Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Food Horrors



by Eliana:


My husband told me he'd found a cute little croissant shop for us to try for breakfast. The whole family was excited when we left the hotel the next morning. When we arrived, it wasn't crowded which surprised me in such a touristy area. There were indeed hundreds or thousands of croissants inside, on racks organized by filling. Plain, chocolate, manzana (apple), etc.

Just one problem. At least two hundred bees.

All over the food, plus flying around the air. I tried to be cool and get croissants from the non-infested racks. This proved impossible. Some shelves had just one bee to every three croissants. Others had ten bees per croissant. I can honestly say, I'll be having nightmares for the rest of my life.

Also, I somehow did buy four croissants. They weren't very good.

Dear readers, please share your stories of disgusting or terrifying food experiences. Solidarity will help us all to heal.

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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. Twitter: Eliana0Eliana. Website: elianaosborn.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: poppet with a camera (used with permission).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sacrament Hymns: More Than Just #169–197



by Peter Shirts:


As a musician, I put a lot of thought into choosing hymns for sacrament meeting when I’ve had that responsibility. I try to make each sacrament meeting a mix of familiar and less familiar hymns. I save the long hymns for the opening and the short ones for closing. If there’s an intermediate hymn, I pick a lively one and make everyone stand up (1). I make sure the chosen hymns haven’t been sung too recently to give variety. I pick hymns that fit the theme of the meeting, and not always the obvious ones (2). I change up which verses are sung, picking only two verses or even just the odd verses (3), or actually singing the extra verses below the music (4).

Why do I do this? I want the congregation to not just go through the motions, but to really think about the music and the messages there. I love it when I can see emotions in people’s faces when something in the hymn clicks for them, and often they reflect that emotion back on me (5).

But doing something different for the sacrament hymn (the hymn played while the priests break up the bread just before the emblems are passed to the congregation) is hard. The sacrament section (#169–197) is one of the most well-trodden parts of our 1985 hymnbook, because it only takes about 6 months to cycle through all of them (and I don’t think most choristers keep track to make sure they hit them all, like I do).

Friday, August 14, 2015

MMM Movies: Once I Was A Beehive



by Seattle Jon:


I was never a beehive, nor have I ever been to Girls Camp, but neither stopped me from enjoying Once I Was A Beehive. The movie, which stars a number of former MMM contributors (Hailey Smith AKA May Jones, Brett Merritt, Ken Craig), tells the story of Lane Speer, a 16 year-old girl dealing with the loss of her father who is dragged off to Girls Camp with a bunch of young Mormon girls.

I knew going in Hailey had helped write and produce the film, so was less skeptical of being entertained by new mormon cinema than I might otherwise have been. I'm no movie critic, but I found most of the characters engaging, the writing and pacing good and the humor humorous. I even snorted out-loud twice - once when Lane's dad mentions he got a "killer Groupon" for the honeymoon and then again when the bishop listens to the Hunger Games on audiobook in his tent.

I watched the movie with my 15 year-old daughter (who herself has just returned from Girls Camp) and my mother. Here is what they had to say.

My mom: This light-hearted story will bring nostalgic laughs to any female lucky enough to have ever attended an LDS Girls camp. Unique personalities thrown together for a week in nature create both hilarious situations and tension along the way as they are forced to work together as a team. As a result, Lane, her cousin, and all the other participants learn valuable life lessons and Lane, herself, begins to see that peace is possible amongst her new family and friends. Get some popcorn, sit down with your family, and enjoy 119 minutes of laughter and fun.

My daughter: Last night I watched a new movie called Once I Was a Beehive with my family. As I sat down, what I expected to be a cheesy Mormon movie was actually a well-written and humorous film that I related to a LOT. I recently got back from my fourth and last year as a camper at girls camp, and in the ending of the movie the main character Lane says that when her mom asked her how it went she couldn't describe it. I realized how true this was, because unless the one asking was there you can't really tell people what it was like. There are no words for the bonds of friendship and the feeling of complete acceptance I always feel during camp. There were so many scenes in the movie where I would laugh and say, "Oh my gosh that's so true!" During the testimony meeting in the movie, they showed two of the girls hugging each other and crying uncontrollably on the bench with a pile of tissues, which is a pretty good reenactment of what happens during testimony meetings in real girls camps. This year at camp, I grew closer to a number of girls I hadn't really talked to before, and since next year I'm going to be a YCL (Youth Camp Leader) I thought that getting to know as many girls as I could would help in case I get to look after them for the week. In the movie, the two YCLs were a little clicky and really struggled with their pride when the younger girls would have to help them. At the end, though, the two YCLs realized that all of their fellow campers could teach them something and had helped their testimonies and spirits grow more than they could have imagined. I would definitely recommend Once I Was a Beehive as an excellent family movie for anyone, not just those in the Mormon religion. This movie provides good explanations of some of the Mormon traditions and also a good laugh for the girls who have been to camp because of how hilariously relatable it is.

Check out the trailer below and go see the movie in your local theater!



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Seattle Jon is a family man, little league coach, urban farmer and businessman living in Seattle. He currently gets up early with the markets to trade bonds for a living. In his spare time he enjoys movies, thrifting and is an avid reader. He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and the Japan Fukuoka mission field. 
He has one wife, four kids, two cats and four chickens.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Advice For My 16 Year-Old Son About Stepping Up His Game w/Girls



by Shawn Tucker:


The only thing more awkward than this post about helping my son learn how to be confident talking with girls is the fact that I discussed these ideas with him recently when he was trapped in the car with me. It is interesting to watch your child consider the implications of throwing himself out of a car going 65 miles per hour on a freeway. Luckily he chose to smile, nod, and think of something else while I gave him a version of the following advice. And now I’d like to spread the awkwardness around the interwebs. Here’s my advice to a 16-year-old modern Mormon young man on how to step up his game with girls:

1. Be 16. What this means is be patient with yourself and allow yourself to grow into being someone who is confident with women. Frankly, 16-year-old girls are like 16-year-old boys, and, yes I will say it, most girls are just as awkward around boys as you are around them. And hey, you like them, so…

2. Keep in mind one goal: helping her feel at ease, safe, comfortable, and getting to know her. When you are getting to know a girl your age, keep in mind that your goal is to get to know her. Do what you can to actually listen to her. Care enough about what she’s saying to hear it and to perhaps even show her you’re listening by remembering what she says and say it back to her. You can go a long way by later on saying something like, “I remember when you told me that you quit playing soccer because you had such a bad coach—that must have really sucked for you!” Saying things like this show you care enough to listen and think about what she has told you, but keep in mind to be genuine about this, since the goal is helping her feel safe and at ease.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Guessing the Next Two Apostles (Part 3)



This is the third in a three-part post running this week. Part 1 here, part 2 here.
This final section looks at possibilities in North America.

by John English:

NORTH AMERICA

1st Q70
2003 - Marvyn B. Arnold - 7/19/1948 - 67 - USA-UT
2006 - Shayne M. Bowen - 8/29/1954 - 60 - USA-ID
2006 - Craig A. Cardon - 12/30/1948 - 66 - USA-AZ
2006 - Don R. Clarke - 12/11/1945 - 69 - USA-ID
2015 - Kim B. Clark - 3/20/1949 - 66 - USA-UT
2011 - Carl B. Cook - 10/15/1957 - 57 - USA-UT
2008 - Lawrence E. Corbridge - 4/6/1949 - 66 - USA-ID
2011 - LeGrand R. Curtis Jr. - 8/1/1952 - 62 - USA-UT
2010 - Kevin R. Duncan - 10/6/1960 - 54 - USA-UT
2012 - Larry J. Echo Hawk - 8/2/1948 - 66 - USA-WY (Pawnee)
2012 - Stanley G. Ellis - 1/22/1947 - 68 - USA-ID
2005 - David F. Evans - 8/11/1951 - 63 - USA-UT
2012 - Robert C. Gay - 9/1/1951 - 63 - USA-CA
2010 - Gerrit W. Gong - 12/23/1953 - 61 - USA-CA (Chinese)
2005 - C. Scott Grow - 5/1/1948 - 67 - USA-ID
2008 - James J. Hamula - 11/20/1957 - 57 - USA-CA
2015 - Allen D. Haynie - 8/29/1958 - 56 - USA-UT
2005 - Paul V. Johnson - 6/24/1954 - 61 - USA-FL
2015 - Von G. Keetch - 3/17/1960 - 55 - USA-UT
2015 - Hugo Montoya - 4/2/1960 - 55 - USA-CA (Latino)
2006 - Marcus B. Nash - 3/26/1957 - 58 - USA-WA
2013 - S. Gifford Nielsen - 10/25/1954 - 60 - USA-UT
2009 - Brent H. Nielson - 12/8/1954 - 60 - USA-ID
2008 - Allan F. Packer - 7/7/1948 - 67 - USA-UT
2008 - Kevin W. Pearson - 4/10/1957 - 58 - USA-UT
2006 - Anthony D. Perkins - 7/22/1960 - 55 - USA-CO
2005 - Paul B. Pieper - 10/7/1957 - 57 - USA-ID
1995 - Bruce D. Porter - 9/18/1952 - 62 - USA-NM
2009 - Dale G. Renlund - 11/1/1952 - 62 - USA-UT
2009 - Michael T. Ringwood - 2/14/1958 - 57 - USA-UT
2001 - Steven E. Snow - 11/23/1949 - 65 - USA-UT
2015 - Vern P. Stanfill - 8/8/1957 - 57 - USA-MT
2011 - W. Christopher Waddell - 6/28/1959 - 56 - USA-CA
2012 - Scott D. Whiting - 4/1/1961 - 54 - USA-UT
1995 - W. Craig Zwick - 6/30/1947 - 68 - USA-UT

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Guessing the Next Two Apostles (Part 2)



This is the second in a three-part post to run this week. Part 1 here.

by John English:

Continuing from Monday, it's been a while since someone from the Presiding Bishopric was called as an Apostle, so I'll profile those three next.

PRESIDING BISHOPRIC

GARY E. STEVENSON, 59, served his mission in Japan and later went back as president of the Japan Nagoya mission. He was the COO of ICON Health. He was called to the 1st Quorum of 70 in 2008 but then called as Presiding Bishop in 2012. Career expertise: Business

GERALD CAUSEE, 51, was born in France, and after getting his MBA, he worked as a general manager for Ponoma, France's largest food distributor. He was a stake president and area authority before being called into the 1st Quorum of 70 in 2008. He became 1st Counselor in Presiding Bishopric in 2012. Career expertise: Business

DEAN M. DAVIES, 64, served his mission in Uruguay and Paraguay before being president of the Puerto Rico San Juan mission. He worked in real estate and construction before Pres, Hinckley asked him to work for the church, overseeing construction of churches and temples. He was then called to be 2nd counselor in 2012. Career expertise: Real Estate

Now to explore possibilities in the 1st and 2nd Quorums of Seventy. I will highlight different regions of the world and who might come from there. The year is when they were called to the Seventy.

AFRICA

2013 - Edward Dube - 5/12/1962 - 53 - Zimbabwe
2001 - Christoffel Golden - 6/1/1952 - 63 - South Africa
2009 - Joseph W. Sitati - 5/16/1952 - 63 - Kenya

Joseph W. Sitati joined the church in 1986. He was the first black African general authority. He was the first stake president of Kenya. He worked in the oil and gas industry before working as the director of the church's public affairs in Africa. He was president of the Nigeria Uyo mission before getting called to the Seventy. If someone from Africa is called, I'd give him the edge.

However, Edward Dube is ten years younger and if they want to make the Quorum younger (Bednar is the youngest Apostle, at age 63), I could see them going with him. He joined the church in 1984 and served a mission in South Africa and Zimbabwe two years later. He worked in CES in Zimbabwe for the church and was president of the Zimbabwe Harare mission.

ASIA & PACIFIC ISLANDS

2009 - Yoon Hwan Choi - 5/18/1957 - 58 - South Korea
2007 - Michael John U. Teh - 6/25/1965 - 50 - Philippines
2014 - Chi Hong (Sam) Wong - 5/25/1962 - 53 - Hong Kong
2011 - Kazuhiko Yamashita - 9/1/1953 - 61 - Japan
2009 - Koichi Aoyagi - 3/24/1945 - 70 - Japan
2011 - O. Vincent Haleck - 1/1/1949 - 66 - Samoa

Chi Hong (Sam) Wong was the first speaker in General Conference to give his address in a language other than English (Cantonese). Wong hails from Hong Kong. He joined the church in 1982 and went to school and BYU-Hawaii before moving back to Hong Kong. his background is in business, but his unique perspective could really help the church open up China.

Michael John U. Teh would be younger than Bednar was when he was called. He's the second Filipino to be a general authority, and he's spent his career working for the church, lastly as a manager for their statistical records division.

Yoon Hwan Choi is currently president of the Washington Seattle mission. Kazuhiko Yamashita is currently president of the Japan Nagoya mission.

AUSTRALIA

2011 - Ian S. Ardern - 2/28/1954 - 61 - New Zealand
2013 - Terence M. Vinson - 5/1/1951 - 64 - Australia

Ian S. Ardern works for CES in New Zealand, and he was president of the Fiji Suva mission.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Guessing the Next Two Apostles (Part 1)



This is the first in a three-part post to run this week.

by John English:

I did a previous post on guessing who the next Apostle might be, but we've hit a rare section in time in the LDS church when two Apostles will be called at the same time. This has happened before. Dieter F. Uchtdorf and David A. Bednar were called together in 2004. Russell M. Nelson and Dallin H. Oaks were called together in 1984 (though Oaks had to wait a month to be set apart). Before that you have to go back to Spencer W. Kimball and Ezra Taft Benson in 1943. When two Apostles are called the same day, the older one has seniority.

Never in the history of the LDS Church has an Apostle been called that the prophet wasn't already acquainted with on some level.

I wanted to expand the field in this post, look at a broader section of who it could be, and also take into account two being called at the same time. But first, let's look at the current 13, and where they came from. (By seniority)

THOMAS S. MONSON - Called to be an Apostle at age 36 in 1963. No one has been called that young since. He'd served as a bishop but more importantly as a mission president in Canada and then Editor of the Deseret News. He would have had regular contact with church leaders, allowing them to know him and consider him as a candidate when a vacancy arose. Monson in particularly worked with Gordon B. Hinckley, who ran the Church's public affairs before being called as an Apostle two years before Monson. Monson also at one point had Harold B. Lee for a stake president. Career expertise: Publishing

RUSSELL M. NELSON - Called to be an Apostle at age 59 in 1984. He came about his service in a rare way. He performed open-heart surgery on Spencer W. Kimball in 1972, around the same time he was called to be Sunday School General President. He served in that calling for eight years and then a regional representative for four years when he was called to be an Apostle. Career expertise: Medicine

DALLIN H. OAKS - Called to be an Apostle at age 51 in 1984. Oaks was well-known by the Brethren when they called him to be president of BYU, where he served for nine years. He then instantly joined the Utah Supreme Court but resigned from that once he was called to be an Apostle. Oaks was not currently serving in church leadership when he was called. Career expertise: Law, Church Education

M. RUSSELL BALLARD - Called to be an Apostle two days before his 57th birthday in 1985. He was the grandson of apostle Hyrum M. Smith and great-grandson of Joseph F. Smith. On his other side, he was the grandson Melvin J. Ballard, who served for years in the Q12 with Gordon B. Hinckley's uncle Alonzo. He was a mission president when he was called to join the First Quorum of the Seventy, and he was in the Presidency of the Seventy when called to be an Apostle. At the time, Pres. Kimball and 1st Counselor Marion G. Romney were incapacitated, so this calling likely came from 2nd Counselor Hinckley as anyone else. Ballard's daughter married David B. Haight's grandson. Career expertise: Business

RICHARD G. SCOTT - Called to be an Apostle at age 59 in 1988. His father worked closely with Ezra Taft Benson in Washington DC. He was a misson president, then a regional representative, then joined the First Quorum of Seventy, then in the Presidency of the Seventy when called. Career expertise: Nuclear Science

ROBERT D. HALES - Called to be an Apostle at age 61 in 1994. He was called to the First Quorum of Seventy in 1976, then he served as Presiding Bishop the nine years leading up to his calling as Apostle and was considered key in balancing church finances in the 1980's and 1990's. He'd run several successful businesses before his calling. Career expertise: Business

JEFFREY R. HOLLAND - Called to be an Apostle at age 53 in 1994. He succeeded Oaks as President of BYU. Nine years later he went straight from there to the First Quorum of Seventy. he also served as Commissioner of the Church Educations System (CES). Career expertise: Church Education

HENRY B. EYRING - Called to be an Apostle at age 61 in 1995. He was the third Apostle in as many General Conferences to be called, and after him, the Church went nine years before another one was needed. He is married to Pres. Kimball's niece. He was president of Rick's College. He was a Commissioner of CES. He was a Counselor to Hales in the Presiding Bishopric, and he was in the First Quorum of Seventy when he was called to be an Apostle. Career expertise: Business, Physics, Church Education

DIETER F. UCHTDORF - Called to be an Apostle at age 63 in 2004. He'd been a stake president, in the 2nd Quorum of Seventy, 1st Quorum of Seventy, then in Presidency of Seventy when called to be an Apostle. Career expertise: Aviation, Business

DAVID A. BEDNAR - Called to be an Apostle ate age 51 in 2004. He succeeded Eyring as president of Ricks' College and helped transition it into BYU-Idaho. He was an area authority while he worked at BYUI. Career expertise: Church Education

QUENTIN L. COOK - Called to be an Apostle at age 67 in 2007. His mother was a Kimball, so he's second-cousins with Spencer W. He was a missionary companion of Holland. He went from bishop to stake president to area authority to 2nd Quorum of Seventy to 1st Quorum of Seventy to Presidency of the Seventy to Apostle. Career expertise: Business, Law

D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON - Called to be an Apostle at age 63 in 2008. Richard G. Scott was his mission president when he served his mission. He was called to the 1st Quorum of Seventy in 1993 and in the Presidency of the Seventy in 1998. He was executive director for the Family & Church History Department. Career expertise: Law

NEIL L. ANDERSEN - Called to be an Apostle at age 57 in 2009. He'd been called the the 1st Quorum of Seventy in 1993 and into the Presidency of the Seventy in 2005. Career expertise: Business

So these are their experiences and how they may have been known before they will called. One should expect there will be prior relationships for the new Apostles. So first let's look at the likely pool of talent.

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