32 comments for “An Image from General Conference

  1. Ugly Mahana
    April 4, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Not. Cool.

  2. April 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Sounds like something my father did this morning.

    He went up to a protestor and asked him if he used deodorant while raising those arms to hold up the sign. Of course the protestor in question yelled back, “You’ll burn in hell, you smart-aleck man!”

    If it had been me, I would have said “Well, why don’t you come in here? We aren’t mormans!” (That was the spelling he had on his sign!)

  3. April 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

    I dunno, it got a giggle out of me.

  4. Aaron Brown
    April 5, 2009 at 1:02 am


  5. manaen
    April 5, 2009 at 1:47 am

    1 Ne 16:2

  6. April 5, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Truth in advertising?

  7. Dan
    April 5, 2009 at 7:01 am

    No, they are not Satan’s missionaries. They are free thinking people who disagree with our doctrine. It would be nice if we treat them with the respect we wish them to treat us.

  8. Jamal
    April 5, 2009 at 7:57 am

    petty. All around.

  9. Nathan Bunker
    April 5, 2009 at 8:27 am

    I was there last night and saw them. It was awesome. I would be worried if their were no protesters. If the church lost its critics I would wonder if the church hadn’t lost is potency. Any great work has its critics.

    I have more respect for the protesters, who act consistently to what they believe, than the several hundred priesthood session participants who left the meeting before the closing song and prayer. What’s up with that? You spend 2 hours driving, parking, standing in line and you don’t want to stay for the entire session? I guess they were in a hurry to get to dinner. Why did they even show up?

    How many of us are not fully committed to what we know to be true? Would we be willing to stand on a street corner and face a large crowd to state our opinion? Or are we more likely to slip out 5 minutes early so we can eat sooner?

  10. bryan h
    April 5, 2009 at 8:48 am

    We don’t want to be anti-anti-Mormons but the people protesting the protesters at conference are pretty funny. Some of the signs I’ve seen over the years:
    “I’m With Stupid”
    “Stop Continental Drift (It’s tearing the country apart)”
    “Make Cap’n Crunch an Admiral (17 Years of outrage and counting)”
    “Anyone have Porter Rockwell’s phone number?”

    One year there were a couple of guys dressed as clowns handing out balloons chanting, “Two, four, six, eight, who DON’T we appreciate” and then pointing at the protesters.

  11. Jonathan Green
    April 5, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Clearly I’m an awful human being, but I think it’s pretty cool.

  12. April 5, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I can’t prevent a smile, either.

    These are NOT disciples of Christ voicing an alternate opinion or testifying of Jesus. These (not uniformly, but for the most part) are vile, filthy-mouthed screamers saying far more foul things than calming warning us that we’re going to hell. These are the same individuals who “protest” as closely to the temple doors as they are allowed to get, who scream at brides and grooms through bullhorns questions like — in cleaned up wording — how they liked getting all greased up, and (to the groom) how he liked watching his bishop **** his bride before he “got a go at ‘er.”

    When I’ve had to walk past them, I’ve never engaged them, and I recommend quiet and patient ignoring to anyone else who comes anywhere near them. But don’t pretend, please, that this is a rational exchange of religious opinion, or that any of these people has our welfare or salvation at heart, or that they’re motivated by love of the Savior. It just isn’t so.

  13. April 5, 2009 at 10:51 am

    You know, I don’t consider these “backlash Mormons” to be helpful at all. I’ve seen YouTube videos of these guys. They go and heckle the crazy street screamers. I remember one rather charming display where one of these Mormon hecklers was making fun of one street preacher – calling him a “fat loudmouth” and repeatedly ridiculing how ugly he was.

    They ought to be ashamed of themselves and need to stop.

    If things really ever go south culturally in America, these kind of Mormons are exactly the sort of people who would be vandalizing Baptist churches, or worse.

    It’s an embarrassment to the LDS Church.

  14. Hunter
    April 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    “and I recommend quiet and patient ignoring to anyone else who comes anywhere near them.”


  15. Ariel
    April 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    During a few recent conferences, a guy has been near the protester space wearing a kilt and playing bagpipes. Bagpipes, when played loudly, nearly drown out the protesters (and everything else). While I don’t appreciate anti-anti-mormons, I do think “God bless him” every time I see Bagpipe Guy.

  16. Uh-uh
    April 5, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    If it helps, Dan, think of the Conference protestors as the Glenn Becks of religious discourse.

  17. Dan
    April 5, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Uh oh,

    I may disagree with Glenn Beck, but I don’t consider him Satan’s missionary. I just think he is stupid and dumb.

  18. jeff hoyt
    April 5, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Then it might help, Dan, to think of Glenn Beck as a free thinking person who disagrees with your political doctrine.

  19. boxelderbob
    April 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    In previous years many of the protestors were hired to do their work. Considering who would take such employment, there is little point in responding. And if not hired, they clearly are unable to hear to reasonable dialogue. So again, any response is useless, and may provide material to be used by those who try to discredit the Church and paint every Member with the same “narrow” brush. Ms.(?) Parshall’s analysis was quite correct.

  20. Dan
    April 5, 2009 at 5:57 pm


    But I can still call him stupid and dumb. There’s a difference between calling someone stupid and naming them Satan’s missionaries. Let me put it this way, I think those protesters are stupid and dumb too. They waste their breath.

  21. April 5, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    Ditto Ardis #12.

  22. Rameumptom
    April 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Wasn’t there a talk or two encouraging us to have a sense of humor? I think it is funny. If they don’t want to be joked at, they should try protesting at a mime convention….

    Remember that Elder Cook taught that even they will get salvation and resurrection, as foul as many of them are. That’s much more charitable than many of them are to us.

  23. Eric Boysen
    April 6, 2009 at 7:49 am

    THe last time I attended Conference on Temple Square I thanked the kind and thoughtful souls who came to distribute disposable emergency umbrella kits. SEveral of us availed ourselves of their gifts to protect our faces from the sleet that fell that day. Oh, there was something printed on that paper? I must have missed it.

  24. Marie
    April 6, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    To use a phrase so often used in non-Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint churches, “what would Jesus do?” He most certainly would not react the way some of us do to these protestors. Let them do what they believe in (or are paid to do) and we just need to ignore it and love them as sons and daughters of God. No matter what nasty things they say, they are still His children, just as we are. It’s a true test of our self-possessed Christ-like attitudes. Do we try our best to emulate our Savior???? As funny as it may be, he would not dance around in a clown suit, would he? I will admit that I would love to hear Bagpipe Guy though :) Beautiful music is definitely uplifting and non-confrontational. However, if Bagpipe Guy were off somewhere doing missionary work I dare say that that would be more productive even than playing beautiful music with the main purpose being to overpower the words of others.

  25. Steve
    April 7, 2009 at 11:30 am

    If I were best man at a wedding at the Salt Lake Temple (or anywhere else), and somebody shouted at the newlyweds the kind of filth cited in #12, I would consider it my duty to punch the idiot in the mouth.

    Heaven help the fool who shouts something like that at my daughter’s wedding. Neither he nor I will spend that night in our own beds.

    My behavior falls below the standard set by Jesus. I admit it. But I don’t think I’m necessarily below the standard of the “reasonable man.”

    Whatever happened to the “fighting words” doctrine? Freedom of speech has its limits (shouting “FIRE” in a crowded theater, etc.) Speech delivered in a manner and in a context likely to incite violence can be restricted. Are these idiots ever arrested?

    (Please no responses from free-speech absolutists–your position simply is not the law)

  26. Steve
    April 7, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Edit, second-to-last paragraph above “…likely to incite IMMEDIATE violence…”

  27. Raymond Takashi Swenson
    April 7, 2009 at 11:58 am

    It would be a great incentive to civil discourse if there were regular efforts to police provocative speech by the actual police. There is no First Amendment value in insults like that hurled at a wedding party, just as there is none in the insulting demonstrators who show up at the funerals of soldiers. For the funeral of a soldier from our ward, a veteran’s motorcycle club stationed itself outside the church during the service and then escorted the cortege to the burial. The police are supposed to remove the need for law-abiding citizens to make a show of implied defensive violence.

    I am not impressed by judges who claim that the legal standard of behavior is Christlike tolerance of all insults to ourselves and our wives and daughters. Frankly, if you insult a judge to his face, he will peremptorily order armed officers to take you to jail, without prior hearing. The notorious judge Willis Ritter did that to a TV camera crew outside on the street who were just filming him.

    I see no reason why an ordinance could not be passed to ban bullhorns. It is a reasonable restriction on the manner of speech, just as noisy demonstrations at night that interfere with sleep are banned.

  28. April 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    17 — Glenn would agree that he’s stupid and dumb too. He just sees himself as a guy who’s doing the best he can with the talent and opportunity he’s got.

    24 — Jesus would definitely put on his kilt and play bagpipes. Having him play Amazing Grace would be amazing.

    I thought the sign was funny. Wrong, but funny.

  29. Steve
    April 7, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    #28–I don’t think it’s really all that funny. A sign labelling the screamers “People With Too Much Spare Time” (or something to that effect) would be funny. Dismissive, contemptuous, mocking, etc.

    I’m guessing that the creator of the banner had similar intentions, but the problem is that it’s not an obvious joke. A non-LDS, non-(whatever the picketers are) neutral observer might see this interaction as a petty game of “I know you are but what am I?” between two religious groups. Maybe it is. As a Mormon, I’m kind of embarrassed.

  30. Janet
    April 8, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Ardis, those people really yell that crap at brides and grooms?? Seriously? NO hyperbole at all? Then I’m with Steve, even though I’ve never hit anyone in my life. Somebody yells something like that at my kid and while I may not hit them (this would merely cause uproarious laughter since I don’t if the thumb goes in or outside the fist) I would pull out every rude polysyllabic word I know and verbally tirade them into exhaustion whilst stepping on their toes in with the pointy stilleto heels I fear some daughter will want me to don for her wedding someday.

    Mess with me, call me whatever mean thing you want, but mess with my kid(s)? Anyone who does that is TOAST. Burnt toast. Toast against whom I will invoke the archaic “rude language in the presence of a lady” laws and also aforementioned stilettos.

    Otherwise I’m with you–patient and seeming obliviousness. Unless it’s raining or they look really hungry, in which case they may have my umbrella or sandwich because kindness does sometimes change arses into smaller arses or even decent people. (Though you of all folks may recall how my last attempt at kindness to the street folks at temple square went–I believe you pretty patiently reminded me not to be quite so much of a marshmallow dumb-bell).

  31. Janet
    April 8, 2009 at 10:53 am

    For the record, DH laughed long and hard. Then again, he is a Porter Rockwell descendant . . .

  32. Janet
    April 8, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Wonder if the bagpipe guy is the legendary bagpiper of Maeser Hill from the 90s? Is he really tall and skinny with curly hair?

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