Paranoia will Destroy Ya’

I impressed myself. I listened to two and a half sessions of general conference. My favorite talk was by Pres. Hinkley He insisted that getting all paranoid about the current perils of the world is actually negative. Further, he explained that humans have always faced peril. Some of the other speakers must have been wishing they could revise the sections of their talks where they continued to refer to the downward spiral of the world. Applying Hinkley’s advice will certainly improve your life. I’ve never seen a happy Mormon who obsessed about the evils of the world and I’d say fully a quarter of the Mormons I’ve known are in that paranoid group.

Of course, Mormonism does not have a lock on paranoid thought. The safety of religious thought attracts paranoids. And the General Authorities pretty agressively and consistently speak out against focusing on the end of the world. I only wish that message acted more effectively. It is depressing to continually hear that strident tone insisting itself in our church meetings and throughout the Mormon blogosphere. In addition, it’s sad for those who fall victim to it. Mormon doctrine encourages optimism by insisting that we may become gods. The individual who insists on reminding us over and over that wickedness is increasing misses out on that.

I should be honest though. I don’t really believe that there will be an apocalypse, so I’m not being brave by not being worried about it. I prefer the practical advice that helps lessen the force of our own private calamities. Overall, the financial advice in several talks stuck with me most. Two GAs spoke about staying out of debt and maintaining an adequate savings. One even mentioned keeping insurance. One mentioned the importance of saving up while you are doing well, since things don’t always get better financially. Sounds like something I’d hear in an economics class. Something I can agree with whether God exists or not.

Missionary Pamphlets

I have been thinking a lot about missionary work this past year. I truly believe that it would be good if I did more. The church is such a positive influence on my life even though my belief in the doctrines is often weak. I’d love for some of my good friends to try it. Trouble is, I find our typical missionary approaches to be less than interesting to my friends. They are certainly of no interest to me. I’ve often wondered what it would be like if we had the following missionary pamphlets:

1. The Finite God: He’s your age and has to keep in line like you do
2. Heavenly Mother: The goddess is not wicca
3. Your Own World: Why it’s not just for space colonists

I worry that we spend too much time trying to be acceptable to born-again Christians. From my limited contact with those folks, I just don’t think they are going to like us no matter how we typeset our logo. What missionary pamphlets would you like to see?

(a) belonging to the emperor (b) embalmed (c) tame (d) sucking pigs (e) sirens (f) fabulous (g) stray dogs…

Today’s Priesthood lesson promoted genealogy and vicarious ordinance work. The topic only provides two interesting topics for discussion (that I could think of). First, the mystical vicarious ordinances, which are powerful theological concepts and really only yield to purely religious reasoning; Second the creation and consumption of family history for its own sake, which yields to more secular analysis.
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