17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beck Fireside

The Sister Beck fireside was last night.

My part in it was very minimal. I sang a hymn right after the opening prayer and then Sister Beck's brother (who lives in our stake) introduced her, and she gave her talk and it was over.

I heard most of her talk...got a little distracted by my youngest towards the end. She began with her love of the gospel which was about the only time she got a little choked up. She reiterated her testimony of standing strong and immovable with our faith and families and did mention that "we do families better than anyone else."

She polled the audience: who grew up members? who baptized in last 5 years? who speaks another language? who has lived outside US? Who is single? who is attending with their family? etc. She wanted to get to know her audience better.

I enjoyed hearing her speak about her experiences in Brazil. She lived there for 5 years as a young girl when her father was the mission president, and went back again as part of her General YW calling. She spoke about how much the church had grown in one generation and spoke about the temple dedication and jubilee. It was the perfect story for us because we just had our jubilee, and we have members of many nations in our stake.

She then spoke a bit about family home evenings growing up and sharing the Book of Mormon with her granddaughters. That's the last I remember, though I do know she looked up some scriptures with the audience as well.

I found her to be relaxed and funny. Her husband was way funny. He winked at the audience when acknowledged and chewed gum with his arms folded the entire time...very casual, not what I expected at all.

I decided after watching her speak that the assignment of speaking at general conference must be quite overwhelming. And the amount of time she is given to speak is SO brief, that it is not a time for us to get to know her. In this fireside, where she had 45 minutes, she could be relaxed and make a joke and pause to smile. I found it much more meaningful than the brief statement she was able to make at GC. I think she might have been trying to be a bit poetic in both her General RS and GC talks...by using phrases repeatedly..."Mothers who know..." and for some of us it did not quite land.

I do respect her for this huge assignment she has, and I do sustain her and I desire to support her. I just kept thinking of my own mother who is 1 year younger than her, and sort of has the same haircut, and seeing her in that light made her much more real.

And she was wearing separates.


  • Thanks for this glimpse, Kage.
    posted by Blogger Deborah at 11/12/2007 06:03:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the report. Glad it went well. How did your song go?

    I was going to tell you that her husband is literally one of the funniest people I know. And I know some funny people. He really has a great sense of humor.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 11/12/2007 06:47:00 PM  

  • Thank you for sharing this, Kage. I am sure you sang beautifully. It was interesting to hear more about Sister Beck's background, personality, and testimony. She sounds like a very admirable woman.

    I'm glad to know she was wearing separates too! :)
    posted by Blogger LJ at 11/12/2007 07:20:00 PM  

  • Not to make any of you feel old (or maybe I'm just clueless) but I have no idea what "separates" is?/are?/were? referring to and why it is a big deal. I even asked my roommates and the all looked at me like I was smoking something. Could someone please explain to the naive 20 year old?
    posted by Anonymous Mia at 11/12/2007 08:13:00 PM  

  • Mia-
    Seperates are just a top and a skirt. You know, versus one complete dress? (and honey, I'm only 8 years older than you!)

    I'm glad it went well --what did you sing?
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 11/12/2007 08:28:00 PM  

  • Cheryl- Yeah, only 8 years but you have to factor in that you have a husband and 4 kids. It creates quite a gap.
    posted by Anonymous Mia at 11/12/2007 09:03:00 PM  

  • Mia-
    Not when it comes to fashion. :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 11/12/2007 09:58:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the inside scoop...
    posted by Blogger Sue at 11/12/2007 11:41:00 PM  

  • mia, you don't make me feel old....knowing what separates is has nothing to with age, just education OH snap!

    ; )

    (when I say education I mean, how many fashion mags/shows you have read/watched!)

    It's not a big deal, just a follow up little joke from my previous post...if you read it you might get it better.

    cheryl and melissa, the song went fine. It felt quite out of place though. Neither Sister Beck nor her brother even acknowledged it, and I didn't sit on the stand, so it was kind of like this weird justaposition, but whatever, several audience members approached me with appreciation. I sang WHERE CAN I TURN FOR PEACE?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 11/13/2007 05:15:00 AM  

  • I am glad to hear it went well! I love firesides for that reason- you always seem to get a more natural view of leaders. Often times much more enjoyable to me.

    Cheryl -
    I beg to differ- um, I think 8 years and 4 kids ( not to say in your case) can make someone lightyears away from "current" fashion....just from my experience with people at church... not to be mean- but it's true!! And I do think most younger girls even myself and I am 30 rarely use the term "seperates". Sounds kinda granny I think... like I am picturing my old music teacher wearing a sweater set and polyester skirt instead of a muu-muu. Just not a term I have used a lot in my lifetime.
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 11/13/2007 07:20:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the update Kage. I was thinking about this this weekend when we had Stake Conference and a General Authority from the Seventy came and spoke. I heard him twice. Once at a meeting for the youth only, and then in the Sunday morning session. I was so surprised at how different his talks were. With the youth he was very laid back and funny and a little more low key. In the Sunday session he was a little more admonishing and kinda (in my opinion) "yelly" (if that's a word?) and stern. Both talks were great and had very strong messages, but it just made me think about how differently someone can come across and how his message came forth in a different "style" depending on the situation and audience. I was also grateful to have heard him in the youth meeting and get to see both these sides of him. Anyway, just made me think a little of this topic and Sister Beck's responsibilities.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 11/13/2007 08:29:00 AM  

  • I love "Tales". I'm not in the baby business anymore but love hear what is on the minds of you younger gals.

    Even before the Sister Beck thing was mentioned on "tales" I heard all kinds of judgment going on with this new RS Presidency. I thought and thought about all that has been said and I come back to "Obedience". We may not like what she said or how it was said
    but it is not a debate. Just do the best you can!

    Thanks KAGE for give a new prepective on Sister Beck. I hope to hear you in DC. :D
    posted by Blogger delilas at 11/13/2007 07:40:00 PM  

  • Today I went visiting teaching and my partner chose the "Mothers Who Know" talk for her lesson. I thought I was going to have to bite my tongue until it bled through her messages. But instead with all 3 women we visit taught, we ended up having really genuine, honest discussions about the talk. We didn't always agree on points, but it was respectful and I definitely gained some insight on how the talk could be empowering to women of the church.

    It was BY FAR the best vteaching experience I have had in a long time and made me appreciate her talk for this reason. Maybe all over the church women are having these really genuine discussions about their roles and expectations, etc. etc as a result of this talk. It's nice to think about anyways.

    Kage, I'm glad the fireside went well and as someone who has had trouble reconciling Sister Beck's talk I appreciate knowing her a little better from your post.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 11/13/2007 07:50:00 PM  

  • Thanks for the report Kage. It must have been nice to hear her in a more relaxed setting where she had far more time to talk. I still don't like her use of the word "best" in a comparison context, but I don't think that will surprise anyone.

    I have to agree with Jen - I have had some of the best, most honest talks with friends, my mom, other women in my ward about her talks. And that, I believe is a great thing.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 11/13/2007 10:31:00 PM  

  • carrie, who's the second baby?! (in the title)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 11/14/2007 06:17:00 AM  

  • cheryl spotted the 2nd baby....hmmm.....who is it? Actually, it's 3 now right?
    posted by Blogger Kage at 11/14/2007 06:49:00 AM  

  • I know who the second is....who is 3????
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 11/14/2007 07:23:00 AM  

  • And here I thought that 'separates' meant that she had a split skirt, which resembled pants,and I was going to say, 'Cool, a RS pres who wears PANTS to speak!'

    And I'm pretty sure that I'm the same age as Cheryl. Kage is right--it's about education (sigh)

    Who is baby #3? What are we talking about?
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 11/15/2007 07:57:00 AM  

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