Search Results for: "you make the call"

You Make the Call: Missionary Draft Deferrals

It has been interesting for me to watch the reactions this past week as news stories illuminated yet again the contested territory where the free exercise of religion meets civic considerations and obligations. As I observed other LDS people comment on these stories, I realized that in our recent past, we have experienced something even more egregious and more threatening than being pressured to refrain from performing proxy baptisms for Holocaust victims.

In the Vietnam era during the late 1960s,  all young men were required to register for the Selective Service and make themselves available for the draft. Young men who were healthy, single, and heterosexual were classified as 1-A, eligible for military service, and they were quickly inducted into the service to undergo basic training. There was a different classification for ordained ministers, 4-D, and a young man with that classification would not be drafted. Among LDS people, young men who anticipated serving missions often succeeded in getting their classification changed from 1-A to 4-D. But as the war grew more serious and more troops were needed, the Selective Service became more and more reluctant to grant 4-D status to our missionaries, and it notified the church that all our young men should consider themselves candidates for the draft. [Read more…]

You Make the Call: Bubble Boy edition

This post was submitted by a BCC reader who wishes to remain anonymous.

You are an area authority seventy. A stake president calls you seeking direction on behalf of a bishop who has in his ward Barry Bubble Boy. Barry has an autoimmune deficiency that requires that he live inside of a protective bubble specially built inside of his home as his bedroom. He was transfered unto the room from the hospital when he was four, and has never left it. He is now 12.

Barry was born in the church, has a testimony of the Gospel, and desires to be baptised. Given his environment, it is impossible for him to be totally immersed in water. Even if a tank could be constructed in his bubble, his doctors would advise against subjecting him to total immersion in water. You should take as given that he cannot be immersed in water without grave risk of death.
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You Make the Call: Confession of Past Discretions

The following question is posed by an anonymous BCC reader:

You’re the bishop. A 45 year-old member of the church presents himself in your office. He has only recently become active in the church. He stopped attending shortly after he was ordained a priest nearly 30 years ago. He is married with a wife and 3 kids, ages 8, 10, and 12. The wife is not a member, but she is interested in the church, and on her prompting, the family is starting to attend. [Read more…]

You Make the Call: Spouses and Boy Friends

Not “boyfriend”: Boy. Friend. [Read more…]

You Make the Call: The Gospel as a Weapon Edition

Suppose that you are faithful Latter-day Saint who lives in a part of the world where there are few members of the Church, and everyone knows each other–or knows someone who knows those you don’t. A small, close-knit network of several 3rd and 4th generation families and their children, minimally impacted by converts and migration.

Suppose further that your spouse is a very well-respected member of the Church–generally regarded as a highly spiritual person, faithful to temple covenants, magnifies callings, has friends in lofty local leadership positions, and serves in the ward otherwise in ways that demonstrate to all observers that he is an honest, loving, faithful Latter-day Saint, husband, and father. Suppose, however, that the truth is, your spouse is a monster who uses the gospel as a weapon to demean you, to malign you, and to compel you into submission in all areas of life. [Read more…]

You Make The Call: Marriage Counseling

You just moved into this branch 3 months ago and last Sunday they made you the branch president. During the week  sister X(*), a woman in the branch whom you barely know, made an appointment with you and shared some sad, shocking news: her husband has been unfaithful to her and broken his marriage vows. She offers as evidence the fact that she observed him entering a “house of ill repute” (her words) twice during the past week. She even has the dates and times written down.

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You Make The Call: Holiday Party Edition

You’re hosting a holiday party in your home for your office co-workers. You are the only Mormon, and your co-workers know of your peculiar-peopleness. Several of them have nervously approached you to ask whether the customary holiday party alcohol will be forbidden at the party (none of them expect you to purchase alcohol or to drink it).


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You Make the Call (Conference Weekend Edition)

In case anyone would like to cleanse the palate from all of the conference discussion, one of my mystery correspondents just sent me another “you make the call,” which is based on an actual situation: [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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You Make the Call No. 7

As a reminder, I have not authored any of the posts in the You Make the Call series. They have each come from a mystery correspondent. This one is grounded in a real situation, but the facts have been changed to render it more in the nature of a hypothetical: [Read more…]

Bishop in FBI Training: You Make The Call No. 6

This one comes from a different mystery correspondent:

As Stake President you know that Bishop Dubloseven of the Yuppie 2nd Ward has been in the process of applying to the FBI for the last three years. Just yesterday he informed you that he was offered and accepted the position and training begins in two weeks. There is, of course, no problem with a bishop being in the FBI, rather it is the training that raises conflict. [Read more…]

Youth Programs – You Make the Call

You have recently been called to a position in the ward that requires your attendance at ward council.  You just moved in six months ago, and one of the things you noticed right away and really like is how people in the ward magnify their callings and go the extra mile in assuring that the work of the church goes smoothly.  Your fellow council members are not only very talented people, they are also models of commitment and dedication.  This is, hands down, the best ward you have ever lived in.

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Another You Make the Call

From my mystery correspondent:

You are the bishop of the Splitsville 4th Ward. You hear from your wife, who is not above trading in gossip but is generally accurate about such things, that Brother and Sister Schism, an active couple in the ward, both 45 years old and temple-married to each other 15 years ago, are in the process of divorcing. Jim Schism is the Gospel Doctrine teacher. Jan Schism is the first counselor to the Relief Society president. They have one child, a 14 year-old son. [Read more…]

You Make the Call # 5: “Worse than an infidel”

If you saw You Make the Call and came here expecting a quality post from my co-blogger Kevin Barney, I’m sorry to disappoint you.  He kindly allowed me to move in on a good thing.   

 You are the bishop of the Outer Suburbia 2nd ward, and your Sunday starts with a 6 ack emma PPI with the stake president.  Yes, you are aware that the ward’s home teaching numbers need to improve, and yes, you are aware that the ward’s fast offering fund is in the red.  Bishopric meeting and ward council run until church starts at 10.  You catch a breather at about 1:30, long enough to eat the granola bar and banana in your briefcase, and then you start in on the long afternoon and evening of interviews. [Read more…]

You Make the Call #4: Mission Midnight Express

From my mystery correspondent: You are the mission president of the Suckistan Mission, which includes the 2 separate sovereign nations of North Suckistan and South Suckistan. South Suckistan is a relatively free and safe country, in which you have 100 missionaries. North Suckistan is relatively unfree and dangerous, particularly for your 25 American missionaries (you have 30 total missionaries in North Suckistan.) You reside in South Suck. [Read more…]

You Make the Call #3: The Legal Academic Paper that Someone Actually Read

From my mystery correspondent: Angie Academic is a constitutional law scholar at a state law school. She is also the temple preparation teacher in her ward. Angie wrote an academic paper, recently published in the Harvard Law Review, in which she takes the position that the constitutional and statutory protections of religion are too strong and that measures should be taken, including a constitutional amendment, if necessary, to allow the federal government to force churches to ordain women and otherwise enforce anti-discrimination measures against churches. In one section of her paper, she gives the example of the LDS church as one that would be improved by the forced ordination of women, stating that otherwise the “out-of-touch, gerentocratic nature of the church hierarchy” made it unlikely that that church would voluntarily extend the priesthood to women for another 50 years or so, which she viewed as “unacceptable.” She also stated that without the priesthood, LDS women were currently “second-class citizens in the church.” [Read more…]

You Make the Call #2: Non-Sexual, Non-Marital, Romantic Cohabitation

From my mystery correspondent. Remember the ground rule: This is a parlor game, so no punting to the “guidance of the Spirit.” If you were the official presented with these facts, what call do you make? [Read more…]

You Make the Call

A friend reminded me of those old commercials featuring a close play in an NFL game, with the tag line “You make the call!.” The idea was for the TV viewer to pretend he is the referee and call the play how he sees it, and then compare the actual call the referee made in the game. So, in that spirit, my friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) offers the following: [Read more…]


Many of you have perhaps witnessed the recent screed about email messages from a poor, confused brother at T&S, in which he decried the use of the Forward button as a tool of missionary work and gospel preaching. We at BCC Labs feel that, not only is this T&S perma misguided (as so many of them are), but that he has done significant harm to the souls of any who walk in darkness, because they know not where to find the light switch.
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Am I a Christian Now?

You make the call.  Last week I bought a used car from my neighbor and it has this on the trunk:

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Priesthood Session: I’m a Man!

Welcome to BCC’s continuing coverage of the 180th Annual General Conference. Up next: The Priesthood Session, brought to you by Old Spice: We’re Men! [Read more…]

Egg ethics II

Suppose a couple, having problems with fertility, decides to try IVF as a means of having children. For the sake of the hypothetical, let’s say initial fertilization goes very well and the couple ends up with 30 viable embryos. After 8 pregnancies with three embryos implanted each time, the couple is exhausted and now has 24 children. They are done having kids.

What does the couple do with the six remaining embryos? You make the call. [Read more…]

Judgment: a dilemma for individualistic Mormons?

For many years, I have been perplexed by the question of what I am required to do and believe as a latter-day saint.  Confronted by a long and often contradictory history of commandments and culture attitudes within the church, the process of sorting out commandments from suggestions was nearly impossible.  Finally, I settled on the belief that I am primarily accountable for acting upon only those precepts I have learned by my own experience to be important.  While I respect those ideas that I do not now agree with, I have faith that God will hold me accountable only for acting with the best of my ability upon those concepts I personally know to be correct.

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A Camel through the Eye of a Needle

All three synoptics recount an episode during the Perean ministry of the Saviour where a rich young man (called a “ruler” in Luke) approaches Jesus and asks what he can do to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments, and in response to a request for clarification refers to the Ten Commandments. The young man replies that he has kept these from his youth, and then asks what yet he lacks. The reply is to sell all he has, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Jesus. The young man then walks away sadly, because he had great possessions.

Following this story is a section where Jesus utters the now famous proverb, which I will quote below as it is given in each gospel: [Read more…]