35b: April 2013 General Conference Sunday Sessions

Matt and Heather host reviews of the Sunday sessions of General Conference. Panelists include Gabe, Heather B, Jonee, Brandt, and Mike.



  1. Jeff

    Ugh. Holland. The man is unbearable.

    Reply Apr 10, 2013 @ 15:07:17
  2. Mormon Thought (@MormonThought)

    Mike, I believe Heather’s point about using water instead of wine is this: the LDS Church has criticized the Catholics for changing ordinances, yet the LDS Church has done the same thing. (Frankly, water for wine is the least drastic, when we consider how temple ordinances have changed radically.)

    You simply restated Heather’s point: No, it doesn’t matter what we use, as long it represents body/blood. But her question was WHY can we use anything? Why can the LDS Church change ordinances, but Catholics can’t? They believe they have apostolic authority, too.

    What aspects of ordinances must be retained so that they aren’t considered “changed” to the point of general apostasy? I think apologists will be out of luck if they seek to declare any solid answer (and again, I point to temple ordinances on this issue).

    Reply Apr 10, 2013 @ 18:15:16
    • ozpoof

      All it takes for a true believer to not see that Mormonism changes every time the wind does, is for some liar to stand up in GenCon and tell everyone the true of Mormonism is everlasting. “These are not the droids you’re looking for”.

      Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 13:16:51
  3. David

    I want to thank Heather for taking on the Holland method. I think Mike could have insisted that faith is a different kind of knowledge, but he didn’t. I was very cheered when Heather asked what blessings the Mormons were getting. The response was lacking: knowing that you are following God’s will. Plus that kind of arrogance is psychologically damaging.

    Reply Apr 12, 2013 @ 16:10:23
  4. Teresa

    Heather is awesome!! I loved how she stood her ground against the two TBM’s.

    Reply Apr 13, 2013 @ 10:50:20
  5. Josh

    We do give Satan too much power. If Satan is out there then he’s sitting on his hands justjust as much as God does. Funny story, when I wasn’t getting answers from God I decided to crazily call on Satan for a sign and he didn’t answer me either. I guess he wouldn’t want to, right? Then I’ll continue to question it all. :-)

    Reply Apr 13, 2013 @ 23:43:45
  6. ozpoof

    Oh wow. I’d forgotten how annoying Mike’s snicker was every time he can’t respond intelligently or logically to something that makes his belief system look as ridiculous as it is.

    Really, any of the old farts could stand up and vomit all over the pulpit, and Mike would take that as gospel, and would go on to stick his fingers down his throat each time he had to bear testimony from then on. The church is true; so true that you mustn’t ever question it in case you are led astray. How do you get led astray from something that is true? Why does an organization that is true have to lie about its past to hide the truth? Bloody Hell! Only someone like Mike T could rationalize the irrational. Honestly, people who are willing to excuse anything and everything a group does because they believe in that group so much are very, very dangerous people. History is full of atrocities committed by people who truly believed they had the truth, and who were blinded by evil men like Holland into ignoring the facts. Yes, Holland is evil. You can tell by his defensive speech that he knows what’s really happening. He’s telling people to NOT seek for truth, to be complacent and apathetic in their faith, and to not learn or think for themselves. His teachings are anti-Christ. As a Mormon, you should see that as Satan’s plan. As an atheist, I still see it as evil. It’s the dark ages all over again.

    To believe the self-contradicting babble these self-proclaimed inspired men come out with you have to take each of their silly soundbitse separately, and tell yourself “amen!” because to think about what they actually say in its entirety, compare it to Mormon scripture and doctrine, and be able to believe it all at once, you’d be insane. Maybe that’s the trick.

    Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 12:38:33
  7. Gail F. Bartholomew

    I think it is very likely that the church happen to plan to have women pray during conference just before there were thousands of letters positioning for it to happen. Yes I think it is very obviously a case where the church, once again, changed not related to all the outside input. It is merely coincidental that the input seemed to happen at the same time.

    Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 13:07:08
  8. ozpoof

    Mike. Where do you get the notion that Mormonism speaks for Christ and expounds his teachings? If you refer to the Bible, and the Book of Mormon for that matter, there is nowhere where Jesus states he opposes gay marriage. He does however tell his apostles to abandon their families and follow him, so marriage itself seems unimportant to Christ. In fact both the Bible and Book of Mormon have very little to do with Mormonism.

    Anyone can believe in the teachings of Jesus without being a Mormon, In fact many Mormon doctrines and “policies” past and present contradict the teachings of Jesus. Mormonism does not lead people to Christ Mike. You are one of the least Christlike people I have ever listened to.

    Reply Apr 15, 2013 @ 13:13:53
  9. John

    I’m an LDS dissenter, but Heather really could have been more respectful to the other two guests. She stated at one point how she didn’t want to argue about a talk, immediately made an attack (by stating a contrary view) and then moved on. There are positions in the LDS church that are very volatile and offensive, such as saying that those who fall away didn’t try hard enough. That being said, be professional in allowing TBM’s to expose this hurtful point of view themselves, rather than taking offense pre-emptively and killing rational discussion.

    Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 10:35:06
  10. John

    Another funny note about the sacrament thing. My dad is a branch president who had a member who was gluten intolerance. He gave the member permission to bring in his own sacramental bread. All was fine for a few weeks, but that member kept bringing in more and more interesting gluten-free items. My dad finally asked him to remain consistent when Doritos started appearing on the sacrament tray.

    Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 10:38:48
    • Brandt Malone

      We have a few people in our ward who are gluten intolerant, and we have some gluten-free piece of something that looks like a rice cake.

      Every so often, they have to remind the congregation (usually if there are visitors) that there are a few members who need it.

      I’d love Doritos for sacrament, although we do have one person who makes home made bread for our sacrament each week, so I can’t complain too much.

      Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 11:10:48
      • Caligirl2012

        Really? Homemade bread in the LO Ward for Sacrament? Wow…things have changed since I stopped attending SM.

        Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 14:06:33
  11. seasickyetstilldocked

    How much tension exists at this point between exmos and tbms? Listening to Heather and Mike go back and forth was good. Both of these panelists clearly own their positions are are committed to defending them. Of course, during this podcast, Brandt got off scott free. Mike may drive me crazy but the guy owns his religion and sticks up for it. I have an idea for what could be your best podcast ever. Have Mike interview Brandt and hold him accountable for his beliefs. Is Brandt really an NOM? Does he really have any beliefs that are contrary to that of the church? Is Brandt actually just a nice, empathetic and tactful tbm?

    The tension that is really fascinating is between the TBMs and the members who don’t quite want to own up to it or just want to gloss over the actual logical consequences of literal tbm beliefs. THAT would be a hell of a show, Mike grilling Brandt.

    For the record, I think Brandt is great and a super nice dude. The world would be a better place if there were more members like him.

    Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 12:49:02
    • Christopher Allman

      Mike interviewing Brandt! Excellent idea!

      Reply Apr 22, 2013 @ 09:25:47
      • seasickyetstilldocked

        They should let Mike do his own show every now and again where he just serves it up cold. Members like Mike may be an endangered species 20 years from now because he owns both ends of lds truth claims, something more and more members seem to be shying away from. Mike owns the lds doctrine and he also owns the consequences of those doctrines. Truth claims have meaning, they have consequences and I respect Mike for having integrity. In many ways, Brandt represents a new kind of tbm (and not inferring Brandt does not have integrity).

        Personally, I don’t think tbms like Mike really like or appreciated tbms like Brandt. How are these to kinds of tbms still similar and in what ways are the new tbms changing their belief and interpretation regarding Mormon doctrine to accommodate……….well to accommodate the seemingly ever increasing pressure of reality upon Mormonism.

        I am 42 now and if I had to guess, I would say Mike is more my age and Brandt would be maybe early thirties? I don’t know. I do know Mike seems to really represent the kind of tbm I was growing up in the Kimball and Benson years. I talk to a lot of younger tbms and honest to God sometimes I don’t recognize their brand of tbmness. I mean just think about it, you will soon talk to tbms who will have no concept of Native Americans and Lamanites.

        Mike’s Mormonism…..well, that shit is like a warm blanket for me. It is like going home. I don’t think the new tbm really have much patience for tbms like Mike. They want guys like Mike to freaking shut up because I think guys like Mike remind the new tbm what religion they really belong to.

        Mike is like Tom Berenger lecturing Charlie Sheen and his pot smoking buddies in Platoon when he says, “I AM REALITY”

        Mike is Mormon reality.

        Reply Apr 26, 2013 @ 13:56:35
        • seasickyetstilldocked

          As a disclaimer, I must add that the warm blanket of Mormonism almost suffocated me to death before I realized it was all made up!

          Reply Apr 26, 2013 @ 14:25:37
          • Christopher Allman

            seasickyetstilldocked I enjoyed your comment and fully endorse your idea of having Mike occasionally host his own episode…possibly even have his own podcast (but not be allowed to pick his own guests or panel…but allowed some input)
            I think I’ve been out of the Church long enough (and left when I was still in Provo singles wards, which are unusual in themselves, but I also I lived south of Center Street….the artist fringe on tlhe boarder of the mexican ghetto south of 300s. (that is meant with some sarcasm..But it reflects a view that was prevelent when I lived there (on and off from 2000-2006)
            So the wards I was in during my last years were of the sort where up to 50% of the men had beards and maybe drank occasionally….or were gay….and most everyone was around 25-ish, wards. Actually pretty cool wards as far as that sort of thing goes) that I don’t have any concept of what you are referring to about the new TBMS who are unrecognizable to Mike and your generation. I am 31, closer to Brandt’s age, but I feel like I fall somewhere in between Mike and Brandt in terms of what I had thought of as core mormon believes, my ‘warm blanket’ as it were.
            Most ‘Grown-Ups’ in my mind, had Mike’s point of view…and I guess I had just kind of assumed until now that people my age would ultimately become Mike’s in their middle age, but now (that you’ve already pointed it out) it seems obvious that each generation has a different flavor Mormonism than the previous.
            So I’m extremely curious to
            hear about it it in as much detail as you can(or have the motivation) to provide.

            Apr 26, 2013 @ 18:49:20
          • Christopher Allman

            (I accidentally submitted the comment before it was ready)
            …to provide about the newest generation of Tbms. What sort of things do they believe? I’m guessing they are probably more liberal on social issues? What other sort of things? I am 110% curious.

            Apr 26, 2013 @ 18:52:46
    • Brandt Malone

      To be honest, seasickyetstilldocked, I choose my words carefully. I’ve stated publicly before that I’m an active, practicing, believing member with a temple recommend and a calling with the youth (for whatever it’s worth).

      Heather has interviewed me before concerning my story and some of my beliefs – I’m a bit unorthodox, a bit liberal in my beliefs, and I’ve had every label thrown at me, from NOM to TBM to heathen to cafeteria Mormon.

      The reason why I disengage sometimes is frankly because I find that we very quickly, between believers and ex-believers/disaffected/apostates, delve into pissing contests and rhetorical debates, spinning our wheels, but never getting anywhere. I’m not coming on to re-convert anyone back to the church. Naturally, I view the church in a positive light (flawed, but it has been a huge positive to me). However, would I rather engage in debating every nuanced sentence and word that I disagree with, or take a few “for the team” to further the conversation?

      The tension that is really fascinating is between the TBMs and the members who don’t quite want to own up to it or just want to gloss over the actual logical consequences of literal tbm beliefs.

      That’s one of the biggest things that I’ve found within my own religious outlook and perspective that I grill other believers about. It’s much more complex than a few one-liners, and I would submit that goes for believers and the disaffected as well. It’s not black and white, and I would submit it’s not grey either – we live in a vivid, vibrant, multicolored world. And the times that I’ve pressed someone like Mike about things, taking them from the abstract and putting them in his position, I’ve been surprised, shocked, disappointed, and confused at responses.

      So sure, I avoid a lot of questions. Part of it is because pointless arguing is…well…pointless. The other part of it is because I want the conversation to move forward.

      Reply Apr 24, 2013 @ 06:38:22
      • seasickyetstilldocked

        Fair enough Brandt. I get the whole facilitating the conversation thing. I am glad you press Mike about some things, I just think he should get the opportunity to press you about what a real testimony of the Restoration means. Frankly, I think Mike should view tbms like you as the real threat to the kind of Church he knows and loves.

        Take these conference talks. Mike views these guys as real live prophets, seers and revelators in every sense of the word and he takes what they say at face value…..he takes them for what they actually say….and it makes him sound archaic and insensitive and like a jerk but he also sounds like the peculiar people of Mormonism should sound if they were owning all of their beliefs all the way down to their lds i fied logical conclusions. As Heather points out, sometimes you take them for what you wish they would say but not for what they actually said…..which you can’t really do when an actual prophet, seer and revelator is speaking from the pulpit in GC.

        What kind of PR should Mormons……true believing Mormons really want? What approach actually will net them the most members? What kind of voice will non members really hear in this EVIL WORLD, if you consider that the church is everything it says that it is? Is it a polite voice?…..a watered down voice?….or is this voice sharp like a two edged sword?

        I think that is a fascinating question for old school and new school tbms to debate.

        At the end of the day Brandt, I see you as a peacemaker and I hope you are somehow blessed for it, if blessings even exist in this world. I personally see Mike’s Mormonism as guilt paralyzing double bind that prevents people from owning their own lives….I find this Mormonism debilitating and unhealthy……..I find it kills the human spirit and yet…

        and yet I believe he has way more doctrinal support for his kind of Mormonism than you do for yours and I find that sad.

        boy, was I tbm, very much like Mike (but really, no way I was that bad:)…and the church killed my soul without me even knowing it. I hope you get the church you wish for Brandt because I think that is a more peaceful place. You are just going to have to fight tbms like Mike to get it.

        Reply Apr 26, 2013 @ 19:22:22
  12. Alex Ashby

    I appreciate the different perspectives of GC that you all bring to the table. In reference to your comments re: Uchtdorf’s talk about “Light”, I was surprised not to hear you all mention anything about all of the LDS children that are being abused withIN LDS families. Having been one of those children, it disconcerted me to hear, yet again, an oral painting of abuse outside of the “church’s walls” as if it would have never happened within them. Statistically speaking, there are millions of LDS homes with children living “in the dark shadow of abuse” while having access to the church. In my experience, I’m very grateful for some of the gospel principles that made my life more filled with light during those years. And objectively speaking, many of the cultural & “gospel” doctrines made my situation a lot worse as well. Overall, I think the hope I found within the church’s teachings outweighed the negative in my personal situation. But it bothered me once again, to hear of these horrible atrocities happening “out there in the world” and the gospel being the “Hero” of the story while too many children within the church are suffering by these parents that have the gospel’s “light” and sometimes find their “Hero” by leaving.

    Reply Apr 16, 2013 @ 20:40:51
  13. Matthew Crowley

    Alex, it hurts to hear what you just said. I’m sorry for what happened to you and I appreciate you adding your perspective about abuse. I think an episode addressing this issue might be a good idea.

    Reply Apr 17, 2013 @ 13:11:18
  14. Christopher Allman

    Yahoo! Mike! I’m so happy you are back!

    Reply Apr 21, 2013 @ 23:15:49
  15. Conference Review- A Preface and a Note to Believers | The Reason

    […] A Preface: A couple months ago was LDS General Conference.  For those uninitiated it’s five “sessions” that are two hours long each in two days. That’s 10 hours of speakers, songs and prayers.  One of those sessions is the ‘Priesthood Session’ so only men are supposed to watch that one (generally at a church building while wearing Sunday dress clothes).  There is a meeting the week before that is 90 minutes long for women.  In the spring it’s specifically geared to the Young Women (girls ages 12-18) and in the Fall it’s geared towards the women in the church (Relief Society Meeting- women ages 18+).  When I was active (and as a child) I listened to all of conference minus the priesthood session.  Now that I’m no longer active… I still listen to most of it- and reviews of all of it. (Reviews Here Here and Here) […]

    Reply Jun 26, 2013 @ 01:07:00
  16. Geoff

    I like how Heather is more outspoken when she’s alone against believers, she says the things I don’t have the immediate wit to articulate. :P

    Reply Oct 09, 2013 @ 08:28:40

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