General Conference Open Thread John Dehlin April 4, 2009 General Conference, LDS, Mormon 67 Comments Impressions and reactions welcome. Just keep it civil.
As I was waiting for conference to start I watched as everyone stood up when President Monson walked in and sat down. In a society that shows less and less respect, I realized how much I appreciate the respect being shown to the prophet. I find it harder and harder to find ways to teach my children respect when most movies now made for children have extreme levels of disrespect in them. It was refreshing to see something different for a change.
Well, since Elder Didier gave the opening prayer, I’m going to guess that he won’t be getting the calling as a the new apostle.
Carter nailed it – Elder Anderson.
I am soooo guilty. So, if texting and emailing during church is irreverant, I guess so is blogging about conference during conference….
Yeah, MH, I thought that hit pretty close to home. *grin*
Seth R. over on the BCC thread said the following:
Sounds right to me.
Now that was an address filled with messages that explains why the LDS church is different than all others. We have the Priesthood authority to make and enter into covenants.
President Uchtdorf is an amazing speaker, and so is Elder Christofferson. No pressure, Elder Anderson. 🙂
Praise to the men?
I enjoyed Conference but wonder why the talk on priesthood quorums could not have been saved for priesthood session and a talk given that applies to all members–women and children included.
Karen, I think that the information in that talk applies to all class/quorum presidencies. Keys, right to revelation, etc. are a part of any calling, and specifically any kind of presidencies. Though I will agree that if that was the intended message of the talk, focusing specifically on priesthood quorums was probably not the most effective way to do it.
I love the way Pres. Uchtdorf pronounces the names.
Someone mentioned this on BCC:
“Anybody notice the call of an African member of the 1st Quorum of Seventy? He is Joseph Wafula Sitati, currently serving as a mission president in Nigeria. He was the first president of the Nairobi, Kenya Stake and served as an Area Seventy from 2004-2007. He was an executive with Total Oil and was a Church employee as Director of Public Affairs for Africa.”
“We shouldn’t judge members of our own faith regardless of their levels of activity.” (Elder Cook)
My favorite line thus far.
Ray, you beat me to it! That was my thought exactly. Along with what Elder Cook said to the effect of not criticizing other churches.
Anyone else notice that E. Cook referred to two topics we’ve blogged on in the last couple of months: James’ atheist double-decker buses and Bruce N.’s Black Swan analogy. Is E. Cook a fanboy of MM??? 🙂
Yes, Hawk, I noticed that. More than a little cool!
“Public prayers ought to be short statements and supplications – not unscheduled sermons.”
I like it!
Anybody else watch the Hawaii special after the afternoon session today. Man, I need a vacation!
I didn’t see the Hawaii special but I’ll second your vacation idea!
P.S. NO KIDS RIGHT?!! 😀
Yeah, the Hawaii special only made me more excited about my upcoming vacation… *smiles smugly*
There are “truths we cannot even begin to understand”. (Pres. Uchtdorf)
I really like that.
Jen – Hawaii I would bring kids this time (every other time). Europe, not this time.
I think the “never” too late idea is a little different, but I really like it.
I really like Elder Anderson’s talk. He seems like a truly humble man.
I have to admit I was a little disappointed when the new apostle was another white man, but I agree, he does seem humble, and from what I’ve read has quite a bit of international experience.
and what a wonderful talk. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard someone (other than Elder Wirthlin, perhaps) talk so openly about the “we are not alone (in every good thing we do)” concept. I absolutely LOVED that.
I liked that as well. Just as I want to call mainstream Christianity a perversion, Elder Anderson shoots me down. *Repenting* …
I agree, Elder Anderson talk was an example of humility and sincerity.
As others have already said, his point about the good other churches and organizations (I think he said organizations) do needs to be recognized; yet, we can’t soft peddle our uniqueness of having the heavens opened.
“All of us are poor in some way and will need the hep of others.” I like that phrasing.
I love how Elder Holland has said more than once, “We don’t know . . .”
President Monson: “The future is as bright as your faith.”
Elder Cook: “Our leaders have consistently counseled us … ‘to live with respect and appreciation for those not of our faith. There is so great a need for civility and mutual respect among those of differing beliefs and philosophies.'” We should refrain from criticism. Other Christians do much good, bless mankind, and many help their members learn of the Savior and his teachings.
“It is equally important that we be loving and kind to members of our own faith, regardless of their level of commitment or activity. The Savior has made it clear that we are not to judge each other. This is especially true of members of our own families. Our obligation is to love and teach and never give up.”
I really liked this last session (until the cheesy Pres. Monson montage during the closing hymn). Especially Pres. Uchtdorf and Elder Anderson. A focus on the Saviour and then a reminder that we don’t have a monopoly on righteousness.
I agree about the montage. More emotional-bordering on manipulation than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I like Pres. Monson. But clips like that, at the end of sessions, really do make it look like he’s above Jesus. Then again, perhaps a montage of Jesus in various poses wouldn’t be that great either…
This is one reason I like to use my TiVO to blow past the hymns. That and those horrid robin-egg blue choir gowns today. Has someone been raiding Mrs. Roper’s closet?!?
On a thread a few weeks ago I engaged in a discussion about the percentage of Mormons in Utah. In the course of that exchange, Ray and others insisted that my math was flawed because Utah is not 70% Mormon despite what the church website may be reporting. After hearing the annual membership report, I’m ashamed to admit that Ray and others are probably correct. It would seem that the church over reports it’s numbers.
Perhaps someone here could help me make sense of the following claims by the church and help me with my math skills.
1. Church Growth- 315,000 (increase from last year, for a total of 13.5M approx.)
2. Convert baptisms- 266,000
3. Children of Record added- 121,000 (25% more children born this year than last???)
4. Total (266,000+121,000=) 387,000
5. Difference 72,000 (Deaths, resignation, Exe’d, nine years olds not baptized)
Two years ago the church reported approximately 93,000 children of record in 2007. Why the sudden huge upswing in Mormon women having babies? (In looking at the numbers for the last 40 years, the reported number of children born into the church is too many standard deviations away from the mean to be believed.) I suspect the true number is somewhat less than 100,000.
Is the church afraid to tell its members that, in reality, growth has been nearly stagnant for the last 10 years? I think I owe Ray an apology; it’s quite possible that Utah is getting close to being 50% non-mormon. It would appear that the church has been deliberately exaggerating its membership, perhaps for years.
How many years do you suspect they’ve been doing what all of us good missionaries learned to do years ago? (You know, report your weekly stats to the DL’s/ZL’s with the kind of numbers they wanted to see instead of the actual numbers that may give the impression that you weren’t being diligent enough.)
Doug’s guess… (I know… not very scientific)
1. Convert Baptisms- 266,000
2. Children of record- 95,000
3. Deaths- 110,000 (based on mortality rates for the US, very conservative)
4. Resignations- 25,000 (no idea here, but I’ll bet its low)
5. Exe’d- 40,000 (Average of 12 per year for each Stake/District, again conservative)
6. Not Baptized 9 year olds- 20,000 (based on % of in-actives that don’t have their kids baptized)
Grand Total- (361,000-195,000=) 166,000 Total growth for last year
In-other-words, the church has conservatively doubled the actual increase this year. If this has been going on for the last ten years, the results paint a very different picture of church growth. Not sure how significant this data is, but if the organization is willing to deceive its members about this, what else’s have they been guilty of obfuscating?
#37: I got in trouble for suggesting that the choir gals were about to bust out with “come and knock on our door…”
I know a great deal about membership statistics for the Community of Christ, and how little the leaders of my denomination understand about them or about the sources of membership growth. For example, it has been “conventional wisdom” in CofC that liberalization over women in the priesthood and similar issues had tremendous impacts on membership numbers. (Interestingly, conservatives argue it hurt membership; liberals argue the exact opposite position that liberalization revitalized outreach.) Actually, data going back to 1880 shows that NOTHING internal to the church had ANY effect, positive or negative, on the denomination’s growth rate. (See “Growing the Church to Impact Public Life” in “Theology 14: Religion and Public Life” published by the Community of Christ Seminary). Issues such as liberalization may strongly affect WHO converts in and who converts out, but it has no net statistically discernable effect on HOW MANY flow either way.
So don’t assume deception on the part of your leaders when simple non-specialist familiarity can explain any errors in emphasis. For example, your loss rates seem very high compared to my experience with CofC data — so I’d not accept their conservatism until I knew a lot more about how they are derived.
But there is one thing that stands out and tempts me to envy: your convert baptisms in a single year substantially exceed my church’s entire active membership! I’d love to have your problem!
I saw and listened to every talk in the 5 session conference.
Elder Christofferson’s talk on covenants stood out for me. I look forward to reading it.
President Monson’s talk was delivered with power. I worry a little bit about the message. The trials the individuals went through that he related were heart wrenching. They were all faithful, but is he preparing the membership of the church for wrenching trials? I liked the extreme optimism of President Hinckley, but the Lord prepares the lives and words of the prophets to fit the times in which they preside.
There were many wonderful talks, I’ve just mentioned a few.
What theme did you pick up on? I would answer this question in three words: trials, faith, and temples.
“The moral footings of society continue to slip,” LDS President Thomas S. Monson said, “while those who attempt to safeguard those footings are often ridiculed and, at times, picketed and persecuted.”
Is picketing is an improper way to express feelings?
Doug, this is one time when I simply am going to roll my eyes and shut my mouth. There really isn’t anything substantive I can say.
The temple theme really stuck out to me. Also, as I think about what you said about President Monson and the stories he told, I think that is an interesting way to consider what may be coming. I honestly worry about the upcoming generation being able to handle difficult trials. In my experience with some teenagers, if they can’t listen to their IPOD while doing their homework they fall apart….seriously. It concerns me that many of the rising generation are so used to ease, distraction and convenience that many of them just won’t be willing to deal with any form of difficulty. I don’t remember ever hearing the type of whining I hear now from teenagers when I was that age. I had a job as a teenager, paid for my own car, etc. and the teenagers I encounter nowadays think they shouldn’t have to work and that their parents should give them their car. It reminds me of the talk referring to entitlement. To me it is just scary that many parents aren’t expecting more from their kids and are just giving into their every whim. I can’t imagine what is going to happen to them when the cord is forcefully cut.
I do appreciate your thoughts and can understand your point about different decisions making little difference in actual growth. However, I think the leadership of the LDS faith would like to think that they can make a difference in spreading the gospel by their leadership…
I know some of my guesses are just that, guess’s. However, the death rate in the USA is approximately eight deaths per thousand per year. This number is significantly higher in third world countries where the church is showing some of its greatest gains. Therefore, the data I presented for the number of members that passed away last year is VERY conservative. Given the fact that more members of the church live outside the USA now, I’m sure you could safely add 10-15%.
I’m not sure what happens in the COC, but during the time I served on a high council, we averaged well over twelve excommunications a year. I don’t know if we’re a representative sample, so I could be off some.
Here’s the long and the short of it. Obviously, given the deaths alone, the numbers reported in conference can’t be right. We could argue about how many leave through church discipline, children not being baptized by age nine, (which means they get counted as a convert baptism) and resignation. I’m not insisting on any of those numbers being accurate, but they are contributors in some degree to the real membership numbers. So I simply would like to know what the real growth rate is. If the church feels like statistical data is important enough to take time in general conference for, then am I out of line to ask for something that’s accurate?
I’m very sure that men who were successful at running large businesses know the real story. Being able to analyze trends and track pertinent data is key to being good at business. I don’t think these guys checked their brains at the door when they got called. Therefore, they know the truth, it’s not like the church isn’t good at keeping records. They believe they’re under a mandate to do it, and do it well.
Dude, even when I apologize and give you your due, you don’t like it… 🙂
Just tell me I have a point and we can move on. Sorry you didn’t get called to be a GA this round,
I was fairly sure one of us was going up!?!? Well, so much for my inspiration…
Doug, you are accusing them of intentionally doctoring and lying about baptism and birth stats – based on your own highly speculative guesses. There just isn’t a good response to that, and if I had said the exact opposite with my own highly speculative numbers you would have jumped all over me. Think about that; you really would have blasted me for rank speculation that was totally unprovable.
I really don’t have a substantive response, since it’s flat-out impossible to make a solid argument other than, “Wow. My own speculation is that your numbers are way off and they really are reporting to the best of their knowledge.” That’s my actual reaction, but there’s no reasonable discussion past that – so why bother?
We obviously disagree fundamentally about this, so what else is there to say?
They keep reporting numbers of units, that is the core number to pay attention to.
Ok Ray, no use trying to speculate about these numbers. I’m not advocating that, nor was I asking you to speculate. As I’m sure you know, the DAMU has a heyday every year with the church’s reported growth. I thought I would give MM a shot at explaining what we all heard in conference Saturday. All speculation aside, the numbers don’t add up. I would have liked someone to say; “look Doug, you forgot to consider “X” in your thinking and that accounts for “Y” and “Z”.” It doesn’t happen though; I just get my intelligence insulted by being asked to understand why 315K created 28 new Stakes in the church. (At 5000 members per stake, that should have made approximately 63 new stakes.) The fact that the church reported the addition of 28 new stakes would seem to support my 166K number.
The statement below is very unfair:
“Doug, you are accusing them of intentionally doctoring and lying about baptism and birth stats – based on your own highly speculative guesses.”
I didn’t question their baptism numbers at all. As for the birth stats, I simply stated that statically looking at 40 years of birth data from the church, this 25% jump in one year defies logic. I’m a program manager for a large organization and spend an inordinate amount of time looking at charts and data. If you look at the number of members of the church compared with the average number of births each year, you get a ratio that has been fairly predictable over the last 40 years. There’s a natural upper and lower limit you would expect for 2008 based on data going back to 1970. In my line of work, an outlier that far out of the norm would be a big red flag telling me something was wrong with the data. You want me to believe the brethren are just reporting on what they’re told and therefore no intent to deceive anyone. I’m sorry Ray; I just can’t accept that men, as educated as these guys are, wouldn’t demand good answers to all of the questions I’m raising here. The fact that it keeps going on year after year, tells me it’s intentional. You of course are free to believe what you want. But the issue isn’t going away and those outside the church will continue to use this as just another example of the church not being entirely honest with its members.
As an outsider, I obviously don’t know enough about your internal procedures to be definitive, but I’ll try to honor your request by telling you where I would first check.
A growing church will tend to baptize a young demographic. Since neither of our denominations baptize below a (slightly different) age of accountability, you will avoid the very young and very old age groups that contribute disproportionately to average death rates, (and that doesn’t account for Mormon behavioral-related long lifespans). That is the biggest factor in my suspicions that your death estimates are not conservative. For example, CofC death rates are about to accelerate rapidly because our age distribution is heavily skewed toward the elderly.
My suspicions about some of the other loss numbers come from a general observation that large excummunication rates and withdrawal rates are only possible in a rapidly growing church. When a church is not growing rapidly, it does not have the resources to find out whether people should leave or even have left. Good data is a luxury item when a church is not growing rapidly; people just wander away and get lost without any report ever getting filed. I have personal knowledge of a CofChrist member who had left the church and been an ordained Methodist minister for about 20 years before anyone contacted him. Our membership reports for Africa, which is our fastest growing non-USA region, seem to be running 2-years behind in baptisms, and no losses (deaths, disaffections, whatever) are being reported at all. Even in the US, there are far more reports being filed of transfers into a region than show up on the reports of transfers out of a region.
In other words, if your leaders know enough to give accurate data, they can’t have much to hide in the first place.
“I would have liked someone to say; “look Doug, you forgot to consider “X””
I’m no expert, but I’ll take a small stab at this. It takes 5000 members for a Stake? I was in a stake in Japan and there was NO way there were that many members, not even including the scores of inactive members. There probably wasn’t even that many in the stake I grew up in Utah.
The total number of converts and/or membership means very little to me, and I pay little attention to it. Like Stephen said above, I am more interested in the number of wards and stakes, and where temples are being built. When I was a missionary and had access to some records, I was also concerned with the activity rate of new members as well. To each his/her own, however, and we all find what we’re looking for, myself, Doug, and everyone else included.
FireTag is correct…the fact that the church has higher-than-average birth rates will ALSO make it have lower-than-average death rates, because a smaller share of the membership is old. You can see this effect in comparing the 2006 death rate in Utah (7.05%) to the national death rate (7.76%).
This also carries over to countries, so your speculation that “developing countries” have high death rates is generally backwards. Latin American countries, for example, have much lower death rates than the U.S., because they have younger populations. Mexico’s death rate is below 5%, much lower even than Utah:
I agree with you that the spike in “children of record” can’t be taken at face value; it must be the result of some policy change in how things are counted. Maybe we’ll get the real story sometime.
Ooops, the link I posted to state-by-state death rates was actually using “age-adjusted-rates,” so it failed to capture the differences I was talking about. This link gives the right numbers: national death rate of 8.10% vs. Utah death rate of only 5.39%, a really big difference! So Utah’s death rate is about as low as a Latin American country’s.
Long story short, your death projections are not “conservative” at all, and likely much too high.
Just kill the conversation with this. “Doug, your speculative numbers must be right. Let’s move on to another subject–like what the other 99% of conference was really about.” That’s what he’s looking for, and it’ll probably tick him off again if you agree with him.
MH, great suggestion, which I will ignore for one comment. 🙂
1) 12 excommunications per stake per year, church-wide, is ridiculous, imo. It simply doesn’t happen anywhere close to that frequently in most stakes.
2) 5,000 members per stake, church-wide, is ridiculous, imo. (example, There are roughly 3,000 members in our stake – in the heart of the US Midwest. We could add another FOUR wards and another TWO THOUSAND members without needing to form another stake here.) When a new stake is formed, it often isn’t because 10,000 members were divided into two bulging stakes. It’s often because 6,000 members were split into two 3,000 member stakes – which means that 3,000 more new members would be needed to form one more stake. Add in a standard activity rate of even 40%, which is nowhere near “low” throughout Christianity right now, and that means closer to 6,500 – 7,000 new members being baptized to create one new stake. That’s pretty much in line with the numbers announced. In fact, it’s almost perfectly in line.
Now, having said that, ““Doug, your speculative numbers might be right (but reality says the Church’s numbers are accurate). Let’s move on to another subject – like what the other 99% of conference was really about.”
I stand corrected. Hold on to your hats, this doesn’t happen very often. 🙂 My death rates might be in error if the LDS population is not evenly disturbed. Wow, where are all the old people in Mexico?
Only one small quibble, unless I’m thinking backwards, I thought I was giving the church the benefit of the doubt in estimating stakes at 5000 members. (That number includes all the inactive.) So if, as Ray is stating, most stakes are in the 3000 to 4000 member range, wouldn’t that mean we would have needed nearly 100 new stakes to accommodate 300,000 new members? As stated above, stake’s totals are not depended on the number of in-actives, they’re included. I’m not trying to argue, it just doesn’t make sense to only create 28 new stakes last year for that many new members. You all realize that we baptize people into existing stakes, not the other way around. So when you say we have to baptize 7000 to make one new stake, you’re mixing apples and oranges. Never mind though, obviously I just don’t get it.
Fwiw, my estimates of the number of exe’d folks was a guess based on my very limited experience. I was really just trying to make sense of all the numbers.
yawn… And I thought my math class was boring….
Doug, MH’s boredom notwithstanding, since your follow-up comments look like you really are open to alternate explanations, I will go ahead and address the stake numbers and the child baptism numbers – briefly. This will bore MH even more, but he’ll just have to deal with it. 🙂
Generally, a “full” stake can handle up to about a dozen units. Each ward can handle up to about 300 active members before it gets too unwieldy. 250 probably is a good average, ideally, but the standard deviation would be between 200-300. Less than 200 means it can be difficult to fill positions without relying strictly on the same few people to constantly rotate. Over 300 means lots of people get overlooked for callings that will make them stretch and grow.
When stakes are split, they often start with fewer than a dozen units. For example, our stake currently has eight units – five “full” wards and three decent-sized branches. This means we can add at least another 2,000 – 3,000 members of record (probably about 1,000 new active members) without maxing out our stake’s support capabilities. Therefore, I don’t expect our stake to split again in the near future (unless it occurs by adding one stake within the boundaries of multiple current stakes – which is how we were created a few years ago). In Utah, we would be considered a small stake in most areas, but outside the Inter-Mountain West, we aren’t atypical at all.
There currently are 2,818 stakes world-wide. So, at the top end, 12 wards at an average of 250 active members would be 3,000 active members. If the activity rate is 40-50%, the overall members of record total would be 6,000 – 7,500 members for the large, full stakes. If about half the stakes world-wide (1,409) are “full” stakes (pulled that out of my butt, but it seems reasonable), and the average total membership of record in each of those stakes is at the center of the estimate I just gave (6,750), that’s about 9,500,000 members in those stakes – leaving about 4,000,000 in the 1,409 smaller stakes, which is just under 3,000 members in each of the “non-full” stakes. That fits what I have seen pretty well.
The problem with taking baptism numbers each year and comparing them directly to new stakes created is that there is no way to tell how many of those members were added to existing stakes (meaning thousands upon thousands could be added without adding a single stake in many areas like mine) and how many necessitated creating new stakes. That’s a real issue that could cause new stake creation to fluctuate radically from year to year – even if the exact same number of baptisms occur.
My take away is simple:
There just isn’t any way to discuss this overall topic and reach a clear conclusion – but the numbers aren’t obviously wrong. My math didn’t try to justify the numbers; I literally sketched it all out in theory, based on my own best guesses to see where those guesses landed me. They landed me smack dab where the Church’s numbers are at the meta-level – total membership of record and total stakes. The annual baptism numbers simply aren’t directly causal for the new stake numbers – but there is nothing in them that stands out as obviously false, or even biased or manipulated.
(As to the children of record jump this year, honestly, I haven’t checked to see if there has been a standard policy change to be more liberal with those who are considered children of record baptisms, but if there has been it might explain why the children of record baptism total jumped about the same as the convert baptism total dropped. That would make perfect sense – and it also would point AWAY from a cynical view of the reporting mechanism, since doing the opposite (lowering the child total and raising the convert total) would reflect better on the Church in many people’s eyes. That is worth considering before you charge them with statistical shenanigans.)
First, let me say that your labors here on my behalf are appreciated. I can tell you put a fair amount of work into the effort and I could follow your logic. (Always a nice thing.) See, your ability to speculate isn’t so bad. 🙂
Just a couple small points to get your blood pressure going.
“5,000 members per stake, church-wide, is ridiculous,” post # 54
“…6,000 – 7,500 members for the large, full stakes. If about half the stakes world-wide (1,409) are “full” stakes… 1,409 smaller stakes, which is just under 3,000 members in each of the “non-full” stakes” post #57
I guess my speculation that the average number of members per stake is 5000 wasn’t so ridiculous. 🙂
“…it might explain why the children of record baptism total jumped about the same as the convert baptism total dropped.”
The only problem here is the number of births went up last year as well as the number of convert baptisms as compared to the previous year. But a nice try anyway.
These are small points, I understand your reasoning and I’ll concede that your speculations are no-more valid or invalid than my own. Thanks for taking the time to help me understand.
I hope your enjoying the ball game, it’s on CBS…
Doug, maybe we are looking at different numbers. I have the convert baptisms going down last year when compared to 2007 by about 17,000. What number are you using for 2007?
Ray- You’re correct, I looked at 2005 by mistake. It’s possible that the church has changed what it considers a convert baptism and or what constitutes a child being made of “child of record”. If you happen to find out what that change was, I would appreciate e-mail…
I think the death rate is easy to figure out. How many inactives die a year and never gets reported to the church? The death rate pretty much only would be counted if the deceased was active or were checked on regularly by HT and VT. I wonder if the church automatically declares records deceased when they reach a cetain age, such as 115, which is the age of the oldest living American today.
CofChrist was using 92 as the assumed age of death if unreported (Almost a quarter of our membership is “unknown”, so we have to cut sometime). Might be inadequately young for LDS.
“92 . . . Might be inadequately young for LDS.”
That surely isn’t a statement that you’d hear about any other religious group. 🙂
Maybe its late to add here, but if its not:
-Stakes in south america and philipines are only at around 20% active, this after elders Holland and Oaks consolidated a few. Many have only 5 units (minimum for a stake) years after creation. And the wards I’ve seen (many) have attendance around 90-100 people mark. In Utah “full” stakes are the norm but outside the US they are the minority, very small minority. imho Utah skews the results upwards not the other way around.
-12 excommunications per stake per year seems excessive to me. Where I live we may see 6 in a bad year.
-The death age the church uses is 105 -unless they took it up again recently
All the above would bring estimates down.
One thing not mentioned is that the church never destroys someones record. They are only moved around different list at most. Plus when major problems do occur, like divorce, not all records are updated. The record may be in ‘address unknown’ and then not reflect the actual situation. So the overall church stats are total rubbish and I think this is why they use tithing as a KPI and not attendance when splitting a stake or starting a new mission because church records are such a mess.
For the record and related to this Conference thread.
-I loved Elder Scott’s talk, again. Reading between the lines he said quite a lot.
-I’ve changed my opinion on elder Cook. I’ve listened to his message some 4 times now. I might be ready to forgive him for being lawyer!
-Pt Packer seems very old and weak or he was ill this weekend -maybe his forced retirement date is coming up.
Overall this was probably one of the best conferences in years -or maybe its because I paid attention to the messages instead of MM during the session?
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