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Monday, May 21, 2018

Requesting Feedback for Refinement of October 2018 General Conference Speaking Order Predictions

Hello again, everyone! In an effort to refine my predictions for the potential speaking order of the October 2018 General Conference, I am posting a revised version of those predictions. These revisions have come as a result of study on my part. And I wanted to take this opportunity to solicit your feedback on the revisions. A few questions I considered in the process of those revisions were as follows:

1. It has typically been traditional for the counselors in the First Presidency to alternate being the last speaker during the Saturday Morning Session and the first speaker during the Sunday Morning Session. While there have been exceptions (such as last April), that has generally been the case. Will that prove correct this go-round?
2. In my opinion, President Oaks did an amazing job with the long list of releases and sustainings of area seventies last month. With that in mind, would it be fair to assume that President Eyring will continue to lead the sustaining vote in October, when comparatively less changes occur?
2. Will the Women's Session continue to be conducted by one of the three presidents of the female-led auxiliaries, or would that task be performed by a First Presidency member?
3. Would the entire First Presidency speak during the Women's Session every October, as they did for the Priesthood Session every conference before this upcoming one?
4. Would the First Presidency invite a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and/or other male general authorities to speak during the Women's Session?
5. If we do not hear from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the Women's Session, when would the Church fit in the last member of the Quorum of the Twelve?
5. How might the Women's Session being held in the spot tradtionally reserved for the Priesthood Session alter the number of general officers who speak to us in the other four sessions.
6. Would the Church continue to have just one member of the Presidency of the Seventy speak (as we saw last month) or will we hear from 2 members of that presidency, as has been traditional in recent years?
7. Is there anything I need to keep in mind when considering the number or names of the General Authority Seventies who might speak? I know that the last few Octobers have seen a pretty even blend of new GA Seventies that were called the previous April and veteran General Authorities speaking for the second or third time (if not more than that).

In the revised predictions I have put together, I have attempted to provide the best answers I can to these questions. That said, I recognize we are going to be in somewhat uncharted territory next conference, primarily because the Women's Session will be held in the slot that has typically been reserved for the Priesthood Session.

Those revised predictions follow below. So as not to disturb their flow, I will end here as I always do. That does it for this post. Any and all comments are, as always, welcome and appreciated. Thank you for the privilege of your time. Until my next post, I wish each one of you all the best and pray that the Lord will bless you all in everything you do.

October 2018 General Conference Predictions[i]
Saturday Morning
President Russell M. Nelson
President Russell M. Nelson

Elder Terence M. Vinson

Elder Quentin L. Cook

Elder Jack N. Gerard

Elder Gerrit W. Gong

Elder Walter F. Gonzalez

Elder Ronald A. Rasband

President Dallin H. Oaks
Saturday Afternoon
President Dallin H. Oaks
President Henry B. Eyring (Sustaining of Church Officers)

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Bishop Dean M. Davies

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Elder D. Todd Christofferson

Elder Craig A. Cardon

Elder Juan Pablo Villar

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Women’s Session
Joy D. Jones
Cristina B. Franco

Michelle D. Craig

Jean B. Bingham

President Henry B. Eyring

President Dallin H. Oaks

President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Morning
President Russell M. Nelson
President Henry B. Eyring

Bonnie H. Cordon

Elder Ulisses Soares

Elder Robert C. Gay

Elder Takashi Wada

Elder Neil L. Andersen

President Russell M. Nelson
Sunday Afternoon
President Henry B. Eyring
President M. Russell Ballard

Brian K. Ashton

Elder Mathias Held

Elder Dale G. Renlund

Elder Scott D. Whiting

Elder Paul B. Pieper

Elder David A. Bednar

President Russell M. Nelson

[i]Although General Conferences in the past 20 years or so have typically conformed to general patterns in terms of the traditional speaking order, there have been a handful of exceptions. The most recent of those, of course, occurred with the April 2018 General Conference, when a Solemn Assembly was held, two new apostles were called, and the announced changes in policy and practice resulted in a completely different speaking order format. And in view of the October 27, 2017 announcement that the Priesthood and Women’s sessions would both be held annually, with the former being held every April, and the latter every October, it is almost certain that this will necessitate additional alterations to the typical format. While it may be a year or two until we know what the “new traditional format” will look like, the predictions for the speaking order of this General Conference are molded by assumptions, which may or may not prove accurate. With that in mind, the thoughts below represent my best efforts to figure out how all of that might work. And until I have a better idea of what that will look like, I will, as previously noted, be allowing myself a very small margin of error.