Thanks everyone for your comments on Elder Holland's talk.
I felt (when I listened to it) and still feel that the talk was a put down to those like me who have sincere, grounded doubts about the church. However, I recognize, particularly after reading these posts, it is not viewed of as a universal put-down. Two sides to every coin and all that.
I think he did sound angry, and instead of feeling the Spirit (which apparently most TBMs did, since I have heard multiple comments on how powerful and undeniable Elder Holland's talk was), I felt sick and heartbroken. I think that feeling was really triggered by this quote:
"I submit this as yet one more evidence of its truthfulness. In this their greatest—and last—hour of need, I ask you: would these men blaspheme before God by continuing to fix their lives, their honor, and their own search for eternal salvation on a book (and by implication a church and a ministry) they had fictitiously created out of whole cloth?"
I recognize that some detractors to the church do try to play the "intentional fraud card." I for one am more than willing to believe that Hyrum and Joseph believed the Book or Mormon was true, but does that really provide "evidence of its truthfulness"?
I was watching Conference alone, since my spouse no longer believes the church is true, and when he heard this quote, he was especially upset: "For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands." It seemed to him (and I admit to me as well) that it only "stands" to those who are determined it is true. The fact that it stands is of course very important to those that believe the church is True, and perhaps should be lauded, but the statement seems, overly optimistic, or possibly even disingenuous. (But then, he believes it, so I guess "disingenuous" can't be strictly true). I assume Elder Holland means that the Book of Mormon stands solidly in the religious community, because I don't actually know of any non-Mormon scientists or archaeologists who believe the Book of Mormon to be history.
I guess this talk just hurt so much because it gave me the same feeling I had when my BYU Book of Mormon teacher told us that The Simpsons was an evil show, and when he heard it, he could "feel the spirit drain out through my feet." Then he proceeded to say that he might offend some by saying that, but "the wicked taketh the truth to be hard." I know that Elder Holland (instead of my teacher) as a General Authority has WAY more right to speak powerfully about the Book of Mormon (rather than a television show) since it is an important part of the gospel. But the feeling I got from both was the same, which at least explains why the talk rubbed me the wrong way.
As an individual who fluctuates in her certainty that it's really a good idea for me personally to "Stay LDS," take my words with a grain of salt.
Mostly, I just wanted a place to be able to state what I thought of the talk without being reprimanded for it (as I would be if I had mentioned this in church today). I appreciate the thoughtfulness and openness of this board so much.