Saturday, October 9, 2010

Elder Christofferson's Application of all Three Aspects of Rhetoric

General Conference offers a remarkable chance for the members of the LDS Church to hear the words of inspired leaders.  Just last week, the 180th Semiannual General Conference occurred, uniting disciples around the world.  The Saturday Morning Session was an incredible meeting composed with spiritual and inspiring messages. Within Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s talk Reflections on a Consecrated Life, the Apostle used examples, Bible references and listings to cohesively, emotionally and authoritatively persuade the Church members to consecrate their lives to God’s purpose. 
Elder Christofferson depicts several examples throughout his message to appeal to the passion and reason of his audience and establish authority. The Apostle begins his message with an example from his own life. As a young man he “visited the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City.” Later in his speech, he refers to an example of Christ’s perfect life to provide the ultimate model from which to emulate. Nearing the end, Elder Christofferson illustrates the story of his grandparents: a wonderful example of a life dedicated to God’s will. In defense of integrity, Elder D. Todd Christofferson portrays the story of two families who forgo integrity to further their professional reputation. Elder Christofferson’s portrayal of personal examples appeals to his audience, both logically and emotionally. The Apostle speaks with heightened familiarity, establishing trust and friendship between the members. He brings them in to his confidence, persuading them to give heed to his word. Elder Christofferson also provides examples to further establish his authority and knowledge of the subject.  Through his examples, his readers will see the reason of his word and rely on his wisdom.
Along with examples, Elder D. Todd Christofferson also provides Bible references to enhance the authority and logic of his speech. The Bible holds great weight in the Church, and by depicting these references he further magnifies the power he holds- the power of God.  The scriptures are the words of ancient prophets and the lessons given from the Lord.  Knowing the Bible can help in the perfection of the saints, members will listen in earnest to the righteous words of an apostle. By quoting the word of God, Christofferson enhances the appeal of his message.
In addition to examples and references, Elder D. Todd Christofferson establishes a list of advice that the members can follow. Speaking on the powers of a consecrated life, the Apostle depicts 5 elements of such a life: Purity, Work, Respect for our bodies, Service and Integrity.  By creating a list, Elder Christofferson enhances the logic of his word, furthering the appeal of his speech.  With his advice, Christofferson creates something that is applicable to the audience: something they can take into their own lifestyles. 

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