Monday, June 30, 2014

More About the Load: A Short Response to Elder Bednar’s April 2014 Conference Talk



by Shawn Tucker:


I have been very moved by Elder Bednar's April 2014 General Conference talk Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease. The talk's central story is about a man who finds that an empty truck does not have enough weight and subsequent traction to get it out of the snow. When talking about what eventually got the truck out of the snow, Elder Bednar explains that "It was the load. It was the load of wood that provided the traction necessary for him to get out of the snow, to get back on the road, and to move forward. It was the load that enabled him to return to his family and his home."

Elder Bednar elaborates from this story on how each of us carries a load. That load is mortality's various "demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints." Elder Bednar poses questions that we can use to reflect on our load. He works with the assumption that we have some control over our load. Since we do have some control over the demands and opportunities in our lives, he warns that "we should be careful to not haul around in our lives so many nice but unnecessary things that we are distracted and diverted from the things that truly matter most." Elder Bednar then talks about how we can share our load with the Savior.

From here Elder Bednar speaks with typical power and clarity about finding or gaining strength as we carry our load with the Lord. Some of his points echo previous messages, including this this 2001 BYU devotional. I cannot recommend the remainder of the talk and that talk highly enough.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Another Modern Mormon Man Born



MMM co-founder Scott Heffernan and his wife Aimee welcomed another boy yesterday (that makes three). Perhaps his recent Big Tent illustration wasn't about room for all in the church after all, but was instead a reminder to buy a bigger tent for when he takes his family camping. Anyway, congratulations Scott and Aimee!

Friday, June 27, 2014

MMM Quotes: Happiness vs. Wholeness




From Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don't mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep" and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!" I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word "happiness" and to replace it with the word "wholeness." Ask yourself, "Is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you're having a bad day, it is.

originally seen on A Cup of Jo

Image credit: Ben K Adams (used with permission).

Thursday, June 26, 2014

This Post is Pretty Brilliant Too



by Seattle Jon:

Amidst all the recent divisive discussion and debate about the role of women in the church, one thing is certain, at least in my mind - our young women will someday benefit from many great and important things not yet revealed that pertain specifically to them. So to those of us raising daughters, and to those of us crossing paths with young women in this church, let's be aware of the messages they receive at church and not forget our responsibility to remind them that they're "pretty brilliant too." Who knows, one of us might be raising the next Kate Kelly and she needs to be ready for a different response from god.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

We Are Family



by Eliana:


Eliana's Top 5 Life Moments
  1. Getting my driver's license in the early morning on my 16th birthday
  2. Moving out of my parents' home to go off to college
  3. The day my husband proposed to me
  4. Finding out I was pregnant with our first child
  5. An outdoor concert with my favorite band, standing close enough to touch the lead singer, on a perfect night as a surprise gift
Despite the first two items on my list, I consider myself close to my family. Yes, I live in a state where no one related to me lives (and it isn't a small state). Right now my nephew is staying with us while his parents work through a hideous divorce. It is challenging to say the least and we are the second family to have a turn with him.

For my husband, this is bizarre and something he can’t fathom happening in his birth family. To me it is simple—you do what needs to be done for family, even family that makes you crazy and you'd rather live far away from. One brother is helping with money, another lives nearby and can help with sudden crises. We are all in a lot more contact lately in the midst of drama and need than we were a few months ago. I expect that when the storm calms we will drift apart again—not from disagreement or fighting but because we each have our own lives.

So I'm asking today about your definition of family. To me, family is the even though: I will help you, even though you are crazy and make me crazy. Even though I know you are making bad choices, I will support your efforts at improvement. Even though. Forgiveness is a part of it certainly, as is fate and shared experience. For me even though is short hand for 'don't worry, I've got your back no matter what.'

And you, MMM or MMW, what is family to you? Not so much the technical logistics of who you count as family as what that bond means in your individual life. I'm curious, so thanks in advance.

 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
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: a.k.a Champagne for the Brain (used with permission).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Opulence ... We Has It



by Reid:

During our recent trip to Lithuania I discovered that Vilnius has more churches than Thailand has Buddas (… not really). The beauty of these churches was truly impressive. Their sheer opulence, along with the unmistakable Russian accent that you hear everywhere, made me think of this classic commercial from a few years ago.



Let's face it, there is a noticeable contrast between the interior of the LDS chapel in Vilnius with the interior of even a second-rate Lithuanian church. To compare our little chapel with something like St Anne's Church wasn’t even close. But what our chapel lacked in opulence, we had in spirit. You can keep the gold-encrusted religious icons, the candles, the works of art and the elaborate altarpieces. I'll stick with the feeling I got while hearing a Lithuanian Branch President with a strong Russian accent testify of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. So when it comes to real opulence, I can confidently say: we has it.

St Anne’s Church - Vilnius, Lithuania
Easily my favorite (Catholic) church
The Vilnius, Lithuania LDS chapel on the left vs. St Anne’s Church on the right
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Reid is an endocrinologist from Henderson, Nevada. He's blessed with wonderful wife and three great kids. His interests are charitably characterized as eclectic: cycling, fly-fishing, history, travel and the coinage of the Flavian dynasty of Imperial Rome. With a deep-seated belief that people habitually do dumb things, he's trying really hard to keep things positive. People are not making it any easier these days. The gospel has helped a lot. Blog: stunnedbanana.blogspot.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credits: Reid (used with permission).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Linger Longer 34




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)
Doctrinal Evidence for Female Ordination (Feminist Mormon Housewives)
To The Church and To Ordain Women (By Common Consent)
12 More Questions for Armand Mauss, Part 3 (Times and Seasons)
Modesty Rhetoric in Church Magazines (Zelophehad's Daughters)
Collisions of Conscience (Doves and Serpents)
Shame and Affirmation (No More Strangers)

Mormon-Related Podcasts
Episodes 231-235: Perspectives on News of Possible Excommunications - Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Mormon Matters)
Episode 112: "I Am Kate": Sara Speaks (FMH Podcast)

Off-Bloggernacle (non-religious sites)
Lake TeaPile of Viruses, Catch!Hitting a Comet and Star Sand (What If?)
The Origins of Office Speak (The Atlantic)
The Man Who Literally Built Star Wars (Esquire)
16 Leadership Lessons From A Four-Star General (Farnam Street)
The Top Ten Global Warming Skeptic Arguments Answered (The Guardian)
The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 Bits (Grantland)
Disneyland's Original Prospectus Revealed! (BoingBoing)
The Marx Brothers: The Comic Combustion Celebrates 100 Years (American History Blog)
The Hot Spotters (The New Yorker)
The Truth About Bug Spray (Mother Jones)
The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CD's (For Science) (The Atlantic)
The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World (Medium)
The Skills of Leonardo da Vinci (Farnam Street)
25 Things Hiding in Sports Logos (Mental Floss)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Big Tent



by Scott Heffernan:


 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Scott Heffernan is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee, doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the 80s in Salt Lake City and loves skateboarding, toys, and thrifting. He served a mission in England/Wales and has a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. He has one wife and two kids. Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif Image credit: Scott Heffernan (used with permission).

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saying Kaddish at Mountain Meadows



by Bradly Baird:


On that day I prayed the Kaddish. On that day I understood its meaning - turning from death to life itself. On that day the heavens opened above and I saw twenty-nine souls connected. The eternities waited and the work waited. On that day, Heaven visited me at Mountain Meadows.

Early one bright Sunday morning, I prepared myself to attend church when I discovered that I neglected to pack a white dress shirt in my luggage - we had traveled that Memorial Day weekend to visit family in St. George; and, sadly, I did not have any other clothing that would function appropriately for Sacrament Meeting. I felt somewhat stupid for the mistake and rather forlornly sent my family off to church, preferring to be at home with the scriptures and video recordings of General Conference than to feel uncomfortable and disrespectful in Sacrament Meeting.

I grabbed my scriptures and sat down to watch the opening of the April 2014 General Conference, hoping to bring a strong measure of the Spirit into my heart since I wouldn't be able to take the Sacrament that day. President Monson gave his traditional welcome and then Elder Holland stepped to the podium to offer a wonderful sermon on the costs of discipleship. He spoke the final words of the address:
In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship
I felt a sudden rush of inspiration, and the currents of recent thoughts about the time of year, personal acts of commission, and a book I recently read rapidly intersected in my mind to form a complete idea.

This included images of the Mountain Meadows gravesite (it is situated about 30 miles from my Mother-In-Law's home in St. George), strong feelings about making some private act of memorial in honor of the dead, and then the Jewish prayer for the dead, the Kaddish (I recently read Anita Diamant's book on this subject). I knew, then, in that moment what my worship would include that Sunday morning.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Empty Calories



by ldsbishop:


For the past two years my wife and I have given up refined sugar for Lent. It isn't a Christian tradition that Mormons follow but we thought it would be a good idea to have an excuse to keep healthy with the added benefit of giving us the opportunity to think of the Saviour whenever we started jonesing for the white stuff.

The entire process was hellish. I would look for any excuse to cram some sugar into my body. In the end, I justified that Green & Blacks organic chocolate contained organic raw cane sugar which was less addictive, therefore nowhere near as bad for me (right? right!). If you disagree that refined sugar is addictive, try giving it up for over a month. The fact is, sugar can be addictive the same way heroin or cocaine can be and it is a cause of increasing health problems in western society.

Anyway, this isn't going to be a rant about sugar, but the process of attempting to give it up for a month made me consider some of the other figurative empty calories that we consume on a regular basis and struggle to get away from. There can even be many such examples in the Church.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MMM Cross Stitches: Father of Teenagers Edition



by Shawn Tucker:

As Modern Mormon Men, we know the value of surrounding ourselves with images that convey love and understanding. And what could convey love and understanding better than a cross stitch?  The below cross stitches are part of an ongoing series, cross stitches that you can make for your home. Knowing how many of you regularly cross stitch messages like the ones given below, please add yours to the comments.



 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Shawn Tucker grew up with amazing parents and five younger, wonderful siblings. He served as a missionary in Chile during the Plebiscite and the first post-dictatorship election. After his mission, he attended BYU, where he married ... you guessed it ... his wife. They both graduated, with Shawn earning a BA in Humanities. Fearing that his BA in Humanities, which is essentially a degree in Jeopardy, would not be sufficient, Shawn completed graduate work in the same ... stuff ... at Florida State University. He currently teaches at Elon University in North Carolina. He and ... you guessed it ... his wife have four great children. Twitter: @MoTabEnquirer. Website: motabenquirer.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

RIP Big Tent Mormonism



by Kyle:


Dearly Beloved,

We gather here today to mourn the passing of Big Tent Mormonism. It lived a short life, but a life with much impact on the lives of the saints who needed it the most. Big Tent Mormonism was born on that October morning in 2013 when Dieter F. Uchtdorf stood at the grand pulpit in the midst of the Conference Center and proclaimed, without a single airplane analogy, that there is room for you. That despite your doubts, despite your lack of faith, and despite yours and other's imperfections, there is room for you in this church.

Well, that lasted long.

Big Tent Mormonism was pronounced dead last week with the announcement that John Dehlin of Mormon Stories, and Kate Kelly of Ordain Women both received notice that they would be facing a church disciplinary court and face possible excommunication. By now I probably don't have to tell you why this is happening, but in case you have Comcast and your internet has been out for a while you can read about it here, here, here, and here.

What I do want to tell you is that John Dehlin and Kate Kelly have both been inspirational to me in my ongoing faith journey. And that their example of asking hard questions and still embracing Mormonism in their own way has been key to my own struggles with church history and doctrine.

But to me their impending church disciplinary hearings, and as everyone is speculating their eventual excommunications, have only shown me that the idea that we can stand together as Mormons with a wide spectrum of faith has come to an end.

However, the idea of Big Tent Mormonism doesn't have to die, despite the fear and sorrow that these potential excommunications have caused. Big Tent Mormonism can continue in our homes, where different ideas can be discussed with love and understanding. It can continue in our quorum and auxiliary meetings where teachers and leaders can allow for the discussion of doubts and troubling issues. It can continue in the offices of Bishops where empathy, understanding and true charity is extended, and not simply referenced as kind words in a disciplinary form letter.

Big Tent Mormonism can continue if we, the members, allow it to. I hope we do. I hope the tent continues to expand and can help heal the wounds that are left. Let's give Big Tent Mormonism some CPR.

 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Kyle works in Democratic politics, yet somehow his bishop still lets him participate in church activities. He hails from Washington DC, but is embarking on a year of living in Salt Lake City and being a stay-at-home dad, while his amazing wife brings home the bacon. Actual bacon. No, seriously, she works across the street from a grocery store. It's delicious. Kyle's Mormon street cred comes from the fact that he is the youngest of seven children and is only five years older than his niece. Twitter: @KJinSLC.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gifImage credit: Scott Heffernan (used with permission).

Monday, June 16, 2014

Giveaway 32: Church Books Grab Bag Winner




The Backslider, Levi S. Peterson, (read reviews) (MMM posts)
Standing on the Promises Book 1: One More River to Cross, Margaret Blair Young and Darius Gray (read reviews)
The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, B. H. Roberts, 1946 Edition (read reviews)
Daughters of Light, Carol Lynn Pearson, (read reviews) (MMM posts)
From Quaker to Latter-day Saint: Bishop Edwin D. Woolley, Leonard J. Arrington (read reviews)

And the winner is: EricL (see comment)

Please respond via email by Friday, June 20th to claim the books.

GO USA! BEAT GHANA!



Forget blessing your food or thanking Him for a few extra days of kids in school ... pray for U.S.A. goals.

GO U.S.A. BEAT GHANA!


Friday, June 13, 2014

MMM Library: The Infantilisation of Young Single Adults



Brother Troy and Brother Abed hope their pillow and blanket fort will serve as an object lesson for their dates.
The fort is an allegory for the Priesthood protection they'll provide for these dear sisters if they but agree
to be their eternal companions. However, like a blanket fort, their object lesson is flimsy.

A couple of years ago, in one of my trips to Utah to visit with my wife's family, I went Christmas shopping at the Gateway Mall in Salt Lake City. I was walking along with my wife and infant son, slightly freezing to death in the Utah winter, when I was approached by eight young adults (early 20's, equal numbers of men and women). Now, in most cities of the world, when you're approached by a gang of young people, you get ready to hand over your wallet and hope you don't end up being stabbed in the face. This was Utah, however, so I was ready to expect something different.

The "gang" leader started the conversation: "Hey man, can we have your name please? You're wearing a green shirt and we need someone wearing one."

It turns out they were on a scavenger hunt as part of a YSA group date and they had to complete a number of tasks that one of them had drawn together in advance. I was number 15: Find someone wearing a green shirt, get their name and take a photo.

Now, don't get me wrong, they seemed to be having a lot of fun and were positively gleeful when they heard my British accent, but I couldn't help thinking that their "date" was more suitable for a bunch of school children.

Speaking of what I perceive to be childish activities; my sister-in-law has been a member of a YSA ward in Utah for a number of years now. When we were chatting on Skype a couple of months ago, she got talking about a group date she was planning. They had decided that they were going to get together to make a blanket fort.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Google Saves Marriages



by Pete Codella:

We were out to dinner with friends. My wife was delivering a glowing review for a new restaurant we had tried with another couple a few months ago. She was convinced the restaurant we had liked so much was called Ho Hut, but then came around to the idea of it being Hu Hot.

It's been a joke with us since we ate there, a hut for hoes? No, that wasn't it. What was the name of that place?



It was a place we really liked, where you pick fresh veggies and pile 'em high in your bowl, then they grill them in front of you on a large rotating round grill with a handful of cooks moving around, spraying the grill with water to clean it off, then oil to season and sauté the veggies. It's an Asian stir fry joint.

I was convinced the place was called Hu Hut.

In front of our friends, we proceeded to stake out claims on the real name of the restaurant.

They were laughing and we were verbally sparing.

Finally I said, "Fine. I'll Google it."

Then my friend chimed in:
Google has saved our marriage so many times. There's really no need to argue any longer when a quick Google check on your smartphone can get you the right answer.
True enough.

For the record: The restaurant we enjoyed so much is called HuHot Mongolian Grill. It's a restaurant chain. You should check it out if there's one by you. Be prepared to be very full when you leave, even though it doesn't seem like you've got a very big bowl to fill with food.

Debate over. Name found. Now on with our double-date. It was a splendid evening.

And both of us—my friend and his wife and me and my wife—are still happily married. Thank you, Google.

 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Pete CodellaI've lived in New York, Texas, Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. I've traveled to four continents, shopped in Fez, parasailed in Tunisia, eaten caviar in Moscow and would love to visit my namesake and great-grandfather's stomping grounds in Italy. I was married in the Salt Lake LDS Temple four years after graduating from BYU, so you could argue at one point I was a ‘menace to the community.’ I'm a former singing gondolier at The Venetian in Las Vegas and BYU Young Ambassador. I work in digital public relations and travel to consult and speak about corporate communications and social media. I graduated in 2013 from the University of Utah's Executive MBA program. My awesome wife and I have two great kids, currently twelve and eight and full of life. Twitter: @codella.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Happy Anniversary, Napoleon Dynamite



by Scott Heffernan:

Yesterday, Seattle Jon suggested I design an image for the 10th anniversary of Napoleon Dynamite. I love the film and thought it was a great idea. One of my favorite creative elements from the movie is the wardrobe choices. Here's Napoleon, Kip, Deb, and Uncle Rico. I hope you like it.


See some pictures from the cast reunion here.

 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Scott Heffernan is an artist, designer, and photographer living in Seattle. He works on the creative team at Archie McPhee, doing all manner of strange things. He grew up a child of the 80s in Salt Lake City and loves skateboarding, toys, and thrifting. He served a mission in England/Wales and has a degree in American Sign Language from the University of Utah. He has one wife and two kids. Twitter: @ScottHeffernan. Tumblr: ScottHeff.tumblr.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif Image credit: Scott Heffernan (used with permission).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

How Many Handbook Rules Does It Take To Remove God From A Mormon Baptism?




I baptized our two youngest sons two weeks ago. Noah had turned eight a week earlier, and our recently adopted nine year-old son, Jonathan, wanted to get baptized on the same day as Noah. The service turned out to be a special experience for our family, it just wasn't what my wife and I had initially envisioned when we'd started planning the baptism a few weeks ago.

Weather in Seattle during the end of May / beginning of June is wonderful, so one of us suggested an outdoor baptism. We have friends who live on the Puget Sound and have a large hot tub overlooking the beach. Could we do it there? "Absolutely," our friends said.

We talked about how we wanted the service to feel authentic to where our family is in our faith journey. The last five years have seen major changes in how we approach religion and the church - I've become less orthodox in my beliefs and my wife has been attending a non-denominational Christian church for almost two years. As a result of these changes, we wanted the baptismal service to focus more on how baptism is a commitment to follow Christ and less on how the boys were joining the mormon church. So we called one of our closest friends, who now lives in the Midwest and is a non-denominational youth pastor whose approach to Christ we value and respect, to see if he'd attend and briefly speak on what committing to Christ means to him. "I'll buy a plane ticket," he said.

We wanted a private gathering of only family and a few friends, so chose not to announce the baptism in sacrament meeting. I bought a new white shirt for the ordinances. The kids had their interviews with the bishop (with my wife in attendance). And then, a few days before the baptism, the battle with the Handbooks began and we felt God being removed from the preparations.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Giveaway 32: Church Books Grab Bag



Seattle Jon lives a few blocks from one of the few Deseret Industries outside of Utah. With fewer members around to pick over church books, he is constantly buying so these books don't end up in landfills. For this giveaway, we are offering one reader the chance to receive the following gently used church books.


The Backslider, Levi S. Peterson, (read reviews) (MMM posts)
Standing on the Promises Book 1: One More River to Cross, Margaret Blair Young and Darius Gray (read reviews)
The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, B. H. Roberts, 1946 Edition (read reviews)
Daughters of Light, Carol Lynn Pearson, (read reviews) (MMM posts)
From Quaker to Latter-day Saint: Bishop Edwin D. Woolley, Leonard J. Arrington (read reviews)

Giveaway Guidelines:
• Leave a comment on this post.
• Seven days to enter (closes Sunday, June 15th at midnight).
• Winner announced Monday, June 16th.
• Winner must respond via email with their address by Friday, June 20th to claim the books.
• Books will be mailed at our cost if within the United States.

Friday, June 6, 2014

MMM Library: The Swearing Stand-Off



by LJ:


I come from a swearing Mormon family. Grandmother (Mom's mom) could cuss with the best of them and Grandpa (Dad's dad) dropped cowboy swears so casually that even talks in church were tinted a light shade of blue. We all appreciated Grandpa's swears because you could repeat them in context without getting your mouth washed out.

I picked up a mean swearing streak in middle school that carried over past my college career. At BYU, swearing was like a litmus test for friendship: If I could swear occasionally around you, we could be friends. If I couldn't, I occasionally daydreamed about how mad I had to make you to get you to swear back at me.

Now, I definitely had swearing standards. "Hell" and "damn" were Tier 1 swears, or "Bible swears," and weren't actually offensive. Same with "jackass" and "bastard" (or, as my little brother called it around sensitive ears, "turd of bass.") The words having to do with excrement or the gender of a dog were heftier and thus saved for more weighty situations. I never dropped The Granddaddy in my entire life. Still haven't. I have to stop somewhere.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Participate in Mormon Arts Sunday!



by Scott Hales:

Early last year, I wrote a good-natured satire of “Wear Pants to Church Day”—as well as the strong (sometimes violently-worded) resistance to it—and posted it in two parts (here and here) on A Motley Vision. In the posts, I encouraged all Mormons everywhere to wear a black beret and/or maroon clothing to church on Scout Sunday, the first Sunday in February, to raise awareness of Mormon art and its often-overlooked place in our community. While the posts were obviously tongue-in-cheek, several of us who contribute to and read AMV, realized that the idea was bigger than the satire and decided to take it seriously. On the designated Sunday, the second in February, we donned our black berets and maroon ties, snapped a few selfies for social media, and headed off to church.

This year, when February rolled around, half of us forgot about commemorating Mormon Arts Sunday while the other half kept the tradition alive. (I was among the forgetful.) Feeling like Mormon arts deserved better than that, we decided to move Mormon Arts Sunday officially to the second Sunday in June. We made the move for several reasons. First, we didn’t want Mormon Arts Sunday to conflict with Scout Sunday, even though Scout Sunday seems (in my opinion) to be mostly a relic of the last century. Second, June was the month when the first works of Mormon literature were published in The Evening and Morning Star in 1832. Third, June marks the anniversary of the founding of A Motley Vision in 2004. The move to June seemed right.

This week, in preparation for Sunday, AMV founder William Morris has published a list of things you can do to commemorate Mormon Arts Sunday and show your commitment to Mormon art and solidarity with Mormon artists. I have little to add to his excellent list aside from my support and endorsement. In my opinion, giving Mormon art and artists recognition is one of the most important things we can do for Mormon communities around the world. Too often, after all, we feel as if we have to apologize for Mormon art—or dismiss it for being sentimental, didactic, kitschy, and amateurish—forgetting that Mormon art is not simply what we see on shelves at church bookstores, but also that which we create as Mormons with our own hands. In other words, Mormon art is the creative work we do on a daily basis—in all its forms and mediums. Whenever we do something creative with our Mormon perspectives—through writing, singing, scribbling, drawing, dancing, etc.—we are making Mormon art.

So, to raise awareness for Mormon arts everywhere, don your artsy black berets, wear your maroons and dark reds, and show your support for our artists. And don’t forget to post your Mormon Arts Sunday selfies on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, or anything else that helps you show your commitment to Mormon Arts. And use #MormonArtsSunday—‘cause we Mormons are all about our hashtags!

 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif
Scott Hales lives in a small house in a suburb of Cincinnati with his wife and three daughters. He spends a lot of his time reading Mormon fiction and trying to come up with original things to say about it. On weekday mornings, he gets up at 4:40 to teach seminary. On weekday evenings, he and his wife watch network television and wonder what it must be like to have a satellite dish and 400 channels. During the daytime, he is a graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. He doesn't like pets or home repairs. He always likes to watch superhero cartoons with his kids. Sometimes he rides a mountain bike in the woods behind his neighborhood. When he's feeling particularly nostalgic, he'll pull out his masterfully written mission journals and remember the days when he didn't sport sideburns. Twitter: @TheLowTechWorld. Blog: low-techworld.blogspot.com.
 photo Line-625_zpse3e49f32.gif Image credit: Scott Hales (used with permission).

Other MMM Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...