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Nine Moons

To Shoot, Perchance to Kill

David - August 2, 2010

When I was a kid, I had an LDS friend whose grandfather served during World War I and had, for a while, been assigned to the firing squad. He would brag to me (more than once) that he was proud to say he never killed a man while on that duty. When the command was given to “Aim!” he’d point his rifle slightly to the side of the prisoner, so when it was time to “Fire!” he’d always miss. Of course, others in the squad would aim accurately and kill the man, but the grandfather’s conscience was clear. He said he knew the feel of a live round, and he wasn’t about to find out after the fact if he had one. He was pretty tickled, too, about how he had fooled the army. Unfortunately, when he confessed it to his bishop, it cost him his recommend (dishonesty, disobedience, dishonor, something like that) and got him a major tongue-lashing. He never regretted his choice, though and, of course, he did eventually get another recommend.

Personally, I can’t see the Lord agreeing with the bishop on this one.

Banner of Heaven Retrospective Post Mortem: What Does It All Mean?

MCQ - July 26, 2010

I really enjoyed the Banner of Heaven retrospective that Scott B at BCC put together (most of it appears here), and I have been thinking about it and gathering my thoughts ever since it ended. 

Mostly, I think the retrospective was an interesting historical look back at a time and an event that was an important watershed in the bloggernacle.  It’s something that will always engender some controversy and both good and bad feelings on the part of those who were participants in the drama, and also those who got involved after the fact.  I thought Scott did a good job of presenting all sides, but there was something missing in the end.  I would like to hear from people about the answers to a few questions that were raised by the final podcast with Steve Evans and which I posed over in the thread following the podcast at Bloggernacle Times.  No one really bothered to try to answer them there, so I’d like to try it over here to see if we can get a more relevant discussion going ( I swear I will delete any references to the Song of Solomon).  Here are the questions (feel free to add to this list if you want) and my answers: (more…)

You Need To Speak Better. I Don’t Know, You Figure It Out.

Rusty - July 19, 2010

I love top-5 lists as much as anyone, but this post only serves up the problems without offering any practical solutions. So let’s pretend that part of your stake calling is to strive to improve the quality of speaking in Sacrament meetings across the stake. What do you do?

A few points to consider:
- You hold no authority over the speakers nor those whom are primarily responsible for the quality of Sacrament meetings (bishops/bishoprics).
- Generally (those who are willing) adult members each speak around once a year.
- This isn’t about music, it’s about speaking.
- This isn’t about teachers, it’s about speaking.
- The wards are diverse in culture, language, age, knowledge, experience, and speaking ability.
- Bishops/bishoprics aren’t necessarily the best speakers in their wards.

Ideas? Solutions?

Need Doctrinal Help!

Don - July 15, 2010

My brother sent me this email – I thought maybe some of you had some thoughts and insights!

“Sunday, in HP’s group, I taught the lesson and stated that Christ had the power to raise himself from the dead…and he did (see John 10:17-18 and paragraph 2 on page 61 of the GP manual). Monday at our old fogies FHE one of the guys said he had always thought that God the Father had raised Christ from the dead, and then cited/quoted several NT passages that confirm that. He asked me to research it and see what I could find. Here are several references (there are many more): Acts 2:32; 4:10;10:40; I Cor 15:15; I Peter 1:21; Romans 4:24….Well, I’ve been looking and, except for the ‘logical’ explanation that Christ had the power to lay down his life and pick it up again and that would make him the Redeemer/’Atoner’ and he received that power/authority from his Father (Luke 10:22); or argue that ‘as far as the Bible is translated correctly’ and the KJV was ‘translated’ by those who believed in the Triune godhead, I can’t find anything very concrete! Checked NT Commentary by McConkie, Answers to Gosp Quest by Jos Fielding and looking on line but not finding anything at all…I’m stumped. Suggestions? I’m open to your scholarship!!!”

Laziness Is Next To Godliness

Rusty - July 12, 2010

I was yelled at early this morning by a fellow runner. Running at me. Uphill. Something about me not moving out of my lane for him. He had already begun yelling, 20 feet away, before I even noticed him in my lane (90% of runners go counter-clockwise around the Prospect Park loop, including me, which means he was essentially like a driver going down a one-way street honking and yelling at cars to get out of his way). My friend and I laughed as he passed us and I remarked at how much energy he just wasted that he could have put toward his uphill climb. So much energy, such poor allocation. (more…)

Happiness is a Warm ____________

David - July 10, 2010

I have a confession to make: I don’t like the moniker, “The Plan of Happiness.” I much prefer “Plan of Salvation.” When did they change it, anyway? Or was it always the alternate title? The Plan of Happiness sounds too much to me like something Deepak Chopra or Suzanne Somers would use. The Plan of Happiness Laguna Beach Diet. The Plan of Salvation sounds like a road map to heaven. The Plan of Happiness sounds like a pitch. When I hear it, I cringe, like when someone begins their testimony with, “Brothers and sisters… Aloooooo-haa!”

(more…)

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid.

David - June 28, 2010

A friend shared a story with me yesterday about his favorite uncle that left me both amused and thoughtful. The uncle is a dyed-in-the-wool man of faith; a stake president, solid testimony, the kind of guy to whom the concept of disobedience would never occur. I know the type: A friend and mentor of mine, currently the president of one of the MTCs, fits this description. I’m envious and in awe of such men, for their unpolluted spirits and natural surety of providential collaboration.

(more…)

Beautiful Smart People May Have Bad Genes

Rusty - June 25, 2010

When people talk about someone having or passing on “good” genes they are usually referring to one of two things: physical attributes or intelligence. While it is true that being born with either or both of these advantages should aid in one’s quest for happiness, we all know that the results don’t always align to the expectations. There are plenty of really really good-looking people out there who are unhappy, perhaps only outnumbered by miserable smart people.

Yet we still claim that those are “good” genes. (more…)

Based on Actual Events. No, Really.

David - June 22, 2010

Since Vincent Price fell out of the window 70 years ago, I’m thinking now is probably a good time to release another big-budget movie about Joseph Smith and the early Saints. The Church has been generating some copious ink these past few years, so I’ll bet in the right hands (Martin Scorcese?), a Hollywood production about the most complex story of 19th century America  would attract interest– if not at least set a firestorm across the ‘net. Or am I the only one who thinks this?

(more…)

All Time Best Speeches

MCQ - June 14, 2010

I have a top five list of all time best… well, I have a top five list for pretty much everything, but this particular post concerns speeches.  Not necessarily GC speeches, but religious speeches. (more…)

What’s Your Biggest Surprise?

Don - June 8, 2010

We’ve all had surprises, good and bad.

Rusty and his wife Sara just set up one of the best surprises ever! (For those of you who don’t know, Rusty has a beautiful little 2 yr old daughter) My wife and I “Skype” with Rusty and Sara regularly, it’s actually so my wife can get her “Lucca Fix” – she loves seeing and talking to her granddaughter.

Without telling my wife, Sara and Lucca flew out to visit. Sunday after church I told my wife I was going to a meeting. I went to the airport and picked up Sara and Lucca.

When we arrive home I came into the house and we Skyped Rusty. My wife started talking to Rusty (I went out to the car and got Sara and Lucca, we sneaked in behind my wife while she was still talking. She asked Rusty “Where’s Lucca?” Rusty told her to turn around, she didn’t understand so she asked again. Rusty told her to turn around. The expression on my wife’s face was what we all were looking for and planning on! What a wonderful surprise and gift – a week with our granddaughter (and her mom)!

What’s been your biggest surprise…share the joy with us.

Can You Hear Me Now?

David - June 6, 2010

We’re very active in the Church, but mine is not a particularly religious family. That is to say, we’ll find where the sacrament meeting is wherever we’re vacationing, but we don’t quote scripture to each other in conversation, or note how a particular challenge we’re facing reminds us of something Elder Bednar said in a talk (and can even name the title of the talk). Sometimes I feel I should be more gospel-minded, especially for my daughter. She’s 14 now, and maybe the train’s already left the station, because when I do try to talk of spiritual things with her, she gets uncomfortable, and then I stammer, and then the subject sort of limps away behind the sofa to die in peace.

(more…)

Top 5 Best Ways To Ignore Posts

Rusty - June 1, 2010

1) Don’t click on them.

Sorry, that’s all I’ve got. I had “2) don’t push the mouse button when the arrow is hovering above the link that would lead to a post you don’t want to read,” but figured that’s kind of the same thing. I also considered “3) If there is a title of a post that looks like its contents will not be something you are interested in, don’t read it,” which, again, is a little redundant.

Considering the above, I guess my title is a bit deceiving. Sorry. But that leads me to mention the entirely plausible scenario in which you find yourself erroneously reading a post you were fooled into clicking, something like, let’s say a post about Banner of Heaven. What should you do then? Stop reading. Seriously, reading histories of controversies is just too controversial. Besides, you didn’t mean to click on it anyway.

The Cult of Personality

David - May 30, 2010

This sort of follows Don’s last entry. How I understand it, we were all distinct and authentic individuals in the pre-existence, children of Heavenly Father. I imagine we had friends, positions, we took classes. We may have dated, but I doubt it. We probably just hung out like the singles today. I wonder what sort of entertainment we enjoyed in those heady, pre-mortal salad days. Was there an equivalent to TV, sports, iPad? Did we watch the “Historical Documents” of other universes? Did we play practical jokes, or even know what sarcasm was?

(more…)

Pre-Mortal Life—Mortal Life – What Gives?

Don - May 29, 2010

Just a quick question. How much does/did the pre-mortal existence influence who we are, where we are, and what we are doing?

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