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.

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Benefits of Blind Gratitude: Did I Just Get Saved?

After going to bed last night, I was awakened at about 1 a.m. by a smell. I can't really describe it. It smelled strange and the possibility of danger tugged me fully awake. Naturally, my rising awakened my husband as well. However, he could not smell anything

The smell was quickly replaced by a strobe light effect coming from one of our covered windows. I knew it couldn't be lightening because lightening doesn't strike in one place multiple times at the same intensity. Also, there was no thunder.

For a moment I thought fireworks. However, even my half asleep brain suggested that was unlikely. Indiana doesn't celebrate Pioneer Day.

Turning on a light in our home didn't illuminate anything. The lights were only 1/4 the typical brightness. My husband flipped on the utility room light and it quickly shorted out. He yelled at me not to turn on any more lights.

A glance out of one of our uncovered windows revealed a pretty spectacular pyrotechnics show. My husband identified the problem: a downed power line.

After retrieving footwear, eye glasses and some clothing, we ventured outside where a crowd was already gathering. I made it outside first.

The power line was sparking and snapping in the backyard of a home located near ours. Soon a fire engine siren joined the highly charged buzzing from the downed power line.

As experienced emergency response people converged on the scene, our new neighbors introduced themselves and we compared notes about what was going on.

A firefighter yelled over to us not to touch the fence. Oops, I'd already opened the gate to walk over to the neighbors. I should have waited for my husband. He always seems to know how to minimize my safety stupidity.

Soon, the power was cut and the excitement went dark. A falling tree branch was the culprit. Crews mopped up the damage by midday today and had power restored.

Were we in danger? I have to think we were somehow. I can sleep through anything. What woke me up? After the initial sniff, the smell was gone. If Heavenly Father was protecting us from some danger, we emerged almost unscathed.

The house with the downed power line also had a fire kindled in the attic. Shorts in our home knocked out an alarm clock and the light bulb in the utility room. Obviously, things could have been worse, much worse.

It is impossible to count, or account for, all the disasters that don't occur. I can think of many times when I was able to narrowly avert danger, usually through some sort of spiritual prompting.

I just don't know how many disasters have been averted in my life that I remain unaware of. Blind obedience is not a good idea, but I think blind gratitude is.

I'm going to keep thanking deity for my safety ...

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mormons Are Making Their Mark on Academia

Learn of Me. The knowledge of the gospel
of Jesus Christ is the greatest education
 of all. (See Matthew 11:29.) Apr. 2009.
Accessed July 22, 2016
from the LDS Media Library.
By the time the rest of the world wakes up and discovers what Mormons have accomplished, and are still doing, in higher education; it will be too late for them to catch up or copy us.

What are they doing? I'm glad you asked. Mormons are making higher education inexpensive, high quality and available anywhere in the world.

Few people outside of Mormondom even know what Mormons have already done in academia. 

They may have heard about BYU in a sports context; but that is now a small, and insignificant detail.

Mormons have several types of schools:

A research university: Brigham Young University

A teaching college/university: Brigham Young University-Idaho
An international college with intensive English instruction: Brigham Young University-Hawaii
A business and technical college: LDS Business College

All of these Church schools are working together, along with the Church Education System (CES), to accomplish this ambitious plan. The BYU-Idaho Pathway program and the new Self-Reliance effort will also play a big part.

They are fixing some of the most difficult problems that plague higher education in both the secular and religious worlds.

Here's just a snippet of what they are doing and how they are doing it:
  • The Church is expanding the work of existing higher education schools and efforts. It is not building something entirely new. This will lower costs, because the administrative structure already exists.
  • BYU-Idaho has abolished tenure. This is significant because most professors are forced to compete against each other in their schools as well as with professors in other schools for advancement honors.
  • BYU-Idaho will deliver the educational product. Professors will be focused on teaching and serving students. By de-emphasizing research, professors can be freed from publishing requirements that don't serve teaching needs.
  • The Church is making maximum use of the Internet and digital teaching tools to provide blended and online only educational options.
  • The Church can utilize qualified teachers all over the world, via digital tools. The teachers don't need to be physically close to a campus.
  • This blended and online model doesn't require a lot of brick and mortar buildings to be built.
  • Education can be delivered during the week in existing buildings -- stake centers and meetinghouses.
  • The Church is making judicious use of volunteers. Students starting their schooling by learning English can practice their skills with speaking partners.

It won't be long before other schools across the world take an interest in all this, just like others do the Church's welfare program now.

Sadly, they won't be able to make it work for them. Part of will make the LDS effort successful in the future, and what is making it successful now, is the LDS value structure unique to our faith.

This and combining secular education with religious instruction is an unbeatable combination!