BCC Zeitcast 16

Season 1 Album Artwork (Download here)

BCC’s weekly romp through the best of the Bloggernacle, hosted this week by Steve, Ronan, Amri, and sisterblah2. Featured posts/sites:

Lots of Scandinavian names we didn’t dare try to pronounce.

The FPR crew bear their testimonies.

Bruce Willis loves it when a plan comes together.

The Final Cylon is Joseph Smith.

Cynthia’s talk:

My husband and I struggled some to get pregnant. During those struggles–how to say this politely–I didn’t much enjoy Mother’s Day. Now the mother of two, I still struggle with Mother’s Day–the sense of inadequacy as people wax poetic about their Supermoms, the echoes of painful Mother’s Days past. While (barely) enduring a Mother’s Day sacrament meeting during the infertile period, I composed this talk in my head. With my fellow Mother’s Day unenthusiasts in mind, I’d like now to share my antidote to the typical Mother’s Day talk.

As someone who was facing at least the possibility of not ever having children in this life, I found it really annoying that people frequently go on about how parenthood has been the best preparation for godhood, or parenthood does more than anything else to build those traits, or give one a sense of what it must be like to be God. I found this kind of talk frustrating, for obvious reasons.

So I tried to think about what lessons I was learning about what it must be like to be God, by not having kids. And the main one I came up with is that, in the position I was in, it was very helpless, just waiting for children to come, with not a lot of control over the situation. At the same time, I was wanting to do more than just sit around waiting, so I was preparing to be the best parent I could. I was making elaborate plans for all the great things I would do. I think at one point I may have even made my own architectural plans for
a backyard playhouse. And I began being very frustrated, thinking, “Come on, kids! I have so many things waiting for you, so much I want to do for you. And yet, you’re not coming!”

I think that frustration, that feeling of wanting to embrace and wanting to love, but having the child not approach you, which is ultimately not in your hands, is the exact feeling that God must have all the time. Because we have to want to return to Him, and that is our agency. So that love, and that longing, and in some ways a feeling of helplessness, I think must be His primary emotion.


  1. lamonte says:

    Cynthia – Those are beautiful thoughts you have shared and I wish I could say that I understand how you felt while enduring the “preparation for Godhood” comments while you remained without children of your own. But being a male and having four children of my own I’m sure my assumptions and sympathy would most likely be lacking.

    I am glad to say that comments made this past Sunday in my ward, and for every Mother’s Day I can remember over the twenty years I’ve lived in my ward, have been not just about the glorious nature of motherhood but about the blessings of womanhood and we, as men, are certainly blessed by the women in our lives whether they be our mothers, our wives, our sisters , our daughters or just our friends and co-workers.

    Your stated desires for your children, your desire to shower them with love, has most likely been felt by those closest to you and you have blessed their lives with your giving attitude. I believe it is possible to be a “mother” to more than your own children and I have witnessed and experienced it in my own life. Women in the church, and elsewhere in our lives, can add reason, compassion and common sense to our daily lives. And, of course, some of them can add just the opposite. But I give thanks for the blessings I have experienced in my life, most of which have been through the love and concern of the woemn in my life. My wife and I raised four sons but now we have three granddaughters and one grandson (and one more granddaughter on the way). I love my grandson but those little girls make me smile just thinking about them.

    God bless you in your noble desires to raise a righteous family.

  2. The history of blue smarties is here.

    Thanks to seaweed, the blues are back

  3. Ba-Ba-BAAA


    (Me humming the A-Team song at my desk)

  4. sister blah 2 says:

    It was a pleasure chatting with you, Amri, Ronan and Steve. Let’s do it again sometime, eh?

    Also, Steve, you owe Ronan £2.

  5. Steve Evans says:

    Dammit SB2, you promised to keep that secret!

  6. We’re glad you joined us Sister Blah.

    I meant to ask, but do blue (or any of the colors) smarties have special meaning? When I was growing up we had meaning for every color (the well-known one is green of course).

  7. sister blah 2 says:

    lamonte–I’m glad you had what sound like very loving and inclusive talks in your ward. This was a pretty good year for talks in my ward too. One new father spoke about his wife and their wonder at parenthood, and also about the heroic efforts of his mother who raised 4 kids alone after she divorced their father. It was a touching recognition of different kids of women and mothers, all doing their best to be their best.

  8. lamonte says:

    sister blah 2 – Thanks for your comments. I was beginning to think there was a joke I was missing. In fact, I still kind of feel that way. But thanks.

  9. sister blah 2 says:

    Re: the discussion in the beginning about the origins of “sister blah 2,” here is the fateful comment by “E” where she (he?) added the honorific sister to my original handle, the chosen-at-random “blah 2.”

  10. sister blah 2 says:

    #8–The “talk” quoted above is transcribed from my comments at the end of the of the Zeitcast. The Zeitcast covered a bunch of other topics as well, including coloration of smarties. Maybe that’s what threw you? Anyway, don’t feel bad, there’s no joke.

  11. Steve Evans says:

    Someday, perhaps, we’ll call you elder blah 2.

  12. I thought Mogget and Trailer Trash were both women. Hm.

  13. Steve Evans says:

    meems, Mogget is a woman.

  14. Steve Evans says:

    and what a woman!

  15. Any definitive eternal gender for TT?

  16. Steve Evans says:

    meems, TT is a burly man.

  17. Only Mrs. John C. knows for sure. well, and me. And those guys who saw me naked.

  18. sister blah 2 says:

    On other blogs (where I have gender-neutral handles), people have commented expressing shock when they find out I’m a woman. It would be one thing if people said, “oh, that’s interesting, I never knew your gender before this.” But I’ve gotten things like “whoa! Always thought you were a man!! No way!!!” Not sure what to make of that.

    Women tend to use excess qualifiers to weaken declarative statements (“Well, it’s just my opinion, but…”, “…don’t you think?”, etc) and this can be a clue. But I feel like I do use a lot of qualifiers, don’t you think? Weird.

  19. Steve Evans says:

    SB2, it’s phrases like “when I’m in bed with my wife…” or “as a person with testicles…” that tend to throw us off track.

  20. Eric Russell says:

    Two thoughts:

    -I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that given the persistent misuse of the word ‘deconstruction’ the false appellation is becoming correct usage. Derrida is rolling in his grave.

    -Count me among those who see transhumanism as an explanation for D&C 101:30.

  21. Brad Kramer says:

    Eric, not sure how deconstruction was misused here. It was only mentioned in passing in connection with the notion of narrator unreliability. Glancing references tend to fall short of fully developed explanations, but hardly cause for Derrida to lose his subterranean lunch.

  22. Kevin Barney says:

    I enjoyed this, as always. Thanks for doing it.

  23. Eric Russell says:

    Brad, I’m similarly not sure how it was used correctly. I don’t see deconstruction in either J. Green’s post or in Stephen M.’s interesting series, as was pointed out by someone in the first comment of the first post of his.

  24. Brad Kramer says:

    Right. It’s not there on Jonathan’s post or in Stephen’s. But I do think our discussion in a few earlier Zeitcasts came closer to the real thing.

  25. sister blah 2, every time I see you comment I feel a surge of pride/self-satisfaction at having helped name you. You rock!

  26. sister blah 2 says:

    Aw, thanks, E. Can I call you my fairy blogmother?

  27. MikeInWeHo says:

    Oh this podcast was delightful. Ronan, if you want to see true vanity come visit Southern California. You have no idea.

    In this Zeitcast, I learned about transhumanism (clearly Bill Gates is their founding prophet), and gained a testimony of Raelianism!

  28. Rael is a Who song.

    I tried your link, MikeinWeHo, and it was blocked (even from home because I live in company housing right now), for the filter, “Non-traditional religions and Occult and Folklore.” Gee – you’d think I lived in an oppressive monarchy or something. Oh wait, I do.

  29. meems,
    The House of Saud is trying to keep The Message from the Designers from you:

    The messages dictated to Rael explain that life on Earth is not the result of random evolution, nor the work of a supernatural ‘God’. It is a deliberate creation, using DNA, by a scientifically advanced people who made human beings literally “in their image” — what one can call “scientific creationism.”

    Leaving our humanity to progress by itself, the Elohim nevertheless maintained contact with us via prophets including Buddha, Moses, Mohammed, etc., all specially chosen and educated by them. The role of the prophets was to progressively educate humanity through the Messages they taught, each adapted to the culture and level of understanding at the time.

  30. Mark IV says:

    Ronan, that sounds a lot like the First Presidency:

    “The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals. … We believe that God has given and will give to all peoples sufficient knowledge to help them on their way to eternal salvation” (“Statement of the First Presidency regarding God’s Love for All Mankind,” 15 Feb. 1978).

  31. Steve Evans says:

    I can’t believe you guys hadn’t heard of Raelians before. Why, they are all the rage in Quebec!

  32. Norbert says:

    You can’t get sucked up in the rapture if you’re plugged into the matrix.

    Oh, that’s rich.

  33. Oh HO! Very interesting! Thanks for the raelian low-down. :-)

  34. RE: filter “Non-traditional religions and Occult and Folklore”

    I get that for Times and Seasons.


  35. Steve Evans says:

    Norbert, it’s true! Am I caught up in the Rapture, am I merely jacked into some supercomputer simulation of the Rapture?

  36. Although I agree with Ronan’s comments on Mormons and transhumanism (the possibility of it — the actual practice of it at the moment seems to involve a lot of speculative science), there is one thing that keeps me from buying the bought through technology immortality = twinkling argument in terms of Mormon doctrine.

    That is, wouldn’t immortality achieved through technology lead to the whole thing that the cherubim and the flaming sword are meant to protect against, that is living forever in your sins?

    I can think of several doctrinal workarounds, of course, but I think that this might be a stickier point than Ronan thinks it could be.

    I also was disappointed that no one thought to bring up the non-corporeal form of immortality and its repercussions for Mormon doctrine. Who needs a body when you can live on the galactic servers and copy and download yourself into meat space whenever you need/want to? In comparison to that sort of existence, resurrection might not seem quite so interesting.

    My secret teleogical belief, of course, is that the second coming will occur before either of the above is possible (assuming they’re possible at all). However, I do think we will have to face some serious ethical issues related to genetic manipulation.

  37. Steve:

    I don’t know. Is Kirk Cameron there?

  38. ESO, I also get that for “Mormon Matters” but none of the other blogs. But T & S!?

  39. This Podcast was unusually well Done guys. (sorry, couldn’t help the left handed complement) I found it very interesting that when Sister Blah2 shared something touching and profound, the rest of you seemed kind of shaken and thrown off. What’s up with that? The Enoch scripture was a nice recovery Steve.

  40. BTW,
    The most spiritual effect transhumanism could have for us lies entirely in the explosion of ethical issues we would have to navigate. These issues aren’t for the faint of heart.

  41. Steve Evans says:

    Doc, what can I say? It was touching and profound, and really — if you’ve ever been in a conversation when someone says something like that, you know there’s nothing to say.

    Plus, who’d expect that kind of content in a Zeitcast?

    PS — compliment, not complement (how’s that for being left-handed).

  42. sister blah 2 says:

    Steve, I think Doc just called you an insensitive jerk on your own blog. Ruh-roh! (Scooby voice) It’s ok, Doc–people are often speechless in my presence, so I’m used to it.

  43. sister blah 2 says:

    Anyway thanks Doc and Steve, I’m glad others found it meaningful.

  44. Steve Evans says:

    Doc calls ’em as he sees ’em, I guess!

    PPS – “backhanded,” not “left handed”.

  45. SB2,
    I swear I read your story on a blog post earlier, so where is it? Pray do tell. Or is that like giving away your secret identity?

  46. sister blah 2 says:

    mmiles, I’m sure I’ve never written it up as a blog post before. I may have given a quick version in a comment somewhere at some point, but if I did I don’t remember. Maybe just a case of great minds think alike? If you find the one you’re thinking of, be sure to send me a link!

  47. sister blah 2 says:

    #44–I assumed “left-handed complement” was supposed to be some kind of mathematics/engineering reference that I didn’t get. Like that thing you do with thumbs up or down and see which way your fingers curl, in physics, to see which way the magnetic field goes. (or something like that? I dunno, I hated physics)

  48. “Maybe just a case of great minds think alike?”

    or dementia

  49. sister blah 2 says:

    What have I ever done to you, Ray?!

  50. inspired me – and made me laugh

  51. My husband and I struggled some to get pregnant.

    Too much information!

  52. Thanks sb2, I loved your insights on Mother’s Day, in all its gory. I think even more I liked the idea that we can take whatever less than perfect situation we’re in, look closely, and God will show us the way in which he is helping to prepare us to become more like him.

  53. I comes to my attention that #51 is likely to be misunderstood. I have been told how it is that people become pregnant and referring to it as having “struggled some” created a mental picture for me that I was trying to purge.

  54. JJ-Please purge pernicious pictures privately.

  55. Steve (#44),

    PPPS- Left-handed and Back-handed are synonyms, but perhaps we should just call a truce. ;)

  56. Steve Evans says:


%d bloggers like this: