I may choose to ignore anonymous comments. I consider this type of anonymity dishonest. Also, I don't post regularly. I post when I have something worth writing and something worth reading. I explain all this in: Don't Let Telling Tales Trip Up Your Truthfulness.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Feminism, Now and Forever?

I'm usually amused by feminists, rather than disturbed. This holds true for their latest effort on wearing pants to church.

I refuse to join ranks with any feminist, Mormon or otherwise. This usually astonishes people because I have all the makings of a feminist.

What are they? If I had to compile a list, they would include the following: formal education, intelligence, formal education, marriage late in life if at all, formal education, no children of my own, secular leanings, formal education. Yep, I have them all, except I'm a conservative Republican.

I've written previously on women in the Church. This post is not going to rehash any of what I've addressed before.

So, what am I saying new this time? Simply this, if women aren't happy bearing and nurturing children in this life, they probably won't be happy doing it in the next life either.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"You don’t need the Book of Mormon to see that these Mormons are booked."

I may hate sports, but I like it when I read stories like, "BYU players aren't kids...but they have lots of them" in a San Diego paper no less. Here are some great quotes from the article:
There is only one football program in the country with a wives club, and that program is BYU.
Some people think that because of the two-year Mormon missions most players take. . . [players] come into each season with a major advantage. They are older. They may be bigger. And they are unquestionably more mature.
But besides the fact that they spend 24 months away from football – often times in third-world countries where simply maintaining your physique is a challenge – they come back carrying a lot more weight than helmets and pads.
Being a husband is demanding enough. And being a parent is its own full-time job. But to be both while balancing a full slate of classes with the demands of college football? You don’t need the Book of Mormon to see that these Mormons are booked.
. . . And sometimes, players have to miss workouts altogether because the demands of parenthood simply outweigh those of the pigskin.
“They have quite a bit of leeway,” said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. “They miss practices for ultrasounds, doctors’ appointments, pregnancy tests, well, (laughing) that one’s not accurate – but things like that.”
Who do you fear more, an angry Coach Mendenhall, or an angry wife? Hansen is asked.
“Oh, definitely my wife,” he said. “Coach Mendenhall is pretty intense, but I’d rather be on his bad side than hers."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Don't Jump Off of Spiritual Cliffs!

I often find tidbits buried deep in articles on various subjects. Sometimes I like to pull them out and highlight them. The following comes from Daniel Peterson's article, "Defending the Faith: Moral law is no product of evolution" in the Deseret News:
Moral law is notably uniform across cultures. While applications can and do vary, fundamental values don't. No culture teaches that murder is good, that selfishness is a virtue or that parents should be disrespected.
Peterson is accurate and not just about moral law. Examine any people or culture anywhere, throughout time and across cultures and you will find many things that hold true. Here are a few:

- Courage is valued. Wimps are wimps.

- Honesty is valued. Dishonesty is not admired.

- Happiness is desirable. Misery is not admired.

You can search out the most remote Amazonian Indians or bushmen in Africa and these observations will hold true.

The world is full of natural, physical laws like the law of gravity that are just as immutable. There are moral laws, like the ones Peterson's identified that are immutable too.

Acting as though these laws don't exist will put you in spiritual peril as real as the natural peril you would face if you tried to act as though the law of gravity did not exist.

Don't jump off a natural cliff or a spiritual one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Thoughts on Victimization, Justice and Forgiveness

Like many, I've followed the story of Chris Williams and his ability to forgive the drunk, teenage driver that killed his pregnant wife and two of his children. It is an amazing, and inspiring, story of forgiveness. Eventually a Mormon Messages video was made about the story. See it below.


A follow-up article entitled, "A year of forgiveness" provides a great deal more on this story. Recently, Chris Williams published a book on this experience entitled, Let It Go.

My posting today is simply a paragraph from that article in the Deseret News. Ron Yengich is an attorney and person I admire. He's smart and competent, perhaps in the extreme, but he tells it like it is.

Society isn't always very helpful, Yengich says. "What we teach in America is: Once you've been victimized, maintain your victimhood forever, at all costs, and use that as an excuse for whatever happens to you in the future." As for our feelings about perpetrators, he says, "our idea of justice is fairly simple: once we've got our foot on someone's neck, justice for us is to press down as hard and as long as we can."
Although accurate, his descriptions are not particularly flattering. Spend at least a few minutes today considering how his descriptions fit you and then take a leaf out of Chris Williams book and consider how you can change.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Not Ask a REAL Mormon Girl!

The national news media has styled Joanna Brooks as one of the foremost authorities on our faith. However, I think she falls far short.

Since Romney was not elected, the CNN article, "What would a Mormon White House look like?" from November 2, didn't seem to get much attention. Deep in the article, Joanna Brooks proves she's either a fringe Mormon or no Mormon at all by her scandalous assertion concerning The Proclamation on the Family.

Then there's something commonly known as the "Proclamation on the Family," which is often framed and displayed in homes -- though rarely in upper-class households, said Joanna Brooks, author of "The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith."
Mormons in upper-class households are just as likely to embrace the Proclamation in word, deed and display as any other good Mormons. In fact, if you extrapolate from PEW findings, they are probably more likely to embrace it since Mormons higher on the socio-economic ladder are typically more devout and committed than those who are lower.

The Proclamation is central to our belief structure. Apparently, it is not central to Brooks. She expresses many personal opinions that diverge from fundamental Mormon beliefs.
Most Mormons aren't like her and her Proclamation comment just illustrates how far she is from us.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

True Service, Not Just the Appearance of It

I feel vindicated, at long last.

The Church has finally addressed what I've believed, and said, for years in a Church News article entitled, "Service that counts."

The article relates how a service project was conducted but then changed to be more effective the next year. Most were gung ho to do the same thing again. Only the Relief Society President felt that the prior year's Christmas service project was not conducted properly. She gives her reasons here:
. . . "As we were handing out our gifts, I looked at the women and mothers standing around the room. What I saw on their faces was not the excitement I had expected. Instead, it was more like misery. They felt like failures. They were supposed to be in charge of Christmas. It was their cherished role to provide joy for their kids, and they had failed to do that. As a result, their kids had to rely on charitable strangers for presents. So, yes, I would like to do something different."
The Relief Society president then proposed they go to the shelter directors and say, "We'd like to do something that helps the women feel like they are providing Christmas. What can we do? What would make this situation better than last year?"
They came up with a new service project, done in a different way that ultimately served both the individuals and the families better. What it lacked is what usually lacks in true and meaningful service: an immediate psychological benefit for those providing the service.
Although the women's shelter project took more time to plan and carry out — and it lacked the usual emotional high for some contributors — in the end it was a significantly better project.
I have a similar story. When I served in the Stake Singles I proposed we do meaningful service. I called a group home director and asked for guidance on an Easter activity for the kids. She suggested that we compile Easter baskets for each resident in the home. She suggested items for the baskets in addition to candy. She cautioned that we could not deliver the baskets ourselves and she could not tell us anything about the residents.

So, we knew the number of baskets we needed and the gender numbers. That was it. One of our members delivered the baskets to an anonymous location and handed the baskets over to an adult. There was no immediate, psychological gratification for any of us. No emotional high, nothing.

The director assured us it was a significant effort the kids would appreciate. That is all we ever knew.

In the Church's article, it suggests these guidelines in providing meaningful service:
As the Church determines how best to contribute to global humanitarian projects, those representing LDS Charities look to five welfare principles to guide them. They ask themselves several questions, which can easily be adapted to local situations faced every day in wards and stakes.
1. Is the project something the Area Presidency (or stake presidency, bishopric or family) feel is important?
2. Can the beneficiaries be involved in a meaningful way?
3. Is there some way for members of the Church to participate in a helpful way that does not take away ownership from families or beneficiaries?
4. Can we tap into the strengths of local solutions for local projects?
5. Outside intervention eventually goes away, so is there something we can do that will help people to be in a better, stronger position afterward to deal with issues that come up? (Sharon Eubank, LDS Charities director)
Having been a recipient of service over the years (fatherless child, single-parent home, etc.), I would encourage you to follow these guidelines carefully. 

Meaningful service is rarely convenient, easy or gratifying. It is usually hard work, seldom rewarding and horribly inconvenient.

Just Do It!