Sunday in Outer Blogness: Easter Conference Drama Edition!

What’s the best way to spend a long holiday weekend? If you said “watching General Conference“, you may be Mormon!

Normally the most boring activity known to man (the faithful give tips on making your kids watch and staying awake), this conference was livened up by five people who decided to stand up and voice their opposition during the “any opposed?” part. They were loud enough to be heard on the broadcast, so the PSR (prophet/seer/revelator) at the podium had to acknowledge them.

Though it wasn’t the first time, the responses were what you would imagine. The orthodox were incensed (well not all of them), but some think that only the faithful deserve to be there:

One thing that stands out to me is that at least five people among thousands dissented, yet people are commenting on how “sad” it is that those people are losing their faith. Because they don’t sustain the leaders? One person went as far as saying that “evil” was coming into the dissenters’ lives.

This is news because apparently this is the first time in 30 years that anyone has opposed the leaders. To listen to the news video, you’d come away with the idea that the whole thing is a big formality anyway. One woman said that it was a person’s right to dissent, but it wasn’t appropriate to dissent during General Conference. Okay, well if you can’t dissent during General Conference when you are asked to sustain or oppose, when should you make your voice heard?

The non-orthodox to non-believing thought it was awesome, and even made a meme of the relevant Thomas Monson quote: Let us—all of us—have the courage to defy the consensus.

Highlights of the talks? Apparently gay people live a counterfeit lifestyle. Monson was still alive, mostly. Remember those talks where some old guy tells women how to be valued wives? This time they decided to mix it up a bit! Then there was the usual crap about non-believers. And my personal favorite: a brand-spanking-new object-lesson comparison for women!!

I’m surprised that a member of the Primary General Presidency would admit that in order to be full of “the Spirit and gospel truth” an LDS woman has to swallow the intellectual equivalent of an entire cup of dissolved sugar that’s been shot up with pressurized gas.

Also reported at conference: the stats show that lowering the missionary age didn’t help conversion rates.

Mithryn provided a contrasting talk on leadership:

The most frightening people (in leadership especially) are the ones who have no doubts. Because no matter how wrong they are, they will never know it and they cannot be reasoned with

Specifically, we need to rethink this polarization.

On a related note, how to respond to Indiana? It’s not time to be apathetic. Interestingly, as the CoJCoL-dS has backtracked on opposing gay marriage, the core members are finding a way to deal with it.

And wasn’t there something else going on this weekend? April Fools? Oh yeah, Easter. Time to scrutinize the legends of Jesus! (as well as other scriptures.)

As usual, Andrew S has some interesting insights about belief/unbelief and staying/leaving:

It seems to me that Dan wants to pin faith crisis issues in the head space (so the solution: move outside of one’s head, and learn to appreciate the heart space stuff, and rebalance the two. As Dan says, “Where else other than religion can you seriously engage matters of spirit?”)

I don’t think that this works, because I actually would probably agree with Carlisle that faith crisis issues discussed in a “head/belief” way actually have deeper roots with heart/lived experience issues. In other words, we could probably go into how every issue that shows up as a reason for faith crisis drills down to perceived decreased autonomy, lack of fulfillment, decreased personal dignity, etc., And if that is true, then that’s a different challenge for Dan. People are resistant to the concept of spirit because religion has soured them on “the religious life.” So it doesn’t feel like throwing baby with bath water in a move to secularism, scientism, atheism, etc., because it doesn’t feel like there was a baby.

In other random fun, we have some memorable Mormon art!! BYU polled people about the honor code. The BoM musical got some attention for flipping God the bird. The exmo reddit hit 20,000 subscribers! Obama met with LDS leaders. Skeptics have an image problem because there’s really no nice way to say, “Um, actually, that psychic isn’t really speaking to your dead relatives.” And what about these priorities?

Then some people are doing other stuff. Bipolar disorder is no joke.

Also, did you see the Scientology documentary? Maybe just watch the parody:

Personally, I have been having a fantastic weekend! It was just short enough that I didn’t plan myself anything, but long enough that I made some serious progress on my personal projects: I finished my palette-management program that I’d been planning to make to simplify my comic art, and I repotted my tomato seedlings for my garden. Plus I got a bunch of random stuff done around the house and had a great time inviting over friends I haven’t seen in a while and got to play some video games with my own kids and with my niece across the ocean! Not to mention the usual treats for Easter!! And we still have one more long-weekend day tomorrow for some more artwork and to have a look at all the homework my kids have for next week…

I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend as well!!! À la semaine prochaine !

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C. L. Hanson is the friendly American ExMormon atheist mom living in Switzerland! See "letters from a broad" and the novel ExMormon for further adventures!!

8 thoughts on “Sunday in Outer Blogness: Easter Conference Drama Edition!

  1. Do you ever do guest posts? I have a piece I’ve been working on but I don’t have an exmo blog and am not sure I would write often enough to justify one.

  2. In my feed what popped up was David Archuleta tweeting an anti-gay line from Packer at conference, but then needing to backtrack/apologize due to backlash and having gay fans. His apology included “sorry if I offended anyone, but I have my beliefs.” A consensus reads him as gay at a point in his life when he has to start thinking about marriage, and his relationship choices will be quite public. Basically, I feel sorry for the fellow, and many probably forgive him due to his life being its own kind of entertainment.

  3. Isn’t it a worry if your beliefs offend others? My belief is staying open to always accept others before rejecting them because they are different than you. I think celebrating others differences is beautiful. Just a thought on being you!!!

    Not a counterattack to Alan just a thought on David’s quote

  4. Some beliefs are genuinely offensive. In the US there is this baffling idea that all beliefs are worthy of equal respect. There’s a spectrum of respectability when it comes to beliefs. The more abusive or out of touch with reality a person’s beliefs are, the less they should be respected.

  5. Shouldn’t that read, ” I’m sorry I offended the wicked with the TrUtH, but they’ll be super sorry being miserable in the telestial serfdom, while I’m up in heterosexual exaltationland with my assigned wife and joyous at being eternally worshiped.”

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