Back in 1985, I was a missionary serving in Argentina. Not much news from the United States reached my ears. Destruction of the Challenger space shuttle. Deaths of Orson Welles and Yul Brynner. Among the things that didn’t penetrate the filter of distance and irrelevance were two bombing murders committed by a forger in Salt Lake City. So half a year after those murders, I was reading talks from the April 1986 General Conference, and wondering what was going on. Speakers were addressing themselves to people troubled by something, but I didn’t know what the something was. Some people needed to be comforted without stirring up those who weren’t already stirred.

That experience comes back to mind regarding the upcoming Ordain Women action, as they like to call it. In some circles it’s very noteworthy, while most Latter-day Saints aren’t aware of it at all. So I wonder, if the actioners and their action are addressed by Conference speakers, how that will be done. If it were in my hands, the task would fall to Elder Packer. “By assignment from President Monson, I have been asked to speak about a few things.” Following that, President Monson, who is conducting, would roundly endorse the apostle’s words without adding any of his own.

But that’s my own less-than-righteous way of poking some people in the eye. I will listen and observe and maybe learn something about ministering to the few and to the many.

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