Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rock & Roll Parables: Everybody Hurts



by Reid:


We've all encountered the person who sincerely believes that their pain, grief, melancholy or despair is far greater than anyone else's.
"I know your mom died as well, but my mother and I were SO close…"
Unable or unwilling to see themselves with accurate perspective, they suffer—and suck all the oxygen out of any room they enter within seconds.

What do you say? I don't think it's very effective to try to trump their pain with your own. The "it could always be worse" argument—though rational—is not always helpful either.

REM's Everybody Hurts1 is brilliant. Released in 1992, the band said that this song was written for struggling teenagers. It is a simple reality check that offers some perspective. Everyone hurts. You're not alone. Don't give up.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

MMM Search Term Roundup 15: January 2014 - March 2014



by Scott Heffernan:

When someone finds Modern Mormon Men via search engine, we get to see what they typed to get here, giving us a small glimpse into the thought processes of those who happen upon our site. I think our readers need to see these, so I'll be sharing them monthly. Some are funny, some are sad, some are disturbing. Maybe we can work together to give some context or help answer some of those curious questions. WARNING: Although some of the more explicit entries have been excluded, saucier phrases that are included have not been edited.

See all Search Term Roundups here.

spencer w. kimball if you are bored in sacrament meeting, it is because you are boring
I must be really, really, really boring then.

my baby screamed through blessing
Then it didn't count. Sorry. God can't hear what you're saying over the crying.

pictures of ammon cutting off arms
You need some art to hang in your kitchen?

what to expect on a mormon first date
Light petting at most.

rowan atkinson mormon
Oh this would be a dream come true.

wear yellow for a return missionary
Please don’t do that.

Monday, March 23, 2015

You Don't Know Shiz About Book of Mormon Warfare



by David J. West:

No one ever put the spade to earth and dug up a testimony of The Book of Mormon. That said, I am a firm believer in stepping forward in faith and having more knowledge and light revealed. Do the work and you will reap the benefits and wisdom. Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents is just such a work that will carry you forward in understanding gospel principles, politics, and strategy.

Now let me introduce Morgan Deane. He is a professor and veteran with a passion for military history and The Book of Mormon. I've been following his blog for years. The rest of you had no idea that you could be enlightened through side by side examinations of Mao and the Gadiantons but LO there it is.

And it came to pass that Deane's book, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents is a brilliant tutorial for the rest of us who aren't quite to that "Hugh Nibley understudy" level just yet. Beginning with comparisons to Asian origins and world outlook, Deane shows (as Nibley did) similarities between Jaredite and ancient Chinese culture as well as known Mesoamerican practices. Continuing onward we see the examples and comparisons of the Gadianton Robber/Nephite conflicts (using Hebrew distinctions) and the resemblance to the circumstances of the Roman city states after the empire fell.

My favorite chapter may be The Inward Fire: Judging the Leadership of Captain Moroni. Herein Deane brings in the big guns, Nibley and Clausewitz, to back his case for Moroni's military genius and Patton-like righteousness. Ever the staunch veteran, Deane is in support of both Moroni and Bush’s policies and gives an outstanding argument for military preparedness.

Everything is footnoted, Deane isn't prone to spouting opinion or leaving any statement to dogmatic chance. He knows exactly why he thinks this way and I respect that – even if I don't necessarily agree on everything. Still he is a friend of mine and I did give him a back cover blurb as follows:
Morgan Deane's new book, Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents, is an absolute must for anyone studying The Book of Mormon. His words are clear and give a new dynamic approach to the field with so much yet to offer and hidden from cursory glances. It needs to be studied and Deane brings a well-rounded approach to that purpose. Wide ranging examples from history tie the parallels from the ancient world in remarkable efficiency. Deane's personal experience also gives a strong eye to the military aspect so often neglected in other collections. This is a book that will be talked about for years to come by any serious student of The Book of Mormon.
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David J. West has been writing as long as he can remember, winning a number of secretive awards too prestigious for you to have heard of. He lives in Utah with his wife and three children. Among his published works are Heroes of the Fallen (a Book of Mormon sword & sorcery adventure) and Bless the Child, the great American Mulekite/Spartan novel you never heard of.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

LDS Essays Now Available in Multiple Languages



by Seattle Jon:


In September 2014 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a letter to all Priesthood leaders directing them to send doubting or inquisitive members to a series of essays published in the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org. This replaced a church directive for priesthood leaders to send questioning members to Modern Mormon Men (the letter containing what is now known as the "MMM directive" has been lost or might be in The Vault within Granite Mountain).

Anyway, many of the essays discuss controversial events or topics that haven't previously been clearly addressed by the governing body of the church and most of us would probably agree that the essays are a positive step toward transparency. What the essays haven't done (until recently) is been available in a language other than English.

Maybe the church caught wind that MMM was, in fact, putting together a team of translators to publish some of the essays into Spanish (really, we were). In any case, if you missed the announcement - and you probably did since the church doesn't publicize these essays - you can now view the essays in Español, Português, Deutsch, Italiano, Français and 中国. The best place to view the newly translated essays - in my opinion - can be found at MormonEssays.com.

Note: Foreign readers of MMM (we know you're out there, as MMM is regularly read in over 90 countries), send in any experiences - good or bad - related to reading these essays for the first time. We will publish.

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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, a cat and four chickens.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

iPlates Volume 2: More Pure Book of Mormon Awesomeness



by Seattle Jon:

A tyrant to depose.
A city to defend.
A family to save.

This post is a bit late to the party, but I wanted to write a quick blurb about Carter and Atwood's iPlates Volume 2 after the volume saved my family on Sunday. More specifically, the volume saved my four kids from having to hear their dad ask them to be more reverent in sacrament meeting as one-by-one they took in pure Book of Mormon awesomeness.

I wrote about how great (iGreat) iPlates Volume 1 was two years ago tomorrow. Stephen Carter, editor of Sunstone Magazine, and artist Jett Atwood have again combined their talents to continue the iPlates series, this time with Volume 2, Prophets, Priests, Rebels, and Kings, which is a collection of three comic books based on the Book of Mormon's Mosiah 12-13: "Alma in the Wilderness," "Gideon's Revolt," and "Zerin's Sacrifice."

For a good summary of the volume, as well as some nice quotes from Atwood and an interview with Carter, check out Doug Gibson's article at the Standard Examiner.

Below are some captures from the first 12 pages. I've selected panels with female characters for a reason - the inclusion of female role models is one of my favorite things about the iPlates volumes.

If you aren't familiar with iPlates, or want to see Volume III like I do, buy iPlates Volume 2 now!




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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 and three chickens.

Friday, March 13, 2015

MMM Library: Let's Talk About …



by Shawn Tucker:


The other night at Institute we had a very interesting discussion. My students asked the age-old chastity question about what physical intimacy is appropriate before marriage. They happened to ask the simultaneous question of what is appropriate inside of marriage. I find the second question to be easier to address than the first one, but in answering the second a new thought occurred to me about the first.

I told the students that it is my opinion that the church does not have very many specific or hard-and-fast rules about what intimacy is appropriate in marriage. It seems to me that for obvious reasons that intimacy should not involve other people either directly or indirectly. It also seems obvious that the expression of intimacy should never be demeaning, manipulative, or coercive. Beyond that, it seems to me that every married couple must communicate openly about sexual expression, about what each person wants or needs or finds satisfying. I also told my students that these discussions are probably ongoing throughout a marriage.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Never Compound Shame



by Eliana:


The Gospel Doctrine lesson this past week was about burdens, or at least that is what I took away from my preparations to teach it. We have very few verses to read and I focused on those near the end of Luke 7.

A woman, sinful, is serving Jesus. Since most sins aren’t known to others, she’s got to be well known for her sins, yet she doesn’t hide away in shame. Like most of us do, right? If I know I’ve blown it, praying is difficult for a while. But this woman, she just wants to be close to Jesus and show him her love and respect. I love that.

In the Book of Mormon my favorite part has always been when the Lamanites are captive and receive a rather unusual blessing—not freedom, like I would want, or the bad guys to fall over dead. Instead they are blessed to not feel the burdens on their backs. Combined with great Nephi paintings of my childhood, imagine the muscle mass on these guys!

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