General Conference and Me



The interior of the Conference Center in Salt Lake City


I’ve seen a number of posts today mocking this or that speech at this year’s annual LDS general conference, which concluded this afternoon.


I’m not talking about those from bitter anti- or ex-Mormons.  Those are scarcely worth noticing.  The ones that I’ve actually paid any attention to come from at least nominal Mormons whose (in the cases I’ve seen today, left-leaning) social/political preferences failed to be canonized from the pulpit, or, even more commonly, from Mormons who’re simply too sophisticated to take conference talks seriously.


I, alas, am insufficiently sophisticated.  I always enjoy general conference, and I really liked this one.



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  • Darren

    I too thought this conference was a really good one. There was a lot of mentioning of marriage between a man and a woman; no reason to strain the brain to figure out why.

  • jamesj

    Likely the more sophisticated the mocking member, the better directions they have for obtaining the entrance to the great and spacious building. Apparently, while they encourage their less-polished cousins to join them in their disaffected manners by glib pronouncements, they nonetheless leave them on their own to feel their own way in the darkness to said edifice; and apparently don’t lose too much sleep if their scornful encouragement leads such into strange paths, lost from view to perhaps fall into the fountain of filthy water & drown.

    A price they may (unknowningly or otherwise be willing to) pay for their clever disdain I suppose.

    Rail though they might over such an assertion (or they may count it a badge of honor in the piety of their high “ideals”), it seems (from what I gather) that this “faithful” group of sophisticates are often represented by those who were born in the ’80s; proud of their enlightened state over the prejudiced, judgemental luddites of bygone generations. (Note: This indictment is in NO WAY directed to all the children of the ’80s, many who obviously do not scorn or place their wisdom above that of the Brethern. It’s simply an observation of recent phenomena that I have observed.)

    At any rate, more than a few Conference talks seemed directed at warning these oh-so-wise against the follies of adopting the secular-minded mean-spiritedness of the world at large.

    • Rozann

      Don’t you remember during Pres. Kimball’s presidency the dissenters who sat in conference and yelled “No, No, ” When asked for “those opposed”? They were not children of the 80′s. Sophisticated dissenters have always been around. Elder Maxwell said something to the effect that “they leave the church, but they can’t leave the church alone.” How arrogant and prideful are they who think they know better than the Lord and his ordained servants. I thoroughly enjoyed this conference and found much to rejoice in as well much to repent of and improve in. Thank God for Living Prophets!

      • LBRussell

        Yeah I was just thinking about that! Wasn’t that during the Equal Rights Amendment/Sonja Johnson period or thereabouts? Guess raising your hands in opposition wasn’t dramatic enough for them.

      • jamesj

        Opps, that came out wrong. (I should not try to compose posts on my phone…)

        How about this?

        … it seems that the latest group of “faithful sophisticates” were born at just the right time; coming into their own just as THE LARGEST STAGE in history (Blogging, FB, Twitter, etc.) took off. A phenomena unlike anything ever seen. A stage upon which any “enlightened” individual or group can vocalize criticisms of the Church to vast audiences instantaneously…

        You get the idea.

        Sure it’s true that dissenting/mocking voices have been around within the Church almost since the day it was organized. (Well, maybe not THAT soon, but too soon at any rate for the recipients I’m sure.)

        And, obviously, the use of the “stage” isn’t simply confined to this one particular generation in question by any means. What’s fascinating (disturbing?) are the *converging* trends in: communication technology; sophistry, disrespect (or worse) by those who should know better; and a general lack of civility in the way we communicate (e.g. flamewars conducted under pseudonyms, etc.)

        Will it be: True to the faith that our parents have cherished, or making jokes about the Brethren in front of 500+ Facebook Friends (which then goes viral)?

        Or, maybe I’m just getting old, too narrow-minded, and can’t take a joke?


      • Scott W. Clark

        I was in the Tabernacle at the time singing in the choir up front. President Romney was at the podium for the sustaining and they shouted from the balcony, “No! No! ERA, no!” They shouted and then left. The interesting thing to me is that Elder McConkie got slowly out of his chair, went over to the podium, put his arm around President Romney and said that the Elder Hinckley would meet with the dissenters after the meeting. He sat down after this and things went on again as if nothing had happened.
        They didn’t meet with Elder Hinckley of course.
        For some reason I think that is only a foretaste of things to come.

      • Nathan000000

        I always wondered what the response to opposing votes was in general conference.

  • Michele

    Call me unsophisticated and naive, but as long as I have eyes to see and ears to hear, I will welcome wisdom.

  • Al Miller

    President Monson’s Sunday morning talk on obedience was a highlight for me. This is my eternal struggle yet I know that obedience to God and those he sends in the name of His Son is the strait gate on the narrow path. It was a helpful reminder to me and hopefully all if us that what makes us truly a saint is obedience.

  • tyler90az

    I do not know what message board you are referring to Dan. If you are referring to my posts on MD&D they are hardly mocking. There are no other posts on MD&D about GC except for mine.

    • danpeterson

      No, I’m not referring to your posts. I have certain Facebook people and one or two message boards in mind.

  • ldsphilosopher

    You need go nowhere else than or Times and Seasons to see exactly the kind of mocking Brother Peterson is talking about. It’s sad that they can do this without completely discrediting their claims to membership.

  • Hospitality

    It’s just as stated in Lehi’s dream: “…a great and spacious building…stood…in the air…filled with people…in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers toward those who…were partaking of the fruit…and after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.” The price of sophistication. I think most, if not all, of those forbidden paths lead directly into the spacious building.