Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How to Find Insult in General Conference

I thought this would be a timely piece of advice. Prepare now for best effect.

1) Pick an agenda. The more one-sided reasoning the agenda has, the better. It doesn't matter what that agenda is, so long as its properly opinionated and preferably set in the "against" terminology rather than "for". Some easy topics to choose if you can't find one of your own include: the Oppressed State of Women in the Church, Obedience, Utah Culture, Heavenly Mother, Excommunication, Gay Marriage, Eating Meat, Protecting Children from Worldy Influence and Sister Beck.

2) Listen to every session of Conference, including Women's Conference. If you can't attend a session for whatever reason, be certain to read or watch it online as soon as possible. Watching is better. Body language is rife with opportunity for misinterpretation. If you miss a session, you may miss a Golden Opportunity for insult. Then you will have to wait until someone else is insulted by it. Frankly, it's embarrassing to be insulted second-handedly.

3) Take notes. Even though the entire talk is available online later, it is important to record your very first impressions. Usually these are more emotionally charged and therefore more articulate. Passion is paramount when finding insult. A little logic in favor of passion is a worthwhile sacrifice. Make sure to write a few catch words in the margins of your notes. These will help you listen for further opportunities of insult without actually having to pay attention. Try to keep your catch words to three or under. You don't want to diminish the impact of your insult by diluting it across too many fronts.

4) Blog about it. Do not overlook this essential step! The sooner you get your opinion on cyberpaper, the better. If you are fast enough, you will be the first one to take umbrage. Hopefully, this will add to site traffic. Make sure to title your entry with something catchy. Don't stint on punctuation. Exclamation points and question marks are vital when trying to express your high passion through the digital word. The more you blog, the more likely it is someone in the higher Church echelons will notice you and see the error of their uninformed ways.

5) Don't backpedal. Whatever happens it is important to keep a united front. Defend those who agree with you with unmitigated vitriol, particularly if they use plenty of punctuation. They will be useful allies in future bloggerary skirmishes.


  1. Back when I was ticked off at all things Churchy, I watched General Conference for the sole purpose of finding things I disagreed with. It was rather enlightening for me when I discovered about two sentences in all eight hours of conference that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I wasn't so ticked off at the Church as I thought I was.

  2. lol, SR--point well-taken. This post is one of your masterpieces.

  3. It is funny to me how different people, with our own perspectives and paradigms, can hear the same messages and have such diverse reactions.

    I thoroughly enjoy conference and look forward to a great weekend.

  4. Just as a follow-up to this post, I was highly gratified to find some blog entries scattered around that took my advice with both hands and shook it. I hesitate to name names (as I'm sure such accomplished insultists would be more than capable of being insulted by my remarks) but they are certainly there. Take a look around. You could make it into a sort of treasure hunt.

  5. I hope that this same list of preparations can be applied to your reading of blogs reacting to general conference. I'm glad that people that find things to take issue with can go online and hash out their ideas and have others engage them in discussion.

    Having a two way conversation about things that people thought were problematic is a good thing. This is distinct from those that are merely looking to stir the pot. Of course which is which is in the eye of the beholder. Hopefully the beholders (such as yourself) are as charitable as you want GC listeners to be.

  6. Thank you for emphasizing that point, aRJ. At the same time, I have learned to parse the difference between being charitable towards a person and being tolerant towards what they are saying.

    Also, finding fault in blog posts is a far cry from finding fault in General Conference. I really feel no Spiritual impetus to mold myself to the teachings of bloggers. (And that was said slightly tongue-in-cheek.) As you read my post you'll find that my comments are about those who deliberately search through the teachings of those they have sustained as prophets, seers and revelators and the ones they have asked to speak in an effort to find fault in their words.

    I deliberately refrain from commenting on blogs with the sole purpose of disagreement. There is less point in that than there is in this. If I am not tolerant of what they are saying, I rarely point it out. Rather, I avoid their blogs.

  7. If I am not tolerant of what they are saying, I rarely point it out.


    For two reasons actually. One is your choice of words. Which I'm going to have to assume was intentional and meant in good humor.

    Second, is that you seem to regularly point out that you are coming across things on LDS blogs that you are not tolerant of. You just refuse to give specifics. Honestly, if you disagree with something that I say (I'm not claiming that you do or don't) I'd rather that you engage me in discussion and we can share points of view rather than sitting in our intellectual ghettos content that everyone is agreeing with us.

  8. I hardly think everyone agrees with me, but I tried the route you suggest and find it leads nowhere.

    I see no reason to force my opinion on someone who doesn't want it. I used to love the debate/discussion, but blogs have cured me of that for the most part. I'm not saying I'm perfect at it, but I do regret every time I've broken that promise to myself. Honestly, it's something I haven't yet entirely made up my mind about. I don't know where the compromise lies, but I still write here primarily for my own benefit, hoping it will help someone else or encourage someone else to help me.

    I find value in reading the opinions of others on blogs, but little in "discussing" with them. I know it's a threadjack on this thread, but I'd be genuinely interested in hearing any thoughts you might have on the value in it here.


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