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Nine Moons : 2007 : October » 2007 » October

Giving A Talk Using Hieroglyphics

Rusty - October 29, 2007

Last week was our Primary Program. I’m a big fan, and not just because I get out of planning Sacrament Meeting for that week. I always enjoy watching the kids yell into the microphone, tug their clothes out of fit and enthusiastically (or bored to death) sing their little hearts out. One of the best programs of the year, if not the best. (more…)

Guest Series: The Case For Reconciliation (Part 3 of 3)

Guest - October 26, 2007

Having explored some of the ways we deal with conflicts between faith and science, or between doctrine and personal beliefs, let’s turn now to some of my favorite “conflict” questions. I’m interested to see what you have to say. (more…)

Guest Series: The Case For Reconciliation (Part 2 of 3)

Guest - October 25, 2007

Part II
In my last post, I was wondering what you do when you face an intellectual challenge, specifically an apparent contradiction between your faith and the evidence of science (or your own heart). One option is to decide to stick with the doctrine and take it at face value, whether that conflicts with the secular world’s current understanding or not. In the case of evolution, I can see no real harm in that choice. (more…)

Guest Series: The Case For Reconciliation (Part 1 of 3)

Guest - October 24, 2007

Hi, I’m Kris. Rusty and I have been in the same ward for over four years and since he found out that I’m a regular lurker/non-commenter on his blog he’s been asking me to write something for it (it’s only been a couple years, did I cave too soon?). By way of background I’m from upstate New York and have been a member of the church all my life. I’m a scientist, and I study evolution in ammonites, which were similar to squid but with a much more interesting design sense. When I’m not doing research, I teach biology to students who are mostly planning to be wealthy doctors, provided they can pass remedial math. I love my job and I love living in Brooklyn.

Part I (I will post Part II tomorrow and Part III on Friday)

I’m a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist. I love my research and am also fascinated by the different ways people understand and reconcile their religious beliefs with established scientific theories. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on that process of reconciliation. Don’t worry, this is (hopefully) not going to be the same old re-hashing of how the creation story is compatible with evolutionary theory if you understand Hebrew allegory properly. (more…)

Does This Baptism Count?

Rusty - October 23, 2007

Priesthood holder holds the person’s hand with his left hand, his right is at the square, he says the baptismal prayer, lets go of the person with his left hand and the person submerges himself.

Sometimes It Really Is Desperation Rather Than Inspiration. But So What?

Rusty - October 21, 2007

You got us. You’re right. Not all the callings we in the bishopric extend to you are revealed to us directly from the mouth of God. In fact, they’re not even all revealed to us with warm fuzzies. Of course we always start our meetings in prayer asking for the Spirit to guide us in our decisions and we often pray about a specific person or specific calling, but like other aspects of our lives, just because we pray for something doesn’t mean we always get it.

Now don’t get me wrong (more…)

Silus Grok: Shiny New Permablogger

Rusty - October 18, 2007

Many of you bloggernacle old-timers will know that Silus has guest-posted here at the ‘Moons a couple of times before. What you probably don’t know is that Soylent Green is people. Also, we are proud to say that we have the first (what will soon be called) “token gay permablogger” in the bloggernacle (Susan is our token female permablogger and we’re still looking for a token black permablogger, though we’d be happy with just an occasional black commenter!).

Silus is a terrific bloke, grew up in Spokane (though I never knew him), went to seminary with my older sister, went to BYU and currently lives in Utah. He can reveal any more than that if he so chooses. He has and will continue to maintain his personal ramblings here.

Welcome Silus!

Missionary Work – Old School

Seth - October 16, 2007

The prudence, fortitude, military discipline, labors, perilous navigations, and battles of the Spaniards – vassals of the most invincible Emperor of the Roman Catholic Empire, our natural King and Lord – will cause joy to the faithful and terror to the infidels. For this reason, and for the glory of God our Lord and for the service of the Catholic Imperial Majesty, it has seemed good to me to write this narrative, and to send it to Your Majesty, that all may have a knowledge of what is here related. It will be to the glory of God, because they have conquered and brought to our holy Catholic Faith so vast a number of heathens, aided by His holy guidance. It will be to the honor of our Emperor because, by reason of his great power and good fortune, such events happened in his time. It will give joy to the faithful that such battles have been won, such provinces discovered and conquered, such riches brought home for the King and for themselves; and such terror has been spread among the infidels, such admiration excited in all mankind. (more…)


Lamonte -

I had an interesting experience this past week.  My calling at church is to serve as first counselor in the High Priests Group leadership.  When we were first called as a presidency we held a presidency meeting.  There we discussed individual assignments and responsibilities.  Since that initial meeting – several months ago – we have not had another presidency meeting. (more…)

Airline to Heaven: Elder Pace’s Idea for (Very) Small Temples

Tom - October 15, 2007

Elder Glenn Pace of the Quorum of the Seventy was the visiting General Authority at our stake conference yesterday. His talk was about a lot of things. In one self-deprecating aside he said that he had an idea for small temples a long time ago when he was in the presiding bishopric.

The well-known problem at the time, which persists to a lesser extent to this day, was that there were too few temples to serve the saints in remote areas where the Church was not firmly rooted. His idea was to make a big airplane into a travelling temple. You would enter the front and come out the back endowed/sealed. He deadpanned, “You could even prop an Angel Moroni up there if you wanted.” (more…)

Without Mormon pioneers, we wouldn’t have U2′s The Joshua Tree

Susan M - October 14, 2007

It would’ve been called something else. Because Mormons named the plant. From desertusa.com: “Mormon pioneers are said to have named this species ‘Joshua’ Tree because it mimicked the Old Testament prophet Joshua waving them, with upraised arms, on toward the promised land.”


Crushing My Inner Literalist

Seth - October 12, 2007

A few months ago, there was an argument in Relief Society about Job. During a Sunday discussion one of sisters from the faction of “young mothers” locked horns with one of the “old guard.” The younger sister saw fit to point out to the gathered sisters that the story of Job “didn’t really happen,” being merely allegorical. One of our faithful empty-nesters immediately bristled, bearing down in strong testimony against the notion. The teacher played the diplomat and skillfully redirected the conversation away from the discovered hornets nest and the class continued without much further excitement. (more…)

Parents Should Not Wait? Someone please explain this to me.

Christian J - October 9, 2007

First my own personal story which makes a two-fold argument:

I was married to my lovely wife with still 3 years left of undergraduate work to finish. My wife can be described as someone who wanted to finish her higher education before even thinking about children. On two occasions in the 3.5 years after being married, we both received strong, unsolicited impressions from God that we should have a child. Though the school I attend is quite expensive, I have received quite a bit of tuition help in the form of scholarships, grants and federal loans. The catch is that I live in NYC and that is where the real debt comes in. Just to live is expensive. Especially when a one – bedroom ceases to be an option. In short – I see a very distinct difference between luxury goods and debt. So that’s the gist of my experience of not waiting. Let me be clear. I have no doubt we were prompted from God through personal revelation to have our two amazing daughters. Not a day goes by that I do not thank God they are in our life. The reason for the urgency from the Lord is still partially unknown to me. I expect those answers to come at a later date. The point: this is not for everyone. Its these kinds of situations and questions that personal revelation is meant for.

So why the “one size fits all” counsel we received in conference? I am sincerely asking this question. Someone have an argument to make? I would love to hear it.

Did you hear what you needed to hear?

Susan M - October 7, 2007

I’ve been thinking about faith, doubt and fear for the last few weeks. Pondering. Reading certain scriptures. Then Elder Cook mentions the very thing I’ve been thinking about, and quotes one of the scriptures I’ve been pondering:

For the Lord has not given the spirit of fear,
But of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

There were other things I needed to hear, but having him say that really sort of blew me away. It shouldn’t have (I’ve had this sort of thing happen many times), but it did.

God Doesn’t Leave, But He Surely Lives

Rusty -

The speakers in General Conference should be allowed to give their talks in their native languages rather than broken English. We should deal with the translation issues in the same way that all international members deal with it. Enough of the English-centric nature of our Conferences, especially considering the international nature of the Church.

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