The Provo Tabernacle was a staple of my youth. When I was a child (pre-stake-center days) our stake conferences were there. My parents took us to see the Utah Valley Symphony a gazillion times in that venue. (The first, second, and third chair had each been my violin teacher at one time or another.) My sister first soloed with a symphony there. Kim and I practiced for our stint in the children’s choir singing in the (last ever) June General Conference in the tabernacle. I sang there with the BYU A Cappella reunion choir in (I think?) 1998. I watched my nephew sing in Amahl and the Night Visitors there. I had the convocation for my BYU graduation—complete with my blow-up doughnut, having just given birth to my oldest child—in that building. And on and on.
There are hundreds of fond memories from that building floating around in my subconscious, not the least of which was sneaking away from my parents to run up and down (and up and down) the spiral staircases in the corners. In spite of it’s rather dilapidated condition, I was very sad when it burned.
Sam and I and four of our kids attended the temple open house last week. The new temple is utterly glorious. The pictures do not do it justice. [click to continue…]
Thanks to Common Core and other cultural problems—you know, like legal mandates that allow boys to use the girls’ dressing room if they feel strongly enough about it—we’ve had a massive onslaught of new homeschoolers coming down the pike. As with most experienced homeschoolers (we are finishing up our 22nd year), I am getting endless questions about how to start, where to begin, what to do. (I do homeschool consulting at the same rate as blog consulting, if you’re interested.) From personal experience I know it can seem overwhelming to think you will direct the education of your own children when you have only known the government school paradigm, as I did.
All the discussion has me distracted from my real life (where my “baby” is 12 years old) to thinking about early education and foundational philosophies. If you’re thinking about enrolling your little tyke in preschool or otherwise getting formal about schooling your little ones, please read on! [click to continue…]
The world is full of idols, athletes, entertainers, people famous for no reason at all, and people famous for all the wrong reasons. It’s easy for our kids to get lost in the glamour and glitz and to idolize people whose examples are not worthy of being emulated.
Some attempts have been made to encourage Mormon kiddos to look up to scripture heroes as their models by creating plastic figurines for Samuel the Lamanite, Nephi, etc. It’s a noble cause, but you might notice that almost every such figure (due to…you know…the dearth of women in the scriptures) is male. Even all the missionaries are male. Phhhttt. (I did find a Sariah figure, but that’s all I can see to represent the female half of the population.)
What can we do?
First, we can do is to acknowledge that no person is perfect. No person other than Christ should be our exemplar. Downplaying the hero worship of popular culture icons can be done by discussing how everyone has some talents, but that doesn’t mean we copy everything they do. We might want to learn to do a layup like Johnny Moe, but we don’t have to dress, talk, and philander like he does.
Second, we can look for those who do good in many ways and show their examples. Using examples of people who have made a positive difference, blessed others, shown Christlike love and then discussing how we can emulate them can be a great motivator. These good people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and ages and that diversity can help our children look for good wherever they find it, not just on the court, stage, or magazine cover.
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Happy New Year! And Happy 13th birthday to Mormon Momma!
If you’re looking for some motivation, a nudge, a push, a shove, or just a little incentive to start 2016 off with a bang, here are some great resources for your consideration.
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Cliff Notes version of this post: Tolerance (inclusion, acceptance, etc.) is not inherently virtuous. It is only virtuous to the extent that the thing being tolerated (included, accepted, etc.) is virtuous or to the extent that tolerating (including, accepting, etc.) the non-virtuous has a virtuous outcome.
Failing my own rule #4 of Sacrament Meeting talks, I am going to begin today’s lesson with three definitions. This is an equivocation-free zone, so read carefully.
- Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own
- Acceptance: favorable reception; approval; favor
- Inclusion: the state of being part of the whole
Tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion can mean:
- All economic classes are permitted/approved/welcomed (without regard for ability to pay)
- All ethnicities and/or cultures are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All phsycial and/or mental abilities are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All races are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All species are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All genders are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All sexual orientations are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All non-traditional claimed gender spectrums are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All manner of dressing, non-dressing, cross-dressing are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All political persuasions are permitted/approved/welcomed
- All religious groups are permitted/approved/welcomed (or, more likely, equally shunned)
- All _________ is permitted/approved/welcomed
Ohio State University, Cornell University, and University of Tennessee-Knoxville (among others) recently crowded the PC bandwagon to help their staff and students be the best in all the world at including (specific) things while also excluding (specific) things (of course, without acknowledging the latter). They did this by outlining the best ways to celebrate the holidays while being “inclusive, respectful, and festive.” Interestingly, these types of rules are generally put forth by the offices of “Inclusion and Diversity” (which, one would suppose, supports embracing a range of…something) and yet they demand homogeneous conformity. Weird how that works. [click to continue…]
In October of 2013, a Pew survey made the claim that “big majority of Mormons (including women) oppose women in priesthood.” In March or 2014, I wrote Do Mormon Women Oppose Priesthood Ordination? Clarity About the Pew Survey to refute the erroneous conclusion.
In the aftermath there were numerous groups—claiming faithful adherence to doctrine—that used the survey fallaciously to “prove” that women opposed ordination in some sweeping way. It was purported to show that the status quo is not only inspired, but preferable, to members at large and women in particular.
Another large poll released yesterday shows—surprise! surprise!—an almost diametrically opposed result. And that I was right. [click to continue…]
Last week I engaged in a libertarian-esque discussion about geopolitical borders. In the midst of it, I came across a post by Kristine A titled The Rexburg Response to #PantsToChurch that rather fit into the concept of the necessity for distinction of groups.
To be clear, I don’t care much at all what people wear to church (or anywhere else). I also quite agree with Kristine’s final thought: [click to continue…]
The Teenage Mind
When I was in junior high, a mere 14 years old, I was positive I was in love. Not just infatuated. Not just hormonal. This was no ordinary teenage crush, it was different!
And, indeed, it was. The object of my affection—affection that was first bestowed upon me from him—was a 19-year-old college boy.
Let that just settle into your mind for a minute.
In spite of my assertions that “chronological age is not a determiner of maturity or responsibility,” in spite of my emphatic claims that I was different, special, and extraordinary, in spite of my pleas and promises and throwing myself prone on my bed in a tormented angsty rage of tears, my (mean, awful, hateful) parents would not be swayed.
All I wanted in the whole entire world was to date just a tiny bit (precisely 1.83 years) before the Mormon standard of 16 and to date someone old enough to be…well…illegal. I would forgo every other life opportunity and privilege for the rest of eternity, yea verily, I would do extra chores and practice my violin an extra half hour a day. Plus continue to get straight As. Plus read many, many scripture chapters weekly. Plus visit the elderly and the shut-ins. Plus make my bed. If only I could have my heart’s one true desire!
Yes, I even played the love card. [click to continue…]
This morning the Office of the First Presidency clarified the handbook changes. These clarifications alleviate or resolve many of the problems being discussed. I’m relieved to hear the intent, much of which aligns with what I had hoped for. While many will still disapprove, the clarification verifies that this was the most poorly written policy since Brigham Young codified the temple/priesthood ban.
Coders, engineers, and lawyers—at very least—should have been able to detect the fundamental flaws in the original language of this policy. (See Bad Code for a description.) I don’t know what filter new policy runs through at headquarters, but the team was certainly off their game this time—and the fallout has been tremendous.
Today we learned some important things that were not clear (and some not even addressed) in the original policy: [click to continue…]
[Upon hearing repeated snorting behind me.]
Mom: Caleb, here’s some tissue. You need to blow your nose.
Caleb (12): Samson needs to blow his nose, too.
Mom: You worry about your own nose. Samson can worry about his.
Caleb: I need justice!