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Temple Questions…

1. What is your favorite Temple and why? My favorite is Portland, Oregon since I was married there and it is (or at least was 15 years ago) a beautiful Temple.

2. How many different Temples have you been inside of? Nine that I can remember

3. How many Temple dedications have you attended? One

4. How many Temples have you seen live? 15 that I can remember…

What about you?

baby buttgold is on his way!

He’s due July 30, by a (very)weird coincidence, the exact day my James was due. James was born three weeks early, and if the doctor and the tests are right, baby buttgold could be born the exact same day. Wow, huh? Plus I’ve always found Cancers to be lovely people. Leos, now, not so much. Well, they’re exciting and charming but high maintenance and nerve-wracking. I’m a believer in the science of astrology.

It’s been a delightful time, watching my baby grow a baby. She hasn’t gained a lot. In fact, much of the time, she was underweight and the doctor was concerned. Now, she looks like she’s faking being pregnant, having a perfectly rounded belly, like she stuck a soccer ball under her shirt. She has had some food cravings (most noteably, pickles smothered in mustard! Gross!) and other pregnancy side effects. I’ve been mesmerized at every detail, especially the ones we share–like nasal congestion, and a wart on the tip of her finger! Read more »

Oh, What do you do in the Summertime?

Sorry, you may be halfway through summer, but this is my first day of it, so I am looking forward and planning the next two months.  I’d love to here what you have going on.

(Not an endorsement).

The Axe

I am still settling into my new calling teaching the Gospel Essentials class and while I have a few qualms with the way it is set up in my ward, I want to talk a little bit about the manual.  In the past, I have sat in on this class, but have not taught it.  As we have all been using the manual for Priesthood and Relief Society for the last year, though, I wonder if you have felt that some of these “essentials” were not, in fact, entirely essential.  I have.  Read more »

Female Baby Blessings – Something Missing…

I sat through a baby blessing today of a new baby girl. I am struck by the stark differences between blessings for girls vs boys (not always the case, but more often than not). The major differences I have heard are that baby boys are blessed they will be healthy, get an education, be leaders, serve a mission, serve faithfully in the Church, get married in the Temple, have a family, while young girls are usually blessed that they will be healthy, be faithful in the Church, get married in the Temple and have a family. I heard one today and that was it – four basic items. I am not sure if it should bother me, but it does. I wanted to ask the father why his daughter shouldn’t be a leader or get an education? From my experience, watching women struggle economically when their husbands have died or left them, it is critical that both women and men are leaders and get educations.

Catholics take the lead

The Catholic church is taking the lead in fighting against SSM in New York and gay adoption in Illinois.




So will the Catholics face the same type of backlash that the LDS Church members faced in CA after prop 8?

I think the Illinois situation shows why the LDS church rejects government funding out of hand and shows why this is a wise policy.

Please keep your comments focused on the Catholics and their efforts here and the possible backlash. Prop 8 discussions bore me to tears.

The “guy” in Nursery and the matriarchy of Primary

I am in the Nursery and “report” to the Nursery leader (my wife). It is a wonderful calling and it a lot of fun. One of the more interesting experiences I have is when the Primary Presidency comes into the room. They ignore me and speak to my wife about rolls, etc. However, when my wife is gone and they check in and see me, they are pretty uncomfortable about talking to me. I have noticed that in my limited experience that women leaders feel uncomfortable interfacing with the men they lead (of course this only happens in Primary). I am guessing this is because of the patriarchal nature of the Church and they feel somewhat uncomfortable leading a male. What do you think?

And Counting…

8:50–Find primo parking spot and head inside.  There are about 3 people seated in the chapel, including the organist.  Head to the stand to sit with the speakers seats with my kids (ages 6, 4, and 2) in tow.  I am their only adult at church, so they are sitting with me. Read more »

“You did it, Joseph! You got the Tony!” (plus 8 others)

The Book of Mormon musical swept the Tony’s tonight, winning 9 awards, including Best Musical and Best Score. Trey Parker’s acceptance speech for Best Musical was both memorable and clever:

Thank you. This has been really, really cool. I think we did this, because we all secretly wanted to have a big, happy Mormon family. And now we do. And for everyone up here [participants on-stage] and everyone in the circle of doom over there [participants not on-stage], to Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, you guys are amazing.

I know that on behalf of this big, happy, Mormon family, we really want to thank the audiences, because you guys made this show what it is, and, uh, therefore you’re going to have to atone for it one day. It’s yours now, it’s your responsibility.

And I think the night would be a big disappointment if we didn’t thank our co-writer who passed away, Mr. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon religion. He couldn’t be here tonight, but you did it, Joseph! You got the Tony!

The Book of Mormon musical won the following 9 awards:
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Killer Instinct

The most famous and successful professional athletes often share a similar characteristic – a killer instinct.   The player with a killer instinct will use physical advantages and prowess to win the current game but also is seeking to achieve some kind of symbolic action that will permamently embed fear and doubt in the opponent’s psyche – so as to dominate that same opponent in future competition. Read more »

It’s a G Thing

You are all aware of the female Mormon modesty problem. We have different enough ideas of modesty and how it should be practiced and taught that it has been covered in many blog posts and even more lessons. Generally, it does not seem to be an issue for Mormon men.

One phrase often used in such discussions is “cover the Garment” as in, “it’s so hard to find stylish clothing that covers my garments” and “I won’t let my teens wear anything that wouldn’t cover the garment” and “even as babies, my kids don’t wear tank-tops and spaghetti straps–they don’t cover garments.” Read more »

Otterson hits it out of the park

Recently an evangelical named Warren Cole Smith wrote a simply silly editorial about how evangelicals could not vote for a Mormon. Church Spokesman Michael Otterson wrote a simply fantastic reply in the Washington Post. See the article here http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/post/evangelicals-mormons-and-the-beliefs-of-the-president/2011/06/07/AGnGX8KH_blog.html

The part that I agreed the most with was that Mormons are happy to vote for candidates of almost any religious flavor as long as they approve of the candidates positions and conduct themselves properly.

Currently I am represented by a conservative Episcopalian in Congress. My two senators are Church of Christ and Episcopalian and my Governor is a Methodist. I don’t think I have ever voted for a Mormon in my entire life for any elected office and I have been voting since 1992.

Contrast that with many of Warren Cole Smith’s comments and some of his evangelicals that feel the same way.

Resisting Temptation in Teaching

It was my turn to teach the deacons yesterday. Oddly enough the topic (the sacrament) lined up perfectly with the little bit of art that I posted previously. I decided that showing it would cause a ruckus, which we have plenty of already, and instead showed an unmodified Last Supper.
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Fire in the Belly?

Colin Powell didn’t have it. No shock there. Sarah Palin does?? I don’t think it’s fire in the belly, I think it’s delusion born of her recent celebrity. I’ve been watching the morning news show speculating on the viability of her candidacy for president. I hope she has some sensible advisers because if she does run, all she will do is insure President Obama’s re-election. I can see all kinds of nightmare scenarios for the Republican Party with Palin’s candidacy. She might split the party if not nominated and take all the Tea Party people with her. She might attack the other candidates to such an extent they won’t have the full support of the Republican Party. She might actually force her way to nomination, in which case she won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. Read more »