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Introducing a random John

I grew up in Centerville, Utah, and now live in Sandy with my most wonderful wife and our three small children.

114 Posts
The Boundaries of Conversation Jun. 21st, 2014 at 12:27 am

I don’t particularly care for Ordain Women. I say that not to disparage the organization or Kate Kelly, its founder, but to provide some context for what I am about to present, and I admit I come to this topic prejudiced.
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Women in Pants Dec. 12th, 2012 at 1:56 pm

A quick thought on this Sunday’s upcoming “Wear Pants to Church Day.”

I know that there are women out there that support this idea but who for whatever reason won’t wear pants themselves this Sunday. I think this is a bit sad. I can imagine a scenario in which the not-so-brave feminists of a ward show up hoping against hope to see one of their sisters in pants. They all look quickly at one another wondering where all the feminists are, only to find skirts and dresses. They’ll come away discouraged thinking that there are no like-minded sisters in their ward. Of course they’ll be mistaken. Many are of exactly the same mind: looking for those brave enough to wear pants but unwilling to do so themselves.

I encourage anyone who has any desire to do so to wear pants, and be a beacon to those in your ward that won’t. I know I will. And my darkest shirt.

In Remembrance of Maurice Sendak… May. 9th, 2012 at 11:05 am

From the archive, the first post ever at Mormon Mentality, an examination of the poetic structure of Where the Wild Things Are!

Searching for Elijah Abel Mar. 5th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

In thinking about the recent controversy involving Randy Bott and his justifications for the priesthood ban I thought it would be interesting to look at what materials the Church has to offer on the subject. So I decided to search on LDS.org for Elijah Abel. It results in a single hit from 2003. Here is the full text that applies from a News of the Church article:
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What I Want to Know! Feb. 8th, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Obama has made the Catholic Church buy birth control!

Well, not really. Instead there is a mandate that religious institutions that run businesses that hire people outside their faith provide health insurance that covers birth control.

But that is NOT what I want to know.

I want to know if there is such a thing as a business run by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and whether such a business is required to purchase health insurance that covers blood transfusions.

I have been unable to find anything online other than that they seem very concerned about thyroid health and discourage higher education.

Anybody know?

Most Interesting Meeting in the World Jan. 9th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

Filtering Philemon Nov. 28th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Recently in Gospel Doctrine we discussed Paul’s Epistle to Philemon. Philemon is very short epistle that doesn’t get discussed much. In short, an escaped slave named Onesimus has somehow met up with an imprisoned Paul. Many details are unclear, but Paul sends Onesimus back to his master Philemon with this epistle in hand. The purpose is for Onesimus to return to his master and ask Philemon for forgiveness.

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The Deseret News Has its Banner of Heaven Moment Nov. 12th, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Over a year ago the Deseret News announced major changes at the paper. I expressed my pessimism about the nature of these changes and the direction the paper was headed.

Part of these changes involved emulating the Huffington Post, a trashy news recycler, by allowing random people to write for the paper as unpaid correspondents. One of these correspondents turns out to not have been an actual person. However this fake person supplied a headshot of himself (actually a photo of an athlete unrelated to the scandal) and a false name. Then he wrote several articles for the paper. Sound familiar?
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Friends of Scouting this Year Oct. 10th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Yesterday a good neighbor came to the door to collect our Friends of Scouting donation. I told him that we appreciated his efforts on behalf of the scouts, but that this year I would be donating directly to the troop. He responded, “But the money from Friends of Scouting goes to our troop.”

I explained that we don’t see a penny of it directly and he seemed to believe me. As the Scoutmaster, I have a pretty good idea of where our money comes from.

A bit later the deacons came by to collect fast offerings. I gave out troop and the Young Women each the same amount of money. No word from the clerks as to whether this has caused accounting difficulties.

The Cult Trap Oct. 7th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

The trap has been sprung. I don’t know if there was a way to avoid this one, but Mitt Romney is in it, at least today. Oddly, nobody seems to care if Jon Huntsman is in a cult.

Here’s how you set the trap, in case you’re interested. Say you’re Rick Perry. Hypothetically. Someone with some association with you suggests that Mitt Romney belongs to a cult. Then you, being a good guy, says, “No, I don’t think Mormonism is a cult.”

Once someone is denying that a religion is a cult the message to the voters is loud and clear: the religion is probably a cult.

I have no idea how to avoid this trap. It seems to be something of a tar baby. The more you talk about it the worse it gets. But if you don’t address it then what?

By the way, Rick Perry belongs to a cult.

Looking Like a GA? Sep. 29th, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Given that we’re discussing what GA’s look like…

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The Elephants in this Room Sep. 12th, 2011 at 11:41 am

I was recently visiting a ward in rural Wyoming. In Sunday School we discussed the first several chapters if 1 Corinthians. One of the issues Paul raises in this epistle is that of contention in the Church. The instructor, a former bishop of the ward, asked if there was contention currently in the Church as a whole or in the ward in particular.
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Farewell Chieko Aug. 5th, 2011 at 8:50 pm

I remember the first time I saw Chieko Okazaki in person. I looked out my dorm room window and there she was, walking down the sidewalk with two other women that I couldn’t name. It was a beautiful California spring day in 1996. I commented to my roommate, “There goes one of the most famous Mormon women in the world, walking behind our dorm of all places.” My roommate, not being a member or the least bit interested in Mormonism simply shrugged and didn’t even look out the window.
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Resisting Temptation in Teaching Jun. 6th, 2011 at 1:19 pm

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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How Do You Spell Inactive? H-U-N-T-S-M-A-N May. 12th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

In an interview with Time magazine Jon Hunstman Jr, former ambassador to China and governor of Utah dances around the question of his religion:

And as for whether or not Huntsman still belongs to the Church of Latter-day Saints, I know less than I did before I asked him. (“I’m a very spiritual person,” as opposed to a religious one, he says, “and proud of my Mormon roots.” Roots? That makes it sound as if you’re not a member anymore. Are you? “That’s tough to define,” he says. “There are varying degrees. I come from a long line of saloon keepers and proselytizers, and I draw from both sides.”)

This is sure to cause discussion both in and out of the bloggernacle, but this really isn’t news. It has been known for a long time in Utah that Huntsman wasn’t especially active, and there’s no point in pretending to be devout when you’re not, especially after how the GOP treated Mitt Romney last time around. Huntsman makes it clear that he’s interested in running for President so he needs to address the Mormon Question.

He isn’t announcing that he’s resigned his membership, but he’s not in the pews (or even the folding chairs in the gym) every Sunday.

Huntsman is simply trying to come up with a way of expressing to the wider public a concept that we already have a shorthand for: inactive.

Listen for Yourself, If You Want To May. 10th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

No longer do you (or Brother Otterson) need to blow $200 or more to hear “The Book of Mormon.” NPR (the devil’s own radio network, ask DKL) has the songs available for free listening. Cheapskates can now get in on the action! If you thought the Snoop Supper was offensive, you probably shouldn’t click the link. The first three songs are pretty mild and will lull you into a sense of complacency, but tender ears will find the fourth song pretty shocking.

But given that the musical isn’t technically R-rated you can listen if you’d like, right?

How Can I Work This into a Deacons’ Quorum Lesson? Apr. 25th, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Irreverent and potentially unfunny picture follows. Read more »

Cake… Nov. 23rd, 2010 at 12:31 am

Parsing Juan Williams Oct. 22nd, 2010 at 12:53 am

As long as we’re parsing around here…
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Richard Van Wagoner Oct. 12th, 2010 at 12:05 am

Mormon Historian Richard Van Wagoner passed away on Sunday, October 10, 2010.  Tonight I discovered his amazing tribute to facial hair.  May he rest in peace.

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