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2008, Here We Come

I can hardly believe eight years has passed since I put in all that food storage and prepared for Y2K.  You guys, our grandchildren could be preparing for the second coming, with us hovering unseen from the spirit world, as the rate God’s going.

 I used to make resolutions.  I stopped when I got sick and tired of trying to be good.  But I usually kept my resolutions.  It’s like a promise in my mind. Read more »

Yale’s Seal and the Urim and Thummim

Yale’s Seal

Some months ago someone pointed out Yale’s seal to me. I’ve held off writing about it until now – but it’s interesting to me that it shows an open book with the Hebrew words “Urim va Tummim” (which translates into English fairly directly as “Urim and Thummim”) and then the words underneath “Lux et Veritas” which translates as “light and truth.” For obvious reasons (to us at least) I think Mormons would find this university seal to be of interest. Read more »

Merry Christmas From Annegb

I have a feeling I’m totally screwing this up, but this is our house this Christmas. We used to have a reindeer family and light up the lilac bushes in three colors and all the trees in front in pretty white lights and we have three small lit trees and a lollipop row. It was pretty, really, but tons of work.

This is what we did this year. It looks nice and not too much work.

I am off to visit my mom for Christmas and make the pies. God bless us, every one!

Strike the Harp and Join the Chorus!

Christmas started in September that year. A friend in my singles ward—the ward choir director, and an intimidatingly good musician—approached me and asked if I wanted to sing in her Christmas choir. She was applying for a masters program in choral conducting and wanted both the conducting experience and some video footage of the rehearsals and concert, a requirement for her application. The choir would be rehearsing two times a week, an hour and a half each time, for 16 weeks. Attendance was mandatory. No chattiness. We’d all be buying copies of the music since copyright laws really were important. This was not ward choir. Read more »

Playing Santa At The Ward Christmas Party

Danithew as Santa

If a member of the bishopbric asks you to play Santa Claus at the ward Christmas party, does that mean you’re fat? Read more »

Snow People And Their Cars

We have had a very snowy winter thus far in Boston with several storms dumping considerable amounts of snow such that we have 2 feet or so on the ground. It will be the most “white” Christmas I have seen in Boston in a long time. One of the more humorous things to me in my commutes is my fellow drivers behavior towards the snow on their cars. I have seen five types of drivers – the minimalist, the optimist, the climber, the obsessed, and the lucky.
Read more »

Merry, Merry Christmas!! Happy Birthday, Jesus!

My visiting teacher and best friend (one of hundreds, some of you are in that category :), Jackie, who, at 67 is still going strong as a greeter at Wal-Mart, is the coolest, funniest, most honest person.  I love her because I can tell her anything without shocking her and she’s sharp, this woman.  She takes peoples’ measure and she lays it on the line to me just like she sees it. Read more »

Putting Kolob to rest?

Check out this Church response in Fox News’ “21 questions” article:

Q: If so, does the Church believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?
A: ‘Kolob’ is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines. Read more »

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

…whose city is the vainest of them all?

Well, Forbes claims that it is Salt Lake City, based on the per capita number of plastic surgeons. Any ideas on why this is? I’m a bit baffled as I didn’t think that Draper would have enough influence to tilt the numbers for the whole valley…

My response to Sherri on The View

I’ve been bothered since I watched Sherri (can’t remember her last name) on The View argue with Dana Delaney, vehemently proclaiming, “I want to know….I want Mitt Romney to explain his religion!”

I was mad at her until yesterday it occurred to me that she is black and probably angry about the racist policies of our church. Read more »

Elder Ballard Endorses Blogging!

Only a few years ago bloggernacle participants worried that some GA was going to condemn the entire experiment in General Conference, similar to how the grassroots ward websites had been asked to shut down or even reminiscent of the “Alternate Voices” talk given by Elder Oaks. At the same time many claimed that the Church was now too savvy to do such a thing as it needed LDS voices on the internet to show up when somebody googles a Mormon topic.

Well, now Elder Ballard has given a speech encouraging members to blog, and to blog about Mormonism no less. Read more »

“Return With Honor”

Bill and I watched this show the other night and we really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t as deep or artistic as States of Grace, but it was a much better movie.  I recommend it.

When a choice is placed before you…

Lately I’ve been working for a company that certifies those who serve, sell or handle alcohol.  The program is designed to help bar tenders, wait staff, and etc. to help others enjoy their alcohol responsibly by making them aware of legalities as well as some biology.  (E.g., one of the questions on the test postulates persons A, B, C and D all having the same amount to drink but having different weights and fitness levels.  The test-taker must indicate which of the four will have the highest BAC.)

The other day I took a call from someone who had done the program online.  She had failed.  She’d called to find out how much she’d failed by and to ask if this meant she had to purchase the program again.  She did.  We’re not monsters; everyone is entitled to one re-take test but she’d failed both.  She said she couldn’t afford to buy another one (the price is about $40 CDN).  She needed to be certified for her job.  This is a legitimate need — Ontario law stipulates that everyone who serves, sells or handles alcohol has to have this certification. Read more »

Three Octobers in sacramental history


Arguably the most important moment of the Protestant Reformation occurred October 2, 1529. Read more »

Romney in the Financial Times, An Overseas View

I was interested to note a spotlight on the Romney campaign in today’s Financial Times when I got in to work this morning and opened the paper on my desk. I noticed the article is also on FT’s website, although without the large picture of Josh and Tagg Romney with the Romney campaign bus. Read more »

A Platform for Bigots?

The following was sent to comments@mclaughlin.com after viewing this. I encourage others to share their thoughts with the program as well.

Read more »

Andy Kaufman and Mike Huckabee

For those of you unfamiliar with the late Andy Kaufman’s comedy, Kaufman had one of the most unique comedy acts ever seen.  Watching him perform, it was often hard to see the line between which of his antics were part of his act or whether he was honestly out of his mind.  Read more »

Rudolph Giulani or Hillary Clinton?

The Bloggernacle has a lot to say about Mitt Romney – but there is a potential political scenario that I think would pose some interesting questions for Mormons … so I thought (while the potential exists) I’d ask a question to our readers here.

Imagine that after the primaries the United States presidential race comes down to Rudolph Giulani as the Republican candidate and Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate.

Which candidate would you vote for?

View Results

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If you wish, feel free to express the reasoning for your preference in the comments.

Eating Coffee with the Bishop

On mornings without breakfast, the candy bowl on the bishop’s desk has often been a source of sustenance. But even on a full stomach, that small dose of sugar often does wonders for keeping me alert during early morning meetings while the high priest group leader sits uncomfortably attempting to explain yet another month of poor home-teaching statistics. Read more »

The Dedicated Bishop – The Absent Father – Good, Better Or Best

The recent conference talk by Elder Oaks is bound to be a classic. The simplicity of his “Good, Better, Best” talk was wonderful. In particular, I enjoyed this part of the talk:

Church leaders should be aware that Church meetings and activities can become too complex and burdensome if a ward or a stake tries to have the membership do everything that is good and possible in our numerous Church programs. Priorities are needed there also.

Read more »

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