Personal Online Journal

Friday, June 27, 2014

Priesthood Authority vs Inter-Personal Reasoning

Consider the not unusual case in which two people who, having searched, pondered and prayed in all faithfulness and earnestness, come to two different conclusions regarding how they ought to believe, speak and/or act.  The first way of resolving this disagreement would be with an appeal to priesthood authority in which one side acquiesces to the presiding authority of the other.  The second way would be with an appeal to inter-personal reasoning in which, very roughly speaking, the less persuasive side acquiesces to the more persuasive side. ("Priesthood Authority vs Inter-Personal Reasoning", Jeff G, 9 Jun 2014)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Maybe I'll Meet a Girl

A great story about compassion and Christlike love.

"Maybe I'll Meet a Girl" by Jeff Benedict

Stewardship Judgement and Agitation Strategies

I liked the approach of these articles on the recent excommunication of Kate Kelly. I think it is also important to note that no one but the council and Kate Kelly have the stewardship and thus the discernment to know the whole story. So any comment anyone makes is much speculation.
we can see her discipline as a specific caution against tactics that promote different doctrine (on any subject) than what is being taught from the pulpit in our day, and then recruiting others to rally around that new doctrine too. If we take this second approach, Kelly’s disciplinary council is not a condemnation of the conversation about women but a caution for those of us involved in it to choose a different strategy. ("How The Conversation About Women Can Go On", Neylan McBaine, June 16, 2014)
I also like this one very much.
It is their responsibility to judge whether or not a person is threatening their salvation or the salvation of others. In doing so, they are not judging whether or not the person is good or bad; or whether they are saved or condemned. That is not their place. Such is a judgment reserved only for the Lord Himself. However, they do have a responsibility to judge whether or not that person is aiding in the fulfillment of the stewardship. ("Priesthood Keys – And Blessed are Ye if Ye have no Disputations Among You", Scott Stover, June 20, 2014)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Unity, Liberty and Charity

"in essentials let there be unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things charity"
(B. H. Roberts. Oct 1912 General Conference)

My First Son's Mission Call

My first son's mission call.

Here is a population density map of Detroit.

Here is a missionary blog for a Spanish speaking missionary in Detroit.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Never Check your Religion at the Door

Elder Holland gave a wonderful talk Jan 2012 called Israel, Israel, God Is Calling. He shares a story about keeping our cool even when it might be easier to fly off the handle. 

A few years ago a young friend of mine—a returned missionary—was on one of the college basketball teams in Utah. He was a great young man and a very good ballplayer, but he wasn’t playing as much as he hoped he would. His particular talents and skills weren’t exactly what that team needed at that stage of its development or his. That happens in athletics. So, with the full support and best wishes of his coaches and his teammates, my young friend transferred to another school where he hoped he might contribute a little more. 
As fate would have it, things clicked at the new school, and my friend soon became a starter. And wouldn’t you know it—the schedule (determined years before these events transpired) had this young man returning to play against his former team in Salt Lake City's then-named Delta Center. 
What happened in that game has bothered me to this day, and I am seizing this unusual moment to get it off my chest. The vitriolic abuse that poured out of the stands on this young man’s head that night—a Latter-day Saint, returned missionary, newlywed who paid his tithing, served in the elder’s quorum, gave charitable service to the youth in his community, and waited excitedly for a new baby coming to him and his wife—what was said and done and showered upon him that night, and on his wife and their families, should not have been experienced by any human being anywhere anytime, whatever his sport, whatever his university, or whatever his personal decisions had been about either of them. 
But here is the worst part. The coach of this visiting team, something of a legend in the profession, turned to him after a spectacular game and said: “What is going on here? You are the hometown boy who has made good. These are your people. These are your friends.” But worst of all, he then said in total bewilderment, “Aren’t most of these people members of your church?”
He continues the story at 30:39

The day after that game, when there was some public reckoning and a call to repentance over the incident, one young man said, in effect: “Listen. We are talking about basketball here, not Sunday School. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. We pay good money to see these games. We can act the way we want. We check our religion at the door.” 
“ We check our religion at the door ”? Lesson number one for the establishment of Zion in the 21st century: You never “check your religion at the door.” Not ever. 
My young friends, that kind of discipleship cannot be—it is not discipleship at all. As the prophet Alma has taught the young women of the Church to declare every week in their Young Women theme, we are “to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in,” 13 not just some of the time, in a few places, or when our team has a big lead. 
“Check your religion at the door”! I was furious. 
But let’s stay with this for a minute because there is a second lesson on its way. Lesson number two in tonight’s quest for Zion is that in my righteous indignation (at least we always say it is righteous) I have to make sure that I don’t end up doing exactly what I was accusing this young fan of doing—getting mad, acting stupid, losing my cool, ranting about it, wanting to get my hands on him—preferably around his throat—until, before I know it, I have checked my religion at the door! No, someone in life, someone in the 21st century, someone in all of these situations has to live his or her religion because otherwise all we get is a whole bunch of idiots acting like moral pygmies. 
It is easy to be righteous when things are calm and life is good and everything is going smoothly. The test is when there is real trial or temptation, when there is pressure and fatigue, anger and fear, or the possibility of real transgression. Can we be faithful then? That is the question because “Israel, Israel, God is calling.” Such integrity is, of course, the majesty of “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” 14 —right when forgiving and understanding and being generous about your crucifiers is the last thing that anyone less perfect than the Savior of the world would want to do. But we have to try; we have to wish to be strong. Whatever the situation or the provocation or the problem, no true disciple of Christ can “check his religion at the door.”

Sunday, June 01, 2014

I'm not arguing that with you

My family loves to debate, both my brothers and sons, my daughters and my wife. And me. We all like to be right. I just read through a bunch of comments on a blog post. I was amazed as both the length and extent of the comments. I was also impressed with the general tone of the comments.

I have to laugh though at our seemingly general tendency to argue as humans. I love this scene from Joe vs. the Volcano. It sums up the futility of some conversations. Especially when every opinion of every person has been clearly expressed at least twice. There is something about some personalities that seem to think that the other does not understand their position. That if they were merely given the chance to express it and ensure that the other really understood it, the other party would be convinced of the truth.

Sometimes we all understand each other. And we just disagree. Sometimes, especially in real life, it is better to let beaten, dead horses lay. Agree to disagree and be done.

I hope to create a new catch phrase among my acquaintances. Something like bite the wax tadpole. "I'm not arguing that with you" should be enough to say. I am pretty sure that I understand your position and you understand mine. We don't agree and I'm OK with that.