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Dehlin and Bennett put on Notice

Now that the Kate Kelly excommunication is in the rear view mirror, apparently enough time has passed for the Church to move forward on John Dehlin.  The New York Times has reported that a disciplinary council is set for January 25.  The charges against John were posted on his website, Mormon Stories.  John was notified that the issues are: Continue Reading »

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Salt Lake’s Cure for Homelessness

Salt Lake City has reduced homelessness in Salt Lake City 72% since 2005.  How did they do this?  Comedy Central recently highlighted Utah’s cure and it is pretty simple:  they give homeless people homes.

But doesn’t that cost a lot of money?  Lloyd Pendleton, the director of the Utah Homeless Task Force says it costs $12,000 per person per year.  How can taxpayers absorb such a high figure?   Continue Reading »

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Church Ball

My son recently became a deacon and was invited to play ward basketball for the first time this week.  We got there right at 7pm (in the middle of the prayer), and discovered my son was the 5th guy there for his team.  Good thing he showed up!

Sometimes size and ability of players between 12-18 years old can vary considerably.

To my surprise, my 12 year old son was playing with teachers and priests.  My son is pretty tall for his age, but he was definitely the shortest guy on the team.  I was a bit surprised, because we live in a huge Utah County ward, and have probably close to a dozen deacons, dozen teachers, and probably a handful of priests, so it was a bit surprising to see that between 30 active young men, our ward could only seem to manage to get 5 guys to show up.  But at least we didn’t forfeit.  One of the priests on the team had an obviously sore ankle, and he limped up and down the floor.  Yet even with just 5 (not very good) guys who played the entire game, our team blew out the other team by almost 30. Continue Reading »

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Did you Meet the Mormons?

This past weekend, we noticed that Meet the Mormons was at the Dollar Theater (actually it is $1.50), so we went to see it.  (I admit it–we don’t like to pay the higher prices.)  I walked into the theater, and it was nearly sold out.  A recent article said that Utah County is 84% Mormon (I couldn’t find it, but this one from 2012 says it was over 80%), so it was a good bet that nearly everyone there was Mormon.  It made me wonder how well the movie did, and how many non-Mormons saw it. Continue Reading »

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The Christmas Star in BoM

When I was a child, I was always excited about putting the Star on top of our Christmas tree.  The story of the Christmas star is found in the Book of Matthew:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East [or at its rising[11]] and have come to worship Him. When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.[12]

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also. When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.[16]

As a child, I thought that everyone saw the star, but as you read the story, apparently this star was only visible to the Wise Men from the east.  After all, Herod wasn’t aware of the star.  In a previous post, some astronomers discussed when this star must have appeared: Continue Reading »

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Impromptu Sacrament Meetings

When I was a kid (approximately 8-10 years old), I used to get up every Fast & Testimony meeting and bear my testimony.  I was so obnoxious, my family told me I didn’t need to get up every month.  So, I took a few months off.  One day we had Ward Conference (and I still don’t really understand why we have Ward Conference, but that’s a topic for another post.)  The stake presidency decided to pick certain members of the ward to come up without warning, and give a short testimony.  To my surprise, they called my name.  I remember looking at my parents, wondering if I really was supposed to get up and bear my testimony, and they encouraged me to do it.  I remember being apprehensive about Ward Conference ever since, but I have never seen that practice in another Ward Conference. Continue Reading »

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Uninspirational Missionary Farewells

I attended my nephew’s missionary farewell this weekend, and it got me thinking about missionary farewells in general.  It used to be that a missionary family would invite his family to speak, there would be special musical numbers, often advice from an older brother, and bishop’s remarks about the missionary.  While some meetings went long because the family asked too many people to speak, had too many musical numbers (or both), these meetings were generally a treat to attend.  They were interesting.  But in 2002, President Hinckley announced in General Conference, Continue Reading »

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