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What If Capitalism Is the Answer?

During ward council recently, we discussed creating a second gospel doctrine class. Because of space constraints, another class would be helpful, but many were concerned about people being more interested in one class than the other and the effect it might have on the teacher of the less popular class. Of course, where others see problems, I see possibilities, so it occurred to me: Let the market work. Read more »

Sabbath Day Playlist

Do you have a Sabbath Day playlist?

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Life’s Recurring Themes – NYC and Chickens

Do you have those odd themes that just seem to be recurrent in your life? I have two recurrent themes in my life. First is NYC – I served a mission here and have traveled here at least once a month in my job over the last 8 years. I enjoy the city and all of its energy and diversity. I have also been here during interesting times – lived in Brooklyn during the race riots in the early 1990s, visited the WTC two weeks before 9/11, traveled to NYC for work just after 9/11 when the airports reopened, spent a long hot night in a hotel room after climbing 44 flights of stairs in the dark during the great blackout here a few years ago. However, if there were a list of places I would not want to live, sadly, NYC would be near the top, but it is a great place to visit.

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Princess “My Butt isn’t as Golden as it Used to Be” ties the knot–Again!

Well, it’s been quite the year for the Ball family. A separation, two deaths, reconciliation, and all the attendant emotional baggage. I can’t begin to describe the roller coaster ride; nor do I think I’m unique. I suspect if everyone here told their stories, there would be similarities galore. This is life. Someday I hope to be one of those serene old ladies who has seen everything and is dismayed and shocked by nothing, rocking in my chair on the porch, spitting tobacco into can. Read more »

Teachings of Our Times

Do you ever wonder who picks out the General Conference Talks to use for the Relief Society and Priesthood lessons? In our stake, it is a schedule put out by the Stake President, and our SP has recently indicated he would accept some input. I have some ideas, but I wonder about you: which of the most recent General Conference talks would you nominate to be studied across your stake?

My Tri-Lingual Ward

My ward has long hosted the Deaf contingent in our area. Read more »


This is Michelangelo’s most famous Pieta:
Pieta with Mary Read more »

Seminary as Missionary Prep

Not too long ago, the local CES guy came out to the branch I attended at the time to talk up Seminary and Institute. During his 5th Sunday joint RS/PH presentation he asked for a show of hands of those in the branch who had graduated from Seminary. As I looked around, I was interested to note that everyone with their hand in the air was a returned missionary. In fact, every returned missionary in that unit was a Seminary graduate. Read more »

Message of Frugality Hits Target at BYU

After the morning session, Brigham Young University student Keith Kelly said he would take Hales’ message to heart.

“Do I really need a shotgun right now?” Kelly asked. “I could buy it and put it on a credit card, but if I wait, I can pay cash for it.”

What do you think? Should Kelly buy his shotgun now on credit or wait to pay cash? Remember that if he buys it now he could re-sell it for a profit in Mexico. So really, that gun is like money in the bank. Also, Obama is going to take away all of our shotguns, so I think he’d better get while the getting is good (and legal.)

Grandpa’s Vocation

My Paternal Grandfather died in 1988 when I was in High School. He was a good man from Idaho. I remember reading his obituary and I had one of those “aha” moments. I realized for the first time in my life that my Grandfather had worked as an Engineer at the Nuclear Facility near Idaho Falls. Up to that point in my life, he had always been Grandpa – the guy who loved to farm and spend time in his garden. I had never realized what he had done for a living as he always talked about farming, hunting, and Church, never once did he mention his 35 years as an engineer. I am not sure why that has stuck with me, but anytime I feel engulfed in work, I try to remember the lesson I learned from a hardworking Idaho farmboy – that Family and Church come first. It has helped me achieve a better sense of balance in my life.