Monday, August 31, 2009

Using even the bad times

From a sacrament meeting address by a recently returned full-time missionary:

  • It was tough, because i was stuck with a companion who was ill.

I understand the thought, actually, but the reaction strikes me as showing a lack of imagination. When i was a full-time missionary and my companion was essentially bedridden for just shy of a month, i took it as an opportunity to really intensely study the scriptures during the time i would otherwise have been out preaching—and i learned more about the scriptures during that not-quite-a-month than i’ve learned probably any other entire year of my life.

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a silly (maybe even stupid) little saying, but the thought behind it is valid, after all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The purpose of home teaching

I thought this was a one-time statement, but i’ve now heard it twice in sacrament meetings, so i’d like to register my objection to it:

  • Home teaching is intended to provide priesthood leadership in homes that don’t have the priesthood present.

This is, i would argue, untrue—rather, home teaching is intended (in part) to provide priesthood assistance to homes without the priesthood present (as well as those that do). This is an important difference.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


We’re counseled to live close to the Lord—maybe my family did do a Bad Thing, moving from the mountains to sea level some years ago.

(Or maybe such counsel is simply a way to keep the Utahns’ self-esteem up…)

Monday, August 24, 2009

On prophecy

The latest thing that bores me in sacrament meeting speeches: Someone reading something of the “If the world doesn’t repent, then God will pour out punishments on them” variety from, say, Spencer W. Kimball or Joseph Fielding Smith while they were president of the church, and then drawing the conclusion that the problems the world is facing now are in direct fulfillment of that prophecy, and that that’s proof that the prophet was divinely inspired, since otherwise how could they have known thirty whole years ago?

Thirty years? Thirty years is nothing! I mean, John prophesied all that in the Book of the Revelation nearly two thousand years ago! And how about Daniel, long before that?

Friday, August 21, 2009

When disguises don’t work

I don’t get parts of the Book of Mormon. I mean, take the story of Abinadi. He gets hunted down (unsuccessfully, apparently), and then he pops up in disguise (presumably so nobody’ll recognize him), and the first thing we hear him saying? “Hi! I’m Abinadi!”

Apparently secret agent training wasn’t quite as advanced back in those days as it is now.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Continuing to think about virgins

Another thought on the parable of the ten wise and ten foolish virgins: If the parable says that you can’t borrow a testimony from those that have one, isn’t it also kind of saying that you can buy one, as long as you leave yourself enough time?

Who knew? You really can buy anything in this world with money!

Monday, August 17, 2009

No oil in my lamp

The parable of the five wise and five foolish virgins has gotten really popular in the church over the past few years, and some of the ramifications of that parable worry me sometimes—i mean, my family uses compact fluorescent lights in our lamps, so not only don’t we have any spare oil for our lamps, we’ve never had any oil in them to begin with!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Back in the saddle again—and Job

Well, after much Sturm und Drang about it i finally have reliable internet connectivity, so i figured i’d share an insight i’ve had—i’ve finally figured out the ultimate moral of the Biblical Book of Job:

  • If you make a wager with God, you’re gonna lose the bet.

Thank you, it’s just a little service i like to provide.