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 »


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 »


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.”



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 »


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 »

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Rich Brown: Speak to the Bones

Richard Brown was kind enough to send me a copy of his book Speak to the Bones.  Rich is a member of the Community of Christ (aka RLDS Church) and worked there as a publisher for several years.  He has published this book himself, and the book discusses some of the less well-known stories from the Old Testament.  I believe his title comes from the Ezekiel’s vision of a valley of bones.  Brown introduces it by talking about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  He tells us that following the battle at Gettysburg, federal troops buried the dead in shallow graves.  Unfortunately (from page 102,) Continue Reading »

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Being Grateful for Boring Church

When I first started blogging nearly 10 years ago, I complained about how boring church was.  This prompted some to ask me why I went.  Why I go to church was one of my surprisingly popular posts over the years.

In my ward, some of the priesthood leaders wanted to talk about Ordain Women, and the gay policy, always defending church leaders.  I was outspoken in some of these meetings.  I’ve written about the gay policy here on my blog, and I think it is one of the most unchristian policies our church has ever implemented.  I have tried to bite my tongue, and wondered if I should even attend priesthood meetings anymore.

We have new leadership in my quorum, and now the teachers just teach the bland, boring lessons.  As a result, I simply do genealogy while half-listening to the lesson in the meetings, and rarely make a comment.  It’s also nice when some of the other organizations (like YW or RS) invite me to demonstrate how to do genealogy work (which happens to be my current calling.)  While I used to lament the boring lessons, they are now a relief to me.  It’s much better than getting mad when someone tries to defend indefensible policies that the church has implemented.  I don’t get irate at church anymore, and on my tablet, I feel like I am at least doing something productive for my ancestors.

What about you?  Are you grateful for boring church?  What do you do to get through monotonous lessons?


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 »


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 »