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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 »


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 »


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 »