How NOT to Journal

Since I am particularly good at not writing in my journal, I am in a great position to criticize others’ writing. Today, I would like to focus on one particularly bad habit: weather reporting. Don’t do it. Read more »

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RIP: William F. Buckley

Obituaries already abound for William F. Buckley, dead today at 82, and he’s well-known and well-remembered enough that there’s not a lot more that can be said about his life and his achievements than is already being said about him by the mainstream press, by his associates, and by his friends.

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I was 10 when I first learned of William F. Buckley, sitting with my father in front of a television watching Firing Line, his PBS talk show. My first reaction to him was, “Holy Crap!”

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What’s in a Name?

At a gathering of LDS women from the midwest and eastern United States I attended in the fall, I was struck with how many women introduced themselves using three names: first name, maiden name, surname. While I have used that form professionally (in an effort to demonstrate that the credentials gained under my maiden name are mine), I don’t think I have ever verbally introduced myself as such. Yet, it occurred to me, many Mormon women do. Why?

While some may be asserting their independence Hillary Rodham Clinton style, I think Mormons have a much less feminist reason for doing so. Read more »

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Some Bloggernacle Highlights

I used to visit so many blogs every day—I don’t have a clue how I had the time, but I sure had a good time. I miss that. Being a permablogger somehow takes more time than one would assume—so if you feel left out because a permablogger only visits their own group blog, please realize it’s not because we don’t want to read all the good stuff on other blogs. There’s so much! Read more »

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The Airport, The Urinal, And My Glasses…

Yesterday, I was traveling for work and in O’Hare Airport in Chicago. I was headed to my gate to catch my flight home and stopped in the bathroom. I was using the urinal when I had the sudden urge to sneeze – the kind that come on so fast you can’t react appropriately. I sneezed and the strength of the sneeze knocked my glassess off of my face right into the urinal…

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Mormons in the Pew Report

A long time ago, I wrote a post discussing, in part, the Pew Forum’s John Green, whose presentation at the Princeton symposium compared Mormonism to other religious traditions in America using the top secret intelligence about faith in America that organization has been gathering for at least nine hundred years.

You will all, I am sure, be as pumped as I to learn that (the first part) of the Pew Report is now available.

Read more »

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Your Help Requested: SB220

A bill making its way through the Utah legislature has recently come to my attention and I would like to enlist the aid of the readers of this blog in attempting to defeat it. Before discussing it, I’d like to discuss a hypothetical bill.

Imagine that the legislature of Utah passed a law that outlawed all malpractice lawsuits. This law would protect doctors from lawsuits in all cases. A doctor could be completely negligent (perhaps even drunk) and maim or kill one of your loved ones and you would have no recourse.

What would happen? Read more »

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Baby Hungry.

They say it the same way they used to say “boy crazy.” There’s amusement, tolerance and ultimately dismissal. From some, there’s the assumption that those who are “baby hungry” are victims of either hormones or patriarchal brain-washing.

How much they misunderstand. Read more »

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Sweet are the uses of adversity: Some advice for Mitt from Bill

…Shakespeare, that is. It would also be good for John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Dodd, and perhaps soon, Hillary. Actually, it kind of makes me want to try some winter camping again.

This scene is from “As You Like It”. The Duke of Amiens has suffered a political reverse of his own, and takes exile in the forest of Arden. There is much I could say, but it would all sound so inarticulate set next to Shakespeare, so I’ll let it stand on its own: Read more »

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In-Crowd?

         We’ve been having a bit of bother in our ward lately and I decided to try as hard as I can to support others who are suffering from feelings of rejection and loneliness.  I called another friend to invite her to lunch with a bunch of us and made a comment about her being in the “in crowd.” Read more »

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A Uniquely Mormon Mentality

Thanks to my friend Dan for that kind (and undeserved) intro. I thought for my first outing I’d post a meditation on knowledge, particularly what I think is our uniquely Mormon way of knowing. Every Primary student knows that we can ask God for revelation and expect to get a prayer answered. Our idea that we can all receive revelation, big and small, over our own area of stewardship, offends our Christian brethren. Our belief in personal revelation is unusual, but that alone doesn’t make us unique. Read more »

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Introducing Jeff Bennion

Hi everyone,

Time to make room for a new voice in the Bloggernacle.  Tagore and I have this friend, Jeff Bennion, who has been one of our favorite intellectual sparring partners over the years.  Actually, sparring partners is not an accurate metaphor, because he runs circles around us on pretty much any issue and has read vast amounts of books by authors we’ve never heard of.  At times, we have even speculated that he’s more than human.  In any case, to paraphrase Trent Lott talking about making legislation with Ted Kennedy, if you want to discuss Gospel or any other issues with Jeff, you better bring your lunch because you’re going to get an education.

Jeff is in Salt Lake City, but through the wonder of the Internet, he is also everywhere at once.

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High School Reunions – A Relationship Time Warp

Recently I received an email informing me that this fall will be my 20th High School Reunion. After I got over the initial shock that I have been out of High School for 20 years (Pleasant Grove High School Class of ’88), I went to the website that had been set up. I added my profile and over the next few days a few good friends from high school contacted me. These are people whom I have not spoken to in at least 15 years.

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Clark is famous and other Salt Lake Trip Observations

I found this picture as I perused the magazines in our room at Little America—the Tower Suites!! You know, I used to consider staying at a motel–any motel—a luxury. Mostly we slept on the floor at relatives’ homes, or their couches. Once I even booked rooms at Little America–it was a cottage room, for $65, I think. At the time, about 1989, that was quite a bit of money. I walked in, felt intimidated and walked out. I stayed at some other motel in Midvale. Read more »

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“Stranger” and other Ostracizing Jargon

I would guess most of us have heard or been a part of awkward conversations at church in which we are trying to suss out a new-to-us persons’ membership status. More often than not, someone might come on out and ask “Are you a member?” This goes OK for people who are, but wouldn’t it be awkward to be labeled a “non-member. ” How welcome do you feel at a church where everyone smiles, insists they are glad you are there, but persist in referring to you as a “non-member”?

Read more »

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I’m Sorry, New Jersey

Warning: The following post contains descriptions of behavior almost certainly not condoned by the Church.

I owe New Jersey an apology. I didn’t mean to cause any harm, and I certainly meant no disrespect. It all happened so quickly.

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Who Would You Vote For?

As the U.S. presidential race continues, there are indications Barack Obama has more traction among Mormons than any other Democratic or liberal presidential candidate in recent memory. This seems to be due to Obama’s charisma and current political momentum and also due to a certain level of anti-GOP backlash by formerly enthusiastic Romney proponents. Read more »

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We’d Like to Release john f with a Vote of Thanks

john f is one of the founding perma-bloggers here at Mormon Mentality, so it is with sorrow that we announce that he is being released from his responsibilities here to become a perma-blogger at By Common Consent, where he will continue to make valuable, challenging, and insightful contributions to the Bloggernacle. He remains an emeritus blogger, and his posts here can still be accessed from the sidebar with the eponymous link under that category.

We’re grateful for the contribution that john f made to Mormon Mentality, and we wish john f the best wherever he blogs.

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Big Time

Well, folks, the time has come to quit your day jobs: Mormon Mentality got a shout-out in Des News’s weekly bloggernacle feature! I, for one, expect some sort of book contract to come rolling around next. Thanks, Emily Jensen, for spotlighting Mormon Mentality in this week’s article.

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Shabbat Shalom Snow Day

As I left the house this Friday morning, the temperature was just below freezing, which is expected to be the high. The snow has started again and the wind should be icy by this evening.
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