General Conference. My God. That used to be so important to us, as a Mormon family, living in Britain.
We used to have to go by coach to the Stake Centre 30 to 40 miles away and join with everyone from the stake listening to the conference brought by transatlantic cable.
Every so often during the broadcast we would hear the following exchange, always in a flat South East England accent: “Hello New York, Hello New York. This is London calling for a line check.” For some reason we never heard the reply from New York.
One year –does anyone else remember this? - we accidentally got the Spanish language version of the conference for about 30 minutes until someone (maybe Mr “Hello, New York” or the person he spoke to in New York) realised there was a problem and sorted it out.
One year, at the insistence of the rat faced Sister missionary, whose husband was the branch president, the coach went early so we missed the trip to the conference.
We walked back home and I spent an hour or so combing the short wave bands until I found a radio station that was carrying the live feed from Salt Lake City. WNWY, Radio New York, World Wide, it was, a station then owned by The Mormon Church.
“It was SUCH a pity that you missed the conference!” wittered sister Busybody, the branch busybody.”
“Oh, but we didn’t! Said my mother. “Matt was able to find it on the radio for us, so we heard it all live!” That shut her up. “Nice one, mum,” I thought.
But now, as an exmo, I can’t see why many of my fellow exmos are so interested in the conference. After all, it is the same crap year after year. “Tithe, tithe, tithe! Temple, temple, temple! Missionary work, missionary work, missionary work!”
All set to the backdrop of lies, distortions and half-truths from the paid clergy of the Mormon Church. (See, the point is that when the Mormon Church tells you it doesn’t have a paid clergy, they are lying. They DO have a paid clergy, although not as many as some churches do.