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Church ends saturday evening sessions for general conference


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8 minutes ago, juliann said:

So a conference for women can't be of women? Like the conference for men is of men? What is the difference? I doubt anyone would object if the prophet took a few minutes to speak. But that isn't what was happening. Over half the time was relegated to men who spoke on both days. 

There is absolutely a difference as I described to @Calm.  But for once I'm not intentionally trying to disagree with you.  I am sincerely asking if this was a conference specifically of the women's organizations within the Church or a conference specifically for Church leaders to address the female membership?

How did you view them?

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8 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I dislike the importation of the Gender Wars into the Church.

I dislike seeking members of the Church use politically-tinged slogans, theories, machinations, etc. to find fault with the Church, particularly when such things are essentially a blank check for endless faultfinding and goalpost-moving.

If you don’t like politically tinged slogans, why on earth would you use a highly inflammatory phrase like “Gender Wars” (capped, even)?

Edited by jkwilliams
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5 minutes ago, jkwilliams said:

If you don’t politically tinged slogans, why on earth would you use a highly inflammatory phrase like “Gender Wars” (capped, even)?

Because that's what is smacks of. If the general session is intended for worldwide leadership representation, then smac's view of representation is spot on. The opposing perspective seems to want gender representation based primarily on membership numbers. Some who espouse this seem to think the best way to get there is to suggest the Brethren are 'interlopers' or men who do not care a whit for the women in the church, or some such. Yes, 'Gender Wars' comes to mind... 

Edited by Vanguard
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30 minutes ago, Chum said:

Rental market is totally dried up and the one we've been in for 10 years is being sold.  It's never been like this.

I don't know where you live or what your financial situation is, but if you get desperate and can't find somewhere to rent, you could always ride through trailer parks and look for empty trailers. A lot of the time the management company will do rent to own deals. Couple years ago I found a trailer for a guy who works for me and I bought it for $1800, put a knew floor in the bathroom, a window a/c and a couple doors, now he's got it looking really nice. He owns it outright and pays $360 in lot rent and only uses around $150 in electricity, that's cheap living man.  I've done this a couple times now to help people out, the management company usually just wants to collect lot rent so they will let the trailer go for cheap. Of course, I'm a semi redneck so if I got desperate I wouldn't mind living in a trailer😁. Anyway, good luck finding somewhere. Just thought I would throw this out there, never know.

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4 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

There is absolutely a difference as I described to @Calm.  But for once I'm not intentionally trying to disagree with you.  I am sincerely asking if this was a conference specifically of the women's organizations within the Church or a conference specifically for Church leaders to address the female membership?

How did you view them?

I think it is obvious that it was for the male leadership to address the women or they wouldn't be taking over half the time. It has been a gradual change from the time when the RS planned and ran their own conference. But I think women would really appreciate the opportunity to plan their own conference with one male leader presiding, if necessary. It should be no different in structure or intent than the priesthood sessions, other than a woman doesn't speak in men's sessions.

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8 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

am sincerely asking if this was a conference specifically of the women's organizations within the Church or a conference specifically for Church leaders to address the female membership?

In the past, when on Friday night I viewed it as session for women to get together, a special expanded global RS meeting.  I don’t think I have framed it that way after it was changed.  I don’t think I have framed it at all as it feels like it keeps changing too frequently to develop an identity, so to speak.

Edited by Calm
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1 minute ago, juliann said:

I think it is obvious that it was for the male leadership to address the women or they wouldn't be taking over half the time. It has been a gradual change from the time when the RS planned and ran their own conference. But I think women would really appreciate the opportunity to plan their own conference with one male leader presiding, if necessary. It should be no different in structure or intent than the priesthood sessions, other than a woman doesn't speak in men's sessions.

This may surprise you.  But I agree with you here 100%.  (I know, I'm as shocked as you are.)

1 minute ago, Calm said:

In the past, when on Friday night I viewed it as session for women to get together, a special expanded global RS meeting.  I don’t think I have framed it that way after it was changed.  I don’t think I have framed it at all as it feels like it keeps changing too frequently to develop an identity, so to speak.

I think a General Relief Society Conference should 100% be a part of our Church standard.  I just don't know that the objections to the First Presidency speaking in the now defunct "women's session" are legitimate unless it was actually supposed to have been a Relief Society/Young Women's meeting.
 

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1 minute ago, pogi said:

I am having a hard time understanding the rationale the church has given for discontinuing the session.  The Church stated "The Saturday evening sessions will be discontinued because all sessions are now available for anyone who wants to watch or listen."  That seems a little confusing to me.  Why is that a problem?  If it is not a problem, then what is the harm in continuing with the session? If there is no harm, then what is the real reason they decided to discontinue the session?  Haven't all sessions been available in print for pretty much ever?  

Maybe this has been addressed already - I skimmed through the thread but didn't notice it mentioned.

 

Like I said earlier, they're not done, something better is coming, you watch.

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12 minutes ago, AtlanticMike said:

Like I said earlier, they're not done, something better is coming, you watch.

Then why not list that as the real rationale? 

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15 minutes ago, smac97 said:

 

I don't look at General Conference as an opportunity to differentiate the validity and value of religious instruction to a world-wide Church based on the gender, or race, or socioeconomic status, of the speaker.  I just don't care.  I am trusting and hoping that those who have been asked (or, as Juliann so risibly put it, "allowed") to address the entirety of the Church would draw on their personal experiences, but would predominantly seek to be a conduit for revelatory instruction from our Heavently Father.

I dislike the notion that the First Presidency interlopes when they speak in the Women's Session.  

I dislike the importation of the Gender Wars into the Church.

 

What makes this so telling is that at each and every change the church has made to give women more visibility, it has been preceded by the same stale speech. The only reason there are "gender wars" is because some men are resisting even a hint of more inclusion for girls and women. They obviously see it as a loss for themselves or what would be the objection? After all, they don't care who declares God's word. Until someone suggests it might come from women. I'm still scratching my head over how these two positions are reconciled in some other heads. 

But....the solution to any war is to not fight righteous progress. Unless one does want a war....

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Just now, pogi said:

Then why not list that as the real rationale? 

They're waiting until September then they'll announce something new, if not I'm going to be upset, I want to add to the gospel, it seems lately we keep subtracting, I don't know why.

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2 minutes ago, pogi said:

I am having a hard time understanding the rationale the church has given for discontinuing the session.  The Church stated "The Saturday evening sessions will be discontinued because all sessions are now available for anyone who wants to watch or listen."  That seems a little confusing to me.  Why is that a problem?  If it is not a problem, then what is the harm in continuing with the session? If there is no harm, then what is the real reason they decided to discontinue the session?  Haven't all sessions been available in print for pretty much ever?  What am I missing here?

Maybe this has been addressed already - I skimmed through the thread but didn't notice it mentioned.

 

I can understand removing the designation of Priesthood or Women’s Session because they don’t want to create an impression that the talks are only relevant to one sex, but they are cutting down opportunities for the general church membership to get to know other leaders besides the First Presidency and Apostles unless they plan on adding other opportunities elsewhere...but I doubt there will be the draw that conference was, so just not seeing it. Maybe they have the numbers showing exposure through other avenues more than compensates for all but those of us who can’t get into using social media. 

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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

An excerpt from the U.S. News about this story (article by the AP) :

This seems a bit garbled, does it not?  The first paragraph references "{a} session that used to be reserved for men only ... has been permanently scrapped," but the second then states that the "Saturday evening session {} alternate{s} each six months between being for only men and only women."  

Both sessions are being discontinued.  

I wonder if this is a bit of journalistic pot-stirring gone awry.  The third paragraph references the infamous-and-anonymous "some" to make a point about "gender inequality in the faith."  I wonder who these "some women" are, and if they likewise objected to the Women's Session as being a problematic "women-only session."

Thanks,

-Smac

I love how you begin your comments on this thread disparaging the AP for reporting that “some women whoever they are” may just possibly feel under represented in a male dominated church leadership religion. Then spend the rest of your thread trying to convince others that women have a higher representation statistically than is warranted.

Do you still think the AP was just stirring the pot?  Or perhaps there is some truth to their reporting?

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18 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

Because that's what is smacks of. If the general session is intended for worldwide leadership representation, then smac's view of representation is spot on. The opposing perspective seems to want gender representation based primarily on membership numbers. Some who espouse this seem to think the best way to get there is to suggest the Brethren are 'interlopers' or men who do not care a whit for the women in the church, or some such. Yes, 'Gender Wars' comes to mind... 

Using a loaded expression is hardly conducive to reasonable conversation. 

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2 minutes ago, juliann said:
Quote

This still seems to be very much a First World Problem.

You didn't just say that.

This still seems to be very much a First World Problem.

There.  I just said it again.  If you have a substantive response, have at it.

2 minutes ago, juliann said:

Life is ever so much more relevant in underdeveloped countries where women often have a status has been comfortably decided to be somewhere between a donkey and chattel.  

Well, I don't see that as a substantive response.  I see it as a massive deflection.  Broadly speaking, I think the leaders of the Church are trying to address issues far more important that placating faultfinders gassing on about socially trendy and unspecified-and-endlessly-malleable notions regarding "representation."  By this reckoning, Jesus Christ should be condemned because His apostles were too homogenous.  

And the irony here is just . . . staggering.  I made a remark about this issue (the number of women speakers in General Conference) being a "First World Problem" and you respond by comparing it to women in developing countries "hav{ing} a status has been comfortably decided to be somewhere between a donkey and chattel."

That you find some symmetry between the two only ratifies the point: This is a First World Problem: "a relatively trivial or minor problem or frustration (implying a contrast with serious problems such as those that may be experienced in the developing world)."

 5cg4yg.jpg

 

5cg5dt.jpg

Thanks,

-Smac

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8 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

I just don't know that the objections to the First Presidency speaking in the now defunct "women's session" are legitimate unless it was actually supposed to have been a Relief Society/Young Women's meeting.

I don’t have a problem with them speaking (most women I have heard on the subject don’t).  But when we ended up hearing less from female speakers, shorter talks which imo can lead to less developed ideas, more superficial treatments...that did bother me.
 

Got to admit, if hearing from our current leaders is important (and I believe this with all my heart) I don’t understand why they have removed two sessions.  It is not like people were obligated to watch them all.  I will be honest and admit I don’t end up watching/reading them all...rarely have.  But I have fallen in love with some speakers I only got to hear a few times before they were gone, so it is important to me that speakers get a decent amount of time to formulate their ideas. 
 

I should start hanging out more on the Church’s website to see what is offered in speeches. 

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42 minutes ago, juliann said:

Disparagement and interloping. Uh huh. Can you think of anymore inflamatory words for a legitimate desire of so many women?

Not sure what you are talking about.  You seemed to characterize the First Presidency as interlopers for speaking during the Women's Session.  I find that to be a disparagement.

And I don't see what it has to do with "a legitimate desire of so many women."  I don't know what you are referencing there.

42 minutes ago, juliann said:

As for objectivity, that seems to blow by you.

Not sure what this means.

And here you are, once again personalizing a thread.

42 minutes ago, juliann said:

You represent yourself, always, as the rational, propositional respondent.

I strive for that, yes.  Particularly when there is a difficult topic.

And particularly when someone responds to a point I have made by trying to shame/guilt me into silence (as opposed to, say, addressing the point).

And here you are, once again personalizing a thread.

42 minutes ago, juliann said:

BB doesn't. That was the point. Not what boat you are in. 

I find Bluebell to be an eminently sensible and intelligent person.  I agree with the bulk of what she has to say.

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 minutes ago, juliann said:

What makes this so telling is that at each and every change the church has made to give women more visibility, it has been preceded by the same stale speech. The only reason there are "gender wars" is because some men are resisting even a hint of more inclusion for girls and women. They obviously see it as a loss for themselves or what would be the objection? After all, they don't care who declares God's word. Until someone suggests it might come from women. I'm still scratching my head over how these two positions are reconciled in some other heads. 

I am all for increase in inclusion for girls and women.  I am all for restoring much of what they had in the early days of the Church that was taken away in the early half of the twentieth century.
As far as declaring God's word - there is an order in the gospel.  Eliza R. Snow and Bathsheba Smith and Emmeline Wells had zero issues declaring God's word to the sisters over whom they presided.
That's what we should be aiming for in the Church in my opinion.  We should all be receiving instructions from those who preside over us.

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31 minutes ago, pogi said:

I am having a hard time understanding the rationale the church has given for discontinuing the session.  The Church stated "The Saturday evening sessions will be discontinued because all sessions are now available for anyone who wants to watch or listen."  That seems a little confusing to me.  Why is that a problem?  If it is not a problem, then what is the harm in continuing with the session? If there is no harm, then what is the real reason they decided to discontinue the session?  Haven't all sessions been available in print for pretty much ever?  What am I missing here?

The First Presidency needing a break from speaking so much is a perfectly legit reason, if that is what they are getting at :)

Maybe this has been addressed already - I skimmed through the thread but didn't notice it mentioned.

 

Well, if the only reason that that session existed was so that the men and (eventually) the women could hear messages specifically for them, then I get your point.  Who cares if other people are listening in?  If they initially existed for that reason but have changed to where the speakers are now speaking to everyone, then I understand why they would be seen as superfluous now.  

Also, if they were now doing more harm than good--if they were causing more women, for example, to be angry or upset after they were over than helping women to feel the spirit and grow stronger in the gospel--then stopping them would be a completely pragmatic decision.

So I don't really understand their reasonings either, though I can conceive of some scenarios it makes sense.

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34 minutes ago, pogi said:

The First Presidency needing a break from speaking so much is a perfectly legit reason, if that is what they are getting at :)

 

I think it would have been a cool demonstration of the authority and power of other callings to have sessions that were fully presented by others besides the First Presidency or Apostles. 

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52 minutes ago, juliann said:

You have twisted almost everything I said. Interesting.

I'm not sure I have.

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

You lost the debate the minute you had to rustle up "my wife says" for support.

Says the person who just compared the number of women speakers at General Conference to women being devalued as between "a donkey and chattel."

I presented my wife's opinion as an anecdote.  That's all.  You share your anecodal opinions all the time.  

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

But it isn't like you to so blatantly misrepresent.

I don't think I have.

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

Women have been asking for more inclusion for a long time.

I don't know what this means.

General Conference is not intended to be a referendum on "representation."

The speakers in General Conference are selected from the general authorities and officers of the Church.  That works out to be about 138 people, of whom nine (9) are women.  That works out to about 7.69%.  Meanwhile, women comprise 52% of the membership of the Church.

I think it's hard to dispute that the leadership of the Church has become more "representative" of the worldwide Church as we have grown and matured over the years.  It's both a natural and, IMHO, revelatory process.

The current structure of the Church restricts the ordination of the priesthood to men.  Concomitantly, most of the leadership positions, which require the holding of a priesthood office, are held by men.  

If and when there is a revelation altering these circumstances, I will rejoice and embrace it.

If and when there are revisions to policies and procedures that are within the discretionary authority of the Brethren, which revisions are intended to elevant and provide more inclusion for the women in the Church, I will rejoice and embrace these.

But I will not go along with disparagements such as I have seen in this thread.  I will not disparage the members of the First Presidency as interlopers because they have spoken in the Women's Session.  I will not diminish the value of their participation in such a solemn assembly solely because they are male.  I will not do it.

As for calls for the importation of vague-but-trendy "representation" regarding General Conference speakers, I think a good solid review of Chesterton's Fence is in order.  I've been doing that.  I've been trying to have a good substantive discussion and debate about it.  From you, pretty much all I get is denigrations and efforts to shame/guilt me into silence.  Not much in the way of substantive discussion.

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

To twist that as my asking on this board is, well, lame.

Right back atcha.  I don't think much of your comments in this thread.

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

But another indication you really are reaching the bottom of the barrel when it comes to trying to keep women from gaining visible representation in the church. 

I've done no such thing.  

52 minutes ago, juliann said:

Oh, and my husband thinks so, too. 

I'm glad we can rib each other a bit. 

Thanks,

-Smac

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35 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

 

I think a General Relief Society Conference should 100% be a part of our Church standard.  I just don't know that the objections to the First Presidency speaking in the now defunct "women's session" are legitimate unless it was actually supposed to have been a Relief Society/Young Women's meeting.
 

It seems like that's how it used to be, before it became a part of GC. 

Though I think that one of the reasons that it became a part of GC was because there were some women claiming that the Brethren were showing it wasn't as important as the priesthood session by having it a different weekend.  So that could be an example of damned if you do and damned if you don't. 

Perhaps a better solution would have been to remove the priesthood and women's session from GC weekend and have them both take place on a different Saturday night completely?

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29 minutes ago, california boy said:

I love how you begin your comments on this thread disparaging the AP for reporting that “some women whoever they are” may just possibly feel under represented in a male dominated church leadership religion. 

I think the "some" schtick is a way-overused gimmick for lazy reporting, and for inserting the journalist's personal opinions and editorializing into what should be a straight "news" piece.

I also think that the AP deserves some disparagement for sloppy and lazy cribbing.  The article is pretty misleading and inaccurate as to the Church's announcement, which discontinued both forms of Saturday evening GC sessions.  Pointing to and editorializing about a "men only" session (particularly the headline) while omitting reference to the "women only" session is poor reporting.

29 minutes ago, california boy said:

Then spend the rest of your thread trying to convince others that women have a higher representation statistically than is warranted.

Women leaders.

29 minutes ago, california boy said:

Do you still think the AP was just stirring the pot?  

Yes.  And lazily so.

29 minutes ago, california boy said:

Or perhaps there is some truth to their reporting?

Well, that's the beauty of lazy reporting.  Distortion by omission.

Thanks,

-Smac

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