A Look at Conference Speakers’ Favorite Verses of Scripture

I thought it might be fun to look at which speakers in General Conference are most fond of quoting which particular verses of scripture. If you’re thinking you’ve seen me blog about this before, you’re right. It’s just that in my previous posts, I’ve only looked at the level of book of scripture, but now I’m getting all the way down to the verse level. I apologize in advance; I don’t have any interesting hypotheses to examine here. This is another post where I’m just looking at some data descriptively and saying, “Isn’t this cool?”

I took scripture reference data from the LDS Scripture Citation Index. I used the current version of their site and not the new beta version because it was easier for me to pull data from the current version. Unfortunately, this means that what I have is only updated through 2013. The Conference data begins in 1942.

The table below lists the top five verses cited for speakers in Conference since 1942. I’ve limited it to showing top fives for two groups of people: Q15 members who have at least 500 total verses cited, and female auxiliary leaders who have at least 100 total verses cited. Many of the speakers have a tie in their #5 spot, so I’ve extended the table to show all tied verses, except in a few cases where it would have made the table ridiculously long (e.g., Julie B. Beck has a 25-way tie at #5). I’ve also included a brief quote or summary note on each verse to help jog your memory for verses that are less well-known, and I’ve linked each verse reference to the scriptures at lds.org so you can go read them in full if you’re interested.

Name # Refs Verse
Silvia H. Allred 2 John 21:16 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my sheep”
2 John 21:17 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my sheep”
2 1 Cor 13:4 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind”
2 1 Cor 13:5 “[Charity] doth not behave itself unseemly”
2 1 Cor 13:7 “[Charity] beareth all things”
2 1 Cor 13:8 “Charity never faileth”
2 Moroni 7:48 “Pray unto the Father . . . that ye may be filled with this love”
Neil L. Andersen 3 Mark 5:36 “Be not afraid, only believe.”
3 John 6:67 “Will ye also go away?”
3 John 17:3 “This is life eternal . . . know thee the only true God”
3 1 Nephi 8:33 Great and spacious building
3 1 Nephi 14:12 Nephi’s vision: “I beheld the church of the Lamb of God”
3 3 Nephi 9:14 “If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life.”
Marvin J. Ashton 4 John 8:31 “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed”
4 John 8:32 “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
4 John 21:16 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my sheep”
4 James 1:27 “Pure religion . . . to visit the fatherless and widows”
4 Alma 26:12 “I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God”
4 Alma 34:32 “This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God”
4 D&C 46:11 “To every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God.”
4 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
M. Russell Ballard 9 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
5 Matthew 22:39 “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”
5 Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations”
5 John 13:34 “Love one another; as I have loved you”
5 John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you”
5 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
5 Alma 5:14 “Have ye spiritually been born of God?”
5 D&C 18:15 “Labor all your days . . . bring, save it be one soul unto me”
Julie B. Beck 3 D&C 1:17 “I the Lord . . . called upon my servant Joseph Smith Jun”
3 D&C 1:23 “Gospel . . . proclaimed by the weak and the simple”
3 D&C 130:18 “Intelligence . . . will rise with us in the resurrection.”
3 Abraham 3:25 “We will prove them . . . to see if they will do all things”
2 25 verses tied

Elder Ballard’s #1, Moses 1:39, is the single most-quoted verse in all the data. I’ll give a more complete list in an upcoming post.

Name # Refs Verse
David A. Bednar 5 Mosiah 3:19 “The natural man is an enemy to God”
4 John 14:26 “Comforter . . . shall teach you all things”
4 2 Nephi 2:26 “They have become free forever, knowing good from evil”
4 D&C 120:1 Council to decide what to do with tithed property
4 D&C 121:45 “Thy confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God”
Adam S. Bennion 3 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
2 15 verses tied
Ezra Taft Benson 21 D&C 101:80 “I established the Constitution . . . by the hands of wise men”
16 Ether 2:12 This is a choice land; no bondage if people serve Jesus
11 D&C 84:57 “Condemnation . . . remember the Book of Mormon”
10 2 Nephi 28:21 “The devil . . . leadeth them away carefully down to hell.”
9 D&C 1:1 “Hearken, O ye people of my church”
9 D&C 1:4 “Voice of warning . . . by the mouths of my disciples”
9 D&C 84:56 Condemnation for ignoring the Book of Mormon
9 D&C 98:10 “Good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold”
Hugh B. Brown 11 Genesis 1:27 “God created man in his own image”
11 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
8 Revelation 14:6 “I saw another angel fly . . . having the everlasting gospel”
8 D&C 93:36 “The glory of God is intelligence”
7 John 17:3 “This is life eternal . . . know thee the only true God”
7 A of F 1:8 Bible, Book of Mormon are the word of God
D. Todd Christofferson 4 Mark 10:45 “Son of man came . . . to give his life a ransom for many”
4 John 3:5 “Be born of water and of the Spirit”
4 Mosiah 3:19 “The natural man is an enemy to God”
3 14 verses tied

I have to admit that I laughed pretty hard at President Benson’s #1 and #2. The image in my head is I’m sure a caricature, so it’s funny to see parts of that caricature confirmed by the fact that his top two most cited verses are both “Rah rah America!” scriptures.

Name # Refs Verse
J. Reuben Clark, Jr. 11 Acts 4:12 “None other name . . . whereby we must be saved”
10 John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life”
9 Luke 22:42 “Remove this cup . . . not my will, but thine, be done.”
8 John 17:3 “This is life eternal . . . know thee the only true God”
8 1 Cor 15:20 “Now is Christ risen from the dead”
8 D&C 38:27 “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”
Aileen H. Clyde 4 Moroni 7:47 “Charity is the pure love of Christ”
3 1 Cor 13:4 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind”
2 13 verses tied
Quentin L. Cook 4 1 Nephi 8:12 “The fruit . . . filled my soul with exceedingly great joy”
3 John 16:33 “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
3 Alma 39:5 Alma counsels Corianton
3 D&C 59:23 Righteous doers receive peace and eternal life.
3 D&C 68:6 “I the Lord am with you . . . ye shall bear record of me”
3 D&C 137:10 Children who die before age eight go to celestial kingdom
Elaine S. Dalton 8 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
6 D&C 25:2 Revelation to Emma Smith
6 D&C 115:5 “Shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations”
5 2 Nephi 32:5 “The Holy Ghost . . . will show . . . what ye should do.”
5 Moroni 9:9 Daughters of Lamanites raped by Nephites
5 D&C 25:13 “Cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made.”
Ann M. Dibb 3 Joshua 1:7 “Turn not from [the law] to the right hand or to the left”
3 Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and of a good courage”
2 Joshua 1:5 “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
2 Joshua 1:16 Israelites promise to follow Joshua.
2 1 Timothy 4:12 “Be thou an example of the believers”
2 Alma 37:6 “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass”
2 A of F 1:13 “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent . . .”

I’m really disappointed to see Moroni 9:9 on President Dalton’s most-cited list. What an awful scripture! It’s clearly one we should be downplaying, not trumpeting.

Name # Refs Verse
Alvin R. Dyer 8 JSH 1:19 Jesus tells Joseph Smith not to join any church.
5 D&C 58:28 “Inasmuch as men do good they shall [not] lose their reward.”
5 D&C 121:41 “No power or influence . . . by virtue of the priesthood”
5 D&C 121:42 “[Power or influence] by kindness, and pure knowledge”
5 D&C 121:45 “Thy confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God”
Henry B. Eyring 7 D&C 84:88 “I will go before your face. I will be on your right . . . and left”
6 Mosiah 5:13 “How knoweth the man the master whom he has not served”
6 D&C 20:77 Sacrament prayer for the bread
5 Matthew 25:21 Parable of the talents: “Well done . . . faithful servant”
5 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
James E. Faust 9 D&C 59:23 Righteous doers receive peace and eternal life.
8 D&C 84:38 “He that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom”
7 2 Nephi 2:26 “They have become free forever, knowing good from evil”
7 D&C 84:33 Obtain two priesthoods; be sanctified by Spirit; renew body.
7 D&C 84:34 Obtain two priesthoods; become elect of God.
7 D&C 121:41 “No power or influence . . . by virtue of the priesthood”
David B. Haight 8 John 21:15 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my lambs”
7 John 21:16 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my sheep”
7 John 21:17 Jesus asks Peter if he loves him; “Feed my sheep”
6 John 17:3 “This is life eternal . . . know thee the only true God”
5 Matthew 28:20 “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”
5 John 20:16 “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She . . . saith unto him, Rabboni”
5 John 20:17 “I ascend unto my Father, and your Father”
Robert D. Hales 10 Matthew 26:39 “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me”
9 Matthew 26:42 “If this cup may not pass . . . thy will be done”
7 James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God”
6 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
5 18 verses tied

You can see in many of these speakers’ lists that multiple verses come from the same passage. For example, Elder Haight’s top three verses are all from the story in John 21 where the resurrected Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. It’s a little bit unfortunate, because it might be more interesting to lump these together and get to see farther down his list. It’s a limitation of the fact that I did the counting verse-by-verse rather than passage-by-passage. I might try it that way in the future. One major advantage of going by verse is that it’s easy. I didn’t have to come up with any rules for how to combine verses into a passage.

Name # Refs Verse
Gordon B. Hinckley 12 D&C 121:45 “Thy confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God”
12 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
11 Matthew 16:19 “Whatsoever thou . . . bind on earth . . . bound in heaven”
11 D&C 13:1 Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood
11 D&C 76:22 “This is the testimony . . . we give of him: That he lives!”
11 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory”
Jeffrey R. Holland 5 Moroni 7:46 “If ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth”
4 John 16:33 “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
4 2 Nephi 31:19 After you are in the strait and narrow path, is all done? No.
4 2 Nephi 31:20 “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ”
4 D&C 81:5 “Stand in the office which I have appointed”
Howard W. Hunter 9 John 11:25 “I am the resurrection, and the life”
8 Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . soul . . . mind”
8 Matthew 22:39 “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
7 John 20:11 “Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping”
6 John 20:12 “Two angels . . . sitting . . . where the body of Jesus had lain”
Elaine L. Jack 4 1 Cor 13:8 “Charity never faileth”
4 Jacob 4:13 “The Spirit . . . speaketh of things as they really are”
2 17 verses tied
Spencer W. Kimball 11 Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
11 Matthew 16:16 “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”
11 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
10 Luke 6:46 “Why call yet me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things . . . I say?”
10 3 Nephi 11:7 Father introduces resurrected Christ to Nephites/Lamanites

Kind of like with President Benson, I have this image in my head of President Kimball talking a lot about Sabbath day observance, so it’s interesting to see him citing that commandment as his (tied for) #1 verse.

Name # Refs Verse
Harold B. Lee 12 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
9 D&C 115:6 “Gathering together upon the land of Zion . . . for a defense”
8 D&C 1:17 “I the Lord . . . called upon my servant Joseph Smith Jun”
8 D&C 1:35 “Hour is . . . nigh . . . peace shall be taken from the earth”
8 D&C 1:36 “Lord . . . shall come down in judgment upon . . . the world”
8 D&C 90:24 “Search diligently, pray always, and be believing”
Neal A. Maxwell 22 Mosiah 3:19 “The natural man is an enemy to God”
20 Jacob 4:13 “The Spirit . . . speaketh of things as they really are”
16 Alma 7:11 Redeemer will suffer “pains and afflictions and temptations”
16 Alma 7:12 Redeemer will suffer infirmities and death, filled with mercy
16 D&C 19:18 Suffering caused Jesus to tremble, bleed
Bruce R. McConkie 17 D&C 59:23 Righteous doers receive peace and eternal life.
11 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
10 Acts 10:34 “God is no respecter of persons”
10 JSH 1:19 Jesus tells Joseph Smith not to join any church.
9 JSH 1:16 “I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head”
David O. McKay 22 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
19 Acts 4:12 “None other name . . . whereby we must be saved”
16 2 Peter 1:4 “Ye might be partakers of the divine nature”
14 Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men”
14 A of F 1:13 “We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent . . .”
Thomas S. Monson 22 1 Timothy 4:12 “Be thou an example of the believers”
19 Matthew 25:40 If you have done it to the least, you have done it to me.
19 Acts 10:38 Peter testifies of Jesus
18 Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden”
18 Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me”

Here’s an example where my expectation was totally off. I was betting Elder McConkie’s top scripture would be something punishment-oriented like D&C 19:17.

Name # Refs Verse
Henry D. Moyle 5 John 17:3 “This is life eternal . . . know thee the only true God”
5 Acts 2:36 “God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified”
5 Acts 2:37 “They were pricked in their heart . . . what shall we do?”
5 Acts 2:38 “Repent, and be baptized . . . in the name of Jesus Christ”
5 Revelation 14:6 “I saw another angel fly . . . having the everlasting gospel”
5 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
Russell M. Nelson 20 D&C 128:18 Dispensation of the fulness of times, keys, powers, glories
18 D&C 132:19 Blessings of new and everlasting covenant
17 D&C 14:7 “Eternal life . . . the greatest of all the gifts of God”
17 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
15 2 Nephi 2:25 “Men are that they might have joy.”
Dallin H. Oaks 20 D&C 20:77 Sacrament prayer for the bread
9 D&C 14:7 “Eternal life . . . the greatest of all the gifts of God”
9 D&C 59:9 “Offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day”
6 3 Nephi 9:20 “Offer for a sacrifice . . . a broken heart and a contrite spirit”
5 16 verses tied
Boyd K. Packer 15 Alma 42:8 Plan of happiness requires temporal death.
12 D&C 42:11 A preacher must be ordained by someone having authority.
12 D&C 58:42 “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven”
11 2 Nephi 32:3 “Feast upon the words of Christ”
11 D&C 1:30 “The only true and living church upon the face of the . . . earth”
Bonnie D. Parkin 2 Luke 10:39 “Mary . . . sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.”
2 Luke 10:40 “Martha was cumbered about much serving”
2 Luke 10:42 “Mary hath chosen that good part”
2 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
2 Moroni 7:46 “If ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth”
2 Moroni 7:47 “Charity is the pure love of Christ”

It looks a little strange that Elder Oaks has referred to the sacrament prayer on the bread over twice as often as any other verse. It’s true that he has referred to it a lot, but some of this is just that when he’s talking about it, he cites it repeatedly in the same talk. For example, he referred to it six times in a single talk in 1996.

Name # Refs Verse
L. Tom Perry 7 Moses 5:5 God commands Adam & Eve to worship God, give offerings
6 Genesis 2:24 “A man . . . shall cleave unto his wife”
6 Genesis 41:38 “Can we find . . . a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”
6 Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go”
6 1 Nephi 1:1 “I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents”
Mark E. Petersen 12 Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect”
12 Ephesians 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints, . . . work of the ministry”
11 Amos 3:7 “God . . . revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
11 Revelation 14:6 “I saw another angel fly . . . having the everlasting gospel”
10 Matthew 6:24 “No man can serve two masters”
10 Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden”
10 Revelation 14:7 “Fear God, and give glory . . . his judgment is come”
LeGrand Richards 25 Isaiah 29:14 “A marvelous work and a wonder”
25 Acts 3:21 Jesus in heaven “until the times of restitution of all things”
20 2 Peter 1:19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy”
19 Amos 3:7 “God . . . revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
17 Isaiah 2:3 “Come . . . let us go up to the mountain of the Lord”
17 Luke 24:25 “O fools, and slow of heart to believe . . . the prophets”
Marion G. Romney 19 D&C 1:16 “Every man walketh in his own way . . . after . . . his own god”
19 D&C 59:23 Righteous doers receive peace and eternal life.
17 D&C 84:39 “Oath and covenant . . . belongeth to the priesthood”
15 D&C 42:31 “Impart of your substance unto the poor, . . . do it unto me”
14 D&C 1:17 “I the Lord . . . called upon my servant Joseph Smith Jun”
Richard G. Scott 9 D&C 8:2 “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost”
7 2 Nephi 2:7 “He offereth himself a sacrifice for sin”
7 D&C 58:42 “He who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven”
6 Ether 12:6 “Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen”
6 D&C 43:16 “Ye are to be taught from on high.”

Elder Richards’s #1, Isaiah 29:14, seems like it isn’t referred to as much as it was when I was a kid. Maybe I’ll look into patterns like that–changes over time in how often a verse is referred to–in a future post too.

Name # Refs Verse
George Albert Smith 14 Matthew 22:39 “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
13 D&C 115:4 Naming of the church
12 Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the Lord . . . shall run and not be weary”
11 Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men”
9 Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
9 Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”
9 D&C 101:80 “I established the Constitution . . . by the hands of wise men”
Joseph Fielding Smith 9 D&C 110:16 “The . . . day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”
8 Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone”
6 Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . soul . . . mind”
6 3 Nephi 27:19 “No unclean thing can enter into his kingdom”
6 D&C 76:55 [Resurrection of the just] “the Father has given all things”
6 Moses 5:13 “They loved Satan more than God”
Delbert L. Stapley 7 Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”
7 John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life”
6 D&C 58:28 “Inasmuch as men do good they shall [not] lose their reward.”
5 Matthew 7:14 “Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way”
5 Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ”
5 D&C 93:36 “The glory of God is intelligence”
N. Eldon Tanner 16 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
15 John 3:16 “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”
13 Matthew 22:39 “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
12 JSH 1:17 “I saw two personages . . .standing above me in the air”
10 Joshua 24:15 “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
10 Matthew 6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness”
10 Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . soul . . . mind”
10 Matthew 22:38 “This is the first and great commandment.”
Susan W. Tanner 2 Job 38:7 “[Where wast thou] when the morning stars sang together?”
2 Isaiah 49:16 “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands”
2 Hebrews 11:13 “They were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”
2 2 Nephi 4:16 “My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord”
2 2 Nephi 11:8 “I write some of the words of Isaiah”
2 2 Nephi 31:20 “Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ”
2 Helaman 5:36 “Faces of Nephi and Lehi . . . did shine exceedingly”
2 D&C 93:33 “Spirit and element, . . . receive a fulness of joy”
2 D&C 98:3 “All things . . . shall work together for your good”

I would guess that Joseph Fielding Smith’s #1 might be on the decline too, like Elder Richards’s #1. It seems like we’re maybe a little less heavy on the apocalyptic talk than we were a few decades ago.

Name # Refs Verse
Barbara Thompson 3 Mosiah 18:8 “As ye are . . willing to bear one another’s burdens”
3 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
2 13 verses tied
Dieter F. Uchtdorf 6 Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
6 Moses 1:39 “This is my work and my glory . . . immortality . . . eternal life”
5 D&C 84:38 “He that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom”
5 D&C 121:41 “No power or influence . . . by virtue of the priesthood”
4 8 verses tied
Joseph B. Wirthlin 8 Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart . . . soul . . . mind”
7 Matthew 22:40 Law and prophets hang on two great commandments.
7 D&C 14:7 “Eternal life . . . the greatest of all the gifts of God”
6 Matthew 22:38 “This is the first and great commandment.”
6 Mosiah 18:9 “Mourn with those that mourn . . .stand as witnesses of God”
6 Moroni 7:16 “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man”

Here’s another bit of evidence, I think, that President Uchtdorf is (refreshingly) not in the mold of so many other GAs. He cites Romans 3:23 a lot. I served a mission in the Bible Belt, and I saw this verse cited many times in evangelical Christian tracts that emphasized salvation by grace. The Romans Road, I think they often called it. Anyway, my impression was and is that Mormons have shied away from citing it too much, to avoid appearing to be as grace-focused as evangelicals. But President Uchtdorf barges in without all that American baggage, and just cites it to his heart’s content. And this is even before his wonderful talk on grace this last Conference! Just wait until I have all the updated data!

What in these lists stands out to you? Are there any top-cited verses by particular speakers that you find particularly surprising (or unsurprising)? Also, if you’re interested in top lists for other people, let me know and I’ll be happy to add them in the comments. I have them all; I just excluded some to keep the table from getting too long.

7 thoughts on “A Look at Conference Speakers’ Favorite Verses of Scripture

  1. 1

    Fascinating, thank you. The diversity is interesting. I was also surprised at how many “stereotypes” of various personalities turn out to be supported by data.

  2. 2

    This is so interesting! I always enjoy the data analysis you share with us. One curiosity I have is when speakers quote other people, especially not from scriptures or other church leaders. I’ve picked up lately that say if I give a sacrament meeting talk or even teach a class, I shouldn’t reference anything not officially LDS. To me though this removes many lovely thoughts and concepts from literature, poetry, music, history and so forth. I know for the teachers this has the very good intention of not introducing non-doctrine, I guess I’ve just always appreciated words I could only wish I’d put together myself.

  3. 3

    Thanks, Julie!

    Thanks, Gina! I think that’s a great question about who gets quoted by Conference speakers when they’re not quoting scriptures. If you haven’t seen it already, you might enjoy David Evans’s post at T&S a few months ago, where he looked at who got quoted in a recent Conference. He found that higher authority speakers were more likely to quote lower authority sources. I think this is in line with your experience, where people expect you, as an ordinary member, to quote only high authority sources. I agree with you that this is unfortunate, as there’s lots of great stuff out there that would score a zero on any scale of Mormon authority.

    http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2015/02/they-spoke-in-general-conference-as-ones-that-had-authority/

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    Ooh, this is great! I laughed out loud at Elder Oaks quoting the sacrament bread so often. And so many of my favorite GA’s that have passed away (Haight, Wirthlin) quote so many of my favorite scriptures. I want to go back and read Susan Tanner’s talks, because she quoted some of my favorite scriptures, too. Thanks!

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