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A Couple of Interesting Sacrament Meetings

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?

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Losing a Lost Tribe

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 »

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When Modesty is a Matter of Life & Death

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 »

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Baptist Church Problems with Race

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.[33] 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 »

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Coke on Campus

According to the Salt Lake Tribune

Sometime this spring, LDS Business College in Salt Lake City began selling Coke products — with caffeine — in its cafe. The church-owned Joseph Smith Memorial Building, across from downtown’s iconic Mormon temple, had long since shrugged off the supposed taboo.

It makes no difference: The faith’s flagship school in Provo is standing firm.

BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins previously said there was no demand for these energy-enhancing sodas. Now she says the school “has simply chosen not to sell caffeinated beverages on campus.”

Progress?

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BYU/Studio C’s Interracial Couple

My kids love to watch Studio C.  For those of you unfamiliar with Studio C, it is a sketch comedy show on BYU-TV, and they also publish comedy routines on YouTube.  It definitely appeals to the pre-teen, teen crowd, but adults will find some of their routines funny too.  Here’s one where Sleeping Beauty has bad breath.

Another where nobody takes good yearbook photos. Continue Reading »

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Is it Time for Monson to Retire?

Yes.  At least that’s my opinion, and of course my opinion is worth every penny you paid for it.

Will he retire?  No, unless a miracle revelation occurs.  (Please pray for one.)

Having said that, a miracle did happen in the Catholic Church.  Four years ago, Pope Benedict XVI resigned due to health problems.  I wrote about it, wishing it would happen in our church too, but I’m not holding my breath.  Pope Benedict was the first pope in 400 years to resign, and he was in much better shape than President Monson.  Benedict retired because he was suffering from “lack of strength of mind and body.”

As we saw this week on several outlets, including the Salt Lake Tribune, Provo Daily Herald, Religion News Service, and even quoting the Deseret News, Continue Reading »