Big Cottonwood Conference Remarks

Last Sunday I went to Big Cottonwood Canyon as a conference involving 7 fellowships was ending. I went to visit with those who were there and inquire of those who attended what their observations were concerning the conference.

I got into a conversation with a few of the people who were still there after the closing prayer, but was handed a microphone and told that others felt I was leaving them out. Rather than seem unfriendly, I went ahead and took the microphone and spoke for a few minutes to everyone still there. I learned that what I said was recorded, and a copy of the transcript was sent to me for review. I’ve now done a superficial edit to make it more coherent, and filled in some missing portions, including the first few moments that were not recorded. Without voice inflection, transcripts can be misleading even if they were the actual words. Humor and irony in particular can be misunderstood when the speaking voice is absent. So I’ve done some editing to make some things clear. I haven’t filled in source materials, or cited to all the material I am quoting from the TPJS or scriptures. Those who study will readily identify them.

I did not intend to be put on display or get the attention of the group when I went up. I timed my arrival to be after the conference part was over. I wanted to hear from those who were there. I did not intend to speak. What happened frustrated that purpose.

I hate being made the center of attention. I am not a celebrity,  do not want to be one and should not be treated like one. I am another ordinary man living in perilous times seeking hard to do what the Lord asks of me. I fear my weaknesses. I fear failure. We all must be careful about confining our admiration to God alone. If I cannot be allowed to come and quietly participate or observe, then my family and I will not come.

If I am asked to say something by the Lord then I will do so. Otherwise, I hope to remain silent and get out of the way. We all have work to do.

The transcript is now on the downloads page of the blog (here) as one of the papers so everyone can read it.

I have heard many positive things about the conference. It was attended by a couple of hundred people. The format was a success. The setting was beautiful. The meadow where the closing prayer was given was a spectacular setting for petitioning God. Best of all, I had nothing to do with organizing it or speaking (until it was over). It was encouraging to see how some took the initiative and much good was accomplished by these few fellowships. A surprising amount of food was still available for the post-conference dinner. What a great thing happened!