Report on "Special" Stake Conference

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Hagoth
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Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm

TLDR: It wasn't all that special. The church is growing! Anti-Mormon literature makes you feel dark and icky, the BoM makes you feel bright and happy.



The main speakers were Elder & Sister LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. They were introduced after a few other talks and some music, with a reminder to the congregation that we are not allowed to record what was about to be said.

I really liked both of them; they were very positive, and came across as very sincere, likable people speaking at the typical 5th-grade-ish intellectual level. The main message consisted of two components:

1) Wow, the church is growing like gangbusters. There were only a few branches when I was a missionary in Italy in the 70s and now there are entire stakes. The membership in Africa has doubled over the last decade. The people are so dedicated they don't mind meeting in rented spaces and tents, since there isn't any money to build chapels for them. (I looked it up and the church claims about 500,000 members in Africa).

2) Reading anti-Mormon literature makes you feel dark and icky inside. Once, when Elder Curtis was a young man he accidentally opened an anti-Mormon book in a bookstore (because it had a picture of the temple on the cover) and glanced through it for 5 minutes. It made him feel dark and confused, like maybe he might be wrong about some of the things he believes. But he went right home and started reading the Book of Mormon That made him feel bright and happy. Do you want to feel dark and icky or bright and happy?

He told the story of a guy who went to Elder Ballard with a bunch of questions. Elder Ballard told him to come back in two weeks and he would have gathered answers to all of his questions. In the meantime he was to read the BoM everyday. He came back two weeks later and Elder Ballard said, "OK, I have answers to all of your questions," but the guy said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't need them anymore. Feeling the spirit of the Book of Mormon told me those questions aren't really important."
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:40 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm
He told the story of a guy who went to Elder Ballard with a bunch of questions. Elder Ballard told him to come back in two weeks and he would have gathered answers to all of his questions. In the meantime he was to read the BoM everyday. He came back two weeks later and Elder Ballard said, "OK, I have answers to all of your questions," but the guy said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't need them anymore. Feeling the spirit of the Book of Mormon told me those questions aren't really important."
These types of things feel so coordinated... the idea that questions are bad and that you don't need answers if you stay in the boat and read the scriptures. Personal revelation is out, good feelings that take away the need for answers is in.

I'm not saying it didn't happen (although I'm sure it's not like this), but it just seems so amazing to have so many firesides/devotionals/etc that have these same kinds of stories and themes.

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Hagoth
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by Hagoth » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:49 pm

jfro18 wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:40 pm
I'm not saying it didn't happen (although I'm sure it's not like this), but it just seems so amazing to have so many firesides/devotionals/etc that have these same kinds of stories and themes.
And both the dude and Elder Ballard came away with a great faith-promoting story to share. If the story had ended just about any other way we would never have heard it. For instance if the guy listened to Elder Ballard's answers and said something like, "Ok, I can see where you're coming from, but it doesn't really address X, Y and Z. What now?"
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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jfro18
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by jfro18 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:53 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:49 pm
And both the dude and Elder Ballard came away with a great faith-promoting story to share. If the story had ended just about any other way we would never have heard it. For instance if the guy listened to Elder Ballard's answers and said something like, "Ok, I can see where you're coming from, but it doesn't really address X, Y and Z. What now?"
Exactly.

And even if I read the BoM and felt better about my issues... I wouldn't tell Elder Ballard after two weeks of digging through the issues 'no thanks, I'm good.' I'd sit down and listen to what he had to say just so I could feel like there was never a reason to doubt.

I have no idea what happened in this story, but I would bet just about anything that whatever happened is much different than how it was told to the stake.

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wtfluff
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by wtfluff » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:12 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm
He told the story of a guy who went to Elder Ballard with a bunch of questions. Elder Ballard told him to come back in two weeks and he would have gathered answers to all of his questions. In the meantime he was to read the BoM everyday. He came back two weeks later and Elder Ballard said, "OK, I have answers to all of your questions," but the guy said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't need them anymore. Feeling the spirit of the Book of Mormon told me those questions aren't really important."
Ah. An "apostle"... Quoting an "apostle."

Looks like their incestuous intent of the getting the old white "leaders" to quote each other, and the adherents of said old white guys quoting the old white guys is working.

It's become The Church of the Church™.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

Keep the company of those who seek the truth - run from those who have found it -Václav Havel

Brilliant.

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StarbucksMom
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by StarbucksMom » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:18 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm

He told the story of a guy who went to Elder Ballard with a bunch of questions. Elder Ballard told him to come back in two weeks and he would have gathered answers to all of his questions. In the meantime he was to read the BoM everyday. He came back two weeks later and Elder Ballard said, "OK, I have answers to all of your questions," but the guy said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't need them anymore. Feeling the spirit of the Book of Mormon told me those questions aren't really important."
I call total 1/2 truth, hearsay, un-confirmed story BS.

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moksha
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by moksha » Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:16 pm

As a sign of respect, the guy should have at least allowed Elder Ballard to start the hypnotic spinning wheel and pretended to enter a trance.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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nibbler
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by nibbler » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:12 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm
...
The people are so dedicated they don't mind meeting in rented spaces and tents, since there isn't any money to build chapels for them.
...
Image

How many chapels could you build for the cost of one temple in Rome? Several office complexes? A mall?

Maybe the moral of the story is that people in the states should be happy with what they've got. "Don't you know there are members in Africa meeting in tents?"
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Random
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by Random » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:33 pm

Yeah, nibbler. I was thinking of the wealth of the church at that point, too.
[They] which knew me from the beginning . . . would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
Acts 26:5

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FiveFingerMnemonic
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by FiveFingerMnemonic » Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:07 am


It's become The Church of the ChurchImage.
This is a very good description of the contemporary quote game.

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crazyhamster
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by crazyhamster » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:25 am

Hagoth wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:24 pm
TLDR: It wasn't all that special. The church is growing! Anti-Mormon literature makes you feel dark and icky, the BoM makes you feel bright and happy.



The main speakers were Elder & Sister LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. They were introduced after a few other talks and some music, with a reminder to the congregation that we are not allowed to record what was about to be said.

I really liked both of them; they were very positive, and came across as very sincere, likable people speaking at the typical 5th-grade-ish intellectual level. The main message consisted of two components:

1) Wow, the church is growing like gangbusters. There were only a few branches when I was a missionary in Italy in the 70s and now there are entire stakes. The membership in Africa has doubled over the last decade. The people are so dedicated they don't mind meeting in rented spaces and tents, since there isn't any money to build chapels for them. (I looked it up and the church claims about 500,000 members in Africa).

2) Reading anti-Mormon literature makes you feel dark and icky inside. Once, when Elder Curtis was a young man he accidentally opened an anti-Mormon book in a bookstore (because it had a picture of the temple on the cover) and glanced through it for 5 minutes. It made him feel dark and confused, like maybe he might be wrong about some of the things he believes. But he went right home and started reading the Book of Mormon That made him feel bright and happy. Do you want to feel dark and icky or bright and happy?

He told the story of a guy who went to Elder Ballard with a bunch of questions. Elder Ballard told him to come back in two weeks and he would have gathered answers to all of his questions. In the meantime he was to read the BoM everyday. He came back two weeks later and Elder Ballard said, "OK, I have answers to all of your questions," but the guy said, "Oh, no thanks, I don't need them anymore. Feeling the spirit of the Book of Mormon told me those questions aren't really important."
Interesting, that very last line calls back over to RR's "Does Truth Matter?" thread. To many people, I believe they don't think it does. I DO think it does, because whether they like it or not, reality affects them.

For what it's worth, I think this tale is yet another one of those "faith-promoting stories", that have little if any background in a real event. I wonder if the story ever detailed what the "bunch of questions" were? I'm betting not, because that makes it easier for the listener to assume it applies to their own questions.

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Hagoth
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Re: Report on "Special" Stake Conference

Post by Hagoth » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:36 am

crazyhamster wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:25 am

Interesting, that very last line calls back over to RR's "Does Truth Matter?" thread. To many people, I believe they don't think it does. I DO think it does, because whether they like it or not, reality affects them.

For what it's worth, I think this tale is yet another one of those "faith-promoting stories", that have little if any background in a real event. I wonder if the story ever detailed what the "bunch of questions" were? I'm betting not, because that makes it easier for the listener to assume it applies to their own questions.
Wow, you're right. I bet they can be traced back to the same rumored story, which would tell you how rare or nonexistent such narratives are and how badly leaders want to believe and promote them.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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