Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Avoiding Even the Appearance of Evil Month

Please join me this month in abstaining from the following to practice avoiding the appearance of evil:

- Drinking root beer and O'Douls
- Saying, "fetch," and/or, "Oh My Gosh!"
- Eating at any restaurant with, 'Sports Bar' in its title
- Watching cable TV after 7pm
- Wearing non-white shirts to church (men only)
- Growing facial hair, unless there's a dermatological issue (women get a pass on this one)
- Playing of pool or darts

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mormon Randoms

I have it on good authority that she can - and does.

Feel the Love!

Whether you live inside our official Ward boundaries (both blocks), or not - become a virtual Ward Member by clicking on the, 'Follow and connect with your friends!' link to the right. We accept all, and turn away none (except the creepy Unibomber-Joaquin Phoenix-types). Welcome, Saints and Sinners alike!

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

To help us better understand the power of, 'Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin,' I thought we could use some practice. Here are a few to get us started:

Brother Hamm - struggling with impure thoughts
Brother Quinn - Hasn't home taught for four months
Sister Hart - hint: scarlet letter
Brother Rogers - Speaking ill of leader (yes, I found out - we'll talk)
Billy Marr - He's fourteen, and a boy, so use your imagination
Sister Salls - Rhymes with 'realing'

Well, I think that's a good start. More to come...

J.o.D. Gem #2 - Men on the Moon and Sun

You've got to hand it to the early church leaders - they were bold in their proclamations. One of the bold proclamations of Brigham Young made, was concerning the Moon and Sun:

"Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon?...when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the ignorant of their fellows. So it is in regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain. It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 271)

Ok, so obviously there was some speculation here - but I love it! Just think of how much more interesting General Conference would be these days, if we could look forward to talks like this. I'd love to have a few, "What did he just say!" moments. I say - Bring back the mind-expanding talks! Too often we focus on circling the wagons - let's exanding our frontiers and dream!

Whew - I need a nap.


I've always been impressed by the quality and humor of the MormonAds. I just saw this ad yesterday, and have to admit that I found it much more humorous than most. I actually thought at first that it was a spoof. I'd love to see this kind of diversity in Wards, but while living in the West all my life, I have not seen this many non-white members in my entire life of attending church. Maybe I just need to drive further than Nephi sometime...

Monday, March 23, 2009

Mormonisms - Addressing Literalness

In the wake of rising literalness within the LDS community, the Church is proactively warning of some things that should not be taken literally. This week, The Brethren warned against literally, 'Putting one's shoulder to the wheel,' and included the following picture:

The Brethren also confirmed that:

1. Story of a man being swallowed by a whale for several days? Literal.

2. The turning of Lot's wife into salt? Yup, still literal.

Currently being debated, however, is the story of all languages coming from a Tower in Babel. The location of the Tower may have been Samaria.

More updates coming next month. Anyone want to bet on the outcome for witches and sorcerers?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Octomom Clarification

If you're like me, you've been captivated by all the news surrounding the shocking details of, 'Octomom'. However, discussions of this 'Octomom,' in Church the past two weeks has caused some hard feelings and misunderstandings. Three of our to-remain-anonymous sisters thought all this discussion was about their choice to single-handedly try and re-populate the upper bench of Spanish Fork.

So, I exhort you to use the real name when referring to the freak-show Octomom, 'Nadya Suleman,' and continue showing discretion when talking about our kind Ward Octomoms.

Ward Spotlight - Pick the Ailment

As a sort of Ward Spotlight, I thought it'd be fun for everyone to try and match up the following Ward members with their current ailment. See me on Sunday for the answer sheet.

1. Sister Carpenter
2. Sister Lowe
3. Brother Jackson
4. Sister Arrington

a. Thyroid problem
b. Erectile dysfunction
c. Depression
d. Restless leg syndrome

I guess I should have included at least one more man in the roundup. Next time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Timeless Advice for Men

I'm all about likening the scriptures unto myself, frequently finding great advice from the past.

For example, take this advice:

"And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you friends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power;

For I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats.

Therefore, let no man among you, for this commandment is unto all the faithful who are called of God in the church unto the ministry, from this hour take purse or scrip, that goeth forth to proclaim this gospel of the kingdom." - D&C 84:77-78, 86

I can only imagine the humiliation that countless of men were saved from by following this advice, whereas otherwise they may have had to put up with all sorts of juvenile jeers like, "Hey, look at that dude carrying a purse!" and "Hey, Mr. Missionary, is that your Momma's purse?" or even, "Hey, dork - what's up with the two coats?"

As far as the scrips go, that seems to be taking it a bit too far. Or, maybe it's a good chance to meet some local doctors.

Again, thank goodness for timeless, inspired advice.

BYU announces two new classes for Fall '09- GA Preparation

Staring in the Fall, BYU will enhance its religious instructions to include two classes for General Authority Preparation (GA Prep 401 and 402). Sorry Sisters, these are Brethren-only classes.

According to BYU Religious Professor Boyd P. Laker, "We felt that the Missionary Prep classes were very successful in preparing our students to enter the mission field. In this spirit, we thought that additional post-mission preparation would be helpful for those who believe they might be on-track to be a future General Authority."

For those young men who feel that they might meet the pre-requisites (* see below), here's a topic overview of the two classes:

GA Prep 401
  • Selecting the right color of black or dark blue suit
  • Approved haircuts (a two minute lecture)
  • How to match scripture cover to shoe and belt color (a.k.a - GA accessorizing)
  • How to select the proper necktie color and knot
  • How to avoid loud laughter and the appearance of evil
  • How to look sincere while reading from a teleprompter
  • Remembering small details of service you performed in your early years
  • Which celebrities are really Mormons - cutting through the myths
  • Proper voice intonation
  • GA Family Tree (all seven branches explored)

    GA Prep 402
  • How to scorn sinners with a loving smile
  • Parallels in managing Utah legislation and the Wizard of Oz
  • How to support Mitt Romney
  • Catholics, an Historical Review - from Church-of-the-Devil to Fellow-Crusaders-Against-Gay-Marriages
  • Mark Hoffman - test of faith
  • How to cut down and carve a cherry tree that your grandfather planted to make a podium
  • Temple Square underground tunnel navigation course
  • Polygamy - celestial requirement, or eager-beaver Pioneers
  • J. Golden Kimball - lessons in constructive and creative swearing

  • *Pre-requisites - High spirituality test, scripture recital of all seminary and mission scriptures, temple recommend, very little hair, 6'0"+ preferred, bonus points for Utah native or professional sports-hopefuls.

    **non-US citizens can apply, but will only be accepted on a strictly 1% ratio to US natives.

    Variation in Prayers - Blessings

    I'm going to go out on a limb here in saying that I may not be the only one who, at times, gets bored during prayers where the same things are constantly repeated. I've tried mixing it up lately in my personal prayers, and thought my Ward members might also appreciate hearing these ideas. Especially since I usually have great idea.

    So, here are some of my new 'blessings' that I'm thankful for (feel free to crib these in your own prayers):

    1 - I'm thankful I didn't have to march across the plains. Pushing a cart for five miles last summer on the Ward 'activity' was enough for me. Someone in my group (will remain anonymous) stunk like a bull elephant by mile one, and Sister You-Know-Who's constant singing of hymns left me wanting to exercise the 'laying-on-of-hands,' if you know what I mean.

    2 - I'm thankful for Macy's. As the Lord's true grocery store here in Utah, the ability to charge food to the Ward is truly inspired. Not to mention regular free meal samples, and 20 lb whole wheat always in stock.

    3 - I'm thankful for time limits in Fast and Testimony meetings. I'll admit - last week was a stretch for me. After a few 10-minute monthly recaps by our well-meaning members, I was wishing I had a spare Xanax.

    4 - Speaking of Xanax, I'm thankful for prescription medication. Let's be honest, sometimes we're jealous of the non-LDS who are able to perform some mild self-medication after long days at the office or home. Unfortunately, we're out of luck in the self-med area (unless you count NyQuil). Fortunately, doctors in Utah are understanding of this issue.

    5 - I'm thankful that I don't live in Santaquin, even with Gary Coleman.

    6 - I'm thankful that Vegas is only a short five hours drive - for the shows and buffets.

    7 - I'm thankful that I don't live next to the Wollens with their eight kids and three dogs. Whoops - I guess you all can't use that one!

    8 - I'm thankful that we can send our teenage boys off to scout camp for a week at only $40. Best money I've ever spent.

    9 - I'm thankful for my good looks and a great sense of humor. (Come see me for approval before using that one).

    10 - I'm thankful for the inspiration I received when visiting the new temple in Draper. Did you see those surrounding houses? Amazing!

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Our Heritage in Pictures

    Brother Jebidiah Johnson didn't find the enthusiasm he expected from the ladies after completing his 'economic' hill-home in Payson in 1857.

    Some Mormon Humor

    You know you're in Utah County when:

  • A map of your Ward boundary covers only four blocks
  • Temple Recommends can be used as a second form of ID at the bank or Macy's
  • You think women shouldn't have kids past 33, since 34 kids are just way too many
  • You post-date checks written on Sundays
  • Your spouse's mother was pregnant at your wedding
  • To All the Youth

    As we prepare again for Springtime, the time when young hormones run rampant, I thought it would be appropriate to remind the Ward youth of the following tidbits of advice that I've picked up over the years.

    "A back rub in the front room leads to a front rub in the back room." - Bishop Maxwell, BYU 146st Ward

    "A shower over 10 minutes is the devil's playground." - Mission President Bluthe

    "What would Mitt do?" - Bishop Young

    For the youth that do not follow this good advice, I'll be starting up the annual extended interview days March 21st - June 19th. During that period, interviews can be scheduled Sunday afternoon 2:30-5pm, Tuesday evenings 8-9pm, and Thursday evenings 7-9pm.