Posts Tagged ‘ Church Living ’

Relics

October 12, 2004 | 17 comments
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One of my more prized possessions is a small chunk of limestone. It is about 8 inches long, roughly the size of two fists. Its value lies in the fact that is is a piece of one of the shattered sunstones of the original Nauvoo temple. Read more »

Prayer Rolls

October 10, 2004 | 21 comments
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Did you know that you can add a name to the Salt Lake Temple prayer roll by calling an 800 number? Our priesthood instructor mentioned this today, and it started me thinking again about the nature of prayer. And I admit, I am stumped by the prayer roll. Read more »

(When) are bloggers permitted to criticize church leaders?

October 6, 2004 | 320 comments
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This topic has come up in recent posts around the bloggernacle. For example, Rusty at Nine Moons discusses an instance where a bishop committed all of the men in the ward to “1) To never watch an R-rated movie ever again. Also, to never watch a PG-13 rated movie without his wife’s permission. 2) To use the internet (at home presumably) only with his wife’s permission (by assigning a password on the computer that only the wife knows).” The comments to Rusty’s post include a number of attacks on him for posting criticism of the Bishop. (e.g., “did you... Read more »

Sister Manners

October 4, 2004 | 62 comments
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Someone needs to write an etiquette book for members of the Church. I’m not up to writing it, but I’m willing to make some of the first contributions. Read more »

Ensign Review

September 30, 2004 | one comment
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The newest Ensign is pretty simple. It’s plain stories and conventional exhortation. I like that. Read more »

What is a KGB Sympathizer to Say?

September 27, 2004 | 25 comments
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Several years ago I found myself at a restuarant in Berkeley, California with some of my elders. They were bright, friendly, and very kind to me. I enjoyed the evening, and I am glad that I was invited. During the course of the conversation one of the interlocutors, a disillusioned returned-missionary from someplace in the former Soviet Union, began talking about the Church. She had decided that she wanted to write a story about a Russian convert to Mormonism. The convert would be a former KGB agent, who upon joining the Church would feel immediately at home in the... Read more »

Mormon Images: Office Decor and the Place of Mormonism in American History

September 20, 2004 | 34 comments
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Mormon Images: Office Decor and the Place of Mormonism in American History

A few weels ago I finished my stint at the public trough and left the service of the federal courts. I know work for the law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in Washington, DC. The identity of the firm is significant only because this is the firm (and office) where Rex E. Lee practiced law for many years. There is actually a three-foot tall bronze statute of Lee outside the office’s moot court room (named in Lee’s honor). As you might expect, the firm’s DC office hosts a sizable continent of LDS attorneys and their office decor... Read more »

Why no official guide to the temple?

September 17, 2004 | 34 comments
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I lurk on LDS-Phil. Mainly I read the discussions with that faint air of incomprehending condescension and superiority one feels when smarter and more educated people get passionate about something. But a recent discussion caught my interest. Why, the question was posed, don’t we Saints get more help in understanding the symbolism of the temple? Read more »

Too Serious About the Word of Wisdom?

August 26, 2004 | 42 comments
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When I was six years old, my best friend’s mother got out some ice cream for me. When I put a spoon in my mouth, I noticed a strange flavor. I looked at the box to see what the flavor was: COFFEE! Panicking, I put my hand over my mouth and immediately ran home to spit it out in a toilet. The poor woman called my mom to see what was wrong. I’m not sure what she said, but thinking about that experience reminds me of just how overboard good Latter-day Saints sometimes go when it comes to the... Read more »

Mental Health in the Church: Suggestions for Leaders

August 23, 2004 | 31 comments
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Before my time as guest blogger expires (thanks, Kaimi, for the opportunity!), there’s a serious issue that I’d like to raise, especially for you who are or who will be leaders in the Church. The issue is mental illness. Very few of us have had any training in recognizing and dealing with mental illness, but there is a great need. I would especially urge bishoprics, Relief Society presidents, and other leaders to learn about mental illness and look for its symptoms. Stake leaders, it may be helpful to provide more training abvout mental from competent sources for your leaders... Read more »

Hobbies

August 23, 2004 | 19 comments
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Last week I had an interesting conversation with a young father in my ward about hobbies. He was lamenting the fact that he has none. He used to have hobbies, but the press of family, work, and Church has squeezed all self-indulgence from his schedule. I was interested to hear this because I had said almost exactly the same thing to my wife about five years ago. I had completely given up my youthful passion for golf. I rarely watched television, and certainly didn’t have any regular shows. Reading? Forget about it, unless it was related to a paper... Read more »

How the Other Half Lives

August 22, 2004 | 2 comments
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The only place online (besides T & S, of course) where I hang out is a message board for homeschoolers. The place is fascinating to me because it overcomes one of the biggest (in my opinion) disadvantages of Internet life: people with widely varying viewpoints are talking to each other over there. We all school the same way, but in addition to your evangelical Christians, we have every other flavor of Christians, non-religious types, Jews, Muslims, pagans, etc. Read more »

Advice from Church Leaders

August 20, 2004 | 17 comments
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Don over at Nine Moons tackles the question of how we should treat “advice” from a church leader (Bishop, Stake President). In Don’s case, the advice was to get out of the movie business. Don asks: My question is: Is “advice” in an interview like this “counsel” that should be taken and obeyed? Or is it just an opinion that should be taken like anyone else’s opinion? That’s a tough question. It’s easy to say that we should take advice to read our scriptures, write in our journal, and do our home teaching. But I’m less certain of the... Read more »

Religious Implications of the Placebo Effect

August 20, 2004 | 18 comments
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Abstract: Physicians frequently consider the placebo effect in evaluating the efficacy of medical treatments on the human body. It may also be wise to consider the placebo effect and its organizational and psychological analog, the Hawthorne effect, in religious treatments of humans. In suggesting that the placebo effect be considered as a factor in treatments such as LDS Priesthood blessings or declarations of forgiveness or salvation in a variety of faiths, the divine power behind such treatments is not necessarily challenged. The placebo effect, in religious terms, is not a sign of weakness in the patient or a tool... Read more »

Scouting v. Personal Progress

August 19, 2004 | 183 comments
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My son — with significant prodding from his mother — has been an inspired Boy Scout, and he just completed his Eagle Project. Actually, this is not unusual in our neck of the woods, as almost all of the young men in our ward attain the rank of Eagle. Having missed the scouting experience myself, I have been amazed at how much he has learned through the scouting program. Indeed, I was so impressed with the program that I recently offered my 16-year-old daughter a deal: fulfill all of the requirements for Eagle Scout (slightly amended to meet her... Read more »

Will the Real Mormonism Please Step Forward

August 2, 2004 | 14 comments
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Mormons are efficient. We are a large, hierarchical faith that runs like a corporation. The Brethren are powerful leaders with the ability to dictate the minutiae of members lives and call forth vast resources at the drop of a hat. Mormon congregations are well oiled machines. They even have so-called “home teachers” that visit members each month just to check up on them and insure that they are serving their proper roles in the Mormon juggernaut. Something like this image frequently appears in media accounts about the Church, and we as often as not like to repeat some version... Read more »

The Mormon Mafia

August 1, 2004 | 21 comments
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I don’t know how it works in other cities, but Washington, DC is definitely a town with a well established Mormon Mafia. What this refers to is a network of Mormon professionals — lawyers, lobbyists, Hill staffers, and the like — who are acquainted with one another and tend to help out with professional advancement. I have to admit that I am a beneficiary of this “system.” I have now secured two jobs at least in part because of networks Mormons. I am of two minds about this phenomena. Read more »

Best Colleges for Young Single Mormons

July 31, 2004 | 60 comments
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All of our permanent bloggers are married, so we do not talk much about the life of single members, except by way of remembrance. This morning, however, I had one of those milestone events that marks the aging of a father as I spoke with my daughter about her college plans. We had explored this topic before, but only in fairly general terms, and over the past six months she has been receiving college brochures at a pace that would rival a top high school quarterback. Today she listed some of the colleges she was considering, and I was... Read more »

Elder Haight Passes Away

July 31, 2004 | 21 comments
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Elder David B. Haight passed away. (Link here.) Read more »

We were boys at Smith and Young together

July 30, 2004 | 22 comments
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We wish Rod Smith and Southern Virginia the best of luck in finding their niche. He will say more about it but Southern Virginia’s original niche just didn’t work out. They wanted to be the elite LDS little liberal arts college. They failed. The reasons for the failure are numerous. A few of them are that BYU itself is moving into the elite niche, at least as far as the LDS market is concerned, especially with its Honors Program. That program may well become the sort of elite school within a school that has developed at a few other... Read more »

Jack Mormon

July 30, 2004 | 12 comments
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We need a generic name for Latter-day Saints. Americans have Joe Citizen, Joe Sixpack, and John Q. Public. The law has given us John Doe and Richard Roe. We’ve already got Peter Priesthood and Molly Mormon, but those are derogatory. Jack Mormon is perfect but taken. The best I could come up with is Moroni Christofferson and DeAnn Daynes, but surely someone can top that. Read more »

Elder Holland v. Professor Ackerman

July 29, 2004 | 31 comments
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Last week I got to do the “Teachings of Our Times” lesson in Elders’ Quorum. These are the lessons that take a recent set of conference talks as the text. This months lesson included Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s recent sermon “A Prayer for the Children.” We used the talk and the lesson as a springboard for a good discussion on the Gospel and theories of education. Read more »

Who is the Church Exactly?

July 28, 2004 | 17 comments
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So Mormons have a lay ministry. Hence, there is a real sense in which we are “the Church.” This raises some interesting questions about what counts as official Church action and what doesn’t. Consider the case of Martin v. Johnson, 151 Cal. Rep. 816 (Cal.App. 1979). Read more »

Chess, Shar’ia & Church Callings

July 22, 2004 | 51 comments
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Chess, Shar’ia & Church Callings

According to legend, the game of chess arose out of a family squabble. Two brothers were warring for the throne of an Indian kingdom. After one brother killed the other in battle, he invented chess to show his mother how he had brought about his sibling’s demise. Another story has an Indian philosopher inventing the game as a way of instructing young princes in the art of war. Regardless, authorities agree that chess was first played in India in the fifth century A.D. From there it migrated to Persia, where it was eventually picked up by the Arabs. The... Read more »

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