Zelophehad’s Daughters

General Conference Poll

Posted by ZD

n

How many of the four general sessions of General Conference do you typically listen to, watch, or attend?
View Results

n

How frequently do you attend or watch the Relief Society or Priesthood session?
View Results

n

What is your favorite way of experiencing General Conference?
View Results

n

Who among current Church leadership is your favorite General Conference speaker?
View Results

And here are a few free-response questions that you can answer in the comments.

Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

What is your least favorite topic?

26 Responses to “General Conference Poll”

  1. 1.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    I liked Neal A. Maxwell the best.

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    Jesus Christ, his life, teachings, suffering, death and resurrection. The Holy Ghost, justification, purification, sanctification, the gifts of the Spirit, other first-hand divine manifestations. The first five principles and ordinances of the gospel: faith, repentence, baptism, confirmation, enduring to the end. Any topic, though, is good if it quotes extensively from the scriptures (scripture-based) and ties everything back to Christ.

    What is your least favorite topic?

    Testimonies, unless they recount actual manifestations of the Holy Ghost. Second hand information (so-and-so said that so-and-so happened once.) Non-Jesus centered talks (which is rampant, nowadays, except for the ending: “in the name of Jesus, amen.”) Non-scriptural talks, meaning talks that don’t quote scriptures or that don’t base their topics on a scriptural principle. Story talks (talks that just recount one story after another.)

  2. 2.

    My very favorite way to watch general conference is to go to the institute and watch it on the cushy chairs there. It’s like watching at home, but with all my friends. I have fond memories of doing that when I was in college. We even had a potluck between sessions. It was like a weekend retreat twice a year. Now that those days are past, I like to go to the stake center to watch. It feels more like church when I go there than when I sit at home in my pajamas. Since I have to work on Saturday, I’ll be catching it on the internet during my spare time. Not my preferred way, but the best I can do right now.

    My favorite topic of conference talk is anything about Christ. I love talks about the Atonement, especially. I just love coming to conference and hearing the good news of the gospel.

    My least favorite topic is anything exclusive. I know this isn’t a topic, but rather a style of addressing many topics. For example, I don’t like talks about family that assume everyone is married with children. I don’t like talks about modesty that only address teenage girls. I don’t like talks about missionary work that only address boys between the ages of 12-18. etc.

    Overall, I love conference and look forward to it every 6 months.

  3. 3.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    I second the vote for Neal A. Maxwell. But, I also enjoy Elder Holland, Elder Eyring, and Elder Bednar. I’d list some women, but there aren’t many good ones to choose from. (Don’t get me wrong, the female speakers all have good messages, it’s just their deliver that grates on me. Maybe Sister Dew was the exception).

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    Things about Christ and his gospel delivered in a new way. I know about faith, testimony, service, etc. so tell me about it in an enlightening way, or offer me something I don’t know, or connect one principle to another in a unique way.

    I find I zone out when the speaker lists the same scriptures or the same analogy.

    What is your least favorite topic?

    Tithing. Either people pay it or they don’t. There are blessings if you do, so do it. It’s as simple as that. Listing 72 stories about how people have been blessed is redundant.

  4. 4.

    I love General Conference weekend. It’s like a weekend off.

  5. 5.

    Wow, I was really disappointed to see that you didn’t have any female leaders in the list of favorite speakers. Why not?

  6. 6.

    Jana–good question. Sorry, but I figured that because we hear from the men so much more frequently it would be more likely that we would have stronger feelings about their style and choice of topics. My impression is that the women who are called into church-level positions are released again so quickly, and are asked to talk in General Conference so (relatively) infrequently that it would be less likely that people would have as strong opinions about them. We have a lot more exposure to GAs, and the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency in particular, because they’re called for life and because they typically talk (at least) once per Conference.

    But then, I don’t ever attend Relief Society or Young Women’s sessions, so my perspective is at least a little skewed.

  7. 7.

    I don’t have a favorite speaker all time. Maybe Joseph Wirthlin, but only when reading later.

    My Favorite Talk of all time is a tie between Hammonds “Dad are you awake” and the talk by Elder Holand where he talked about his car breaking down. Both were “Fire in the bones” talks for me. There was another talk by Robert D. Hales that is very special to me, but not for anything said in the talk.

    Least Favorite Topic is curently history of the tabernaccle. Thankfully, low probbility of that this conference…

    My Favorite Woman Speaker at Conference is probably Sheri Dew, but I was baptised in 1998, so don’t know any older ones.

    My favorite song is a rendition of praise to the man done by the missionary choir a few years back in priesthood. It was magnificent.

  8. 8.

    Jana puts her finger on that perennially vexed issue of our LDS female leaders’ roles. It’s un-P.C. to admit this, but I’ve found that I personally tend to be happier with the church and more at peace with myself, the gospel, and God when I simply skip the women’s meetings. I have no doubt that many insightful and inspiring things are said, and that these meetings genuinely minister to many women’s needs. And I’m encouraged by trends such as the greater diversity of the current RS presidency, for example. But insofar as concerns about gender tend to center around the lives and roles of women, and not those of men, women are far more likely to make restrictive statements about my life and my identity as a woman that I find almost physically painful to listen to.

    Not that I envy the lot of the General RS Presidency in the least. As far as I’m concerned, the women in the RS, YW, and Primary presidencies have the second worst job in the church. (The absolute worst job must be apostle’s wife. I think I would go stark raving mad having to assume the role of smiling secondary helpmeet in such an inescapably constant and public way.) And I’m constantly struck by how much criticism they come in for about their appearance, for example–far more than our male leaders are subject to. I was a little taken aback to read complaints about Sister Beck’s bangs on the recent Exponent II thread about the General Women’s Meeting. I long for the day when we Mormon women take ourselves seriously enough to confine our remarks to our female leaders’ ideas and doctrinal interpretations and refrain from irrelevant observations about their hairstyles. I’m afraid we women are doing ourselves in on this one.

  9. 9.

    Eve, I’ll do you one better–I’m generally happier when I skip any and all satellite broadcasts from the conference center. I attend regular Sunday church unless I’m out of town or have sick kids, but it’s probably been about 8 years since I’ve attended Stake Conference, even. Just doing what I need to to survive. :)

  10. 10.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    Robert Hales. He talked about the gospel in a way that I want to live it.

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    Being kind. Being forgiving. Being patient. These are the areas of my life that need the most consistent attention, and I find them spiritually uplifting.

    What is your least favorite topic?

    I suppose its necessary, but they always have the ‘testimony of the Book of Mormon’ and ‘lets review the restoration’ talks in which I’m not so interested. And I am sometimes distressed by the amount of attention financial planning gets. Yes, its important, but I have yet to have an outpouring of the Holy Spirit when being reminded to live within my means.

  11. 11.

    Matt W., # 7,

    You have sound judgement, Hermano. I’ve wondered how many other people have made that same discovery about Joseph B. Wirthlin. He is so a nti-dynamic over the pulpit, but in print, I find his talks to be consistently rewarding. I guess this reveals who cast the single vote (so far) for Elder Wirthin, and one of the two votes for experiencing conference through the Ensign.

    Probably my favorite speaker was Elder Ashton, and my favorite talk was delivered by him, On Being Worthy.

    I have two favorite music memories. Once the choir sang Oh Say What is Truth, but the tabernacle organ stole the show. On the verse where the words say “but the pillar of truth will endure to the last”, they held the note on *last*, and the organist pulled out the stops and held the chord for 3 or 4 beats. It was amazing.

    The other memory involves the organ again. The song was The Heav’ns Resound, and those opening chords where the organist gets to show off really impressed me. People who know more about music than I tell me that the song isn’t all that good, and that it is typical of Beethoven to be so bombastically flamboyant. I don’t care, I wish they sang that song more frequently.

  12. 12.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    A talk by President Hinckley, then 1st Counselor to President Benson, in 1992 was a stimulus in my desire to learn more about the church. His words, along with his engaging style and warmth made him seem like an instant friend.

    That said, Elder Oaks is my favorite apostle.

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    I always like when President Hinckley announces a new program of the church. I recall his announcement of smaller temples to reach the people, the perpetual education fund, Nauvoo temple, etc.

    Aside from those pleasantries, anyt talk that shakes me out of my carnal security and reminds me to connect my inner spiritual self with the unlimited spiritual power of God.

    What is your least favorite topic?

    Sometimes I think if I have to sit through another “porn” talk at priesthood session I’ll go insane. I get it already. Porn: bad. Can we just sing, have a closing prayer, then have that talk at the end so I can go home early?

  13. 13.

    My all-time favorite conference speaker was LeGrand Richards. They did everything they could to reign him in. I remember, more than once, his commenting on how annoying the red light on the podium is, telling speakers their time is up. He made the gospel sound fun, and preaching it sound more fun.

    My favorite story is when he got on the microphone on an airplane on a flight he was on, and asked “How many on this flight are Mormons?” He turned the flight into a revival meeting. You just don’t get that anymore.

  14. 14.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    My current favorites are Elder Holland and Elder Eyring. I love Elder Holland’s empathy–his talks seem to be focused on Mormons who are giving themselves a hard time. On the other hand, I love Elder Eyring’s talks because they are challenging. His talks usually make me realize how many changes I need to make to be a better person. What I love, though, is that he helps me to feel the need to change without feeling guilty/ashamed to the point where I shut down.

    Past favorites are Elder Maxwell and Chieko Okazaki. She was my favorite female speaker.

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    Talks focused on Christ and on central gospel principles (faith, prayer, etc.). Also, topics that remind me to be a better person.

    What is your least favorite topic?

    Women and their “divine role of femininity.”

  15. 15.

    Another vote for Maxwell, Holland, Eyring, Oaks, and Pres. Hinckley. I can’t narrow it to any single one of those.

    For females, Sheri Dew, mostly because most everybody else talks to the congregation as if they are in Primary.

    One talk that has stuck with me was Elder Eyring’s talk in Oct. 2001. He quoted the first 7 verses or so of Helamen 12, I think, about how unsteady the children of men are. Felt like I was hit with a sledgehammer. In a good way.

  16. 16.

    Favorite topics: Jesus Christ, compassion, and anything with intriguingly presented analysis rather than quotations cobbled together devoid of context.

    Least favorite topics: motherhood. Too many infertile-gal tear-fests augmented by irritation at sappy poetry and oversimplication.

    Favorite speaker: Elder Holland. He’s smart, articulate, affable and compassionate. He knows how to turn a phrase. I loved Howard W. Hunter too and I ADORED Aileen Clyde. Sydney Reynolds was also good–a GPP member without the vocal sugar lilt.

    When I was in Junior High one of the women gave a talk about the atonement couched in a controlling metaphor regarding her childhood experience raising sheep and a literally lost lamb. I have no idea if I’d like that talk now or find it saccharine, but at the time it impressed me a great deal. And of course the final testimony of Bruce R. McConkie. It’s better watched than read, however.

  17. 17.

    Eve,
    I claim one of those Sis. Beck hair comments at ExII. You are right that the doctrine is much more important and I shouldn’t have been thinking, let alone commenting, on something so trivial. That said, I did think about President Monson’s hair during his talk. My thought was, “I wonder how long he will keep coloring it?” So, my thoughts on hair aren’t gender specific. :) Perhaps observations about hair or clothes are a product of watching a talking head. Maybe that’s why I voted that I enjoy conference the most in the Ensign: no visual distractions, and I can read as fast as I want.
    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?
    I’ve usually enjoyed Elder Eyring the most, but it depends on his topic.
    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?
    Talks about Mormons serving in their communities, not just in the church, also talks about repentance and forgiveness.
    What is your least favorite topic?
    Women in the church and anything political

  18. 18.

    Janet–that was Jayne Malan, and it was a great talk.

  19. 19.

    Jessawhy, I can’t tell you how relieved I am to learn you’re an equal opportunity hair critic! ;)

    And now that I’ve confessed my distaste for hair analysis, I have to be fair and confess the embarrassing personal reasons for my distaste. First of all I’m not what you’d call, um, fashion conscious, or even very conscious of my appearance at all. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been halfway to school and patted my head wondering if I even remembered to run a brush through my hair, or put my hair in hairclaw to shower and avoid washing it and then continued on my day in my slightly showered-upon hairclaw style. Or there are the days when I sit in class wondering if it’s been two or three or–horror of horrors–fourdays since I last washed my hair….(I’m also a firm believer in wearing the same skirt to church every week for months at a stretch–especially since I’m in nursery and I’m dressed for utility, ease of movement and snot-resistance.)

    Also, I’m extremely visually challenged in general. By that I don’t just mean that I’m getting steadily more nearsighted all the time, but that I simply don’t take in visual information at all well. I don’t really understand art. I have lost things constantly ever since I was a small child because I just find the exterior world so boring compared to whatever I’m thinking about. I lose my car in parking lots constantly and have to wander up and down aisles in search of it. I lose keys, glasses, wallet, watch, textbooks in places like the freezer.

    All of which is to say, I’m probably excessively sensitive to critiques of physical appearance because, absent-minded and befuddled as I am, I have no doubt that mine is rarely, if ever, up to snuff. I can enjoy dressing up once in a while, but I just find it so hard to have to pay attention to my body every single blasted day! I find it endlessly frustrating that there simply is no female role that exempts one from the insatiable demands of beauty.

    Ah, yes, what were we talking about? Conference, that was it. Sorry, Ziff.

  20. 20.

    Two of my all time favorite Conference talks have been “The Grandeur of God” by Elder Holland and “A Thousand Times” by Elder Glenn Pace. The first one really struck a chord in me because it was such a beautiful testimony of the nature of God. Sometimes I feel that, in an attempt to prove we are Christian, we forget about God the Father in our Church. I love the second one because it talks about not becoming pessimistic despite the condition of the world around us and to always be willing to help those with whom we come in contact.

    Some of my favorite topics to hear discussed are the peace the Savior and our Heavenly Father can bring us, the nature of men and women, and signs of the time.

    My least favorite topics are (as was mentioned earlier) living within our means (way too much guilt on that one) and, I’m sorry to say, pioneers. As much as I admire pioneers and have immense gratitude to them, I do get tired of that subject. (Oooh–I’m going to burn for that confession.)

  21. 21.

    [...] has a thread on Conference traditions; Mormon Mentality, has a bingo version of Conference; Zelophehad’s Daughters has a Conference [...]

  22. 22.

    Ditto #13, LeGrand Richards. I’d get out of breath just listening to him. A real believer in speaking by the Spirit and to heck with time contraints.

  23. 23.

    Sometimes I think if I have to sit through another “porn” talk at priesthood session I’ll go insane.

    So, Eddie, did you sit through the priesthood session? Are you insane now? ;)

  24. 24.

    Wow, Elder Holland wins as the favorite speaker in a runaway (68-35 over President Hinckley as of this writing), with Elder Eyring third (33). I like Elder Holland too, but I didn’t realize he was generally liked that much.

    I’m glad to see so many people enjoy watching Conference at home on TV. If I’m going to watch or listen to Conference live, that’s definitely my method of choice. Church in your pajamas just can’t be beat. But overall, I much prefer reading the talks later in the Ensign or on lds.org. I used to teach fourth Sunday lessons to my elders’ quorum, and I found that reading the talks I was to teach from always made them clearer to me than listening to them had. Maybe it’s just something about being able to see paragraph breaks and headings (thank you, Elder Oaks, who uses them consistently).

  25. 25.

    Who is your all-time favorite General Conference speaker?

    David O. McKay

    What is your favorite topic of General Conference talks?

    It changes based on the times. Basically, whatever topic that my friends and associates in the Church are grossly misunderstanding at that particular time is my favorite topic to hear about at General Conference, mostly because I feel justified in everything I’ve been trying to tell them for the last six months. Pretty selfish, I know, but at least I’m honest, right?

    What is your least favorite topic?

    Probably food storage, mostly because I’m a college student at BYU, so food storage is not really a reality for me right now. I’ll probably be much more interested when I have a wife and kids and my own home.

  26. 26.

    13, 22

    Ditto LeGrand Richards for all-time favorite speaker!

    He still motivates me when I watch or listen to his talks.

Leave a Reply