June 8: Reasoning and Repenting

I once had a co-worker who was an alcoholic, although he claimed to be just a social drinker.  It was only after two disastrous life events that he decided to face the truth, admit that he had a problem, and get help.  As I worked in the office next to his for over a year, I often reflected on the the lesson I learned in Primary about the four R’s of repentance.  The first step we need to take in order to reform ourselves and become better is to recognize that we have a problem.  The second step is to feel sincere remorse for our actions.

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Day of Service – Pictures!

Hundred of thousands of LD Saints across the United States participated in a day of service on April 25, 2009.  You can read reports and see pictures below the fold.

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Open thread – Day of Service

According to the LDS Newsroom website, tomorrow is a day of service in eleven Southern states, but I have noticed that stakes in other areas are participating too. All in all, the church is mobilizing hundreds of thousands of volunteers to join with volunteers of other organizations for the purpose of community betterment. This thread is an invitation for you to share what is happening where you live. Please give as many details as you can and if you can take pictures, that’s even better. You can email them to bccservicephotos@gmail.com. Ronan, who serves as BCC photo editor, will gladly upload them to the thread.

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Dusting Off My Feet

It is a good thing the church doesn’t publish instructions on how to perform this ordinance, because I would have probably done it about a hundred times by now to the church’s computer system.

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Thoughts on Conference

Even though conference was two weekends ago, I find that I am still thinking about it.  There is something about this semi-annual gathering that is very meaningful to me.

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Short Questions About Our Discourse on Gender

On my way to looking up other things, I found the current version of the BYU Honor Code online.  Under the heading “Live a chaste and virtuous life” are seven items.  This is what caught my eye:

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Holy Sonnet X

by John Donne

Death be not proud, though some have callèd thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.

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The Kingdom of God is Within You

I received the following message this week in my email inbox:
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Good Defense

In team sports, it is axiomatic that good defense beats good offense. A basketball team which plays tenacious D will disrupt its opponent’s plays, create turnovers, and get a lot of easy fast-break baskets. A football team that forces a lot of 3-and-outs gives itself an edge. The best example I have seen in my lifetime of pitching beating hitting was during the 1988 World Series, when the L.A. Dodgers pitching staff systematically dismantled Oakland’s heavily favored Bash Brothers.  

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Truth Claims

This post originally began as a comment on Natalie’s excellent thread, but I decided that a statement from the First Presidency deserves more than a blog comment.

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Chastity

Last week, Bristol Palin spoke publicly about the experience of becoming pregnant outside of marriage at a young age.  Among other things, she said that motherhood is difficult, and that she is very thankful for a supportive family.  She also said that abstinence from sex is an unrealistic universal standard. [Read more...]

Stake Meetings Cancelled

We could all probably come up with lots of good reasons to cancel a stake training meeting. Here is my list:

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On Tradition

This letter appears in the diary of a man who served in the Mormon Batallion and pioneered in Utah and Nevada. 

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For Language Mavens

What is the deal with the pronouncing guide in the back of the Book of Mormon?

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Voluntary Segregation

I saw this press release and thought the headline was both clumsy and provocative: Americans Claim to Love Diverse Communities but Do They Really?  It is a report on recent work done by the Pew Research Center, and the article and its accompanying tables are worth a look.

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Raspberry Pecan Crockpot Turkey

This is a good recipe if you are not serving a crowd.  It keeps the turkey really moist, and it helps avoid the conflict between people who like cranberry sauce and those who don’t.  And it is super easy.

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Open Thread — The Future Begins Today

On such a momentous and important day, it is understandable that BCC participants will want to express their feelings about the decisions which are being made right now and which will influence the future for years and maybe even decades.

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Kindly Step Down From That Rameumptom, Buddy

In late September, 1994 I enjoyed a very fun camping and fishing trip with my family.  A week later in general conference, I heard Gordon B. Hinckley recommend that fathers should raise their children with the rod — the fishing rod.  I was thrilled with this new evidence that God agreed with me, and the next month when the Ensign came out, I made an unbearable nuisance of myself to everybody I knew, first showing them the words from the Ensign, then showing them pictures of our vacation, proving, proving!, that I was indeed on the Lord’s errand.  I basked in the warm glow of my own pride, while simultaneously claiming to be a humble follower of the Brethren. It was wonderful.
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The Arm of Flesh

For the past several months, my wife and I have been in the process of selecting a new insurance company.  After study and comparison of ratings, we settled on a provider.  Within a week after sending in a deposit for several hundred dollars, I opened the newspaper to read that the company I thought was solid and which was now holding my money was underwater and in need of a loan from the government in the amount of 85 billion dollars.  The irony is that the company was running expensive ads touting it strength and promising to be there when we need it, right up until the day it wasn’t. 

The first section of the Doctrine and Covenants says that part of the reason for the Restoration is to teach us not to trust in the arm of flesh.  If I didn’t know that lesson a month ago, I have learned it now. [Read more...]

You Make the Call – Women in Priesthood Meeting (Gasp!)

Previous installments in this series have examined questions from the perspective of a priesthood leader. This post puts a wrinkle in the theme by asking a question about what a woman should do.

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True Religion and Undefiled

This is how I spent my weekend:

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Pharisaism

A member of my family is taking an institute class, and she came home last week with a handout.  It attempted to describe the major sects of Judaism which existed during Jesus’ life, and this description of the Pharisees caught my eye:

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Financing a Mission, 1849-Style

August_2008_scvil-bakery-2

If you have ever been to Nauvoo, the chances are very good that you have visited the Scovil Bakery.  The original owners were Lucius and Lucy Scovil (sometimes written as Scoville), and it is located on the west side of Main Street, south of the LDS visitor’s center.  If you were lucky, the missionaries at the bakery gave you a gingerbread cookie. [Read more...]

Handcarts and Grecian Tragedy

Most of the time when we talk about the handcart companies, we mean the two companies which were caught in the snow in Wyoming and had to be rescued.  Their story started months before Winter set in, when they left Iowa City, IA, in the middle of July.  I recently found this amazing website which draws on primary sources and provides a day by day account of the handcarts’ progress.

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My Way or the Highway

I recently helped the Internet fill the measure of its creation by making an ass of myself in a public forum.

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The Last Wagon

I am a huge fan of the Mormon pioneers.  Our story of exodus is compelling, and you don’t have to live in Utah or be a descendant of the pioneers to appreciate them.  This week, on Thursday, the 24th of July, Salt Lake City will remember the occasion as it always does, with the Days of ’47 parade.  If you are within 100 miles of SLC it is worth attending, if only to see President Monson wear a cowboy shirt with pearl snap buttons, a bolo tie, and a cowboy hat (white, of course).

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“all their connections”

It’s Summer, and we are doing a fair amount of travelling.  I’ve attended meetings in a different place for four consecutive Sundays, and it has caused me to do some thinking about the way we define community.

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A Telegram from the Colonies

The Keepapitchinin blog has recently been posting photos of groups of LDS people from various places which I find fascinating.  I urge you to go look here and here. The photos of saints in Germany brought back a memory worth sharing.

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Online Gospel Discussions

Last week the church issued some official guidelines to help members have productive online conversations about the gospel.  I immediately thought of the Star Trek: The Next Generation espisode called Darmok.

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Education and Class

While the Restoration scriptures consistently warn against the stratification of society into classes, our zeal for education and achievement tends to produce exactly that.

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