After a few pleasantries, including how busy my life is, here’s the gist of a conversation with a counselor in the bishopric.
Counselor: Brother, the reason why you are here is that we have prayed on our knees, and the bishop feels inspired to call you to be the building coordinator. Now you don’t have to clean the building yourself. You just need to set up a program so that the building gets cleaned every Saturday. What do you think?
Me: Honestly? I think this is a crap calling. I’ll do it, but I’m not excited one bit about it. I hate it when people assign me to do the cleaning without asking me if I’m available. I often work weekends, and my wife will help clean the buiding, because she has a supremely guilty conscience.
Counselor: Well, that schedule is just a suggestion. You can always ask to trade with someone else.
Me: It’s a bad system. I get it that you don’t want to have the same people doing it over and over, and that everyone should have the opportunity, but I hate being assigned.
Counselor: Do you have a better suggestion?
Me: Hire a janitor. The Church makes $50 billion/year. Hiring a janitor would be supremely easy and the Church can easily afford it. Continue Reading »
Fair warning: this post is a downer. But first let me say how blessed I am. I was in a wreck last month and walked away with no injuries. Seat belts are awesome. I am grateful I wasn’t seriously injured. (My truck and laptop weren’t so lucky.)
I miss my truck, but it definitely could have been much worse.
On the other hand, I’m sad. I just found out my brother-in-law has prostate cancer. His brother died from prostate cancer last December. He lost both parents to prostate cancer and breast cancer. He lost his first wife (my sister) to a brain tumor 20 years ago. His 2nd wife beat breast cancer (so far.) Sometimes it seems like God picks on certain families. I don’t get it. I hope it isn’t too bad. His last daughter is getting married next week, so I’ll find out more about the prognosis.
Of course tragedy strikes everywhere, but we’ve had some unusual things happen in the neighborhood. A neighbor commit suicide soon after moving in. A woman was struck and killed by lightning on Easter Sunday a few years ago. A woman in our ward (first time mother) gave birth to twins. The family posted a photo showing her smiling with her babies, and then she bled to death, in the hospital! To top it all off, another neighbor, after having gone through a year or so round of chemo and radiation for ovarian cancer, was just told the tumors have returned and they have no treatment options left.
I don’t blame God. Bad things happen to everyone, and I don’t believe that God is killing people with cancer. It’s part of life. But it sucks. A friend of mine said,
Maybe you want to yell what Tevye said in Fiddler on the Foof: “I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can’t You choose someone else?”
I attended the “Be One” celebration last night at the Conference Center. It was truly an amazing service. I encourage you all to watch it. Gladys Knight, the Bonner Family, the Be One Choir, and all the performers were amazing. I got a little emotional as I listened to these wonderful black performers discuss the First Vision, and highlighted black history. Some of these stories I had heard, some of them I had not. I encourage you all to watch it if you haven’t. The link is below. Just skip ahead of the countdown timer. The meeting starts about 1 hour in.
Continue Reading »
I’ve attended a couple of interesting Sacrament Meetings the past 2 weeks. In one, the bishop got up an asked a few rhetorical questions. “How would you react if the church suddenly asked for 20% tithing, rather than 10% tithing? What would be your reaction if the church suddenly said once/month home teaching isn’t good enough, now it needs to be once/week? Would you complain? Would you murmur? Or would you obey?”
Gahhh…. I would complain. I hate “obey or else” talks, because I think these kind of talks are stupid, and completely miss the point of the gospel. I wanted to add a few more to the bishop’s list: Would you kill your son if God asked? Would you do polygamy like Joseph Smith if the prophet asked? Would you be a suicide bomber? Obedience can be taken too far, and bishop, you’re not helping with this kind of stupid talk.
Then I attended another sacrament meeting that was quite unexpected. It was an older couple. The sister spoke and said they had been married just 2 years. She spoke about getting a divorce, coming home heartbroken when her husband of several decades said he didn’t love her anymore and wanted to divorce. She talked about how awful it was to attend family gatherings where he was there with his new wife. She talked about joining a group of divorced women who ranted about their exes. Then she talked about the importance of forgiveness, and moving on. She is now happily married.
Then her husband spoke. He talked of being inactive for years. His daughter invited him to come to church and said she knew something bad would happen if he didn’t. “Yeah, whatever,” was his basic reply. He sounded very rich, on the verge of a multi-million dollar deal that not only fell apart, but left him financially ruined. He discussed getting dis-fellow-shipped by the church. Then he got suckered into a business partner who did illegal, mafia type stuff. He was arrested for his partner’s business crimes. He served probably 10 years in notorious Sheriff Arpaio’s jail in Arizona. Mouse crawled across his body in jail. He discussed making ingenious mouse traps with Coke bottles and things like that. Then he spoke about reading the scriptures in jail, gaining a testimony, and being treated well by both gang-bangers and prison guards. And of course, he is now out of jail, and met his wonderful wife and married in the temple after.
Wow. I haven’t been that interested in a Sacrament meeting talk in a decade or more. Truly the contrast between the two weeks was profound. How about you?
The 2nd post ever on this blog was Why are the 12 Tribes of Israel important? I’ve seen some interesting documentaries, one from a Jewish-atheist journalist, Simcha Jacobovich asking Have the Lost 10 Tribes been found? (He thinks the answer is yes.)
On the other hand, I just finished Simon Southerton’s book, Losing a Lost Tribe, and he thinks the Book of Mormon is pure fiction. Simon documents that Native Americans are not descended from Lamanites as the Book of Mormon claims, and believes that Lamanites never existed. Science seems to confirm Southerton’s conclusions. Simon is a former LDS bishop (now excommunicated.) On the other hand, Dr. Ugo Perego seems to have advocated that DNA will never prove nor disprove the Book of Mormon. Continue Reading »
She may be drowning, but at least she’s modest.
I hate modesty posts. This is my first modesty post. I appreciate how it is a big issue with some people, and I think the church often goes overboard, but it’s just not that interesting of a topic to me. However, I want to share with you a situation that happened with my sister just a few weeks ago.
First a little background. I have 3 sisters, all 3 very active, temple married, good Mormon girls. Older two have served in RS presidencies, (one passed away from a brain tumor.) Third sister just was released as Young Women’s President. Her ward is a fairly poor ward in Davis County (about 20 min north of Salt Lake City), with lots of inactive young men and women. It’s all she can do to get these inactive girls to come to church, and she has put in a lot of effort to do that. Now comes Girl’s Camp, and since the stake is in charge, they make the (stupid) rule that all swimsuits must be covered by a t-shirt, all in the name of modesty. Mind you there are no boys around, because it is GIRLS CAMP. No boys allowed, except for the obligatory bishopric/stake presidency members. Continue Reading »
Mormons have long had a problem with race regarding the ban that resulted in blacks being denied priesthood and temple blessings until 1978. Mormons aren’t the only ones with racial problems though. According to Wikipedia,
In May 1845, the Baptist congregations in the United States split over slavery and missions. The Home Mission Society prevented slaveholders from being appointed as missionaries. The split created the Southern Baptist Convention, while the northern congregations formed their own umbrella organization now called the American Baptist Churches USA (ABC-USA).
The Southern Baptist Convention is the largest group, but even they have had problems with regards to race. A resolution in June proposed to condemn the alt-right movement as one that Continue Reading »