Step Forward: Coming up in October is the LDS General Conference which will be beamed around the world. In the past, all sermons have been spoken in English. This time it might be different. Next month’s speakers, however have a new option: those “whose primary language is not English now have the choice to deliver their talks in their native tongue.” For example, a number of LDS leaders are native Spanish speakers.
As Peggy Fletcher Stack points out:
It will be interesting to see if Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the governing First Presidency and whose first tongue in German, will choose that language for his sermons or whether he will continue to speak in fluent English, with a slight accent.
(I’ve always liked the French language; I served in the Franco-Belgian Mission in the 1960s. We need more French-speaking GAs, or more women GAs with French accents.)
This is a wonderful development and one that should be cheered. If the LDS Church is to rightly claim that is a global church, then these kinds of enhancements are much needed.
Step Backward: Elder M. Russell Ballard, at the European Area Sisters’ Conference (meeting with the poster controversy) made the following statement:
We need your (women’s] voices. They need to be heard. They need to be heard in your community, in your neighborhoods, they need to be within the ward council or the branch council.
Great, so far. But then he followed up with: “Now don’t talk too much in those council meetings, just straighten the brethren out quickly and move the work along.” That while the comment was probably made in jest, a Sister’s Conference already beset by controversy is probably not the right venue for making a statement like “don’t talk too much.” Reactions to Elder Ballard’s comments resulted in posts on both bycommentconcent.com and timesandseasons.org.