Posts Tagged ‘ Church Living ’

Name Calling

July 20, 2004 | 37 comments
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I am a pretty informal guy. With few exceptions, I address everyone I know by first name. Two of the exceptions are in the Church: “Bishop” for the bishop, and “President” for the stake president … unless I know them really well, in which case I tend to use their titles only at Church functions. Read more »

Tri-Stake Dance

July 17, 2004 | 11 comments
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Although I am not officially involved in the YM-YW programs, my daughter is 16, and in a fit of service euphoria, I agreed to drive her and six other youth from our ward about an hour and a half to a Tri-Stake Dance. We arrived about 40 minutes late because a 13-year-old YW — yes, that’s right, I participated in smuggling an underage YW into a Church dance — convinced the older youth that being on time was uncool. The location had been selected because it was central to all three stakes, but the gymnasium was about one-third of... Read more »

Book of Mormon FHE: Lesson Five

July 12, 2004 | no comments
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I am Orthodoxy

July 9, 2004 | 22 comments
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Most Mormons, especially those who grew up in the Church, labor under the delusion that they know what constitutes Mormon orthodoxy, typical Mormon beliefs, and the like. I am increasingly of the opinion that we are basically wrong about this. Here is why: Read more »

Book of Mormon FHE: Lesson Four

July 4, 2004 | 4 comments
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BMS: The Brass Plates MBM: Nephi’s Faith (Actual thing that happened during this lesson: Me: “So why did they need to get the brass plates?” Nathan, two years old: “Because they didn’t have anything to eat dinner off of!”) Read more »

The Company We Keep

June 29, 2004 | 62 comments
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Sometime back, BYU Magazine ran a feature on BYU’s International Cinema which included mention of the difficulty of finding high-quality foreign films that would meet the requirements of the BYU code of standards. The director of the program was quoted as observing — with no apparent hint of irony — that films from Iran had proven to be a good choice for the theater, not only because of their high artistic quality, but because the censorship imposed upon them by the revolutionary Islamic regime in Iran made Iranian films just perfect for BYU standards. Now, were I to discover... Read more »

Again, Tonsorial Jihad

June 28, 2004 | 71 comments
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The latest dispatch from the LDS beard wars comes from Marietta, Georgia, where a visiting area authority, speaking at my brother-in-law’s stake conference, declared that no man in the Church should have a beard. The speaker reasoned as follows: since every member is a missionary, and because missionaries are required to be clean-shaven, every man in the Church should be clean-shaven. Despite the questionable premises of this syllogism, not to mention at least one category mistake, my brother in law decided to inquire of the Lord about the conclusion, and felt prompted to follow the instruction and shave his... Read more »

Music in Nursery

June 28, 2004 | 12 comments
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Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak –Congreve We have a very orderly nursery in our ward, as a rule. It even perpetuates itself. A new child comes in, sees everyone else following the rules and the routine, cries for a bit and then settles in. But in the last couple of weeks we lost some regulars and had a big influx of new children. The barbarians are overwhelming our social institutions! We’ve tried playing some background music to calm the kids down during playtime, puzzle time, lesson time, and... Read more »

The Eternal Significance of Cucumbers

June 23, 2004 | 37 comments
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This evening the Oman family ate cucumbers in triumph. The euphoria came from the fact that these cucumbers were the first fruits of our garden. We (meaning mainly Heather) have toiled in the soil, mixing the sweat of our brow with earth, water, and sky to bring forth vegetables! This is heady, elemental one-with-the-earth kind of stuff. The cucumbers, of course, taste infinitely better than those pathetic, commercially grown things you buy in the store. Which brings me, of course, to the apparent decline in prophetic counsel on gardens. Read more »

Three Statements on War

June 23, 2004 | 3 comments
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My previous post on LDS Ethics and torture generated not only a good deal of discussion on the particular topic, but on the related question of military service and just war. Since there appears to be quite a lot of pent-up interest in this topic, I am going to give it its own thread. To get the ball rolling, I provide three statements by Presidents of the Church during the latter Twentieth and early Twenty-First Century: Read more »

Paying the Lord’s nth

June 16, 2004 | 35 comments
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We were treated this past week to a priesthood lesson on the law of tithing, which we were told is a simple rule that can be lived perfectly. We owe this particular trope, I believe, to President Spencer W. Kimball, who suggested that on the road to perfection, we master the commandments one at a time. He recommended beginning with tithing, because it’s easy to count to ten. At ten percent we are “perfect” in obeying the law of tithing, and we can then move on to perfect ourselves in incremental obedience to the next commandment. This formulation of... Read more »

‘Learned in all the arts and cunning’

June 14, 2004 | 69 comments
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So I’m reading Alma 10 for Sunday School this week and thinking about lawyers: Read more »

Doing

May 23, 2004 | 38 comments
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Over at Sons of Mosiah, commenter Kent Bailey made a comment that has gotten me thinking. He writes: Compare the number of hours you spend in Church meetings each month to the number of hours you spend out in the community giving service. For me, the ratio is about 20 to 1. If it is ok to do the Lord’s work on the sabbath (actually more than “ok”), wouldn’t our sabbath be better spent, say working at the DI or in a soup kitchen — as opposed to sitting in meetings all day? If the Savior were here, I... Read more »

The Painful Truth of “The RM”

May 17, 2004 | 28 comments
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Seems like pretty much all my friends love to hate that glorious Halestorm movie, The RM (but Eric Snider liked it!). Reminds me of how a lot of people find their next-younger sibling annoying : ) Okay, I grant it was positively painful to watch! as often as not. But I was baffled enough by it (and prideful enough, since it was my idea to drag my friend to see it that day) that I suspended judgment until the end. And as I walked out, I realized it was absolutely brilliant, and the more I thought about it, the... Read more »

Warning: A Rant

May 16, 2004 | 24 comments
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Babies are making me crazy. I can’t talk over them in Gospel Doctrine and I can’t hear over them in Relief Society. For a Church that’s so pro-family, why is that we do nothing for the 0-17 month crowd except force their parents to spend two hours each week trying to get them to stop licking people’s shoes? Read more »

And the dragon fought, and his angels

May 13, 2004 | 7 comments
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Rod Dreher’s tribute to the Chaplain Corp has got online. He praises them for two reasons: First, for providing troops the assurance that, come what may, God will be there with them; if they don’t come back alive, that the sacrifice will have been worth it; and that there’s something better waiting for them on the other side. Second, for helping soldiers coping with stress and loneliness stay morally straight. I am well aware of the need for this second. Theodore Dalrymple learned about the depravity of mankind from his work as a welfare and prison doctor, and from... Read more »

Good ol’ Gossip

May 12, 2004 | 8 comments
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We’ve already discussed good ol’ gossip’s tendency to keep up public standards (which warms my heart, to be sure, but apparently isn’t an argument to everyone’s taste). I’ve just discovered that gossip does some private good. She-who-shall-be-nameless just suggested to me that we dress our daughter in a little graduation gown and I carry her with me throughout the commencement ceremonies. This is horribly kitschy, but I’m horribly sentimental, so I was inclined to assent. Luckily gossip saved me. I sat through several BYU graduations and thus through a multitude of proud parent-graduates hauling their tikes through the graduation... Read more »

Mothers Day Revisited

May 10, 2004 | 19 comments
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The diveristy of opinions that my previous post on Mothers Day generated has led me to spend a lot of time this week pondering the following question: If I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting on Mothers Day, what exactly would I say? Read more »

Our Duty to Present the Church in a Favorable Light at All Times, Just in Case a Non-Member Happens to be Listening

May 7, 2004 | 48 comments
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I’ve touched on this subject before, but it’s on my mind again. I was just over on Eric D. Snider’s site, browsing and chuckling, and I read something that touched on a recurring theme. Eric wrote a column about boring sacrament meetings, and a reader (you’ve heard of her) wrote in to say, inter alia: For some non-members and less actives, your voice may be the only one they hear describing our Sacrament meeting, and if it is, they will have a very different impression than I have from attending. That statement sums up the sentiments I’ve heard often... Read more »

Sister Benson

April 25, 2004 | 4 comments
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I’m reading President Benson’s biography. You probably already know that he grew up, the oldest of eleven children, on a sugar beet farm in Idaho. At one point, when his mother was expecting her eighth child, his father was called on a mission. Read more »

Integration

April 12, 2004 | 38 comments
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On Kristine’s “testimony” thread, Nate’s post and Steve’s reply raised a question about the relation of one’s religion to one’s intellectual life. My question is related to Kristine’s question about how to bear testimony, but I think it is slightly different. I’d like to pursue it in a meandering way. Read more »

The Baptismal Service

April 9, 2004 | 6 comments
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My twins turned eight years old on Tuesday, and we baptized and confirmed them today. Good Friday seemed like an appropriate day for such a service. Having baptized each of my five children, I have baptized more people since my return from missionary service than I did in Austria. Way more. The water was chilly, and my sons didn’t bend their knees — even though we had practiced that in the living room — so their feet almost went out of the water. My sister, who is not a member of the Church, drove three hours to attend. She... Read more »

Waiting for the End

April 9, 2004 | 27 comments
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I heard Dallin Oaks’s conference talk last Saturday while waiting to take my husband’s parents to breakfast. I was interested in the way he talked about the second coming—what would you do if you knew Christ was returning tomorrow? I’ve been wondering since then how people in the church typically talk about the End now that we have lived beyond the end of the twentieth century. I still have a very vivid memory of a talk I heard in church when I was probably about ten (I grew up in a very small farming village in southeastern Idaho in... Read more »

Making Peace with Mother

April 9, 2004 | 6 comments
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Being identified as the mother of Nate for the past two weeks has set me thinking about mothers—having one, being one. My own mother died several years ago. I still work at making my peace with her. It’s not been easy to admit my likeness to her. Her circle for life seemed so tiny as I was growing up in a very small village in southeastern Idaho. Nate knew my Mom. She probably had better luck teaching him to do needle work than she did me. Recently I’ve been typing my Mom’s autobiography and her journals onto the computer,... Read more »

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