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Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 10:55 am
by lowryleslie
I have heard that members are not allowed to record or even write down verbatim (if one could do this) any of the General Authority talks at Stake Conference. The reason I have heard is, it is not allowed. I want to know the 'why' behind it. Can you help me out here? Where does it even say the 'why'?

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:33 am
by scgallafent
The policy you are referring to is in Handbook 2, 21.1.33. It does not specify the reason why.

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:54 am
by davesudweeks
lowryleslie wrote:I have heard that members are not allowed to record or even write down verbatim (if one could do this) any of the General Authority talks at Stake Conference. The reason I have heard is, it is not allowed. I want to know the 'why' behind it. Can you help me out here? Where does it even say the 'why'?

I believe the policy refers to "recording." I have never heard anyone say it was inappropriate to take personal notes when listening to any speaker at any church meeting. I think the ability of any person to hand-write a conference talk "verbatim" makes that consideration a moot point.

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:19 pm
by lowryleslie
davesudweeks wrote:
lowryleslie wrote:I have heard that members are not allowed to record or even write down verbatim (if one could do this) any of the General Authority talks at Stake Conference. The reason I have heard is, it is not allowed. I want to know the 'why' behind it. Can you help me out here? Where does it even say the 'why'?

I believe the policy refers to "recording." I have never heard anyone say it was inappropriate to take personal notes when listening to any speaker at any church meeting. I think the ability of any person to hand-write a conference talk "verbatim" makes that consideration a moot point.



The following was on a Stake Conference Program June of 2019, "We ask you to not record, transcribe, or otherwise electronically transmit the message of the General or Area Officers of the Church who will speak to us. Thank for your help in assuring that this request is followed." Why would members be asked this? Especially the transcribe, and record (if for personal use)?

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2019 12:59 pm
by lajackson
lowryleslie wrote:I want to know the 'why' behind it.

Because the Church has not said why, I believe the only way you will come to know why will be through your own personal revelation. You might also wish to consider some of my own personal thoughts, or you are free to ignore them. For certain, they are in no way official. They come from my own personal experience.

As members, we are encouraged to take notes at church meetings, including stake conferences and other meetings where general authorities teach and speak. We have been instructed not to record general authorities when they speak, which I interpret to mean verbatim.

President Henry B. Eyring once said in a leadership meeting that those participating should take notes, writing down particularly the promptings received from the Spirit. He instructed that personal notes should not be compared with others, because each set of notes would be different and would contain the important things each individual needed to take away from the meeting.

General authorities who instruct and teach at regional meetings, stake conferences, and in other leadership meeting settings deliver messages that are not intended for the general membership of the Church. They are prepared for the local leaders who will receive them, and they specifically address those regional or local needs, not necessarily general church needs.

Stake conference used to include two sessions on Sunday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. One of my favorite quotes from Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle, is that he never spoke in a Sunday morning session of a stake conference where he was not misquoted during the afternoon session of the same conference.

As a practical matter, two individuals who take notes and then try to quote a speaker will always have two different versions of the quote. They may both be very good note takers, and their reports may be similar, but there will be differences.

When Elder David A. Bednar spoke at a BYU-Idaho Devotional in September, he gave some very specific instruction to those attending that happens to relate to this very topic. (This link goes to the Deseret News report of his talk. At some point in the future the link will break, but you then should be able to search for his devotional talk given September 22, 2019. BYU-Idaho will probably have an archived copy. He was recorded with permission.)

These thoughts should be enough to get your revelatory juices flowing. I could give you another dozen thoughts, but they still would be mine and not yours.

I hope you have a wonderful experience as you work through the same question I considered and answered for myself many years ago.

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:59 pm
by johnshaw
It's all about the stewardship eh!

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:14 pm
by russellhltn
johnshaw wrote:It's all about the stewardship eh!

That's closer to my opinion. Members generally understand that what a bishop or stake president says applies only to their congregation. But they don't always apply the same thinking to general authorities. Once recorded, it's too easy for it to be distributed uncritically world-wide.

Re: Recording General Authority Talks at Stake Conference

Posted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:45 pm
by drepouille
Leaders can speak their mind and opinions more freely if it is agreed that their remarks will not be recorded and replayed for public consumption.

To one of his friends, [Joseph Smith] lamented that “he did not enjoy the right vouchsafed to every American citizen—that of free speech. He said that when he ventured to give his private opinion on any subject of importance, his words were often garbled and their meaning twisted, and then given out as the word of the Lord because they came from him.” His insistence that his pronouncements did not always carry prophetic weight was not just a safety net or convenient means of prudent retreat. It meant that the process, the ongoing, dynamic engagement, the exploring, questing, and provoking dialectical encounter with tradition, with boundaries, and with normative thinking should not be trammeled or impeded with clerks and scribes looking for a final word, interrupting a productive process of reflection, contestation, and creation. Sometimes, it would appear, he merely wanted the privilege of thinking out loud, but that is difficult when surrounded by court stenographers with their sharpened pencils.

Joseph Smith: Prophecy, Process, and Plentitude
Terryl Givens