Conference Predictions & Discussion

Any conference predictions out there? I’m pretty bad with predictions but here are a few of mine.

1. Talks of charity and the poor. I can’t help but imagine several GAs will be inspired by events in Draper where a homeless man was booed by the over thousand residents. If we don’t hear some quotes from King Benjamin I’ll be shocked.

2. Missionary stats. My guess is we’ll see missionary effectiveness decrease if stats are given. (I’m showing my ignorance but I can’t recall if stats are given in April conference. I’m too lazy to look it up.) There are rumors going around about changing the 18 year decision. I’m not predicting that change gets made, but overall the change to the 18 age seems to be as successful as the change to a year and a half mission.

3. Politics? Given how nasty American politics have sadly become the last year, I suspect we’ll hear at least one talk on civility and perhaps one that makes the tie to politics explicit.

4. Apostasy. The leaked memo shows the brethren are concerned about apostasy. I suspect we’ll get at least one talk on this and hopefully a talk on counterfeits of revelation. Given his role as one of the few of the 12 willing to weigh in with pure doctrine discourses I’ll place my bet on Elder Oaks giving the talk.

That’s probably all I’d be wiling to predict. All of them are pretty iffy except perhaps for (1). What are your predictions?

11 comments for “Conference Predictions & Discussion

  1. I highly doubt the Church will ever change course on sending out 18 year old male missionaries. It always appeared that the underlying motivation was to keep more people active as RMs tend to remain active than non-RMs (it’s been years since I heard or read the stats on it but I seem to recall serving a mission being a big factor in life-long activity).

    As for topics, I fully expect to hear something on tithing. It was a topic of focus for our area and I got the feeling the emphasis came from the Q15.

  2. There was a report I didn’t see confirmed that suggested originally the policy change was intended just for mature youth who were ready at 18 but poorly communicated. I think the problem is not everyone’s that mature. I certainly wasn’t. For me I think going at 18 would have been a mistake.

    Regarding the new stats, they are as I predicted, getting worse. I’ll probably do a follow-up to my converts per missionary post from last year.

    Pres. Monson seems quite a bit feebler. Of course given his health before receiving the call I didn’t expect him to make it this far. So he’s doing great all things considered.

    While there wasn’t a direct Draper reference, several of the talks seem oriented in that direction. My wife was ill so I couldn’t go to the priesthood session. But Pres. Monson’s talk about charity seem oriented around that. Renlund’s talk in particular seemed oriented around the homeless issue even if he didn’t mention it by name. Likewise while politics wasn’t mentioned by name, Renlund’s talk seemed to target that as well.

    I found Elder Holland’s talk interesting as well. I didn’t take notes, but according to Deseret News he said:

    There is room for the single, the married, for large families and for the childless. There is room for those who once had questions regarding their faith and room for those who still do. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions. In short, there is a place for everyone who loves God and honors his commandments as the inviolable measuring rod for personal behavior, for if love of God is the melody of our shared song, surely our common quest to obey him is indispensable harmony in it.

    I’m glad that’s being said that explicitly by the brethren.

    Actually looking at the summaries Elder Eyring appears to have taken on Draper directly as well, if again not explicitly.

    Brethren, our ordination to the priesthood is an invitation from the Lord to walk with Him. And what does it mean to walk with the Lord? It means to do what He does, to serve the way He serves. He sacrificed His own comforts to bless those in need, so that’s what we try to do. He seemed to take particular notice of people who were overlooked and even shunned by society, so we try to do that too.

  3. there were 2 talks on Saturday about how humble tha 15 are and just want to serve, I think one was Bedinar. Iwondered if it was a response to the leaked payscale for Apostles? As a non American who attended conference for the first time, I was amazed nearly the whole congregation stood from the time the first Apostle entered until they all sat. Didn’t look like there were humble. I would not stand for the Prime Minister, or the Queen,, and I think if people stood for Christ he would tell them to sit down.
    No female contribution on Sat except in the chior,
    All closing prayers from south american sounding brethrren.
    Particularly liked Elder Renlunds talk.
    There were a lot of mentions of the evver darkening world. There were a couple of younger GAs who were very enthusiastic, one of whom spoiled his talk on the light of Christ by continually contrasting the light of Christ getting brighter as the world got darker. How is the world getting darker? Trump is a worry, but there has been a lot of progress in the last 50 years.

  4. Geoff – Aus: The fact that people stand when the authorities enter doesn’t mean the authorities aren’t humble. I doubt you’ll find any pronouncement or even soft statement from any of the leaders saying or implying that members should stand. It’s just something that’s done out of respect. You may just be projecting.

  5. What I didn’t predict was not a single female at the pulpit all day. It could’ve been priesthood session for 6 hours straight. I thought in our increasing awareness of gender roles etc that would’ve been a big consideration. Hoping we hear from the new RS presidency today; Sharon Eubanks is dynamite.

  6. Geoff-Aus:

    What is more respectful, standing for someone (like a magistrate) and waiting for that person to be seated, or kneeling at their feet and bathing His feet with their tears?

    FYI, I would stand for the Queen, and I am an American.

  7. Bingo for prediction no 4. But no we do not believe the doctrine of the Trinity for a multitude of reasons but the doctrine of the Trinity recognizes the three separate persons of the Trinity who are one substance. Substance material. Telling people that the doctrine of the Trinity posits that the godhead asserts that all its members are the same person is a straw man. Many other things are wrong or just too complicated to believe.

  8. Geoff, I didn’t get that impression which isn’t to say you’re wrong. I just might not have noticed it. I’m curious as to how I’d react when the transcripts are out in full.

    The standing is for the President I thought not all the 12. I know some of the 12 don’t like it. I don’t know when the tradition started. They do it at firesides too.

    Relative to the Trinity substance is ambiguous. Mormon thought isn’t as at odds with the Trinity as some think. The bigger divide is over creation ex nihilo and whether the Father is embodied. But Orson Pratt’s view of God basically was trinitarian only in terms of a stoic like materialism rather than a platonic ontology. That’s not that odd since in the early days of the evolution of the doctrine not everyone was platonic like Augustine. Tertullian adopted a largely stoic ontology of materialism for instance. In contemporary Mormon thought there are some (like myself) sympathetic to say Duns Scotus’ ontology on the ousia only see it as applying to all intelligences.

    Most Mormons (not necessarily anyone here) tend to attack straw men when attacking the Trinity. Usually what they think is the trinity is actually modalism, which technically was a heresy. (To be fair, the trinity is hard enough to understand such that there’s a fair number of lay members in Christianity that also confuse it with modalism) A good primer on the doctrine is at the SEP entry on the history of the trinity.

    The biggest problem with the Trinity is largely conceptual. It’s definitely not a Mormon doctrine but I’d say Mormonism is largely orthogonal to the question. The biggest conflict for Mormons is the claim of Trinitarians that only the three can be one whereas Mormons tend to emphasize the theology of John chapters 14-17 which suggests the divine unity is open to us.

  9. Hi Geoff, When the prophets talk about “the world” being bad, they use the term the same way Jesus used it repeatedly in the scriptures, for instance in John 17:14-16 (and John 15:17-19). As we know, there are different kinds of worlds. For example, the celestial world, the terrestrial world, and the telestial world. We live in the telestial world. That’s what the leaders of the church mean when they say the world is getting darker. The progress we’ve seen in the world in the last century, such as millions of people getting out of global poverty, overcoming racism, sexism, and war are indicative of transcending “the world,” and getting further away from the darkness of the telestial world, not participating in its wickedness.

  10. ACW – I too am wondering where all the sisters were. One sister speaking for all of the General Sessions of conference looked terribly out of balance. I’m sure we usually have more. Ooops – no we don’t – just checked last Octobers records, only one sister spoke. Last April we had 2 sisters speak. October 2015 we had 2 speak. I usually enjoy the sisters talks, they offer a different perspective.

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