Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured

Elder Heber C. Kimball (via Conversations with Dr. Kelly and Marcia Ogden):
I am perfectly satisfied that my Father and my God is a cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured Being.

Why? Because I am cheerful, pleasant, lively, and good-natured when I have His Spirit.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Discovery Middle School shooting

The real story is starting to come out, and it lines up well with what the kids at the school have been saying (I know two of them).

What a sad story -- group of middle class, middle school kids join one of the LA gangs over the internet, one wants out, which necessitates a just-short-of-fatal pummeling, so when he's threatened with it he opts to take out the one making the threats.

I think just being part of one of those gangs should be a crime, and the whole group should be punished for that (maybe it already is, I don't know). But once you're in that situation -- where you're told you're going to be almost fatally pounded for getting out of the gang -- what should he have done?

With the mind of a 35-year old guy, I'd probably tell my parents and go to the police, change my name, and hope that we'd move out of state, then carry pepper spray (or an air horn or something) around in case they ever cornered me. I doubt they could, though, since I'd probably never leave the house.

But can we really expect a 14-year old to think like a 35-year old adult? Maybe that was really the result of his best thinking.

I have to go back to what John Holman told me years ago when we found out just how bad someone else's life had become, roughly quoted: "But it's never just one bad decision that ruins someone's life -- it's a series of bad decisions, every day going down those same lame paths instead of waking up and deciding, every day, to make today different and better."

This kid didn't wake up one morning and find himself a member of a gang -- I'm sure he lied awake in bed more than one night thinking about whether he should do it. And it's those times when we're all alone and deciding what to do that make all the difference.

Dyson's Air "multiplier"?

I wonder how well Dyson's new air "multiplier" fan thing actually works?

As an aside, did you know James Dyson is British? I thought he was Swedish for some reason.

Anyway, the air it's blowing is pulled up through the base, presumably with regular fan blades -- I mean, it can't be another "multiplier" in there, right? The multiplier doesn't actually get any air moving in the first place, it's just the way that air gets sucked into the flow-stream. So then the air has to get pushed up, and through that narrow opening and out. So I can't imagine it's any more efficient than a regular fan with the air having to turn all those corners, nor can I imagine it actually moving much air. And based on their drawings I'm pretty sure a regular fan does all that same "multiplication" stuff too.

Still, it does look pretty cool.

(And Shelly wouldn't have gotten her hair caught in one of those. =)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The problem with living in the YouTube era

... is that nothing I can do is cool anymore.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Gators in north Alabama?

In case you were wondering (like I was), yes.

Mariano Rivera's pitches

Impressive clip about Mariano Rivera's pitching.

I especially love the "here are the nearly 1300 pitches Rivera threw in 2009" part. Do they actually have tracks of every single pitch every pitcher throws? How do they get those tracks, I wonder?

Via DF, of course.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"Mormon" proposition?

Apparently there's a new movie on its way.

For folks who are so opposed to "hate", why do I have a feeling people will come out of that movie hating the Mormons?

I'm willing to bet of all the people yelling in the trailer, not a one is LDS. We're just not that kind of people.

I love that they pulled a quote from President Monson: "There can be nothing that can defeat us." Stirs up images of Stalinism, doesn't it?

They had to work hard to extract that one. Here's the full quote from his May 2009 talk, after just telling a story of a woman after World War II who had overcome great difficulty going from East Prussia to West Germany:
"I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us."

Other quotes from the trailer:

"This is how much you make, this is how much we think you can give -- or you might lose your membership."

The horrific implications in this statement are patently false.

"I can't believe that people could hate us this much, they don't even know us."

We don't hate gays. Please read this interview with Elders Oaks and Wickman about our feelings towards them. That's what we believe.

"If God puts in the scriptures that it's a sin to live that lifestyle, then he's not going to have them born this way."

So she's saying homosexuality is hereditary?

Are there any sins that we're not born wanting to commit? Lying, stealing, coveting, etc., are all things we're pretty much born wanting to do. This idea is broken on so many levels.

"Gays interrupt the Mormon plan for heaven."

There is nothing about this sentence that is true. Gays don't interrupt anything, governments do -- if refusing to honor gay marriages is labeled "discrimination", all kinds of bad things happen. The interview linked above has examples where that has already happened.

And "Mormon plan for heaven"? What does that even mean? If I got to plan it I'm pretty sure it would look like a bad copy of Disneyland.

"This is about making a stand for what is right."

Ah, finally some truth!
The story's not over. I'm sailing on a ship where people are happy and generally kind and loving, but we do have to work hard. And people on other ships make fun of us and even think our captain is a deluded dictator. We don't think that... They also think our ship is eventually going to be smashed on the rocks. Really? How do they know? How would I know?

Let's assume that the LDS doctrine is an elaborate series of fabrications created 180 years ago, and that good people filtered out the worst of it years ago and the rest is just normal christianity with some irrelevant stuff bolted to the side. How would you recommend I go about finding the true church, assuming you believe one exists? Or if not, the "right church for me"? How will I know when I've found it?

Public opinion of the Mormons

There's a new study out by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that reports a relatively high percentage of people have "unfavorable" views toward the Mormons. (via newsroom blog). I wonder why that is?

It looks like most people have focused their distaste on the polygamy practice of the 1800s.*

My first semester in college I was staying in the dorms at the University of Arizona. A few weeks into the semester, my roommate came home one night from a Baptist meeting where they had spent the entire evening talking about the Mormons. He wasn't shy, and proceeded to chew me out for belonging to a church that was "just pure evil".


I'm trying to remember the specific concerns, but they were along the lines of "Mormons aren't Christians", "Mormons have changed the Bible", "Mormons are polygamists", the church is "racist", the church requires "that new brides sleep with an apostle before marriage" -- and a few more.

Now, if any of those things had a half-scrap of truth I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.

But that's not the point. Somehow within the borders of an institution of higher learning, a young freshman had his mind filled with lies and distortions intended to create division, distrust, and hate. So I guess it doesn't surprise me that so many people have an unfavorable view of us.

It's just that everything people know about the church is wrong.

* How do they feel about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, I wonder?

Does anyone read this thing?

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