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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Our Unusual Stake Conference in Wisconsin: Watching the Packers on Big Screen TV

If you've never lived in Wisconsin, it may be hard to appreciate just how important the Packers are to people around here. For many Wisconsinites, the Packers are part of their religion, and there is no better way to spend a Sunday than watching the Packers in person or on TV.

So you folks outside Wisconsin might be surprised to learn that the Appleton Wisconsin Stake gathered today to have a rather unusual Stake Conference. Instead of the normal fare of local speakers, we all watched the Packers projected live on a big screen. I'm not making this up. And honestly, it was a spiritual experience.

Both Boyd K. Packer and his wife, Donna Packer gave marvelous talks. It was part of a regional Midwest broadcast to 61 stakes, broadcast live from Salt Lake City with the Packers and a couple other General Authorities and their wives. Nice format!

Today marked a big change for me. Now, at last, I can proudly say that I'm a Packers fan, and even had a religious experience watching the Packers on Sunday. Go Packers!

7 comments:

pate said...

Go Packers indeed. Great post, Jeff. I'm glad to see that you enjoyed the new format. I'm still looking forward to seeing it myself. I think that the chance to hear from a greater number of the Brethren and their wives more frequently (if not more intimately) will be a blessing to the saints.

Brian Duffin said...

Excellent article! You truly have a way with words!

T said...

I wish I could have gone! I was helping hubby drain the 75-gallon aquarium and getting things cleaned the night before, so we were very tired and didn't go. But my in-laws did and they said it was great. So sad I missed it!

Kim Siever said...

We will be trying it out for the first time this weekend. We will have President Monson, Elder Bednar and a member of the seventy. They will be broadcasting from Calgary.

Anonymous said...

You know Jeff, I've always been curious - what is it like during football season up there? I'm a big 49er fan (uh-oh!), but I'm not right in the middle of NFL culture that I imagine you are every Autumn. How does this effect the church, church members, church programs, missionary work, etc., when an entire geographical area has such a large cultural investment in a non-church Sunday happening?

Mormanity said...

The effect of football on the Church in Wisconsin is not nearly as great or as negative as its effect in Provo in 1994 when BYU won the national championship. The line between sports and worship was never so thin. Some prayers and spoken testimonies referred to the hand of the Lord in the championship. Some people confused 10-yard-gains with spiritual experiences. All very troubling.

Out here, the Church moves on in spite of the Packers. We need to be careful when we schedule events and can expect attendance to drop when there is a conflict, but it's not such a big deal. What is a big deal is the media coverage. When the Packer's are playing, Packer trivia gets dozens of pages of coverage in the newspaper. And if they go to the Superbowl, you can expect a news blackout for weeks, with nothing but Packers Packers Packers in the newspaper and everywhere else. Canada could invade Wisconsin and ship thousands of us off to the Yukon moose colonies and we would never read about it in the news.

Annalyn Hale Bartholomew (Yoda's Duck) said...

Here's a question someone posted on Yahoo! Answers about your post- I don't think he's LDS- he didn't get the pun.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AlPCUoOVkG_rJaWGopFBKcM8.Bd.;_ylv=3?qid=20080711212355AAbY9gd