Showing posts from December, 2007

Mitt, if you read this, stay in the race

Ken Jennings recently wrote an opinion piece in the New York Daily News. If you'll recall Ken Jennings is the Latter-day Saint who became somewhat famous after winning over two and a half million dollars on Jeopardy in 2004. He suggests that the only way to get Mormonism out of the race is for Mitt Romney to withdraw. That makes sense but I hope he doesn't.

Mitt, if you read this, please stay in the race, all the way to the end. Being the smart man that you are, I'm sure you can appreciate how much good you are doing by being in the race. I believe the Church is receiving more attention than it ever has because you are running for the office of the President of the United States. Thank you Mitt Romney.

If Mitt Romney is elected to the office, it will restore my hope in the decency of the people of America. If not, it will only confirm what I have long suspected, that we are on a long slow slide to dissolution as a great nation. Don't get me wrong. I love America and appr…

Sharing the gospel using the new media

Once again, Elder Ballard drives home the message that using the new media to share the gospel is not only acceptable but encouraged of the members of the church. I am particularly interested in the new media because of my involvement in the Internet. Web development and social networking is such a major part of my everyday work.

I first created a Web site in early 1995, just after the White House went online (Oct 94) and a year or two before the church created an official web site. My interests in using the Internet and the web have not changed much since that first web site done in raw HTML 1.0. It was plain text with a few links - it did not even have photos.

And what did I post on my first Web site? Why links to other early church news junkies like myself of course. We were part of the first LDS email lists and discussed many topics of interest to fledgling web developers. In addition to discussing how to make our Web sites more attractive and functional we discussed LDS news.

Like m…

The Ron Paul - Mitt Romney poll in Meridian magazine

So I was on the phone walking one of my associates at work through a printer install when I hear a knock at the door. I work from home most of my work week. The boss is very kind that way. There stands a neighbor with a Ron Paul hat on.

'Nice hat," I say.

"Thanks. That's why I'm here."

"Oh? You're selling Ron Paul hats?"

"No. I'm a volunteer and we're visiting Republicans in our neighborhoods to get the word out about Ron Paul."

"Oh," I replied, "I've read a lot about him - mostly from Digg articles."

My neighbor Lance is now animated. "You're on Digg? What's your profile name?"

I tell him and we continue our conversation. I congratulate him on his grass roots activity. We both lament on the state of affairs in our nation and he gives me some Ron Paul literature. Nice material. But what impresses me more is the idea of neighbors visiting neighbors to ask them to read up on their candidate of …

It's all in the way the question is asked

I was wondering when stuff like this would come up. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who happens to be running for President of the United States asked of Mitt Romney's religion, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?" Mitt also happens to be campaigning for the office of the President of the United States.

The AP writer, Libby Quaid did a good job of elaborating on the question and offering an explanation. She both quoted from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and got a quote from a church spokesperson in public affairs. I guess the Encyclopedia of Mormonism has become a semi-authoritative source, since it was published by BYU and Macmillan under contract. Apostles quote from it in General Conference.

Of course the best authoritative source for explaining Mormon doctrine is the conference report, which contains the words of the prophets and apostles, when they are speaking in an official capacity.…

The influence of the adversary today

I would like to expand upon a theme I touched upon in my previous post. It has to do with the influence of the adversary in the lives of troubled teens and others who do outrageous things. Do you remember a survey from a few years back in which people were asked about their belief in the reality of Satan and his influence in our lives today?

If I remember correctly, less than half of the respondents admitted to believing that Satan or Lucifer was real. In fact, wasn't there a similar survey taken among members of the LDS church with results that were almost as astonishing? Ah, yes, here is the article from a 2001 Deseret News story. I remember that survey because it stood out like a sore thumb to me.

The thing that surprised me most about the article was the fact that 41% of the members of the LDS Church do not believe that the devil is a real person. What? Wow! I find that astonishing. In fact, to quote Melanie Cooper as she wrote about it in Latter-day Saints, "The…

Choices in spite of difficult circumstances

I just have to comment on the tragedy in Omaha the other day. It was a horrible thing to have a young 19-year-old man take the lives of eight others before taking his own. Any mass murder and suicide is an awful thing to hear about. It is a reminder of the Columbine killings and other tragedies where troubled young men committed horrific crimes.

But I have to ask, why do I not read anything in the news reports where someone questioned if maybe the adversary might have had something to do with what happened? Is that just not considered politically correct? We read the news reports searching for explanations. Numerous people are interviewed from the young man's life for their viewpoints.

We want to know. What went wrong? What could have been done to help this young man before it grew too late? He was in and out of foster homes, had threatened to kill his stepmother, was a known drug user and could not hold a job. I doubt he did well in school. What is it about young men who feel like …

Mormons and mainstream America

Of all the commentary on Mitt's 'religion' speech today, I like this one from Patrick Buchanan. He called it "a splendid and moving defense of his faith and beliefs." While declaring, "I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause and no one interest," he did not back away an inch from his Mormon faith.

He also said, "Each religion has it own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance. Religious tolerance would be a shallow principle if it were reserved only for faiths with which we agree." As Pat Buchanan commented, "Surely that is right."

Another article I liked was one in which Elder Ballard responded to the charge of the church influencing public policy in this AP article. I don't know why this is such a big concern of the evangelical crowd out there. It seems ludicrous that a Mormon who may become elected president would take policy direction from the leaders o…

The Church in the news - impacting public policy

An AP writer wrote a great article on the church today. If Mitt Romney has done nothing else, he sure has focused attention on the LDS church. In the past I have sometimes been outraged by the poor reporting the church has received. Articles have been full of misconceptions, stereotypes and outright falsehoods.

For the most part, the press coverage on the church during this campaign has been favorable. This article is a good example. For example, Jennifer Dobner, the AP writer, quotes Richard Mouw, head of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena CA: "Mormons believe that God and humans are of the same species. In our eyes they have tried to bridge that gap in ways that really is a fundamental violation."

What a great quote that invites discussion. What is the 'fundamental violation' to which Mr Mouw is referring? A violation of what - somebody's idea of God? Surely not the Bible's. God is our Father in Heaven. He is the Father of our spirits. Tha…

Mitt Romney to give 'The Speech'

Governor Mitt Romney will deliver a much-anticipated speech on religious faith at the George H. W. Bush library on Thursday. Romney's Mormon faith has been an underlying theme of his presidential candidacy but, until today, it has been an area he and his campaign have shied away from addressing directly.

"This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his Presidency if he were elected," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden in a statement released this evening.

Throughout this campaign year, Romney has frequently been asked whether he would address his faith directly. Many evangelical Christians view the Mormon Church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, critically. And voters in general have expressed hesitance about voting for a presidential candidate who subscribes to …