Author: Matt Evans

I grew up in Salt Lake City, the oldest of seven kids. My parents divorced when I was 11, an experience that shaped my life in many ways. After graduating from Cottonwood High in 1991, I served a mission in southern Spain and north Africa. When I returned home I enrolled at Salt Lake Community College and soon married Lori Middleton, a friend from high school. After doing as much of my undergrad education as possible at SLCC, I transferred to the University of Utah and graduated with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. After Lori finished her Master's program we moved to Concord, Massachusetts, so I could attend Harvard Law School. Upon graduation I took a position at a large law firm in Washington DC and we moved to the Maryland suburb of Rockville (Derwood, actually). In 2003 my wife and I were pioneers in the nascent fetal imaging industry, an industry we recognized would shape public knowledge and attitudes about the human person before birth, and were featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and many other media outlets. The industry is especially helpful to pro-lifers for chipping away at the conventional mindset that people begin at birth. After 8 years on the east coast we returned to Utah in 2006 so our kids could grow up near their extended family. We have six wonderful kids.

“John, you’ve prepared for this your whole life”

My brothers, dad and I got together to watch the BYU-Utah game yesterday. With only three seconds left, down by four and needing a touchdown, BYU called a timeout to plan their final play. Not since 2003 had a college football team won on the last play of regulation. Everyone at our party was too excited and anxious to sit down, and we publicly wondered at the intensity the players must be feeling. After the game, BYU quarterback John Beck was asked what he was thinking as he walked on the field after the timeout. “I took a deep breath and said, John, you’ve prepared for this your whole life.”

Reproductive Rights

I’ve been arguing this point for years, but today a group made it in Federal court: laws imposing child support on fathers who didn’t want a child violate the father’s “reproductive freedom.” The group calls their cause Roe v. Wade for Men. According to their attorney, “The public is still dealing with the pre-Roe ethic when it comes to men, that if a man fathers a child, he should accept responsibility,” and they hope to change that.

Another Martyr

DESERET EVENING NEWS Monday, March 5, 1888 ANOTHER MARTYR Elder John B. Johnson departed this life at the Utah Penitentiary at an early hour this morning (March 5th).

Restitution for Michael Lane

When Michael Lane confessed to his bishop that he had killed a two-year-old, PJ Watts, in 1990, his bishop told him the repentence process requires that he confess to civil authorities and accept the consequences of his actions. However, because Lane also sinned by lying about killing PJ when he was prosecuted for the homicide at the time, civil authorities are now unable to prosecute him, despite his confession, under the Constitution’s “double jeopardy” doctrine. Given that it’s wrong to receive less punishment for two sins than for one, how must Michael Lane pay restitution for his egregious sins — murder and lying to avoid responsibility? News stories are here, here, here, and here.

Guest Blogger: Joseph Stanford

We’re pleased to introduce our latest guest blogger, Dr. Joseph Stanford. Dr. Stanford is a professor at the University of Utah Medical School where his research focuses on fertility care. This year he’s on sabbatical at the National Institutes of Health to do epidemiologic research related to human reproduction. He recently finished a three year appointment on the FDA Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs. Brother Stanford is an advocate of natural family planning and published an article on the topic for the religious journal First Things in November 1999. (The article caused some controversy about whether a Mormon “should” publish in a journal that publishes articles by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish scholars.) Joe and his wife Kathleen have seven boys, all of whom, minus their eldest son who’s serving a mission in Toronto, are spending the year in my Maryland ward. Welcome, Brother Stanford.

Christmas Cigarettes

Imagine that universally-respected researchers had determined that most of the people in your community eat far more sugar and fat than they should, and are at serious risk of developing diabetes, hardened arteries, and other ailments associated with poor diet and inadequate exercise. If you were to live in such a community, how much sugar-filled and fat-laden goodies would you give your neighbors at Christmastime?

Where does the Bloggernacle live?

Bryce Inouye has created a bloggernacle Frappr page that shows you where our bloggernacle community lives. If you’re willing to share your zip code, add yourself! (Note that Frappr requires you to leave a short comment in the “shoutout” box. )

Scriptures Citations in General Conference

Times & Seasons commenter and economist Ed Johnson (“ed”) has performed some sophisticated statistical analysis on general conference scripture citations. We discussed the same data, but with the aid of lesser tools and minds, in earlier posts here and here. The finding that most surprised me is that the surge in Book of Mormon citations evident in the previous posts can’t be attributed to President Benson’s famous general conference talks about the Book of Mormon after all: his talks coincide with the crest of the wave.

To be read June 27, about five o’clock p.m.

To seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob — painted black — of from 150 to 200 persons.

The Church “has not taken a position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research”

The church has corrected a newspaper that had written, “Mormons, for example, oppose abortion, but find some embryonic stem cell research morally acceptable,” with the clarification that, “the Church has not taken a position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research.” They also note that the church has no official position on the moment human life begins. Additionally, the church’s August 2001 “Apostles have not taken a position” statement about stem cell research, which many interpreted as providing tentative support for embryonic stem cell research, has been removed from the church’s website.

Noah’s Ark Room

We call one of our bedrooms the Noah’s Ark Room because there’s a mural of Noah’s Ark on the wall. It was painted by our house’s previous owner for his son Noah, who lived in this bedroom from his birth until we purchased the townhouse in 2001 and he and his parents moved to a home nearby.