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Showing posts from November, 2007

Mothers Who Know and What Women Know

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I am just a little behind on this issue. In fact I didn't even know it was an issue until Carol mentioned it the other day. She belongs to a Relief Society email newsgroup where the subject was being discussed. Apparently, a number of sisters took offense at the wonderful recent general conference address by Sister Julie B Beck, General President of the Relief Society.

I had to go back and read it again to see what all the fuss was about. The address is entitled 'Mothers Who Know." I suppose the main thing that some women took offense at is they felt excluded because they weren't mothers. I don't think Sister Beck intended to exclude women who weren't mothers from her conference address.

In fact, just the week before she gave an equally wonderful address at the women's broadcast. The subject there was "What Latter-day Saint Women Do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable." Nobody complained about that talk with her three-part focus on faith, families and…

Women having abortions to save the planet

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I thought I had heard all the arguments against having children until I read this article in the Daily Mail UK. I just about fell out of my chair laughing until I realized that these women were serious. I am positive the writers of the article presented the story the way they did because they knew how foolish it would seem to so many conservative readers.

Yes, these women are now claiming that it is selfish to have babies because they are not environmentally friendly. They are having abortions and being sterilized because they want to protect the planet. And I quote, "...it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world."

The article includes phrases like "reducing our carbon footprint," and "becoming eco-friendly." Amazing! These women talk about it being their duty not to have a child. "Having children is selfish," one of the women is quoted as saying. "It's all about maintainin…

Making time for the important things

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Another great thing I like about my church is how I am constantly encouraged to study and learn. The LDS Church has placed tremendous value and emphasis on education. Besides the four church-owned colleges and Universities, which are subsidized through tithing contributions, there are the thousands of seminary and institute facilities throughout the world. Seminary is for high-school age students and institute is for college-age students.

The main focus of study in all seminary and institute classes is the scriptures. In fact it is the same in almost all Sunday School classes. We rotate through the scriptures each year: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Church History (Doctrine and Covenants). Of course we are also invited to continue a life-long pursuit of gospel knowledge through our own individual efforts to study the gospel in our homes.

You would think with all this emphasis on scripture study that most Mormons would be gospel scholars. Not so. Some are, but for the …

What I love about my church

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We had Stake Conference today. If you're not LDS that just means we had a semi-annual gathering of members of the church from the Camarillo-Oxnard CA area.

One of the speakers at the meeting was the mission president of the Ventura CA mission, President Richard Ellsworth. Mission presidents are the men who supervise all the missionaries in a local geographic area. They serve by calling, or volunteer appointment for a period of three years.

Among other encouraging comments, President Ellsworth reminded us of an easy way to bring up the subject of the church in conversation with friends, co-workers and neighbors.

He suggested that it is easy and natural to say, for example when discussing the behavior of teen-age children, "What I love about my church is that we have published standards for our youth that help them to know what is acceptable behavior."

Why would President Ellsworth teach us this technique? It is because sharing the good news of the restored gospel is a part of…

We knew it was going to get ugly

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From Politico: "In an apparent push poll, a research firm has called Iowa Republicans this week praising John McCain and criticizing Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith. ...there were "lots of negatives on Romney, including mentions of his "flip-flops," hiring illegal immigrants as landscapers and extensive discussion of Mormonism.

"Statements were on baptizing the dead, the Book of Mormon being on the level of the Bible, and one about equating it to a cult," said the Iowan, deeming them "common criticisms of Mormonism." "I think they asked twice if being a Mormon would be an issue," this person added. Let's see, "Book of Mormon replacing the Bible, Baptizing the dead, Mormonism being a cult." What do these subjects have to do with a man's capability to lead a nation?

Romney communications director Matt Rhoades offers the following statement: "Whatever campaign is engaging in this type of awful religious bigotry as a …

Lessons learned from a failed LDS bookstore

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I love books. I always have. There's just something about holding a book in your hands and turning the pages to read it. A book to me represents an accomplishment. The author worked long and hard to get it into a format to be published. The editors made sure that there were no typos and that the grammar was acceptable to most readers. The printer did their best to produce a good product and the publisher spent lots of time and money to market it. But that's not the accomplishment I'm talking about.

When I get a new book I usually buy it for one of several reasons. Highest on that list of reasons to buy is if it was recommended to me by someone I trust. Second is if the author is someone whose work I have read previously and with whom I am familiar. Third is if the book is one that is getting a lot of press or ranks high on a bestsellers list somewhere. But that's not always why I buy. I'll often pick up a book and just browse through the first page or two, skip to t…

Donny Osmond on Eternal Marriage

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OK, I've just got to say something about the Osmonds on Oprah today. No, I've never watched Oprah before in my life. I was working from home today and Carol had the show on in the front room. Frankly, it was simply an amazing show and a celebration of life. More specifically, of the life of George Osmond, the patriarch of the family. He passed away Tuesday at the age of 90. It was wonderful to see such a large family all together in one place at one time.

It was great to see the Osmond brothers sing together again. It was great to see Donny and Marie sing together and great to see Marie dance again, especially after her fainting spell on Dancing with the Stars a couple of weeks ago. No, I don't watch that show either - it just happened to be on in the front room again. I loved seeing Marie give one of her special dolls to Oprah. It was obvious that she was delighted. But the real hero in my eyes was Donny and what he said.

"We believe we're an eternal family," …

Winning through not being Intimidated

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One of favorite books from the seventies is Winning Through Intimidation by Robert J Ringer. I also liked his other bestseller, Looking Out for #1. If you have read the books you know that they do not endorse selfishness or thoughtlessness towards others. In fact, they are quite the opposite.

Mr Ringer preaches that the path to success is in being prepared and ready to handle difficult situations as they come up. His story is not about how to intimidate others, but how to be organized and ready so you are not intimidated by others who practice intimidation as a way of getting what they want out of life.

I vividly recall his story of closing a deal that was about to go south because the client wanted a contract revised. He had his secretary there on the spot with her typewriter make the changes. And this was before word processors. He was prepared and he got the deal. He is also emphatic that people who practice intimidation forget about you when they get what they want.

The premise of Mr…

The real purpose of life

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Carol and I have met over the past several years on a regular basis with our friends from the local congregation of the Church of the Nazarene. While the subject was improving marriage we were encouraged to find so much good and so many things on which we agreed in the theological doctrines we discussed. As I have mentioned in a previous post there were only a couple of things on which we disagreed. One of them was the concept of eternal marriage and the other was the Fall of Adam and how it affected our real purpose in life.

I was about to go into a long discourse explaining the LDS perspective on this issue when I discovered that one of my favorite co-bloggers, Jeff Lindsay wrote conclusively about that very subject yesterday. To most Christians, we are in this mess (mortality) because Adam made a big mistake. To quote from Jeff's post: "Adam's rebellion forced God to come up with an (inferior) alternative to His original plan. One minister explained to me that this who…

Personal Revelation and warnings to the Church

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I received an email this morning from a good friend who got it from a best friend who got it from a trusted friend who got it from...you can guess the rest. It was one of those sensational Mormon stories about some impending pandemic and how we need to rush out right now and buy this special medicine that is only offered by this certain company based in Utah. If you subscribe to any of the LDS email lists you've seen these things many times over the years.

I felt like sharing a few quotes but didn't want to offend the sender so I'll post them here: "It never ceases to amaze me how gullible some of our Church members are in broadcasting sensational stories, or dreams, or visions, or purported patriarchal blessings, or quotations, or supposedly from some person's private diary." - President Harold B Lee, Oct 1970 and Jan 1973.

In a statement issued in August, 1913, by the First Presidency of the Church (consisting of President Joseph F. Smith, President Anthon H.…

Psychiatric disorders in Mormon theology

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A while back (Oct 05) I read a good article in the Ensign by Elder Alexander B Morrison of the Seventy about dealing with psychiatric disorders. He spoke from somewhat of a personal perspective if I remember correctly because he had a family member who struggled with mental illness. In the article Elder Morrison debunks several myths and misconceptions about mental illness. He first addresses the mistaken notion that all mental illness is caused by sin.

He writes, "The truth is that many faithful Latter-day Saints who live the commandments and honor their covenants experience struggles with mental illness or are required to deal with the intense pain and suffering of morally righteous but mentally ill family members. Their burdens—and they are many—can be lifted only by love, understanding, and acceptance."

I have had many good friends over the years who have struggled with mental illness of one kind or another - depression, mania, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, severe anxie…