By the time you read this, the April 2020 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be more than halfway over. While more may yet be announced Sunday, it already has proved to be memorable.
As prophesied/predicted/forewarned by a top Latter-day Saint leader, this was a conference unlike any other. And it was.
For the first time in the lives of most members, the church held a conference and nobody showed up. We stayed home and watched it on TV, laptops, phones, etc.
This doesn’t mean that revelation wasn’t at work during this conference. Any number of things could have been revealed by now with more to come.
The following is a list of revelations I hope we got/get during conference, which would be serious confirmation for me.
By this, I mean none of this generic stuff like: “There’s a reason the Lord arranged for us to have a doctor as a prophet. Who better to guide us through these unhealthy times?”
I suppose it’s possible that a man of medicine was foreordained to be a prophet right now, but then it naturally follows to ask where a prophet with a deep military background was during both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.
Did we get one? Nope. Hey, I’m not saying that it didn’t happen; I’m saying that coincidence isn’t necessarily proof of anything.
Oh, right, my list of hoped-for revelations.
First, I think it would be amazing if the ban on coffee were suddenly lifted. Having a doctor/prophet declare that Colombian roast is not the spittle of Satan would certainly make me sit up and take notice.
It would also impress me if we received divine direction to stop putting our faith in the arm of flesh — meaning focusing less on acquiring an M249 SAW 5.56x45 mm and more on charity and mercy.
What else? Women getting the priesthood would be an eye-opener, but even better would be actually calling a female apostlette…apostless…hell, whatever. You know what I mean.
My problem — or at least one of them — is that I don’t put much stock in the whispering of the spirit. Far too often a whisper is easily twisted into whatever shape a worshipper wants it to be.
As George Bernard Shaw once said, “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.”
This explains how sensible counsel for emergency preparedness causes some people to choose a case of grenades over a bucket of wheat.
Personally, I’m more apt to follow a shouting of the spirit, like the one I got when I was contemplating getting married. Or the time I inquired of the Lord as to whether I should leave my mission, go home, and hitchhike around Europe.
And the Lord said unto me…well, I can’t really reveal that. It was overly harsh, rude and best of all, straight to the point. Also, this paper won’t print it.
You can argue that there’s no way the Lord would resort to such crude and patently unholy methods to get a divine point across. And I’ll argue that if he can drown the entire world, then he certainly can utter the sort of language necessary to get the attention of someone who missed being created as a monkey by the whisper of a mistake.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.