Family Home Evening at Shea Stadium

Monday, September 24, there was a stake family home evening activity and “Mormon Night” at Shea Stadium where the first-place New York Mets were scheduled to play the Washington Nationals. Read more »

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A Mormon As US President – Does He Attend The Temple?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he brought up a great question. If (a very big IF) a Mormon is ever elected President of the US, how does he/she attend the Temple – or does he/she attend at all during their term(s)? While this is a personal question for most of us, I think that for the President of the US, their desire to attend the Temple may get superseded by other things.
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John Whitmer Historical Association Conference 2007

I’m attending the John Whitmer Historical Association (JWHA) 34th annual Conference in Kirtland, Ohio this week (September 27-30). The theme of this year’s conference is, “Communal Experiments Among Latter Day Saints & Other American Groups.”

Unfortunately, there do not appear to be any Bloggernacle perma-bloggers presenting at this conference. (Hopefully we can change that for next year’s conference in Voree, Wisconsin!) Michael Van Wagenen is presenting on “Seer Stones and Native American Gorgets.” His is a name that you may recognize as an MHA presenter who helped to contribute to the 13 Questions segment on Banner of Heaven. Read more »

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Lowered Expectations Part II: This Isn’t What I Meant…

To EQ instructors everywhere: I know that I proclaimed that I was OK with the mediocre level of discussion in Church.  However I have to draw the line somewhere.  I want to draw it very far from watching crappy movies as some sort of priesthood lesson.  Seriously, I am going to have a hard time passing the temple recommend interview because if you show a movie in EQ I will walk out, and when they ask if I attend my priesthood meetings, I’ll say that I don’t and I’ll tell them why.  Don’t waste my time like that.  I’ll make an exception if you happen to show Margaret Young’s documentary, but I know you aren’t going to show that so I don’t have to worry.

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The tenuous Mormon theology of random indie rock songs

1) “Counting Down the Hours,” from Shake the Sheets, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists Read more »

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Enough with “Reasonable Accommodation.”

Memo to the Quebeckers: the war is over. France lost. You are English territory now. In fact, you’ve been English territory for 244 years.

When I moved to Canada three years ago, I thought the Québec vs. the Rest of the Country thing was cute. It reminded me of the various regional rivalries we have in the States. It didn’t seem like anything that couldn’t be overcome or that would prevent respectful relations. Read more »

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The Ten Commandments Of Driving

I have an hour drive one way to work on a good day – sometimes it is much longer in time although the distance is 9 miles. I do not like who I am when I drive to work. I find that I am tense, ornery, and impatient with my fellow drivers, particularly those who are either driving slow and or being selfish (e.g., cutting down the breakdown lane to get further ahead of a long line of cars). Historically, I have found that I am a bitter angry person by the time I get to work after my 60 minutes of driving. I don’t have this problem on the weekend and feel pretty relaxed driving then.
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Is it really all about sex?

A few years ago, I read Degenerate Moderns, by E. Michael Jones, Catholic theologian and editor of Culture Wars.  The book is, in essence, an elaborate and eloquent ad hominem argument that the modernist thinking of Margaret Mead, John Maynard Keynes, Alfred Kinsey, and other thinkers — as  well as liberals in general — is rooted in sexual guilt.  To quote from the book’s introduction,

The crucical intellectual event occurs…when vices are transmuted into theories, when the “intellectual” sets up shop in rebellion against the moral law and, therefore, in rebellion against the truth.  All the modern “isms” follow as a direct result of this rebellion.  All of them entail rationalization.  All of them can be best understood in light of the moral disorder of their founders, proponents, and adherents.
…modernity was rationalized sexual misbehavior. All the intellectual and cultural breakthroughs of modernity were in some way or other linked to the sexual desires their progenitors knew to be illicit but which they chose nonetheless. Their theories were ultimately rationalizations of the choices they knew to be wrong. Read more »

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Sorting out Inoculation

There has been a lot of talk lately around the LDS blogs of “inoculating the Saints”. This protracted discussion was precipitated by a 2007 Sunstone Symposium presentation relating to inoculation (Blake Ostler, Kevin Barney, and Mike Ash) that was later distributed as a podcast by John Dehlin. Read more »

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The Christianity and paganism of September Dawn

This is part III of a three part series discussing the Christopher Cain film September Dawn. Part I, discussing the craft of the film, can be seen here. Part II, discussing the film and history, is here.

So, into theology. Again, I’m going to avoid particulars in favor of discussing themes, mis-en-scene, and overall effect. I’ll cite examples, rather than catalog them. Also, I am not going to discuss blood atonement, except to say that its use in the film is silly and overwrought. Read more »

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Object Review: Rubik’s Revolution

I found myself in a toy store the other day. I was there to purchase birthday presents for my son. Which I did. Boy will he be happy. But I also spotted something that I thought I must have for myself. An electronic Rubik’s cube!

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My New Friend, AJ

Introducing AJ

This has been a stressful summer. I had dental implants put in (I have to be very careful to add “dental” in conversation, I’ve been getting strange looks when I just say “implants”) and got sick as a dog (remember the steroids?). Read more »

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Addictions and the Control of Our Behavior

I’m addicted to wearing shoes. I’ve tried to stop wearing them, but after a short period of time, I experience intense withdrawal. My back begins to hurt, and my feet just start killing me. With the right help, perhaps I can overcome my addiction and walk barefoot like our ancestors did for millennia. For now, after only a few short hours in my bare feet, I compulsively cave-in to my shoe cravings and I lace-up. I wish I knew how to quit shoes.

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Divorce: The continuing saga

I stepped outside yesterday to turn off the water on my flowers and looked up to see my son-in-law turn into our street.  It was so good to see him.  I just ran up and gave him a big hug.  He is so thin and tired looking, but he seems a lot more clear headed than my daughter.

 I’ve been trying to keep in constant touch with him because he’s been so devastated.  I’ve wanted to give him something to hang on to.  I’ve promised him that he will get over this.  He will feel better, he will love again.  A solid promise that he will heal. Read more »

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September Dawn: history, fiction, and fictionalizing

Part II of a three part series discussing the Christopher Cain film September Dawn. Part I can be found here.

How ‘historically accurate’ is September Dawn? This is an interesting question. Read more »

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Minus President Hinckley

At last, we are able to put a footage trailer for Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons online. However, those who saw it at FAIR or Sunstone will notice one difference: The version on the website does not include President Hinckley’s powerful words from the priesthood session of General Conference, April 2006. Those words are:
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A Somber Tale of Naming and its Consequences

Naming a child is a serious responsibility, fraught with long-term, potentially hazardous consequences. Too many parents make naming decisions without fully considering the implications of their seemingly harmless choices. I am one of those parents, and this is my story.

When we named our first boy Calvin, one of my best friends was very vocal about his disapproval of our choice. He even went so far as to mock the name—it’s Latin for “bald” he pointed out. I reacted defensively and had several arguments with him about the merits of our choice. His protests turned to warnings, but I was undeterred.

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September Reflections

The somewhat unfriendly exchanges of the past few days make me wonder: are there a bunch of Mormons that take it as their personal crusade to remind the citizens of Missouri and Illinois of the murders committed by their forebearers?  I have no doubt that there are.  The idea of victimhood has unusual power, even if we are only victims by proxy.  I hope that I am not that sort of person, but it is often hard to see how I look to others when self righteously pounding my personal parade of favorite facts.  I hope that I am mature enough to not only forgive those that wronged my ancestors, but to also not hold their descendants responsible for atrocities they had nothing to do with.

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Losing Salt Lake

Recently MormonMentality interviewed one of the candidates in Jerusalem’s upcoming mayoral elections. Of all the many issues to be addressed — such as homelessness, affordable housing, sustainable development — the topic close to the candidate’s heart soon became clear. Read more »

26 Comments
Seven stories about September Dawn

Part I of a three part series discussing the Christopher Cain film September Dawn. This part focuses on the craft of the film. Part II, discussing the film and history, can be seen here.

1) Last night, I became one of a select group of Americans – those few thousand of us who paid money to see September Dawn. Read more »

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