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President Nelson Press Conference - LGBT Issues


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52 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Yes. I think had I been advising them I'd have suggested waiting a little while before doing a press conference or doing a one on one discussion with a reporter they're familiar with. Overall though the press conference seems a predictable mistake. That's not a criticism. I think their heart is in the right place. But that was just very awkward at best.

I agree.  I'm not sure why they felt it was necessary.  Much of it really made me cringe even though I know these men are good, loving men.  They seemed so old and out of touch and I hated watching much of it transpire (and honestly felt bad for them at times).  Many feel they just gave the same answer over and over to each question (God loves you....we love you....we are all children of God....etc.).  Not that this is not an important message, it is....

But read this exchange( https://www.sltrib.com/religion/local/2018/01/17/commentary-patriarchy-is-alive-and-well-in-the-mormon-church-witness-new-leaders-response-to-tribunes-question/ ):

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Stack • “So under President Monson we saw some real advances toward gender equity — the lowering of the missionary age, especially for sisters, and also adding women to some of the executive committees, but the church leadership is still white, male, American. What will you do in your presidency to bring women, people of color, and international members into decision-making for the church?”

Nelson • “That’s a good question, Peggy. I hope I can be forgiven if I say I have a special place in my heart for you. I know your mother. I know your father. I know all four of your grandparents. And I know your family — your missionary children who’ve distinguished themselves with wonderful service — so Peggy is special to me. Um, now what was your question?”

 

That was sweet, but then he went on and still did not answer her question until she asked again:

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“What about women?”

 

Edited by ALarson
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48 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

Yes. I think had I been advising them I'd have suggested waiting a little while before doing a press conference or doing a one on one discussion with a reporter they're familiar with. Overall though the press conference seems a predictable mistake. That's not a criticism. I think their heart is in the right place. But that was just very awkward at best. Further they should realize after Prop-8 no one's going to give them much leeway for misspeaking.

They really are trying. Some of those interviews for young adults demonstrate it too. It's just that I don't think they're working. Maybe that's partially the age gap in language/social understanding. Maybe it's their age and cognitive state making it hard to think quickly in such formats. (Again not in the least a criticism) However it's just not working the way they want. This goes back to me thinking it's not their intents but just their ability to communicate what they want to communicate in these formats.

These are brilliant men with tons of experience and great spirituality. While I've not met Nelson or Oaks, I've been around Eyring and you quickly know he's a prophet. But they're not playing to their strengths right now.

I guess things boil down to the expectations each of us harbored prior to watching the press conference.

Was I expecting a breezy showing of banter and repartee?  Nope.  These men are presenting themselves in a congenial and friendly, but nevertheless solemn and decorous, way.

Was I expecting their off-the-cuff remarks to be as polished and poised and well-framed as a General Conference talk?  Well, not really.

Are these men expert at handling press conferences?  Well, not really.  

Can these men improve in their interactions with the press?  Sure.  

Is conducting smooth and fluid press conferences a prominent aspect of their calling?  Nope.

Is most of this stuff just a matter of taste?  Eye-of-the-beholder?  Yes, I think it is.  

Thanks,

-Smac

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7 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

I'm so glad they had a press conference, this was very rare and provided unique insight.  The new leaders absolutely sound like they are old men in their 80s and 90s.  Their responses were unpolished and they sounded very much like products of their generation and their ideas on topics like this LGBT topic or the role of women are very much in line with the thinking of their generation in general.

All that being said, I also was very disappointed in the answers on the LGBT question.  The response from Elder Nelson essentially equating the LGBT community as a "challenge"

Did he? Where?

The "challenge," of course, referred to the experience of those who struggle with same sex attraction. (To those who have given up struggling, naturally it isn't a "challenge" at all.)

7 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

and talking about keeping the commandments.  This response was actually much less charitable than more crafted messages like what we see presented on the https://mormonandgay.lds.org/ website or other media where some form of outreach and nuance is attempted to this community. 

You think keeping the commandments is not "charitable?"

I suppose you think Jesus was being "much less charitable" when He told the woman taken in adultery to "go and sin no more," do you?

7 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

What this tells me is that Nelson and Oaks personally have more traditionally bigoted positions on this issue than what is getting approved for public consumption.

What that remark tells me is that you have a  more "progressively" bigoted attitude towards anyone who disagrees with you than you like to let on.

7 hours ago, hope_for_things said:

  Throughout this press conference I felt like I was seeing the men behind the curtain, and just how regular people these guys are, with prejudices and backwards thinking from their generations.  Sure, they are sweet and nice and kind like many grandparents that I'm sure everyone has interacted with, and I appreciate that they want to serve and that they have some wisdom to share.  But if I had a choice between having someone their age running a huge institution, or a younger and more dynamic person, I would take the younger person every day of the week.  

I'm sure there are plenty of institutions being run by younger people who share your ageism, as well as your "progressive" prejudices.

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23 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

he was seething with rage 

I don't think it is a good idea to go the hyperbolic route when criticizing others of misinterpretation, especially intentional, as it appears you are doing the same thing.

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5 hours ago, stemelbow said:

I was taken aback not just by the response to the LGBTQ question but nearly all of them.  I don't think they were able to address any of them specifically, at least with much clarity or thought.  I found it quite embarrassing really.

Romans 1:

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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25 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I haven’t read this thread thoroughly, but if what they were hoping to achieve was capitulation and compromise pertaining to the doctrines and values of the Church, yes, they did fail in that respect. 

I took them as trying to communicate that they understood the issue, loved the people, but that the doctrine wasn't changing. So from what I saw they were trying to make the same sorts of points that Uchtdorf has communicated better. I got what they were trying to say, but if their target audience were those concerned on these issues communicating that they care I don't think it worked. But if one takes the issue as just status quo then they were successful. However I hope they were after more than that. (Although I do agree with you that unfortunately the main critics would not be satisfied with anything less than full capitulation - but I think there's more they were going for)

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On 1/17/2018 at 11:26 AM, cinepro said:

First, let me say that the press conference was perhaps the first time I've ever heard President Nelson speak off-the-cuff (i.e. not reading prepared remarks), and I was not instilled with confidence.  I enjoyed listening to the first presentation where the First Presidency was introduced, but my heart sank when listening to the Press Conference afterward.

Specifically, the first question and response, heard at 2:05:10 here:

I listened to this driving in to work today, and I just couldn't believe it.  The question was "how do you plan to approach LGBT issues?"

And the answer was to remember (1) that God loves all His children, and (2) that everyone has to keep the commandments.

Can you only recognise an answer as an answer if it's the one you want?

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Pardon, but this strikes me as unpalatably condescending. 

I know I would not be able to come close to what they are capable of doing.  I would never even try it.  That is why I find it so truly admirable with no qualification of "for their age".  I am often stunned by what I see the Apostles accomplishing or just being willing to try.  I am not sure how that is condescending recognizing that someone is doing much better than the vast majority of people in the world, but are not masters at something new for them and possible reasons why that is.  

I know a few older people (as in 80s or more) who still delight in trying new things, but most elderly are not in my experience.  This is often because of biology, for example taste fades with age so novelty in food is likely not as enjoyable, using tried and true just works better.  Also not being able to hear as well can interfere with enjoyment of new experiences.  I have hearing issues because of tinnitus and it impedes enjoyment of concerts, for example.  I know some elderly who get too frustrated with church because of not being able to understand what the speakers are saying (because of identifying what is being said, not comprehension).  Plus I have pain and restlessness sitting for periods of time, I am well aware that anyone having stiffness or even minor aches and pains will be finding it harder to concentrate on what is going on around them.

Most 30 and 40 year olds are not that much into novelty either in the ways they want to exercise control over the world.  They want to control how they experience novelty in my observations.  I just think the need to control one's surroundings and experiences becomes more of an imperative when physical abilities start to diminish, which is what happens with most elderly people as well as the chronically ill.  I also think the comfort of being up on the latest thing to impress others dims with age, one is less concerned with what others think...at least in number, if not in intensity.  I think this is wisdom, not something detrimental even if I see peer pressure and desire to look good in others' eyes as potentially a good thing for pushing kids and adults out of their comfort zone.

I figure most people are pretty set in their ways by the time they hit 30 from what I have seen.  The only reason the younger generation might be more comfortable in social media is because they have been brought up in it, not because they are any more adaptable than the rest of humanity...learning languages is a great example in my opinion of how the brain works when to be a master, it has to learn new ways of thinking.  The older one gets, the harder this becomes unless one has been working on building new complexities already in language areas (the more languages one knows, the easier it is to learn a new one, http://www.medicaldaily.com/leaving-mother-tongue-why-languages-are-so-hard-learn-and-which-are-easiest-332784 ).  I think being in front of the public is equivalent for many to learning a new language.  If the new language is similar to current experiences (frequent use of social media, for example, in the analogy with press conferences gives youth an advantage, speaking in conferences gives GAs an advantage), it will come more naturally.  More time put into living the language, not just learning the textbook stuff, is necessary for fluency.

Also, recognizing that someone has a huge load of experience in other things that may be difficult to put aside when working on something new to me is being realistic.  It does not in the least bit detract from what they are able to do in other ways.  My dad was fantastic at getting things done in terms of finances and services to his dying day.  My father in law learned how to take care of his wife as well as any nurse after she experienced brain damage in an accident until his body was exhausted.  

With less energy and a less cooperative body, why would anyone be surprised that older people have to choose what to expend that energy on?  Trying new things and learning to think in new ways can take a tremendous amount of mental energy and often physical energy at any age.  If you don't have to, why should anyone get annoyed when you don't if you are putting that energy into other good things?

The Apostles have huge responsibilities and likely at this time little spare time to spend on press conference prep, even those that are giving press conferences more often worldwide (I was doing the FM news service for awhile and there was a number of international events involving GAs so many involved in such are probably more familiar with press conferences more than most people, but they still might not have time to practice becoming masters at it given how many other things they are out there accomplishing and getting accomplished by others).  That they were willing to do a new variation on the familiar theme anyway, to take the risk is remarkable...and I don't mean "at their age" with that.  The sacrifices these men are making are uncountable as well as very meaningful, in my opinion, including getting in front of a camera when they would rather be spending time mourning and comforting their loved ones.  Instead they are choosing to get up there in public comforting and reassuring others.  And they are probably well aware of how well they are likely to do, but think it is more important to think of the needs of others than looking perfect.

Edited by Calm
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Quote

 

Was I expecting their off-the-cuff remarks to be as polished and poised and well-framed as a General Conference talk?  Well, not really.

Are these men expert at handling press conferences?  Well, not really.  

Can these men improve in their interactions with the press?  Sure.  

Is conducting smooth and fluid press conferences a prominent aspect of their calling?  Nope.

Is most of this stuff just a matter of taste?  Eye-of-the-beholder?  Yes, I think it is.

 

Do you see recognizing the lack of being masters of the art of press conferences as inappropriate?

Personally I am grateful they aren't so concerned that they are spending a lot of time polishing the act.  I tend to start to wonder how much time is put into working on other stuff when I see people with really polished performances.  A few moments of feeling too uncomfortable to watch the press conference does not deprive me of being able to derive great benefit from reading and even watching many conference and other talks or written works.

Bottomline is the Apostles are not performers.  Some have natural abilities that would make them great performers if they chose to be that, but I am very grateful that instead they have been chosen and been willing to make the sacrifices to do God's work instead to the best of their extensive (but still limited since they are mortals at this point in their existence) abilities.

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