LDS Conference Talks

I have often wondered why they don’t open up LDS conference talks to a wider range of speakers?  There are many members who have excellent speaking abilities and have important things to say.  Instead, we listen to the same group of GAs every 6 months; the topics are pretty much the same; and the delivery is frequently monotonal.  I think many of us crave more variety.

I think it would be good to have Robert Kirby (LDS columnist for the SLTrib) give a talk at next Fall’s conference.  Kirby is one of the Church’s greatest thinkers and theologians.  His columns in the Saturday “Faith” section are usually right on the money.  For example (8 Apr 2011):

Last week in General Conference, a church leader pointedly told the whisperers to shut up.  OK, what he really said was that we shouldn’t judge working mothers.

Turns out there are all sorts of legitimate reasons for women working outside the home, none which were anybody’s business except the person making the decision.

Group judgment is always the problem with a group standard.  No matter how well-intentioned the standard might seem in the beginning, it can backfire when a member of the group steps outside the lines.  The judgment starts.

If every worthy young man is supposed to serve a mission, then what’s wrong with Bill if he doesn’t?  Exactly how deep does Satan have his claws sunk into him?

Mormons are supposed to get married in the temple.  If someone decides–again for reasons that are nobody else’s business–not to get married there, the judgment starts.  Ooh, someone isn’t worthy.

We Mormons have a tendency to be a little self-righteousness;  Kirby could knock us down a peg or two.

Another idea might be to have an occasional non-Mormon speak at conference, say, for example, a Catholic or Episcopal Bishop.  I’m sure the Catholic Bishop would appreciate the opportunity to expound on the need for love and understanding as it relates to “illegal” aliens.  And the Episcopal Bishop could mention the important role that women play in Christianity.

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2 Responses to LDS Conference Talks

  1. Cam says:

    I suspect there are other forums for speakers that you are suggesting. LDS Conference is specifically organized and set up for General Authorities of the church to speak every six months. I, for one, look forward to listening to these messages. These are inspired talks that help us in various facets of our lives. Whether or not they seem “frequently monotonal” may be in the ear of the listener!!

  2. rogerdhansen says:

    There is in fact “other forums,” but since conference is widely broadcast to all members (and others), it would be nice to have a wider variety of speakers. There are some very important topics that could use different perspectives. A view from outside GA circles would likely be enlightening

    I do some work in developing countries, and soon the majority of the membership of the LDS Church will be in these areas. Yet the conference talks continue to be directed more at middle-class Americans (and Europeans).

    Your last comment is certainly appropropriate and I’m sure that my ear needs some fine tuning.

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