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Showing posts from September, 2008

How to publish your LDS book

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Carol has written three complete novels. She has four more in various stages of production. These are not lightweight works that she dashed off in a few hours. The completed books are 90,000 to 110,000 words. She has worked on them almost every day since the beginning of the year. I expect she will finish at least one and maybe two more before the end of the year.

I keep asking her when she is going to publish them. She obviously loves to write. And even though I don’t generally enjoy fiction, I must confess, they are pretty good stories. She worked hard on the story telling and dialog. You can read a sample chapter from her latest book on her blog. She also read about forty romance books this year as part of her writing preparation.

In addition to her writing accomplishments, Carol has lost over one hundred pounds in the past year. Yes, you read that right – over one hundred pounds. She says she has a lot more to go. I am convinced she is going to do it. By this time next…

Mormons: Ex, Post, Anti and New-Order

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Do you occasionally visit anti-Mormon websites? I do. Every few months I Google Mormon, Mormons, Mormonism, LDS, Latter-day Saints and Latter day saints. Note the slight variations in the search terms. You get different results with each one. I just love the new Google feature which brings up the most popular search terms as you type. That provides valuable information.

I am intensely interested in how the online community finds information on the church and our people. The searches have improved dramatically over the past year since I started blogging. After you Google Mormon, click on Video, News or Blogs to find a world of information that just didn’t exist a few years ago. It’s a miracle. Really, it is. But is it helping or hurting?

For example, in the news today under Mormon we find that the Reverend Robert Jeffress, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, once again called Mitt Romney a cult member. He must have gotten so much mileage out of that statement the la…

Excommunication is just not worth it

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I can’t think of anything that would be worth jeopardizing my standing in the LDS church, which I consider to be the kingdom of God on the earth. I value my membership too much. It means the world to me and provides me with benefits and blessings that I can receive in no other way. I don’t care how much I disagree with someone about some course of action, I would not risk it.

But then, I’m not Andrew Callahan. In case you aren’t aware of Flatlander’s actions, he is the man behind the anti-proposition 8 website, Signing for Something. I know that this is probably a waste of space and that I am just giving undue attention to Andrew, but I want to make a point. Apostasy is just never a good idea, no matter how passionately you feel about your cause.

I suspect it is too late for Andrew to change his course. He has made it abundantly clear that he wants to get excommunicated and he wants his case to draw public attention. Besides having the website created, he has made a couple of Yo…

Speaking in church without fear

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Unless you are in a leadership position, have recently moved into a ward or are about to move out of a ward, the odds of you speaking in Sacrament meeting in any given year are fairly slim. The exception of course, is if you reside in a small ward or branch where there are less than forty active adults to choose from. That’s how many a typical ward will go though in a given year.

Think about it. There are fifty two Sundays in a year. Two Sundays each month are used up with Fast Sunday and High Council speakers. That leaves twenty eight available Sundays. Five Sundays each year are used up with General, Stake and Ward conferences. One Sunday is the Primary program. That leaves twenty two Sundays where you are a possible target.

If you are in a typical ward, there are two youth speakers and two adult Sacrament speakers on those Sundays where the Bishopric chooses from the ward members. The themes on many of the Sundays through the year are predictable – New Year’s (goals), Easter…

Eight Purposes of Revelation

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Introduction

The Lord promises gifts of the spirit to members of his church. These gifts are given for the edifying and uplifting of those who are in need of strengthening and comforting. All members of the Lord’s church are entitled to either the receipt of these gifts or to be blessed by these gifts as they are exercised by others. I hope and pray that what I am about to share will be accompanied by an outpouring of his spirit as we consider the purposes of revelation. You may recognize these teachings from Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

Revelation is communication from God to man. It can occur in many different ways. Some prophets, like Moses and Joseph Smith have talked to God face to face. Some persons have had personal communication with angels. Other revelations have come through the dreams of sleep, as with Lehi, or in waking visions of the mind. The vision of the redemption of the dead given to Joseph F. Smith in 1918 is one example of a waking vision. It usually comes after m…

Faithful parents, wayward children

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Larry Barkdull is working on a book about wayward children. It will be published by Covenant Communications next year. On his blog he has posted a number of stories shared by other parents about their wayward children. Based on the participation in the comments, I think his book is going to do well, especially among mothers, the primary Deseret Book customer.

In the comments following one of Larry’s recent essays published in Meridian Magazine, I was pleased to read some advice from a parent who has gone through some serious difficulties with their rebellious child. In their case, the child had become involved in drugs. After making many excellent points that pull no punches, the parent shares something you don’t read very often:

Demons of the drug culture

“If you see significant changes in countenance, language, etc., bad friends, rotten music and evil posters on the walls, after your kid starts using [drugs], ponder and pray about the possibility of demonic possession. Yes, it st…

Do Mormons hate gays?

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We went walking the precincts again today in support of proposition 8. The turnout was pretty good. We probably had two or three times the number of people show up today as we did two weeks ago. As can be expected on a Saturday morning in Camarillo, nobody was home in about half the houses we visited. They were probably out at a soccer game with their family.

Of those we spoke with, about half had not heard of the proposition and did not seem to mind learning a little about it. That’s all we’re trying to do at this point – inform voters about the proposed state constitutional amendment. The other half who had heard about it were in favor and said they would probably vote yes or were “open” and had not yet decided.

I personally did not encounter anyone on the streets that I visited who was opposed to the amendment. Again, I think that’s a reflection of the demographics of this sleepy little town, a bedroom community with a lot of small high tech businesses. The mixture of registe…

Distinction, contention and strife

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From the September 2008 First Presidency message, we read what President Eyring has to say about unity: “The Spirit puts the testimony of truth in our hearts, which unifies those who share that testimony. The Spirit of God never generates contention (see 3 Nephi 11:29). This Spirit never generates the feelings of distinction between people which lead to strife.”

I was deeply impressed when I first read that last sentence. I was also struck by the contrast in definitions of the word distinction. I usually view distinction in a positive manner, as in one who receives honors for outstanding work done in an academic or professional environment. In this case, it appears that distinction is an undesirable thing in that it causes inequality and contention.

But wait! Could it be that it is not distinction itself which is the bad thing, but some undesirable feelings that can be associated with the word? Yes, I believe that is what is meant in this case. In other words, distinction can be b…

A tribute to a great dad

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Dad suffered a stroke today. He is 86 years old. Mother died a few years back but Dad is not alone. My brother moved in with him last year and was there to call the paramedics and get him to the hospital. From what we can tell, the stroke is not that bad but will require some therapy to regain the use of his right side. Luckily his speech and reasoning were not affected.

I have been meaning to write about my dad for a long time. I wrote about my mother in a previous essay and alluded to my dad when I wrote about my own marriage. Dad deserves a tribute and I promised him I would write when I visited him a couple of weeks ago. Time has a way of getting in the way of good intentions but I am more motivated with dad’s stroke today.

I hope you will forgive this personal indulgence but this is after all my blog, and although I write in a manner that I hope will be applicable to a wide audience, I also write to leave something for my own posterity. Will blogs on Blogger be semi-permanent for m…