must heed God over the whims of social fashion. Yet the talks also affirmed that all are children of God.

  7. Meg, you are truly gracious and I appreciate your kind responses to my harsh critique.

    That said, I can’t think of anything more antithetical to the restored gospel than modern social justice theory.

  8. Hi Tossman,

    The language of God and the language of secular social justice use the same terms, but the meaning of the terms is sometimes different in select details.

    However, I suspect most aren’t arguing theory, they are inspired by the Christian kindness these words describe. They have only perceived this kindness as being spoken by certain entities.

    It is not wrong for Christ’s Church to speak the language of Christian love. Again, I also heard reminders in these sessions that reminded us that it is not love to allow a sickness to continue without treatment.

  9. Tossman, today’s progressivism actually goes back to Marxism/Communism co-opting gospel terminology, and how the adversary’s works are a counterfeit and perversion of God’s works and principles.

    “Share and share alike” and “spread the wealth” were actually communist “dog whistles” in the 20th century. When Obama used those exact phrases in the 2008 campaign, I knew he was a communist, because he was using those phrases to signal to other insiders who knew the score.

    Obama’s circle of people are the grandchildren of actual communists of the 1930’s, who truly believed in Soviet style communism before the atrocities became publicly known long after WWII. Those people actaully thought “Uncle Joe” (Stalin) was a good guy. The parents of Obama’s circle were what was called “red diaper babies”.

    Someone once did a documentary about the kernal of truth behind the Hollywood-communist connection that led to the “Hollywood blacklist” and witch hunts of the 1950’s. A lot of “useful idiot” type people on the periphery got tragically caught up, but at the core, there really were some “true believer” type of communists among Hollywood’s producers, directors, and writers. The documentary strung together some scenes from movies of the time illustrating the commie sound bites and how they were used.

    Justice (KJV uses “judgement”) and taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves goes back to the Law of Moses. Being “equal in all things” goes back to Enoch’s Zion, and is mentioned in all the standard works.

    I’ve learned that when prophets and apostles speak at General Conference, their words are even more inspired than I had previously thought.

    It is not wrong for Christians to speak of justice, liberté, egalité, and fraternité. What has been wrong is for the adversary’s henchmen to co-opt those words in their attempts to invert them in order to subject and destroy people.

    The PC/progressive _inversion_ of the good in their effort of nihilsim is explained well in Dr. Charlton’s book “Thought Prison”, available in print/Kindle at Amazon, and free online at http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.com/

  10. I think that you will find that people are picking and choosing what they want to hear from Elder Holland.

    His talk was one that was full of love and that of acceptance of all of God’s children. But, he also made it VERY clear that there was also a responsibility to keep God’s commandments as a part of participation in a diverse “choir”. He also made it clear that God says, come as you are, but do not expect to remain the same.

    Obviously, everyone will take what they want from any given talk. I found Elder Holland’s talk to be a message of love, but in no way an abdication of responsibility to follow the commandments and live a life in harmony with The Gospel.

  11. Bookslinger,

    Wasn’t Bruce Charlton that extremist who was fired for refusing to institute peer review at some science/medical publication? If I remember correctly, he insisted on publishing an article which denied the connection between HIV and AIDS.

  12. Old Man, “not really” to the first, yes to the second. The whole raison d’etre of the publication was to expose unpopular ideas, opinions and hypotheses held by a minority to a wider medical audience, in order to get around the group-think, political/corporate influence, corruption, feather-bedding, and censorship elsewhere. He never _agreed_ with the articles he published, because he never investigated/reviewed the details, or replicated any research, as that was not his job. Publication criteria was based on other things. The title was “Medical Hypotheses”.

    He was doing _exactly_ what the owner Elsevier wanted up until the HIV/AIDS article controversy when Elsevier caved into the political pressure to have MH become the very kind of publication to which formerly they were a deliberate alternative.

    For evidence of why such a publication is necessary, see recent M* posts by Geoff and others here about how the majority of scientific research today is faked, not really scientific after all, much not replicatable, influenced and skewed in order to get further/continued funding, and some whose peer reviews are actually faked.

    At least MH was honest to say up front: “these articles are _not_ peer reviewed”, and stayed editorially neutral, whereas many other pubs give a false sense of peer concensus/approval and replicatability.

    That Charlton guy is a genius. Though your political orientation would likely prevent you from reading very far into Thought Prison, you might enjoy and benefit from reading his other work, Addicted to Distraction : Psychological consequences of the Mass Media. http://addictedtodistraction.blogspot.com/ (and at Amazon) which looks into the consequences of being continuously connected to social media, and (even before Facebook/twitter) taking all of one’s bearings from (the various forms of) mass media, as opposed to family, church/religion, etc.

  13. Tossman, I totally get why you are concerned about Elder Holland’s choice of language in his talk. (“Diversity.” “Economic inequality.” “Guilty.”) You are correct that these are SJW buzz words. But having listened to his talk closely, I find nothing at all objectionable in it or anything different than what prophets have been saying since forever. Instead of the stupid SJW obsession with “diversity,” true followers of Christ know that God is not a respecter of persons and sees into peoples’ hearts and does not care about left-wing concentration on race. In addition, Elder Holland was simply pointing out that it is a Christian duty to help the poor, which any Church member who has ever attended a priesthood meeting or a relief society meeting knows very well. He was not calling for government intervention but private, voluntary action, which is exactly in line with Christian teaching. So, yeah, I understand your concern, but if Elder Holland can keep a few left-wingers teetering on the edge of apostasy from leaving the Church, I say more power to him. And, yes, you are correct that all of the usual left-wing suspects are all twitter-pated with Elder Holland’s supposedly progressive talk. It is annoying when they deliberately misunderstand a prophet’s talk, but if it keeps them at church, I have no issues with it.

  14. So, are critics going to start creating more and more ruckus with each passing sustaining vote? I can imagine the current norm “not being enough” and evolving to standing and shouting, shouting during prayers, talks, and other reverent moments.

    The vote is there for their benefit, but I do hope they offer us the same respect they demand.

  15. Bookslinger,
    I’ve just got to tease you… on this blog you suggested a book which condemns modern mass media/social media. This book is described and made available on another blog (actually Charlton’s network of blogs). The irony is just so delicious I could not resist it. I’ll give Charlton a look over the next few days.

  16. Lucas said:

    “Are critics going to start creating more and more ruckus with each passing sustaining vote?”

    Short answer: Yes, of course.

    It must be understood that only a fraction of the counter-culture/critics crowd are genuine actors here. It’s not a case of, “if only the church would make concession A, I’d be fully active and happy.” No, the church concedes A, they push for B. Then C. Line upon line. In reality, the goal is A-Z.

    There is a distinction between the critics I describe above and rank and file LDS whose agitation over things like gay marriage, ordain women, etc. ranges from sincere hope to soft demand. I know people in those communities that really got their hopes up when the church started it’s transparency efforts in recent years, then with all the public statements and positions in support of that community. Those people were so convinced that accepting homosexual, sealed marriage as doctrinally legit was a matter of if, not when, and they were faithfully hanging on until it happened.

    Then came the recent policy changes regarding baptism candidates with gay family situations, and these folks’ world came tumbling down. They lashed out, scored a few interviews with Sister Fletcher-Stack and bawled about this horrid betrayal.

    A testimony founded on (or inordinately dependent upon) an expectation that the church will eventually shift its doctrine to meet your sociopolitical sensibilities is bound to fall.

    This is why I bristle at Elder Holland’s pandering on Saturday. I think he knows those buzz phrases resonate specifically with that contingent. (Note, the concepts themselves are core to our doctrine, but regardless of the concepts or the past uses of those phrases, it’s what they mean *now* that matters.) Will it keep some people going to church?

    Maybe. But in my view, it’s empty carbs. They’ll burn rapidly and generate no sustainable momentum.

  17. “Diversity,” and “economic inequality” may be “buzzwords” for some demographic of people. But they are also words educated people use to communicate about real issues and Latter-day Saints use to talk about Zion, the law of consecration, the future of the church, etc. I’ve met Jeff Holland several times and know his son Matt. To even remotely suggest that either Holland would pander to extremists when it came to our Faith is ridiculous.

    Elder Holland was teaching the truth. The problem you conservative thinkers may be having is that you are mistaking your political views and theories, your worldviews, with the Gospel. Some of you may even believe, deep down, that your worldview is the only true one. Now relax, I’m not here to bash on conservatism or libertarianism. There is much I like about those ideologies. But they are man-made worldviews. They are not the truth, they are human perceptions of the truth. They are working theories. And I love the conservative posters here on M* because most of you engage and struggle to discern truth. While I would not describe myself as a conservative, I would describe myself as a fellow sojourner, a fellow LDS, a pilgrim. I enjoy the discussion.

    Elder Holland’s talk was a work of beauty, an inspiration and deserves deep and ponderous reflection. Why should we be concerned about economic inequality? When is diversity a good thing?

  18. I have heard poverty discussed in relation to the gospel and Zion, and of course we’ve always talked about spreading God’s word to the ends of the earth. Outside a few obscure references the gospel library, the terms “diversity” and “economic inequality” are generally absent from our lexicon.

    So yeah, when I hear gospel topics being discussed using modern pop culture terms, I take note. These are dog whistles. Heck, even the mention of guns is being construed in those circles as a dog whistle.

    You criticize politically conservative LDS (I’m Libertarian, btw) for claiming a monopoly on truth, but there is a growing block of LDS who feel the same about leftist ideologies, who fully expect the church to become a bastion of the Democratic party through attrition. Convert the masses and future leaders will bloom from their ranks. Voila!

    The church’s definitions of and prescriptions for the issues Elder Holland addressed differ wildly from pop culture’s, which is why I’m frustrated that he didn’t actually address them. Just threw them out there without making the distinction. It could have been a landmark educational opportunity. I’ve read and listened to the talk several times since Saturday, and if I’m ever assigned to teach it in EQ, I might politely decline. Platitudinous does not equal inspiring.

  19. God wants all His sheep to come home. God’s prophets and apostles are unusually aligned to that divine desire.

    In my upbringing, the question we asked was “How is this word I am hearing from the Church aligned with God, and how can I better live to reflect the insight I gain from this reflection?” Then again, I trust those I sustain (at all levels) to work on behalf of God.

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