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What I Learned from the Aftermath of the BYU – Utah Game

Those who are sensitive on this issue might not want to read any further…

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Blogging Stupors Of Thought

I feel like the last 6 months or so, I have had a complete stupor of thought when it comes to blogging. I have really struggled to think of new, interesting things to blog about. In addition, I feel like the entire bloggernacle has had a down year after the exciting political issues of the last couple of years. Anyone else feeling it?

It’s Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being GreenYou would think, listening to some environmentalists, that all that is holding us back from saving the earth is for the scales to fall from the eyes of greedy corporations and an ignorant, complacent populace. There is a simple way to tell who is environmentally naughty, and who is environmentally nice. Science knows what is best, but people aren’t listening to the science! There is a well-understood and well-accepted consensus of what is environmentally-friendly and what is not. And how apt that the naughties should get a piece of coal! But I will attempt to show here that it’s not even close to that simple.
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Bearing a Cross

This is my great-grandmother Cossette and her dog, Rover.
Cossette and Rover, her dog
Cossette was from Provo and grew up in the Church. Do you notice anything about her, though, that would not fit in to a modern Church setting? Read more »

Don’t Make me Teach That!

The regular Gospel Doctrine teacher totally outed my friend on Sunday. My friend is the regular substitute teacher for that class and, by all appearances, totally orthodox and more of a sitting down than a rocking the boat kind of sister. Read more »

Don’t Bother Praying About Whom You Should Marry

In a 1973 BYU Devotional address, Elder Bruce McConkie shared how he decided whom to marry:

How do you choose a wife? I’ve heard a lot of young people from Brigham Young University and elsewhere say, “I’ve got to get a feeling of inspiration. I’ve got to get some revelation. I’ve got to fast and pray and get the Lord to manifest to me whom I should marry.” Well, maybe it will be a little shock to you, but never in my life did I ever ask the Lord whom I ought to marry. It never occurred to me to ask him. I went out and found the girl I wanted; she suited me; I evaluated and weighed the proposition, and it just seemed a hundred percent to me as though this ought to be.

He points out that it would have been good to counsel with the Lord after he had made his decision, but admits that he didn’t do so. Deciding who to marry is easily one of the most important decisions a person will ever have to make, so on one hand, Elder McConkie is right that it’s somewhat shocking that it never occurred to him to ask God during the process. Of all the things for which we should seek personal revelation, isn’t this decision important enough to merit some kind of spiritual confirmation or guidance? But on the other hand, I think his experience is helpful in dispelling the often misguided (and sometimes ridiculous) expectations many young single LDS members have about how to decide whom to marry.

Elder McConkie points out that there is a fine line between agency and inspiration, and I wonder which is a bigger challenge to Church members generally: (A) an over-reliance on agency, accompanied with not putting forth enough effort (or otherwise doing what is required) to receive personal revelation; or (B) an unrealistic expectation of what to expect from God by way of inspiration?

Teddy Bears In My Life

I have a 16 month old who is completely attached to her Teddy Bear. She has loved it since she was about 9 months old. It is the ultimate soother for her. She can hurt herself or be sad and just holding Teddy makes her feel so much better. I was thinking about what are the things that soothe me when I am in need of comfort. I think that first is my family – getting a big hug or kiss from my wife or kids is the best and can brighten any day. Beyond that, I have found that nice music, beautiful weather, and special landscapes are equally soothing. Finally, there are those spiritual soothers when my Spirit is down. The best for me is hearing others personal stories. There is something uplifting about hearing about another’s spiritual journey through life. That is some good medicine! What are your “teddy bears”?

Question About A Chaim Potok Book

I re-read Chaim Potok’s “the Chosen” over the past couple of days.

A good book.  Definitely worth reading.

There are a few lines at the very end of chapter 14 (probably my favorite chapter in the book) that I don’t understand.  It reads:

“That evening after my first class , I went to the school library and looked for Rav Gershenson’s name in the Hebrew and English catalogues.  His name wasn’t listed anywhere.  It was then that I understood why my father was not teaching in this school.”

There is some finality there – obviously an important point is being made.

I have tried to figure out if there is an earlier part of the narrative that would connect with these lines. So far no luck. So I don’t really know what the message is.

Any Chaim Potok experts out there?

My God is Clean-Shaven

Mom, who is the tallest person?

My daughters’ tone indicates that she is not seeking an answer this time, but testing me to see if I know the answer.

Trying to figure out the parameters of the question, I ask:

In the car?


In the family?

No. Who is the tallest person outside?

(Looking around but not seeing any pedestrians) I don’t know, hon. I don’t see anyone. Who is the tallest person?

God! Read more »

Halloween Memories

What is your favorite Halloween memory when you were still able to Trick or Treat? Mine was my last year of Trick or Treating – I was in Sixth Grade – 11 years old. Ok, maybe a bit old, but we had so much fun. I went with two of my best friends at the time. We started at 4 or so and went until 8 at night. We filled two pillow cases with Candy – it was an amazing haul. We must have visited hundreds of houses – just running in between houses to get to the next one. You would have thought we were collecting gold given our zeal. Our course, every year with my own kids is my favorite. I love watching their enthusiasm. Last night, our 17 month old loved to go to each door and get her candy. It was so much fun to watch. So overall, what a wonderful and strange holiday even if one could get shot if you dressed up and knocked on perfect strangers doors and asked for candy any other night of the year!