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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sunday Mixed Bag

Sunday was a mixed bag at church. About a million people asked me my due date (I think they were expecting it to be much sooner than mid-October, since I'm really sticking out there), quite a few people complimented me on my dress, I had some good chats with people during the SS hour, and endured one truly cringe-worthy comment in RS.

Here's the dress, which I made with fabric purchased at Bolt a few months back. The pattern, Simplicity 3888, is a maternity pattern, but very similar non-maternity versions are available. I shortened the sleeves about two inches (thank goodness--they would have been too long if I hadn't) to make the pattern fit better on the fabric so I could add about 7 inches in length. Then I also added the contrast border around the hem (thank heavens the fabric store still had that fabric when I realized, upon laying it all out, that I would want to add length). The shoes, by Van Eli, came from the Nordstrom Rack.

During SS I chatted with Skye, who was scheduled to present at Sunstone but stayed home because her husband was starting chemotherapy (get better soon, Jared!). She wanted me to tell her that Sunstone had been boring and uninteresting, but I was unable to fib.

Then there was RS. The lesson was about "the false idols we worship." I tuned in and out, as per usual, so I'm not exactly sure why the comment was even relevant to the topic, but the very sweet, very young and very Utah woman said something to the effect of "One of my friends' families had a saying that 'When the prophet speaks, the debate is over,' and I just think that's a really great way to live your life." The teacher, typical for RS lessons, agreed, thanked her, and moved on. It about killed me, but I kept my mouth shut. 1) Since I hadn't been paying enough attention to figure out how her comment related to the topic, I couldn't figure out how to address the issue without seriously derailing the lesson; and 2) since she's new to the ward (doesn't know me) and has led a very sheltered life thus far, I couldn't figure out how to say something without scaring her to death, making her feel like her new ward is full of bitter angry apostates.

You can probably guess that I think the whole the-prophet's-every-utterance-should-close-all-debate-on-the-topic idea is evil and pernicious, but let me tell you why. My understanding (possibly colored by too much early exposure to My Turn on Earth) of Mormon theology is that in the Great Council in Heaven, we chose to follow God's plan for our earthly existence, and would need to make our own choices about just about everything, entailing both greater risk (possibly making bad choices that would lead us away from God) and greater reward (increased light and knowledge and better preparation for post-earthly existence). Satan's plan, which we voted by supermajority to reject, entailed an absence of freedom of choice, guaranteed return, but no personal growth. The thing is, although we voted down Satan's plan, it's still a very basic human urge to want to avoid making responsibility for our own decisions, to want more rules so we have fewer choices to make. That's what's kept this idea alive.

But what I really want to know is, where did it come from? Who said it the first time? Do they keep saying it, or has it been left to persist under its own steam? Anyone know?

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Blogger Swizzies said...



Your mad sewing skillz are still present and accounted for. Tell me this: HOW did you pick those two fabrics to go together? I would never have done so, but it so works!!

That quote about the 'debate is over' is oft discussed on the bloggernacle - a quick search reveals the following two quotes:

"When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done." _Improvement Era_ (now _Ensign_) June 1945


"When the Prophet speaks the debate is over." N. Eldon Tanner, _Ensign_ August 1979

So, kind of old and DUMB...but yet living on in infamy...and silly RS lessons. ;-)

August 22, 2007 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Heather P. said...

President Tanner is quoting President Elaine Cannon (Young Women General President) from her October 1978 General Conference address, If We Want To Go Up, We Have To Go On.

Then the August 1979 First Presidency Message is called The Debate Is Over.

And that statement in the June 1945 Improvement Era is part of the Ward Teaching message for that month.

August 22, 2007 at 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fabric choice was inspired by lots of cute outfits I've seen lately with hodge-podgey fabrics, both for kids and grownups (like at Boden). The dress pictured on the pattern envelope is soooooo boring (blue and white print with plain white trim), but I thought the style really lent itself to more hippie patterns. The only thing that would make the dress better is if the fabric were a little more lightweight and floaty. Oh, and if the neck and shoulders fit better (it's designed for someone with more sloping shoulders than mine, so the neckline doesn't lie quite right).

Thanks for the refs, gals. No more recent approving quotes? Amazing that it can have persisted so long without. Although it occurs to me, if they were in any way referring to the lifting of the priesthood ban (in June 1978), I'd be inclined to agree with the sentiment, if not the overall implication.

August 22, 2007 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Adriana Velez said...

Love the outfit!

Our saying around here is "when Adriana speaks the debate is over." Except that Lane keeps getting it wrong, thinking it's "when Lane speaks the debate is over." And Jasper can't get it right, either: "When the boy whines the debate is over."

August 23, 2007 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger MWR said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 23, 2007 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger MWR said...

I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die,
So let me live my life the way I want to.

- Jimi Hendrix

August 23, 2007 at 8:30 PM  
Blogger Heather P. said...

Oh, it is also the conclusion of Lesson 12, "Following the Living Prophet," in the Aaronic Priesthood Manual 1.

August 28, 2007 at 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, of course! We can always trust the correlation department to pick the most reactionary stuff for the manuals! Grrrrr.

August 28, 2007 at 8:12 PM  

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