Although not identifying specific issues, several general conference talks seem targeted at specific audiences. Possibly in response to right-wing survivalists, Elder M. Russell Ballard warns, "We must be careful not to . . . be caught up in extreme preparations" for the end of the world. President Gordon B. Hinckley, perhaps responding to right-wing beliefs of a "silenced" prophet,116 explains the "unique and tremendous system of redundancy and backup which the Lord has structured into His kingdom so that without interruption it may go forward, meeting any emergency that might arise and handling every contingency. . . . We have moved without hesitation when there is well-established policy. Where there is not . . . we have talked with the President and received his approval before taking action. Let it never be said that there has been any disposition to assume authority or to do anything or say anything which might be at variance with the wishes of him who has been put in his place by the Lord." Elder Boyd K. Packer adds: "There are some among us now who have not been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church who tell of impending political and economic chaos, the end of the world . . . . They are misleading members to gather to colonies or cults. Those deceivers say that the Brethren do not know what is going on in the world or that the Brethren approve of their teaching but do not wish to speak of it over the pulpit. Neither is true." Remarks possibly directed against intellectuals are made by Elders Russell M. Nelson ("Paul's warnings describe apostasy and other dangers of our day. Some of those perils are . . . championed by persuasive people possessing more ability than morality, more knowledge than wisdom. . . . Individuals with malignity of purpose often wear the mask of honesty"), Joseph B. Wirthlin ("Some in the Church may believe sincerely that their testimony is a raging bonfire when it really is little more than the faint flickering of a candle. Their faithfulness has more to do with habit than holiness, and their pursuit of personal righteousness almost always takes a back seat to their pursuit of personal interests and pleasure"), and Neal A. Maxwell (". . . some who cast off on intellectual and behavioral bungee cords in search of new sensations, only to be jerked about by the old heresies and the old sins"). Elder Packer also includes in his remarks a warning to faculty members at BYU protesting strictures on academic freedom: "A Church university is not established to provide employment for a faculty, and the personal scholarly research [sic] is not a dominant reason for funding a university. . . . For those very few whose focus is secular and who feel restrained as students or as teachers in such an environment, there are at present in the United States and Canada alone over 3,500 colleges and universities where they may find the kind of freedom they value."
[Source: Anderson, Lavina Fielding, "The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology," Dialogue, Vol.26, No.1]