Svithe: What Elder Jensen said


Elder Marlin K. Jensen is visiting our stake this weekend. Currently, Lady Steed is attending the adult session while I type and listen to kids not make noise. This afternoon, however, I was able to sit in another meeting with Elder Jensen and I thought a number of his comments were striking. Here are some:

(Preïntroductory note: In writing the introductory note, I realized that this post would be heavily heavily Mormon --- too Mormon to easily annotate. So, for those 5.99 billion who are not Mormon, please advance with that in mind. Sorry for the opacity.)

(Introductory note: Before Elder Jensen spoke, a member of our stake presidency spoke and his primary concern was how, in a naturally patriarchal church [no women in attendance at this meeting, for instance], it is important that women's voices are heard. Among other points, pointed out that quantitywise, practically all revelation Churchwide is personal revelation and therefore women receive half the revelation in the Church. Also, that a ward's Relief Society president is not the bishop's Relief Society president, but the Relief Society president and should be viewed as a source of counsel, not someone to give jobs too. He noted that another member of the stake presidency, when bishop, had the Relief Society in attendance at PEC. Etc. Elder Jensen began by following up on these ideas.)

(Postintroductory note: Nothing I type here should be construed as being a perfect quotation. Everything is close and everything matches the spirit of what he said, but few if any are word-for-word as he said. Be advised. Some are even obviously my retelling of his stories. Be sensible before repeating any of this.)

There are no kings without queens, no priests without priestesses.

And no presidents without presidentesses. Which was what Eliza R. Snow was called. Though somehow we have gotten away from that.

To be faithful is good. To be competent also is better.

Elder Marion D. Hanks: I've been to the statistics factory. I know how they're made.

Once at a Tuesday-after-General-Conference training with the Seventies, Elder Packer said that he had seen one of the Seventy that weekend being unkind to his wife. He then said that he had lost respect for that Seventy, but was confident it could be regained. Elder Jensen naturally thought of the disciples asking "Lord, is it I?" and during a break called his wife to ask he had been unkind to his wife that weekend? publicly? She said no and he was relieved.

His wife: You would be so odd if it weren't for me.

His wife: What happened to those nice short talks you used to give?
He: Well, I'm older now. I feel like I should share what I've learned.
She: Well don't.

Spouse as peer-reviewer.

Elder Packer has also said that the three most important developments he has seen in the Church are the 1978 revelation on the priesthood, the roughly-the-same-time release of the LDS versions of the scriptures, and the evolution of the Seventies. He says that he would now like to see elders quorums develop as the seventies already have --- not in the same way, but towards a more complete measure of their intended duties.

Elder Jensen's father: It takes a mighty good meeting to be better than no meeting at all.

previous svithe

Priesthood Leadership (mostly on women)
Early Sunday Morning (mostly on Mormon/gay relations)
Sunday Morning (mostly on trees)
Sunday Evening Fireside (mostly on Church History)


  1. I find this really, really heartening. Like really heartening. And I'm not surprised, given that it's our stake, but still--I'm glad you typed up these notes, since that's too good not to be shared with the women.

  2. I have to echo Petra. It's very heartening to read something like this. Especially after the Sacrament meeting last week in my singles ward that devoted itself entirely to praising the women as (in some way) better than the men.

    The remarks very much point to an equality of goodness between men and women--and that's much appreciated.

  3. Thanks for the notes. I wasn't able to be there Saturday night, and it was nice to read the highlights.

  4. .

    Note that I wasn't at the adult session (Lady Steed was though and she took notes, so hit her up if you like). Something else that the stake pres-counselor said was how those ladies-are-awesome talks unsettle him as well. I think we're moving in a good direction for discourse, though whether we're a harbinger or an anomaly remains to be seen, I suppose.

  5. I first met Elder Jensen the first year of my mission. He asked my name and where I was from. A year later he returned, immediately recognized me, and asked how Tehachapi was doing. I was blown away that he remembered. I'll always have respect for that man and anything that proceeds from his mouth.

  6. .

    That is impressive.

    (How was Tehachapi doing?)

  7. loooooove.

    Please review general conference as well.

  8. .

    Incidentally, I just ran across this simply but highly interesting article about Eliza.

    And, nosurfgirl, I always do General Conference. Though it's much less polished than this and every year I expect to be the year no one actually looks at it. Though that hasn't happened yet. People have no taste.....