Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Top Twelve Mormon Culture Sins...what are some of yours?

12. I eat meat in the summer AND in times of plenty.

11. My mission wasn’t the best two years of my life...

10. My kids will never watch the brain-washing racist videos known as The Living Scriptures.

9. I don’t say "amen" when something is said in a talk or a prayer that I don’t agree with.

8. It annoys me when people bless the refreshments (junk food) at activities by using the phrase “bless this to strengthen and nourish our bodies”. And while I'm on the topic of prayer...I don’t say prayers at restaurants with the family.

7. I don’t know anything “with every fiber of my being.”

6. I watch most R rated movies without guilt. (Saw 2 and 3 made me uncomfortable). 4 of my top 5 movies of all-time are rated R. Gladiator is my favorite movie (the late Pres. Faust actually quoted one of the main lines of the movie in a General Conference address AFTER the movie came out…check it out here), followed closely by the Godfather trilogy, Braveheart, Ghostbusters and The Patriot.

5. I don’t believe gay marriage will bring about the apocalypse.

4. Just because something is “beer-battered” or cooked in “wine sauce” does not mean that it is against the Word of Wisdom.

3. I love music composed and performed by people of questionable moral standing and sometimes…even unquestionably inappropriate subject matters.

2. I am morally opposed to general authorities writing books on doctrinal subjects and selling them for profit. If they are supposed to be special and especial witnesses of Christ then I shouldn’t have to pay for their interpretation of scripture and doctrine. This complaint can extend to Deseret Book as a whole, from their numerous graven images to the countless walls of sermons for profit.

1. I did NOT vote for Mitt Romney.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mormon Responses Required...

The purpose of today’s blog is to specifically elicit comments from my Mormon friends (others are welcome, of course, I always love outside perspectives). Recently, the state of Utah has been considering a flat rate income tax and the church was solicited for a response and gave one. It raised the following question: “To what level do members of the church give credence to statements issued by the church on social policies?”

The LDS Church spokesman Dale Bills replied to that by saying: "Church statements on public policy issues reflect the united voice of church leaders. While such statements often reflect church teachings and practices, positions on matters of public policy do not rise to the level of doctrinal declarations." (,5143,605154969,00.html?pg=2)

And what of those “doctrinal declarations”? Look no further than the Doctrine and Covenants to find our revealed and inspired position: “We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.” (D+C 134:9).

How do you feel in regards to these statements?

In regards to other public policy issues?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Into the Wild - Eddie Vedder music Soundtrack

I realize I may be a little late to the party in this but at the recommendation of my brother-in-law Chris, I recently watched the movie, "Into the Wild," which I highly recommend. What a wonderful movie about a man's search for the meaning of life and one's true self in an unfair and often brutal world. Setting the movie content aside for a moment, I cannot even remember the last time I was so awed by the soundtrack of a movie. Eddie Vedder puts in one of his finest performances in a pulled-back, vocal masterpiece that I tremendously appreciated. In today's music scene, where the louder and faster you play can seem to substitute for vocal talent, Vedder offers a breath of fresh air. ENJOY! Here are a few:





Sunday, July 6, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

I finished reading a comic book trade paperback today at the hospital (wife and child are still there). On the very last page of Universe X, Volume 1, I read the following quote:

"It seems as if every new piece of knowledge brings a new complexity and detail that ultimately suggests that knowledge itself is a sort of two-edged sword. The more that is revealed, the greater the number of unanswered questions.

"Perhaps this is that notion that corrupts. It is that there is an infinity of questions, suggesting an infinity of answers. And the answers suggest, again, new questions that spread out far from the initial question of being.

"But, to my knowledge, I have not been as of yet corrupted. This can only mean two things. Either I have not gained sufficient knowledge to act as a corrupting agent in my assembly, or, I am not human..."

I find this odd because very recently my wife and I had a conversation where I shared very similar sentiments. The more you learn, the less that makes sense. The more knowledge you attain, the less you realize you actually know. The more truth you discover, the more faith that is required. Questions are answered with more questions and you are sometimes left feeling tremendously unaware of any absolute truths.

It is almost like life is following the knowledge unveiling pattern of the TV show LOST. You have a million questions and when you finally get one answered it opens the door to even deeper questions. Then you get answers to those questions but come to find out that the answer to your first question, which led to the more probing questions, was probably an incorrect assumption but in so discovering that, it leads you down another path with multiple questions that require multiple answers to even more questions that you had not even considered.

On that note, I will end this by letting you enjoy one of my favorite clips from the movie, THE MATRIX:

Friday, July 4, 2008

Caleb Derek Shelby

Happy News!

Caleb Derek Shelby was born at 11:08 AM on July 4th, 2008. He weighed 7 lbs and 1 oz and measured 19 inches in length.