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.

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!

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!

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!

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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?

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).

When Mormons Go To Starbucks …

Everyone goes to Starbucks, right? Even Mormons.

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

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 »

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
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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 »

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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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 »

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?

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…).

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