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Fed Up with Conspiring Men?

D&C 89:4  “Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation—”

Last year, I asked “Are conspiring men making us fat?”  I think the answer is an unmistakable yes.  This weekend a new documentary came out, Fed Up (available for rent or purchase on Amazon and iTunes) and discusses why Americans are exercising more than ever, eating more “fat-free” food, yet getting fatter.  I transcribed the trailer, which is actually a pretty good summary of the movie. Continue Reading »


Tools to get rid of Genealogy Guilt

I’m sure that lots of you have had a guilt-inducing lesson about doing you genealogy.  (We had one today.)  The thing that I hate about these lessons is that while they provide “inspiring” (more like “guilt inspiring”) quotes from prophets and apostles, they offer no tools on how to help people actually DO genealogy.  At the end of the lesson, the teacher asked, “What can we do to get more motivated about family history?”

I decided to answer that question.  I said “Come out our family history class and we’ll help you.”  I am one of those weird Mormons that actually LIKES doing family history, and I am a family history consultant in my ward.  When I was called, a member of the bishopric told me that they are trying to call enough members of the ward as consultants so that everyone who wants to come can have a one-on-one session on how to do genealogy.  I can tell you that there are some amazing tools out there, and genealogy isn’t nearly as hard as it used to be.  Let me tell you about these tools.

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God Bless Foster Parents

I went to a missionary farewell at my old ward today.  It was fun to see old friends and catch up on their lives.  One family sticks out in my mind.  The father was just released as a singles’ ward bishop.  He and his wife have raised several children of multi-races and ethnic backgrounds.  While the parents (I’ll call Bob and Mary) have always been stalwart members of the church, their children are anything but stalwart.

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Is John going down?

John Dehlin has posted an update to his discussions with his Stake President.  The stake president has asked John several things in regards to his Mormon Stories and Facebook groups.  There is one item that John has agreed to do.  He was asked to “Resign my status as an ordained minister in another faith” (I signed up here once to be able to marry a friend, though the opportunity never materialized)”  John agreed to “resign from the web site listed above, and seek to find another means to conduct marriages if the need arises.”

However, I think the other items are going to be major sticking points.  The Stake President asked John to Continue Reading »

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Brain Injuries and Free Agency

Robin Williams

Nearly everyone has been heart-broken over the news of Robin Williams.  In recent days, we have discovered that Williams not only had been suffering with depression for years, but also was recently diagnosed with Parkinsons Disease. Because of Williams death, physicians are being advised to more aggressively treat patients for depression that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

How much free agency do people with brain disorders have?  Mormons generally believe that people born with mental retardation or Down’s Syndrome are not in need of baptism.  (A teenage girl with Downs Syndrome on my old ward, daughter of a member of the bishopric, recently elected to become baptized herself so that she could participate in baptisms for the dead with the young women of the ward.)  But when brain injuries, such as stroke, Alzheimers, Dementia, depression, etc., his someone later in life, how much free agency do they really have? Continue Reading »


Does Pres Monson Have Dementia?

I was listening to John Dehlin’s interview of Kate Kelly this past week, and they brought up an interesting point that I wanted to discuss more openly.  In the last 5 minutes of part 2,

John, “Some people are speculating that there’s a power vacuum in the Church right now, that….”

Kate Kelly interrupts, “Some people on NPR are speculating….”

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Thoughts on Sunstone, MHA, and FAIR

From Thursday to Saturday is the Sunstone Conference in Salt Lake City at the University of Utah, and here is the conference program.  Sunstone, Mormon History Association, and the FAIR Conference have always been very interesting to me because it is a time to get more serious discussions that you get in Sunday School.  As I’ve reflected on my time at these conferences, it occurred to me that the environment of the three is different.

Sunstone usually has a more open, liberal flavor.  Presentations range more wildly than the other venues.  Some can be faith-promoting, while others can be down right antagonistic.  I’ve learned better which presenters are antagonistic and I do a better job of avoiding them.  It does seem to me to be more diverse.  Some presentations are very academic in nature, and some are very personal and non-academic. Continue Reading »


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