Fall General Conference 2021

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Roy
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Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Roy » 03 Oct 2021, 10:10

This thread is for discussing General Conference.

My primary purpose for creating this thread is to know which conference talks are great, which are ok, and which should be avoided.

The only talk I have seen so far was from President Oaks yesterday. He was talking about the need for a church and why people that might have gotten accustomed to not going to church need the church. I did not find his arguments particularly persuasive. Then again, he really isn't speaking to me. Like most talks, he is preaching to the choir. It therefore sounded a little like he was listing all the things that the faithful might find compelling about attending church. He did also mention that church is not to entertain you or even to teach you something, you go to church to worship God and to serve others. period.

What talks have you seen? Any standouts?
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Old-Timer » 04 Oct 2021, 02:48

I was working and missed conference this time, but my wife shared some things from a few talks that seemed really good.

I will share some things when I get a chance, but it might be a few days. The first half of this week is very busy.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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DarkJedi
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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Oct 2021, 05:15

I mostly had it on in the background and frankly missed much of it because I wasn't paying much attention.

I did hear Oaks on Saturday. Seems they've noticed that some of us realized we don't really need to go to church to be spiritual (thanks COVID). I agree that it isn't about entertainment, but as far as I'm concerned it should at least be uplifting. I also agree it is about worship and that part is all about the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper as far as I'm concerned. Service? Meh. I get what he's saying but if we didn't have Sunday School there would be no service there. I think most of this was an attempt at a Jedi mind trick to guilt people into coming back to church. While I'm at it, that also seemed to be what Pres. Nelson was trying to do regarding the temple in his Sunday talk. It might help some people to like the temple more by going more, for me going more only makes it worse.

I liked Gong's Sunday afternoon talk about mercy with multiple references to the parable of the prodigal son and his brother (by far my favorite of the parables). He was being very careful in speaking Mormonese but I heard him. I did listen to Uchtdorf, standard stuff for him and probably worth the time but nothing we haven't heard before. I caught some of Brad Wilcox and want to go back and do the whole thing.

I'm hoping to get references to more good ones from here or elsewhere on the internet. If I find stuff elsewhere I'll share here. I will note that I felt that there was an even more pronounced emphasis on Jesus Christ from bits and pieces I heard. I also noted there was a female speaker each session and there were prayers offered by women. Perhaps something of worth made it through the bubble.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Minyan Man
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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Minyan Man » 04 Oct 2021, 07:02

I find that I'm getting less & less from General Conference.
We are facing a world wide pandemic & very little was said about it.
The US just passed all other countries in the number of cases & deaths from this virus.
(Say it with me, "We're number one".)

In the mean time, I have members of my own ward sending out emails that advertise the most
obscure blogs & web sites saying that this pandemic is a hoax.

I hate being so negative. I want some form of leadership not the warm fuzzy faith promoting stories.
Next week we have Ward conference. The week after that Stake conference.
There is going to be more of the same. General Conference always sets the tone.

The good news: Taiwan got another temple.

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felixfabulous
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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by felixfabulous » 04 Oct 2021, 07:34

General Conference is always a mixed bag for me. I have fond memories growing up of Conference and like the family tradition aspect of it as well as the excitement that comes with gathering together and announcements, etc. I end up usually liking a few talks and have gotten better at ignoring the ones that make me mad.

I took Saturday totally off and did not pay attention to any of the talks. We had a big breakfast on Sunday morning and tried to make it a fun celebration with our kids even though they lasted for about 30-45 minutes. I liked Uchdorf's talk and Renlund's talks a lot. I also liked President Camille Johnson's talk. It was fun for me to show my kids NFL highlights of Vai Sikahema before he spoke. It gave me some great nostalgic feelings of the excitement I felt as a kid that it was awesome to be a Mormon, which I love.

I thought it was cool to show a video of the original temple foundation, something possible now that many of us would never get to see. I am curious what changes are coming to the temple ceremony that will be rolled out. I am predicting more of a shortening/streamlining and maybe some more paring back of the "symbols." I have a really hard time with the doubling down on the idea that the temple ceremony is of ancient date and passed down from Adam, as that is so easy to deconstruct, but I would guess that rhetoric is not meant for people who have deconstructed it, but for the people they are trying to motivate to go to the temple more.

I caught some of the afternoon session and liked Dunn's talk about cycling and 1%. I wager that will be a stand-out from this conference. I also thought Elder Gong's talk was good. He seems to be aware and acknowledge the reality of some of the difficulties people face.

I never like the emphasis on obedience and listening to the leaders. I've said it before and I'll say it again, no persuasive, charismatic speaker ever spends time emphasizing why you should listen to them. Overall, it was a largely positive Conference for me.

Roy
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Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Roy » 04 Oct 2021, 10:11

DarkJedi wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 05:15
I did hear Oaks on Saturday. Seems they've noticed that some of us realized we don't really need to go to church to be spiritual (thanks COVID). I agree that it isn't about entertainment, but as far as I'm concerned it should at least be uplifting.
Yes, he seemed to be saying that for anyone that is unsatisfied with their church experience needs a change of attitude. This is described most succinctly in the SWK quote used by President Oaks, "If the service is a failure to you, you have failed."
DarkJedi wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 05:15
I think most of this was an attempt at a Jedi mind trick to guilt people into coming back to church.
Part of his argument seemed to be arguing for why the church should exist. This seemed to me to be somewhat of a tangent. The church is not going to cease to exist if I do not go. It will always be there and some number of the benefits can be accessed by the less active (although perhaps to a lessor degree). I just was not drawing the connection between the church should exist therefore I (as an individual) should go.

I particularly did not like the following passage, "Members who forgo church attendance ... They forfeit their opportunity to qualify to perpetuate their family for eternity." I reject the presumption that the church gets to dictate what family relationships get to continue after death. I refuse to attend church under threat of eternal separation from my family. Family relationships built on love and respect are eternal. Period. Let's start there and then we can talk more.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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DarkJedi
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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by DarkJedi » 04 Oct 2021, 12:18

Roy wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 10:11
DarkJedi wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 05:15
I did hear Oaks on Saturday. Seems they've noticed that some of us realized we don't really need to go to church to be spiritual (thanks COVID). I agree that it isn't about entertainment, but as far as I'm concerned it should at least be uplifting.
Yes, he seemed to be saying that for anyone that is unsatisfied with their church experience needs a change of attitude. This is described most succinctly in the SWK quote used by President Oaks, "If the service is a failure to you, you have failed."
DarkJedi wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 05:15
I think most of this was an attempt at a Jedi mind trick to guilt people into coming back to church.
Part of his argument seemed to be arguing for why the church should exist. This seemed to me to be somewhat of a tangent. The church is not going to cease to exist if I do not go. It will always be there and some number of the benefits can be accessed by the less active (although perhaps to a lessor degree). I just was not drawing the connection between the church should exist therefore I (as an individual) should go.

I particularly did not like the following passage, "Members who forgo church attendance ... They forfeit their opportunity to qualify to perpetuate their family for eternity." I reject the presumption that the church gets to dictate what family relationships get to continue after death. I refuse to attend church under threat of eternal separation from my family. Family relationships built on love and respect are eternal. Period. Let's start there and then we can talk more.
I don't really buy the "you only get out what you put in" argument when it comes to our Sunday services. I've heard some pretty crappy talks and lessons over the years, some I would have been embarrassed to have my friends witness. And as a post faith crisis person sometimes I know I have to protect myself - self care as we call it at work. Oaks did make a passing reference to the purpose of churches in general, and I don't disagree, churches are there to help us worship. When I feel like it's failing to do that, the church has failed not me - I'm doing my part by being there and attempting. While I do not regularly attend other churches my experiences with other churches has generally been more uplifting than the bad days in my ward. However, the good days, which do outnumber the bad ones, are OK.

And I agree with you - the church, especially regular Sunday attendance, has no bearing on my eternal well being nor that of my family or family relationships. I do find meaning in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper and believe there might even be some measure of forgiveness afforded in the ordinance - but it's not the only way and not necessary weekly IMO. As I said, Jedi mind tricks (which only work on the weak minded).
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

Arrakeen
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Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Arrakeen » 04 Oct 2021, 14:23

Roy wrote:
04 Oct 2021, 10:11
"If the service is a failure to you, you have failed."
How motivational :roll:

Imagine going to a restaurant with terrible food and the chef says if the food tastes bland, you just have no taste. Then says you should keep coming and just try harder to enjoy it. Yeah, no thanks.

I think this explains why our services are so lacking. Instead of even trying to improve them, we just pretend nothing’s wrong and it’s your fault if you don’t get anything out of it.

Roy
Posts: 6431
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Roy » 06 Oct 2021, 10:35

Ok. on to some more positives.

I like brother Wilcox. His talk on repentance and change was good.

I have also heard that President Nelson's showing the original foundations of the Salt Lake Temple was cool.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Old-Timer
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Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: Fall General Conference 2021

Post by Old-Timer » 11 Oct 2021, 02:49

My life has been hectic lately, but I still am planning on doing a post summarizing the talks, with my reactions. It just is taking longer than I had hoped.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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