Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finishing early

So the (Roman Catholic) pope has now resigned, which got me to wondering: Can a Mormon prophet resign? I mean, we already have a precedent or two that a Mormon prophet doesn’t get removed from office when disabled (even in such a way that he’s mentally disabled to some extent), but could one simply announce that he’s not the prophet anymore? (Of course, part of the answer might simply be to ask what would stop him from doing so, if that’s what he wanted to do.) Also, if it happened, what would the ripple effects be?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Would anything change?

So the Boy Scouts of America is currently debating a change in policy, so that gay and lesbian individuals could participate in scouting. (Under current policy, homosexual youth and leaders are banned from participating in scouting.) There’s been some whispering around that if their policy is changed, several churches (including the Mormon church) will stop sponsoring scout troops.

Would the Mormon church necessarily have that reaction, though? I mean, according to church dogma, being homosexual (as opposed to participating in homosexual acts) is not sinful. Therefore, why wouldn’t the Mormon church be more than cool with having a celibate homosexual participate in church-sponsored scouting activities?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Settling an old one

As you may or may not know, the Lion House was one of Brigham Young’s homes, but it is now run by the Mormon church as a reception center, and it has a restaurant. I don’t know how long the image will be live, but this link shows an image of the daily menu for the Lion House Pantry (the name of the restaurant) for this past January. Note that one of the entrĂ©es is [drum roll] Coca-Cola pork.

I’m glad that the church has embraced cola beverages, so we can stop arguing about caffeine and start arguing over important things, like whether women must wear nylon stockings to church or not.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Politics and callings

One really interesting political thing i remember from my exile in Utah is the conventional wisdom that the quickest, most efficient way for an active Mormon male to be called as a mission president was become one’s party nominee for a high-profile Utah state office (e.g., the legislature, governor, congressional representative) and lose. Of course, Utah politics being what they wereare, that means running as a Democrat.* I don’t know if the conventional wisdom is (or ever was) true, but it seemed to be widely held: Run for office in Utah as a Democrat, end up called as a mission president.**

This leads me to wonder: Just idly accepting the conventional wisdom as correct (whether it is or not), we’ve now got Mitt Romney, who unsuccessfully ran as the nominee for national office (president) as a Republican. What’s the script on this one?

* I still remember the blurb in the newspaper one election day talking about the state party gatherings that night in Salt Lake City to watch the election returns come in: The Republicans will celebrate a lot of victories at XXX. The Democrats will celebrate a lot fewer victories, but have a better party, at YYY. The Libertarians will celebrate no victories, but have the best party of all, at ZZZ.

** I heard theories about why this might be the case, as well. The least charitable was that it was an attempt by the Mormon church to weaken the Utah Democratic Party by taking its experienced campaigners out of circulation. The more charitable was that if you’re looking for someone to run a church mission who knows how to deal with the frustrations of spreading a message you firmly believe in to an often-hostile population, you could do worse than use the experience of Democratic politicians from Utah.