My Mama Said

January 29, 2009    By: Kristen J @ 7:50 am   Category: Life

As a mother I know that it is my sacred duty to help my children navigate through this thing we call life. I try to gift them with little pearls of wisdom every chance I get and I know that they are taking these shiny gems of advice and tucking them away in their hearts.

As I was growing up my own sweet mother would often bestow little nuggets of wisdom upon my humble head. She had one in particular that was her favorite and this is how it would usually go:

On My Creeping Universalism

January 28, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 8:20 pm   Category: Bloggernacle,Eternal Progression,Life,Theology,Universalism

Questions like this one don’t create any anxiety for me these days. I blame it on my creeping universalism.

By creeping universalism I mean this: I just can’t bring myself to believe in permanent divine punishment anymore. I know some people believe in it and I don’t begrudge them their beliefs — I just think they are wrong. Don’t misunderstand — I believe in divine justice. That is largely why I don’t believe in permanent punishment. If our souls are eternal I just don’t think there is anything we could do in 70 years here that would warrant infinite punishment. So I think people pay in some fashion for every sin they refuse to repent of; I just think that process won’t take forever. So when someone asks if I will end up in the highest kingdom of heaven (whatever that means) I feel confident in saying “yup”. I just think y’all will end up in the same condition too. (Heck, I now vaguely suspect we may have always been in that condition before our sojourn here on this planet as well…) That is what I mean by my creeping universalism. (more…)

The Morality of Gynecology (a poll).

January 25, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 12:00 pm   Category: Ethics

If you choose the first answer, please use the comments section to tell us how you fill in the blank.

On Facebook

January 24, 2009    By: Geoff J @ 10:36 pm   Category: Life

So I finally signed up on Facebook this month. I did it reluctantly, but after Kristen signed up and immediately started getting interesting updates from various family members and old friends I was persuaded that it might be worth checking out.

It was worth checking out.

I’m “Funny”

January 12, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 10:21 am   Category: Life

So I spoke in Church yesterday.

Here are some comments I got after my talk.

“Hillarious, as always!” – Teenager

“Do you do stand up, you should do stand up, your speech was just like a stand up routine.” – Sweet Old Widow

“Dude, you are a great public speaker” – Guy who dressed as a whoopy cushion for Halloween.

“Why didn’t you give the talk you wrote!?!” – Spouse

My talk was on the Book of Mormon being for our Day. I went a bit off of my topic, but I remember talking about:

  • A brief comment that the children were not doing well with the switch to afternoon church, and missed their naps (as did their fathers) as an Ice breaker.
  • The Old Testmant not being written for our day, and being worse than an R or X rated movie
  • Jeffrey R. Holland’s Master Thesis on the over 3,000 textual changes in the different editions of the book of Mormon (including the change last year)
  • The Expansion Theory of Book of Mormon translation, and Alexander Campbell’s “delusions”
  • The Book of Mormon pointing to Modern Revelation, Jesus being the Christ, and Prophetic Authority
  • The Book of Mormon being a guide that points us to the value of the Church and the need to participate in the church community
  • A passionate argument my wife and I had while reading “3 Questions for a Frantic Family” where we decided that the core purpose of our family was “working together to be happy and become like God”, which I believe is also the purpose of our church family.

    Not sure what was funny about any of that in hindsight.  Sometimes I worry about being funny.

    Of Minds, Spirits, and Bodies

    January 11, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 7:01 pm   Category: spirit birth,Spirits/Intelligences

    What is a spirit? Joseph Smith talked a good deal about spirits and minds, but he never clearly articulated his view of what constitutes a spirit. This leaves us in an unfortunate position of trying to piece together what he must have believed about spirits from other things he said. On one hand, he was clear and consistent in asserting that spirits are co-eternal with God and have existed from all eternity. On the other hand, he used language that suggests an ontological dualism in which mind is a different sort of thing than matter. (more…)

    Who says regular Mormon guys can’t compete with Edward?

       By: Geoff J @ 4:46 pm   Category: Life,Mormon Culture/Practices

    There has been lots of talk about Twilight on the Mormon blogs over the last few years.  The author of the series, Stephenie Meyer, is a practicing Mormon and it is not too hard to sniff out the Mormon influences in the story in my opinion.

    One of the complaints occasionally lodged is that no real guy could possibly compete with the fantasy that is Edward, the romantic hero of the story. On some levels this is obviously true: As a vampire Edward has super strength and super speed, plus he is independently wealthy as a teen, plus he is magically handsome, plus he can read minds. But I’m not sure those are really the most important things that make Edward desirable. It seems to me that Edward has other things about him that regular guys (single or married) can compete with: (1) Tremendous self discipline, (2) a powerful moral compass, (3) a desire to understand the girl, (4) a drive to protect and defend his loved ones, and (5) skills at being a tease. Plus regular guys can take advantage of important attributes Edward lacks: (a) A sense of humor, (b) a tan, (c) the ability to intermingle comfortably with human beings, and (d) the ability to live in a sunny place.

    When I Die I will Burn in…

    January 7, 2009    By: Matt W. @ 3:50 pm   Category: Life

    …a Crematorium. 



    I decided this a while back because one of my good friends passed away growing up and her funeral expenses nearly ruined her parents financially, coming in at over $10,000 dollars (which is fairly common for a coffin, phermaldahyde, etc burial). On the other hand Cremation costs around $600. I can’t stand the idea of leaving a financial burden like that to the kiddos, and I figure it is my way of repenting to mother nature, as I figure the land I would have been buried in is approximately equivilant to the amount of land I used in landfills by using disposable diapers. (6 ft deep, by 7 ft long,  by 4 ft wide, you do the math)

    But I have heard that there are some LDS concerns about this. I mainly blew them off as outdated ideas with no place in the worldwide church, but then, upon the urging of some, I looked up one.

    The latest I found was an opinion of a GA which noted that burial is preferable as it leaves the body to decay via natural means and scriptures site “You were made from Dust and to Dust you shall return”. First, I was raised Catholic and I am pretty well aware of the whole “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust” idea. Second, there is absolutely nothing natural about injecting preservatives into my body, locking it in an airtight metal box and burying it. Third, nothing says “Dust to Dust” more than being reduced to the same.

    So I ask you, does anyone have any legitimate objections to cremation?

    An Open Letter to ODOT

    January 5, 2009    By: Jacob J @ 1:08 am   Category: Life

    Dear Oregon Department of Transportation,

    This weekend I took a group of scouts on a winter camping trip to Mt. Hood. We left on Friday morning at around 8am and arrived at Frog Lake at roughly 11am. The driving conditions were terrible as they always are in Oregon when it snows and freezes. The shoulders of the roads were littered with cars and semis that had slid or rolled off the road. When we arrived, we donned snow shoes and hiked in about a mile from the parking lot to the lake. It was a beautiful hike with some light snow and gospel conversation. The assistant scoutmaster and I discussed the implications of belonging to a Church run by imperfect prophets who make mistakes and often reflect the biases of their times and culture. (more…)