Is this the best of times or the worst of times?

August 31, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 1:09 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

Obviously there are both good things and bad things about this time in the history of the world. When you boil them all down and compare this time in the history of the world to every other time in the history of the world, how do we fare? On average–all things considered–are we above average, is it the worst it’s ever been, is it pretty much the same as it has always been, what do you think?

Be sure to share your reasoning. I have the answer key and can help out with the right answer at the end. (more…)

Perhaps LDSelect.org is the best choice for you

August 29, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 6:32 pm   Category: Bloggernacle

Ladies and Gentlemen! Brothers and Sisters!

Bugged by the Mormon Archipelago site are you? Unhappy with the blogs they have included or excluded in their fancy blogroll? Bent by the way they have organized the blogs there? Interested in sticking it to The Man? Have I got a site for you! (more…)

The neglected doctrine of Hope

August 28, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 11:46 pm   Category: Scriptures,Theology

I hear a lot more talks and lessons on faith and charity than I do on hope. I suspect it is because most people don’t have much of an idea what the doctrine of hope is. I don’t have room to present all of my thoughts on hope or support them properly, but here are the highlights. I’ve broken them down into five points to make it easier to disagree with me in an organized fashion. (more…)

I am the one in ten…

August 27, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 6:44 pm   Category: Mormon Culture/Practices,Scriptures,Sunday School Lessons

Okay, actually in this case I am the one in twenty but that UB40 song called One in Ten popped into my head so went with that for a post title. What I mean is that when the instructor in priesthood asked how many of us in the room thought the story of Jonah was a parable (read: inspired fictitious literature instead of accurate historical account) I raised my hand. I looked around the room expecting 1/4 or even 1/3 of the hands to lazily raise too (in true LDS High Priest style) but instead I saw no other hands raised. Now lest you think that I was the only person awake (it was HP group after all), the instructor asked how many in the room believed the the tale of Jonah was “true” (read: an accurate historical account) and basically all of the hands went up. I refrained from using my Gob impression and shouting “Come On!” and the lesson came off without a hitch. (more…)

Death at the Co-op

August 26, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 2:19 pm   Category: Life

A couple of years ago my little daughter came home from school with a very sad look on her face. When I asked her what was wrong she said in a tiny and quivering voice, “We talked about pets in school today and when it was my turn I had to tell everyone I didn’t have one.” (more…)

Pet Sematary: Simple Lessons for a Successful Life

August 22, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 11:29 pm   Category: Life

A wonderful thing has happened to my family in the past 6 months. We got tivo! Some of you may be thinking, “Finally, you people are Neanderthals.” And some of you might be thinking, “What’s tivo?” For the uninformed among us tivo is a little box called a dvr that sits on top of your tv and records television programs. It’s great if you hate commercials as much as I do. You can fast forward through those babies and you spend at least 1/3 less the time it would normally take to watch a tv show. (more…)

You have problems.

August 21, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 12:39 am   Category: Life

Everyone struggles with something-at least I think so. We all go about in life trying to portray ourselves as well-adjusted and normal. We have flaws and quirks, sure, but for the most part we are on top of things. Most of the time the subterfuge works out pretty well and people buy into our projected persona. (more…)

Sumpin’ New

August 20, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 10:16 am   Category: The Thang

As a wise man once said: There ain’t no party like a West coast party, ‘cuz a West coast party don’t stop.

After a few weeks of having Jacob guest post here at the Thang we decided that having a talented additional blogger like him around is a good thing. Besides, every blog could benefit from an Oregonian touch… So Jacob has agreed to join us permanently around here. Welcome Jacob!

Our occasionally intervening God

August 16, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 1:13 am   Category: Life,Personal Revelation

Aaron B put up a provocative post over at BCC and my response was too long for the comments there so I thought I would respond here.

In the post Aaron confesses that he prefers the idea of a God who can’t intervene in our lives to the idea of a God whose intervention he can’t predict or explain. (Frankly his position seems illogical to me. How is a predictable impotent God preferable to an unpredictable yet loving powerful God? But that is sort of off topic…) The post sort of veers into a theodicy discussion as well. Aaron concludes by asking four questions about divine intervention. I’ll respond to these questions below and try to show where I think Aaron is missing the point with this subject in the process. (more…)

You’re an Embarrassment

August 15, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 11:22 pm   Category: Life

Last year my daughter had an embarrassing moment at school. She was standing at the front of her class, holding a poster, and giving a presentation when from the back of the class a boy yelled, “Your pants are on backwards!” (more…)

Help us name the new band

August 12, 2006    By: Geoff J @ 4:55 pm   Category: Life,Rock 'n' Roll

A couple of months ago I got a call out of the blue from an LDS guy I’d never met before. He told me his name was Rick and that he was trying to put together an all LDS rock/ska band here in the Phoenix area. (I still haven’t figured out exactly how he tracked me down but I think it had to do with this blog…) Anyway, one thing moving to AZ took away from me was my membership in a band. I’d played in at least one rock band basically without a break from 1991 until moving here; but moving away from San Diego in 2004 ended that streak. I did travel back to San Diego for one farewell gig in 2005 but that was it and I have been beginning to miss it all. So when Rick called I was very interested on all sorts of levels: a) He was into ska and every band I’ve played in over those years has done some ska; b) He was taking care of the details to get us going (the hard part ); c) I liked the idea of playing with grown-ups now that I’m a grown up and all. I was actually the youngster in my last cover band and it worked really well; d) I was intrigued by the fact that Rick played trombone and he had a trumpet player lined up too — I play sax and sing but have never played in a band with a full horn section like this; e) I was intrigued by the fact that all seven potential players in this new band were LDS — I hadn’t tried that since my Sam I Am days at BYU. (more…)

Help me love the Lectures on Faith again

August 9, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 11:54 pm   Category: Scriptures,Theology

I used to love the Lectures on Faith, but I must admit that I soured to them several years ago and every time I pick them up I remember why. I know there are some pretty smart people out there who like them, so I’m hoping one of you will set me straight and restore my faith in the Lectures. (more…)

Getting Tough

August 7, 2006    By: Kristen J @ 11:09 pm   Category: Life

For about a month or two my friend and I have been training to run a 1/2 marathon. Don’t worry it’s only a HALF marathon. I’m not crazy enough to attempt a full marathon yet and I honestly don’t know if I’ve got a full marathon in this old body of mine. (more…)

My Beef with a Year Supply of Food

August 4, 2006    By: Jacob J @ 12:03 am   Category: Money and getting gain,Mormon Culture/Practices

For the most part I am a huge fan of the Church’s counsel regarding finances, preparedness, and self-reliance. I love the counsel to stay out of debt and live within our means, and I need a steady diet of it. (From what I can tell you do too.) However, I find myself somewhat at odds with the counsel to keep a year’s supply of food. (more…)