Soon after I was made a ward clerk 20 years ago this month, I walked into the clerk’s office to find a xerox copy of an article posted there. The article was the text of a letter, sent by one of my predecessors, to the Church’s membership department, and had somehow found its way to Sunstone. It was titled “A Religion of Clerks.” The author, Randal Quarles, has since served as Undersecretary of the Treasury.
This morning I heard a member of Utahâ€™s delegation to the Republican National Convention tell a radio talk show host that â€œthere is a really special feeling among the Republican delegation.â€ Could you run that by me again?
Like in many Mormon families, my siblings and I helped fix dinner. On Sunday’s I loved to fix the mashed potatoes. It was in making mashed potatoes that I learned early that though a little is good, a lot is not necessarily better. Early on, I served a large bowl (there were 8 of us) of mashed potatoes after thinking that if a little salt was good, . . .
I can’t resist telling this one again. Last May in priesthood meeting the photographers collecting photos for the ward directory suggested that the photos might end up on the “Blogosphere.” After they mentioned the word “Blogosphere” three times, I replied: “In the Church, we call it the “Bloggernacle.” To my surprise, this drew gaffaws from the entire room, as if I had invented the term there and then as a joke of some kind.
Several years ago a returned missionary acquaintance was told, on applying to BYU, that he needed ‘academic repenting’ before he could be admitted.
Several years ago bookseller Curt Bench put together an annotated list of the 50 most important Mormon books published before 1980. While I won’t claim that everyone will agree with his assessment, I’ll be very surprised if anyone objects to more than 25% of the list.
The new nursery manual is available.
For the past decade, I’ve suggested that Deseret Book is one of the significant impediments to the growth of Mormon culture outside those elements involving worship. LDS books, music, film, art and other cultural products, especially innovative ones, are hampered by Deseret Book’s size, focus and control of the market for LDS materials. What can we do about it?
This past week I received a card in the mail from the BYU Alumni Association, asking for my help in “editing” my biographical information in an “Alumni Directory” in preparation. While I’ve certainly given the Alumni Association biographical information in the past, for some reason this time I started asking myself “is this worth my time?” and, in the Mormon context, “is this worth anyone’s time?”
During the last few years, I’ve noticed that less often is “the plan of salvation” used in General Conference, and more often we hear “the plan of happiness.” Anyone know why?
A week ago I visited Mountain Meadows for the first time. I was surprisingly hard to find. While the site does appear on maps of the area, there aren’t any signs until you get within a mile of the entrance. That is a shame.
Has the Church really made an unsolicited offer to buy Facebook (see here which spun off to here)?
Ever been in one of the few LDS stores outside the United States? or in countries that don’t speak English? The selection can be quite discouraging.
The week in notes, belatedly.
Times and Seasons is thrilled to have Kent Larsen as our latest guest. Kent has been very busy in book publishing in New York City for twenty years and has followed LDS publishing closely for ten years. He has also been posting on arts and media for over three years at A Motley Vision, so Kent is no newcomer to LDS weblogs. See this AMV post for more information about Kent’s many interests. Welcome, Kent.
The bishop is worried about ward reverence. He should be, truth be told.
Let me remind everyone that I support the Church’s position opposing same sex marriage.
(I hope you havenâ€™t discussed this before, at least not in this way.) At the height of national debate over the Equal Rights Amendment, Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained that all LDS women should look to Eve: â€œEve, the mother of all living, is truly the perfect pattern for all her daughters. Oh that all women would follow the path laid down by the first woman of all women and do the things that she did that all might be saved!â€ I have done some preliminary research and realized members of the church interpret the Eve story diverselyâ€”
Just last week I heard a familiar comment at church: Brigham Young’s policy was to feed the Indians rather than fight them. The actual record of relations between Pioneers and Indians was a bit more complicated, especially in Utah Valley, the watery jewel of early Utah.
I donâ€™t want to debate the ins and outs of the tragedy at Mountain Meadows. It was horrific no matter how you cut it. My more immediate problem is personal
Georgia isn’t the only place with skirmishing this weekend: “LDS leader’s address still causing controversy,” a long article at the Deseret News, recounts the comments of five Sunstone panelists (and one unfortunate commenter) to LDS Relief Society President Julie B. Beck’s October 2007 Conference talk “Mothers Who Know.”
You are probably too erudite to discuss this, but Iâ€™m bringing it up anyway: vampire books. You know what Iâ€™m talking about.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve encountered an interesting banner link in my gmail account:
If you’ve been on a cross-country trek visiting in-laws or golf courses (or both) instead of reading new blogs posts, here are a few good posts you might have missed.
I stumbled across a few LDS socialist stories when I was writing my MA thesis.
I recently read Martin Marty’s The Christian World: A Global History (2007). The subtitle is slightly misleading, as Marty recounts Christian history on a continent-by-continent basis. The last two chapters, covering the modern return of Christianity to Africa and Asia, raise issues of particular interest to the LDS experience: correlation and assimilation.
Can you help me a bit more with this topic? . . . Since LDS funeral sermons were given exclusively by men before 1900, they make an interesting comparison with LDS womenâ€™s death poetry of the same time period.
I recently read Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion Year History of the Human Body (Pantheon Books, 2008) by Neil Shubin, a paleotologist and professor of anatomy at the University of Chicago. By coincidence, Jared at LDS Science Review had posted the same book in his “Currently Reading” list. Here is our conversation about this interesting book.
Why does “communion sweet” in the sacrament require both bread and water?**
I have an uneasy relationship with death.