Saturday, June 27, 2009

The church’s moving company

So as i mentioned a bit ago, my family is moving to Alaska. We’re in the midst of the move itself right now (hence the gap between the last post and this one), and so i’ve been thinking about moving, naturally enough, and particularly:

When did the Elders Quorums become the official moving company for the church?

I was an Elders Quorum president a while back, and i got a call once from someone about 10:00 am, and he told me that he was on the road driving his U–Haul, and would get in about 2:00 pm that same day, and could i get a few of the elders to help him move in?

Well, since i didn’t get the message until the evening, i didn’t get him any help—and you know what? I felt no guilt. At all.

Well, Jeanne and i just loaded everything up by ourselves without using help from the elders quorum. I am apparently not a good member of the church—i should have called my elders quorum president for help the night before our shipping containers were to be picked up. Right?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Unoriginality in speaking

Can somebody tell me when it became completely acceptable for people to simply read General Conference addresses instead of coming up with their own original work when they speak in sacrament meeting? I mean, i assume there was a letter from the First Presidency or something, since it’s occurring so often—so when was it? Was i home sick, or maybe traveling for business on that particular Sunday?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Up to 490, or so it seemed

So if the scriptures say that we can have up to seven quorums* of seventy, and the change from local to general seventies quorums was done, at least in part, to match prophetic guidance on the subject,** why do we now have eight quorums of seventies?

* Why do i always want to say “quora” instead of “quorums“?

** Look particularly at the text leading to note 12.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Architects gone wild!

A couple weeks ago, A Soft Answer* ran one of its periodic “Flickr Find”s—this time, a picture of the Mormon pavilion at the Expo 74 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington.

(Click on the image for its Flickr page, including copyright information.)

Yeah, the whole “golden plates” thing is cool and all, but like i wrote on A Soft Answer about it, i strongly suspect that this bit of weirdness from the church’s architects is what got church leadership to finally speak out against the use of mind-altering drugs.

That is all.

* A blog which, in a bit of small-worldness, is done by Dave Sundwall, who i went to college with.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

MoTab we ought to hear

To begin: I’m not a fan of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s sound. At all. (Actually, i’m not a fan of much of what you might call the “Mormon sound”—Gladys Knight was right about the, well, boring nature of our music.) However, i will readily admit that they have the right sound for some stuff—and so there are two things i’d like to hear (preferably live, but i’ll take a high-quality recording) MoTab do before i die, ’cause they have the perfect sound for them.

The first, and the longest shot: Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. You have to figure this one isn’t going to happen. (Legend says they backed out of a recording in the 1960s when they read it—it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s true, since the book has lyrics that translate to stuff such as “May God grant, may the gods grant/​What i have in mind:/​That I may loose/​the chains of her virginity.”) Of course, when i taught at Brigham Young University (this was right around the turn of the century) the BYU combined choirs did an absolutely amazing performance of Carmina Burana, so maybe Mormons have mellowed out about singing Latin- and Middle German-language erotic and drinking songs. I can only hope.

The second, and much more along the lines of what i’d expect from MoTab, is Mozart’s Requiem. They may have done a recording of this, in fact, and i’ve missed it (they recently released a recording of Mack Wilberg’s Requiem, which may be getting in the way of what i went looking for, and i know they’ve done Brahms’s German Requiem)—it seems their sort of thing. Once again, they have the right sound for it.

(And if they’ve actually done either of these, pointers to them would be appreciated. Thanks.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Naming a patron saint

I would like to nominate my friend* Craig Olson as patron saint of this blog. In support of this, i present the following shaggy dog, which he once wrote in a discussion in response to a troll asking, among other things (with typos preserved)

Do gods eat and drink? Do gods sleep? Since gods are glorified men do they do the same activities as they did during their probation on earth. I realize they perfect. But as they are married do they carry on othernormal human activities like eating, drinking and sleeping?

It had been a long day, and God was tired. He stared out the window of the train, and watched the kingdomside draw by in the afternoon light. He sighed, impatient for the train to reach the station, tired of watching mansion after mansion pass before his view.

With a series of subtle slowing lurches, the train hissed and clanked into the station. God reached out the window, and opened the door from the outside. Stepping down to the platform, he reached back into the compartment to grab his briefcase. He crossed the platform and walked through the turnstile, whose plaintive squeak seemed to set his teeth on edge. No one, it seemed, ever bothered to oil the thing. It had made the same squeak every day for as long as God could remember.

Walking to his car, God unlocked, then opened the door and swung his briefcase over to the passenger seat. After resting his hands for a moment on the edge of the door, God sat, heavily, behind the wheel, then swung in and closed the door. The key slid easily into the ignition but, when turned, produced no results. No cranking, no lights, no clicking, no luck. Some days, it seemed, were just more difficult than others.

With a sigh, God climbed back out of the car and locked the door, leaving his briefcase on the front seat. “It’s not like I need it for anything this evening,” he thought. And without a glace back at the car, he set off on the walk home.

The house was set well back from the road at the far end of town—not a difficult walk, and quite pleasant as the light began to fade from the day. The house was dark as God strode up the drive. “I’m home,” he called as he walked through the door, but there was no reply. There was a note on the kitchen table—something about a Relief Society Board meeting, and a casserole in the Kelvinator. Hungry as he might have been, the long day and the long walk had lessened the desire for food, at least for a cold casserole.

Turning aside to the den, God sat down and leaned back in the recliner. He could see the sky through the window turn slowly to a clear cobalt glow. “At least it’s Saturday,” he sighed, and closed his eyes for a welcome rest.

* Both a real-life friend and a net.friend. I met him and his family when i was a teenager, then we fell out of touch, then we re-met on the net.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The most snarkworthy bit of Mormon-ness ever

I haven’t mentioned it on this blog before, and that must be corrected:

Johnny Lingo.

If you’ve seen it, there’s no need to say more. If you haven’t seen it, see it—you’ll never be so simultaneously amused and horrified in your entire life.