Conference for me was a pleasure. Great talks, including the calling of two new apostles. Perfect weather. Almost no anti-Mormons.
OK, there were anti-Mormons. Perhaps 20 or more. But finally some folks realized they could exercise their right to protest and reach out to Mormons by politely engaging them. And since they used their constitutional right to get most of the protest zones between Temple Square and the Conference Center, most of the insult slinging, slurry mouthed folks lacking Christian values were forced to 'head south', causing far less disruption to the sacred spirit for those who attended Conference for religious purposes.
Over 150,000 Mormons attended conference. Four of them were clowns who excercised their right to behave like the hate-spewing protestors by mocking the protestors. And you should have heard the protestors whine! Wahhhh! That people would make fun of them, shout them down with 'shusshingg' sounds; mocking their mocking of things LDS.
The thing is, the anti-Mormons don't understand that they have brought this on. I have gone to every conference for the past 12 years. About 2001 the Street Preachers showed up. Up to that time, there wasn't any effort to mock or respond in a loud, obnoxious way to the anti's. People took their little pamplets, and threw them away or whatever, and that was it. So there was basically 154 years of toleration if not bored recognition of the anti's, and so things went.
That all changed when the Street Preachers showed up. Contrary to some of the lies out there on web sites trying to defend the street belchers, they were hostile, aggressive and rude to the LDS community. Many non-LDS saw their insensitivity and realized they are non-Christian, and tried to encourage them to moderate their attacks. No such luck. Then one day a television news crew happened to be downtown when these savages ruined a wedding by calling the women in the wedding "whores", and refusing to move aside so they could take family wedding photos. It was all caught on film, then broadcast on TV. Even the non-believing, former ALCU mayor of Salt Lake City realized this was a disaster, and had the potential for violence under a legal theory called the "fighting words" doctrine. Just as freedom of speech is limited by its threat to public safety, such as crying "fire" in a crowded movie theater, so speech which is designed to provoke and incite a reasonable person to violence is not legal.
The street belchers said they would continue to insult the Mormons, and so the Main Street Plaza sale was executed. In 2003 two assaults on the street belchers by members of the Church attending conference led the mayor to implement the court upheld protest zones to put a buffer between the street belchers and the conference goers. There is no excuse for the assaults, but it proved what the mayor had said about the fighting words doctrine.
Still the street belchers continue to call the LDS faith such Christ-like names as "whores", "perverts", and bark insults about them going to hell at a high volume. The Christian ministries (the ones who really believe in Christ I mean) have continued to condemn the street belchers methods and in response have recruited people to lovingly demonstrate their beliefs by politely standing and greeting the LDS Conference goers. It is the way they have decided to exercise their right to free speech. To listen to the street belchers tell it, they are Judas sell outs to the LDS Church.
But still the anti's scream their venom, even from the south side of Temple Square. And now the 4 clowns have started attending to mock them as they mock the LDS beliefs. I don't really know if this is a case of 'do unto others', but the street belchers are sure thin skinned about being treated the way they treat the Mormons.
I for one love the street belchers. LDS baptisms go up, way up, for the non-members who attend conference and see the stark difference between the LDS Christians and the non-practicing Christian street belchers. And I personally love to use the falsehoods the anti's spew as a launch point to teach those who are sincere among the protestors about the LDS Church. Some of them will join the LDS Church. More of them will never return with the Anti's. And it is always the most telling when the street belchers warn each other that I am around, and am just a waste of time to talk with. I thrive on those comments, somewhat like the anti's love to be able to describe what persecuted servants they are for standing up for their faith. Please. Attacking LDS people is not presenting the Gospel. But it is black and white for the non-members attending Conference. As Luke wrote of the Bereans, they had an open mind and a willingness to study the scriptures. That is all the Mormons ask of their friends.
In the markeplace of ideas, Mormonism almost always wins when presented to open-minded people. Keep up the good work those who feel their job is to insult the Mormon faithful, as we love the fruits of your labor. Literally 500 or more people join the Church after seeing the difference. Work harder. I bet we can get that number over 1,000 if you belchers would just scream a little louder. And by all means, don't talk to Mormons like me who know LDS history and doctrine. Let me answer the questions of those people who realize the stark differences between what goes on inside the gates of Temple Square, and you standing outside like barking, angry dogs (Rev. 22:15).