Zelophehad’s Daughters

What Elder Oaks Did and Didn’t Say to OW

Posted by Ziff

Elder Oaks gave a talk in Priesthood Session tonight that was the most direct response to Ordain Women that I’ve yet heard a GA give. He hit a lot of points that have already been argued to death on the Bloggernacle. For example, have you ever heard that priesthood is for boys and motherhood is […]

New Scripture Mastery: Now With 40% Less Prooftexting!

Posted by Ziff

The list of scripture mastery scriptures that seminary students are asked to memorize was modified last September. Over a third of the 100 scriptures (25 for each book of scripture / year of instruction) were replaced. NoCoolName Tom has some fascinating discussion of the scriptures that were dropped at his blog (from the Old Testament […]

Insider/Outsider Talk in the Church PR Response to Ordain Women

Posted by Ziff

The Church PR department’s response to Ordain Women’s request for tickets to the priesthood session of Conference makes the point that OW is a minority movement: Women in the Church, by a very large majority, do not share your advocacy for priesthood ordination for women and consider that position to be extreme. One question this […]

General Conference Talk Complexity by Speaker (and by Session)

Posted by Ziff

Last week I blogged about looking for differences in General Conference talk complexity by session type. I thought it would be fun to break down the same data in a couple of other ways.

Does General Conference Talk Complexity Vary by Session Type?

Posted by Ziff

Back in November, the Church announced a new General Women’s Meeting that will occur the weekend before each General Conference. This meeting will include girls who are eight to eleven years old in addition to women and teenage girls. I saw a number of people on the Bloggernacle suggest that the result would be that […]

General RS Presidencies Having Children and GAs Having Children

Posted by Ziff

On my post last week about how many kids GAs have, Petra asked about what the numbers would look like for women in general Church leadership positions. To answer this question, I’ve looked up the number of children that women in the General Relief Society Presidency (hereafter, GRSP) have had. To match the dataset I […]

GAs Having Children and Talking about Having Children

Posted by Ziff

In comments on Steve Evans’s recent post at BCC on how birth rates might be increased in accordance with GAs’ counsel to have more children, the question was briefly raised of how many children GAs themselves have. One commenter pointed to a post at By Study and Faith where Jared had found that younger members […]

Carefully! Carefully with the plates!

Posted by Ziff

I like to think that if J.R.R. Tolkien had been Mormon, he might have written a book about the hassles of getting the Book of Mormon translated. Such a book might have included the following song: Chip the peepstone and break the plates! Melt the sealed portion down! That’s what Joseph Jr. hates— Wave the […]

Nacle Notebook 2013: Funny Comments

Posted by Ziff

This post is a list of some of the funniest comments I read on the Bloggernacle in 2013. In case you haven’t already seen them, here are links to similar lists from previous years: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008. The comments are in roughly chronological order. Most of the original comments are longer, and I’ve […]

Elder Oaks Shows Us the Way Forward

Posted by Ziff

So gay marriage is legal now in Utah. At least for a moment, until the appeals begin. The Church’s response, not surprisingly, is to hope for the ruling to be overturned: This ruling by a district court will work its way through the judicial process. We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the […]

Subtexts of General Conference Stories, October 2013 Edition

Posted by Ziff

I think it’s fascinating to look at the stories that General Conference speakers choose to tell. The subtexts, or the messages they convey without stating them explicitly, are particularly interesting. A couple of years ago, I blogged about a couple of stories Conference speakers told where the subtexts provoked particularly strong reactions in me. In […]

Elder Christofferson’s Edit Suggests Some GA Doesn’t Dislike All Feminists

Posted by Ziff

As you’ve probably heard, Elder Christofferson’s Conference talk a couple of weeks ago originally included a swipe at “some feminist thinkers,” who he claimed “view homemaking with outright contempt.” This statement was edited in the printed version to be aimed at a more nebulous “some” who view homemaking with outright contempt. This change seems like […]

Most “Liked” Conference Talks

Posted by Ziff

What was your favorite General Conference talk? Was it President Uchtdorf’s, where he said this? Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some […]

Usage of “I know” and “I believe” in General Conference

Posted by Ziff

Geoff Nelson at Rational Faiths wrote an interesting post a few weeks ago where he looked at how often General Conference speakers say “I know” versus “I believe.” Hooray for more data analysis in the Bloggernacle! Anyway, he found that usage of “I know” has been increasing relative to “I believe” since the early 20th […]

Most “Liked” General Authorities

Posted by Ziff

Who is the most liked General Authority? That’s a difficult question to answer. Fortunately, there’s a related question that’s much easier to answer, so I’ll go with it instead: Who is the most “liked” General Authority? Now that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve all have official Facebook pages, it’s a simple matter […]

From the archives: Tracting: Is It Worth Doing?

Posted by Ziff

In light of last week’s “Hastening the Work of Salvation” broadcast and the reduced emphasis on tracting it suggests, this post from 2008 might be relevant again. You can read the original post and discussion here. We tracted a lot in my mission. It was the activity we defaulted to if we had nothing else […]

Most Common Conference Talk Topics, 1971-2013

Posted by Ziff

A couple of months ago, my co-blogger Beatrice pointed out that lds.org applies handy topic labels to General Conference talks. I thought it might be fun to look through these to see which topics have been addressed most frequently in the last 40 years.

Washington, D.C. snacker May 29th

Posted by Ziff

I’m going to be in Washington, D.C. next week, and frequent commenter Marta is generously hosting a bloggersnacker. It will be Wednesday, May 29th at 6pm. If you’re in the D.C. area and would be interested in joining us, please email me for directions: ziff at zelophehadsdaughters.com.

“I never noticed women weren’t praying in Conference”

Posted by Ziff

In the discussion of the Let Women Pray movement, one of the comments I heard most frequently was something along the lines of “I never noticed women weren’t praying in Conference.” In a few cases, the context suggested that the statement was being made as a marker of being more righteous than thou, but in […]

Heavenly Parents, are we really talking about you more?

Posted by Ziff

After April Conference, I was asked by someone in the fMh Facebook group to check whether this Conference had featured an unusually large number of references to Heavenly Parents. The answer is yes, it did.