Saturday AM Conference Open Thread: Literary Edition

Saturday AM Conference Open Thread: Literary Edition April 2, 2011

I am excited for Conference this weekend! I have always loved General Conference and General Conference Weekend. This weekend, I am particularly excited because a number of my friends from Mormon Studies and the Bloggernacle have agreed to join me for these open threads.

This morning we will be joined by Sheldon L., a doctoral student in English. He also teaches reading and writing at the university-level. He guest posted here at FPR a while back. Oh, and he is one of my favorite people in the world. I consider him to be a Mormon Thoreau.

Some ground rules for the open threads:

1. Be Nice.

2. Disagreement with the comments and talks is allowed…mocking is not.

3. This is a faithful..though liberal at times…Mormon blog. The threads will be conducted accordingly.

I look forward to everyone’s comments. I like Conference with friends.

"It's sad, yet predictable, to see how self-assured you critics can be despite your particular ..."

The Gaskill hoax, three years later
"Can someone clarify what was on this video?"

4 Puds With a Prooftext
"What a mean-spirited review. I've been reading Barker for a couple of months only. But ..."

My Margaret Barker Experience
"Thanks Todd Larkin and Greg M for the keen insight. I too believe the “TYD” ..."

Child Sacrifice, A Traditional Religious Practice ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • My general conference prediction: most everything said will be a rewording of everything said last year–which was a rewording of everything said the year before, which was a rewording of everything said the year before( which was a rewording of everything said the year before). In face one Seventy’s talk will be comprised almost entirely of quotations from President Monson’s talks from last year. That Seventy be the next Apostle.

  • I am hoping you are wrong:)

  • I still think that Uchtdorf tans. He’s just sooo handsome.

  • Hi, Chris.

    Acknowledgment of the Welfare anniversary — maybe there’ll be some focus on charity and providence and related matters?

  • Ardis, I’m hoping for the same.

  • Dan

    three temples being announced: Fort Collins, CO. Meridian, ID, Winnipeg, Canada

  • Sheldon L

    Narrator, you are already wrong. That message was groundbreaking, radical, and historic.

  • Sheldon, I stand corrected. This is the first time I recall hearing about how they didn’t expect the conference center to be filled–but look, it’s filled!

  • Sheldon L

    My kids are playing that “eat a candy when you hear a key word” game. It usually ends in a fight.

  • What’s your keyword, Sheldon?

  • dual citizenship! ha!

  • Sheldon L

    I don’t have one because I’m isolated in my office at the computer with a radio. But my kids chose “Jesus” so I think they are going to nail it with this NT talk.

  • I will be providing the official “doctrine” count–how many times the word “doctrine” is used.

    Right now, it is just “doctrine” = 1

  • Dan

    It was perfect to end last week’s Sunday School lesson with the Bread of Life. Fits right in with L Tom Perry’s talk.

  • Bradly Baird

    Starting on a fundamental: Sabbath and the Sacrament.

  • I was thinking that, too, Dan. It’s nice to have some lovin’ of the NT.

  • Prediction: There will be heavy ‘nacle criticism of LTP’s discussion of Sunday dress. That criticism will entirely miss the mark, because he has explained why dress matters, and doesn’t just state a fiat.

  • Hello, everyone.

    I am running a bit behind. I will jump full in in about 15 minutes. Dang it, I forgot to get candy.

  • Remember back in the day when the sabbath was a day of rest?

  • Come when you can, Chris. Email me some candy.

  • Bradly Baird

    I’ve got girl scout cookies – anyone need some of those?

  • That’ll do, too, Bradly! Thanks.

  • Dan

    I’ve got gluten free cookies 🙂

  • Dan, I’ll be generous and not rob you of your treats.

  • “Greatest joy in this life is following the Savior.” Love it!

  • Dan

    that was a great talk.

  • Sheldon L

    Good reminders. Slack sabbath observance is a gaping hole in my spiritual life.

  • From a distance I thought she was showing a bra strap, upon closer look it is just a necklace.

  • Kind of understated in person — I think we’ll all find even more to like about it when we can read it on the page.

  • the *voice*…..

  • Sheldon L

    Obedience…innocence…it depends how much sleep they got the previous night.

  • “10-year-old in Armenia.” That’s a phrase I didn’t dream of hearing at Conference, only a few years ago.

  • Bradly Baird

    I am always being “instructed” by my children, constant lessons in humility.

  • Liam = nice modern parallel to the story of Joseph Smith

  • why can’t most speakers–especially the women–speak normally when they give talks?

  • Sheldon L

    Some stories/analogies are a stretch, but that Liam story was powerful.

  • Agreed, Sheldon. That’s another one I want to read on the page.

  • Bradly Baird

    “God gave us families to help us become what he want us to be.” Love that.

  • “What our Church can *add*….”

  • Sheldon L

    Quintessentially Mormon conceptions of conversion: Knowing…adding (progressing).

  • “stay longer in the field because they were receiving so many blessings” !

  • Did they really announce a Fort Collins Temple? That would be the nearest temple to us here in Casper. We are 4 hours from Billing (our temple district) and also 4 hours from Denver. Fort Collins would be less than three hours. I wonder if it would be our temple district.

  • I wish that in discussing following Jesus, there would be more emphasis in doing those things that Jesus was actually doing–feeding the poor and healing the sick. Based on these talks, it would seem that following Jesus consists of being evangelizing ascetics.

  • I do not think we need to be told that following Christ involves helping the poor…though I think I talk about it more than I do it.

  • I liked what he just said about the power of our covenants. Reminiscent of SS a few weeks ago about the yoke of Christ being easier to bear than the yoke of sin.

  • …or if not ascetics, pharisees concerned with ritual, clothing, and arbitrary lists of commandments.

  • Sheldon L

    Cool, Chris. I wonder if Casper will get a temple anytime soon. Does it seem like it could keep one busy?

  • This is one of the few hymns I can still sing in French without a hymn book to prompt me.

  • Good point Ardis.

    I think there is power in the content of our covenants.

  • Chris, do we really need to be told on how to dress on Sundays? Was Jesus really that concerned with how we were dressed and how closely we followed a set of rules on the sabbath?

  • Sheldon, the population of Wyoming is so small that I think the temples in neighboring states will be it for a while. There are rumors about the field next to our stake center…

  • Sheldon L

    Narrator, if you are suggesting that keeping a part in your hair isn’t following Jesus, then you need to read your Bible again 🙂

  • Contra Perry, Jesus’s whole point in Mark 2:27 was that they were missing the whole point of the Sabbath and had turned the Sabbath from a day of rest into a day of worship manifest through strict obedience to arbitrary interpretations of work.

  • Ummm, I wear crocs to church. Not sure I am fit to address that issue. 🙂

  • Dan

    The overriding concern of Jesus was the souls of men and women. This doesn’t mean that he would never recommend a certain dress. He is the one who gave Israel the Law of Moses, after all. However, I don’t know if he would emphasize this over and over each time he teaches people.

  • Dan

    I wear Tevas.

  • I know that Sheldon is a sharp dresser at church. I will defer to him.

  • Dan

    “Pain is a gauge of the healing process.” Um, no, pain isn’t a gauge of the healing process. The pain I felt for my kidney stone two weeks ago was not part of some healing process.

  • The mention of pain makes me think of Utilitariansin. I do not think this talk will be channelling Bentham.

  • Sheldon L

    I dress nice so that people will admire me. I guess it worked with you, Chris.

  • Sheldon, you had me when you alluded to Socrates in Elder’s Quorum.

  • I do think there is much power in connecting our pain with the pain experienced by Christ. I hope we can connect with the pain of others rather than dismissing it.

  • We need to understand the depths of mortality to understand him….a paraphrase…I like.

  • Sheldon L

    Near death experience related in conference! I love it!

  • paul f

    @dan If greater pain means you’re ill and improving pain means you’re healing then it does…

  • Sheldon L

    Although stories about terminally ill children freak me out.

  • Wallace Stegner!

  • Sheldon L

    Wallace Stegner in conference too!

  • stegner! the mormon literarti are going to be thrilled.

  • Ardis, you are incredible!

  • Dan


    so the healing process begins the moment you feel pain?

  • in a talk about women, too. this should be good

  • Dan

    wives and husbands work side by side.

  • Sheldon L

    Uh oh, a man is talking about women…he’s going to say a lot of things wrong…

  • BiV, you are incredible (didn’t know you were here)!

  • Seemed to me that Elder Perry misread many words as he read from the teleprompter. Especially I hear him read “sacrament” instead of “Sabbath” when he quoted the scripture passage that asserts the Sabbath was not made for man.

  • I live right next to the Platt.

  • My home is more a punk band than a symphony.

  • #76, well Perry is the oldest of the “Brethren”

  • Dan

    even a punk band has to play in harmony…

  • Sheldon, what we find in your purse?

  • Sheldon L

    These guys should work for the TSA.

  • Dan, true…but a different type of harmony:)

  • Men and women clearly are not equal. We (men) would have just emptied it out and found her drivers license. Done.

  • Dan


    I’m a big fan of dissonance. 🙂

  • Sheldon L

    It’s not a purse, it’s a man’s handbag! And the lipstick is my wife’s, I swear.

  • Unpaid work is something I deal with in my dissertation. Glad this is related.

  • Note, in the guise of pretending they want to be discreet with the woman’s purse, they pull out items one by one and analyze what it says about the owner.

  • I wonder if he’ll talk about how American Grace noted that Mormon men support giving the PH to women…

  • jcc

    to 84… best comment yet

  • Dan

    this talk seems to emphasize that the role of women is still in nurturing/homemaking

  • brandt

    @Sheldon – I call mine a “European Carryall”

  • American Grace! Studies by political scientists should be quoted more often in all contexts.

  • “Then they pulled out a pocket edition of Plato’s Republic. ‘Yes!’ they cried, ‘she’s a philosopher!’”

  • BHodges, he went the other direction with it. Hmmm

  • Steve M

    I’m not watching conference right now, so I’m a little lost. Cook is talking about pawing through someone’s purse? Whaa?

  • “Eventually they found her receipts and looked at what items she had purchased: caffeine-free sodas–and then a return receipt for the sodas, which she probably returned after feeling the spirit and deciding that she did not want to appear to be participating in evil.”

  • Sheldon L

    Lol…Hey Brandt…good to see you.

  • Dan

    “women are not less valiant if they choose to work outside their homes.” they’re getting better at this.

  • I will have to come back to this talk. Elder Cook is again very political. I do not agree with it all, but I enjoy the topics and content.

  • brandt

    Good to know you’ve joined the color-commentary crew during conference, Sheldon!

  • Kristine Haglund has pointed out before that talks about women by men are always a bit ackward.

  • Women are equal to men, except they are more righteous and need to get back to the kitchen and make dinner.

  • Sheldon L

    Steve, he’s talking about how rifling through your date’s purse is a great way to know if she is the right one.

  • Dan


    as long as women do not have actual church authority over men, the talks men give about women will always be awkward.

  • Don’t judge working women or say they are less valiant. But then he talks about how they may have extenuating circumstances that we don’t know about. Doesn’t approve of those who are doing it because they want to. This will be discouraging for many.


  • I’d love to stay and comment more, but I’m off to Laguna Hills to look at Howard W. Hunter’s journals….

  • Brian Duffin

    I really enjoyed Elder Cook’s talk. I thought he pulled it off without being awkward.

  • Dan

    “LDS should be at the forefront, creating an environment in the workplace that is more receptive to women and men in their responsibilities in the home.”

    Sounds like Finland…

  • the narrator,

    See ya later.

  • We sing this song in Primary, but it is a LOT more rousing. Only the Tab choir can make it sound like a dirge!

  • BiV,

    I am working on something about how such thinking impacts men and how it impacts our view of work and wealth.

  • Dan

    Maybe the church should have an actual primary choir sing once in General Conference…

  • 112 sounds interesting!

  • 112 was responding to 106.

  • Get out the kleenex!

  • Dan

    poor and the needy.

  • ha, loyd leaves right before the talk about the poor and needy. serves him right.

  • Poor and the needy! Loyd is missing it!

  • Too bad narrator left, he’d probably like this one.

  • I have tingles already. My father-in-law has met with Pres. Eyring on these issues. He is for real.

  • “This will be discouraging for many.”

    Not to my thinking. It is a reminder that women’s proper behavior is circumscribed within the bounds of propriety — just as much as men.

  • I like the use of the word consecration, distinguishing it from united order

  • Dan

    I am curious if he will talk about why helping the poor through government programs is NOT Christ-like..

  • Jim, whenever you talk about women and “proper behavior” you are going to freak us out.

  • Proper behavior = GUILLLLLLLt

  • Ties helping the poor to both our temple and sacrament covenants. This connects with the earlier talk.

  • Wake up and do something more!

  • my dad used to sing that song all the time

  • including children is something that makes me want to serve more. I want them to develop that sympathy Pres. eyeing talked of….a sense of justice.

    Not….going…to cry. I love Pres. Eyring. I want to hug him.

  • He was President of Ricks during the flood. I loved studying about it when I was there.

  • Pres. Eyring’s book To Draw Closer to God changed my whole mission. A pretty important turning point for me religiously.

  • “It was gone.”


  • BHodges,

    I look forward to when you will speak in conference.

  • Sheldon L

    Rexburg’s tsunami…a good thing it happened during the day or hundreds, maybe thousands, would have died.

  • A strange prophecy to be sure!

  • Teton Dam disaster was 1976, not 1966.

  • Rawls makes a connection between self-respect and self-reliance as well. Just saying.

  • Did he say 1966?

  • I like that, law of the harvest

  • he did say 1966

  • Caring for the poor on the same level as finding the truth. Loving it. Lowell Bennion is being channelled here.

  • The wards in our stake are already gearing up for this day of service — lots of publicity and excitement about it

  • He was there, so it was a slip.

  • A loaf of gratitude

  • Sheldon L

    I’d like to see missionary program more involved in community service.

  • Me, too.

  • This is why I stay.

  • jcc

    I think there is large group of young members who would be blessed by a two year humanitarian mission.

  • I was there too.

  • See now, here’s what i love about the choir. They do have it in them!

  • #149, amen

  • Sheldon L

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t stand to take thank my good friend Chris for this opportunity to comment. His efforts to reactivate me in the Bloggernacle will not go unrewarded.

  • brandt

    Wow. Now THAT is a way a hymn should be sung!

  • Jim, I was still in the pre-existence. But I studied a lot about it while teaching at BYU-I not too long ago.

  • Thanks Sheldon!

  • Thanks to everyone for your comments and spirit. We will be back at two. Dan will be co-hosting with me.