Saturday, October 6, 2007

Priesthood Session of General Conference

I really don't want to come off as caustic, but there is something about the way General Conference is presented that I've never understood. Why isn't the Priesthood Session of General Conference broadcast in the same way that ALL the other sessions are? It's not like there's anything secret said. Transcripts and DVDs of everything are published soon after conference. Whenever a big announcement has been made it has been reported in all the major Utah newspapers and TV stations. So why is it made less convenient for people to watch or listen to?

I used to think that it was because if it was broadcast normally, the Priesthood wouldn't go. But that's a stupid argument. If somebody didn't want to go, he just wouldn't go.

Imagine this:
Suppose you had some information and you felt it was really important for the whole world to know it. So you publish the information in a video conference that the whole world can see on the Internet. Sounds good so far. Now suppose that some of this information you decide to publish, but not in video form on the Internet. People can read transcripts about a week later. Or if they really want to watch the video broadcast can find a nearby meetinghouse where it is broadcast (which might not be all that close depending on where they live.) It kind of makes it sound like that information isn't as important to you -- that it's more of a footnote or something technical.

My point is that if Priesthood session information is as important the other session information, then why would they make one much easier to access than the others? Or when they made the decision to do things that way, did they just not think about that?

Again, I apologise if I sound caustic, but I really want to know why Priesthood session is broadcast the way that it is?

1 comment:

Seth said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Why isn't it on the internet?

There is, however, a sense of community instilled through the current mode. And, if they ever did want to get anything out to the priesthood holders of the Church first, then this would be the way to do it.

But, I think it's because they just haven't considered doing it any other way. In Utah, it's part of the culture for the men to have this separate meeting--this male bonding time--while the women go shopping and out to eat or whatever.

While serving my mission in NC, I was surprised at the holy-than-thou attitude taken by some members attending conference, on Saturday, at the ward house. One said to me, "Can you believe that the prophet is speaking and the chapel is empty?"

I responded, "Well, most people are at home watching it on BYU-TV."

Smugly she stated, "Oh, well that doesn't count. I'm sure the Brethren want us here like we've always done since I can remember."

At this point, I think I started laughing. I said to her, "You realize that Conference is broadcast over the airwaves in Utah, and that NO ONE watches it in any chapel anywhere in Utah? And it's been that way for years."

She was shocked to say the least. To her, she'd never considered it any other way, and to her, going to the chapel had some special significance.

There's no easy answers to this. Culture and religion are always bound up together in the Church.

Good luck with your search; it's a difficult road worth taking.