Adventures in Hometeaching and the Concept of Tithing Time

Steve Crandall is a scientist and a physicist and is one of the most intelligent people I know. I am not sure I have ever met someone who so fully embodies and represents the joys of learning and understanding things. Read more »

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What were the top LDS news stories of 2010?

What do you think? Here are some of the top stories in my mind:

1. Elder Packer’s October conference talk and associated changes to the text
2. Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial
3. Removal of references to race from Book of Mormon headings
4. New Bishops Handbook of Instructions
5. Fire at the Provo tabernacle
6. Changes to BYU Football (leaving the MWC)

What do you think?

Note: these are pretty US centric, any good international stories?

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Santa: The Unsung Hero of Christmas

When you think about it, it’s kind of sad: Santa does not have a single holiday. Nobody celebrates the birth of the precious baby Santa. There’s no commemoration of the day that Santa was crucified or the day that he emerged from the tomb. Plenty of people are skeptical of the existence of Santa, but I don’t know of a single special witness of Santa. Nobody ever bears their testimony to the truth of Santa.

I know I’m just one person, but I just wanted to take a moment from the busy, commercially-laden Christmas season and say thank you to Santa for all the hard work that he does: thank you, Santa.

This Christmas, as you go about your celebration and gift-giving and carol-singing, remember that without Santa, we wouldn’t even have Christmas. And what did Santa ever to do to harm anyone? Evil men don’t twist Santa’s words to justify their actions, and people have never killed each other or invaded countries or persecuted others in the name of Santa.

Even so, as for me and my family, we stand with Santo.

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At the Movies

Note: This list was initially posted on my personal bog, but I have improved it just for you.

Just in case you are looking for seasonal entertainment, I have compiled a list of both Christmas in Movies and Movies at Christmas. Before planning your Family Home Evening around one of these, though, please preview the movie–not all are appropriate for all. Also, not all will elevate your mood. But some will.

True: MPAA ratings mean nothing to me. If Rs offend you, prepare to be offended.

Click on the title to watch the trailer of each. Read more »

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“My Heavenly Father Loves Me”

Sometimes the elders in our area are allowed to play their own musical instruments that they brought along with them. Two of them, named Elder Montuy and Elder Kafu, recently sang “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” at a baptism, which one of the elders accompanied on a ukelele.  I liked their version so much, I asked them if I could record a video of them performing the song.  They were happy to oblige me. Here it is:

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Mom Knows Who She Is!

My mother died two years ago this December. We’d planned a family temple trip to Salt Lake last year to do her temple work with my uncle, her brother and his wife acting as proxy for my grandparents.

My uncle became very ill, however, and what with one thing or another, it’s been two years. The last six months, I’ve felt very guilty about not getting down to the temple for Mom’s work.

Anyway, we finally committed to the first weekend of December and drove down to St. George. We picked up Brad and Sarah (newly pregnant–she’s gorging on pickles smothered in mustard!) and drove to the temple.

We were coming off six weeks of turmoil. My daughter-in-law had spent the rent money on other things besides rent and was evicted for the second year. Last year they were homeless at Christmas (my stepson pays child support–we decided to let that happen last year, hoping she’d never avoid paying the rent ever again!). They’d been evicted–again at Christmas!–on 2007 for not paying the rent.

Long story short, we ended up with three kids for a week, then we’ve had Max for a month. The chaos of two dysfunctional adults–one a raging abusive alcoholic, the other manipulative and pathologically dishonest, both childish and narcissistic—combined with three traumatized children has been overwhelming. My heart goes out to any grandparent raising grandchildren.

There had been conflict those days before we went to the temple, ugliness. We almost cancelled the trip to the temple. But I knew it would wait till 2011 if we didn’t get it done and felt driven to do this for mom.

I felt the peace as soon as we entered the temple. There was a lifting, a lightness in my shoulders. I didn’t see my mom–or even hear her voice spiritually. I took it on faith that she was there. There were tears when I knelt at the altar with my daughter and her husband as proxy and Mom was sealed to her parents.

This last week I’ve felt a powerful spirit with me. I assume, of course, that it’s Mom. But the mom I knew was childish and self pitying, selfish and drunken much of the time. I thought “she’s changed.” Then I realized that now she knows who she was before she came to earth and lost herself. She’s talked with the Savior. And she knows who I was. In a way that is more real to me than ever before, I realized that the horrible person my mother was on earth is not who she is at all. And this lost hugely flawed woman I have become is not who I am. I truly felt that I was a child of God and the heavenly sister of a woman whose nobility I never experienced on earth. I think it’s changed me, a tiny bit. And there is a source of strength beyond the veil for me and my sisters.

I wish she’d risen to her divine potential while here on earth. There’s so much I don’t understand. But I understand more powerfully than ever that we are so much more than what we present temporally. And now Mom knows who she really is.

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Pearl Harbor Day – 69 Years…

Pearl Harbor Day is one of those landmark days of the year which cause me to reflect on the entire WWII era. I am reminded of the tremendous sacrifices the “greatest generation” made to keep the world “safe”. I have read “Saints at War” and really enjoyed the stories of the veterans. In addition, I find Roosevelt’s remarks in front of congress both inspiring and chilling. Remembering the sacrifices of this generation gives me much more compassion and respect when I interact with the elderly today. So thanks again to the “Greatest Generation”

Read more »

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Christmas Partying with the Saints

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Music by Mark Abernathy and the Sabre Rattlers

Mark Abernathy is the lead musician and singer of a band called the Sabre Rattlers. They just put out an album titled “Twixt Me and the Peaceful Rest.” It is an album of LDS hymn covers, played in a southern or country style, that you will want to listen to. Please also note that the renowned and beloved D. Fletcher has been involved in some of the recordings as well.

Here you can get a free download of the Sabre Rattlers performing “Come, Come Ye Saints.”.

If you like that cut you can go on to download the entire album for $9.50 or you can order a compact disc and have it mailed to you for $11.50 (those who order the compact disc will be able to download the music as well).

You can also find information about the Sabre Rattlers at http://www.facebook.com/sabre.rattlers or at their own web-site: http://www.sabre-rattlers.com

Enjoy!

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Today I wished all my customers a Merry Christmas

As many of you know I operate a small business and have maintained a book of customers since I was in my last year of college. They number over a thousand now and are spread across the country with the largest concentration being in Texas. Today I sent out a blast email solicitation to all of them. At the end I wished them all a Merry Christmas. Is this controversial in your opinion?

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“Candlelight” by the Maccabeats

A friend of mine who works at Yeshiva College sent me a link to this video for a song called “Candlelight” that was put together by a YC student singing group called the Maccabeats.

It’s a Channukah-inspired parody of the song “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz.

Thought my friends in the ‘Nacle might enjoy seeing this one. It strikes me as a brilliant merger of a religious story with pop culture.

Happy Channukah!

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