Zelophehad’s Daughters

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 […]

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 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.

“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 […]

How often are men and women quoted in General Conference?

Posted by Beatrice

Soon after I finished my most recent post, I realized that it would be fairly easy to assess how often men and women are quoted and how often stories are told about men as opposed to women in General Conference.  I decided to analyze the most recent conference (April 2013) to get the most up-to-date […]

How often are men and women quoted in church?

Posted by Beatrice

I have heard anecdotal evidence that men are much more likely than women to be quoted during LDS church services, and that stories about men are more often shared than stories about women.  It is not surprising that this trend would exist given that the majority of scripture stories in the LDS canon are about […]

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.

They always say the same thing in Conference (Part 1)

Posted by Ziff

A few months ago, I was working on a project that required me to look through a lot of search results at the Corpus of LDS General Conference Talks. I was surprised to find that some speakers not only told the same stories and made the same points in multiple talks, they frequently used exactly […]

Everything I Know about Feminism I Learned from the 1970s

Posted by Beatrice

At a recent FAIR conference, Joshua Johanson spoke about how he has negotiated the conflict between his same sex attraction and his religious faith.  Something that struck me about this talk was a comment he made near the beginning about his wife’s relationship with the feminist movement and how it is similar to his relationship […]

Distal Effects of Missionary Age Changes

Posted by Ziff

Kent Larsen at T&S has a great list of possible effects of the changes in minimum missionary ages that President Monson announced in Conference. Many of the effects discussed are straightforward and closely tied to missionary work (e.g. enrollment at BYU), but others are more weakly tied and more speculative (e.g., divorce rate). I want […]

State Shout-outs in Conference

Posted by Ziff

In one of the fMh Conference threads, Elisothel said that Wyoming gets a mention in every Conference. This got me to wondering how often any of the US states are mentioned. So I looked it up.

from Elder Bednar’s October 2011 General Conference Talk

Posted by Melyngoch

Sister Bednar and I are acquainted with a returned missionary who had dated a special young man for a period of time. She cared for him very much, and she was desirous of making their relationship more serious. She was considering and hoping for engagement and marriage.

General Conference Stories Where the Subtext Speaks to Me

Posted by Ziff

Often what I remember best about General Conference (other than controversial bit that are later argued in the Bloggernacle, of course) is the stories speakers tell. This probably isn’t surprising. A vivid story is likely more memorable for most people than an abstract discussion of Church doctrine or practice. But what might be unusual is […]

No Longer a Black and White Issue

Posted by Ziff

In last month’s Conference issue of the Ensign, (PDF complete–note it’s 6 MB)  for the first time I can remember, the pictures were all in color. Not just the pictures of the speakers, but the candid shots of people in and around the Conference Center and Temple Square, and watching Conference in other parts of […]

Ordinary members speaking in General Conference

Posted by Ziff

What do you think about having ordinary Church members speak in General Conference?

General Conference and the Sensus Fidelium

Posted by Lynnette

A fun concept in Catholic teachings is the notion of the sensus fidelium, the “sense of the faithful.”  The idea is that the work of the Spirit guiding the church can be found not only in the teachings of ecclesiastical leaders, but also in the beliefs  and experiences of the members of the church, the […]