Wednesday, December 12, 2018

DeadPool Movie Poster








I kind of think that graduate of the graphic art department at BYU got hired to do a movie poster and while struggling for a concept late one night in his living room he looked up and had a vision. 

I bet you a thousand bucks his wife slapped him with a rolled-up Ensign when she saw it!

What does everyone think?  Heck there is even a change.org petition on it if you want to really get involved.  Or you can just laugh at the whole thing.  Or you can go to the change.org petition and laugh at the comments, which is currently what I doing. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Our New LDS Youth Programs (Part 1)



by: RB Mac




Yesterday I had an amazing experience.  

I was invited to do a presentation at Ellington Joint Reserve Base. Its a multipurpose base in Houston Texas that serves NASA, the Coast Guard and acts as a military base for reserve units of each branch. The entire experience was amazingly impressive.

About twenty minutes before I was scheduled to arrive, I got a text from a Petty Officer in the unit I was going to visit.
Petty Officer: “Sir, just wanted to confirm your arrival time?” 
I answered: “I’ll be there a bit early in about five minutes”
Petty Officer: “That’s fantastic, the guards at the security gate are expecting you and have directions for you to our building. This is my cell, please let me know if there are any issues”

I got to the security gate, presented my ID. The guard said they were expecting me and handed me a customized map of where I was to go. 

The map guided me perfectly to the building and as I was getting out of my car was greeted by the Petty Officer and a Seaman. The seaman immediately asked to carry my bag and then politely took it from me.  There was no option, he was going to carry my bag.  I had a few more things in my truck for the presentation and in about two minutes four very fit, very well-behaved gentlemen were carrying the contents of my truck into the presentation room. I got to the front door of the building and immediately I was greeted by another sailor who opened the door for me, “good afternoon sir my name is seaman Yadul, welcome to Ellington we are all looking forward to your presentation”.  

Once to the room the four sailors immediately started to setup my presentation.  I did not give them instructions and if they had a question they asked, but for the most part they looked at what I had brought with me, accessed the items and set them up just as I would have. I was absolutely shocked. I have done hundreds of presentations all over the world, this level of competency and professionalism was a first.

Just as we were finishing setup the Chief walked in, introduced himself, thanked me for coming and explained that in about an hour Airforce One was landing to take the body of President Bush 41 to Washington DC for the Funeral. He then said “Sir, with your permission I would like to interrupt the presentation to take the entire unit out to the landing deck to see Airforce One land and pay our respects, if you would like we would love you to join us.” 

Do I want to stand on a runway while Airforce one lands and then see them prep the plane for the late president and his family?  YA I do!

Just then the unit of about thirty people filed into the room from lunch, everyone introduced themselves and welcomed me.  The Petty Officer stood up, the room immediately went silent. He walked to the front of the room and introduced me to the unit.  I started what was a rather technical presentation.  About thirty minutes latter the Chief walked in, waited for a natural break in my speech, then said it was time for Airforce One to land.  Without instruction and in almost perfect order the unit emptied the room, walked down the hallway, out the building, over to a hanger, through the hanger, out the big door and onto the runway.  There about three hundred yards in front of me Airforce one landed.  I could feel the wind the landing made, it was awesome! It then taxied around us and parked about five hundred yards away next to a long line of black suburban’s, buses and a hearse.  The unit was at ease (no president in the plane) but they were near silent talking in whispers.  None of them were old enough to have even been alive when Bush 41 was president, but I heard several of them say “I read this about him” or “do you know ___ about him”. You could feel the level of respect they had for Bush 41.  It was actually very touching.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

President Nelsons charge to take our vitamin pills and the theorem of our faith.







by RB Mac




Have you ever wondered how President Nelson, a Prophet of God, warns you in essence that the proverbial defecation is about to hit the rotary oscillator (the crap is about the hit the fan)?  He says it like this:  "There's much more to come…Wait until next year, eat your vitamin pills, get your rest”.
Change is a big deal especially in theology, where most religions including ours, are known more for not changing then they are for any type of change at all.  Few things are more consistent in the world than religion. But guess what, that is not how our religion was setup.  The theorem of our faith is very, very different.

It sounds a little cold to describe part of one’s faith as a theorem, but that’s really the way it is.  Every faith in the world has a logic to it.  The fun part is that in the world of religion, is each church gets to make up its own logic.  Its very own cause and effect, its own axiom set if you will.  I am not just talking about a logic that religions use to deduce rules that govern behavior.  But a rule of logic (theorem) by which their very beliefs are derived. 

This is a lesson I learned in a theology class, we were required to take in high school. As much as I love seminary, it is not in any stretch, a serious class of theology!  Take your imagination into one of my memories.  You show up to school and the first lecture you get, is on how so many religions in the world don’t get along.  He tells us about the hate of the Crusaders, the eternal battle between Islam and Judaism, Southern Baptist and Mormons, and so on and so on… illustrating that fact that nothing in the history of this world, is full of more animosity and war then religion.

The teacher then sits on top of his large desk, in the front of the room and utters the following words “We expect you young people to be able to bring the harmony of logic to every situation in this life and you will start by bringing the most emotional subject in the history of this world into logic and order.  Because if you can do it there, you can do it anywhere”.  For the next year I learned a lesson that has paid many dividends in my life, that the study of theology is really the study of philosophy within the bounds (rules) of logic a specific religion has chosen to be governed by.  That even something as seemingly complex as religion, has a simple straight forward core.

If you want to flatter the most adherent believers in a religion, make them smile, have them look you in the eyes and say, “Yes that’s true!”… Tell them that their religion is so solid it is based on logic.  They will get all of the warm fuzzes they desire and their minds eye will flash with images of their religion being the one true religion that has found a way to bring together the world of science and logic with the Universe of God in Heaven.  Next, if you want to make most adherent believes in a religion, any religion mad, really mad, make a point of telling them that the logic their religion is based on is totally made up, subjective and full of so many holes of varying size that it makes a sieve look water tight.   

Different religions have different logic.  The fun part is that once you know a certain religions foundational theorem, “logic”, they become easy to understand, easy to argue with (the Greek meaning of the word argue, thank you very much).  You also learn that in every religion there is a fallacy in their logic, a belief that does not fit, a doctrine that it does not explain. That is every religion except for a true one.  If a religion is to be true, then the theorem by which their beliefs are derived from must be perfect. Their theorem must bear the weight of any test.  

So why am I bringing this up?

Because President Nelson, our Prophet, knows this probably better than several of the church’s Presidents that have come before him.  He knows the power of the theorem of our faith.  And what is even greater is that, he is totally, and completely 100% unapologetic about it!

Nothing is off limits to him.  There is no faith of our fathers that he feels can’t be changed.  He has no reverence for administrative rules that the general church membership has mistaken as doctrine. He seams to detest customs that somehow evolve into unofficial law and there is no revelation he is afraid to put forth to override principles we have had for almost 200 years…. In short, this Prophet is one of the few leaders of an established religion in history, that is absolutely not afraid of progress and change!

We just heard the Prophet say to take our vitamins, that we have not seen anything yet.  To get ready because the changes are coming… I think we need to make a good old fashion Pioneer Trek to GNC and stock up, I mean a year of food storage level stock up! And don’t skimp, get the good stuff, because this guy really understands the theorem of our faith, he understands the power of change.

But here’s a question for the members of the faith, do we understand our own theorem? 
Think about this for a minute: what is our theorem? What is the rule of logic that governs how we establish what is doctrine and what principles we abide by? It’s really important because this is also the rule (doctrine) that gives the Prophet the power to change everything… EVERYTHING.

Look at what he has changed so far, Scouting, gone. Duty To God, gone. Young Woman’s Recognition Award, gone. Three-hour church block, gone. Doctrine that all temple ordinances have to be performed by Melchizedek Priesthood, gone. High Priest groups, gone. Even the way doctrine is taught to its members has been changed.

What do we call this?  Well according to President Nelson, we call it a warm up. 
There is a real power in change.  For all of us Sci-Fi geeks out there, Frank Herbert’s book series Dune has the best line on the subject “Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens…The sleeper must awaken”.  And boy are we waking up and I think this is exactly what we need. 

In the modern world, the church was becoming more and more behind the times and even less and less relevant. I am not talking about our doctrine, but the way the church interfaced with people’s lives.   We are supposed to be a peculiar people in, but not of the world.  But this modern world is rocketing forward and we are starting to live in the realm of thin oxygen, the boundary of outer space.  
I really can’t understate this power of and need for change! Not to mention the power of the Prophet to bring it about…. The Prophet could walk to the podium in General Conference and if the Lord told him to announce that we are no longer going to be using the Doctrine and Covenants as part of our standard works…. I’m not kidding he could do this and the best part is that it fits perfectly in the theorem of our faith.   We as a faith are setup from our very foundation to evolve and progress and our new Prophet really understands this!

Well, here it is the theorem or better said rule of faith for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints:

“We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”
 -9th article of faith.

In short, we believe what God says when he says it. We don’t quantify or qualify what he says by comparing contemporary revelations to historical ones, we don’t believe in putting limitations on what God can say/reveal such as “the Lord will never remove the Doctrine and Covenants from the standard works” or “the Lord will never give women the priesthood”.  The sole litmus test as to whether a revelation is from God, is the spirit of God. There is nothing that is off the table, nothing the Lord cannot do, say or update in his own church. President Nelson made this clear when he pointed out that the restoration of the church is not done, that there is still more to come. That takes us from “restored church” past-tense. To a state in process of “being restored”. That means that the Lord is still revealing (also known as teaching) things to us. Knowledge added Line upon line… precept upon precepts = expanding knowledge or simpler said, change and progression.  

The greatest thing about our rule of logic is that it is the Lords logic not ours. Omnipresence and omnipotence are his eternal attributes, not our mortal ones. He is the one with the eternal perspective of which our theorem is based. We (if we are smart) don’t need claim to understand all aspects of logic from an intellect such as the Lords, we just claim the opportunity to believe it, obey it and make covenants to display our commitment to it; thereby becoming members of the Kingdom of Heaven. Remember our theorem we believe what God says when he says it.

This can be allot to take in, so I guess its time to sum this up and let it sit for a while … but first lets summarize what the Prophet was really saying when he talked about us taking our vitamins and being ready for the big stuff.  What he was saying was not do you have faith in what we have now. What he was saying was in essences, “make sure you have the personal strength of faith to believe and support what is coming next”.

 And the big question is do we? Do I have the level of faith that if the Lord should say something like women will now be ordained to the Priesthood, that I believe him and support it? I am not saying that I think that is going to happen, but I am asking if each of us has the kind of faith to embrace that level of change, because I do think that is the level of change that is coming.

On second thought you might want to add some probiotics to that vitamin regiment because real change and the hardcore growth that comes with it is heading our way. Make no mistake about it and it’s going to hurt because change always does, especially if you’re not ready for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Farewell






We're chuckling as we write this, looking back at the title to our last post over two years ago.

#MormonMafia. Maybe you thought we'd broken the code of silence and been clipped. Or went into hiding. Would have been cool to be modern mormon martyrs.

No such luck. We just stopped. We woke up one day and knew we were done. We let the blog sit, thinking the content was still good so why not leave it online for others to find and read.

Then, a few months ago, someone approached us about resurrecting the blog. Seemed like a good guy so we're turning it over to a new family. He'll be the top-level management. The boss. The don. The new modern mormon man.

So come back soon for new mormon crank. We hope it's as addictive as our stuff was.

You'll always be family, but we're leaving the business for good.

Gotta go, we have a waste management business to run.



A Note From The New Guy:

Jon and Scott from all of us, thanks for the laughs! More than once I woke up my wife because I was laughing while reading a post late at night.

On a serious note thanks for contributing to the Modern era of our church. Your thoughts, paradigms and the way you presented them were always enlightening and hit the proverbial "nail on the head".

May the world of waste management hold great things for you!

All my best,
The New Guy  (also known as RB Mac.)



Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Persecution vs. Chastening: When #MormonMafia Is No Joking Matter



by Rob T:



When Fox News personality and Donald Trump supporter Lou Dobbs went on a rant last week about LDS presidential candidate Evan McMullin, which included referring to him as a “Mormon Mafia Tool” in a tweet, Mormons on Twitter responded hilariously.

I got in on the #MormonMafia fun (see the HuffPo link above, he said unhumbly), because I enjoy a good-natured Twitter hashtag joke stream. And I appreciated that most Mormons were having fun with it instead of seeing it as an instance of “persecution.”

While joining in the social media levity, however, two things came to my mind that weren’t joking matters.

First, Trump supporters on Twitter haven’t suddenly surfaced to go after Mormons. There have been countless instances of anti-Semitism, misogyny, racism,* and now Latter-day Saints are in the crosshairs, due in part to Trump’s declining popularity in Utah.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wardless



by Devin Fletcher:


For the last few weeks, my family and I have been in a weird spot in our relation to the organization of the church. We’ve kinda moved. I don’t mean “kinda” in the linguistic filler type of way, or as a way to minimize the damage of a comment to follow. I mean we’ve kind of moved, but not completely. Since 2013, we’ve lived in Waco, Texas while I attended Baylor Law School. Upon graduation a year ago, I passed up a job offer because of a prompting from the Holy Ghost. Recently, I found a job and began working down in Austin during the week, driving back to Waco on the weekends, while my family finished out the lease. My family moved down and joined me in staying with my sister-in-law and her family. Due to various circumstances, we have attended church in three different wards since and have effectively been without a ward for a month.

The old saying is, “the beauty of the church is that it’s the same wherever you go.” In my experience within the U.S. that's generally true, with allowance for local flair and preference. The doctrines taught in the Austin-area wards were basically the same as anywhere else. The people were friendly and often welcoming. But I miss having a ward to call my own. It makes me feel, perhaps for the first time, truly grateful for the geographic way we determine where our members attend services.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Why My Son Said He Didn’t Believe in Evolution — and Why That Troubled Me



by Rob T:


“Some people believe in evolution, that we came from apes. But I think they’re wrong because it’s not in the scriptures.”

Those words came from the mouth of my 5-year-old son recently. They took me by surprise, not because of his opinion, but because he was thinking of this issue and forming a personal stance. Was I underestimating his intelligence and awareness of such profound matters? That’s likely.

Impressed as I was that he could articulate this thought, I also was troubled by what he said.

Shouldn’t I have rejoiced, as an LDS parent, that my child took a firm stand with what I believe to be the word of God?

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