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Nine Moons

Mormon Music I’ll Actually Listen To

Rusty - January 12, 2011

Some folks loooove the hymns. I don’t. I’ve always appreciated and enjoyed singing them in church, but I’ve never considered them very good for listening. Like, I’ll never put them on my iPod. Sure, they’re nice to sing while I’m wrangling my 2-year old in the pew, and even better when someone prepares a special musical number. But even then, they’re just a little too…I don’t know, serious? Righteous? Of course, I’ve never had any other expectation. I mean, we’re a bunch of God-worshipping lay-singers with “serious-face”, how else am I supposed to sing them? (more…)

New Year! Get Something Going!

MCQ - January 3, 2011

I like this post over at Mormon Mentality, and thought we should follow up here by making our own lists.  I like setting goals this time of year, and I agree with a lot of ESO’s goals.  I’m not going to lay out clothes the night before (cuz that just ain’t me), and I’m not going to do sign language (I would suck) or learn primary songs (my kids are teens) or go to relief society (I’m a dude), but other than those things, I’m adopting her list right here and now. 

In addition, I hereby resolve that in 2011 I will:

1. Increase my income.

2. Learn a new song on my guitar.

3. Run a marathon in under 4 hours.

4. Climb Kings Peak.

5. Complete a triathon.

Join me sluggards!

Giving and Receiving

MCQ - December 24, 2010

At Christmas, we all hear that it is better to give than receive, and so we look for ways to give.  We strain our budgets to give to our children family and friends, sometimes with gifts that we know will be little used and not long remembered.  We want to give, so we do it anyway, because it’s traditional and because we want to honor the savior and the greatest gift of all.  It is right that we should do this, especially if we find meaningful ways to give to those who are truly in need.

But sometimes we need to be reminded how to receive as well.  This Christmas has been one of learning to receive for me and for my family, because my wife has had to undergo surgery and, though she is recovering well, she is unable to move much and so, as members of our church do, our ward members have given us many good meals and visits and wonderful wishes and prayers.  It requires some humility to receive rather than give.  I think most of us are much more comfortable being the giver than the receiver, but it is good for us to be reminded that we are all recipients of the freely given gifts of God, our Heavenly Father, who gave us his son, not because we earned it or deserved it, but simply because he loves us.  I have felt that love this Christmas and I wish that feeling for all of you on this holy Christmas eve.  Merry Christmas.

What Would You Change About The Ensign?

Rusty - December 7, 2010

Part of my design education focused on editorial design. Magazines. I designed three different magazines in undergrad and one in graduate school (it was my thesis, actually). I was nourished with the editorial design work of Alexy Brodovich (Harper’s Bazaar), Fred Woodward (Rolling Stone), Fabien Baron (Italian Vogue), Kalman & Toscani (Colors), George Lois (Esquire covers) and even David Carson (Beach Culture) among others. At the time magazines like Wallpaper and Nest were new and hip and cool. To my young, idealistic mind, concept and aesthetic were king.

So you can imagine as a design student at BYU I didn’t care much for the design of the Ensign (or any other Church publication for that matter). Not only was the typography dreadful, the images were (always) literal (and generally bad), but there seemed to be little consideration for concept. The designers/editors weren’t challenging me, they weren’t giving me anything to think about. It was like the bad Gospel Doctrine class where you only get (the same old) answers and no good questions to actually chew on.

Well, they’ve made a few adjustments since then, as have I. And through years of experiencing the real world I’ve come to understand that managing the design of large brands not only requires a realistic understanding of who your true consumer is, but also a realization that communication is king. Aesthetics and concept are merely tools that assist the communication. Of course, none of this is to say the design and/or editorial of the Ensign is good. Far from it. I mean, if there’s any magazine in the world that should be inspiring, this is it, right?

So, this is where you come in. Let’s say that you’ve been hired by the Church to completely overhaul the Ensign (or any of the Church’s publications). What would you change in the design? And the editorial? Do you like the features and departments as they are? What would you toss? What would you add? And keep in mind, this is the Ensign, not Dialogue or Sunstone.

The Psychology of Goal Setting

MCQ - November 16, 2010

As I’ve observed before, Mormons are a goal-setting people.  It’s pretty much unheard of to have an organization in the church which doesn’t have yearly goals and possibly monthly and weekly goals as well.  As a missionary, I learned that goals were practically part of the gospel.  We set goals every month and we were expected to meet them or know the reason why.  I believe in goals, and enjoy setting yearly goals for myself and trying to meet them.  Even if I don’t get there, I like knowing that it’s something I’m working toward, and if I do get there, I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment I get from that.

But then we had a meeting about ward mission goals. (more…)

University of Utah Football – A Celebration. UPDATE: There’s more than one reason to wear black

MCQ - October 26, 2010



There has been an astonishing dearth in the bloggernacle over the years. Not a dearth of bread or of water, but of hearing about the School of the Prophets. That shining institution set on the hill in Salt Lake City, which our beloved prophets founded and attended, and which has distinguished itself so well lately in the magnificent game of football.  I speak, of course, of the University of Utah, and its football team. (more…)

Departing the Text: Changes to Elder Packer’s Conference Talk – UPDATED

MCQ - October 7, 2010

As I thought might happen, the text version of Elder Packer’s controversial talk from conference was changed from the spoken version.  There are two (in my view) very important changes made to the text at the most controversial passage of the talk.  I want to discuss what the changes mean, whether you think they went too far or not far enough, and any other thoughts you might have about the changes. 

UPDATE: The full transcript, with changes shown, is available at Mormons for Marriage. HT: Heather.

Here are the two versions of the talk:


Favorite Conference Talks – President Henry B. Eyring

MCQ - October 4, 2010

This talk was given in the priesthood session and is a simple talk, as great ones often are. Eyring is a perennial favorite of mine, along with the obvious ones like Holland and Uchtdorf.

I loved this talk more because of the feeling I had at the end, rather than any particular thing that was said, but it seemed to me to give a glimpse of so many things that I love about the gospel, especially because, when we talk about the gospel as designed for our happiness, we aren’t talking about just a happiness in the eternal world, or an abstract concept of happiness, we’re talking about real honest happiness and basic cheerfulness that can be a real part of our everyday lives right now, and by which we can bless the lives of others.


SLC Snacker!

MCQ - September 30, 2010

Come one come all to a bloggersnacker in SLC this weekend. Those who are in town for oh, whatever, and would like to hang out for a while, please let me know!

markcquinn at comcast dot net


Effectuating Change. The Effective Way.

Rusty - September 29, 2010

A lot has been said over the last few days about Elder Jensen’s apology. A major strand of those conversations has revolved around the idea of how to best effectuate “Change” in our church. There are those, mostly outside of the Church, suggesting that change will only happen from (surprise, surprise!) outside pressures. Then there are those who are mostly within the Church suggesting that change will only happen from within. I must say that I’m shocked, SHOCKED that the two sides disagree on this point. (more…)

Insider Gospel Knowledge

Rusty - September 16, 2010

This recent thread at Feminist Mormon Housewives bugged me (shocker, I know). The post itself was fine, asking readers for questions that would be asked of a Seventy at an upcoming stake conference. Okay. But most of the submitted questions were one of two types: (more…)

Old People

Rusty - September 10, 2010

I’m forming a hypothesis. (this is my escape clause in case you find it lacking signs of intelligence)

I just returned from SLC where I had wonderful visits with old friends, new friends, and blog friends. John Dehlin’s family exceeds the definition of graciousness and delight. MCQ and ARJ’s mountain biking prowess (and bikes!) are my new source of jealousy. And Silus Grok continues to charm and captivate us blubbering posers.

But it was in the presence of old people that I had my epiphany. (more…)

Bloggernacle Summit

MCQ - September 9, 2010

Rusty was in my neck of the woods last weekend, so we got together at my place with Silus and a random John for some fine talk, fine treats, and to solve the world’s problems.  You’ll be glad to know that we’ve got it all figured out.  The answer is 42. (more…)

Toward A Remedy For Vain Repetitions

MCQ - August 19, 2010

I was recently discussing prayer with my 16 year old son and he mentioned that he has found himself saying the same things over and over again in his personal prayers, which seemed silly and un-spiritual to him.  He felt he was getting nothing out of these repetitious prayers and that the Lord was probably not happy with them either.  His remedy for that was to simply stop saying any more personal prayers until he had something important to say.  Sort of like telling the Lord that no news is good news. (more…)

Should I Say Something to the Bishop?

Don - August 7, 2010

This has been bugging me for several days now. We are having a family reunion and while the whole family is here we are going to bless a baby.

I asked permission of the Bishop (since it won’t be a regular Fast Sunday) he said no problem just let the executive sec. know – which I did.

The Exe. sec. called me to confirm and tell me that the father would need to come early to fill out some paperwork and that those who plan on being in the circle must have a current Temple recommend.

I have one son who is an Elder but is not endowed yet. He has a current limited temple recommend for baptisms only. (In fact I arranged with the temple president to do a special family baptism while everyone is here and this son is obviously included).

Anyway I wanted to make sure there weren’t going to be any embarrassing last minute glitches, so I told the Bishop everyone would have their recommends but one is not endowed. He asked me to get the name of the Ward and the name of the Bishop of my son’s ward so he could give him a call.

I was a bit stunned, but didn’t say anything. Now I kind of wish I had.

Why does my Bishop think he needs to check-up on this son? Isn’t a temple recommend a temple recommend? Since when do Bishops need to check up on Temple recommend holders coming to their ward and why does it take a special call just to stand in a circle with other Mel. Priesthood holder’s for a baby blessing?

If this son is worthy enough to go to the temple and do baptisms then isn’t he worthy enough to stand in the circle?

My son just moved into his current ward about a month ago, his Bishop didn’t issue the recommend and barely knows who he is. And his Bishop was going out of town this week, so my Bishop may not even be able to speak with him.

So should I say something, should I just let the chips fall where they may and hope there’s no problem or what?

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