Beliefs Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion

5 Mormon General Conference highlights in tweets

Last week I blogged about how apprehensive I was feeling about General Conference. Given the recent hammering on messages in favor of “traditional” marriage and against LGBT members, I was bracing myself for, as I put it then, getting punched in the nose.

It didn’t happen. I’m happy to say that while there were of course some moments when I would have wished for different wording, I didn’t have any of those awful feelings of being totally out of sync with my church.

(However, I didn’t get to see all of Saturday’s talks. So if a church leader said something really awful, can you just not tell me about it? I’d rather stay in this bubble a few days longer . . .)

As always, it’s fun to follow people’s reactions on Twitter, so here are some of the highlights from GC in tweets.

  1. We have a new Primary presidency!

I look forward to what these women do and say. At least we know from this tweet today that they have an awesome sense of humor:

2. I guess they put Elder Holland up last sometimes because all the other GAs look at each other and say, “Do you want to speak after that man? I don’t want to try to follow that that man.” Elder Holland’s closing talk was a blend of deep theology and light humor: pitch perfect.

This may be the funniest tweet I’ve ever seen from the official conference Twitter account. It’s a start, anyway, at getting some of the other speakers to lighten up.

3. Elder Kearon gave a beautiful talk about the new “I Was a Stranger” program to help refugees around the world. (Don’t remember him? He’s the one who looked like Harry Potter all grown up.)

4. I saw a major emphasis on fatherhood, not just in Elder Christofferson’s talk and the one from outgoing Primary counselor Mary Durham, but also, if you caught it, in the Mormonads that were playing in between sessions. Big-time focus on dads this conference.

5. And finally, throughout General Conference we saw an outpouring of love for President Monson, who looked thin and frail and spoke for only four minutes, but had a photo opp moment of gallantry on Sunday:



About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.


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  • Great conference. Listening and feeling the Spirit pour forth as the conference proceeded warmed my soul. I have many doubts about the LDS history, much of that brought on by the Church recognizing on past myths taught as doctrine/fact, but I have little doubt that these are men/women of God.

  • ‘On Sunday, LDS Church President Thomas S. Monson modified the faith’s famous phrase during a brief sermon that began the final day of its 186th Annual General Conference. “May we ever choose the harder right, instead of the easier wrong,” he said.’
    –Deseret News

    I notice that Monson didn’t credit the origin of his quote. The above article makes it sound like this came from Monson. He also omitted the remainder of the original quote. I can see why, of course, given the “milk before meat” philosophy.

    “Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong, and never to be content with a half truth when the whole can be won.”
    –West Point Cadet’s Prayer

  • I loved elder Kearon’s talk on the new service opportunities women are advised to do (probably men, too). Did you notice that when Pres. Uchtdorff got up after that talk he was all choked up. Just like Pres. Eyring always gets all choked up.

  • Elder Kearon’s talk was one of the most extraordinary I’ve ever heard in General Conference. I loved Pres. Uchtdorf’s Sunday morning talk as well (but he always seems to knock it out of the park). Overall it was a great conference.

  • You DO understand that the three blazers in power ranger colors…..those are also Star Trek (TOS) uniform shirt colors…(I think they were there before power rangers???)

    PR chris

  • And it never ended well for the red shirts. 🙂

    Also, those are the classic 3 primary colors many of us learned in grade school.

  • President Uchtdorff was pretty much a refugee himself once. I think that is one of the sources of the great compassion I always see in him.

  • I, too, thoroughly enjoyed 10 hours of conference.
    Is Elder Bednar soundly more and more like Elder Bruce R McConkie, or is it just me?

  • All I remember from the mists of time are Jesus Loves the Little Children, We’re All in Our Places with Sunshiney Faces, and I’m a Little Teapot. Ahhhh… I can almost smell the Crayola crayons and modeling clay. 🙂

  • “Mormonads?” What does that mean? It’s about male parents, so is it some kind of clever take on gonads?

    (Yes, I’m not a mormon.)