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Matriarchy and Patriarchy at Baptism

My brother called me up a few days ago and asked me if I would serve as a witness to his son’s baptism. Of course! I’d be honored. Then I realized why he asked me. Traditionally, it seems that grandpas serve as witnesses at LDS baptisms. But grandpa died a year ago. While I was happy to do the honor, it was also strange to realize that I was taking the role of my dad. Continue Reading »

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Father Forgive them…Not in Original Bible?

My wife gathered the family together to go over the 1st lesson of the new Home Study program earlier this week. (Note my previous post expressing mixed feelings about the 2 hours block cutting out half the lessons.) Anyway, for Christmas this year I got a copy of Thomas Wayment’s New Testament Study Bible for Latter-day Saints, and decided to read all the verses and footnotes out of his Bible.

WOW!

Seriously, if you don’t own this, go out and buy it right now!!! It’s amazing.  Thomas is a New Testament scholar at BYU, and has translated the entire New Testament into modern English, and added lots of AMAZING footnotes.  Seriously, I want this to be the standard for studying the New Testament.  We were reading the verse that should be very familiar to you, but Thomas adds an amazing footnote.  It comes from Luke 23:34.  I’ll quote Thomas’s rendering of the book, which you should clearly recognize, but the footnote is what caught my attention.

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Mixed Feelings About 2-hour Block/Pageants

I am probably in the minority.

I think I’m going to miss weekly Sunday School. Having said that, I’m sitting here in the hall skipping Sunday School. So why would I miss it?

I’ve taught gospel doctrine twice. It is one of my favorite callings. It helped kick start my gospel study and forced me to try to make interesting lessons. The manual they give is so poor. Greg Prince is on the board of directors at a Methodist seminary. He handed the LDS Old Testament manual to some people there and they said they had seen some bad manuals, but the LDS manual was the worst. Continue Reading »

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Is the Church Running Scared? (Plus Elizabeth Smart Notes)

The LDS Church has been subject to increasing leaks and protests lately.  MormonLeaks has been publishing internal documents (some mundane, some embarrassing), and some people have been sneaking cameras into church to record Protest-imonies.  Apparently Jeremy Runnells and Sam Young have had excommunication proceedings posted online as well.  Is the LDS Church becoming even more skittish with cameras?

I had a really weird experience happen to me today.  I spent the weekend with my family in Moab.  On my way home from Moab, my wife tells me Elizabeth Smart is speaking at the U of U institute. So I decided to come by myself because she is tired of driving. She sends me the Facebook post telling me it is open to the public. Continue Reading »

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Please Give Me Advice for a Calling I Don’t Want

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 »

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Things That Make You Go Hmmm…

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.

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?”

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Elder Oaks: Be One, Unless You’re Gay

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.

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