Author Archive

Seeing the truth

September 7, 2014
Seeing the truth

Bad things can happen to us, but we do not need to become what has happened to us.

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Posted in Faith, Holy Spirit, LDS, theology, Uncategorized, understanding | 7 Comments »

Sun, Vitamin D, Depression, and Utah

May 9, 2014
Sun, Vitamin D, Depression, and Utah

Thirty years ago, Utah was the lowest in depression and other issues for states in its demographic/locational axis (depression goes up the further north you go, it goes up in mountain states, it is modified by age balance). Since then Utah has become less LDS and more depressed. But that isn’t the real story or […]

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Posted in Mormon, Mormon Culture | 22 Comments »

BYU by the back door

February 5, 2014
BYU by the back door

So, you want to go to BYU but your high school grades are bad and you can’t test your way around it.  What do you do? 1. Drop out of high school and get a GED. BYU treats that as making your high school grades irrelevant. Don’t worry, you can stay in long enough for […]

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Posted in BYU, Church Policy, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Culture | 16 Comments »

Gay Parents

November 15, 2013
Gay Parents

Elder Oaks  has given two talks (Protect the Children and No Other Gods) that have caused me to rethink some of my positions. We know gay parents will have children. We know children are better off with their parents. We know it is better for children to have married parents.  The end of that logic […]

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Posted in General Conference, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Politics | 48 Comments »

On “the Wealthy”

May 25, 2013
On “the Wealthy”

Recently, a review of a Hugh Nibley book led to a discussion about “the wealthy” or “the rich.” The discussion completely failed to discuss the various types of the relatively rich in our society. First is the group referred to in class/social strata studies as “the hidden” (or, the group I would refer to as […]

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Posted in economics, money, Morality, Mormon | 10 Comments »

Guns and Gays

April 17, 2013
Guns and Gays

In many ways, the arguments against guns and the arguments against gays are very similar. In both cases, people who find an “ick” factor in something (be it guns or gay marriage) are against it. Those who fit in the group (either owning a gun or being gay) feel it is a personal matter others […]

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Posted in Politics, Uncategorized, Violence | 59 Comments »

Women in Combat, What is the Rest of the Story

February 7, 2013
Women in Combat, What is the Rest of the Story

There has been a lot of discussion over the years about women in the military. Specifically, women in combat.  Four things came together to make it happen. First, women find themselves in combat in the current military in our country and in other countries.  A Woman Soldier’s Own Story is an example of  that.  They are on patrol, in […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

Lies that separate us from God

January 18, 2013
Lies that separate us from God

Preface There are many lies that can keep us away from God.  Most commonly, lies keep us from God by turning us deaf to the Spirit.  I thought I’d write about two of them, ones that are usually had by two completely different groups of people. Introduction This post is about two lies.  They are […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

Survey on Ethical Climates and Religion

December 28, 2012
Survey on Ethical Climates and Religion

One growing area of study in experimental ethics is the effect of what are often called climates. It started with noticing that beggers outside of a bakery are more likely to receive charity than those near a sewer. But it has expanded into realizing that many cultures have an ethical environment. To read scripture, moralizing […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Resolved: Facebook is Consuming the Bloggernacle

December 7, 2012
Resolved:  Facebook is Consuming the Bloggernacle

On the affirmative side, closed groups for comments, questions and discussion have drawn away huge numbers of commenters from a number of sites on all spectrums. In addition, the feedback, comment structure and immediacy seem to appeal to many. On the con side, well, who is arguing against this point? Other than the fact that […]

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Posted in Uncategorized | 15 Comments »

The least of these …

October 18, 2012
The least of these …

We tend to focus on the side of the sermon where Christ acknowledges that when we have helped others, we have helped him. But we tend to pass on by Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Economics: Nixon, Carter and the 2%

September 21, 2012
Economics:  Nixon, Carter and the 2%

The post-war economic landscape has the world up to Richard Nixon and then the world from Jimmy Carter to the present. Through Nixon there was a 97% increase in productivity.  Of that, labor got 95 points (95 out of the 97) and the owners of capital got 2 points. From Carter on there has been […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

Following the Advice of Brigham Young and George Albert Smith

August 31, 2012
Following the Advice of Brigham Young and George Albert Smith

When I was first at BYU, Spencer W. Kimball gave a talk that stayed with me ever since. He worked off Brigham Young’s comment “I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

You did spend that!? More economics.

August 24, 2012
You did spend that!? More economics.

As we get into the campaign season, I thought I’d reprise some more basic economics and accounting.  Just so you know what you spent (through your tax dollars) … 63% or so of the budget, about 2/3rds, goes out the door without any voting at all by congress.  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Farm […]

Posted in economics, Uncategorized | 48 Comments »

It is weakness, not strength, that binds us together and to God

August 17, 2012
It is weakness, not strength, that binds us together and to God

It is weakness, not strength, that binds us together and to God. We have weaknesses that they may become a source of strength to us (cf Ether 12). It is hard to remember that sometimes, and harder, still, to believe the things we know to be true and to let God in our lives. Read […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

The final (word on) prophecy

August 10, 2012

So, what do we know about prophets?  What is the final word on prophecy? So far, in previous posts I have covered: What they will tell us. How to listen to them, a typography of the things they say. Understanding the themes that are each prophet’s mission. How to become a prophet. [Scroll down] This […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments »

Wally and the search for the perfect girl

August 3, 2012

Let us be serious.  You should be over at FAIR, reading about serious things and enjoying their conference and the papers and how women fit into the Church. Since you aren’t, I’ll share the story of Wally and the search for the perfect girl. I met Wally* about the time I was graduating from law […]

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments »

Six ways to bring the Ensign Magazine into the 21st Century

July 27, 2012
Six ways to bring the Ensign Magazine into the 21st Century

There has been a lot of talk about having more meat, more depth, yet not excluding people nor rendering church publications less accessible.  So, why not have an expanded version of the Ensign on-line to provide more depth, and to have an on-line presence worthy of the modern world? After all, the church is working […]

Posted in Church Policy, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Uncategorized | 25 Comments »

Hearing Prophets — Just what are they saying and how to hear them.

July 20, 2012
Hearing Prophets — Just what are they saying and how to hear them.

When prophets talk what they say falls into one of six categories. This essay is about how to determine which category their words fit into and how to have a better understanding and application of the speech of prophets, ancient and modern.  It presents six categories and five tools. The six categories are: 1) Specific […]

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Posted in Alternative Sunday School Lessons, understanding | 42 Comments »

What REALLY Happened to Traditional Marriage: An Economics Lesson

July 13, 2012
What REALLY Happened to Traditional Marriage: An Economics Lesson

Introduction: More than 70,000 years of tradition Traditional marriage — by which I mean what marriage meant from before the Neanderthals went extinct to 1900 AD or so — was an economic institution.  Actually, for at least 70,000 years… Neanderthals like Middle paleolithic Homo sapiens did not have a division of labor between the sexes.  […]

Posted in Alternative Sunday School Lessons, economics | 45 Comments »

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