I may choose to ignore people who comment anonymously. I choose never to be anonymous online myself. I have little tolerance for this behavior.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Close, But No Cigar . . .

Am I the only one that seems disturbed by announcements in Church of for-profit ventures that are near to the Church but aren't official? It would seem so.

In fact, these aren't announcements as much as they are endorsements. Time Out for Women and Especially for Youth, and the others like them, are wonderful programs. I would encourage anyone that can attend these things to do so if they wish.

However, they are not official. They aren't part of the Relief Society or the Young Men/Young Women's programs. I don't think they should be promoted as such.

I don't think they should be announced in the bulletin, over the pulpit or part of the opening exercises of any auxiliary. And, I don't think people ought to announce how tickets can be purchased for these events during church. My beef today is an extension of one I have addressed in the past.

When we teach lessons in the Church we are told to use the scriptures and correlated materials published by the Church. It isn't appropriate to rely on materials that Deseret Book or BYU produce so why is it okay to rely on them for the activities they sponsor? What is the difference?

Outside organizations produce many wonderful materials, programs and activities but they aren't Church materials and they aren't official.

The Church sponsors official Youth Conferences for the young people. It seems like people are elevating Especially for Youth, usually referred to as EFY, as the equivalent of them. It isn't. 

Youth conferences are planned and executed by local church leaders under priesthood authority. EFY is planned and executed by an L.D.S. affiliated university, it's employees and paid staff/contractors. They aren't in the same class.

If EFY is being plugged why isn't Youth Conferences at Temple Square? It utilizes the same cadre of speakers as EFY but it is much more affordable and much closer to being "official" than EFY is.

I don't dare raise this issue with Church leaders myself. I know how most people will react to me. They'll assume I think there's something wrong with these programs. They will stoutly defend them and denounce me. They will point to all the wonderful outcomes for themselves, their family members and people they know.

I just don't have the energy to deal with it all.

Maybe they'll read my blog. Somehow, I don't think that will happen.

Anyway, I don't have the energy to deal with that either.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to be Unselfish at Church

I'm trying to behave myself at church. Truly, I am. In fact, I promised someone important that I would try and mend my ways, especially being more positive and constructive in my criticism. I won't tell you who, but I did promise.

With that in mind, I've structured today's post differently than I normally would. Instead of detailing how to be selfish at church I'm going to simply highlight the opposing behavior of how to be unselfish at church.

Are people selfish at church? I didn't say that . . .

So, here are my top ten ways to be unselfish at church:

10. Get to church on time so that leaders can start on time. Show that you actually care that others have exerted effort on your behalf and prepared spiritual content with your benefit in mind.

9. Sing the hymns so the poor chorister doesn't feel like an idiot waving her arm in front of people and the organist doesn't feel his time has been wasted practicing. Ignore the missed notes.

8. Acknowledge the children and the youth, especially in the hallways. Age means nothing here or in the hereafter. Anybody can get old. It doesn't take skill.

7. Actually read the Sunday School lesson assignment or other material before you come to class, especially during the week. 

6. Make your comments in classes relevant. Before blurting out an amusing story, ask yourself if it will support the teacher's point rather than throw the whole class off on a tangent.

5. Make your comments brief. The teacher was called to teach a class and set apart for this purpose. It is his/her responsibility to teach. You can support them in this calling by being brief, supportive and to the point.

4. Don't talk to other sisters during the Relief Society lesson. Respectfully give your attention to the teacher who spent time and prayer preparing a spiritual message for you.

3. Perform your callings, whatever they might be, to the very best of your ability.

2. Contemplate the atonement, especially during the Sacrament.

1. Heavenly Father has given you so much. Give Him at least three hours of your week. Make it your best hours, for Him.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Mormons and Dornan's Manifesto

So, what do Mormon's have to do with Christopher Dornan. Not much really. He graduated from Southern Utah University and was on the football team. Things must have been hard for him there. Comments from fellow students supports this. He isn't Mormon. By his own admission, he is non-religious; so being in Utah was undoubtedly difficult for him.

I've been ignoring most of the headlines about Dornan, because I don't like reading sensationalism about disturbed killers. Besides, I don't like reading news coverage. I don't like reading coverage of news coverage either. Even worse, I don't like reading slanted coverage of news coverage.  I like reading facts. So, I decided to read Dornan's words myself.

Now, it appears that some of what was in what I read wasn't Dornan's words after all. No matter, there is enough there to get a sense of the man.

So, why am I so disturbed by his so-called manifesto? Well, for starters, if I wanted to discredit someone, I'd borrow the term manifesto. It smacks of Ted Kaczynski. Another thing I would do is simply direct attention to what Dornan has done and away from the issues Dornan raised.

This is exactly what's being done.

But, I read enough to come to one conclusion: I don't think Dornan's a whacko. I think he became disturbed by internal corruption in the L.A.P.D. I think he became a killer, because he saw no other response to his predicament.

I'm tired of hearing dismissal of Dornan, because he's Dornan. His allegations against corruption in the L.A.P.D. have the ring of truth. Does that justify what Dornan himself has done? No. But, it doesn't vindicate the L.A.P.D. either.

Generally, it is people who have something to hide that are hiding something. Is Christopher Dornan trying to hide something? It doesn't seem so. He gives names, facts, refers to documents and begs people, especially the press, to investigate his situation.

He lost on appeal. So what. Did all the appeals deal with the merits of his claim or look for error in the adjudicatory process? I don't know. For him, the issue was the merits.

It is very hard to go up against liars in our judicial system. They can make up what evidence they want and say whatever they want. If you are truthful, then you are limited by the truth. If you accuse them of lying, they will just concoct more lies to try and refute you. How do you fight against that? You can't really. Sometimes history vindicates you, but it is usually long after the fact, if ever.

Dornan lost faith in justice because he doesn't feel he received it. What he is doing is what he considers his "last resort." I'm not condoning it. I suspect Christopher Dornan will be dead in a couple of days, whether by his own hand or someone else's. He is a killer . . . now.

The issues he raised will remain, even if he is no longer here. I believe him. I didn't expect to believe him, but I do. The internal corruption, image-protecting, ruthless ladder climbing, old boys network, office politicking and so forth is just too familiar to me to discount it.

The L.A.P.D. and the people Dornan accused are probably exactly, or close to, what he says they are and they have probably done what Dornan says they did.

Dornan's being told to give himself up and he will be treated fairly.

Please . . .

Dornan's being told that he won't be killed.

Right, the cops will just shoot women in trucks that looks like Dornan's.

What planet are we on?

The inescapable conclusion is that Dornan will soon die. Will we be told the facts about his death? I doubt it.

Maybe Dornan's last acts in this world are the acts of a man who followed principles and then discovered the system he had faith in didn't function under the same principles.

I've always said it would be difficult to wait for justice in the next life, if you don't really believe there is one.

Why wait? Why not just exact your own justice in this one and be certain? Is this a sort of Dirty Harry or The Equalizer? How would I know, I never watched those shows.

Does Dornan's manifesto ramble? Yeah it does. He covers every issue, including the kitchen sink. It reads like someone who is writing his last words and he covers every issue he can think of. I'm not sure mine would be much different.

Dornan didn't run amok until after all his appeals and legal avenues were exhausted. An unprincipled person probably would have become unhinged a bit earlier.

If you are principled, but non-religious, what can you do?

If you had proof that wrong-doing was occurring in high places, but it got covered up, smoke-screened over and you yourself were discredited, what would you do?

Well, I've been there. I know what I'd do. I'd have faith that justice would finally prevail, in the next life, at the very least. Meanwhile, my actions in this one would have to be blameless.

If I didn't have my religious faith, what would I do?

I don't know, and I don't like to think about it.

Meanwhile, the search for Dornan goes on. Is the public safe? That is hard to say. Right now, it is evident the police aren't as concerned about protecting the public as they are about protecting themselves.