Today the NBA announced a landmark agreement with the LDS Church to ensure that Jabari Parker’s desire to serve a mission does not interfere with his draft prospects, saying the church has agreed to their proposal to call Parker to serve as a missionary in the city of the NBA team that drafts him. While the official statement is brief, sources close to the negotiations report that because the NBA considers Parker to be a certain star, league officials, including new commissioner Adam Silver, went to unprecedented lengths to ensure that Parker enters this year’s draft. The deal stipulates that Elder Parker will proselyte and live with missionary companions, like other volunteer Mormon missionares, except that, since Elder Parker will be an NBA player, he and his companion will attend all of the team’s practices and games. The NBA has even given permission for Elder Parker’s companion to sit on the team bench in missionary attire during games to comply with mission rules, and has guaranteed that the companion will be shown at least twice during every televised game. The league also made other concessions to secure the church’s cooperation, including donating a box suite for the local mission to use for entertaining investigators. Joe Dumars, President of Basketball Operations for the Detroit Pistons, is excited about the proposal, saying it raises Parker’s draft prospects even higher, “There’s not a GM in the league who wouldn’t like having two clean-cut Mormon missionaries…
After much prodding from the folks here at Times & Seasons, circumstances have finally led Nathaniel Givens to accept our invitation to guest blog. Lurking on the bloggernacle for years, he says, made him realize that his ideas aren’t getting any fresher. So, finding himself with a surplus of unoccupied evenings (due to the necessity of working far from home), he discovered that now is the “later” he previously had in mind whenever he procrastinated the task of committing his ideas to digital paper, and he’s agreed to publish those ideas at T&S. Nathaniel earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Richmond, then an ME in systems engineering from the University of Virginia, and most recently an MA in economics from the University of Michigan. His primary interest is the use of formal and informal models to understand ourselves and the world around us, e.g. in disciplines such as artificial intelligence and economic decision theory. What does this have to do with Mormonism? Hopefully that will become evident in his posts over the next two weeks. When he’s not working in the DC area, Nathaniel lives with his wife and two kids in Williamsburg, VA. He is the son of Terryl and Fiona Givens, authors of “The God Who Weeps” (http://deseretbook.com/God-Who-Weeps-How-Mormonism-Makes-Sense-Life-Terryl-L-Givens/i/5083070), and brother of Rachael Givens Johnson, who writes for Patheos (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/author/rgivens/). Nathaniel runs his own blog: Difficult Run (difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com).
This promotional video from BYU’s Harold Lee Library is so well done it deserves it’s own post at Times & Seasons. That’s how good it is.
I never expected to see the day that Kate Michelman, past president of NARAL, would write, “all sorts of well-educated and progressive people are comfortable calling themselves pro-life.” Michelman’s opinion piece in the Washington Post is fascinating not only for her openly acknowledging the eroding support for her movement (she says recent polls shows 51% of Americans identify with the label “pro-life” and only 44% with “pro-choice”; the pro-life number would be a historical high), but by how hamstrung she feels defending abortion. She attributes the shift in public opinion primarily to technological progress: “[s]cience played a big role, making the fetus more visible. Today, the first picture in most baby books is the 12-week 3D ultrasound, and Grandma and Grandpa have that photo posted on the fridge.” Read that again. Michelman acknowledges that support for the pro-choice movement benefited from people’s ignorance of human development and the reality of the preborn person. This admission could scarcely be more heartening to those of us working for fetal rights. I’ve observed the phenomenon she mentions first-hand, and it is real. On two separate occasions at our former fetal imaging studio, Baby Insight, men who appeared to be in their 60s, who I assumed to be grandfathers of the new baby, came out of the studio where they’d spent 30 minutes watching their new grandbaby on a 70″ projection screen, and say to no one in particular, “Well, it really is a…
For over a year I’ve wanted to write a substantive post about the contradiction between two of the best-known biblical injunctions, “let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” and “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works.”
I haven’t found a news organization that’s called Prop 8 yet, and CNN’s exit polling showed it failing 48%-52%, but my county-by-county analysis of the remaining vote indicates that it will likely pass. With 93.6% of precincts reporting state wide, Prop 8 is leading by 406,519 votes (4.1%), and almost all of the precincts yet to be tallied are in counties that have favored Prop 8 by good margins.
BYU recently chose to rescind the diploma of Chad Hardy, the missionary calendar guy, because he was excommunicated from the church between the time he earned his degree and the graduation ceremony.
Well, probably not. But it’s certainly the biggest web I’ve ever seen, and it happens to be in my front yard so I’m especially…interested.
Wilfried noted this article, which says, Before each general [Utah legislative] session, GOP and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate sit down separately with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints special affairs committee, a group made up of church general authorities, church public relations officials and their lobbyists, to discuss any items on the minds of both legislators and church leaders. Does anyone know what other groups legislators of both parties meet with, to discuss issues of concern? Do the GOP and Democratics leaders in South Carolina have combined meetings with the Southern Baptist Convention?
Imagine that universally-respected researchers had determined that most of the people in your community eat too much sugar and fat, and are at serious risk of developing diabetes, hardened arteries, and other ailments associated with poor diet and inadequate exercise.
As of this writing, Google News lists 769 newspaper reports about Mitt Romney’s speech yesterday, and 8,232 stories since yesterday containing the word “Mormon”. Please share your finds with the rest of us.
Thank you, Mr. President, for your kind introduction.
Mitt Romney has decided to formally address his Mormonism in a speech this Thursday. His campaign is stressing that he won’t be detailing Mormon doctrine, but speaking more broadly to the role of faith in America and in Mitt Romney. This speech will cause every major news organization on the planet to discuss Mormonism this week, with coverage that may exceed even that of the Salt Lake City Olympics, where Mormonism appeared only as a local interest sub-story. This week Mormonism will be at the center. Over the next week we will offer threads about the speech, commentary and global discussion. Let us know what your local papers are saying.
In Moses 7, Enoch sees God weep because of the wickedness and suffering of his children. When does God’s weeping end?
Here are today’s Evans Bull-Bear Political Indicators.
New York Post: “‘September Dawn’ succeeds completely at failure; the unified incompetence of its writing, directing and acting suggest a man who manages to be on fire and drowning at the same time, just as the bus runs him over.” New York Daily News: “‘September Dawn,’ written by an evangelical Christian, may be the worst historical drama ever made.” New York Times: “The maudlin, grotesque western ‘September Dawn,’ . . . apes ‘Schindlerâ€™s List’ in hopes of creating a Christian Holocaust picture.”
The people who bet money on their ability to predict political events are bullish on Mitt Romney.
When asked why they aren’t more generous with their time or money, many people answer that if they gave more, it would be at the expense of their own children. Sure, the argument goes, it would be great if I could pay an extra $100 to provide immunizations for kids in Africa, but my first duty is to my family, and giving that $100 for immunizations would prevent me from taking my kids to the water park.
For years I’ve been torn by the knowledge that there are thousands of orphaned or abandoned children desperate to be welcomed into a family like mine and our reasons for “passing by on the other side” when we see the “least of these.”
I was surprised that the Saturday Afternoon session, held in the tabernacle, was nearly over before the tabernacle was dedicated. I had expected the dedication at the beginning, perhaps even before the official start of the session. If there’s no problem or benefit to having General Conference in a dedicated building, why was the tabernacle dedicated at all? Anyone know the rationale?