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Musings after Conference

Posted: 06 Apr 2020, 21:34
by SilentDawning
I said in the conference thread that I felt guilt after listening to DHO's talk on the Plan of Salvation.

I am certainly not obedient and don't think I could ever go back to the full-on activity like I did for several years. Given my history, SOMETHING would come along that would tick me off again or bring the horrors of past trauma to the surface. And I would feel hollow bringing others into the church as well.

I then started praying at night (I have trouble getting to sleep), and asked if I'm on the right path. I recognized past revelations that the full-on TR path was the way to go. But I also wondered how the bottom has fallen so completely out of that revelation given... [insert abuses I have suffered in the church here, which I shared with God in light detail]. Afterwards, I actually felt at peace, even though I told God not to hold back any special instructions given confirmation bias, and recognizing that I really didn't want a directive to get back active again (like my own Road to Damascus experience). I just felt peace and then went off to sleep eventually.

Who knows what is in store for us. Who knows.

One thing makes me feel at peace -- the actual state of our lives after death is so ruddy ambiguous as evidenced by so many religions and unverifiable opinions. This makes me think that I really do have a leg to stand on when I tell God I couldn't reconcile all the conflicting evidence about the truthfulness of the church. A one-shot blast of testimony wasn't enough to sustain me through the stark examples of a purely temporal church over periods of decades with so little spiritual boosts along the way -- I'm sorry....

Re: Musings after Conference

Posted: 07 Apr 2020, 03:34
by Gerald
I hope you don't mind me tacking on my own musings after your own. This was one of the hardest conferences I ever sat through. It was partially because the pandemic context made everything so different than it had been (I'm not very good with coping with change). But I have to say that by the end I was really resenting the direction that the leadership had chosen to take conference. I'm fine with the new logo (it looks cool) and the Friday Fast is a nice gesture and it's always nice to hear about where temples are built. I also enjoyed hearing the youth speak at the third (?) Saturday session. It's something that hasn't been done for YEARS (since I was a boy) and I think they should do more of it.

But the talks were so DULL overall (with one exception I'll get to). Then to have President Nelson (with all due respect) going on and on about the Second Coming, I almost thought he was going to introduce Christ then and there. I miss President Hinckley who'd have gotten up with a twinkle in his eye and made us all laugh while reassuring us that all would be well. I miss President Monson's warm-hearted stories (okay, some of them stretched belief but they were still fun to listen to). I simply do not connect with President Nelson at all. My wife and I got a little chilly with one another when I refused to be "inspired" by talks that I found to be so pedestrian and even (may I say it?) a bit manipulative.

If they had asked my advice, I'd have said "postpone the First Vision commemoration until the October Conference and give the members what they really need right now: Hope." That's why (in my opinion) Elder Holland's talk was spot-on. THAT was the talk I think we needed to hear and if everyone else had followed suit, I'd have come away from conference TRULY inspired instead of just depressed.

Re: Musings after Conference

Posted: 07 Apr 2020, 11:51
by SilentDawning
I guess we all react differently. My wife is a non-intellectual person, and she enjoyed it. Sat there with tears in her eyes over certain talks. Got dressed in her Sunday best for the solemn assembly.

I personally feel the church is very much for plodders. We do the same things over and over and over and over again with very little change for decades upon decades.

Thanks to Hustle. M. Nelson (I mean that in a complementary way) for shaking things up significantly after decades of the same old same old. That has helped under pre-Covid circumstances to make the experience better for me personally.

I know the church is not an entertainment-company. But thinking about the variety we experience as a church is something I value. I think it behooves leaders to be thinking of ways to shake up the experience every now and then so it is new and fresh.

Re: Musings after Conference

Posted: 07 Apr 2020, 12:15
by nibbler
I believe the church truly meets many people's spiritual needs. It can be tough when the church doesn't meet someone's needs. Mostly because the cultural expectation is that the person change their needs to align with the church.
SilentDawning wrote:
07 Apr 2020, 11:51
But thinking about the variety we experience as a church is something I value. I think it behooves leaders to be thinking of ways to shake up the experience every now and then so it is new and fresh.
Extending my point and piggybacking on this...

Different people have different needs. Providing one experience for forever isn't going to reach everyone and it grows stale over time. Mixing things up has the potential to reach people that weren't being reached before and it keeps things fresh.

But I feel like even with change the community moves from "one way to be" to a slightly different "one way to be." Even when we change we aren't meeting the needs of a diverse body of saints, we just ask members to align their spiritual needs to the new standard. We don't do a good job of tailoring the experience. Sometimes we hound people to make sure they're checking all the boxes.

Re: Musings after Conference

Posted: 07 Apr 2020, 14:34
by hawkgrrrl
Mostly I found this particular GC to be a snoozer, particularly given the current circumstances. It seems incredibly out of step with what's actually happening in our lives, and that made it a bit jarring, but not in a good way. Life, even on lockdown, is much more poignant than anything I heard during conference which was basically the exact same pablum.

The talks by women upholding patriarchy were just awful. Truly the worst. I am honestly appalled at how some people choose to live their lives and call it an ideal when an equal marriage partnership with mutual respect is so much better. I realize if you're married to someone who insists he's the "presider," then an equal marriage is really just not on the table, but don't think for a minute that your crappy marriage is somehow the ideal. It's not. It's definitely not. Mormonism has got some seriously screwed up ideas about men and women, and when women are the ones trying to keep other women in line, it's just terrible to watch.

Re: Musings after Conference

Posted: 08 Apr 2020, 00:25
by Cnsl1
Aside from two talks, Dieter and Holland, I thought the event was a snooze fest as well. It really bothered me, as Hawk girl said, that very few even mentioned the big elephant in the room---the pandemic! Also, little things, like them following the teleprompter and looking to one side, away from the camera, which works when there is a camera there and when tv viewers know there is an audience, but when Cook kept looking off to his left, I just wanted to kick him... Hey buddy, we're all over here!

Conference also was a divider in my house. Maybe it was because we rarely watch so much of it. This time we watched the entire thing, even the Saturday evening session. In the past, we typically just watch on Sunday.. maybe. I couldn't keep from voicing occasional negative comments, which upset my wife even though she's not a TBM, has long since stopped wearing garments, and has her own interpretation of the word of wisdom. I don't really know where her sudden change of heart came from, but things were fine between us on Friday and they suck now. Thank you, Pres Nelson and co.

I am ok with a big fast and collective prayer on good Friday. I thought that was rolled out pretty well by Nelson. I hoped we would hear about some more tangible service things the church Corp had planned, but I'm sure that was too much to ask. I think pres Nelson answered everyone's question regarding that by stating that the church was well known for its great humanitarian efforts but the REAL purpose of the church was to prepare the earth for the second coming or bring souls to Christ or something like that. So, don't ask about all that money, we're not about healing the sick or alleviating suffering, we're making more temples and preaching the gospel! Prayer and fasting... We'll ask God to do the dirty work for us.

I chuckled at how Oaks slammed the door on any hopes or thoughts of women receiving the priesthood. Let me rephrase.. I cringed at how Oaks shut the door an any hopes of women ever receiving an OFFICE in the priesthood, because obviously they have it already, he explained. And, he gave the green light to women blessing the children in their home in the absence of a father... not a priesthood blessing, mind you, but since they preside, they can care for and bless their children. Thanks. My non TBM wife said, "I can do that anyway, and i could give them a blessing if I wanted or even the sacrament!". I said, you can do whatever you want, baby,.

So I guess it's only ok if she talks bad of the brethren. I'm still working that one out.

I felt the overall tenor of conf was doubling down. We're about THIS first vision, don't forget it! I expected a big focus on the restoration since it's the bicentennial year, but I did not expect another proclamation that sorta cements the gold plates in stone. I hoped that a future generation or two might have some wiggle room out of that myth-like story, but... maybe the First Pres was worried about that happening. Idk.