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Having “The Talk” with your Parents

If/when your parents sat you down to discuss the facts of life, it was probably pretty awkward.  Turnabout is no fun either.  I’m afraid that my siblings and I have to have an uncomfortable talk with my parents, and I am not looking forward to it at all.  If you have any advice, I would love to hear it.

My parents are approaching their 80s.  They’ve been relatively healthy and independent, but are definitely showing signs of age.  My mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, has been on oxygen and medication, and seems to be ok.  She’s much less energetic than she used to be.  Growing up, my dad was always overweight.  When he got up above 300 pounds, he decided to get gastric bypass surgery.  He looked great and weighed less than me for the first time in my life, getting down to about 200 pounds or so.

About 3 years ago, he was trying to be active, riding an adult sized 3-wheel bike (really a tricycle) and tipped over, breaking his hip.  I was very concerned when I wrote about it 3 years ago.  As a result of that break, one leg is about an inch or two shorter than the other, so he has to have special shoes.  Obviously he couldn’t exercise and gained back a lot of weight.  On a recent trip to the grocery store, I was surprised that he rode around the store in a motorized scooter. Continue Reading »

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Drunk Driving in Utah

The National Highway Transportation Board (NTSB) is encouraging all states in the U.S. to change the threshold of drunk driving from .08 to .05.  Back in 1983, Utah was the first state to drop the limit from .10 to .08, which became a nationwide federal mandate in 2000.  The NTSB wants Utah to be first in the nation again, in hopes that other states will follow suit, but some are pushing back on the proposal.

The LDS Church has taken no formal position on the bill.  Many non-LDS see this as an LDS attempt to further marginalize people who drink alcohol.  In yesterday’s Radio West program, Doug Fabrizio discusses pros and cons of the proposal.   Continue Reading »

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100 Most Important Events in Church History

I was pleased to receive a review copy of What You Didn’t Know About the 100 Most Important Events in Church History by Casey Paul Griffiths, Susan Easton Black, and Mary Jane Woodger.  It’s the perfect coffee table book, describing 100 events in LDS church history in about 3 page chunks.  It’s easy to read, and I wondered how much would be information I already knew vs actual new information.  I was pleasantly surprised. Continue Reading »

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Gays & the 2nd Article of Faith

There was an interview released last week where Paul Reeve admitted being the source behind the Race & Priesthood essay at LDS.org.  While I think that was a nice scoop, there was another part of that interview that I think is very important and may have gotten lost in the headline.

I have been very vocal about the ban on gays as being a wrong-headed move.  Three days after the ban was announced, I wrote a post excoriating the ban.  A few weeks later, I compared the gay ban to the black ban.  I believe the gay ban is a violation of the 2nd Article of Faith that states “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.”  Some have disputed with me on that point, saying that the 2nd Article of Faith should be limited strictly to “Adam’s transgression” and does not apply to Cain or Ham’s transgressions.  Of course I disagree.  Apparently Orson Pratt disagrees too. Continue Reading »

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Awesome Interviews for #BlackHistoryMonth

As many of you know, one of my favorite topics has been the priesthood and temple ban on black church members.  There’s a new podcast called Gospel Tangents I want to HIGHLY recommend.  Here are some of my favorite quotes so far in interviews with Dr. Paul Reeve, a history professor at the University of Utah.

Episode 7-Becoming a Fanboy of Orson Pratt

Pratt votes against both of those bills and the minutes tell us that he does so because they don’t allow black men to vote and I believe that’s his effort at again, pushing back against Brigham Young, so Brigham Young got to have his say in the morning and this is Pratt’s way of responding.  I’m going to vote against these two municipal bills to make my point that I believe black men should be allowed to vote in Utah Territory. Continue Reading »

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Are you a sinner?

In a recent meeting with a counselor in the stake presidency, he asked us all to tell him how we run our families so well.  While I appreciate the compliment, I don’t think I’m alone in thinking I do a lot of things wrong, as well as some things right.  I didn’t like the implication of the question, which seemed to me that we are all perfect.  I responded that I’m a sinner.

I talked with a friend, a former stake president, (who happened to be in the meeting I attended), and he didn’t seem to like the phrase “I’m a sinner.”  Do you have something to confess?  I told him I don’t always hold family home evening, we don’t always have family prayers every night, and I don’t always say nice things.  I fall short of the ideals we are all supposed to live. In short, I’m a sinner.

It seems to me that this is a phrase common to Born-Again Christians, but Mormons like to constantly strive for perfection, and don’t like to focus on being a bunch of sinners.  Are you a sinner?  Are you comfortable calling yourself a sinner?  Do we have a problem with pride when we don’t like to call ourselves sinners?  Should “I’m a sinner” be reserved only for “major” sins?

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BYU May Lose ROTC program over Coffee

The BYU Student newspaper, The Daily Universe, published a scoop last week.

The Office of the Secretary of Defense requires all Air Force officers to sign an oath to defend the constitution — the only obligation for officers in terms of signatory requirements. BYU, however, requires that all faculty, staff and employees sign and abide by its Honor Code, which requires abstinence from tobacco, alcohol and coffee, among other things.

“I told the (university) president in an interview that I would happily abide by the Honor Code on campus, in uniform and on duty, but if I wanted to have a cup of coffee at my house they said, ‘No, that’s not acceptable,’” BYU Air Force ROTC commander Col. Timothy Hogan said.

BYU has one-year limited private exclusions for certain visiting professors. Hogan’s position, however, is a three-year assignment, and the university did not accept his waiver, according to Hogan.

Seriously?  You won’t grant a waiver for a non-LDS teacher to drink coffee in his own home?  Do you really support religious freedom, religious plurality? Continue Reading »