LDS-EXpress – Coming Soon to Mass Transit Ad Space Near You

During my morning commute, I noticed an advertisement on the subway for some random Christian denomination. Obviously, the fact that I don’t remember the specifics of its name or affiliation indicates that they may want to revise their strategy; but I do remember that it used that C.S. Lewis powerhouse of the AP Top 25 Sacrament Meeting Quotes: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

Anyway, as I smiled mischievously to myself at this religious ad desperately trying to attract attention in a marketing heartland of a different sort – that is, ads proselytizing the adult / continuing education demographic – I had a vision of how they should modify their approach. Behold the next wave in missionary work:

Want to increase your Gifts of the Spirit in your spare time?

Get your spiritual life back on track with LDS-EXpress!


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — Extension Stake for Adult Salvation
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Choiceless Choices

Life often presents us with genuine choices. But sometimes, choice is an illusion. Read more »

Speaker Pelosi Should Resign

We call it “the bailout.” The official name of the outcome of a full week of bipartisan negotiation — arguably the most important legislative process to take place in our generation — was “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.” Pelosi barely managed to carry a majority of her own party; 40% of Democrats voted against the bill.

This is an alarming fact: Speaker Pelosi leads the House with a comfortable majority (233D to 202R). She had a full third of the Republican members on her own side, which is more than enough to give her the cover of “bi-partisanship” needed for such a controversial vote. To be sure, Americans hated this bill, so strong leadership was more important today than at any other moment of Speaker Pelosi’s tenure. On an issue this important, a strong leader would have ensured that the bill being voted on was worth passing, and that it did pass. This defeat of this bill makes Speaker Nancy Pelosi the portrait of failed leadership.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is the head of the least popular House of Representatives ever. With more than 2 years to effect some kind of result, it’s difficult to point to a single accomplishment under her tenure beyond historic changes to eatery menus in the US Capital that reflect her own elitist tastes.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi should resign.

Editorial note: I’d edited out the phrase “that reflect her own elitist tastes” by the time I was ready to publish this, but somehow it made its way back in.

The Visit

As I’ve shared, I’ve been almost virtually inactive since the middle of March, due to a work schedule. I met with my new bishop the first few weeks I was in the ward and sent in my tithing, but didn’t attend meetings. I was given a visiting teaching route after three months and enjoyed my companion and the ladies. I was also assigned visiting teachers. I’d met one of them on the first of the three times I attended sacrament meeting in that ward, but didn’t remember her well. The other I never met at all until the day I moved out of the ward. Read more »

Thoughts on the First Debate

Tonight’s debate was a bit boring.
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My Campaign-Inspired Make-over

My current wardrobe is (sadly) not much different from the one I had in high school. In fact, some of it is, um, identical (I really need to purge and grow up). Despite some major changes that have occurred in my life in the last year (going from stay-at-home mom to employed professional; the metamorphosis from lactator to normal adult to gestator), the major changes to my appearance have been caused by the presidential campaign. Read more »

Public vs. Private Priesthood Blessings

Years ago I had a calling as a ward mission leader.  During that time I became acquainted with a long-time investigator who was coming around to the decision to be baptized.  We met on many occasions and I got to know her pretty well.

Her baptism was a joyous occasion.  We all could feel the special spirit of the ordinance and her non-Mormon family and friends who came to witness the event were also very moved by the experience.  After her baptism, as is the custom, she was confirmed in sacrament meeting (in front of the congregation).  However, due to an error in the prescribed wording of the confirmation, she was asked to come to the bishop’s office where they confirmed her again, privately. Read more »


I’ve attended sacrament meeting only 4 times since March 12—the last time I went to church was, I believe, in June. I didn’t think of myself as inactive when I lived in Parowan because my church met at 1 pm, and I had to be at work on 1:30 on Sundays. An impossibility. I suppose I could have attended a different ward, but when I get off at 11 pm and don’t fall asleep until 1 or 2 AM, 9 am meetings are not an option in my night owl world. Read more »

How to Find an Invisible Hand?

It seems that the key to the current financial crisis is that we’ve misplaced the invisible hand.  I certainly can’t see it.  My understanding is that because nobody wants to buy any more mortgage backed securities at the moment they are worthless.  But of course in another aren’t worthless because they represent loans, many of which are getting repaid and others that have gone into foreclosure.  Since these loans and properties are clearly worth something the securities must be worth something, but nobody wants to buy them at the moment.  Possibly because they are so complicated that they are difficult to price in a rapidly declining housing market.

Enter the US government.  Soon to be given $700 billion (that’s nearly $2,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country) to buy (and then sell and then buy some more) these securities that nobody wants.  Oddly the government could come out smelling like a rose if they manage to buy them for less than they are worth.  Or they could lose quite a bit of money if they price them poorly, though it seems unlikely that the whole $700 billion would evaporate.

In either case it seems that in a sense the next administration is being set up to fail given that we’ve just tied up an enormous amount of money for the foreseeable future.  If nothing else this will be interesting.

One Man’s Summary of Recent Economic Events

I just overheard a political science professor saying the following:

“The American economy has now demonstrated that it privatizes profit and socializes loss.”

Any thoughts?

We are Family

I don’t think about Proposition 8 much because it troubles me and I live far from California. But I was surprised when I read this forwarded e-mail and some of the ensuing conversation. This particular thread makes clear that some people are very concerned that, if the amendment passes, their children’s elementary school teachers would be forced to express consent or tolerance for gay-parented families.

As an elementary school teacher, let me make something clear to you: I (and we) do not diss any family. Read more »

Thoughts on the Gibson-Palin Interview

Charles Gibson’s interview of Sarah Palin didn’t end up generating as much buzz as it was supposed to. People who loved Sarah Palin were looking for her to hit another convention-speech style home run. People who hated her were looking for her to embarrass herself. Both sides were wrong, since neither of these happened.
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Who did you sit with in high school?

A couple of years ago, David Brooks wrote one of my all-time favorite columns in the New York Times, where he riffed on some ideas from Tom Wolfe about how we choose our political leaders and allegiances.

…everything you need to know about America you can learn in high school. For example, if you want to understand American class structure you’d be misled if you read Marx, but you’d understand it perfectly if you look around a high school cafeteria.

The jocks sit here; the nerds sit there; the techies, drama types, skaters, kickers and gangstas sit there, there and there. What you see is not class in the 19th-century sense, but a wide array of lifestyle cliques, some richer, some poorer, but each regarding the others as vaguely pathetic and convinced of its moral superiority.

[Wolfe observed] that especially when we are young and forming our identities, we make sense of our lives by running little morality plays in our heads in which the main characters are Myself, the hero, and My Adolescent Opposite, the enemy. Read more »

‘Tis the Season

Look for it sometime between now and November: a podium full of squirming;  musical numbers that are part dazed silence, part peek-a-boo, a little crying, and a few gusto-filled hams; [gasp] visual aids in the Chapel; breathy speakers; and the bishopric bumped down into the congregation.  That’s right, it’s time for the Primary Program! Read more »


I’ll admit it right now, I always blink when asked to accept a Church calling.

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12 Year Old Is A Model Of Courage And Forgiveness

This story was one of those that touched my heart as this family is a great model of both courage and forgiveness.

Bridger ready to go home
Boy bears no ill will toward maker of fireworks

Story follows:

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The World Is Obama’s Idea

This just in from Jonathan Freedland in The Guardian. An article entitled “The World’s Verdict Will Be Harsh If the US Rejects the Man It Yearns For” discusses how the rest of the world will react if Obama loses:
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Democrats and Media Attack Palin and Hurt Obama

Some in the mainstream media are trying to revise history, claiming that Palin was treated fairly by the mainstream media during the first week of her candidacy. I threw this piece together in about an hour with the help of Google, online conservative periodicals, and my own memory. It could be much longer and have much more detail. (The original draft had more detail, but I trimmed it to make it more readable, though the analysis portion of this article is still likely to be among the least interesting things I’ve posted.)

On September 2, the US handed over control of the Anbar province to the Iraqi government.

And on September 2, Oil prices sank to the lowest point in five months.

Also on September 2, The New York Times published three front page(!) articles on Palin, all of them dealing with Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. Is it fair to cover Palin’s announcement about her daughter on the front page? It’s arguable. Is it fair to publish 3 front page articles Bristol’s pregnancy on the same day? You gotta be kidding me.

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“Fun” Stories Of Moving People In And Out Of Wards

It seems that one of the duties of a Mormon is you become a specialist in moving other people’s items. During my years of living in a very transient ward, I have participated in many, many move ins and move outs for ward members. Some have been pleasant, while others have been pure hell. I thought it might be fun to share some of these moving stories as well as solicit some stories from the rest of you.

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“It Seemed More Like a Business Meeting. . .”

**All names have been changed

The girls who live at the private school where I work are allowed to attend church on Sunday; surprisingly—or maybe not—-most enjoy this diversion and seem to be spiritually fed. I think they enjoy being with people who are warm and kind and able to hug them without the baggage of being their supervisor. (We’re not allowed to touch the girls, which is incredibly hard when they’re homesick or sad about something. However, I keep myself to a strict standard in this case because I don’t want to be accused of anything untoward). Read more »

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