The Untold Story Of Black Mormons: Everybody Should Watch This!

My wife and I just watched the new Documentary from Margaret Young and Darius Gray “Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons”. If you want to watch a wonderful documentary that is inspiring, moving, educational and builds your testimony, this is a great one!

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Are “Faithful” Mormons Christian?

Recently on Meridian Magazine, Colleen Harrison published a raw and open-hearted account of how her perceptions of what it means to be a faithful member of the Church actually led her away from Christ and — she believes — led her children away from the Church.  The interesting thing about her description of her former views is, it is a list of activities and responsibilities that, I believe, is shared by probably the majority of active members of the Church: Read more »

I Support Rumplestiltskin and His New Colleague

My first memories of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are not pleasant. As a child, I always associated their sound with fasting pangs and the headache that inevitably followed. I once explained in another post my theory about Pavlovian phenomena affecting certain aspects of my church worship; this is just another example of that. As a result, for years, one hymn from the shadow of the everlasting hills was enough to split my skull. Hearing nearly four-hundred people singing like buffalos all at the same time is impressive, I suppose; but, so is a stampede (which would also probably have the same effect on my head).
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Earth Hour FAIL

I always listen to Donny

but this might be a problem. Read more »

Keeping their eyes closed

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall are described as

And they were both anaked, the man and his wife, and were not bashamed.

My children are still there. Read more »

The Secret Hymnal Guide to Politics

Reasonable people may disagree over which political party Jesus would endorse, and I know the Church generally declares political neutrality, but I’ve discovered some clues among the hymns that provide some much-needed guidance on where we, as Church members, should stand on particular political issues. I will share, that all may be edified. Read more »

So, how’d that “Big Love” thing work out?

After all the hype and controversy leading up to the “very special” episode of “Big Love”, there has been a resounding, nay deafening silence in the aftermath. I don’t know if the show’s ratings were significantly higher than normal, but news and media converage pretty much vanished completely within 24 hours of the show being aired. And remarkably, the world hasn’t come to an end. In fact, as far as I know, no locust have descended upon the HBO offices in the Time-Warner Building in NYC or upon the Playtone offices, wherever they happen to be.

I think the take-away is not to hyperventilate or overreact. As Nibley famously wrote,

“Even though everyone may discover what goes on in the temple, and many have already revealed it, the important thing is that I do not reveal these things; they must remain sacred to me. I must preserve a zone of sanctity which cannot be violated whether or not anyone else in the room has the remotest idea what the situation really is. for all my covenants are between me and my Heavenly Father, all others being present only as witnesses. . . .No matter what happens, it will, then, always remain secret; only I know exactly the weight and force of the covenants I have made — I and the Lord with whom I have made them — unless I choose to reveal them. If I do not, then they are secret and sacred no matter what others may say or do. Anyone who would reveal these things has not understood them, and therefore that person has not given them away. You cannot reveal what you do not know!” — “Return to the Temple”, Temple and Cosmos (Deseret Book/FARMS, 1992), pp. 64-65

One thing I think we will have to adjust to is now that “Big Love” has broached this subject, I expect to see LDS temple robes and ceremonies appear in other shows and movies as well. The best reaction is to ignore it and move on.  ..bruce..

Taxing The Taxpayer Funded Bonuses

Today I saw the House is set to vote on taxing AIG bonuses. Here is an excerpt:

“The House is scheduled to vote today on a bill that would levy a 90 percent tax on bonuses paid to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money. “We figured that the local and state governments would take care of the other 10 percent,” said Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel said the bill would apply to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among others, while excluding community banks and other smaller companies that have received less bailout money. House Democratic leaders unveiled the bill as the head of embattled American International Group Inc., which has received $182 billion in bailout money, testified about $165 million in bonuses paid out in the past week to about 400 employees in its Financial Products unit.”

I must admit I feel a certain sense of happiness about this – hopefully it will pass. For a company to effectively play a large role in destroying the economy which is screwing up many innocent lives, then take government money and subsequently give that money to the bozos that screwed things up in the first place is just plain wrong. Therefore, I find some pleasure in reading this… It is about time that the Government does something about these ridiculous bonuses instead of just wringing their hands over it.
UPDATE: From AP “The vote to tax back most of the bonuses was 328-93. Voting “yes” were 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans. It was opposed by six Democrats and 87 Republicans.”

Thought Game for our Times

Let’s imagine you are one of the parents in a nice little LDS family.  Three kids (let’s say), no one is pregnant and no one is nursing.

By mutual desire and agreement, the well-educated mother is of the stay-at-home variety and the well-educated father works for someone.  And then doesn’t.  Yup, the father is laid off.  Read more »

Big Context

When looking at depictions of the temple ceremony we should probably consider the context.  On Sunday Big Love aired scenes depicting ceremonies that faithful Latter-day Saints consider sacred and secret.  I am not aware of a previous depiction of the ceremonies of the temple that isn’t firmly in the genre of anti-Mormon film.  Given that fact, one could classify Big Love as anti-Mormon simply by creating a depiction that only anti-Mormon works have done in the past.
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Things That Turn My Brain Into Oatmeal

While new and improved tech gadgets are exciting, I feel that they are turning my brain into oatmeal. For example, with calculators I no longer have to think to do calculations and get very lazy when doing math. With cell phones, I don’t have to remember anyone’s phone number anymore (including my own). I can remember friends phone numbers from high school, but can’t remember my own cell number. Finally, with the GPS car gizmos, I no longer have to think about how to get to my location but I am told how to do so. This is causing my brain to lose or not develop brain cells I can’t afford to lose. Am I alone in this feeling or am I being a Luddite?

5 reasons to really miss newspapers

I know that a lot of people on the right are savoring the demise of the newspaper industry, seeing a reliable bastion of liberal thought go down the tubes.  I happen to feel the opposite way- some of my favorite things I have ever read have been in newspapers, and I’m not sure that the medium of blogging will be as effective in making sure that this level of writing is given the audience it deserves.

Here are 5 reasons why I think I will really miss the demise of the newspaper industry: Read more »

Best & Worst Presidents

CSPAN just did a poll on the best and worst Presidents of the US by polling a set of historians. The top five were: Lincoln, Washington, FD Roosevelt, T Roosevelt, and Truman. The bottom five were: Buchanan, Johnson, Pierce, Harrison, Harding. GWB was ranked #36.

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Nobody’s got……milk?

Last night as I trudged in from work, worn out and burned out from talking to crazy people from California all night (I cannot overstate this), I fell on the couch and Bill announced, “The dairy has laid off 60 people.”

HUH? Read more »

Bad Moments in Church PR

A friend of mine who has a PR calling told me this story. Read more »

My Special Date With Grandma

I come from a large family as do my mother and father. On my Father’s side, I can only remember spending one on one time with my Grandmother once in the 29 years our lives overlapped.

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Unusual Moments in Home Teaching

“Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.” The 12 famous words uttered after nearly every home teaching visit. But are there limits to what we can expect from our home teachers? I received the following email last week from one of the families I home teach:

Sorry to contact you so late but it’s getting to be a bit desperate now. Thing is I’ve made an error of judgment. The downstairs toilet was already a bit blocked and I foolishly thought that a second dump would blow the first one through. Obviously I was wrong and now I find that plunging and buckets of water from on high have only mashed up the second load and have had no effect on the original blockage. As you can imagine its getting a bit heinous in there now and the only thing I can think of which will shift it is some poking with a wire coat hanger. To be honest I don’t think I can face it. I think I remember reading an article in the Ensign a while back where a member was in a similar predicament and he called his home teachers to come and sort things out (I think his daughter had a fever or something so it was a desperate situation too). So brother, can you let me know when you would be available to come and clean the sh#t out of my toilet?

Is this an unreasonable request? What are the most unusual requests you’ve received as a home or visiting teacher?

Raise the Age?

Once upon a time (and place), 19-year-old men were considered adults. Read more »

The Aloha Violation

You’re settling in for a nice long sacrament meeting.  You’re hoping for a gentleman from the High Council, or maybe that woman who works in the primary who always pitches her remarks to the ten-year olds.  You’re thinking you’re in for a relaxing hour, and then some guy gets up there to the microphone and shouts “ALOHA!” and expects everyone, including you, to shout back “ALOHA!” This is the Aloha Violation, and it has to end. 

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Too good for the sideblog.

All I can really say to that is “Hallelujah!”

Though I can also say “Would they have found this solution if no one had objected to the use of embryonic stem sells to start with?”

Now, no more babies will be created for the sole purpose of destruction.  Now, people will have access to their own stem sells, making rejection a non-issue.

God bless those scientists.

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