For those that watched, read, or listened to General Conference a few weeks ago, you might have noticed that the words “Palm Sunday” were bantered about a lot. Not only did Pres Oaks reference it while conducting, but 10 speakers talked about it in their talks.

I did a word search using the church’s online conference talks, and found the following. From 2020 to today, the worlds “Palm Sunday” was used by 12 speakers, 10 of those just this year. 2010-2019: 2 speakers. 2000-2009: 1 speaker (Uchtdorf in 2009, when GC fell on Palm Sunday). 1990-1999: 1 speaker. 1980-1989: 1 speaker when GC fell on Palm Sunday. 1970-1979: Zero speakers.

To further understand this trend, one needs to look no farther than Elder McConkie’s seminal work “Mormon Doctrine” See below the entry for Palm Sunday

Sectarians traditionally celebrate the Sunday before Easter as Palm Sunday in commemoration of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Among the true saints this practice finds no followers. Except for such transcendent events as the birth of a God (celebrated by Christmas), or the resurrection of Christ (celebrated by Easter), there is no need to hark back to former dispensations for great events to memorialize. There is no more call to celebrate Palm Sunday in this dispensation than there is to celebrate the passage of Israel through the Red Sea or the stopping of the sun by Joshua. Rather the Latter-day Saints memorialize the transcendent events of their era, such things as the coming of John the Baptist, the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the conferral of the sealing keys by Elijah, and the organization of the Church again on earth.

Mormon Doctrine, 1st edition 1958, page 499

Well, that pretty well sums it up! Sectarians celebrate Palm Sunday, not “True Saints” This explains why there was not one mention of Palm Sunday in the 1970’s when Bruce was sitting in the red chairs, staring down all the speakers! Back then Mormons —as we were called back in the day—were true saints! [1]

So what are we today? Sectarian heathens? It’s just not the Palm Sunday thing, Jana Riess has a good article on how the church is going all in on Easter also.

Do you think this is a concerted effort by the Q15 to appear more Christian in the traditional manner?

Do you think it was talked about in meetings, telling the leaders to talk up Easter and Palm Sunday?

Will this continue, or was it a flash in the pan?

[1] McConkie backed off a little in later versions after he was privately chastised for his first edition. While he still called it a “sectarian” tradition, he lost the “true saints” part and replaced it with “it is not common practice” to follow this celebration.  

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