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Nine Moons

The Jacob Project

MCQ - April 19, 2012

We have been studying the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon in Gospel Doctrine class recently, as are you, most likely. As I have mentioned before, Jacob is one of my favorite prophets and writers, so I have been enjoying this part of our class. One of the comments that the teacher made about this book that stuck with me is that Jacob mentions this in the beginning of his book:

Nephi gave me, Jacob, a commandment concerning the small plates, upon which these things are engraven. And he gave me, Jacob, a commandment that I should write upon these plates a few of the things which I considered to be most precious…

Of course, Jacob follows this commandment, but the things he writes (allowing for possible editing by Mormon) apparently took up only seven chapters. Although one of these chapters is the longest chapter in the Book of Mormon, this is a relatively small contribution, possibly due to Nephi’s instruction to limit himself to “a few of the things which I considered to be most precious.” (more…)

Rumor Has It

MCQ - March 30, 2012

I checked out the conference at UVU today (Joanna Brooks! Ardis Parshall! Kristine Haglund doing interpretive dance!) and met up with Kristine and Ardis and we decided that we couldn’t live without a Bloggersnacker in SLC this weekend. The time is following the last session of conference and the location is the Peery Hotel in downtown SLC. Other details have yet to be determined, but there are rumors that the esteemed Ronan Head (or some other large british head) will be in town and we will make every effort, including actual kidnapping, to ensure his attendance. Also, Kristine has graciously agreed to perform her now-famous rendition of ABBA’s classic “Dancing Queen.” Good times will be had. Autographs will be available. Email me if you want the deets: MarkCQuinn at Q dot com.

Kony 2012

MCQ - March 7, 2012

The Conservative Case For Marriage Equality

MCQ - March 6, 2012

This article is perhaps the most sensible thing anyone has said about same-sex marriage that I have ever read. Here’s the money quote:

[T]rue conservatives should welcome gay marriage. For its increasing acceptance across civilised countries represents not the making gay of marriage but the making conservative of gays. The desire of an increasing number of gay men and women to have their stable and lifelong relationships recognised equally by family, friends and society as a whole demonstrates the respect of individuals within, and towards, an important institution.

That’s exactly how I feel. It seems to me that, instead of arguing against SSM because it will somehow destroy the institution of marriage (which is perhaps the most unfounded argument against SSM), conservatives should be welcoming these people into the fold as potential saviors of the institution. After all, shouldn’t we be glad that there are people who desperately want to be in life-long committed relationships? There are certainly enough heterosexuals who seem not to want that, and show it by their behavior. If homosexuals want to marry, that says good things about them which ought to be rewarded, not dismissed.

How Far We Have To Go

MCQ - March 4, 2012

I’ve been largely ignoring the fuss over the racial comments made by Professor Bott at BYU in a recent Washington Post piece, in part because there have been a lot of good things said by lots of others (whom I applaud and with whom I’d rather not compete) and also because I generally consider the statements made by Bott to be outdated, vestigial, and of only archeological significance. They demonstrate that everyone is not on the same page yet, but they surely don’t represent the mainstream of thought on such issues among the majority of the members of the Church. (more…)

Keeping Christmas

MCQ - December 22, 2011

At the end of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol we find this description of the changed Ebenezer Scrooge, after his encounter with the spirits:

and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!

(more…)

I Don’t Want To Go To Heaven If I Can’t Get In

MCQ - December 14, 2011

The title of this post comes from a recently released single, called “Heaven” by the band O.A.R. (which apparently stands for “Of A Revolution”).

This is not a band I follow much, so I’m not very familiar with their other work, but I like a lot of what I have heard of their music. This particular track, the first single of the bands album King which was released this year, caught my attention partly because it’s a catchy tune and has been getting some radio play, but mostly because of the lyrics.

Of course, it’s just a dumb pop song in some ways, but it resonates with some people and is causing some small stir in the Christian community, partly because it captures, in a very articulate and pithy way, a view that is very widespread in our culture and is the reason, I believe, why many people want nothing to do with any organized religion, including ours. That view is that religion pitches heaven (the ultimate goal of existence) as a kind of exclusive country club, and the kind of person you are is really not welcome there. (more…)

5 Things I Never Did In Brooklyn

Rusty - November 30, 2011

Being that we are moving tomorrow from Brooklyn, our home of almost 9 years, to New Jersey (Montclair), I figured I’d note a few things I never did while living here.

1) Join the Park Slope Co-op: It’s an institution here, one in which you can earn your urban/progressive/sustainability/organic/communitarian-street cred and show how truly “Brooklyn” you are. Why not me? Meh, who cares.

2) Eat at Peter Luger: This one is disappointing. New Jersey isn’t that far away so maybe Sara and I will make a trip back to hit up the legendary steak house with some friends.

3) Ride the Cyclone in Coney Island: I’m not going to feel too bad about this one because I don’t ride roller coasters anyway. Been there a bunch of times, just never rode it, never wanted to.

4) Participate in a drive-by: Neither as a victim nor a perp. Actually, I’ve never felt unsafe in Brooklyn, in any neighborhood.

5) Governor’s Island: There was always something happening there in the Summer, I just never got around taking the short ferry ride.

To tell you the truth, this list was actually really difficult to put together, it was nice to realize we actually have done pretty much everything we ever wanted to do here. Brooklyn is amazing, though I’ll leave all the sentimental stuff for another post.

AZ Mormons – Calling my Bluff

Christian J - November 10, 2011

I’m wondering what the recent election in AZ says about the political power of the LDS Church. As a political liberal, its good news to hear that AZ Mormon Republicans have bucked the party line in favor of what I believe are more reasonable and compassionate solutions to immigration. BUT, I don’t believe its a coincidence that the AZ Mormon shift was preceded by recent legislation in Utah (heavily influenced by the LDS church). (more…)

Favorite Conference Talks: President Monson and Answered Prayers

MCQ - October 7, 2011

As I thought about the conference talk I particularly wanted to write about this week I was attracted to several. There was no obvious one, as there sometimes is, that through controversy or exceptional spiritual power jumped out as the one I needed to focus on.

I often enjoy President Uchtdorf’s talks most and, like many of our female members, I am an unapologetic fan, not because of his looks (though I can’t help appreciating his hair) but because he always seems to speak about subjects I love in ways I find almost poetic. For example, in this conference I loved both his talks, identifying profoundly with his image of finding God in the night sky as he piloted planes across dark oceans and continents.

(more…)

Would Captain Moroni Get Released From His Calling Too?

MCQ - September 25, 2011

Once again, I’ve been getting worked up over a discussion over at MM.

This one is about the Friends of Scouting funds drive (“FOS”). As a former scoutmaster, I have been involved in this funds drive in the past, and have seen, and even helped, the scouts in my ward be turned into little fundraisers for this program. So when I found out years ago that all the money donated under this program goes to Scouting HQ, never to be seen again by the local unit that raised the money, it made me angry, and I vowed never to participate again. (more…)

Hope of Israel Islam

D Christian Harrison - September 11, 2011

Today, in sacrament meeting, for the congregational hymn, we sung Hope of Israel (hymn #259) … and I was struck by the decidedly Jihadist ( Jihad-ish? ) tone of the selection. As I read through the text, I mentally made a few edits and found the changes illuminating:

Hope of Israel Islam, Zion’s Allah’s army, Children of the promised day,
See, the Chieftain Mullah signals onward, And the battle’s in array!

Hope of Israel Islam, rise in might
With the sword of truth and right;
Sound the war-cry, “Watch and pray!”
Vanquish ev’ry foe today.

See the foe in countless numbers, Marshaled in the ranks of sin.
Hope of Israel Islam, on to battle; Now the vict’ry we must win!

Strike for Zion Allah, down with error; Flash the sword above the foe!
Ev’ry stroke disarms a foeman; Ev’ry step we conq’ring go.

Soon the battle will be over; Ev’ry foe of truth be down.
Onward, onward, youth of Zion Allah; Thy reward the victor’s crown.

Now …  I’ve always been a little uneasy with the militaristic hymns. I get the metaphor — I just don’t really agree with it. The war we’re at is with our worst selves — not with our neighbors. There is no “us” and “them”, truthfully. Except for the most cruel and craven, every person who’s ever walked this planet has been on our side of the fight. We’ve all — with varying degrees of success — been in a war with our own, private demons. There is only ONE enemy — and that is Satan. Everyone else is just collateral damage.

The funny thing is, I love this hymn. It’s rousing! And maybe that’s its point … but today — when we remember the acts of those who were so sure that they were on the right side of the battle that they were willing to kill — I didn’t really feel like singing along.

Go Forth

MCQ - September 1, 2011

The title of this post comes from a marketing campaign by Levi’s which features quotes from American poets, the latest (above) being a poem by Charles Bukowski entitled The Laughing Heart. (more…)

Equal Justice

MCQ - August 23, 2011

The title of this post is a hat tip to bbell over at MM who blogged about this subject .  bbell wrote his post at the time when Dominique Strauss-Kahn (“DSK”) the then powerful head of the International Monetary Fund (“IMF”), and putative front-runner in the race for president of France, was arrested for sexually assaulting the maid in his New York hotel room.  (more…)

Who decides who’s a Mormon?

mfranti - August 11, 2011

This topic has come up several times in the last year because I know a lot of people living very different lives. Some of my friends/acquaintances are believers with rock solid testimonies and others stopped attending church years ago. Some drink, some have sex outside of marriage, some watch pron, some had abortions, some cheated on their spouses and others play by the LDS rulebook but don’t believe the LDS Church is God’s church.

All of them, despite the things they do or don’t do, consider themselves Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even though your gut might be telling you they’re not.

So who decides? Do you think you’re qualified to say?

I know I’m not qualified.

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