Each Fast Sunday, we’ll feature a video from the Mormon.org website. This month we have a pair of videos featuring Mormons who live in Costa Rica. Freddy is a pizza chef and father to four children, two coming via adoption. Karina is a champion judo fighter and teacher. (Update: To view with English subtitles, press play and then press the “cc” button that appears at the bottom of the video.)
Friday and Saturday, Miller-Eccles study group in southern California will host Bob Rees (LDS, former Bishop) and Caitlin Ryan (psychologist and social worker) for a presentation about their joint work with the Family Acceptance Project. (EVENT DETAILS HERE.) The Family Acceptance Project’s goal is to educate families and communities about research showing that LGBT youth have much better outcomes (in terms of avoiding suicide, drug use, and other harmful behaviors) when their families exhibit accepting behaviors rather than rejecting behaviors in response to the child’s orientation. [Read more…]
It’s not Mitt Romney’s loss. His candidacy was enough to add a crescendo to the “Mormon moment” of the last few years, a moment Otterson rightly says is not so much a moment but part of a long arc of increasing recognition and acceptance. A Romney presidency would of course have been an incredible milestone, but a milestone on a marathon that neither began nor will end with Romney.
No, in the long view, I think there is another election result from last night that will have more pervasive and significant impact on Mormonism going forward. Yesterday, voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington voted in favor of marriage equality. [Read more…]
Each Fast Sunday, we’ll feature one video from the Mormon.org website. A few weeks ago, we highlighted Cecile Pelous of France and Nepal. Today, we feature Vanessa, an aerial dancer from London.
The initial buzz around the launch of the “I’m a Mormon” campaign in the bloggernacle has died down, but the campaign only continues to grow in visibility and influence. The past month saw more new ads released for non-English-speaking markets, including this one in Russian.
Another recent addition is, I think, the most impressive one so far in any language: Paris fashion designer Cécile Pelous is mother to 154 orphaned children…
AKA Mayan Apocalypse Final Conference Ever Armageddon Session. Curl up on the couch for our next and last installment
The Day Dawn is Breaking
Did You Think to Pray?
Robert D. Hales: The Godhead. “Can there be any doubt or disputation that Mormons are Christian?” “How are we doing in our quest to follow Christ?”
Richard G. Scott: “The Lord’s revelation that, by proper priesthood authority, baptism could be performed for the dead…” “He permits worthy deceased to receive all the ordinances of salvation vicariously.”
This is the right place! for your conference chitter-chatter. Comment On!
Thus the announcer hath spoken: 182nd Semiannual General Conference is now underway.
And remember, in the comment thread: Everybody. Be. Cool. Let’s not embarrass Mitt. UPDATE: Just kidding. Go ahead and embarrass Mitt.
How Firm a Foundation Nice and uptempo! And they’re doing the extra verses, which are the best ones. Excellent.
Thomas S. Monson: Two new temples! Tuscon, AZ and Arequipa, Peru. Mission age change! All worthy and able young men who have finished high school can serve at 18. Audience faces have a lot of shocked looks! Bigger news!! All young women may serve starting at age 19.
I went through a few drafts of this post trying to come up with an “angle,” or some cute pun in the title, or some way to whip it into an uproarious satire. But it’s all rubbish. Some things just have to be faced head-on, and stated plainly. So let me state this plainly:
Digitally adding cap sleeves to angels in 150-year-old devotional religious paintings is a bad idea (see here and here), and digitally altering photographs of a young girl in Primary class to add cap sleeves is a bad idea.
At the LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University, caffeinated drinks are not sold. It is not because of a church or university edict, said spokeswoman Carri Jenkins, but customer demand.
“Dining Services has made the decision to not sell or serve caffeinated beverages on campus,” she told FOX 13. “Simply based on what our customers want or do not want.”
Jenkins said students would not violate BYU’s Honor Code by consuming caffeine, nor would people be forbidden from bringing it on campus.
(Squeamish readers beware.) A fellow bloggernacler called my attention to this blog post about a hypothetical knife fight between all of the US Presidents: “In a mass knife fight to the death between every American President, who would win and why?”
I’d like to put a Mormon twist on this and propose a mass knife fight to the death between everybody in the BCC community’s most fearsome ancestors.
(youtube video has been disabled; view video on the ABC News site)
And with that, having an Obama bumper sticker on your car in the church parking lot just got that much more eyebrow-raising. And the election just got a lot more interesting.
I really enjoyed working on various reinterpretations the Newsroom’s “Lay Leadership in the LDS Church” infographic. So I decided to try my hand at reinterpreting lds.org’s infographic about General Conference. Here is what I came up with:
Here is an infographic the church’s Newsroom put out to explain the structure of our local lay leadership. (sorry for lack of embedding, I don’t want to hotlink their image, and mine is a PDF)
While understanding they were working within very tight space and reader attention constraints, I thought it could be made a little more complete. Now, dear reader, please understand that I am an engineer and thus have aesthetic sense only for things others don’t think even have aesthetics, such as java code and mathematical proofs. I am not a graphic designer, and this isn’t about whose is prettier–I concede that contest from the outset.
But, beauty flaws aside, I think you will find that there are some striking differences between the two graphics. Not only in terms of quantity of additional detail, but the qualitative general sense one gets from the image overall. In particular, the ratios of blue and pink in each.
Today brings yet another piece by Ralph Hancock about Joanna Brooks, this time in the Deseret News (no, I will not support that piece by sending link traffic). I have been profoundly troubled by Hancock’s self-appointed and bitingly personal quest to defame and humiliate Brooks at every opportunity (and then some). I feel pained–as a sister, as a woman, as a Mormon, as a feminist, as someone who, like Brooks, has assumed certain risks in choosing to use my voice to speak publicly on issues that matter deeply to me. Until now, I haven’t felt the strength to really respond to Hancock. My hurt and anger has prevented me from being confident that I could speak out in a way that would be as effective in denouncing Hancock’s behavior as I felt the seriousness of the repeated offenses warranted. Today, the imperative to stand firm and proud with someone I am honored to know, Joanna Brooks, has overcome. I am taking up her suggestion and embarking on a fabulous feminist fundraiser in honor of Ralph Hancock. The more he attacks, the more money goes to the Mormon feminist cause.
Questions: “sufjan stevens lds?” “is sufjan stevens mormon”
Answer: Oh, I wish it were so! However, it is easy enough to prove that he isn’t:
As you can see in the photo, Sufjan has wings. We all know that Mormon angels don’t have wings. Therefore, we can say decisively that Sufjan is not Mormon. QED.
Today’s game (or tomorrow’s game, if you’re not watching it until the Sabbath is over) provided a plethora of prime examples for speakers to pick from to underscore their points in next Sunday’s talks and lessons. Show your creative elucidation of doctrine prowess in the Super Bowl of Analogies—are you ready for some object lessons?!
The following are memorable moments and images from the Big Game. In the comments, provide your best suggestions for how to use each in a talk or lesson. We’ll also take nominations for most dreaded way each might be brought up by that one guy in your Sunday School class. Game on!
Title: The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith
Author: Matthew Bowman
Publisher: Random House
Hallelujah! The world needed an accessible, neutral, brief, birth-to-present history of Mormonism, and it needed it right now. Matthew Bowman has written that book. Including every relevant moment from the boy Joseph’s leg operation to Twilight, and from suffragist Emmeline Wells to Broadway’s Elder Price, all in a slim 253 pages (plus several appendices), Bowman works a space-packing miracle reminiscent of Dr. Who’s TARDIS or Mary Poppins’ carpet bag. Opinion makers in the media, politics, and academia who want to join the conversation about Mormons will be well prepared by this brisk and rigorous overview, and I imagine many keeping a heavily Post-It-noted copy near at hand in the coming months and years. Bowman’s work shines most brightly in its detailed rendering of the uniquely fertile soil for religious innovation in the time and place of young Joseph Smith’s America, and its painstakingly balanced study of the early origins of the church. Interested outsiders will also find, in Chapter 8, an excellent portrait of daily life for “an active, committed Mormon family” today, including the rhythms of weekly meetings and activities, and private devotional life such as Family Home Evening.
Today, I come not to bury the Book of Mormon Musical creators Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez, but to announce that they have been named the 2011 Boggs-Doniphan Gentiles of the Year. To the extent that an award half-named for the man who tried to have us all killed, and half-named for a valued ally, can be considered an honor, I say to them: Congratulations!
This is an open thread for chatting about Mitt Romney’s fate in today’s Iowa caucuses.
And if you’re feeling jealous of all the fun these Iowa voters/caucusers are having, be sure to stop by our Boggs-Doniphan (Gentile of the Year) Award voting thread, and Aaron B’s Food, Intimacy or Cars? polls. At least the Boggs-Doniphan voting actually results in an official prize, unlike the non-binding-convention-delegate determinations coming out of Iowa!
Update: See the comments thread for the liveblog action. Here’s my final update of the night (off to watch Colbert sans distraction):
Clinton Co official on CNN said that precinct voted 51 Mitt & 33 Santorum. That would shift 4 vote Mitt deficit to 14 vote lead/win
— Greg Giroux (@greggiroux) January 4, 2012
Nominations are now closed, and voting begins. Who do you think was the non-Mormon with the biggest impact on Mormons or Mormonism this year? Voting will only be open for a few days, so vote now!
Reader Question Box is a series where we answer questions that show up in our website traffic monitoring statistics as Google search terms that led people to us. Copious oddities are to be found in the search term logs, and some worthwhile questions. (In case you missed our previous editions: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7)
Question: is Tim Tebow Mormon?
Answer: This search has been lighting up our google stats all week long. Answer: No, but if he follows the excellent advice given him from a very, very reliable source (see video), he will be soon! We think Tim Tebow would fit right in.
The Wall Street Journal reports today about the business of online micro-service clearinghouses, where customers put out requests for household and other takss (hat tip Rosalynde Welch‘s Facebook wall). The article mentions jobs like taming an out of control muck of a compost pile, purchasing and delivering various items, and fishing a dropped set of keys from a sewer. The conversation on Facebook turned to debating whether or not there is something distasteful, or even morally wrong, about hiring help to perform domestic work (for the purposes of this conversation, let’s consider gardening, housecleaning, housekeeping, personal shopping, meal preparation, and the like. We’ll leave nannies/childcare for another day). My first reaction was an emphatic “No!” there is nothing wrong with it, but in trying to articulate the reasons why, I realized I am much more ambivalent than that.
To the left is the cover of the
official EFY inspirational talks book from 1991. It consists of the title, Feeling Great, Doing Right, Hanging Tough, in 80’s-tastic font design, and a photo of an exuberant young woman doing a sort of cheerleaderish jump for joy .
What I noticed immediately when I saw this image was the presence of leggings. It was remarkable to me because I have recently observed some controversy in the LDS community surrounding leggings and modesty.
The Provo Daily Herald reports “Authorities break ground for new LDS temple in Payson”:
Following his remarks and the closing exercises, Oaks invited the four general authorities in attendance to shovel a scoop of dirt from the shallow trench, followed by the 26 stake presidents in the Payson Utah Temple District, then local government officials, and lastly, any 12-year-old ordained deacons.
Oaks noted that he purposefully excluded women from the ceremonial shoveling out of respect for them because of the muddy conditions in front of the podium. He didn’t want their shoes to get soiled.
Let My People Pray: It’s time to consider having women give opening/closing prayers in General Conference
To my knowledge, no woman has ever given an opening or closing prayer in a general session of General Conference. It is time to reconsider this practice of not calling women to share in the giving of these prayers.
The church has been engaged in a sustained effort to identify and end inequalities between men and women that are without doctrinal justification, such as women not being allowed to give opening prayers in Sacrament Meetings and women’s voices not being adequately included in Ward Councils. In particular, the new Handbook and accompanying Worldwide Leadership Training Broadcast explicitly emphasize this theme. In doing so, the church is showing its awareness that seemingly little things, like restrictions on who gives the opening/closing prayers in Sacrament Meeting, can send a big message that “you aren’t important,” or, when working as they should (as under the new handbook), a message that “we really do value everyone’s voices.” These messages radiate from the little things to all aspects of how we treat one another.