Saddam: Zemnarihah for the 21st Century

At 10:00 PM EST, Sadam Hussien died a quick and painless death, a privilege he denied hundreds, if not thousands, of victims. After more than a year of imprisonment and a year-long trial, Hussien received more deference and fairness and humane treatment than most of those who ran afoul of Hussien’s own warped sense of justice.

I am reminded of 3 Nephi 4:28:

And their leader, Zemnarihah, was taken and hanged upon a tree, yea, even upon the top thereof until he was dead. And when they had hanged him until he was dead they did fell the tree to the earth, and did cry with a loud voice, saying: May the Lord preserve his people in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they may cause to be felled to the earth all who shall seek to slay them because of power and secret combinations, even as this man hath been felled to the earth.

My hope is that Saddam serves as an example, and that the people of Iraq will be preserved in righteousness and in holiness of heart, that they will kill all those combined for insurrection and against peace in Iraq, even as they have killed Saddam tonight.

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Saddam’s Deadline

Update: Saddam has been executed.

According to the news about the Iraqi death penalty and the failed appeal that took place, Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Takriti has to be executed sometime in the 30 days that followed the sentencing.

This means there is not a specific date or time for this special event. Executioners could show up and roust Saddam out of his cell on any day or any hour between now and January 27th. He must get nervous every time he hears footsteps outside his door. For all we know, the sentence is being carried out this very minute.

Psycho genealogist, I know you are out there. Someone post a guard at the IGI.

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Bring out Your Dead

note: this began as a lengthy, thread-jacking comment on Wayne L’s insightful post on the PR impact of proxy-baptism for famous Jews.

The topic is proxy temple ordinance work for Jews, or, as the press prefers to say (inaccurately), baptizing dead Jews into Mormonism. Many Mormons, leaders included, are inclined to accommodate outsiders with misgivings about the peculiarities of Mormonism. I urge, “Not so fast.” I see no reason to be defensive or apologetic about how we conduct the most sacred ordinances of our religion.

The real problem is that many Jews harbor a strong anti-Christianity prejudice Read more »

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Chestnuts and Shrimp on the open fire

Well, we have the shrimp and the fire.  Bill is in his green apron, doing most of the cooking.  I’m in the red, doing the ordering around and deep sighing.  Company is coming for prime rib and shrimp and new red potatoes, mashed with the peels on.  We have apple and cherry pie.  Tomorrow, it will be Bill’s buttermilk pancakes for the grandchildren and sundry relatives.  In our tiny kitchen.

 We’ve borrowed a table from the church, which we will set in the front room and after dinner, they are planning to break out the poker set I got Bill for Christmas.  We celebrates ‘em the best we can.  Merry Christmas, everyone.  Only 40 more hours and my life can go back to semi-normal.  Eat your hearts out!

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More on Romney on Slate (Weisberg this time)

Jacob Weisberg’s recent article in Slate continues Slate’s assault on reason in order to justify religious bigotry. Weisberg rightly notes that voters are correct to disqualify candidates for fanatical religious beliefs. Then Weisberg goes on to claim that Joseph Smith was an obvious con-man, and concludes that literal belief in his prophetic mission makes a person patently irrational. From this surprising non sequitur, Weisberg concludes not only that it’s OK to vote against Romney because he’s Mormon, but that rational people should vote against Romney because he’s Mormon.
Read more »

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China – Faith Promoting Rumor?

Ok, this is a silly subject, and I was hoping to see it treated elsewhere, but a quick look at LDSelect didn’t turn anything up, so I am asking here. Has anybody else heard the rumor that four full time missionaries have been called to China? We heard a friend of a friend story in church on Sunday and my brother heard a similar one a week before.

Anybody got actual facts here? Or do we need an LDS version of Snopes?

Update: Shields has a mini LDS version of Snopes that has all the details I’ve heard about this rumor and declares it to be false. Thanks to Mike Parker for the link!

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The Second Coming as the Boogeyman

I got to teach EQ last week. It was lesson 24 in the WW manual on the Second Coming. Two things grabbed my attention. One is that the editors selected four paragraphs in which President Woodruff says, “the signs in the heaveans and the earth all indicate that his coming is near.” Or something very similar to that, but it never says what those signs are. Hooray for vain repetition! I blame the editors.

Secondly it seems to me from reading the lesson repeatedly that the point of talking about the Second Coming is often to scare people. Watch out! The Second Coming could happen tomorrow! You’d better be good!

Read more »

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I Have a question.

I’ve been reading the Book of Mormon and am almost finished with it. As I’ve been reading, something has niggled at the edge of my brain. I’ll try to articulate it enough to be understandable.

First, and related, Bill and I went to see Apocalypto Saturday night.  I enjoyed it.  I didn’t think it was all that controversial.  It was bloody, but not nearly as much as hyped.  It was sort of a typical “good man saves family” drama, actually.

The main reason I agreed to go see it was to see if there were any similarities to the Book of Mormon stories and it certainly did seem to echo what I’d been reading.

What has troubled me — no, not troubled — I can’t think the right word. Curious is a better word.  How can I put this?

The people of Israel in Jesus’ time, after his death, did not deteriorate into live sacrifices and war, killing each other off in barbaric fashion.  Christianity progressed, albeit not smoothly. Still. They progressed.

What was different in the lives of the Lamanites that after they’d seen Christ, en masse, perform miracles, after they’d been converted, by the thousands, that they dwindled totally into unbelief and paganism?  It doesn’t make sense to me.  Those people in the Americas actually had more visible proof of Jesus’ divinity than the people in the Holy Land, yet they eventually lost their faith, while the others grew in faith. Why?

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Confession: Embarrassed to Read the Ensign in Public

I fly a couple of times a week and when I am not working on the plane, I usually read.  I will bring various reading material — both Church related and non-Church related.  When I read religious material, I have found that I have a very different reaction when I am reading the Ensign versus some other Church material (e.g., scriptures or Dialogue).  I find I can read a book, either religious or not religious without any concern or embarrassment.  However, when I read the Ensign, I often feel embarrassed and a bit like a religious fanatic.  While a book is very text heavy with minimal pictures, the Ensign has a lot of pictures and some that take up the entire page.  I feel like a religious fanatic with all of these pictures staring me in the face and in my fellow traveler’s faces.  The pictures are much like those found in the Watchtower (Jehovah’s Witnesses magazine) — a bit tacky and overdone oftentimes.  The models tend to be white and beautiful, not reflective of the Church as a whole.  So I will admit I am sometimes embarrassed to read the Ensign in public because of the pictures and graphics in the magazine, not because of the actual text.  I feel that it will reinforce the strange stereotypes people already have of Mormons — white, conservative and fanatical — basically the graphics and pictures one sees in the Ensign.  I should note that I usually enjoy most of the articles which is why I read it every month diligently (except occasional ones which have been known to result in the magazine being thrown away in a huff).

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When Mormons Go To Starbucks …

Everyone goes to Starbucks, right? Even Mormons.

But (newsflash) we don’t drink coffee. So what do you buy?

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Board Games, Card Games, Etc.

It’s the holiday season. This is a time when people are looking for good gift ideas. It’s also a time when families and friends often find themselves sitting together around a table. So that’s at least two reasons to talk about favorite board games, card games, puzzles or other activities. Read more »

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Top 10 Influential Mormons

In the December issue of Atlantic magazine, a group of ten eminent historians (4 Pulitzer Prize winners) placed both Joseph Smith (#52 – ahead of Bill Gates, John Quincy Adams & Robert E Lee) and Brigham Young (#74 – just ahead of Babe Ruth and Frank Lloyd Wright) on its list of the 100 Most Influential Americans of all time.  See www.theatlantic.com/doc/200612/influentials
Read more »

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A Name and Scripture Verse Association Game

Let’s play a name and scripture verse association game. I’ll say a name and you associate a scripture with it.

The name is “Hitler.” Read more »

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Mormons and the Coming Singularity

This one might require some background. In simple terms the Technological Singularity is a time in the future of unprecedented technological progress. It will mark the begining of a new era in history. I’d like to know how MM readers think it will impact Mormons and Mormonism.

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Goodbye, Jeane Kirkpatrick; RIP

Jeane Kirkpatrick, the first women to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, died at the age of 80 of congestive heart failure on Thursday, December 7th. Arguably the finest foreign policy thinker of the late 20th century and among the most accomplished political scientists of her generation, it is fitting that she is no hero to most feminists. She is certainly one to me, and I hope she will be to my daughters as well.
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To Discuss Islam or Not

Yesterday Amira wrote a post titled “Liking Islam.” Discussion followed and I shared some critical perspectives and concerns of Islam. At least a few people expressed strong reservations about the nature and tone of the arguments being made and wondered whether LDS people should debate these things publicly. Read more »

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Ah ha! I have it!

Say you had what you thought was a great idea for an LDS-themed but not LDS-specific piece of jewelry but had no training or materials to make it yourself. To give you some idea, it’s a variation on a cross, so beadwork is out, or at least too insanely invovled. :)  Does anyone know any companies it might be good to approach?  And some advice on how to do so?

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And the Winner Is…

Julie M. Smith!

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The Battle of the Sexes: Is It Fair?

Last Saturday at my ward’s Christmas party, I was discussing my recent post on well-pursued careers with a friend. While summarizing the post, I brought up my refutation of the notion that nobody wishes on their deathbed that they’d spent more time at the office; the refutation goes like this: plenty of people die wishing that they had provided better for their family or that they could leave more behind.

Her response to this was to the effect of, “Well, that’s a very male perspective. Many men may feel that way on their death bed, but women are certainly not likely to. They’re more inclined to think about family-related concerns.”
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Breast Implants, BoTox, Tattos, Piercings and Mormon Doctrine

I have a relative who has had a significant amount of plastic surgery — from breast implants to botox to a facelift and a butt lift (whatever that is). I was having a conversation with this person about President Hinckley’s talk about women only having one pair of earrings. She thought that was the best advice she had heard and would never wear two pairs of earrings again — she had in the past. I then asked her what was wrong with two pairs of earrings — the answer being that it disfigures the body and if our body is a Temple we should not disfigure it (I don’t understand how one pair does NOT disfigure the body though, so if you can have one, who cares about two — except for the fact the Prophet mentioned it…).

Read more »

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