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Did you ever meet a GA?
 
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I met Nelson. I remember.I was in the elevator alone with him and his body gaurds. He shook my hand.  I always told people about it like it was so cool...Honestly i felt uncomfortable.  He was a little creepy to me and i didn't know why.  

 

This ever happen to you?

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http://breakingmormon.blogspot.com/

 
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I've only ever shaken the hands of some Seventies who visited for stake conferences. Despite being observed (with my MTC district) by Eyring, through a two-way mirror, he didn't give us the time of day. He watched 10 kids who would have loved to meet him, even for just 5 minutes, from an invisible location a few feet away in the next room, then walked away without saying hello or goodbye. Punk.
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And I don’t need the fallout
Of all the past that’s in between us
And I’m not holding on
And all your lies weren’t enough to keep me here
Goo Goo Dolls, Here Is Gone

 
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I met Bateman, back when he ran the Y.

 

I'd just wrapped up a job (I worked for the auxiliary maintenance team) in the admin building, and he saw me walking through. I carried my tools in a backpack; I guess I must have looked like a particularly bedraggled student, as he commented as to how my appearance was not inline with BYU's high standards. I told him I worked for maintenance, and he sort of half-apologized.

 

Other'n that -- I think one of the 70 came out on my mission, some sort of relative of Oaks. A total jerk who hurled invectives at the missionaries, and one sister went home on account of the hurt feelings.

 

Neither of my MP's made it past MP, though the second one was a truly and genuinely good person. 

 
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Holland, Faust, and Neal Maxwell. Faust and Maxwell both when I was at the MTC in the early nineties. I gave a closing prayer at the end of a large meeting where Maxwell spoke. He shook my hand afterwards and talked to me briefly about how things were going. He was very nice. My companion and I met Faust in a hall one evening after dinner, and he also shook our hands and talked with us for a bit, but seemed like he'd rather be doing anything else.

 

Holland was the area president when I was on my mission in Sweden, and I met him a couple of times. I didn't like him, or the condescending way he talked to the missionaries. 

 

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But for this moment I am fine - Rob Thomas, Streetcorner Symphony

 
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I was mission secretary in Japan when SWK made a visit. I believe he was pres. of the 12 at the time. He stayed overnight with us in the guest room of the miission home. He attended our morning scripture study. He was very friendly and didn't seem to have an overinflated ego. 

A few years ago when I was well into my faith crises, I wrote a letter to Jeffrey Holland. He replied and invited me and DW, who is Tbm, to visit in his office if ever in SLC.  A few months later we made an appointment and stopped by. He stood, shook our hands and invited us to sit. He looked at us and asked, "So what brings you folks here today?" 

WTF?

In spite of our letter exchange and his invitation to us, he had no clue as to who we were or why we were there. Until I reminded him.  One of the items of conversation was what was happening to our marriage.  He told DW that if she ever felt like she had to compromise her church activity for the sake of the marriage, she should find a way to at least go to church long enough to do the sacrament. This essentially means you must go every Sunday. It eliminates weekend camping and other outings. He was arrogant, with a capital A. Then as we were leaving, he leaned forward and kissed DW on the cheek. I had already turned to leave and missed it. What a jerk. 

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If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
- Henry David Thoreau

 
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I've got you all beat.  I met and shook hands with David O. McKay when I was in my early teens.  I was very impressed and felt quite humble.
 
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I saw Nelson at the Idaho Falls Airport. I was 10 feet from him, I thought that was pretty cool. 

 

I also sat next to Eyring's son during a BYUI play. He introducted himself Henry Eyring. I wasn't sure if it was The Henry Eyring until later I realized that he had son that looks just like him that works in administration at BYUI. 

 
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My grandfather was a GA, so I guess that would be a yes .  He died when I was a little kid though, so I was never able to relate to him in any way more than any little kid relates to grandpa.

 

On account of that connection, a number of my cousins got married by apostles.  I wasn't one of them, but it means I met a few very briefly - enough that I wasn't really left with any impression.  They seemed more like busy people than anything else.

 

When my grandmother died many years later, Pres. Hinckley and Bro. Monson showed up at the funeral.  I didn't get to personally meet Hinckley though he did give some remarks at the service.  But Monson was around at the viewing, during the private "family-only" time.  He was very friendly and seemed fully human, not at all the stuffy GA persona one expects (and still in control of his faculties at that time).  A cousin was headed out for a mission soon afterward, and the two chatted for quite a while about this one restaurant in the mission area that Monson was fond of.

 

So as much as I understand the big 15's role in running this con, I also understand they're still human.  We are the "little people" to them, and there's a certain way you treat the little people; that's not necessarily a nice thing, but it's life.  When I first talked to my mom about my disbelief, one of the things she told me was that I should still trust Brother Monson because "he was a good friend of father's, and was so good to mother for so many years" (cue the widow jokes).  No, that didn't help me start believing in the church again.  But it's a reminder that there's another side to these people.

 

Even Jeffrey Holland is probably human if you dig deep enough.  Well ... maybe.

 

tttt

 
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My mission president (now a 70 himself) was well-connected to the GA world. I was in the mission office for a year and then a zone leader. Just on my mission I met a half-dozen apostles and perhaps a dozen or so members of the Qs of 70. I met several more of each after my mission through this and other connections. My MP's daughter married an apostle's son. The wedding reception was like General Conference, but with cake.

 

They're just guys. Some are super nice. Some are complete assholes. Most are somewhere in between.

 

The absolute nicest GA I ever met, bar none, was Howard Hunter. He seemed to be a genuinely sweet and loving man. Some (OK, many) of the others seemed full of themselves.

 
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My non-member father walked with me through a reception line at BYU and shook the "I-am-not-a Dodo's" hand. He made the comment, "That is not a good man." I was highly offended at the time. I wish he was still alive, so I could tell him how right he was and that I should have trusted his gut feelings.
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I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man—Thomas Jefferson

It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.—e.e.cummings

 
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   Had many interviews with Paul Dunn. Mostly just sat there for the 3 minutes he spent with each missionary while they were inspired to do more, be more, and increase baptism numbers. Each time was uneventful.

 

   However, I do remember one mission conference when Dunn told the entire mission force that he could send 2/3rds of us home and the same amount of work would be accomplished.  As I sat there, I knew perfectly well which group I belonged in and would have gladly accepted a plane ticket home. That "talkin to" pretty much inspired me to quit trying and stop faking like I was trying.

 

  I heard lots and lots of war stories and such. I even have a hand written letter from Dunn saying how sorry he was for "embellishing" some of the stories.  

 

   During this time, a few big wigs from Salt Lake came to speak to us, but I can't remember any of them. mostly I just sat there for hours and hours waiting for the time to pass and we could go home. Oh, I do remember a Hartman Rector or something like that.

 
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Before my mission I met Hunter (mission farewell for one of his grandchildren). When I was 14 I went to general conference (first and only time). It was the last time Kimball attended (he died a month later). He and Benson waved to me as they were leaving behind the secret door in the old tabernacle. They both smiled at me, and I felt a tremendous amount of guilt since I had masturbated that morning in the Hotel Utah.

 

At the MTC I met Nelson, Hinckley, L. Tom and Packer at different times. Packer spoke at a Sunday night fireside. Following the fireside we were instructed not to shake his hand, since Packer had somewhere to go and didn't want to linger. The missionaries all stood and watched him scurry away. My companion and I were sitting in the back, and being the disobedient missionaries that we were, followed him as he left the gymnasium. A few missionaries stopped to shake his hand, and he reluctantly obliged. I was the last one to shake his hand. By then he was incredibly put out that so many missionaries had disobeyed a direct commandment. He took my hand and gave me a stern look, as if saying to my soul, "I know that you masturbate."

 

Scott's youngest son served in my mission. He was my zone leader. I had several overnight work-overs with him. Nice guy. People gave him a lot of shit for being the son of an apostle. Scott and his wife came to our mission when the son's mission ended. Holland came along (he was the area president). I met Scott again after my mission at a young adult conference. Holland seemed reserved (probably because he wasn't an apostle at that point). Sister Scott was a very sweet woman. I also met Kenneth Johnson when he and his wife toured our mission. Ballard spoke to us at a mission conference. I was the last missionary to shake his hand before the meeting started. My companion and I were the last missionaries to arrive. He took my hand and looked at me for an uncomfortable moment. And then I felt him say,"Tardy masturbator with long sideburns."

 

 

 
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Ohwhatodo:
I've got you all beat.  I met and shook hands with David O. McKay when I was in my early teens.  I was very impressed and felt quite humble.

 

 I'll call and raise you. I was Dave Bednar's home teacher back when he was a grad student at BYU.

 

So there!

 
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In my calling I got to meet several 70 who would fly in for stake conference, usually second quorum, although we did get Cook & Christofferson before they were called up to the big show. 

 

There's a huge difference between guys in the fifth quorum, area seventy, and guys in the second. The fifth quorum guys seem completely normal, and indistinguishable from any run of the mill stake president. The second quorum guys are creepy as hell. When you get them in one on one conversations they do nothing but name drop and talk about running into the apostles at this event or another. It's unnatural, they all have that kind of hushed temple voice when they speak, and talk like they're at general conference from the pulpit. They may come in and take charge of the meetings, but they aren't real decision makers. They're auditioning for the first quorum or higher. Their favorite story will likely center around that one time when they got to speak at the Sunday afternoon session of conference.

 

The first quorum guys have more swagger, probably because they've been given more authority. They're a little more laid back but have no problem throwing their weight around, especially out "in the mission field" where no one out ranks them. Sometimes I think they forget themselves because they seem to play pretty fast and lose with the promises, promises they have no ability to keep. Folks, just because a seventy promises you a building project, it doesn't mean they can actually make the building department do anything.

 

 Once in a blue moon we'd have an apostle drop in, meaning once a decade or so. One year Nelson came and had several small meetings and special training sessions with the leaders. He's obsessed with the 12 tribes of Israel narrative, drawing diagrams of Jacob and his wives, the order the children were born, etc., just to "prove" that America is Joseph's inheritence. He held a question and answer session. If anyone asked a question that wasn't designed to kiss his ass in some way, he'd shout them down. When I shook his hand, I could see a look of distain in his eyes. It's hard to explain, but it was as if he hated me for standing in line to see him. Even before I had fully turned non-believer, I disliked Nelson because of this. When he went full blown douche bag a couple of conferences ago by making that ridiculous statment about exploding printing presses, I wasn't surprised. 

 

Neil Anderson was the most recent apostle to stop by. He had just been called up and was a really decent guy. He seemed to treat everyone with respect, came off the stand to walk into the congregation and shake hands. He gave a solid talk about love and Jesus. I could be neighbors with Anderson. With Nelson I'd take out a restraining order.  

 
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sl-skipper:
Ohwhatodo:
I've got you all beat.  I met and shook hands with David O. McKay when I was in my early teens.  I was very impressed and felt quite humble.

 

 I'll call and raise you. I was Dave Bednar's home teacher back when he was a grad student at BYU.

 

So there!

 

Sorry, S-S, I gotta give this to OWTD...  David O. McKay!!!  

 

Time, again, for my "I flipped off Joseph Fielding Smith" story.  This was June of 1965, at SLC Mission Home, where Melvin Bowler and I shared a double bed for a week.  We're all assembled in a big room and we're told that JFF will be coming in to address us.  All I remember now is that he asked us to show, by holding up the correct number of fingers, how many beings were in the godhead.  Having spent a year on a State of Nevada road crew, when I told my fingers to show "three", they reverted to what they knew best, which was the bird.  I held that bird up in JFF's face for at least three seconds.  If anyone noticed, nothing was ever said.

 

In the LTM and the mission field, I never gave a crap about shaking important people's hands.  Still don't.  I don't recall the names of any the GA's who came to Mexico City to address us baptizing champs.  Those were the days when the rock uncut by human hands was doing some serious rolling. 

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I had Groberg come to my mission - Hawaii, where he was practicing his spiel for what would later be his book. I remember thinking that he was full of it and his stories were just that...fictional stories.  Later, back at BYU, I was in the same ward as his daughter Jennie. One of her roommate's liked me and I got invited to a farewell or something similar in the groberg family.  I remember going to their house afterward and wondering how in the world someone who hadn't really worked much could afford such a nice place.  
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“Nell,” the Constable continued, indicating through his tone of voice that the lesson was concluding, “the difference between ignorant and educated people is that the latter know more facts. But that has nothing to do with whether they are stupid or intelligent. The difference between stupid and intelligent people—and this is true whether or not they are well-educated—is that intelligent people can handle subtlety. They are not baffled by ambiguous or even contradictory situations—in fact, they expect them and are apt to become suspicious when things seem overly straightforward.”

From “The Diamond Age” - Neal Stevenson

 
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When I was five, Spencer W. Kimball visited our home in 1964.  I didn't know who he was, I just remember how my mother made a big deal that I sat on his lap.  At nine I met Hugh B. Brown when he spoke at our district conference in Duluth, Minnesota.
 
When I was eleven, I met Boyd K. Packer in the foyer of the stake center as he was leaving to catch his flight.  I wasn't feeling well so my mom and I were sitting in the foyer.  When he saw us, he stopped and visited with me.  Years later as a member of a BYU performing group, Packer came and talked to the group prior to a summer tour.  When asked if drinking cola soft drinks was breaking the WoW, he replied that it wasn't specifically banned, but we wouldn't catch him ever drinking one.  Message received.

During a tour to Scandinavia, BYU President and future Apostle Dallin H. Oaks and his wife rode on the bus with us for five days.  He was not very friendly and mostly kept to himself reading voraciously.  But his wife was very friendly.  To kill time on the bus, the dating and married couples in the group would play the "Newlywed Game".  Mrs. Oaks persuaded Dallin to play.  It was one of the few times he relaxed and gave us a glimpse of his lighter side.

While still with the BYU performing group, I again met SWK after a performance at Arizona State University.  He kissed me on the cheek and whispered, "God bless you" as I parted.  As a fully believing "Lamanite", I held him in high esteem and felt quite fortunate to have the Prophet bless me personally.

I also met most of the late 1970‘s GAs before and after private performances at the Sky Room in the Wilkinson Center, the de Jong Concert Hall in the Harris Fine Arts Center (both at BYU) or the top floor dining room at the top of the CoB.  We were reminded often to show these guys proper deference.

After being excommunicated and sent home from my mission, I had to meet with Marlin K. Jensen as the final hurdle to regaining my priesthood and restoring my temple ordinances.  He was very friendly and accommodating.
 
[Edited to add]
After being re-baptized but prior to having my priesthood and temple ordinances restored, I was asked to tell my story of repentance and reconversion in a special adult stake meeting.  I spoke just prior to 1st Quorum of the Seventy Rex D. Pinegar's address.  Nothing like revealing all of my sins to the whole stake congregation in addition to a general authority.  Of course I was praised for being so courageous.  Courageous my ass!  I mostly did it for the pats-on-the-back I received and to demonstrate repentance so I could hasten my full reinstatement.  I wanted to fulfill a promise to my wife that we would get sealed in the temple.
[/Edited addition] 
 
George P. Lee was a friend of my wife’s family.  I met him several times when he was a Mission President and a Seventy.

After being around the GAs on several occasions, I realized they weren’t different than the rest of us.  Some were nice, some were snooty; some were out-going and some were much more reserved.  Many of them did act as if they were entitled to our acquiescence.
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“I’m having the best day of my life, and I owe it all to not going to Church!”—Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

“I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”—Amy Farrah Fowler, The Big Bang Theory

“For the record, I do have genitals. They’re functional and aesthetically pleasing.”—Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

All comments, statements, opinions, suggestions, and information expressed, or quotes cited, represent the exclusive viewpoint of Aleut at that point in time and are NOT meant to compel or represent agreement by the reader. Aleut will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

 
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I always love to read your posts. That is very interesting. Have you ever posted a letter of resignation or your story I would love to read it.
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“If we don’t change we don’t grow.  If we don’t grow, we are not living.  Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.”  Gail Sheebe

 
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We had a number of GAs come through the mission. The only two I can remember was Hinckley and Hartman Rector Jr. I was mission finance secretary when Hinckley came. I was in charge of a luncheon we had while he visited the mission. I even got to hire a catering company for the food. Pretty good eats, better than member ham and funeral potatoes. Hinckley was very personable, nice and friendly. The only GA I can remember that actually thanked us for taking the time to serve a mission. He never criticized us or gave us the standard pep talk. He just visited with us during lunch.

 

Harman Rector Jr. was quite a character. That guy could give a sales pitch. When he visited us he was selling JS coins. I bought one, still have it. He was like listening to a southern preacher. He was full of it but I enjoyed listening to him.

 

The rest mostly criticized us for not working hard enough, being too worldly, not following mission rules or something else. I learned on my mission that most GAs were unpleasant to be around.

 
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Ahem Wrestling Ballad came to my mission. He was my mission president's mission president. The whole mission got together for it. Our ride was late, and he drove really, really slowly. So we were about 45 mins late. We were suppossed to be 30 mins early. For MONTHS. We got emails about how we had to "BE IN YOUR SEATS READING THE BOM 30 MINS BEFORE THE MEETING STARTS".

 

 I wanted to melt into the floor. I was so embarassed. I was DL. My WHOLE DISTRICT was an hour and 15 mins late because of this wonderful old guy(our ride). He really was wonderful, it's just....he wasn't very punctual. You know? he was a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. Anyways. SO I'm just praying, PRAYING he doesn't notice or hear or anything but how could you not?

 

Apparantly before the meeting everybody got to shake hands with him. We did not. I felt so bummed. I wanted to. I wanted to so badly. I thought about approaching him afterwards but just mopped out of the meeting. Later We went to use the restroom(during the luncheon) and I was walking down the hall. He and my mision president were walking the opposite direciton. My heart was pounding. I just kind of smiled/grimaced at him as they walked by. He didn't even acknowledge that we were in the car. He kind of just walked past us in a hurry. I was glad.

 

I also shook Gee Richards hand and it felt like a giant delicious marshmellow. I still think of that hand to this day. Imagining how great i t'd taste on a smore or something.

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“vast emptiness, nothing holy”-Bodhidharma

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I met L Tom at a lunch in the COB between conference sessions.  He talked a lot about sports and then committed me to read the BofM and go on a mission.  That lunch was really nice.  It was the inner circle in action.  I was like 17 and did not know what to make of the whole thing.  I could have me ETB on the trip but had a golf tournament to get back to.  To this day, my dad is so proud of his picture with ETB in his office.  I find that F ing sad.

 

I must add I met Kimball at our ward when I was a kid.  He gave a talk.  We all stood up when he walked in etc.  I shook his hand.  Met some GAs on my mission.  One guy was an ex military guy and a real ass. 

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You wanna leave me baby be my guest
All I’m gonna do is cry
And then I’m gonna find me someone else
And tear the stars out of the sky
You don’t need me anymore
They say storms are right for summertime
Well, baby I’m long gone
Whatcha gonna do
When you open your eyes?
It’s a brand new day and baby
No blue skies

 

No Blue Skies
Lloyd Cole
http://vimeo.com/92588634

 
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Wasn't going to admit this but if it engenders the awe of EOD, I have to say I once grasped the hand (or had mine grasped) of D.O. McKay when I was but a snippet of a boy. It had to be in the early 50's. He was in Portland, OR for the dedication of a new meeting house. Or maybe he was in town for something else and just popped in.

 

I remember him standing in the foyer as folks were leaving the building. He was smiling and seemed to have a calm, gentle way about him.

 

Aside from that, the only other GA I recall having any interaction with is Mel Hammond. This was when he was still a prof at Ricks. He also seemed like a fairly nice guy but a bit standoffish even that early in his "career."

 

NG

 
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Three different time in 10 minutes---member of the seventy at a stake conference.

 

First time---walking into the building at the same time GA did---introduced and shook hands.

 

Second time---3 minutes later in the foyer (he didn't recognize me) introduced and shook hands.

 

Third time---7 minutes later sitting in the pew (he didn't recognize me) introduced and shook hands.

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“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”  -Marcus Aurelius

 
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My grandfather was friends with Howard Hunter, so I met him when I was a kid.  One of Grandpa's favorite stories was how Hunter arrived late after traveling. They offered to fix something fancy for him to eat, but instead he broke bread into a bowl and poured milk over it.  That won my grandfather over: just a simple, nice, very down-to-earth guy.

 
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Celestial Wedgie:

My grandfather was friends with Howard Hunter, so I met him when I was a kid.  One of Grandpa's favorite stories was how Hunter arrived late after traveling. They offered to fix something fancy for him to eat, but instead he broke bread into a bowl and poured milk over it.  That won my grandfather over: just a simple, nice, very down-to-earth guy.

[  ] This comment brought back a lot of memories.  I ate many bowls of bread and milk growing up.  My mom was a young adult during the great depression.  She said her family ate this meal many times when she was younger.  Consequently when time or groceries were scarce, she would feed bread and milk to me and my siblings.  I didn't mind putting milk on her home-baked wheat bread.  [LOL] Soaking her bread in milk made her extremely crusty and crumbly bread more edible.

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“I’m having the best day of my life, and I owe it all to not going to Church!”—Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

“I don’t object to the concept of a deity, but I’m baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance.”—Amy Farrah Fowler, The Big Bang Theory

“For the record, I do have genitals. They’re functional and aesthetically pleasing.”—Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

All comments, statements, opinions, suggestions, and information expressed, or quotes cited, represent the exclusive viewpoint of Aleut at that point in time and are NOT meant to compel or represent agreement by the reader. Aleut will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.

 
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Aleut:
Celestial Wedgie:

My grandfather was friends with Howard Hunter, so I met him when I was a kid.  One of Grandpa's favorite stories was how Hunter arrived late after traveling. They offered to fix something fancy for him to eat, but instead he broke bread into a bowl and poured milk over it.  That won my grandfather over: just a simple, nice, very down-to-earth guy.

[  ] This comment brought back a lot of memories.  I ate many bowls of bread and milk growing up.  My mom was a young adult during the great depression.  She said her family ate this meal many times when she was younger.  Consequently when time or groceries were scarce, she would feed bread and milk to me and my siblings.  I didn't mind putting milk on her home-baked wheat bread.  [LOL] Soaking her bread in milk made her extremely crusty and crumbly bread more edible.

 

Well, that's the other part of this story.  Like you, I've had bread and milk a lot in my life.  I guess that makes you and me practically prophets. 

 
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I could tell my family was down to the financial wire, I suppose from paying tithing, not from bread and milk but elbow macaroni with tomato soup poured on it. Never complained about it. Probably inspired by the devil since it was red instead of celestial white.
 
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On my mission I spent 10 days traveling Venezuela as a translator with Hartman Rector Jr.  We listened to the greatest hits of Journey, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac and even a few Tom Petty albums.  He was a regular guy in the car between cities but when we were with members, he would play along and act as expected.  It didn’t bother me because he was just doing his job.  He was a really nice fellow.

 

When Hinkley was alive, I rode up an suite elevator with Monson.  He seemed bothered that I didn't react to being in an elevator with him. His suite was directly across from mine.  He talked during the game but never took his eyes off the court when the Jazz Dancers were out. He also tried to talk to the team when he walked on the court as the 3rd quarter was about to start.  They were in a "huddle" listening to Coach Sloan.  No one on the team reacted to him standing there and some were actively ignoring him.

 

I have a friend who used to work in the history department.  He witnessed Monson practicing his talks at the old tabernacle.  He would have them videotaped so we could watch it and change his cadence, facial expressions, etc...

 

They're actors. 

 
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Well, that's the other part of this story. Like you, I've had bread and milk a lot in my life. I guess that makes you and me practically prophets.
Toast dunked in sugared/creamed tea is yummy.
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I’ve begun worshiping the sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the sun. It’s there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There’s no mystery, no one asks for money, I don’t have to dress up, and there’s no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.” George Carlin

 
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Tessa:

 

 

Well, that's the other part of this story. Like you, I've had bread and milk a lot in my life. I guess that makes you and me practically prophets.

 

 

"Toast dunked in sugared/creamed tea is yummy," thus sayeth the Lord.

 

[  ]  Fixed that for you.    Man, I'm voting for you at next General Conference.

 
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Ballard came and visited my mission; there were 300+ other missionaries there, so it wasn't a personal meeting by any means, but for months afterward, everyone spoke about it as if they had a personal audience with him.

 

I really looked forward to the event, in part because it was two hours away and we got to spend four blissful hours in the car on day when we would normally be tracting. But I think the Elder Ballard visit was the beginning of the end for me as a Mormon.

 

The first and most acute disappointment was that he devoted his talk to excoriating us for not working hard enough, which apparently as a general authority he knew because god had told him, and that was devastating for me because I worked so hard as a missionary and I was expecting that he would be more appreciative of our work and sacrifice.

 

Then, there was a question/answer period where missionaries could ask him "anything," he said. A few people asked really interesting questions, and he answered every single one of them by saying, "That is of no importance Elder, and it shows you're not thinking of the right things. The only things you need to be worried about as a missionary are faith, repentence, baptism, and the gift of the holy ghost." That seemed a bit reductive to a group of people who were devoting 24 hours a day to their religious growth. All we could do for fun was read the scriptures, and you couldn't even indulge a few interesting questions?

 

He also made a joke about Catholics that seemed really beneath his calling as a GA, and I thought it was really presumptuous of him to assume that no one in the room had ever been Catholic -- because I had been, and I found it offensive. 

 

And finally, at the end of his talk, he told everyone to hold up their right hand, and shake it, and then we could tell everyone that we had shaken Elder Ballard's hand. He did this specifically to preempt anyone from attempting to shake his hand on the way out, which he didn't have time for. We were told: stand up when he comes in and when he leaves the room, and don't, under any circumstances, try to shake his hand. 

 

This was in my most devout Mormon days, and my God, that whole visit was devastating. I had a strong sense that he didn't deserve the pomp and circumstance he commanded, and also, that he had no idea what the real challenges of missionary life were. What a jerk.  

 

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We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.
~ Thomas Merton

 
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I slept with Spencer W. Kimball in 1960, in a mission home in Galllup, New Mexico. We actually shared a room with five beds in it, three empty ones between us. I eventually named a son after him, a gay son who has thankfully completely blown the church off :+). I also met Boyd K. Packer, but consider it a nightmare to be forgotten.
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“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be”

 
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Christmas time 1977...a large group of college Institute drones got the opportunity to go sing Christmas Carols to N. Eldon Tanner.  We met him in the lobby of his high rise building.  Someone asked him to tell us his most memorable story about being a GA.

 

I'm not making this up...I was there.   He said "Well, we were in Africa once meeting with some members and investagators and WE WERE THE ONLY WHITE PEOPLE IN THE ROOM!!!"

End of story. 

 

I was just getting ready to go on my mission and thought "what have I done????" 

 
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   I remember standing in a church foyer and el tom perry was there when he was a stake president. This was before he became famous. Someone told me that he was the stake dude, and I thought that I should go say Hello, but just didn't feel the holey ghost prodding me hard enough. We exchanged awkward eye glances, but neither made the effort to say anything.
 
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Ballard and Richard Scott (before he was one of the 15) and a couple of other high ups, I can't remember who they were, came and visited our mission in Albuquerque NM 1989.  our mission at the time was huge so not every one was allowed to come to the meeting to see them.  I was stationed in Albuquerque at the time so I was among the priveleged. I was very exited to listen live to a prohpet seer and revelator.  I was very dissapointed.  It started with a mild ream out session.  telling us that we need to do more.  he gave numbers like if we would just ask 20 more people per day if they would want to hear a message of happiness  our convert baptisms would be doubled.  this seemed to get eveyone revved up to get out there and work harder.  They had charts, numbers, success stories, and we too would have success if we would just work harder.  When the meeting was over we all stood in line to shake there hand when it came my turn,  He looked me in the eyes and said" are you doing all you can to further the work of the lord".  I said "I always have room for improvement elder Ballard"  but inside I thought "your a prophet, you tell me".
 
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I met L. Tom Perry back in 1995 or 1996? Dude is tall. Seemed nice enough.

 

ETA: Forgot about Boyd K. Packer. It was more of a saw him at a wedding reception a few years ago. He looked like he was in bad health then.

 

Kind of funny, I knew a Boyd K. Packer as a kid who was a truck driver. He went by the full name.

 
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I have to add my 2 cents. 

 

 In highschool I was really good friends with Eyeing's daughter. (We did a Adam and Eve scence from The Apple Tree) And I met him at Fred Meyer (where I worked in High School) when he was there with his daughter. He was a fairly newly called apostle and it was the first one I had met. I remeber thinking. "WOW he's really tall"

 

 And one of my best friends from High School was sealed by Thomas Monson when he was still first councilor.

 

  

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This post uses only 100% recycled electrons.

Wander, Wanderer, Wandering
1. To move about without a definite destination or purpose.
2. To go by an indirect route or at no set pace.
3. To proceed in an irregular course.
4. To go astray.
5. To lose clarity or coherence of thought or expression.

 
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I met Condie back when I was at Ricks and was part of a performing group that was about to go on tour. The hero worship was nauseating even back then. You'd think we were about to meet the president or something.
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“When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.”
Robert Bulwer-Lytton

 
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I met Didier when he was a member of the presidency of the first quorm of the seventy. It was in a church parking lot and I was a missionary with three others. He told us that we "looked like missionaries". I think it was meant to be profound but looking back it sounds meaningless.

 

I met a lady who had Pres. Kimball dunk her hair in an inkwell when they were kids so I met someone who had known him pre-ga.

 
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The first encounter I recall was shaking Eldon Tanner's hand. I knew his grandchildren.

 

I have met Charles Didier several times. He is a close friend of the family.

 

I had dinner once with GBH and his wife Marjorie. This was a few years before he became profit, December '85, I believe. He was charming and constantly cracking one-liners. Marjorie barely said a word, but was very sweet. 

 

A few dudes from my stake have become GAs but it was always in one of the "lesser" quorums of 70.

 

Teddy Brewerton addressed my seminary class. His nephew was also in my mission. 

 

BKP came to my mission and although there was a Q&A, he pretty much brushed off most of the questions with simple platitudes. There were no handshakes.

 

Rex Reeve came to my mission and actually insisted that he shake hands with everybody and chatted a little with each of us individually. He seemed like a very warm person, unlike BKP who exuded a complete awareness of his "importance".

 

I've probably met a few more but I don't recall right now. 

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Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life- Take Me To Church, Hozier

You’re like the Gandhi of postmo. - Lloyd Dobler

 
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quietlydifferent:

I met Didier when he was a member of the presidency of the first quorm of the seventy.

 

Are you referring to Chucky Comb Over Supreme?

 

Even TBM I thought he had some problems - like who the HELL believes he's not bald?

 

He's a faker - they're all fakers.

 

Fakerman, fakerman, knead your dough

Fakerman, fakerman, need my dough?

Fakerman, you can just go to hell.

 

 

 

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DrW:
Repetitive practice of meaningless ritual and imposition of mindless busy work are both hallmarks of a true cult.

 
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