Monday, October 08, 2007

Bloggernacle trashes Sister Beck's talk

Most of the time, I enjoy bloggernacle discussions.  But sometimes I feel there is too much criticism of Church leaders.  This is one of those times.

My children, grandchildren, neighbors, and friends, are all aware of my participation in the bloggernacle.  For that reason, I want to clearly state my objection to some of what is currently being said about a talk given Sunday morning by the Church's Relief Society general president, Julie B. Beck.

More than 30 years ago, I took an institute class at USU.  The Church-published manual contains a chapter on "The Purpose and Importance of General Conference" and includes this comment from President Spencer W. Kimball:

"Let no arrogant, self-assured, self-styled intellectual discard the truths there taught and the testimonies there borne, nor argue with the messages and instructions there given." (Living Prophets for a Living Church, 1974, p.92.)

I have always loved President Kimball's fearlessness.  He continues:

"I hope you will get your copy of the [Ensign] and underline the pertinent thoughts and keep it with you for continual reference.  No text or volume outside the standard works of the Church should have such a prominent place in your personal library shelves." (Ibid.)

Fourth-Sunday priesthood and Relief Society lessons are taught from selected addresses in the most recent general conference issue of the Ensign.  Sister Beck's talk will likely be discussed in many wards.  I believe her message is important and entirely appropriate.


Blogger Unknown said...

Nice to see a new post up, Gary. It certainly was a lively weekend in the Bloggernacle, wasn't it? It's worth pointing out that those commenters who were on the unhappy end of the Beck response spectrum actually listened to Sister Beck's talk and pondered it, as directed by President Kimball, so they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. They just disagreed with some of what they thought was said.

It's also worth pointing out that some of those who were unhappy found, after further discussion and conversation, that there was more to the talk than was apparent on a first hearing. Talking about it helped some unhappy people see a different and more positive message in the talk. That, too, seems like a positive result compared with just stewing over it for weeks or months.

10/09/2007 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


According to your own word, you were "travelling over the weekend and didn't get any real-time Con-blogging in."   I, on the other hand, was following the blogs even as my wife and I were watching conference live on TV.   It was a dizzying event as the number of blog articles and comments about Sister Beck's talk so quickly proliferated.

Unfortunately, bloggernacle discussions are not private discussions.   Within a few hours Google indexes our comments (good and bad) and makes them available worldwide.   That equates to instant publishing.

Please don't read my post as a blanket condemnation of the entire bloggernacle.   However, some participants do in fact presume to "argue with the messages and instructions" given in Sister Beck's talk and that is not, as directed by President Kimball, what they are supposed to be doing.

10/09/2007 03:26:00 AM  
Blogger Carl Youngblood said...

Actually, Gary, I think it's unfair to say that "The Bloggernacle" was overly critical. Some of my favorite LDS blogs (Times & Seasons and Millennial Star) were very positive about conference and Sister Beck's talk.

I thought it was excellent, and I even believe in evolution! Sorry, couldn't resist ;-)

10/10/2007 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...


I quote a Salt Lake Tribune article that was linked on the Times & Seasons sidebar two days ago:

-------------- quote --------------
"Perhaps the most controversial speaker on Sunday, though, was Julie Beck, the new president of the church's all-women Relief Society, who talked about the powerful influence of motherhood....

"The speech triggered a firestorm of criticism on the Mormon weblog timesandseasons.org from listeners who objected to Beck's stereotyping of women's roles or guilt-inducing comments about the necessity of being the best mothers in the world."
-------------- end quote --------------

"Firestorm of criticism" accurately describes many of the articles and comments that were posted about Sister Beck's so-called "controversial" talk.   But again, please don't read my post as a blanket condemnation of the entire bloggernacle.   I also noticed, as you did, that some commenters were very positive about the talk.

10/10/2007 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought the talk by Sister Beck was great and wise counsel. 1 Nephi 16:2 says, "And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center."

10/13/2007 03:39:00 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I love every word of her talk. People are getting offended because of the way we/they lead their lives, working is pushed more, waiting to have kids is pushed more. Every word she spoke came from the Lord...like all the other authorities talk. I think it's great that they are pushing this topic and being more open. I think it's very very sad that woman are getting offended buy what she said. I am not a mom and I thought it was great council. Heck my husband and I cant' get pregnant to save our life and I was NOT offended in the least bit.

12/07/2007 02:04:00 PM  

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