General Conference predictions

Back in the days when I paid attention to General Conference, I always attended the priesthood session with my wife’s father and brother. I enjoyed the tradition of returning to report some fantastic fictional revelation to my wife and her mother. I call this a tradition because I did it every time, but I was the only one who ever did.

When I returned from the priesthood session in October 2000, shortly after I was baptized, I reported that President Hinckley had a revelation that all worthy women should be allowed to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, beginning on the next Sunday. They were flabbergasted and asked if that was really true. “No,” I said. “But he did say you’re supposed to wear only one pair of earrings.”

I think the reason I did this is because I longed for true revelation. Something that could make a real difference. Even as a new convert, I recognized that no longer do Prophets Of God boldly proclaim Revelations From The Lord about the Very Nature Of God And Humanity. These days, “thus saith the Lord” has been replaced with “thus saith the manual”, and dress codes and style guides pass for revelation.

I’ve forgotten most of the fake revelations I came up with over the years, but every once in a while, I still wonder what kinds of “revelations” from the LDS church leadership I would actually be impressed with. Here are some things I would love to hear. They may be implausible, but hopefully not totally out of the realm of possibility.

  • All members will be afforded the same opportunities regardless of genitalia, social standing, business background, or sexual preference.
  • The church’s finances will be made public again, as they were before 1959, so everyone can confirm the incredible charitable work that has been done with members’ donations. And for the next month, all donations will be given to those in the Philippines who desperately need it.
  • Members are encouraged to express concern or dissent with the church’s policy or actions, because that is a necessary part of a healthy community. Church leadership will seriously consider members’ feedback instead of excommunicating them.
  • The Word of Wisdom means what it says. Don’t scald your throat with hot chocolate and don’t eat three Big Macs in one sitting. Beer is okay, as are tea and caffeinated drinks. Better yet, disregard the Word of Wisdom entirely and follow the recommendations of your physician instead.
  • Members are encouraged to examine church history from all perspectives, thinking critically about the evidence for the church’s claims and trying to be as objective as possible in reaching their own conclusions.
  • Previous revelation states fairly clearly that a proper tithe is 10% of one’s surplus. Especially in these difficult times, this interpretation is emphasized, without any subtle implications that you should pay 10% of gross income instead.
  • An earthquake of epic proportions will hit the Salt Lake Valley on March 22, 2010. Everyone pack up your handcarts. We’re heading to Missouri.

Okay, maybe it’s too much to hope for. Sadly, I think the chance of any of these revelations is nearly zero. Almost any of them would be a good start in making the world a better place. Instead, what we will hear from the prophets, seers, and revelators is probably more like this.

  • Obedience is the first law of heaven. But don’t just obey any old person. Obey the prophet. He says exactly what God would say if God could talk.
  • Tithing is the first law of heaven. We won’t come right out and say how much you should give. Just give as much as you possibly can, or preferably even more. It would sure be a shame to miss out on all those blessings, wouldn’t it?
  • Speaking of money, we’re building a dozen new temples. That’s called faithful stewardship, and it’s certainly not a wasted opportunity.
  • For God’s sake would you please stop sending your kids to church in skirts and flip flops! How many times do we have to say this?! The Lord is displeased!
  • Pornography is bad. Really bad. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind bogglingly bad it is. By the way, you can find lots of it very easily on the Internet. But don’t look at it. Don’t even think about it. In fact, don’t even think about trying not to look at it. We shouldn’t even be talking about it right now. But we can’t stop talking about it. That’s how bad it is!
  • I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth today. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet. We love our dear prophet so much. We are unworthy to kiss his feet, or even to unloose his oxfords. May the Lord bless him with good health, and long life, and lots of sweet widow stories forever and ever. Oh yeah, and nameofjesuschristamen.

What would you love to hear in General Conference? Got any predictions of your own?

15 thoughts on “General Conference predictions

  1. Dang, those are “wishful” predictions! Members are encouraged to express concern or dissent with the churchs policy or actions, because that is a necessary part of a healthy community. Church leadership will seriously consider members feedback instead of excommunicating them. gave me a chuckle. I’d love to hear some of your other fact revelations!

  2. Wow, my computer went psychotic there. Thats not what I typed… I meant, “those are good ‘wishful’ predictions” and “I’d love ot hear some of your other fake revelations”.

  3. Ha! I’ve often wondered if that pornography item is exactly why Utah has such high rates of pornography usage. “Here’s where you can find it, but don’t even think about it!”

    Does the church talk so much about pornography because it’s a big problem, or is it a big problem because the church talks about it so much?

    If everyone paid 10% of their surplus then the church would no longer be the richest church in the world, which would reflect poorly on the faithfulness of the saints and make people think the church might not be true. That would be bad. 😛

  4. I’d love to see this one:

    “The prophet doesn’t actually speak with god anymore than any of you do. He’s just a guy, trying his best. But he gets things wrong… a lot! So, don’t follow his advice as though it is a direct edict from god. Do what you think is best.”

    I’d probably have a heart attack if I actually heard that in GC… :)

  5. I know all of the other fake revelations would make the church a much better place, but I still find myself wishing that they had the one about the handcarts most of all.

  6. It’s going to be the same group brainwashing reinforcing sessions it always is. It’s going to take some massive change (and time) before the LdS church is in any way starts behaving normally, scientifically, rationally, etc.

    I used to also wish for something new, exciting, groundbreaking, but when I found out it was all a sham, I realised how transparent it all is. They couch everything in vague terms that encourages eager members to infer mystical and magical meanings from everything. The leadership pretends to spiritual experiences that are in reality no different than what any normal member experiences (psychosomatic reactions, etc.) and gives of an aura of special authority that only means anything to those who’ve been programmed to let those men do all their thinking.

    It’s a disturbing weekend of mental masturbation, reinforcing of brainwashing, and utter nonsense made to sound like something meaningful, but vague enough to not have to back it up with evidence.

    Blah, blah, blah.

  7. If members were encouraged to express dissent and think critically about church history, there would be no church. Vagueness, censorship, and oppression are what keep any religion functioning.

    As for what to expect tomorrow, I predict boring reiterations of doctrine and standards. Maybe a mention of homosexuality. It might actually be more interesting if it wasn’t mentioned, though, with all this Hafen and Maine hubbub going on…

  8. I was actually quite excited about The Family: A Proclamation to the World because it seemed to be important.

    I was hoping that the Saints would unite to address the bread and butter issues that pressure families, you know, like out of control tuition increases, health care inflation, and stagnating median incomes.

    Little did I know that they were merely setting the stage for persecuting a tiny minority that shall be scapegoated for families’ problems.

  9. I wish I could remember more of the fake revelations I came up with. I tried to make them plausible enough to be believable. Maybe something like “the temple recommend interview will now ask not only about tithing, but about fast offerings too”. Stuff like that. They fell for a few of them, but after a while I think they caught on.

    I heard that Scott gave a pornography talk in the priesthood session. I’m counting that as a direct hit. They seemed to be more on the attack against unbelievers than they have previously been. Maybe I just notice it more these days. But Holland was practically foaming at the mouth.

  10. Hilarious post. Comment 11 makes me wonder if that’s what my mom was talking about when she said, “I thought about you a lot this weekend.” I’ll have to read it now. :)

  11. You are all idiots, and by your comments you’ve shown that you do not understand at all what General Conference is about. You mock it and possibly think you’re original in doing so, but people have mocked the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Christ Himself, etc from the beginning. With your comments and apparent attitude, you are no different than any of them. Jesus Christ is at the head of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Monson is His true and living prophet, President Monson speaks directly w/Christ and receives modern continuing revelation for our day. It seems some of you knew these things at one point but then let your own ego get in the way or otherwise allowed the adversary to confuse you. We are not brainwashed, things are repeated because HEY they’re still being done so it’s being addressed, the Church is lead by Christ and so is NOT a democracy no matter how much any number of members or not want it to be, and you all need to get a life and stop being like the idiots of old who spread falsehoods.

  12. Wayne — I’m letting this through to avoid accusations of censorship (and because we’ve perhaps been a little sloppy about moderating comments in general lately).

    However, I want to make it very clear that opening your comment with “you are all idiots” is not acceptable here at Main Street Plaza. We are aiming for constructive inter-faith dialog, and hence we have to maintain a very high standard of civility.

    You’re welcome to try again to make your comment, as long as you can make your points in a civil and constructive manner.

  13. Wayne… We could spew back vitriol about who the real “idiot” is or how blind you are, but that just seems inappropriate. I think the appropriate response is:

    I forgive you, Wayne, for you know not what you do.

    :)

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