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The church's new 'international area organization adviser' position.


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2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Some feel that way, yes.  I'm not sure how prevalent the sentiment is.

Yes.

I'm not sure that's accurate.  I try to keep "feelings" in their appropriate sphere.

To an extent, yes.

I'm not much into posting about feelings.  That doesn't mean I don't have them, though.  Or recognize them in others.  Or appreciate their significance.  

But again, I want to keep them in their sphere.  

 

There is a very fine line, if any, between “I feel” and “I think.”  If you replace “feel” with “think” in the above,  you might be able to ascertain why you are seen as, well, dismissive of women. 

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7 hours ago, juliann said:

There is a very fine line, if any, between “I feel” and “I think.”  If you replace “feel” with “think” in the above,  you might be able to ascertain why you are seen as, well, dismissive of women. 

Unlike you and me, I find smac97 to be one of the more level headed members of the board.

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8 hours ago, juliann said:

There is a very fine line, if any, between “I feel” and “I think.”  

With respect, I disagree.  "I think" denotes, or should denote, concepts more along the lines of reasoning, analysis, weighing of evidence, and so on.  "I feel," on the other hand, denotes, well, feelings.  Feelings can be rational or irrational.  Feelings can be influenced, sometimes even heavily so, by irrelevencies and prejudices.  Feelings can be based on substantial ignorance.  But because feelings can be strong, they are sometimes privileged over reasoning and evidence-based analysis.

8 hours ago, juliann said:

If you replace “feel” with “think” in the above,  you might be able to ascertain why you are seen as, well, dismissive of women. 

And once again Juliann personalizes a thread.

And once again Juliann imports the Gender Wars into a thread.

Anyhoo, my response is: Meh.  I've said nothing that can reasonably be construed as "dismissive of women."  I started this thread to highlight a point of improvement in and by the Church in relation to women.  

Thanks,

-Smac

 

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1 hour ago, CA Steve said:

I am not even sure what this sentence means.

In other words, “unlike how I (Atlantic Mike) feel about you, I find find smac97 to be one of the more level headed members of the board.”

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13 hours ago, smac97 said:

Some feel that way, yes.  I'm not sure how prevalent the sentiment is.

Yes.

I'm not sure that's accurate.  I try to keep "feelings" in their appropriate sphere.

To an extent, yes.

I'm not much into posting about feelings.  That doesn't mean I don't have them, though.  Or recognize them in others.  Or appreciate their significance.  

But again, I want to keep them in their sphere.  

No need.  I think you've assumed a bit about me, but that's no biggie.

Thanks,

-Smac

I appreciate you being ok with me staying. I wasn't going to come back to the thread because I wanted to help maintain the integrity of the board, but I started to think that it wouldn't be using the things I am trying to learn from the books I have been reading.

I want to really listen to you here. This is not a trap I am trying to set. I am just trying to understand. 

You think there are places where feelings can be spoken and places where they should not be spoken. This board isn't the place where feelings shouldn't matter.  And our feelings also shouldn't matter when it comes to how the Lord directs his kingdom.

1 hour ago, smac97 said:

With respect, I disagree.  "I think" denotes, or should denote, concepts more along the lines of reasoning, analysis, weighing of evidence, and so on.  "I feel," on the other hand, denotes, well, feelings.  Feelings can be rational or irrational.  Feelings can be influenced, sometimes even heavily so, by irrelevencies and prejudices.  Feelings can be based on substantial ignorance.  But because feelings can be strong, they are sometimes privileged over reasoning and evidence-based analysis.

 

You think that feelings are unreliable or at least not as reliable as thinking is. We sometimes make them more important than the analysis that is more reliable.  

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And once again Juliann personalizes a thread.

And once again Juliann imports the Gender Wars into a thread.

Anyhoo, my response is: Meh.  I've said nothing that can reasonably be construed as "dismissive of women."  I started this thread to highlight a point of improvement in and by the Church in relation to women.  

Thanks,

-Smac

 

 

Edited by Rain
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18 hours ago, Vanguard said:

My concern is that because there are those who legitimately feel unwanted and disrespected (and I am not trivializing the feeling), the Church should therefore show action to assuage their concerns.

I share that concern.

"I have strong emotions/feelings regarding X (about the Church), therefore my emotions are determinative in how the Church should proceed" just does not work for me.  It is a recipe for mayhem.

Now, if a person has strong feelings about X, and has a proposed course of action for the Church to pursue, and can use reasoning / analysis / evidence to substantiate and justify that course of action, I'm all ears.  But in the main, I just don't feel particularly inclined to go along with the I-feel-strongly-about-this-though-I-have-nothing-particularly-cognizable-to-address-it-but-if-you-do-anything-other-than-huzzah-me-and-my-feelings-you-are-lacking-empathy-and-are-a-terrible-person stuff, particularly because it seems to be predicated on guilt-tripping.  I note how comfortable Juliann is with publicly accusing me of being "dismissive of women."  That's a pretty serious charge, and I see it as a bullying tactic.  It's not based on reasoning or evidence, and is instead an accusation intended to shame into silence someone with whom Juliann disagrees (me). 

This tactic generally doesn't work for me, largely because I work in a field where men disagree with women, and women disagree with men, as a matter of course.  Gender just isn't part of the equation in my communications with other lawyers, or with judges on the bench.  I interact with female lawyers all the time in adversarial contexts, and I virtually never see tears or emotive pleas from them. In fact, the only example I can think of in 19 years of experience is when I was clerking for a judge up in Tacoma, and a female lawyer nearly went to pieces during a hearing on a criminal case. She was pretty much on the verge of tears (I'm not sure why). The judge had little patience with this attorney, told her to stand up straight, take a few deep breaths, collect her thoughts, regain her composure, and present her argument. Unfortunately, the attorney couldn't quite do all of that. I think she was just too nervous.

After the hearing, I had a discussion with the judge back in her chambers.  She asked me if I thought she had been too hard on the lawyer.  I said maybe a bit.  The judge responded with something like this: "Well, I didn't.  She's an attorney representing a defendant in a criminal case.  I wouldn't do her any favors by coddling her and her emotions.  When she's in court she needs to be held to the same standard as is expected of every attorney that walks through the door."

In retrospect, I think that discussion has had an ongoing impact on me as pertaining to this board.  This forum is akin to a courtroom in that it is an adversarial construct.  Many people don't come here because it is an echo chamber.  Many of the discussions here involve people who do not agree with each other, and so come here to hash out ideas and exchange viewpoints.  The board rules provide measures to ensure some base level of civility and common decency, but otherwise people are free to disagree with each other.

So there's my background.  I am not, as Juliann falsely claims, "dismissive of women," nor am I even dismissive of emotions.  I just don't think an individual's personal feelings, isolated and in and of themselves, carry much probative weight in terms of persuading me to accept/reject or support/oppose a proposition or argument (heck, we aren't even talking about a proposition or argument, just a bit of carping against the Church).

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I'm sure it has occurred to you there are probably many women who do feel 'wanted' and 'respected' despite the fact GC is dominated by male speakers.

Yep.  As long as we're trading anecdotes, I asked my wife what she thought of this last General Conference.  She was quite happy with it.  I also asked her about her reaction to the new "international area organization adviser" callings, and she said she thought they were a great idea.  I also asked her if she felt concerned about there being only two female speakers.  She said something like "Of course not, there are are not that many female leaders, and they speak all the time.  We had a ton of sisters speak in October."  I went back and checked the speakers during the October 2020 General Conference, and found the following:

Saturday Morning Session

  • Moving Forward - Russell M. Nelson
  • We Will Prove Them Herewith - David A. Bednar
  • Becoming like Him - Scott D. Whiting
  • ***Eyes to See - Michelle D. Craig
  • Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity - Quentin L. Cook
  • Recommended to the Lord - Ronald A. Rasband
  • Love Your Enemies - Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday Afternoon Session

  • Sustainable Societies - D. Todd Christofferson
  • Finding Joy in Christ - Steven J. Lund
  • All Nations, Kindreds, and Tongues - Gerrit W. Gong
  • There Was Bread - W. Christopher Waddell
  • The Exquisite Gift of the Son - Matthew S. Holland
  • The Culture of Christ - William K. Jackson
  • God Will Do Something Unimaginable - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Women’s Session

  • ***By Union of Feeling We Obtain Power with God - Sharon Eubank
  • ***Keep the Change - Becky Craven
  • ***The Healing Power of Jesus Christ - Cristina B. Franco
  • Sisters in Zion - Henry B. Eyring
  • Be of Good Cheer - Dallin H. Oaks
  • Embrace the Future with Faith - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Morning Session

  • Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always - M. Russell Ballard
  • ***Peace, Be Still - Lisa L. Harkness
  • Seek Christ in Every Thought - Ulisses Soares
  • I Believe in Angels - Carlos A. Godoy
  • We Talk of Christ - Neil L. Andersen
  • Let God Prevail - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Tested, Proved, and Polished  Henry B. Eyring
  • Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work, and Count It All Joy! - Jeremy R. Jaggi
  • Highly Favored of the Lord - Gary E. Stevenson
  • Ask, Seek, and Knock - Milton Camargo
  • Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God - Dale G. Renlund
  • Enduring Power - Kelly R. Johnson
  • Waiting on the Lord - Jeffrey R. Holland
  • A New Normal - Russell M. Nelson

So there were 34 talks.  Of those, 20 were from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.  Of the remaining 14, five (35.71%) were from women, who comprise 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church.  

So if we are really counting noses, if we are reducing the value of General Conference speakers down to their gender and nothing else (a risible exercise, but I'll play along), then female leadership speakers were over-represented 4.64 times their numbers in October 2020.  They were also over-represented in the April 2021 General Conference (taking 11.76% of the speaking slots, despite comprising 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church).

Anyway, I also conveyed to my wife some of the sentiments expressed on this thread (Tacenda characterizing the new callings as "window dressing" (echoed by Juliann) and "limit{ing} women speakers during conference" and not "allow{ing} more diversity in the speakers at conference," Juliann's characterization of two women speakers at General Conference as "shocking" (as in not enough) and that the Church doesn't value women speakers ("If they valued women speakers.....")), and she (my wife) said "It sounds like those people are looking for ways to be offended."  As regarding Tacenda's commend about a lack of "diversity," my wife was really surprised.  She said something like "Did that person even watch General Conference?  Sister Aburto is from Nicaragua.  Elder Dube is from Zimbabwe.  Elder Mutombo (she couldn't remember his name) is from the Congo.  And many others.  There were speakers from all over the world!"

I think she may have a point.

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They are elated when hearing from our leaders and do not entertain these types of issues nor do they desire change. What about them? And do you really think that those who you accuse of 'knock[ing] down feelings' would fare better if they 'attempted' to listen empathetically? And what happens if nothing changes with female speakers? You'd be ok because you were empathetically listened to? I would venture to say there would still be the same issue and the individual would be accused of expediting you and giving you lip service. And on and on it would go... 

Fair points, these.

Bluebell criticized me, sort of obliquely, by suggesting that "It's really hard to 'mourn with those that mourn' if you are busy telling someone there is no reason to be mourning."  This is the sort of rhetoric I find problematic.  The context was that Pres. Oaks "thanked all the brethren for their talks and forgot that Sister Aburto spoke as well," and that this had created a "small controversy."

Holy cow.  What a trivial nitpick.  This has caused members of the Church to "mourn?"  Seriously?  And I'm supposed to go along with that?  I'm supposed to validate that?  I'm supposed to "mourn with those that mourn" about Pres. Oaks forgetting to publicly thank Sis. Aburto?  And I'm lacking in empathy and if I don't?

No.  I just can't get on board with that.  We are under covenant to sustain the leaders of the Church.  That has to mean something.  And I find the supposed injured feelings caused by this "controversy" to be unserious and immature.

There are tough days ahead for the members of the Church.  I think we need to toughen up a bit.  A lot actually.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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Unlike you and me, I find smac97 to be one of the more level headed members of the board.

Unlike how he feels about himself, he thinks spense is one of the more level-headed members of the board.  Time to head for the hills with our hair on fire if true.

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I share that concern.

"I have strong emotions/feelings regarding X (about the Church), therefore my emotions are determinative in how the Church should proceed" just does not work for me.  It is a recipe for mayhem.

Now, if a person has strong feelings about X, and has a proposed course of action for the Church to pursue, and can use reasoning / analysis / evidence to substantiate and justify that course of action, I'm all ears.  But in the main, I just don't feel particularly inclined to go along with the I-feel-strongly-about-this-though-I-have-nothing-particularly-cognizable-to-address-it-but-if-you-do-anything-other-than-huzzah-me-and-my-feelings-you-are-lacking-empathy-and-are-a-terrible-person stuff, particularly because it seems to be predicated on guilt-tripping.  I note how comfortable Juliann is with publicly accusing me of being "dismissive of women."  That's a pretty serious charge, and I see it as a bullying tactic.  It's not based on reasoning or evidence, and is instead an accusation intended to shame into silence someone with whom Juliann disagrees (me). 

[snip]

Bluebell criticized me, sort of obliquely, by suggesting that "It's really hard to 'mourn with those that mourn' if you are busy telling someone there is no reason to be mourning."  This is the sort of rhetoric I find problematic.  The context was that Pres. Oaks "thanked all the brethren for their talks and forgot that Sister Aburto spoke as well," and that this had created a "small controversy."

Holy cow.  What a trivial nitpick.  This has caused members of the Church to "mourn?"  Seriously?  And I'm supposed to go along with that?  I'm supposed to validate that?  I'm supposed to "mourn with those that mourn" about Pres. Oaks forgetting to publicly thank Sis. Aburto?  And I'm lacking in empathy and if I don't?

No.  I just can't get on board with that.  We are under covenant to sustain the leaders of the Church.  That has to mean something.  And I find the supposed injured feelings caused by this "controversy" to be unserious and immature.

There are tough days ahead for the members of the Church.  I think we need to toughen up a bit.  A lot actually.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Smac, doubling down on rigidity and strict adherence to the letter of the law on this board since 2004...

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11 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I share that concern.

"I have strong emotions/feelings regarding X (about the Church), therefore my emotions are determinative in how the Church should proceed" just does not work for me.  It is a recipe for mayhem.

Now, if a person has strong feelings about X, and has a proposed course of action for the Church to pursue, and can use reasoning / analysis / evidence to substantiate and justify that course of action, I'm all ears.  But in the main, I just don't feel particularly inclined to go along with the I-feel-strongly-about-this-though-I-have-nothing-particularly-cognizable-to-address-it-but-if-you-do-anything-other-than-huzzah-me-and-my-feelings-you-are-lacking-empathy-and-are-a-terrible-person stuff, particularly because it seems to be predicated on guilt-tripping.  I note how comfortable Juliann is with publicly accusing me of being "dismissive of women."  That's a pretty serious charge, and I see it as a bullying tactic.  It's not based on reasoning or evidence, and is instead an accusation intended to shame into silence someone with whom Juliann disagrees (me). 

You think that in general if you you state a feeling you should also state a plan of action if you want something changed.  Sharing emotions without sharing a plan accomplishes nothing.  That makes you frustrated and that feel like the scape goat.

11 minutes ago, smac97 said:

This tactic generally doesn't work for me, largely because I work in a field where men disagree with women, and women disagree with men, as a matter of course.  Gender just isn't part of the equation in my communications with other lawyers, or with judges on the bench.  I interact with female lawyers all the time in adversarial contexts, and I virtually never see tears or emotive pleas from them. In fact, the only example I can think of in 19 years of experience is when I was clerking for a judge up in Tacoma, and a female lawyer nearly went to pieces during a hearing on a criminal case. She was pretty much on the verge of tears (I'm not sure why). The judge had little patience with this attorney, told her to stand up straight, take a few deep breaths, collect her thoughts, regain her composure, and present her argument. Unfortunately, the attorney couldn't quite do all of that. I think she was just too nervous.

After the hearing, I had a discussion with the judge back in her chambers.  She asked me if I thought she had been too hard on the lawyer.  I said maybe a bit.  The judge responded with something like this: "Well, I didn't.  She's an attorney representing a defendant in a criminal case.  I wouldn't do her any favors by coddling her and her emotions.  When she's in court she needs to be held to the same standard as is expected of every attorney that walks through the door."

In retrospect, I think that discussion has had an ongoing impact on me as pertaining to this board.  This forum is akin to a courtroom in that it is an adversarial construct.  Many people don't come here because it is an echo chamber.  Many of the discussions here involve people who do not agree with each other, and so come here to hash out ideas and exchange viewpoints.  The board rules provide measures to ensure some base level of civility and common decency, but otherwise people are free to disagree with each other.

You consider that this board is a courtroom or sorts.  That emotions get in the way of working out the ideas and viewpoints.

11 minutes ago, smac97 said:

So there's my background.  I am not, as Juliann falsely claims, "dismissive of women," nor am I even dismissive of emotions.  I just don't think an individual's personal feelings, isolated and in and of themselves, carry much probative weight in terms of persuading me to accept/reject or support/oppose a proposition or argument (heck, we aren't even talking about a proposition or argument, just a bit of carping against the Church).

Yep.  As long as we're trading anecdotes, I asked my wife what she thought of this last General Conference.  She was quite happy with it.  I also asked her about her reaction to the new "international area organization adviser" callings, and she said she thought they were a great idea.  I also asked her if she felt concerned about there being only two female speakers.  She said something like "Of course not, there are are not that many female leaders, and they speak all the time.  We had a ton of sisters speak in October."  I went back and checked the speakers during the October 2020 General Conference, and found the following:

Saturday Morning Session

  • Moving Forward - Russell M. Nelson
  • We Will Prove Them Herewith - David A. Bednar
  • Becoming like Him - Scott D. Whiting
  • ***Eyes to See - Michelle D. Craig
  • Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity - Quentin L. Cook
  • Recommended to the Lord - Ronald A. Rasband
  • Love Your Enemies - Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday Afternoon Session

  • Sustainable Societies - D. Todd Christofferson
  • Finding Joy in Christ - Steven J. Lund
  • All Nations, Kindreds, and Tongues - Gerrit W. Gong
  • There Was Bread - W. Christopher Waddell
  • The Exquisite Gift of the Son - Matthew S. Holland
  • The Culture of Christ - William K. Jackson
  • God Will Do Something Unimaginable - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Women’s Session

  • ***By Union of Feeling We Obtain Power with God - Sharon Eubank
  • ***Keep the Change - Becky Craven
  • ***The Healing Power of Jesus Christ - Cristina B. Franco
  • Sisters in Zion - Henry B. Eyring
  • Be of Good Cheer - Dallin H. Oaks
  • Embrace the Future with Faith - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Morning Session

  • Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always - M. Russell Ballard
  • ***Peace, Be Still - Lisa L. Harkness
  • Seek Christ in Every Thought - Ulisses Soares
  • I Believe in Angels - Carlos A. Godoy
  • We Talk of Christ - Neil L. Andersen
  • Let God Prevail - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Tested, Proved, and Polished  Henry B. Eyring
  • Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work, and Count It All Joy! - Jeremy R. Jaggi
  • Highly Favored of the Lord - Gary E. Stevenson
  • Ask, Seek, and Knock - Milton Camargo
  • Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God - Dale G. Renlund
  • Enduring Power - Kelly R. Johnson
  • Waiting on the Lord - Jeffrey R. Holland
  • A New Normal - Russell M. Nelson

So there were 34 talks.  Of those, 20 were from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.  Of the remaining 14, five (35.71%) were from women, who comprise 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church.  

So if we are really counting noses, if we are reducing the value of General Conference speakers down to their gender and nothing else (a risible exercise, but I'll play along), then female leadership speakers were over-represented 4.64 times their numbers in October 2020.  They were also over-represented in the April 2021 General Conference (taking 11.76% of the speaking slots, despite comprising 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church).

Anyway, I also conveyed to my wife some of the sentiments expressed on this thread (Tacenda characterizing the new callings as "window dressing" (echoed by Juliann) and "limit{ing} women speakers during conference" and not "allow{ing} more diversity in the speakers at conference," Juliann's characterization of two women speakers at General Conference as "shocking" (as in not enough) and that the Church doesn't value women speakers ("If they valued women speakers.....")), and she (my wife) said "It sounds like those people are looking for ways to be offended."  As regarding Tacenda's commend about a lack of "diversity," my wife was really surprised.  She said something like "Did that person even watch General Conference?  Sister Aburto is from Nicaragua.  Elder Dube is from Zimbabwe.  Elder Mutombo (she couldn't remember his name) is from the Congo.  And many others.  There were speakers from all over the world!"

I think she may have a point.

Fair points, these.

Bluebell criticized me, sort of obliquely, by suggesting that "It's really hard to 'mourn with those that mourn' if you are busy telling someone there is no reason to be mourning."  This is the sort of rhetoric I find problematic.  The context was that Pres. Oaks "thanked all the brethren for their talks and forgot that Sister Aburto spoke as well," and that this had created a "small controversy."

Holy cow.  What a trivial nitpick.  This has caused members of the Church to "mourn?"  Seriously?  And I'm supposed to go along with that?  I'm supposed to validate that?  I'm supposed to "mourn with those that mourn" about Pres. Oaks forgetting to publicly thank Sis. Aburto?  And I'm lacking in empathy and if I don't?

No.  I just can't get on board with that.  We are under covenant to sustain the leaders of the Church.  That has to mean something.  And I find the supposed injured feelings caused by this "controversy" to be unserious and immature. 

 

11 minutes ago, smac97 said:

There are tough days ahead for the members of the Church.  I think we need to toughen up a bit.  A lot actually.  

Thanks,

-Smac

You think that emotions over small things amount to criticizing leaders and that worries you.  you want to help make us stronger as a people by teaching not to use emotions and reason together instead.   

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4 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Bluebell criticized me, sort of obliquely, by suggesting that "It's really hard to 'mourn with those that mourn' if you are busy telling someone there is no reason to be mourning."  This is the sort of rhetoric I find problematic.  The context was that Pres. Oaks "thanked all the brethren for their talks and forgot that Sister Aburto spoke as well," and that this had created a "small controversy."

Holy cow.  What a trivial nitpick.  This has caused members of the Church to "mourn?"  Seriously?  And I'm supposed to go along with that?  I'm supposed to validate that?  I'm supposed to "mourn with those that mourn" about Pres. Oaks forgetting to publicly thank Sis. Aburto?  And I'm lacking in empathy and if I don't?

No.  I just can't get on board with that.  We are under covenant to sustain the leaders of the Church.  That has to mean something.  And I find the supposed injured feelings caused by this "controversy" to be unserious and immature.

There are tough days ahead for the members of the Church.  I think we need to toughen up a bit.  A lot actually.  

Thanks,

-Smac

I'm not trying to pick on you. 

But I honestly don't understand how you can 1) refuse to engage with or try to understand a woman's feelings on a woman's issue, 2) caricaturize those feelings you have spent zero effort trying to understand as "a trivial nitpick" that is basically absurd and then 3) claim in the same post that you are not dismissive of women.

The fact that your wife agrees with you (my husband agrees with me by the way.  I'm sure knowing that changes everything for you to the same extent that knowing your wife agrees with you changes it for me) and that you can get along with women at work isn't all that relevant to how you relate to women in the gospel who do not feel the way you want them to about some of their experiences in the church.

 

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13 minutes ago, Rain said:

I appreciate you being ok with me staying.  I wasn't going to come back to the thread because I wanted to help maintain the integrity of the board, but I started to think that it wouldn't be using the things I am trying to learn from the books I have been reading.

Happy to have you hear.  And to listen to what you have to say.

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

I want to really listen to you here. This is not a trap I am trying to set. I am just trying to understand. 

Okay.

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

You think there are places where feelings can be spoken and places where they should not be spoken.

Yes.  Time, place and manner.  How, when and where we express our viewpoints about the Church is an important part of keeping our covenants.

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

This board isn't the place where feelings shouldn't matter. 

No.  I'm not saying that.  I am saying that feelings are not, in and of themselves, determinative.  I am saying that this board is about discussion and debate.  We can and ought to be civil and courteous, but we should also allowed to express our viewpoints. 

If a viewpoint is based mostly/entirely on an individual's feelings/emotions, then there's not much to discuss.  Feelings, like tastes, are largely beyond the realm of reasonable discourse.  So there has to be something more.  Reasoning.  Evidence.  Analysis.  These can and ought to be used to substantiate and validate inwardly-held emotions, feelings, opinions, and so on.  

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

And our feelings also shouldn't matter when it comes to how the Lord directs his kingdom.

"How the Lord directs His kingdom" is up to the Lord.  Not us.  Not our feelings.

How the leaders of the Church carry out their mandated and discretionary duties is certainly something about which we can have feelings and opinions.  But even then, feelings alone are not determinative.  A feeling isn't reasonable or valid or righteous simply because it exists.  Hence the value that can come from reasoning, evidence, analysis, counsel, prayer, study, and so on.

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

You think that feelings are unreliable or at least not as reliable as thinking is.

Not quite.  I think that feelings have an important, but not dispositive or ultimately determinative, role to play in decisions we make in this life.  

I also members of the Church run the risk of over-privileging feelings because we claim to rely on the Spirit.  So a strong feeling about Issue X can be construed as a spiritual confirmation as to one's position for or against Issue X.  I think that people in the Church can and do confuse and conflate spiritual and emotional experiences.  Pres. Hunter put it this way: "I get concerned when it appears that strong emotion or free-flowing tears are equated with the presence of the Spirit. Certainly the Spirit of the Lord can bring strong emotional feelings, including tears, but that outward manifestation ought not to be confused with the presence of the Spirit itself."

Also, consider these remarks by Michael Ash:

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In a previous installment I explained that Roman Catholics take a three-legged tripod-like approach to determining truth—Scripture, Tradition, and the Pope. I believe that we Latter-day Saints are asked to take a four-legged approach to truth, like the four legs of a stool. These would include: Scripture, Prophets, Personal Revelation, and Reason. By utilizing the methodologies for all four of these tools, we have a better chance of accurately determining what is true.

I really like this.  Metaphorically speaking, a four-legged stool is going to be more sturdy, stable, and durable than a one-legged stool.  

13 minutes ago, Rain said:

We sometimes make them more important than the analysis that is more reliable.  

I think we sometimes don't keep feelings in their proper sphere and element.  I don't discount "feelings."  I acknowledge them.  I understand their import and value.  But I think they need to be kept within appropriate parameters.  A person can be overly-reliant on "feelings," to the exclusion of reasoning and evidence (the converse proposition is also true).

This year I will celebrate 25 years of being married to the most wonderful person I have ever met.  I am well and truly head over heels in love with my wife.  I have very strong feelings for her.  Love and affection.  Respect and admiration.  Devotion and fidelity.  Desires to protect and help her, and to provide for her.  I rely heavily on her insights and opinions.  I take her counsel very seriously.  And I think my wife reciprocates these things.  I have similar feelings for my children.  I value my family above everything else in life, save God alone.  These things, which I value most in life, are heavily affected by my emotions.  My feelings.  But over the course of the last 25 years I have come to understand that my feelings, to some extent, need to be constrained and molded and corrected.  So just because I feel anger doesn't mean that the emotion is justified, or that words or actions arising from that emotion are valid and appropriate.  The same goes for when I feel offended, or when I feel judgmental, or arrogant, and so on.  So I temper my reliance on feelings/emotions with reliance on reasoning, and prophetic counsel, and personal revelation (and with counsel from my wife, natch).

Thanks,

Smac

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18 minutes ago, ttribe said:

Smac, doubling down on rigidity and strict adherence to the letter of the law on this board since 2004...

Nope.

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40 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I share that concern.

"I have strong emotions/feelings regarding X (about the Church), therefore my emotions are determinative in how the Church should proceed" just does not work for me.  It is a recipe for mayhem.

Now, if a person has strong feelings about X, and has a proposed course of action for the Church to pursue, and can use reasoning / analysis / evidence to substantiate and justify that course of action, I'm all ears.  But in the main, I just don't feel particularly inclined to go along with the I-feel-strongly-about-this-though-I-have-nothing-particularly-cognizable-to-address-it-but-if-you-do-anything-other-than-huzzah-me-and-my-feelings-you-are-lacking-empathy-and-are-a-terrible-person stuff, particularly because it seems to be predicated on guilt-tripping.  I note how comfortable Juliann is with publicly accusing me of being "dismissive of women."  That's a pretty serious charge, and I see it as a bullying tactic.  It's not based on reasoning or evidence, and is instead an accusation intended to shame into silence someone with whom Juliann disagrees (me). 

This tactic generally doesn't work for me, largely because I work in a field where men disagree with women, and women disagree with men, as a matter of course.  Gender just isn't part of the equation in my communications with other lawyers, or with judges on the bench.  I interact with female lawyers all the time in adversarial contexts, and I virtually never see tears or emotive pleas from them. In fact, the only example I can think of in 19 years of experience is when I was clerking for a judge up in Tacoma, and a female lawyer nearly went to pieces during a hearing on a criminal case. She was pretty much on the verge of tears (I'm not sure why). The judge had little patience with this attorney, told her to stand up straight, take a few deep breaths, collect her thoughts, regain her composure, and present her argument. Unfortunately, the attorney couldn't quite do all of that. I think she was just too nervous.

After the hearing, I had a discussion with the judge back in her chambers.  She asked me if I thought she had been too hard on the lawyer.  I said maybe a bit.  The judge responded with something like this: "Well, I didn't.  She's an attorney representing a defendant in a criminal case.  I wouldn't do her any favors by coddling her and her emotions.  When she's in court she needs to be held to the same standard as is expected of every attorney that walks through the door."

In retrospect, I think that discussion has had an ongoing impact on me as pertaining to this board.  This forum is akin to a courtroom in that it is an adversarial construct.  Many people don't come here because it is an echo chamber.  Many of the discussions here involve people who do not agree with each other, and so come here to hash out ideas and exchange viewpoints.  The board rules provide measures to ensure some base level of civility and common decency, but otherwise people are free to disagree with each other.

So there's my background.  I am not, as Juliann falsely claims, "dismissive of women," nor am I even dismissive of emotions.  I just don't think an individual's personal feelings, isolated and in and of themselves, carry much probative weight in terms of persuading me to accept/reject or support/oppose a proposition or argument (heck, we aren't even talking about a proposition or argument, just a bit of carping against the Church).

Yep.  As long as we're trading anecdotes, I asked my wife what she thought of this last General Conference.  She was quite happy with it.  I also asked her about her reaction to the new "international area organization adviser" callings, and she said she thought they were a great idea.  I also asked her if she felt concerned about there being only two female speakers.  She said something like "Of course not, there are are not that many female leaders, and they speak all the time.  We had a ton of sisters speak in October."  I went back and checked the speakers during the October 2020 General Conference, and found the following:

Saturday Morning Session

  • Moving Forward - Russell M. Nelson
  • We Will Prove Them Herewith - David A. Bednar
  • Becoming like Him - Scott D. Whiting
  • ***Eyes to See - Michelle D. Craig
  • Hearts Knit in Righteousness and Unity - Quentin L. Cook
  • Recommended to the Lord - Ronald A. Rasband
  • Love Your Enemies - Dallin H. Oaks

Saturday Afternoon Session

  • Sustainable Societies - D. Todd Christofferson
  • Finding Joy in Christ - Steven J. Lund
  • All Nations, Kindreds, and Tongues - Gerrit W. Gong
  • There Was Bread - W. Christopher Waddell
  • The Exquisite Gift of the Son - Matthew S. Holland
  • The Culture of Christ - William K. Jackson
  • God Will Do Something Unimaginable - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Women’s Session

  • ***By Union of Feeling We Obtain Power with God - Sharon Eubank
  • ***Keep the Change - Becky Craven
  • ***The Healing Power of Jesus Christ - Cristina B. Franco
  • Sisters in Zion - Henry B. Eyring
  • Be of Good Cheer - Dallin H. Oaks
  • Embrace the Future with Faith - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Morning Session

  • Watch Ye Therefore, and Pray Always - M. Russell Ballard
  • ***Peace, Be Still - Lisa L. Harkness
  • Seek Christ in Every Thought - Ulisses Soares
  • I Believe in Angels - Carlos A. Godoy
  • We Talk of Christ - Neil L. Andersen
  • Let God Prevail - Russell M. Nelson

Sunday Afternoon Session

  • Tested, Proved, and Polished  Henry B. Eyring
  • Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work, and Count It All Joy! - Jeremy R. Jaggi
  • Highly Favored of the Lord - Gary E. Stevenson
  • Ask, Seek, and Knock - Milton Camargo
  • Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with God - Dale G. Renlund
  • Enduring Power - Kelly R. Johnson
  • Waiting on the Lord - Jeffrey R. Holland
  • A New Normal - Russell M. Nelson

So there were 34 talks.  Of those, 20 were from the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.  Of the remaining 14, five (35.71%) were from women, who comprise 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church.  

So if we are really counting noses, if we are reducing the value of General Conference speakers down to their gender and nothing else (a risible exercise, but I'll play along), then female leadership speakers were over-represented 4.64 times their numbers in October 2020.  They were also over-represented in the April 2021 General Conference (taking 11.76% of the speaking slots, despite comprising 7.69% of the general authorities/officers of the Church).

Anyway, I also conveyed to my wife some of the sentiments expressed on this thread (Tacenda characterizing the new callings as "window dressing" (echoed by Juliann) and "limit{ing} women speakers during conference" and not "allow{ing} more diversity in the speakers at conference," Juliann's characterization of two women speakers at General Conference as "shocking" (as in not enough) and that the Church doesn't value women speakers ("If they valued women speakers.....")), and she (my wife) said "It sounds like those people are looking for ways to be offended."  As regarding Tacenda's commend about a lack of "diversity," my wife was really surprised.  She said something like "Did that person even watch General Conference?  Sister Aburto is from Nicaragua.  Elder Dube is from Zimbabwe.  Elder Mutombo (she couldn't remember his name) is from the Congo.  And many others.  There were speakers from all over the world!"

I think she may have a point.

Fair points, these.

Bluebell criticized me, sort of obliquely, by suggesting that "It's really hard to 'mourn with those that mourn' if you are busy telling someone there is no reason to be mourning."  This is the sort of rhetoric I find problematic.  The context was that Pres. Oaks "thanked all the brethren for their talks and forgot that Sister Aburto spoke as well," and that this had created a "small controversy."

Holy cow.  What a trivial nitpick.  This has caused members of the Church to "mourn?"  Seriously?  And I'm supposed to go along with that?  I'm supposed to validate that?  I'm supposed to "mourn with those that mourn" about Pres. Oaks forgetting to publicly thank Sis. Aburto?  And I'm lacking in empathy and if I don't?

No.  I just can't get on board with that.  We are under covenant to sustain the leaders of the Church.  That has to mean something.  And I find the supposed injured feelings caused by this "controversy" to be unserious and immature.

There are tough days ahead for the members of the Church.  I think we need to toughen up a bit.  A lot actually.  

Thanks,

-Smac

Ha! All nicely said. It reminds me when I facilitate treatment groups around the principles of communication. Venturing into the lesson re: how to speak about one's feelings instead of accusing/attacking/disparaging, etc. the other. Invariably, someone will - while practicing the skill - say something to the effect, "I feel you are taking advantage of me and that you are actually a bully who doesn't care a wit about my well-being" or some such. In other words, the individual conflates the exercise of expressing a bona fide feeling with an opportunity to voice conclusions and/or cast aspersions about the other. Sound familiar? ; ) Amazing that otherwise quite intelligent and considerate folks can fall into this trap. And when called on it, too often they get to wrap themselves in the warm blanket of "Hey, I was only expressing my feelings" as though you were attacking a helpless puppy.

Also, I too spoke with my wife last night about the exact same thing. And she virtually had the same response yours did. Maybe they don't count though. I'm not sure anymore. ; ) I can't hypothesize about other women feeling the same exact way our wives do without being taken to task (see ttribe's response to my initial post). Amazing how he called me on this but failed to call Rain on doing the exact same thing. Agenda, anyone? ;o

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1 hour ago, ttribe said:
Quote

I'm not sure that's accurate.  I try to keep "feelings" in their appropriate sphere.

How do you define "appropriate sphere?"

Congruent with, rather than superior to, reasoning, evidence, prophetic counsel, and personal revelation.

Thanks,

-Smac

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24 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

Ha! All nicely said. It reminds me when I facilitate treatment groups around the principles of communication. Venturing into the lesson re: how to speak about one's feelings instead of accusing/attacking/disparaging, etc. the other. Invariably, someone will - while practicing the skill - say something to the effect, "I feel you are taking advantage of me and that you are actually a bully who doesn't care a wit about my well-being" or some such. In other words, the individual conflates the exercise of expressing a bona fide feeling with an opportunity to voice conclusions and/or cast aspersions about the other. Sound familiar? ; ) Amazing that otherwise quite intelligent and considerate folks can fall into this trap. And when called on it, too often they get to wrap themselves in the warm blanket of "Hey, I was only expressing my feelings" as though you were attacking a helpless puppy.

Also, I too spoke with my wife last night about the exact same thing. And she virtually had the same response yours did. Maybe they don't count though. I'm not sure anymore. ; ) I can't hypothesize about other women feeling the same exact way our wives do without being taken to task (see ttribe's response to my initial post). Amazing how he called me on this but failed to call Rain on doing the exact same thing. Agenda, anyone? ;o

I saw yours, not hers.

22 minutes ago, smac97 said:

Congruent with, rather than superior to, reasoning, evidence, prophetic counsel, and personal revelation.

Thanks,

-Smac

So, in that context, where are feelings appropriately discussed?

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Just now, ttribe said:

I saw yours, not hers.

So, in that context, where are feelings appropriately discussed?

Fair enough. I too overlook other's comments. Now that you know, do you have a comment?

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21 minutes ago, Rain said:

You think that in general if you you state a feeling you should also state a plan of action if you want something changed. 

Yes.  Merely complaining about an issue doesn't seem to do much.

This is particularly so as regarding the Church.  People here are complaining about the purported paucity of women speakers during General Conference.  Long on gripes, short on proposed remedies.

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

Sharing emotions without sharing a plan accomplishes nothing.  That makes you frustrated and that feel like the scape goat.

No.  Being publicly accused falsely makes me feel like a scape goat.

To disagree with Juliann is to be "dismissive of women?"  Hardly.  But it doesn't stop her from attacking me personally.  Over and over and over again.

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

You consider that this board is a courtroom or sorts. 

I consider it an adversarial forum.

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

That emotions get in the way of working out the ideas and viewpoints.

When emotions are given undue weight and attention, yes.

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

You think that emotions over small things

No.  Quite the contrary, I think emotions are very important.  But I think all sorts of problems can arise when people act mostly on emotion and less on reasoning, evidence, analysis, wise counsel, and personal revelation.

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

amount to criticizing leaders and that worries you. 

Sort of.  The Online Disinhibition Effect can have a corrosive effect on the individual member's relationship to the Church and its leaders.

I think we as members of the Church need to be more resilient. 

I think we need to not look for ways to be offended, or for things to publicly complaint about. 

I think we need to support and prayer for the leaders of the Church.

I think we need to consider the over-arching decency and goodness and sacrifice of the men and women who devote themselves to building up the Church, and who are then called to serve in leadership positions they did not seek, and who thereafter spend tremendous amounts of time and effort to magnify their callings and improve the Church and its effect on the members and the world.

I think we need to largely abstain from public fault-finding, particularly as pertaining to trivialities.

To the extent there is something about the Church that needs correction and improvement, I think we should formulate ideas and proposals rather than publicly disparage and tear down the leaders of the Church.  And if the idea really has some merit, pass it on up.  If it works, great.  If it doesn't, keep moving forward.

I'm reminded here of Chestertons' Fence:

Quote

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, 'I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away.' To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: 'If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.'

I think the Church has all sorts of such fences.  Some of them do indeed need to be torn down.  An example that comes to mind: Jean A. Stevens, first counselor in the LDS Church's Primary general presidency, gave the benediction of the Saturday Morning Session of the April 2013 General Conference.  This marked the first time in the history of the Church that a woman had offered a prayer in General Conference.

But there are other fences that are there for good reason.  So if someone comes along and says "I and my emotions don't like this fence.  Let's tear it out," I think Chesterton's response is apt: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."  To the extent I am "concerned" about Church members, it is that they are wanting to tear down important fences, important parts of the structure and organization of the Church, and they want to do so not because they have presented a cogent and reasoned explanation, but because they have strong feelings about it.  Well, strong feelings are seldom going to be enough.  And disparaging the Church and its leaders for not reflexively acquiescening to such feelings-based demands is, I think, inappropriate.

So . . . women speaking in General Conference.  They do, but some think the numbers are not enough.  So what number would be appropriate?  And what is the basis for this number?  And how would you propose we reach that number?

21 minutes ago, Rain said:

you want to help make us stronger as a people by teaching not to use emotions and reason together instead.   

I'm sharing my perspective.  And yes, I am advocating that we temper emotion-based sentiments with reason, evidence, analysis, and so forth.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

My initial comment was a direct response to hers.

I don't share your opinion that your statements were equivalent, for an important reason - she is part of the group called "women."  You are not.  She is reporting her experience, and others that are close to her.  Your initial post was purely hypothetical.

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3 hours ago, CA Steve said:

I am not even sure what this sentence means.

You know what, I read it again and you're correct, it doesn't make since, that's what happens when I don't read my post a few times before pushing submit😁. What I was trying to say was, smac97, for the most part is fairly level headed compared to me and Julianne. I don't agree with everything he says, hell, I don't even make it to the end of some of his post because my brain starts hurting half way through, but I appreciate the effort he puts in and his point of view makes me think. I also really like bluedreams post, even though we probably don't agree on much.

   With my family and my business I consider myself a very level headed and sincere guy, I'm always tying to improve and make sure I keep everyone happy. Everything else in my life is a crapshoot😁, I like it that way, keeps life interesting.

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