Friday, September 19, 2014

Linger Longer 35

Linger Longer is a series where we highlight religious and non-religious articles, as well as mormon-related podcasts. Click here for previous lists.

Bloggernacle (religious sites)
Why Leaders Speaking in Their Native Tongue Matters (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
On Struggling With Questions and Doubts (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
Raising Kids in the Heart of the Pride Cycle (By Common Consent)
In Dialogue: The Best of Ten Years of Mormon Blogging (Times and Seasons)
The Incredible Shrinking Statistical Report (Zelophehad's Daughters)
Church Hop: Community of Christ (Doves and Serpents)
Equal and Opposite Sins? (Millenial Star)
Do We Need to Walk A Tightrope? (Artistic Preaching)
A Fifteen-Week Reading Course in the Mormon Novel (A Motley Vision)
Complexity in the Children's Literature Corner (Dawning of a Brighter Day)
Genesis of Doubt (Worlds Without End)
Sermons and Step-Parenting (Dandelion Mama)
To Be a Vessel (Mormon Women Project)
How Do I Teach My Kids About Pornography (The Mormon Therapist)
There Are No Closed Off Souls (No More Strangers)

Mormon-Related Podcasts
Episode 115: Finding God Again Through Science (FMH Podcast)
Episodes 491-492: Mara and Danny Kofoed: A Blog About Love (Mormon Stories)
Episode 247: The "Best Thing" About Mormonism - 2 (Mormon Matters)

Off-Bloggernacle (non-religious sites)
Paint the EarthRocket Golf, Far-Traveling Objects and Enforced by Radar (What If?)
The Best Way to Win an Argument (BBC)
A Theory of Jerks (Aeon)
In Search of America's Best Burrito (FiveThirtyEight)
What Ethan Swan Learned from Tracking Every Tattoo in the NBA (FiveThirtyEight)
Why You Shouldn't Drive Slowly in the Left Lane (Vox)
The Fermi Paradox (Wait But Why)
The End of Sleep? (Aeon)
Why Are Some Countries Good at Soccer? (Priceonomics)
How the American Diet Has Failed (The Washington Post)
The Rise of the A**hole Sports Dad (GQ)
Modesty: I Don't Think it Means What You Think it Means (Q)
How the Mormons Conquered America (Nautilus)
The Myth of America's Golden Age (Politico Magazine)
The Power of Two (The Atlantic)
How Did Cool Become Such a Big Deal (Humanities Magazine)
Zoo Animals and Their Discontents (The New York Times)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 1 (The Dissolve)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 2 (The Dissolve)
The Fifty Greatest Summer Blockbusters: Part 3 (The Dissolve)
The Worst Free-Throw Shooter (Pacific Standard)
45 Years Ago We Landed Men on the Moon (The Atlantic)
How to Survive Air Travel (Medium)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Duty and Passion Can Co-Exist

by Dustin:

In 2006 while attending grad school I stumbled upon an interesting phenomenon gripping the Elder's Quorum of the Ward: a belief that duty and passion can't co-exist in career.

A year earlier I had quit my job in public relations to figure out my passion and follow it. My wife, one-year-old daughter, and I packed up a moving truck and set out into the great unknown. We carried no debt which made the leap easier and we had calculated the bare minimum we could live off of to sustain us while I explored career paths. It was shockingly little.

I landed in a degree program that was aligned with my passion -- educational leadership -- and was knee deep in it in 2006 when we invited a family from the Ward over for dinner. He was in law school and I asked him to tell me about the day when he woke up and said, "I'm going to be a lawyer." His wife was deep in conversation with my wife and he hushed his voice and leaned in to answer my question.

"I don't actually want to be a lawyer."

Whoa. What?! Then why in the world ...

"I just didn't know what else to do when I graduated and it seemed like a viable option."

So why don't you do something else?

"I can't. I'm in deep. I figure I've just got to buckle down and earn a living. Support the fam."

Why can't you do both? Do something else and still earn a living?

"Too much unknown. It's probably not feasible anyway. Better to just do this for a decade or two and then do what I really want."

A decade. Or two. That's a long time.

Over the next year as we invited others over I heard the same story over and over again. Guy doesn't know what to do when he graduates. Driven by a sense of duty, he enrolls in a degree program to take his place in society working a job he lacks passion for but with the hope that one day he can quit and do what he really wants.

This post has a high risk of sounding judgy, so let me pause and simply state my belief. You can do both. You can both pursue your passion and bring home the bacon. They aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, we need you to do it. The world needs it. Positive change is made when people pursue passion with purpose.

There's nothing wrong with being duty-driven. That's not my angle. And if passion isn't important and duty is, that's okay too. But if you want to pursue passion AND you feel a sense of duty to provide for your family, this post is for you. It's possible, and as with anything unconventional it takes effort, intentional work, and focus. It may take some sacrifices -- the kind that the whole family has to be behind -- and you may not succeed right away. But it can happen.

I can't tell you how to do it in a 300-word post. There's simply too much to cover. But if you need some guidance start here and here. You may also want to read Seth Godin, Steven Pressfield, and Chris Guillenbeau to name a few. I also write about the topic on my blog and, in the spirit of pursuing passion and purpose, am aiming to publish a book in October to help clarify the process.

The blessing of agency is that we get to choose what we do. We choose our work. I love this advice from President Eyring's father: "You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don't have to think about anything, that's what you think about." It's never too late to choose your work.

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Dustin currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife and four children. After serving a mission in Puerto Rico, he set the tone for a happy marriage by failing Dating and Marriage Prep at BYU-Idaho. He then showed why this happened, dragging his family around the nation with nine moves in seven years, all in the name of figuring out what to do with his life. He found his way into leadership development and now works at YES Prep Public Schools training teachers to be leaders and as a private consultant for businesses and non-profits. He especially enjoys helping people figure out their best-fit career and get into it and spits serious game on the topic at He loves bacon, Dallas sports teams, and long walks on the beach. Email him at dustin (at) dustinpeterson (dot) me. Twitter: @dustin_lead.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Czarina Cleopatra Mendoza (used with permission).

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

by Reid:

I recently saw a friend deploy a Jedi mind trick in an attempt to evade being 'volunteered' for an assignment at a church function. He waved his hand and said "these aren't the droids you're looking for." Genius! Though a relatively new convert, he demonstrated maturity well beyond his years in the Church in that moment. Even though he was only joking around, his bold move really got me thinking about the Jedi mind trick.

For those that need a refresher on how the mind trick is played to perfection, review the dialogue from this scene in Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope here.*

Obi-Wan Kanobi uses the Jedi mind trick on stormtroopers
at a checkpoint at Mos Eisley spaceport on Tatooine.

Obi-Wan Kanobi assured young Luke Skywalker that the mind trick could be employed to good effect since "the force can have a strong influence on the weak minded." My friend had no other options. Tactically speaking it was a brilliant move. But it didn't work for him. He and his wife were 'volunteered' anyways. They took it all in stride. You win some and lose some, right?

There's actually a number of other examples in which the Jedi mind trick didn't work--even for a Jedi. Luke had it working pretty well with Bib Fortuna, but things got sideways in a hurry when he tried it on Jabba the Hutt** (here to watch Luke's strikeout). In Qui-Gon Jinn's attempted use of the mind trick, things went poorly from the outset.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Esperanto in General Conference?

by Eliana:

Why I care about conference talks in non-English:

  • Less ethnocentric. I don't want to debate blue suits/white shirts, but this is a small step in recognizing that English and North American culture is not inherently more righteous.

  • Romance languages. Dreamy. Everything sounds better.

  • Young Folk. We need to have people who look like us to look up to. This is a problem in the larger church (non-local level leaders) that has many valid causes. Hearing someone who speaks your language in a leadership position is powerful in seeing yourself there someday.

  • Respect. How would you feel having to stand in front of the largest audience of your life and not be able to speak in the way you are most comfortable.

What else am I missing? What are your thoughts on the subject?

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Eliana Osborn was raised on cold weather and wild animals in Anchorage, Alaska, setting the stage for her adult life in the Sunniest Place on Earth in Arizona. She grew up in the church and didn't know there were places where conformity was preached. She has degrees. She writes. She teaches. She has some kids. She even has a husband. She's trying to do her best.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: GeoLocation.

Monday, September 15, 2014

LDS Perspectives on the S-Word

by Richard Tait:

I was raised in an orthodox Mormon home where some words were forbidden by family members of all ages. The S-word was one of them. However, since we are all modern, Mormon, and manly here, I thought it the perfect venue to explore alternative aspects of … stupidity.

Stupidity in Marriage


In my research on threads of stupidity that run through familial relationships, I have discovered a foolproof method of quickly and safely ending any argument with your wife. It consists of judicious application of three simple yet powerful words: "Because I'm Stupid." Here is how it works:

At sometime during your marriage relationship, possibly early on, you are going to do something stupid to really tick off your wife. It could be an act as simple as leaving dirty socks strewn across the living room, or as serious as totaling the minivan. Tensions will degenerate; harsh looks and words will fly recklessly between the both of you. Then your sweet mate, the wife of your eternities, will unleash the dreaded rhetorical question. This is a question that was never meant to be answered; its sole purpose is to trap you in a smelly pile of your own guilt, from which there is no escape. It usually comes out something like "Why do you NEVER pick up your smelly, filthy socks?" or, "What in the heck were you thinking when you ran into the back of that schoolbus?"

How do your wives expect you to respond to these questions? They are confident that you will vigorously try and defend yourself against their accusations, more often than not with a lame excuse like "the socks are same color as the living room carpet, so what's the problem?" or "don't worry - we have good car insurance and the bus was empty except for a few of those squirrely teenagers that have been causing problems in the neighborhood."

The lame excuses don't work; it's a sign that your wives have won. If they are going to win anyway (and they will, because smelly socks do NOT belong on the living room floor, and there really is NO EXCUSE for rear-ending a schoolbus), we should at least be able conclude the loss with creativity and flair. This is the point where, instead of the lame excuse, you respond with the three most disarming words in bilateral connubial dialogue: "because I'm stupid."

Thursday, September 11, 2014

MMM Library: 9-11 Remembrances

by Seattle Jon:

What do you remember? Leave a comment ...

Seattle Jon
I was an investment banker in Baltimore on 9-11. I was at my desk when the first and second planes hit the towers. I remember the guy who sat across from me (he was also LDS) turning around and saying, "Hey, there are planes hitting buildings in New York." When the third plane hit the Pentagon, he turned around again and said, "Dude ... I think this is the end of the world." His statement sent chills through me. Soon after, we went down to the trading floor where we watched both towers fall on fifty television screens. It was horrifying to think what our headquartered colleagues across the street from the towers were going through. Baltimore essentially shut down, and I was only able to get out of the city because I knew a few cabbies. I spent the next few days glued to the news, worrying about my wife and daughter in Utah.

Scott Heffernan
I was on a mission in Bristol, England on 9/11. We happened to be tracting door-to-door when the attacks began. We knocked on a woman’s door, introduced ourselves as missionaries, and she curtly told us she was not interested. As we were walking away she said, “Wait…Have you seen what’s going on?...I think you better come in.” We watched her TV in shock and confusion as the first tower burned, a plane crashed into the second tower, and then both towers collapsed. It was a heavy, heavy day and the mission changed a great deal after that.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A List I Will Stand Behind

by Melissa Condie:

I know it is somewhat of a popular thing in church culture to create lists about what you are looking for in a future spouse, but last Sunday, at my YSA ward, I participated in an activity that was different, creating a list I like much better.

What do you want your future home to be like? was the question, which is way more revealing than the selfish, nit-picky-finicky sort of prejudiced list we are apt to make. Humans come in all sorts of shapes and forms, exhibiting several types of qualities. I do not think you need a "list" to decide if you like someone or not. I say that you pick who you like, and you adapt your mental equilibriums around that person because you love 'em, regardless of how they compare to your preconceived notions.

Other MMM Posts

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