Saturday, March 2, 2019

The ministering visit where my buddy was told the church would be better off without him

by Mark G.

This week I was over at a friend’s house.  It was late afternoon, normally he and I would both be at work, but he had taken the afternoon off the help me with an engineering problem my group has been struggling with.  As my friend usually does, he solved my issue in a few minutes, and as it turns out, I am glad he did.  Soon the doorbell rang, and my buddy answered the door calling the visitor by name 
Brother Smith (alias)  and welcomed him in. The man joined us in the study:

My Buddy:  How can I help you?

Bro. Smith: Well this is a hard visit to make, but I came here to rebuke you. 

My Buddy:  ok… let's get started. 

Brother Smith laid out his argument.  Specifically about how the church and its leaders including stake presidents and bishops are infallible. My friend listened kindly until a remark was about the evil of scientists and then he snapped a bit.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Food Fight Over Missionaries Calling Home Once a Week! (Yes it actually happened)

posted by the MMM Consortium

I knew one day all of us here at MMM would fight over something. Lines would be drawn and a civil war would break out. But I never thought it would come over something as seemingly meaningless as missionaries calling home once a week. 

Here is the short story: Jeff posted the change on our Slack page, and WW3 began.  There were more than a few comments about uncut umbilical cords, mean old white men, stupid antiquated opinions and if we should also start sending teddy bears to missionaries as well.  We decided to stop chatting before feelings were permanently hurt, so we meet at a restaurant called 7 Leguas in Lake Conroe, Texas that night to discuss in person. Once there, we started to discuss this somewhat civilly then a chip was thrown.  And it happened, an all-out food fight…in the middle of the restaurant.  It ended when Mark poured the queso over RB and RB answered back with the Mexican Guacamole. Few things are sacred at a Tex-Mex restaurant, queso is one of those things, and Mexican Guacamole at 7 Leguas is the best in the world, period. Ashamed that we had wasted the Queso, with heads hanging low we sat back down.  I wish I were kidding here, it was my turn to pay the bill, and I tipped less at my wedding dinner. 

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Diggin’ Up Bones

by JAR

I used to work for a power systems company that manufactured and serviced electric motors and electronic variable frequency drives for use in different industrial applications. Although the company’s main focus was on oilfield drilling controls (top drives, drawworks, mud pumps, etc.), one of the many smaller niches that we had carved out was in controlling the pumping and drilling motors on dredgers.

Dredging is the process where the sediments on the bottom of a body of water are extracted and moved elsewhere. Some dredgers use a large scoop, similar to a backhoe; most of the dredgers I worked on would actually break up the sediment with a large drill and suck it up using essentially a giant vacuum, then pump the material to another location (sometimes the shoreline, sometimes a barge). Along coastlines, this technique is used to protect the shape of the beaches. In Houston, contractors employ dredgers to keep the ship channel deep enough for the large freight ships to safely navigate to the docks. In Dubai, they excavated sand from deep seabeds in order to build a beautiful island shaped like a palm tree. However, there are many drawbacks to the process, and one major one that we will discuss here:

Whenever you dig up the bottom of a bayou, river, lake, or ocean, you never really know what you can expect to find.
Everything that sinks when discarded into a body of water has the potential to be dredged up when the floor is disturbed. That includes trash, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, bikes, cars, at least one ATM to my knowledge, and even human bodies--I understand the latter to be quite a harrowing experience, though it is one that I have not personally had to endure. Items that were long since forgotten are brought up to the surface, and can even cause issues with the dredging process itself by getting stuck in the pumps or breaking the drills. These are the risks you take when you start carving up the bed of a bayou.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Could Recent Changes In the Temple Be Hinting At Changes In LDS Priesthood Ordinations?

by RB Mac

Changes to the temple ordinances were announced a little over two weeks ago, and we really wanted to pop up a post right away, but then we saw that the Church had asked for people not to post the changes. So, we waited for a few weeks to go by so we could all find out what the changes are without us being the ones to tell you. Now that we all know what changes have been made, we can talk about all of this and there is a lot to talk about.  Is this the first time that ceremonies have been changed in the temple? What is the history of the temple ceremony? What are the doctrinal implications of the recent changes? Are there more changes to come?
Changes pertaining to the temple ceremony are more common than you might think. Significant changes were made in 1843, 1845, 1855, 1856, 1857, 1877 Jan-15, 1877 Feb-1,  1884, 1893, 1894, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1915, 1916, 1919, 1922 May-1, 1922 Sept, 1923, 1924, 1927, 1930, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, 1945, 1955 Nov-4, 1955 Dec-5, 1959 Mar-16, 1959 Jul-15, 1962, 1963, 1965 Jan-1, 1965 May-4, 1965 May-14, 1966 Jul-6, 1966 Aug-30, 1969 Mar-18, 1969 Oct-23, 1972, 1975, 1978 May-3, 1978 Jun-8, 1979 Jun-1, 1979 Dec-1, 1981, 1985, 1989, 1990, 2005, 2008, 2019. That’s a total of fifty-four, and I don’t consider this a complete list, I left several minor things off.  

The point being change is a governing principle of our church. Click here to read an article about the role change plays in the church. I also think it’s healthy to point this out as too often “Mormon urban legends” attempt to dictate something to be a fact when it's not a fact at all. One of those urban legends is that the temple ceremony is revealed and can’t be changed… at all. On that topic, there is only one official statement we can find: 1982, Jan 16: "As temple work progresses, some members wonder if the ordinances can be changed or adjusted. These ordinances have been provided by revelation, and are in the hands of the First Presidency. Thus, the temple is protected from tampering." -W. Grant Bangerter, executive director of the Temple Department and a member of the First Quorum of Seventy. So there you have I, it’s both revealed, and it can change.  Think of it this way we believe in the 9th article of faith, which to summarize says we believe what God says when he says it. You can change it, and it does change with the obvious caveat that it comes from the First Presidency.  Now some might say that certain small inconsequential things might change, but important items like covenants, oaths, etc. never change. Absolutely not true, just in this last change we saw changes in oaths/covenants and this recent change is much more subdued than many in the past.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Meet the Fatherless Mormon

I am a Fatherless Mormon by JAR

There is a lot of unpacking to do with that statement; let me begin by expressing my understanding of a couple of key items.

First, I understand that the Church very recently shifted away from using the term “Mormon.” Fortunately for us little people, the restrictions of having to change our vernacular are less draconian than anything published officially. Besides, “Fatherless Mormon” rolls off the tongue much better than “Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Who was Raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by a Single Mother Who was Also A Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

Second, I understand that nobody is technically fatherless (although it is in the Bible--just saying). Spare me the platitudes about “you always have your Father in Heaven” blah, blah, blah… That’s not much of a consolation to a young boy wondering why other kids are baptized by their dads; a deacon trying to understand what it means to hold the priesthood; or a priest struggling--and ultimately losing--to fight the temptations of the world with no righteous example of priesthood leadership in the home. True: I can look back now and understand that Heavenly Father has always been there for me; but at the moment, I found it impossible to see an eternal perspective.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Strengthening The Men In The Elders Quorum

By The MMM Brain Trust

It’s not a very well-kept secret that the men as a whole in the church are struggling.  There are more active women than men.  In the 20-30 age range there are more single women, than single men. More families are without fathers in the home them without mothers in the home. And the inactivity rate for men coming out of the young men’s program is staggering high. We have some issues with us as Modern Mormon Men. The Church has been talking about this for a few years now. I even think that this was one of the main reasons for the changes to the Elders Quorum this year. We are not in defcon 5 by any means, but we are certainly due for a course correction to increase / change the way we strengthen ourselves and our brothers in the church.
This is a group article. A bunch of us here at MMM some how started discussing the topic and we came up with a set of six points. Three that address fallacies with the way we and the church assume the adult men in the church are getting spiritually feed. And three items that wards and quorums already have the authority to do according to the handbook that can be changed.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

“Two Journeys” - by Rob Trishman

(One of The Best Christmas Poems We Have Ever Read.)

“Two Journeys” - by Rob Trishman

The journey to the manger
The journey to the cross
One led to the start of life
The other, to its loss.

Each journey was filled with pain,
Both His, and His mother's.
Her pain so she could bear Him,
His pain to bear up others.

Each journey was filled with doubt
Why were all the inn rooms taken?
He cried for help in that dark hour.
Had God His Son forsaken?

Each journey had rejection
Unwelcome in any place.
Nowhere for them to stay and rest.
Crowds spitting in his face.

Because of these two journeys,
He knows hard roads we take.
The pain, doubt, and rejection,
And how our hearts will ache.

He meets us on the thorny path,
In lonely times of fear,
In soul-crushing uncertainty,
Remember, He is near.

The journey to His death,
And the journey to His birth
Both difficult, but completed
Because of our souls’ worth.

And thus our mortal journey
So difficult to face.
Yet He who said, ‘I am the way’
Carries us with His grace.

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