General Conference Thoughts

The place for religious discussions -- doctrinal or cultural, Mormon or otherwise.

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Lady Celtic
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Postby Lady Celtic » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 09:31 am

Thanks for that link, steelem. I needed it. Sister Beck's talk definitely is in the "afflict the comfortable" category, as they put it, and talks like that always make me evaluate my life. It's uncomfortable to be told you need to evaluate, but a little self-evaluation never hurt anyone.

And DrC, Sister Beck's speaking voice seems to be in the alto range and far from whispery or sing-songy. Just FYI.
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Postby Momma Snider » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 09:35 am

I think women in the Church need to be stronger than others in many ways. It's always seemed funny to me that we are sometimes thought of by outsiders as subservient or whatever to our husbands, and heaven forbid a woman doesn't HAVE a husband. But in real life, each of us needs to know that we are strong and self-reliant. The way I put it is that a woman needs to be strong enough on her own to not feel that it takes anything away by blending with a husband. If that makes any sense. I would never, ever want to be single, but not because I couldn't make it on my own.

I, like Dr. Chumley, have trouble sometimes listening to the sister talks in conference, because of that sing-songy voice. Sheri Dew is an exception, as was Elaine Jack. They speak more conversationally. But I do think that the sisters have something to say. Not everything they say will apply to everyone, but they have to start with the absolute, knowing there will be exceptions. If they start preaching the exceptions, then the ideal is lost.

I also think maybe this talk was meant as much for husbands as for wives. Maybe there are too many husbands who haven't grasped the principles. Remember, there were several million people listening to that talk.

It takes strength to obey to the letter, and it also takes strength to receive your own answers and know you're doing what Heavenly Father wants you to do.

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Postby jds88 » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 09:47 am

What interests me is that although we tend to tune out women who speak in a sing-songy voice, we tend to view men who use more or less the same intonation--such as President Monson--as singularly gifted speakers.

--Jim

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Postby DrChumley » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 10:29 am

jds88 wrote:What interests me is that although we tend to tune out women who speak in a sing-songy voice, we tend to view men who use more or less the same intonation--such as President Monson--as singularly gifted speakers.

--Jim


I don't. His inflections drive me crazy. Every single sentence has the exact same pitch pattern. Even Elder Nelson tends to go that direction a little bit, but not to anywhere near the same extent. I'm a fan of Elder Holland, Elder Eyring, and Elder Bednar. There are a few who I just can't listen to at all: Elder Scott and Elder Wirthlin among them.

The funny thing is, when the Ensign comes out and I can read the talk that I didn't like while watching conference, I'm usually quite moved by them. The message is there, I just have such a difficult time getting past the delivery. I guess that's why I should be grateful we have the printed word.

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Postby EricDSnider » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:01 am

I'm with Chum-Chum on President Monson. Someone pointed out that he now sounds exactly like Snagglepuss, which makes it even harder. And seriously: What's the deal with all the widows?

Anyway, great man, inspired leader, etc.

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Postby AdamOndi » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:16 am

I have long been unable to listen to certain speakers in conference, but have gotten a lot out of reading their talks later in the Ensign or on LDS.org. Elder Scott and Elder Wirthlin are definitely two speakers who are very difficult to pay attention to live, but have excellent talks in print.

Lately, the tendency to have a lot of the foreign-born seventies speak in conference, even if they don't speak English very well, has me tuning out a bit more than I should. I know it is sad, but I end up focusing on bad pronunciation or stifled delivery more than what they are saying.
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Postby InOregon » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:22 am

The foreign-born speakers always move me the most. I loved how many we had at Conference this year.
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Postby Card » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:33 am

I totally agree that some speakers are harder to listen to than others. But, I've also found that the people who I have a hard time with are speakers that other people might really enjoy. I guess it just depends upon people's own preferences.

And still, I think it's funny that people are having such issues with Sister Beck's talk.

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Postby Lowdoggy Dogg » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 11:49 am

Kind of a nitpicky bunch today.

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Postby steelem » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 01:37 pm

I always love reading the Ensign more than just listening. I can focus on the words and talk much better seeing it than just listening.
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Postby Karenins_SuperSon » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 02:54 pm

You know what I miss most about General Conference?

Eric's General Conference Reports. Those were always my laugh out loud ones as I read them.

Any chance of resurrecting those?

And, I too enjoy listening to all the talks, but reading them always gives me new insights, especially since there's the off chance that I was sleeping through that person's talk. (It's not MY fault that they speak during the kids' naptime when the house is all quiet and peaceful).
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Postby shrff » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 03:20 pm

I honestly don't understand some of the reactions to this. Did I read a different talk? If I had to sum it up, I would say, "Women in the church have a responsibility to be mother. If you don't have the opportunity for children in mortality, you should still work on mothering-type skills. Those sisters with children have a particular responsibility to nurture their children and be an example."

Was there something about mothers working outside of the home that I missed? Was there an overt rebuke? It didn't seem like a bombshell to me. Does this make me a chauvinist?
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Postby InOregon » Thu 11 Oct, 2007 03:38 pm

Shrff, like I said, I think the biggest problem with the talk is that it was widely open to misinterpretation, as evidenced by the wide range of reactions to the talk, so while you and your wife heard one thing, many other people heard something entirely different. So yes, maybe you're just a chauvinist. (kidding)
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Postby seespot » Fri 12 Oct, 2007 10:24 am

All this discussion on Sister Beck's talk led me to read it and see what was up. I mean, I remember hearing the talk but don't remember a lot of specifics. I believe the following is the paragraph that could be used by "well meaning" members as a yard stick for measuring everyone else.

"Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children

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Postby Matt » Fri 12 Oct, 2007 10:42 am

InOregon wrote:Shrff, like I said, I think the biggest problem with the talk is that it was widely open to misinterpretation, as evidenced by the wide range of reactions to the talk, so while you and your wife heard one thing, many other people heard something entirely different.
I think this is an important point. As the husband of a faithful LDS wife who struggles with housekeeping tasks, I cringe at some of the potential conclusions that could be drawn from her talk and I am surprised that these conclusions, if false, were not anticipated and discussed in the talk itself.
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Postby deepdish » Sun 14 Oct, 2007 06:46 pm

My wife turned to me after Sis. Beck's talk and said, "You just know that Prozac sales in Utah just went up 25%."

She also felt the strange compunction to go bake a pan of brownies. They weren't The Brownies, mind you. We're obviously still at a terrestrial level here. :wink:

What bothered me most about the talk was how it took mundane earthly things like dishwashing and hair-brushing to the level where women would consider themselves somehow lacking (and, let's face it, other LDS women will judge them) if their housekeeping skills aren't perfect.

I know I'd have a hard time if, despite all the Christian service I've done and callings I've magnified, my Church leaders condemned me because my trunk is a mess.

I'm not saying that clean dishes, brushed hair, ironed shirts, and organized trunk spaces aren't important or good. They are good things. What they aren't, though, is required for salvation or exaltation. The way Sis. Beck phrased her talk elevated things that ultimately don't matter (or, in some parts of the world, aren't even a part of daily life) to the same level as the Proclamation on the Family. There are those who will beat themselves up over the things she said and I worry about those folks.

I can't imagine Christ at the judgment bar sniffing women's fingers for Lemon Pledge. The Lord looks on the heart, not unkempt hair or unironed shirts.

But hey, her talk got me brownies.

Chad

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Postby AdamOndi » Mon 15 Oct, 2007 08:49 am

deepdish wrote:The Lord looks on the heart, not unkempt hair or unironed shirts.


Yet, all Aaronic Priesthood holders are told myriad times to always wear a clean, ironed white shirt, conservative tie, dress shoes, and dark socks whenever passing the sacrament. They are also told to be clean and well-groomed. Bishops, Stake Presidents, and all local and General Authorities are required to be clean shaven, wear suits whenever operating in their calling responsibilities, and generally present a good image at all times.

I know that it sounds good to say that outward appearances don't matter as long as the inward actions are in line with standards, but that is not the reality. Otherwise, we would not be encouraged to dress our best for church.
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Postby Lowdoggy Dogg » Mon 15 Oct, 2007 09:25 am

I think leaders should set a standard. It is then up to each listener to determine what is appropriate in their life. I'd rather not here a litany of exceptions for why that advice doesn't apply in this situation, or this advice isn't right for that person. That isn't much of a standard.

In the end, the best indicators of personal worthiness are the questions in the Temple recommend interview.

There will always be people who take a talk by someone like Sister Beck and make that the litmus test for worthiness. Those people are wrong. As a set of recommendations and a standard to aspire to? I'm glad she gave the talk.

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Postby EricDSnider » Mon 15 Oct, 2007 12:00 pm

AdamOndi wrote:Bishops, Stake Presidents, and all local and General Authorities are required to be clean shaven



I'm pretty sure that's not true. I've heard of stake presidents asking bishops to get rid of their mustaches, but always just on a local, this-is-what-I-want level, not so they'd be in compliance with a church-wide directive.

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Postby deepdish » Mon 15 Oct, 2007 03:58 pm

AdamOndi wrote:Yet, all Aaronic Priesthood holders are told myriad times to always wear a clean, ironed white shirt, conservative tie, dress shoes, and dark socks whenever passing the sacrament. They are also told to be clean and well-groomed.


Clean and well-groomed I can accept as showing respect for the ordinance. If your ward's Aaronic Priesthood are being told they have to wear white shirts, ties, and dark socks then someone needs to be gently corrected. White shirts, ties, etc. are fine, but there is no requirement to use them exclusively when passing the Sacrament.

Bishops, Stake Presidents, and all local and General Authorities are required to be clean shaven, wear suits whenever operating in their calling responsibilities, and generally present a good image at all times.


There is no such requirement at the Bishop/Stake President level and you should ask anyone that tells you otherwise to show you where it is written in the Church Handbook of Instructions. Of the nine Bishops in our stake, four have mustaches.

General Authorities may have such a requirement, I don't know. I have no problem with presenting a good image at all times but that is not necessarily defined as white-shirt-and tie.

I know that it sounds good to say that outward appearances don't matter as long as the inward actions are in line with standards, but that is not the reality. Otherwise, we would not be encouraged to dress our best for church.


1st Samuel 16:7 suggests otherwise.

"Dress our best" is not necessarily the same as "white shirt and tie," especially in cultures outside the US. "Nurture" is not necessarily the same as "clean dishes and home-cooked meals." Though there may be a strong tradition of both in the Church, tradition is tradition and should not be taught as doctrine.

Chad


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